Summary of Iran Stories in Today's BroadcastsBehnam NateghiWednesday, June 09, 2004
<b>Ukrainian Borders Guards Arrest 40 Iranians on Suicide Mission to Iraq</b>
• Ukrainian soldiers guarding Iran-Iraq border arrested 40 armed Iranians, who, according to an announcement by the Ukrainian defense ministry, were on their way to Najaf in order to join insurgent cleric Moqtada Sadr's militia, according to Italian news agencies ANSA and ADN-Kronos International. Ukrainian officials said the 40 were among those who had responded to a registration drive for suicide missions in Iraq launched last week in Tehran. (Ahmad Ra'fat, Rome)
<b>RSF and HRW Hold Joint Press Conference in Paris on Iran</b>
• In a joint press conference in Paris by York-based Human Rights Watch and Paris-based Reporters sans Frontiers, HRW's spokesman Jean-Paul Marthoz called on the European countries to pressure Iran on human rights. The press conference followed the publication of HRW's report on treatment of political prisoners in Iran. RSF provides information to journalists in Iran, as well as international organizations and governments, spokesman <b>Reza Moini</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. “We ask western countries to pressure the Islamic Republic to respect its own laws on press freedoms. Journalist <b>Sina Motalebbi</b>, who fled Iran after being released on bail from jail, tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that in Iran a journalist is suspect, regardless of what he writes. “Journalism is the only thing left for the freedom movement in Iran,” he adds. (Mir-Ali Hosseini, Paris)
<b>Russia Refuses to Halt Nuclear Cooperation with Iran, Despite US Pressure</b>
• “We have cooperated with Iran and will continue to cooperate with Iran in nuclear power generation,” Sergei Prikhodko, a senior aide to Russia's president Vladimir Putin, told reporters on Tuesday after Bush-Putin talks on the sidelines of the G8 summit in Savannah, Georgia. “This is conditional on Iran fulfilling the International Atomic Energy Agency's conditions and the extent to which we can, bilaterally, solve all remaining technical problems concerning construction of the Bushehr power plant,” he added. President Bush raised US objections to Russia's cooperation with Iran in building the $800 million nuclear power plant in Bushehr. The issue of Iran's atomic program, which the United States says is a front for developing nuclear weapons, cropped up too in discussions between Bush and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. “I would say Schroeder and Bush share a degree of skepticism about Iran's intentions,” a senior US official said, adding that Washington was lobbying other of the European G8 members -- Britain, France and Italy -- on the issue, Reuters writes in a dispatch from Savannah.
• All political factions in Iran agree that the development of nuclear technology is a source of pride for the country, but the project reinforces international suspicions about Iran's nuclear intentions, <b>Daniel Neep</b>, a Middle East expert at the Royal United Services Institute in London, tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. Iran would be less safe if it acquired nuclear weapons because it cannot hope to match the arsenals of existing nuclear powers such as Israel and the US, Iran's former envoy to IAEA said yesterday. (Shahran Tabari, London)
• The most recent report by the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency Mohamed ElBaradei adds new items to the list of unanswered questions about Iran's nuclear program, US envoy to IAEA ambassador <b>Kenneth Brill</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. He rejects recent assertions by foreign ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi, who said there was no new information in ElBaradei's report. There were a number of important new and worrisome issues in the report, including the P2 uranium enrichment equipment, highly enriched uranium traces and a previously undisclosed plutonium extraction program, Brill adds. He predicts that the IAEA board of governors will pass a resolution to endorse the efforts of the IAEA inspectors, and will call for the IAEA's work to continue. “A lot more work needs to be done,” he adds, pointing out that the US concerns about Iran's nuclear program are shared by the EU governments, as well as the non-aligned members of the IAEA board of governors. (Amir Armin)
<b>Reagan Administration's Role in Saddam's Rise as Military Force against Iran</b>
• Jim Mannion of the Agence France Presse writes in a feature article: “United States soldiers now fighting the remnants of Saddam's regime can look back to the early 1980s for the start of a relationship that fostered the rise of the largest military in the Middle East, one whose use of chemical weapons set the stage for last year's invasion. Reagan, determined to check arch-foe Iran, opened a back door to Iraq through which flowed US intelligence and hundreds of millions of dollars in loan guarantees - even as Washington professed neutrality in Baghdad's war with Tehran.
<b>Pilot Confirms News of Human Smuggling for Prostitution from Iran to UAE</b>
• Following denials by Iranian and UAE officials, an unnamed Iranian pilot who works for a UAE airline said that for the past few months he had been receiving information through his colleagues about the sale of young Iranian women to prostitution rings in UAE, according to a report in Tehran reformist daily <i>Etemad</i>. The pilot's name and the university forum in which he spoke did not appear in the article. He said UAE has accused him of exposing police secrets, Iran's judiciary has accused him of “disturbing the public's peace of mind” and he has been harassed and assaulted by members of the prostitution rings in the UAE.
<b>Iran, Syria Coordinate Iraq Policy, Arab Journalist Says</b>
• It is not an accident that following Syrian radio's attack on Iraq's transitional government for supporting the continued presence of coalition forces in Iraq, thousands were said to have volunteered in Iran for anti-US suicide missions within Iraq, writes prominent Arab journalist Adnan Hasan in the London daily <i>Asharq-ol-Awsat</i>.
• Foreign ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said the Security Council resolution in Iraq was a step towards ending the occupation of Iraq by coalition forces.
<b>Guards Return Tabrizi Journalist to Jail from Hospital</b>
• Guards returned Tabrizi independent journalist Ensafali Hedayat to jail, even though he was still recuperating in hospital after surgery, despite his doctor's orders, Hedayat's lawyer <b>Mohammad-Ali Dadkhah</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>, adding that he hopes Tabriz judiciary will agree to his client's request for medical furlough. The Tabriz Islamic revolutionary court sentenced Hedayat to 18 months in prison for attending a meeting of anti-regime secular activists in Berlin. (Amir Armin)
<b>Judiciary Fines Lawyer for Criticizing Bill Limiting Bar Association's Power</b>
• A Tehran court fined lawyer <b>Nemat Ahmadi</b> for criticizing the Guardians Council for approving a judiciary's bill which ended the bar association's sole authority over law licenses. Lawyers who receive their license from the judiciary lack the independence needed for standing up to judges on behalf of defendants, Ahmadi tells <b>Radio Farda</b>, noting that the new law, which he had criticized, calls for annual renewal of law licenses issued by the judiciary. The Guardians Council's approval of judiciary's bill was good for law experts at the Guardians Council, who can now apply for law licenses through the judiciary, instead of going to the bar association, he says.
وزارت دفاع اوکراين اعلام كرد پاسداران اوكرايني مرز عراق 40 ايراني مسلح را كه براي شركت در عمليات انتحاري عازم عراق بودند بازداشت كردند. اين خبر از سوي مقامات جمهوري اسلامي تکذيب شد. روزنامه الزمان، چاپ بغداد، به نقل از سخنگوي نظاميان اوکرايني نوشت که اين افراد قصد داشتند به ارتش مهدي، وابسته به روحاني تندروي شيعه عراقي، مقتدي صدر، بپيوندند. سخنگوي نيروهاي اوکرايني گفت که احتمالا اين 40 تن نخستين گروه از داوطلباني هستند که در روزهاي گذشته براي شرکت در دفاع از اماکن مقدس در عراق، در شهر تهران نام نويسي کردهاند. ثبت نام از داوطلبان شرکت در عمليات انتحاري، روز هشتم خردادماه در تهران آغاز شد، و ادامه دارد.