Date: May 1, 1999 [ 12: 45: 6]

Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 28 Apr 1999 to 1 May 1999 - Special issue

From: Automatic digest processor


From ???@??? Sat May 01 22:54:59 1999
Return-Path: <owner-DNI-NEWS@D-N-I.ORG>
Delivered-To: farhad@ALGONET.SE
Received: (qmail 3801 invoked from network); 1 May 1999 21:45:20 +0200
Received: from simorgh.gpg.com (205.158.6.22)
by tung.algonet.se with SMTP; 1 May 1999 21:45:20 +0200
Received: from simorgh (simorgh [205.158.6.22])
by simorgh.gpg.com (8.8.6/8.8.6) with ESMTP id MAA28316;
Sat, 1 May 1999 12:45:07 -0700 (PDT)
Message-Id: <199905011945.MAA28316@simorgh.gpg.com>
Date: Sat, 1 May 1999 12:45:06 -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 - 28 Apr 1999 to 1 May 1999 - Special issue
To: Recipients of DNI-NEWS digests <DNI-NEWS@D-N-I.ORG>

There are 10 messages totalling 1321 lines in this issue.

Topics in this special issue:

1. On Mohajerani Impeachment - 1
2. On mohajerani Impeachment - 2
3. On Mohajerani Impeachment - 3
4. On Mohajerani Impeachment - 4
5. Laborers Hold Rallies To Mark World Labor Day
6. On Urban/Rural Councils Election - 1
7. On Urban/Rural Councils Election - 2
8. On Urban/Rural Councils Elections - 3
9. Karbaschi To Report To Special Judiciary Complex B
10. On Iran-U.S. Relationship - 1

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

Date: Sat, 1 May 1999 23:08:18 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: On Mohajerani Impeachment - 1

Majlis Starts Proceedings For Mohajerani'S Impeachment
======================================================


thr 003
majlis-impeachment-mohajerani
majlis starts proceedings for mohajerani's impeachment
tehran, may 1, irna -- the islamic consultative assembly (majlis)
started the proceedings for the impeachment of culture and islamic
guidance minister ataollah mohajerani, saturday morning.
a motion tabled by 31 majlis representatives for the impeachment
of the culture and islamic guidance minister was submitted to the
majlis some 10 days ago.
according to the regulations, representatives who have signed
the impeachment letter have two hours to deliver speeches on
the rejection of the eligibility of the minister.
mohajerani will also attend today's open majlis session to
outline the performance of his ministry and give response to the
questions raised by the representatives.
according to the internal regulations of the majlis, the
minister will be given three hours to defebe given three hours to defend
himself, one hour of
which can be given to one or two deputies to speak in support of the
minister.
addressing today's session, majlis speaker hojatoleslam ali
akbar nateq nouri briefed the representatives on the impeachment
proceedings. eedings.

after the majlis hears mohajerani's defense, two representatives
who have called for the impeachment are allowed to make brief
complementary speeches, not exceeding 15 minutes each.
mohajerani would then speak for another half an hour.
those who have impeached the minister are not allowed to raise
issues out of the impeachment context.
when the speeches are over, the minister can ask the majlis for
a vote of confidence.
half of the representatives who have signed the impeachment
letter are those who raised the impeachment motion against former
interior minister abdollah nouri.
first vice-president hassan habibi, vice-president for legal and
parliamentary affairs hojatoelslam sadouqi, head of the president's
office hojatoleslam abtahi, and ministers of cooperatives,
agriculture, construction jihad, and post, telephone and telegraph as
well as economy and finance are attending today's majlis session.
ns/ys
end
::irna 01/05/99 10:02



Mps Criticize Performance Of Islamic Guidance Minister
===================================================


thr 014
impeachment-mohajerani
mps criticize performance of islamic guidance minister
tehran, may 1, irna -- a number of representatives of the islamic
consultative assembly (majlis) here saturday criticized the
performance of culture and islamic guidance minister ataollah
mohajerani during the two years of his term in office.
those representatives who addressed the saturday's open session
which dealt with the impeachment proceedings, are among the 31
deputies who tabled an impeachment motion against the minister 10 days
ago.
another supporter of the impeachment motion, deputy from
torqabeh and chenaran in khorasan province, mohammad azimi said that
global arrogance has placed cultural plans top on the agenda of its
campaign against the islamic revolution.
he told the majlis session saturday that the trend of developments
in the country attests to the existence of poisonous pens which are
trying to harm the society.
stressing that vicious attempts of certain publications cannot
be ignored, azimi severely criticized those who are promulgating
corruption in the society in an attempt to prepare the grounds for
the realization of their own objectives.
he concluded by saying that in most cases, the prevailing
atmosphere over the press aims to propagate the most vivid
manifestations of corruption in the west.
another tehran deputy morteza nabavi criticized mohajerani's
performance in the field of press, adding that this section of the
culture and islamic guidance ministry is suffering from lack of
supervision.
he said the main responsibility of the guidance ministry is to
direct the society towards further consolidation of people's
confidence rather than being a neutral observer which employs
mechanisms for cultural control in the interest of ingenuine values
versus traditional social values.
nabavi said mohajerani not only has failed in fulfilling his
responsibility of creating calm and general consensus in the society,
due to the lack of a cultural strategy, but further affected people's
confidence in government institutions and aggravated the policy of
lurking against each other.
he said if the policies on which the minister insists are not
changed, they will result in nothing but destruction of the national
unity.
nabavi who is also head of the economy and finance commission
of the majlis, said the government is in need of cultural
institutionalization and national confidence-building to solve
people's problems, adding that implementation of such a task is
something not expected of the present culture and islamic guidance
minister.
he criticized mohajerani's double standard vis-a-vis the press
and said he has intertwined fate of kargozaran (executives of
construction party) with the country's culture and turned it into a
political issue.
he said promulgation and publication of the thoughts of the
aliens is the main weak point of the culture and islamic guidance
ministry.
majlis deputy from rafsanjan mohammad husseini criticized
mohajerani's performance in the field of cinema and theater.
husseni said impeachment of culture and islamic guidance
minister is not aimed at negating his abilities but rather pointing
to lack of conformity between him and his executive and managerial
responsibilities.
he said mohajerani has spent most of his time with personal
affairs and involvement in political issues disguised as cultural
activities rather than caring for his administrative duties.
the deputy criticized the present status of iranian cinema
which, he said, experienced a fall in quality as well as promulgation
of feminism last year.
expressing regret over the situation of certain cinematic
publications for carrying controversial articles, husseini also
criticized culture and islamic guidance ministry for the performance
of certain plays in the course of fajr theater festival.
also speaking in support of the impeachment motion, tehran
deputy ali akbar musavi husseini said that as it is envisaged in the
constitution, the culture and islamic guidance ministry is
responsible for the creation of a suitable atmosphere in which moral
virtues are developed within religious and ethical boundaries.
musavi husseini who is also head of the education commission
of majlis, said that according to one of the approvals of the supreme
council of cultural revolution while freedom of pen and expression
is respected, promulgation of undisciplined behavior is prohibited.
he criticized performance of the culture and islamic guidance
ministry in giving permission for the publication of certain books
which he said are only ruining the sanctities of family bonds.
the deputy called on the ministry to prevent publication of
such books and halt promulgation of a decayed culture.
ns/ys
end
::irna 01/05/99 15:24

