Summary of Iran Stories in Today's BroadcastsBehnam NateghiThursday, March 04, 2004
<b>US Allies Reject Push to Refer Iran's Nuclear Program to UN Security Council</b>
• In backroom negotiations over the upcoming International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)'s resolution on Iran's nuclear program, key European US allies rejected a US push to refer the matter to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions. However, Washington continues to press for a tough language condemning Iran's long-hidden program which the US said aimed at developing nuclear weapons. “Everybody is a little bit shy about what to do (on Iran) because the European Union 3 (Britain, France and Germany) has hijacked the process,” one US official told Reuters. “What this has done ... is to drive a wedge between the United States and the EU3 (Britain, France & Germany). It creates a lot of uncertainty ... There are countries out there who are always going to give Iran the benefit of the doubt,” he said, according to a Reuters dispatch from Vienna. The 35-member board of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will meet on March 8 with Libya and Iran key items on the agenda. Late last year, Iran acknowledged it was secretly developing a broad range of nuclear capabilities for 18 years. (Maryam Ahmadi)
• “We are not going to reduce the pressure on Iran,” Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, John Bolton said in a news conference today in Lisbon. “We think the pressure they've been under has been critical to their revealing the pieces about their nuclear program that they already have revealed,” Bolton added. However, he confirmed that the US will not press for UNSC sanctions against Iran. (Maryam Ahmadi)
• The Europeans will not press too hard for sanctions against Iran, <b>Mehran Barati</b> Berlin-based member of the coordination committee of the Iranian secular republicans coalition, tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. Furthermore, the US does not see any benefit in threatening Iran's political system at the moment by pressing on sanctions against Iran's oil industry in the UN Security Council, he adds. The US and the European countries will compromise on Iran's nuclear program, Rutgers University professor and head of the Princeton-based American-Iranian Council advocacy group <b>Houshang Amirahmadi</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. Within the next three months, as the US Presidential elections nears, we can expect a surprise announcement on Iran, which will either be positive like the case of Libya, or negative, in the form of a blow against Iran, he adds. (Fereydoun Zarnegar)
<b>After Elections' Setback, Pro-Reform Party Vows to Press for Democracy</b>
• Pro-reform party the Participation Front, headed by President Khatami's brother Mohammad-Reza Khatami, said in a communiqué issued in Tehran on Wednesday that it plans to remain an active force in politics by promoting democracy through grass roots campaigns. (Maryam Ahmadi)
• The reformist MPs, who resigned in protest against the Guardians Council's ban on their reelection, have stepped up pressure on President Khatami to explain his decision to go ahead with the elections, despite disqualification of more than 2,400 reformist candidates. President Khatami held an unscheduled closed-door meeting with Majles speaker Mehdi Karrubi on Wednesday, after which he left the Majles without talking to reporters. The reformist press in Tehran today speculated that the president's possible resignation was on the agenda in yesterday's surprise talks, held after more than 50 MPs backed a motion to impeach the Islamic president for elections' irregularities. (Bahman Bastani)
• In an open letter to Majles speaker Karrubi, the Supreme Leader expressed regrets about Karrubi's decision to withdraw from the runoff elections. Karrubi failed to receive the minimum 25 percent of the votes in the February 20 elections. (Mina Baharmast)
<b>Activists Gather in Ahmad-Abad for Mossadeq Anniversary</b>
• A group of Iranian students invited participants to ride busses waiting at 8:30 AM this morning at the Enqelab square, near Tehran University, to head for the ceremonies commemorating the 32th anniversary of the death of populist prime minister Mohammad Mossadeq, who was dismissed by the Shah in 1953, following what his followers call a US-backed coup. In their announcement, the students called Mossadeq “the founder of Iran's nationalist movement.” (Bahman Bastani)
• More than 4,500 people took part in the ceremonies, which began at 10:30 AM this morning, organizer <b>Bahram Namazi</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. In a speech at the gathering, Mahmoud Mossadeq said the Ahmad-Abad building in which Mossadeq spent his final years, has been registered as a historical site by the national heritage organization. He asked for donations to an account set up for restoration and renovation of the site, which includes a museum devoted to Mossadeq memorabilia. Mohandes Shahi, Raisi and Adib Boroumand were the main speakers at the event, he adds. No official from the government attended the ceremony, but police and provincial government forces were present and helped keep order, Bahram Namazi says. (Fereydoun Zarnegar)
