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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 23 Apr 1999 to 24 Apr 1999 - Special issue
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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 23 Apr 1999 to 24 Apr 1999 - Special issue
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There are 9 messages totalling 1347 lines in this issue.
Topics in this special issue:
1. IRAN: CONVICTED SHI'A CLERIC MUST BE RELEASED
2. Islamic republic censured by the UN Human Rights commission
3. Indyk underlines the new version of "Dual containment".
4. On Impeachment Of Mohajerani - 1
5. On Impeachment of Mohajerani - 2
6. On Impeachment of Mohajerani - 3
7. On Razini Assassination
8. On Recent Assassinations
9. On Human Right Condition in Iran
Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1999 10:44:56 -0500
From: aryopirouznia <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: IRAN: CONVICTED SHI'A CLERIC MUST BE RELEASED
* News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty
News Service: 075/99
AI INDEX: MDE 13/06/99
22 April 1999
CONVICTED SHI'A CLERIC MUST BE RELEASED
Amnesty International is today expressing concern for the sentencing of
a Shi'a cleric and religious scholar to 18 months' imprisonment,
reportedly on charges related to his conscientiously held beliefs and
Hojjatoleslam val Moslemin Mohsen Kadivar was sentenced by the Special
Court for the Clergy (Dadgah-e Vizhe-ye Ruhaniyat) on 21 April 1999.
Amnesty International has in the past expressed its concern that trials
before this court frequently fall far short of minimum international
fair trial standards.
Amnesty International believes that Mohsen Kadivar is a prisoner of
conscience, and calls upon the government of the Islamic Republic of
Iran to release him immediately and unconditionally.
Mohsen Kadivar's trial before the Special Court for the Clergy began on
14 April 1999. He had been arrested on 27 February 1999, after having
been called for questioning one week previously.
The charges brought against him reportedly include "propaganda against
the sacred system of the Islamic Republic", "publishing lies" and
"confusing public opinion". These charges are believed to relate to an
article published in the newspaper Khordad on 14 February 1999 in which
he appeared to question the role of the clergy in the government of Iran
and expressed concerns over controls on freedom of expression. While in
prison awaiting the start of his trial, Mohsen Kadivar is reported to
have told his family, "My arrest is the price we pay for freedom".
Reports suggest that Mohsen Kadivar intends to appeal against his
conviction; however it is as yet unclear whether this appeal will be
accepted by the court.
For further information on Amnesty International's concerns about the
fairness of trials before the Special Court for the Clergy see Iran-
Human Rights Violations Against Shi'a Religious Leaders and their
Followers, AI Index MDE 13/18/97, pp 4, 27.
Amnesty International, International Secretariat, 1 Easton Street,
WC1X 8DJ, London, United Kingdom
You may repost this message onto other sources provided the main
text is not altered in any way and both the header crediting
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Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1999 11:02:38 -0500
From: aryopirouznia <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Islamic republic censured by the UN Human Rights commission
Iran censured for human rights violations
16:13 GMT, 23 April 1999
GENEVA, April 23 (AFP)
The Human Rights Commission Friday adopted a resolution against Iran that
mixed condemnation with encouragement.
Some 23 countries voted for the EU-sponsored initiative, with 16 against and
The resolution took Iran to task for abuses that included a high number of
executions, cases of torture, and inhuman treatment including sentences of
stoning and public executions.
The use of national security laws to deny the rights of the individual was
on the list while Iran was faulted for continued discrimination against
women and religious minorities, particularly a worsening pattern of
persecution against the Baha'is.
Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1999 16:07:34 -0400
From: Rahim Bajoghli <rbajoghli@JUNO.COM>
Subject: Indyk underlines the new version of "Dual containment".
23 April 1999
TEXT: INDYK REMARKS AT NY COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS APRIL 22
(Says US is committed to a better future for the Middle East) (5910)
AMBASSADOR MARTIN S. INDYK
ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR NEAR EASTERN AFFAIRS
REMARKS TO THE COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
NEW YORK CITY
APRIL 22, 1999
President Khatami's election in Iran and the recent local elections there
have made clear that a significant majority of the people of this great
nation support political liberalization, respect for the rule of law, and
a constructive role for Iran in regional and international affairs. But
this evolution still faces strong and
sometimes violent opposition from some quarters inside Iran. Moreover,
Iran's determined development of ballistic missiles to enable delivery of
its weapons of mass destruction over long distances has the potential to
trigger a new and dangerous arms race across the region.
In May of 1993, almost six years ago, I outlined the Clinton
Administration's dual containment policy towards Iraq and Iran. This
policy reflected the geo-political reality at the time: the recent
conclusion of three wars -- the Cold War, the Iran-Iraq war, and the war
to liberate Kuwait -- had left the United States the dominant
power in the region. It had also left both Iran and Iraq, while war-weary
and economically weakened, still militarily ambitious and clearly hostile
to the United States and our interests in the region.
Dual containment was premised on the notion that the U.S. needed to shift
away from our earlier policy of relying on one of these regional powers
to balance the other, a policy we had followed throughout the previous
decade with disastrous results. Rather, we would now focus our efforts on
containing Saddam Hussein's threats to his neighbors
and his own people, while at the same time pursuing multilateral efforts
to prevent Iran from acquiring and developing weapons of mass destruction
and the ballistic missiles necessary to deliver them. Our policy
vis-a-vis Iran was also based on continuing to seek change in
dangerous Iranian policies -- including support for terrorism, subversion
of friendly governments and violent opposition to the Middle East peace
process -- through economic pressure aimed mainly at Iran's oil industry.
Dual containment, however, never prescribed identical policies towards
Iraq and Iran, nor was dual containment designed to be static or
inflexible over time. Indeed, it is quite natural that these two states
would evolve differently, and that our policies would evolve in
response. Nor was dual containment meant to impose a kind of Pax
Americana on the region, in which Iran and Iraq -- both large and
important regional players -- would permanently be excluded from making
positive and constructive contributions to the economics, politics, and
security of the region, should they be inclined to
change their hostile ways.
