Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 1 Dec 1999 to 2 Dec 1999 - Special issue

There are 18 messages totalling 1247 lines in this issue.

Topics in this special issue:

1. Foreign women among those arrested at raid on party in Iran
2. Iranian Investment in Colombia Raises Suspicion
3. Religious dissent mounts in Iran cleric case
4. Iranian dissident recalled to prison
5. Iran clergy challenge supreme leader on Nouri
7. Welcome to All the Delegates at Tehran OIC
8. ICIM5 Announces 2000 as Qods Year
9. KHATAMI: Tehran-Riyadh Ties Guarantee Regional Security, Stability
10. For Your Information
11. IRNA, Saudi News Agency to Open Representative Offices Soon
12. Baghdad Stations MKO Elements in Buffer Zone with Kurds
13. President to Talk to Students on Student Day
14. Ayatollah Sanei's Statement on Nouri's Verdict
15. Iran Rejects U.S. Claims on Terrorism
16. President Khatami Inaugurates ICIM5
17. Letter To President Khatami From PEN American Center
18. [eurasia-geopolitics] Russia-Iran Joint Statement on Human

Date: Thu, 2 Dec 1999 15:34:12 +0000
From: "a.abdi" <a.abdi@BTINTERNET.COM>
Subject: Foreign women among those arrested at raid on party in Iran

Foreign women among those arrested at raid on party in Iran

By Associated Press, 11/29/99 10:46

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) Iranian police raided a party and
arrested more
than 100 guests, some of them foreign women, a newspaper
reported Monday.

The Farsi-language paper, Iran, did not say how many
were arrested at the villa in Karaj, outside Tehran. It
said a
number of them were women from South America and Europe.

''They had gathered to drink wine and indulge in
pleasures,'' the
brief report said without elaborating.

The report could not be independently confirmed.

The raid, which occurred at about midnight Thursday,
followed a
telephone complaint to the local authorities, apparently
from a
neighbor, the newspaper said.

Alcohol is banned in Iran, and men and women are not
allowed to
openly socialize under the country's Islamic laws.

Raids on parties have been rare since the May 1997
election of
President Mohammad Khatami, who has tried to relax strict
Islamic laws.

Date: Thu, 2 Dec 1999 14:17:07 EST
From: Sohrab Arman <Sohrab68@AOL.COM>
Subject: Iranian Investment in Colombia Raises Suspicion

STRATFOR.COM Global Intelligence Update
December 2, 1999

Iranian Investment in Colombia Raises Suspicion


Colombian and Iranian officials have signed an unusual agreement:
Iranians will invest $3 million in a meat-packing plant in the
heart of Colombia's rebel-held jungle. Exactly why Bogota would
encourage investment that benefits guerrillas who have fought for
more than three decades is unclear. But the implications are
extraordinary. Colombia's violent right wing will be angered. The
region will risk increased international terrorism and invigorated
trade in drugs for arms. The United States will probably sour on
the Pastrana government, which may ultimately be weakened.


On Nov. 11, a delegation of Iranian government and business
representatives arrived in San Vicente del Caguan, a town deep in
the jungles of southern Colombia that is held by the Revolutionary
Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
[ ] The
delegation visited to assess a site on which the Iranians will
build a meat-packing plant and slaughterhouse that would process
beef bound for Iran. The visit was the latest step in a process
that began Oct. 21, when Colombian and Iranian officials signed an
agreement committing $3 million in Iranian investment.

There is, however, one major oddity: Colombia's major cattle
production takes place on the other side of the Andes Mountains,
more than 300 miles to the northwest. Near San Vicente del Caguan
there is little but jungle. There are no major roads and precious
little infrastructure. The town is, however, in the heart of drug-
producing territory held by the FARC, the country's largest and
most successful guerrilla movement after more than three decades of
civil war.

Sizable implications will grow from this comparatively small
investment in a little town. The government of President Andres
Pastrana may push his stalled peace process forward by placating
leftist guerrillas. But the government is equally likely to spark
anger among Colombia's most violent right-wing elements. By opening
the door to Iran, the government unwittingly risks increasing the
influence of Iranian-backed terrorists in South America. From
nearly any angle, this investment will likely damage relations with

With the apparent blessing of top Colombian officials, talks began
in the spring, when a delegation of Iranian officials and
businessmen visited the town of San Vicente del Caguan, which is in
the municipality of Caqueta. On Oct. 21, Iran's ambassador to
Colombia, Hossein Sheikh Zeineddin, and the office of San Vicente's
mayor signed the deal. Significantly, the government's top peace
negotiator with the guerrillas - peace commissioner Victor G.
Ricardo - signed the agreement, acting as guarantor.

But not everyone in the Pastrana government appears pleased;
indeed, the military seems distinctly displeased. On Nov. 27,
Colombian Defense Minister Luis Fernando Ramirez accused the
Iranians, who resisted an inspection of their baggage, of being
military advisors to the FARC, reported Agence France-Presse. Iran
has denied that it is using the investment as a cover. In Tehran,
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi dismissed the charge as
astonishing, according to the BBC's monitoring of Iranian official

The Pastrana government's motives are unclear. One possible
explanation is that Colombia is in dire need of economic
development. In recent testimony to Congress, Undersecretary of
State Thomas Pickering described an economy in free fall. In the
midst of a recession, its economy has contracted by 5.8 percent in
the first quarter of 1999, and its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is
forecasted to fall 3 to 4 percent by year's end. Unemployment
stands at nearly 20 percent. But the Iranian investment seems like
a poor start, improperly located even to lend any immediate help to
the country's cattle industry.

