Date: Mar 13, 1999 [ 12: 38: 3]

Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 12 Mar 1999 to 13 Mar 1999 - Special issue

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 12 Mar 1999 to 13 Mar 1999 - Special issue
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There are 19 messages totalling 1219 lines in this issue.

Topics in this special issue:

1. I am sorry!
2. Iran Says Afghan Peace Depends on Broad-Based Gove
3. Italy Visit Could Help Khatami's Efforts to Weaken
4. Iran Reports $2 Bln in Deals on Khatami Italy Trip
5. Defense Show Not Related to Tensions in Gulf
6. Iran Offers New Gas Projects on Tenders
7. Jahangiri Outlines Economic Aspect of Khatami's...
8. Norway Ready to Follow OPEC Cuts
9. Turkey to Purchase 10 BN cu.m of Gas Annually...
10. Talks with Taliban, Contingent on Punishment of Ki
11. Italy-Khatami-Interview
12. Tehran's Morning Daily "Neshat"
13. Oil soars on output cut
14. Saturday Morning's Newspaper Headlines in Tehran
15. Political Factions Help Create a Balanced Society
16. Quake Hits Semnan
17. Khatami's Saudi Visit
18. Iran Leader Reaches Out to Wes
19. Crossing an Islamic-Christian divide

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

Date: Sat, 13 Mar 1999 12:35:33 -0500
From: Mehran Sam <mehran_sam@HMS.HARVARD.EDU>
Subject: I am sorry!

I just send an empty email to everyone (and that without BCC, how
careless of me!). I just wanted to copy the email addresses. I am sorry
and I appologize for any inconvenience that this may cause anyone.

Regretfully

Mehran

=============================
Extraterrestrials created life on Earth!

http://www.rael.org

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

Date: Sat, 13 Mar 1999 23:59:16 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Iran Says Afghan Peace Depends on Broad-Based Gove

Iran Says Afghan Peace Depends on Broad-Based Government
========================================================


Xinhua
13-MAR-99

TEHRAN (March 13) XINHUA - Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for
Asia-Pacific Affairs Mohsen Aminzadeh has said the success of
the Afghan peace talk depends on an agreement of Afghan groups
on establishment of a broad-based government.

Speaking to the local daily Iran News published on Saturday,
Aminzadeh said Afghan peace talks will yield positive results
only when all Afghan groups agree to setting up a broad-based
government.

He made the remarks over the Afghan peace talks which opened in
Ashkhabad, Turkmenistan on Thursday. However, he said that due
to the situation in Afghanistan, it is still early to comment on
the peace initiative.

The Afghan warring parties have reached a consensus on
"important points" during the ongoing talks, the U.N.
representative at the talks Andrew Tesoriere said on Friday, but
he declined to give details.

Aminzadeh underlined that as long as Afghan factions believe
that they can gain power through military means, no peace
initiative will succeed.

"Political understanding between Afghan groups is always
uncertain and therefore, the United Nations and the powerful
countries of the region should adopt measures to ensure the
establishment of peace and security in that war-torn country,"
he said.

He reiterated that Iran supports peace talks between the Afghan
warring factions, saying the peace initiatives by the U.N. as
well as those by the "6+2", Afghanistan's six neighbors plus the
U.S. and Russia, have been useful.

Terming the Afghan Taliban as one of the Afghan groups, the
Iranian official stressed that the Afghan problem will be
resolved only when all Afghan groups contribute to peace talks.

The Iranian official agreed with the reports that Iran's
policies regarding the Afghan crisis have not been successful.

"To some extent these reports are true," he said, "however, we
must say that the policies of other countries as well as those
of international organizations regarding Afghanistan have also
failed. The Afghan people are still suffering."

Referring to Iran's relations with the Afghan Taliban, Aminzadeh
said that an expansion of ties between Tehran and the Taliban is
contingent upon the latter's identification and punishment of
the murderers of eight Iranian diplomats and an reporter in
Mazari Sharif in northern Afghanistan.

The Taliban have adopted some positive measures, including the
return of the remains of the killed Iranians, the release of
captured Iranian drivers and their trucks and the repair of
Iranian consulate in Mazari Sharif.

The Taliban forces stormed the Iranian consulate in Mazari
Sharif and killed the eight Iranian diplomats and the reporter
inside it when they took over the stronghold in northern
Afghanistan.

Aminzadeh said Iran held talks with the Taliban regarding the
punishment of murderers of the Iranians upon the Taliban's
request and added that further talks on other issues depend on
the punishment of the murderers.

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

Date: Sat, 13 Mar 1999 23:59:30 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Italy Visit Could Help Khatami's Efforts to Weaken

Italy Visit Could Help Khatami's Efforts to Weaken Rivals
=========================================================


AP
12-MAR-99


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- Iranian President Mohammad
Khatami's groundbreaking visit to Italy could strengthen his
hand against rivals who abhor his push for democratic reforms
and ties to the West.


The moderate cleric's three-day trip, which ended Thursday, was
hailed by Iran and Italy as a success that will lead to better
relations between Tehran and the European Union. And Khatami's
talks with Pope John Paul II could help relations between
Christianity and Islam.


At home, however, Khatami's political rivals likely will try to
minimize the political and economic gains made by the president.


