Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 8 Dec 1999 to 9 Dec 1999

There are 4 messages totalling 1087 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. oic calls on russia to appreciate islamic world c
2. Fw: News Edition of Thursday December 9, 1999 (HRW slams the islamic
republic in its annual report)
3. Russia/China
4. Fw: SMCCDI: An Open Letter to the attention of Mr. Khatami the President
of the Islamic republic of Iran

Date: Thu, 9 Dec 1999 18:42:07 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: oic calls on russia to appreciate islamic world c

oic-chechnya-communique
Wednesday, December 08, 1999
oic calls on russia to appreciate islamic world concern about chechnya
tehran, dec. 8, irna—the office of chairman of the organization of the
islamic conference (oic) called on the russian authorities to better
appreciate the concerns and apprehensions of the islamic world.
the communique read that upon the initiative of president khatami, in his
capacity as the chairman of the oic summit, a ministerial delegation from the
organization of the islamic conference visited moscow on 6th december 1999
to discuss with russian authorities the situation in chechnya.
the delegation was headed by foreign minister kamal kharazi and included
freign minister ben jasim from qatar and religious affairs minister zuined
from morocco, representing the current, future and previous chairman of the
organization, foreign minister ouedraogo from burkina faso, chairman of the
ministerial conference, ambassador bakr, the assistant secretary general and
ambassador zaimi, the director of the cabinet of the secretary-general of the
oic.
the delegation met with russian prime minister vladimir putin and foreign
minister igor ivanov. it also met with the archbishop of the russian rthodox
church, the mayor of moscow and the council of muftis of russian muslim
communities. it visited areas in north caucuses and ingushia the following
day to meet with the authorities and the people in the area and to receive
more information on the various aspects of the crisis and the humanitarian
issues involved.
the visit was useful as it provided a candid opportunity to have a close look
at the situation with the view to assist in finding a peaceful end to this
tragic conflict. the mission, which underlined the position of principle of
the oic regarding respect for territorial integrity and non-interference in
internal affairs of other states, has also been useful for the russian
authorities to better appreciate the concerns and apprehensions of the
islamic world.
according to the russian authorities acts of violence have been committed by
certain elements. the delegation reiterated the position of the oic and its
member-states, condemning terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and
regardless of the victims or the culprits. it underlined the sublime islamic
teachings reject extremism.
it expressed, at the same time, its serious concern over the tragic crisis in
chechnya which continues to claim casualties especially among civilians and
made it clear that while it was aware of the concerns of the russian
federation about acts of violence, it considered the military operations to
be disproportionate to those acts. the aggravation of the situation has
resulted in massive loss of life and hindered the political process aimed at
long-term stability and peace.<DIR>
mm/rr
more
::irna 08/12/99 17:13
 </DIR>
thr 068 oic-chechnya-communique ... (2) - tehran and"peace.
the oic delegation sought clarification from russian authorities on the
ultimatum in grozny as it could entail grave consequences for the civilian
population. the russian authorities responded by asserting that the ultimatum
had been made by local military officials and not the government and was not
aimed at civilians. these assertions were further expressed through an
official public statement. the delegation considered nevertheless that the
attack against the city could lead to severe consequences for the civilian
population.
in north caucasus, the oic delegation heard the views of president magomedov
of daghestan, president aoushev of ingushia and president zaskhov of north
oscetia and spoke to the people effected by the conflict. these encounters
were extremely informative and helped the delegation to arrive at an
objective assessment of the situation.
there was a strong view that better communication between the chechen
authorities and the russian government could have prevented the conflict. it
seems that pursuing a line of contact with the elected representatives of
chechnya through the help of leaders in the north caucuses is still the most
practical way to revive the political process. the oic could also be helpful
in this regard.
the delegation witnessed the acute humanitarian situation and the urgent need
for immediate assistance during its visits to refugee camps. it is imperative
that all islamic states and international organizations should expedite
their humanitarian aid and assistance.
the islamic world is closely following this situation with great concern and
hopes that suffering will end and the political process will resume soon.
russian authorities have also stressed the need for a long-term political
solution. the complexities of the issues involved in this crisis cannot be
ignored. a judicious approach is therefore required to enhance possibility of
a successful political process.
in the context, the following elements, which were raised in the course of
the mission, need to be considered:<DIR>
1. termination of military operations;
2. release of prisoners and hostages;
3. arrangements to commence dialogue and negotiations with responsible
representatives of chechnya;
4. reinvigoration of the 1996 accord as the basis for the political process;
5. inhibition of possibilities for recurrence of violence;
6. safe return of refugees and the displaced to their places of residence;
7. decision for general amnesty is essential and should be welcomed;
8. collective effort should be undertaken by the islamic world to help
reconstruct chechnya;</DIR>
these steps will be further discussed and elaborated in the continuation of
discussions. a delegation of senior foreign ministry officials will soon
visit moscow to follow up on the crisis with the russian authorities.
the oic stands ready to assist in this process with good will and with the
desire to see peace and stability restored in chechnya through a fair,
lasting and honorable settlement

Date: Thu, 9 Dec 1999 18:45:04 -0800
From: "Aryo B. Pirouznia" <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Fw: News Edition of Thursday December 9,
1999 (HRW slams the islamic republic in its annual report)

-----Original Message-----
From: Iran Daneshjoo Organization International Committee
Date: Thursday, December 09, 1999 3:53 PM
Subject: News Edition of Thursday December 9, 1999 (HRW slams the islamic
republic in its annual report)


Azadi e Andishe, Hamishe...! Hamishe...!
Freedom of Thought, For Ever...! For Ever...!

