Summary of Iran Stories of Today's BroadcastsBehnam NateghiTuesday, January 07, 2003
<b>Labor Councils Warn Use of Force against Striking Workers </b>
* In a statement issued this morning, the association of the workers' Islamic councils warned against using force against striking workers. Hasan Sadeqi, the association's secretary, tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that between 700 to 800 factories are faced with financial difficulties and managers lay off workers or stop paying their wages. Unfortunately, he adds, when workers stage demonstrations inside or outside their workplaces to demand back pay, their gatherings are being violently suppressed. He says that workers' demonstrations in Tehran and Esfahan were disrupted by force and that in Rasht marching workers were beaten. (Fereydoun Zarnegar)
<b>High Council on National Security to Probe "Plainclothes" Forces</b>
* Interior minister Abdolvahed Mussavi-Lari asked the high council on national security to probe into the plainclothes forces that disrupt political rallies and lectures. A group of reformist MPs asked the interior minister to do the same. The plainclothes forces have been active since the revolution but before July 1999, when police and plainclothes forces jointly attacked the Tehran University student dorms, officials had not admitted to their existence. The plainclothes forces made news when Amir-Farshad Ebrahimi, a former plainclothes man, recorded a videotaped deposition in his lawyers' office describing several of the plainclothes' forces operations, including an assault in 1998 at Tehran University Friday prayers on President Khatami's ministers of interior and culture. (Fereydoun Zarnegar)
<b>Judge Implicates Interior Minister in the Pollsters' Case</b>
* The pollsters' case judge Sa'id Mortazavi said interior minister Abolvahed Mussavi-Lari committed a crime by allowing the publication of the results of the US-Iran relations opinion poll in interior ministry's top-secret bulletin. The poll, for which officials of two polling agencies were put on trial, shows that 74 percent of respondents favor the resumptions of US-Iran relations. However, Judge Mortazavi added that since the interior minister is a cleric, it was up to the special court for the clergy to prosecute him. An interior ministry spokesman said no indictment has yet reached the ministry. (Alireza Taheri)
* Deputy interior minister for legal affairs said today that the interior minister committed no crime. He said, as the official in charge of domestic security, the interior minister cannot be prosecuted for deciding which polls to publish in his ministry's top secret bulletin. (Fereydoun Zarnegar)
* In a press conference at the Majles, MP Mohammad Naimipur, head of the Majles Mosharekat caucus, declared that any ruling by the pollsters' court would be illegal, because the court has held its hearings without the presence of a jury. Isfahan MP Rajab-Ali Mazrui, spokesman of the Majles Mosharekat caucus, called the trial a political response to the statement issued last summer at the end of the Mosharekat party's general convention. In that statement, the pro-Khatami reformist party, Jebheh-ye Mosharekt-e Iran-e Eslami (Islamic Iran Participation Front), had cited government figures and public opinion polls to charge that Iran is suffering from an identity crisis. (Bahman Bastani)
<b>225,000 Apply for Candidacy in Local Council Elections</b>
* The interior ministry said 225,000 applied for candidacy in the upcoming local councils' elections. Unlike the Majles and presidential elections, the applicants for candidacy in local councils' elections need not to be vetted by the conservative Guardians Council. The interior ministry spokesman said the ministry would approve nearly all of the applications. In Tehran, some reformist journalists and political activists were among the 1400 applicants, including wife of Hashem Aghajari, who was sentenced to death for insulting Islam in a speech on Islamic Protestantism last June at a Hamedan mosque. (Mahdieh Javid)
<b>Appeals Court Reduces Sentences of Aghajari Codefendants</b>
* An appeals court in Hamedan reduced the jail sentences of two codefendants of Hashem Aghajari. The two local reformist political activists, who head the local chapters of the Participation Front and the Mojahedin the Islamic Revolution Organization, were tried for organizing Aghajari's last June speech in Hamedan.
