Date: Nov 30, 1999 [ 2: 12: 11]

Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 26 Nov 1999 to 30 Nov 1999 - Special issue

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 26 Nov 1999 to 30 Nov 1999 - Special issue
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There are 12 messages totalling 1231 lines in this issue.

Topics in this special issue:

3. MOHAJERANI: Have Proper Ties with World Countries a Necessity
4. Testing!
5. .A.E. Calls on Persian Gulf States to Link Iran Ties with Islands Dispute
6. Dehnamaki to Stand Trial
7. Iran Says No Need for U.S. Consular Visits
8. Fwd: Shamsolvaezin was sentenced to three years
9. Waiting Game with FTZs Is on
10. News Flash of 11/28/1999: Angry Demonstrators in the streets of Ispahan
and Nadjaf-Abad
11. Egypt Looks Forward to Iran's Integration in Middle East
12. Tehran-Moscow Cooperation for Regional Peace


Date: Mon, 29 Nov 1999 18:28:14 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>

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

November, State Department spokesman James Rubin said "We
think it's high time that Iran allowed U.S. officials the
same privilege in their country. More specifically, we have
long wanted U.S. consular officials to visit Iran to look
into facilitating the issuance of visas for Iranians to
travel to the United States and the assistance of American
citizens wishing to travel to Iran. We have allowed Iranian
officials to visit their Interest Section in Washington, for
example. Unfortunately, the Iranian government has not been
prepared to reciprocate."
U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright clarified the
U.S. approach on 24 November. She said: "We are trying to
figure out a way to build on the possibilities of a people-
to-people program. There have been some Iranians that have
come to the United States...And we wanted to be able to
improve the ability of Americans to go to Iran, which is one
reason that we had been talking about having some American
consular officers visit there." She explained that the
outcome of the February parliamentary election will be an
indicator, saying "We're going to have elections in February
in Iran, which we think will be very important and will, I
think, give a signal as to the direction in which Iran wants
to move."
Iranian state broadcasting noted Albright's comments but
said on 25 November that "no change is observed in
Washington's expansionist policies against Iran." It added
that "the dispatch of consular officials to perform consular
tasks without resolving the fundamental differences between
the two countries would precisely revive the memory of
performance by America's Tehran embassy, which was acting not
as an embassy but as a center of espionage for America." It
warned that "the repeat of conciliatory proposals by the
American officials is not a sign of their goodwill." The
commentary concluded that "America is pursuing a fully ad-hoc
diplomacy vis-a-vis Iran because, on the one hand, America's
diplomatic tools have lost their efficiency; and on the other
hand, Washington lacks the courage to apologize to the noble
nation of Iran and the Islamic Republic of Iran as the
nation's representative."
Parliamentary Foreign Policy Commission member Mohammad
Azimi of Torqabeh va Chenaran told the 27 November "Tehran
Times" that, "As long as the U.S. continues its hostility, we
cannot establish a positive political relation with this
country." Ahmad Qazai-Niyari of Ardebil said that until U.S.
policies towards Iran change it is up to Iran to decide on
relations between the two countries. Foreign Minister Kamal
Kharrazi told journalists on 28 November that Iranian-
American ties "are not at a level" to justify the presence of
U.S. consular officials. He said the large number of Iranians
living in the U.S. demands heavier consular work in
Former Foreign Minister Ebrahim Yazdi, however,
suggested that the establishment of a U.S. interests section
in Tehran would be in Iran's best interest. Yazdi pointed out
that Iranians who currently seek a U.S. visa must travel to a
third country where a consulate is located, "Akhbar-i
Eqtesad" reported on 27 November. Such trips, and the need to
get hard currency on the black market, incur heavy costs.
Yazdi also wondered why U.S. officials are not allowed to
visit Iran, if Iranian officials are allowed to visit the
U.S. (Bill Samii)

After meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal
Kharrazi in Tehran on 28 November, Russian Foreign Minister
Igor Ivanov said the two sides had discussed the conflict in
Chechnya. Ivanov said both countries regarded the issue as
"purely internal, which Russia itself can and must solve,"
Interfax reported. Kharrazi told reporters that he "suggested
that Iran lead an OIC [Organization of the Islamic
Conference] delegation to Moscow to discuss the conflict."
Kharrazi also repeated his request that Iran be
permitted to send humanitarian aid for Chechen refugees.
Kharrazi made the same request when he met with Russian
Premier Vladimir Putin in Dushanbe, the Islamic Republic News
Agency reported on 23 November. At that time the Iranian
government said the first shipment of humanitarian aid was
scheduled to leave soon. But after the 28 November meeting,
Kharrazi said "Mr. Ivanov has promised to bring up the issue
at the (Russian) cabinet tomorrow."
So far, the official Iranian attitude towards the North
Caucasus conflict has been muted. When civilians were
targeted in a Russian attack on a convoy at the end of
October, the Iranian Foreign Ministry confined itself to
saying that force would only worsen the situation (see
"RFE/RL Iran Report," 15 November 1999). Asking Russia for
permission to send aid is not a very tough message, either.
An editorial in the 16 November "Asr-i Azadegan" was
very critical of Iranian policy towards the Chechen conflict.
The daily said Iran's policy was "cold and indifferent." It
noted that Muslim Chechens are wondering about the silence of
their Iranian brothers and sisters. And the paper suggested
that Iran's silence on a matter so close to home is odd,
especially in comparison to its actions during the Bosnian
conflict, which was farther away.
Delivering the 27 November Friday Prayer sermon in Qom,
Ayatollah Ebrahim Amini-Najafabadi also voiced concern about
the Muslim stand towards the North Caucasus. He said: "we are
witnessing the onslaught of Moscow's Red Army on the Chechen
Muslims. This is very distressing. Unfortunately, the Muslims
are silent and the Organization of the Islamic Conference is
not performing as it should." Iran currently leads the OIC.
(Bill Samii)

