Date: Aug 23, 1999 [ 0: 0: 1]

Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 21 Aug 1999 to 22 Aug 1999

From: Automatic digest processor

Return-Path: <owner-DNI-NEWS@D-N-I.ORG>
Delivered-To: farhad@ALGONET.SE
Received: (qmail 27452 invoked from network); 23 Aug 1999 09:00:51 +0200
Received: from (
by with SMTP; 23 Aug 1999 09:00:51 +0200
Received: from simorgh (simorgh [])
by (8.9.3/8.9.3) with ESMTP id AAA14984;
Mon, 23 Aug 1999 00:00:02 -0700 (PDT)
Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 23 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 - 21 Aug 1999 to 22 Aug 1999
To: Recipients of DNI-NEWS digests <DNI-NEWS@D-N-I.ORG>

There are 9 messages totalling 792 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. AFP: Iran's top judge names more conservatives to key judicial posts.
2. Reuters: Iran Jewish deputy urges speedy trial for Jews.
3. AFP: Iranian minister says paper "twisted" remarks on better ties with US
4. AFP: Iranian women take to the sky, finding "power" in paragliding.
5. Former Intelligence Minister now heads court
6. fwd: Solidarity Campaign with Iranian workers
8. CSM: Iran sanctifies misuse of power
9. fwd: Iranian Music Concerts Germany & Austria


Date: Sun, 22 Aug 1999 19:02:08 -0500
From: aryopirouznia <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: AFP: Iran's top judge names more conservatives to key judicial posts.

Iran's top judge names more conservatives to key judicial posts

TEHRAN, Aug 22 (AFP) - Iran's new top judge has appointed two more
conservatives to key judiciary posts in his first week since taking office,
the official IRNA news agency reported Sunday.
Ayatollah Mahmud Hashemi-Shahrudi tapped former intelligence ministry chief
Ghorbanali Dorri-Najafabadi as head of Iran's administrative court, a
powerful tribunal which hears cases involving state officials and also
maintains oversight powers on the disbursement of government funds.

He replaces Ayatollah Abolfazl Mussavi-Tabrizi, who was named
Hashemi-Shahrudi's top legal advisor, IRNA said.

Dorri-Najafabadi resigned as intelligence chief earlier this year after the
assassination of several leading dissidents and intellectuals, which was
blamed on a group of rogue intelligence officers.

The new judiciary chief, who took office on Tuesday, two days later
reappointed leading conservatives in their posts as prosecutor general and
supreme court president, and re-shuffled other members of Iran's
conservative-dominated judiciary to key deputy positions.

Ayatollah Morteza Moqtadai will remain prosecutor general and Ayatollah
Mohammad Mohammadi-Ghilani is to stay on as head of Iran's supreme court,
state radio reported.

Hashemi-Shahrudi has pledged to steer the judiciary clear of any political
and factional disputes and has vowed to reform the nation's courts in
accordance with a request from President Mohammad Khatami.


Date: Sun, 22 Aug 1999 19:02:34 -0500
From: aryopirouznia <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Reuters: Iran Jewish deputy urges speedy trial for Jews.

Iran Jewish deputy urges speedy trial for Jews

TEHRAN, Aug 22 (Reuters) - A Jewish member of Iran's parliament has called
on authorities to speed up the trial of 13 Jews charged with spying for
Israel, a newspaper said on Sunday.

Manouchehr Eliasi was quoted as saying a speedy trial could help ease
pressure on Iran from Western countries campaigning for the release of the
Jews, arrested in the southern city of Shiraz early this year.

He told Peyam-e Azadi newspaper that families of the detainees had said
their prison conditions had improved.

``Their situation has improved and they are now permitted to be visited by
their relatives, something they were not allowed before,'' he said.

``I think the best solution is to investigate this case as quickly as
possible and get it over with. We should not provide excuses to Western
countries, which have been campaigning against the Islamic republic for
years,'' he said.

