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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 8 Feb 1999 to 9 Feb 1999
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There are 14 messages totalling 732 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. IRNA:
2. BBC: Iran's intelligence minister goes
3. IRAN Daily: Beginning to Bury the Past
4. IRNA: rial-slide-press
5. BBC: Tehran goes pop
6. Islamic Revolution, a popular movement!
7. Iran designed 300 MSPS ADC?
8. fwd: Farrah's interview with NPR
9. Majid Majidi's "Children of Heaven" is nominated for Oscar
10. Iranian FM says he is ready to meet his German counterpart
11. Iran wants better ties with Jordan
12. Iran reschedules two billion dollars of foreign debt
13. Radical reformers found new left-wing party in Iran
14. Ties on the mend between Egypt and Iran, Iranian FM says


Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 12:54:12 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad.abdolian@RSA.ERICSSON.SE>
Subject: IRNA:

dorri najafabadi-resignation
information minister resigns, papers
tehran, feb. 9, irna -- information minister qorbanali
dorri-najafabad presented his letter of resignation to president
mohammad khatami on monday and hojatoleslam ali yunesi is to replace
him, press reports said here tuesday quoting informed sources.
`iran daily' said the president is expected to answer within one
or two days while `tehran times' said the president has accepted
dorri-najafabadi's resignation.
both papers, quoting reliable sources, said yunesi will replace
tehran times said that yunesi was appointed on monday as minister
of information by the president and he is now busy preparing his
future agenda as country's intelligence chief.
the paper added that khatami is to introduce yunesi to the majlis
as new information minister.
controversy over dorri-najafabadi's cabinet post emerged
following the mysterious murders of a number of political dissidents
and writers late last year. in january the government announced that
some renegade staffers of the information ministry were involved in
the killings.


Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 12:55:15 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad.abdolian@RSA.ERICSSON.SE>
Subject: BBC: Iran's intelligence minister goes

Tuesday, February 9, 1999 Published at 09:58 GMT

World: Middle East

Iran's intelligence minister goes

The Iranian intelligence minister has resigned following the arrest last
month of some of his officials charged with murdering a number of prominent
writers and intellectuals.

There were calls for the minister, Ghorban-ali Dorrie Najafabadi, to go
following the revelations, but they were resisted pending the results of an

Senior officials have now confirmed that President Mohammed Khatami has
accepted the resignation.

The BBC Tehran correspondent says if Mr Khatami succeeds in reforming the
intelligence ministry , currently controlled by his conservative opponents,
that would be a significant advance for the liberals backing him.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service


Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 12:56:38 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad.abdolian@RSA.ERICSSON.SE>
Subject: IRAN Daily: Beginning to Bury the Past

IRAN Daily Newspaper -
February 9, 1999

Beginning to Bury the Past
By Hassan Abdul Rahman

The burial of Jordan's late monarch Hussein bin Talal Monday, has the
hallmarks of being a watershed in Middle Eastern politics. And the
unprecedented turnout of so many western heads of state, make clear the
place the king played in their designs on the Middle East. We are being
bombarded with reports about his valiant attempts for peace with Israel.
This is the message that the western media are filling the airwaves with
today. Yet the kind of arrangements the king is associ-ated with, are
better defined as capitulation. Who believes that Camp David, Oslo or Wye
represent anything other than western pressure and Arab submission to
Zionist designs on Palestine? And where is that voice or political formula
that is going to pro-tect the right to a homeland for the 4 million
Palestinians in the diaspo-ra? History tells us that the king's
grandfather, the Sharif of Mecca,
inadver-tently played a leading role in the original loss of Palestine. His
World War I collaboration with the British against the Grand Porte,
contributed great-ly to Istanbul's losing the entire Fertile Crescent.
Hussein's continuing in the tradition of giving preference to western
interests, before those of the Arabs themselves, cannot be doubted. And
yet, though not apparent now, the passing of the king might represent more
than the death of an individual. Obviously, the next years and even months
could see Arab heads of state go the way of all flesh in rapid succession.
Many of the leading figures in Arab politics are septuagenarians and the
health problems of a few are not secrets. What is unknown is how long
before the winds of democracy ulti-mately prevail in the region? What is
apparent is that absolute monarchy, one-party states and thinly veiled
military rule are all anachronisms. How the Arab world will wean itself
from these types of
governance, is the major political question loom-ing over the heartland of
the Islamic world. Don't look to the West for answers. Western social
engineering in this part of the world has been an unmitigated disaster.
Witness Israel, a mon-ument to Europe's guilty conscience over its 1,000
years of mistreatment of the Jews. That's states being an okay nuclear
powerhouse, as against the same weapons being not okay in the hands of the
Muslims, tells us everything about the real dangers of western ascendance
in this region. Rulers who accept this supremacy, in order to save their
own selves, can't see the future. Nobody can. This is what makes the Middle
East so fraught with poten-tial crisis. And though the king's son has taken
the royal scepter without incident in Amman, to think things will remain
the same there and in other capitals, is to ignore the truism that the only
thing constant is change.


Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 12:58:51 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad.abdolian@RSA.ERICSSON.SE>
Subject: IRNA: rial-slide-press

daily urges cbi officials to come up with comprehensive plan
tehran, feb. 8, irna -- the english language daily 'tehran times'
monday commenting on the slide of the rial urged officials of the
central bank of iran (cbi) to come up with a comprehensive plan for
restoring the value of the rial immediately.
''experts blame the rial's several rates of exchange for the fall
in its value and suggest that a revolutionary step should be taken to
fix one single rate, which should be both reasonable and realistic,''
added the article in the opinion column of the paper.
such a single rate will not only help to wipe out the black
market but will cure the nation's ailing economy as well.
furthermore, ''it should be noted that a sound and stable national
currency will prepare the ground for a healthy domestic and foreign
investment in the national development projects,'' wrote the paper in


Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 13:00:38 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad.abdolian@RSA.ERICSSON.SE>
Subject: BBC: Tehran goes pop

World: Middle East

Tehran goes pop

The Ayatollah took a dim view of Western culture

Live pop music has returned to Iran for the first time in 20 years with a
series of concerts to mark the anniversary of the 1979 revolution.
A huge banner behind the stage proclaimed: "The First Popular Music
Festival,"over an image of a shooting star with a keyboard in its wake.

The music was Iranian pop rather than its illegal Western counterpart but
the instrumentation and heavy percussion showed a strong Western influence.

Several hundred people crowded into the concert in a working class suburb
of south Tehran. But reports said the crowd appeared to come from the
wealthier northern part of the capital.

"The [$2] tickets are expensive for people in this part of town," said one
girl in the audience.

"In any case many of the people around here don't like this sort of thing -
the older people prefer traditional or classical music and the younger
people prefer genuine Western pop."

Vulgar lyrics banned

The performer Khashayar Etemadi is loved by many young people for the
similiarity of his voice to Dariush, a popular singer before the
revolution, who now lives in Los Angeles.

Iranian music from California, where many exiles fled, is still banned by
the Iranian authorities who regard it as "vulgar".

The local version which they now tolerate sounds similar, but the love
themes which dominate the lyrics outside Iran are replaced with poetry.

Two of the backing vocalists and all three violinists were female and
reports said there was no attempt to segregate the audience which was made
up roughly equally of men and women.

True Islamic music

Mr Etemadi insists his music is entirely a product of the Islamic Republic.

"The popular music being performed here is music from today's Islamic Iran,
and it is wrong to compare it to imported music," he told the daily

He said the aim of the 10-day festival is to showcase pop music which is in
harmony with "popular values and those of an Islamic society".


Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 13:06:59 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad.abdolian@RSA.ERICSSON.SE>
Subject: Islamic Revolution, a popular movement!

Sorry, but I just could not send it without a comment,
Can you tell me if any of the subjects he brings here are
not the same for the current government as well?

Tehran - Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said
Tuesday the Islamic Revolution was a popular movement against a regime
which had almost all the features of a bad government.

Responding a question posed by a girl student about why the Islamic
Revolution took place, the leader said the former regime was corrupt,
dependent, based on military coup and inefficient.

The leader said, "The former regime was corrupt. They had financial,
ethical and administra-tive corruptions.

"In their financial corruption, suffice to say that the shah himself
and his families were always involved in big economic deals.

He and his brothers and sisters were among those who accumulated large
fortunes illegally. His father (Reza Khan) acquired a large amount of
property during his 16-17 years of rule.

