Date: Mar 29, 1998 [ 23: 46: 1]

Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 25 Mar 1998 to 29 Mar 1998 - Special issue

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 25 Mar 1998 to 29 Mar 1998 - Special issue
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There are 11 messages totalling 1206 lines in this issue.

Topics in this special issue:

1. U.S., hoping for improved ties, makes small gestures to Iran
2. Clinton Hesitates to Punish Nations for Iran Oil Deals
3. World Court admits U.S. counter-claim against Iran
4. Persian Gulf Soccer: Iran Wrap Up French Training With a 3-0 Loss
5. ryys~jmhvry ayran, 7731, sal mfahmh v gftvgv ast
6. varzesh: tym fvtbal" kln " Alman Kvahan jZb yk bazykn ayrany Sd
7. irna: mTbveatbh mrdm Gh mygvynd ?)rvznamhhay CbH ykSnbh (
8. Dueling Mullahs: Iran's Gladhander Takes on the Leader
9. German court links Iran to more attacks
10. fwd: WC-98 tickets
11. Sobh: Sobh Letter to President


Date: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 13:26:14 +0200
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: U.S., hoping for improved ties, makes small gestures to Iran

U.S., hoping for improved ties, makes small gestures to Iran
WASHINGTON (AP) The Clinton administration has made several small gestures
toward Iran and eased off its customary anti-Tehran rhetoric as part of an
effort to improve relations, officials said Thursday.

State Department spokesman James P. Rubin said the administration
recently gave permission to Iran's top diplomat at the United Nations to
travel to Los Angeles to give a speech. Another official said such
overtures were quite rare.

In addition, the administration granted a visa to the director of
women's affairs in Iran so she could deliver a speech in Washington.

Rubin summarized the state of U.S.-Iranian relations in comments notably
devoid of the traditional emphasis on the areas of disagreement such as
U.S. allegations of Iranian support for terrorism, development of
weapons of mass destruction and efforts to undermine the Middle East
peace process.

Another official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was no
accident that these issues were omitted from Rubin's remarks. The
official said, however, that the United States continues to be concerned
about these aspects of suspected Iranian behavior.

One source of encouragement for the United States, Rubin said, is the
warmth and courtesy with which ordinary Iranians have received American
visitors lately.

Among recent visitors were six scholars, including two former U.S.
government officials, who attended a conference on Persian Gulf security
as guests of the Iranian Foreign Ministry.

"I didn't have one word of hostility aimed at me. No one was trampling
on any (U.S.) flags," said Roscoe Suddarth, a former State Department
official who heads the Middle East Institute.

Suddarth and his colleagues had a brief meeting with Iranian Foreign
Minister Kamal Kharrazi and exchanged views over dinner with Kharrazi's
deputy, Gholam Khoshroo.

Rubin said, however, there is no substitute for a direct official
dialogue between Iran and the United States. On that point, Iranian
President Mohammad Khatami has been opposed, saying the two countries
are not ready for official contacts.

In the absence of a dialogue, the United States has been eagerly
pursuing people-to-people contacts. Rubin said the United States has
been reviewing as expeditiously as possible Iranian visa applications.

Another official said discussions have been held about stationing a U.S.
Information Agency official in the Swiss Embassy in Iran, which is
responsible for handling U.S. interests in Tehran.

The official said the proposal has been put on the back burner because
that step would only come after a series of others have been taken.

The two countries have not had official relations since not long after
the seizure of the American Embassy in Iran by Islamic militants in
1979. The relationship has been marked by deep hostility, but the
accession last August of Khatami, a moderate by Iranian standards, has
raised the possibility of improved ties.


Date: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 13:24:09 +0200
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Clinton Hesitates to Punish Nations for Iran Oil Deals

Clinton Hesitates to Punish Nations for Iran Oil Deals
New York Times- The Clinton administration is backing away from
imposing sanctions on European, Canadian, Russian and Asian energy
companies that are investing in Iran, despite a law signed with great
fanfare by President Clinton in 1996, senior American officials say.

The administration is hoping that the Asian financial crisis and the
recent drop in the price of oil will cause the two deals at issue to
collapse, and cause one of the most sensitive foreign-policy issues
Clinton faces to simply go away.

Even if that does not happen, the administration is negotiating with the
European Union to find enough cause, under the law, to waive the
sanctions that Clinton apparently does not want to impose.

So Clinton has decided he will make no decisions on the matter at least
until he and the European Union conclude their annual summit meeting in
mid-May, this year in Birmingham, England, the officials say.

The United States wants to avoid an open confrontation with its European
allies and with Russia, all of whom oppose Washington's efforts to
punish any of their companies for doing business with Iran. For the past
six months, some of America's closest European allies have been pressing
Washington to drop or waive the sanctions, which they regard as illegal,
and have threatened to challenge the legislation in the World Trade

Clinton has no desire to pick a fight with the Russians and Europeans as
he courts their assistance in countering Iraq and in containing the new
Yugoslav crisis that has erupted in the Serbian province of Kosovo,
officials say. The administration also is pressing Russia to ratify the
second strategic arms reduction treaty.

Clinton also wants to improve relations with a changing Iran and to
avoid any action that might undermine its new president, Mohammad
Khatami. Khatami holds out the prospect of a less confrontational Iran,
and has said that his country will stop supporting radical Islamic
groups opposed to the Middle East peace process.

Clinton was said to be very taken with a letter Khatami sent to him via
the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat. In the letter Khatami promised
that Iran would respect any Middle East solution that the Palestinians

While American officials say they want proof over time that Iran has
changed its policies on supporting terrorism, developing weapons of mass
destruction and opposing a Mideast peace, they are also trying to bring
Tehran into direct, government-to-government dialogue with Washington.

The law at issue is the 1996 Iran-Libya Sanctions Act, sponsored by Sen.
Alfonse D'Amato, R-N.Y., and signed live on CNN by Clinton. It was
designed to reduce Iran's income, which, it was hoped, would hinder
Iran's support of terrorism and its program to develop weapons of mass
destruction. The law imposed sanctions on foreign companies that invest
more than $20 million in Iran's energy sector, and is being challenged
by two deals, both announced about six months ago.

The larger and more controversial deal is a $2 billion contract to pump
natural gas, signed by the French company Total with a Russian partner,
Gazprom, and Malaysian partner Petronas. Petronas has been hit hard by
the Asian economic crisis, and an American official is currently
investigating whether it may have to pull out of the deal, senior
officials said. Total, for its part, vows to go ahead and explore
further contracts in Iran.

The other, smaller, deal of $180 million was signed by a Canadian
company, Bow Valley Energy Ltd., and its Indonesian partner, Bakrie
Minarak. There have been reports that Bakrie Minarak wants to pull out
because of Indonesia's crisis and that Bow Valley is exploring new

But rather than sanction the companies involved, the administration is
hoping that the Asian financial crisis and the recent drop in the price
of oil and gas will cause the two deals at issue to collapse, and cause
one of the most sensitive foreign-policy issues Clinton faces to simply
go away.

"It would not be an unhappy outcome if all this were to fall of its own
weight," one key congressional staff member said, echoing the fervent
hope of the Clinton administration.

And if the investment deals do not collapse on their own, the
administration is negotiating with the European Union to find enough
cause, under the law, to waive the sanctions that Clinton does not want
to impose.

So Clinton has decided he will make no decisions on the matter at least
until he and the European Union conclude their annual summit meeting in
mid-May, the officials say.

