فريدون زرنگار، مصاحبه با علي ميرزاخاني، روزنامه نگار (تهران)
Summary of Today's BroadcastRFE/RL Persian ServiceMonday, October 21, 2002
- Privatization falls short of goals
- EU to discuss human rights with Tehran
- Bar association board meets with convicted lawyers
- Intelligence minister visits Syria
- "Irregular" prisons
- Bill to reform penal code on apostasy
- Mashhad police busts prostitute smuggling ring
- UNDP helps to preserve Iran's Asian panther
- Street children shelter closes
- 10 million live in absolute poverty
Privatization Process Barely Meets 50 Percent of Goal
A report quoted by President Khatami in his speech yesterday at the Majles projected this year's income from privatizing state-owned enterprises at less than 50 trillion rials, only half of the projected amount. The new organization set up to oversee privatizations, complained that the energy, agriculture crusade and oil ministries were the only government bodies that so far have cooperated with it.
* Tehran-based journalist Ali Mirzakhani tells RFE/RL that cabinet ministers resist privatization because they see state enterprises as financial and political tools through which they distribute favors and jobs. Money can be channeled out of state-run enterprises through the satellite private corporations set up by associates and relatives of those who run them. Unlike government departments, state-owned enterprises are not bound by rigid budgetary constraints and accounting oversight. (Fereydoun Zarnegar)
EU to Begin Human Rights Talks with Tehran
* EU representatives will resume their human rights talk with Iran today or tomorrow. Respect for human rights is one of four conditions set by the EU for signing an economic and trade cooperation. The other three include recognizing Israel, ending support for extremist Palestinian organizations, and ending development of mass destruction weapons. (Jean Khakzad, Paris)
Bar Association Board Meets with Convicted Lawyers
* The board of directors of the bar association met today with the six lawyers convicted of jail terms and suspension of their law licenses, for the first time since their conviction. Mohammad Seyfzadeh, one of the six, tells RFE/RL that the bar board agreed to take up the matter with the judiciary, the president and the Majles complaints commission, which found the judiciary's persecution of jailed lawyer Nasser Zarafshan and six others who represented political and press defendants in recent trials unlawful. He adds that by law only the bar association has jurisdiction over law licenses and judiciary's sentences. (Golnaz Esfandiari)
Intelligence Minister Meets Syria's President and Palestinian Leaders
* In separate meetings in Damascus, intelligence minister Ali Yunesi met with Syria's president Bashar Assad and leaders of the Palestinian extremist organizations Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. Yunesi said Iran opposes formation of an independent Kurdish state in northern Iraq. (Jamshid Chalangi, Cairo)
Factions Accuse Each Other of Dictatorship
* The conservatives charge that President Khatami's bill to expand presidential powers would lead to the dictatorship of the president and the suspension of the constitution, but Khatami said the placing of the armed forces, police, judiciary and broadcasting under the control by the Supreme Leader's office is more likely to lead to dictatorship. (Mehdi Khalaji)
MP Reports on Irregular Detention Centers
In an interview with the government's students news agency ISNA, Ali-Akbar Musavi Kho'ini-ha, a member of the Majles prisons committee, said he visited several detention centers run by the armed forces, revolutionary guards, police, intelligence organs and the judiciary. He said some of these have either closed or transferred to the prisons organizations, which oversees Iran's "legal" prisons.
* The director of Tehran's society to defend political prisoners Hasan Zarezadeh tells RFE/RL that Musavi Kho'ini-ha did not mention the notorious detention centers of the defense ministry and the security intelligence organization of the police - the same place in the basement of the police public places regulation division on Seoul street where many journalists, artists and writers were summoned for questioning last year. He says he, Mohammad Khordadian and Mostafa Piran were among those held there. In addition to political and press detainees, the Seoul street detention center is also used for keeping those arrested for vices, including street women. The judiciary's Tehran airport branch is in charge of the Seoul street detention center. (Siavash Ardalan)
Majles to Review Bill to Reform Penal Law on Apostasy
* The Majles began preliminary discussions on a bill to reform the penal law on the punishment of apostasy, which is punishable by death without requiring a court order. (Mehdi Khalaji)
Mashhad Police Arrests Prostitute Smuggling Gang
* The Mashhad judiciary announced that four members of a gang of prostitute smuggling were arrested and would soon go trial. The four, all foreigners, whose nationalities were kept secret, are accused of taking 12-20 year old girls to Pakistan on their way to be sold off to prostitution rings in the Persian Gulf Arab countries. Mashhad-based journalist Mohammad-Sadeq Javadi-Hesar tells RFE/RL that the judiciary plans to make more such arrests public. (Mahmonir Rahimi)
UNDP Grands $725,000 to Preservation of Persian Panther
* Head of the Shahrud environmental protection department Ali Mirzai said UNDP gave Iran a $725,000 grant for protection of the Persian panther, an endangered species. Tehran University environment protection expert tells RFE/RL that recently rare examples of the species, which was thought extinct, has been sighted around the edges of Iran's great central desert. (Golnaz Esfandiari)
Another Street Children Shelter Closes
* Hamid Safari, head of the Arman-e Sabz (Green Ideal) charity, tells RFE/RL that its shelter for street children ceased operation today, the third such shelter to close in Tehran. Deputy mayor for social affairs Mohammad-Ali Zam said last month that the city has neither funds nor jurisdiction to help the street children, who are by law a charge of the welfare organization (Sazeman Behzisti). (Mahmonir Rahimi)
Civil Society and Human Rights: Religious Laws and Human Rights
* Human rights advocate and Virginia University guest lecturer Mehrangiz Kar discusses the conflict between religious laws and human rights.