Khatami, whose trip marked the first state visit to the West by
an Iranian leader since the 1979 Islamic revolution, appeared to
suggest that he is aware of them -- and of U.S. officials who
are not pleased to see relations warm between Iran and Europe.


"Some circles and powers" are opposed to Iran's increasing links
with the West, he was quoted by Tehran radio as saying late
Thursday. They have "resorted to some mischief."


Khatami did not elaborate, but hard-liners in the ruling clergy
openly have opposed his social and economic reforms and his
openness to the West. He also could have been referring to the
United States, which has laws banning U.S. companies from
investing more than $20 million apiece in Iran.


Hard-liners control powerful institutions including Parliament,
the military, the judiciary and broadcast networks, but are
struggling for survival in the face of Khatami's popularity.


If Khatami is to maintain that popular support and weaken his
opponents, he will need to improve economic conditions for
Iran's 60 million people. With Western help, he could do just
that.


Iran has been hit hard by oil prices that have fallen to record
lows this year; the current budget has a projected $3 billion
deficit. Last month, Iran was forced to reschedule $2 billion in
foreign debt repayments, and seek $1.3 billion in new loans.


With 40 million of Iran's 60 million people younger than 15,
foreign investment is badly needed. His trip to Italy eventually
could pay off in jobs.


Iranian officials said Italy's state energy company, ENI,
expressed a willingness to invest up to $3 billion in the
Iranian oil industry. Already on March 1, ENI and Elf Aquitaine
of France signed a $540 million energy deal with the state-run
National Iranian Oil Co.


American companies have not been part of such deals because of a
U.S. economic embargo in force since the U.S.-backed shah was
deposed in 1979, and strengthened since then. Washington accuses
Iran of sponsoring international terrorism.


Khatami's hard-line rivals, who hold a slight majority in the
powerful Parliament, insist on maintaining the present economic
system, which is dominated by state-run enterprises and powerful
merchants who mainly conservatives.


To what lengths hard-liners will go to stop the president from
easing their conservative grip on Iran remains uncertain.


Still, Khatami appears ready to forge ahead with his
rapprochement with the West: He is to visit Germany and France
this summer, and senior Iranian officials have said they expect
more investment agreements with European Union nations to
follow.


___


EDITOR'S NOTE -- Anwar Faruqi, based in the United Arab
Emirates, has covered Iran and the Gulf for The Associated Press
since 1989.


Copyright 1999& The Associated Press.

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

Date: Sat, 13 Mar 1999 23:59:38 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Iran Reports $2 Bln in Deals on Khatami Italy Trip

Iran Reports $2 Bln in Deals on Khatami Italy Trip
==================================================


Reuters
12-MAR-99

TEHRAN, March 12 (Reuters) -Iran said on Friday it had agreed
with Italian firms on projects worth $2 billion during Iranian
President Mohammad Khatami's visit to Italy this week.

Iranian Mines and Metals Minister Eshaq Jahangiri told the
official IRNA news agency that the accords, some of which were
agreements in principle, included a $1 billion project for
Ansaldo Energia to supply 30 gas turbines to expand a power
plant at Iran's Gulf port of Bandar Abbas.

There was no immediate confirmation of the report by Italian
officials or by Italy's state engineering group Finmeccanica SPA
(SIFI.MI), which controls Ansaldo.

Jahangiri said there had also been an agreement in principle on
a $250 million contract to expand the Mobarakeh steel plant in
the central city of Isfahan, IRNA added. He did not name the
Italian firm involved.

He added that there had been a final agreement on a $120 million
project to build part of a highway connecting Tehran to the
Caspian Sea coast, without naming the Italian partner.

Jahangiri also said the Italian energy giant (ENI.MI) had
expressed willingness to invest up to $3 billion in Iran's oil
industry, IRNA said. He did not elaborate.
ENI recently joined France's Elf Aquitaine (ELF.PA) in signing a
$1 billion deal to develop an Iranian offshore oil field.

Khatami's three-day three-day trip to Italy, which ended on
Thursday, was the first state visit by an Iranian president to a
Western country since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Italy is among Iran's top trade partners.

FS


Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.All rights reserved.

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

Date: Sat, 13 Mar 1999 23:59:44 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Defense Show Not Related to Tensions in Gulf

Defense Show Not Related to Tensions in Gulf
============================================


Xinhua
13-MAR-99

ABU DHABI (March 13) XINHUA - A UAE official said on Saturday
that the International Defense Exhibition (IDEX '99) to be
opened here on Sunday has no connection with tensions in the
Gulf.

"IDEX '99 is a neutral exhibition which focuses on trade," said
Brigadier sultan Al Suwaidi, chairman of the Military Committee
for International Exhibitions and Conferences (CODEX), at a
press conference on the eve of the five-day show.

"The exhibition has no connection whatsoever with the Iraq
issue," he said.

When asked whether the conflict between the UAE and Iran over
the three disputed islands will affect Iran's participation in
the event, the official said the exhibition will open its arms
to all countries, and it will not be used as any "intermediary"
to solve the dispute.

Iran is coming back to the IDEX after it pulled out in 1997.

The GCC foreign ministers held an emergency meeting earlier this
month to condemn Iran's military excercises near the Gulf
islands of Abu Mousa and Larger and Lesser Tunbs, which are
claimed by both the UAE and Iran.

