Summary of Iran Stories in Today's BroadcastsBehnam NateghiTuesday, April 27, 2004
<b>EU, Russia, UN and US Press Iran on Nuclear Commitments, Powell Says</b>
• Before the June meeting of the board of governors of the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the US, along with the international community, including the UN, European countries and Russia, will press Iran to abandon its nuclear program, US Secretary of State Collin Powell said on Tuesday in an interview with Reuters' Saul Hudson and Arshad Mohammed. Asked how the US would push for a non-compliance resolution on Iran through the IAEA board of governors' meeting next June, Mr. Powell said: “We're going to push very hard between now and then to make sure that the international community, the IAEA, the European Foreign Ministers (who) have been working on this in concert with us, and the Russians, press Iran(ians) to the fullest to meet their commitments,” to the IAEA and the foreign ministers of the UK, France and Germany. “We believe they (Iranians) still have not been totally forthcoming. Things constantly are being found and discovered. And we need full accountability,” Mr. Powell added. He said Iraq's potential weapons of mass destruction no longer worry the world, and Libya reaped the benefits of abandoning its WMD programs. “Now I would hope that the Iranians would see the same benefits for them if they would abandon these kinds of programs,” Powell said.
<b>Judiciary Targets Smugglers after Anesthetics Fatalities</b>
• The Tehran judiciary began prosecution of a ring of mostly Indian and Pakistani pharmaceutical smugglers after two patients died and 9 went into a coma in Tehran's Iranmehr hospital last week from being administered surgical anesthetics past their expiration dates. The defendants bought expired drugs in Europe and sold them in Iran's pharmaceutical black market after changing the packaging, according to the Tehran daily <i>Sharq</i>. Four days after surgery on his arm, patient Majid Geybi developed a mental disorder from what was diagnosed as an infectious toxin, the victim's brother-in-law <b>Ali Azad</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. He was then hospitalized for 9 days under intensive care for respiratory problems, before going into a fatal coma, Azad adds. He says he tipped off the “In Town” (Dar Shahr) television program, which produced a report on the Iranmehr hospital's fatal surgeries. “By the order of the authorities, the Iranmehr report was shelved,” Azad says, adding that he is concerned that the same authorities may influence the hospital's case in court. “I told judge Qaedi, who is in charge of the case, that I am certain that in a few days they would buy you or those below you or above you off, because in Iran nothing other than financial interest matters,” he says. The surgery on his brother-in-law was possible with local anesthetics, but the hospital apparently profits more from general anesthesia, he adds. (Leyli Arman)
• Victim Abbas Rezazadeh developed respiratory complications after a surgery on his left foot in the Iranmehr hospital, his son <b>Mahmoud Rezazadeh</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. He was taken to the intensive care unit a day after surgery, “and we found out that seven or eight patients, who had surgeries done in the Iranmehr hospital on April 1 to April 4 had gone into a coma, some from brain malfunction, and some like my father, from kidney and liver problems,” Rezazadeh says. The cause was said to have been either the anesthetics or some infection in the operation room, he adds.
• The health ministry issued a statement assuring the public of the quality of the imported anesthetics.
<b>Majles Passes the Fourth 5-Year Development Plan</b>
• Isfahan MP Rajabali Mazroui called the fourth five-year economic development plan, passed today at by the Majles, “a reformist economic blueprint for the country.” Coming from an MP, who, along with scores of his fellow reformists, is spending his last days at the Majles, the comment is a bitter and strange depiction of a plan being passed by one faction for another, <b>Radio Farda</b>'s Paris-based economic commentator <b>Fereydoun Khavand</b> says. Due to start in March 2005, the plan's goals include lowering inflation and unemployment rates to 6.8 percent and 8.4 percent respectively and maintaining an annual growth of 10.7 percent in non-oil exports. He notes the experience of pre-revolutionary Iran and that of some other dynamic developing countries show that these goals are not unattainable, and Iran can hope for improving inflation and unemployment, if it does not pin all its hopes for growth on the oil income. But the plan passed today only lists the goals, without dealing with the obstacles in mobilization of the brains, talents and capitals, Khavand says.
<b>Iranian Policemen Arrive in Guyana to Investigate Cleric's Kidnapping</b>
• Four Iranian police investigators arrived in Guyana's capital Georgetown to investigate the unsolved armed kidnapping 25 days ago of cleric Mohammad-Hasan Ebrahimi, who taught at the Islamic college.
<b> Seminaries to Shut Down in Protest against US Actions in Iraq</b>
• The Shiite seminary schools in Qum will be closed on Wednesday in protest against the US actions in southern Iran, the conservative association of Qum seminary teachers announced in a statement. The association, which has relations with Iraqi Shiites, warned that the Islamic world, particularly Shiite seminaries, will not remain silent in the face of US attacks on Iraqi Shiite cities.
