Summary of Today's BroadcastRFE/RL Persian ServiceTuesday, August 27, 2002
- US withdraws from Tehran wrestling tournament
- Intelligence minister calls judiciary's intelligence gathering unit illegal
- Sanandaj MP complains about human rights violations
- Court revokes Gozaresh-e Ruz license, sentences publisher to jail
- Tabriz towel factory workers go on strike
- China asks US to drop sanctions against 9 missile technology exporters to Iran
- 4700 villagers complain of lack drinking water
- Asylum seeker paints murals for German town
- Daily Internet, science and cultural reports
Iran Refuses to Guarantee Safety of US Wrestling Team
* A US wrestling federation spokesman said it withdrew from world free-style championship in Tehran because Iran refused to guarantee the safety of American athletes. Iran has been officially silent about the US decision, but a day before the decision was announced, foreign ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said Iran would treat US wrestlers during the September 4-7 event just as US treated Iranian wrestlers in similar events. (Alireza Taheri)
Intelligence Minister Calls Judiciary's Intelligence Unit Illegal
* Intelligence minister Ali Yunesi said yesterday that only his ministry and the armed forces can legally maintain intelligence units. He also said the nationalist party Freedom Movement of Iran, ordered to dissolve by the judiciary on subversion charges, was no threat to the regime. In trials of dissidents and journalists, the judiciary has often cited secret evidence gathered by its own intelligence unit. In spite of a recent law that banned secret intelligence gathering by any organ other than the intelligence ministry and the armed forces, many organs, including the office of the president and the Guardians Council, continue to rely on their own intelligence gathering units. (Mehdi Khalaji)
Sanandaj MP Complains to Khatami about Human Rights Violations
In a letter citing violations of human rights, newspaper closures and discrimination against Sunnis, Sanandaj MP Bahaeddin Adab, a member of the Majles Kurdish faction, asked President Khatami what should be done when power becomes so corrupt that no amount of warning makes a difference.
* Qom-based reformist cleric Ahmad Qabel tells RFE/RL that the Sanandaj MP's letter is similar to that of Esfahan prayer leader Taheri and similar letters by MPs and journalists who warn against the consequences of the huge discrepancy between official actions and the people's expectations. (Mahmonir Rahimi)
Gozaresh-e Ruz Publisher Gets Jail, Loses License
* The press court jury found Mohammd Mahdavi-Khorrami, publisher of the banned newspaper Gozaresh-e Ruz, guilty of spreading lies and anti-regime propaganda. He was convicted to 28 months in jail and his publishing license was revoked. His lawyer Mohammad-Hossein Aghasi says the jury threw out 17 of 20 complaints against Mahdavi-Khorrami. He says he would appeal the verdict. (Fereydoun Zarnegar)
Interior Minister Confirms Arrests of Dissident Clerics in Qom
Interior minister Abdolvahab Mussavi Lari confirmed the arrest of several dissident clerics in Qom.
* In an interview with RFE/RL, Qom-based political activist Akbar Karami identifies one of the arrested clerics as Hasan Idrom, a writer for the reformist newspaper Aftab-e Yazd, who says he was beaten before being taken away from his home. Another arrested cleric is Valiollah Ahrari, a supporter of Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri. Karami says these arrests and other actions by the judiciary have created an atmosphere of fear in the city in which rogue gangs thrive. (Mehdi Khalaji)
Barq-e Lameh Towel Weaving Workers Go on Strike
* Workers of the Barq-e Lame towel factory in Tabriz went on strike yesterday. They had previously shut down the factory protesting non-payment of their wages. Tabriz-based Ensaf-Ali Hedayat tells RFE/RL that this time the workers demand the return of the factory to the Mostazefan foundation. Three years ago, the factory was partially turned over to the Barq-e Lame family from whom it had been confiscated after the revolution. Workers resist the new management's plan to cut 150 out of 260 jobs. (Fereydoun Zarnegar)
China Asks US to Drop Sanctions against 9 Exporters of Arms to Iran
* Chinese government asked the US to drop its economic sanctions against five companies accused by the US of being involved in the transfer of missile technology to Iran. (Jamshid Zand)
A Village of 4700 Without Drinking Water
More than 4700 residents of Pars Abad in Moghan complained that their water supply has become undrinkable and officials have made no effort to provide them with drinking water.
