مهدي خلجي -- محسن سازگارا، موسي غني نژاد، جوادطباطبائي و ماشاء الله آجوداني
Summary of Today's BroadcastRFE/RL Persian ServiceSaturday, March 30, 2002
- Democracy and the Constitution in Iran
- Turkey says Iran helps Turkish subversives
- Amir-Entezam receives death threats
- Caspian pollution
- Jury finds Tabriz publisher guilty of "chauvinism"
- New arrivals in the US: fears and illusions
Democracy and the Islamic Republic's Constitution, Part 1
On the anniversary of the 1979 national referendum on establishing the Islamic Republic, four commentators and scholars of political thought comment on democracy in Iran in interviews with RFE/RL.
* A former official of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and publisher of a banned reformist newspaper, Mohsen Sazegara says the Islamic Republic constitution is full of contradictions, since it attempts to combine faith with reason. He adds followers of the reformist thinker Abdolkarim Sorush believe that to fulfill the republican promise of the Islamic Republic, one has to rely on reason, which is secular. To understand and evaluate the Islamic Republic, one has to begin with its Constitution.
* Musa Ghaninezhad, author of the book "Iranian Civil Society Today," says republican government does not mean the rule of a majority over others. It means the rule of law, which protects the public interest and human rights. The rule of law means that, instead of a particular will, society is governed by general rules; and the rulers are not enforcers of rules of their own creation. The Islamic Republic Constitution is vague about the form of government.
* Paris-based scholar of political thought, Javad Tabatabai says "Republic" in "Islamic Republic" means government without a monarch, whereas in Europe, "republic" means government based on public interest. That notion is foreign to Shiite and Iranian traditional thought, and thus missing in the Islamic Republic Constitution.
* According to Mashallah Ajudani, London-based author of "The Iranian Constitutional System," the Islamic Republic Constitution mirrors the contradictions of the Islamic Republic itself. The Constitutional power of the Leader of the Islamic Republic defies the essence of legality, he says. (Mehdi Khalaji)
Soviet Union's Demise and the Caspian Sea Pollution
* The fall of the Soviet Union is the root of the alarming pollution in the Caspian, says Tehran-based ecologist Esmail Kahrom in an interview with RFE/RL. In the 4-day conference on Caspian pollution in Baku, the Iranian ecologist Mohammad Reza Sheikholeslami said chemical and biological pollution kills Caspian marine life. (Golnaz Esfandiari)
Death Threats against Longest-Held Political Prisoner
* Abbas Amir-Entezam, the longest held Islamic Republic political prisoner, who has been home on sick leave for the past two months, received death threats on the phone, says Ramin Ahmadi of New Haven, Connecticut, author of "Amir-Entezam's File." He tells RFE/RL that Amir-Entezam told him of the threats in phone conversations from his home in Tehran. Amir-Entezam, who was a member of the first post-revolutionary government, was accused of connection with the US and has been in jail ever since. (Amir-Mosaddeq Katouzian)
Turkey Accuses Iran of Helping Turkish Subversive Groups
* A security court in Turkey, explaining the execution order against three Islamic political activists, says Iran helps groups in Turkey seeking to overthrow the government. (Siavash Ardalan)
Jury Finds Tabriz Publisher Guilty of Chauvinism
* A Tehran press court found Ali Hamed Iman, publisher of the Tabriz magazine Shams-e Tabrizi, guilty of chauvinism, fomenting ethnic strife, and insulting religious sanctities. His lawyer, Saleh Kamrani, says he had only 20 minutes to review the file and prepare his defense in a session. He tells RFE/RL that there is no crime called chauvinism in the law; and the court broke the law by including a judge among the eight jury members. (Golnaz Esfandiari)
