Date: Feb 25, 1999 [ 18: 32: 51]

Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 24 Feb 1999 to 25 Feb 1999 - Special issue

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 24 Feb 1999 to 25 Feb 1999 - Special issue
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There are 19 messages totalling 1223 lines in this issue.

Topics in this special issue:

1. fwd: GIVING VOICE TO FREEDOM
2. Violance Ahead of Iran's Election
3. Munucipal Election in Iran
4. Iran and Turkmenistan Contract
5. Iran and Taliban (Part I)
6. Iran and Taliban (Part II)
7. Iran wants to eliminate tensions with rest of world: FM
8. 18 slain in Kurdish protests in Iran: rebels
9. Iranian reformers finally get go-ahead to stand on eve of landmark poll
10. Iranian Kurdish students stage protest at Turkish embassy
11. Western suits, ties mark new style for Islamic Republic
12. Iran's first local elections key test for reformist president
13. Iran army preparing for war games in Kurdistan province
14. moscow slams Washington as Iran-linked sanctions are finalised
15. Several injured in attack on reformist party HQ in Tehran: reports
16. Iranian town's mosques collect donations to finance Rushdie assassination
17. Cancellation threat hangs over landmark Tehran poll on last day of
campaign
18. 2,000 arrests in Iranian Kurdistan: People's Mujahedeen
19. Three killed in protests in Iranian Kurdistan: Tehran Times

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

Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 14:38:44 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad.abdolian@RSA.ERICSSON.SE>
Subject: fwd: GIVING VOICE TO FREEDOM

GIVING VOICE TO FREEDOM

Tehran's intellectuals won't keep quiet
By CHRISTOPHER DICKEY (Newsweek)

HIS FATHER SAID HE WAS going out to buy some groceries for dinner. Mom
was away for the evening visiting friends. Sohrab, 13, went back to
reading his book as the light faded on the north Tehran high-rise
apartment blocks. But now it was dark, and Papa wasn't back. Sohrab
called his older brother. He called his mother at her friends' place. And
still his papa hadn't come back and couldn't be found.
Nearly a week passed before the body of Sohrab's father, Iranian
essayist and poet Mohammed Mokhtari, was found and identified. He had been
strangled with a leather strap. No one knew, or would say, who had done it.
Then, the night Mokhtari's death was confirmed, as fellow writers gathered
at his apartment to console his family, a phone call came from Sima
Pooyandeh. Her husband, Mohammed Jafar Pooyandeh, best known for his
translations of Fench literature and the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights, had gone missing that afternoon. His body was found two days later.
He, too, had been strangled with a leather strap or belt.
The December killings sent a shudder through Iran's intellectual
community. Word of the deaths came only a few days after the stabbing of
an elderly couple who had long peacefully opposed the government. Iranian
academics and authors knew that any of them might be marked for death;
several anonymous hit lists began to circulated.

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

Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 21:25:46 EDT
From: Boddy Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Violance Ahead of Iran's Election

Violence Ahead of Iran Elections
By Anwar Faruqi
Associated Press Writer
Wednesday, February 24, 1999; 4:49 p.m. EST

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- A gunman opened fire on a moderate party's election headqu
arters Wednesday as reformers and hard-liners bickered over candidates in Iran'
s first local elections in 20 years.

Witnesses said there were no casualties in the attack, in which a passenger on
a motor scooter sprayed bullets at the Servants of Construction offices in Tehr
an. Dozens of volunteers were inside at the time. The gunman and driver escaped
.

The shooting highlighted the tensions before Friday's polls, which pit supporte
rs of reformist President Mohammad Khatami against his hard-line rivals in the
Islamic government.

The electoral supervision board, which is dominated by hard-liners, disqualifie
d about 50 candidates, nearly all of them well-known moderates, on Sunday.

But the Interior Ministry, controlled by moderates, called the disqualification
s illegal and urged candidates and voters to ignore them, newspapers reported W
ednesday.

``The election is very confusing. We don't even know what these councils are su
pposed to do,'' said Rasoul Sedaghat, a 59-year-old retiree.

``Besides, they are still fighting over who can run and who can't,'' he said. L
ike many Iranians interviewed, he said he was not going to vote.

Because it is the first time Iranians are choosing municipal officials since th
e 1979 Islamic revolution, no one quite knows the rules. Both the Interior Mini
stry and the Central Supervision Board, made up of Parliament deputies, claim t
hey have the right to supervise the polls.

Following the Interior Ministry move, Ali Movahedi Savoji, the head of the supe
rvision board, threatened to nullify votes in Tehran if the 12 disqualified can
didates from the capital are allowed to run, the Iran Daily reported.

Hard-liners have been blamed for a wave of violence, such as attacks on newspap
ers, moderate officials and pro-democracy demonstrations. The hard-line intelli
gence minister resigned this month after his ministry disclosed that rogue agen
ts were behind the killings of five dissidents and intellectuals last year.

Nationwide, about 330,000 candidates, including 5,000 women, are running for mo
re than 200,000 posts to manage local government affairs in cities, towns and v
illages. Nearly 40 million people are eligible to vote.

Former Interior Minister Abdollah Nouri, among the candidates disqualified, bel
ieves the elections are important even though the Constitution gives municipal
councils little power.

``This is the beginning of the way for the councils. Naturally, once the counci
ls start work, they can take all executive tasks of the country in hand,'' he s
aid.

Khatami's landslide victory in the May 1997 presidential elections came from th
e Iranian voters' desire for loosening the strict social controls imposed by th
e clerical government.

Now hard-liners fear that Khatami's supporters will carry that view to the muni
cipal polling booth as well.



© Copyright 1999 The Associated Press

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

Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 21:27:16 EDT
From: Boddy Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Munucipal Election in Iran

Dissidents, yuppies, radicals vie in Iran vote
10:11 a.m. Feb 24, 1999 Eastern
By Jonathan Lyons

TEHRAN, Feb 24 (Reuters) - The range of images was unthinkable even six months
ago: A clean-shaven aristocrat in a coat and tie, bearded revolutionary volunte
ers, Western-educated yuppies and dissidents once banished to the scrap heap of
Islamic history.