The evolution in Iran, and hence our own response, has been markedly
different. In recent years, the Iranian people have demonstrated a desire
for greater participation in their governance, freedom from
undue interference by the state in their private affairs, and greater
openness and contact with the outside world. Iran's leaders have taken
steps to address these concerns, conducting free and fair presidential
and local elections, allowing increased public debate, and publicly
shifting from a foreign policy of confrontation to one of dialogue and
cooperation. Despite these positive developments, we continue to have
serious concerns about some Iranian policies that violate international
norms and threaten our interests and those of our allies.
We would be remiss, however, were we to fail to adjust our approach to
the changing reality in Iran. As Iran's leaders have shown an interest in
re-engaging with the international community, we have sought to respond
by highlighting our interest in engaging Iran in a dialogue,
an approach first enunciated by Secretary Albright last June in her
speech to the Asia Society here in New York.
Let me lay out our current policies towards Iraq and Iran in more depth.
Turning to Iran, Secretary Albright discussed our policy towards Iran at
length in her Asia Society speech last June. The main point the Secretary
made was that we are prepared to develop with the Islamic Republic, when
it is ready, a road map in which both sides would take parallel steps
leading to normal relations. Unfortunately, the Iranian Government has
made it clear that at this stage it is not ready to engage, insisting
instead that the U.S. first take a number of unilateral steps.
Given Iran's reluctance to begin a bilateral dialogue, we have pursued
other avenues that can serve to broaden our engagement with Iran. We have
worked constructively with Iran in multilateral settings on issues of
common concern, such as the spread of narcotics and the situation in
Afghanistan. Last year, Iran's eradication of its poppy
crop made it possible for us to remove Iran from our list of major drug
producers, and we fully support the UN Drug Control Program's plans to
increase its activities in Iran. This is a case where positive Iranian
actions have been met with a positive U.S. response.
We also continue to work with Iran in the six-plus-two forum at the
United Nations on Afghanistan, where the Islamic Republic has played a
constructive role in the search for a peaceful solution to the civil
strife in that war-torn country. As chair of the Organization of the
Islamic Conference, Iran has become more actively involved in the search
for diplomatic solutions to other world crises, and we welcome that as
well, including the OIC's support for efforts in Kosovo.
We have also supported greater contact between our two peoples, for we
believe that such exchanges can increase mutual understanding and respect
and can help overcome decades of mistrust. We have streamlined our visa
policies and supported academic and athletic exchanges. We have hosted
wrestling teams, newspaper editors, film directors and musicians, and
numerous Iranian scholars. We have also on occasion relaxed the 25-mile
travel limit for Iranian officials assigned to Iran's Mission to the
United Nations, allowing Iran's ambassador to the United Nations and
other officials to speak to American audiences
in California, Michigan, Pennsylvania and elsewhere.
We are pleased that Iran has opened its doors to increasing numbers of
American visitors -- wrestling teams, scholars, graduate students, and
museum officials. But we are disappointed that the Iranian government
has not yet shown the same readiness for the Iranian public to hear
directly from U.S. officials, or even ex-officials, about our
perspectives on the way forward.
Given the intense interest in U.S. sanctions policy with respect to Iran,
I would like to remind you of the rationale for the sanctions as well as
our reasons for some decisions we have made recently in this regard.
First, U.S. sanctions are a response to Iranian Government
practices that violate international norms and threaten our interests and
those of our allies. Their intent is to deprive Iran of the resources to
pursue those activities and to demonstrate to Iran's leaders that
pursuing such policies comes at a price.
Some of these objectionable Iranian Government practices unfortunately
have continued, although not to the same degree in all areas, under the
present government. Iran remains on this year's State Department list of
state supporters of terrorism. While we have seen some
diminution in the number of assassinations of Iranian dissidents abroad,
and condemnation by Iranian officials of certain terrorist attacks, Iran
continues to provide support to a variety of terrorist groups,
particularly some of those that violently oppose progress in
the Middle East peace process. President Khatami has publicly denounced
terrorism and condemned the killing of innocents, including Israelis; the
Iranian government has also stated that Iran would accept peace
acceptable to the Palestinians. We assume that these statements are
sincerely made, and it is therefore also reasonable for
us to expect that the actions and policies of the Islamic Republic should
reflect them. Unfortunately, so far this has not been the case.
Of greatest concern to us, however, is Iran's continued drive to develop
weapons of mass destruction and the ballistic missiles necessary to
deliver them. Clandestine efforts to procure nuclear, chemical and
biological weapons continue despite Iran's adherence to relevant
international nonproliferation conventions. In this regard, we are
particularly concerned about Iran's nuclear drive. Last summer, Iran also
tested a ballistic missile -- the Shehab III -- capable of delivering
warheads 800 miles. We have reports that Iran is close to producing a
missile with an even greater range. These developments
pose significant potential threats to U.S. forces and our friends in the
region. Clearly, our concern about Iranian WMD and missile development
must be considered in a regional context. We continue to support a Middle
East free of all WMD. But the kind of proliferation we see in the region
today -- be it in Iran, India, or Pakistan -- is leading exactly in the
wrong direction. Proliferation on the eastern side of the Persian Gulf
is, among other things, increasing nervousness on the other side of the
Gulf and could drive other countries to seek their own weapons systems.
We have to act quickly to forestall this imminent arms race in ballistic
missiles and WMD by working with our friends in the region including the
GCC, Jordan, and Israel, to develop effective responses to the emerging
threat. These responses include: strengthening active and passive
defenses; enhancing deterrence; slowing down proliferation; and if
possible, moderating the policies of those regimes that are trying to
acquire these systems.
