Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 12 Dec 1999 to 13 Dec 1999

There are 11 messages totalling 1125 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. Students's gathering in Tehran University
5. Let Us Welcome the Ex-Patriots
6. Countdown to Final Ballot: 67 Days
7. KHATAMI: Iran-U.S. Wall of Mistrust Not a Mere Slogan
8. Turkish Police Detain 250 Protesting Scarf Ban in Universities
9. Seminar on `Iran Today' Held in Bosnia
10. Rafsanjani Should Respond
11. Guidance Ministry Wants Press Amendment Bill Frozen, Mohajerani

Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 11:46:48 +0000
From: "a.abdi" <a.abdi@BTINTERNET.COM>
Subject: Students's gathering in Tehran University

The gathering of students is in process in Tehran University and there
has not been any report of disturbances by Ansar-e-Sheytan yet.

Asghar 15:25, Tehran Time

Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 20:55:22 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>


By Ebrahim Nabavi*

The text of the following TV program was aired tomorrow 4th of
Farvardin 1379 (24th March 20000) from the Television of a Middle East
country. As usual, no pressure at all has been applied on anyone and
the only purpose of these confessions is to help the truth to appear.
The producer of the program is a witness of this claim.

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***
I confess that I was wrong. That I made mistakes. From the beginning,
everything was a lie. My name was not Abdollah Nouri, but I would
claim that I'm Abdollah Nouri and though I was myself from Nour, yet,
in order to infiltrate Esfahan and to prepare an atmosphere to the
liking of my bosses, I pretended I'm from Esfahan.

Contrary to my other friends, whom from the outset would prefer
England, I always liked America. Before the revolution, I wanted to
co-operate with SAVAK, but I didn't have the occasion since I did not
know its address. Yes. I betrayed many times. Then asking myself how I
could betray even more, I went to the Office of the Israelis in Tehran
and collaborated several years with them.

I was an infiltrator and for that reason I didn't feel good. Before
td for that reason I didn't feel good. Before
the revolution, and when I was probably 20, I become a companion of
Mohammad Mossadeq, a pro-Zionist Jew. As we were very close friends, I
quickly felt that he wanted to become a domestic of the Shah after his
death and for this reason I would always visit him and whenever he
would feel cold, I would cover him with blanket.*

Then came the revolution and again I infiltrated, starting with the
Reconstruction Brigade. The same, from the start of the revolution,
any time I would look at Mr. KH.M I would tell myself that I had to
infiltrate his office as well. Actually, this office was filled with
infiltrators. Afterward I infiltrated Mr. A's office and continued to
infiltrate everywhere open to infiltration. On those days, situation
was such that everybody was infiltrating everything.

Ten, twenty years latter, when I would meet the true revolutionaries
who by now all had become chiefs, I would understand that all those
who had participated at the revolution were infiltrators. At that
time, only one person knew that I was an infiltrator and that one was
haj Sa'id* who was himself an infiltrator.

Yes, I betrayed a lot. Especially that time when 23 million people
infiltrated together on second of Khordad. There were so many
infiltrators that one could fear that the place would explode by
infiltration. It was then that my real identity was exposed. For a
while, I infiltrated the Interior Ministry and acted as I was from the
second Khordad front. I even backed Karbaschi. I then infiltrated the
city council. This was some time after the Iran-American and Iran-
Australia football matches, when Ali Da'i, Khodadad Azizi and Karim
Baqeri had infiltrated our national football team. Afterward I
infiltrated Khordad newspaper before infiltrating the Evin prison.

Yes, I made mistake. I was a traitor. I was hiding myself behind
people who were all infiltrators and would protect people who were
also infiltrators.

My biggest mistake was to plead myself. Once in prison, I told myself:
Abdollah, why did you plead yourself? So many people went to the
courtroom as lions and came out {..} So waht?

Yes, dear people. Beware of bad friends. Frankly speaking, a bad
friend can have so much influence.
Next time I would confess that I had infiltrated other places, but
before, one has to tell me where they wanted me to have infiltrated in
order to confess to it in the next program. ENDS NOURI'S CONFESSIONS

* Mr. Ebrahim Nabavi is a leading satirical columnist working for Asre
Azadegan, the pro-reform daily edited by Mr. Masha'allah
Shamsolva'ezin, condemned on 27th November to 3 years imprisonment by
a kangaroo press court.

*Hojatoleslam Abdollah Nouri was one of the fellow young clerics
trusted by grand ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini who would not hesitate to
send him on important missions or to represent him in places like the
Reconstruction Brigades or the Radio-TV. That explains why Ali
Kihameneh'i keep hating Mr. Nouri.

* Reference to Sa'id Emami, a former Deputy Intelligence Minister the
authorities presented as the mastermind of the last November chain
murders. He was reported to have killed himself in prison.

* A physically feeble man, Dr Mossadeq, Iran's famous nationalist
Prime Minister would be seen very often covered with a blanket which,
at times, he would use it for diplomatic and political pretext.

Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 20:56:32 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>

Vol. 2, No. 49, 13 December 1999

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



President Hojatoleslam Mohammad Khatami's question and answer
session with students that had been scheduled for 7 December (Student
Day) was postponed until 12 December because his office told state
television that the president "is suffering from severe influenza." A
7 December editorial in the pro-Khatami daily "Guzarish-i Ruz" said:
"the president's influenza is not an acceptable or convincing excuse
for delaying the question-and-answer session with students."
A year ago Khatami was sick too, but he still visited his
young supporters on Students Day. This year the students have even
more questions, especially after the conviction of Hojatoleslam
Abdullah Nuri took away the 2nd Khordad movement's number two man
(after Khatami). So why is the president silent now? The editorial
asked if he is hiding behind a barricade the way the conservatives
are, and if Khatami is silent, who will answer the students'
questions. (Bill Samii)

Mahvash Jafari, director-general in charge of the Iranian
press at the Islamic Culture and Guidance Ministry, announced that
the Press Supervisory Board has issued licenses for 21 new
publications, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported on 7 December.
The two dailies that were licensed are "Rai Mardom," proposed
by the Members of Parliament in Different Periods, with Yadollah
Eslami as its editor-in-chief; and "Jahan-i Islami," proposed by the
Association of the Forces Following the Line of Imam, with Seyyed
Hadi Khamenei as its editor-in-chief. Ali Hekmat, editor in chief of
the recently-banned "Khordad," said "Khordad" may be replaced by
"Fath," with Yadollah Eslami as its managing director, "Iran News"
and "Arya" reported on 8 December. "Bayan" began publication on 8
December, and its publisher is Hojatoleslam Ali-Akbar Mohtashemi-Pur,
a Khatami adviser who previously served as Interior Minister and
Ambassador to Syria. Effectively, "Bayan" is replacing "Salam," which
was closed in July. Islamic Culture and Guidance Minister Ataollah
Mohajerani said that the Press Supervisory Board issued 201
publication licenses since 21 March, IRNA reported on 29 November.
"Arya" director Mohammad Reza Zohdi appeared in court on 8
December to face complaints from the intelligence department of the
armed forces, the Law Enforcement Forces, the Basij, the
Antisacreligious Acts Office (Amr be Maruf va Nahi az Monker), the
Ministry of Intelligence and Security, Islamic Republic of Iran
Broadcasting, and the "Tehran Times." The complaints included
disclosure of classified information, implying that the LEF supports
a political faction, publicizing the Freedom Movement (Nehzat-i
Azadi), and publishing derogatory articles about the Islamic Republic
and about the Supreme Leader, and writing that the MOIS is involved
in torture.
Regarding the Basij and MOIS complaints, Zohdi was found
guilty, but in light of his defense and a promise to print an
apology, he only received a warning. IRNA reported on 9 December that
the jury was split on the complaints from the LEF and "Tehran Times."
Zohdi was cleared of the complaints lodged by the intelligence
department of the armed forces and IRIB. A verdict will be issued
within a week. (Bill Samii)

Ayatollah Yusef Sanei, who last week criticized the
conviction of Hojatoleslam Abdullah Nuri, was in turn criticized by a
group of seminary students, according to the hardline daily "Qods."
In an open letter, they wrote "You argued why the judge was
indifferent to the people's views when issuing the verdict (against
Abdullah Nuri). But you too adopted similar positions during your
term as public prosecutor."
Some of Sanei's other actions this year, which show him as a
moderate, albeit conservative, figure, have earned criticism. In
November he called for a 40 day period of silence regarding the
conviction of the students responsible for an allegedly blasphemous
play published in the "Mowj." In September, when there was a public
debate over the role of violence in Islam, he said: "Islam is
strongly against resorting to whips and clubs as a means of force in
conflicts, disputes and battery and it prohibits such practices,"
according to IRNA.
During a June lecture, Sanei criticized the Judiciary and
called for an end to Ayatollah Hussein-Ali Montazeri-Najafabadi's
house arrest, at which point students and other scholars staged a
protest (see "RFE/RL Iran Report," 7 June 1999). And in July, he
suspended his lectures to protest the violent repression of student
demonstrations (see "RFE/RL Iran Report," 12 July 1999).
Some of Sanei's views, however, are still quite conservative.
He told teachers and students at Tehran's Medical Science and Health
Services University, according to the 27 June "Iran Daily:" "Although
dancing is not, by nature, unlawful, the dancing of men and women
together is not allowed. For instance, a woman may dance for her
husband at home and in my view, there is no reason why it should be
Haram. But if enticing music is used and/or it disturbs the
neighbors, then it would be definitely unlawful." (Bill Samii)

CLERICAL ARSONIST SENTENCED Hojatoleslam Mohammad Javad Emami was
sentenced to eight years imprisonment by the Special Court for the
Clergy for a July arson attack, "Kayhan" reported on 6 December. The
Madrasah-yi Sadr-i Bazaar-i Isfahan, which is run by Ayatollah
Hussein Mazaheri, was attacked on 28 July, eliciting statements of
condemnation from President Hojatoleslam Mohammad Khatami and Qom's
top theological institution (see "RFE/RL Iran Report," 9 August
1999). When the arsonist's arrest was announced in August, "Kayhan"
reported that he was affiliated with "one of the extremist political
factions in Isfahan" (see "RFE/RL Iran Report," 23 August 1999). It
is not known if this is a reference to the Ansar-i Vilayat, the Mehdi
Hashemi gang, or another local organization. (Bill Samii)

