Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 30 Nov 1999 to 1 Dec 1999

There are 5 messages totalling 435 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. Students Defy Iranian Authorities
2. The closure of reformist daily (Khordad) is another instance of (2)
3. Khordad Was Origin of Perversion
4. President: Government Keeps Its Promise to Implement Constitution

Date: Wed, 1 Dec 1999 12:55:10 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Students Defy Iranian Authorities

Students Defy Iranian Authorities

By AFSHIN VALINEJAD

November 30, 1999

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - A pro-reform student group defied Iranian authorities
Tuesday and showed a videotaped speech by a former intelligence official said
to have committed suicide after being arrested for the 1998 killings of five
dissidents.

The Society of Islamic Students said the Intelligence Ministry and the Office
of Military Justice opposed showing the 1996 speech by Saeed Emami, a former
deputy intelligence minister.

``We've been receiving calls all day long from Intelligence Ministry and
Military Justice officials threatening us and ordering us not to show the
film,'' said a student leader who spoke on condition of anonymity. ``We don't
care about what they want,'' he said.

Ministry officials could not be reached for comment.

About 500 students gathered at an auditorium at the Science and Technology
University in Tehran to watch the videotape of the speech.

Student leaders would not say what they wanted to achieve by showing the
video,
which shed no light on the killings. Still, so much about Emami is shrouded in
mystery that Iranians are interested in anything about him.

In the video, Emami said he was behind ``Hoviyat,'' a defunct television
program used to promote suspicion of writers and intellectuals. He came off as
funny and serious in the speech, originally delivered at Bu Ali University in
the central Iranian city of Hamedan.

``It is said that once a mullah gets on a donkey it's impossible to get him
off. We supporters of the mullahs have seized power now, and we aren't letting
go,'' he said in one part of the speech, prompting laughs from many in
Tuesday's audience.

``Hey, Saeed, you're just a regular guy, how did you kill so many people,''
someone shouted.

Iranians have been demanding to know the full story behind the killings since
the government admitted intelligence agents had been involved. Parliament
announced Tuesday that it will open a probe into the killings next week.

The first victims, Dariush Foruhar and his wife, Parvaneh, who belonged to a
minor opposition party, were found stabbed to death in their Tehran home Nov.
22, 1998. In the following weeks, three other dissident writers who had
disappeared were found dead.

Newspaper columnists have demanded to know more about what was officially
described as a suicide by Emami, identified as the main suspect, while in
prison. Newspapers have suggested Emami was killed because his testimony would
have implicated senior officials.

The killings happened during the power struggle between hard-liners in
government and political reformists led by President Mohammad Khatami. The
agents suspected in the killings are widely believed to be supporters of the
hard-liners. The ministry itself is controlled by the hard-line faction.

Date: Wed, 1 Dec 1999 17:47:22 EST
From: Sohrab Arman <Sohrab68@AOL.COM>
Subject: The closure of reformist daily (Khordad) is another instance of

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

IRAN NEWS EDITORIAL DECEMBER 01, 1999

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

The closure of reformist daily (Khordad) is another instance of

the persistent bickering among the country's political factions. The new
phase of factional infighting has reached a new peak. The battle of words
rages unabated. Win or lose, the bitter taste of the aftermath will not
disappear overnight.

Six perfectly decent, informative, and widely distributed and reform minded
tabloids have been banned. Their only crime: The gift of the gab and the love
of the trade.

Jamea, Toos, Neshat, Zan, Salam, and Khordad have fallen victim to and made
the scapegoats in the battle of the giants that has spilled over into the
media.

Those devoted and committed disciples of an open society and the social
agenda have been targeted in the political conflict. One after another will
be ordered to close on a trumped up charge concocted for the occasion.

The proponents of the fair and free political agenda have put on a brave new
face. The faithful have decided to go down fighting for a worthwhile cause to
safeguard the electorate and the media in the absence of a clearly defined
political agenda and a well defined parliamentary process on the lines of
party politics and political factions.

