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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 12 Apr 1999 - Special issue

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 12 Apr 1999 - Special issue
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There are 9 messages totalling 1219 lines in this issue.

Topics in this special issue:

1. Attorney: Jailed German Businessman to Be Released
2. On Khatami Invitation to Germany
3. hrough the passenger window.
4. Disagreements Over 3rd Plan
5. TEHRAN DAILY CONFIRMS: KHATAMI PREVENTED FROM GOIN
6. NEWSPAPER "ZAN" CLOSED ON PUBLISHING MESSAGE FROM
7. ISLAMIC IRAN AND THE EUROPEAN UNION: NO IMPROVEMEN
8. On South Africa FM Visit from Tehran
9. Kazakh Prime Minister to Discuss Caspian Problems

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

Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 06:10:40 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Attorney: Jailed German Businessman to Be Released

Attorney: Jailed German Businessman to Be Released on Bail
==========================================================


AP
08-APR-99


TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- A German businessman jailed for having sex
with an Iranian woman will be released on bail, his lawyer said
Thursday.


Arrangements were under way for Helmut Hofer's release, attorney
Malek Houshang Qahhari said. He did not specify the bail amount,
but a government source in Bonn, Germany, said on condition of
anonymity that the amount was about $165,000.


It was unclear whether Hofer would be allowed to leave Iran
under the bail decision. The German Embassy in Tehran had yet to
receive official word of the decision, according to the German
Foreign Ministry.

Bodo Hombach, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's chief of
staff, will arrive in Tehran on Saturday and will meet with
President Mohammad Khatami's chief of staff, Iran's Islamic
Republic News Agency reported.


It gave few other details.


Hofer, 54, was sentenced to death in January 1998 after being
arrested for having sex with an unmarried 26-year-old medical
student. Iranian law punishes sex between unmarried Muslims with
flogging, but if the man is not Muslim, he faces the death
penalty.


The Justice Ministry ordered a retrial after Hofer insisted he
had converted to Islam before having sex with the woman. A
second court that tried him sentenced him to death in October.


In February, Iran's Supreme Court annulled the death sentence in
the case, which has strained relations between Germany and Iran,
and ordered another retrial.


Copyright 1999& The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This
material may

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

Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 06:11:08 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: On Khatami Invitation to Germany

German Envoy Arrives in Tehran
==============================


thr 022
germany-iran-hombach
german envoy arrives in tehran
tehran, april 1, irna -- senior minister at german chancellor
gerhard schroeder's cabinet, bodo hombach arrived in tehran at the
head of a delegation saturday morning. he will submit the german
chancellor's official invitation to president seyed mohammad khatami
to visit germany.
the german official was welcomed at th
e airport by hojjatoleslam
seyed mohammad ali abtahi, head of the president's office.
speaking to reporters at the airport, hombach said the governments
of iran and germany are doing their best to improve tehran-bonn
relations, adding: "i am confident this will happen."
the german envoy said the two nations of iran and germany enjoyed
ancient and historical ties and "the time has come now to have another
start for expanding our ties."
he said the two governments were determined to cement their
relations in all areas. "we are determined to break all the barriers
and i have been assigned by the german chancellor to convey his
greetings to the iranian president and extend his official invitation
to him to visit germany," hombach added.
on relations between iran and the european union, hombach said
that iran's relations with germany means its relations with the eu and
"we will try to consolidate these ties day by day."
germany is the current chairman of the european union.
the german envoy said among other objectives of his visit will
be to strengthen economic and cultural ties between the two
countries.
in a brief statement, abtahi also expressed hope that hombach's
visit will be a long step in improving relations between tehran and
bonn.
ks/ks
end
::irna 10/04/99 13:05




Iran's President Khatami to Get Invite to Germany
=================================================


08:47 a.m. Apr 10, 1999 Eastern
By Mehrdad Balali
TEHRAN, April 10 (Reuters) - A German official arrived in Iran
on Saturday with an invitation for President Mohammad Khatami to
visit Germany, after the cooling of a row over a German jailed
in Iran for having a sexual affair.

The official Iranian news agency IRNA said German Chancellery
Minister Bodo Hombach was to give the president the message from
Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

``Schroeder in this message has officially invited the president
to visit Germany,'' it said.

Hombach, who was greeted at the airport by Khatami's office
secretary Mohammd Ali Abtahi, did not mention the jailed
businessman, Helmut Hofer, but spoke positively on future
relations between the two countries.

``The governments of Iran and Germany have directed all their
efforts to improving ties, and we are sure this will happen,''
he was quoted as saying. ``They have decided to have good
relations and we are determined to break existing obstacles.''

On Thursday, a court in Tehran the release on bail of Hofer,
jailed since 1997 over an alleged sexual relationship with an
Iranian woman.

In Bonn, a government spokesman said Hombach would try to win
Hofer's final release.

Hofer's lawyer Malek-Houshang Qahari told Reuters on Saturday
the German embassy had still not posted the bail of 500 million
rials ($166,000) set by the court.

Hofer, in his late 50s, was sentenced to death last year for his
alleged offence, but the supreme court threw out the case in
December and called for retrial.

The case has been a cause of tension between Iran and Germany, a
major trade partner of the Islamic republic.
Khatami's moderate government has been trying to resolve the
issue as part of its drive to normalize ties between Iran and
the West two decades after the 1979 Islamic revolution.

In March, Khatami travelled to Italy, the first Iranian
president to visit a western European country since 1979.

