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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 25 Feb 1999 to 26 Feb 1999
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There are 11 messages totalling 832 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. fwd: gunmen attacked "kar-gozaran" center in Terhan
2. Carter's Son Still Aims to Visit Iran.
3. Figures Around Election
4. Tajzadeh's Statements
5. BBC Reports of Election.
6. Washington Post Reports of Election.
7. USA Official Statement.
8. Iran Seen Nearing Debt Deal.
9. Iran to Allow Private Banks, Officials Says.
10. Lingering Iran Oil Row Hits OPEC Prospects.
11. The Iranian Mojahedin by Ervand Abrahamian

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

Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 12:30:13 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad.abdolian@RSA.ERICSSON.SE>
Subject: fwd: gunmen attacked "kar-gozaran" center in Terhan

You can read this in Farsi by accessing the following page:
http://www.payvand.com/gerdsooz/netsooz.html
Source
http://www.neda.net/hamshahri/771206/siasi.htm#siasi1
=begin=

Ghar bar pyapy mvtvrsvaran mslH stadhay antKabaty kargzaran
sazndgy ra bh rgbar bstnd
* Hzb kargzaran sazndgy ba Cdvr byanyh Hmlh mhajman
mslH ra mHkvm krd
grvh syasy:mvtvrsvaran mslH Samgah dyrvz dr Gnd nvbt
stad mrkzy Hzb kargzaran sazndgy v Gnd dftr mnTqhay
ayn Hzb ra bh rgbar bstnd.
yky az aexai kargzaran dySb bh Kbrngar hmShry gft:
mvtvrsvaran kh bh Cvrt dv nfrh v mslH bh slaHhay grm
bvdnd, ta saet 9 Sb dstkm Ghar bar bh dftr stad mrkzy
kargzaran bh Cvrt mslHanh Hmlh krdnd.bh gfth ayn exv
kargzaran Sdt Hmlh v tedad glvlhhay Slyk Sdh bhqdry
bvd kh byStr SyShhay saKtman Skst v tedady az karknan
stad bhvyJh znan v dKtran dGar Svkhay eCby Sdnd.
stad antKabat kargzaran nyz dr saKtman stad mrkzy ayn
Hzb kh mvrd thajm qrar grft, vaqe ast.
az Hmlh bh dfatr mnTqhay kargzaran aTlae dqyqy dr dst
nyst ama gzarShay avlyh Hakyst nve thajm ba thajm
Samgah dyrvz bh dftr mrkzy ayn Hzb Sbaht zyady daSth
ast.
=end=

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

Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 19:04:00 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Carter's Son Still Aims to Visit Iran.

Ex-President Carter's son still aims to visit Iran
07:10 p.m Feb 25, 1999 Eastern
By June Preston

ATLANTA, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter's
son said on Thursday he still hopes Iran will grant him a visa
for a May visit and also hopes his father will visit Tehran in
the near future.

James ``Chip'' Carter III had been scheduled to lead a private,
50-member U.S. delegation, including 25 former U.S.

Peace Corps volunteers stationed in Iran during the 1960s and
1970s, on a cultural visit to Tehran from May 21 to June 2.

Days after the trip was announced earlier this month, Iran's
IRNA news agency quoted an unidentified Foreign Ministry
official as saying his visa was refused because of ``James
Carter's past record.''

Chip Carter said he had not yet applied for a visa and knew of
no past ``record'' except that he lived in the White House while
Bis father was president.

Carter said his father, whose presidency was damaged by the
1979-81 Iran hostage crisis, realised he would not likely
receive a visa either if he sought one now.

`BHe has no ulterior motives,'' Carter said of his father.

``But he knows if they won't let me in, they won't let him in.''

``It was his (President Carter's) idea that I go,'' Carter
added. ``I hope he'll go to Iran soon, but he won't go with me
this time because of the way things are.''

