Date: May 1, 1999 [ 12: 59: 56]

Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 1 May 1999 - Special issue

From: Automatic digest processor


Return-Path: <owner-DNI-NEWS@D-N-I.ORG>
Delivered-To: farhad@ALGONET.SE
Received: (qmail 18470 invoked from network); 1 May 1999 22:00:07 +0200
Received: from simorgh.gpg.com (205.158.6.22)
by tomei.algonet.se with SMTP; 1 May 1999 22:00:07 +0200
Received: from simorgh (simorgh [205.158.6.22])
by simorgh.gpg.com (8.8.6/8.8.6) with ESMTP id MAA28751;
Sat, 1 May 1999 12:59:56 -0700 (PDT)
Message-Id: <199905011959.MAA28751@simorgh.gpg.com>
Date: Sat, 1 May 1999 12:59:56 -0700
Reply-To: dni-disc@D-N-I.ORG
Sender: DNI news list <DNI-NEWS@D-N-I.ORG>
From: Automatic digest processor <D-N-I@D-N-I.ORG>
Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 1 May 1999 - Special issue
To: Recipients of DNI-NEWS digests <DNI-NEWS@D-N-I.ORG>

There are 8 messages totalling 1293 lines in this issue.

Topics in this special issue:

1. On Iran-U.S. Relationship - 2
2. On Iran-U.S. Relationship - 3
3. On Iran-U.S. Relationship - 4
4. On Iran-S.Arabia Ties
5. On Last Opposition Development in Afghanistan - 1
6. On Last Opposition Delopment in Aghanistan - 2
7. Earthquake...Earthquake...Earthquake!
8. Saturday Newspaper Headlines In Tehran

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

Date: Sat, 1 May 1999 23:14:14 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: On Iran-U.S. Relationship - 2

Mobil decision shows U.S.-Iran sanctions still
==============================================

sturdy
05:35 p.m Apr 29, 1999 Eastern

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Clinton Administration's denial of
Mobil Corp.'s request to do oil business with Iran is a blow to
those who'd been seeing signs of a softening in the U.S. hard
line against the Islamic republic, government and industry
sources said Thursday.

Mobil said it was informed Wednesday that it was denied
permission to swap its Turkmenistan oil for Iranian crude, in an
effort to reduce the cost of bringing it to world markets.

The bad news for Mobil came on the same day that the
Administration said it would allow, as an exception to its
unilateral sanctions against Iran, exports of some food and
medicine.

Indeed, the Mobil decision is the true reflection of the stalled
statethe stalled
state of U.S.-Iran relations, a U.S. government official said on
Thursday.

``We have sent up all kind of trial balloons and have been
snubbed. (Iranian President Mohammad) Khatami has made
moves toward the Europeans but he is not ready for any
significant rapprochement with us,'' said the official, who did not
want to be quoted by name.

Until relations with Iran ease to the point that commercial
relations can resume, Washington's overriding geopolitical
interest in the Caspian region is to secure ``multiple east-west''
pipeline routes to bring oil to world markets, said the official, an
expert on U.S. policy in the region.

``Geopolitically, if we were allies again with Iran then there is
less of a justification for this policy. If Iran is a good partner for
the region then we'd find a lot of reason to allow (oil swaps) on
commercial grounds. But there is no sign that will happen any
time soon,'' the government official said.

There had been hope that the Administration might look
favorably on the oil deal as it made tentative steps toward
normalizing relations with Iran.

The optimism started with Secretary of State Madeleine
Albright's ``road map'' speech last year, spelling out the
Administration's goals in easing relations with Iran. It grew
recently with the wide support for the Sanctions Policy Reform
bill, currently in Congressional committees, which was taken as
a signal that lawmakers were leaning toward the idea that
unilateral sanctions were ineffective and only hurt U.S.
companies.

But there was never any hope for Mobil's deal. The State
Department decided back in January to deny the request, and
then it wound through the bureaucractic process, the official
said.

U.S. unilateral sanctions keep American oil companies out of
Libya, Burma and the Sudan, as well as Iran, while other
countries allow their companies to trade there. And U.S.
attempts to penalize non-American companies for doing
business with these countries have proved ineffectual.

Mobil's partner in Turkmenistan, Monument Oil of Britain,
swaps its oil with Iran and makes a higher return than Mobil,
said a spokesman for Mobil.

Mobil had been the loudest voice among the major U.S. oil
companies campaigning against the sanctions policy, with its
''editorial'' advertisements on the opinion pages of major
newspapers like the New York Times. But it appears it is
resigned to the decision.

``Mobil thought at one point about raising hell if turned down
but that's not going to happen,'' said a company source, who
did not want to be named.

Meanwhile, the U.S. official said there was no point in any
American company applying to do oil business with Iran until
there is significant diplomatic progress.


Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.



Sanctions change seen as U.S. gesture to Iran
=============================================


06:23 p.m Apr 29, 1999 Eastern

By Carol Giacomo
WASHINGTON, April 29 (Reuters) - To hear Undersecretary
of State Stuart Eizenstat tell it, the change in U.S. sanctions
policy announced this week is not meant to send a signal to
long-time adversaries Iran, Libya and Sudan.

But many U.S. officials an
independent analysts say that is
exactlindependent analysts say that is
exactlindependent analysts say that is
exactlindependent analysts say that is
exactly what it is -- a concrete manifestation that America's
hostile approach is dissipating in response to changing
international circumstances, especially in Iran.

``It's a step in the direction of normalisation with Libya and Iran
and hopefully with Sudan,'' said Judith Kipper, a Middle East
expert with the Brookings Institution.

It is the kind of concrete move that she and other analysts say
will have an impact, particularly in Tehran, where gestures and
accommodations by Washington are important.

``It is a very important step and long overdue,'' Kipper told
Reuters.

As announced on Wednesday, the United States is easing its
policy to permit food and medicine sales to Iran, Libya and
Sudan so these items are not used as a foreign policy ``tool.''