However, last month Khatami decided to postpone a trip to France
after objecting a decision by French officials to serve wine at
official banquets.

($1-3,000 rials at the official exchange rate)


Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.


Tehran-Bonn Ties on the Mend, Daily
===================================


thr 011
iran-germany-ties-press
tehran-bonn ties on the mend, daily
tehran, april 10, irna -- the english language daily 'iran news'
saturday commenting on prospects for promotion of tehran-bonn ties
hoped that german officials do their best to remove all obstacles in
the way of improving ties with iran.
the editorial was referring to the imminent visit of german
minister of chancellery affairs bodo hombach and the talks he is to
hold with a number of iranian officials to promote ties between both
countries.
both iran and germany share old ties and for many years bonn was
a major consideration in iran's foreign policy and was also iran's
main trade partner. however, following the mykonos crisis, ties
between both countries were however strained, noted the paper.
although ties between iran and members of the european union
were resumed, germany is the only european country which has not paid
much attention to its ties with iran. however, ''the recent flurry
of activities taking place between the two countries indicate a
reconsideration of attitudes,'' it stated in conclusion.
fh/ks
end
::irna 10/04/99 11:34

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

Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 06:23:08 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: hrough the passenger window.

Army Commander Assassinated
===========================


thr 004
urgent********
army commander assassinated
tehran, april 10, irna -- deputy chief of the joint staff command of
the armed forces brigadier ali sayyad shirazi was assassinated
saturday morning. ks/ks
end
::irna 10/04/99 10:15




Army Commander Martyred by Terrorists
=====================================


thr 010
assassination-shirazi
army commander martyred by terrorists
tehran, april 10, irna -- brigadier general ali sayyad shirazi,
deputy chief of the joint staff command of the armed forces, was
assassinated by unknown "mercenary terrorists" and attained martyrdom
saturday morning.
a statement issued by the joint staff command of the armed
forces said the incident occurred at 6:45 local time (2:15 gmt) as
general shirazi was on his way to work.
the statement said more details about the incident will be
disclosed later.
general shirazi was former commander of the ground forces.
ks/ks
end
::irna 10/04/99 11:25



Khatami, Rafsanjani, Nateq-Nouri Condole on Shirazi's Martyrdom
===============================================================


thr 039
shirazi-condolence
khatami, rafsanjani, nateq-nouri condole on shirazi's martyrdom
tehran, april 10, irna -- president mohammad khatami here on
saturday condoled the commander-in-chief of the armed forced and
supreme leader of islamic revolution ayatollah ali khamenei, the armed
forces, the noble iranian nation, specially bereaved family of
lieutenant general ali sayyad shirazi, on the army commander man's
martyrdom.
lieutenant general ali sayyad shirazi, deputy chief of the joint
staff command of the armed forces and former commander of the ground
forces, was assassinated at 6:45 local time (2:15 gmt) saturday by
unknown "mercenary terrorists" and attained martyrdom saturday morning
as he was on his way to work.
in part of his condolence message, the president lauded shirazi
as ''a devoted commander of islam and a brave son of iran'' and said
that history of iran's sacred defense is full of unforgettable epics,
and sacrifices of the faithful army devotees.
without a doubt assassination of such a brave child of islam and
iran would bring nothing but shame for agents behind such criminal
acts.
he expressed hope that those responsible for the country's
security and stability would identify and punish the criminals as
soon a possible.
meanwhile, expediency council chairman ayatollah akbar hashemi
rafsanjani in a separate message expressed deep sorrow over the
incident and condoled the supreme leader, armed forces, iranian
people and bereaved family of shirazi on the tragic event.
the message expressed hope that agents behind such a ''brutal
and inhumane'' act would soon be arrested and brought to justice by
the law enforcement and security personnel.
majlis speaker ali-akbar nateq-nouri in another message condoled
the leader, iranian army, all basijis (volunteer forces), especially
family of martyr shirazi, on the sad event.
the message expressed confidence that the blood of these martyrs
would help further divulge the plots of enemies.
bg/rr
end
::irna 10/04/99 15:30



Safavi: IRGC, Army to Avenge Shirazi's Assassination
====================================================


thr 047
irgc-shirazi
safavi: irgc, army to avenge shirazi's assassination
tehran, april 10, irna -- commander of the islamic revolution's
guards corps (irgc) major general yahya rahim safavi told irna here
on saturday that forces under his command and the army would
taken revenge on terrorists responsible for assassination of major
general sayyad shirazi.
safavi, who made the remark after meeting the bereaved family of
shirazi, praised the late iranian army commander as ''an asset of the
islamic revolution'' and said one should not let counterrevolutionary
elements to take away such assets from the nation and revolution.
the irgc and army are fully ready under the leadership of the
supreme leader of islamic revolution ayatollah ali khamenei to
seriously deal with all plots hatched by the enemies of the revolution
and country.
bg/rr
end
::irna 10/04/99 18:08



MKO Claims Responsibility for Shirazi's Assassination
=====================================================


thr 060
shirazi-mko
mko claims responsibility for shirazi's assassination
tehran, april 10, irna -- the terrorist mujahedin khalq organization
(mko) in a contact with the agence france press (afp) on saturday
claimed responsibility for assassination of lieutenant general
ali sayyad shirazi.
lieutenant general ali sayyad shirazi, deputy chief of the joint
staff command of the armed forces and former commander of the ground
forces, was assassinated at 6:45 local time (2:15 gmt) saturday by
unknown "mercenary terrorists" and attained martyrdom saturday morning
as he was on his way to work.
meanwhile, the inn tv quoted its news sources as reporting that
the mko had claimed responsibility for the crime.
bg/rr
end
::irna 10/04/99 19:13



