Summary of Iran Stories in Today's BroadcastsBehnam NateghiThursday, July 31, 2003
<b> Majles Reformists and the Supreme Leader</b>
• Pro-reform Majles speaker Mehdi Karrubi said we are supportive of reforms only within the constitution, according to which everyone, including the Supreme Leader, is answerable to the law. His remarks came as a reaction to Tuesday's speech by MP Davud Soleimani who blamed Supreme Leader for Iran's international isolation and internal impasse. Referring to the Supreme Leader's support for the rights of Palestinians, Iraqis and Afghanis to decide their political future, Soleimani said on Tuesday that we cannot call for democracy outside our borders, while ignoring our own people's sovereignty by circumventing the Majles, arresting protesters and journalists, and letting them die in jail. In referring to the constitution, each faction of the Islamic regime means its own reading of it, former MP and Paris-based commentator <b>Ahmad Salamatian</b> says. He tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that near the end of their terms in the Majles, the reformists MPs have lost patience with their total lack of success in implementing promised reforms, and see the resistance of non-elected bodies, such the Guardians and the Expediency councils as the cause. The members of these, all Supreme Leader appointees, thwarted reforms with his support. (Baktash Khamsehpour)
<b>China Defends Companies Accused by US of Transferring Missile Tech to Iran</b>
• In a statement issued to foreign news agencies, Chinese foreign ministry on Thursday denied any local companies were providing missile technology Iran, saying the US had no reason to slap sanctions on a Chinese firm. The US imposed sanctions on Wednesday on China Precision Machinery Import-Export Corporation (CPMIEC).
<b>Women Unemployment Rises</b>
• The unemployment among women grew by 26 percent in four years, according to President Khatami's women's affairs advisor Zahra Shojai. She said there is a growing demand for women to participate in the workforce and bring home a salary, but faced with traditional and legal barriers, women tend to work underground. Paris University's political science professor <b>Azadeh Kian</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that most economically active women are not measured in the official labor statistics, since they are active in the underground economy. She adds that by demanding jobs, women are also demanding greater social participation. (Farin Asemi)
<b>Society for Defense of Press Freedoms Calls for a Day of Sit-In Protest</b>
• The society for defense of press freedoms called for a day of protest and strike on August 7, the society's spokesman <b>Mashallah Shamsolvaezin</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. He calls the death in custody of Canadian-Iranian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi a painful and grave event, the likes of which the contemporary Iran remembers only a few. He says journalists in Iran have no security, even on the way to jail. He says his organization does what it can to defend press freedom, and adds that four of seven board members are in jail or have been in jail. He says that journalists have a legitimate expectation of the society for defense of press freedom to be more effective, and by joining the August 7 protest, they can do their share in supporting the society. He says the society needs to expand to provinces by recruiting journalists to form local cells. He sidesteps questions about the effectiveness of the society in preventing censorship and arrests of journalists. (Mahmonir Rahimi)
• The society of Islamic journalists rejected the society for defense of press freedom's invitation to join in the August 7 protest, but the trade union of journalists supported the action, which is being called a strike but will take place on the Muslim weekend Friday, on which most Iranian newspapers do not publish. Tehran-based conservative journalist <b>Mohammad Hossein Jaffarian</b>, who is a member of both organizations, considers neither of them true representative of Iranian journalists. He tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that due to extreme pressures, the journalists are the most oppressed sector of the Iranian society, and they need an true independent organization to represent them. But neither the trade union of journalists, nor the society of Islamic journalists can do so, since each is dedicated to promoting one or the other political faction.
<b>OPEC BoardBegins Session in Vienna</b>
• Observers expect no change in the production ceiling to come out of the gathering of the oil ministers of OPEC member states in Vienna, (Shahram Mirian, Cologne)
• Oil minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh predicted no change in OPEC production ceiling. (Jamshid Zand)
<b>Gasoline Imports Increase by 50 Percent</b>
• Iran imported 50 percent more gasoline in the first quarter of the fiscal year that began on March 20, 2003, as compared to the same period last year, announced oil ministry's head of international affairs. Advisor to the Majles energy committee said gasoline imports grew two times faster than the GNP. He said soon Iran will begin importing diesel fuel. Iran imported $1 billion in gasoline in the last fiscal year. (Jamshid Zand)
<b>Police Confiscates Babak Payami's Latest Movie</b>