Khosh Amadid Welcome to this edition of the News provided by the "Student
Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran" .

There are 11 articles in this news edition:

1) Sobh E Emrooz (Iran): Hold Trials in Public!
2) AFP: Iran reformist Abdullah Nuri wrongfoots conservatives
through appeal
3) Hamshahri (Iran): Inspection of Beliefs
4) Arya (Iran): Management Notice: Arya Goes to Court
5) Sobh E Emrooz (Iran): Regaining Lost Lands " ..Georgia and
Azerbaijan were once parts of Iran's territory .."
6) AFP: Former president Rafsanjani to run for parliament "My
children and I have no economic activity,"
7) Int. Herald Tribune: Toward the Crumbling of a Spent Religious
Regime in Iran
8) Christian Science Monitor: Iran power struggle ignites new round
of flag burning
9) AFP: Iran to cut Caspian oil swap rates by 30 percent
10) Iran News (Iran): Editorial: Washington Cannot Rescue a Flawed
Proposal by Using Scare Tactics any Longer
11) Reuters: Iran wants end to sectarian violence in Pakistan

A) The Human Rights Watch 2000 Report on Iran:
http://www.iran-daneshjoo.org/news

1) Part 1/3: Human Rights Developments: (Human rights failed to improve,
and in some areas deteriorated… Executions after unfair trials
proliferated, including cases of stoning to death in public…)

2) Part 2/3: Defending Human Rights: ( Individual advocates were
subjected to threats, intimidation, and arbitrary imprisonment..)

3) Part 3/3: The Role of the International Community: ( The government
continued to deny access to the U.N. special representative on Iran… the
situation is continuing to worsen.)

B) More news: http://www.iran-daneshjoo.org/news

1- Bayan (Former banned Salam) (Iran): Pardoning Two Students
2- AFP: Iran cancels nuclear cooperation project with China:
3- DFN: A moderate speaks out (Including Abdollah Nouri's
defense statement)
4- AFP: Relatives of bombing victims demonstrate in Tehran
5- AFP: Iran & Pakistan to "coordinate" their policies towards
Afghanistan

C) Demonstrations, Meetings and Conferences:
http://www.iran-daneshjoo.org/demo

1- Palo Alto (CA/USA) ( On Thursday 12/09/1999)
2- Berkeley (CA/USA) ( On Saturday 12/11/1999)

D) SMCCDI Urgent Actions:
http://www.iran-daneshjoo.org/urgentaction/

1- Massive protest needed in reaction to the Georgetown
University decision to organize a conference by inviting
hard-liner clerics in the name of the Iranian People (See format
letter and where to forward your protests)

======================================================

Hold Trials in Public!

Sobh E Emrooz

12/09/1999

Mohammad Reza Bahonar, a member of the Majlis Presiding Board requested
the judicial officials to hold the case of last year's serial killings
publicly.

======================================================

Iran reformist Abdullah Nuri wrongfoots conservatives through appeal

TEHRAN, Dec 8 (AFP) - Iranian reformist Abdullah Nuri mounted a
two-pronged counter-attack Wednesday against his conservative opponents by
saying he would appeal his five-year prison term and try to run in the
February elections.

The former interior minister announced through his lawyer Mohsen Rahami
his decision to fight the sentence imposed last month for anti-Islamic
propaganda and declare his candidacy for the crucial parliamentary polls.

Political analysts believe this double move will seriously embarrass the
conservatives, for whom Nuri, as one of President Mohammad Khatami's most
loyal supporters, is a principal hate figure.

The conservatives believed they had got rid of this annoying political and
religious personality who breaks all the taboos of the regime. For them it
has all started again. Whatever happens, Nuri will keep the limelight and
disrupt their plans, political analyst Khosro Abedi told AFP.

Nuri's approach is invigorating and shaking up the strategy of the
reformists, who were looking somewhat in disarray recently, as the
legislative deadline approaches. It's a new departure for them, he said.

Indicating the extreme sensitivity of the situation, a demonstration of
support for Nuri, organised by reformist students, was cancelled Wednesday
due to what the organisers said was the fear of threats.
However, Nuri is still not certain of success for either of his moves,
which by coincidence must both be carried through by the same December 17
deadline.

An appeal to the Special Clerical Court (SCC), which Nuri was reluctant to
make because he completely rejects its jurisdiction, is without precident.

Judge Mohammed Salimi had, the day of the November 27 verdict, presented
his judgement as definitive , meaning there was no chance of an appeal.
But several days later, SCC chairman Mohseni Ejei let it be known that an
appeal could be launched.