Iran is about to close a deal with Israel for the
purchase of seeds and machinery, according to the 22 November
"Yediot Aharanot." An agreement in principle between Israeli
businessmen and representatives of Iran's Ministry of
Agriculture was reached during negotiations at Amman's
Intercontinental Hotel on 31 October. The first stage covered
Iran's purchase of seeds for cherry tomatoes, green peppers,
and potatoes. Other aspects of the negotiations addressed the
purchase of Israeli irrigation and fertilization systems, as
well as creation of an agricultural desert farm.
"Yediot Aharanot" goes on to report that a German"Yediot Aharanot" goes
on to report that a German cut-
out is being used so the Iranians can avoid the embarrassment
of dealing with Israel. Revelations about six months ago that
16 Israeli agricultural advisers were in southeastern Iran
led to the temporary suspension of contacts between the two
Such steps may improve agricultural output, but the real
problems Iranian farmers face are man-made and connected to
the government. For years, Iranian farmers have been
confronted with a lack of investment, mismanagement, and
corruption. Problems peculiar to this year are a drought and
wastage (see "RFE/RL Iran Report," 1 November 1999). To meet
the shortfall, Iran is buying wheat from other countries,
such as Canada and France.
Iran purchased 500,000 tons of Western White Canadian
milling wheat in the third week of November, Reuters reported
on 22 November. Since 1 July, Iran has purchased from 1.2
million to 1.3 million tons of Canadian wheat. The Canadian
Wheat Board financed the deal, but credit details are bound
by confidentiality rules.
Iran bought a lot of French wheat this year, too. Iran's
purchase of 1.1 million tons is four times higher than last
year's, 100 times higher than in 1997, and is, in fact, the
highest in 15 years, according to figures from the French
National Inter-Professional Cereals Office (ONIC) and the
International Cereals Council (CIC) cited in the 28 October
"Le Figaro."
Iran's main suppliers so far have been Canada and
France, but Australian and Argentinean wheat will be
available soon. In fact, Argentina sold 120,000 tons of wheat
from last year's harvest to Iran recently, Reuters reported
on 22 October. Producers of secondary grains, such as barley,
also sell to Iran. The ONIC believes Iran will import 2.2
million tons of secondary grains this year. The main sellers
are in Europe, but Iran buys from Kazakhstan, too.
Chicago consulting firm AgResources believes that at the
current pace, Iran might import up to 8.5 million tons of
wheat in the period from June 1999 to June 2000, Dow Jones
Commodities Service reported on 23 November. The
International Grains Council believes Iran will import 5.5
million tons of wheat, although IGC spokesman Bill DeMaria
hinted that this estimate may be revised upward. If Iran buys
8.5 million tons of wheat, it will surpass Egypt as the
world's biggest wheat importer.
All the wheat Iran is purchasing will not go for
domestic consumption. Iran has offered so much high-quality
wheat flour to Pakistan that the south Asian state will be
able to re-export some of it to Afghanistan at competitive
prices. The Zahedan Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the
Baluchestan Chamber of Commerce have been discussing the
deal, Pakistan's "Dawn News" reported on 13 November. (Bill

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


Date: Mon, 29 Nov 1999 18:27:16 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>

Vol. 2, No. 47, 29 November 1999

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


Hojatoleslam Abdullah Nuri, managing director of the
daily "Khordad," was sentenced on 27 November to five years
imprisonment and fined 15 million rials cash (about $1,765 at
the unofficial rate, or $8,571 at one of the official
rates). He also was dismissed from the "Khordad" directorship
for five years. The newspaper itself will be closed, too,
according to Fariba Davoodi of the daily's public relations
Nuri was tried by the Special Court for the Clergy for
actions which it said included publishing reports that insult
officials and institutions of the system, reporting lies and
waging propaganda against the system, insulting Father of the
Revolution Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and his views,
publishing reports contrary to religious principles, and
insulting religious sanctities. Other charges made by the
court included backing ties with America, promoting dissident
cleric Ayatollah Hussein-Ali Montazeri's political views, and
urging recognition of Israel.
Meeting with Nuri's parents, Isfahan Friday prayer
leader Ayatollah Jalal Taheri said, "It was Mr. Nuri who put
the court on trial and not the other way around," "Sobh-i
Imruz" reported on 28 November. And in Isfahan itself,
according to the Student Movement Coordination Committee for
Democracy in Iran, there were violent clashes between those
objecting to the sentence and security forces. Reformist
parliamentarian from Rasht Elias Hazrati said, "Iran News"
reported on 28 November, "We can only express our sorrow.
What else can we say?" And the Executives of Construction
Party issued a statement saying it was "saddened and
concerned" by the "tough, unconventional, and unjust
sentence." The statement called for "revoking the verdict and
referring the case to a competent court."
Nuri's conviction is something of a blow to reformists
in the short-run, because he was touted as the next speaker
of parliament after the February parliamentary election.
Nuri's imprisonment now precludes his candidacy. At the same
time, he is an ally of President Mohammad Khatami. Khatami
did not speak out after the convictions of Tehran Mayor
Gholamhussein Karbaschi and intellectual Hojatoleslam Mohsen
Kadivar, but this time he has been more forthcoming.
Discussing Nuri's case in a meeting with the
parliament's Hizbullah Faction, Khatami said "It seems that
we have been deprived of an experienced and competent
colleague and I hope that during later stages of legal
proceeding and given all aspects of the issue we could
benefit from his [Nuri's] services more than before," IRNA
reported. After the meeting, unnamed sources told AFP that
Khatami told the parliamentarians that he would not intervene
on Nuri's behalf.
In the long-run, however, Nuri may have served Iranian
reformists well. He was the most prominent person to
challenge many hardline stands, such as the rejection of
relations with the U.S. The actions of the Special Court
further undermined the standing of that body with the public-
-especially when it prevented Nuri from presenting his own
final defense. (Bill Samii)