A more likely explanation is that the government is attempting to
kick-start a badly stalled peace process. By steering investment
into FARC-held territory, the government may be trying to get the
guerrillas re-engaged in negotiations. The FARC has even intimated
recently that it may not observe an upcoming Christmas cease-fire.
Ricardo's role in securing the Iranian investment suggests that
reviving the peace process is the true agenda. Another possibility
- however remote - is that Ricardo was acting on his own. The
president has remained largely silent on the entire investment

Regardless of the government's motives, the deal will undermine the
country's right-wing elements and its violent paramilitaries. The
right, too, is deeply involved in drug trafficking. And the right's
paramilitaries are increasingly believed to be behind most of the
country's politically-motivated murders. The right is not likely to
take Iranian investment very well in the territory of its sometime
business partners and longtime arch-enemies - leftist guerrillas.
The government in Bogota can expect a backlash.

The government is also cracking open the door to increased
influence by both Tehran and the terrorist movements it has
supported. South America is an important proxy battlefield for the
Middle East's struggles. There appears to be a longstanding
relationship between the FARC and the Iranian-backed Hezbollah
[ ]. Hezbollah has
training camps in southern Brazil. Hezbollah has also been
implicated in attacks on the Israeli embassy and a Jewish cultural
center in Argentina.

In the current deal, any Hezbollah presence could result in an
increased flow in arms to the FARC; in turn, the FARC may find a
way to use the new Iranian connection to export cocaine. The United
States - the chief market for Colombian cocaine - is saturated.
Colombia produces 80 percent of the world's cocaine. Demand and
prices, however, are rising in other regions of the world, most
notably Russia. In exchange, Hezbollah may find a way to ship arms
from the other side of the world to Colombia.

In a much larger sense, Iran stands to reap considerable benefits:
It is now positioned to play an important role in the Western
Hemisphere's most important civil war. The Iranian ambassador said
his government hopes to aid the peace process because, after all,
it does not need the additional beef, reported the Colombian weekly
publication Semana on Nov. 10. Iran gains a toehold at the front
line of the drug war. San Vicente is in the region where new, U.S.-
trained counter-drug battalions will operate. Iran can also
increase its influence on both the Colombian and Venezuelan oil

The United States is not likely to take any of this in stride.
Investment in guerrilla-held territory will strike many in
Washington as capitulation to the drug trade. And the mere presence
of Iran in the most sensitive place in the Western Hemisphere is
likely to force policymakers to re-think ties to Colombia. Pastrana
may be using the Iranian deal to pressure Washington into
delivering $1.5 billion in aid, only half of what Pastrana wants.
Recent developments may quash aid altogether.

A little over a year into his administration, the Colombian
president has worked to bring peace to a country torn by decades of
civil war. Pastrana is already weakened by his concession of land
to the FARC. In a sticky position, attempting to satisfy the FARC,
the right, everyday Colombians and the United States, Pastrana may
see the Iranian investment as a chance to get the peace process
back on track. Suffering from increasing criticism and declining
popularity, the president is risking a renewed challenge from the
right, upsetting the United States and regional turmoil. And those
are the rewards only if the gambit succeeds.

(c) 1999, Stratfor, Inc.

Date: Thu, 2 Dec 1999 14:22:24 EST
From: Sohrab Arman <Sohrab68@AOL.COM>
Subject: Religious dissent mounts in Iran cleric case

Religious dissent mounts in Iran cleric case

By Jonathan Lyons

TEHRAN, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Several top theologians have thrown their weight
behind jailed cleric Abdollah Nouri, asserting the traditional independence
from government coercion of Iran's religious thinkers.

Tensions between the centralised state and the seminaries have erupted into
the open with the conviction last month of Nouri on dissent charges by the
Special Court for Clergy.

At stake is the conservative establishment's attempt to monopolise religious
interpretation in the Islamic republic and to retain virtual control over
social and political life.

Supporters have likened Nouri's court to the Inquisition of mediaeval Europe,
created to enforce religious orthodoxy and halt in its tracks Iran's reform

``Not everyone can say what His Excellency Mr Abdollah Nouri said. It was
only through his bravery and courage that he managed to say what all of us
want and demand,'' Ayatollah Abdolkarim Mousavi-Ardebili told Nouri's father.

``He has endeared himself to God and this endearment is much better than any
government post he may have held,'' Mousavi- Ardebili said of Nouri, a former
minister of interior and vice president.


Another senior cleric, Ayatollah Yusef Sanaie, told visiting students in the
holy Shi'ite city of Qom that force had no place in a true understanding of
the faith.

``Islam is a religion which has thought and understanding, rather than whips
and batons, at its service. Islam is the religion of mosques, not the
religion of prison and torture,'' he said.

Revolutionary veterans Mousavi-Ardebili and Sanaie are among ranking clerics
known as ``sources of emulation,'' whose individual religious opinions serve
as daily guides to their followers.

Their remarks were carried in newspapers on Thursday.

The two senior clerics added their voices to a chorus of religious discontent
over the treatment of Nouri, sentenced to five years in prison. His outspoken
newspaper Khordad was also banned.

A group of reformist clerics, meanwhile, dismissed the Special Court for
clergy as unconstitutional -- implicitly challenging Iran's supreme leader,
Ayatollah Khamenei, who recently defended the panel as a lawful body.

``The sentencing of Nouri was issued by a court which...everybody knows to be
in open contradiction with the constitution,'' said a statement issued by the
League of Teachers of the Qom seminaries.

``In an act in conflict with public opinion, the Special Court for Clergy has
imprisoned a figure-head of the revolution based on a politically

The diminutive Nouri, born in 1949, is now sharing a small cell with three
other prisoners on Tehran's Evin prison, once the scene of routine summary

``How long will the judicial authorities want to remain witness to...such
inhumane behaviour?'' the League said.

