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Iranian Alert -- October 13, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD PING LIST
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 10.13.2003 | DoctorZin

Posted on 10/13/2003 12:06:41 AM PDT by DoctorZIn

The US media almost entirely ignores news regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran. As Tony Snow of the Fox News Network has put it, “this is probably the most under-reported news story of the year.” But most American’s are unaware that the Islamic Republic of Iran is NOT supported by the masses of Iranians today. Modern Iranians are among the most pro-American in the Middle East.

There is a popular revolt against the Iranian regime brewing in Iran today. Starting June 10th of this year, Iranians have begun taking to the streets to express their desire for a regime change. Most want to replace the regime with a secular democracy. Many even want the US to over throw their government.

The regime is working hard to keep the news about the protest movement in Iran from being reported. Unfortunately, the regime has successfully prohibited western news reporters from covering the demonstrations. The voices of discontent within Iran are sometime murdered, more often imprisoned. Still the people continue to take to the streets to demonstrate against the regime.

In support of this revolt, Iranians in America have been broadcasting news stories by satellite into Iran. This 21st century news link has greatly encouraged these protests. The regime has been attempting to jam the signals, and locate the satellite dishes. Still the people violate the law and listen to these broadcasts. Iranians also use the Internet and the regime attempts to block their access to news against the regime. In spite of this, many Iranians inside of Iran read these posts daily to keep informed of the events in their own country.

This daily thread contains nearly all of the English news reports on Iran. It is thorough. If you follow this thread you will witness, I believe, the transformation of a nation. This daily thread provides a central place where those interested in the events in Iran can find the best news and commentary. The news stories and commentary will from time to time include material from the regime itself. But if you read the post you will discover for yourself, the real story of what is occurring in Iran and its effects on the war on terror.

I am not of Iranian heritage. I am an American committed to supporting the efforts of those in Iran seeking to replace their government with a secular democracy. I am in contact with leaders of the Iranian community here in the United States and in Iran itself.

If you read the daily posts you will gain a better understanding of the US war on terrorism, the Middle East and why we need to support a change of regime in Iran. Feel free to ask your questions and post news stories you discover in the weeks to come.

If all goes well Iran will be free soon and I am convinced become a major ally in the war on terrorism. The regime will fall. Iran will be free. It is just a matter of time.

DoctorZIn

PS I have a daily ping list and a breaking news ping list. If you would like to receive alerts to these stories please let me know which list you would like to join.


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iaea; iran; iranianalert; protests; southasia; studentmovement; studentprotest
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Discover all the news since the protests began on June 10th, go to:

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail DoctorZin”

1 posted on 10/13/2003 12:06:41 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread

Live Thread Ping List | DoctorZin

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail DoctorZin”

2 posted on 10/13/2003 12:08:43 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: All

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3 posted on 10/13/2003 12:08:45 AM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Nobel prize, not political motivated

IRIB English News
Tehran

Tehran, Oct 11 - Vice President for legal and parliamentary affairs Mohammad-Ali Abtahi said here on Friday that the Nobel peace award of Iranian lawyer Ms Shirin Ebadi is by no means political motivated.

The vice president added that Ms Ebadi has been very active in promoting the human rights, in particular those of women and children, and there is no political incentive in awarding her with the prestigious prize.

Congratulating Ms Ebadi and the Iranian nation, Abtahi termed her success as a great achievement not only for her but also for the great Iranian people.

http://www.iribnews.com/Full_en.asp?news_id=190040&n=33
4 posted on 10/13/2003 12:17:43 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn
EBADI: ISLAMIC TENETS SUPPORT HUMAN RIGHTS

By Safa Haeri

PARIS 12 Oct. (IPS)

Mrs. Shirin Ebadi, the first Iranian to win the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize for 2003 reiterated on Sunday that “all principles and tenets of Islam serve to promote humanitarian values and human rights”.

In her first interview with the official Iranian news agency IRNA, Mrs. Ebadi, a female judge before the victory of the Islamic Revolution of 1979 added that Islam is “definitely” against terrorism and violence, stressing that those advocating such practices were
absolutely not Muslims.

The interview, granted to IRNA in the French Capital where she was on a private visit when she was informed about the Prize being attributed to her by the Norwegian Nobel Academy was seen by Iranian political analyst as the first indication from the authorities that they have “taken act” of the issue.

So far, none of the top Iranian ruling clerics, including Ayatollah Ali Khameneh’i, the leader of the Islamic Republic or President Mohammad Khatami, the promoter of the “dialogue among civilisations” described routinely by the Western press as a “moderate” have had a single word and the public media, that are controlled by the conservatives, reported the news briefly and with hours of delay, a clear sign of their visible anger to see a female Iranian human rights activist winning the Prize.

Even IRNA, which is close to the Iranian reformists, failed to mention that Mrs. Ebadi is an Iranian, stating only that she was “the first Muslim woman” to ever get the much envied Prize.

“Even though some reformists tenors and even a high-ranking government official in Hojjatoleslam Mohammad Ali Abtahi, the Vice-president for Legal and Parliamentary Affairs have congratulated Mrs. Ebadi, but her sounding and surprise victory has visibly taken the conservatives aback”, one Iranian analyst told Iran Press Service.

“However, the IRNA interview shows that they are trying to find a way to put up with the event that has filled all Iranians except the hard liners with joy and pride”, he added speaking on condition of anonymity.

“Ebadi regretted that certain western states blame the sublime religion of Islam for acts of a few Muslims, whereas there are many Christians who indulge themselves in murder and terrorist acts, but Muslims never say they do so because of their religion”, she was quoted by IRNA.

Asked if the peace award had been granted to her for political reasons, the 56 years-old Ebadi said "I believe this is not a political matter and I am of the opinion that the world, through this award, has come to recognize the freedom-seeking campaign of Muslim women”.

“I have been selected to receive this award just as a Muslim woman”, Mrs. Ebadi went on, adding that Iranian women’s conditions have been "improving" over recent years.

Ebadi, however, admitted that the law prevailing in Iran regarding women’s rights “still needed to be revised with contradictions required to be removed”.

But in a press conference attended by more than 200 correspondents from all over the world, she defended secularism, saying that many grand ayatollahs agrees with her that religion must be kept separate from politics.

In an interview published by the influential French daily "Le Monde", the Iranian lawyer and activist said she hopes her prize will encourage human rights campaigners in Iran and in the world.

She also said Iranians are "profoundly disappointed" by Iran's Islamic Revolution and called for political, social, economic, and civil-rights reforms.

“Iran's Islamic Republic cannot continue if it fails to evolve and heed the people's desire for major reform”, she emphasised.

"It's very good for me, it's very good for human rights in Iran, it's very good for democracy in Iran," Ms. Ebadi said in a news conference at the headquarters of the International Federation of Human Rights. "This prize," she added, "gives me energy to pursue my combat for a better future”.

For years, Ms. Ebadi and two other women, Mehrangiz Kar, a more secular human rights and family lawyer, and Shahla Lahidji, an outspoken publisher specializing in books about women, were labeled the "Three Musketeers" because they were considered the country's most active proponents of women's rights. Ms. Lahidji has been pressured into silence; Ms. Kar now lives in the United States.

Ms. Ebadi was herself arrested and imprisoned in June 2000 with another reformist lawyer, Hojjatoleslam Mohsen Rahami, accused of distributing a taped confession of a member of a vigilante militia involved in violence against reformists.

After being jailed for three weeks, she was sentenced by a closed-door court to 15 months in prison and barred from practicing law for five years. Eventually, the sentence was suspended, and she was required only to pay a fine of about $200.

In her IRNA interview Mrs Ebadi also observed that the situation of women in most Islamic countries as "not favourable" and said the cause of contrasts in these societies is the culture of male-dominance.

EBADI NOBEL PEACE 121003

http://www.iran-press-service.com/articles_2003/Oct-2003/ebadi_nobel_peace_121003.html
5 posted on 10/13/2003 12:22:21 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Pro-Bush
I would like to continue here...
I have asked you about Israeli preemptive attacks on Iran.
Will this attck weaken Iranian reformists' position?
I suggested that Mullahs and hard-liners within the government will militarize Iranian society. This is a double pressure on the Iranian people.
What do you think?
6 posted on 10/13/2003 2:59:18 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (Californication...!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Bump
7 posted on 10/13/2003 3:01:37 AM PDT by windchime
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To: All
Iran may need more time to satisfy all IAEA's demands

Monday, October 13, 2003
IranMania News

TEHRAN, Oct 13, (AFP) -- Iran is set to boost its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency but may need more time to satisfy all of the watchdog's demands, Iran's envoy to the UN agency said in comments published Monday.

"The pace of cooperation has quickened since the recent Tehran talks (with an IAEA delegation earlier this month) and we are counting on it accelerating still further in the coming weeks now that we have drawn up a work plan," Ali Akbar Salehi told the government daily Iran.

Saleh rejected criticism by IAEA director general Mohamed ElBaradei of Iran's progress in satisfying the watchdog's concerns about its nuclear programme by an October 31 deadline, urging appreciation of its efforts.

"If the way we are working together is acceptable to both Iran and the agency, then logically one cannot declare that that cooperation has failed just because all concerns have not been addressed by the deadline," the envoy said.

©2003 IranMania.com

http://www.iranmania.com/News/ArticleView/Default.asp?NewsCode=18650&NewsKind=Current%20Affairs
8 posted on 10/13/2003 3:15:12 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (Californication...!)
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To: DoctorZIn; McGavin999; Eala; AdmSmith; dixiechick2000; nuconvert; onyx; Pro-Bush; Valin; ...
Nobel intentions

One peace prize does not turn the west into the defender of women's rights worldwide

Natasha Walter
Monday October 13, 2003
The Guardian

In Tehran a few years ago I met Shirin Ebadi, the lawyer who has just won the Nobel Peace prize. Her integrity and bravery, even in the face of frequent threats and arrests, certainly make her an outstanding figure in her country and beyond - and of course a great recipient of the prize.
But she would be the first to argue that in many ways she is not unique in Iran. She is part of a growing reform movement, and in her views on women's rights she seems to speak for many Iranian women. The hardliners' struggle to keep control of her country constantly runs up against the growing awareness of women, and the younger generation has been inspired by Ebadi and other female lawyers and journalists and politicians. Everywhere in Iran there are educated, forceful women who are dissatisfied with their situation and who are arguing for reform. Ebadi herself told me: "Even the traditional women here - even those who have not been educated and who live at home - even they are looking for their rights."

We in the west often seem to believe that we have a sort of monopoly on feminism. Maybe it is hard for us to believe that women who wear those dark veils can be working for equality. But, as Ebadi says constantly, the clothes are not that important. "There is something more important than our hijab here in Iran," she said to me. "Other rights must come first. When a man can easily divorce a woman and she struggles to get a divorce from him - this is more important than whether or not we cover our hair. When men automatically get custody of children, this is even more important. When we have solved our other problems, then let's talk about headscarves."

It is important to listen to women such as Ebadi and to remember that the traditions which are often seen to divide women are not as important as what unites them - the desire for those irreducible human rights, such as equality before the law, equal political power, and protection from violence. If this award helps us to recognise how women in every culture, including Muslim countries, feel that they own feminism, then it is a precious gift not just to Shirin Ebadi and the Iranian reformists, but to us in the west.