Friendship Force, a private group that encourages cultural and
friendship exchanges between U.S. citizens and other peoples
around the world, said on Feb. 15 that the former president's
son would visit Iran. Carter said he still hoped Iran would let
him visit in May, but the delegation would travel without him if
his visa was not granted.

Diplomatic relations between the United States and Iran were
severed nearly 20 years ago after President Carter refused a
demand from Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to hand over former Shah
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

The shah, now dead, fled to Egypt during Iran's Islamic
revolution and was in New York for medical treatment at the
time. A standoff ensued and the ayatollah's followers seized the
U.S. Embassy in Tehran, holding 63 Americans hostage until
Carter's White House term ended on Jan. 20, 1981. Relations have
not been restored.

The State Department warns Americans not to travel to Iran,
although moderate Iranian President Mohammad Khatami last year
called for a ``dialogue of civilisations'' and an increase of
private exchanges between Iranians and U.S. citizens.


Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.

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

Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 19:06:20 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Figures Around Election

Reported By IRNA
----------------

thr 020
elections-councils-figures
298,865 candidates stand for councils elections
tehran, feb. 26, irna -- a total number of 298,865 candidates are
running for the city council elections throughout the country, the
elections headquarters of the interior ministry said friday.
in rural areas, it said, it said 242,265 candidates are male and
2,257 are female.
in urban areas, it added, 49,991 of the candidates are men and
3,958 female. in small towns 374 candidates are men and 20 women.
vd/ks
end
::irna 26/02/99 11:36

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


thr 016
elections-councils
53,000 balloting centers set up throughout country
tehran, feb. 26, irna -- 53,000 balloting centres have been set up
throughout the country for the first ever city councils elections,
the elections headquarter of interior ministry said.
according to a report by the headquarter's public relations
office, the polling will go on for sixteen hours today but the time
could be extended if required.
282 city executive boards as well as 737 rural boards are running
the elections in 34,072 constituencies all over the country, it added.
according to the report, from among the candidates whose
qualifications have been acknowledged by the authorities and who have
not resigned from the elections, 114,939 will be elected as permanent
and 75,234 as substitute members throughout the country.
vd/ks
end
::irna 26/02/99 11:09

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

Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 19:08:22 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Tajzadeh's Statements

Reported By IRNA
----------------

thr 013
elections-councils-tajzadeh
tajzadeh: 15-year-olds and above eligible to vote
tehran, feb. 26, irna -- head of the elections headquarters of the
interior ministry, mostafa tajzadeh, said here friday that those
born on february 26, 1984 and before are eligible to vote in the
city councils elections.
he told irna that the elections which started at 8:00 a.m. will
last for 8 hours unless the time is extended upon the decision of
the executive and supervisory boards if the situation demands.
he stressed that people should not pay attention to the "baseless
rumors" that the names of some candidates have been crossed out of the
list and vote for their favorite candidates.
tajzadeh further said that people should offer their identity
cards (birth certificates) when voting.
vd/ks
more
::irna 26/02/99 10:36


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


thr 014
tajzadeh-2 tehran
whenvoting.
having studied the biography and political and social background
of islamic councils elections nominees within the week-long election
campaign, iranian people are going to the polling stations nationwide
to vote for their favorable candidate.
today's islamic councils election is the first in its kind since
the triumph of the 1979 islamic revolution and differs in the sense
that the candidates are from various social classes and political
factions.
some of the candidates are from coalition and some from
non-coalition groups.
some of the candidates are named in the lists of such political
parties as the militant clergy association, the association of islamic
revolution's war veterans, the islamic coalition association,
the association of muslim physicians, the may 23 coalition, the
executives of construction party, the unity consolidation office,
iran's solidarity party, islamic revolution mojahideen organization
and islamic iran's partnership front.
'green city, life, maintenance of human dignity', 'councils,
realization of civil society, maintenance of human dignity' and
`councils, tool of public contribution and public solidarity' are
platforms of some of the factions.
polling stations opened to millions of iranians nationwide from
08:00 local time (04:30 gmt) to let them vote for about 197,000
future members of the rural and city councils.
there are more than 39 million eligible voters in iran.
since the outbreak of the islamic revolution in 1979 the iranian
people have taken part in 20 elections.
some experts assess city and village councils elections as the
most important elections held in iran since the triumph of the
islamic revolution.
the city and village council elections provide the people with
a chance to decide their fate directly and should be regarded one of
the achievements of the islamic revolution for ceding part of the
government's responsibility to people and for having an effective role
in many policy makings as well as local and regional decision making
processes.
as people's trustees, councils provide local officials, including
governors general, governors and district governors, with an
outstanding chance of counselling their policies and views, thus
compromising their programs with needs of people with different
geographical specifications.
bg/ks
end
::irna 26/02/99 10:46