The exhibition, held biannually since 1993, will be attended by
848 companies from 41 countries, including some of the world's
top defense manufacturers, according to the official.

He said that besides the important countries which attended
previous shows, IDEX '99 will witness some new participants
including Kuwait, Bahrain, Belarus, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

IDEX '99 will show the latest and most advanced weapons and
equipments produced by such world renowned manufacturers as
British Aerospace, Marconi Electronic Systems, GIAT, Lockheed
Martin, and Ratheon Industries.

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

Date: Sat, 13 Mar 1999 23:59:52 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Iran Offers New Gas Projects on Tenders

Iran Offers New Gas Projects on Tenders
=======================================


Xinhua
13-MAR-99

TEHRAN (March 13) XINHUA - Iran will put two gas projects on
international tenders to develop the giant offshore South Pars
gas field, Managing Director of the Pars Oil and Gas Company
Asadollah Salehi-Forouz announced on Saturday.

Salehi-Forouz told reporters that the details of the projects to
develop the fourth and fifth phases of the gas field will be
introduced next week, the state-run radio reported.

The two projects on a "buy-back" scheme are expected to produce
two billion cubic feet of natural gas and 80,000 barrels of
liquid gas every day, he said, adding that the projects will
cover 10 drilling sites, two offshore platforms and two 105
kilometers long gas pipelines.

The South Pars gas field, the biggest one in the world with a
reserve of 7 trillion cubic meters of gas, is shared by Iran and
Qatar in the Gulf, the Iranian official said.

French Total, in partnership with Russia's Gazprom and Petronas
of Malaysia, signed a two-billion-U.S.-dollar deal in 1997 to
develop the second and third phases of the field.

Salehi-Forouz said that 25 percent of the first three phases,
with a total investment of 3 billion dollars, has been finished.
And the daily production of the three phases will be 3 billion
cubic feet of gas and 120,000 barrels of liquid gas.

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

Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 00:00:08 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Jahangiri Outlines Economic Aspect of Khatami's...

Jahangiri Outlines Economic Aspect of Khatami's Visit to Italy
==============================================================


thr 013
jahangiri-khatami-italy
jahangiri outlines economic aspect of khatami's visit to italy
rome, march 12, irna -- minister of mines and metals eshaq jahangiri
here thursday announced that during president khatami's state visit to
italy the two countries had signed contracts worth two billion dollars
for projects in iran.
in an interview with irna, jahangiri elaborated on the economic
aspects of the president's visit and referred to the meetings held
between representatives of the iranian ministries and economic
organizations and italian officials during the past week.
he said the italian ansaldo energia company will participate in
the bandar abbas power plant project through the sale of 30 gas
turbines as well as the transfer of technology for the project. the
deal is worth one billion dollars, he noted.
on the transportation sector, jahangiri went on, the two sides
agreed to establish regular twice a week flights by the italian
national carrier alitalia in return for entry permits for 2,500
lorries to italy. italy will also participate in the development
scheme for the mobarekeh steel mills worth 250 million dollars, he
stated.
final agreement was reached between an italian company and the
iran's mostazafan and janbazan foundation (mjf) to implement the
tehran-caspian highway project said jahangiri adding the cooperation
will be to the tune of 120 million dollars.
the italian national oil company eni is prepared to invest up to
three billion dollars in the iranian oil industry. the successful
talks between the central bank of iran (cbi) and italian export credit
insurance agency 'sace' was among the other achievements of the visit,
he said.

at the same time he stressed that sace has not so far implemented
the project and the 1.2 billion dollar loan by the italian mediobanca
had not been activated. however in his meeting with the italian prime
minister massimo d'alema, president khatami's insisted on sace
becoming active in this respect, he said.
he said president khatami elaborated on his policies relating to
the economic recovery plan while emphasizing on world economy and
all-out sustained development in his talks with italian officials.
the two sides also signed an agreement backing joint investments,
which jahangiri said will pave the way for mutual investment by the
public and private sectors of the two countries.
ah/dh
end
::irna 12/03/99 17:40

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

Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 00:00:16 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Norway Ready to Follow OPEC Cuts

Norway Ready to Follow OPEC Cuts
================================

thr 015
opec cuts-norway
norway ready to follow opec cuts
london, mar. 12, irna - norway, the world's second largest oil
exporter, is prepared follow a lead taken by the organisation of
exporting countries to boost oil prices by making further production
cuts, according to dagens naeringsliv newspaper .
the norwegian daily said friday that a majority of
parliamentarians were "ready to implement further oil production
cuts if the opec countries are prepared to do the same."
it also quoted minister of petroleum and energy, marit arnstad,
saying the government was prepared to consider further reductions.
jens stoltenberg was reported to have also announced that the
opposition labour party was ready to endorse the cute.
norway's support for reducing the surplus of oil supplies on
the world market comes as the oil ministers of iran, saudi arabia,
venezuela, algeria and mexico were meeting near amsterdam ahead of
opec meeting later this month.
the meeting has prompted the start of a recovery in oil prices,
with rates for brent benchmark crude rising by nearly usd 2 in the
past week to dlrs 12.60 dollars per barrel.
hc/dh
end
::irna 12/03/99 18:05

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

Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 00:00:24 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Turkey to Purchase 10 BN cu.m of Gas Annually...

