Summary of Today's BroadcastRFE/RL Persian ServiceWednesday, May 29, 2002
- Amnesty International protests executions in Iran
- Canadian company's oil deal with Iran
- EU to ban Iranian pistachio imports
- UAE bans livestock imports from Iran
- NATO-Russia cooperation and Iran-Russia ties
Conservative MP Attacks Advocates of US Talks
* Conservative MP Ali Emami-Rad criticized reformist advocates of US talks in a speech today at the Majles. Several MPs from the reform camp protested loudly Emami-Rad's attacks against reformist MP Behzad Nabavi, whom Emami-Rad described as a "Marxist" supporter of the former Shah.
* Reformist MP Elaheh Kulai told the Young Reporters Club that the Majles national security and foreign relations committee did not advocate ties with the US in last week's closed-door meetings on future Iran-US relations; instead, it discussed US "hegemonic policies."
* In a move criticized by some MPs as improper, the Majles leadership postponed the annual election of the Majles Speaker and his deputies. (Mehdi Khalaji)
Shiraz: Nationalist-Religious Activist Kidnapped and Tortured
* In an interview from his hospital bed, Vahid Sadeqi, a nationalist-religious political activist in Shiraz, tells RFE/RL that four men tortured him with acid and gun-powder and carved the names of three of prominent opposition leaders on his back. Pictures of his burned and wounded body were posted on the Internet. The four were equipped with professional torture equipment and introduced themselves as "Asheqan-e Velayat" to indicate their support for the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. Sadeqi says the Fars province intelligence office accused him of fabricating the episode by inflicting burns and wounds on his own body. (Siavash Ardalan)
Amnesty International Protests Executions in Iran
* In the 600-page annual report on human rights in 2001, Amnesty International wrote that capital punishment continues to be carried out in Iran and the number of political prisoners increased. AI said hundreds of political activists, condemned in unfair trials to long prison terms, linger in Iran's jails. (Jean Khakzad, Paris)
Canadian Company's Oil Deal with Iran: A Test of US Reaction
* The $80 million oil agreement signed yesterday with Canada's Sheer Energy, Inc. to boost the output of the 100-year-old Masjed Soleiman field is the first post September 11 contract between the national Iranian oil company and a foreign concern. It will serve as a test of US reaction to foreign investment in Iran's oil and gas projects, according to Reuters. (Jamshid Zand)
EU to Ban Iranian Pistachio Imports
* The managing director of Iran's nuts and dried fruits exporters association said EU once again banned pistachio imports from Iran because of possible contamination with aflatoxin B1, a toxic mold. Iranian pistachios were banned from the EU markets for three months in 1997 for the same reason. Hamid Moaven, director of Rafsanjan Pistachio Bureau in London says he has not heard of a new EU ban on Iranian pistachios. He tells RFE/RL that after the three months ban in 1997, EU agreed to import pistachios certified by Iran's ministry of health. Aflatoxin B1 is a naturally occurring contamination that affects all grains and dried nuts. The EU's aflatoxin standard is 15 times higher than that of the World Heath Organization's, and the standard is used only against Iranian pistachios. Mehdi Agah, a Kerman-based pistachio grower, tells RFE/RL that it is hard to reduce contamination levels in Iran's pistachio crop because pistachio farms are spread around a vast region. (Fereydoun Zarnegar)
Strange Underground Fire Burns near Urumieh Lake
* Fire continues to burn underground a 10-acre plot near the beaches of Sheikh Vali on Urumieh lake in northwestern Iran. Tabriz-based journalist Ensafali Hedayat, who visited the area yesterday, tells RFE/RL that the fire slowly moves eastwards and is so hot that it melts stones. The fire, experts believe, is caused by oxygen mixing with the coal developed underground as a result the gradual drying of the fresh water swamps near the lake. (Jamshid Zand)
Majles Passes Bill Grants Widows Pay for House Work
