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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 15 Feb 1999 to 16 Feb 1999
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There are 8 messages totalling 529 lines in this issue.
Topics of the day:
2. notes on 22 bahman 1357
3. Amir-Entezam Charged With Slander!
4. fwd: Iran's hostage takers now conciliators
5. Government will not seek to apply Rushdie fatwa: Iranian minister
6. Former Iranian minister to go on trial for slander
7. Iran, Libya to confront US embargo
8. Former Guards chief accuses Israel of role in dissident murders
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 1999 01:06:48 +0000
From: Mo Salemy <mosalem@HOME.COM>
now carries the best in political satire writing.
written and produced by one and only Hadi Khorsandi, and designed by Mo @
please visit and enjoy the hottest anti IRI writing at its best.
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 1999 01:20:54 +0000
From: Mo Salemy <mosalem@HOME.COM>
Subject: notes on 22 bahman 1357
Part of a longer article i am writing for the 20th anniversary of the disaster
called 22 bahman
As you may already know, esmaeel khoee did an interview with radio LA on
thursday night in which he apologized for participation in the revoloution.
he also made awhole bunch of other claims there that from now on, will be his
and anyone who say those things will be considered a copy of this daghalbaz
I just wanted to say that I have been saying that the revoloution was a
mistake for tha last almost one year in this foroum. numerous emails that I
have sent to this group is a clear evidence of it.
now we are approaching the 20th anniversary of that back winter in february.
(12th is the exact day)
so i thought of writing this little note to start a discussion on the topic.
Understnding shah time wasnt and still isnt easy for people old enough to
remember, let alone youngsters who do not have any recollection of iran before
revoloution. In fact making a comment about Pahlavi era requires in-depth
knowledge of the complicated social political structure of the Iranian society
at that time. and an accurate historical analysis of how we got to that moment
Without wanting to engage in a deep and long converstaion about these topics,
I would like to remind you of the elements one should consider, when they are
thinking, or making comments about Pahlavi era in Iran.
1. pahlavi kings are single-handedly responsible for dragging iran out of 18
century into twentieth century. No other dynasty or regime in our history has
contributed so much to the process of modernization of iran. This is a fact
that even IRI officials dont dsipute. as post modernists would agree, not
everything modern is great, so as every achievement of the pahlavi dynasty.
2. Mohammad reza shah reigned in the midst of the world's biggest political
conflict, meaning cold war, at a time when iran shared a long border with one
of the two superpowers. many sad and unforgivable wrongdoings (suspention of
freedom of press, political repression, and finally death squads and torture
etc..) were direct results of the cold war and the fact that back then, it was
impossible to be neutral country, as a neghbour of a superpower.
I will go on to say that iranian traditional left, with its compliance with
the soviet union would have turned iran into another romania, bulgaria, or
worse Albani, had they found the chance to take over the political system.
This is not a cheap shot, if one looks back at the power and the influence of
the left at that time he may find a ot of truth in this comment. According to
many in-depth studies the toodeh supporters were in charge of many branches of
the iranian civil life. (refer to iran between two revoloutions by E. Abrahamian.)
3. the anti-coup of 1953 may have removed the only true democratic government
of Iran, but it defenitely removed the chance of Iran falling into the hands
of a pro soviet and stalinist regime of the toodeh party a few months down the
line. In fact it wasnt mossdaegh that was the reason for the coup, but
mossadegh's inability to stop the offensive of the toodeh in their march to
power. and we all know what the take over of iran by toodeh party would have
4. despite the myht of nationalists, mossadegh was a political opportunist, a
populist leader who spoke much more than he actually did. he had personal
vendetta against the royal family and he envied shah and his power as the
king. he was ready to destroy iran on this fued, and many times in his time as
the prime minister he got very close to this. The records actually prrove that
his administration did not do much for people while in power and as a matter
of fact the amount of work done in six months after the anti-coup of 1953,
surpassed all legislation that mossadegh pased through majlis. mossadegh also
was the one who remarried religion and politics for the first time in a long
time, the marriage whose child was no one but the islamic republic.
5. As to keeping religion at hand, and going to bed with it at convenience,
shah had to have a third player besides the monarchy (and this was the lesson
he virtualy learned from mossadegh) while fighting the left. what can be
better than religion when one tries to combat communism. this is perhaps what
he saw as his father's biggest mistake; by reducing religion to a private
matter and removing its morality and power from the society, Reza Shah had
created the best condition for the advancement of leftism and toodeh party in
Iran. Shah wanted to reverse this, not knowing that one day Religion and
toodeh party will unite, only to have him removed and bring about the first
relatively pro soviet government in Iran (after 1979 hostage taking). I
personally conside this shah's biggest mistake, much bigger than kilings of 17 shahrivar.