It has been six months since the State Department began an investigation
into whether the companies are liable for sanctioning under the law. But
senior administration officials continue to assert that the
investigation is not complete, which means that legally Clinton has not
had to make a decision.

Even congressional staff who monitor the law are not pressing the
administration very hard just now to make its decision.

At the same time, Washington wants to discourage large new investments
into Iran. It is pressing for a Turkish route for a pipeline for Caspian
Sea oil and gas. It wants to reduce Western dependence on Persian Gulf
pipelines and to reduce the reliance of the newly independent Caspian
states on Russian pipelines.

And it is President Khatami himself who holds out the prospect of better
Iranian behavior on the very issues the D'Amato law was meant to
highlight: Iran's pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and its support
for radical groups that oppose Middle East peace.

"This is still a very tough one," a senior administration official said.
"There are a lot of competing interests, and the coherence of our Iran
policy is at stake."

But senior officials say they will carry out the law, while noting that
it has two different kinds of waivers built in.

The first, known as 9c, which many senior American officials favor,
would waive sanctions against the particular projects or companies
involved on the grounds of American national security. Using 9c, the
officials believe, will retain a lot of the deterrent power in the law,
given that big foreign companies who want to invest in Iran -- like
British Petroleum and Shell -- have too many assets in America to risk
sanctions. Total, Gazprom and Petronas, by contrast, have few assets

Using 9c would also limit the unfairness to American energy companies
like Conoco who are barred from investing in Iran by separate American

The second waiver, known as 4c, which the Europeans favor, provides a
blanket waiver for a country and its companies if that country takes
"substantial measures, including economic sanctions, that inhibit Iran's
abilities" to develop weapons of mass destruction or undermine the peace

While senior European diplomats argue that Iran gets no help from Europe
for its weapons programs, they are negotiating with the Americans about
how to tighten up their controls over the export of dual-use products
that could be used for nuclear or missiles programs.

For his part, D'Amato wrote Clinton opposing any 4c waiver because
European countries have not imposed any economic sanctions. But a senior
American official said that some steps by the Europeans to deny Iran
dual-use products could have "a substantial economic impact."


Date: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 13:25:29 +0200
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: World Court admits U.S. counter-claim against Iran

World Court admits U.S. counter-claim against Iran
THE HAGUE,Netherlands (AP) The World Court announced Thursday it will admit
a U.S. counter-claim against Iran filed in a dispute over the U.S. Navy's
destruction of three Persian Gulf oil platforms during the Iran-Iraq war.

The United States filed the counterclaim last June after Iran sought
reparations for oil platforms destroyed in 1987 and 1988.

U.S. authorities want unspecified damages for U.S.-flagged ships
allegedly attacked by Iran. It did not offer details on the attacks.

The attacks were "dangerous and detrimental to maritime commerce" and
were a violation to the 1955 Treaty of Amity between the United States
and Iran, the United States said in papers filed with the U.N.'s highest
judicial body.

Despite objections from Iran, the 15-judge panel ruled the U.S.
counter-claim falls within its jurisdiction because the alleged attacks
may have violated the freedoms guaranteed by a 1955 treaty, which
regulates commerce and navigation.

Iran's case is based on the treaty, claiming U.S. attacks damaged
Iranian oil exports, and consequently the country's freedom of commerce.

Both sides have two years to submit further written pleadings. No date
was set for oral hearings.

The Iranian oil platforms were destroyed when the United States was
protecting oil shipments in the Persian Gulf. The United States says it
retaliated after U.S. crewmen were injured in missile and mine attacks
it blamed on Iran.

Formally known as the International Court of Justice, the World Court
has no enforcement powers and has to rely on voluntary compliance with
its rulings.


Date: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 13:27:25 +0200
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Persian Gulf Soccer: Iran Wrap Up French Training With a 3-0 Loss

Iran Wrap Up French Training With a 3-0 Loss

The Iranian National Team wrapped up their ten day training camp in
France after a 3-0 loss to French First Division Club Montpellier.

The Iranian National Team has been the first team among the 32 World Cup
finalist to establish a training camp in the World Cup host country. It
had been the first time an Iranian Team had arrived in France in 20
years. In 1978 Iran and France drew 1-1 in Paris.

In this summer's World Cup finals, Iran will be meeting Germany in
Montpellier Stadium, the very stadium they played today. Prior to
meeting Montpellier, Iran had played warm up matches against Guingamps
Club and Nantes-Atlantique Club. They lost to Guingamps in their first
game 1-0, but managed to defeat Nantes 2-1. As Iran's head coach,
Tomislav Ivich, had announced prior to Iran's arrival in France, he
intended to "get to know the players" during the French trip. Indeed he
allowed most of the 30 players he had brought to France to display their

In today's game Iran lacked the stamina and the coordination it had in
the game against Nantes. Iran did not have several of its major players:
Mehdi Mahdavikia, Ali Daei, Khodadad Azizi, Karim Bagheri, and Hamid

Montpellier's Ebrahaim Bakayoko gave Montpellier a two goal lead over
Iran in the first half, much to the dismay of Iranian keeper Ahmad
Abedzadeh. The Iranian mid field was at times unorganized and failed to
create chances for the strikers. Defensive mishaps were also to blame
for the goals against Iran. Half time score remained 2-0 for

Iran made some substitutions in the second half. Iranian substitute
keeper Gholampour and defense men Pashazadeh were brought in by Iran's
coach, Tomislav Ivich. Although Pashazadeh has a permanent place on the
Iranian defense, he did not play in all of Iran's warm up games. In the
second half Montpellier increased pressure on the Iranian side and
managed to increase its lead to 3-0 after Larent Robert shut out Iranian
keeper Gholampour in minute 61 of the game. Recall that Gholampour was
the Iranian National Team keeper in 1993 when Ali Parvin was the coach
of the side. Gholampour's numerous mistakes in the qualifications of
that year resulted in his removal from the team.

Iran failed to create any scoring opportunities and lost the game to
Montpellier 3-0. Although the games in France served as "warm up games"
, the overall performance of the Iranian side was short of what was
expected by soccer analysts.

Iranian team will leave to Tehran tomorrow to start their preparation
for the four team tournament in Tehran. In that tournament Iran will
meet Hungary and either Jamaica or Ghana.

Meanwhile Iran's opponent in the World Cup finals, Germany, will meet
World Cup defending champions Brazil in Stuttgart on March 25th.

Iran's Lineup Against Montpellier:

Ahmad Abedzadeh (First Half), Gholampour (2nd Half), Mehrdad Minavand,
Satar Hamadani, Vahid Moradi, Afshin Payrovanni, Mehdi Pashazadeh (2nd
half), Reza Hassanzadeh, Mohammad Khakpour, Serous Deanmohammadi
(Alireza Mansourian), Alireza Emamifar (Ali Akbarpour), Behnam Seraj,
Edmund Bazeek, and Ali Latifi.


