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Iranian Alert -- October 14, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD PING LIST
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^
Posted on 10/14/2003 12:02:05 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 Americans 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.
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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To: F14 Pilot
Thanks for the heads up!
posted on 10/14/2003 7:22:26 AM PDT
(Please donate to Free Republic!)
Iran's nuke potential could help bridge U.S.-Europe divide
October 14, 2003
BY JOHN O'SULLIVAN
ROME -- "Women wage the sex war by vindictiveness," said the late Cyril Connolly, "men by indifference." Whatever the truth of this remark, it certainly describes the Atlantic relationship between Europe and America -- at least in the painful aftermath of the Afghan and Iraq wars.
European vindictiveness has been on display in recent weeks in response to the U.S. request for help in Iraq. France in particular has refused to contribute any troops or aid unless the United States agrees to a U.N. Security Council resolution that would amount to an American humiliation: a dominant U.N. political role in Iraq leading to a handover to a new Iraqi authority on a transparently unrealistic time-scale. It has encouraged European (and other) nations, notably Germany and Russia, to withhold assistance.
The result of this Euro-obstructionism is a characteristic triumph of French foreign policy: The United States has been somewhat disadvantaged without France and its confederates advancing their interests in any positive way. No U.N. resolution has been agreed; the U.N. is reducing rather than expanding its role in Iraq; only Turkey seems likely to send troops to join the United States and its Anglo-Polish-Spanish allies in Iraq; America will continue to shape the political future of Iraq and perhaps of the entire Mideast with little or no French or "European" input.
None of this can be justified as an expression of French or Euro-national interests. What therefore is its explanation? At two recent conferences here, Europeans tried to explain some of this apparent vindictiveness as a response to American indifference at an earlier phase of the war on terror.
At a conference on "Re-launching the Transatlantic Relationship," held jointly by the New Atlantic Initiative and Italy's Aspen Institute, several speakers of indisputably Atlanticist sympathies maintained that the United States had ignored NATO after Sept. 11 and spurned Europe's help in the campaign in Afghanistan. They felt that the United States had not shared its thinking with Europe both on Iraq itself and also on the re-configuration of the Middle East.
There is something in this critique. As this column pointed out at the time, the United States was both shortsighted and ungenerous in scarcely acknowledging the help of other countries in Afghanistan in giving the impression that it did not need allies. But America's "indifference" is only a small contributory factor in Europe's "vindictiveness" -- to which several other developments contribute significantly.
The most important, of course, is the notion of "Europe" itself. Several European nations -- most significantly, Britain, Spain, Italy and the new democracies of eastern Europe -- supported and assisted the United States in both Afghanistan and Iraq. But it is France and Germany, as the dominant powerhouse of the European Union, that have seized the name of "Europe" and that routinely claim its authority for their policies.
They have been assisted in this by two forces normally found opposing each other: namely, EU bureaucrats and U.S. neo-conservatives.
Brussels bureaucrats are committed to forging a common European defense and foreign policy that differs from U.S. policy in being more committed to diplomacy, less willing to use force, more respectful of international law and institutions and more trusting in arms control.
Neo-conservatives have "indifferently" swallowed this analysis and cavalierly dismiss "the Europeans" as weak and appeasement-minded, overlooking the divisions within Europe and the support for the United States given by Spain, Poland, Britain, etc. Indeed, because some neo-conservatives join the liberal foreign-policy establishment in endorsing further political integration of Europe on the grounds of its inevitability, they actually strengthen the forces working for an anti-American European superpower.
There is a third factor working to undermine Atlanticism -- the lack of a commonly perceived threat to the NATO allies since the collapse of the Soviet Union. This has freed the Europeans to be vindictive (i.e., to go to extremes in opposing U.S. policy) and the United States to be relatively "indifferent" (i.e., not opposing Franco-German plans to build a separate Euro-defense force undermining NATO).