Iran's efforts to develop WMD and ballistic missiles together with its
other ongoing policies of concern are the reason we oppose investment in
Iran's petroleum sector, Iran's participation in the development of
Caspian resources, multilateral lending to Iran, and Iran's full
integration in international economic fora. A change in the U.S. position
on these issues will require Iran to bring its practices into line with
international norms, or at least demonstrate a willingness to begin such
a process. We look forward to a time when greater economic interaction
with Iran will be possible, but this depends not just on us, but on the
Iranian Government's willingness to address practices that in our view
continue to disqualify Iran from enjoying the full economic and
commercial advantages that come with responsible membership in the
Finally, we continue to observe with great interest internal developments
in Iran. As we have often said, we fully respect Iran's sovereignty and
the right of the Iranian people to choose their system of government as
they see fit. That said, we will not shy away from expressing our support
for values that we believe to be universal: human rights, rule of law,
free markets, and democracy. In this regard, both the presidential
election in 1997 and the recent municipal elections were remarkable for
their openness and the level of participation of the Iranian people. We
continue to believe that nations living according to democratic and
pluralistic values internally will also abide more fully and more
naturally with internationally accepted norms of behavior in their
foreign policies. This is a principle that underlines our approaches to
both Iran and Iraq.
At the close of the twentieth century, the United States occupies a
unique position in the history of international relations. We are both
the world's leading democracy and its sole superpower. As the world's
foremost democracy, the people of the United States expect their country
will act in defense of the values and beliefs it represents. As the
single remaining superpower, we have a responsibility to use our power in
the interests of international peace and security.
For this reason, we now find ourselves facing demands for intervention in
ways and in places that are unprecedented. As befits our unique position
in the world, and consistent with our national interests, we must be
The history of the post-cold war world has demonstrated, however, that we
cannot effectively impose solutions on unwilling partners or hostile
adversaries unilaterally. Our preponderant economic and military strength
notwithstanding, advancing national interests and fulfilling the
responsibilities of a superpower is a multilateral exercise. Simply put,
while we will and must lead, we should not go it alone.
Containing Saddam Hussein; working for a new government in Iraq;
promoting an Arab-Israeli peace; fighting terrorism and the proliferation
of weapons of mass destruction requires the support and cooperation of
our regional friends and allies. Over the course of years of sustained
diplomacy, we have developed a level of trust and confidence with the key
states of the region. This gives us confidence that our policies of
expanded engagement and strengthened containment will prevail over time.
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Date: Sun, 25 Apr 1999 00:12:40 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: On Impeachment Of Mohajerani - 1
Impeachment Hearing Of Mohajerani To Be Held May 1, 1999
impeachment hearing of mohajerani to be held may 1, 1999
tehran, april 23, irna -- public relations office of the islamic
consultative assembly (majlis) announced here thursday night that
the impeachment hearing of the culture and islamic guidance minister
ataollah mohajerani would be held on saturday may 1, 1999.
majlis is expected to hold an open session of the impeachment
hearing and has asked all the deputies to be present at 8:00 am local
time (0430 hours universal time).
initially the impeachment hearing session was to be held on
wednesday april 28, 1999.
the culture and islamic guidance minister earlier in his letter
to majlis speaker hojjatoleslam ali akbar nateq-nouri had announced
his readiness to attend the session on sunday april 25, 1999.
31 majlis representatives last wednesday had signed a letter of
impeachment of the islamic guidance minister.
::irna 23/04/99 20:29
Minister Says He Will Receive Vote Of Confidence From Majlis
minister says he will receive vote of confidence from majlis
tehran, april 24, irna -- minister of culture and islamic guidance
ataollah mohajerani predicted that the impeachment motion tabled by
31 mps against him will fail.
"the mps calling for the impeachment will most probably fail in
their bid," mohajerani told a news conference attended by domestic
and foreign reporters in tehran saturday.
he said his opponents in the majlis had done their best to reject
him when he was introduced by president mohammad khatami as minister
of culture and islamic guidance, "but they failed."
last wednesday, 31 mps called for the impeachment of mohajerani
accusing his ministry of a series of press violations and of
questioning the performance of the judiciary.
shortly after learning about the impeachment request, mohajerani
informed the majlis speaker that he was ready to defend himself at
the parliament on sunday (april 25) or wednesday (april 28). the
majlis set the date for the impeachment debate on may 1.
mohajerani also said in a newspaper interview printed thursday
that his impeachment was totally politically motivated and that it
would only add to his popularity.
he told the english daily iran news that if he fails, he would
not abandon his political and social activities and would run as a
candidate in the next majlis elections.
::irna 24/04/99 13:19
Mohajerani Sure To Receive Vote Of Confidence
mohajerani sure to receive vote of confidence
tehran, april 24, irna -- the culture and islamic guidance
minister, ataollah mohajerani told a press conference here on saturday
that most probably, those majlis deputies launching a censure motion
against him would fail to dismiss him from his post.
on reasons for his impeachment motion at majlis slated for may 1,
mohajerani said that according to the impeachment petition siged by
31 majlis deputies, he has allegedly fallen short of carrying out
his duties in the areas of press, cinema, book publication, theater
and minor hajj in accordance with the law.
the minister expressed hope that however, explanations he would
give to the deputies would convinced the deputies and would remove
many existing misunderstandings.
asked on any change in policies of his ministry, mohajerani said
these policies follow the government's general policies and that
these policies would continue whether he received a vote of
confidence or not.
asked whether he would be appointed as tehran's mayor in case
he was given a vote of no confidence, mohajerani said that he would
not remain jobless if he canot retain his present post after his
impeachment, as was the case with former interior minister abdollah
nouri who was elected as the top representative of people to the
city coucil and is now acting as manager of daily khordad.
mohajerani also predicted that through this move the majority wing
of the fifth majlis would be turned into a minority group in the
sixth term of the majlis,'' he predicted.
asked whether during his impeachment session he would divulge
unsaid things, mohajerani said he always preferred the interests of
the country and system to other issues and his tone at the session
would be such that suits the tone of the architects of the impeachment
on limits of the freedom of press in iran, mohajerani said
that the limits cannot be determined according to a sigle taste and
on the basis of the article 24 of the iranian constitution, the press
are free to express their views unless they harm the foundations
of islam or public rights.
he said that the public culture council has been assigned by
the high council for cultural revolution to determine, in cooperation
with thinkers and religious jurists, the points which might harm the
foundations of islam and public rights.
asked to comment on the return to cultural scene of persons
affiliated to the previous regime of iran and on poisonous cultural
climate of the country, mohajerani said he did not consider the
present cultural climate of the country to be suitable for cultural
and arts activities and not poisonous.
he said that circulation of the press in the country have risen to
2,730,000 at present from 1,200,000 when he took office,
adding that this shows that such an increase in the cisculation
of the press shows the increase in the possibility of expressing
different views and tastes in the press.