German businessman Helmut Hofer, who was tried in Tehran for
having extramarital relations with a Muslim woman, but was then
detained for having "contact with suspicious elements," is now
facing trial for insulting a prison guard. Only cynics could think
that Hofer's continued imprisonment has anything at all to do with
the current trial in Berlin of Hamid Khorasandi or the continued
imprisonment in Germany of Kazem Darabi. Some observers, however,
have reached that conclusion, while others are hoping that these
cases will not endanger business opportunities. So far, they do not
appear to have done so.
Khorasandi's trial started on 24 November. He was arrested in
July for trying to infiltrate Iranian opposition groups on behalf of
the Iranian government, which has denied a connection with him (see
"RFE/RL Iran Report," 2 August 1999). Kazem Darabi is being held for
his part in the 1992 murder of Iranian dissidents in Berlin - the
Mykonos case.
It seems there are a few cynics in Germany. Secretary General
Guido Westerwelle of the Free Democratic Party said Tehran is trying
to "exert pressure with a German citizen," Berlin's ADN news agency
reported on 6 December. "Frankfurter Allgemeine" said on 28 October
that Hofer is a "hostage," and "as long as Hofer is tormented in a
way that is reminiscent of the most brutal dictatorships in this
century, [Iranian President Mohammad] Khatami should not be welcome
in Germany." Willfried Penner, chairman of the German parliamentary
interior affairs committee, said Hofer was a victim of "state
hostage-taking," and he was a being held until Darabi is released,
AFP reported on 16 October.
Fereidun Verdinejad, chief of the Islamic Republic News
Agency, seems to have a similarly cynical nature. In an editorial in
the 27 November "Iran Daily," which is IRNA's English-language
publication, Verdinejad suggested that it is no coincidence that
Khorasandi is being tried by the same court that heard the Mykonos
case. He went on to write that Bonn should "substitute dialogue for
the 'battle of courts' and allow judiciaries in both countries to
maintain their independence." Verdinejad warned that "the war of
heavy indictments will only play into the hands of Tel Aviv and
Some people are concerned that the Hofer case might harm
business opportunities. State Secretary Steinmeir, chief of the
German Chancellor's Office, warned against "endangering"
Iranian-German relations with "speculations and inconsiderate
comments," reported Hamburg's "Welt am Sonntag" on 17 October. So
far, there seems little danger of that.
Germany's Veba Oil & Gas signed a deal with the National
Iranian Oil Company, Royal Dutch Shell, and LASMO, with a 20.9
percent financial interest, for an offshore oil exploration project
in the Caspian Sea. A German business delegation was in Mazandaran
Province to discuss trade in fruits, vegetables, flowers, and other
plants, IRNA reported on 1 November. At the end of October, about 100
industrialists and representatives of major German and Iranian
companies attended the export promotion seminar sponsored by the
German Economy Ministry and the Iran-German Chamber of Commerce. At
the beginning of the month, more than 100 German firms were
represented at Tehran's international trade fair. It was seen as
especially significant that Khatami spent almost an hour at the
German pavilion, leading to speculation that he would visit Germany
Investment insurance may hinder German investment in Iran
more than the Hofer trial does. Hermes' ceiling for trade and
economic transactions with Iran is set at 30 million marks, according
to a 2 October report from Iranian state broadcasting, and this is
hindering German investment. Mujtaba Khosrotaj, head of the Exports
Promotion Center of Iran, protested the increase in Iran's riskiness,
saying it was unjustified and should be revised, IRNA reported on 4
October. (Bill)

The completion of the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant is
worrisome for some countries, but for the two primary parties -
Russia and Iran - the project is extremely important. Although firms
from some countries, such as Ukraine, have been persuaded to avoid
the Bushehr project, one Czech firm still is eager . Nor is Iran
reluctant to resort to illegal methods to get the nuclear-related
goods it wants.
Speaking to leaders in Russia's defense, oil, and gas
industries in Tomsk, Atomstroikeksport Director General Victor Koslov
predicted that if Russian firms meet their deadlines and quality
standards in manufacturing nuclear power plant equipment, Iran,
China, and India may double their orders, ITAR-TASS reported on 6
December. When Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov visited Tehran
last month, he discussed "prospects for developing economic
cooperation , primarily in nuclear power engineering," ITAR-TASS
reported on 28 November.
The Iranian side already has indicated its interest in more
orders. Russian Nuclear Power Minister Yevgeny Adamov said that Iran
has reaffirmed its intention to commission additional power units,
ITAR-TASS reported on 27 November. Russia's role gained in
significance after Assadollah Sabouri, deputy head of the Atomic
Energy Organization of Iran, announced on 8 December that China is no
longer working with his country on nuclear projects due to political
The Iranian side also seems satisfied with the quality and
timeliness of work being done at Bushehr. Iranian Vice-President for
Atomic Energy Qolam-Reza Aqazadeh-Khoi said "the project is at a good
level, and we are fully on schedule," Interfax reported on 18
November. Aqazadeh said that 26 percent of the work is complete, per
the schedule. He added that Ukrainian firm Turboatom withdrew from
the Bushehr project because it thought it could not make the
deadlines, but Adamov suggested that Western pressure on Ukraine's
leadership forced Turboatom's withdrawal.
Such developments have led the White House to continue
blacklisting ten Russian organizations for cooperating with Iran's
nuclear and missile research. Originally, seven Russian scientific
organizations were blacklisted, but earlier this year three more
institutes were added to the list.
Czech firms still are interested in participating in the
Bushehr project. ZVV Milevsko is scheduled to supply the Bushehr
project with ventilation and air-conditioning equipment. The Czech
government has pressured the company to withdraw from the project,
CTK news agency reported on 27 November. Milevsko general director
Stanislav Kazecky explained: "One does not reject a deal worth one
billion crowns [about $28 million], especially not in current times.
Since the company has an annual turnover of two billion crowns, the
deal for half the sum is virtually a matter of life and death."
Dual-use items have reached Iran through Sweden, where the
law forbids the export of military and strategic equipment to Iran.
On 25 November, Ehsan Amuzandeh, an Iranian-born Swede, was sentenced
to four months in jail for smuggling, attempted smuggling, and
forgery. Amuzandeh had sent a hydrogen thyraton tube, which can be
used for triggering nuclear devices or for eye-surgery, to Iran,
after ordering the equipment through a pizzeria he owns. "We started
to wonder why a pizzeria would export electronic equipment to Iran,"
Jan-Ingmar Karlsson of the Swedish commercial fraud agency said,
according to an October AP report. Amuzandeh purchased the equipment
from an American firm, Richardson Electronics of Illinois, telling
them it was for a university project. (Bill Samii)

As the Russian military dropped leaflets on Grozny, the
capital of Chechnya, warning residents that they would be considered
terrorists and would face destruction from massive artillery and air
attacks unless they evacuated the city by 11 December, a delegation
from the Organization of the Islamic Conference arrived in Moscow.
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi was part of the
delegation, and on arriving in Moscow on 6 December, he said,
according to Iranian state television: "The Chechen crisis is a

