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Iran Daneshjoo Organization News Service

Iran Daneshjoo Organization News Service - http://www.iran-daneshjoo.org

Azadi e Andishe, Hamishe...! Hamishe...! Freedom of Thought, For Ever...! For Ever...!

Welcome to this edition of the News provided by the "Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran".

There are 14 articles in this news edition: 1) Reuters: One soldier reported killed, 11 hurt in Iran clash 2) SMCCDI: Released on bail students re-called by the Islamic republic judiciary 3) Entekhab (Iran): Rulings for Students Approved 4) SMCCDI: German parliament statement regarding conduct of the Islamic republic 5) AFP: Tehran police face court martial next week over bloody unrest 6) Reuters: Iran's leader said to pardon student playwrights 7) Sobh E Emrooz (Iran): Invitation to Protest Rally 8) Arya (Iran): A Big "No" to Conservatives 9) Reuters: Ex-president Rafsanjani squeezes into Iran assembly 10) AFP: Reformist Nuri returns to prison after three-day leave 11) Reuters: U.S. hints that gestures to Iran are possible 12) AFP: US Senate to take up bill to curtail Iran weapons programs 13) Reuters: Iran says to hold anti-U.S. rally at haj 14) Reuters: U.S. rules out World Bank loans to new Iran

A) More news: http://www.iran-daneshjoo.org/news

1- AP: Iranians Study Election Results 2- CNN: Conservatives could stymie Iran's reformist parliament 3- BBC: Reformers promise freedoms 4- NY Times (US): Many Iranian Conservatives Lose Seats 5- LA Times (US): Iranians Try to Get a Handle on Reformers' Victory 6- Tehran Times (Iran): Official Denies Rigging in Parliamentary Elections 7- Salon.Com: Iran votes for change 8- Le Figaro (France) Translated by IPS: Islam on the eve of a Renaissance 9- Iran News (Iran): Victory of Reformists: A New Test for Khatami's Government 10- AP: Iran reformists promise freedoms; hardliners could block way 11- Christian Science Monitor (US): Iranian change deeper than mere election results 12- Reuters: Ex-Iran president cautious on reformers success 13- AFP: European leaders rush to Iran in wake of elections 14- Washington Post (US): Iran's Reformers Talk of U.S. Ties 15- Tehran Times (Iran): IIPP Says: U.S. Must Take Tangible Steps to Normalize Ties With Iran 16- Reuters: Iran election won't prompt US food credit offer 17- AFP: France's Valeo signs air conditioning deal with Iran 18- Reuters: Iran to launch wargames in strategic waterway 19- Addis Ababa Tribune (Ethiopia): Iranian Delegation Here for Commission Joint Meeting 20- Reuters: Omani police shoot dead two Iranian drug smugglers 21- Jerusalem Post (Israel): Hamas bombing plans thwarted 22- Reuters: INTERVIEW-Iraq opposition not affected by Iran vote

B) Swedish Articles: http://www.iran-daneshjoo.org/articles/swedish.shtml

C) German Articles: http://www.iran-daneshjoo.org/articles/german.shtml

D) French Articles: http://www.iran-daneshjoo.org/articles/french.shtml

======================================================

One soldier reported killed, 11 hurt in Iran clash

TEHRAN, Feb 23 (Reuters) - A soldier was killed and 11 injured in a shooting at an airbase in southern Iran after a dispute between members of the Revolutionary Guards and air force personnel, an Iranian newspaper said on Wednesday.

The reformist daily Sobh-e Emrouz said gunmen opened fire on air force conscripts and officers after Revolutionary Guards laid claim to a disputed tract of land at the airbase, near the southern city of Shiraz.

The newspaper, which did not say when the attack occured, quoted witnesses as saying the Revolutionary Guards were to blame for the attack.

There was no official confirmation of the incident.

Local journalists said the shooting broke out after the Guards tried to take the strip of land by force.

Tension between Iran's traditional armed forces and the Revolutionary Guards, which is expanding its naval and air force capabilities, is common but outright clashes are rare.

