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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 1 May 1999 to 2 May 1999 - Special issue

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 1 May 1999 to 2 May 1999 - Special issue
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There are 9 messages totalling 1241 lines in this issue.

Topics in this special issue:

1. Edward Said: Forced to accept false logic
2. On Mohajerani Impeachment - 1
3. On Mohajerani Impeachment - 2
4. Niazi: Case Of Suspicious Murders Being Followed
5. State Dept. Slightly Softens View of Iran
6. CIA OFFICIAL LAUDER ... - Part 1/3
7. CIA OFFICIAL LAUDER ... - Part 2/3
8. CIA OFFICIAL LAUDER ... - Part 3/3
9. Iraq Urges Iran Not To Normalise Ties With U.S.

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

Date: Sun, 2 May 1999 03:44:41 -0400
From: Rahim Bajoghli <rbajoghli@JUNO.COM>
Subject: Edward Said: Forced to accept false logic

Forced to accept false logic

By Edward Said ( ews1@columbia.edu )

As I write these lines, the NATO campaign is a month old, with none of
the alliance's announced objectives anywhere near being accomplished. The
tyrannical and xenophobic regime of Slobodan Milosevic is still in power,
gathering more Serbian adherents, even from among his former enemies in
the country. Dissidents, democratic opposition figures, anti-government
radio stations and papers have either been silenced or now support him
against NATO, an unsurprising thing given that the increasingly damaging
air campaign is correctly perceived as a war against all of Serbia. The
atrocities in Kosovo have also increased, with more refugees, more
destroyed villages, and more (rather than less) Serbian troops creating
havoc in a place that is supposedly being protected from further ravages.

This is by far the worst of NATO's miscalculations, for which the
starkest proof is the clear unreadiness of the attacking countries to
deal with the refugee crisis. An added complication is, in my opinion,
the strong likelihood that very few of the refugees will truly be
repatriated, their homes and villages restored, their lives resumed. I
hope I am wrong.

To Palestinians of my generation, the dispossession of the entire
Palestinian people and the creation of Israel in 1948 were like this,
without CNN and without the triumphalism of Clinton, Blair and Solano
blathering on about Western values and humanitarian missions. It is worth
reminding readers that every year since l948 the UN General Assembly has
re-affirmed Resolution 194, which allows Palestinian refugees the right
of return and/or compensation for their losses. After 51 years of such
resolutions, no less well-intentioned than what NATO spokesmen are daily
reiterating ,the Palestinians are still in exile, still dispossessed and
Israel, which played the Milosevic role in l948, continues to dispossess
Palestinians on a daily basis. A major irony is that Israel's desire to
appear on the side of NATO has extended as far as offering about 120
Kosovar refugees asylum in Israel, on a kibbutz that stands on
Palestinian land seized in l948; where the village once existed, nothing
of its past owners, neither names, nor possessions, nor memory survives.
Such is the logic of history and, it must be said, the logic of the
conqueror.

A third disaster is that there can be no properly forecast end either to
the campaign or to the Serbian resistance. If the fate of Iraq provides
any lesson or indication at all, the strong probability is that a few
months hence Milosevic will still be in power, Serbia will be devastated,
and the Serbian civilian population will be paying the heaviest price.

Every day brings further evidence that Bill Clinton, architect of the air
war, has brought his own pathology, rather than good sense, knowledge or
humanity, to the crisis. A recent book on Clinton by the British
journalist Christopher Hitchens, certainly the best book on the Clinton
administration to emerge since the Arkansas man came to power, is
entitled No One Left To Lie To, almost an understatement in terms of what
Clinton as president has done, from betraying his election promises,
selling out
his party, proclaimed ideals, family, friends as well as numerous women,
to using the federal government as a special vehicle for his sordid
schemes.

Not the least of Hitchens's arguments is that Clinton ought to have been
impeached, not for lying about his affair with Monica Lewinsky, but for
the bombing of Sudan, Afghanistan and Iraq, all of them raided illegally
and without clear provocation. There is considerable evidence now that
Clinton has used the Kosovo crisis as a way of repairing the damage he
caused himself over Lewinsky (this was also true in the earlier raids)
with scarcely a thought either for the war's cost in human life,
treasure, or material damage, or for its conclusion. For not only has the
NATO
action been undertaken without a formal declaration of war by the US
Congress, but there has been little thought given as to how such a war is
supposed to achieve ends that are as nebulous and ill-defined as these
are. What is to be the status of Kosovo? What of the Kosovar Serbs? On
what grounds are "the ethnic Albanians", as the media persists in calling
them, going to be offered a new future, where, and in what relationship
to Serbia, which still has uncontested sovereignty over the province?
These are some of the basic questions upon which Clinton and his pet
allies, the egregious Tony Blair and British Foreign Secretary Robin
Cook, haven't yet paused to reflect.

In this conspiracy of silence fobbed onto the vast American public, the
media has played the most extraordinary role of propaganda and
encouragement, which seems to get worse every day. Obviously Serbian
propaganda has been playing its own role, which I make no attempt to
justify or minimise. There is a vicious politics of identity at work in
Yugoslavia, intensified by both the media and the opponents. But CNN and
its co-conspirators, including the BBC, have played the part of a
cheering partisan team. Last week, I appeared on BBC Television and at
one point
had to remind the announcer who was questioning me that he should lower
his voice and allow me to speak without further interruptions. When I
drew attention to the shortcomings of the NATO position, he started
screaming
at me, demanding why I justified Milosevic's ethnic cleansing and how, as
a Palestinian, I could endorse the ethnic cleansing of "fellow Muslims".

Most TV broadcasters refer to the NATO forces as "ours" and regularly
challenge military consultants about the folly of not using ground troops
and attacking more Serbian targets, including Serbian television itself.

No journalist has dared raise the question of how it is that the number
of refugees has actually increased since the bombing began (the bombing,
that is, that was supposed to save them), and any suggestion that NATO
may have made matters worse is scarcely given a hearing, especially since
the war has now spilled over into Montenegro, Albania and has had serious
internal repercussions in Greece, a member of NATO.

The cooperation between NATO government spokesmen and journalists has in
effect eliminated real investigative reporting (we know next to nothing
of what has happened inside Kosovo, except that, far from stopping Serb
atrocities, NATO has managed to allow their soldiers' number to grow --
so it is impossible to know from CNN and the others what exactly is being
hit, where, and with what effect). In a recent article, one media critic
pointed out the way in which US State Department spokesman Jamie Rubin is
echoed in his assertions by CNN's star reporter Christiane Amanpour, who
just happens to be Rubin's wife.