Iranian officials have not identified the suspects or the nature of the
evidence against them. They have accused the group of military espionage, a
charge which can carry a death sentence.

``What we want is a quick intervention of the judiciary in the case. The
more this case lasts, the more controversy it causes,'' Eliasi added.

Iran's judiciary on Wednesday denied a report from the U.S.-based World
Jewish Congress that the Jews were to go on trial last week.

Western governments and humanitarian groups have voiced concern over the
fate of the 13 and both Israel and the United States have denied any
connection with them.

Iran says the arrest had nothing to do with their religion and it has
promised a fair trial. But it has said it would not accept foreign
``meddling'' in the case.


Date: Sun, 22 Aug 1999 19:02:50 -0500
From: aryopirouznia <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: AFP: Iranian minister says paper "twisted" remarks on better ties with

Iranian minister says paper "twisted" remarks on better ties with US

TEHRAN, Aug 22 (AFP) - Iran's deputy foreign minister scrambled to play down
press reports Sunday that he had said it was time for the Islamic republic
to consider re-establishing relations with the United States.
Mohsen Aminzadeh, quickly reacting to a story in Sunday's moderate Neshat
daily, said in a statement carried by the official IRNA news agency that the
paper had "twisted and misinterpreted" his comments.

He did not specify what exactly had been misinterpreted, adding only that
his remarks, reportedly made at a meeting in Tehran of Iran's diplomats
posted abroad, had been "confidential."

Neshat said Aminzadeh had told the diplomats that the famous Iranian
revolutionary slogan "Death to the USA" was no longer politically effective
and that Tehran should re-consider the question of its ties with Washington.

"The slogan has lost its effectiveness ... and we in Iran should open a new
chapter in the debate on re-opening relations with the United States," he
said according to the paper.

"The Americans want to get some concessions from us ... and we also must get
some concessions from them, but get them from a position of strength,"
Neshat said he told the diplomats.

"Our way of dealing with the United States has changed just as the American
attitude toward us has changed."

The reported remarks follow several days of strong statements by the Iranian
leadership that there would be no change in Tehran's stance toward the
United States despite its pursuit of detente in international relations.

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has final say on all
matters of state, warned last week that relations with the United States
were "impossible." "Our problem with the United States is not a question of

Economic progress in Iran hurts the United States, and if the Islamic model
in Iran succeeds it would encourage other countries to follow suit," he

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."

On Tuesday, President Mohammad Khatami lashed out at the "contradictory
attitudes" of the US leadership, saying there was "more democracy in Iran
than in many countries with which the United States maintains close

"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.

But the reformist president also underlined that Iran has "a lot of respect
for the American people and we are favourable to cultural, social and
sport-related relations between the two countries."

In a 1998 CNN interview Khatami called for better relations with the United
States, a move that angered many conservatives and hardliners.

Relations between Iran and the United States were broken off in 1980,
several months after the November 4, 1979 hostage-taking at the US embassy
in Tehran.


Date: Sun, 22 Aug 1999 19:03:04 -0500
From: aryopirouznia <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: AFP: Iranian women take to the sky, finding "power" in paragliding.

Iranian women take to the sky, finding "power" in paragliding

TEHRAN, Aug 22 (AFP) - Dressed in the required headscarves and body-length
cloaks, a team of 20 young Iranian women has been taking to the skies as
part of the newest sport fad for females in the Islamic republic --
"It's fascinating. You just have to keep from getting scared," said Nadia, a
Tehran resident in her 20s, adjusting the helmet over her Islamic veil as
she prepared for another flight from a hilltop just northwest of Tehran.

"I had always dreamed of paragliding alone in the sky," she said, stressing
that the exhilarating and even dangerous ride gives her a feeling of

Roughly a dozen members of the team, aged between 13 and 33, were preparing
for their debut flights on a recent Sunday after passing their on-the-ground
training course in the sport, a rugged combination of parachuting and

The women were accompanied by two female trainers and three guides as they
prepared for their first taste of solo soaring off a hilltop in Ab-Ali,
close to the capital.

