Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 16 Dec 1999 to 17 Dec 1999

From: Automatic digest processor


There are 16 messages totalling 944 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. Too Many Bills, Not Enough Time
2. Khatami Hopes for Rapid Solution to Murders of Dissidents
3. No Body's Competency Should Be Rejected Unjustifiably, Lari
4. SHAHROUDI: Judiciary Should Not Dealt With Press Offenses
5. Interior Ministry Will Try to Prevent Infractions by Supervisory Boards,
Lari
6. FM: Dialogue Among Civilizations in Line with Human Elevation
7. Domestic Investments Disturbing Decline
8. SHAH-MOHAMMADI: Fish Production Stands at 400,000 MT Yearly
9. She'r, Journal of Poetry
10. Ayatollah Khamenei criticizes "internal enemies"
11. Iran's supreme leader criticizes advocates of ties with U.S.
12. Only Believers in Revolution Qualified for Majlis
13. Film About Serial Killers Confessions Not to Be Aired
14. Parliament approves outlines of amnesty law
15. Parliament rejects law to protect foreign tourists
16. Basiji's killer sentenced to death

Date: Fri, 17 Dec 1999 02:16:57 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Too Many Bills, Not Enough Time

IRAN NEWS EDITORIAL DECEMBER 16, 1999

Too Many Bills, Not Enough Time

Yesterday, President Seyed Mohammad Khatami submitted the 359 trillion rials
general budget bill to the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Majlis). Mr.
Khatami's third annual budget bill is submitted to Majlis less than two
months after the presentation of the country's Third Economic Plan proposal.

This latest bill, for the fiscal year 1379 includes a 29.9 percent growth in
comparison to that for the year 1378. Perhaps it is still too early to
discuss and examine the strengths and weaknesses of the of the bill. However,
one may conclude that the anticipated revenues, specially at a time when oil
prices are rising, may not be too farfetched!

Still, one should take notice of the rise in the share of the growth of tax
revenues, which has peaked at 31 percent. A growth rate of 26.6, in
comparison to that for the year 1378, has been foreseen.

By the same token, the capital investment and infrastructural expenditures
are accorded only a 20 percent rise over the figures for last year.

This new allocation of current expenditures may help alleviate the lot of the
vulnerable strata of the society to some extent. Given the fact that the
government is determined to pursue the policy of market economy by scaling
down the payment of direct subsidies, one cannot help wondering why such a
big rise has been allowed in the current expenditures!

What adds to the complication is the fact that the latest bill was drafted
and presented to the Majlis in less than two months after the bill for the
Third Plan was given to the Parliament.

In another words, the country's Third Economic Plan has not yet been given
the go ahead by the Majlis, as the bill is still being scrutinized by the
Council of Guardians and there are heated debates regarding its positive and
negative aspects, when all of a sudden a new budget bill is dropped on the
lap of the Majlis representatives to ponder.

It seems as if top priority has been reserved for the simple examination and
approval of the country's Third Plan and the budget bill for the year 1379
without any consideration for an examination of its quality.

We have witnessed the same rush regarding the government's annual budget
bills during Majlis's deliberations of the First and Second Economic Plans.
This sort of work overload for the MPs, especially when the sixth Majlis
elections are rapidly closing in, would definitely overwhelm them to the
point of absolute inability to concentrate on the job at hand. This sort of
practice begs the question as to why a suitable time interval for the careful
deliberation of each of these highly significant and vital bills has not been
anticipated? The fate of the country's economy for the next year mainly, if
not wholly, depends upon the thorough examination of the proposed bills by
MPs in the Majlis. Naturally any perfunctory approach to this task may lead
to economic hardship of our citizens and calamity for the country.

Our economic connoisseurs have so far been hardly furnished with convincing
answers to their questions regarding the Third Plan proposal. How can we then
hope to end up with a suitable budget for the next year?

Let's hope the aforementioned shortcoming would have the least bearing on the
future of these two immensely important bills!

