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There are 7 messages totalling 998 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. IPS: ARE THERE SYRIAN MOLES IN THE IRANIAN RULING ESTABLISHMENT?
2. Demonstartions and Gatherings About the Human Rights Abuses in Iran
3. Amnesty International: Flogging/Torture of Gholamreza Qobeh
4. New York Times: Iran Confronts a Long-Hidden Problem: Drugs
5. IPS: Are there Syrian Moles in the Iranian Ruling Establishment?
6. Le Monde (France): L'ONU condamne l'utilisation des enfants-soldats (UN
Condemn the use of Children-Soldiers aged below 18)
7. OFFICIALS FED WRONG INFORMATION TO LEADER AND PRESIDENT

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

Date: Sat, 28 Aug 1999 20:15:29 -0500
From: aryopirouznia <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: IPS: ARE THERE SYRIAN MOLES IN THE IRANIAN RULING ESTABLISHMENT?

ARE THERE SYRIAN MOLES IN THE IRANIAN RULING ESTABLISHMENT?

By Safa Haeri and exclusive to IPS

PARIS 28TH Aug. (IPS) Are "moles" in the Iranian Islamic regime helping the
Syrian government squeezing concessions from the ruling clerics to the
disadvantage of Iran itself?

The questions has once again aroused as reports are surfacing that Tehran
and Damascus are about to sign wide-ranging military, intelligence and
economic agreements very similar of the one linking Ankara and Tel-Aviv,
but, in this case, primarily serving Syrian interests, and prior to the
possible start of peace talks between Syria and Israel.

In keeping with the Iranian ruling clerics and the Syrian regime's usual and
typical penchant for secrecy, the negotiations are held behind tightly
closed doors, away from the people's eyes, according to informed sources.

Relations are cold between Ankara with both neighbours Iran and Syria over a
number of issues, the most important and sensitive of them for Turkey is the
claim that Tehran and Damascus supports the Turkish Kurdish separatist
organisation PKK.

Menaced by Ankara of an all out attack, President Hafez Asad promptly
expelled from Syria Mr. Abdollah Ocalan, the leader of the PKK and shut down
the organisation's offices and training bases in Syria and Lebanon.

Mr. Ocalan was eventually arrested last February in Kenya and is now
awaiting his trial in a Turkish prison island.

Ankara is now addressing similar demands to Iran, urging the ruling
ayatollahs to close their borders to PKK's peshmergas.

Last month, Turkish jets bombed the vicinity of the border town of
Piranshahr, killing 5 peasants and wounding another 10, according to
Iranians

Tehran denies that the PKK has bases in its soil.

Observers also noted the notable absence of both Iran and Syria among the
rescue teams that rushed from all over the world to the help of Turkish
population hit by the recent earthquake, this compared with Israel that
hours after the tragedy, dispatched groups of rescuers and a fully equipped
field hospital.

Mr. Mohammad Arasi, a US-based political expert on Iranian relations with
Syria, Turkey and the newly independent states of Central Asia, says the new
agreements are "facilitated" by the presence in Iran of Syrian "moles" most
of them "recruited" years ago by the Syrian "estekhbarat", or the
intelligence services, when, as young activists, they were fighting the
former Imperial regime of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, using Damascus as
their "hub" of activities, some of them now occupying top positions in
Iranian religious, civilian, military security and intelligence
establishments.

There were nationalist-islamists people like Mr. Hasan Habibi, the present
first Vice President, the group of Mr. Jalaleddin Farsi, who's candidacy to
the first post revolutionary presidential election was rejected because of
his Afghan origins, the hojatoleslam Mohammad Montazeri, the maverick son of
the grand ayatollah Hosseinali Montazeri, killed in the explosion of the
then ruling Islamic Republic Party HQ with more than 80 others regime's
dignitaries.

Mr. Ali Shams Ardakani, a former ambassador to Kuwait expelled from the
Sheikhdom, Hussein Shariatmadari, the Information Ministry's high ranking
agent appointed by the leader as the Editor of the hard line daily "Keyhan",
Mr. Hussein Sheikholeslam, a former Deputy Foreign Minister, Mr. Sadeq
Qotbzadeh, executed in 1980 on orders from the grand ayatollah Ruhollah
Khomeini after he admitted to be preparing a coup, were part of other groups
of anti-Shah activists.

Formed and trained by the former KGB and it's then Egyptian associates
immediately after President Hafez Asad took power following a military coup,
the Syrian secret service is probably one of the very few, if not the only
intelligence machine that has remained intact, unaffected by the collapse of
the Soviet Union nor the dramatic changes in the Middle East, working on the
same pattern, keeping its vital ties with Moscow and possibly using same old
moles, observes one Western counter-intelligence officer with years of
experience with Arab intelligence organisations, most of them created by
KGB.

Does the existence of these moles explain the privileged and the very
particular situation Syria enjoys in Tehran? What compels the Iranian
Islamic regime to be so endlessly generous in granting the Syrian Baathist
leader's every wish? What seductive charms make the poor, isolated, despotic
regime of Damascus so attractive to the Iranian cleric's eyes as to make the
Iranian officials nod their assent to its every request?

Mr. Arasi thinks so. "The boundless friendship of the Islamic Republic
leader's with the Syrian regime is not in keeping with any of their declared
foreign policy principles, as the ruling clerics have deemed to overthrow
nationalist, secular and socialist governments to be their religious duty",
he observed, talking to Iran Press Service on the phone.

