همايون مجد، مصاحبه با بهمن آقائي ديبا (واشنگتن)
Summary of Today's BroadcastRFE/RL Persian ServiceWednesday, August 07, 2002
- Russia-Iran relations and the Caspian
- Russia's Gazprom to invest in Iran-India gas pipeline
- Majles criticizes Tehran mayor's ban on selling air rights
- Factions clash over FMI ban
- Khatami criticized FMI ban, blames unaccountable power centers
- Pourzand's wife Mehrangiz Kar writes to Ayatollah Montazeri
- Meat prices go up
- Eurobonds controversy
- RFE/RL's Roundtable: Future Outlook
- Iran press, Internet, book and arts reviews
Russia-Iran Relations and the Caspian Legal Regime
* By military maneuvers in the Caspian Sea, Russia is sending a message to Caspian littoral states, especially Iran, which rejects Russia's formula for dividing the Caspian resources, says Washington-based international law and Caspian expert Bahman Aghai-Diba. He tells RFE/RL that Russia's formula would net Iran only 13 percent of the Caspian. Also, he adds, the recent announcement of long-term Iran-Russia weapons deal cannot be taken too seriously since there seems to be a dispute within Russia over it. (Homayoun Majd, Washington)
Gazprom to Participate in Iran-India Gas Pipeline Project
* Russia's state-owned Gazprom expressed interest to participate in the $3.2 billion Iran-India gas pipeline project. (Mani Kasravi, Moscow)
Majles Investigates Mayor's Ban on High-Rise Building Permits
* Tehran mayor's decision to halt selling air rights in excess of zoning limits to high-rise developers in 17 congested neighborhoods was made in haste and without due diligence, nevertheless the practice could not go on and should not resume without careful planning, said the Majles investigative committee in its preliminary report on the real estate and housing crisis that followed the mayor's move. Selling air rights beyond zoning limits began under former mayor Gholamhossein Karbaschi as a means to make the capital city financially independent. For many years, the practice provided 80 percent of the city's budget. The Majles committee said the city government should look for other sources of income. (Siavash Ardalan)
Conservatives and Reformists Clash Over MPs Support for FMI
* The Majles conservative and reformist factions clashed in today's open session over the statement 151 MPs issued yesterday condemning the judiciary's ban on the nationalist Freedom Movement of Iran (FMI) and the reformist newspaper Nowruz and its publisher, Mohsen Mirdamadi, head of the Majles national security and foreign relations committee. Conservative MPs asked for public display of the names of the 151 who are said to have signed the statement. Reformist MP Davud Soleimani said reformists are proud to shout against tyranny and injustice. Majles speaker Mehdi Karrubi, who had said he would never sign such statements, said at least five reformist MPs complained to him personally that their names were added to the statement without their permission. Judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmud Shahrudi likened criticizing the courts' sentences against reformists and dissidents to treason against national unity and a service to US. The conservative daily Keyhan asked the courts to deal with "the enemy within." Reformist MP Mohsen Armin, board member of the leftist Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution Organization (MIRO), said if he had another day, he could raise the number of the signatures to 170. (Siavash Ardalan)
Khatami Condemns Ban on FMI, Blames "Unaccountable" Organs
* In his speech yesterday in Tehran President Khatami blamed what he called "unaccountable organs" for Iran's problems. He said centers of powers operate with no supervision and continue to benefit from government favors. He did not name any such organ, but he was referring to the government-owned businesses and religious-economic institutions. He criticized the court's ban on dissident nationalist party FMI and warned that eliminating legal opposition groups sends them underground. (Mehdi Khalaji)
Pourzand's Wife Mehrangiz Kar Writes to Ayatollah Montazeri
* Washington-based lawyer and human rights activist Mehrangiz Kar complained about the treatment in jail of her husband, veteran journalist Siamak Pourzand, in a letter to Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri, who lives under house arrest in Qom. In an interview with RFE/RL, Kar says she wrote to Montazari as a prisoner to another prisoner in order to commiserate. (Amir-Mosaddegh Katouzian)
Meat Prices Rise as Supply Slows
* Tehran province association of meat producers blamed the government's import policies for the recent 40 percent rise in the price of meat and said it is selling its product at 40 percent lower than the going price. The association supplies two-thirds of Tehran's red meat. Tabriz-based journalist Ensaf-Ali Hedayat says prices of chicken and meat went up by 100 percent and 40 percent respectively and for eight days Tabriz butchers did not offer any product in a silent protest against the rising wholesale prices. (Jamshid Zand)
* As the central bank prepares another round of Eurobond offering, critics in Tehran say if the fall of dollar against euro continues, repayment of the bonds would be too costly. Supporters say Iran's success in foreign money markets helps the country's international credit and prestige. (Fereydoun Khavand, Paris)
Iran Press Review (Alireza Taheri)
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
* Responding to a letter from a follower in Germany, Ayatollah Hosseinali Montazari, who is under house arrest in Qom since 1997, declines invitation to answer religious questions in an Islamic chat room on the Internet. Also, falehafez.com/hfz.htm, a web page that reads random selections of Hafiz poetry. (Behnam Nateghi, New York)
Daily Medical Advice (Dr. Mansur Moslehi, Los Angeles)
Daily Book Review
* RFE/RL's Tehran-based book critic Kamran Fani reviews selected love poems by William Blake, translated into Persian by Houshang Rahnama, published last week in Tehran by Hermes.
