Date: Aug 10, 1999 [ 0: 0: 1]

Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 8 Aug 1999 to 9 Aug 1999

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 8 Aug 1999 to 9 Aug 1999
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There are 13 messages totalling 669 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. Iran releases captive Turkish soldiers ahead of security meeting
2. Iran press lashes out at Saddam over threats
3. Iran paper hails Bahrain ties but warns of "foreign influence"
4. More floods in Iran leave six dead, 11 wounded
5. Iranian delegation in Turkey for security meeting
6. Iran clerics say prayer during solar eclipse "obligatory"
7. Iranian envoy arrives in Bahrain
8. Saddam makes veiled threat of force against Iran
9. Iranian foreign ministry lashes out at Saddam
10. Iran to clamp down on Afgan, Iraqi refugees
11. Iran sets deadline for tenders at South Pars gas field
12. Iranian MP denounces ban of leading pro-Khatami paper
13. fwd:Manipulating the student movement in Iran

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

Date: Mon, 9 Aug 1999 13:06:47 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Iran releases captive Turkish soldiers ahead of security meeting

ANKARA, Aug 9 (AFP) - Iran on Monday handed over two Turkish
soldiers it was holding captive to Turkish authorities at the
Kapikoy border gate ahead of a security meeting between the two
countries in Turkey, the Anatolia news agency reported.
A Turkish delegation from the province's Baskale town flew to
the border gate in the eastern Anatolian province of Van by
helicopter to oversee the handover of the two soldiers at 3:00 p.m.
(1200 GMT), the report said.
"Our soldiers are in good condition. We will take them back to
their barracks in Baskale," the governor of the town, Sevket Cinbir,
told Anatolia.
The two soldiers had been detained by Iran in late July after
crossing the border to Iranian territory.
Tehran said the detained troops were part of a bigger group that
tried to penetrate the region of Qator and were repulsed by the
Iranian armed forces on July 23.
But Ankara insisted from the outset that the soldiers had
crossed the border unintentionally and demanded their immediate
release.
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi said last week that the
two soldiers would be released as a sign of good intentions
following Turkey's assurances that the border violation was
unintentional.
The soldiers' release marked a decrease in tension between the
two neighbours following a mounting war of words in recent weeks.
Iran accused Turkish warplanes of bombing the Piranshahr region
on July 18, killing five people and wounding 10 others.
But Turkey insisted it bombed northern Iraq, not Iran, and in
turn accused Iran of supporting rebels of the Kurdistan Workers
Party (PKK) fighting against the Ankara government.
Turkey is expected to bring up its accusations of Iranian
support for the PKK during a two-day security meeting with an
Iranian delegation, headed by Deputy Interior Minister Gulem Hussein
Bolandiyan, which opens Tuesday.
"We are holding meetings on resolving the problems with Iran
over the PKK. We are very sensitive on this issue," Turkish Prime
Minister Bulent Ecevit told reporters Monday.
The Turkish interior ministry said in a written statement that
the Ankara meeting would focus on accelerating the existing
mechanisms to ensure security cooperation between the two
countries.
--------------------------------------------
|Farhad Abdolian, New York/USA |
|farhad@panjere.net, |
|e-fax: +1 (815) 361-1171 ICQ: 45972896 |
--------------------------------------------

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

Date: Mon, 9 Aug 1999 13:07:54 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Iran press lashes out at Saddam over threats