6. As much as shah hated toodeh party, he had the wilingness to appropriate
anything valuable the left had to offer in its platform, socially and
economically. in fact Shah's white revoloution was an attempt to present and
implement the left's platform which was said to be only achievable through a
bloody revoution and the change in the regime, and give it to people of iran
without a bloodshed or a change of regime. land reform for peasants, sufferage
for women, free education, reform of the civil and family law, profit sharing
with the workers, etc.. were all taken from the social democratic platform
that toodeh had ralied around for decades. implementation of the white
revolution would have disarmed the leftist intelectuals and reduced them to
obsolete. this may explain why they started o prepare for an assault on shah,
not much on an economic basis, but more on a cultural basis, along with
traditionalists and the mosque.
7. the dark days of shah's time started with the arms struggle and the gurrila
movements, and it didnt last more that seven years. Not all of shah's reign
was paralleled with Savak and torure. And as bad as these practices were, they
were only applied to ones who had taken up arms or have sympethised with the
arms struggle. many nationalists and even toodeh sympathisers wre going in and
coming out of jail all the time, without much damage!
8. Our intelectuals' opposition to shah was deeply connected to their fear of
the west and modernity, regardless of how on the surface it appeared as a
radical stance for freedom and democracy by radical thinkers! Intellectuals
were unhappy with shah because they werent consulted on the process of
modernization, they felt that they had a bigger role to play, a path shah had
shortcut. to them any westernization that did not bear their stamp of approval
was "Gharbzadegi". While on the surface, they cried freedom of press, in real
they wished a traditional government who would need them to modernize or to
even reconsider modernity after the fall of shah. Thats why they did not
oppose the Islamic republic while campaigning for the freedom of thought and
press! The intelectuals did not mind a quick return to the century the pahlavi
dynasty had skipped over: the 19th century, only to play the role played by
the western intellectuals in the west during the same time! (this may explain
the reason why shah coined the term "An-tellectual or shit-tellectuals).
9. iranian intellectuals are heavily responsible for the disaster of 1979
revoloution, not so much as the force that made the return to 19th century
happen, but as the force that did not do anything to resist it and made it
possible. We should not forget that soviet union the mother of all the
classical leftists in iran also did not mind an anti western regime in iran
for its own short term gains. this would translate into a sweeping support for
khomeini and the regime from intellectuals connected to the toodeh aprty and
the left as well.
10. The west, knowing that an unmediated and secular downfall of shah would
only and only bring about a pro soviet regime in Iran, agreed to khomeini's
rule, as a leader that can reduce and deminish the pro sovietness of the
future regime. thats why USA and the western europe agreed to the quick
removal of shah. This was done to reduce the chances of a melli/toodehi/
coalition government, USA agreed to the grandious retun of khomeini, very much
like an exiled monarch, back home and they neutrulized the army (using the
same left scare rethoric for shah's generals, that if you dont stop supporting
monarchy and start supporting khomeini, within months pro-soviets will be here
to cut your troats), so instead of a toodehee/meeli government, we got a
melli/khomeni government, a coalition that not very later was replaced by a as
obvious toodehe/khomeini government. and later by hojatyeh/rafsanjani government.
11. Although they werent allowed to fully participate in the new regime as
ministers and members of parliament, the left, particularly toodeh party did
not mind to do what they were best at: infilteration of the new regime and
influening their policy makings, from the take over of the US embassy and the
creation of the radical Khate emam (the path of khomeini) to brokering a
relation with soviets after the beginning of the war with iraq, introducing
rationing and championing the nationalization of export and import trade,
toodehis were there to give direction and also wait for the right moment to do
what communists did in afghanistan after the fall of their monarchy. a
military take over of the goverment. In fact toodeh's fasination with an Army
branch consisting of Army officers and staff wasnt new. This was the same
network that was going to replace mossadegh, once mossadegh had removed shah.
Unfortunately Mulahs in Iran were smarter than that. they knew how to get
support from the west by showing the soviet threat. they kept playing the two
hands until the moment when they did not need the left and the toodeh, And
when that moment came, the did to toodeh what they did to their opponents.
12. the intellectuals of iran proved in practice that shah's name for them as
an-tellectuals (shit-tellectuals) was not so far from reality. This is more
obvious as the events after the fall of shah unfolded. while intellectuals
were gearing to begin a public campaign for the freedom of press, a split in
the intelectual and seculars over the iisue of imperialism (read defending the
interest of soviet union in the cold war) ended the hope of any pro democracy
and anti dictatorial movement.