Turkey to Purchase 10 BN cu.m of Gas Annually from Iran
=======================================================

thr 017
turkey-iran-oil
turkey to purchase 10 bn cu.m of gas annually from iran
ashkhabad, march 12, irna -- turkish minister of energy and natural
resources ziya aktas said that his country is eager to purchase 10
billion cubic metres of natural gas annually from the islamic republic
of iran.
talking to irna here friday on the sidelines of oil and gas
conference, aktas said that the issue of purchasing natural gas from
iran is not related to the issue of pipeline projects through other
routes.
meanwhile, head of turkey's state-owned gas company nadir beg-oglu
briefing the oil and gas conference, said that some 70 percent of the
project of building the iranian gas pipeline through turkey has been
completed.
he added that four agreements have already been inked to take the
pipeline to ankara.
pm/dh
end
::irna 12/03/99 20:13

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

Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 00:00:58 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Talks with Taliban, Contingent on Punishment of Ki

Talks with Taliban, Contingent on Punishment of Killers
=======================================================

thr 024
taliban-aminzadeh-interview
talks with taliban, contingent on punishment of killers -
aminzadeh
tehran, march 13, irna -- only when all afghan factions agree to a
broad-based government, peace talks would yield positive results,
believes deputy foreign minister for asia-pacific affairs, mohsen
aminzadeh.
referring to the ashkhabad peace talks, aminzadeh told the daily
'iran news' in an interview published saturday, that it is too early
to comment on the peace initiatve, due to the situation in
afghanistan.
he maintained ''political understanding between afghan groups is
always uncertain and therefore, the u.n. and the powerful countries of
the region should adopt measures to ensure the establishment of peace
and security in that war-torn country.''
he stated that iran's policies towards the taliban proved quite
successful and added that the stationing of the armed forces on the
country's eastern borders, as well as tehran's stances at the
international fora have made the hardline militia correct its
policies to some extent.
commenting on reports that iran's policies regarding the afghan
crisis have not been successful, he said, ''to some extent these
reports are true. however, we must say that the policies of other
countries as well as those of international organizations regarding
afghanistan have also failed.''
he said that the afghan people are still suffering and blamed
the plight on the fact that any group which takes over in afghanistan
wants to dominate power and control everything. ''this creates
instability.''
tehran is in contact with all afghan groups including the taliban,
he said adding that an expansion of ties between tehran and taliban is
contingent upon the latter's identification and punishment of the
murderers of nine iranian diplomats and an irna correspondent in
mazar-i sharif.
he maintained that the afghan militia has asked iran to hold
talks regarding the punishment of the murderers of iranian nationals
and added that talks have been held with the taliban in this regard,
''however further talks regarding other issues depend on the
punishment of the murderers of the iranian nationals.''
he said permission has been given to allow transit of humanitarian
aid packages through iranian territory as per request of u.n.
officials.
fh/ks
end
::irna 13/03/99 13:44

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

Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 00:00:46 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Italy-Khatami-Interview

Italy-Khatami-Interview
=======================


thr 025
italy-khatami-interview
khatami: u.s. needs basically revision in its policies
tehran, march 13, irna -- president mohammad khatami says the united
states should make a basic revision in its policies in order to
establish a different relation with the free and independence-seeking
world.
the president made the remark in an interview with the italian
daily 'la repubblica' on the last day of his visit to italy, thursday.
he said that the u.s. would not only exert pressure on iran but
sacrifice europe's interests for the sake of its own intrests due to
its selfish attitudes.
but, the president stressed, the world is independent to the
extent that such pressures would have no determining role in europe,
nor in asia, africa and independence-seeking countries.
president khatami remarked that although all experts believe that
iran is the safest and more economical route for transfer of central
asian energy to europe, the u.s. insists that the pipeline should not
pass through iran.
saying that the iranian nation has been a victim of the wrong
u.s. policies in iran and in the middle east, the president said that
what they intend to do is to bring an innocent, oppressed nation to
the negotiation table.
but, he added, the main convict in iran-u.s. relations in the ast
50 years is the u.s. which has tyrannized the iranian people, adding
that such a concept should be corrected and compensated.
stressing that iran seeks dialog and that he is satisified with
the cultural and sports events taking place between the two
countries, the president said: ''however, in our relations we will
never surrender to force.''
commenting on his visit to italy and prospects of iran's
relations with italy, the west and the european union, president
khatami said the iranian government has placed its foreign policy on
detente. therefore, he added, the islamic republic of iran formulates
its relations with other countries according to this principle.
however, he said, iran attaches great importance to its ties with
europe as it is the venue of modern civilization and enjoys great
potentials.
khatami further remarked that even in europe iran gives special
priority to certain countries such as italy, adding that relations
between the two countries are relations between the two
civilizations.
stressing that a uni-polar world should not replace a bi-polar
one, the president said that european countries, especially those
having more justifiable outlooks, can play a determining role in this
connection.
he said that imposition of extraterritorial laws on the world,
even on europe, is an indication of dictatorship which is not
acceptable, adding that iran's stances are close to those of certain
european countries, including italy, in this respect.
underlining iran's strategic location in the world and the
region, president khatami told 'la repubblica' that iran energy
which is the life vein of the industrialized world passes through
this region.
the president said that iran welcomes employment of existing
potentials, expertise and technology in the world, including the
west, while preserving its principle of independence and freedom.
pointing to the existing consensus between iran and italy,
khatami said tehran-rome relations can be strategic, adding that not
only the two countries but the two regions can benefit from such
relations in the long run.
referring to developments in iraq, president khatami said iraq
should abide by its international undertakings, adding that the
issue should be solved through cooperation of u.n. and regional
countries without any foreign interference.
he said iran has repeatedly condemned u.s.-britain attacks on
iraq and has supported iraq's territorial integrity, adding that the
islamic republic considers presence of alien forces in the persian
gulf region as a cause of tension and crisis.
commenting on domestic issues as well as salman rushdie, president
khatami said iran's policies are within the same principles and
criteria of the islamic revolution.
of course, he added, the islamic republic of iran, like any
other human phenomenon, is still taking its process of progress and
perfection.
however, he added, general policies of the system are determined
by the leader, adding that the leader, the system, the government and
the people are moving within the same framework of policies and there
is no difference among them.
he expressed regret over the fact an individual who has insulted
sanctities and sentiments of over one billion muslims is encouraged by
certain european countries. he said this will revive the memory of
clash of civilizations.
khatami said imam khomeini as a great religious leader, had
issued his verdict which was confirmed by all islamic countries as
well as organization of the islamic conference (oic).
but, he stressed, the islamic republic of iran has explicitly
announced that the government will take no measure in this connection.
the president expressed the hope that the world will pass through
the era of clash of civilizations and enter a new phase of dialog of
civilizations based on mutual respect.
ns/ks
end
::irna 13/03/99 14:24

