Date: Apr 13, 1999 [ 15: 34: 10]

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

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 12 Apr 1999 to 13 Apr 1999 - Special issue
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There are 10 messages totalling 1351 lines in this issue.

Topics in this special issue:

4. Case Of Obscure Theologian Exposes Iran Divisions
5. U.S. Firm Arco(Arc.N) In Talks On Iranian Oilfield
6. PRESS DIGEST - Iran - April 13
7. Interview-Oil Firms Seen Breaking U.S.-Iran Ice
8. Israel And Russia Discuss Nuclear Trade To Iran
9. Mexican Energy Minister Believes Oil Cuts Will Hol
10. Down the Memory Hole: Background of Kosovo Conflict


Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 22:58:18 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>

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

Russia. Finally, Iranian aid to Kosovo refugees commenced.
First of all, among Iranian leaders there is agreement
that Kosovar Muslims require help. There is a consensus, and
not just among conservatives, however, that the current
approach is inappropriate and is part of a Western power play
against Russia. Furthermore, there is a belief that NATO's
actions now are hypocritical, because Western states had
ignored Serbian atrocities against Bosnian Muslims. The
solution to the crisis, say these individuals, should have
come through the UN General Assembly or the Muslim community.
During his Friday Prayer sermon on 2 April, Expediency
Council Chairman Hojatoleslam Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani
said that "if the Islamic world was coordinated and had
stopped these atrocities, NATO would not have had a pretext
to go there." While admitting that helping the Kosovars is a
good thing, "the problem is that this is being done by an
organization like NATO led by America."
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on 5 April
that "what is happening to the Kosovar Muslims today, the
same thing which befell the Bosnian Muslims as well as the
Muslim people of Palestine, is a consequence of Western
democracy which deals with anyone and any group opposed to
them, in the severest manner." He went on to describe the
NATO raids as part of a plot directed towards "annihilation
of the Muslims in Europe."
Speaker of parliament Hojatoleslam Ali Akbar Nateq Nouri
said at the opening of parliament on 6 April, according to
IRNA, that "the Serbs and NATO have reached a consensus for
annihilation of Muslims and for helping the U.S. to realize
its new world order scheme." The deputy chairman of the
parliamentary Foreign Relations Committee, Mohammad Javad
Larijani, asked visiting French deputies why NATO was acting
now to halt ethnic cleansing of Albanian Muslims when it had
not acted to stop "ethnic cleansing [that] has been conducted
by the Zionist regime in occupied Palestine for about 50
years now."
"Kayhan International," which is affiliated with the
Supreme Leader's office, said on 6 April that the NATO air
strikes should be seen in the context of what it sees as bad
relations between the U.S. and UN Secretary-General Kofi
Annan. The publication went on to say that the air strikes
would serve as a precedent for the U.S. and its allies to
attack any perceived enemies. "Iran" daily editorialized on 3
April that "the Serbs' warmongering move in Kosovo" resulted
from American and European failure to punish "Balkan war
criminals" under the Dayton peace accords.
Second, emphasis on the OIC continues. Iranian Deputy
Foreign Minister Morteza Sarmadi met with Russian Foreign
Minister Igor Ivanov and Communist Party leader Gennady
Zyuganov on 1 April and "voiced concern of the world of
Islam, especially that of Iran, as the OIC chairman, over the
crisis." Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said that his
country expected Iran, as head of the OIC, to do more about
Kosova, and he had spoken with Kharrazi about this, Ankara's
semi-official Anatolia news agency reported on 7 April. Cem
said everyone believes "Turkey is the real protector of the
people of Kosovo."
On 7 April the OIC Contact Group--Egypt, Indonesia,
Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, and Turkey--
met in Geneva. The OIC said it would participate in
internationally-led peacekeeping operations, and it would
establish an office in Geneva to coordinate OIC assistance.
Kharrazi called on the UN to end the Kosova crisis, and he
complained about UN Security Council weakness. The Iranian
Foreign Minister put "the main responsibility for the crisis
squarely on the shoulders of Belgrade officials," IRNA
reported, because the crisis "provided NATO with an excuse to
conduct strikes against Yugoslavia."
And finally, Iran continues its unilateral approach by
fulfilling its earlier promise to send aid. The Red Crescent
Society, according to dpa on 5 April, sent blankets, tents,
and food to Albania. More supplies--a 30-ton consignment--
arrived in Tirana on 8 April, IRNA reported. Around 20,000
Kosovars sought refuge in Albania last year, another 120,000
fled to Albania since the air strikes started, a further
30,000 Kosovar Serbs fled north into Serbia, and around
550,000 people, roughly one-quarter of Kosova's pre-conflict
population, have abandoned their homes, according to the
International Crisis Group.
Also, Iran sent up to four planeloads of weapons to the
Kosova Liberation Army (UCK), Albanian officials and arms
traffickers claimed in a 3 April "New York Times" report. An
unnamed U.S. official expressed concern that proposed Western
military aid to the UCK "would 'provide a platform' for
Islamic fundamentalists from Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan,
and Pakistan." This latter statement bears a striking
resemblance to Israeli Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon's
comments about the possibility of Islamic states in Europe
being the source of "extreme Islamic terrorism." The Israeli
Foreign Ministry sought to defend Sharon's statement by
citing a "secret report...disclosing that the Albanian
underground that is acting to secure independence for Kosovo
is mostly, or to a large part, funded by Iran," Israeli
Defense Forces radio reported on 8 April. (Bill Samii)

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

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Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 22:57:56 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>

Vol. 2, No. 15, 12 April 1999

A Review of Developments in Iran Prepared by the Regional
Specialists of RFE/RL's Newsline Team.