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 1999 14:17:08 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad.abdolian@RSA.ERICSSON.SE>
Subject: Amir-Entezam Charged With Slander!
EHRAN, Feb 15 (AFP) -A minister in Iran's first post-revolutionary
government is to go on trial here Tuesday charged with slander, his wife
Abbas Amir-Entezam, regarded as a liberal, was detained last September after
making critical statements about the former head of the Evin prison near
Tehran, Assadollah Ladjevardi, who was assassinated in August.
The Swiss-based International Commission of Jurists issued a statement
protesting at the refusal of the Iranian authorities to issue visa to a
Swiss lawyer who wanted to observe the trial.
"We are asking for justice, that is all we want," said Elaheh Amir-Entezam,
the accused's wife.
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 1999 14:49:45 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad.abdolian@RSA.ERICSSON.SE>
Subject: fwd: Iran's hostage takers now conciliators
Iran 's hostage takers now conciliators
Some 'new moderates' are even being beaten for speaking out
02/15/99 USA Today
TEHRAN, Iran -- Chanting "death to America," they poured into the U.S. Embassy
through a broken basement window and held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days in
an ordeal seared on the American soul. As Iran marks the 20th anniversary of
its Islamic revolution, some of those who planned the embassy takeover are
trying to repair the damage they caused.
Some even express second thoughts about the way their revolution turned out.
"In the days of the revolution, we were shouting and screaming for liberty,
but we did not know what it meant," says Abbas Abdi, 43, one of the followers
of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini who called themselves the "students following
the Imam's Line."
"We want more respect around the world and a religion which is peace-seeking
and friendly," adds Ebrahim Asgharzadeh, also 43. "To defend the rights of the
people, we must reduce the power of the government."
Known until recently as hard-line leftists, many of the organizers of the
embassy seizure strongly support President Mohammad Khatami. Elected in 1997
by a landslide vote against an officially promoted candidate, Khatami has
called for cultural exchanges to break down the "wall of mistrust" with the
"Here was a group that in its day was known to be the most vehement and
uncompromising," says John Limbert, a former embassy hostage now living in
Washington. "Now some have become conciliators."
Not all are holding out an olive branch. Those who actually guarded the
Americans -- as opposed to inciting the takeover -- include people who later
tried to export the revolution and took up anti-American terrorism in Lebanon.
Some Iranians believe that the newfound moderation by the planners of the
takeover is less sincere than tactical, meant to defeat a more conservative
political faction tied to Iran 's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
However, the "new moderates" are speaking out at considerable personal risk.
Asgharzadeh, who on the last anniversary of the embassy takeover invited the
former captives to return to Iran , was so badly beaten in the city of Hamadan
in December that he was hospitalized. Political opponents are trying to keep
him and others like him off the ballot for the Tehran city council.
Another participant in the embassy crisis, Abbas Abdi, a writer and
sociologist, spent eight months in prison in 1993 for criticizing the pre-
Khatami government. Last week he was roughed up by quasi-official vigilantes
known as Ansar-e-Hezbollahi (partisans of the party of God) in the city of
Qom, a center for Islamic education. The main reason: Abdi met last summer in
Paris with one of the former hostages, Barry Rosen.
Rosen, an embassy spokesman in 1979, and now a public relations official at
Columbia University in New York, says Abdi "privately apologized for what he
had done to myself and my family." In Tehran, however, Abdi is more
circumspect. He declines to apologize, saying that he and others involved in
the takeover already did so in 1981 when the hostages were finally freed.
Abdi defends the seizure as a legitimate protest against the United States for
giving refuge to the ailing, deposed shah of Iran . This U.S. action, the
Iranian opposition then feared, would lead to a CIA-backed coup like the one
that put the shah on the throne in 1953.
But Abdi, with thinning hair and five children ranging in age from 6 to 20,
says his political views have evolved. "If a person does not make changes as
he ages, he must be a piece of wood," he says.
Wearing a well-tailored suit and pinstriped shirt, Asgharzadeh also has
changed from the young zealot who planned the takeover on Nov. 4, 1979, with
two other student leaders.
A father of three, he now advises the National Metal Co. of Iran . He hopes to
run for city council in Iran 's first nationwide local elections Feb. 26.
The two other originators of the takeover, he says, are the Minister of Power
Habib Bitaraf and Mohsen Mir Damadi, who runs a local newspaper, Salaam
Masumeh Ebtekar, the U.S.-educated translator for the hostage holders, is now
Iran 's first female vice president. Also in charge of the environment, she is
presiding this month over a "green film festival."
