Date: Mar 5, 1999 [ 0: 0: 0]

Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 3 Mar 1999 to 4 Mar 1999

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 3 Mar 1999 to 4 Mar 1999
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There are 11 messages totalling 484 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. Iran to try police chief,agents on torture charges
2. charged with torture
3. US businessman pleads guilty to selling missile parts to Iran
4. US to consider sanctions on French-Italian oil deal with Iran
5. Saudi Arabia to receive first Iranian presidential visit
6. Saudi Arabia, Iran agree OPEC must keep to pledged cuts
7. Oil executive slams US embargo of Iran
8. Quake rocks southern Iran
9. Gulf Arab states call for immediate halt to Iranian maneuvers
10. human rights watch rep. hails respect for human rights in iran
11. The first new Iranian Writers' Association was convened

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

Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 13:01:02 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad.abdolian@RSA.ERICSSON.SE>
Subject: Iran to try police chief,agents on torture charges

TEHRAN, March 3 (Reuters) - An Iranian police chief and 10 of his men are
to stand trial on charges of torturing Tehran city officials arrested last
year on corruption charges, Iran's news agency IRNA reported on Wednesday.

Brigadier-General Mohammad Reza Naqdi, chief of police intelligence, and 10
members of his staff will be tried at a military court in May, IRNA quoted
judiciary spokesman Fotovat Nassiri-Savadkuhi as saying.

The court will hear charges of mistreatment filed against the suspects by a
number of officials who were detained in connection with a corruption
scandal in the Tehran city government, Nassiri-Savadkuhi said.

He said judiciary chief Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi ordered the investigation
on instructions from President Mohammad Khatami.

The allegations of torture, raised during the trial of the capital's former
moderate mayor Gholamhossein Karbaschi, shocked the nation and led to
demands for a thorough investigation of the conservative-led police.

Naqdi and his conservative backers have denied the charges.

Karbaschi, a key Khatami ally, was sentenced at the graft trial to jail
and banned from holding executive office for 10 years. He has appealed the
sentence.

The mayor and his reformist allies dismissed the charges as a political
campaign by their conservative opponents to undermine the president.

10:48 03-03-99

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

Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 10:35:51 -0500
From: Mehran Sam <mehran_sam@HMS.HARVARD.EDU>
Subject: charged with torture

BBC-The head of Iranian police intelligence, and ten of his
men, are to be tried on charges of torture.

The Iranian news agency said that Brigadier General
Mohammad Reza Naqdi would go on trial in May,
following complaints of mistreatment by suspects
detained during the investigation against the former
mayor of Tehran, Gholamhossein Karbaschi.

The investigation was said to have been ordered by the
head of the judiciary, on direct instructions from
President Mohammad Khatami.

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

Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 21:49:14 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: US businessman pleads guilty to selling missile parts to Iran

WASHINGTON, March 4 (AFP) - The head of an aviation components
company has pleaded guilty to shipping missile and military jet
parts to Iran through a Singapore company, the New Jersey justice
department said.
Daniel Malloy, president and part owner of the New Jersey-based
International Helicopter Inc., agreed to pay more than two million
dollars in fines and faces between five and 10 years in prison, the
department said in a statement.
"In this case, greed knew no boundaries," US Attorney Faith
Hochberg after the court hearing Wednesday. "The lucrative
international arms business must be stopped at the borders of rogue
countries that support terrorism."
US law bans the export of defense products to Iran -- directly
or through a third country, which is under a US trade embargo
because of its deemed support for international terrorism.
Malloy, 41, admitted to a US district court judge that between
January 1996 and September 1997 he shipped numerous missile and
military jet parts to Joseph Balakrishna Menon in Singapore, who
then shipped the parts on to Iran.
Menon, a citizen of Singapore, owns and operates Heli-World
Aviation Ltd., a Singaporean company.
The shipments included spare parts for the Northrop F-5 fighter,
the Pratt and Whitney TF30 military jet engine, the Grumman F-14A
fighter and 100 batteries for the Hawk surface-to-air missile, the
statement said.
Malloy acknowledged he falsely declared to US Customs that he
was shipping "commercial aircraft parts," and that he had not
registered with the State Department as an exporter.
He was charged in July with an 18-count indictment covering
illegal exports. He pleaded guilty to 11 counts.
The US Customs Service and the Defense Logistics Agency became
suspicious of Malloy's activities when in February 1997 he ordered
20 missile batteries from a company in Missouri that could only be
used for the Phoenix missile, used on the F-14A.
In the 1970s, the United States sold Phoenix-equipped jets to
Iran, making it "the only military entity in the world besides the
US that has this weapon system," court documents said.
Malloy admitted he intended to ship the batteries to Menon in
Singapore, without seeking State Department approval, knowing that
Menon would ship the batteries to Iran, the Justice Department
statement said.

