Summary of Today's BroadcastRFE/RL Persian ServiceFriday, September 06, 2002
- Secretary Powell on Iran
- Iran-Afghanistan water agreement
- Deputy Secretary Richard Armitage on Iran
- Conservatives focus on the Majles
- Sydney Iranians remember 1987 prison killings
- Hajj and pilgrimage organization loses monopoly
- Politicization of the judiciary
- Pro-reform student movement
- RFE/RL's roundtable on relations with the US
Powell Said Iran Should Start Acting More Responsibly
* US Secretary of State Colin Powell said yesterday in an interview with VOA that Iran continues to provide a safe haven for al-Qaeda terrorists, though he was pleased at Iran's constructive role that in the Bonn and Tokyo conferences on Afghanistan. He added that the conservative-reformist debate in Iran is very fascinating to watch. Collin Powell said: "Iran has to make a choice: If it wishes to be a part of the world that's moving forward in the 21st century, it has to start acting in a more responsible way." (Golnaz Esfandiari)
Iran-Afghanistan Agreement on Water
The Sistan va Baluchestan water authority director said on his return from Afghanistan that the Karzai government agreed to allow the let water flow to Iran from Afghanistan's Kajaki dam. He said the new agreement would implement the provisions of the 1973 Iran-Afghanistan agreement, which the Taliban did not honor.
* Tehran-based expert Parviz Varjavand tells RFE/RL that implementation of the agreement would end Zabol's and other towns' drinking water shortage. But its most important impact would be ecological, since the resumption of water flow through the Hirmand would refill the Hamoun lake, which has been dry for the past three years. (Fereydoun Zarnegar)
Armitage: US Wants Improved Ties with Iran
* Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said the US wants to improve relations with Iran, but is waiting for Tehran to indicate interest. He added that is unlikely before the conservative-reformist conflict is resolved. "If there is forward movement, its going to have to come from Iran first," Armitage said at a US Peace Institute conference in Washington. (Homayoun Majd, Washington)
Conservatives Target to the Majles
* After eliminating reformist newspapers, jailing nationalists and student activists, the conservatives target the Majles, writes the Economist. (Fariba Mavedat, London)
Sydney Gathering Commemorates Regime's 1987 Mass Killing of Prisoners
* Iranian expats in Australia gathered in central Sydney yesterday to commemorate the 1987 mass killings of the young prisoners. The ceremony was linked via satellite to similar events in Germany and France, in which former prisoners told of their jail memories. Australia-based writer Ghlamreza Baqai, a former prisoner, called for the freedom of all political prisoners in Iran during a speech at the gathering. Tofiq Azimi, a former prisoner, tells RFE/RL that of 470 in his cellblock at Evin prison only 32 survived. He says one night in September 1987 more than 1000 prisoners were killed. Another former prisoner tells RFE/RL that she does not want to revenge her captors. (Jamshid Adili, Sydney)
Hajj & Pilgrimage Organization Clashes with Culture Ministry over Hajj Monopoly
The ministry of culture's tourism organization licensed 150 travel agencies to organize hajj pilgrimages and compete with each other on price, waiting time and services. The move has angered the conservative hajj and pilgrimage organization that was the sole operator of hajj tours for more than 350,000 Iranian pilgrims per year.
* Tehran-based journalist Masud Seifi Ala tells RFE/RL that pilgrims complained of the long wait time and quality of the services they received from the monopoly, which was set to receive more than 3000 billion rials annually at 8 million rials per pilgrim. He adds that the government's policy is to fight monopolies and promote competition. (Fereydoun Zarnegar)
Civil Society and Human Rights: Politicization of the Judiciary
* Washington-based lawyer and human rights activist Mehrangiz Kar says a political faction has installed lawyers in accord with itself at the judiciary.
