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There are 10 messages totalling 861 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. HAMBASTEGI 83
2. NEWS99 - Internet Access Control in Mideast
3. Iran/Washington Post: More Mullah Than Moderate
4. Iran/BBC: Leading Iranian dissident dies
5. Iran/Reuters: (7/08/99) Iranian News papers Headlines
6. Iran/Jerusalem Post: Froman held talks on arrested Iranian Jews
7. Iran/Reuters: Iran Clerics Target Nascent Press Freedoms
8. Reactionary Murders, Assault on the Independent Press, Oppression and
Tyrrany - Check the Spelling but Get the Idea
9. Iran/BBC: Iran drops complaint against reformist paper
10. Iran/AP: Israel denies holding missing Iranians

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

Date: Thu, 8 Jul 1999 11:38:49 EDT
From: CHAIRNGO@AOL.COM
Subject: HAMBASTEGI 83

HAMBASTEGI 83
The Paper of the International Federation of Iranian Refugees (IFIR)
English Section Editor: Maryam Namazie


Editorial
FOR WHAT CRIME?
By Mina Ahadi, Spokesperson, International Campaign in Defense of
Womenís Rights in Iran
July 6, 1999

Zari Heydari, a 40 year old asylum seeker and mother, died one day
after being released from a year-long detention in Germany. I had met
Zari Heydari and her 12-year old daughter during a meeting on the
anti-refugee policies of the German government. That "civilized and
humanitarian" government left her child to fend for herself when it
detained Heydari after rejecting her legitimate claim. Even now, it does
not plan to investigate the reason for her untimely death, so as to
conceal its culpability in her murder. While her friends and family bury
her broken spirit and body, the German authorities celebrate the removal
of one more name from the list of asylum seekers residing in Germany.

The crime of Zari Heydari and other asylum seekers is that they have
refused to live under repression and have come to Europe in search of
a better life. Upon arrival, however, they are faced with deportation,
imprisonment, and numerous physical and psychological tortures.
Here, they are condemned to die a slow and painful death.

In this European country, they do not sentence people to execution,
they do not hang individuals from cranes, nor carry out stonings in
their streets, yet they tortuously and slowly kill those fleeing
repressive regimes. They force those already sentenced to die to
carry out their own executions. A summary review of the long list
of those asylum seekers who have committed suicide, reveals the
flagrant trampling on, and murder of, humanity and dignity.

We cannot speak of human rights and yet remain silent on these
daily inhumanities. The solidarity of labor groups, political parties
and human rights organizations is critical in resisting and
opposing the German governmentís anti-refugee policies and practices.

We must defend the protests and demands of asylum seekers and
push back the German governmentís assault.

THE SURVIVORS OF THE TURKISH GOVERNMENT KILLINGS ARE
DEPORTED TO IRAQ AND IRAN
IFIR Secretariat
June 10, 1999

The Turkish military has brutally killed 9 Iranian and Iraqi refugees who
were part of a caravan of 50 attempting to enter the country to register
with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
The 9 were killed in a zone where military operations by the Turkish
and Iranian governments are prohibited. Several were wounded in the
attack. Of those remaining, 40 were deported to Northern Iraq, and
one to Iran, according to reports by the International Federation of
Iranian Refugees (IFIR) Branch representative in the border town of
Van, Turkey.

Before being handed over to the Iranian authorities, Mohammad
Khateeb, an Iranian asylum seeker who had been wounded in the
assault, told IFIRís Van representative that he had been threatened
numerous times to remain silent on the killings.

By deporting the survivors of its murderous act, the Turkish government
hopes to eliminate any witnesses and escape accountability. The
International Federation of Iranian Refugees (IFIR), however, will hold
the Turkish government accountable and has filed a grievance in
the European Commission on Human Rights against the Turkish
government. IFIR calls on all organizations and individuals to condemn
this heinous act.

This is not the first time the Turkish authorities have resorted to
such brutality against refugees. In the past, IFIRís campaigns have
been able to push back the Turkish governmentís assault on the lives
and safety of refugees. Only our united outrage can prevent such
criminal acts in the future.

