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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 21 Apr 1999 to 22 Apr 1999 - Special issue

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 21 Apr 1999 to 22 Apr 1999 - Special issue
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There are 14 messages totalling 1217 lines in this issue.

Topics in this special issue:

1. On Kadivar's Sentence to Jail
2. On Mohajerani's Impeachment
3. Majlis Urged To Study Bill On Amendment To Parliam
4. Government Serious About Tackling Unemployment:Kha
5. U.S. School Shooting Gets Top Billing On Iran TV
6. On Oil Prices, Production, OPEC, etc.
7. Expediency Council Approves Third Plan'S General P
8. Iranian President to Visit Saudi Arabia Late May
9. On Kosovo Crisis
10. UK'S Chief Government Scientist Apologises For Ira
11. Iran-UK Ambassador Exchange Remains Matters Of Wee
12. Soccer-Iran Turns Down U.S. Invite To Play June Fr
13. Iraq Accuses Iran of Preparing for Aggression
14. Israel'S Barak Sees Nukes As Region'S Main Danger


Date: Thu, 22 Apr 1999 23:23:14 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: On Kadivar's Sentence to Jail

Dissident Iran Cleric Jailed For 18 Months

02:33 p.m Apr 21, 1999 Eastern
By Mehrdad Balali

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

Iran's news agency IRNA quoted the lawyer as saying moderate
theologian Mohsen Kadivar planned to appeal the verdict.

The sentencing came as a group of conservative deputies called
for the impeachment of Iran's moderate culture minister, in the
latest assault on President Mohammad Khatami's reforms.

The trial of Kadivar, a Shi'ite Muslim cleric and popular
seminary lecturer, was held last week at the Special Court for
Clergy, headed by a staunch conservative. The case was widely
seen as a test of 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 center of a
factional storm, pitting moderates backing President 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.

Meanwhile, 31 deputies filed a petition at the 270-seat
parliament, summoning Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister
Ataollah Mohajerani to be grilled on his policies, IRNA said.

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 from office through a vote of no confidence.

The petition accused Mohajerani of failing to uphold Islamic and
revolutionary values through his liberal policies on 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
secularist liberals since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Apparently anticipating the guilty verdict against Kadivar, his
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 was quoted Wednesday as telling the daily Iran.

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

Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.

Iranian Cleric Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- A moderate Muslim cleric who
had angered hard-liners in Iran with his reformist views has
been sentenced to 18 months in prison, a news agency reported

Mohsen Kadivar was sentenced by a special court that is reserved
for the clergy, said the official Islamic Republic News Agency,
quoting his lawyer, Hossein Musavi Tabrizi.

Tabrizi said he would appeal the sentence within the required 20
days, said IRNA, monitored in Dubai. It did not say when
sentencing took place.

Kadivar, a middle-ranking cleric who is also a university
professor, was jailed Feb. 27 on charges of "dissemination of
lies and disturbing public opinion," IRNA reported.

In the opening session of his trial on April 14, Kadivar
rejected the authority of the closed clerical court and insisted
on a trial by jury in a public court.

The case against Kadivar is seen as part of a broader crackdown
on the press and supporters of reformist President Mohammad

Khatami's moderate faction is locked in a power struggle with
conservative rivals who oppose his pro-democracy reforms that
include lifting restrictions on the press and allowing more
freedom of speech.

Since they swept the elections for local municipal councils in
February, Khatami's supporters have suffered a number of recent

In the 270-seat parliament on Wednesday, where hard-liners
maintain a slight majority, deputies began proceedings to
impeach Culture Minister Ataollah Mohajerani, a key ally of
Khatami, IRNA reported.

It said that 31 deputies, more than double the number needed to
begin impeachment proceedings, had signed the motion against
Mohajerani, whose Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance has
been under attack by hard-liners for granting greater media

Hundreds of journalists in Iran signed a letter to Khatami this
week calling on him to uphold their rights. Their letter,
published by the daily Hamshahri on Sunday, noted eight daily
and weekly newspapers had been shut down in Iran in the past

Three writers opposed to the government and two other dissidents
were killed under mysterious circumstances late last year. The
Intelligence Ministry said in January it had detained some of
its own agents for alleged involvement in the killings.

Copyright 1999& The Associated Press.

