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Archive for the ‘1999-2002 from Middle East’ Category

Protests in Tehran Over Death Sentencing of a Reformist Scholar

November 13, 2002 Leave a comment

Interview: Guy Dinmore Discusses Recent Student Protests in Tehran Over Death Sentencing of a Reformist Scholar

All Things Considered, Monday: November 13, 2002 – Listen to the interview

LYNN NEARY, host:

Student protests are growing in Iran. It’s the fifth day of demonstrations against a death sentence imposed on a reformist scholar. Several thousand people protested today in Tehran. Many carried a portrait of the scholar, Hashem Aghajari, who is closely associated with President Mohammed Khatemi. Aghajari was sentenced to death for a speech he made last summer challenging the rule of hard-line clerics. Guy Dinmore has been covering the demonstrations for The Financial Times.

Mr. GUY DINMORE (The Financial Times): Well, today the main rally was held inside the Amirkabir University in central Tehran, which is probably known as the most radical of the universities. And there was a range of speakers protesting against the death penalty that’s been handed out to the history lecturer, Hashem Aghajari. And the students are now openly demanding his release from prison. Read more…

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Iran says Afghan opium yield increasing

October 14, 2002 Leave a comment

by Guy Dinmore in Tehran
Published: October 14 2002

A new wave of drugs is flowing towards Europe through Iran and Pakistan because of the international community’s failure to deal with the root of the problem in Afghanistan, a narcotics conference in Tehran was told on Monday.

Ali Hashemi, head of Iran’s anti-narcotics headquarters, told the Financial Times that estimates of this year’s opium harvest in Afghanistan ranged from 3,500 to 4,000 tonnes, close to the record crop of 4,600 tonnes in 1999. Afghanistan’s poppy fields provide 90 per cent of the heroin that reaches Europe, mostly transiting Iran. Read more…

Swimming against the tide

August 1, 2002 Leave a comment

Swimming against the tide: Iran’s central bank governor is facing his toughest challenge yet–taking banking into the private arena.

Article from: The Banker
Article date: August 1, 2002
Author: Dinmore, Guy ; Ostrovsky, Arkady

It has been an eventful year for Mohsen Nourbakhsh, governor of Iran’s central bank. Overcoming internal opposition as well as Washington’s hostility the US-educated banker last month steered the Islamic republic into international capital markets for the first time since the 1979 revolution, with its debut Eurobond.

The successful [euro]500m issue followed a more important development for Iran’s domestic economy however. With the start of the Persian New Year on March 21, Iran scrapped the two-tier exchange rate for the rial and established what Bank Markazi (the central bank) describes as a “managed float” system, with the national currency effectively pegged to the US dollar. Read more…

Death by stoning defended by Iran

July 8, 2002 Leave a comment

by Guy Dinmore in Tehran
Published: July 8 2002

Zahra Shojaei, Iran’s presidential adviser on women’s issues, has defended the practice of stoning women to death for the crime of adultery, saying the punishment is correct under Islamic sharia law and protects the institution of the family.

Mrs Shojaei made the remarks in a meeting last week with Laurette Onkelinx, Belgium’s deputy prime minister, who raised the issue of human rights amid unconfirmed reports that at least two women are on death row in Iran facing execution by stoning. “The ruling on stoning has been made with the aim of safeguarding the inviolability of the family,” Mrs Shojaei said at their meeting, attended by Iranian journalists. Read more…

UN deal leaves Iraq Kurds at Baghdad’s mercy

July 6, 2002 Leave a comment

by Guy Dinmore in Northern Iraq and carola Hoyos, United Nations correspondent

PUBLISHED: JULY 6 2002

In theory, the Kurds of northern Iraq have never had it so good, effectively independent from Baghdad and guaranteed a substantial slice of the country’s oil income under the United Nations oil-for-food programme. The reality is rather different.

Zhiyan Ahmad Abdullah fights a daily battle with shortages of basic supplies as director of the main maternity hospital in Sulaimani, one of the two regional capitals controlled by rival Kurdish factions.

”We have many, many problems,” she says in despair, having to cope with nearly 30 deliveries a day. ”Each month we get 1,000 pairs of gloves, at best 2,000. But we need 10,000, so we have to re-use them.” The same shortages apply to drugs for delivery, blood-bags and blood-testing equipment.

Read more…

UN DEAL LEAVES IRAQ KURDS AT BAGHDAD’S MERCY

July 6, 2002 Leave a comment

BY GUY DINMORE IN NORTHERN IRAQ AND CAROLA HOYOS, UNITED NATIONS CORRESPONDENT, FINANCIAL TIMES

PUBLISHED: JULY 6 2002

In theory, the Kurds of northern Iraq have never had it so good, effectively independent from Baghdad and guaranteed a substantial slice of the country’s oil income under the United Nations oil-for-food programme. The reality is rather different.

Zhiyan Ahmad Abdullah fights a daily battle with shortages of basic supplies as director of the main maternity hospital in Sulaimani, one of the two regional capitals controlled by rival Kurdish factions. ”We have many, many problems,” she says in despair, having to cope with nearly 30 deliveries a day. ”Each month we get 1,000 pairs of gloves, at best 2,000. But we need 10,000, so we have to re-use them.” Read more…

The Enduring Pain of Halabja

July 2, 2002 1 comment

By Guy Dinmore
July 10, 2002

“We could smell something strange like apples,” recalls Aras Abed Akra. “Down in our shelter we felt short of breath. A soldier went out and next door he saw that the caged birds of our neighbour were all dead.”

Gently prompted by a doctor to relive his experiences as a form of therapy, Mr Akra slowly describes the events of March 1988, when Iraqi jets bombed the northern Kurdish town of Halabja, the most devastating poison gas attack on a civilian population in history. Read more…