Summary of Iran Stories in Today's BroadcastsBehnam NateghiFriday, January 02, 2004
<b>Listen to Voices Who Long for Freedom, Bush Tells Iranian Government</b>
• The Iranian government must listen to the voices of those who long for freedom, President Bush said on Thursday. Iran must turn over al-Qaeda that are in their custody and must abandon their nuclear weapons program, he added. The US humanitarian aid to earthquake victims should prove that America is compassionate even though it lists Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism, “What we're doing in Iran is we're showing the Iranian people the American people care, that we've got great compassion for human suffering,” he added. The United States is glad the Iranian government has allowed U.S. humanitarian aid flights into the country, he said. “It's right to take care of people when they hurt, and we're doing that,” Bush said. (Amir Armin)
• For several months now the US officials are showing positive signs, and we must review and study these signs further, former President Ali-Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani said in response to reporters' questioning about possible improvement in the US-Iran relations, after landing in Bam to attend a traditional seventh-day mourning ceremony for the earthquake victims. Foreign minister Kamal Kharrazi said the US move to lift banking sanctions was positive. It was a positive step towards better relations between the two countries, deputy Majles speaker and President Khatami's brother, Mohammad-Reza Khatami said. (Nima Tamadon)
• The Bush administration offered to send Senator Elizabeth Dole, former chief of the American Red Cross, to Iran as part of a humanitarian mission to deliver earthquake relief assistance, an administration official said Friday, according to the <i>Washington Post</i>. It would send a clear signal of American interest in providing more earthquake-related assistance as a prelude to a possible political opening to Tehran. A member of President Bush's family may accompany Senator Dole. (Jean Khakzad)
• US may makeup with Iran in 2004, Paris daily <i>Le Monde</i> predicts. (Mir-Ali Hosseini)
• The US humanitarian aid begins a thaw in US-Iran relations, Austrian daily <i>De Presse</i> writes.
• The US tries to exploit the Bam disaster in order to mend relations with the Islamic government, secretary of the conservative Guardians Council Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati said today at the official Friday prayer ceremony in the Tehran University campus. His harsh words indicates that no radical change has taken place in the US-Iran relations, despite the speculation surrounding Iran's warm reception of the US humanitarian aid. (Alireza Taheri)
• Iran on Friday declined a US offer to send a humanitarian mission led by Senator Elizabeth Dole, the US State Department said. (Maryam Ahmadi))
<b>Five Births and a Wedding: Life Returns to Devastated Bam</b>
• In 200 tents erected just outside Bam, 40,000 can be sheltered, officials said, as five births and a wedding brought life back to the devastated city where last Friday more then 30,000 died, and more than 100,000 became homeless, in an earthquake that ruined 90 percent of all the city's standing structures. (Amir-Mosaddegh Katouzian)
• Officials disagree on the need for disinfecting the city against possible spread of cholera and other infectious diseases. Some believe that all surviving victims need to be quarantined at least for 10 says, Tabrizi independent journalist <b>Ensafabli Hedayat</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b> on his return from three days in Bam. The appearance of several cases of cholera in victims and relief workers has officials worried; a reporter who had the runs was prevented from leaving Bam till it could be confirmed that he did not cholera, he adds. Lack of experience and training in the Iranian teams slowed down rescue and relief operations. Even Iranian dogs appeared to lack proper training, he says. (Keyvan Hosseini)
• An earthquake with the magnitude of last week's earthquake in Bam would kill more than half a million people in Tehran, seismologists warn. “I have to reinforce my house against earthquake,” a Tehran resident tells the Reuters. (Alireza Taheri)
• The people of Bam would rather popular and non-governmental organizations to takeover the reconstruction of the city, volunteer relief worker <b>Amir Zarrabi</b> who just returned from five days in Bam tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. Considering the enormous amount of aid received here, the city can be rebuilt several times over, the Islamic government's plan to provide money for reconstruction of homes as loans which the victims will have to pay back is unfair, he adds. (Leyli Arman)
• Italy began to coordinate the efforts of all EU rescue and relief teams in Bam. The tent hospital set up by the Italian crew will be officially transferred to Iran's health ministry officials. (Ahmad Ra'fat, Rome)
• Power has been restored to the city's main streets, Kermani journalist <b>Shahram Parsa Motlaq</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. Some of the tents that provide temporary shelter for the victims have electricity. About 1900 orphaned children and widowed women were identified by relief workers, and new ID cards have been issued for them, he adds. Portable toilets are being brought from other cities, water is now running in some parts of the city and security seems to have improved, he says. (Maryam Ahmadi)
• Fourteen earthquake victims died in a hospital in central Iran, and seven were pulled out dead by search and rescue crews. (Jean Khakzad)
• The conditions are frustrating, Massachusetts medical team member Dr. Annekathryn Goodman said, after delivering a baby. Most of the people being treated suffer from cold, and huge loss of their family, their homes. Their sorrow is so big they cannot eat, she adds. (Maryam Ahmadi)
• Callers to our hotline thank <b>Radio Farda</b> for its extensive coverage of the Bam earthquake.
