Summary of Iran Stories in Today's BroadcastsBehnam NateghiSunday, March 07, 2004
<b>Islamic Government Seeks Closure with IAEA</b>
• “We must arrive at a stage where the (IAEA) board of governors totally close the file on Iran's peaceful nuclear activities and take this off the agenda,” secretary of the supreme national security council Hassan Rowhani said today. “The international community has to accept Iran in the world nuclear club,” he added, asserting that “the Islamic republic has the inalienable right to master its own enrichment cycle.” The board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will meet on Monday to discuss chief ElBaradei's latest report on Iran's nuclear program. (Alireza Taheri)
<b>Public Events of the Campaign to End Violence against Women</b>
• Nine Tehran-based women's rights organizations, most based in universities, held seminars and gatherings on March 5, the date designated by Amnesty International as the beginning of the International Campaign to End Violence against Women. For the first time this year, seminars and gatherings were held in Tehran with “feminism” in their official titles. One of these gatherings is the two-day “Feminism Workshop” (Kargah-e Feminism) being held at a hall in Tehran University's sociology department. The women's groups said they will take part in the March 8 ceremonies planned at the open amphitheater of Laleh Park, near Tehran University. Also, the www.WomenInIran.com website will hold its first live online seminar on March 8, which will begin with a speech by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi. (Bahman Bastani)
• All men and women who believe in ending violence against women are invited to join the Park Laleh event at 5 PM on Monday, a statement on the Iranian feminists' website iftribune.com said about the two-hour lecture and teach-in organized by the women's cultural center in association with a number of other groups and NGOs, including the Hastni-Andish (existential) center, independent society of women (Anjoman-e Mostaqel-e Zanan), the cultural society of the Tehran University, the Iranmehr society, Pendar cultural institute, and many others. One benefit of last year's event at Park Laleh has been that we see similar events being organized this year in provinces and Tehran suburbs, all of which are focused on violence against women, organizer <b>Parvin Ardalan</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. “In the Monday event at the Park Laleh's amphitheater Simin Behbahani, Mina Mortazi, Davoodi-Mohajer, Mercedes Salehpour, Ahmadi and probably me and the representatives of some other groups, who were involved in the campaign to end violence against women, will speak,” she adds. In addition to the Park Laleh event, Ms. Pouran Farrokhzad has invited women writers and poets to her house, a group in Isfahan has an event, there was a feminist workshop at the women's cultural center, and on Tuesday, there will be an event at the Islamic student council of the psychology department of the Tehran University; and there are theater and other events organized for Tuesday evening at the sociology department, she says. For Wednesday, the “women of tomorrow (Zanan-e Farda)” group in Qazvin has an event. There are several events programmed for Thursday and Friday, including an event in Arasbaran; and this will go on until next week, she adds. We have turned the women's day into a women's week, she says. (Nazi Azima)
• To commemorate the international women's day, Iranian activists met in Paris under the banner of “the committee against stoning.” Women's rights activist <b>Jamileh Nedai</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that Iranian women will not rest until they gain equal rights with men in a prosperous Iran. (Mir-Ali Hosseini, Paris)
• Human rights activist <b>Mohsen Nezhad</b> says the judiciary's plan to expand the enforcement of Islamic codes of dress and behavior into a full-blown ministry, targets women for further suppression, since women have been at center of any resistance to the Islamic regime. (Amir Armin)
<b>Human Rights and Democracy Roundtable: Women's Rights Movement</b>
Today's human Rights and democracy roundtable features three prominent women's rights activists.
• Lawyer and author of several volumes in Persian on women's rights <b>Mehrangiz Kar</b>, who now teaches at the Maryland University, says: While many speak of women's movement in Iran, there is not really, in the traditional sense of the word, any political organization with goals and directions and strategies to represent women. However, we have always been interested to report to the world on the women's freedom-seeking actions in any field, cultural, judicial and political. So, we cannot really say where the movement of Iranian women stands at the moment, but we can say that women in Iran are discontented, and express their discontent in many possible forms, but they do not have all the means necessary to form social and cultural organizations. All those who could lead or help lead any political movement, including the women's, have been killed, jailed, withdrawn from public life, or left the country. Despite the lack of a classic women's movement, we see manifestations of women's protest in such negative developments as the increase in divorce rate, crimes by women, and prostitution, which are destructive.