Mashallah Shamsolvaezin, most recently the editor-in-
chief of "Asr-i Azadegan" and before that the editor of the
banned dailies "Jameah," "Tus," and "Neshat," was sentenced
on 27 November. He must serve three years in prison and was
fined 12 million rials (about $1,400 at the unofficial rate
or $6,857 at the official rate), the Islamic Republic News
Agency reported. Shamsolvaezin was convicted on charges of
forgery, forging documents, and publishing two articles in
"Neshat" that insulted Islamic sanctities.
Hamid Ahangari, the fourth student to be tried in the
case of an allegedly blasphemous play published in the
student magazine "Mowj," received a four-month jail sentence
on 23 November. Revolutionary Court Judge Gholamhussein
Rahbarpur discussed the case in a question-and-answer session
with students at Allameh Tabatabai University's College of
Economics, "Sobh-i Imruz" reported on 23 November. He said
the Freedom Movement was behind publication of the play,
because its members have infiltrated the Islamic Association
of Students that published it. (Bill Samii)

The Ministry of Intelligence and Security announced on
25 November that it had "crushed" the Mahdaviyat group and
arrested all 34 members. The MOIS went on to say that the
Mahdaviyat group had links with supporters in other
countries, and the group was behind anti-Sunni violence in
order to "sow religious discord." Conflicting statements from
government officials make this MOIS report as hard to believe
as all its other ones. The timing of this report,
furthermore, indicates another cover-up and creation of a
The MOIS said targets of the group were President
Hojatoleslam Mohammad Khatami, Expediency Council chairman
Hojatoleslam Ali-Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, and former
Judiciary chief Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi.
The MOIS also said Mahdaviyat tried to assassinate
Tehran Province Justice Department chief Hojatoleslam Ali
Razini in January, repeating an earlier statement (see
"RFE/RL Iran Report," 10 May 1999). Hojatoleslam Mohammad
Mohammadi-Reyshahri, however, had said the Mehdi Hashemi gang
was to blame (see "RFE/RL Iran Report," 1 February 1999).
Expediency Council Secretary Mohsen Rezai, on the other hand,
said the Israelis were to blame (see "RFE/RL Iran Report," 22
March 1999).
There has been speculation that the Hojjatiyeh Society
was behind the Razini attack, although that had been rejected
by the MOIS (see "RFE/RL Iran Report," 26 April 1999). But be
that as it may, there are many similarities between the
Mahdaviyat group and the Hojjatiyeh Society, including the
leadership. Hojjatiyeh leader Sheikh Mahmud Halabi had moved
to Mashhad after the group was forced to disband in 1983, and
now it turns out that he was a leader of the Mahdaviyat
group. Mahdaviyat also was linked with a clergyman named
Milani, the grandson of Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Hadi
While the MOIS claims that it has apprehended all the
members of the Mahdaviyat group, the close connection with
Hojjatiyeh suggests otherwise. This is because many members
of the Hojjatiyeh Society were serving in the Iranian
government. When the society was dissolved, its members were
absorbed by the Islamic Coalition Association (Jamiyat-i
Motalifih-yi Islami), and they continue to serve in their
government posts. The 16 May "Khordad" suggested that
Mahdaviyat members worked for state broadcasting, and there
also have been allegations of links with the Islamic
Revolution Guard Corps. (Bill Samii)

A year has passed since the brutal murder of Iranian
dissidents Dariush and Parvaneh Foruhar, but the case does
not seem any closer to being resolved. Conservative
parliamentarian Hamid Reza Taraqi said, according to AFP on
25 November, that parliament will abandon its investigation.
Taraqi said the Supreme National Security Council and an
investigatory commission established by President
Hojatoleslam Mohammad Khatami were blocking the parliamentary
investigation. Taraqi is not the only person who is
dissatisfied with the course the case has taken.
A group calling itself the Devotees of Pure Mohammedan
Islam of Mustafa Navvab delivered a letter about the murder
investigations to "Khordad" newspaper on 22 November. The
letter stated that MOIS official Said Emami, the main suspect
in the case, was tortured before his death in June. The
letter went on to say that Khatami knows about this. The
president was urged to inform the public about the case, and
if he does not do so, the Devotees of Pure Mohammedan Islam
of Mustafa Navvab will publish the relevant documents on the
The next day, Ali Shakouri-Rad of the pro-Khatami
Islamic Iran Participation Party explained that the
commission's investigation was derailed because former
commission member Hojatoleslam Ali Yunesi was replaced by
Hojatoleslam Mohammad Niazi, head of the Armed Forces
Judicial Organization. Niazi is the same person who announced
in June that Said Emami had confessed to everything and then
committed suicide (see "RFE/RL Iran Report," 28 June 1999).
Yunesi is now Minister of Intelligence and Security.
Shakouri-Rad added, according to "Tehran Times," that
the investigation is being delayed further because
Hojatoleslam Ruhollah Husseinian--head of the Islamic
Documents Center, member of the Special Court for the Clergy
and the Press Court, and a former Intelligence Ministry
official--and Intelligence Minister Hojatoleslam Ali-Akbar
Fallahian-Khuzestani have not been interrogated. Former
prosecutor Ayatollah Hussein Musavi-Tabrizi said he certainly
would question Fallahian if he was investigating the series
of murders, "Arya" reported on 23 November.
In an attempt to divert attention away from Husseinian,
Fallahian, and their ilk, a new group has been identified:
the Said Emami gang. The MOIS said the Devotees of Pure
Mohammedan Islam of Mustafa Navvab were the "dregs" of this
gang. Member of parliament Hojatoleslam Ali Movahedi-Savoji
said that although he and the public expected an earlier
resolution of the case, he honestly believed that Emami was
the ringleader, "Iran-i Vij" reported on 22 November.
Others believe that Said Emami was effectively another
victim in the series of murders and that he is being used as
a scapegoat. Alireza Alavi-Tabar, a member of the Islamic
Iran Participation Party, said Emami was a lower-ranking
person, not the head of any gang, "Iran-i Vij" reported on 17
November. Journalist Ezzatollah Sahabi said numerous crimes
are blamed on Emami so the trail dries up and investigations
end, "Arya" reported on 21 November. This idea was echoed by
Parastou Foruhar, daughter of murder victims Dariush and
Parvaneh Foruhar, in an interview with the 21 November "Sobh-
i Imruz."
This discussion revives questions about Husseinian, who
made a speech last September in which he blamed Khatami
allies, by name, for the series of murders (see "RFE/RL Iran
Report," 27 September 1999). Journalist Akbar Ganji said,
according to the 21 November "Aftab-i Imruz," that Husseinian
is covering for somebody else. Ganji suggested that Fallahian
could provide the answers.
Another possibility is that Husseinian is covering for
Hojatoleslam Mohammad Mohammadi-Reyshahri, for whom he worked
in both the Special Court for the Clergy and in the MOIS.
Fallahian is connected with Reyshahri in the same way. For
that matter, current Intelligence Minister Yunesi has a
similar background. The likelihood that any of these
individuals will be questioned about the series of murders is
very slim, because if they did speak, too many other people
would likely be implicated. (Bill Samii)

