Summary of Iran Stories in Today's BroadcastsBehnam NateghiWednesday, March 10, 2004
<b>UN Releases Report on Freedom of Expression: Climate of Fear</b>
• There is a “climate of fear” induced by the systematic repression of people expressing critical views against the authorized political and religious doctrine and the functioning of institutions, Ambeyi Ligabo, UN Human Rights Commission's Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, warned in a report released today. Coupled with the “severity and disproportion” of sentences imposed by judiciary, pervasive fear led to self-censorship on the part of journalists, intellectuals, politicians, students and “the population at large,” he added. Now we have to ask the EU whether it will introduce a resolution to condemn the Islamic Republic in next month's session of the UN Human Rights Commission, Paris-based human rights advocate <b>Abdolkarim Lahiji</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. In a meeting with EU foreign relations commissioner Chris Patten, Ms. Shirin Ebadi and I opposed economic sanctions against Iran, but urged the EU to ask the UN Human Rights Commission to follow the example of the UN General Assembly and pressure the Islamic government on human rights by issuing a resolution, Lahiji adds. In his report Ligabo argues that in Iran the judiciary has turned into a tool of suppression of expression, Lahiji says. (Amir-Mosaddegh Katouzian)
<b>School Disturbances Follow Strike of 200,000 Teachers</b>
• A general strike called by 17 teachers' trade associations and groups, has expanded to cities across Iran, with more than 200,000, or a third of the country's teachers, refusing to go to classes. This morning, reformist daily <b>Shargh</b> criticized education minister Morteza Hajji for remaining silent about the teachers' strike. President Khatami refused to meet with teachers' representatives, the paper said. Parents, according to <i>Shargh</i> support the teachers' demand for pay equal to that of other government employees. The week-long strike may now be extended. There were reports on student disturbances and police intervention in some schools. In Tabriz, students broke classroom furniture, and staged a demonstration in front of the 16th Precinct shouting “Teachers! We support you,” to protest against the arrest of several teachers involved in the strike, local independent journalist <b>Bijan Aghabeigi</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. The police released the arrested teachers an hour later, he adds, but arrested some of the students who were shouting “Thanks, police!” (Nima Tamadon)
• The management and plan organization and the finance ministry blamed each other for failing to take money from the state enterprises' budget to cover teachers' overdue pay and benefits, but teachers' spokesman Ali Asghar Zati said more than 80 percent of the teachers are not owed anything, but are on strike to demand higher wages. High school teachers with college degrees receive smaller paychecks than high school graduates employed by other government departments, according to <i>Shargh</i>. (Nima Tamadon).
<b>US & Europe's Big 3 Agree on IAEA Resolution on Iran</b>
• A draft resolution before the IAEA's board of governors “deplores” omissions in Iran's declarations about its nuclear program and suggests the program is linked with the Islamic Republic armed forces. The draft stops short of declaring Iran in breach of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and reporting it to the UN Security Council for possibly imposing economic sanctions on Iran. The US managed to sway the Europeans by pointing out that Iran's “peaceful” nuclear experiments are being run by the armed forces and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), not the energy ministry. “When relations with the IAEA are normalized, we will resume (uranium) enrichment,” foreign minister Kamal Karrazi said, adding that Iran has a legitimate right to enrich uranium. “America is taking advantage of any opportunity to put pressure on Iran. Unfortunately the IAEA is sometimes influenced in this regard,” he added. “We think that a lot of bullying is involved here by the Americans,” Iranian ambassador to IAEA Pirooz Hosseini said. “The suspension (of uranium enrichment operations) is an important thing for continuing to create confidence,” IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei said, urging Iran to continue cooperation. “Iran has been in breach of its (nuclear non proliferation) obligations for many years and we need to build confidence,” ElBaradei said. (Alireza Taheri, Nima Tamadon, Ali Sajjadi)
• IRAN has used a piece of equipment supplied by an Australian company in a secret nuclear program. Australia has demanded that Iran return the device, known as a mass spectrometer, unless it can provide assurances to the world's nuclear watchdog that it will not repeat the breach. The breach of the international nuclear non-proliferation safeguards regime in relation to the use of the equipment, a fine measuring device supplied by an Australian private company, was uncovered by IAEA inspectors. (Fariba Mavedat)
