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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 23 Nov 1999 to 26 Nov 1999 - Special issue

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There are 16 messages totalling 1337 lines in this issue.

Topics in this special issue:

1. RADIO FREE EUROPE-IRAN WEEKLY REPORT-PART 1/2
2. RADIO FREE EUROPE-IRAN WEEKLY REPORT-PART 2/2
3. Iran, Senegal Sign Draft Agreement on Health, Pharmaceutical
4. Foruhars Remembered One Year After Their Murders
5. Official Says Bandar Anzali Will Continue Customs Services
6. S. Korean Insurance Company Head in Iran:
7. Qatar Welcomes Participation of Iranian Businessmen in Industry
8. IRAN NEWS EDITORIAL NOVEMBER 21, 1999
9. Expansion of Tehran-Beirut Ties Called for
10. Shahroudi: Judiciary 70 Years Behind Other Organizations
11. A lecture and presentation by distinguished Iranian neurosurgeon:
12. Tel Aviv and Washington Cannot Stop Iran-Russian Cooperation
13. Rome to host Iranian, Italian, Greek, Egyptian Parliament Speakers
14. Imam Mahdi, the Only Light of the Time
15. fyi: Iran Vs. USA football match
16. EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT from INTERNATIONAL ACTION CENTER

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

Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1999 18:02:10 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: RADIO FREE EUROPE-IRAN WEEKLY REPORT-PART 1/2

RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
_____________________________________________________________
RFE/RL IRAN REPORT
Vol. 2, No. 46, 22 November 1999

A Review of Developments in Iran Prepared by the Regional
Specialists of RFE/RL's Newsline Team.

**************************************************
HEADLINES:
* IRGC SUPPORTS KHATAMI
* HIZBALLAH WITHOUT IRAN?
* TROUBLE FOR THIRD DEVELOPMENT PLAN
* MAJOR OIL CONTRACT SIGNED
**************************************************

ONE STUDENT LEADER RELEASED...
Heshmatollah Tabarzadi, director of "Hoviat-i Khish" and
leader of the Islamic Union of Students and Graduates, was
released from prison on 4 November, "Sobh-i Imruz" reported
on 8 November. He was held for a total of six months. The
catalyst to the July demonstrations was the 6 July arrest of
students planning to stage a sit-in to protest Tabarzadi's
detention (see "RFE/RL Iran Report," 12 July 1999). In an
interview published in the 10 November "Manatiq-i Azad,"
Tabarzadi said he heard about the July demonstrations while
he was in prison. He asked, "why are elements of civil
society remaining silent in the face of the attacks in which
these students are described as the third current and
outsiders?" Tabarzadi expanded on this statement in an
interview with a Los Angeles-based radio station the next
day, saying: "elements of the 'civil society,' including the
president, promised things that never materialized, and
denied us support and backing." (Bill Samii)


...BUT MANY STUDENTS STILL IMPRISONED.
The Iranian government is continuing its effort to
eliminate dissent, particularly among students. Some of the
1,500 students arrested in connection with the July
demonstrations in Tehran have been convicted, as were some
students in Tabriz.
The weekly "Aban," according to the 14 November
"Khordad," reported on the Tehran cases. The "Aban" article
confirmed the 10-year sentence given to Ahmad Bateni, the
young man whose picture was on the cover of London's
"Economist" (see "RFE/RL Iran Report," 8 November 1999). Also
receiving 10 years was an otherwise unidentified individual
named Fardak. Bahram Namazi, Arya, Mehran Mir-Abdolbaqi, and
Beyarani (Niyarami) received sentences ranging from 11 months
to nine years. Students Ali Alinezhad, Shafii, and Abdi were
given two and a half year sentences. Ebrahimi, soccer player
Hanasab, and Kurdish student Khaled Rostamzadeh have not been
sentenced yet, nor has Bahiye Jilani, a relative of Dariush
Foruhar, who was murdered last year.
More students in Tabriz were convicted, too, "Khordad"
reported on 14 November. Ali Bikas was sentenced to eight
years in prison, Ali Mehri to seven years, Ali Sadeqi and
Ayub Salimi to one year, and Farzad Sajed Ardebili to eight
months. The sentences of two other students are still under
consideration, while four students received suspended
sentences and were released. The National Liberation Movement
of Southern Azerbaijan told Baku's Turan news agency on 15
November that the defendants did not have legal
representation.
The attack on free expression also continues. Semnan
University student Sadeq Alinejad was given a three-month
prison sentence for writing an article critical of advisory
supervision (through which the Guardians Council determines
the eligibility of candidates for elected office) and Iranian
state broadcasting, "Arya" and "Khordad" reported on 14
November. The Revolutionary Court also claimed that Alinejad
insulted Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Meanwhile,
the trial of Hamid Ahangari got underway on 13 November.
Ahangari is the fourth student being tried in the case of a
play published in the Amir Kabir University magazine called
"Mowj." The other three students received prison sentences of
varying lengths, while a professor tried in the same case was
acquitted.
Not all Iranian students are troublemakers, however.
Iranian state broadcasting reported on 16 November that
"hundreds of Iran's student Basij mobilization forces" signed
a pledge indicating their willingness to fulfill the death
decree against Salman Rushdie, author of "The Satanic
Verses." The pledge was sent to the British Embassy in
Tehran. (Bill Samii)


IRGC SUPPORTS KHATAMI.
Kermanshah parliamentary representative Seyyed Mojtaba
Musavi-Ojaq's description of a recent survey of Islamic
Revolution Guard Corps and Basij personnel in 24 provinces
may cause some surprises. According to the survey, 9 percent
of the sample group favored the hardline faction, 6 percent
are apolitical, 5 percent are uncommitted, and the remaining
80 percent support the 2 Khordad movement (the moniker given
to reformist political groups that supported President
Mohammad Khatami's election). Musavi-Ojaq went on to say that
the public should not believe that the entire IRGC supports
hardline politicians, "Iran News" reported on 16 November.
These results were supported by Ilam IRGC commander Allahnur
Nurallahi's statement the next day. "Sobh-i Imruz" reported
on 17 November that he said: "The IRGC, will, in the same way
as it supported the government of the previous president,
continue to support the government of Mr. Khatami and regards
this as one of its chief and essential duties." Nurallahi
added: "Today, the IRGC, along with other armed forces of the
country, is in the service of the government and supports the
officials, in particular the honorable, wise, insightful, and
popular president."