But in another way the award was a rather easy one for a committee based in western Europe to give out - not so much for what it celebrates, but for what it criticises. Of course we all hate the Iranian government right now: part of the "axis of evil", with its nuclear programme and its wicked views on the United States and Israel, Iran is an easy country to demonise.

But let's not forget that women elsewhere in the region still face almost insurmountable problems - and that some of them are made harder because of the behaviour of the west. It would have been interesting to see how western governments might have responded, for instance, to an award for a feminist in Saudi Arabia or Kuwait, where the regimes that have held back women's rights are actively supported.

And if you are looking for women to honour in the Muslim world for their human rights struggles, it is hard not to talk about the activists in the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (Rawa). Their work against the Taliban has become legendary; they are the women who kept hope alive through their underground work in Afghanistan and among the refugees. Yet their struggle has not stopped since the UN-backed government took over. These women still work under threat to their lives, and they are still silenced and sidelined.

Although Rawa has made constant demands to the UN - and to the American and British governments - for more respect for women and children's rights, they have seen women's interests pushed aside in the outside powers' eagerness to appease the warlords. Now Afghans are seeing the small advances that women have made threatened by continuing insecurity on the ground and the outright misogyny of the ruling factions that are backed by the west.

But to give such public recognition to one of their activists, such as the charismatic Sahar Saba, or the group as a whole, would be very troubling for the west. It is much easier for us to reward a woman who is working against a government no one loves than it would be to reward a woman working against a government the west has created.

As Ebadi reminds us, the struggle for women's rights is an international struggle. But it is a struggle where western powers are not automatically on the right side.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/iran/story/0,12858,1061717,00.html
9 posted on 10/13/2003 6:55:23 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (Californication...!)
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To: F14 Pilot
Today: October 13, 2003

Nuke Dispute Tightens U.S., Iran Tension

By BRIAN MURPHY

ASSOCIATED PRESS

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - At a Tehran University forum on nuclear technology, a bright green banner proclaimed the nation's "absolute right" to build reactors. Nearby, a student took notes in a folder decorated with Uncle Sam chasing an elusive atom around the Middle East.

The scene last week was another snapshot from one side of the huge gap between Iran and the United States. The tremors over Iran's nuclear ambitions have apparently wrenched it even wider at a delicate time.

Russia is building a nuclear reactor for Iran that the United States fears could be part of efforts to produce material for atomic weapons. In response, the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency has set an Oct. 31 deadline for Iran to prove it has no secret agenda for producing nuclear weapons.

Iran is also being pressed to sign an additional protocol to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty giving U.N. inspectors unfettered access to any site.

The tension has reduced hopes that shared regional interests - topped by Afghanistan and Iraq - could draw the United States and Iran into the most productive dialogue since relations ended after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Instead, many Iranian leaders and opinion-shapers have revived the bitterness that followed President Bush's "axis of evil" label last year. They see Washington directing the international pressure to clarify Iran's nuclear objectives and capabilities - though the European Union and others also fully support unrestricted U.N. inspections of nuclear sites.

"It's a classic case of two sides of the same coin," said Davoud Hermidas Bavand, a Tehran-based political analyst. "The United States sees big worries. The Iranians say they are being unfairly bullied."

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei - the pinnacle of power in Iran - claims the United States wants to cripple Iran's economic potential by blocking nuclear development. It's one of the few messages that unite feuding reformers and conservatives.

"There is the right for all countries to have the peaceful use of nuclear technology," an Iranian atomic scientist, Mohammad Kazem Marashi, told a gathering of Tehran University students and professors. "Every time someone mentions nuclear power all they can think of is bombs."

Weapons are clearly on the minds of Washington and some allies.

The White House fears a chilling scenario: Iran could develop nuclear warheads for its Shahab-3 missiles, which could reach as far as Israel. That could touch off a regional arms race or an Israeli pre-emptive strike - as in 1981 when Israeli warplanes hit an Iraqi nuclear reactor.

Iran insists it has nothing to hide and wants nuclear plants for research and power - looking decades ahead to when its oil reserves dwindle.

But there is resistance to the U.N. demands that Iran allow international inspections. The Iranian leadership wants assurances that the nuclear reviews won't turn into spying, with inspectors combing ministries and offices.

That's as far as the objections go for the moment. Iran does not want an impasse that ends up in the U.N. Security Council, which could lead to international sanctions and a new host of problems for the ruling theocracy.

"Every way you look at it, the stakes are very high and getting higher," said Jonathan Stevensen, a regional analyst at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London.

It's also thrown obstacles into what could have been a rare patch of common ground between Iran and the United States.

Iran sits between two of Washington's biggest burdens: Afghanistan and Iraq. And Iran shares the West's immediate goals in those countries.

A modernized Afghanistan would open important new commercial routes for Iran. A stabilized Iraq could boost Iran's regional power as the ally of Iraq's Shiite Muslim majority.

Iranian and American envoys have taken part in Afghan meetings. Iran is expected to attend an Iraq donors' conference in Spain later this month.

But - for the moment - much of the diplomatic energy is being diverted to the nuclear dispute.

The United States seeks to keep a united front with European allies, although some have said Iran should be allowed to pursue nuclear power if inspections are thorough.

Iran, meanwhile, must deal with internal quarrels on how far to push nuclear development.

A Russian-built reactor could go into service as early as 2005, and Iran says it will continue to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes. Highly enriched uranium is needed for nuclear weapons and lower grades are used in power plants and research.

Some hard-line groups have openly urged Iran to develop nuclear weapons, citing neighboring Pakistan's nuclear program and the belief that Israel has nuclear warheads. Israel has never admitted to having a nuclear program.

In July, the conservative Students' Islamic Association urged Iran's government to "openly and seriously" develop nuclear arms as "deterrence against our enemies." Others have also insisted Iran should hold open the right to develop such weapons.

http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/w-me/2003/oct/13/101307463.html

10 posted on 10/13/2003 7:39:10 AM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife (You may forget the one with whom you have laughed, but never the one with whom you have wept.)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
Today: October 13, 2003

U.N. Nuclear Agency Chief to Visit Iran

ASSOCIATED PRESS

VIENNA, Austria (AP) - The U.N. nuclear watchdog agency chief will visit Iran this week to help persuade Tehran to meet an Oct. 31 deadline to prove it is not producing atomic weapons, a diplomat said Monday.

The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency said only that Mohamed ElBaradei had received a formal invitation. But a Western diplomat close to the agency told The Associated Press that ElBaradei had accepted and would head to Tehran on Thursday.

The IAEA has been pressing Iran to prove it is not producing nuclear weapons as the United States suspects. Iran has protested the Oct. 31 deadline and said its nuclear program is to generate electricity as its oil reserves decline.

Failure to satisfy the IAEA could result in Iran's being referred to the U.N. Security Council, which could impose sanctions. The IAEA board of governors will meet on Nov. 20 to assess the Iranians' compliance.

Iran is a signatory of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which bans the spread of nuclear weapons.

Pierre Goldschmidt, an IAEA deputy director general, and another top agency official held two days of talks in Tehran earlier this month. An IAEA inspection team is also in Tehran to carry out routine inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities.

A senior Iranian official said earlier this month that the IAEA representatives had reached "total agreement" with Iran on measures to prove the country's nuclear program is peaceful.

Iran has agreed to provide the IAEA with a list of imported equipment it contends had been contaminated.

In recent weeks, Iran has twice confirmed that particles of weapons-grade uranium had been found in separate places in the country. The government said the particles came from imported nuclear equipment that had been contaminated.

http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/w-me/2003/oct/13/101307601.html

11 posted on 10/13/2003 7:41:32 AM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife (You may forget the one with whom you have laughed, but never the one with whom you have wept.)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
Israeli submarine fleet 'can now launch nuclear weapons'

By David Blair in Jerusalem

(Filed: 13/10/2003)

Israel has acquired the capability of launching a nuclear strike from submarines, according to reports yesterday. This puts it among the handful of countries able to deliver atomic weapons from land, sea and air.

With American help, Israeli technicians have modified US-supplied cruise missiles to carry nuclear warheads. Commentators believe that the disclosure, in the Los Angeles Times, is intended as a message to Iran about the risks of its nuclear ambitions.

Iran has been given until the end of this month to allow international inspectors unfettered access to its nuclear facilities.

Both America and Israel believe that Iran is close to acquiring nuclear weapons. This would break Israel's nuclear monopoly in the Middle East and change the strategic balance of the region.

America has supplied Israel with Harpoon sea-launched cruise missiles - originally with conventional warheads - for deployment on three Dolphin class submarines. The diesel-electric submarines were bought from Germany four years ago.

The Israeli government does not comment on its nuclear capacity. But experts agree that Israel has the world's sixth largest nuclear arsenal with some 200 warheads, compared with Britain's 185.

Israeli commentators have no doubt that the latest reports are credible and cite the priorities of Mossad, the foreign intelligence agency.

"Heading off Iran's attempt to attain nuclear capability is one of Mossad's main missions," the Israeli daily Haaretz reported. A military commentator said he thought the Los Angeles Times report "made sense".

Israel's secret effort to acquire a bomb began in 1956 when France supplied a nuclear reactor and technical help. By 1968 Israel had a nuclear capability.

Until now, the country has relied on its Jericho II missiles, with a range of 930 miles, and American-supplied F-15 bombers, which can hit targets 2,000 miles away.

Now, even if a pre-emptive strike destroyed its land and air systems, Israel could hit back with nuclear weapons launched from its submarines.

• Israeli forces pulled back from the Rafah refugee camp yesterday after killing eight Palestinians in the heaviest raid in the Gaza Strip for six months. Two of the dead were boys aged eight and 12. Israel said its forces destroyed three tunnels used for smuggling weapons.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;$sessionid$RLM514XKLCTUHQFIQMFCFF4AVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2003/10/13/wnuke13.xml&sSheet=/portal/2003/10/13/ixportal.html

12 posted on 10/13/2003 8:28:40 AM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife (You may forget the one with whom you have laughed, but never the one with whom you have wept.)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
CONGRESS OVERWHELMED BY IRANIAN-AMERICAN CALLERS ON STEP ACT

NATIONAL IRANIAN AMERICAN COUNCIL

www.niacouncil.org

Washington DC, October 10, 2003 – Congressional offices were overwhelmed by the number of calls placed by Iranian Americans on the STEP Act, a bill that would deport all Iranian non-immigrants if passed into law. The campaign was organized by the National Iranian American Council in order to ensure that the view points of the Iranian-American community were effectively conveyed to members of Congress.

Iranian-American nationwide placed their calls to Congress between 2.00-3.00pm on Wednesday October 8. Talking points and instructions were provided by NIAC and people were encouraged to primarily call their of House Representatives, but also the co-sponsors of the bill.

Several individuals reported that they had difficulties getting through to Congressman Renzi’s office (one of the co-sponsors of the bill) due to the high number of calls. Many NIAC members also reported that they had received assurances from their House representatives that they would vote against the STEP Act.

Iranian Americans’ forceful reaction is a strong indication of rising political awareness in the community. It is also a sign of the strengthening of the Iranian-American grass roots.