Kadivar Gets 18 Months For Charges Raised Against Him By Scc

thr 081
kadivar gets 18 months for charges raised against him by scc
tehran, april 21, irna -- special court for the clerics here wednesday
sentenced hojjatoleslam mohsen kadivar to 18 months imprisonment.
kadivar was detained on february 27 on charges of dissemination
of fabrications and disturbing public opinion.
the verdict stipulates that base on the article 698 of the islamic
law kadivar will be imprisoned for one year due to dissemination of
of false information and inciting public opinion.
the verdict also, based on the article 500 of the islamic law,
sentences kadivar to six months imprisonment for launching propaganda
campaign against sovereignty of the islamic republic through his
interview with `khordad' newspaper and giving incorrect explanation by
himself and his lawyer during the session of the public trial.
::irna 21/04/99 22:32


Date: Thu, 22 Apr 1999 23:24:50 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: On Mohajerani's Impeachment

President Hails Mohajerani But Says Majlis Has Right To Impeach

thr 002
president hails mohajerani but says majlis has right to impeach
tehran, april 21, irna -- president hojatoleslam seyyed mohammad
khatami in a cabinet meeting here wednesday offered condolences to the
nation on the mourning occasion of valiant fallen martyr of karbala
imam hussein (as).
the president told the people the holding of mourning ceremonies
and congregations during the month of moharram al-haram renews the
memory of the movement and the rising of imam hussein (as) at karbala
fourteen centuries ago in 61 hegira lunar calender.
turning to the impeachment proceedings against the minister of
culture and islamic guidance ataollah mohajerani, the president said,
''it is the right of the majlis to impeach, investigate and pass
suitable legislations in the interest of people and society. ''
''we respect such a right and consider it as a symbol of political
development and strengthening of the status of the majlis which will
contribute towards stability and dynamism of the islamic revolution
and the nation,'' declared president khatami.
''we do not consider impeachment as a first step towards resolving
the problems of the nation. however we believe there are better ways
of consultation and arriving at a consensus,'' said the president.
''anyway we honor the decision of the representataives and their
final verdict of the majlis on the issue,'' said the hojatoleslam.
''we request the minister of islamic guidance ataollah mohajerani
to be at the session at the earliest convenience to make the issue
transparent to the majlis as well as the public due to prevalent
conducive atmosphere,'' stated the president.
'' we do not claim that our task is without any flaws or defects -
the defects and deficiencies can be seen in the executive, legislative
and judicial branches as well as many other agencies,'' stated the
however, it should be observed the cultural, art and information
dissemination spheres have a very diverse spectrum. it should also be
noted that a society which is undergoing stability and development
process, has its own special characteristics,'' said the chief
''what is important for us, that all actions should be within
the frameworks of the law, in harmony with policies and proposed
plans and that the assessment should be based on such criteria,''
stated president khatami.
the executive head then termed the achievements of the ministry of
islamic guidance in the area of literature, art, culture and
information dissemination as 'valuable and 'extensive'.
president khatami praised the role of the minister of islamic
guidance, mohajerani as a man of culture, wisdom and potentiality
in the area.
the president expressed hope that with the trend of discussion,
the majority of majlis deputies are behind the government and
that they will throw their support for mohajerani so that he could
continue cooperating as a minister with the current government
"grounds have been prepared that the government and the minister
of the islamic guidance would find enough opportunity to elaborate
to the majlis deputies on the policies he has been pursuing and
that fortunately the wise nation will be able to follow the process
live on the tv as people's judgment is of great significance,'' said
the president.
''i pray to almighty allah to help me tread in his path
successfully with his gratification in serving the people,"
concluded the president.
::irna 22/04/99 00:52

Mps Comment On Impeachment Motion Against Mohajerani

thr 070
mps comment on impeachment motion against mohajerani
tehran, april 21, irna -- majlis representative from kangavar
qodratollah nazarinia said here on wednesday that impeachment of
culture and islamic guidance minister ataollah mohajerani was not to
the benefit of country, considering the leader's repeated calls for
solidarity and unity between the government and majlis.
nazarinia made the remark in an interview with irna following
an impeachment motion, tabled by 31 members of the islamic
consultative assembly (majlis), against mohajerani, on wednesday.
he said that it seems there is a kind of factional motive behind
the move. the censor motion is not aimed at improving affairs
rather it seems that the majority wing of the majlis is after
dismissing mohajerani from his post.
majlis representative from khaf and rashtkhar gholam heydar
ebrahim buysalami criticized those who are against cultural and
olitical development of the country, accusing them of launching the
impeachment motion due to their lack lack of tolerance.
buysalami said it is mohajerani's turn today to defend his
performance before the nation and majlis and speak of his
responsibility and function as is favored by president khatami's
majlis representative from ardestan (yazd province) valiollah
tavakoli said the the impeachment of mohajerani had been on the
agenda of the right wing since mohajerani was appointed to the post.
the cases for which mohajerani is to be impeached are
all general issues and since the minister is fully aware of his
ministry's function, he would be able to give logical responses to
all the points.
mohajerani would defend himself before the majlis and would
speak of the issues he had not already raised, tavakoli said, adding
that independent deputies would certainly give him a vote of
member of parliament from kerman hossein marashi said that mr.
mohajerani's policy is in line with the platform of the president
elected by the people. "i think mr. mohajerani has been a successful
minister thanks to his transparent and open policy and it is normal
that some mps may not accept his program," marashi said.
he said the people will hear the impeachment and will make
decision about the upcoming parliamentary elections.
marashi said the minister of culture ashi said the minister of
culture and islamic guidance has good
relationship with the parliament and the impeachment motion is more a
mental than a practical move.
"if the minister could not get vote of confidence, which is
unlikely, it would not be a breaking point for kargozaran sazandegi,"
marashi said.
mp from tehran majid ansari said, "i think the right wing has
launched more attacks this year, one of which being the
impeachment motion."