<< Continued to next message >>>

Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 20:57:28 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>

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

domestic Russian problem but in view of the concerns expressed by the
Islamic world over this continuing crisis, we hope to be able to
address the problem of the refugees in our meetings with senior
Russian officials." He added, according to IRNA, that reconstruction
and institution-building for the war-damaged areas will top the
agenda. To this end, the OIC delegation met with the chairman of the
Council of Muftis of Russia, Mufti Sheikh Ravil Gainutdin, Russian
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, and
Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov.
Kharrazi told Iranian state television that "The meetings
provided a suitable opportunity for conveying the concerns of the
Islamic world to Russian officials." He added: "The OIC considers the
issue of Chechnya as one which falls within the framework of Russia's
territorial integrity and internal affairs."
At a 7 December news conference marking the end of the
delegation's visit, Kharrazi said, according to IRIB: "The Islamic
world is concerned about the continuation of military activities
which are exerting too much pressure on Muslims. Therefore, we must
try to bring such operations to an end. The first thing which must be
done is to bring military activities to an end and establish peace
and calm in the region. Thus Islamic countries are ready to exchange
views with Russian officials through suitable and practical ways in
order to bring the war to an end. That is because the way Russian
officials deal with the current crisis in Chechnya is at the center
of attention of Islamic countries as well as the people in the
Islamic world."
Sources at the Russian Ministry for Civil Defense and
Emergencies told ITAR-TASS that Iran and Saudi Arabia proposed
opening offices in the northern Caucasus. Iran also proposed sending
two planeloads of humanitarian items every week. Russian officials,
however, have been stopping Iranian trucks at the Daghestan border
and forcing them to turn back, "Tehran Times" reported on 6 December.
On 7 December the OIC delegation flew to Makhachkala, the
capital of Daghestan, and after visiting some nearby villages, flew
to Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia. In this phase of the trip, the
delegation met with President Magomed Magomedov of Daghestan,
President Ruslan Aushev of Ingushetia, and President Aleksandr
Dzassokhov of North Ossetia. The OIC communiqué, issued the next day,
said "it considered the military operations to be disproportionate,"
and "aggravation of the situation hindered long-term peace and
stability." The communiqué went on to say, according to IRNA, that
the following items "need to be considered:" "termination of military
operations;" "release of prisoners and hostages;" dialog and
negotiation; reinvigoration of the accord that ended the 1996 war;
return of refugees and displaced persons; a general amnesty; and
reconstruction of Chechnya.
Aleksei Malashenko of the Carnegie Endowment for
International Peace's Moscow Center told an RFE/RL correspondent that
the OIC statement is sufficiently mild for Russia. "[Russia]
understands very well that its geopolitical future depends a lot on
[its relations with Muslim countries]. And the Islamic countries
themselves are maintaining respectful relations with Russia. [The OIC
visit and these factors], all of this, plays into Russia's hands and
breaks through the wall of condemnation that is surrounding Russia's
position regarding Chechnya." (Bill Samii)

"Iran is encouraging terrorist activity involving Hizballah,
Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Ahmed Jibril's PFLP-GC [Popular
Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command] with the
intention of destroying the hopes of all Arabs and Israelis to
achieve a comprehensive peace," State Department spokesman Jamie
Rubin said at a 29 November briefing. "These baseless allegations
against the Islamic Republic of Iran after 20 years have not gotten
anywhere," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Assefi said
on 30 November.
Unidentified U.S. officials, cited in a 4 December
"Washington Post" report, said there is "growing evidence of active
Iranian support for Hamas," much of which is channeled through
Jordan. U.S. officials and their regional counterparts also suspect
that "Iran is encouraging the growth of alliances," giving as an
example joint training between Hamas and Hizballah in Lebanon in
coordination with the PFLP-GC. These factors have led U.S. officials
to the conclusion that the Iranian terrorist threat is growing,
according to the "Washington Post," and British and German
counterterrorism officials have formed similar assessments.
An anonymous Iranian Foreign Ministry official said "such
vicious claims are raised to justify the failure" of the Middle East
peace talks, IRNA reported on 5 December. The source added that
"Iran's policy towards the Zionist regime and the so-called peace
talks" remains unchanged. The Iranian policy was spelled out by
Iran's permanent representative to the U.N., Hadi Nejad-Husseinian,
according to a 30 November IRNA item. He said that "a comprehensive
and just solution to the Palestinian cause rests in restoration of
the rights of Palestinian people, return of homeless people to their
homeland, determination of their own fate and thorough liberation of
all occupied lands."
Iranian officials are trying to avoid the subject. In fact,
the moral support they provide for Hamas indicates strongly that Iran
also is providing material and logistical support (see "RFE/RL Iran
Report," 9 August 1999). Secretary of State Madeline Albright raised
this subject during her visit to Saudi Arabia on 6 December. (Bill