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

Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 19:09:38 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: BBC Reports of Election.

BBC NEWS
World: Middle East

Iran goes to the polls


The people of Iran have begun voting in the first local
elections ever to be held in the 20 year-old Islamic Republic.
Less than 24 hours before the polls were due to open, several
previously barred moderate candidates were allowed to
participate.

More than 200,000 seats are being contested on city, town and
village councils throughout the country In Tehran alone, more
than 4,000 candidates are competing for just 15 seats.

According to the Iranian news agency, reformist President
Mohammad Khatami overruled a disqualification order issued
against 11 Tehran candidates by a conservative-controlled
supervisory council.

The head of the council had threatened to cancel the polls in
Tehran unless the Interior Ministry agreed to bar the
candidates.

The agency said Mr Khatami had upheld the decision of an
arbitration committee set up to mediate in the dispute.


Grass roots democracy

According to the BBC's corrspondent in Tehran, Jim Muir, control
of the capital is the top prize in the polls as both
conservatives and moderates try to consolidate a local power
base ahead of parliamentary elections.

These elections are being seen as an important part of President
Khatami's plans to take democracy to the grass roots.

Although local elections were always envisaged all along under
the Islamic constitution, it is President Khatami who provided
the impetus in line with his philosophy of giving power to the
people.

Our correspondent says the polls have also provided another
focus for the continuing struggle between progressives and
conservatives.

If the pro-Khatami reformists do as well as some observers
expect, they would be likely to win control of parliament which
is still dominated by the conservative right.


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


Analysis: An historic test


Iran's voters are being given the first chance to elect their
own local councillors 20 years after the establishment of the
Islamic Republic.
Candidates are standing for some 200,000 seats on new municipal
and borough legislative bodies. The formation of these councils
was envisaged in the 1979 constitution but they have never been
established.

The poll is being widely seen in Iran as an historic moment.

"This is the first time the country is going to hold elections
to the city and village councils, which are indeed the crux of
the democratic process," the English-language Tehran Times said
in a leader.

The new councils will have political, social and economic
responsibilities, and will elect town mayors - currently
appointed by the Interior Ministry - for four-year terms in
office.

Iranian TV said that they will also have tax-setting and
collection powers, with control of their own budgets.

Campaign promise

The vote comes almost two years after the election of President
Mohammad Khatami, who was swept into power on a massive wave of
popular support in May 1997.

His campaign centred on establishing the rule of law,
implementing the constitution, and the setting up of "civil
society" .

The running of the current local elections and the turnout will
be seen as significant indicators of his ability to deliver on
his election promises.

"The government has decided to carry out the provision of the
constitution to prepare the ground for the people's presence on
the social scene," President Khatami said in a speech to
Interior Ministry officials.

Heralding what will be a major change in the country's body
politic, he said: "With the implementation of the provision on
municipal councils, the people will be given the opportunity to
restore their rights."


Differences emerge

The run-up to the elections, however, has been marred by
conflicts between conservatives and reformists in an
increasingly tense political environment, evidenced by the
recent spate of murders of liberal intellectuals.