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

Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 21:49:50 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: US to consider sanctions on French-Italian oil deal with Iran

WASHINGTON, March 2 (AFP) - The United States could slap
France's Elf Aquitaine and Italy's ENI with trade sanctions after
reviewing their 540-million-dollar oil deal with Iran, the State
Department said Tuesday.
"We will assess the implications," said State Department
spokesman James Foley. "We'll take appropriate action."
On Monday the companies signed the nine-year contract to develop
the offshore Dorud field in the northern Gulf, Iran's oldest
operational oil field.
The US could impose stiff sanctions on the companies if it finds
the deal violates the so-called D'Amato law, a US measure barring
firms from investing more than 20 million dollars per contract in
Iran's or Libya's oil sectors.
Washington, which accuses Iran of sponsoring global terrorism,
passed the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act -- sponsored by then-US Senator
Alfonse D'Amato -- in 1996, one year after imposing a unilateral
economic embargo against Tehran.
The United States severed relations with Iran in 1980 after US
diplomats were taken hostage in Tehran in 1979. They were released
in early 1981.
French energy group Total, in partnership with Russia's Gazprom
and Petronas of Malaysia, was the first to flout the D'Amato law by
signing a two-billion-dollar deal in 1997 to develop Iran's giant
South Pars field in Gulf waters.
In the face of intense international pressure, Washington
ultimately granted the Total project an exemption because it
concluded that the sanctions would not prevent this project from
going forward.
In exchange, Washington won pledges from European governments
that they would step up efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring
weapons of mass destruction, according to US officials.
Some European officials have interpreted that move as a de facto
scaling back of the D'Amato law and concluded that Washington lacked
the will or the means to enforce it.
On Tuesday Foley said that the United States would follow the
same procedure as in the Total case; it would review the contract.
"This does not mean that waivers will automatically be granted,"
he said. "And it would truly be putting the cart before the horse to
preview what our ultimate decision will be.
"The US remains strongly opposed to investment in Iran's
petroleum sector," he continued. "We have repeatedly urged the
governments of France and Italy at the most senior levels to
discourage this investment."
The United States recognizes that there have been "some positive
developments" in Iran since the election of reformist President
Mohammad Khatami in 1997, the spokesman said. But "we've not seen
changes in those policies that threaten the interests of the US."
"As this proceeds, you can be certain that we'll be discussing
with our European friends, not only this case, but equally the
question of their cooperation on nonproliferation and
counterterrorism," Foley said.
The second largest oil producer in OPEC behind Saudi Arabia,
Iran depends on oil for more than 80 percent of its hard currency
revenues and has been hard hit by the worldwide slump in crude
prices.
Last month it announced that a deal worth 200 million dollars
had been agreed in principle with the Canadian firm Bow Valley and
Britain's Premier Oil to develop the offshore Balal site.

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

Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 21:49:56 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Saudi Arabia to receive first Iranian presidential visit

RIYADH, March 3 (AFP) - Saudi Arabia is set to receive its first
Iranian presidential visit later this month when Mohammad Khatami
joins the annual hajj pilgrimage, Saudi Defence Minister Sultan ibn
Abdel Aziz said Wednesday.
The minister, quoted by the official SPA news agency, gave no
precise date for the president's arrival, although the pilgrimage to
Mecca starts at the end of March.
Prince Sultan said he would visit Iran "after the pilgrimage."
Moslems are obliged under Islam to make the pilgrimage to Mecca
at least once in their lives if they have the means and numerous
national leaders undertake the hajj.
Relations between Tehran and Riyadh have improved since the
election in May 1997 of reformist Khatami and an Islamic summit held
in Tehran in December of that year.
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi began a visit to Saudi
Arabia on Tuesday for talks on the oil price collapse.

