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There are 5 messages totalling 523 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

2. UAE: Iran Can't Have it Both Ways
3. U.S. Wants Russia Action On Iran
4. End of era as Coats chief Alliance goes
5. No Ruz is a celebration of life


Date: Sat, 20 Mar 1999 23:49:30 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>

<< This message is part 2 of a previous message >>>

Not mentioned in the resolutions is the census of the
territory under the control of the KRG. Until recently, this
was a matter of major concern to both the Turkomans and the
Assyrians. The fact that the census has been delayed from
April until the summer explain why it did not figure in the
list of concerns. It also appears likely that some other
arrangement will be made to establish representation in the
parliament of the regional government.
On the international front, the Iraqi Turkmen Front is
still chafing over its exclusion from the Iraq Liberation
Act. The final resolution says: "Excluding the Turkmen Front
from the seven organizations mentioned in the 'Liberation of
Iraq' law will not help in the establishment of a pluralistic
democratic Iraq. It is hoped that this mistake will be
corrected in the near future." (David Nissman)

Copyright (c) 1999. RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved.

The RFE/RL Iraq Report is prepared weekly by David Nissman on
the basis of materials from RFE/RL broadcast services, RFE/RL
Newsline, and other news services. Direct comments to David
Nissman at

Technical queries should be emailed to

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Listen to news about Iraq daily on the RFE/RL Web site:

Every day at 1700 CET and 1900 Baghdad time Radio Free Iraq
broadcasts at the following frequencies: 6130, 9540, 9850 and
11915 Kilohertz, corresponding with 49, 31.5, 30.5, and 25
meters shortwave.

Daily programs with some updates will be repeated every
morning at 0400 CET, 0600 Baghdad time on the following
frequencies: 5965, 7110, 7275, 9740 Kilohertz, corresponding
with 50, 42, 41, and 31 meters shortwave.



Date: Sun, 21 Mar 1999 03:36:50 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: UAE: Iran Can't Have it Both Ways

UAE: Iran Can't Have it Both Ways

Wednesday, March 17, 1999: The News Channel

CAIRO (AFP) - Iran must stop thinking it can retain "fruitful"
ties with the Arabs while strengthening its grip on Gulf islands
claimed by the United Arab Emirates, the UAE foreign minister
warned here Wednesday.
The minister, Rashid bin Abdullah Al-Nuaymi, told Arab League
foreign ministers that Iran has defied their efforts to improve
the situation over Abu Musa, Greater Tunb and Lesser Tunb by
"consolidating its occupation of the three islands."

He then urged Iran to stop "thinking it is going to keep
occupied Arab lands and have at the same time fruitful relations
with the Arab countries."
The minister thanked all Arab countries for initiatives to
resolve the island dispute, which he said supported the Emirati

He said although the Arabs have "witnessed a positive trend in
Iranian politics" based on conciliatory statements by the new
president, Mohammad Khatami, "such trends did not include the

The UAE and its five Gulf Arab neighbors on Monday called on
Iran to peacefully resolve the conflict over the islands and
stop taking unilateral action.

The six states held an extraordinary meeting earlier this month,
during which that demanded that Iran "immediately" cease its
military exercises near the islands.

17.Mar.99 M.K


Copyright Reuters, UPI, AFP, IPS Limited.


Date: Sun, 21 Mar 1999 03:37:06 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: U.S. Wants Russia Action On Iran

U.S. Wants Russia Action On Iran

WASHINGTON, Mar. 19, 1999 -- (Reuters) Russia has told the
United States it will take steps to curb nuclear cooperation
with Iran but Washington wants to see action before lifting
sanctions, the State Department said Thursday.

Deputy spokesman James Foley said that in addition to published
remarks by Atomic Energy Minister Yevgeny Adamov, "we've heard
that in the last weeks" in private contacts with the Russians.
"We welcome statements by Minister Adamov that Russia is willing
to curtail illicit cooperation with Iran's nuclear program. So
this is a potentially positive statement on his part," Foley
told reporters.

But he added: "We would like to see action taken to remedy the
problem before the (U.S.) penalties (on Russian research
centers) can be reconsidered."

The issue is expected to be discussed when Vice President Al
Gore and Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov meet in
Washington next week, Foley said.

The deputy spokesman did not give details on exactly how Russia
might curb cooperation with Iran.

Adamov, at a news conference Wednesday in Moscow, said Russia
would continue nuclear cooperation with Iran in spite of U.S.

But he confirmed a New York Times report that Moscow had severed
contact between Iran and the Scientific Research and Design
Institute for Power Technology (NIKIET) to try to allay U.S.

