Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 7 Jan 1999 to 11 Jan 1999 - Special issue

There are 16 messages totalling 1273 lines in this issue.

Topics in this special issue:

1. NYTimes: Writing Dangerously in Iran
2. 409 signatures
3. Ali Khamenai:admission has been a brave decision but a very difficult
experience
4. Bandi-Sadr's press release on JAnuary 3, 1999
5. helloooo?
6. IPS: Khameneh'i Issued Killing Orders
7. Dissident killings in Iran will continue, Khamenei says
8. Iran factions debate minister's fate after murders
9. NEWS99 - Khamenei Criticizes Press Over Murders
10. NEWS99 - Writer Seeks 'Permanent Residence', Not Asylum
11. 'Hamshahri' on the Recent Murders
12. Iran struggling to boost non-oil exports
13. Iran exports rail carriages to Syria
14. Pro-Khatami group demands resignation of intelligence chief over murders
15. Cash-strapped Iran gives ministries less than half their budgets
16. Iranian regime divided on crisis over secret services

Date: Sat, 9 Jan 1999 16:26:49 -0500
From: Rahim Bajoghli <rbajoghli@JUNO.COM>
Subject: NYTimes: Writing Dangerously in Iran

New York Times
January 9, 1999
Writing Dangerously in Iran

By K. ANTHONY APPIAH

Last month, two Iranian writers -- Mohammad Mokhtari, a poet and literary
critic, and Mohammad Jafar Pouyandeh, an essayist and translator -- were
murdered. Iran's official news agency published a statement from the
Information Ministry on Tuesday saying the killers were "irresponsible
colleagues of this ministry."

Both Mr. Mokhtari and Mr. Pouyandeh were among a group of seven writers
summoned last October to appear before a "revolutionary court," which
ordered them to cease their efforts to form an independent writers'
association because it constituted a threat to national security.

Their murders came two weeks after opposition politicians, Daryush
Foruhar and his wife, Parveneh Eskandari, along with Majid Sharif, a
translator and journalist, were killed. The Information Ministry has also
admitted
involvement in their deaths.

Before these terrible crimes, there were signs that Iran might be
entering a period of perestroika: Mohammad Khatami, a moderate cleric who
had once resigned from a government post to protest censorship, was
elected President in 1997 with 70 percent of the vote. After the
election, independent newspapers sprouted up; Faraj Sarkuhi, a
journalist, was released from prison and allowed to join his family in
Germany; Mr. Khatami vowed not to carry out the death sentence against
Salman Rushdie, and groups of athletes, tourists and academics began
traveling to and from Iran.

Why, then, have writers become targets? The trouble begins with the
balance of power within Iran's Government. Conservative clerics, led by
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who ranks above the elected President in this
theocratic
republic and controls the judiciary, armed forces and Information
Ministry , have both the power and the will to resist President Khatami's
modest attempts at liberalization. And, with a growing secular movement
in Iran, they have become increasingly nervous that their grasp on power
might soon slip away.

Next month, city and provincial elections mandated by Iran's Constitution
20 years ago will be held for the first time, and moderates are expected
to prevail. February also marks the 20th anniversary of the revolution
that overthrew the Shah, leading many Iranians to question the direction
it has taken. These murders can be seen as the hard-liners' latest
challenge to Mr. Khatami's authority.

Mr. Mokhtari and Mr. Pouyandeh, secular writers with no government or
religious ties, made attractive targets. They first came under scrutiny
in October 1994, when they signed the Declaration of 134, which announced
plans
for a new independent writers' association. Four of the signers have
since died in mysterious circumstances, and many more have been harassed
and interrogated.

In the past, Iran's security police were content to arrest their targets,
torture them and extract false confessions. But as control over prisons
has shifted toward Mr. Khatami, it seems extremists are resorting to
assassination.

Most Iranians yearn for the basic freedoms we take for granted, and Mr.
Mokhtari and Mr. Pouyandeh have become martyrs to this simple but
historic desire. We must not forget them. Nor should we forget the
surviving
signatories to the Declaration of 134.

Writers have only one weapon in the struggle to defend the right to free
speech: more words, sent out into the world. That truth was brought home
poignantly when Mr. Mokhtari's widow placed a pen in his coffin.

K. Anthony Appiah, the Chairman of PEN American Center's Freedom-to-Write
Committee, is a professor of Afro-American studies and philosophy at
Harvard.


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Date: Fri, 8 Jan 1999 14:30:05 EST
From: KPGBT@AOL.COM
Subject: 409 signatures

Update
*********************************************
253 signatures from Washington D.C. (unlisted)
21 Signatures from New York (unlisted)
48 signatures from Sweden (unlisted)
87 listed signatures from Internet (listed)
++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Total: 409 signatures
**********************************************
Please reply to kpgbt@aol.com by filling this form:
name:
profession (optional):
country:

Hi all,

Forouhar's children are asking for an international probe and this petition
is echoing that demand. Scores of interviews coming out of Iran indicate
that there is a clear demand for a full probe into this matter. Please help
this drive as much as you can. We will send the actual signatures to Mary
Robinson very soon before it is usless. We will copy all of the places that
are
indicated below the peition.

regards

Kourosh




********************************************************************
December 1998

To: The Honorable Mary Robinson, the United Nations High Commissioner on
Human Rights, Geneva,
Switzerland, Fax # 01141-22-9170123


We are outraged to learn of the brutal and gruesome killing of two
prominent
opposition leaders in Iran, Mr. Dariush Forouhar and Mrs. Parvaneh Eskandari-
Forouhar on Sunday, November 22, 1998. We are sending this fax/e-mail to you
to ask for your expression of condemnation and outrage against this extra-
judicial execution.
We are also very concerned about the safety and security of other
opposition
members in Iran, including Mr. Abbas Amir-Entezam who remains in jail.

