Summary of Iran Stories in Today's BroadcastsBehnam NateghiWednesday, September 17, 2003
<b> Iran May Cooperate with the US on Iraq and al-Qaeda</b>
• Iran may cooperate with the US and Iraq's other neighbors to avoid a civil war in Iraq, Jordanian King Abdullah said on Tuesday in an interview on PBS. “I think with us there is an agreement that a breakup in Iraq would be a tremendous problem for all of us,” Abdullah, who visited Tehran earlier this month, said. (Maryam Ahmadi)
• The Islamic regime may be ready and willing to cooperate with the US and the international anti-terror campaign, writes the London-based Jane's Defense. The Iranian authorities have proposed swapping the al-Qaeda members they said they have in custody with the members of the armed opposition group Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO), who are held in Iraq by the US, it adds. (Mina Baharmast)
• In meetings with the Saudi officials in Riyadh, foreign minister Kamal Kharrazi discussed regional security and the extradition of al-Qaeda members held by Iran. The Saudi officials favor improvement of relations with Iran, editor of the English language Riyadh daily <i>Arab News</i> <b>Khaled al-Maina</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. The two countries may soon reach an agreement on the al-Qaeda members, he adds. (Peyman Pezhman)
<b>Reactions to the IAEA Resolution</b>
• Iran will soon issue a statement in response to the IAEA's resolution, presidential advisor Mohammad Shariati said. There is no disagreement between the officials. The IAEA's deadline aims at putting pressure on Iran, and has weakened the reformists, MP Hossein Afarideh, member of the Majles energy committee, said. (Fereydoun Zarnegar)
• Iranian officials are scrambling to find a way out of the tight corner, writes the German daily <i>Süddeutsche Zeitung</i>. (Shahram Mirian, Cologne)
• If the Islamic regime rejects the IAEA resolution, the EU will end its trade cooperation talks with Iran and Iran may face UN economic sanctions, the German daily <i>Frankfurter Allgemeine</i> writes. (Shahram Mirian, Cologne)
• Iran will continue to talk to the IAEA until the October 31 deadline, vice president for legal and legislative affairs Mohammad-Ali Abtahi said on Wednesday. (Ardavan Niknam)
• Making the nuclear program transparent would not be against the country's national interest, the pro-Khatami party Participation Front said today in a statement that urged the government to sign the additional protocol to the UN nuclear non-proliferation treaty, which would allow more stringent, impromptu inspections of Iran's nuclear sites. The party that represents the largest bloc of reformists in the Majles blamed the regime's conservative faction for pushing the world to unity against Iran. In a tough resolution issued on Friday, the 35-member board of the UN International Atomic Energy Agency gave Iran until the end of October to prove that it is not developing nuclear weapons. Even though the Participation Front and the reformist MPs have the votes in the Majles to ratify the additional protocol, the conservative Guardians Council has the power to veto it. However, the Supreme Leader, who will make the final decision on the IAEA resolution, may be considering the reformists' and the moderate conservatives' position in favor of accepting the IAEA resolution. (Siavash Ardalan)
• Acting commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Corps (IRGC) Mohammad-Baqer Zolqadr told a gathering of IRGC commanders that the Islamic regime has developed a thorough defense plan, with the goal of deterring the enemy. Bogged down in Iran and Afghanistan, the US is in no position to attack a country as big as Iran, he said. Iranian army commander brigadier-general Reza Salimi said the army and IRGC are united as brothers. (Mahmonir Rahimi)
<b>Pro-Khatami Party Blames the Supreme Leader for Treatment of Political Prisoners</b>
• On the eve of day-long fasting at the offices of the pro-Khatami party the Participation Front in protest against the continued detention of reformist journalists and political figures, the party's secretary-general Mohammad-Reza Khatami protested against maltreatment of prisoners. The judiciary ignored the Supreme Leader's decrees on humane treatment of prisoners, head of the pro-Khatami society to defend press freedoms Mohsen Kadivar said. The judiciary represents neither Islam nor the law; it represents power, and the Supreme Leader is directly responsible for everything the judiciary does, the Participation Front board member Alireza Alavitabar said. (Fereydoun Zarnegar)
<b>Survivors of the 1992 Mikonos Murders Describe the Attack on KDP Leaders</b>
• On the anniversary of the 1992 attack that killed three leaders of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDP) in Munich's Mikonos restaurant, two of the survivors tell <b>Radio Farda</b> that they saw three masked terrorists kill the party's secretary-general Abdolrahman Qasemlu, its representative in Europe Qaswm Sharafkandi and its Germany representative Abdali. The victims, along with four survivors, were in Munich for an international gathering of the socialist parties. Former member of the Marxist armed guerilla group the People's Fedaiyan <b>Vahid Ebrahimzadeh</b> says, after the shooting that lasted a few seconds, he was surprised to find himself alive. <b>Parviz Dastmalchi</b> says he heard two rounds of machinegun fire, and saw a handgun firing a shot from close range at Sharafkandi's head from across the table under which he was hiding. A court in Germany found the Supreme Leader, former president Rafsanjani and former intelligence minister Ali Falahian responsible in the murders. He says the three assailants and a fourth person who was on the lookout at the restaurant's entrance were all members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), and were aided by member of the Lebanese Hezbollah. The German court sentenced two of the assailants to life in prison, one to 11 years, and two others to five and four years; and their two Lebanese collaborators escaped, one to Lebanon, where he works for the Hezbollah, and another to Iran, where he works for the IRGC. The German court's ruling on the Mikonos murders was a turning point in the relations between the Islamic regime and the European countries, which recalled their ambassadors from Iran. The relations with Europe began to improve only after the election of President Khatami in 1997. (Ali Sajjadi)
