Summary of Iran Stories in Today's BroadcastsBehnam NateghiTuesday, May 11, 2004
<b>Resolution Nears in Nuclear Case, Rowhani Says</b>
• “We believe Iran's nuclear case is moving in the direction of being resolved,” secretary of the supreme national security council Hassan Rowhani said today. “From our point of view we have cooperated fully on this issue,” with the UN International Atomic Agency Rohani said. “We hope (IAEA Chief Mohamed) ElBaradei and the agency provide a fair and accurate report for the June meeting and the board of governors reaches a fair and accurate decision,” he added, during an interview on the state-run TV monopoly. He ruled out the possibility of an Israeli air attack on the Bushehr nuclear power plant. “Israel knows that if such an incident happens, it will face a very strong response from us,” he said.
<b>Transportation Minister Rejects Islamic Guards Excuse for Airport Occupation</b>
• Transportation minister Ahmad Khorram rejected the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC)'s excuse for its occupation of Tehran's new international airport on the day the airport began operations after 35 years of construction. The IRGC blocked the airport runways with armored personnel carriers on Saturday, blocking access to an incoming Iran Air flight from Dubai, in protest against the airport's service contract with a Turkish-Austrian company. Negotiations on the occupied runway between the transportation minister and head of the civil aviation organization Hassan Hajalifard with the occupying force was fruitless, and the guards threatened to shoot down the Iran Air passenger jet which sought permission to land, writes Tehran daily <i>Shargh</i>. Khorram said the contract had been coordinated with all responsible organs and had been duly authorized. Nevertheless, he added, the airport will remain closed, as long as the IRGC continues the occupation.
• The closing of the Tehran international airport by the IRGC is another indication of the power struggle within the regime, Tehran University political science professor <b>Sadeq Zibakalam</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. Like any other airport anywhere in the world, the new Tehran airport has a service component and a security component, which report to different factions of the regime, locked in a political competition; and neither side is willing to compromise for the sake of the country's vital interests, he says. One side wanted to show that it can open the airport, and the other side showed that it can prevent the airport from starting operations, he adds. Neither side showed any consideration for the country's interests, its international reputation, its ability to attract foreign investment and potential foreign deals Iran could possibly sign, he says. (Fereydoun Zarnegar)
<b>Majles Approves Bill on Women's Equal Right to Inheritance</b>
• On its final weeks in office, the reformist Majles approved a bill aimed at ending the discrepancy between genders in inheritance. According to existing laws, based on Islamic rules, women's share from a estate is half of men's. Since the current law is based on Islamic rules and Qoranic verse, it is inconceivable that the Guardians Council would ratify this legislation, Tehran-based lawyer <b>Mohammad-Ali Aghasi</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. The reformist MPs hope that their bill would be approved by the Expediency Council after rejection by the Guardians Council, Aghasi says. (Massud Malek)
<b>Ebadi Calls for Prosecution of Kazemi's Death as First Degree Murder</b>
• The death in custody of Canadian-Iranian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi should be prosecuted as murder, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi said during a press conference on Saturday in Toronto. Ebadi, who appeared alongside Kazemi's Montreal-based son Stephan Hachemi, said she has asked the judiciary to change the trial's venue, so that the accused can be tried for murder, instead of involuntary manslaughter. “The prosecutor has ruled that the homicide was unintentional,” Ebadi said. “I protested and said that this homicide was intentional,” she said. Ebadi, who represents Kazemi's heirs, expressed optimism about the outcome of the trial, which will be held in an open court. “I must remain optimistic, otherwise I cannot pursue the case and do my job,” Ebadi said. But Kazemi's son Hachemi was skeptical that her mother's killers will be punished. “They changed the judge several times and changed the court several times and changed the accused several times,” Hachemi said. “She can't do much,” he said of Ebadi. “Her resources are very little,” he added. “We shall seek justice elsewhere, if the trial in Tehran could not deliver justice,” Hachemi's Canadian lawyer Marlis Edward said. Meanwhile, Patrick Riel, a spokesman for Canada's foreign affairs department, said Canada will use every opportunity to raise the issue with the Islamic government in Tehran. “It is our firm intention to obtain independent Canadian observers at the trial, he said. (Maryam Aghvami, Toronto)
<b>Ebadi Blasts the US on Iraq Invasion and Prisoner Abuse</b>
• In much of the world's view, the US has replaced the former Soviet Union as the global bully by its invasion of Iraq and mistreatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison, Shirin Ebadi said Monday in an interview in Syracuse with the Associated Press. “I believe this was not a justified war to begin with,” Ebadi said, before the start of her daylong visit hosted by Syracuse University's College of Law. “You cannot liberate people through the use of an occupying force,” said Ebadi, whose appearance in Syracuse marked the start of an American campus speaking tour. Ebadi criticized both the US government and military for the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison. “I don't think the US military has lost control, and yet if the US really wanted, it could have prevented these abuses. I'm very sorry there wasn't a deeper commitment to preventing these atrocities,” she said.