According to a legal specialist, a court of appeal of three Islamic
judges, of whom two may be from outside the SCC, can be put together to
rule on Nuri's appeal.

Nuri's candidacy for parliament, which all reformist parties whether they
be secular or Islamic want to see, must be cleared by the Council of
Guardians, which is currently dominated by conservatives.

This council judges candidates conformity to "the values of the Islamic
revolution "and could reject Nuri, as it has done in the past for dozens
of reformist candidates.

The only change this time is that the Council of Guardians must give
written justification for its decision if the rejected candidate requires
it to do so.
Nuri's lawyer explained that his client's right to stand for parliament,
lost with his conviction on November 27, could be restored pending the
appeal.

"When there is an appeal, there may be an aquittal, there may be a new
verdict. If he is acquitted on appeal, he will regain his rights and stand
for parliament," Rahami said.

Asked what help Nuri might receive from his close ally Khatami, Rahami
said, " President Khatami never intervenes directly, and we do not wish
him to do so."

However, Rahami added: "In light of all the services Mr Nuri has performed
for the country and all the responsibilities he has exercised, we would
like Mr Khatami and other leaders to ask the SCC to authorise Mr Nuri to
register as a candidate.

Nuri was sentenced because of articles carried in his reformist daily
newspaper Khordad, which was also banned by the SCC, and whose editorial
team is preparing to relaunch under a new title.

======================================================

Inspection of Beliefs

Hamshahri

12/09/1999

Ali Afshari, a member of the Unity Consolidation Office's Central Council,
calling Abdullah Nouri a "national hero", said:

" The Special Court for the Clergy was a clear indication of the
inspection of beliefs in the country…
Clerics consider Nouri a great man and this satisfies him.."

======================================================

Arya Goes to Court

Arya
Management Notice

12/09/1999

Mohammad Reza Zohdi, Aray's managing director, would answer Wednesday to
the complaints lodged by the IRIB, Intelligence Ministry, LEF, security
service of the Army's Ground Force, Khouzestan National Still Complex,
Basij Resistance Force and Headquarters for Enjoining the Good and
Forbidding the Evil.

======================================================

Regaining Lost Lands

Sobh E Emrooz

12/09/1999

Mitofatov, Russian MP, called for Moscow to adopt measures as for
re-annexing the republics of Georgia and Azerbaijan to Iranian territory.

Addressing the Duma, he said Georgia and Azerbaijan were once parts of
Iran's territory and to restore peace and stability to the Caucasus region
the republics should be returned to Iran.

======================================================

Former president Rafsanjani to run for parliament

TEHRAN, Dec 9 (AFP) - Former Iranian president Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi
Rafsanjani said Thursday he intended to run for parliament as an
independent in the February elections.

In an exclusive interview published in the centrist daily Entekhob,
Rafsanjani, 65, said he had yielded to pressure from clerics, ministers,
members of parliament, aides and ordinary people to make a political
comeback.

"I reached the conclusion that if my presence can help to resolve a
problem I should be there," Rafsanjani said. He also referred to the
"painful case" of reformist Abdollah Nuri, his former interior minister,
saying he had spoken in Nuri's favour to the Special Court for Clergy
which jailed him for five years last month for "spreading anti-Islamic
propaganda" in his newspaper Khordad.

Rafsanjani, speaker of parliament from 1980 to 1988, then Iran's president
for two terms from 1989 to 1997, when he was succeeded by Mohammad
Khatami, heads the Expediency Council, which arbitrates on disputes within
the regime.

Rafsanjani said he was not concerned whether his candidacy appealed to one
group or another.

Many reformists view Rafsanjani as being on their side, while
conservatives see him as one of them, given his continued membership of
their party, the Association of Combattant Clergy.

"The history of my political life shows that I respected all movements,"
he said, noting that when in parliament, despite his affiliation, he
supported the left. Rafsanjani also recalled that his ministers had
included Nuri and Khatami.

"Divisions are dangerous, I am against monopolies in politics, and I am
monopolised by no one group," he said. "In my opinion, instead of factions
and clans, there should be parties. The principal way should be through
programmes and ideas and not personalities and friendships," Rafsanjani
said.

While president, Rafsanjani founded the popular Executives of Construction
party, which is included in an 18-party coalition formed by reformists
with the aim of breaking the conservative grip on parliament in the
elections.

Rafsanjani also denied that he had "profited" from commercial and economic
activities. "My children and I have no economic activity," he said. "Our
assets derive from the inheritance of my wife and myself, and my salary."

======================================================

Toward the Crumbling of a Spent Religious Regime in Iran

International Herald Tribune
By Patrick Smith *

Paris, Wednesday, December 8, 1999

TEHRAN - It is not hard to find Iranians who admire President Mohammed
Khatami and the reformists he has brought to the fore. But many fewer here
believe that his drive to revive Iran's moribund civil society has gone
far or fast enough. As crucial parliamentary elections approach, the
56-year-old cleric must navigate between a spent religious regime and a
popular movement whose momentum cannot be stopped.