A number of Information Ministry employees have been implicated
in the killings and Information Minister Qorbanali
Dorri-Najafabadi resigned over the affair.

Differences also emerged between the conservative-dominated
Majlis, or parliament, and the Interior Ministry over the
vetting of election candidates.

Varied candidates

But an indication of possible high public interest in the local
elections is the appearance of a number of national figures,
previously unconnected with politics, as candidates.

Among those standing in Tehran are Mohammad Khakpur of the
national football team, and the internationally-acclaimed film
director Mohsen Makhmalbaf.

In addition, a number of prominent women have put themselves
forward for the elections.

They include Shahla Habibi, adviser to former President Akbar
Hashemi-Rafsanjani, and the journalist Jamileh Kadivari.

The local elections, then, can be seen as a milestone in
President Khatami's reform programme and a highly important
juncture in his conflict with conservatives.

These elections may herald a radical change in the balance of
power and have major repercussions for the future of the
country.

In the words of Khatami: "Our slogan was that in a civil
society, one is free to think and to raise different issues. It
is the people who should make the final judgment."

BBC Monitoring (http://www.monitor.bbc.co.uk), based in
Caversham in southern England, selects and translates
information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the
Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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

Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 19:10:52 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Washington Post Reports of Election.

Revolutionary Iran Holds First Election
By Howard Schneider
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, February 26, 1999; Page A19

TEHRAN, Feb. 25—In the war room of the Islamic Iran
Participation Front, Mohammed Reza Tahmohsebi shuffled the
pieces of a Tehran city map that he had cut up, neighborhood by
neighborhood, to fine tune his group's battle plan:

One bus per district, five volunteers per bus, all armed with
campaign fliers he hopes will tilt local elections on Friday --
the first since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution -- in favor of
his party's candidates, and therefore in favor of the country's
reformist president, Mohammed Khatemi.

The elections have generated enormous excitement in Iran,
enticing thousands of candidates into the ring and raising hopes
that Khatemi's vision of a more open, pluralistic society may be
edging closer to reality.

With tens of millions of voters expected at the polls, and a
spirited competition between competing slates of liberals and
conservatives, reformers and traditionalists, the elections are
"important because part of the power of the government is going
to transfer to the people," Tahmohsebi said.

Although way ahead of many Middle Eastern countries in terms of
political pluralism, Iran is still some distance from democracy
as practiced in the West. Ultimate power rests with an unelected
religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, whose conservative
followers continue to dominate parliament and the security
services. Earlier this week, the campaign headquarters of one
liberal party was sprayed with gunfire, and workers at another
were taken in for police questioning.

Nevertheless, the elections are a potential watershed in the
two-year-old presidency of Khatemi, a cleric who is trying to
moderate Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution with ideas of civil
society and better relations with the West. His supporters say
they expect to win majorities on local councils throughout Iran.

But even if conservatives triumph, those involved in the contest
say the energy of street-level politics, and the sense among
Iranians that the election is providing them with a genuine
voice in local government, can only speed the process of
liberalization.

"We are closer and closer to real democracy," said Ebrahim
Yazdi, head of the Freedom Movement of Iran. Yazdi's party shows
the evolution underway: Considered on the fringes of legality
because of its liberal views, the Freedom Movement has been
allowed to field four candidates for the 15 municipal council
seats in Tehran.

"This election is a giant step toward institutional development
in Iran," he said. "It does not even matter if the rightists
win."

"People feel they have been able to exercise some authority,"
agreed University of Tehran professor Nasser Hadian-Jazy. The
candidates "are selling ideas. . . . There are different
platforms, slogans about freedom, pollution, male-female
relationships. . . . It will be a very big help."

At stake in Friday's voting are approximately 200,000 seats on
city and village oversight boards that are supposed to appoint
city and village mayors and oversee local budgets and spending.
Although called for in the Iranian constitution, the boards have
never been established.

