امير مصدق كاتوزيان ، مصاحبه با نعمت احمدي، وكيل مطبوعات (تهران)
Summary of Today's BroadcastRFE/RL Persian ServiceSaturday, August 10, 2002
- Judiciary bans two new reformist papers
- Presidential advisor warns of coming riots and terror
- Writers demand Zarafshan's freedom from jail
- 118 cultural activists protest the ban on nationalist opposition
- Kar reacts to Montazeri's response to her letter on Pourzand
- Russia's Caspian maneuvers
- Conservative's propaganda against the cultural elite
Follow-up on the Court's Closing of Two New Dailies
* The Judiciary closed the new reformist "Ruz-e Now" newspaper before it could print its first issue last Thursday and banned "Ayneh Jonub," another reformist paper, on the same day, only a week after it began printing a national edition. Tehran-based lawyer Nemat Ahmadi, who represented some of the 40 banned reformist newspapers in court, tells RFE/RL that the Judiciary's reason to close "Ruz-e Now" was based on the rumor that it was going to replace the banned "Nowruz." Since the paper had not officially begun its publication, the press court punished a supposed future crime. The Ayneh Jonub's ban was based on complaints received by the court against its publisher, a reformist MP from Khuzestan, but he has not been convicted. (Amir-Mosaddegh Katouzian)
Khatami's Advisor Warns against Terror and Riots
* In a speech at the students' news agency ISNA on the occasion of the Reporters Day, presidential advisor Ali Rabiee, spokesman of the national security council, criticized government's social policies and said idealism has disappeared from Iran and instead extremism is on the rise. He warned that Iran could soon face terror, underground political activity and riots. He said the conservative faction's practice of calling its political opponents "servants of the US" is pushing the society towards the US. (Alireza Taheri)
Writers Association Members Protest against Zarafshan's Jailing
* In a letter to "the people," some of the Iranian Writers Association members protested against the jailing of lawyer Naser Zarafshan, an IWA member, who represented the family of Mohammd Mokhtari, a victim of the 1998 serial killings of dissidents by the intelligence ministry personnel. Tehran-based poet Simin Behbahani, a Writers Association board member, tells RFE/RL that in addition to major writers in Iran, exiled writers also signed the letter demanding the immediate release of Naser Zarafshan. She says the charge of possession of alcohol and arms against Zarafshan is clearly unreasonable and due to recent lung and kidney operations, Zarafshan cannot endure the 50 lashes he is to receive as the punishment for that charge. She says she hopes that recent worries about the rise of arbitrary arrests of writers and journalists would prove baseless. (Golnaz Esfandiari)
118 Writers, Politicians and University Professors Protest the FMI Ban
* Nationalist political activists such as Ezatollah Sahabi, head of the religious-nationalist coalition, and Abbas-Amir Entezam, former government spokesman who is the longest held political prisoner in the post-revolutionary Iran, are among the 118 prominent political activists and cultural elite who signed an open letter protesting the judiciary's order to dissolve the Freedom Movement of Iran (FMI). Tehran University international relations professor Davud Hermidas-Bavand, one of the letter's signatories, tells RFE/RL that as a party to the international human rights convention, Iran must follow its principles. He says the letter addressed to "the people" is a reaction to what is against constitutional law and the international norms. (Amir-Mosaddegh Katouzian)
Mehrangiz Kar Reacts to Ayatollah Montazeri's Response to Her Letter
* Washington-based lawyer and human-rights activist Mehrangiz Kar tells RFE/RL that Ayatollah Hosseinali Montazeri's response to her letter complaining about the conditions of the arrest and conviction of her husband, jailed veteran journalist Siamak Pourzand, was general but sufficient. She says Ayatollah Montazeri's popularity and his "enlightening role" were her reasons for writing to him. Montazeri who was fired by Ayatollah Khomeini as his successor, has been living under house arrest in Qom after a 1998 statement in which he criticized the absolute power of the Supreme Leader. (Homayoun Majd, Washington)
Russia's Caspian Maneuvers
* Presiding over the 10,000-man 60-battleship Caspian maneuver, Russian defense minister Sergei Ivanov said today that existing security threats in the region requires defense cooperation between the Caspian littoral states. (Alireza Taheri)
Conservatives Propaganda Attack on Universities' Faculty Members
* The conservatives have pointed their propaganda attacks on the universities' prominent faculty members and the cultural elite. Paris-based sociologist and expert on education in Iran Said Peyvandi tells RFE/RL that conservative forces began their organized attacks on the cultural elite since five months ago. The press attacks should be viewed in the framework of the conflict between conservatives and reformists within the regime, he adds. (Nazi Azima)
ARTS AND IDEAS
Daily Internet Report: Iranian Feminists
* Internet-based Persian to English dictionaries. (Behnam Nateghi, New York)
Daily medical advice (Dr. Mansur Moslehi, Los Angeles)
Daily book review: (An Introduction to Political Sociology in Iran)
* RFE/RL's Tehran-based book critic Kamran Fani reviews "An Introduction to Political Sociology in the Post-Revolutionary Iran" by Hossein Bashirieh from Negh-e Moaser publishers, Tehran.