TEHRAN, Aug 9 (AFP) - The Iranian press on Monday lashed out at
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's veiled threats of force against
Iran, calling him a "pest" who has terrorised the Iraqi people and
the Middle East.
"No nations in the world have suffered from the madness of their
respective neighbors as have the states surrounding Iraq," the Iran
Daily said, one day after Saddam threatened Iran in a speech to mark
the anniversary of the end of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war.
"He has wielded the sword with all the finesse of a blind
drunkard," the paper said, recalling Saddam's 1990 invasion of
Kuwait which led to the Gulf War and 10 years of harsh UN sanctions
that have crippled the nation.
"What he has done to the Iraqi people themselves is a still
unfolding story of some of the most brutal human behavior in the
annals of history," it said.
The paper suggested the Organisation of the Islamic Conference,
which is currently chaired by Iran, should ignore its commitment to
non-interference in the internal affairs of member states to save
the Iraqi people from Saddam.
"How does one turn a blind eye on the slow genocide of an entire
Moslem nation and claim that no one has a right to interfere? ...
The name of Saddam tops a rather long list of the proverbial
Biblical curses which have fallen on the Islamic world," it said.
The conservative Tehran Times said the Iraqi leader was a "pest"
and gave him a stern warning not to take up armed conflict against
the Islamic republic.
"If he acts irrationally once more, as in 1980 and 1990 -- once
every ten years -- it will be another blunder which may be his last.
Iran is militarily strong enough to sever the hands of any
intruder," it said.
The pro-government Iran News took a more dismissive tone to
Saddam's threats, saying: "Iran allows its neighbours to prove their
manhood any way they choose, however ridiculous it may be."
Saddam's speech was "inspired by a feeling of failure and
humiliation," foreign ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said
Sunday.
Reacting to his claim that Tehran was "still holding thousands
of Iraqi prisoners," torturing and even killing some of them, Asefi
said it was Iraq that was hindering a resolution of the problem of
the POWs.
In a "Great Victory Day" speech to the nation, Saddam said:
"Despite all the appeals for peace by Iraq ... the slogans, drums
and guns of aggression and war have persisted (from Iran)."
Iraq had "always sought to make reason prevail" but "does not
hesitate to use force when it becomes the only way to show the
righteousness of its cause or when reason fails to convince those
who are wrong," Saddam warned.
The two neighbours have never signed a peace treaty and
diplomatic relations remain at the level of charge d'affaires 11
years after the end of the war, which left hundreds of thousands
dead on both sides.
Tehran says Iraq holds 2,806 Iranian POWs but Baghdad claims it
no longer holds any, apart from 64 "criminals" it says took part in
a southern uprising in March 1991.
Iraq says there are still 13,000 Iraqis held in Iranian camps.
--------------------------------------------
|Farhad Abdolian, New York/USA |
|farhad@panjere.net, |
|e-fax: +1 (815) 361-1171 ICQ: 45972896 |
--------------------------------------------

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

Date: Mon, 9 Aug 1999 13:06:29 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Iran paper hails Bahrain ties but warns of "foreign influence"

TEHRAN, Aug 9 (AFP) - A Tehran newspaper said Monday the visit
of Iran's deputy foreign minister to Bahrain was a sign of improved
relations but cautioned the emirate to steer clear of "foreign
influence" in the Gulf.
The visit by Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad Sadr, who arrived
in Manama on Sunday, indicates "a new chapter in ties between Iran
and Bahrain," said the English-language Iran News, widely read by
diplomats here.
"Bahraini officials seem to have recognised Iran's friendly
gestures and have made suitable changes in their foreign policy
vis-a-vis the Islamic republic," it said.
Noting Bahraini Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Mubarak
al-Khalifa's visit to Tehran in May, the paper said "the new
political resolve of the two countries' leaders must be given due
attention."
But the paper gave the emirate an oblique warning about its ties
to the United States, which maintains a military base in Bahrain,
after US Defense Secretary William Cohen said in March he would
recommend Washington sell Bahrain sophisticated missiles previously
available only to NATO countries.
Cohen said he would urge US officials to sell the advanced
"fire-and-forget" AMRAAM missiles to both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia
to counter what he said was a growing missile threat in the region
from Iran.
"Bahrain should realise the fact that regional arrangements,
free from foreign influences, are the key to the establishment of
peace and security in the Persian Gulf area," the paper said.
It added that Bahrain had in the past been "influenced by the
anti-Iranian propaganda of Western states," citing what it said was
Manama's "repeated" accusations that Tehran was seeking to topple
the emirate's government.
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami has made efforts to improve
Iran's relations with the Arab world since he took office in 1997
and the paper urged Bahrain to "join the new regional understanding
aimed at establishing peace."
--------------------------------------------
|Farhad Abdolian, New York/USA |
|farhad@panjere.net, |
|e-fax: +1 (815) 361-1171 ICQ: 45972896 |
--------------------------------------------