Government officials in Tehran confirm that ever since the victory of the
Islamic revolution in 1979, Syria has always occupied a strategic situation
in Iran, benefiting immensely from the mullahs largess, that includes an
uninterrupted flow of free or cheap oil and loans which have never been
repaid, debts estimated at between 6 to 10 billions US Dollars, according to
various sources, all of them unofficial, since there exist any official
figures.

Iran also sends every year hundreds of thousands of pilgrims to Syria to
visit the shrine of Zeinab, the sister of Hussein, the Sh'ites most revered
imam, bringing millions of Dollars for the Syrian's empty treasury.

And unlike other Arab regimes or organisations like Algeria or the PLO that
supported the newly created Islamic Republic during it's early years before
they became targets of the ayatollahs vindicate, Damascus "strategic
alliance" with Tehran has remained intact.

But what makes Iranians angry is that not only the Syrian leaders never did
returned this generosity, they even adopted a hostile attitude any time that
non Arab Iran was confronted with the Arabs on international scene, taking
the Arab's side in each and every one of their disputes with Iran.

On the United Arab Emirate's claim to the 3 islands of Abu Musa and the
Greater and Lesser Tunbs in the Persian Gulf, President Aasad always sided
with the UAE and the United States in condemning the "occupation" of the
islands by Tehran and urging the Iranians to hand them over to the Shaikhs.

On the Bahrain's accusations that the Islamic Republic supports the Island's
Sh'ite rebellion, Mr. Asad founds Iran guilty of involvement in the
Bahrain's internal affairs.

More painful and destructive than this, some Iranians, including army
officers, considers that the Syrian regime was one of the leading factors
behind the perpetuation of the ruinous eight-year Iran-Iraq war.

It was Asad and his cronies, they argue, who were feeding the new,
inexperienced, uneducated Iranian clerical rulers with wrong information
concerning the Iraqi military situation, whispering promises of Saddam
Hussein's imminent fall in Khomeiny's ears, egging him on to continue the
war, for, he and his unscrupulous associates needed the war to distract
Saddam, their bitter rival and foe, hopping for his downfall thanks to the
hundreds of thousands of Iranians ready to pay for it with their lives.

"This policy of fraternity with the Syrian ruling Baath Party, and Hafez
Asad, more radical, brutal and irreligious than Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi
Baath branch, hints at "moles" within the Iranian ruling establishment and
raises questions like are there senior figures within the clerical regime,
especially the ones who used to wander freely between Damascus and Europe
before the Islamic revolution, have turned into official agents of the
Syrian intelligence machinery?" Mr. Arasi points out, reflecting the opinion
of many Iranians who ask themselves: "Why would Syria be able to squeeze so
many concessions out of the Iranian clerics?" END MOLES 28899

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

Date: Sat, 28 Aug 1999 20:18:12 -0500
From: aryopirouznia <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Demonstartions and Gatherings About the Human Rights Abuses in Iran

SMCCDI (www.iran-daneshjoo.org):

Demonstrations and gathering of different groups and associations
in support of the Students and for Condemnation of the Human Rights Abuses
in Iran.

A) New York (NY/USA)

Weekly Vigils in support of HR in Iran
Fifth Program: (Every Wednesday)

Wednesday September 1st,1999; From 04:00PM till 07:30 P.M.
In front of the Iranian mission to UN
622, 3rd Avenue, between 40th and 41st Street

B) Palo Alto-Stanford University (CA/USA)

Weekly Demonstration in support of the Arrested Students
7th Program (Every Thursday)
Thursday September 2nd, 1999; From 08:00 PM till 10:00 PM University
Avenue (Buger King Plaza)
Don't forget your colors of protest by putting White Ribbons
to your Car Antenna

C) Manhattan (NY/USA)

Thursday September 2nd,1999; From 7:00 PM till 09:00 PM HUNTER COLLEGE;
Thomas Hunter Building, Room 111 (Lexington Avenue between 68th and 69th
Streets, Manhattan)

D) Berkeley University (CA/USA)

Weekly picket line in Berkeley (every Saturday)
4th Program
Saturday September 4th, 1999; From 12:00 PM till 02:00 PM
UC Berkeley Entrance, corner of Bancroft and Telegraph

E) Palm Beach (FL/USA)

Schedule of Second Annual Gathering of Iranian Activists
Palm Beach Airport Hilton, West Palm Beach, Florida

September 10-12, 1999

This is the schedule of the Second Annual Gathering of Iranian Activists.
This schedule is subject to minor changes. Information about the
Gathering and registration follows the schedule.

Friday, September 10, 1999:
2:00-5:00 p.m.) Registration
5:00-6:00 p.m.) Reception and Opening Remarks, Members of Coordinating
Committee

6:00-7:00 p.m.) Self-organized Roundtables (topics for these roundtables
are proposed by one or more of the participants and are attended by others
who are interested in them. There are set times allocated for continuing
these roundtables on Saturday and Sunday. Last year, there were sessions
on poetry, literature, film making and political organizing.)

7:00 p.m.) Friday Night Main Panel: Discussing ways to further develop
relations between Iranian activists in the United States, Europe and
Canada, Panel organizer: Amir-Houshang Keshavarz-Sadr, Paris, France. A
number of other panelists from Europe, Canada and the United States will
contribute to this panel.

Saturday, September 11, 1999:
9:00-10:30 a.m.) Simultaneous Workshops 1&2:

Workshop #1: Ending Capital Punishment in Iran, Facilitator: Mohammad
Tajdolati, Toronto, Canada.