They do have a last chance to resurface once banned in the guise of another
daily. The authority to issue licenses to launch a paper is still in the
hands of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.

Perhaps the dying voice of the nation has been granted a stay of life.

Three morning dailies are slated to hit the news-stands shortly: Sobh-e
Sadeq, Bayan, and Mosharekat. They pick up where Khordad left off.

At the last count, six down and ten to go. The reformist camp will only be
able to assert this prerogative while the new press bill is being debated in
Majlis. If the hardliners have their way, the office in charge of issuing
licenses may be scrapped altogether. Stifling and muffling the voice of
reform has always loomed high on the agenda of the harldiners.

There is no end in sight to the bitter feud. The tug of war will likely drag
on and the rhetoric gain momentum as D Day approaches for the February 18,
2000 Sixth Majlis Elections.

The Judiciary could curb excesses in both camps and advise restraint so that
a degree of decorum may save the press and the public from falling victims to
the unscrupulous whims and wiles of demagogues and power-mongers. Minimize
the present trend of victimizing the papers in the service of factional
political whims.

Was it worth it? Will the national press survive intact? Has the national
press paid too high a price for shouldering the blame and assuming the burden
of safeguarding the electoral process and usher safely the people's chosen
representatives to the Sixth Majlis? It would be tragic if these tabloids
were reduced to pamphleteering fawning on the whims and whiles of a willy
nilly lobby that would safeguard their vested interest for weal and woe, come
what may.

Date: Wed, 1 Dec 1999 17:51:51 EST
From: Sohrab Arman <Sohrab68@AOL.COM>
Subject: Khordad Was Origin of Perversion

Khordad Was Origin of Perversion

ASR-E AZADEGAN * This reformist daily reported that Ansar-e Hizbollah issued
a statement regarding the closure of Khordad daily and conviction of its
managing director, Abdullah Nouri, by the Special Court for the Clergy (SCC).

The hard-line group said in its statement that the revolutionary move in
banning the daily Khordad, which was the origin of perversion, and
condemnation of Nouri "was a cure for the wounds of Hizbollah and a blow on
those who, because of Nouri's extremism, assumed that the Imam's line has
reached its end."

10 Newspapers Instead of Khordad

ASR-E AZADEGAN * Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ataollah Mohajerani
expressed regret over the conviction and imprisonment of Nouri and the
closure of Khordad, stressing that the press freedoms should not be curbed as
a result of the government's procedures. He said four newspapers have been
ordered closed this year, while 10 new newspapers received licenses and would
joint the press community soon.

Nouri Was Punished Not to Enter Majlis

ASR-E AZADEGAN * Koorosh Fooladi, leftist MP from Khorramabad, said it is
obvious to all that Abdullah Nouri was not sent to jail only for publishing
particular essays or photos, but he received such a punishment in order not
to be able to become a Majlis Speaker.

Students Praise Nouri

ASR-E AZADEGAN * General Council of Tehran University Islamic Association,
expressed regret over the SCC's move in conviction of Nouri and said students
would pay tribute to Nouri in a ceremony on December 7, to be organized to
protest violence and injustice.

Khatami Among Students

ENTEKHAB * President Mohammad Khatami will attend a student gathering on
December 7 which marks the Student Day, and will deliver a speech for them.

Nouri Intended to Disclose Facts

AZAD * This pro-Khatami daily quoted Akbar Ganji as saying that Abdullah
Nouri intended to disclose the name of one of "the gray masters" -- a term he
uses to refer to unknown figures behind the serial murders.

But the leaders of the May 23 Front advised Nouri to refrain from doing so
because of national expedience, he added.

Akbar Ganji is a candidate of a coalition between May 23 Front and religious
intellectuals for the February Majlis elections.

Nouri Just a Journalist

SOBH-E EMROOZ * This leftist daily reported that former foreign minister, Ali
Akbar Velayati, said in an interview with Al-Hayat daily that Nouri "was only
a journalist". This shows that Velayati, who worked with Nouri in the Cabinet
and Supreme National Security Council for several years, does not commend
Nouri's performance.