Date: Fri, 17 Dec 1999 02:20:54 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Khatami Hopes for Rapid Solution to Murders of Dissidents

Khatami Hopes for Rapid Solution to Murders of Dissidents

IRAN NEWS POLITICAL DESK

TEHRAN - President Seyed Mohammad Khatami referring to the lawsuit concerning
the chain-murders happened in Tehran last year, said the lawsuit is very
heavy and hoped that the result of investigations would be announced soon.

Speaking at a press conference after submitting the budget bill for the year
1379 to the Majlis, he said he is following up the case closely.

Khatami said the public would be informed about the results of the
investigations.

The first killings happened in December 1998, when secular opposition leader
Dariush Foruhar and his wife Parveneh were stabbed to death in their own home.

Their murders were followed by those of three writers who were prominent
campaigners for freedom of speech, Majid Sharif, Mohammad Mokhtari and Jafar
Puyandeh, in circumstances that remain unclear.

On the upcoming parliamentary elections slated for February 18, he said God
willing the elections would serve to reinforce the Islamic Republic and the
sovereignty of the Iranian nation.

On his views about the Special Court for the Clergy (SCC), President Khatami
said, "there appeared differences, but we should consider the positive
aspects and appreciate the achievements in this respect."

Date: Fri, 17 Dec 1999 02:24:19 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: No Body's Competency Should Be Rejected Unjustifiably, Lari

No Body's Competency Should Be Rejected Unjustifiably, Lari

IRAN NEWS POLITICAL DESK

TEHRAN -- Abdolvahed Musavi Lari, the interior minister, said here on Tuesday
that it is right of electorates to be present in the scene of elections and
nobody's competency should be rejected without any justification, IRNA
reported.

Talking to reporters, Lari said no one should be brought under question and
that people should attend scene of elections freely.

Asked whether managing director of banned daily `Khordad', Abdullah Nouri,
would be allowed to register his name for the Sixth Parliamentary Elections,
slated for February 18, 2000 Lari said that according to law those with such
sentences as apostasy, embezzlement, financial corruption and activity
against the Islamic Republic system would not be able to take part in
elections but on other cases "can do so".

Elsewhere in the interview, Lari said names for candidacy of the Sixth
Parliamentary Elections would be registered 20 times more than what is
required and the registration process would follow its normal trend.

He said that it has been customary to register the name of the hopefuls for
parliamentary elections about 15 or 16 times more than what was required.

He added that his ministry would be totally impartial during elections and
would act as an executive and monitoring body, trying to insure sound and
impartial organization of the elections.

The minister said the three "pillars" of people, electorates and monitoring,
and execution should be seen along with each other during elections.

Date: Fri, 17 Dec 1999 02:23:52 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: SHAHROUDI: Judiciary Should Not Dealt With Press Offenses

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
--
SHAHROUDI: Judiciary Should Not Dealt With Press Offenses

IRAN NEWS POLITICAL DESK

TEHRAN - Press offenses should be investigated by the Ministry of Culture and
Islamic Guidance, the monitoring board and other authorized officials, said
the Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi.

During a meeting with the press jury board here yesterday, Ayatollah
Shahroudi further said that the Judiciary would be an inappropriate venue for
dealing with press offenses, adding that the Judiciary system should not be
portrayed as opponent to the press.

Closure of a daily committing press offenses, cancelling license of a paper
and banning its publication are subjects which could be handled by a referee
outside the Judiciary, he added.

He said that he had repeatedly mentioned that press offenses should be dealt
with by authorities concerned before bringing the case to the Justice
Department and that encounter of the press with Judiciary should be avoided.

Date: Fri, 17 Dec 1999 02:27:26 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Interior Ministry Will Try to Prevent Infractions by Supervisory
Boards, Lari

Interior Ministry Will Try to Prevent Infractions by Supervisory Boards, Lari

* Rafsanjani Will Be Enlisted by All Factions, Bahonar

* Pressure Groups in Left Wing Can Endanger Valid Factions, Marashi

* Most of the Seats Will Be Won by Reformers, Faezeh Hashemi

BY M. SERJOOIE

TEHRAN -- Interior Minister Abdolvahed Musavi Lari in an interview with IRAN
NEWS, commenting on reports on recruitment of right-wing- affiliated
individuals by provincial election supervisory boards said, "We try to
prevent any rigging in the election process.