• Police in Tehran confiscated all copies of filmmaker Babak Payami, Italy's ADN Kronos news agency reported. Payami, who left Iran, said plainclothes security agents pulled him into a car last June and took him for a 48-hour interrogation, after which they released him on bail, but seized his movie. He said the Islamic authorities try to intimate filmmakers into silence. Payami's first movie “Secret Ballot” won the silver bear award at the Venice Film Festival. (Ahmad Ra'fat, Rome)
<b>Britain's Outgoing Iraq Rep Visits Iran</b>
• During a short visit to Iran, Britain's outgoing representative in Iraq John Sawers said on Wednesday that Iran had “not always been helpful” in Iraq since the US' toppling of the Saddam Hussein regime. However, he added that Iran has legitimate interest in the neighboring Iraq. US officials have accused the Islamic regime of stirring up anti-US sentiments in Iraq. “Of course Iran has friends, including political friends in Iraq, but there are limits to what will contribute to promoting stability in the country and there are cases where we think these limits are not being respected,” Sawers told a news conference in Tehran. Sawers will be replaced by Sir Jerry Greenstock, the UK's current UN representative. (Maryam Ahmadi)
• Iran favored an end to the US occupation of Iraq, deputy foreign minister for American and European affairs Ali Ahani said in a meeting in Tehran with outgoing British Iraq envoy John Sawers. He demanded the release of two Iranian government employees who were arrested on July 2 in southern Iraq by US forces. The Islamic officials said the two worked as documentary filmmakers for the state radio-TV monopoly. (Jean Khakzad)
<b>Agriculture Minister Blames Agriculture Crusade Minister for Chicken Shortages</b>
• The ministry of agricultural crusade was responsible for stockpiling chicken in order to balance prices during shortages, agriculture minister Mohammad Shariatmadari said after Wednesday's cabinet meeting. (Ardavan Niknam)
<b>Publishers Compete with 19 Translations of the Latest Harry Potter Book</b>
• Nineteen publishers compete to exploit the enthusiasm for Harry Potter series' latest book, Order of the Phoenix. <b>Riahipour</b>, owner of Zarin imprint, tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that his niece Baharak Riahipour translated the book, but with the help of others. He does not deny press reports that he hired 12 translators in order to be the first to publish the book in Persian. <b>Abolfazl Mirbaqeri</b>, whose company Tandis published the translation of Vida Eslamieh of the book, tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that the lack of copyright laws makes it possible for anyone to translate and publish a foreign book. <b>Ali Mirbaqeri</b> manager of the Tandis bookstore, tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that the company has sold out the first run, which was 6,000 copies in one day, and is now binding the second print, but will soon have to face 18 other publishers who will sooner or later bring out their own version. (Behnam Nateghi, New York)
مريم احمدي (راديو فردا): سخنگوي وزارت امور فرانسه، روز پنجشنبه گفت: فرانسه در حال حاضر در انتظار اين حركت مقامهاي ايراني در تضمين دادن به جهانيان در زمينه برنامه هسته اي آن كشور است، تا با اين كار اعتماد جامعه بين المللي را جلب نمايد. به گفته سخنگو، امضاي سند الحاقي كه به موجب آن بازرسان سازمان انرژي اتمي ميتوانند بدون اطلاع قبلي از تاسيسات هسته اي ايران بازديد كنند، نخستين گام مهم در راستاي واكنش نشان دادن تهران به نگرانيهاي جامعه جهاني است. پيشتر رئيس جمهوري آمريكا از اروپاييان خواسته بود با اعمال فشار بيشتر به تهران، آن كشور را وادار به امضاي سند الحاقي كنند.
ايران پيوسته اين اتهامها را رد كرده است كه مخفيانه در حال توليد بمب هسته اي است و ايجاد نيروگاه اتمي به منظور توليد برق و استفاده هاي غير نظامي، صرفا يك پوشش است. در اوايل ماه جاري مسيحي، وزيران خارجه اتحاديه اروپا، نگراني فزاينده خود را نسبت به برنامه هسته اي ايران ابراز داشتند و از تهران خواستند بدون هيچ قيد و شرطي، سند الحاقي پيمان را امضا كند. اتحاديه اروپا در حال گفتگو با ايران در زمينه بستن يك قرارداد بازرگاني مهم و كليدي است، اما گفته است با توجه به گزارش ماه سپتامبر سازمان بين المللي انرژي اتمي، در همكاري با ايران، تجديد نظر كند. در واشنگتن روز چهارشنبه پرزيدنت بوش گفت: ما به طور جمعي با ساير كشورها همكاري ميكنيم تا به ايران يادآور شويم كه نبايد دست به توليد جنگ افزارهاي هسته اي بزند.
آقاي بوش در ادامه گفت براي اين كار به بيشي از يك صدا نياز داريم. اين كار به تلاش جمعي اروپاييان هم نياز دارد و اين كه به تهديد واقعي يك ايران مسلح به سلاحهاي هسته اي براي صلح خاورميانه، پي ببرد. در همين حال به گزارش خبرگزاري جمهوري اسلامي ايران، ايرنا، دو گروه كارشناس بين المللي انرژي اتمي، در هفته اول ماه اوت به ايران سفر ميكنند. خبرگزاري ايرنا با نقل اين خبر از قول مليسا فلمينگ، سخنگوي سازمان بين المللي انرژي اتمي، مينويسد اين دو گروه، يكي گروه فني و ديگري گروه حقوقي سازمان بين المللي انرژي اتمي هستند. چهار تا پنج نفر گروه فني و دو نفر گروه حقوقي اعزامي را تشكيل ميدهند. آشنايي با جزئيات مضمون پروتكل الحاقي به پيمان منع گسترش جنگ افزارهاي هسته اي، علت اعزام گروه اعلام شده است. فرانسه از ايران خواست با امضاي پيمان الحاقي منع گسترش سلاح هاي هسته اي نگراني جامعه بين المللي درباره ساخت مخفيانه جنگ افزار هاي هسته اي توسط جمهوري اسلامي را برطرف كند. سخنگوي وزارت امور خارجه فرانسه امضاي سند الحاقي، نخستين گام مهم در راستاي واكنش به نگراني هاي جامعه جهاني توسط ايران است. رئيس جمهوري آمريكا از كشورهاي اروپايي خواسته بود با اعمال فشار به حكومت ايران، آنرا وادار به امضاي اين سند كنند. اتحاديه اروپا بستن قرارداد هاي تجاري را با جمهوري اسلامي را منوط به گزارش ماه سپتامبر آژانس بين المللي انرژي اتمي كرد.