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

Date: Sat, 1 May 1999 23:09:16 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: On mohajerani Impeachment - 2

Mohajerani Defends His Cultural, Arts Policies
==============================================


thr 037
majlis-mohajerani
mohajerani defends his cultural, arts policies
tehran, may 1, irna -- minister of culture and islamic guidance
ataollah mohajerani defended saturday the arts, political and
intellectual policies of his ministry.
impeachment is among the rights of the majlis deputies, he said
adding impeachment, though being politically motivated, is an
indication of political development. however, impeachment has its own
procedures and its rules should be observed.
rejecting statements by mp taqavi who said that before the
impeachment all the ways had been examined, mohajerani said only one
question had been raised over the past 20 months since he took office.
"only an mp from tabriz qassempour, once asked me about "kaboud
mosque" and despite the fact that he was convinced of my responses in
the parliament's culture and islamic guidance commission, due to the
importance of the issue, i myself insisted that i explain the case in
an open session of the majlis."
as for other mps' questions, he said the mps were either convinced
or failed to follow up their questions. ollow up their questions.

he further said the text of the impeachment motion has been
compiled in a hasty manner and the deputies have failed to examine
all other ways before the impeachment.
thirty-one mps launche
thirty-one mps launche
thirty-one mps launched a censure motion against the minister
of culture and islamic guidance.
the minister then alluded to his demand last february that he
attend the majlis and explain in details about the ambiguities
about which some mps had questioned. he added that his demand was not
answered by the majlis.
he warned his critics not to mistake an exchange of views and
opinions for anti-islamic or counterrevolutionary activities.
"tolerance does not mean the weakening of values. an idea has to be
responded with another idea.
the problems of culture in the islamic republic do not revolve
around the minister.
"do you think that if i go away the problem of culture in this
country will be resolved? if it is so then there was no need for such
a session and i would go away with a slight signal of the leader of
the islamic revolution, president or majlis speaker.
mohajerani, facing a no-confidence vote, said if he gains
a confidence vote he would not consider itconfidence vote he would not
consider it as a victory.
sd/rr
more
::irna 01/05/99 16:52



Mohajerani Receives A Vote Of Confidence From Majlis
====================================================


thr 038
urgent

majlis-impeachment
mohajerani receives a vote of confidence from majlis
tehran, may 1, irna -- minister of culture and islamic guidance
ataollah mohajerani received a vote of confidence from the majlis
saturday.
there were 263 deputies present in the impeachment session.
those who were in favor of the minister's dismissal cast white
ballots in a secret balloting.
121 members of parliament voted for the minister's dismissal,
135 voted against and 7 abstained.
a motion tabled by 31 majlis representatives for the impeachment
of the culture and islamic guidance minister was submitted to the
majlis some 10 days ago.
defending his ministry's policies regarding fictional literature
and and cinema sector, he asked if all artists who were active before
the islamic revolution should be banned from activities after the
revolution.
he further stressed that the ministry has not closed doors in
every areas of art other than fictional stories.
as for those authors who were awarded, he said a special jury
has selected the authors despite all differences of views.
among 2,000 award winners there were two controversial cases, the
minister said adding however ''they are iranian citizens and not
coming from outside. they are iranian citizens living in iran and
they have rights too.''
mohajerani said groups and people can raise issues consistent
with the regulations and laws of the country.
he said that as a minister he could not deviate from the press
law and that is the said law which has specified conditions for
closure of dailies or for supervising their function.
he added that the monitoring board was the authority entitled to
determine the press duties or decide on their affairs and the task
did not concern the minister.
the iranian minister said his ministry had issued licenses for
280 publications in 1997, while the figure dropped to 175 last
year.
elsewhere in his remarks, mohajerani said per the press law his
ministry could not prevent publication of an article, or a picture.
he expressed doubt whether any of the majlis representatives
or any other group could pass a law on control of articles before
their publication.
article four of the press law prohibits any government or
non-governmental body from forcing the press to publish any
article or censor their articles, he added.
referring to the case of the daily 'zan' (woman), mohajerani said
the monitoring board in its recent session raised the case and the
culture and islamic guidance ministry was notified on the issue.
he said the press should not abuse freedom and this was something
that he had been raised in several of his articles published in daily
'ettela'at'.
he added that in his articles he had mentioned that the press,
the journalists, reporters and authors should not go beyond the
limits of their rights.
as for the daily tous, mohajerani said according to the article
27 of the monitoring board, the article on valery giscard d'estaing
was recognized as an insult to the late imam khomeini. therefore, he
added, its license was revoked. shalamcheh daily's license was
also repealed due to publication of an article considered as an
insult on ayatollah khoie by the monitoring board.
the opposite view should be raised with vigour, said mohajerani,
adding that of course in case such views turned out to be in
contradiction with the religious rules it should be confronted.
in continuation of his defesce in the afternoon session of the
majlis, mohajerani said that he had received names of seventy deputies
who had been ready to speak in his favor at the majlis session.
however, the parliament's internal regulations do not allow all
the deputies to make speeches, said mohajerani, adding that due to
time constraint he would mention the name of the 70 deputies
in his book 'impeachment'.
he said that theatrical activities last year deserved to be
praised by any fair individual.
hailing as ''great'' performance of the theater sector,
mohajerani said drastic changes had been made in all segments of his
ministry but the changes in the theater sector were more drastic.
many artists have now returned to the stage and started activities,
he added.
mohajerani defended the function of his deputy in charge of
cinema affairs seyfollah dad and said he had been one of the
organizers of anti-shah demonstrations when he was a student. he
wrote a book in his 20s and later, devoted his life to the sacred
defense and the revolution, he added.
''who else can be found better than mr. dad to handle cinema
affairs?'' questioned mohajerani.
bg/rr
end
::irna 01/05/99 18:29

