Summary of Iran Stories in Today's BroadcastsBehnam NateghiWednesday, September 24, 2003
<b>Islamic Factions Divided on IAEA Resolution</b>
• Iran's nuclear weapons program has gone forward without the knowledge of President Khatami, but most Iranians oppose impromptu UN inspections of the country's nuclear facilities. The regime's two factions are divided over the accepting the IAEA resolution that gave Iran until the end of October to prove that it is not pursuing a nuclear weapons program and sign the additional protocol to the UN nuclear non-proliferation treaty. While the reformist faction recommends signing the additional document, the conservatives under the Supreme Leader advocate exiting the non-proliferation treaty. Foreign observers believe that the conflict between the ayatollahs and the IAEA would spell the end for the clerical regime, writes Madrid's daily El <i>Pais</i>. (Ahmad Ra'fat, Rome)
• Foreign minister Kamal Kharazi rejected the statement made two days ago by Iran's envoy to the IAEA about the Islamic government's plans to lower the level of its cooperation with the IAEA. Iran's representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency said in an interview aired on Monday on the state TV that Iran would honor its commitments under the non-proliferation treaty, but will reduce its cooperation with the IAEA. Kharrazi said today that cooperation with the IAEA will increase and will become more transparent. Meanwhile, deputy foreign minister for Asia and Oceania Mohsen Aminzadeh said in interviews with domestic newspapers that signing the additional protocol would benefit Iran, adding that if Iran had signed the protocol a few months ago, many countries on the IAEA's board of governors would have supported it. (Fereydoun Zarnegar)
<b>Iran-Azerbaijan to Begin Second Round of Caspian Talks</b>
• Azerbaijan's deputy foreign minister said the second round of talks with Iranian representatives on the Caspian Sea legal regime will begin next week in Baku. Azerbaijan has been one of the most ardent opponents of Iran's position on the Caspian Sea, Virginia University's marine law professor and Caspian expert <b>Bahman Aqai Diba</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. Azerbaijan's Caspian Sea policies have been totally contrary to Iran's interests, he adds. The Islamic regime's failure to promote Iran's interests in the Caspian Sea negotiations has led to silence and cover up, which many Majles MPs have criticized, he adds. (Ardavan Niknam)
<b>Jailed Dissident Accuses IRGC of Torture and Mistreatment of Prisoners</b>
• There are illegal jails in the cellblock 500 of the Evin prison, operated by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), where the prisoners are under physical and psychological torture, jailed dissident Heshmatollah Tabarzadi, founder of the independent opposition group the Democratic Front, said today in a handwritten letter from his jail cell. He asked for the prosecution of Tehran prosecutor Said Mortazavi for the death in custody of Canadian-Iranian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, and called for the boycott of the next Majles elections. He blasted the judiciary for having interrogated his wife and children about his prayer habits, and said he longs for the prosecution of the Supreme Leader, former President Rafsanjani and judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmud Shahroudi by the Iranian people, and added that he is proud to be an infidel in the religion that the Islamic regime's authorities observe. Tabarzadi had been held in solitary confinement two months and three weeks of his recent three months in prison, his son, <b>Ali Tabarzadi</b>, tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. He adds that several members of the Democratic Front are under torture in the Evin and Qasr prisons. (Ali Sajjadi, Masoud Malek)
• The Tehran Islamic revolutionary court released, on one-billion-rial bail, Islamic student activist Mehdi Aminizadeh, a member of the central council of the association of Islamic student councils (Dafter-e Tahkim-e Vahdat), who had been arrested during last June's pro-democracy demonstrations. Ali Rahmatinezhad, Ali-Asghar Rahmati, Mohammad Rezai and Mikail Azimi were also released, each on 200 million-rial bail bonds. However, wife of jailed student activist Said Razavi-Faqih said her husband has been kept in solitary confinement for over 70 days on charges of connection with the Israeli secret police and monarchist political groups outside Iran. (Kian Manavi)
• Seventy members of pro-reform party the Participation Front (Jebheh-ye Mosharekat-e Iran-e Eslami) announced plans to hold a second day of fasting on September 29 to protest the continued detention of political activists and journalists, and what they called “inhuman” treatment of prisoners. They added that their first fasting protest and other actions have been ignored by the conservative judiciary. In their call for the release of political prisoners, the reformists ignore the hundreds of prisoners not associated with the regime's pro-reform party the Participation Front, student activist and member of the central council of the Democratic Student Front <b>Kianoush Sanjari</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. (Keyvan Hosseini)