As part of his effort to build civil society in Iran, Khatemi
decided to create the boards and order elections -- to give
people a further taste of self-governance and also on the hunch
that candidates sympathetic to his policies would win many of
the seats, observers said.

The buzz created by the ensuing campaign is palpable, the mood
in cities like Tehran and Esfahan reminiscent of big-city
elections in the United States.

Although television and radio advertising has not been allowed,
there have been candidates' forums, public rallies and extensive
newspaper coverage. And there have been fliers -- hundreds of
thousands of them -- plastered on buildings and cars, hung from
highway overpasses and tied onto tree limbs like early spring
blossoms.

In the big cities at least, the contest may have generated too
much enthusiasm, creating a fog of names that voters may find
hard to penetrate. In Tehran, for example, there are 1,400
candidates for only 15 seats. Nationwide, around 300,000 people,
including several women, are competing for 200,000 available
spots. Men and women over age 16 are eligible to vote.

"People can choose council members for themselves very openly,
and they are going to take part of the responsibility of
government and use it," said Hossain Payghambary, a merchant at
Esfahan's central bazaar, who said he picked his candidates
partly on local issues such as tourism and parks.

Whether the spirit of this campaign lasts is another question.
Since his own landslide victory, Khatemi has struggled against
conservative rivals who have jailed his political allies, shut
down sympathetic newspapers and even resorted to the killing of
writers and intellectuals.

Even during this campaign, there have been attempts to
disqualify candidates seen as too eager to push the reform
agenda or inadequately supportive of the country's theocratic
foundations.

But that is not dampening popular enthusiasm for a contest in
which Khatemi and Khamenei have encouraged people to
participate.

"After the election of Mr. Khatemi, people believed it was
possible" to change the society through politics, said Majid
Karshenas, a sociology professor at Esfahan University. "They
feel they can vote for someone and get a true result."

Iranians Vote

Millions of Iranians vote today in elections that are seen as a
move away from centralized government and toward more citizen
involvement in government institutions.

Population: 67.5 million

At stake: 200,000 seats on city, town and village councils

Candidates: More than 280,000 candidates, ranging from
aristocrats and Western-trained professionals to Shiite Muslim
clerics and revolutionary zealots.

Ballot places: 55,000 around the nation

Security: 120,000 police officers mobilized for election day.

Tehran

At stake: 15 seats on the city council

Candidates: 1,400

One group of candidates backs President Mohammed Khatemi; it is
headed by newspaper editor Abdollah Nouri, a former interior
minister, who has called for an "Islam of love."

That coalition is opposed by a well-financed group of
conservatives who have campaigned on issues of Islam and clean
air.




© Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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

Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 19:12:28 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: USA Official Statement.

Reported By IRNA
----------------

thr 037
iran-u.s.-gas
u.s. official says oil, gas transfer depends on iran relations
almaty, feb. 26, irna -- u.s. president's adviser on caspian energy
development richard morningstar told reporters in moscow on thursday
that transfer of caspian oil and gas through iran is a subject which
can be debated only after improvement of relations between iran and
the united states.
friday's issue of almaty-based journal 'panorama' quoted
morningstar as hoping that under the present conditions other
options, including transfer of the nationwide caspian sea consortium's
gas and baku-ceyhan gas pipelines, should be discussed.
he said the oil development in the region should not rely on iran.
bg/ks
end
::irna 26/02/99 13:57

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

Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 19:14:02 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Iran Seen Nearing Debt Deal.

FOCUS-Germany, Iran seen nearing debt deal
12:49 p.m. Feb 25, 1999 Eastern
By Douglas Busvine

BONN, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Talks on making it easier for Iran to
service billions of marks in debts to Germany in the wake of a
world oil price slump have reached an advanced stage, German
officials said on Thursday.

