Date: Oct 8, 1998 [ 17: 13: 6]

Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 7 Oct 1998 to 8 Oct 1998 - Special issue

From: Automatic digest processor


Return-Path: <owner-DNI-NEWS@D-N-I.ORG>
Delivered-To: farhad@ALGONET.SE
Received: (qmail 11663 invoked from network); 9 Oct 1998 02:13:10 +0200
Received: from simorgh.gpg.com (205.158.6.22)
by hromeo.algonet.se with SMTP; 9 Oct 1998 02:13:10 +0200
Received: from simorgh (simorgh [205.158.6.22])
by simorgh.gpg.com (8.8.6/8.8.6) with ESMTP id RAA21836;
Thu, 8 Oct 1998 17:13:06 -0700 (PDT)
Message-Id: <199810090013.RAA21836@simorgh.gpg.com>
Date: Thu, 8 Oct 1998 17:13:06 -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 - 7 Oct 1998 to 8 Oct 1998 - Special issue
To: Recipients of DNI-NEWS digests <DNI-NEWS@D-N-I.ORG>

There are 17 messages totalling 1213 lines in this issue.

Topics in this special issue:

1. Iran In First Clash With Afghan Taleban
2. Pak troops moved to Afghanistan
3. AP: Iran Troops Clash With Taliban
4. Iran alert (Call for release of Iranian js)
5. NEWS98 - Iranian Candidate for Lt. Governor of California
6. Iran alert (three magazines suspended)
7. Taliban accuses UN of ignoring Iranian interference in Afghanistan
8. 167 approved for key Iran polls
9. Hardliners clash with Khatami supporters at student rally in Tehran
10. Iran won't rule out use of force against Taliban
11. Two Iranian publications temporarily banned
12. Taliban reject Iranian accusations of border incursions
13. Some 500 Baha'i homes raided in Iran
14. U.S. Hints More Strikes Vs. Bin Laden
15. UN envoy cautiously optimistic on efforts to ease Iran-Taliban tensions
16. Iranian drug addicts warned to seek treatment or go to jail
17. Iranian FM in Damascus on mediation trip between Syria, Turkey

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

Date: Thu, 8 Oct 1998 16:35:45 +0200
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad.abdolian@RSA.ERICSSON.SE>
Subject: Iran In First Clash With Afghan Taleban

Iran In First Clash With Afghan Taleban

By Barry May

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran said Thursday it inflicted ``heavy
casualties'' in a first armed clash with Afghan Taleban
forces after weeks of tension between the hostile neighbors.

Brigadier General Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander of
Revolutionary Guards ground forces, said Taleban militia
opened fire with mortars and heavy machineguns on Iranian
border posts at 6:30 a.m. and the Guards returned fire.

``The Taleban suffered heavy casualties in this clash and
three of their border posts were completely destroyed,''
Jafari told Iran's official Islamic Republic News Agency
(IRNA).

The Taleban, Afghanistan's purist Islamic militia, denied
firing on the Iranian posts and said they had shown
restraint despite days of artillery fire from the other
side.

``The Taleban have not fired back at Iranian artillery which
has been firing at Afghan territory for the last three
days,'' a Taleban spokesman told a Pakistan-based Afghan
news service.

Spokesman Wakil Ahmed told the Afghan Islamic Press (AIP)
from the militia headquarters in the southern Afghan city of
Kandahar: ``For quite some time we have been trying to solve
the issue through talks. It is not possible in these
circumstances that we attack Iranian territory. We have not
even responded to the Iranian artillery.''

The clash at Salehabad, near Torbat-e Jam in Iran's
northeastern frontier province of Khorasan, lasted three
hours, IRNA reported.

Iranian state television said: ``Forces in the Iranian
border posts responded to this attack and the Taleban forces
were forced to cease firing and retreat.''

At the moment the area was calm, the Guards commander added.

The clash was the first encounter in a tense standoff
between Iran and the Taleban, which controls most of
Afghanistan, over the killing of Iranian diplomats and a
journalist two months ago.

Iran says it has massed 200,000 troops with armor and air
support in Khorasan and the southeastern province of Sistan
and Baluchestan, which borders Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In addition, some 70,000 Revolutionary Guards have been
based in the border region since taking part in war games
there last month.

Predominantly Shi'ite Moslem Iran has been at loggerheads
with the purist Sunni Taleban since the militia swept into
Kabul two years ago and deposed the government of President
Burhanuddin Rabbani.

Tehran backs Rabbani and other Afghan factions opposed to
Taleban rule. Only Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United
Arab Emirates recognize the Taleban, who control about 90
percent of Afghanistan.

Tension between Tehran and the Taleban escalated into a war
of words two months ago when Iranian diplomats and a
journalist disappeared after Taleban fighters captured
Mazar-i-Sharif, stronghold of the opposition northern
alliance in Afghanistan.

Eight of the diplomats and the journalist were later found
to have been killed in the assault.

President Mohammad Khatami has said Iran would work through
diplomatic channels to settle its differences with the
Taleban but was prepared to use force if diplomacy failed.

Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said Wednesday: ``We do not
discount using military force to fulfil our demands. There
is a certain limit to our restraint with the Taleban.''

Iran seeks the release of some 40 Iranians detained by the
Taleban, the return of the bodies of its slain diplomats and
the arrest and punishment of their killers. All but two of
the bodies were flown home last month.

Thursday's clash occurred as the United Nations' special
envoy on Afghanistan, Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi,
wound up a four-day visit to Iran and headed for talks in
Islamabad with the government of Pakistan and Taleban
representatives.

Brahimi said before leaving Tehran he would tell the Taleban
the people of Afghanistan had suffered enough and that those
who wanted to lead them and govern them should work together
inside the war-torn country and with their neighbors to
restore peace.

The U.N. envoy said the killing of the Iranian diplomats had
created very serious tension and dangers for the whole
region. Iran's groundforces commander Brigadier-General
Abdolali Pourshasb, speaking from the border region
Thursday, said on television there was not much left to do
to begin the main stage of major military maneuvers named
Zolfaqar-2 which Iran has been preparing for several weeks.