EVEN WITHOUT IRAN, HIZBALLAH HAS ITS MARTYRS.
At a recent rally in the pre-dominantly Shia suburb of
Haret Hreik in southern Beirut, Hizballah Secretary-General
Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah explained the proposed unilateral
withdrawal of Israeli forces from South Lebanon. He said the
withdrawal is "an admission of [Israel's] defeat and
helplessness and the victory of Lebanon, the Resistance, and
the martyrs," both Baalbek's Voice of the Oppressed and
Beirut's "Al-Safir" reported on 12 November.
In Shia Islam, martyrdom is a powerful theme, with its
paradigm being Imam Hussein, grandson of the Prophet
Mohammad, who died in 680 with his small army in a battle
over leadership of the faith. In Haret Hreik, the theme of
martyrdom stands out to this day.
As one turns off the main highway and enters Haret
Hreik, one immediately notices that the streets are lined
with large paintings of men in uniform. Most of these men--
they are referred to as martyrs--have died fighting Israeli
forces in the south. In many shop windows one sees posters of
a bearded and bespectacled Shia cleric--Sheikh Abbas Musawi.
Commander of Hizballah's Islamic Resistance and then the
party's secretary-general, Musawi was personally responsible
for the 1988 kidnapping and subsequent murder of U.S.
Lieutenant-Colonel William Higgins, and he was killed by
Israeli forces in 1992.
Hizballah's media office, which is located on Sheikh
Raghib Harb Street, also features the theme of martyrdom.
Harb headed Hizballah in southern Lebanon and was
assassinated in February 1984. These constant reminders of
martyrdom show that Hizballah bases much of its legitimacy on
its role as the armed resistance against the Israeli
occupation of the south.
But it is not martyrdom alone on which Hizballah bases
its strength. From its creation in the early-1980s, the party
has always received support, of varying types and in varying
degrees, from Iran as well as Syria. Most recently, President
Mohammad Khatami sent a message to Lebanese Prime Minister
Selim al-Hoss that expressed Iran's support for the
"resistance in the occupied areas in southern Lebanon," IRNA
reported on 15 November. There have been many recent reports
of Iranian military aid to Hizballah, but it now appears that
some of these reports are based on Israeli disinformation
(see "RFE/RL Iran Report," 25 October 1999).
Also, Iranian ambassador to Beirut Mohammad Ali Sobhani
denied the provision of weapons from Tehran to Beirut
International Airport, Beirut's "Daily Star" reported on 4
November. He did say, however, that "We support Lebanese
resistance to Israeli occupation." Foreign Minister Kamal
Kharrazi reiterated, Damascus official radio reported on 6
November, his country's support for Lebanon's right to regain
land occupied by Israel and for the "liberation of
Jerusalem."
Not only does Iran deny supplying weapons, Iranian
officials, such as Kharrazi, also deny involvement in
Hizballah decision-making. Frequent trips made by Sheikh
Nasrallah to Iran make such denials implausible. When he
visited Tehran in late-October, for example, Nasrallah met
with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, President
Khatami, and Parliamentary Speaker Ali Akbar Nateq-Nuri,
among others. A major topic in those meetings was Hizballah's
relations with Amal, Lebanon's other major Shia party, and
the need to maintain unity, according to Paris' "Al-Watan al-
Arabi" on 22 October.
In addition to Hizballah's military activities, the
party is involved in political and social welfare activities,
too, in an effort to strengthen its base of support.
Hizballah has almost 10 parliamentary representatives and
provides some low-cost social services. An example of this is
the Al-Rasul al-Azam Hospital in southern Beirut.
This hospital was established in the 1980s with
financial assistance from Iran's Martyr's Foundation (Bonyad-
i Shahid). Because funding from Iran has been greatly
reduced, hospital administrator Hajj Mohammad Hijazi told
"RFE/RL Iran Report" that the hospital must rely on earned
income and assistance from the local Al-Shaheed Organization.
According to Hijazi, the hospital provides out-patient care
for 5,000 people per month and emergency room care for
another 3,000 per month. He said patients of all confessions-
-Shia, Sunni, or Christian--are attracted by the low cost of
care--about $10 per clinic visit.
But even here, the concept of martyrdom is relevant.
Hijazi explained: "The Shaheed Association is responsible for
the family and the dependents of the martyr. The family means
the father, mother, the wives, and kids. The responsibility
comes to us. We take care of the family from all aspects.
...We have other parts of the Shaheed Association that take
care of education of the kids. They pay for schooling of the
kids."
A short drive from the hospital is the Al-Mahdi School,
which was established by Hizballah but which now is funded
and managed by another non-governmental organization, the
Islamic Institution for Education and Teaching. The school is
one of nine Al-Mahdi institutions in Lebanon. There also is
one in Qom, Iran. Some of the schools, such as the two in
Beirut, are private, while those in the south and in the
Bekaa Valley are funded partly by the government and partly
with fees paid to the Beirut schools.
All Lebanese students, regardless of the school they
attend, must meet standards set by the Lebanese Ministry of
Education. There is, therefore, uniformity in the curricula.
But the Al-Mahdi schools emphasize certain subjects. In an
interview with "RFE/RL Iran Report," school head Ahmad Kassir
explains: "These things (the occupation) are enjoined during
the history or the geography. Say we talk about the south,
what happened in the south. ...Talking in history about
Algeria, the occupation of Algeria. In these ways we try to
make our students well aware of what is going on. We try to
give our students knowledge of Israel, what are the goals of
Hizballah."
Kassir says that support for Hizballah is a key element
in education at the Al-Mahdi School. "Our work supports the
growth and ends of Hizballah. We try to give the people the
idea of Hizballah educational work. ...Hizballah is not the
guerrillas that you talk about. Hizballah also has the
schools and supports the schools. Our students here, their
families, some of them work for Hizballah, we try to provide
a high level of teaching. ...For example, on special
occasions, festivals, we try to join our students in it. We
have the same aims and goals as Hizballah."
And the issue of martyrdom is very important in the Shia
school, according to Kassir. "We have also in the week of
resistance, we tell our students who Seyyed Abbas (Musawi)
is, why we respect this man; also Sheikh Baqir (al-Sadr,
founder of Al-Dawa and executed by the Iraqi government in
the 1980s), why we respect shahida (martyrs), why we respect
them, why Islam gives great importance for such people
because they give everything they have for the benefit of
others."
Iran may reduce financial and military support for
Hizballah. But by sponsoring essential social services and
operating within the legal and political framework, Hizballah
has ensured that it will be part of Lebanese politics for the
foreseeable future. And there always will be reminders of the
martyrs.
Some observers, however, believe that even if Hizballah
acts as a wholly political organization, the military aspect
of its activities will be taken up by another group and with
Iranian support. "Al-Quds"--which supports the Palestinian
Authority--reported on 16 November that Palestinain Islamic
Jihad has appeared in Lebanon and its is operating in
coordination with Hizballah. To survive, the PIJ will need
the patronage of others, and, according to "Al-Qods," such
patronage is coming from the office of Iranian Supreme Leader
Ali Khamenei, the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps, and
hardline Iranian clerics. There also are reports thast
Hizballah is creating "Lebanese Battalions" to replace its
combat units. (Bill Samii)