Date: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 13:38:26 +0200
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: ryys~jmhvry ayran, 7731, sal mfahmh v gftvgv ast

ryys jmhvry ayran, 7731, sal mfahmh v gftvgv ast
thran - ayrna, hStm frvrdyn 7731 brabr ba 82 mars 8991
syd"mHmdKatmy "ryys jmhvry ayran rvzSnbh aXharamydvary krdkh sal
7731 sal mfahmh , gft vgv,bHc ,hmkary v mSarkt baSd.
ryys jmh__vry kh drAQazsal nv ba karknan dftr v nhad ryast jmhvry
sKn mygft afzvd,dvlt bayd zmynhhay Hxvrv mSarkt mrdm rafrahm Avrd v
hmh ma bayd bkvSym tHml Kvd ra drbrabr ykdygr bala bbrym zyra dreyn Hal
kh mmkn ast aKtlaf nXrhayy daSth baSym bayd btvanym drGarGvb aC_____vl
hmkary knym
Katmy takyd krd,dvlt bh envan Kdmtgzar v amyn mrdm kh drvaq____e
pasdar srmayh hav amkanat mrdm ast bayd emlkrd gZSth Kvd ra arzyaby v
amkanat ra Snasayy v bapyS byny Ayndh v drs grftn az aStbahat aHtmaly
drrah dstyaby bh ahdaf Ayndh tlaS knd.
ryys jmhvry antqad ra yky azmhmtryn abzarhay arzyaby jameh az Kvd
danst v takyd krd khmabayd ayn amkan rabh dygran hm bdhym yeny SrayTy
ra frahm Avrym kh dygran hm drbarh maarzyaby v antqad daSt__h baSnd v
albth mytvan antXar daSt kh ayn arzyaby mnCfanh v ba meyarhay mnTqy
Cvrt gyrd.
Katmy vsayl artbaT jmey vbhvyJh mTbveat rabh envan abzary mvcr bray
tHqq arzyaby mrdm az emlkrd dvlt Zkr krd v afzvd , ma nmytvany_m fqT
bh Zhnyt Kvdman drayn zmynh mtky baSym
vy tCryH krd , KyrKvahan , danSmndan , elma, v CaHb nXran v vsayl
artbaT jmey v mTbveat bayd drayn zmynh tlaS knnd zyra tlaS drjht rfe nqC
hay mvjvd , mvjb Sk_lgyry jamehay hmsv v hmdl bray Hrkt bh svy Ayndh
Kvahd Sd. jamehay kh drAn aKtlaf nXrha vslyqhha mvjb rSd v kmal ast
Katmy KaTrnSan saKt kh arzyabyha bayd br sh aCl ezt v srblndy mrdm
,brKvrd v gftgvy mnTqy v HfX mCalH mly v emvmy astvar baSd
vy takyd krd, ma bayd HafX ezt v srblndy mrdm baSym v bh hmyn dlyl
bh arzShayy kh SKCyt taryKy amrvz v dyrvz mrdm brAn astvar ast aHtram
bgZarym v Anha ra HfX knym v ayn ezt v srblndy drngah jmey az jmlh HfX
astqlal kSvr ra drbr mygyrd.
ryys jmhvry aCl brKvrd vgft v gvy mnTqy ra bh envan dvmyn rk____n
arzyabyha mvrd takyd qrardad v gft , bay__d bkvSym ba Kvd v ba
dygran brasas mnTq v nh br mbnay zvr v tHmyl rabTh ayjad knymHkvmt
nbayd bh mrdm zvr bgvyd v dr mqabl hyG grvhy dr jameh nbayd Kvd ra
CaHb H_q mTlq bdand. vqty br asas mnTq v gft v gv mytvanym pyS brvym
Gh xrvrty vjvd dard kh dr Cdd tHmyl nXr v slyqh Kvd brdygran baSym
ryys jmhvry aCl HfX mCalH mly vemvmy drerChhay daKly v Karjy ra yky
dygr az aCvl lazm alreayh drarzyaby hadanst v aCl aHtram mtqabl v tSnj
zdayy drerCh bynalmlly ra drayn rastaarzyaby krd


Date: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 13:39:42 +0200
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: varzesh: tym fvtbal" kln " Alman Kvahan jZb yk bazykn ayrany Sd

tym fvtbal" kln " Alman Kvahan jZb yk bazykn ayrany Sd
bn - ayrna, hftm frvrdyn 7731 brabr ba 72 mars 8991
tym fvtbal baSgah "af .c .kln" Alman , bray jZb " mhdy mhdvy kya",
bazykn mvfq v arzndh tym mly fvtbal ayran , aXhar elaqh mndy krd.
" lvrnts kastnr " mrby v " karl hayns rvhl " mdyr ayn baSgah, rvz
jmeh , dr kln, tmashay mkrr Kvd ra ba mhdvy kya, bazykn mly pvS tym
pyrvzy thran , tayyd krdnd.
mdyr baSgah kln , bh hmrah mrby ayn tym, dv rvz dr mHl tmryn tym
mly ayran dr fransh, bh sr brdh ast .
bh gzarS mHafl vrzSy Alman, mhdvy kya, kh tym "brvsya dvrtmvnd"
nyz bray jZb vy tlaS myknd, aHtmala bh mblQ dv mylyvn mark Krydary Kvahd
dr tym kln , "Kdadad ezyzy" mly pvS ayran nyz exvyt dard .


Date: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 13:36:31 +0200
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: irna: mTbveatbh mrdm Gh mygvynd ?)rvznamhhay CbH ykSnbh (

mTbveatbh mrdm Gh mygvynd ?)rvznamhhay CbH ykSnbh (
thran - ayrna, nh frvrdyn 7731 brabr ba 92 mars 8991
"j_mhvry aslamy"
* farvq alSre,msalh eqb nSyny rJym Chyvnysty az jnvb lbnan yk fryb
syasy ast )Kbr_C1(
_ pyam ktby Aqay Katmy tslym HafX asd Sd
* mtn kaml sKnan rhbr anqlab dr Hrm rxvy pyramvn tvTihhay aqtCady ,
syasy v tblyQaty dSmnan elyh mlt ayran )Kbr_ C1(
_ Hxrt Aytallh Kamnhay , amrvz Amrykaiyha v Chyvnystha Gh bKvahnd ,
Gh nKvahnd mlt ayran dr dnya mlty qvy , mCmm,baaradh,ntrs v Sjae ast
* grvhhay mbarz flsTyny, ClH vaqey az rah mbarzh bdst myAyd, nh mZakrh
* ba vrvd bhShr mkh zairan ayrany Kanh Kda aemal emrh tmte rabjaAvrdnd
)Kbr_ C1(
* riys jmhvry dr dydar nvrvzy ba karknan nhad ryast jmhvry, sal 77 sal
mfahmh , gft vgv v hmkary ast )Kbr_C1(
* jng qdrt myan srmayhdaran v kmvnystha bray kntrl kabynh jdyd rvsyh
)Kbr_C 1 (
* antqad amam jmeh ardbyl az brnamhhay Cda v syma )Kbr_C 1 (
* hmayS fyzyk ayran dr yzd gSayS yaft )Kbr_C 1 (
* mandla,syast Karjy Afryqay jnvby mKalf tmaylat Amrykast )Kbr_C 1 (
* aHzab mKalf dvlt ardn Kvastar aKraj sfyr rJym Chyvnysty Sdnd)Kbr_C1(
* aXharat dv Sahd dygr dr artbaT ba trvr danSjvyan ayrany dr pakstan
_ farvq lQary , pakstan nyazmnd vjvd rhbry Gvn amam Kmyny ast)Kbr_C1(
* bHran qymt nft dr jhan br Cnet Gyn tacyr mnfy gZaSt)Kbr_C 2(
* vzart amvr Karjh fransh az Hmlh mnafqyn bh vzyr frhng v arSadaslamy
abraz tasf krd )Kbr_C3(
* anhdam Kanh mslmanan bvsny tvsT krvatha )Kbr_C AKr(
* Talban dr kStar Syeyan pakstan dst dard )Kbr_C AKr(
* riys jmhvry, bayd bkvSym ba Kvd v ba dygran br asas mnTq rabTh ayjad
knym nh br mbnay zvr v tHmyl )Kbr_C 1(
_ Hkvmt nbayd bh mrdm zvr bgvyd v dr mqabl hyG grvhy dr jameh Kvd ra
CaHb Hq mTlq bdand
_ ma bayd HafX ezt v srblndy mrdm baSym
* dktr Krazy dr frvdgah dmSq, tqvyt rvabT ba kSvrhay aslamy v erby
avlvyt syast Karjy ayran ast )Kbr_C 1 (
* vzyr teavn dr gft vgvy aKtCaCy ba slam, trvyj rvHyh teavn v msvvlyt
pZyr y dr byn mrdm , tHqq arzShay jamehmdny ratshyl Kvahdkrd)Kbr_C1(
* meavn nKst vzyr rvsyh , srmayhdaran emdh dr dvlt jdyd rvsyh nqS
Kvahnd daSt )Kbr_C1(
* dadgah ealy snd pakstan Hkm bazdaSt bynXyrbvtv ra Cadr krd)Kbr_C1(
* brKvrd ahant Amyz nmayndh bhShr dr mjls Svray aslamy mHkvm Sd)Kbr_C1(
* qZafy,lyby dr tmamy zmynhhay hmkary , ayran ra dr avlvyt qrar Kvahd
* krh Smaly bar dygr Kvastar Krvj Amrykayyan az krh jnvby Sd)Kbr_CAKr(
* rhbran tajykstan Kvastar Hl msalmt Amyz aKtlafat Sdnd )Kbr_C AKr(
* vzyr dfae trkyh, aslam grayy bzrgtryn KTr bray laiykhast )Kbr_CAKr(
* grvhhay flsTyny br adamh mbarzh ba rJym aSQalgr qds takyd krdnd )Kbr_C AKr(
* dvr dvm antKabat ryast jmhvry armnstan frda brgzar mySvd)Kbr_C AKr(



