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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 17 Jul 1999

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 17 Jul 1999
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There are 14 messages totalling 1168 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. Iran/Reuters: UAE minister says ready to visit Iran over islands
2. Iran/NY Times: Iran's View of U.S.: Evil, Bumbling or Unimportant
3. Iran/BBC: Students ask to meet Iran's leaders
4. Iran/Reuters: Iran violence could snuff out reforms - Italy PM
5. Iran/San Jose Mercury News: 250 demonstrate against actions by government
6. Iran/IRNA: Khatami-denial-la stampa
7. The new American Iranian Anti-discrimination website is now on line!
8. Iran/BBC: Iranian students make new demands
9. Iran/AFP: Iranian students say 1,400 arrested, demand meeting with leaders
10. Iran/AFP: Unrest in Iran may exacerbate economic woes
11. Iran/AFP: Iranian students demand meeting with Khamenei, Khatami
12. Iran/AP: Student leaders say a woman student was killed in unrest
13. Iran/San Fransisco Chronicle: Turbulence in Iran
14. Iran/NY Times: Iran Students Halt Protests but Still Press for Changes


Date: Sat, 17 Jul 1999 06:02:19 -0500
From: aryopirouznia <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Iran/Reuters: UAE minister says ready to visit Iran over islands

UAE minister says ready to visit Iran over islands
06:08 a.m. Jul 17, 1999 Eastern

DUBAI, July 17 (Reuters) - A United Arab Emirates minister said in remarks
published on Saturday he was ready to travel to Iran to discuss the fate of
three disputed Gulf islands but that a clearly defined agenda must be
prepared before the talks.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sheikh Hamdan bin Zaid al-Nahayan
also told Qatar's Arabic daily al-Watan that Abu Dhabi hoped a Gulf Arab
committee set up to try to end the row would bring Iran to the negotiating

``We are ready for the visit, but on what basis and what is the agenda of
the talks we will hold there?'' he said when asked what had so far held up
his visit to Iran to discuss the row over the islands of The Lesser and
Greater Tunbs and Abu Musa.

The minister said in the remarks reprinted by the UAE's official WAM news
agency that appropriate preparations should be made for the trip to go

Iran has said it has shown goodwill by sending its foreign minister to Abu
Dhabi, while the UAE has failed to reciprocate.

The UAE complains that Iran has shown a lack of seriousness in trying to
resolve the dispute by calling the row a case of misunderstanding.

The UAE wants the case referred to international arbitration if the two
sides fail to resolve it in bilateral talks.

The three islands, which are controlled by Iran but claimed by both states,
are located near key shipping lanes close to the mouth of the Gulf. The
dispute has hindered an improvement in ties between non-Arab Iran and Arab
states across the Gulf.

Gulf Arab states have set up a three-member committee comprising the foreign
ministers of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Oman to try to resolve the dispute.

``We want to give a full chance to this committee and through it to the
Iranian side to come up with positive results leading to ending the
occupation of our three islands,'' Sheikh Hamdan said.

He said the UAE wanted the committee to help start ``serious and frank
negotiations'' with Iran that would be held over several months.


Date: Sat, 17 Jul 1999 06:06:31 -0500
From: aryopirouznia <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Iran/NY Times: Iran's View of U.S.: Evil, Bumbling or Unimportant

July 17, 1999

Iran's View of U.S.: Evil, Bumbling or Unimportant

TEHERAN, Iran -- At Friday Prayers here at noon Friday, the United States
was presented as the all-powerful hidden hand behind Iran's worst civil
unrest in two decades.

In a docudrama on television a few hours later that included clips of Jimmy
Carter and Sam Donaldson, America was presented as an inept, pagan military
giant that could not even rescue its own hostages in 1980 because God was on
the other side.

The two vastly different characterizations underscore the contradictions in
the official Iranian view of the United States.

On the one hand, the United States is blamed as the evil mastermind behind
every misfortune -- the recent political unrest, the crippled economy, the
dramatic fall of Iran's currency and the cultural pollution of the youth. On
the other, the United States is scorned as the helpless superpower that has
tried over the years to destroy the Islamic Republic but has failed

Then there is a third view, espoused by the reformist newspapers that back
President Mohammad Khatami, that Iran can no longer play the role of victim
and has to solve its own problems.