We want the boards to employ moderate and impartial figures who prefer the
national interests to other things."

"In our meetings with the Central Supervisory Board, we have asked the board
officials to observe the law," he said, adding "however, officials in some
provinces do not respect the law." In response to the remarks of Ayatollah
Ahmad Jannati that recruitment of members of the executive boards is a duty
of the Guardian Council, he said: "God willing no differences would emerge
between the Interior Ministry and the Guardian Council concerning supervision
over the race." "We have repeatedly called upon the officials to employ
impartial persons to work at the boards and discussed the issue with the
executive officials in the country," Lari said.

According to the law, employment of the executive boards' members is within
the obligations of the Guardian Council and representative of the Interior
Ministry in the constituencies.

Analysts regard Jannati's explicit remarks as an indication of a new crisis
and confrontation of the Guardian Council with the policies of the Ministry
of the Interior.

Jannati is the chairman of the Guardian Council.

In related news, Mohammad-Reza Bahonar, MP from Tehran, supported Ayatollah
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani's decision to run in the Sixth Majlis elections.

He told reporters yesterday: "I doubt if Hashemi Rafsanjani's name will be
included in only one list. Some factions have political fever now and claim
that they would not include Rafsanjani in their lists, but I believe that the
majority of factions would in the end conclude that they must enlist him."

Some factions in the left wing such as the Islamic Iran Partnership Front
(IIPF) had said that they would never issue a common list with other factions.

Bahonar who comes from the conservative right wing, believes that political
parties will surely change their present attitude.

As to the anti-Rafsanjani slogans chanted in the students gatherings over the
recent days, the MP said:

"A radical faction is functioning in the May 23 Front which believes to be
heir to that movement, but other factions in that wing do not act in the same
manner."

He urged radical groups in the May 23 Front to refrain from extremist moves
to achieve relative success now that they have just stepped into the field.

He said that in the end, these (left) wings would be persuaded to enlist
Rafsanjani among their candidates and merge with Majma-e Rowhaniyoun-e
Mobarez (MRM).

"I expect Rafsanjani to top other candidates in Tehran and become Majlis
Speaker, but should he fail to become the speaker it would appear as if he
has not entered the Majlis at all," Bahonar concluded.

Commenting on the negative reaction of students to Rafsanjani's candidacy,
Hussein Marashi, secretary-general of Executives of Construction Party (ECP),
said: "I think these are new pressure groups that are about to be borne and
should such an attitude prevail in the political scene, they could undermine
other valid factions."

He said the civil society movement will remain alive as long as its advocates
remain true to their goals. "The student movement is a part of the civil
society and should a person be deprived of being elected or to elect, the
process would harm the politics," he said.

"It is the natural right of each group to criticize a statesman, but nobody
is allowed to destroy his rival (by resorting to pressure).

I don't think such a move was initiated by the students but by some radical
figures and I urge all political groups that support the civil society to
stay away from such radical hotheads," said the MP adding that protecting the
system and keeping the climate of reforms open within the framework of
Constitution are among the major targets of Hashemi Rafsanjani.

Asked to comment on the recent meeting between Karbaschi and Hashemi
Rafsanjani, the MP said it was an ordinary meeting. "I deny that the meeting
was aimed to mend fences, as the two have no difference at all," said Marashi
adding that the radical figures in the right wing hope that the leftist
radicals will expel Rafsanjani from the field." Faezeh Hashemi, daughter of
Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, who won the second highest number of votes in
the previous parliamentary race, said that under the present tense situation
"I cannot forecast the votes of Mr. Hashemi in the race but I think his
personality would not be damaged if he fails to secure many votes." On the
students' reaction toward Rafsanjani's candidacy, she said the students are
easily prompted to react to the issues since they are not well aware of the
realities of the Revolution. Their attitudes vis-a-vis the personalities
proceed from their young age, she said, adding that those who know him well
would not judge so.