Practically speaking, experts say in the short term it will apply
almost exclusively to Iran. Tehran and Washington, after two
decades of hostility, have been inching toward improved ties
since new moderate President Mohammed Khatami came to
office in 1997.
Iran's economy is in trouble and some analysts say Khatami, in
a power struggle with hardliners, needs to make good on
campaign promises to improve the life of his people.

Sudan, in the midst of civil war, does not have much money to
buy American goods. Plus, the United States fanned enmity
against Americans by bombing a pharmaceutical factory near
Khartoum that allegedly was linked to a deadly attack last
August on two U.S. embassies.

Libya is not seen as much of a U.S. commodities market.

The sanctions change -- long sought by economically ailing
American farmers and their advocates in Congress -- would
permit case-by-case consideration of food and medicine sales
rather than banning them outright.

This major shift follows a period in which U.S. sanctions policy
had been called increasingly into question.

Congress and the administration are negotiating comprehensive
sanctions reform legislation that would go far beyond the
narrow issues of food and medicine.

But this week's decision is a big win for farmers and
agribusinesses that could reap millions of dollars in new sales.

The decision also was a victory for American foreign policy
pragmatists who argue the United States must begin to forge
new ties with Tehran and Tripoli, major countries in their
regions. They say an inflexible sanctions policy is self-defeating.

Until recently, some U.S. officials were insisting the United
States was unlikely to approve the one pending food sale to
Iran -- a $500 million deal proffered by Niki Trading Co. --
because Tehran had failed to make sufficient changes in its
policies regarding terrorism.

Eizenstat acknowledged the administration sees little change in
that country's support of terrorism.

``What has changed is our calculation of the impact of sanctions
on our policy...Money spent on agricultural products would not
be spent for other less desirable uses'' such as weapons of mass
destruction and terrorism, he said.

``We apply sanctions to influence the behaviour of a regime not
to deny people their basic human needs,'' he added.

To Congressman Ben Gilman, a New York Republican and
chairman of the House International Relations Committee, the
decision was a ``mistaken attempt to gain favour with regimes
that do not deserve it.''

He said the administration ``is lurching from one concession to
another while Iran continues to pursue policies that undermine
our national security interests.''

Some critics are sceptical of Eizenstat's pledge the U.S.
government would not underwrite food and medicine sales to
the three countries. They worry some dual use items, like
chemicals in medicine, might be diverted to Iran's chemical or
biological weapons programmes.

Iran, Libya and Sudan are among seven countries on the U.S.
list of states sponsoring terrorism.

The United States and Iran have not had formal diplomatic ties
since the 1979 Iranian revolution when fundamentalist Islamic
students seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and held 52
Americans hostages for 444 days.

Bilateral trade between the United States and Iran has been
banned since 1995, when Clinton tightened existing sanctions to
protest against Tehran's support of international terrorism.

U.S. economic sanctions on Libya were imposed in 1986 after
terrorist attacks against the Rome and Vienna airports.

Tensions eased recently when Libya gave prosecutors two
suspects in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which killed 270
people in 1988. While Washington backed an end to
multilateral sanctions, it retained its own sanctions on Tripoli.


Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.

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

Date: Sat, 1 May 1999 23:15:02 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: On Iran-U.S. Relationship - 3

Tehran wants U.S. to import Iranian caviar, nuts
================================================


05:56 a.m. Apr 30, 1999 Eastern

TEHRAN, April 30 (Reuters) - Iran said a U.S. decision to lift
food and medicine sanctions did not signal a policy change
towards Tehran and demanded an end to an import ban on
Iranian caviar and nuts, the IRNA news agency reported on
Friday.

``The political position of Washington towards Tehran has not
undergone any change,'' IRNA quoted Foreign Minister Kamal
Kharrazi as telling Iranian television late on Thursday.

``The lifting of sanctions announced by America means that
foodstuffs and medicine will be sold to Iran. This is a one-sided
lifting of sanctions which only serves the interests of American
companies,'' Kharrazi was quoted as saying.

``Restrictions on exports of Iranian foodstuffs such as caviar,
pistachios and other Iranian foods should be lifted, so that the
American people would have access to these goods in their
country,'' Kharrazi added.

Caviar and pistachios are among Iran's main non-oil exports.

On Wednesday, Washington announced an easing of sanctions
on Iran, allowing sales of food and medicine to them.

In 1995, the United States had imposed a trade ban on Iran
after accusing it of supporting terrorism, a charge Tehran
denies.

The United States broke diplomatic relations with Iran in the
aftermath of the 1979 Iranian revolution after radical Islamic
students seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and held 52
American hostages for more than a year.

Hostile bilateral relations have thawed somewhat since
moderate President Mohammad Khatami took office in 1997.


Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.



US Says Iran, Cuba Among States Backing Terrorism
=================================================


01:10 p.m Apr 30, 1999 Eastern

By Carol Giacomo
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States Friday
reaffirmed its designation of Iran, Iraq, Cuba, Libya, North
Korea, Sudan and Syria as states sponsoring terrorism, and
said Afghanistan is not fully cooperating with anti-terror efforts.

In its 1998 report on extremism worldwide, the State
Department also said there continued to be credible reports of
official Pakistani support for Kashmiri militant groups that
engage in terrorism.

Although the August 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in
Africa pushed extremism-related casualties around the globe to
record high levels, ``the number of international terrorist attacks
actually fell again in 1998, continuing a downward trend that
began several years ago,'' the report said.
``This decrease in international terrorism both at home and
abroad reflects the diplomatic and law enforcement progress
we have made in discrediting terrorist groups and making it
harder for them to operate,'' it said.

The report is issued annually by the State Department at the
direction of the US Congress. Most of the states on the U.S.
terrorism list have been there for some time.
``Governments on the list that would like to see their names
removed know exactly what they must do,'' Secretary of State
Madeleine Albright said in a statement, adding:

They must ``stop planning, financing and supporting terrorist
acts and stop sheltering or interfering with the apprehension and
prosecution of those who commit them.''
The United States and Iran have not had formal diplomatic ties
since the 1979 Iranian revolution when fundamentalist Islamic
students seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and held 52
Americans hostages for 444 days.

