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There are 9 messages totalling 1011 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

4. Transmittal to Congress on National Emergency Act and Iran
5. US-Iran relations: [Excerpt] from C.R.: Addressing Iraq in context
6. WPost: U.S. Aides Still Divided Over Sanctions on Iran
7. US-Iran relations:[Excerpt] S. Frederick Starr: U.S. Interest in Central
8. Robert Gee: US Policy to Iran has not changed, energy official says
9. PhillyInquire: A dialogue on U.S., Iran


Date: Sat, 7 Mar 1998 11:11:42 +0100
From: Asghar Abdi <asghar@BTINTERNET.COM>





Date: Sat, 7 Mar 1998 09:01:01 EST

Press Release 2

Contact: Ramesh Ahmadi and Laili Panahi
tel: 212-747-1046, fax: 212-425-7240, e-mail:


On Monday, March 2, 1998, the International Campaign in Defense of Women's
Rights in Iran (ICDWRI), the Committee for Humanitarian Assistance to Iranian
Refugees (CHAIR), the International Federation of Iranian Refugees (IFIR) and
the Worker-communist Party of Iran (WPI) organized a demonstration in New York
City. Nearly forty women and men gathered at the United Nations to condemn
the Islamic Republic of Iran and support women's rights. The demonstrators
were appalled that the Islamic regime, a gross violator of women's rights, was
attending the UN Commission on the Status of Women as a member, to monitor
violence against women, women's human rights and the girl child.

One after another, speakers condemned the Islamic regime for two decades of
gender-apartheid and defended women's rights .Speakers included Ramesh Ahmadi
of ICDWRI, Homa, a refugee woman who had faced gender-based persecution in
Iran, Dorotea Mendoza of Gabriella Network, Maryam Namazie of IFIR, Laili
Panahi of CHAIR, Hassan Varash of the WPI, and Emily Woo Yamasaki of Radical
Women. Numerous organizations issued solidarity messages and resolutions
condemning the Islamic Republic's system of gender apartheid and stoning of
women in Iran.

Media coverage of the demonstration was extensive, including Fox 5, Radio
WFUV, and Voice of America TV. An Islamic Republic of Iran's "reporter" also
came to spy on the protesters but quickly fled the scene when he was

Namazie has been attending the Commission's meeting to expose the Islamic
Republic of Iran's violations of women's rights. Thus far, over two hundred
organizations attending the Commission as well as the Italian delegation have
signed the resolution condemning the regime and the stoning of women in Iran.

All of the Islamic Republic's posturing at the Commission will not divert
global attention from its gross violations of women's human rights. Only with
the overthrow of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the establishment of a free
and secular society can women in Iran gain their full and inalienable human

International Campaign in Defense of Women's Rights in Iran - U.S. Committee
March 6, 1998


Date: Sat, 7 Mar 1998 09:12:59 EST


Along with others, Maryam Namazie and Ramesh Ahmadi will be speaking out for
women's rights in Iran and globally at a speak out for international women's
day. The event is organized by Gabriela Network:

on March 8, 1998
during 3-6 p.m.
at Davis Auditorium, Schapiro Research Building, 530 West 120th Street,
Columbia University, New York

Admission is free.

For more information, call Gabriela at 212-592-3507.


Date: Sat, 7 Mar 1998 01:08:05 -0500
From: Rahim Bajoghli <rbajoghli@JUNO.COM>
Subject: Transmittal to Congress on National Emergency Act and Iran

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release March 4, 1998


Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d))
provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless,
prior to the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes
in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating
that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date.

In accordance with this provision, I have sent the enclosed notice,
stating that the national emergency declared with respect to Iran on
March 15, 1995, pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers
Act (50 U.S.C. 1701-1706) is to continue in effect beyond March 15, 1998,
to the Federal Register for publication. This emergency is separate from
that declared on November 14, 1979, in connection with the Iranian
hostage crisis and therefore requires separate renewal of emergency

The factors that led me to declare a national emergency with
respect to Iran on March 15, 1995, have not been resolved. The actions
and policies of the Government of Iran, including support for
international terrorism, its efforts to undermine the Middle East peace
process, and its acquisition of weapons of mass destruction and the means
to deliver them, continue to threaten the national security, foreign
policy, and economy of the United States. Accordingly, I have determined
that it is necessary to maintain in force the broad programs I have
authorized pursuant to the March 15, 1995, declaration of emergency.

March 4, 1998.

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Date: Sat, 7 Mar 1998 01:10:13 -0500
From: Rahim Bajoghli <rbajoghli@JUNO.COM>
Subject: US-Iran relations: [Excerpt] from C.R.: Addressing Iraq in context

Archive-Name: gov/us/fed/congress/record/1998/feb/12/1998CRS685
[Congressional Record: February 12, 1998 (Senate)][Page S685-S686]
>From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access


Mr. GREGG. Mr. President, we as a nation are obviously wrestling with the
issue of how to address the events presently occurring in the Middle
East, specifically as they relate to Iraq.

