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There are 4 messages totalling 259 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. RADIO FREE EUROPE/IRAN REPORT - Part 2
2. OIC Contact Group Supports UN Meeting on Kosovo
3. UK Sending Iran Bullet-Proof Vests to Counter Drug
4. Iranian Diplomat:Religions,Integral Part of Civili

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Date: Mon, 29 Mar 1999 23:48:12 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: RADIO FREE EUROPE/IRAN REPORT - Part 2

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

Iranian cooperation on the cuts in oil production. Statements
by Saudi Arabia's second deputy prime minister, Prince Sultan
Bin Abd al-Aziz, provided further clarification. According to
him, Saudi Arabia has washed its hands of the Tunbs and Abu
Musa islands. He said in an interview with Lebanon's "Al-
Sharq" newspaper which was rebroadcast by Saudi state radio
on 19 March that "Others may have problems and demands
[referring to the United Arab Emirates' dispute with Iran
over the three Gulf Islands] and that is their concern."
Prince Sultan also expressed satisfaction with resolution of
the oil issue, saying: "Of course improvements in economic
relations reflect positively on political relations." (Bill
Samii)

DEMONSTRATIONS AND CALLS FOR UNITY AT PILGRIMAGE. Two million
people are expected to attend the Muslim pilgrimage in Mecca
this year. Some 82,000 of them are Iranians, the IRNA
reported. While the majority of the Iranian pilgrims are
Shia, 3,000 of them are Sunni.
For Iran's political leadership the pilgrimage is more
than an opportunity for the expression of piety and faith. In
the past, it also has been the occasion for Iran to stage
rallies with heavily political overtones. This year promised
more of the same, when Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei said in mid-February that delivering a political
message is an essential part of the pilgrimage. And the three
messages this year, he said, are "Muslim unity, resistance
against the enemies of Islam, and disavowal of pagans headed
by the U.S. and Zionism."
Hojatoleslam Mohammad Mohammadi Reyshahri, who has been
the Supreme Leader's representative at the Hajj and
Pilgrimage Organization since 1991, told IRNA that the 1999
disavowal of pagans ceremony will resemble previous ones.
This might have caused some concern, because in June 1993
Reyshahri was prevented from returning to Medina from Mecca
by the Saudi authorities after Iranian pilgrims held illegal
demonstrations, and in May 1995, Reyshahri led another
illegal demonstration at the end of the pilgrimage. Iran
boycotted the pilgrimage from 1988-1991 because a 1987
Iranian rally resulted in clashes with Saudi security forces
and several hundred deaths.
But last year the pilgrimage took place without any
disruptive Iranian actions, according to Western news
agencies. As Reyshahri left for the pilgrimage last March, he
said "Thank God, the political atmosphere between the two
countries is ideal. Not since the victory of the (1979)
Islamic revolution have relations been so friendly with Saudi
Arabia."
Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayaf Bin Abd al-Aziz
said he did not think the Iranian pilgrims "will do anything
that could endanger the pilgrimage [this year]," Agence
France Presse reported. He hinted that smaller demonstrations
in the pilgrims' housing areas would be ignored.
On 22 March the first demonstration occurred, when
pilgrims chanted "expressions of hatred" against the U.S. and
Israel for five continuous minutes. And on 23 March, several
pilgrims chanted "down with the U.S.," "death to Israel," and
"Muslims get united" while circling the Kaaba, until Saudi
security personnel intervened and terminated the
demonstration.
Then a "disavowal of pagans" ceremony was held at the
Arafat Desert, the last stage of the pilgrimage, on 26 March.
According to IRNA, tens of thousands attended and did more
chanting of "death to the U.S." and "death to Israel."
Reyshahri had said that participation was a "religious duty."
Iran's presidential adviser for Sunni affairs, Molavi Eshaq
Madani, also urged pilgrims to attend the event.
The outcome of the ceremony was a seven-point statement.
The points were: (1) condemnation of "the new whispered
conspiracies of separation" of church and state; (2) Islamic
unity; (3) "deep dislike and aversion of the global arrogant
powers and specifically the Great Satan the criminal
America;" and (4) support for the Palestinian people. Also,
there was (5) praise for the Muslim resistance in Lebanon
versus "savage aggression of the Zionist bloodsuckers;" (6)
sympathy for Muslims in Afghanistan, Kosova, Kashmir, and
Iraq; and (7) renewal of "our covenant with the ideology of
the late Imam Khomeini."
Among the other events that occurred was a Komeyl
supplication held in Medina next to the Baqi cemetery, where
the Prophet Mohammad, his sister, and several Shia Imams are
buried. Komeyl was a close disciple of Imam Ali who
transcribed some of his prayers. They are now repeated in a
particularly mournful way, usually on Thursday nights.
It is not just religious and political issues which
interest Iranian officials during the pilgrimage. Iran's
economic situation is relevant too. Reyshahri urged directors
of pilgrimage caravans to aim for lower costs. And the
conservative daily "Resalat" said that this year Iranian
pilgrims will have limits on the amount of cash they can take
with them, they cannot take carpets or pistachios for resale,
and they cannot bring back any electric home appliances.
(Bill Samii)