Azerbaijani accusations about Iranian subversion are a
fairly regular occurrence, as are complaints about Tehran's
persecution of ethnic Azeris. A recent development is the complaint
by ethnic Azerbaijanis that the Baku government is cooperating with
Tehran. But at the same time, Azerbaijan's Ministry of National
Security is complaining about Iranian attempts at subversion inside
At the end of November, the Baku-based National Liberation
Movement of Southern Azerbaijan issued a statement that it was going
underground because of the frequent attacks on its leader, Piruz
Dilenchi. Dilenchi had claimed that he "had been subjected to
threats, persecution, and pressure by the Iranian regime and its
mercenaries in Azerbaijan," "Azadlyg" reported on 20 October, and
specifically, they had tried to beat him up on 14 October. At that
time Dilenchi had requested protection from Azerbaijani
law-enforcement agencies. It then transpired, "Zerkalo" reported on
28 October, that Dilenchi's attackers were affiliated with President
Heidar Aliev's Special Directorate. This, and the fact that
Dilenchi's telephone service had been cut off, indicated to "Zerkalo"
that the "Iranian and Azerbaijani special services [are] working
together against P. Dilenchi."
Another accusation of official collusion between Iran and
Azerbaijan appeared on 23 November. Referring to the presidential
pardon granted to four former leaders of the Islamic Party of
Azerbaijan [IPA] -- Haji Mirhasan Jafarov, Haji Alikram Aliyev, Haji
Vagif Gasymov, Haji Hajiaga Nuriyev, "Zerkalo" suggested that it
might have been the result of collusion. The newspaper speculated
that this was a "goodwill gesture" meant to elicit a reaction from
Tehran. They had been convicted for treason and cooperation with
Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security.
In early-November, Azerbaijan's Ministry of National Security
reported the arrest of an individual affiliated with the MOIS and
Makhir Javadov, whose extradition from Tehran the Azerbaijani
authorities are seeking on charges of plotting a coup (see "RFE/RL
Iran Report," 1 February 1999). A man identified as Pirkhoda (a.k.a.
Barkhuda Novrus Oglu Suri) was arrested for smuggling narcotics,
cigarettes, and petrol. Pirkhoda confessed to encouraging Azerbaijani
citizens to engage in criminal activities, the "Azerbaijan" newspaper
reported on 5 November. Pirkhoda also confessed to recruiting
Azerbaijani agents to distribute 2,500 leaflets with pictures of
Javadov. The Iranian embassy in Baku rejected these accusations. Then
an Iranian businessman in Baku, A. Moinzadeh, claimed that Pirkhoda
was kidnapped from Iran by Azerbaijani authorities.
In September, Samir Adygozalli of the Great Nations Party
claimed that the MOIS was working against him through Fikret
Husseinli, a member of the party's Supreme Council, according to
AzadInform. Adygozalli made similar claims in the spring (see "RFE/RL
Iran Report," 29 March 1999).
There also have been Iranian accusations of hostile
intelligence operations being launched from Azerbaijan. Former
Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati said on 28 October that Israel is
trying to establish bases in Azerbaijan and Turkey so it can lay
siege to Islamic states, according to IRNA. Such claims were rejected
by Israeli newspapers, such as the 1 November "Haaretz," and by
Israeli officials. Israeli Ambassador to Azerbaijan Arkadiy Mil-Man,
in an interview broadcast by ANS-TV on 3 November, said such claims
were "absurd" and stemmed from "the febrile imagination of some
people." (Bill Samii)

Tabriz-based Iranian-Azeri academic Mahmoud Ali Chehragani
(Johragani), who advocates Azeri national rights, said his
supporters were arrested and threatened with torture by Iran's
Ministry of Intelligence and Security. He went on to say, in a
December interview with RFE/RL's Azeri Service, that he wants to
compete in the February 2000 parliamentary election, but he is
certain that this will not be permitted.
The National Liberation Movement of Southern Azerbaijan has
made a great deal of the supposed persecution of Chehragani. In
mid-October, the NLMSA claimed that Chehragani was arrested by the
Tabriz Ministry of Intelligence and Security, but Chehragani himself
rejected this claim in an interview with the Turan news agency. He
did say, however, that his passport was confiscated, medical services
were denied to him, and he needed money for an operation. On 15
October a pro-Chehragani picket was held in front of the Iranian
embassy in Baku. In late-October the NLMSA said the Iranian mass
media is slandering Chehragani in advance of the parliamentary
The NLMSA is not the only promoter of Azeri rights in Iran.
The Council of South Azerbaijan Turks Freedom and Independence sent a
letter to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in
which it urged European countries to pressure Iran to observe the
rights of its ethnic Azeris. The letter said eight underground
organizations created the National Council with the aim of defending
Azeris' national rights and right of self-determination. According to
the letter, the National Council is pursuing eventual unification of
northern and southern Azerbaijan.
After RFE/RL's Azeri Service broadcast a report about this
letter, it was accused of trying to "sow discord among Iranian
Azeris" by the 29 November "Tehran Times." "Tehran Times" warned:
"The mischievous attempts of the radio may pay off in other
countries, not in Iran." (Bill Samii)

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

Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 12:42:11 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Let Us Welcome the Ex-Patriots


Let Us Welcome the Ex-Patriots

The Islamic Consultative Assembly (Majlis) was recently presented the motion,
signed by 20 MPs, for a general amnesty for Iranian's residing abroad. Should
the measure pass, all individuals who left the country because of one reason
or other upon the victory of the Islamic Revolution, as well as those
connected with anti-revolutionary groups, will be eligible for pardon. It
goes without saying that the proposed amnesty bill does not extend to
individuals who have committed terrorist acts against the state.

Many Iranians took up residence in foreign countries before or immediately
after the Islamic Revolution. Some of them left the country because of their
conduct prior to the revolution. Others, with very clean records, did not
wish to stay in the country because of personal reasons.

No matter how we look at this proposed bill, there are some inherent
advantages and certain negative aspects that must be taken into consideration.

Many of these expatriates have gained high positions in their countries of
residence but would like to live in their own country among their own fellow
citizens. Considering their knowledge, expertise and capital, their return
would definitely help build up the country's international prestige and will
boost the country's economy.

We should, however, be aware of the fact that a general amnesty should be
coupled with certain changes in the country, especially in the attitude of
our people. The most important change involves enhancing of our tolerance
level regarding these fellow Iranians. The government is surely in the
position to bring about the aforementioned change by disseminating the
necessary information through the mass media.