Khamenei's Message on Shirazi Assassinatiom
===========================================

thr 065
leader-shirazi-martyrdom
leader of islamic revolution issues message on shirazi's martyrdom
tehran, april 10, irna -- supreme leader of the islamic revolution
ayatollah seyyed ali khamenei issued a message of condolence here
saturday on the assassination of deputy chief of the joint staff
command of the armed forces lieutenant general ali sayyad shirazi.
shirazi, former commander of the ground forces was gunned down at
6:45 hours local time (2:15 gmt) saturday by the terrorist mujahedin
khalq organization (mko) and attained the rank of martyrdom.
the leader in his message said ''the faithful and brave commander
of the islamic army and devoted soldier of the religion and the holy
quran attained martyrdom at the hands of the criminal, bloodthirsty
and disgraced munafiqeen (hypocrites).''
he stressed that this is not the first nor the last time a
faithful and lover of the lofty ideas of the divine faith has been
martyred by the dirty, criminal and corrupt hands of those mercenaries
who have to earn their livelihood only through serving the enemies of
islam.
praising the services rendered by the late shirazi, the supreme
leader added that the hot plains of khuzestan and the high mountains
of kurdestan had witnessed the preparedness and devotion of the brave
and determined man who left numerous memories of his courage and self-
sacrifice during the eight-year sacred defence period.
the heads of arrogant powers, despite their claims to be opposed
to any acts of terrorism, are expecting their hired terrorists in iran
to assassinate sturdy and resistant revolutionary combatants in order
to pave the way for domination over the islamic republic of iran.
the supreme leader of the islamic revolution in his message also
extended condolences to the nation, armed forces, war veterans and the
family of the deceased.
pm/ah
end
::irna 10/04/99 22:04



Senior Iranian Military Officer Reported Assassinated
=====================================================

April 10, 1999
Web posted at: 3:32 a.m. EDT (0732 GMT)

TEHRAN, Iran (Reuters) -- A senior Iranian armed forces officer
was assassinated in Tehran on Saturday, the official news agency
IRNA reported.

"Brigadier-General Ali Sayyad Shirazi, the deputy joint chief of
staff of the armed forces, was assassinated in Tehran," IRNA
reported without elaborating.

There have been several attacks on senior officials in Iran in
the past few months, some of which have been claimed by the
Iraq-based opposition group Mujahideen Khalq.

In August, the group claimed responsibility for the
assassination of the former head of Iran's prisons, Assadollah
Lajevardi, who was killed in Tehran's bazaar.




Iranian Army Commander Assassinated
===================================


Saturday, April 10, 1999; 6:26 a.m. EDT

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- An Iranian army commander was assassinated
today while on his way to work, the official Islamic Republic
News Agency reported.

The agency identified the officer as Brig. Ali Sayyad Shirazi,
deputy chief of the joint staff command of the armed forces. It
did not say how he was killed.

It said Shirazi, a senior army commander during Iran's 1980-88
war with Iraq, was assassinated by ``terrorists'' -- a term
often used as an indirect reference to the Iraq-based opposition
group Mujahedeen Khalq.

The Associated Press in Cairo, Egypt, received a telephone call
today from a Mujahedeen Khalq spokesman in Paris, who said the
group's units inside Iran were responsible for the killing.

The spokesman, Shahin Gobadi, read a statement saying Shirazi
was a ``war criminal'' responsible for the deaths of hundreds of
opposition members. He said he had no details about how Shirazi
was killed, only that he was being escorted by heavily armed
bodyguards at the time.

The Mujahedeen Khalq is working to oust Iran's clerical regime.
It claimed responsibility for the August death of Assadollah
Lajevardi, a former Iranian chief prosecutor and head of Iran's
Prisons Organization.

In a separate attack, a law enforcement officer was killed and
another was wounded in the leg Friday in a shootout, according
to the daily Iran newspaper.

The officer was killed in downtown Tehran when he tried to stop
a man carrying a sack later found to contain weapons and
explosives, the newspaper reported today. The man dropped the
sack and escaped in a getaway car with the armed assailants.

Violence has been on the rise in Iran during the past year amid
an intensifying power struggle between moderates and hard-liners
in the Islamic government.

In January, the Intelligence Ministry admitted that some of its
rogue agents had been behind last year's murders of five
dissidents and writers.


© Copyright 1999 The Associated Press




FOCUS-Senior Iranian Military Officer Assassinated
==================================================

04:38 a.m. Apr 10, 1999 Eastern
TEHRAN, April 10 (Reuters) - A senior Iranian officer was
assassinated on Saturday in Tehran by ``terrorist elements,'' an
armed forces statement said.

The statement, quoted by the official Iranian news agency IRNA,
said Brigadier-General Ali Sayyad Shirazi, the deputy joint
chief of staff of the armed forces, was killed at 6:45 a.m.
(0215 GMT) as he left home for work.

It gave no details of how he had died or of the identity of the
assassins other than to brand them ``mercenary terrorist
elements.''

Iran has witnessed several attacks on senior officials in recent
months. Shirazi is the second to be killed in the past year.

``This glorious general of the Islamic army who had spent years
defending the Islamic homeland...became a martyr in this
attack,'' the statement said.
Shirazi had served as commander of the army's ground forces
during Iran's 1980-1988 war against Iraq.