08:52 12-02-99

Date: Thu, 2 Dec 1999 14:23:44 EST
From: Sohrab Arman <Sohrab68@AOL.COM>
Subject: Iranian dissident recalled to prison

Iranian dissident recalled to prison

TEHRAN, Dec 2 (Reuters) - A former Iranian deputy prime minister and leading
dissident figure, Abbas Amir-Entezam, has been recalled to prison, newspapers
reported on Thursday.

Amir-Entezam, who was government spokesman in the country's first cabinet
after the 1979 Islamic revolution, was temporarily released on bail in
October to undergo medical treatment.

Newspapers said his recall to prison came after he was interviewed by the
reformist Payam-e Azadi daily.

Amir-Entezam has spent much of the last 20 years in prison after being
convicted of spying for the United States.

He was released a few years ago but arrested again on charges of defamation
of a former chief warden of Tehran's notorious Evin prison, whom he accused
of abusing the human rights of political prisoners.

Amir-Entezam has repeatedly denied the spying charges and demanded a retrial.
No ruling has been given on the defamation charges filed in 1998.

04:48 12-02-99

Date: Thu, 2 Dec 1999 14:24:25 EST
From: Sohrab Arman <Sohrab68@AOL.COM>
Subject: Iran clergy challenge supreme leader on Nouri

Iran clergy challenge supreme leader on Nouri

TEHRAN, Dec 2 (Reuters) - A group of reform-minded Iranian clergy challenged
the country's supreme ruler regarding the recent jailing of a leading
reformist politician, in a statement published on Thursday.

``The sentence of (reformist cleric Abdollah) Nouri was issued by a court
which...everybody knows to be in open legal conflict with the constitution,''
said a statement issued by the League of Teachers at the religious Qom
Seminaries and which was published in newspapers.

On November 28 the Special Court for Clergy sentenced Nouri, a vanguard
reformist and close ally of moderate President Mohammad Khatami, to five
years in prison on charges of political and religious dissent. It also closed
his outspoken and popular newspaper Khordad.

Iran's supreme ruler Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who controls the hardline
special court, said last month that the court, which operates independently
of the judiciary, was lawful.

``It is an appropriate, legal and necessary court... The objections raised
against it are not valid,'' Khamenei had said.

Public criticism of the policies of the supreme leader, widely seen to be
close to conservatives who oppose Khatami's social and political reforms, has
been a taboo in the Islamic state.

``In an act in conflict with public opinion, the Special Court for Clergy has
imprisoned a figure-head of the revolution based on a politically motivated
and non-legal indictment,'' the League of Teachers statement said.

Nouri is now sharing a small cell with three other prisoners in Tehran's
notorious Evin prison, once the scene of routine post-revolutionary

``How long will the judicial authorities want to remain witness to...such
inhuman behaviour?'' the statement added.

03:16 12-02-99

Date: Thu, 2 Dec 1999 15:59:40 EST

urgent action

Bahram Jalali, a political activist, is at imminent risk of being
deported to Iran from Germany. Jalali face a serious threat to his life
and liberty if forcibly returned. The International Federation of Iranian
Refugees (IFIR) condemns the German government’s plan to deport
Jalali and demands that the government provide him with protection.
Jalali has a well-founded fear of persecution based on his political
opinion. Furthermore, due to his continued activism against the
Islamic Republic of Iran in Germany, Jalali is also a "refugee sur

In Iran, Jalali was a supporter of the Sazman-e- Cherikha-ye-
Fadaian-e-Khalq (Ashraf). In 1981 when a comrade was arrested
and executed, Jalali went into hiding but was arrested and imprisoned
for 37 months. While in prison, Jalali was seriously tortured. He
was whipped until he lost consciousness and was hung from the
ceiling. He was starved, often refused visitation rights for months,
beaten, psychologically abused and humiliated, and urinated on.
His closest friends and comrades were killed. After 37 months,
he was given a suspended sentence of three years and was
released but only after agreeing to discontinue his activities against
the regime. Upon his release, Jalali was discriminated against as
a former political prisoner. Jalali continued his political activities
against the regime with Workers in Exile at the factory in which
he worked. While organizing a strike, he was exposed by the
Islamic council of his factory and forced to flee to Germany in 1995.

In addition to his opposition activities in Iran, Jalali has continued
his activities against the Islamic regime as an important and
well-known activist of the IFIR-Muenster Branch. In 1996, he
became familiar with the Worker-communist Party of Iran and
later joined the Party. Since December 1997, he has produced
a monthly television program condemning the regime. He has
also given speeches, conducted several interviews with the
media, and actively participated in numerous demonstrations
against the regime. His activities in Iran and Germany and
his imminent refoulement on December 9, 1999 have been
publicized in various media world-wide.

IFIR calls on all groups and individuals to condemn the
German government’s plan to deport Jalali to his persecutors
and demand that he be granted protection. Needless to say,
IFIR holds the German government accountable for his life
and security.

Send your protest letters to:
fuer das Land Nordrhein Westfalen
48143 Muenster, Germany
AKT: 5K 415/96 A Muenster (Bahram Jalali)
Fax: +49-251-50 53 52

For more information, contact IFIR, GPO, PO Box 7051, New York,
NY 10116. Tel: 212-747-1047. Fax: 212-425-7260.
E-mail: Web:

Date: Thu, 2 Dec 1999 20:18:35 EST
From: Sohrab Arman <Sohrab68@AOL.COM>
Subject: Welcome to All the Delegates at Tehran OIC


Welcome to All the Delegates at Tehran OIC

At a time of fresh conflicts in the Caucasus and repeated Russian
bombardments of Chechnya, Boris Yeltsin refused to admit any interference
from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in
Istanbul last month. The Russian foreign minister was nevertheless in Tehran
on Sunday to cushion the blow and agreed to accept a delegation from the
Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) that happens to be sitting in
Tehran right now .