The case of 13 Iranian Jews charged with espionage was
discussed by Revolutionary Court Judge Hojatoleslam
Gholamhussein Rahbarpur during a question-and-answer session
with students at Allameh Tabatabai University's College of
Economics, "Sobh-i Imruz" reported on 23 November. He said
that while the Judiciary does not act according to outside
pressures, the Supreme National Security Council "may decide
to free some convicted people tomorrow." Rahbarpur said this
is legally permissible because the SNSC decides what is in
the best interests of the country.
Some interpreted this statement as an indication that a
compromise might be reached and some of the 13 might be
released. In an interview with Iranian state broadcasting on
23 November, however, Rahbarpur rejected that possibility. He
said the trial would be fair and the court will not submit to
outside pressure.
The international community is also working quietly to
secure the release of the 13. U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary
Stuart Eizenstat, for example, said "Suffice it to say that
there is a great deal going on behind the scenes, including
if I may say with the French, and the Germans, and the
British and others who have much closer ties to Iran than we
do," Reuters reported on 1 November.
There are conflicting reports about the quality of life
for Iran's 27,000 Jews, especially since the case of the
alleged spies came to light. Farangis Hassidim, who runs
Tehran's only Jewish hospital, said "Our position here is not
as bad as people abroad may think," the "Christian Science
Monitor" reported on 26 October. Manuchehr Eliasi, the Jewish
representative to the Iranian parliament, presents a similar
view. "From the beginning of the revolution, we have never
had any problems with the revolutionary government. ...We are
100 percent free." He concluded, "The New York Times"
reported on 16 October: "Jews have deep, deep roots in this
country, and I am very sure that there will never be an Iran
without Jews."
But in Shiraz, where the arrests occurred, a Jewish
businessman told the "Christian Science Monitor," "It's
getting bad for us here." Others complain about
discrimination in employment and in getting travel documents.
A wife of a rabbi said, "Every week you hear of another
family going." A man outside a Tehran synagogue told "The New
York Times" that he stayed in Iran even after the revolution
because it has been home to his family for 2,500 years. But
now, "because of Shiraz, I know I must take my family, and
lock my house, and leave." (Bill Samii)

Addressing a gathering of staff and students at the
Sharif University of Technology in Tehran on 22 November,
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rejected the
possibility of a U.S. diplomatic presence in Iran. Khamenei
said that U.S. interests in Iran are served by Switzerland,
but the U.S. is applying pressure to open an interests
section in Iran. Iranian officials have rejected this
proposal, Khamenei said, because: "[the Americans] want to
open an intelligence-political site in Tehran to make contact
with elements which have sold out--this is their aim."
U.S. National Security Adviser Samuel Berger denied
making such a request of the Iranians, AFP reported on 23
November. But at the regular State Department briefing on 23

<< Continued to next message >>>


Date: Sun, 28 Nov 1999 21:07:07 EST
From: Sohrab Arman <Sohrab68@AOL.COM>
Subject: MOHAJERANI: Have Proper Ties with World Countries a Necessity

MOHAJERANI: Have Proper Ties with World Countries a Necessity


TEHRAN - Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ataollah Mohajerani said
that having relations with other countries while maintaining independence was
a necessity.

Speaking in an interview published in the latest (December) issue of Italian
monthly, Persian paper, Mohajerani rejected censorship in the Iranian press
and said that when there is freedom, someone who violates it and those who
suffer from the violation go to law.

He said, "I do not say that there is complete freedom. When someone takes
legal action against a certain daily and the daily is found guilty, by the
judicial system, it has nothing to do with the government, because the
Judiciary is independent in Iran."

Asked about possible influence of the Western culture on Iran, he said,
"Prohibition is not enough and the community should be immunized. Strict
controls often have negative impacts."

On freedom in the field of publishing books, Mohajerani said the government
has offered a bill to the Parliament according to which the publishers will
no longer need license from the ministry to publish books. If any book
published freely damaged someone, he or she would go to law, IRNA reported.

He said the government has helped the authors, artists and intellectuals to
form associations for example the Pen Association, Association of
Calligraphers and the Cinema House.

On function of the press, Mohajerani said the press shoulder heavy
responsibility, but, they sometime embark on partisan publicity work which is
the Achilles heel of the press.

"The function of the press is to disseminate information, but, sometimes, the
papers directly involve in partisan campaign. In this case, the journalist is
regarded as the one who embarks on power struggle and who will be subject to
pressures from different political parties," Mohajerani said.


Date: Mon, 29 Nov 1999 16:43:30 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad.abdolian@TELLABS.COM>
Subject: Testing!