Once their gear is in order, and their cloaks safely tucked away underneath
their harnesses, the women move slowly along the hillside, pick up speed --
and then launch themselves into the blue.

Paragliding is quickly becoming the sport of choice for young Iranian women
whose sporting options have been limited since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Iran's strict version of sharia, or Islamic law, means they must wear their
headdress and cloak at all times in public, limiting their sports to those
activities -- skiing, shooting, riding -- not unduly hampered by their

Faezeh Hashemi, daughter of former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and
one of the leading promoters of women's sports in the Islamic republic, said
earlier this year that women's football was also becoming very popular.

Since Iran qualified for last year's football World Cup, she said, women are
taking a growing interest in the sport, both in Iran's big cities and its
smaller towns.

But for now, in the capital at least, paragliding is the newest trend,
taking women high into the air and away from their daily routines.

Sima, preparing for her first flight after passing her training course, said
she was ready to put her knowledge to the test as she strapped on her
helmet and prepared to soar.

"We understand the theory of it, but today is when we get serious," she
said. Just a few steps later, she was aloft.


Date: Mon, 23 Aug 1999 01:42:38 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Former Intelligence Minister now heads court

TEHRAN, Aug 22 (AFP) - Iran's new top judge has appointed two more
conservatives to key judiciary posts in his first week since taking office, the
official IRNA news agency reported Sunday.

Ayatollah Mahmud Hashemi-Shahrudi tapped former intelligence ministry chief
Ghorbanali Dorri-Najafabadi as head of Iran's administrative court, a powerful
tribunal which hears cases involving state officials and also maintains
oversight powers on the disbursement of government funds.

He replaces Ayatollah Abolfazl Mussavi-Tabrizi, who was named
Hashemi-Shahrudi's top legal advisor, IRNA said.

Dorri-Najafabadi resigned as intelligence chief earlier this year after the
assassination of several leading dissidents and intellectuals, which was blamed
on a group of rogue intelligence officers.

The new judiciary chief, who took office on Tuesday, two days later reappointed
leading conservatives in their posts as prosecutor general and supreme court
president, and re-shuffled other members of Iran's conservative-dominated
judiciary to key deputy positions.

Ayatollah Morteza Moqtadai will remain prosecutor general and Ayatollah
Mohammad Mohammadi-Ghilani is to stay on as head of Iran's supreme court, state
radio reported.

Hashemi-Shahrudi has pledged to steer the judiciary clear of any political and
factional disputes and has vowed to reform the nation's courts in accordance
with a request from President Mohammad Khatami.


Date: Sun, 22 Aug 1999 21:41:05 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: fwd: Solidarity Campaign with Iranian workers

NEWS BULETTIN: WORKERS Protest in Iran\worker

Aug 1999

Solidarity Campaign with Iranian workers\worker email :