<b>Khatami Denies Denial on Political Prisoners</b>
• In a speech today to young Iranians, President Khatami said he has never denied that the Islamic Republic holds political prisoners. He denied that in comments to press in Geneva earlier this year he denied the existence of political prisoners in Iran. “If you prove that I ever said that, you can execute me right here,” the Islamic Republic president said.
<b>Judiciary Switches Judges on Zahra Kazemi's Case</b>
• The Tehran judiciary changed the judge presiding over the prosecution of two intelligence ministry agents charged in the death in custody of Canadian-Iranian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi. The victim's family had requested a change of venue for the trial to a court with jurisdiction over murder, the family's lawyer <b>Mohammad-Ali Dadkhah</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. We hope that the new judge would consider our argument against the jurisdiction of the court, which is limited to involuntary manslaughter. (Fereydoun Zarnegar)
<b>Wives of Nationalist-Religious Prisoners Call for Access to Counsel</b>
• In a letter to the head of three branches of the government, wives of the three jailed nationalist-religious coalition members called for their husbands' access to legal counsel. Lawyer <b>Abdolfatah Soltani</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that he and his colleague Mohammad Sharif have not been permitted to meet with clients Hoda Saber, Taqi Rahmani and Reza Alijani, or read their cases. (Farin Asemi)
<b> Tehran Judiciary Releases Azeri Activist</b>
• Azeri political activist Gholamreza Amani, who had been arrested along with a 10 other fellow Azeris at a gathering last week in Tehran, was released on 100 million rials in bail, his lawyer <b>Saleh Kamrani</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. The Azeris had been arrested on the eve of a demonstration in Tehran by the Armenians to commemorate the 1915 massacre of Armenians by Ottoman soldiers. Kamrani says he represented Amani in another case before a Tabriz court. Judging from the number of family members and relatives of detained Azeris who contacted him, he says probably between 15 to 20 have been arrested. (Jamshid Zand)
<b>Tehran Intelligence History Museum</b>
• The Tehran intelligence history museum, established by the intelligence ministry in a jail built by German contractors in Tehran in 1916, has become Iran's most popular museum. Under the Shah, the building was used as a jail for terrorism suspects, and many of today's top officials from both factions, including former presidents Rajai and Hashemi Rafsanjani, as well as the Supreme Leader, had spent time as inmates there. After the revolution, the building was used as a jail for anti-regime activists, including the army officers accused of involvement in a failed 1980 coup attempt. The museum displays a variety of torture equipment and images claimed to be of the Shah's secret police's torturers. (Arash Qavidel, Tehran)
• Such a museum is only meaningful in a country where torture and arbitrary arrests no longer take place, Paris-based human rights advocate <b>Abdolkarim Lahiji</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. In Iran, according to two UN special reporters, there are still secret jails, and mistreatment of political prisoners continues, he adds. (Nazi Azima)
<b>Women Protest against TV's Promotion of Polygamy</b>
• In a gathering tomorrow in front of the conservative trade association of journalists' offices in Tehran, women will stage a rally to protest against the state-run TV's promotion of polygamy. A new serial being aired by the television shows that even educated and cosmopolitan men can have several wives and everything would go well, women's rights activist <b>Nazanin Ranjbaran</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. The women want to protest against the way the state-run TV monopoly portrays the women, Tehran-based journalist Maryam Mirza tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. Most TV programs want to show that women belong to a lower class in the society, she adds. In an article in the new Tehran daily <i>Vaqaye Ettefaqqieh</i>, women's rights activist <b>Marzieh Mortazi-Langaroudi</b> writes that despite the glowing language of the Islamic Republic constitution about women's role in the society, the Radio-TV shows women as lower than men and dependent on men. (Farin Asemi)
کولين پاول، وزير امور خارجه آمريکا گفت ايران هنوز همه مسائل برنامه هسته اي خودرا افشا نکرده است. آقاي پاول روز سه شنبه به خبرنگاران گفت واشنگتن همچنان از آژانس بين المللي انرژي اتمي، روسيه و اتحاديه اروپا مي خواهد هماهنگ با آمريکا بر ميزان فشار بر تهران بيفزايند تا تهران به تعهداتي که بر عهده گرفته است عمل کند. آقاي پاول گفت ايران بايد کاملا پاسخگو باشد تا جامعه بين المللي بتواند به آن دولت اعتماد کند. وزير امور خارجه آمريکا گفت در نشست آينده هيات مديره آژانس معلوم خواهد شد ايران در زمينه همکاريها تا چه پايه جدي بوده است.