DNI-NEWS Digest - 22 May 1998 to 23 May 1998

Topics of the day: 1. Iran's Kharrazi in UAE for talks on islands row 2. FOCUS-Minister says Saudis behind Khobar blast 3. Senate clears Iran sanctions, veto threatened 4. FWD: anjmn dfae az zndanyan syasy v eqydty dr ayran parys 5. fwd: fraKvan bh tXahrat 6. fwd: kStar by~rHmanh~y znan dr Kvzstan 7. fwd: gzarS mTbveaty 8. all being done to boost morale of soccer players 9. Sport: Iran 4 - Inter 1 10. Sport: First test! 11. Saudi Arabia signs cooperation agreement with Iran 12. Iran condemns US Senate approval of bill targetting its trade partners 13. Thousands throng Tehran university to celebrate Khatami's anniversary 14. Iranian FM in the UAE for talks on islands dispute

Iran's Kharrazi in UAE for talks on islands row

Iran's Kharrazi in UAE for talks on islands row 08:44 a.m. May 23, 1998 Eastern

ABU DHABI, May 23 (Reuters) - Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi arrived in the United Arab Emirates on Saturday for talks with UAE leaders on a thorny dispute over three Gulf islands, the official news agency WAM said. the Greater and Lesser Tunbs, along with the latest developments in regional affairs during his visit to the UAE,'' an Iranian official told Reuters.

Kharrazi was expected to meet UAE President Sheikh Zaid bin Sultan al-Nahayan and the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, his son Sheikh Hamdan bin Zaid al-Nahayan, on the two-day visit.

Iran's official news agency IRNA said on Saturday that Kharrazi hoped the visit would open ``a new chapter'' in ties between the two countries.

Since the election of President Mohammad Khatami one year ago, Tehran has moved to warm ties with its Gulf Arab neighbours, strained since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution.

For the most part, Iran's charm offensive has been effective in warming relations, diplomats and analysts say, but diplomatic ties with the UAE remain strained.

``We have good business and trade ties with the UAE and we would like to see better diplomatic relations,'' the Iranian official, speaking to Reuters in Dubai, said.

Dubai, the UAE's main commercial city, is a key re-export centre for goods headed to Iran and businessmen from Iran are active players on the commercial scene.

The disputed islands-- Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs -- are located near key shipping lanes at the Strait of Hormuz. Tankers carrying one third of the world's oil exports pass through the narrow channel each day.

The late Shah of Iran occupied the islands in 1971 shortly before the seven sheikhdoms known as the Trucial states gained independence from Britain and formed the UAE.

An agreement over Abu Musa in November 1971 skirted the sovereignty issue. It said neither Iran nor the emirate of Sharjah would give up their claims to the island nor recognise the other's claim.

It provided for Iranian troops to arrive on Abu Musa and for both countries to have full jurisdiction over separate parts of the island. There was no such accord on the nearby Tunb islands.

The dispute flared up again in 1992 when Iran tightened its grip on Abu Musa and the UAE revived its claim to the islands.

Abu Musa is about halfway between the coasts of Iran and the Emirates. The Tunbs are closer to Iran.

Iran describes the dispute as a misunderstanding which can cleared up through dialogue.

The UAE says any dialogue should find a solution based on the return of islands to UAE sovereignty, which it wants settled through bilateral negotiation or referral to the International Court of Justice at The Hague.

FOCUS-Minister says Saudis behind Khobar blast

FOCUS-Minister says Saudis behind Khobar blast 10:25 a.m. May 22, 1998 Eastern

By Edmund Blair said in remarks published on Friday that Saudis were behind a 1996 bombing that killed 19 U.S. servicemen, apparently ruling out Iranian or other foreign involvement.

The bombing ``took place at Saudi hands,'' Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz was quoted telling Kuwaiti newspaper editors visiting the kingdom.

``He indicated that there was no foreign role in this explosion,'' said the daily Al-Rai Al-Aam, one of the Kuwaiti newspapers which reported the remarks.

The statement seemed to rule out Iranian involvement, previously suggested by U.S. media reports, in the truck bombing of a U.S. military housing complex in the eastern Saudi town of Khobar.

Middle East analysts said the minister's comments could boost Saudi and U.S. efforts towards improving ties with regional power Iran after years of tension.

``I think from a political point of view it will help ensure that the issue doesn't become a constant threat (to) attempts by the U.S. for their part and by the Saudis for their part to improve relations with Tehran,'' said Neil Partrick of the Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies in London.