For your information, Mr. and Mrs. Forouhar were found stabbed to death in
their home in Tehran on November 22, 1998. Both of their bodies were
mutilated.
The similarity of this gruesome crime and the past assassinations of other
IRI's critics and opponents, both inside and outside Iran, is horrifying and
deserves the most urgent attention by international HR organizations. Mr. and
Mrs. Forouhar had recently called for a boycott of the elections of the
Council of Experts. Also, a few months ago, Iran's revolutionary commander,
Rahim Safavi, had vowed to
"behead" and "cut the tongues" of the opponents of the regime.

A few days later after the death of the Forouhars, the body of a missing
dissident writer, Mr. Majid Sharif, was found in Tehran. Meanwhile, another
dissident journalist, Mr. Pirouz Davani, has been missing since August 1998!

The body of another dissident writer was discovered in Tehran on Wednesday,
December 9, 1998. Mr. Mohammad Mokhtari, a prominent dissident writer, was
abducted last Thursday, and his strangulated body was thereafter identified in
a Tehran morgue by his relatives.

Mohammad Jafar Pouyandeh, a 45-year-old translator and author, has gone
missing after he left his Tehran office on Wednesday afternoon, December 10,
1998. Mr. Mohammad Pouyandeh was found dead in the town of Shahriar on
the outskirts of Tehran on December 13, 1998.

We strongly protest and condemn the extra-judicial killings of Dariush and
Parvaneh Fourouhar, Majid Sharif, Mohammad Mokhtari, Mohammad Jafar
Pouyanbdeh and request formation of
independent investigative committee to probe these killings and the
"disappearnces" in Iran.

We the undersigned would like to ask you to send a fact finding mission to
Iran to investigate the killing of Daryoosh and Parvaneh Forouhar, Majid
Sharif and Mohammad Mokhtari, Mohammad Jafar Pouyandeh and the
"disappeaance" of Piruz Davani and. We believe that this should be
investigated in the
context of ilegal activities of the "pressure groups", the "information
ministry and the "revolutionary guards" and other governmental organizations
that
have might have links with the semi-legal, semi-governmental pressure groups.


1. Dr. Kourosh Parsa, Electrical Engineer, USA
2. Mr. Shahram Kheiltash, USA
3. Dr. Mohammad Eghtedari, Economist, USA
4. Manijeh Saba, Lecturer, USA
5. Ebrahim Soujeri, PhD Student, EEEng., Turkey
6. Kokab Bahoosh, Student, U.A.E.
7. Dr. Hosein Abghari, Professor, USA
8. Ali Khalili, Accountant, Canada
9. Dr. Esmail Nooriala, Persian poet, writer and literary critic, Colorado,
USA.
10. Farhad Abdolian, Hardware designer, Sweden
11. Dr. Mehran Sam, USA
12. Siavash Enayati, Software Engineer, USA
13. Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi, Associate Professor of History, Illinois State
University, USA
14. Sohrab Foruzan, Informatiker , Germany
15. Arash Izadi, businessman, Canada
16. Sohayl Shambashi, Consulting Engineer, San Diego, USA
17. Dr. Mansour Farhang, Professor of Political Science/ Bennington College,
U. S. A.
18. F. Saadat, Researcher, USA
19. Mr.. Mansour Kavianpour, Vice President of Product Development, USA
20. Mrs. Marieke Kavianpour, USA
21. Hamid S. Assadi, Student, Dominica
22. Mohsen Abdi, Structural Engineer, USA
23. Sam Ghandchi, Engineering Director, U.S.A.
24. Siobhan Gibbons, College administrator, USA
25. Dr. M. GhaemMagham, physician, USA
26. Tara Etemadi, Systems Engineer, U.S.A
27. Jerome W. Clinton, Professor Princeton University, USA
28. Navid Golshahi, Engineer, USA
29. Majid Maleki, Systems Analyst, USA
30. Roya Motamed Zaman, Multimedia producer, USA
31. Farnaz Ravandi, Software Engineer, USA
32. DR. VALENTINE M. MOGHADAM, DIRECTOR OF WOMEN'S STUDIES, ASSOCIATE
PROFESSOR OF SOCIOLOGY, USA
33. Dr. Sassan Pejhan, Electrical Engineer, USA
34. Maryam Pirnazar, Communications Consultant, San Francisco, USA
35. Mehrdad Mohebbi, Electrical Engineer, USA
36. Jalil Farid, Consulting Engineer, Sweden
37. Susan Ghaemi, Australia
38. Behdad Forghani, Engineer, USA
39. J. Naghizadeh, Ph.D., Research Physicist, U.S.A.
40. Hossein B. Zadeh, Human Rights Activist, UK
41. Dr. Masoud Karim-Nia, Chemistry Engineere, Germany
42. Hamid Beheshti, Germany
43. Alireza Azizi, Physicist, USA
44. Dr Majid Ghoddusi, Electron Microscopist, Australia
45. Michael Azar, Doctorate student, Sweden
46. Hossein Gholipour , Sr. Computer Consultant, Canada
47. Barry Ghanbari, USA
48. kamyar sarshar, PhD. Student of Computer Science, Germany
49. Jim Harris, Consultant, U S A
50. Zara Houshmand, Writer, USA
51. Dr. Shahram Tabe-Mohammadi, Research scientist, Canada
52. Dr. Siroos Afshar, Computer Engineer, USA
53. Shahrzad Khorsandi, Instructor, USA44. Michael Mares, Instructor, USA
54. Noushin Hatamian, adjunct professor, USA
55. Farid Marjayee, USA
56. Reza Sadre, provisional government's Commerce minister, USA
57. Manouchehr Shafiee, USA
58.Bahman Maghsoudlou, Film producer, USA
59. Dr. Sohrab Sadri, physician, USA
60. Jamsheed Barahman, USA
61. Goudarz Eghtedari, Engineer, USA
62. Afshin Shafei, Student, Norway
63. Manucher Ghaffari, Media Specialist, USA
64. Dr. Akbar Mahdi, Sociologist, U.S.A.
65. Elizabeth M. Stiras, Student, General Studies, Minneapolis, MN, USA
66. Mohamadreza Namvar-Yeganeh, USA
67. Dr. Kamran Behnia, physicist, France
68. Ahmad Rafat Journalist Rome (Italy)
69. Asghar Abdi, MD, PhD, Birmingham, UK
70. L.R. Bartlett, PhD, Birmingham, UK
71. Majid Hashemi, Industrial Engineer, Finland
72. Mohammad Parvin, Adjunct Professor of Mechanical Engineering,
CSULA, and Aerospace Consultant, USA
73. Simin H. Rasmussen, profession Educator, USA
74. Mahmood Karbasi, Software Architect, USA
75. Gabriele Ross, counselor, USA
76. Majid Zolfaghari, Software designer, Sweden
77. Rahim Bajoghli, USA
78. Abdollah Taheri, Engineer, USA
79. Dr. Mosafa Mostafa, Physicain, USA
80. Atosa Roshan, Instructor and Certified Ontario Teacher in French, Canada
81. Sahand Nikaain, Software Engineer, Germany
82. Parwaneh Nikaain, Doctorate student, Germany
83. Akbar Mohabbati, Engineering Director, USA
84. Dr. H Gheyaspour, Researcher , UK
85. Dr. Shodja Ziaian, Toronto
86. Morteza Anvari, Engineer USA





