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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 19 Jun 1999 to 20 Jun 1999

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 19 Jun 1999 to 20 Jun 1999
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There are 3 messages totalling 422 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. Iran: 4 articles from the Int. Press
2. Iran/AP: Intelligence Agent Kills Self....
3. Iran/Ha'aretz: Khatami wants secret talks with Isreal, British claim...


Date: Sun, 20 Jun 1999 12:10:29 -0500
From: "Aryo B. Pirouznia" <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Iran: 4 articles from the Int. Press

4 Articles:


Dissident Writers Arrested in Iran
By ANWAR FARUQI Associated Press Writer

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP)

Two journalists for a dissident student newspaper in Iran have been
arrested, an official Iranian newspaper reported Saturday.

Heshmatollah Tabarzadi and Hossein Kashani of Hoviyat'e Kheesh - or One's
Identity - were arrested Thursday on orders of a Tehran revolutionary court,
the Iran Daily reported, quoting a spokesman for the judiciary.

Tabarzadi, the paper's editor, was arrested for ``issuing an
anti-establishment communique'' and Kashani, a publisher, for ``spreading
propaganda against the Islamic system,'' the spokesman told the newspaper.
The report did not detail the charges against the two men.

But the government recently banned their publication, the newspaper of the
Islamic Students Association, because of its criticism of hard-liners,
including Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Tabarzadi, an
activist on student issues, is reviled by hard-liners in the government for
his opposition to the ruling clergy.

The case appears to be linked to the current power struggle between
hard-liners and moderates, who support the reforms of President Mohammad

Since becoming president in 1997, Khatami has encouraged press freedom and a
relaxation of the strict Islamic social code. Hard-liners have strongly
opposed such moves and have used control of certain government departments
to close down newspapers and detain dissidents and journalists.

The hard-liners see Khamenei as God's representative on earth, but
publications such as the student newspaper have questioned his authority.
Khamenei, who is not elected, is more powerful than the president, who is



Cleric: Alleged Spies Should Hang
Saturday, June 19, 1999; 7:46 a.m. EDT

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP)

A senior Iranian cleric has rebuffed protests from world Jewry and insisted
that 13 Iranian Jews should hang if convicted of espionage, newspapers
reported Saturday.

``No country can be lenient with spies. If it were to show leniency, it
would have to abandon the country and its secrets to foreign powers,''
several newspapers quoted Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati as saying in a Friday
prayer sermon at Tehran University.

U.S. Jewish leaders and the Rev. Jesse Jackson appealed in New York this
week for the release of the 13 Jews, whom the Iranian authorities detained
in March on charges of espionage for the ``Zionist regime'' and ``world
arrogance'' -- code-words for Israel and the United States respectively.

The case comes amid a power struggle between hard-liners and moderates in
Iran's Islamic government. It is seen as a bid by the hard-liners to
embarrass moderate President Mohammad Khatami and to spoil his efforts to
improve Iran's relations with the West.

The United States, Israel, France, Germany and Amnesty International have
protested the arrests.

Jannati, the hard-line secretary of the influential Guardian Council, told
worshippers that if Iran's critics thought that ``by creating such
sensations, we would agree to bargain over the spies to receive some
concessions in return,'' they were wrong.

Jannati alleged that those arrested had been ``engaged in collecting
intelligence data and sending them to Israel via Turkey or other places.''

The head of Iran's judiciary, Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi, said June 11 that
the Jews would be tried soon.

Yazdi, a hard-liner, said the law provided the death penalty for convicted
spies and it would be carried out if necessary.

In 1997, Iran hanged two people accused of spying for Israel and the United

Some 200,000 Jews have emigrated since the Islamic revolution of 1979. About
25,000 Jews remain in Iran. They are free to practice their religion and
even have seats in parliament.



Accused in Iran

Washington Post
Saturday, June 19, 1999; Page A18

JUST ABOUT any new political twist in Iran is commonly taken as evidence of
a subterranean struggle between moderates and fundamentalists for control of
the country's Islamic revolution. In this pattern the arrest of 13 or more
Iranian Jews on charges of conducting espionage for the United States and
Israel suggests to some an effort to sabotage President Mohammad Khatemi's
program for improving ties with the West. Whatever it is, it is alarming in
its own right.

It seems that earlier this year two Iranian Jews living in Shiraz were
arrested, possibly for refusing to close their shops on Friday rather than
the Jewish sabbath of Saturday. Subsequently, Tehran radio reported that a
number of Jews had been charged with spying. The ayatollah who runs Iran's
judiciary said at weekly prayers that the accused will be tried according to
the law. Espionage is punishable by death in Iran.