Relations between Gulf oil heavyweights Iran and Saudi Arabia have been improving since the election last year of moderate Iranian President Mohammad Khatami. His presidency has also led to signs of a thaw in ties with the United States.

``It's convenient to try and circumvent...or to try and prevent any further speculation that might be embarrassing, given the warming relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, by trying to suggest, in a sense, that it is a domestic issue,'' Partrick, head of the institute's Middle East programme, told Reuters.

U.S. officials said earlier they had not determined if the attack was the work of Saudi dissidents or whether there was an international link. Saudi Arabia has refused to implicate Iran in the blast. Tehran has denied any involvement.

``This (comment by Prince Nayef) is going to help Prince Saud al-Faisal, the foreign minister, in his visit to Iran,'' said Iranian analyst Alireza Nourizadeh, editor of Al-Moujez, a London-based monthly magazine on Iranian affairs.

Prince Saud's trip to Iran, planned for later this month, is the latest of several high profile visits between the two members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which have had tense ties since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution.

At the end of March, Prince Nayef said Saudi authorities were still investigating the Khobar bombing and planned to announce results when the probe was completed.

He said the kingdom was waiting for a response from the United States to a Saudi request to extradite Hani al-Sayegh, a Saudi dissident suspected of planning the truck bombing.

The U.S. Justice Department said in January Sayegh had been ordered deported but a decision had yet to be made about which country he would be sent to.

U.S. officials have complained in the past that Saudi Arabia had not turned over key information about the Khobar blast to American investigators.

U.S.-Iran ties have slightly improved since Khatami in January called for a dialogue between the American and Iranian peoples to open a ``crack in the wall of mistrust.''

Under European Union pressure, the United States earlier this week announced a waiver on threatened sanctions against a French-led consortium that has a deal to invest $2 billion in a natural gas project in Iran.

Senate clears Iran sanctions, veto threatened

Senate clears Iran sanctions, veto threatened 07:21 p.m May 22, 1998 Eastern

By Jackie Frank

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Angered by Russian cooperation with Iran's missile program, the Senate Friday overwhelmingly approved a tough sanctions bill on firms that sell missile technology to Tehran.

The Senate approved the sanctions on a bipartisan vote of 90 to 4 over the strong objections of President Clinton's foreign policy advisers who said they will recommend it be vetoed. The House has approved the bill but must vote on changes made in the Senate before it can go to Clinton's desk.

``Iran's missile program has been advanced tremendously by assistance from a wide range of Russian entities,'' Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, Republican of Mississippi, said in explaining his vote.

The administration told Congress this week that Russia's new government had made progress in controlling exports of missile technology and needed more time to put a tough nuclear nonproliferation policy in place.

In addition, it said that the legislation cast such a wide net that some companies or countries would be unfairly sanctioned, possibly backfiring on U.S. goals of halting missile technology transfers.

``Imposition of erroneous sanctions could not only harm U.S. political and economic relationships with other nations but could dissuade foreign governments or persons from cooperating,'' the advisers said in a statement of administration policy.

The bill would require Clinton to submit a report to Congress identifying the companies, research institutes or other entities where there was ``credible evidence'' that technology was transferred to Iran to aid it developing ballistic missiles. Three types of sanctions would be required -- denial of munitions licenses, prohibitions of dual-use licenses or denial of U.S. foreign aid.

Clinton could waive sanctions if necessary to protect U.S. national security.

In one concession to the White House, the Senate agreed that the sanctions would be applied only on cases of aid to Iran's missile program after January 22, 1998 when Russia imposed new rules to control its exports of technology.

The Senate had held off the vote on the sanctions bill for six months at the request of the White House while talks were going on with Moscow. And Lott said Congress will look for further assurances from Clinton during the next few weeks before the House takes a final vote in June.

``It is time for the Senate to deliver a clear message. I think it will be helpful in getting this process that Russia and others have been participating in stopped now before it is too late,'' Lott added.

Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, the chief Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, was decidedly in the minority with his argument that the new sanctions law was not necessary and would be counterproductive to U.S. interests.

The new Russian government has been very cooperative on weapons and technology transfers, Biden said.

``There is evidence they are stopping it. they are finding where the leaks are they are turning them off,'' he said.

Congressional concern had been fueled by reports that Russia had transferred missile delivery technology to Iran. Prior to the House vote last October, a State Department official said Iran was within a couple of years of having a missile capable of reaching Israel, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. A longer range missile was within three years of development.

The bill also implements the Chemical Weapons treaty which was passed by the Senate in April 1997.