Let me offer, then, some lukewarm comfort: There is a new threat at hand. After years of dismissing U.S. warnings that Iran was on the way to acquiring nuclear weapons, the Europeans have finally accepted that this is a real and present danger. It is a danger, moreover, that threatens them more immediately than the United States since they are (or shortly will be) within range of Iranian missiles. At the conference on Atlanticism, a topic that kept forcing itself onto the agenda was how the NATO allies might forge a common policy to disarm Iran. That will take some doing -- Iran will resist diplomacy and the Europeans will be nervous using force -- and a pessimist might be forgiven for concluding that it will never be done. Hence the significance of the second Rome conference, this one held by the Berlin branch of the Aspen Institute -- building a common Euro-American missile defense.
Only recently most European countries, let alone "Europe," were hotly opposed to U.S. plans for missile defense. But that is changing rapidly. In addition to the newly perceived threat from Iran, Europe also sees that there is money in missiles. The Aspen-Berlin conference addressed by the defense ministers was also attended by representatives of Europe's major defense corporations. Missile defense has become a source of Atlantic unity rather than of division as heretofore.
A NATO missile defense system is just what the Atlantic alliance needs -- a common task devised to meet a serious common threat. If the allies go down that road, they will find that both European vindictiveness and American indifference tend to evaporate in the struggle to achieve common solutions.
But every solution brings its own problem. The first obstacle to a major NATO project like missile defense will be the Franco-German project for a separate European defense. In short, once the United States overcomes its indifference, it will inevitably provoke a new vindictiveness -- from Franco-Germany if not from the Europeans. http://www.suntimes.com/output/osullivan/cst-edt-osul14.html
Saudi, Iran Oil Supply Cuts Target Europe
LONDON (Reuters) - Top OPEC producers Saudi Arabia and Iran have moved to enforce curbs agreed last month by the OPEC cartel, with European customers bearing the brunt of the supply cuts.
A trader with an oil major told Reuters that Saudi supplies to Europe would be down by 10 percent in November, falling to 30-35 percent under full contract volumes compared to 20-25 percent in October.
"It's deeper than we expected," the trader said. A European refiner said November allocations were cut by around 40 percent compared to full contracts.
OPEC agreed on September 24 to cut production by 3.5 percent from November 1 as the group sought to stop international supplies building as Iraq's post-war production recovers and Russian output rises.
OPEC's decision to cut production has helped push oil prices up by 20 percent to the highest prices since the Iraq war. OPEC meets on December 4 to review output policy.
Saudi Arabia appears to have made its deepest cuts in Europe, where main Arab Light crude grade is worth 50 cents less than in the United States and $2 less than in Asia.
Saudi Arabia told South Korean term buyers November supply would be 8-10 percent below contract volumes, compared with cuts in October and September of about 6-7 percent. November allocations for the United States and Japan were not immediately available.
Saudi Arabia's quota within OPEC production limits was cut about 293,000 barrels per day to 7.963 million bpd from a previous quota of 8.256 million bpd.
At current production levels near 8.5 million bpd Saudi Arabia exports around five million bpd, excluding sales to joint ventures and domestic consumption. Around 40 percent, or two million bpd, goes to Asian customers, 30 percent, or 1.5 million bpd, to the United States and 20 percent, or 1 million bpd to Europe.
The kingdom's monthly allocations for international oil majors are priced 'free-on-board' which permits them to ship cargoes anywhere in their global refining systems.
Iran, OPEC's second biggest producer, will slice spot crude sales into Europe as it enforces OPEC's cuts, a top Iranian oil official said on Monday.
Hojjatollah Ghanimifard, acting vice president of the National Iranian Oil Co, told Reuters all spot crude oil sales into northwest Europe -- roughly 90,000 bpd -- would be eliminated from November, while shipment of some spot cargoes into the Mediterranean would also be stopped.
Ghanimifard said crude oil supplied into term contracts would not be affected by the scheduled 132,000 bpd reduction.