In a land where political and religious symbolism has been raised to an art for
m, few will fail to ``decode'' the messages conveyed by simple newspaper advert
ising and campaign posters for Iran's first city, town and village elections, o
n February 26.

This reflects in large measure the populist reforms ushered in by moderate Pres
ident Mohammad Khatami since his landslide election in May 1997.

But it also reveals the failure of traditional methods of social and political
control when faced with the overwhelming task of assessing more than 280,000 lo
cal candidates for political correctness, Islamic-style.

Only in the case of several dozen prominent pro-Khatami reformists have the con
servative-led supervisory boards actively sought to bar candidates as unpalatab
le to the clerical establishment. Lesser-known figures largely slipped through
the ideological nets.

Among the most talked-about candidates is publisher and businessman Sadegh Sami
i, whose slick advertising features the Tehran city hopeful in a coat and tie -
- a style of dress long derided in post-revolutionary Iran as a symbol of subse
rvience to the West since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

``For 20 years I have walked in the streets wearing a tie,'' Samii told Reuters
. ``This is how I look, this is how people know me. If they didn't allow me to
wear a tie, I wouldn't have run.''

However, the decision to appear in a tie -- dismissed in post-revolutionary Far
si slang as ``keravati,'' or tie-wearer -- was more than just a lifestyle choic
e. It was, says Samii, a deliberate campaign technique. ``My tie will bring me
votes,'' says Samii. ``My tie is a symbol of technology.''

And well it might. In a field of 4,200 vying for 15 city council seats in Tehra
n, Samii and two other ``keravati'' candidates certainly stand out among the op
en shirts of Iranian bureaucrats and the rounded collars of the Shi'ite clergy.


Posters on walls and shop windows in the former village of Chizar, now swallowe
d up by the Tehran metropolis, offer more contrasts.

Women in full chador veils vie with earnest young men with clean-shaven faces,
another departure from an Iranian orthodoxy that prefers a few days of stubble.
Some women candidates have forsaken the traditional cloak-like chador for more
fashionable and more relaxed veils.

``The trend of election advertising has gone through a real and tangible change
compared with the previous 19 elections held in this country since the advent
of the Islamic Revolution 20 years ago,'' said a commentary in the Iran News.

``This change...indicates an increased tolerance on the part of officials in ch
arge of assessing nominees' credentials and the capacity to accept and approve
candidates who represent different views and policies.

``Some candidates for the upcoming elections even look and dress quite differen
tly from their counterparts in previous elections.''

The most striking changes, however, are more than skin-deep.

The pro-reform daily Khordad on Tuesday carried a campaign advertisement featur
ing a portrait of the pre-revolutionary nationalist leader Mohammad Mossadeq, w
idely reviled by the Islamic establishment for his secularist views.

``The list of people supported by national-religious activists,'' reads the tex
t next to a picture of Mossadeq, ousted in a U.S.-financed coup in 1953. He has
been enjoying the first stirrings of rehabilitation but his appearance in a ma
instream daily was nonetheless remarkable.

Most surprising of all, the Islamic intellectuals of the

Freedom Movement of Iran, banished by revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah K
homeini, has been allowed to field four of its own candidates for the Tehran ci
ty council, fleshing out its slate with 11 leading reformists.


Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication and redistri
bution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written con
sent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the co
ntent, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

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

Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 21:32:24 EDT
From: Boddy Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Iran and Turkmenistan Contract

ONCE AGAIN, INCOMPETENT ISLAMIC REPUBLIC IS HUMILIATED BY
NEIGHBOUR

By IPS Energy Correspondent Parviz Dariush

PARIS 23 Feb (IPS) - A badly humiliated Islamic Republic lashed
out at neighbouring Turkemenistan on its signing, on Friday, of
a $2.5 billion US Dollars, 2.500 kilometres gas pipeline with
U.S. firms that when finished in 2002, will carry up to 30
billions cubic metres of gas, a project that deprives the
currency short Islamic Republic from billions of dollars in
transit fees.

Describing the deal as "unacceptable", the Iranian Foreign
Ministry's senior spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said Turkmenistan's
move to set up the Trans-Caspian natural gas pipeline consortium
was against "principles declared by the littoral states," IRNA
reported.

"Any action in the Caspian Sea without the agreement of all
littoral states is invalid and legally unacceptable," the
official news agency IRNA quoted Asefi.

But experts said there is little the Islamic Republic could do
in stopping the deal.

"It is a purely political-motivated deal, as, in the view of
Clinton Administration, the United States can not allow an
unstable, unprincipled, chaotic regime such as that of the
Islamic Republic, that also is Washington's declared number one
enemy, being able to control the flow of gas or oil", observed
Dr Parviz Mina, an international Iranian oil consultant in
Paris.

In an article that shared explicitly Iranian experts views that
put the blame squarely on the regime's incompetence, the over
sized interference by the ruling clerics in issues of which they
absolutely know anything about, like complicated and complex
matters as oil and their blind, quixotic battle against the
United States, the English language daily "Iran News" said
Iran's Foreign Ministry should "in fact provide the public
opinion with reasons for its immature and unrealistic policies
regarding friendship with Asgkhabad", adding that the Islamic
Republic should have adopted a "more calculated strategy
regarding it's ties with Turkmenistan".

"This unilateral move by Turkmenistan is deplorable and the
Turkmen officials should know that Washington is in pursuit of
its interests in the region as it has proved its ill-intentions
after entering into agreements with the Azerbaijan republic. In
other words the U.S. presence in Turkmenistan will not be to the
benefit of that country in the long run. In short, the Turkmen
officials should not celebrate the inking of the gas agreement
as in reality Turkmenistan has not achieved anything positive
but rather lost its credit among its neighbours", the paper that
is published by the official news agency IRNA said in an article
titled "Asghabad Will Gain Nothing".

Although Turkmenistan announced that Turkmenistan-Iran gas
pipeline to Europe for transfer of 30 billion cubic meters of
gas should be constructed as well, the reality is that the
recent move by Ashghabad has caused Turkmenistan to fall into
the U.S. trap, as was the case with Azerbaijan.