Following two decades of bitter enmity, the two countries
began to reach out to each other hesitantly after moderate
President Mohammed Khatami came to office in 1997.

In recent months, the United States took Iran off the list of
countries not cooperating in fighting the illegal drug trade and
this week eased sanctions to permit the sale to Iran of foods
and medicines.

But on terrorism, the administration held firm, saying there has
been no change in Tehran's behavior.

Iran argues it does not support terrorism but backs Palestinian
groups opposing Israeli domination of Arab lands.

But the State Department report said: ``Iran, Syria, Libya and
Iraq all persisted in their direct and indirect state sponsorship of
terrorism.''

``In most cases, this support included providing assistance,
training or safe haven to terrorist groups opposed to the Middle
East peace process. In some cases, particularly Iran and Iraq, it
also included targeting dissidents and opponents of these
authoritarian regimes for assassination or harassment.''

On Iran, the report said the Islamic republic in 1998 ''continued
to be involved in the planning and execution of terrorist acts.''

Although Tehran apparently conducted fewer anti-dissident
assassinations abroad in 1998 than in 1997, it ``continued to
support a variety of groups that use terrorism to support its
goals ... Iranian support for terrorism remains in place.''

The indictment was also unyielding against Iraq, which the
report said continued to rebuild an intelligence network that
previously supported international terrorism activities.

The department accused Baghdad of continuing to provide safe
haven to Palestinian ``rejectionist'' groups and cited reports of
Iraqi efforts to kill opponents of the regime.

Sudan ``continued to serve as a meeting place, safe haven and
training hub'' for international terrorist groups, including that
headed by Osama bin Laden, the Saudi dissident charged with
masterminding the U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and
Tanzania.

The report did not reflect Libya's recent move to finally accede
to demands by the United States and other countries by turning
over to international prosecution two suspects charged with
bombing Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1998, killing
270 people.

But it noted that Libya ``has not been implicated in any
international terrorist act for several years'' and failed to cite any
North Korean involvement in terrorism since the downing of a
KAL jetliner in 1987, raising questions about why both are on
the list.

As it has in recent years, the department said there is no
evidence that Syria officials have engaged directly in planning or
executing international terrorist attacks since 1986.

But Syria continues to provide safe haven and support to
several terrorist groups, who either have headquarters, bases of
training camp in Syrian-controlled territory.

The report said Cuba no longer actively supports armed
struggle in Latin America or elsewhere, but maintains close ties
to sponsors of terrorism, including Colombia's two main rebel
groups -- the National Liberation Army (ELN) and the FARC
(Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia).

The report said Pakistani officials have expressed firm
opposition to terrorism while acknowledging support for
''freedom fighters'' in Kashmir.

But, the report said: ``Kashmiri militant groups continue to
operate in Pakistan ... raising funds and recruiting new cadre.
These activities created a fertile ground for the operations of
militant and terrorist groups in Pakistan...''

The report accused Afghanistan and the Taliban fundamentalist
group that controls most of the country of allowing large
numbers of Egyptians, Algerian, Palestinian and Saudi
extremists to base there and complained that they continued to
harbor bin Laden.

Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.

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

Date: Sat, 1 May 1999 23:16:24 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: On Iran-U.S. Relationship - 4

Rulemaking may delay U.S. grain sales to Iran
=============================================

02:14 p.m Apr 30, 1999 Eastern

By Doug Palmer

WASHINGTON, April 30 (Reuters) - A prediction that U.S.
grain shipments will be on their way to Iran within the next 60
days could be too optimistic because of possible delays due to
government rulemaking, a private analyst said on Friday.
Carole Brookins, chairman of World Perspectives, an
agricultural policy and analysis firm, noted the ``wheels of
government'' often turn slowly under the best of circumstances.

Even though President Bill Clinton has announced that sales of
food and medicine will now be allowed to Iran on a
case-by-case basis, ``I think it might be a little bit later than 60
days'' before shipments begin, she said.

After Clinton's decision on Wednesday to exclude food,
medicine and medical equipment from U.S. unilateral sanctions,
Niki Trading Co. President Richard Bliss estimated the first
U.S. grain shipments could be on their way to Iran in 60 days.

Niki, a Washington, D.C.-based agricultural broker, has been
in the limelight on the sanctions issue because last year it
secured an order from the Government Trading Corp. of Iran
for the purchase of 3.55 million metric tons of U.S. grains,
soybeans and sugar.

It was in the context of considering Niki's application for a
sanctions waiver to make that sale to Iran that Clinton decided
to exclude food, medicine and medical equipment from U.S.
unilateral sanctions.

However, such sales to Iran, Libya and Sudan -- the three
countries directly affected by the decision -- will still have to be
approved on a case-by-case under a new set of rules not yet
issued by the Clinton administration.

``It's going to take at least 30 days to get the regs written,
maybe 45,'' Brookins said at a meeting on the potential for U.S.
agricultural trade with Iran, which was planned even before the
Clinton administration made its announcement.

After the rules are issued, each potential sale will have to be
examined by the relevant Clinton administration officials to see
that it conforms with the written guidelines.

Brookins said she expected a quick turnaround on those
reviews, but they could still take a week.

Bliss, who spoke at the same conference, acknowledged that
the timing of the first shipments will depend on how quickly the
new rules are written. But Niki, and other companies, can use
the intervening time to work out other details so sales can
proceed as soon as the new rules are in place, he said.

Brookins predicted that U.S. competitors such as Australia and
Canada would use the time the Clinton administration spends
writing its rules to try to make sales to Iran.

But it could be in Iran's interest to wait until the U.S. rules are
written before making purchases, she said.