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

Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 00:02:48 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Tehran's Morning Daily "Neshat"

Dear Co-Mailers:

The Tehran's Morning Daily "Neshat", now is available
on the Net. Get it's site at:

http://www.neshat.com/

You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to be able to read
the paper. (Yet the paper is available in PDF format).
Hope you joyful day,

Bobby.

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

Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 00:04:26 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Oil soars on output cut

Oil soars on output cut
=======================

Crude breaches $13 barrier after agreement on 2 million barrel
reduction
OPEC spurs oil sector leap - March 11, 1999
March 12, 1999: 11:31 a.m. ET


Oil chiefs: prices to stay low - Feb. 1, 1999
Oil prices slip further - Dec. 7, 1998

CNNfn.com's commodity prices
OPEC

LONDON (CNNfn) - Global oil prices pushed past the psychological
$13 a barrel level for the first time this year after Friday's
agreement in The Hague to cut world output by 6 percent, or by
two million barrels per day.
Oil ministers from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting
Countries members Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Algeria and Iran and
non-OPEC member Mexico had already agreed to cut 305,000 barrels
a day Thursday and the follow-up deal came at the top end of
expectations.
The benchmark Brent North Sea contract for June delivery climbed
from $12.63 at the start of Friday trading to hit $13.21 before
slipping back to $12.98 in afternoon trading in London. West
Texas Intermediate gained 54 cents to hit $14.85 on the Nymex.
OPEC countries have still to confirm details of individual
production cuts and analysts remain concerned about the level of
compliance at a time when its most oil-dependent members --
notably Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Venezuela -- are desperate for
cash. The deal is expected to be formalized at an OPEC meeting
on March 23 when other members such as Norway are expected to
confirm supply reductions.
Saudi Arabia is reportedly not insisting that Venezuela -- which
has failed to comply fully with the reduction regime in the past
-- make substantial cuts this time around. The Saudis have
pledged to cut 500,000 barrels a day.
The producers are under pressure to strike an accord to reverse
a 14-month trend of sagging oil prices which has seen crude dip
from $20 a barrel in September 1997 to rock-bottom rates of
below $10 a barrel.
Though oil has rebounded $2 from those lows since mid-February,
prices have remained hostage to a 400 million barrel stockpile
exacerbated by weaker demand in emerging markets.
Oil stocks remain muted on the supply cut as many analysts had
already factored in an oil price above $15 in 1999 earnings
estimates. Shell (SHEL) shares climbed slightly in London before
slipping back 5.5 pence to 391.25 pence while BP-Amoco ADRs rose
0.5 percent to $96 1/8 in early trading.
-- from staff and wire reports


Copyright 1999 CNN America, Inc.

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

Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 00:02:16 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Saturday Morning's Newspaper Headlines in Tehran

Saturday Morning's Newspaper Headlines in Tehran
======================================


