Summary of Iran Stories in Today's BroadcastsBehnam NateghiWednesday, January 07, 2004
<b>Regime's Factions Clash on Reaction to US Aid Offer</b>
• The 80-man American rescue and medical relief team treated 777 earthquake survivors in less than a week, and left behind their field hospital and all its tools and supplies for the people of Bam, as they departed Iran earlier than they wanted to, due to certain “hidden disorders,” Tehran MP Ahmad Bourqani said at the Majles yesterday, referring to the disparaging comments made by conservative clerics and Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp commanders, who called the US gesture deceptive, and those who praised it “political dwarfs.” Quoting the Kerman governor, Bourghani, who had returned from a visit to earthquake-stricken city, said since the earthquake 296 flights of humanitarian aid from 66 countries were flown into Iran. The US with 21 flights came only after Saudi Arabia's 25 and Turkey and Azerbaijan's 21; in tonnage of aid, the US was second only to Saudi Arabia, he said. “Although some see the positive humanitarian operations of the US from a different point of view, but I see it worthy of praise and a step towards ending the US-Iran tensions, he added. But the US is still the wolf and Iran the lamb; defense minister Ali Shamkhani, who was present at the Majles session, responded. The US put on a show with the suspension of the banking embargo, only after its efforts to induce political groups and certain parties and social classes against the Islamic Republic did not bear fruit, he added. The US move (of sending humanitarian aid and suspending money transfer embargo) was only as a show for the US domestic politics and presidential elections, and had no relation to the national interests of Iran, the defense minister said.
• The 80-member US medical relief team left Bam today, leaving behind only 9 to assess Bam's medical needs.
• Iran could not trust the United States without more signs of a real change in policy towards the Islamic republic, particularly on the nuclear issue, President Khatami said on Tuesday. “Iran's mistrust towards the United States will decrease only when Tehran witnesses that it is continuing positive measures that would depict a real change in US policy towards Iran,” he added.
• A 35-member US team would soon begin building a new hospital in Bam. So far, 20 of them have arrived, finance minister Tahmasb Mazaheri said, adding that the other 15 will arrive on Thursday. (Mahmonir Rahimi)
• Iran can wait for developing relations with the US, former president Ali-Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani said on Wednesday. The US offer to send a high-level humanitarian delegation to Iran shows the urge in the US administration to establish ties with Iran, due to the US problems in Afghanistan and Iraq, Rafsanjani added. It is not wise to say Iran does not need relations with the US, New Haven-based activist <b>Dr. Ramin Ahmadi</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. Based on all the public opinion polls I have seen, majority of the Iranian people favor resumption of relations with the US, and it would be in its interest if this government takes one small step in the direction of the people's demands, he adds. What our people want, normal, friendly relations with the US, would serve our national interests and the interests of the Islamic Republic rulers, he adds. The consequences of Iran's lack of cooperation and its support for terrorists in Iraq or Afghanistan would be dire for our people and for the regime itself. Such a move would isolate Iran in the region. It is in our own interests and in the interest of the Iraqi and Afghani people to try to support stability and security in Iraq and Afghanistan, he says. (Maryam Ahmadi))
<b>Iran UN Diplomat Warns against Conservatives' Victory in Majles Elections</b>
• “Yet the conservative bloc and its authoritarian fringe — which had seen a succession of devastating defeats from 1997 to 2001 — were emboldened by last year's result and have set their eyes on recapturing the Parliament next month. Should this happen, the immediate result would be that President Khatami's hands would be tied for the rest of his final term of office, which expires in 2005,” member of the Islamic Government's permanent mission to the UN Bagher Asadi, who is a member of the Secretary General's panel on civil societies, writes in the <i>New York Times</i>. (Ali Sajjadi)
• The Guardians Council will disqualify a large number of election candidacy applicants, deputy Majles speaker and influential member of the leftist Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution organization (MIRO) Behzad Nabavi said today. The measure of people's participation in the February 20 Majles elections is the impact of their vote on the country's affairs, he added. In the past, the people's vote has not been honored, and the elected Majles and government had no impact, he added. Observers in Tehran said the interior minister and the Majles speaker did not succeed to get the Supreme Leader's approval to lowering the number of disqualified applicants. Many of the Majles MPs are reportedly among those barred from standing in the upcoming elections. (Nima Tamadon)