"Iran will implement its OPEC cut from November 1," he said. "But we will not touch our term contracts or spot cargoes into the Asian market."
Iran opted to sell some crude outside standard term contracts and into the spot market after a series of OPEC supply hikes earlier this year.
Iran's new 3.597 million bpd output quota is likely to see crude exports drop to roughly 2.2 million bpd after accounting for some 1.4 million bpd of domestic supply, industry sources reckon.
About 60 percent of Tehran's oil sales are destined for the Asian market, the remainder mostly to Europe.
Washington, which has branded Iran part of an "axis of evil," has barred U.S. firms from importing Iranian oil since 1995. http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2003/10/13/saudi_iran_oil_supply_cuts_target_europe/
Iranian president praises Nobel winner but scorns `political' award
BRIAN MURPHY, Associated Press Writer
SF Gate Daily
Showing the government's deep divisions over Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi, Iran's president Tuesday lauded the success of the human rights activist but called the award a "political" tool.
Ebadi was returning to Iran from Paris for the first time since the surprise Nobel decision was announced Friday -- and she comes home to a sharp controversy over her prize.
Reformers consider her a possible savior of their embattled movement against the ruling hard-line clerics' monopoly on power. Conservatives have denounced the Nobel prize as an attempt by the West to weaken Iran's Islamic leadership.
The double-edged comments by pro-reform President Mohammad Khatami -- his first public reaction to Ebadi's win -- apparently sought to appease both sides.
"This award has been given to her totally on the basis of political considerations," Khatami told reporters. He also called the prize "not very important," compared with other Nobel awards such as literature.
But he also praised the sudden fame of the 56-year-old lawyer and human rights campaigner, who was attending a conference in the French capital when the Nobel committee announced she had won.
"Nobody will be unhappy to see the success of a fellow Iranian," Khatami said. "I am also happy an Iranian has achieved success. I hope this achievement will be used for the interests of the nation and the world."
There were fears the country could become further polarized if Ebadi maintains her high-profile work, which includes campaigns for women's rights, protection for children and refugees and greater political freedoms.
Ebadi was Iran's first female judge but lost her post in the 1979 Islamic Revolution after clerics ruled women could not longer preside in court.
As a lawyer, she represented families of writers and intellectuals killed in 1999, and worked to expose conspirators behind an attack by pro-clergy assailants on students at Tehran University in 1999.
Ebadi and another lawyer were arrested in 2000 for alleged links to a videotape that purportedly revealed ties between government officials and hard-line vigilantes. They were released from jail after three weeks, and later convicted and given suspended prison sentences.
Hard-line figures have clearly interpreted Ebadi's new stature as a threat, but it was unclear how they would respond.
"With little doubt, we can say that goal of this prize is to embarrass Muslims and, especially, the Iranian people," said a commentary in the Kayhan newspaper, a leading conservative voice. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/2003/10/14/international0951EDT0522.DTL
posted on 10/14/2003 9:18:21 AM PDT
by F14 Pilot
Into the Quagmire
Important days ahead for Iran.
National Review Online
October 14, 2003, 8:38 a.m.
Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei loudly proclaimed that the United States was entering an Iraqi quagmire (Vietnam metaphors are in great favor among the world's dwindling number of tyrants), but he and his regime seem rather deeper in the muck of late. It couldn't happen to a more worthy bunch, and it's especially gratifying to see Khamenei, Rafsanjani, and the other mullahcrats swinging in the wind, as world opinion turns against them.
It is particularly satisfying to see this crowd of old white men humiliated by intrepid women, one Shirin Ebadi the unexpected recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, the other Zahra Kazemi, a Canadian journalist murdered last summer in the infamous prisons of the Islamic Republic because she dared to photograph the regime's thugs beating up student demonstrators.