Workshop #2: Team Building Exercises (Facilitator: TBA)
11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.) Simultaneous Workshops 3&4:

Workshop # 3: An examination of Iranian women's insufficient presence and
participation in founding and/or organizing mixed-sex political and human
rights organizations/activities outside Iran, Facilitator: Azar Khounani,
Chicago, Illinois.

Workshop #4: Affirmation of identity for Americans with Iranian ancestry,
Facilitator: Amir Noormandi, Chicago, Illinois.
12:30-2:00 p.m.) Lunch Break
2:00-4:00 p.m.) Simultaneous Workshops 5&6:

Workshop #5: A review of the Islamic Republic's Constitution and its
specific violations of rights of, a) all Iranians, b) women, and c)
religious minorities, Facilitator: Parviz Dastmalchi, Berlin, Germany.

Workshop #6: A look at Iranian Writers' Association in exile: Implications
for organizing efforts, Presenter and Facilitator: Dr. Masoud Noghrehkar,
Orlando, Florida.
4:00-5:30 p.m.) Break
5:30-7:00 p.m.) Reception/Self-organized Roundtables and Introduction of
the Paris based Publisher and Activist, Taghi Amini, Founder and Managing
Director of Khavaran Publishing.

7:00 p.m.) Keynote Speech/Presentation by Reza Deghati. Mr. Deghati is a
well-known international photojournalist. His works have been published
by the renowned journals of the world, including: National Geographic,
the Independent, Le Nouvel Observateur, Geo, Time, Life, Stern and
Express. Mr. Deghati's works have been exhibited in the prestigious
galleries and museums of the world, including Louvre Museum in Paris.
Throughout the years, Mr. Deghati has remained dedicated to the social,
cultural and human rights causes of his beloved homeland, Iran.

On Saturday night, Mr. Deghati will present his recent works on the
Caspian Sea and his other selected works on a number of countries,
including Iran, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Philippines and South
Africa.

Sunday, September 12, 1999:
9:00-10:30 a.m.) Simultaneous Workshops 7&8:

Workshop #7: Practical considerations for Iranian activists vis-à-vis the
reality of ongoing violations of human rights in Iran, Facilitator:
Mohammad Parvin, Los Angeles, California.

Workshop #8: Elements of effective organizing and their application among
Iranians outside Iran, Facilitator: Hamid Akbari, Chicago, Illinois.
10:30-11:00 a.m.) Break
11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon) Self-Organized Roundtables/
12:00 noon - 1:00 p.m.) Farewell Assembly

Information about Iranian Activists Gathering:
The annual Gathering is a forum for creative interaction, exchange of
ideas and networking between Iranians who are active in cultural, social,
political and human rights affairs related to Iran. Last year's Gathering
was successfully held in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. More than 50 Iranian
activists from the United States, Canada and Europe participated in last
year's Gathering.

All participants in the Gathering are provided with the opportunity and
encouraged to actively participate in the workshops and roundtables.
Farsi is the language of the Gathering events unless stated otherwise. To
foster an atmosphere of collegiality and free interaction, the dress code
is casual and informal.

The Gathering includes the following: workshops, panels, keynote speech,
self-organized roundtables/panels/workshops, group activities, receptions
and book exhibit (this year, the main exhibit is displayed Khavarn
Publishing, Paris, France).

Registration Fee: $ 40.00. This fee covers the cost of Gathering,
including two evening receptions. You may register prior to the gathering
or on site.

However, for planning purposes, if you intend to register on site, please
inform us by e-mail or telephone.

For hotel reservations, Please Call: 1-800-Hiltons (1-800-445-8667) and
ask for room reservations at Palm Beach Airport Hilton for Iranian
Activist Gathering.

A special rate of $95.00 for a double-bed room including free breakfast
for two guests per room is arranged for the event. This rate is also good
for three days before and after the Gathering.

You may be able to obtain bargain on air fares by trying WWW.Priceline.Com

For your information, many airlines are presently promoting post labor-day
fares.

For More Information, Please e-mail us at IranAction@Aol.Com, or Call:
Hamid Akbari (847) 729-3211
Nasrin Almasi (416) 439-1086
Mohammad Tajdolati (416) 445-9942
Mahmoud Goudarzi (202) 806-8122

See You in West Palm Beach!

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

Date: Sat, 28 Aug 1999 20:19:16 -0500
From: aryopirouznia <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Amnesty International: Flogging/Torture of Gholamreza Qobeh

Amnesty International (USA)

U R G E N T A C T I O N A P P E A L
23 August 1999

UA 214/99 Flogging/Torture

IRAN Gholamreza Qobeh

Amnesty International is concerned at reports that Gholamreza
Qobeh, a former deputy mayor of Tehran, has been sentenced to 50
lashes, and that an Iranian appeal court has upheld the sentence.

Gholamreza Qobeh, who was in charge of administrative and
financial affairs, was arrested in April 1998, on charges of
'embezzlement and diverting public funds'.

As well as 50 lashes, he has been sentenced to six years in prison and
ordered to pay a fine.

He was arrested together with a former mayor of Tehran,
Gholamhossein Karbaschi, who is now serving a two year prison term
(reduced from five years and 60 lashes on appeal).

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Gholamreza Qobeh was one of at least 16 Tehran district mayors
arrested in April 1998 following a judicial investigation into acts of
alleged corruption. A number are believed to have been sentenced to
flogging in addition to prison terms.

Trial proceedings in the case fell far short of international standards
for fair trial, with none of the defendants given access to a lawyer
during their detention.

Gholamreza Qobeh was among a number of those detained who alleged that
they had been tortured or ill-treated in detention.

