Summary of Iran Stories in Today's BroadcastsBehnam NateghiSunday, June 06, 2004
<b>Three Big European Countries to Introduce Softer Language in IAEA Resolution on Iran</b>
• Germany, France and Britain were working on a draft resolution praising Iran for cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency but urging it to clear up remaining questions about its nuclear program, an unnamed Vienna diplomat said on Saturday, according to the AP. Any resolution by the IAEA board of governors, due to meet on June 14, “could not come down too hard on Iran,” he added. The board “can't make any conclusions because the Iranians stalled. We are in a holding pattern.” In a report to the IAEA board of governors, director-general Mohamed ElBaradei said last week that the agency had not found proof of a concrete link between Iran's nuclear activities and its military program, but that “it was premature to make a judgment.” The report, however, alleged that Iran had tried to buy critical parts for advanced P-2 centrifuges, which can be used for energy purposes or to enrich uranium to weapons grade. The June 14 meeting of the IAEA board of governors “will not produce what Iran's opponents are looking for,” foreign ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi told reporters on Saturday during a regular weekly briefing. “The US is using all its capabilities [against Iran], but certainly what it is looking for will not happen. There is no doubt about it.”
<b>US-Iran Relations under President Reagan</b>
• If the secret deal between Iran and the US under President Reagan had not been exposed by Mehdi Hashemi, Iran-US relations would have followed a different course,” Rutgers University professor and Iran-US relations activists <b>Houshang Amirahmaid</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b> in an interview about President Reagan's policy on Iran. In the Iran-Contra affair, which was revealed in a Lebanese newspaper by Mehdi Hashemi, a former close aid of Ayatollah Montazari, the US supplied Iran with advanced fighter jet and missile parts in exchange for the release of US hostages in Lebanon. President Reagan, he adds, found Iran's cooperation useful in the fight against communism in Afghanistan and elsewhere, he adds.
<b>Tehran Builds Earthquake Shelters, Denies Earthquake Warning</b>
• In an attempt to play down recent warnings about an imminent and devastating earthquake in Tehran, Sharif University geology professor Mohammad-Reza Rahimi appeared on the state-run TV and denied press reports in which he had been quoted warning against the possible damages of a powerful earthquake in Tehran. But head of the city's emergency management headquarters announced that 12 earthquake shelters will soon be built around the city as a measure to better prepare for the future. An earthquake centered nearly 100 miles to the north of Tehran in a Caspian village, shook Tehran on May 28 and sent millions of fearful residents to the streets.
<b>Slain Journalist's Son Blasts Chrétien over Deal with Iran</b>
• In an open letter to former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, son of Canadian-Iranian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi condemned Chrétien's upcoming trip to Tehran as advisor for a Canadian oil company. Stephan Hachemi, whose mother lost her life last June after receiving head injuries during an interrogation in the Evin prison, accused Chrétien of placing financial gain over human rights. (Maryam Aghvami)
<b>Iran Bans Expats from Entering with Foreign Passports</b>
• No Iranian with foreign passport will be allowed to enter the country, but no Iranian living outside the country has been blacklisted, deputy foreign ministry for consular affairs Mohammad-Ali Hadi said today during an interview with Tehran's reformist daily <i>Sharq</i>.
<b>GCC Threatens to Seek International Arbitration for UAE-Iran Dispute over Persian Gulf Islands</b>
• In a statement issued after their Friday meeting, the six members of Gulf Cooperation Council asked Iran to end its “occupation” of the three Persian Gulf islands Lesser and Greater Tonbs and Abu Musa, and threatened that otherwise it supports referring the UAE-Iran dispute over the islands to an international arbitration body.
• Iran is trying through diplomatic channels to gain the release of nine members of an Iranian fishing crew, who were detained and taken to Dubai by UAE's coastal guards, foreign ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said, reiterating that Iran considers the three islands an unalienable part of its territory.
• Arresting fishermen of the other country has been a common practice of both Iran and UAE as a means to assert their sovereignty over the disputed islands, Virginia-based marine law and Persian Gulf expert <b>Bahman Aghai-Diba</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. (Alireza Taheri)
<b>Security Council Bans News & Comments on Student Unrest Anniversary</b >
• The supreme national security council banned the press from printing any news story or commentary about the 1997 police attack on Tehran University's student dorms, which led to a widespread pro-democracy uprising on July 9. The demonstrations last year in commemoration of that event spread to many cities and lasted for nearly two weeks, before breaking up under heavy police and plainclothes security forces' crackdown. The pressure on the press in advance of the July 9 events is not uncommon. “We have seen similar circulars in previous years,” member of the general assembly of the association of Islamic student councils (Dafter-e Tahkim-e Vahdat) <b>Amir Pakzad</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. The pro and con pronouncements about the July 9 anniversary will have little effect on the association's plan for action, he adds.