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Released on bail students re-called by the Islamic republic judiciary

SMCCDI News Service February 22, 2000

Several students arrested after the July's uprising and released, on bail, after several months of captivity have been asked to present themselves at the Revolutionary court #8 of Tehran.

These students have received a convocation signed by Haj-Agha Kavoossi acting as the Islamic prosecutor.

The Student Associations and the United Student Front (USF) are intending to organize a protest demonstration and have warned the judiciary power about the issuance of any sentence against the called students.

======================================================

Rulings for Students Approved

Entekhab 2/23/2000

Nemat Ahmadi, the lawyer of Akbar and Manouchehr Mohammadi [detained in relation to the July's student demonstration], announced that the court rulings for the accused in this case, which have been reported by the press, have been approved.

He added the case of Manouchehr Mohammad would be sent to the court soon, while the death sentence for Akbar Mohammadi was confirmed.

======================================================

German parliament statement regarding conduct of the Islamic republic

SMCCDI News Service February 23, 2000

In a letter remitted to the Islamic republic Ambassador in Germany, Rita Griesshaber of the German Green Party, who is responsible for Iranian affairs in the Bundstag (German parliament) has expressed concerns of the German deputies about the fate of the imprisoned students in Iran.

In the letter, while congratulating the People of Iran for the expression of their wishes by democratic means, Mrs. Griesshaber has requested the cancellation of the death sentence issued against Akbar Mohamadi and all long term prison sentences issued against other students arrested in connection to the July uprising.

======================================================

Tehran police face court martial next week over bloody unrest

TEHRAN, Feb 23 (AFP) - Tehran's sacked police chief and 19 other officers face public court martial next week over the violent suppression of a student demonstration last July, Tehran University said Wednesday.

In an official statement quoted by the official news agency IRNA the university said the first hearing against Farhad Nazari and his colleagues in open session would be held Tuesday.

The university and the students would be represented by lawyer Mohsen Ramani, who defended reformist leader Abdollah Nuri last year before a hardline clerical court on charges of spreading anti-Islamic propaganda.

The officers are accused of exceeding their orders in a police raid on a student dormitory which sparked off the worst rioting in Iran in nearly two decades.

The students were demonstrating over the closure by the conservative-dominated courts of the reformist daily newspaper Salam.

Three people were killed in Tehran and the northwestern city of Tabriz in the six days of unrest which followed the police action, according to an official tally.

Military prosecutor Abbas Ali Forati told the press last month that the court martial would be held in public with the press allowed to be present.

Nazari, who was sacked for "incompetence" over his handling of the police action, is accused of "overriding an order from the interior ministry not to intervene," "creating an atmosphere of suspicion of the security forces," as well as ignoring an order not use tear gas, state radio said in December.

Forati said students who were found to have suffered injuries or damage to property during the raid would be awarded compensation.

The contrast between the slowness of the court martial and the speed with which the courts prosecuted and convicted student demonstrators has sparked criticism from reformers here.

Forati said the process was "running late because we were waiting for the results of the Supreme National Security Council's inquiry."

Dozens of demonstrators have already been brought before the courts and death sentences have been confirmed on one of their alleged ringleaders.

The families of some 400 students caught up in the police action have filed complaints through the chancellor of Tehran university. State radio said last month that investigations had begun into 50 of them, including the death of one student, Ezatollah Ebrahim Nejad.

The rioting was only halted with the violent intervention of the Basiji, Iran's volunteer Islamist militia.

On Monday reformist newspapers said Iran's courts had upheld the death sentence on one of three student leaders found guilty of instigating the riots.

A statement from the main reformist campus organization reported in several Tehran newspapers said the other two had been given jail terms of ten and two-and-a-half years.

Akbar Mohammadi's only recourse now is to seek an amnesty from supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, commuting the death sentence imposed by the capital's revolutionary tribunal last November after it found that he had used petrol bombs during the July protests.

Some 300 students and academics from Tehran university's social science faculty last month petitioned Kahamenei to commute the sentence, saying he had "acted under the influence of negative propaganda created around the student unrest."

