Date: Apr 21, 1999 [ 12: 19: 50]

Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 20 Apr 1999 to 21 Apr 1999 - Special issue

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 20 Apr 1999 to 21 Apr 1999 - Special issue
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There are 12 messages totalling 1207 lines in this issue.

Topics in this special issue:

1. Kadivar Sentenced To 18 Months In Prison
2. Supreme Court Registers Karbaschi'S Retrial Appeal
3. Mps Call For Impeachment Of Mohajerani
4. MP Slams Performance Of Khatami'S Administration
5. On Crackdown On Bahai Followers
6. On Crackdown On Independent Press
7. On Iran Military Activities
8. On Iran-U.S. Ties
9. On "Iran Petrochemical Forum" Held in Tehran
10. IMF Forecasts Economic Recovery In Iran
11. OPEC Basket Price Down By 17 Cents
12. Khatami: Iran Ready To Establish Close Ties With N

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

Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 22:41:02 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Kadivar Sentenced To 18 Months In Prison

Kadivar Sentenced To 18 Months In Prison
========================================


thr 019
urgent
kadivar-sentence
kadivar sentenced to 18 months in prison
tehran, april 21, irna -- hojjatoleslam mohsen kadivar was sentenced
to 18 months in prison by the special clergy court, his lawyer
announced wednesday.
kadivar, a cleric was jailed on feb. 27 on charges of
"dissemination of lies" and "disturbing public opinion." he was put on
trial on april 14.
his lawyer hojjatoleslam seyed hussein musavi tabrizi said that
the sentence can be appealed.
"i will protest to the ruling of the special clergy court," he
said. according to the law the lawyer has 20 days to appeal.
musavi tabrizi said he will disclose the details of the sentence
later.
ks/ks
end
::irna 21/04/99 12:17



FOCUS-Iranian Dissident Cleric Jailed For 18 Months
===================================================


06:36 a.m. Apr 21, 1999 Eastern
By Mehrdad Balali

TEHRAN, April 21 (Reuters) - An Iranian court has sentenced an
outspoken dissident theologian to 18 months in prison for
defaming Iran's Islamic system, his lawyer said on Wednesday.

The official Iranian news agency IRNA quoted the lawyer as
saying theologian Hojatoleslam Mohsen Kadivar planned to appeal
against the verdict to a higher court.

The Special Court for Clergy, headed by a staunch conservative,
last week ended its trial of Kadivar, a Shi'ite Moslem cleric
and popular seminary lecturer, in a case seen as testing the
limits of freedom of thought in Iran.

Kadivar, who has been in jail since February, was accused of
defaming the country's Islamic system and confusing public
opinion through critical speeches and press interviews.

The case has put the 40-year-old thinker at the centre of a
factional storm, pitting moderates backing President Mohammad
Khatami against the conservative clerical establishment.

At issue are the underpinnings of Iran's system of supreme
clerical rule, increasingly under attack by popular demands for
greater political participation and democratic rights.

Apparently anticipating the guilty verdict, Kadivar's lawyer
Ayatollah Hossein Mousavi-Tabrizi urged Khatami in a newspaper
interview to intervene and support moderate thinkers in the face
of a conservative onslaught.

``Some are after using seemingly legal powers to commit illegal
acts. This is where Mr Khatami should intervene. He must insist
on achieving his goals of pursuing reform without causing
tension,'' he said in the interview published by the daily Iran
on Wednesday.

Khatami has implicitly defended Kadivar, but has remained
discreet to avoid provoking his powerful conservative opponents.

In recent speeches, the president has voiced support for freedom
of expression within the limits of the constitution.

Mousavi-Tabrizi compared Kadivar's case to that of Tehran's
former mayor Gholamhossein Karbaschi, a key Khatami ally, who
has been sentenced to two years in prison on graft charges.

``These two cases are similar from the standpoint of being dealt
with in a political and factional way. The difference is only
that the charges against (Karbaschi) are economic, while the
other is political and cultural,'' he said.

Karbaschi, who played an instrumental role in Khatami's
landslide election in 1997, could face arrest soon since the
Supreme Court has rejected his appeals against his sentence.

Moderates have condemned the former mayor's prosecution as
politically motivated, a charge denied by the conservative-led
judiciary.


Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.



Senior Iranian Cleric Put Behind Bars
=====================================
Xinhua
21-APR-99

TEHRAN (April 21) XINHUA - A senior Iranian cleric was sentenced
to 18 months in prison for defaming the Islamic regime, the
Islamic Republic News Agency reported on Wednesday.

Mohsen Kadivar was put behind bars by the special clergy court,
said the agency, quoting Kadivar's lawyer Seyed Hussein Musavi
Tabrizi as saying the sentence can be appealed and he will
protest to the ruling.

The lawyer said he will disclose the details of the sentence
later. However, the Iranian judiciary has not announced the
verdict against Kadivar.

Kadivar, a famous seminary lecturer and brother-in-law of the
Iranian moderate Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance
Ataollah Muhajerani, has been jailed since February 27 on
charges of "dissemination of lies" and "disturbing public
opinion" through his speeches and press interviews.

The Iranian special clergy court put him on an open trial on
April 14. Kadivar denied the charges and termed his arrest as a
politically-motivated move by the conservatives against the
moderates.

Kadivar said the special clergy court has no jurisdiction to
deal with political or press cases and his case should be
investigated by an ordinary court or the press court, which is
responsible for dealing with press offenses.