In January Washington imposed sanctions on NIKIET and the
Mendeleyev University of Chemical Technology for making
"material contributions to Iran's nuclear weapons program."

The Clinton administration also sanctioned the Moscow Aviation
Institute for aiding a missile program.

Seven other scientific bodies were penalized last July, days
after Iran test-fired a missile with a range of 800 miles (1,280
km) capable of striking Israel and Russia.

Adamov, who headed NIKIET for 12 years, told the news conference
the institute had had no contact with Iran since September.

He told the New York Times he wanted to sign a document in
Washington affirming that NIKIET's ties with Iran had been
severed athat NIKIET's ties with Iran had been
severed and also stipulating the same for Mendeleyev University.

Russia is already planning to build several nuclear power
reactors at Bushere in Iran and U.S. officials are even more
concerned that Moscow will also provide heavy water and graphite
reactors, which can be used in producing plutonium for nuclear

"Ongoing Russian cooperation with Iran remains a serious concern
that we are discussing intensively with the government of
Russia," Foley said.

"If the Russian aim is to halt that kind of cooperation with
Iran, that is a good statement. What we want to see, though, is
the action taken to eliminate the problem so we can verify the
cooperation has ceased. And in that context, we will be looking
to look at the penalties," he added. ( (c) 1999 Reuters)


Date: Sun, 21 Mar 1999 03:37:16 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: End of era as Coats chief Alliance goes

End of era as Coats chief Alliance goes

SIR David Alliance is to step down from Coats Viyella, marking
the end of an era for what was once Britain's biggest, and most
successful textiles company.

His departure, accompanied by the exit of chief executive
Michael Ost, follows Coats' decision to sell off precision
engineering, its most profitable division.

The Coats Viyella from which the 66-year-old exits later this
year is a shadow of its former self. At just 381/2p, unmoved on
the boardroom changes, the group is valued at just £270 million.
In its heyday, Coats commanded a stock market capitalisation of
£1.8 billion and was a major FT-SE 100 constituent.

Sir David, then known as Davoud, came to Britain from Kashan in
Iran at the age of 17. His deal-making skills were evident from
an early age - before he reached his teens, he spent school
holidays selling laces to shoemakers in Kashan.

By his teens, he had graduated to the local bazaar, where he
sold textiles.

His first deal in Britain was in 1956, when he bought up a
struggling textiles company in Manchester.

He first came to the City's attention when he reversed his
growing empire into the quoted Spirella group. A series of deals
followed. In 1975, he bought Vantona, followed by Carrington
Viyella in 1983. Three years later, he added Nottingham
Manufacturing and, in the same year, one of the most famous
names in the British textiles industry, Coats Patons. In 1991,
the Tootal name was added to the empire.

Since then, however, Coats Viyella has been hit by a series of
disasters, all set against the background of a declining
textiles industry.

Profits reached a peak of £160 million in 1995. Last year,
operating profits were £117.4 million, down 15%, before

Long-time Coats Viyella man Sir Harry Djanogly, who is to become
chairman, said that behind the changes was the group's decision
to concentrate on its two core operations - Coats industrial and
consumer threads and the Viyella businesses, which owns the
Jaeger fashion chain and is a major supplier to Marks & Spencer
- following the sale of the precision engineering division.

"It is with regret that we shall say goodbye to Sir David
Alliance. He has been a champion for the British textile
industry during several decades and has shown great resource in
sustaining a number of famous retail and manufacturing brands,"
said Sir Harry.

Michael Ost, he said, had taken "great strides'' to restructure
the group since he joined two years ago.

Ost departs next month and Sir David will leave after the annual
meeting in July.

© Associated Newspapers Ltd., 19 March 1999


Date: Sun, 21 Mar 1999 03:38:12 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: No Ruz is a celebration of life

No Ruz is a celebration of life

By: Massoume March 1999

No Ruz, new day or New Year as the Iranians call it, is a
celebration of spring Equinox. It has been celebrated by all the
major cultures of ancient Mesopotamia. Sumerians, 3000BC,
Babylonians 2000 BC, the ancient kingdom of Elam in Southern
Persia 2000BC, Akaddians all have been celebrating it in one
form or another. What we have today as No Ruz with its’ uniquely
Iranian characteristics has been celebrated for at least 3000
years and is deeply rooted in the traditions of Zoroastrian
belief system.

This was the religion of Ancient Persia before the advent of
Islam 1400 years ago. It is known as the mother religion in the
area. The familiar concepts of Hell, Heaven,
Resurrection, coming of the Messiah, individual and last
judgment were for the first time incorporated into this belief
system. They still exist in Judo-Christian and Islamic
traditions. In order to understand No Ruz we have to know about
Zoroastrians’ cosmology.