Many of the participants had never placed a call to their House Representatives before, and were shocked to see how easy and effective phone campaigns are. Through the phone campaign, the barriers of fear for contacting lawmakers have been torn down for many, and the vast majority of callers pledged to contact their representatives in Washington DC on a regular basis in the future.

In the mean time, the STEP Act campaign continues. NIAC is currently in the process of meeting with the members of the House Immigration Subcommittee to convey the concerns of the Iranian-American community.

http://www.niacouncil.org/pressreleases/press126.asp

13 posted on 10/13/2003 8:41:07 AM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife (You may forget the one with whom you have laughed, but never the one with whom you have wept.)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Air-strike Plan Seen as Bluff

October 13, 2003
The Washington Times
Abraham Rabinovich

JERUSALEM — Reports that Israel is preparing for pre-emptive air strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities and is now able to fire nuclear missiles from submarines were seen as reflecting deep anxiety in Israel for Tehran's nuclear program.

Israeli newspapers said officials appear to have leaked the reports in an attempt to focus the attention of the international community on the dangers of Iranian nuclear weapons development.

The German magazine Der Spiegel reported Saturday that Israel's Mossad intelligence agency had prepared detailed plans for attacking six nuclear facilities in Iran.

Any attack, according to the report, would be carried out by the Israeli air force, which in 1981 destroyed Iraq's Osirak nuclear facility just before it was to go on line. Der Spiegel quoted an Israeli pilot as saying such an attack would be "complex, yet manageable."

Simultaneously, the Los Angeles Times, quoting Israeli and American officials, reported that Israel has modified nuclear warheads to fit U.S.-made Harpoon missiles aboard its submarines. This would give Israel a second-strike capability that could respond even if the country's land facilities were obliterated.

Israeli officials denied the Los Angeles Times report yesterday, and nuclear experts expressed deep skepticism that it would even be possible to modify a Harpoon missile for a nuclear attack.

"Anyone with even the slightest understanding of missiles knows that the Harpoon can never be used to carry nuclear warheads," former Deputy Defense Minister Efraim Sneh told Army Radio.

"Not even [Israel´s] extraordinarily talented engineers and its sophisticated defense industries can transform the Harpoon into a missile capable of doing this. It's simply impossible."

Ted Hooton, editor of Jane's Naval Weapon Systems in London, told the Associated Press that the weight of a nuclear payload would put the Harpoon out of balance, limiting its range and accuracy.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has demanded that Tehran open its nuclear facilities to inspection by the end of the month and make them available for spot checks. Three of Iran's nuclear sites have never been inspected.

It was widely assumed in Israel that the stories were initiated by the Mossad as part of a campaign to keep the Iranian nuclear issue high on the international agenda.

"Heading off Iran's attempt to attain nuclear capability is one of the Mossad's main missions," wrote analyst Aluf Benn in the Ha'aretz newspaper yesterday, "and the foreign media is one of the most important instruments utilized in this effort."

Adding substance to this analysis was a report in the daily Ma'ariv yesterday that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has ordered the Mossad to devote most of its efforts to uncovering information about Iran's nuclear program.

"Iran constitutes the biggest danger to Israel," Mr. Sharon said, according to the newspaper. "We are coordinated on this with the U.S. down to the last detail."

A former head of the Mossad, Shabtai Shavit, told Israel Radio that Iran is a threat because "it is ruled by clerics who act according to the word of God, not according to rational considerations." Iranian leaders have frequently called for Israel's destruction.

One of the principal reasons Israel acquired F-16 aircraft from the United States was that its range permits it to reach Iran, some 800 miles from Israel's borders. Iran has warned that Israel would pay a very heavy price for any attack.

http://www.washtimes.com/world/20031013-121441-2893r.htm
14 posted on 10/13/2003 8:54:45 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
One-woman Machine Who Took on Iran's Clerics

October 11, 2003
The Guardian
Dan De Luce

Award will make her even more formidable.

She is small in stature but a force of nature in and out of the courtroom. Shirin Ebadi is a one-woman human-rights machine, inspiring students through her law faculty lectures, forcing judges to acknowledge contradictions in Iran's legal code and lobbying parliament to protect the rights of children born out of marriage.

She has already embarrassed the conservative clerics ruling Iran but yesterday's announcement from the Norwegian Nobel committee will make life more awkward for the defenders of the country's rigid laws. For Ms Ebadi and her colleagues the peace prize is like a shot in the arm for their efforts. "I think this prize gives me and Iranian people more courage to work for human rights and peace," she told the BBC in Paris.

What must have the hardliners worried is the following: Ms Ebadi has among the vast youth population, who see her as a courageous heroine standing up to a theocratic system. "I'm so happy," said Reza, a graduate student in Tehran. "I am proud to be an Iranian today."

With young women getting educated in unprecedented numbers, Ms Ebadi senses society is changing in ways that the conservative establishment does not understand. "Sixty-three per cent of entering university students are women. They see that the laws are not suitable for the conditions that are emerging," Ms Ebadi, who has two grown-up daughters, told the Guardian recently. "Because so many women are protesting against their conditions, things will have to improve."

Along with a several other lawyers, Ms Ebadi has launched a non-governmental organisation, the Centre for the Defenders of Human Rights, which will benefit from the Nobel prize of $1.3m (about £780,000). "She is one of the most active lawyers in Iran, working to promote human rights for women, children and all citizens," said her colleague, Mohammad Fayfzadeh. "She has performed brilliantly."

There was a time when the 56-year-old Ms Ebadi was fighting a lonely battle. After the 1979 revolution that toppled the regime of the shah, Ms Ebadi was told she would have to step down as Iran's first female judge. "The head of the court told me I could not work as a judge because I am a woman. He said it was forbidden by sharia law," she said.

Now prominent lawyers and MPs agree that women should serve as judges. "Many women are now working as legal advisers to judges. It's only a matter of time before we have female judges, " she said. "We have been fed so many things in the name of Islam and sharia law."

She uses sharia law, which forms the basis of Iran's laws, to argue that there is no legal foundation for discriminatory rules that give women an inferior status. She cites the writings of senior clerics and other areas of the law that have been freshly interpreted to adapt to modern circumstances.

In one case Ms Ebadi has fought against "blood money" provisions that put the value of a woman's life at half that of a man's in financial compensation. "I accept these cases to show what the consequences of inadequate, inappropriate laws can be," she said.

Through her lobbying in parliament and the courts, Ms Ebadi succeeded in her campaign to grant legal rights to children born outside of marriage though they are still denied the right to any inheritance. "I am still fighting to get that changed."

In a country where many dissidents have been discredited or forced underground, Ms Ebadi stands out for her single-minded commitment to human rights without ties to partisan politics or polemics.

She has spent time in solitary confinement and received a suspended sentence of 15 months for videotaping an interview with a former paramilitary. In the interview, the paramilitary described an at tempted an assassination attempt against a member of the cabinet and other methods of repression.

Ms Ebadi, who works late hours in her office alone, acknowledges the threat she is facing. "Defending human rights in Iran has unavoidable dangers," she said.

The most chilling event for Ms Ebadi was when a document leaked out from the intelligence ministry that included names of intellectuals who had been murdered in mysterious circumstances. It was a list of political enemies apparently singled out for liquidation.

"I'm like any other human being, I experienced fear. It comes to you like hunger, you don't have a choice. But I have learned how to overcome this feeling and not let it interfere with my work."

She wears the head scarf or hejab as required by Iran's dress code and though she has no affection for it, she sees it as a low priority among a long list of women's grievances. "There are much more im portant issues that need to be addressed."

Ms Ebadi credits the Islamic revolutions strict dress code and segregation of the sexes at university with opening the door to emancipation. Once the universities became a place where a father could send his daughter without worrying about "moral corruption", society began to change, she said. "There is a saying that modernity is born on the street. And when a woman steps out on the street, she cannot be a traditional woman anymore."

Extracts from the Nobel committee's citation

It is a pleasure for the Norwegian Nobel committee to award the Peace prize to a woman who is part of the Muslim world, and of whom that world can be proud.

As a lawyer, judge, lecturer, writer and activist, she has spoken out clearly and strongly in her country, Iran, and far beyond its borders. She has stood up as a sound professional, a courageous person, and has never heeded the threats to her own safety. In an era of violence, she has consistently supported nonviolence. It is fundamental to her view that the supreme political power in a community must be built on democratic elections.

We hope that the people of Iran will feel joyous that for the first time in history one of their citizens has been awarded the Nobel Peace prize, and we hope the prize will be an inspiration for all those who struggle for human rights and democracy in her country, in the Muslim world, and in all countries where the fight for human rights needs support.

http://education.guardian.co.uk/higher/worldwide/story/0,9959,1061848,00.html
15 posted on 10/13/2003 8:56:47 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Khatami's Silence Signals Official Anger over Ebadi

October 13, 2003
AFP
IranMania

TEHRAN -- Iran's reformist President Mohammad Khatami had yet to react to the Nobel Peace Prize win of human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi, with his silence seen as a reflection of deep anger among his hardline superiors and his own decreasing influence.

While Khatami's embattled government has congratulated Ebadi for her win -- albeit after some initial confusion on how to digest the news -- they have shown extreme caution in their references to a figure loathed by many powerful conservatives.

In the past, it would have been hard to see Khatami not speak on such a prestigious prize win for an Iranian Muslim woman, who like him is a moderate espousing values such as human rights and dialogue.

Paying lip service to such issues, as well as championing his pet topic of "dialogue among civilisations", helped the mild-mannered cleric sweep to power in 1997 and again in 2001 on a wave of women's and youth support.

Ebadi has even stated that she was part of the wave of support behind Khatami that saw him win a landslide in 1997.

But increasingly, Khatami appears to be torn between his deep ties to Iran's complex power structure, and the frustration of many of his supporters who see him as failing to deliver his promise of "Islamic democracy".

His is a delicate path under the eye of conservatives -- who wield more power than the president and his supporters in parliament through their control of the judiciary, legislative oversight bodies and security forces.

That much has been illustrated by his delayed responses or prolonged silence on other key questions in recent months, such as anti-regime protests, widespread arrests of dissidents, students or journalists and an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) ultimatum over Iran's suspect nuclear programme.

Prominent hardliners, who take their cue from supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have been quick to suggest the Nobel prize win was some kind of "conspiracy" -- in other words yet another sign of UN-backed international pressure on the country.

"Khatami's hands are tied," one analyst explained.

Furthermore, analysts here have pointed to Ebadi's appearance in Paris with exiled Iranian dissidents, her embracing by other men wishing to congratulate her as well as her decision not to wear the compulsory headscarf.

And on top of that, she was quick to demand the freeing of all political prisoners back home.

"The conservatives would have certainly seen this and must be furious," one diplomat said. "So it leaves Khatami in a bit of an embarrassing situation, and obviously it seems he'll wait for the fuss to die down before he says something."

Quoted by the official news agency IRNA, Ebadi has also reflected widespread impatience with Khatami and the pace of his reforms.

"After the election of Mr. Khatami as Iran's president, a lot of reforms were done on women's status, but these reforms are not enough. Khatami's electoral triumph would not have been possible without the participation of women, so therefore we are expecting that the president does more," she said.