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

The RFE/RL Iran Report is a weekly prepared by A. William
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_____________________________________________________________
RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

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Date: Tue, 30 Mar 1999 08:31:14 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: OIC Contact Group Supports UN Meeting on Kosovo

OIC Contact Group Supports UN Meeting on Kosovo
===============================================

thr 002
oic-contact group
oic contact group supports un meeting on kosovo
united nations, new york, mar. 27, irna -- iran as the head of the
contact group of the organization of the islamic conference (oic)
backed a request by the bosnian representative to the united nations
for an urgent security council meeting.
the bosnian representative attended the oic contact group meeting
on friday and called for the group's support for his country's request
to the security council to consider the issue of yugoslav planes'
violation of the bosnian air space.
his request was accepted by the group and consequently iran, as
head of the group, conveyed the group's support for bosnia's request
in a letter to the head of the council.
the oic contact group on bosnia-herzegovina and kosovo consists of
iran, pakistan, malaysia, egypt and turkey.
vd/ks
end
::irna 27/03/99 10:55

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

Date: Tue, 30 Mar 1999 08:31:08 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: UK Sending Iran Bullet-Proof Vests to Counter Drug

UK Sending Iran Bullet-Proof Vests to Counter Drugs
===================================================


thr 011
iran-uk armed vests
uk sending iran bullet-proof vests to counter drugs
london, march 26, irna -- britain is making an exception to its export
ban on military equipment to supply iran with 1,020 bullet-proof vests
to help border guards combat afghan drug-smugglers.
foreign office minister tony lloyd said that the uk government was
providing pounds 300,000 (dlrs 485,000) for the equipment as part of a
contribution to a pounds 8 million un drugs-control package.
in a written reply to parliament, he praised iran's key role in
combating the drugs trade, saying it "deserves to be more widely
recognised."
iran, was in the "front-line in the war against this trade" and
the close to 3,000 deaths among frontier guards in the past 20 years
is a "regrettable reflection of the commitment that iran has made to
try to combat this menace," lloyd said.
his announcement coincided with the release of the uk's first
annual report on arms exports that shows iran accounting for over
10 per cent of 45 licences applications refused by britain's labour
government during its first eight months in office.
total rejections numbered less than one per cent of 6,4 18
applications for licensed goods made by uk companies between may and
december 1997 the list of refus ed export licences is headed by
indonesia with six, followed by iran with five, the philippines and
nigeria with four each and pakistan and chinese with two each.
iran, along with argentina, is the only count ry subjected to
unilateral uk sanctions. embargoes against other countries are in line
with un sanctions, european union directives or restrictions imposed
by the organisation for security cooperation in europe.
hc/dh
end
::irna 26/03/99 16:45

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

Date: Tue, 30 Mar 1999 08:31:24 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Iranian Diplomat:Religions,Integral Part of Civili

Iranian Diplomat: Religions, Integral Part of Civilizations
=========================================================

thr 003
iran-u.n.-nejadhosseinian
iranian diplomat: religions integral part of civilizations
new york, march 28, irna -- iran's ambassador and permanent envoy to
the u.n. mohammad-hadi nejadhosseinian stressed in connecticut on
saturday that religion is an integral part of civilization and
dialogue among religions is the best way of building up understanding
among nations and civilizations.
nejadhosseinian, who was speaking to 400 catholic christians at
st. anthony church on the threshold of the easter, said that president
mohammad khatami's meeting earlier this month with the world catholic
church leader pope john paul ii was a turning point in understanding
between christianity and islam as well as between east and west.
"one has to wait to see its results," he said.
he added that muslims and christians share commonalties due to
their belief in god and the almighty's will and role in many affairs.
he added that jesus christ (pbuh) and prophet mohammad (peace be
upon him and his progeny) were helper of the oppressed and enemies of
the oppressors.
another point shared by muslims and christians is their need in
spirituality, said the iranian diplomat, regretting that certain
schools have not dealt with the spiritual dimension of life but islam
and christianity believe that life without spirituality would be
incomplete, senseless, and unable to follow a sound direction. those
are commonalties that have brought followers of divine religions close
to each other, he noted.
he said that muslims and christians should cooperate to overcome
common global challenges. such challenges as poverty, injustice,
social inequalities and demolition of family foundations were among
issues concerning all religions and civilizations.
iran as a country with rich religious and humane civilization
advocates the idea on dialogue amongst civilizations, nejadhosseinian
said, praying to the almighty god for domination of justice and
spirituality over the world.
bg/ks
end
::irna 28/03/99 11:55

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End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 29 Mar 1999
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