Article 3 of Iran’s constitution says that the Islamic Republic “has the duty of directing all its resources” to several goals, the sixteenth of which is “fraternal commitment to all Muslims, and unsparing support to the freedom fighters of the world.” In practical terms, this has resulted in Iranian support for individuals and organizations that conducted terrorist actions from Beirut to Bosnia to Buenos Aires from the 1980s to the mid-1990s.
Iran was the primary state sponsor of movements using terrorism to further their political goals, particularly the creation of governments modeled on the Islamic Republic’s own. Their actions ranged from kidnapping Westerners to bombing facilities linked with Western countries. Israel and Jewish facilities and individuals were favorite targets, too. In addition, Tehran’s agents assassinated dissident Iranian exiles and individuals identified with the former monarchy. There have been far fewer such assassinations (domestic dissidents are the preferred targets now) recently, and the kidnappings have ended, but the U.S. government believes that there is solid evidence of an Iranian hand in the 1996 bombing that killed 19 American servicemen in Saudi Arabia. And Iran still supports the activities of groups like Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hamas and Hizballah.
In terms of commitment to other so-called “freedom fighters,” however, Tehran has become a shadow of its former self. And as the leader of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Iran has shown itself to be a selective defender of the faith. Official Iranian reactions to the war in Chechnya, when compared to reactions in Islamic countries, religious establishments and international organizations, demonstrate this amply. Tehran’s reaction does not even reflect the sentiments of Iranian religious figures or the Iranian media. In fact, Tehran seems to be sacrificing the Chechen people to its access to Russian nuclear technology and military goods. Furthermore, Tehran’s actions reflect the fear that ethnic minorities in Iran might express the separatist tendencies espoused by the Chechens.
TEHRAN’S OFFICIAL REACTION
Russian armed forces entered Chechnya on September 30, a week after the federal air force started bombing the Chechen capital, Grozny. Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, in a message to his Russian counterpart, Igor Ivanov, said that the situation was Russia’s internal affair. Kharrazi also “confirmed Tehran’s readiness to undertake effective collaboration in the struggle against terrorists to destabilize the situation in Russia.”1
Tehran worked up its courage and spoke out as the conflict escalated. Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Assefi said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran, while honoring territorial integrity, does not regard violent and hostile acts as a suitable way of dealing with recent incidents in Chechnya and Daghestan.”2 Assefi added, “The government and people of Iran cannot but deplore the continued armed operation by the Russian troops on the Northern Caucasus.”3 That was the extent of unilateral official Iranian condemnation of Russian actions.
The Iranian deputy parliamentary speaker and Supreme National Security Council secretary, Hassan Rohani, visited Moscow January 11-15. Beforehand, the Russian Foreign Ministry had stressed that it “accepts the balanced position of the Iranian leadership on the issue of Chechnya.”4 And even after General Victor Kazantsev said all Chechen males aged 10 to 60 would be taken to a “filtration camp,” the Iranian position remained unchanged.
Iran appeared to take a sterner stance towards the end of January. That was when Kharrazi told visiting Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin that “continuation of the war and bloodshed is a catastrophe unacceptable to the Islamic world, and it would bring an unpleasant picture from Russia to the region and the Muslim world.”5 Moscow did not take this as a criticism. Karasin said, “The Iranian leadership is well aware of the entire complexity of this struggle, particularly after a link between the Chechen terrorists and Afghan Taliban has manifested itself.”6 After a visit to Tehran nine months later, Russian Security Council Secretary Sergei Ivanov indicated Moscow’s continuing appreciation of Iran’s “constructive and level-headed approach.”7
TEHRAN’S MULTILATERAL APPROACH
International opinion is important to Moscow. The Islamic world’s opinion is particularly important, because the Russian Federation is home to an estimated 20 million Muslims. The appearance that Iran, as the current leader of the OIC, approves Moscow’s activities is, therefore, appreciated. And indeed, what better leader of the Islamic community than an Iran that behaves much as a close and subservient ally? At a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, Kharrazi suggested that Iran lead an OIC delegation to Moscow for discussions about the conflict.8 He also asked that Iran be permitted to send humanitarian aid for Chechen refugees. After that, Tehran approached the Chechnya issue only through a multilateral and humanitarian perspective.