"Why do we accuse the foreign enemy, instead of acknowledging the truth and
finding our own weakness?" an editorial in the newspaper Khordad asked about
the violent street demonstrations of the last week. "Do we have a foreign
enemy that is so strong that it managed to penetrate and riot even in the
most central streets of Teheran?"

But that was not the view expressed at Teheran University, the country's
biggest official platform. There, the Government sent Hassan Taheri
Khoramabadi, the most junior of the four rotating speakers at Friday
Prayers, to address the tens of thousands of worshipers.

American meddling was part of a plot to destroy Iran's economy, the cleric
said. "America wants to prove to the European and our neighboring countries
and the Middle Eastern countries that there is no stability in Iran, that
there's anarchy here," he said. "That way the others would not have
relations and do business with Iran."

"Death to America!" the crowd chanted.

Khoramabadi said nothing less than the demise of the revolution was the goal
of the American-backed protesters. "It is the revolution that they have
taken aim at," he warned.

"Death to America!" the crowd chanted again.

He asked the country's top leaders to define "a red line for the revolution"
that no one would be allowed to cross. "Differences in a family can be
tolerated, but there have to be unbreakable limits," he said.

"Death to America!" the crowd chanted again.

So it went all through the sermon.

Fourteen months ago at the same pavilion on the first anniversary of his
election, Khatami had a different message, a call to end the clergy's tight
hold on power. He silenced a group of students when they uttered the
familiar, "Death to America!"

"I prefer to talk about life, not death," he said, to cheering and clapping,
considered an un-Islamic and Western affectation.

But the strategy did not work.

"The regime is like a shop that is selling this slogan," said a political
science professor at Teheran University who a few days ago was willing to
speak on the record but is no longer. "If they lose this slogan, they have
nothing left to sell."

On the docudrama Friday afternoon, one of the most popular viewing times of
the week, a different sort of anti-Americanism was on display, "Sandstorm,"
an officially produced film about the failed military raid by the United
States to free American hostages in April 1980.

The use of television footage from the crisis lent an authenticity to the
film. It showed Carter in his signature cardigan sweater in the Oval Office,
consulting with Vice President Walter F. Mondale and other top aides;
Donaldson, with long sideburns, reporting the seizure of the American
Embassy on ABC News on Nov. 4, 1979, and an English-speaking hostage taker
who interviewed blacks and women among the hostages. The hostages were
released "on humanitarian grounds."

The rescue mission was a horrific combination of bad luck and poor planning.
The plan was to raid the embassy from a staging area deep in the Iranian
desert. The mission was halted after three of the eight helicopters involved
had been put out of action by technical problems. In the evacuation, a
helicopter collided with a C-130 transport plane. Eight Americans died. The
evacuating Americans left behind a battlefield scene of burned and abandoned
equipment, and their comrades' bodies.

The 90-minute film portrays the Americans as ruthless, obscenity-spouting
veterans of Vietnam eager to free the hostages -- and perhaps restore the
monarchy in the process.

"By tomorrow, we will have Iran in our hands," the commander said in the

"Tell me, old soldier, do you mean we're going to have a military coup?"
asked the pilot.

"Did you think we're going with no plan and no invitation into the heart of
the enemy?" the commander replied.

Much of the film was accurate. It portrayed a team of American spies' posing
as journalists as they watched the embassy from a hotel across the street.

But like any docudrama, distortions abounded. The main Persian-speaking spy
was a Zionist, who wears a yarmulke. When an American commando tried to
pray, his commander did not let him finish.

The end of the film showed actual film of the rescuers' crash site and the
eight bodies.

"Who stopped Carter's helicopters?" a male voice asked at the film's end, a
quote from the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the father of Iran's
revolution. "We stopped it. The sands stopped it. They were God's

In the reformist newspapers, a different sort of "dialogue" is being

The crackdown against the protesters and the pledge by the authorities to
use all necessary means to prevent more trouble may have stilled the
students, at least for the moment. But the move has emboldened commentators
in several newspapers, who are writing in ways that they would not have
dared even a few weeks ago.

