شهران طبري، مصاحبه با بيژن حكمت
Summary of Today's BroadcastRFE/RL Persian ServiceFriday, August 02, 2002
- Iranian expats call for US-Iran relations
- Reformists ask conservatives to define people's role
- Sunnis demand higher jobs in the Shiite government
- US Reaction to Iran-Russia nuclear cooperation
- Prostitution and the "chastity homes" proposal
- Leftist economist blames capitalism for spread of shantytowns
- Switzerland demands to see files on Menem
- Future of Iran: RFE/RL roundtable
- Daily reports on internet, books, science and music
Expatriate Activists Call for Normalization of US-Iran Relations
* In a statement issued in Europe, a politically diverse group of Iranian expatriates called for a normalization of Iran's relations with the US. Bijan Hekmat, one of the statement's signers, tells RFE/RL that supporters of better US-Iran relations in both countries should meet in order to boost the balance of power in their favor. (Shahran Tabari)
Reformists Question Conservatives' View on People's Role
* Habibollah Askaroladi, of the conservative Heyat-e Motalefeh-ye Eslami, found it worrisome that the pro-Khatami Mosharekat party's statement described Iran in total economic, social and moral devastation. He accused the reformists of servitude to the US. President Khatami's brother Mohammad Reza, Mosharekat's secretary general, demanded that the conservatives clarify their position about the role of people in the government. "Are people free to choose their government as they are free to choose their religion?" (Mehdi Khalaji)
Sunni MPs Complain to Supreme Leader about Discrimination
The Sunni MPs wrote to Supreme Leader to complain about continued job discrimination in Shiite Iran.
* Maryam Hosseinpur, a city council member in the predominantly Sunnite town of Tayebad, Khorasan, tells RFE/RL that Sunnis expected that after the election of Khatami to the presidency he would implement his meritocracy slogan but nepotism continues and hardly any qualified Sunnis get high level positions. She says every religion has a worship place in Tehran except for the Sunnis, who have not been permitted to build a mosque in the capital. (Mahmonir Rahimi)
US Reaction to Iran-Russia Nuclear Cooperation
* US Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham, in Moscow on a two-day visit, said one reason for his trip is to convince Russia to end its nuclear cooperation with the Islamic Republic. (Shahran Tabari)
Prostitution and the Chastity Home Proposal Fallout
* RFE/RL's Washington-based commentator Rasool Nafisy says war, unemployment, drug addiction and the runaway girls phenomenon contribute to the spread of prostitution in Iran. He says the proposed Chastity Homes (Khaneh-ye Efaf) shows that due attention is being paid to the problem, but he says that instead of houses to arrange Islamic short-term marriages with prostitutes the government should start building half-way houses to shelter homeless women. (Homayoun Majd, Washington)
* Qom-based Shiite theologian and Islamic law scholar Mohammad-Taqi Fazel-Meybodi tells RFE/RL that even though short-term marriages are legal in Islam, establishing so-called Chastity homes for arranging Islamic short-term marriages for prostitutes would not have a sound social and economic outcome. He warns that the Islamic short-term marriage may lead to exploitation of poor women. (Mahmonir Rahimi)
Leftist Economist Blames Industrial Capitalism for Spread of Shantytowns
* Tehran University professor and leftist economist Fariburz Raisdana, tells RFE/RL that shantytown dwelling is an injustice. He says the spread of shantytowns around big cities is an outcome of industrial capitalism. When land turns into a commodity, landowners gain social status and political power. Raisdana says in Iran, thanks to state intervention, shantytowns have a livelier link to downtowns. (Shireen Famili)
Switzerland Asks for Details on Menem
* Switzerland asked Argentine for details on the charge against former Argentine president Carlos Menem that he took $10 million from Iran to keep Iran's name out of the investigation of the 1994 Buenos Aires Jewish center bombing that killed 85. The requested information was needed in the decision to freeze Menem's accounts in Swiss banks. (Shahram Mirian, Cologne)
RFE/RL Roundtable: Future Outlook
Tehran University professor Sadeq Zibakalam, reformist Tehran-based journalist Mashallah Shamsolvaezin, editor of four banned newspapers, and Paris-based political analyst and former Majles MP Ahmad Salamatian, discuss Iran's immediate future in the light of rising public discontent and factional conflict within the regime.
