فريدون زرنگار، مصاحبه با عليرضا نوري زاده (لندن)
Summary of Today's BroadcastRFE/RL Persian ServiceThursday, September 12, 2002
- Khatami to Saudi Arabia
- Iran's Confused Iraq Policy
- Rejection of EU Preconditions
- Swiss prosecutors urged to interview Iranian witness against Menem
- Khatami to cover deficit without amending the budget
- Nationality of Iranian wives of Afghans
- Repatriation of Afghan refugees
- Electric car inventor asks for government support
- Finance minister opposes Eurobonds issue
Khatami to Discuss Iraq Policy in Saudi Arabia
President Mohammad Khatami is in Saudi Arabia on a private visit, with Iran's opposition to US military action against Saddam Hussein on the agenda of talks with Crown Prince Abdullah.
* London-based journalist Alireza Nurizadeh tells RFE/RL that Iran seems confused about Iraq. It encourages Tehran-based Iraqi Shiite opposition to talk to the US in order to have a share in a post-Saddam Iraq, and is propping up two Islamic extremist Kurdish groups in northern Iraq. At the same time, Iraqi foreign minister Nabi Sabri is invited to visit Iran later this week. Nurizadeh also says Saudi Arabia may be concerned that a US attack on Iraq is part of a larger plan to change the political configuration in the whole area. (Fereydoun Zarnegar)
Iran's Confused Iraq Policy
* Iran is convinced that the US attack on Iraq is inevitable, but is not capable of forming a unified policy on the issue, writes the Financial Times' reporter in Tehran Guy Dinmore. (Fariba Mavedat, London)
Iran Rejects EU's Conditions
Deputy foreign minister Ali Ahani said his government rejects the pre-conditions announced yesterday by the EU for November economic talks. EU asked Iran to acknowledge the existence of Israel, halt its support for extremist Palestinian groups, abandon the development of mass destruction weapons and respect human rights. (Siavash Ardalan)
* Tehran University international relations professor Davud Hermidas-Bavand tells RFE/RL that the EU stance is a result of domestic developments in Iran. The crackdown on reformists reversed the international good will that had resulted from the elections of Khatami and a reformist Majles in recent years. (Siavash Ardalan)
Swiss Judge Urged to Hear Former Iranian Agent on Menem's Bribery Charge
* Argentine federal prosecutor Eamon Mullen asked Swiss judges to take evidence from former Iranian intelligence ministry agent Abolqasem Mesbahi, who has defected to the west, about charges against former Argentine president Carlos Menem who is accused of having taken $10 million in pay-off from Iran through a Swiss bank to cover up Tehran's role in the 1994 bombing of the Buenos Aires Jewish center. (Golnaz Esfandiari)
Government to Cover Budget Deficit without Budget Amendment Bill
Government spokesman Abdullah Ramezanzadeh said the estimated 30,000 billion-rial (nearly $4 billion) budget deficit will be covered by controlling spending and without the need for submitting a budget amendment bill to the Majles.
* Tehran-based economist Habib Chini tells RFE/RL that tax collection fell behind expectations. Corporations continue to avoid paying taxes, even after last year's passage of the tax reform bill that lowered corporate tax rates to 30 percent from 50 percent. He says one solution is to use foreign currency reserves, but future lower oil prices may wipe that out. (Fereydoun Zarnegar)
Nationality of Iranian Wives of Afghans
Interior ministry officials say Iranian wives of Afghans should go with their husbands to Afghanistan or get a divorce. Iranian government refuses to issue ID's to the children of such marriages and without proper papers those children cannot enroll in schools.
* Northridge University sociology professor Nayereh Touhidi tells RFE/RL that this is another example of discrimination in Iran's laws. She says the Afghan husbands of Iranian women should be able to receive Iranian citizenship and their children need to be given Iranian ID's. (Shireen Famili)
Iran Asks UN to Speed Up Afghan Refugees Repatriation
* Deputy interior minister in charge of refugees Ahmad Hosseini said he has asked the UN High Commission on Refugees to speed up the repatriation of Afghan refugees. Since March 2002, some 255,000 Afghans have returned home, but the repatriation has slowed down due to the arrival of the cold season and housing shortage in Afghanistan that has made more than 900,000 Afghans homeless within their own country. (Golnaz Esfandiari)
Iranian Engineers Build Two Small Electric Car Models
Two electric car models were built by Iranian engineers. One model, named Aryana 792, is the smallest 4-passenger car in the world, according to its developer Jamshid Aryan-Asl, who said the car is fully computerized and charges its batteries automatically through a robotic arm. He asked government support for its mass production.