#====================================================#
# Farhad Abdolian, farhad.abdolian@rsa.ericsson.se #
# HW Design Engineer @ Ericsson Radio Access AB #
# Dept. B/UF, Box 11, S-164 93 Stockholm, Sweden #
# Phone +46-8-404 82 91 Fax: +46-8-764 18 58 #
#====================================================#

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

Date: Thu, 8 Oct 1998 16:37:42 +0200
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad.abdolian@RSA.ERICSSON.SE>
Subject: Pak troops moved to Afghanistan

Pak troops moved to Afghanistan
NEW DELHI, Oct. 7 (By Apratim Mukarji)

Over 10,000 Pakistani troops without uniforms have crossed
over to Afghanistan to participate in what is being billed
as the Taliban's final push to complete their conquest of
the country.

The "final big battle" is expected to take place within the
next 10 days or so before snowfall starts.

Pakistanis, mostly Punjabis and Pashtoons, have moved from
Quetta, Peshawar, Dera Ismail Khan and border areas of the
North West Frontier Province.

Informed sources said here today that while the air bases at
Kabul Mazar-i-Sharif, Shebergan, Herat, Shindand and
Kandahar were being manned by Pakistani forces, a veteran
Afghanistan hand in the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI)
Col. Imam was now in Kabul coordinating the logistics and
strategy for the big battle ahead.

The northern forces held a major public rally yesterday at
Fayzabad close to the border with Tajikistan which was
addressed by President Burhanuddin Rabbani and Commander
Ahmed Shah Masood.

The rally was well-attended and expressed optimism about the
outcome of the campaign against the Taliban.

Meanwhile, two other important developments are taking place
concerning the war-ravaged country. Iran is expected to
declare its next step around Oct. 22 in dealing with the
situation created by the execution of eight Iranian
diplomats and one journalist by the Taliban.

The other development is the current trip to the region
undertaken by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan's
special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi.

The sources said that the northern forces led by Gen. Ahmed
Shah Masood had taken up "active defensive positions" in the
Shomali plains where the brunt of the "ultimate" Taliban
attack was expected.

The Taliban militia are expected to advance from several
points north of Kabul aiming to drive the northern forces
out of the Shomali plains and move north-east to free the
region, the last bastion of the forces aligned with the
Burhanuddin Rabbani Government.

They are planning to fan out into the valleys of Gorband,
Salang and Panchshir.

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

Date: Thu, 8 Oct 1998 16:42:57 +0200
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad.abdolian@RSA.ERICSSON.SE>
Subject: AP: Iran Troops Clash With Taliban

Iran Troops Clash With Taliban

By AFSHIN VALINEJAD

.c The Associated Press

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iranian forces clashed with Afghanistan's Taliban
religious army today on Iran's northeastern border, Iranian media reported.
The
Taliban denied any clash occurred.

Taliban forces attacked Iranian border posts in Khorasan province with mortars
and machine guns, and Iranian border guards returned fire, forcing Taliban
fighters to retreat, Iranian television said.

The Taliban suffered heavy casualties during the three-hour clash and three of
the militia's border posts were destroyed, said Brig. Gen. Azizollah Jaafari,
commander of the ground forces of Iran's elite Islamic Revolution Guards
Corps.
His remarks were carried by the official Islamic Republic News Agency.

``The situation in the area is currently calm,'' Jaafari said.

There were no reports of any Iranian casualties.

The clash reportedly occurred at 6:30 a.m. local time in Torbat-e Jam in the
Saleh Abad region, about 110 miles southeast of the Iranian city of Mashhad.

``The attack was confronted with responses by the forces stationed at our
country's border posts, and as a result the Taliban forces were forced to ...
retreat,'' the television reported, quoting an army statement.

But Shakeel, a Taliban spokesman who uses only one name, said the fighting did
not happen.

``We received this information and we checked from our people and it is
wrong,'' he said when contacted at the Taliban headquarters in southern
Kandahar. ``There is no truth in this report, and it is propaganda against the
Taliban.''

Tensions between Iran and the Taliban have been high since the militia, which
controls 90 percent of Afghanistan, admitted its fighters killed eight Iranian
diplomats and an Iranian journalist in August in northern Afghanistan.

Iran has demanded an apology from the Taliban and wants those responsible
handed over for trial in Tehran.

Taliban leaders have refused both demands, calling the diplomats
``conspirators.''

They also have accused Iran of arming and financing the group's northern-based
opposition, which includes the country's minority Shiite Muslims. Most
Iranians
also are Shiite Muslims, Islam's second-largest sect.

The Taliban have vowed to restore peace and transform Afghanistan into a
purist
Islamic state.

In areas under Taliban control, women are confined to the home, girls are
denied education, and television, movies and books have been banned.

The Taliban is made up largely of ethnic Pashtuns, who are mostly Sunni
Muslims. The Sunni sect is the biggest single sect in Islam, comprising about
85 percent of all Muslims.

Iran has massed more than 200,000 troops on its eastern border with
Afghanistan
and has conducted several large-scale military exercises during the past few
weeks.

Afghanistan's Taliban army has sent an estimated 10,000 troops to its western
border with Iran.

AP-NY-10-08-98 0929EDT

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

Date: Thu, 8 Oct 1998 15:29:22 -0500
From: hickse@HRW.ORG
Subject: Iran alert (Call for release of Iranian js)

______________________________ Forward Header __________________________________
Subject: Iran alert (Call for release of Iranian js)
Author: "IFEX Action Alert Network" <alerts@ifex.org> at Internet
Date: 10/8/98 3:00 PM


IFEX- News from the international freedom of expression community
_________________________________________________________________

ALERT UPDATE - IRAN

8 October 1998

Call for release of Iranian journalists

SOURCE: Human Rights Watch

**Updates IFEX alerts of 23 September, 20 September, 16 September, 6 August,
4 August, 21 July, 15 June, and 11 June 1998**

(HRW/IFEX) - In an open letter sent on 7 October 1998 to the Head of the
Judiciary in Iran, Ayatollah Yazdi, Human Rights Watch called for the
immediate and unconditional release of four journalists from the daily
newspaper "Tous", who were arrested on the order of a Revolutionary Court on
16 September.