Khatami and his reform movement are facing what many analysts and observers see as a critical juncture -- their bid to reform Iran has led to some changes, but not the promised fundamental shake-up of the nearly 25-year-old clerical regime.

A bid by parliament to give greater powers to the president and strip conservative oversight bodies of their right to vet electoral candidates -- seen as a last-ditch reform bid -- appears to have failed.

The mandate of the reformist-controlled Majlis runs out early next year, and parliamentary elections are scheduled for February 20, 2004. Even the president, whose second and final term in office ends in 2005, has admitted that the run-up to the vote is "very sensitive historical juncture".

Many analysts, however, have already written the president off.

http://www.iranmania.com/News/ArticleView/Default.asp?NewsCode=18636&NewsKind=Current%20Affairs
16 posted on 10/13/2003 9:01:08 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
"UK Questions Iranians Filming Jewish Centers"

October 12, 2003
AFP
IranMania

WASHINGTON -- British police recently questioned a group of Iranian tourists after they were seen covertly shooting video film of Jewish community buildings in London, Newsweek magazine reported.

Newsweek said in its Monday's edition that the Iranian "tourists" were detained and questioned by British police in recent weeks, but the magazine did not identify which Jewish buildings had been filmed and provided few other details.

The report said British police have warned the country's Jewish community of a threat of imminent terrorist attacks.

The British warning comes as some US Department of State officials mull issuing an official warning to the US travellers to Britain, according to the magazine.

"US officials say no comparable intelligence has recently surfaced about threats to Jewish targets in America," Newsweek said.

"British security officers say that while they can't predict specific attacks, urgent measures are needed to protect potential targets such as synagogues and community centers," the report said.

It added that the warning to British Jewish centers comes as some US officials say recent intelligence indicates backsliding in official Iranian attitudes toward Islamic terrorism and al-Qaeda.

British police have been on a heightened anti-terrorist alert since the September 11, 2001, attacks against New York and Washington.

London has been America's chief ally in the White House's self-professed war on terror, including supporting the US-led war in Iraq.

The Newsweek report comes after British police arrested a Pakistani man under anti-terrorism laws last week amid fears of a plot to carry out a bombing in London, according to the Daily Mirror newspaper.

The paper quoted a senior source in London's Scotland Yard police department as saying: "We made the arrest because of fears that a plot by al-Qaeda to launch a terrorist attack in Britain was reaching the advanced planning stage. We think a bombing was being planned to take place in London."

http://www.iranmania.com/News/ArticleView/Default.asp?NewsCode=18640&NewsKind=Current%20Affairs
17 posted on 10/13/2003 9:02:28 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
I cannot get into the Student Movement website. Is it just a problem with my computer? Or, is it still available? Can you access it?

I don't mean to be an alarmist, but I really wanted to read more of their information, today.

Let me know if it is just a glitch at my end.

Thank you.
PYW
18 posted on 10/13/2003 9:04:15 AM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife (You may forget the one with whom you have laughed, but never the one with whom you have wept.)
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To: DoctorZIn
Mullahs on the Run

October 13, 2003
The Washington Times
Editorials/Op-Ed

With an Oct. 31 deadline looming for Iran to come clean about its nuclear weapons program, the regime in Tehran continues to stonewall in providing information to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). On Tuesday, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, denounced international pressure against the country's nuclear program. Also, Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, widely depicted as a moderate in the Western press, waxed defiant on the subject, declaring: "We will not allow anyone to deprive us of our legitimate right to use nuclear technology, particularly enrichment for providing fuel for [civilian] nuclear plants."

This argument is a difficult one to take seriously. Given the reality that Iran is awash in oil and gas, it is virtually impossible to argue with a straight face that Iran's nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. Over the past few months, there have been mounting reports of heightened military cooperation between Iran and a fellow member of the ''axis of evil" pointed to by President Bush: North Korea. In June, the Japanese newspaper Sankei reported that Iranian nuclear experts made repeated visits to North Korea in the spring, possibly to learn from the Stalinist regime how to be more successful in stonewalling IAEA inspectors. In August, the Los Angeles Times reported that North Korean scientists were recently seen entering Iranian nuclear facilities, and were helping Tehran test a nuclear warhead.

IAEA officials have also found traces of weapons-grade uranium at Iran's Natanz nuclear faciliity. IAEA Director-General Mohammed ElBaradei said in August that Iran had been shopping for nuclear components on the black market and appeared to suggest that Iran was running a secret weapons program. On Sept. 12, the IAEA gave Iran until Oct. 31 to demonstrate that it was not developing nuclear weapons under cover of its so-called civilian nuclear program.

Clearly, Iran's post-Sept. 12 behavior has done little to alleviate the concerns of the international community. On Friday, Mr. ElBaradei said bluntly that he is still waiting for Tehran to provide satisfactory information about its nuclear program. He said the information provided to date remained inadequate. On Saturday, the IAEA ratcheted up the pressure a bit more, stating that "Time is indeed running out" for Iran, and that it shouldn't take "more than a week or two" for the regime to provide "full and complete information on their nuclear program."

We suspect that, as the noose tightens around its neck, the regime will do what Undersecretary of State John Bolton predicted on Thursday: show just enough cooperation to get past the Oct. 31 deadline without providing much in the way of useful information "to conceal as much as they can, to delay, to fight for time, and to avoid having the issue referred to the Security Council."

The mullahs' growing isolation was further accentuated by the announcement on Friday that Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian dissident who had been jailed by the Iranian regime, became the first Muslim woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel commitee praised her advocacy of equal rights for the Baha'i community, which has been harshly persecuted by the Iranian government. Mrs. Ebadi's well-deserved award, which was welcomed by President Bush, is just the latest sign that political troubles of every sort are mounting for the tyrannical regime in Tehran.

http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20031013-121446-6797r.htm
19 posted on 10/13/2003 9:04:43 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Prize Message

October 13, 2003
Newsday
Newsday.com

With this year's selection, the Nobel Peace Prize Committee has sent a ringing message of support for democracy advocates in Iran and an implicit rebuke to the hard-line clerics ruling its hide-bound theocracy.

The Iranian human rights activist and feminist lawyer Shirin Ebadi - the first Muslim woman and first Iranian to receive the award - is amply deserving of the honor on her own merits. Ebadi, 56, is a courageous and tireless promoter of democracy and human rights in a country where neither has much official support. She has been imprisoned for her outspokenness and her life has been threatened several times for her defense of women's and children's rights.

Ebadi became Iran's first woman judge in 1974, but Islamic clerics stripped her of that post five years later in the Islamic Revolution, decreeing that women could not preside over courts under Koranic law. Ebadi has fought against the mullahs' rigid application of sharia, Islamic law, ever since. She has argued fiercely and publicly there is nothing in Islam or the Koran that restricts women's rights or mandates stoning for adultery, only the patriarchal interpretation of Islamic law.

After attending a Berlin conference on Iranian democratic reforms in 2000, she was jailed for several weeks for slandering the ruling clerics and was banned from practicing law.

Ebadi's prize has been hailed justifiably across the globe as a signal victory for human rights. Indeed, the Nobel committee made it clear that one reason it chose Ebadi was because of its resolve to speed the process of instituting human rights and democracy in nations that resist them.

The peace prize is inherently political and often used to promote outcomes that do not always pan out. After all, the award granted to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat after the Oslo accords was far more an encouragement for the Mideast peace process to succeed than a recognition of merit. The wish, of course, turned out to be futile and Arafat's peace prize is now nothing more than a sad piece of parchment.

For all that, the peace prize remains a potent symbol of the highest human aspirations. The Nobel committee chose well in rewarding Ebadi and putting Iran on the spot. It's the right time, the right woman, the right place.

http://www.newsday.com/news/opinion/ny-vpnob133493425oct13,0,2350021.story?coll=ny-editorials-headlines
20 posted on 10/13/2003 9:05:29 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Who Bombed the Baghdad Hotel?

October 13, 2003
FrontPageMagazine
Walid Phares

Who is responsible for the suicide bombing in Baghdad? Sources from the Arab World speculate on who has an immediate interest in striking now. Analysts with inner knowledge of Middle East politics rush to review statements made by several vicious parties mentioned on the suspect list. At this point we do not know for certain who pulled off this act of destruction, but the usual suspects in all terrorist attacks are on the short list.

Commentators in the West usually follow the judicial track. They wait for an FBI-like conclusion and the pieces of evidence. In sum, they treat each case separately and view it as a crime. Authorities strive for balance between hard-evidence and instincts andboth approaches are helpful in a state of war. Speculative approaches are risky and could be highly inaccurate, but in many cases, military and intelligence analysts, and sometimes media, are under pressure to provide answers. Even investigators count on speculations to start their work. In the War on Terror, you don't start always from zero. The Baghdad car bomb is one of many attacks aimed at Americans and Iraqis. The suspect list suggests a few possibilities.

Analysis of the Arab world suggests three scenarios. First, are the Saddam Baathists, followed by al-Qaeda and its allies of Ansar el-Islam on the Sunni side. Authorities also put radical Shiite jihad partisans like Hezbollah on the same list. But behind these forces the list includes intelligence services of regional powers, such as Syria and Iran, both of whom have stakes in the conflict. So who bombed the hotel yesterday in Baghdad?

[1] High speculation: The prime suspect since the attacks against the Jordanian embassy, the UN headquarters and a hotel that hosted the NBC crew, is Ansar el-Islam, an affiliate of al-Qaeda. Such attacks may have benefited from internal intelligence provided by former Iraqi Baathists. The lines separating the two groups are blurring by the day. But the "international dimension" of these attacks has the fingerprints of a network that keeps an eye on the world reaction to these types of deadly explosions.

The Jihadists are known for their psychological aims not only on the actual victims of the attacks but also on a public opinion that can weaken the resolve of the enemy, in this case the U.S. The real effects of a suicide attack or a car bomb in Baghdad are on U.S. TV and al-Jazeera. That is their real battlefield.

Statements made in the past indicate that al-Qaeda and its local allies are now targeting the "residence of U.S. personnel." If you make a normal deployment of your enemy's personnel in their offices and bedrooms a risk, then you have created a strategic problem for the enemy. That is a page taken directly the jihad manual recently found on the Internet.

[2] Possible speculation: Pieces of analysis tend to think that the strike could have been ordered by Syrian intelligence to "respond" to the U.S. endorsement of the Israeli strike on the Palestinian Islamic Jihad base near Damascus last week. If you analyze the statements made by several Syrian officials and pro-Syrian leaders this week, including the Syrian ambassador in Madrid ,and an al-Baath newspaper editor on al-Jazeera, they all share one talking point: Syria has "many ways" to respond to the Israeli-led (and, from their point of view, U.S.-sponsored) attacks, and Syria will choose when and where. For those with expertise in Syrian tactics, the logic of striking back at American interests in Iraq is not illogical. Many commentators in the Arab world have openly stated that the Israeli strike in Syria is an American message to Damascus. A logical extension of this equation would be that Syria responded to Washington on the battlefield on which it is most successful: Iraq.