Victims of accidents at work
In Iran 10,000 workers die every year as a result of accidents at work.
It is difficult to imagine that in a country with 65 million
inhabitants, every year 10,000 workers loose their lives in accidents at
work and in total there are 150,000 incidents in the workplace leading
to complete or partial loss of limb. However officials of the Islamic
Republic admit that these are accurate statistics. Alireza Mahjoub, the
director of 'House of Labour' a government workers organisation and
member of the Islamic parliament gave these statistics in Rasht on the
18th of April 99 adding that these figures do not include incidents that
have not resulted in death or loss of limb. In other words these
figures do not include death or illness caused by pollution in the work
According to Dr Ghazanfar Forouzanfar another government official , over
30 % of carpet weavers in Khorassan and Birjand ( in Western provinces)
suffer from brittle bones, pulmonary illnesses and eye problems caused
by their work. Given that most carpet workshops in Iran are in small
humid underground rooms, one can imagine working conditions in this
However the most worrying statistics, concerns the 10,000 deaths last
year; of these only the families of only 10 i.e. one in a hundred ,have
succeeded in getting any damages , and in the cases of injuries the
proportion is the same , incapacity benefit has been given to less than
one in hundred. If anything these figures, given by officials of the
Islamic regime, underestimate the extent of such accidents.
One of the officials of the ministry of Social services recently told
the paper Hamshahri that in the first six months of last year , 5952
workers insured by this organisation suffered from accidents at work,
2900 were careless . Of this total 52 died as a result of the accident
and 170 resulted in severe injuries. In other words 5% of those covered
by insurance, got any payment.
As we wrote in the first issue of this bulletin, In Iran a small
percentage of workers benefit from labour legislation and new
legislation proposed to the parliament about 3 months ago , exempts
workshops of 3 employees or less from labour legislation and therefore
any insurance against accidents at work. However , although the number
of accidents at work is very high, the issue is not simply the use of
legal means to secure the safety of the workforce. In other words , even
if the necessary insurance cover existed, the main issue remains
conditions that lead to these cruel deaths or loss limbs. According to
the newspaper Salam, in its 7th Jan 99 issue , for thousands and
thousands of small and large workshops in Tehran , there are only 20
safety inspectors. Given the existing bureaucracy and widespread
corruption, it is safe to assume that there is almost no systematic
control and inspection of safety at work in Iran.
In addition the privatisation of many factories, workshops has worsened
situation at a time when bankruptcy and depression is dominant. For
example, the death of 30 miners in Sangrood Boushan ( a mine in
northern Iran ) as a result of gas explosion was caused by the sale of
safety equipment , including equipment for releasing gas trapped in the
mine, by unscrupulous private owners who sold the safety equipment for
profits. The paper Slam adds in this issue that every year millions of
tomans are spent on treatment of workers who have become ill as a result
of their job or in accidents, while 1/5 of these costs will suffice to
avoid the conditions prompting accident or illness caused by work.

About the campaign
The campaign in Solidarity with Iranian workers has been set up to
provide regular information about the struggles of Iranian workers to
save jobs, for better salaries, for the right to establish independent
organisations. We believe that workers demonstration on 1st of May 1999
protests by Iranian workers against changes to the labour law have
created new conditions in Iran. We aim to bring news of these events and
seek support from International organisations, trade unions and workers
organisations throughout the world.

Protest march -demonstration by workers in Farsa Company
On the third of July , 200 workers from the construction materials plant
Farsa in Savjebalagh , stopped work in protest at lack of payment of
salaries and bonuses for over six months and walked 12 kilometres
between the plant and Savjehbalagh. The workers then staged protests in
front of the offices of the local governor as this plant comes under the
authority of the state owned bank of industry and mining. The
authorities of this bank had started rumours regarding the redundancy of
most of the workforce and created more uncertainty. Workers protested
at these conditions.

News of Workers protests
Protests by workers in Azadan Shoe
Workers in Azadan shoe factory , in Shahr Alborz industrial estate near
Ghazvin, sent a letter of protest to state authorities, complaining
about lack of payment of salaries and bonuses. These workers have
received no payment since January 1999. The company was originally state
owned, under a government organisation called Imam's support committee.
Like many such plants it was privatised in 1997, the ownership has
changed hands a number of times and the company is facing serious
financial problems.

Sit in by Naghshiran workers-
On the 19th of June, workers in the Naghshiran
machine made carpet manufacturers, in Shahr Alborz , who have received
no salaries or bonuses for the last 3 months, staged a sit in front of
this plant a, stopping traffic for a few hours on this busy road.
This plant is part of a state owned foundation, called the 15th Khoradad
foundation , and it is rumoured that the foundation intends to sack
half of the workers. Although workers representatives have expressed
their protest a number of times to local authorities, there are no signs
that their demands will be met. The security forces were deployed to
break the sit-in.