"They had deposited billions of dollars in foreign banks when they fled the
country. You may know that after the victory of the Islamic Revolution, we
took measures to take possession of our assets. They (foreign banks) didn't
respond. Drug smuggling rings were led by the shah's brothers and sisters.
"The former regime was corrupt. They ignored competence in selecting
managers. They thought about their own interests and lis-tened to the
made by foreign intelligence ser-vices. Now you understand the extent to
which the former regime was corrupt, a regime whose top brass was involved
in bribery, gathering illegal assets, smuggling and committing treason."


Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 17:31:44 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad.abdolian@RSA.ERICSSON.SE>
Subject: Iran designed 300 MSPS ADC?

Got it from a friend and thought I'd share it with you! I don't know if it
is true or not, but I have sent this to IRNA for verification./Farhad

TEHRAN, IRNA, JAN 31, 1999 -- For the first time in the world, an
integrated circuit chip for analog to digital conversion, with a
capability of performing 300 million samples per second has been
designed in Urmia, Iran, [at Urmia Semicondutor Inc]. Current
technology in A/D conversion involves 100 million samples per second
operation. The design has been performed by Dr. Khayrollah Hadidi,
professor of electrical engineering at Urmia University, and has
received the first prize at this year's Khawrazmi science festival,
Iran. Dr. Hadidi is one of the top five experts in the world in
designing A/D IC's and is currently cooperating as an advisor with the
graduate program of Waseda University, Japan. [For the first time in
Iran, a group of Masters and Ph.D. Japanese students will be attending
Urmia University to become familiar with the work at the
Microelectronics Research Center of the University, headed by Dr.
Hadidi. Urmia Semicondutor, Dr. Hadidi's firm, has already signed
multi-million dollar contracts with Japanese companies for delivery of
IC designs.]


Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 19:03:34 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad.abdolian@RSA.ERICSSON.SE>
Subject: fwd: Farrah's interview with NPR




This week marks the 20th anniversary of the Iranian revolution and the
creation of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Questions abound though, about
the political future of Iran with ever-growing conflict between hard-liners
and moderates in the regime. This same question of Iran's political future
shadowed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, one of history's controversial figures.

Crowned shah, or king, in 1967, the shah sought to put Iran on the world
stage and did. The US was his closest ally in a Cold War game against the
Russians. But prosperity and modernization came at the cost of liberty.
Thousands of political opponents of the shah died in his prisons, and
religious leaders challenged his secularization. The tide turned suddenly
against the monarch; he fled the country in January of 1979 and by
February, the Ayatollah Khomeini was in power.

These days, though, two decades on, it's common in Iran, if not ironic,
to hear of nostalgia for the time of the shah from ordinary people. For
one look back, admittedly a tale told by a deposed monarch, we spoke to
Farrah Pahlavi, the shah's widow. Pahlavi was the only woman ever crowned
queen in 2,500 years of Persian history. She speaks to us from her Paris
apartment, where she's in exile. And we asked her if she was as surprised
by the rapid turn of events as history was.

Former Empress FARRAH PAHLAVI: Yes, and I think for everybody when the
first demonstrations happened, nobody could believe that it would end
unfortunately, the way it did. But things were like a snowball and events
happened, day after day, and unfortunately, it's reached the situation of
January 1979.

LYDEN: Let me take you back to the time prior to 1979. I'd like you to
give us a picture of your Iran then. It was a country with a population
about half what it is now. The economy was better. What was it like back

Ms. PAHLAVI: Iran was a country that was developing, that was going to
progress. And 56 years ago, when my husband came to power, we had $ 130 of
per capita income; it was a bankrupt country; it was a underdeveloped
county. And he put all his effort to develop and progress. And...

LYDEN: I believe I've read that in 1919, when the shah was born, Teheran
itself was a mud-walled city surrounded by a moat.