The allegations led to the prosecution on charges of torture against a
serving officer.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send
telegrams/faxes/express/airmail letters:

- expressing concern that the sentence of 50 lashes has been upheld
by a court of appeal and calling for the sentence to be commuted
immediately;

- pointing out that flogging constitutes a form of cruel, inhuman or
degrading treatment or punishment, in contravention of Article 7 of
the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is
a state party;

- recognizing the right of the Iranian authorities to bring to justice
anyone suspected of criminal wrongdoing, but expressing concern
that trial proceedings in this case may have fallen short of
international standards for fair trial;

APPEALS TO:

1)Leader of the Islamic Republic:
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed 'Ali Khamenei
The Presidency; Palestine Avenue; Azerbaijan Intersection
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Your Excellency:

Telegrams: Ayatollah Khamenei, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

2)President:
His Excellency Hojjatoleslam val Moslemin Sayed Mohammad
Khatami
The Presidency; Palestine Avenue; Azerbaijan Intersection
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Your Excellency:
Telegrams: President Khatami, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

3)Head of Judiciary:
Ministry of Justice; Park-e Shahr
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Your Excellency:

Telegrams: Head of the Judiciary, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

COPIES TO:
Minister of Foreign Affairs; His Excellency Kamal Kharrazi
Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Sheikh Abdolmajid Keshk-e Mesri Avenue
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Mr Mohammad Hassan Zia'i-Far; Secretary, Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 13165-137
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Faxes: 011 98 21 204 0541

In lieu of an embassy please send copies to:
Iranian Interests Section
2209 Wisconsin Avenue NW
Washington DC 20007

Please send appeals immediately. Check with the Colorado office
between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm, Mountain Time, weekdays only, if
sending appeals after October 8, 1999.

This information is from Amnesty International's research headquarters in
London, England. A.I. is an independent worldwide
movement working for the international protection of human rights. It
seeks the release of people detained because of their beliefs, color,
sex, ethnic origin, language or religious creed, provided they have not
used nor advocated violence.

These are termed prisoners of conscience. It works for fair and prompt
trials for all political prisoners and works on behalf of such people
detained without charge or trial.

It opposes the death penalty, extra-judicial executions (political
killings), 'disappearances' and torture or other cruel, inhuman or
degrading treatment or punishment of all prisoners without reservation.

Amnesty International promotes awareness of and adherance to the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights and other internationally recognized human
rights instruments, the values enshrined in them and the indivisibility
and interdependence of all human rights and freedoms.

Please do not repost this appeal to any part of the Internet
without prior permission from Amnesty International. Thank you for
your help with this appeal.

Please read the monthly Urgent Action Network Newsletter posted on
the web at: http://www.amnesty-USA.org/urgact/newslett.html

Urgent Action Network
Amnesty International USA
PO Box 1270
Nederland CO 80466-1270
Email: sharriso@aiusa.org
http://www.amnestyusa.org/urgact/
Phone: 303 258 1170
Fax: 303 258 7881

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

Date: Sat, 28 Aug 1999 20:36:04 -0500
From: aryopirouznia <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: New York Times: Iran Confronts a Long-Hidden Problem: Drugs

The New York Times
August 29, 1999

Iran Confronts a Long-Hidden Problem: Drugs
By COLIN BARRACLOUGH

EHRAN, Iran -- The problem of illicit drugs is commonly associated with
prosperous, liberty-minded societies in Europe and America, not a theocratic
state run by some of the Islamic world's most conservative mullahs.

But Iran is slowly discovering that it too has a drug problem. It has a drug
smuggling problem. It has a drug violence and kidnapping problem. More and
more, it seems, it has a drug use problem. And increasingly Iranian
authorities have begun to grapple with this problem in the open.

"After the revolution, our leaders thought that the idea of drug use was
imported from the West, so it was necessary to protect our society from
outside," said Afarin Rahimi, an Iranian who works for the United Nations
Drug Control Program, which opened an office in Tehran in June. "Now it's
being understood that the problem is a domestic one."

Although Iran's religious rulers were loath for many years to deal with the
problem publicly, an increase in the amount of drugs entering the country,
growing pressure from the West, and a more liberal government under
President Mohammad Khatami have brought the issue to the fore.

Over the past five years, the Iranian authorities have stepped up their
battle against well-armed smugglers who transport much of the world's
illegal supply of opium, heroin and hashish through Iran to markets both
here and in the West from sources in Pakistan and Afghanistan. In
Afghanistan, two decades of war have made the country a haven for drug
runners linked to various armed factions.

"The production of illicit drugs in Afghanistan is astonishingly high," said
Mohammad Fallah, the director of Iran's Drug Control Headquarters, the
country's national anti-narcotics bureau. "It flows from the country like
water from a tap. We are having greater success in cutting down the flow,
but our task is difficult."

That task is harder still because Iran's location and its 1,200-mile eastern
border make it the first line of defense against the traffickers, and it has
not been an easy line to hold.

Some 2,700 Iranian law-enforcement personnel have died in Iran's quiet drug
war since the 1979 Islamic revolution -- so many that the country's Drug
Control Headquarters has even published a book of "martyrs" with photographs
and eulogies to the dead.

Despite such losses, Iran's reported seizure rates would astound
anti-narcotics forces in North America or Europe. Since 1979, authorities
say they have seized more than 1,300 tons of contraband drugs, more than
half in the past five years. Indeed, the country now accounts for 85 percent
of opium seizures and more than 30 percent of heroin and morphine seizures
worldwide.

