Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 5 Jan 1999 to 6 Jan 1999

There are 6 messages totalling 559 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. the text of the information ministry statement
2. Liberal Journalists Condemn Closure of Shalamcheh
3. Bani Sadr says Fleeing Cleric Implicates Khamenei in Recent Murders
4. IRI refurses entry to Elahe Hicks (HRW envoy)
5. Press Release by Ali Keshtgar (Meehan)
6. calls to press ahead

Date: Wed, 6 Jan 1999 11:36:03 EST
From: KPGBT@AOL.COM
Subject: the text of the information ministry statement

trecherous officials of information ministry involved

tehran, jan. 5, irna -- public relations department of the information
ministry issued the following statement here tuesday on the mysterious
serial killings.
''the hateful murders which took place recently in tehran is an
indication of instigations and threat over iran's national security.
''the information ministry based on its legal duty and following
urgent instructions of the paramount leader of the islamic revolution
and supreme religious jurisprudent and the president of the islamic
republic of iran we have the responsibility as a top priority to
investigate and eradicate this hideous phenomenon.
''with the cooperation of president's special investigating
committee the ministry has succeeded in identifying the network and
arresting its members and finally handing them over to the law
authorities.
''unfortunately some of the irresponsible colleagues of this
ministry with deviatory thoughts acting on their own and without doubt
as surreptitious agents and in the interest of aliens perpetrated
these crimes.
''such a horrendous act has not only betrayed and inflicted harm
to the unknown soldiers of imam-e zaman (may allah hasten his
reappearance) but also have to a very great extent tarnished the
creditability of the sovereign state of the islamic republic of
iran.''
the information ministry severely condemns all forms of criminal
acts against mankind and all kinds of threats against the safety and
security of fellow iranian citizens.

it clearly understands the dimension of and the depth of this
catastrophe going beyond its borders. based on such a concept, it has
decisively resolved to uproot all those instigating elements causing
political violence and in addition has vowed to guarantee the security
of the nation and its people.
with full confidence and all its power, the ministry is pledging
allegiance to all the honorable and respectable iranians to provide
security and freedom and endeavor to preserve the rights of all as it
had done during the years of revolution despite all ups and downs.
it also pledges to follow up the complicated case until all the
bandits, gangsters and those alien agents both within and outside
the country involved in such destructive designs, which run contrary
to laws of the nation, are identified, brought to justice and
uprooted.
pm/ah/dh
end
::irna 05/01/99 22:14

Date: Wed, 6 Jan 1999 09:20:06 -0800
From: Arash Alavi <aalavi@US.ORACLE.COM>
Subject: Liberal Journalists Condemn Closure of Shalamcheh

Iran Bans Hard-Line Weekly For Insulting Clergyman


01/05/99
Dow Jones News Service
(Copyright (c) 1999, Dow Jones & Company, Inc.)


TEHRAN (AP)-- Iranian authorities have shut down a
newspaper of a hard-line vigilante group for insulting a
deceased moderate clergyman, the official Islamic Republic
News Agency reported Tuesday.

The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance issued an
order Monday closing the Shalamcheh weekly indefinitely for
an article it published in November claiming that Grand
Ayatollah Abul Qassim al-Khoei had ties with SAVAK, the
ousted Shah's feared secret police.

Al-Khoei, a spiritual leader of Muslim Shiites until his
death in Iraq in 1992, was considered a moderate who called
on the clergy to stay out of politics.

Hard-liners in Iran 's judiciary have closed six
publications in recent months and arrested six journalists
for allegedly publishing lies. But it is the first time
that the government of moderate President Mohammad Khatami
has banned a hard-line newspaper.

The closures have been the hard-liners' main weapon against
Khatami's policies of greater press freedoms.

Shalamcheh's director, Masoud Dehnamaki, accused Khatami's
government of hypocrisy.

"They chant slogans calling for freedom but actually they
are despots. They call for freedom of opinion but give no
credit to any opinion other than their own," Dehnamaki
said.

Shalamcheh is the mouthpiece of Ansar-e Hezbollah vigilante
group which is made up of a couple of hundred members. The
group is suspected of being used by senior hard-line
clergymen to attack opponents and break up pro-democracy
rallies.

Liberal journalists condemned the closure of Shalamcheh.