Ms. PAHLAVI: Exactly. And the condition of education of the
children--I, myself, remember as a child--I'm 60 years old now, so we have
to go back 50 years ago--we didn't have a vaccine to vaccinated. When I
left Iran, every single Iranian child was vaccinated. We didn't have
proper water; we had water coming from the little streams in the street,
you know, or reservoirs.
This was all built with a revenue of oil. And Iran was criticized then
because they said we are developing too fast. Why the shah wanted to go
fast--because we couldn't rely on revenue of oil forever. He wanted the
country to be industrialized so we could rely also in our industry. And I
have to add that we had--although we were going ahead and we were
developing, we had to respect our religion. And as my husband had--and I,
myself, and many others Iranians-- we are Muslims. We will always remain
Muslims but we were not, of course, fanatics.

LYDEN: And yet, Empress Farrah, history has not judged your husband's
reign without equivocation. His authoritarianism is often recalled, the
suppression of democracy, the abuse of human rights in dealing with his
opponents. How do you assess those things in today's light?

Ms. PAHLAVI: Well, I think about that and he--the way he reigned
considering its situation--geographical situation and strategic situation
with the frontier we had, with the Soviet Union of then, of 2,500
kilometers, with all the interference always in Iran's politics of
different powers, my husband want--ruled the way he ruled and reigned
because he wanted this country to be independent, to be unified, to develop
and prosperous. And he was always saying that he wants his son to reign
differently then he did.

LYDEN: Mm-hmm.

Ms. PAHLAVI: He believed in opening up the society. He believed in
democracy and he was hoping to open up more the society for the future. And
unfortunately, when these events happened, if we had different political
parties, people would have been organized and there would be some organized
forces against the forces of destruction, and this is one of the mistakes
of that period.

LYDEN: So if you had a regret, it would be that the modernization's
speed and the lack of more political participation combined together
undermined the efforts that the shah was trying to attempt.

Ms. PAHLAVI: Yes, exactly. Because as you say in America, for 20 years,
all of us Iranians--we are Monday morning quarterbacking and just saying
what happened, what could be done, what went wrong. I mean, there is no end
to it. And, of course, many groups who were against monarchy like many of
the commoners, some of them, even today, they say we should have supported
the shah for the positive things he was doing and criticize him for what
was--we thought was wrong instead of having anti-shah hysteria all the time.

LYDEN: I'm sure people are curious, and certainly I know that Iranian
expatriates are and those inside Iran, about what you are doing. Do you
answer e-mails, Empress Farrah, or is this a rumor that we got from somewhere?

Ms. PAHLAVI: No, no, I do. I do. I do, and this is--in a way it's good
because I'm in touch with different compatriots which are in different
parts of the world.

LYDEN: Are some of the people who write to you writing to you from
inside Iran and asking for help?

Ms. PAHLAVI: From inside, no, because it's too dangerous. And I must
tell you something, that I'm so homesick since I cannot call any friend or
anybody that I know in Iran, there are not many left. So sometimes I just
call some offices and I say that I'm someone, a student outside and I just
invent some question to ask, just to be in touch with my country.

LYDEN: Well, tell me about that. You must be nostalgic for it. Can you
give me an image of just one fave day, perhaps, during your reign that
would tell us what you miss.

Ms. PAHLAVI: Well, I miss--you know, I miss my roots. I miss whatever
is familiar to my five senses: the smell, the noise, the taste, the touch.
I smell the nature, and I miss that. And I miss the contact I had with my
compatriots in the villages in remote areas. And this is a--you know,
unless you're in exile, you can never have this feeling that you are--you
don't belong anywhere. You're in a raft in the middle of ocean.

I have just to tell you one story. I drink my tea with dry mulberry,
which we do in Iran. And one day I had--there was a sand in it and I was
first worried I might have broken a tooth, but then suddenly I realized
that I have the sand and the land of Iran in my body, you know, as if it's
such a strange feeling of love and belonging.

LYDEN: Empress Farrah Pahlavi, she spoke to us from her home in Paris.


Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 22:48:09 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Majid Majidi's "Children of Heaven" is nominated for Oscar

Complete List of Oscar Nominations

By The Associated Press Tuesday, February 9, 1999; 9:26 a.m. EST

Academy Award nominations announced Tuesday:

1. BEST PICTURE: ``Elizabeth,'' ``Life Is Beautiful,'' ``Saving Private
Ryan,'' ``Shakespeare in Love,'' ``The Thin Red Line.''