he said he believed that the impeachment motion would lead to
clarification of the government's policy concerning the cultural
issues and the press and the majority of the mps would decide on the
vote of confidence beyond the factional tendency.
"every executive official has strong and weak points and this
applies to the minister of culture and islapplies to the minister of
culture and islamic guidance, but the
ministry has succeeded to a large extent in developing culture
and the media," the tehran mp said.
mp from zahedan abbas-ali noura said the majlis commission on
culture and the islamic guidance held several sessions and asked
questions from the minister but ''unfortunately his words were
never translated into actions.''
noura claimed that the cultural issues are gradually becoming
unethical and causing tension.
he expressed concern that those launching the impeachment motion
might be accused of being against freedom, but "we are against tension
and against rumor mongering and believe that every one should be
given equal opportunity to express themselves."
::irna 21/04/99 20:06

Islamic Guidance Minister To Attend Impeachment Session On Sunday

thr 075
islamic guidance minister to attend impeachment session on sunday
tehran, april 21, irna -- culture and islamic guidance minister
ataollah mohajerani in a letter to majlis speaker hojjatoleslam ali
akbar nateq-nouri here wednesday announced his readiness to attend
majlis session on sunday 25 april for the impeachment hearings.
mohajerani's letter was a response to an impeachment motion tabled
by 31 majlis representatives against mohajerani today.
::irna 21/04/99 21:17

Mohajerani: ''Impeachment Will Add To My Popularity''

thr 009
mohajerani: ''impeachment will add to my popularity''
tehran, april 22, irna -- minister of culture and islamic guidance
ataollah mohajerani said yesterday that the petition by the
conservative members of the majlis to impeach him was politically
motivated and will backfire.
in an interview with 'iran news' printed thursday, he said, ''i
consider the motion to impeach me to be a totally political move.''
''experience has shown that such moves will backfire and only
add to the popularity of the person put under pressure. if, however,
the impeachment petition succeeds in removing me from office, i would
be able to continue my political activities with better planning. i
may run as a candidate in the sixth majlis elections. i am not the
type of person to buckle under pressure; i will continue to fulfill
my political and social duties,'' said mohajerani shortly after the
news of his impeachment broke out.
the motion to impeach mohajerani was addressed to majlis speaker
ali akbar nateq nouri by a group of 31 mps.
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 a number of articles of the
press law, the mps called for mohajerani's impeachment for among
other things ''failing to uphold revolutionary and islamic values'',
the daily wrote.
mohajerani told the paper that the news of his impeachment
motion came as no surprise to him. ''i was expecting this,'' he said.
mohajerani said he had informed majlis speaker of his
preparedness to appear in parliament to answer questions by the
mps on sunday. ''if the majlis fails to meet on sunday, i will
appear in parliament on wednesday,'' he said.
asked to comment on charges that he had attempted to cater to
the right wing by siding with them during the assembly of experts
and city council elections, the resignation of his former press
affairs deputy ahmad bourqani, and the appointment of former deputy
foreign minister abbas maleki as his advisanior, mohajerani replied,
''the ministry of culture supervises a vast area. one cannot employ
individuals with a single inclination at the ministry. this view is
confirmed by the president.''
''mr. bourqani quit upon his own wish, despite my insistence that
he not resign. i never wanted him to resign. regarding mr maleki, as
you know, an advisor does not play a very important role in
decision-making. therefore, his appointment was not in order to
appease any particular faction. moreover, i have known him since the
years before the revolution, and i know that he does not follow
hard-line thinking.''
other charges leveled against mohajerani by the right wing mps
include insulting religious sanctities, promoting separation of
religion and politics, distortion of the late imam khomeini's
theoretical principles, encouraging us-iran ties and helping to
revive the writers' association, iran news wrote.
furthermore, in the petition, mohajerani was accused of
misappropriating funds deposited by people for minor hajj rituals.
mohajerani who is also government spokesman, has 10 days to
defend himself before 270-member parliament. a no-confidence vote by
the majority would lead to his ouster from office.
::irna 22/04/99 11:01

Culture Minister To Address Press Conference Saturday

thr 026
mohajerani-press conference
culture minister to address press conference saturday
tehran, april 22, irna -- minister of culture and islamic guidance
ataollah mohajerani is to address a press conference on saturday.
the minister will address foreign and domestic journalists at
10:00 am saturday at the museum of contemporary art in tehran.
he will answer to journalists' questions on various subjects.
31 majlis deputies yesterday launched an impeachment motion
against the minister of culture. mohajerani will attend the open
session of majlis on wednesdy april 28 to give necessary responses to
questions posed by the deputies.
::irna 22/04/99 15:23