THIRD DEVELOPMENT PLAN RUNS INTO TROUBLE.
While touring Isfahan, President Hojatoleslam Mohammad
Khatami expressed the hope that parliament would approve the
third five-year development plan quickly, according to IRNA
on 16 November. The plan, introduced by Khatami in mid-
September, is intended to attract foreign investment, reduce
government expenditures, improve economic growth, and address
Iran's unemployment rate (in August, Labor and Social Affairs
Minister Hussein Kamali said that about 2 million Iranians
are unemployed). In early October, Iran's executive and
legislative branches attempted to resolve differences over
the plan (see "RFE/RL Iran Report," 11 October 1999), but
despite the gravity of the problems it is meant to address,
the plan still has not been approved.
On 10 November, "the overwhelming majority" of the
parliament voted in favor of the main principles of the
development plan, according to state broadcasting. It then
came out that a major point of contention revolved around the
differences between quantitative estimates and forecasts and
reality, particularly in the areas of foreign investment and
subsidies. This may be why, on 14 November, Central Bank of
Iran Governor Mohsen Nurbakhsh said oil revenues exceeded the

<< Continued to next message >>>

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

Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1999 18:03:06 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: RADIO FREE EUROPE-IRAN WEEKLY REPORT-PART 2/2

<< This message is part 2 of a previous message >>>

third plan's estimate by $3 billion, so this extra money
would be used to stabilize the national currency and provide
the manufacturing sector with cash for importing raw
materials.
On 11 November, the parliament failed to reach a quorum
on the third plan, delaying the debate for two more days.
Speaker of Parliament Hojatoleslam Ali Akbar Nateq-Nuri
explained that 180 people must be present to form a quorum.
On 13 November, several articles of the plan were approved,
including some that addressed streamlining and downsizing
ministries, and another that commissioned the government to
pay salaries for the next five years with adjustments for the
inflation rate. Articles regarding privatization of state
firms, reduction of monopolies, and increasing competition
were approved on 14 November.
On 15 November, however, things ground to a halt when a
number of hardline deputies--such as Abbas Abbasi and Ahmad
Rasulinezhad--made a proposal banning any price increases in
goods or services provided by the state or by state-
affiliated organizations for the next five years. Nateq-Nuri
refused to accept the proposal, according to "Khordad,"
because he was concerned that it will block the development
plan entirely. Parliamentary presidium spokesman Mohammad
Baqir Nobakht said the proposal would increase the
government's financial burden to untenable levels, while the
deputies defended the proposal by saying it is necessary to
"satisfy the public and lessen their economic burden."
Plan and Budget Organization chief Mohammad Najafi
complained, IRNA reported on 16 November, that most of what
the parliament had approved to date only increased the
government's outlays. Proposals that would reduce government
expenditures or increase government revenues, on the other
hand, have been deleted, he said. Such problems stem from
factional disagreement
s, according to an editorial in the 18
November "Iran News." The English-language daily reminded the
parliamentarians that any damage done to the third plan will
harm everybody equally, irrespective of their factions. "The
damage will take the shape of long-term torment for the
nation." (Bill Samii)


ANOTHER OIL CONTRACT.
Royal Dutch Shell announced on 14 November that it had
signed an $800 million contract to develop the Sorush and
Noruz oilfields in the Persian Gulf. The two oilfields are
estimated to have up to 555 million barrels of oil reserves.
The contract is based on the buy-back principle, in which
Shell will provide all the capital and expertise, and it will
be reimbursed for its investment with the production of the
oil fields. Also, Royal Dutch Shell and the Iranian
Petrochemical Company will study joint investments to produce
ethylene and similar products at the Bandar Imam Special
Economic Zone, Iranian state broadcasting reported on 14
November.
Iranian Petroleum Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh
described the specifics of the contract. "We sell our oil to
Shell at the market price. If there is a buyer who is
prepared to pay more than the highest price upon which we
have agreed, then we will sell our oil to the new buyer. We
will pay our debts to the company [Shell] by drawing upon
those revenues. The other points are as follows: In two
cases, we can reduce the wages of the contractors in line
with the contract. First, it has been calculated how much it
[Shell] should invest every year. If it invests less than the
amount we have stipulated in the contract, its revenues will
be less. Similarly, if the cost of the total investment--the
ceiling of which is $779 million--is reduced and if it
decreases by more than 10 percent, then the cost of
implementing the contract ent, then the cost of
implementing the contract will be reduced as well. However,
if it increases by up to 10 percent, we will neither increase
their revenues nor will we pay for the cost of the
investment."
Some other countries are eager to get involved in the
Iranian petrochemical sector. Norwegian Trade and Industry
Minister Harriet Berg, for example, spoke at the opening
ceremony of the first-ever seminar on Iran's oil and gas
industry in Oslo. She described Norway's record in developing
the North Sea's resources and said that her country's
industries are increasingly interested in investing abroad,
IRNA reported on 15 November. Berg went on to say that she
will lead a Norwegian trade delegation's visit to Tehran on
19 November, and while there she would inaugurate Saga oil
company's branch office. She admitted that she was not sure
how the U.S. government would react to Norwegian investments
in Iran's energy sector.
On the basis of recent precedents, the Norwegians should
not be very worried. In the last year, American reactions to
investments in Iran's energy sector have been relatively
subdued, in spite of the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA
),
which imposes penalties on companies investing over $20
million in Iran's energy industry. Regarding the most recent
deal, State Department spokesman Philip Reeker said the U.S.
is deeply disappointed and it remains strongly opposed to any
investment in Iran's petroleum sector. In late-March, when
Canada's Bow Valley and France's Elf Aquitaine signed a $300
million contract for exploitation of the Balal oil field in
the Persian Gulf, State Department spokesman James Rubin also
indicated deep disappointment and great concern.
In fact, several Norwegian firms are involved in the
Iranian petrochemical sector already. Saga is assessing
seismic data and bidding on redevelopment of the Dehloran
field, which was damaged during the war with Iraq. Norex is
conducting a seismic survey in the Persian Gulf. Kvaerner, an
engineering and construction group, is pursuing alliances
with local Iranian firms and concentrating on offshore
projects.
In a related matter, on 18 November Turkey, Azerbaijan,
and Georgia signed a series of legal documents on transit
questions and tariffs to build a pipeline that will
transport oil from Azerbaijan, through Georgia, to the
Turkish port of Ceylon. The estimated cost of the project is
$2.4 billion. U.S. President Bill Clinton was on the sideline
of the signing ceremony. This project bypasses Iran and
Russia. An official from Russian gas company Gazprom said on
15 November that his firm is ready to pay for 60 percent of a
140 kilometer gas pipeline from Iran to Armenia, Interfax
reported. Gaz de France and the National Iranian Gas Company
are the other potential partners in this project. Details of
their project and the price of Iranian gas have not been
decided yet. (Bill Samii)

*************************************************
Copyright (c) 1999. RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved.

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

Date: Sat, 20 Nov 1999 02:13:34 EST
From: Sohrab Arman <Sohrab68@AOL.COM>
Subject: Iran, Senegal Sign Draft Agreement on Health, Pharmaceutical

Iran, Senegal Sign Draft Agreement on Health, Pharmaceutical

IRAN NEWS NATIONAL DESK

TEHRAN -- Iran and Senegal signed a draft agreement on health and
pharmaceutical cooperation here Thursday.

The agreement calls for expansion of bilateral ties through research,
transfer of technology, production and marketing of pharmaceuticals, and
training of bio-technology experts.

Speaking at the signing ceremonies, Health Minister Farhadi said that Iran's
research and scientific centers were designed in a way to be able to transfer
technology and conduct marketing of products in other countries.