Date: Wed, 6 Jan 1999 09:30:22 -0800
From: Arash Alavi <aalavi@US.ORACLE.COM>
Subject: Bani Sadr says Fleeing Cleric Implicates Khamenei in Recent Murders

Iranian politician flees to Germany, Bonn confirms


01/05/99
Deutsche Presse-Agentur
Copyright (c) 1999, dpa


Bonn/Paris (dpa) - An Iranian politician fled to Germany
last month and wants to apply for political asylum there,
German officials said Tuesday.

Bonn officials confirmed earlier reports by exiled Iranian
opposition groups.

The politician - who Iranian exiles in Paris named as
Mohammad Djafar Amerian - arrived at Frankfurt airport on
December 11 and appealed to the authorities.

Former Iranian president Abolhasssan Bani Sadr, who lives
in exile in Paris, said Amerian worked as a political
advisor to the Iranian parliament's crisis committee.

Bani Sadr claimed that Amerian had presented German
officials a list of 179 opposition figures the committee
was allegedly investigating.

Bani Sadr said that an Iranian cleric, whom he named only
as Parvazi, had also fled abroad. Parvazi reportedly had
precise information on who is behind a series of murders.

Parvazi reportedly implicated Iran 's supreme leader,
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, charging that he had ordered the
murders, the exiled former Iranian president said.

Parvazi claimed that Khamenei headed an organisation that
carried out the murders of opposition figures, according to
Bani Sadr.

The cleric also alleged that the Iranian secret service had
decided to blame the killings on opposition politicians in
a bid to hide the true identities of the killers, Bani Sar
said.

Pavazi also claimed that a committee set up by moderate
Iranian president Mohammed Khatami to investigate the
murders had come to the conclusion that the perpetrators
and the people behind the killings could be found ``within
the regime''.

At least five liberal Iranian intellectuals were murdered
in a string of killings at the end of last year.

Bani-Sadr said opposition politicians and writers are not
the only people threatened by the series of murders. The
former Iranian president said a military doctor, Jamshid
Partovi, was murdered in his home in Teheran on December
31.

The Jahan Eslam newspaper said Partovi had been the
personal physician of Ahmad Khomeini.

Ahmad Khomenei, the son of the late Iranian revolutionary
leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, died under mysterious
circumstances in 1995.

-----------------------------------------------------

Iranian politician seeks asylum in Germany


01/05/99
Agence France-Presse
(Copyright 1999)


FRANKFURT, Germany, Jan 5 (AFP) - An Iranian politician
believed to be holding information about a spate of murders
of intellectuals and dissidents in Iran has requested
political asylum in Germany, Frankfurt's refugee aid
association Pro Asyl said Tuesday.

According to Pro Asyl spokesman Bernd Mesovic, the man,
whose name has been withheld for security reasons, filed
for asylum at Frankfurt airport.

The man is believed to be "in great danger" in Iran because
of his knowledge of repression in his country, and his
location in Germany is being kept secret, a judicial source
said.

An interior affairs official for the Hesse region and
border police said they were not aware of any such asylum
request.

Questioned by AFP, former Iranian president Abolhassan Bani
Sadr, who lives in exile in France, said the Iranian in
question was a former political advisor to the Iranian
parliament's crisis- management committee.

On December 11, the man handed German authorities a list of
179 Iranian dissidents who were under investigation by the
crisis committee, Bani Sadr said.

According to Bani Sadr, another Iranian activist is also
believed to have fled Iran .

The man, who Bani Sadr said is a religious figure named
Parzavi, is one of the founders of the Ansar Hezbollah
organisation, which is active against liberal newspapers
and demonstrators.

On January 1, the head of Iran 's judicial power, Mohammad
Yazdi, announced the detention of several people as part of
the investigation into the murders of intellectuals.

Secular nationalist leader Daryush Foruhar and his wife,
Parvaneh, were stabbed to death by unidentified assailants
at their Tehran home on November 22.

Their deaths were followed by the kidnapping and murder of
two secular writers, Mohammad Mokhtari and Mohammad
Pouyandeh, in early December.

Another intellectual, Majid Sharif, was also found dead
under mysterious circumstances around the same time, but
the authorities said he had died of a heart attack.

The assassinations caused an uproar in Iran 's intellectual
and reformist communities. They see the killings as an
attempt to destabilise the government of President Mohammad
Khatami, who has promoted greater openness in Iranian
society and better relations between the Islamic Republic
and the west.