****************************************************
253 signatures from Washington D.C.
21 Signatures from New York
48 signatures from Sweden





*************************************************************************

*****************
CC:


The Honorable Kofi Annan, Secretary General, The United Nations, Fax # (212)
963-4879
The Honorable Nelson Mandela, President of South Africa, Fax: (011-27-21=
)4614987
The Honorable Vaclav Havel, President of Czech Republic, Fax #
01142-02-24310851
The Honorable Maurice Danby Copithorne, Special Representative on Iran,=
The United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Switzerland, Fax #
01141-22-9170123
Mr. Hanny Megally, Director of Middle East Watch, New York, Fax # (212)
972-0905
Ms. Karen Kennerly, Pen American Center, New York, Fax # (212) 334-2181
Mr. William F. Schulz, Executive Director, Amnesty International, New York,
Fax # (212) 627-1451
Ms. Nancy Bothne, Amnesty International Midwest, Chicago, Fax # (312)
427-2589
Director, Amnesty International, Washington D.C., Fax # (202) 546-7142
Ms. Cosette Thompson, Amnesty International, San Francisco, Fax # (415)
291-8722
Mr. Joe Baker, Amnesty International, Culver City (Los Angeles), Fax #
(310) 815-0457
The Iranian mission to UN, New York

***********************************************************************

Date: Fri, 8 Jan 1999 14:34:54 EST
From: KPGBT@AOL.COM
Subject: Ali Khamenai:admission has been a brave decision but a very difficult
experience

BBC
Friday, January 8, 1999 Published at 17:50 GMT
Ayatollah: Deaths inquiry must go on

Iran's spiritual leader has said the investigation into the

killings of dissident politicians and intellectuals should
continue.

Pressure on Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to react has been
mounting since the Ministry of Intelligence announced
that some of its "misguided agents" had been arrested
for the deaths two politicians and three authors.

In his first public comments since the admission, he
praised the ministry for what he called its services to the

nation and said the investigation should continue until
the whole affair was clarified.

Speaking live on Tehran Radio during the Friday prayer
sermon, Ayatollah Khamenei said the admission had
been a brave decision but a very difficult experience.

The Ayatollah described the killings as part of a bigger
plot by foreigners. He asked how anyone who cares for
the Islamic Republic could kill harmless opponents.

He referred to two politicians who were stabbed to death,
Dariush and Parvaneh Foruhar, as former friends
and later opponents who were harmless.

The Ayatollah did not comment on the fate of the
Minister of Intelligence, Dorri Najafabadi, who is known
to be reporting to him.

President Khatami's supporters have been asking for the
minister's resignation. A hard-line paper has reported
that the minster would not resign, as it would be an
admission of guilt.

In his speech, the Ayatollah accused foreign media,
including the BBC, of mounting a campaign against
officials in Iran.

Relatives of the dead dissidents have been calling for a
public trial of the agents, before independent
international observers.

But the admission by the ministry - an unprecedented
step in Iran - is seen as a success for the president who
is attempting to establish the rule of law.

Date: Fri, 8 Jan 1999 15:31:50 EST
From: KPGBT@AOL.COM
Subject: Bandi-Sadr's press release on JAnuary 3, 1999

The news about Pavazi and the role of Khamenai according to Parvazi
broke out by Bani-Sadre/AliReza Nouri-Zadeh. Someone faxed me the
the news release which apparently on Iranian website. I am translating
some parts of the release. Also Meehan issued another sttement saying that
Hejazi (leader's representative) and Ali Fallahian were in charge of these
operations. Meehan also concurs that this was ordered by Khamenai. Meehan
claims that their source is directly from Iran. At any rate the stories are
all
converging to what Parvazi has said and it is captured in Bani-Sadr's presee
release:

This is not a word by word translation:
******************************************************************************
**

Some highlights of press release by Bani-Sadre on January 3, 1999

It should be noted that in the begining Bansi-Sadre states that according to
one source he has escapred the country. Hedeos not confirm his escape. But he
does not the information attributed to him. He has made his comments to Esalat
news organization before going underground.

.....

According to Parvazi's comments which were made infront of Khatami's
confidants, Khameani is at the helm of new organization of the terror and
repression machine. This organization has four branches:

1. Violent crack-down branch which invloves units of the revolutionary guards
under Sartip Pasdar Zolqadre, and members of VAVAK under Fallahian. These two
are connected to the office of the leader by the way of Hejazi.

2. The branch responsible to attack public meetings lead by Ansar Hezbollah
(Hossein Allah-Karam)

3. Publicity branch which consists of Radio-TV, Keyhan, Shalamcheh, Jomhoori
Eslami, Resalat, etc.

4. political arm which consists of like-minded organizations such as HMI,
Rohaniat Mobarez Tehran, Modaressin Ghom, etc.