• The Karaj security agents stopped a bus carrying participants back to Tehran, and arrested three student activists, including secretary of central committee of the Karaj teachers' college Islamic student council Mojtaba Bakhsandeh, along with two members Reza Rostami-Khazai and Reza Hasani-Pedram, according to the state-run labor news agency ILNA. (Amir-Mosaddegh Katouzian)
• The arrest of these three students is the continuation of the misguided policies against political activists, member of the central committee of the association of the Islamic student councils <b>Amir Pakzad</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. How can participating in ceremonies to honor a politician who played a key role in the nationalization of the Iranian oil industry be a crime, he asks. (Amir-Mosaddegh Katouzian)
• The Shah's regime, put Mossadeq on trial, after removing him from office in the 1953 coup, and portrayed him as traitor and foreign agent, London-based historian <b>Mashallah Ajoudani</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. The Islamic regime treated Mossadeq from a more reactionary viewpoint, and criticized him as a secular, pro-west politician, he adds. However, there is no doubt that Mossadeq was the most democratic political leader in recent history and cared for the country's national interests. Despite the mistakes he made as a politician, Mossadeq was the representative of one of the most righteous movements in Iran's cotemporary history, and the righteousness of his movement is still defensible, he adds. (Amir Armin)
<b>Thousands of Islamic Saving & Loan Declare Bankruptcy</b>
• Thousands of unregulated “Islamic” saving and loan institutions, which had mushroomed outside the official banking system, have failed to meet their financial commitments, and are closing down. The rush of depositors to withdraw their deposits have resulted traffic jams, long lines, scuffles and riots in several cities, including Mashhad, Isfahan and Tehran. The Islamic savings and loan debacle is yet another indication of the shortcomings of the post-revolutionary banking system which has failed to respond to the needs of the consumers, depositors and investors. (Fereydoun Khavand, Paris)
<b> Charge D'Affairs in Baghdad Denies Iran Role in Deadly Attacks on Shiite Mourners</b>
• Charge D'Affairs of the Islamic Republic's embassy in Baghdad denied Iraqi press news that several Iranian suspects have been arrested after deadly attacks on Shiite mourners in Karbala and Baghdad. He said in a live TV interview aired in Tehran that Iraqi press are businesses that will print anything for financial gain. (Ashkan Pazouki, Tehran)
• According to the latest statistics released in Baghdad, more than 40 Iranians died and more than 100 were wounded in the multiple bombing and rocket attacks that killed and wounded hundreds during last Tuesday's Shiite self-flagellation festival. The interior ministry banned all religious pilgrimage from Iran to Iraq. (Baktash Khamsehpour)
<b>Traffickers Move Afghanistan Drugs Through Iran to Europe</b>
• Whereas more than 50 percent of Afghanistan's GNP is supplied by opium cultivation and drug trafficking, and whereas the price of drugs in Turkey and Europe is 100 times higher than in Afghanistan, the transfer of Afghan product through Iran is inevitable. A UN delegation is on its way to Tehran to review Iran's efforts to stem the flow of drugs from Afghanistan to Europe. (Arash Qavidel, Tehran)
<b>Moscow Daily Urges Russia-Iran Cooperation in Haggling with Turkey over Gas Price</b>
• Russia and Iran need to act in concert in order to stem Turkey's efforts to reduce the price of gas it imports from both countries, energy expert of the Moscow daily <b>Kommersant</b> said in an article on negotiations in Tehran between Turkey's energy minister and Iranian authorities. (Mani Kasravi, Moscow)
<b>Lawyer of Nationalist-Religious Detainees Calls for Their Trial</b>
• Nine months after the arrests of three nationalist-religious coalition activists – Taqi Rahmani, Hoda Saber and Reza Alijani – the judiciary continues to delay their trails, even though all investigation and interrogations have been completed, their lawyer <b>Mohammad Sharif</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. What the judiciary's justification is for keeping the three in jail under a “temporary” detention order, he asks, adding that the three have not been allowed to see their relatives or hold meetings with their lawyers. (Amir-Mosaddegh Katouzian)
مريم احمدي (راديو فردا): برنامه هسته اي ايران در نشست يك هفته اي هيات مديره سازمان بين المللي انرژي اتمي مورد بررسي قرار مي گيرد. آمريكا خواهان تصويب قطعنامه شديداللحني عليه ايران و نكوهش جمهوري اسلامي به خاطر قصور در اعلام برنامه هاي هسته اي خويش است. در حالي كه تهران مي گويد: همكاري با سازمان بين المللي انرژي اتمي داشته و اين همكاري كامل بوده و بنابراين موضوع ايران نبايد در نشست جاري هيات مديره مطرح شود. كشورهاي عضو هيات مديره سازمان بين المللي انرژي اتمي در پشت درهاي بسته در حال تدوين پيش نويس قطعنامه اي هستند كه در آن از سياست جمهوري اسلامي انتقاد شده است. علت انتقاد، قصور ايران در اعلام وجود قطعات دستگاه گريز از مركز مورد استفاده در غني سازي اورانيوم است.