* Divorced women will be able to collect funds from their husbands' assets for work they performed as housekeeper and mother, if the bill approved yesterday by the Majles meets the conservative Guardians Council's approval. Tehran-based expert of women's rights Shadi Sadr tells RFE/RL that the provision is a new device to temper the Islamic regulations that limit a wife's share of her husband's estate to only one-eighth. A similar provision in the same bill made divorce more expensive for men by making a husband pay wages for years of service to his wife before exercising his Islamic right to unilateral divorce. Sadr says these provisions indicate the legislator's attempt at skirting the limitations to gender equality in Islamic laws. She says Iran's civil code and family laws, which are based on the Sharia, or the Islamic codes, are out of step with the realities of the modern Iranian family in which husband and wife are both breadwinners. (Mehdi Khalaji)
UAE Bans Livestock Imports from Iran
* UAE's ministry of agriculture and fisheries banned imports of livestock from Iran, due to an outbreak of Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever virus among Iranian livestock. Iran commands 20 percent of UAE's livestock market by exporting 200,000 livestock per year to that country. The ban is expected to impact meat prices in UAE. (Farideh Rahbar)
Impact of NATO-Russia Cooperation on Iran-Russia Economic Ties
* Russia's closer ties with the US, NATO and the EU will further isolate the Islamic Republic politically and economically, and will help Russia compete with Iran and other OPEC oil producers in the international crude markets. Russia's closer ties with the NATO will also strengthen Russia in opposing Iran's position on the Caspian Sea's legal regime. (Fereydoun Khavand, Paris)
Auction of Sorayya's Estate
* Auctioneers expect a large turnout for the sale in Paris of the $2.5 million estate of the Shah's second wife, Princess Sorayya, who died in Paris last October at the age of 69. (Jean Khakzad, Paris)
British MPs Propose Distributing Heroine to 250,000 Addicts
* A report prepared by a non-partisan committee of British MPs proposes free distribution of heroine to Britain's estimated 250,000 addicts. David Cameron, conservative MP, a member of the parliamentary commission on addiction control, tells RFE/RL that by providing access to heroine, the plan seeks to sidestep the criminal activity associated with drug use. London-based addiction expert Dr. Kavus Tabrizi says the British MPs' plan is like the so-called harm reduction methods proposed by the World Health Organization. He tells RFE/RL that a similar plan was considered a few years ago for Iran's prison system where drugs threaten the prison population with serious diseases such as AIDS and hepatitis. While some officials in Iran see drug addiction as a disease, the judiciary treats addicts as criminals, he adds. (Shahran Tabari, London)
* Three bombs explode simultaneously in three buses in Gujarat, India, where hundreds have died this year in the on-going Muslim-Hindu ethnic conflict. (Fariba Mavedat)
* Britain seeks to reduce tensions between India and Pakistan. (Siavash Ardalan)
* Russia is not ready yet for joining the EU, according to the head of European Commission Romano Perodi who was in Moscow for the ninth EU-Russia summit. (Mani Kasravi, Moscow)
* As violence erupts again between Israel and the Palestinians, European and US diplomats begin a new round of talks to ease Middle East tensions. (Jamshid Chalangi, Cairo)
* Libya offers $2.7 billion in damages to the families of the victims of the Pan-Am jet bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland. (Farideh Rahbar, Cairo)
* UN observers of the Supreme Council elections in Afghanistan express concern about the intimidation of Afghan voters by warlords in Herat and other provinces. Eight Supreme Council candidates have been killed since the start of the elections last month. Mohammad Jazini, a UN election observer, tells RFE/RL that, in spite of problems, the elections are a positive step, and the large voter turnout in certain areas has surprised the observers. However, the number of young people elected to the Supreme Council would not exceed five percent, he adds. (Jamshid Zand)
ARTS AND IDEAS
Soccer World Cup in South Korea and Japan
* RFE/RL's soccer commentator reports from Seoul about the preparations for the Soccer World Cup. (Mehrdad Masudi)
Weekly Science Magazine
Documenting Passage of Water Molecules though Cell Walls