Strike by Hospital workers in Abhar Hospital: Tens of ancillary workers
in Abhar hospital stopped work for two hours on the morning of 22 June
1999, and demonstrated outside the hospital protesting that their
salaries haven't been paid for over 3 months. A few days before this
strike, when Dr Mehdi, deputy minister of health visited the hospital,
he told workers: " the problems regarding transfer of ancillary and
support work to the private sector have not been resolved. When one of
the workers asked if the length of time taken for these negotiations
isn't the fault of ministry, he responded: if you didn't want to, you
(the workers) shouldn't have worked!
`In recent years many ministries, government offices, hospitals and
state owned factories and plants have contracted out their support
services to the private sector. The workers who are employed by this
sector usually get 3 months contracts and are therefore constantly
facing redundancies and are deprived of the most rights. Workers in
Abhar hospital say that over the last few years, in 1996, 97, 98 they
have gone to the regional offices of health authorities complaining that
they have not received any salaries, without getting any answers. Their
last protest was in May 99, when many workers went on strike.

Protest by office workers in Khalkhal schools: Office workers in
Khalkhal schools have been doing the work of two people for the last few
years. However they do not receive any payment for overtime work. A
group of such workers wrote a letter to the press in late June, and went
to the local education office to complain about lack of overtime pay.
They also demanded that the number of employees in this section should
be added so that all the work can be done. The education office told the
workers that because of a budget deficit they couldn't pay the workers
for overtime work or employ more workers.
Protest by workers in Aryan Carpet
150 workers from Aryan carpet factory in Abhar, signed a petition to
complain that they have not received any payment for New Year bonuses
for last year. The owner of this plant reduced the annual bonuses of the
workers by 20% claiming it was for tax purposes. The workers are
demanding an investigation into this claim.

Strike by municipality workers in Abadan: Workers of Abadan municipality
have gone on strike, protesting at lack of payment of salaries. The
workers then staged a demonstration in front of the local governor's
offices to express their anger and dispersed after the authorities
promised to follow up their demands.
Protest by Saf industrial workers
In Saveh, workers from Saf industries sent a letters of protest
regarding lack of payment of their salaries to the press and media. In
this letter the workers wrote: In this New Year (since March 99) we
haven't received any wages. The workers pointed out that most of them
rent their homes and have to pay monthly rent , but the owner keeps
giving them vague promises and they face eviction from their homes.

Protests by expelled workers: Some of the workers in Khomeini hospital
in Oroumiyeh, wrote a letter to the press on the 12th of July
complaining that they face destitution as they do not have any
employment insurance and don't receive any unemployment benefit.
These workers wrote: " some of us have worked for 20 years in this
hospital how can we accept that after all this time, we are made
redundant with one letter , with no pay ... when we worked we paid
regularly to a social security fund so that we could use this fund in an
emergency, however those responsible for the fund have informed all
workers that there will be no payment.

Sit in by workers in Wool factory in Isfahan:
On Monday 19th July 99 , workers in wool industries in Isfahan , staged
a sit in front of the regional Labour office, protesting that the
construction of a new site for this factory, outside Isfahan had been
The workers complained that they have been unemployed for a month and
now it is not clear if the site designated for this plant has a license
for food manufacturing or will continue as a wool plant , if the
construction is ever finished.

Non payment of salaries in Khouzestan factories : Most factories in
Khouzestan province have not paid any salaries to their workforce for 3
to 5 months, these include tube manufacturers of Khouzestan, Koushan
factory , agricultural plant, Pars hospital and a metal plant which
has been closed down.
Expulsion of 269 workers in Mahabad
after years of working for Ghods road Construction Company in Mahabad,
269 workers were made redundant in early July , as this company was
This company was set up in early eighties to help construct roads in the
unreachable section of Azarbaijan province. The responsibility for such
companies has moved to another government office and as a result of the
closure of this section , the workers have lost their jobs and their
families face destitution. None of these workers were contract workers,
they had permanent jobs and qualify for social security benefits ,
however they have been denied any payment.

Explosion in Ahvaz Oil Line: on the 22nd of May 99 an explosion rocked
the oil line in Ahvaz, injuring 70 workers, 30 of whom were in a serious
condition caused by severe burns. This explosion is not exceptional in
Iran. every day tens of workers loose their life because of lack of
safety and even according to government statistics, every year 10,000 of
workers loose their life because of lack of safety at work.