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

Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 21:50:01 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Saudi Arabia, Iran agree OPEC must keep to pledged cuts

MUSCAT, March 3 (AFP) - Saudi Arabia and Iran agree that OPEC
must keep to its pledged output cuts and combine its efforts with
non-OPEC producers to curb the slump in oil prices, the Saudi
foreign minister said Wednesday.
Prince Saud al-Faisal said Riyadh and Tehran saw eye to eye on
the "deterioration of the situation on the oil market and the need
for OPEC to keep its commitments."
In March and June 1998, the cartel decided to slash production
by 2.6 million barrels per day (bpd). The issue of possible new cuts
has been left for OPEC's next meeting on March 23.
Following talks with his Iranian counterpart Kamal Kharazi in
Riyadh on Tuesday, Prince Saud told reporters on arrival in Muscat
that they also agreed on "joint action within OPEC and in
collaboration" with independent producers.
The focus of their talks was on ways to prevent a further fall
in prices, according to a foreign ministry spokesman in Tehran.
In an interview published on Monday, Saudi Oil Minister Ali ibn
Ibrahim al-Nuaimi renewed charges that Tehran was not keeping to its
agreed OPEC output cut.
"You have 10 sovereign nations that came to an agreement and I
think nine countries are asking the 10th to live up to the June 1998
accord," he said.
Iran's fellow producers in the Organisation of Petroleum
Exporting Countries regularly accuse Tehran, the world's fourth
largest producer, of busting its quota.
The dispute stems from production cuts agreed by OPEC in March
1998. The cuts were based on the cartel's February production
levels, in Iran's case 3.6 million bpd.
But Iran has argued that it had technical problems during
February and its average production was about 3.9 million bpd and
this should be the baseline from which to make its pledged cut of
305,000 bpd.

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

Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 21:50:07 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Oil executive slams US embargo of Iran

WASHINGTON, March 3 (AFP) - A top US oil executive on Wednesday
urged the US Senate to end Washington's economic sanctions against
Iran, saying it denied opportunities to US firms.
Michael Stinson, senior vice president of Conoco, told the
Senate International Relations Committee that the embargo meant US
firms could not compete on equal terms with companies from Europe
and elsewhere.
"I find it almost tragic that the French are building relations
in Iran in ways we cannot," Stinson told the committee, calling the
Islamic republic "a country in transition."
"The Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA) is proving to be a
counterproductive foreign policy tool for defending American
interests in the region," he said.
"I believe the Congress should recognize that ILSA has created
more problems that it solved and repeal the sanctions on Iran."
The best transport routes out the Caspian region passed through
Iran, where "a major part of the infrastructure already exists," he
said.
"If foreign energy companies have the ability to do business
with Iran while American firms are forced to sit on the sidelines,
there is a strong likelihood that the governments and state-owned
oil companies of the region will perceive European and other foreign
energy companies to be partners of choice, because American
companies cannot compete on the same terms," he said.
"If American oil companies are left on the sidelines as minor
players in the Caspian, the US government will have a reduced level
of influence with the governments of the region," he said.
Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Syria and Libya are also affected by
American sanctions, he said.

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

Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 21:50:14 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Quake rocks southern Iran

TEHRAN, March 4 (AFP) - An earthquake registering 6.2 degrees on
the Richter scale rocked southern Iran on Thursday, causing damage
but no casualties, state radio said.
The quake, which occurred at 9:10 a.m. (0540 GMT), shook the
Gulf province of Hormuzgan and was felt in the neighboring provinces
of Kerman and Fars.
The radio quoted the interior ministry as saying the temblor
caused some damage but no casualties.
Iran is prone to earthquakes. A May 1997 quake in the eastern
province of Khorasan left 1,600 people dead.

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

Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 21:50:35 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Gulf Arab states call for immediate halt to Iranian maneuvers