Mahmoud Kalantari, the director-general of the passport department has
recently remarked that those Iranians, convicted in, or deported from, the
country of their residence would be banned from leaving Iran once they have
arrived here. This statement seems to be in contradiction to the nature of
the above-mentioned bill, because all citizens have the right to leave their
country and have also the privilege to return to it. Furthermore, the present
extradition agreement between Iran and other countries enables those Iranians
convicted in foreign courts to serve their sentence in Iran.

At any rate, the enactment and enforcement of the proposed bill after its
passage would definitely entail a Herculean task. All out efforts should be
made to neutralize and eliminate red tape, personal attitudes and preferences
which may change the spirit of the proposed bill and turn it into a
disincentive for our expatriates' return.

We hope that all Iranians yearning to return home be repatriated and be
warmly received by their fellow citizens.

Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 12:43:52 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Countdown to Final Ballot: 67 Days


Countdown to Final Ballot: 67 Days

The registration of candidates for Iran's forthcoming Sixth Majlis elections
slated for February 18, 2000 began on December 11. A newspaper can be a
valuable tool and offers live and up-to-date commentaries on the electoral
campaign trail. Offering comprehensive coverage and giving meticulous detail
of every snippet of news from every camp and every candidate is out of our
reach and beyond the scope of our English daily. Such news commentaries, as
we are able to provide our readers, is an invaluable guide to our readers. We
have devoted a daily column to the issue where you will find interesting and
up-to-date news of every detail that we are able to provide our esteemed
readers, and hopefully omit as little as space will permit.

Considering the widespread interest of its readers IRAN NEWS has undertaken
to compile this column every day. You will be provided the latest and most
important news as it happens, where it happens. You will be provided with a
live commentary of daily events on the campaign trail that is being widely
contested throughout the country. We hope to obtain the satisfaction of our
patrons and will proceed in all earnest, by the will of God, to the best of
our professional capacity.

* Election Headquarters last night declared that by the second day of the
registration of candidates for the Sixth Majlis Elections some 722 candidates
had so far applied to run in the campaign.

* Chief editor of the Ardebil House of Labor said the Workers' Union would
not authorize access to its available facilities to the political factions,
while adding that it would act merely in favor of workers benefit.

* The deputy governor general of Gilan Province for political affairs and
head of Gilan Election Headquarters said that disturbing the election process
would compromise the government and call the legitimacy of authority into

* Seyed Mohammad-Reza Khatami, President Khatami's brother who is
secretary-general of the Islamic Iran Partnership Party (IIPP), told IRAN
NEWS: "As far as I know Hashemi Rafsanjani has not yet made his mind as to
whether he is running in the Sixth Majlis election campaign or not."

* During President Khatami 's speech on the Third Five-Year Development Plan
at the University of Science and Technology, the students were chanting:
"Political development cannot be achieved with Hashemi Rafsanjani"; "Freedom
of thought is impossible with Hashemi Rafsanjani"; "Nouri, the champion, must
be the future speaker of Majlis."

* Head of the Supervisory Board of Elections in Chaharmahal-Bakhtiyari
Province Hojjatoleslam Abdullah Hashemi said 1,200 poll officials would
oversee the election process in the province.

* According to latest reports, about 12 persons have declared their candidacy
in Semnan, eight persons in Kurdestan, 53 people in Khorassan, and 16 persons
are running for the forthcoming elections from Kermanshah.

* On the last count by close of day on December 11, some 19 people in East
Azarbaijan, five persons in Sistan and Baluchestan and 19 persons in Isfahan
have registered to be considered as candidates.

Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 12:45:00 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: KHATAMI: Iran-U.S. Wall of Mistrust Not a Mere Slogan

KHATAMI: Iran-U.S. Wall of Mistrust Not a Mere Slogan

* Iran Will Not Succumb to Domination

* President: Government Feels Responsible Toward Nation

* Khatami Recognizes Students' Right to Protest

* Iranians Feel No Hostility Toward he American People, Khatami


TEHRAN --- President Mohammad Khatami here yesterday said that the claim that
there is a wall of mistrust between Iran and the United States was not a

"When we say a high wall of mistrust exists between Iran and the United
states, it is not a mere slogan. It is the Iranian nation who feels that from
Aug. 19, 1953 to the 1979 victory of the Islamic Revolution, the United
States had dominated its fate," noted the President.

President Khatami who was addressing a student gathering at Elm-O-San'at
(Science and Industry) University, further pointed to the significance of the
student movement launched on Dec. 7, 1953 and said it opened a new chapter in
the political history of the Iranian people.

"Isn't the Iranian nation right to blame all the damage and humiliation it
has been subject to throughout those years on the incorrect U. S . policy?"
argued the President.

He said the Aug.-19 coup in Iran was in fact a prelude to a new phase in
which the U.S. domination over the fate of the Iranian people was stabilized,
adding that the event also marked the opening of the U.S. hegemony in the

"We have no hostility toward the American nation," stressed the President,
adding that even the U.S.-Iran issue is not the main point. Rather, he
stressed, "what is important is the philosophy and the outlook that says the
Iranian nation will never surrender to domination." "The Iranian nation
respects all nations in the world and believes that relations must be based
on mutual respect and shattering of the wall of mistrust," Khatami said.

He said that in addition to the available documents on the 1953 coup d'etat
in Iran, "recently the U.S. officials have made statements that are
interesting in certain respects."

He recalled the remark made this year by the U.S. President Bill Clinton that
the United States had mistreated Iran and Muslims and that Washington must
change its attitude, and noted: "This is an important confession, however, if
it is a political game, it would solve no problem."

The President stressed that the high wall of mistrust was founded between
Iran and the United States since Aug. 19, when the student movement emerged
as a twinkling star in the heart of the dark night.

The university shattered such an atmosphere, and the blood of the martyrs
shed on Dec. 7 same year, "awakened the sense of vigilance, pride and
resistance in our Americanized and despotic society," said the President.