An accident a day in Ghom:
According to a report in the paper Kar va kargar( work and worker) 7th
July 99 published in Tehran, workers in Ghom's industrial plant say that
due to lack of safety equipment , accidents resulting from work in these
units is endangering their physical and mental health. The workers say
that employers ignore their demands for improving working conditions .
this complaint is at a time when the officials of the office of labour
admit that there is at least one accident a day in the workplace in
Many productions in Ghom deal with stone works, carpentry , ...which can
be particularly dangerous. One stone worker said : noise pollution is a
minor problem , many other factors endanger our lives. Workers in the
textile factories in Ghom complain about noise pollution. According to
one worker in the blanket manufacturing company the old and non-standard
equipment in this plant makes noise well above accepted levels,
deafening the workers and causing mental illness. Mostafa Kaviani , who
is in charge of the health and safety admits that the situation in many
plants is deplorable and 300 accidents in one year , some causing loss
of limb have created an intolerable situation. Another industrial
expert told the same paper that the age of machinery, their non-standard
use endangers the lives of the workers.

Tehran : two weeks after the students protest in July, it was announced
that 2 people who died as a result of injuries caused by the security
forces were workers. Behrouz FrajZadeh was a 53-year sold worker who had
been injured in the demonstrations in Laleh Zar Ave. The other was a
worker called Mahmoud Khabazan who died from his injuries in hospital.

Iranian year 1377 , workers struggles go beyond the factory

>From the 181 protests and strikes by workers in 1377 ( March 1998 -
March 1999)
there are 63 cases of demonstrations and protests outside the factory ,
in front
of local governor's offices, ministries and other government offices in
cities and provinces as well 46 cases of
of workers strikes. Inevitably the 181 cases we know about are only a
fraction of workers protests during this period and only cover major
protests covered by the press and the media. On the basis of these
figures last year was the year when workers decided that strikes, even
occupation of the factory has little effect and took their protest
against unbearable living conditions to the streets . The main reason
behind most of these protests was the lack of payment of salaries by
state owned, semi private and private firms and were directed at
government officials or state organisations . This in conditions when
even if the salaries were paid and increased 3 or 4 times , they would
only be sufficient to provide enough to survive given the cost of living
in Iran. The economic situation is so bad that the current situation
where most plants, factories don't pay their workers cannot be
sustained for much longer .Workers demands in 1377 ( March 98 -99) The
principle demands !
of Iranian workers in this period can be summarised as follows: payment
of salaries on time, the right to keep their jobs an end to closure of
plants and sackings. In total , 100 of the 181 protest were concerned
with unpaid wages , 90 of these cases were to do with unpaid salaries, 6
cases of unpaid New Year bonuses in the Iranian year 1376 ( March 1997)
and 4 cases of unpaid wages in new Year bonuses for 1998. There were 77
cases of protest at sackings and factory closure, 33 cases of protest at
factory closure and 18 cases of protest at sackings. According to our
figures only in 3 cases , management responded to the protest and
accepted the workers demands, in 9 cases they promised to deal with the
workers demands , in 7 cases military forces were called to arrest
protesting workers and in 2 cases workers were threatened with job loss
and in 2 other cases workers who protested lost their jobs. Although it
is not possible to obtain accurate information about all workers !
protests but it does look as if the majority of these protest fail to
achieve their aims.
Inevitably as the principle of paying wages , basic demands such as
workers demands for the right to work, to live , demands for wage rises
and for basic social welfare are rare and marginalised. In all the
struggles of these twelve months there were only 4 cases of national
bargaining. , 8 cases dealing with grading of jobs, 15 cases of demand
for increased salaries and 18 cases of social benefits.
The issue of wage rises and the council of labourThe supreme Council of
Labour in Iran , normally sets the minimum wage and arbitrates on wage
rises , however over the last few years , given widespread bankruptcy
, this council has decided that the issue of wage rises is meaningless.