This is a nation of uplifted eyes. After two decades of violence, cultural
revolution and ''political Islam,'' Iranians are beginning again to
imagine a habitable future.

Conservative clerics who draw authority from divine law still dream of
dragging an inaccessible past into the present. But their isolation mounts
daily, and their feet are of clay. Mr. Khatami's political cohabitation
cannot hold much longer.

Apart from the orthodox religious authorities, he faces a conservative
majority in the Majlis, the national legislature. All sides know that if
the Majlis elections set for February are fought freely, reformists will
carry at least the 70 percent majority that swept Mr. Khatami into office
two years ago; in the cities, the reformist vote will approach 100
percent. That would produce a new political equation virtually overnight.

Many think it is a large ''if.'' Several leading reformists have recently
been arrested. The Guardian Council, a clerical body empowered to approve
candidates, is widely expected to declare many others ineligible in coming
weeks.

But every prison sentence now creates another national hero. Open your
eyes, Mr. Khatami ought to be tellinghis conservative critics. After me,
the deluge.

What is the clergy's proper political role in the Iranian context? Where
will authority reside - in civil law and an elected government, or with a
supreme power that presides above it? These are urgent questions now, but
they are not new. Under the shahs and now the Islamic courts and councils,
they have been conundrums for a century. Mr. Khatami sees ''a politics of
inclusion'' as the path to a new political equilibrium.

Many reformists acknowledge privately that their agendas extend far beyond
what Mr. Khatami has forced onto the table. The clerics can have a place
at the table, they say, but in a society that respects the individual
conscience. Letthem assert moral authority - but from Qom, the seat of
Islamic learning two hours' drive south of Tehran.

Many conservative clerics are coming to recognize that their day is done.
''Islam is a religion of mosques, not of prison and torture,'' an
authoritative ayatollah said the other day. The idea is spreading with
unexpected speed among the regime's most prominent defenders.

No one, however, talks of a radical swing westward. The shift in gravity
since the 1979 revolution is fixed. Most reformists and ordinary Iranians
accept Mr. Khatami's imaginative synthesis of imported and indigenous
principles. Many embrace it.

Washington ought to accept it, too. Reopening trade would be a powerful
vote for Mr. Khatami's movement, and he deserves it. To their credit,
Europeans have cast their ballot, and it will serve both sides well.

Americans have historical grievances that Europeans do not share. But this
cuts both ways - from Iranians' perspective, grievances go back to the
1953 coup that toppled an elected government and gave them 26 years under
the last shah.

Where is the State Department's memory on this point? And where is
''constructive engagement'' now? A closed door, and a fixation on
half-baked ''intelligence'' allegations of past support for insurgencies
elsewhere, is a vote for Mr. Khatami's adversaries.

Maintain sanctions? They are beginning to isolate Washington more than
Tehran. Even the old ayatollahs appear to recognize the future when they
see it.

* The writer, a reporter abroad for many years, is a special correspondent
of The Washington Quarterly. He contributed this comment to the
International Herald Tribune.

======================================================

Iran power struggle ignites new round of flag burning

The Christian Science Monitor
Scott Peterson

o Hard-liners assert authority with anti-US acts. But their recent
conviction of a leading reformist has backfired.

December 9, 1999

Tehran - Iran

Flag burning in Iran had become a fading art form in recent years, the
chants of "Death to America" less strident as moderates began to assert
themselves across Iran's turbulent political landscape.

But as hard-liners feel their hold on power slip, they are fighting back -
and are leaving a fresh trail of ash from torched American and Israeli
flags behind them. These icons are reemerging, this time as important
indicators of the political battle between hard-liners and moderates here.

For example, at a Tehran rally last month marking the anniversary of the
takeover of the US Embassy, militants climbed on scaffolding above the
crowd of several thousand to pour gas on one huge flag after another. They
set them alight with Bic lighters to a chorus of chanting.

Moderate President Mohamad Khatami, who on the promise of reform was
elected in a landslide victory 2-1/2 years ago, has criticized such acts.
And the morning of the Tehran rally, local radio announced that there
would be no flag burning. Yet even so, more homemade American flags went
up in flames then than at any other event in several years.

"It shows the conservatives are losing public support, and so they put
fuel on the fire of America," says Ibrahim Yazdi, head of the opposition
Freedom Movement of Iran in Tehran. "The issue is not America. They do it
only to legitimize their own power."

Conservatives and moderates are battling for popular influence before
crucial parliamentary elections next February that will decide if
hard-liners keep their majority. Conservatives have pulled out all stops
to ensure victory, and their recent conviction and imprisonment of
reformist Abdollah Nouri for insulting Islam is widely seen as a way to
marginalize the most popular politician in Iran today.

Mr. Nouri, who is an editor, former minister, and close associate of Mr.
Khatami, gained more votes than any other candidate in municipal elections
earlier this year. He planned to run for the parliament and was expected
to be its speaker.

The verdict means that Nouri can't contest a seat, but the strategy of
conservatives is now seen to have backfired.

