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To: AdmSmith
CONSERVATIVE IRANIAN PARLIAMENTARIAN DISMISSIVE OF 'TWIN BILLS.'

Boin-Zahra parliamentary representative Qodratollah Alikhani, who is a member of the conservative Tehran Militant Clergy Association (Jameh-yi Ruhaniyat-i Mubarez-i Tehran), said the executive branch's "twin bills" will get nowhere, "Resalat" reported on 16 September. These are two pieces of legislation introduced last September that would reduce the Guardians Council's ability to eliminate candidates for elected office and increase the president's powers vis-a-vis other branches of government. The Guardians Council, which must approve all legislation on constitutional and religious grounds, has already rejected the bills several times. Alikhani dismissed reports that the conservative political faction is willing to compromise. The conservative faction "will never be prepared to accept and approve the twin bills," he said. "The twin-bills question is not a small matter that can be resolved through negotiation and talks, since the principal leaders and decision makers have already repeatedly tried to hold talks without achieving any result." As a result, Alikhani said, "the issue of a compromise over the bills and the possibility of their approval is completely ruled out." Nevertheless, he predicted, there will be enthusiastic public participation in the upcoming parliamentary election. BS

Source: RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 7, No. 177, Part III, 17 September 2003
20 posted on 09/17/2003 10:12:32 AM PDT by AdmSmith
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To: AdmSmith
IRANIAN POLITICAL PRISONERS' SUPPORTERS STAGE HUNGER STRIKE.

Relatives and supporters of Iranian political prisoners ended a hunger strike on 15 September (reports did not specify when the prisoners' supporters started their hunger strike) with a meeting at the central office of the reformist Islamic Iran Participation Party (IIPP), ISNA reported on 16 September. In addition to the families of Abbas Abdi, Hashem Aghajari, Said Razavi-Faqih, and Mohsen Sazgara, senior figures in the IIPP and the mujahedin of the Islamic Revolution Organization were present at the meeting. Deputy Speaker of Parliament and IIPP Secretary-General Mohammad Reza Khatami expressed concern about the prisoners' health and the situation in the country's prisons, and he suggested that the killing of Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi while she was in custody is indicative of this situation. Reformist cleric Mohsen Kadivar called for the unconditional release of the prisoners and described the meeting as a protest against the judiciary's method of operating. National-religious activist Ezatollah Sahabi described fasting as a symbolic way of giving hope to the prisoners. BS

Source: RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 7, No. 177, Part III, 17 September 2003
21 posted on 09/17/2003 10:13:12 AM PDT by AdmSmith
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