Rapprochement, a by-word in international ties and cooperation has been the
key to our success and aspirations. The long established norm of mutual
respect that President Khatami has pledged still holds good .

Why can't we? OIC can establish a massive information network and offer each
and every state satellite coverage and communication links .

Trade, finance, industry and countless other benefits will prove mutually
profitable. Fair and free flow of goods, expertise and even labor could
become a reality in our region where we are already neighbors, with common
cultural and historical ties .

Over 50 information ministers from OIC are holding a 2 day meet in the
Iranian capital. This is very much in keeping with the spirit of
reconciliation being implemented throughout the globe that will presumably
improve the lot of the common man in the face of increasing poverty, disease
and scarce resources. The new world order is in EU, G7, Southeast Asia and
OSCE, all are consolidating their ties .

It all began at the inaugural session of OIC Summit in Tehran in December
1997 when Iran assumed presidency of the organization. The whole world
applauded the friendly and high-level negotiations of the inaugural OIC
sessions .

Cigar smoking Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa endeared himself to the
Iranian public there and then. He was his country's worthy delegate at Tehran
OIC. Egypt has always been greatly esteemed and loved by our countrymen.
These proud ancient warriors waged a relentless war to free the Suez Canal
back in 1956. Jamal Abdul Nasser is revered to this day by every freedom
loving patriot throughout the world .

Egypt fought three wars with the Zionist incumbent .

The bitter years of estrangement in Tehran-Cairo ties are over. Egypt brought
a full trade contingent to the 25th Tehran International Trade Fair in
October this year. Iran recently held an exclusive trade fair Fathi Sorur,
the head of the Egyptian Parliament recently advised greater rapprochement
with Iran. Osama Al-Baz, political advisor to Hosni Mubarak hailed early
normalization of Tehran-Cairo relations in Tokyo on November 22. No wonder
constant and frequent dialogue is taking place between the officials of the
two historical and cultural Goliaths in the region .

The hard and fast rule has at last been brought home, united we stand,
divided we fall .

Date: Thu, 2 Dec 1999 20:19:06 EST
From: Sohrab Arman <Sohrab68@AOL.COM>
Subject: ICIM5 Announces 2000 as Qods Year

ICIM5 Announces 2000 as Qods Year


TEHRAN -- Fereydoun Verdinejad, managing director of the Islamic Republic
News Agency (IRNA), said here yesterday that per a decision made in the
afternoon session of the Fifth Islamic Conference of Information Ministers
(ICIM5) the year 2000 was announced as the Qods year .

Verdinejad told IRNA on the sidelines of the ICIM5 that the decision was made
per a proposal by the information ministers of Egypt and Syria and approval
of all participants .

Date: Thu, 2 Dec 1999 20:19:46 EST
From: Sohrab Arman <Sohrab68@AOL.COM>
Subject: KHATAMI: Tehran-Riyadh Ties Guarantee Regional Security, Stability

KHATAMI: Tehran-Riyadh Ties Guarantee Regional Security, Stability

Mankind, Muslims Indebted to Iranian, Egyptian Nations


TEHRAN - President Mohammad Khatami said here yesterday that the human
thought and the world of Islam are indebted to the efforts of the two great
Iranian and Egyptian nations .

President Khatami further told Egyptian Minister of Information Safvat
al-Sharif on the sidelines of the inaugural meeting of the 5th Islamic
Conference of Information Ministers (ICIM5) that the world of Islam is
required to use this great historical, cultural and scientific backing to
strengthen the status of Muslims at global level .

He said that exchange of visits by Iranian and Egyptian officials,
irrespective of differences of opinion and political stances, is beneficial
to the region and the World of Islam .

Wisdom dictates setting the past as the prelude to improvement of present
situation and building a better future, he pointed out .

Referring to the history of Islamic civilization and its rule over the East
and West, President Khatami said that contemporary civilization of the West
is indebted to Islamic civilization .

The talents and nations that built Islamic civilization exist today and their
pioneers are Iran and Egypt, said Iranian Executive Chief .

He added the two countries of Iran and Egypt can and should be source of
creation and elevation in mankind's life .

The Iranian President said that the due status, prestige, dignity and might
of the World of Islam should be found in the history of today and tomorrow
and the ground should be prepared for presence of Muslim ummah in the
contemporary world .

He expressed hope that obstacles in the way of Iran-Egypt relations would be
removed and disputes settled. He also underscored the importance of
Palestinians' fate in the eye of the public opinion and defending their
legitimate rights .

Al-Sharif said on his part that his presence at the ICIM5 indicates the
importance the Egyptian government attaches to Iran both politically and
economically .

The principles which converge Iran and Egypt are deep and fixed and have
highly effective role in bilateral relations, he said. The minister briefed
Khatami on his government's viewpoints on the situation in the Middle East .

Also speaking on the sidelines of the ICIM5 with Saudi Information Minister
Fowad Abdulsalam al-Faresi here yesterday, President Khatami said that firm
relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia have brought about many benefits for
their nations and guaranteed security and stability of the region .

The President told the Saudi minister that the two big countries of Iran and
Saudi Arabia can be an influential source in the World of Islam and further
prepare the grounds for the dignity of Islamic ummah .