"We fear that the real motive in jailing the four journalists is to punish
them for their activities as journalists, and to intimidate other
independent-minded journalists in Iran," said Hanny Megally, the Executive
Director of the Middle East and North Africa Division.

The four journalists are: Hamid Reza Jalei-Pour and Mohammad Javadi-Hessar,
both managers of the newspaper, Mashallah Shamsol-va-Ezine, an editor, and
Ebrahim Nabavi, a staff writer at "Tous".

On 15 September, the Leader Ayatollah Khamene'i threatened to use
extra-legal force to silence independent newspapers. On the next day, the
newspaper "Tous", which had gained a reputation and a wide readership among
Iranians for its championing of reform, was ordered closed. During the
last few months, several newspapers and magazines have been closed. These
include: "Gozaresh-e Rouz", "Khanneh", "Jameh", "Tous", "Rah-e No",
"Tavana", "Jameh Salem", and "Asr-e Ma".

What follows is a copy of the Human Rights Watch letter.

Similar appeals can be sent to:

H.E. Ayatollah Mohammed Yazdi
Head of the Judiciary
Park-e Shahr
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Fax care of the Iranian diplomatic representative to your country or:
The Iranian mission to the United Nations
New York, NY
United States
Fax: +1 212 867 7086


Your Excellency:

Human Rights Watch is writing this open letter to express its deep concern
about the arrest and incommunicado detention in solitary confinement since
16 September of four staff members from "Tous", a daily newspaper, which was
banned the same day. We fear that the real motive in jailing and
prosecuting the four journalists is to punish them for their activities as
journalists and writers, and to intimidate other independent-minded
journalists in Iran.

Hamid Reza Jalei-Pour and Mohammad Javadi-Hessar, both managers, Mashallah
Shamsol-va-Ezine, an editor, and Ebrahim Nabavi, a staff writer with "Tous"
were arrested on the order of the Revolutionary Court for publishing
articles "against security and general interests." Human Rights Watch fears
that the detainees are being ill-treated in order to pressure them to sign
false confessions. The detainees have been held incommunicado since their
arrests with no access to their lawyers and their families. Only
Jalei-Pour's mother was permitted to visit him in Tehran on 3 October.

The Revolutionary Court's order arresting these journalists appears to be in
direct violation of Iran's constitution which states that any offenses
relating to the press should be brought before a designated press court.
The Iranian press law stipulates that such courts should hold their
proceedings in public and in the presence of a jury.

The arbitrary detention of these four journalists is a violation of Iran's
obligation under international law. Article 9(1) of the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Iran is a party,
requires states to ensure that:

Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be
subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his
liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are
established by law.

Article 14(3) of the ICCPR states that:

In the determination of any criminal charge against him, everyone shall be
entitled... (g) Not to be compelled to testify against himself or confess
guilt.

Incommunicado detention increases a detainee's vulnerability to torture or
ill-treatment. Moreover, denial of the right of access to counsel is a
violation of internationally recognized standards for fair trial.

Human Rights Watch is concerned that the prosecution of these four
journalists is part of a campaign of repression and violence targeting
independent media. On 15 September, the Leader Ayatollah Khamene'i gave
impetus to this campaign by threatening to use extra-legal force to silence
independent newspapers which he characterized as "a dangerous, creeping
cultural movement...writing against Islam," unless government officials took
action against them.

On the next day, the newspaper "Tous" which had gained a reputation and a
wide readership among Iranians for its championing of reform was ordered
closed.
During the last few months, several newspapers and magazines have been
closed.
These include: "Gozaresh-e Rouz", "Khanneh", "Jameh", "Tous", "Rah-e No",
"Tavana", "Jameh Salem", "Asr-e Ma".

Human Rights Watch calls for the immediate and unconditional release of
these four detained journalists. We seek assurances that while they are in
detention they will be well treated and permitted access to legal counsel,
independent medical doctors, and to their family members.

We look forward to your urgent attention to our request , and thank you for
your consideration.

Sincerely,
Hanny Megally
Executive Director
Middle East and North Africa Division

For further information, contact Human Rights Watch, 350 Fifth Ave., 34th
Floor, New York NY 10018-3299, U.S.A., tel: +1 212 290 4700, fax: +1 212 736
1300, e-mail: hrwnyc@hrw.org or Human Rights Watch, 1522 K Street, N.W.,
Washington D.C. 20005-1202, U.S.A., tel: +1 202 371 6592, fax: +1 202 371
0124, e-mail: hrwdc@hrw.org, Internet: http://www.hrw.org/

The information contained in this alert update is the sole responsibility of
Human Rights Watch. In citing this material for broadcast or publication,
please credit Human Rights Watch.
_________________________________________________________________
DISTRIBUTED BY THE INTERNATIONAL FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION EXCHANGE
(IFEX) CLEARING HOUSE
489 College Street, Suite 403, Toronto (ON) M6G 1A5 CANADA
tel: +1 416 515 9622 fax: +1 416 515 7879
alerts e-mail: alerts@ifex.org general e-mail: ifex@ifex.org
Internet site: http://www.ifex.org/
_________________________________________________________________

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

Date: Thu, 8 Oct 1998 19:52:53 GMT
From: arash@MY-DEJANEWS.COM
Subject: NEWS98 - Iranian Candidate for Lt. Governor of California

SARA AMIR

GREEN CANDIDATE FOR Lt. GOVERNOR

Sara Amir has been an active resident of Los Angeles
for 17 years, the past 13 years working for the State
in the environmental protection field. She is
currently a Supervising Hazardous Substances
Scientist, at the Department of Toxic Substances
Control, Site Mitigation Program, in Glendale,
overseeing that toxic cleanups meet state and federal
regulations for soil and ground water.