Mr. GREGG. Most critical, of course, to this is the issue of how we
deal with Iran and the fact that, once again, this administration has
failed to reflect effectively on the policy dealing with that nation.

Iran, as we recognize, has been dominated by a fundamentalist
leadership which has viewed its purpose as promoting an aggressive
religious philosophy internationally. It has viewed the United States as
its enemy in this undertaking. But this fundamentalism cannot survive
forever. It is much like when we confronted the Communist leadership
after World War II and President Truman and President Eisenhower
recognized that, through the process of constructive containment, we
would be able to bring down that system of government because it would
fall of its own weight because at some point, after a certain period of
years, the fundamental flaws of that system and that philosophy would
simply undermine it and decay it from within. And that is true also of
the fundamentalist movement in Iran.

The Muslim religion is an extremely powerful and great religion, and it
is a religion that is based on some very wonderful precepts. But the
fundamentalism that captured a certain element of the Muslim believers
is, as it is practiced in Iran, inherently self-destructive. If we are
able to contain Iran but at the same time encourage within Iran the more
moderate elements, we will, over a period of time, see, I believe, a
collapse of the fundamentalist energy from within and a rising of a state
which will be responsible. But this administration has passed over a
series of opportunities to promote that option, which has been

If you are going to contain Iraq, then you must understand that in
the process of containing Iraq, you must neutralize Iran as a threat to
the region. Because if you were to eliminate Iraq as a force within their
region, you would create a vacuum into which a fundamentalist Iran would
step and be a threat to its neighbors of even greater
proportions--greater proportions--than Iraq is. So, reflecting adequately
on how we deal with Iran, and approaching Iran as part of the solution to
how we deal with Iraq, is critical, critical to the capacity to take on
the Iraqi issue. Yet this administration, in my opinion, has once again
left the ball on the side of the field when it comes to understanding or
pursuing that course of action.

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Date: Sat, 7 Mar 1998 01:11:08 -0500
From: Rahim Bajoghli <rbajoghli@JUNO.COM>
Subject: WPost: U.S. Aides Still Divided Over Sanctions on Iran

Washington Post
Friday, March 6, 1998

U.S. Aides Still Divided Over Sanctions on Foreign Investors in Iran

By Thomas W. Lippman

President Clinton's senior foreign policy advisers met late into the
night on Tuesday grappling with what might have seemed a straightforward
decision: whether to impose legally mandated sanctions on French, Russian
and Malaysian oil companies that are developing a major offshore natural
gas field in Iran.

But the meeting ended inconclusively, senior officials said, as did
several earlier high-level discussions of the same subject. Nearly six
months after the three companies triggered a State Department
investigation of whether they should be penalized under U.S. law, the
administration appears paralyzed by the myriad arguments for and against

Proponents of sanctions argue that failure to act would open the gates to
major flows of investment capital into the Iranian petroleum industry,
the economic mainstay of a country that Washington has condemned as a
sponsor of terror and as a strategic threat to the entire Middle East.

But opponents of sanctions -- led, according to administration officials
and lobbyists on the issue, by Undersecretary of State Stuart Eizenstat
-- counter that acting against the oil companies would shut off
potentially promising overtures toward better relations by Iran's
president, antagonize important allies and risk a trade war with the
European Union, which is adamantly opposed to any U.S. effort to
interfere with the activities of European corporations.

According to some officials, the administration is basically content to
postpone a decision because delay avoids potential negative consequences
of a decision either way, while leaving the deterrent effect of U.S.
sanctions hanging over other foreign companies.

"It certainly is a cross-cutting issue," one senior official said.

A 1996 law sponsored by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Alfonse M.
D'Amato (R-N.Y.) requires the president to impose two or more of a
package of sanctions on any foreign company that invests $20 million or
more in one year to develop the oil industries of Iran or Libya.
President Clinton had previously barred by executive order all commerce
between U.S. companies and Iran.

Iran, the Middle East's leading oil producer after Saudi Arabia, has been
seeking foreign capital to develop its offshore oil and gas potential.
The Iranians scored their first major success last summer when Total S.A.
of France, the giant Russian natural gas company Gazprom and the
state-owned Petronas of Malaysia signed a contract to invest $2 billion
in developing a gas field known as South Pars.

D'Amato fired off a letter to Clinton saying that "if the United States
does not take swift, decisive action to apply these available sanctions,
we will have undercut our long-standing policy against Iranian terrorism,
a policy which you have advocated at the summit level on many occasions.
Dozens of foreign companies are watching our reaction to the Total deal."

The State Department investigated the contract but never announced a
finding of whether the deal is sanctionable, although many industry
experts believe that the case is open and shut.