From a buyer's point of view, Iran is likely to get a better price
if there are more suppliers offering wheat and other goods,
Brookins said.


The Government Trading Corp. of Iran's order with Niki
included 2 million metric tons of wheat, rekindling memories of
the years before the 1979 Iranian revolution, when the United
States supplied 70 percent of Iranian wheat imports.

Jack Eberspacher, chief executive officer of the National
Association of Wheat Growers, said he was disappointed that
the Clinton administration's announcement this week didn't
provide more of a boost to U.S. wheat prices.

Because of some industry scepticism over whether sales will be
made, ``I think it will take physical shipments of wheat to Iran''
to produce a price impact, he said.
On Friday, wheat for July delivery on the Chicago Board of
Trade rose 2-1/2 cents to $2.66 per bushel.

Although no U.S. government export subsidies or credits will be
allowed in the deal, Iran is free to arrange its own financing.
Bliss said he was been contacted by several European banks
interested in providing loans for the deal.

The Government Trading Corp. of Iran has given Niki detailed
purchase specifications, particularly for wheat, as part of its
order, Bliss said. In turn, Niki has shared those ``specs'' with
major U.S. grain exporters, who say the order probably will
have to be filled by ``blending'' white wheat from the Pacific
Northwest with red wheat from the Midwest, Bliss said.

((Doug Palmer, Washington newsroom + 1 202 898 8341,
fax + 1 202 898 8383,
washington.commodsenergy.newsroom+reuters.com))
Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.


Iran Slams U.S. Terrorism Accusations
=====================================


08:29 a.m. May 01, 1999 Eastern

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran Saturday described as baseless a
U.S. report accusing the Islamic republic of sponsoring
international terrorism, state television reported.

Foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said in remarks
carried on television that the U.S. government's 1998 report on
extremism worldwide merely showed its ``double standards''
policy, and accused Washington of backing terrorism.

``It is regrettable that the U.S. government, which is itself one of
the main supporters of terrorist groups and state terrorism,
levels such baseless accusations against the Islamic Republic of
Iran,'' he said.

He urged Washington to ``correct its d Washington to ``correct its
double standards policy.''

The United States said in a report Friday that Iran was among
countries that persisted in their direct and indirect state
sponsorship of terrorism.

Iran has repeatedly denied charges it supported terrorism and
maintains it is a victim of terrorist acts. It has denounced
Western countries for harboring the main armed opposition
group to the country's Islamic regime.

Iran and the United States cut diplomatic ties shortly after the
1979 Iranian revolution. The two countries have made hesitant
attempts to resume a dialogue since the 1997 election of
moderate President Mohammad Khatami.

Washington recently took Iran off the list of states not fighting
the illegal drug trade, and last week slightly eased economic
sanctions against Iran.

Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.



Iran Dismisses U.S. Allegation Against Iran Concerning Terr
orism
================================================================

thr 050
iran-u.s.-foreign ministry
iran dismisses u.s. allegation against iran concerning terrorism
tehran, may 1, irna -- iranian foreign ministry spokesman hamid-reza
asefi on saturday dismissed the u.s. allegation against iran
concerning terrorism and accused the united states of adoptng
a double standard policy.
in reaction to a report of the u.s. state department placing iran
on the list of states sponsoring terrorism, asefi said it is
regrettable that while the u.s. administration is the main supporter
of the terrorist groups and the zionist regime is the major sponsor of
the state terrorism, washington has levelled such an unfounded
allegation against the islamic republic of iran.
he said accusing the islamic republic of iran of supporting
terrorism is unrealistic and the u.s. administration had better
abandon its double standard judgment about terrorism.
"in light of the humanitarian and islamic criteria, the islamic
republic of iran has fallen victim to terrorism and condemns the
ominous phenomenon," asefi said.
the foreign ministry spokesman called for a comprehensive and
non-selective approach by the international community to deal with the
inhuman phenomenon of terrorism.
ss/rr
end
::irna 01/05/99 19:45


Iran Terms U.S.-Azeri Oil Accord ''Devoid Of
Legal Grounds''
============================================================


thr 011
fm-oil-accord
iran terms u.s.-azeri oil accord ''devoid of legal grounds''
tehran, may 1, irna -- foreign ministry spokesman hamid reza asefi
here friday evening said that the oil contract signed between
american oil companies and the republic of azerbaijan on utilization
of the caspian sea oil reserves is devoid of legal grounds.
asefi said that mechanisms for exploitation of the caspian sea
reserves is a topic of discussion among the littoral states, adding
that in case of the division of the sea, some of the oil fields in
areas specified in the recent contract signed between u.s. companies
and azerbaijan, will belong to iran.
therefore, any measure in the region is a violation of the
rights of the islamic republic of iran, asefi said, adding that oil
companies have already been cautoined and given warning on the
issue.
the islamic republic of iran while opposing signing of such
accords, considers them as devoid of legal credibility and grounds,
he said.
fs/ns/ys
end
::irna 01/05/99 12:31

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

Date: Sat, 1 May 1999 23:16:56 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: On Iran-S.Arabia Ties

Iran-Saudi talks mark improved relations
========================================


03:10 a.m. May 01, 1999 Eastern

RIYADH, May 1 (Reuters) - Saudi Defence Minister Prince
Sultan travels to Iran on Saturday for five days of talks which
mark the improving relations between the region's two most
powerful countries.

Quoting a royal court statement, the official Saudi Press Agency
said the talks would cover all fields of cooperation between the
two nations, but would focus on regional stability.

Iran's ambassador to Saudi Arabia said Prince Sultan was
expected to sign a defence agreement with Iran during the visit.

The two countries are among the world's top oil producers.
Good relations between them are seen as vital for stability in the
Gulf and Middle East.
They recently settled a dispute over Iranian oil production
levels, paving the way for a broader deal between oil producers
to cut output to raise low prices.

Relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia turned sour after the
Islamic revolution that toppled Iran's Western-backed
monarchy in 1979.