<b>Bam Governor Resigns Over Riots</b>
• Provincial governor of the earthquake-stricken town of Bam Ali Sahfiee resigned over riots last week of earthquake survivors angry with their living conditions and slow relief work, but his boss, the Kerman provincial governor, rejected his resignation. Kerman-based independent journalist <b>Mohammad-Sadeq Taheri</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that survivors demand cash rewards to rebuild their homes, but the governor sought to use the donated funds to rebuild the city's infrastructure first. (Jamshid Zand)
<b>Swiss Daily Reports on Tehran Street Children</b>
• Seventy-four percent of the children begging and vending everything from cigarettes to flowers on street corners in Tehran are girls, who will be prostituted as soon as they reach the age of 15, Swiss reporter Michael Braze writes from Tehran. (Shahram Mirian, Cologne)
<b>4th Anniversary of Assassination Attempt on Khatami Advisor</b>
• On the fourth anniversary of the assassination attempt on reformist theoretician and presidential advisor Saeed Hajjarian, member of the central committee of pro-form party the Participation Front, a ceremony was held at the party headquarters under the banner of “rejection of violence.” The attempt on Hajjarian's life exonerated the reformists in the eyes of the public, and galvanized their support. For the first time, the people believed that the reformist-conservative dispute within the regime is more than a window dressing, London-based commentator <b>Massoud Behnud</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. The failed attempt, which investigations showed was not pre-planned part of a larger conspiracy, shocked even the conservatives, who saw that the seeds of violence planted from the pulpits by some clerics, can flourish to damage them. It also gave birth to a new breed of conservatives who warned that close association with hard-line fundamentalists could shorten the regime's life, he adds. (Amir-Mosaddegh Katouzian)
<b>Majles Postpones Hearing Armin's Resignation</b>
• The Majles postponed hearing reformist Tehran MP Mohsen Armin's resignation speech, due to obstruction by conservative MPs. If I knew the conservatives are so sensitive to my resignation that they are ready to waste the people's time, I would have removed my resignation from the agenda, Armin said, adding that in his resignation speech, which he expects to deliver tomorrow, he has created a mirror in which the conservatives will be able to clearly see themselves. “But the gentlemen are averse to looking at themselves,” he added. (Fatemeh Aman)
• The Majles approved the principles of a bill to officially investigate the irregularities of the February 20 elections. Charges of vote buying, over counting, illegal campaign advertising, tampering with ballot boxes, extending the elections time without proper coordination and widespread use of fake IDs will be investigated by a special Majles-appointed commission, member of the Majles national security and foreign relations committee Ali Tajernia said. (Fatemeh Aman)
<b>Women's Day: Religious Justification for Violence Against Women</b>
• Violence against girls and women should be added to the list of evils - guns, terrorism, discrimination and torture - that curtail freedom across the world, Amnesty International's general secretary Irene Khan said on Monday, launching on the UN Women's Day an international campaign to end violence against women. In Islamic countries, the authorities justify violence against women by giving it other names, drawn from the religious rules, Paris-based women's rights advocate <b>Shahla Shafiq</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. The enforcement of women's Islamic headgear in the streets and public places, which includes insult and physical torture by flogging, is a form of violence legalized in the name of Islamic punishment. Most societies are not culturally prepared to discern and report such cases of violence against women as a husband's forced sexual relations. While in some societies this is a form of rape, and a punishable crime, in the Islamic societies it is called “tamkin” and is justified as a wife's religious duty, she adds. Whereas each sexual encounter with a husband to whom a woman has been forced to marry should be counted as a case of rape, she says. (Maryam Ahmadi)
علي سجادي (راديو فردا): وزير امور خارجه جمهور? اسلام? گفت: ا?ران غني سازي اورانيوم را که گامي کليدي در توليد انرژي هسته اي و سلاح هسته اي است، حق مشروع خود مي داند. اظهارات کمال خرازي در حالي صورت گرفت که سازمان بين المللي انرژي اتمي سرگرم تهيه قطعنامه اي درباره همکاري ايران با اين سازمان است.