Details of the talks were sketchy, but an official at the
Ausfuhrkreditanstalt (AKA) in Frankfurt, which represents 40
lender banks, said a restructuring could be announced in March.

``We haven't reached a stage where we can announce anything
yet,'' the official told Reuters. ``But there is a lot of coming
and going. Perhaps you will know more at the end of March.''

The official added that efforts were under way to tie Iran's
commercial and sovereign debts ``into a single package.''

The Foreign Ministry also said after talks with a business
delegation led by Sayed Alinaghi Khamoushi, head of Iran's
Chamber of Commerce, that Germany's Hermes export credit agency
would resume cover for Iran once a debt deal was struck.

``The government has paved the way for a resumption of Hermes
cover for the moment when a refinancing agreement is reached
between German and Iranian banks which deals with Iran's payment
arrears,'' the ministry said in a statement.

German sources said last December that a new $1 billion
commercial credit line to Iran was being discussed as part of $3
billion in bridging loans Tehran was seeking to enable it to
service foreign debt repayments due in March.

With oil prices languishing at $11 a barrel Iran, previously a
reliable debt servicer, has fallen behind on its repayments.

The German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHT) also hosted
Khamoushi's delegation and DIHT representative Heribert
Wiedenhues said he expected a debt deal soon.

``The restructuring is ready to be signed -- there are just a
few hiccups which need to be cleared up,'' he told a news
conference, adding a deal could come within eight to 10 days.

Wiedenhues stressed he was not involved directly in the debt
talks. But he said a successful conclusion would enable
businesses to ask the Hermes export credit guarantee agency to
upgrade Iran's debt rating.

Iran currently falls into Hermes category seven, making export
cover expensive for companies looking to do business in the
resource-rich Middle Eastern state of 60 million.

Germany has had close links with Iran since Kaiser Wilhelm II's
bid a century ago to expand its sphere of influence in the
Middle East, and is Iran's leading trading partner in the West.

But bilateral trade has slumped, with Iranian exports to Germany
-- mainly oil -- falling a third in the first 11 months of last
year to just 780 million marks ($440 million).

German exports fell 18 percent to 2.2 billion marks.

Bilateral ties have been hurt by a series of incidents, the
latest being the death sentence handed out to businessman Helmut
Hofer for having sex out of wedlock with a Moslem woman. The
sentence has been lifted, but Hofer is still in an Iranian jail.

In 1997, relations slumped after a German court said Iranian
government leaders had ordered the 1992 killing of four Kurdish
dissidents in a Berlin restaurant. Iran denied any involvement.

Despite the strains, Bonn and Tehran are seeking to improve
relations to the point where Iran's reformist President Mohammad
Khatami could visit Germany. Khamoushi said Khatami might come
to Germany directly after a visit to France planned this spring.

German Chancellery Minister Bodo Hombach has been quoted
recently saying Khatami would be welcome in Germany. But a Bonn
government spokesman said no such visit had yet been arranged.

($1-1.773 Mark)


Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.

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

Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 20:58:30 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Iran to Allow Private Banks, Officials Says.

Iran to allow private banks, official says
12:52 p.m. Feb 25, 1999 Eastern
TEHRAN, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Iran has approved the creation of
private banks for the first time since the 1979 Islamic
revolution, which led to the nationalisation of banking, a
senior official said in remarks published on Thursday.

Nasser Yusefikia, a senior Central Bank official, told
newspapers that the idea had been approved at the highest levels
of the government.

``Private banks will help create competition and improve banking
services. This will cause (state) banks to take steps to improve
their services,'' he said.

Yusefikia said private banks would be required initially to
restrict their operations to financial and monetary fields.

``The idea is for these banks to pay realistic profits to
customers,'' he said.

Iran nationalised banks after the revolution as part of a plan
to redistribute wealth and establish Islamic banking. Iran's
laws ban interest, seen as usury in Islam. Banks instead charge
``fees'' on loans and pay ``profits'' on deposits.