Reacting to Iranian anger, Turkmenistan President Saparmurat
Nyazof said he opposes any politicising of the project.

"Unfortunately, politicising is frequent in new international
projects," he said, referring to Iranian objections.

"Some Caspian countries have warned us that the project of a gas
pipeline from Turkmenistan to Turkey via Azerbaijan and Georgia
is problematic from the point of view of ecology and the seismic
condition of the Caspian Sea," he added.

Both Iran and Russia, another littoral State that was hoping the
pipeline crossing its territory expressed concern on the
possible negative influence of the pipeline on the ecological
and seismic situation in the region.

"The project will be carried out in strict correspondence to
safety requirements and with the participation of international
experts, Mr. Nyazof assured, while signing the contract with
Bechtel and General Electric Capital representatives.

Expressing the Islamic Republic's frustration, "Iran News" wrote
that "this measure by Ashghabad is open to question when we
remember that Nyazov is among the Central Asian heads of state
who has paid the greatest number of visits to Iran and held
numerous talks with Iranian officials over issues related to the
Caspian Sea and other issues of mutual interests, and the
Islamic Republic of Iran has done its best to contribute to the
development projects in Turkmenistan.

While all other Caspian Sea littoral states, namely Russia,
Kazakhstan, Azarbayjan, Turkemenistan that emerged sovereign
nations after the disappearing of the former Soviet Union have
entered bi-lateral agreements dividing the giant lake's waters
between them, the Islamic Republic has remained the only other
state that still clinches to earlier agreements signed between
Iran and the USSR in 1921and 1942.

"Iran has always proved its friendship with its neighbours; but
unfortunately they have reacted negatively to these friendly
gestures. The latest move taken by Turkmenistan is in effect
rejecting the hands of friendship extended by Iran to
Turkmenistan in the past few years.

What has angered most Tehran is that not only it regards
Turkemenistan as one of its friendliest neighbours, but because
Ashghabad has signed agreements with Iran regarding the
transport of its oil and gas the Persian Gulf.

Furthermore, President Clinton authorised last year American
consortiums to build a pipeline from Turkemenistan to Turkey via
Iran, providing that the Islamic Republic pays for the Iranian
section of the route.

Though Iran is regarded unanimously by all experts as the most
economic transit route for the transport Turkemenistan and
Azarbayjan oil and gas resources to international markets from
both Turkey and the Persian Gulf, the United States is opposing
that option, imposing other, most costly routes bypassing Iran

After supervising the new deal between Turkemenistan and US
companies, Richard Morningstar, US special adviser Caspian
energy arrived in Baku Monday to discuss U.S. mediation in the
dispute between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan over sea borders.

"This project will become a very big step in strengthening the
independence of Turkmenistan," Morningstar, who has headed the
U.S. drive for influence in the energy-rich region, told
reporters after the signing.

Though many experts, mostly Iranians, doubted the ambitious new
link, which will cross under the Caspian Sea before passing
through Azerbaijan and Georgia on its way to Erzerum in Turkey
will run into "insurmountable obstacles", but diplomatic sources
say the gas pipeline consortium has "a good chance of
succeeding", especially as the U.S. has put its full weight
behind it. ENDS OIL AND GAS 2329902

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

Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 21:40:44 EDT
From: Boddy Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Iran and Taliban (Part I)

TALEBAN WILL NEVER FORM COALITION WITH OPPOSITION: ROHANI WARDAK

By Safa Haeri, IPS Editor

PARIS 25th Feb. (IPS) For the first time since the killing of 11
Iranians, including one journalist, in the general consulate of
the Islamic Republic in Mazar e Sharif, a pro-Taleban Afghan
Commander says the Iranians may have been killed not at the
hands of "rogue sodiers" but by elements of pro-Iranian groups,
including those of the Shi'a-based Hezb Vahdat.

In an interview carried out in Paris with Iran Press Service,
Mr. Rohani Wardak, the director of the Afghan Centre for Rural
Development (ACRD), an Afghan NOG operating in the Wardak
Province near the capital Kabul said the situation in
Afghanistan is calm "due to heavy snow fall" that has stopped
almost all military operations.

However, he cautioned that if in spring, (Ahmad Shah) Mas'oud
and Rabbani resort the resistance, fighting will be resumed.
"But our information is that Rabbani and Mas'oud forces are at
loggerhead, divergences have erupted among them, reducing
chances of their resistance", he said.

However, Mr. Wardak ruled out any possibility of the Taleban
accepting to form a broad-based coalition government with other
organisations, as suggested by UN and firmly supported by
neighbouring Islamic Iran.

Bellow comes large excerpts of the interview

IPS - What are the differences you say have erupted between
Mas'oud and Rabbani about?

Rohani Wardak - Same old differences over power sharing that led
the different factions after the ousting of the Russians to
fight each other for four years, ruining what was left from the
occupation. As a result, the Taleban came in. Now they control
over 95 per cent of the country and are about to pacify the rest
and disarm Mas'oud's force, ending almost 2 decades of war and
destruction, starting real reconstruction and development of the
nation.

IPS - Considering pressures from international quarters as well
as from Tehran on the Taleban to form a coalition government
with all major opposition groups, do you think there is any
possibility for the Taleban to bow to these pressures?

R W - Your question would be valid when the opposition would
still exist, when, for instance, the Vahdat (A Shi'a-based
organisation firmly supported by the Islamic Republic) that was
ruling in the Hezarejat (a Shi'a dominated area) or Dustom
forces were active in the North, a time that such possibility
would exist and such government could be useful. But to day that
they have vanished, most of them except that of Mas'oud's are
finished off by the Taleban or because of their own
inter-fighting and conflicts, there is no reason for the Taleban
to accept to share power with them. Even a coalition with
Mas'oud would be against the Taleban's policy and principle.

IPS - Turning to the killing of Iranians in the consulate of the
Islamic Republic in Mazar Sharif when the Taleban captured that
city, what really happened there and who killed the Iranians?