* Transportation Industry (San'at Haml-o-Naql) magazine editor Homayoun Zarqami tells RFE/RL that Iran's auto industry is the monopoly of two state-owned companies, Iran-Khodro and Saipa, neither of which has any incentive to invest in innovative projects, since the demand for their products is greater than their ability to supply. (Baktash Khamsehpour)
Finance Ministry Opposes Central Bank Plan to Issue Eurobonds
* Finance minister Tahmasb Mazaheri opposed the central bank's plan to issue a second round of Eurobonds in a letter to central bank governor Mohsen Nourbakhsh. He said the decision on how to raise $2 billion in foreign debt is within the jurisdiction of his ministry, not that of the central bank. Policy differences and personal animosity has created a rift within the government's three-man economic team, which also includes the head of the planning and budget organization. After successfully raising 650 million euros through the first round of Eurobond issue, central banks plans to float another 950 million Eurobonds. (Fereydoun Khavand, Paris)
Civil Society and Human Rights: Prosecution of Political Crimes
* Washington-based lawyer and human rights advocate Mehrangiz Kar discusses the rights of those accused of political crimes in Iranian courts.
RFE/RL Roundtable: Reformists New Campaign
* Radical leftist activist Mohammad-Reza Shalguni, pro-Khatami leftist activist Maliheh Mohammadi, both based in Berlin, and Tehran-based nationalist-religious activist Taqi Rahmani comment on Khatami government's new campaign to increase presidential powers. They also discuss national referendum proposed by Khatami's brother as a means to resolve the current political impasse. (Amir-Mosaddegh Katouzian)
ARTS AND IDEAS
Daily Internet Report
* Persian-English dictionaries on line and the web site of Sara and Dara, the China-manufactured dolls that were introduced in Iran as domestic competition for the popular Barbie and Ken dolls. (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 two books published in the US about the loss of civil liberties in the US after 9/11 attacks. "It's a Free Country: Personal Freedoms after September 11" edited by Danny Goldberg; and "Terrorism and the Constitution: Sacrificing Civil Liberties in the Name of National Security" by David Cole and James Dempsey.
Middle East Studies Conference in Germany
* Tehran University professor Qasem Azizi, who presented a paper on drought and underground waters in the Qazvin area summarizes his paper in an interview with RFE/RL. (Shahram Mirian, Cologne)
Weekly soccer news and commentary (Mehrdad Masudi, London)
Song: Hamisheh Tanha (Always Alone)
* RFE/RL's music critic Mahmud Khoshnam plays Hamish Tanha, performed by the 1970's popular singer Mahasti, with words by the late poet Leyli Kasra and music by the late composer Habibollah Badiee.
* Los Angeles DJ Afshin Gorgin spins the latest Persian pop tunes.
Los Angeles Report
* Interviews with professional and amateur Santur players; also, a few 20-year-old Iranians living in Los Angeles talk about their education and plans for future. (Fahimeh Barati)
* UNSG opposes any unilateral US action against Iraq in his speech at the UN General Assembly. President Bush tells the assembly about the need for military action against Iraq. (Nazi Azima, Prague; Homayoun Majd, Washington)
* Russian President Putin tells US President that US is not alone in its fight against terrorism. (Mani Kasravi, Moscow)
* Jordan fortifies its borders with Iraq in anticipation of a possible US attack. (Jamshid Chalangi, Cairo)
* African Union holds an anti-terrorism conference in Algeria. (Farideh Rahbar, Cairo)
* Russia prepares for attacking Chechen rebel camps within Georgia. (Mani Kasravi, Moscow)
* Sergio Viera de Mello takes over as the new UNHRC head. (Golnaz Esfandiari)
محمد خاتمي، رئيس جمهوري اسلامي در سفري كه غيررسمي و خصوصي قلمداد شد، به عربستان سعودي رفت، ولي حجت الاسلام محمدعلي ابطحي، معاون پارلماني او اعلام كرد كه خاتمي در آنجا با شاهزاده عبدالله، وليعهد اين كشور در باره اقدام نظامي احتمالي آمريكا عليه حكومت صدام حسين به مذاكره خواهد پرداخت. خاتمي طي يك سخنراني در تهران، اقدام نظامي عليه عراق را «بر خلاف مصالح آمريكا و جهان» توصيف كرد. دكتر عليرضا نوري زاده، روزنامه نگار كارشناس امورخاورميانه در لندن، در مصاحبه با راديوآزادي مي گويد دولت عربستان سعودي و حكومت ايران هردو موضعي مخالف اقدام نظامي آمريكا عليه حكومت عراق اتخاذ كرده اند ولي در داخل حاكميت ايران منظر مشخصي در رابطه با عراق وجود ندارد. وي مي افزايد جمهوري اسلامي، از يك سو شيعيان عراقي زيردست خود را به مذاكره با آمريكا تشويق مي كند و از سوي ديگر گروه هاي اسلامگراي افراطي كردستان عراق را تقويت مي كند و از سوي ديگر، وزير امورخارجه عراق را براي مذاكره به تهران فرامي خواند. مواضع چندگانه حكومت ايران حتي عراقي ها را گيج كرده است كه ايران چه رفتاري مي خواهد با آنها داشته باشد.