The campus reformers' statement said other student leaders convicted over the July unrest had seen their prison sentences reduced on appeal, replaced by non-custodial sentences or quashed.

A total of 1,500 demonstrators were arrested in the capital, many of them picked up by the Basiji. Around 500 were later released, while the remainder are still being questioned or prosecuted or have already been convicted.

Mohammad-Reza Khatami, leader of the reformists who won a crushing victory over the conservatives in Friday's elections, said Tuesday the new parliament would launch its own investigation into the clampdown if the authorities failed to come up with convincing explanations.

"I hope this case will be fully explained," he said.

======================================================

Iran's leader said to pardon student playwrights

TEHRAN, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has pardoned two students jailed last year for writing a satirical play deemed to have insulted one of Shi'ite Islam's holiest figures, a newspaper said on Wednesday. The reformist Mosharekat daily said Abbas Nemati and Mohammad Reza Namnabat had received pardons from their initial three-year jail terms for blasphemy, handed down by Iran's hardline Press Court.

The sentences were later reduced to one year.

The play, published in an obscure campus journal last summer, outraged the conservative establishment and many senior clerics, who said it demonstrated the failings of President Mohammad Khatami's liberal cultural policies.

Its authors said they had invoked the Twelfth Imam, whose reappearance on earth is eagerly awaited by all pious Shi'ites, to lampoon campus conservatives.

But the Press Court, assisted by a special clerical panel drawn from the Supreme Court, found they had insulted the Imam in the play and had undermined religious sanctities.

Under Iranian law, insulting one of the holy Imams can be punished by death, but lesser slights usually carry modest prison sentences.

======================================================

Invitation to Protest Rally

Sobh E Emrooz 2/23/2000

A group of 30 theology students in Oroumia held a protest rally holding black flags and wearing shrouds for what they said were gross violations of people's votes in Urmia. They also invited others to joint them.

The reason behind the rally has not been clarified yet.

======================================================

A Big "No" to Conservatives

Arya 2/23/2000

Sadeq Zibakalam, university professor, said: " The people's vote in favor of the candidates belonging to IIPF, ECP or other parties was actually a big " No " to conservatives...

The nation did not care about the programs nor the policies of these parties. The only concern of the people was that rightists should not be allowed to enter the Majlis....

This attitude on the part of the nation may help political development in the short-term, but it would not be effective in the long-term..."

======================================================

Ex-president Rafsanjani squeezes into Iran assembly

TEHRAN, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who headed the conservative and centrist tickets, has finished 29th in the race for Tehran's 30 seats in parliament, unofficial final results showed on Wednesday.

Interior ministry officials said the final count in the capital showed Rafsanjani, once the country's most powerful politician, had enough votes to claim a seat and avoid a run-off.

They said the count showed reformers backing President Mohammad Khatami, paced by his youngest brother Mohammad Reza Khatami, had won the 29 other places.

The conservative Kayhan newspaper carried a similar account.

Official final results from Tehran are expected to be announced on Thursday, six days after polls seen as a referendum on President Khatami's broad social and political reforms.

In second place, behind the president's brother, was Jamileh Kadivar, top woman vote-getter in last year's Tehran city council race and sister of imprisoned dissident cleric Mohsen Kadivar.

Alireza Nouri, brother of another popular imprisoned cleric, was third.

Rafsanjani's poor electoral showing shocked his supporters and appears to have doomed his bid for parliamentary speaker, a post he used to great effect in the early years of the revolution.

Nationwide, the reform movement romped to victory as voters threw out leading conservative incumbents and broke the right's grip on the assembly.

Members of the Islamic Iran Participation Front, led by Mohammad Reza Khatami, said on Tuesday they had already won outright 109 seats in the 290-seat parliament, with allied reformers taking another 28 seats.

The unofficial results from Tehran show 27 members of the Participation Front ticket claiming seats, with two other pro- Khatami reformers also winning places in the chamber.

Almost 70 races will go to run-offs, expected sometime in April, giving reformers the chance to clinch a majority in the next parliament.