R W - As you know, a fierce fighting took place in Mazar Sharif.
Vahdat controlled the city when the Taleban took it. Many people
were killed on both sides and the town was heavily damaged.

During the Russian occupation, Iran had helped the mujahedeens.
But after the victory, it changed face, gave support to the
Afghan minorities. When the Taleban came to power, they
discovered that in the past four years, Iran had consistently
interfered in political and military affairs of Afghanistan,
helping the Northern Alliance, but mostly the hezarejat Sh'ia
people with whom they shared religious backgrounds, going
sometimes as intervening directly.

It is against such a background that the consulate incident
happened. Furthermore, the Taleban say those who were killed
were not diplomats, but military advisers assisting the Hezb
Vahdat.

There is also this possibility that those people, whether
military or diplomats, have been assassinated by the Rabbani or
Mas'oud men with the clear aim of mounting Iran against the
Taleban and creating a war between the Taleban and Iran,
something in which they partially succeeded, as we saw the
Iranian forces coming to the borders, ready for a war.

IPS - Do you think there are chances for normalisation of
relations between Iran and Taleban, I mean an Iranian official
recognition of the Taleban?

R W - First of all, both sides have been able to control that
dangerous situation. Right now, the situation is calm and,
meanwhile, some contacts have taken place.

As far as I know from my contacts, the Taleban consider that
Iranian diplomacy is not clear, that the Iranians are not made
their mind as to fully accept or not the Taleban and when should
they talk to them.

---------------
End of Part One
---------------

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

Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 21:42:56 EDT
From: Boddy Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Iran and Taliban (Part II)

------------------------
Iran and Taliban Part II
------------------------

IPS - What about Saudi Arabia?

R W - Chances are good for normalisation of relations with Saudi
Arabia. Basically, there is no differences of views between the
tow sides except for the one Arab who is Ossama Bin Laden, who
the Taleban have sheltered in his quality of mujaheed, of Muslim
and a refugee to Afghanistan. Now we all hear that he has left
the territory under the control of the Taleban. I ignore the
reasons why he has left, but whatever the reasons, that had
paved the way for the relations between Afghanistan and Saudi
Arabia, as there remains no reason for Saudi Arabia to not
restore its ties with the Taleban and exchange ambassadors.

IPS - Do you think that once this Bin Laden problem solved,
other nations such as the US, France, Europeans and Muslims, all
those that so far have refused to recognise Taleban will do?

R W - Taleban came to power on popular basis. They moved along
the will and demand of the Afghan populations. They quickly were
supported by the people, thus explaining their relative rapid
conquests and victories.

Once the opposition is wiped out, then there would remain no
question for the world as who is in control and then it would be
up to them to recognise or not the Taleban. Naturally, there are
also other considerations…

IPS - Like what?

R W - Like this broad-based government, the women's rights the
Western world is concerned about, the question of drugs that is
in the Taleban's plans to eradicate it. Once the country is
pacified and united, then all these problems will be addressed
and there will be no problem for the outside world.

IPS - How much time do you give for the world to recognise the
Taleban?

R W - That depends to the war situation. The more quickly the
Taleban can end the opposition, the fastest the road would be
paved for normalisation of relations.

IPS - As we know, Islamic Republic, and certainly some other
countries, continue to help and support the forces of the
opposition, don't you think that thanks to this assistance, the
opposition can come back, take over the Taleban and reach Kabul
again?

R W - In my view, Iran and other nations that helped and are
helping the opposition have missed the chances. When Balkh,
Bamian and Kabul were in the hands of the Northern Alliance and
that the opposition was a force, they nevertheless were not able
to keep their positions and were defeated by the Taleban. Today
that the Alliance has been almost eliminated, do represent
nothing and control but 5 per cent of the country, for Iran and
others to continue to support the opposition is like trying to
reach an unreachable myth.

In fact, Iran has discredited itself in the eyes of the Afghan
people from the moment it turned its back to them and started to
help the opposition and in case it continue to back Mas'oud, it
will "shoot on its own foot", as we say in Farsi.

IPS - In your view, what would be the Taleban's conditions for
normalising with Iran?

R W - Taleban's expectation is to see treated by Iran as
friendly Muslim brother neighbour. To stop at once the policy
they followed in the past eight years, and convince the Taleban
on their good will.

IPS- Iran's condition for direct negotiations with Taleban
remains the arrest of those who killed the Iranian so-called
diplomats and bring them to justice. Do you think that this is
possible?

R W - Very difficult. Specially when that had happened during
war conditions. Moreover, as I said before, it is not clear who
killed them, as there are suspicions that the killing my not be
the work of the Taleban but of Rabbani or Mas'oud to create
trouble between Iran and the Taleban.

IPS - Pakistan is probably the country that plays the most
important role in Afghanistan. What if there is an agreement
between Iran and Pakistan concerning the Taleban. What if
Pakistan stops helping the Taleban?

R W - In my view, the Taleban are no more relying on Pakistan's
backing. Besides, Pakistan has plenty of crisis and problems on
its own hands to make it to be in a position to help the Taleban
who, now, are counting not on foreigners but on the arms and the
will of the Afghan people.

Taleban being now a reality on the international scene,
therefore it is their legitimate and natural right to be
recognised by the international community and to be offered the
seat of Afghanistan at the United Nations. Of course, the
opposition has badly tarnished the image of the Taleban in the
outside world, to the detriment of both the Taleban and the
West. Once this opposition wiped out, the United States and
other countries will have no choice but to recognise the
Taleban.

However, the Taleban think that this earth is not hovering
around the corns of the United States (a Persian proverb meaning
not all things depends on someone). They know well that there
are also other nations in this world with which they can
establish relations, something that will not be to the benefit
of the Americans who played an important, may be the most
important role during the war of liberation and before, helped
Afghanistan in building development projects. Taking into
account this capital of sympathy, it is in the US interest to
establish relations with Afghanistan of Taleban.

IPS - But Ms'oud remains very popular in the West.

R W - That's correct, but they must understand that it is
imposible for Mas'oud to become the master of Afghanistan and
therefore it is futile to invest too much on him.