Tehran's "Zan" daily was closed on 6 April by the
Judiciary. It was punished for publishing a cartoon
ridiculing the current Iranian interpretation of the
principle of "blood money." As it now stands in Iran, the
compensation one must pay to a murdered woman's family is
less than that which must be paid to a murdered man's family.
Hojatoleslam Gholamhossein Rahbarpour, head of Tehran's
revolutionary court, said "publishing a caricature in which
blood money, one of the main judicial and religious
principles of Islam is ridiculed [is considered a] direct
insult." Rahbarpour also cited publication of a letter from
the ex-empress of Iran, Farah Diba, as a "blatant anti-
revolutionary act." "Zan" frequently irritates hardliners,
and it was suspended for two weeks earlier this year. Faezeh
Hashemi, publisher of "Zan" and daughter of Expediency
Council chairman Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, had to cancel
a scheduled trip to the U.S.
On 4 April, "Zan" was warned about the letter by the
Islamic Guidance and Culture Ministry. "Zulfaqar" biweekly
and "Sobh" monthly also received warnings that day.
"Zulfaqar" was warned for publishing offensive photographs.
"Sobh" was warned about an article titled "Violence and
Crisis Creation in Strategic Management." "Sobh" is unpopular
with some figures in the Iranian government because it
frequently reports on corruption and mismanagement. Its
application to become a biweekly was denied, according to its
January-February issue, and last year, its proprietor and
chief editor, Mehdi Nassiri, was banned for four months and
A warning of this sort of hardline crackdown came during
the Friday Prayers sermon of 26 March from Judiciary chief
Ayatollah Mohachief
Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi. In what can be seen as a criticism
of Islamic Guidance and Culture Minister Ataollah Mohajerani,
he said religious scholars, rather than the Ministry of
Islamic Culture and Guidance, can say whether or not
publications are Islamically suitable. When newspapers
resumed publication after a two-week break for the No Ruz
holiday, "Hamshahri" responded. It wrote, on 3 April, that
Yazdi must be afraid of the press if he attacks it only when
it cannot respond.
Faezeh Hashemi questioned the legality of the action
against her publication, telling the Islamic Republic News
Agency (IRNA): "The revolutionary court's move against Zan
daily is outside this court's legal bounds...The charges
against Zan should be heard by a press court." In an
interview with RFE/RL's Persian Service, Ali Nazari, managing
editor of "Arzesh" magazine, said about the vague rules:
"Every time the press in Iran is warned by officials, we are
told that we have crossed a red line, although no one has
bothered to tell us where that red line is." He continued:
"When Tous and Jame'ah were closed down [in 1998], they gave
the same explanation that these two publications crossed the
red line."
Finally, "Neshat" daily, in a 7 April editorial, asked
in frustration: "How Should We Write the News?" Yazdi
appeared to answer in the 9 April sermon when he condemned
"Zan" for publishing the letter. (Bill Samii)

Newspaper closures are not the only factor making the
position of Islamic Guidance and Culture Minister Ataollah
Mohajerani look increasingly precarious. He is unpopular with
hardliners and is criticized frequently. The January
resignation of his tough deputy, Ahmad Bourqani, made attacks
against Mohajerani even easier (see "RFE/RL Iran Report," 8
February 1999). On 6 April, "Jomhouri Islami" reported that
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had criticized
Mohajerani for wanting to hold No Ruz celebrations in
Persepolis. The same day, "Kayhan" daily quoted conservative
parliamentarian Ali Zadsar Jirofti, who said: "With the
opening of the Majlis in the new year I will do my utmost to
impeach Mohajerani. This is the best No Ruz gift I can give
to the Hezbollah Islamic community." In the 9 April sermon,
Semnan Friday Prayer leader Hojatoleslam Sheikh Abbas Ali
Akhtari, who was discussing "Zan," criticized the Islamic
Guidance and Culture Ministry for licensing newspapers which
he claimed act against "independence and freedom."
But in interviews with "Tehran Times," parliamentarian
Musa Qorbani said an impeachment is not in the offing;
parliament deputy Mohammad Reza Khabbaz said although some
MPs favor Mohajerani's impeachment, it "will not be in the
national interest;" and Mashhad's Hamid Reza Taraqi said
although "people, Friday Prayer leaders, teachers, and
families of the martyrs" are ready to interpellate
Mohajerani, their real objective is to "reform the Ministry
of Culture." MP Kamal Daneshyar echoed this last sentiment in
"Sobh-i Imruz" on 8 April. "Khordad" said on 7 April that
Mohajerani is being threatened with dismissal so he will shut
down reformist papers like "Sobh-i Imruz," "Khordad," "Arya,"
and "Zan." Mohajerani wrote in "Ettelaat" on 8 April that he
would rather resign than abandon his beliefs. (Bill Samii)

Judicial spokesman Fotuvat Nassiri Savadkuhi said on 6
April that Iran's top court rejected Tehran Mayor
Gholamhossein Karbaschi's appeal and upheld the sentence.
Karbaschi appealed his July conviction once, and it was
reduced in December. He then entered another appeal.
Karbaschi may have to pay a fine of over $500,000, avoid
political office for ten years, and serve two years in jail.
Karbaschi's lawyer, Bahman Keshavarz, told Reuters on 6
April: "We are making another appeal to the Supreme Court. We
hope to produces some results." "Neshat" reported on 8 April,
however, that another appeal will not be considered.
Some observers, Reuters reports, see Karbaschi's
situation as a blow to President Hojatoleslam Mohammad
Khatami, since Karbaschi is partly credited with Khatami's
successful election. But it is not entirely clear if
Karbaschi is still allied with Khatami or if he shifted
allegiances elsewhere to gain some leniency (see "RFE/RL Iran
Report," 4 January 1999). Also, if the pro-Khatami makeup of
the recently-elected Tehran municipal council is allowed to
stand, then a similarly-inclined mayor may be chosen. So the
Khatami sentencing, combined with the closure of "Zan"
newspaper, may be an attack on the Executives of Construction
Party and it could indicate a diminution in the political
standing of Hojatoleslam Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. (Bill

Over a month has passed since the council elections, but
the debate over the eligibility of elected candidates in
Tehran continues. Central Election Supervisory Board chief
Hojatoleslam Ali Mohammad Savoji is to meet with First Vice
President Hassan Habibi, who heads an arbitration committee,
to discuss the issue, "Tehran Times" reported on 4 April. The
disputed individuals are former-Interior Minister Abdullah
Nuri, former er Intelligence and Security Ministry official Said
Hajjarian, ex-hostage taker and student leader Ebrahim
Asgharzadeh, Mohammad Atrianfar, and Ahmad Hakimipour. The
final composition of councils in Ardebil city and Bandar
Abbas is also disputed due to vote count irregularities,
"Iran" daily reported on 4 and 8 April, respectively. There
were complaints of similar irregularities in Qom, Ahvaz, and
Shiraz, "Resalat" reported on 15 March. Director General of
the Interior Ministry's Elections Bureau, Seyyed Javad Zaker
Qadimi, told IRNA on 7 April that results in 20 cities have
not been confirmed yet. Allegations of irregularities have
prompted criticism from conservatives. Parliamentarian Ahmad
Rasulinejad, for example, said the handling of the election
bore a resemblance to the previous monarchic period, when the
powerful "Thousand Families" hand-picked elected officials,
"Arya" reported on 14 March. (Bill Samii)

