Wednesday, December 08, 2004

IRIB gives gifts to some MPs

IranMania News: "IRIB gives gifts to some MPs

Saturday, December 04, 2004 - ©2004 IranMania.com

LONDON, Dec 4 (IranMania) – A member of the Iranian Parliament’s Legal and Judicial Commission unveiled that the State Broadcasting Organization’s (IRIB) has provided a number of MPs with one million toman ($1,136) coupons which can be used for book purchases, Iran’s Afab Daily reported.

“I accepted the coupon only because I intended to hand it over to some cultural centers.” A member of the mines and industries commission claimed as he faced heavy criticisms.

The Iranian Parliament described the IRIB’s move as inappropriate saying that if the organization enjoys such a significant budget, it should spend it on its own affairs.

Tehran MP, Elias Naderan had earlier called on Parliament Speaker, Gholam Ali Haddad Adel in an open letter to prevent MPs from accepting gifts by different state-run organizations noting that no organization is allowed to make donations from the country’s public assets."

Iran's hydropower capacity to reach 5,500 mw before May, 2005

Iran's hydropower capacity to reach 5,500 mw before May, 2005: "Iran's hydropower capacity to reach 5,500 mw before May, 2005
Tehran, Dec 5, IRNA -- The deputy energy minister for water affairs said the country's current hydropower capacity is expected to reach 5,500 megawatts by the time President Khatami leaves office in May 2005, the English-language daily 'Tehran Times' wrote on Sunday.
The daily quoted Reza Ardakanian as saying that the government expects to add an extra 2.5 billion cubic meters of water to its reservoirs by the end of the current year.

Meanwhile, he added, the government is seeking alternative resources to reduce its underground water consumption during the Fourth Five-Year Development Plan.

Iran is considered a relatively dry country and the government has been trying to make up for this by improving its water resource management and encouraging lesser consumption by the public.

The country has just recovered from a devastating seven-year drought period, especially in southern areas.

Despite the huge dams that have been constructed, the government has not been able to solve the phenomenon of how several millennium-year historic sites become flooded when dam reservoirs start filling with water.

Supplies of energy and water are currently being maintained at the cost of depleting ancient regions across the country."

Iran play’s positive role in region: Saudi minister

Description of Selected News: "Iran play’s positive role in region: Saudi minister

Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN (MNA) -- The Islamic Republic of Iran and Saudi Arabia can play a significant role in efforts to establish peace and stability in the Middle East and particularly in Iraq, said Saudi Arabian Interior Minister Prince Nayef Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud said here on Friday.

Prince Nayef told the Mehr News Agency that Iran and Saudi Arabia are both determined to boost their bilateral relations, adding that Iran is an important country in the region that can play a positive role in regional developments.

He went on to say that Saudi Arabia was determined to help establish peace and security in Iraq and to safeguard the territorial integrity of the country because any kind of insecurity or instability in Iraq would have a negative impact on neighboring countries and the entire region.

He noted that Riyadh has taken some important measures to combat terrorism in response to the activities of terrorist groups that have been attempting to incite violence in Saudi Arabia, but through their tireless endeavors, the Saudi Arabian security forces have taken the measures necessary to uproot terrorism in the country.

Prince Nayef also expressed his gratitude to the Islamic Republic of Iran for organizing the recent conference of interior ministers of Iraq’s neighbors, saying it indicates that the Islamic Republic and other regional countries are concerned about the continuation of violence in Iraq.

Iran hosted a conference of interior ministers of Iraq and its neighbors on November 30 and December 1 in Tehran in which the Iraq crisis was discussed.

The interior ministers of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Iraq, and Egypt participated in the conference."

Iran rejects Egypt conspiracy accusations - (United Press International)

Iran rejects Egypt conspiracy accusations - (United Press International): "Iran rejects Egypt conspiracy accusations

Tehran, Iran, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Asafi rejected Wednesday Egyptian accusations an Iranian diplomat is involved in conspiracies against Egypt.

"These claims and accusations are mere lies," Asafi said, the Iranian News Agency, IRNA, reported.

Egyptian Public Prosecutor Maher Abdel Wahed announced Tuesday police arrested an Egyptian agent for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards recruited by an Iranian diplomat in Cairo to carry out terrorist attacks against Egypt and Saudi Arabia and to assassinate important Egyptian officials."

U.S.: Iran's WTO prospects grim - (United Press International)

U.S.: Iran's WTO prospects grim - (United Press International): "U.S.: Iran's WTO prospects grim

Washington, DC, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- The U.S. State Department said Tuesday it was backing Iraq and Afghanistan's bids to join the World Trade Organization, but there's no consensus on Iran.

The general council of the World Trade Organization meets Dec. 13-14 to consider requests by Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran to join. U.S. State Department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli said there was broad consensus in the bloc for Iraq and Afghanistan to join.

"There has historically been a lack of consensus on Iran's application for membership," he said.

The World Trade Organization decides issues through consensus only, and Ereli's comments have been U.S. policy for eight years.

The two countries have already clashed this year on Iran's nuclear program, which Washington says is being used to secretly make nuclear weapons."

Iran diplomat accused of spying in Egypt - (United Press International)

Iran diplomat accused of spying in Egypt - (United Press International): "Iran diplomat accused of spying in Egypt

Cairo, Egypt, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Egypt's Public Prosecutor Tuesday referred an Iranian diplomat and an Egyptian accomplice to trial on charges of spying against Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Maher Abdel Wahed told a news conference Mohammed Reza Dost, a diplomat at the Iranian interest office in Cairo, was referred to trial on charges of recruiting Egyptian Mohammed Eid Dabbous "to gather information for use in harming Egyptian and Saudi national interests."

