Summary of Iran Stories in Today's BroadcastsBehnam NateghiWednesday, May 19, 2004
<b>IAEA Chief Blames Iran for Delaying Nuclear Report</b>
• Iran's cooperation has been limited and insufficient, head of the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohamed ElBaradei said today in Rome after a meeting with Italian foreign minister Franco Frattini. The agency is not pleased with Iran's cooperation, as a result of which the IAEA is unable to finalize its report on Iran's nuclear program prior to the June 14 meeting of its board of governors, an IAEA official said. He said the UN inspectors faced obstacles in Iran when they tried to collect environmental samples in uranium enrichment sites.
• The UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will not be able to complete an investigation into Iran's alleged secret nuclear weapons program by the mid-June deadline, because of delays by Tehran in allowing UN inspections and disclosing its nuclear activities, diplomats said today in Vienna. “This is ironic since the Iranians are the ones who want the file on them to be closed,” an unnamed diplomat told Agenece France Press. During a visit by IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei to Tehran in April, foreign minister Kamal Kharazi had said Tehran expected the IAEA investigation to be completed in June ahead of a meeting of the IAEA board of governor. However, an official close to the IAEA said on Tuesday that due to Iran's initial delays, key results would not now be available for the board of governors meeting in Vienna June 14. “It takes a long time to get analysis of environmental sample, so there is no way to get results in June in order to wrap this thing up,” a Western diplomat said. “The Iranians have “succeeded in slowing down the (investigation) machine,” a second Western diplomat said.
• Columnist Nicholas Kristof writes in the <i>New York Times</i>: “If we haul Iran before the Security Council, it will restart its programs (it has suspended at least some) and kick out inspectors. Iran will respond to more pressure not by dropping its nuclear program, but by accelerating it.” He adds: “We'll create a nationalistic backlash in Iran that will keep hard-liners in power indefinitely. Our sanctions and isolation have kept dinosaurs in power in Cuba, North Korea and Burma, and my fear is that we'll do the same in Iran.”
<b>Central Bank to Regulate Saving and Loan Companies, Governor Says</b>
• The saving and loan companies will gradually come under the supervision of the central bank, central bank governor Ebrahim Sheybani said yesterday, adding that the Guardians Council has approved that the central bank is the sole regulator of banking. The saving and loan companies are not to blame, because they were not aware of the regulations. The problem, he said, has been caused by the Islamic Republic Armed Forces, which has issued permits to these companies, in spite of the central bank. The nearly 6000 saving and loan companies have created an unregulated banking system parallel with that of the government, Tehran press reported.
• Speaking at the 14th conference on monetary policy in Tehran, Sheybani said last year was a record-breaking year for the Islamic Republic's economy, and the economy is in the forward leap cycle. The indices cited by the central bank governor reflect gains accomplished solely as a result of the high oil prices, <b>Radio Farda</b>'s Paris-based economic commentator <b>Fereydoun Khavand</b> says. It is strange to boast about a total of $6.5 billion in non-oil exports for the whole year, which is less than Turkey's export revenue per month.
<b>Thousands March in Government Rally against US Clashes with Shiite Insurgents in Iraq</b>
• Nearly 15,000 rallied in Tehran in an official demonstration to protest against the clashes between US forces and Shiite insurgents in Iraq. Most offices closed for half a day in support of the state-sponsored demonstration, which was heavily promoted by the state radio-TV monopoly, Tehran-based independent journalist <b>Arash Qavidel</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. Another round of demonstrations is planned for next Friday in provinces. Demonstrators carried banners that said they were ready to fight against US forces in Iraq, he adds.
<b>Jailed Tabrizi Journalist Begins Hunger Strike</b>
• Tabriz-based independent journalist Ensafali Hedayat announced in a letter from jail that he would continue his hunger strike to death, unless the jail sentence against him was revoked and the 18 plainclothes officers who assaulted him last June were brought to justice. Hedayat was arrested 100 days ago, a day after he returned from Berlin, where he attended a gathering of secular anti-regime activists. Last month the Tabriz Islamic Revolutionary court sentenced him to 18 months in jail, and denied him medical furlough.
<b>EU, GCC Call for Resolution of UAE-Iran Dispute over Persian Gulf Islands</b>
• In a statement issued at the end of a joint meeting of Gulf Cooperation Council and the EU, the two sides called for an urgent resolution, through direct negotiations or international arbitration, of the UAE dispute with Iran over the three Persian Gulf islands of Tonbs and Abu Musa. The EU told the two sides to negotiate, and if you could not find a way, refer your dispute to an international judicial institution, <b>Christina Gallach</b>, spokesman for EU's foreign policy chief Javier Solana, tells <b>Radio Farda</b>, adding that the resolution does not take sides, and does not mean EU's interference in national matters of either country. The islands' sovereignty was returned to Iran by British forces prior to the formation of the UAE in 1992, London-based political geography professor <b>Pirouz Mojtahedzadeh</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>.