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

Date: Sat, 1 May 1999 23:09:56 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: On Mohajerani Impeachment - 3

Mohajerani Thanks Majlis Speaker, Mps For Their Confidence Vote
===============================================================


thr 046
majlis-mohajerani
mohajerani thanks majlis speaker, mps for their confidence vote
tehran, may 1, irna -- shortly after receiving a vote of confidence
from the majlis saturday, culture and islamic guidance minister
ataollah mohajerani in a letter to majlis speaker ali akbar nateq
nouri thanked him for his ''excellent'' handling of today's
impeachment session.
the letter further thanked majlis deputies for their confidence in
the minister and staff of his ministry , and those mps launching the
impeachment motion for providing him with a chance to raise the most
importance cultural issues of the country.
the minister expressed hope that he would be a good servant for
islam, revolution and the islamic republic in light of the majlis'
support.
bg/rr
end
::irna 01/05/99 18:36



Iran's Hard-liners Open Attack On Liberal Minister
==================================================


01:48 a.m. May 01, 1999 Eastern

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Conservatives in the Iranian parliament
Saturday opened their bid to unseat the liberal minister of
culture, the driving force behind an explosion of political, artistic
and religious freedom under President Mohammad Khatami.

Thirty-one MPs have filed a no-confidence motion, charging
Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ataollah Mohajerani
with advocating the separation of religion from politics and
encouraging the establishment of relations with the United States
-- two of the most sensitive issues in the Islamic republic.

Reza Taghavi, an MP from Tehran and one of the sponsors of
the motion, told parliament the move was aimed at preventing
any un-Islamic abuses of freedom of expression.

``All this (impeachment) effort should be viewed as defense of a
healthy press in Iran and in support of freedom within the
framework of the law,'' Taghavi said as the debate got
underway. The minister, Taghavi said, had failed to defend the
interests of pious Muslims against attacks by secularist writers
and artists.

The minister, a liberal Islamic thinker, was scheduled to present
his response after a review of the charges.

The outcome of the vote, set for later Saturday, is uncertain.
But analysts say hard-liners, who enjoy an edge in the 270-seat
parliament, would not have gone forward with the
long-threatened impeachment drive without some assurance
they would prevail.

Mohajerani has already warned his critics that his removal was
unlikely to force a change in President Khatami's cultural
liberalization, a move he said was a response to popular
demands.

Khatami, a Shi'ite Muslim cleric elected in a landslide in 1997,
has unshackled the press, artists and writers as part of his
strategy to create a civil society within Iran's Islamic system.


Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.



Iran Liberal Minister Under Attack By Hard-Liners
=================================================


06:22 a.m. May 01, 1999 Eastern

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Conservatives in the Iranian parliament
Saturday opened their bid to unseat the liberal minister of
culture, the driving force behind an explosion of political, artistic
and religious freedom under President Mohammad Khatami.

Thirty-one MPs have filed a no-confidence motion, charging
Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ataollah Mohajerani
with advocating the separation of religion from politics and
encouraging the establishment of relations with the United States
-- two of the most sensitive issues in Iran.

Supporters of the motion to remove the minister also blamed his
department for what they said was sexually explicit literature
creeping into the marketplace, in violation of Islamic values.

The minister, a liberal Islamic thinker, was scheduled to present
his response after a review of the charges.

``They are racing for promiscuity in relations between men and
women. All these books are freely available in bookstores with
the authorization of the culture minister,'' said Ali Akbar
Mousavi-Hosseini, a cleric and MP from Tehran.

``Young people who read these books will roll in sin and lack
of virtue. This is very regrettable.''

Earlier, Reza Taghavi, an MP from Tehran and one of the
sponsors of the motion, told parliament the move was aimed at
preventing abuses of freedom of expression.

``This (impeachment) effort should be viewed as defense of a
healthy press in Iran and in support of freedom within the
framework of the law,'' Taghavi said as the debate began.

The minister, Taghavi said, had failed to defend the interests of
pious Muslims against attacks by secularist writers and artists.

The outcome of the vote, set for later Saturday, is uncertain.

Analysts say hard-liners, who enjoy an edge in the 270-seat
parliament, would not have gone forward with the
long-threatened impeachment drive without some assurance
they would prevail. They also appeared better organized than
their reformist rivals.

However, parliamentary sources said Iran's supreme leader,
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, sent a letter to MPs ordering them not
to invoke his name in the political fight -- a show of neutrality
that may ease the pressure on the minister.

Outside parliament a small crowd gathered to demand
Mohajerani's impeachment.

Mohajerani has already warned his critics that his removal was
unlikely to force a change in Khatami's cultural liberalization, a
move he said was a response to popular demands.

Khatami, a Shi'ite Muslim cleric elected in a landslide in 1997,
has unshackled the press, artists and writers as part of his
strategy to create a civil society within Iran's Islamic system. As
the point-man for such an effort, Mohajerani has drawn more
than his share of conservative wrath.


Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.



