Summary of Iran Stories of Today's BroadcastsBehnam NateghiWednesday, December 25, 2002
<b>Iran's Nuclear Programs</b>
* The Washington Post wrote that the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea, and North Korea's threat to resume work at its plutonium enriching plant, has confronted the US with the greatest nuclear threat since the 1990s.
* Director of the Non-Proliferation Policy Education Center Henry Sokolski tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that Iran's nuclear installations in Natanz and Arak can only be used for making nuclear bombs. He adds that there are cheaper sources of energy available to Iran, as well as cheaper sources of nuclear energy. He says Iran is in compliance with the international non-proliferation treaty, but has violated the treaty's spirit. He adds that the Iranians say they do not have nuclear bombs, and they may not have any, but they are pushing to arrive at a stage to quickly be able to make their own nuclear bombs. (Mahtab Farid, Washington)
<b>Iran-Pakistan Plan Joint Maneuver</b>
* Iran and Pakistan will stage a military maneuver in early 2003. In the past, Iran and Pakistan had limited military cooperation in naval exercises and light weapons and ammunition trade. Relations between Iran and Pakistan improved after General Musharraf stopped in Tehran last year on his way to New York.
* London's <i>Independent</i> wrote that the growth of the US power and presence in the region, pushes the regional powers closer together. (Iraj Arianpour, Washington)
<b>Iran Unsure of the Cause of the Ukrainian Antonov Passenger Jet</b>
* Iran's civil aviation authority said it is too soon to pin down the exact cause of the crash of the Ukrainian Antonov 140 passenger jet last night near Esfahan. Forty-six passengers, nearly 40 of them Russian and Ukrainian aviation engineers who died in the crash, were on their way to attend the first test flight of an Iranian-made Antonov-140 in a facility shared jointly with Ukraine. Earlier today Iranian radio quoted the Esfahan flight control tower that pilot error was the cause of the crash.
* The spokesman of the Iranian-Ukrainian jet manufacturing plant announced that despite the crash, the first test flight of the Iran-140 Antonov passenger jet will go on as scheduled. (Jamshid Zand, Prague)
<b>Judiciary Sets High Bails for Jailed Student Activist</b>
* Tehran MP Ali-Akbar Mussavi-Khoeini said many jailed students arrested during early December student protests cannot afford the high bails set by the judiciary for their release. The students' Islamic council of the Tehran University's faculty of social sciences demanded the immediate release of Behnam Amini. It said he has been in detention for a month, which is the legal limit for detention without a charge. He told his family in a brief phone call that his bail was set at 1 billion rials ($125,000).
<b>Review of Tehran Press</b>
* <i> Hayat-e Now</i> reports on the fourth session of the trial of the officials of two state-owned polling agencies accused of spying for the US. <i>Resalat</i> quotes Habibollah Asgharoladi, secretary general of the conservative Hey'at-e Motalefeh-ye Eslami, saying that President Bush must realize that starting a new wave of psychological operations and deceptive messages are not the ways to reach the Iranian people. <i>Aftab-e Yazd</i> quotes defense minister Shamkhani who threatens that any attack on the Bushehr nuclear plant will be met with a harsh response from the Iranian people. (Amir Armin, Washington)
<b>American-Iranian Council Writes President Bush on California Detentions</b>
* In a letter to the US President, Princeton-based policy advocacy group the American-Iranian Council protested against the detention of Iranian visa violators in California. AIC's director, professor Houshang Amir-Ahmadi, tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that in its letter, AIC objected to the singling out of visitors of Iranian and Middle Eastern origin for the new annual registration requirement. He adds the detainees, many with pending applications for permanent residency, were reportedly kept in small, over-crowded rooms in unsanitary conditions, after they went to INS offices to register, in compliance with the new Justice Department regulations. (Behnam Nateghi, New York)
<b>Fourth Session of the Pollsters' Trial</b>
* The officials of the two pad-locked public opinion survey agencies will face judge Said Mortazavi later today in the fourth session of their trial on spying charges. The three were arrested and detained last October after the publication of a poll that showed 75 percent of respondents favor the resumption of the US-Iran relations. The judiciary announced that the trial will be open to public. But on the first day of the trial, reformist MPs and journalists complained that the judiciary blocked their access to the trial by packing the courtroom hours before the trial. (Mehdi Khalaji, Prague)
روزنامه واشنگتن پست نوشت افشاي اخير برنامه هاي هسته اي ايران و كره شمالي و تهديد كره شمالي براي از سرگيري توليد پلوتونيوم، آمريكا را با جدي ترين تهديد هسته اي روبرو كرده است كه از اوائل دهه 1990 به بعد سابقه نداشته است.
هنري سوكولسكي، مديرعامل مركز آموزش منع گسترش سلاح هاي اتمي، در مصاحبه با راديوفردا گفت تاسيسات دوگانه ايسران در نطنز و اراك فقط براي ساختن سلاح هاي اتمي به كار مي آيند زيرا نه تنها راه هاي ارزان تري براي توليد برق وجود دارد، بلكه براي توليد برق اتمي هم راه هاي ارزان تري از اين تاسيسات وجود دارد. وي افزود: ايران كليه قوانين بين المللي منع گسترش سلاح هاي هسته اي را مراعات مي كند، اما نكته اي كه سعي دارم عنوان كنم اين است كه از مقررات سوء استفاده شده است و آنها (ايران) روح پيمان منع گسترش تسليحات اتمي را زيرپا گذاشته اند. آنها مي گويند شما نمي توانيد ثابت كنيد ما قدرت اتمي داريم و البته ممكن است نداشته باشند ولي دارند درست به مرز آن مي رسند و پس از تكميل اين مرحله، مي توانند بسيار سريع سلاح اتمي بدست آورند.