The joint chief of staff commander, Major-General Hassan
Firouzabadi, sent a condolence message after the attack to
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader and armed forces
commander-in-chief.

``This brave, hardworking and selfless soldier drank the drink
of martyrdom, his age-old dream,'' the major-general said in his
message, quoted by state radio.

In August, Assadollah Lajevardi, the former head of Iran's
prisons, was killed by gunmen in Tehran's bazaar. The Iraq-based
Mujahideen Khalq armed opposition group claimed responsibility.

In January, the head of the Tehran judiciary, Ali Razini, was
attacked and badly injured by armed assailants.

That attack followed four months after Mohsen Rafiqdoust, a
senior economic official, survived an assassination attempt.

((Tehran newsroom +98 21 229 4856))


Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.




Iranian Military Commander Assassinated
=======================================


07:39 a.m. Apr 10, 1999 Eastern
By Mehrdad Balali

TEHRAN (Reuters) - A senior Iranian military commander was
assassinated in Tehran Saturday in an attack claimed by Iran's
main armed opposition group.

An armed forces statement, quoted by the official Iranian news
agency IRNA, said Lieutenant-General Ali Sayyad Shirazi, the
deputy joint chief of staff of the armed forces, was killed at
6:45 a.m. (0215 GMT) as he left home for work.

It gave no details of how Sayyad Shirazi died or the identity of
the assassins other than to brand them ``mercenary terrorist
elements.''

A spokesman for the Iraq-based armed opposition group Mujahideen
Khalq told Reuters in Dubai by telephone that several of its
units carried out the killing in north Tehran.

``Sayyad Shirazi was killed as he was being escorted by a group
of heavily armed Revolutionary Guards acting as his
bodyguards,'' Ali Safavi said from the group's Paris office.

He said Sayyad Shirazi, born in 1944, was targeted because he
``was responsible for purging and executing military personnel,
and also responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands of
teenagers in the unpatriotic war with Iraq.''

Shirazi served as commander of the army's ground forces during
Iran's 1980-1988 war against Iraq.

Iranian television showed footage of his body covered in blood
on a hospital bed. Iranian journalists told Reuters that he had
been gunned down.

Sayyad Shirazi's wife was quoted by the television as saying he
had died for the cause of Islam and the Iranian revolution.

``These elements commit such acts in a bid to destroy our
Islamic government and revolution,'' his wife, unnamed in the
report, said of the killing.

The armed forces statement said: ``This glorious general of the
Islamic army who had spent years defending the Islamic
homeland...became a martyr in this attack.''

The television quoted President Mohammad Khatami as saying the
assailants would be ``punished for their act of treason.''

The joint chief of staff commander, Major-General Hassan
Firouzabadi, sent condolences to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's
supreme leader and armed forces commander-in-chief.

``This brave, hard-working and selfless soldier drank the drink
of martyrdom, his age-old dream,'' the major-general said in his
message, quoted by state radio.

Iran has witnessed several attacks on senior officials recently.
Shirazi was the second to be killed in the past year.

In August, Assadollah Lajevardi, the former head of Iran's
prisons, was gunned down in Tehran's bazaar. The Mujahideen also
claimed responsibility for that killing.

In January, the head of the Tehran judiciary survived an attack
by armed assailants, four months after a senior economic
official also escaped assassination.

Iran has urged Western states to curb activities of the
Mujahideen, which has extensive activities in Western countries
and military bases in Iraq near the Iranian border.
The group has for more than a year been stepping up armed
actions and cross-border raids from Iraq after a period in which
it courted the West through political and diplomatic means.


Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.




Gunmen, Disguised as Cleaners, Kill Top Iran General
====================================================


10:39 a.m. Apr 10, 1999 Eastern
By Mehrdad Balali
TEHRAN, April 10 (Reuters) - Gunmen disguised as Tehran city
street cleaners shot and killed a leading Iranian general on
Saturday, in an attack claimed by the main armed opposition
group.

An armed forces statement, quoted by the official IRNA news
agency, said Lieutenant-General Ali Sayyad Shirazi, deputy chief
of staff of the armed forces and a hero of the eight-year war
with Iraq, was killed at 6:45 a.m. (0215 GMT) as left home for

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

Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 06:23:58 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Disagreements Over 3rd Plan

Khamenei's Message to Rafsanjani on 3rd plan
============================================


thr 041
leader-expediency council
leader sends message to expediency council chairman on 3rd plan
tehran, april 10, irna -- supreme leader of the islamic revolution
ayatollah ali khamenei here on saturday instructed the expediency
council to look into the proposals made by the government concerning
the determination of the general policies of the third five-year
economic development plan (2000-2004).
in a message to expediency council chairman akbar hashemi
rafsanjani, the leader called for the council's consultative views
on the government's proposals on the third development plan, so as
to make final decision in this regard.
the leader also ca
the leader also ca
the leader also called on the expediency council to, while
reviewing the government's proposals, take into consideration the
following points:
"the general policies of the second five-year development plan
(1995-1999) and policies of the government's economic rehabilitation
plan as approved by him as well as the approvals of the high council
for cultural revolution all deserve to be used in forging policies.
"in drawing up economic policies, it is necessary that economic
development be coupled with social justice, that certain individuals
or groups be prevented from accumulating wealth, that the rights of
the oppressed and deprived strata of society be protected, that
non-oil exports be promoted to decrease dependence of economy on oil,
that pivotal agricultural policies be adopted to guarantee relative
food security in society and that measures be taken to check
corruption, monopoly and illegally gained fortunes."
elsewhere in his message to the expediency council, the leader of
the islamic revolution underlined the importance of guaranteeing
legitimate investments and creating jobs with regards to the country's
natural and geographical capacities.
the leader's message said in drawing up foreign policies,
the already declared principles of the islamic republic of iran
should be taken into consideration, with emphasis on the country's
dignity and interest.
ayatollah khamenei also reiterated that the general policies
should be so ''transparent, explicit and realistic'' that can be
executed by officials.
bg/rr
end
::irna 10/04/99 17:39



