Summary of Iran Stories in Today's BroadcastsBehnam NateghiSunday, January 18, 2004
<b>Guardians Council Reviews Rejected Election Candidacy Applications</b>
• The Guardians Council began reviewing the cases of Majles election candidacy applicants who were barred by the Council's local election supervision committees from standing in the February 20 elections, the Council's spokesman Ebrahim Azizi said on Sunday, adding that the “rabblerousing” speeches and press articles have no effect on the Guardians Council's decisions. The Council's local supervision committees rejected nearly half of 8,000 applicants, including 83 reformist MPs, who began a sit-in strike at the Majles 8 days ago. The Guardians Council is only after creating conditions for calm and orderly elections, he said. Last Wednesday, the Supreme Leader ordered the Guardians Council to review the disqualifications decisions, particularly about the current MPs whose qualifications had been approved by the Council four years ago. The Islamic Republic inspector general said the Majles MPs' sit-in protest was illegal. No one should break the law, particularly those involved in lawmaking, he added. Any applicant who has a complaint about his/her disqualification by the Guardians Council should file his/her complaint with the proper legal authorities. Applying pressure on the authorities is not a solution, he added. Also, the Assembly of Experts (Khobregan), charged with monitoring the conduct of the Supreme Leader, issued a statement denouncing the Majles MPs sit-in strike. The legitimacy of the Majles depends on following the laws, under the supervision of the Guardians Council, the Experts said in a statement. Furthermore, it appears that the closed-door meeting held yesterday with the Guardians Council members, President Khatami and Majles speaker Mehdi Karrubi did not help resolve the disqualifications crisis. Karrubi said the Guardians Council promised to review the cases. As the sit-in protest of the reformist MPs entered its 9th day, still there is no sign of any popular support for the reformists. (Fereydoun Zarnegar)
• The Guardians Council's mass disqualifications of candidacy applicants would have an adverse impact on the democratic process in Iran, Germany's Bundestag member <b>Harold Leibrecht</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. Mr. Leibrecht, a member of the Free Democrats Party, issued a statement calling for the Majles elections to be observed by an international team. (Shahram Mirian, Cologne)
• Banning the reformists MPs, who are servants of the regime and had worked hard to solidify the regime's foundations, is a political suicide, German socialist party candidate in the Reinlandfalls city council elections <b>Mehdi Jafari-Garzini</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. (Shahram Mirian, Cologne)
• Tehran MP Fatemeh Rakei said she will continue the sit-in protest, if the disqualification of even one candidate stands. Lawyer Saleh Nikbakht said in a speech to the striking Majles MPs that the Majles, which has to protect the people's rights, now finds its own rights violated. Isfahan MP Rajabali Mazroui said there is no room for rationality in this country. The reformists, he added, want religious government along with democracy, not dictatorship. Tehran MP Davood Soleymani said today's generation speaks in the language of the law. If I were to be approved to run for reelection through behind-the-scene lobbying, I would not run, he added. (Mahdieh Javid)
• The disqualified MPs speak against their disqualifications in a language that supports the Guardians Council's vetting role, columnist Ahmad Zeydabadi writes in the reformist daily <b>Shargh</b>. (Ali Sajjadi)
• Some people say the blacklisting of the reformist MPs and their subsequent sit-in protest are a ploy hatched secretly by the regime's two factions in order to generate interest in the elections, Tehran-based commentator <b>Ahmad Ahmadpour</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. It has now become certain for everyone that the people will not turnout to vote in the elections, he adds. The reformists, he adds, caused popular frustration and discontent by disregarding the people's demands for genuine reforms under the conservatives' pressures. The people believe that the reformist MPs were tricked to stand for reelection, but were double crossed by the conservatives who barred them, he says. Now that they are banned from standing for reelection, they are calling for the people's support. They made a mistake, he says, by applying to participate in the elections, and now they must pay the price. (Mahmonir Rahimi)
• In a letter to President Khatami, the coordination council of the reformist front gave him until next Saturday to resolve the political crisis created by the Guardians Council. (Fereydoun Zarnegar)
• The Guardians Council's move to disqualify more than 3000 election candidacy applicants raises questions about the Guardians Council's own competency, former Majles MP <b>Azam Taleqani</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. Taleqani, who has been banned by the Guardians Council from standing in the February 20 elections, had applied to become a candidate in the last presidential elections, but was disqualified. She says she did so to challenge the Guardians Council's interpretation of the constitution on the right of women to become president of the Islamic Republic. (Mahmonir Rahimi)
• In <b>Radio Farda</b>'s democracy and human rights roundtable Tehran-based editor of banned reformist newspapers <b>Mashallah Shamsolvaezin</b>, Geneva-based advisor of the Iranian monarchists party and former information minister <b>Dariush Homayoun</b> and member of the leadership council of the secular republicans union <b>Mehran Barati</b> comment on the mass disqualifications of reformist candidacy applicants. (Fereydoun Zarnegar)