• Tehran-based women's rights activist <b>Marzieh Mortazi Langaroudi</b> says: Any woman who challenges the patriarchal order is by default a part of the women's movement, but not just women, men, students, reformists and other political groups are unable to form sustaining organizations in Iran, due to the lack of security. This is maybe because of our roots in the Eastern despotism or because we are a society transiting from despotism to democracy. Since the revolution, any political change in our society has been the result of negotiations at the top, and with the goal of preserving the Islamic regime.
• Paris-based women's rights activist and author <b>Noushabeh Amiri</b> says: It is like our country is full of little creeks that never reach each other to form a river. Unfortunately, the more we move forward, the divisions increase, and the energies go to waste. I wish there was a rational attitude in our society that could see the protests that appear in the forms of divorces, prostitution and women's violent crimes. It seems that the only way left for the society is violence. After the election of President Khatami, many of those who believed in non-violent change became active in all levels inside and outside of the government. But unfortunately that system is gone now. (Maryam Ahmadi)
<b>Earthquake Survivors Riot in Anger over Slow Relief Work</b>
• Two months after the earthquake devastated the city and killed more than half of its residents, survivors rioted yesterday in anger at continuing difficult living conditions and slow relief work. They set fire to cars and destroyed housing containers after a demonstration on Thursday that turned violent. The police blamed “agitators” for the violence. At least two people were reportedly hurt when police fired bullets into the crowds. (Baktash Khamsehpour)
• Demonstrators set fire to police and security forces' temporary offices, as well as several government vehicles, and clashed with security forces. Local journalist <b>Koroush Aryan</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that most demonstrators were local people concerned with their living conditions, particularly the extreme heat under their inappropriate tents. Normal life has not returned to the city, he adds, even though in most parts of the city water flows in pipes, shops have opened here and there, and government employees have begun working in make-shift offices, he adds. (Farin Asemi)
<b>Teachers Strike to Protest Low Wages</b>
• In protest against the government's lack of response to the teachers continued protests against their low wages, 15 teachers' trade organizations called for a nation-wide sit-in strike, during which teachers are expected to show up for work, but stay in the principals' offices and refuse to go to classes. Tehrani teacher <b>Ahmad Behrang</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that unlike the previous strike, which was met with media silence and lack of action, this strike appears to have caught on, at least in boys' high schools and boys' middle schools in Tehran. He urges authorities to respond to the teachers' demands in order for the teachers to end their strike and return to work as soon as possible. In Kermanshah, teachers gathered outside the local education department offices, and in Karaj, school officials convinced the teachers to return to classes after a strike that lasted only one hour. In Isfahan, high school and middle school teachers joined the strike, according to official news agency IRNA, which said in Genaveh and Ardabil teachers held protest gatherings in front of the local education department offices. The teachers' trade organizations said the strike was planned after they saw that no funds to increase the teachers' salaries were appropriated in the budget bill passed by the Majles for the upcoming fiscal year. The teachers demand pay increases to equal that of other civil employees, and protest against what they call pay discrimination. (Jamshid Zand)
