Summary of Iran Stories of Today's BroadcastBehnam NateghiThursday, March 11, 2004
<b>IAEA Board Discusses Non-Aligned Nations Proposed Resolution on Iran</b>
• The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) began closed-door negotiations to reach a compromise on a US-backed proposal to condemn Tehran for hiding atomic activities. A plenary session of the IAEA's 35-nation board of governors was cancelled Thursday morning to give diplomats time to review amendments to a resolution proposed by the 13 non-aligned nations to “soften the tone” by removing the mention of Iran's use of military sites for its centrifuge equipment and a call for Iran to suspend uranium enrichment activity. (Amir Armin)
• The Islamic Republic armed forces had built nuclear centrifuges for civilian use, defense minister Ali Shamkhani said on Wednesday. Iran will “not accept” being declared as having violated nuclear safeguards agreements or being compared to Libya, foreign minister Kamal Kharazi said on Tuesday. (Jean Khakzad)
• The US is not easing its insistence that Iran should give up nuclear weapons ambitions, despite its support for a compromise resolution on Iran at this week's meeting of the IAEA, US Secretary of State Collin Powell said on Tuesday. The compromise between the US and European allies would put off until June any possible referral to the UN Security Council. (Maryam Ahmadi)
• The worst outcome would be for Iran to drop its membership in the IAEA, British MP <b>Eric Illsely</b>, who accompanied foreign secretary Jack Straw to Iran last year, tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. (Shahran Tabari, London)
• IAEA inspectors have found traces of extremely highly enriched uranium in Iran, of a purity reserved for use in a nuclear bomb, Craig Smith writes in the <i>New York Times</i>, quoting European and American diplomats. Among traces that inspectors detected last year are some refined to 90 percent of the rare 235 isotope, the diplomats said. While the International Atomic Energy Agency has previously reported finding "weapons grade" traces, it has not revealed that some reached such a high degree of enrichment. (Nima Tamadon)
• While it may postpone completing the Bushehr nuclear power plant, Russia has no intention of cutting off nuclear cooperation with Iran, Russian affairs expert <b>Houman Peymani</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. A series of long-term financial, military and political interests link the two countries, he adds. (Jamshid Zand)
<b>Public Concern Over Failures of Unregulated Islamic Saving and Loan Institutions</b>
• The failure of hundreds of unregulated Islamic saving and loan institutions has created public concerns over deposits, and has sparked sharp exchanges between government officials and managers of saving and loan institutions supported by top clerics. The Islamic saving and loan institutions operate without the permission of the central bank and represent a high risk to depositors, deputy finance minister Vida Mojtahedzadeh said. (Fereydoun Khavand, Paris)
<b>Teachers May Extend Strike</b>
• The strike of more than 200,000 teachers may be extended, the teachers' trade association, one of the 17 trade groups that have called the strike, warned, calling for an end to the intimidation and arrests of the striking teachers. All that the teachers want is to raise their pay level to that of other civil servants, a Karaj high school principal tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. We have teachers here who have to work in three jobs in order to make ends meet, he adds. (Leyli Arman)
<b>Government Toughens Stance on Afghan Refugees</b>
• Economic concerns over jobs and use of subsidies may be behind the Islamic government's new tough measures aimed at speeding up the repatriation of Afghan refugees. The new measures include restrictions on school enrollment for refugee children and bans on jobs and housing. (Fereydoun Khavand, Paris)
<b>Rioters Clash with Police After Celebrating Kurdish Autonomy in Iraq</b>
• Celebrations in Iranian Kurdish towns over the ratification of the Iraqi interim constitution by that country's governing council ended with clashes with the police and burning down government offices and banks. More than 120 were arrested in the border town of Piranshahr, where 8 police officers were wounded, according to the conservative daily <i>Jumhuri-e Eslami</i>. In Marivan people danced in the streets, pulled down an Islamic statue, and shouted slogans in support of the leftist Kurdish party Komeleh, as well as the Kurdistan Democratic Party. (Ardavan Niknam)
• More than 10,000 people in Marivan celebrated in the streets, <b>Kaveh</b>, a Marivan resident, tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. After the crowd pulled down the statue of an Islamic “martyr,” the town was filled with security police, who arrested more than 350 people, he adds. People are angry that they cannot install the statue of their national poet in the place of the statue of the government designated official “martyr,” he says. (Maryam Ahmadi))