''at a time when even pupils have access to the internet through
phones and satellite receivers can relay programs of the t.v. networks
to their viewers easily, would it be advisable to cut off our phone
lines or tell people not to use satellites?'' asked mohajerani.
he said: ''so what should we do with our border dwellers who
receive t.v. programs broadcast from neighboring countries through
''we should not be embarrassed by the opposite views rather we
should let them be raised and we had better be after finding suitable
answers to them,'' he said.
that's the duty of the security system to deal with the people,
if any, who are busy hatching plots in the domian of the press,
culture and book publication, mohajerani said.
he said if something is published in the press for whose
publication a part of 20 million dollar budget allocated by the
u.s. for anti-iran activities is spent, then the security system and
the revolutionary court should deal with it.
on the possibility of receiving a vote of confidence, mohajerani
said that he had clear-cut answers to all questions to be raised in
asked why he had not talked to representatives in the closed door
sessions of majlis before the censure motion is tabled, mohajerani
said that in a letter addressed to majlis speaker ali-akbar
nateq-nouri last year he had expressed his readiness to attend majlis
to answer the questions of representatives.
he added that this april too, he had informed president khatami on
the subject but majlis announced that it would not have any closed
door session with representatives from that time onward.
however, he said, a closed door session was later organized,
in which oil minister bijan namdar zanganeh and head of the state
organization for employment and administrative affairs attended,
and later on the impeachment motion was tabled against him.
he made it clear that he would not revise the policies of his
ministry due to the impeachment motion.
''a chicken can not be put back into the egg'' said the minister
in response to question that whether cultural development policies
would be changed.
asked why expediency council chairman ayatollah akbar hashemi
rafsanjani had not voiced any comment on the impeachment motion
against him, who is a member of kargozaran sazandegi party, mohajerani
replied that mr. hashemi is not a member of the party which was
formed during his presidency.
mohajerani maintained that it is not necessary for such iranian
dignitaries to intervene in the issue. mohajerani also appreciated
president khatami for his ''kind remarks'' in support of the culture
and islamic guidance ministry.
::irna 24/04/99 17:51
Date: Sun, 25 Apr 1999 00:13:02 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: On Impeachment of Mohajerani - 2
Iran Hard-Liners Take on Moderate
By Anwar Faruqi
Associated Press Writer
Thursday, April 22, 1999; 4:18 p.m. EDT
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- Iran's parliament has begun
impeachment proceedings against the country's culture minister,
a promoter of greater media freedom.
In trying to impeach Ataollah Mohajerani, hard-liners claim his
ministry has granted excessive media freedom since August 1997,
when moderate Mohammad Khatami became president. The ministry
allowed newspapers to ``insult Islamic sanctities'' and
``challenge religion,'' the hard-liners say.
The parliament began the impeachment proceedings against
Mohajerani on Wednesday. More than half the lawmakers must vote
to allow the impeachment, a likely possibility given that
hard-liners have a slight majority.
Mohajerani was scheduled to defend himself in parliament next
Wednesday but has already spoken out against his detractors.
``I consider the motion to impeach me to be a totally political
move,'' Mohajerani said in an interview published Thursday in
the English-language Iran News daily. ``Experience has shown
that such moves will backfire and only add to the popularity of
the person put under pressure.''
Khatami has been quick to defend his minister. In a speech
Wednesday, the president said Mohajerani's services to the
ministry had been ``valuable and extensive.''
The impeachment is the latest power struggle between the
president and Iran's hard-liners.
The conservative clerical establishment wants to rule with the
same iron hand that has gripped Iran since the 1979 Islamic
Revolution ousted the U.S.-backed shah and installed the
Khatami has sought to change that by allowing a relatively free
press, which has been overwhelmingly against hard-liners. The
media and the public have begun to question the clergy's claim
to have the divine right to rule.
The hugely popular Khatami also has relaxed restrictions imposed
by Islamic laws that dictate everything from how women should
dress in public to what kind of music is permissible.
© Copyright 1999 The Associated Press
Khatami Aide Iran'S Cultural Thaw Irreversible
07:05 a.m. Apr 24, 1999 Eastern
By Jonathan Lyons
TEHRAN, April 24 (Reuters) Iran's minister of culture,
threatened with impeachment by hardline rivals, said on Saturday
the liberal policies he and President Mohammad Khatami had set
in motion would prove irreversible even if he were hounded from
Attaollah Mohajerani, poised and confident despite months of
personal attacks by the conservative-led parliament that
culminates in a no-confidence vote on May 1, also vowed his
critics would pay a heavy political price for his ousting.
``The time for banning publication of opposition views has
passed,'' Mohajerani, point-man in the president's cultural
thaw, told a news conference. ``The chick cannot be put back
into the egg.''
He said conservatives would not stop at his removal from office,
but were seeking to reverse altogether Khatami's social and
political liberalisation, a tactic that could only backfire.
``I believe members of parliament have made a mistake in their
calculations. If it (the impeachment) succeeds it will not be in
the interest of parliament. The (conservative) majority will
become much weaker if they succeed in removing me.''
Thirty-one conservative MPs submitted a petition on April 21 to
demand Mohajerani's removal from office ``for failing to uphold
Islamic and revolutionary values (and) insulting religious
Under Mohajerani's guidance, Iran has seen an explosion of
independent newspapers and magazines, offering a broad spectrum
of news and opinion. According to ministry figures, daily
circulation of newspapers and journals has increased from 1.2
million at the start of Khatami's term in 1987 to 2.73 million
This press revolution, central to Khatami's bid for creation of
a civil society within Iran's Islamic system, has deeply alarmed
the conservative establishment which has watched its monopoly on
news and information steadily evaporate.
