Summary of Iran Stories in Today's BroadcastsBehnam NateghiSunday, December 07, 2003
<b>Jordan Mediates in US-Iran Relations</b>
• Jordan's King Abdullah is quietly trying to broker a deal that would lead Tehran to surrender about 70 al Qaeda operatives, including the son of Osama bin Laden, in exchange for U.S. action on the largest Iranian opposition group now based in Iraq, according to U.S. and Middle East officials, reported the Washington <i>Post</i>. (Alireza Taheri)
• The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is examining the December 2001 and June 2002 meetings, which were initiated by Manucher Ghorbanifar, an Iranian who acted as a middleman in the Iran-contra affair during the Reagan administration and was long ago labeled a fabricator by American intelligence officials. One important question is whether any senior administration officials were aware of his involvement before the meetings, writes the New York <i>Times</i>. (Nima Tamadon)
<b>Student's Day Rallies</b>
• Thousands of student gathered inside the Tehran University campus in the center of Tehran. Police keeps the pedestrian traffic moving on the sidewalks of the Enqelab avenue around the Tehran University, since many curious people have come here to watch the students' rally, Tehran-based independent journalist <b>Arash Qavidel</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. Between 5,000 to 6,000 students appear to be holding a rally inside; and the police did not allow the plainclothes forces to set up outside the university, he adds. This is the first time I see police dispersing the plainclothes forces, he says. (Bahman Bastani)
• The association of Islamic student councils, the Daftar-e Tahkim-e Vahdat (Office of Fostering Unity), applied for a permit today to hold a rally on December 9 on the campus of one of Tehran universities in commemoration of the December 7 Student's Day, spokesman <b>Hojatollah Sharifi</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. Despite government and universities' refusal to permit students to march on December 7, several seminars and indoor meeting are going on in various universities, including the Sharif University, he adds. Fifty years ago on this day, the Shah's security forces shot and killed three students in a protest against then US Vice President Richard Nixon, who was visiting. (Nima Tamadon)
• One of our goals is to create awareness internationally for the political murders in Iran, spokesman of the society for defense of political prisoners <b>Ebrahim Avakht</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>, after a rally in Paris, held to observe the fifth anniversary of the 1998 serial murders of dissidents by intelligence ministry agents and the 50th anniversary of the Student's Day. (Mir-Ali Hosseini, Paris)
<b>Assault in Yazd on Reformist MP Mirdamadi: Follow-up</b>
• Plainclothes forces assaulted head of the Majles national security and foreign relations committee and Tehran MP Mohsen Mirdamadi two days ago at the Yazd University, where he was giving a speech on behalf of embattled Isfahan MP Ahmad Shirzad. Considering that fifty people attacked him, it was god's will that he was not seriously injured, Mirdamadi's wife, Zahra Mojaradi said after visiting her husband in hospital. Mirdamadi, a leading member of the group who stormed the US Embassy in 1979 and held 52 US diplomats hostage for 444 days, is the last in a long line of reformist politicians who experienced beating in the past six years in the hands of the plainclothes force, known as the Ansar-e Hezbollah. The people active in the plainclothes forces are either from the intelligence ministry or the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (RGC), a former member of the Ansar's central committee <b>Amir-Farshad Ebrahimi</b>, who was part of the group that in 1999 attacked Khatami cabinet's then culture and interior ministers, tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. They claim to be a part of the law enforcement forces, he adds. Commanders of the plainclothes forces in various cities are known to everyone, for example Sadeq Ashk-Talkh in western provinces, Hamid Ostad in the Khorasan province, Kaveh in Isfahan -- each have a history of cracking down on legal demonstrations and political rallies. Said Askar, who shot President Khatami's advisor Said Hajjarian in the head and neck was the only Ansar member to be tried in court, and he spent his time in jail as the prison's boss, not a prisoner. The supreme national security council has not yet reacted to Mirdamadi's beating. (Alireza Taheri)