A delegation from the OIC arrived in Moscow as the Russian military dropped leaflets on Grozny warning residents that they would be considered terrorists and would face destruction from massive artillery and air attacks unless they evacuated the city. Kharrazi announced, on arriving in Moscow, “The Chechen crisis is a domestic Russian problem, but in view of the concerns expressed by the Islamic world over this continuing crisis, we hope to be able to address the problem of the refugees in our meetings with senior Russian officials.”9 The next day, Kharrazi said that “the meetings provided a suitable opportunity for conveying the concerns of the Islamic world to Russian officials.”10 He added: “The OIC considers the issue of Chechnya as one which falls within the framework of Russia’s territorial integrity and internal affairs.”11
The OIC communiqué seemed more critical.12 It said that the OIC “considered the military operations to be disproportionate,” and “aggravation of the situation [hindered] long-term peace and stability.” The communiqué went on to say that the following items “need to be considered”: an end to military operations, the release of prisoners and hostages, dialog and negotiation, reinvigoration of the accord that ended the 1996 war, return of refugees and displaced persons, a general amnesty, and reconstruction of Chechnya.
Aleksei Malashenko of the Moscow Center, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty that the OIC statement was sufficiently mild for Russia. “[Russia] understands very well that its geopolitical future depends a lot on [its relations with Muslim countries]. And the Islamic countries themselves are maintaining respectful relations with Russia. [The OIC visit and these factors], all of this, plays into Russia’s hands and breaks through the wall of condemnation that is surrounding Russia’s position regarding Chechnya.”
In its role as head of the OIC, Iran later offered to act as a mediator in the conflict, although Russia did not accept the offer. Foreign Minister Kharrazi explained in March 2000, “The OIC is ready to continue its efforts and believes it is its duty to find a political solution to this crisis. If the Russians accept, we are ready to make moves toward that end.”13 Later in March, Russian Minister for Federation and Nationality Affairs Alexander Blokhin went to Tehran because, in his words, Iran’s understanding of the Caucasus situation was “essential.” Iran’s offer to mediate the conflict, however, never arose. Blokhin said, “Iran’s mediation was not under review since it is Tehran’s firm position that the events in Chechnya are Russia’s internal affair.”14
ISLAMIC COMMUNITY REACTIONS
Moscow may be satisfied with Tehran’s position on Chechnya, but other observers are not. Chechen field commander Shamil Basayev questioned Iranian statements that the war was Russia’s “internal affair.”15 In an open letter to the Iranian leadership, Basayev asked, “is this what the great Imam Khomeini bequeathed to you?” “Since when have the infidels become closer to you than the Muslims?” “Who released you from Jihad?” “Why is the murder of Muslims an internal affair for the infidels?” “If Ichkeria [Chechnya] is Russia’s internal affair, why is Iran not the U.S.A.’s internal affair?” “Is it not better to be terrorists in the eyes of the infidels than hypocrites in the eyes of God?” “Iran is the closest neighbor of the Caucasus and Chechnya. Is it not your direct duty before God . . . in accordance with Sharia, to take part in Jihad and support the Muslims waging war for Islam?”
During a stop in Pakistan, Chechen official Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev said that he was visiting Muslim countries to request assistance for his government. He would not visit Iran, however, because “Iran is playing the role of the agent of Russia. It is helping the Russians against the Chechen people.”16 Subsequently, “reliable sources” claimed that the Iranian consulate in Karachi rejected Yandarbiyev’s visa request.17 Yandarbiyev went on to accuse Iran of “having betrayed the interests of the Muslim world” because it would not support the Chechen cause, and he said that “all the Muslim countries should participate in the Chechen jihad, rendering it both military and humanitarian support.”18
Some of the sharpest criticism came in an editorial in Al-Sharq al-Awsat, an influential Saudi owned London daily whose editorials reflect official Saudi foreign-policy views.19 By saying that the conflict is an internal Russian affair, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi is guilty of “stabbing the Chechen Republic in the back.” As for the OIC trip to Moscow to review the humanitarian situation, the editorial said, it was timid and Kharrazi should have stayed home.
