سياوش اردلان، مصاحبه با احمد بشيري (تهران)
Summary of Today's BroadcastRFE/RL Persian ServiceSunday, September 15, 2002
- Judiciary's own intelligence unit
- Iran-Turkey gas deal dispute
- Protests over the results of university entrance exam
- Judiciary summons Zarafshan's lawyer
- Embezzlement charges against Iran-Egypt bank officials
- Dubai conference on UAE-Iran trade
- Abbas Abdi's speech in London
- German TV documentary on Iraqi chemical attacks
- Urumieh lake's endangered ecology
- Esmail Purvali dies
Reformists Warn of Judiciary Intelligence Unit
MP Mohammad Naimipur, head of the Majles pro-Khatami Participation Front (Mosharekat) bloc, warned that the Judiciary has launched a new intelligence unit called "Hefazat-e Ettela'at (intelligence security)"
* Tehran-based lawyer and human rights activist Ahmad Bashiri tells RFE/RL that the unit has been active for the past couple of years, but its existence has only recently been publicly acknowledged. Last year, when writers and artists were being summoned to the basement of the Tehran police's public places control office for interrogation, it was said that the summons were issued by the judiciary's intelligence unit. Judiciary spokesman Hossein Mir-Mohammad-Sadeqi said the job of the new intelligence unit is to control the judiciary's personnel. Reformists believe, however, it is doing the job of the intelligence ministry, which is no longer in the hands of the conservatives. (Siavash Ardalan)
Iran to Seek Damages over Turkey's Cut-off of Gas Imports
* Oil minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh told the Green Pen (Qalam-e Sabz) website that if Turkey does not resume gas imports from Iran within the next three months, Iran would seek damages. He blamed Turkey's cut-off of Iran's gas imports on Turkey's economic problems rather than, as Turkey's energy minister has said, the quality of Iranian gas. (Golnaz Esfandiari)
Tehran Street Gathering Protests the Results of University Entrance Exam
* A group of protesters gathered in front of the building of Sazeman-e Sanjesh-e Amuzesh-e Keshvar (university entrance exam organization) yesterday to criticize the discrepancy between the initial and final results of the state-owned universities' entrance exam. Some of the applicants' names did not appear in the newspapers' lists of those who passed, but popped out on the official websites, and some applicants were admitted in fields they had not requested, an official of one of the websites tells RFE/RL. An applicant tells RFE/RL that even though he had been admitted to study in the field of city planning and development, the university refuses to enroll him. (Mahmonir Rahimi)
Court Summons the Lawyer of Political Activists
* Mohammad-Ali Jedari-Foroughi, a lawyer who represented many political activists and journalists over the past few years, was summoned to court yesterday to answer new, unspecified charges. He tells RFE/RL that two years ago he was held for 23 days in solitary prison over statements his client Ms. Farzaneh Behzadi made to VOA, criticizing the judiciary over handling of her case. He says his own criticism in the reformist daily Hayat-e Now (New Life) of the judiciary's handling of a complaint he himself had filed against press court judge Said Mortazavi was the basis for new charges Mortazavi filed against him last year. He says now that he is active in defending jailed lawyer Nasser Zarafshan, the judiciary has revived that complaint. He adds that lawyers Goodarz Eftekhar-Jahromi and Bahman Keshavarz have agreed to defend him. (Mahmonir Rahimi)
Egypt Arrests Five Iran-Egypt Bank Officials on Embezzlement Charges
* Egyptian police arrested five officials of the Cairo-based Iran-Egypt Bank on embezzlement charges. Iran owns 49 percent of the bank, which was established before the revolution to facilitate trade between the two countries. The officials are charged with having used bank funds for private investments. (Farideh Rahbar, Cairo)
Dubai Holds Conference on Trade with Iran
* A three-day conference in Dubai highlights trade opportunities with Iran. UAE-Iran trade volume reached nearly $4 billion last year, making the UAE Iran's largest trade partner. However, of that figure only a few hundred million dollars are Iran's exports to Dubai. Using a fleet of hundreds of large and small vessels, Dubai exports more then $3.5 billion of goods to Iran, legally and illegally. (Fereydoun Khavand, Paris)
Reformist Journalist Warns against the Regime's Fall
* In a speech in London, reformist journalist Abbas Abdi, a board member of the pro-Khatami party Jebheyeh-ye Mosharekat (Participation Front), and a former hostage taker, warned that if Khatami's bill to expand presidential powers and to modify the election oversight role of the Guardians Council does not pass, the Islamic Republic regime could collapse. He said conservatives couldn't run the country without the reformists. (Fariba Mavedat, London)
German TV Documentary about Iraq's Chemical Attack on Iran
* German TV showed a documentary last night featuring two victims of Iraq's chemical attacks on Halabcheh and Sardasht, two Kurdish towns in western Iran, during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war. (Shahram Mirian, Cologne)
Bridge Construction Threatens Urumieh Lake's Ecology
Anourshirvan Najafi, natural habitats deputy of Iran's environmental protection organization, said water has receded in Urumieh lake by 3 meters and has become heavier, bringing the lake's ecology to a near crisis situation.