IFIR REFUGEE ACTIVISTS RELEASED IN IRAQI KURDISTAN
IFIR Secretariat
June 3, 1999

The International Federation of Iranian Refugees (IFIR) is pleased to
announce the release of Habibollah Abdullahi, the IFIR Erbil branch
representative, and Abdullah Veissi, a member of that branchís
Executive Committee. The Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) of Iraq
had arrested Abdullahi and Veissi on May 30, 1999. The pretext given
for the arrests was IFIRís "illegal activities." In reality, however, it was
IFIRís successful efforts in organizing the protests of Iranian refugees
that prompted the KDP of Iraq to detain IFIRís activists and deem its
activities illegal.

International support was instrumental in gaining their freedom. The
two were released to a mission comprising of representatives of the
IFIR Secretariat (Yedi Mahmoudi), the International Committee of the
Red Cross (ICRC), and the United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees (UNHCR).

The international solidarity was so extensive that surprised officials
asked who the two were to receive such an outpouring of support.
IFIR congratulates all individuals, groups and bodies who responded
to its campaign and obtained the immediate and unconditional release
of its refugee rights activists.

THERE IS NO FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION IN IRAN
IFIR Secretariat
June 7, 1999

A mission from the Islamic Republic of Iran is speaking at a
roundtable discussion on the media in Iran today, Monday, June 7,
1999 at Columbia University. The mission comprises of a former
official of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and several
members of the government-controlled press. This roundtable is part
of Khatamiís "dialogue of civilizations," which hopes to amend the
image of a criminal regime with the help of its cohorts in the west
(including Columbia Universityís Middle Eastern Studies). The
discussion aims to highlight the increase of publications in Iran to
declare freedom of expression and press in the Islamic Republic of
Iran!

Despite such attempts, the fact remains that the increase of
government-controlled publications in support of Khatami is not
an indication of freedom of expression. Freedom of expression is
a freedom for opponents and the people and not freedom for a faction
of the regime to expand its activities.

The roundtable is nothing but an effort to justify censorship and
repression in Iran. In the Islamic Republic of Iran, any publication
that is socialist, pro-labor, egalitarian, pro freedom, against religion,
and opposed to the entirety of the Islamic Republic of Iran is
banned and its defenders killed.

According to the regimeís Press Law, the pressí role is to
struggle against manifestations of colonial culture and promote
and propagate authentic Islamic culture and diffuse virtuous principles.
The press is prohibited from promoting discourse "harmful" to the
principles and mandate of Islam. Any deviation even by the
pro-government press has been met with repression.

Clearly, a precondition to real freedom is the overthrow of the entirety
of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

IFIRís 8th CONFERENCE
IFIR Secretariat
June 6, 1999

The International Federation of Iranian Refugees (IFIR) is holding its 8th
conference in Germany during July 22 to 25. The public is invited to
join the international gathering of IFIR activists and members. To register
or suggest workshops for the conference, contact the IFIR Secretariat
or the German branch office, Postfach 650149, 13301 Berlin,
Germany; +49 30 20 45 21 64 (tel.); +49 30 20 45 21 63 (fax).

IFIR PRESS RELEASES
May - June 1999

The International Federation of Iranian Refugees (IFIR), with its 40 branches
in 15 countries worldwide, has unrelentingly exposed the Islamic
Republic of Iran and defended refugee rights over the past ten years.
A summary of its main press releases during the months of May
to June follows:

IFIR German Branch, Nader Sharifi, The Deportation of an Iranian
Asylum Seeker is a Gift from the German Social Democrats to the
Islamic Republic of Iran, May 6, 1999: The Branch condemns
the German governmentís deportation of an Iranian asylum seeker,
G. J., concurrent with a German economic mission to Iran on
May 4, 1999. IFIR calls on refugees and asylum seekers to
join IFIR and resist the German governmentís efforts to use
them as pawns to improve relations.

IFIR Swedish Branch, May 21, 1999: The Branch condemns the
inhuman refugee policy of the Swedish government linking it to
the diminishing right to asylum in Europe. It cites the case of
two boys from an Algerian family who set themselves on fire
after their family was given an expulsion order. It calls for a
united front against anti-refugee policies.

IFIR Secretariat, Condemn the Turkish Militaryís Murder of 9
Iranian and Iraqi Refugees, May 28, 1999: The Secretariat
condemns the Turkish militaryís brutal killing of 9 Iranian and
Iraqi refugees who were part of a caravan of 50 attempting to
enter the country to register with the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Of those remaining,
5 have been hospitalized due to resulting injuries whilst the
other 36 have been detained by the authorities, according
to reports by the International Federation of Iranian Refugees
(IFIR) Branch in the border town of Van, Turkey. IFIR
demands that the Turkish government be held accountable
for its actions.