Hojatoleslam Mohammad-Ali Nejad al-Hosseini was arrested
by the Special Court for the Clergy amidst allegations that
he is close to dissident cleric Ayatollah Hossein Ali
Montazeri, the pro-Khatami daily "Sobh-i Imruz" reported on 4
April. But Ahmad Montazeri, the Ayatollah's son and
spokesman, denied the relationship in an interview with
RFE/RL's Persian Service.
Also, formal charges against Islamic intellectual
Hojatoleslam Mohsen Kadivar were specified a month after his
detention, "Iran" newspaper reported on 4 April. He is
charged by the Special Court with spreading propaganda
against the system of the Islamic Republic, spreading
fabrications, and causing public anxiety. The indictment
states that Kadivar suggested that since the revolution a
climate of oppression exists, and he also said: "We are
facing problems regarding the issue of freedom. One model of
freedom is freedom for the opposition and for those who are
opposed to the method and actions of the rulers."
Kadivar's lawyer, Ayatollah Seyyed Hossein Musavi-
Tabrizi, said his client objects to the Special Court's
jurisdiction and has requested bail. Musavi-Tabrizi said he
has not met Kadivar for over two weeks. Kadivar's access to
his family also has been limited.
England-based lawyer Abdolkarim Anvari, in an interview
with RFE/RL's Persian Service, said the charges are legally
inappropriate because Kadivar expressed his views in a
newspaper interview rather than disseminating them in written
form himself. And Article 23 of the constitution, Anvari
said, specifies that "no one may be molested or taken to task
simply for holding a certain belief."
Jurist Kambiz Nowruzi told "Iran" on 7 April that the
charges come under Article 168 which specifies that press and
political offenses will be tried openly and in front of a
jury. Responsibility for what is in a newspaper, furthermore,
rests on the managing editor.
"Sobh-i Imruz" on 4 April asked for the real reason
behind Kadivar's detention, since the charges are
inadmissible and inappropriate. Paris-based lawyer Abdolkarim
Lahiji referred to Kadivar as a "prisoner of conscience,"
"Jahan-i Islam" reported on 7 April.
The Office for Fostering Unity, a pro-Khatami coalition
of student groups, demanded that hearing be an open one which
is broadcast by state radio and television, and Mrs. Kadivar
said that it would be an open hearing in a 6 April interview
with "Iran." (Bill Samii)

Five members of the Jangvi Brigade of the Sunni Sipah-i
Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), who had been sentenced to death for
the 1990 killing of Iranian diplomat Sadeq Ganji, are to be
released, Iranian state radio reported on 3 April. Pakistani
officials said their country's Supreme Court ordered this
step, fearing retaliation against the judges. Two days later,
according to Germany's dpa, Jangvi Brigade leader Riaz Basra
died in a shootout with police in Sargodha, Punjab Province.
Basra was implicated in the Ganji murder also, but he escaped
from custody in 1994 and had a $100,000 price on his head for
killing 118 other Shia Muslims. The next day, however,
provincial Governor Shaid Hamid said it was just Basra's
aide, Shehrezad Wariach, who died. Tensions in the province
are already high due to the Muharram ceremonies scheduled for
the end of the month. To prevent the usual Shia-Sunni
clashes, police plan to take 250 clerics into protective
custody. Security throughout the province will be handled by
the army. (Bill Samii)

Azerbaijani National Security Minister Namig Abbasov
accused Iran and Russia of conducting "coordinated
intelligence activities in [Azerbaijan]," as well as "joint
economic and political sanctions," Turan news agency reported
on 29 March. Abbasov said his organization had apprehended 13
Iranian intelligence operatives, including one who had
diplomatic cover. The Iranian embassy in Baku rejected the
allegations, IRNA reported on 30 March. On 1 April, Iran's
ambassador to Azerbaijan, Ali Reza Bigdeli, explained the
origins of the accusations. He said, IRNA reported, that the
two neighboring Muslim countries needed to strengthen their
ties but this was against the interests of some countries.
Bigdeli explained: "the U.S. and the Zionist regime make the
development of their ties with the Republic of Azerbaijan
conditional on restricting ties with Iran." (Bill Samii)

In a 25 March interview with Qatar's Al-Jazira satellite
television, Lebanese Prime Minister Salim al-Huss discussed
his country's relationship with Iran. He said: "Our relations
are very good. There is no doubt that Iran also supports
Lebanon in confronting the Israeli aggression." In describing
Hizballah, he said that although it is not part of the
Lebanese military, Lebanon "supports the Lebanese resistance,
given that this is a legitimate right for any people who have
parts of their territory occupied by a neighboring state. We
support the resistance." In a 12 March interview with Cairo's
state-owned weekly "Al-Musawwar," Hizballah Secretary-General
Hassan Nasrallah answered suggestions that Hizballah exists
because it is supported by Syria and Iran. He said the
party's ideology is Islamic and is not connected with foreign
states. "Therefore, we did not import an ideology, and if
some people say this ideology is Iranian, I tell them this is
wrong. This is because the ideology in Iran is the Islamic
ideology, which the Muslims brought to Iran. This ideology is
even exclusive to the Jabal Amil ulama. The Lebanese are the
ones who had the greatest influence in Iran on the cultural
and religious levels in the past centuries. So what does
importing have to do with it? The cadres, leaders, and
martyrs of this party are Lebanese." Nasrallah also said that
his organization is not just a military one, it is an
"Islamic, jihadic, political, social, cultural, and popular
movement." It will not, therefore, lose its raison d'etre
when foreign forces leave Lebanon, he said. (Bill Samii)

During the first week of NATO airstrikes intended to
prevent Serbian ethnic cleansing against the mostly-Muslim
Kosovar Albanians, Iran, as head of the Organization of the
Islamic Conference (OIC), found itself pushing for a solution
through its bilateral partner, Russia. During this phase,
Iran's rhetorical tone was relatively moderate (see "RFE/RL
Iran Report," 5 April 1999). The more hardline nature of
Iranian commentary increased as of April. Simultaneously,
concentration shifted more towards the OIC and away from

<< Continued to next message >>>


Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 22:59:10 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>


PARIS 12TH APR. (IPS) A defiant Mrs Fa'ezeh Hashemi, a popular
MP from Tehran told the Islamic Republic's most hawkish of the
senior ruling clerics, the ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi, the Head of
the Islamic Judiciary and a close friend of the leader of the
regime, the ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i that she will not accept
the competence of the Islamic Revolution Tribunal (IRT) that had
ordered the closure of her newspaper "Zan" (Woman).