Faezeh Hashemi said her father had made efforts to solve the case of
Karbaschi but some narrow-minded people prevented the issue from being solved.

She said should her father enter the Majlis he would certainly become the
Speaker. Taking into consideration the hue and cry of the political factions
in the country, Hashemi's victory would contribute to the reinforcement of
the government and creation of balance in the Majlis, she believed.

On the stances taken by students who accused Hashemi of failure in political
development, she said she disapproved of the idea.

During his previous positions as speaker and president, she said, Ayatollah
Rafsanjani undertook infrastructural works in the cultural and political
areas.

Abdullah Nouri and Culture and Higher Education Minister Mostafa Moin were
among the ministers of Hashemi and the presence of about 100 reformist MPs in
the current Majlis is a result of Hashemi's policies.

In their rally, university students had claimed that political development
would not be realized if Hashemi enters the Parliament.

On the structure of next Parliament, she said most of the Parliament seats
would be won by reformists but they would also create difficulties for the
Parliament by their extremisms.

The hardliners and reformist moderates would be at loggerheads with each
other in the next Majlis, she predicted

Date: Fri, 17 Dec 1999 02:28:14 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: FM: Dialogue Among Civilizations in Line with Human Elevation

FM: Dialogue Among Civilizations in Line with Human Elevation

IRAN NEWS POLITICAL DESK

TEHRAN -- Kamal Kharrazi, the Iranian foreign minister, said here yesterday
that dialogue among various civilizations and cultures, initiated by
President Seyed Mohammad Khatami, will move in line with elevation of the
human being, IRNA reported.

He made the remark in a meeting with Archbishop Angelo Mottola, Vatican's new
ambassador to Tehran.

Kharrazi further stressed that Iran-Vatican cooperation was based on respect
for cultural and religious values.

Voicing his government's interests to expand ties with the Islamic Republic
of Iran, Archbishop Mottola expressed hope that mutual ties between the two
countries would further bolster during his term in office.

Vatican's policy is based on respect for cultures and dialogue among various
religions, he reiterated adding that Iran-Vatican cooperation would benefit
all nations.

During the meeting, Archbishop Mottola presented Kharrazi with a copy of his
credentials.

Date: Fri, 17 Dec 1999 02:36:17 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Domestic Investments Disturbing Decline

Domestic Investments Disturbing Decline

FATH ** Referring to the Ministry of Economy and Finance statistics on the
declining trend of investment by both the government and the private sector
within the period of 1973 to 1998 the daily said, "Why the officials are not
concerned about an apparently sharp fall in the rate of domestic investment
in recent years. Domestic investment, it must be noted, is the economic
engine for growth. However, it looks like that the current ongoing factional
disputes aimed at grabbing power in a political environment where are rules
no to abide by are to a great extent responsible for this unfortunate trend."

3rd Plan Falls Short

AKHBAR-E EQTESAD ** In its report on the Third Five-Year Economic Development
Plan (March 2000-March 2005) the dialy says, "Although, the plan offers
general policy and guidelines, but it doesn't possess a detailed, overall
strategy in line with the development of the country."

We Can Use Foreign Investment

SOBH-E EMROOZ ** In an interview with the daily, the head of the Central Bank
of Iran, Mohsen Nourbakhsh said, "The military and security apparatus
interference in the economic activities is harmful and therefore not
allowed." Also, Since there is great demand for capital in the country, we
have to use foreign investment along with local investment to meet the
demand."

Date: Fri, 17 Dec 1999 02:36:44 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: SHAH-MOHAMMADI: Fish Production Stands at 400,000 MT Yearly

SHAH-MOHAMMADI: Fish Production Stands at 400,000 MT Yearly

IRAN NEWS ECONOMIC DESK

TEHRAN -- The managing director of the Fisheries Company, Hamid-Reza
Shah-Mohammadi, said here Tuesday that the sector has had "a 100-percent
growth during the Second Five-Year Economic Development Plan (March
1995-March 2000)."