* Water systems expert of Tehran's Shahid Beheshti University Behruz Dehzad tells RFE/RL that excessive use of groundwater, faulty water purification and distribution equipment and industrial pollution can make water undrinkable. He says instead of building expensive dams and planning to transport water though canals over long distances, the government should develop plans that would increase subterranean supplies. (Mahmonir Rahimi)
Asylum Seeker Paints the Town
* Mehrdad Moqimi, an asylum seeker in Germany, whose application was denied after four years, tells RFE/RL that he painted four murals for the town square and participated in other projects, such as forest clean up, in order to be viewed as a useful individual. (Shahram Mirian, Cologne)
ARTS AND IDEAS
Daily Internet Report: SiliconIran.com
* Dedicated to Iranian-born high-tech executives, SiliconIran.com carries business news and offers users space to post their resumes. In a page on women, SiloconIran celebrates the accomplishment of Iranian-born women at top positions in major US companies. (Behnam Nateghi)
Daily medical advice (Dr. Mansur Moslehi, Los Angeles)
Daily Book Review
* RFE/RL's Tehran-based book critic Kamran Fani reviews a book of interviews with historian Abdolhossein Zarinkub, edited by Gholamhossein Mirzasaleh.
Daily Science Report
* As an alternative to Yucca Mountain, the planned site for 77,000 tons of nuclear waste, the engineers of Reno-based Tera Tech, Inc. suggest the moon. Also, University of Massachusetts scientists have, for the first time, discovered a way to grow colonies of mutated head lice as a first step to study resistance of the critters to anti-bug chemicals. (Fatemeh Aman, Washington)
Civil Society and Human Rights
* Washington-based lawyer and human rights activist Mehrangiz Kar says instead of physically removing its opponents, the regime now focuses on removing their voices through courts.
Song: Jahizieh (Dowry)
* RFE/RL's music critic Masud Khoshnam plays Jahizieh, a folk song performed by Parisa Badiee in Germany.
* Los Angeles-based DJ Afshin Gorgin spins the latest Persian pop tunes.
* US Vice President Cheney calls regime change in Iraq necessary to rid the world of an Iraq with nuclear weapons. (Homayoun Majd, Washington)
* As Saudi Arabia's Washington ambassador meets with President Bush in Texas, Saudi Arabia is concerned about deteriorating relations with the US. (Jamshid Chalangi, Cairo)
* Iraq accuses Qatar of colluding with the US. (Farideh Rahbar, Cairo)
* Georgian parliament asks President Shevardnadze to withdraw Georgia from the Russian commonwealth countries. (Mani Kasravi, Moscow)
* US State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher says reports from US embassy in Kabul and other international sources confirm widespread irregularities in Azerbaijan's constitutional reform referendum. (Homayoun Majd, Washington)
* Police defused a Basque ETA terrorists bomb in Tolosa, Spain. (Ahmad Ra'fat, Rome)
* Bangladesh government bans the new book by Taslima Nasrin, the feminist physician convicted to death by Islamic leaders for her 1993 book Shame. (Farideh Rahbar, Cairo)
* Sustained development conference in Johannesburg. (Fariba Mavedat, London)
* Italy begins implementing new immigration law. (Ahmad Ra'fat, Rome)
فدراسيون كشتي آمريكا يكشنبه شب اعلام كرد كه به دلايل امنيتي، كشتي گيران آمريكائي در سي و ششمين دوره مسابقات كشتي آزاد كه هشت روز ديگر در تهران آغاز مي شود، شركت نخواهند كرد. به گفته اين فدراسيون، حكومت ايران حاضر به تضمين امنيت كشتي گيران آمريكائي در تهران نشده بود. با كناره گيري تيم آمريكا، 43 تيم از گوشه وكنار جهان در مسابقات تهران شركت خواهند كرد. جمهوري اسلامي تاكنون در اين باره اظهارنظري نكرده است. حميدرضا آصفي دو روز پيش گفته بود تهران همانطوركه واشنگتن با كشتي گيران ايراني در آمريكا برخورد مي كند، با كشتي گيران آمريكائي در ايران برخورد خواهد كرد. آمريكا اميدوار بود كه با تحريم مسابقات تهران، فدراسيون كشتي را به تغيير محل اين مسابقات به جائي غير از ايران منتقل كند. يك سخنگوي فدراسيبون كشتي ديروز به راديوآزادي گفت خطري كشتي گيران آمريكائي را تهديد نمي كند. كشتي گيران آمريكائي كه در اردو مشغول تمرين بودند، ديروز مرخص شدند.