The Kazemi obscenity exposed the regime's basic characteristics, from its murderous attacks on those who try to tell the outside world the truth about the Islamic Republic, to its instant denial of any accusation or criticism, to its crafty routine of constantly-changing "explanations." As with earlier murders of its pro-democracy critics, the regime first denied that there was a murder at all ("she fell and bumped her head"), then admitted that something untoward had happened ("we are investigating"), then found someone to put on trial (most likely a convenient scapegoat). In the last two weeks, Iran has been sternly denounced by the European Union, and warned that if the mullahs' human-rights practices do not improve, the EU will invoke sanctions.
Would that our secretary of state were so outspoken.
The Kazemi affair was very embarrassing to the Islamic Republic, and the Nobel award to Ms. Ebadi was a slap in Khamenei's face. Just when the democratic opposition was floundering the result of savage beatings, thousands of arrests and torture, and near-total abandonment by the feckless leaders of the West the Norwegian committee sent a message of hope and inspiration: Do not despair, we are with you. All of a sudden, the Iranians see again that there are people in the West who understand their plight, and support their struggle. Ms. Ebadi is no mere symbol of resistance to tyranny; she is the real deal, having survived nine months in the horrific Evin prison in Tehran, and 25 years of isolation and oppression from the regime (she was a judge under the Shah, fired by Khomenei after the revolution of 1979, denied the right to practice law, and forced to scratch for a living as a school instructor). There will be monster celebrations when Ms. Ebadi returns with her medal later this year, and the regime will be hardpressed to justify further repression. She will be a dagger aimed at the regime's heart, and the mullahs will feel the first pricks of the dagger's point right away, as she has agreed to represent the Kazemi family in legal action against the regime.
Meanwhile, back in Foggy Bottom, the State Department continues to try to arrange some kind of modus vivendi with the mullahs. The latest back-channel negotiations have revolved around Iran's nuclear program, both because there is serious concern in Washington and because it would be very difficult for Secretary Powell to sell the American people on a rapprochement with Iran if Tehran were known to have developed nuclear weapons (remember that Rafsanjani declared, in December, 2001, that if Iran had an atomic bomb it would be used against Israel). So, in addition to the formal talks between the International Atomic Energy Agency and the mullahs, the State Department dispatched a former Middle East correspondent of a leading American newspaper to talk to the Iranians. Today he will report near-total failure. The Iranians bluntly told him that the uranium-enrichment program will continue, that the United States is surrounded by enemies in Iraq, and if Washington increases the pressure on Iran there will be terrible consequences.
Some of this is bluster, but for the most part it is an honest statement of Iran's intentions. As reported here some weeks ago, the Iranians believe they now have all the necessary components for a nuclear bomb. The only question is how long it will take them to assemble and test it. Khamenei had hoped to be able to test an atomic bomb by the third week in October, but his scientific advisers recently told him they could not make that deadline. They are now aiming for November 4 or 5, the anniversary of the seizure of the American embassy in Tehran during the revolution.
There is another November date our leaders should take seriously: the 25th, the anniversary of the disappearance of the twelfth imam, and thus the most significant date in the Shiite calendar. Reports from Tehran suggest that the mullahs would like to celebrate that anniversary with a big-time terrorist attack against America.
Faster, please. http://www.nationalreview.com/ledeen/ledeen200310140838.asp
To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Thank goodness FR is working, now!
posted on 10/14/2003 1:38:55 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.)
ISLAM VS. THE WORLD?
By AMIR TAHERI
October 14, 2003 -- WHAT is the place of Islam in a world order shaped by Western powers and based on Western values?
This is the question that the leaders of the 57 member-states of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) will face when they gather in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital, on Oct. 16-18.
This will be the OIC's 10th summit since its creation in 1969. It is of special importance because it will be the first Islamic summit since the 9/11 attacks against the United States.
Last year, the OIC tried to come to terms with the consequences of 9/11 at a gathering in Kuala Lumpur attended by foreign ministers from the member states. That conference ended in disarray when the ministers failed to agree on an answer to the question that the kings, prime ministers and other rulers of the Muslim world will face this week.