Hundreds of students staged a peaceful demonstration in Tehran on Sunday,
taping their lips to show how Nouri's reformist message - and indeed that
of half a dozen liberal newspapers and their editors that have been shut
down so far - was being silenced by hard-line courts.

Nouri's case has become a fresh rallying point for the students, who are
still smarting after high-profile demonstrations and a crackdown in July
left scores of militant students in jail and at least two dead. Several of
those student leaders have been sentenced to death, and the moderate
mainstream wing of the movement is now carefully watched.

"The students are asking: 'Why have all the militant students of 1979
backed down now, and support ties with the West, while all the
conservatives - who didn't care at the time - today insist on war with the
US?' " says Sadiq Zibakalam, a professor of political science at Tehran
University. He is referring to the most vocal reformists today, who led
the charge against the US Embassy two decades ago but have since changed
their thinking.

"[The old students] are disenchanted with anti-US statements because they
have grown up," Professor Zibakalam says, "and realized that there are
things like a civil society, rule of law, human rights, and press freedom
that are far more important than shouting 'Death to America.' "

Even at the flag-burning rally, voices in the crowd underscored the
inconsistencies in political thinking - and how the anti-US rhetoric rings
hollow for some.

"Down with the Great Stain!" chanted one man with forced enthusiasm,
mispronouncing the common slogan that characterizes America as the "Great
Satan."

"Oh America, my love!" shouted another young man with arms open, as police
and militants watched aghast.

"It's a joke," says Yara, a photography student. "How can you shout 'Death
to America' when you are wearing blue jeans?"

Khatami, in fact, has signaled that Iran is interested in opening a
"cultural dialogue" with the West and the United States in particular,
which officially considers Iran a state sponsor of terrorism. There have
been exchanges of wrestling and other sports teams, and glimmers of
interest from Washington, although President Clinton renewed US sanctions
against Iran last month.

Hard-liners have harshly criticized Khatami for even suggesting such a
dialogue.

Their arguments gained weight last Friday, when a group of senior Iranian
clerics - invited for a religious seminar hosted by Georgetown University
- were subjected to what many Iranians deem humiliating US immigration
rules that require Iranian nationals to be photographed and fingerprinted.

The clerics pulled out of the seminar in protest, and Iran's state radio
called it "inhuman and insulting treatment."

Still, the nature of Iran's attitude toward the West appears to have
shifted over the years. "There has been a revision regarding
Hostage-taking Day," says Emadedin Baghi, a liberal columnist for Nouri's
Khordad newspaper, which was shut down by court order.

"The main foundation of the revolution was independence, freedom, and an
Islamic republic," Mr. Baghi explains, "but we never meant to
[permanently] say 'Down with America.' That was not the goal, just a means
to show independence."

Emphasis on anti-Americanism, Baghi adds, shows that "the conservatives
have left the roots of the revolution."

"We are losing a lot by carrying the anti-US banner," says Zibakalam, the
professor. "The final decision is for the Iranian people. If a majority
decides that we will eat bread and water to carry out an ideological war
against the US, that's OK. But for heaven's sake, let us be aware of what
this flag burning is costing us."

======================================================

Iran to cut Caspian oil swap rates by 30 percent

TEHRAN, Dec 9 (AFP) - Iran's oil ministry will provide Central Asian oil
swap partners a special new year's bonus consisting of a 30 percent cut in
oil swap rates, the English-language Iran Daily reported Thursday.

"Iranian oil swap deals will be pursued with a 30 percent discount from
January 1, 2000," Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh told the daily in an
exclusive interview.

"The decision has been taken to provide better facilities for the
transport of Central Asian states' oil," Zanganeh said.

The current rate for each tonne of swapped oil is 24 dollars, but the
figure "will be reduced to 17 dollars from the beginning of the new
millennium," the Iranian minister said.

The paper also cited an unnamed energy expert as saying that Iran would
even reduce the rate to "12 dollars per tonne in the near future."

Tehran has repeatedly insisted that a pipeline through Iran and oil swaps
between Caspian producers and itself are the most economical ways to
transport the Caspian Sea's oil to world markets.

But the United States, which has great influence on Kazakhstan and
Turkmenistan, has been working to push another route bypassing Iran, due
to its complete embargo against Tehran.

Iran and Kazakhstan signed a contract in 1996 providing for two million
tonnes of Kazakh crude to be delivered annually to northern Iran, while
Iran supplies the same amount from its own wells to the Gulf for export on
behalf of Kazakhstan. However, the accord -- which avoids more arduous
transport routes -- has been intermittent.

In late November, an agreement was reached for pipelines from the
resource-rich sea to run through Turkey instead of Iran. The pipeline
accords were signed on the sidelines of November's Istanbul summit of the
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe by the presidents of
Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkmenistan.

The pipelines will cut out Iran and lessen the dependence of the former
Soviet republics on Russia, which currently controls a large amount of the
region's oil and gas resources.

The pipelines will also give the United States a major economic and
political foothold in the turbulent Caucasus region.