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

Date: Mon, 9 Aug 1999 13:07:28 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: More floods in Iran leave six dead, 11 wounded

TEHRAN, Aug 9 (AFP) - Six Iranians died, including three
sisters, and 11 others were wounded after heavy rains sparked fresh
flooding in northwestern Iran, press reports said Monday.
The floods washed away several houses late Sunday after
unusually heavy rainfall in the region around Tabriz, the capital of
East Azerbaijan province, the official IRNA news agency said.
It said three sisters -- aged four, five and 22 -- were among
the dead while state television reported six people had been killed
in all.
IRNA said the flooding had also caused infrastructure damage in
the region.
Floods devastated northern Iran along the Caspian Sea two weeks
ago, killing at least 37 people and sweeping away several entire
villages.
More than 4,000 shops and homes were partially or entirely
destroyed in the deluge, which also wiped out hundreds of miles
(kilometers) of roads.
The flooding was brought on by what authorities called the
heaviest rains in northern Iran in 100 years and came after a
crippling nationwide drought that ravaged crops and virtually
obliterated the summer harvest.
--------------------------------------------
|Farhad Abdolian, New York/USA |
|farhad@panjere.net, |
|e-fax: +1 (815) 361-1171 ICQ: 45972896 |
--------------------------------------------

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

Date: Mon, 9 Aug 1999 13:07:10 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Iranian delegation in Turkey for security meeting

ISTANBUL, Aug 9 (AFP) - An Iranian delegation arrived here
Monday to discuss security issues with Turkish officials amid
mounting tension between the two countries, the Anatolia news agency
reported.
The eight-man delegation, headed by Iranian deputy Interior
Minister Gulem Hussein Bolandiyan, was scheduled to travel to Ankara
later in the day for the two-day meeting beginning Tuesday.
The meeting follows accusation by Tehran that Ankara bombed its
Piranshahr region on July 18, killing five people and wounding 10
others.
Turkey said it had bombed northern Iraq, not Iran, and in turn
accused Iran of supporting separatist Kurdish rebels fighting the
Ankara government.
"We are holding meetings on resolving the problems with Iran
over the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party). We are very sensitive on
this issue," Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit told reporters
Monday.
The Turkish interior ministry said in a written statement Monday
that the Ankara meeting would focus on accelerating the existing
mechanisms to ensure copperation on security between the two
countries.
The case of two Turkish soldiers detained in Iran, will not be
discussed, according to Turkish diplomatic sources.
Iranian Foreign Minister Kalak Kharazi said last week that
Tehran would release the soldiers as a sign of good will.
Iranian authorities claim the troops deliberately crossed the
border into Iran, while Ankara maintains that they wandered across
the border unintentionally.
--------------------------------------------
|Farhad Abdolian, New York/USA |
|farhad@panjere.net, |
|e-fax: +1 (815) 361-1171 ICQ: 45972896 |
--------------------------------------------

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

Date: Mon, 9 Aug 1999 13:08:13 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Iran clerics say prayer during solar eclipse "obligatory"

TEHRAN, Aug 9 (AFP) - Iranian clerics on Monday urged the nation
to pray during this week's solar eclipse, saying it was a "sign of
God" that demanded prayer from the Islamic faithful.
The Iranian regime's main propaganda arm, the Organisation of
Islamic Propaganda, said in a statement on Tehran radio that prayer
during Wednesday's eclipse was "obligatory for all Moslems."
During earthquakes, eclipses and other natural phenomena, Shiite
Moslems customarily recite a prayer known as "The Horror."
For those watching the eclipse in the central city of Isfahan,
considered one of the world's prime spots to view the event, Iranian
officials have distributed 600,000 pairs of protective sunglasses.
--------------------------------------------
|Farhad Abdolian, New York/USA |
|farhad@panjere.net, |
|e-fax: +1 (815) 361-1171 ICQ: 45972896 |
--------------------------------------------