Moderate Iranian Minister Defends Pluralism
===========================================


06:27 a.m. May 01, 1999 Eastern

By Mehrdad Balali

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's moderate minister of culture, facing
a no-confidence vote by hard-liners out to roll back reforms
under President Mohammad Khatami, Saturday hit back with a
strong defense of artistic, political and intellectual pluralism.

Ataollah Mohajerani, a driving force behind Khatami's cultural
reforms, warned his critics not to mistake an exchange of views
and opinions for anti-Islamic or anti-revolutionary activity.

``Tolerance does not mean a weakening of the values,'' a
seemingly relaxed and confident Mohajerani told the hushed
chamber. ``A thought has to be responded to with another
thought. Freedom is as fragile as...a crystal glass.''

Quoting Persian and Arabic verse, with frequent references to
the Koran, the minister displayed a broad command of history,
literature and the arts to urge fewer restrictions on creativity.

Contemporary Iran, he said, had a long way to go to reach the
cultural heights of other nations. Besides, Mohajerani said, the
problems of culture in the Islamic republic do not revolve
around the minister.

``Do you think that if I go away the problem of culture in this
country will be resolved? If that is the case, then the leader and
the president can send me away.''

Thirty-one MPs have filed a no-confidence motion, charging
Mohajerani with advocating the separation of religion from
politics and encouraging the establishment of relations with the
United States -- two of the most sensitive issues in Iran.

Supporters of the motion to remove the minister also blamed his
department for what they said was sexually explicit literature
creeping into the marketplace, in violation of Islamic values.
``They are racing for promiscuity in relations between men and
women. All these books are freely available in bookstores with
the authorization of the culture minister,'' said Ali Akbar
Mousavi-Hosseini, a cleric and MP from Tehran. ``Young
people who read these books will roll in sin and lack of virtue.
This is very regrettable.''

The outcome of the vote, expected later Saturday, remains
uncertain.

Analysts say hard-liners, who enjoy an edge in the 270-seat
parliament, would not have gone forward with the
long-threatened impeachment drive without some assurance
they would prevail. They also appeared better organized than
their reformist rivals.

However, parliamentary sources said Iran's supreme leader,
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, sent a letter to MPs ordering them not
to invoke his name in the political fight -- a show of neutrality
that may ease the pressure on the minister.

Mohajerani has already warned his critics that his removal was
unlikely to force a change in President Khatami's cultural
liberalization, a move he said was a response to popular
demands.

Khatami, a Shi'ite Muslim cleric elected in a landslide in 1997,
has unshackled the press, artists and writers as part of his
strategy to create a civil society within Iran's Islamic system. As
the point-man for such an effort, Mohajerani has drawn more
than his share of conservative wrath.


Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.

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

Date: Sat, 1 May 1999 23:10:22 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: On Mohajerani Impeachment - 4

Advocate of tolerance wins showdown in Iran
===========================================


09:38 a.m. May 01, 1999 Eastern
By Jonathan Lyons
TEHRAN, May 1 (Reuters) - Ataollah Mohajerani, who on
Saturday survived a no-confidence motion by hardline MPs,
has used his tenure as Iran's minister of culture and Islamic
guidance to oversee a flowering of artistic, social and political
expression.

Under his stewardship, dozens of newspaper and journals
across a range of political opinions received publication licences
and government subsidies. Secularist writers, long scorned by
the post-revolutionary establishment, were offered a voice in
cultural affairs, and Iranian film flourished at home and abroad.

But as the driving force behind President Mohammad Khatami's
campaign for political and social pluralism within Iran's Islamic
system, Mohajerani drew the wrath of the influential
conservatives, based in parliament and the judiciary.

Unable to attack the popular president directly, critics instead
focused on his minister of culture, blaming him for a range of ills.
Formal charges in the no-confidence motion included
advocating the separation of politics from religion and support
for restoration of ties to the United States.

``Do you think that if I go away the problem of culture in this
country will be resolved? If that is the case then the leader and
the president can send me away,'' he told a hushed parliament
ahead of the vote.

MPs were glued to their seats as Mohajerani put on a virtuoso
display, quoting Persian and Arabic verse and frequent
references to the Koran in support of intellectual freedoms. He
also cracked jokes, earning a warm response from his
supporters and begrudging smiles from some of his critics.

In the end enough independent deputies swung to his side to
defeat the motion by 135 to 121, with seven abstentions.

Beyond the parliamentary showdown lies the broader issue of
the system's ability to absorb demands from the growing ranks
of young, educated Iranians for greater freedom without
departing from its core revolutionary and Islamic values.

Mohajerani and his supporters, notably Khatami, say the only
response is ``immunisation'' against foreign cultural ills -- not
complete isolation from the outside world. That policy has now
received a renewed mandate.

Born in the central city of Arak in 1954, Mohajerani received a
masters degree in Iranian history and culture from Shiraz
University, where he came into contact with a number of
influential reformist intellectuals. He later completed a doctorate.

At the age 25, he was elected to Iran's first post-revolutionary
parliament and served as a member of its presiding board. In
1984 he was appointed cultural attache to Iran's embassy in
Pakistan.

He then served as deputy prime minister for legal and
parliamentary affairs until 1989, when he was made a vice
president.

His entrance in Khatami's cabinet as minister for culture in
August 1997 was widely welcomed by Iranian artists, writers
and journalists, hoping that the president's populist landslide
would generate enough momentum to ease long-standing
censorship and other forms of pressure from the conservative
clerical establishment.

At his confirmation hearings, Mohajerani made it clear he
envisioned a clean break with the past: ``I disagree with almost
all of the present policies of the ministry of culture. We have to
protect artists and provide an atmosphere for creativity,
tranquillity and freedom.

``Everyone who has accepted the Islamic Republic and its
constitution must be subjected to tolerance.''

But that very policy of tolerance, although tacitly endorsed with
Mohajerani's confirmation 21 months ago, almost fell victim to
the increasing polarisation of Iranian politics.

In what proved the rallying cry of the conservatives, a senior
cleric told Tehran's Friday prayers gathering ahead of the vote
there was no room for such policies in Islamic Iran: ``It is not
just a question of the minister staying or going. This whole
business of tolerance must be wrapped up and thrown away.''

Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.



Daily Comments On Impeachment Motion Of Mohajerani
==================================================


thr 009
khatami-mohajerani-press
daily comments on impeachment motion of mohajerani
tehran, may 1, irna -- according to political pundits, minister of
culture and islamic guidance, ataollah mohajerani's odds to survive
the impeachment are slim unless his rhetorical skills will once
again come to his rescue and dazzle the deputies to vote for him,
noted 'iran news' saturday.
the english-language daily was referring to the impeachment motion
tabled ten days ago by 31 conservative deputies against mohajerani to
defend himself in the parliament, proceedings of which started
saturday morning.
''however, should mohajerani lose the vote of confidence, he
might end up as president khatami's deputy to a senior government
post,'' believed the editorial.
''with regards to his potential successor, saeed hajarian and
ahmad masjed-jameie are among those who are said to be leading
candidates for the top job at the culture ministry,'' noted the
paper.
however, the paper believes masjed jameie seems to be given a
chance to win the nomination in the parliament since hajarian's
radical political stand on many issues is seen as an obstacle in
garnering the nomination vote.
fh/ys
end
::irna 01/05/99 11:47

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

Date: Sat, 1 May 1999 23:10:36 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Laborers Hold Rallies To Mark World Labor Day

Laborers Hold Rallies To Mark World Labor Day
=============================================


thr 041
iran-labor day
laborers hold rallies to mark world labor day
tehran, may 1, irna -- tens of thousands of laborers from tehran's
factories and workshops held rallies on saturday to mark the world
labor day.
the gathering was held at the invitation of labor house at
baharestan square.
in the ceremony, secretary general of the labor house ali reza
mahjoub and soheila jelodarzadeh delivered speeches on philosophy of
the world labor day.
the rallies ended with issuance of a resolution by the labor
house.
mm/rr
end
::irna 01/05/99 17:28



Minister: Exemption Of Workshops From Labor Law, Not Justifiable
================================================================

thr 048
labor-laws
minister: exemption of workshops from labor law, not justifiable
tehran, may 1, irna -- the proposed labor bill to the majlis,
exempting the workshops and businesses employing three workers or less
from the labor law for a six-year period, is not properly studied and
does not have any economic and technical justification, said the labor
minister hussein kamali here saturday.
he told irna, ''in a recessionary period, these sorts of measures
will not boost employment.''
kamali also criticized the proposed bill's lack of clarity in
addressing the issues pertaining to the hours of work, insurance,
unemployment compensation and non-existence of a designated body in
case of job-related injuries.
stressing that the international law requires workers to abide
by the labor law, he added, ''the plan, if implemented, will affect
2.8 million workers and 1.9 million workshops.''
he also said that a 'supreme council of employment' has been
set-up to find ways of boosting jobs, adding, ''the council's
decisions are on par with those of the government.''
the labor minister also reiterated that the security of
investments, workers and employers as well as stability in fiscal,
tax, and import-export laws are essential factors in attracting
job-creating investments.
nb/rr
end
::irna 01/05/99 19:14

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

Date: Sat, 1 May 1999 23:10:58 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: On Urban/Rural Councils Election - 1

HARD LINERS OPEN NEW FRONT AGAINST PRESIDENT KHATAMI
====================================================


PARIS 28TH APR. (IPS) As the President ayatollah Mohammad
Khatami is expected to inaugurate formally Thursday the newly
elected Tehran city Council, the conservative-dominated
Supervisory Board annulled Monday the election of five members
of the Council, including the hojatoleslam Abdollah Nouri, a
former Interior Minister and Sa'id Hajjarian, the Editor of the
influential "Sobh Emrouz" (This Morning) liberal daily.

All 15 seats at Tehran's city council were taken by
personalities close to President Khatami.

Experts immediately described the decision as " one new phase"
in the hard liner's plans to destabilise both the President and
his reformist camp in the run out to the next legislative
elections due next June, as new tensions created by the zealots
stems from their lethal fear, and above all the ayatollah Ali
Khameneh'i, the leader of the regime himself, to loose the next
Majles (parliament) to the reformists, meaning the start of the
death of the concept of velayt faqih, or the rule of the
Zealots.

Announcing the decision of the Supervisory Board he chairs 2
months after the elections, the hard line hojatoleslam Ali
Movahedi-Savoji said Mr. Nouri, an Adviser to the President and
Mr.Ahmad Hakimi Pour, an official with the Finance and Economic
Minister and Mohammad Atrianfar, who works at Hamshahri, a
newspaper that belongs to Tehran Municipality had not resigned
in time from their official position. Mr. Hajjarian, the Editor
of Sobh Emrouz and a former high ranking official of the
Information (Intelligence) Ministry has failed to make firm
pledge to velayat faqih (the leadership) and to Islam and Mr.
Ebrahim Asqadership) and to Islam and Mr.
Ebrahim Asqar Zadeh, a leader of a pro-Khatami students movement
has a judiciary case.

Mr. Asqar Zadeh is a former student of the Line of the Imam who
over run the US Embassy in Tehran on November 1979 and took 55
American diplomats as hostages for 444 days now turned liberal.

The common denominator of the five disqualified men is that they
are all considered as influential reformist defending the
position and policies of the President in "strategic areas" such
as the press, the intelligence community, students etc.

Mr. Movahedi-Savoji also announced the rejection of many elected
candidates elsewhere in the country, most of them reformists and
pro-Khatami elements.

From the outset, the Supervisory Board tried several times at
rejecting the candidacy of most heavy weight pro-Khatami and
reformist candidates, including some of the above cited men, but
it was fiercely opposed by the Executive Board that is
controlled by the Interior Ministry.

On Wednesday, the Interior Ministry refuted pretexts of the
Supervisory Board, arguing that first of all it is not to this
Board to decide on the faith of the elected candidates, secondly
all candidates like Mr. Nouri and Atrianfar had resigned in time
thirdly the decision was unilateral and taken without the Board
reaching the forum, as 3 out of its five members were absents
and finally that no one can disqualify elected candidates two
months after their confirmation.