<b>MPs Find Budget's Oil Income Estimates Unattainable</b>
• The estimates of oil revenues in the government's budget for the fiscal year beginning in March 2004 are too optimistic and would be hard to achieve, members of the Majles finance and energy committees warn. The government estimates to take in $16 billion from crude sales, assuming that oil will average at $22 per barrel. With oil selling over $28 per barrel at the moment, the government's estimated average may not appear too high, but critics warn that with Iraq reentering the market in full force and Russia exceeding Saudi Arabia in production, prices may soon fall. (Fereydoun Khavand, Paris)
<b>Majles Begins Reviewing National Military Service Reform</b>
• College educated young men, are now mandated by law to serve 21 months in the armed forces, would be exempted from national military service, according to the a bill developed by the Majles to reform national military service law. If passed, the bill would be one of the most radical achievements of the Sixth Majles. Depriving the armed forces of educated draftees would weaken the nation's defense capabilities, defense minister Ali Shamkhani said. The bill discriminates against rural youth, a majority of whom do not continue their education beyond high school. (Keyvan Hosseini)
<b>190 MPs Complain to Khatami about Teachers' Low Salaries</b>
• In a letter to President Khatami, 190 Majles MPs asked him to pay attention to the country's half a million teachers who receive extremely low salaries. Two years ago, the teachers' demonstrations were put down by the force. (Keyvan Hosseini)
<b>Interior Ministry Finds Mass Disqualification of Local Election Committees Astonishing</b>
• The mass disqualification of interior ministry's candidates for membership in local election committees by the Guardians Council was astonishing, the interior ministry's elections headquarters said in a statement. In the last elections, the Guardians Council's election supervision council disqualified 1,800. This year, the number of rejected local dignitaries, officials and businessmen has reached 9.800, the statement said. According to the election law, the local committees who manage the elections are appointed by the interior ministry, but need to be approved by the Guardians Council's local election supervision committees. (Baktash Khamsehpour)
<b>Talk of Relocation of Capital Heats Up after Earthquake</b>
• The December 26 earthquake that devastated Bam and killed more than 30,000 of its people, fueled the discussion of relocation of the nation's capital to locations away from Tehran, whish sits on four seismological fault lines. The relocation of government offices to another city would not solve Tehran's earthquake problem, Tehran-based city planner <b>Jamshid Pour-Eskandar</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. Earthquake is geological, not an administrative or political issue, he adds. Semnan and Isfahan, the two cities mentioned as possible future capitals do not have the intra-structure needed for the influx of population, he added. (Farin Asemi)
<b>Bam MP Criticizes Chaotic Relief Work</b>
• Bam MP Hatama Naroui criticized slow and chaotic emergency response to the Bam disaster. He said he was in Bam a few hours after the earthquake, but saw no sign of relief tends and supplies. Trucks of donations from various cities set out for Bam, but they either never reach Bam, or when they do, their contents do not reach those who need them most. He reproached the government for not using Bam's railway for transporting relief aid to the city, even though it was ready a day after the earthquake. (Baktash Khamsehpour)
• The tents given to the survivors appear unsuitable; medical supplies are being distributed inefficiently and unevenly, due to lack of coordination among various government organs; many of the survivors are sick with colds and diarrhea, Austria-based <b>Dr. Hamid Hematpour</b>, who is in Bam as volunteer, tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. Even though on my arrival here they told me that there was no need for more doctors, I have been up every night treating patients, he adds. (Ardavan Niknam)
<b>40 Percent of Workers Live Below Poverty Line</b>
• More than 40 percent of the country's labor force lives below poverty level, and 60 percent are on the verge of poverty, secretary of the association of workers' Islamic councils Hassan Sadeqi says. The government's minimum wage law has no effect when the inflation is in double digits. (Nima Tamadon)
<b>Secular Republicans to Meet in Berlin</b>
• The first convention of the newly formed party Unity of Iranian Secular Republicans will be held in Berlin tomorrow. The party as a whole has not taken a public position on the Majles elections, Cologne-based member of the party's executive committee <b>Maryam Satvat</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b> (Shahram Mirian)
علي سجادي (راديو فردا): جرج بوش، رئيس جمهوري آمريکا، در سخناني که حدود نيم ساعت پيش به پايان رسيد با اشاره به مهاجرپذير بودن ايالات متحده گفت: نظام مهاجرتي آمريکا درست کار نمي کند.