This added to existing suspicions among Gulf Arabs of Iran's
armament programme, its support for Moslem militants and
fears it might be interfering in other countries' internal affairs.

Iran -- wary of the strong alliance between its Gulf Arab
neighbours and its traditional foe, the United States -- has
repeatedly tried to allay its neighbours' fears.

Ties have improved since Iranian President Mohammad
Khatami, a moderate Shi'ite Moslem cleric, took office in 1997
and promoted the policy of breaking Iran's regional isolation.

Prince Sultan was expected to discuss a planned trip by
Khatami to Saudi Arabia in May in what would be the
highest-level visit to the conservative Sunni Moslem kingdom by
an Iranian leader since the Islamic revolution.

Iran's state television on Thursday quoted Iranian Foreign
Minister Kamal Kharrazi as saying Khatami would also visit
Iran's Arab ally Syria and make a trip to Qatar in the last 10
days of the Iranian month which began on April 21.


Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.



Agreement Between Iran-Saudi, Good News For World Of Islam: Daily
=================================================================

thr 022
iran-saudi-ties-press
agreement between iran-saudi, good news for world of islam: daily
tehran, may 1, irna -- the english-language 'iran daily' saturday
commenting on iran-saudi ties said that agreement between the two
powers overlooking the persian gulf can only be good news for the
world of islam.
not only this, these two oil producing heavyweights sit on the
''chokepoint of the world's energy supplies and though much has and
is being done to discredit the power of oil, the fact remains that
the industrial worlds stops without it,'' added the article in the
perspective column of the paper.
therefore, ''both for naked self-interest and the bigger,
altruistic questions of muslim commonwealth, this should have long
been considered a partnership made in heaven. of course, questions
of historic development have stunted this notion and nearly
obliterated its possibility.
fortunately, contemporary events and a broadening of global
horizons are driving home the near-term suicide that iran-saudi
dissonance represents for the countries and the regin. again iraq
gives us a worst case example,'' noted the paper.
therefore ''what is happening in that country reiterates the
necessity that persian gulf security be in the hands of littoral
states. certainly the two sides are in a position to ultimately
bring this about.''
it is obvious that both countries see ''the contradiction and
imminent danger of a regional peace enforced by outside powers and
this is in the primary heartland of islam,'' it noted.
''who says the muslim littoral states cannot oversee the entirety
of security for the persian gulf and the energy it supplies to the
world? who says such a development would be a threat to
''civilizations as we know it''? the americans and israelis of
course!''
fh/rr
end
::irna 01/05/99 15:38

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

Date: Sat, 1 May 1999 23:17:48 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: On Last Opposition Development in Afghanistan - 1

FOLLOWING FALL OF BAMIAN, TALEBAN POISED TO RECAPTURE THE CITY
==============================================================


PARIS-ISLAMABAD 27TH APR. (IPS) Afghan opposition reported
Sunday new victories in several northern provinces to repel the
Taleban armies since the fall of the city of Bamian to the
Northern Alliance forces led by Ahhmad Shah Mas'oud, a senior
military commander said.

Spokesman for the opposition Shiite Harakat-e-Islami, a
formation that is backed by the neighbouring Islamic Republic of
Iran, Saad Mohseni told NNI from Tashkent that the alliance has
intensified operation in Samangan, Sare Pol, Balkh, Fariab and
Jowzjan provinces, according to Afghan On Line service monitored
in Paris by IPS.

Taleban confirmed last Saturday the fall of Bamian to the
Alliance of Islamic Forces, but said it was bracing itself for
new operations aimed at recapturing the strategic city from the
"enemy".

As expected, the spring season in Afghanistan has begun with the
fall Bamian to the anti-Taleban alliance, heralding renewed
fighting between the Pakistan-backed Taleban that controls most
of the war torn nation with the forces Mr. Borhaneddin Rabbani
known as Islamic Alliance which are supported by Iran.

"Our commanders from Central Afghanistan have confirmed fierce
fighting in Kotal e Shebar, Kotal e Hajy Gak (next to Bessood)
and Dara e Shekari," Mohseni said.

He said fighting has also flared up in Fariab, following the
brief capture of Juma Bazaar by troops loyal to the Northern
Alliance last week. Alliance troops managed to briefly cut off
Sheberghan from Maimana three days ago.

The capture of Bamian is very important as it would deprive the
Taleban of the main supply routes, linking southern Afghanistan
with those areas in north which are under their control,
according to experts.

It will also be considered as a big success fo
r Iran, which is
the biggest supporter of both the Alliance and the mainly Shi'a
Hazaras.

Iran does not recognise the Taleban. The two sides reached the
war edge after 10 Iranian officials working at the Iranian
consulate in Mazar Sharif were killed by Taleban soldiers when
the city, until then the "capital" of the Northern Alliance
forces, was over run by Taleban.
Routinely, Taleban accuses Tehran of sending arms and
ammunitions to these groups. Last week, reports surfaced in
Kabul that the Taleban have intercepted an Iranian plane
carrying heavy weapons, including missiles, force-landing it in
an airport south of Heart.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guards instead of the Foreign Ministry
denied the report. Last year, an Iranian train transporting 700
tonnes of weapons was stopped at Kirghizstan border, en route
for the Northern Alliance forces. Tehran continuously denies
such reports, saying it provides only political and humanitarian
support to the Afghan opposition groups.

For their part, the anti-Taleban groups accuses Pakistan of not
only supporting massively the Taleban, but fighting alongside
them, as they did in the capture, last year, of Mazar Sharif,
the former "capital" of Mr. Rabbani's government.

Though the fall of Bamian is recognised as a big achievement of
the opposition after its successive defeats last year, however,
senior Alliance commanders say despite the Alliance's recent
spate of victories in central and northern Afghanistan, they do
not believe that any single group or side can win a military
victory resulting in a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.