Mr. Movahedi-Savoji rejected the arguments, saying if the
Interior Minister goes ahead and that the Council is
inaugurated, it will declare the whole elections null and void.

According to many Iranian analysts, the conservatives have
dictated Mr. Movahedi-Savoji's decision to him.

"That the president has decided to inaugurate the first session
of the Tehran Council shows that he has confirmed the election
of the Council members and in this case, the efforts by the
hojatoleslam Mahdavi-Savoji to get some pro-conservative members
into the Tehran Council will lead nowhere", said Mr. Sadeq Saba,
a senior analyst of Iranian affairs for the BBC. ENDS
CONFRONTATION 23

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

Date: Sat, 1 May 1999 23:11:26 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: On Urban/Rural Councils Election - 2

KHATAMI'S BLUNT WARNING TO MONOPOLISTS: NO ARTIFICIAL REGIME
LAST LONG
============================================================


By Safa Haeri

TEHRAN-PARIS 29th APR. (IPS) - The ayatollah Mohammad Khatami of
Iran described Thursday the present Islamic system of Iran as
"superficial" and warned against the creation of artificial
systems that would never last long.

Observers said since he became president two years ago, that was
the first time the ayatollah Mohammad Khatami was speaking so
clearly about his perception of the velayat faqih, or the rule
of tutor, which is the basic principle of the Iranian system.

Inaugurating Tehran's first elected city council, President
Khatami said "by considering people as minors and by elevating
oneself as their tutor, one creates an artificial system that
will not last long", he told the newly elected council, all 15
members reformists and among his followers.

The inauguration of the Tehran's city Council by the president
and with a message from the leader, the ayatollah Ali
Khameneh'i, who urged the members to withhold the principles and
values of Islam and revolution was a hard hitting slap for the
conservative-controlled Supervisory Board that, earlier in the
week, had disqualified 5 important members of the council.

All the five invalidated men, that are the hojatoleslam Abdollah
Nouri, the former Interior Minister, Mr. Sa'id Hajjarian, the
Editor of the influential daily "Sobh Emrooz", Mohammad Ebrahim
Asqarzadeh, a students leader, Mr. Ahmad Hakimipour and Mr.
Mohammad Atrianfar, the Editor of "Hamshahri" daily were elected
as chairman, vice-chairman, secretaries and commissioner of the
council.

"The victory of Mr. Nouri is that of the entire people over the
zealots and the monopolists that, in the past years, have all
the time challenged people's rights and expectations, challenged
the president and his reforms by first impeaching Mr. Nouri when
he was Interior Minister and now impeaching Mr. Mohajerani,
another heavy weight Minister", observed Mr. Mohammad Sadeq
Javadi-Hesar, a prominent liberal journalist based in the north
eastern city of Mash-had.

By inaugurating the city and village councils, the first in the
contemporary history of Iran, Mr. Khatami was fulfilling a major
promise he had pledged during his electoral campaign two years
ago.

The inaugural ceremonies took place in a small wood-panelled
hall next to the main city office building in central Tehran and
with the presence of a small assembly of ministers, some MPs and
senior clerics.

About 280,000 candidates of both sexes, much less than the
number expected by the government competed for 130,000 council
seats.

Insisting on the importance of implementing freedoms, Mr.
Khatami said one has to provide freedom to the people so they
can choose freely their destiny. "The people have taken a
decisive step towards freedom and national pride. We are
witnessing one of the most evident manifestations of people's
control over their own destiny," Khatami told the floor.

Describing the councils as "the symbol of national unity", Mr.
Khatami said that different views, tastes and ideas must live
together, in harmony and understanding of each other. "There is
also this other unity that is after imposing one ideology, one
idea, one taste, one way of thinking, one way of life to the
whole of the populations and considers itself as the righteous.
But such unity is not accepted by Islam, wise men nor us", he
said, singling out the hard liners that opposes his reforms,
chief among them Mr. Khameneh'i.
In a direct challenge to the conservative establishment that has
put up obstacles to his reform programme, pointed out that "the
worse kind" of imposing oneself on others was abusing the
people's believes under the name of Islam, Ashoura, clericaldom,
leadership aimed at booting out the rival from the arena.

In a blunt warning to his opponents, he reminded that his
government was the fruit of the landslide victory the people
brought to him. "In the last presidential election each side
said what it really meant. Therefore, one can not say people's
massive vote was accidental", he said, pledging once again that
he would go ahead with his promised reforms using "all the means
and powers" he disposes of.

Absent from the ceremony was Mr. Qolamhosein Karbaschi, the
suspended Mayor of Tehran who played a vital role in the victory
of Mr. Khatami over his main rival, the ayatollah Ali Akbar
Nateq Nouri, the Speaker of the Majles, who was then backed by
the entire conservative establishment, including the leader.

Though convinced on charges of graft and abuse of power,
nevertheless, for many Iranians, Mr. Karbaschi pays the price of
both services he provided to the candidate Khatami and his
loyalty to President Khatami.

If not pardoned by the leader, Mr. Karbaschi, one of the very
few able directors and entrepreneurs in cadre-short Islamic Iran
will have to serve 2 years jail term followed by ten years of
total ban from public activity.

Islamic Republic's official news agency IRNA said Karbaschi has
been given one week to report to prison to begin serving his
sentence. But some informed sources hopes that his real mentor,
the former president ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani who
brought him from Isfahan to Tehran will persuade Mr. Khameneh'i
to pardon him.

The imprisonment of Mr. Karbaschi, the secretary-general of the
Servants of Reconstruction Party (SRP) will be a very hard blow
to that political formation that is also the right wing in Mr.
Khatami's coalition government, as two other leading and
influential members of the SRP in Mrs Fa'ezeh Hashemi, the
outspoken MP of Tehran, owner of the suspended newspaper Zan
(Woman) and daughter of Mr. Hahsemi Rafsanjani and Mr.
Mohajerani, the Guidance Minister are more or less disabled by
the conservatives.