thr 001
headlines-press
saturday morning's newspaper headlines
tehran, march 13, irna -- the following headlines appeared in
tehran's newspapers this morning:
iran daily:
-new oil output cuts reach 2 mbpd
-international peace, justice top president's papal meeting
-leader at memorial for ahmad khomeini
-rise in foreign deposits
-turkey, turkmenistan sign caspian gas agreement
-azeri fm says aliyev to visit tehran
tehran times:
-khatami to visit arabia during hajj season
-azerbaijan republic should maintain good neighborly ties with
iran
-belgrade calls on iran for emergency session on bosnia
-rafsanjani: iran has never been isolated
-kosovo peace monitor says violations creeping up
-nato expands to include poland hungary, czech republic
iran news:
-khatami ends landmark visit to italy with papal meeting
-rafsanjani terms khatami's visit to italy successful
-oil producers agree 2m-barrel/day cut
-aminzadeh: talks with taliban contingent on punishment of
murderers of iranians
-u.s. jets bomb iraqi targets in northern no-fly zone
-hundreds of hamas supporters rally in bethlehem
kayhan international:
-leader attends commemoration ceremony of imam's son
-italy visit 'constructive'
-hojatoleslam rafsanjani at friday prayers: president's visit
was to defuse tension, promote global peace
-iran, italy sign mou on anti-drug campaign
-40,000 iranian pilgrims arrive in jeddah
iran:
-pope welcomes dialog between islam, christianity
-khatami in interview with la republica: dialog with the u.s.
must be based on equality, mutual respect
-explosion destroys four shops, injures five persons
-best authors introduced
-international oil prices to rise
-40,000 iranian hajj pilgrims arrive in jeddah
jomhuri eslami:
-president outlines outcome of his visit to italy
-rafsanjani: foreigners dictate and some people inside country try
to destroy revolutionary morale of people
-eu opposed to domination of zionist regime over beiut
ul-moqadddas
-clinton extends iran's economic sanct
ions
-iions
-international oil production to be cut by two million barrels a
day
-leader attends memorial ceremony for ahmad khomeini
-higher education minister: iran owes its national, international
achievements to blood of martyrs of revolution
salaam:
-italy voices readiness to make dlrs 3-billion investment in
iran's oil industry
-president: injustice should be eliminated to achieve sustainable
peace
-kharrazi: european countries are no longer ready to coordinate
themselves with u.s. policies on iran sanctions
-eu opposes to turning beit ul-moqaddas to capital
abrar:
-opec oil production cut by two million barrels a day
-consolidation of iran's economic diplomacy in europe
-italian company to expand bandar abbas power station
-nato expands as far as russian borders
-kharrazi to visit vienna
-bureaucracy in executive organizations prevents export of
hundreds of industrial, non-industrial goods
hamshahri:
-khatami: italy's willingness to expand relations with iran, sign
of iran's prominent status
-rafsanjani terms president'sitaly visit as successful,
fruitful
-memorial ceremony held for imam's son in presence of leader
-italy to make two billion dollars of investment in iran
-oil prices increase
akhbar:
-la republica: president of iran announces conditions for dialog
with u.s.
-saudi arabia: increase in oil prices definite
-singapore to host asian clubs championship contests
-kadivar wants time to choose lawyer
-aliyev to visit tehran
-water shortage crisis serious
kar va karegar:
-khatami: to achieve durable peace, injustice should be
eliminated
-memorial ceremony held for ahmad khomeini
-rafsanjani: khatami's visit to europe was not aimed to take
iran out of `isolation'
-azeri president to visit tehran soon
arya:
-khatami: recognizing identity of oneself and west, prerequisite
for iran's progress
-five countries agree, oil production reduces by two million
-russia's sale of arms to iran confirmed
-coverage of khatami's visit to italy by world mass media
-u.s. expresses concern over khatami's visit to italy
zan:
-new era in iran's literature starts with reconciliation of
government, authors
-price of each barrel of oil goes above 13 dollars
-rafsanjani terms khatami's visit as contribution to peace
-memorial ceremony held to mark fourth death anniversary of
ahmad khomeini
-italian foreign minister: visits to italy of khatami and rushdie
coincidental
afarinesh:
-khatami: talks were relatively satisfactory
-rafsanjani: visits (such as president khatami's to rome) are
aimed at removing tension and not coming out of isolation
-paas soccer team beats perspolis 2-1
-national soccer team head coach pourheidari to quit national team
jahan-e eslam:
-khatami meets pope
-iran's foreign exchange deposits increased
-rafsanjani: khatami's visit to italy was not out of need
-sace-central bank agreement, khatami's gift for iran's
economy from visit to italy
-azeri president to visit iran
khordad:
-italian news agency: khatami-pope meeting, a new chapter in
relations of world muslims, christians
-behzad nabavi: councils elections another yes vote to khatami
-italy to make dlrs 2 billion investment in iranian projects
-kharrazi: europe is no longer ready to tow u.s. lines
asr-e azadegan:
-rafsanjani: europe misunderstood khatami's visit
-a number of papers have fallen into propaganda trap of enemy's
ploys
-u.s. concern over outcome of khatami's visit to europe
-ayatollah taheri: we must come out of the isolation we
are condemed for
khabar:
-president khatami assesses visit to italy as fruitful, positive
-saudi defense minister to visit iran
-first batch of iranian pilgrims to enter mecca from medina today
-rafsanjani: enemy tries to wage psychological war
-u.s. voices readiness to sell dlrs 3.2 billion worth of
military equipment to egypt
-iran's cycling team leaves for saudi arabia
-iran, three countries agree on reduction of oil production
-iran's ambassador: saudi government impatiently waiting for
khatami's visit
sobh-e emrouz:
-experts assess outcome of khatami's visit to italy
-rafsanjani: president's visit successful, fruitful
-best literary works of the past 20 years introduced
-larijani criticizes performance of press
-city/village councils to start work early next year
-saudi government waiting for khatami's visit
neshat:
-khatami's conditions for dialog with u.s.
-opec production to reduce by two million barrels a day
-kadivar calls for time from special clerical court
-credits earmarked for high council of youths increased by 50 rked
for high council of youths increased by 50 rked for high council of
youths increased by 50 rked for high council of youths increased by 50
rked for high council of youths increased by 50 rked for high
council of youths increased by 50
percent
-azeri president aliyev to visit iran
-austria supports khatami's policies
ys/ks
end
::irna 13/03/99 13:00