IFIR Secretariat, Defend Refugee Activists Detained in Iraqi
Kurdistan, June 1, 1998: On May 30, 1999 Habibollah Abdullahi,
the IFIR Erbil branch representative, and Abdullah Veissi, a
member of that branchís Executive Committee, were arrested
by the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) of Iraq. The pretext given
for the arrests was IFIRís "illegal activities." In reality, however,
it was IFIRís successful efforts in organizing the protests of
Iranian refugees that prompted the reactionary KDP of Iraq to
detain our activists and deem our activities illegal. IFIR
unequivocally condemns the imprisonment of our activists
and demands their immediate and unconditional release. IFIR
holds the KDP of Iraq responsible for their lives and safety. IFIR
also calls upon the UNHCR to intervene on behalf of these
two refugees and prevent their refoulement (forcible return) to
the Islamic Republic of Iran.

IFIR Secretariat, IFIR Refugee Activists Released in Iraqi Kurdistan,
June 3, 1999: IFIR is pleased to announce the release of its
two activists who had been arrested by the KDP of Iraq on
May 30, 1999. International support was instrumental in gaining
their freedom. The two were released to a mission comprising
of representatives of the IFIR Secretariat (Yedi Mahmoudi),
the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and
the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
The international solidarity was so extensive that surprised officials
asked who the two were to receive such an outpouring of support.

IFIR Secretariat, IFIRís 8th CONFERENCE, June 6, 1999: IFIR is
holding its 8th conference in Germany during July 22 to 25. The
public is invited to join the international gathering of IFIR activists
and members.

IFIR Secretariat, There is No Freedom of Expression in Iran, June 7,
1999: A joint press release cites the roundtable discussion on the
media in Iran held at Columbia University as an attempt to amend
the image of a criminal regime with the help of its cohorts in
the west. The discussion aims to highlight the increase of
publications in Iran to declare freedom of expression and press
in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Despite such attempts, the fact
remains that the increase of government-controlled publications
in support of Khatami is not an indication of freedom of expression.
Freedom of expression is a freedom for opponents and the people
and not freedom for a faction of the regime to expand its activities.
The roundtable is nothing but an effort to justify censorship and
repression in Iran.

Maryam Namazie, Columbia Universityís Award-winning Role
in Defending Apartheid and the Islamic Republic of Iran, June 9,
1999: The June 7 roundtable on the press in Iran once again
places the university in the role of defending apartheid. This time,
however, it was the gender-apartheid and repression of the
Islamic Republic of Iran and not that of the former South
African government.

IFIR Secretariat, The Survivors of the Turkish Government Killings
are Deported to Iraq and Iran, June 10, 1999: 40 refugees who
survived the Turkish governmentís attack which murdered 9
Iranian and Iraqi refugees were deported to Iraq.
Mohammad Khateeb was handed over to the Iranian authorities.
IFIR calls on all to condemn the Turkish governmentís
violations of refugee rights.

IFIR British Branch, Farshad Husseini, British Government
Starts Deporting Iranian Asylum Seekers, June 14, 1999: Two
Iranian asylum seekers have been deported to Sweden, their
first country of entry in Europe, while several others are to
be deported by June 24. The deportations follow the arrest
of scores of Iranian asylum seekers on April 20, 1999. IFIR
condemns the deportations and holds the British government
responsible for their lives and safety as Sweden is not a
safe country for Iranian asylum seekers.

IFIR Swedish Branch, Ismail Moloodi, June 15, 1999: The Branch
holds the Swedish government responsible for the lives of
the asylum seekers deported from Britain to Sweden. It calls
on the government to recognize that Iran is unsafe, and halt
deportations to Iran and detention of asylum seekers.

IFIR Secretariat, Protest the Kurdish Democratic Party of
Iraqís Violations of Human Rights in Iraqi Kurdistan, June 18,
1999: Just as two IFIR activists were released as a result of
pressure, international solidarity can ensure observance of
human rights standards by the KDP. IFIR demands an
immediate end to the KDPís repressive attacks on the people,
political opposition groups and womenís organizations in Iraqi Kurdistan.

IFIR British Branch, Farshad Husseini, One Iranian Asylum
Seeker Attempts Suicide in London, June 20, 1999: On June 20,
1999, Shahram Vahedmohseni set himself on fire as a result of
the conditions and pressures of refugee life. He is currently
imprisoned in Warm Wort Scrap prison and facing prosecution
for his act of despair. IFIR calls on all to pressure the British
government for creating such unfavorable conditions for asylum
seekers and for the immediate release of Vahedmohseni.