======================================================

Washington Cannot Rescue a Flawed Proposal by Using Scare Tactics any
Longer

Iran News
Editorial

12/09/1999

Madeline Albright is on a four-day tour of the Middle East and is
currently visiting Syria after her meetings with officials in Saudi
Arabia. In her meeting with the Saudi officials, she asked them to augment
the American efforts so that the road might be paved in the peace
negotiations between Arab countries and Israel.

Meanwhile, in line with these talks, James Rubin, the State Department
spokesman, remarked that Albright, King Fahad and Crown Prince Abdullah
had discussed the extremely dangerous signs coming from the Islamic
Republic of Iran vis-a-vis the U.S.-brokered peace deal.

James Rubin has considered Iran's opposition to the so- called Middle East
peace process and their support of the guerilla groups in Lebanon and the
occupied Palestine to be among these signs.

So far, there have been numerous contradictory statements made by the
American officials regarding Iran, the U.S. relations with Iran or
outright condemnation of any other country's relations with Iran for that
matter. However, what has given rise to Mrs. Albright's and Mr. Rubin's
present concerns this time around, springs from the long stalemated
negotiations in their Middle East peace initiative.

The American officials are dead set to reach a breakthrough in these
negotiations to afford the Democrats the trump card they badly need in
their upcoming presidential race with the Republicans. The U.S.
administration will not flinch at trying to take advantage of the IRI's
regional friends to further their cause either.

In all probability, this may be the reason for their solicitation of Saudi
Arabia's regional clout. Undoubtedly, Mrs. Albright has made the same plea
to the Syrian officials during her stop-over there. Who knows! Maybe she
is trying to bring off the Iranian's consent to the peace deal.

However, Mrs. Albright should definitely bear in mind the fact that even
if Iran concedes to some parts of this peace plan, be it through coercion
or mediation of friends, this plan is riddled with holes.

These flaws will render it entirely impracticable. This sort of peace
proposal that stops short of securing the honorable rights of Palestinian
nation, will not endure. If used, no matter how skillfully applied,
mediation, intimidation, deceptions or even scare tactics will not save
such one-sided deals.

The Americans would do themselves and the international community a big
favor by instead directing their pressures on the Israelis to give in to
the rightful demands of their neighbors and, most of all, those of
Palestinians.

Iran wants end to sectarian violence in Pakistan

TEHRAN, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei,
said on Thursday he wanted to see an end to sectarian violence in
neighbouring Pakistan, which has claimed the lives of several Iranians in
recent years.

``A group of sedition-mongers fans the flames of sectarian violence in
Pakistan, a bitter side effect of which was the martyrdom of several
Iranian nationals,'' Iran's official IRNA news agency quoted Khamenei as
saying in talks with visiting Pakistani military leader General Pervez
Musharraf.

``I closely follow events in your country and hope...worrying signs will
give up their place to more hopeful signs,'' Khamenei said.

Iran has often demanded the punishment of those responsible for the
slayings, linked to violence between Shi'ite and Sunni Moslem extremists
in Pakistan. The sectarian clashes in Pakistan have killed hundreds of
people in recent years.

IRNA said Musharraf, who arrived from Bahrain on Wednesday for a two-day
visit, had promised to fight terrorism in Pakistan and bring those behind
the killings of the Iranians to justice.

``Some people in Pakistan try to make gains by resorting to terrorism. We
will make serious efforts to cut off their influence and create an
atmosphere for peaceful coexistence,'' the agency quoted Musharraf as
saying.

The two leaders also discussed the conflict in neighbouring Afghanistan,
which has strained ties between Tehran and Islamabad.

``The general gave assurances to the Iranian leader of sincere
efforts...to cooperate in solving the Afghan question and other regional
issues,'' IRNA said.

Iran and Pakistan back opposing sides in the civil war in Afghanistan.
Diplomats in Islamabad have said Musharraf was likely to use his Tehran
visit to try to ease the tensions over the conflict.

Pakistan is one of only three states that recognise Afghanistan's Taleban
government, which controls 90 percent of the country. Iran regards ousted
President Burhanuddin Rabbani as the legitimate Afghan leader.

The general earlier laid a wreath on the late revolutionary leader
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's tomb in southern Tehran and held talks with
his grandson, Hassan Khomeini.

This trip to Iran and Bahrain is Musharraf's third outside Pakistan since
he seized power in a bloodless coup in October. His earlier travels took
him to Turkey and the Gulf Arab states of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab
Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait.

Date: Thu, 9 Dec 1999 22:40:20 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Russia/China

STRATFOR.COM Global Intelligence Update
December 10, 1999


Russo-Sino Summit Marks Ascendance of China


Summary

Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Chinese President Jiang Zemin
met Dec. 9 for a hasty and informal summit. While the Russian
government and media focused on the two countries' strategic
partnership and on China's backing for Russian actions in Chechnya,
the Chinese state media highlighted the border agreements inked at
the meeting. The differing media coverage reflects the fundamental
difference in emphasis both nations place on the meeting. Russia
appears desperate for China's support, to demonstrate to the United
States that it is still a great power. China, while maintaining
some distance from Russia's tactical concerns, is also
demonstrating clearly to the United States that a Sino-Russian bloc
remains an option.