• In a statement issued yesterday, the supreme national security council condemned the plainclothes forces attack on Mirdamadi, and asked the judiciary to prosecute the culprits. The statement said Mirdamadi was assaulted by “rogue” elements. (Jean Khakzad)
• The Ansar-e Hezbollah members in Isfahan exercised their right to protest when they covered with a wall of bricks the entrance of to the offices of Isfahan MP Ahmad Shirzad, head of the Ansar plainclothes forces in Mashhad Hamid Ostad said in an interview quoted by the Tehran daily <i>Hayat-e Now-ye Eqtesadi</i>. In a strongly worded speech at the Majles last week, Shirzad criticized the judiciary and the “vicious circle” of selecting and monitoring the conduct of the Supreme Leader by his own appointees. (Ali Sajjadi)
• President Khatami asked interior minister Abdolvahed Mousavi-Lari and intelligence minister Ali Yunesi to provide security for legal political gatherings and rallies. (Mina Baharmast)
<b>Prisons Organization Denies Arrest of Guard in Kazemi's Death</b>
• In a statement the prisons organization denied the news that an Evin prison guard has been arrested for beating Canadian-Iranian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, who died in custody last August of head injuries she suffered during interrogation. (Kiam Manavi)
<b>UNICEF to Vaccinate Kids against SmallPox</b>
• UNICEF began its largest ever vaccination program in a country on December 6 in Iran, aimed at vaccinating 33 million children and adults under 25 against smallpox. (Leyli Arman)
<b>Iran's Plan to Start an Oil Trade</b>
• Government plans to launch an international trading market for oil, but the metals exchange that was created last year does little business, and has made no impact even on the domestic metals market. (Arash Qavidel, Tehran)
<b>Motorists Face Gasoline Shortages</b>
• With fuel consumption up and the government unwilling to run the risk of cutting its hefty subsidies at the forecourt, Iran is facing the prospect of serious petrol shortages in the coming months. In recent weeks, several provincial cities -- notably Karaj and Qazvin to the west of Tehran -- have seen petrol pumps run dry and motorists experiencing waits of several hours in order to fill up, reports the Agence France Press from Tehran. (Shahran Tabari, London)
مينا بهارمست (راديو فردا): امروز به مناسبت روز شانزدهم آذرماه، روز دانشجو، چند هزار نفر از دانشجويان در محوطه داخل دانشگاه تهران تجمع كردند. آرش قويدل دقايقي پيش از تهران گزارش داد.
آرش قويدل (روزنامه نگار، تهران): خيلي از مردم امروز به خاطر كنجكاوي هم كه شده بيشتر به اينجا آمدند كه ببينند در سالگرد 16 آذر آيا تجمعي انجام مي شود در دانشگاه يا خير، منتها خوب نيروهاي امينتي و پليس به هيچ عنوان اجازه نمي دهند كه هرگونه توقفي را در معابر پياده انجام بدهند و درون دانشگاه را نگاه كنند. در درون دانشگاه يك چيزي حدود پنج، شش هزار دانشجو تجمع كردند و پلاكارد دستشان گرفتند و آنجا ايستاده اند.
بهمن باستاني (راديوفردا): شعار هم مي دهند دانشجويان، آقاي قويدل؟
آرش قويدل: به هيچ عنوان در خيابانها صداي شعار آنها به گوش نمي رسد، اما آنطور كه من ديدم، آنها شعار هم نمي دادند، بيشتر در حال حاضر نطق هاي دانشجويان هست که دارند انجام مي دهند و بيشتر دارند آنرا انجام مي دهند در آنجا.
ب.ب.: و آيا گروههاي سركوب خياباني آن حوالي هستند، برخوردي با مردم مي كنند و يا احيانا درگيري با نيروي انتظامي احيانا ديده شده در آن اطراف؟
آرش قويدل: هستند، منتها زماني كه اينها خواستند استقرار پيدا كنند در خيابان و كوچه هاي اطراف دانشگاه، پليس به آنها اجازه كاري نداد و در مرحله اول آنها را متفرق كرد و من براي اولين بار مي ديدم در يك چنين تجمعاتي پليس از تجمع آنها جلوگيري مي كند.
ب.ب.: بفرماييد كه از كي اين تجمع در پشت در دانشگاه تهران شروع شده و گفته شده است كه آيا تا كي ادامه خواهد داشت؟
آرش قويدل: اين تجمع از ساعت 4 آغاز شده و طبق اعلاميه اي كه اعلام شده تا ساعت 7 بعد از ظهر هم به طول مي انجامد. امروز به مناسبت روز شانزدهم آذرماه، روز دانشجو، چند هزار نفر از دانشجويان در محوطه داخل دانشگاه تهران تجمع كردند. آرش قويدل، روزنامه نگار در تهران، در مصاحبه با راديوفردا مي گويد که خيلي از مردم امروز به خاطر كنجكاوي هم كه شده بيشتر به اينجا آمدند كه ببينند در سالگرد 16 آذر آيا تجمعي انجام مي شود در دانشگاه يا خير، منتها نيروهاي امينتي و پليس به هيچ عنوان اجازه نمي دهند كه با توقف در معابر پياده، درون دانشگاه را نگاه كنند. در درون دانشگاه پنج هزار تا شش هزار دانشجو تجمع تظاهراتي برقرار ساخته اند. وي مي افزايد: پليس به گروه هاي لباس شخصي انصار حزب الله اجازه نداد در اطراف دانشگاه مستقر شوند و براي اولين بار در چنين تظاهراتي، پليس نيروهاي مذكور را متفرق ساخت.