======================================================

Reformist Nuri returns to prison after three-day leave

TEHRAN, Feb 23 (AFP) - Former Iranian interior minister and leading reformist Abdullah Nuri, who is serving a five-year sentence for "anti-Islamic propaganda", returned to prison Wednesday after three days leave.

Nuri, an influential reformist figure, was freed on Sunday from north Tehran's notorious Evin prison for a three-day home leave.

During his temporary release, he expressed satisfaction with the results of Friday's legislative elections from which he was banned from taking part as a candidate.

"The result could change many things and even have an impact on my liberation," he told journalists.

Nuri, a former vice-president, was barred from standing in the polls because of his jail sentence, which was seen as part of a widescale but ultimately unsuccessful attempt by the conservatives to retain their hold on parliament, notably in clamping down on the reformist press.

Home leave for up to a week at a time is allowed under Iranian law for prisoners who show proof of good behaviour.

======================================================

U.S. hints that gestures to Iran are possible

WASHINGTON, Feb 22 (Reuters) - The United States repeated its offer of an unconditional dialogue with Iran on Tuesday but hinted it might consider goodwill gestures once the new Iranian parliament, dominated by reformists, holds its first session.

The United States welcomed the parliamentary elections in Iran last Friday as a historic vote for greater openness and freedom. It hopes the reformist victory will lead to rapprochement after more then 20 years of hostility.

Relations between both countries were shattered when Islamic fundamentalist revolutionaries overthrew the U.S.-backed shah in 1979, seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran and held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.

The reformers said on Tuesday they were looking to the United States to make a clear overture to improve relations with the Islamic republic, for example on sanctions.

State Department spokesman James Rubin said on Tuesday the United States was prepared for a dialogue in which both sides bring their concerns to the table -- in essence the same unconditional dialogue Washington has been offering since Iranians elected President Mohammad Khatami in 1998.

But he added: "We have taken a number of steps in recent years to try to signal our willingness to engage Iran. Secretary (of State Madeleine) Albright indicated a willingness to develop a road map to normal relations. But at this time, I'm not going to speculate as to what we might do."

"It will be some time before the popular will expressed in these elections will be translated into concrete policies. For example, the runoff will take several weeks, and then their new parliament won't take office until several weeks after that.

"We will follow these developments very closely and make any appropriate responses based on what we think will best promote the prospect for dealing with our concerns and dealing with Iran's potential role in the Middle East," he said.

LIST OF ISSUES

The spokesman repeated the list of issues that the United States would put at the top of its agenda in any dialogue with Iran -- Iran's opposition to the Middle East peace process, its nuclear programs and its support for groups, such as Hizbollah in Lebanon, which Washington calls "terrorist".

Iran wants the United States to end economics sanctions and unfreeze Iranian assets frozen after the 1979 revolution.

Speaking more generally, Rubin said Washington could see a brighter future for the Middle East after the elections.

"It is clear that the new parliament will enjoy a decisive popular mandate. It is our hope that this mandate will set Iran on a course towards a more constructive and a new role in the region, one which eventually leads to Iran's full political and economic re-integration into the international community.

"The Middle East is changing rapidly and Iran certainly has a role to play," he said.

In Tehran, at a news conference to mark their victory, leading reformers said their movement was a domestic phenomenon and should not be seen as evidence Iran had set aside revolutionary or Islamic principles to please the West -- in particular the United States.

"In the past the United States supported one of the most repressive regimes in history, which was the Shah's regime," said Mohammad Reza Khatami, leader of the reformist Islamic Iran Participation Front and brother of the president.

"Now we still face hostile sanctions and allegations (of supporting terrorism) against us that are unproven. There is a better tone but no practical steps to pull down the wall of mistrust," said Khatami, top vote-getter in Tehran.

======================================================

US Senate to take up bill to curtail Iran weapons programs

WASHINGTON, Feb 22 (AFP) - Despite strenuous Russian objections and a White House veto threat, the US Senate on Tuesday was to take up a bill aiming to punish Russia and other nations found to be aiding Iran's effort to develop nuclear arms.

