ژان خاكزاد (پاريس)، مصاحبه با سخنگوي اتحاديه اروپا
Summary of Today's BroadcastRFE/RL Persian ServiceTuesday, June 18, 2002
- EU-Iran economic cooperation pact
- Tehran-Mafia ties
- Government order to shut down Internet gateways
- New corruption investigations
- Bill to end blood money dicrimination
- Water in Iran: shortage, pollution and mismanagement
- Labor law reform
- New revelations on 1953 coup
EU Authorizes Talks with Iran on Economic Cooperation Pact
* In their meeting in Luxemburg yesterday the EU foreign ministers authorized negotiations to begin in September between the European Commission and Tehran on an economic cooperation treaty. Conner Regan, an EU spokesperson, tells RFE/RL that human rights violations can still be a problem in economic cooperation pacts with countries like Pakistan, Algeria and Iran. (Jean Khakzad, Paris)
Tehran Judiciary Chief Visits Rome
* Abbas-Ali Alizadeh, chairman of the Tehran province justice administration, in Rome since Sunday on an official visit organized by the UN anti-drug program, asked Italy for help in the fight against drug trafficking and human smuggling and proposed signing a protocol of cooperation. Doubting the judiciary's independence, Italian officials refused. In its annual reports, the Italian parliament's anti-Mafia commission has pointed to ties between Italian organized crime families and crime organizations and some government institutions in Iran. (Ahmad Ra'fat, Rome)
Private ISP's Defy Telecom's Order to Shut Down Gateways
* In compliance with the High Council on Cultural Revolution's call for a government monopoly on Internet gateways, Mohammad Sadri, head of Iran telecom's data operations, gave four days to Internet companies to shut down their privately owned gateways. But Mostafa Mohammadi, head of the Iranian Internet service companies association, says Sadri and even Iran's state-owned telecom have no authority to shut down private Internet gateways since the Majles has voided the council's decision. He tells RFE/RL that despite Sadri's assertions, telecom officials and the minister of communications have paid no attention to private companies' suggestions and complaints. He adds that there are now about 900,000 Internet users in Iran, nearly half-a-million less than the number given by the telecom official, and government intervention would only decrease the pace of Internet growth. (Mina Baharmast)
Chief Inspector Discloses New Criminal Investigations
* Ebrahim Raisi, head of Iran's General Inspection Organization, said in a press conference today that new major economic corruption cases have been referred to the judiciary. He disclosed for the first time that the final report of an investigation on economic crimes and corruption at institutions under direct control of the Supreme Leader has been submitted to the Supreme Leader himself. He also said another case of huge profiteering from access to government loans and grants is under investigation. It is many times bigger than the case of the young businessman Shahram Jazayeri who was put on trial for paying off government officials and receiving billions in loans from state banks. The general inspection organization has also taken up book censorship under the guise of investigating the division in charge of book censorship at the ministry of culture, effectively adding one more layer to the numerous layers of book censorship operating in Iran. (Mehdi Khalaji)
Judiciary Proposes Bill to End Blood Money Discrimination
* A bill proposed by the judiciary would end discrimination against non-Muslims in setting wrongful death damage to a murder victim's heirs. The sex of the victim and the place where the murder takes place would still be factors in determining the blood money. Qom-based cleric Mohammad-Ali Ayazi, a member of the Qom seminaries teachers association says the Islamic Republic constitution is clear on the equality of all citizens, but civil law differentiates among Iranians in matters such as court testimony, inheritance, blood money, and Islamic punishment (qesas). He tells RFE/RL that there is also discrimination against women in matters of court testimony and inheritance. (Mehdi Khalaji)
Water in Iran: Shortage, Pollution and Mismanagement
In a special report on water in Iran, Jamshid Zand interviews a former agriculture minister and water experts in Germany and Iran.
* Former minister of agriculture Isa Kalantari says more efficient use of the current water resources would increase Iran's agricultural production by increasing the land under cultivation. He suggests transferring water management to the ministry of agriculture instead of ministry of energy, which is more focused on producing electricity.
* Tehran-based Hossein Hamidinia says mismanagement of water in Iran wastes the resources. There has been investment on dams and other resources, but not on management.
* Germany-based Masud Karimnia compares water management in Germany with Iran, concluding that even though Germany has more water than Iran, it does more to preserve and expand its resources and keep them from pollution.
* Germany-based Turaj Yavari says water management was an ancient Iranian art that is now forgotten.
* Tehran-based Hamid Ahmadinia says the proliferation of deep and semi-deep wells would leave no underground water for future generations.
* Tehran-based Parviz Kardovani says the quality of water in underground sources is declining.
* Tehran-based Mohammad-Reza Zarandkavi says most sewage is poured into rivers without any filtration, resulting in huge loss of marine life in Iran's rivers as well as the Caspian Sea.
Employers Apply for Khatami's Job Plan Loans
* More than 280,000 employers applied for the low interest loans offered as a job creation incentive by the Khatami government. Employers receive 30 million rials per every new employee as a five-year loan with 4 percent interest. A Tehran-based journalist says compared to the free market interest rate of 40 percent, everyone, including those who don't qualify, would be interested in receiving this loan, but Khatami's job plan would fail to boost the economy with real jobs since it is a bureaucratic solution to an economic problem. (Fereydoun Zarnegar)
Cabinet to Review the Labor Law
* In another effort to reduce unemployment, the Khatami cabinet took up a review of the labor law. RFE/RL's Paris-based economic commentator Fereydoun Khavand says that though it is meant to defend workers' interests, the labor law prevents investment and job creation, contributing to joblessness. Iran's 1989 labor law reflects socialist ideology but has lost its job creation capability. An ardent supporter of the labor law, Abolqasem Sarhadizadeh, general secretary of the Islamic Labor Party (Hezb-e Kar-e Eslami) and head of the Majles committee on labor and social security, now says the Majles is ready to consider proposals on labor law reform without prejudice.