At the beginning of the plan, he said, the canned food capacity was about 120
million cans and the number of fish powder factories stood at 12 million,
adding that by the end of the plan the figures reached 230 million cans and
38 plants respectively.

Meanwhile, cold-storage units' capacity has increased from 23,000 metric tons
to 78,000 mt in the said period, he stated.

Moreover, Shah-Mohammadi reiterated that fish production is running about
400,000 mt annually compared to 160,000 mt at the beginning of the Second
Plan.

Elsewhere, he noted that 27 fish processing factories and six large fishing
boats were also re-configured to meet European quality standards.

Furthermore, the consumption of fresh fish is relatively low, said the
official, adding that regretfully up to 20 percent of the fisheries
production is wasted due to unsanitary preservation and poor supply methods.

According to IRNA, the Fisheries Organization is therefore planning to take
on steps to improve the supply of fish products to the market by modifying
transportation and storage facilities, he concluded.

Date: Fri, 17 Dec 1999 02:38:34 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: She'r, Journal of Poetry

She'r, Journal of Poetry


IRAN NEWS ART DESK

The 26th issue of SHE'R, a quarterly journal of contemporary poetry, recently
hot the news-stands.

Tastefully designed and prepared by a group of talented writers and
translators, SHE'R serves as a window to the lively literary activity that is
taking place on the local scene as well as in the international arena.

Published by the Art Bureau of the Islamic Propagation Organization, the
lates issue of SHE'R carries the following articles: On the Rites and
Traditions of Poetry, quoted from Qabus Nameh by Onsor-ol-Marali; Sacred
Manifestations of Water, by Dr. Homeyra Zomorrodi; Notes on a Poem by Hafiz,
Dr. Mohammad Hossein Mohammadi; An Introduction to Signs in Poetry, by Farzan
Sojudi; Interview with Keyvan Qadrkhah; On Nima Yushij's Views on Literature
and Literary Criticism, by Dr.

Mohammad Dehqani; Poetry and the World of Mehdi Akhavan Saless, by Ziaeddin
Torabi; Bitter Songs: Survey of Lorestan Elegies, by Ali Zivdar.

On the international level the journal carries the following articles:
Modernism in Arab Poetry, by Dr. Mohammad Hamud, translated by Musa Bidaj;
Even If I Am a Poet, Article on the Birth Centenary of Jorge Lusi Borges, by
Seyed Ahmad Nademi; The Poet's Altar: Article on the Birth Centenary of
Federico Garcia Lorca, by Ian Gibsen, translated by Farideh Hassanzadeh;
Review of Two Commentaries on the Poetry of Hafiz, by Bahador Baqeri.

As might be expected, the journal includes numerous poems by contemporary
Iranian as well as international poets, including Mohammad Javad Mohabbat,
Mohammad Baqer Kolahi Ahari, Yadollah Moftun Amini, Ziaeddin Torabi, Keyvan
Qadrkhah, Seyed Ziaeddin Shafi'ie, Abdolreza Faridzadeh, Hamid Reza
Shekarsari, Seyed Ahmad Nademi, Abdolhossein Farzad, et al.

From the European literature the following poem by John Donne (the original
English text as well as a Persian translation by Saeed Najjari Givi) is
included in the journal:

A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning

As virtuous men pass mildly away,

And whisper to their souls to go,

While some of their sad friends do say,

The breath goes now, and some say, no:

So let us melt, and make no noise,

No tear-floods, nor sigh -- tempests move,

`Twere profanation of our joys

To tell laity our love.

Moving of the earth brings harms and fears,

Men reckon what it did and meant,

But trepidation of the spheres,

Though greater far, is innocent,

Dull sublunary lovers' love

(Whose soul is sense) cannot admit

Absence, because it doth remove

Those things which elemented it.


But we by a love so much refined,

That ourselves know not what it is,

Inter-assured of the mind, Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss.