Expediency Council Begins Study on Gov't Proposals on 3rd Plan
==============================================================


thr 063
expediency council-session
expediency council begins study on gov't proposals on 3rd plan
tehran, april 10, irna -- the expediency council in its first session
after new year on saturday started reviewing the proposals the
government has presented to the supreme leader of islamic revolution
ayatollah ali khamenei on the third five-year economic development
plan (2000-2004).
the session was presided over by ayatollah akbar hashemi
rafsanjani and attended by heads of the executive, legislation and
judicial powers as well as other members of the council.
secretary of the council mohsen rezaie said the leader in a letter
to rafsanjani expressed his views on the general policies of the third
plan, proposed by the government, and per the leader's recommendation
the council started studying the proposals as of saturday.
the council, said rezaie, would study five of the policies in
its saturday session and is to form a special committee to follow up
the job in a week. outcome of the elaborations would be presented to
the government and majlis to be included in the third five-year plan
after getting supreme leader's approval.
participants in the session condoled the supreme leader of
islamic revolution and the iranian nation on martyrdom of lieutenant
general ali sayyad shirazi.
bg/rr
end
::irna 10/04/99 19:54

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

Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 06:24:38 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: TEHRAN DAILY CONFIRMS: KHATAMI PREVENTED FROM GOIN

TEHRAN DAILY CONFIRMS: KHATAMI PREVENTED FROM GOING TO PARIS
============================================================

TEHRAN 6th APR. (IPS) An influential Tehran daily disclosed that
the ayatollah Mohammad Khatami's planned visit to France that
was due next week was postponed because of pressures from his
opponent inside the Islamic regime, confirming what Iran Press
Service had reported earlier.

Officially, President Khatami's visit was reported to another
date by Tehran after French officials in charge of the protocol
flatly rejected a condition by the Iranian guests that no wine
to be served during official banquets and receptions.

Informed sources had told IPS that the decision to postpone the
visit was taken by the leader, the ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i and
imposed on the president, as hard line clerics are afraid if Mr.
Khatami's visit to France would go ahead as planed and ended in
success, he would become too strong to be controlled.

Though filled with some drawbacks, the official visit, the first
ever by a president of the Islamic Republic to a Western nation,
made by the ayatollah Khatami to Rome last month was interpreted
by many analysts as placing him in a stronger position compared
with his main rival, the ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i.
In an article published in it's Sunday issue, the moderate daily
"Khordad" that is published by the former Interior Minister
hojatoleslam Abdollah Nouri urged Mr. Khatami to press ahead
with his delayed visit to France, saying that hard line
opponents of his trip were damaging Iran's interests.

Answering questions from the newspaper on the incident, Dr
Parivz Varjavand, a University professor in Tehran said if the
visit is put off for a long time, it could produce damaging
effects on the relations between Iran in the one hand, France
and the European Union on the other.

"Certain people are against Khatami's visit to Paris because
they do not realise that his popularity only contributes to a
strengthening of the regime," a member of the parliamentary
Committee for Foreign Affairs added.

Hard line newspapers like the evening daily "Keyhan", the
mouthpiece of the Intelligence Ministry assailed Paris for not
bowing to the Iranian conditions, describing as disrespectful
towards Islamic codes" the French authorities refusing not
serving wine.

"If we satisfy that demand, we shall create a precedent that
will have no end, as any VIP visitor belonging to any religion
can ask the same and other exceptions, as, for instance, asking
our women put on chadors during public receptions", one protocol
officer is quoted by the weekly "Le Point" as having pointed
out.

However, some diplomats told IPS that the "incident" came as a
good omen for the French as Paris was not "quite ready" to
receive the Iranian president because of pressures put on the
government by the powerful intelligentsia denouncing the recent
assassinations, by the regime's agents, of leading political and
intellectuals dissidents, including Dariush Foruhar and his wife
Parvaneh, leaders of the nationalist Iranian People's Pneh, leaders of
the nationalist Iranian People's Pneh, leaders of the nationalist
Iranian People's Pneh, leaders of the nationalist Iranian People's Pneh,
leaders of the nationalist Iranian People's Pneh, leaders of the
nationalist Iranian People's Party and
writers Mohammad Mokhtari and Mohammad Ja'far Pouyandeh.

Mr.Jean Michel Bucheron, a Socialist MP who is leading a 6
members French parliamentary delegation to Tehran on the
invitation of the ayatollah Ali Akbar Nateq Nouri expressed hope
Monday that the visit will go ahead some time during the present
year. ENDS KHATAMI-PARIS 649919

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

Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 06:25:00 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: NEWSPAPER "ZAN" CLOSED ON PUBLISHING MESSAGE FROM

NEWSPAPER "ZAN" CLOSED ON PUBLISHING MESSAGE FROM EMPRESS FARAH
DIBA
===============================================================


TEHRAN 6th APR. (IPS) The newspaper "Zan" (Woman) that is edited
by Mrs Fa'ezeh Hashemi, daughter of the former president
ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was closed Wednesday on
order from the Islamic Revolution Tribunal on charges of having
printed a message from former impress Farah Diba, the widow of
the late Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi on the occasion of the New
Iranian Year.

