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Summary of Iran Stories in Today's BroadcastsBehnam NateghiMonday, July 14, 2003 <b>EU May End Economic Cooperation Talks with Tehran</b> • Lack of progress towards meeting the four conditions the EU had set for signing a comprehensive economic cooperation treaty with Iran threatens the continuation of Iran-EU economic talks. “There is a degree of major frustration. There is a chink of light on the nuclear issue, total immobility on human rights, some movement but not much on terrorism and nothing at all on the Middle East peace process,” AFP quoted one European ambassador in a report from Tehran. (Fariba Mavedat) • President Khatami will visit Belgium next month in an effort to put back on track the EU-Iran economic negotiations. (Mina Baharmast) <b>Khatami Threatens to Quit, Again</b> • President Khatami said on Saturday that if people say they no longer want him in office, he would resign. Little has left from President Khatami's second and last term in office, but his resignation would confront his conservative opponents with a serious challenge, says Mashhad-based reformist journalist Mohammad-Sadeq Javadi-Hesar. He tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that no one believes that Khatami would implement any of the reforms he promised six years ago, and his repeated resignation threats are just posturing. (Fariba Mavedat) <b>Afghan Foreign Minister Says Iran Supports Afghanistan Stability</b> • In his recent trip to Afghanistan, Supreme Leader Khamenei and President Khatami assured President Hamid Karzai of their support for Afghanistan's stability and prosperity, Afghan foreign minister Dr. Abdullah Abdullah tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. Speaking in a conference at the Washington headquarters of RFE/RL, Dr. Abdullah said he has no comment on former President Rafsanjani's last Friday remarks that the Americans will soon leave Afghanistan after realizing that they cannot succeed there. Abdullah said Afghanistan's policy is to establish and nurture friendly relations with all its neighbors. (Bijan Farhoodi) <b>Saving Iran from Iran: The Danger of Iran's Nuclear Program for Iran's Security</b> • Heritage Foundation's senior research fellow for defense and homeland security <b>James Jay Carafano</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that ironically, the US has removed potential threats to Iran's national security since 9/11. “Iran's strategic position has improved remarkably in the past decades,” he says. “There just isn't a strategic rationale for Iran to develop nuclear weapons.” He adds that “one way to gain the ire and enmity of the US is to pursuit a nuclear weapons program.” He says, “The only way you can justify these programs is on ideological terms, but foreign polices based on ideologies are ultimately to the detriment of a nation.” Carafano says the US has the power to make the regime in Tehran feel a lot less secure if it pushes for the nuclear option. “Tehran would be wise to abolish its nuclear program altogether -- and make Iran safe from itself,” he concludes. The Islamic regime denies the US charge that it is on the path to develop a nuclear bomb, maintaining that its nuclear program is strictly for the peaceful purpose of generating electrical power. Iran said it fully cooperated with the IAEA, within the framework of its commitment to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. (Behnam Nateghi) <b>Jailed Pollster's Daughter Unwraps His Letter to the Supreme Leader</b> • Daughter of pollster Abbas Abdi said in a press conference in Tehran that in a 32-page letter to the Supreme Leader, her father revealed that by threatening him and his family, and by unfulfilled promises of release from jail, prosecutor Said Mortazavi forced