Date: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 15:13:21 +0200
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Dueling Mullahs: Iran's Gladhander Takes on the Leader

Dueling Mullahs: Iran's Gladhander Takes on the Leader


WASHINGTON -- On "Clean Air Day" in February, Iranian President Mohammed
Khatami took public transportation to work. Accompanied by his
chador-clad wife, Khatami got into a communal taxi, then a bus, then
another taxi, rather than use a gas-guzzling limousine. The next day,
most of Tehran's newspapers ran front-page photographs of him chatting
to a fellow passenger -- a woman -- on the bus.

In his seven months as president, Khatami has eaten with government
employees in the cafeteria of the presidency and visited shops, schools,
hospitals and food ration lines -- all unannounced.

Political gimmicks? Yes. An effort to enlist popular support behind his
ideas? Of course. But the most interesting thing about these populist
maneuverings is that they underscore a crisis within Iran's unique,
often mystifying power structure.

At its heart, Iran's system of government is organized around a paradox:
The Islamic Constitution, based on the thinking of Ayatollah Ruhollah
Khomeini, recognizes that one "supreme leader" has the authority,
directly from the Prophet Mohammed and his successors, to create a
government and to rule. So ultimate authority rests not with any
popularly elected president but with a cleric elected by his peers.

But Shiite Islam is not terribly hierarchical, and a Shiite clergyman is
actually forbidden to obey another blindly; each is required to use his
own judgment on any given issue. And, in a formal sense, the function of
the clerical establishment is to advise -- but not to govern. So there
IS room for contention within governing circles, and that is what
Khatami is using now.

This contradiction existed in theory when Khomeini was alive, but in
those days there wasn't much opportunity to question his judgment, given
his stature both as a religious scholar and as the maker of the
revolution. Even then, there was enough room for maneuver to make
decision-making unwieldy and unpredictable.

Since Khomeini's death in 1989, the supreme spiritual leader has been
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, a man who lacks the religious credentials and
political standing of his predecessor. He has never enjoyed the
universal respect of the religious establishment or public adulation.

Enter Khatami, a political figure who is a respected cleric in his own
right. He seems determined to bolster his own power center and use it to
champion certain secular goals of his constituents -- young people, the
women and the worldly -- while at the same time bringing them into the
system of Islamic government rather than bringing it down.

Although he is not a contender to replace the leader -- he is not a
scholar of religious law -- the policies he is pursuing are subversive
of any notion that supreme authority really is vested in any one cleric.

And that has sparked an extraordinary debate even within the religious
establishment over the role of the leader. Some believe in the principle
of one supreme leader but do not accept Khamenei's authority; others
believe that the leader should play only a spiritual role and not
interfere in politics.

The reason the debate is so important is that under Iran's Islamic
Constitution, the leader controls the military, the judiciary, the
security and intelligence services and radio and television. The
president, by contrast, runs the economy and the government bureaucracy.
But the leader can set the broad policies of the government and can
interfere when he sees fit.

Khatami has already proven that he is serious about changing Iran. He
has allowed more freedom of speech and association, clamped down on
officially-sanctioned thugs operating in the name of God and begun to
impose the rule of law. But open criticism of the leader is still off

One student leader, Heshamtollah Tabarzadi, was beaten and his newspaper
closed down late last year when he said that the leader should be
elected directly by the people for a limited term, rather than by an
elected Assembly of Experts with religious credentials.

Much more serious is the case of Grand Ayatollah Hussein Ali Montazeri,
who was Khomeini's designated successor until Khomeini himself shoved
him aside. Since then, Montazeri has been unable to move freely, speak
publicly or teach at the seminary in Qum.

In March, shopkeepers in his hometown of Najafabad went on a one-day
strike to protest his treatment and a group of his religious followers
sent a letter to Iran's most senior clerics calling the restrictions on
him unconstitutional.

"The crisis of legitimacy is not going to go away," said Shaul Bakhash,
a historian who writes extensively about Iran. "The regime can suppress
it but it keeps emerging." One factor he cited is that "other leading
clerics -- including Montazeri -- have a stronger claim to religious
leadership than Khamenei himself."

In the United States, George Tenet, the director of Central
Intelligence, told Congress recently that Iran was in the grips of a
"genuine struggle" between "hardline conservatives and more moderate
elements." But casting the struggle in such familiar political language
misses the point.

Khatami, for all his populist style and yearnings, remains a loyal
member of the ruling religious elite. Both he and Khamenei are
considered descendants of Mohammed. Khatami professes belief in the
Islamic revolution, the Islamic Republic and the supremacy of the

He also picks his battles carefully. Take the case of novelist Salman
Rushdie. Yes, Khomeini sentenced him to death. But in Shiite Islam,
believers must follow a living religious leader. So Khamenei could
easily nullify the order. But Khatami has never spoken publicly about

So Khatami will cajole, and try to outflank, his fellow cleric even as
the current system continues to fray. Meanwhile, the clerical
establishment has already begun to groom former President Hashemi
Rafsanjani as a potential successor to Khamenei, and his religious
credentials are even weaker than those of the current leader.