• To make the authorities hear their voices, the teachers have decided not to attend classes for one week, member of the Iranian teachers organization (Sazeman-e Mo'aleman-e Iran) <b>Azam Taleqani</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. So far, the strike was quite obvious in Tehran and has had good following in other cities, she adds. Her organization, she adds, did not support the strike in writing or by signing the strike statement, but supported those who protested. “We believe the demands can be expressed in other ways too,” she adds. (Amir-Mosaddegh Katouzian)
• Retired teachers staged a demonstration in the Tehran's education department offices in charge of their pay, claiming that their benefits are not sufficient to pay for even their sub-standard living costs. They vowed to continue their sit-in until they get results. (Bahman Bastani)
<b>Nobel Peace Laureate Defends Dissidents Few Lawyers Dare to Touch, AFP Says</b>
• Recognizing that her $1.1 million Nobel Peace prize has helped her causes, 2003 Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi has defended dissidents that few other lawyers would dare to touch, Agence France Press writes in a profile. (Baktash Khamsehpour)
<b>Iran-Pakistan to Study Gas Pipeline</b>
• In a seminar planned for next month, the feasibility of building a gas pipeline between Iran and Pakistan will be studied, Showkat Aziz, Pakistani economy and finance minister said. (Baktash Khamsehpour)
<b>Iran-Iraq Détente, Under US Watch</b>
• With the ouster of Saddam Hussein, Iraq has begun a new friendship with Shiite Iran, a move that upends decades of U.S. policy that sought to keep the two Persian Gulf nations apart, AP's Jim Krane reports from Baghdad. “We've known for a long time that the next government was going to be Shiite,” said Gregg Sullivan, the US State Department spokesman for Near Eastern affairs. (Masoud Malek)
<b>Dissident Cleric Criticizes Special Courts, Says Clerics Replaced Shah as Dictators</b>
• In an interview with the editors of the political monthly <i>Nameh</i>, dissident cleric Ayatollah Hosseinali Montazeri, who had once been designated to replace Ayatollah Khomeini in the position of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic regime, said the revolution replaced the Shah with clerics, but did not change the dictatorship system in Iran. He said the special courts for the clergy and the revolutionary courts have no room in Iran's legal system, according to the Islamic Republic constitution, which he co-authored. He also said that many decisions, including the 1988 mass execution of political prisoners, were carried in the name of Ayatollah Khomeini, but without his knowledge. (Bahman Bastani)
• Iran will not expel German ambassador Paul von Maltzahn, despite newspaper reports that the ambassador's meeting with dissident cleric Ayatollah Montazeri was a sign of interference in Iran's domestic affairs. “This news on the expulsion is false,” Vice President for legal and legislative affairs Mohammad Ali Abtahi said to the Tehran daily <i>Shargh</i> on Sunday. A day earlier, hard-line daily <i>Kayhan</i> had called for the German ambassador's expulsion for “illegally” meeting with Montazeri. (Alireza Taheri)
<b>Majles Conservatives Block Reading from the Constitution on Supreme Leader's Role</b>
• By rising from their seats and threatening physical attack, the conservative MPs blocked the efforts of reformist Tehran MP Ali-Akbar Mousavi –Khoeini to read passages from the Islamic Republic constitution about the role of the Supreme Leader and the Assembly of Experts charged with monitoring the Supreme Leader's conduct. Khoeini argued that the Assembly has failed to discuss the Supreme Leader's conduct in any of its meetings and has rubber-stamped the perpetuation of the Supreme Leader's absolute rule. (Alireza Taheri)
• Conservative MP Mousa Qorbanifar stood up and shouted “Shut up!” as Khoeini began reading from the constitution about the role of the assembly of experts (Khobregan). A group of reformists blocked Qorbanifar as he charged to the podium. Eventually, the conservatives managed to prevent Khoeini from reading the passage. Khoeini called on the assembly of experts to investigate the Supreme Leader's decision to back the Guardians Council's disqualification of 2,400 reformist candidates. (Siavash Ardalan)