Local political observers said the verdict has poised a serious
challenge to the policy of Iranian President Mohammad Khatami
for freedom of speech.

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

Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 22:41:14 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Supreme Court Registers Karbaschi'S Retrial Appeal

Supreme Court Registers Karbaschi'S Retrial Appeal
==================================================


thr 046
karbaschi-keshavarz
supreme court registers karbaschi's retrial appeal
tehran, april 21, irna -- former mayor of tehran gholamhossein
karbaschi's attorney bahman keshavarz told irna here on wednesday that
the appeal for retrial of karbaschi's case had been registered at the
supreme court list on wednesday.
keshavarz said that in case the appeal was accepted by the
supreme court, execution of karbaschi's verdict would be postponed.
he said the branch which should deal with the retrial appeal
has not yet determined and determination of the branch lies
in the jurisdiction of the chief justice.
keshavarz said that when application of article 18 is demanded
the supreme court would be the only qualified body to deal with the
case and this cannot be referred to any other source or authority.
hence, he added, investigation of the appeal for application
of the clauses two and three of the article 18 of the law on public
courts hearing, by the prosecutor general was illegal and it is
necessary that the case be examined by the supreme court.
bg/rr
end
::irna 21/04/99 16:24

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

Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 22:41:54 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Mps Call For Impeachment Of Mohajerani

Mps Call For Impeachment Of Mohajerani
======================================


thr 029
majlis-mohajerani (rpt)
mps call for impeachment of mohajerani
tehran, april 21, irna -- a motion tabled by 31 members of the
islamic consultative assembly (majlis) to impeach the minister of
culture and islamic gudiance ataollah mohajerani was submitted at
wednesday's session.
the request was read out by hassan ghafouri fard, a member of
the presiding board of the majlis at the end of wednesday's session.
the motion to impeach the culture and islamic guidance minister
was addressed to the majlis speaker hojjatoleslam ali akbar
nateq-nouri.
the letter said that the ministry of culture and islamic guidance,
under mohajerani, had not only failed to take serious action to
counter press violations, but also brought the performance of the
judiciary under question by issuing statements and giving interviews.
citing article 89 of the constitution, article 150 of the
internal regulations of the majlis, and some articles of the press
law, the mps called for mohajerani's impeachment for the following
violations and weak points:
1. administration of and supervision over the press
a. insult against the sanctities, and spread of corruption, for
instance in magazine omide javan, no. 86;
b. challenge against religion;
c. propagation of separation of religion from politics;
d. praise for the former taghooti (diabolic) regime and its
supporters;
e. distortion of the imam's theoretical principles as well as
the aims of the revolution;
f. harming the national unity and islamic national interests and
insult against various institutions and the three powers and
their officials;
g. encouraging establishment of relations with the united states;

2. the book market has a situation by far worse than the press
a. many books that have distorted the history of the revolution,
and have targetted religious and national values and spread laxity,
have received permit for publication;
b. offering banned books officially in bookshops and lack of
legal action against this procedure;
c. revival of the writers association and awarding writers who
under no circumstances deserve awards from the islamic republic
system;

3. in the arts field, the cases are :
a. the ministry failed to support intellectual and cultural
movies and instead films were produced with an aim of making profits;
b. failing to properly use and ignoring values and the exalted
personality of women from the viewpoint of islam in producing movies
and disregarding religious limits and criteria at a high level
c. unkind treatment of directors of movies depicting the epics of
the sacred defense as a result of which the number of such movies
reduced substantially.
the subsidies allocated to this section, one of the most important
instrument of propagating the values of the eight years of the sacred
defense and to transfer these values to the young generation were
lifted under lame pretexts such as being unappealing and
unattractive.
d. decrease in production of movies especially cultural ones and
the high growth of vulgar movies, which was one of the prominent
features of the fajr film festival in the past iranian year (ended
march 20).
this case has been confirmed by almost all the cinema critics
with different political and mental outlooks and has been published in
tens of cinema publications.
e. the fajr theater festival and disrespecting religious beliefs
of people

4. misappropriation of the amounts deposited by the people for
minor hajj rituals
according to the internal regulations of the majlis the written
motion to impeach a minister or ministers should be presented at the
open session of the majlis.
the case of impeachment should be mentioned in the motion clearly
and by mentioning the case or cases of violation.
the motion will be read at the same session or the next and will
be sent for the relevant minister or ministers.
according to the international regulations of the majlis, the
minister or council of ministers is duty bound to attend the majlis
within 10 days after the motion and brief the majlis on the subject.
article 89 of the constitution reads, ''the representatives of
the majlis may impeach the council of ministers or any of
the ministers in cases deemed necessary by them. the demand for
impeachment in writing may be handed over to the majlis only if
signed by at least ten representatives of the majlis. the council of
ministers or the particular minister impeached shall appear before the
majlis within a period of ten days of the date the letter of
impeachment are proposed to the majlis, to answer the impeachment
cases and seek a vote of confidence from the majlis.
''in case the majlis does not pass a vote of confidence, the
council of ministers or the particular minister impeached shall be
dismissed. in both cases the ministers impeached may not be a member
of the council of ministers formed immediately thereafter.''
ys/rr
end
::irna 21/04/99 15:42


Iran Conservatives Want Liberal Minister Impeached
==================================================


07:53 a.m. Apr 21, 1999 Eastern
TEHRAN, April 21 (Reuters) - A group of conservative Iranian
deputies called on Wednesday for the impeachment of Iran's
moderate culture minster, in the latest assault on President
Mohammad Khatami's reforms.