Nouri's Defense Unchallangable

SOBH-E EMROOZ * Dr. Mohsen Nourbakhsh, governor of the Central Bank of Iran
and a member of the Executives of Construction Party (ECP), said the nation
has been deprived of Nouri's services after his imprisonment and this is a
price the society has paid. Nouri's defense cannot be criticized. It was
better for judicial authorities to enter a debate with him rather than
sending him to jail.

Nouri's Trial Not of High Significance

JAVAN * This rightist daily wrote despite the aggrandizing of Nouri's
conviction and the hue and cry raised for it by some groups which tried to
show the issue is of top priority, the stance taken by President Khatami
indicated that the issue was not of a high significance.

Commenting on Nouri, President Khatami said: "Our society is deprived of the
capabilities of Mr. Nouri, as a good colleague, and we hope to be able to
enjoy his services again in the future."

More Murders

SOBH-E EMROOZ * Dr. Naser Zarafshan, the lawyer of the heirs of those slain
in the serial killings, said evidence shows that the serial murders were
committed based on fatwas [decrees issued by religious sources]. Those who
issued those fatwas should be identified to people.

Those behind the serial killings, have confessed to many more murders than
the murders of Foruhars, Mokhtari and Pouyandeh, he said.

In a statement, a group previously led by Saeed Emami [main agent behind
serial murders] said all the murders were condemned in absentia, by a court
consisting of three judges, as corrupts on the earth and were sentenced to
death.

Rightist Objectives

PAYAM-E AZADI * This pro-Khatami daily quoted Sadeq Zibakalam, university
professor, as saying that one of objectives pursued by hard-line rightists is
to force President Khatami react in an extremist manner and put him against
the leadership. They hope to cripple the government by creating crises so
that the President would have to resign from his post or the right wing
impeach him in the Majlis, he said.

Date: Wed, 1 Dec 1999 17:55:53 EST
From: Sohrab Arman <Sohrab68@AOL.COM>
Subject: President: Government Keeps Its Promise to Implement Constitution

President: Government Keeps Its Promise to Implement Constitution

IRAN NEWS POLITICAL DESK

TEHRAN -- President Mohammad Khatami said yesterday the any success in
reinforcing the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran depends on the
importance the people and the government attached to abiding by the law, IRNA
reported.

In a meeting with members of the Board in Charge of Supervising the
Implementation of the Constitution, the President said the late Imam Khomeini
(R.H.) paid special attention to law and established the Islamic Republic of
Iran on the basis of the Constitution.

The President added that those who say they are followers of the late Imam,
should observe the Constitution in word and in deed.

"Our main duty is to follow the late Imam's line and respect his legacy which
is the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Those who are honestly
loyal to the late Imam Khomeini are committed to the Constitution which is
the outcome of the endeavors of the late Imam and the people as well," the
President said.

The people who are logical in their conducts, favor law and order, progress
and stability and respect the Constitution which is the pillar of the
community, the President said.

He said the people and the late Imam Khomeini have approved the Constitution
and it is the platform for any action in the Islamic Republic.

He said the late Imam Khomeini believed that holding any ideas, even if those
ideas may be against Islam, is free if someone does not embark on any attempt
to topple the government.

The President said the late Imam was steadfast in this idea of granting
freedom to the minorities and various groups and people with different
thoughts and those who say the late Imam was not serious in this respect are
in fact insulting the Imam Khomeini, because the late Imam never wanted to
mislead the public opinion.

On distinction between the Islamic Revolution and other revolutions in the
world, President Khatami said the Islamic Revolution led by the late Imam
Khomeini did not culminate through use of weapon, but, it culminated through
reliance upon people.

He said the late Imam Khomeini insisted that in the earliest convenience, the
status of the government, the organizations and other institutions should be
specified in the Constitution which was put to public vote and approved by
the people.

The President pointed to different crises including the Iraqi-imposed war in
1980s, terrorist attacks and the economic sanctions imposed on Iran and said
that the crises slowed down the implementation of the Constitution in some
periods and it was normal that in the wake of the crises, the limitations
were lifted.