<b>Europe Iranians Mobilize to Help Earthquake Victims</b>
• Two members of the association of Iranian physicians in Austria will go to Bam on Sunday to join the teams of German and Austrian doctors providing medical relief, association's Vienna-based spokesperson <b>Hamed Hematpour</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. The two doctors will bring with them donations of medicine and money from association members and other Iranians, he adds. (Kianoush Farid, Vienna)
• Donations from Iranians in Sweden will be given to UNICEF or Doctors without Borders, to make sure that they reach the earthquake victims, secretary of the association of Iranian refugees in Sweden <b>Esmail Moloudi</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. In contacts with Swedish officials and press, we try to alert public opinion to the fact that, as in the case of the Roudbar earthquake, the Islamic authorities would try to appropriate any aid received from abroad. (Keyvan Hosseini)
• Bam-born Amsterdam-based musician <b>Ali Soltani</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that he will personally take medicine and cash collected by Iranians in the Netherlands to Bam, where he will mourn the loss of more than 100 of his relatives, including that of singer Iraj Bastami, for whom Soltani had set up seven European concerts. (Shahram Mirian, Cologne)
<b>Bureaucracy Impedes Foreign Investments</b>
• Inept and unproductive bureaucratic system that dominates the administration of the country hinders the nation's ability to attract foreign investments, director of foreign investment at the ministry of finance and economic affairs Ahmad Mortazavi said. Iran is one of the most profitable places in the world for investors, but even Iranians don't want to invest in it, he added. (Fereydoun Khavand, Paris)
ژان خاكزاد (راديوفردا): حضور گروه هاي نوعدوست آمريكائي در بم به اين گمان دامن زده است كه يخ هاي روابط واشنگتن تهران به زودي آب خواهد شد. حجت الاسلام علي اكبر هاشمي رفسنجاني، رئيس مجمع تشخيص مصلحت نظام گفت آمريكا ماه هاست كه علائمي مي فرستد حاكي از تمايل خود به از سر گيري گفتگو با تهران. اما پرزيدنت بوش ديشب تاكيد كرد موضع آمريكا در قبال جمهوري اسلامي تفاوتي نكرده است.
صداي رئيس جمهوري آمريكا: What we're doing in Iran is we're showing Iranian people that American people care and we are very compasionate for human suffering...
نيما تمدن (راديوفردا): رئيس جمهوري آمريكا گفت آنچه ما در ايران گرم انجام دادن آن هستيم نشان دادن اين واقعيت به مردم ايران است كه مردم آمريكا بي اعتنا نيستند. ما در برابر رنج هاي انساني همدردي عميق احساس مي كنيم و براي آنكه بتوانيم كمك هاي نوعدوستانه وارد ايران كنيم، در تحريم هاي اقتصادي تسهيلاتي پديد آورديم.
آقاي بوش ادامه داد: حكومت ايران بايد به صداي كساني كه آرزومند و مشتاق آزادي هستند گوش بسپارد. بايد اعضاي القاعده را كه در بازداشت دارد مسترد كند و بايد برنامه تسليحات هسته اي خود را كنار بگذارد. رئيس جمهوري آمريكا تاكيد كرد همزمان، ما متوجه ارجحيت اين واقعيت هستيم كه حكومت ايران به ما اجازه داد هواپيماهاي حامل كمك هاي نوعدوستانه آمريكا به ايران پرواز كنند. اين كار خوبي است. رسيدگي به مردم، هنگامي كه صدمه ديده اند، كار درستي است و ما گرم انجام دادن اين كار هستيم. جرج بوش، رئيس جمهوري آمريكا در سخناني كه ديروز در جنوب تگزاس، در دفاع از تصميم خود براي ارسال كمك هاي انساندوستانه به آسيب ديدگان زلزله بم ايراد كرد، گفت: حكومت ايران بايد به صداي كساني كه آرزومند و مشتاق آزادي هستند گوش بسپارد. رئيس جمهوري آمريكا تاكيد كرد كه ارسال كمك هاي انساندوستانه به معني تغيير موضع آمريكا نسبت به جمهوري اسلامي نيست. وي ضمن ابراز حمايت نسبت به دمكراسي طلبان در ايران، از حكومت جمهوري اسلامي خواست اعضاي بازداشتي القاعده را مسترد كند و برنامه تسليحات اتمي خود را كنار بگذارد. وي گفت آنچه ما در ايران گرم انجام دادن آن هستيم نشان دادن اين واقعيت به مردم ايران است كه مردم آمريكا بي اعتنا نيستند. ما در برابر رنج هاي انساني همدردي عميق احساس مي كنيم و براي آنكه بتوانيم كمك هاي نوعدوستانه وارد ايران كنيم، در تحريم هاي اقتصادي تسهيلاتي پديد آورديم. وي از اينكه حكومت ايران به هواپيماهاي آمريكائي حامل كمك ها اجازه ورود داده است، سپاس گفت.