him to sign false “confessions,” based on which he received 11 years in jail for receiving money from foreign companies to conduct opinion polls in Iran. The judiciary arrested Abdi, a high ranking board member of the pro-Khatami Islamic Iran Participation Front party, along with three officials of two public opinion polling institutions after the publication of a poll that showed 74 percent of the respondents favor the resumption of US-Iran relations. (Jamshid Zand) • Authorities pay little attention to letters such as Abdi's, Tehran University's political science professor <b>Sadeq Zibakalam</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. He warns that if the regime does not change its treatment of political prisoners, it will face a destiny like that of the Soviet Union. (Baktash Khamsehpour) <b>Stock Market Bubble</b> • Tehran stock index rose again yesterday and passed the 8,000 unit mark, amid worries that a burst of the bubble may be imminent. Secretary-general of the Tehran stock exchange Hossein Abdoh-Tabrizi said the rise in stock prices has no economic justification. Daily <i>Hayat-e Now Eqtesadi</i> said on Monday that the worrisome 29 percent increase in the money supply was the real reason behind the rise in the stock prices. (Fereydoun Khavand, Paris) <b>Iraq's Administrator Warns of Iran-backed Islamic Hardliners</b> • In an article in the New York Times, Iraq's civilian administrator L. Paul Bremer wrote that a small group of Iran-backed Islamic hardliners, along with the remnants of the Saddam regime, attacks US forces and civilian targets in Iraq, in order to derail the country's progress towards democracy and stability. (Mina Baharmast) <b>Death in Custody of Canadian-Iranian Photojournalist Zahra Kazemi</b> • Security forces assaulted and arrested Canadian-Iranian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, while she was taking pictures of protestors in front of the Evin prison, Eyewitness said the agents beat her in the head, fracturing he skull. She was taken to hospital in a coma. Police said she died of a brain seizure. Reformist journalist Isa Saharkhiz asked the Iranian society for defense of press freedoms to conduct an independent investigation. (Alireza Taheri) • Zahra Kazemi's relatives and friends in Canada accused the Islamic regime of hiding the facts about her death. Vancouver spokesperson of the Paris-based Reporters Sans Frontiers Tanya Churchmuch doubted that the investigation ordered by President Mohammad Khatami would be sufficiently independent. Kazemi's son Stephen Hashemi said his mother died under torture, and asked Canadian officials to arrange for the transfer of her body to Canada for an autopsy, but Kazemi's mother, who lives in Tehran, asked that her daughter be buried in Iran. A foreign ministry spokesman said Ottawa will ask the Islamic regime to provide a detailed report on Kazemi's death. (Baktash Khamsehpour) • Head of the Principle 21, Italy's society to defend press freedoms, called for sending a delegation from Italy to Iran to investigate the circumstances of the death of Canadian-Iranian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, 54, who died of brain hemorrhage in police custody, two weeks after her arrest in Tehran for taking pictures of demonstrations in front of the Evin prison (Ahmad Ra'fat, Rome) <b>Shiraz Students Continue Hunger Strike on Fourth Day</b> • A hunger-striker at the Shiraz University's medical school tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that the students' hunger strike, the sixth since the mass arrests of pro-democracy protesters, continued for the fourth day. He adds that no direct contact has yet been made with the students by the authorities. Students demand the release of Dr. Reza Ameri-Nassab, a central council member of the association