Sunday, March 28, 1998 <A
HREF="aol://4344:104.nytcopy.6445375.574106743">Copyright 1998 The New
York Times</A>


Date: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 15:11:48 +0200
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: German court links Iran to more attacks

BERLIN, March 27 (Reuters) - Tehran has been linked to a series of killings of
Iranian dissidents on foreign soil, according to a full version of a Berlin
court verdict delivered last year and made available to journalists on

The court convicted three Lebanese and an Iranian last April for the 1992
killing of four Iranian Kurdish exiles in Berlin and concluded that Iran's
political leaders had ordered their deaths.

Iran denied involvement in that attack or any other alleged acts of state

The court's full and final version of its verdict, a 395-page document which
was only recently completed, drew parallels between the 1992 Berlin killings
and other attacks on dissidents dating back to 1987.

Drawing on evidence that emerged during the trial, it said it found evidence
that Iranian leaders were behind the murders of former Iranian prime minister
Shapour Bakhtiar in Paris in 1991, Kurdish leaders in Vienna in 1989 and
opposition leader Bahman Javadi in Larnaca, Cyprus, in 1989.

``The type of (gun) silencer and weapons used also indicate similarities with
the Hamburg attack,'' it said, referring to the killing of an Iranian pilot
political dissident in Hamburg in 1987.

Many of the names of witnesses who gave evidence in the nearly four-year trial
in Berlin as well as places and victims' names were blacked out.

``Persecution and liquidation of opposition figures or other people out of
favour for political reasons find their visible expression in statements by
well-known personalities in the Iranian leadership and in attacks where the
clues point to Iran,'' the verdict said.

Referring to the Vienna killings, it said Kurdish leaders allied with those
were killed broke off contacts with Tehran after efforts to negotiate a peace

``The regime in Iran pursued its line further, by seeking out opposition
parties and groups also on foreign soil and to oppose them violently whenever
possible,'' the verdict said.

The court's verdict last April prompted the European Union to withdraw its
ambassadors from Iran and suspend its policy of ``critical dialogue'' with

The United States, which has consistently accused Iran of state terrorism and
advocated complete isolation of the Islamic republic, had always viewed that
policy with suspicion.

The EU envoys returned to Tehran in November and the EU has begun what
ministers describe as a ``cautious resumption'' of contacts with Iran.

The verdict's final written version went further than the version read
out in court. But, while it linked Tehran with the other attacks, it
stopped short of holding Iran directly responsible for them.

In his April verdict, Judge Frithjof Kubsch reiterated the court's view
that a Committee for Special Operations of top Iranian leaders
sanctioned attacks abroad.

It was the first time a European court had clearly attributed political
responsibility for any of the dozens of killings of Iranian opposition
figures abroad since the Islamic revolution in 1979.


Date: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 17:59:22 +0200
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: fwd: WC-98 tickets


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blyT bray jam jhany dr fransh eml dad. rvz Srve frvS blyT, rvz 41 Avryl 8991
)42 frvrdyn 7731( mSKC Kvahd Sd. ayn blyTha bh mqyman kSvrhay exv bazar
mStrk arvpa bh axafh nrvJ v ayslnd frvS KvahndSd. mqyman Amryka, kanada
Garh dygry jzi Kryd tvsT yk mqym ayn kSvrhay arvpaiy ndarnd. mqyman kSvrhay
arvpaiy bayd ba fdrasyvn fvtbal kSvr Kvd artbaT grfth. hr fdrasyvn yk Smarh
tlfn mKCvC, jht frvS blyTha Kvahd daSt.
hr SKC mytvand 4 blyT bray yk bazy v dr jme 61 blyT bKrd.
qymt blyThay bazyhay ayran 541, 052 v 053 frank hstnd.


Date: Mon, 30 Mar 1998 17:45:18 +1000
From: Mehdi Ardalan <mardalan@LAUREL.OCS.MQ.EDU.AU>
Subject: Sobh: Sobh Letter to President

A letter published by the radical weekly, Sobh, to Khatami. Will make
interesting reading for those interested in the mentality of
extreme conservative factions of IRI.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
22 Nov-21 Dec 97 Issue No. 2, pp 2, 67, 66