For more information, contact IFIR, GPO, PO Box 7051,
New York, NY 10116. Tel: 212-747-1046. Fax: 212-425-7260.
E-mail: chairngo@aol.com.
To see Persian section, see website: www.hambastegi.org

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

Date: Thu, 8 Jul 1999 20:16:42 GMT
From: Arash Alavi <arash@MY-DEJA.COM>
Subject: NEWS99 - Internet Access Control in Mideast

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH

Censorship, Restrictions Stunt Internet Growth in Mideast

Rights Group Surveys Online Freedom of Expression in the
Region


(Washington, July 8, 1999) - Censorship, restrictions on
access, and high prices are stunting Internet growth in the
Middle East and North Africa, Human Rights Watch said in a
report released today. The report charges that in many
countries in the region, information cannot be freely
exchanged via the Internet. But the report also said
efforts to block the flow of information online were doomed
to fail, and noted that nearly one million people in the
Arab world are already online.

While claiming to protect the public from pornography, the
governments of Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Bahrain, Iran, and
the United Arab Emirates also block access to some human
rights and political websites. Iraq and Libya, meanwhile,
are not even linked to the global Internet, while Syria is
the only country in the region that has a link but has
refused thus far to make local access available to its
citizens. Tunisia leads the region in adopting
Internet-specific laws-many designed to ensure that
critical speech is subjected to the same restrictions as in
other media.

"Authorities in this region are used to keeping tight reins
on the media, but they cannot control the free-flowing
Internet," said Hanny Megally, Human Rights Watch's
executive director for the Middle East and North Africa.
"Instead of erecting barriers that cannot stand for long,
these governments should work to make online communication
widely available."

Many users in the region worry about high-tech surveillance
of their online activities and e-mail correspondence. Such
fears are understandable in a region where the police
frequently wiretap the phones and fax machines of suspected
dissidents, and telecommunication networks are still
largely in state hands. In one instance, a Bahraini spent
nearly two years in detention on suspicion of e-mailing
political information to opposition groups overseas.

But the development of tools to protect against censorship
and surveillance online, such as encryption, anonymous
re-mailing, anti-censorship proxy servers, and wireless
communications, seems to be outpacing the technologies of
control, noted Human Rights Watch, an international
monitoring organization based in New York.

People in the Middle East are already using the Internet to
erode controls on information. Local human rights
organizations are disseminating news more effectively than
ever and newspapers are posting stories online that were
censored from their print editions. Viewpoints that are
restricted or taboo locally-such as pro-Islamist views in
Algeria and pro-Polisario views in Morocco-are readily
available to Internet users in those countries.

Not all governments have been actively trying to control
the Internet. Egypt and Jordan are among those that allow
news and commentary online even when it has been censored
or is considered taboo in the print media. Governments
tolerate this paradox in part because the cost of Internet
access-as high as U.S.$70 per month in some
countries-ensures a small and mostly elite audience.

"Internet speech may seem low on the human rights agenda in
a region where torture is commonplace and a computer is
beyond the means of the average household," observed
Megally. "But the Internet is actually most important in
repressive countries, where people now have the power to
send and receive information."

After a slow start, Internet use is growing in the Middle
East and North Africa. Information technology receives much
attention from Arab media and is the subject of frequent
conferences. Cybercafās welcome the public in at least
fourteen countries. But the region still lags far behind
North America, South America, Europe and Asia in terms of
connectivity per capita. A shortage of Arabic content and
antiquated telecommunication sectors also hampers Internet
growth.

In the 92-page survey report issued today, Human Rights
Watch unveiled policy guidelines aimed at protecting the
rights to privacy, association and expression online. Among
the recommendations:

Censoring mechanisms, if used, should be in the hands of
individual users, and not governments; Strong encryption
should be available to individuals; Government surveillance
of electronic communications should not infringe unduly on
the right to privacy and other civil rights, and should be
subject to the requirements of due process and judicial
supervision; and Individuals should have the right to
communicate and receive information anonymously.

The report, which contains written responses from the
governments of Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Tunisia, and
Yemen, is available online at
<http://www.hrw.org/advocacy/internet/mena/index.htm>,
beginning July 8.