<b>Yazd Judiciary Sets 150 Million Rials Bail for Three Student Detainees</b>
• Activists in Yazd are trying to obtain the release of three students Yazd University students, who were arrested yesterday. The judiciary set a combined bail of 150 million rials for the three, who, along with 12 others, had signed a statement last February to boycott the Majles elections. University officials said they would not offer these students any support, put bail for them or give personal guarantees to obtain their release, activist <b>Mehdi Heydari</b>, one the 15 signers of elections boycott letter, tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. Afraid of political consequences, the regime's reformist faction does not provide any support for these students either, he adds. (Siavash Ardalan)
<b>Tehran Bar Association Launches Human Rights Commission</b>
• The Tehran bar association launched a human rights commission, and appointed Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi to lead it. The commission, which was proposed by Ms. Ebadi last year, will offer free legal council to defendants in political and press trials, Tehran-based lawyer and activist <b>Mohammad-Hossein Aghasi</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. (Fereydoun Zarnegar)
فريبا مودت (راديو فردا): امروز صبح محمد البرادعي، رئيس آژانس بين المللي انرژي اتمي در رم با وزير خارجه ايتاليا ملاقات كرد. در اين ديدار رئيس آژانس بين المللي انرژي اتمي همكاري جمهوري اسلامي ايران با اين نهاد را محدود و ناكافي دانست.
احمد رافت (راديو فردا، رم): وزارت خارجه ايتاليا صبح چهارشنبه به طور نامترقبه اي اعلام كرد: در خاتمه ديدار وزير امور خارجه، فرانكو فراتيني، با رئيس آژانس بين المللي انرژي اتمي، محمدالبرادعي، به مطبوعات فرصت مطرح كردن سئوالات داده نخواهد شد.
در اين اطلاعيه گفته مي شود: ايتاليا ضمن تشكر از محمد البرادعي و آژانس بين المللي انرژي اتمي و فعاليتهاي چشمگير اين نهاد، حمايت خود را از سياستهاي اتخاذشده اعلام مي دارد. در ادامه اطلاعيه به ويژه از كوششهاي آژانس بين المللي انرژي اتمي در رابطه با چند كشور جهت وصف همكاري دولتهاي اين كشورها با آژانس نيز تمجيد به عمل آورده مي شود. در اطلاعيه وزارت خارجه ايتاليا از اين كشورها البته نام برده نمي شود. يك ديپلمات ايتاليايي سكوت وزارت خارجه رم در رابطه با ديدار فرانكو فراتيني با محمد البرادعي را روابط بسيار دوستانه ايتاليا و جمهوري اسلامي ايران دانست و همين ديپلمات كه نخواست نام وي فاش شود، افزود: در شرايط حساس كنوني و با در نظر گرفتن تشديد بحران در جنوب عراق، مطرح نمودن مشكلات آژانس بين المللي انرژي با دولت جمهوري اسلامي ايران به هيچ وجه جايز نيست.
از جانبي ديگر يكي از همكاران محمد البرادعي همزمان با ديدار رئيس سازمان بين المللي انرژي اتمي با وزير خارجه ايتاليا گفت: ما به هيچ وجه از همكاري تهران خشنود نيستيم و همكاري ناقص مقامات اين كشور ما را از تهيه گزارشي كه مي بايست به شوراي حكام سازمان قبل از نشستش در 14 ژوئن آينده ارسال داريم باز داشته است. بازرسان سازمان بين المللي انرژي اتمي به گفته همكار محمد البرادعي در رابطه با نمونه برداري از محيطهايي كه در آنها ايران به غني سازي اورانيوم مشغول است، با مشكلاتي روبرو شده اند كه به گفته همين فرد مانع تهيه اين گزارش شده است. محمد البرادعي، رئيس آژانس بين المللي انرژي اتمي، در ديدار با فرانکو فراتيني، وزير امور خارجه ايتاليا در رم، همكاري جمهوري اسلامي با آژانس را محدود و ناكافي دانست. يكي از همكاران محمد البرادعي گفت: ما به هيچ وجه از همكاري تهران خشنود نيستيم و همكاري ناقص مقامات جمهوري اسلامي ما را از تهيه گزارشي كه بايد به هيات مديره آژانس، پيش از نشست 14 ژوئن آينده، ارسال داريم باز داشته است. بازرسان سازمان بين المللي انرژي اتمي به گفته همكار محمد البرادعي، درباره نمونه برداري از محيط هايي كه در آنها جمهوري اسلامي به غني سازي اورانيوم مشغول است، با مشكلاتي روبرو شده اند كه به گفته همين فرد مانع تهيه اين گزارش شده است.