After earning a B.S. in biology from Teheran
University in 1970, Sara worked for the Teheran
Regional Water Board as a microbiologist.

Four years later, she left Iran to continue her
studies in the United States. In 1976, she received a
master's degree in Environmental Engineering from the
University of Southern California.

Meanwhile in Iran, the Shah's escalated repression of
the labor and student movements continued. The
monarchy crumbled, and Sara felt compelled to return
and take part in the social and political struggle
that ensued.

She provoked the new regime of Ayatollah Khomeini by
her refusal to wear the Muslim cover "hejab", becoming
a leader among her female coworkers. "When the
situation became brutally repressive, resulting in the
torture and killing of many people, I ran for my
life."

Sara returned to Los Angeles and went to work for the
California Air Resources Board as an environmental
engineer. She was also appointed to the Affirmative
Action and Equal Opportunity Committee, ensuring the
state's compliance with affirmative action law.

In May of 1990, Sara started working at the Department
of Toxic Substances Control. A US citizen since 1987,
Sara takes her citizenship seriously. She led sexual
harassment workshops at UCLA, and as Women's Program
Coordinator, led similar workshops for state
employees.

Following the LA uprising in 1992, Sara established a
process to assist area businesses to obtain
environmental and other permits through the Office of
Revitalization.

From 1992-94, Sara represented her co-workers in the
Professional Scientists Union in contract negotiations
with the state.

Sara is married and has been a registered Green since
1994. She is pro-choice, pro-public education,
pro-affirmative action, for gun control, universal
health care and against the death penalty. She
subscribes to the 10 key values and the platform of
the Green Party of California.

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


CANDIDATE STATEMENT

SARA AMIR

This will go out on official voter pamphlet to the
households of all 15 million registered voters

As an immigrant, I especially appreciate the many
opportunities of life in California. As an
environmental scientist working to cleanup some of
California's most polluted lands, I know the appalling
results of a system which values corporate profit and
wasteful consumption over a safe, protected
environment. I advocate pollution prevention and
strong enforcement of our clean air, clean water and
hazardous waste laws.

I support local control of our economies and believe
that stimulating small business will bring long-term
sustainable economic development.. I am pro-choice,
believe in universal health care and insist that women
receive equal pay for equal work. We must prohibit
state-sponsored executions and stop overflowing our
prisons with people convicted of victimless crimes.

As Lt. Governor, I will work to protect the entire
California coast from further gas and oil drilling. I
will promote increased investment in education,
emphasizing the sciences. I will encourage organic
farming and work to insure a safe uncontaminated food
supply. I am committed to a politics of compassion,
which recognizes that ecological sustainability is the
foundation of a strong economy and peaceful world.
Together, we can make our government once again work
for all Californians.

Sara Amir
Green Party Candidate for Lt . Governor of California

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

Date: Thu, 8 Oct 1998 17:40:48 -0500
From: hickse@HRW.ORG
Subject: Iran alert (three magazines suspended)

______________________________ Forward Header __________________________________


IFEX- News from the international freedom of expression community
_________________________________________________________________

ACTION ALERT - IRAN

8 October 1998

Three magazines suspended

SOURCE: Reporters sans frontières (RSF), Paris

**For recent examples of attacks on the press in Iran, see IFEX alerts of 8
October, 2 October, 23 September, 20 September 1998 and others**

(RSF/IFEX) -RSF is protesting the suspension imposed on three magazines, the
weeklies "Asre-é-Ma" and "Sobh" on 6 October 1998, and the monthly
"Jameh-Salem" on 29 September, after convictions by a Press Court in Tehran.

According to RSF's information, Mohammad Salamati, director of the radical
weekly "Asre-é-Ma", was sentenced, for having published "insulting and
deceitful" articles, to a fine equivalent to US$1,000 and to a six-month
suspension of the newspaper. Furthermore, Mehdi Nassiri, director of the
hard-liner "Sobh", was sentenced to a fine equivalent to US$1,000 and to a
four-month suspension of publication. On 29 September, the publishing
licence of the moderate monthly "Jameh-Salem" was revoked for defaming the
late spiritual leader Ayatollah Khomeiny. The director of the paper, Siavoch
Gouran, was given a one-year suspended jail sentence and a fine equivalent
to US$1,000.

BACKGROUND:
There have been six suspensions of newspapers within a month in Iran. The
move began with the closure of the daily "Tous" and the arrest of four
journalists, including the publishing director of the daily, on 16
September. The next day, two magazines "Rah-e-Nouand" and "Tavana" were
coerced into closing down too.

RECOMMENDED ACTION:

Send appeals to the spiritual leader:
- reminding him that these suspensions constitute a blatant violation of the
right to free
information, as established in Article 19 of the International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights, which has been signed and ratified by Iran
- expressing concern regarding the recent trend against press freedom in
Iran
- urging him to do everything in his power to end the judicial harassment of
the press and to allow the magazines and newspapers to resume publishing

APPEALS TO:

His Excellency Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Spiritual leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Tehran, Iran
Fax: +98 21 65 02 03

Please copy appeals to the source if possible.

For further information, contact Laetitia Ferreira at RSF, rue Geoffroy
Marie, Paris 75009, France, tel: +33 1 44 83 84 84, fax: +33 1 45 23 11 51,
e-mail: moyen-orient@rsf.fr, Internet: http://www.rsf.fr

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

Date: Fri, 9 Oct 1998 02:04:49 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Taliban accuses UN of ignoring Iranian interference in Afghanistan

