Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 11 Jan 1999 to 14 Jan 1999 - Special issue

There are 23 messages totalling 1431 lines in this issue.

Topics in this special issue:

1. NEWS99 - MP Warns of Threat to Khatami's Life
2. NEWS99 - Khatami to Take IRIB to Court
3. Russia angered by US sanctions move
4. Russia hits US sanctions over Iran
5. Iran coast guards capture murderous pirates in Oman Sea
6. Iranian president to visit to France sometime after Iranian new year
7. Iran denies secret ties with Russian institutes
8. Iranian "Rambo" kills seven Afghan drug traffickers
9. Iran, Britain to exchange ambassadors soon: paper
10. U.S. Punishes 3 Russia Institutions
11. US penalizes three Russian companies
12. Iraqi Vice President urges better ties with Iran
13. US slaps sanctions on three Russian institutes linked to Iran
14. German MP calls on Iran judiciary to be fair in Moslem sex case
15. Disabled Iranian cyclist to carry message of peace to America
16. Iraq invites Iranian official
17. Iranian opposition calls for international probe of dissidents' murders
18. Pro-Khatami students rally against political violence
19. Iranian lovers stole jewelry to pay for wedding
20. Iran condemns Iraq's claims on Kuwait
21. 10 arrested for murders of dissidents in Iran
22. Zan reporter has the list of 179
23. Leaflet circulated in Esfehan accuses Jannati

Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 21:20:54 GMT
From: arash@MY-DEJANEWS.COM
Subject: NEWS99 - MP Warns of Threat to Khatami's Life

Iran MP Warns of Threat to Khatami's Life amid Murder Row

Reuters 13-JAN-99

TEHRAN, Jan 13 (Reuters) - An Iranian parliament member
said in remarks published on Wednesday that President
Mohammad Khatami's life could be in danger over a row
sparked by a spate of killings of dissidents,

The warning came as Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei urged factions to end their disputes, after public
recriminations over the murders which were allegedly
carried out by death squads that included secret police
agents.

"Given the present situation, it is likely that the enemies
of the president adopt serious measures against him or even
threaten his life," Kourosh Fouladi, a pro-Khatami deputy,
told Iran News daily.

He did did not identify the enemies but was apparently
referring to hardline extremists accused by Khatami's
moderate backers of being behind the murders of dissidents
and intellectuals.

He said the recent killing by unknown intruders of a
prominent physician, whose home was near Khatami's
residence in a high-security Tehran district, was aimed to
"show that they are able to assassinate the president,"
Iran News reported.

"I caution the president to be vigilant," said Fouladi who
was elected to parliament in 1996, after being released
from a British prison and deported to Iran in 1989. He had
been convicted of a 1980 London car bombing, but was hailed
in Iran as a political prisoner.

Fouladi's remarks reflected the atmosphere of uncertainty
and widespread rumours in Iran amid a factional row over
the murder spree which struck terror among the country's
cultural elite.

Moderates have accused hardline elements of carrying out
the murders to destabilise Khatami's reformist government,
which they see as a threat to revolutionary Islamic values.

Conservatives have rejected the charges, with some
hardliners blaming backers of Khatami for the killings.

The conservative-run state television has drawn heavy
criticism from moderates for airing an interview with a
conservative cleric who accused Khatami's backers of
carrying out the murders in a bid to discredit the
Intelligence Ministry before taking it over.

Khamenei, who as supreme leader has the last word in all
matters of state, intervened with a call for unity.

"Factions should see the nation's interests as the main
principle and not in any way allow their personal or
factional interests to interfere in their decisions and
actions," he said.

"All revolutionary forces should...cooperate in a brotherly
manner and no one should assume that they can be an
exception to this rule," newspapers quoted Khamenei as
saying.

Khamenei, who is widely considered to be closer to the
conservatives, also voiced support for Khatami as a
"religious, knowledgeable, cultured, and tolerant
individual."

A committee, set up by Khatami to probe the murders, said
on Tuesday that 10 people had been arrested over the
killing of at least two writers and of husband-and-wife
dissidents.

The conservative-run Intelligence Ministry said last week
that some of its own agents were among those held.

A shadowy hardline group, which hailed the killings and
blasted the arrests, vowed in a statement this week ..."to
block with full force the main source of this...extensive
hypocrisy." The remarks appeared to be a threat against
Khatami.

Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.All rights reserved.

Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 21:18:31 GMT
From: arash@MY-DEJANEWS.COM
Subject: NEWS99 - Khatami to Take IRIB to Court

President's Office to Take IRIB to Court

TEHRAN TIMES POLITICAL DESK

January 14, 1999

TEHRAN The President's Office has decided to lodge a
complaint against the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting
(IRIB) with the Judiciary, an informed source said
yesterday. Talking to the TEHRAN TIMES the source said,
President Seyed Mohammad Khatami disagreed with the way the
IRIB conducted the debate on the murders on Monday. The
debate was attended by the TEHRAN TIMES Managing Director
Abbas Salimi Namin and State Document Center Head Ruhollah
Husseinian. No further details are available about the
complaint but the print media have criticized Husseinian
for his remark that pro-Khatami factions were behind the
murders.

Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 00:09:39 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Russia angered by US sanctions move