He said that relative and fair increase in price of oil has been caused as a
result of agreement among the member countries of the Organization of
Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Iran and Saudi Arabia in particular .

To attain desirable conditions and overcome problems such relations should
further expand, Khatami added .

Al-Faresi said that cooperation between Tehran and Riyadh is "strategic" with
much influence at regional and international levels .

Meanwhile, during another meeting with Omani Information Minister Abdulaziz
bin Mohammad Alrawas on sidelines of the ICIM5 here yesterday, President
Khatami said that exchange of visits by Iranian and Omani officials is
effective in expansion of bilateral ties and regional security .

President Khatami also stressed the need for preserving regional security .

He expressed the hope that in light of cooperation and understanding, ongoing
disputes among certain regional states would be removed .

Alrawas expressed satisfaction over Iran-Oman relations and said political
resolve of senior Omani officials is based on friendship and expansion of
relations with Iran .

He expressed the hope that in light of Iranian and Omani officials' efforts
relations between Tehran and Muscat would further expand .

According to another IRNA report, President Khatami told Syrian Information
Minister Muhammad Salman on the sidelines of the ICIM5 here yesterday that
under current calm conditions Tehran-Damascus cooperation can be more
influential in the region and the World of Islam than the past .

President told Salman that the Syrian stance in defending rights and
interests of the Syrian and Palestinian people and their land is a principled
stance and supports interests of the Syrian nation and the oppressed
Palestinian .

He described the outcome of his visit to Syria as significant from political,
social, cultural and economical points of view. He expressed the hope that in
light of fundamental cooperation between Iran and Syria, new and brighter
horizons would open to the two countries .

Salman, referring to Israel's efforts to establish artificial peace and
mislead the public opinion, said that Israel considers all Arabs and Muslims
as its enemies and tries to attain its goals in the region through its
divisive policies .

Acceptance of the idea of dialogue among civilizations by scholars and
researchers as well as the world media indicates supremacy of the idea in the
face of the idea on clash of civilizations, raised for the first time by the
Zionist regime .

Date: Thu, 2 Dec 1999 20:20:12 EST
From: Sohrab Arman <Sohrab68@AOL.COM>
Subject: For Your Information

For Your Information

The London-based human rights group Amnesty International called for the
immediate and unconditional release from jail of two Iranian reformers,
including a senior politician .

An Amnesty International statement received by Reuters late on Tuesday said
it considered reformist editor Mashallah Shamsolvaezin and leading reformist
politician Abdullah Nouri as "prisoners of conscience" .

It called on "the Islamic Republic of Iran to release them immediately and
unconditionally" .

Amnesty said the sentences "reflect the increasing use of special courts to
imprison individuals involved in journalism. They also limit social and
political debate in advance of the 19 February 2000 parliamentary elections"


Date: Thu, 2 Dec 1999 20:21:08 EST
From: Sohrab Arman <Sohrab68@AOL.COM>
Subject: IRNA, Saudi News Agency to Open Representative Offices Soon

IRNA, Saudi News Agency to Open Representative Offices Soon


TEHRAN - Managing Director of Saudi News Agency Mohammad bin Ali al-Khozeyr
said here on Tuesday that the Saudi agency and the Islamic Republic News
Agency (IRNA) would soon inaugurate representative offices at each other's
capitals .

Al-Khozeyr termed last year visit of IRNA chief Fereydoun Verdinejad to Saudi
Arabia and the talks being held for expansion of mutual cooperation in the
field of information dissemination .

He expressed hope that close and friendly cooperation between Iran and Saudi
agency would serve as a lesson for more extensive cooperation among Muslim
countries in the field of information dissemination .

He stressed that IRNA and his agency are determined to prepare the ground for
implementation of all the already reached accords on exchange of expert and
technical delegations, training of work force and news related affairs .

Date: Thu, 2 Dec 1999 20:23:07 EST
From: Sohrab Arman <Sohrab68@AOL.COM>
Subject: Baghdad Stations MKO Elements in Buffer Zone with Kurds

Baghdad Stations MKO Elements in Buffer Zone with Kurds


TEHRAN -- A radio station affiliated to the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan
(PUK) said yesterday that Iraq has stationed elements of the terrorist
Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) in the Buffer Zone, separating Iraqi
troops and PUK forces .

The radio broadcast received in Sanandaj, Kurdestan Province, added that the
MKO elements have been brought in by 60 vehicles on November 8 .

The radio said that Iraq has stationed the MKO elements in the Buffer Zone to
protect the territories controlled by the government in Baghdad, IRNA
reported .

The report added that the MKO elements have taken position in Qareh Tappeh
and Chenareh regions .

According to the radio, in recent years the MKO as a mercenary of the
Baathist regime in Baghdad has committed many criminal acts against Iraqi
Kurds .

Date: Thu, 2 Dec 1999 20:23:41 EST
From: Sohrab Arman <Sohrab68@AOL.COM>
Subject: President to Talk to Students on Student Day

President to Talk to Students on Student Day


TEHRAN -- Science and Industry University (SIC) announced Tuesday that
President Seyed Mohammad Khatami is to talk to students on December 7,
marking Student Day and 70th anniversary of the university's establishment .

The Public Relations Department of the SIC in a statement issued Tuesday
called on students and academicians to attend the meeting .

Date: Thu, 2 Dec 1999 20:24:30 EST
From: Sohrab Arman <Sohrab68@AOL.COM>
Subject: Ayatollah Sanei's Statement on Nouri's Verdict

Ayatollah Sanei's Statement on Nouri's Verdict


TEHRAN - A prominent instructor at Qom Seminary said Tuesday that the most
important issue for people like Abdullah Nouri is the judgment of the nation

In a statement a copy of which was made available to IRNA, Ayatollah Yusef
Sanei described Abdullah Nouri as a "committed scholar" and argued how the
Almighty God would accept precedence of the will of a single individual or a
small group of people over the viewpoint of the majority .