IPS - Iranian clerical rulers say what the Taleban is doing, the
way they treat women, the young, even the men etc. is not
Islamic. On the other hand, the Taleban for their part considers
the Sh'ia as heretics and non Muslims. What do you think?

R W - Well, this is a religious problem. In our point of view,
what the Taleban does, and is criticised by the outside world,
has nothing to do with the Taleban but with the faith, with the
religion most of the Afghan people believe in. If, in the eyes
of the outside world, this is bad, that comes not from the
Taleban but from the religion that is of the majority of the
Afghans.

The same, the Taleban say Khomeiny regime and Iranian akhounds
do not even respect their own religion and what they do is not
acceptable by Islam. But as far as the Taleban are concerned,
they follow the principles the Sharia and their laws are those
of the Holly Abu Hanifeh. ENDS WARDAK 2529901

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

Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 02:32:34 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iran wants to eliminate tensions with rest of world: FM

MADRID, Feb 23 (AFP) - Iran "wants to eliminate tensions with
the rest of the world," Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi said
in an interview in the Madrid daily El Pais Tuesday .
Tehran is, however, in no hurry to "sign an agreement" with the
United States. Kharazi said: "Above all, they must prove they have
changed their policy."
"Certain behaviour is not acceptable, in particular interference
in the domestic affairs of Iran," he added.
On the other hand, Iran has "developed relations with all our
neighbours, for example with the Arabic countries of the Persian
Gulf," he said.
Kharazi said Iran's relations with Europe were also "much
better," especially with countries like France, Italy and Spain. "We
are also trying to improve our relations with Asia and Latin
America," he added.
He said that the visit by Iranian President Mohammed Khatami to
Italy in March will mark "a point of no return in the dialogue
between cultures, religions and civilisations."
In particular, "the meeting between President Khatami and the
pope will be very important for Moslems and Roman Catholics. It will
be symbolic," said Kharazi.

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

Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 02:32:29 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: 18 slain in Kurdish protests in Iran: rebels

NICOSIA, Feb 23 (AFP) - At least 18 people have been killed and
nearly 300 arrested in demonstrations in Sanandaj, the main city in
Iranian Kurdistan, the People's Mujahedeen, the main armed Iranian
opposition group, said Tuesday.
The casualties included dozens wounded Monday "in an attack by
members of the Revolutionary Guards Corps and the state security
force on a demonstration of tens of thousands of people in
Sanandaj," the group said in a statement.
"At least 270 people have been arrested so far and the arrests
are still continuing," the Baghdad-based People'e Mujahedeen said.
"A de facto state of martial law is presently in place," they
said.
Monday's demonstration was against the killing of protesters in
previous days in Urumiyeh and other western Iranian cities and
against Turkey's arrest of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan, but
it turned into a demonstration against the Iranian government, the
group said.
Tens of thousands of people chanted "down with (supreme leader
Ali) Khamenei, down with (President Mohammad) Khatami," the group
said.
Iran's official IRNA news agency reported that the police fired
shots into the air Monday to disperse an anti-Turkish protest Monday
in Sanandaj.
Witnesses told AFP that Urumiyeh seemed calm Monday after two
days of violence.
Three people were slain at Urumiyeh Friday and two police
officers were wounded when police tried to repulse an attack on the
Turkish consulate, the Turkish news agency Anatolia reported.
However, the Iranian newspaper Jahan-e-Eslam, which is close to
the government, said Sunday that two youths were killed in the
violence.
Most of Iran's five to six million Kurds live in the west of the
country.

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

Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 02:32:50 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iranian reformers finally get go-ahead to stand on eve of landmark poll

TEHRAN, Feb 25 (AFP) - Less than 24 hours before polls were due
to open for Iran's first ever municipal elections, a dozen leading
reformist candidates in the capital finally received the green light
to stand from moderate President Mohammed Khatami Thursday.
In a last-minute statement carried by the official news agency
IRNA, Khatami overruled a disqualification order issued against the
candidates by the conservative head of the election Supervision
Council, Ali Mohavedi-Savoji.
"To clear up any ambiguity on the issue, the ruling of the
arbitration committee stands," Khatami said referring to a ruling
Sunday by a committee set up to mediate in the mounting dispute
between the conservative-dominated Supervision Council and the
moderate-led interior ministry.
The president's ruling was immediately hailed by the reformers,
even though they said the order only applied to 11 of the 12 barred
candidates.
"This affair has finally been settled and the candidates' names
will appear on the lists displayed in the polling stations
tomorrow," said a spokesman for former vice president Abdollah Nuri,
the head of the main reform list in the capital and the most
high-profile of the candidates the conservatives had sought to
disqualify.
The conservatives had threatened to cancel Friday's landmark
poll in the capital if the interior ministry did not heed its
ruling.
"If the interior ministry does not take appropriate measures to
remove the names of the 12 disqualified candidates from the election
list currently at the polling stations in Tehran, the council will
announce the election process in the capital null and void,"
Movahedi-Savoji said on the eve of the last day of campaigning.
But the reformists added that one of the candidates barred by
the Supervision Council, Azam Taleqani -- daughter of Ayatollah
Mahmud Taleqani, one of the fathers of the Iranian revolution -- had
not been saved by the president's ruling.
She remained disqualified because she had refused to sign the
required written declaration of support for the position of supreme
leader, the constitutional centrepiece of the Islamic republic,
currently held by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Nuri's spokesman said.
Control of the capital with its 10 million-plus population is
the top prize in Friday's landmark local elections as both Khatami's
supporters and his conservative opponents seek to consolidate their
local power base ahead of parliamentary elections next year.

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

Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 02:32:45 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iranian Kurdish students stage protest at Turkish embassy

TEHRAN, Feb 25 (AFP) - Several dozen Iranian Kurdish students
demonstrated outside the Turkish embassy here on Thursday to demand
that Turkey release rebel Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan.
The protestors shouted slogans against "American-Israeli
collaboration" in last week's capture of Ocalan by Turkish agents,
the official news agency IRNA said.
They also called on the United Nations to urge Turkey to "change
its attitude towards the Kurdish people," IRNA said, adding that the
demonstration ended without incident.
Violent demonstrations erupted in several towns in Kurdistan
following Turkey's capture last week of Ocalan, leader of the
Kurdistan Workers' Party.
Iran's Kurdish community numbers between five and six million
people, most of whom live in the west of the country.

