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There are 6 messages totalling 863 lines in this issue.
Topics of the day:
1. A Political Biography of Dr. Ali Shariati
2. Iran/AP: US Administration says policy toward Iran remains tough
3. Iran/ The Washington Times: Iran's government, trying to woo investors
4. Iran/The Jerusalem Post: The Iranian mirage
5. Iran/IPS: CIVIL WAR A REAL DANGER IF KHATAMI BOWS TO EXTREM DEMANDS
6. Iran/IPS: TO SAVE THE LEADER, CLERICS SAY DISSIDENT'S KILLER WAS ISRAELI
Date: Fri, 25 Jun 1999 22:15:47 +0100
From: "a.abdi" <a.abdi@BTINTERNET.COM>
Subject: A Political Biography of Dr. Ali Shariati
AN ISLAMIC UTOPIAN
A Political Biography of Dr. Ali Shariati
By: Dr. Ali Rahnema
Published by: I.B. Tauris Publisher
Ali Shariati is, for many, the ideological father of the Iranian
revolution. A charismatic leader and teacher, his radical blend of Islam
and Marxism mobilized
a whole generation of young Iranians.
This first full-length political biography looks at Ali
Shariati’s life and thought in the context of the complex and
social and political conditions of the Iranian society that
shaped him. Covering his upbringing in provincial Mashhad, his life as a
student in Paris during the early 1960s, his subsequent
development as a religious and revolutionary thinker at odds with both
Pahlavi regime and the Shi’I clerical establishment to his
death in exile at the age of forty-four, Ali Rahnema unravels much of
enigma that surrounds this important figure.
A storyteller, a master of palimpsest, riddles and charades,
Shariati was at ease with words. He had the audacity, the poetic skill
the shrewd intellect to say things well without saying them
– in both the political and other spheres. Indeed Rahnema shows that
is much more to Ali Shariati than his political dimension.
Different people, he argues, can relate to his different worlds and
lines of his work can come to symbolize different facets of a man who
does not fit any classical stereotype.
Rich in detail and carefully researched this book provides a unique
understanding, not only of the life of a man who played as significant a
part in the
Iranian revolution as Khomeini himself but also into a current of
political Islam that has influenced movements throughout the Middle
Excerpts from the Book
The political biography of Ali Shariati, considered by many as the
ideological father of the Iranian revolution of 1979, is not only an
account of one
person’s life but of the cultural, social and political conditions that
reared him. Ali Shariati’s life spans the highly sensitive period of
change during which a
conscious effort was made by the Pahlavi dynasty to push Iran from its
presumed traditional status towards a Western-defined state of
product of the transformation initiated by Reza Shah, during the reign
of Mohammed Reza Shah, Ali Shariati became actively involved in, and was
influenced by, the multifarious changes that Iranian society underwent
in terms of economics, politics, ethics, culture, poetry, prose, flm,
even religion. A synthesis of many contradictory currents, Shariati
became an instrumental figure in the fall of the Pahalvi dynasty. In
this respect, his life
reflects the convulsions of a culturally rich and historically ancient
society confronted with the tides of changing times.
A society in a state of flux witnesses new alignments. Ideas and
positions become polarized and those convinced of the absolute truth of
their own arc at a
disadvantage when it comes to synthesis. Those in favour of an ideal
modernity at all costs become as inflexible in their assessment of what
is and what
ought to be as those who cling to a traditional religion as their last
defence in the face of pressing necessities. True believers, fixed in
their ways, they never
question. For Iranians, the genuine need for modernity and the struggle
to protect Islam became a contradictory dilemma. Modernity was
westward-looking, change-oriented and anti-traditional, while Islam was
the formal cornerstone of society’s established traditional values, a
reliable cultural heritage. For a majority of intellectuals, Islam and
modernity presented a trade-off. The choice of a path to modernity –
and ideological – posed itself only after modernity was pursued at the
cost of religion. This clash of powerful contradictory ideas left a few
intellectuals – a
third group who sought a union of opposites – in a limbo of uncertainty.
Ali Shariati was of this group.