We have some problem with our mailinglist, so I just want to test if it
is working or not.


Date: Sun, 28 Nov 1999 21:17:44 EST
From: Sohrab Arman <Sohrab68@AOL.COM>
Subject: .A.E. Calls on Persian Gulf States to Link Iran Ties with Islands

My Comments: If the savage Arabs do not understand that the entire Middle
East was part of the great Persia, then we should go ahead and take over the
so called UAE a tiny peace of land with total worthless people who live
there. May be then we can shut their mouth to claim something that does not
belong to them.

ABU DHABI (AFP) - The United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) yesterday called on
Persian Gulf Arab leaders at a Riyadh summit to link any rapprochement with
Iran to
progress in a territorial dispute between Tehran and Abu Dhabi.

"We hope the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council ((P)GCC) Summit will take a
decision linking any concrete progress in relations between the Persian Gulf
states and Iran to a position change in Iran's attitude," said Abu Dhabi's
crown prince.

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan, in an interview run in Al-Ittihad
newspaper, said a "firm stand" by the six-nation (P)GCC could "reduce Iran's
opposition to peaceful initiatives" to resolve the dispute over three islands.

He hoped a (P)GCC panel would succeed in its mission to facilitate direct
talks between Abu Dhabi and Tehran, "otherwise we reserve the right to take
the matter up with the International Court of Justice" over Iran's opposition.

The U.A.E. has criticized the panel -- set up in July and made up of the
foreign ministers of Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia -- for its lack of action.

The dispute over the three strategic islands in the southern Persian Gulf
which effectively control one of the world's major oil supply routes is on
the agenda of the three-day (P)GCC Summit which was scheduled to begin
yesterday in the Saudi capital.

The (P)GCC also groups Bahrain and Kuwait.


Date: Sun, 28 Nov 1999 21:18:41 EST
From: Sohrab Arman <Sohrab68@AOL.COM>
Subject: Dehnamaki to Stand Trial

Dehnamaki to Stand Trial

ASR-E AZADEGAN * This reformist daily reported that Masoud Dehnamaki,
managing director of the now-banned Shalamcheh weekly, has announced that
after one year since the closure of the hardline weekly, he would stand trial
on Monday.

Saeed Emami and `Mahdaviyat' Outfit

ASR-E AZADEGAN * Seyed Hussein Musavi Tabrizi said a group, named Mahdaviyat,
which has been active for more than 20 years, has claimed to have relation
with the Imam of the Age (A.S.). "I believe not only our Intelligence
Ministry was not sensitive toward the existence of such groups, but there
were some figures in the ministry who encouraged such superstitious
gatherings. Some friends of Saeed Emami told me that he participated in some
sessions with mystics where they said prayers before their spiritual leader."

Serial Murders in Sunni Areas

ASR-E AZADEGAN * Molavi Abdulhamid, Sunni Friday Prayer leader of Zahedan,
demanded officials on behalf of the Sunni Muslim community to follow up the
issue of serial murders in the Sunni regions of the country in which a number
of intellectuals were killed.

Disqualification of Eligible Candidates

KHORDAD * This pro-Khatami daily quoted Seyed Mostafa Tajzadeh, head of
Elections Headquarters, as saying: "One of our concerns in the elections
should be to refrain from depriving of qualified and committed nominees from
running in the polls, which would happen because of poor performance of
election authorities. He added that those who are to eliminate various
segments of the citizens from the scene, have mistaken the Revolution with
antagonism and enmity."

Khatami Not Informed of Investigations

AKHBAR-E EQTESAD * Seyed Hussein Musavi Tabrizi, was quoted by this
pro-reform daily as saying that investigations on the serial murders have had
little progress so far and this is harmful for the image of the judicial
organization. "It is said that Khatami is not informed of findings of
investigations, and even some of the accused have demanded to visit with
members of a committee set up by the President or the minister of
intelligence, but their request has been rejected by Judiciary officials," he

Death Threat

AKHBAR-E EQTESAD * Rooz Dara daily, which is published and distributed in
Sistan and Baluchestan Province, was threatened by unknown callers four
times. They said they would attack the daily's offices with bombs. The
callers who introduced themselves as `Hizbollahis', also said their attack is
in response to "trampling of the bloods of martyrs."

Disclosure of Financial Aid

AKHBAR-E EQTESAD * The newspaper wrote that the former head of Cultural and
Artistic Organization of Tehran Municipality refrains from ceding his powers
to the new head of the organization, because he does not want that a huge
financial aid which was given to a certain presidential candidate be

Attack for Release of Prisoners

AZAD * This pro-Khatami daily reported that Imam Hussein military base in
Khorramabad, Lorestan Province, was attacked on Friday. An MP said this is
not the first attack on the base, where some political prisoners are kept.

Press Court Unconstitutional

AZAD * Ali Mazrouie, member of the central council of Islamic Iran
Partnership Party (IIPP), said journalism does not enjoy a high status in the
country and journalists should be ready for being arrested or prosecuted;
therefore, some of the press people relinquish the job because of the
difficulties created for them. He added that the Press Court is not
constitutional and through its [factional] behavior, it has created a
sensitivity in the press. Moreover, it has tarnished the image of the

Rafsanjani Has No Transparent Stance

IRAN * This IRNA-affiliated daily quoted Mohammad Reza Khatami, secretary of
the IIPP, as saying that the positions adopted by Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
have not been clear in the past years. This was the reason that IIPP would
not support him in the Majlis elections, he said, adding that those who
accept the party's programs would be nominated by it, and Rafsanjani cannot
agree with these programs at the moment.

Rafsanjani Is Source of Blessing

IRAN VEIJ * Ali Movahedi Karmani, member of the Majlis Presiding Board, said
the presence of Hashemi Rafsanjani in the February Majlis polls, can be a
source of blessing and respect for the next Majlis. He expressed hope that
Rafsanjani would run for the Parliament and said in this case, his
participation would be largely welcomed.

