Summary of Today's BroadcastRFE/RL Persian ServiceThursday, September 26, 2002
- British foreign minister to visit Iran
- Policies fail to combat "social ills"
- Street children care centers close
- Caspian legal regime
- Iran's lagging petrochemical industry
- Arabs court Iran
- Virtual university to go online
British Foreign Minister to Visit Iran
* In his upcoming visit to Tehran and other Middle Eastern capitals, British FM Jack Straw will discuss the threat from Iraq. Tehran officials are expected to affirm their position that a military move against Iraq should be sanctioned by the UN, even though some Iranian politicians have openly or implicitly welcomed the ouster of Saddam. Today a foreign ministry spokesman denied last night's NBC report that al Qaeda has set up a training camp within Iran. (Siavash Ardalan)
Failure of Policies Aimed at Cultural and Social "Ills"
* Police chief Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf acknowledged that disciplinary policies to enforce the Islamic dress code on women have backfired. He said social ills, such as drinking, drugs and favoring western cultural products, all come from foreign sources and are imported according to a plan. (Mehdi Khalaji)
Tehran Municipal Government Ends Care for Street Children
* The Tehran municipal government has closed centers that housed abandoned and runaway children collected from the streets. Naser Aqa-Alikhani, acting head of the children's centers, said all the kids would be let go and 156 employees would lose their jobs. The Tehran city government says caring for abandoned children is the duty of the Welfare (Behzisti) Organization, which will open 20 care centers for street children. Dr. Shiva Dowlatabadi, director of the society for protection of children (Anjoman-e Hemayat az Kudakan), an NGO, tells RFE/RL that the number of street children who are either abandoned by their drug addicted parents or have run away from abusive homes is officially estimated at 20,000. She says some of the street children do not have and cannot obtain ID cards. She says laws and regulations make it too hard for NGO's to establish homes to care for street children. (Mahmonir Rahimi)
The Caspian Legal Regime and Iran
* A day after Russia and Azerbaijan signed a treaty demarcating their Caspian borders, Turkmenistan's president told Russia's energy minister that the Caspian littoral states can sign a treaty to divide the Caspian resources without the participation of Iran. Russia has now signed separate agreements with Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. (Mani Kasravi, Moscow)
* The Russia-Azerbaijan Caspian agreement enables Russia to divide the Caspian based on shorelines of the littoral countries. Iran and Turkmenistan would thus receive lesser shares than the others, writes Eurasia View. (Fariba Mavedat, London)
Iran's Petrochemical Industry Lags
* Iran has the capacity to produce 14.5 million tons of petrochemicals annually, but produces around 12 million tons, 30 percent of which is exported and brings $800 million in foreign exchange. According to Iranian petrochemical industry executives, who spoke at a Middle East Economic Digest's conference in London on the Persian Gulf petrochemical industry, Iran's goal is to increase its capacity by 17 million by 2013. However, three phases of the development of petrochemical plants have been delayed for the past three years. Also, heavy competition from regional countries and difficulties in finding foreign investments are the main obstacles Iran faces in reaching that goal (Fereydoun Khavand, Paris)
Arab Countries Step Up Iran Contacts
* After the visit to Tehran by the Omani sultan's cultural advisor, it was announced that Kuwait's defense minister would visit Iran on Sunday. Tehran would also receive Iraqi FM on Sunday. (Farideh Rahbar, Cairo)
Virtual University for Online Teaching
* Mehdi Ahadpur, head of the healthcare cooperatives of the Tehran province, said the opening of the Tehran online university would help prevent the brain drain. RFE/RL's Paris-based education commentator Said Peyvandi examines the potential success of Iran's first online university.
RFE/RL Special: Anniversary of the BP Dismissal
* On the 151st anniversary of the dismissal of British Petroleum prior to the nationalization of the Iranian oil industry, RFE/RL continues its three-part series with Oxford University professor Homayoun Katouzian, author of several key books on the history of modern Iran.
