Summary of Iran Stories of Today's BroadcastsBehnam NateghiWednesday, January 08, 2003
<b>MP Calls for Official Action against Plainclothes Agents</b>
* Lamard, Fars province MP Jalal Mussavi called for an end to the operations of the so-called plainclothes forces that disrupt student demonstrations and reformists' political rallies. He said if the regime decides to stop the plainclothes force, it can. Since the 1979 revolution, the beating of demonstrators by club-wielding plainclothes agents has been a common sight, but no official organization has admitted their existence or claimed responsibility for their actions. Yesterday, the interior minister asked the high council on national security to probe into the management and funding of the plainclothes force. Deputy interior minister for parliamentary affairs Mohammad Mirlohi said some official organs protect the plainclothes force. (Bijan Farhoodi, Washington)
<b>Guards Allow Tehran Doctors to Visit Dissident Cleric in Qom</b>
* The medical team sent by President Khatami from Tehran were allowed to visit dissident cleric Ayatollah Hosseinali Montazeri, who lives under house arrest in Qom since 1998. The conservative daily Jomhuri-ye Eslami, published by the Supreme Leader, quoted officials of the special court for the clergy that yesterday some of the members of the medical team headed by the deputy healthcare minister did not have proper IDs and the revolutionary guards prevented their entry. Seventy reformist MPs asked defense minister to explain the reason the guards blocked doctors sent by President Khatami. (Alireza Taheri)
<b>Khatami Cancels Iraqi FM's Iran Visit</b>
* President Khatami cancelled a scheduled visit to Iran by Iraqi foreign minister Naji Sabri and said Iraq has to meet four conditions before it can send its officials to visit Iran. The announcement came after scores of MPs threaten to impeach the foreign minister who had agreed to the Iraqi's visist. President Khatami's four conditions are: Saddam's announcement that Iraq honors its 1975 treaty with Iran; Saddam's commitment to full implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 598 that includes payment of war damage to Iran; Saddam's apology to Iranian people for starting the 1980-88 war; and release of all remaining Iranian POWs. (Amir Armin)
<b>Iraqi Kurdish Leader Talabani Visits Iran</b>
* Jalal Talabani, secretary-general of the patriotic union of Iraqi Kurdistan, in Iran on a four-day visit, met Majles speaker Mehdi Karrubi and is to meet President Khatami and former president Ali-Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani later today. Talabani is a member of the Iraqi interim governing committee elected during last month's Iraqi opposition meeting in London. Talabani said the US would not attack Iraq only if Saddam voluntarily leaves office and agrees to the establishment of a democratic government in Iraq with a new constitution. Talabani added that Iraqi opposition rejects any cooperation with Turkey, if that would mean presence of Turkish forces in Iraqi territory. (Mahdieh Javid, Washington)
<b>MP Mohtashami Warns Against Iraqi-Born Iranian Officials</b>
* MP Ali-Akbar Mohtashami, secretary of the leftist society of combatant clergymen and head of the Majles reformist majority, warned against the influence of Iraqi-born officials, particularly members of Iraq's al-Dawa party.
* London-based journalist Alireza Nourizadeh tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that after Ayatollah Khomeini's death, the Iraqi clerics and activists who had followed him to Iran gained prominent positions, particularly in the police and judiciary. He adds that the Iraqi-born judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmud Hashemi-Shahroudi, prosecutor general Mohammad Namzi and former internal security and intelligence director of the Islamic Republic Law Enforcement Force, have all been members of the Iraqi al-Dawa party.
<b>Press Review: Local Council Elections</b>
* <i>Entekhab</i> quotes MP Mohsen Mirdamadi, head of the Majles national security and foreign relations commission saying that a feature of the upcoming elections of the local councils is the participation of the nationalist-religious coalition members whose trials last year on subversion charges have contributed to their popularity.
* <i>Resalat</i> quotes MP Ali-Akbar Mohtashami, head of the Majles reformist faction, asked voters not to elect politicians to local councils. He said the first sessions of local councils failed because politicians got themselves elected to the councils' seats.
* <i>Hamshahri</i> quotes former speaker of the Tehran city council that considering the social and political conditions, the work of the first post-revolutionary local councils has been satisfactory. Government announced that more than 225,000 applied for candidacy in the second elections since the revolution for 170,000 local council seats.(Maryam Ahmadi)
<b>Prof. Yarshater on New Book from Bibliotheca Persica Press</b>
* Professor Ehsan Yarshater, editor of Columbia University's <i>Encyclopaedia Iranica,</i> tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that Bibliotheca Persica Press published <i>Legends, Tales, Fables of the Art of Soghdiana</i> by Russian archaeologist Boris Marshak. The book focuses on the Iranian origins of the stories depicted in the art of Soghdiana, a civilization in eastern Iran that flourished after the fall of the Akamenids's central government, and survived until 6th Century, A.D. (Behnam Nateghi, New York)
<b>Iranian-Armenians in Los Angeles</b>
* On the day of the Armenians' Christmas, held a week after the new year, according to the Greek Orthodox tradition, Tomik Alexanian, secretary-general of the Iranian-Armenian association of Southern California, tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that of 80,000 Armenians living in the city of Glendale, CA, nearly 50,000 are Iranian. (Homa Sarshar, Los Angeles)
در پي اعلام لغو سفر ناجي صبري، وزير امورخارجه عراق به تهران، رئيس جمهوري اسلامي به وزيرامورخارجه گفت تا زماني كه بغداد چهار شرط مورد نظر ايران را نپذيرد، سفر مقام هاي عراقي به ايران انجام نخواهد شد. چهار شرط مذكور عبارتند از: پذيرش مجدد قرار داد سال 1975 بين ايران و عراق بر سر شط العرب، تعهد صدام حسين به اجراي مفاد قطعنامه 598 شوراي امنيت سازمان ملل و پرداخت غرامت جنگي به ايران، پوزش خواهي عراق از مردم ايران و آزادي تمام اسيران و ناپديدشدگان جنگ ايران و عراق. طرح نمايندگان مجلس شوراي اسلامي براي استيضاح وزير امورخارجه به خاطر دعوت از ناجي صبري، با اعلام اين چهار شرط از سوي دولت، منتفي شد. پيرموذن، نماينده اردبيل، كه طرح استيضاح وزيرامورخارجه را تهيه كرده بود، گفت دليلي ندارد ايران به عراق كه مي خواهد خود را از انزوا خارج كند، كمك كند.