How many of the effective members of the government in the three
branches know the importance of "government," know what can be done by the
government and what effect this can have on the depths of the society, and
essentially know at what price this government was established and
Not only the brothers who were put aside in the election, but all of
us at times need these respectful dismissals. It is necessary for them to
sit on this side of the table a little and look at the affairs of the
government from the eyes of the people. Of course, they may not benefit
from this opportunity and no revisions be made in anything just as the new
composition may fall into the same traps. Let us say, however, that the
path is open to everyone to learn a lesson, both those who left and may
return again and those who came and may leave again.
Honorable President!
Before saying what should be said to you, it is necessary for me to
make it clear that I appreciate many of your preoccupations and views and
have suffered from many of the problems that have tormented individuals
such as Your Excellency. We have suffered from looking at only one side of
the issue, from extremism, from closing our eyes to some truths and
aggrandizing others as we saw fit, from having baseless suspicions and
blind trust, from exclusions and inclusions without any criterion, from
vague political wars and peace mostly for temperamental and personal
reasons—even though they are wrapped in ideological
slogans—from vain glories and disgraces, from trusting one person
even if he attacks the foundations of religion, from being skeptical about
someone even if he is martyred on the path of religion, from loose tongues
and closed ears, and from personal and factional use of political,
economic, and other resources, not only now, but as far back as I can
remember. These should be considered among the problems of our history.
We have seen first hand examples of these errors from the oil movement
until today, in three or four junctures in the contemporary history of Iran
and how they ignited fire among ourselves and turned everything to ashes,
and its fuel was the forces of the revolution. We have lost the game
frequently with our eyes open.
I clearly felt the presence of this pestilence from the very first
days of the victory. For this reason, despite the fact that everything was
ready for its growth, it would fall to the ground. Those days, of course, I
could not do anything except resign from the founding and central council
of the party in Khorasan, and despite the fact that dear Beheshti told me
they would not accept my resignation, especially after the martyrdom of the
honorable Hasheminezhad, I saw that in practice it was not possible. At
that time I wrote a letter to the grand leader stating: The party"s
detractions have exceeded its attractions; there is no balance between its
attractions and detractions; we not only are not improving but every day we
are disintegrating the authentic forces of the revolution. Hence, I would
like to excuse myself from continuing to serve in the party, a party which
was a collection of the best soldiers of the revolution and rapidly turned
into the personal office of individuals in the provincial cities with
numerous office directors but limited minds. The party whose work was to
propagate the "call" gradually turned into a classroom disciplinarian. I
was certain that this was contrary to the philosophy of the sacred party
about which Beheshti had said: "The party is a place of worship for us, not
something to worship."
I was sure that Khamene"i and Hashemi, the essence of
Khomeyni"s revolution, could not be happy with this situation, and
later on it became clear that they were not. One of the greatest regrets of
my life will always be that a party in which millions of people had
registered was forced within a short period of time to turn off its lights.
In those days, we could have set much hope on the party, and indeed, given
the enthusiasm, internal sincerity, and reception of the people, we could
have started several other revolutions. Those great rivers, however,
instead of being guided to the farms, sometimes poured into salt deserts
and were wasted. Had it not been for the relationship between the imam and
the people, Khomeyni"s Christ-like breath that would revive the dead,
and his warm breath that would turn every freeze into a flowing river,
everything would have been lost.
The best proof is that in the earlier periods of Iranian history,
where there was no guardianship of the religious jurist and the
relationship between the imam and the people, all that was gained was
easily lost.
We clearly remember how the seeds of conflict between Mosaddeq and
Kashani and Navvab germinated. What share or shares did each have in the
consequences? I saw how easily ordinary differences of opinion turned to
major ones until the movement was destroyed, even though the forces of the
movement at the lower levels were superficial and were played with, and at
the top as well agreements would disintegrate for no reason. The religious,
the nationalists, the communists, and the royal court had formed a square
whose sides were not aligned, and the coalition and conflicts finally went
in such a direction that the false sides took over.
I do not want to compare the depths of the Islamic revolution with any
other movement in Iran or the world; it cannot be compared. In those days,
the signs and determinations were very weak. I first realized this at the
age of (about) 13. At that time, in an anti-communist demonstration, I
pulled down the sign of the Tudeh Party in Mashhad, some time later
realizing that this attack against the agents of Russia was made on behalf
of the agents of the British. Hence, I realized that in every political
action, in addition to keeping in mind the goal, one must also be alert at
the beginning of the action. Islamic opposition to the communists and
British opposition to the communists are two different kinds of opposition.
Today as well, we must pay attention to such differences. We must not dance
to just anyone"s tune, and we must not make the people dance to an
incompatible tune.
These realizations and experiences made us go beneath the surface in
analyzing issues, and, unfortunately, predict the fall of the movement long
before the 28 Mordad [19 August] coup d"etat. I was a young man about
18 years old when I wrote three letters with the same content to the
leaders of the movement—Dr. Mosaddeq, Ayatollah Kashani, and Martyr
Navvab—stating: With the policy that you are pursuing, soon you will
deliver Iran to the enemies of the movement, and we will be destroyed by
our own hands.
At that time, I was fond of each of the three for one reason or
another. I saw Navvab as the manifestation of faith and sincerity and the
steel determination of the revolution and found him to be more pure and
more inexperienced than the other two. Mosaddeq had become the symbol of an
anti-colonialist national movement, but he did not think in religious
terms. Kashani had brought the religious community to the forefront of a
great political battle, but he was not attentive to certain issues.
In response, Mosaddeq wrote a letter. I remember that in shaky
handwriting he had written in the middle of the page: "Son you are right.
Our time has passed and from now on it is the young people"s turn."
I received an oral response from Ayatollah Kashani in Mashhad. At the
Center for the Propagation of Islamic Truth (founded by the late Mr.
Mohammad Taqi Shari"ati) I engaged in a youthful discussion with the
late Mr. Kashani. He who addressed the friends as "ignorant" in a sincere
tone said: "Ignorant One, if you knew everything, you would not have judged
this way."
Martyr Navvab, whom I loved deeply, was our guest for three days at
the "Society of the Followers of the Koran" (the Mahdiyyeh Center of the
late Haji "Abedzadeh). He also told me: "Brother, you are looking with
resentment." I said: If we are all against one another, we will all be
defeated together. Navvab laughed and made certain painful statements. What
I remember is that he deeply complained about Mosaddeq, and on the whole he
said that we had been betrayed, and did we not at least have the right to
ask the government to close down the liquor stores? Navvab no longer even
agreed with Ayatollah Kashani.
That day, when I was reviewing these three answers in my mind, I did
not know what decisions should be made. Today, I know that if I had not
seen the comprehensiveness of Khomeyni, the doubts would have continued.
Now that we have "Khomeyni" as the standard in our minds, we can enumerate
the imperfections of Kashani, Mosaddeq, and Navvab. But the problems of
that period have continued and will continue in a different form.
At that time, I was an 18-year-old young man and a founding member of
the "Islamic Coalition of Mashhad," which was considered the strongest
force of the movement (prior to 1330 [21 March 1951-20 March 1952]) in
Khorasan. I was one of the few people who pulled down the Iran and British
Petroleum sign in Mashhad.
At that time, the secularists, the communists, the obsolete
pseudo-pious, and the royal court undermined Mosaddeq, Kashani, and Navvab,
and the ignorance of the masses was the foundation for all these efforts.
Today as well, the enemies bake their bread in the oven of friends. In
the course of history, we have frequently sharpened the hatchet of
philosophies which we did not understand. This problem was the source of
other problems, not only in the religious masses but among the religious
intellectuals. We have almost had no faction, whether clerics or
intellectuals, who did not fail in some instance or instances in the past
decades, prior to Khomeyni and also later.
I have had close experience with the main and active cadres of the
National Front, the Freedom Movement, the People"s Mojahedin, the
Hojjatiyyeh Society, etc., in Mashhad and know the weaknesses of each. From
the beginning of the establishment of the Center for the Propagation of
Truth by the late Mr. Mohammad Taqi Shari"ati, I was involved in the
affairs and had a long association with the late Ayatollah Milani and the
late Mr. Haj Sheykh Mojtaba Qazvini. I have seen the ups and downs of Dr.
Shari"ati from his youth to briefly prior to his going abroad. I
remember the way the Hojjatiyyeh Society and similar groups were formed and
watched how young Muslims were attracted to Marxism. I had contact with the
young people who armed themselves and worked underground, and I worked with
young, self-sacrificing seminary students. Until "Khomeyni" appeared