MOSCOW, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Russia has reacted with predictable
bitterness to a decision by the United States to impose sanctions
against three Russian institutions for allegedly supplying Iran with
high-technology assistance in developing missiles and nuclear weapons.
Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov (``yehv-GEH-nee pree-muh-
KAWF'') today said ``the use of force (in such matters) and
(announcement) of measures such as sanctions against (Russian)
organizations is counter-productive for Russian-American relations.''
Primakov declined to elaborate on what measure Moscow might take,
telling reporters he needed to ``analyze all the information before we
determine our stand on this matter.''
Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev (``EE-gore sehr-GEH-yef'') was
more blunt, dismissing the possibility that Iran had or could gain
access to missile technology and nuclear secrets from these institutes,
and calling the sanctions ``just a pretext.''
He added, ``We must now wonder what it is a pretext for,'' leaving
reporters baffled.
The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying the U.S. move
``will not be left without a response,'' and noting that Russian Foreign
Minister Igor Ivanov (``ee-vah-NAWF'') will raise the subject during
talks with U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in Moscow later
this month.
The sanctions, announced in Washington by national security adviser
Sandy Berger, include a ban on all U.S. exports to and imports from the
institutions, and on any U.S. government procurement from or assistance
to them.
U.S. officials estimated the value of the penalties in the ``tens of
millions'' of dollars.
Berger made clear that the sanctions were not directly aimed at the
Russian government, although he called on Moscow to further develop its
own export control system.
President Clinton threatened the penalties last July and imposed them
on an initial set of seven Russian companies and institutions.
The three new institutions to face the sanctions are NIKIET, the
Scientific Research and Design Institute of Power Technology; the D.
Mendeleyev University of Chemical Technology; and MAI, the Moscow
Aviation Institute.
The directors of two of three institutions affected have already
released statements denying the U.S. accusations.
U.S. officials declined to describe the assistance the three are
alleged to have provided Iran, although they made a distinction between
the actions of private organizations and those of the Russian
government.
Lev Ryabov (``RYAH-boff''), the deputy minister at Russia's Nuclear
Energy Ministry, today said the U.S. sanctions were unfounded and called
for a review of international nuclear non-proliferation agreements,
which may be misused because of a relatively free interpretation of the
accords.
The Iranian Embassy in Moscow, in a predictable move, issued a
statement denying any contact with the three Russian institutions
affected by the sanctions.
In Washington, U.S. officials say the continuing Russian cooperation
with Iran will be raised during talks with Russian First Deputy Prime
Minister Yuri Maslyukov (``YOU-ree mass-loo-KAWF''), who is arriving in
Washington today at the start of a three-day visit.

Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 00:09:46 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Russia hits US sanctions over Iran

MOSCOW, Jan 13 (AFP) - Moscow hit out furiously Wednesday at US
sanctions slapped on Russian research institutes linked with Iran,
and threatened to retaliate at the risk of further damaging already
strained relations.
A day after the Clinton administration blacklisted three Russian
science laboratories suspected of leaking sensitive technology to
Tehran, Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov slammed the move as
"counterproductive for Russian-American relations."
The foreign ministry added that the US move "will of course not
go without a response," and warned that officials would take up the
issue with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright when she pays an
official visit to Moscow later this month.
"The accusations put forward are without any foundation," the
ministry said in a statement. "The steps taken by the US
administration are in clear contradiction with agreements reached
between the presidents of our two countries."
Russian and Iranian officials both said there could be no
justification for the sanctions as none of the three organisations
could have leaked sensitive material or know-how. One of the
institutes complained that the US move was "groundless."
The row over sensitive technology leaks compounds already
difficult relations between the two erstwhile Cold War adversaries.
Moscow was critical of a series of US foreign policy moves last
year, not least the decision to bomb Iraq, but remains dependent on
US benevolence for financial support in its hour of critical
economic need.
Washington has insistently nagged at Moscow over its ties with
Tehran, expressing grave doubts about a Russian project to build a
civil nuclear reactor in southern Iran and scrutinising research
units in Moscow closely for technology and know-how leaks.
In July last year it blacklisted seven Russian institutes and
companies before Presidents Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin reached
an agreement in September on cooperation in export control to
prevent nuclear proliferation.
But on Tuesday, Washington announced that three more Russian
institutes had been blacklisted. the Moscow Aviation Institute, the
Scientific Research and Design Institute of Power Technology, and
the Mendeleyev University will henceforth be denied US aid and
barred from exporting goods to the United States.
The rector of the Mendeleyev University said Wednesday that
although his institute provided instruction for Iranian students it
"is not engaged in any nuclear research and has no direct or covert
agreements with Iran," Russian agencies reported.
"Decisions on selling missile know-how refer to the political
sphere and have nothing to do with us," rector Pavel Sarkisov said.
Iranian embassy officials were quoted by the official news
agency IRNA as saying Tehran had no dealings at all with the other
two institutes.
Russia has insisted its nuclear cooperation with Iran cannot
help Tehran build atomic weapons. Primakov's deputy, Yury Maslyukov,
who left Moscow for a three-day trip to the United States, stressed
that Russia was maintaining tight control over technology exports.
"Russia unstintingly adheres to the generally accepted
principles and norms of non-proliferation and actively participates
in corresponding international accords and conventions," Maslyukov
wrote in the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily.
He said Russia already maintained "an effective system of export
control which meets international standards" and which countered the
spread of technology which could help other nations build nuclear,
chemical and biological weapons and the missile means to deliver
them.

Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 00:09:55 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iran coast guards capture murderous pirates in Oman Sea

TEHRAN, Jan 13 (AFP) - Iranian coast guards have arrested two
pirates accused of murdering up to 11 seamen in the Oman Sea and
stealing goods they tried to smuggle into the country, newspapers
reported Wednesday.
The thieves were caught this week after they intercepted a boat
carrying contraband cigarettes, taking possession of the cargo and
dumping the smugglers into the shark-infested sea, they said.
The suspects told the police they had killed and robbed up to 11
seamen in the Oman Sea with the help of two other accomplices.


Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 00:10:02 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iranian president to visit to France sometime after Iranian new year

TEHRAN, Jan 13 (AFP) - Iranian President Mohammad Khatami will
pay a ground-breaking visit to France sometime after the Iranian new
year in March, although the date has not yet been set, the foreign
ministry said Wednesday.
The ministry, quoted by the official Iranian news agency, said
the visit is "on the agenda" but will not take place before the
Iranian new year which will start March 21.
"Necessary coordination will have to be made with due regard for
the president's work program," it said.
Iran's embassy in Paris said in November that the visit would
take place in February but did not provide further details.
French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine, who went to Iran in
August, gave Khatami an invitation from French President Jacques
Chirac to visit Paris.
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi will travel to france at
an unspecified date to pave the way for Khatami's visit, the first
by an Iranian head of state to a European Union country since the
1979 Islamic revolution.

Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 00:10:12 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iran denies secret ties with Russian institutes

TEHRAN, Jan 13 (AFP) - Iran on Wednesday denied US charges that
it worked with three Russian research institutes to develop nuclear
and missile technology.
"These accusations are not new and Iranian and Russian
authorities have already denied them," the Iranian embassy in Moscow
said in a statement, quoted by the official Iranian news agency
IRNA.
The United States announced Tuesday it would slap sanctions on
three Russian research institutes for providing missile and nuclear
assistance to Iran.
The Moscow Aviation Institute, Medeleyev University and the
Scientific Research and Design Institute of Power Technology will
suffer "economic penalties," said US National Security Adviser Sandy
Berger.
"Iran has no knowledge of the two institutes mentioned and it
has just a few students studying law, languages and humanities
subjects at the Moscow university," the embassy said.
"Iran has had no other relations or cooperation with the Moscow
university," it said.
Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov slammed the US move on
Wednesday as "counterproductive for Russian-American relations."

Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 00:10:20 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iranian "Rambo" kills seven Afghan drug traffickers

TEHRAN, Jan 13 (AFP) - Seven Afghan drug traffickers were shot
dead when the Iranian militiaman they were holding hostage freed
himself and then gunned them down "Rambo"-style, the Qods newspaper
reported Wednesday.
The unidentified militiaman, who had been held captive by the
traffickers for four days in their remote hilly hideout in
Torbat-e-Heydarieh, managed to break free and turn on the Afghans.
He shot dead seven of the 10-member gang in the battle on
Tuesday while the other three managed to escape.
The militiaman received a hero's welcome in Torbat-e-Heydarieh,
a small town in Khorasan province on the Afghan border, where the
bodies of the dead traffickers were put on public display.
The local government announced it would reward the soldier's
courage with a pilgrimage trip to Syria.
Iran, especially Khorasan province, is a major transit route for
drugs shipped from Pakistan and Afghanistan to Europe and the Gulf
Arab states.
The authorities have waged a high-profile effort to fight drug
trafficking in recent years.

Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 00:10:26 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iran, Britain to exchange ambassadors soon: paper

TEHRAN, Jan 13 (AFP) - Iran and Britain are to upgrade their
diplomatic relations to ambassadorial level following their
agreement over the British writer Salman Rushdie, a newspaper here
reported Wednesday.
The English-language Iran News, which is considered close to
Iran's foreign ministry, said the two countries would promote their
respective charges d'affaires Nicholas Browne and Gholamreza Ansari
to ambassadors.
A senior British official is further expected to arrive here on
Wednesday, according to diplomatic sources. Derek Plumbly, who heads
the British Foreign Office's Middle East Department, is expected
here for a two day visit.
The move comes in the wake of the Iranian government's pledge
last September not to carry out the 1989 death sentence for
blasphemy imposed on Rushdie by the late Iranian leader Ayatallah
Ruhollah Khomeini, and after it disassociated itself from a
2.5-million-dollar bounty placed on Rushdie's head by an Iranian
religious organisation.
The two countries agreed they would normalise damaged relations
following the agreement, even though hardline conservatives here
have have vowed to ignore the government's promises and execute the
death sentence.

Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 00:10:37 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: U.S. Punishes 3 Russia Institutions

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The United States imposed penalties on a
Moscow university and two other Russian institutions Tuesday,
accusing Russia of failing to stop its scientists from helping Iran
and other states develop nuclear weapons.
National Security adviser Sandy Berger, in announcing the
economic sanctions, said Russia needs an export control system that
is ``designed to work and does.''
``Only Russia can police its own borders, factories and
technology industries,'' he said while asserting the Clinton
administration's authority to act against foreign companies or
agencies that ``violate international nonproliferation standards.''
The penalties are against Mendeleyev Chemical Technical
University in Moscow, the Moscow Aviation Institute, and the
Scientific Research and Design Institute of Power and Technology.
The first two receive Russian government funding, according to
administration sources.
The sanctions will ban all U.S. exports to the companies, all
imports to the United States and any U.S. Government assistance or
procurement contracts with the companies.
In July, the administration penalized seven other enterprises,
some of which had ties to the Russian government. They were accused
of selling sensitive weapons technology to Iran, Libya and North
Korea. None of those sanctions has been lifted.
Berger disclosed the penalties in remarks to the annual Carnegie
International Nonproliferation Conference. The forum was chosen
because attendees work closely with Russia's nuclear community and
would carry U.S. concern to their counterparts.
Energy Secretary Bill Richardson, also speaking at the
conference, said the Russian institutions' actions were designed to
``directly support Iranian efforts to develop nuclear weapons.''
The U.S. message is that commerce with Iran in weaponry will be
costly and ``is a threat to the United States, to Russia and to the
world,'' said Richardson said.
U.S. officials declined to discuss additional details of the
allegations against the Russian enterprises. A White House
statement said the actions ``complement Russian government efforts
to enforce its laws and international commitments.''
There was no immediate response from Moscow. Offices of the
affected institutions were closed for the day when Berger made the
announcement.
Presidential spokesman Joe Lockhart disputed a suggestion that
the United States' gripe is really with the Kremlin and not with
the individual entities.
``We continue to work with the Russian government. They have
taken some steps. We believe they need to take further steps,'' he
said. ``These companies, we believe, were taking steps that made it
impossible for the United States government to work with them.''
President Clinton in July signed an executive order that allows
him to impose penalties when there has been an attempt to transfer
technology as well as when transfers have actually occurred.
Berger, in a speech at the annual Carnegie International
Nonproliferation Conference, also promised a redoubling of U.S.
efforts worldwide to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction
and an all-out push to get Senate ratification of the Comprehensive
Test Ban Treaty, which would ban all nuclear explosive testing.
The treaty signed by 151 nations includes a pledge against all
testing of nuclear devices and sets up a global system of sensors
to monitor compliance. Berger said it cannot enter into force until
the United States and other key nations ratify it.
``If we fail to ratify, we will undercut our own efforts to curb
further nuclear arms development, particularly in South Asia,'' he
said, noting that India and Pakistan each have announced an
intention to adhere to the treaty by September.
Berger cited polls showing that 75 percent to 80 percent of
Americans support the treaty but acknowledged it faces an uphill
battle. ``We have formidable opponents in the Senate,'' he said.
Berger said it was needed to bolster U.S. efforts to get India
and Pakistan to back away from nuclear testing.

Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 00:10:44 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: US penalizes three Russian companies

WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- The White House has announced economic
penalties against three more Russian institutions it believes have been
providing Iran with high-technology assistance in developing missiles or
nuclear weapons.
The penalties were announced today by national security adviser Sandy
Berger, who made clear they were not aimed directly at the Russian
government, although he called on Moscow to further develop its own
export control system.
The sanctions include a ban on all U.S. exports to and imports from
the institutions, and on any U.S. government procurement from or
assistance to them.
U.S. officials estimated the value of the penalties in the ``tens of
millions'' of dollars.
President Clinton threatened the penalties last July and imposed them
on an initial set of seven Russian companies and institutions.
The three new institutions to face the sanctions are NIKIET, the
Scientific Research and Design Institute of Power Technology; the D.
Mendeleyev University of Chemical Technology; and MAI, the Moscow
Aviation Institute.
U.S. officials declined to describe the assistance the three are
believed to have provided Iran, although they made a distinction between
the actions of private organizations and those of the Russian
government.
``They've enacted some tough new laws,'' White House press secretary
Joe Lockhart said of the Russians, ``but there's more work that they
need to be doing, and we will continue to work with them.''
Berger, in his address to the Carnegie Endowment Non-Proliferation
Conference, said, ``In the end...the most effective shield against
proliferation from Russia is not U.S. penalties, but a Russian export
control system that is designed to work and does.
``Only Russia can police its own borders, factories and technology
industries,'' Berger said.
U.S. officials said the sanctions will be discussed Wednesday during
talks in Washington between Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott and
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Masylukov.

Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 00:10:50 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iraqi Vice President urges better ties with Iran

BAGHDAD, Jan 12 (AFP) - Iraq's Vice President on Tuesday called
for closer ties between Baghdad and Tehran, despite an ongoing
border dispute.
Baghdad is seeking closer ties with Tehran and called for more
bilateral talks through joint commissions on issues concerning the
two former enemies, the official INA news agency reported Vice
President Taha Yassin Ramadan as saying.
Ramadan made his comments during a meeting with visiting Iranian
Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad Sadr who also met with Iraqi Deputy
Prime Minister Tareq Aziz.
Vice President Ramadan extended an invitation to his Iranian
counterpart Hassan Habibi to visit Baghdad, INA reported.
Tuesday's talks followed Iran's condemnation of the four-day
US-British missile strikes on Iraq last month.
Iraq and Iran, which fought a 1980-1988 war, are still divided
over the issue of prisoners of war from the conflict.
Tehran on Tuesday condemned Iraqi warnings that it may scrap its
recognition of a UN resolution demarcating the Kuwaiti border in the
emirate's favour.
Aziz claimed on Sunday that "Kuwait was an entity created by
Britain to weaken Iraq and deprive it of its historic coasts."
Sadr also met with Foreign Minister Mohammad Said al-Sahhaf when
he arrived Monday.

Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 00:10:57 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: US slaps sanctions on three Russian institutes linked to Iran

WASHINGTON, Jan 12 (AFP) - The United States has slapped
sanctions on three Russian research institutes for providing missile
or nuclear assistance to Iran, President Bill Clinton's national
security adviser said Tuesday.
The Moscow Aviation Institute, the Medeleyev University and the
Scientific Research and Design Institute of Power Technology will
suffer "economic penalties," said Sandy Berger at a conference here
on non-proliferation.
But Berger said Washington would continue to fund other
technology and scientific institutes and emphasized the need for
greater control of Russian borders.
"The most effective shield against proliferation from Russia is
not US penalties, but a Russian export control system that is
designed to work and does," he said.
The United States slapped sanctions on seven Russian institutes
and firms in July that were linked to Iran.
Under those sanctions, the Russian companies are denied US aid
and barred from exporting goods to the United States.
White House spokesman Joe Lockhart said Russian authorities had
taken "some steps" but more was needed.
"They have enacted some tough new laws, but there is more that
they need to be doing and we will continue to work with them,"
Lockhart said.
"We will put these three companies out of business as far as
dealing with the United States government," he said.

Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 00:11:06 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: German MP calls on Iran judiciary to be fair in Moslem sex case

TEHRAN, Jan 12 (AFP) - A visiting German MP called Tuesday for
the Iranian government to ensure that the appeal of a German
national condemned to death for having sexual relations with a
Moslem woman be given fair consideration.
"If this matter had been treated fairly and equitably, this
matter would be over," said Juergen Moellemann who arrived here for
a two-day visit at the invitation of the Tehran government.
Attorneys for the condemned man, Helmut Hofer, "have expressed
their optimism ... and I would like to share that optimism," said
Moellemann, a former German finance minister.
German businessman Helmut Hofer was sentenced to death last year
for having an affair with a Moslem woman and is awaiting a final
verdict on his appeal from Iran's supreme court.
Moelleman also praised the reformist and liberalising policies
of Iranian President Mohammad Khatami and said Germany would use its
current six-month stint as European Union (EU) president to
"revitalise" dialogue between the EU and Tehran.

Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 00:11:13 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Disabled Iranian cyclist to carry message of peace to America

TEHRAN, Jan 12 (AFP) - A disabled Iranian cyclist is to start a
journey through the United States and many other countries in the
American continent next week to carry a "message of peace," Iran's
official news agency IRNA reported Tuesday.
Masood Taghavi, a member of a charity group for the disabled
here, seeks to "relay a message of peace and friendship and show
Iranian disabled's strong capabilities," it said.
He will start his journey in a week and will pass through such
countries as the United States, Mexico, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina
and Brazil.
Taghavi has previously cycled through Scandinavian countries and
been welcomed by the disabled communities in the Netherland, Sweden,
Norway and Denmark, IRNA said.
Iran and the United States have boosted social contact in the
past year in response to a call by moderate President Mohammad
Khatami to "crack the wall of mistrust" between the two enemies.

Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 00:11:23 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iraq invites Iranian official

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Iraq has officially invited Iranian
Deputy President Hassan Habibi to visit Baghdad in a move meant to
consolidate rapprochement between the two countries.
Government sources say the invitation was relayed in Baghdad today by
Iraqi Deputy President Taha Yassin Ramadan during a meeting with a
visiting Iranian Foreign Ministry official, Mohammed Rida Sadr.
Ramadan emphasized Iraq's wish to continue meeting with Iranian
officials to discuss outstanding issues, particularly prisoners who went
missing during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War.
He described Habibi's invitation as part of continuing efforts to
narrow points of view between the two countries.
Last year, Habibi was invited to visit Baghdad, but the visit did not
take place for unknown reasons.

Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 00:11:29 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iranian opposition calls for international probe of dissidents' murders

NICOSIA, Jan 12 (AFP) - The main armed Iranian opposition
movement, the People's Mujahedeen, called for an international
inquiry Tuesday into recent killings of dissidents in Iran and
accused the government of trying to cover up its own involvement.
The Baghdad-based group charged that Tehran had sent nine senior
intelligence ministry officials out of the country to avoid their
being arrested and making embarrassing revelations about the
regime's involvement in the killings.
In letter to UN chief Kofi Annan, the group's leader Massoud
Rajavi called for an international fact-finding mission to be sent
to Iran. "Only after pressure from domestic and international public
opinion did the intelligence ministry state a small part of the
truth" about the killings, he said.
In a shock admission last week Iran's intelligence ministry said
that a number of "ill-minded and irresponsible colleagues" were
involved in the murders of nationalist opposition leader Daryush
Foruhar as well as several liberal writers in November and
December.
Ten people have been arrested in connection with the murders, a
high-level investigation committee set up by moderate President
Mohammed Khatami said Tuesday.
But Rajavi charged that Khatami's handling of the affair showed
the fallacy of regarding him as a moderate.
"As far as human rights abuses ... are concerned, there is no
difference between Khatami and other factions of this anti-human
regime," Rajavi said.
"Khatami's rhetoric about civil society' and the rule of law' is
only a deception," he said.

Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 00:11:43 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Pro-Khatami students rally against political violence

TEHRAN, Jan 12 (AFP) - About 300 Iranian students staged a rally
here on Tuesday accusing opponents of President Mohammad Khatami of
trying to obstruct his investigation into the recent murders of
writers and dissidents.
The protestors gathered inside the Tehran University campus,
shouting slogans in support of Khatami and calling for the
resignation of conservative Intelligence Minister Ghorban-Ali Dorrie
Najafabadi, witnesses said.
Najafabadi has come under pressure to step down over the
involvement of a number of secret agents in the murders of
nationalist opposition leader Daryush Foruhar and his wife as well
as several liberal writers in the past two months.
The students, members of Islamic associations in Tehran
universities, also demanded that the conservative head of state
radio and television Ali Larijani step down after accusing him of
taking a stand against the president.
Khatami's supporters are outraged by a television interview on
Monday with Ruhollah Hosseinian, a hardline cleric who accused the
president's allies of having a role in the murders in a bid to take
over the powerful intelligence ministry.

Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 00:11:50 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iranian lovers stole jewelry to pay for wedding

TEHRAN, Jan 12 (AFP) - An Iranian accounting student and his
fiancee stole from jewelry stores to get the money to pay for their
wedding but ended up in jail, a newspaper reported Tuesday.
Abdolreza, 24, and his 19-year-old fiancee, Monireh, were caught
stealing gold necklaces and chains, sometimes replacing them with
fakes, in eight different jewelry shops around Tehran, the daily
Iran said.
The couple confessed, but insisted they stole from the shops to
pay for their wedding.
"We're guilty of the charges, but we made a mistake," Abdolreza,
an accounting student, told a court here.
"We thought we could get married with the money and have an easy
life. We're not thieves, we ended up in this mess by mistake," said
Monireh.

Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 00:12:00 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iran condemns Iraq's claims on Kuwait

TEHRAN, Jan 12 (AFP) - Iran condemned on Tuesday Iraqi
territorial claims on neighbouring Kuwait and said an Iranian envoy
on a visit to Baghdad will discuss the issue.
"Such territorial claims are not a proper solution to resolve
differences," between Iraq and Kuwait, said foreign ministry
spokesman Hamdi-Reza Asefi.
"Regional problems ought to be settled through negotiations and
tension-free talks ... A conflict between Iraq and Kuwait will be
the worst problem for the region," he told the English-language Iran
News.
Asefi warned that a conflict would provide a "pretext for
foreign powers to protect their vested interests here and abuse the
situation."
Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz claimed on Sunday that
"Kuwait was an entity created by Britain to weaken Iraq and deprive
it of its historic coasts."
He said Baghdad refuses to apologise for its 1990 invasion of
Kuwait and called for the scrapping of a UN resolution which
demarcated the border in the emirate's favour.
Iran, which fought a bloody war with Iraq between 1980-88,
condemned Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, but took a neutral stand in the
Gulf war.
Asefi said Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad Sadr, who
went to Baghdad on Monday, would discuss the issue and try to
"resolve the crisis."
"Sadr will also visit other regional countries to help borker
peace," he said, adding that "we are concerned about the Iraqi issue
and do not want the issue to surface again."

Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 00:11:37 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: 10 arrested for murders of dissidents in Iran