On the eve of the summit, three answers are in circulation.
Embrace Reform: The first comes from those leaders who believe that the Muslim countries should undertake the economic, political and social reforms needed to make them part of the modern world order. They should honor the United Nations Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other relevant conventions. They should also accept the global market as a reality and join the World Trade Organization.
More important: They should accept and practice the rules of the democratic politics under which governments are chosen and dismissed through free popular elections.
Although not a single Muslim country could be described as fully democratic yet, several appear to have made the strategic choice of adopting the system. They will be urging the first answer at Kuala Lumpur. Among them are Turkey, Indonesia and Malaysia, the host country.
Reject "Western" Values: The second answer comes from countries that regard the modern world order as "corrupt, unjust and anti-Islamic." They believe that Islam should stand against that order and mobilize the poorer nations in a new rejection front within the old nonaligned framework. In this context, they single out the United States as the No. 1 enemy, and urge an alliance with its overt or covert opponents.
One idea coming from these countries is that the OIC should invite India, China, Russia and France, each of which has substantial Muslim minorities to join the organization as associate members, thus boosting the anti-American alliance.
Supporters of the second answer include the Islamic Republic of Iran, Syria, the Sudan and Libya.
Yes - But: The third answer could be described as "Yes - but." It asserts that the modern world order is an inescapable reality and that trying to fight, let alone reverse it, would be suicidal for the Muslims. The best course, therefore, is for Muslim countries to negotiate their place within the existing world order in a way that they can preserve their identity and protect their interests. A majority of Muslim countries, including almost all Arab states, find themselves in this third group.
IS it not possible to imagine a fourth answer? It is. The modern world order is based on the common heritage of mankind, including the teachings of ancient Greece and the three monotheistic religions of the Middle East. It is the expression of common values in the shaping of which Islam played a crucial role, at least in part of its history.
The principle that governments should not imprison and murder their critics is not exclusively Western or Judeo-Christian. Nor is it necessarily Islamic for rulers to plunder their countries and place the proceeds in Western investment accounts. Killing women on the flimsiest pretexts, denying them basic rights and treating them as chattel are not necessarily Islamic either.
The division of the world between Islamic and non-Islamic tells us nothing. The real division is between tyrannies and democracies. North Korea is not a Muslim nation, but its government is in the same league as that of Libya, a 100 percent Muslim land. Turkey, a 99 percent Muslim country, is certainly more democratic than the predominantly Catholic Cuba or Buddhist Vietnam.
The truth is that many of those who will be gathering in Kuala Lumpur next week are tyrants hiding their ugly faces behind an Islamic mask. Knowing that they cannot justify their often illegitimate hold on power in political terms, they try to do so with reference to religion.
When taken to task for killing and robbing their citizens, they present such criticism as an attack on Islam. When Iraq is freed from Saddam Hussein, they ignore the fact that he was a monster and a mass murderer; to them, he was a Muslim ruler toppled by an "anti-Muslim" coalition.
The answer to the question "What is the place of Islam in the modern world?" need not be complicated.
If Islam is used as a device to justify the unjustifiable, then it should have no place at all. If, on the other hand, Islam is perceived as the sincere faith of over 1.2 billion human beings who share mankind's natural thirst for freedom, the rule of law and individual choice, the modern world is the best place for Muslims to be in.
The summit would do well to face the crucial issues dodged by last year's ministerial conference.
* It should recognize politics as a space quite distinct from theology, and thus open it to all citizens on the basis of democratic principles.
* It should define and condemn terrorism in clear terms, and not hide behind the stupid cliché that "one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter."
* It should acknowledge full legal equality for men and women, setting aside the obfuscations the mullahs use to prove that women are inferior beings.
* The summit should also abandon the arrogant aim of imposing Islam on the entire world as mankind's sole religion, and, instead, welcome plurality and the competition of beliefs in an atmosphere of freedom and understanding.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/8001.htm
To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Exiles Say Iran Making Nuclear Bomb
October 14, 2003
VIENNA -- An Iranian exile opposition group with a record of exposing secret atomic sites says Tehran is hiding another nuclear facility and could have a nuclear bomb by 2005.