<b>RadioFarda Democracy and Human Rights Roundtable: Expansion of IRGC's Role in the Economy-Part 2</b>
* The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has emerged as the dominant power in the country's political, economic and social spheres. In the February 20 Majles elections, it played a major role in approving the list of candidates, and scores of former IRGC officers entered the Majles as conservative MPs. Last week, the Supreme Leader named a former IRGC officer as the new head of the state-run radio-TV monopoly, and last month, the IRGC occupied the just opened Tehran international airport and forced the transportation ministry to cancel its contract for the operation of the airport with the Turkish-Austrian firm TAV and turn the management of the airport to an IRGC officer. The IRGC also plays a dominant role in import/export, construction and many other businesses, in addition to controlling Iran's nuclear program. The IRGC was formed by the clerics who dominated the 1979 revolution for armed protection of the fruits of the revolution. It has spread its sphere of influence from the regime's security to economic and administrative fields during and after the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war. In the second part of the Human Rights and Democracy Roundtable about the emergence of IRGC, three commentators continue their discussion about the impact of IRGC's dominance of Iran's political, social and economic spheres on the future of democracy in Iran.
• Paris-based nationalist commentator and activist <b>Ahmad Salamatian</b>, a former deputy in the Islamic Consultative Assembly (the Majles), says: The armed forces, particularly the IRGC, claim that they are carrying out the revolutionary project, but this claim is being made in the vacuum, due to non-existence or weakness of democratic and non-democratic institutions.
• Former editor of several banned reformist newspapers <b>Mashallah Shamsolvaezin</b> says, The active roles being played by current and former IRGC members in the country's political and economic institutions would gradually dissolve them into modern institutions and force them to place national interests above ideological concerns.
• Paris-based leftist activist and commentator <b>Ali Keshtgar</b> says: The emergence of the IRGC as an armed and organized force empowered by economic and financial interests is contrary to the aspirations of the public; and the IRGC's continued dominance would lead to popular confrontation with the armed forces. (Maryam Ahmadi))
<b>Border Guards Kill Two for Smuggling Goods from Iraq</b>
• Two men, possibly carrying goods from northern Iraq to Iran, were shot and killed by border guards near Piranshahr. Last week in a similar incident two were killed near Bukan. Others have fallen victim to the government's anti-smuggling campaign in the Kurdistan cities, Bukan-based journalist <b>Mossoud Kurdpour</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. Due to limitations faced by press in Kurdistan, the incidents have not been reported locally, and there are no reporters from the national media in these areas, he adds. The killings have incited several street protests by the townspeople, who have traditionally subsided on trading goods over the border, he adds.
<b>Legal Commentary: Role of Bar Association</b>
• Lawyer and human rights activist <b>Mehrangiz Kar</b> devotes today's commentary to the role of the Bar Association in Iran's legal system.
فرانسه، آلمان و بريتانيا براي جلسه هفته آينده سازمان بين المللي انرژي اتمي، پيشنويس قطعنامه اي را تهيه کردند که مي تواند آنها را رو در روي ايران قرار دهد. سازمان بين المللي انرژي اتمي هفته گذشته در گزارش خود، از ايران براي فراهم کردن امکان دسترسي بازرسان به تاسيسات هسته اي تمجيد کرد. اما بازرسان گفتند که حکومت ايران هنوز توضيح درستي در مورد تجهيزات هسته اي خود که مي تواند براي توليد سلاح هاي هسته اي به کار گرفته شود، ارائه نداده است. يک عضو هيات مديره سازمان بين المللي انرژي اتمي گفت که در پيشنويس جديد هم زمينه هايي که ايران در آن همکاري کرده، و هم زمينه هاي عدم همکاري ها قيد خواهد شد. وي گفت که هدف از اين قطعنامه که از ايران همکاري بيشتري مي خواهد، امکان ادامه بازرسي ها است. تهران در تلاش است تا بازرسي از تاسيسات هسته اي خود را از دستور کار سازمان خارج سازد، اما با قطعنامه جديد، اين مساله همچنان در دستور کار سازمان قرار خواهد داشت.