Our two souls therefore, which are one,

Though I must go, endure not yet

A breach, but an expansion,

Like gold to airy thinness beat.


If they be two, they are two so

As stiff twin compasses are two,

thy soul the fixed foot, makes no show

To move, but doth, if th' other do.


And though it in the center sit,

Yet when the other far doth roam,

It leans, and hearkens after it,

And grows erect, as that comes home.


Such wilt thou be to me, who must

Like th'other foot, obliquely run;

Thy firmness makes my circle just,

And makes me end, where I begun.


A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning

As virtuous men pass mildly away,

And whisper to their souls to go,

While some of their sad friends do say,

The breath goes now, and some say, no:

So let us melt, and make no noise,

No tear-floods, nor sigh -- tempests move,

`Twere profanation of our joys

To tell laity our love.


Moving of the earth brings harms and fears,

Men reckon what it did and meant,

But trepidation of the spheres,

Though greater far, is innocent,

Dull sublunary lovers' love

(Whose soul is sense) cannot admit

Absence, because it doth remove

Those things which elemented it.


But we by a love so much refined,

That ourselves know not what it is,

Inter-assured of the mind,

Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss.


Our two souls therefore, which are one,

Though I must go, endure not yet

A breach, but an expansion,

Like gold to airy thinness beat.


If they be two, they are two so

As stiff twin compasses are two,

thy soul the fixed foot, makes no show

To move, but doth, if th' other do.


And though it in the center sit,

Yet when the other far doth roam,

It leans, and hearkens after it,

And grows erect, as that comes home.


Such wilt thou be to me, who must

Like th'other foot, obliquely run;

Thy firmness makes my circle just,

And makes me end, where I begun.

Date: Fri, 17 Dec 1999 20:27:42 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Ayatollah Khamenei criticizes "internal enemies"

TEHRAN, Dec 17 (AFP) - Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
condemned Friday "internal enemies of the people and the Islamic
revolution," in an apparent reference to imprisoned pro-reform editor
Abdollah Nuri and a liberal opposition group.

"These naive enemies, who may or may not be religious, are going down the
wrong road as our external enemies and foreign radio stations wish,"
Khamenei said.

Speaking at the main weekly Muslim prayers here in front of the regime's
principal leaders, including reformist President Mohammad Khatami,
Khamenei criticized "those who rise up against the (the founder of the
Islamic regime Ayatollah Ruhollah) Khomeini and his heritage."

"Sometimes it's a duped religious man and sometimes those who are trying
to exploit the situation," Khamenei said without naming names.

"A revolution knows loss but also growth," he said, adding: "The enemies
want to destroy everything in Iran, and they call that reform.

"The internal enemies and especially some newspapers want to undermine our
national unity, the beliefs of the population and its hopes for the future.

"They don't know that they are serving the interests of our external
enemies and above all the different radios which are, all in all,
American." Nuri, a cleric who is one of the standard-bearers of Khatami's
reform movement and an irritant to religious conservatives, was convicted
November 27 of publishing anti-Islamic propaganda and committing offenses
against Khomeini and his successor, Khamenei.

The former vice president and editor of the now banned Khordad newspaper
is serving a five-year prison term.

During Nuri's trial, the prosecutors raised Khordad's publication of
articles on women's obligation to wear the veil and other political and
social issues.

>From his prison cell, a defiant Nuri has submitted his candidacy for the
February parliamentary elections.

If he is allowed to run, his victory could give moderate elements an edge
over their conservative rivals, who currently dominate the parliament.

His presence in the race could also provoke tension ahead of the high-risk
elections.

Nuri's imprisonment for anti-Islamic propaganda has triggered strong
reactions among Iranians who favor reform and especially among students.

Another apparent target of Khamenei's criticism, the unauthorized but
tolerated Iran Freedom Movement, a banned but tolerated liberal Islamist
opposition group, is also hoping to field candidates in the elections.

Date: Fri, 17 Dec 1999 20:27:57 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Iran's supreme leader criticizes advocates of ties with U.S.

