جمشيد زند، مصاحبه با مجيد محمدي، محمد اميرفروغي (تهران) فريدون خاوند (پاريس)
Summary of Today's BroadcastRFE/RL Persian ServiceThursday, March 28, 2002
Iranian Internet Service Providers Lose Profitable Internet Phone Capability
Internet Service Providers (ISP's) lost a major source of revenue when the government's Telecom made their phone lines unidirectional, ending their Internet telephone capability. By offering cheap international phone service through the Internet, the ISP's have cost Iran Telecom more than $40 million in lost revenues during the past 12 months.
* Majid Mohammadi, director of research at Tehran Technical Complex (Mojtame-e-Fani-ye Tehran) tells RFE/RL that ISP companies cannot honor the phone cards they have sold to customers and are on the verge of bankruptcy, if not already shut down. Information technology in Iran is behind many developing Arab countries, he adds.
* Mohammad Amir-Forughi, a Tehran based technology journalist, tells RFE/RL that ISP's need regulations to standardize their service, but current restrictions on Internet usage hurt Iran's technological progress by denying access to information. He adds that Iran Telecom's action is shortsighted, because international phone service through the Internet reduces pressure on telecom infrastructure and helps the economy by freeing telecom funds for investment in domestic services that will bring more profits in the long run.
* Paris-based economist Fereydoun Khavand tells RFE/RL that the government's infrastructure does not meet all the needs of Iranian telecom consumers, but the Islamic Republic's Constitution prevents private and foreign investment in the sector. (Jamshid Zand)
Iran Concerned about US Nuclear Plans
* Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi in a letter to the UNSG Kofi Annan expressed "concern" over a Los Angeles Times report about US plans to develop small nuclear bombs for potential use against seven countries, including Iran. Also, Russia's energy minister said Iran's nuclear power plant will be ready in 2005 and will operate under international regulations and monitoring and cannot be used for weapons development. (Jamshid Zand)
Iran Prepares Industrial Reconstruction Bill
* The National Industrial Reconstruction bill approved in the first cabinet meeting after the new year holidays in Iran seeks to provide a competitive business environment, restructure human resources and provide tax incentives for retooling of existing factories and building new ones, according to a statement by cabinet spokesman Ramezanzadeh. Factory machines are outdated and worn out, especially in the textile industry, says RFE/RL's economic commentator, Fereydoun Khavand. The government has spent billions during the past three decades on industries but has failed to renovate machinery. Protecting the state industries from foreign competition has denied Iran access to new technology and marketing know-how. Moving from an introverted industrial strategy to a new strategy based on the dynamics of the world markets cannot be achieved without ending state-run economy. (Fereydoun Khavand)
Another Afghan-themed Iranian Movie Opens in France
Delbaran, by Abolfazl Jalili, features war-stricken Afghans. Paris-based film critic Mohammad Haqiqat reviews the movie in an interview with RFE/RL. He also says two film directors from Iran will serve as jury members this year at the Cannes Film Festival, and two Iranian features will be in the program. (Jean Khakzad, Paris)
Short Story Writer Goli Taraqi Discusses Her New Book
In an interview with RFE/RL, Paris-based Goli Taraqi, a prominent short fiction writer who publishes in Iran, discusses the stories of her new collection, "Another Place." The book deals with travel and immigration. (Homayoun Majd)
* Fearing possible Israeli attacks, Arafat orders the Palestinian Authority employees out of government buildings. (Golnaz Esfandiari)
* In their Beirut summit Arab leaders approved the Saudi plan for peace in the Middle East. (Jamshid Chalangi)
* London-based journalist Alireza Nourizadeh tells RFE/RL that the Arab summit reached its stated goal. By approving the Saudi plan, Arabs chose peace with Israel as their new strategy. Israel, he adds, has no other choice but to accept. Nourizadeh also says Iraq was a winner at the summit, because Arab leaders warned the US against any attacks on Iraq. (Siavash Ardalan)
* UN puts death toll of the recent earthquake in Afghanistan at 800. (Shireen Famili)
* The Paris man who machine gunned eight to death in a local council meeting, killed himself a day later by jumping off the window of his jail. (Jean Khakzad, Paris)
* In talks with the EU, Afghan Foreign Minister Abdullah wants to extend the mission of the UN forces in Kabul to other major cities. Ahmad Naqibzadeh, a professor of international relations in Tehran, tells RFE/RL that the Afghan interim government took power with the support of the international coalition and cannot provide security in the short term. But the US and EU do not want to remain in Afghanistan for a long time and would like it to develop and train its own army and stand on its own feet. (Siavash Ardalan)
* Paris's "Figaro" reports from Herat that the Iran-backed war lord Esmail Khan is losing his power and influence. (Jean Khakzad, Paris)
* Participants in a World Bank research workshop in Bangladesh released reports about the worrying rate of sexual abuse of children. (Shahran Tabari)
* The Emir of Qatar told the conference on democracy and free trade in Doha that political reforms in Qatar would continue until full democracy is established. (Farideh Rahbar, Doha)
* Pakistan arrests 30 in connection with the grenade attack on church. (Shahran Tabari, London)
ARTS AND IDEAS
Los Angeles Report
* Afghani musicians and a UCLA scholar discuss the roots and new popularity of Afghan music with RFE/RL's Los Angeles correspondent. (Fahmieh Barati)
* Weekly soccer program. (Mehrdad Massudi)
قطع خطوط تلفن شركت هاي خدمت دهنده اينترنت چند روز قبل از پايان سال گذشته با هدف جلوگيري از تماس تلفني از طريق اينترنت با خارج از كشور انجام گرفت. شركت مخابرات سالانه 40 ميليون دلار درآمد به اين طريق از دست مي داد. اينك شركت هاي خصوصي اينترنتي با مشكلات مالي روبرو شده اند. مجيد محمدي، مدير واحد پژوهش مجمتع فني تهران در مصاحبه با راديوآزادي مي گويد بسياري از شركت هاي خدمت دهنده اينترنتي كه ديگر نمي توانند خدمت تلفن به خارج از كشور عرضه كنند، يا ورشكسته شده اند يا در ورطه ورشكستگي قرار گرفته اند. وي مي گويد صنعت تكنولوژي اطلاعاتي در ايران حتي از بعضي كشورهاي در حال توسعه عربي نيز عقب افتاده تر است. محمد اميرفروغي كارشناس اينترنت در مصاحبه با راديوآزادي مي گويد قانون ومقررات براي ايجاد نظم در فعاليت هاي شركت خدمت دهنده اينترنتي لازم است ولي ايجاد محدوديت براي كاربران به استفاده از اطلاعات خاص، ايران را از نظر تكنولوژي عقب مي اندازد. وي مي گويد با آزاد ساختن گسترش خدمات اينترنت در ايران شركت مخابرات مي تواند بر در آمد خود در دراز مدت بيافزايد. دكتر فريدون خاوند مي گويد تاسيسات زيربنايي شركت مخابرات دولتي در حال حاضر امكان پاسخگويي به همه نيازهاي جامعه ايراني را ندارد. منتهي با قوانين فعلي نمي توان بخش مخابرات را به روي سرمايه گذاران بخش خصوصي باز كرد زيرا اصل 44 قانون اساسي آن را در انحصار دولت قرار داده است و مطابق قوانين جمهوري اسلامي، امكان سرمايه گذاري خارجي در عرصه مخابرات در حال حاضر وجود ندارد.