In his youth, and later in his active life, Shariati’s praxis was the
testing ground of his beliefs. Even though his vision of the ideal
society was formed
relatively early in his life, the method and approach of attaining that
ideal underwent considerable transformation. Over the years Shariati
came to believe
in – and in turn to reject – just about every way of political struggle
available to the activist. Trial and error proved that certain modes of
thought to be impossible in a particular socio-political environment
could prove to be viable and effective under special circumstances. In
circumstances, never clearly discernable in advance, truisms in social
sciences are there to be refuted. Who would have thought that open
in speeches, articles and books would be permitted or neglected in a
state which could not tolerate the least criticism?
To understand Shariati the man, one has to understand the spirit and
customs of his time and place. In his society chivalry, honour and
virtues. Sacrifice in the pursuit of honour incurs pain. The pleasure of
pain and longing becomes the motor of life. In this society worthy men
who have a pain, who live with it and never directly divulge it. It is
the inward and outward scars that make a man. The hedonistic
boys who need to mature. In this tradition, romontic youth fall in love
not to consumate their love, but to cherish the longing and the pain.
This is the
Oriental conception of a Platonic love. The creativity and originality
that the pain causes pours itself into the poems, prose and sketches
that young men
such as Shariati produced. Shariati’s poetry, romantic, political, or
self-destructive, recounted the story of a pain. His sentimental
romantic stories and his
visionary Sufi words of ecstacy, were all narratives of longing and the
heart-warming feeling of unfulfilled metaphysical love. Revolutioniaries
of all kinds;
practitioners, intellectuals or preachers, are lovers of utopias and
display all symptoms of an earthly lover at a metaphysical level. This
is why Shariati
always thought that even Marxist revolutionaries willing to die for a
cause, were metaphysical idealists who were willing to sacrifice their
material belonging for an ideal cause.
The trajectory of Shariati’s life resembles that of a generation of
provincial young men who, by chance or divine providence, were sent to
government scholarships. In Shariati’s case, the cultural experience
added to his other contradictory currents. Yet Shariati’s curiosity
allowed him to absorb
all that went on around him in Europe. He observed and learnt, without
losing sight of his objective – the synthesis of modernity and religion
solution to the problems of his country. His skepticism and uncertainty
bred a bold inquisitiveness. His receptivity to new ideas allowed him to
a new language. Shariati’s words and concepts, which later impregnated
minds and moved crowds, were nothing but the readily comprehensible
of the many everyday theories and debates that he had heard. His
patched-up doctrine was a redefined amalgam of different paradigms. Yet
and his paradigm penetrated the minds and hearts of his audience.
Shariati always spoke of the pain – his own – that he had to cry out.
political speeches were an echo of a political, economic and religious
system that pained him.
When I began my research for this book I had no predisposition,
value-judgement or bias concerning Shariati. Convinced of his impact on
the young and of
his subsequent intellectual influence on the turn of events in Iran, I
simply wished to understand the man and his life. The more I learnt
about him, the
more I was intrigued by his complexity and the aura of enigma
surrounding him. I am neither judge nor prosecutor and certainly not the
jury. I have tried to
reconstruct a life on the basis of the information I have obtained.
Wherever possible this has been double-checked. Where controversial
discussed, opposing views have been presented. So far as the use of
information available to me is concerned, as an Iranian I am still
proudly bound by
certain invisible cultural covenants. Cheap journalistic scoops cannot
make up for low quality intellectual products.
In the process of my research in Iran, I came across a young, heavily
bearded book-seller who, after testing my intentions, not only found me
three-volume rare collection written by one of Shariati’s clerical
detractors, but even offered to introduce me to the author. Before
handing me the books, he
said, "So much is being said about Shariati, yet I have never honestly
understood this man. Was he a saint or the devil himself? If you shed
some light on
him, I would receive my real recompense (ajr)." I promised to do my
Shariati was a man of his times. He reflected the mood, conditions,
problems, pains and conceivable solutions of his time. The extent to
discourse and his politico-religious solutions remain pertinent today
depends on the degree to which times have changed the material and
of the people, the institutions governing them and the international
balance of forces. Shariati’s methodology played a crucial role in his
discourse. In the
philosophical tradition of Manichaeans, Shariati had a binary vision,
through which he analysed all topics. All concepts, objects, words and
with the exception of the Creator and Shariati’s role-models, had a
bifurcated and contradictory existence. An evil and satanic aspect
challenged the coexisting good and divine. Shariati was a "natural"
dialectician. His analysis of the dichotomy within the individual,
economy, history, religion, and Shi’ism in particular, is the result of
this methodological application.