Sources at the paper told the IPS that the order to shut down
the paper was handed Tuesday to Mrs. Hashemi, but she had
refused to comply, arguing that the order was oral and not
written and above all, the Islamic Revolutionary court is not
entitled to interfere with the affairs of the press.

An outspoken, influential MP from Tehran and strong supporter of
the policies of the President Mohammad Khatami, Mrs Hashemi was
also charged on another offence by printing a cartoon ridiculing
the "dieh", or the blood money, a price the family of the victim
receive from the killer to be pardoned from death sentence. In
Islam, a murdered woman counts half of a murdered man.

Nevertheless, on Wednesday, as agents of the Judiciary, which is
controlled by the leader of the regime, the ayatollah Ali
Khameneh'i were seizing already printed pages of the newspaper,
the Islamic tribunal ordered the printing house not to print
"Zan" anymore.

The paper aroused the wrath of the conservative clerics from the
outset as often it struggle for the equality of the rights of
men and women by carrying interviews with leading dissidents
both in Iran and abroad. But its publishing last Monday of a
small part of a message by Miss Diba the paper said it received
by fax, was the straw that broke the camel's back.

Zan was shut down recently for two weeks after claimed that the
commander of the Tehran Law Enforcement Forces was present when
thugs beaten up two senior ministers of President Mohammad
Khatami a year ago.

Since the Islamic revolution that toppled Shah Mohammad Reza
Pahlavi, this was the first time that a newspaper had dared to
go that far. In the short message, Farah Pahlavi who lives in
the US had expressed her "certitude" that the next millennium,
that is in less than eight months, will be that of "grandeur,
prosperity and glory of our ancient Iran, thanks to its worthy
people, mostly the young generation", bringing the paper a
written warning from the Islamic Guidance Ministry.

Staff at the paper said the policy of Zan was to treat the news
as news, to inform the public to it's best and respect everyone,
including the enemies of the regime.

But for the hojatoleslam Rahbar Pour, the Head of the Tehran
Islamic Revolution's Tribunal, publishing of a message from Miss
Diba is an act against the Islamic revolution and constitutes a
propaganda material for the sinister Pahlavi dynasty.

According to the moderate daily "Sobh e Emrouz", in the run out
for the next parliamentary elections (that is in one year time),
the defeated (hard line orthodoxy) camp, after it was again
defeated in the last Council elections, has, since, prepared
secret plans for the closure of moderate newspapers and the
curtailing of activities of reformists such as Gholam Hossein
Karbaschi, the former Mayor of Tehran who lost his appeal in the
High Court and is bound to go to prison any time, or Mr.
Ata'ollah Mohajerani, the Islamic Guidance Minister who's
impeachment by the conservative-controlled Majles, or
parliament, looks very likely.

On Tuesday, Mrs Hashemi had abruptly cancelled a trip to New
York, where she was to address the Asian Society.

According the conservative daily "Resalat", she had been
prevented from the much-expected visit by her father, the
ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani. ENDS ZAN 749900

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

Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 06:25:46 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: ISLAMIC IRAN AND THE EUROPEAN UNION: NO IMPROVEMEN

ISLAMIC IRAN AND THE EUROPEAN UNION: NO IMPROVEMENT IN
PERSPECTIVE
======================================================


By Dr. Mehrdad Khonsari **

LONDON (IPS) The Role of the European Union, and in a broader
sense a Europe inclusive of Russia, is of vital importance in
any Iranian economic, diplomatic or strategic planning. In fact,
Iran has relied upon a ‘European Strategy’ (as part of an
overall ‘Grand Strategy’ which is inclusive of Japan in the
economic sphere, and China in the military/nuclear sphere) to
counter the United States, and contain any of its retaliatory
actions since the start of "an undeclared war" in their
relations. Moreover, with the end of the Cold War and the break
up of the Soviet Union, the pursuit of improved relations with
Russia, and the dividends encompassed in such a policy - i.e.,
access to modern military hardware (e.g., MiG- 29 combat planes,
T-72 tanks, Kilo Class Submarines) and other types of modern
technology (e.g., nuclear reactors, etc) has also become a key
priority.

While, it would seem that Iran should make every effor
tain smooth relations with all t to
maintain smooth relations with all the EU countries, as part of
a strategic necessity if only to balance American pressures, in
reality this has not been the case. The main obstacles to
uniform friendly relations between Iran and the EU have been the
following:

A) The continuation of the "Salman Rushdie" saga, and the
inability of the Iranian government to seriously detach itself
from Ayatollah Khomeini’s ‘Fatwa’ which was issued on 15
February 1989. Following the announcement by President
(Mohammad) Khatami and Foreign Minister (Kamal) Kharazzi, during
the course of the last UN General Assembly, that the Iranian
government would no longer actively pursue the implementation of
the "Fatwa", there was an immediate positive response from the
EU. However, that announcement in reality did not signal any
meaningful improvement in the security status of Salman Rushdie,
which has meant that the British government still has to
continue providing him full protection. Indeed, since the
September 1998 declarations by Khatami and Kharrazzi, the prize
money offered for Rushdie’s ‘head’ has been increased by the
Ayatollah Hassan Sane'i’s "15 Khordad Foundation", and he was
quoted recently (AP, 14/2/99) as saying that "surely, this
irrevocable verdict will be implemented one day".