FWD: anjmn dfae az zndanyan syasy v eqydty dr ayran parys

From www.shahrvand.com latest number =begin= anjmn dfae az zndanyan syasy v eqydty dr ayran parys - 1998/5/16


1- ma dr aynja grd Amdh~aym ta dr brabr afkar emvmy jhany aetrax v KSm Kvd ra nsbt bh aqdamat srkvbgranh~y rJm jmhvry aslamy ayran kh kmakan bh lgd mal krdn abtdaiy~tryn Hqvq mdny v syasy dr ayran adamh my~dhd, abraz darym.

2- ma Cdvr Hkm aedam ba sngsar dr qbal mrtxy frvzy, rvznamh~ngar ayrany, ra kh dr dadgahy Qyrelny v dr SrayTy namelvm bh jrm jasvsy v zna mHakmh Sd, mHkvm krdh v Kvastar brgzary dadgahy elny v ba Hxvr vklay mdafe mstql mrtxy fyrvzy hstm.

3- ma Cdvr v ajray aHkam qrvn vsTaiy, Gvn sngsar v qTe exv ra kh yadAvr dvran tvHS v brbryt dr nfs Kvd jnayt br elyh bSrt hstnd mHkvm krdh v Kvastar tvqf fvry v by~qyd v SrT ayn aqdamat hstm.

4- ma yadAvr my~Svym kh sran rJym jmhvry aslamy bh jrm daStn msivlt mstqm dr trvr mKalfan dr Karj az mrzhay ayran, dr dadgah mstql brln mHkvm Sdh~and. ma Kvahan py~gyry aHkam Cadrh dr qbal rhbran v msivlan rJum ayran az janb dvlt Alman v atHadyh arvpa hstym.

5- syahh aqdamat rJym jmhvry aslamy ayran dr qbal mKalfan v dgrandSan az bdv tSkl ayn rJym Gyzy jz srkvb, trvr, Sknjh v aedam nyst. ma, dr dhmyn salgrd kStar tabstan 1367, sal kStar hzaran tn az zndanyan sasy by dfae, Kvahan brpayy yk dadgah byn~almlly bray mHakmh~y sran rJym jmhvry aslamy bh jrm jnat br elyh bSryt hstym.


qTenamh Haxr mvrd mvafqt dv tSkl zyr kh rvz jmeh 1998/5/15 dr aetrax bh Hkm aedam ba sngsar mrtxy fyrvzy bh Tvr hmzman dr kSvrhay mHl aqamt Kvd tXahrat brpa krdnd, my~baSd:

- anjmn dfae az zndanan syasy v eqydty dr ayran - parys - fransh - anjmn mhajran v pnahndgan ayrany - brytyS klmbya - kanada

xmna tSkl~hay zyr hmyn qTenamh ra amxai krdh~and: - tlaS - kanvn Hmayt az mbarzat mrdm ayran - kln - Alman - kanvn Hmayt az zndanyan syasy ayran - AKn Alman - kanvn zndanyan syasy ayran dr tbeyd - kmyth dfae az zndanyan syasy ayran - brln - Alman - frhngsray andySh - gvtnbrg - svid - kmyth dfae az Azady v mbarzh ba trvr v aKtnaq dr ayran - gvtnbrg - svid =end=

fwd: fraKvan bh tXahrat

From www.shahrvand.com latest number =begin= fraKvan bh tXahrat hm~vTnan Azadh! sazmanha, nhadha, Hzb~ha v SKCyt~hay AzadKvah!

rJym jmhvry aslamy aelam daSth ast kh mrtxy fyrvzy, srdbyr sabq ayran nyvz ra bh aedam, az Tryq sngsar mHkvm krdh ast, ayn Hkm az Trf dyvan ealy kSvr nyz taiyd Sdh ast, ps dr yky az hmyn rvzha bayd Hkm pySaqrvn vsTaiy sngsar dr mvrd ayn rvznamh~ngar bh ajra drAyd, bh ayn meny kh qrbany ra ba dst v dhany bsth dr kfn bpvSannd, ta zanv dr gvdal frv knnd v ps az frman Hakm Sre, Anqdr sng br av bbarnd ta Zrh Zrh janS grfth Svd.