Sheikh Subih Tufaili, founder of Lebanon’s “Revolution of the Hungry” and formerly a Hizballah official, also expressed strong disapproval. Tufaili addressed the issue by sending a message to “the resistance fighters and their supporters, ‘particularly our people in Chechnya, who are being killed and exterminated before the eyes and the ears of all the peoples in the world, and we do not hear any word or protest or objection, not even from the Arab and Islamic capitals.’”20 The U.K.’s Al-Muhajiroun condemned the Iranian regime’s list of “crimes perpetrated against divine law,” including its failure to support Muslims in Chechnya.21
Commentary from other sources in the Islamic community was gentler with Tehran, but it was very critical of Russia. Allahshukur Pashazade, head of the Spiritual Board of Muslims of the Caucasus, said that despite Russian statements to the contrary, “from the very beginning up to now the Russian empire has been against the Muslim religion and Muslims.”22 Pashazade also said that the Russian government and media are equating Islam and the Chechen nation to terrorism.23
The Cairo-based World Islamic Council for Call and Relief condemned what it called Russian troops’ “use of Chechen civilians as human shields in Grozny,” and it appealed to Muslim countries and major powers to help bring about a halt to the fighting.24 Egyptian Islamic scholar Sheikh Yusuf AlQaradawi urged Arab and Muslim countries to expel their Russian ambassadors and to recall their own ambassadors from Moscow.25 Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Musa commented on Chechnya after a January meeting with Kharrazi in Davos. In what can be interpreted as a criticism of Iranian leadership of the OIC, Musa said, “In the future meeting of the OIC foreign ministers, top priority should be given to the Chechnya crisis, and it is essential that the Islamic states adopt united stances on this issue.”26 Also, Usamah al-Baz, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s political adviser, “emphasized that the method of deploring and condemning aggression was not the ideal treatment of the tragedy of the Chechen people.”27
Afghan state radio said, “The Muslim country of Chechnya ... is subject to fierce attacks by the barbaric Russians… The Russians…cannot tolerate the independence of the Muslim people of Chechnya.”28 Kabul officially recognized the government of Chechnya in mid-January, and Taliban Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmad Motawakkil urged the rest of the Islamic community to do the same.29 Regarding inaction on behalf of the Muslim community, an Islamabad daily commented, “It is not justifiable for the Islamic countries to turn their back on the Chechen nation in the name of their international expediencies. Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates should launch a combined campaign to convince other Muslim countries to recognize Chechnya’s independence.”30
Mecca’s Muslim World League denounced the bombing of Grozny and said Russian forces were using civilians as human shields.31 Arab League Secretary General Esmat Abdel Meguid called for a halt to the Russian invasion and said, “An urgent political settlement to the Chechen crisis must be reached.”32
Iranian religious leaders and organizations have expressed unhappiness about the conflict and about their government’s reaction to it. A number of “religious figures of Iran” sent a demand to President Mohammad Khatami to outline the government’s Chechnya policy.33 Friday prayer leader Ayatollah Ebrahim AminiNajafabadi also voiced concern about the Muslim stand towards the North Caucasus. He said “We are witnessing the onslaught of Moscow’s Red Army on the Chechen Muslims. This is very distressing. Unfortunately, the Muslims are silent, and the Organization of the Islamic Conference is not performing as it should.”34
Friday prayer leader Ayatollah Abdul Vaez-Javadi-Amoli criticized Russian conduct, too.35 Javadi-Amoli said: “Finally, the Red Army should understand that it has failed. It should end the killing of innocent people, particularly Muslims in Chechnya; otherwise it will find itself in a worse situation.” He continued: “[Russia] will be destroyed and disgraced if it continues with the killing of the innocent Muslims in Chechnya.” After the Friday prayers in Tehran, a demonstration was held in front of the Russian Embassy and a protest letter was submitted to the ambassador. The letter said, “We condemn the savage killings of defenseless people of Chechnya.”36
The grandson of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of Iran’s Islamic revolution, also voiced support for Chechnya. Seyyed Hassan Khomeini said, “We pray for the success of the freedom fighters of . . . Chechnya . . . who are laying down their lives for the cause of Islam and Muslims.”37
Iran’s semi-governmental Islamic Propagation Organization “condemned the massacre of civilians” in Grozny.38 The IPO called on international organizations and Islamic governments to “make efforts to prevent the massacre of Muslims” and help achieve a peaceful settlement. The IPO urged the Iranian government to pressure Russia to accept a cease-fire and enter negotiations, and it criticized the international community’s silence on “Russian crimes in Chechnya.”