There is at least one line or one work in the multitude of the works of
every intellectual, which personifies or symbolizes that individual.
and fiery political slogans, chanted by hundreds of thousands of people
during the Iranian revolution of 1978, will probably symbolize him in
the minds of
those who remember those days or write and read about them. To those
familiar with the Shi’I culture, and passionately concerned with the
fate of their
fellow beings in a world of inequality and oppression, Shariati will
probably be remembered by the many lines that conveyed the message,
"those who die
perform a Hossein-like act and those who live should do as Zeinab did or
else they would be akin to Yazid."
But there is more to Shariati than his political dimension. Different
people can relate to his different worlds and different lines of his
works can come to
symbolize different facets of the man. Certainly one of the most
distinguished intellectuals of twentieth century Iran, Shariati
represented a special and
unique amalgam. He does not fit into any classical stereotype. Those who
try to portray him as such, simply deform the man. He was an outstanding
storyteller, a master of enigma, riddles and charades. Whatever he
wrote, whatever he said and whatever he did, which excited and roused
him, was filled
with riddles and puzzles. Such was his life. A true product of the
fertile cultural soil of Khorasan, the land of epics and mystics, Ali
Shariati was at case
with words, the principle tool of his forefathers. He was in love with
the beauty and music of the composition of words. He was an adept social
psychologist of his people, correctly gauging the needs of his audience.
His story was a tale they longed for. He had the audacity, the
and the shrewd intellect of saying it well without saying it. Shariati
was endowed with all it took to possess real charisma and perhaps even
more. He was more than a bit of a poet, a novelist, a satirist, an
artist and a journalist. Detesting confined circumferences and rigid
frameworks, in whatever
domain, he was cosmopolitan and broad-minded.
For Shariati, phenomena and outcomes did not have a single and simple
cause. He was a master synthesizer and himself a synthesis. A first
he was part Muslim, part Christian, part Jew, part Buddhist, part
Mazdaki, part Sufi, part heretic, part Marxist, part existentialist,
part humanist and part
sceptic. Shariati was perfectly at case being a nationalist and
internationalist at the same time, a materialist as well as an idealist
and a practising
spiritualist. Shariati was an individualist at war with individualism
and a militant of social causes, ever evading the masses. A firm
believer in the
inevitability of change and the necessity of adaptation, he was a
modernist who usually detested the persistence of outmoded traditions,
institutions. His role-models, heroes, references and loved ones
represented the broadest variety. They came from different epocks,
lineages, religions, professions, colours, cultures and nationalities.
An intellectual product of the world he lived in, he was a synthesis of
the cultural and
political traditions of the east and the west. A westerner in
appearance, education and methodology, he sought refuge in his eastern,
Persian and Shi’I
culture, his perception of which was coloured by his western education.
He looked at the east through western eyes. Shariati upheld his Islam
reference to non-Muslim sources and his Shi’ism with reference to
non-Shi’I sources. He was a rebel against himself, his society, his
religion, his past and
his present. An iconoclast and a utopian, Shariati was at war with "what
was" and sought to create "what ought to be".
Most of all, in his own imagery, Shariati was the unexpected rooster who
took pride and pleasure in his own nocturnal crowing, shattering the
of the night and upsetting the sleeping. He woke up all kinds of
creatures, good and evil, the people and the enemies of the people. He
woke up the
inquisitive, the inquisitors and the executioners. Each crow added to
his disciples and to his enemies. Inviting danger, he always tried to
enemy; and when he was out-witted, he retreated into himself, sometimes
became remorseful and always paid by long bouts of depression and
soul-searching, often resulting in revisionism.
In Islam, he found the language and beliefs of the people who he tried
to reach through their religion. His mission was to revolutionize and
understanding and interpretation of Islam. His nimble mastery of words
and his artful associations created an Islamic simulacrum far more
attractive to his
audience than the original. He was probably the only twentieth-century
Iranian intellectual who created a socio-political momentum which gave
birth to a
social movement, culminating in a revolution. In the ultimate social
revolution he saw the end of all injustice, oppression and inequality;
the birth of the
"perfect" New Man. The revolution, he believed, would end the dualities
and the binary system. It would usher in a personal, social, political,
and religious monotheism, imposing the will of the good and divine over
the evil and satanic. Shariati was a romantic and not a practitioner of
A firm believer in platonic relations, he did not, perhaps, want to lose
the immaculate vision that he held of the revolution. The utopian idea
was too good
to be put to test.