The US House of Representatives unanimously approved the bill in a 419-0 vote September 14.

The measure singles out Russia as a primary culprit. Many US lawmakers are already upset with Moscow over reports of large-scale money laundering by Russian political and business leaders; corruption, including alleged theft of multilateral monies aimed at lifting Russia's economy; and human rights abuses in its military campaign in Chechnya.

The measure would require the White House to report to congress every six months on non-US entities transferring nuclear; missile; biological and chemical weapons; or materials US entities are prohibited to provide Iran because of their potential use in developing such arms or weapons systems.

Violators would face economic sanctions or loss of US military assistance, but the president could waive such measures on national security grounds or if the affected government punished those responsible.

======================================================

Iran says to hold anti-U.S. rally at haj

TEHRAN, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Iran said on Wednesday its pilgrims would stage a political rally denouncing the United States and Israel at this year's haj in Saudi Arabia.

"God willing, we will hold it in Arafat," Mohmmad Mohammadi-Reyshahri, the head of Iran's haj pilgrimage, said on state television.

The pilgrimage reaches a climax on March 15 with the march to Mount Arafat, site of the Prophet Mohammed's last sermon 14 centuries ago.

Shi'ite Iran says Moslems should seize the opportunity during haj, which attracts more than two million pilgrims, to promote unity among Moslems and air political grievances against against Israel and the United States as enemies of Islam.

Sunni Moslem Saudi Arabia says the pilgrimage is purely religious and should not be politicised.

=====================================================

U.S. rules out World Bank loans to new Iran

WASHINGTON, Feb 23 (Reuters) - The United States ruled out on Wednesday voting in favor of World Bank loans to Iran -- one way in which it could have made a goodwill gesture to the reformists who won last week's Iranian elections.

State Department spokesman James Rubin said the United States opposes World Bank lending to countries it calls "state sponsors of terrorism" and does not believe that Iran has made enough economic reform to justify lending.

Iran has been on the list of terrorism sponsors for years, and U.S. officials have frequently called it the leading sponsor. The chances for a quick change in its status are not high.

U.S. newspapers have said that changing its position on World Bank loans was one way the United States could pave the way for a dialogue with the Iranian authorities after the unexpectedly strong showing by reformist candidates.

Rubin said he did not think the World Bank executive board had on its agenda any proposals for loans to Iran anyway.

"The United States does not believe that conditions favor restarting World Bank lending to Iran at this time. Iran is yet to make progress in a number of fronts that should proceed such action, including pursuing meaningful economic reform and abandoning support for terrorism," he added.

World Bank officials said in January that, taking advantage of a changing international mood, the bank was mulling plans for its first loan to Iran since 1994.

One bank official said staff had completed preparatory work on two loans, one to fund health care projects and one to improve sewage systems in greater Tehran.

But she said no date had yet been set for the board to vote on the two projects, which could provide Iran with some $231 million in loans, and a vote might not take place before June.

Rubin noted that the U.S. Congress has told the administration not to vote for World Bank loans to "state sponsors" but the administration disputes Congress's authority to tell it how to vote.

But the administration has so far complied with Congress's wishes and it would be wrong to assume that it would use the case of Iran as a chance to assert its independence, he added.

The United States has welcomed the parliamentary elections in Iran last Friday as a historic vote for greater openness and freedom. It hopes the reformist victory will lead to rapprochement after more then 20 years of hostility.

======================================================

Rooz Khosh..! Good Day..!

Don't forget that any protest against the Death sentences might save the Students...

They need your help.......

The SMCCDI News Service has been created in order to inform the World about the Student Movement and the struggle of the Iranian People to establish a Secular and Democratic Regime in Iran based on the choice of the Iranians in a Free Election under International Observation.

Your comments, articles, news, opinions and communiques are welcome and they shall be sent to: iranstudents@hotmail.com

(You'll need to specify if you wish your name and/or e.mail address to be published)

http://www.iranstudents.org http://www.daneshjoo.org http://www.iran-daneshjoo.org

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