A further irony is that the constant references to "ethnic Albanians"
obscure, if they do not altogether eliminate, the fact that most of the
refugees are Muslim. Consider that whenever Hamas or Hizbullah, or
Iranians or Palestinians, are referred to by the media -- in particular
when "terrorism" is what is being pointed out -- the adjective "Muslim"
never fails to appear. In Yugoslavia, the tactic used is to suggest that
these are European refugees, after all, and therefore more deserving of
NATO attention. Therefore the word "Muslim" is never used. I have yet to
see a programme on the families of the 46,000 Kurdish victims of Turkey's
genocide, or even a mention that this genocide, as well as the continued
starvation of Iraqi civilians (mostly Muslims also) is taking place right
now, with active US participation (supplying NATO member Turkey with
Apache helicopters and F-16s, for example). Why that isn't considered as
bad as what Milosevic is doing puzzles me, but one supposes that a higher
logic is at work which ordinary human beings cannot easily comprehend.

The worst thing about the NATO campaign as it is reported in the media --
remember that news today is effectively controlled by about five major
transnational corporations, all of them with intimate ties to the defence
industry, which has a direct interest in the war's continuation -- is not
only that it simplifies the enormously complicated histories, societies
and peoples that exist in the Balkans, but that, in focusing
unquestioningly on what NATO says and what pictures NATO gives out, the
media in effect is part of the NATO campaign, obliterating history and
reality with propaganda. As British Member of Parliament Anthony Benn
correctly said, the result is that democracy is threatened, to say
nothing of a decent future for an estimable portion of mankind.

Perhaps the most dangerous side effect of the new Balkan war is that it
may have permanently damaged the United Nations. What US power signals is
that it, and it alone, can dictate the shape of things to come --
intervening unilaterally where the whims of its leaders may choose,
destroying, tampering with, building and re-building as it wishes for no
other reason, finally, than that it CAN do so. Although I do not wish to
pay him a compliment, it does seem that Samuel Huntington's clash of
civilisations thesis has been adopted by US policy-makers (and even a few
journalists: two weeks ago on the front page of The New York Times, one
of their resident pundits produced a long article suggesting that the
current Balkan war proved the validity of Huntington's thesis).

The working policy assumption therefore seems to be that the world is a
dangerous place for the "West" (i.e. the US) and therefore, as Huntington
says, it is always better to take the offensive directly, going into the
enemy's camp to do one's will inside it. Only in this way can the US
"encourage and enlarge" its economic power to enter also every country's
economy and profit from it. The triumph of this idea is the triumph of a
ludicrously aggressive picture of our world, since it assumes that all
civilisations necessarily are in conflict and that the only basis for
politics is ethnic identity, but also of a false dichotomy and a false
logic, the essence of which is: either you are with us or you are against
us. Thus, today the formula is that one is for NATO -- i.e. for "Western"
values of "humanity, democracy, decency" -- or for the inhuman,
atrocity-mongering tyranny of Slavic-Orthodox civilisation as represented
by Slobodan Milosevic.
Formulated in such a way, one can easily see that
this is a caricature of reality: no moral choices are that simple, nor in
fact should they be made that simple if the world is to survive as
something more than a jungle of all against all, regulated by a "free"
market that is controlled by the US.

Moreover, there is a profoundly anti-democratic logic at work here, as if
to say hurry up, make up your mind and join us, otherwise you will be
demonised and perhaps even destroyed. The US today is the only country in
the world which has intervened militarily all across the globe in the
past 12 months, and has used its economic sanction power over 60 times in
the past decade. With its planes flying 600-plus missions every day, with
General Wesley Clark requesting more planes and more bombs and troops,
and
with at least a half dozen powers in possession of nuclear, biological
and chemical weapons on a large scale (to say nothing of those trying to
acquire them), humanity risks a great deal in the immediate future.

Unfortunately, there are no quick solutions, no ready-made tactics to
replace the prevailing logic of false dichotomies or an exacerbated sense
of endangered identity. But by raising self-conscious awareness of what
the media at present distorts and hides, we can at least begin to stiffen
our resistance to the direction and the leadership offered by men either
like Milosevic, or like Clinton, who has never experienced war or any of
its terrible dislocating effects, and is drunk on the miracles of
high-tech electronic warfare where you do not see or come anywhere near
what your victims are suffering.

The only answer is not to refuse to look at the endless pictures of
refugees, but to develop the resistance that comes from a real education
in philosophy and the humanities, patient and repeated criticism, and
intellectual courage. Identity politics, nationalist passions and
murderousness, an aggravated sense of victimhood or a saviour complex
cannot be dealt with in any other way: these are universal problems
requiring universalist solutions, not spontaneous war or unreflecting
quick fixes.

Al-Ahram Weekly - 29 Apr. - 5 May 1999
http://www.ahram.org.eg/weekly/1999/427/op1.htm

___________________________________________________________________
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------------------------------

Date: Sun, 2 May 1999 23:08:42 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: On Mohajerani Impeachment - 1

VICTORY OF MOHAJERANI IN MAJLES A STINGING DEFEAT FOR ZEALOTS
=============================================================


By Safa Haeri, IPS Editor

PARIS FIRST OF MAY (IPS) For the second time in as many days,
the Iranian conservatives suffered a heavy defeat as the Majles
(parliament) confirmed Saturday Mr. Ata'ollah Mohajerani in his
position as the Islamic Guidance Minister, rejecting by 134
votes against 121 and 7 abstention an impeachment motion
introduced last week by 31 hard line MPs.

The Iranian intelligentsia community that feared a backlash in
case the motion would succeed immediately warmly welcomed the
heavy blow dealt to the hard liners.

Two days ago, the first popularly elected city and villages
councils started their activity officially as the
conservative-controlled Supervisory Board had disqualified five
leading members of the Capital's council.

"The victory of Mr. Mohajerani is an important triumph for the
President and the reformists as well as for the intellectuals,
for the press, for the writers and artists who can continue to
work and produce with more confidence. It is a triumph for the
democratisation process", said Mr. Mashallah Shamsolva'ezin, the
Editor of the liberal "Neshat" daily.

The debate lasted more than seven hours during which several
hard line MPs accused the Minister of leniency, encouraging
depravity, corruption and prostitution, advantaging corrupt
westernised artists, writers and intellectuals against the
zealots and those who defend Islamic and revolutionary values,
preaching the separation of religion from the state, insulting
Islam and Islamic personalities, praising Monarchy and
anti-revolutionaries.