* Using the largest computers available to civilian scientists in the United States, Klaus Schulten a Professor of Physics at the University of Illinois, and Emad Tajkhorshid, an Iranian-born scientist at the Beckman Institute, have documented a ballet in which dancers cross the stage in a billionth of a second. The stage is a class of proteins found in all living things; the dancers are water molecules. Tajkhorshid tells RFE/RL that discovery of water channels in cell walls, may help in the treatment of several diseases, including congenital cataracts and diabetes insipidus. (Fatemeh Aman, Washington)
DNA Computer Comes of Age
* Researcher at the University of Southern California used a "DNA computer" for the first time to find the only correct answer from over a million possible solutions to a computational problem. (Fatemeh Aman, Washington)
Impact of Learning on Improving the Efficiency of Brain Cells
* Brown University researchers measured the activity of specific regions of the brain upon stimulation and demonstrated that, in the process of learning and mental exercise, the transmission of nerve signals is increased resulting in augmented efficiency of brain functions. (Fatemeh Aman, Washington)
Youth, Society and Education
* Paris-based sociologist Said Peyvandi continues his on-going talk about the need for text-book reform in Iran and comments on the suppression of student demonstrations in Arak and the social and psychological factors of the spread of depression among Iranian youth. (Nazi Azima)مهدي خلجي (راديوآزادي): علي امامي راد، نماينده کوهدشت در مجلس، نطق خود را با حمله به منتقدان اطلاعيه دادگستري تهران درباره منع گفتگو در زمينه مذاکره با آمريکا آغاز کرد. او در ميانه سخنان خود به جبهه مشارکت اسلامي و سازمان مجاهدين انقلاب اسلامي حمله کرد و آنها را به حذف و نابودي منتقدان و رقبا متهم نمود. علي امامي راد در ادامه سخنان خود بدون آن که از بهزاد نبوي، نماينده تهران در مجلس نامي ببرد، گفت که استکبار جهاني با استفاده از ابزار و عوامل داخلي اش، شخصي را به عنوان قهرمان اصلاحات معرفي کرده که مردم رد پايش را در تمام ماجراها و بحران هاي بعد از انقلاب مشاهده کرده اند. علي امامي راد، بهزاد نبوي را توده اي، مارکسيست، مرتبط با جبهه ملي و نهضت آزادي و برآمده از خانواده اي سکولار و حامي محمدرضاشاه خواند و گفت سئوال بي پاسخ مردم اين است که چرا پرونده 8 شهريور به سرانجام نرسيد و چرا تحقيق و تفحص در خصوص مفاد بيانيه الجزاير و نقش اين فرد در تنظيم قرارداد مذکور هرگز قرائت نگرديد. علي امامي راد در حال اشاره به پرونده شرکت پتروپارس بود که سخنان او قطع شد و ادامه پيدا نکرد. چند تن از نمايندگان مجلس از جمله محسن آرمين، احمد بورقاني، محمد رضا خاتمي و فاطمه راکعي به او اعتراض کردند و چند لحظه مجلس متشنج شد و با وساطت محمدرضا خاتمي نايب رئيس مجلس، فضا آرام شد. مهدي کروبي، رئيس مجلس در سخنان امروز خود در مجلس، از اظهارات علي امامي راد اظهار تأسف کرد و با تأکيد بر رعايت شأن نمايندگي، به تدين و تعهد بهزاد نبوي اشاره نمود و درباره اتهام توده اي و مارکسيست بودن نبوي گفت درباره آن چه مي گوييد بايد به خدا جواب بدهيد.
از سوي ديگر الاهه کولايي نماينده تهران در مجلس در گفت و گو با باشگاه خبرنگاران جوان، گفته است اخباري که درباره جلسات بررسي سياست هاي ايران و آمريکا در بيرون منتشر مي شود، کذب است و هيچ صحبتي در کميسيون امنيت ملي درباره مذاکره با آمريکا انجام نمي شود. کميسيون امنيت ملي و سياست خارجي مجلس، اخيراً نشست هايي را براي بررسي افق آينده روابط ايران و آمريکا برگزار مي کند، اما بنابه نقل باشگاه خبرنگاران جوان الاهه کولايي گفته است موضوع اين جلسات مسايل مربوط به آمريکا، موقعيت ها و سياست هاي سلطه گرانه آن است، نه مذاکره با آمريکا. به علاوه الاهه کولايي اشاره کرده که بهزاد نبوي در يکي از جلسات اين نشست گفته بود که من خودم با آمريکا مذاکره مي کنم و از هيچ کس اجازه نمي گيرم. خانم کولايي گفت بهزاد نبوي عضو کميسيون نيست و نظرات او ديدگاه کميسيون به شمار نمي آيد.
هم چنين انتخابات هيأت رئيسه مجلس که قرار بود ديروز برگزار شود، با تصميم هيأت رئيسه فعلي به 22 خرداد ماه موکول شد. برخي از نمايندگان مجلس اين کار را خلاف آيين نامه مجلس مي دانند، زيرا بر اساس اين آيين نامه، مبناي تجديد انتخابات هيأت رئيسه، سالروز انتخابات قبلي است و در صورتي که با تعطيلات مصادف شود، انتخابات روز قبل برگزار مي شود.
جلسه علني مجلس شوراي اسلامي، امروز براي لحظاتي متشنج شد.
علي امامي راد، نماينده کوهدشت در مجلس، در نطق پيش از دستور خود بدون آنكه از بهزاد نبوي، نماينده تهران نام ببرد، به وي و چند نماينده اصلاح طلب ديگر مجلس تاخت و ازمطرح ساختن بحث مذاكره با آمريكا توسط جناح اصلاح طلب انتقاد كرد. چهارنماينده جناح اصلاح طلب به گفته هاي امامي راد اعتراض كردند. انتخابات هيات رئيسه مجلس، كه قرار بود امروز برگزار شود، به 22 خرداد موكول شد. براي مطالعه متن كامل گزارش راديوآزادي از تشنج در جلسه امروز مجلس شوراي اسلامي، دگمه متن فارسي را كليك بزنيد.