IRANIAN MEDIA REACTIONS
The Iranian government is taking a very mild approach to the conflict and to Russian activities. Many Iranian publications, reflecting popular sentiments, are much more disapproving. They have criticized Russia, the OIC and their own government.
“Moscow officials should . . . adopt modern methods in dealing with the situation,” an October editorial in Kayhan International – which is connected with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s office – advised.39 Two weeks later, Kayhan International condemned the Russian military campaign and urged the international community and particularly the Islamic community to press Moscow to stop its military campaign.40 “No influential Islamic state has yet told Russia that the carnage has gone too far,” the daily complained the next week.41
After Deputy Foreign Minister Mohsen Aminzadeh’s late-October trip to Moscow, the English-language Tehran Times asked, “Did he really try to persuade the Russian officials to seek peaceful solutions to the Chechen crisis and stop the carnage of the innocent civilians?”42 This daily, which is affiliated with the Islamic Propagation Organization, said it was against the disintegration of the Russian Federation, because this would undermine Third-World countries and “shift the balance of power in favor of the United States.” By alienating its Muslim population, however, the Russian government was only playing into “the diabolic plots to dismember the federation [that] have been hatched by the United States.” The Tehran Times urged the Iranian Foreign Ministry to help resolve the dispute so that Iran’s regional efforts will not be considered a “paralyzed diplomacy.”
An editorial in the moderate Asr-i Azadegan said Iranian policy towards the Chechen conflict was “cold and indifferent.”43 It noted that Muslim Chechens are wondering about the silence of their Iranian brothers and sisters. The paper suggested that Iran’s silence on a matter so close to home is odd, especially in comparison to its actions during the Bosnian conflict, which was farther away. A commentary in the hardline Jebheh noted that the Iranian constitution calls for helping the world’s Muslims and advised that “Our country’s Foreign Ministry should abandon its reactive and defensive posture and do all in its power to somehow prevent Russia from fighting the Chechen Muslims.”44 President Khatami, furthermore, was urged to “do his best to make the ignorant and inept leaders of Moscow fearful of consequences of continuing their hostile policies towards Chechnya.”
The hardline Jomhuri-yi Islami described the “savage massacre by the Russians in Chechnya” and the “atrocities against the Chechen Muslims.”45 It went on to say that the Russian Federation’s acting president, Vladimir Putin, was the “executioner of Chechnya” and responsible for the “complete and multi-faceted suppression of Chechen Muslims.” Iran News announced “credible reports of Russian atrocities.”46 Resalat, which is connected with the bazaar, referred to the “massacre of the Muslims in the independence-seeking Republic of Chechnya.”47 Kayhan International reported that Putin is prolonging the war because he fears a defeat will harm his March election bid.48 Even state television said that the war was evolving from “a blitzkrieg to a war of attrition.”49
Russia’s official news agency did not interpret such reports as a criticism of Russian conduct. It reported in late January that “Iran’s leading news media approves of the stance on the Chechnya problem taken by the Iranian authorities.”50 Referring to the Iranian newspapers, Moscow’s Kommersant suggested that Tehran, like Moscow, is interested in opposing “militant Wahhabites and organized international terrorists.”51
Yet criticism of Moscow’s activities and the OIC’s inactivity continued to appear in the Tehran media. Kayhan International noted that “the United Nations and other world bodies, including the Organization of the Islamic Conference, are being questioned over their seemingly [sic] indifference on the human catastrophe in Chechnya.”52 The daily opined, “Moscow has to end the war. It should realize the truth that the world, particularly the Muslim world, cannot afford to remain indifferent to the atrocities of Russian troops against the defenseless and innocent civilians in Chechnya.” By the end of February, however, the Iranian media had shifted its attention elsewhere.
Despite toeing Moscow’s line, Tehran’s reputation as a supporter of revolutionary organizations continues to haunt it. A Russian Defense Ministry press officer said that the Chechens are trying to organize “arms deliveries from Iran.”53 A Russian daily reported that Chechen official Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev is getting weapons from an Iranian firm in Kuwait.54 According to another report, senior members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps met with “two senior Chechen rebels representing the Chechen warlord [Emir] Khattab” in October.55 The Chechens reportedly asked for SAM-7 anti-aircraft missiles and Iranian-made anti-tank missiles.