ARTS AND IDEAS
International Photography Trade Fair Opens in Cologne
* More than 5000 manufacturers from 46 countries display their wares in the Cologne international photography trade fair. Masud Askari, from Iran's "Lens Ara" company, tells RFE/RL that his company sells photo lab chemicals, lenses and lab equipment, mostly to Arab customers. (Shahram Mirian, Cologne)
Daily Internet Report
* Www.pendar.net reports on arts and culture and provides a Persian newsgroup service with cultural content to thousands of users who post and respond to opinions on movies, theater, pop music and social life in Tehran. (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 "Jan-e Ariyat (Borrowed Life)" a collection of ethnographical studies by Abolqasem Anjavi Shirazi, edited by Mahin Sedaqatpisheh, published by Farzan-e Ruz.
Daily Science Report
* Scientists in Germany use laser to transfer DNA into a cell. (Fatemeh Aman, Washington)
Weekly soccer news and commentary (Mehrdad Masudi, London)
Song: Raz-e Sar Beh Mohr (Sealed Secret)
* RFE/RL's music critic plays Raz-e Sar Beh Mohr, based on Hafiz poetry, performed by 1970 popular singer Ahdieh.
* Los Angeles DJ Afshin Gorgin spins the latest Persian pop tunes.
Los Angeles Report
* Cosmologist Ebrahim-Viktori tells RFE/RL that he began writing about cosmology in English and Persian in 1986. He recently published his writings on cosmology in "Wonders of the World," in English and Persian. (Fahimeh Barati, Los Angeles)
* British and French interior ministers meet to discuss the closing of the Sangaat refugee camp in northern France. (Jean Khakzad, Paris)
* Three Palestinians die in an Israeli missile attack, but Hamas announced that Mohammad Zeyd, head of Hamas military branch, was not in the car attacked by Israeli helicopters. (Jamshid Chalangi, Cairo)
* 19 defense ministers of NATO countries end their two-day conference in Warsaw. (Shahram Mirian, Cologne)
* Critics of the administration's Iraq policy argue with supporters in the US Senate. (Homayoun Majd, Washington)
* US and Kuwait to stage their annual military maneuver next week on the Iraqi border. (Farideh Rahbar, Cairo)
* US confirmed the authenticity of audio recordings indicating Ukraine president's approval of the sale of sophisticated radar systems to Iraq. Ukraine FM denies the sale. (Homayoun Majd, Washington)
* Second round of Milosovic trial begins at The Hague. (Jean Khakzad, Paris)
* IMF draws a dark picture of the world economy in a report issued in advance of its general assembly. (Homayoun Majd, Washington)
* Albanian PM says his country has begun a large-scale operation to root out human smuggling. (Ahmad Ra'fat, Rome)
يك مقام بريتانيائي به خبرگزاري رويتر گفت هدف از سفر جك استراو، وزير امورخارجه انگلستان به ايران و جند كشور عربي، در ميان گذاشتن تهديد جدي است كه از ناحيه حكومت صدام حسين متوجه منطقه است. انتظار مي رود مقامات ايران در ديدار با وزيرامورخارجه انگليس تاكيد كنندكه حمله به عراق بايد با حمايت شوراي امنيت سازمان ملل باشد. قراراست ناجي صبري، وزيرامورخارجه عراق همين يكشنبه وارد تهران شود. مقامات جمهوري اسلامي بر موضع ضد آمريكائي خود به ويژه در مورد حمله به عراق پافشاري مي كنند و نگران اند كه با سقوط حكومت عراق قلمرو ايران در محاصره نيروهاي آمريكائي قرار گيرد. با اين حال بعضي از دولتمردان جمهوري اسلامي آشكارا يا تلويحي از سقوط حكومت صدام حسين استقبال مي كنند. سخنگوي وزارت امورخارجه ايران امروز قويا گزارش شبكه تلويزيوني ان بي سي آمريكا را رد كرد كه در آن گفته شده بود سازمان القاعده يك اردوگاه آموزشي را در ايران بر پا كرده است.