The newspapers have become a voice of the country's conscience, demanding
that Iran look for the reasons behind the unrest at home, not abroad.

One argument is that years of restrictions have led youths to rebel.

"When our kids are at school, they only hear things like, 'Do not do this,
do not do that,' " Shahla Ezazi, a sociologist, wrote on Thursday in Neshat.

"Instead of learning to become independent citizens capable of living in
society, they react this way."


Date: Sat, 17 Jul 1999 10:15:42 -0500
From: aryopirouznia <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Iran/BBC: Students ask to meet Iran's leaders

Saturday, July 17, 1999 Published at 14:42 GMT 15:42 UK
World: Middle East

Students ask to meet Iran's leaders

The violence divided Tehran and wounds will not heal easily

Iran's student protesters are reported to have asked for a personal meeting
with Supreme spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as well as President
Mohammad Khatami.

Student representatives in Iran's capital, Tehran, said in a statement,
quoted by the French news agency AFP, that they also wanted to meet the
influential former President, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, following six days
of clashes with Iranian security forces.

The students said a young schoolgirl was killed and more than 1,400 people
arrested in the violence, and they called for the immediate release of all

Student representatives said that the arrests had been carried out by police
forces as well as "pressure groups" - a reference to vigilantes from the
Basij Islamic militia.

Demos postponed

They added they would begin talks on Saturday with the Supreme National
Security Council and said they would postpone any further demonstrations
until after the meeting was concluded.

Students have expressed impatience with the slow pace of reforms introduced
by President Khatami.

Correspondents say that, in the eyes of many of his supporters, he has
failed to deliver because the conservative clerical establishment holds the
key levers of power and has sabotaged his efforts - by restricting press
freedom, for example.

Amnesty International. says it has reports that hundreds of arrests took
place and at least five people have been killed, and dozens injured, while
many well-known student activists are reported to have gone into hiding.

The unrest began after the temporary closure of the liberal Salam newspaper
last week and the introduction of new legislation to curb Iran's free press.

Newspapers have enjoyed relative freedom since the president's election in
1997, but have come under mounting pressure from hardliners in recent months

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Date: Sat, 17 Jul 1999 10:20:46 -0500
From: aryopirouznia <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Iran/Reuters: Iran violence could snuff out reforms - Italy PM

Iran violence could snuff out reforms - Italy PM

ROME, July 17 (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema said on
Saturday that a wave of violence in Iran could snuff out the reforms that
begun there.

``The entire international community is anxiously watching the developments
in Tehran, in the fear that a wave of violence could crush, as well as human
lives, the reforms launched in that country,'' D'Alema said in a letter to a
party colleague.

The text of the letter was released by D'Alema's office.

Iran has been swept recently by riots and student deomnstrations, putting
pressure on President Mohammad Khatami to accelerate his promised democratic
reforms in the face of consistent challenges from powerful conservative

Authorities clamped down hard on six days of student protests and security
Tehran remained tight on Friday.

Khatami visited Italy in March, the first state visit to the West by an
Iranian president since the 1979 Islamic revolution.


Date: Sat, 17 Jul 1999 11:22:03 -0500
From: aryopirouznia <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Iran/San Jose Mercury News: 250 demonstrate against actions by

Published Friday, July 16, 1999, in the San Jose Mercury News
Iran events spark protest

250 demonstrate against actions by government
Mercury News Staff Writer

Iranian-Americans across the Bay Area have watched with anger and
as the government cracked down on pro-democracy protests in their homeland
this week.

On Thursday, about 250 of them mounted a demonstration of their own in
downtown San Jose.

``Students are standing up for democracy and human rights in Iran, and
they're paying for it with their lives,'' said Nasser Pol, 42, a San Jose
engineer with many relatives living in Tehran, Iran. ``The least we can do
support them.''

Chanting in English and Farsi, the protesters marched around Plaza de Cesar
Chavez carrying placards emblazoned with pro-democracy slogans. ``Stop
killing the students!'' they shouted. ``Support democracy in Iran!''