• In a speech at the open session of the Majles today, Mousavi-Khoeini asked the assembly of experts to start an investigation on the conduct and recent decisions of the Supreme Leader. The assembly of experts has the authority to replace the Supreme Leader, if they find that he no longer qualifies. (Masoud Malek)
<b>Daring to Dream of Democracy</b>
• “Today, the radical experiment in religious governance that Ayatollah Khomeini launched is viewed with widespread disillusion. Khomeini and his allies created a system that gave only limited democratic spaces to the people and granted decisive power to the new inheritors of the Iranian realm -- the clergy. The traditional authoritarianism of Persia held. This time, however, the king wore a turban,” the <i>Washington Post</i> stringer and author of <i>Persian Pilgrimages: Journeys Across Iran</i> Afshin Molavi writes in today's edition of the <i>Post</i>. (Ali Sajjadi)
<b>Hot Winds Set Fire to Caspian Sea Forests</b>
• Hot seasonal winds caused several fires in Caspian Sea forests in Siahkal, Roudbar, Talesh and Chalous, of the Gilan and Mazandaran provinces. The fires have been put out by the efforts of the forest guards and local people, Rasht-based journalist <b>Kambiz Karimi</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. Cold weather of the past two days has helped to control the fires. The area experienced an unusually dry winter, with no real snow, he adds. (Farin Asemi)
<b>Majles Approves Urumieh MP's Resignation</b>
• In today's open session of the Majles, the resignation of Urumieh MP Mir-Mahmoud Yekanloui was approved. He is one of the 130 MPs who resigned to protest election bans on 2,400 reformists, including 83 Majles MPs. (Mina Baharmast)
امير آرمين (راديو فردا): نخستين سمينار آنلاين Online زنان ايراني با موضوع آينده جنبش زنان ايران، از ساعت 9 امشب تا ساعت 12 به وقت تهران برگزار شد. در اين سمينار زناني از داخل و خارج از ايران در گفتگوها شرکت کردند. نيره توحيدي در سمينار گفت: خود همين حرمت و اين که زنان لزوم اين حرکت را تشخيص داده اند، حکايت از آن دارد که زنان در زمينه تلاقي ناگزير شرايط بومي، محلي، و ملي با شرايط جهاني؛ و جنبش هاي جهاني زنان به آگاهي رسيده اند. خانم توحيدي گفت:
نيره توحيدي: مساله زنان چون يک مساله مرکب، پيچيده، و چند بعدي است و در بستر تاريخي به وجود آمده است، لذا بايد در بستر تاريخي هم دگرگون شود. يعني کار يک روز و دو روز و يک دهه و دو دهه و حتي يک نسل و دو نسل نيست. اگر اين ديد طولاني مدت را از مساله زنان داشته باشيم، آن وقت در ريختن استراتژي مان اين تاثير خواهد داشت. يعني اگر که فکر نکنيم که ما مي توانيم بلافاصله يک سري مسائل را حل کنيم، آن وقت برنامه ريزي دقيقتري مي کنيم و متوجه مي شويم که ما ناچارهستيم در همه زمينه ها با شالوده شکني و ساختارشکني نظام موجود بپردازيم. جنبش زنان اصولا در عين حال که يک جنبش سياسي است، مهمتر از همه يک جنبش اجتماعي – فرهنگي است که بايد مواظب باشد گکه سياست زده نشود، به اين معنا که دچار روزمرگي نشود. اگر فلان جا فلان جناح شکست خورد يا فلان اتفاق در حکومت افتاد، اين يک دفعه نبايد تمام استراتژي ما را تعيين کند. استراتژي يک برنامه طولاني مدت است که مي تواند شامل برنامه ها و راهکارهاي بلافصل، يعني کوتاه مدت، ميان مدت، و دراز مدت باشد. حتي آن تاکتيک هاي کوتاه مدت، اگر ما يک استراتژي روشن داشته باشيم، معمولا نه در تناقض با آن استراتژي بلند مدت، بلکه در خدمت آن قرار مي گيرد. لذا در عين حال که جنبش زنان و برنامه هاي ما بايد در پيوند با شرايط عمومي سياسي در جامعه باشد، يعني در پيوند با جنبش عمومي دموکراسي خواهي، جنبش عمومي تساوي طلبي و يا مساوات جويي باشد، عدالت جويي باشد، در عين پيوند با اين و در عين آگاهي و اشتراک در حيطه سياست، در احزاب و گروه هاي سياسي، مبارزات جناحي، و غيره؛ اما بايد مستقل از اين گروه بندي ها و صف بندي هاي سياسي و به صورت خودمختار و مارواي نظام هاي سياسي و ماوراي حکومت ها، براي خودش برنامه داشته باشد که نفد خاص خودش را داشته باشد، Vision و دورنماي خاص خودش را داشته باشد، سازماندهي و مبارزات و استراتژي خاص خودش را داشته باشد.
