Date: Aug 22, 1999 [ 0: 0: 1]

Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 20 Aug 1999 to 21 Aug 1999

From: Automatic digest processor


Return-Path: <owner-DNI-NEWS@D-N-I.ORG>
Delivered-To: farhad@ALGONET.SE
Received: (qmail 2974 invoked from network); 22 Aug 1999 09:00:40 +0200
Received: from simorgh.gpg.com (205.158.6.22)
by tung.algonet.se with SMTP; 22 Aug 1999 09:00:40 +0200
Received: from simorgh (simorgh [205.158.6.22])
by simorgh.gpg.com (8.9.3/8.9.3) with ESMTP id AAA26718;
Sun, 22 Aug 1999 00:00:01 -0700 (PDT)
Message-Id: <199908220700.AAA26718@simorgh.gpg.com>
Date: Sun, 22 Aug 1999 00:00:01 -0700
Reply-To: dni-disc@D-N-I.ORG
Sender: DNI news list <DNI-NEWS@D-N-I.ORG>
From: Automatic digest processor <D-N-I@D-N-I.ORG>
Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 20 Aug 1999 to 21 Aug 1999
To: Recipients of DNI-NEWS digests <DNI-NEWS@D-N-I.ORG>

There are 5 messages totalling 405 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. Lessons From Halabja
2. AFP: Iranian cleric denies regime responsible for police attack
3. AFP: Iranian cleric blasts US lawmakers over support for student
protesters
4. AFP: Iran excoriates fresh charges of involvement in 1994 bombing in
Argentina
5. AFP: Argentine vice president attributes attack on Jews to Iran

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

Date: Sat, 21 Aug 1999 21:15:10 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Lessons From Halabja

Lessons From Halabja We still are not allowed access to the Kurds hit
with chemical and biological weapons. By Christine Gosden and Mike
Amitay

Friday, August 20, 1999; Page A35

During the past two decades, the range and power of chemical and
biological weapons have expanded inexorably. In response to those
threats, the United States and other major nations spend billions of
dollars on defense agencies and domestic preparedness. Yet the world's
most intense attacks, with thousands of tons of chemical and biological
weapons used against the defenseless civilian population of Northern
Iraq in 1988, remain virtually undocumented.

These attacks and their consequences have the potential to inform us
about defense strategies and domestic preparedness far better than any
of the theoretical scenarios being enacted. Yet we appear to have
learned no lessons from this incident and have little knowledge of the
weapons used or the immediate and long-term effects on the victims. Even
worse, the victims have received no humanitarian aid for themselves or
their stricken environment.

Is this because we feel this situation has no relevance or that these
weapons do not pose further threats? This cannot be the case. The
victims were the people of Halabja and Iraqi Kurdistan, attacked by
aircraft dropping shells bearing thousands of tons of chemical and
biological weapons. The attacks were instigated by Saddam Hussein and
the Iraqi government to punish the Kurds for sympathizing with Iran
during the Iran-Iraq war.

The plight of these people today is still of catastrophic proportions,
so why are no efforts being made to provide help? One of the major
obstacles is that the international community possesses no mechanisms to
deal with chemical or biological weapons attacks inflicted by a
sovereign government on its own people. These attacks constitute one of
the worst human rights violations in recent history. Yet when we have
asked representatives of governments, the United Nations and other
international agencies about assistance to Northern Iraq, we have been
repeatedly told this must be agreed to by Baghdad. Such a condition
effectively dooms constructive endeavors and borders on complicity in
perpetuation of the trauma caused in these genocidal attacks.

During the series of attacks in 1988, victims were exposed to the
highest doses of the most potent cocktails of chemical and biological
nerve and mustard agents ever used against civilians. These included
mustard gas (which burns, mutates DNA and causes malformations and
cancer) and the nerve gases sarin and tabun, which kill, paralyze and
cause immediate and lasting neuropsychiatric damage.

In 1997-1998 the Iraqi government also was developing, producing and
stockpiling even more terrible weapons, including the potent nerve agent
VX -- as well as the biological weapons anthrax and the viciously toxic
mycotoxins. It is highly likely that these too were used in the attacks.
Mycotoxins, including trichothecenes, are among the most dangerous
biological agents ever devised because they are capable of producing the
effects we fear most -- being driven mad by designer psychoses, killing
babies in utero, and children and adults from rapidly growing
untreatable cancers.