``We're sick and tired of students and other people being murdered in
said Mehrdad Boroumand, who drove down from his home in Belmont to
participate in the protest. ``The rest of the world needs to know that
in Iran want democracy. We've experienced enough dictatorship over the

As the protesters gathered in San Jose, another group demonstrated
simultaneously in San Francisco's Union Square.

The unrest in Iran exploded last week as students protested the passage of
tough press restrictions and the closing of a pro-democracy newspaper.

As demonstrations erupted across the country, police and paramilitary
religious volunteers known as the baseeji broke them up with batons and tear
gas. They acted with the approval of Iran's conservative supreme leader,
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The government contends that it had to act to restore order and protect
public property.

The students say they do not want to dismantle Iran's Islamic system of
government but they want faster progress toward democracy and cultural
freedoms promised by Iran's president, Mohammad Khatami. Those reforms have
been blocked by conservative forces backing Khamenei, the fundamentalist
religious leader who is the ultimate power in Iran.

Mehdi Zolfaghari, who helped organize Thursday's protest, said more than
200,000 people of Iranian descent live in Northern California. Many of them
make their home in San Jose, drawn here by high-tech jobs.

Many of the protesters declined to be quoted by name, saying they feared
their remarks might prompt retaliation against relatives in Iran.

``I'm scared,'' said one woman, who returned from a trip to Tehran three
weeks ago. ``Let the people hear our voices. The only thing those students
want is freedom.''


Date: Sat, 17 Jul 1999 11:40:39 -0500
From: aryopirouznia <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Iran/IRNA: Khatami-denial-la stampa

thr 035
khatami-denial-la stampa

President's brother denies la stampa quotations

Tehran, july 17, irna

Reza khatami, brother of president mohammad khatami, here saturday denied
parts of statements attributed to him by italy's turin-based la stampa
newspaper in its friday edition.

Title of the interview, statements about ansar-e hezbollah and execution
punishment for the arrested students are among those parts carried out by
the la stampa and denied by reza khatami.

La stampa printed reza khatami's interview with the daily under the title
"opponents want to hinder khatami'', quoting him as saying, while referring
to an statement by ansar-e hezbollah, that ansar are
trying to put president khatami in a deadlock.

In a fax which was made available to irna, reza khatami, deputy health
minister, denied also la stampa's report quoting him as saying the opponents
are trying to carry out an anti-reform coup
d'etat, to reverse everything khatami has begun.

He said he told la stampa that president's incompetency plan could neither
be put forward nor is to the benefit of the right wing.

President khatami enjoys a massive popular support which in fact is support
for the islamic system, thus those who are interested in the islamic system
will never give away such an asset, he said.

::irna 17/07/99 18:24


Date: Sat, 17 Jul 1999 11:48:22 -0700
From: Kamyar Kalantar-zadeh <kalantar@POL.NET>
Subject: The new American Iranian Anti-discrimination website is now on line!

New York, July 17, 1999- A new anti discrimination website belonging to a
group of Iranian Americans was lunched today. The website is called "AIADC"
standing for "American Iranian Anti Discrcimination and Anti Defamatiuon
Center". According to this website, there are over one million Iranian
Americans in the US who are mostly highly educated professionals...



Date: Sat, 17 Jul 1999 22:44:50 -0500
From: aryopirouznia <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Iran/BBC: Iranian students make new demands

Saturday, July 17, 1999 Published at 18:20 GMT 19:20 UK
World: Middle East

Iranian students make new demands

The violence divided Tehran and wounds will not heal easily

Iranian student leaders have repeated their demand for the dismissal of the
country's police chief after a week of street riots in Tehran.

They blame him for the storming of a student dormitory which triggered the
wave of protests - the most violent disturbances since the early years of
the Islamic Revolution.

"To prevent further damage to the whole establishment, to sympathise with
the families of the victims, and to respect the wounded sentiments of the
Iranian nation ... we ask you to resign as head of the security forces," the
students said in a letter to him.

The students say they will not call further demonstrations while they are
seeking meetings with the country's leaders.