"Of course it's sanctionable," said Vahan Zanoyan, a senior analyst at
the Washington-based Petroleum Finance Co. "The real problem is
with the law itself -- the people who sponsored it should admit they made
a mistake. The fact that the secretary of state is burning the midnight
oil over it is part of the cost. And it has cost a huge blow of
credibility to the administration."

Some sources indicated that the State Department has concluded that
the contract falls within the sanctions law. The debate within the
administration then would be not whether the deal is technically
sanctionable but what to do about it and when. Under the law, the
administration can issue a waiver. Or, if it decides to sanction the
companies, it can delay penalties for 90 days to negotiate a settlement,
and extend that process an additional 90 days if talks are promising.

According to government officials and lobbyists who track the issue,
participants at last week's meeting urged a further delay before
announcing a decision for at least two reasons.

Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, the former boss of
Gazprom and an economic beneficiary of Russia's biggest company, is
due in Washington next week for his semi-annual meeting with Vice
President Gore. Gazprom's participation in the South Pars development,
along with other Russian ventures in Iran, is among the issues the two
men will discuss, officials said.

In addition, some officials reportedly believe that Malaysia may be
reevaluating the commitment of Petronas because of fears that a new
run on its currency in the Asian economic crisis may require the
country to keep its dollars at home. A Petronas pullout might undo the
entire deal, obviating the need for controversial decisions in

In a previous discussion of the issue, some officials argued against
announcing sanctions because the United States needed the help of Russia
and France in defusing the crisis with Iraq over United Nations weapons

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Date: Sat, 7 Mar 1998 01:09:22 -0500
From: Rahim Bajoghli <rbajoghli@JUNO.COM>
Subject: US-Iran relations:[Excerpt] S. Frederick Starr: U.S. Interest in
Central Asia

February 12, 1998
Statement by:
S. Frederick Starr
Chairman, Central Asia Instate
Nitze School of Advanced International Studies
Johns Hopkins University, Washington

House Committee on International Relations (Sub-Committee on
Asia and the Pacific) 12 February 1998

Thank you for the opportunity to offer comments on HR 2867
"The Silk Road Strategy Act" and to review with you issues
related to the exploitation of energy in Central Asia and the
Caspian Region. But first let me applaud the sub-committee on the
very fact these hearings are taking place. Due to legitimate
concerns over the fate of reforms in Russia and security issues
in Central Europe, the United States has been slow to focus on
the vast new zone of new states between Russia, China,
Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey.
The second issue I would like to raise involves the place of
Iran in our policy towards Central Asian energy. Let me stress--
several times, if necessary-- that I am not here to defend or
attack our policy towards Iran and would not consider myself
qualified to do so. My concern is to point out the apparent
conflict between our goals in Central Asia and the Caspian and
our policies vis a vis Iran.

As you know, two presidential directives in 1995 and the
Iran-Libya Sanctions Act 1996 cut off all significant and
American and foreign investment in Iran's petroleum industry,
including pipelines. The purpose was to pressure Iran into
dropping its support for terrorism, abandoning programs to
develop atomic weapons, and meddling in the Middle East peace
process. However laudable the aims, the burden of these measures
falls disproportionately on Azerbaijan, Kazakstan, and
Turkmenistan, for it prevents them from exporting their gas and
oil by one of the obvious alternative routes to Russia, namely,
Iran. The U.S. position has been to argue that this would not be
in the Central Asians' own interest, but none of our friends
there agree.

Now, let us suppose that the U.S. sanctions would remain in
place for a long time and be truly effective. Over time, so we
have argued, planners and financial markets would adjust to this
reality. They would construct the east-west pipeline and thus
give Central Asians access to secure export routes bypassing both
Iran and Russia.

But this is not happening. French, Indonesian and Russian
firms are already investing in the construction of oil facilities
and pipelines in Iran and the U.S. seems disinclined to intervene
against them. Iran itself is busy constructing a line linking
Turkmenistan and Turkey. Turkmenistan and Kazakstan have worked
out swap deals with Teheran, by which Central Asia ships its
crude oil to Iran's north and Iran then exports the same quantity
of its own oil from the south. In short, the American quarantine
of 1995-6 is not holding.

Events within Iran exascerbate the situation. If the election of
President Khatami signals the start of a fundamental shift in Iran away
from the most severe Islamic radicalism, how should the West respond? The
U.S. argues that the changes remain more form than substance, but even
the merest hint of an improved relationship between Washington and
Teheran raises the possibility of Iran playing at least some future role
in the export of Caspian energy.

These developments combine to change the economic prospects
for the trans-Caspian and east-west pipeline. They are bound to
change the investment climate for a $3-4 billion pipeline across
Turkey if a $1.5 billion line across Iran beckons. Meanwhile,
Russia has taken advantage of this period of uncertainty and
indecision to foment unrest in both Armenia and Georgia, thus
adding the prospect of political instability to the mounting
economic cost of the pipeline west from Baku.