"All sides must recognise the futility of continued military
confrontation and respond to the international community's call
for a cease-fire. Harrakat e Islami's Chief Military Commander
and a member of the Supreme Afghan Leadership Council General
Seyyed Huseyn Anwari told NNI, adding that his group remains
"committed to resolving the Afghan predicament through peaceful
means".

But as the Taleban refused to continue dialogue with the
Northern Alliance, a "reflection of their intransigence and
their confidence of an all out military victory in Afghanistan",
a spokesman for the Northern Alliance said the group remains
"supportive" of the basic principles agreed up in Ashghabad,
Turkemenistan, for the installation of a broad-based,
multi-ethnic government in Kabul.

As the Northern Alliance scored its biggest military victory
yet, it was announced that the exiled government of Mr. Rabbani
has decided to create a parliament that would also include some
women.
Speaking Monday with the Persian service of Radio France
Internationale, Mr. Mohammad Yunes Qanouni, a spokesman for the
Islamic State of Afghanistan said following the last meeting of
the Leadership Council, it had been decided to form a 160
members Parliament as a first step towards the creation of a
broad-based, elected government in Afghanistan.

He did not said where that meeting was held nor the future
parliament will be installed.

"The list of the Parliament's 160 MPs from all the nation's
ethnic groups and forces, including for the first time some
women representing Afghan women has been approved by the
Council", Mr. Qanouni said, adding that the first session of the
all appointed Parliament would "very probably" be held within
one month.

At the meeting, Mr. Rabbani has presented a new 12-member
government that must get the approval of the Parliament when it
meets "very probably" within one month, according to Mr.
Qanouni, who did not identified the new ministers

Meanwhile, NNI agency reported from Islamabad that talks between
the Taleban and Pakistan concerning a proposed $2 billion gas
pipeline that will carry gas to Pakistan from Turkmenistan via
Afghanistan will start in Islamabad on April 28.

The Taleban Minister for Mines and Industries Maulvi Ahmed Jan
is already in Islamabad where he is expected to meet Pakistani
officials in the Petroleum Ministry, the agency said, quoting
well-informed Afghan and Pakistani sources.

The planned 1,280 kilometres (800-mile) 48-inch diameter gas
pipeline will connect Dauletabad gas field in southeastern
Turkmenistan to Multan in Punjab. The pipeline planned to carry
20 billion cubic meters (700 billion cubic feet) of gas every
year.

Pakistan Petroleum Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Turkmen
Foreign Minister Sheikh Boris Muradov agreed last month to
convene a meeting of the officials of the three countries either
in Islamabad or Ashghabad to hold further discussions on the
completion of the project.

Later the UNOCAL pulled out of the consortium because of both
continued hostilities in the war-torn Afghanistan and US
pressure because of Taleban support to Osama bin Laden, a Saudi
"businessman the American say is responsible for the double
bombing at American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing
more than 300 and wounding 400 people.

At the time of bombings Mr. Bin Laden was in Afghanistan, but
after the Americans bombed his hideouts in Afghanistan, he
disappeared for an unknown destination.

Turkmenistan hosted face to face talks between Taleban and their
foes in Ashghabad in March this year. ENDS 3 AFQANESTAN 2749901

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

Date: Sat, 1 May 1999 23:18:46 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: On Last Opposition Delopment in Aghanistan - 2

TURKEMENISTAN, PAKISTAN, TALEBAN PLEDGES TO GAS PIPE PROJECT
============================================================

By Parviz Dariush, IPS Energy Correspondent

PARIS-ISLAMABAD 30TH APR. (IPS) Turkmenistan, Pakistan and
Taleban agreed Thursday in Islamabad to do "their best" to go
ahead with a 2 billions US Dollars gas pipeline project linking
Turkmenistan's gas fields to Multan, in Pakistan via Afqanestan.

Turkmenistan Deputy Prime Minister Batyr Sardaev, Taleban
Minister for Mines and Industries Maulvi Ahmed Jan and Chaudhry
Nisar Ali Khan, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources of
Pakistan announced their "determination" to implement the
planned 1,280 kilometres project that, if ever completed, would
carry 20 billions cubic metres of natural gas per year
regardless of the withdrawal of the American UNOCL, according to
Mr. Babrak Ehsas, an Afqan free lance journalist covering for
the Persian service of the Radio France Internationale (RFI)
from Peshawar, Pakistan.

In 1997 Turkmenistan had signed deal with consortium of an-8
member international companies led by which comprised
Turkmenistan government, Delta of Saudi Arabia, Itochu of Japan,
Gazprom of Russia, INPEX of Japan, Hyundai of South Korea and
Crescent of Pakistan.

Later the UNOCAL pulled out of the consortium because of
continued hostilities in the war-torn Afghanistan and the US
pressure because of Taleban support to Osama bin Laden, the
Saudi millionaire that the Americans considers as the mastermind
responsible of the twin bombing of American embassies in Kenya
and Tanzania.

After UNOCAL withdrawal, Taleban entered into negotiations with
Bridas of Argentine. Head of the Bridas operations Sebastian
Otero Asp visited Kabul last year and held talks with Taleban on
the project, NNI added from Islamabad.

The proposed pipeline-the first major economic investment in
Afghanistan since 1979's Soviet invasion-will run through the
west and south of the country, currently at peace and under
Taleban control.