AzadyKvahan ayran!

ayn bar nKst nyst kh brbrmnSan Hakm br ayran, ba zyr pa gZaStn tmamy mcaqhay byn~almlly v Hqvq bSr, hmh dstavrdhay bSryt ra bh msKrh grfth v dr anXar jhanyan ba srfrazy Hkm mrg ansany, Anhm az Tryq sngsar ra aelam my~knnd, v Tbyey~st kh ayn, bar AKr nyz nKvahd bvd. aedam dhha hzar zndany syasy kh tnha jrmSan dgrandSy bvd, az jmlh karnamh~y nngyn rJymy~st kh hmGnan, bray bqay Kvd, Kvn my~ryzd.

hmvTnan Azadh!

elyh qvann xdbSry v aedam v sngsar bh pa Kyzym v Cday aetrax Kvd ra rsa v rsatr bh gvS jhanyan brsanym.

bh pa Kyzym v hmbstgy Kvd ra yk bar dygr, dr rah dfae az Hqvq ansanha v dstyaby bh An, ta mHv kaml Sknjh v aedam v sngsar v lQv by~bazgSt qanvn Hdvd v qCaC aelam darym.

bh pa Kzym bh nam Azady v ansanyt, bh nam dmkrasy v Hq Shrvndy v ba nam Hqvq bSr, Azady mrtxy fyrvzy v tmamy zndanyan syasy ra kh salhast dr syahGalhay ryJm, dr bdtryn SrayT, dr kam mrg zndgy my~knnd, fryad brAvrym.

bh pa Kyzym v az yad nbrym kh fryad mStrk ma dr karzar jhany bray Azady frj srkvhy bh br nSst, Hxvr srkvhy dr myan ma, prvzy bzrgy bray apvzysvn Karj az kSvr ast. drs mhm An pyrvzy, ayman bh qdrt mast, bh pa Kyzym v ba bavr bh tvan KvS, ta nyl bh pyrvzy az pa nnSynym.

bh pa Kyzym, bh nam ansany Azadh, dr dfae az Azady, nng skvt ra dr brabr jnayat rJym jmhvry aslamy br Kvd npZyrym, afSa knym, AnGh ra kh nng bSryt ast.

bh pa Kyzym, dst dr dst hm dhym, fryad dr fryad hm afknym, rsva knym syah andySan Hakmy ra kh vjvdSan, hmGvn aHkamSan Gyzy jz nng v nfrt bray bSr nyst.

bh pa Kyzym v ta mHv kaml rJm jhl v jnvn v Krafh az pa nnSynym.

v bdyn mnXvr ast kh ma az tmamy ansanhay Azadh, sazmanha, kanvn~ha v Hzbha devt my~knym ta dr tXahraty kh dr rvz Snbh 30 mah my dr brabr sfart jmhvry aslamy dr bn, brgzar my~Svd dst dr dst hm, Cday aetrax Kvd ra bh gvS jhanyan brsanym.

zman: 30 mah my saet 11 CbH

mkan: bn brabr sfart jmhvry aslamy

az ayn fraKvan taknvn sazmanha v grvhhay zyr pStbany Kvd ra aelam daSth~and:

kanvn nvysndgan ayran dr tbeyd, tlaS - kanvn Hmayt az mbarzat mrdm ayran - kln, kanvn Hmayt az zndanyan syasy ayran - AKn, jmeyt dfae az Azady ayran - bn, jmeyt dfae az zndanyan sasy ayran - kln, kanvn pnahndgan syasy ayran dr brln, grvh frhngy Anh - frankfvrt, nSryh zn dr mbarzh, anjmn mTaleat ajtmaey v frhngy ayran (drvtmvnd), kanvn syasy - frhngy ayranan - frankfvrt, kmyth teqyb Sdgan v zndanyan syasy ayran - lapzk, mrkz frhngy ayranan - haydlbrg, kmyth dfae az Azady v mbarzh elyh trvr v aKtnaq (gvtnbrg - svid), anjmn dfae az zndanyan sasy v eqydty dr ayran - pars (fransh), atHad fdaiyan Klq ayran, kanvn frhngy v hnry ayranan (mav), Svray hmbstgy ba mbarzat mrdm ahran - aStvtgart, anjmn andhSh (hambvrg), khmth dfae az Azady andySh, byan, qlm v ajtmaeat dr ayran - hanvfr, fealyn sazman fdaiyan Klq (aqlt) - Alman, anjmn znan ayrany - kln, anjmn qlm ayran dr tbeyd, anjmn dmkratyk ayranan - AKn, kmyth dfae az zndanyan syasy ayran - brln, Svray hmahngy ayranan - hambvrg, kargah hnr v frhng pvya- frankfvrt, nSryh Avay zn, nSryh grdvn, kanvn mstql sasy ayranan - laypzyk, Svray dmkratyk ayranyan (svs), frhng~sray andySh (gvtnbrg - svid), sazman kargran anqlaby ayran (rah kargr) - Alman, kanvn zndanyan syasy ayran dr tbeyd, Svray hmahngy fdaiyan Klq ayran (akcryt) - Alman, mrkz hnr dr tbeyd - kanvn flm - tiatr rvnd (zgn), anjmn dmkratyk Hmayt az pnahndgan syasy ayran, dr atryS, Svray mvqt svsalyst~hay Gp ayran, Svray mrkzy dfae az jnbS, kargah Ser v qCh frankfvrt