The liberal, outspoken daily was stopped printing Tuesday on
orders from the Islamic Revolution Court of Tehran after it
published two ln Court of Tehran after it
published two lines of a New Year message from former Iranian
Empress Farah Diba Pahlavi in which she expressed hopes that "in
the new millennium, ancient Iran will recover it's full glory
and pride thanks to it's valiant children".

The publishing of thnt children".

The publishing of the message, unprecedented in the history of
the tightly controlled Iranian press under the Islamic laws, and
a cartoon ridiculing the Islamic law of "dieh", or blood money
that is half of that of a man if the victim is a woman created
storm in the ruling conservative circles and press, calling for
the complete closing of Zan and the expulsion of Mrs. Hashemi
from the Majles (parliament)

Because of this, the youngest daughter of the former president
Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani who is also in charge of Iranian
women sports activities, another domain where the orthodox
mullahs and Mrs. Fa'ezeh are at loggerhead, is charged of
"sedition, anti-Islamic, anti-revolutionary activities and
propaganda for the corrupt Pahlavi dynasty and the Monarchist".

"What you have done is supporting the corrupt Pahavi that our
people have booted out of this country. It is supporting the
Monarchs country. It is supporting the
Monarchists. It is an anti-Islamic, anti-revolutionary act that
must be dealt with by the Islamic revolution tribunal", the
ayatollah Yazdi shouted in the last Friday prier.

Staff journalists of the paper told the IPS that they received
the message on the fax and after reading it, and in consultation
with Mrs. Hashemi, it was decided to print part of it "for the
sake of information".

However, the fact that the compromising fax landed on the fax of
"Zan" alone gave some credit to rumours suggesting that this was
a "trial balloon" for an interview Mrs. Fa'ezeh had secretly
arranged with the former Empress.

That may explain why her long planed visit to the United States,
where she was to address the Asian Society in New York and meet
some Iranians and Americans in Washington, was abruptly
cancelled on orders from her father, after a bold intervention
from the Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi.

"Our business is to inform people and after we saw the fax, we
decided to print part of it. That's it, no more, no less, but
there are people who like to make noise. People who live by the
noise and I beg Mr. Yazdi to tell me when in this country the
law, or articles of the constitution had been correctly
implemented or he ignores everything about law and the
constitution. Haw do you dare to accuse of supporting the
Pahlavi dynasty a member of the Hashemi family who have given so
much of their blood for the revolution at a time that no one had
ever heard your name? She told the Majles.

To prove Mrs. Hashemi's pro-Monarchist sentiments, hard line
newspapers like "Keyhan", a mouthpiece of the Information
(Intelligence) Ministry reminded that she had pried on the grave
of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who is buried in the Al Rifa'e
Mosque in Cairo, where he died in 1980 from a prolonged cancer.

She did not denied, but explained that she was visiting the
Mosque, one of Cairo's largest, during a sightseeing tour
organised by the Egyptians. "To claim that I went there just to
prey for the ousted Monarch is a big mean lie by some people who
are afraid of the process of democratisation of the political
life that is taking place in Iran under the presidency of
President Mohammad Khatami", she pointed out.
The harsh attacks on the popular, outspoken Mrs. Fa'ezeh is seen
by many Iranian analyst as being part of the new campaign
"prepared" by the hard liners to stop the process of limited
political, social and cultural democratisation promised and
initiated by President ayatollah Mohammad Khatami, of whom the
young, dynamic MP is a staunch supporter.

According to the daily "Sobhe Emrooz", a newspaper that is
edited by Mr. Sa'id Hajjarian, a former high ranking official of
the Information Ministry, the conservatives have used the
(Iranian) New Year "truce" to prepare a new campaign against the
reformists that includes, besides muzzling of the independent
press, the intimidation and arrest of dissidents of all walk,
the physical suppression of some leading pro-Khatami
personalities, possibly the President himself.

As a matter of fact, the new Iranian year of 1378 started with a
renewed warning by the leader to those "misled, misguided,
ignorant journalists and intellectuals who plays in the hands of
the enemies of Islam" and an almost unprecedented attack on the
very person of the President by the ayatollah Yazdi who, in the
same Friday sermon, told the "mercenary press and intellectuals"
that if they see their hands and tongues cut off, they should
not come and complain that they were not warned.

"This is the nation of Islam. Our people want Islam. They have
fought for Islam, therefore, we can not tolerate any act, any
word, any action against Islam" he said, accusing President
Khatami of "leniency" and his Minister of Islamic Guidance, Mr
Ata'ollah Mohajerani of "not only siding, but honouring the
corrupt, Westernised, anti-revolutionary, anti-Islamic

"That's Islam? Who can say what is Islamic and what is not? The
Minister who bestows awards on corrupt, so-called intellectuals
who all is against Islam and sacred Islamic values?

The warnings were followed by the rejection of an appeal
introduced in the High Court by the former Mayor of Tehran,
Qolamhosein Karbaschi, who had played an instrumental role in
the surprise victory of Mr. Khatami over his main rival, the
ayatollah Ali Akbar Nateq Nouri, the Speaker of the Majles who
was backed by the conservative establishment and the very person
of the leader in the presidential elections of 1977, curtailing
of he activities of pro-Khatami students associations, the
postponement of the important official visit to France by Mr.
Khatami by making the "wine issue" a sine quoi none" condition
and finally the suspension of Zan.

According to Mrs. Hashemi, as well as many Iranian jurists and
experts, the decision of the conservative-controlled Judiciary
to suspend "Zan" because of the controversial message is
politically motivated, aimed at stopping the democratisation
process and reforms, pointing out that whatever the charges
against her and her paper, the issue must be tackled by the
courts dealing with the press matters and not by the Islamic
Revolution Tribunal.

