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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 6 Jul 1999

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 6 Jul 1999
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There are 2 messages totalling 115 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. Iran/Reuters: Jackson Seeks Iran Visit To Press For Jews Release
2. Iran/Ha'Aretz: Barak looks for detente with Iran

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Date: Tue, 6 Jul 1999 22:04:23 -0500
From: "Aryo B. Pirouznia" <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Iran/Reuters: Jackson Seeks Iran Visit To Press For Jews Release

Tuesday July 6 3:18 AM ET

Jackson Seeks Iran Visit To Press For Jews Release

DUBAI (Reuters)

U.S. civil rights leader Jesse Jackson hopes to visit Iran to appeal to
officials for the release of 13 Iranian Jews arrested on charges of spying
for Israel, the London-based daily newspaper al-Hayat said Tuesday.

The Arabic-language paper said Jackson was ``awaiting an Iranian response to
visiting Tehran as part of his efforts'' to gain the release of the 13,
arrested several months ago.

It quoted Jackson as saying he met Iranian officials recently in Switzerland
but that he did not bring up the case. It did not give other details.

``He asserted that he plans to meet Iranian President Mohammad Khatami and
Iranian religious leaders,'' al-Hayat said.

It quoted Jackson as saying: ``I am confident that this country has a big
role in the world and the reasons that led to a break (in relations) between
us 20 years ago are no longer there.''

Jackson, who has traveled on several international missions to countries
such as Syria, Cuba and most recently Yugoslavia to negotiate the
humanitarian release of prisoners, had said last month that he was
intervening at the behest of relatives of the Iranian Jews.

He had tried but failed to meet Iranian U.N. officials.

In letters to United Nations and European Union officials, Iran said the 13
had passed on secret military information to foreigners and assured that the
accused would get a fair trial.

The arrests have provoked strong international criticism against Iran at a
time when moderate Khatami is seeking to end 20 years of estrangement with
the West.

Khatami has so far kept silent on the case, but he has repeatedly pledged
support for the rights of Iran's religious minorities, including Jews.

Iran had said it would not accept meddling in the case. Senior conservative
Iranian officials have spoken of the suspects as spies and said they
deserved to hang.

Officials say those arrested in connection with the case include Muslims but
they have not revealed the names of the suspects or the nature of the
evidence against them.

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Date: Tue, 6 Jul 1999 22:13:55 -0500
From: "Aryo B. Pirouznia" <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Iran/Ha'Aretz: Barak looks for detente with Iran

Wednesday, July 7, 1999

Barak looks for detente with Iran

By Aluf Benn, Ha'aretz Diplomatic Correspondent

Prime Minister Ehud Barak intends to try a new approach toward Iran, long
regarded as Israel's enemy number one: a detente.

Iran's military power and ballistic advances, together with her steadily
rising favor with the U.S., have convinced Barak that it may be time to stop
branding Iran an evil, terrorist nation and start falling in line by
recognizing it as an unchangeable factor that can be dealt with.

Barak has never considered Iran Israel's worst threat. As Chief of Staff, he
expressed the opinion that Iraq, which had proven its belligerence against
Israel in previous wars, was far more troublesome than Iran, who was on
Israel's side throughout those conflicts. He pointed out the natural common
interest between the two countries as two of the three non-Arab states in
the region.

A diplomatic source in Jerusalem said yesterday that no steps will be taken
with Iran so long as 13 Jews are still imprisoned on charges of espionage.

Military Intelligence, however, has taken a hard line against what it sees
as a threatening state, bent on developing long-range surface-to-surface
missiles that can reach Israel, and acquiring nuclear weapons. Intelligence
officials interpreted an Iranian missile attack on Iraq as an indication
that Iran viewed the use of such missiles as perfectly legitimate.

Military Intelligence further objected that Iran has maintained a hostile
attitude toward Israel and the peace process, and supports many terrorist
groups, including Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad. They insist that the election
of President Mohammed Khatami has not precipitated any change in Iranian
policy toward Israel.

The attitude military Intelligence expresses is only the latest voice in a
tradition of anti-Iranian sentiment that echoes from Rabin's, Peres's and
Netanyahu's recent governments. Peres went so far as to blame Iran for the
wave of terror that struck Israel in '96, calling it an attempt to sabotage
the peace process. Netanyahu, meanwhile, pressured the U.S. to impose
sanctions against Russia for her involvement in the Iranian missile
development program, and has considered that involvement the foremost
problem in Israeli-Russian relations.

Movement over the past year in the long-frozen relations between the U.S.
and Iran has Israelis worried, however, that they could be the last voice
left damning Iran when others, including the American one, die down. In
previous discussions with U.S. officials, Israel suggested cooperation and
sharing of information on Iran in order to coordinate diplomatic efforts
toward Tehran, but the U.S. has not yet responded. Barak will raise the
issue in his upcoming visit to Washington.

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End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 6 Jul 1999
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