Iran has denied U.S. charges it is trying to make "The Bomb", but due to past failures to fully declare its sites the U.N. atomic watchdog has given Iran till October 31 to prove it has no secret weapons programme or face possible U.N. sanctions.
"The site has been built to test centrifuges that enrich uranium," Firouz Mahvi, a member of the foreign relations committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an exiled opposition group, told reporters.
"It is located 15 km (nine miles) east of Isfahan under the name of Isfahan's Fuel Research and Production Centre," he said, adding that the group's information came from undercover sources inside Iran who have been working at the site in central Iran.
Mahvi said unless the international community takes diplomatic action to stop Iran's clandestine nuclear activities "it is very likely that by 2005" Iran will have an atomic bomb.
Iran denied it has been hiding any nuclear facilities from United Nations inspectors.
"We have certainly not" hidden any facilities from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran's ambassador to the IAEA, Ali Akbar Salehi, told Reuters in Tehran. "This piece of information is absolutely baseless."
Iran has repeatedly denied U.S. allegations that its nuclear energy programme is merely a front to make an atomic bomb.
Tehran has also denied charges that it has secretly tested its uranium enrichment centrifuges, though the recent discovery of traces of weapons-grade uranium at two sites in Iran has cast doubt on the denials.
The IAEA declined to comment on the NCRI report.
A Western diplomat familiar with IAEA matters told Reuters the NCRI, which Washington lists as a terrorist organisation, has a mixed record of reporting on Iran's nuclear facilities.
"The IAEA has visited some sites the NCRI reported on this year," he said. "Some have turned out to be nuclear facilities and some have not. They do not have ... 100 percent accuracy."
IRAN SPEEDS UP NATANZ CONSTRUCTION
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 IAEA, which has placed surveillance cameras at Natanz to ensure that no undeclared nuclear activities take place there.
Natanz was one of the facilities where the IAEA found weapons-grade uranium, fuelling fears Tehran has purified uranium for use in a bomb. Iran denies this, claiming the traces were caused by contaminated machinery purchased abroad.
In a tough September 12 resolution that set the October 31 deadline, the IAEA governing board called on Iran to suspend all enrichment activities at Natanz while it investigates the contamination explanation but Tehran has ignored the appeal.
Mahvi also said the NCRI had information that Tehran "has asked the contractor for the Natanz site to speed up its activities to expedite the completion of the site."
In June, the NCRI reported Iran had two undeclared facilities related to its uranium enrichment programme in two villages near Karaj, the centre of Iran's missile programme, some 45 km (28 miles) west of Tehran.
The IAEA has declined to comment on the NCRI's claims about these facilities. http://uk.news.yahoo.com/031014/325/eb222.html
Khatami Warns Nobel Laureate Not to "Misuse" New Status
October 14, 2003
Iran's president has warned Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi to consider Iranian interests as she attracts increased international attention. Ms. Ebadi's is returning to Iran for the first time since the prize was announced last week.
Iranian President Mohammed Khatami called for Ms. Ebadi to, in his words, pay attention to the interests of Islam and of Iran. He said her new status should not be misused or exploited.
Speaking to reporters at Iran's parliament, Mr. Khatami first welcomed the selection of an Iranian for the Nobel Peace Prize, but then he said the Peace Prize is not very important compared to the Nobel awards for scientific achievement. When asked why he had not issued a formal statement reacting to last week's announcement, President Khatami dismissed the question.
The president's pro-reform government officially extended only lukewarm congratulations to Ms Ebadi, a human rights lawyer and advocate of women's rights. The hardline Iranian press has ignored or criticized her selection, and her decision not to wear a headscarf at a news conference in Paris.