ا.آ.: دومين سخنران، خانم شعله ايراني، درباره راهبرد جنبش زنان صحبت کرد که به صورت مطرح کردن چند پرسش بود. خانم شعله ايراني جنبش زنان ايران را اين طور توصيف کرد:
شعله ايراني: ما شاهد شکل گيري جنبشي هستيم که يک ساختار غيرمتمرکز دارد. اما در عين حال يک نقطه ضعفي دارد که در بسياري از جنبش هاي نوين امروز که دارد در دنيا عمل مي کند، سر کرده اند بر اين نقطه ضعف چيره بشوند و اين است که جنبش زنان ما امروز در ايران فاقد هماهنگي است، جنبشي است که دارد به شکل افقي پل خواست هايي که ... حتي ظاهرا مستقيما به مسائل زنان ربط ندارند، مثل مثلا محيط زيست، مثل مسائل کودکان خياباني؛ دارد حول اين مسائل به شکل افقي رشد مي کند سازمان يابي زنان. هرچند که هسته اصلي اين جنبش هنوز به لحاظ کمي کوچک و محدود است، مي دانيد که ما هنوز هم ديگر را مي شناسيم چه آن هايي که در داخل هستند و چه آن هايي که در خارج هستند و اين نشان مي دهد که هنوز آن هسته اصلي قابل شمارش است و کوچک است. اين هم البته يک نقطه ضعف است، ولي شايد ناشي از شرايط است. اما همين هسته اصلي که هنوز کوچک است و هنوز دچار نوعي نخبه گرائي يا elitism است، توانسته است طيف وسيعي از زنان را در گوشه و کنار کشور، از شهرهاي کوچک و دهات گرفته تا شهرهاي بزرگ، دور خودش جمع بکند و اين نقطه مثبتي است. اين جنبش رهبر ندارد و به اعتقاد من اين بهترين ويژگي اين جنبش است، يعني اين شايد يکي از خصوصيات اصلي باشد که ما را پيوند مي دهد و مي گذارد در رديف آن جنبش هاي نوين جهاني، يعني جنبش هايي که به شکل فرقه اي ايدئولوژيک، گروهي، باندي و فردي رهبري نمي شوند. اميدواريم بتوانيم اين ويژگي را حفظ بکنيم، اما نداشتن رهبر به آن شکل سنتي و نداشتن ساختار متمرکز سنتي، نبايد مانع از اين بشود که ما فعاليت هاي متمرکز و هدفمند وسراسري را بتوانيم سازماندهي بکنيم. اگر اين کار را نتوانيم بکنيم و نتوانيم به ضعف هايي که من فکر مي کنم تا امروز داشته ايم فائق بشويم، باز ممکن است آن وقت جدا بشويم از آن شکل جنبش نوين جهاني که ما را پيوند مي زند.
ا.آ: لازم به يادآوري است که جلسه پرسش و پاسخ هم اکنون ادامه دارد و ما در سرويس هاي بعدي خبر، بخش هايي از اين گفتگوها را پخش خواهيم کرد. نخستين سمينار آنلاين online زنان ايراني با موضوع آينده جنبش زنان ايران، از ساعت 9 امشب تا ساعت 12 به وقت تهران برگزار شد. در اين سمينار زناني از داخل و خارج از ايران در گفتگوها شرکت کردند. نيره توحيدي، استاد ايراني گروه مطالعات زنان در دانشگاه ايالتي كاليفرنيا، در اين سمينار گفت که خود همين حرمت و اين که زنان لزوم اين حرکت را تشخيص داده اند، حکايت از آن دارد که زنان در زمينه تلاقي ناگزير شرايط بومي، محلي، و ملي با شرايط جهاني، و جنبش هاي جهاني زنان به آگاهي رسيده اند. دومين سخنران، شعله ايراني، سردبير نشريه «آواي زن» درباره استراتژي جنبش زنان سخن گفت. وي گفت نقطه ضعف جنبش زنان ما امروز در ايران فاقد هماهنگي است. وي افزود که بهترين ويژگي اين جنبش اين است که رهبر ندارد.