Summary of Iran Stories in Today's BroadcastsThursday, December 05, 2003
<b>Guardians May Disqualify Reforist Candidates, Pro-Government Party Warns</b>
• The unelected Guardian Council may exercise its power to disqualify scores of reformist applicants for candidacy in the February 20 Majles elections, secretary-general of the pro-government reformist party the Islamic Iran Participation Front Mohammad Reza Khatami said. Majid Ansari, a prominent member of the Society of Militant Clergy criticized the lack of dialogue between the Majlis and the Guardian Council. The nation will strongly participate in the elections to foil the plots of the enemies, senior conservative cleric Mohammad Emami Kashani said on Friday in a sermon at the official Tehran Friday prayer ceremony. The association of the student Islamic councils, a part of the pro-Khatami camp in previous elections, has called for boycotting the February 20 elections. (Shireen Famili)
<b>Mob Attack Ebadi and Reformist MP</b>
• Plainclothes forces attacked the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi as she and her entourage entered Tehran's all-girl al-Zahra university, where she was scheduled to deliver a speech on Wednesday. The plainclothes forces assaulted Ebadi's entourage, holding up signs that criticized her appearing without the Islamic head gear on TV in Europe. “While communists give slogans against me for my support of Islam, some call me ‘infidel' in a state university,” Ebadi said. Her speech was cancelled. (Jamshid Zand)
• Plainclothes forces assaulted and injured reformist MP Mohsen Mirdamadi, as he was giving a speech at a political rally in Yazd University. Mostafa Tajzadeh, a member of The Islamic Iran Participation Front, told reporters that Iranian people must counter fascism by casting their votes [for the reformist candidates]. (Maryam Ahmadi)
<b>Anti Government Demonstrations in Saravan</b>
• Police in southeastern Iran shot dead four people who were protesting at the killing of a motorist, an MP told Reuters reported today. A mob gathered in the town of Saravan, 100,000, to protest about the shooting of the motorist, who had failed to stop when flagged down by police in Sistan-Baluchestan border province. Some of the demonstrators attacked buildings, the MP said. Four civilians died in clashes on Thursday. the demonstrators attacked public buildings and a bank, and set fire to a police vehicle yesterday, editor of the Zahedan weekly Marz-e-Por-Gohar <b>Mahmood Barahoui-Nezhad</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. A few months ago in Zahedan, police shot and killed three young men who were driving without licenses and ignored orders to stop. (Nima Tamadon)
<b>Pressure on Western Style Fast Food Restaurants</b>
• Police shut down four of the capital's Western-style fast-food restaurants, popular with youngsters as meeting places to mingle with the opposite sex, in an apparent crackdown on un-Islamic behavior, the Reuters reported. Restaurant owners said the closures were ordered 12 days ago. “Unmarried couples were not allowed in and even women with loose headgear were turned away, a young patron of the Jam-e-Jam food court on the Vali-Asr avenue in Tehran tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. (Farin Asemi)
• Western style small booths and foreign cuisines made this place a pleasant hang-out for young people,” he adds. The fried chicken and pizza restaurant Apache on Shariati Avenue was also closed down. Young women have incurred the wrath of authorities by wearing make-up, short coats and colorful scarves pushed back to expose as much hair as possible instead of the head-to-toe black chadors deemed necessary by the country's ruling clerics to protect a woman's modesty. The restaurant owners are issued steep fines if a woman is seen smoking hookah on premises. The second time offense makes the place to be shut down permanently. Tired of such costly closures, some restaurants in Tehran have begun to employ soccer-style penalties for diners who could jeopardize their business. Girls deemed to be improperly dressed or men flirting too openly with the opposite sex may receive a "yellow card" on their table warning them to modify their dress or behavior. (Arash Qavidel, Tehran)
• For a country with 53 per cent population under 20, to limit the young people's socializing is harmful psychologically and it instigates potential violent behavior sociologist <b>Babak Qaraei Moqaddam</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. (Golnaz Esfandiari)
<b>Court Convicts Writer: Trial without Jury</b>*