Personal aids kit, blood groups that are produced through bio-technology, and
expert training in DNA quality control are some of areas of interest to the
visiting Senegalese delegation, IRNA reported

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

Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999 16:09:14 EST
From: Sohrab Arman <Sohrab68@AOL.COM>
Subject: Foruhars Remembered One Year After Their Murders

Foruhars Remembered One Year After Their Murders

IRAN NEWS NATIONAL DESK

TEHRAN-- A special ceremony marking the first anniversary of the death of
Dariush and Parvaneh Foruhar, two of the last year's serial killings victims,
was held here yesterday in Fahkrabad Mosque.

The ceremony was attended by relatives, friends and fans of the Foruhars.

Hussein Shah-Husseini, a member of the "National Front" and a close friend of
Foruhar, and Ali-Akbar Moin, a member of the "Freedom Movement of Iran,"
addressed the gathering. Abbas Amir-Entezam was among the participants in the
event as well.

Meanwhile, Parastou Foruhar, victims' daughter, delivered a speech in which
she commented further on the murders of her parents.

Moreover, a statement released indicated that a committee named "The Defense
of Rights of the Serial Murders' Victims" has been set up to assist the
lawyers who are following up on the case.

Finally, at the end of the ceremony, the audience while singing Iran's
national anthem left the mosque and marched toward the Foruhars' residence.

anthem left the mosque and marched toward the Foruhars' residence.

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

Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999 16:11:05 EST
From: Sohrab Arman <Sohrab68@AOL.COM>
Subject: Official Says Bandar Anzali Will Continue Customs Services

Official Says Bandar Anzali Will Continue Customs Services

IRAN NEWS ECONOMIC DESK

TEHRAN -- Hassan Najafi, director general of Gilan Province Ports and
Shipping Organization, said in Bandar Anzali Saturday that all goods could be
exported from the Special Economic Zone of Bandar Anzali as they did in the
past. He said that fuels, too, could be cleared from the zone on transit.

He said the Customs Administration of Gilan Province had sadly misunderstood
the meaning of the term `limitations' as denoting total restrictions.

He said in the laws governing special trade zones of Iran, the word
`limitation' does not mean `total restriction' but rather `non-restriction.'
does not mean `total restriction' but rather `non-restriction.' Citing
Article 26 of the Acting Law for Transit of Goods, he added that the article
allows special trade zones to clear goods on transit.

According to IRNA, director general of Gilan's Customs Administration stated
last week that Bandar-Anzali Port of Iran at the Caspian Sea would operate
only as a special trade zone from December 22 without offering customs
clearance services.

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

Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999 16:02:03 EST
From: Sohrab Arman <Sohrab68@AOL.COM>
Subject: S. Korean Insurance Company Head in Iran:

S. Korean Insurance Company Head in Iran:

Iran, S. Korea to Sign Export Insurance Agreement

BY S. BABRAN

TEHRAN - Iran and S. Korea will sign a new contract on export insurance
today.

Speaking to IRAN NEWS yesterday, the S. Korean Ambassador to Tehran, Shin
Jang-Bum, said: "Lee Young Woo, president of the Korean Export Insurance
Company will arrive in Tehran Sunday night and is scheduled to conclude a new
contract with the Iranian Export Guarantee Fund (IEGF) today."

IEGF is affiliated to Iran's Commerce Ministry. "The Contract will be signed
at the Export Promotion Center of Iran (EPCI)," Shin added.

Since April 26, the Korean Export Insurance Company has removed all
limitations for trading with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The decision has been made to remove obstacles in the way of importing
Iranian carpets with an aim to pave way for expanding economic relations
between the two nations.

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

Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999 16:10:37 EST
From: Sohrab Arman <Sohrab68@AOL.COM>
Subject: Qatar Welcomes Participation of Iranian Businessmen in Industry

Qatar Welcomes Participation of Iranian Businessmen in Industry

IRAN NEWS ECONOMIC DESK

TEHRAN - Iranian ambassador to Qatar, Mahmoud Movahedi, in Doha yesterday
held talks with Qatari minister of finance, economy and trade, Yousuf Hussein
Kamal, on ways to develop mutual economic cooperation.

The two officials called for implementation of the accords already signed
between the two countries.

Kamal said Qatar welcomes participation of Iranian construction and
engineering companies in Qatar's reconstruction program.

He said Qatar extends facilities for the Iranian businessmen to cooperate
with Qatar's industry sector.

Kamal said setting up branches of banks, insurance companies and services
institutes in either country would help develop economic cooperation, IRNA
reported.

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

Date: Sun, 21 Nov 1999 19:02:42 EST
From: Sohrab Arman <Sohrab68@AOL.COM>
Subject: IRAN NEWS EDITORIAL NOVEMBER 21, 1999

IRAN NEWS EDITORIAL NOVEMBER 21, 1999

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

Culture and Tradition Play Major Role in the Approach to Human Rights Issue

Political sociologists firmly believe that if the structural nature of a
government is not worked out by the people of the same society and has been
prescribed as an appropriate or expedient pattern by outsiders, it will only
lead to the precipitation of fateful crises.

There's no denying the fact that every society must think up its own
governmental system with due consideration to its traditional structure and
the needs arising from that society. The choice must be made only after
thorough evaluation of different models have been carried through to enable
the society to come up with an optimum system. The Western model, or its
diversities, may seem to be modern or fadish, but their very incompatibility
with the social structure in non-Western countries are a constant source of
friction.

The aforementioned may have been the core of the reason for the International
Law Regional Meeting, which was inaugurated in Tehran with the participation
of representatives from Egypt, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Khazakhstan,
kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Sudan and
Yemen. The understanding of international law in the convention of sociology
and political views must be sympathetic with the prevailing local laws. The
commonalities of the participating countries, which boil down to their common
faith, Islam, can lead to the international laws being strongly influenced by
judicial laws in these countries and take a completely different shape from
what the Europeans and other western countries have dreamed up.

Needless to say, these countries' inattention to the dimensions of the
international laws is unjustified. Naturally, while due attention must be
paid to the principles of the international laws by the people in these
countries, the primary laws, which are in practice Islamic laws, must also be
kept in view. The Europeans and Americans who frown upon criticism of their
prevailing laws, should allow the Eastern and Islamic countries to act
according to their own accepted traditional laws.

These meetings can bring about the necessry interaction between the
international laws from the Eastern and Islamic societies' viewpoint and
those forwarded by the Westerners, so that the differences and similarities
can be compared and common practices be adopted.

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

Date: Sun, 21 Nov 1999 19:09:11 EST
From: Sohrab Arman <Sohrab68@AOL.COM>
Subject: Expansion of Tehran-Beirut Ties Called for

Expansion of Tehran-Beirut Ties Called for

IRAN NEWS POLITICAL DESK

TEHRAN -- The former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in Beirut Friday
underlined the need for further expansion of Tehran-Beirut relations.

Making the remark in a meeting with Iran's Ambassador to Beirut Mohammad Ali
Sobhani, he announced his readiness to work for the same cause.