Georgia and Azerbaijan stopped issuing visas to citizens of 21 countries (including Iran), and trucks coming to Daghestan from Iran through Azerbaijan were turned back, probably in reaction to Russian pressure. In spite of this, and in an attempt to justify the Russian military’s inability to defeat the Chechen guerrillas, Russian accusations persisted. The press center of the Russian Eastern Group of Federal Forces reported that “emissaries sent by [rebel field commander Shamil] Basayev and [rebel leader Movladi] Udugov are continuing to recruit mercenaries in the Near East. In the past week alone about 200 citizens of Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have arrived in Chechnya… [as have] several citizens of Ukraine and Pakistan.”56 The Iranian embassy in Moscow called these reports a “flagrant lie,” saying: “Iran has expressed its respect for Russia’s territorial integrity on many occasions and views the Chechen problem as Russia’s internal affair.”57
Accusations that Iranians were trying to join the Chechen combatants continued during most of 2000. Several Iranians were detained by Russian forces for traveling on false documents and were investigated for possible links with the Chechens.58 Groups of Naqshbandi Sufis and Kaderia Sufis from Iran were accused of supporting the Chechens against Russian forces.59
There also was a report that Lebanon’s Hizballah, which is supported by Tehran, was involved in the Chechen conflict. Lebanese officials supposedly learned that many operatives of Hizballah official Imad Mughniyah were going to Chechnya to fight and provide training, and Chechen commanders have visited Hizballah facilities in the Bekaa Valley.60 The report went on to say that Mughniyah is in contact with the Saudi-born terrorist Osama bin Laden, and unnamed “Western intelligence experts” are concerned that these two will work together to aid the Chechens.
Meanwhile, Iranian aid for Chechen refugees continues to flow, via airplanes into Daghestan and trucks through Georgia. Also, the Imam Khomeini Assistance Committee launched a charity appeal for aid donations for the refugees on January 20. Al-Sharq al-Awsat, however, said the Russian Federation is diverting the aid to people other than the Chechen refugees.61
Tehran has not stopped its support for organizations that use terror and violence in other parts of the world. It still provides financial, political and military aid for Lebanon’s Hizballah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the People’s Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command and the Kurdistan Workers party (PKK). But doing so has only harmed Tehran-Washington and Tehran-Tel Aviv relations. European countries persist in the belief that engagement (which has been going on for quite a few years) will persuade Iran to alter its behavior.
For that matter, the Chechens being killed by Russian forces are not terrorists, nor do they use terrorist tactics against civilian targets. They do not even see their conflict in primarily religious terms. Chechnya, however, is much closer geographically to Iran, and supporting the Chechens will hurt Tehran’s relationship with Moscow.
For Tehran, the relationship with Moscow is irreplaceable in several ways. Russian institutions are supporting Iran’s missile-development program, either directly by supplying parts, or indirectly by supplying know-how. Russian firms are building the Bushehr nuclear power station in Iran; Russian scientists and engineers are working there, and Iranian scientists and engineers are being trained in Russia. Iran also is a market for Russian military supplies. The Iranian arsenal already includes Russian weapons, such as T-72 tanks, armored personnel carriers, self-propelled howitzers, Multiple Rocket Launchers, MiG-29 (Fulcrum) and Su-24 (Fencer) aircraft, and Kilo-class submarines. Most of these items (except for the submarines), and most likely some new ones, have seen service in Chechnya. A Russian newspaper remarked, “Cynical as it may sound, Chechnya is a kind of storefront for prospective foreign customers.”62
Russia and Iran engage in other types of trade, but it is not very significant. The top purchasers of Iranian exports (mainly oil) are Japan, Italy, France, Germany and Holland. The top exporters to Iran are Germany, Japan, Italy, France and the United Kingdom.