"Does not the Minister sense the plot when a PR for the dirty
Pahlavi dynasty and an executive of Radio Israel expresses his
pride of the content of newspapers like Jame'eh or Toos? (Both
banned on orders from the ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i, the leader
of the regime) Does he has any plan to counter the plot against
the fundament of our regime?" asked Mr. Morteza Nabavi, the
Editor of "Resalat", a conservative daily that reflects the
views of the bazaar oligarchy and the influential Islamic
Coalition Association that controls the Islamic Republic.

He was referring to Mr. Alireza Nourizadeh, a free lance Iranian
journalist, political analyst and poet who, from London where he
is based, is often interviewed by Persian services of radios
stations such as BBC, RFI, VOA or Kol Israel.

MPs opposed to reforms undertaken by the president ayatollah
Mohammad Khatami described some prominent poets like Mr. Ahmad
Shamlou or Mrs. Simin Behbahani, writers, journalists, political
analysts, scholars, intellectuals as "enemies" of Islam,
"apostates" and "blasphemers", noting that Mr. Mohajerani has
authorised the publication of "hundreds" of immoral books
encouraging perversity, homosexuality, love and depravation.

"The prophet Mohammad had personally ordered the beheading of
poets and his son-in-law Ali their whipping", pointed out
hojatoleslam Mousavi Hosseini, another MP who had introduced the
impeachment motion.

Explaining the stunning victory of Mr. Mohajerani in the
conservatives-controlled Majles, analysts cited the bold,
methodical, sustained, defence of the Guidance Minister that was
filled with facts and figures against the vague, mostly
unfounded, blind attack of his opponents; the failure of the
hard liners to attract independent MPs to their side and finally
a cautious approach by others fearing to loose next elections if
they voted against Mr. Mohajerani, one of Mr. Khatami's most
popular ministers and ally.
This vote in favour of Mr. Mohajerani also shows that the lead
of the conservatives in the 272 seats Majles is not that secure,
analysts noted.
"This is a prove that opponents to freedom and democracy are in
minority. This vote can be considered as a rehearsal for the
next legislative elections", said Mr. Yusef Azizi, a journalist
who also highlighted the "positive" role played by the
independent MPs

"There is no damage more important than the one that encourages
anarchy under the name of freedom, that transforms the
atmosphere of the nation into one of intolerance and turning
people away from religion", said Mr Reza Taqavi, chairman of the
Guidance Committee.

"My fear is that the honourable legislators have not read the
books and the authors they condemn so convincingly, not
realising that there is a big gap between what one hear and what
one learn by himself", an ever smiling Mohajerani
counter-charged.

He reiterated that if he is confirmed, he will continue with his
policy of liberalising the cultural life of the nation that is
an "integral part" of the reforms promised and undertaken by
President Mohammad Khatami.

He objected to the hard liners "intrigues" including provocation
of families of martyrs against him during the Islamic month of
Moharram where religious fervours are high in Iran.

"This victory has injected new blood to the life of the nation.
It's another election, another triumph for Mr. Khatami and all
reformists"; Mr. Mas'oud Behnoud, an independent journalist in
Tehran pointed out.

As hoped by both the president and Mr. Mohajerani, who is also
the government's official Spokesman, the impeachment served as a
forum for the government to explain to the public the
difficulties it faces because of obstacles the conservatives
creates all the time.

"Now that the hard liners were unmasked, the people understands
better the difficulties the president faces", Mr. Bahnoud said.

Conservatives stinging defeat was immediately splashed on all
international radio and televisions, with analysts describing
the event as a major win for the reform-seeking Iranian
president. ENDS IMPEACHMENT 159920



Mohajerani'S Survival, Embarrassing Defeat For Right-Wing Press
===============================================================


thr 010
mohajerani-vote-press
mohajerani's survival, embarrassing defeat for right-wing press
tehran, may 2, irna -- the english daily 'iran news' sunday citing
several factors which helped the embattled minister of culture and
islamic guidance ataollah mohajerani to save his job, pointed out that
the biggest loser is the right-wing press which put all its effort in
discrediting mohajerani.
the editorial was referring to yesterday's impeachment proceedings
in which mohajerani had to defend himself. he won the vote of
confidence and once again proved his critics wrong and survived the
censure motion tabled by a group of 31 conservative mps some two weeks
ago.
''essentially mohajerani's position vis-a-vis the majlis remains
unchanged. yesterday's vote indicates no significant change in the
political stands of mps and that should deputies try to impeach
another minister, the same thing is likely to happen.''
referring to the letter sent by the supreme leader to majlis
speaker ali akbar nateq nouri and read at the majlis session prior to
the impeachment proceedings, the daily noted that the ''clear and
explicit message also indicated the leader's complete neutrality in
the impeachment process.''
not only this, mohajerani's eloquent oratorical skills were
undoubtedly a significant factor in securing his nomination.
furthermore, the full-fledged symbolic support given by the cabinet
ministers and first vice president hassan habibi who were present in
the majlis surely did not hurt mohajerani's chances, noted the paper.
''what effect will mohajerani staying in office have on the
iranian press?'' asked the paper, pointing out that with regard to the
pro-khatami press, the culture minister's victory will not alter much
their role in the political arena.
fh/ys
end
::irna 02/05/99 11:42

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

Date: Sun, 2 May 1999 23:08:56 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: On Mohajerani Impeachment - 2