Date: Wed, 6 Jan 1999 12:23:13 EST
From: KPGBT@AOL.COM
Subject: IRI refurses entry to Elahe Hicks (HRW envoy)

This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

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Iran to refuse entry to human rights envoy
Jan. 06, 1999

Teheran (dpa) - Iran will refuse entry to an envoy of the Human Rights
Watch Organization who intends to visit the country soon, the official
news agency IRNA reported on Wednesday.

The daily newspaper Zan reported Wednesday that an envoy of Human Rights
Watch, Elaheh Hicks, who is in charge of the Middle East and North
Africa, is due to arrive in Teheran within the next two weeks.

``Iran will refuse entry to any fact-finding (mission by a) human rights
individual or group,'' IRNA quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza
Assefi as saying. ``Iran does not allow any individual or group to
interfere in its domestic affairs. It's an insult to the great Iranian
nation,'' he added.

Hicks, who is a native of Iran and emigrated from that country in 1982,
told the daily that she planned to go to Teheran ``for a general
fact-finding mission'' within the next two weeks.

There was speculation in Teheran that Hicks' fact-finding mission would
include an investigation of recent murders of at least five liberal
Iranian intellectuals.

The information ministry disclosed Tuesday that it has identified and
apprehended a group of secret police officers who were involved in the
slayings of the liberal dissidents.

Iranian opposition groups in Western countries have called on
international human rights groups to travel to Iran to investigate the
murders.

Iran has repeatedly rejected U.N. reports on Iran, saying they were
based on ``false information'' and ``allegations'' provided by militant
Iranian opposition groups such as the People's Mujaheddin and Kurdish
separatist movements.

Iran also accuses the U.N. of ``a lack of accurate understanding of
Islamic norms'' and ``ignorance of Iran's Islamic characteristics''.

Teheran claims that human rights criteria cannot be standardised but
should be assessed
according to the culture and belief of the respective countries. dpa otmu

Iran to refuse entry to human rights envoy
Jan. 06, 1999

Teheran (dpa) - Iran will refuse entry to an envoy of the Human Rights
Watch Organization who intends to visit the country soon, the official
news agency IRNA reported on Wednesday.

The daily newspaper Zan reported Wednesday that an envoy of Human Rights
Watch, Elaheh Hicks, who is in charge of the Middle East and North
Africa, is due to arrive in Teheran within the next two weeks.

``Iran will refuse entry to any fact-finding (mission by a) human rights
individual or group,'' IRNA quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza
Assefi as saying. ``Iran does not allow any individual or group to
interfere in its domestic affairs. It's an insult to the great Iranian
nation,'' he added.

Hicks, who is a native of Iran and emigrated from that country in 1982,
told the daily that she planned to go to Teheran ``for a general
fact-finding mission'' within the next two weeks.

There was speculation in Teheran that Hicks' fact-finding mission would
include an investigation of recent murders of at least five liberal
Iranian intellectuals.

The information ministry disclosed Tuesday that it has identified and
apprehended a group of secret police officers who were involved in the
slayings of the liberal dissidents.

Iranian opposition groups in Western countries have called on
international human rights groups to travel to Iran to investigate the
murders.

Iran has repeatedly rejected U.N. reports on Iran, saying they were
based on ``false information'' and ``allegations'' provided by militant
Iranian opposition groups such as the People's Mujaheddin and Kurdish
separatist movements.

Iran also accuses the U.N. of ``a lack of accurate understanding of
Islamic norms'' and ``ignorance of Iran's Islamic characteristics''.

Teheran claims that human rights criteria cannot be standardised but
should be assessed
according to the culture and belief of the respective countries. dpa ot
mu




--part0_915643394_boundary--

Date: Wed, 6 Jan 1999 12:52:33 EST
From: KPGBT@AOL.COM
Subject: Press Release by Ali Keshtgar (Meehan)

Here is some highlights of the press release on January 1st 1999:

This is not a word by word translation:

According to sources in Tehran 7 people have been arrested in relation to the
recent killing of the 5 activists and writers. Three of those are high ranking
offiicals of the security forces (Mas'mouran-e entezami). Abdollah Nouri had
attempted to sack these guys but Khamenai had not accepted.

Thje other 4 are high ranking officals of the revolutionary guards that had
joined the information ministray years back.

Some of the seven are knowm member s of the military wing of the HMI
(Heiathaye Mo'talfe Eslami). The coordination of the operation has been with
HMI. According to one account (one of the reports from Tehran), Ali Fallahian
has been the head of these operations.