The 31 deputies presented a petition to the 270-seat parliament,
summoning Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Ataollah
Mohajerani to be grilled on his moderate policies, Iran's
official news agency IRNA reported.

Mohajerani, a liberal thinker and close Khatami ally, will have
to appear within 10 days in the conservative-dominated
parliament to answer deputies' questions. The process could lead
to his removal through a vote of no confidence.

The petition accused Mohajerani of failing to uphold Islamic and
revolutionary values by following a liberal policy towards the
press, book publishing and the arts. It also suggested he might
have embezzled public funds.
Mohajerani has borne the brunt of the conservatives' attacks
since the parliament ousted liberal former Interior Minister
Abdollah Nouri in June.

The culture minister recently came under fire for granting
awards to a number of secular-minded writers in an effort to
bring to end a bitter cultural war between Islamists and
liberals since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

He has also been heavily criticised for allowing the
reactivation of a banned union of prominent secular writers.
The parliament has been a main stumbling block to Khatami's
political and cultural reform policies. It is one of the major
seats of power still held by the president's conservative
opponents since his landslide election in 1997.

Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.

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

Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 22:42:20 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: MP Slams Performance Of Khatami'S Administration

MP Slams Performance Of Khatami'S Administration
================================================


thr 034
mp-government-criticism
mp slams performance of khatami's administration
tehran, april 21, irna -- a deputy in the islamic consultative
assembly (majlis) wednesday criticized performance of president
mohammad khatami and his administration.
remarks by ahmad pishbin, the deputy from baft, kerman province,
were followed by protest of a number of deputies.
pishbin in his pre-agenda speech argued if the president knew
the number of unemployed doctors, engineers, university and high
school graduates.
elsewhere in his remarks, he inquired about the president's
interpretation of freedom, adding that if by freedom he meant
disrespect shown to him by a handful of people who repeatedly
interrupt his speeches by whistling or clapping hands.
saying that there is only 24 months left from khatami's
tenure, pishbin said that current problems in the country which
are source of agony for the nation cannot be solved under the name
of political development.
he said the majority of those who voted for the president had
pinned hope in the improvement of their economic situation and
living condition.
stressing that one day the youth will question the president
about their future and their job, the depu
ty said that under such a
circumstances some of the officials of the administration make
themselves busy with the affairs such as celebrating new year
festivities at persepolise.
he said what he, as a citizen, expected from the president is
that while reviving values and eliminating counter-values, put
solving of economic problems top on his administration's agenda.
meanwhile, he urged the president to block way to the deviation
of certain newspapers in order not to allow the nation to be deceived
by trivial issues.
pishbin's remarks were criticized by rasht deputy elias hazrati
who, addressing majlis speaker hojatoleslam ali akbar nateq nouri,
argued why provocative issues should be raised at the majlis.
the speaker then called on all deputies supporting various
groups and factions to respect people's dignity as was practiced in
the past and refrain from raising irrelevant issues in the majlis.
he also called on the deputies not to let the majlis be turned
into a center of tension but rather a center for detente.
referring to the naming the current iranian calendar year (began
march 21) as the year of imam khomeini, he said this means all should
pay careful attention to the recommendations of the late imam,
especially those concerning unity of expression and distancing from
disputes.
ns/rr
end
::irna 21/04/99 14:57

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

Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 22:43:16 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: On Crackdown On Bahai Followers

U.S. Condemns Iran Crackdown On Bahai Followers
===============================================
06:38 p.m Apr 20, 1999 Eastern
WASHINGTON, April 20 (Reuters) - The United States, in a
departure from a recent warming of relations, on Tuesday
expressed concern over Iran's sentencing of four members of the
Bahai faith and condemned persecution of Bahai followers.

``We are deeply concerned about the recent sentencing to prison
of four Iranian citizens for the exercise of their Bahai
faith,'' the White House said in a statement.

faith,'' the White House said in a statement.

faith,'' the White House said in a statement.

The statement was referring to the sentencing of four
instructors from the Bahai Institute of Higher Education.

The four, arrested as part of a crackdown last year, were
convicted for teaching Bahai religious classes and sentenced to
terms ranging from three to 10 years, the White House said.

``Imprisoning people for the practice of their religious faith
is contrary to the most fundamental human rights principles,''
it said.

``We condemn the Iranian government's persecution of the
followers of the Bahai faith and we urge President
(Mohammad)Khatami to ensure the immediate release of all Bahais
who have been imprisoned for the observance and expression of
their religion.''

The criticism follows a long period of careful gestures toward
improved relations between the United States and Iran, which
have been met with suspicion among Khatami's hardline Islamic
rivals.

Relations between the United States and Iran soured after the
1979 Islamic revolution which toppled the pro-American shah.


Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.



U.S. Condemns Sentencing of Baha'is in Iran
===========================================


AP
21-APR-99


WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Clinton administration is criticizing
Iran's sentencing of four members of the Baha'i faith to prison
for teaching their religion.

"Imprisoning people for the practice of their religious faith is
contrary to the most fundamental international human rights
principles," the White House said in a written statement
Tuesday.