"An unprecedented issue was dealt with by an equall
ted move from the Judiciary. By accusing Mrs. Hashemi
of the unbelievable, unthinkable charges of supporting the
Monarchists, the Judiciary has acted as if the entire nation was
against the regime. In fact, the Judiciary is weakening both
itself and the very system it says it wants to defend", pointed
out Mr. Nabavi, a respected cartoonist with the now banned
"Jam'eh" and "Toos" newspapers. ENDS 2 ZAN 1259923


Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 22:59:24 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Case Of Obscure Theologian Exposes Iran Divisions

Case Of Obscure Theologian Exposes Iran Divisions

08:20 a.m. Apr 13, 1999 Eastern
By Jonathan Lyons

TEHRAN, April 13 (Reuters) - A little-known Shi'ite Moslem
theologian is due to go on trial on Wednesday in a case that has
exposed deep divisions among Iran's powerful clerics, and in the
broader society beyond.

Mohsen Kadivar, a mid-ranking theologian and university
lecturer, stands accused by Iran's Special Court for Clergy with
using his writings to defame the Islamic republic, confuse
public opinion and insult the late revolutionary leader
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

His supporters, including a number of the most senior clerics,
reformist newspaper editors and political figures extending into
the office of President Mohammad Khatami, say he is merely
exercising the time-honoured right of a trained Shi'ite
theologian to reinterpret religion.

Kadivar's detention in February, they say, represented an open
attack on freedom of thought and speech. ``My arrest is the
price we pay for freedom,'' the 40-year-old cleric told family
members from his prison cell.

The case has plucked Kadivar from the pages of obscure learned
journals and the rarefied halls of the elite seminaries and
plunged him into the centre of Iran's national struggle. One
commentator compared him to Galileo before the Inquisition.

At its heart is the running debate over the appropriate role of
Shi'ite clerics in an Islamic republic. Is their power absolute,
or should it be tempered by the popular will as expressed
through elections and other democratic institutions? And who has
the right to examine such issues?

Analysts say the resolution of the trial, and the larger issues
that surround it, will go a long way toward shaping President
Khatami's effort to instil a civil society and the rule of law
under Iran's Islamic system.

The pro-reform daily Sobh-e Emrouz denounced the trial in an
editorial as a dead-end street for hardliners hoping to suppress
Iran's movement toward increased political and social freedoms.

Iran's biggest student movement, which claims 50,000 backers on
campuses nationwide, has demanded the trial before the secretive
Clergy Court be broadcast by state television. Supporters have
held rallies to win Kadivar's release.

For his part, Khatami looks likely to be dragged into the
process, complicating his own delicate relationship with the
powerful conservative establishment that controls the court.

Newspapers recently published an open letter from Kadivar to the
president, calling on him to enforce the constitution he swore
to uphold with the oath of office.

``I have been held for the past 40 days on trumped-up charges
which constitute an inquisition, a move to shut the gates of
criticism...enchain liberties and suppress free thought.

``I ask you one thing: to ensure that I shall be tried in
accordance with the...constitution. That means, I must be tried
in a court of law, with a jury and in a public trial,'' he said.

Cases before the Clergy Court, created by Ayatollah Khomeini but
not sanctioned directly by the constitution, are heard in secret
with limited rights for the defendant.

However, mounting public pressure surrounding the case has
forced the judges, albeit reluctantly, to defend their right to
hear the matter and to suggest proceedings would be open.

Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.


Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 22:59:40 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: U.S. Firm Arco(Arc.N) In Talks On Iranian Oilfield

U.S. Firm Arco(Arc.N) In Talks On Iranian Oilfields

01:18 p.m Apr 12, 1999 Eastern
MANAMA, April 12 (Reuters) - U.S. oil major Atlantic Richfield
Co (ARCO) said on Monday it was holding talks with Iran on
developing unnamed onshore oilfields in the country.

``Our ongoing talks with Tehran are now focused on certain
onshore fields,'' ARCO Executive Vice-President Don Voelte told
an oil conference in Bahrain.

Like other U.S. firms eager to participate in Iran's biggest
energy opening in 20 years, ARCO is frustrated by U.S. sanctions
and has called for them to be lifted.

``We're rapidly moving forward to the limit placed upon us by
our government. We've purchased data packages for several
development and exploration projects. In November, we expressed
interest in several development opportunities,'' Voelte said.

ARCO, an outspoken critic of U.S. policy on Iran, has already
bid on two Iranian oilfield developments, subject to the lifting
of the sanctions.

The United States imposed a unilateral economic embargo on Iran
in 1995, sidelining U.S. firms from the competition to secure
lucrative oil and gas deals in the country.

Washington has come under pressure from U.S. firms, mainly in
the oil industry, to revise its policy on Iran, which is seeking
Western funds and technology to help exploration and rejuvenate
ageing fields.

Iran last year tempted foreign firms with its biggest oil and
gas auction since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

U.S. oil executives closely monitor Iran's vast energy industry
by attending conferences in the country. Iran has repeatedly
said it would welcome participation by U.S. firms.

Washington said earlier this month it was disappointed with a
$300 million oil deal which Iran signed with French and Canadian
companies, and indicated it may punish them for violating a U.S.
law limiting energy investments in Iran.

((Michael Georgy, Dubai mobile, +971-50-4522014))

Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.


Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 22:59:30 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: PRESS DIGEST - Iran - April 13

PRESS DIGEST - Iran - April 13

04:41 a.m. Apr 13, 1999 Eastern
TEHRAN, April 13 (Reuters) - These are some of the leading
stories in Iranian newspapers on Tuesday. Reuters has not
verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.


- The trial of a dissident Moslem cleric, Mohsen Kadivar, will
begin on Wednesday. Kadivar is charged with printing lies
against the country's Islamic government.


- President Mohammad Khatami is due to visit the western
province of Lorestan during the next few days, where he will
inaugurate several development projects.


- The presidents of Yemen and Zimbabwe are due to visit Iran in
May, the paper quoted an informed source as saying. The Yemeni
foreign minister is expected in Tehran on April 17-19.

- The king of Belgium has welcomed President Khatami's proposal
for a dialogue between eastern and western civilisations. The
king met an Iranian MP Mohammad Javad Larijani on Monday.