Excerpts from the Book
Date: Fri, 25 Jun 1999 22:57:03 -0500
From: "Aryo B. Pirouznia" <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Iran/AP: US Administration says policy toward Iran remains tough
The US Administration says policy toward Iran remains tough
1.49 p.m. ET (1749 GMT) June 24, 1998
The Clinton administration today affirmed it aims to block Iran from buying
missile technology even though President Clinton has vetoed legislation to
impose sanctions for such sales.
Clinton's veto Tuesday was not designed to go easy on Iran or to encourage
Iran to accept Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's offer last week to
establish a new and friendly relationship, James P. Rubin, her spokesman,
"It has nothing to do with the desire that Secretary Albright and the
president stated, to over time improve relations with Iran,'' Rubin said.
The veto was based on objections to restrictions it placed on the president,
compelling him to slap sanctions on governments and companies "without
knowing really what was going on,'' Rubin said.
"That is not a serious way to do business,'' he said. "That's the reason for
Both the House and Senate voted overwhelmingly to place sanctions on Russian
companies that sell ballistic missile equipment to Iran, beginning last Jan.
22. Congress may not have the votes to override the veto.
Albright, in offering to reverse nearly two decades of hostility between
Washington and Tehran, "also made clear how critical it is that we stop the
transfer of ballistic missile or other weapons of mass destruction
technology to Iran, and that has not changed,'' Rubin said.
Under the 1996 Iran and Libya Sanctions Act, the president has the option of
imposing sanctions on foreign companies that invest at least $20 million
annually in Iran's oil and gas sectors.
The bill he vetoed would have required "sweeping application of sanctions
according to inflexible and indiscriminate criteria,'' Clinton said in a
statement. Sanctions could be wrongly triggered against individuals and
businesses worldwide and would be disproportionate, penalizing minor
violations the same as major ones, he said.
But Clinton said he was particularly concerned about the bill's impact on
the U.S. effort to work with Russia to stem the flow of technology from
Russia to Iran's missile program.
In Moscow, the Foreign Ministry applauded Clinton's decision as reflecting
an agreement reached at his meeting with President Boris Yeltsin in England
"The Russian leadership is pursuing a firm policy aimed at preventing the
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery,
including supply of any illegal rocket technologies to Iran,'' the statement
Some members of Congress said they would push to override the veto, citing
concern over moves by Russia and China to supply Iran with missile
"This proliferation cannot and must not be ignored. It is a direct threat to
peace in the Middle East,'' said Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. "This carefully
crafted legislation will strengthen the president's hand in dealing with
House International Relations Chairman Ben Gilman, R-N.Y., asked GOP leaders
to immediately schedule an override vote, saying the veto is "deeply
distressing'' in light of the assistance Iran has gotten from Russia on
White House press secretary Mike McCurry said earlier that Clinton felt
Congress was trying to "micromanage'' U.S. foreign policy and put "hopeless
shackles on the presidency'' with the legislation.
Date: Fri, 25 Jun 1999 22:59:59 -0500
From: "Aryo B. Pirouznia" <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Iran/ The Washington Times: Iran's government,
trying to woo investors including
The Washington Times, 06-24-1999, pp A17.
Iran's government, trying to woo investors including
Iranian exiles, said yesterday it would pay compensation for some
of the factories seized after the 1979 Islamic revolution.
The plan is the latest confidence-building move by the government
of moderate President Mohammed Khatami, which has been seeking to
encourage foreign companies and Iranians, including exiles, to invest in
A deputy head of the state Industrial Development and Renovation
told Tehran radio the government had set up a $128 million fund for
compensations, which would be paid to dispossessed owners of large plants,
including those living abroad.
The plan would not cover industrialists from the former royal Pahlavi family
50 other families closely associated with the old regime, whose assets were
seized after the revolution, the radio added.
Claims must be filed before Aug. 23 for the compensations, which
would be adjusted according to the official rate of inflation in the past
decades, it said.