* Hamedan-based journalist Hadi Ehtezazi tells <b>Radio Farda</b> the appeals court's ruling is an indication that Aghajari's death sentence may be repealed. (Mahmonir Rahimi)
<b>Anniversary of Shah Reza Pahlavi's Ban on Islamic Veil</b>
* On the 68th anniversary of Reza Shah's ban on the Islamic veil for women, former justice minister Mohammad Baheri tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that Reza Shah himself felt ashamed for having to break an Islamic rule, but knew that by banning the women's veil, he was making it possible for women to participate in social and political life of their country. Mehrangiz Dolatshahi, the first women MP to speak at the Majles, and the only surviving of the first six women elected to the Majles after the Shah's 1962 reforms, tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that when Reza Shah banned the veil, she was a high school student. She says women began to gain independence and helped their families and their country by going to work. Now, she adds, there are more girls than boys in Iran's universities. (Ali Sajjadi)
<b>Iran-Tajikistan to Expand Cultural Ties</b>
* Iranian embassy's deputy cultural attach‚ Alireza Heydari and director of international relations of the Tajikistan culture ministry Ahmad-Ali Hamidov tell <b>Radio Farda</b> in a joint interview that Iran and Tajikistan plan to expand their cultural exchanges. Iran would increase the number of cultural events, such as poetry reading, art exhibits and music concerts, in Tajikistan and Tajikistan would open a cultural office in Tehran. (Shahnaz Kamelzadeh, Dushanbe)
<b>Iran-Afghanistan to Coordinate Anti-Drug Operations</b>
* Afghanistan interior minister Taj-Mohammad Verdak and secretary-general of Iran's anti-drug campaign headquarters Ali Hashemi agreed today at a meeting in Kabul to better coordinate the two countries' operations to eradicate opium cultivation and fight opium smugglers. (Shireen Famili)
<b>Iran-Pakistan Compete on Turkmenistan Gas Transportation</b>
* Since the planned gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan through Afghanistan would be vulnerable to unrest and warlords of Afghanistan. Iran's operates a pipeline carrying Turkmenistan gas, but plans to exports its own gas to India through Pakistan, according to the weekly Kommersan, published in Moscow. (Mani Kasravi, Moscow)
<b>Iran's Caspian Sea Diplomacy</b>
* A week after 86 MPs grilled foreign minister Kamal Kharrzi on the failure of the regime's foreign diplomacy in securing Iran's interest in the Caspian Sea, MP Hasan Qashqavi said discussion of Caspian should be left out of press and public opinion.
* Tehran University political science professor Ahmad Naqibi tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that Iranian officials were unprepared for defending Iran's rights in the Caspian, because after the fall of the Soviet Union, instead of Iran's interests, they were focused on expanding their own cultural influence in the former USSR republics. He adds that people in Iran feel that their interests in the Caspian area had not been served, since other littoral states have made bilateral agreements with no regard for Iran's interests. He likens the regime's passive foreign policy to that of the Qajar dynasty. (Fariba Mavedat)
كانون عالي شوراهاي اسلامي كار در پيامي دولت را از برخورد قهرآميز نسبت به تجمعات اعتراضي كارگران برحذر داشت.
حسن صادقي، دبير كانون عالي شوراهاي اسلامي كار، در مصاحبه با راديوفردا، مي گويد تجمعات كارگري در تهران و چندشهر ديگر براي اعتراض به حقوق معوقه با برخوردقهرآميز مواجه شد و در رشت كارگران در تجمع جلوي استانداري مورد ضرب و شتم قرار گرفتند. وي مي گويد: در اين پيام، در باره عواقب ناگوار چنين برخوردهائي هشدار داده شد. وي مي افزايد در حاليكه بيش از 800 كارخانه به سبب مشكلات مالي حقوق كارگران را نمي پردازند، كارگران براي دريافت حقوق معوقه، تجمعاتي در برابر كارخانه ها برپا مي كنند كه با برخورد قهرآميز مواجه مي شوند. وي مي افزايد: مخاطبان اين پيام، مخالفين قانون كار در دولت، مجلس و كارفرمايان دولتي و خصوصي هستند كه مي خواهند قانون كار را به عنوان يك قانون ضد اشتغال، ضد سرمايه گذاري و بازدارنده در امر توسعه، ذبح كنند.