Each of these organizations have their clerical consultants.

The killings have been executed as follows:

1. The order was issued by Khamenai, Mr. Manberedin Shirazi forwarded the
order to Sartip Zolfeqar.

2. Mr. Zolfeqar executed the killings with the cooperation of Hossein
Abdollahi (one of Sarollah commanders), Hossein Lajvardi (Lajvardi's son),
Shariatmadari (in charge of Keyhan).

The killings are not limited to these five people. Dr. Patovi (Ahmad Khomeni's
doctor) who is next door neighbor with president Khatami was also killed in
December. There are other killings in Tehran, Qum, Esfehan, Hamedan. The goal
is to terrorize people.

January 3, 1999
************************

The follwoing trnslation was not word by word and most of the release is not
translated in this e-mail.

Date: Sun, 10 Jan 1999 10:06:34 -0800
From: Mehdi Ardalan <m_ardalan@YAHOO.COM>
Subject: helloooo?

I am havent been getting any messages from DNI news or disc. If the
problem is mine, can someone let me know.

Cheers
Mehdi


_________________________________________________________
DO YOU YAHOO!?
Get your free @yahoo.com address at http://mail.yahoo.com

Date: Mon, 11 Jan 1999 15:49:16 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad.abdolian@RSA.ERICSSON.SE>
Subject: IPS: Khameneh'i Issued Killing Orders

NOW IT IS CONFIRMED THAT AYATOLLAH KHAMENEH'I ISSUED KILLING ORDERS

PARIS 5TH JAN. (IPS) It is now almost certain that the recent killings
of dissident politicians and intellectuals in Iran have been ordered by the
ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i and carried out by the Special Operations
Committee (SOC) made of special units of the Information (Intelligence)
Ministry and the Pasdaran (the Islamic Revolution's Guards).

In an unprecedented article, the daily pro-Khatami "Salam" revealed
Tuesday that the recent murders, including the savage assassination of
Mr. Dariush Foruhar, the 70 year-old leader of Iranian People's Party
(IPP) and his wife Parvaneh and 4 other intellectuals are the work of
"elements inside the regime".

"Anyone who has cared for this regime and this revolution can not
imagine that some persons inside the power have reached that such a
degree of deviation to regard as legitimate that kind of crimes and
think that by committing such crimes one can serve Islam and the Islamic
regime", observed "Salam".

That sharply contradicts declarations by conservative establishment,
including the ayatollah Khameneh'i, the leader of the Islamic regime,
the ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, the former president as well as the
commander of the Pasdaran, all blaming foreign agents for the killings.

Two clerics who have defected, one to Germany and the other to the
president's camp, have both disclosed that the fatwas authorising the
assassination of Mr. and Mrs Foruhar had been issued by the ayatollah
Khameneh'i.

In a communiqué issued Monday from his office in Versailles, near Paris,
Mr. Abolhasan Banisadr, the first president of the Islamic Republic
revealed, quoting a certain hojatoleslam Parvazi, that the order for the
assassinations are signed by Mr. Khameneh'i and carried out by general
Mohammad Baqer Zolqadr, the Deputy Commander of the mollahs Praetorian
Guards.

Mr. Banisadr's communiqué confirms the information published in
exclusivity a day before by the Iran Press Service concerning the
arrest, at the Frankfurt airport, of an Iranian cleric who offered the
German security authorities a list of 179 persons who are "scrutinised"
by the SOC and liable to be eliminated.

Both Mr. Mehdi Khanbaba Tehrani, a prominent, Frankfurt-based Iranian
dissident who had access to the case and Mr. Banisadr confirmed that
information, adding that the cleric Mr. Banisadr names as Mohammad
Ja'far Amerian, had defected to Germany in the middle of December,
applying for political asylum.

According to Mr. Tehrani, all senior staff of the banned newspaper
"Toos", the "Iran e Farda" publication, some members of the Iran Freedom
Movement like Mr. Ebrahim Yazdi, it's present leader, several
nationalist and liberal personalities, many female journalist and
intellectuals as well as some members of the Centre of Iranian Writers
in Exile, journalists and dissident politicians outside Iran are on the
list presented to German authorities by Mr. Baqrian.

The leader's orders are executed by a team made of general Zolqadr, his
deputy Hossein Abdollahi, commander of the Sarallah patrol troopers and
the sons of Assadollah Lajevardi, "The Butcher of Evin" assassinated
some months ago in Tehran and Hossein Shariatmadari, the leader
appointed executive Editor of the Keyhan newspaper that reflects the
views of the Information Ministry.

The SOC is under the direction of hojatoleslam Ali Fallahian, the former
Information Minister who, after the victory of the ayatollah Mohammad
Khatami in presidential elections of 1997, was named as the leader's
special adviser for intelligence and security affairs and hojatoleslam
Hasan Akhtari, a former Ambassador to Damascus who is now the adviser of
Mr. Khameneh'i for Arab and Palestinian affairs.

Iranian analysts speculated that the paper's unequivocal accusations may
come from the findings of a report that had been submitted to the
president last Thursday by the Special Investigation Committee he
created at the Interior Ministry days after the murder of the Foruhars.

According to informed sources, that report has concluded that "the
highest authority" of the Islamic regime had ordered the murders.

"Unfortunately and as sad as it is, highly confirmed information
indicates that deviated mind persons inside the country and even sadder,
persons among those who are supposed to safeguard and guarantee the
security of the nation are involved in these crimes", Salam pointed out,
calling indirectly for the punishment of the Information Minister, the
hojatoleslam Dorri Naajaf- Abadi.

"This is exactly what the hojatoleslam Parvazi has told the president.
Those charges are very serious. It seems that influential and powerful
forces are preventing the report to become public, for, if published,
not only it will badly harm the position and the person of Mr.
Khameneh'i but may as well lead to a fatal show down between the leader
and the president", one senior political analyst told the IPS.