He said Dost, who is currently out of Egypt, requested Dabbous "supply him with information for a foreign country to be used in harming Egypt's national interests."

"Dabbous agreed with Dost to work for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and to carry out terrorist attacks inside Egypt," Abdel Wahed said.

He said Dabbous actually supplied Dost with information and agreed with him to carry out attacks in Saudi Arabia that would lead to severing Egypt's political relations with the Saudi kingdom.

Abdel Wahed's announcement came amid reports of a rapprochement between Iran and Egypt and the possibility of re-establishing diplomatic relations.

Cairo and Tehran severed diplomatic ties after Egypt harbored the late Shah of Iran Reza Pahlavi, who was ousted by the Islamic Revolution in 1979. But the two countries opened interest representative offices seven years ago."

Iran diplomat accused of spying in Egypt - (United Press International)

Iran diplomat accused of spying in Egypt - (United Press International): "Iran diplomat accused of spying in Egypt

Cairo, Egypt, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Egypt's Public Prosecutor Tuesday referred an Iranian diplomat and an Egyptian accomplice to trial on charges of spying against Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Maher Abdel Wahed told a news conference Mohammed Reza Dost, a diplomat at the Iranian interest office in Cairo, was referred to trial on charges of recruiting Egyptian Mohammed Eid Dabbous "to gather information for use in harming Egyptian and Saudi national interests."

He said Dost, who is currently out of Egypt, requested Dabbous "supply him with information for a foreign country to be used in harming Egypt's national interests."

"Dabbous agreed with Dost to work for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and to carry out terrorist attacks inside Egypt," Abdel Wahed said.

He said Dabbous actually supplied Dost with information and agreed with him to carry out attacks in Saudi Arabia that would lead to severing Egypt's political relations with the Saudi kingdom.

Abdel Wahed's announcement came amid reports of a rapprochement between Iran and Egypt and the possibility of re-establishing diplomatic relations.

Cairo and Tehran severed diplomatic ties after Egypt harbored the late Shah of Iran Reza Pahlavi, who was ousted by the Islamic Revolution in 1979. But the two countries opened interest representative offices seven years ago."

Iran supports Free and Open Iraqi Elections

Khaleej Times Online: "Iraqi elections under threat from Iran, Jordanian, Iraqi leaders tell US daily
(AFP)

8 December 2004
WASHINGTON - Iran is trying to influence the Iraqi elections set for January 30 by coaching candidates, sending thousands of Iranians into Iraq to vote and pouring in lots of money, the Jordanian king and the Iraqi interim president told The Washington Post in interviews published on Wednesday.

“It is in Iran’s vested interest to have an Islamic republic of Iraq ... and therefore the involvement you’re getting by the Iranians is to achieve a government that is very pro-Iran,” Jordan’s King Abdullah II said.

“Unfortunately, time is proving, and the situation is proving, beyond any doubt that Iran has very obvious interference in our business -- a lot of money, a lot of intelligence activities and almost interfering daily ... especially in the southeast side of Iraq,” President Ghazi al-Yawar said.

Both leaders were in Washington and met with US President George W. Bush on Monday.

The Iraqi leaders said Iran was coaching candidates and political parties sympathetic to Tehran and pouring “huge amounts of money” into the Iraqi campaign to produce a Shiite-dominated government.

The Jordanian monarch said the Iranian government had encouraged more than one million Iranians to cross into Iraq, many with the objective of voting in the upcoming elections.

“I’m sure there’s a lot of people, a lot of Iranians in there that will be used as part of the polls to influence the outcome,” Abdullah said.

The king also said Iran was providing salaries and welfare to unemployed Iraqis to build pro-Iranian public sentiment.

He warned that if a pro-Iranian government were elected in Iraq, a new “crescent” of dominant Shiite movements or governments could emerge stretching from Iran to Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, altering the traditional balance of power between the two main Islamic sects, Shiites and Sunnis.

“If Iraq goes Islamic republic, then, yes, we’ve opened ourselves to a whole set of new problems that will not be limited to the borders of Iraq,” said Abdullah.

“I’m looking at the glass half-full, and let’s hope that’s not the case. But strategic planners around the world have got to be aware that is a possibility,” he added."

Seven drug traffickers hanged publicly in Iran

IranMania News: "Seven drug traffickers hanged publicly in Iran

Wednesday, December 08, 2004 - ©2004 IranMania.com

LONDON, Dec 8 (IranMania) - Seven drug traffickers were hanged publicly on Tuesday in a park in the southeastern Iranian city of Zahedan, according to the Kayhan evening newspaper.

The paper said the men had been found guilty of involvement in international narcotics trafficking and attacks on security forces. They were hanged in Zahedan's Laleh Park.

Zahedan, the capital of Sistan-Baluchestan province, is on one of the main international heroin smuggling routes and close to Iran's border with Afghanistan and Pakistan and At least 94 people have been executed in Iran this year, according to reports in Iran's main newspapers and other media monitored by AFP.

According to 'Amnesty International' report, at least 108 executions took place in 2003 and 113 in 2002.

Murder, armed robbery, rape, apostasy and serious drug trafficking are all punishable by death in Iran."