کمال خرازي روز چهارشنبه گفت: غني سازي اورانيوم حق قانوني ايران است و افزود: چنانچه اروپا در برابر فشارهايي که از سوي آمريکا وارد مي شود مقاومت نکند، ايران همکاري خود را با سازمان بين المللي انرژي اتمي متوقف خواهد کرد. وزير امور خارجه جمهوري اسلامي گفت: ما به صورت داوطلبانه و موقت غني سازي اورانيوم را به حالت تعليق در آورديم تا در روابطمان اعتمادسازي شود و بعدا که روابط ما با سازمان به صورت عادي در آمد، مسلما کار غني سازي اورانيوم را آغاز خواهيم کرد.
محمد البرادعي، رئيس سازمان بين المللي انرژي اتمي، گفت: ايران نياز به اعتماد سازي دارد و از سر گرفته شدن غني سازي اورانيوم، کمکي به ايجاد اعتماد نمي کند. آقاي البرادعي ابراز اميدواري کرد ايران به همکاري هاي خود ادامه بدهد و گفت:
محمد البرادعي (رئيس سازمان بين المللي انرژي اتمي): اکنون مقام هاي ايراني همکاري خوبي با سازمان دارند و من اميدوار هستم اين همکاري همچنان ادامه يابد تا ما بتوانيم تاييد کنيم که برنامه هسته اي ايران منحصرا به منظور مقاصد صلح آميز است.
ع.س.: کنت بريل، نماينده آمريکا در هيات مديره سازمان بين المللي انرژي اتمي، گفت: اگر ايران به غني سازي مجدد اوارنيوم ادامه دهد، امري سازنده نخواهد بود. اظهارات آقاي خرازي هنگامي مطرح شد که ايالات متحده و متحدان اروپاييش در مورد پيش نويس قطعنامه اي که ايران را به خاطر کوتاهي در اعلام برنامه هسته ايش مورد انتقاد قرار مي دهد، به توافق رسيدند. مذاکرات هيات مديره 35 نفري سازمان بين المللي انرژي اتمي روز پنج شنبه در وين ادامه خواهد يافت. وزير امور خارجه جمهوری اسلامی روز چهارشنبه گفت: غني سازي اورانيوم حق قانوني ايران است و افزود: چنانچه اروپا در برابر فشارهايي که از سوي آمريکا وارد مي شود مقاومت نکند، ايران همکاري خود را با سازمان بين المللي انرژي اتمي متوقف خواهد کرد. محمد البرادعي، رئيس سازمان بين المللي انرژي اتمي، گفت: ايران نياز به اعتماد سازي دارد و از سر گرفته شدن غني سازي اورانيوم، کمکي به ايجاد اعتماد نمي کند. کنت بريل، نماينده آمريکا در هيات مديره سازمان بين المللي انرژي اتمي، گفت: اگر ايران به غني سازي مجدد اوارنيوم ادامه دهد، امري سازنده نخواهد بود. ايالات متحده و متحدان اروپايي آن در مورد پيش نويس قطعنامه اي که ايران را به خاطر کوتاهي در اعلام برنامه هسته ايش مورد انتقاد قرار مي دهد، به توافق رسيدند. مذاکرات هيات مديره 35 نفري سازمان بين المللي انرژي اتمي روز پنج شنبه در وين ادامه خواهد يافت.