• The imprisoned investigative journalist Emadeddin Baqi was found guilty by the Islamic revolutionary court Thursday, which sentenced him to one year in prison on charges of anti-government activities, Islamic government's news agency IRNA reported. Baqi condemned the trial Thursday, telling the AP that he had received an "illegal verdict issued after a two-minute, so-called closed-door trial." Baqi said Thursday he was summoned to the Tehran Islamic revolutionary court last month and told he was on trail. "My lawyer was not allowed in," he said. "There was only a judge who didn't even identify himself. He briefly read the charges against me without specifying what. I still don't know why such charges have been brought against me." Baqi said he told the judge he considered the court illegal and refused to defend himself. (Feraydoun Zarnegar)
• Baqi has served his sentence to the end; and the new indictments were too vague and general to merit a trial, Tehran-based lawyer <b>Nemat Ahmadi</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b> (Shireen Famili)
<b>European and Asian Banks to Finance South Pars Gas Project</b>
• A consortium of European and Asian banks headed by Deutsche Bank are to finance phases 9 and 10 of Iran's giant South Pars Gas project, the state news agency IRNA reported Monday. The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) said the $1.7 billion package, covering the purchase of equipment, will be the first time in Iran that a sum of this magnitude has been secured to finance a project. The payback period is ten years. The consortium also includes the Export-Import Bank of Korea, Natexis Banques Populaire, BNP Paribas and SG Corporate and Investment Banking of France, Germany's CommerzBank and KfW, and the Dutch company ING. South Pars Gas field is shared between Iran and Qatar. It has been divided into 20 to 25 phases. (Leyli Sadr)
<b>Use of Camels for Drug Trafficking</b>
• Today's drug smugglers use camels, the Reuter's reports. Smugglers used to charge across the porous eastern border in heavily-armed motorcades but Iran's newly-built network of concrete walls, ditches and sand barriers has forced them into the mountain passes from Pakistan and Afghanistan, it adds. (Nima Tamadon)
<b>Canadian Torture Victim Sues Iran</b>
• Canadian-Iranian Houshang Bouzari, 51, of Toronto, is suing Iran for state-sanctioned torture and damages he endured in an Iranian jail. He is asking the Islamic Republic of Iran for $3,250,000 (U.S.) his wife paid for his ransom. Bouzari lost his case before the Ontario Superior Court in May, 2002, and is now appealing the ruling. “I'm just asking Canada, one of the most famous advocates of human rights on the entire planet, to help me send a signal to the torturers,” he said yesterday. Bouzari says he was imprisoned after he refused to direct an oil contract to a highly placed Iranian official in exchange for a bribe. Bouzari's lawyer <b>David Matas</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that the lawsuit will prove that a torture victim has the right to sue a foreign government in Canada. (Maryam Aghvami, Toronto)
ليلي صدر (راديو فردا): محسن ميردامادي، رئيس کميسيون امنيت ملي و سياست خارجي مجلس شوراي اسلامي هنگام ايراد سخنراني در مرکز فرنگي – هنري دانشگاه يزد به مناسبت پنجمين سالگرد تشکيل جبهه مشارکت، مورد حمله گروه هاي فشار قرار گرفت و از ناحيه سر و سينه آسيب ديد. جزئيات بيشتر را مريم احمدي به آگاهي مي رساند.
مريم احمدي (راديو فردا): به گزارش خبرگزاري دانشجويان ايران فاطمه عباسقلي زاده، نايب رئيس جبهه مشارکت استان يزد گفته است براي سخنراني در اين جلسه ابتدا از احمد شيرزاد، نماينده اصفهان و عضو شوراي مرکزي جبهه مشارکت دعوت شده بود، اما در پي تهديدهاي شفاهي و کتبي مسئولان شوراي تامين استان يزد خواهان لغو برنامه شدند. متعاقبا جلسه سخنراني احمد شيرزاد لغو شد و با هماهنگي دفتر مرکزي جبهه مشارکت بنا براين شد محسن ميردامادي در جلسه حاضر شود و درباره چگونگي تشکيل جبهه و نحوه فعاليت آن سخنراني کند. اما سخنراني با حمله افرادي که شعارهايي چون وکيل آمريکايي، مرگت باد! مجلس آمريکايي، ننگت باد!، ناتمام ماند. به گفته زهرا مجردي، همسر آقاي ميردامادي، ضاربان تصور مي کردند سخنران اقاي شيرزاد است. به گزارش سايت خبري رويداد، پس از بر هم خوردن جلسه يک روحاني ناشناس در جمع حمله کنندگان گفته است: بحث ما شيرزاد، مزروعي، يا ميردامادي نيست؛ بحث ما جبهه مشارکت است. اين ها همه خائن هستند و مي توانند بروند ديه اشان را از آمريکا بگيرند.
روز چهارشنبه نيز يک گروه فشار در دانشگاه الزهرا سخنراني شيرين عبادي، برنده جايزه صلح نوبل، را بر هم زد. مصطفي تاج زاده، عضو شوراي مرکزي جبهه مشارکت، در واکنش به کتک خوردن محسن ميردامادي گفته است مردم بايد با آراء خود به فاشيسم جواب رد بدهند. آقاي تاجرزاده گفته است صداي پاي فاشيسم در حال شنيده شدن است. قوه قضائيه قصد برخورد با اين عناصر شناخته شده را ندارد و پشت اين ها به کانون هاي اصلي قدرت گرم است. محسن ميردامادي كه براي سخنراني به شهر يزد رفته بود، در حال سخنراني بود كه عده اي در حدود پنجاه نفر به داخل سالن هجوم بردند و نماينده مجلس و تني چند از اطرافيان وي را به شدت كتك زدند و زخمي كردند. روز پنجشنبه نيز يك گروه فشار در دانشگاه الزهرا، سخنراني شيرين عبادي، برنده جايزه صلح نوبل را برهم زد. مصطفي تاجزاده، عضو مركزي جبهه مشاركت در واكنش به كتك خوردن محسن ميردامادي مي گويد: مردم بايد با آراي خود به فاشيستم جواب رد بدهند. آقاي تاجزاده گفته است مردم يزد با فرهنگ تر از آن هستند كه دست به اعمال غير قانوني و غير انساني بزنند. وي با تاكيد بر اينكه صداي پاي فاشيسم در حال شنيده شدن است، گفت: قوه قضاييه قصد برخورد با اين عناصر شناخته شده را ندارد و پشت اينها به كانونهاي اصلي قدرت گرم است.