Monday, October 04, 2004

Gholam Shire'i denies split with government - Iran Persian Journal

Gholam Shire'i denies split with government - Iran Persian Journal Latest Iran News, news Tehran Iranian News persian news web site sport irani news iranians site farsi women sport woman, newspaper football: "Gholam Shire'i denies split with government - Iran
Oct 4, 2004, 14:00

Majlis Speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad Adel also known as "Gholam Shire'i" in majlis said that the impeachment of the Minister of Roads and Transportation Ahmad Khorram should not been interpreted as confrontation with the government but viewed as being in line with Majlis duties.

Speaking with reporters after the impeachment session, he said the impeachment is among the legal measures of Majlis but it should not be considered as the first and the last alternative to this end.

Impeachment does not imply that one has been condemned and is to be deprived from rendering services to his country, he said.

Majlis never resort to its duties to confront with the government, he underlined.

If the government feels that a very strong supervisory apparatus monitors its activities, this would lead to a better performance of their duties, he concluded.

Iran's Minister of Roads and Transportation Ahmad Khorram failed Sunday to secure parliament's vote of confidence, in an impeachment motion brought up for mismanagement in his office.

He was voted out of office by a tally of 188-58. Nine deputies abstained in the 290-seat parliament.

Khorram was censured over a raft of charges, including corruption and impotence in the face of high fatalities on Iranian roads as well as rails and aviation."

Iran to take part in the international conference on Iraq

Iran to take part in the international conference on Iraq: "Iran to take part in the international conference on Iraq
Iraq-Iran, Politics, 10/4/2004

Tehran announced it will take part in the international conference on Iraq which will be held in the last week of November in Cairo.

The spokesman for the Iranian foreign ministry Rida Aseifi said that there is, in principle, no problem for his country attending, noting that the details of the Iranian participation concerning the level of representation will be announced later.

He said that Iran "welcomes all initiatives which encourage stability in Iraq which adjoins the Islamic Republic of Iran." Cairo announced earlier it is currently making consultations with the sides which will be taking place in the conference. They are Iraq's neighboring states, the G- 8, the Arab League, the Organization of the Islamic conference and the UN.

Agro exchange market key factor for competition

IranMania News: "Agro exchange market key factor for competition

Monday, October 04, 2004 - ©2004 IranMania.com
LONDON, Oct 4 (IranMania) - Iran's Minister of Commerce Mohammad Shariatmadari said Sunday that inauguration of the Agro Exchange Market is an important factor to ensure transparency and competition in agro product marketing in the country.

Speaking in ceremonies to mark the inauguration of the Organization of Agro Exchanges, Shariatmadari said further transparency and competition in the transaction of agro products would drastically minimize many structural economic problems, IRNA reported.

The Minister said the Agro Exchange Market can minimize related problems through its constructive activities. He said the market would on the long run regulate and rationalize cultivation and harvesting procedures as well as standardize the quality of agro products."

Agro exchange market key factor for competition

IranMania News: "Agro exchange market key factor for competition

Monday, October 04, 2004 - ©2004 IranMania.com
LONDON, Oct 4 (IranMania) - Iran's Minister of Commerce Mohammad Shariatmadari said Sunday that inauguration of the Agro Exchange Market is an important factor to ensure transparency and competition in agro product marketing in the country.

Speaking in ceremonies to mark the inauguration of the Organization of Agro Exchanges, Shariatmadari said further transparency and competition in the transaction of agro products would drastically minimize many structural economic problems, IRNA reported.

The Minister said the Agro Exchange Market can minimize related problems through its constructive activities. He said the market would on the long run regulate and rationalize cultivation and harvesting procedures as well as standardize the quality of agro products."

Iran apt to attract foreign investments: official

IranMania News: "Iran apt to attract foreign investments: official

Monday, October 04, 2004 - ©2004 IranMania.com

LONDON, Oct 4 (IranMania) - Iran’s Minister of Economy and Finance said in Washington that his country is ready to attract investments, especially from Iranian residents of foreign countries, Mehr News Agency (MNA) reported.

Safdar Hosseini, who traveled this week to the United States in order to attend the World Bank/IMF autumn meetings, met the US-based Iranians there to say that the Iranian policy makers have decided to provide possibilities for every foreigner to invest in the country’s economy.

“Within the Third Economic Development Plan, we tried to organize Iran’s economic strategies while reducing risks of investment,” the minister stated. The process resulted in improving all macroeconomic features, he stated.

Meanwhile, he pointed to the country’s 20-year strategic plan, saying that it draws a satisfactory outlook for Iran’s economy.

“Recently, the private sector is remarkably involved in various projects,” Hosseini stated. According to him, reinforcing private organizations is considered as a stimulus to industrial development. The rationalistic viewpoint of the economic policy makers in designing the Fourth Development Plan proves that they believe scientific approaches would help reforms in the national economy, he implied."

The Blogging VP of Iran Resigns

IranMania News: "Iran's Blogging vice-presidents resigns in Protest"

I am a fan of http://webnevesht.com/en/ and an admirer of his Excellency Mohammad Ali Abtahi. I am very disappointed to see his resignation. I hope President Khatami will not accept it. Ideologically I find my self more in line with a Pragmatic approach but I admire Mohammad Ali Abtahi and I do not like to see the politics of destruction in Iran today. JBOC


LONDON, Oct 4 (IranMania) - One of Iran's vice-presidents and most outspoken reformists, Mohammad Ali Abtahi, announced Monday he has resigned from the Islamic republic's increasingly isolated government.

