Summary of Iran Stories of Today's BroadcastsBehnam NateghiSunday, December 29, 2002
<b>Human Rights Lawyers Call for Open Trials</b>
* The founding members of the Human Rights Defenders Association called for an end to secret trials. In a statement issued in Tehran, the group quoted the Islamic Republic constitution and wrote that judges do not have the right to change the nature of political and press trials under false pretenses and refuse political activists and journalists the right to open trials in front of a jury. Mohammad-Ali Dadkhah, Shirin Ebadi, Mohammd Seifzadeh, Abdolfatah Soltani and Momhammad Sharif are the founding members of the Human Rights Defenders Association. (Iraj Arianpour, Washington)
<b>Majles Questions Foreign Minister on the Caspian Dispute</b>
* Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi was grilled for 40 minutes by dozens of reformist MPs who accused the foreign ministry of foot-dragging and negligence in defending Iran's interests in its dispute over the Caspian with other littoral states. Kharrazi denied that Iran depended on and was betrayed by Russia. He said resolving the Caspian issue requires patience, but MPs reminded him that other Caspian countries have already begun large-scale projects in the Caspian Sea and would leave Iran nothing but the Caspian climate to enjoy. (Alireza Taheri, Prague)
<b>Government Asks Institutions Under Leader to Pay Taxes</b>
* The head of the government's taxation organization asked the large-scale religious-economic cartels supervised by the Supreme Leader to stop the practice of channeling their taxes to miscellaneous accounts.
* Tehran-based economic commentator Jamshid Pezhuyan tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that by "miscellaneous accounts," the tax official actually meant the expenses of the office of the Supreme Leader. (Fereydoun Zarnegar, Prague)
<b>Review of Tehran Morning Newspapers</b>
* The reformist daily <i>Hayat-e Now</i> reports on the end of death penalty by stoning. <i>Aftab-e Yazd</i> reports that former president Hashemi Rafsanjani supports the presidential candidacy of former culture minister Ataollah Mohajerani. The moderate <i>Entekhab</i> reports on the secret talks in Tehran between the Qatari envoy and President Khatami. <i>Resalat</i> quotes Mahmoud Kashani who says the budget bill for the upcoming fiscal year violates the constitution. (Amir Armin, Washington)
<b> Students Occupy University Director's Office</b>
* Nearly 20 students of the Tehran Elm-va-San'at (Science and Industry) University broke the door of the office of the university's director and occupied it, after he refused to listen to the demands of hundreds of student activists who have been staging a sit-in in front of the university's administration building. The students protest the expulsion of 300 political activists from the university. (Bahman Bastani, Prague)
* Abdollah Mo'meni, secretary-general of the association of universities student Islamic councils tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that removal of the university's director and his student affairs deputy is among the demands of student who protest the expulsion of 300 their classmates. He adds that in protest against the formation of parallel student organizations by the university's administration, the student Islamic council of the Elm-va-San'at university voted to dissolve itself. (Jamshid Chalangi, Prague)
<b>Pollsters' Court Summons Majles Spokesman</b>
* The court trying the officials of two padlocked opinion survey agencies summoned Tehran MP Ahmad Bourghani, the spokesman of the Majles management council. Bourghani, who appeared in court flanked by two lawyers, said the issue was the 200 million-rial financial assistance he gave as a deputy culture minister to the national institute for public opinion research. The officials of two public opinion survey agencies were charged with spying for the US after the publication of a poll that showed 75 percent of respondents favor resumption of relations with the US. (Mahmonir Rahimi, Prague)
<b>Judiciary Sentences Head of Mashhad China Plant to 74 Lashes</b>
* An appeals court in Mashhad approved the flogging sentence of Golamreza Imani, the managing director of the Maqsud china manufacturing complex. He received 74 lashes and four years ban from managing any state-owned company. Imani was fired last year after a troupe of two men and two women from the Republic of Azerbaijan performed a 3-minute folk dance on the stage during a festival sponsored by his company. (Amir-Mosaddegh Katouzian, Prague)
<b>MPs Comments on the Ending of Death by Stoning Punishment</b>
* Tehran MP Jamileh Kadivar denied that the judiciary chief's order to judges to ban death by stoning sentences for women charged with adultery was a result of pressure from the EU. She said the Shiite sect of Islam evolves with edicts by religious leaders based on the needs of the society. (Shahran Tabari, Prague)
* Tehran MP Elaheh Kulai said gender equality in Iran can only be accomplished under pressure from international bodies, including the EU. She added that it is regrettable that a political system that claims independence from foreign powers cannot initiate social change without such pressures. (Alireza Taheri, Prague)
<b>Conference on Women's Problems</b>
* The conference on women's participation in the local councils' elections cited a long list of issues facing Iranian women. These include forced marriages, honor killings and widespread joblessness among university-educated women, which has increased to 22 percent from 4.7 percent in five years. (Fariba Mavedat, Prague)
كمال خرازي، وزير امورخارجه جمهوري اسلامي امروز در برابر مجلس شوراي اسلامي حاضر شد تابه سئوالات نمايندگان مجلس در باره نتايج مذاكرت با كشورهاي ساحل درياي خزر بر سر تقيسم منابع آن توضيح دهد. هشتاد و شش تن از نمايندگان مجلس با متهم كردن وزارت امورخارجه جمهوري اسلامي به اهمال در دفاع از حقوق ايران در درياي خزر، وي را براي دادن پاسخ در اين زمينه به صحن مجلس احضار كردند. اما به نظر نمي رسد توضيحات خرازي براي نمايندگان مجلس كه امروز او را بيش از 40 دقيقه سئوال پيچ كردند، قانع كننده بوده باشد.
جمهوري اسلامي مي كوشيد با تكيه بر نيروي اتحاد روسيه سهم بيشتري از منابع درياي خزر نصيب ايران شود، اما در عمل مسكو با عقد قراردادهاي دوجانبه با جمهوري هاي آذربايجان و قزاقستان، جمهوري اسلامي را در تنگنا گذاشت.
كمال خرازي امروز در مجلس تعبير تكيه جمهوري اسلامي بر مسكو را بي پايه خواند و گفت مسئله خزر به زمان نياز دارد و براي حل آن نبايد شتاب كرد. نمايندگان مجلس معتقدند در حاليكه جمهوري اسلامي سياست صبر و انتظار در پيش گرفته است، حكومت هاي روسيه و آذربايجان و قزاقستان با شتاب به سوي بهره برداري هرچه بيشتر از منابع خزر پيش مي روند.