Sa'id Leylaz, an independent journalist in Tehran said the political
consequences of what is happening right now in Iran is unprecedented in
the past 20 years and certainly constitutes the most dramatic, important
and far reaching of all the crisis the regime has had to confront.

"If it is confirmed that the recent murders that has shocked and
overwhelmed the Iranians are the work of sections inside the
intelligence services or of people that act like autonomous killing
brigades without the knowledge of the authorities, that proves one needs
more effective, heavy handed control and surveillance over the security
agencies", Mr Leylaz observed during an interview with the Persian
service of the BBC.

As the article of Salam was widely commented by Iranians inside and
outside the country, it was announced that hojatoleslam Ali Razini, the
head of the Tehran Justice Department had escaped from an assassination
attempt on his life.

Mr. Razini reached the fame when prosecuting Mr. Qolam Hossein
Karbaschi, the popular Mayor of Tehran sentenced to 5 years behind the
bar and ten years of interdiction from all public activities.

But sources in Tehran wondered that in the present climate when the
credibility of the leader and the powerful conservative establishment is
being seriously challenged, the failed assassination of Mr. Razini has
not been arranged to divert the public opinion

Date: Mon, 11 Jan 1999 15:57:46 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad.abdolian@RSA.ERICSSON.SE>
Subject: Dissident killings in Iran will continue, Khamenei says

Dissident killings in Iran will continue,
Khamenei says
10.25 a.m. ET (1526 GMT) January 8, 1999

By Afshin Valinejad, Associated Press


TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's supreme leader today asserted
that foreign hands were behind the recent killings of five
Iranian dissidents and warned such murders would continue.

"I don't think the issue is over. This seems to be a long story,''
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told worshipers during a prayer
sermon at Tehran University.

"I cannot accept that these murders took place without a
foreign scenario behind them. This is impossible,'' he added,
without specifying any foreign country or organization as
being behind the killings.

Iran's Intelligence Ministry announced Tuesday that several of
its agents had been arrested in connection with the killings
and also blamed unspecified foreign countries for arranging
them.

Khamenei today praised President Mohammad Khatami for
ordering an investigation into the slayings, which he called
"ugly and hateful acts.''

He also praised the Intelligence Ministry's "brave move'' and
its minister for announcing the agents' arrests. Intelligence
Minister Ghorbanali Dorri Najafabadi was among senior
government officials who attended today's prayer sermon.

Khamenei leans toward the hard-line clergymen who have
been the targets of criticism of Iranian liberals, including the
three writers and two opposition activists killed late last
year.

The hard-liners control the Intelligence Ministry and other
security apparatus, and have tried to stymie Khatami's
attempts at political and social reform.

The first of the five victims, Dariush Foruhar and his wife
Parvaneh, belonged to a minor opposition party. They were
found stabbed to death in their Tehran home on Nov. 22.

In the following weeks, writers Mohammad Jafar Pouyandeh
and Mohammad Mokhtari disappeared and their bodies were
found dumped on the outskirts of the capital, Tehran. They
appeared to have been strangled. Both men had tried to set up
a writer's association. A third writer, Majid Sharif, was
found dead after disappearing from his home.

Two other dissidents, Pirouz Davani and Rostami Hamedani,
have been missing since mid-December.

In his sermon, Khamenei also accused foreign intelligence
services, such as the CIA, Britain's MI5 and MI6 and Israel's
Mossad of being involved in worse crimes.

"You will be shocked to learn about the scope of the crimes,
assassinations, bombings and intimidations committed by
these intelligence services. They would never openly admit
their crimes,'' Khamenei said.

"Nothing like this had happened to us. This incident, like any
other event, made our enemies happy,'' Khamenei said.

He criticized the Iranian press for acting like the foreign
media, which he said are "always trying to undermine the
Islamic regime in Iran.''

He said the killings had cost the country time and effort when
all resources should be directed toward the economy, which
has been hit by low oil prices.

"Amidst all these problems and as the officials are
endeavoring to cope with them, we suddenly see such an evil
phenomenon emerging and exacerbate our problems,'' he said.

Date: Mon, 11 Jan 1999 15:58:23 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad.abdolian@RSA.ERICSSON.SE>
Subject: Iran factions debate minister's fate after murders

TEHRAN, Jan 10 (Reuters) - A factional debate raged in Iran on Sunday after
revelations of death-squads in the secret police as a newspaper said the
conservative intelligence minister was unlikely to resign despite pressure by
moderates.

Backers of moderate President Mohammad Khatami have called for a thorough
purge
of the Intelligence Ministry after it revealed last week that some of its
agents were linked to a recent spate of killings of dissidents.

The pro-Khatami League of Militant Clerics called on the president to
``regulate the management of the Intelligence Ministry and to continually
supervise the actions of its managers and staff in order to ensure public
confidence.''

The call followed press reports that Khatami might personally take over the
running of the ministry, ousting minister Qorbanali Dorri Najafabadi, who was
imposed on the moderate president by powerful conservatives when he formed his
cabinet in 1997.

But a conservative newspaper said Dorri Najafabadi had decided to stay on
after
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei voiced support for the ministry
and its heads.

``Dorri Najafabadi had decided to resign but later changed his mind when
(Ayatollah Khamenei) made his statement,'' said Tehran Times, quoting an
unnamed ``well informed source.''

Khamenei on Friday accused foreign elements of being behind the killings and
praised ministry heads, including Dorri Najafabadi, for arresting the agents
involved in the murders. He denounced attacks on the ministry as ``extremely
unfair.''

Khamenei's remarks contrasted with a message by Khatami to ministry staff,
which did not mention Dorri Najafabadi while thanking the security body for
exposing rogue colleagues.

The ministry said it had held some of its own agents over the killings, in
which outspoken dissidents Dariush Forouhar and his wife Parvaneh, and two
secularist authors died. A third writer was found dead under mysterious
circumstances and a fourth is presumed dead after going missing in August.

But both Khatami and Khamenei called for full-scale investigations to continue
into the killings.

