News of Iran

06 April 2000

The pictures of 7 people accused in shooting Mr. Saeid Hajjarian are published in most of the Tehran newspapers. One of these papers has written that at least 3 people arrested in connection to this assassination attempt were of the Guardians of the Islamic Republic. Mr. Saeid Hajjarian, a senior adviser to Iranian president Khatami and director of the reformism newspapers Sobh Emrooz, lies seriously wounded in a Tehran hospital. Abdolkarim Soroush, a reformism Islamic thinker, after visiting Mr. Hajjarian in the hospital, said that he was a victim of the fascist interpretation of the religion.

Dr. Soroush, a hard-headed advocate of the Islamic Republic in its first years and a prominent member of the council of the Islamic cultural Revolution, which closed all the Iranian universities after the Islamic revolution, is new saying that a fascist reading of Islamic is the root cause of the terror and the assassination chain in Iran in recent years. He said the trial of a few small agents of this attack was not enough and those commanding and preparing the current cult of violence should all be recognised.

Intensification of Infighting between Factions:

Akbar Ganji and Emadodin Baghi, themselves both former intelligence officers, and now reformist journalists, attacked Ali Yunesi, the intelligence minister of Iran, over his assertions that the gunmen attacking Mr. Hajjarian acted individually and on their own. They demanded the dismissal of Yunesi and prosecution of the former intelligence minister, Ali Fallahin. On the other hand, the intelligence ministry called the journalists Akbar Ganji, E. Baghi, and Mohammed Ghuchani for questioning; and the judge of the revolutionary court, Mr. Mortazani called them to the court to answer charges of spreading lies. Dr. M.R. Khatami, the first deputy from Tehran is also summoned to the court, on similar charges

The killing of a Sunni religious man:

A young Sunni cleric , named Shamsodin Kiani, was kidnapped and burned to death in Zahedan, in south-east of Iran. He was from a poor Sunni region of Khorasan, around the town of Birjand, where his body was brought back. In recent years, tens of Sunni religious men from Sistan, Baluchistan, Khorasan and Kurdistan are murdered by Shiite religious fanatics, with links to the Islamic republic agencies. Two years ago, the murder of a Sunni religious man in Kermanshah led to a series of riots against the Shiite government of Iran.

Murder of a Doctor in Tehran :

A specialist doctor, Fereidoun Foroohari, was tortured to death in his home in Vanak Square, Tehran in the first day of the Nowrooz. He had received death threats for his alleged " non religious surgical operations " . Dr. Foroohari cooperated with the UN organisations and was to deliver a speech in the world Health Organisation.






Trial of Dr. Khatami:

Dr. Mohammed Reza Khatami, the brother of Iranian president and the first member of parliament from Tehran in the recent election was summoned to the court to answer some charges brought against him by the conservative power centres in the government, Iranian radio and television among others.

The new exchange rate policy:

The central bank of the Islamic Republic decided that the banks could buy and sell foreign currencies at the free market rates. Bank Melli and Bank Saderat, the two biggest Iranian banks, immediately started to sell foreign exchange at free market rates. The current free market rates for US. $ is 836 Tomans. German Mark is at 480 Tomans, and British pound at 1290 Tomans.

Non-oil Exports only 3 Billion Dollars:

According to the latest statistics published by the Iranian customs office, the non-oil exports of Iran in last Iranian year 1378 (ended March 20, 2000) was only US$ 3,103 m.

This is to be compared with the government's target of 5 billion dollars of non-oil exports. Thus Iran remains heavily dependent on oil exports for its foreign exchange earning which fluctuates with the world oil prices.

Big Foundation independent of government:

An Iranian economist, Kamal Athari, said to the newspaper Iran-e-Farda:

"one of the couses of economic crisis in Iran lies in the fact that the big foundations such as Astan Qods Rarzavi and Bonjad Mostazafan do not pay any tax and do not inform the government about their economic activities. Each economic agency considers itself independent and doesn't give attribute to the government". He said political reforms should be accompanied by economic reforms and social programs.