ماه منيررحيمي، مصاحبه با دبيرشوراي مركزي دفتر تحكيم وحدت و دو دانشجو
Summary of Today's BroadcastRFE/RL Persian ServiceWednesday, November 13, 2002
- Further on Aghajari's death sentence
- Majles faults Tehran mayor on air rights
- Inflation, rising imports and high foreign debt
- Shahram Jazayeri's corruption trial ends
- Chador-clad, masked women vigilantes
Reactions to Aghajari's Death Sentence
Student rallies continued for a fifth day in protest against the death sentence against professor Hashem Aghajari.
* A Shahid Beheshti University student tells RFE/RL that students are calling for the downfall of the regime, whereas in July '99 they targeted only the conservative faction. Another difference is that the police now are preventing the plainclothes Ansar-e Hezbollah vigilantes from beating the students.
* Another Shahid Beheshti University student tells RFE/RL that the student and faculty gathering was held spontaneously after the Islamic student association refused to hold one. However, speakers during the on-campus event went beyond condemning Aghajari's verdict.
* When one speaker rejected the clerical regime, his speech was cut off in a scuffle, even though the majority of students and teachers cheered him on.
* Abdollah Momeni, secretary of the pro-reform faction of the Dafter-e Tahkim-e Vahdat, union of universities' Islamic student associations, tells RFE/RL that the student demonstrations are a call for the freedom of all political prisoners. (Mahmonir Rahimi)
* Thousands of students at Tehran's Amir Kabir University staged a rally on campus. Police surrounded the campus and allowed only students and press to enter. Tehran MP Ali Akbar Musavi-Koini-ha, "spiritual leader" of the US embassy hostage-takers, told the rally that Aghajari's death sentence had the approval of the high officials. Students of Alameh Tabatabai staged a sit in, and in Kerman students marched to the judiciary. Students in Yazd, Shiraz, Ahwaz, Kermanshah, Semnan, Kermanshah, Rafsanjan and many other cities issued statements condemning Aghajari's death sentence, and some shut down their classes. (Jamshid Zand)
* President Khatami condemned Aghajari's death sentence as "inappropriate." Aghajari's lawyer Saleh Nikbakht said his client would not appeal the verdict, leaving it to the judiciary to strike it down. (Siavash Ardalan)
* Aghajari's death sentence renewed student political activism that had been dormant since the July 1999 unrest. If the judiciary were to repeal Aghajari's death sentence, the students could claim victory and student activism would be further energized. (Mehdi Khalaji)
* State Department spokesman Richard Boucher condemned Aghajari's verdict and affirmed US support for the democratic aspirations of Iranians. Washington-based commentator Mahmud Gudarzi tells RFE/RL that personalities who have risen from within the Islamic regime now dispute its legitimacy. Columbia University professor Gary Sick tells RFE/RL that student demonstrations once again show the widespread opposition to the conservatives' abuse of the legal system, but they don't seem to get the message. (Homayoun Majd, Washington)
* Review of the US press on student reactions to Aghajari's death sentence. (Fariba Mavedat, London)
* After a gathering at Moscow University, Russian academicians issued a statement condemning Aghajari's death sentence. Moscow university professor Sergei Donayev tells RFE/RL that the verdict has damaged President Khatami's popularity among Moscow students. More than 1830 respondents to the Moscow daily Vremia Novosti's Internet opinion poll condemned the verdict. (Mani Kasravi, Moscow)
* Head of the Italian parliament's Iran-Italy commission condemned the verdict. (Ahmad Ra'fat, Rome)
Majles Faults Tehran Mayor on High Rise Zoning Permits
* The Majles committee to investigate Tehran municipal government said Mayor Mohammad-Hasan Malek-Madani had alerted some high-rise developers before announcing his abrupt decision to halt to the sale of air rights in seven Tehran neighborhoods in excess of zoning regulations. Pro-mayor head of the Tehran city council Mohammad Atrianfar called the Majles report "unprofessional," after the council's meeting failed to reach quorum. District seven mayor Zahra Nuri said city officials expected the Majles committee's report to deal with the city's problems, but it only addressed, albeit inadequately, the air right sale issue. The moratorium on the sale of air rights pushed up real estate prices and split the city council. Ebrahim Asgharzadeh, head of the anti-mayor faction has called for Malek-Madani's removal. (Fereydoun Zarnegar)
Three Economic Dangers
Central bank governor Mohsen Nurbakhsh reported to the cabinet that the GDP grew by six percent during the seven months since March 20, 2002, with all economic sectors showing growth, except oil, which earned less due to the OPEC production quotas. The central bank governor's report pointed to three warning signs:
1. Inflation rose to 15 percent in the past seven months, from 11.3 percent a year earlier, and is expected to reach 20 percent by the end of the next fiscal year, due to the increased money supply.
2. As imports grew by 20 percent during the first six months of the current fiscal year, a future fall in oil prices could deplete foreign exchange reserves.
