DNI-NEWS Digest - 19 May 1998 to 20 May 1998

There are 9 messages totalling 445 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. Sport: AS Roma 7 - Iran 1 2. IFF: all support will be given to soccer team 3. SOCCER NEWS - World Cup-Iran sack coach after 7-1 defeat 4. AP: Iran Sacks Soccer Coach 5. Iran's Coach Sacked 6. IRNA: yazdi: friday prayer leaders should not support any faction 7. IRNA: issue of poverty must be addressed more seriously 8. One year on, Iran's economy remains Khatami's biggest challenge 9. Clinton Opposes Sanctions on Russia

Sport: AS Roma 7 - Iran 1


I don't know if you have heard it or not, but the result was really hard on IFF and they kicked Ivic as trainer and the new coach of Team Melli will be an iranian (Talebi I think).

The result of the first half vas 5-1 and the second half 2-0 for Roma.

It seems that our only chance is now gone, we do not have a profesional coach anymore!

bA ehterAm, Farhad A.

Ps. Iran will play against Milan, Portugal and Croatia before it's first WC game at 14th of June against Yoguslavia!

IFF: all support will be given to soccer team

federation head: all support will be given to soccer team tehran, may 20, irna -- head of the iranian football federation here today said that following the recent performance of the national soccer team, the federation decided that despite the fact that tomislav ivic is an experienced and highly competent coach, he cannot demonstrate the needed efficiency in a short period of time.

consequently, his responsibility in the iranian soccer team as the head coach was terminated and was delegated to jalal talebi, added mohsen safaie farahani.

he further told irna that the federation has always tried to let the committee of national teams as well as the head coach of the soccer team enjoy full independence and, therefore, has put all the required facilities at their disposal.

safaei farahani said ivic is an experienced and highly qualified coach but in practice it became evident that he was unable to be effective in a short period of time.

''therefore, we came to the conclusion that in the world cup he cannot coach the iranian team in a satisfactory manner,'' said the federation head.

it has now been decided that the national team should be coached by an iranian who is more familiar with players and their morale.

apologizing the public for the national team's crushing defeat in its play against italian as roma last night, safaei farahani said, ''people must rest assured that we will not spare any effort to back up the national soccer team, a sign of which is replacing the head coach.''

he added that iranian fans are highly sensitive about the result of football matches. therefore, the change was made as a sign of the federation's full knowledge of the people's sensivity as well as recognition of its own responsibilities.

he concluded by appreciating unsparing support of people and mass media for the national team and expressed the hope that with the grace of god, support of people, good management and hard work of the players, the team will in best of its abilities represent both the islamic republic of iran and asia. ns/jh end

SOCCER NEWS - World Cup-Iran sack coach after 7-1 defeat

TEHRAN, May 20(Reuters) - Iran sacked Croatian coach Tomislav Ivic on Wednesday just three weeks before the start of the World Cup finals after the national team lost 7-1 to Italian club AS Roma.

"Following the crushing defeat of the Iranian national soccer team in the friendly match against AS Roma on Tuesday night, the Croat head coach of the team Tomislav Ivic was dismissed and replaced by Jalal Talebi," the official news agency IRNA said.

Talebi was a member of the Iranian team in the early 1960s and coached Indonesia's Olympic team in 1996. He was appointed technical adviser to the World Cup squad earlier this month, IRNA said.

Ivic, 64, was appointed in January on a six-month contract to succeed Brazilian Valdeir Vieira, who took Iran to only their second finals by winning the final World Cup qualifier against Australia in November.

Vieira was only in charge for two months after the previous coach had been sacked.

Ivic coached Paris St Germain, Olympique Marseille and Ajax Amsterdam in a career which saw him serve as vice-president of Hajduk Split, the club with which he achieved his first major success in the 1970s.

But Iran were jeered off the field in Tehran after Ivic's first match -- a 2-0 loss to Hungary -- and the Croatian increasingly failed to satisfy Iran's soccer-mad fans and its politically charged soccer federation.

Subsequent lacklustre performances by the team in a tour of France -- they lost their first match 1-0 to first division En Avant Guingamp -- raised hackles in the media and Ivic found himself defending his record and tactics on national television.

Last week he predicted Iran would beat either Yugoslavia or Germany in group F at the finals and said Iran were like a diamond that just needed to be polished.

But Tuesday's defeat was too much for his federation even though Iran were without midfielder Karim Bagheri and striker Khodadad Azizi, who play in the Bundesliga.

It decided that, despite Ivic being an experienced and highly competent coach, he could not show the necessary "efficiency" in the time available, federation head Mohsen Safaei Farahani said.

"Therefore, we came to the conclusion that in the World Cup he cannot coach the Iranian team in a satisfactory manner," IRNA quoted Farahani as saying.

It had been decided the national team should be coached by an Iranian who was more familiar with the players and their morale.