of Islamic student councils, who is a graduate of the Shiraz University medical school. (Amir-Mosaddegh Katouzian) • Iranian media remained silent about the sit-in and hunger strike of the Shiraz University's medical school students. A Shirazi student wrote in an e-mail to <b>Radio Farda</b> that the government radio and television ignored their protest and instead focused on Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon. He said students hear the news from the people who stop by their sit-in protest in Shiraz Setad circle. The students say it was good that photojournalist Zahra Kazemi had Canadian citizenship, otherwise, he wrote, President Khatami would not have assigned four cabinet ministers to investigate her death. (Kian Manavi) • Hunger-striker <b>Saber Farrokhi</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that paramedics took a fellow hunger striker to hospital last night after he collapsed from weakness and summer heat. He adds that many reporters have visited the strikers, but due to the ban on news of the student protests, Iranian media did not report on the students' hunger strike. (Kian Manavi) • In a speech at the Washington meeting of the Mothers Committee to Support Students and Freedom Fighters, Sayeh Saidi-Sirjani, daughter of writer Ali-Akbar Saidi Sirjani, who died in intelligence ministry custody in 1997, urged Iranian parents to protest against the mass arrests of pro-democracy students. (Ali Sajjadi) <b>Water Shortage in Tehran</b> • Tehran's summer heat put additional pressure on the city's precarious water supplies. Despite sufficient rain last spring, water authorities said the city lacked the means to store and purify enough water to meet the rising demand. (Arash Qavidel, Tehran) <b>Pro-Khatami Party Says “Cancerous Tumor” at Intelligence Ministry Resumes Activity</b> • The “cancerous tumor” at the intelligence ministry that President Khatami blamed for the 1998 serial murders of dissidents, has become active again, the Participation Front, the largest pro-government party, headed by Khatami's brother, warned today in a statement addressed to “Iranian people.” The party asked President Khatami and other officials to speak up against the detention by the intelligence ministry of pro-democracy students and other protestors. (Kian Manavi) <b>Agriculture Sector's Equipment Crisis</b> • The agriculture ministry official in charge of promoting mechanized farming Mostafa Sabbagh Torkan said the number of farming machines dropped from 220,000 to 100,000 in the past ten years. Reportedly 63 percent of tractors and 45 percent of harvesting-packing combination machines have passed their useful life. He said the third five-year economic development plan failed to meet its goals in upgrading and increasing farming machines. Mechanized farming is now being practiced only in 0.57 percent of the farms, nearly half of the third plan's goal of one percent. (Fereydoun Khavand) <b>Carpet and Pistachio Exports Drops</b> • Iran dropped from the world's biggest carpet exporter to the 17th within the past five years, and pistachio exports dropped 50 percent during the same period. Nevertheless, Iran's non-oil exports during the first three months of the current fiscal year (March 22-May22, 2003) reached $1.158 billion, 28 percent higher than last year's, customs head Mehdi Karbaschian announced today. (Arash Qavidel, Tehran) <b>Tehran Prosecutor Jails Journalist Iraj Rastegar</b> • Tehran prosecutor jailed journalist Iraj Rastegar, who failed to post a 200 million rial bond. Rastegar had been suspended from press work for two years. He was the fourth journalist to be jailed since Saturday. (Fariba Mavedat) <b>Los Angeles Opposition Party Leader Accuses Iran of Human Rights Violations</b> • Head of Marz Porgohar, an anti-regime party based in