[3] Potential link: A third possible theory is an amalgam of the previous two: that all these forces, and possibly more, are allied in their war against the Great Satan. This thesis suggests that there is a "regional war room" (RWR) centered in one - possibly more - capitals, which strategically coordinates the anti-American attacks. According to the proponents of this analysis, as of the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime, the RWR is "in charge" of these two theatres: the suicide attacks in Israel and the anti-American terror activities in Iraq. Additionally, that hypothetical"room" is said to be plotting strikes against "moderate" Arab countries, as well.

Obviously these are only speculations. But until the judicial track would put the evidence together, analyzing their jihad is a matter of reading events as they unfold and putting them into perspective. And it may offer a starting point to uncover evidence of the terrorists' actions -- and their weaknesses.

Walid Phares is a Professor of Middle East Studies and an MSNBC terrorism analyst.

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=10300
21 posted on 10/13/2003 9:06:43 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
IAEA Chief Expected in Iran as Deadline Nears

October 13, 2003
AFP
IranMania



TEHRAN -- The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, is expected for talks here Thursday, a fortnight before the watchdog's deadline for answers to its concerns about Iran's nuclear programme, a source close to the government said.

The source declined to elaborate on the programme or agenda for ElBaradei's talks but the news came as official media here announced that Iran was preparing to launch negotiations next week on its signature of an additional protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, as demanded by the international community.

The IAEA has set an October 31 deadline for Iran to address concerns about its nuclear programme or face referral to the UN Security Council for breach of the NPT.

http://www.iranmania.com/News/ArticleView/Default.asp?NewsCode=18652&NewsKind=Current%20Affairs
22 posted on 10/13/2003 9:07:48 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Russia delays launch of Iran nuclear power plant: report

MOSCOW (AFP) Oct 13, 2003
Spacewar.com

Russia may delay the launch of the Bushehr nuclear power reactor in Iran by one year, the ITAR-TASS news agency quoted a senior Russian atomic energy official as saying Monday.
"The Russian-Iranian commission has developed a new time frame (for Bushehr's development) in which the launch of the first energy reactor has been moved from 2004 to 2005," the unnamed ministry official was quoted as saying.

The official added that the Russia and Iran would agree on a firm date for the Bushehr project's launch in future negotiations.

Russia is building the Islamic state's first nuclear power reactor, but says it will not begin delivering nuclear fuel needed to operate the plant until Tehran signs a deal pledging to return the spent material to Russia.

Under pressure from the United States and Israel -- which fear that Iran is developing nuclear weapons -- Russia has made the return of the spent fuel a key condition for concluding the 800 million dollar (715 million euro) project.

http://www.spacewar.com/2003/031013115604.8t3jjrdm.html
23 posted on 10/13/2003 9:09:32 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Swiss open human rights dialogue with Iran

NZZ.ch
10.13.2003

A Swiss foreign ministry delegation has travelled to Iran to open dialogue on human rights.

It comes amid mounting international concern over the Islamic state’s nuclear programme, commitment to fighting terrorism and treatment of dissidents.

The visit also comes 12 years after Bern started similar talks with China, which have been criticised by some human rights groups.

Switzerland has looked after American interests in Iran since relations were broken off between the two countries after the hostage crisis at the US embassy in Tehran in 1979.

Simon Amman, one of the officials on the two-day trip, says this good relationship between Switzerland and Iran was central to the decision to send a government delegation there.

“The human rights record of Iran is not very good at the moment and at the same time Switzerland and Iran entertain good relations,” he told swissinfo.

Prison standards
Ammann says the main aim of the trip is to hold discussions with a view to improving the human rights situation in the country.

The delegation, headed by diplomat Peter Maurer, will be holding talks with high-ranking Iranian officials on corporal punishment, including the use of stoning, and prison standards in Iran.

Ammann says the Swiss will also be discussing the possibility of helping to train prison officers.

The foreign ministry official says the project is a long term one and although Switzerland is a small country on the political scene, he is convinced it can make a difference.

“Switzerland maybe doesn't have huge weight, but there are other countries including the European Union, Japan, Australia which have started human rights dialogues with Iran,” explained Ammann.

“We work as so-called like-minded states and I think together we should have quite a lot of weight,” he said.

China – a success?
Twelve years ago Bern started similar talks with China, which is accused of having a poor human rights record.

But rights campaigners say very little has been achieved in this time.

The project, which still ongoing, is coordinated by Pascale Baeriswyl from the Swiss foreign ministry.

She says there have been successes, notably in the release of political prisoners in Tibet. And she points out that Switzerland was the first country to start a human rights dialogue with the communist country.

But Baeriswyl says it was never Switzerland’s aim to impose changes.

“With a human rights dialogue the first aim is not to influence directly or to improve directly the human rights situation on the ground, but to give some input to a country that is in transition,” Baeriswyl told swissinfo.

“This means we try to help the Chinese to meet the intentional level in human rights, concretely to ratify the UN conventions and to implement them on the ground,” she added.

A different situation
The Iran visit has been welcomed by human rights groups in Switzerland who say they have long been battling for Swiss intervention in the country.

Alain Bovard of Amnesty International Switzerland says that the talks might even have more chance of success than with China.

“The Iranian attitude towards Switzerland is quite different from the Chinese attitude towards Switzerland, as Switzerland is more respected in Iran than it is in China,” said Bovard.

He says that the Swiss have always had quite an open attitude towards Iran, which is in their favour.

But he warns that Switzerland shouldn't become complacent, saying that the country will have to offer something more concrete than just dialogue to achieve its aims.

swissinfo, Isobel Johnson

http://nzz.ch/2003/10/13/english/page-synd4302872.html
24 posted on 10/13/2003 9:11:05 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Nuke Dispute Tightens U.S., Iran Tension

Monday October 13, 2003 2:01 PM
By BRIAN MURPHY
Associated Press Writer
Guardian.co.uk

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - At a Tehran University forum on nuclear technology, a bright green banner proclaimed the nation's ``absolute right'' to build reactors. Nearby, a student took notes in a folder decorated with Uncle Sam chasing an elusive atom around the Middle East.

The scene last week was another snapshot from one side of the huge gap between Iran and the United States. The tremors over Iran's nuclear ambitions have apparently wrenched it even wider at a delicate time.

Russia is building a nuclear reactor for Iran that the United States fears could be part of efforts to produce material for atomic weapons. In response, the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency has set an Oct. 31 deadline for Iran to prove it has no secret agenda for producing nuclear weapons.

Iran is also being pressed to sign an additional protocol to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty giving U.N. inspectors unfettered access to any site.

The tension has reduced hopes that shared regional interests - topped by Afghanistan and Iraq - could draw the United States and Iran into the most productive dialogue since relations ended after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Instead, many Iranian leaders and opinion-shapers have revived the bitterness that followed President Bush's ``axis of evil'' label last year. They see Washington directing the international pressure to clarify Iran's nuclear objectives and capabilities - though the European Union and others also fully support unrestricted U.N. inspections of nuclear sites.

``It's a classic case of two sides of the same coin,'' said Davoud Hermidas Bavand, a Tehran-based political analyst. ``The United States sees big worries. The Iranians say they are being unfairly bullied.''

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei - the pinnacle of power in Iran - claims the United States wants to cripple Iran's economic potential by blocking nuclear development. It's one of the few messages that unite feuding reformers and conservatives.

``There is the right for all countries to have the peaceful use of nuclear technology,'' an Iranian atomic scientist, Mohammad Kazem Marashi, told a gathering of Tehran University students and professors. ``Every time someone mentions nuclear power all they can think of is bombs.''

Weapons are clearly on the minds of Washington and some allies.

The White House fears a chilling scenario: Iran could develop nuclear warheads for its Shahab-3 missiles, which could reach as far as Israel. That could touch off a regional arms race or an Israeli pre-emptive strike - as in 1981 when Israeli warplanes hit an Iraqi nuclear reactor.

Iran insists it has nothing to hide and wants nuclear plants for research and power - looking decades ahead to when its oil reserves dwindle.

But there is resistance to the U.N. demands that Iran allow international inspections. The Iranian leadership wants assurances that the nuclear reviews won't turn into spying, with inspectors combing ministries and offices.

That's as far as the objections go for the moment. Iran does not want an impasse that ends up in the U.N. Security Council, which could lead to international sanctions and a new host of problems for the ruling theocracy.

``Every way you look at it, the stakes are very high and getting higher,'' said Jonathan Stevensen, a regional analyst at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London.

It's also thrown obstacles into what could have been a rare patch of common ground between Iran and the United States.

Iran sits between two of Washington's biggest burdens: Afghanistan and Iraq. And Iran shares the West's immediate goals in those countries.

A modernized Afghanistan would open important new commercial routes for Iran. A stabilized Iraq could boost Iran's regional power as the ally of Iraq's Shiite Muslim majority.

Iranian and American envoys have taken part in Afghan meetings. Iran is expected to attend an Iraq donors' conference in Spain later this month.

But - for the moment - much of the diplomatic energy is being diverted to the nuclear dispute.

The United States seeks to keep a united front with European allies, although some have said Iran should be allowed to pursue nuclear power if inspections are thorough.

Iran, meanwhile, must deal with internal quarrels on how far to push nuclear development.

A Russian-built reactor could go into service as early as 2005, and Iran says it will continue to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes. Highly enriched uranium is needed for nuclear weapons and lower grades are used in power plants and research.

Some hard-line groups have openly urged Iran to develop nuclear weapons, citing neighboring Pakistan's nuclear program and the belief that Israel has nuclear warheads. Israel has never admitted to having a nuclear program.

In July, the conservative Students' Islamic Association urged Iran's government to ``openly and seriously'' develop nuclear arms as ``deterrence against our enemies.'' Others have also insisted Iran should hold open the right to develop such weapons.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-3258511,00.html
25 posted on 10/13/2003 9:13:00 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; DoctorZIn
Don't mind me. I figured out the problem. :)
26 posted on 10/13/2003 9:13:18 AM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife (You may forget the one with whom you have laughed, but never the one with whom you have wept.)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran hiding nuclear site from UN - exiled opposition

13 Oct 2003 12:57:38 GMT
VIENNA, Oct 13 (Reuters)

An Iranian opposition group that has provided accurate information about undeclared nuclear facilities in Iran in the past said on Monday that Tehran has been hiding another nuclear facility from U.N. inspectors.

"We have information about another secret nuclear facility in Iran," an official from the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an exiled opposition group, told Reuters. The official gave no details about the site, but said NCRI officials would provide full details on Tuesday.

In August 2002, the NCRI broke the news of two undeclared nuclear sites in Iran -- a massive uranium-enrichment complex at Natanz and a heavy-water production facility at Arak.

Tehran later declared these facilities to the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which has placed surveillance cameras at Natanz to ensure that no undeclared nuclear activities take place there.

Earlier this year, the IAEA found traces of weapons-grade enriched uranium at Natanz, fuelling fears that Iran has been secretly purifying uranium for use in an atomic bomb.

Tehran denies it secretly enriched uranium and blamed the traces on contaminated machinery purchased abroad in the 1980s.

The NCRI is a coalition of moderate or left-wing groups and presents itself as a potential replacement for Islamic rule in Iran. The U.S. State Department and the European Union list the NCRI's armed wing, the People's Mujahideen, as a terrorist group.