2. ACTOR: Roberto Benigni, ``Life Is Beautiful''; Tom Hanks,''Saving
Private Ryan''; Ian McKellen, ``Gods and Monsters''; Nick Nolte,
``Affliction''; Edward Norton, ``American History X.''

3. ACTRESS: Cate Blanchett, ``Elizabeth''; Fernanda Montenegro,
``Central Station''; Gwyneth Paltrow, ``Shakespeare in Love''; Meryl
Streep, ``One True Thing''; Emily Watson, ``Hilary and Jackie.''

4. SUPPORTING ACTOR: James Coburn, ``Affliction''; Robert Duvall, ``A
Civil Action''; Ed Harris, ``The Truman Show''; Geoffrey Rush,
``Shakespeare in Love''; Billy Bob Thornton, ``A Simple Plan.''

5. SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Kathy Bates, ``Primary Colors''; Brenda Blethyn,
``Little Voice''; Judi Dench, ``Shakespeare in Love''; Rachel Griffiths,
``Hilary and Jackie''; Lynn Redgrave, ``Gods and Monsters.''

6. DIRECTOR: Roberto Benigni, ``Life Is Beautiful''; Steven Spielberg,
``Saving Private Ryan''; John Madden, ``Shakespeare in Love''; Terrence
Malick, ``The Thin Red Line''; Peter Weir, ``The Truman Show.''

7. FOREIGN FILM: ``Central Station,'' Brazil; ``Children of Heaven,''
Iran; ``The Grandfather,'' Spain; ``Life Is Beautiful,'' Italy;
``Tango,'' Argentina.

8. SCREENPLAY (written directly for the screen): Warren Beatty and
Jeremy Pikser, ``Bulworth''; Vincenzo Cerami and Roberto Benigni, ``Life
Is Beautiful''; Robert Rodat, ``Saving Private Ryan''; Marc Norman and
Tom Stoppard, ``Shakespeare in Love''; Andrew Niccol, ``The Truman

9. SCREENPLAY (based on material previously produced or published): Bill
Condon, ``Gods and Monsters''; Scott Frank, ``Out of Sight''; Elaine
May, ``Primary Colors''; Scott B. Smith, ``A Simple Plan''; Terrence
Malick, ``The Thin Red Line.''

10. ART DIRECTION: ``Elizabeth,'' ``Pleasantville,'' ``Saving Private
Ryan,'' ``Shakespeare in Love,'' ``What Dreams May Come.''

11. CINEMATOGRAPHY: ``A Civil Action,'' ``Elizabeth,'' ``Saving Private
Ryan,'' ``Shakespeare in Love,'' ``The Thin Red Line.''

12. SOUND: ``Armageddon,'' ``The Mask of Zorro,'' ``Saving Private
Ryan,'' ``Shakespeare in Love,'' ``The Thin Red Line.''

13. SOUND EFFECTS EDITING: ``Armageddon,'' ``The Mask of Zorro,''
``Saving Private Ryan.''

14. ORIGINAL MUSICAL OR COMEDY SCORE: ``A Bug's Life,'' Randy Newman;
``Mulan,'' Matthew Wilder, David Zippel and Jerry Goldsmith; ``Patch
Adams,'' Marc Shaiman; ``The Prince of Egypt,'' Stephen Schwartz and
Hans Zimmer; ``Shakespeare in Love,'' Stephen Warbeck.

15. ORIGINAL DRAMATIC SCORE: ``Elizabeth,'' David Hirschfelder; ``Life
Is Beautiful,'' Nicola Piovani; ``Pleasantville,'' Randy Newman;
``Saving Private Ryan,'' John Williams; ``The Thin Red Line,'' Hans

16. ORIGINAL SONG: ``I Don't Want to Miss a Thing'' from
``Armaggeddon,'' Diane Warren; ``The Prayer'' from ``Quest for
Camelot,'' Carole Bayer Sager, David Foster, Tony Renis and Alberto
Testa; ``A Soft Place to Fall'' from ``The Horse Whisperer,'' Allison
Moorer and Gwil Owen; ``That'll Do'' from ``Babe: Pig in the City,''
Randy Newman; ``When You Believe'' from ``The Prince of Egypt,'' Stephen

17. COSTUME: ``Beloved,'' ``Elizabeth,'' ``Pleasantville,''
``Shakespeare in Love,'' ``Velvet Goldmine.''

18. DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: ``Dancemaker,'' ``The Farm: Angola, U.S.A.,''
``The Last Days,'' ``Lenny Bruce: Swear to Tell the Truth,'' ``Regret to

19. DOCUMENTARY (short subject): ``The Personals: Improvisations on
Romance in the Golden Years,'' ``A Place in the Land,'' ``Sunrise Over
Tiananmen Square.''

