Date: Aug 14, 1999 [ 0: 0: 1]

Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 12 Aug 1999 to 13 Aug 1999

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 12 Aug 1999 to 13 Aug 1999
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There are 5 messages totalling 308 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

2. Iran demands reparations from Turkey, talks continue
3. Tons Of U.S. Corn Sold To Iran
4. Germany "deplores" adjournment of German's trial in Iran
5. Iraq calls for Iran to free Iraqi PoWs


Date: Fri, 13 Aug 1999 11:49:01 -0306
From: Mehran Sam <msam@HMS.HARVARD.EDU>


PARIS 12TH Aug. (IPS) In a rarely seen case of violence,
conservatives-controlled thugs of the Ansar Hezbollah and Basij,
backed by Law Enforcement Forces and special anti-riot units of the
Information (Intelligence) Ministry undressed students of
Tabriz University, mostly female ones, in public and beat them with
electric cable and water house, "with such a violence and
brutality never seen ever", according to MPs of this capital city of the
Eastern Azarbaijan Province.

The news of this event emerged almost a month after the brutal crackdown by
a similar combination of forces of a peaceful
protest by a small number of Tehran University students in their dormitory
in support of the popular newspaper "Salam"
closed down on order from the Islamic Justice.

The outrageous attack on the dormitory on the night of 8 to 9 July led to 4
days of demonstrations by students and joined by some
inhabitants of the capital, calling for more freedom was crushed on 14th of
July by the conservatives after it took a visible anti-regime
aspect, with slogans openly hostile to the leader of the Islamic Republic,
the ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i and the conservatives who
control the entire system.

The nightly raid on the student's dormitory and the consequent days of
street demonstrations left at least 5 dead, tens of missing
and hundreds arrests, some of them freed afterward.

But it seems that the brutality used by the authorities against the
students in Tabriz University was so violent that their behaviour in
Tehran looks like a joke.

Quoting Mr. Mohammad Reza Milani, an MP from Tabriz, the pro-reform daily
"Hamshahri" reported in its 11th August issue
that while beating the students and using tear gas, machine guns, colt and
revolver hand guns, iron bars, knives and bicycle
chain, the hooligans would yell at the girls "you who support the civil
society you don't need wear hejab" (the imposed Islamic

"The attackers used hand guns shooting at random the students, mostly the
female ones. They used machine guns and tear gas. The violence
used was unseen.

According to this MP who has written a letter to the president informing
him about the incident, the attack on pro-democracy students in
Tabriz by the pro-conservatives forces took place after the killing, at the
University, of the basiji (Islamic vigilante controlled by the
revolutionary guards) son of a local religious dignitary when LEF, Basij
and Ansar commandos attacked a demonstrations held in support
of the Tehran University students.

Explaining the reasons why he and other MPs from the Province have waited
so long to report the punitive action, Mr. Milani referred to
an "atmosphere of fear and violence" imposed in Tabriz by the Basij and
other pressure forces.

If the information is correct, it open several serious questions with the
first one being why nobody has dared to disclosed the tragic incident

Why the Supreme Council of National Security (SCNS) created a special
committee to look into the attack by the LEF, the
Ansar and the Intelligence Ministry on the Tehran University dormitory did
ignored this Tabriz incident?

Why the government and President Mohammad Khatami kept silent, since they
should have been aware of the drama?

How one does explain the silence of the conservatives, usually very quick
to denounce the other side, in this case the students,
for the violence, as they did in the case of the Tehran events?

Another important question is the silence of the students themselves.

How comes that the Elected Council of Students (ECS) that was formed by
representatives of all Tehran universities and joined
by some from other Iranian cities in the aftermath of the pro-democracy
demonstrations to keep up with students demands, top
among them the resignation of the commander of the LEF as the main
responsible for the attack on the dormitories never said
anything about the violence used against their friends in Tabriz?

And finally, if the incidents as reported by Tabriz MPs are wrong, why no
one from the conservatives or the government has

Meeting some students, among them representatives from the pro-Khatami
Office of Strengthening Solidarity (OSS), President Khatami
disclosed Thursday that the "roots and culprits" of the "tragic" attack on
the (Tehran) dormitories were identified and will soon be "treated
as laws requires".