Hence the appointment of Tehran's mayor, a choice which takes on
special importance with the arrest order served to Mr. Karbaschi
as one of the councils most important tasks to resolve.

Some analysts see Mr. Nouri as the new Mayor. But the job may
also go to Mr. Ata'ollah Mohajerani, the Islamic Guidance
Minister who faces a motion of impeachment in the Majles. If
impeached, Mr. Khatami may offer him the job instead of Mr.
Nouri. ENDS CONFRONTATION 2949900

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

Date: Sat, 1 May 1999 23:11:42 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: On Urban/Rural Councils Elections - 3

Khatmai celebrates Iran's democratic experiment
===============================================

05:58 a.m. Apr 29, 1999 Eastern

By Jonathan Lyons

TEHRAN, April 29 (Reuters) - Iran's President Mohammad
Khatami inaugurated Tehran's first elected local council on
Thursday, fulfilling a major campaign promise and completing a
grassroots democratic experiment first proposed 20 years ago.

The 15 members of the Tehran council, predominantly
reformers and Khatami loyalists, took the oath of office in a
small wood-panelled hall next to the main city office building.
Similar ceremonies were scheduled across Iran in thousands of
cities, towns and villages after polls in February designed to
help extinguish a legacy of 2,500 years of centralised rule and
expand popular participation in government.

Election officials say about 280,000 candidates competed for
130,000 council seats, in races first outlined in the 1979
constitution but never before implemented. In addition, 60,000
people were elected as reservists.

``We are witnessing one of the most evident manifestations of
people's control over their own destiny,'' Khatami told the
council members and a small assembly of ministers, leading
MPs and senior clerics. ``The people have taken a decisive step
towards freedom and national pride.''

But the festive atmosphere was coloured by news reports that
Tehran's suspended mayor, a key ally in Khatami's election and
subsequent reform efforts, has been ordered to begin a
two-year jail term on charges of graft.

Khatami, a Shi'ite Moslem cleric, was elected in 1997 on a
populist platform of expanded social and political liberty within
Iran's Islamic system.

He used Thursday's swearing-in to push back existing barriers
to freedom and to challenge what he said was an Iranian
tradition of unity based on authoritarian rule.

``Lets recognise that we have an historic disease, that we have
been subjected to this type of unity. The revolution freed people
from the chains of this unity but the after effects of the disease
still linger on,'' Khatami said.

In a direct challenge to the conservative establishment that has
put up obstacles to his reform programme, Khatami said his
own landslide over a hardline rival and the subsequent victory of
fellow reformers in the council polls were true expressions of
popular will. His reforms, he promised, would prevail.

``This government also emanates from the popular vote,'' he
said. ``In the last presidential election each side said what it
really meant. The peoples vote was not accidental.''

The polls in Tehran, Iran's most politicised city, were marred by
a row over the qualifications of five reformist candidates, all of
whom went on to win seats. Conservatives sought to bar the
candidates from running, and then attempted to ban them from
the councils after the results were in.

But Khatami and his interior minister, in charge of such
elections, side-stepped the challenge and all five were present
on Thursday to take their oaths of office. A letter read out from
supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei apparently signalled
final approval of the results.

Among the first duties of the council is the appointment of
mayors, a process in Tehran that takes on special importance
with the arrest order for Gholamhossein Karbaschi, the capital's
mayor convicted of graft in a trial his supporters say was
politically motivated.

The official IRNA news agency said Karbaschi has been given
one week to report to Evin prison to begin his sentence.

His imprisonment will be a blow to Khatami, who has backed
Karbaschi against the charges raised by the conservative-led
judiciary.

Moderates say the case was an attempt to undermine Khatami's
liberal political and social reforms. The judiciary has repeatedly
denied the charge.


Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.

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

Date: Sat, 1 May 1999 23:11:50 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Karbaschi To Report To Special Judiciary Complex B

Karbaschi To Report To Special Judiciary Complex By Thursday
============================================================


thr 026
karbaschi-keshavarz
karbaschi to report to special judiciary complex by thursday
tehran, may 1, irna -- former mayor of tehran gholamhossein
karbaschi's attorney bahman keshavarz told irna here saturday that his
client is to report to the special judiciary complex by closing office
hours of thursday.
he said that the arrest warrant issued for karbaschi was delivered
to him wednesday and he is to report to the complex in seven days.
he also said the execution of the verdict will be postponed by
the complex if the court deems it necessary to rectify shortcomings
of the case and if the supreme court agrees to karbaschi's appeal
for retrial.
keshavarz further noted that the supreme court branch
which was to deal with karbaschi's appeal for retrial had not
been specified as late as the closing hours of offices on
thursday.
he stressed that efforts would be made to convince the supreme
court to agree to the retrial appeal and revise the previous verdict.
vd/rr
end
::irna 01/05/99 16:06

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

Date: Sat, 1 May 1999 23:13:00 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: On Iran-U.S. Relationship - 1

Iran Hails U.S. Policy Change As 'Surrender'
============================================


07:27 a.m. Apr 29, 1999 Eastern

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iranian state radio Thursday hailed a
United States decision to lift sanctions on food and medicine to
Iran as a ``surrender'' by Washington in the face of mounting
political and economic costs for its policies.

In the first reaction to a decision, announced in Washington
Wednesday, to permit the sale of food to Iran, Libya and
Sudan -- all the targets of earlier sanctions -- Tehran radio said
the move was dictated by the realities of the global economy.

``This surrender is a response to widespread international
pressure, as well as growing pressure from U.S. companies
fighting for a share of international markets,'' the radio said in a
commentary.

``Washington knows that past sanctions policies have not been
able to deter the countries that were subjected to these
sanctions. The only result was that American companies were
deprived of markets in more than 40 countries in the world,'' the
radio said.

The Clinton administration's decision could pave the way for
U.S. farmers to sell hundreds of millions of dollars in wheat,
soybeans and other commodities to Iran, Libya and Sudan.