Analysis

Russian President Boris Yeltsin met in Beijing with Chinese
President Jiang Zemin, Prime Minister Zhu Rongji, and chairman of
the Standing Committee of the Chinese National People's Congress Li
Peng Dec. 9. On the one hand, Russia has placed great importance on
the informal summit between Jiang and Yeltsin, emphasizing the fact
that China backs Russian military actions in Chechnya. It is also
presenting the summit as an advancement in the Sino-Russo strategic
partnership [ http://www.stratfor.com/services/giu/120799.asp ].
On the other hand, China - while following diplomatic protocol -
has treated the visit with less strategic impact, focusing instead
on the three border agreements between the nations' foreign
ministers.

The meeting between Yeltsin and Jiang has been postponed several
times. Russia's decision to send Yeltsin to Beijing when he is
obviously not healthy, and against the public advice of his
doctors, reinforces the urgency Moscow assigns the meeting.
Yeltsin's visit was intended not only to guarantee Chinese
political support in light of Russian military operations in
Chechnya, but also to reinforce to the West that Russia remains a
force to be reckoned with - a force that would only grow by
entering a strategic alliance with China.

The threat of such an alliance provides both Russia and China with
a useful bargaining chip in dealing with the United States. Such an
alliance would be difficult to actualize, due to the competing
strategic interests of the two countries. Nevertheless, Russian
statements regarding the meeting play up this threat.

Russia -- under increasing international pressure over the issue of
Chechnya - is using the summit in an attempt to rebuild an
international image of strength. It is relying on the summit to
build support against growing international condemnation. Russian
Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said that China fully supported
Russia's actions in Chechnya, and that the border agreements with
China represented "a new step in our strategic partnership." In
addition, Yeltsin responded to U.S. criticism of the Chechen
campaign by saying that U.S President Bill Clinton had forgotten
that Russia "has a full arsenal of nuclear weapons."

China, on the other hand, participated in the summit for its own
strategic reasons. The meeting brought about three border
agreements, which have been the focus of Chinese statements and
media coverage. The agreements formalize two stretches of common
border, and the lay out the joint economic use of some contested
river islands. The border resolution with Russia, long in the
works, comes amid a larger move by China to secure its land
borders.

In addition, China took the opportunity to send a message to the
United States. Holding the summit with Russia, but paying little
formal attention to the idea of a Sino-Russo military partnership,
allows China to maintain a friendly relationship without directly
confronting the United States. But, in maintaining visibly close
ties with Russia, China is also sending a signal that it has the
power to set the agenda. The move also provides a reminder that
China and Russia could form an alliance to counter U.S. hegemonic
power.

As China continues to position itself as a world power, the balance
it walks between the United States and Russia will remain a key
tool in its foreign policy. The summit in Beijing, and the two
governments' divergent portrayals of the event, has demonstrated
the weakness of Russia's international position. At the same time,
China has shown itself to be the senior partner in any relationship
with Russia, and, while maintaining an open relationship with the
United States, remains capable of pulling the Russia card any time
it sees fit.



(c) 1999, Stratfor, Inc. http://www.stratfor.com/

Date: Fri, 10 Dec 1999 01:07:20 -0800
From: "Aryo B. Pirouznia" <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Fw: SMCCDI: An Open Letter to the attention of Mr. Khatami the
President of the Islamic republic of Iran


The Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran
www.daneshjoo.org



The President of the Islamic republic
Mr. Mohamad Khatami
The Presidency
Pastor Avenue
Tehran, Iran

Fax: 98/21- 649-5880
khatami@president.ir

By Telegram, Fax (3 pages) and Email


December 10, 1999


Mr. Khatami,

We are writing you at the occasion of the worldwide commemoration of the
51st anniversary of the " Universal Declaration of Human Rights ".

As you're aware this is a symbolic day meaning the consideration of Human
beings and their Natural Rights, such as, life and thought.
48 years ago, Iran was one of the first countries having ratified this
declaration at the United Nations; But in the last 20 years, Iran has been
way far from its commitment and such consideration. Reports about death
sentences, murder and imprisonment of dissidents, disregard of minorities
and women rights, crackdown on press and many other abuses are what every
one has in mind when thinking about the Islamic republic of Iran.

Your election in 1997 was perceived as a message of hope for ending such
abuses; But despite your numerous campaign promises of reform and repeated
speeches about “ Civil Society “, we are still witnessing gross disregard
of the most basic principles of the rule of law in Iran reinforced by
continued silence of your administration.

The illegal imprisonment of several hundred students without any
substantiated charge, or a reasonable due process, is a primary example of
such lawlessness in Iran and we are particularly appalled by reports of
the decision of the Islamic Judiciary that has condemned Mr. Akbar
Mohamadi and 2 other of our comrades to death sentences.

Mr. Ayoob Salimi, another student who has been jailed in the Islamic
republic facilities in Tabriz is deprived of medical assistance, which he
urgently needs and we would like to remind you that Mr. Salimi is in
danger of death due to the infection of his wounds, which he suffered at
the hands of the law enforcement agents in July 1999.