This leaves the United States with three options:

First, it can seek to impose its sanctions against those
investing in Iran with such severity as to cut off the flow of
funds and projects. International investors may not like this but
it would produce mid-term stability of a sorts, which would in
turn improve the prospects for investing in the east-west
pipeline project. The problem is that events in Iran are already
making this approach more difficult to defend and are likely to
make it even less defensible in the future.

Second, it can acknowledge that its policies towards Armenia
and Iran are adding to the risk and cost of the east-west
pipelines and seek to netralize that political cost through
subsidies that would create a "level playing field" for market
forces. This approach would be welcomed by all potential
investors but would probably raise eyebrows among those who see
it as an unwarranted subsidy to the energy industry rather than
an investment in support of national policy goals.

Third, it can adopt a "wait and see" posture towards Iran,
one that would be cautious but less categorical than our current
policy. It would replace an "all or nothing" approach with one
that recognize the existence of a large number of finally
calibrated positions between these two extremes. Some of these
middle-ground alternatives would pertain directly to the export
of oil and gas from Central Asia. They might, for example,
differentiate between pipelines running to Turkey and those that
would increase shipping out of the Straits of Hormuz. They might
place limits on the volume of oil or gas to be tran-shipped
across Iran, or set some maximum for transit fees Iran might
realize from such shipments. They might allow American firms to
take minority positions in projects which are important for
Central Asia and do not unduly enrich Iran. Or they might raise
the ceiling of permissable international investment from the
present low of $20M and permit U.S. firms to participate up to
the new ceiling. These, of course, are merely examples. A careful
review would surely produce more such intermediate positions
between all or nothing with regard to Iran, and thereby benefit
U.S. policy towards Central Asia.

On balance, it seems to me that the third of these alternatives holds the
most promise for achieving a balance between U.S. objectives in Central
Asia ad the Caspian basin and in Iran. But my point in raising this issue
is not to champion one course of action rather than another. Rather, it
is to suggest that it is no longer possible to treat U.S. policy towards
Central Asia and towards Iran as totally separate from one another. Our
Iranian policy, however just its goals, has a powerful and for the most
part negative impact on our ability to achieve our stated objectives in
Central Asia and the Caspian basin. Simply to acknowledge this reality
would be to open a path to more sustainable and effective policies
towards both areas.

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Date: Sat, 7 Mar 1998 01:07:18 -0500
From: Rahim Bajoghli <rbajoghli@JUNO.COM>
Subject: Robert Gee: US Policy to Iran has not changed, energy official says

25 February 1998


(Calls Baku-Ceyhan pipeline "most viable option" for Caspian oil)

Washington -- "Our policy on Iran has not changed," Assistant Energy
Secretary Robert Gee told the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on
international economic policy, export and trade promotion February 25.

"We oppose efforts to conduct business as usual with a country that
sponsors, trains, or funds terrorism and is seeking to acquire weapons of
mass destruction. Any improvement in our relations with Iran will depend
not on words, but on actions," Gee said.

"As a matter of policy, the U.S. government opposes pipelines through
Iran... From an energy security standpoint, it makes no sense to move yet
more energy resources through the Persian Gulf."

"We believe that a gas pipeline across the Caspian and through the
Caucasus to Turkey offers a number of economic advantages (compared) to
one through Iran ... A Baku-Ceyhan pipeline appears to be the most viable
option which addresses our policy concerns."

"We have urged the Turks to take steps to make Baku-Ceyhan a
commercially attractive option," Gee continued. "This will include the
Turkish and other governments offering tax and tariff regimes that are
attractive and ensuring right of way acquisition and development. It will
also include taking steps which will reduce the perceived political risk
of the project and reduce the cost of finance. For our part, we're also
looking at steps the United States can take to provide political risk
guarantees and to foster cooperation among the regional states on an
approach that can lead to a regional solution for the longer term."

Turning to environmental concern about shipping oil through the
Turkish straits, Gee said: "We share Turkey's environmental concerns
about the potential increase in traffic through the Straits. Further, we
do not want to see the Bosphoros become a potential choke point for a
significant share of the world's oil supplies, which would heighten
environmental concerns and possibly impede the development of Caspian

Following is the text of Gee's statement, as prepared for delivery:

(Begin text)

Good morning Mr. Chairman, I am pleased and honored to appear before this
subcommittee today to report on implementation of U.S. energy policy in
the Caspian region. I welcome the opportunity to discuss our government's
strategic and economic interests in this important region, our policy to
advance these interests, and the steps we are taking to implement our

Why is the United States Active in the Region?

The United States has energy security, strategic and commercial
interests in promoting Caspian region energy development.