Date: Fri, 25 Jun 1999 23:02:26 -0500
From: "Aryo B. Pirouznia" <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Iran/The Jerusalem Post: The Iranian mirage
Jerusalem Post, 06-24-1999, pp 08.
Barry Rubin, The Iranian mirage
Once upon a time, when there was a nation called the Soviet Union, there was
branch of political science informally called "Kremlinology." This peculiar
pursuit involved making judgments about the inner workings of an enigmatic
dictatorship based on guesswork over who was up and who was down, who was a
"moderate" and who was a "hard-liner."
The Soviet Union is gone, but "Kremlinology" lives on in other contexts,
Western attempts to peg foreign policies on the vicissitudes of internal
politics. Accordingly, we are told that President Mohammad Khatemi is a
"moderate" who must be encouraged in his struggle with the dark forces of
"hard-liners, " who still dominate the government.
The problem with this mode of thinking is that it can easily help perpetuate
dictatorship that the West thinks it is cleverly undermining. It has taken
arrest of 13 Jews on charges of espionage to remind the West that,
notwithstanding, it is too soon to pronounce the Iranian regime reformed.
The arrests of the Jews took place in March, but since their disclosure by
Iranian officials this month, an impressive international campaign has been
launched for their release. Even Arab nations, such as Saudi Arabia and
have been approached by Western governments and Jewish organizations. So
neither quiet diplomacy nor public pressure has worked.
According to a delegation of Israelis originally from Iran who met Monday
Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yisrael Lau, Iran has arrested more Jews, bringing the
total to 22. Information is sparse regarding the prisoners, since Iranian
officials only permit them visits from children aged five to seven.
Lest there be any doubt regarding the precariousness of the Jews' situation,
should be noted that 17 Iranian Jews have been executed since the Islamic
revolution of 1979. If convicted of espionage, the Jews currently in prison
The dilemma of the West in confronting this situation is essentially that of
police advising the family of a kidnap victim. Rather than pay ransom in the
form of economic inducements, however, the West should restore the policy of
isolation that was being quietly discarded.
The $200 million in recently thawed World Bank projects that had been frozen
since 1993 should be refrozen. The US should return Iran to the top of its
terrorist-sponsors list, especially since CIA Director George Tenet recently
testified that Iran's support for terrorism has not lessened.
Congressional sanctions on Iran should be enforced, not waived.
In short, the Clinton administration's famous "dual containment" policy - of
which little remains of either its Iranian or Iraqi pillars - should be
resurrected. The policy of making Teheran's life easier in the hope that
will respond by moderating its behavior has been tried, and has failed. The
alternative is to continue expressing desire for cooperation, but implement
sanctions strictly until Iran changes its behavior.
The argument that a tougher approach toward Iran will "play into the hands
the hard-liners" is both familiar and flawed. First, there is little
back the idea that the West can understand, let alone micromanage, the
politics of a closed regime. Second, even if there is a division between
moderates and hard-liners, the way to help the moderates is to increase the
price attached to hard-line policies.
Veterans of the human rights struggles with the former Soviet Union, such as
Natan Sharansky, remember well a similar debate over the Jackson-Vanik
amendment. In that bitter debate, advocates of detente fought against
economic sanctions to open the gates for Soviet Jewry. A similar argument
between backers of "constructive engagement" with South Africa's former
apartheid regime, and proponents of stiff economic sanctions.
Though in retrospect few would argue with the critical role played by
sanctions in the Soviet and South African cases, the lessons of experience
yet to be fully applied to Iran. The lesson is that the more the West
the commercially-driven efforts to alleviate the financial woes of rogue
regimes, the longer those regimes will be able to postpone their collapse.
The only way to help the imprisoned Iranian Jews is to ensure that the cost
Iran of their execution is extremely high. The only way to help the Iranian
people and safeguard Western security interests is to link sanctions to
behavior, not to misguided attempts to cultivate mirages of moderation.
Date: Sat, 26 Jun 1999 00:29:28 -0500
From: "Aryo B. Pirouznia" <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Iran/IPS: CIVIL WAR A REAL DANGER IF KHATAMI BOWS TO EXTREM DEMANDS
CIVIL WAR A REAL DANGER IF KHATAMI BOWS TO EXTREM DEMANDS
By Safa Haeri, Iran Press Editor
Stockholm (IPS) Mrs Shirin Ebadi is one of Iran's most prominent, outspoken
and charismatic lawyers known for her courage to accept defending
controversial cases or dissidents, regardless of their political, religious
or social backgrounds, like the hojatoleslam Mohsen Sai'dzadeh, who was
defrocked because of his struggle for introducing reforms in Islam or Abbas
Amir Entezam, the longest political prisoner dubbed as Iran's Nelson Mandela
or the woman condemned to capital punishment accused of adultery even though
there was no complainant.