Unable so far to take on the popular president directly, critics
instead have aimed at his culture minister, the most influential
domestic figure in the Khatami cabinet.
``It is not just a question of the minister staying or going.
This whole business of tolerance must be wrapped up and thrown
away,'' a senior conservative cleric told Tehran's Friday
In addition to the liberalisation of the press, Mohajerani has
helped narrow the gaping rift between the government and some of
Iran's leading secularist intellectuals. His ministry has also
promoted the flowering of Iranian film, particularly abroad, and
encouraged celebrations of the traditional, pre-Islamic Iranian
New Year festival.
Such policies, he said, were in line with both Khatami's
campaign promises and his own programme, as presented during his
initial approval as minister by the parliament.
``Whatever has changed in the ministry has been based on the
policies of the honourable president of the Islamic Republic of
Iran at the time of his campaign,'' he told reporters. ``The
policies in the field of culture will not change.''
Still, the minister suggested the impeachment fight long
threatened might in fact prove welcome after so many false
starts. His political future, he said, was secure no matter the
``This was not unexpected. The discussion of impeachment was
like a sword over the head of the culture minister since my very
first day,'' he said.
Recalling the political resurrection of former interior minister
Abdollah Nouri, impeached by the same parliament last summer,
Mohajerani said he, too, could expect a sharp jump in his
approval ratings at the hands of the conservatives.
``Members of parliament removed Mr Nouri and he came in first in
(February's) elections for the Tehran city council. I believe
the same will happen in the case of the culture minister.''
Mohajerani, a former vice-president and MP, has been mentioned
in recent days as a possible candidate for mayor, a post to be
filled by the capital's new pro-Khatami city council.
It is impossible to predict the outcome of the no-confidence
vote, but some analysts say the hardening rhetoric from the
conservatives and the collapse of a planned closed-door meeting
between Mohajerani and his critics suggest his defeat is
Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.
Date: Sun, 25 Apr 1999 00:13:52 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: On Impeachment of Mohajerani - 3
WITH IMPECHING MOHAJERANI, MONOPOLISTS DIG THEIR GRAVE
By Safa Haeri
PARIS 23RD APR. (IPS) With the Majles (parliament) to go ahead
next week with the impeachment of Dr Ata'ollah Mohajerani, the
embattled Islamic Guidance Minister and the Government's
official Spokesman, the war between the dominant and domineering
conservatives and the popular, but powerless reformists entered
a new, dangerous phase.
On 21 April, 31 hard line MPs introduced a petition, calling for
the impeachment of Mr. Mohajerani, charging him with encouraging
anti-revolutionary, anti-Islamic intellectuals and press,
neglecting his constitutional duties that are upholding and
defending Islamic culture and revolutionary values, fighting
corrupt Western culture, stopping prostitution and immoral
behaviours, stopping insults against Islam, the leader and high
ranking clerics. They also charged him of misappropriating
public funds for minor Hajj rituals.
"During his tenure, not only Mr. Mohajerani has done nothing in
checking the above-mentioned wrongdoing, to prevent insulting
sacred Islamic values, corruption and prostitution,
anti-religious feelings and calls for the separation of religion
from State, but he has encouraged the "taghouti" (Monarchists
and Capitalists) writers and intellectuals, allowed insult
against the armed forces and their commanders, backed resumption
of relations with the US, revised principles defended by the
late grand ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeiny and adopted liberal
policy on the press, book publishing and artistic life", the
legislators highlighted in their motion.
To most Iranian analysts and observers, the impeachment of Mr.
Mohajerani is part of a greater plan prepared the hard liners.
Code-named "Moharram Project", from the name of the first month
of the Islamic calendar where religious fervours and mourning
are very high in Shi'a Iran, the scheme aims at eliminating key
pro-Khatami reformists before the next parliamentary elections
"With (the former Mayor of Tehran Qolamhosein) Karbaschi very
likely to be imprisoned for several years, with the newspaper
Zan (owned and edited by Mrs. Fa'ezeh Hashemi, the daughter of
the former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani) suspended and
with Mr. Mohajerani now impeached, one can see that the
monopolists are sidelining the Servant of Reconstruction Party
(SRP) before attacking the left wing of the Khatami's
coalition", the new liberal daily "Neshat" hinted.
At the core of the battle lies the fear of the conservatives to
loose the next Majles to the reformists. To stop this next,
magisterial defeat and the subsequent lost of the parliament,
one of their strongest positions; the hard liners are planning
the elimination of all key personalities around President
Mr. Mohajerani said the motion to impeach him was "totally
political". "Experience has shown that such moves will backfire
and only add to the popularity of the person put under
pressure," he said, adding that he would continue his political
activities" with better planning" in case the impeachment would
President Mohammad Khatami on Wednesday defended the action of
his Minister, praised Mr. Mohajerani as "a man of culture,
wisdom and potentiality" and termed the achievements of the
culture ministry in the areas of literature, arts, and culture
and information dissemination as "valuable and extensive."
But as he was speaking at a cabinet meeting, in the Majles, some
deputies attacked him very strongly, asking him to "stop talking
nonsense" and do something to alleviate people's real problem.
"What you mean by freedom? Do you think one can solve people's
and nation's economic burdens with such empty slogans and
words?" asked the MP that introduced the motion against the
Owner and Editor of "Payam Hamoun", Mr. Mohammad Sadeq
Javadi-Hesar explained that by supporting Mr. Mohajerani, the
president was also defending both himself and the programs of
"Mr. Mohajerani has always said he would welcome the idea of
impeachment since it would give him the opportunity to explain
and defend his action at the Guidance Ministry. Now, here is the
occasion for him no to do so only, but also inform the whole
nation about all the difficulties the hard liners creates for
the government, and this from the Majles tribune", he said.
What had prompted the 31 MPs to sign a petition against Mr.