Implications Of The Vote Of Confidence
======================================


thr 003
iran-daily-editorial
implications of the vote of confidence
tehran, may 2, irna -- `iran daily', the english morning newspaper in
its editorial here sunday wrote, "minister of culture and islamic
guidance ataollah mohajerani received a vote of confidence following
the majlis impeachment proceedings on saturday. this was a fresh
breath of air for the cultural, press and artistic atmosphere of the
land."
it said, "the disagreement of the majority of the majlis deputies
over mohajerani's impeachment is a seal of approval for the cultural
policies of the khatami administration. the event, however, deserves
scrutiny from tow angles.
"the first point is that despite the claims made by certain
political streams that one particular group holds the majority in the
majlis. saturday's vote reveals that the majority of deputies are
quite rational and logical. in other words, the so-called majority of
the majlis cannot manipulate the overall performance of the lawmakers.
"the vote proves that the majlis supports the policies of the
president. hence, one can be optimistic that initiatives for
solidarity and removal of tension, which the nation needs in order to
combat numerous economic, social and cultural hurdles, will continue.
"furthermore, the ruling establishment again effectively
demonstrated the exercise of democracy to the international community.
that is, the deputies, irrespective of being opposed to the
impeachment motion or in favor of it, argued for their respective
standpoints. in fact, logic had the final say and not a particular
faction or a group for that matter," said the daily.
"secondly, now that mohajerani has retained the post, he should
endeavor, as he also mentioned in his defense in the majlis, to carry
out effective planning to upgrade the activities of this sensitive
ministry and the supervision of cultural affairs. to this end, it is
necessary to clearly define some of the existing laws, so no problems
will be encountered in their future application.
"mohajerani said, `article 24 of the constitution says the press
corps are free to express their viewpoints until they break the
sanctities of the revolution or undermine public rights. the details
will be set as per the governing laws.' any instances of violation
should thus be made transparent," it added.
the paper went on to say, "at any rate, given the majlis vote of
confidence for mohajerani, the open cultural atmosphere prevailing in
the country which had recently been subjected to various criticisms
and was on the verge of becoming ineffective, has revived in light of
the deputies' support."
"of course, it is an open secret that there exist shortcomings in
the arenas of culture and news dissemination. however, we should work
for overcoming the problems through reviewing that has been done so
far. let us hope that by virtue of this atmosphere, grounds will be
faciliated for the growth of islamic and iranian culture in the
country and that latent talents will continue to blossom," iran daily
concluded.
pm/dh
end
::irna 02/05/99 00:48

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

Date: Sun, 2 May 1999 23:10:08 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Niazi: Case Of Suspicious Murders Being Followed

NIAZI: CASE OF SUSPICIOUS MURDERS BEING FOLLOWED DECISIVELY
===========================================================

thr 026
murders-niazi
niazi: case of suspicious murders being followed decisively
semnan, may 2, irna -- head of the judicial organization of the
armed forces hojatoleslam mohammad niazi said here sunday that no
change has been made in the process of investigations over the case of
suspicious murders, adding that the case is being followed decisively
with the same staff.
last year the country was witness to a spate of murders of
political dissidents and intellectuals following which an expert
judicial body was formed to probe into the killings.
addressing a student gathering here this morning, he said in the
process of investigations so far all agents involved in the murders
as well as their associates and masterminds have been identified.
however, he stressed that the most important point in this case
is the objective and motive behind the murders which have been
committed at a special political juncture. he said the motives have
not been identified yet.
hojatoleslam niazi termed suspicious murders ''a sophisticated
case'', adding that the leader of the islamic revolution ayatollah
ali khamenei and president mohammad khatami are following it.
meanwhile, he added, an expert intelligence team is interrogating
the convicts, adding that those involved in the murders will receive
due punishment as they have dealt a severe blow on the system.
on whether the trial of the convicts will be open, the official
said although the trial is expected to be open, however, head
of the court will make the final decision in this connection.
as for the involvement of foreign agents in the murders, niazi
said no definite view can be expressed in this connection. but, he
added, evidence shows that the crime has been committed through the
directives of the aliens.
he said currently five key elements involved in the murders are
under detention, adding that no new arrest has been made in this
connection.
niazi said that although it is hard to set a date for the
termination of the investigation process, it is hoped that it will
be completed by the year end.
he said the public will be provided with proper information at
proper time.
ns/ys
end
::irna 02/05/99 15:20

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

Date: Sun, 2 May 1999 23:10:40 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: State Dept. Slightly Softens View of Iran

State Dept. Slightly Softens View of Iran
=========================================


By Steven Mufson and Thomas W. Lippman
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, May 1, 1999; Page A10

The State Department modestly softened language on Iran in its
annual terrorism report yesterday in what appeared to be another
in a series of low-key signals that it is altering its view of
the Islamic government in Tehran.

Whereas last year the State Department called Iran "the most
active state sponsor of terrorism in 1997," the new report said
only that Iran "in 1998 continued to be involved in the planning
and execution of terrorist acts." It added, "Tehran apparently
conducted fewer anti-dissident assassinations abroad in 1998
than in 1997."

The modifications follow recent comments by President Clinton,
as well as a loosening of export restrictions, that suggest the
admiing of export restrictions, that suggest the
admiing of export restrictions, that suggest the
administration is still trying to open the door to some
rapprochement with the Iranian government.

Despite the altered language, Iran was still one of seven
governments branded in the report, "Patterns of Global
Terrorism," as state sponsors of terrorism. The report noted
that Tehran carried out assassinations overseas, might have been
involved in five "mysterious murders of leading writers and
political activists" in Iran, and supported terrorist groups
operating outside Iran.

Other countries in that category are Cuba, Iraq, Libya, North
Korea, Sudan and Syria. The list has not changed since August
1993. Afghanistan would have been included, a senior State
Department official said, but it is not considered a functioning
state.

The State Department noted that direct government involvement in
acts of terrorism declined, but Secretary of State Madeleine K.
Albright said, "Unfortunately, this progress has been countered
by the rise of terrorist groups that are less directly dependent
on states."

Because of the bombing of U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es
Salaam, 1998 was the deadliest year on record. Although fewer
international terrorist incidents were listed than in any year
since 1971, more than 700 people died and almost 6,000 were
injured. About 40 percent of the attacks in 1998 -- 111 in all
-- were directed against U.S. targets. Most of those -- 77 --
were bombings of a multinational oil pipeline in Colombia.

Large sections of the report remained virtually identical to
last year's, making the modifications in language regarding Iran
more noteworthy.

In the nearly two years since the election of President Mohammed
Khatemi, the Clinton administration has made several gestures
aimed at ending the hostility that has divided the two nations
since the 1979 Islamic revolution. These have included
well-publicized policy statements -- notably Albright's June
1998 speech offering Tehran a "road map" to improved relations
-- as well as smaller gestures billed as self-contained
decisions designed to be consistent with the rapprochement
effort but not necessarily motivated by it.

In December, for example, Clinton removed Iran from the U.S.
list of major drug-producing countries, telling Congress Iran
has nearly eliminated cultivation of opium poppies.
Administration officials said that represented simply a factual
assessment, but added they would not be unhappy if Iran
interpreted it as a friendly gesture.