Today in History (Gholamhossein Mirzasaleh, Tehran)
Daily Science Report
* Researchers led by psychologist Becca Levy of Yale University report in a paper published in the August issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology that older adult's view of aging has an impact on their survival. Dr. Becca Levy tells RFE/RL that those who have a positive view of aging seem to have a survival advantage over those who have a negative view of aging. (Fatemeh Aman, Washington)
Islamic Objections to Separation of the Egyptian Siamese Twins
* A proposed operation to separate the 14-month-old Egyptian Siamese twins turned into a national controversy in Egypt after the Islamic scholars at the prominent al-Azhar university found the operation un-Islamic. Cairo surgeon Dr. Naser Abdolal, who is to perform the operation in a Texas hospital, tells RFE/RL that Egypt's Grand Mufti has approved the operation in a signed decree that covers such operations in the future as well. (Farideh Rahbar, Cairo)
Song: Barf (Snow)
* RFE/RL's music critic Mahmud Khoshnam plays Barf (snow) by the 1970's pop singer Farhad, based on a poem by Nima Yushij, with music by Andranik.
* Los Angeles-based DJ Afshin Gorgin spins a selection of Persian pop tunes.
New York Magazine
Dissident Cleric Kadivar Speaks at Columbia
* In a speech at the Columbia University, cleric Mohsen Kadivar said the Islamic Republic has turned into a one-man clerical rule, based on clauses added to the original constitution. Kadivar, who was jailed and disrobed by the special court for the clergy for likening the Supreme Leader to the Shah, said studying the original draft of the constitution shows in the constitutional referendum of 1980, people voted to establish a democratic government under a president with limited term who answerable to the Majles. In the document that was finally approved by the constitutional assembly, all powers were put in the hands of one person who is not answerable to any man-made institution. He said the coexistence of an elected government and an absolute clerical head of state is impossible as is any reform in this system, since the Supreme Leader can use his legal powers to stand against the people's vote. (Behnam Nateghi, New York)
RFE/RL Roundtable: The Clergy's Declining Popularity
Three political analysts discuss the decline of the popularity of the clergy in today's RFE/RL Roundtable.
* Qom reformist cleric and religious scholar Ahmad Qabel says the Shiite clergy's declining popularity is due to the mismanagement of the nation's affairs since the revolution.
* Esfahan-based political activist and university professor says violence, monopolist behavior and resisting people's demands by a group of clerics within the regime split the Shiite clergy into two factions, but the true clergymen are still respected by the public.
* Paris-based analyst Bijan Hekmat says the regime's failure in responding to people's demands led to the clergy's declining popularity. (Mehdi Khalaji)
* Vladimir Sobutin, father of Russia's nuclear power plants warns in an interview with a Russian energy news website that countries such as Iran should avoid Russia's obsolete nuclear power technology because it is dangerous and harms the environment. (Mani Kasravi, Moscow)
* Iraqi opposition leaders meet US officials in Washington. (Alireza Taheri)
* Baghdad media attacked as traitors the Iraqi opposition leaders visiting the US.
* The Palestinian delegation in Washington meets the CIA director. (Jamshid Chalangi, Cairo)
* India's foreign minister Yashwant Singha visits Kabul. (Golnaz Esfandiari)
* Locarno international film festivals features Afghan movies, as well as recent Iranian films. (Shahram Mirian, Cologne)
دو روز پس از توقيف روزنامه هاي «روزنو» و «آينه جنوب» كه در آستانه روز خبرنگار صورت گرفت، اظهار نظر هاي انتقادي در اين زمينه از سوي صاحبنظران منعكس شد. دكتر نعمت احمدي، وكيل برخي از روزنامه هاي اصلاح طلب، در مصاحبه با راديو آزادي مي گويد: دليل بسته شدن روزنامه «روزنو» شايعاتي بود كه اين روزنامه جايگزين روزنامه «نوروز» مي شود. درحاليكه قانونا چون هنوز «روزنو» در نيامده بود، نمي شد به اين مبني كه چه خواهد گفت در آينده، آن را مجرم دانست. وي توقيف «آينه جنوب» را غيرقانوني مي خواند و مي گويد صاحب امتياز اين روزنامه كه از او شكايت شده، از حقوق اجتماعي خود محروم نشده است.