Majlis To Debate Impeachment Motion Against Mohajerani On April 28

thr 020
majlis to debate impeachment motion against mohajerani on april 28
tehran, april 22, irna -- the islamic consultative assembly (majlis)
will start debate on impeachment motion tabled by 31 deputies
against minister of culture and islamic guidance ataollah mohajerani
in its open session next wednesday.
according to public relations department of majlis, the majlis
presiding board has called on all deputies to be present in
the majlis session at 08:00 o'clock wednesday april 28.
31 majlis deputies yesterday called for impeachment of the
minister of culture and islamic guidance.
shortly after the mps' request was presented to the majlis,
mohajerani, in a letter to the majlis speaker ali akbar nateq nouri,
announced his readiness to attend a majlis session on sunday.
according to article 153 of the internal regulations of the
majlis, a minister or all cabinet ministers are duty bound to be
present in majlis within 10 days of the date of the impeachment
motion to give necessary responses to questions posed by deputies.
majlis will hold no session till wednesday.
::irna 22/04/99 13:48

Iranian President Calls on MPS to Support Culture Minister


TEHRAN (April 22) XINHUA - Iranian President Mohammad Khatami
called on Majlis (Parliament) deputies to throw their support
behind his government and the Minister of Culture and Islamic
Guidance Ataollah Mohajerani, the Islamic Republic News Agency
reported on Thursday.

Khatami made the call in a cabinet meeting Wednesday afternoon
after 31 Iranian conservative parliamentarians submitted an
impeachment motion to the Majlis against Mohajerani.

"We do not consider impeachment as a first step towards
resolving the problems of the nation," he said, "however, we
believe there are better ways of consultation and arriving at a

The Iranian president expressed hope that with the trend of
discussion, the majority of Majlis deputies would be behind the
government and throw their support for Mohajerani so that he
could continue cooperating as a minister with the current
government cabinet.

He praised Mohajerani as "a man of culture, wisdom and
potentiality in the area," and termed the achievements of the
culture ministry in the area of literature, art, culture and
information dissemination as "valuable and extensive.'' However,
the conservative Majlis deputies accused Mohajerani of failing
to uphold Islamic and revolutionary values by adopting a liberal
policy on the press, book publishi


Date: Thu, 22 Apr 1999 23:27:12 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Majlis Urged To Study Bill On Amendment To Parliam

Majlis Urged To Study Bill On Amendment To Parliamentary Election

thr 063
majlis urged to study bill on amendment to parliamentary election
tehran, april 21, irna -- some 114 members of parliament in a
letter to majlis speaker ali-akbar nateq-nouri urged that the bill on
amendment to parliamentary election law be put on the majlis agenda.
the letter, a copy of which was made available to irna, regretted
that despite lapse of more than six months since the bill was
presented, the councils and domestic affairs commission of majlis has
not yet offered its report to majlis.
signatories to the letter called on the speaker to put debates on
the bill on the agenda of majlis per article 48 of the parliament's
internal regulations.
::irna 21/04/99 18:53


Date: Thu, 22 Apr 1999 23:27:36 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Government Serious About Tackling Unemployment:Kha

Government Serious About Tackling Unemployment: President

thr 076
government serious about tackling unemployment: president
tehran, april 21, irna -- president seyyed mohammad khatami said here
tuesday that one of the biggest concerns of the government to which
sufficient attention has been paid in the economic rehabilitation
program as well as the third five-year development plan is to remove
the problem of unemployment.
he told a meeting of the high council for employment, which was
attended by 13 ministers and deputy minist13 ministers and deputy
ministers at the plan and budget
organization (pbo) premises, that if proper attention is not paid to
the issue, the problem of unemployment may pose a crisis for the
the president considered the use of initiatives and presenting
innovative plans in this field as being of great importance. he hoped
that given the huge investments being made in the country, the high
council of employment, in collaboration with the special employment
headquarters, will be able to create quick and sustainable job
opportunities within a reasonable period to reduce the problem of
the cabinet has approved the setting up of the special employment
president khatami stressed the establishment of small scale
industries with quick returns, convertible industries and implementing
small scale water and soil projects with a view to create employment.
according to the law, the high employment council is enpowered
with studying supply and demand in the job market in order to strike a
balance between them.
::irna 21/04/99 21:42 ::irna 21/04/99 21:42


Date: Thu, 22 Apr 1999 23:28:42 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: U.S. School Shooting Gets Top Billing On Iran TV

U.S. School Shooting Gets Top Billing On Iran TV

10:26 a.m. Apr 21, 1999 Eastern
TEHRAN, April 21 (Reuters) - Iran's state television allotted 10
minutes to the ``tragic'' U.S. school shooting at the top of its
main news programme on Wednesday, blaming it on the widespread
depiction of violence in American movies.