<b>Foreign Ministry Denounces European Parliament's Declaration on Iran's Human Rights Abuses</b>
• The foreign ministry threatened to abandon EU-Iran negotiations on comprehensive economic and trade cooperation in reaction to the January 15 European Parliament's declaration urging the EU to submit a resolution condemning the Islamic regime's human rights abuses to the UN. “The EU encouragement of confrontational style and submission of EP declaration to the UN Human Rights Commission would seriously threaten the current trend in negotiations on the issue,” foreign ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said. The European Parliament issued its December 15 declaration two days after EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana returned from his two-day visit to Tehran. Solana intended to hold talks on Iran's cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, but his visit coincided with the mass disqualifications of elections candidacy applicants. The European Parliament urged the EU to suspend economic negotiations with the Islamic regime, pending improvement in human rights conditions in Iran. (Bahman Bastani)
• Fortunately, the international community is focused on human rights, Iran expert at the New York-based Human Rights Watch <b>Elaheh Hicks</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. Unfortunately, the human rights abuses in Iran have reached to such a deplorable level that the European government have to be answerable to their people on the issue, she adds. Following the December resolution of the UN General Assembly censoring Iran on human rights abuses, the European Parliament urged adopting a similar resolution. The European Parliament raised the issue of the mass disqualifications of Majles elections candidacy applicants and the role of the Guardians Council in its declaration, she says. (Bahman Bastani)
<b>Teachers Go on Strike to Protest Low Wages</b>
• The trade union of teachers announced that the teachers will start a two-day strike on January 17 to protest against their low salaries. Classes did not meet in some areas of Tehran and in many other cities, according to state-run news agencies. The Islamic teachers' society issued a statement in support of the strike. The association of the Islamic student councils (Daftar-e Tahkim-e Vahdat) supported the teachers' strike in a statement, but linked it to the MPs' sit-in strike at the Majles by calling for the teachers' strike to continue until the bans on all elections candidacy applicants were overturned. (Amir-Mosaddegh Katouzian)
<b>200,000 Receive Relief Services in Earthquake-Stricken Bam</b>
• In the aftermath of the Bam earthquake, more than 200,000 have been registered to receive relief services, food and shelter assistance, while the population of the city before the earthquake was officially only 90,000, chief of staff of Iran's Red Crescent society said. Providing services to the orphaned children has been better organized after three weeks, head of the children and young adult relief headquarters Fariborz Raisdana said. (Nima Tamadon)
<b>Judiciary Arrests Tabrizi Journalist for Attending Opposition Coalition Conference in Berlin</b>
• The Tabriz judiciary arrested independent journalist Ensafali Hedayat for attending the first convention of the newly formed opposition coalition secular republicans union (Etehad Jumhurikhahan-e Iran) in Berlin, <b>Ensafali Hedayat's daughter</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b> in an interview from Tabriz. In a statement issued on Saturday, the Etehad Jumhurikhahan denounced Hedayat's arrest, and said he cannot be prosecuted for the content of the final resolution adopted by the group, since he was attending the convention as a journalist, not as a member. Hedayat's daughter says his father called from the office of judge Naqavai of the Tabriz Islamic revolutionary court yesterday and asked that his lawyer be notified of his arrest. His lawyer was present during his interrogation, she adds. The judge privately told her father that he will be charged with insulting the Supreme Leader and spying, she says. Hedayat had been arrested four months ago by the Tabriz plainclothes security forces. He complained in an article after his release that he had been badly beaten in jail and during repeated interrogations. (Fereydoun Zarnegar)
<b>Coalition Forces Arrest Two Iranian TV Journalists in Baghdad Bomb Attack</b>
• In the aftermath of today's deadly bomb attack at the gate of coalition forces headquarters in Baghdad, the US forces arrested two journalists who said they worked for the Islamic regime's TV. (Jean Khakzad)
<b>National Security Council Chief Denies Statement on US-Iran Relations to Figaro</b>
• In an interview with the conservative news agency Fars, secretary of the supreme national security council Hassan Rowhani (Rohani) denied that he told the Paris daily <i>Le Figaro</i> that the resumption of US-Iran relations will take place after presidential elections in Iran and the US. Rowhani said in response to <i>Figaro</i>'s question about the timing of the resumption of the US-Iran relations, he responded that the resumption of the US-Iran relations was too complicated and their resumption was not predictable. However, <i>Le Figaro</i> correspondent <b>Claude Lorieux</b> who interviewed Rowhani, tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that he stands by his article, and has Rowhani's interview on tape. (Jean Khakzad)
ماه منير رحيمي (راديوفردا): در نهمين روز آغاز تحصن شماري از نمايندگان مجلس شوراي اسلامي در اعتراض به رد صلاحيت به داوطلبان نمايندگي مجلس شوراي اسلامي بسياري از تشكل هاي محافظه كار با صدوربيانيه هائي در باره تحصن نمايندگان اظهار نظر كردند.