Recently, she participated in a conference organised in the beautiful
Swedish capital Stockholm by the monthly magazine "Medusa", affiliated to
the staunchly atheist Iran Communist Workers Party, where she cautioned with
her legendary frank speaking the leftist organisers and audience against
"surgical" solutions, arising speculations and controversies.
"It's easy to make a revolution overnight, but it takes years to build. What
we need in Iran is an evolution of the minds, a reform in the laws, not a
repeat of the past mistakes", she warned.
In a wide range interview granted to Iran Press Service in Stockholm, Mrs
Ebadi reiterated her warnings, pointing out that the danger of a civil war,
the prospect of what she termed as "afqanistasiation" in Iran were real if
President Khatami goes beyond the narrow limits of his powers.
Below are excerpts of the interview
Iran Press Service - Mrs Ebadi, how do you evaluate the situation in Iran?
Shirin Ebadi - As a naturally optimist person that is used to see the world
with a white lens, I'm very optimistic about the future. Every morning I
wake up expecting a happy development, as I feel, I see people's step by
step march towards freedom, towards victory.
IPS - .. What is, or are the happy thing you expect when you wake up in the
Sh E - It can be anything. When a child, I would be happy with a puppet. As
a young girl, the idea of winning the lottery would make me happy.
IPS - And now, what would make you happy?
Sh E - The victory of the people, meaning democracy, meaning to get what
they are fighting for. One of these goals was, in my opinion, the creation
of the city councils, as for twenty years we were feeling the empty place of
The creation of such councils, especially after the rejection of Mr.Abdollah
Nouri, (the former Interior Minister who was impeached in the Majles)
Tehran's first elected candidate, was very interesting.
IPS - Do you think that we are really marching towards this democracy you
are talking about?
Sh E - (very forcefully) Yes, I have a very strong feeling about that and I
genuinely hope that it would not get pestified.
IPS - Mr. Nouri and 4 other elected candidates were rejected by the
(conservatives-controlled) Surveillance Committee and re-installed by the
(reformists-controlled) Executive Committee. What, in your opinion, is the
significance of these developments? Are they taking place in the framework
of the democratisation process?
Sh E - Of course it is. They are the result of confrontation between two
different and conflicting views: One that considers itself the tutor of the
people, that it only can decide what is good and what is bad and the other
view that believe that people can decide for themselves and the yardstick is
the choice of the people.
IPS - In the past month we witnessed some very interesting events, the
rejection of the impeachment of Mr. Ata'ollah Mohajerani, the Guidance
Minister in a Majles that is controlled by the monopolists, the trial of
general Naqdi, a high ranking pasdar officer and the closure of the
newspaper Zan on order from the Judiciary instead of the Islamic Guidance
Ministry, after it published Mrs. Farah Diba's controversial New Year
message. Can we have your comments of these issues?
Sh E - As I said, in Iran we have this challenge between modernity and
orthodoxy, between a group that is after safeguarding traditions and the
other one that is struggling for more freedom. All those trials and
confrontations must be placed in the framework of this challenge. Mr
Mohajerani is impeached because, according to the censors, he has authorised
the press to insult Islam, but what we see is that his cultural policies are
approved by a majority of the legislators. In other words, the Majles that
is controlled by the conservatives moves towards the people, confirms the
victory of the people and this because the deputies wants to be re-elected
in the next Majles. If general Naqdi is tried, it is because of pressure
from the public.
On the other hand, the conservatives are not idle. They also take advantage
from whatever in their possession to defend their positions. Hence, the use
of all their powers to suspend the publication of Zan by the Islamic
Revolution's Court they control something that the Guidance Ministry refused
IPS - Going back to the defeat of the impeachment of Mr. Mohajerani. Can we
conclude that the outcome will shape the coming Majles? That the next
parliament will be filled with more reformists, a Khatami's Majles instead
of the ayatollah Khameneh'i's?