az tmamy sazmanha v grvhhayy kh my~Kvahnd nam Anha ra nyz bh envan devt knndh dr zyr fraKvan byavrym, KvahSmndym bh yky az Ghar sazmany kh namSan dr abtday ayn lyst Amdh aTlae dhnd.


fwd: kStar by~rHmanh~y znan dr Kvzstan

From www.shahrvand.com latest number =begin= kStar by~rHmanh~y znan dr Kvzstan

ahvaz: qtl v kStar by~rHmanh v by~dlyl znan v dKtran kh dr ntyjh~y nzae~hay Kanvadgy rvy my~dhd, dr astan Kvzstan dr sal gZSth nsbt bh sal pS afzayS bavrnkrdny pda krdh ast. yky az mqamhay msivl dr ayn astan gfth ast, dr sal 1376 dr ayn astan 71 zn v dKtr bh dst bstgan Kvd kSth Sdh~and kh ayn myzan dr sal 1375, 41 mvrd v dr sal 1374, 23 mvrd bvdh ast.

mqam yad Sdh afzvdh ast, ayn qtl~ha bStr dr Shrhay ahvaz, dzfvl, Abadan, ramhrmz v mahShr rK dadh ast. sal gZSth tnha dr ahvaz Ty jnat~hay tvsT mrdan Kanvadh~ha 52 zn v dKtr bh qtl rsydh~and. =end=

fwd: gzarS mTbveaty

From www.shahrvand.com latest number =begin= gzarS mTbveaty

rvz jmeh 15 my 1998 az saet hSt ta dh Sb, ba fraKvan anjmn dfae az zndanan syasy v eqydty dr ayran mytyngy dr parys brgzar Sd. dr ayn grdhmayy kh dr aetrax bh Hkm aedam ba sngsar mrtxy frvzy tvsT qvh qxaiyh jmhvry aslamy trtyb dadh Sdh bvd, dhha tn az ayranan Azadh mqym parys bh zban fransh ba Searhay sngsar nSan brbryt ast, An ra dr ayran mlQy knd, mrtxy frvzy, rvznamh~ngar ayrany ra sngsar nknyd v mrg br jmhvry aslamy ayran Srkt krdnd. Gnd mtn kvtah dr Tvl tXahrat bray tvxyH v afSay qvanyn qrvn vsTaiy aslamy bray Haxran v rhgZran bh zban fransh Kvandh Sd. tXahrknndgan bh aetraxat Kvd ba Sme~hayy dr dst adamh dadnd v sranjam qTenamh~y mStrk Kvandh Sd. yadAvry my~Svd kh anjmn mhajrn v pnahndgan ayrany - brytyS klmbya kh az amxai knndgan qTenamh mStrk bvdnd dr hmyn rvz tXahraty dr kanada brgzar krdnd. xmna az Aan tlaS - kanvn Hmayt az mbarzat mrdm ayran - kln, kanvn Hmayt az zndanan sasy ayran - AKn, kmyth~y dfae az zndanan syasy ayran - brln v nyz az svy frhngsray andySh - gvtnbrg, kmyth dfae az Azady v mbarzh ba trvr v aKtnaq dr ayran - gvtnbrg v hmGnn kanvn zndanyan sasy ayran dr tbyed ba amxai qTenamh pStybany Kvd ra az grdhmayy~hay fransh v kanada aelam nmvdnd.

anjmn dfae az zndanyan syasy v eqydty dr ayran parys - 1998/5/16


all being done to boost morale of soccer players

talebi: all being done to boost morale of soccer players milan, may 23, irna -- the head coach of the iranian national soccer team jalal talebi said that the team's technical staff will make all efforts to raise morale of the players in the aftermath of their crushing defeat in the friendly match with as roma last tuesday.