Last month the governing board of the IAEA gave Iran until October 31 to prove it is not diverting nuclear resources to a secret weapons programme, as the United States alleges, or face sanctions by the U.N. Security Council.

IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei has been invited to Tehran on Thursday, though an agency spokeswoman said he had not decided yet whether he would accept.

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L13574376.htm
27 posted on 10/13/2003 9:14:23 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Mehrabad Airport & Tehran, Iran (On 10/14-15/ 2003)

Iranians will gather, in the late hours of Tuesday night, at the Tehran's Mehrabad Int'l Airport, and on Wednesday afternoon, in the Laleh Park, in order to welcome Mrs.Shirin Ebadi, the first Iranian Nobelist, awarded for her Human Rights actions.

At this time, Mrs. Ebadi has scheduled to fly back home, from France, on Tuesday at 14:30 (Paris local time) by Iran Air Flight #!R732 departing from S. Orly Airport. Her fregime (pretexting the strategic nature of Mehrabad Airport) will happen under huge security measures.light[sic] shall land around 22:00 on Tuesday (Tehran's local time).

These gatherings have been banned by the Islamic republic and might lead to a brual repression.

On Tuesday October 14, 2003
From 22:00 (local time)
At the Mehrabad Airport of Tehran, all its exits and the Azadi (former Shahyad) square.

On Wednesday October 15, 2003
From 14:00 (local time)
At the "Laleh Park" located in the "Fatemi" avenue.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/article/publish/cat_index_10.shtml#3081
28 posted on 10/13/2003 9:25:25 AM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife (You may forget the one with whom you have laughed, but never the one with whom you have wept.)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?storyID=3604178
EU Accuses Iran of Torture and Liberties Abuses
Mon October 13, 2003 11:40 AM ET
By Sebastian Alison

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - The European Union accused Iran Monday of torture and a catalog of civil liberties abuses, but foreign ministers said they wanted to maintain a dialogue on human rights.

For that reason, the 15-nation EU stopped just short of agreeing to table a resolution condemning Iran at the United Nations, saying instead it would "convey its serious concern."

"The Council continues to be seriously concerned about executions being carried out in Iran in apparent absence of respect for internationally recognized safeguards," the EU said in a statement on an Iran-EU human rights dialogue last week.

"The Council is equally concerned by the continued use of torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment in Iran," it added.

The statement highlighted public executions and amputations as well as shortcomings in freedom of opinion and expression, women's rights, religious freedom, and discrimination against women and girls.

It drew special attention to the case of Zahra Kazemi, a Canadian citizen of Iranian descent whose death in custody in June, from a blow to the head, seriously damaged relations between Ottawa and Tehran.

A member of Iran's intelligence services is currently on trial for her murder, a charge he denies.

Kazemi's family is to be represented in Iranian courts by human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize last week. The EU congratulated Ebadi in its statement as an "eminent Iranian lawyer and human rights defender."

While welcoming the dialogue and looking forward to the next round of talks on human rights, to be held in Tehran, the EU said improvements on the ground were needed if talks were to continue.

"As the Council has recalled on previous occasions, this dialogue is an acceptable option only if sufficient progress is achieved and reflected on the ground," the statement said.

The EU is fully backing demands by the U.N. nuclear watchdog that Iran produce proof before the end of this month that it is not secretly working to develop nuclear weapons under cover of its bigger than previously disclosed civilian nuclear program.

"The Council considered that the Iranian nuclear program remains an issue of grave concern...," the statement said, reaffirming that the entire relationship would be reviewed in the light of Tehran's compliance with the International Atomic Energy Agency deadline.
29 posted on 10/13/2003 9:41:02 AM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife (You may forget the one with whom you have laughed, but never the one with whom you have wept.)
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To: F14 Pilot
I have asked you about Israeli preemptive attacks on Iran. Will this attck weaken Iranian reformists' position? I suggested that Mullahs and hard-liners within the government will militarize Iranian society. This is a double pressure on the Iranian people. What do you think?

I think it will be rough indeed for the Iranian people if Israel preemtively strikes Iran. Some reformists may rally against Israel, some will see it as a necessary step to getting rid of the Mullahs.

With America next door in Iraq, and once Iran's nuclear capability is taken out, I think the freedom loving Iranians will feel empowered, for they know the time is near.
30 posted on 10/13/2003 10:01:01 AM PDT by Pro-Bush (Homeland Security + Tom Ridge = Open Borders --> Demand Change!)
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To: F14 Pilot
Thanks for the heads up!
31 posted on 10/13/2003 10:15:34 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl (Please donate to Free Republic!)
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To: F14 Pilot
It is much easier for us to reward a woman who is working against a government no one loves than it would be to reward a woman working against a government the west has created.

Sorry, Guardian, the west isn't creating today's Afghanistan, the Afghan people are. Nice try. Bring back the Taliban? No thanks.

Radical, unrepresentative Western feminist groups, through Universities, NGOS, governments and the internet, spread their bitterness and demands around the world - often led by Madeline Albright and Hillary Clinton in the 90s.

It's dishonest to equate women's rights and human rights with a bitter, disrespectful radical feminist movement that is so easily offended and accusatory re. perceived offenses by others and yet refuses to repent or acknowledge their own offensive words and deeds - their own disrepect for men, their grandparents, God.

A traditional society with a faith-based foundation is of course offended by self-centered radical feminists. If a "Code Pink" office is 'graffitied' in Kabul today, it does not mean things aren't far better for women in Afghanistan - being trained at Universities, taking professional jobs, not being beheaded in the public square for suspected adultery, etc., than they were under the Taliban!

32 posted on 10/13/2003 10:58:12 AM PDT by Ragtime Cowgirl (~129,998 brave troops hunted evildoers and won hearts for their 2 fallen brethren in Iraq yesterday.)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Warns Israel Over Reports of Planned Air Strike

October 13, 2003
Ha'aretz
News Agencies and Ha'aretz Service

TEHRAN -- The Iranian government issued a warning to Israel over reports appearing in a German news magazine Monday that Jerusalem was researching how to strike Iranian nuclear sites.

"We are used to such foolish rhetoric from Israel and consider it not even worth replying, but still Israel knows not to mess around with us," government spokesman Abdullah Ramezanzadeh told journalists.

According to the news magazine Der Spiegel, Israeli intelligence services were ordered two months ago to study ways of knocking out more than half a dozen nuclear sites in Iran.

A Mossad team in Jerusalem had drafted "scenarios" in which raids would be flown by F-16 fighter-bombers that destroy the sites "simultaneously and completely."

Source: Iran hiding another nuke site

An Iranian opposition group that has provided accurate information about undeclared nuclear facilities in Iran in the past said Monday that Tehran has been hiding another nuclear facility from UN inspectors.

"We have information about another secret nuclear facility in Iran," an official from the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an exiled opposition group, told Reuters. The official gave no details about the site, but said the NCRI would provide full details Tuesday.

In an emailed statement, the NCRI also said it would provide information on Iran's use of foreign technology in its atomic program, as well as details about the Kalaye Electric Co., where UN inspectors found traces of weapons-grade uranium.

IAEA officials were not immediately available for comment.

Russia puts off start-up of Iran nuclear plant
Meanwhile, a source in the Russian Atomic Energy Ministry said Monday that Moscow has postponed plans to start up a nuclear reactor in Iran until 2005, due to technical reasons.

"We are putting off the start-up of the first generating set of the Bushehr plant because much of the technical equipment has not been supplied in time," the source told Reuters. "But mind you, this has nothing to do with politics and other issues surrounding Iran at this point."

In August 2002, the NCRI broke the news of two undeclared nuclear sites in Iran - a massive uranium-enrichment complex at Natanz and a heavy-water production facility at Arak.

Tehran later declared these facilities to the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which has placed surveillance cameras at Natanz to ensure that no undeclared nuclear activities take place there.

In addition to the uranium found at Kalaye, the IAEA found traces of weapons-grade enriched uranium at Natanz, fuelling fears that Iran has been secretly purifying uranium for use in an atomic bomb.

Tehran denies it secretly enriched uranium and blamed the traces on contaminated machinery purchased abroad in the 1980s.

The NCRI is a coalition of exiled opposition groups and sees itself as a potential replacement for Islamic rule in Iran. But the U.S. State Department and the European Union list the NCRI's armed wing, the People's Mujahideen, as a terrorist group.

Last month the governing board of the IAEA gave Iran until October 31 to prove it is not diverting nuclear resources to a secret weapons program, as the United States alleges, or face sanctions by the UN Security Council.

IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei has been invited to Tehran on Thursday, though an agency spokeswoman said he had not decided yet whether he would accept.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=349435&contrassID=1&subContrassID=1&sbSubContrassID=0&listSrc=Y
33 posted on 10/13/2003 11:12:39 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Khamenei Issues Call for Muslims to Stand up to US

October 13, 2003
Deepikaglobal.com
DPA

Teheran -- Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei today called on the Islamic world to stand united against United States policies in the region, the news network Khabar reported.

Khamenei called on the 57 member states of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to unite at their summit in Malaysia.

Khamenei said that President Mohammad Khatami, whom he met yesterday to discuss the Iranian position at the OIC summit, would call for unity later this week in Malaysia.

http://www.deepikaglobal.com/latestnews.asp?ncode=7903
34 posted on 10/13/2003 11:14:34 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Seeks to Extend Nuclear Deadline

October 13, 2003
VOA News
James Martone

Iran is indicating it wants more time to comply with demands from the International Atomic Energy Agency beyond the October 31 deadline the agency has set.

Iran's envoy to the IAEA says his country is committed to boosting cooperation with the agency but may need more time to satisfy all of its demands.

In comments published in the state-run daily Iran, envoy Ali Akbar Salehi said Iran's cooperation with the IAEA has "quickened" since talks earlier this month. Mr. Salehi said cooperation should accelerate further in the coming weeks but that more time may be needed. He said it would be wrong to declare failure as long as progress is being made.

The IAEA has given Iran until the end of October to fully disclose the nature of its nuclear program and to agree to an additional protocol that would subject its nuclear sites to closer scrutiny by agency inspectors.

Meanwhile, Iran's Presidential Advisor Ali Rabiee told the country's news agency that "highly placed officials in the Iranian government were discussing seriously the issue of the additional protocol." The presidential advisor also announced that IAEA director Mohamed ElBaradei is expected to arrive Thursday in Tehran for more talks on nuclear issues.

Iran is a signatory of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, and says its nuclear program is purely for peaceful purposes. The United States has accused Iran of pursuing a clandestine nuclear-weapons program.