But economists and officials have criticised the resulting
system as highly inefficient, and Iran in 1994 decided to allow
private savings and loans associations.

But private banking is still politically sensitive, and a law to
allow private and foreign banks and insurance firms in Iran's
free trade zones has been blocked by a conservative clergy-based
body which vets parliamentary legislation.

Ali Rashidi, an independent economist, told Arya newspaper that
the Central Bank should not place a ceiling on rates of profit
paid by private banks.

He urged authorities not to politicise banking, complaining that
banking executives were often chosen based on their political
clout and connections.

Rashidi also proposed that foreign banks be allowed to set up
branches in Iran to improve the quality of services. Only a few
foreign banks have been allowed to open offices, based on
immediate needs and contracts with government agencies.


Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.

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

Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 21:01:22 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Lingering Iran Oil Row Hits OPEC Prospects.

FOCUS-Lingering Iran oil row hits OPEC prospects
12:36 p.m. Feb 25, 1999 Eastern
LONDON, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Prospects for further oil output cuts
suffered a fresh blow on Thursday when Iran indicated a
lingering dispute with Saudi Arabia over supply restraint was
still very much alive.

A statement by an Iranian OPEC source shredded hopes for a
resolution of a bad tempered row that has defied resolution for
months, blocking progress by OPEC on moves to raise sagging
prices.

The source said Tehran would not change its position in the so
called baseline dispute over the volume of cuts Iran is meant to
have made under a cartel price rescue agreement sealed last
year.

He said any compromise had to come from Saudi Arabia.

``Iran's position on the baseline issue will not change. They
have stated their stand before and this cannot change,'' the
source said.

``Any compromise on the baseline issue would have to come from
the Saudis. They will have to take action,'' the source said.

``It doesn't look good,'' another OPEC delegate said.

In response a Saudi source said Saudi Arabia believed it
remained up to OPEC as a whole to approve any change in the
measurement of the baseline for Iran's contribution to the
producer group's oil supply curbs.

``It is up to OPEC to decide, not Saudi Arabia alone,'' said the
source, who is familiar with Saudi oil policy.

OPEC meets in Vienna on March 23 to decide output policy in an
oil market where prices are running at 22-year lows despite 2.6
million barrels per day (bpd) of cuts agreed by the cartel last
year.

Iran and Saudi Arabia have held talks aimed at aligning their
positions and helping oil prices but there have been no tangible
signs of progress.

Iran insists OPEC should recognise its right to cut supply from
3.925 million barrels a day rather than the 3.623 used as a a
baseline last March when OPEC first decided to reduce supply.

An OPEC delegate said he thought it unlikely that other OPEC
members would agree to allow Iran off the hook.

``It is very difficult to see this happening. Why should OPEC
agree to make Iran a special case,'' he said. ``If that happens
everyone would want to be a special case.''

Tehran says the confusion over its output lies behind
accusations made by other OPEC members about Iranian quota
indiscipline.

Iran has consistently said the lower baseline did not take
account of its increased supply to domestic refineries.

The issue played a big part in OPEC's failure to reach a deal at
its November meeting, dealing a blow to oil prices.

Saudi Arabia has made it clear that it would not use its weight
as the world's largest oil producer and exporter to secure new
cartel cuts without compliance with previous pacts.

((London newsroom tel +44 171 542 7646 fax +44 171 542 4453
email london.energy.desk+reuters.com))


Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.

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Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 11:25:46 +0100
From: John Eriksson <John.Eriksson@TEOL.LU.SE>
Subject: The Iranian Mojahedin by Ervand Abrahamian

Salaam Farhad!
I have read the book. It exists to my knowledge only in its English version. Abrahamian is in Uppsala, if you like
I can try and get his address.

khodahafez
John E.

Sorry! I couldn't send this message to DNI-DISC the server would not send it.

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End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 25 Feb 1999 to 26 Feb 1999
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