He said the student movement continued up to the moment that it found a
supreme, popular and religious leader and its first blossom was opened on
Feb. 11, 1979 with the victory of the Islamic Revolution.

Elsewhere in his speech, President said that political development, just as
economic one, is in need of effort, patience and control of sentiments.

President who also heads the Supreme Cultural Revolution Council further
remarked that a progressive, just, free and independent society will be
realized in the light of a progressive, free and independent university.

in the light of a progressive, free and independent university.

However, stressed the President, the origin and course of freedom, justice
and progress are the people themselves, adding that such a task will not be
realized in the absence of people's presence in the scene.

Urging the students to develop a realistic attitude toward various issues, he
said if freedom is sought for the people, they should be enthusiastically
present in the scene and that every movement should be in conformity with the
people's beliefs.

The head of the Supreme Cultural Revolution Council stressed that people
cannot be expected to be seriously present in the scene while their beliefs
are ignored.

"If we are seeking independence, freedom and a civil society today, certainly
this will be realized with the presence of people and this presence will be
realized when people feel that their beliefs are respected," remarked the

He said the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran has recognized
essential needs of the people as well as their dignity and respect and
regards the government part of the people and responsible toward them.

"In domestic field, we are seeking a system based on the will and demand of
the people and are decisive to build a model society through campaign against
exploitation and dictatorship and by establishing a free government," Khatami

He told the students that the more active presence they show in the scene,
especially in the forthcoming parliamentary elections, the greater role they
will play in the trend of the development of the society.

However, the President stressed that freedom of though demands a calm
atmosphere, high degree of tolerance, coexistence and respect for others,
adding that students should provide such an atmosphere in the country.

He conveyed his gratitude to the students for being silent in the current
year. However, he said, this silence does not connote that there is no
protest against the insult against them this year.

President Khatami said certain people intended to misrepresent students and
universities as symbols of violence, clash and confrontation with Islamic and
revolutionary values and tried to provoke them.

"The `university dorm incident' is a stain of disgrace which will not be
easily cleaned from the society," regretted the President, adding that
following the insult and aggression that students were subject to, a hue was
raised in the city in the name of the students.

But, he added, the student community by exercising wisdom and effort,
separated itself from such a trend.

He further stressed that certain groups intended and are still attempting to
bring their factional tendencies to universities, cautioning the students to
be careful not to be misused.

The President then answered the questions posed by the students.

Expressing the hope that a satisfactory result will soon be gained in the
case of last year's serial murders in the country, he said that nothing was
hidden from the public in the case in an effort to prove that the government
is responsible before the nation.

He said that the discovery and removal of the tumor and handing it over to
the Judicial system resulted in reorganization of the Information Ministry.

Khatami stressed that there is only one government in the world which
discovered the corruption tumor within itself which was immediately removed
and made known to the public.

In reply to a question on the recent remarks of the Speaker of the Islamic
Consultative Assembly (Majlis) Hojjatoleslam Ali - Akbar Nateq - Nouri, about
the `Freedom Movement of Iran', the President said: "I do not approve of
abuse even against my sworn enemy." He further added: "If we allow ourselves
to insult the enemies, in fact we have permitted ourselves to be insulted."
The President stressed that comments and viewpoints should be welcomed,
adding that the important point is that issues be spoken out and freedoms be
observed within the framework of law.

Asked to comment on the Special Court for the Clergy (SCC), he said
discussion over institutions and organizations within the country is one
thing and legal debate is another, adding that there might be different views
over the nature of each court, institution or organization.

over the nature of each court, institution or organization.

The President said he too will issue notifications as the Chief Executive
when he feels something is against the Constitution, as it has happened
several times.

He said there might be some arrests that would not please certain groups, but
the achievement that the society has made in being witness to the holding of
open trials, freely and in the presence of lawyers, should be honored.

The President underlined the need for respect to the public opinion and said
dissatisfaction of public opinion will entail divergence in the society which
he said is dangerous.

On the imprisonment of a number of students after the dormitory unrest,
President Khatami said although he was personally impressed by the
imprisonment of even one single person, however, what was sought was
enforcement of law.

He said he was personally not satisfied with the trend of the follow up of
the case and said he expected a speedy and careful investigation into the

He said that the Judicial Organization of the Armed Forces was studying the
case, adding, "of course we have no retaliatory intention." Asked for
measures on fighting off accumulation of illegal wealth, the President said
to this end, economic mechanisms in the society should be organized as such
that no opportunity will be provided for this purpose.

He said poverty should be eliminated from the society, job opportunities
should be created and extravagance should be avoided, IRNA reported.

Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 12:46:16 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Turkish Police Detain 250 Protesting Scarf Ban in Universities

Turkish Police Detain 250 Protesting Scarf Ban in Universities

ANAKRA (AFP) - Turkish police detained more than 250 protesters across the
country yesterday as they disrupted nationwide demonstrations against a ban
on scarves in universities, Anatolia news agency reported.

In Istanbul, some 200 people were detained as hundreds gathered in
neighborhoods on the European and Asian sides of the city in an attempt to
form a giant human chain, dubbed as "the march for respect of faith, thought
and labor." The demonstrators failed to form the chain as riot police
dispersed them after repeated warnings, but without the traditional use of
truncheons, Anatolia said.

A helicopter was overflying the route of the march and armored vehicles were
deployed nearby.

In the eastern city of Erzurum, 25 veiled students who gathered at the local
university were taken into custody.

Eleven others were detained in the port city of Samsun on the Black Sea and
in Bursa, in the Nortwest.

Demonstrators dispersed peacefully in the capital Ankara, Izmir,
Kahramanmaras and Kayseri.

Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 12:50:15 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Seminar on `Iran Today' Held in Bosnia

Seminar on `Iran Today' Held in Bosnia


TEHRAN --- A seminar called `Iran Today' was held at the Muslim Youth Center
in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, in the aim of presenting the Islamic
Republic of Iran to Bosnian scholars.