Similarly, when Clinton decided last week to permit U.S.
companies to sell food and medicine to Iran under certain
conditions, Undersecretary of State Stuart E. Eizenstat depicted
the move as part of an overall reform of U.S. economic sanctions
policy, not a "signal to any country." But administration
officials said the White House had deliberately waited until the
sanctions decision was ready to announce another decision,
reached earlier, to deny a request by Mobil Corp. to engage in
some oil transactions with Iran.

The White House wanted to make sure there was some good news to
balance the bad news, officials said.

At a White House event on April 12, Clinton delivered
off-the-cuff remarks about Iran that surprised the State
Department and caused a furor in Tehran, where many politicians
and journalists argued in parliament and on editorial pages over
whether the president's words should be interpreted as an
apology for past U.S. policy toward Iran.

"It may be," Clinton said, "that the Iranian people have been
taught to hate or distrust the United States or the West on the
grounds that we are infidels and outside the faith. And,
therefore, it is easy for us to be angry and to respond in kind.
I think it is important to recognize, however, that Iran,
because of its enormous geopolitical importance over time, has
been the subject of quite a lot of abuse from various Western
nations.

"And I think sometimes it's quite important to tell people,
look, you have a right to be angry at something my country or my
culture or others that are generally allied with us today did to
you 50 or 60 or 100 or 150 years ago. But that is different from
saying that I am outside the faith, and you are God's chosen."

In a speech 10 days later to the Council on Foreign Relations in
New York, Assistant Secretary of State Martin Indyk made clear
that while the administration would welcome a rapprochement with
Iran, it is not yet possible because Iran continues support,
albeit diminished, for terrorism; pursuit of weapons of mass
destruction, including nuclear weapons; and opposition to the
Middle East peace process.


Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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

Date: Sun, 2 May 1999 23:11:28 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: CIA OFFICIAL LAUDER ... - Part 1/3

TEXT: CIA OFFICIAL LAUDER TESTIMONY ON WMD PROLIFERATION
========================================================

29 April 1999

TEXT: CIA OFFICIAL LAUDER TESTIMONY ON WMD PROLIFERATION

(Says over 50 states of proliferation concern to U.S.) (4190)

Washington -- A senior CIA official says that there are "well over 50
states that are of proliferation concern as suppliers, conduits, or
potential proliferants" of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

Special Assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) for
Nonproliferation John Lauder says "the security of Russian WMD
materials, increased cooperation among rogue states, more effective
efforts by proliferants to conceal illicit activities, and growing
interest by terrorists in acquiring WMD capabilities" are the main
proliferation concerns of the Intelligence Community.

In testimony before the Commission to Assess the Organization of the
Federal Government to Combat the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass
Destruction April 29, Lauder said these concerns are exacerbated by
the increasing "brain drain" -- in which scientists with transferable
know-how continue to leave the former Soviet Union, some potentially
for destinations of proliferation concern -- and by the fact that some
nuclear supplier states are pursuing nuclear and dual-use trade --
even with non-NPT and "rogue" states.

The following is the text of Lauder's prepared statement:

(begin text)

Thank you Messrs. Chairmen and members of the Commission.

I welcome being here today to help inform and support the work of this
Commission. We in the nonproliferation intelligence community look
forward to your recommendations in helping us deal with the formidable
challenges that the United States Government faces in seeking to
anticipate, assess, counter, and even roll back the spread of weapons
of mass destruction (WMD). Conveying to you a full understanding of
both the threats and what we in the Intelligence Community are doing
to combat those threats are best dealt with in the closed sessions of
the Commission. There are some observations and trends, however, that
I can highlight in this unclassified setting.
I have provided a
Statement for the Record, and with your permission I will now draw
from it to make some key points.

Let me say first that I particularly welcome being here with Neil
Gallagher of the FBI. Also here to help answer the Commission's
questions is (name withheld) of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Other
experts are in the room and we will ask them to identify themselves if
we need to call on them to help during the questioning. The
interagency team that all of us represent is a symbol of the type of
cooperation that we have been fostering and indeed that is essential
to providing the intelligence that this country needs to understand
and address the proliferation challenge.

DCI George Tenet has emphasized in his appearances before Congress
that no issue better illustrates the new challenges, complexities, and
uncertainties that we in the Intelligence Community face than the
proliferation of WMD and their delivery means. Over the past year, we
have witnessed the nuclear tests in South Asia, continued concerns
about Iraq's WMD programs, broader availability of technologies
relevant to biological and chemical warfare, and accelerated missile
development in Iran, North Korea, and -- most recently -- in Pakistan
and India. Particularly worrisome to the Intelligence Community is the
security of Russian WMD materials, increased cooperation among rogue
states, more effective efforts by proliferants to conceal illicit
activities, and growing interest by terrorists in acquiring WMD
capabilities.

US intelligence is increasing its emphas
is and resources on many of
these issues, but there is a continued and growing risk of surprise.
We appropriately focus much of our intelligence collection and
analysis on some ten states, but even concerning these states, there
are important gaps in our knowledge. Moreover, we have identified well
over 50 states that are of proliferation concern as suppliers,
conduits, or potential proliferants. Our analytical and collection
coverage against most of these states is stretched, and many of the
trends seen, such as the possibility of shortcuts to acquiring fissile
material and increased denial and deception activities, make it harder
to track some key developments, even in the states of greatest
intelligence focus.

Supply

Looking at the supply-side first: Russian and Chinese assistance to
proliferant countries has merited particular attention for several
years. Last year, Russia announced new controls on transfers of
missile-related technology. There were some positive sips in Russia's
performance early last year but, unfortunately, there has not been a
sustained improvement. Expertise and materiel from Russia has
continued to assist the progress of several states. For example,
Russian entities have helped the Iranian missile effort in areas
ranging from training, to testing, to components. This assistance is
continuing as we speak, and is playing a crucial role in Iran's
ability to develop more sophisticated and longer-range missiles.

Making matters worse, societal and economic stress in Russia seems
likely to grow, raising even more concerns about the security of
nuclear weapons and fissile material. Although we have not had recent
reports that weapons-usable nuclear material is missing in Russia,
what we have noticed are reports of strikes, lax discipline, poor
morale, and criminal activity at nuclear facilities. These are alarm
bells that warrant our closest attention and concern.

Moreover, these same stresses are propagating a "brain drain" in which
WMD-related technologies -- particularly those relating to biological
weapons (BW) and chemical weapons (CW) -- are for sale by Russian
individuals to proliferant states. As you know, plugging this brain
drain and helping provide alternative courses for the former Soviet
Union's WMD infrastructure are key goals of US nonproliferation
policy, as well as a variety of US and international cooperation
programs with Russia and other former Soviet states.