Also, Sehie Guilani, Ali Moradi, Manouchehr Mohamadi, Mehdi Fakhrzadeh,
Mohamad Reza Shafei, Mehran Abdolbaghi, Gholam Reza Mohadjeri-Nejad,
Ghazal Hematian, Mohamad Ardalan, Ahmad Batebi, Rostamzadeh Bokahi, Navid
Gorkani, Hossein Abedi, Ali Mehri, Mohamad Reza Kasrani, Ali Bikass and
several other students are all in prisons of the Islamic republic.

Their only crime was expressing their legitimate aspirations for a "
Civil Society ", which you have promised.

These imprisoned students supported your presidential campaign
wholeheartedly in May 23rd, 1997 and were led to believe in your promises
of a better and freer Iran. Despite the fact that they remained loyal to
you, and to the rule of law, the students were attacked savagely by the
law enforcement forces in their dormitories.
Failing to receive the families or our murdered comrades or to visit the
wounded, your silence and later your condemnation of the Student
Movement, seeking justice, can easily be qualified as a tacit agreement
with the savage attackers.

There have been numerous reports stating about mistreatments along with
physical and psychological tortures of the arrested students by the law
enforcement agents. The tortures have included beating with metallic
cables, heating Feet, Iced Bath to the stage of hypothermia, giving
notices of imminent executions by bringing the students with banded eyes
to the wall of execution and various other techniques about which, you’ve
been informed by Dr. Mehrpoor gathering our comrades depositions on your
behalf. These kinds of reports can, also, be declared as confirmed by the
inhumane statements of the President of the revolutionary court, Mr.
Rahbarpoor about the issuance of death sentences and their looming
execution.

We would like to remind yourself and Mr. Rahbarpoor that the Islamic
Judiciary still hasn't brought to justice the real perpetrators of the
chain murders and the brutal attack on the students dorms and the
subsequent death of several students such as Mr. Ezatollah Ebrahim-nejad
killed by governmental bullets and thrown down from the dorms balcony.

We are hereby, joining our voice to some of our arrested comrades
imprisoned in Tabriz, who once wrote you from their prison in an open
letter on 11/10/1999:

" If in the land of sacrilege the guilty enjoys all their rights;

… Is it not am astonishing crime that in the holly and divine regime
which is supposed to bring happiness and prosperity to all, a wounded and
innocent student is deprived of his most basic and elementary rights? "


Mr. Khatami,

In order for a meaningful dialogue to take place between the People and
your government, you must assume your responsibilities and the Judiciary
power must follow its legal obligation of bringing the real perpetrators
of numerous political crimes to justice instead of harassing the best
daughters and sons of our nation.

We remind you that four days before her arrest on 7/13/1999, another of
our comrades wrote you in an open letter-- faxed to your secretary Mr.
Abtahi --:

" Mr. President: despite the fact that I am not, officially, a student
myself, I feel like one of them as Iran is in the crucial stages of
learning how to reach the democracy..;

… It is our sincere hope that the current political deadlock in Iran will
be resolved in the most peaceful manner..;

… I might not be able to see what might happen next, but in my deepest
levels of conscience and soul, I know it for a fact that soon the day will
come which the Iranian people will enjoy the real democratic government
that they all deserve and wish for…

… Compare to such noble cause and to leave such legacy for the future
generations, my life is valueless..”


Mr. Khatami,

Based on the above statements, we ask you to intervene for the immediate
and unconditional rescinding of all death sentences and demand release of
all arrested students.

We hope that contrary to your usual " Policy of Silence " and missing your
historical appointments such as on July 10 and December 7; You will
avoid, in the future, the same compliance with the repression as evident
in the case of the " Forced Confessions " which were shown by the
governmental TV.

We remind you that if the forces of repression are used, again, to
suppress the legitimate aspirations of our younger generation, it will
inevitably bring more unnecessary sorrow to the people of Iran.
The responsibility of utilizing the last chance of Iran's peaceful
transition to democracy rests on your administration.
This is an opportunity for you to establish an important historical legacy
of peaceful transition of Iran to democracy for which over 20 millions of
souls voted for and you can not afford to miss this opportunity.

There is of course no doubt that in a near future all the Islamic republic
officials and dignitaries will have to answer to the Iranian people about
their past actions. We hope that a responsible action by your
administration in favor of our arrested comrades will be interpreted as a
positive note to be considered in your favor in a near future.


We hope that you'll make the best judgment for you and for the people of
Iran.


Sincerely Yours,


On the behalf of the SMCCDI,

A.B. Pirouznia
(General Coordinator)



C.C.: United Nations Secretary General, UNCHR, International
organizations, World leaders, Press, Farsi service of abroad radios and
over 35,000 email addresses.



SMCCDI Coordination Committee:

4151 Beltline Rd. #124-157 Addison, TX-75001 (USA)
Phone: (972) 504-6864;
Fax: (972) 960-2442;
Email: iranstudents@hotmail.com

www.daneshjoo.org; www.iran-daneshjoo.org; www.smccdi.org;
www.iranstudents.org


End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 8 Dec 1999 to 9 Dec 1999