At first the case was handled quietly. But when the regime went public, so
did the American and Israeli governments. They have "categorically denied"
any intelligence connection to the suspects and called for their immediate
release. The Iranian foreign ministry replied that protected official
minorities such as the Jews, of whom about 25,000 remain in Iran, enjoy full
civil and religious rights and that foreign appeals for the arrested group
reflect "unawareness, prejudgment and interference in Iran's internal

In fact, foreign appeals reflect a fear that Iranians of one political
stripe or another are hoking up a grotesque case against innocent people on
the basis of their religion. The assumption of full responsibility for the
rights of all Iran's religious minorities by President Khatemi, announced
the other day in Tehran, should help him demonstrate this is not so.

Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company



The New York Times
June 18, 1999

Waiting for the Noose

A.M. Rosenthal's column has three motivations. One is to try to help save
the lives of at least 13 Iranian Jews who will be hanged unless the Western
governments, people and press pay attention. So far, there has been
painfully little from any of the three.

The second is to allow Iranians who elected their current President,
Mohammad Khatami, in the hope he would bring them political freedom to
decide whether he has the power or passion to achieve it. Does he represent
a historic change, or a candy coating on the still-reigning dictatorship of

Third: to help America decide whether to continue heaping the treasure of
political support and respect on Mr. Khatami while he keeps promising
freedom, or hold off until he diminishes the domestic tyrannies of the
ayatollahs, and their critical support for terrorism abroad.

The 13 are accused of espionage for "the Zionist regime," which requires no
translation, and for the "world arrogance" -- ayatollah-speak for the U.S.

Both target countries have denied and protested the espionage charges, which
have not been specified.

In Iran the legal process for capital crimes is usually simplicity itself:
accusation, closed hearing, noose.

All that has become known in the weeks since their arrest are their names,
that most of them came from the towns of Shiraz and Isfahan, that they were
teachers, rabbis or small merchants or practiced another trade not known for
espionage expertise -- kosher slaughtering.

Israel, the White House and Madeleine Albright protested for the sake of the
lives of the 13 -- and others whose number and names have not yet been
released. Both countries also have the motivation of national security --
the increased terrorism against them likely to follow the spy charges.

Also protesting were American Jewish organizations, some members of Congress
and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, a good man to have on your side when hostages
are taken. Mr. Jackson took the valid opportunity to remind Americans that
while they spent billions in Kosovo, in Africa refugees were going without
food, attention and, often, enough water.

Now, don't blame yourself if you were not fully informed of the Iranian
scare campaign about Jewish spies. Unless you spotted a few paragraphs here
or there, or read the English-language weekly Forward, indispensable to Jews
and non-Jews interested in matters affecting Jews, you might not have known
until now.

Time was, as late as 1996, when the U.S. forthrightly said Iran was the
"most active" state sponsor of terrorism, because of the money and airlifts
of weapons Iran delivered to Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations
operating against Israel and America.

Then Washington began putting its hopes in President Khatami and paying
before delivery. So in its new report on terrorism the State Department
drops the number-one award to Iran and simply lists Iran among other
terrorist nations. The political gift to Iran was the implication that under
Mr. Khatami's presidency Iran is giving less support to terrorism.

Unfortunately somebody must have forgotten what George J. Tenet, head of the
C.I.A., had to say earlier this year. "We have yet to see any significant
reduction in Iran's support of terrorism," is what he had to say.

Mr. Tenet also said that Russia continued to assist the Iranian missile
effort, from training to testing -- and components. He said that "no doubt"
Russia was helping Iran's ability to make better missiles and of longer
range, a particular U.S.-Israeli worry. I guess Russia won't work up a sweat
helping the 13 and those to come.

As for President Khatami, he visited Syria recently, where he met with
Palestinian radical leaders opposed to the Mideast peace process. He told
them the future was with them and "everyone else who rejects hegemony" --
meaning world-arrogant America. Thank you, Mr. Khatami.

About the arrested Iranian Jews, he said all religions and minorities had
freedom in Iran, a lie contradicted by the official U.S. human rights

President Khatami also said he was responsible for every Iranian of every
religion. That will be remembered from now on by the men in the death cells,
and, it is to be hoped, by the governments and people of the U.S. and its
allies, with mouth and heart.



Date: Sun, 20 Jun 1999 17:28:31 -0500
From: "Aryo B. Pirouznia" <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Iran/AP: Intelligence Agent Kills Self....

Intelligence Agent Kills Self
Sunday, June 20, 1999; 8:29 a.m. EDT

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP)

A key suspect in a spate of dissident killings last year committed suicide
in a Tehran prison, the official Islamic
Republic News Agency reported Sunday.

The suspect was one of 10 agents from Iran's intelligence services arrested
in the deaths of five dissident writers and intellectuals late last year.The
arrests led to the resignation of Iran's intelligence minister.

" Saeed Emami " committed suicide Saturday night by swallowing a hair
removal substance while taking a bath, reported the British Broadcasting
Corp., which was monitored in Dubai.

Efforts to revive Emami failed, the BBC said, quoting "Mohammad Niyazi",
head of the armed forces judiciary.