<b>Tabriz Court Sentences Journalist Hedayat to 18 Months in Prison</b>
• An Islamic revolutionary appeals court in Tabriz approved independent journalist Ensafali Hedayat's 18 month jail sentence for “spreading anti-regime propaganda.” Hedayat was arrested three months ago, a day after he returned from Berlin, where he had attended the first convention of a coalition of secular, non-monarchist anti-regime activists. The court rejected our appeal and refused to release Hedayat on bail, Hedayat's lawyer <b>Abbas Jamali</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. We shall ask the supreme court to review the decision, he adds. Hedayat began a hunger strike to protest against the unsanitary conditions of his jail cell and the court's refusal to release him on medical furlough, Hedayat's daughter told the state-run “labor” news agency ILNA. (Jamshid Zand)
<b>Iran's Role in Iraq</b>
• Reports from inside Iraq continue to suggest that Iran's conservative Islamic government is meddling in the affairs of its neighbor, according to U.S. officials and lawmakers with access to information about the instability there, reports the Associated Press. Anecdotal but unconfirmed reports indicate Iranian arms, militia members and financial aid are crossing the border, AP quoted an unnamed US State Department official as saying. Spokesman for the Iraq-based anti-regime armed group Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) Alireza Jafarzadeh said the Islamic government was waiting out the US occupation for a chance to erect an Islamic Republic government in Iraq. Iran may want to let Moqtada al-Sadr stir up trouble until clerics close to Tehran can emerge, Washington-based commentator Rasool Nafisi said.
<b>Health Ministry Awaits Coroner's Report on Hospital Deaths</b>
• The health ministry has not yet received an official report from the judiciary's coroner's office on the deaths last month at Iranmehr hospital. The coroner has shared its autopsy report with the magistrate judge, but has not sent it to the health ministry, a spokesman said. Meanwhile, the judiciary has banned the press from reporting the official cause of deaths. Three died and 12 developed serious complications and went into a coma last month, after receiving contaminated anesthetics in the hospital's operating rooms.
<b>Tehran Judiciary Closes 20 ISPs</b>
• Agents from the Tehran police padlocked 20 Internet service providers, acting on warrants issued by the Tehran prosecutor. They said the crackdown was prompted by the ISPs' violation of filtering rules, but experts believe the ISPs were closed over their competition with Iran Telecom in long-distance phone service, head of a padlocked ISP <b>Nima Akbarpour</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. The ISPs stand to lose large sums of money and are facing an uncertain future, he adds. Competition with the ISPs' voice over IP long-distance phone service forced Iran Telecom to lower its long distance prices, he adds. (Farin Asemi)
فريبا مودت (راديو فردا): روز سه شنبه حسن روحاني، مقام ارشد مذاكره كننده با آژانس بين المللي انرژي اتمي در گفتگويي با شبكه تلويزيوني ايران گفت: مسائل ميان جمهوري اسلامي و آژانس در جريان حل شدن و روابط فيمابين در حال بهبود است.