For Further Information:

In Washington: Eric Goldstein 202 612-4326 (English,
French)

In New York: Hanny Megally 212-216-1230 (English, Arabic)

In Brussels: Jean-Paul Marthoz 32.2.736.7838 (English,
French)

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

Date: Thu, 8 Jul 1999 18:45:53 -0500
From: "Aryo B. Pirouznia" <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Iran/Washington Post: More Mullah Than Moderate

More Mullah Than Moderate
By Reuel Marc Gerecht

Thursday, July 8, 1999; Page A25

Slowly but surely Iran's clerical regime is collapsing. The recent arrest of
13 Iranian Jews on charges of espionage is an ugly reminder that the fall
will likely be neither pretty nor peaceful. By attacking their own helpless
Jews, the ruling mullahs vicariously strike at larger, more dangerous
targets -- Israel, the United States and secular democracy, the most
pernicious Western idea gaining ground in the Islamic Republic.

These arrests ought to encourage us to reassess the moderation and mission
of Iranian President Mohammed Khatemi. Many Iran-watchers have tried to give
Khatemi the benefit of the doubt. This espionage case has generally been
depicted as a byproduct of the power struggle between Khatemi and the
hard-line revolutionary leader Ali Khamenei. Alternately seen as powerless
or judiciously playing a long-term game against the leader's stronger
forces, Khatemi has so far escaped severe criticism for Iran's increasing
internal repression.

Though serious differences divide the president and the revolutionary
leader, this Western generosity toward the Iranian president is increasingly
misplaced. Concerning the "Jewish menace," Iran's radical clergy certainly
isn't divided. Though Martin Indyk, assistant secretary of state for Near
Eastern affairs, may "find it hard to reconcile . . . Khatemi's words [about
the rule of law]" with the espionage charges, Khatemi isn't likely so
conflicted. Conspiracy defines and debases politics in the Middle East, and
one of the the most common and visceral conspiracy theories in Iran is of an
internationalist Jewish cabal trying to humble the Muslim world.

The Iranian "clerical left," where both Khatemi and Khamenei cut their
intellectual teeth in the 1970s, is wildly anti-Zionist. In public,
President Khatemi has referred to Israel as a "racist, terrorist regime." In
private, where Iranians often mercifully ignore their public utterances, he
is reputed to be no less adamant in his attacks against the Jewish state and
its ability to control the United States.

Far more Westernized than the traditional clergy, the clerical left has been
more open to the good and the bad in Western thought. A fascination with
Karl Marx or John Locke can rest side by side with a belief in the worst
Russian antisemitic tracts. It is only through weighing these apparent
contradictions that we can have some idea of where Iran is going.

Much has been made of Khatemi's call for a "dialogue of civilizations." Some
observers have seen Khatemi's words presaging a thaw in the U.S.-Iranian
confrontation. Atypically for a mullah, Khatemi is fascinated by the Western
idea of freedom and acknowledges the West's glorification of individual
rights. His speeches, pamphlets and books refer constantly to individual
liberty and its hold on the human soul. Unlike most radical revolutionary
clerics, who sound like angry 1960s Left Bank intellectuals, Khatemi is a
fairly serious student of Anglo-American political thought.

But Khatemi's curiosity has limits and an ulterior purpose. Freedom for him
must have a divine mission, to avoid the West's spiritual misery and rot.
Democracy without divinity devolves into passion, greed and disbelief.
Probably no less than Khamenei, Khatemi views Western culture -- especially
the American cutting edge -- as a cancer on the Muslim politic. Unlike the
revolutionary leader, Khatemi knows the Islamic revolution must adapt to
certain modern realities to survive. Like Thomas Aquinas, however, he
believes that reason, faith and a holy law can and must be fused together.

In his CNN interview, the president alluded to the pilgrims, America's most
zealous religious immigrants, as his ideal. English Puritans exercised their
liberty to found colonies uniting church and state. For a devout Muslim, the
parallel with the prophet Muhammad's early community in Arabia is obvious.

In his heart, Khatemi may want the Iranian Jews set free, his sense of mercy
overcoming his anti-Zionist zeal. But we should not be misled by the
mullah's apparent kindness. Khatemi clearly understands how the West's most
cherished ideas can be devastating to his Islamic ideals. The Ayatollah
Khomeini, not Locke, is the cleric's primary role model.