speaking to irna, talebi said the former croat head coach of the team tomislav ivic had focused on defensive tactics which did not fit into abilities of the iranian players.

he said he will follow the same arrangement that footballers played in the past, adding that he will work with the team as much as possible to improve their weaknesses.

talebi said the team will probably play one more friendly match with another italian team but said time has not been fixed yet.

as for the friendly match with the croat team, he said the national iranian team has not yet received any reposnse from the croatian football federation in this respect.

meanwhile, the coach of the iranian team bijan zolfaqar-nasab said the period and style of practice of the team will change after its saturday play with inter milan.

he said ivic made a sudden change in the team's practice in rome and prior to its play with as roma dropped morning exercises which adversely affected physical condition of the players.

zolfaqar-nasab said ivic had problem in understanding the morale of iranian players and features of the iranian football.

he said tomislav ivic is an experienced coach who is fully aware of football issues but fails to recognize his means.

in another development, families of the national iranian soccer players arrived in milan friday and were settled in a hotel close to the ground where the team practices everyday.

the initiative has been taken by the football federation to boost morale of the players in their match against inter milan this afternoon. ns/jh end ::irna 23/05/98 10:18

Sport: Iran 4 - Inter 1

Hi, I just heard the final score on IR radio, Iran won wit4 goals to 1:

0 - 1 (Forgot the name of the player)

1 - 1 Mahdavi Kia

2 - 1 Ali DaEi

3 - 1 -//-

4 - 1 Bagheri (his first game after a long time)

The italians didn't sent their A team as they promissed since most of the players are preparing for the WC98, they didn't play 100% and they where very passive specially during the second period of the game.

Regards, Farhad A.

Sport: First test!

By Stefano Rebaudo

APPIANO GENTILE, Italy, May 23 (Reuters) - Iran, who sacked their coach Tomislav Ivic after a 7-1 drubbing by AS Roma in a World Cup warm up match four days ago, believe new trainer Jahal Talebi will have more success as a less famous name..

"Talebi isn't a famous name like Ivic, but his work will be better," Iranian soccer federation vice chairman Abbas Torabian told Reuters on Saturday before a friendly match against Inter Milan.

Talebi, a member of the Iranian team in the early 1960s and coach to Indonesia's Olympic squad in 1996, has a less illustrious track record than Ivic, who coached Paris St Germain, Olympique Marseille and Ajax Amsterdam.

"A great name doesn't make a great coach. Talebi knows the history, the technical capabilities of the players and he can put them in the right frame of mind to face any situation.

"Ivic didn't manage to understand the psychology and the culture of our players," he said.

Iran were jeered off the pitch in Tehran in their first match -- a 2-0 loss to Hungary -- after Ivic took over on a six-month contract in January.

Forced on to the defensive after poor performances in matches in France, Ivic last week described Iran as a diamond that just needed to be polished and predicted his side would beat either Yugoslavia or Germany in group F in France.

Then came the 7-1 defeat.

"That match was the last straw," Torabian said, speaking at Inter's training camp in northern Italy ahead of their match against Inter in Como at 5 p.m. (1500 GMT).

Torabian conceded that Saturday's match "won't be the one that changes things within the squad," but was confident things were now looking up.

He confirmed that midfielder Karim Bagheri, who plays for Germany's Arminia Bielefeld, team mate and striker Ali Daei, whom he said had signed for Germany's Bayern Munich, and fellow-forward Khodadad Aziz of Cologne all had places in the squad.

Veteran goalkeeper Ahmadreza Abedzadeh, out of action with a leg injury for more than a month, would not play on Saturday but Torabian said "he'll certainly be on form for France and he'll probably play in the next friendly in Croatia."

The Iranian side train in Croatia from June 1-6 ahead of only their second World Cup finals.

"No one's expecting to make the semifinals or the finals," Torabian said.

updated at Sat May 23 06:21:00 1998 PT

Saudi Arabia signs cooperation agreement with Iran

TEHRAN, May 23 (AFP) - Saudi Arabia signed a technical and industrial cooperation agreement with Iran Saturday, the official Iranian news agency IRNA reported.

The agreement provides for joint investments in Iran's copper industry and the construction of thermal power stations, the news agency said without giving further details.

Saudi Arabia has bought 40 million dollars of copper cable from Iran over the past three years, a visiting Saudi official told AFP.

Reza Aqil Mohammad Aghil, director of the Saudi Petrochemical and Metallurgical Industries Group signed the cooperation agreement with Chams Ardakani, secretary general of Iran's chambre of commerce, IRNA reported.