Increasingly, the smugglers are fighting back. This month, drug traffickers
kidnapped four European tourists in southern Iran, in a daring effort to
exchange them for jailed comrades, a tactic they used successfully in June
and that has escalated their challenge to authorities. The hostages have yet
to be released.

The smugglers, mainly drawn from the Baluchi people, a tribal group
straddling the Iran-Pakistan border, possess a fearsome arsenal of weapons,
many obtained from the Afghan mujahedeen who fought an American-backed war
against Soviet invaders in the 1980s.

Authorities say that heavy machine guns mounted on all-terrain vehicles
often protect drug convoys, while the traffickers themselves are sometimes
armed with rocket-propelled grenades or mortars. Iranian officials say that
some groups have shot down Iranian helicopters and warplanes with
surface-to-air weapons, including, Fallah says, American-made Stinger
antiaircraft missiles.

"The traffickers are so heavily armed that Iran's response has quite
properly been a military one," said a Western diplomat in Tehran.

The United Nations estimates that most of the 3,500 tons of opium produced
annually in Afghanistan is exported through Iran; an additional 500 tons
originates in Pakistan. Most is smuggled across Iran's eastern border region
through arid, inhospitable terrain that provides perfect cover for the
traffickers, who employ a wide array of smuggling techniques.

Some vehicles, packed with opium and heroin, are driven across remote border
areas at night. "The drivers travel only in darkness, using night-vision
goggles to see their way," said Fallah, a former intelligence officer with
the Iranian police force.

The traffickers are also known to use methods that do not rely on technology
but are nonetheless effective. Fallah described one in which traffickers
employ a mother camel that has recently given birth.

"They separate the mother from its young, leaving the baby in Iran but
taking the mother to Afghanistan," he said. "They place this female at the
head of a camel caravan, each animal loaded down with drugs. The mother will
walk night and day, leading the whole caravan, and will not stop until it
reaches its young."

Armed traffickers simply monitor the caravan's progress from a safe distance
through binoculars. "Even if we intercept the caravan, there is no one to
arrest, only camels," he said.

Not all the drugs that enter Iran leave for markets abroad, and the recent
opening of the United Nations drug-control office here has served to
highlight a growing demand for opium and heroin within Iran itself,
particularly among the 70 percent or so of the population that is under 30
and frustrated by Iran's strict social codes and high unemployment. Indeed,
officials estimate that as many as 1.2 million Iranians may be addicts.

Iran's prisons hold so many drug offenders -- 60 percent of inmates are
jailed on drug possession, dealing or trafficking offenses -- that the
judiciary has recently quit jailing offenders, opting instead for fines,
lashes and long-term treatment at one of the 40 or so outpatient centers
throughout the country.

While the drug issue is one of the few that Iran and Western countries might
agree on, Iranian officials complain that they have borne the brunt of the
fight against drug trafficking with little recognition or outside help.
Cooperation is complicated by the fact that most Western countries have
legislated against supplying military goods to Iran.

Britain recently provided 3,000 flak jackets to Iran's beleaguered border
guards, but only after the government gained special parliamentary approval
for the shipment.

"The fight has cost Iran dear and yet the West doesn't care," said Mohammed
Ali Tayarani, a deputy in Iran's 270-seat Parliament. "Prime Minister Tony
Blair gave us flak jackets; we provided the guys to wear them.

"Which is more expensive?" he asked.

http://www.nytimes.com/library/world/mideast/082999iran-drugs.html

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

Date: Sat, 28 Aug 1999 20:35:48 -0500
From: aryopirouznia <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: IPS: Are there Syrian Moles in the Iranian Ruling Establishment?

Are there Syrian Moles in the Iranian Ruling Establishment?

By Safa Haeri and exclusive to IPS

PARIS 28TH Aug. (IPS) Are "moles" in the Iranian Islamic regime helping the
Syrian government squeezing concessions from the ruling clerics to the
disadvantage of Iran itself?

The questions has once again aroused as reports are surfacing that Tehran
and Damascus are about to sign wide-ranging military, intelligence and
economic agreements very similar of the one linking Ankara and Tel-Aviv,
but, in this case, primarily serving Syrian interests, and prior to the
possible start of peace talks between Syria and Israel.

In keeping with the Iranian ruling clerics and the Syrian regime's usual and
typical penchant for secrecy, the negotiations are held behind tightly
closed doors, away from the people's eyes, according to informed sources.

Relations are cold between Ankara with both neighbours Iran and Syria over a
number of issues, the most important and sensitive of them for Turkey is the
claim that Tehran and Damascus supports the Turkish Kurdish separatist
organisation PKK.

Menaced by Ankara of an all out attack, President Hafez Asad promptly
expelled from Syria Mr. Abdollah Ocalan, the leader of the PKK and shut down
the organisation's offices and training bases in Syria and Lebanon.

Mr. Ocalan was eventually arrested last February in Kenya and is now
awaiting his trial in a Turkish prison island.

Ankara is now addressing similar demands to Iran, urging the ruling
ayatollahs to close their borders to PKK's peshmergas.

Last month, Turkish jets bombed the vicinity of the border town of
Piranshahr, killing 5 peasants and wounding another 10, according to
Iranians

Tehran denies that the PKK has bases in its soil.

Observers also noted the notable absence of both Iran and Syria among the
rescue teams that rushed from all over the world to the help of Turkish
population hit by the recent earthquake, this compared with Israel that
hours after the tragedy, dispatched groups of rescuers and a fully equipped
field hospital.