10 Million Live in Absolute Poverty
* Majid Yarmand, director of the social security department at the management and planning organization (formerly planning and budget organization), said 15 percent of Iranians live in absolute poverty, which means 10 million earn less than 62 cents a day in cities and less than 32 cents a day in villages. (Fereydoun Khavand, Paris)
ARTS AND IDEAS
Daily Internet Report
* Silicon-Valley game producer Electronic Arts said yesterday that it would delay the launch of its eagerly anticipated SIM4 in order to focus the consumers attention on the $300 million launch of its popular SIMS game on the Internet, in which players control the lives of the members of the families they create. To succeed, SIMS on line would need 250,000 subscribers paying $10 per month. (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 three runners up in the Mehregan literary prize review of 186 novels published last year in Iran.
Daily Science Report
* German astronomers find indications that prove the existence of a black hole in the center of the Milky Way galaxy. (Fatemeh Aman, Washington)
Song: Sanam (Beloved)
* RFE/RL's Frankfurt-based music critic Mahmud Khoshnam plays Sanam, written by the 1920s songwriter Aref Qazvini, performed by Alireza Eftekhari with music by Parviz Meshkatian.
* Los Angeles DJ Afshin Gorgin plays the latest Persian pop tunes.
Dastan Ensemble Tours Europe with Parisa
* Parisa, Tehran-based traditional Persian music singer, touring Europe with the international Dastan ensemble, tells RFE/RL about the concert's song selection and her cooperation with the ensemble. (Shahram Mirian, Cologne)
* U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton discusses the security threat from Iraq, Iran and North Korea with foreign minister Igor Ivanov in Moscow. (Mani Kasravi, Moscow)
* EU leaders welcome Ireland's vote in favor of expansion of the EU. (Shahran Tabari, London)
* US offers new language in a draft resolution against Iraq to the UN Security Council.
* Foreign correspondents in Baghdad can only use Hotel Al-Rashid to make their control easier for the Iraqi government, writes London's Saudi-financed Arabic daily Ash-Sharq-ul-Awsat. (Farideh Rahbar, Cairo)
* Israeli forces kill two Palestinians in the West Bank. (Jamshid Chalangi, Cairo)
* French President Chirac ends his four-country Middle East tour. (Jean Khakzad, Paris)
* Three British Muslims tell an Egyptian security court that tries them on conspiracy against state that they were tortured in jail. (Shahran Tabari, London)
* Washington area police arrest two suspects in the sniper case. (Homayoun Majd, Washington)
* On his 75th birthday, German writer Gunter Grass attends the opening of a cultural center in Leubeck named after him. (Shahram Mirian, Cologne)
* In London's Guardian, Timothy Garton Ash warns against sacrificing freedoms in the name of fighting terrorism. (Fariba Mavedat, London)
* Saudi Arabia agreed to allow the visit of a special representative from the UN human rights commission. (Farideh Rahbar, Cairo)
محمد خاتمي، رئيس جمهوري اسلامي، از عدم پيشرفت سريع روند خصوصي سازي انتقاد كرد. در گزارش ارائه شده به رئيس جمهوري پيش بيني شد كه درآمد حاصل از فروش شركت هاي دولتي تا پايان سال جاري به 5 هزار ميليارد ريال نخواهد رسيد كه از نصف رقم پيش بيني شده در قانون بودجه كمتر است. تنها سه وزارتخانه نفت، نيرو و جهادكشاورزي براي واگذاري شركتهاي تحت پوشش خود اقداماتي انجام داده اند ولي ساير وزارتخانه ها هنوز به سازمان خصوصي سازي وكالت نداده اند. علي ميرزاخاني، روزنامه نگار در تهران، در مصاحبه با راديوآزادي مي گويد: شركت هاي دولتي ابزار مالي، سياسي و اجتماعي وزرائي هستند كه به نمايندگي از سوي جناح هاي سياسي و حاكميت در هيات دولت عضويت دارند. وي مي افزايد: برخلاف بودجه عمومي كه حساب و كتاب دارد، بودجه شركت هاي دولتي در قيدوبند حسابرسي نيست. وي مي افزايد: منافع مالي و منافع سياسي مانع از موافقت وزرا با خصوصي سازي شركتها و كارخانجات وابسته به دولت مي شود. علاوه بر اين، شركتهاي دولتي پشتوانه اجتماعي جناح هاي سياسي هستند و نيروها و اطرافيان آنها را استخدام مي كنند و به آنها حقوق مي پردازند و به شركتهاي خصوصي اقماري خود پول مي رسانند و رانت هاي مختلفي را تقسيم مي كنند.