• <b>Mahin Roota</b>, spokesperson for the organizers of the demonstrations in Berlin, Germany, to commemorate the 1988 mass executions of political prisoners, tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that the Islamic officials who participated in the executions of thousands of political prisoners must be prosecuted in an international court. (Parviz Mardani, )
<b>Iran Lags Behind its Neighbors in Development</b>
• Head of the management and planning organization Mohammad Satarifar said Iran has fallen behind its neighbors in development. He said to complete 9080 unfinished development projects left over from the first two five-year development plans requires 300 billion rials, six times more than the country's annual development budget. The second five-year plan ended three years ago. (Fereydoun Khavand, Paris)
<b>Iranian-born Candidate in California Gubernatorial Elections </b>
• The delay ordered by the Ninth District Court will increase Governor Gary Davis's chance of beating the recall, <b>Koroush Hamidi</b>, one of the Iranian-born candidates in California's gubernatorial recall elections tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. (Firouzeh Khatibi, Los Angeles)
<b>Iran-EU Put Off Human Rights Talks</b>
• The third and final round of the Iran-EU talks in Tehran on human rights, scheduled for September 15 and 16, were cancelled, because the Islamic authorities barred two international human rights organizations from participating, head of the Paris-based society for defense of human rights <b>Abdolkarim Lahiji</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. The two previous rounds of talks on torture, prison conditions and arbitrary arrests did not bear any results, he adds. The Guardians Council rejected the Majles legislation to ban torture, and despite the recommendations of the UN Human Rights Commission, the special court for the clergy and revolutionary continue to prosecute dissident clerics, reformist journalist and pro-democracy students. The international federation of societies for defense of human rights had also asked that in addition to the government representatives, officials from other institutions, such as the judiciary take part in the talk, he adds. When Hashem Aghajari receives a death sentence for giving a lecture, talking with Islamic officials on human rights would be useless. (Fariba Mavedat)
<b>450 Recommend Aghajari to Receive Nobel Peace Prize</b>
• In a letter to the Oslo committee that selects the winners of the Nobel peace prize, 450 university professors, journalists and political activists recommended jailed lecturer Hashem Aghajari, central council member of the leftist Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution. Aghajari's name is on the list of 165 cultural and political figures being considered for the 2003 Nobel peace prize. Aghajari was sentence to death for a speech last June in Hamedan on Islamic Protestantism, in which he criticized the clerical rule and rejected the Shiite principle of religious emulation. (Ardavan Niknam)
<b>Girls No Longer Need Father's Permission to Marry</b>
• At a time when girls receive higher education and participate in social activities, they no longer need for their father's permission to marry, Tehran governor's women's affairs advisor said today. For first time marriages, the bride's father's permission is mandatory, and registering a marriage without it is a punishable crime, Tehran-based lawyer <b>Mohammad Hossein Aghasi</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. However, girls who feel their father unreasonably deny permission, can ask the family court to intervene. (Farin Asemi)
علي سجادي (راديوفردا): ملك عبدالله، پادشاه اردن كه به تازگي به ايران سفر كرده بود، مي گويد ايران حاضر است براي جلوگيري از جنگ داخلي عراق و احتمالا فروپاشي اين كشور، با ايالات متحده و كشورهاي ديگر همسايه همكاري كند.
مريم احمدي (راديو فردا): ملك عبدالله كه در پي سفر به ايران براي گفتگو با پرزيدنت بوش و كولين پاول، وزير امور خارجه آمريكا در مورد شرايط موجود در منطقه به آمريكا نيز سفر كرد، در مصاحبه با شبكه تلويزيوني PBS گفت: ايرانيها جدا نسبت به گسترش خشونت در عراق كه مي تواند يك جنگ داخلي را به دنبال آورد، نگرانند.
پادشاه اردن گفت ما در اين زمينه كه فروپاشي عراق، مشكل بسيار بزرگي براي همه ما بوجود خواهد آورد، اتفاق نظر داريم. وي گفت محمد خاتمي، رئيس جمهوري ايران، معتقد است كه جنگ بين شيعه و سني در عراق، به همان اندازه بد است كه جنگ بين فرقه هاي مختلف شيعه.
ملك عبدالله در ادامه سخنان نخود گفت: بر اساس گفتگوهايي كه در تهران داشتيم، مي توانم بگويم كه ايرانيها مصرانه مي خواهند خشونتهاي قومي و مذهبي در عراق پايان گيرد. از نظر مقامات ايران، بي ثباتي در عراق، درگيريهاي قومي، اختلافهاي شيعه و شيعه و سني براي همه ما يك فاجعه است، بنابراين زمينه مناسبي براي توافق و همكاري وجود دارد. ملك عبدالله، پادشاه اردن، كه در پي سفر به ايران، براي گفتگو در مورد شرايط موجود در منطقه به آمريكا نيز سفر كرد، در مصاحبه با شبكه تلويزيوني PBS گفت که مقامات جمهوري اسلامي جدا نسبت به گسترش خشونت در عراق كه مي تواند يك جنگ داخلي را به دنبال آورد، نگرانند و حاضرند براي جلوگيري از جنگ داخلي عراق و احتمالا فروپاشي اين كشور، با آمريکا و كشورهاي ديگر همسايه همكاري كنند. بر اساس گفتگوهايي كه در تهران داشتيم، مي توانم بگويم كه ايرانيها مصرانه مي خواهند خشونتهاي قومي و مذهبي در عراق پايان گيرد. از نظر مقامات ايران، بي ثباتي در عراق، درگيريهاي قومي، اختلافهاي شيعه و شيعه و سني براي همه ما يك فاجعه است، بنابراين زمينه مناسبي براي توافق و همكاري وجود دارد.