Like thousands of students, they were caught up in the revolution that broke
out 20 years ago last week. The uprising not only ousted the shah, it tried to
purge the system of his benefactors, particularly Washington. To that end, the
embassy takeover nine months later now seems almost inevitable.
Asgharzadeh says it was inspired in part by U.S. student protests against the
Vietnam War and that the organizers intended to stay for only 48 hours.
But the occupation mushroomed into a brutal and lengthy violation of
international law that dominated public opinion in both countries and wrecked
the presidency of Jimmy Carter. Khomeini, the beetle-browed imam, or Islamic
leader, exploited the takeover to defeat his own political rivals.
"By the summer of '79, things weren't going well," says another former
hostage, retired colonel Charles Scott. "The Iranians knew how to run a
revolution, but not how to run a government. They needed a rallying point,
some outside thing to hate and blame for all the faults. We were the cement
that held the whole revolution together."
The "cement" rapidly turned to quicksand. The United States broke diplomatic
relations. Iran , an ancient nation once known for its hospitality, became a
pariah. Most damaging, neighboring Iraq invaded Iran in the summer of 1980 in
a grab for oil that turned into an eight-year war that killed or injured 1
"If there hadn't been a hostage crisis, there probably wouldn't have been a
war," says Mike Metrinko, another former U.S. hostage. He says Iraq would not
have been as bold if Iran hadn't been an outlaw state.
More than a decade after the war ended, Iran has partly restored its tattered
economy and reputation. But the cleric-dominated government has yet to
deliver a better life for many of Iran 's nearly 70 million people. A
religious elite monopolizes the economy. Competing and multiplying political
institutions check each other in a way that makes progress sporadic.
With 40% of the population under 15 years old, most Iranians do not remember
the revolution or understand why it occurred. Many chafe not just at the lack
of economic opportunity but at religious scriptures that forbid most public
entertainment and open mixing of the sexes -- even when women are covered from
head to toe.
Many Iranian officials blame a U.S. trade embargo for Iran 's economic
travails. But while Abdi and Asgharzadeh say the United States should lift
economic sanctions, they do not fault Washington for what the revolution has
"During the past century, the British or the Americans were the major
decision- makers in Iran , and it turned into a habit to blame them," Abdi
says. "At least now we can say it's our responsibility what happens in Iran ,
whether good or bad."
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 1999 19:05:20 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Government will not seek to apply Rushdie fatwa: Iranian minister
TEHRAN, Feb 16 (AFP) - Iranian Culture Minister Ataollah
Mohajerani has reiterated that while the "fatwa" condemning British
author Salman Rushdie to death cannot be withdrawn, the government
will not seek to carry it out.
"The ruling cannot be revoked," Mohajerani said of the February
14, 1988 religious decree by the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomenei
condemning Rushdie to death for alleged blasphemy against Islam in
his book "The Satanic Verses."
"(But) the Islamic government would not take any action on the
ruling," the official IRNA news agency quoted the culture and
Islamic guidance minister as saying late Monday.
The remarks by Mohajerani, a moderate member of the reformist
government of President Mohammed Khatami, come amid calls by
influential members of Iran's Shiite Moslem clergy for the death
sentence against Rushdie to be carried out.
The Khordad-15 Foundation, which has placed a 2.8 million dollar
bounty on Rushdie's head, insisted Sunday on the 10th anniversary of
Khomenei's fatwa that the death sentence against the Indian-born
author would be carried out.
"The idea of Rushdie's annihilation is more alive than ever,"
said Khordad-15 president Ayatollah Hassan Sanei, insisting the
government had no right to question the validity of the death
sentence imposed by Khomeini.
In September, Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi said at the United
Nations that the government would not seek to kill Rushdie and
disassociated the authorities from the bounty placed on his head.
Kharazi's comments opened the door to moves to improve ties
between London and Tehran -- the two countries have agreed to
exchange ambassadors although the move has not yet actually taken
The Rushdie fatwa has forced the Khatami government to engage in
a delicate balancing act as it moves to improve its image abroad
while remaining faithful to the word of Khomenei, the leader of the
1979 Islamic revolution.
Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards said on Saturday that
Khomeini's verdict is "based on Islam" and cannot be retracted.
"The apostate Salman Rushdie will eventually be burnt in the
fire of Moslems' wrath," the Guards said in a statement.