According to the reports, the Khamenai fraction has requested Khatami not to
insist on continuation of the investigation. Remanding the case to the
military court might have several reasons:

1. not only beause the suspects are from the military
2. Also, to take the lead away from Khatami forces in the investigations
3. It could also be a pressure on the press not to announce the names of the
suspects

According to these reports HMI has requested Khamenei to declare "Vaz'e
FougholAdeh" in Iran if the Khatami camp inisits on pushing the case to the
end.

The rpess release asks the people to ask Mohammad Khatami to tell people
everything he knows.

By: Ali Keshtgar: Mahnameh Meehan: January 1st 1999
Tel: 331-42-77-6260

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Footnote: I think that the clergy that are part of HMI are: Kani, Jannati,
Yazdi,
Vaez Tabasi. Could someone correct me if this is wrong.

regards

Kourosh

Date: Wed, 6 Jan 1999 14:45:45 EST
From: KPGBT@AOL.COM
Subject: calls to press ahead

By Jonathan Lyons

TEHRAN, Jan 6 (Reuters) - Revelations of death squads inside Iran's
conservative-led secret police has given moderate President Mohammad Khatami a
rare opportunity to extend his influence over the security forces and other
hardline bodies.

In a statement late on Tuesday, the intelligence ministry announced it had
arrested a number of its own agents for taking part in what it termed the
``hateful murders'' of secularist writers and opposition figures over recent
weeks.

The intelligence and security services, seen as immune to demands for
accountability and respect for law from President Khatami, also pledged to end
the political violence that has plagued Iran for years and to provide security
for all law-abiding citizens.

It was an extraordinary acknowledgment that elements of the security and
intelligence apparatus at the very core of Iran's post-revolutionary system
were out of control.

``This is the most important news I have heard from the state media in my
whole liftetime,'' said Firouz Gouran, a 60-year-old secularist writer and
editor of a banned intellectual monthly.

``This is the first time the government has admitted elements inside it have
committed such crimes, and this is a strong point for our government,'' Gouran
told Reuters.

But Gouran and other writers, whose colleagues have been kidnapped and
brutally murdered in recent weeks, said it remained to be seen whether Khatami
and his allies had the power or the political will to press home their
advantage.

Pro-Khatami reformers pounced at once, accelerating demands for the
resignation of the intelligence chief, conservative cleric Qorbanali Dorri
Najafabadi, and calling for new controls over other ``power ministries,'' long
the fiefdoms of the conservatives.

The attempted assassination of hardline Tehran judiciary head Ali Razini,
meanwhile, further fuelled the sense of uncertainty gripping the capital. The
Iraq-based opposition Mujahideen Khalq, in a statement sent to Reuters in
Dubai, implied it had carried out the grenade attack on Tuesday.

Under Iran's Islamic system, the elected president has little influence over
security forces, police or the judiciary. These bodies amswer to the supreme
clerical leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, appointed by a body of top Shi'ite
clerics.

Moderate newspapers, however, left little doubt that the Khatami reforms,
centred on demands for the rule of law, had to be extended to all branches of
government.

``Those who got the ministry involved in political games are now tasting the
bitter fruit, that is, the weakening of the intelligence service,'' said the
daily Sobh-e Emrouz.

``The management of the Intelligence Ministry is directly responsible for
these events and must promptly return the country's intelligence service to
normal,'' the newspaper said.

The pro-Khatami Khordad daily called for ``deep-rooted improvements'' in the
security forces. ``One could expect other bodies, especially the judiciary, to
act along the same lines.''

For weeks, reformers have hammered the conservatives for failing to halt the
mystery murders that have claimed at least three secularist writers and a
husband-wife team of opposition leaders. They also galvanised public outrage
over attacks against pro-Khatami rallies by gangs of young toughs.

Conservatives have looked helpless to fight back, variously accusing foreign
powers, including the United States and Israel, of masterminding the murders
and prematurely announcing imminent breakthroughs in the case. As a result,
suspicions of a cover-up have dogged the hardliners for weeks.

Now with the evidence of internal disarray within the security service, pro-
reform forces were expected to press ahead.

``The (ministry) statement in itself was very important and showed a lot of
courage,'' said Kazem Kardavani, one of several writers hauled before a
revolutionary court for their organising efforts.

``But it is not enough. In order to put an end to this episode, the government
must follow up the case until the entire organising structure behind these
crimes is identified and explained to the people and those responsible tried
in open court,'' said Kardavani, a close associate to two of the murdered
writers.

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 5 Jan 1999 to 6 Jan 1999