Since the Lebanese peace process is passing through a sensitive stage,
successful implementation of the process is in need of cooperation and help
by Lebanon's friends at international level including the Islamic Republic of
Iran, he added.

Stressing on support for the resistance movement, Hariri said that as long as
the Lebanese territory is occupied by the Zionist forces, the resistance
movement will be continued.

Praising the great efforts made by the former Lebanese president and prime
minister in expansion of Tehran-Beirut ties, the Iranian ambassador expressed
satisfaction over the effective steps taken in line with promotion of
bilateral cooperation.

In another development, Sobhani met with Lebanese Transport Minister Najib
al-Miqati Friday.

Referring to his recent visit to Tehran, the Lebanese minister praised the
great progress made in the Islamic Republic over the past two decades.

According to IRNA, he further referred to Iran as a country enjoying a rich
culture and civilization.

Expressing his happiness over the upgrading trend of bilateral ties, he
reiterated that the two countries' officials are determined to further
promote Tehran-Beirut economic and trade cooperation.

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

Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999 16:06:54 EST
From: Sohrab Arman <Sohrab68@AOL.COM>
Subject: Shahroudi: Judiciary 70 Years Behind Other Organizations

Shahroudi: Judiciary 70 Years Behind Other Organizations

IRAN NEWS POLITICAL DESK

TEHRAN -- Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi said here
yesterday that the Iranian judicial system was 70 years behind other
government organizations from organizational point of view.

Ayatollah Shahroudi, in a meeting with the Judiciary's executive officials,
said the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei has
given guidelines to improve the judicial establishment by employing efficient
manpower to administer justice.

The Judiciary, he said, has been authorized by the Parliament and the
government to improve its organizational establishment by forming new posts,
but so far it has failed to provide even 40 percent of new posts.

He blamed the low salary as the stumbling-block to the Judiciary in improving
its organizational system, IRNA reported.

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

Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999 15:54:11 EST
From: Sohrab Arman <Sohrab68@AOL.COM>
Subject: A lecture and presentation by distinguished Iranian neurosurgeon:

The Persian Student Association at Stanford University
presents

"From Art to Science:
The New Era of Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment"

A lecture and presentation by
distinguished Iranian neurosurgeon:

Dr. Jamshid Ghajar

Monday, November 22, 1999, 7 PM
Kresge Auditorium
Stanford University

Admission: Free with Stanford ID,
$5 general admission

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dr. Jamshid Ghajar is a distinguished New York-based Iranian neurosurgeon
who is a tireless proponent of an aggressive approach to treating severe
head injury. In 1996 he achieved renown for saving the life of a woman who
was savagely beaten in Manhattan's Central Park using innovative medical
procedures. His achievements were featured in an article in New Yorker
Magazine and were the focus of a PBS NOVA program, called "Coma",
broadcasted worldwide (www.pbs.org/nova/coma). He was also interviewed on
PBS's Charlie Rose Show, ABC Primetime, and on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry
Gross.

He will speak about his innovative techniques and his efforts to establish
international guidelines for the treatment of head injury. He will also
touch on his recent trip to Iran and the challenges faced in treating head
injury there.

------------------------------------------
DR. GHAJAR'S BIOGRAPHY:

Jamshid Ghajar was born in Berkeley, California and grew up in California,
Iran and England. As a freshman at UCLA, he started his investigations in
the brain sciences at the Brain Research Institute which continued into
graduate work in developmental neurobiology. At Cornell University Medical
College he completed the MD/PhD program in neuroscience specializing in
brain metabolism and blood flow during coma. While he was a resident in
the neurosurgery program at New York Hospital he invented several
neurosurgical devices which are now used world-wide.

After residency he joined the faculty and staff at the New York
Hospital-Cornell Medical Center and founded the Brain Trauma Research
Laboratory and the Brain Trauma Foundation. He currently spends his time
as President of the nonprofit foundation, developing and implementing
scientific guidelines for treating head injury. He is also Chief of
Neurosurgery at New York's Jamaica Hospital - Cornell Trauma Center and is
a practicing neurosurgeon at New York Hospital.

He directs several clinical grants including the Soros head injury
initiative in Central and Eastern Europe and the Guidelines for
Prehospital Management of Traumatic Brain Injury funded by the U.S.
Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration.

For more information, including an abstract of Dr. Ghajar's talk, links to
key web sites, and a printable flyer with directions & map, please see the
following web site:

http://www.stanford.edu/group/psa/events/ghajar

---------------------------------------------------------------
Directions to Kresge Auditorium:

From Highway 101:
Take Embarcadero road west exit to Stanford University. As you
cross El Camino Real and enter the campus Embarcadero Road becomes
Galvez Street. Stay on the left lane and follow Galvez Street to
Campus Drive East. Turn Left on Campus Drive East. At the sixth
stop sign turn right on Mayfield. Go one block to the stop sign
and turn left. Take the immediate right into the Tressider parking
lot where free parking is available after 4pm. Walk to the
Stanford Bookstore/Post Office facing the fountain. Kresge
Auditorium is behind the post office.

From Highway 280:
Take the Pagemill exit toward Palo Alto. Take a left on Junipero
Serra/Foothill Expressway. Go past Stanford Avenue. Make a sharp
right on Campus Drive. Make a left on Mayfield. Go one block to
the stop sign and turn left. Take the immediate right into the
Tressider parking lot where free parking is available after 4pm.
Walk to the Stanford Bookstore/Post Office facing the fountain.
Kresge Auditorium is behind the post office.

---------------------------------------------------------------
Persian Student Association at Stanford
(650) 736-4PSA
P.O. Box 9734, Stanford, CA 94309
psa-admin@lists.stanford.edu
http://www.stanford.edu/group/psa

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

Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1999 18:01:55 EST
From: Sohrab Arman <Sohrab68@AOL.COM>
Subject: Tel Aviv and Washington Cannot Stop Iran-Russian Cooperation

IRAN NEWS EDITORIAL NOVEMBER 23, 1999

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

Tel Aviv and Washington Cannot Stop Iran-Russian Cooperation

International news agencies reported yesterday that Israel is telling the
United States to pressure Russia and force it to end its "military
assistance" to the Islamic Republic of Iran. The reports further said that
unless Moscow stops cooperating with Tehran the Iranians will soon become a
nuclear power with warheads capable of reaching targets within a distance of
2,000 kilometers, which will endanger the whole region.

While Israel is armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons, Iran has said on
many occasions that it has no intention of developing or acquiring nuclear
weapons. Also, all of Iran's nuclear facilities are regularly inspected and
their works are approved and certified by the International Atomic Energy
Agency (IAEA).

Israel, a country that was founded by colonialists and racists, and has
throughout its fifty year history suppressed, murdered and expelled the
indigenous people of Palestine, has occupied Lebanon's territory for almost
two decades and keeps reneging on its agreements with the international
community regarding the hand over of Palestinian territories, should not
pretend that it worries about regional peace.

Israel's existence is contingent upon regional discord, it cannot survive
otherwise. A peaceful and united Muslim Middle East will not tolerate a
foreign entity such as Israel in its midst.