The statement said the four instructors from the Baha'i
Inst Baha'i
Institute of Higher Education, Sina Hakiman, Farzad Khajeh
Sharifabadi, Habibullah Ferdosian Najafabadi and Ziaullah
Mirzapanah, were sentenced to terms ranging from three to 10
years.
"We condemn the Iranian government's persecution of the
followers of the Baha'i faith, and we urge President Khatami to
ensure the immediate release of all Baha'is who have been
imprisoned for the observance and expression of their religion,"
the statement continued. "We will continue to monitor closely
the treatment of all minority religions in Iran."


Members of the Baha'i faith, a minority in overwhelmingly Shiite
Muslim Iran, often are subject to arrest and detention for
holding meetings and teaching their religion, U.N. human rights
investigators say.


Last year, the State Department condemned the hanging in Iran of
a man who, it said, had been charged with converting to the
Baha'i faith from Islam.


Baha'ism developed in Iran in the last century and stresses
universal brotherhood and social equality.

Copyright 1999& The Associated Press.



Baha'i Faculty Receive Prison Terms in Iran
===========================================


Baha'i Faculty Receive Prison Terms in Iran; Court Verdict
Alleges Crimes Against National Security

PRNewswire
20-APR-99


WASHINGTON, April 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Four faculty members of the
Baha'i Institute of Higher Education (BIHE), who have been in
detention in Isfahan since their arrest last fall, have been
sentenced to prison terms ranging from three to ten years. The
Islamic Revolutionary Court in Isfahan cited the Baha'is'
involvement in a program of Baha'i Studies as evidence of crimes
against national security.

On March 16, Dr. Sina Hakiman was sentenced to ten years in
prison, Messrs. Farzad Khajeh Sharifabadi and Habibullah
Ferdosian Najafabadi to seven years, and Mr. Ziaullah Mirzapanah
to three years. They had been arrested in September and October
1998 as part of the Iranian Government's crackdown on the Baha'i
Institute of Higher Education. Last fall Iranian government
officials raided more than 530 Baha'i homes, confiscated
computers and classroom equipment, and arrested at least 36
teachers and administrators of the Institute. All of them had
been released, with the exception of the four who have now been
sentenced.

The four Baha'is were convicted for teaching religious classes
to other Bahi'is in another organization called the Institute
for Higher Baha'is Studies. The court cited Chapter One, Article
498 of the Islamic Penal Code which provides for prison terms
for anyone organizing an association or group with the aim of
disturbing the internal or external security of the country.
However, the law makes no mention of religious instruction
within one's own religious community as an illegal activity.

"This is a clear attempt on the part of the authorities to use
the penal code to punish the Baha'is for studying their own
religion," said Mrs. Kit Cosby, director of the U.S. Baha'i
Office of External Affairs. "The charge of disturbing the
security of the country is false, and is another attempt by the
Iranian Government to justify its persecution of the Baha'i
community."

The Iranian Baha'i community had established the Baha'i
Institute of Higher Education in 1987 to provide
university-level instruction to Baha'i youth barred from
universities by the Government because of their religious
beliefs. In late 1998 the Institute resumed its activities,
although its functioning is still hampered by the loss of
equipment, especially computers, which it suffered during the
raids.

Since the Islamic regime took power more than 200 Baha'is have
been executed on account of their religion. With 300,000
adherents, Bahi'is are Iran's largest religious minority. The
Baha'i Faith is not recognized as a legitimate religion in Iran
and Baha'is have no constitutional rights.

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

Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 22:43:50 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: On Crackdown On Independent Press

Press Violations Should Be Heard By Press Court, Shahidi
========================================================


thr 015
press court-shahidi
press violations should be heard by press court, shahidi
tehran, april 21, irna -- deputy minister of culture and islamic
guidance in charge of press and propagation affairs shaban shahidi
said here tuesday that when a publication commits a press violation,
the case should be heard by the press court.
addressing a press conference, he underlined the need for full
implementation of press laws in the country, wednesday's press quoted
him as saying.
he added that the country's progressive press laws have been
compiled by the experts when the late imam khomeini was alive.
shahidi further stressed on paying due attention to guidelines of
the grand leader ayatollah ali khamenei and president mohammad khatami
with regards to the press.
there are 900 different publications in the country, he said
stressing that one cannot expect them all not to break the press
laws.
referring to the ban on 'zan' daily, he briefed the audience on
the legal procedures undertaken so far adding that the press
supervisory board examined the case and reached the conclusion that it
required further investigation.
the board members generally agreed that the paper should not be
banned just because it printed one controversial news item, shahidi
stated.
fs/ks
end
::irna 21/04/99 11:44