Mohajerani is that he dared to criticise openly the Head of the
Judiciary, the hawkish and vulgar ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi, for
having ordered the closure of Zan, after the feminist daily
printed two lines of a New Year message from former Empress
Mr. Yazdi appointed to his job by the leader, the ayatollah Ali
Khameneh'i consider the item as a deliberate
"anti-revolutionary, anti-Islamic, anti-State" action.
The Guidance Ministry that supervise and controls the press says
the incriminated item is not a crime and certainly is not
against Islam or the revolution to be dealt with by the Islamic
revolution court, but a fault worth of a warning, that the
Guidance Ministry has delivered to the paper.
Mr. Shaban Shahidi, the new Deputy Guidance Minister in charge
of the press and propaganda says the supervisory board examined
the case of Zan and reached the conclusion that one can not
decide on the faith of the paper just because one ill-fated
Mr. Iraj Jamshidi, a free lance journalist in Tehran says the
closure of Zan on charges of printing the message from Mrs. Diba
and a cartoon ridiculing the Islamic law of dieh, or blood
money, that for a woman is half of that of a man is but a
pretext to start the assault against the reformists.
"What ever the charges, the decision by the Islamic revolution
court is illegal. Mrs. Hashemi has rejected this ruling and
challenged Mr. Yazdi to come out with legal, convincing
arguments. But so far the Judiciary has failed", he pointed out.
Mr. Javadi Hesar thinks that even if Mr. Mohajerani is
impeached, that will change nothing for Mr. Khatami's policies,
as he would name someone who would continue the same programmes,
same thing he did with Mr. Nouri. "But in the meantime, the
monopolist front would emerge as the main looser, since it would
have taken the mask off its visage", he said. ENDS MOHAJERANI
Yazd Governor General, Mp React To Impeachment Motion
yazd governor general, mp react to impeachment motion
tehran, april 24, irna -- a deputy from khorramabad, lorestan
province in the majlis saturday reacting to the impeachment motion
against the culture and islamic guidance minister, ataollah mohajerani
said the motion is aimed at impeaching freedom of expression and
the mp, koroush fouladi in his statement, a copy of which was
made available to irna, said mohajerani's impeachment is impeachment
of (president) khatami and the latter's impeachment means a motion
against the peopl's vote.
now that the constitution of the islamic republic is going to be
enforced some individuals dislike its implementation, the statement
said warning them not to sacrifice the nation's fate for their own
thirty-one mps tabled a censure motion on wednesday against
mohajerani for laxity in journalistic and artistic activities,
and in the defense of islamic values."
mohajerani will attend the majlis on may 1, to defend himself and
in order to receive a vote of confidence.
meanwhile, governor general of yazd pr meanwhile, governor
general of yazd province gholamali sefid also
reacted to the impeachment motion and said there are other issues
behind the censure motion including factional interests.
although it is the right of the majlis to impeach the ministers,
the parliament should make use of this right properly, he said adding
the impeachment targets the government.
::irna 24/04/99 17:00
Daily Comments On Impeachment Of Mohajerani
daily comments on impeachment of mohajerani
tehran, april 24, irna -- 'iran daily' saturday commenting on the
impeachment of the minister of culture and islamic guidance, ataollah
mohajerani said that the question which comes to mind is whether the
signatories of the impeachment motion wish to eliminate mohajerani as
per public demand, factional considerations or personal gains.
majlis is scheduled to discuss the petition by a group of
deputies to impeach mohajerani in its open session on saturday may
praising mohajerani's performance as minister of culture, the
english-language daily added that even when president mohammad
khatami held the post of the culture ministry in the previous
administration, he frequently pointed to the importance of open and
extensive cultural activities within the framework of the rule of law
in his campaign promises.
this indicates ''the opponents of mohajerani are seriously
against president mohammad khatami's cultural reform policies as
well,'' it said.
however, ''apart from the very nature of the impeachment motion,
the intentions of his opponents to eliminate him from the scene are
vital at this juncture. if opposition to mohajerani carries a
factional weight, then the issue will intensify factional differences,
resulting in the replacement of solidarity with discord,''pointed
out the paper.
referring to the removal of former interior minister abdollah
nouri from the cabinet, the daily pointed out that his removal did
not imply the elimination of his viewpoints from the ministry.
''in fact, his replacement, abdolvahed mousavi-lari, emphasized
that he would abide by nouri's policies in handling the ministry's
affairs. by the same token, in case of mohajerani's elimination, his
policies will continue to dominate the ministry as they are also
backed by the chief executive,'' noted the daily.
''a glance at the track record of political groups ''reveals that
if factional interests take precedence over public wishes or if the
public demands are ignored then there is no reason to believe that
public confidence in the system will endure,'' said the paper in
::irna 24/04/99 11:31
Date: Sun, 25 Apr 1999 00:15:14 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: On Razini Assassination
Mahdaviyat' Group Behind Razini'S Aborted Assassination Attempt
mahdaviyat' group behind razini's aborted assassination attempt
tehran, april , irna -- commander of ground forces of the islamic
revolution's guards corps (irgc) brigadier general mohammad ali
jaafari here saturday announced that a group called 'mahdaviyat' was
behind the assassination attempt against the life of hojatoleslam ali
razini, head of tehran justice department.
speaking to reporters, brigadier general jaafari said the
30-member group had intellectual links with a clergyman named
`milani', the grandson of ayatollah seyed mohammad hadi milani (a
prominent shia scholar and source of emunation who passed away before
the revolution). the commander said milani has been arrested.
some section of the press had accused the irgc of being behind
the assassination of razini.
commander jaafari said the group has deviational thoughts stemming
from extremism in ideological fields and had deceived a group of youth
under religious beliefs and organized them for their own activities.
he said although some of the beliefs of the mahdaviyat group
were similar to those of the hojatiyeh association and its members
had some connection with hojatiyeh in the past, but the two groups are
the group mahdaviyat believes that those who for certain reasons
prevent reappearance of the 12th imam (may godhasten his reappearance)
should be wiped out, said brigadier general jaafari.
hojatoleslam razini survived an assassination attempt in
january but received injuries in the leg, abdomen and chest. an
interior ministry official said on january 6 that two motorcyclists
had attached explosive devices to razini's vehicle in a tehran
general jaafari said that interrogation of those arrested
revealed that they had already targeted other persons.