But they are demanding that responsibility for security in the capital be
transferred to President Khatami's reformist government from the office of
the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The students say 1,400 people have been arrested in the disturbances.
Hardline officials have said they may face trial as counter revolutionaries,
a charge which carries the death penalty.

BBC Middle East correspondent Jim Muir says the student demands have the
support of reformist factions, but in the heated atmosphere of accusations
and recriminations which has followed the street riots, it remains to be
seen how far they will get.

Since the riots, security control in Tehran has been largely taken over by
the volunteer Basij forces, an armed civilian auxiliary of the revolutionary

The unrest began after the temporary closure of the liberal Salam newspaper
last week and the introduction of new legislation to curb Iran's free press.

Newspapers have enjoyed relative freedom since the president's election in
1997, but have come under mounting pressure from hardliners in recent


Date: Sat, 17 Jul 1999 23:10:15 -0500
From: aryopirouznia <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Iran/AFP: Iranian students say 1,400 arrested,
demand meeting with leaders

Iranian students say 1,400 arrested, demand meeting with leaders

TEHRAN, July 17 (AFP) - Iranian students said Saturday that a schoolgirl was
killed and more than 1,400 people arrested in the violence that rocked
Tehran and demanded a personal meeting with the nation's top leaders.

The Elected Council of Student Protesters issued a statement saying police
as well as "pressure groups" -- a reference to Islamic militants -- had
carried out the arrests and demanded the immediate release of those

It said it would meet Saturday with the Supreme National Security Council,
the nation's top security body whose secretary, Hassan Rouhani, vowed a
"sweeping clean-up" Wednesday after the unrest.

The group pledged to refrain from further demonstrations until after the
meeting with the council and urged all Iranians to do the same, in order to
keep militants from "abusing the situation."

Armed members of the fierce volunteer Basiji Islamic militia have been
manning checkpoints and searching cars throughout the capital in the
aftermath of the troubles.

The students demanded that Iranian officials "unmistakably and clearly"
return control of the city to police forces, calling for the restoration of
"conventional security" -- another apparent reference to the militants.

They also demanded a personal meeting with supreme leader Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei, who has direct control of the security apparatus, as well as
President Mohammad Khatami and influential former president Akbar Hashemi

The former president congratulated security forces earlier this week for
quelling the student unrest while Khamenei has come under unprecedented
attack from students over the police handling of the demonstrations.

The rallies, initially staged to protest the closure of a popular pro-reform
newspaper, ended in six days of clashes that left one dead and three
wounded, according to official figures.

That tally, issued by the security council, was sharply at odds with
newspaper accounts and the students on Saturday reiterated demands for the
handing over of the bodies of those it said had been killed in the unrest.

It said a young schoolgirl, Nami Hamifar, had also died in the clashes. The
group did not give her age but said she was the sister of a university

The group also repeated calls for the immediate removal of the police chief,
whom students have blamed for ordering the bloody police intervention at the
university last week.

Meanwhile the Arya newspaper reported that four student leaders in the
central city of Esfahan would be tried by a hardline revolutionary court
after issuing a statement condemning the police action.

The violence was the worst in Iran since the aftermath of the 1979 Islamic
revolution and has presented Khatami with his most difficult challenge since
being elected two years ago with widespread support from young people.

Students told AFP they were bitterly disappointed in Khatami after he
appeared to withdraw his support for their growing pro-reform movement,
authorising security forces to clamp down on any further demonstrations.

Leading leftists have charged the turmoil was staged by Khatami opponents in
a bid to either topple him from power or cancel next spring's parliamentary


Date: Sat, 17 Jul 1999 23:11:58 -0500
From: aryopirouznia <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Iran/AFP: Unrest in Iran may exacerbate economic woes

Unrest in Iran may exacerbate economic woes

TEHRAN, July 17 (AFP) - Investors could take fright after the six days of
bloody clashes in Iran, dealing a further blow to an economy already
grappling with a severe drought and a currency in freefall, analysts warned

"The (police) attack on a university campus, then the unrest that followed,
gives an image of political instability harmful to investment," economics
professor Mehdi Sahraian said.

"Iranian and foreign investors from now on are asking: Is Iran safe?" he
told the moderate Tehran newspaper Hamshahri.