امير آرمين (راديو فردا): رئيس جمهوري آمريکا گفت:
جرج بوش (رئيس جمهوري آمريکا): در طول نسل ها کشور ما به روي استعدادهايي که مي خواسته اند بيايند و کار کنند باز بوده است و براي استعدادها و روياهاي همه مردم سختکوش آن فرصت هايي ايجاد کرده است. از سال 1899 تا سال 1920 حدود 18 ميليون زن، مرد، و کودک از همه نقاط جهان به اين کشور آمده و بزرگترين اقتصاد جهان را ايجاد کرده اند.
رئيس جمهوري آمريکا گفت: کودکان مهاجران در يونيفورم در خدمت ارتش آمريکا از مرز و بومي که نياکانشان بدان مهاجرت کرده اند، دفاع کرده اند. آمريکا شخصيت، ويژگي، و استعداد همه مهاجران اهميت و ارزش مي دهد. 40 درصد غير نظامياني که در دستگاه هاي آمريکايي کار مي کنند، به گفته رئيس جمهوري آمريکا در خارج از اين کشور به دنيا آمده اند.
وي گفت آمريکا ملتي است متکي به مهاجران و ارزشي که براي آنان قائل مي شود. عده اي از آن ها وارد بازار کار غيرقانوني مي شوند. ورود غير قانوني اين افراد کار حفظ امنيت را دشوار مي کند و اين نظام معلوم است که خوب کار نمي کند.
جرج بوش افزود: مشاغلي هست که آمريکايي ها پر نمي کنند، پر فرصتي است که خارجيان بيايند و آن مشاغل را پر کنند. آنان که آماده کار هستند به خاطر قوانين موجود ناچارند فرسنگ ها پياده و غيرقانوني از مرز بگذرند، راه ها را شبانه طي کنند، و يا نصيب قاچاقچيان انساني مي شوند و زندگيشان تباه مي شود. در برابر زورگويي ها نمي توانند بايستند، چون مي ترسند به پليس مراجعه کنند و آن ها را از کشور اخراج کنند. از خانواده هايشان دور هستند، چون در هراس هستند که اگر بروند و آن ها را ببينند، هرگز نتوانند به آمريکا بازگردند و اين وضع نادرستي است. اين راه و روش آمريکايي نيست.
رئيس جمهوري آمريكا گفت: قانون بايد به کساني که مي خواهند از خارج بيايند و به مشاغلي بپردازند که آمريکايي ها آن مشاغل را پر نمي کنند، اجازه بدهد. قانون مهاجرت بايد عقلاني و انساني شود، بنابراين بايد قانون به همه کساني که مي خواهند از خارج به آمريکا بيايند و کار کنند يا کساني که در اين جا غير قانوني کار مي کنند، پروانه موقت کار بدهد و براي آنان بازنشستگي در نظر بگيرد. جرج بوش، رئيس جمهوري آمريکا، با اشاره به مهاجرپذير بودن ايالات متحده گفت: در طول نسل ها کشور ما به روي استعدادهايي که مي خواسته اند بيايند و کار کنند باز بوده است و براي استعدادها و روياهاي همه مردم سختکوش آن فرصت هايي ايجاد کرده است. وي گفت ورود غيرقانوني مهاجران جوياي كار به آمريكا كه باعث رنج و سرگرداني آنها مي شود، صحيح نيست. وي گفت: : قانون بايد به کساني که مي خواهند از خارج بيايند و به مشاغلي بپردازند که آمريکايي ها آن مشاغل را پر نمي کنند، اجازه بدهد. قانون مهاجرت بايد عقلاني و انساني شود، بنابراين بايد قانون به همه کساني که مي خواهند از خارج به آمريکا بيايند و کار کنند يا کساني که در اين جا غير قانوني کار مي کنند، پروانه موقت کار بدهد و براي آنان بازنشستگي در نظر بگيرد.