* Tehran-based ecologist Behruz Dehzad tells RFE/RL that the construction of a 10-km bridge over the lake, which began nearly twenty years, ago as well as dams on the rivers that feed the lake are the main causes of the ecological crisis. (Mahmonir Rahimi)
Journalist Esmail Purvali dies
* Sadredin Elahi and Alireza Nurizadeh comment on the life and work of veteran journalist Esmail Purvali who died in Paris yesterday. (Amir-Mosaddegh Katouzian)
Civil Society and Human Rights
* Washington-based lawyer and human rights activist Mehrangiz Kar talks about the judiciary's handling of those accused of political crimes.
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's campaign to increase presidential powers. They also discuss a 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
* A new site featuring tens of Persian crossword puzzles goes online. Also, Tehran Avenue publishes reports on art exhibits and music concerts in Tehran and features a collection of photographs on heroine addicts in Tehran streets and reports on the spread of Ecstasy pills among Iranian youth. (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 "The Shadow of the Sun" by Ryszard Kapuscinski, translated by Roshan Vaziri, published by Nashr Farzan-e Ruz publishers.
Daily Science Report: Re-Wring Brain to Body
* Researchers at Arizona State University led by Dr. Andrew Schwartz have developed a feedback system that lets monkeys use brain signals to move a virtual ball within a computer-generated box, an advance that increases the chances that scientists will be able to give disabled people neural control of prosthetic limbs. The research also suggests that surgeons will eventually be able to rewire bodies to give people control over paralyzed body parts. Dr. Schwartz tells RFE/RL that in the next two or three years, they will try these experiments on humans, but it will take 7-10 years for the technique to be available to general public. Such a neural bypass could be used to give disabled people control over computer-driven prosthetic limbs. The technique could also be combined with electrical signals that stimulate muscle movement in order to let paralyzed people regain control of their own limbs, says Dr. Schwartz. (Fatemeh Aman, Washington)
Song: Jam-e Narenji (Orange Bowl)
* RFE/RL's music critic Mahmud Khoshnam plays the old song Jam-e Narenji performed by 1970's popular singer Sima Bina.
* Los Angeles DJ Afshin Gorgin spins the latest Persian pop tunes.
Interview: Farhad Ameli
* Paris-based sociologist Ehsan Naraqi interviews international law professor Farhad Ameli about human rights. (Jean Khakzad, Paris)
* 18 countries ask the US, China, India, Israel and Iran to ratify the nuclear non-proliferation treaty so it can be implemented. (Golnaz Esfandiari)
* Germany demands the extradition of the Ramzi bin al-Shibh, the high-ranking al-Qaeda member arrested in Pakistan. (Shahram Mirian, Cologne)
* Britain to publish a report on Iraq's weapons programs. (Shahran Tabari, London)
* Bahrain to allow opposition parties to field candidates in the upcoming elections. (Jamshid Chalangi, Cairo)
* Presidents of Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey oil pipeline to preside over the official start of the construction of the oil pipeline linking Baku to Ceyhan. (Mani Kasravi, Moscow)
* Israel and Lebanon dispute over using the river Vazani.
محمد نعيمي پور، رئيس فراكسيون مشاركت مجلس شوراي اسلامي هشدار داد واحد اميتي - اطلاعاتي جديدي تحت عنوان «حفاظت اطلاعات» در قوه قضاييه شروع به كار كرد. احمد بشيري، حقوقدان مدافع آزادي هاي مدني مقيم تهران به راديو آزادي مي گويد: اين موضوع از يكي دو سال پيش در ميان بود و حالا براي بيرون آوردن اذهان از ابهام اين توضيح به طور رسمي گفته شد. سال پيش، هنگام احضار نويسندگان و هنرمندان به اداره اماكن نيروي انتظامي، گفته مي شد كه اين احضارها توسط «حفاظت اطلاعات» قوه قضاييه است. حسين ميرمحمدصادقي، سحنگوي قوه قضاييه گفته بود وظيفه اصلي اين واحد نظارت بر پرسنل قوه قضاييه است. اصلاح طلبان گفتند اين واحد براي چنگ انداختن بر كارهاي وزارت اطلاعات و براي كنترل منتقدان راه اندازي شده است، زيرا وزارت اطلاعات در حال حاضر زير نظر دولت فعاليت مي كند و از كنترل عناصر وابسته به جناح محافظه كار خارج شده است.