The rioting -- some of the worst violence here since the 1979 Islamic
Revolution -- led to heightened demand for hard currency, especially dollars
on the black market, the paper said.

Although the country has been calm since Thursday, the value of the rial has
dropped to 9,400 to the dollar from 9,000 before the start of the student
unrest nine days ago.

Tourism official Mohammad Mazoleddin also expressed concern about the effect
of the troubles on his sector, just as Iran is trying to woo foreign

"Of course this type of thing happens in other countries, but we should not
ignore the negative impact it may have on tourism in Iran, which has been
trying to create a positive atmosphere to attract visitors," he told

After two decades of revolutionary hardline rule, "the relaxed policies of
President Mohammad Khatami created very positive conditions for welcoming
tourists," he said.

Iran, which earned about 450 million dollars from tourism last year, hopes
to increase that 10-fold in five years, with a wide-ranging program to
develop its vast touristic resources.

"The losses inflicted upon the country and its economy, especially in the
foreign trade sector in the past few days, have hampered the initiatives
aimed at facilitating investment in the country," said the English-language
Iran News, which is close to the Khatami government.

"It is therefore advisable that the officials adopt proper policies to
prevent further tension and continue to prepare the grounds for political as
well as economic development."

As well as structural problems, the Iranian economy is battling to overcome
the worst drought in 40 years in many agricultural areas, particularly the
rice paddies along the Caspian Sea.

So far, the damage to the farm sector has been estimated between 2.5 and
four billion dollars, forcing Iran to buy large amounts of grain and other
produce on the world market.

These unforeseen expenses could wipe out most of the profits from stronger
oil prices, the country's main source of hard currency.


Date: Sat, 17 Jul 1999 23:14:39 -0500
From: aryopirouznia <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Iran/AFP: Iranian students demand meeting with Khamenei, Khatami

Iranian students demand meeting with Khamenei, Khatami

TEHRAN, July 17 (AFP) - Tehran student protesters on Saturday demanded a
personal meeting with supreme Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as well
as President Mohammad Khatami.
Student representatives said in a statement that they were also calling for
a personal meeting with influential former president Akbar Hashemi
Rafsanjani following days of deadly clashes with Iranian security forces.


Date: Sat, 17 Jul 1999 23:19:51 -0500
From: aryopirouznia <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Iran/AP: Student leaders say a woman student was killed in unrest

WIRE:July 17, 3:20 p.m. ET
Student leaders say a woman student was killed in unrest

AP News Service

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) _ One student died in Iran's recent
pro-democracy protests and about 1,400 people were arrested, student
leaders said Saturday in their first estimate of how many demonstrators
were detained.

The announcement by the Council of Student Protesters could raise the
official death toll in the protests to three. The students did not provide
further information on the latest reported death.

Authorities have said that only two people, a soldier and a cleric, were
killed in the unrest.

The students did not say how they arrived at their count of 1,400 arrests,
and the government has not provided figures.

The unrest began when police stormed a Tehran University dormitory on July
8, hours after students rallied against the banning of a liberal newspaper.
One person was killed and 20 were injured in the clash, which hard-line
clerics apparently backed.

The next day thousands of students protested in the streets of Tehran, and
within days the demonstrations swelled and spread to eight other cities.
Riot police began cracking down on July 12.

The protests highlighted the struggle between reformists in the government,
led by President Mohammad Khatami, and the conservatives who control the
police, judiciary and broadcast media.

The student council said Saturday it planned to meet with the Supreme
National Security Council, which is headed by Khatami. The students did not
say when they would meet.

Also Saturday, the reformist newspaper Neshat reported that police had
detained three dissidents, identified as Khosrow Seif, Behzad Namazi and
Mehran Mirabdolbaghi.

They belong to the small Iran Nation Party, whose leader, Dariush Foruhar,
and his wife were stabbed to death in their home late last year. The
authorities have arrested rogue Intelligence Ministry agents in the

In a separate statement, the student council reiterated its demand for the
resignation of the national police chief, Hedayat Lotfian, whom they blame
for the raid on the hostel.