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) Dec. 17 - Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
on Friday criticized those calling for better ties with the United
States, describing them as "ignorant."

Although he didn't name him outright, Khamenei was apparently referring
to jailed reformist Abdollah Nouri, who was sentenced last month to five
years in jail for religious dissent.

"A person, sometimes a cleric, but a deceived one standing against the
revolution he once supported, now says something that is the word of the
enemy, not his own," Khamenei said during a Friday prayer sermon at
Tehran University.

The charges against Nouri also included opposing the teachings of Iran's
revered revolutionary leader, the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and
advocating better ties with Iran's archenemies, the United States and
Israel.

"That man, with his corrupted pen, is trying to prove that the U.S. is
not the enemy of our nation and that we have to compromise," Khamenei
said before thousands chanted, "Death to America."

Nouri, a former interior minister and a major ally of reformist President
Mohammad Khatami, also had his paper, Khordad, closed as part of the
sentence.

Since his landslide election in 1997, Khatami has pushed for political
reform, calling for an easing of strict social codes and greater freedom
of speech. Khamenei, who leads the hard-liners, has used his absolute
powers to stall reforms.

Date: Fri, 17 Dec 1999 20:31:03 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Only Believers in Revolution Qualified for Majlis

Only Believers in Revolution Qualified for Majlis

Tehran Times
12/15/1999

TEHRAN Former Secretary of the Expediency Council Mohsen Rezaei said here
Monday that those who truly subscribe to the principles of the Islamic
Revolution and are fully committed to the constitution belong in the big
family of the Revolution, and as such qualify to run for the upcoming
Majlis elections.

Rezaei added a proper environment is needed so that all of the riends of
the revolution would be able to find their way to the Majlis. In that way,
he said, the Majlis would turn into a forum of members of the Revolution
family.

Rezaei added the majority of the people who would be elected would be
followers of Revolution, Imam Khomeini, and the constitution and that only
the pioneers of the Revolution would be able to get to the Majlis. He said
new political groupings, too, would perhaps be created with the Majlis all
of whom would share true commitment to the principles of the Islamic
Revolution and would be marchers on the path shown by Imam Khomeini.

He said they would all be also committed to the constitution. He said he
had resigned his post to run for Majlis deputy as an independent candidate.

Meanwhile, Majlis Speaker Ali Akbar Nateq Nouri told reporters on Tuesday
that he considered participation of Expediency Council Chairman Akbar
Hashemi Rafsanjani in the Sixth Majlis elections as positive.

" Nateq Nouri said that it is strongly probable that Rafsanjani would
enter the scene and take part in the elections.

As for difference between the Islamic Coalition Association (ICA) and
Jame'eh Rowhaniat-e Mobarez (JRM), Nateq Nouri said that JRM respects any
group's view but would not confirm any list of candidates the group may
offer.

Asked whether he would participate in the Sixth Majlis elections, slated
for February 18, Nateq Nouri said he had not made any decision to this end
yet.

Date: Fri, 17 Dec 1999 20:34:33 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Film About Serial Killers Confessions Not to Be Aired

Tehran Times City Desk
12/16/1999

TEHRAN-It has been advised that a film about the confessions of those
involved in the serial killings last year should not be broadcast on TV,
an informed source said yesterday.

Speaking to the TEHRAN TIMES, the source said a four-member special
committee has been formed on the order of President Seyed Mohammad Khatami
to decide whether it is advisable to air the film or not.
Khatami formed the committee on behalf of the Supreme National Security
Council (SNSC).

" After watching the film, the committee advised that the film should not
be broadcast on TV, but gave no specific reasons, " the source added.

The committee comprises Managing Editor of Persian daily Kar-o-Kargar Ali
Rabi'i, Managing Editor of weekly Arzesh-ha Mohammad Pour- nejadi, Islamic
Republic News Agency (IRNA) Managing Director Fereydoun Verdinejad and
Deputy Foreign Minister Mohsen Aminzadeh.