He termed such a preference as the "ugliest manifestation of dictatorship"
and stressed that all should keep distance from such an attribution to Islam

He further stressed in the statement that all should feel responsible toward
not providing the least possibility for such attributions to Islam neither in
deeds nor in words. Otherwise, it said, all will commit an unforgivable sin .

The statement said people would argue how can it be possible that the late
Imam Khomeini(R.H.), the nation and senior officials would have not
recognized Nouri's true personality and not made it public?

It further argued how could it happen that Nouri had been appointed to so
many top positions in the Islamic Republic and a person opposed to the
interests of the country became a member in the Expediency Council?

Ayatollah Sanei further stressed in his statement that what is now important
is to avoid measures which seek tension, an ideal which is sought by the
perpetrators of the university dorm incidents, the serial murders and the
pressure groups, adding that reasonable behavior deserves the children of the
Revolution and Islam .

The statement concluded by praising all those who strive for the realization
of sublime teachings of Islam and ideals of the late Imam, especially
university students who firmly preserve their political-Islamic vigilance .

The Special Court for the Clergy sentenced Abdullah Nouri to five years
imprisonment, five years of dismissal from his post as the managing director
of the daily Khordad and 15 million rials cash fine on Saturday .

Date: Thu, 2 Dec 1999 20:25:55 EST
From: Sohrab Arman <Sohrab68@AOL.COM>
Subject: Iran Rejects U.S. Claims on Terrorism

Iran Rejects U.S. Claims on Terrorism

* Emirati President Urges Talks on Islands Dispute with Iran


TEHRAN -- The spokesman of Iran's Foreign Ministry Tuesday evening
categorically rejected the recent U.S. allegation that Iran supports
terrorism .

Hamid-Reza Asefi, the spokesman, stressing that Islamic Republic of Iran has
been among victims of terrorism, said that such baseless propaganda campaign
of the United States is a threadbare tactic which has proved to be futile two
decades after the establishment of the Islamic Iran. He noted that Iran
supports the Palestinian nation in their efforts to restore their rights and
liberate their own land .

Asefi added that the U.S. claims against Iran is repeated at a time when the
Zionist prime minister openly opposes the return of the Palestinian refugees
to their homeland .

Asefi said that ignoring the natural rights of the Palestinian refugees to
return to their homeland along with keeping silence vis-a-vis the Zionist
expansionist policies, calls into question of the U.S. sincerity in its
support for peace in the Middle East .

Pointing to the ever-increasing nature of the Zionist demands, the Foreign
Ministry spokesman said that selective and contradictory stands taken by the
United States and making such claims against Iran would not remove objective
and serious obstacles in the way of the compromise trend in the Middle East .

According to a AFP report from Abu Dhabi, Emirati President Emirati President
Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan yesterday reiterated his desire for talks with Iran
over their islands dispute and called for an end to the suffering of the
Iraqi people .

"Promoting dialogue over confrontation ... is the basis of our policy to put
an end to Iran's occupation of our three islands," he said in a speech
marking the 28th anniversary of the creation of the United Arab Emirates .

"We renew our call to our brothers in the Islamic Republic of Iran to start
serious negotiations over a fixed period on the three islands or accept to
submit the dispute to the international court of justice," the president said

He also expressed hope that a tripartite committee created by the Persian
Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC), of which the U.A.E. is a member, would get
"positive results" from talks on the ownership of the strategic islands .

During their annual summit in Riyadh this week, the PGCC refrained from
condemning Iran on the issue of the islands and reiterated their support for
the committee made up of the Saudi, Qatari and Omani foreign ministers .

Iran yesterday said its "policy of detente" was behind the PGCC decision not
to criticize Tehran for the first time since the 1981 creation of the
regional grouping .

"Our position was and remains in favor of direct and face-to-face
negotiations," Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi said, reiterating a call for
talks over the islands .

Date: Thu, 2 Dec 1999 20:40:15 EST
From: Sohrab Arman <Sohrab68@AOL.COM>
Subject: President Khatami Inaugurates ICIM5

President Khatami Inaugurates ICIM5


TEHRAN -- The 5th Islamic Conference of Information Ministers (ICIM5) was,
according to IRNA, inaugurated here yesterday with President Mohammad
Khatami's speech .

The following is the full text of President's speech at ICIM5 here yesterday:

"In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful,

"Mr. Secretary-General,

"Respected Ministers,

"Distinguished Guests,

"Dear Brothers and Sisters,

"We sincerely honor your visit to the Islamic Iran, and we congratulate all
the people in charge of the work of this conference and all the respected
participants on the holding of the Fifth Summit of the Conference of the
Information Ministers of Islamic Countries. This is a very effective measure
for strengthening the foundations of the Organization of the Islamic
Conference (OIC) .

"Our faith is the faith in wisdom, theology, and calling for the salvation of
all human beings. Because our "call" is based on truth and knowledge, it goes
through the channels of communication, information, and notification .

In our religion Islam a "call" constitutes the source of and the precondition
for the subsistence of every cultural transformation and for every
civilization which is constructed upon the foundation of "wisdom,"
"charitable sermon," and "sublime contention."

"The "call" is the "process of mutual understanding," which materializes by
going through the path of rational and compassionate dialogues, and which
results in the development of dynamic human thought and exalted human and
social existence .