``A shocking and deadly tragedy in American society,'' said a
reporter, referring to the killing of at least 15 people at a
Colorado high school on Tuesday. ``Our fellow citizens keep
calling to express their repugnance over this tragedy and ask
for more details.''

The television ran a special programme to denounce the abundant
use of violence in U.S. films, which it blamed for the ``wave of
crime'' in Western societies.

Iran's government is sharply critical of the sexual and violent
overtones in Western entertainment, seeing them as anathema to
Islamic values which it seeks to promote.

But despite strict official bans, Western music and films are
popular in Iran and widely available on the black market.

Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.


Date: Thu, 22 Apr 1999 23:30:12 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: On Oil Prices, Production, OPEC, etc.

OPEC Needs Long-Term Strategy, Says Yamani

thr 036
opec needs long-term strategy, says yamani
london, apr. 22, irna -- former saudi arabian oil minister zaki yamani
thursday welcomed opec's recent agreement to boost crude prices by
cutting production but warned more was needed than a 'quick fix'
last month's euphoria was a 'welcome change' to the doom and gloom
in the oil industry, he said. oil prices, which have since risen by 60
per cent to 16 dollars per barrel (dpb), could well go over 20 dpb, if
the cuts are rigorously implemented, he said.
in a keynote address to his center for global energy studies'
ninth annual conference, yamani suggested that while revenues will
begin to swell, ''another surge in non-opec production, could come
perhaps sooner than later and again and again opec will be under
instead of using the income, most of the 12-member countries in
the past have 'squandered billions on ill-conceived projects', he
said. at the same time, opec, with 77 per cent of the world's oil
reserves, has seen its share of production fall to 42 per cent.
what was needed was a ''long-term strategy to stabilise oil prices
and to bring opec's share of world oil production into better balance
with its reserves,'' the former saudi minister said.
also speaking at the two-day conference, president of italy's
enichem, marcello colitti, said that all international oil companies
were 'quite satisfied' to see prices recovering.
the low prices, he said, had led to his company to review its
upstream commitments and had not yet called off this review as the
recovery may not last for an extended period.
colitti argued the oil market had a tendency to fluctuate widely
but said ''it should not reverse the trend toward making a more
rational use of global oil resources.''
this, he said, should be ''through the elimination of politically
motivated artificial barriers to investment'' in new opportunities.
last month, his parent company eni joined elf of france in signing
an $540 million contract to refurbish iran's doroud offshore oil field
in defiance of u.s. sanctions threats.
::irna 22/04/99 21:00


Date: Thu, 22 Apr 1999 23:27:48 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Expediency Council Approves Third Plan'S General P

Expediency Council Approves Third Plan'S General Policies

thr 067
expediency council-rezaie
expediency council approves third plan's general policies
tehran, april 21, irna -- expediency council in its wednesday
session approved the general security, defense
onomic and foreign
policies of the islamic republic system as envisaged in the third
five-year economic, social and cultural development plan. the
council has so far studied 21 points of the government's proposals
and merged some of them.
secretary of the council mohsen rezaie said at the end of the
session that economic rehabilitation, security of investment,
raising the government's efficiency, provision of economic security
and administration of social justice were the points of the macro
economic policies ratified by the council.
::irna 21/04/99 19:16


Date: Thu, 22 Apr 1999 23:27:56 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Iranian President to Visit Saudi Arabia Late May

Iranian President to Visit Saudi Arabia Late May


KUWAIT CITY (April 21) XINHUA - A Saudi official source
confirmed Wednesday that Iranian President Mohammad Khatami will
pay his first official visit to Saudi Arabia in late May.

The source denied that the visit, which was previously planned
in last March, was put off because of Riyahd's position
regarding the dispute between Iran and the United Arab Emirates
(UAE) over the three Gulf islands of Abu Mussa, Greater and
Lesser Tunbs.

The visit was adjourned due to Iran's internal matters, the
source was quoted by Kuwait News Agency as speaking to local

The source reiterated the kingdom's support to the UAE's efforts
aimed at solving the dispute over the islands either through
direct negotiations or by referring it to the international
court of justice in The Hague.

Saudi Arabia was not meditating between Abu Dhabi and Tehran but
might raise this issue during Khatami's visit, the source said.

Saudi Arabia was in mistrust and discord with Iran for nearly
two decades because of Tehran's policy of exporting its Islamic
revolution ideology. The 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran toppled
the late shah's regime and brought about the clergymen's rule.

Relations between the two states began to improve since Khatami,
a political moderate, took office in August 1997.

Khatami expressed desire of easing tension and establishing
mutual trust between Iran and the Gulf Arab countries.