Print Media Not The Concern Of The Judiciary: Iran Daily
========================================================


thr 025
judiciary-press
print media not the concern of the judiciary: iran daily
tehran, april 21, irna -- the english-language 'iran daily' wednesday
castigated the iranian judiciary for not taking action to settle its
own core concerns and asked what measures should be adopted when the
judiciary consciously pontificates without a legal mandate?
the daily was referring to the judiciary chief mohammad yazdi's
castigation of the newspaper 'zan' for printing the new year's message
of the widow of the deposed shah.
''with so many households at their wits end because of the
economic crunch, popular support for the creation of financial
disclosure legislation for the elected and other high public officials
is strong. answers pertaining to who owns what and where did the
funds originate would certainly help restore public confidence,''
highlighted the paper.
the entire responsibility rests on the judiciary's shoulder to
inquire into these cases. ''whether it be writing a law to fill an
existing vacuum, inquiring into a public official's impropriety or
investigating opaque financial transactions, these duties fall
within the purview of the judicial system,'' pointed out the article
in the perspective column of the paper.
''but what should be done when the system is too disorganized to
look after its core concerns''? it asked, adding ''eyebrows have
been raised though at the revelation that two other publications
circulated more politically provocative material from the shah's
widow, with no reaction whatsoever from the judiciary.''
it goes without saying that the ''print media is not the concern
of the judiciary since related charges should conventionally be
heard by the press court, which is monitored by the ministry of
culture and islamic guidance,'' stressed the daily.
''oddly, the chief justice has acquired the habit of turning the
friday prayer sermon into a politically charged tribunal against the
print media. his latest gambit outside the realm of his authority
only serves to highlight all that is amiss,'' noted iran daily in
conclusion.
fh/ks
end
::irna 21/04/99 13:19

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

Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 22:45:26 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: On Iran Military Activities

Iran Opens Military Electronics Plant
=====================================


04:32 p.m Apr 20, 1999 Eastern
TEHRAN, April 20 (Reuters) - Iran on Tuesday opened a plant to
mass produce electrical and electronic equipment for armoured
personnel carriers (APCs), the Iranian news agency IRNA
reported.

It said Defence Minister Ali Shamkhani opened the factory in
Tehran, which is affiliated with the state Defence Industries
Organisation.

``Investing in the production of modern weapons should be
stressed more than ever as the central policy of the country's
defence industries,'' said Shamkhani, recently promoted to
vice-admiral by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Iran has in recent years announced the production of locally
built APCs, tanks, missiles, helicopters and a fighter plane.

Facing U.S. sanctions and confronted with a Western arms embargo
since the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, Tehran has embarked on a
strategy of copying and developing military hardware.

Iran's efforts to achieve self-sufficiency also aim to limit
imports and curb outlays of precious hard currency.

The United States has often expressed concern over the possible
transfer of military technology to Iran from Russia, China and
North Korea. The Islamic republic says its weapons are locally
designed and produced.


Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.



Prospects for Military Cooperation with Iran Uncertain
======================================================

Itar-Tass
21-APR-99

MOSCOW, April 21 (Itar-Tass) - Russia will continue military and
technical cooperation with Iran until the end of 1999, said
Director of the Russian company "Rosvooruzheniye" Grigory Rapota
at a press conference on Wednesday.

The prospects for Russo-Iranian cooperation will be determined
by agreements to this effect reached with the United States,
which, in turn, depends on the "political leadership of the
country", Rapota said.

The "Rosvooruzheniye" has been working strictly within legal
norms and, therefore, the company has no right yet to sign new
contracts with Iran, Rapota said. Although the general work in
this direction is being conducted within the company, no
concrete projects have been developed now, he added.

"At any time if these restrictions are lifted we shall be ready
to develop these activities," Rapota said.

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

Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 22:45:06 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: On Iran-U.S. Ties

Iran Wants More Than A "Diplomatic Smile" From Clinton
======================================================


Yahoo Asian News
World 7:00 PM GMT+8, Wednesday April 21


Iran wants more than a "diplomatic smile" from Clinton
TEHRAN, April 21 (AFP) - Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi
welcomed Wednesday conciliatory remarks by US President Bill
Clinton but stressed that a "diplomatic smile" was not enough
and there must be a "change in behaviour."
"Clinton's remarks indicate an admission of decades of unjust
relations that the US established with Iran," Kharazi said in an
interview with the Jaame-Jam International Network, an Iranian
television channel broadcasting abroad.

"Confession of one's misdoings, if made honestly, is something
good which demands courage," the foreign minister said,
according to the text of his remarks released by the ministry.

However, "it remains to be seen whether the US brings any change
into its behavior toward Iran. Certainly, there (are) many wrong
policies that we expect the US administration to change,"
Kharazi said.

Clinton's statements will be considered only a "diplomatic
smile, if there is no change in behavior," Kharazi added.

"Iran, because of its enormous geopolitical importance over
time, has been the subject of quite a lot of abuse from various
Western nations," Clinton said last week at a conference in the
United States.

"And I think sometimes it's quite important to tell people:
look, you have a right to be angry at something my country or my
culture, or others that are generally allied with us today, did
to you 50 or 60 or 100 or 150 years ago," he said.

"We have to listen for possible ways we can give people the
legitimacy of some of their fears, or some of their angers, or
some of their common grievances, and then say they rest on other
grounds.

"Now, can we build a common future," the US leader asked.

In his response, Kharazi demanded that the United States stop
supporting the People's Mujahedeen, the main armed Iranian
opposition group, which claimed responsibility for the April 10
assassination of Iranian General Ali Sayad Shirazi.

"We see that the US releases a list of terrorist groups and at
the same time, the same terrorist groups and their advocates are
allowed to act freely against the Islamic Republic of Iran in
the US under different covers," Kharazi said.

Although the Mujahedeen is on the US list of terrorist groups,
the Mujahedeen-dominated National Council of Resistance of Iran
is not.

"This is an unacceptable equation," Kharazi said.

"The US should prosecute such terrorist groups and avoid
accusing Iran of supporting terrorism," he said.