Since winning the prize on Friday, Ms. Ebadi has criticized what she says is the slow pace of reforms in Iran, and has called for release of political prisoners there. http://www.voanews.com/article.cfm?objectID=842DF9A1-89B3-4E69-90F627998204A141&title=Iranian%20President%20Warns%20Nobel%20Laureate%20Not%20to%20%27Misuse%27%20New%20Status&catOID=45C9C78D-88AD-11D4-A57200A0CC5EE46C&categoryname=Mideast
Iranian Officials Briefed In Norway On Statoil Graft Case
October 14, 2003
Dow Jones Newswires
The Associated Press
OSLO -- An Iranian delegation met top officials in Norway Tuesday to discuss corruption allegations against state-controlled oil company Statoil ASA.
Statoil is under investigation by Norwegian economic crime police on suspicion that it paid $15 million to Iranian-operated Horton Investment Ltd. to smooth its expansion in Iran. Police suspect some of the money from the consulting contract may have gone toward bribes.
In September, Statoil was charged with improperly influencing foreign officials and gross corruption, pending an investigation and possible indictment.
Statoil also faces an informal inquiry by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission because its shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, as well as the Oslo exchange.
Former Statoil chief executive Olav Fjell and board chairman Leif Terje Loeddesoel resigned last month because of the scandal.
The six-member Iranian delegation of oil ministry officials met the public prosecutor in Oslo before heading to the west coast city of Stavanger for talks with Statoil's acting Chief Executive Inge K. Hansen.
Statoil spokesman Kai Nielsen said the company would listen to the Iranians' concerns and brief them about the scandal.
"They wanted to go through the whole case, and we will do that," Nielsen said, adding that Iran, an OPEC member, is an important country for Statoil, which has been in regular contact with officials there about the case.
In Oslo, the delegation was briefed by the head public prosecutors office of the Norwegian legal system.
"It was general in nature," said Knut Kallerud. He said specific details of the Statoil case weren't discussed because of the ongoing investigation.
On Monday, the delegation also met with Norwegian Oil Minister Einar Steensnaes.
Statoil is 82% government owned and has more than 17,000 workers in 25 countries. http://framehosting.dowjonesnews.com/sample/samplestory.asp?StoryID=2003101413260005&Take=1
Slogan-Chanting Iran Crowd Welcomes Nobel Laureate
October 14, 2003
Christian Oliver and Parisa Hafezi
TEHRAN -- About 3,000 Iranians, chanting "Free political prisoners" and "Liberty and justice are the slogans of our nation," welcomed home Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi on Tuesday.
The human rights lawyer's Nobel prize has ignited strong passions in her home country, reflecting deep political divisions between reformers and hard-liners over the future of the Islamic Republic.
In a carnival-like atmosphere at Tehran's Mehrabad airport, welcomers clapped, linked arms and sang popular anthems dating from before the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Many ordinary Iranians hope Ebadi's award will be a shot in the arm for the country's beleaguered reformist movement.
"Freedom is sweet, independence is sweet and Ebadi is sweet," they chanted in a play on words with Ebadi's first name, Shirin, which means "sweet" in Farsi.
Dressed in a black coat and red headscarf, Ebadi, 56, appeared overwhelmed by the warmth of the reception after flying in from Paris where she had been attending a conference when informed of her Nobel win on Friday.
"This award means that the Iranian nation's desires for human rights and democracy and peace have been heard by the world," Ebadi told the crowd, brushing tears from her face.
"This award doesn't belong to me, it belongs to the great Iranian nation," she said as she was showered with flowers.
Iran's first female judge before the Islamic revolution, Ebadi was commended by the Nobel Committee for her work promoting women's and children's rights.
But in Iran she is best known for taking on tough political cases which other lawyers dared not touch.
LAMBASTED BY HARD-LINERS
Hard-liners argue the country's first Nobel Peace Prize was a political move sponsored by its enemies and lambasted Ebadi for attending a Paris news conference last week without a headscarf.