فريدون زرنگار (راديوفردا): سخنگوي شوراي نگهبان امروز با غوغاسالار خواندن نوشته ها و نطق هائي كه در تائيد يا رد عملكرد شوراي نگهبان انجام شده، گفت اين اقدامات هيچ تاثيري بر تصميمات شوراي نگهبان ندارد. ابراهيم عزيزي كه در جمع خبرنگاران داخلي و خارجي سخن مي گفت، افزود شوراي نگهبان به دنبال ايجاد شرايطي است تا مردم در فضائي آرام درست ترين انتخابات را انجام دهند و اين شورا از دو روز گذشته بررسي شكايت ها را آغاز كرده و به طور دقيق، رهنمود هاي رهبر جمهوري اسلامي را مورد توجه قرار داده و تنها به قانون عمل مي كند.
در موضعگيري سخنگوي شوراي نگهبان نشانه اي از آمادگي شوراي نگهبان به تمكين به دستور رهبر جمهوري اسلامي و تائيد صلاحيت نمايندگان فعلي مجلس شوراي اسلامي ديده نمي شودو نمايندگان متحصن هم با صحبت از عدم اعتماد به شوراي نگهبان مي گويند به تحصن و روزه سياسي خود تا اعلام تصميم شوراي نگهبان ادامه خواهند داد.
رئيس بازرسي كل كشور نيز امروز تحصن نمايندگان را غير مستقيم غيرقانوني خواند و گفت هيچكس حق ندارد از قانون تخلف كند و آنرا نقض كند به ويژه اينكه اين كار نبايد از سوي دست اندركاران اجرائي قانون انجام شود.
به گفته رئيس سازمان بازرسي كل كشور، اگر كسي از روند مربوط به انتخابات شكايت دارد، راه حل مراجعه به مرجعي است كه قانون براي ترتيب اثر دادن به آن شكايت مشخص كرده است. راه حل فشار بر دستگاه هاي حكومتي نيست و اين فشار نقض قانون و خلاف است.
هيات رئيسه مجلس خبرگان، نهادي كه وظيفه آن نظارت بر عملكرد رهبري و انتخاب يا بركناري وي است، با انتشار بيانيه اي تحصن نمايندگان را مقابله با روند قانوني رسيدگي به صلاحيت ها و شكايت ها خواند و اعلام كرد مشروعيت مجلس شوراي اسلامي به برگزاري انتخابات سالم و منطبق بر موازين قانوني بستگي دارد و اين مهم با نص قانون اساسي و با نظارت شوراي نگهبان تحقق مي يابد.
از سوي ديگر، به نظر مي رسد مذاكرات ديروز محمد خاتمي و مهدي كروبي با شوراي نگهبان نتوانست چندان موثر افتد.
مهدي كروبي، رئيس مجلس شوراي اسلامي امروز در جمع خبرنگاران اظهار داشت در جلسه اي كه ديروز با حضور رئيس جمهوري اسلامي و اعضاي شوراي نگهبان برگذار شد، مسائل مختلف انتخابات از جمله رد صلاحيت ها مطرح گرديد كه در مجموع بايد اعلام كنم كه رايزني ها خوب بود و اعضاي شوراي نگهبان اعلام كردندكه در مراحل بعدي بررسي صلاحيت كانديداها را دقيق تر انجام خواهند داد.
به گفته رئيس شوراي هماهنگي جبهه دوم خرداد، در جلسه مشترك گروه هاي دوم خردادي و رئيس مجلس شوراي اسلامي، گروه هاي دوم خردادي قصد دارند با ارسال نامه اي خطاب به رئيس جمهوري اسلامي، ضمن تعيين مهلت، خواستار اتخاذ آخرين تصميمات وي جهت تسريع روند اجراي دستور رهبر جمهوري اسلامي شوند.
درحاليكه تحصن شماري از نمايندگان مجلس شوراي اسلامي وارد نهمين روز خود مي شود، هنوز خبري از حمايت گسترده افكار عمومي از اين حركت اعتراضي نمايندگان نيست. ابراهيم عزيزي، سخنگوي شوراي نگهبان امروز با غوغاسالار خواندن نوشته ها و نطق هائي كه در تائيد يا رد عملكرد شوراي نگهبان انجام شده، گفت اين اقدامات هيچ تاثيري بر تصميمات شوراي نگهبان ندارد و افزود اين شورا از دو روز گذشته بررسي شكايت ها را آغاز كرده و به طور دقيق، رهنمود هاي رهبر جمهوري اسلامي را مورد توجه قرار داده و تنها به قانون عمل مي كند. نمايندگان اصلاح طلب رد صلاحيت شده كه به نشانه اعتراض دست 9 روز است در مجلس متحصن شده اند، اعلام كردند كه به تحصن و روزه سياسي خود تا اعلام تصميم شوراي نگهبان ادامه خواهند داد. درحاليكه تحصن شماري از نمايندگان مجلس شوراي اسلامي وارد نهمين روز خود مي شود، هنوز خبري از حمايت گسترده افكار عمومي از اين حركت اعتراضي نمايندگان نيست.