a number of members of the group had strolen 100 guns from four
basij bases at tehran's mosques. all of weapons were confiscated, he
general jaafari further added that a number of people have been
arrested in this connection, adding that cases of all members of the
group and the report concerning their operations have been handed
over to the information ministry.
he said a member of the group had served in a bomb defusing
squad in war fronts (1980-88 iraqi-imposed war), adding that the
remote-control bomb attached to razini's car had been made by the same
stressing that no member of the group is associated with any
military or law enforcement agency, he said one of the group
members had been officially recruited by irgc in the early days of
the formation of the corps but was later expelled from the irgc.
however, he remarked, the group was in no way connected with the
assassination of martyr lieutenant general ali sayyad shirazi or
other previous assassinations.
turning to the irgc activities in eastern part of the country,
general jaafari said that through powerful presence of irgc ground
forces in northern khorasan province, including torbat-e jaam and
torbat heydariyeh, eastern borders have been blocked and bandits and
smugglers, especially afghans, have been severely confronted.
he further added that in the course of operations in the past
few months, about 600 bandits and smugglers were arrested, adding that
60 pro-taliban afghans were killed and a number of others injured.
meanwhile, he said, in last year operations, about 15 personnel
of irgc ground forces attained martyrdom.
::irna 24/04/99 15:15
Iranians Blame 'Secret' Group
Saturday, April 24, 1999; 10:20 a.m. EDT
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- An assassination attempt on
a senior Iranian judge was the work of secretive group that
tries to kill people it believes are preventing the coming of a
Shiite Muslim messiah, an Iranian general said Saturday.
Brig. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jaafari, a senior military commander,
said a group called Mahdaviyat was behind the assassination
attempt on Ali Razini, a senior hard-line judge, the Iranian
news agency reported. Some of the group's 30 members had
military training, Jaafari was quoted as saying.
Razini was wounded in the leg, chest and abdomen in January when
a man on a motorcycle fastened explosives to Razini's car,
according to the agency's report, monitored in Dubai.
Several arrests have been made, the agency quoted Jaafari as
saying at a news conference in Tehran, the Iranian capital.
Jaafari said that Mahdaviyat believed in hastening the
reappearance of the Mahdi, a messiah that Shiite Muslims believe
will appear briefly to restore righteousness before the end of
© Copyright 1999 The Associated Press
Iranian Arrested For Assassination Attempt
BBC World: Middle East
Saturday, April 24, 1999 Published at 16:08 GMT 17:08 UK
The Iranian authorities say they have arrested the leader of a
fundamentalist Shi'ite group and several of his followers in
connection with January's assassination attempt against the head
of the Teheran justice department, Ali Razini.
A senior officer in the Revolutionary Guards, General Mohammad
Ali Jafari, identified the ringleader as Hassan Milani, the
grandson of Ayatollah Mohammad-Hadi Milani, a Shi'ite leader who
died before the 1979 revolution.
General Jafari described Hassan Milani's group, called
Mahdaviat, as ideologically extremist.
Teheran had previously blamed the attack on the main opposition
group, the People's Mujahedeen.
Mr Razini was seriously injured in the assassination attempt, in
which his car was bombed.
One person was killed and several others injured.
From the newsroom of the BBC World Service
Date: Sun, 25 Apr 1999 00:16:08 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: On Recent Assassinations
Group Dissociated From Mko Condemns Rajavi'S Terrorist Acts
group dissociated from mko condemns rajavi's terrorist acts
paris, april 24, irna -- a group which has dissociated from the
terrorist mujahideen khalq organization (mko) said that the mko's
renewed resort to assassination reveals that fact that the ringleader
of the terrorists has been entraped in an impasse.
in a statement published here friday, the group introducing
itself an mko break-away group in france said, ''with the knowledge we
have about the personality of masoud rajavi (terrorists' ringleader),
he resorts a series of deplorable and disparate moves any time he
faces a crisis or impasse.
the statement added that rajavi does not seemingly want to
accept that fact that armed struggle is condemned in the present
world and no group, organization or party is after it.
referring to rajavi as ''a pawn in the hands of baghdad
dictator'', the group called on all groups, parties and organizations
supporting human rights to condemn and prosecute the mko and prevent
their acts of violence.
the mko has perpetrated terrorist acts and assassination attempts
many times in the past and in its latest terrorist act, its agents
assassinated deputy chief of the joint staff command of the armed
forces of the islamic republic of iran lieutenant general ali sayyad
shirazi on april 10.
the terrorist group has been split several times and those who
have broken away from the organization mainly refer to mko's
terrorist acts and its ideology as the reason behind their
a major division in the organization occurred when rajavi got
married to a married woman and described the act as an
at the climax of the iraqi war against iran, the mko members
fled to baghdad and joined hands with the iraqi occupation forces
to launch aggression on the iranian territory and suppress the iraqi
::irna 24/04/99 14:52
Date: Sun, 25 Apr 1999 00:15:58 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: On Human Right Condition in Iran
U.N. Rights Forum Encourages Iran, Still Critical
12:44 p.m. Apr 23, 1999 Eastern
GENEVA, April 23 (Reuters) - The United Nations main human
rights body on Friday passed a Western resolution welcoming some
developments in Iran but also expressing concern at ``continuing
violations'' including executions in the Islamic state.
The 53-member U.N. Commission on Human Rights, holding its
annual session in Geneva, approved the text by 23 votes to 16
with 14 abstentions.
The resolution was presented by 33 countries including several
members of the European Union and the United States.
The text welcomed a ``more open debate'' in Iran on human rights
issues and what it described as the Iranian government's
commitment to promote respect for the rule of law.
But it also listed violations such as ``the high number of
executions, cases of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading
treatment or punishment'' and continued discrimination against
religious minorities, especially members of the Baha'i faith.