The issue of territorial integrity also concerns Tehran, because it is home to minorities that have, at various times, expressed separatist sentiments or demanded their constitutionally guaranteed linguistic and cultural rights. Among these groups are Azeris in the northwest, Kurds in the west, Arabs in the south, Baluchis in the southeast and Turkmen in the northeast. Iranian Defense Ministry official Alireza Akbari commented that Moscow’s actions in Chechnya were aimed at preserving territorial integrity. “A victory for the separatist trends promoted by leaders of Chechen armed groups would trigger a domino effect in the region – the issue of territorial integrity of other countries in the region would arise,” Akbari warned.63
A hardline Tehran weekly warned that “Iran’s failure to pay serious attention to the Chechen problem will bring shame to our country before the eyes of the world of Islam and the revered Prophet of Islam.”64 Indeed, Tehran’s behavior can be denounced as cold, hypocritical and cynical. It is also a violation of its constitutional and revolutionary commitments. At the same time, Tehran is displaying an understanding of diplomatic behavior that is increasingly normal in the world. After all, the World Bank is still giving Russia loans, the United States is still supplying Russia with financial assistance, and everybody is expressing support for Russia’s territorial integrity.
1 Iran Daily, September 26, 1999.
2 Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), October 5, 1999.
3 RIA-Novosti, October 6, 1999.
4 Interfax, January 10, 2000.
5 Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, January 27, 2000.
6 ITAR-TASS, January 28, 2000.
7 ITAR-TASS, October 19, 2000.
8 ITAR-TASS, November 28, 1999.
9 Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, December 6, 1999.
10 Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, December 7, 1999.
12 IRNA, December 8, 1999.
13 Qatar’s Al-Jazeera television, March 10, 2000.
14 RIA-Vesti, March 14, 2000.
16 Islamabad’s Ausaf, February 4, 2000.
17 ITAR-TASS, February 11, 2000.
18 Qatar’s Al-Jazeera television, cited by ITAR-TASS, July 6, 2000.
19 Al-Sharq al-Awsat, January 27, 2000.
20 Al-Mustaqbal, January 8, 2000.
21 “Iranian Regime Betrays Islamic Revolution and the Meaning of Karbala,” Al-Muhajiroun Press Release, January 10, 2000.
22 Baku’s ANS television, January 8, 2000.
23 Bakinskiy Rabochiy, cited in Paul Goble, “Misrepresenting Islam,” RFE/RL Weekday Magazine, March 15, 2000.
24 Middle East News Agency, January 20, 2000.
25 Qatar’s Al-Jazeera television, cited by IRNA, January 17, 2000.
26 Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, January 28, 2000.
27 Cairo’s Al-Ahram, March 7, 2000.
28 Radio Voice of Sharia, Kabul, January 18, 2000.
29 Al-Sharq al-Awsat, January 27, 2000.
30 Islamabad’s Pakistan, February 18, 2000.
31 IRNA, December 28, 1999.
32 Agence France Presse, January 28, 2000
33 IRNA, November 8, 1999.
34 Qom Friday Prayers, second sermon, Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) Television First Program Network, November 27, 2000.
35 Second sermon of the January 14, 2000, Qom Friday Prayers, IRIB Television First Program Network, January 15, 2000.
36 Kayhan International, January 24, 2000.
37 Associated Press of Pakistan, quoted by AFP. February 10, 2000.
38 IRNA, October 24, 1999.
39 Kayhan International, October 13, 1999.
40 Ibid. October 28, 1999.
41 Ibid. November 1, 1999.
42 Tehran Times, October 25, 1999.
43 Asr-i Azadegan, November 16, 1999.
44 Jebheh, December11, 1999.
45 Jomhuri-yi Islami, January 6, 2000.
46 Iran News, January 15, 2000.
47 Resalat, January 17, 2000.
48 Kayhan International, January 22, 2000.
49 IRIB Television First Program Network, January 19, 2000.
50 RIA-Novosti, January 27, 2000.
51 Kommersant, January 28, 2000.
52 Kayhan International, February 20, 2000.
53 RIA-Novosti, October 16, 1999.
54 Segodnya, November 11, 1999.
55 London’s Times, November 5, 1999.
56 Russian public television, January 7, 2000.
57 Interfax, January 7, 2000.
58 ITAR-TASS, March 12, 2000, and August 14, 2000.
59 Anatoly Ovchinsky and Vladimir Ovchinsky, “The War Coffers of the Chechen Terrorists,” Moskovskie Novosti, March 28, 2000.
60 Con Coughlin, “Terror Mastermind aiding Chechens,” Sunday Telegraph, January 9, 2000.
61 Al-Sharq al-Awsat, January 27, 2000.
62 Izvestiya, December 29, 1999.
63 RIA-Vesti, February 16, 2000.
64 Jebheh, December 11, 1999.