Saudi-Iranian ties saw a big boost in February 1998 when former
Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani made a 14-day visit to

Rafsanjani, still an influential advisor to Iran's supreme
leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, held talks with Saudi leaders on
a broad range of issues of mutual concern.

During the past two years, the two countries exchanged a lot of
other high-level visits aimed at coordinating positions on ways
of lifting oil prices as well as strengthening bilateral ties.

Economic relations were also bolstered following a number of
exhibitions and trade fairs held in both countries.

Riyadh and Tehran also agreed last February to resume regular
flights between the two countries after a suspension of 20


Date: Thu, 22 Apr 1999 23:31:40 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: On Kosovo Crisis

Oic Contact Group Hold Talks With Italian Foreign Minister

thr 007
oic contact group hold talks with italian foreign minister
rome, april 22, irna -- the oic contact group delegation led by iran'
foreign minister kamal kharrazi here wednesday held negotiation with
the italian foreign minister lamberto dini on the latest development
of the kosovo crisis.
the objectives behind the oic-contact-group negotiation with the
neighboring countries of the balkans has been conveying the message of
serious concern of the islamic community on the onslaught of the
kossovo crisis and human catastrophe.
the iranian foreign minister stressed the need for the return of
the displaced kosovars to their home and hearth as an urgent, a
basic and a top-priority issue.
the head of the oic contact group said,"the muslim nations condemn
serbian transgression and that they demand that serb forces withdraw
from kosovo and that the islamic countries were ready to serve as
international peace-keeping forces."
referring to the outcome of his negotiations with the russian
officials in moscow, kharrazi said, "russia as the permanent member of
the united nations security council and as an international contact
group, it was capable of exerting influence over belgrade to help
defuse crisis.
the head of oic delegation said that muslims could not remain
indifferent to the massacres of innocent muslim kosovars and that it
would continue focusing its efforts in defusing the crisis in kosovo
besides providing humanitarian aids for the refugees.
the italian foreign minister on his part welcomed the big muslim
delegation to his country for the exchange of views with the italian
officials on kosovo crisis.
dini expressed concern over the human
dini expressed concern over the human tragedy, massacres and the
displacement of the kosovars. he called for continuation of the
exchange of views.
the italian foreign minister welcomed the proposal of the muslim
nations in being prepared to take the role as international
peace-keeping forces.
the two sides called for an active role of the un security
council and that of the un secretary general in defusing the crisis.
::irna 22/04/99 01:36

Kharrazi Leaves Rome For Bonn

thr 015
contact group-germany
kharrazi leaves rome for bonn
rome, april 22, irna -- iran's foreign minister kamal kharrazi,
heading a high-ranking delegation of the contact group of the
organization of the islamic conference (oic) left here thursday for
germany to continue diplomatic efforts to find a solution to the
kosovo crisis.
during its one-day visit, the delegati
during its one-day visit, the delegation is to meet senior
officials of germany, as the rotating chairman of the european union
(eu), and will discuss the latest developments in kosovo.
the senegalese foreign minister, qatari and pakistani state
ministers for foreign affairs and saudi deputy foreign minister are
accompanying the iranian foreign minister in his visit.
::irna 22/04/99 13:22

Kharrazi Arrives In Bonn

thr 024
kharrazi arrives in bonn
bonn, april 22, irna -- iran's foreign minister kamal kharrazi,
heading a senior delegation of the contact group of the organization
of the islamic conference (oic), arrived here thursday to confer with
german officials to find a solution to the kosovo crisis.
prior to visit to bonn, the oci contact group visited russia,
albania and italy to find a diplomatic solution to the balkan crisis
as well as the critical situation of the kosovar refugees.
the delegation is to meet german foreign minister joschka
fischer this afternoon. the members of the oic delegation will also
address a joint press conference along with fischer later today.
meanwhile, the iranian and german foreign ministers will also
hold talks on the promotion of tehran-bonn relations as well as
matters of mutual interests.
::irna 22/04/99 15:06