B) The continued involvement of Iran in acts of terrorism and
murder, in the aftermath of the "Mykonos Trials", resulting in
the issuance of an EU statement condemning such policies in
December 1998.

C) Continued US pressures in urging European countries to
maintain economic pressures on Iran by limiting investments and
other credits. Although, in 1998, President Clinton stated that
the US government would not carry out the penalties envisioned
in the "Iran-Libya Sanctions Act" (against the French Oil
company TOTAL and its partners), the US government, nonetheless,
has reiterated its opposition to any pipeline project linking
Central Asia to the Persian Gulf via Iran, and voiced its
general disapproval of any new loans or major investment being
made available to the Islamic government.

D) While, US pressures in themselves may not be sufficient to
deter EU countries from making loans or investments in Iran, the
general unhealthy state of the Iranian economy and fears over
repayment of existing loans has been a factor in limiting
Iran-EU economic relations in the past year. Indeed, apart from
a US$1.2 billion loan forwarded by Italy and US$1 billion
extended by Germany, Iran has not been able to successfully
negotiate any new loan agreements with the EU. It is important
to note that the credits so far secured fall well short of the
announced US$ 4.5 billion of credit which the Iranian government
has been desperately trying to secure over the past several
months.

Khatami’s Positive Influence

The election to the Iranian Presidency of Mohammad Khatami, was
a crucial factor in mending fenced with the European Union after
a 1997 diplomatic crisis when a German court ruled that Iranian
leaders had ordered the killing of four Kurdish dissidents in
Berlin. The case took 13 months of preliminary investigations
followed by a trial of 3 1/2 years. It entailed 246 sessions of
court, 176 witnesses and documentary evidence ranging from
secret intelligence files to tapes of Iranian television
broadcasts. The fact that the two lead defendants would be
convicted was never seriously in doubt, but the question of
larger, more remote guilt hung over the proceedings right up to
the end when without mincing words, the court found that the
atrocious killings of four Iranian exiles at Berlin's Mykonos
Restaurant in 1992 had been ordered by "the highest state
levels" in Iran. "The Iranian political leadership was
responsible," declared Judge Frithjof Kubsch, president of the
tribunal.

The subsequent German Foreign Ministry announcement, which
termed the Mykonos murder "a flagrant breach of international
law", was followed up by Bonn recalling its Ambassador to Tehran
and expelling four Iranian diplomats. More ominously for Iran,
Germany suspended its policy of friendly engagement or "Critical
Dialogue" suggesting that Europe may now edge closer to
America's policy of isolating Tehran as an outlaw regime. The
EU's 14 other countries, as well as Finland and Austria, also
recalled their envoys to Iran, and it was not until the popular
election of Khatami (and more importantly the rejection of the
official candidate (the ayatollah Ali Akbar ) Nategh-Nouri who
was identified with the policies of those responsible for the
implementation of "Mykonos") that relations were once again
resumed after a reasonably short period of time.

Since that then, the (former) Italian Prime Minister Romano
Prodi last year became the first leader of a major Western
country to visit Tehran since the revolution, and Khatami's trip
first to Italy in March 1999 and later to Paris, probably in
April 1999, will be the first by an Iranian president to a West
European country.

While improvement of relations with Britain has had to go a
slower route, diplomats say the two countries are expected to
upgrade their charges d'affaires to ambassadors in March 1999,
once the 20th anniversary of the Iranian revolution and the 10th
anniversary of the "Fatwa'' have passed off. However, serious
dissension vis-a-vis such an approach does continue to exist
within the British parliament, where on 9 February 1999, some
330 members of both Houses of Parliament voiced their vigorous
opposition to any swift normalisation of relations with Iran.

Conclusion

While the government of President Khatami is eager to improve
relations with the EU, there continues to remain a number of
stumbling blocks to better relations. The most prominent amongst
these are:

1) Iran's continued attitude of hostility towards the US, which
does place its own limits on the whole question of improved
Iran-EU relations.

2) Iran’s worsening economic situation, resulting in lower
amounts of EU sales to Iran, which has the tendency of making
Iran seem less important when confronted with other pressures.

3) Finally, Iranian violations of human rights, its continued
support for international terrorism (particularly its hard line
stance against the Middle East Peace Process) and its quest for
weapons of mass destruction, are factors that continue to
prevent the EU from having normalised relations with Iran.

Until and unless these factors are addressed in a meaningful
way, and senior Iranian diplomats are seen acting with the type
of grace expected of people of their status (see Eric Roulou’s
comments with the Iranian Daily Emrooz on Foreign Minister
Kharazzi’s lack of basic diplomatic courtesy), Iran-EU relations
will by and large continue to remain within their existing
perimeters. ENDS IRAN-EU 1049900

** Dr Khonsari is a former diplomat, a consultant with the
London-based Centre for Arab Iranian Studies and Editor of the
monthly "Iran File. He is also the leader of the Iranian
Constitutionalist Movement (Front Line)

** Paragraphs and names in bold are from the IPS

** The above article is published in the February/March issue of
IRAN File

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

Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 06:26:26 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: On South Africa FM Visit from Tehran

South Africa-Iran South Africa, Iran Hold Bilateral Talks
=========================================================


Africa News Service
09-APR-99

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (PANA, 04/09/99) - The fourth session of
the joint bilateral commission between South Africa and Iran
will begin in Teheran Saturday, the South Africa's Department of
Foreign Affairs announced Friday.