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

Date: Mon, 9 Aug 1999 13:08:31 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Iranian envoy arrives in Bahrain

MANAMA, Aug 8 (AFP) - An envoy of Iranian President Mohammad
Khatami arrived in Bahrain Sunday to deliver a message to the emir,
sheikh Hamad bin Issa Al-Khalifa, the official Gulf News Agency here
reported.
The agency did not give details on the content of the message
carried by Iranian foreign ministry under-secretary Sayyed Mohammed
Sadr, but the move came as the relations between the two Gulf
countries are improving.
Last May, Khatami expressed "satisfaction with the new
atmosphere prevailing between the two countries" and called for an
expansion of ties, after a phone conversation with the emir of
Bahrain.
Ties between Iran and Bahrain were strained after
anti-government unrest flared in the Gulf monarchy in December
1994.
The two countries recalled their ambassadors in June 1996 in a
row over accusations from Bahrain that Shiite Moslem Iran was
seeking to overthrow Manama's Sunni-led regime. Tehran denied the
charge.
Relations have improved since the May 1997 election of Khatami
who has called for detente with Iran's Arab neighbours. Tehran and
Manama exchanged ambassadors in January.
--------------------------------------------
|Farhad Abdolian, New York/USA |
|farhad@panjere.net, |
|e-fax: +1 (815) 361-1171 ICQ: 45972896 |
--------------------------------------------

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

Date: Mon, 9 Aug 1999 13:08:53 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Saddam makes veiled threat of force against Iran

BAGHDAD, Aug 8 (AFP) - Eleven years after the Iran-Iraq war
President Saddam Hussein on Sunday sparked off a war of words
against Tehran, accusing it of refusing peace, and issued a veiled
threat to use force to settle outstanding grievances.
Iraq had "always sought to make reason prevail" but "does not
hesitate to use force when it becomes the only way to show the
righteousness of its cause or when reason fails to convince those
who are wrong," Saddam warned.
Iran had "continued to carry out aggressions such as raids on
targets in Iraq and to launch missiles" at bases of Iranian
opposition groups.
Scud missiles fired from Iran in June hit a camp in Iraq run by
the main armed Iranian opposition group, the People's Mujahedeen,
injuring six Iraqis.
Saddam said. "Our heroic prisoners are tortured ... and
sometimes killed because they refuse to betray their country."
The Iranian regime has also refused to return military and
civilian aircraft which Baghdad sent to Iran for safety during the
1991 Gulf War. Saddam said Baghdad had "mistakenly believed that
Iran was no longer an enemy of Iraq."
Iraq's Babel newspaper -- run by Saddam's son Uday -- on
Saturday accused Iran of not handing back 115 military and 33
civilian planes. Iran says it has 22 Iraqi aircraft and has offered
to give them to the United Nations if requested to do so.
"Iran's conduct is unprecedented," Saddam said, accusing Iran of
refusing to make peace despite Iraq's repeated "peace initiatives".
Saddam, wearing a dark suit and tie, said Iraq had freed all
Iranian prisoners from the 1980-1988 conflict, which left hundreds
of thousands dead.
He also accused Iran of "helping American and Zionist
intelligence services and their agents to occupy the town of
Sulaymaniyah (in the Kurdish north of Iraq) after the Gulf War." The
region has escaped Baghdad's control since an uprising after the
1991 conflict.
In Tehran Sunday foreign ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi hit
back at Saddam, saying his speech was "inspired by a feeling of
failure and humiliation."
"With these words, Saddam Hussein is trying to hide his many
failures," said Asefi, quoted by Tehran radio, adding that "in so
doing, he is even distorting history."
"Saddam bears the scars of two wars," he said, in an allusion to
the Iran-Iraq war and the war over Kuwait, "and the peoples of the
region are very familiar with his attitude."
Reacting to Saddam's claim that Tehran was still holding
thousands of Iraqi POWs, Asefi said it was Iraq that was hindering a
resolution of the prisoner problem.
He called on Iraq to "return to reason" and "take steps to
settle the problems remaining between the two countries and
establish neighbourly relations."
Iranian Sunday newspapers had already fired back at Iraqi claims
published in Baghdad papers the previous day that the war was far
from settled.
The Iran Daily branded Iraq "the world's most lawless and hated
regime" and mocked Saddam's decision to make a "Great Victory Day"
speech.
"It makes little sense to talk about victory. Saddam and the
likes long back became dinosaurs... Millions of innocent Iraqis who
for years have been subordinated to sub-human conditions really do
not understand or care for the celebrations," it said.
Other papers lambasted the Babel newspaper, which on Saturday
said that "the seeds of the war unleashed by Iran in 1980 still
exist" and charged that "the fact that the end of the war has not
become a permanent peace leaves doubts as to Iran's intentions."
"Iraq should stop its rhetoric against Iran," the conservative
English-language Tehran Times said in a front-page editorial.
"Iran has nothing against the Iraqi nation and wants to have
friendly and good neighborly ties with them. The problem lies with
the government in Baghdad which has an aggressive and suppressive
nature," it said.
The pro-government Iran News, an English-language daily widely
read by diplomats here, echoed the charge that Baghdad was to blame
for uneasy relations between the two.
Iraq "has committed acts that hamper the establishment of a
permanent peace between Tehran and Baghdad," it said.
"Iraqi officials are not clear about the number of Iranian POWs
in their country and they have not made any war reparations to
Iran," it said.
The two nations have still to sign a formal peace treaty over
the war, and diplomatic relations remain at the level of charge
d'affaires.
--------------------------------------------
|Farhad Abdolian, New York/USA |
|farhad@panjere.net, |
|e-fax: +1 (815) 361-1171 ICQ: 45972896 |
--------------------------------------------