In a related development, Egypt's official news agency reports from Tehran that the Deputy Speaker of Iran's Parliament, Mohamed Reza Khatami, has called on his country to allow more IAEA inspections in order to convince the world Iran has no nuclear weapons. Mr. Khatami is the brother of Iranian president Mohamed Khatemi.

http://www.voanews.com/article.cfm?objectID=70010289-95E3-41FE-AF70B7B6AC649639&title=Iran%20Seeks%20to%20Extend%20Nuclear%20Group%20Demands&catOID=45C9C78D-88AD-11D4-A57200A0CC5EE46C&categoryname=Mid
35 posted on 10/13/2003 11:15:22 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
EU Accuses Iran of Torture and Liberties Abuses

Mon October 13, 2003 11:40 AM ET
By Sebastian Alison

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1000126/posts?page=29#29
36 posted on 10/13/2003 11:17:08 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
Noted, Thanks! Will discuss more with you later.
37 posted on 10/13/2003 12:02:24 PM PDT by F14 Pilot (where there's God, there's love.)
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To: Pro-Bush
But war will be definite in the Region.
Don't you think so?
38 posted on 10/13/2003 12:02:54 PM PDT by F14 Pilot (where there's God, there's love.)
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To: DoctorZIn
EU reiterates "grave concern" over Iran's nuclear capacity

13 October 2003
EU Business News

The European Union reiterated Monday its "grave concern" at Iran's failure to reassure the world over its nuclear capacity, calling on Tehran to agree unconditionally to snap UN inspections.

"We confirm our urgent invitation (to Tehran) to sign without any preconditions" a UN protocol allowing unannounced inspections of its nuclear facilities, said Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, whose country currently holds the EU's rotating presidency.

"The EU remains gravely concerned by Iran's failure to cooperate fully with the IAEA," added British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, referring to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The EU comments came as IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei prepares to begin a visit to Iran on Thursday, 15 days before a deadline expires for Iran to dispel suspicions it is pursuing a nuclear weapons programme.

Straw added that the EU will review its position depending on Tehran's actions in response to the October 31 deadline. "Iran's performance in this area will be critical if her relationship with the EU is to develop," he said.

In contast to the United States, the European Union is pressing ahead with a policy of constructive engagement with Iran, pressing it human rights issues at the same time seeking to negotiate a bilateral trade agreement.

http://www.eubusiness.com/afp/031013171719.5no8ee9k
39 posted on 10/13/2003 12:07:49 PM PDT by F14 Pilot (where there's God, there's love.)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
http://www.spacewar.com/2003/031013183741.jm3tm2pq.html

Iran, NKorea at centre of meeting between Russian FM and IAEA chief

BERN (AFP) Oct 13, 2003
Russian foreign minister Igor Ivanov said that he would meet International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed Elbaradei in Vienna on Tuesday to discuss the nuclear standoffs with Iran and North Korea.
"Most probably we will speak about the problems relating to Iran, North Korea and weapons of mass destruction in Iraq," Ivanov told journalists after a meeting with his Swiss counterpart here on Monday.

Ivanov reiterated Russia's desire for a peaceful solution to the standoff over Iran's nuclear power programme and allowing more intrusive IAEA inspections, which Tehran has so far rejected despite suspicions that it is trying to make nuclear weapons.

"We believe it is necessary that Iran signs up to the additional protocol," he added.

The meeting comes only days before Elbaradei is due to fly to Iran following an invitation from the Islamic republic.

Elbaradei's visit beginning on Thursday will come 15 days before a deadline expires for Iran to dispel suspicions it is pursuing a nuclear weapons programme.
40 posted on 10/13/2003 12:08:30 PM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife (You may forget the one with whom you have laughed, but never the one with whom you have wept.)
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To: F14 Pilot
But war will be definite in the Region. Don't you think so?

What could Iran do to retaliate if Israel destoys their nuclear capability? ..Not much with America between Iran & Israel in Iraq.

Let lebanon or Syria try something overt. It won't happen.

I think a revolution would ensue in Iran. Coalition special ops would help in a limited capacity, but with plausible denial.
41 posted on 10/13/2003 12:27:37 PM PDT by Pro-Bush (Homeland Security + Tom Ridge = Open Borders --> Demand Change!)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/text/2003/oct/13/101307995.html

Today: October 13, 2003 at 12:04:17 PDT

Iranian President Turns 67 Amid Tensions
By ALI AKBAR DAREINI
ASSOCIATED PRESS

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran's embattled President Mohammad Khatami turned 61 Monday, but with little to celebrate and much to worry about.

He is preoccupied with an ever-expanding feud with the unelected hard-liners who hold ultimate control in Iran's Islamic government and who have undermined his attempts to bring democratic and social reform. At the same time, he must answer to U.S. and world concerns over Iran's controversial nuclear program.

"There is no plan even for a family celebration today," Leila Khatami, the president's elder daughter, told The Associated Press Monday.

"My dad is so preoccupied with state affairs that he cannot spend much time with the family."

An intellectual once so loved by Iran's majority youth population that many women carried his photograph in their purses, Khatami is now losing public support.

The soft-spoken president, voted to office by landslide majority in 1997 and again in 2001, is blamed for failing to stand up to hard-liners who have placed obstacles in front of his reform agenda. Protesters, who regularly condemn hard-line clerics and support Khatami, turned against him in June, denouncing his inability to fulfill reform promises.

Caught in the middle, Khatami in July offered to resign if the people wanted him to. One month later, he admitted it had become harder for him to face the nation "because I feel many of the ideas and programs I sincerely offered and the people voted for have not materialized."

Khatami repeatedly complains he is powerless to stop hard-liners who have blocked all reform legislation, shut down more than 100 liberal publications and detained dozens of pro-reform activists and writers.

Khatami's two key reform bills seeking to check the power of hard-liners are in tatters. One of the bills aims to increase presidential powers to stop constitutional violations by hard-liners. The other seeks to bar the hard-line oversight body, the Guardian Council, from disqualifying parliamentary and presidential elections candidates.

The Guardian Council, which vets all parliamentary legislation, has rejected both bills, saying they were unconstitutional and against Islam. Efforts by Khatami and his allies have so far failed to find a breakthrough.

On the international front, Khatami has strongly defended his country, even as pressures have mounted following an Oct. 31 deadline imposed on Iran by the International Atomic Energy Agency to prove its nuclear program was peaceful.

"We are ready to exert all efforts to ease concerns ... (about) the proliferation of nuclear weapons, which we are sure we are not seeking," Khatami said. "But we expect our right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy to be respected."

Part of Khatami's appeal has long been how differnt he is - in looks and ideas - from most other clerics. A pleasant smile, refined looks, a trimmed graying beard, well-pressed clerical robes carefully matched with flowing cloaks all add to his aura. Khatami is known to be so obsessed with tidiness that he nags TV camera crews not to wrinkle his robe when they put a microphone on him.

Unlike other Middle East leaders, Khatami did not have his birthday trumpeted in the media. Many at the presidency on Monday did not even know it was his birthday.

Khatami was born in Ardakan in central Yazd province into a conservative family. He earned degrees in theology and philosophy. His late father, Ruhollah Khatami, rose to the highest clerical rank, ayatollah, and was a prominent supporter of Iran's revolutionary leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Khatami, who has two daughters and a son, spends his leisure time improving his linguistic skills in Arabic, English and German. He once headed the Islamic Center in Hamburg, Germany.

He is described by government spokesman, Abdollah Ramezanzadeh, as a man who "opened a new horizon for Iran in the world."

"Demand for change won't go even after Khatami steps down," Ramezanzadeh told the AP Monday.

As Iran's constitution permits a person to hold the presidency for only two consecutive terms, Khatami will be forced step down at the next elections in 2005. He, however, is able to stand for president again four years later.

42 posted on 10/13/2003 12:36:04 PM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife (You may forget the one with whom you have laughed, but never the one with whom you have wept.)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=347503&contrassID=1

Arad's brother says new report includes `recent signs of life' from missing aviator

By Roni Singer and Yossi Melman

A Defense Ministry commissioned report summarizing
all the efforts made to recover missing aviator
Ron Arad says that in recent years there have been
signs of life from the navigator, his brother Chen
told a press conference yesterday.

Chen Arad also said the report indicates where the missing
navigator, who was taken captive when his plane crashed
in south Lebanon in 1986, is being held, and expressed
dissatisfaction with several of the report's conclusions.

But the Arad family spokesman refused to provide further details on his brother's location and status, saying he did
not want to cause any harm to the source of the information by revealing anything about the nature of the indications that his brother is alive. "I don't want to say any more because I don't want to endanger a single hair on the head of the person who provided the
information," he said.

The report has stated that the defense establishment should operate on the assumption that Ron Arad was still alive, but made no mention of explicit signs of life. Chen Arad also said that the report indicates with certainty who exactly has been holding Ron Arad from the last time he showed signs of life through today. When asked whether the "address" of Ron Arad's captors was Iran, Chen Arad
responded: "The address is the same address."

The Arad family called the press conference to present its reaction to the report. Last week the High Court of Justice ordered the government to hand over an edited version of the report to the family.

Chen Arad said he was troubled by the report, which details the airman's case over the 17 years since his capture. "The findings that appear in the report are very troubling and it contains an analysis of which we had not yet been informed," he told Haaretz. The family was
particularly disturbed by the report's indication that there is a high probability that Ron Arad is still alive and that there is a clear link between Lebanese militant Mustafa Dirani and Ron Arad's disappearance, Arad said.


Despite these conclusions, the government is negotiating a prisoner swap with Hezbollah in which Dirani is among those slated for release from Israeli imprisonment. The Arad family has been trying to prevent Dirani's release and has repeatedly insisted Ron Arad, or information on
his whereabouts, be included in any prisoner
swap.

In addition, Arad said the family was disturbed by the report's criticism of the way in which the defense establishment has handled the Arad case. Chen Arad and his brother Dudu Arad read the report at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv last week.

Yaron Kaminsky Families of kidnapped soldiers releasing balloons yesterday on Mount Hermon to mark three years since their relatives were taken captive.
43 posted on 10/13/2003 1:11:28 PM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife (You may forget the one with whom you have laughed, but never the one with whom you have wept.)
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To: DoctorZIn
EU Attacks Iran's Human Rights Record

October 13, 2003
The Financial Times
Judy Dempsey

The European Union on Monday issued a blistering attack on Iran's human rights record but stopped short from agreeing to table or co-sponsor a United Nations General Assembly resolution that would single out Iran for its human rights violations.

In a session devoted to human rights in Iran, EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg criticised the country's continuing use of the death penalty, public executions, torture, amputation as an alternative punishment and arbitrary detentions.

"The situation with regard to freedom of opinion and expression continues to be deeply troubling, especially on the eve of parliamentary elections," the council said.

Ministers, however, insisted the "establishment of a dialogue [with Iran] is without prejudice to the tabling or co-sponsoring of a resolution at the third committee of the United Nations General Assembly or the Commission on Human Rights." The third committee is responsible for human rights. It is expected to issue a resolution on Iran later this month.

Diplomats said the two-pronged strategy by ministers meeting in Luxembourg was aimed at sending a message to both reformers and conservatives.

The EU wants to maintain for a long as possible its human rights dialogue that started with Iran ten months ago. While Iranian reformers believe the dialogue is one way to introduce reforms and prevent Iran from being isolated, Iranian conservatives resent any discussions of human rights.

Diplomats said the strategy was also about maintaining unity among all 15 EU member states that have unusually pursued a common and strong policy towards engaging Iran on human rights. They have also consistently backed the US and the International Atomic Energy Agency in insisting Iran sign an additional protocol that would provide the IAEA with maximum transparency over its nuclear energy programme.