ABU DHABI, March 4 (AFP) - Gulf Arab states called on Iran on
Thursday to immediately halt air and naval exercises in the Gulf
which they described as "provocations" threatening the security and
stability of the region.
The six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), in a
statement issued following a one-day emergency meeting here, said
the maneuvers were a violation of the sovereignty of the United Arab
Emirates (UAE).
Iran launched nine days of war games on Saturday close to three
strategic and potentially oil-rich Gulf islands claimed both by Iran
and the UAE.
In their statement, GCC members Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar,
Saudi Arabia and the UAE "denounced the aggressive military
manoeuvres on the three occupied UAE islands and their territorial
waters."
They demanded that Iran "immediately call a halt to its
provocative acts that threaten stability in the Arab Gulf, raise
anxiety and do not help build confidence."
The war games represent a "violation of the UAE's sovereignty
and an attempt by Tehran to secure its occupation of the three
islands," the statement added.
The meeting was held at Abu Dhabi's request to discuss the
dispute over the islands of Abu Musa and Lesser and Greater Tunb.
Iran has controlled the islands since 1971 after Britain ended
its protectorate. Tehran rejects arbitration, claiming the islands
as its territory, and has in the past offered talks on Abu Musa
alone.
UAE Foreign Minister Rashid Abdallah al-Nuaimi denounced the
Iranian war games as a "dangerous military escalation which
threatens the Gulf's security and stability."
"At the moment when the Gulf Cooperation Council states are
looking to establish good relations and intensify their contacts
with Iran to build confidence, Iran has launched provocative
measures," he said.
Among the other measures taken by Iran is the opening of a new
town hall earlier this month on Abu Musa, which like the other
islands lie at the entrance to the Gulf in an oil and gas-rich
area.
A Gulf official said the UAE wants "the opening of direct,
serious and transparent negotiations on the occupied islands," or
that Tehran accepts "submitting the conflict to the International
Court of Justice," in the Hague.
Saudi Arabia and Bahrain sent their foreign ministers to the
meeting, Kuwait sent its minister of state for cabinet affairs,
while Qatar and Oman dispatched their ministers of state for foreign
affairs.
The UAE's semi-official Al-Ittihad daily accused Iran on
Thursday of closing the door on any peaceful resolution to the
conflict.
"Iran continues to take measures establishing its occupation of
the islands, closing all doors to efforts aimed at finding a
peaceful solution," the newspaper said.
"The UAE has adopted a peaceful approach to resolve this
question, but Iran only procrastinates, in a way rejected by the
UAE, Gulf states and Arab countries," the daily said.
Regional heavyweight Saudi Arabia on Wednesday urged Iran to
accept UAE offers of negotiations.
"I wish to see Iran respond favourably to the calls by the UAE
President to negotiate on the issue of the islands," Saudi Foreign
Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said prior to his arrival in Abu
Dhabi.
Prince Saud said he told Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi,
on a visit to Riyadh this week, that the kingdom wanted the conflict
between Tehran and Abu Dhabi to be resolved "in a direct manner."
Kharazi had told him that Tehran was keen on "solving the
problem by peaceful means."
Kuwait's Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah,
meanwhile, urged the dispute to be resolved through international
arbitration by the International Court of Justice in the Hague.

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

Date: Fri, 5 Mar 1999 02:07:12 -0000
From: Arash Alavi <arash@MY-DEJANEWS.COM>
Subject: human rights watch rep. hails respect for human rights in iran

new york, march 4, irna -- human rights watch
representative elaheh sharifpour (hicks) said
here on wednesday that iranian people have an
active presence in the affairs of the country and
are optimistic about their future.

in an interview with irna, sharifpour noted the
political freedom in the islamic republic, and
observed that the free atmosphere allows
journalists to criticize the government, the
judiciary and the officials.

sharifpour further cited the iranian people's
massive turnout for the islamic councils
elections as another indication of the people's
participation in the political affairs of the
country, as well as their optimism about the
country's future.

on the iranian group 'nehzat-e azadi' (freedom
movement), sharifpour noted that despite being
illegal, the group is free to hold press
conferences and to criticize the government.
moreover, she added, the group's statements get
coverage in the iranian press.

she further noted that some 52 new political
parties or organizations have been formed in iran
since the election of president mohammad khatami
to the post.

sharifpour recently returned from a personal
visit to iran.

she said that during her 10-day visit to iran,
she met with full freedom with people of
different walks of life, and heard their views on
various issues.

sharifpour further told irna that since her
return from iran, she had briefed the human
rights organization on her observations in the
islamic republic.

an informed source at the iranian foreign
ministry on tuesday termed sharifpour's visit to
iran as personal. for that reason, the source
added, no official meetings were accorded to her
during the visit.





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

Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 22:59:32 -0500
From: Rahim Bajoghli <rbajoghli@JUNO.COM>
Subject: The first new Iranian Writers' Association was convened

The first new Iranian Writers' Association was convened

Iranian Writers' Association held its first legal and open meeting on
Wednesday March 3, 1999 in Tehran.
Seventy members attended the meeting. The meeting observed one minute of
silence to commemorate those writers who were murdered for the cause of
free expression in Iran.
Following the reading of the final version of Association's declaration
(Statement of goals) they held an election for the new board of
directors. The following writer were elected:

Simin Behbahani
Ali Mohamad Darvishian
Shirin Ebadi
Houshang Golshiri
Kazem Kardavani


The meeting took place at of one the member's resident.

Rahim Bajoghli

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

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 3 Mar 1999 to 4 Mar 1999
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