UNHCR Appeals For More Nato Help To Deal With Kosovo Refugee

thr 066
unhcr appeals for more nato help to deal with kosovo refugee
iran, april 21, irna -- the united nations high commissioner for
refugees (unhcr), sadako ogata, on tuesday appealed for more help
from nato countries and other states to cope with the unrelenting
stream of refugees from kosovo, united nations information center in
tehran said in a press release on wednesday.
''we will continue to lead this operation, but we urgently need
more contributions of the kind that only the military and civil
protection units can provide,'' ms. ogata said in a statement in
geneva.''we need additional support, and we need it now.''
according to unhcr, there have been reports of new massive
movements of people fleeing their homes inside kosovo and heading
towards the borders.
ms. ogata warned that the hundreds of thousands of refugees were
putting a severe strain on humanitarian agencies. ''this emergency
has already shown that traditional responses are not sufficient,''
she said.
''it is much bigger and much faster than other outflows.
we need help to transport relief supplies. we need help to set up more
the high commissioner also urged that the borders be kept open
to tens of thousands of terrified kosovo refugees, while international
support was mobilized. she welcomed the decision by the former
yugoslav republic of macedonia to allow construction of a new camp,
but said more were needed both in that country and in albania. unhcr
has asked governments to accelerate humanitarian evacuations of
refugees to other countries. to date, more than 15,000 kosovo refugees
have been airlifted to european nations in the unhcr-coordinated
ogata called on political leaders to redouble their efforts to
reach a political solution and said the world must focus on the
immediate cause of the crisis.
''the bottom line is that ethnic cleansing must stop, and it must
stop immediately,'' she said. ''if it does
not end, this crisis will
continue for a long time, and more people will suffer, no matter how
efficient we are in bringing relief to refugees.''
::irna 21/04/99 19:11


Date: Thu, 22 Apr 1999 23:28:08 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: UK'S Chief Government Scientist Apologises For Ira

UK'S Chief Government Scientist Apologises For Iran 'Slur'

thr 064
uk science advisory-iran
uk's chief government scientist apologises for iran 'slur'
london, apr. 21, irna - the british government's chief scientific
advisor, sir robert may, said he "profoundly apologised" for any
offence caused to iranians for remarks attributed to him when
giving testimony to a parliamentary environment committee.
"it was a slip of the tongue and i do apologise," he told irna.
"it never in anyway suggested the (iranian) government," he said.
answering mps questions tuesday, the chief scientific advisor
departed in his testimony on the potential danger of genetically
modified crops to the possibility of terrorists creating genetically
engineered virus to spread deadly diseases.
in this connection, he was quoted by the times newspaper saying
he had "little doubt that in iran and iraq people are thinking
about doing nasty things."
"i do feel very badly about it and i do apologise most
profoundly," sir robert said. "what i said was something like iran, i
mean iraq," he said.
"i was simply saying there were terrorist groups, there was no
suggestions whatsoever of any slur on the government and even the
word iran was a slip," he clarified.
earlier the british government distanced itself from his
reported remarks. a spokesman for the cabinet office suggested its
advisor must have been speaking in a personal capacity, insisting
"his comments were not viewed as government policy."
other british officials expressed anger but were reluctant to
comment publicly, but several privately described his attributed
accusations as "baseless."
::irna 21/04/99 19:03


Date: Thu, 22 Apr 1999 23:28:18 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Iran-UK Ambassador Exchange Remains Matters Of Wee

Iran-UK Ambassador Exchange Remains Matters Of Weeks

thr 031
iran-uk ambassador exchange
iran-uk ambassador exchange remains matters of weeks
london, apr. 22, irna - the british government remains reluctant
to specify what has been causing the delay in implementing last
september's agreement between foreign secretary robin cook and his
iranian counterpart kamal kharrazi.
questing in parliament wednesday on what action london was
taking to exchange ambassadors with iran, foreign office minister
baroness symons only repeated "we expect the exchange will take
place in the next few weeks."
immediately after the agreement seven months ago, foreign office
minister derek fatchett said that simultaneous announcements on the
appointments would be made "shortly."
he also said at the time that he was planning to become the
first british minister to make an official visit to tehran since
the 1979 islamic revolution and that the visit would be a "matter
of weeks."
the foreign office last week denied reports of an imminent
exchange of ambassadors. it also refused to comment on the guardian
newspaper saying that the respective charge d'affaires in tehran and
london would be upgraded to ambassadors.
during a short debate in the house of lords, baroness symons
said that britain "looks on the positive side" of the changes in iran
and, in this respect, was "encouraged to see local elections."
she was also critical of an unofficial statement floating around
parliament in february, alleging that 330 mps were against the uk
restoring full ties with iran.
the statement, the foreign office minister suggested, was based
on the "propaganda" of the so-called national council for the
resistance of iran, which was "dominated by a terrorist organisation,
the mujahedin-e-khalq (mko)."
::irna 22/04/99 17:44


Date: Thu, 22 Apr 1999 23:28:26 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Soccer-Iran Turns Down U.S. Invite To Play June Fr

Soccer-Iran Turns Down U.S. Invite To Play June Friendlies

12:16 p.m. Apr 21, 1999 Eastern
TEHRAN, April 21 (Reuters) - Iran said on Wednesday they would
not visit the United States for soccer friendlies in June but
were considering an invitation to play there in January, the
Iranian news agency IRNA reported.

``Our federation has rejected the U.S. soccer federation's
invitation to play friendly matches in that country in June,''
IRNA quoted soccer federation head Mohsen Safaei Farahani as

Safaei Farahani said Iran, the Asian Games champions, had
informed the Americans ``it was not prepared to travel to
America on that date.''