Washington has imposed an economic embargo against Iran, which
it accuses of supporting international terrorism, attempting to
sabotage the Middle East peace process and seeking to obtain
weapons of mass destruction.

The Islamic republic has been a frequent target of American
anger since the hostage taking at the US embassy in Tehran,
shortly after the 1979 Islamic revolution, that led to the
rupture of diplomatic ties.

Some Iranian moderates have been keen to seize on Clinton's
conciliatory remarks as an opportunity to mend fences with
Washington, while hardliners remain implacable in their hatred
of the United States.





PRESIDENT CLNTON'S STATEMENT A TIME BOMB FOR THE ISLAMIC
REPUBLIC
========================================================


By Safa Haeri, IPS Editor

PARIS 20TH APR. (IPS) United States Bill Clinton's surprise
"admission" that the West has "abused" Iran in the past has
exploded like a bomb on the political scene of the Islamic
Republic, widening the ever growing gap between the ruling
conservatives, led by the leader, the lamed ayatollah Ali
Khameneh'i struggling to keep their lucrative positions and the
reformists symbolised by the President ayatollah Mohammad
Khatami.

"Iran had been subject to quite a lot of abuses from various
Western countries, including the United States, in the past 50
or 150 years ago and should be told it had a right to be angry",
President Clinton admitted last Wednesday, sparking explosives
amid conservatives hard liners.

Washington broke off diplomatic relations with the Islamic
Republic in 1980 after the take-over of the US embassy in Tehran
by the so-called Muslim students in the Line of the Imam (the
grand ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeiny) and imposed economic
sanctions that, though generally inoperative, but badly affected
Iran's economy nevertheless.

The United States and the Islamic Republic have imposed
preconditions for the resumption of their relations, but while
such event, - quite unlikely in the near future - will enhance
the position of any American president who may see it happening,
in Tehran, it may herald the end of the regime, as blind
antagonism with Washington has become the raison d'Ítre of the
present Iranian regime.

Washington wants the Islamic Republic to stop supporting
international terrorism and terrorist organisations, stop
opposing the Peace Process between the Arabs and the Israelis
and above all, abandon it's efforts at producing weapons of mass
destruction such atomic bomb and ballistic missiles. For its
part, Tehran wants America stop economic sanctions it has
imposed on Iran, give back all Iranian assets "frozen' in the US
since the cutting off relations, recognise Islamic Republic's
particularism and Iran's dominant position in the Persian Gulf.

Hailed as a new, great "triumph" for President Mohammad
Khatami's diplomatic overture aimed at normalising Iran's
relations with the outside world, including Washington, Mr.
Clinton's statement was immediately rejected by the
conservatives as a "satanic plot, a new ruse by the Great US
Satan to secure lost political and economic influence in Iran by
creating confusion".

The Iranian Foreign Ministry welcomed Mr. Clinton's remarks, but
observed that this should be accompanied by deeds.

"This is a clear admission to the United States unjust relations
with Iran over the past decades, to the miseries and agonies the
US has imposed on the noble and honest people of Iran over the
past 50 years. This is a matter Tehran has been stressing upon
over the past 20 years", said Hamid Reza Asefi, the Foreign
Ministry's Chief spokesman quoted by the Islamic Republic's
official news agency IRNA

According to Asefi, though President Clinton's dramatic
admissions also contain "traces of a kind of realism towards the
Islamic Republic, however, the yardstick in relations between
countries is the behaviour of states."

"The world is changing. In politics, one must not see things in
black and white only. All countries make revisions in their
policies, based on their national interests. We, too, must be
able to move along our interests, and not our emotions'', said
Mohammad Reza Khatami, the president's brother and a member of
the Islamic Iran Participation Party (IIPP), a newly create
organisation supporting the reforms promised by Mr. Khatami.

Provincial governors throughout Iran, most of them appointed by
Mr. Khatami, congratulated him over the surprising comments.
"Mr. Clinton's admission is an explicit recognition of the
rights of our great nation and a major international success for
Iran'' they told the Iranian President.

"Mr. Clinton's regrets demonstrates Iran's might and it's
special position in both the regional and international scenes
and can be a new prelude in the US attitudes towards Iran",
pointed out Mr. Mostafa Tajzadeh, Deputy Interior Minister.

But "Jomhuri Eslami" (Islamic Republic), a conservative
newspaper that belongs to the leader and expresses his opinions
and "Keyhan", the mouthpiece of the Intelligence Ministry, both
warned the reformists against plying in Mr. Clinton's
"mischief".

"There is a current here for paving the way for the restorations
of ties with Washington by portraying Clinton's pale and
insignificant remarks as a big success, but the truth is that
America is not and never has been interested in changing its
inhuman attitude against the Islamic republic", Jomhouri Eslami
wrote editorially.

"This is a lure the hunter places in the hunting ground to
better catch his prey", warned "Keyhan", calling Mr. Clinton's
statement "a satanic scenario".

''The logic of the Clinton Administration has proven to be
totally illogical when it comes to its anti-Iran propaganda and
actions. It is time for Washington to realise this fact and
adjust its policies accordingly. Then and only then, can Tehran
begin to reconsider its US policy,'' pointed out "Iran News", a
newspaper edited by IRNA.