Ireland, Britain, Sweden and the Netherlands had wanted the EU to agree to table or co-sponsor a UN resolution. Several other countries, however, managed to win some time before committing the EU.

"We believe the human rights dialogue is a long term investment," said a senior EU diplomat involved in negotiations with Iran. "We hope we can separate our dialogue from what might happen at the UN," he added.

http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1059480551206
44 posted on 10/13/2003 1:28:06 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Judge Orders Intelligence Agent Freed

October 13, 2003
The Associated Press
Ali Akbar Dareini

TEHRAN -- A judge on Monday ordered an Iranian intelligence agent charged in the murder of an Iranian-Canadian photojournalist to be freed on bail.

Lawyer Ghasem Shabani said his client, Mohammad Reza Aghdam Ahmadi, would be released Tuesday after posting the equivalent of about $50,000 Cdn bail.

On the first day of his open trial last Tuesday, Ahmadi pleaded not guilty to charges in the death of photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, 54, who died July 10 after suffering fatal head injuries during 77 hours of interrogation after her June 23 detention.

Ahmadi is charged with "semi-premeditated murder," meaning he did not intend to kill Kazemi but that his actions led to her death.

Shabani told The Associated Press that Judge Rasoul Ghanimi accepted his argument that Ahmadi should be in custody only if charged with deliberate murder, and not the semi-premeditated murder count he faces.

The lawyer said he could not provide bail Monday, but would do so Tuesday.

Shabani also said the judge agreed to give him a month to prepare his defence case.

Last Tuesday, Tehran's deputy prosecutor general, Jafar Reshadati, told he court that Ahmadi was the only interrogator who had spent long periods of time alone with Kazemi.

Ahmadi had also refused to answer some questions about Kazemi's treatment and gave contradictory statements, he said.

Reshadati said a prison doctor had confirmed on the afternoon of June 26 that Kazemi was in good health and responded to questions in writing - only hours before she was rushed to hospital with lethal injuries.

"Now, the accused should explain how a healthy person in his control who responded to questions in 18 pages by her own handwriting is then transferred to hospital and finally dies," Reshadati said.

Iran's Intelligence Ministry is backing its agent and has blamed officials in the hardline judiciary for Kazemi's death.

On Monday, Shabani insisted the indictment against Ahmadi was flawed and showed "serious and deep contradictions" with documents provided by the Intelligence Ministry proving his client was innocent.

Kazemi, 54, was detained while taking photos outside north Tehran's Evin prison during student-led protests. After her interrogation, she was taken to a hospital's intensive care unit.

The killing has damaged ties between Iran and Canada and ignited a round of finger-pointing between Iran's cleric-backed hardliners and the moderates in the government of President Mohammad Khatami, who control the Intelligence Ministry.

Last week, Khatami reiterated that members of the hardline judiciary should be questioned, including the judiciary official who initially said Kazemi died of a stroke.

"Why all those who were in contact with Kazemi are not questioned, including those who ordered a Culture Ministry official to say she died of stroke," Khatami said, in reference to Saeed Mortazavi, the hardline Tehran prosecutor general.

Authorities initially denied that Kazemi, who held both Canadian and Iranian citizenship, had been killed. However, the head of the foreign press department at Iran's Culture Ministry said in July that Mortazavi kept him hostage in his office and forced him to announce that Kazemi had died of a stroke.

A presidential-appointed committee later ruled that Kazemi died of a fractured skull and brain hemorrhage due to a blow to the head.

A statement released last week by the Intelligence Ministry said Kazemi complained in writing on June 24 that she had been beaten on the day of her arrest by a prison official, part of the hardline judiciary.

Canada threatened sanctions and withdrew its ambassador after the photojournalist's body was buried in her birthplace, the southern Iranian city of Shiraz, against the wishes of Canadian authorities and her son, who lives in Montreal.

Canadian Ambassador Philip Mackinnon returned to Iran earlier this month and has been attending the trial.

http://iranvajahan.net/cgi-bin/news.pl?l=en&y=2003&m=10&d=13&a=17
45 posted on 10/13/2003 1:29:35 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_414686,0012.htm

Iran’s freedom fighter
October 13

Shirin Ebadi was never keen to enter the whirlpool of politics. But then, in a society that sees stifled liberalism pitted against stifling orthodoxy, there was never much scope to stay away from the vortex. Last week, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her untiring work in the field of women’s and children’s rights in Iran. Coming as it does in these times of investigations into Islamic societies, the award confirms that there is no contradiction between true Islam and human rights. Ms Ebadi was a respected judge in pre-revolution Iran. After 1979, like many other Iranians welcoming the overthrow of the corrupt rule of the Shah, she joined the ministry of justice hoping to be a part of a team that would open the doors to true democracy. Ayatollah Khomeini and his ‘revolutionaries’ had other ideas.

In her capacity as a lawyer and university lecturer, Ms Ebadi has fought against the oppressive pall that Iran is covered with — and has been punished many times for her endeavours. Her receiving the Nobel Prize comes at a time when the two opposing forces of moderates and fundamentalists in Iran are at a critical juncture. The award is likely to give President Mohammad Khatami, the champion of the moderates, a moral fillip. It is no coincidence that Mr Khatami is most vociferously supported by women and the youth, both sections of Iranian society most indebted to Ms Ebadi’s work.

To underline the fact that Iranians calling for ‘freedom’ are nobody’s cat’s paw, the Nobel laureate has not only demanded Teheran to release all political prisoners, but also warned the United States to not poke its long nose in Iran’s affairs. To keep this precarious balance is a difficult task for which Ms Ebadi deserves much applause. “If a country abuses human rights in the name of Islam, then it is not the fault of Islam,” she has said. In a way, she is also telling the world to stop viewing her country through the comfortable yet misleading lens of stereotypes.
46 posted on 10/13/2003 1:30:20 PM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife (You may forget the one with whom you have laughed, but never the one with whom you have wept.)
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To: DoctorZIn
Police: Imminent terror attack on British Jews

Jerusalem Post ^ | Oct. 13, 2003 | DOUGLAS DAVIS
Posted on 10/13/2003 8:53 AM PDT by yonif

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1000285/posts

47 posted on 10/13/2003 2:24:23 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
"A NOBLE WOMAN CARRIES TORCH FOR DEMOCRACY IN IRAN" BY AMIR TAHERI, WALL STREET JOURNAL EUROPE

by Amir Taheri
WALL STREET JOURNAL EUROPE
October 13, 2003
Khaleh Shirin bord! (Auntie Shirin has won!).

Iranian university students were spreading this message by telephone, the Internet and in slogans on the walls of Tehran after Persian-language broadcasts from London and Washington on Friday announced that Shirin Ebadi got the Nobel Peace Prize.

Iran's pro-democracy movement, now going through a rough patch, couldn't have hoped for better news. Mrs. Ebadi, a 56-year old lawyer and human-rights campaigner, is one of their own. She immediately used the platform given her by the award to call for all prisoners of conscience to be released in Iran.

"I see this prize as a message to the democracy movement in Iran," Mrs. Ebadi told me in a phone conversation from Paris, where she was attending a conference on human rights. "The message is clear: the democratic world is on your side. Keep fighting!"

She said the prize must be seen as acknowledgment that it is possible for Muslims to be democrats. "There need be no contradiction between being a Muslim and a democrat," she said. "I am proud to be a Muslim while believing that democracy is the best system."

Mrs. Ebadi's win has shocked the hard-line Khomeinists. The state-controlled media tried to ignore the news and ended up by announcing it in a 12-word item. That was followed by a barrage of personal attacks on Mrs. Ebadi. One leading Khomeinist, Assadallah Badamchian, who leads the hard-line Islamic Coalition Council, called Mrs. Ebadi "an agent of American and Zionist conspiracies."

Mrs. Ebadi's Nobel comes at a time that the Khomeinists, grouped around the "Supreme Guide" Ali Khamenehi, are trying to contain the democracy movement with a mixture of threats and promises.

Since July, some 5,000 pro-democracy activists have been arrested and held for varying periods. At least 2,000 students have been "purged" from universities while armed guards backed by professional street-fighters are posted in and around most campuses. All this took a toll on the pro-democracy movement.

Now, however, the democracy campaigners are planning a series of demonstrations, starting with a big reception for Mrs. Ebadi after she collects her prize in Stockholm in December. The laureate is also expected to head a list of pro-reform candidates in the next general election, scheduled for March 2004.

Mrs. Ebadi was a symbol of the modernization of Iran that was halted when the mullahs seized power in 1979. She was among the first women to study law and took her degree from the Tehran Law Faculty in 1967 at a time that Iranian women were asserting their presence throughout society.

In 1962 women had received the right to vote and get elected to the parliament. Three years later, another law abolished polygamy, banned the repudiation of women by husbands, and gave women the right to divorce. In 1968, amendments to the Penal Code established the full equality of men and women as witnesses and opened the way for the appointment of woman judges.

Mrs. Ebadi was among the first women to be appointed as a judge in 1974. By 1978, when the first rumblings of the revolution started, there were 46 women judges in Iran, including one, Mehrangiz Manuchehrian, in the nine-member Supreme Court. There were also 21 women in the Parliament, and two in the Cabinet. Women also served as ambassadors, provincial governors, and in positions of command in the armed forces and the police.

The mullahs ended all that.

The new regime canceled many of the laws passed in favor of women and announced that women were no longer allowed to sit as judges or practice law. Women were also thrown out of the military, the police, the diplomatic service and other professions that required contacts with men. In 1982 the new regime passed the Islamic Dress Act that made the hijab mandatory for all female humans above the age of six.

Having lost her job as a judge, Mrs. Ebadi was not allowed to work even as a lawyer until the ban on female barristers was lifted in 1990. Since the teaching profession was still open to women, partly because men had been sent to the war against Iraq in the 1980s, Mrs. Ebadi was able to obtain a post as university lecturer.

That was the start of her comeback. She took on the defense of the defenseless, including beaten women, Afghan and Iraqi refugees exploited by their employers, minorities, especially Bahais and Jews, terrorized because of their faith, and children raped in prisons by mullahs.

In 1999 she spent nine weeks in the notorious Evin Prison, where an estimated 100,000 men, women and children have perished since 1979.

Using a teaspoon she carved this message on the wall of her cell: "Time and place are imposed on us. Let's be patient!"

Mr. Taheri is former executive editor of Kayhan, Iran's largest daily newspaper.

Updated October 13, 2003

http://www.benadorassociates.com/article/613
48 posted on 10/13/2003 4:54:14 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
"A NOBLE WOMAN CARRIES TORCH FOR DEMOCRACY IN IRAN" BY AMIR TAHERI, WALL STREET JOURNAL EUROPE

by Amir Taheri
WALL STREET JOURNAL EUROPE
October 13, 2003
Khaleh Shirin bord! (Auntie Shirin has won!).

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1000126/posts?page=48#48
49 posted on 10/13/2003 4:55:05 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
As Iran's constitution permits a person to hold the presidency for only two consecutive terms, Khatami will be forced step down at the next elections in 2005. He, however, is able to stand for president again four years later.

In 2005 the candidates will be Rafsanjani (again) vs Shirin Ebadi
50 posted on 10/13/2003 6:03:22 PM PDT by AdmSmith
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