شهران طبري (راديو فردا، لندن): حسن روحاني كه مقام ارشد مذاكره كننده با سازمان بين المللي انرژي اتمي از سازمانهاي وابسته به سازمان ملل است، روز سه شنبه در تلويزيوني دولتي ايران گفت: ما معتقديم بررسي پرونده هسته اي ايران در جريان حل و فصل كامل پيش مي رود.
ايران مصر است كه برنامه هسته ايش خلاف آنچه آمريكا مي گويد براي مقاصد غير نظامي است. در حالي كه آمريكا معتقد است ايران تحت لواي مقاصد غير نظامي مخفيانه در پي دست يافتن به سلاحهاي هسته اي است. آقاي روحاني در صحبت تلويزيوني خود تعهد كرد كه پيش از ديدار ماه ژوئن هيات مديره موسسه انرژي اتمي در وين، حساب و كتاب كامل فعاليتهاي هسته اي ايران را در اختيار آژانس قرار دهد. او افزود ما از نظر خودمان كاملا با آژانس همكاري كرده ايم و اكنون اميدواريم دكتر البرادعي مدير كل آژانس نيز گزارش عادلانه اي براي ملاقات ماه ژوئن هيات مديره تهيه كند تا آنها بتوانند به نتيجه اي درست و قطعي برسند.
اخيرا دكتر البرادعي به دولت ايران هشدار داده بود كه جهان حاضر نيست تا ابد براي گزارشي كامل كه تمام ابعاد فعاليتهاي هسته اي ايران را نشان دهد، در انتظار بماند. اكنون مقامات ايران مي گويند قصد دارند همكاري كامل خود را نشان دهند تا آژانس بين المللي بعد از ديدار ماه ژوئن ايران را از برنامه نظارتهاي خود كنار بگذارد. اما ديپلماتهاي غربي به اين نكته اشاره دارند كه فقط سال گذشته بود كه 18 سال فعاليتهاي هسته اي پنهان ايران آشكار شد. فعاليتهايي كه مي توانست به توليد سلاحهاي هسته اي منجر شود. به همين خاطر آنها معتقدند نيت جمهوري اسلامي به كسب سلاحهاي هسته اي تا مدتها بعد از ديدار ماه ژوئن هيات مديره آژانس ادامه خواهد داشت.
آقاي روحاني در مورد احتمال حمله اسرائيل به نيروگاه هسته اي بوشهر كه در حال تكميل است گفت: فكر نمي كند اسرائيل دست به چنين اقدام بي عقلانه اي بزند و افزود: اسرائيل مي داند كه در صورت چنين كاري پاسخ ما به شدت محكم خواهد بود. هواپيماهاي اسرائيل در سال 1981 راكتور هسته اي عراق رامنهدم كردند و جنگنده هاي اف 16 ساخت آمريكاي اين كشور كه از ماه فوريه تحول گرفته مي شود به خوبي مي تواند به بخش قابل ملاحظه اي از ايران دست يابد. در اسرائيل بسياري برنامه هسته اي ايران را تهديدي به آن كشور مي بينند. عليرغم آنكه دولت ايران مي گويد: هيچ برنامه خصمانه اي نسبت به اسرائيل ندارد. روز سه شنبه حسن روحاني، دبير شوراي عالي امنيت ملي جمهوري اسلامي و مقام ارشد مذاكره كننده با آژانس بين المللي انرژي اتمي، گفت که مسائل ميان جمهوري اسلامي و آژانس در جريان حل شدن و روابط فيمابين در حال بهبود است. وي گفت: ما معتقديم که بررسي پرونده هسته اي جمهوري اسلامي در جريان حل و فصل كامل پيش مي رود. وي تعهد كرد كه پيش از ديدار ماه ژوئن هيات مديره موسسه انرژي اتمي در وين، حساب و كتاب كامل فعاليتهاي هسته اي حکومت ايران را در اختيار آژانس قرار دهد. دكتر محمد البرادعي، رئيس آژانس بين المللي انرژي اتمي، به دولت جمهوري اسلامي هشدار داده بود كه جهان حاضر نيست تا ابد براي گزارشي كامل كه تمام ابعاد فعاليتهاي هسته اي تهران را نشان دهد، در انتظار بماند.