Date: Sun, 22 Aug 1999 21:41:18 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>


PARIS 20TH Aug. (IPS) Ever since the British Empire sat foot on Iranian
it immediately established close relations with religious circles, as, on
years, the clerics would represent the most important and numerous
community of
the backward society, extending their poisonous influence over kings and

For this reason, and as the close collaboration between the corrupt mullahs
the British colonialists became evident, with the Intelligence Service placing
his own men in every senior ayatollah's house and school, the akhounds were
portrayed in Iranians imagination as "foxes with the Union Jack painted under
their beards".

Getting orders, and money, from the Kings or Queens of England, London became,
and continues to be, the mullah's Mecca.

During the last presidential elections of 1997, Majles Speaker ayatollah Ali
Akbar Nateq-Nouri, the candidate of the conservatives was so certain about his
victory that he send his would be Foreign Minister, Mr. Ardeshir Larijani to
London to discuss future collaboration with Mr. Nick Brown, then the senior
British diplomat in charge of Iranian affairs.

Eventually, Mr. Nateq-Nouri was crushed by his rival, Mohammad Khatami while,
a year latter, the same Nick Brown was appointed as the British Charge
d'Affairs in Tehran before being upgraded two months ago as HIM's first
Ambassador to the Court of ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i.

To prove this old, indefectible allegiance to the Brits, even though the
has sunken and England has become a US "poodle", according to an Arab saying,
the Islamic parliament of Iran adopted on 16th August a decree abolishing the
annual public holiday marking the anniversary of nationalisation of the oil
industries on 19 March 1951 and replacing it by the death of Fatemeh, the
daughter of the prophet Mohammad.

The date, dear to Iranians and referred to also as "Taking Off the Hands" (of
the British from Iranian oil industries), marks the beginning of the end of
half a century British domination over Iran.

The decision to abolish once for all the cherished holiday provoked such a
strong wave of indignation and wrath among Iranians both inside and outside
country that less than 24 hours, the deputies, encouraged by the Speaker,
retreated back and hastily re-installed the date as it was before.

Mr. Nateq-Nouri described the ill-fated move as "unfortunate" and a "big
mistake due to ignorance of some of the deputies".

"Those who introduced the bill and voted for it ignored the sensitivity of the
issue and failed to realise the impact of the decision over the public
opinion", the Speaker told the leader-controlled television.

The pro-government Ettelaat paper described the decision as "an insult to the
people of Iran and their years of anti-colonial struggle."

Mr. Ezzatollah Sahabi, the Editor of the "Irane Farda" (Iran of Tomorrow)
and a
follower of the late Dr Mohammad Mossadeq who nationalised the oil industries
after a long political and judicial battle against Britain, then still a major
world power, expressed the general public's view by saying that with its
decision, the conservative-controlled Islamic parliament confirmed publicly
both the clerics hate of nationalism as well as the veracity of the old
belief that they are the servants of England.

Oil Minister Bizhan Namdar-Zanganeh said he had immediately warned the
over their unpopular decision and called on the Speaker to reverse the tide.

Informed sources told Iran Press Service that Mr. Namdar-Zanganeh had in fact
informed both the President and the leader that if the decision to abolish the
oil nationalisation public holiday is not scraped immediately and announced
publicly, the whole oil industry would be paralysed by a general strike that
could produce devastating impacts on the economy and political stability of

Relations with Britain, which had been strained for 10 years, have improved
recently, after the Iranian government undertook not to try to implement the
death sentence against British writer Salman Rushdie pronounced by Iran's
former spiritual leader, ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. ENDS OIL NATIONALISATION


Date: Sun, 22 Aug 1999 21:41:39 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: CSM: Iran sanctifies misuse of power

Sunday, August 22, 1999
Christian Science Monitor

Iran sanctifies misuse of power
By Richard C. Hottelet

Things have been quiet in Iran since the student riots of July. The
conservative clergy that runs the country quickly put the lid back on, but the
next outbreak is only a matter of time. Demonstrators clamored for freedom of
the press and the rule of law. Their fury showed the urgency and depth of
demands for nothing less than the right to crack the official mold and live
their own lives.