تهران در تابستان گذشته تعهد كرده بود همه اطلاعات مربوط به برنامه هاي هسته اي خود را به سازمان گزارش دهد. از روز دوشنبه هيات مديره سازمان گردهمايي يك هفته اي خود را آغاز مي كند تا برنامه هاي هسته اي ايران، ليبي و ساير مسائل مربوطه را به بحث و بررسي بگذارد. واشنگتن از مدتها پيش متوجه شده كه براي تصويب قطعنامه همكاري نكردن ايران با سازمان و با پيمان منع گسترش جنگ افزارهاي كشتار جمعي، از حمايت اكثريت اعضاي هيات مديره برخوردار نخواهد بود و بنابراين نمي تواند پرونده ايران را به شوراي امنيت احاله كند، در نتيجه از هيات مديره مي خواهد ايران را با شديدترين لحن مورد انتقاد قرار دهد.
جان بولتون، معاون وزارت امور خارجه آمريكا مي گويد به اعتقاد ما ايران هنوز هم در صدد دستيابي به جنگ افزارهاي هسته اي است و به همين سبب نگران قضيه ايم. آقاي بولتون كه در ليسبون، پايتخت پرتغال با خبرنگاران سخن مي گفت، يادآور شد كه واشنگتن از فشار بر ايران نخواهد كاست. تهران كه ادعا مي كند برنامه هاي هسته ايش صلح آميز و به منظور توليد انرژي است، خواهان آن است كه هيات مديره برنامه هاي آن كشور را مورد انتقاد قرار ندهد. مقامهاي ايراني در ميان اعضاي هيات مديره به كسب حمايت از ديدگاه تهران مشغولند و مي خواهند در نشست اين هفته برنامه ايران از دستور كار هيات مديره حذف شود.
هيات مديره كه ميان اين دو نوع فشار قرار گرفته، قطعنامه اي صادر خواهد كرد كه تا حدي هر دو طرف را راضي كند. محمد البرادعي، رئيس سازمان بين المللي انرژي اتمي از همكاري بيشتر ايران با سازمان در اين اواخر سخن گفته و خواهان آن است كه اين نكته در قطعنامه گنجانده شود. فرانسه، بريتانيا و آلمان هفته گذشته گفته اند در ازاي تعهد صميمانه تهران به تعليق همه فعاليتهاي غني سازي اورانيوم، حاضرند جلوي تصويب قطعنامه داير بر محكوميت ايران را بگيرند. عده اي از ديپلماتها اين ديدگاه سه كشور را غير واقع بينانه مي دانند و مي گويند در هر حال بايد قطعنامه اي عليه ايران به تصويب برسد. برنامه هسته اي ايران در نشست يك هفته اي هيات مديره سازمان بين المللي انرژي اتمي مورد بررسي قرار مي گيرد. آمريكا خواهان تصويب قطعنامه شديداللحني عليه ايران و نكوهش جمهوري اسلامي به خاطر قصور در اعلام برنامه هاي هسته اي خويش است. اما واشنگتن از مدتها پيش دريافت كه براي تصويب قطعنامه از حمايت اكثريت اعضاي هيات مديره برخوردار نخواهد بود و بنابراين نمي تواند پرونده ايران را به شوراي امنيت احاله كند. جان بولتون، معاون وزارت امور خارجه در ليسبون، پايتخت پرتغال به خبرنگاران گفت واشنگتن از فشار بر ايران نخواهد كاست. فرانسه، بريتانيا و آلمان هفته گذشته گفتند در ازاي تعهد صميمانه تهران به تعليق همه فعاليتهاي غني سازي اورانيوم، حاضرند جلوي تصويب قطعنامه داير بر محكوميت ايران را بگيرند.