Summary of Iran Stories of Today's BroadcastsBehnam NateghiFriday, December 27, 2002
<b>MPs Comment on Abdi's Defense in Pollsters' Trial</b>
* Reformist MPs defended Abbas Abdi's performance yesterday in the fourth day of the pollsters' trail. Abdi, a high ranking board member of the pro-Khatami party the Participation Front, who along with other polling agency officials is charged with spying for the US and falsifying polls, admitted in open court to "mistakes" in approving a deal with the Gallop Organization as a member of the managing board of the Ayandeh public opinion survey agency. He also retracted some of the radical tactics he has advocated as one of the leading policymakers of the reformist faction, including the mass resignation of Khatami and reformist MPs and officials. Abdi was arrested and detained in solitary confinement for the past 50 days after the publication of a poll that showed 75 percent of respondents favored resumption of relations with the US.
* Deputy Majles speaker and secretary-general of the Participation Front said Abdi's are political charges. He called for his acquittal. He said anyone who has been in jail knows that long-term solitary confinement is one of the harshest forms of torture. He said one of the biggest problems of Iran is the lack of an independent judiciary. Head of the Majles national security and international relations committee, Mohsen Mirdamai, said those who have spent time in jail would understand the true meaning of Abdi's statement about the good treatment he said he received in jail. MP Ali Shakuri-Rad, a board member of the Participation Front, said the prosecutor's indictment was a political statement, but Abdi and his lawyer offered a legal defense. Hossein Ansari-Rad, head of the Majles complaints committee, said Abdi was not treated lawfully. Jafar Kambuzia, a reformist MP, asked what could have happened in jail that forced Abdi to change the positions he has defended for years. (Maryam Ahmadi, Washington)
* Abdi retracted most of his radical positions, including his criticism of dual government, his mass resignation idea and his proposal to hold a referendum to solve differences between the two factions. Some analysts believe that Abdi's trial was an end of radical reformism in Iranian politics. (Mehdi Khalaji, Prague)
<b>Four Newspapers Close, Two Newspapers Resume Publication</b>
* The judiciary closed four pro-reform newspapers and magazines, as two banned newspapers resume publication. Ali-Reza Fuladi, publisher of "Qom-e Emruz (Qom Today)" said he closed his newspaper voluntarily after he came under pressure just before the local councils' elections. An appeals court in Tabriz banned Shams-e Tabriz newspaper and sentenced its publisher to two years in jail and 74 lashes. In Qazvin, the weekly Minudar resumed publication after the third suspension of its license by the judiciary. In Tehran, the Bahar daily started publication after a two-year ban. (Ali Sajjadi, Washington)
<b>Iran and Uzbekistan to Help Rebuild Afghanistan Roads</b>
* Regional transportation and roads ministers of Iran, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan met in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, to discuss three-way cooperation on reconstruction of Afghanistan roads. (Ali Sajjadi, Washington)
<b>FBI Requests Personal Records of Foreign Students</b>
* As part of their investigation into the terrorist attacks, the FBI, INS and other governmental agencies have asked universities across the country for students' personal information. The request has met resistance from some higher education institutions.
* Cyrus Homayounfar, director of membership at the Washington-based association of the University Continuing Education Association, tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that most colleges and universities have not yet formed a decision on FBI's request, but the association of universities admission staff has told its membership that releasing personal information on students requires court subpoenas. US Department of Education confronted FBI on this matter. He adds that the Civil Liberties Union and other human rights organizations plan to challenge the FBI's request. (Ali Sajjadi, Washington)
اداره آگاهي فدرال آمريكا FBI از موسسات آموزش عالي آمريكا خواست اطلاعات مربوط به دانشجويان و استادان خارجي خود را در اختيار اين اداره بگذارند. بسياري از دانشگاه ها اين اقدام را غيرقانوني دانستند.
كوروش همايونپور، مدير امور عضويت در اتحاديه آموزش دانشگاهي متداوم the University Continuing Education Association در شهر واشنگتن در مصاحبه با راديو فردا مي گويد: اين درخواست در چاچوب كلي اقدامات امنيتي قرار دارد كه پس از واقعه 11 سپتامبر 2001 به مورد اجرا گذاشته شد. وي مي افزايد: بسياري از دانشگاه ها و اتحاديه هاي دانشگاهي موضع مشخصي در باره اين درخواست پليس فدرال نگرفته اند. ولي اتحاديه روسا و كاركنان اداره هاي پذيرش دانشگاه هاي آمريكا، كه با ده هزار عضو يكي از اتحاديه هاي قوي دانشگاهي است، به اعضاي خود توصيه كرد كه بدون حكم دادگاه اطلاعات مربوط به دانشجويان خارجي را به پليس ندهند. وزارت آموزش آمريكا نيز در اين مورد در مقابل وزارت دادگستري آمريكا موضع گرفت. وي مي افزايد: سازمان ها و نهاد هاي طرفدار آزادي هاي فردي و مدني سعي خواهند كرد در مقابل وزارت دادگستري آمريكا بايستند و حدود و مرزهاي اين اقدامات به اصطلاح امنيتي را روشن كنند و جلوي سو استفاده از اين اطلاعات را بگيرند.