``America's soccer federation has subsequently invited Iran's
national team to travel to America in January 2000, to which
Iran's soccer federation has not reponded yet,'' he said.

In November, Iranian head coach Mansour Pourheidari said Iran
were likely to accept the American invitation to play friendlies
but details still had to be worked out.

Iran beat the United States 2-1 in their World Cup group match
in Lyon in June, sparking a massive outpouring of joy across the
Islamic republic.

Neither team advanced to the knock-out stages of the tournament.
But world soccer's governing body FIFA awarded the two, together
with Ireland, its 1998 Fair Play prize for their show of
sportsmanship in the match.

It was the first top-level sporting contact between the two
countries since they broke diplomatic ties after the 1979
revolution which toppled U.S.-backed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

Hostile bilateral relations have thawed somewhat since moderate
President Mohammad Khatami called for grassroot exchanges early
last year.

The exchanges have included a visit by a U.S. wrestling team to
Iran in February 1998, the first such trip since the Islamic

Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.


Date: Thu, 22 Apr 1999 23:28:50 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Iraq Accuses Iran of Preparing for Aggression

Iraq Accuses Iran of Preparing for Aggression


BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Iraq has accused Iran of using the violent
actions of an Iranian opposition group to justify a possible
attack against Iraq.

The accusation came in a letter from Iraq's foreign minister
that was delivered to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on
Wednesday. Iraq's official news agency issued a copy of the

Foreign Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf rejected Iran's
assertions that Iraq is to blame for the violent acts of the
Mujahedeen Khalq, an Iranian opposition group with bases in

The group claimed responsibility for the killing of Iran's
deputy chief of staff, Brig. Ali Sayyad Shirazi, on April 10.

Shirazi was a senior army commander during Iran's 1980-88 war
with Iraq. More than a million people were killed or injured on
both sides in the war. The countries accuse each other of still
holding prisoners of war.

Al-Sahhaf said the Khalq also has bases in countries other than
Iraq, some of them also neighbors of Iran.

Iran is only "trying to find excuses and a cover" for any
aggression it might carry out against Iraq and "to interfere in
Iraq's internal affairs," the letter said.

The Mujahedeen Khalq, which has a close relationship with the
Iraqi government, has more than 20,000 militarily trained men
and women in at least five camps near the Iranian border. The
group's fighters often target Iranian government sites.

Iran also hosts Iraqi opposition groups, and Baghdad accuses
Tehran of using them to foment trouble in Iraq. The exiled
dissidents have been blamed for assassination attempts on
several Iraqi leaders including President Saddam Hussein's son,

"Iran is trying to divert attention from the fact that it is
supporting traitors and terrorist groups inside its territory,"
al-Sahhaf said.

The letter accused Iran of killing Shiite religious leaders in
Iraq in an effort to arouse the underprivileged Shiite majority
against the minority Sunni rulers.

Copyright 1999& The Associated Press. All


Date: Thu, 22 Apr 1999 23:29:04 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Israel'S Barak Sees Nukes As Region'S Main Danger

Israel'S Barak Sees Nukes As Region'S Main Danger

12:37 p.m. Apr 21, 1999 Eastern
JERUSALEM, April 21 (Reuters) - Ehud Barak, the frontrunner in
Israel's prime ministerial race, said on Wednesday the possible
spread of nuclear weapons to countries like Iran and Iraq was
the most serious threat facing the Jewish state on its 51st

Barak, 57, said he would raise the issue with Russian Foreign
Minister Igor Ivanov when they meet on Thursday in Jerusalem.

Israel says Russia is helping Iran build long-range missiles and
develop nuclear technology, a charge Moscow denies.

``The possibility that the Middle East will become an area rife
with nuclear weapons, weapons of mass destruction and missiles
that carry these weapons is the biggest danger facing Israel,''
said Barak, an ex-army chief who leads the left-leaning Labour

``In every meeting I have with Russian foreign ministers I voice
our deep concern over the proliferation of weapons and nuclear
technology to Iran and Iraq,'' he told Reuters.

Ivanov, on a regional tour aimed at reviving stalled Middle East
peace talks, arrives in Israel early on Thursday for talks with
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Ariel
Sharon, Barak and other Israeli officials.

He is due to meet Palestinian President Yasser Arafat in the
Gaza Strip on Friday.

Bo isarak, who is seeking to oust Netanyahu in a May 17 general
election, said Israel had just a few years to defuse the nuclear
threat by accelerating peace moves in the region.

He accuses Netanyahu, whom he leads by a slim margin in polls,
of running Middle East peacemaking into the ground.

Israel has pressed Moscow to halt the transfer of weapons
technology to Iran, which last year test-launched a long-range
ballistic missile with enough range to reach Israeli cities.

Recent visits to Russia by Sharon and Netanyahu have prompted
reports that relations between the two countries were warming.


Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.


End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 21 Apr 1999 to 22 Apr 1999 - Special issue