Summary of Iran Stories of Today's BroadcastsBehnam NateghiTuesday, January 07, 2003
<b>High Council on National Security to Probe "Plainclothes" Forces</b>
* Interior minister Abdolvahed Mussavi-Lari asked the high council on national security to probe into the plainclothes forces that disrupt political rallies and lectures. A group of reformist MPs asked the interior minister to do the same. The plainclothes forces have been active since the revolution but before July 1999, when police and plainclothes forces jointly attacked the Tehran University student dorms, officials had not admitted to their existence. The plainclothes forces made news when Amir-Farshad Ebrahimi, a former plainclothes man, recorded a videotaped deposition in his lawyers' office describing several of the plainclothes' forces operations, including an assault in 1998 at Tehran University Friday prayers on President Khatami's ministers of interior and culture. (Fereydoun Zarnegar, Prague)
<b>225,000 Apply for Candidacy in Local Council Elections</b>
* The interior ministry said 225,000 applied for candidacy in the upcoming local councils' elections. Unlike the Majles and presidential elections, the applicants for candidacy in local councils' elections need not to be vetted by the conservative Guardians Council. The interior ministry spokesman said the ministry would approve nearly all of the applications. In Tehran, some reformist journalists and political activists were among the 1400 applicants, including wife of Hashem Aghajari, who was sentenced to death for insulting Islam in a speech on Islamic Protestantism last June at a Hamedan mosque. (Mahdieh Javid, Washington)
<b>Anniversary of Shah Reza Pahlavi's Ban on Islamic Veil</b>
* On the 68th anniversary of Reza Shah's ban on the Islamic veil for women, former justice minister Mohammad Baheri tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that Reza Shah himself felt ashamed for having to break an Islamic rule, but knew that by banning the women's veil, he was making it possible for women to participate in social and political life of their country. Mehrangiz Dolatshahi, the first women MP to speak at the Majles, and the only surviving of the first six women elected to the Majles after the Shah's 1962 reforms, tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that when Reza Shah banned the veil, she was a high school student. She says women began to gain independence and helped their families and their country by going to work. Now, she adds, there are more girls than boys in Iran's universities. (Ali Sajjadi, Washington)
<b>Iran-Tajikistan to Expand Cultural Ties</b>
* Iranian embassy's deputy cultural attach‚ Alireza Heydari and director of international relations of the Tajikistan culture ministry Ahmad-Ali Hamidov tell <b>Radio Farda</b> in a joint interview that Iran and Tajikistan plan to expand their cultural exchanges. Iran would increase the number of cultural events, such as poetry reading, art exhibits and music concerts, in Tajikistan and Tajikistan would open a cultural office in Tehran. (Shahnaz Kamelzadeh, Dushanbe)
<b>Iran-Afghanistan to Coordinate Anti-Drug Operations</b>
* Afghanistan interior minister Taj-Mohammad Verdak and secretary-general of Iran's anti-drug campaign headquarters Ali Hashemi agreed today at a meeting in Kabul to better coordinate the two countries' operations to eradicate opium cultivation and fight opium smugglers. (Shireen Famili, Prague)
<b>Judge Implicates Interior Minister in the Pollsters' Case</b>
* The pollsters' case judge Sa'id Mortazavi said interior minister Abolvahed Mussavi-Lari committed a crime by allowing the publication of the results of the US-Iran relations opinion poll in interior ministry's top-secret bulletin. The poll, for which officials of two polling agencies were put on trial, shows that 74 percent of respondents favor the resumptions of US-Iran relations. However, Judge Mortazavi added that since the interior minister is a cleric, it was up to the special court for the clergy to prosecute him. An interior ministry spokesman said no indictment has yet reached the ministry. (Alireza Taheri, Prague)
<b>Labor Councils on Violence against Striking Workers </b>
* In a statement issued this morning, the association of the workers' Islamic councils warned against using force against striking workers. Hasan Sadeqi, the association's secretary, tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that between 700 to 800 factories are faced with financial difficulties, and managers lay off workers or stop paying their wages. Unfortunately, he adds, when workers stage demonstrations inside or outside their workplaces to demand back pay, their gatherings are being violently suppressed. (Fereydoun Zarnegar, Prague). به درخواست وزارت كشور، براي نخستين بار در ايران، شورايعالي امنيت ملي جمهوري اسلامي به پرونده لباس شخصي ها، يا گروه هاي فشار سركوبگر تظاهرات و سخنراني ها، رسيدگي مي كند. گروهي از نمايندگان مجلس شوراي اسلامي در همين زمينه از وزير كشور بازخواست كرده اند.
لباس شخصي ها از آغاز انقلاب تا كنون همواره حضوري چشمگير در عرصه سياسي ايران داشته اند، اما تا پيش از حمله به خوابگاه دانشجويان دانشگاه تهران، نهادهاي رسمي جمهوري اسلامي وجود اين نيرو را تائيد نكرده بودند. پس از آن نيز لباس شخصي ها محاكمه نشدند. نام لباس شخصي ها هنگامي كه اميرفرشاد ابراهيمي، يكي از خود آنها، در يك نوار ويديوئي از عمليات گروه هاي فشار پرده برداشت، در خبرها مطرح شد. وي در نوار اعترافات خود از جمله جريان حمله لباس شخصي ها به وزراي كشور و فرهنگ كابينه خاتمي را تشريح كرد.