Iranian Ambassador to Bosnia Homayoun Amir-Khalili briefed the audience on
the political, economic, social and cultural developments of the past 20
years. He was quoted by IRNA as saying that since the establishment of the
Islamic government in Iran in 1979, about 20 nationwide elections had been
held, including a referendum for the Constitution, presidential elections,
parliamentary elections and the first municipal elections earlier on this

He pointed out that from a universal adult suffrage of 33 million, 30 million
people took part in the 1997 presidential elections. The high turnouts in
elections in Iran, he said, is not to be seen even in the most democratic

He also mentioned that about one thousand publications -- dailies, weeklies
and monthlies -- were now being published in Iran, as compared to a mere
handful before the Islamic Revolution.

On women's participation in social affairs, he said 30 percent of university
professors were women and that women constituted half of the 1.5 million
university students. He further pointed out that Iran had 14 woman members of
Parliament, and 100 woman lawyers currently working in Iran.

Amir-Khalili further said there were 70 magazines, newsletters and newspapers
that focused on women's affairs, and that 90 percent of their personnel were
women. He went on to say that before the Islamic Revolution of 1979, more
than half of the Iranian population was illiterate, compared to merely 20
percent today, and that the country had 19 million students at the elementary
school, junior high school and high school level.

Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 12:51:52 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Rafsanjani Should Respond
Rafsanjani Should Respond

SOBH-E EMROOZ * This leftist daily quoted Hoda Saber, a nationalist-religious
figure as saying that former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani should be
held accountable for his performance during eight years in office, if he
wants to continue his presence in the political scene.

She added that Rafsanjani and his relatives became richer during this period
and there was no real development.

Leader Not Beyond Constitution

SOBH-E EMROOZ * Ali Afshar, member of the leftist Unity Consolidation Office
(UCO), said the legitimacy of Imam Khomeini (R.H.) was based on the fact that
he was the founder of the Islamic Revolution, while the legitimacy of
Ayatollah Khamenei is based on the Constitution.

Mixed Grade for Iran's Human Rights Record

IRAN * Elaheh Hicks, who prepared the annual report of Human Rights Watch on
Iran's human rights status, was quoted by this IRNA-affiliated daily as
saying that Iran has become like a hostage in the hands of opposing political
factions. She added that despite positive steps taken for the freedoms of
press and speech in Iran, several publishers and journalists have been sent
to prison and newspapers have been closed.

Majlis Speaker Won't Run for Parliament

SOBH-E EMROOZ * Dr. Hassan Ghafuri-Fard, secretary of the rightist Islamic
Association of Engineers, said other organizations which maintain similar
political views such as the Islamic Coalition Society will not form a
coalition with Jame-e Rowhaniyat-e Mobarez (JRM) in the February Majlis
election. He added that Majlis Speaker Ali Akbar Nateq-Nouri is unlikely to
stand up for re-election in the next parliamentary polls.

We Need Not to Worry About Nazari's Remarks

SOBH-E EMROOZ * Interior Ministry's Public Relations Director Jahanbakhsh
Khanjani, said the Supreme National Security Council and the Judicial
Organization of the Armed Forces would have paid more attention to the recent
remarks of the former police commander of Tehran, Farhad Nazari, if they
thought there was any truth to his remarks.

Nazari threatened Interior Ministry officials in the hardline weekly Jebh-e.
Meanwhile, the weekly added that the trial of Nazari would result in the
dismissal and trial of some of the ministry's officials.

Nateq-Nouri Invited to a Debate

PAYAM-E AZADI * This pro-Khatami daily reported that Ibrahim Yazdi, former
foreign minister after the Islamic Revolution, has invited Majlis Speaker
Nateq-Nouri, who called for the trial of the interim government, to a
televised debate in which Yazdi would defend the performance of the interim
administration during nine months in power.

He said the trial is welcomed only when other officials also are held
accountable regarding their performance.

Jail Term for Student

AKHBAR-E EQTESAD * This pro-Khatami daily reported that Mohammad-Reza
Heydari, a university student, has been sentenced to spend four years in
prison in relation to July's student demonstrations.

Following the closure of moderate daily Salaam by the Press Court, university
students held a rally in protest against this act. The Law Enforcement Forces
(LEF) later attacked Tehran University hostel on July 9. This provoked the
country's worst social unrest since the 1979 Islamic Revolution which lasted
for four days.

Ardebili, Sanei Told to Speak for Themselves

JAVAN * This rightist daily reported that a group of teachers at the Qom
Seminary has released a statement, entitled "Letter of Pains" in reaction to
the support of grand ayatollahs Musavi Ardebili and Yusof Sanei for Abdullah
Nouri, Khordad's managing director who has been sentenced to five years in
prison on charges that included religious dissent. Part of the statement
read: "It is very surprising that you support someone who did not respect his
mentor, Imam Khomeini (R.H.), and instead of condemning the enemies,
condemned the Islamic Republic.

You cannot be in minority and speak on behalf of majority."

Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 12:55:17 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Guidance Ministry Wants Press Amendment Bill Frozen, Mohajerani

Guidance Ministry Wants Press Amendment Bill Frozen, Mohajerani


TEHRAN -- Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ataollah Mohajerani said
here yesterday that his ministry would like the Parliament to freeze the
press amendment bill.

He told reporters at the site of Iranian Majlis that some Majlis deputies
were preparing a plan proposing that the press amendment bill be frozen. He
said 115 people have so far signed the plan.

In reply to a question on what the Guidance Ministry would do if the plan was
not approved, he said even in that case the ministry will voice its own ideas
in different forms, IRNA reported.

He said that he expected the Majlis to take the ministry's proposals into

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 12 Dec 1999 to 13 Dec 1999