3. Foreign debt is estimated at $23.3 billion, 15 percent higher than last year. (Fereydoun Khavand, Paris)
Judiciary Concludes Corruption Trial of Businessman Jazayeri
* The corruption trial of businessman Shahram Jazayeri-Arab ended yesterday, a year after it started. He is accused of amassing a fortune in a short time by paying off government officials and receiving huge loans and favors. Tehran lawyer Nemat Ahmadi, who was in the court during the final session, tells RFE/RL that making donations to officials and religious leaders is not a crime, but the court maintains that Jazayeri did so from funds that did not belong to him, in which case officials who were paid must return the money. However, the court exempted the contributions Jazayeri made to the election campaigns. (Fereydoun Zarnegar)
Civil Society and Human Rights
* Human rights advocate and lawyer Mehrangiz Kar discusses the irregular detentions centers run by the judiciary, police and armed forces from the point of the view of the rights of the accused.
Esfahan Police Deny Connection to Masked Dress Vigilantes
* Commander of Esfahan police Major Haqiqat told Tehran daily Etemad that the chador-clad, masked and gloved vigilantes, who attack women to enforce the Islamic dress code, are not related to the police and there could even be some men among them. He said police cannot arrest them without receiving complaints and people are too afraid of them to officially complain. (Mahmonir Rahimi)
ARTS AND IDEAS
Daily Internet Report
* Traffic spiked in the Persian Internet news sites after the announcement of Aghajari's verdict and student protests that followed. In his web log, "Webgard," www.rooydad.com, Tehran journalist Sina Motalebi quotes the director of www.gooya.com that visitors increased from 27,000 on the first day of November to 63,000 on November 12. (Behnam Nateghi, New York)
Daily medical advice (Dr. Mansur Moslehi, Los Angeles)
Daily Book Review
* RFE/RL's Tehran-based book critic Kamran Fani reviews "Liberalism and Conservatism" written in Persian by Hossein Rashidi, published by May publishers in Tehran.
Daily Science Report
* New AIDS vaccine tests well on monkeys. (Fatemeh Aman, Washington)
Song (Mahmud Khoshnam)
Shadi (Afshin Gorgin)
Mediterranean Magazine (Ahmad Ra'fat, Rome)
* Bin Laden threatens western countries with new terrorist attacks. (Homayoun Majd, Washington)
* Australian officials condemn bin Laden's threats. (Jamshid Adili, Sydney)
* Arab observers expect Saddam Hussein would reject UNSC resolution. (Jamshid Chalangi, Cairo)
* Head of RFE/RL's Iraqi service David Newton, a former US ambassador to Iraq, tells RFE/RL that Saddam would accept the UNSC resolution. (Jamshid Zand)
* NATO Secretary General says NATO will support Kabul government when Germany and Netherlands take over the command of the multi-national peace keeping forces. (Shahram Mirian, Cologne)
* Israeli foreign minister Netanyahu vows to oust Yasir Arafat from the Palestinian territories if he wins the upcoming elections. (Jamshid Chalangi, Cairo)
يك دانشجوي دانشگاه شهيدبهشتي در مصاحبه با راديوآزادي مي گويد وجه تمايز تجمع هاي دانشجوئي عليه حكم اعدام دادگاه همدان براي هاشم آغاجري، با ناآرامي هاي دانشجوئي تيرماه دوسال پيش، اعتراض دانشجويان به كل نظام است، نه به يك جناح خاص. وي مي افزايد: دانشجويان از اصلاحات درون حاكميت نااميد شده اند و عليه كل نظام شعار مي دهند. وجه تمايز ديگر اين است كه پليس از درگيري انصارحزب الله با دانشجويان جلوگيري مي كند. يك دانشجوي ديگر دانشگاه شهيدبهشتي در مصاحبه با راديوآزادي مي گويد به علت مخالفت انجمن اسلامي دانشجويان اين دانشگاه، جلسه اي كه در دانشكده ادبيات براي اعتراض به حكم اعدام هاشم آغاجري برگزار شد، خودبنياد بود. وي مي گويد سخنران ها در اعتراضات خود از حكم اعدام آغاجري فراتر رفتند و يك سخنران عليه حكومت ديني سخن مي گفت، كه هرچند مورد تشويق حاضران قرار گرفت، دراثر درگيري فيزيكي به سخنراني خود خاتمه داد. عبدالله مومني، دبير و عضو شوراي مركزي دفتر تحكيم وحدت، تشكل سراسري انجمن هاي اسلامي دانشجويان هوادار جناح اصلاح طلب، در مصاحبه با راديوآزادي مي گويد: اعتراض هائي كه روز هاي اخير در جهت مخالفت با حكم اعدام هاشم آغاجري برپا شده، اعتراض به محاكمه صاحبان عقايد متفاوت است كه به آغاجري محدود نمي شود و سايرزندانيان سياسي را نيز دربر مي گيرد.