Pakistan and Turkmenistan are very interested in the
construction of the project but instability in Afghanistan is
the main hurdle.
Turkmenistan is the only country, which has sent its Foreign
Minister to Taleban's stronghold of Kandahar for talks with the
militia's supreme leader. Turkmenistan also hosted face to face
talks between Taleban and their foes in Ashghabad in March this
year. ENDS AFQAN GAS PIPE 3049923



15 Foreign Diplomats Arrive In Mashhad
======================================


thr 043
iran-turkmenistan
15 foreign diplomats arrive in mashhad
mashhad, may 1, irna -- 15 ashkhabad-based diplomats arrived in
mashhad on saturday on a two-day visit to the iranian northeastern
province.
the diplomats including ambassadors and charge d'affaires of
russia, england, ukraine, france, saudi arabia, germany, georgia,
armenia, kazakstan, kyrgyzstan, uzbekistan, tajikistan, and officials
from the united nations high commission for refugees (unhcr) and the
european bank for reconstruction and development (ebrd) have planned
to visit the historical monuments as well as the library and museum
of the shrine of imam reza (a.s.), the eighth imam of the household
of prophet mohammad (peace be upon him).
ss/rr
end
::irna 01/05/99 17:52



AS HEAVY FIGHTING RESUMES, ALLIANCE ANNOUNCE NEW GOVERNMENT
===========================================================


PARIS-ISLAMABAD30TH APR. (IPS) - As the forces loyal to Ahmad
Shah Mas'oud reported new advances in Balkh, Qour and Sar e Pol,
the Taleban air force resumed bombing of Bamian and residential
districts of Tahar, the administrative centre of the northern
province of Taleqan, 250 kilometres to the north of Kabul
recently captured by the anti-Taleban forces of Islamic
Alliance, killing at least thirteen people and wounding eighteen
others.

Bamian was captured last Monday by the Hezb-i-Wahdat, a
Shia-based faction of the alliance that is backed by
neighbouring Islamic Republic of Iran.

Tehran does not recognise the Taleban. The two sides reached the
edge of war in November last year after Taleban soldiers killed
10 Iranian officials working at Iranian consulate in Mazar
Sharif when this Northern city that was serving as the
Alliance's de facto capital was over run by the Taleban.

Heavy fighting also broke out again around Bamian and other
regions now controlled by forces loyal to Ahmad Shah Mas'oud,
Afqanestan's legendary commander, including in Fariab Province,
Northern Afghanistan, where the Taleban lost control over some
very important supply routes after the fall of Bamian, according
to Alliance spokesmen.

Fierce battles broke out on several fronts between Taleban that
controls most of the country and Northern Alliance forces in the
northern and central regions, with the Alliance reporting new
victories in strategic theatres such as the Souf Valley in the
Province of Samangan, where a helicopter belonging to Taleban
was captured complete with its crew and ammunitions, according
to Haji Mohaqeq, one of the Hezb Vahdat commanders.

Dr Abdollah, a spokesman for Mas'oud said their forces advanced
in several regions in Balkh, Qour and Sar e Pol. He also
confirmed that 13 civilians were killed and a further 17 wounded
during an aerial bombardment of the town of Taleqan.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) added that
one of its local staffs, Abdul Rahim, was killed along with a
civilian during a bombing raid on Jabul Saraj, 60 kilometres (36
miles) north of Kabul. ICRC did not say who was responsible for
the air raid.

As the Taleban was bombing Alliance forces in Fariab, Bamian,
Taleqan, Farah and Panj Shir, signalling resumption of an all
out war following the end of winter, the Islamic State of
Afqanestan disclosed the names of some of the key ministers of a
new government under Mr. Rasoul Sayyaf.

The creations of this government as well as that of a 160 all
appointed Parliament that includes for the first time some women
was announced last week following the meeting, in Parvan, of
representatives from different Afghan groups opposed to the
Taleban.

According to a report by Mr. Babrak Ehsas, an Afqan free lance
journalist that covers from Peshawar for the Persian service of
Radio France Internationale (RFI), Ahmad Shah Mas'oud remains as
Defence Minister, that of Foreign Affairs goes to Mr. Yunes
Qanouni, and Haji Qadir becomes Interior Minister.

Quoting Mr. Ehsas, RFI reported on Thursday that following a
week-long meeting in Tehran, Afqanestan's three main Shi'a
organisations that are the Hezb e Vahdat, the Khalili Branch of
that group and the Harekat e Eslami announced the creation of a
wide range coalition that would include all the nation's Shi'a
forces.

However, Taleban ridiculed the formation of new parliament and
government by the Afghan opposition, describing it as "futile
attempt" to show that Taleban are not in favour of negotiated
and amicable settlement of the Afghan conflict. "The move is
aimed at misleading the world public opinion", Maulavi Abdul
Wakil Motewakel, a spokesman for the Taleban told the Voice Of
America (VOA).

Claiming that the opponents had no formula to present for a real
solution to the Afghan conflict in the one hand while stressing
that the Taleban stood for a peaceful solution to the years-long
inter-Afqan war on the other, Mr Motewakel urged the opponents
to "realise" the facts and get ready for "unconditional talks
instead of wasting time by taking useless steps", according to
NNI.

As General Sayed Husain Anwari, the Chief Military Commander of
the Harrekat e Islami e Afghanistan claimed that a number of
local commanders previously aligned with the Taleban had joined
the Alliance in the district of Roo e Do Ab along with 90 of
their men, Ahmed Shah Mas'oud has said he possessed evidences
about Pakistan's support to the Taleban, the VOA reported from
Washington.

Mas'oud has allowed two foreign journalists to visit the Lal Beg
prison in northern Afghanistan saying that more than 100
Pakistani warriors have been kept there. The daily Los Angeles
Times and Sydney Morning Times have quoted these Pakistanis as
having said that they came to Afghanistan voluntarily as they
wanted to promote the Islamic Sharia.

These Pakistani volunteers, according to the papers, have come
to Afghanistan from Pakistani cities of Quetta and Karachi, NNI
reported.

Both Pakistan and Taleban have repeatedly denied that Pakistanis
are fighting alongside the Taleban in Afghanistan. ENDS
AFQANESTAN 3049923

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

Date: Sat, 1 May 1999 23:19:04 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Earthquake...Earthquake...Earthquake!