Israel has prolonged, temporarily, its existence through sowing discord among
Muslims. It first alienated Egypt and Jordan from the Muslim Ummah by
enticing them, with U.S. help and pressure, to implicitly recognize its
existence, then it brought the Western community of nations into the Middle
East equation, but when the West asked Tel Aviv to honor its commitments, it
ignored their plea and went ahead with building illegal settlements on
Palestinian lands.

In short, Tel Aviv does not now, and has never intended to help create
stability in our region.

It is ludicrous for Israel to try and play the concerned party where Middle
East peace and stability is concerned. It is just as ridiculous of Tel Aviv
to ask Washington to pressure Russia into abandoning its cooperation with
Iran. The U.S. has no leverage over Russia.

Washington stabbed Moscow in the back economically, by withholding any
meaningful help to the cash strapped country and deprived it of the chance to
earn hard currency by preventing the passage of a gas pipeline through
Russian territory.

Politically and militarily, Washington betrayed Moscow by expanding NATO well
into the traditional Russian domain of influence and by demolishing
Yugoslavia despite Russia's repeated protests, and most recently, the United
States tried to dictate to Russia over the Chechen affair.

So, it would be a futile effort on the part of Israel and the U.S. to try to
force Russia to limit the scope of its relations with the Islamic Republic.


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

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

Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1999 18:05:14 EST
From: Sohrab Arman <Sohrab68@AOL.COM>
Subject: Rome to host Iranian, Italian, Greek, Egyptian Parliament Speakers

Rome to host Iranian, Italian, Greek, Egyptian Parliament Speakers

IRAN NEWS PARLIAMENTARY DESK

TEHRAN - Iranian, Italian, Greek and Egyptian parliament speakers are to
gather in Rome, Italy, next week to hold dialogue among civilizations as
inheritors of four ancient civilizations of human beings.

The session is to mark the first high-ranking official session at the
international level to be held for realization of dialogue among
civilizations and strengthen dialogue among nations.

Iran is to be represented at the meeting by a parliamentary delegation,
headed by Majlis Speaker Ali Akbar Nateq-Nouri.

According to IRNA, Italy is to host the meeting, upon a proposal made by the
Iranian Parliament Speaker during his last year's visit to Rome.

Nateq-Nouri's next week visit to Rome would be in response to an invitation
extended to him by his Italian counterpart Luciano Violante as his second
visit to Italy in recent years.

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

Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1999 18:09:39 EST
From: Sohrab Arman <Sohrab68@AOL.COM>
Subject: Imam Mahdi, the Only Light of the Time

Imam Mahdi, the Only Light of the Time

The Advent of the Twelfth Infallible Imam (A.S.) Is the End of Darkness, and
the Only Ray of Hope

By A. R. Ghavidel, Clinical Psychologist, Javan Counseling Services Center

"We are not negligent of your affairs and are not forgetful of your
remembrance. Had it been so, then terrible calamities would have struck you
and your enemies would have destroyed you. Fear Allah, strengthen your hands,
so that we may relieve you of the tribulations that have afflicted you."
(Imam Mahdi, quoted from Baharul-Anwar, Vol. 53,Chap. 21)

Such love, kindness, affection, and fondness is not found even in the
parents. After seeing so much kindness and compassion, whose heart will not
be moved for action? Whose eyes will not shed tears at the separation from
such an Imam, while his love is glowing in his heart.

When we see such a magnanimity we yearn to place our forehead at his feet.
But the burdens of sins benumb our agility and the clutches of bad conscience
retard our steps.

The main reason for being deprived from his esteemed presence, is explained
thus by the Imam himself: "If our Shias (May Allah give them the grace of
obedience) had fulfilled their covenants, then surely there would have been
no delay in our meeting and they would have received the blessings of our
visitation. But the things which increase the distance between us are those
news, which we have received about them regarding those actions which we
dislike and which we do not expect from them."(Baharul-Anwar, Vol. 53, Chap,
21)

The fifteenth Sha'ban, 1420 (A.H.) - Nov. 24, 1999 - is the birth anniversary
of the Twelfth infallible Imam of Shia people. All his followers like him and
expect his reappearance day and night. In fact, he is not only expected by
Shia followers; he is the promised one for all nations, the real savior of
all mankind irrespective of race, sex and religion.

The occasion offers a good opportunity to have a glance at him through the
verses of the Holy Quran and the traditions received from the holy Prophet
Mohammad (S) and his infallible Household.

A) Importance of Subject:

1. Holy Prophet (S) said:

"Whoever dies without recognizing the Imam of his time, dies the death of
ignorance".

It clearly indicates that cognition of the infallible Imam (divine leader) is
compulsory for each and everyone.

2) Holy Prophet (S) is reported to have said: "There will be twelve caliphs
and successors after me. Verily the proofs of Allah on the creatures are
twelve. Of them, the first will be my brother and the last of them will by my
son" They asked: "Which of your brothers and which son?" He replied: "My
brother Ali, son of Abi-Talib. My son Mahdi, the one who will fill the world
with justice and equity when it is fraught with injustice and
oppression."(Faraaedus-Simtain, Vol. 2, Page 226)

3- Holy Prophet (S) said:

"Even if a single day remains from the eve of the Doomsday, Allah, the
Almighty will prolong that day till he raises a man from my progeny."

B) Who Is Mahdi (A.S.)?

After clarifying that cognition of Imam is a must and there will be twelve
successors after the holy Prophet (S), now it is better to know him as it is
found in Islamic Traditions.

According to many authentic documents available in Islamic sources, the
following identification has been found for Imam Mahdi (A.S.): Name: Mohammad

Agnomen: Abul Qasem

Title: Mahdi, Qaem, Montazar and Hujjah

Birth: Friday, fifteenth Sha'ban 255 (A.H.)

Father's name: Imam Hassan al-Askari (A.S.)

Mother's name: Nargis Khatoon

Commencement of minor occultation and Imamate: 260 (A.H.)

Commencement of major occultation: 329 (A.H.)

Similarity with Prophet Noah (A.S.): Longevity

Similarity with Prophet Moses (A.S.): Concealed birth

Similarity with Prophet Job (A.S.): Patience

Similarity with Prophet Jesus Christ (A.S.): Brilliance

Place of reappearance: The holy Kaaba

Time of reappearance: No one knows except Allah.


C) Awaiting as a Spiritual Responsibility

Awaiting (Intezar) is result of two conditions. Firstly, one should not
satisfied with the present situation and secondly, one should expect
improvement in his circumstances. If either of these conditions is not
fulfilled, then it is not awaiting and the person concerned is not an awaiter
(Montazar)

Awaiting for Imam Mahdi (A.S.) also holds the same distinct characteristics.

Even here awaiting purports that an awaiter is not satisfied with his present
circumstances and is hoping for a bright and better future.

At the moment the believer is witness to the assault of the enemies of Islam
who are inflicting serious harm on Islam with their full might and
ammunitions. The genuineness of beliefs and deeds is not judged by the
criterion set by the Holy Quran and Traditions. Instead, they are examined
through clannish prejudice and norms set by their forefathers.