Pro-Reform Islamic Students' Union
* Said Razavi Faqieh, political secretary of the central council of Daftar-e Tahkim-e Vahdat, the largest pro-government student organization, tells RFE/RL about the organizations future, as the central board members of its two competing factions meet in Tehran's Shahid Beheshti University. (Jean Khakzad, Paris)
RFE/RL Round Table: Negotiations with the US
* Frankfurt-based leftist activist Mehdi Khanbaba Tehrani, one of the political activists in exile who signed a statement last month urging the regime to open negotiations with the US, and Mehrdad Khonsari, head of a London-based Iranian opposition organization, who opposes negotiations between the US and the Tehran regime, discuss Iran-US relations with Tehran-based nationalist-religious journalist, Ahmad Zeydabadi. (Amir-Mosaddegh Katouzian)
ARTS AND IDEAS
* Safavid era scholars met in London this week for a conference on Iran and the world during the era, organized by London's Iran Heritage Foundation at the University of London. Iran Heritage Foundation executive director Farhad Hakimzadeh says organizing the conference took two years and it inspired more than 50 scholars to do new work on the Safavid era, which the conference will produce as a book. (Shahran Tabari, London)
Daily Internet Report
* Iran's heritage foundation offers tours of its museums on its graphic and animation-heavy website, www.iranmiras.org, in Persian and English. (Behnam Nateghi, New York)
Daily medical advice (Dr. Mansur Moslehi, Los Angeles)
Daily reports from Venice Film Festival (Ahmad Ra'fat, Rome)
Daily Book Review
* RFE/RL's Tehran-based book critic Kamran Fani reviews "Great Women in Modern Science," translated into Persian by Mahvash Safai.
Daily Science Report
* According to a study by Oxford University, over the past 30 years Britain's rural house-sparrow population has dropped by about 60 percent and no one knows exactly why. Also, Maryland game officials have poisoned a pond to get rid of land-crawling snakehead fish. (Fatemeh Aman, Washington)
Sassanid Coins in Swedish Lake
* Archaeologists intensified excavations in Sweden's Gold Island after they reached a treasure of ancient coins, including Sassanid conis. (Shahram Mirian, Cologne)
* RFE/RL's music critic plays Shab-Shekan by Los Angeles-based 1970's popular pop singer Dariush.
* Los Angeles DJ Afshin Gorgin spins the latest Persian pop tunes.
* Hamed Karzai escapes an assassination attempt in Kandahar, while 25 die in two car bomb attacks in central Kabul. (Shireen Famili)
* US has no intention of pulling out of Afghanistan, says the US President in reaction to yesterday's terrorist attacks in Kabul and Kandahar. (Homayoun Majd, Washington)
* US and British fighters attack Iraqi anti-air installations. (Jamshid Chalangi, Cairo)
* US State Department officials meet with Iraq opposition groups to discuss the post-Saddam government. (Shahran Tabari, London)
* German chancellor Schroder says Germany is against military attack on Saddam. (Shahram Mirian, Cologne)
* EU seeks to expand its strategic oil reserves in advance of possible US attack on Saddam. (Jean Khakzad, Paris)
* Former President Jimmy Carter opposes military action against Saddam. (Homayoun Majd, Washington)
* Militant, extremist Islam will lose, writes Farid Zakaria in Newsweek.
* Russia becomes world's number one oil producer. (Mani Kasravi, Moscow)
* Lebanon's bar association and several cabinet ministers protest the closing of the Lebanese MTV. (Farideh Rahbar, Cairo)
كالين پاول، وزير امورخارجه آمريكا، در مصاحبه با راديوصداي آمريكا، حكومت ايران را به پناه دادن به اعضاي القاعده متهم كرد اما گفت اگر ايران از پشتيباني از تروريسم و دستيابي به سلاح هاي نابودي انبوه فاصله گيرد، آمريكا از بهبود روابط با ايران استقبال مي كند. پاول گفت آمريكا شواهدي در دست دارد مبني بر اينكه القاعده نوعي پناهگاه در ايران يافته است اما اين تنها يك جزء از رفتار پيچيده حكومت ايران از زمان واقعه 11 سپتامبر تا امروز است كه به گفته وزير امورخارجه آمريكا بازتابي به شمار مي رود از نبرد قدرت ميان دو جناح حكومت ايران. وي گفت اگر حكومت ايران مايل است بخشي از جهاني باشد كه به سوي قرن بيست و يكم حركت مي كند، بايد مسئولانه تر اقدام كند.