Los Angeles, told a press conference at Washington's National Press Club that Iran has violated 29 of 30 principles of the UN Human Rights Charter. He said the Khatami administration showed that it was incapable of implementing the promised reforms, and that the clerical regime was beyond reform. (Ali Sajjadi) . فريبا مودت (راديوفردا): اظهارات اخير محمد خاتمي، رئيس جمهوري ايران دائر بر اينکه اگر مردم او را نخواهند از سمتش کناره گيري خواهد کرد، مورد تعبير و تفسير چه در محافل داخلي و چه در ميان خبرگزاريهاي بين المللي قرار گرفته است. مسئله عمده اين است که آيا در فضاي کنوني ايران و در حالي که دولت آقاي خاتمي از انجام بسياري از وظايفش عاجز بوده، آيا وي اشاره به کناره گيري را در واکنش به تحولات اخير و اعتراضات دانشجويي عنوان کرده يا اين امر علت ديگري داشته است؟ محمد صادق جوادي حصار (روزنامه نگار، مشهد): من معتقدم که صحبت آقاي خاتمي درباره وضعيت کشور و در ارتباط با موضوعات روزه بوده و پيرامون برنامه هاي اصلاحي به عمل در نيامده اي است که عمر کوتاهي براي تحقق آنها باقي است، اگر خوشبين باشيم که آنها مي توانند محقق بشوند. که اين خوشبيني به شدت افول کرده در جامعه و کسي ديگر اميدي به تحقق وعده هاي اصلاحاتي آقاي خاتمي در فرصت باقيمانده ندارد، حتي اگر لوايح دو گانه اي که آقاي خاتمي داده اند، آنها هم تصويب بشود، ديگر اميدي به اجراي مطالبات اصلاح طلبانه و برنامه هاي اصلاحاتي آقاي خاتمي نخواهد بود. ف.م.: محافظه کاران اظهارات آقاي خاتمي را درباره کناره گيري تنها يک کلي گويي عنوان کردند، در حاليکه خبرگزاري هاي خارجي، آنرا يک تهديد جدي به استعفاء خواندند. محمد صادق جوادي حصار: اگر آقاي خاتمي صحبتي که کردند را جدي مطرح کرده باشند، و اين حرف را هم براي عمل زده باشند، بايد بگوييم که خروج آقاي خاتمي و استعفاي آقاي خاتمي، حتي براي کوتاه مدت، يعني اقلا براي کوتاه مدت، جريان مقابل اصلاحات را دچار چالشهاي جدي مي کند و بعضي حتي معتقدند که اگر آقاي خاتمي در شرايط کنوني کشور، زمام امور کشور را رها کند، کشور به هم مي ريزد و سر و سامان دادن به کشور بسيار سخت خواهد بود. ولي اگر که اين مطلب جدي تلقي نشود و صحبت آقاي خاتمي براي خروج از نهاد رياست جمهوري سخن جدي نباشد، خوب طبيعتا وضعيت باقيمانده هم وضعيت قابل توجه و قابل اعتنايي نيست براي آقاي خاتمي، و آقاي خاتمي در وضع موجود خيلي دوام و ماندگاري حيثيتي در جهت اجرايي نخواهند داشت. به يک نيرويي تبديل مي شود که روزگار سپري مي کند تا فرصت قانوني اش تمام شود و زعم خودش کشور را به سلامت به نيروي بعدي خودش بسپارد و گمان مي کنم که اين خيلي چيز خوشايندي براي آقاي خاتمي نباشد. ف.م.: اشاره کرديد به اينکه اگر آقاي خاتمي اين مسئله را به طور جدي مطرح کرده باشد. از نظر شما چقدر جدي مطرح کردند؟ محمد صادق جوادي حصار: من گمانم اين نيست که آقاي خاتمي شرايط موجود را درک نکند. آقاي خاتمي اگر بتوانند تغييري ايجاد بکنند در اين فرصت کوتاه که عرض کردم بعيد مي دانيم يک چنين تغيير جدي را بتواند ايجاد بکند، شايد يک اميدي را زنده بکنند، ولي از جاي ديگري هم بايد اين را يک نوع در حقيقت رفراندوم بياني مطرح کرد که آقاي خاتمي مي گويد که کشور به جايي رسيده است که اين وضع را تحمل نمي کند. من اگر بتوانم در حاکميت بمانم و تغييري حاصل بکنم، خوب مي مانم. اگر قرار باشد که من بمانم و هيچ تغييري را هم حاصل نکنم و به وجود نياورم، ماندن در وضع موجود به نفع من نيست و من بايد از عرصه سياسي خارج بشوم و به نظر من آخرين مراحلي که مي توانست جدي مطرح بشود، براي شخص آقاي خاتمي است که وضعيت موجود براي او بسيار شکننده است و او يکي از گزينه هاي قابل توجه برايش در وضع موجود، دفاع و خارج شدن از جريان اداره کشور است. حجت الاسلام سيد محمد خاتمي، رئيس جمهوري اسلامي، اخيرا گفت که اگر مردم او را نخواهند، از سمت خود کناره خواهد گرفت. محمد صادق جوادي حصار، روزنامه نگار اصلاح طلب در مشهد، در مصاحبه با راديوفردا مي گويد که در جامعه ايران کسي اميدي به تحقق وعده هاي اصلاحاتي آقاي خاتمي در فرصت باقيمانده از دوران رياست او ندارد. وي مي افزايد که خروج آقاي خاتمي حتي براي کوتاه مدت، جريان مقابل اصلاحات را دچار چالش هاي جدي مي کند و ممکن است کشور به هم بريزد. وي مي گويد که اگر اين سخنان جدي نباشد، خاتمي به يک نيرويي تبديل مي شود که روزگار سپري مي کند تا فرصت قانوني اش تمام شود و دولت را به سلامت به نيروي بعد از خود بسپارد.