``All political tendencies and clerics...condemned these crimes and stressed
that we must rid our society of this shameful stain,'' Khatami was quoted by
newspapers as saying.

Meanwhile, the Forouhars' son and daughter, who live in Europe, called for an
international probe into the murders, newspapers said. Iran has rejected any
outside role in the investigations as interference.

10:27 01-10-99

Date: Fri, 8 Jan 1999 18:21:54 GMT
From: arash@MY-DEJANEWS.COM
Subject: NEWS99 - Khamenei Criticizes Press Over Murders

Iranian Leader Blames Foreigners for Political Killings

TEHRAN (Jan. 8) XINHUA - Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah
Ali Khamenei on Friday pointed the finger at foreigners for
the recent political murders, though the Intelligence
Ministry has admitted the involvement of its agents in the
killings.

The recent political killings in Iran "could not have been
without a foreign scenario," Khamenei said at the Friday
prayers congregation on the campus of Tehran University.

"I don't think the issue is over, this seems to be a long
story and I cannot accept that these murders took place
without a foreign scenario behind them," he said.

Khamenei said that he has instructed the Intelligence
Ministry to go after the issue and find the clues. "I
believe it is an orchestrated scenario and the root cause
must be discovered," he said.

The Intelligence Ministry on Tuesday announced that some of
its own agents were involved in the political murders of a
opposition leader and some dissident intellectuals.

The admittance shocked the Iranian society, but some senior
officials believed that there were some foreign hands in
the killings.

Darius Forouhar, leader of the Iran Nation Party and his
wife were stabbed to death at home in November while at
least three dissident writers were mysteriously murdered in
December.

The Iranian leader praised Intelligence Minister Qorbanali
Dorri Najafabadi and his personnel for their "brave" move
in disclosing the recent killings.

"They left behind a very difficult experience and it is not
a joke for them to feel a weak point within and raise the
matter with the people honestly," he said.

Following the admittance of the Intelligence Ministry, some
reports said that Iranian President Mohammad Khatami vowed
to dismiss Najafabadi.

Khamenei believed that the Intelligence Ministry had some
enemies and with the recent exposures, the enemies intended
to take revenge of the ministry.

Cases even more acute than what had happened in Iran were
rampant with the intelligence services of other countries,
such as the CIA, the Mossad, he said, "you will be shocked
to learn about the scope of the crimes, assassinations,
bombings, intimidation, etc. committed by these
intelligence services."

He accused the foreign media, including western radio
services, of always trying to undermine the Islamic regime
in Iran, saying that over the past two decades, these media
had taken advantage of every sweet or bitter event in Iran
to harm the Islamic system.

The Iranian leader also blamed domestic media and said "I
am not surprised at the propaganda ballyhoo of the foreign
media, but I am surprised at what some of our own media,
including the press, are doing."

"They are acting exactly like our enemies, they are like a
stupid child who would make fun of his father when he is at
adds with someone else," he said.

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

Friday, January 8, 1999 Published at 17:46 GMT

BBC
World: Middle East


Ayatollah: Deaths inquiry must go on

Iran's spiritual leader has said the investigation into the
killings of dissident politicians and intellectuals should
continue.

Pressure on Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to react has been
mounting since the Ministry of Intelligence announced that
some of its "misguided agents" had been arrested for the
deaths two politicians and three authors.

In his first public comments since the admission, he
praised the ministry for what he called its services to the
nation and said the investigation should continue until the
whole affair was clarified.

Speaking live on Tehran Radio during the Friday prayer
sermon, Ayatollah Khamenei said the admission had been a
brave decision but a very difficult experience.

The Ayatollah described the killings as part of a bigger
plot by foreigners. He asked how anyone who cares for the
Islamic Republic could kill harmless opponents.

He referred to two politicians who were stabbed to death,
Dariush and Parvaneh Foruhar, as former friends and later
opponents who were harmless.

The Ayatollah did not comment on the fate of the Minister
of Intelligence, Dorri Najafabadi, who is known to be
reporting to him.

President Khatami's supporters have been asking for the
minister's resignation. A hard-line paper has reported that
the minster would not resign, as it would be an admission
of guilt.

In his speech, the Ayatollah accused foreign media,
including the BBC, of mounting a campaign against officials
in Iran.

Relatives of the dead dissidents have been calling for a
public trial of the agents, before independent
international observers.

But the admission by the ministry - an unprecedented step
in Iran - is seen as a success for the president who is
attempting to establish the rule of law.

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

Dissident Killings in Iran Will Continue, Khamenei Says


TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran's supreme leader today asserted
that foreign hands were behind the recent killings of five
Iranian dissidents and warned such murders would continue.

"I don't think the issue is over. This seems to be a long
story," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told worshipers during a
prayer sermon at Tehran University.

"I cannot accept that these murders took place without a
foreign scenario behind them. This is impossible," he
added, without specifying any foreign country or
organization as being behind the killings.

Iran's Intelligence Ministry announced Tuesday that several
of its agents had been arrested in connection with the
killings and also blamed unspecified foreign countries for
arranging them.

Khamenei today praised President Mohammad Khatami for
ordering an investigation into the slayings, which he
called "ugly and hateful acts."

He also praised the Intelligence Ministry's "brave move"
and its minister for announcing the agents' arrests.
Intelligence Minister Ghorbanali Dorri Najafabadi was among
senior government officials who attended today's prayer
sermon.

Khamenei leans toward the hard-line clergymen who have been
the targets of criticism of Iranian liberals, including the
three writers and two opposition activists killed late last
year.

The hard-liners control the Intelligence Ministry and other
security apparatus, and have tried to stymie Khatami's
attempts at political and social reform.

The first of the five victims, Dariush Foruhar and his wife
Parvaneh, belonged to a minor opposition party. They were
found stabbed to death in their Tehran home on Nov. 22.

In the following weeks, writers Mohammad Jafar Pouyandeh
and Mohammad Mokhtari disappeared and their bodies were
found dumped on the outskirts of the capital, Tehran. They
appeared to have been strangled. Both men had tried to set
up a writer's association. A third writer, Majid Sharif,
was found dead after disappearing from his home.