The discussions will centre around political and trade issues
affecting South Africa and Iran, the role and possible
interaction of the South African and Iranian governments in
multilateral matters.

The department said foreign minister Alfred Nzo is leading a
high-level delegation from the departments of foreign affairs
and trade and industry, and the Credit Guarantee Insurance
Corporation of Africa for the session.

He is expected to meet with the Iranian President Mohammad
Khatami, the first vice president Hassan Habibi and other senior
officials.

Apart from political and trade-related issues, it is envisaged
that the joint commission will reflect on cooperation in the
fields of agriculture, housing, science, culture, ed agriculture,
housing, science, culture, education,
tourism, mining, transport and health.

An agreement on merchant shipping and related maritime matters
will be signed by the two states during the joint commission.

On his return from Teheran Monday, Nzo will visit the United
Arab Emirates where he will officially open the new chancery
building of the South African embassy in Abu Dhabi.

The minister will use the occasion to further strengthen
relations between the two countries.




South Africa for Expansion of Relations with Iran
=================================================


thr 044
s. africa-iran-nzo
south africa for expansion of relations with iran
tehran, april 10, irna -- south african foreign minister alfred
nzo told his iranian counterpart kamal kharrazi here on saturday that
his country is for expansion of relations with iran.
nzo further told kharrazi on the first round of their talks that
grounds are prepared for upgrading of mutual cooperation.
kharrazi said that iran and south africa can expand their
cooperation in the areas of politics, economy and culture.
he said that south africa's chairmanship of the non-aligned
movement and iran's presidency of the organization of the islamic
conference (oic) would make expansion of bilateral relations both at
the regional and international levels, possible.
bg/rr
end
::irna 10/04/99 17:52



Kharrazi Calls for Strategies to Expand Tehran-Pretoria Cooperation
===================================================================


thr 054
safrica-iran-nzo
kharrazi calls for strategies to expand tehran-pretoria cooperation
tehran, april 10, irna -- foreign minister kamal kharrazi here on
saturday underlined the need for adoption of suitable strategies to
expand iran-south africa cooperation.
kharrazi told his south african counterpart alfred nzo at the
fourth session of iran-south africa joint economic commission that
convention of the session indicated the two countries' will for
all-out expansion of mutual cooperation.
nzo said that after lapse of several years since establishment of
bilateral relations, bilateral ties have promoted to such a level
that indicated the two countries' interest in mutual cooperation.
he said the grounds are prepared for establishment of cooperation
in various fields in view of the two countries' interest and
commonalties.
following the two ministers' remarks, the committees on economy
and trade, insurance and credit started work to prepare documents
for conclusion of mutual agreements.
the two countries are to sign a memorandum of understanding for
mutual cooperation at the end of the session on sunday, april 11.
bg/rr
end
::irna 10/04/99 18:57



South African Foreign Minister Calls on Majlis Speaker
======================================================


thr 064
nateq nouri-nzo
south african foreign minister calls on majlis speaker
tehran, april 10, irna -- majlis speaker hojatoleslam ali akbar nateq
nouri here saturday praised the independent policies pursued by south
african president nelson mandela on international issues and said the
fourth joint irano-south african economic commission meeting was an
indication of the close ties between the two countries.
in a meeting with the visiting south african foreign minister
alfred nzo, he said given the great potentials and capabilities
existing in the two countries, the present level of economic exchanges
between tehran and pretoria is inadequate.
stressing the need to harmonize bilateral political and economic
ties, he hoped that obstacles standing in the way of implementing the
agreements signed between the two countries would be identified and
removed through the concerted efforts of relevant officials.
referring to the powerful status of the majlis in the constitution
of the islamic republic of iran, hojatoleslam nateq nouri described
the iranian parliament as one of the strongest legislative bodies in
the world. promoting the level of parliamentary ties, he stated, will
pave the way for the expansion of all-out ties between the two
countries.
south african foreign minister presented a report on the fourth
meeting of the joint irano-south african economic commission which is
currently being held in tehran and stressed that tehran-pretoria ties
has a bright future.
he also hoped that the obstacles standing in the way of
implementing the agreements between the two countries will be removed.
nzo described the close parliamentary ties between south africa
and iran as 'very important' and announced his country's readiness to
further expand these ties.
hojatoleslam nateq nouri extended an invitation to his south
african counterpart to pay an official visit to iran.
ah/ah
end
::irna 10/04/99 21:08

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

Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 06:26:34 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Kazakh Prime Minister to Discuss Caspian Problems

Kazakh Prime Minister to Discuss Caspian Problems in Iran
=========================================================


Itar-Tass
09-APR-99

ASTANA, April 10 (Itar-Tass) -- A governmental delegation of
Kazakhstan headed by Prime Minister Nurlan Balgimbayev on
Saturday leaves for Iran on an official visit. Balgimbayev told
here reporters that during the visit, the sides would discuss
the problems of oil deliveries, grain and machine building
exports, as well as the ways to increase the trade turnover
between the two countries.

Spokesman of the Kazakh premier Viktor Kiyanitsa told Tass that
Balgimbayev was expected to meet with Iranian President Sayed
Mohammad Khatami. Among the top priority problems to be
discussed during the meeting Kiyanitsa named the rapprochement
of positions on the problems related to the Caspian Sea.

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

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 12 Apr 1999 - Special issue
****************************************************