though, something, or rather many things, were missing from the scene.
There was a void that could not be filled by anyone else and was filled by
Khomeyni, but Khomeyni left and once again we are left behind with our
mistakes: the same extremism, suspicions, belief in our own opinions, etc.
Our political and cultural strata must reach a balance. We must learn
to be balanced, even without Khomeyni. Lack of political balance has
changed the positive forces into negative ones. Lack of cultural balance
has also caused us to witness one of the lowest levels of religious culture
in recent decades among the young people today. I deeply believe that in
the decades prior to the revolution, our Islamic culture was much more
creative and progressive than today. The genius of Motahhari, the
enthusiasm of Shari"ati, the intelligence of Taleqani (who right after
being released from prison recommended Mr. Khamene"i to us at his
home), the sincerity of Mr. Shari"ati (despite the fact that toward
the end of his blessed life he was somewhat influenced by the inculcations
of certain groups), and hundreds of religious thinkers and authors who
write with sincerity and enthusiasm and thousands of young suffering
Muslims who were looking for pure Islam to reject doubtful Marxist ideas.
Yes, today there is no sign of any one of them. Cultural debates are often
superficial, factional, political, extremist, and insincere. In the recent
decades, we have never had so many ignorant Muslims, ignorant heathens, and
ignorant intellectuals.
Religious culture in this country has declined extremely and many of
the cultural institutions and organizations have become frozen and dead
organizations and shops with artificial, superficial, and hypocritical
custodians, who spend the Muslim Treasury and have no output. Wherever
there is no sincerity parasites grow, and the ignorant become the
custodians of religion. The media of this country, our Voice and Vision and
the press, are often at the disposal of those who have nothing to say. I
say, without exaggeration, that the level of religious culture in the 1360s
[1980s] and prior to the revolution was higher than it is today.
One clear example to show the degree of the decline of the general
culture is the recent events regarding soccer. According to what I have
heard, several people, upon hearing of the loss of Iran to Qatar, had heart
attacks and died.
The Majles has issued a statement and in the closed sessions has had
expert discussions about the tactics of the defense line and the
relationship between the halfbacks and forwards. The pre-agenda speeches of
the Majles have frequently dealt with soccer, and the differences of
opinion among "Ali Da"i, Khodadad "Azizi, and Mayeli Kohan
(who are all competent young people, and I do not intend to be
disrespectful to any of my sons) have become the main issue of a country of
60 million people, the government branches, and its political figures.
Soccer might be a good sport, but good values must not be sacrificed for
good sport. A country that cannot guard its ideal values naturally will
take refuge in such things as soccer.
The media of this country and the custodians of our culture are so
poor theoretically that they are dragging down a nation that was thinking
about the conquest of the key strongholds of the world and had become a
manifestation of ethics and self-sacrifice and an example of courage and
piety from the peaks and training them at the level of an average or even a
weak and superficial nation.
Our young people, who in the past decade had become a model for the
young people in the world, are being transformed into second-rate
imitations of the savage British and Italian young people, who are ready to
fight and commit murder in support of soccer.
Indeed, where were we, where have we come, and where are we going?
When the sense of honor is eliminated in the arena of religion, science,
and politics and is transferred to the sports fields, in 10 years, sex,
violence, and narcotics will appear on a vast scale. When the principles of
the Khomeyni movement are played with, obviously, soccer becomes one of the
religious principles.
What policy brought our young people from the mosques and farms (who
in the beginning of the revolution went in the form of a holy war to help
the deprived villagers harvest their crops) down to this level of
intelligence? It is not only the issue of intelligence. They are
essentially changing our national customs and preoccupations.
They bring down not only the public but the preoccupations of the
elite. I know a respected lady who did not shed a tear, either when they
brought her the news of the martyrdom of her son on the front or when they
brought back his bones three years later, but when the Iranian soccer team
lost to Saudi Arabia or Iraq or Qatar (I do not know which), she asked
herself—has the blood of martyrs and the dignity of the imam been
lost?—because the culture that governs the country has instilled the
illusion that the global battle of Islam and heathenism has been resolved,
and the only remaining serious scene of battle will be decided by a leather
I look at 20 years ago, when in the first political demonstrations in
Mashhad (Dey 1356 [22 December 1977-20 January 1979]), she was on the front
and had donated her jewelry to the movement. Today, she must shout
salutations for 90 minutes in front of television and tracking the ball
(thinking that the fate of Islam depends on it) from the feet of one player
to the feet of another. I ask, if religious culture is not in a free fall,
then what is it in? Yesterday, we thought about the fate of Lebanon,
Algeria, Egypt, Bosnia, and Afghanistan, and today we must join the most
superficial nations of the world.
Follow the sensitivities of the elite of this nation in the Majles to
know what has been destroyed in this country of which we are ignorant.
Enough of this. Let me return to the contemporary history.
Yes, during the oil movement and the years after the coup d"etat,
religious culture was weak. After the coup d"etat, I worked closely
with the Mashhad resistance movement. The culture of struggle appeared as a
new mixture of religious, nationalist, and secular culture, but from 1342
[21 March 1963-20 March 1964] on, the farther we came, the more profound
and richer "the religious culture of the day" became, whereas, in recent
years, the farther we come, the poorer, more superficial, and more
hypocritical this culture becomes.
Even the Freedom Movement, which in one period was regarded as a sort
of religious branch of the Nationalists, and with which I had close
cooperation for many years, always, especially from 1342 on, had a common
angle with the pure movement. After the revolution, when the late Bazargan
took a position against the imam and said that he had been already weaned
and that we did not need guardianship, I told the friends in Mashhad that
it was all over and that they should make a decision. A statement with the
signatures of the Freedom Movement of Khorasan was prepared and published,
and a telegram was sent to Mr. Hashemi (the speaker of the Majles at the
time) stating that we were obedient and that we were emulators of the imam.
When the People"s Mojahedin was released from prison, I was one of
their hosts. As soon as they were released, they began taking positions
against the imam.
Then the weaknesses of the government of Bazargan prepared the grounds
for Bani-Sadr to come to power and set back the revolution. In a visit to
Mashhad at the beginning of his presidency and in the presence of the late
Mohammad Taqi Shari"ati, I asked Bani-Sadr where he was taking the
revolution and what goals he was pursuing. That meeting ended in a quarrel
between me and Bani-Sadr, and Mr. Shari"ati said to me at the end of
the meeting: You did not leave anything unsaid. Unfortunately, what was
predicted in that meeting occurred within one year.
Mr. President
I did not want to write an autobiography. Rather, I wanted to make it
clear from which point of departure I think and speak.
I do not consider your election a democratic election. I consider it
the religious and rational protest of the Muslim nation, who had not
achieved some of their legitimate demands. It was a protest stemming from
the freshness of the "Islamic tradition" and a manifestation of the imamate
government, the substance of which Western democracy will not understand at
any price and Muslims who are removed from the religion of justice, choice,
and independent reasoning will not achieve the slightest amount of, even at
the price of the blood which is spilled in Afghanistan and Algeria.
The truth is that the nation of Khomeyni was not content with the
manner of government, but at the same time it did not want even a scratch
to come to the upper layer of the regime. Hence, in the blink of an eye, a
movement that was hidden from our own eyes engaged in a sort of revolution
to Islamize the situation because it felt that we have been distanced from
the Islamic content and Khomeyni"s ideas, and a number of the
custodians of the country in the three branches were following the manners
of the kings and had mistaken Islamic responsibility for a sort of
master-peasant relationship.
Yes, the foundation of a series of important reforms within the
framework of Islam and the revolution was set without even one drop of
blood being spilled from a bloody nose. I hope that you correctly
understand and take advantage of this opportunity.
Much enjoining to do good and prohibit evil took place in the past
years and was ignored by the custodians. True words and sincere criticism
are always uttered, but they are only heard at certain times (for example,
during the defeat in elections). In addition to the new Executive Branch,
the Judicial (especially the Judicial) and Legislative Branches must also
be warned to watch for the likely backlash against them and know that the
people, despite their appearance of ignorance, have open eyes and ears and
abundant but hidden intelligence, and in the sensitive pivotal points in
the coming years may express their final vote in a different way which is
not known yet. Then, we will all be taken by surprise several more times,
and it is not clear that everything will always end well.
Under the condition that the people have independent reasoning in the
way they express their positive or negative votes, why have many of the
custodians of the affairs set aside independent reasoning and become
frozen, limited, and self-centered?
Indeed the people, without any prior agreement and despite the ruling
propaganda and calculations, joined their voices. Previously, too, they had