The policy change was expected to clear the way for the U.S.
Treasury Department to grant a license to Niki Trading Co,
which has sought permission to sell about 3.55 million tons of
farm goods to Iran, including 2.0 million tons of wheat. Other
U.S. firms may also seek similar sales.

There was no immediate reaction from officials in Tehran,
where most offices were closed for the Iranian weekend, which
begins Thursday. A duty officer at the foreign ministry was
unable to provide comment.

Ties to one-time ally the United States are among the most
contentious issues in Iran, with many still bitter over
Washington's unwavering public support for the deposed shah,
overthrown in the 1979 Islamic revolution.

The conservative establishment, once widely seen as leading
advocates of rapprochement with the United States, now says it
sees no justification for restored ties.

However, any definitive response to the change in trade policy
-- or to earlier concilia
-- or to earlier conciliatory comments from President Clinton --
are likely to be some time in coming.

Trade between the United States and Iran has been banned
since 1995, when Clinton tightened existing sanctions to protest
against what Washington says was Tehran's support for
international terrorism.

However, the two capitals have recently begun a slow thaw in
their relations, frozen since the aftermath of the 1979 seizure of
the U.S. embassy in Tehran. So far U.S. bids for official talks
have been stymied by Tehran's demands for ``concrete''
actions, such as the easing of sanctions.


Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.


U.S. Moves To Permit Food Sales To Iran, Libya
==============================================


02:04 a.m. Apr 29, 1999 Eastern

By Carol Giacomo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States, in a major
shift, will ease its sanctions policy to permit food and medicine
sales to Iran, Libya and Sudan so these items are not used as a
foreign policy ``weapon'', officials said Wednesday.

The decision -- y.

The decision -- long sought by farm state members of Congress
and businesses -- would permit case-by-case consideration of
food and medicine sales to Iran, Libya and Sudan rather than
banning them outright, officials said.

The easing of sanctions doe
s not apply to the long-standing
economic embargo of Cuba, or restrictions on exports to North
Korea and Iraq. Limited humanitarian sales to those countries
are controlled by separate rules.

Energy products also are not covered by the easing of sanctions
policy, U.S. officials said.

Undersecretary of State Stuart Eizenstat said the decision was
the preliminary result of a two-year review of overall U.S.
sanctions policy which concluded that allowing food and
medicine sales to problem states ``doesn't enhance a nation's
military capability or ability to support terrorism.''

In fact, banning such sales can backfire by eroding support for
U.S. policies and resulting in lost business for its economically
hard-hit agricultural sector, he told reporters.

Eizenstat insisted the decision was not meant as a gesture to
Iran, Libya and Sudan, who like Cuba, North Korea, Iraq and
Syria are on the U.S. list of states sponsoring terrorism.

But analysts say the change could encourage improved ties.

Eizenstat said President Clinton decided on ``a change in our
sanctions policy which would allow the sale of foods, medicine
and medical equipment and therefore exempt them from future
unilateral sanctions regimes.''

``We would also extend this policy to currently embargoed
countries,'' specifically Iran, Libya and Sudan, he said.

The change does not allow the sales to proceed outright.

Companies still must apply to the U.S. Treasury Department for
a license and these will be granted on a ``case-by-case'' basis,
officials said.

But unlike in the past, when such sales were prohibited, the
presumption is now that as long as they meet certain criteria, the
sales will be approved, officials said.

The aim is to ``rationalize'' the U.S. approach ``so food is not
used as a weapon'' of foreign policy,'' one official said.

One effect of the change is to permit consideration of the deal
under which Niki Trading Co. is seeking a license to sell 3.55
million tons of farm goods to Iran worth about $500 million,
most of it wheat.

``There is an application by Niki for the sale of wheat to Iran ...
but this policy (change) does not necessarily mean that that
license will be granted,'' Eizenstat said.

But Niki President Richard Bliss said he expects the first in a
series of U.S. grain shipments to sail to Tehran within 30 to 60
days after the administration formally eases sanctions.

``I would istration formally eases sanctions.

``I would istration formally eases sanctions.

``I would expect shipments could be on the high seas in about
30 to 60 days,'' Bliss said.

Eizenstat said that to be approved, food and medicine sales
must comply with certain general principles.

Licenses will only be granted for ``fully negotiated contracts as
opposed to open-ended proposals'' and deals must reflect
prevailing market prices. Also, deals cannot involve U.S.
government financial guarantees, he said.

Permitted sales cover wheat, corn, feed, soybeans, edible oils,
meat, fish, baby food and formula. No decision has been made
on whether fertilizer, pesticides and agricultural equipment can
also be sold, he said.

From now on, Washington would expect to disallow sales only
in ``extraordinary circumstances,'' such as to countries involved
in an armed conflict with the United States and its allies, when
commodities likely would be diverted to the armed forces or
when the regime would derive ``unjust'' benefit, he said.

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

U.S. officials repeatedly have said no change in sanctions policy
would occur until Tehran made significant changes in its policies
on terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and the Mideast
peace process. U.S. ties with Iran have improved since
moderate President Mohammad Khatami took power two
years ago.
Tensions with Libya eased some when Tripoli recently handed
over to international prosecution two suspects accused of
bombing Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988 and killing 270 people.

Eizenstat said Washington sees no change in Iran's terrorism
policy.

``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, he said..

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

Farm state lawmakers like Indiana Republican Richard Lugar,
chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, have pressed
the administration for months to lift sanctions to open up new
markets for U.S. farmers, who are facing low commodity prices
and stiff international competition.

Iran, Libya and Sudan buy upward of $6.3 billion annually in
commodities and American sellers could expect to reap about
$500 million a year from that market, officials say.

Iran alone represents an annual market of about 5 million tons
of wheat for exporters, Niki's Bliss said. The country also
imports about 2 million tons of coarse grains each year plus
500,000 tons oflus
500,000 tons of soy meal and 400,000 tons of soy oil.

The White House denied the administration had caved in to
congressional pressure. ``This was done solely on the basis of
national security and foreign policy grounds,'' National Security
Council spokesman David Leavy said.


Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.

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

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 28 Apr 1999 to 1 May 1999 - Special issue
******************************************************************