Continuation of Serial Murders

ARYA * This pro-reform daily quoted Ebrahim Yazdi as saying that it is likely
the serial murders continue, as a list of 20 people which are said to be the
targets of next murders have been released. He added that after the so-called
suicide by Saeed Emami, his higher ranking officials should be summoned and
interrogated to find out if they were also involved in murders.

Spying for Intelligence Ministry

ARYA * An Iranian national, Hamid Khorsand, would stand trial in Germany on
charges of espionage for Iranian Intelligence Ministry. A German newspaper
predicted that the result of the trial would impact the fate of Helmut Hofer,
German businessman who is tried in Iran on charges of espionage.

Revenge Against Revolution

JOMHOURI ESLAMI * This fundamentalist daily wrote that signing an agreement
between Iranian Oil Ministry and Royal Dutch Shell, would pave the way for
dominance of the British and Zionists over Iranian oil industry. The
objective of Shell is political and not just economic. The West and the
Zionist regime want to take revenge against Iran for the defeat they
sustained after the victory of the Islamic Revolution.

Global Congress of Iran Opposition

ABRAR * This rightist daily reported that a new group, Global Congress of
Iran Opposition, has announced its formation with the objective of
overthrowing the Islamic Republic regime. In its first statement, the group
said a council has been founded for the realization of separation of state
and religion, freedom of parties, etc.


Date: Mon, 29 Nov 1999 07:55:15 EST
From: Sohrab Arman <Sohrab68@AOL.COM>
Subject: Iran Says No Need for U.S. Consular Visits

Iran Says No Need for U.S. Consular Visits

Iran Ready to Head Team to Moscow to Discuss Chechnya


TEHRAN -- Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi rejecting a request from the United
States to dispatch consular and other officials to Iran said yesterday
unfriendly bilateral relations ruled out such demands.

Speaking in a news conference, Kharrazi said, "Iran-U.S. ties are not at a
level to call for such requests." "Furthermore, our situation in the United
States is not comparable to their situation in Iran. The large number of
Iranians in America demands heavier consular work in Washington." Hundreds of
thousands of Iranian expatriates live in the United States, while only a
handful of Americans reside in Iran.

The two countries have not had diplomatic relations for nearly two decades.

The U.S. state department said last week Washington sought reciprocity from
Iran on visits to Iran by U.S. consular and other officials.

The United States has allowed Iranian officials to visit the Iranian
Interests Section in Washington on the grounds that it wants to encourage
people-to-people contacts as the prelude to the government-to-government
relations which Iran rejects.

The Swiss Embassy in Tehran looks after U.S. interests, without any permanent
or visiting U.S. staff.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei last week ruled out any official U.S.
representation in Iran.

The United States broke diplomatic relations with Iran in 1980, during the
occupation of the American Embassy in Tehran by students after the 1979
Islamic Revolution which toppled the pro-Western Shah. They held 52 Americans
hostage for 444 days.

Bilateral ties have thawed somewhat since reformist President Mohammad
Khatami took office in 1997. But Khamenei, who outranks Khatami, has ruled
out renewed relations, despite calls by some moderates for a policy review.

As for the Chechnya crisis, Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, after
meeting his Russian counterpart, said the Islamic Republic wants to head a
team from the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to Moscow to
discuss the Chechen war. However, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, who
is in Iran on a one-day official visit, said what was going on in Chechnya
"was strictly an internal issue."

In his press conference with Ivanov, Kharrazi also said, "I suggested that I
would personally lead a team from the OIC to Moscow to discuss the situation
in Chechnya."

Kharrazi whose country currently holds the presidency of the OIC, said the
situation in Chechnya had dominated discussions with Ivanov.

He emphasized that Iran "was ready to send as much humanitarian aid as
possible to Chechen refugees."

He also said that Ivanov would bring Iran's proposals before the Russian

"The situation in Chechnya is essentially an internal issue and Russia will
not allow any party to interfere there," Ivanov told the press conference.

He said Russia sought a return to peace and calm in the Caucasus region,
adding, "We don't want the Caucasus to become a region of influence and
confrontation but rather an area of peace and cooperation between all
countries, particularly Iran and Russia."

Russia "has not attacked Chechnya because it is an integral part of the
Russian Federation," said Ivanov. "Russia is attacking terrorists and bandits
who are responsible for more than 1,500 civilian deaths." The Russian army,
which started operations in Chechnya at the beginning of September, has
tightened its grip on the Chechen capital Grozny, taking control of the

Other issues discussed by the two were Afghanistan, Tajikistan, the Caucasus,
and the legal question of the Caspian Sea, members of the two delegations

Tehran has always condemned the war in Chechnya without overtly criticizing
Moscow. Iranian leaders say they are in favor of a peaceful solution to the
Chechen conflict.

Iran has also called on the countries bordering the Caspian Sea, which
includes Russia, to reach an agreement on dividing the oil and gas resources
of the sea.

The Russian foreign minister stressed that Iran and Russia should adopt
measures for further e pansion of bilateral economic and commercial ties. "We
are satisfied with political dialogue between the two countries and believe
that national interests of the two countries should be protected," he added.

On completion of Bushehr Atomic Power Plant, Ivanov said that Russia fully
adheres to its commitments in that field.

Cooperation would continue based on mutual agreements, said Ivanov, adding
that Russia is satisfied with trend of mutual cooperation and believes that
it meets mutual interests and should be continued in future.

Asked about Russia's reaction to pressures exerted by the U.S. on his country
to stop cooperation with Iran for completion of Bushehr Atomic Power Plant,
Ivanov said energy related issues are a bilateral matter solely concerning
Iran and Russia.

Asked whether conclusion of Baku-Ceyhan pipeline accord would mean putting
aside Russia, Ivanov said that Russian officials believe that various
projects for transfer of energy should be implemented with respect to
economic standards and economical aspect of the projects.