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 1999 19:05:26 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Former Iranian minister to go on trial for slander
TEHRAN, Feb 15 (AFP) - A minister in Iran's first
post-revolutionary government is to go on trial here Tuesday charged
with slander, his wife told AFP.
Abbas Amir-Entezam, regarded as a liberal, was detained last
September after making critical statements about the former head of
the Evin prison near Tehran, Assadollah Ladjevardi, who was
assassinated in August.
The Swiss-based International Commission of Jurists issued a
statement protesting at the refusal of the Iranian authorities to
issue visa to a Swiss lawyer who wanted to observe the trial.
"We are asking for justice, that is all we want," said Elaheh
Amir-Entezam, the accused's wife.
Amir-Entezam has already served a 17 year sentence for spying, a
charge he always denied, and is considered the country's
longest-serving political prisoner. He had enjoyed only a brief
spell of freedom before his re-arrest.
A number of human rights organisations have expressed their
support for him, and last year he was awarded the Austrian Bruno
Kreisky prize for human rights.
Amir-Entezam was a deputy prime minister and government
spokesman in the provisional government headed by Mehdi Bazargan
after the overthrow of the Shah in February 1979.
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 1999 19:05:35 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iran, Libya to confront US embargo
TEHRAN, Iran, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi
says his country and Libya hope to join efforts to confront what he
called an economic siege imposed by the United States on both their
Speaking shortly after his arrival today from a three-day visit to
Libya, Kharrazi said the United States ``cannot impose its laws on
He expressed hope for achieving ``a unified Iranian-Libyan stand to
confront U.S. embargoes imposed on both states.''
Kharrazi described his visit to Tripoli as ``successful.'' He
delivered a letter from Iranian President Mohammed Khatami to Libyan
leader Moammar Gadhafi and said ``the good political relations between
the two countries help in beginning cooperation in various fields.''
Kharrazi said his talks with the Libyan officials tackled bilateral
ties, exchanging points of view over regional and international
developments as well as the drop in world oil prices.
He underlined the need for cooperation and coordination among oil-
producing countries to improve the falling oil prices.
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 1999 19:05:15 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Former Guards chief accuses Israel of role in dissident murders
TEHRAN, Feb 16 (AFP) - A former commander of Iran's
Revolutionary Guards accused Israel on Tuesday of involvement in
last year's string of murders of dissidents and writers in the
"The Israeli secret services were behind the recent murders and
political assassinations in Iran as well as an attack in November
against a group of American tourists," General Mohsen Rezai told a
press conference here.
Rezai, who is currently secretary of a powerful government
decision-making body, said that the murders were "an attempt (by
Israel) to prevent any ... normalization of relations between Iran
and the United States and Europe."
"They want to tarnish the image of the regime and show that our
reformist president Mohammad Khatami is incapable of controlling the
situation," he told Iranian and foreign reporters.
Rezai provided a long and complicated explanation as to how
Israel's Mossad secret service was implicated in the wave of
violence that has rocked Iran in the past few months.
He said the November murder of nationalist dissident Daryush
Foruhar and his wife, Parvaneh, was planned by a member of the
Iranian intelligence services who "acted under the influence of
agents planted by Mossad."
Writers Mohammad Mokhtari and Mohammad Pouyandeh were also
assassinated late last year in a series of murders which the Iranian
authorities themselves have acknowledged were carried out by "rogue"
intelligence ministry agents.
"Mossad and the People's Mujahedeen (the main armed Iranian
opposition group) are collaborating in a bid to torpedo the
political opening" of the Islamic Republic, Rezai said.
"They were behind all of the assassinations and murders as well
as the attack against a bus carrying American tourists in Tehran,"
A bus carrying a group of American tourists was attacked by a
mob outside a hotel in November in an attack which has been blamed
Rezai also said it was his "personal analysis that the German
national killed on Saturday in Iran may have been assassinated" as
part of this "Israeli-Mujahedeen" plot.
Heinrich Lambert Heimes, the former representative in Iran of
Germany's Deutsche Bank, was shot dead on a highway outside Tehran
on Saturday by a gunman whom the Iranian authorities have described
as a common criminal.
In January, the intelligence ministry announced that several
"rogue" agents had been arrested for involvement in the murders of
dissidents and writers. It said they acted without the knowledge of
Conservative Iranian leaders have charged that the killings were
instigated from abroad while reformers have said they were carried
out by hardline Islamic militants backed by the conservatives.
Intelligence Minister Dorri-Najafabadi resigned because of the
affair last week and his successor is expcted to be introduced in
parliament on Wednesday for a vote of confidence.
End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 15 Feb 1999 to 16 Feb 1999