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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 20 Oct 1998 to 21 Oct 1998

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 20 Oct 1998 to 21 Oct 1998
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There are 4 messages totalling 187 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. Riot Police Break Up Iran Rally
2. Assembly Vote Latest Battle in Iran
3. Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, at center of crucial vote
4. faezeh learns her lesson

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Date: Wed, 21 Oct 1998 17:03:01 +0200
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad.abdolian@RSA.ERICSSON.SE>
Subject: Riot Police Break Up Iran Rally

By SCHEHEREZADE FARAMARZI Associated Press Writer

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) _ Riot police broke up a pro-democracy rally Tuesday at a
Tehran stadium after hard-line vigilantes and protesters began scuffling.

The fighting began as Gholamhossein Karbaschi, the suspended mayor of
Tehran, was urging the 3,000 people at the stadium to take part in Friday's
elections for the Assembly of Experts, a body that elects the country's
supreme leader.

A few hundred people from both sides shoved and pushed each other _ and at
least a half-dozen were beaten _ before police intervened.

``Sticks, clubs and knives won't work anymore!'' shouted hundreds of youths,
referring to the weapons that members of the Ansar-e Hezbollah vigilante
group use in fights with moderates.

The rally was one in a series that moderates have been holding in the runup
to the elections. They accuse the hard-line Council of Guardians, which
screens applicants for elections, of being unfair in its selection of
candidates for the assembly. Most of the moderate applicants for the
assembly were disqualified.

Those attending the rally, mostly university students, used the occasion to
vent their anger at hard-liners for trying to curb civil liberties by
closing down liberal newspapers.

The youths also shouted slogans in support of President Mohammad Khatami,
whose election last year has brought about the more-relaxed atmosphere in
which people can hold rallies.

The crowd called for the appeals court to overturn the conviction of
Karbaschi, who was sentenced in April to five years in jail for corruption.

``Acquittal, acquittal!'' they shouted.

Karbaschi urged the students to vote in the assembly elections, saying: ``If
you don't vote, you will be depriving yourselves with your own hands from
your social and political rights.''

Many Iranians, angry that there will be few moderate candidates on the
ballot, have said they will not vote.

``There's no point in voting. They have already selected the members,''
complained Mahmoud Mir Bagheri, an engineering student.

But Mohammad Rahmani said he had changed his mind after hearing Karbaschi.

``I'll vote so that I'm not left behind, '' he said.

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

Date: Wed, 21 Oct 1998 17:04:08 +0200
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad.abdolian@RSA.ERICSSON.SE>
Subject: Assembly Vote Latest Battle in Iran

By SCHEHEREZADE FARAMARZI Associated Press Writer

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) _ The latest battle defining Iran's future comes in
elections Friday that moderates hope will curb the absolute power of the
country's spiritual leader.

The vote is for the 86-seat Assembly of Experts. The body elects and
supervises the religious leader, who has the last word in setting the
country's direction.

Until now, the only real challenge to that authority has come from
President Mohammad Khatami, a moderate cleric whose huge 1997 election
victory has allowed him to ease some Islamic strictures controlling the
lives of Iran's 60 million people.

But it has also set up a battle between the entrenched hard-liners under
spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and moderates who want to erase
Iran's image as a rogue state and move it back into the international
mainstream.

The campaign is emotional. On Tuesday, a rally attended by 3,000 people,
mostly moderate students, briefly erupted into pushing, shoving and
fist-swinging when several dozen hard-liners began chanting ``Death to
America!''

The moderates replied with shouts of ``Fascists!'' but riot police appeared
before the crowd got out of hand.

Even before the campaign began, the hard-liners _ mindful of the danger
that the Assembly of Experts can pose _ acted to undercut the moderates.

Two weeks ago, an ultra-conservative council responsible for judging
candidates' worthiness dumped 214 of the 396 assembly hopefuls, about 80
percent of them backers of Khatami.

But even if the moderates don't get a majority on the assembly _ and their
leaders concede that's likely _ they still hope to use it as a vehicle to
chip away at the supreme leader's authority.

``What we want is that all the points in the constitution be
respected,''said Saeid Leilaz, leader of a centrist political group.

``Contrary to all beliefs, our constitution is very anti-dictatorial,'' he
said. ``If you read it carefully, you will find that no one has the last
word.''

But until now, critics say, the Assembly of Experts has failed to control
the ever-growing powers of the spiritual leader.

Khamenei exercises absolute control, as did Iran's first spiritual leader,
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, father of the 1979 Islamic revolution.

One example moderates give of Khamenei's dangerous power is that he blocked
an expected meeting between Iran's foreign minister and U.S. Secretary of
State Madeleine Albright at the U.N. General Assembly earlier this month.

Khatami has called for a dialogue with the United States, while the
hard-liners want to keep Washington as the ``Great Satan.''

Key to Friday's election may be turnout. Estimates are that fewer than 10
million people will take part, a sharp contrast to presidential elections
last year when 30 million voted, 20 million of them for Khatami. The
hard-liners are seen as more likely to turn out this time.

Former Tehran Mayor Gholamhossein Karbaschi, a leading moderate, urged
those at Tuesday's rally to cast ballots.

``Vote for those closest to your opinions and liking so that there will be
a variety of ideas in the assembly,'' he said.

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

Date: Wed, 21 Oct 1998 20:26:32 +0200
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad.abdolian@RSA.ERICSSON.SE>
Subject: Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, at center of crucial vote

TEHRAN, Oct 21 (AFP) -Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, elected as Iran's supreme
leader in 1989, will come under scrutiny by a new Assembly of Experts to be
formed after Friday's elections.

As successor to the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Khamenei, 59, enjoys
extensive powers in political, religious and military matters.

He has combined the twin posts of premier political personality and highest
religious authority since Khomeini's death in June 1989.

A former president, Khamenei was elected nine years ago to his current post
of supreme leader by the Assembly, which presently consists of 86 clerics,
all of whom are considered to be "experts" on political and religious matters.

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

Date: Wed, 21 Oct 1998 21:38:57 -0000
From: Mo Sa'lemy <mosalemy@DIRECT.CA>
Subject: faezeh learns her lesson

faezeh hashemi learned the lesson she deserved in denmark.

apparently one of the mothers of MKO while pretending to present her some
flowers, slaped her so hard in her shameless face that she had to stop
her speech and leave the university.

Salute to the brave hands of the woman who slaped the MP.

i kiss that hand.

and shame on those who are going to scream human rights for the daughter
of the facist ex-president who shamelessly defend his father's records
and the mordurous regime he helped establish in iran.

Down with IRI

i felt as good as the day lajavardi was killed, as good as when i heared
pinochet was arrested.

mo

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End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 20 Oct 1998 to 21 Oct 1998
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