Thousands died immediately and many of the more than 250,000 survivors
suffer long-term effects. They need urgent help. Many thousands survived
the initial attack only to die later from conditions including cancers,
heart failure and congenital malformations. Some deaths would have been
preventable, and much suffering could have been alleviated had aid been
available. But many of these disorders are untreatable at present, and
so innovative programs of medical research are needed to develop
effective therapies for long-term effects.

Eleven years after the attacks, we should not have to ask what agents
were used. Some defense agencies have the capability to detect these
agents, but none of them has yet been invited to do so by the Iraqi
government. We should not still be ignorant about whether soil and water
remain contaminated. It is impossible to comprehend why the
international community has failed to help the people of Halabja,
especially when assistance so clearly serves self-interest.

In the midst of the relentless progress of her own cancer, the late Meg
Greenfield expressed concern for these people and her despair about the
lack of efforts to aid them. She shared our determination to try to
mobilize and provide effective help. In her introduction to my piece
written to mark the 10th anniversary of Halabja [op-ed, March 11, 1998],
she wrote that the phrase " 'weapons of mass destruction' has lost much
of its immediacy and meaning. It has become, like 'nuclear devastation'
and 'chemical and biological warfare,' an abstract term of governmental
memos, punditry and political debate. For many it calls forth neither
visual imagery nor visceral revulsion. . . .

"People around the world have seen the evidence of deformity and
mutation following from the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
It shaped their attitude toward the use of atomic weapons. Maybe if more
evidence of the unimaginable real-life effects of chemical and
biological warfare becomes available, a comparable attitude to those
weapons will develop."

The reasons for the lack of medical and scientific evidence are
explained by the geopolitical isolation and the vulnerability of the
people exposed. Previous chemical and biological exposures -- from those
of phosgene and mustard gas in World War I to those of the Iran-Iraq war
-- involved young, fit, male military recruits. But Saddam Hussein
attacked an exceedingly vulnerable population that included women,
children and the elderly. These people remain isolated, inaccessible and
targets for Saddam's experiments, yet prisoners of Iraqi sovereignty. We
have failed these people until now.

Last week, just outside Geneva, we convened a meeting supported by the
U.S. State Department, the Washington Kurdish Institute and the Swiss
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs to concentrate and focus efforts
toward a cohesive and implementable aid program. Groups previously
separated by political or geographic divides came together and pledged
help. Difficulties arose only in the attempts to find ways to secure
funding for the project.

The mayor of Halabja contributed eloquent poetry about people suffering
the effects of the attack; doctors from the region discussed the major
medical problems and those of medical supplies and equipment;
nongovernmental organizations described caring programs as well as their
experiences of problems and dangers; political parties moved through
lively discussions to consensus and support; government representatives
were thoughtful and provided insight. The United Nations high
commissioner for human rights, Mary Robinson, sent one of her most
senior advisers and committed to finding ways to help in the U.N.
system.

Long-term treatment and research can be done only in partnership with
the people. The people of Halabja are rightly wary of surveys that yield
little tangible assistance. They need reassurance that a carefully
planned and ethically conducted program for their health and welfare
will have an adequate budget to start addressing their needs. And as
leading toxicologists and defense scientists explained, complex
environmental sampling is necessary to determine residual effects of
weapons and their risks to the people.

As a result of many months of work, culminating in the Geneva meeting,
the Halabja Post-Graduate Medical Institute has been founded with the
support of all the political parties and their health ministers. Its
purpose is to establish an academic structure through which ethical
foundations for both humanitarian and medical responses can be laid to
benefit all the victims of chemical and biological weapons in the
region. It also will be the unifying focal point for the stringent
scientific processes needed to determine the long-term effects of such
weapons and to provide a mechanism for the delivery of international
assistance.

We are grateful for the U.S. State Department's support for this crucial
initial stage but, unfortunately, almost no funding exists to build on
the rudimentary structure and to operationalize treatment and research
programs. It is imperative that governments and agencies worldwide join
this effort in order that we can learn the lessons of Halabja.