Russia is against politicizing the project and therefore in the future too
Russia would defend implementation of the projects that would be in
concordance with the interests of the littoral states, he added.

Ivanov said that Russia supports the projects that guarantees mutual
interests and are economically justifiable.


Date: Sat, 27 Nov 1999 21:04:03 EST
Subject: Fwd: Shamsolvaezin was sentenced to three years

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Date: Sat, 27 Nov 1999 08:37:58 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <199911271637.IAA02974@Tehran.Stanford.EDU>
Subject: Shamsolvaezin was sentenced to three years
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Conservative Courts Muzzle Iranian Reformers
By Ali Raiss-Tousi
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's clerical court sentenced
Abdollah Nouri, the country's leading reformist
politician, to five years in jail on Saturday for
political and religious dissent and closed his
outspoken newspaper.

Meeting behind closed doors, the Special Court for
Clergy also barred Nouri from journalistic
activities for five years after completion of his
jail term and fined him 15 million rials, worth
$5,000 at the official rate.

In a second high-profile case, reformist editor
Mashallah Shamsolvaezin was sentenced to three
years in prison on charges of forgery and questioning
Islamic principles, state television reported
on Saturday.

Aides to Nouri, a mid-ranking Shi'ite Muslim cleric
with a sterling revolutionary pedigree, said
he was later whisked off to Tehran's Evin prison from
a side exit.

Nouri told Reuters in a recent interview he had no
plans to appeal any sentence and he called on
people to remain calm. Protest and civil disorder, he
said, would only undermine the reform

However, local journalists said there were protests
in the central city of Isfahan, Nouri's
homebase, after the sentence was announced. No other
details were immediately available.

A copy of the judge's order showed Nouri had been
given three years for insulting Islam and two
years for insulting late revolutionary leader
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Nouri's daily
newspaper Khordad was banned on the latter charge.

In addition, he was banned from journalism for five
years for libel and publishing lies, and the
fine was levied for agitation against the Islamic

The sentence, issued after a six-day landmark trial
that touched on the most sensitive issues in the
Islamic republic, deals a heavy blow to the reformist
movement, which had looked to Nouri to
lead it in next February's parliamentary polls.

Court Branded Illegal

``The court was illegal, so the verdict is not
acceptable,'' close aide Faribah Davoudi told
reporters outside the courtroom.

``Mr. Nouri has said several times he does not
recognize the court or its verdict. We expected
even worse, because an entity which is illegal cannot
have legal verdicts,'' she said.

Nouri argued repeatedly that the clerical courts,
which are not covered in the constitution, are
illegal and designed to bar free expression and limit

However, the court's defenders say Iran's supreme
clerical leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has
used his powers to authorize the courts, superseding
the constitution.

Appeal To President

Shamsolvaezin, speaking to reporters before his own
sentence was announced, called on
President Mohammad Khatami to step in and rescue
Nouri, a close ally, from the clerical court

``It is the president's duty to uphold the
constitution and the constitution has been violated,''
said Shamsolvaezin. ``The people expect him not to
just stand by.''

Increasingly stymied at the ballot box, hard-liners
have used their control over the judicial and
clerical apparatus to silence reformists and close
their newspapers, which have flourished under
Khatami's reform drive.

In addition to Nouri's Khordad, five other pro-reform
dailies have been banned by similar tactics
since Khatami's election in May 1997.

However, the Nouri case marked a turning point in
contemporary Iran, broaching many taboo
subjects previously debated only in private or behind
the walls of seminaries.

These included limits on the powers of the supreme
clerical leader, the treatment of dissidents
and others outside the official mainstream and
relations with arch-foe the United States.

Ali Hekmat, editor-in-chief of Khordad, said
reopening the banned daily, under another name and
publishing license, was ''our moral, social and
national duty.''

But he said the speed with which Nouri was rushed off
to prison had caught his aides by surprise
and there was no way a successor newspaper could be
ready for the next scheduled edition on
Sunday morning.

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Date: Mon, 29 Nov 1999 07:54:17 EST
From: Sohrab Arman <Sohrab68@AOL.COM>
Subject: Waiting Game with FTZs Is on



Waiting Game with FTZs Is on

Sound and effective banking policies are essential to the function of a
modern, healthy economy. So following months of wrangling the much coveted
monetary and banking directives for free trade zones (FTZs) were approved
last week. This should put an end to the investor's indecision on whether or
not `to come to the zones'.

Unfortunately, despite our relatively good potentials in FTZs and also the
dire need to attract foreign capital in order to boost non-oil exports, there
has been a lack of interest in the zones by the investors, local and foreign

Indeed potential entrepreneurs were encouraged, through our inaction it
seems, to invest in the neighboring countries' similar zones such as Gebel
Ali, Dubai. Now even with the approval of these new directives a considerable
amount of domestic capital continues to exit the country to the neighboring
zones to the utter frustration of our officials.

Should, however, these directives be implemented in a politically stable
environment and the foreign banks begin to open branches in FTZs, one may
hope for a turning point in the zones fortune. Further, this may possibly
reduce the onslaught of foreign imports and the exodus of foreign exchange.

Obviously such high expectations depend upon the way the directives are put
into place. Also, not all our problems will be solved overnight with the
ratification of these kinds of directives. But we may hope at least for a
remedy to these problems over time. It is not too much to expect, we believe,
for FTZs to turn into places where goods are exported earning the country
hard-currency income rather than just stay as fancy public-recreation spots
from where a sea of imports gets in to the country.

We perfectly understand the fact that there is a difference between coming up
with a good idea and rightly carrying it out. We have indeed no choice but to
wait and see how the directives, which were held back by the Central Bank of
Iran (CBI) for several months, in practice, could create a desirable
environment where foreign investment could flourish.

We just hope that we are patient enough to see the results and not yet more
"new" directive along the way.