- Beaches on the Gulf island of Kish are being polluted by oil
from tankers. Iran is seeking to turn the island and duty-free
shopping centre into a major tourist attraction.


- Iran is computerising its customs operations with the help of
the United Nations Development Programme.

Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.


Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 23:00:30 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Interview-Oil Firms Seen Breaking U.S.-Iran Ice

Interview-Oil Firms Seen Breaking U.S.-Iran Ice
08:23 a.m. Apr 13, 1999 Eastern
By Michael Georgy

MANAMA, April 13 (Reuters) - Iranian-American energy executive
Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani said on Tuesday he was more confident
than ever that oil will persuade arch-rivals Washington and
Tehran to bury years of animosity and resume talking business.

``Oil is where Iran needs the United States most immediately in
terms of money, technology, know-how and oil is what the U.S.
business most seeks in Iran. Oil is what will lubricate this
relationship,'' he told Reuters in an interview.

``I am more encouraged than ever because I think we are seeing
from both sides a willingness to talk sense,'' he said on the
sidelines of an oil conference in Bahrain.

When Mossavar-Rahmani first urge
d Iranian oil officials to warm
up to d Iranian oil officials to warm
up to d Iranian oil officials to warm
up to d Iranian oil officials to warm
up to d Iranian oil officials to warm
up to d Iranian oil officials to warm
up to U.S. energy companies in the early 1990s, they recoiled in

These days, Iran is eager to do business with U.S. firms.

Mossavar-Rahmani is chairman of New Mexico-based oil and gas
exploration firm Mondoil Corporation.

He is a member of the board of The American-Iranian Council,
prominent American and Iranian businessmen, policy experts and
academics seeking to restore ties between Washington and Tehran.

Since 1990, Mossavar-Rahmani has held frequent meetings with
Iranian oil ministers and key players in Iran's energy industry.

He is in a unique position to gauge the political and oil
industry mood in the United States and Iran.

The Clinton administration has slightly softened its stance
towards Iran since President Mohammad Khamati took office in
1997. But Washington still accuses Tehran of supporting
terrorism and seeking to acquire weapons of mass destruction.

U.S. companies -- barred from doing business in Iran by a 1995
trade ban -- have stood on the sidelines as European firms have
rushed to cash in on the country's biggest energy opening in 20

Mossavar-Rahmani is hopeful that could change soon.

``There is I believe much more receptivity in Congress and in
Washington to a reassessment of U.S. policy towards Iran. One
doesn't see the absolutely-no-way-in-hell response anymore to
discussions about resumption of diplomatic or commercial
relations with Iran,'' he said.

In Iran, he sees economic hardship as the key factor that will
drive Tehran to rapprochement with Washington.

``I am sure there are people who still argue that U.S. companies
should not be brought back in. But they have had 20 years to do
it themselves and they have been unable to do so.''

``On the other side you have the fact that the economy is in
shambles. The oil industry is in shambles. Adjusted for
inflation, per capita oil revenues are a tenth of what they were
20 years ago and those facts are hard facts on the ground.''

Mossavar-Rahmani warned that European firms were entrenching
themselves in Iran, and that U.S. firms, which have pressured
Washington to revise its Iran policy, should move quickly to
build ties with Tehran within the limits of sanctions laws.

``U.S. companies should push as hard as they can without
crossing the line so that when the starting gun is fired they
are there to dash off towards the big deals,'' he said.

Despite his enthusiasm, Mossavar-Rahmani suggested U.S. oilmen
could find doing business in Iran frustrating.

``If an American oil man wants to go to Iran, getting a visa is
a major problem. It takes weeks and weeks,'' he said.

``There isn't unanimous consent within the Iranian system that
discussions should be going on and there is still a lot of
baggage that creates obstacles in our way,'' he added.

Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.


Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 23:01:04 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Israel And Russia Discuss Nuclear Trade To Iran

Israel And Russia Discuss Nuclear Trade To Iran
02:57 p.m Apr 12, 1999 Eastern
MOSCOW, April 12 (Reuters) - Israeli Foreign Minister Ariel
Sharon on Monday pressed opposition to Moscow's nuclear
cooperation with Iran in discussions with his Russian
counterpart Igor Ivanov.

Sharon said Moscow and Israel had agreed to set up a committee
to discuss any problems caused by Russia's trade of nuclear
technology to Iran.

``I drew attention to the big danger posed by the transportation
of military technology to Iran and other states in the Middle
East,'' Sharon told a news conference.

``It has been confirmed that a two-sided committee will be
created to follow these problems and take measures to reduce any

Israel has repeatedly urged Russia to withhold nuclear
cooperation with Iran.

Russia has signed an $800 million deal to complete an Iranian
nuclear reactor in the southern port of Bushehr despite Western
fears Tehran might use the technology to develop atomic weapons.

Sharon's trip to Moscow came after the former general was quoted
as saying Israel had reason not to back NATO's strike against

He touched off further controversy last week when he told a
radio station the West should be concerned about the possible
creation of an Islamic ``Greater Albania'' that could lead to
unrest in Europe for years to come.

Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.


Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 23:00:54 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Mexican Energy Minister Believes Oil Cuts Will Hol

Mexican Energy Minister Believes Oil Cuts Will Hold

06:45 p.m Apr 12, 1999 Eastern
By Jeffrey Jones

CALGARY, April 12 (Reuters) - Mexican Energy Minister Luis
Tellez, a key player in a recent deal among major oil-producing
nations to rescue prices, said on Monday he believed countries
that cut production under the agreement would honour their
commitments at least until the end of this year.

Tellez said it was not likely those nations that were part of
the March deal to remove 2.1 million barrels a day of oil from
glutted world markets would cheat on their quotas because of a
general belief that it could jeopardise the market rebound.

The 16-month downturn in oil markets, which persisted despite
earlier production-cutting deals, had weighed heavily on the
economies of many producing nations. Oil prices have rebounded
by about 50 percent since rumours of the OPEC and non-OPEC
agreement surfaced in late February.

``The market has signalled that they do believe that all the
countries will comply,'' Tellez told reporters after speaking to
Canadian and Mexican energy officials gathered for a trade
conference in Canada's oil and gas capital.

``The incentives for the different countries are there, given
the circumstances in oil markets and given the special fiscal
circumstances of the different countries, including Mexico, of
course,'' he said.