U.N. sanctions against Iraq were supposed to quash the Iraqi
government's ability to manufacture and use weapons of mass destruction,
not to cause privation and suffering among those on whom Saddam had
already experimented. A group of senators and congressmen, dismayed that
nothing constrains Saddam's continuing programs to develop and acquire
weapons of mass destruction, wrote to President Clinton on Aug. 11
asking why nothing was being done to help the people in Northern Iraq
and questioning current interpretations that have lead to failures to
provide help under the United Nation's Security Council Resolution 986.
Their strong letter stated: "The delivery of non-lethal forms of
assistance inside Iraq, especially humanitarian support, should not
violate sanctions."

Dr. Christine Gosden is professor of medical genetics at the University
of Liverpool at Liverpool Women's Hospital, the United Kingdom. Mike
Amitay is executive director of the Washington Kurdish Institute.

Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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

Date: Sat, 21 Aug 1999 21:22:35 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: AFP: Iranian cleric denies regime responsible for police attack

Iranian cleric denies regime responsible for police attack

TEHRAN, Aug 20 (AFP) - A top conservative Iranian cleric on Friday
denied the government was responsible for the police attack on a Tehran
University dormitory last month that sparked six days of bloody riots.

"The attack on the university was certainly a mistake, but it was a
mistake committed by the officers involved and had nothing to do with
the regime," said Ayatollah Ahmad Janati, secretary of Iran's
constitutional council.

He rejected any "link between the Islamic republic and the police" or
the Islamic hardliners who also attacked the students during a
demonstration against the closure of a leading pro-reform newspaper.

Janati, speaking at weekly prayers at the university, also added to
mounting conservative criticism of this week's report by the Supreme
National Security Council on the dormitory incident.

"The report raised some ambiguous points and reached certain conclusions
that were not very precise," the radical conservative cleric said
without elaborating.

The Council report cleared Iran's police chief of any wrongdoing in the
"blunder" but blamed seven police commanders, an unspecified number of
riot police and the militant Ansar-e-Hezbollah group for staging the
attack.

Leading conservative MPs charged this week that the report was "veiling
many of the realities" behind the attack, amid anger that the
reformist-led interior ministry was not held responsible for the
incident.

Interior Minister Abdol-Vahed Mussavi-Lari, a close ally of President
Mohammad Khatami, was on hand the night of the attack in an effort to
quell student anger.

His ministry has nominal control over the police and some conservatives
and hardliners have demanded that Mussavi-Lari step down over his
handling of the affair.

The attack set off the worst unrest here since the 1979 Islamic
revolution. Six days of unrest in Tehran and the provincial capital of
Tabriz left three people dead and three others wounded, according to
official figures.

But moderate newspapers said at least five people were killed and dozens
wounded, many of whom they said were later abducted from Tehran
hospitals by the secret police.

The Islamic students council at Tabriz University said 15 people were
shot, including three women, and 80 other people injured in savage
beatings by security forces and militants.

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

Date: Sat, 21 Aug 1999 21:23:56 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: AFP: Iranian cleric blasts US lawmakers over support for student
protesters

Iranian cleric blasts US lawmakers over support for student protesters


TEHRAN, Aug 20 (AFP) - A top conservative Iranian cleric lashed out Friday
at US lawmakers over their support for student protests last month that
erupted into six days of bloody clashes with security forces and militants.

"Their support for the agitators is an attempt to overthrow the Islamic
regime," said Ayatollah Ahmad Janati, echoing charges by Iranian officials
this week that Washington is interfering in Iran's internal affairs.

"The enemy wants to insinuate that it was the fault of the regime," Janati
said, adding that the United States and Israel "remain the principal
enemies of the Islamic revolution."

Several US senators backed a bill earlier this month supporting the
students and denouncing the "repressive actions" of security forces, whose
attack on protesters set off the worst unrest here since the aftermath of
the 1979 Islamic revolution.

But Janati, secretary of Iran's powerful constitutional council, said at
weekly prayers at Tehran university that the attack had simply been the
work of the officers involved and denied any link between the security
forces and the government.

His remarks follow days of vows by the Iranian leadership that there will
be no change in Tehran's stance toward the United States, which officials
charge with meddling in Iran's internal affairs.

Iran's foreign ministry on Thursday denounced US calls to free 13 Iranian
Jews facing the death sentence on charges of spying for Israel and
cautioned Washington over getting involved in the matter.

Earlier in the week influential former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
accused both the United States and Israel of using "all the great power at
their disposal" to hinder Iran's efforts to improve relations with the rest
of the world.