These people believed in two primal forces. In their ancient
text, Bundahishn foundation of creation, we read that The Lord
of Wisdom residing in the eternal light was not God. He created
all that was good and became God. The Hostile Spirit, Angra
Mainyu (Ahriman), residing in the eternal darkness created all
that was bad and became the Hostile Spirit (The word anger in
English comes from the same origin).

Everything that produced life, protected and enriched it was
regarded as good. This included all forces of nature beneficial
to humans. Earth, waters, sky, animals, plants were all good.
Justice, honesty, peace, health, beauty, joy and happiness were
regarded as belonging to the good forces. All that threatened
life and created disorder belonged to the hostile spirits.

The two worlds created did not have a material form but the
essence of everything was present. The two existed side by side
for three thousand years, but completely separate from each
other. At the end of the third millennium the Hostile Spirit saw
light, wanted it and attacked the good world. This was the
beginning of all troubles we face now.

The Lord of Wisdom in order to protect his world created the
material world aeity”,
Geety in modern Persian. This mater“Gaeity”,
Geety in modern Persian. This material world was created at
seven different stages. The first creation was the sky, a big
chunk of stone high above. The second creation was the first
ocean, at the bottom. Earth a big flat dish sitting on the ocean
was the third. The next three creations were the prototypes of
all life forms. The first plant, the first animal a bull and the
first human Gayo-maretan (Kiomarth), both male and female. The
seventh creation was fire and sun together.

The struggle continues for 12000 years. There are four periods,
each 3000 years. At the last phase several saviors come and the
last one Saoshyant will save the world. When he comes there is
resurrection, walking over the Chinvat Bridge (Sarat Bridge in
Quran) and last judgement. We recognize this figure as Time Lord
(Imam Zaman) in Iranian version of Shiite Islam.

In order to protect his creations the Lord of Wisdom also
created six holly immortals, Amesha Spenta one for each
creation. Khashtra (Sharivar), the protector of sky,
Asha-Vahishta (Ordibehesht) protected fire. Vahu Manah (Bahman)
for all animals, Haurvatat (Khordad) protected all waters,
Spenta Armaiti (Esphand) a female deity protector of mother
earth and Ameratat (Amurdad) supported all plant life. Ahura
Mazda himself became the protector of all humans and the holly

There was one problem with this material world, it did not have
a life cycle. The sun did not move. There were no days or nights
and no seasons. The three prototypes of life were sacrificed.
From the plant came the seeds of all plants. The bull produced
all animals and from the human came the first male and female.
The rest of the humanity was created from their union. The cycle
of life started. Sun moved, there was day, night and the
seasons. This was called the first No Ruz..

The Lord of Wisdom also created guardian angles (forouhars) for
all living beings. Every human had one as long as they stayed
with the good forces. As we see in the myth of Azydahak in
Avesta, the Zoroastrians’ holly book. We know this figure as
Zahak in modern Persian. A prince, he chooses the Hostile Spirit
as his protector. He was made a king, ruled for 999 years and
became immortal.

Zoroaster (Zardosht) the architect of this cosmology introduced
many feasts, festivals and rituals to pay homage to the seven
creations and the holly immortals. Seven were amongst the most
important. They are known as Gahambars, feasts of obligation.
The last and the most elaborate was No Ruz, celebrating the Lord
of Wisdom and the holly fire at the time of spring equinox.

The oldest archaeological record for No Ruz celebration comes
from the Achaemenian (Hakhamaneshi) period over 2500 years ago.
They created the first major empire in the region and built
Persepolis complex (Takhte Jamshid) in central Iran. This
magnificent palace/temple complex was destroyed by Alexander the
Great in 334 BC.

Achaemenians had four major residences one for each season.
Persepolis was their spring residence and the site for
celebrating the New Year. Stone carvings show the king seated on
his throne receiving his subjects, governors and ambassadors
from various nations under his control. They are presenting him
with gifts and paying homage to him. We do not know too much
about the details of the rituals. We do know that mornings were
spent praying and performing other religious rituals. Later on
during the day the guests would be entertained with feasts and

We also know that the ritual of sacred marriage took place at
this palace. An ancient and common ritual in Mesopotamia, the
king would spend the first night of the New Year with a young
woman. Any offspring produced from this union would be sent back
to the temples and they would normally end up as high-ranking
religious officials. There is no evidence that this was
practiced later on and was part of the New Year rituals.
What we have today as No Ruz goes back to the Sassanid period.
They were the last great Persian Empire before the advent of
Islam 1400 years ago. Their celebrations would start five days
prior to the New Year. They believed the guardian angles
(Fourohars) would come down to earth within these five days to
visit their human counter parts. A major spring-cleaning was
carried out to welcome them with feasts and celebrations. Bon
fires would be set on rooftops at night to indicate to the
guardian angles that humans were ready to receive them. This
was called Suri Festival.