20. FILM EDITING: ``Life Is Beautiful,'' ``Out of Sight,'' ``Saving
Private Ryan,'' ``Shakespeare in Love,'' ``The Thin Red Line.''

21. MAKEUP: ``Elizabeth,'' ``Saving Private Ryan,'' ``Shakespeare in

22. ANIMATED SHORT FILM: ``Bunny,'' ``The Canterbury Tales,'' ``Jolly
Roger,'' ``More,'' ``When Life Departs.''

23. LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM: ``Culture,'' ``Election Night (Valgaften),''
``Holiday Romance,'' ``La Carte Postale (The Postcard),'' ``Victor.''

24. VISUAL EFFECTS: ``Armageddon,'' ``Mighty Joe Young,'' ``What Dreams
May Come.''


Oscar winners previously announced this year:

SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL AWARD (Oscar statuette): Avid Technology, Inc.

THALBERG AWARD: Producer-director Norman F. Jewison.

HONORARY AWARD: Director Elia Kazan.

Copyright 1999 The Associated Press


Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 21:51:24 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iranian FM says he is ready to meet his German counterpart

TEHRAN, Feb 8 (AFP) - Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi
said Monday he is in favour of meeting his German counterpart
Joschka Fischer for talks on bilateral relations.
"We were not able to meet in Davos (Switzerland) but we would
reply favourably to his request for a meeting," Kharazi told a news
He praised Bonn's "positive attitude" towards improving
relations and "making up for the bitter period they have been
"We hope that a new period will begin," he said, confirming that
German Chancellery Minister Bodo Hombach had asked to visit Iran.
Hombach was charged in November by the new German Chancellor
Gerhard Schroeder with pursuing contacts with Iran over the case of
German businessman Helmut Hofer, who faces the death penalty here
for an alleged illicit relationship with an Iranian Moslem woman.
"We welcome this visit for which there are no preconditions,"
Kharazi said, though he repeated the Iranian authorities' stand that
the case was "strictly a matter for the courts."
The affair has strained bilateral relations which had been
slowly improving after the diplomatic scandal which followed a 1997
German court ruling implicating Iran's leadership in the murder of
dissidents in Berlin.
Iran's foreign ministry had recently welcomed "positive" remarks
on Iran by senior German officials including President Roman Herzog,
saying they showed the Germans "have become further acquainted with
realities in the Islamic Republic of Iran."
Herzog reportedly praised President Mohammad Khatami's call to
make the year 2001 a year for dialogue between Islamic and Western
civilisations, in remarks made at the recent World Economic Forum
meeting in Davos.
Hofer is currently in detention, awaiting the final verdict on
his case. kd-adv/kir/js


Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 21:51:30 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iran wants better ties with Jordan

TEHRAN, Iran, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi
says his country is seeking to develop ties with Jordan under the new
monarch King Abdullah.
Kharrazi told reporters in Tehran today that the Persian state is
``looking forward to establish the best relations under the rule of King
Abdullah,'' in order to preserve the interests of both countries and the
Muslim world.
The Iranian news agency IRNA said Kharrazi denied that his country
complained over a statement by King Abdullah reportedly describing Iran
as still constituting a threat to some countries in the region.
He said Tehran only requested a clarification and noted that the
Jordanian ambassador to Iran denied the alleged statement, saying that
it was not accurate.
Kharrazi said Iran was still waiting for additional clarification
from the Jordanian foreign ministry ``although it is convinced with the
clarifications'' given by the Jordanian ambassador.
He said Iran wanted to send a high-ranking delegation to Amman to
attend King Hussein's funeral but due to a lack of time its ambassador
in Amman was given the task of officially representing Iranian President
Mohammed Khatami at the ceremony.
Kharrazi said Khatami sent a cable of condolences and congratulated
the new monarch, wishing him all success in his new responsibilities.


Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 21:51:41 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iran reschedules two billion dollars of foreign debt

TEHRAN, Feb 9 (AFP) - Iran has rescheduled two billion dollars
of foreign debt and obtained a new credit line of 1.3 billion
dollars, central bank governor Mohsen Nurbakhsh told newspapers
"Our commercial partners have agreed to reschedule two billion
dollars of short-term debts, which now become long-term debts to be
paid over 33 months," he said without further details.
Nurbakhsh said he had obtained 1.3 billion dollars of new
credits designed to finance imports, following his trip last week to
France and Italy, two of Iran's major European trading partners.
Iran's total foreign debt, including short term obligations run
to a total of 23 billion dollars, Nurbakhsh said.
Iran is currently facing a severe shortfall in government
revenues, prompted by the dramatic fall in the price of oil which
provides over 80 percent of the country's foreign exchange.
A growing number of Iranian companies have defaulted on their
debts since last November in what one foreign banker described as a
mounting "cashflow crisis."


Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 21:51:57 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Radical reformers found new left-wing party in Iran

TEHRAN, Feb 9 (AFP) - Left-wing supporters of reformist Iranian
President Mohammad Khatami announced the formation of a new party
Tuesday ahead of the country's first ever local elections.
The left-wing minority in Iran's conservative-dominated
parliament said they were forming the Islamic Labour Party to
encourage political participation by the working class.
The group, which is close to official trade unions here, wanted
to encourage "working groups' greater participation in political
life," party member and former labour minister Abolqasem
Sarhadi-Zadeh told the official news agency IRNA.
The move is part of increasing wave of political activity ahead
of landmark council elections on February 26, seen as a key move in
democratising state institutions here.
The elections have highlighted the rift between radical and
moderate supporters of Khatami and his conservative opponents as
both sides seek to strengthen their local power base ahead of
parliamentary elections due next year.
The party's founding members also include the head of the
state-sponsored House of Labour, Alireza Mahjub, left-wing Tehran
woman MP Soheila Jelodarzadeh and MP Abdulrahman Tajedin.
The new formation follows the founding in December of the
moderate Islamic Iran Participation Front, set up to support
Khatami's democratisation drive.
Khatami's government has pressed for the formation of political
parties to pave the way for a more democratic society.
But his efforts have often run into opposition from hardline
conservatives who fear a fast pace of reform may undermine the
fundamental principles of the 1979 Islamic revolution.
The new parties have come amid signs of fractures in the
moderate-leftist coalition under mounting conservative pressure.
Some moderates are reportedly seeking to distance themselves
from the leftists, who sometimes demand more radical changes than
Khatami may be ready to embark on.
Iran's constitution allows in principle the formation of
political parties, provided they respect the Islamic regime and
believe in the constitution.
Despite the virtual absence of parties in Iran up until now,
many political and religious organisations loyal to the regime have
been active as pressure groups, lobbying in the interests of various
tendencies within the dominant clergy.
Among the more influential is the Association of Combatant
Clergy, a grouping of powerful conservative clerics linked to
religious centres and wealthy traditional merchants.


Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 21:52:03 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Ties on the mend between Egypt and Iran, Iranian FM says

CAIRO, Feb 9 (AFP) - Ties between Egypt and Iran are improving
and a re-establishment of full diplomatic relations between the two
regional powers could be in the offing, Iranian Foreign Minister
Kamal Kharazi has said.
Kharazi said in an interview published Tuesday by the Al-Ahram
newspaper that relations between his country and Egypt were "heading
in the right direction and if we compare the situation today with
what it was two or three years ago, we can see that things have
He said that the two countries were "much closer" to
re-establishing diplomatic relations, adding that such a move needed
the political will on both sides.
"The region needs more cooperation between Egypt and Iran,
because they are both important and influential countries," said
Ties between Egypt and Iran deteriorated sharply after the 1979
Islamic revolution that saw the overthrow of the Shah of Iran.
But there have been signs of improvement in recent months,
notably through business and commercial exchanges.
At present the two countries have no ambassadorial
representation in their respective capitals above the level of
interest sections, but they have signed bilateral deals to cooperate
in such areas as health care and pharmaceuticals.


End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 8 Feb 1999 to 9 Feb 1999