Sh E - As an optimist, I can say the sixth (next) Majles will be better than
the fifth (present one).
IPS - Can you please be more explicit, explain what you mean by better, or
what one can expect from the next Majles more than this one, what it could
do that this one has not done?
Sh E - Meaning that the election filter has been more adequate, that the
candidates who enter the Majles are closer to the people, something that had
been made impossible because of the existing exceptional supervision
controls concerning the candidates. I'm on the opinion that if the same
mechanisms that were used for the election of village and city councils are
to be applied on the next legislative elections, people would be able to
send into the Majles more deputies of their choice, representing better
their demands and aspirations.
IPS - In Iran, there are more and more voices among the students, liberals,
intellectuals and the moderate press criticising Mr. Khatami of not standing
firmly enough against pressure groups, against law breakers, that he is not
using his powers to stop usurpation of the laws by his conservative
opponents etc. Do you agree with them? Do you think he is following the
correct path and if not what you think he should do?
Sh E - One must bear in mind that as the president, the Head of the
Legislative, Mr. Khatami is bound to act within the limits of a Constitution
that does not provide him much power. Therefore, any acceleration from his
part not only is against the Constitution, and I don't think that Mr.
Khatami is a man who likes to act against the laws, but such a move may as
well present the danger of a fratricide war in Iran. So, contrary to some of
my countrymen, I don't think that Mr. Khatami must try to solve all the
problems in one night.
IPS - Considering the fact that the same voices that criticises Mr. Khatami
are at the same time calling for the limitation of the unlimited powers of
the leader, his answerability to some institutions like the Experts Assembly
and the end to the present duality between the positions of the leader with
that of the president, don't you think that time has come to end this
abnormality, that one of the two must bow to the other as to clarify the
situation, to have either a leader or a president? For instance, what is the
use of having a powerless president while the leader possesses his own
shadow cabinet, as seen by Mr. Khameneh'i receiving foreign dignitaries like
recently the Saudi Defence Minister?
Sh E - Leader's responsibilities and powers are clearly defined in the
Constitution. However, whoever me may be, he has no more duties than those
attributed to him by the Constitution. The same with the President. Now, if
you imply that the Constitution has been formulated correctly or not, I'm
not in a position to comment on that.
IPS - Actually my question was how long this two head monster can live
before one would kill the other.
Sh E - For now, it lives. At the same time and with all my excuses, I don't
agree with your wording of monster, but it is a system that had been in
place until now.
IPS - In your opinion, what are the reforms we need most urgently and that
the next parliament must address them?
Sh E - Reforming the laws concerning people's freedoms in social, political,
individual and religious domains. ENDS EBADI 2459921
Date: Sat, 26 Jun 1999 00:35:21 -0500
From: "Aryo B. Pirouznia" <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Iran/IPS: TO SAVE THE LEADER,
CLERICS SAY DISSIDENT'S KILLER WAS ISRAELI AGENT
TO SAVE THE LEADER, CLERICS SAY DISSIDENT'S KILLER WAS ISRAELI AGENT
By IPS Editor Safa Haeri
PARIS 25 June (IPS) As the Independent Iranian newspapers and the public
continue to press the authorities to provide clear-cut, convincing, unbiased
explanations and evidences concerning the suicide of a senior official of
the Information (Intelligence) Ministry allegedly involved in the last
November chain murder of prominent politicians and intellectuals, with this
simple question on everyone's lip: Was Mr. Sa'id Emami killed to save the
real murderers? the clerics on both side of the leadership closed rank
Friday in propagating the old theory of foreign conspiracy against the
sacred Islamic Republic.
According to the hojatoleslam Mohammad Niazi, the Armed Forces Prosecutor in
charge of the assassination case, Mr. Sa'id Emami, alias Eslami, killed
himself on Saturday 19th June by absorbing a hair-removing product while
taking a bath. Though he did not named the product, but it is obvious that
he was talking of vajebi, an old, traditional herbal medicine largely used
all over Iran for that purpose.
(Actually, the latest joke in Tehran is: Emami shod shahid vajebi. In
koranic Arabic, vajeb mean compulsory, in other word, Emami's assassination
was a must)
In a declaration to Radio Tehran last Sunday, Mr. Niazi identified MM.