• The organizers of the September 29 protest, have repeatedly acknowledged that the reform movement has failed to bring about its promise, <b>Bahram Bigdeli</b>, spokesman of the Germany-based society for defense of political prisoners, tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. “We hope that these protests on behalf of the political prisoners are not a ploy to heat up the lackluster Majles elections, he adds. (Shahram Mirian, Cologne)
• The newly founded “Strikes Committee” asked workers and students to announce their opposition to the Islamic regime in a general strike. Furthermore, members of the association of Islamic student councils, Daftar-e Tahkim-e Vahdat, announced that they would support the September 29 fast protest at the Participation Front offices. <b>Seyyed Amir Pakzad</b>, member of the general council of the Daftar tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that 47 Islamic student activists will express their sympathy with the Participation Front by holding special prayers on September 29. He said the students demand the immediate release of activist Said Razavi-Faqih, a member of the central council of the Daftar. (Amir-Mosaddegh Katouzian)
<b>Kazemi's Family to Attend Her Murder Trial</b>
• Iran agreed to allow the Canadian government and the family of Canadian-Iranian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi to attend the trial of an intelligence ministry agent charged with her murder, Canadian foreign affairs minister Bill Graham said today at the UN, after a meeting with foreign minister Kamal Kharrazi. Graham added that he felt that the charging of the agent does not exonerate the Islamic regime in Kazemi's death. The case will not be closed, but will remain a pawn in the domestic political rivalries, Toronto-based human rights advocate and organizer <b>Said Soltanpour</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. (Maryam Aghvami, Toronto)
<b>Documentary on Qum Grave Squatters</b>
• The 20-minute documentary <i>The Shadow of Dust</i> by filmmaker Mohammad Sadeq Jafari focuses on homeless families squatting in the memorial structures erected around graves in Qum's many cemeteries. Qum has more cemeteries than any other town in Iran, because the pious consider Qum a gateway to Heaven, says Qum-based pro-reform political commentator <b>Dr. Akbar Karami</b>. He tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that Qum is a town where death and mourning are more common and more celebrated than life and joy, he adds. With the money that the regime spends on religious mourning ceremonies, many of the city's problems, including the grave squatting, could be resolved. (Mahmonir Rahimi)
<b>Sazegara's Wife Worries about His Health, His Son Goes on Trial</b>
• After repeated hunger strikes and spending more than seventy days in jail, dissident Mohsen Sazegara's health has gravely deteriorated, his wife <b>Dr. Soheila Hamidnia</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. She says her husband has gone on hunger strike repeatedly, but each time the prison officials have transferred him to the hospital where they force fed him. Her husband was too weak to walk two weeks ago, when his lawyer was granted a visit. Sazegara's bail bond of 6 billion rials was received by the court last month, but he was not released, because another court opened a new case against him. (Mahmonir Rahimi)
• Sazegara's son, <b>Vahid Sazegara</b>, who has been released on bail after three months in prison, appeared in court yesterday to stand trail for conspiracy to topple the regime. He tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that the trial was postponed, because the prosecutor was absent. However, the judge said the charges against him include participating in illegal demonstrations and engaging in anti-regime propaganda in his father's website www.alliran.com. (Mahmonir Rahimi)
<b>Ayatollah Montazeri Begins Classes in Qum</b>
• Six years after he was driven out of his seminary school by mobs and six months after being released from house arrest, Ayatollah Hosseinali Montazeri, the regime's highest ranking clerical opponent, began regular “Kharej” classes, advance courses in the Shiite theology, his son <b>Ahmad Montazeri</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. Seminary students from across Iran have relocated to Qum in order to attend Montazeri's classes, he adds. His classes are always political, he says. He began today's class with a discussion of the need for financial and political independence of the Shiite seminary schools, so that they can play their role as critics of the government. Now only 300 seminary students can attend Montazeri's classes, because the seminary school, or “Hosseinieh,” where he used to teach, has been closed by the authorities, he adds. (Fereydoun Zarnegar)
مريم احمدي (راديو فردا): اصلي ترين روزنامه اسپانيا خبرنگار خود را به ايران فرستاده است تا گزارشي درباره فعاليت هاي هسته اي ايران تهيه کند. بر اساس برداشت هاي خبرنگار El Pais، برنامه توليد سلاح هاي اتمي در ايران بدون اطلاع محمد خاتمي، رئيس جمهوري، ادامه دارد و اکثر ايرانيان مخالف بازرسي هاي سرزده از تاسيسات اتمي ايران هستند. همکارم احمد رافت برگردان اين گزارش را به اطلاع مي رساند.