Relations between Riyadh and Tehran have improved considerably since the election twelve months ago as Iranian president of moderate cleric Mohammad Khatami and the holding in Tehran in December of an Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) summit.

Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal is expected on an official visit here in the next few days and Saudi Religious Affairs Minister Abdallah ibn Abdel Mohsen al-Turki has been here since Friday for an OIC ministerial meeting.

Earlier Saturday Iran hailed Saudi Arabia's announcement ruling out any foreign participation in the 1996 bombing of a US airbase in the kingdom that killed 19 US airmen, following reports implicating Tehran.

"We knew from the start that the problem was internal, but evil-minded people wanted to damage Iranian-Saudi relations by insinuating that the attack was the work of Tehran," Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi said.

A Saudi official for the first time Thursday acknowledged the bombing of the US base in the eastern city of Dhahran "was carried out by Saudi hands."

"No foreign party had a role," Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef ibn Abdel Aziz said in an interview with Kuwaiti daily Al-Rai Al-Am.

Iran condemns US Senate approval of bill targetting its trade partners

TEHRAN, May 23 (AFP) - Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi Saturday condemned the US Senate's approval the previous day of a new bill penalizing foreign firms that do business with Iran.

"This new law is aimed at concealing the failure of the D'Amato law," Kharazi told the official news agency IRNA in reference to an earlier law targetting Iran which was approved by Congress but never implemented by the administration.

"They want to show that if they have agreed not to implement the D'Amato law, they are nonetheless still serious in the military field and do no want Iran to progress on this path," Kharazi said of the new bill which threatens firms transferring weapons technology with penalties in the United States.

"Washington will not penalize a single company because Iran is not seeking to equip itself with military technology for missile production and therefore has no link with such firms," Kharazi said.

He said Iran was "opposed to weapons of mass destruction" and that, unlike arch-enemy Israel, "its nuclear activities are supervised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)."

The US Senate voted overwhelmingly Friday to impose sanctions on foreign companies that help provide sophisticated arms technology to Iran, rebuffing a veto threat from President Bill Clinton.

Under the bill, which was approved in a 90-4 vote, the US government would be required to publish a list of firms that transfer missile technology to Iran.

Companies found to have done so would be subject to economic sanctions, although the US president would be able to waive the sanctions in the interests of national security.

The chief targets of the bill, which was approved by the US House of Representatives last autumn, are Russian companies suspected of transferring missile technology to Iran.

Israeli Trade and Industry Minister Natan Sharansky announced during a visit to Moscow Thursday that he had given the Russian government a list of Russian firms which Israel believes are providing military technology to Iran.

Israel and its allies in the US Congress see Iran as the main threat to the Jewish state and have repeatedly accused it of seeking to acquire advanced technology.

The D'Amato law, which Washington has agreed never to implement after it angered European allies, threatened to penalise any firm investing more than 40 million dollars in the oil or gas industries of Iran and Libya.

The United States' move to legislate against the activity of foreign firms in third countries infuriated the European Union and a consortium led by France's Total went ahead with a two-billion-dollar gas deal in defiance of the law.

Thousands throng Tehran university to celebrate Khatami's anniversary

TEHRAN, May 23 (AFP) - Tens of thousands of Iranians packed into Tehran University on Saturday in an unprecedented public show of support for President Mohammad Khatami on the first anniversary of his landmark election victory.

"We've come to celebrate this victory for the people," one student said of Khatami's May 1997 election win, which set off a wave of political change in the Islamic republic.

Khatami's supporters waved pictures of the 55-year-old bearded cleric and gave the victory sign as they welcomed the president at the university, the scene of many political rallies since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Chants of "Khatami, Khatami, we support you" greeted the president as he rose to speak.

"We want a society based on respect for the law and for basic freedoms within the framework of the constitution," he told the adoring crowd.

"I have the firm belief that you have to regard the importance of religion from the point of view of freedom," he said.

"The art of a government lies in its ability to get its opponents to act within the framework of the constitution."

In an acknowledgement of the opposition his policies have prompted in conservative circles within the government, Khatami called for "tolerance" to be shown by all sides.

But he insisted that his government would remain "faithful to its principles."

"Certain difficulties may slow our progress but the direction and policies will remain unchanged," he insisted.

In reference to his government's gradual rapprochement with the outside world, Khatami told the crowd: "On the basis of mutual respect, our relations with countries in the region are constantly developing.

"This will have positive effects in the political, economic and security field."