Habibollah Asgarowladi, secretary-general of the notorious
Islamic Coalition Association, a hard line political-religious
organisation reported to control the leader noted that with the
continued hostility of the United States toward Iran, the latest
statement of the US president will change nothing concerning
Iran.

Describing President Clinton's statement "superficial", and
regretting that some newspapers voiced jubilation over the
statement, Mr. Asgarowlad said while the Iranian assets are
still frozen by the US, that American sanctions are in force,
that Washington is supporting the terrorist Mojahedin Khalq
Organisation and has failed to apologise to the great Iranian
nation for the military coup of 1953, (that toppled the
nationalist and popular Prime Minister Moahmmad Mosadeq and
replaced Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi on the throne) "such
statements will change nothing".

But Dr. Davoud Hermidas Bavand, a professor of International
Politics at Tehran University argues that the new position taken
by President Clinton translates a realistic analysis of Iran's
real situation in the region. "What the US President has said is
an apology one has to accept with goodwill, provided it is
accompanied with deeds, such as removing all economic sanctions,
payment of all frozen assets and fulfilling other conditions sat
by Tehran", he pointed out.

However, most Iranian analysts think even if some clerics wanted
to open up dialogue with Washington, the forces that are against
the United States are strong enough to stop any talks with
Washington.

"The fact is that even if the conservatives wanted to accept
some degree of political pragmatism, yet forces that operates
behind the curtains will never ever allow the chains to be
broken", said Dr Hatam Qaderi, a Professor of Political Science.
ENDS CLINTON BOMB 2049919




Iran Rejects Invitation Of U.S. Soccer Federation
=================================================


thr 022
soccer-u.s.-iran
iran rejects invitation of u.s. soccer federation
tehran, april 21, irna -- iran's soccer federation rejected an
invitation by the u.s. soccer federation to hold several friendly
matches in the u.s. in june, said head of the iranian federation
mohsen safaie farahani here wednesday.
during the world cup 1998 in france and after that the u.s. soccer
federation invited the national iranian soccer team, which is
scheduled to travel to america to take part in the four way
tournaments in canada in june, to hold some friendly matches in the
u.s. after the contests in canada, he said.
iran turned down the invitation due to lack of readiness of the
team to travel to the u.s. on that date, safaie farahani said.
after rejecting this invitation, the american soccer federation
once again invited the iranian team to travel to the states in january
2000, he said, adding that the iranian federation has not responded to
the invitation yet, he said.
ys/ks
end
::irna 21/04/99 12:23

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

Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 22:46:06 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: On "Iran Petrochemical Forum" Held in Tehran

U.S. Companies Interested To Operate In Iran: Official
======================================================


thr 023
iran-u.s.-investment
u.s. companies interested to operate in iran: official
tehran, april 21, irna -- an official of the london-based dresdner
kleinwort benson institute said here wednesday that american companies
are interested to operate in iran.
speaking on the sidelines of the conference on investment
opportunities in iranian petrochemical industry, director of the
research department of the institute mehdi varzi told irna that
absence of american oil companies in iran has political reasons.
he said both iran and the u.s. are waiting for the first step,
adding that the u.s. president has recently made remarks about iran
in a more lenient manner.
varzi said that in the past the main obstacle in the u.s. was the
congress but, he added, with new congress elections and stepping
down of certain congressmen such as d'amato, ''it is now up to the
u.s. administration to take the first step.''
pointing to the developments he has been noticing in iran in the
past five years in the area of investment in the country, either by
local or foreign partners, varzi said iran should play a more active
role in attracting investments.
expressing hope that his institute could start operation in iran,
he said although after 20 years it is a hard task, still he is
optimistic.
he said the iranian petrochemical industry can take the
initiative in attracting foreign investment, adding that the industry
is in a satisfactory situation given the status of its specialized
forces.
he said if the petrochemical industry proves to be successful in
attracting foreign investment, it will set a good example for other
industries.
on buy-back schemes, varzi said the system will prove effective
as an initial step but with the expansion of the scope of the
activities of foreign companies, it cannot be practiced for ever.
verzi pointed to budget finance scheme in which various
financial sources are used for the implementation of projects as a
suitable method.
ns/ks
end
::irna 21/04/99 12:32



Iranian Officials Must Look For Reliable Trade Partners: Daily
==============================================================


thr 014
petrochem
petrochemical projects-press
iranian officials must look for reliable trade partners: daily
tehran, april 21, irna -- the english daily 'tehran times' wednesday
commenting on the ongoing talks with foreign companies for investment
in the petrochemical industry said that although figures of investment
look very attractive, plans can only be materialized with cooperation
of sincere partners, who refuse to submit to hegemonic policies of
certain countries.
although iran's petrochemical output has steadily increased, it
is insufficient in the light of the country's existing potential in
the oil and gas sectors, noted the article in the opinion column of
the paper.
''it is true that iran is facing some problems in attracting
foreign investors due to the systemic plots hatched by certain vested
interests. but the recent past has taught iran a valuable lesson and
proved a useful experience for the world as well,'' the paper added.
citing as example, the withdrawal of u.s. conoco from the sirri
oil field and the immediate replacement by the french total, the
paper stressed that the iranian officials believe that the companies
such as conoco cannot be reliable trade and economic partners and no
ties should be established with them.
''however, companies such as total should be treated in the best
possible manner, as they joined hands with iran when we had a hard
time,'' advised the daily.
implementation of iran's 10 new petrochemical projects requires a
total investment of dlrs 7.2 billion, noted the article adding that 50
percent of which will be set aside for offshore equipment and
engineering services.
iranian officials are therefore advised to look for reliable trade
partners without wasting any time and try to launch the projects and
lay the foundation for a prosperous economy as soon as possible,
stated the paper in conclusion.
fh/ks
end
::irna 21/04/99 11:30