Earthquake Hits Khonj, Southern Iran
====================================


thr 006
earthquake-fars
earthquake hits khonj, southern iran
shiraz, fars prov., may 1, irna -- an earthquake measuring 4.7
degrees on the open-ended richter scale jolted the city of khonj
in larestan, in this southern province, at 20:50 hours local
time (16:20gmt) friday.
the seismological base of the geophysics institute of tehran
university registered the epicenter of the quake some 260 km southeast
of shiraz.
according to informed officials, the quake has left no casualties
but a number of buildings in the ancient part of the khonj city and
in some villages of the region have been damaged.
four people were killed and 80 others injured in the city of khonj
and 850 houses damaged as a result of a 5.7 degree quake which hit
the area on november 11, 1998.
fs/ys
end
::irna 01/05/99 11:25



Quakes Shake Baneh
==================


thr 047
quakes-baneh
quakes shake baneh
sanandaj, kurdestan prov., may 1, irna -- two quakes, measuring
4.2 and 4.3 degrees on the richter scale, jolted provincial city of
baneh on friday and saturday.
41 rural residential units suffered between 15 and 35 percent
damage as a result of the tremors, said head of the provincial
natural disasters department azim vaqei. the quakes, however, did not
leave any casualty, he added.
bg/rr
end
::irna 01/05/99 18:45

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

Date: Sat, 1 May 1999 23:28:04 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Saturday Newspaper Headlines In Tehran

Saturday Newspaper Headlines In Tehran
======================================


saturday morning's newspaper headlines

thr 001
press-headlines
saturday morning's newspaper headlines
tehran, may 1, irna -- the following headlines appeared in tehran's
morning dailies saturday:
tehran times:
-leader: civic bodies should allow commoners to play due role,
islamic values should be given top priority
-new u.s. move motivated by self-interest
-mohajerani's envoy fails to win support of ayatollahs
-female iranian artist ranks 2nd in int'l pictorial books
contest
-eu imposes oil embargeo against yugoslavia
iran daily:
-prince sultan's visit a turning point; shamkhani backs close
saudi ties
-leader sends message to councilors
-u.s. rejects mobil swap deal with iran
-president will visit syria, saudi arabia and qatar
kayhan international:
-lofty goals of late imam should be achieved - leader
-iranian envoy, saudi fm highlight ties
-saudi defense minister arrives today
-higher education needs more investment - mo'in
iran news:
-leader welcomes popular participation in council affairs,
president supports nation's right to self-determination
-president khatami to visit syria, saudi arabia, qatar in may
-americans want access to iranian goods, says fm
-more than 80 mps issued a statement yesterday urging majlis
speaker to ask the irib to broadcast mohajerani's impeachment live
on radio and tv
iran:
-leader sends message to city councils: political and factional
disputes harmful to councils
-khatami: i am faithful to promises i made to people
-sixth press festival commences
-new details on karbaschi's being summoned to serve prison term
abrar:
-majlis to decide about culture minister today
-kharrazi: lifting of sancions only be
nefits american producers
-three other periodicals boycott press festival
-shamkhani: visit to tehran of saudi defense minister aimed at
investigating regional security plan
salam:
-leader: councils a new step towards full realization of
constitution
-culture minister to attend majlis session to defend himself
-press festival started with participation of over 400 print
media
-saudi defense minister to arrive in tehran today
jomhuri eslami:
-leader: councils should avoid factional disputes, focus on
serving people
-president: consolidation of islamic councils means reinforcement
of basis of national solidarity, social stability
-rafsanjani: city councils should avoi
d confrontations, try to
solve people's problems
-kharrazi: lifting u.s. food and medicine sanctions only to the
interest of american companies
vd/ys
hamshahri:
-leader's message to mark inauguration of city councils
-mps supporting president: coalition of may 23 forces
to vote for mohajerani in majlis
-president at the opening ceremony of tehran city council:
councils symbol of people's right and dignity
-spokesman for tehran city council: we will consult people
to appoint tehran mayor
kar va karegar:
-today workers defend labor law which is workers' greatest
achievement in post-revolution era
-leader: anything to divert city councils form practical unity
is harmful
-price of iran's oil reaches dlrs 15 per barrel
-abdullah nouri: city council to consult people on appointment
of mayor
khabar:
-leader to city councils: council members should give top priority
to serving people
-khatami: city councils symbol of national sovereignty
-rafsanjani underscores need for convergence and cooperation
among members of city councils
-sixth press festival commences
qods:
-(mohajerani's) impeachment, majlis to decide today
-leader's important guidelines to city councils
-human rights commission adopts resolucommission adopts resolution
on defamation of
religions
-rafsanjani: convergence and cooperation key to city councils'
success
arya:
-city councils start work with leader's message in president's
attendance
-mohajerani to defend the press today
-kharrazi: washington should lift sanctions on iran's exports to
u.s.
sobh-e emrouz:
-mohajerani to defend government's cultural policies today
-abdollah nouri appointed head of tehran's city council
-sixth press festival commences, attended by 427 publications
asr-e azadeghan:
-mohajerani to defend people's demands today in majlis
-law enforcement commander: unemployment, inflation give rise to
robbery, crimes
-khatami: people should be granted freedom
-people believe the press more than factions
jahan-e eslam:
-leader: political and factional disputes harmful for city
councils
-president addresses the opening ceremony of the city councils
-pressure groups insult members of tehran's city council
when visiting shrine of late imam
vd/ys
end
::irna 01/05/99 14:57

saturday afternoon's newspaper headlines

thr 030
press headlines
saturday afternoon's newspaper headlines
tehran, may 1, irna -- the following headlines appeared in tehran's
newspapers this afternoon:
kayhan:
- mps's remarks, mohajerani's defense at impeachment session
- iran: us-azerbaijan oil deals illegal, unauthorized
- labors hold meetings to mark world labor day
- press festival opens with participation of two-fifth of
country's media
- washington rejects 6-point peace accord offered by milosevic to
resolve kosovo crisis
- rls 200 million worth of false teeth stolen from orumiyeh
medical collage
resalat:
- mps on impeachment of culture minister
- country's labor society call for job security, welfare
mm/rr
end
::irna 01/05/99 16:17

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

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 1 May 1999 - Special issue
***************************************************