But he also joined the leader in warning the students that "since the
revolution is threatened from both inside and outside, it is
therefore necessary to safeguard the religion as the pillar of the
(Islamic) regime".

Observers noted that Mr. Khatami had made exactly similar pledges
concerning the chain murder of dissident politicians and intellectuals at
the hands of official agents of the Intelligence Ministry without any of
the real culprits among those high ranking clerics who issued the
religious authorisation for the killings (fatwas) being identified.

In the Majles' secret hearing, the commander of the LEF, general
Enayatollah Lotfian, who's head is sought by the students reportedly
offered to resign, adding, however, that being "a soldier and a man of
war", he would not "leave the scene so easily".

In another development, it was reported Thursday that three other students
members of the secularist Iranian People's Nation
(INP) identified by the Party's Brussels-based European branch as Mr.
Arsalan Rostamzadeh Toukani from Tehran University,
Mr. Maziar Esma'ili and Mr. Sa'id Basiri from Tabriz had been arrested,
with their lives being in danger.

At the same time, Mr. Mas'oud Dehnamaki, the self-appointed General
Commander of the notorious Ansar Hezbollah and Editor of the
pro-conservative weekly "Jebheh" (Front) was summoned by a press court to
explain his presence on the scene, on the night of the attack
of his thugs on the Tehran University dormitory.

Mr. Dehnamaki has said he had been there as a reporter, but failed to say
how come that he had been the only reporter to "cover" the raid.

Several students who were protesting that night the closure of "Salam" and
were subsequently beaten up by the attackers have
told the investigation committee that Mr. Dehnamaki was among the ones who
were directing the brutal night raid. ENDS


Date: Fri, 13 Aug 1999 12:52:48 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Iran demands reparations from Turkey, talks continue

TEHRAN, Aug 12 (AFP) - Iran on Thursday again demanded
reparations from Turkey for what it said was a deadly air raid last
month as talks in Ankara on a series of disputes between the two hit
fresh disagreements.
"We would like the Turkish authorities to accept their
responsibility and pay reparations," Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi
said on state radio, referring to what Tehran says was an air strike
that killed five people.
He claimed a Turkish delegation which visited the mostly Kurdish
region of Piranshahr in northwestern Iran along the border with Iraq
and Turkey had accepted that the raid hit Iranian territory.
But there was no confirmation of the claim from Ankara, which
has said the strike hit a guerrilla camp of the rebel Kurdistan
Workers' Party (PKK) in Iraqi territory. It has refused to pay
compensation for the attack.
Meanwhile talks between the two sides went into overtime in
Ankara on Thursday after they reportedly failed to reach an
agreement on eight out of 10 points in a draft memorandum of
A Turkish interior ministry spokeswoman said the talks
reconvened Thursday between Interior Ministry Undersecretary Yahya
Gur and Iranian Deputy Interior Minister Gholamhossein Bolandian
(eds: correct).
Turkey's NTV news channel said the two sides were at odds on
eight points in the memorandum, including an Iranian refusal to meet
Turkish demands on the PKK and a denial of Ankara's claims that the
guerrillas had camps on Iranian territory.
The two sides are reportedly also at odds on carrying out joint
operations on each other's territory against the PKK and Iran's main
armed opposition, the Iraq-based People's Mujahedeen.
Iranian officials reportedly denied Turkish demands to allow the
armed forces of both countries to cross into each other's territory
if in hot pursuit of illegal elements.
Late Wednesday the official IRNA news agency reported that
Bolandian had said the two sides had reached agreements in principle
on the grounds for mutual border and security cooperation.
Iran on Monday released two Turkish soldiers it was holding
after Tehran said they were among army troops who had deliberately
invaded Iranian territory.
Ankara said they had crossed the border by mistake.


Date: Fri, 13 Aug 1999 13:06:47 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Tons Of U.S. Corn Sold To Iran

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Private exporters reported the sale of 50,000 metric
tons of U.S. corn to Iran during the week that ended Aug. 5 -- the first
such sale in at least four years, the U.S. Agriculture Department said

The sale is also the first since the Clinton administration announced new
rules to allow the sale of food, medicine and medical equipment to Iran and
other currently embargoed countries on a case-by-case basis.

The last U.S. corn sale to Iran was in 1994/95. The current purchase is for
delivery in 1998/99, which ends Aug. 31.