• The sharp differences in the rights recognized for Kurdish people between the newly ratified Iraqi constitution and the constitution of the Islamic Republic were the reason for the widespread celebrations which led to official suppression and arrests, Sweden-based Middle East expert <b>Ahmad Eskandari</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. He blames the Islamic Republic police and security forces for the violence in Kurdish towns, and expresses concern over the future role of Islamic clerics in Iraq. (Maryam Ahmadi)
<b>Bam Earthquake Relief Raised by International Red Cross</b>
• The International Red Cross has raised a total of $21 million in relief aid, which is being spent by the Iranian Red Crescent society to provide services such as medical clinics, clean water projects, temporary shelters and other relief activities, Geneva-based director of Bam earthquake relief at the International Red Cross <b>John English</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. There are strict rules concerning the way the money is transferred and used, which gives us full assurance that the donated funds were used for the earmarked projects, he adds. (Shahran Tabari, London)
<b>Conference in Paris on MKO Members' Destiny</b>
• More than 80 lawyers and human rights activists took part in a conference in Paris to discuss the destiny of 3,700 members of the Iraq-based armed opposition group the Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO), who are now detained in a camp near the Iran border under supervision of US forces. The human rights activists seek a solution to prevent the extradition of the MKO members to Iran, <b>Danielle Mitterrand</b>, wife of late former French President François Mitterrand tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. The goal is to form an independent international panel, member of the MKO-run national resistance council <b>Saleh Rajabi</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. (Mir-Ali Hosseini, Paris)
<b>Police Measures to Control National Fire Festival</b>
• As sounds of firecrackers fill the streets of Tehran and major cities in advance of the national fire festival, the conservative Tehran municipal government announced new plans to control the festivities, which in previous years turned Tehran into a free-for-all party town for one night, Tehran-based independent journalist <b>Arash Qavidel</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. The mayor has designated official locations in public parks for the fire festival, and has banned impromptu celebrations around the city, he adds. (Nima Tamadon)
<b>International Federation of Human Rights Societies Admit Ebadi's Human Rights Defenders Society</b>
• In its 35th international conference held last week in Ecuador, the Federation of Human Rights Societies admitted the membership of the Society of Human Rights Defenders, founded in Tehran by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi, who took part in the conference, deputy chair of the international federation, Paris-based human rights advocate <b>Abdolkarim Lahiji</b>, tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. (Nazi Azima)
<b>Traffic Fines Reduce Accident Casualties</b>
• Doubling of traffic fines has reduced the accidents' casualties by 30 percent, announced the traffic police. (Arash Qavidel, Tehran)
مريم احمدي (راديو فردا): با بسته شدن پرونده فعاليت هاي هسته اي ليبي در سازمان بين المللي انرژي اتمي، اکنون مذاکرات فشرده اي در پشت درهاي بسته در جريان است تا درباره قطعنامه مربوط به برنامه هسته اي ايران توافقي صورت گيرد. گزارشي داريم از امير آرمين.
امير آرمين (راديو فردا): جلسه عمومي هيات مديره سازمان بين المللي انرژي اتمي، که قرار بود صبح پنجشنبه برگزار شود، به تعويق افتاد تا ديپلمات ها فرصت داشته باشند اصلاحات به عمل آمده در قطعنامه توسط 13 عضو جنبش غير متعهدها را بررسي کنند. يکي از اعضاي گروه غيرمتعهدها مي گويد: هدف ما نرمتر کردن لحن قطعنامه است؛ چيزي که از بيگانه کردن جمهوري اسلامي و عدم همکاري اين کشور با سازمان بين المللي انرژي اتمي جلوگيري کند. ايران به ويژه نسبت به دو نکته حساس است: يکي اشاره به استفاده از تاسيسات نظامي براي برنامه عني سازي اورانيوم، و ديگري خواست سازمان بين المللي انرژي اتمي داير بر تعليق همه فعاليت هاي مربوط به غني سازي اورانيوم.
بر اساس يافته هاي جديد در مورد برنامه هاي هسته اي ايران که بخشي از آن در شماره روز پنجشنبه نيويورک تايمز گزارش شده است، بازرسان سازمان بين المللي انرژي اتمي نشانه هايي از اورانيوم غني شده با درجه خلوص بسيار بالا که معمولا براي استفاده در بمب اتمي بکار مي رود، در تاسيسات هسته اي ايران پيدا شده است.
از همين رو آمريکا، کانادا، و استراليا خواستار محکوم کردن شديد ايران هستند و قطعنامه پيشنهادي اين کشور از حمايت 17 کشور از 35 کشور عضو هيات مديره سازمان بين المللي انرژي اتمي برخوردار است. روسيه نيز از اشاره مستقيم به تاسيسات نظامي و ارتباط دادن آن با برنامه هاي هسته اي ايران در متن قطعنامه خشنود نيست. يک ديپلمات که نخواست نامش فاش شود گفته است: نگراني مسکو در اين زمينه تعجب آور نيست. جلسه عمومي هيات مديره آژانس بين المللي انرژي اتمي، که قرار بود صبح پنجشنبه برگزار شود، به تعويق افتاد تا ديپلمات ها فرصت داشته باشند اصلاحات به عمل آمده در قطعنامه توسط 13 عضو جنبش غير متعهدها را بررسي کنند. بازرسان آژانس نشانه هايي از اورانيوم غني شده با درجه خلوص بسيار بالا که معمولا براي استفاده در بمب اتمي بکار مي رود، در تاسيسات هسته اي ايران پيدا كرده اند. از همين رو آمريکا، کانادا، و استراليا خواستار محکوم کردن شديد ايران هستند و قطعنامه پيشنهادي آنها از حمايت 17 كشور از 35 عضو شوراي حكام آژانس برخوردار است. روسيه نيز از اشاره مستقيم به ارتباط نيروي مسلح جمهوري اسلامي با برنامه هاي هسته اي ايران در متن قطعنامه خشنود نيست.