TEHRAN, Jan 12 (AFP) - Ten people have been arrested in
connection with the murders of intellectuals and dissidents in Iran
in which the intelligence ministry has been implicated, a committee
probing the killings said Tuesday.
"Ten people have been arrested and questioned over the affair,"
said the committee set up by President Mohammad Khatami in a
statement read on state radio and television.
"The case, very complicated, has taken on a national dimension
and conducting a correct and healthy investigation is a heavy duty,"
it said.
Iran's intelligence ministry said last week that a number of
"ill-minded and irresponsible colleagues" were involved in the
murders of nationalist opposition leader Daryush Foruhar as well as
several liberal writers in November and December.
The committee -- made up of Intelligence Minister Ghorban-Ali
Dorrie Najafabadi, Interior Minister Abdol-Vahed Musavi Lari and a
representative of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei -- was set
up last month to investigate the killings.
The television said the members of the committee met Khatami on
Tuesday and briefed him on the latest developments in the case.
The president demanded that the probe "continue with strength,
without any regard for marginal issues, until final results are
produced."
"Our round-the-clock investigation has produced the necessary
clues to identify the entire gang linked to the murders at different
levels," the committee said in its statement. "A number effective
elements in the gang's leadership were arrested and questioned."
The committee said "a number of others have been fully
identified and are presently under surveillance," adding that it
preferred to withhold detailed information while the probe
continues.
"The masterminds behind the murders have been identified and a
massive investigation has been launched to find outside elements who
are mainly responsible for the suspicious murders," it said.
"The investigation will continue without any attention to the
foreign and domestic political hype around the affair and the
culprits will be put on trial as soon as possible," the statement
added.
The affair has led to bitter political fighting between
reformers backing Khatami and his conservative opponents over how to
deal with the formidable secret services, with both sides blaming
each other for the murders.
Radical left-wing reformers have demanded the conservative
intelligence minister's ouster, while the conservatives appear
determined to stop their rivals from making any political gains from
the incident.
Ruhollah Hosseinian, a hardline cleric in charge of the state
archives for official documents, accused Khatami's left-wing
supporters of having a role in the murders, suggesting that they are
being manipulated by American secret services.
He accused the president's backers of launching a "malicious
campaign" to gain control of the all-powerful intelligence agency
and urged its chief to hold fast against efforts to oust him.
His comments published in the hardline Kayhan newspaper and
broadcast on conservative-run television provoked widespread anger
in the moderate and left-wing press, which described his comments as
a "pathetic tactic" to stop the investigation into the murders.
They also accused state radio and television of insulting
Khatami and seeking to undermine his efforts to fight political
violence by Islamic hardliners.
The committee in charge of the investigation, for its part,
blasted "the rumors and the scandal-mongering" around the case,
charging that "the wrong analysis and accusations are aimed at
confusing the process of investigation and deny the truth."
"Any news or information coming from anywhere but this committee
or Tehran's military court is void and inauspicious," it warned.
Meanwhile, some 300 students staged a rally here Tuesday
accusing Khatami's opponents of trying to obstruct the investigation
into the killings.
They shouted slogans in support of Khatami and called on
Najafabadi and Ali Larijani, the head of radio and television, to
resign.

Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 15:40:40 EST
From: KPGBT@AOL.COM
Subject: Zan reporter has the list of 179

<< Arya in 'You should better know' quoted a correspondent of the
Farsi-language daily Zan, Kamelia Entekhabi-Far as claiming that
she has a copy of the black list containing the names of the 179
intellectuals and is awaiting the permission of the paper's
managing editor for publishing. According to her, in addition to
the writers, including Mohammad Mohktari and Mohammad Jafar
Pouyandeh, the names of many other writers and university
professors can be seen in the list. >>



Zan in 'Not confidential' made a reference to the former district
mayors' detention during the tenure of former Tehran mayor
Gholamhussein Karbaschi and the critical remarks made by them
after their release from the performance of the judiciary for
mistreating them during their custody. The paper noted that the
district mayors have been asked to take back their complaint in
lieu of the ouster of the perpetrators' dismissal. Although no
confirmation has been given in this regard, but the mayors have
reportedly rejected the proposal.

Arya in 'You should better know' quoted a correspondent of the
Farsi-language daily Zan, Kamelia Entekhabi-Far as claiming that
she has a copy of the black list containing the names of the 179
intellectuals and is awaiting the permission of the paper's
managing editor for publishing. According to her, in addition to
the writers, including Mohammad Mohktari and Mohammad Jafar
Pouyandeh, the names of many other writers and university
professors can be seen in the list.

Qods in 'Special News' cited an Iraqi newspaper as reporting that
a hand-grenade went off in a house of a Najaf-based religious
scholar. According to al-Qadessiyeh the grenade exploded in
Hussein Shir Pakistani's residence and the scholar was injured as
a result. According to the latest reports, no one has far claimed
responsibility for the blast but three people were killed and
some others wounded.

Kar-o-Kargar in 'Read the unread' reported that the construction
project of a pipeline transferring Caspian Sea oil to the Tabriz
Refinery has been given to a consortium comprised of two Chinese
companies and an Iranian corporation. The Iranian company won the
tender and the Chinese companies became interested in the project
and joined the Iranian corporation within a consortium framework.
The reason for the Iranian company's winning the tender was its
offering the cheapest proposal. In addition to these three
companies, twelve other oil companies from Europe, Russia, South
Korea and Saudi Arabia also took part in the tender (worth $400
million). In the meantime, it is said that National Iranian Oil
Company has given a new proposal to the consortium. The proposal
indicates that after the project becomes operational, the crude
oil of Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan will be transferred to the
Tabriz and Tehran oil refineries and an equal amount of Persian
Gulf crude oil will be given to the customers of the same
companies.

Hamshahri in a commentary wrote that those people belonging to a
particular faction are afraid of their plots being made public
and have become infuriated over recent developments. The paper
noted that these are the same ones who did not cease creating
obstacles in the way of President Khatami's progress and now fear
that the chief executive, who uncovered their conspiracies, will
find out more about their misdeeds in the near future. It noted
that they were trying to gradually weaken the president and
nullify his role in bringing major changes to the country's
developments.

Sobh-e-Emrouz in an article regarding the performance of the
Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) in covering the
recent murders wrote that IRIB is again acting against the will
of the people and undermining their desire for finding out the
truth in this regard. The paper noted that they have actually
targeted the proponents of the May 23, 1997 presidential
elections and the president. According to the paper, the people
have not yet forgotten the attitude of IRIB during last year's
presidential campaign.

Khordad in its 'Freelance correspondent' reported that a
Tabriz-based clergyman and a member of Iran's Soroush-e-Bidari
Organization, Hassan Kasbdoust was arrested by the security
forces on January 9 and introduced to the special clergy court
for legal proceedings. The paper noted that Kasbdoust had
presumably delivered a speech in front of Tabriz' Saheb al-Zaman
Mosque on the occasion of the death of the Iranian scholar
Mohammad Taqi Zehtabi on January 1. Zehtabi was found dead in
Tabriz two weeks ago.



Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 15:35:21 EST
From: KPGBT@AOL.COM
Subject: Leaflet circulated in Esfehan accuses Jannati

This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

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<< Khatami backers and opponents trade charges over killings
Mideast Mirror
Wednesday 13 January 1999

Supporters of Iranian President Mohammad Khatami have accused a leading
conservative cleric of plotting to depose the reform-minded president by

masterminding the recent spate of killings of dissidents and
intellectuals..
Pan-Arab al-Hayat's Tehran correspondent Ghassan bin-Jeddo reports
Wednesday
that the accusation against Ayatollah Ahmad Janati, secretary-general of
the
conservative-dominated Guardian Council, was made in an unsigned leaflet

circulated by Khatami backers in the city of Esfahan on Tuesday.
It was the latest in a series of accusations and counter-accusations
traded by
Khatami supporters and opponents since last week's unprecedented
admission by
the intelligence ministry that some of its own agents were arrested in
connection with the murders late last year of at least three secularist
writers
and two opposition leaders.

SWAPPING CHARGES: The disclosure of the existence of death squads
including
secret police agents reinforced the widely-held view that the killings
were the
work of hardliners seeking to obstruct Khatami's attempts at social and
political reforms.
But a senior hardline cleric subsequently claimed that Khatami
supporters had
orchestrated the slayings in a bid to take control of the intelligence
ministry,
a mainstay of the conservative clerical establishment, after
destabilizing it
through the murder spree.
Despite his landslide election in 1997, Khatami has little control over
Iran's
conservative-run security and armed forces, which answer to supreme
leader
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
"The forces which committed these murders were religious forces.
Politically,
they were backers of the... left wing and serious supporters of the
esteemed
president," said Ruhollah Hosseinian, head of a state archives center.
A newly-formed pro-Khatami party, the Islamic Iran Participation Front,
blasted
Hosseinian's remarks as a "big plot, made up of the illusions and
speculations
of those who adore violence, which targeted the esteemed president."
"The suspects, who are more aware than others of their past record of
such acts,
are trying to confuse public opinion and derail... the investigation
into these
heinous murders," the reformist party said in a statement published by
newspapers on Tuesday.
The Front had earlier called for the dismissal of Intelligence Minister
Qorbanali Dorri Najafabadi.
"The least public expectation is for the minister to claim
responsibility and
resign" following the disclosure that ministry agents were involved in
the
killings, it said.
Conservatives have rushed to Dorri Najafabadi's defense after Khamenei
last week
voiced support for the intelligence minister and his colleagues and said
the
killings were part of a foreign plot.
A committee set up by Khatami to probe the spate of killings also
slammed
conservatives for "spreading rumors" about the alleged involvement of
Khatami
backers in the murders.
"The spreading of certain rumors... and baseless accusations against
earnest and
committed individuals and tendencies is only aimed at derailing the
investigation and eventually covering up the truth," the investigation
committee
said in a statement issued after its members met Khatami on Tuesday.
In the same statement, the committee said 10 high-ranking intelligence
ministry
officials had been arrested over the killings and many more were under
surveillance. It said it had concrete information on the slayings that
could not
be disclosed without hurting the investigation.
Al-Hayat's Bin-Jeddo reports that the leaflet distributed in Esfahan
Tuesday by
people known to support the Khatami government said five conservative
clerics
had issued religious edicts sanctioning the killing of the dissidents.
It singled out Ayatollah Janati as having "plotted and overseen the
operation
from start to finish as part of a carefully-devised plan to topple
President
Khatami."
The leaflet, which named former intelligence minister Ali Fallahiyan and

Ayatollah Khamenei's representative in Khorasan as also involved in the
plot,
said the aim had been to portray Khatami as incapable of ensuring
security and
social stability, and consequently unfit to be president.
It went on to charge that Janati had been trying to collect signatures
of Moslem
clerics in the holy city of Qom declaring Khatami to be unfit for high
office. A
resolution to that effect would then have been adopted by a two-thirds
majority
of the conservative-dominated Majlis, or parliament, and approved by the
supreme
leader, the leaflet said, adding that "the plot had been aborted."
Also on Tuesday, hundreds of pro-Khatami students demonstrated at Tehran

University to demand the dismissal of Intelligence Minister Dorri
Najafabadi, a
purge of the ministry, and a public trial of the arrested men. Policemen

encircled the campus and closed the gates, apparently to prevent
hardliners from
entering and clashing with the students as happened in previous cases.

SECURITY APPARATUS: Writing in the Bahrain daily al-Ayyam, commentator
Mohammad
Fadhel says the disclosure that senior intelligence ministry officers
were
involved in the killings of liberal intellectuals and dissidents
indicates that
the conflict between Iran's hardliners and moderates has entered a new
phase.
The outcome of the conflict will determine the course which Iran will
take over
the coming years, Fadhel writes Wednesday.
In the kind of "transitional period" through which Iran is now going,
security
services are usually the last to be affected by the "winds of change,"
he notes.
The Iranian security apparatus, whose task from the outset has been to
entrench
the Islamic Revolution by striking at its liberal, leftist and
independent
detractors, can be expected to fiercely resist new policies that would
require
it to accept the existence of non-religious political currents and
acknowledge
that they have the same rights as the current which has monopolized
power in
Iran since 1979. Moreover, security services are not political parties
or
civilian bodies that can be dealt with like political and social
currents. They
are the tool through which a regime controls society, and thus need to
be dealt
with at the highest level.
One of the questions certain to be raised by the latest revelations is
whether
the Iranian intelligence agents volunteered to carry out the murders or
were
pushed to do so by senior officials.
Whatever the case, the involvement of the intelligence service in such
assassinations is grave for several reasons. One is that it indicates
that the
intelligence service is not in tune with the government's drive to
promote
openness, freedom and the establishment of a civil society, which
entails great
risks of a future clash. Another is that it shows that the intelligence
service
has become an instrument in the conflict between hardliners and
moderates,
threatening to intensify that conflict.
In any event, what has been happening in Iran proves that respect of the
voters'
wishes, as expressed through the ballot box, is the last thing on the
mind of
those who have been ruling the Islamic Republic since 1979, Fadhel says.