Farahani apologised for Iran's crushing defeat by Roma and said: "People must rest assured that we will not spare any effort to back up the national soccer team, a sign of which is replacing the head coach."

Iran's next pre-Cup match is against Inter Milan in Milan on Saturday.

One person who will not be disappointed by Wednesday's news is Ivic's wife. She was told in January she might as well stay home in Croatia as he expected to work "like a miner" until after the World Cup.

AP: Iran Sacks Soccer Coach

Iran Sacks Soccer Coach

Wednesday, May 20, 1998; 4:11 a.m. EDT

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran, preparing for its first World Cup appearance in 20 years, fired national soccer coach Tomislav Ivic today after the team lost to AS Roma.

The official Islamic Republic News Agency reported that the Croatian will be replaced by an Iranian, Jalal Talebi, who is a technical adviser to the team.

Iran lost 7-1 to Roma in Tuesday's exhbition in Rome, just three weeks before the World Cup in France, where Iran will be playing for the first time since 1978.

Talebi coached the Indonesian Olympic soccer team last year.

Ivic, who was hired in January, had been under heavy criticism following Iran's poor performances over the past few months. He replaced Brazilian Valdir Vierra, who had taken Iran to the World Cup finals.

Ivic, 52, has successfully steered top clubs Ajax Amsterdam, Belgium's Anderlecht, Atletico Madrid, Marseille, Paris Saint German, and Portugal's Benfica and Porto.

Ivic was last in the Persian Gulf in 1996, when he secured second place for the United Arab Emirates in the Asian Cup, but was sacked shortly afterward by the Emirates soccer association.

Iran's Coach Sacked

TEHRAN (May 20) XINHUA - Iran's head coach Tomislav Ivic from Croatia has been sacked, the Iranian Football Federation (IFF) announced Wednesday.

Ivic, the 63-year-old former Croatian coach, took over the job in mid-January just five months before the start of the finals in France. Ivic was sacked following Iran's crushing 7-1 defeat in Rome on Tuesday to an AS Rome reserve side. He will be replaced by Jalel Talebi, a former member of the national team, the IFF announced.

Talebi played for Iranian national team during the 1970s and is currently a technical adviser to the national side.

IRNA: yazdi: friday prayer leaders should not support any faction

yazdi: friday prayer leaders should not support any faction

tehran, may 20, irna -- head of the judicial branch, ayatollah mohammad yazdi, said in the holy city of qom tuesday that leaders of friday prayers, like the judiciary, should not back any specific faction and only reflect the facts.

yazdi, who returned to tehran last night, told the gathering of the leaders of friday prayers of the country that difference of views among various groups is something natural in the society but the friday prayer leaders in their sermons should avoid siding with any faction.

stressing that prayer leaders must be aware of the problems of their province and the city and keep abreast of general issues of the country, he said certain statements made at friday prayers indicate that some of the leaders are unaware of the situation and developments in the country.

head of the judiciary stressed that friday prayers congregation is not a forum to raise complaints but a place for reflecting the developments in the country and offering guidelines.

in response to a question raised at the end of the gathering on the case of tehran municipality, he said the court will settle it and issue the ruling like other cases.

altogether there are 12 persons involved in the tehran municipality case. the court has so far completed investigation of eight of them. the remining four, including that of tehran mayor, gholamhussein karbaschi, has not been settled yet. ys/jh end ::irna 20/05/98 13:32

IRNA: issue of poverty must be addressed more seriously

issue of poverty must be addressed more seriously, recommends daily

tehran, may 20, irna -- the english daily 'kayhan international' wednesday editorializing on the recent world health organization (who) report that ''rampant poverty still remains the biggest threat to longevity,'' recommended an increased investment in agriculture research, rural development and public health.

howver, above all, there should be a fairer distribution of wealth without which poverty will continue to grow worldwide, added the paper.

''some gaps in health between rich and poor are at least as wide as half a century ago and becoming wider still, warned the who. life expectancy in some countries, particularly in africa, is actually declining.''

the daily stressed that the issue of poverty should be addressed more seriously than ever adding ''international community should create new ways to increase development cooperation and see to it that rich countries do not shrink international aid contributions, which have largely fallen victims to overall budget cuts.''

the daily concluded by saying that if nothing is done to prevent poverty and the present trend persists, economic disparities between industrial and developing nations will move from inequitable to inhuman. fh/jh end ::irna 20/05/98 10:06

One year on, Iran's economy remains Khatami's biggest challenge

TEHRAN, May 20 (AFP) - One year after the election of moderate Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, the stagnation of Iran's economy remains the country's biggest problem and a sizeable challenge to his popularity.

Inflation, unemployment, the lowering standard of living, the drop in oil export prices and the exchange rate of Iran's currency all feed a constant flow of worried commentary in the press and by public officials.