It called on Iran to ``end the use of torture and the practice
of amputation, stoning and other forms of cruel, inhuman and
The motion also urged Iran to ``continue its positive efforts to
consolidate respect for the rule of law,'' renewed the mandate
of the Commission's investigator for Iran for another year and
put Iran on the agenda for next year's session.
Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.
Iran Censured For Human Rights Violations, Praised For Progress
GENEVA, April 23 (AFP) - The Human Rights Commission Friday
adopted a resolution against Iran that mixed condemnation with
Some 23 countries voted for the EU-sponsored initiative, with 16
against and 14 abstentions.
The resolution took Iran to task for abuses that included a high
number of executions, cases of torture, and inhuman treatment
including sentences of stoning and public executions.
The use of national security laws to deny the rights of the
individual was on the list while Iran was faulted for continued
discrimination against women and religious minorities,
particularly a worsening pattern of persecution against the
Continuing death threats against British author Salman Rushdie
by the 15 Khordad Fondation was also a concern.
The Iranian government disassociated itself in September from
the death sentence which the late Iranian leader Ayatollah
Ruhollah Khomeini imposed on the novelist for his novel 'The
Satanic Verses' in 1989, judged blasphemous to Islam.
The resolution pointed out that Iran had yet to invite the UN
special representative to visit the country.
On the positive side, the document welcomed the "stated
commitment" by the Iranian government to promote respect for the
rule of law, including elimination of arbitrary arrest and
The resolution praised the "more open debate" in the country on
issues of governance and human rights and government efforts to
make progress in the area of freedom of expression.
It praised efforts undertaken by the government to investigate
the recent wave of disappearances, suspicious deaths and
killings of intellectuals and political activists, and urged
authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice.
The holding of local elections in February 1999 was also hailed.
Reacting swiftly, the National Council of Resistance in Iran
argued the resolution "addressed only part of the clerical
regime's atrocities" but it was nevertheless an "undeniable
document that the regime in its totality is incapable of
Referring to the inclusion of some optimistic assessments,
council president Massoud Rajavi said any attempt to play the
"doves and hawks" game paves the way for the mullahs to "avade
accountability before the international community."
The United States said it was pleased about the passage of the
resolution, which highlighted specific concerns about Iranian
rights practices as well as noting certain progress.
"We will continue to speak out against human rights violations
in Iran," said US assistant secretary of state for democracy and
human rights Harold Koh.
Iranian Women Face Repression, Says The Report
BBC World: Middle East
Iran 'violates' human rights
By Claire Doole in Geneva
The UN's highest human rights body has censured Iran for human
At its 55th session in Geneva, 23 countries voted in favour of
the critical resolution and 16 against.
Iran will be disappointed with the criticism. Since reformist
President Khatami came to power nearly two years ago, the
government has sought to avoid international censure.
Repression and torture
The European Union, which sponsored the resolution, recognised
progress had been made, but took Tehran to task for the high
number of executions, cases of torture, as well as the
repression of women and religious minorities.
It also expressed concern that death threats against the British
author, Salman Rushdie, were continuing in spite of Tehran's
attempts last year to distance itself from the affair.
The EU also called for the UN special representative to be
allowed to visit Iran.
The Iranian opposition group, the National Council of
Resistance, said the critical resolution showed the clerical
regime was incapable of reform.
But the UN had a more positive assessment of Iran's opening up
to the West.
It praised efforts to investigate the recent waves of
disappearances of intellectuals and political activists, but
also urged the government to bring the perpetrators to justice.
FM: Human Rights Resolution Illegitimate, Politically Motivated
fm: human rights resolution illegitimate, politically motivated
tehran, april 24, irna -- iran on saturday deplored as politically
motivated the recent resolution of the european union on the human
rights situation in the islamic republic of iran.
foreign ministry spokesman, hamidreza asefi, stressed that the
friday resolution of the eu on iran's human rights record is another
proof that the examination process of human rights situation in
different countries is a political move.
the united nations commission on human rights, holding its annual
session in geneva friday, passed a eu proposed motion expressing
concern about what it called as continuing abuses of human rights in
the resolution with pre-determined political objectives has
failed to reflect the realities of the dynamic society of the islamic
republic of iran and, as before, is seeking to raise groundless
allegations against iran.
furthermore, he expressed pleasure with the opposition of many
countries including the member states of the organization of the
islamic conference (oic), non-aligned movement (nam) and several
independent developing countries to the resolution.
asefi said these countries opposed the adoption of the resolution
and welcomed the proposal to end monitoring of human rights
conditions in iran.
asefi said traditional founders of the resolution overtly and
officially resorted to all political and economic leverage to attract
other countries' votes against iran.
iran relying on its islamic and cultural values tries to promote
human rights of its citizens and considers the resolution as
illegitimate, he said adding iran maintains that the resolution has no
basis for cooperation.
::irna 24/04/99 18:57
Kharrazi Praises Stand Of Venezuelan Fm On Human Rights In Iran
kharrazi praises stand of venezuelan fm on human rights in iran
tehran, april 24, irna -- foreign minister kamal kharrazi friday
praised recent stands of his venezuelan counterpart jose vincente
rangel on observation of human rights in iran.
during a telephone conversation with rangel, he expressed regret
that the issue of human rights is being used as a tool by the big
powers to impose their policies on others.
kharrazi stressed that the stand is an indication of venezuela's
the venezuelan government has recently announced that the west,
including the u.s., has used human rights as a tool and that
caracas will not follow the policy to condemn iran, cuba, libya and
some other countries.
on international oil market, the iranian foreign minister
underlined the need for unity among member countries of the
organization of the petroleum exporting countries (opec), continuation
of oil production cuts, and increase in oil price.
he stressed that coordination among opec founders will lead to
stability of the oil market.
meanwhile, rangel stressed on independent policies of his
country and expressed hope that such policies will lead to further
expansion of tehran-caracas ties.
he expressed satisfaction over cooperation of the opec member
states on stability of oil market and added that if the opec members
are united, positive results will be achieved.
he called for continuation of iran-venezuela cooperation.
::irna 24/04/99 10:04
End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 23 Apr 1999 to 24 Apr 1999 - Special issue