Mexico, not a member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting
Countries cartel, agreed in March to cut its exports by 125,000
barrels a day under the deal that also included other non-OPEC
countries like Norway and Russia as well as 10 OPEC countries.

The biggest reductions among OPEC nations were undertaken by
Saudi Arabia, which cut 585,000 barrels a day, Iran, which cut
264,000, and United Arab Emirates, which cut 148,000. Total
worldwide production cuts since March 1998 total more than 5.1
million barrels a day.

New York oil futures, having troughed at $10.35 a barrel in
December, closed down $0.17 to $16.40 on Monday. For Mexico,
whose crude production is controlled by state-owned oil company
Pemex, oil earnings are crucial for government revenues and the
country's trade balance.

Mexico was critical last year of countries which did not comply
with commitments to cut production. Among the biggest cheaters
were Venezuela and Iran.

Tellez said there was no formal mechanism in the deal, such as a
set oil-price level, that would signal when production cuts
could be lifted before the end of 1999.

But he said countries in the agreement would meet within the
next eight months to assess the how the reductions were panning

``Before the year-end, of course, we will have to get together
again and see how things are evolving in terms of oil markets,
oil production and so forth,'' he said.

``It's not an agreement that can last for five or six years or
even three years -- it's a short-term agreement to stabilise
markets, given the conditions of the world economy.''
Oil producers in Canada have watched production-cutting
developments closely as they compete head-on with Mexico and
Venezuela, and to a lesser extent Saudi Arabia, for market share
for heavy crude oil in the Midwest U.S. refining market.

A Pemex official said at the conference on Monday that the bulk
of Mexican cuts would be in heavy oil.

Meanwhile, Tellez said Pemex would not be shedding staff as a
result of its production cuts, which when combined with last
year's agreements total 325,000 barrels a day.

In fact, employment at the state oil company was actually on the
rise because of increased spending on a programme now under way
to revamp the country's refineries, he said.

((Reuters Calgary Bureau (403) 531-1624,

Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.


Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 22:23:54 GMT
Subject: Down the Memory Hole: Background of Kosovo Conflict

Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR)

Rescued from the Memory Hole: Background of Serb/Albanian

March 31, 1999

There is always intense pressure in wartime for media
outlets to serve as propagandists rather than journalists.
While the role of the journalist is to present the world in
all its complexity, so that people can make up their own
minds, the propagandist simplifies the world in order to
mobilize the public behind a common goal.

One basic simplification is to interpret a conflict in
terms of villains and victims, with no qualification
allowed for either role. Conflicts in the real world rarely
fall into such simple categories: Particularly in ethnic
conflicts, both sides usually have legitimate grievances
that are often used to justify a new round of abuses
against the other side.

In presenting the background to the Kosovo conflict, U.S.
news outlets usually begin with Serbia's revocation of the
Kosovo Albanians' autonomy in 1989. This was a crucial
decision, one of the major reasons for the rise of the
Kosovo Liberation Army. It also destabilized the
Yugoslavian system and contributed to the country's

Yet media accounts have rarely explained why Serbia lifted
Kosovo's autonomy. The attached article, from the New York
Times in 1987, gives important background to this decision.
Although the article is easily found in the Nexis database,
little to none of this information has found its way into
contemporary coverage of Kosovo, in the Times or anywhere

If one read a similar history of Kosovo written today, one
would likely dismiss it as pro-Serb propaganda. Yet this
was written 12 years ago, when Kosovo was an obscure corner
of the world, and the New York Times would not seem to have
any particular interest in defending Serbs or attacking

It should be kept in mind that some of the charges in this
article may be exaggerated or politically motivated. Of
course, the same is true of atrocity reports that are being
carried in the New York Times and other papers today.

The New York Times
November 1, 1987, Sunday, Late City Final Edition
Section 1; Part 1, Page 14, Column 1;

"In Yugoslavia, Rising Ethnic Strife Brings Fears of Worse
Civil Conflict"

By DAVID BINDER, Special to the New York Times

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia

Portions of southern Yugoslavia have reached such a state
of ethnic friction that Yugoslavs have begun to talk of the
horrifying possibility of ''civil war'' in a land that lost
one-tenth of its population, or 1.7 million people, in
World War II.

The current hostilities pit separatist-minded ethnic
Albanians against the various Slavic populations of
Yugoslavia and occur at all levels of society, from the
highest officials to the humblest peasants.

A young Army conscript of ethnic Albanian origin shot up
his barracks, killing four sleeping Slavic bunkmates and
wounding six others.

The army says it has uncovered hundreds of subversive
ethnic Albanian cells in its ranks. Some arsenals have been

Vicious Insults

Ethnic Albanians in the Government have manipulated public
funds and regulations to take over land belonging to Serbs.
And politicians have exchanged vicious insults.

Slavic Orthodox churches have been attacked, and flags have
been torn down. Wells have been poisoned and crops burned.
Slavic boys have been knifed, and some young ethnic
Albanians have been told by their elders to rape Serbian

Ethnic Albanians comprise the fastest growing nationality
in Yugoslavia and are expected soon to become its third
largest, after the Serbs and Croats.

Radicals' Goals

The goal of the radical nationalists among them, one said
in an interview, is an ''ethnic Albania that includes
western Macedonia, southern Montenegro, part of southern
Serbia, Kosovo and Albania itself.'' That includes large
chunks of the republics that make up the southern half of

Other ethnic Albanian separatists admit to a vision of a
greater Albania governed from Pristina in southern
Yugoslavia rather than Tirana, the capital of neighboring

There is no evidence that the hard-line Communist
Government in Tirana is giving them material assistance.

The principal battleground is the region called Kosovo, a
high plateau ringed by mountains that is somewhat smaller
than New Jersey. Ethnic Albanians there make up 85 percent
of the population of 1.7 million. The rest are Serbians and

Worst Strife in Years

As Slavs flee the protracted violence, Kosovo is becoming
what ethnic Albanian nationalists have been demanding for
years, and especially strongly since the bloody rioting by
ethnic Albanians in Pristina in 1981 - an ''ethnically
pure'' Albanian region, a ''Republic of Kosovo' ' in all
but name.

The violence, a journalist in Kosovo said, is escalating to
''the worst in the last seven years.''