Khosro Bayati, Mostafa Kazemi, Mehrdad Alikhani and Sa'id Emami as agents of
the Intelligence Ministry who took upon themselves to assassinate Mr.
Dariush Foruhar, the leader of the secularist Iranian People's Party and his
wife Parvaneh and the writers Mohammad Mokhtari and Mohammad Ja'far
The Prosecutor described Mr. Emami as the one who played the key role in the
savage assassinations, explaining that based on the confessions he made, he
was absolutely certain that he would be executed if tried.
Quoting forensic pathologists, independent Iranian newspapers carrying their
own investigations revealed that contrary to Mr. Niazi's declarations, Mr.
Emami's suicide took place on Wednesday 16th June and not on Saturday.
"Up to Saturday morning, the body of Mr. Emami was still in the morgue"; one
forensic doctor told newspapers. Others said they treated him for poisoning
Forensic doctors have confirmed the presence of a "substantial quantity" of
the lethal poison arsenic in the vajebi absorbed by Mr. Emami, but experts,
jurists and lawyers all agrees that the powder is not that poisonous, that
it is very difficult to swallow it and if taken, it immediately provoke
nausea and finally prisoners are offered a limited quantity of the product
not enough to provoke death.
Writing in the pro-reform daily "Neshat", Mr. Akbar Ganji, a journalist and
political analyst who has spent three months in the Evin prison said
prisoners there are allowed one five minutes bath a week that is taken under
But pro-reform newspapers disclosed that it was Mr. Emami who masterminded
all the assassinations of Iranian dissidents in the last decade, both at
home and abroad.
Mr. Abbas Abdi, a deputy Editor of the leftist daily "Salam" disclosed that
Mr. Emami was the man who masterminded the collective assassination of more
than 20 writers, intellectuals and journalist two years ago by organising
the fall into a deep ravine of the bus that was taking them to Yerevan, the
"Sobh Emrouz" noted that no one among the responsible officials, including
the Prosecutor of the Armed Forces himself has dared to deny, or correct
But "Keyhan", the mouthpiece of the Intelligence Ministry found a
compromise, saying that Eslami had attempted to kill himself on Wednesday,
was treated in hospital by specialists who failed to save him and passed
away on Saturday 19th.
As the authorities, including Mr. Niazi adamantly refuse to say who Mr.
Emami was - and until today, they have not officially said what the rank of
Mr. Emami was at the Intelligence Ministry -, newspapers revealed that he
had served as deputy Minister for security affairs under the hojatoleslam
Ali Fallahian, the former Intelligence Minister who is now acting as a
special adviser to the leader, the ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i on security and
Mr. Fallahian is under an international warrant issued against him by German
authorities for the role he played in the assassination of the General
Secretary of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan and 3 of his
colleagues in Berlin in September 1992.
Mr. Sa'id Hajjarian, the owner of the reformist daily "Sobh Emrouz" (This
Morning) and a former deputy Intelligence Minister is quoted to have said
that while he was serving in that administration, he had opposed to Mr.
Emami becoming in charge of security affairs, but Mr. Fallahian insisted he
should get the sensitive job.
Considering the rank and responsibilities of Mr. Emami in the Intelligence
Ministry, independent newspapers unanimously are now openly questioning the
role the former Intelligence Minister, the hojatoleslam Ali Fallahian as the
man who had promoted Mr. Emami as his first and senior deputy.
Mr. Ali Keshtgar, the Editor of the Paris-based "Mihan" (Country) monthly
says Mr. Emami has confessed that all the murders were approved by the
leader and carried out on orders from Mr. Fallahian.
In an apparent move to divert the public opinion and stop the investigations
by the press reaches the highest authority of the regime, that is the
ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i, the authorities are trying to link Mr. Emami to
foreign intelligence services, especially Mosad and the CIA.
Mr. Taha Hashemi, an MP and the owner of the new moderate religious daily
"Entekhab" (Choice) and "Keyhan", the mouthpiece of the Intelligence
Ministry both have suggested that Mr. Emami might have been of Jewish faith
and working for Mosad, the Israeli intelligence service and as such,
connected to the 13 Iranian Jews who were arrested three months ago in the
southern city of Shiraz, charged with espionage for Israel and the US. ENDS
28 DARIUSH AND PARVANEH 2569918
End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 24 Jun 1999 to 25 Jun 1999