KABUL, Oct 6 (AFP) - Taliban Supreme Leader Mulla Mohammad Omar
has blasted the United Nations saying it ignored Iran's anti-Afghan
interference, official radio said Tuesday as the UN special envoy
tries to ease tensions between Tehran and the Islamic militia.
The militia leader also warned that his administration reserves
the right to adopt every measure to thwart Iran's "flagrant
interference," Radio Shariat said Tuesday.
"The United Nations is being indifferent regarding gross
interference in the Afghan home affairs, by outsiders mainly Iran,"
Omar said Monday from his southern stronghold of Kandahar.
This brings about "further embarassment and defamation" for the
world body with every passing day if it prolongs its "absolute
silence" regarding such deeds.
"Iran is flagrantly and grossly interfering in our country's
internal affairs, against which, we reserve ourselves the right to
adopt every measure," he said.
Omar's latest attack against the United Nations came as UN
special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi arrived Monday in Tehran for talks
with Iranian leaders.
Brahimi told reporters he opposed any military solution to the
Afghan crisis and that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan had given him
the task "to do all I can to ensure the respect of human rights
principles in Afghanistan."
The Afghan ruling religious militia has alleged Tehran is
gearing up for an invasion of Afghanistan with a huge military build
up and unprecedented military war games along the common borders
involving more than 200,000 Iranian soldiers.
Taliban officials Saturday wrote to the Annan complaining of
alleged violations of Afghan air space by Iranian planes, warning
that the Islamic militia will have no other option but to retaliate
should Tehran continue such moves.
Omar also stressed the Afghan people will "seriously react" to
outside interference should Iran continue its current military war
games along Afghanistan's western borders.
Relations between Shiite Moslem Iran and Sunni Moslem Taliban
struck their lowest ebb after the fall of the northern city of
Mazar-i-Sharif to the religious militia on August 8.
Eight Iranian diplomats -- who the Taliban accuse were involved
in espionage activities -- and one journalist were killed by the
militia soldiers after the fall of the city.
Tehran has lost its traditional allies inside Afghanistan after
the Taliban army two months ago overran central and northern
Afghanistan, kicking out the pro-Iranian Hezb-i-Wahdat faction of
the anti-Taliban alliance from the area.

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

Date: Fri, 9 Oct 1998 02:05:12 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: 167 approved for key Iran polls

TEHRAN, Oct 7 (AFP) - A total of 167 clerics, mainly
conservatives, have been approved to take part in crucial Assembly
of Experts elections in Iran this month, state radio announced
Wednesday.
No women or lay people are on the list and many leftist and
moderate supporters of President Mohammad Khatami were disqualified
from the October 23 vote.
Only a dozen leftist hopefuls were cleared by the Council of the
Guardians, a conservative clergy-controlled body which oversees
elections in the Islamic Republic.
A total of 396 hopefuls had signed up for the polls for the
86-seat assembly, whose task is to appoint or dismiss the country's
supreme leader, a post presently held by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The
election is held every eight years.
Thirteen of those changed their minds, but the rest were either
declared disqualified or refused to take a mandatory written exam on
the grounds that it was beneath them.
Nine women and around 40 lay people had signed up for the first
time, but they were all rejected.
The council said most those rejected did not meet the electoral
standards, which are to be famously religious and have a high level
of proficiency in religious matter.
The council said for the first time last month that non-clerics
and women could run provided that they meet the standards. That move
came after growing pressure from Khatami's supporters asking the
assembly to be made more democratic.
The Assembly was created after the 1979 Islamic Revolution in an
effort to ensure the survival of the Islamic government in Iran. The
"experts" are asked to spot the "most qualified" person in Iran to
fill the position of "Vali-Faqih," or supreme leader.
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was generally accepted as supreme
leader, but his successor, Khamenei, was appointed by the assembly
after Khomeini's death in 1989.
But Iranian reformers backing Khatami have criticized the
assembly for being undemocratic, and accuse the Council of the
Guardians of taking sides with their conservative opponents.
The last election in 1990 provoked a factional row after many
then-influential leftist clerics, including Khatami, were
disqualified from running.
-=-=-
C O P Y R I G H T * R E M I N D E R

This article is Copyright 1998 by Agence France-Presse.
All articles in the clari.* news hierarchy are Copyrighted and licensed
to ClariNet Communications Corp. for distribution. Except for articles
in the biz.clarinet newsgroups, only paid subscribers may access
these articles. Any unauthorized access, reproduction or transmission
is strictly prohibited.
We offer a reward to the person who first provides us with
information that helps stop those who distribute or receive our news
feeds without authorization. Please send reports to reward@clari.net.
[Use info@clari.net for sales or other inquiries.]

Details on the use of ClariNet material and other info can be found in
the user documentation section of <our web page>> <http://www.clari.net>.


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

Date: Fri, 9 Oct 1998 02:11:26 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Hardliners clash with Khatami supporters at student rally in Tehran

TEHRAN, Oct 6 (AFP) - Hardliners clashed with supporters of
reformist President Mohammad Khatami at a student rally close to
Tehran University Tuesday.
Witnesses said the security forces intervened to disperse the
demonstration and made several arrests among the 2,000-3,000
protestors assembled in the heart of the capital.
The demonstration had been called by a left-wing student group
to protest against the disqualification of pro-Khatami candidates
for elections later this month to the Assembly of Experts, a key
body responsible for appointing the country's supreme leader.
The clashes started after a group of students started handing
out copies of a letter protesting against the severe restrictions
imposed on Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri, a former leading figure
in the Islamic regime.
The students said the letter had recently been sent to Khatami
by Montazeri's son Ahmad.
Once the designated successor of Iran's late supreme leader
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Montazeri has been kept under tight
police surveillance in the holy city of Qom for several years.
He angered hardliners in November last year by issuing a
condemnation of conservatives' continued hold on power and calling
for more powers to be granted to Khatami.
Organizers said the rally had been called "to defend press
freedom, extend popular political participation, protest against the
disqualification of left-wing candidates and condemn violence."
Demonstrators called for the "dissolution" of the
conservative-dominated parliament and the "release of political
prisoners."
The rally was addressed by former MP Hodjatoleslam Hadi
Khamenei, brother of supreme leader Ali Khamenei, who called for
"more political freedom" in Iran.
There have been a number of clashes on Iranian university
campuses in recent months between hardliners and supporters of
Khatami.