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

Date: Mon, 9 Aug 1999 13:09:12 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Iranian foreign ministry lashes out at Saddam

TEHRAN, Aug 8 (AFP) - Tehran has strongly condemned a speech by
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in which he accused Iran of
continuing its aggression against his country 11 years after the end
of the war between the two.
Saddam's speech was "inspired by a feeling of failure and
humiliation," foreign ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said
Sunday, quoted by Tehran radio.
"With these words, Saddam Hussein is trying to hide his many
failures," said Asefi, adding that "in so doing, he is even
distorting history."
"Saddam bears the scars of two wars," he said, in an allusion to
the Iran-Iraq war and the war over Kuwait, "and the peoples of the
region are very familiar with his attitude."
Reacting to Saddam's claim that Tehran was "still holding
thousands of Iraqi prisoners," torturing and even killing some of
them, Asefi said it was Iraq that was hindering a resolution of the
problem of the POWs.
He called on Iraq to "return to reason" and "take steps to
settle the problems remaining between the two countries and
establish neighbourly relations."
Earlier Sunday, in a "Great Victory Day" speech to the nation,
Saddam attacked Iran for its alleged belligerence.
"Despite all the appeals for peace by Iraq ... the slogans,
drums and guns of aggression and war have persisted (from Iran)," he
said.
Iranian Sunday newspapers had already fired back at Iraqi claims
published in Baghdad papers the previous day that the war was far
from settled.
The Iran Daily branded Iraq "the world's most lawless and hated
regime" and mocked Saddam's decision to make a "Great Victory Day"
speech.
"It makes little sense to talk about victory. Saddam and the
likes long back became dinosaurs... Millions of innocent Iraqis who
for years have been subordinated to sub-human conditions really do
not understand or care for the celebrations," it said.
Other papers lambasted the Babel newspaper run by Saddam's son
Uday, which on Saturday said that "the seeds of the war unleashed by
Iran in 1980 still exist" and charged that "the fact that the end of
the war has not become a permanent peace leaves doubts as to Iran's
intentions."
"Iraq should stop its rhetoric against Iran," the conservative
English-language Tehran Times said in a front-page editorial.
"Iran has nothing against the Iraqi nation and wants to have
friendly and good neighborly ties with them. The problem lies with
the government in Baghdad which has an aggressive and suppressive
nature," it said.
The pro-government Iran News, an English-language daily widely
read by diplomats here, echoed the charge that Baghdad was to blame
for uneasy relations between the two.
Iraq "has committed acts that hamper the establishment of a
permanent peace between Tehran and Baghdad," it said.
"Iraqi officials are not clear about the number of Iranian POWs
in their country and they have not made any war reparations to
Iran," it said.
The two nations have still to sign a formal peace treaty over
the war, which left hundreds of thousands dead, and diplomatic
relations remain at the level of charge d'affaires.
--------------------------------------------
|Farhad Abdolian, New York/USA |
|farhad@panjere.net, |
|e-fax: +1 (815) 361-1171 ICQ: 45972896 |
--------------------------------------------