Energy Security. Bringing the Caspian basin energy supplies into the
global market fits the U.S. energy security agenda. Caspian resources
represent a major new source of oil and gas supplies and the major oil
play of the next decade. We want to see this potential brought on stream.
Keeping available oil capacity ahead of, or at least apace of,
anticipated demand is a prime component of energy security. New capacity
in new areas helps limit consumers' vulnerability to disruption by
diversifying sources of supply. New players also can make energy markets
more competitive, transparent and market-sensitive -- three prerequisites
of an efficient and smoothly functioning world energy sector. The
Department of Energy's projections to the year 2020 indicate U.S. and
world oil dependency upon the Middle East growing significantly. Other
projections, such as those of the International
Energy Agency, are consistent with this. Multiple Caspian export
routes can serve to diversify rather than concentrate world energy
supplies by avoiding over-reliance on the Persian Gulf.

Geostrategic. The United States has strategic interests in supporting the
independence, sovereignty, and prosperity of the newly independent states
of the Caspian region. We want to assist the development of these states
into democratic members of the international community, enjoying
unfettered access to world markets, without pressure or undue influence
from regional powers. In this context, we continue to oppose Section 907
of the Freedom Support Act. Development of the Caspian basin states'
energy resources is the key to regional prosperity and the key to
regional peace and stability, Commercial. Consistent with the U.S. policy
objectives is the role played by the private sector, which will help
develop and unlock these resources and in doing so provide a better life
for the citizens of the region. The U.S. has some of the most competitive
energy companies, and many of these commenced working in the Caspian
region soon after the countries gained independence. U.S. technology is
unrivaled and these companies employ the highest environmental protection
measures. They are pioneers in the region and we are committed to
supporting their efforts.

What is the Philosophy that Frames U.S. Policy?

Promoting Multiple Export Routes. The Administration's policy centers on
rapid and environmentally responsible development of the region's
resources, and transportation and sale of those resources to
hard-currency markets to secure the independence of these new
countries. The U.S. government has focused its efforts on promoting
the development of multiple pipelines and diversified infrastructure
networks to open these countries, and on integrating them into the global
market, to foster the regional cooperation needed for peace and
stability, and to provide those countries in that region with alternative
energy supplies and transportation routes.

Emphasizing Commerciality as a Prerequisite. A fundamental thrust of our
policy also relates to commerciality. That is, while we recognize the
influence regional politics will play on the development of export
routes, we have always maintained that commercial considerations will
first and foremost determine the outcome. These massive infrastructure
projects must be commercially competitive before the private sector and
the international financial community will move forward.

Working Cooperatively with Russia. Russia will continue to play a role in
the region's energy development. They have existing infrastructure
assets, and enjoy linguistic and cultural ties with these states, as do
the Turks. We believe Russia stands to benefit from Caspian development
both economically and strategically, and that many leaders in Russia
increasingly understand this.

Our Caspian policy is not intended to bypass or to thwart Russia. In
fact, two key projects closest to fruition go through Russia -- those
of the Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC) northern
early pipeline, and the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) from
Kazakhstan through Russia to the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk. We
have also financed a major study to look at ways to export more
volumes through the existing Russian pipeline system.

Russia is in the midst of tremendous change in its energy policy,
moving towards privatization and embracing market reform. Russian
energy companies are deeply involved in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, and
we support continued Russian participation in Caspian production and
transportation. U.S. companies are working in partnership with Russian
firms in the Caspian, and there will be future opportunities to expand
that commercial cooperation.

Fostering Regional Cooperation and Win-Win Solutions. Developing these
resources creates opportunities for these countries to cooperate in
new ways for the benefit of all. The pace and extent of that regional
cooperation will have a direct effect upon the future economic
prosperity of the individual states.

The United States supports regional approaches to Caspian energy
development. Our objective is to ensure that Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan,
and Turkmenistan have reliable and diversified outlets for their
resources. We also wish to see Turkey become an anchor of stability in
the region, and to see the non-energy producing states participate in
region-wide economic development fueled by energy exports. To this end
we must help Turkey meet its development goals. We believe that
Armenia can and should benefit from the enormous economic potential of
the region. We have been a staunch supporter of the Armenian
government in the field of energy reform and we have responded to
Armenia's urgent energy crisis by providing funds for kerosene for
winter heat and natural gas for electricity production.

Isolating Iran. Our policy on Iran has not changed. We oppose efforts
to conduct business as usual with a country that sponsors, trains, or
funds terrorism and is seeking to acquire weapons of mass destruction.
Any improvement in our relations with Iran will depend not on words,
but on actions. This will not occur overnight.

As a matter of policy, the U.S. government opposes pipelines through
Iran. Development of Iran's oil and gas industry and pipelines from
the Caspian Basin south through Iran will, seriously undercut the
development of East-West infrastructure and give Iran excessive
leverage over the economies of the Caucasus and Central Asian states.
Moreover, from an energy security standpoint, it makes no sense to
move yet more energy resources through the Persian Gulf -- a potential
major hot spot or potential choke point.

The Increasing Role of Natural Gas. While much of the effort and
publicity has been focused on oil pipelines, development of natural
gas pipelines is of equal importance to the states of the region.
Turkmenistan, in particular, faces a financial crisis because of an
inability to export its gas. Uzbekistan has the potential for greater
gas exports. Both Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan could have exportable
surpluses of natural gas early in the next decade.