* Mashallah Shamsolvaezin says reforms take time and the process includes crisis.
* Sadeq Zibakalam says there is light at the end of the tunnel. He predicts that in the 2004 parliamentary elections, the Guardians Council would block hard-line reformists and both the Majles and presidency would go to moderate conservatives who will form a new coalition with moderate reformists.
* Ahmad Salamatian says if conservatives do not respond to people's demands now, the regime will not last to see the next Majles elections. (Mehdi Khalaji)
ARTS AND IDEAS
Daily Internet Report
* Review of Persian web-based weekly magazine "cappuccinomag.com" produced by a group of Tehran students with chatty articles about social issues and the arts. (Behnam Nateghi, New York)
* Terrafly, a site created by High Performance Database Research Center at the School of Computer at Florida International University (www.terrafly.fiu.edu) takes viewers for a virtual flight over any address in the US. (Behnam Nateghi, New York)
* RFE/RL's music critic Mahmud Khoshnam discusses a song against death by stoning Islamic punishment by the 1970's team of pop singer Ramesh, lyricist Ardalan Sarfaraz and composer Esfandiar Monfaredzadeh.
Daily Book Review Show
* RFE/RL's Tehran-based book critic Kamran Fani reviews a Persian encyclopedia of books published in the world, edited by Abolhasan Najafi and Reza Seyyed Hosseini with Esmael Saadat and Rahmat Sami, published by Sorush, state-owned broadcasting monopoly's book publishing arm.
Review of Iran's Constitutional Movement
* Oxford University professor Homayoun Katouzian, author of several books on Iran's contemporary history, discusses the roots of the constitutional revolution in Iran.
Today in History. (Gholamreza Mirzasaleh)
Daily Medical Advice Show (Dr. Mansur Moslehi, Los Angeles)
Daily Science Report
* A joint study conducted by a Malaysian government-sponsored agency and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that some chemical components of the "tongkatali" plant show potent anti-cancer and anti-HIV activity. Malaysia last year patented this herbal medicine. (Fatemeh Aman, Washington)
Civil Society and Human Rights
* In this segment of her three-times a week series on RFE/RL, Washington-based human rights activist lawyer Mehrangiz Kar says the conviction of lawyers to jail, flogging and fines is an infringement by the judiciary on the bar association's legal territory.
* Los Angeles-based DJ Afshin Gorgin plays a selection of Persian pop tunes in this half-hour daily show.
* Isreali singer Kobi Hagen tells RFE/RL about her Isfahan Persian music ensemble and plays samples from the band's new CD. Also, soccer matches in Rome between Italian and Albanians. (Ahmad Ra'fat, Rome)
* Israeli forces occupy Nablus. (Jamshid Chalangi, Cairo)
* US does not take Iraq's invitation to UN weapons inspectors serious. (Homayoun Majd, Washington)
* Azerbaijan forces clash with Nardaran village residents opposed to the government. Azerbaijan opposition parties boycott the August 24 referendum initiated by president Aliyev. (Jamshid Zand)
* UN human rights commission chief writes to Texas protesting death sentences against two underage criminals. (Golnaz Esfandiari)
چند فعال سياسي برون مرزي با گرايش هاي مختلف، از جمله فرخ نگهدار، نيره توحيدي، مهدي خانبابا تهراني و بيژن حكمت، در بيانيه اي مذاكره مستقيم و برقراري روابط ديپلماتيك ميان ايران و آمريكا را خواستار شدند. بيژن حكمت، يكي از امضا كنندگان بيانيه، و از فعالان سياسي برونمرزي، در مصاحبه با راديو آزادي مي گويد: سياست خارجي جمهوري اسلامي در اختيار رهبر جمهوري اسلامي است ولي در هر دو كشور، افراد و تشكل هاي مخالف و يا خواستار عادي شدن روابط وجود دارند و بايد موافقان عادي شدن روابط در هر دو كشور با هم گفتگو كنند كه بتوانند توازن نيرو هارا به نفع موافقان برقرار روابط برگردانند.