* Israelis tighten siege of Arafat's headquarters in Ramallah. (Jamshid Chalangi, Beirut)
* Arab journalists comment on the Arab Summit in interviews with RFE/RL. (Jamshid Chalangi)
* Secretary Powell asks Arafat to end the violence. (Homayoun Majd, Washington)
* Paulo Cento, a Green party Italian MP, tells RFE/RL in an interview from Ramallah that more than 1000 European activists are there to protest the Israeli occupation. (Ahmad Rafat)
* Review of Western press comments about the Middle East violence. (Alireza Taheri)
* The US ends arms embargo for Azerbaijan and Armenia. (Siavash Ardalan)
* The Afghan ambassador to Germany tells RFE/RL that EU is providing aid to the victims of the recent earthquake. (Shahram Mirian, Cologne)
* Turkey says 10 ships filled with 10,000 asylum seekers are nearing Italian ports. (Ahmad Ra'fat, Rome)
* Australian police search for 41 asylum seekers who fled the Woomera detention center. (Jamshid Adili, Sydney)
* A 93-year-old former Nazi officer faces trial in Hamburg for having ordered the execution of 55 prisoners in WWII. (Shahram Mirian, Cologne)
ARTS AND IDEAS
New York Magazine
* An obituary for Billy Wilder who died last week at 95. (Behnam Nateghi, New York)
* Just two days after arriving in the US, members of an immigrant family talk about their feelings about Iran and their hopes and ideas about the US. The mother says she waited 23 years to get her children out of Iran. Her 27-year old daughter says some of her friends prefer to stay in Iran because drugs are cheaper and more accessible. Her 31-year-old brother, an accountant, says he is terrified about his future in the US. Professor Mehdi Bozorgmehr, Director of the Middle East and Middle East American Center of City University of New York, says Iranians who immigrated to the US after the revolution harbor an illusion of pre-revolutionary life in Iran, while recent arrivals bring a grand illusion about US life. He tells RFE/RL that unlike South Korean and Taiwanese immigrants who come to the US for economic reasons, the Iranian immigrants do not want to go back. (Behnam Nateghi, New York)
Weekly medical advice. (Dr. Mansur Moslehi, Los Angeles)
محسن سازگارا، عضو پيشين سپاه پاسداران و صاحب امتياز روزنامه تعطيل شده "جامعه" در مصاحبه با راديوآزادي مي گويد قانون اساسي جمهوري اسلامي چندان "بي نظير و بديع" از آب در نيامد. وي مي گويد به نظر روشنفكران ديني و پيروان عبدالكريم سروش، براي تحقق "جمهوريت" بايد به عقل متوسل شد. وي مي گويد مهم ترين سند براي ارزيابي جمهوري اسلامي قانون اساسي آن است كه سرشار از تناقض است.
موسي غني نژاد، نويسنده كتاب "جامعه مدني در ايران امروز،" مقيم تهران، باور دارد كه جمهوريت و دمكراسي به معني حكومت اكثريت مردم بر اقليت نيست بلكه به معناي حكومت قانون است كه حافظ مصالح عمومي و حقوق بشر است. وي مي افزايد مفهوم حكومت قانون اين است كه به جاي اراده هاي خاص، قواعد كلي حاكم باشد و حكومت كنندگان مجري قواعدي باشند كه خودشان انشاء نكرده اند. وي مي افزايد از قانون اساسي جمهوري اسلامي نمي توان طرز تلقي خاصي نسبت به حكومت قانون را استنباط كرد و از اين نظر دچار ابهام است.
دكتر جواد طباطبائي تاريخ نگار انديشه سياسي مقيم پاريس مي گويد جمهوري يك شكل حكومتي نيست بلكه يك مضمون حكومتي است و مي افزايد كلمه "ريپوبليك" در زبان هاي اروپايي معادل "مصالح عامه" است و ارتباطي به شكل نظام كه ممكن است جمهوري يا سلطنتي باشد ندارد. وي مي گويد دمكراسي به مهفوم سالاري يك گروه بر گروه ديگر نيست. و مفهوم مصلحت عمومي در مقولات رايج در فقه شيعه يا در انديشه سياسي ايراني وجود نداشته است و به همين سبب مفهوم جمهوريت براي ذهن ايراني ناشناخته است و اين ابهام براي نويسندگان قانون اساسي جمهوري اسلامي نيز وجود داشته است.
ماشاء الله آجوداني، مقيم لندن، نويسنده كتاب "مشروطه ايراني،" قانون اساسي جمهوري اسلامي را آينه تضادهايي مي داند كه در مفهوم و ماهيت خود جمهوري اسلامي نهفته است. وي مي گويد قدرتي كه قانون اساسي به ولي فقيه و حاكميت دين و مذهب مي دهد با اساس و جوهر و تفكر قانوني به مبارزه بر خاسته است.