The late Imam Khomeini said explicitly in 1989 that if the Constitution were
partly violated, that was because of the war and the difficulties and that
the late Imam said, "We are determined to return to law," President Khatami
said.

The President said fortunately, in revising the Constitution, measures were
adopted not to violate the Constitution and even in the event of the crisis
the Expediency Council of the Islamic Republic and the leadership will make
decisions or when the Guardian Council reached the conclusion that certain
legislations are contrary to the Constitution or the Sharia law.

"Therefore, you see that there is no reason to make an illegal action even in
the event of crisis which might lead to violation of Constitution," President
Khatami said.

However, in the course of the Iraqi-imposed war, some violations took place
in carrying out the Constitution and it was normal but the late Imam Khomeini
said afterward that all should turn to law, because honoring the Constitution
is an expediency on which the survival of the community and the system
depends.

Date: Wed, 1 Dec 1999 23:43:09 -0500
From: khosro@IGLOU.COM
Subject: Re: The closure of reformist daily (Khordad) is another instance of

unsubscribe












On Wed, 1 Dec 1999 Sohrab68@aol.com wrote:

|------------------------------------------------------------------------------
|--
|
|IRAN NEWS EDITORIAL DECEMBER 01, 1999
|
|------------------------------------------------------------------------------
|--
|
|The closure of reformist daily (Khordad) is another instance of
|
|the persistent bickering among the country's political factions. The new
|phase of factional infighting has reached a new peak. The battle of words
|rages unabated. Win or lose, the bitter taste of the aftermath will not
|disappear overnight.
|
|Six perfectly decent, informative, and widely distributed and reform minded
|tabloids have been banned. Their only crime: The gift of the gab and the love
|of the trade.
|
|Jamea, Toos, Neshat, Zan, Salam, and Khordad have fallen victim to and made
|the scapegoats in the battle of the giants that has spilled over into the
|media.
|
|Those devoted and committed disciples of an open society and the social
|agenda have been targeted in the political conflict. One after another will
|be ordered to close on a trumped up charge concocted for the occasion.
|
|The proponents of the fair and free political agenda have put on a brave new
|face. The faithful have decided to go down fighting for a worthwhile cause to
|safeguard the electorate and the media in the absence of a clearly defined
|political agenda and a well defined parliamentary process on the lines of
|party politics and political factions.
|
|They do have a last chance to resurface once banned in the guise of another
|daily. The authority to issue licenses to launch a paper is still in the
|hands of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.
|
|Perhaps the dying voice of the nation has been granted a stay of life.
|
|Three morning dailies are slated to hit the news-stands shortly: Sobh-e
|Sadeq, Bayan, and Mosharekat. They pick up where Khordad left off.
|
|At the last count, six down and ten to go. The reformist camp will only be
|able to assert this prerogative while the new press bill is being debated in
|Majlis. If the hardliners have their way, the office in charge of issuing
|licenses may be scrapped altogether. Stifling and muffling the voice of
|reform has always loomed high on the agenda of the harldiners.
|
|There is no end in sight to the bitter feud. The tug of war will likely drag
|on and the rhetoric gain momentum as D Day approaches for the February 18,
|2000 Sixth Majlis Elections.
|
|The Judiciary could curb excesses in both camps and advise restraint so that
|a degree of decorum may save the press and the public from falling victims to
|the unscrupulous whims and wiles of demagogues and power-mongers. Minimize
|the present trend of victimizing the papers in the service of factional
|political whims.
|
|Was it worth it? Will the national press survive intact? Has the national
|press paid too high a price for shouldering the blame and assuming the burden
|of safeguarding the electoral process and usher safely the people's chosen
|representatives to the Sixth Majlis? It would be tragic if these tabloids
|were reduced to pamphleteering fawning on the whims and whiles of a willy
|nilly lobby that would safeguard their vested interest for weal and woe, come
|what may.
|
|

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 30 Nov 1999 to 1 Dec 1999