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has final say on all
matters of state, warned relations with the United States and Israel were
"impossible."

He said Washington was opposed to the existence of a powerful Islamic state
"in the world political arena ... and that is why it is impossible to come
to terms with it."

Reformist President Mohammad Khatami, who has in the past left the door
open to better ties with Washington, said the United States is "unjust" and
remains separated from Iran by a "wall of mistrust."

"The Americans have done us a great deal of harm and it is only natural
that, until these injustices are repaired by acts and not merely words, the
wall of mistrust between us will endure," he said.

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

Date: Sat, 21 Aug 1999 22:35:48 -0500
From: aryopirouznia <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: AFP: Iran excoriates fresh charges of involvement in 1994 bombing in
Argentina

Iran excoriates fresh charges of involvement in 1994 bombing in Argentina

TEHRAN, Aug 21 (AFP) - Iran slammed Saturday as "baseless" charges renewed
by Argentine Vice President Carlos Ruckauf that Tehran was behind the deadly
1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires.
"These repeated accusations are irresponsible and baseless and aim at
creating a propaganda campaign," foreign ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi
said, quoted by the official IRNA news agency.

"It seems as though Carlos Ruckauf, who was Argentina's interior minister at
the time of the bombing, is now looking to cover up the weaknesses of the
ministry at the time," Asefi said.

Ruckauf said in a written deposition delivered Friday to Argentine federal
judge Juan Galeano: "Sectors of the Iranian government were responsible" for
the bombing of the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association headquarters.

The judge had asked Ruckauf to explain a public statement made two weeks ago
in which the vice president had said he knew who was responsible for the
July 18, 1994 blast, which killed 86 people and injured more than 200.

Ruckauf's claim was surprising, given that the official investigation of the
anti-Semitic attack has never moved past a group of civilians and local
police who are believed to have provided logistical support for the bombing.

Relations between Argentina and Iran soured three years ago when Buenos
Aires accused Tehran of supporting terrorists who bombed the Mutual
Association headquarters.

The two nations withdrew their ambassadors, leaving the diplomatic missions
in the hands of their charges d'affaires. However, Iran has continually
denied any connection to the biggest terrorist attack in Argentina, carried
out July 18, 1994.

That attack came just over two years after the Israeli Embassy in Buenos
Aires was bombed March 17, 1992, killing 29 and injuring 200.








http://www.iranmania.com/news/aug99/210899g.asp

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

Date: Sat, 21 Aug 1999 22:35:32 -0500
From: aryopirouznia <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: AFP: Argentine vice president attributes attack on Jews to Iran

Argentine vice president attributes attack on Jews to Iran

BUENOS AIRES, Aug 21 (AFP) - Argentine Vice President Carlos Ruckauf has
told judicial authorities that Iran was behind the 1994 bomb attack on a
Jewish center here that killed 86 and wounded 300.
"Sectors of the Iranian government were responsible," Ruckauf said in a
written deposition delivered Friday to federal judge Juan Galeano.

The Argentine government has long suspected that Iranian diplomats
masterminded the terrorist attack, bringing bilateral relations between
Argentina and Iran to their lowest point in history, but no links have been
proven.

Ruckauf added that, in his view, the killing of Jewish civilians in Buenos
Aires was "the consequence of the war that the State of Israel maintains
with its neighbors."

It is unusual for top government leaders to attribute terrorist attacks on
civilians as a regular consequence of war.

Though several of the nations neighboring Israel have declared war on the
Jewish state and supported groups bent on eliminating it, none are engaged
currently in overt military operations against Israel.

The judge had asked Ruckauf to explain a public statement made two weeks ago
in which the vice president had said he knew who was responsible for the
blast.

Ruckauf's claim was surprising, given that the official investigation of the
anti-Semitic attack has never moved past a group of civilians and local
police who are believed to have provided logistical support for the bombing.

The Argentine government has long suspected that Iranian diplomats
masterminded the terrorist attack, bringing bilateral relations between
Argentina and Iran to their lowest point in history, but no links have been
proven.

The powerful explosion that ripped through the Argentine Jewish Mutual
Association (AMIA) on July 18, 1994, came less than two years after the
Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires was bombed on March 17, 1992, killing 29 and
injuring 200.

http://www.iranmania.com/news/aug99/210899f.asp

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

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 20 Aug 1999 to 21 Aug 1999
***************************************************