A leading conservative body, the Association of Qom Seminary Theologians,
called on the government Saturday to seek out the ``revengeful enemies''
behind the protests.

The clerics thanked Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, for
quelling the unrest which was ``about to become a national catastrophe,''
the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported


Date: Sat, 17 Jul 1999 23:31:44 -0500
From: aryopirouznia <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Iran/San Fransisco Chronicle: Turbulence in Iran

Turbulence in Iran

San Fransisco Chronicle
Friday, July 16, 1999

JUST AS IT did a generation ago, Iran is teetering on monumental change.
Students, intellectuals and moderates are behind street protests aimed at
opening up a constrained society ruled by conservative Islamic leaders.

A brutal wave of police attacks cleared Tehran's streets, which then filled
with pious supporters of the ruling mullahs. If guns, political machinery
and social controls are the measures, then Iran remains governed by a
religious autocracy ruled by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the successor to the
stern-faced Ruhollah Khomeini.

But there are loose pieces in any neat-fitting description. Half of the
country's population of 60 million is under the age of 30, and many voted
for reformist cleric Mohammad Khatami in the recent presidential race. He
and his supporters want a secular society reached by negotiation with the
clerics in charge.

They have little to show for the two years since his election as president.
Western influences, a free press and equality of the sexes remain largely
forbidden. A welter of ruling councils and parliamentary checks screen out
political rivals for the clerics. The closure of an independent newspaper
prompted the street battles with police.

The protests suggest that the cautious approach toward liberalizing Iran is
frustrating the forces for change. Khatami, a moderate who has ducked a
leading role in the student protests, may be forced to take sides in a war
of firebrands.

The questions leave the United States, aka the Great Satan, with few options
except to sit still. Iran's size, oil riches and key geographic position
adjacent to Iraq and other nations in the Middle East make its fate
enormously important.

But any United States' comment on Iran's travails will instantly strengthen
the autocrats in charge. Washington is forever tagged as an ally of Israel
and protector of the late and unlamented Shah, ousted 20 years ago.


Date: Sun, 18 Jul 1999 00:04:49 -0500
From: aryopirouznia <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Iran/NY Times: Iran Students Halt Protests but Still Press for Changes

July 18, 1999
The New York Times

Iran Students Halt Protests but Still Press for Changes

TEHRAN, Iran -- Student leaders Saturday announced a temporary ban on
pro-reform demonstrations, but pressed the Islamic government on a long list
of demands, including the resignation of the country's chief of police.

The decision of student leaders to call off their protests, at least for the
moment, buys time for the country's clerical leadership in the face of the
worst unrest since the early days of Iran's revolution two decades ago.

Related Articles

Iran's View of U.S.: Evil, Bumbling or Unimportant (July 17)
Town Hushed in '95 Crackdown Sees No Reason to Join Iran Riots (July 16)
Turning Tables in Iran, Crowds Back Old Line (July 15)
Chaotic Protests Reign in Teheran; Vigilantes Active (July 14)
A Worried U.S. Says Little About Iran's Rising Turmoil (July 14)
Iran Protests Spread to 18 Cities (July 13)
Despite Police Dismissals, Iran Protest Is the Angriest Yet (July 12)
Iran Convenes Security Council as Students Protest Police Crackdown (July
Tehran Mayor's Arrest Seen as Political Move by Hard-Liners (April 8)
Iranians Assert Rogue Officers Slew Dissidents (Jan. 15)
Issue in Iran Democracy Debate: Clerics' Power (Oct. 15, 1998)
Iran Closes a Leading Newspaper and Arrests Top Editors (Sept. 18, 1998)
Debating Moderation, a Year After Iran Vote (May 24, 1998)
President Who Charmed Iranians Cannot Change Status Quo (Feb. 1, 1998)

Iran from Microsoft Encarta Concise Encyclopedia

Unrest in Iran


A communique, faxed to news organizations by the student leaders, who have
called themselves the Select Council of Sit-In Students, was politely worded
and included no threats or ultimatums if their demands were not met. But it
nonetheless put the government in an awkward position.

The communique asked for meetings with Iran's top leaders, including
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country's supreme leader, as well as President
Mohammad Khatami and former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who
still wields considerable power as the head of an important overseeing body.