Modern Iranians still carry out the spring-cleaning and
celebrate Wednesday Suri.
Bon fires are made and all people will jump over the fire on the
last Tuesday of the year. This is a purification rite and
Iranians believe by going over the fire they will get rid of all
their illnesses and misfortunes. Wednesday Suri did not exist
before Islam and very likely is a combination of more than one
ritual to make it last.

The ancient Zoroastrians would also celebrate the first five
days of No Ruz, but it was the sixth day that was the most
important of all. This day was called the Great No Ruz (No Ruze
bozorg) and is assumed to be the birthday of Zoroaster himself.
Zoroastrians today still celebrate this day, but it has lost its
significance for the rest of the Iranians. In Sassanid period
the New Year would be celebrated for 21 days and on the 19th day
there would be another major festival.

Modern Iranians celebrate New Year for 13 days only. The first
few days are spent visiting older members of the family other
relatives and friends. Gifts are exchanged; swer
relatives and friends. Gifts are exchanged; swer
relatives and friends. Gifts are exchanged; sweets and feasts
will be consumed. At the last day, the 13th of the first month,
all people will leave their homes to go to the parks or rural
areas to spend a day in nature. Again this was not celebrated in
this manner before and might be several rituals in one. A major
part of the New Year rituals is setting a special table with
seven specific items present, Haft Sin (Haft chin, seven crops
before Islam). In the ancient times each of the items
corresponded to one of the seven creations and the seven holly
immortals protecting them.

Today they are changed and modified but some have kept their
symbolism. All the seven items start with the letter S; this was
not the order in ancient times. Wheat or barley representing new
growth is still present. Fish the most easily obtainable animal
and water are present. Lit candles are a symbol of fire. Mirrors
are used today, origin unknown. These were expensive items in
ancient times and were made from polished metal. It is unlikely
that all households would have one. Zoroastrians today place the
lit candle in front of the mirror. Wine was always present.
Today it is replaced by vinegar since alcohol is banned in

Egg a universal symbol of fertility corresponding to the mother
earth is still present. Garlic is used to warn off bad omen.
This is a modern introduction. There is no evidence that it was
used in that context before. However the ancient Iranians would
grow seven different herbs for the New Year and garlic might
have been one of those. Samano a thick brownish paste is present
today. It is a nutritious meal and could have been part of the
feasts. It is also possible that it has replaced Haoma. Haoma is
a scared herbal mix known for its healing properties. It was a
major cult on its own with many rituals and ceremonies. The cult
is still performed by the Zoroastrians today, but is abandoned
by the rest of the Iranians. Coins symbolizing wealth and
prosperity, fruits and special meals are present as well.

Why this festival has survived? There have been major attempts
by the Muslim rulers over the centuries to minimize it, ban it
or get rid of it once and for all. The reasons for their failure
should be sought in the spirit of this festival. Contrary to the
Islamic traditions where death and martyrdom mark all the major
rituals, No Ruz is a celebration of life.

Forces of nature completely beyond them dominated people in
ancient times. They formed a union with these forces to protect
themselves. Through this union they created a balance and
maintained the cosmic order Asha. Without it there would be
chaos, the world of the Hostile Spirit (Ahriman). The
Zoroastrians were and are required to have the same mind, the
same voice and act the same way as their god the Lord of Wisdom.

They are expected to only think of good things, speak the good
words and act the good deeds. Our celebrated poet Ferdousi over
a thousand years ago virtually single handedly translated
Avestan mythology into modern Persian. A Zoroastrian who was
persecuted all his life because of his fate; he starts his book
in the name of the Lord of Life and Wisdom (beh nameh khodavand
jaan o kherad). The lord of life and wisdom was Ahura Mazda’s
title in the Avestan texts of the Sassanid period.

Lord or not, life and wisdom are what that makes us humans. We
are the only beings who know we have a life and what we do with
our lives depend on the wisdom. At the end of the millennium
with the mess this planet is in we need that wisdom more than
ever. Creating a balance with nature and maintaining order are
very relevant. These are the lessons we can learn from such a
wonderful and ancient tradition. So happy New Year, enjoy the
festival. Joy and happiness were regarded as major forces
defeating the hostile spirits. This is why we are still
celebrating this occasion after 3000 years.

Massoume March 1999


End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 20 Mar 1999