Mr. Mohammad Arasi, a US-based political expert on Iranian relations with
Syria, Turkey and the newly independent states of Central Asia, says the new
agreements are "facilitated" by the presence in Iran of Syrian "moles" most
of them "recruited" years ago by the Syrian "estekhbarat", or the
intelligence services, when, as young activists, they were fighting the
former Imperial regime of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, using Damascus as
their "hub" of activities, some of them now occupying top positions in
Iranian religious, civilian, military security and intelligence
establishments.

There were nationalist-islamists people like Mr. Hasan Habibi, the present
first Vice President, the group of Mr. Jalaleddin Farsi, who's candidacy to
the first post revolutionary presidential election was rejected because of
his Afghan origins, the hojatoleslam Mohammad Montazeri, the maverick son of
the grand ayatollah Hosseinali Montazeri, killed in the explosion of the
then ruling Islamic Republic Party HQ with more than 80 others regime's
dignitaries.

Mr. Ali Shams Ardakani, a former ambassador to Kuwait expelled from the
Sheikhdom, Hussein Shariatmadari, the Information Ministry's high ranking
agent appointed by the leader as the Editor of the hard line daily "Keyhan",
Mr. Hussein Sheikholeslam, a former Deputy Foreign Minister, Mr. Sadeq
Qotbzadeh, executed in 1980 on orders from the grand ayatollah Ruhollah
Khomeini after he admitted to be preparing a coup, were part of other groups
of anti-Shah activists.

Formed and trained by the former KGB and it's then Egyptian associates
immediately after President Hafez Asad took power following a military coup,
the Syrian secret service is probably one of the very few, if not the only
intelligence machine that has remained intact, unaffected by the collapse of
the Soviet Union nor the dramatic changes in the Middle East, working on the
same pattern, keeping its vital ties with Moscow and possibly using same old
moles, observes one Western counter-intelligence officer with years of
experience with Arab intelligence organisations, most of them created by
KGB.

Does the existence of these moles explain the privileged and the very
particular situation Syria enjoys in Tehran? What compels the Iranian
Islamic regime to be so endlessly generous in granting the Syrian Baathist
leader's every wish? What seductive charms make the poor, isolated, despotic
regime of Damascus so attractive to the Iranian cleric's eyes as to make the
Iranian officials nod their assent to its every request?

Mr. Arasi thinks so. "The boundless friendship of the Islamic Republic
leader's with the Syrian regime is not in keeping with any of their declared
foreign policy principles, as the ruling clerics have deemed to overthrow
nationalist, secular and socialist governments to be their religious duty",
he observed, talking to Iran Press Service on the phone.

Government officials in Tehran confirm that ever since the victory of the
Islamic revolution in 1979, Syria has always occupied a strategic situation
in Iran, benefiting immensely from the mullahs largess, that includes an
uninterrupted flow of free or cheap oil and loans which have never been
repaid, debts estimated at between 6 to 10 billions US Dollars, according to
various sources, all of them unofficial, since there exist any official
figures.

Iran also sends every year hundreds of thousands of pilgrims to Syria to
visit the shrine of Zeinab, the sister of Hussein, the Sh'ites most revered
imam, bringing millions of Dollars for the Syrian's empty treasury.

And unlike other Arab regimes or organisations like Algeria or the PLO that
supported the newly created Islamic Republic during it's early years before
they became targets of the ayatollahs vindicate, Damascus "strategic
alliance" with Tehran has remained intact.

But what makes Iranians angry is that not only the Syrian leaders never did
returned this generosity, they even adopted a hostile attitude any time that
non Arab Iran was confronted with the Arabs on international scene, taking
the Arab's side in each and every one of their disputes with Iran.

On the United Arab Emirate's claim to the 3 islands of Abu Musa and the
Greater and Lesser Tunbs in the Persian Gulf, President Aasad always sided
with the UAE and the United States in condemning the "occupation" of the
islands by Tehran and urging the Iranians to hand them over to the Shaikhs.

On the Bahrain's accusations that the Islamic Republic supports the Island's
Sh'ite rebellion, Mr. Asad founds Iran guilty of involvement in the
Bahrain's internal affairs.

More painful and destructive than this, some Iranians, including army
officers, considers that the Syrian regime was one of the leading factors
behind the perpetuation of the ruinous eight-year Iran-Iraq war.

It was Asad and his cronies, they argue, who were feeding the new,
inexperienced, uneducated Iranian clerical rulers with wrong information
concerning the Iraqi military situation, whispering promises of Saddam
Hussein's imminent fall in Khomeiny's ears, egging him on to continue the
war, for, he and his unscrupulous associates needed the war to distract
Saddam, their bitter rival and foe, hopping for his downfall thanks to the
hundreds of thousands of Iranians ready to pay for it with their lives.

"This policy of fraternity with the Syrian ruling Baath Party, and Hafez
Asad, more radical, brutal and irreligious than Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi
Baath branch, hints at "moles" within the Iranian ruling establishment and
raises questions like are there senior figures within the clerical regime,
especially the ones who used to wander freely between Damascus and Europe
before the Islamic revolution, have turned into official agents of the
Syrian intelligence machinery?" Mr. Arasi points out, reflecting the opinion
of many Iranians who ask themselves: "Why would Syria be able to squeeze so
many concessions out of the Iranian clerics?" END MOLES 28899

http://www.iran-press-service.com/articles/syrian_moles_28899.html

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

Date: Sat, 28 Aug 1999 20:42:21 -0500
From: aryopirouznia <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Le Monde (France): L'ONU condamne l'utilisation des enfants-soldats
(UN Condemn the use of Children-Soldiers aged below 18)