As more liberal dissidents, minorities and disenchanted clerics find
themselves harassed and jailed by Iran's hard-liners, we in the West should
be cautious in seeing Khatemi as a good man who would do better if he could.
Such consideration on our part -- particularly if effected through quiet
diplomacy -- could be lethal to Iranians who simply want to enjoy the
freedoms that Americans consider their birthright.


The writer is a former Middle East specialist with the Central Intelligence
Agency.

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

Date: Thu, 8 Jul 1999 18:55:14 -0500
From: "Aryo B. Pirouznia" <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Iran/BBC: Leading Iranian dissident dies

World: Middle East

Leading Iranian dissident dies

A leading Iranian dissident, Ayatollah Mehdi Ha'eri- Yazdi, has died in
Tehran at the age of seventy-five.

He was an acclaimed Islamic philosopher, theolgian and author and taught in
several foreign academic institutions, including Oxford University.

Mr Ha'eri-Yazdi was a former student of the late Ayatollah Khomeini but was
critical of the country's clergy which came to power following the Islamic
revolution in 1979.

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

Date: Thu, 8 Jul 1999 18:58:04 -0500
From: "Aryo B. Pirouznia" <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Iran/Reuters: (7/08/99) Iranian News papers Headlines

PRESS DIGEST - Iran - July 8
10:30 a.m. Jul 08, 1999 Eastern
TEHRAN, July 8 (Reuters) - These are some of the leading stories in Iranian
newspapers on Thursday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not
vouch for their accuracy.

KAYHAN

- The Guardian Council, which vets legislation passed by parliament,
approved a bill passed by deputies on Tuesday to allocate 1.2 trillion rials
to help drought-struck farmers. The sum is equivalent to $400 million at the
rial's official exchange rate, but worth a third of that on the black
market.

ETTELAAT

- Iran's First Vice President Hassan Habibi arrived in Venezuela for talks
after visiting Colombia.

IRAN NEWS

- A Jewish member of Iran's parliament, Manouchehr Eliasi, said those behind
the recent uproar over the arrest of 13 Iranian Jews on spying charges
wanted to harm the Islamic republic.

QODS

- Head of the Foundation for the Deprived and War Disabled, Mohsen
Rafiqdoust, has announced his resignation. He headed the state-affiliated
economic conglomerate for 10 years.

JAHAN-E EQTESAD

- Creating job opportunities to end high unemployment will be the focus of
Iran's third development plan which begins in March 2000, President Mohammad
Khatami said.

- The all-share index at the Tehran Stock Exchange ended the week to
Wednesday at 1,730.71 points, down 1.49 points from a week earlier.

HASHAHRI

- Iran's govenment has told the Central Bank to give top priority to
releasing hard currency needed for the purchase of hardware and services to
deal with the millennium computer bug. It also asked the Foreign Ministry to
quickly issue visas for foreign experts invited to help in the efforts.

- Colombia has agreed to buy steel products, detergent and raw materials for
paint from Iran, under an agreement signed in Bogota by the two countries'
trade ministers.

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

Date: Thu, 8 Jul 1999 19:00:19 -0500
From: "Aryo B. Pirouznia" <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Iran/Jerusalem Post: Froman held talks on arrested Iranian Jews

Report: Froman held talks on arrested Iranian Jews
By DOUGLAS DAVIS and MARGOT DUDKEVITCH


JERUSALEM (July 8) - Rabbi Menahem Froman of Tekoa recently flew to Alma
Ata, the capital of Kazakhstan, for high-level secret talks on the fate of
the 13 Iranian Jews arrested for espionage, according to the London-based
Foreign Report published today.

Froman, who is said to have been proposed by the Kazakh ambassador to Israel
as a possible conduit between Israel and Iran, reportedly met with President
Nursultan Nazarbayev and an Iranian delegation. The newsletter added that an
eventual unofficial meeting with Iranian President Mohammed Khatami, as two
men of religion, is not out of the question.

Froman last night told The Jerusalem Post that there are certain
inaccuracies in the report, but otherwise he was unwilling to respond.

"Rabbis from all over the world are carefully monitoring the situation in
Iran and its attempts to establish a religious state in the 20th century. I
believe that rabbis and religious leaders can create a bridge between Iran
and the Western world," he said.

The newsletter noted that the international campaign to secure the release
of the Jewish community leaders, who are alleged to have spied for Israel
and the US, has failed. It said it has no further information about the
visit.

According to sources, however, US President Bill Clinton and leaders in
Britain and Europe are involved, as are religious leaders, and more visits
are scheduled to take place in the near future.