Many Yugoslavs blame the troubles on the ethnic Albanians,
but the matter is more complex in a country with as many
nationalities and religions as Yugoslavia's and involves
economic development, law, politics, families and flags. As
recently as 20 years ago, the Slavic majority treated
ethnic Albanians as inferiors to be employed as hewers of
wood and carriers of heating coal. The ethnic Albanians,
who now number 2 million, were officially deemed a
minority, not a constituent nationality, as they are today.

Were the ethnic tensions restricted to Kosovo, Yugoslavia's
problems with its Albanian nationals might be more
manageable. But some Yugoslavs and some ethnic Albanians
believe the struggle has spread far beyond Kosovo.
Macedonia, a republic to the south with a population of 1.8
million, has a restive ethnic Albanian minority of 350,000.

''We've already lost western Macedonia to the Albanians,''
said a member of the Yugoslav party presidium, explaining
that the ethnic minority had driven the Slavic Macedonians
out of the region.

Attacks on Slavs

Last summer, the authorities in Kosovo said they documented
40 ethnic Albanian attacks on Slavs in two months. In the
last two years, 320 ethnic Albanians have been sentenced
for political crimes, nearly half of them characterized as

In one incident, Fadil Hoxha, once the leading politician
of ethnic Albanian origin in Yugoslavia, joked at an
official dinner in Prizren last year that Serbian women
should be used to satisfy potential ethnic Albanian
rapists. After his quip was reported this October, Serbian
women in Kosovo protested, and Mr. Hoxha was dismissed from
the Communist Party.

As a precaution, the central authorities dispatched 380
riot police officers to the Kosovo region for the first
time in four years.

Officials in Belgrade view the ethnic Albanian challenge as
imperiling the foundations of the multinational experiment
called federal Yugoslavia, which consists of six republics
and two provinces.

'Lebanonizing' of Yugoslavia

High-ranking officials have spoken of the ''Lebanonizing''
of their country and have compared its troubles to the
strife in Northern Ireland.

Borislav Jovic, a member of the Serbian party's presidency,
spoke in an interview of the prospect of ''two Albanias,
one north and one south, like divided Germany or Korea,''
and of ''practically the breakup of Yugoslavia.'' He added:
''Time is working against us.''

The federal Secretary for National Defense, Fleet Adm.
Branko Mamula, told the army's party organization in
September of efforts by ethnic Albanians to subvert the
armed forces. ''Between 1981 and 1987 a total of 216
illegal organizations with 1,435 members of Albanian
nationality were discovered in the Yugoslav People's
Army,'' he said. Admiral Mamula said ethnic Albanian
subversives had been preparing for ''killing officers and
soldiers, poisoning food and water, sabotage, breaking into
weapons arsenals and stealing arms and ammunition,
desertion and causing flagrant nationalist incidents in
army units.''

Concerns Over Military

Coming three weeks after the ethnic Albanian draftee, Aziz
Kelmendi, had slaughtered his Slavic comrades in the
barracks at Paracin, the speech struck fear in thousands of
families whose sons were about to start their mandatory
year of military service.

Because the Albanians have had a relatively high birth
rate, one-quarter of the army's 200,000 conscripts this
year are ethnic Albanians. Admiral Mamula suggested that
3,792 were potential human timebombs.

He said the army had ''not been provided with details
relevant for assessing their behavior.'' But a number of
Belgrade politicians said they doubted the Yugoslav armed
forces would be used to intervene in Kosovo as they were to
quell violent rioting in 1981 in Pristina. They reason that
the army leadership is extremely reluctant to become
involved in what is, in the first place, a political issue.

Ethnic Albanians already control almost every phase of life
in the autonomous province of Kosovo, including the police,
judiciary, civil service, schools and factories.
Non-Albanian visitors almost immediately feel the
independence - and suspicion - of the ethnic Albanian

Region's Slavs Lack Strength

While 200,000 Serbs and Montenegrins still live in the
province, they are scattered and lack cohesion. In the last
seven years, 20,000 of them have fled the province, often
leaving behind farmsteads and houses, for the safety of the
Slavic north.

Until September, the majority of the Serbian Communist
Party leadership pursued a policy of seeking compromise
with the Kosovo party hierarchy under its ethnic Albanian
leader, Azem Vlasi.

But during a 30-hour session of the Serbian central
committee in late September, the Serbian party secretary,
Slobodan Milosevic, deposed Dragisa Pavlovic, as head of
Belgrade's party organization, the country's largest. Mr.
Milosevic accused Mr. Pavlovic of being an appeaser who was
soft on Albanian radicals. Mr. Milosevic had courted the
Serbian backlash vote with speeches in Kosovo itself
calling for ''the policy of the hard hand.''

''We will go up against anti-Socialist forces, even if they
call us Stalinists,'' Mr. Milosevic declared recently. That
a Yugoslav politician would invite someone to call him a
Stalinist even four decades after Tito's epochal break with
Stalin, is a measure of the state into which Serbian
politics have fallen. For the moment, Mr. Milosevic and his
supporters appear to be staking their careers on a strategy
of confrontation with the Kosovo ethnic Albanians.

Other Yugoslav politicians have expressed alarm. ''There is
no doubt Kosovo is a problem of the whole country, a powder
keg on which we all sit,'' said Milan Kucan, head of the
Slovenian Communist Party.

Remzi Koljgeci, of the Kosovo party leadership, said in an
interview in Pristina that ''relations are cold'' between
the ethnic Albanians and Serbs of the province, that there
were too many ''people without hope.''

But many of those interviewed agreed it was also a rare
opportunity for Yugoslavia to take radical political and
economic steps, as Tito did when he broke with the Soviet
bloc in 1948.

Efforts are under way to strengthen central authority
through amendments to the constitution. The League of
Communists is planning an extraordinary party congress
before March to address the country's grave problems.

The hope is that something will be done then to exert the
rule of law in Kosovo while drawing ethnic Albanians back
into Yugoslavia's mainstream.

Copyright 1987 The New York Times Company

ACTION ALERT: If you agree that the background in this
article is important for a complete understanding of the
Kosovo crisis, please pass this post on to others. You
might also contact media outlets and ask that they present
a fuller picture of the background to the conflict. The New
York Times may be reached at:

o Letters to the editor

o Adam Clymer, Washington Correspondent

Contact information for other media outlets may be found at:



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