"Without a doubt, the economy is the bete noire of the president," said the financial director of one of the country's large textile factories.

He said Iran has entered into a "phase of economic stagnation which could be prejudicial to Mr. Khatami," who was elected last May 23 with 69 percent of the vote.

The tumble in the worldwide price of oil, which provides 85 percent of Iran's hard currency income and almost half of the government's revenues, is expected to cause an earnings shortfall of four to five billion dollars this year.

In the best case, analysts say, the government will earn barely 10 billion dollars in oil receipts, even as it has to spend nearly five billion dollars in repayments on its foreign debt.

Unemployment, particularly among young people without high school or university diplomas, has taken an alarming size in a country where half the population is under 20 years old.

Officially, the unemployment rate is 11 percent, but according to Western estimates the real rate over the past few months has approached 20 percent, particularly in the western provinces.

In the western province of Kurdistan, the eastern province of Khorasan, and several others, local authorities have formed emergency committees to deal with the unemployment crisis.

Ali-Reza Mahjub, a member of parliament close to Khatami, made a dramatic public warning recently that "the army of unemployed will double in size" soon due to the number of young people entering the job market.

"Since Iran has 37 million young people under 24 years old, in a population of 60 million inhabitants, the country is soon going to experience a 100 percent rise in unemployment," said Mahjub, the secretary general of the Union of Workers, a quasi-state labor syndicate.

Khatami himself has frequently spoken out about Iran's economic crisis.

"The economy is sick," he recently told a gathering of imams who lead Friday prayers in Iranian cities.

"We must clear up the situation and find a remedy for unemployment," he said, adding that the help of the population is needed to cope with the economic woes.

A newspaper close to workers' groups and the government, Kar-o-Kargar, wrote recently that "without a doubt, the economic malaise provoked by high inflation is the government's biggest challenge."

Since August, when Khatami formed his government, the price of all consumer products has gone up, while salaries and other earnings for the vast majority of people have remained unchanged.

Inflation is officially estimated at around 20 percent, but many experts put it closer to 40 percent in certain sectors.

"If one takes account of the poor economic situation caused by the drop in oil export prices, Iran urgently needs local and foreign investment," the governor of the central bank, Mohsen Nurbakhsh says.

The country's economic woes hit hardest among the very voters who helped bring the left-wing and politically moderate Khatami to power.

The 20 million voters who supported him came notably from the least-favored segments of the population, which is highly dependent on a state subsidy system for basic products such as bread, milk and cooking oil. The subsidy system is now under heavy pressure from the economic crisis.

"From an economic perspective, there is no doubt that for the typical Iranian man in the street May 1998 is a more difficult time than May 1997," the governmental Iran Daily, which is close to Khatami, wrote recently.

Clinton Opposes Sanctions on Russia

Clinton Opposes Sanctions on Russia

By David Briscoe Associated Press Writer Wednesday, May 20, 1998; 5:07 p.m. EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Clinton administration worked Wednesday at trying to stop Congress from imposing sanctions against Russia for allowing missile technology to leak to Iran.

A top White House official told a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee that President Clinton would likely veto the sanctions. The House already has voted for the sanctions and Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott promised at a pro-Israeli rally on Tuesday that the Senate would vote on them this week.

Clinton summoned 12 senators to the White House late Wednesday for what spokesman Mike McCurry said would be discussion of proliferation matters involving Russia and Iran. A State Department official said Secretary of State Madeleine Albright would attend the meeting, which would focus on assurances Russian President Boris Yeltsin gave Clinton when they met last week in England.

Yeltsin told Clinton he has taken new steps, with his reshuffled Cabinet, to clamp down on exports of technologies used for building missiles. The steps include establishing a new agency to improve control over high-tech exports. Clinton said he thought the understandings with Yeltsin ``will bear fruit.''

Nonetheless, Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware, the senior Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, predicted the Senate will overwhelming vote in favor of the sanctions because Russian entities clearly are in violation of existing laws on proliferation. Biden said, however, he would likely vote against them.

Stephen Sestanovic, Clinton's special adviser on the former Soviet states, told the Senate subcommittee on Europe that sanctions would be ``profoundly counterproductive to U.S. national interest with respect to Russia.'' Sanctions, he said, ``risk inadvertently undermining our efforts to stop Russia's support of Iran's missile programs.''

The bill would require sanctions even in cases where a company was not aware that an item was going to Iran or could be used in missiles, Sestanovic said. ``Such a provision is fundamentally unfair and will undermine U.S. credibility and the willingness of foreign entities to cooperate with us.''

Sestanovic acknowledged that the problem of technology leaking out of Russia ``is not fixed,'' but he said Russia is making concrete progress towards stopping it.

``The test is, what kind of results do you think your actions are going to produce?'' he asked the subcommittee members.

Copyright 1998 The Associated Press

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 19 May 1998 to 20 May 1998