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

Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 02:32:56 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Western suits, ties mark new style for Islamic Republic

TEHRAN, Feb 25 (AFP) - Western-style management qualifications
and suits and ties are taking over from Islamic beards and long
prison records under the shah as the way to appeal to voters as Iran
goes to the polls for its first ever municipal elections Friday.
In the capital one candidate for the city council has even
earned the nickname "Mr. Tie" for his audacity in plastering the
streets with pictures of himself wearing an item of clothing long
scorned by the Islamic authorities as an unacceptable legacy of the
pro-western shah.
Just a few years ago the tie would have earned Sadeq Sameieh
serious problems with Iran's ubiquitous Islamic militias.
But now the cleanshaven, besuited image is a viable campaign
strategy as the daily problems of everyday life here make voters
more interested in a candidate's administrative abilities than in
demonstrations of revolutionary commitment.
Sameieh, a wealthy British-educated publisher, promises voters
in this congested metropolis of well over 10 million that he will
tackle the problems of overcrowding and pollution and make the city
a "beautiful, healthy, prosperous and well-managed place to live."
"Contrary to the norm in other elections, most candidates
emphasize their professional and educational backgrounds instead of
relying solely on their revolutionary experience," commented the
English-language Iran News.
"Another difference between this election campaign and others is
that the code of dress no longer plays a determining role in a
candidate's success or failure.
"This social tolerance could be found only at the very early
stages of the revolution," the paper remarked.
Even the most conservative of Shiite Moslem clerics seem to have
recognized the need to adopt a more modern, people-friendly style to
woo the voters.
Hojatoleslam Qodratollah Alikhani, a bearded, white-turbaned
prelate, enlisted footballers, women's associations and
representatives of the capital's ethnic minorities to join his
campaign caravan as it toured the streets.
Alikhani promised not a holier or more Islamic capital, but a
"fresher, more beautiful" one.
Another conservative candidate's platform reflected the voters'
new priorities even more starkly.
Top of Afzal Mussavi's list of promises for the capital came
"150 kilometres (100 miles) of new streets and motorways," last came
"100 new mosques and prayer halls."
The clergy still dominates the lists of candidates, both
reformist and conservative.
The head of the main reformist list in the capital, Vice
President Abdollah Nuri, is a senior cleric and former close aide of
revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
High on his list is former US hostage taker Ibrahim Asqarzadeh,
now middle-aged and, like many of Iran's radicals of the 1980s, a
reformist supporter of moderate President Mohammed Khatami.
The conservative list is headed by Ali Kamushi, head of the
powerful Chamber of Commerce and an influential member of the Tehran
bazaar, a stronghold of traditionalists.
But, as Iran News observed, whether the candidates are
conservative, reformist or independent, the "campaigning and
advertising have changed dramatically."
"Some candidates use the popularity of high clerics and other
political, cultural and even sports figures to enhance their own
among voters," the paper observed.
"One candidate used caricatures in promoting his candidacy which
was like a breath of fresh air compared to the suffocating
traditional style."

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

Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 02:33:03 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iran's first local elections key test for reformist president

TEHRAN, Feb 25 (AFP) - Iranians go the polls Friday for the
country's first ever municipal elections in a key test for the
reformist agenda of moderate President Mohammad Khatami.
Control of the capital with its 10 million-plus population is
the top prize in the landmark poll as both Khatami's supporters and
his conservative opponents seek to consolidate their local power
base ahead of parliamentary elections next year.
The conservative-dominated parliament is led by Ali Akbar
Nateq-Nuri, the conservative challenger Khatami defeated in a shock
election victory two years ago, and he remains a major obstacle to
the moderate president's reforms.
Khatami called on ordinary people to turn out to vote in large
numbers "to assume an active political role in deciding their
destiny in the cultural, social, economic and political spheres."
He urged young people in particular, "both boys and girls" to
use their vote to make the local polls "a new electoral turning
point."
Khatami's 1997 presidential election victory was largely due to
the massive support accorded him by women and young people, who have
the vote here from the age of 15.
The importance attributed by Khatami's opponents to the battle
for the capital's 15-member city council was shown by the drastic
11th-hour efforts made by the conservative-dominated election
Supervision Council to prevent key reformers standing.
Just days before the election, the council's head, conservative
MP Ali Movahedi-Savoji, announced that a dozen key Khatami
supporters, including the head of the main reformist list, Vice
President Abdollah Nuri, had been disqualified.
The reformist-controlled interior ministry continued to include
the disqualified candidates in lists of hopefuls to be displayed at
polling stations around the capital.
"All the candidacies published in recent days within the legal
time period are valid and the candidates can campaign," the ministry
insisted in a statement Tuesday.
But Movahedi-Savoji threatened to cancel the whole election
process in the capital if the ministry did not remove the 12
candidates' names.
"If the interior ministry does not take appropriate measures to
remove the names of the 12 disqualified candidates from the election
list currently at the polling stations in Tehran, the council will
announce the election process in the capital null and void," he said
late Tuesday on the eve of the final day of campaigning.
An arbitration committee set up to mediate between the regime's
feuding factions ruled in favour of the moderates, but as
campaigning came to an end the conservatives were still insisting
the disqualifications stood.
"Decisions reached by the (Supervision) Council in the
qualification or disqualification of candidates are final and
enforceable and no one has the authority or power to reject them,"
he insisted.
A total of 4,000 candidates are vying for the support of the
capital's 4.6 million voters in a bid to secure election to one of
the 15 seats.
Orginally the number of hopefuls was even higher but some 500
Khatami supporters stood down to boost the chances of other
reformers seen as better placed.
Facing the reformers is the right-wing conservative list, headed
by Ali Kamushi, head of the powerful Chamber of Commerce and an
influential member of the Tehran bazaar, a stronghold of
traditionalists.
Across the country, 297,500 candidates, including 4,000 women,
are standing for 200,000 council seats, according to official
figures.
Rather more than half the country's 60 million population is
eligible to vote at 60,000 polling stations guarded by a total of
140,000 police.
In many rural areas, the election remains a battle between
independents, with family or even tribal considerations more
important than the factional battles of the big cities.

