|FarsiNet News Archive
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April 2000, Week 1
|US.Flag on Iranian Paper!||Apr. 2|
|Iran Court Summons Khatami Brother on Press Charge||Apr. 2|
|Buchanan: Lift Iraq, Iran Sanctions||Apr. 1|
|U.N. Doubles Iran Oil Equipment||Apr. 1|
US.Flag on Iranian Paper!
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- An Iranian newspaper broke a taboo by printing a color
picture of the U.S. flag on its front page today, underscoring growing calls
within the country to end more than 20 years of estrangement between the
The daily Hammihan, which often endeavors to project the viewpoints of both
the hard-liners and reformers inside the Islamic government, carried
pictures of the U.S. and Iranian flags above an editorial entitled,
"Iran-U.S. ties: dark and bright aspects."|
It was the first time in more than 20 years that the U.S. flag, which the hard-line clergy has portrayed as a symbol of hatred since the 1979 Islamic revolution that ousted the U.S.-backed shah, was published with respect in a mainstream Iranian daily.
"Political activists, politicians and party leaders in Iran do not seriously oppose resumption of ties with the United States," the editorial said. What divided politicians, it said, was how far Iran should go to re-establish ties.
Earlier this month, the United States eased sanctions on some Iranian goods and called on Tehran to help start a new relationship. Washington severed ties with Tehran after militants loyal to the new revolutionary government stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979 and held Americans hostage for 444 days.
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's call on March 17 for a better relationship has provoked a mixed response in Iran. Reform lawmakers, and newspapers that back the moderate President Mohammad Khatami, have welcomed the U.S. gesture. But hard-liners, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have slammed it as "deceitful." Hammihan said that American leaders were similarly divided because they appeared to favor ties, but were unsure about the terms.
Iran Court Summons Khatami Brother on Press Charge
TEHRAN (Reuters) - A hardline court in Iran Thursday summoned Reza Khatami, a brother of moderate President Mohammad Khatami, on unspecified charges linked to his outspoken pro-reform newspaper, the official news agency IRNA reported.
It said the press court's summons was apparently linked to libel charges against the daily Mosharekat. The paper is published by Reza Khatami, who heads the main political faction backing the president. |
The agency gave no details of the charges against the newspaper, which has criticized the probe into the attempted murder earlier this month of Saeed Hajjarian, a key figure in the reformist victory in parliamentary elections last month. Reformists have suggested that suspects held in the shooting were Islamic hardliners close to the Revolutionary Guards.
Newspapers said earlier that another hardline-led court had summoned Emadeddin Baqi, an outspoken reformist journalist, over his statements on the Hajjarian case. Hajjarian remains under intensive care at a hospital, but doctors have said his condition is improving.
Conservatives and hardliners opposed to President Khatami still control key levers of power, including many courts and the armed forces. The courts have in the past few years closed several pro-reform newspapers, which have thrived since Khatami took office in 1997.
Buchanan: Lift Iraq, Iran Sanctions
By Laurie Kellman|
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - Reform Party presidential hopeful Patrick Buchanan says the United States should stabilize oil prices in part by lifting sanctions on Iran and Iraq, selling them oil-drilling equipment and threatening to withhold military help from Persian Gulf allies unless crude prices fall to $20 a barrel.
"None of these Gulf regimes is worth another war," Buchanan says in prepared remarks for his speech today at Boston University. "We should play hardball with those who play hardball with us."
His energy plan comes three days after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed, against objections from Iran, to increase production by 1.7 million barrels a day to fill a 2-million-barrel-a-day shortfall that has tripled crude prices over the last 14 months. Within a day of the OPEC deal, spot prices for oil dropped 64 cents to $26.45 a barrel. Prices reached a high of $34 earlier this month.
Industry officials said it might take six to eight weeks for the additional oil to reach U.S. markets and were not sure that increase in production would immediately be passed through to consumers.
Buchanan blamed the problem on "a global price-rigging conspiracy, by oil-exporting nations," and said the United States' stance toward OPEC should be, "It is trying to kill me, but I will kill it."
"This is the dark side of globalization," Buchanan says in his remarks. "The more we rely on foreign nations for the vital necessities of our national life, the greater American's vulnerability to the greed and animosity of regimes that, for whatever reason, resent or despise the United States..."
Some of his half-dozen proposals drew criticism. Middle East foreign policy expert Anthony Cordesman said, for example, that the plan to lift sanctions on Iran and Iraq is simplistic since some sanctions were imposed by the United Nations. Also, he said, such a move has implications the proliferation of nuclear and biological weapons.
"In essence, (Buchanan has) said they can import anything they want whether it can be used as a weapon or not," Cordesman said.
Buchanan also proposes that the United States:
Open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling;
Put a $1,000 tariff on all cars assembled in Mexico;
Suspend all foreign aid, world Bank and IMF loans to governments that support "the OPEC cartel's looting of America."
Pump oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and suspend for six months the 18-cents-per-gallon gas tax "and restock the reserve with cheaper oil as the price falls."
Set a floor under oil prices. "When OPEC conspires to flood the world to kill competition, an import fee kicks in to support domestic prices, to keep U.S. wells producing and the price of our natural gas competitive."
U.N. Doubles Iran Oil Equipment
By Nicole Winfield|
Associated Press Writer
UNITED NATIONS - In a bid to get more food and medicine to Iraq, the Security Council agreed today to double the amount of money Iraq can spend on spare parts to repair its ailing oil industry.
All 15 ambassadors voted in favor of a U.S.-sponsored resolution without comment.
Independent oil industry experts have said Iraq must rehabilitate its pumping stations if it wants to continue exporting crude through the U.N. oil-for-food program, which lets Baghdad buy humanitarian goods using proceeds from U.N.-supervised oil sales.
Baghdad's oil industry its main source of revenue was targeted during the Gulf War and has been decimated by nearly 10 years of sanctions.
The U.N. oil-for-food program was started in 1996 to provide for Iraqis suffering under sanctions imposed after Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
The Security Council agreed in June 1998 to allow Iraq to use $300 million every six months from oil-for-food proceeds to buy oil spare parts.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the independent experts recommended last year that the amount be doubled so the vital repairs can be made.
The resolution approved today allows Iraq to spend $600 million every six months and says the council would consider renewing that amount in future six-month phases.
It also says the council would be willing to consider other ways to improve the oil-for-food program.
After refusing for months, the United States agreed to the measure and sponsored the resolution to try to deflect criticism of its tough line on Iraq sanctions, which has come under increasing fire at home and abroad.
Deputy U.S. Ambassador James Cunningham introduced the draft on March 24 during an open debate of the council at which most ambassadors and Annan himself criticized the U.S. policy.
Primarily, they complained that the United States was paralyzing repairs on the oil industry by placing more than $1 billion in contracts for spare parts and other equipment on "hold" in the U.N. sanctions committee.
Washington says it has to review the contracts to make sure the equipment isn't used to help Iraqi President Saddam Hussein rebuild his weapons of mass destruction.