A natural market for this gas is Turkey, which is currently facing gas
shortages and which plans to increase its gas imports more than
five-fold by 2010. Caspian gas exports to Turkey could provide
producing states with a hard-currency market, and Turkey's commitment
to purchase could underpin financing for the pipelines. They could
also provide Turkey with a diversification of energy supply.
Ultimately, Caspian gas could find its way through Turkey, into the
rest of Europe, and serve to further diversify Europe's sources of gas

We believe that a gas pipeline across the Caspian and through the
Caucasus to Turkey offers a number of economic advantages to one
through Iran. It may actually be a shorter route than one across Iran.
It could provide for export of gas from Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and
Azerbaijan. A trans-Caspian route could also incorporate Russian gas,
providing an important Russian role in the transportation corridor. It
could help solve the energy shortages which have plagued Georgia and

How are We Implementing U.S. Policy?

We have increased our engagement with the regional governments through
invitations for state visits to Washington, U.S. Cabinet-level and
senior-level visits to the region, and the establishment of formal
government-to-government dialogues. We have clearly defined and
articulated the U.S. position and policy on our strategic interests in
the region and on export routes, and we are implementing a more
vigorous strategy to serve these interests. This strategy has several

First, we will continue to promote multiple export routes to transport
Caspian energy to world markets. In general, we support any
transportation solution which is commercially viable and addresses our
environmental concerns and policy objectives. These include routes
through the Caucasus to the Georgian Black Sea and onward across the
Black Sea, or to the Mediterranean coast of Turkey; northwest through
Russia to the Black Sea coast; other bypass routes that avoid the
Bosporus Straits; east through China; and when conditions permit,
south through Afghanistan.

Second, we wish to see rapid development of an east-west transport
corridor through the Caucasus. In this regard, the U.S. government has
now given priority to supporting efforts by the regional governments
themselves and the private sector to develop and improve East-West
trade linkages and infrastructure networks throughout Central Asia and
the Caucasus. We believe that a Eurasian energy transport corridor,
incorporating a trans-Caspian segment with a route from Baku,
Azerbaijan through the Caucasus and Turkey to the Mediterranean port
of Ceyhan is inclusive, providing benefits to transit as well as
energy-producing countries.

The objective of Secretary Pena's trip and subsequent meetings with
President Nazarbayev, was to secure the commitment of Turkey,
Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan to accelerate
development of the trans-Caspian and Baku-Ceyhan pipeline routes to
transport Caspian oil and gas.

The Eurasian transport corridor will enhance Turkey's energy security
through diversification, and will offer the producing countries in the
Caspian region viable alternatives for export of their resources. This
corridor also addresses squarely the environmental issues associated
with the Bosporus. We share Turkey's environmental concerns about the
potential increase in traffic through the Straits. Further, we do not
want to see the Bosporus become a potential choke point for a
significant share of the world's oil supplies, which would heighten
environmental concerns and possibly impede the development of Caspian

Our support of specific pipelines, such as a Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline
and trans-Caspian oil and gas lines, is not driven by a desire to
intervene in private, commercial decisions. Rather, it derives from
our belief that it is not in the commercial interests of companies
operating in the Caspian states -- nor in the strategic interest of
the host states -- to rely on a single, major competitor for transit

Based on discussions with the companies involved, however, a
Baku-Ceyhan pipeline appears to be the most viable option which
addresses our policy concerns. Baku-Ceyhan may be a more expensive
option that tankering oil through the Bosporus, but it appears to be
competitive with other, non-Bosporus routes.

We have urged the Turks to take steps to make Baku-Ceyhan a
commercially attractive option. This will include the Turkish and
other governments offering tax and tariff regimes that are attractive
and ensuring right of way acquisition and development. It will also
include taking steps which will reduce the perceived political risk of
the project and reduce the cost of finance. For our part, we're also
looking at steps the United States can take to provide political risk
guarantees and to foster cooperation among the regional states on an
approach that can lead to a regional solution for the longer term.

Stepping Up Our Engagement. We have invited regional leaders to
Washington. This summer, Azerbaijani President Aliyev visited
Washington and met with President Clinton and members of his cabinet.
We hosted Georgian President Shevardnadze, reinforcing our support and
commitment to the success of the Eurasian Transport Corridor and
Georgia's critical role in that success. President Nazarbayev's visit
in the fall reaffirmed our expanding bilateral relations in the energy
and nonproliferation and nuclear safety policies and economic spheres.
In recognition of the growing relations between the United States and
Turkmenistan, and the importance we attach to that relationship,
Secretary Pena delivered an invitation to President Niyazov from
President Clinton to visit Washington. That visit has now been
scheduled for April 21-23.