Two other dissidents, Pirouz Davani and Rostami Hamedani,
have been missing since mid-December.

In his sermon, Khamenei also accused foreign intelligence
services, such as the CIA, Britain's MI5 and MI6 and
Israel's Mossad of being involved in worse crimes.

"You will be shocked to learn about the scope of the
crimes, assassinations, bombings and intimidations
committed by these intelligence services. They would never
openly admit their crimes," Khamenei said.

"Nothing like this had happened to us. This incident, like
any other event, made our enemies happy," Khamenei said.

He criticized the Iranian press for acting like the foreign
media, which he said are "always trying to undermine the
Islamic regime in Iran."

He said the killings had cost the country time and effort
when all resources should be directed toward the economy,
which has been hit by low oil prices.

"Amidst all these problems and as the officials are
endeavoring to cope with them, we suddenly see such an evil
phenomenon emerging and exacerbate our problems," he said.

Date: Fri, 8 Jan 1999 18:24:06 GMT
From: arash@MY-DEJANEWS.COM
Subject: NEWS99 - Writer Seeks 'Permanent Residence', Not Asylum

Iran Author Seeks Stay in Norway for Security


OSLO, Jan 8 (Reuters) - An Iranian author, two of whose
colleagues were among a number of dissidents recently
killed in Iran, is seeking to stay in Norway, a Norwegian
group for freedom of expression said on Friday.

Mansour Koushan, fearing his life could be at risk if he
goes back to Tehran, "will apply for permanent residence in
Norway," said Carl Morten Iversen, head of the Norwegian
Forum for Freedom of Expression.

Koushan has been in Norway since attending a seminar in
Oslo last month on a tourist visa. He was likely to seek
permanent residence on humanitarian grounds, short of
political asylum.

Koushan was one of six writers who last year tried to
revive an independent association of Iranian writers, which
had been dominated by liberal and left-leaning authors
critical of the government.

Two of the six were killed in a recent spate of killings of
dissidents. Iran's Intelligence Ministry announced on
Wednesday that it had arrested a number of Iranian secret
police agents on suspicion of involvement in the killings.

Koushan's wife and two children are still in Iran and he
hopes that a permit to stay in Norway would enable them to
join him, Iversen said.

Norway was a strong supporter of British author Salman
Rushdie in his fight against a 1989 death order imposed by
Iran's late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini who ruled
that his book "The Satanic Verses" was blasphemous to
Islam.

Rushdie's Norwegian publisher, William Nygaard, was shot
and wounded in Oslo in 1993 in an unsolved attack that
police suspect was by an Iranian hitman.

Date: Mon, 11 Jan 1999 14:36:42 -0800
From: Arash Alavi <aalavi@US.ORACLE.COM>
Subject: 'Hamshahri' on the Recent Murders

At:

http://www.neda.net/hamshahri/771021/siasi.htm#siasi6

Date: Mon, 11 Jan 1999 23:12:43 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iran struggling to boost non-oil exports


TEHRAN, Jan 11 (AFP) - Iran, the second largest oil producer in
the Middle East, is taking steps to boost non-oil exports to make up
for falling revenues from crude sales, an export official said
Monday.
Mojtaba Khosrotaj, the director of Iran's exports promotion
center, told a press conference that his country would stage a major
exhibition of exportable products in early February to attract
foreign consumers and ease its near total dependence on oil sales.
The products range from detergents and household durables to
leather and cosmetics, he said, adding that the center was mainly
targetting such economic partners as Italy, Japan, Turkey and the
United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Iran, which relies on crude exports for over 80 percent of its
hard currency income, has seen a sharp drop in such revenues in the
past year because of plummeting oil prices.
Khosrotaj said Iran's non-oil exports had declined in value by
11 percent in the past year, although their volume had increased by
40 percent.
He blamed the inferior quality of Iranian goods for their
failure to compete on international markets. "Iranian goods are not
produced for foreign markets," he lamented.
He said that a "past policy of seeking economic self-sufficiency
rather than one to promote exports has meant producers are often
ignorant of export and trade mechanisms."
"Producers are further hindered by excessive regulations and
varying exchange rates," he said.
Iran tightly regulates trade, imports in particular, in an
effort to prevent precious foreign currency from leaving the
country.

Date: Mon, 11 Jan 1999 23:12:49 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iran exports rail carriages to Syria

TEHRAN, Jan 11 (AFP) - Iran has delivered the first of shipment
of 360 rail transport carriages to its close ally Syria, the
official news agency IRNA reported Monday.
Qolamreza Razazi of Pars Wagon Company said Iran had recently
delivered 120 rail carriages designed to transport grain, as part of
a 17-million-dollar deal for the sale of 360 carriages to Syria's
state rail transport company.
"All remaining carriages will be exported by the end of the
(Iranian) year (ending March 20)," IRNA quoted him as saying.
Iran and Syria maintain close ties and officials from both
countries meet regulary for political and economic talks.
The two countries signed an economic accord in February 1997
designed to further economic and transport cooperation between them.


Date: Mon, 11 Jan 1999 23:13:05 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Pro-Khatami group demands resignation of intelligence chief over
murders