Froman said that he believes that with the new government there is a strong
chance that Israel will change its concept of Iran.

"I can say that with the change in government what was once considered a
concept by a minority may become one supported by a majority, and that is
that Iran will no longer be considered a threat to Israel's existence," he
said.

According to the newsletter, Israel is seeking two objectives in its
contacts with the Iranians: The first is to obtain the release of the 13
arrested Jews, or to see what the Iranians want in a deal; the second is the
return of missing IAF navigator Ron Arad.

It said Israel believes that even if Arad is not being held by the Iranians,
they know what happened to him.

Meanwhile, the mother of an Iranian Jew accused of spying for Israel said
the authorities are treating her son well and he is receiving kosher food in
detention, Teheran newspapers reported yesterday.

The report carried the first details released in Iran of the arrest of the
13.

Jomhuri-ye Eslami said Zoleikha Behrokhinezhad met her son, Navid Balazadeh,
in a prison in Shiraz. It was not clear if this was their first meeting or
whether families of other detainees have been allowed visits.

"During a personal and free meeting with my son on Tuesday, he appeared to
be in good spirits and expressed satisfaction at his treatment by prison
personnel," Behrokhinezhad said. "Although I have no inside knowledge of my
son's case, a court official and the presiding judge in charge of the case
have dealt with me in a good manner."

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

Date: Thu, 8 Jul 1999 19:03:15 -0500
From: "Aryo B. Pirouznia" <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Iran/Reuters: Iran Clerics Target Nascent Press Freedoms

Thursday July 8 8:24 AM ET

Iran Clerics Target Nascent Press Freedoms
By Jonathan Lyons

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's clerical conservatives, emboldened by parliament's
approval of tough new press restrictions, have struck a blow at moderate
President Mohammad Khatami with the closure of the newspaper that helped his
meteoric rise to power.

The Special Court for Clergy banned indefinitely Wednesday the daily Salam,
organ of old guard leftist clerics, after it printed details of what it said
was a secret plan by hard-liners to muzzle the pro-reform press.

The court charged Salam with violating Islamic principles, endangering
national security and disturbing public opinion.

A night editor was also detained, Salam journalists said.

The court cited a complaint by the intelligence ministry after the daily
published what it said was a secret memo that detailed efforts by ministry
official Saeed Emami, said to have later committed suicide in jail, to rein
in the moderate media.

``On July 6, the intelligence ministry said in a complaint that Salam has
printed top secret material from the ministry which, regardless of its truth
and the fact that it was taken out of context, has created doubts in the
public mind,'' the court said in a statement.

``The newspaper will remain closed until a verdict is given by the Special
Court for Clergy,'' it said.

The indefinite closure order silenced the newspaper that helped Khatami's
meteoric rise from the head of the national library to landslide
presidential victor in 1997.

Abbas Abdi, an influential Salam editor, vowed to fight the ban. ``No law
permits the closure of Salam newspaper, and we should undertake every effort
to return Salam to its position, because Salam is part of the press
family,'' he told journalists.

Abdi denied Salam had published secret material and cited its ``journalistic
obligation'' to break the story.

The reformist press, the most visible fruit of the Khatami thaw, blasted the
ban, with some suggesting it was an attempt to suppress information about
last year's mystery murders of dissidents, now blamed on Emami and other
rogue security agents.

``The motive is to muzzle the press and prevent coverage of the killings,''
said a commentary in Sobh-e Emrouz, published by a former deputy
intelligence minister.

The ban came hours after conservatives pushed through parliament the
outlines of sweeping new press restrictions.

By a vote of 125 to 90, MPs approved in principle a major overhaul of Iran's
press law, first drafted by Khatami when he was minister of culture in the
1980s.

Final details of the measure must still be worked out but moderate editors
said they had little hope that the new restrictions would be watered down
substantially.

Proposed changes in the law include compelling journalists to reveal their
sources, barring journalists and editors linked to certain opposition groups
from engaging in any form of press activity, and increasing conservative
influence over the media.

Sponsors said the changes were necessary to defend ``Islamic and
Revolutionary values,'' but reformers fear a clampdown on nascent press
freedoms which Khatami has made a centerpiece of his drive to create a civil
society within the Islamic system.

The reformist press was expected to play a central part in promoting his
supporters in next February's parliamentary elections, but the new
restrictions could tip the balance of media power toward the conservative
establishment.