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

Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 00:02:34 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Political Factions Help Create a Balanced Society

Political Factions Help Create a Balanced Society
=================================================


thr 007
musavi-lari-councils
political factions help create a balanced society, musavi-lari
shiraz, march, 13, irna -- the political factions and parties as
civilian institutions can control and create harmony in the society,
the interior minister hojjatoleslam abdolvahed musavi-lari said here
friday.
"the presence of political parties and an open press will cause
the country's policy-makers to stick to the constitution in their
behavior, the minister told reportes following his arrival at shiraz
airport, in fars province.
musai-lari added that these factors will help political and social
issues become transparent and clarify the responsibilities of the
authorities.
stressing that furthor reforms are needed for the councils
election, the minister regretted that the councils law had not been
forecast for the country's tribes with a population of two million.
he said since political motives were the main factor behind the
councils election in the capital city tehran, it was compeletly
politicized and was the main reason for the people's turnout.
kh/ks
end
::irna 13/03/99 11:05

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

Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 00:02:24 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Quake Hits Semnan

Quake Hits Semnan
=================


thr 008
earthquake-semnan
quake hits semnan
semnan, march 13, irna -- an earthquake measuring 4 degrees on the
richter scale jolted the vicinity of semnan, in northeast of iran, at
8:00 hour local time (04:30 gmt) saturday.
the seismological base of the geogphysics institute of the tehran
university announced the epicenter of the quake 40 kms north of here
and 280 kms northeast of tehran.
no report is yet available on probable casualties and loss of
property.
ys/ks
end
::irna 13/03/99 11:25

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

Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 00:02:44 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Khatami's Saudi Visit

Khatami's Saudi Visit
=====================


thr 002
iran-saudi-khatami
khatami's saudi visit, a new chapter in bilateral ties: ambassador
medina, march 13, irna -- president mohammad khatami's imminent visit
to saudi arabia will open a new horizon in tehran-riyadh growing
bilateral relations, said iranian ambassador to riyadh hojaltoleslam
nouri shahroudi.
he told irna here on friday that although the exact date of the
president's visit to saudi arabia has not been announced yet, however,
the saudi government is enthusiastically awaiting the visit.
shahroudi further added that the two countries have prepared
agreements for cooperation in economic, cultural, political,
scientific and environmental fields which will be signed in the
course of khatami's visit to saudi arabia.
he termed iran and saudi arabia as two big countries in the
islamic world and said president khatami's saudi visit will further
consolidates bilateral relations.
he said iran-saudi joint cooperation for the settlement of
problems facing world muslims is a prime objective of the president's
forthcoming visit, adding that the two sides are willing to
cooperate for solving the present crisis in the islamic world.
ns/ks
end
::irna 13/03/99 09:38

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

Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 00:03:06 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Iran Leader Reaches Out to Wes

Iran Leader Reaches Out to West
===============================

Friday, March 12, 1999; 7:56 a.m. EST

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- President Mohammad Khatami, returning from
a successful trip to Italy, said in remarks broadcast today that
there is a ``great desire'' in the West to expand economic and
other ties with Iran.

But he cautioned that ``some circles and powers'' are opposed to
Iran's increasing links with the West and have even ``resorted
to some mischief in this regard.''
Khatami did not elaborate but it is known that hard-liners in
Iran's ruling clergy are opposed to his democratic and economic
reforms and his openness to the West.

Khatami could also have been referring to the United States,
whose laws ban international investment of more than $20 million
in Iran.

However, Iran and the West ``are determined to expand these
relations on the basis of mutual respect,'' Khatami was quoted
as saying by Iranian radio.

It said Khatami made the comments on Thursday at Tehran's
Mehrabad Airport when he returned from a three-day trip, hailed
by Italian and Iranian officials as an unqualified success.

During the visit, Italy's state energy company ENI proposed oil
production deals worth $2 billion to $3 billion, Iran's deputy
oil minister, Mehdi Hosseini, said. He said petrochemical
projects were also discussed.

``There is a great desire for cooperation with Iran at various
international levels,'' Khatami was quoted as saying.

But analysts say Khatami's political rivals will try to minimize
the political and economic gains from the visit.

Khatami visited the United Nations last year, but the Italy trip
was first to a Western nation by an Iranian leader since the
1979 Islamic revolution installed the rule of the clergy in the
country.

Saeed Leylaz, a political analyst who writes for several Iranian
newspapers, said Khatami's visit was of crucial importance to
the country's ailing economy.

Low world oil prices have slashed Iran's main revenue and the
government has projected a deficit of $3 billion in the current
budget.

``Unfortunately, experience has shown that the hard-liners are
willing to undermine the whole Islamic system just to undermine
Khatami,'' Leylaz said.

Still, the majority of Iranians are behind Khatami and have the
maturity to understand what he is trying to achieve, Leylaz
said.

Reflecting the hard-liners' unpopularity, Khatami's supporters
secured an overwhelming victory in Iran's first municipal
elections last month.