TEHRAN, Jan 11 (AFP) - An Iranian political organisation backing
President Mohammad Khatami called on Monday for the resignation of
Intelligence Minister Ghorban-Ali Dorrie Najafabadi over his
agency's role in the recent murders of dissidents.
The Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF), led by several
left-wing officials close to Khatami as well as his two brothers,
said "the first step towards attracting public trust is the removal
of the present management at the intelligence ministry and
conducting an investigation into its past performance.
"Whether the management of the intelligence ministry has been
directly guilty or negligent over the disaster, the least the public
expects is to see the minister step down," it said in a statement
sent to the press.
"The president has not had the necessary trust in the minister
of intelligence, so it was expected that the minister would himself
resign," IIPF added.
It accused Najafabadi of "seriously resisting any structural
reform in the agency," adding that "the recent disastrous events
showed the incongruity of the performance of the intelligence
ministry with the president's reform program."
The agency admitted last week that "ill-minded and irresponsible
colleagues" were involved in the murders of nationalist opposition
leader Daryush Foruhar and his wife along with several liberal
writers.
The revelations shocked the nation and led to a factional
dispute over how to deal with the dreaded secret agency.
Islamic conservatives have resisted any shakeup of the ministry,
fearing that it would undermine their traditional hold on the secret
services.
"The issue of changing the intelligence minister has been almost
ruled out," Qods, a conservative newspaper, said on Monday.
The Tehran Times said Sunday that Najafabadi would stay on as
intelligence chief after receiving support from Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei, the country's supreme leader.
Khamenei has praised the ministry for "showing courage" in
coming clean about the murders and described subsequent criticisms
of the agency as "unfair."
Kayhan, a hardline daily, said last week that Najafabadi had
rejected Khatami's demand to step down.
Newspapers said meanwhile that the minister appeared in
parliament on Sunday to provide an explanation to MPs seeking to
launch an investigation into the affair.
They said the matter has sparked rivalries between reformist and
conservative deputies, with each side wanting to conduct their own
probe for political reasons.

Date: Mon, 11 Jan 1999 23:13:26 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Cash-strapped Iran gives ministries less than half their budgets

TEHRAN, Jan 10 (AFP) - Iranian ministries have received less
than half their nominal budgets this year as government revenues
continue to plummet because of low oil prices, the official news
agency IRNA reported Sunday.
"The government has been able to allocate between 40 and 45
percent of the budget earmarked for ministries and state
organisations," said parliamentary speaker Ali Akbar Nateq-Nuri,
quoted by the official IRNA news agency.
Nateq-Nuri said during Sunday's parliamentary session that the
government is facing extreme pressure due to the collapse in oil
prices, which have reached 12-year lows.
Iran -- which is OPEC's second-largest oil producer and earns 80
percent of its hard currency from crude exports -- has seen revenues
fall off by 40 percent, leaving a budget shortfall this year of some
6.3 billion dollars.
President Mohammad Khatami has called for various measures to
reduce the nation's dependence on oil revenues, including more
efficient tax collection and an increase in non-oil exports.

Date: Mon, 11 Jan 1999 23:13:16 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iranian regime divided on crisis over secret services

TEHRAN, Jan 10 (AFP) - Iran's political factions are divided
over how to deal with the country's intelligence ministry after the
stunning admission that its secret agents were involved in the
murders of intellectuals and dissidents.
Islamic leftwingers backing President Mohammad Khatami have
demanded the removal of the intelligence ministry's conservative
chief, Ghorban-Ali Dorrie Najafabadi, and called for a shakeup of
the agency.
But conservatives cite the incident as an aberration and appear
determined to keep moderates and liberals from making any political
gains out of the controversy.
"This sedition must not be treated as an opportunity for
settlement of political accounts," warned the conservative daily
Qods, describing Dorrie-Najafabadi as a "fair-minded cleric with an
admirable revolutionary record."
"The propaganda offensive and cowardly attack against the
minister by foreign media and some naive people inside (the regime)
is a part of a scenario behind the recent foreign sedition," it
said.
The English-language Tehran Times, citing "well-informed
sources," said Sunday that Dorrie-Najafabadi would stay on as
intelligence chief after receiving support from Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei, the country's supreme leader.
Khamenei praised the ministry on Friday for "showing courage" in
coming clean with the murder affair and described subsequent
criticisms of the agency as "unfair."
He also reiterated what has in effect become the conservative
line on the killings -- that elements outside Iran were involved.
The ministry itself, in admitting the affair, said the rogue
agents had ties outside the Islamic republic.
But left-wingers appear convinced that the roots of the murders
are inside the regime and are linked to a wave of Islamic extremist
violence, including an attack on a group of American tourists in
October, aimed at undermining Khatami's reform policies.
The Association of Combatant Clerics (ACC), a group of left-wing
religious leaders, said the ministry's involvement in the killings
indicated the root of the problem was internal.
"The burning of bookshops, the disrupting of political and
religious gatherings, the attacks on newspapers and the bold armed
attack on foreign tourists -- all this has strengthened the belief
that the culprits come from inside the regime and are backed by
centers of power," it said.
It demanded efforts to "eradicate the mindset which leads to
such shameful crimes and rigid-minded and dogmatic interpretations
of Islam."
Moderates and liberals have also called for the identities of
the agents involved in the murders to be made public -- a bold
request given the ministry's tradition of secrecy.
"We urge the authorities to immediately identify the culprits
behind the terrorist act and punish them for their ugly acts," said
the Islamic Iran Participation Front, a recently formed coalition of
political groups that supports Khatami.
"It is necessary to put aside political considerations and
introduce all who have had a direct or indirect role in these
anti-religion crimes," said Ayatollah Abdol-Karim Musavi-Ardebili,
who also supports the president.
The ACC urged Khatami to "exercise care in the selection of the
management of the intelligence ministry and maintain constant
supervision.
"We must not limit ourselves to the arrest of several agents
deceived into committing the crime, but must find the roots within
the regime, and not just the intelligence ministry," it said.
The authorities have thus far refused to release any names,
saying only that the investigation is continuing, while the Tehran
Times said a number of top intelligence officials, including a
director general, had been arrested.
The ministry made the extraordinary admission last week that
"ill-minded irresponsible colleagues" were involved in the murders
of nationalist opposition leader Daryush Foruhar and his wife along
with several liberal writers.
But the shadowy Fedayeen of Islam (Devotees of Islam) has also
claimed responsibility for the murders, and the group threatened
Sunday to take action against those who have been criticising the
regime's hardliners.
We will "take revenge against ill-minded hypocrites for their
campaign against children of (late Iranian leader Ayatollah
Ruhollah) Khomeini and devotees of pure Islam," it said.

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 7 Jan 1999 to 11 Jan 1999 - Special issue