"We are now living in a world where the intensity and acceleration of social,
cultural, scientific and industrial development is astonishing .

Today, information and knowledge are one of the principal foundations of
power and prestige; and as we stand at the threshold of the third Christian
millennium, we have no choice but to incorporate these very notions into the
inventory of our current needs and requirements .

"In the discriminatory and highly competitive world of today, the role of
information and the process of its production, presentation, and transfer has
gained a special prominence, and has profoundly challenged all human
societies. The speed of responding to the pressing hardware communicative
needs on the one hand, and the diversity of the cultural and social
characteristics of human societies on the other, have caused the existing
disharmony in the developmental process of communications and information
systems in the underdeveloped societies, and the widening of the gap between
them and the industrial countries. The Islamic World, which is a very
powerful community and the holder of a history, thought, and culture far more
expansive than its geographical size, has not been left untouched by these
problems and their consequences .

In this age of mass communication and information, we cannot aimlessly wander
about and passively allow ourselves to be swallowed up by universalism and
global mentality and assimilate into the prevailing world culture .

Nor can we ignore the realities of the age and take refuge in the nostalgic
world of the past .

"To appropriately deal with the increasingly greater role of information and
mass communication, we must demonstrate great vigilance in making a choice
based on our talents and our historical, cultural, and regional capabilities.
And I am quite sure that if we base our actions upon wisdom, prudence, and
thought, we will be quite capable of accomplishing this objective. In making
such a constructive choice, the promotion of the strength and the
capabilities of human beings and social institutions will have the first
priority; and self-redemption, self-knowledge, and self-belief will be
considered as the principal motives of our development. From this
perspective, clear communication policies and guidelines will be made by
relying on cultural re-identification, cultural innovation, the predominance
of ideals over technology and the augmentation of the regional capabilities
rather than on the state of turbulence and confusion in the face of new
developments which naturally lead to passively submitting to the global rule
and the domineering world powers. The most suitable path ensuring the
survival of the cultural life of us Muslims, with our mass population and the
great talents and the vast resources that we enjoy, as well as the great
historical and cultural backgrounds that we have, and the backing of the
teachings of the Holy Quran that we are all endowed with, is embarking on a
constructive and dynamic dialogue with all the other vital cultures and
civilizations of the world which leads to creative cultural production .

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has stretched out its hands in friendship and
brotherhood toward all the countries of the world, especially those belonging
to the Islamic ummah. That is why we have proposed the theory of the dialogue
among civilizations and cultures, which, fortunately, has been welcomed by
the world community; and the U.N . Organization has named the year 2001 as
the year of the dialogue among different cultures and civilizations. In
carrying out this dialogue, the Islamic countries enjoy a lofty position, and
communication systems constitute the main instrument for this dialogue .

"Entering the age of communication and information is not confined to the
rapid development of the communication technology. The gradual transformation
of individual cultures into a multimedia one and the development of the
one-dimensional to multidimensional cultures, have changed the
one-dimensional to multidimensional human beings and human societies which
crave for interrelation with others. In the light of the diversity and the
vast number of the existing media, man, provided that case he is in control
of his own self-identity and his own thoughts, can learn how to think
accurately about time, and how to relate the past to the present, and to the
future. This is the optimistic aspect of entering the new era. We should,
however, be aware of another aspect of this process as well .

"Globalization of economy, culture, and communications on the one hand, and
the emergence of the danger of remolding all human cultures into a singular
whole and the fading away of aboriginal cultures on the other, have
confronted the realization of the free flow of information in the Islamic
World with great difficulties. We must then ask, "caught in the web of these
creative and destructive roles of mass media, what are we to do?

"One can, however, say with certainty that, rather than thinking of the
existing limitations and their detrimental effect, one should think of ways
and means of promoting the people's choices, and of pursuing the precious,
prudent and instructive path of the "call" and critically appraise and
reconstruct our communication systems.

"The development of a free, independent, and pluralistic mass media will
enhance the capability of facilitating and accelerating indigenous cultural
creativity and innovation, and their ability to resist the dominant world
cultures. This will also promote their opportunities for more participation,
more effective competition and greater access to information in relation to
national, regional or international communication systems.

"Islamic culture and the cultures of the Islamic World are in possession of
the required world outlook and the necessary capabilities to deal with the
needs of the new era. At this juncture, it is merely up to us to discover the
ways and means of utilizing this imperishable historical resource at our
disposal to the betterment of our peoples. The expansion of communications
and the improvement to the regional and cultural cooperation, especially in
the domain of information, are among the most important requirements for
properly utilizing these resources .

"Today we are in need of certain institutions, infrastructure, and
regulations as well as the cooperative spirit necessary to turn the Islamic
World into a powerful constellation enjoying great capabilities in the
production, transfer and distribution of information on the one hand and to
greatly enhance the role this constellation will play in the present world on
the other. The prerequisite for the achievement of this goal is holding fast
to that unbreakable divine bond of brotherhood which is the root cause of the
subsistence and strength of all the Islamic societies and nations. In the
light of this special relationship, the dialogue among the Islamic societies
gains greater momentum, and in the light of this dialogue, the common
understanding and the collective wisdom of all Muslims shall be greatly
enhanced .

"Naturally, the instruments and the mechanisms for the realization of this
dialogue will be a balanced system of mass media, long-distance communication
systems, and a computer network which, having a lively and dynamic
interrelation and connection with the indigenous cultures and the local
traditional communication systems, will bring about the desired mutual
understanding, the development of rational criticism and a much greater power
of choice in our societies .