Under such circumstances, a genuine awaiter should not be idle. The Holy
Quran has instructed him in these worlds: "And say to those who do not
believe that you act as much as you can.

We are also trying. You all await and surely we are all awaiting." (Holy
Quran, Chap. Hud: 122) In the light of the above verse, can anyone say that
awaiting means being oblivious? Or does it rather mean being always alert and
trying to defeat enemies on every front. Of course, it necessitates that a
believer should never exult on his strength but should always rely on Allah.
Because reliance on Allah gives victory to the weak over their stronger
adversaries.

Imam Sadeq (A.S.), Sixth Imam of the infallible Household of Prophet Mohammad
(S) said:

"He who desires to be among the companions of Hazrat Qaem (A.S.) must adopt
piety and behave courteously.

If he dies in such a condition before the advent of Qaem (A.S.), then his
reward will be similar to those who attain Qaem's (A.S.) era.

Hence strive vigorously, await his arrival, congratulations to you all for
your relentless awaiting"

(Ghaibat-e-Nomani, Chap. 11, Tradition No. 16) He is the true awaiter who
always seeks to please his Imam (A.S.).

His every effort is directed at achieving the invaluable pleasure of Imam
(A.S.) and it is but evident the pleasure of Imam is in abiding by the tenets
of Islam and not in its sacrilege.

One of the many responsibilities of a true awaiter, is to build his
character. Character building implies following the tenets of Islam,
developing good traits and purifying one's self in such a way that every
aspect of one's personality reflects the teachings of progeny of the holy
Prophet (S). Often the friends and helpers of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) are described
with such superlatives.

"Those who will believe in the hidden Imam, they are the most pious ones and
their faith is of the highest degree. They will establish prayers and spend
generously in the way of God. They believe firmly in the Holy Quran and other
divine scriptures and they are certain of the Day of Resurrection (Qiyamat)."

(Tafsir-e Nurassaqalein, Vol. 1 chap. Baqareh) "They are obedient, sincere,
honorable, good doers, patient, devout, helpers of the oppressed, cordial and
pure-hearted".

(Kamaluddin, Chap. 43, Traditions No. 19) "Their hearts are of steel, if they
cast a glance at an Iron mountain, it will crumble and be reduced to bits"
(Ilzamu-Naseb Vol. 1, Page 67)

"They will be braver than lions and sharper than spears"

(Baharul-Anwar, Vol. 52, Chap. 27, Traditions No. 17)

"They will worship at night."

(Muntakhabul-Asr, Chap 3, Traditions No. 1) "In the period of occultation,
they will preserve religious convictions and will not allow the devil to
meddle with their faith.

(Kammaluddin, Page no. 51) These excerpts were extracted from various
Traditions which clarifies that in the period of major occultation, one of
our pivotal responsibilities is to absorb the teaching of progeny of holy
Prophet (S) in our character and personality so that we may not wander hither
and thither while our beloved Imam (A.S.) is far from our eyes.

It is a proven fact that if a man holds Imam (A.S.) dear then he will be
attracted toward good deeds and benevolence. And he will clean his self from
bad habits and vices. Numerous such incidents can be found in the books and
accounts of those persons, particularly the youth who felt the love of Imam
(A.S.) in their hearts which changed their entire lives. Undoubtedly, love is
an elixir which has the power of making possible every impossible.

Let's end this with address to our beloved, expected infallible Imam Mahdi
(A.S.) with these words: "O Master, be witness I pledge to thee even if your
occultation is prolonged to such an extent that my life is on the verge of
exhaustion.

Still my certitude will be enhanced every moment. Your love will keep
increasing manifold, and with each increment my trust in you will also become
firmer. I will keep waiting for you unswervingly and I should be waiting for
your call of Jihad (holy war) relentlessly.

"May my life, my wealth, my children, my family, and whatever Allah has
conferred upon me, be sacrificed for you and I leave them in your
authority."[Supplication to Imam Mahdi (A.S.)] So it becomes clear after this
short explanation that a true awaiter never tires of waiting for Imam. He
keeps exerting continuously instead of being a silent spectator.

And humbly, along with the true awaiting believers, let's recite a part of
Nudbeh supplications:

"O Allah, set a relationship between us and him [Imam Mahdi (A.S.)], that he
grants us the honor of the company of his ancestors.

"And let us be of those who seek their company and reside in their shelter.

"And help us fulfil our dues to him and in striving hard to be worthy of his
obedience and avoid disobeying him.

"And grant us his pleasure and bestow on us his affection, compassion and
benevolence."

Whereby, through him we may receive the vastness of Your mercy." Wish you all
readers, a Blessed Spiritual and Happy Fifteenth Sha'ban Day.

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

Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1999 11:45:50 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: fyi: Iran Vs. USA football match

I hope everyone is doing great. As many of you probably
have already heard Iran is playing another soccer game
against USA, this time in Los Angeles on January 16th. If
France was too far for some of you, there is really no
excuse this time ;-)

Several of you suggested that this will be a good occasion
for our third reunion since many alumni will probably be
in LA for the game. Well mark your calendars for Saturday
January 15th for a Kharazmi Reunion party the day before the
Big Game There are still tickets left, but they are going fast.
If you don't have your tickets yet call TicketMaster today.
The phone number is 213-480-3232. Don't forget to pass on
the word to other alumni that may like to join us.

Please let me know as soon as possible if you are interested
in joining us for this reunion. Also I would love to hear your
suggestions on what type of get together you prefer. We can
get together for lunch, or a happy hour somewhere near the
beach, or a picnic. Please send me your suggestions with
your RSVP's.

If you haven't checked our alumni pages recently we now
have over 560 members and still growing!! We also have
several new pictures that were recently contributed.

Waiting for your RSVP's
Houman Talebzadeh

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

Date: Thu, 25 Nov 1999 15:52:07 EST
From: Sohrab Arman <Sohrab68@AOL.COM>
Subject: EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT from INTERNATIONAL ACTION CENTER

EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT from INTERNATIONAL ACTION CENTER staff member reporting
from ATHENS, GREECE ATHENS, Greece--Bill Clinton arrived in Greece Nov. 19
like a thief in the night. His motorcade moved down darkened boulevards
carefully cleared of people. Armies of police guarded him against any
contact with ordinary Greeks. But the voice of the people could not be
silenced. While the U.S. president wined and dined with Greek Prime
Minister Costas Simitis, police loosed barrages of tear gas against
thousands of workers, students and retirees trying to march to the U.S.
Embassy. Among those gassed were elderly veterans of the Greek anti-Nazi
resistance in World War II. Despite the gas and repeated police attacks,
protesters regrouped again and again and marched through downtown Athens to
the city's central Omonia Square. Over 80 people were arrested, many of
them at pharmacies where they had gone for medical aid. As of this writing,
they are still being held. In the aftermath of the protest, the Greek
government has mounted a violence-baiting campaign against the Greek
Committee for Peace and the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), which was a
major force in the demonstration. But it was the state and its heavily
armed police that unleashed the violence that night. CLINTON LEAVES TRAIL
OF REPRESSION The media have played up Clinton's carefully scripted comment
about the "right to protest as long as it's peaceful." But at every stop on
his Balkan tour, protests have been met with fascist-like violence. While
he was in Turkey, police beat and arrested hundreds of protesters in
Ankara, the capital. They had not been released as of Nov. 22. In Sofia,
Bulgaria, where Clinton went after leaving Athens, protests were also
banned and over 100 people arrested. Blagoesta Doncheva, a former
anti-communist "dissident" who has written eloquently about the Bulgarian
people's suffering under the new capitalist regime, including a recent
op-ed piece for the New York Times, was thrown into a mental ward. Clinton
will also visit the NATO-occupied Yugoslav province of Kosovo. There,
Serbs, Roma people, Turks and other minorities are being systematically
murdered and driven from their homes by NATO- sponsored gangs, even as the
imperialist occupiers claim to be combating national oppression. LONG
HISTORY OF GREEK RESISTANCE In Greece, too, the regime tried to stifle
protest. In the week before Clinton's arrival, a masked gang attacked a
Communist Party neighborhood office in Athens, beating three people.
Another KKE office was firebombed. Officials and the media also created a
climate of fear with constant warnings about violence. But their efforts at
intimidation failed. The Greek people hate NATO. Nearly 700,000 Greeks were
murdered by Nazi occupiers during World War II. When the Communist-led
Greek resistance, in alliance with Yugoslav and Albanian partisans,
succeeded in driving Hitler's armies out of the Balkans, the imperialists
feared a revolution and sent British troops to occupy the country. Britain,
a supposed ally, imposed on Greece a regime of Nazi collaborators headed by
a hated royal family that had spent the war under British protection. In
1948 and 1949, tens of thousands of Greek anti-Nazi fighters were murdered,
imprisoned or driven into exile by mercenary forces armed, trained and
financed by the U.S. and British imperialist governments. The Truman
administration created NATO in conjunction with this war against Greece.
The U.S. military's first use of napalm bombs was against Greek villages.
U.S. planes also bombed Yugoslavia in this period. Over 100,000 anti-Nazi
fighters were held in concentration camps for the next 20 years. In 1967,
when the Greek left had regained its strength, Greece's NATO military
carried out a coup. Col. George Papadopoulos, leader of the fascist junta
that would rule the country for the next seven years, was on the direct
payroll of the CIA. This was finally revealed by the New York Times in
1976. Fascist terror did not crush the people's resistance. On Nov. 17,
1973, tens of thousands of university students defied tanks and guns to
challenge the junta, which fell the following year. That same spirit was
very much alive in the streets of Athens and other Greek cities before and
during Clinton's visit. 10,000 ACCUSE U.S./NATO OF WAR CRIMES On Nov. 8,
10,000 people had stood in the rain in Athens's Constitution Square for a
mass trial of the U.S. president and other NATO leaders. The judges were 20
justices of the Council of State-- the Greek Supreme Court. Famous
entertainers served as other officers of the court. Clinton had ignored a
subpoena delivered to the U.S. Embassy a week earlier by a march of several
thousand people. After hours of eyewitness testimony about the U.S. bombing
of Yugoslavia, the presiding judge asked if Clinton were guilty of war
crimes. The entire crowd responded "Guilty!" On Nov. 17, the anniversary of
the 1973 student uprising, tens of thousands of marchers, mostly youth,
filed past the U.S. Embassy. They loudly denounced Clinton as the butcher
of the Balkans, called for an end to NATO and demanded that the U.S.
military get its bases out of Greece and its troops out of Yugoslavia. The
march was organized by the communists, but even youth from PASOK, the
social-democratic governing party, felt compelled to join. And then on Nov.
19, the night of Clinton's arrival, tens of thousands of protesters, many
waving red flags, gathered in three squares in downtown Athens in defiance
of a police ban. The main rally, in Constitution Square, was opened by Bill
Doares of the International Action Center. Doares saluted the Greek
people's history of resistance to fascism and war and their solidarity with
the people of Yugoslavia. "The profits of Wall Street depend on wars of
destruction," he said, "and only mass action can stop the Pentagon's drive
toward new and bigger wars. In this great task, the Greek people are
leading the way." Doares also condemned Clinton's hypocrisy in preaching
about "human rights" when the "U.S. has more people in prison than any
other country--70 percent are Black and Latin--and the biggest companies
profit off their slave labor." He drew loud applause when he called for
international action to stop the execution of U.S. political prisoner Mumia

Abu- Jamal. Pictures of Mumia dotted the crowd. The main speaker was
Athanasios Pafilis, General Secretary of the Greek Committee for
International Peace. Pafilis condemned the "stability pact" signed at the
conference of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in
Istanbul. The pact asserts the "right" of the U.S. and NATO to intervene in
any country where they deem there are "human rights violations." Pafilis
spoke of the long and bloody history of U.S. intervention in Greece and
honored some of the country's anti-fascist martyrs, including Grigoris
Lambrakis, a vice president of the Peace Committee, who was assassinated in
1963. Pafilis asserted that the police had no right to stop the people of
Greece from marching in protest down their own streets. At 6:30 p.m., the
moment Clinton's plane touched down, the minister of public order still
refused to allow a march. The lead contingent of the demonstration, made up
of construction workers and shipbuilders, then forced its way through
police lines. The authorities responded with volleys of gas bombs. Despite
the police attack and arrests, the Greek people's opposition to NATO and
the Pentagon's war plans was heard around the world. [Note: The U.S. media
have minimized this extremely important political development, but the
demonstrations were top news in Europe.] Clinton came to Greece from
Turkey, where he had dominated the conference of the Organization for
Security and Cooperation in Europe. Why the United States, which is not
part of Europe, should have been there at all the president did not
explain. But the reason is clearly that the continent is under U.S.
military occupation. NATO is the justification for this relationship. At a
press conference, Clinton appealed to Greece's elite with visions of a
partnership with U.S. corporations in robbing the rest of the Balkans. But
for the Greek people, U.S. military and economic domination has meant high
prices and a 13-percent unemployment rate. It also means a $2-billion
military budget, much of which is spent on U.S. arms. The Nov. 21
International Herald Tribune admitted that military spending "exacts a
heavy toll" on the Greek economy. Clinton admitted that 94 percent of the
Greek people opposed NATO and the war against Yugoslavia. He said that was
"an example of democracy." He didn't explain why it was democratic for the
U.S. to impose its war policies on Greece despite this overwhelming
opposition. Clinton also made the amazing statement that "southeast Europe
is undivided and at peace for the first time in 50 years." Only a few
months ago the U.S. launched the first war this region has seen since
Washington's 1948 intervention in Greece. Filip Karamalis, a young worker
who took part in the Nov. 19 protests, told this writer, "U.S. imperialism
will not pass. We shall stand fighting. All the Greek people are against
NATO, against the European Union and U.S. policy. Clinton is trying to act
like Hitler. But Hitler could not conquer the Balkans and neither will NATO."

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End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 23 Nov 1999 to 26 Nov 1999 - Special issue
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