L'ONU condamne l'utilisation des enfants-soldats

Le Monde (France)
daté du samedi 28 août 1999

Mis à jour le vendredi 27 août 1999
Antoine Jacob

LA COMMUNAUTÉ internationale commence à se préoccuper activement du sort des
enfants victimes de conflits armés. Dernier signe en date de cette prise de
conscience : l'adoption, pour la première fois, par le Conseil de sécurité
de l'ONU d'une résolution qui, non seulement condamne l'utilisation des
enfants dans les guerres, mais appelle les gouvernements à « poursuivre »
leurs recruteurs et leurs chefs. Largement répandu, le phénomène a tendance
à se développer, d'après les experts. Les Nations unies estiment
qu'actuellement environ 300 000 enfants-soldats, âgés de moins de dix-huit
ans, sont recrutés et exploités par des forces armées dans plus de trente
conflits, de l'Afrique à l'Asie en passant par l'Amérique latine. Sans
parler des 20 millions d'enfants déplacés en raison des guerres.

Ce développement s'explique par « un changement de la conduite de la
guerre », a noté Olara Ottunu, le représentant spécial du secrétaire général
de l'ONU pour les enfants et les conflits armés. « Aujourd'hui, tous les
conflits sont des guerres civiles marquées par le mépris des lois, la
prolifération des armes, l'implication de multiples groupes armés,
l'utilisation massive d'enfants », a-t-il déclaré lors du débat qui s'est
tenu avant le vote - à l'unanimité - de la résolution 1260 du Conseil de
sécurité, dans la nuit de mercredi 25 à jeudi 26 août, à New York.

En Ouganda, au Soudan, en Afghanistan, en Colombie, etc., des enfants sont
envoyés au front, servent d'espions, de démineurs, de messagers, de
cuisiniers, voire d'« objets » sexuels. Plus dociles et manipulables que les
adultes, ils sont aussi plus faciles à « entretenir », puisqu'ils mangent
moins qu'eux... Selon M. Ottunu, 2 millions d'enfants sont morts dans des
situations de conflits armés depuis 1987 ; 6 millions ont été grièvement
blessés ou handicapés de manière permanente. Ces pratiques sont tolérées
plus ou moins tacitement : la Convention de l'ONU relative aux droits de
l'enfant, adoptée en 1989, n'autorise-t-elle pas que l'âge minimum pour
recruter une personne soit de quinze ans, alors que le reste de la
Convention considère que l'on est enfant jusqu'à l'âge de dix-huit ans ?

Les états d'esprit commencent toutefois à changer. Pour preuve, deux
déclarations » régionales, adoptées cette année par les Etats africains (à
Maputo) et sud-américains (à Montevideo). Les signataires s'y engagent
notamment à ne pas autoriser le recrutement d'enfants avant dix-huit ans et
à s'assurer, autant que possible, que les éventuels mouvements rebelles
opérant sur leurs territoires en fassent autant... « Cela peut paraître peu
réaliste, mais le seul fait que des Etats approuvent un tel texte est un
progrès en soi », réagit Henrik Häggström, coordonnateur du dossier pour
l'organisation humanitaire britannique Save the Children (Sauvez les
enfants).


D'après lui, les gouvernements concernés commencent à se soucier de l'impact
négatif pour leur image que constitue l'usage d'enfants dans les combats. Le
dirigeant de la République démocratique du Congo, Laurent-Désiré Kabila, a
récemment appelé ses troupes à démobiliser les enfants, « parce qu'il a
compris qu'avec cette mesure il peut gagner des points au plan
international », ajoute ce responsable. Certes, le dirigeant de l'ex-Zaïre
n'a plus besoin de ces enfants puisqu'un cessez-le-feu, bien que fragile,
est instauré depuis juillet. Mais son initiative a le mérite d'exister,
estime M. Häggström. Au Soudan, la rébellion sudiste, encadrée par Save the
Children, est engagée dans un programme de reconversion des
enfants-soldats », alors même que la guerre se poursuit. « C'est
encourageant », dit-il. La perspective de la création de la Cour pénale
internationale, décidée il y a un an à Rome, doit aussi commencer à faire
réfléchir : la conscription ou l'enrôlement d'enfants de moins de quinze ans
seront considérés comme crimes de guerre.

Il reste toutefois énormément à faire. Soutenue par M. Ottunu et de nombreux
Etats, le projet de faire passer, l'an prochain, de quinze à dix-huit ans le
seuil au-delà duquel des jeunes pourront être recrutés n'est évoqué que du
bout des lèvres dans la résolution. S'y oppose un groupe de pays emmenés par
les Etats-Unis, soucieux de ne pas voir l'ONU se mêler de leurs affaires,
eux qui autorisent le recrutement et l'envoi au combat de jeunes à partir de
dix-sept ans.

Les Occidentaux ont aussi leur part de responsabilité dans la prolifération
des conflits aux quatre coins du monde, dans lesquels sont entraînés les
enfants. La résolution de l'ONU demande ainsi aux « Etats fabriquant ou
commercialisant des armes » de « limiter les transferts d'armes susceptibles
de provoquer ou de prolonger des conflits armés ». Vaste programme.


http://www.lemonde.fr/article/0,2320,seq-2037-20226-QUO,00.html

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

Date: Sat, 28 Aug 1999 23:13:29 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: OFFICIALS FED WRONG INFORMATION TO LEADER AND PRESIDENT

TEHRAN-PARIS 25TH Aug. (IPS) As a Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) commander was
sacked Wednesday, accused of responsibility in the nightly raid on the
student's dormitories, officials at the Tehran University objected the
findings
of an investigation team that has blamed the students, the LEF and other
pressure groups for the 8 to 13th of July rebellion on almost the same
footing.

