No. 1317
Friday, January 28, 2000
Representative Office of
The National  Council of Resistance of Iran
Washington, DC

Political Murders Continue in Iran, Iran Zamin News Agency, January 27

In continuation of political murders by the mullahs' regime, government-controlled newspapers have in recent days reported a series of similar killings. The daily Hamshahri wrote on January 24: "Two artists from Khorassan province, Reza Zia'i-nia, 24, and Hadi Taqi-zadeh, 25, died in their rented house in Tehran... The cause of death was reported to have been suffocation." Hamshahri described the two as "dissident artists."

Two months ago, two actresses, Ronak Salavati, 26, and Bijaneh Ghabelou, 30, from the Kurdish city of Sanandaj were found murdered in the their house west of Tehran

The state-controlled Sobh-e Emrouz also wrote on January 24: "Mehdi Khani-pour, who was studying health at Sabzevar's Azad University, was attacked at his residence and died at the hospital because of his wounds. The three assailants entered his house and stabbed him to death."

By committing these murders, carried out in a manner similar to the political killings last year, the Iranian regime is trying to intimidate and terrorize the public, particularly after the rise in popular demonstrations and protests across the country.

Mullahs' Regime Hangs Two Women, One Man, Reuters, January 27

TEHRAN - Iran has hanged a woman for killing a prison warden during an escape attempt and a woman and her companion for the murder of her husband, newspapers reported on Thursday.

The daily Entekhab said Masoumeh Fathi was hanged in the northwestern city of Tabriz on Wednesday after the Supreme Court upheld her death sentence for murdering a female prison warden while trying to escape together with five other inmates two years ago.

The daily Hamshahri said a woman identified only as Alieh and a male companion, Farhang Moradi, were hanged in Kermanshah, western Iran, for the murder of her husband.

Alieh's children were present in the prison grounds to watch their mother and her friend die for their father's murder, the newspaper said.

Top Mullah Claims CIA Infiltrated Government, Agence France Presse, January 27

TEHRAN - A leading Iranian theologian, Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Mesbah-Yazdi, has accused the US Central Intelligence Agency of infiltrating the government, a press report said Thursday.

Mesbah-Yazdi, ideologue of the religious conservatives hostile to Mohammad Khatami, claimed that an unnamed former CIA chief had visited Iran with a suitcase stuffed with dollars to pay opinion-formers, the daily Asr-e Azardegan said.

"What is dangerous is that agents of the enemy, the CIA, have infiltrated the government and the cultural services," he was quoted as saying in the holy city of Qom Tuesday.

On top of its official budget for Iran, the CIA had given "hundreds of millions de dollars to our cultural officials and journalists," he added.

"The former head of the CIA recently came here as a tourist with a suitcase full of dollars for our cultural centres and certain newspapers. He made contact with various newspaper chiefs and gave them dollars."

Mesbah-Yazdi, who is particularly hostile to Culture Minister Ataollah Mohajerani, also alleged that the "CIA invites our journalists to the United States to brain-wash them." "Some officials of the Islamic republic encourage such invitations."

New CIA Iran Assessment Sows Concern, Confusion, Reuters, January 26

LONDON - The Central Intelligence Agency has sown confusion among United States policymakers and irked some allies by saying it can no longer rule out the possibility that Iran may be able to make a nuclear weapon.

A new assessment, first reported by the New York Times, says the CIA is not sure Iran actually has atomic weapons now, but it cannot track with certainty Iranian efforts to acquire nuclear technology on the international black market, notably from the former Soviet Union.

The CIA finding was leaked at a sensitive time in both U.S. and Iranian politics.

A more pessimistic assessment of Iran's nuclear program could also provide ammunition for those in Congress who oppose any easing of U.S. economic sanctions against Tehran.

U.S. officials say Tehran has tried assiduously to recruit nuclear weapons scientists and acquire know-how and materials from the former Soviet Union. It is also suspected of buying long-range missile technology from North Korea and Russia for the 1,300-km (800 mile) Shehab-3 missile it tested in 1998.

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