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

Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 22:46:44 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: IMF Forecasts Economic Recovery In Iran

IMF Forecasts Economic Recovery In Iran
=======================================


thr 048
iran-imf forecast
imf forecasts economic recovery in iran
london, apr. 21, irna - in its latest world economic outlook, the
international monetary fund has sounded a note of cautious optimism
for middle east oil producers emerging from the slump in crude prices.
it forecast that real gdp in iran would rise by 2 percent in
the year 2000 after showing no growth this year. it also predicted
that inflation would drop to 10 percent next year after falling
to 15 percent in 1999.
iran's recovery is projected at a faster rate than both kuwait
and saudi arabia, who are expected to show a negative growth this
year of 1.9 percent and 0.7 percent respectively before showing a
rise in real terms of 0.7 and 1.2 percent.
in a word of warning to the six arab members of the (persian)
gulf cooperation council, the imf said that drawing on reserves
and external borrowing "can only be a short-term solution to the
loss of earnings" from oil exports.
notwithstanding the pickup in prices since mid-march, the risk
of a prolonged slump in rates and of little improvement in
international financial market conditions "militates against
financing any large share of the shortfall."
large oil exporters are there faced with an "acute need to adjust,
chiefly through reductions in government expenditures, tax measures
and adjustments in the prices of utilities," the un body said.
with regard to iran, it said that the authorities already
intended to tighten fiscal policies and target a balanced budget
for the current year.
hc/rr
end
::irna 21/04/99 16:31

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

Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 22:46:28 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: OPEC Basket Price Down By 17 Cents

OPEC Basket Price Down By 17 Cents
==================================


thr 053
opec-prices
opec basket price down by 17 cents
vienna, april 21, irna -- the price of the opec basket of seven crudes
fell by 17 cents and stood at 15.51 dollars a barrel tuesday. this was
down from 15.68 dollars monday, according to opec secretariat
calculations released here on wednsday.
the opec basket comprises algeria's saharan blend, indonesia's
minas, nigeria's bonny light, saudi arabia's arabian light, dubai
of the united arab emirates, venezuela's tia juana and mexico's
istmus crude.
energy futures prices slipped in trading on the new york mercantile
exchange (nymex) tuesday, according to reports released here wednsday.
west texas intermediate (wti), the american benchmark crude, lost
two cents to finish at 17.78 dollars per barrel for may delivery,
while the june contract stood at 17.48 dollars, down by 15 cents.
analysts said the drop in prices reflected nervousness by traders
ahead of the release on inventory data.
the american petroleum institute (api) was due to release its
"weekly inventory report" after the end of the trading session.
in the past few weeks, the weekly stockpiles report has been
generally in line with traders expectations.
the inventory numbers are especially important for market players
at this time because of the interest in finding out the effectiveness
of the production cuts by oil exporters.
in london, brent crude oil futures ended tuesday slightly lower on
the international petroleum exchange (ipe), following moves lower on
the expiring nymex may crude oil contract.
brokers said the market was holding steady ahead of the latest api
oil stocks figures and although resistance at 16 dollars per barrel
had proven hard to break, the market had been consolidating above
15.50 dollars and given some supportive stocks figures, could make
another attempt to move above 16 dollars.
june brent settled at 15.70 dollars per barrel, down 22 cents from
the previous close. the day's high was 15.96 dollars and the low
15.64, a fairly tight range.
kz/mhj/rr
end
::irna 21/04/99 17:01

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

Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 22:47:20 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Khatami: Iran Ready To Establish Close Ties With N

Khatami: Iran Ready To Establish Close Ties With New Zealand
============================================================


thr 039
new zealand-iran-message
khatami: iran ready to establish close ties with new zealand
tehran, april 21, irna -- president mohammad khatami here wednesday
received a written message from new zealander prime minister ms.
jenny shipley.
the message was submitted to president khatami by the country's
visiting minister of international trade lockwood smith.
voicing iran's readiness to establish close ties with new zealand
on the basis of mutual respect, the iranian president said that the
two countries enjoy great potential for joint cooperation.
stressing unity and solidarity among various nations, he called
for efforts to establish democracy at the international level.
referring to the islamic republic's detente policy, the president
said that iran enjoys close and friendly ties with its neighbors.
on tehran-wellington relations, he called for further expansion
of bilateral agricultural, scientific and industrial ties.
praising president khatami's viewpoints on different international
issues, smith said that his views have left positive effects on the
whole world.
he said that the new zealander government and the nation
appreciate president khatami's views on international security and
global understanding.
wellington attaches great importance to ties with tehran in all
areas, he said announcing his country's readiness to expand
bilateral relations in oil and gas fields.
at the end of the meeting, smith expressed condolences, on
behalf of his government and people, on the assassination of
lieutenant general ali sayyad shirazi by terrorist agents of the
mujahedin khalq organization (mko).
fs/rr
end
::irna 21/04/99 15:12

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

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 20 Apr 1999 to 21 Apr 1999 - Special issue
*******************************************************************