In Brief

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Iran Focus:
Weekly sheds new light on Iranian involvement in French hostage taking
Jordan’s Foreign Minister again accuses Iran of role in instability in Iraq
Majlis deputies receive $1,000 each Iran Focus

Weekly sheds new light on Iranian involvement in French hostage taking
Canard Enchaîne wrote in its final December issue “An Iranian minister came from Tehran to Paris with a message from President Khatami to announce to Chirac that the two hostages will be freed by the end of 2004”. Shedding new light on Iran’s involvement in the kidnapping of two French journalists in Iraq, the weekly added, “The envoy accompanied by Sadeq Kharrazi, the Islamic Republic’s Ambassador to Paris, met with the French Interior minister in mid-December. Shortly afterwards, Chirac privately met with the envoy, where he gave him the good news. Iran’s Hezbollah agents in Lebanon played a significant role in this case”.

Jordan’s Foreign Minister again accuses Iran of role in instability in Iraq
Jordan’s Foreign Minister accused Iran of meddling in Iraq’s affairs. Hani Al-Molghi said that Iran is trying to influence the Iraqi election. “The establishment of a pro-Iran religious Shiite regime in Iraq will upset the existing balance in the Middle East and will not be in the interest of the people of Iraq”, he said Wednesday.

Majlis deputies receive $1,000 each
An Iranian state-run news agency, ILNA wrote that the Majlis (parliament) Speaker had deposited 10 million rials into the bank accounts of all the current Majlis deputies. The ten-million-rial bonus was justified as “The Majlis speaker’s compensation for the costs involved in being a Majlis deputy”.

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