Review of Iran's Constitutional Movement
* On the 96th anniversary of the constitutional revolution, Oxford University professor Homayoun Katouzian, author of several books on Iran's contemporary history, discusses the ideology of democrats and their religious opponents who wanted to replace the monarchy with a religious government. (Amir-Mosaddegh Katouzian)
Today in History (Golamreza Mirzasaleh, Tehran)
Epidemics of CCHF in Iran:
* Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF), a life threatening viral disease endemic, has killed tens of Iranian children since 1998, when its outbreak was first reported. A wave of recent outbreaks of CCHF in Iran has raised concerns about this serious public health threat. Dr. Gigi Kwik from the Civil Defense Institute, Johns Hopkins University, tells RFE/RL that Iran's effective public health system should be able to avert the threat and winter's cold kills the ticks that transmit the disease to humans. (Fatemeh Aman, Washington)
Song: Sima Bina's Shakhatai
* RFE/RL's music critic Mahmud Khoshnam plays Shakatai by Sima Bina.
* Los Angeles-based DJ Afshin Gorgin plays a selection of Persian pop songs.
New York Magazine
"Logic of Birds" at the Lincoln Center
* Prominent international artist Shirin Neshat and New York-based singer/composer Sussan Deihim talk to RFE/RL about their multi-media performance piece, Logic of Birds, based on Attar's mystic Conference of the Birds performed last week at Lincoln Center as a part of the Summer Festival, which also included performances of Shiite religious Taziyeh plays. (Behnam Nateghi, New York)
* Russia to cooperate with OPEC on oil policy, says Russian energy minister in a meeting with OPEC general secretary. (Alireza Taheri)
* US has become the only provider of food aid to Afghanistan, as EU delays promised aid, says a US State Department official. (Jamshid Zand)
* US military chiefs approve an outline for a plan to topple Saddam Hussein. Kurdish leader Jalal Talebani says he opposes replacing one dictatorship in Iraq with anther and would not cooperate in the US plan for a regime change in Iraq.(Homayoun Majd, Washington)
* Arab countries' express concern about possible US attack on Iraq. (Farideh Rahbar, Cairo)
* Israel begins withdrawing forces from the West Bank towns. (Jamshid Chalangi, Cairo)
* US-Saudi relations. (Homayoun Majd, Washington)
* Twelve die in Kabul shootout. (Shireen Famili)
در مانور نظامي روسيه و قزاقستان در درياي خزر كه تا هشت روز ديگر ادامه خواهد يافت، 60 كشتي جنگي و ده هزار نيرو شركت دارند. وزارت امورخارجه تركمنستان در بيانيه اي گفت به علت بي طرفي در مانورهاي درياي خزر شركت نخواهد كرد و ناظري را نيز آنطور كه روسيه خواسته است به اين مانور ها نخواهد فرستاد. تركمستان گفت به جز روسيه، ساير كشورهاي درياي خزر نيروي درياي چنداني ندارند. دكتر بهمن آقائي ديبا، كارشناس حقوق بين الملل و متخصص حوزه درياي خزر، مقيم واشنگتن، در مصاحبه با راديو آزادي مي گويد: ايران در برابر فرمولي كه روسيه براي تقسيم درياي خزر پيشنهاد مي كند، مخالفت مي ورزد زيرا چيزي بيش از 13 درصد از دريا نصيب ايران نمي شود. وي مي افزايد اين مانور مثل هر مانور ديگري يك مخاطب دارد و مخاطب آن آمريكا و ناتو نيستند بلكه مخاطبان آن كشورهاي منطقه، به خصوص ايران، هستند. وي همچنين مي افزايد: از گفته ها مقامات آمريكا استنباط مي شود كه در روسيه اختلاف و دو دستگي بر سر همكاري تسليحاتي با ايران وجود دارد.