Revolutionary Guards (Rev. Guards) Lt. General Farhad Nazari, Commander of the
LEF for Greater Tehran was found guilty of having played an important role in
the student's rioting due to his mishandling of the pre-dawn attack, his
outrageous and utter violent behaviour with the students, his lack of
flexibility and competence and was replaced by his deputy, Rev. Guards Lt.
General Mohsen Ansari.

General Nazari's removal was recommended last week by a 7 member committee
that
was set up by the Supreme Council of National Security (SCNS) to investigate
the roots and consequences of the savage attack in the early hours of 9th July
against a small group of students who, from their dormitories, was protesting
the closure of one of their most favourite newspaper, the pro-reform daily
"Salam" that was shut down the same day on orders from the Judiciary.

But students and professors are insisting on the dismissal of General
Habibollah Lotfian, the Commander of the LEF who, except the hard liners, is
considered as the prime responsible for the bloody and ruinous assault on the
dormitories.

Speaking at a press conference, Tehran University Chancellor Dr Mansour
Khalili
Araqi said the SCNS's report was based on wrong and biased information the LEF
and other pressure groups that attacked the students provided the
investigators.

Mr. Davoud Soleimani, in charge of the University's Students and Cultural
Affairs said he himself heard general Nazari talking directly on the phone
with
general Lotfian at least 15 minutes before the attack was launched. "Why did
General Lotfian give the green light for the operation?" he asked.

Participants at the press conference also revealed for the first time the
presence at the scene of a pressure group named "Velayat's Special Protection
Force".

Informed sources contacted by IPS confirmed the existence of such a unit,
saying it's task is to "intimidate and reduce to silence" anyone, any
organisation, any group of people or anything that expresses opinions against
those of the leader or challenges his authority and position, as it is done by
some students leaders, intellectuals or reformist clerics, most, if not all of
them are now in jail.

Mr. Soleimani said he was ready to testimony to any court or tribunal that
some
of the officials he knows have given wrong information to the SCNS and the
investigation committee. "They have lied to the leader and I'm ready to
officially identify them", he added forcefully.

According to the University's officials, the investigation committee has
minimised the role of the Hezbollahi and plain cloth attackers while
maximising
that of the students, adding that he saw by himself the hooligans, armed with
knives, chains, iron bars, electric cable and other white arms storming the
dormitories and attacking the unarmed, defenceless students.

"At one point, I saw them grabbing a student named Ramin Karimi and throwing
him out of the widow from his room at the third floor while chanting "O imam
Hossein, accept this sacrifice from thy servants". Fallen on the lawn and
rolling over himself of pain and broken bones, he was assaulted by other
hezbollahi thugs who almost lynched him", Mr. Soleimani recalled.

"How can one compensate the student who has lost one of his eyes? How one can
compensate the student who is disabled for life? Those who have been beaten up
in such inhuman way could never forget. They are the fire that one day will
come out from under the ashes", he sternly warned the authorities.

The attack, led by a combined force made of units of the LEF, both uniformed
and plain cloth men, groups conservatives-controlled thugs and hooligans known
as Hezbollah (Party of God) and Intelligence Ministry's anti-riot commandos,
left at least five students killed and more than 200 wounded, some of them
seriously, and resulted in 4 days of protest by the students not seen since
the
creation of the Islamic Republic 20 years ago, demonstrations described
unanimously as a replica of the days of 1979 that led to the downfall of the
late Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

The uprising that quickly took the name of "pro-democracy movement" attracted
world-wide attention, made the national and international media headlines and
generated a wave of sympathy across the world, was crushed ultimately by
conservative forces on 14th of July on a joint decision from the President,
ayatollah Mohammad Khatami and the leader, ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i, both of
them fearing a possible "counter-revolution".

Both hard line conservatives and pro-reform circles criticised the 36-page
report.

"Since the SCNS and it's Chairman (President Khatami) was eager not to provoke
anyone, it ended by angering all sides, but mostly the monopolists", observed
Mr. Reza Alijani, the Editor of the pro-reform "Iran e Farda" (Tomorrow's
Iran)
publication.

Hojatoleslam Hasan Yusefi-Eshkevari, a prominent and outspoken refrmist
said it
is obvious that the SCNS's report had been "lenient and friendly" towards the
LEF and general Lotfian, for, he added, no one can possibly deny the
devastating role the LEF and plain cloth men played in the tragic event.

"Even if we accept that he had not personally ordered his men to attack,
yet he
is responsible for the savage, illegal, inhuman action of his men and
therefore
he must resign", Mr. Yusefi-Eshkevari noted during a telephone interview with
the Persian service of the Radio France Internationale

He also criticised the double standard policy of the authorities that, in the
one hand, have arrested scores of students and forced some of their leaders
and
activists to shameful and humiliating TV confessions while no one from the
attackers had been identified or subjected to the same treatment.

The cleric observation was a reference to the case of Mr. Manouchehr Mohammadi
and Mr. Qolamreza Mohajerinezhad of the Association of Nationalist Students
and
Alumnis and Ms Maryam Shansi, confessing to their links with "foreign
elements", getting money and material from "Iranian counter-revolutionaries"
abroad and establishing contacts with "foreign intelligence" while on a
trip to
Europe and USA. ENDS STUDENTS KILLED 25899

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

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 27 Aug 1999 to 28 Aug 1999
***************************************************