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

Date: Fri, 9 Oct 1998 02:05:28 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iran won't rule out use of force against Taliban

TEHRAN, Oct 7 (AFP) - Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi
refused on Wednesday to rule out the possible use of force against
the Taliban Islamic militia in Afghanistan, but said diplomacy was
the priority.
"We have always said that exercising restraint has a limit. If
necessary, we will not hesitate using force and all military
resources at our disposal," Kharazi told a press conference. "The
military option is not ruled out."
But he stressed that "Iran has presently adopted a policy of
restraint towards the Taliban."
"We prefer a political solution and hope that the Taliban will
heed the demands of Iran and the international community so that
there will not be a need to resort to force," the minister added.
Relations between Shiite Moslem Iran and the Sunni Moslem
Taliban plunged after the fall of the northern Afghan city of
Mazar-i-Sharif to the religious militia on August 8.
Eight Iranian diplomats -- who the Taliban allege were involved
in espionage activities -- and one journalist were killed by the
militia after the fall of the city.
Iran has massed large military forces near the border with
Afghanistan and is about to carry out military manoeuvres involving
nearly 200,000 men.
Kharazi said his country demanded the release of some 40 other
Iranians held captive by the Taliban and the arrest and trial of the
killers of the diplomats.
He also called on the Taliban to return the bodies of three
other diplomats allegedly killed by the militia.
Kharazi said a tour to the region by the UN special envoy for
Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi, "is one of the main efforts" being
undertaken to resolve the problem with the Taliban.
"We all have fixed our eyes to this trip. We hope international
efforts will bear results," he said.
Brahimi has been here since Sunday on a mission to ease tension
between Tehran and the Taliban. He was to leave Thursday (eds:
correct) for Pakistan, a power broker in Afghanistan with close ties
to the Taliban.
The UN envoy, quoted by Iran's official news agency IRNA, said
Tuesday he would urge Pakistan to put pressure on the Taliban to
comply with UN resolutions.
He called for the return of the bodies of the three Iranians and
the release of Iranian prisoners.
Taliban Supreme Leader Mulla Mohammad Omar blasted the United
Nations on Tuesday for "ignoring Iran's anti-Afghan interference."
The militia leader also warned that his administration reserves
the right to adopt every measure to thwart Iran's "flagrant
interference" in his country.
Taliban officials Saturday complained to the UN of alleged
violations of Afghan air space by Iranian planes, warning that the
Islamic militia will have no other option but to retaliate should
Tehran continue such moves.
Omar also stressed that the Afghan people would "seriously
react" to outside interference should Iran continue its military
exercises along Afghanistan's western borders.


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

Date: Fri, 9 Oct 1998 02:03:15 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Two Iranian publications temporarily banned

TEHRAN, Oct 6 (AFP) - Two Iranian publications have been
temporarily banned and their managing directors fined, the official
IRNA news agency said Tuesday.
A Tehran court on Monday ordered a halt to publication of
Asr-e-Ma (Our Times), a leftist biweekly supportive of moderate
President Mohammad Khatami, for six months because of "repeated
insults," IRNA said.
Asr-e-Ma managing director Mohammad Salamati was also fined
three million rials (around 1,000 dollars) for "dissemination of
fabrications and insults," the news agency said.
Mehdi Nasiri, the managing director of another biweekly, Sobh
(Morning), was barred from bringing out his publication for four
months and ordered to pay a three million rial fine.
A former director of the newspaper Kayhan, Nasiri has become
increasingly critical of the Khatami government and tended to side
with conservatives within the Islamic Republic.
The latest bans come amid accusations by conservatives that a
number of publications supportive of Khatami have displayed
un-Islamic and pro-Western attitudes.
In mid-September, the daily newspaper Toos, which had gained
popularity among the young and intellectuals, was shut down by the
security forces and its editorial staff arrested.
The culture ministry said Toos was shut down because of an
interview with former French president Valery Giscard d'Estaing in
which he claimed the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah
Ruhollah Khomeini, had sought and been granted political asylum when
he went to France before the Islamic Revolution in 1978.

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

Date: Fri, 9 Oct 1998 02:08:48 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Taliban reject Iranian accusations of border incursions

KABUL, Oct 8 (AFP) - Taliban authorities Thursday rejected
Iranian claims as "totally baseless" that its militia launched an
attack on strategic border positions inside Iran.
Taliban senior spokesman Mawlawi Wakil Ahmad said the Iranians
have been shelling near the Afghan border for the last three days
with some missiles landing on Afghan soil.
"There have been no reports of casualties. Iran has done this
because they want to cover their own violations on Afghan
territory," Wakil said.
He was speaking as an Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander
said his forces inflicted "heavy casualties" on Taliban militia
forces during a three-hour clash on the Iran-Afghan border on
Thursday.
General Azizollah Jafari, the commander of the Guards' ground
forces, said Taliban militiamen attacked an Iranian border post in
the Saleh-Abad region of Torbat-e-Jan, in the north of Khorasan
province, with machine guns and artillery on Thursday morning.
"The Iranian forces responded and the clashes lasted for three
hours," he said, quoted by Iran's official IRNA news agency.
"The Taliban suffered heavy casualties in the exchange and three
of their border posts were destroyed," the general said, adding the
situation was now quiet at the frontier.
Wakil said Taliban authorities have on two occasions released
Iranian prisoners as a gesture of goodwill and Iranian claims of
incursions ran "counter to our decision to seek a peaceful
resolution".
He quoted the Taliban Supreme Leader Mulla Mohammad Omar as
saying he was prepared to allow a UN delegation to travel to the
border "to investigate why Iran is shelling towards us and making
such baseless allegations".
Throughout Thursday afternoon in Kabul there was much firing by
Taliban anti-aircraft gunners but observers said it was routine and
not necessarily linked to the situation on the border.
Reports of the Taliban-Iranian clash came amid mounting
speculation in Kabul the Taliban are preparing to launch a
pre-emptive stike against the militia's chief rival Ahmad Shah
Masood.
Analysts say the build-up of more than 200,000 Iranian troops
along the border could be used to Masood's advantage, by forcing the
Taliban to divert scarce resources to Afghanistan's southwest
borders.
Masood and his 10,000-odd men remain the last major threat to
Taliban ambitions of assuming total control of Afghanistan and
continue to shell Taliban frontlines, about 25 kilometres (15 miles)
north of here.
However, his base in the nearby Panjsher Valley was largely cut
off from the outside world during the Taliban's recent sweeping
victories in the north.
This has raised fears of a Masood counter-strike designed to win
back supply routes before the winter sets in.
One analyst said Masood and Tehran have enjoyed an uneasy
alliance but that may have improved since the murder of eight
Iranian diplomats and one journalist after the northern town of
Mazar-i-Sharif fell to the Taliban on August 8.
Relations between the Taliban and Tehran seriously deteriorated
in response to the killings and led to Iran massing its troops along
its Afghan border.