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

Date: Mon, 9 Aug 1999 13:10:21 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Iran to clamp down on Afgan, Iraqi refugees

TEHRAN, Aug 7 (AFP) - Iran is to launch a clampdown on refugees
relocating those with a residence permit in camps and expelling
those who do not have authorisation to stay, Interior Minister
Abdolvahed Musavi-Lari said Saturday.
The move will be carried out soon in cooperation with the United
Nations refugee agency, the UNHCR, Musavi-Lari told the official
news agency IRNA without giving a date.
In recent weeks the Iranian authorities have launched a string
of searches for refugees -- mostly Afghans and Iraqis -- who entered
the country without official permission.
Authorities have also stepped up security measures in border
areas over the past two years to prevent the influx of more refugees
from Iran's troubled neighbours, while making efforts to expel those
found in Iran without papers.
Hard hit by last year's sharp fall in world oil prices, Iran has
been looking to rid itself of refugees as unemployment here mounts.
Unofficial figures put the number of Afghan refugees here at two
million. There are also tens of thousands of Iraqi refugees.
Repatriation measures have either slowed down or ground to a
halt since the hardline Taliban militia took control in Kabul in
1996.
--------------------------------------------
|Farhad Abdolian, New York/USA |
|farhad@panjere.net, |
|e-fax: +1 (815) 361-1171 ICQ: 45972896 |
--------------------------------------------

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

Date: Mon, 9 Aug 1999 13:09:31 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Iran sets deadline for tenders at South Pars gas field

TEHRAN, Aug 8 (AFP) - Iran will stop accepting tenders for the
next development phases of its giant South Pars natural gas field at
the beginning of next month, press reports said here Sunday.
"Iran is already studying proposals offered so far by foreign
companies. The tender deadline for the said projects has been set
for September 1," said Hojatollah Ghanimifard, director of
international affairs for the state-run National Iranian Oil
Company.
He told the English-language Kayhan International paper that
contracts for phases four through eight are available under the
"buy-back" scheme, by which foreign firms are repaid by a percentage
of on-site production.
"Excluding companies belonging to the Zionist regime we welcome
companies from all countries which meet our technical and financial
requirements," he said.
US firms are banned from participating in Iran's energy sector
under US legislation, which also calls for sanctions against foreign
firms investing more than 20 million dollars in the Islamic
republic's oil and gas industry.
But Canadian, French and Italian firms among others have flouted
the legislation and made sizable investments in Iran's energy
sector.
French energy group Total, in partnership with Russia's Gazprom
and Petronas of Malaysia, signed a two billion dollar deal in 1997
for the first development phases of the offshore South Pars field,
which Iran shares with Qatar.
Iran embarked on a programme four years ago to open up its
nationalised energy sector after foreign firms were banned following
the 1979 Islamic revolution.
It has since signed about a dozen buy-back contracts with
foreign energy companies.
--------------------------------------------
|Farhad Abdolian, New York/USA |
|farhad@panjere.net, |
|e-fax: +1 (815) 361-1171 ICQ: 45972896 |
--------------------------------------------

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

Date: Mon, 9 Aug 1999 13:09:51 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Iranian MP denounces ban of leading pro-Khatami paper