"It is up to the president to approve this decision," Abtahi told the student news agency ISNA, adding that President Mohammad Khatami -- who has a total of eight vice-presidents in his cabinet -- should reach a decision soon.

News of Abtahi's intention to quit comes the day after hardline deputies in the Iranian parliament impeached the reformist transport minister, Ahmad Khorram, for mismanagement, corruption, a spate of accidents and favouring foreign firms in handing out government contracts.

Abtahi, a jovial and rotund mid-ranking cleric who is vice-president for judicial and parliamentary affairs, has been one of the most outspoken members of Khatami's government.

But he said that working with hardliners, who took control of parliament in May after most reformist were barred from contesting February's elections, had become impossible.

"For some time I have reached the conclusion that given the differences between my political viewpoints and those of the parliament, I cannot fulfill my responsibilities," Abtahi told ISNA.

"For this reason, I have since some time presented my resignation to President Mohammad Khatami so that the understanding between the government and the parliament can be improved," he said.

The vice-president could not be immediately reached for further comment.

Resignations or threats of resignations have been common in the government during and after the election controversy, although so far Khatami has refused to let any of his ministers go.

Abtahi, who is in his mid-40s, held the post of cabinet secretary during Khatami's first mandate from 1997 to 2001, before being promoted to a vice-presidential position.

The cleric is also well known for his frank internet weblog and photo diary, which can be found at www.webnevesht.com, which goes some way to shatter the widely-held view overseas that the regime's ruling clerics are rather staid individuals.

One entry in his website recounts how, during a posting in Lebanon as representative of Iranian media in 1994, he "learned the art of reciprocity, mercifulness and coexistence between Christians and Muslims."

Abtahi is also a government figure who has in the past stuck his neck out, much to the ire of powerful hardliners who pull most of the strings here.

He was the first official to disclose that Canadian-Iranian photographer Zahra Kazemi was murdered in custody following her arrest in June 2003.

Kazemi's killing badly damaged relations between Canada and Iran, and the hardline judiciary has been accused of covering up for one of its own officials."

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: AP - Middle East: Iranian transportation minister impeached

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: AP - Middle East: Iranian transportation minister impeached: "Iranian transportation minister impeached

By ALI AKBAR DAREINI
ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER
TEHRAN, Iran -- In the latest blow to the administration of reformist President Mohammad Khatami, Iran's conservative-dominated parliament impeached the transportation minister on Sunday, accusing him of financial mismanagement and a shady aviation deal.

After several hours of debate, 188 legislators voted to strip Ahmad Khorram of his Cabinet post. Fifty-eight voted in his favor and nine abstained. Conservative lawmakers raised loud cheers of "Allahu akbar" or "God is great."

A senior conservative lawmaker, former deputy foreign minister Alaeddin Boroujerdi, said the vote was parliament's "show of strength."

The conservatives accused Khorram of financial mismanagement and of jeopardizing Iran's security by signing a deal with TAV, a Turkish-Austrian aviation consortium, to operate at the new Imam Khomeini International Airport on the outskirts of Tehran.

Hard-liners in parliament believe the contract compromised Iran's security and aviation systems. Iranian armed forces, controlled by hard-liners, accused TAV of having links with Israel, Iran's arch foe.

Feelings about the Turkish contract rose so high that the elite Revolutionary Guards, who support the conservatives, shut down the airport on the day of its inauguration in May. The airport remains closed.

Khorram, in a speech to defend his performance, said his ministry observed all legal conditions set forth by the intelligence ministry before awarding the contract to TAV.

"The contract with TAV is to operate services, not management of the airport," Khorram said.



Last week, the parliament approved a bill forcing the government to seek legislative approval for the TAV contract as well as another contract with Turkcell, a Turkish mobile-phone network, to upgrade the GSM network.

Sunday's vote and comments by lawmakers suggested that the government has little chance of winning parliamentary approval for the TAV deal.

"Definitely, we can inaugurate and operate the airport using Iranian contractors and contributions without foreign help," said senior lawmaker Mohammad Reza Bahonar.

Khorram's impeachment was the first since hard-liners retook control of the parliament in disputed legislative elections in February.

Hard-liners have been trying to stifle Khatami's political and social reform campaign since he was elected in 1997, striking at the heart of his reform program by targeting ministers who were promoting press and political freedoms.

"This is the beginning (for Khatami's government)," warned conservative lawmaker Reza Attarzadeh.

The Iranian lawmakers accused Khorram of misappropriating public funds, saying he spent $4,500 to decorate his office and $2.25 million for the airport inauguration ceremony in May. Khorram denied the charges.

"I use a chair that is 25 years old. The reports are not true," he said.

Khorram said he refused to give in to demands by lawmakers to dismiss some of his managers because "not a single piece of evidence was provided to prove my managers are guilty of any wrongdoing."

Five years ago, then-Interior Minister Abdollah Nouri was impeached. He was sentenced to five years in jail for religious dissent, but was pardoned after serving two years behind bars.

The former, popular minister of culture, Ataollah Mohajerani, also was impeached by hard-liners who were controlling the parliament until 2000, but narrowly survived a confidence vote and later resigned under pressure."