>>


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Subject: Khatami backers and opponents trade charges over killings
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Khatami backers and opponents trade charges over killings
Mideast Mirror
Wednesday 13 January 1999

Supporters of Iranian President Mohammad Khatami have accused a leading
conservative cleric of plotting to depose the reform-minded president by

masterminding the recent spate of killings of dissidents and
intellectuals..
Pan-Arab al-Hayat's Tehran correspondent Ghassan bin-Jeddo reports
Wednesday
that the accusation against Ayatollah Ahmad Janati, secretary-general of
the
conservative-dominated Guardian Council, was made in an unsigned leaflet

circulated by Khatami backers in the city of Esfahan on Tuesday.
It was the latest in a series of accusations and counter-accusations
traded by
Khatami supporters and opponents since last week's unprecedented
admission by
the intelligence ministry that some of its own agents were arrested in
connection with the murders late last year of at least three secularist
writers
and two opposition leaders.

SWAPPING CHARGES: The disclosure of the existence of death squads
including
secret police agents reinforced the widely-held view that the killings
were the
work of hardliners seeking to obstruct Khatami's attempts at social and
political reforms.
But a senior hardline cleric subsequently claimed that Khatami
supporters had
orchestrated the slayings in a bid to take control of the intelligence
ministry,
a mainstay of the conservative clerical establishment, after
destabilizing it
through the murder spree.
Despite his landslide election in 1997, Khatami has little control over
Iran's
conservative-run security and armed forces, which answer to supreme
leader
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
"The forces which committed these murders were religious forces.
Politically,
they were backers of the... left wing and serious supporters of the
esteemed
president," said Ruhollah Hosseinian, head of a state archives center.
A newly-formed pro-Khatami party, the Islamic Iran Participation Front,
blasted
Hosseinian's remarks as a "big plot, made up of the illusions and
speculations
of those who adore violence, which targeted the esteemed president."
"The suspects, who are more aware than others of their past record of
such acts,
are trying to confuse public opinion and derail... the investigation
into these
heinous murders," the reformist party said in a statement published by
newspapers on Tuesday.
The Front had earlier called for the dismissal of Intelligence Minister
Qorbanali Dorri Najafabadi.
"The least public expectation is for the minister to claim
responsibility and
resign" following the disclosure that ministry agents were involved in
the
killings, it said.
Conservatives have rushed to Dorri Najafabadi's defense after Khamenei
last week
voiced support for the intelligence minister and his colleagues and said
the
killings were part of a foreign plot.
A committee set up by Khatami to probe the spate of killings also
slammed
conservatives for "spreading rumors" about the alleged involvement of
Khatami
backers in the murders.
"The spreading of certain rumors... and baseless accusations against
earnest and
committed individuals and tendencies is only aimed at derailing the
investigation and eventually covering up the truth," the investigation
committee
said in a statement issued after its members met Khatami on Tuesday.
In the same statement, the committee said 10 high-ranking intelligence
ministry
officials had been arrested over the killings and many more were under
surveillance. It said it had concrete information on the slayings that
could not
be disclosed without hurting the investigation.
Al-Hayat's Bin-Jeddo reports that the leaflet distributed in Esfahan
Tuesday by
people known to support the Khatami government said five conservative
clerics
had issued religious edicts sanctioning the killing of the dissidents.
It singled out Ayatollah Janati as having "plotted and overseen the
operation
from start to finish as part of a carefully-devised plan to topple
President
Khatami."
The leaflet, which named former intelligence minister Ali Fallahiyan and

Ayatollah Khamenei's representative in Khorasan as also involved in the
plot,
said the aim had been to portray Khatami as incapable of ensuring
security and
social stability, and consequently unfit to be president.
It went on to charge that Janati had been trying to collect signatures
of Moslem
clerics in the holy city of Qom declaring Khatami to be unfit for high
office. A
resolution to that effect would then have been adopted by a two-thirds
majority
of the conservative-dominated Majlis, or parliament, and approved by the
supreme
leader, the leaflet said, adding that "the plot had been aborted."
Also on Tuesday, hundreds of pro-Khatami students demonstrated at Tehran

University to demand the dismissal of Intelligence Minister Dorri
Najafabadi, a
purge of the ministry, and a public trial of the arrested men. Policemen

encircled the campus and closed the gates, apparently to prevent
hardliners from
entering and clashing with the students as happened in previous cases.

SECURITY APPARATUS: Writing in the Bahrain daily al-Ayyam, commentator
Mohammad
Fadhel says the disclosure that senior intelligence ministry officers
were
involved in the killings of liberal intellectuals and dissidents
indicates that
the conflict between Iran's hardliners and moderates has entered a new
phase.
The outcome of the conflict will determine the course which Iran will
take over
the coming years, Fadhel writes Wednesday.
In the kind of "transitional period" through which Iran is now going,
security
services are usually the last to be affected by the "winds of change,"
he notes.
The Iranian security apparatus, whose task from the outset has been to
entrench
the Islamic Revolution by striking at its liberal, leftist and
independent
detractors, can be expected to fiercely resist new policies that would
require
it to accept the existence of non-religious political currents and
acknowledge
that they have the same rights as the current which has monopolized
power in
Iran since 1979. Moreover, security services are not political parties
or
civilian bodies that can be dealt with like political and social
currents. They
are the tool through which a regime controls society, and thus need to
be dealt
with at the highest level.
One of the questions certain to be raised by the latest revelations is
whether
the Iranian intelligence agents volunteered to carry out the murders or
were
pushed to do so by senior officials.
Whatever the case, the involvement of the intelligence service in such
assassinations is grave for several reasons. One is that it indicates
that the
intelligence service is not in tune with the government's drive to
promote
openness, freedom and the establishment of a civil society, which
entails great
risks of a future clash. Another is that it shows that the intelligence
service
has become an instrument in the conflict between hardliners and
moderates,
threatening to intensify that conflict.
In any event, what has been happening in Iran proves that respect of the
voters'
wishes, as expressed through the ballot box, is the last thing on the
mind of
those who have been ruling the Islamic Republic since 1979, Fadhel says.


--part0_916259722_boundary--

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 11 Jan 1999 to 14 Jan 1999 - Special issue