TEHRAN, Aug 8 (AFP) - An Iranian MP close to President Mohammad
Khatami on Sunday said the ban on the popular pro-Khatami reformist
newspaper Salam was against the principles of the Islamic
revolution.
The ban "only pleases the United States and saddens the sons of
the revolution," Majid Ansari said in parliament.
He told the conservative-dominated legislature that the
five-year ban on Salam and Khoeinia's three-year prohibition from
journalism was equivalent to "chopping off one of the revolution's
arms."
"I warn the clergy and revolutionary forces against this
unfortunate decision by the clerical tribunal," he said.
Khoeinia, a former radical and close Khatami ally, was one of
the leaders of the 1979 hostage-taking at the US embassy here.
The hardline Special Court for Clergy announced the ban
Wednesday in a case that has highlighted the sharp political
division between reformers and conservatives ahead of next spring's
crucial parliamentary elections.
The initial closure of Salam last month sparked student protests
that erupted in six days of bloody riots after demonstrators were
attacked by security forces and Islamic hardliners.
--------------------------------------------
|Farhad Abdolian, New York/USA |
|farhad@panjere.net, |
|e-fax: +1 (815) 361-1171 ICQ: 45972896 |
--------------------------------------------

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

Date: Mon, 9 Aug 1999 13:15:44 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: fwd:Manipulating the student movement in Iran

HI, I found this on SCI and wanted to share it with you. /Farhad
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
In her speech before the US congress, Azar Nafisi (who recently joined the
Israeli front organization called the Washington Institute for Near East
Policy) claimed that the students were all actually demonstrating in favor
of the Nationalists.

She also warned that some OTHER groups (specifically mentioned the MKO)
would try to take the credit for the student movement (which is highy
ironic!)

In a recent "article" the writer claimed that the sudent demonstrators had
called for establishing relations with Israel!
(actually, it was an opinion piece, but for some reason the NY Times saw
fit to place it on the front page over the crease as if it were news)

The MKO, Marxists and the Monarchists have all tried to attach themselves to
the student movement too and foist their own politics onto it.

So, in short, everyone is rushing to lay claim on the student movement and
pretend that it was all in favour of THEIR little sect or agenda.

The really funny thing is that many of these groups probably intentionally
tried to turn the peaceful demonstrations into violent rioting hoping that
it would be the 'spark' which would result in toppling the regime. And the
Hezbollahis were probably doing the same for their own reasons.
And once that failed and was generally condemned by everyone and it became
obvious that the rest of the country did not want violence, now each side is
claiming someone else actually instigated the rioting but that they were
pure and innocent in the whole affair.

All this energy could have been used to help promote the gradual change and
development in Iran and actually support the students instead of trying to
manipulate them and their movement, and working to support the upcoming
elections for example. But unfortunately, as has been the case for the last
20 years, these exile opposition groups are more interested in pushing their
own agenda and are willing to sacrifice the interests of Iran and Iranians
in their bitter, frustrated, self-righteous arrogant quest for
aggrandizement and power.

And what is really funny is how Khatami and the prospect of gradual peaceful
change in Iran threatens them so much that they're willing to attack him
even more forcefully than they attack the hardliners and hezboolahis.
Khatami and the trend of gradual development which he represents (for now -
the trend may get ahead of him in the future, but he'll be out of office by
then anyway) are the people who so far are actually doing the work of having
nationwide elections etc, openeing and closing newspapers, fighitng the
hardliners and doign all the hard work of trying to change things. But
instead of helping, these exile groups sit in LA or Paris and gloat at each
of the reformists setbacks and magnify it, dismiss each victory as mere
raghaas bazi, and insist that only THEY are the only hope for Iran.

And I suppose that if Khatami is finally defeated and hezbollahi's manage to
totally monopolize power, these same groups will sit in LA or Paris and
chorttle and say "see, we told you it was all just raghaas bazi" - happy in
having been "proven right" as if they weren't partly responsible for it. But
I suppose then they can go back to the bickering, accusing, and in-fighting,
and writing pretty and CONVENIENT slogans about "democracy" and "human
rights", as which they have been doing for 20 years past.

It is all just too pathetic to watch.



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|Farhad Abdolian, New York/USA |
|farhad@panjere.net, |
|e-fax: +1 (815) 361-1171 ICQ: 45972896 |
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End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 8 Aug 1999 to 9 Aug 1999
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