Hard-line clergymen insist on maintaining an economic system
dominated by state enterprises and small traders who are mostly
in the conservative camp.

The hard-liners also oppose Khatami's efforts to ease the strict
Islamic laws of the revolution that control everything from how
women should dress in public to whether Iranians can own
satellite dish antennas.

Throughout his Italy trip, Khatami portrayed his country as a
young, dynamic nation eager to embrace progress and democracy
while remaining true to its faith and traditions.

He also disavowed terrorism and cited Islam's message of love
and tolerance, unlike the strident rhetoric of some of his
predecessors and the hard-liners now.


Copyright 1999 The Associated Press

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

Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 00:03:34 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Crossing an Islamic-Christian divide

Crossing an Islamic-Christian divide
====================================


FRIDAY, MARCH 12, 1999
IRANIAN'S VISIT TO ITALY MAY OPEN DIALOGUE WITH WEST. WILL IT
UNDERCUT US SANCTIONS?


Crossing an Islamic-Christian divide
Sarah Happel
Special to The Christian Science Monitor

FLORENCE, ITALY

Never in the 20 years since Iran's Islamic Revolution sparked
Muslim radicalism worldwide has an Iranian president been
welcomed in Western Europe.

But this week, President Mohamad Khatami visited Italy in a
historic meeting between the Islamic world and largely Christian
Europe.

Speaking outside Florence at an ancient sacred building whose
walls whisper messages of Christian origins and the Renaissance,
Mr. Khatami asked for a dialogue between the two
"civilizations."

----------------------------------------------------------------
20 YEARS AFTER IRAN'S ISLAMIC REVOLUTION: Pope John Paul II held
talks with Mohamad Khatami yesterday, as the Iranian leader
wrapped up a visit to Italy. Khatami called for better ties with
Christianity.
(MASSIMO SAMBUCETTI /REUTERS)
----------------------------------------------------------------

His three-day visit, although largely symbolic, nonetheless may
be an attempt to weaken US economic sanctions imposed against
Iran for allegedly being a "sponsor of terrorism."

The visit also could win points for Khatami back home against
powerful conservative clerics who have defied his moves to allow
free speech and widen international contacts since his 1997
election.

"All the divine religions are not quintessentially different.
The differences arise from religious laws and codes of conduct
that govern the social and judicial life of human beings," he
told an audience of Italian officials, ambassadors, professors,
and students at the European University Institute.

He said a dialogue between Muslim countries and Christian
countries "requires listening to and hearing from other
civilizations and cultures, and the importance of listening to
others is by no means less than talking to others. It may be in
fact more important.

"Islam and Europe must get to know one another better, and then
move on to improve their political, economic, and cultural
relations. Our futures are inseparable because our pasts have
been inseparable," Khatami said. "Iran is the meeting point of
the Eastern and Western cultures, just as man is the meeting
point of the soul's East and the reason's West."

He did not accept questions, however, after stressing the need
for dialogue among civilizations. Although some audience members
voiced disappointment, others thought his message of
communication from a philosophical point of view was amazingly
refreshing in modern-day politics.

"It was an opening discussion about spirituality and Islam
culture and the way in which the East sees the West," Nadia
Hashmi, third-year doctoral researcher from London said. "Twenty
years ago this was unimaginable. Given the nature of his visit,
I do not think it would have been right to start a debate about
human rights in Iran and criticize from our Western point of
view. This should be seen as a step forward for future relations
with that part of the world."

It was no coincidence that Khatami visited the European
University Institute and spoke in a building rich with
scholastic history, the ancient Badia Fiesolana. Renowned
artists, architects, popes, and intellectuals of the Renaissance
contributed to the Badia on the Tuscan hills outside Florence.

"I believe that the European University Institute is the ideal
venue for this historic address," said Dr. Patrick Masterson,
principal of the institute, in introducing Khatami at the Badia
Fiesolana. "It is a truly international center of comparative
interdisciplinary research in the human sciences bringing
together tolerant, creative, intellectual interaction."

In 1976, the European Community transformed the Badia Fiesolana
and surrounding historic buildings into an elite academic
training center.

Although the origins of the Badia Fiesolana are lost in legend,
it has always been a significant place for "excellent and
lettered men."

At the core of this legend is St. Romulus, the evangelizer of
the pagan town of Fiesole and the founder of the first Christian
Oratory. It is alleged that St. Romulus suffered martyrdom,
along with other saints and witnesses to the new faith. Their
remains were thrown into a well and the Badia Fiesolana was
constructed on this spot. By 1439, it was home to priests and
scholars who kept many of the most important texts of classical
and Christian culture.

Khatami recognized Italy for its role in the Renaissance, which
he said revitalized "religion by giving it a new language and
fresh ideas."

"The Renaissance defined the man of religion not as someone who
would turn his back on the world but as somebody who would face
the world," he said. Unfortunately, according to Khatami,
somewhere during the Renaissance, the world was transformed into
violent conquest and subjugation.

Khatami wrapped up his trip to Italy yesterday with a private
meeting with Pope John Paul II. The Vatican termed it a warm
encounter based on "a spirit of dialogue between Muslims and
Christians."

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

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 12 Mar 1999 to 13 Mar 1999 - Special issue
*******************************************************************