Those murdered late last year were secular politician Dariyoush Forouhar,
his wife Parvaneh, dissident writers Mohammad Mokhtari, Mohammad-Ja'far
Pouyandeh and Majid Sharif.

Date: Fri, 17 Dec 1999 20:31:41 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Parliament approves outlines of amnesty law

TEHRAN, Dec 15 (AFP) - Iranians living abroad, including opponents of the
current regime, will be able to return home under the terms of the Islamic
Republic's first ever general amnesty law which received initial approval
from parliament Wednesday.

The bill successfully passed its first reading, and parliament will now
proceed to discuss it in detail.

If it is adopted, it will cover all Iranians who have been outside the
country since the 1979 Islamic revolution, including "those linked with
counter-revolutionary groups," according to extracts published in the
press recently.

However, a general amnesty must also be approved by Iran's spiritual
leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the constitutional power to grant
pardons.

The legislation was drafted by some 20 members of the 270-seat parliament.
Nearly two million Iranians have left Iran over the past 20 years, with
most of them now resident in Europe or the United States. It is not known
how many of them are opponents of the Islamic regime.

Iranian leaders regularly appeal to citizens who are not wanted by the
courts to return home, but so far their calls have fallen largely on deaf
ears.

Date: Fri, 17 Dec 1999 20:32:36 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Parliament rejects law to protect foreign tourists

TEHRAN, Dec 15 (AFP) - The Iranian parliament Wednesday turned down new
legislation to protect foreign tourists drafted after a wave of
kidnappings of Western nationals threatened the country's fledgling
tourism sector.

Several deputies objected to the bill on the grounds that it was
unnecessary to have a special law, because the existing legislation "is
perfectly adequate."

The bill, proposed by some 70 of the 270 deputies, laid down tough
penalties for attacks on foreign tourists. Discussion of the bill started
Tuesday, but was suspended after 30 minutes.

In the most recent incident, four Portuguese journalists following a
Lisbon-Macau motor rally were kidnapped in the southeastern
Sistan-Baluchestan province at the end of September, and held for 22 days.

They were freed only after tough negotiations between the authorities and
the hostage-takers, who were said to be from a tribal community in the
south-east of the country involved in drug smuggling.

According to Iranian media reports, a group of 12 or 13 US researchers on
a scientific visit in September had to be escorted during their visit
after an express request from the US authorities.

Tourism is little developed in Iran, which boasts natural, cultural and
archaeological riches like the towns of Isfahan and Shiraz, and the ruins
of Persepolis.

Date: Fri, 17 Dec 1999 20:34:09 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Basiji's killer sentenced to death

TEHRAN, Dec 16 (AFP) - A Tehran court sentenced to death Thursday the
killer of one of Iran's Islamic militiamen, known as basij, only days
after his murder, state radio reported.

Morteza Amini-Mogadam was sentenced under Iran's "eye for an eye" law
after the family of Hadi Mohebi, 22, demanded his execution.

His principal accomplice, Hamed Nazemi, was sentenced to 15 years in jail
and 75 lashes, the radio said.

Mohebi was set upon at the weekend by eight men, who beat him and then
stabbed him in his father's shop in the southeastern district of
Iran-Mehr, press reports said Tuesday.

His attackers objected to his religious zeal, in particular a dispute with
local young men over the harassment of women, the reports added.

Mohebu was buried Monday at a ceremony attended by a few dozen people. The
ringleader of his attackers had been arrested, the press said. The Basij
were created on the orders of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini at the start of
the 1980-88 war with Iran to organize popular resistance to Iraqi troops
and drive them out of occupied Iranian cities.

They have since taken an active role in matters of security and number
about five million. They wear no uniform, but often sport a distinctive
green headband.

They recognise only the authority of Khomeini's successor as supreme
spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who is also the head of the
country's armed forces.

The club-wielding militiamen helped anti-riot police put down student
unrest which shook the country in July, in the wake of the closure of the
popular Salam daily.

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 16 Dec 1999 to 17 Dec 1999