We're also putting muscle into advancing our policy objectives in the
region by engaging our Cabinet officers. Last fall, Secretary Pena led
a very successful Presidential mission to Turkey, Armenian,
Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkmenistan. Secretary Daley has just
returned from a trade mission to Turkey. Senior level officials have
also traveled to the region to advance our objectives. I had the
privilege of leading an interagency delegation to Turkey in
mid-January to discuss Turkey's strategy for moving forward with
development of its energy sector, meeting the growing demand for
electricity, diversifying its gas supplies, and identifying further
steps for the development and construction of oil and gas pipelines
through Turkey for Caspian resources.

Establishing Energy Bilaterals. To further demonstrate our commitment
to the Eurasian transport corridor, we are working to formalize our
bilateral energy policy exchanges with Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and
Turkey, and have enhanced the energy dialogues under the umbrellas of
the bi-national commissions for Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

While the primary focus of these dialogues is rapid energy
development, these mechanisms will also be useful in getting the
regional governments to focus on establishing sustainable energy
development policies for the longer term. The scope of the dialogues
expands upon current exchanges between our governments in the areas of
oil and gas field development (both offshore and onshore), regional
energy transportation issues, identification and removal of barriers
to full commercial operations, privatization of the electric power
sector, development of alternative energy resources, advocacy for U.S.
companies, environmental protection, and improving efficiency in the
energy sector's interest. In Azerbaijan, future relief from Section
907 prohibitions, and eventual repeal, will open the door for full
technical assistance and sharing of technological exchanges.

Yesterday, Secretary Pena and his counterpart, Minister Ersumer,
opened the second session of U.S.-Turkey energy consultations.
Subjects covered during the entire day of energy meetings focused on
the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, Turkey's power sector and natural gas
supplies, and Caspian gas exports.

Encouraging Regional "National Working Groups." The Eurasian energy
transport corridor, spanning as many as six countries and disputed
regions, presents complicated problems. The number of potential
players ensures that negotiations and equity structures will be
enormously complicated. The United States has stressed the importance
of achieving agreement on concrete project proposals among the
relevant countries as early as possible. Along these lines, we have
encouraged the regional governments to accelerate multilateral
discussions with their neighboring states and with the private sector
shippers through the establishment of "national working groups." These
groups have a critical role in resolving regulatory, legal, tariff and
other issues that will make the Eurasian corridor most commercially

The challenge is to ensure that the governments in the region are
organized, capable and timely in their approach to negotiations with one
another and with the private sector and the international
financial community. The added pressure of an accelerated time line
puts a further premium on organizing quickly and acting effectively. U.S.
AID is prepared to assist individual working groups and, potentially,
regional fora, with technical assistance and training.

Addressing the Caspian Boundary Issue. We are engaged to help address the
politics that complicate Caspian seabed development and
trans-Caspian pipelines. The division of development rights to the oil
and gas deposits beneath the Caspian Sea remains a critical issue for the
five littoral states. Our policy is that Caspian legal issues should be
sorted out in a way that permits prompt exploitation and export of oil
and gas. We are strongly encouraging Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan to
resolve their territorial dispute as quickly as possible. We also welcome
the news of the February 5 meeting of the Turkman and Azerbaijani Foreign
Ministers in Ashgabat representing the first round of negotiations
between the parties.

Organizing Within the U.S. Government. We have a robust interagency
process to formulate and coordinate Caspian energy policy. Three
working groups have been established to shepherd the implementation of
our aggressive Eurasian transport strategy. The State Department
chairs a working group focused on foreign policy. The Energy and
Commerce Departments co-chair the energy commercial policy working
group. A group focused on pipeline and infrastructure finance is
chaired by Treasury. Because these are all cross-cutting issues, each
working group has interagency representation. I chair the energy
commercial policy working group with my colleague from Commerce, Jan
Kalicki. This group is the primary mechanism for the U.S. government's
interaction with the private sector.

We enthusiastically welcome an ongoing dialogue with Congress on
Caspian and Central Asian issues. We also support and encourage the
positive contributions of the numerous Congressional delegations that
have traveled out to the Caspian region. We must maintain the momentum
behind our support for these governments and for our private sector.
Developments this year will be critical in advancing regional energy
development and export. We look forward to working with you in meeting
the upcoming challenges.

(End text)

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Date: Sat, 7 Mar 1998 00:58:03 -0500
From: Rahim Bajoghli <rbajoghli@JUNO.COM>
Subject: PhillyInquire: A dialogue on U.S., Iran

Philadelphia Inquirer
February 28, 1998

At Penn, Tehran professor cites moderation.
A dialogue on U.S., Iran

By James M. O'Neill

After nearly 20 years of hostility, small steps toward opening a dialogue
between the people of Iran and the United States occurred this week at
the University of Pennsylvania, as a professor from Tehran lectured on
Iran's recent political changes.