* As the US President prepares to announce his new proposal for peace in the Middle East, another terrorist attack by a Palestinian suicide bomber on a bus in Jerusalem kills 19 and wound 50. (Jamshid Chalangi, Cairo; Homayoun Majd, Washington; and Ardavan Niknam, Prague)
* US criticizes Israel's security fence. (Homayoun Majd, Washington)
* The loya jirga approves Hamed Karzai's proposal on the makeup of the national assembly. (Razeq Mamnun, Kabul)
* The members of al-Qaeda arrested in Morocco say they planned to blow up a NATO submarine in the Mediterranean. (Farideh Rahbar, Cairo)
* Italian security forces say al-Qaeda terrorist cells in Italy have regrouped. (Ahmad Ra'fat, Rome)
*Thirtieth anniversary of the Watergate scandal (Homayoun Majd, Washington)
* Russian commonwealth countries stage a maneuver in Kazakhstan. (Mani Kasravi, Moscow)
* An English filmmaker alleges that Afghans allied with the US summarily executed Taliban and al Qaeda prisoners. (Homayoun Majd, Washington)
* Dutch ruling parties draft a tougher immigration bill. (Shahram Mirian, Cologne)
* Experts at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, drawing on formerly secret Soviet documents and interviews with survivors of a 1971 smallpox outbreak in Aralsk, Kazakhstan, has published a report charging the Soviets with instigating the outbreak as a field test for their weaponized smallpox. (Fatemeh Aman, Washington)
* London stops for World Cup match between Britain and Brazil. (Shahran Tabari, London)
ARTS AND IDEAS
RFE/RL's Daily Coverage of Soccer World Cup
* RFE/RL's soccer commentator, Mehrdad Masudi, reports from Seoul on today's World Cup games, and the jubilation of South Koreans at beating Italy. The South Korean president turned the soccer match into a political cry for the unity of the two Koreas. Rome correspondent Ahmad Ra'fat reports on the disappointment of soccer fans in Italy. The Italian opposition blamed the government for the loss and Italian minister of administration blamed the Ecuadorian referee.
Love Stories of the Shahnameh: Siavash va Sudabeh
* Sadredin Elahi continues his recitation of the story of Siavash va Sudabeh based on the epic Shahnameh.
Weekly Book Review Show
RFE/RL's Tehran-based book critic Kamran Fani discusses the following books published in Tehran the past week: Persian translations of F. Nietzsche's "The Twilight of the Idols," Joao Ribeiro's "Sergeant Getilio" and Peter Bowler's "Charles Darwin and His Heritage;" and Qajar Dictionary of Police and Military Terminology by Yahya Modarresi.
Oxford Conference on Mosaddeq and the 1953 Coup
At the final session of the Oxford University's Saint Anthony's College last Monday, retired British foreign service official Sam Falle, who was stationed in Iran at the time, and retired CIA agent John Waller, who took part in the coup operations in Iran, recounted, for the first time in public, their personal experiences and their recollection of the motives of the US and Britain to cooperate on the coup against Mosaddeq.
* Sam Falle tells RFE/RL that Britain should have offered Iran a 50-50 deal from the outset, but when it eventually did, Mosaddeq was uncooperative; and the British feared that without oil income, he would have paved the way for Soviet influence in Iran through the communist party the Tudeh.
* John Waller says the US was not interested in Iran's oil. Its involvement in the coup against Mosaddeq was only to prevent the Soviet influence in Iran, of which US had gathered evidence.
* Mosaddeq's grandson, activist lawyer Hedayat Matindaftari, says to portray the US motive in cold war terms is an attempt to justify the coup. Britain demanded a large reparation and did not want the nationalization of Iran's oil industry to become a role model for other oil countries.
* Oxford University professor Homayoun Katouzian says the coup could have been avoided only if the US had concluded that it could reach its goal of stopping the Soviet influence in Iran by supporting Mosaddeq's financially troubled government instead of trying to remove him.
Classic Persian Love Stories: Leyli va Majnun
* Sardredin Elahi begins recitation of the story of Leyli and Majnun based on Nezami Ganjavi.
From Kabul to Mazar-i-Sharif
* Filmmaker and RFE/RL reporter Ali Attar surveys the new Afghanistan for RFE/RL in a journey from Kabul to Mazar-i-Sharif.
وزيران امورخارجه كشورهاي عضو اتحاديه اروپا در نشست ماهانه خود در لوكزامبورگ به رغم وجود اختلاف نظر هاي موجود سرانجام به كميسيون اروپا اجازه دادند گفتگوهاي رسمي با جمهوري اسلامي را از ماه سپتامبر آينده بر سر پيمان همكاري هاي اقتصادي آغاز كند. آغاز گفتگوها به شرطي امكان پذير خواهد بود كه پارلمان اروپا تصميم شوراي وزيران امورخارجه را تصويب كند. كونار ريگان، سخنگوي رسمي اتحاديه اروپا در بروكسل، در مصاحبه با راديوآزادي مي گويد: وزراي امورخارجه اتحاديه اروپا توافق كردند گفتگوهائي ميان كميسيون اتحاديه اروپا و ايران آغاز شود تا مقدمات عقد يك پيمان اقتصادي فراهم گردد. وي مي افزايد موضوع رعايت حقوق بشر مي تواند مشكلي در عقد قرارداد همكاري هاي اقتصادي ميان اتحاديه اروپا با پاكستان، الجزاير يا ايران به وجود بياورد.