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

Date: Fri, 9 Oct 1998 02:07:28 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Some 500 Baha'i homes raided in Iran

TORONTO, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- Iranian authorities are reported to have
raided more than 500 homes owned by members of the Baha'i religious
minority, seizing television sets, furniture and other items of private
property.
Gerald Filson, a spokesman for the Baha'i Community of Canada, said
today the raids were carried out simultaneously with the arrest of 36
Baha'i academics in 14 Iranian cities last week.
Filson told United Press International the raids on the Baha'i homes
were conducted by officials of the Information Ministry, which
coordinates intelligence and security affairs in Iran.
He says members of the families in the homes raided were told the
Iranian attorney general had authorized the officials ``to take away
anything they wanted.'' The Iranian government considers the Baha'i sect
heretical.
Filson says it was not immediately clear why the raids were carried
out, but he says the offcials appeared to be looking for books and other
items used in educating Baha'i youths who are denied a formal education.
He says Iranian authorities do not permit Baha'i children to complete
their final year of high school, to prevent them from qualifying for
admission to universities in Iran.
Over the past six years, he says, Baha'i academics have been
organizing secret classes for the children expelled from high school,
and providing them with university-level education if they qualified.
The academics set up the Baha'i Institute of Higher Education, which
came to be called the Baha'i Open University. He says the 36 academics
arrested last week were faculty members of the BIHE.
Filson says that in targeting the 500 homes, the Iranian officials
appeared to be looking for secret locations where the classes were held.
He says all but seven of the 36 academics have since been released,
but those set free were told the Baha'i Open University must close.

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

Date: Fri, 9 Oct 1998 02:08:22 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: U.S. Hints More Strikes Vs. Bin Laden

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Further U.S. missile attacks against the
Afghanistan operations of Islamic extremist Osama bin Laden are
possible, the Clinton administration suggested Thursday. ``We will
take those actions we believe are necessary,'' a top State
Department official told Congress.
Karl F. Inderfurth, assistant secretary of state for south Asian
affairs, called on leaders of Afghanistan's Taliban religious army
for help.
``They consider that Mr. Osama bin Ladin is a guest. ... We
believe that this man is not a guest, that he is a murderer and a
terrorist,'' Inderfurth said.
Inderfurth also expressed concern over recent border clashes
between Taliban forces and Iran, but said he doubted the recent
massing of Iranian troops along its northeastern border signaled an
impending invasion of Afghanistan.
``Our view is that the purpose of these exercises has been to
intimidate, not to necessarily presage an Iranian attack inside
Afghanistan,'' he told the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on
near eastern and south Asian affairs.
Still, Inderfurth said, ``This is not a war we want to see.'' He
said it would further destabilize an already unstable region.
Inderfurth was asked if the administration was contemplating any
additional military actions in Afghanistan as a follow-up to the
Aug. 20 cruise missile strikes against a purported terrorist
training camp there. Other missiles destroyed the Al Shifa
pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum, Sudan.
``Those options are clearly available to us,'' he said.
Inderfurth said that the attack in Afghanistan ``sent a powerful
message that terrorists cannot find safe haven, even in nations
that harbor them.'' He called Afghanistan ``a vipers nest of
terrorist training.''
``So, this must be dealt with, and the Taliban must understand
that its providing safe haven does make them complicit in the
activities that are conducted by the terrorists themselves,''
Inderfurth said.
``Our message is simple: Osama bin Laden, an international
terrorist leader still operating from Afghanistan, must be brought
to justice, and Afghanistan must stop being a terrorist base,'' he
added.
The United States has linked bin Laden to the bombings of two
U.S. embassies in Africa.
``We fully expect that we will hear more from Mr. bin Laden and
his network at future times, and therefore the work that we are
doing to combat that and to prevent it, is a 24-hour-a-day exercise
being undertaken by our government,'' Inderfurth said.
``We don't expect the attacks that took place in August to be
the last word.''
Inderfurth said there was ``some reason to believe'' the Taliban
was reconsidering its tolerance for bin Laden. He said he could not
confirm some news accounts that bin Laden was considering moving
his operations to Kashmir.
Estimates of the Iranian forces have ranged to as many as
270,000. However, Inderfurth suggested such figures are grossly
inflated and that there may be as few as 30,000.
``One can never be certain about these things, because it only
takes a spark like this perhaps to set off something larger -- but
our assessment at this point, is that no Iranian military attack is
imminent, indeed, it may be unlikely to take place,'' Inderfurth
said.

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

Date: Fri, 9 Oct 1998 02:09:16 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: UN envoy cautiously optimistic on efforts to ease Iran-Taliban tensions