The visit of political scientist Moustafa Torkzahrani marked the first
contact between American and Iranian academics since Iranian President
Mohammad Khatami said in an appearance on U.S. television in January that
he wanted to make a "crack in the wall of mistrust" between the two

Academics have traveled unofficially between the countries in
the last two decades. But Torkzahrani is the "first person from
an Iranian institution with government connections" to speak
in the United States on U.S.-Iranian relations, according to
Lynda Clarke, the Penn professor who initiated his visit.

In a speech Thursday and a symposium with professors yesterday,
Torkzahrani sharply criticized America's Mideast policy over the last two
decades. But he also said Iranian attitudes have moderated since 1979,
when revolutionaries shouting "Death to America" seized the U.S. Embassy
in Tehran, took 66 Americans hostage and held 52 of them for 444 days.

"Revolution has different phases," Torkzahrani said yesterday.
"Over time, things start to change, to soften, to moderate." He
said many of Iran's leaders still hold the values that drove the
revolution, but they have studied, earned college and graduate
degrees, and now express those values in a different way.

Torkzahrani spoke in fluent English, reflecting his education:
Like many of Iran's current crop of leaders, Torkzahrani studied in the
United States before the revolution. He graduated in 1979 from Texas
Southern University with a degree in computer science, and worked
politically in America against the shah before returning to Iran.

Now 44, he holds a fellowship at the Institute of Political and
International Studies in Tehran.

Clarke, who teaches the Persian language spoken in Iran, called her
contacts at the institute in Tehran after Khatami's interview on CNN.
That led to Torkzahrani's visit to Philadelphia. It took some doing,

Initially, the U.S. State Department said it could take a month
or more to approve a visa for the professor, since detailed security
checks are made on any Iranian seeking to enter the
country. But after Ian Lustick, head of Penn's political science
department and a former State Department expert on the Middle East, made
some well-placed calls to his old colleagues, the visa was approved
within days.

Since the United States has no embassy in Iran, Torkzahrani had to make
his way to Vienna to pick up his U.S. visa there.

But his travails weren't over. Immigration officials at John F.
Kennedy airport in New York greeted him by slapping his hands onto a
fingerprint pad and flashing a bulb in his face for a mug shot. Lustick
said such treatment is routine for most Iranians entering the United
States, but it wasn't supposed to have happened to the professor.

During his speech Thursday, Torkzahrani cited a long list of
grievances Iran has had with the United States -- CIA plots, the U.S.
connection to the 1953 coup d'etat in Iran, its support for Shah Mohammed
Reza Pahlavi, America's shoot-down of an Iranian passenger airplane over
the Persian Gulf, the perceived silence from Washington when Saddam
Hussein used chemical weapons against Iranian civilians during the
eight-year Iran-Iraq war.

Torkzahrani, drafted into Iran's army during that war, was gassed
himself. He made a reference to it during his Thursday appearance, and
Clarke later said the attack left him blinded for several months. He
later served on the team that drafted the U.N. resolution ending the war.

Today, he teaches a course in U.S. foreign policy at the School of
International Relations, where most Iranian diplomats are trained.

"American policy constantly changes; it is instable," Torkzahrani said
Thursday. "The people of the region, especially the people of Iran, have
to face the reality that American behavior is contradictory, and they
have to formulate their own policies accordingly.

"American policymakers fail to perceive reality," he continued.
"They do not understand that military power and technology cannot solve
complex problems. One has to understand people and their culture.
Otherwise, no matter how powerful you are, you will be defeated."

At the same time, Torkzahrani made a clear distinction between America's
government and its citizens. He said Khatami "has a genuine respect for
the American people."

That is why, he said, "President Khatami chose as his audience
the people of the United States, and not policymakers."

Still, it was clear from Torkzahrani's remarks that the political
situation in Iran remains delicate, and that Khatami is sticking
his neck out by making contacts with America, in the face of
strong opposition from more radical elements in Iran's government.

Torkzahrani said Khatami would not continue even these initial overtures
unless the United States responded with something tangible he could use
to fend off his critics -- such as lifting economic sanctions against
Iran, and releasing Iranian assets that have been frozen in America since

During his discussion with the Penn professors yesterday,
Torkzahrani talked about Iran's current internal debate: about how much
power the ruling clergy should have, whether the values of the 1979
revolution can be carried out in more moderate form through a secularized
government, whether importing Western technology also inevitably means
importing the West's corrupting culture.

Dressed in a Western-style suit and wearing a neatly trimmed black beard,
Torkzahrani said Iran's academics are bringing such Western political
philosophers as Rousseau and St. Thomas Aquinas into the debate.

The Penn professors said Iran's current internal struggle sounds
very much like the West's own struggles for centuries during
the Middle Ages, with the confusing distribution of political
power between the Pope in Rome and the Holy Roman Emperor.

"It's clear there's a really nasty fight going on inside Iran over
this issue," Lustick said. He said that Torkzahrani chose his words about
Iran's internal debate carefully during his stay, worried about making a
gaffe that could jeopardize the chance for other Iranian academics to
visit the United States.

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End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 6 Mar 1998 to 7 Mar 1998