"The creation and strengthening of such a system is quite consistent with our
religious precepts, and the required means of its creation do exist in our
social and cultural infrastructure. Therefore, we hope that, as the result of
the wise and practical endeavors made and the commitments undertaken at this
current meeting, giant strides will be taken in this direction, I pray to God
Almighty for your great success in this field, you dear brothers and sisters.
I also wish to express my deep appreciation and gratitude to Dr. Ezzedine
Laraki, the respected secretary-general of the OIC as well as to the
secretariat and to the previous chairman of the conference .

"God Bless You All."

Ezzedine Laraki, secretary- general of OIC as well as information ministers
and deputy ministers from over 50 countries are attending the two-day meeting

The senior officials of the ICIM5 held their meeting on November 29-30 to
draft the agenda of the Islamic Conference of the Information Ministers .

The information ministers are expected to adopt a resolution on Islamic
Information Strategy (IIS) of the member states, the Islamic Code of Ethics
and the Islamic Program for Development of Information and Communications

The OIC ministers are also expected to study the five sectors in
communications which included the press, radio and television, holding
seminars and signing an agreement on reduction of tariffs of media networks
as well as producing a documentary film on holy Qods al-Sharif .

The two-day conference will also make decision on the date and venue of the
next conference (ICIM6). Iran will be the chairman of the Islamic Conference
Information Ministers for the next two years .

Date: Thu, 2 Dec 1999 21:04:24 -0500
From: Rahim Bajoghli <rbajoghli@JUNO.COM>
Subject: Letter To President Khatami From PEN American Center

Letter To President Khatami From PEN American Center

December 2, 1999

H.E. President Mohammad Khatami
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Tehran, Iran

Your Excellency,

We are writing to express our serious concern for the five-year prison
sentence handed down by the special clerical court to Iranian journalist
and publisher, Abdollah Nouri, on Saturday November 27 and the closure of
his newspaper, Khordad.

This is not the first time that Mr. Nouri's free
expression rights have been violated; earlier this month, Mr. Nouri was
found guilty of fifteen counts of religious and political dissent for
publishing newspaper articles challenging the Islamic establishment. The
conservatives also succeeded in impeaching him in his capacity as
interior minister last year.

While we are cognizant of the parallel spheres of influence in Iran and
the conservatives' concerted campaign against the reformist movement
ahead of elections in February 2000, we are deeply distressed that Mr.
Nouri is being punished for nothing other than the peaceful expression of
his views. The penalty of imprisonment for appropriating the inalienable
right to freedom of expression is a profound affront to the individual
and humanity.

Your Excellency's efforts to take strides toward encouraging an open
press and preparing for democratic institutions have yielded commendable
results including cultural exchanges of writers and journalists in the
United States and Iran.

However, the sentencing of Mr. Nouri and the closure of his paper
seriously undermine the steps you have so far taken toward

Moreover, it is an outrage to your voters whose exercise of their free
expression rights without fear of reprisal is long overdue.

We wish to reiterate that literary endeavor can be the instrument of
understanding within a pluralistic society and between nations. Attempts
to silence writers and journalists with worldviews different from the
mainstream is unjust and a grave abridgement to the development of

Mr. Nouri's publications and his peaceful support for reformist policies
for Iran have rendered him a criminal. We are disquieted with the
decision of the special clerical court and ask that you intervene to
overturn the sentence against Mr. Nouri.

We look forward to your response.

Anthony Appiah
Chair, PEN Freedom-to-Write Committee

Diana Ayton-Shenker
Director, PEN Freedom-to-Write Program

Date: Thu, 2 Dec 1999 23:01:27 EST
From: Sohrab Arman <Sohrab68@AOL.COM>
Subject: [eurasia-geopolitics] Russia-Iran Joint Statement on Human
Forwarded Message:
Subj: [eurasia-geopolitics] Russia-Iran Joint Statement on Human Rights
Date: 11/30/1999 11:37:26 AM Central Standard Time
From: (ERC)
To: (Eurasia Geopolitics)

<!doctype html public "-//w3c//dtd html 4.0 transitional//en">

When I saw this article I could hardly believe it,
given what is going on in Chechnya, but here it is from the two great
of human rights.


Russia-Iran Joint Statement on Human Rights

Iran News
- Tuesday, November 30, 1999

The Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Iran reaffirm purposes
and principles of the Charter of the Untied Nations and the Universal
of Human Rights. In particular they stress the importance of achieving
international cooperation in solving international problems of economic,
social, cultural and humanitarian character and in promoting and encouraging
respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without any

The Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Iran recognize the
need to pay equal attention to the promotion and protection of all civil,
political, economic, social and cultural rights. While recognizing the
significance of various historical, cultural and religious backgrounds,
they reiterate the universality, indivisibility, interdependence and
of all human rights. They believe it important to ensure objectivity,
and non-selectivity during consideration of human rights in international
bodies and underscore their commitment to legality as a necessary factor
in protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Iran emphasize that
the right to development is an integral part of fundamental human rights.
They also reiterate that the implementation of the right to development
requires effective development policies at the national level, as well
as equitable economic relations and a favorable economic environment at
the international level.

The Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Iran recognize the
importance of inter-ethnic and interconfessional accord and in this
connectionare fully determined to prevent manifestations of intolerance and
The Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Iran attach great
importance to regional and subregional cooperation to ensure full-fledged
realization of human rights. Both parties recognize the importance of
international human rights instruments and bodies and reaffirm the importance
of complete and timely implementation of their treaty obligation in that
area. They are fully determined to prevent all manifestations of
politicization, double standards and confrontation in the consideration of
human rights. They will cooperate will each other in different international
fora on humanrights issues.

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 1 Dec 1999 to 2 Dec 1999 - Special issue