TEHRAN, Oct 8 (AFP) - UN special envoy for Afghanistan Lakhdar
Brahimi voiced cautious optimism here Thursday over a mission to
help ease tension between Iran and the Taliban Islamic militia in
Afghanistan.
Speaking at a press conference here before reports of a border
clash between Iranian troops and Taliban militiamen, Brahimi said
there were "good chances of success" in his efforts to avert a war
between the two sides.
"My negotiations with Iranian officials were hope-inspiring. We
hope the threats of a regional crisis will lessen," he said before
leaving for Pakistan, which has close ties to the Taliban.
"There are good chances of success. I don't see why things
should come to a war," he said, noting that diplomacy was Iran's
"first choice" in dealing with the Taliban.
But the envoy also warned that "the chances that the current
negotiations will not result in success are not remote."
"In my talks here I detected no signs which will lead to an
easing of tensions, but I also did not see any signs showing that
the situation is worsening," he said.
"The Iranians told us clearly that their first option is
political and diplomatic, but they also clearly stated that they
reserve the right to take any measure deemed necessary to protect
their rights," Brahimi said.
"The reinforcement of Iranian military positions and that of the
Taliban at their common border raises the fear that the crisis could
spill over," he said.
Relations between Shiite Moslem Iran and the Sunni Moslem
Taliban plunged after the fall of the northern Afghan city of
Mazar-i-Sharif to the religious militia on August 8.
Eight Iranian diplomats and one journalist were killed by the
militia after the fall of the city.
Iran has demanded the release of some 40 other Iranians held
captive by the Taliban and the arrest of the militiamen who killed
the diplomats. Tehran also wants the militia to stop supporting drug
trafficking and "acts of banditry."
The Iranian army has deployed 200,000 troops near the
Iran-Afghan border for unprecedented maneuvers in the coming days.
Brahimi's comments came before reports of a border clash between
a unit of elite Revolutionary Guards and Taliban forces reached
Tehran. Tens of thousands of Revolutionary Guards have been
stationed at the border since August.
General Azizollah Jafari, commander of the Guards' ground
forces, said the Taliban suffered "heavy casualties" on Thursday
after attacking an Iranian border post at Saleh-Abad in the
Torbat-e-Jam region in the north of Khorasan province.
"The Taliban suffered heavy casualties in the exchange and three
of their border posts were destroyed," the general said, adding that
the situation was now quiet at the frontier.
Brahimi arrived here Sunday from the United Arab Emirates on the
second leg of a regional tour to help ease tension between Iran and
the Taliban. He held talks with President Mohammad Khatami, Foreign
Minister Kamal Kharazi and Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani.
The envoy said he will not travel to Afghanistan for security
reasons, but that he is due to hold talks with Taliban officials in
Islamabad.
He said the United Nation's major concern was Taliban
involvement in drugs and the violation of human rights in
Afghanistan.
"One of our major concerns has been the trafficking of drugs. We
have repeatedly discussed this with Taliban officials," Brahimi
said.
He called for a broadbased government encompassing "all Afghan
ethnic and religious groups."
"All who are familiar with Afghanistan unanimously believe that
peace will come to Afghanistan only when there is a broad-based
government there," the envoy said.
The international community -- except for Pakistan, Saudi Arabia
and the United Arab Emirates -- refuses to recognise the Taliban as
Afghanistan's rulers, although the militia controls more than 90
percent of the war-torn country.


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

Date: Fri, 9 Oct 1998 02:09:28 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iranian drug addicts warned to seek treatment or go to jail

TEHRAN, Oct 8 (AFP) - Iran's chief prosecutor warned drug
addicts on Thursday to voluntarily seek treatment or face
punishment, as the authorities intensify the fight against narcotics
trafficking and use.
Ayatollah Morteza Moqtadai told newspapers that the health
ministry had been instructed to set up rehabilitation centers
throughout the country to treat addicts at their own costs, "except
for when they cannot afford it."
He said even elderly addicts with a long history of addiction
will be punished under the new law which came into force on
September 23 envisioning tougher sentences against drug users.
Addicts above the age of 60 were previously exempted from
punishment on the grounds that kicking the habit could pose health
hazards.
According to official figures, Iran has around 1.2 million drug
addicts and users.
The ayatollah said even manufacturers of instruments used to
consume drugs, such as pipes to smoke opium, would not be spared
under the new law, or those who import or produce chemicals used to
make drugs.
Moqtadai said last week the judiciary had sharply increased the
sentences handed down for drug-related offenses, including the death
penalty for anyone caught with more than 30 grams (one ounce) of
heroin.
Iran's Expediency Council passed the law last year in a bid to
cope with the rising flow of drugs into the country from neighboring
Pakistan and Afghanistan on their way to Europe and the Gulf
states.


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

Date: Fri, 9 Oct 1998 02:09:47 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iranian FM in Damascus on mediation trip between Syria, Turkey

DAMASCUS, Oct 8 (AFP) - Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi
arrived here on Thursday as part of a bid by the Islamic Republic to
mediate in the dispute between Syria and Turkey, officials said.
Kharazi, who is expected to visit Ankara following talks here,
is to meet with Syrian President Hafez al-Assad, the officials
said.
Kharazi said in Tehran before departing for Damascus that his
trip follows telephone conversations Wednesday between Iranian
President Mohammad Khatami and his counterparts in Syria and
Turkey.
"Iran has repeatedly stated that division and conflict among
Islamic countries will only benefit enemies, notably the Zionist
regime," Kharazi said, referring to Israel.
"We have to undertake all efforts to prevent the eruption of
another war in the Middle East," the foreign minister said, quoted
by Iran's official news agency IRNA.
"Political negotiations are the best way to settle the conflict
between Ankara and Damascus," he added. "The Islamic republic is
ready for any help and cooperation in this regard."
IRNA said Kharazi, whose country currently holds the presidency
of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), will try to
encourage Syrian and Turkish officials to reach a peaceful
settlement to their conflict.
Turkey and Syria have been engaged in a growing war of words,
with Ankara accusing its southern neighbour of backing the Kurdistan
Workers' Party (PKK) in a long-running rebellion in the mainly
Kurdish southeast of Turkey, a charge Damascus has repeatedly
denied.
A Syrian spokesman said Wednesday that Khatami in his telephone
conversation with Assad had "showed that he understands Syria's
position calling for the resolution of our problems by dialogue."
Assad said he was "satisfied with the friendly relations and
cooperation between Iran and Syria" and "thanked his Iranian
counterpart for Iran's fraternal stance" on the matter, said Syrian
presidential spokesman Gebran Kourieh.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has also been trying to mediate
a peaceful settlement to the Turkish-Syrian dispute.

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

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 7 Oct 1998 to 8 Oct 1998 - Special issue
*****************************************************************