Groups of demonstrators sang popular Iranian songs and some shouted slogans hostile to members of the powerful conservative faction, which has been at loggerheads with liberal forces who are pushing for greater freedom.

"Yazdi resign," some of the crowd shouted in reference to Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi, the head of Iran's conservative judiciary which angered moderates last month by arresting and briefly imprisoning Tehran mayor and prominent Khatami supporter Gholam Hossein Karbaschi.

Khatami was elected on a promise to implement political, economic and social reform and since taking office in August, he has tried to give the Islamic republic a softer image in the world and create greater social freedoms.

He still remains immensely popular, despite limited room for maneuver and mounting economic difficulties. But his policies have triggered a backlash from the powerful conservative factions and orthodox Islamic forces, who purport to serve as the guardians of the principles of the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Iran's moderate press is hailing the anniversary rallies as a show of popular support and allegience to Khatami, who swept to power with 69 percent of the vote over conservative parliamentary speaker Ali-Akbar Nateq-Nuri thanks to an unexpected tidal wave of support particularly among women and the young.

"May 23 is unquestionably our country's most important day because the popular will was expressed and the people made their choice," said moderate newspaper Hachmahchi.

The choice of Tehran university for the anniversary rally carries great political significance as it is now a forum for political demonstrations, sometimes violent, between supporters of the various factions of the Islamic regime.

It was the site of numerous hostile demonstrations against the shah before the 1979 revolution and the capital's weekly Friday prayers have been held at the university's football pitch since then.

Iran's conservative-run radio and television are broadcasting special programmes to mark the election, but are also calling on the population to celebrate the anniversary Sunday of the 1982 liberation of the southwestern city of Khoramshahr from Iraqi occupation.

Hardliners, who fear Khatami may be straying from the path of revolution, have shown little enthusiasm for the election anniversary and are focusing on the Khoramshahr event.

Iranian FM in the UAE for talks on islands dispute

ABU DHABI, May 23 (AFP) - Iran's foreign minister met with his United Arab Emirates (UAE) counterpart Saturday and agreed that regional stability in the Gulf was the way to promote development.

The official UAE news agency WAM quoted Iran's Kamal Kharazi and the UAE's Sheikh Hamdan ibn Zayed Al-Nahayan as making the joint statement after meeting here on the first day of a two-day visit by Kharazi.

"Gulf countries must work to assure stability in the region as the way to promote their development," the agency said the two had agreed.

Kharazi, also due to meet UAE President Sheikh Zayed ibn Sultan Al-Nahayan, is expected to focus in talks on three islands disputed by the two countries and which control the world's main oil supply route: Abu Musa, Greater Tunb and Lesser Tunb.

A senior Iranian foreign ministry official told a Tehran newspaper that Iran was willing to discuss the future of Abu Musa, the only one of the three islands which is populated, and over which Iran and the UAE have shared control since Britain pulled its forces out of the Gulf in 1971.

"We are faced with a problem concerning the island of Abu Musa which can be resolved by direct negotiations between officials of the two countries if good will is shown," the head of the foreign ministry's Arab department, Mohammad al-Sadr, told Salam.

UAE daily Al-Khaleej on Saturday condemned the Iranian comments as representing nothing new.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran would make May 23 an historic day in Tehran's relations with the Gulf countries, if Kharazi came with something new," the paper said.

"We have a real problem with Iran -- it is its continued occupation of our three islands of Abu Musa and Greater and Lesser Tunb," the paper said.

Iran's insistence on discussing only Abu Musa and its demand that the dispute be resolved through bilateral talks have stymied previous efforts to improve relations.

Tehran roundly rejected a UAE proposal to resort to international aribtration.

Three days of direct negotiations in the UAE in 1992 collapsed over Tehran's insistence that the two Tunbs were not on the negotiating table because they were Iranian islands.

Abu Musa, claimed by the UAE emirate of Sharjah, and the Tunbs, which were under the control of the emirate of Ras al-Khaimah, are located at the entrance of the vital Hormuz Strait, the only gateway to the Gulf.

More than one-fifth of global oil supplies pass through the waterway.

A UAE official said earlier this month that Kharazi's talks would also cover regional developments and ties between Iran and its Gulf neighbours.

Since taking power in August, Iranian President Mohammad Khatami has repeatedly called for warmer ties with the Gulf states. But the dispute over the islands remains an obstacle to improved ties.

Last week, Iran criticized the UAE for planning to buy 80 US-made fighter jets, saying the deal could threaten regional peace and stability.

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 22 May 1998 to 23 May 1998