The China story is a mixed picture. China is actively studying
membership in the Missile Technology Control Regime, has promulgated
controls on dual-use nuclear technology, and tightened chemical export
controls. We cannot yet be certain, however, that the new export
control mechanisms will be effective, and worrisome contacts continue
between Chinese entities and countries of concern.

Both the Chinese Government and Chinese firms have long-standing and
deep relationships with proliferant countries, and we are not
convinced that China's companies fully share the commitments
undertaken by senior Chinese leaders. While all aspects of China's
proliferation behavior bear continued watching, we see more signs of
progress on nuclear and chemical matters than on missile assistance.

There is little positive that can be said about North Korea, the third
major global proliferator, whose incentive to engage in such behavior
increases as its economy continues to decline. Missiles and WMD
know-how are North Korean products for which there is a real market.
North Korea's sales of such products over the years have dramatically
heightened the missile capabilities of countries such as Iran and
Pakistan.

North Korea's sales are the most striking example of what we call
"secondary proliferation." Countries such as India, Pakistan, and Iran
-- traditionally seen as technology customers -- have also now
developed capabilities that they could export to others.

Demand

Turning to the demand side, let's focus first on nuclear programs.
Last year's nuclear testing in South Asia produced new stresses on
international nuclear norms. Despite many improvements to the nuclear
nonproliferation regime in this decade, several factors foreshadow a
decrease in the effectiveness of nuclear nonproliferation measures.
Some nuclear supplier states are pursuing nuclear and dual-use trade
-- even with non-NPT and "rogue" states. The technology and equipment
needed to make nuclear weapons have become more accessible
commercially. More sophisticated denial and deception measures, as
well as a growing trend toward nuclear self-sufficiency, may also
protect clandestine nuclear programs from interdiction.

Last spring dramatically made clear that both India and Pakistan are
well positioned to pursue development of advanced nuclear weapons and
build significant nuclear arsenals. We remain concerned about the
prospects for renewed testing by India and Pakistan, and the resulting
escalation of the nuclear arms race on the subcontinent.

Meanwhile, Iran also seems to be pushing its program forward. Russian
entities continued to market and support a variety of nuclear-related
projects in Iran, despite Russian assurances that cooperation is
limited to the civilian Bushehr nuclear power reactor. This project,
along with other nuclear-related purchases, will help Iran augment its
nuclear technology infrastructure.

Iraq probably has the personnel, documentation, and some equipment
needed to continue nuclear-related work. If Iraq is able to evade the
embargo and improve its access to foreign markets, it could begin a
major reconstitution effort.
With regard to North Korea, the "Agreed Framework" has frozen
Pyongyang's ability to produce additional plutonium at Yongbyon, but
we are deeply concerned that North Korea has a covert program. A key
target for us to watch is the underground construction project at
Kumchang-ni, which may be large enough to house a plutonium production
reactor and perhaps a reprocessing plant as well.


to be continued to the next message

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

Date: Sun, 2 May 1999 23:12:10 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: CIA OFFICIAL LAUDER ... - Part 2/3

continued from the previous message


Although Libya is suspected of aspiring to nuclear weapons capability,
Tripoli's nuclear research and procurement efforts appear decades away
from reaching nuclear sufficiency.

The missile story is no more encouraging, as recent events have shown.
Unfortunately, the high level of launch activity in 1998 has continued
this year. This month alone, we have seen tests of India's Agni-2
missile and Pakistan's Ghauri and Shaheen missiles. Each of these
missiles has the potential to deliver a nuclear weapon.

Other activity over the past year included the first launches of the
North Korean Taepo Dong-1 and the Iranian Shahab-3. Both the Ghauri
and the Shahab-3 are based on North Korea's No Dong. With a range of
1,300 km, the No Dong, Shahab-3, and Ghauri significantly alter the
military equations in their respective regions. In short,
theater-range missiles with increasing range pose an immediate and
growing threat to US interests, military forces, and allies -- and the
threat is increasing.

More disturbing is that foreign missiles of increased range and
military potential are under development. North Korea's Taepo-Dong 1,
launched last August, demonstrated the use of three stages and
technology that, particularly with the resolution of some important
technical issues, would give North Korea the ability to deliver a very
small payload to intercontinental ranges -- including parts of the
United States -- although not very accurately.

The North Koreans are also working on another missile -- the Taepo
Dong-2. With two stages, the Taepo Dong-2, which has not yet been
flight-tested, would be able to deliver significantly larger payloads
to mainland Alaska and the Hawaiian Islands, and smaller payloads to
other parts of the United States. In other words, the lighter the
payload, the greater the range. With a third stage like the one
demonstrated last August on the Taepo Dong-1, this missile would be
able to deliver large payloads to the rest of the United States.

Foreign assistance is a fundamental factor behind the growth in the
missile threat. For example, foreign assistance helped Iran save years
in its development of the Shahab-3 missile, which is based on the
North Korean No Dong and, as I noted earlier, includes Russian -- and,
to a lesser extent Chinese -- assistance. Moreover, Iran will continue
to both seek longer range missiles and foreign assistance in their
development.
Iraqi capabilities to develop missiles also continue to be a concern.
Before the Gulf War, Iraq was ahead of Iran in such developments. If
sanctions against Iraq were lifted, or if the United Nations
monitoring regime were to be less intrusive, we would have to assume
that Iraq would seek longer-range capabilities.

Libya continued to obtain ballistic missile-related equipment,
materials, and technology during the second half of last year, while
Syria continued its work on establishing a rocket motor development
and production capability. Foreign equipment and assistance have been
and will continue to be essential for this effort.

Against the backdrop of an increasing missile threat, the
proliferation of chemical and biological weapons (CBW) takes on more
alarming dimensions. At least sixteen states, including those with
missile programs mentioned earlier, currently have active CW programs,
and perhaps a dozen are pursuing offensive BW programs.

One of the most active players has been Iran. It already has
manufactured and stockpiled CW, including blister, blood, and choking
agents, and the bombs and artillery shells for delivering them. Even
though it is a party to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), Tehran
continues to obtain foreign equipment and materials that could be used
to create a more advanced and self-sufficient CW infrastructure.
Tehran also continues to seek dual-use biotechnological equipment from
Russia and other countries -- ostensibly for civilian uses. Iran began
a biological warfare program during the Iran-Iraq war, and it may have
some limited capability for BW deployment.