The case came amid the power struggle between hard-liners in the government
and political reformists led by President Mohammad Khatami. The agents
suspected in the killings are widely believed to be supporters of the
hard-liners. The ministry itself is controlled by the hard-line faction.

``In view of the documents available and his confessions, Emami would have
been sentenced to death if he had stood trial,'' Niyazi said. He said a
total 23 people have been prosecuted in the case, some of whom have
been released on bail, reported IRNA, which was also monitored in Dubai.

Niyazi had said earlier that a number of other intelligence agents wanted
for questioning were still at large. He did not give specific figures for
those released or still being sought.


Date: Sun, 20 Jun 1999 17:34:28 -0500
From: "Aryo B. Pirouznia" <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Iran/Ha'aretz: Khatami wants secret talks with Isreal, British claim...

Sunday, June 20, 1999


Khatami wants secret talks with Israel, British claim

Sources assert Iranian president wants to negotiate a missile treaty

By Sharon Sadeh,
Iranian President Mohammed Khatami is interested in opening a secret
with Israel, and has asked senior British government figures to approach
Jerusalem with the request.

Khatami suggested a series of confidence-building steps between the two
countries to try to break the current circle of distrust and suspicion,
senior British officials told Ha'aretz.

The British sources said the information has been relayed to Jerusalem, with
a recommendation that they be considered seriously.

Israeli sources said that they were unfamiliar with the Iranian proposals,
which were new, and needed careful study.

Khatami, in his talks with the British representatives, suggested the
of arms control treaties between the two countries as a first step. His
suggestions included:

* A regional agreement among all Middle Eastern countries possessing
ground-to-ground missiles not to launch a pre-emptive missile attack on
another country that is a party to the agreement.

* A bilateral agreement regarding the disarmament of long-range ballistic
missiles with non-conventional warheads, to be followed by a treaty in which
both sides would undertake not to develop long-range missiles for military
purposes, but solely for the launching of satellites into space.

The British sources said they believed the Iranians were acting in good
faith, and urged Jerusalem to adopt a similar attitude.

They said that the Iranians told them that their arms build-up is not
directed against Israel, but against other countries perceived as regional
threats, primarily Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Iran regards the latter two not only as military threats, but as moral ones,
due to their role in the international narcotics trade, the sources said.

Recently Iran has agreed to cooperate with the European Union in combating
the flow of narcotics from its central Asian neighbors to the west, and as a
result has earned diplomatic credit and improved relations with the EU.
Relations between Tehran and London have warmed up recently, and full
diplomatic relations were restored last month.

Israeli sources said the Iranian proposals must be examined carefully, and
cannot automatically benefit from an assumption of good faith.

"Khatami is less than totally informed when it comes to security affairs.
country's defence and security establishments are controlled by bodies not
totally under his command, and his ability to have the final word on these
matters is questionable at best," they said.

The Israeli sources also pointed out that the Iranians are sophisticated
enough to change the tune of their rhetoric in accordance to which audience
is being played to at any given time.

It is naive to assume that weapons being developed by Iran cannot pose a
threat to Israel, the Israelis said, adding that whatever the Iranians are,
they are most certainly not naive.

The British, however, feel that Iran commands trust regarding arms control,
since it is a signatory to several important international arms
treaties which Israel has traditionally refused to join.

Iran recently reaffirmed its commitment to an international treaty outlawing
the use and development of chemical weapons, and is a signatory to the
nuclear non-proliferation treaty. Iran is also active in promoting a treaty
outlawing the use of biological weapons.

The Iranians are sincere in their desire to regulate and even outlaw
non-conventional weapons, especially chemical and biological weapons which
they fear and loath, having been one of the very few countries to have been
on the receiving end of them during the long war between the Iran and Iraq
that spanned most of the eighties, the British sources said.

The British also believe that Iran is truly interested in normalizing its
relations with the West, and allowing their potentially rich country to reap
the economic benefits that come with being an accepted player on the
international scene.

They praise the Iranian record regarding the keeping of treaties, and have
more than hinted that Israel's unwillingness to join the international
community's major arms proliferation treaties make it somewhat suspect in
this regard.

They also criticized Israel's traditional policy of regarding its security
entirely its own affair, and its record of taking unilateral action whenever
it deemed it necessary, regardless of any international considerations.

This approach is outdated, they said, and is actually counterproductive
it fuels mistrust and suspicion, increasing strategic dangers rather then
minimizing them.

The British said that they do not see Iran ever launching a pre-emptive
non-conventional missile attack against Israel.

However, they do admit that Iran is in the throes of a major power struggle
between moderate and militant conservative elements, and it is too soon to
say who will come out on top.

They said that Israel should reconsider its policies regarding weapons
proliferation irrespective of the outcome, since its current policies are
considered unreasonable, promoting mistrust and Arab grievances against the
West regarding the adoption of a double standard in these affairs, one for
Israel and one for the rest of the world.


End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 19 Jun 1999 to 20 Jun 1999