Summary of Iran Stories of Today's BroadcastsBehnam NateghiSunday, January 12, 2003
<b>Afghanistan FM and Khatami Meet</b>
* After meeting Afghan foreign minister Dr. Abdullah Abdullah in Tehran today, President Khatami said that of the $6 billion in international aid promised to Afghanistan at the Tokyo conference last year, only 15 percent has been paid. Iran has promised Afghanistan $500 million in aid over the next five years.
* In an interview with <b>Radio Farda</b>, Afghanistan foreign minister Dr. Abdullah Abdullah blamed the drought in both countries for the disruption of the flow of water through the Hirmand River from Afghanistan to Iran, and said the two countries should implement the provisions of their 1974 agreement. In addition to guaranteeing the water flow, the agreement also provides Afghanistan with the use of Iran's Chabahar port. (Kian Manavi)
<b>Iraqi Kurdish Leader Ends Tehran Visit</b>
* Leader of the Patriotic Union of the Iraqi Kurdistan Jalal Talabani described his party's relation with Iran as "warmer than it has ever been." Talabani is a member of the committee of 65 Iraqi opposition coordinators elected two weeks ago in London. He said that the US officials had asked him to tell the Iranian authorities that the US would not harm Iran.
* Kurdish reporter at RFE/RL's Iraqi service Sami Shuresh tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that Talabani's visit to Tehran could not have been too productive, because Iran, Turkey and Syria are more focused on coordinating their policies than helping Talabani and other Iraqi opposition groups. (Baktash Khamsehpour)
<b>Kuwaiti FM's Tehran Trip</b>
* Kuwait's daily Al-Qabas called foreign minister Shiekh Sabah al-Ahmed's visit yesterday to Iran a turning point in the relations between the two neighbors. It said both countries favor a peaceful solution to the Iraqi crisis, and agreed to help solve Kuwait's water shortage by water from Iran's Karoun River. (Farideh Rahbar, Cairo)
<b>Turkish PM Visits Saudi Arabia and Iran</b>
* Turkish prime minister Abdullah Gul arrived in Tehran today on the last leg of his tour of the region. He is to visit Khatami. Turkey and Iran oppose US military action against Iraq. Also, Syrian president Bashar Asad is on his way to Tehran. (Nazi Azima)
* Commentator Mehdi Qasemi tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that the prospect of the US attack on Iraq has created a complicated situation in the region, particularly for Iran and Turkey, which are concerned about their own Kurdish populations. (Iraj Arianpour)
<b>Reformists Condemn Judiciary's Ban on Two Newspapers</b>
* Reporters of the daily <i>Hayate-e Now</i> said their newspaper was banned in advance of the local city councils' elections, because with its focus on social and urban issues it could have helped reformist candidates. The judiciary banned <i>Hayat-e Now</i> yesterday for a cartoon it found insulting to Ayatollah Khomeini, founder of the Islamic republic. The1937 American cartoon shows Chief Supreme Court justice Charles Evans Hughes being crushed under President Theodore Roosevelt's thumb, but the judiciary and the conservative press said the newspaper must have printed it because the bearded old man resembles Ayatollah Khomeini. (Nazi Azima)
* <i>Hayat-e Now</i> owner MP Hadi Khamenei, brother of the Supreme Leader, said today at the Majles that he wishes he had been tortured to death in the Shah's jails and had not lived to see these days. He confirmed his loyalty to Ayatollah Khomeini and said the price he pays today for that loyalty is the hardest, heaviest and the most bitter he ever paid. MP Mohammad Naimipour, head of the Jebheh-ye Mosharekat's caucus in the Majles, said today that closing of the two reformist papers yesterday was a planned show of force that was waiting to happen. (Mehdi Khalaji)
* Editor of several banned newspapers Mashallah Shamsolvaezin, spokesman of the society to defend freedom of expression, said the closing of more than 90 newspapers within the past three years indicates the worsening of human rights conditions in Iran. (Mehdi Khalaji)
<b>MP Warns against Ruin of Historic Qajar Building by Guards</b>
* Tabriz MP Hamid Mahdavi Moqadam, head of the Majles Tourism committee, said the women's unit of the Revolutionary Guards' Basij force has irreparably damaged an 19th Century Qajar palace and demanded an immediate end to the occupation of the Ahmad Shah palace and other palaces and historic monuments by the armed forces. (Nazi Azima)
</b>Earthquake Shakes Fars Villages</b>
* Spokesman for Iran's Red Crescent society Zara Falahat tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that the earthquake in Fars villages had no fatalities. (Baktash Khamsehpour)
<b>Majles Approves $1.5 Billion for Buying Passenger Jets</b>
* MP Mohammad Abbaspour, a member of the Majles development committee, said Majles approved a government bill to spend $1.5 billion next year on renovating Iran's passenger jet fleet. He said 20 jets have to be retired by the end of the next fiscal year. (Ardavan Niknam)
محمد خاتمي، رئيس جمهوري اسلامي در ديدار بادكتر عبدالله عبدالله، وزيرامورخارجه افغانستان بر تلاش جامعه بين المللي براي بازسازي افغانستان تاكيد كرد و مسوليت مقامات افغان را با توجه به وضع نابسامان آشفتگي ها و مشكلات زياد آن كشور بسيار سنگين ارزيابي كرد و از جامعه بين المللي خواست نسبت به تعهدات خود در قبال افغانستان پايبند باشد. محمد خاتمي همچنين با يادآوري كنفرانس توكيو در سال گذشته گفت كه فقط 15 در صد از مجموع شش ميليارد دلار كمك هاي وعده داده شده از سوي نهادهاي بين المللي به افغانستان رسيده است. جمهوري اسلامي به افغانستان وعده داده است كه در پنج سال آينده 500 مليون دلار به اين كشور كمك كند. دكتر عبدالله عبدالله، وزير امور خارجه افغانستان در مصاحبه با راديو فردا مي گويد: زمينه ديگري كه دو كشور بايد با هم همكاري كنند جلب پشتيباني و همكاري جامعه بين المللي است. مشكلات افغانستان ابعادش متاسفانه به شكلي در سالهاي جنگ گسرتش پيدا كرده كه اقدامات وسيع همه جانبه در همه سطوح را ضروري مي كند. وي همچنين درباره بسته شدن آب رودخانه هيرمند به روي ايران مي گويد: مشكلات ناشي از خشكسالي بود كه هم ما متضرر شديم هم جمهوري اسلامي و خوشبختانه با بارندگي هاي اخير مشكل تا حد زيادي حل شده. اما بنا در هر دو طرف بايد بر اجراي تعهدات باشد. در اين ديدار همچنين مذاكراتي درباره مبارزه با قاچاق مواد مخدر صورت گرفت.