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

Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 02:33:17 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iran army preparing for war games in Kurdistan province

TEHRAN, Feb 25 (AFP) - Iran's army will stage war games in the
western province of Kurdistan, where violent demonstrations took
place over the capture of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan, a
military official said Thursday.
"These exercises are designed to show our offensive and
defensive capabilities," land forces commander General Abdolali
Pourshasb was quoted as saying by the Iranian press.
"The Iranian army is ready to defend with force and complete
authority the borders of Islamic Iran," he said.
The announcement follows several days of violence that erupted
in several towns in Kurdistan following Turkey's capture last week
of Ocalan, leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party.
The English-language Tehran Times reported Wednesday that three
people were killed on Monday during pro-Ocalan protests in Sanandaj,
capital of Kurdistan province.
Iran's Kurdish community numbers between five and six million
people, most of whom live in the west of the country.

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

Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 02:33:12 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: moscow slams Washington as Iran-linked sanctions are finalised

MOSCOW, Feb 25 (AFP) - Moscow slammed Washington on Thursday for
pressing ahead with sanctions against 10 Russian scientific
institutes linked to Iran, and accused the United States of trying
to block Russia's access to world markets.
A day after the US Trade Department published a final list of 10
research centres and companies to be punished with economic
sanctions for cooperating with Iran, Russian officials expressed
their disappointment at the move.
The foreign ministry insisted that Russia respects global
non-proliferation treaties, and Moscow "categorically rejects any
attempt to talk with Russia in the language of sanctions and
pressure."
"Sanctions cannot be applied towards those under suspicion.
Guilt should be proven first," said Education Minister Vladimir
Filippov, according to ITAR-TASS.
Filippov said that the sanctions were aimed at "not letting
future Russian technology onto the world market."
Former premier Viktor Chernomyrdin also lashed out at the
sanctions, saying that the US belief that the punished centres were
cooperating with Iranian weapons programmes were "far-fetched and
stupid," Interfax reported.
"This has continued for five years now. When I was prime
minister I always asked the United States to provide concrete facts
and documents when such situations arose," Chernomyrdin said. "They
always failed to do so."
The 10 blacklisted facilities involve seven enterprises singled
out last summer and three more targeted in January. The Trade
Department published a final list on Wednesday.
Washington has nagged Moscow over its ties with Tehran,
expressing grave doubts about a Russian project to build a civil
nuclear reactor in southern Iran and scrutinizing research units in
Moscow closely for technology and know-how leaks.
Russia has insisted its nuclear cooperation with Iran cannot
help Tehran build atomic weapons.

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

Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 02:33:22 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Several injured in attack on reformist party HQ in Tehran: reports

TEHRAN, Feb 25 (AFP) - Gunmen opened fire on the Tehran
headquarters of Iran's leading moderate party, wounding up to three
people amid a wave of political violence ahead of Friday's landmark
municipal elections.
Several bursts of automatic weapon fire riddled the northern
Tehran offices of the Executives of Construction Party on Wednesday,
the Hamshahri newspaper reported Thursday.
Gunmen reportedly opened fire on the offices of the party, which
supports reformist President Mohammad Khatami, and then fled on a
motorcycle.
According to Akhbar newspaper, three people were lightly injured
in the attack, while the English-language newspaper Iran News said
one female party employee was wounded.
The party denounced the "terrorist" attack and vowed "the way
led by President Khatami will not be blocked by such acts."
The previously unknown fundamentalist group Ansar Sarallah
claimed the attack, according to the reformist newspaper Khordad.
The group denounced "a society in which we see more and more
depravity erupting under the guise of freedom and a civil society,"
a reference to Khatami's reformist agenda.
"If ears to hear the imam's commands are blocked, we will
unblock them with bullets," an anonymous caller told the paper.
The attack was one of a series of outbreaks of political
violence ahead of Friday's first-ever municipal elections -- a vote
that has heightened tensions between hardliners and reformers in the
Islamic republic.
Police had to evacuate a political rally in the eastern town of
Mashhad for moderate MP Faezeh Hashemi, daughter of former president
Rafsanjani, after fundamentalist students disrupted the meeting, the
Khorassan paper reported.
Several papers also reported an attack on a rally for leftist
politician Azam Taleghani held in a mosque in the Western town of
Karaj.

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

Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 02:33:27 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iranian town's mosques collect donations to finance Rushdie
assassination

TEHRAN, Feb 24 (AFP) - Mosques in a northern Iranian town have
begun collecting donations to help finance the assassination of
British author Salman Rushdie, a Tehran evening newspaper reported
Wednesday.
The mosques in the town of Behshahr have founded an "Islamic
People's Association" charged with collecting money to carry out the
"fatwa" or religious decree condemning Rushdie to death, Kayhan
said.
"The association intends to apply the fatwa of Imam Khomenei and
was set up by cultural centers and mosques in Behshahr," the
newspaper said.
Iran's late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomenei issued the fatwa
sentencing Rushdie to death on February 14, 1988 because of alleged
blasphemy against Islam in his book "The Satanic Verses."
The newspaper quoted an association official as saying it had
received offers of "land, houses, carpets, jewelery and money to
help finance the application of the fatwa."
Iranian Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Ataollah
Mohajerani reiterated last week that while the fatwa condemning
Rushdie to death cannot be withdrawn, the government will not seek
to carry it out.
"The ruling cannot be revoked," said Mohajerani, a moderate
member of the reformist government of President Mohammed Khatami.
"(But) the Islamic government would not take any action on the
ruling."
The remarks by Mohajerani came 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 on the 10th anniversary of
Khomenei's fatwa that the death sentence against the writer would be
applied.