Iraq is another serious CBW proliferation concern, despite more than
seven years of rigorous inspections. There are strong indications that
Iraq retains a CW capability and that it has helped other countries --
particularly Sudan -- develop or expand CW capabilities. In addition,
since the Gulf War, Baghdad has rebuilt chemical facilities that could
be converted fairly quickly for production of CW agents.

Meanwhile, Iraq refuses to disclose fully the extent of its BW program
and still has not accounted for over a hundred BW bombs and more than
three metric tons of imported growth media -- directly related to past
production and future capabilities. Iraq has demonstrated the
capability to deliver BW agent from aircraft. We believe Iraq will
exploit any opportunity to reconstitute its pre-Gulf War CBW
capabilities as rapidly as possible, once sanctions are lifted.

Libya remains heavily dependent on foreign suppliers for precursor
chemicals and other key CW-related equipment. Although UN sanctions
continue to severely limit that support, Tripoli has not given up its
goal of establishing its own offensive CW capability and continues to
pursue an independent production capability for these weapons.

Syria continued to seek CW-related precursors from various countries
last year. It already has a stockpile of the nerve agent sarin, and it
apparently is trying to develop more toxic and persistent nerve
agents. Damascus remains dependent on foreign sources for key elements
of its CW program, including precursor chemicals and key production
equipment.

Significantly, a number of CBW programs are run by countries with a
history of sponsoring terrorism. One of our greatest concerns is the
serious prospect that Usama Bin Ladin or another terrorist might use
chemical or biological weapons. Bin Ladin's organization is just one
of about a dozen terrorist groups that have expressed an interest in
or have sought chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN)
agents. Bin Ladin, for example, has called the acquisition of these
weapons a "religious duty" and noted that "how we use them is up to
us."

Numbers alone, however, do not adequately reflect the true nature of
the growing CBW threat. The greatest change is that individual CBW
programs are becoming more dangerous in a number of ways.

First: As deadly as they now are, CBW agents could become even more
sophisticated. Rapid advances in biotechnology present the prospect of
a wholly new array of toxins or live agents that will require new
detection methods and preventative measures, including vaccines and
therapies. Russian whistleblowers have warned publicly of a new
generation of CW agents, sometimes called "Novichok" agents, that
might also necessitate new detection and treatment approaches. To
compound the problem, Third World proliferants probably are already
seeking such technology and could develop or acquire advanced agents
in the near future.

In addition, researchers are exploring different ways to use BW,
including mixtures of slow- and fast-acting agents, and "cocktails"
with chemical agents.

Gains in genetic engineering are making it increasingly difficult for
us to recognize all the agents threatening us. Also, BW attacks need
not be directed only at humans. Plant and animal pathogens may be used
against agricultural targets, creating potential economic devastation.

Second: CBW programs are becoming more self-sufficient, challenging
our detection and deterrence efforts, and limiting our interdiction
opportunities. Iran is a case-in-point. Tehran -- driven in part by
stringent international export controls -- has set about acquiring the
ability to produce domestically the raw materials and equipment needed
to support indigenous chemical and biological agent production.

Third: Countries are taking advantage of denial and deception
techniques, concealing and protecting CBW programs. Concealment is
simpler with BW because of its overlap with legitimate research and
commercial biotechnology. Even so, a CW capability can fairly easily
be embedded into a commercial pesticide plant or other parts of an
industrial chemical infrastructure.

Even supposedly "legitimate" facilities can readily conduct
clandestine CBW research and can convert rapidly to agent production,
providing a mobilization or "breakout" capability. As a result, large
stockpiles of CBW munitions simply may not be require
d in today's CBW
arena.


to be continued to the next message

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

Date: Sun, 2 May 1999 23:12:52 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: CIA OFFICIAL LAUDER ... - Part 3/3

continued from the previous message


Fourth: Advances are occurring in dissemination techniques, delivery
options, and strategies for CBW use. We are concerned that CBW-capable
countries are acquiring advanced technologies to design, test, and
produce highly effective CBW munitions and sophisticated delivery
systems, such as cruise missiles and short-range ballistic missiles.

Two other phenomena complicate the problem. The first is brain drain;
as mentioned previously, scientists with transferable know-how
continue to leave the former Soviet Union, some potentially for
destinations of proliferation concern. Second, the struggle to control
dual-use technologies only gets harder. A few individuals are ready to
take advantage of this and are ready to transform opportunities for
human betterment into threats of human destruction.

The same technology that is used for good today, can, if it falls into
the wrong hands, be used for evil tomorrow. The overlap betwee
n BW
agents and vaccines, and between nerve agents and pesticides is, as
you know, considerable. The technologies used to prolong our lives and
improve our standard of living can quite easily be used to cause mass
casualties. BW technology is, in part, widely available because all
societies have a legitimate need for the biotechnology on which it is
based.

I would offer one footnote on the difficulty of assessing the threat
from biological and chemical weapons today: Intelligence is all about
ascertaining not only the capabilities, but also the intentions of
one's adversaries. Because of the dual utility of the technology and
expertise involved, the actual CBW threat is in fact tied directly to
intentions. Getting at this intent is the hardest thing for
intelligence to do, but it is essential if we are to determine with
certainty the scope and nature of the global biological and chemical
warfare threat.

The Intelligence Community Response

So what is the Intelligence Community doing to address the global WMD
proliferation problem and to use our available resources in the best
way possible?

An important step in boosting the Intelligence Community's WMD
nonproliferation efforts across the board occurred about a year and a
half ago, when DCI Tenet reorganized the nonproliferation intelligence
community and significantly increased the size of his Nonproliferation
Center:

He appointed me to be both his Special Assistant for Nonproliferation
and Director of his Nonproliferation Center (NPC) in order to oversee
the US Intelligence Community's efforts. Specifically, he charged me
with improving coordination and communication, empowering me with the
means to lash up the nonproliferation community to better meet the
growing need for intelligence on weapons of mass destruction programs.

At the same time, nearly all of the analysts in CIA's Directorate of
Intelligence who were covering biological and chemical weapons, all of
the proliferation specialists dealing with missiles and nuclear
technology, and all of the analysts investigating the proliferation
supplier networks were brought into NPC. A major reason for increasing
the size of NPC was to provide a critical mass of experts to grow and
nurture the next generation of WMD and proliferation analysts and
collectors.