The background is President Mohamad Khatami's struggle for liberal reform
against the clerical establishment's refusal to change. Parliamentary passage
of a sharply restrictive press law sounded the alarm. The banning of Salam,
oldest liberal Tehran newspaper, touched things off.

With national elections due next spring, the regime will not allow its critics
full freedom to campaign. The next parliament will either give Khatami the
support he needs for modernization and democracy or back the Islamic system
brought in by Ayatollah Khomeini 20 years ago. For the people of Iran,
especially the youth, this is an issue of destiny. The voting age, male and
female, is 15.

Iran's condition today is dismal in every respect. Behind restraints on human
rights - in dress and behavior - is an economic decline that affects the
realities of life.

Since 1979, the population has grown from 35 million to 65 million. The
hasn't grown near enough to provide the jobs and opportunities of a normal
existence. Unemployment is high, and so are prices. Young people hoping to
marry face a housing shortage.

Despite a recent revival of oil prices, the economy is a shambles. Current
difficulties cry out for diversification to create jobs - and for foreign
investment to create that diversification and those jobs. But the state
channels scarce resources to oil and gas production. Energy is the largest
hard-currency export but is not labor intensive. Investors are repelled by
prevailing incompetence, corruption, and mismanagement.

The revolution put most of the economy, some estimates say 80 percent, into
hands of the bloated government which devours subsidies. Gasoline prices are
the lowest in the world, but consumption outstrips Iranian refinery capacity,
so the government must import some gasoline.

Enormous conglomerates like the state foundation that administers the
confiscated business properties of the former shah bumble along as they
Privatization to shake things up is hardly even talked about. An agricultural
country, Iran must import food.

Observers speak of systemic corruption by a network of clerics determined to
remain in power and those the clerics select to run the economic machinery.
These people are chosen not for competence, but for loyalty. They are rewarded
with contracts, jobs, and privileges.

The judiciary is under right-wing control. The baseej goon squads that
broke up
the July demonstrations are part of a security apparatus under the authority
not of the president but of the supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Ali

In these circumstances, the call for reform, for freedom of expression, and
rule of law has profound practical significance: to create a level playing
field for individuals, entrepreneurs, and investors.

The reformers aren't challenging Islam but the misuse of religion to sanctify
the perversion of power.

Their success would help to stabilize a region whose wobbly structures are a
matter of serious concern to Europe and the US.

Two decades after the infamous seizure of the US embassy and its staff in
Tehran, the Clinton administration expresses some appreciation of what Khatami
is trying to do. But the US is a spectator of events. As a player, it would
have influence. But its policy is still to isolate and punish Iran. The
clerics, for whom an external enemy is a propaganda asset, can still raise a
cry of "Death to America."

*Richard C. Hottelet, a longtime foreign correspondent for CBS, writes on


Date: Sun, 22 Aug 1999 22:05:40 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: fwd: Iranian Music Concerts Germany & Austria

Iranian Music Concerts Germany & Austria

Original performances by
Mohsen KERAMATI (AvAz)
Hamid MOTABASSEM (tAr & setAr)
BehnAm SAMANI (tombak & daf)

First part : TchahArgAh
with H. Motabassem compositions ;
Second part : RAstpandjgAh
with A. TahmAssebi compositions.

MUNCHEN : 27 August
info : (0)89-5024914
WIEN : 28 August
info : 1-5872431
HEIDELBERG : 3 September
info : (0)6203-660373
DUSSELDORF : 5 September
info : (0)221-219090
FRANKFURT : 11 September
info : (0)69-656644
KOLN : 12 September
info : (0)221-219090

for general informations, please
phone 00-33-320-780918 (France)


End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 21 Aug 1999 to 22 Aug 1999