Grain industry sources have said the new rules could clear the way for an
Iranian purchase of ``optional-origin'' corn earlier this summer to be
supplied from the United States.


Date: Fri, 13 Aug 1999 13:07:05 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Germany "deplores" adjournment of German's trial in Iran

BERLIN, Aug 11 (AFP) - Germany said Wednesday it "deplored" the
adjournment of the retrial of a German businessman sentenced to
death last year for allegedly having had sex with a Moslem Iranian
woman, a government spokesman said.
Germany had hoped that Helmut Hofer would quickly regain his
freedom with the start of the new trial, said spokesman Uwe-Karsten
Heye. He said Germany hoped the Iranian courts would soon finish the
process and do Hofer justice.
Wednesday's retrial was adjourned after a two-and-a-half-hour
hearing behind closed doors and Hofer was returned to jail. A court
official said a date for a new hearing would be set in about a
German Foreign Minister Wolfgang Ischinger was scheduled to meet
the Iranian charge d'affaires in Bonn on Wednesday evening to
express Germany's concern about the case and to request consular
help for Hofer, said Heye.
The German embassy in Tehran would make similar representations,
he added.
Hofer, 57, was condemned to death after his first trial in
January 1998, after being convicted by a lower court for allegedly
having had sex with a Moslem Iranian woman.
His alleged offence was in violation of Iran's strict version of
Islamic law which prohibits sex between Moslems and non-Moslems.
Iran's supreme court said in April there was insufficient
evidence for his conviction, overturned the death penalty and
released Hofer on bail pending retrial. He was forbidden to leave
The retrial had been scheduled for June but was postponed after
the court interpreter failed to show up and Iranian judges rejected
the offer of a translator made by the German embassy.
The hearing had been moved up after Hofer claimed he was
suffering physical deterioration and depression because of the case,
according to newspaper reports.


Date: Fri, 13 Aug 1999 13:07:20 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Iraq calls for Iran to free Iraqi PoWs

BAGHDAD, Aug 11 (AFP) - A top Iraqi official called Wednesday
for Iran to release the Iraqi prisoners of war it was "torturing"
and give back Iraqi planes left with Tehran for safekeeping.
"We appeal to Iran to release immediately all Iraqi PoWs and
stop torturing them physically and morally," said Abdel Ghani Abdel
Ghafur, a member of the ruling Baath party's leadership council.
Iraq itself has freed all the Iranian PoWs it was holding in
line with "the precepts of Islamic law and for humanitarian
reasons," he said, quoted by the official INA news agency.
Baghdad says some 13,000 Iraqi soldiers are imprisoned in Iran
while Tehran says 2,806 of its troops are in detention in Iraq.
Abdel Ghafur also called for Iran to release the planes Iraq
sent there before and during the 1991 Gulf War that drove Baghdad
out of Kuwait.
Iraq "had shown confidence in Iran by putting its aircraft there
and the Iranians, as Moslems, should return them back to demonstrate
that they are worthy of this trust," he said.
Baghdad says it stored 115 military planes and 33 civilian
aircraft in Iran to protect them from attack by the broad coalition
that drove Iraqi forces out of Kuwait.
Iran says it only has 22 of the planes and is ready to give them
back upon request by the United Nations.
Iraq and Iran each bitterly accused the other Tuesday of causing
the breakdown of their talks on prisoners of war.
"Once again, Iranian leaders have resorted to lies and deception
to hide the truth about Iraqi prisoners and their refusal to free
them 11 years after the end of the fighting," a foreign ministry
spokesman said in Baghdad.
The comment came after Iranian General Abdollah Najafi, the head
of Iran's committee on POWs from the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war,
accused Iraq of deliberately blocking the negotiations.
The exchange came two days after Iraqi President Saddam
Hussein's "Great Victory Day" speech marking the 11th anniversary of
the war's end.
Saddam had made veiled threats against Iran, accusing it of
continuing its aggression against Iraq 11 years after their war
Abdel Ghafur said the speech meant that Iran should "review its
tendentious policy toward Iraq and the Arab nation."
"Iran's persistance in this policy shows clearly that it is
taking the side of Washington and London in their aggression against
Iraq," he said.


End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 12 Aug 1999 to 13 Aug 1999