shown aspects of this independent reasoning and unity of voices, but its
signs were not correctly understood by the factions and officials. In the
previous elections, when the parties became ill-tempered and, without
saying a word to one another, elected Mr. Hoseyni as the first deputy of
the country, a respectable person who appeared to have no position suddenly
became the first man in the field, because the imam of the people had
proposed a conditional revolution and 98 percent of these people had given
their allegiance to the imam with this condition and had accepted his
revolution. The imam said to either vote for Islam or for the monarchical
regime because he knows that all regimes in the world, except for Islam,
will end in a monarchical regime. He defined Islam as follows:
Islam can meet all the needs of the people and eliminate all the
problems of the society, but the Islamic government must also have an
Islamic content. In other words, wherever you go, to every ministry, to
every department, to every street, to every school and university, you
should see Islam and Islamic laws (see and not merely hear or read them as
slogans). All prophets made an uprising to revive equity. Justice must be
materialized among the people of the society. The individual must be
sacrificed for the society. The government must help because the nation
cannot stand to see its hungry children. Justice must be achieved. When it
is not possible through advice, then with the sword. All prophets made
uprisings to revive equity. Had the Prophet left the capitalists of Mecca
and Hejaz, there would have been no war. Had the Sire of the Martyrs
confined himself to addressing religious problems, Yazid would have even
kissed his hand. All prophets come to reform the society. They come to
sacrifice the individual for the society.
Hence, the message of Imam Khomeyni to this nation was that it is the
individual who must be sacrificed for the society, whereas, slowly, in the
current affairs, it was the society that was being sacrificed for
unsuitable individuals, and the regime, more than being for the
downtrodden, had fallen into the hands of the nouveau-riche and hibernating
snakes. Given this situation, sooner or later, their blows to the
revolution will be effective.
The late Khomeyni, blessed by serious devotion to the religion of the
end of time and the undiminished divine tradition, has raised the
understanding of his nation to an unbelievable level. The reason for the
helplessness of the church, academic, economic, and social policies of the
superpowers and their policies in confronting this revolution is this very
thing, and the secret of this strength of the revolution of Khomeyni is
that human philosophy and contemporary ideas are incapable of countering
stable divine traditions, whether the politicians are the Nimrod of
yesterday or Clinton of today or our own people, who imagine divine
tradition capable of becoming outmoded and who have become captives of
Western policy.
I admit that the government is not sufficiently familiar with the
complex policies and moment-by-moment ruses of the Kissingers of the world,
and sometimes it takes a few steps in the direction of their policies. Most
unfortunately, our media has not taught the nation anything from the brave
Mohammadan religious jurisprudence. By the very fact that the nation is
Shi"ite, it considers justice a principle of religion and of the same
value as monotheism, it believes that divine traditions are firm on the
foundations of justice, and it measures everything by the principle of
justice, it will continue its path. As a result, anyone, whether a stranger
or one of our own, who is distanced from religious jurisprudence and
justice due to some heathen act, conflict, treason, ignorance, negligence,
or error, he will be distanced from Khomeyni"s revolution at the same
ratio; anyone who for whatever reason and at any ratio comes closer to
religious jurisprudence and justice will be closer to the spirit of the
revolution by the same ratio. When his sincerity is proven, he will become
the owner of the life, property, and hearts of the people as well.
Hence, even though certain people spent the money which should have
been spent on shoes for the oppressed to buy gladioli to toss at Mr.
Nateq-Nuri"s car, even if they are people of good deeds, worship, and
sincerity, because the nature of the action is reactionary, heretical, and
of low value and does not have the freshness of tradition, a Basiji who is
familiar with just religious jurisprudence becomes so distraught that he
says: I will go to the front upon his order, but I will not allow the
flower of the ideas of Khomeyni to be overshadowed by gladioli and false
Western ideas.
On the other hand, even though it is possible that the intelligent
person who has given the price of a few colored pictures to buy notebooks,
ball-point pens, and pencils and on your behalf donated them to the needy
rural children is not familiar with the meaning of the word, tradition, and
images that he has done something modern and nontraditional, because the
nature of the action is divine, worthy of reward, and supported by just
religious jurisprudence, it will result in your victory. The level of just
religious jurisprudence possesses the delicacy and freshness of tradition,
which is measured by the rural girl who has not even seen the imam and does
not know Khatami, but with just religious jurisprudence, creates such
dynamism that defies all calculations.
In this case, the advice I, who have been involved in politics from
the age of 10 to the age of 60, would give to anyone who wants to stay in
this revolution and govern the property, life, and heart of the people is
that the revolution of Khomeyni has a yardstick. His nation measures
everything by just religious jurisprudence, and ultimate victory belongs to
someone who knows the ways of the Prophet and "believes in tradition."
The reason for all these changes and differences that have made the
foreigners helpless and made our own people contemplate is that the
revolution has become closer to perfection, and the nation knows that in
the same way that "stew" is made neither with an S nor a T but with meat,
Islam is not made up of an I, an S, and an L. The manner and method of the
Islamic Republic should be so fresh that no matter where its fruits reach,
it makes the mouths of the people water. Otherwise, what we feed the
people, in the form of poison, or feed them with glittering old, new,
foreign, and domestic terms is that "meatless stew" makes one weak.
Mr. President!
Prior to the presidential election, our people realized that the
regime was gradually falling away from the divine tradition, continuously
leaving the road and dragging the people to one side or another. Hence,
"Alavi Shi"ism, for the thousandth time, and the people of this
revolution, for the twelfth time, came to great independent reasoning based
on religious jurisprudence and justice and elected you, who believes in
religion and is revolutionary but did not have a role in the current
situation, as the best among the existing men. In other words, they once
again voted for the Islamic Republic and up to this moment are happy with
what they did and have become closer to you moment-by-moment. Hence, it is
your duty not to neglect the divine traditions and Shi"ite religious
jurisprudence for one moment. It is also clear that the meaning of
tradition is not old ideas and the thought of primitive humans, because
even though the products of the time of Caesar and Sasan are all antique
and valuable today, we all know that their value is less than a collection
of stone, pottery, and metal dishes, and the modern school children of
today laugh at the ideas of Ptolemy. But if the tradition of Abraham is
used well today and tomorrow, it would make Clinton meet the fate of Nimrod
and Aryamehr.
But a reactionary does not understand the meaning of tradition and
constantly, with baseless images and sticking to useless old ideas,
expresses opinions that are polluted with old heresies and humiliates the
religion of the end of time. Our problem with civilization-stricken Clinton
is that he is not familiar with the traditional prophets. Our problem with
the West is primarily cultural and not political. He does not know that a
weapon that kills the foreigner, the innocent, and the guilty is not
traditional, and we are followers of tradition. But a missile that sends
the enemy under water has the freshness of tradition. Our problem with the
Western culture and our own intellectuals is that these gentlemen have been
intellectuals since the 18th century but have not had the opportunity yet
to look at their own Islamic culture and realize that what was exposed by
the Renaissance was the heresies of the church. A thousand years prior to
the Renaissance, God abolished Christianity because it was polluted by the
same heresies of the church and granted Islam the perfection of religion.
More beautiful than all that I have written is the definition of the imam:
Islam is this, that at the dawn of Islam, it solved and met all the
needs of the people, even though still unclean hands and imperfect minds
had not caused the deviation of the people [as published]. The issue of
dealing with those who cannot be reformed is at the top of the problems of
the prophets, (because) it is not possible to have an uprising for equity
and force the people to equity without political involvement. Had the
Prophet not bothered the capitalists of Mecca and Hejaz, there would have
been no war, and if the Sire of the Martyrs had gone to Yazid and discussed
religious problems, Yazid would have even kissed his hand. All the prophets
came to reform the society. They came to sacrifice the individual for the
society. Justice must be achieved in the society. When it is not possible
with warnings and moderation, then with force. A Shi"ite is a person
who looks to see what the imams did.
Yes, the Islam which has not been manipulated by impure people of
little intellect—that is, has not become eclectic and
reactionary—is fresh. In this case, it is the Islamic regime and the
Mohammadan religious jurist who is able to meet the needs of the people. To
revive such a tradition, the individual must be sacrificed for the society.
If possible, the oppressors must be guided and attract the nation to
balance and justice. If not, use force. If you can, even guide Yazid, and
if not, kill him or be killed. Otherwise, we would be only boasting of
being Shites.


Mehdi Ardalan


End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 25 Mar 1998 to 29 Mar 1998 - Special issue