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

Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 02:33:32 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Cancellation threat hangs over landmark Tehran poll on last day of
campaign

TEHRAN, Feb 24 (AFP) - Candidates in Tehran's first-ever
municipal elections spent the last official day of campaigning
Wednesday unsure whether the landmark vote would go ahead as the
conservative-dominated election Supervision Council threatened to
declare it null and void.
A dozen supporters of moderate President Mohammed Khatami,
including the head of the main reformist list of candidates, Vice
President Abdullah Nuri, continued to present themselves despite an
order from the Supervision Council's head, conservative MP Ali
Movahedi-Savoji, barring them from standing.
The reformist-controlled interior ministry continued to include
the disqualified candidates in lists of hopefuls to be displayed at
polling stations around the capital.
"All the candidacies published in recent days within the legal
time period are valid and the candidates can campaign," the ministry
insisted in a statement Tuesday.
But Movahedi-Savoji threatened to cancel the whole election
process in the capital if the ministry did not remove the 12
candidates' names.
"If the interior ministry does not take appropriate measures to
remove the names of the 12 disqualified candidates from the election
list currently at the polling stations in Tehran, the council will
announce the election process in the capital null and void," he told
the official news agency IRNA late Tuesday night.
The conservative MP rejected a ruling by an arbitration
committee set up to mediate between his council and the interior
ministry.
"The Sunday night stipulation by the committee which had been
set up to resolve the differences in matters of qualifications and
competency of the candidates has nothing to do with the decisions of
the central Supervision Council," he said.
"Decisions reached by the council in the qualification or
disqualification of candidates are final and enforceable and no one
has the authority or power to reject them," he insisted.
Control of the capital with its 10 million-plus population is
the principal prize in Friday's landmark municipal elections as both
conservatives and reformers seek to consolidate their local power
base ahead of next year's key parliamentary elections.
In the vast Tehran satellite town of Karaj, a knife-fight
between supporters of two rival candidates resulted in six people
being stabbed, two of them seriously, the hardline daily Jomhuri
Eslami reported Wednesday.
The reformers, who are pledging "real participation in power" --
a reflection of the new political openness at the top of Khatami's
agenda -- are hoping to benefit from the wave of public enthusiasm
for reform that brought him to power in 1997, when he gained 75
percent of the vote in Tehran.
Facing the reformers is the right-wing conservative list, headed
by Ali Kamushi, head of the powerful Chamber of Commerce and an
influential member of the Tehran bazaar, a stronghold of
traditionalists.
About 330,000 candidates, including 5,000 women, have been
approved so far to stand in elections for 200,000 council seats
across the country.

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

Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 02:33:37 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: 2,000 arrests in Iranian Kurdistan: People's Mujahedeen

NICOSIA, Feb 24 (AFP) - The Iranian security forces have
arrested 2,000 people in Sanandaj following a wave of demonstrations
in the major city in Iranian Kurdistan, the main armed Iranian
opposition group said Wednesday.
The Baghdad-based People's Mujahedeen, in a statement received
here, also said an unspecified number of high school students had
been killed during the disturbances.
"Following the heroic uprising of the people of Sanandaj last
Monday, the revolutionary Guards Corps and Intelligence Ministry
forces launched a major wave of arrests in that city," the statement
said, adding that "2,000 of the city's youth have been arrested so
far."
The People's Mujahedeen said a "de facto state of emergency" had
been declared in Sanandaj and security forces were stationed
throughout the city.
A Tehran newspaper reported Wednesday that three people had been
killed on Monday during protests in Sanandaj, and quoted a Kurdish
MP as criticizing the handling of the demonstrations by the
provincial authorities.
Iranian Kurdistan has been the scene of violent demonstrations
in recent days calling for Turkey to release Turkish Kurdish rebel
leader Abdullah Ocalan.
Ocalan, the head of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), was
snatched by Turkish agents in Kenya last week and brought back to
Turkey, where he will stand trial on terrorism charges.
The Tehran Times said Sanandaj MP Bahaeddin Adab, "commenting on
the mishap that took place in Sanandaj on Monday in which three
people were killed," had "blasted the provincial administration in
Kurdistan province."
"The officials did not have any justification to prevent anti-US
(and) anti-Israeli demonstrations held in support of Ocalan in
Kurdistan," the MP said.
Sanandaj's governor announced Sunday that the police would deal
with any unauthorized assembly.
Most of Iran's five to six million Kurds live in the west of the
country.

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

Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 02:33:42 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Three killed in protests in Iranian Kurdistan: Tehran Times

TEHRAN, Feb 24 (AFP) - Three people were killed on Monday during
protests in Sanandaj, the main city in Iranian Kurdistan, a
newspaper said Wednesday, as a Kurdish MP criticized the handling of
the demonstrations.
The English-language Tehran Times did not provide any details on
the deaths, but quoted a member of parliament from the region as
criticizing the handling of the protests by the provincial
authorities.
Iranian Kurdistan has been the scene of violent demonstrations
in recent days calling for Turkey to release Turkish Kurdish rebel
leader Abdullah Ocalan.
Ocalan, the head of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), was
snatched by Turkish agents in Kenya last week and brought back to
Turkey, where he will stand trial on terrorism charges.
The Tehran Times said Sanandaj MP Bahaeddin Adab, "commenting on
the mishap that took place in Sanandaj on Monday in which three
people were killed," had "blasted the provincial administration in
Kurdistan province."
"The officials did not have any justification to prevent anti-US
(and) anti-Israeli demonstrations held in support of Ocalan in
Kurdistan," the MP said.
Sanandaj's governor announced Sunday that the police would deal
with any unauthorized assembly.
Turkey removed its consular personnel from Urumiyeh in
northwestern Iran, close to the Turkish border, after a violent
Kurdish protest, the Turkish foreign ministry said Sunday.
Three people were slain in Urumiyeh on Friday and two police
officers were wounded when police tried to repulse an attack on the
Turkish consulate, the Turkish news agency Anatolia reported.
The Iranian newspaper Jahan-e-Eslam, which is close to the
government, reported Sunday that two youths had been killed in the
violence.
Most of Iran's five to six million Kurds live in the west of the
country.

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

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 24 Feb 1999 to 25 Feb 1999 - Special issue
*******************************************************************