The student leaders will decide whether to resume their public protest after
those meetings, the communique said. Letters requesting meetings were
delivered to each of the officials on Friday. A student spokesman said it
was important for student leaders to explain their demands to the country's
clerical leadership in person.

"The council will put off a decision to hold any demonstration, gathering or
sit-in for the future," the four-page statement said. "So it begs our
students and our mature people not to join any demonstration, gathering or
sit-in that could be manipulated by anarchists and people who favor

The students' communique, their third since they organized early last week,
also claimed that 1,400 students and other people had been arrested since
the unrest began more than a week ago. The group demanded that the
authorities release the arrested people and make their identities public.

Although the initial sit-ins and demonstrations were organized by students,
there is universal agreement that their ranks were infiltrated by
nonstudents, perhaps members of the People's Mujahedeen, the country's main
opposition group, or even pro-government vigilantes. The government has
condemned the demonstrators as saboteurs committed to destroying the
stability of the country, and it will be difficult for it to make

The 25-member student group is made up of representatives from 11
universities in the Tehran area and two representatives from the Tehran
University dormitories where students were attacked as they slept eight days
ago, a spokesman said.

Saturday's communique was also far-reaching in that it asked the government
to control "paramilitary forces" that have operated outside the official
security system for years. These forces, which include semiofficial
plainclothes security forces and freelance vigilantes, were responsible for
much of the violence against the demonstrators. Security forces and antiriot
police were seen standing guard and blocking roads as their unofficial
surrogates beat up demonstrators.

Since his election as president in May 1997, Khatami has made tolerance and
the rule of law and order pillars of his administration. But he has failed
to curb the power of a range of vigilante forces.

These forces serve as self-appointed morals police in an unpredictable reign
of repression, arresting women in what they consider un-Islamic dress or
breaking up private parties where Western music is played and alcohol is

In a separate letter delivered on Friday to Hedayat Lotfian, the chief of
police, the student group called him incompetent and demanded his
resignation for the good of the country.

"Brave men are those who serve," the letter said. "And when they are
incompetent they bravely admit incompetence and transfer the responsibility
to someone who is stronger."

Noting Lotfian's past "brave" service to Iran, the letter added, "We expect
you to bravely resign and bravely admit your mistakes before your
incompetence in safeguarding security expands to other sectors of the regime
and weakens the leadership and the Islamic Republic of Iran."

"In order to calm the worries of society and the university and to safeguard
the national interest and put an end to the crisis," the letter continued,
"and since the participation of the security forces under your authority and
high-ranking commanders in this catastrophic incident cannot be denied, your
resignation seems to be required."

The letter added, "Can you give an answer before God or the Iranian people
if you continue your post as the chief of this force?"

The students said it was "very sorrowful" that instead of respecting and
protecting the country's intellectuals, the official security forces under
Lotfian's command had joined forces with "pressure groups, vigilantes and
savages" to attack the intellectuals, "break the doors of their simple
dormitories, wound them, throw them out of windows and participate in the
martyrdom of the dear children of this nation."

The communique expressed particular concern about arrests that the students
said had occurred since last Wednesday, the day after security forces and
vigilante supporters used force to suppress demonstrations that had suddenly
turned violent. It added that one of the members and several supporters of
the student group were arrested on Wednesday as they were distributing an
earlier communique.

The students said that a high school student identified as Tami Hamifar was
killed during the turmoil, the worst unrest since the early days of Iran's
revolution. The body of Ibrahim Nejad, an off-duty soldier and former
student who had been killed on the night the dormitories were attacked, was
returned to his family and buried, the communique said.

The political crisis in Iran began nine days ago when students at Tehran
University demonstrated in protest of Parliament's passage of a tough new
press code and the closing of Salam, a popular newspaper that supported
Khatami. That night, Islamic vigilantes followed by official security forces
stormed the dormitories.

For six days students took to the streets in nationwide demonstrations.
After the protests, which probably included opponents of the students as
well, had deteriorated into violent rioting, security forces and their
surrogates swept the demonstrators off the streets with tear gas and


End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 17 Jul 1999