احمد رافت ( راديو فردا): El Pais، پرتيراژترين روزنامه اسپانيا، در مقاله اي تحت عنوان «آيت الله ها در مقابل آژانس بين المللي اتمي سر خم نخواهند کرد» مي نويسد: ضرب العجل اين نهاد به دو دستگي بي سابقه در داخل حکومت جمهوري اسلامي ايران دامن زده است. خبرنگار El Pais مي افزايد: در حاليکه رئيس جمهور محمد خاتمي و به طور کلي اصلاح طلبان مخالفتي با امضاي پروتکل الحاقي معاهده منع گسترش اسلحه هاي اتمي را ندارند، تندروها به رهبري آيت الله علي خامنه اي گويا نه تنها اين اولتيماتوم را کاملا غيرقانوني مي دانند، بلکه قصد خروج از آژانس بين المللي انرژي اتمي را نيز دارند.
حسين شريعتمداري، مدير روزنامه کيهان، به خبرنگار El Pais مي گويد: امضاي اين پروتکل به معناي سر خم کردن در مقابل زورگويي هاي آمريکا است و ما هرگز تن به اينچنين عملي در نخواهيم داد. El Pais مي نويسد: بازرسان سازمان بين المللي انرژي اتمي معتقد هستند جمهوري اسلامي ايران تنها قصد استفاده غير نظامي از برنامه هاي هسته اي خود را نداشته و در جهت دستيابي به سلاح هاي اتمي قعاليت مي کند. ابراهيم يزدي به خبرنگار El Pais مي گويد: با توجه به اين که 80 درصد اقتصاد کشور به نفت و صدور آن وابستگي دارد و تحريم اقتصادي احتمالي ايران مي تواند اقتصاد کشور را به کلي فلج سازد، بنابراين ما معتقديم بايد هرچه زودتر و قبل از به پايان رسيدن مهلت 31 اکتبر، پروتکل الحاقي را امضا کرد.
خبرنگار El Pais مدعي است که پاسداران بدون اطلاع محمد خاتمي در نظنز روند غني ساختن اورانيوم و در اراک پروسه تهيه آب سنگين را آغاز کرده اند تا دولت را در برابر عمل انجام شده قرار دهند. خبرنگار El Pais همچنين مي نويسد: در ايران اکثريت مردم با امضاي اين پروتکل مخالفند. گروهي بنا بر آن چه در اين مقاله آمده است، گويا اعتقاد دارند که تنها دستيابي به اسلحه اتمي مي تواند کشور را از حملات احتمالي پاکستان، هند، و يا اسرائيل مصون بدارد. در حالي که مخالفين حکومت بنا بر آن چه خبرنگار اسپانيايي مي نويسد، بر اين نظر هستند که درگيري آيت الله ها با آژانس بين المللي انرژي اتمي مي تواند به برکناري آن ها منتهي شود. خبرنگار روزنامه ال پائيس، پرتيراژترين روزنامه اسپانيا،نوشت که برنامه توليد سلاح هاي اتمي در ايران، بدون اطلاع حجت الاسلام محمد خاتمي، رئيس جمهوري اسلامي، ادامه دارد و اکثر ايرانيان مخالف بازرسي هاي سرزده از تاسيسات اتمي ايران هستند. اين روزنامه نوشت که ضرب الاجل آژانس بين المللي انرژي اتمي، به دودستگي بي سابقه در داخل حکومت جمهوري اسلامي دامن زده است. اصلاح طلبان مخالفتي با امضاي پروتکل الحاقي پيمان منع گسترش سلاح هاي هسته اي را ندارند، اما تندروها به رهبري آيت الله خامنه اي، گويا نه تنها اين اولتيماتوم را کاملا غير قانوني مي دانند، بلکه قصد خروج از آژانس بين المللي انرژي اتمي را نيز دارند. اين روزنامه نوشت كارشناسان بين المللي بر اين نظرند كه درگيري آيت الله ها با آژانس بين المللي انرژي اتمي مي تواند به بركناري آنها منجر شود.