Tehran Considers Amnesty for Iranians Abroad
Iran's parliament will consider a proposal to give amnesty to Iranians who left the country because of the 1979 Islamic revolution, the Tehran press reported Monday.
"All Iranians who left the country after the revolution and who have never returned for fear of being tried for their political or social activities would profit from this measure," the proposed bill says, according to the press.
But the bill makes an exception for those "who have attempted terrorist acts," a clear reference to the People's Mujahadeen, an armed Iranian opposition group based in Iraq.
The proposal, which will be placed on the parliament's agenda in an upcoming session, is sponsored by some 40 members of parliament. A chief advocate for the bill has been Bahaeddin Adab, a conservative deputy from the Kurdish northwest.
In the past few months Iran has been looking for ways to lure back wealthy Iranian exiles who can contribute to the rebuilding of the country's struggling economy.
More than two million Iranians, many of them western-educated specialists opposed to Islamic Iran's strict social codes, left after 1979 for Europe or North America.
So far few of them have responded to Tehran's calls for their return, although many exiles were heartened by the 1997 election of reformist President Mohammad Khatami, who regularly calls on Iranians abroad to keep in contact with their native country -- TEHRAN(AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)