Iran to Mull New Bill on Secret Service
The government of Iranian President Mohammad Khatami on Sunday presented parliament with an amendment to the law governing the secret service, parliamentary sources told AFP.
No other details were immediately available although the afternoon Kayhan paper said the amendment focussed on the law creating the intelligence ministry, which has been under heavy criticism from reformists.
The sources said the amendment had been put forward at the close of Sunday's business and would be debated by the reform-majority legislature in future sessions.
Reformists have been highly critical of the ministry since a network of "rogue" intelligence agents was blamed for the shock 1998 assassinations of five leading dissidents and intellectuals.
The ministry acknowledged that some of its agents had been involved but denied that any top official was involved. The trial of the suspects, eight of whom have already been released for lack of evidence, begins next month.
Progressive opposition figures say other intellectuals and academics were killed around the same time under murky circumstances.
The ministry is also suspected of having considerable commercial operations outside the country. Khatami in 1998 personally banned it from taking part in any commercial activity -- TEHRAN (AFP)
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