Speaking of the "next generation," a top strategic priority for NPC,
and all of us in the nonproliferation intelligence community, is
analysis -- especially the steps needed to promote analytical depth
and expertise. We have a strong front line, but we need a deeper
bench. To that end, we are adding significant numbers of analysts and
taking innovative measures to help these analysts cope with the fire
hose of information that is out there. Our future effectiveness will
rest heavily on taking new directions in information technology and
information management.

I would note, also, that it would be impossible and inadvisable to try
to put all of the IC's (Intelligence Community's) resources on this
issue within a single center, given the sheer breadth of the
nonproliferation issue. The strength of the Community's
nonproliferation effort depends not just on the success of the DCI
Nonproliferation Center, but on our ability to forge effective
partnerships with a variety of organizations. Some of the steps we
have taken include:

-- Our enticement last fall of one of the leading virologists in the
United States to start work as the DCI's Senior Science and Technology
Advisor for Nonproliferation. The near term focus will be BW, but we
hope over time to broaden this advisor's purview to include other WMD
disciplines.
-- We have assembled an outside Panel of outside top scientists,
technical administrators, and senior individuals from academia,
private industry, the national labs, the military, and the public
health services to give strategic advice to the DCI. This Panel will
hold its inaugural meeting next week.

-- We are increasing representation from DIA, FBI, NSA, NIMA, the
military intelligence organizations and other agencies, such as
Commerce and Customs, throughout the Center's operations, while also
increasing the rotation of NPC analysts out into the Community.

-- We are enhancing cooperation within the Intelligence, Policy,
Defense, Law Enforcement, and Public Health Communities to counter
nuclear, biological, chemical, and even radiological terrorism. For
example, I co-chair with the FBI the Intelligence Subgroup of the
Weapons of Mass Destruction Preparedness Working Group established
under PDD-62.

-- Finally, we are developing new tools and new approaches for
analysts that are beginning to bear fruit. We are employing new funds
and seeking new opportunities to combat proliferation across the
board, including seeking the help of outside experts to attack the
issue of proliferation surprise.

Our recent efforts in the ballistic missile arena provide a good
example of how we are addressing this last point. In preparing for
this year's annual report to Congress on foreign missile developments,
we included significant additional outside expertise and red teaming:

-- Private-sector contractors helped us identify alternative
development paths that future ballistic missiles could take, including
specific technologies and potential hurdles involved. These efforts
include assessments of the effects of increased foreign assistance.

-- We have scheduled a conference with the Center for Strategic and
International Studies to have academia and others postulate future
politico-economic environments that foster missile sales and
increasing foreign assistance.

-- Last summer, the Intelligence Community published a classified
paper that postulated ways a country could demonstrate an ICBM
(intercontinental ballistic missile) capability with a space launch
vehicle (SLV), and examined various ways it could convert its SLVs
into ICBMs. This work also fed into the 1999 report as a generic look
at some alternative approaches.

-- Drafting is underway on a paper that examines how countries could
push Scud technology beyond perceived limits. Scientists and
nonscientists are involved. Sometimes, those already outside the box
can think outside the box more readily.

-- I mention the above examples from our missile analysis, but similar
efforts are underway in the nuclear, biological, and chemical areas as
well.

Conclusion

In closing, let me reiterate our concern regarding the proliferation
of weapons of mass destruction and long-range delivery systems
worldwide. This concern should, and does, motivate us all to do
everything we can to counter the threat and to defend against it. Our
efforts have received a tremendous boost from the support we have
received here on the Hill to provide funding for a number of measures
that will strengthen our intelligence capabilities. Moreover, the DCI
has launched a Strategic Direction initiative that will strengthen our
clandestine collection and analytical work by putting more operations
officers on foreign streets and more analysts on accounts, and then
support them to the hilt with the best tools available.

In addition, the new positions of Deputy Director of Central
Intelligence for Community Management and the Assistant Director of
Central Intelligence for Collection give the DCI effective new tools
for carrying out his responsibilities in planning, programs, and
budget development, requirements management, and acquisition oversight
across agency and disciplinary lines. Both officers play an important
role in forging interagency strategies, including for collection,
against WMD and proliferation issues.

I believe that the changes we have made or are implementing will
enhance the overall effectiveness of the Intelligence Community in
managing and expanding our efforts to support US national
nonproliferation goals. Although many steps have been taken to improve
our understanding of the threat, we cannot guarantee that we will be
able to anticipate or collect against every military action or
terrorist act involving WMD.

There is more that needs to be done, and we will work with many
players throughout the US Government on the next steps. Although the
growing WMD and ballistic missile threat cannot be met by US
Intelligence alone, our work will be crucial to defending American
interests and protecting American lives.

(end text)



Return to Washington File home page

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

Date: Sun, 2 May 1999 23:13:02 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Iraq Urges Iran Not To Normalise Ties With U.S.

Iraq Urges Iran Not To Normalise Ties With U.S.
===============================================

04:37 a.m. May 02, 1999 Eastern

BAGHDAD, May 2 (Reuters) - Iraq's most influential
newspaper urged Iran on Sunday not to normalise relations with
the United States and said Tehran should instead resume normal
ties with Baghdad.

Babel, owned by President Saddam Hussein's eldest son Uday,
also accused Iran of building up stockpiles of weapons, saying
they were aimed at other countries in the region.

``This state (Iran) is determined to build a large military arsenal
and starts to declare its military abilities publicly in a clear
message (to states of the region),'' the paper said.

``Iran's (expansionist) goals have been and are still known to
everybody, whether during the rules of (the late) Shah, (the late
Ayatollah) Khomeini...or (Iran's current president Mohammed)
Khatami,'' Babel said.

``So Iran's interest lies at the states of the region and particularly
at Iraq with whom Tehran should normalise its ties,'' it added.

The United States recently decided to lift sanctions on the
export of food to Iran, Libya and the Sudan.

Iran and Iraq fought an eight-year war in the 1980s and deep
suspicions between the two countries remain.

Iraq says Iran still holds around 20,000 prisoners of war from
the conflict. It also accuses Iran of intervention in the feuding
between Kurdish factions of northern Iraq and it is still seeking
the return of planes it flew to Iran for safe keeping during the
1991 Gulf War.

Iraq also hosts military cadres of the Mujahideen-el Khalq,
opponents of Iran's religious rulers. Iran provides shelter to a
group of Shi'ite Moslems who oppose the Baghdad
government.


Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.

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

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 1 May 1999 to 2 May 1999 - Special issue
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