Date: Mon, 29 Nov 1999 02:24:39 -0500
From: "Iran Daneshjoo Organization News Service (by way of Farhad Abdolian
<>)" <iran@HOMEMAIL.COM>
Subject: News Flash of 11/28/1999: Angry Demonstrators in the streets of
Ispahan and Nadjaf-Abad

Iran Daneshjoo Organization News Service -

Angry Demonstrators in the streets of Ispahan and Nadjaf-Abad

SMCCDI News Service

Confirmed reports are stating about demonstrations happened in the streets
of Ispahan and Nadjaf-Abad in order to protest against the sentence issued
in the Noori's case.

Based on these reports thousands of angry demonstrators faced the local
security forces with slogans such as " Down with dictator" and
"Freedom or death".

Mr. Noori's a native of Ispahan and his popularity has raised considerably
due to his open criticizes of the regime. He's also popular among the
security forces of the region and this was the main reason that today's
demonstration didn't turn in clash.

Due to the number of participants the bassidj forces were not asked to
intervene in order to avoid clashes but reports are stating that several
division of the Pasdaran Corps are moving toward the region in order to
avoid new demonstrations.

The security forces in the Iranian universities have been enforced and
tracts distributed in several Iranian cities such as Ispahan, Tehran,
Tabriz, Ghom and Mashad are calling for a general raise against the

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Date: Sun, 28 Nov 1999 21:05:22 EST
From: Sohrab Arman <Sohrab68@AOL.COM>
Subject: Egypt Looks Forward to Iran's Integration in Middle East

Egypt Looks Forward to Iran's Integration in Middle East


TEHRAN - Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa called Friday for a "new page
to be turned" to achieve Iran's integration into the wider perspective of the
Middle East.

"Iran's future role is a vital factor for the stability of the region," he
said. Like Turkey, Iran and the Arab world "cannot afford a tense and
uncomfortable relationship," he added.

Moussa referred to progress being made in several areas between Iran and a
number of Arab countries. He expressed hope that Iran's relationship with the
United Arab Emirates will witness the same.

"A new page must be turned in order to resume a fruitful, healthy and normal
interaction between Iran and the Arab world and its integration into the
wider regional perspective in the interest of all parties,'' he said, quoted
by IRNA.

The Persian Gulf's importance to regional and international security "cannot
be overemphasized," the veteran Egyptian minister stressed in a speech at
London's Royal Institute of International Affairs on the prospects of peace
in the Middle East at large.

"We must ensure the resolution of problems that beset the area through strict
adherence to the rule of law and the principles of good neighborliness,
inviolability of borders, non-intervention and the pacific settlement of
disputes," he said.

Moussa said that Egypt looked forward not only to the return of normalcy to
Iraq, but the "settlement of all outstanding issues with Iran, in order to
achieve this important objective."

He also spoke about the need for Sudan to live in harmony, prosperity and
unity, and added that it is about time to end Libya's isolation and Algeria's
painful story.

The Middle East crisis was not simply the Arab-Israeli conflict and its peace
process, but also North Africa and other regional states, the foreign
minister said.

Referring to the Zionist regime's massive stockpile of weapons, including
nuclear arms, he said that regional stability must be built on the "principle
of equal rights and obligations aimed at achieving military balance and
enhancing equal security for all." "Peace and security will neither be
comprehensive nor durable if regional security is not ensured and the issue
of arms control is not resolved," Moussa said.

The Middle East, he said, has had its share of pains and agonies over the
past century, but it must equally share the hopes and aspirations of the
coming one and take its rightful place in building a new world, he said.


Date: Sun, 28 Nov 1999 20:46:49 EST
From: Sohrab Arman <Sohrab68@AOL.COM>
Subject: Tehran-Moscow Cooperation for Regional Peace




Tehran-Moscow Cooperation for Regional Peace

Igor Ivanov, Foreign Minister of Russia, is arriving in Tehran today at the
head of a delegation. This is Mr. Ivanov's first trip to the Islamic Republic
of Iran (IRI) since he was appointed Russia's Foreign Minister. During his
overnight stay in Tehran, he is slated to hold talks and exchange views with
IRI officials about the two countries' bilateral and international

This visit is taking place at a time when, in the face of uncertainty about a
legal regime for the Caspian Sea, the final agreement of the Baku-Ceyhan
pipeline signed. Russia's entanglement with the rebels in the breakaway
Republic of Chechnya adds to the already complicated atmosphere in the region.

The IRI and Russia share many similarities in their relations with the U.S.,
such as the American's efforts to weaken the status of these two countries in
the Central Asian Region and the Caucasus. A perfect example of the latter is
the recent Baku-Ceyhan Agreement, which in spite of all odds against the
routing of the pipeline and its defiance of economic logic, was pushed
through and concluded.

The IRI and Russia have enjoyed the benefits of joint stance vis-a-vis quite
a few international issues such as the Kosovo crisis, the question of
Taliban, their opposition to NATO's presence in the region, the legal regime
of the Caspian Sea and, last but not least, the presence of Western oil
Companies in the region and the Caspian Sea.

The IRI and Russia both enjoy a high potential to bring about a broad-based
peace in the region by resolving the existing problems. These two countries'
peaceful cooperations have been a thorn in the side of two countries, namely
Israel and the U.S., who do not hide the fact that they are extremely
concerned about the close ties between Russia and the IRI. Their highly
publicized opposition to Moscow's completion of Booshehr Nuclear Power Plant
in Iran is a case in point.

Nonetheless, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Russia are determined to expand
their ties and these to-and-fro visits are part and parcel of the
improvements in their relations. Tehran and Moscow, while endeavoring to
concentrate their joint efforts on resolving regional crises, should also
exert themselves to find an answer to the status of the legal regime of the
Caspian Sea, which directly affects the stability in the region.


End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 26 Nov 1999 to 30 Nov 1999 - Special issue