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

Date: Thu, 8 Jul 1999 18:42:52 -0700
From: "Alan F. Fogelquist" <eurasia@CONCENTRIC.NET>
Subject: Reactionary Murders, Assault on the Independent Press,
Oppression and Tyrrany - Check the Spelling but Get the Idea

It is clear that the murderers of the Foruhars, Puyandeh, Mokhari, and
countless others are engaged in a massive coverup of the entire despotic
apparatus of repression with its center in the Vezarat-e Ettela'at with its
direct ties to the Office of the Leader. The Office of the Leader is
something directly out of an Orwell novel and the self-styled guardians of
the revolution behave exactly as did the pigs in Orwell's animal farm.

The reactionary project is to destroy independent press, beat, jail or kill
all those who desire a trully humane and just political system, and with the
press muzzled and the choice of candidates in the hands of the utterly
criminal and reactionary Guardians Council to assure an electoral victory
for the thoroughly corrupt hypocritical and reactionary elements who want to
prevent Iran from developing to its full human potential.

The closure of Salam, the harassment of independent journalists, and the
absolutely nonsensical propaganda of Keyhan, Resalat, Jomhuri-ye Eslami,
Jebheh, other mouth pieces of the despotic tyrannical clique which holds
power and engages in endless exploitation, oppression and mistreatmment of
the Iranian people conjuring up foreign bogeymen to divert attention from
the essentially evil character of their oppressive regime are all part of
the apparatus of uncontrolled, corrupt and criminal exploitation. The sooner
Iran is rid of these despotic personalities, the sooner will the people's
lives be able to improve.

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

Date: Thu, 8 Jul 1999 22:13:07 -0500
From: "Aryo B. Pirouznia" <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Iran/BBC: Iran drops complaint against reformist paper

Friday, July 9, 1999 Published at 00:48 GMT 01:48 UK
World: Middle East

Iran drops complaint against reformist paper



The Iranian intelligence ministry has dropped its complaint against a
leading reformist newspaper which led to its temporary closure on Wednesday.

Correspondents say the justice ministry must now decide whether to lift the
suspension.

The paper, Salam, was closed down and its editor-in-chief Abbas Abdi
arrested on the orders of a clerical court after it printed an article
suggesting that a new press law going through parliament was inspired by a
now disgraced intelligence official.

The authorities say the official, Said Emami, committed suicide in prison
last month while awaiting a certain death sentence for his part in the
killing of a number of dissidents last year.

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

Date: Thu, 8 Jul 1999 22:35:58 -0500
From: "Aryo B. Pirouznia" <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Iran/AP: Israel denies holding missing Iranians

Israel denies holding missing Iranians
July 8, 1999
Web posted at: 8:27 PM EDT (0027 GMT)


JERUSALEM (AP) -- The Israel army on Thursday denied an Iranian claim that
it has been holding four Iranians since they were kidnapped in Lebanon in
1982.

"Israel never held and doesn't hold any kidnapped Iranians," the army said.
"The Iranian government knows this and is apparently spreading these lies.
This is an attempt by Iran to shirk its responsibility for the fate of Ron
Arad."

Arad's plane was downed over Lebanon in 1986. He was captured by
Iranian-backed groups; Israel has accused Iran of being behind his continued
capture since then. Iran denies any connection to his fate.

On Wednesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi published a letter in
Lebanese newspapers claiming that "The Iranian government, based on evidence
that the four citizens are still alive and have been transported to the
occupied territories (in Israel), holds Israel responsible for their
kidnapping and for their fate."

Kharrazi had sent the letter to Lebanese Prime Minister Salim Hoss, urging
his government to use "all means" to get Israel to release the Iranians. The
letter was released by the Iranian Embassy in Beirut.

Three Iranians -- two diplomats and a journalist -- and a Lebanese driver
were kidnapped at a checkpoint of the pro-Israeli Christian militia, the
Lebanese Forces, north of Beirut during Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon.

The driver was released soon after; it was not clear who Kharrazi is
referring to when he speaks of four Iranians.

Officials of the now-disbanded Lebanese Forces have said the Iranians were
killed soon after their seizing. Other reports said they were killed in an
artillery bombardment. No bodies have been found.

In 1997, Iran claimed the four Iranians were in jail in Israel.

Iran supports Hezbollah, a Lebanese group whose guerrillas engage in almost
daily skirmishes with Israeli troops occupying a border zone of southern
Lebanon.

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

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 7 Jul 1999 to 8 Jul 1999
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