Ebadi was met on the airport tarmac by members of her family, parliamentarians and representatives of President Mohammad Khatami's reformist government.
"I feel like a child who has returned to her mother, a drop of water which has returned to the ocean," Ebadi told reporters.
Outside the airport, well-wishers -- many clutching long-stemmed white flowers -- punched the air as they chanted daring political slogans. Security at the airport was not noticeably tighter than usual and there were no arrests.
Confetti and balloons were tossed into the air. Some young couples held hands in flagrant defiance of strict laws which prohibit physical contact in public between the sexes.
A group of around a dozen Islamic hard-liners looked on disapprovingly. They carried a banner which read: "Death to hypocritical scribblers."
Bemused travelers arriving on flights from Europe struggled to push their luggage trolleys through the mass of people.
"It's so emotional and unbelievable. Everyone here came to support her and her causes," said Zahra, 23, who like many women present sported a white headscarf as a symbol of peace.
Earlier on Tuesday Khatami said he was pleased an Iranian had won the Nobel prize but, in an apparent effort to deflect hardline ire, he played down the importance of the award.
"The Nobel Peace Prize is not that important, the awards for literature and science are more important," he was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency.
Elected in landslide wins in 1997 and 2001, Khatami's popularity has plummeted in recent months due to mounting frustration at his failure to overcome resistance to change from powerful hard-liners.
"Khatami, Khatami, shame on you!" chanted sections of the crowd at the airport.
(Additional reporting by Parinoosh Arami) http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=3613575
Iran Nobel Winner Gets Hero's Welcome
October 14, 2003
Thousands of people have greeted Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi in extraordinary scenes at Tehran's city airport on her return to the Iranian capital.
Human rights groups and non-governmental organisations, swelled by crowds of local people, gathered at the city airport to give her a hero's welcome.
The human rights activist, who has already used her elevated profile to urge the Iranian Government to allow greater freedom of speech, called for political prisoners to be released as she stepped off the plane.
Iran's President Mohammad Khatami has urged Mrs Ebadi, the country's first Nobel Peace Prize winner, to use her award for the good of Iran and world peace.
He has also played down the significance of the award, saying it was "not very important" and was awarded on the basis of "totally political criteria".
Noted for promoting the rights of women and children by seeking changes in Iran's divorce and inheritance laws, she is the first Muslim woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
The area surrounding Tehran's Mehrabad airport was brought to a standstill by traffic jams. People carrying flowers and placards were seen abandoning their vehicles and walking to the terminal.
They then gathered around the terminal buildings chanting and cheering.
It really was an extraordinary occasion, probably far beyond what the organisers had imagined would happen, says the BBC's Tehran correspondent Jim Muir.
Mrs Ebadi, 56, was said to be visibly emotional as she returned from a short trip to France, where she heard news of her award on Friday.
Prize sparks controversy
Many of her supporters at the airport, including a large number of women, wore white shirts or headscarves as a symbol of hope for peaceful change in the country.
Many of them were carrying white flowers too, symbolising their welcome for Shirin Ebadi.
"I hope that all political prisoners will be freed," said Mrs Ebadi.
"This prize is not only for me, but for all those in favour of peace, democracy, human rights and legality. The world recognises the fight of Muslim women, and this is my political message."
The reception committee is believed to have included a number of internationally-known film directors and the popular captain of the country's national football team.
Hundreds of Mrs Ebadi's supporters, including the president of France's biggest human rights group, had gathered at Orly airport in Paris to bid her farewell.
Before her departure, she told the BBC that the Nobel prize had given her a new determination to defend the rights of women and children in her homeland.
BBC correspondent Sadeq Saba in Paris said Iranians throughout the world were celebrating this first prestigious award for their country.
Our correspondent says the Iranian Government appears to be confused about how to deal with Mrs Ebadi.
The reformists have welcomed her achievements, but hardliners have condemned the award as an attempt by the West to weaken the Islamic government and promote secularism in Iran, he said. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3192024.stm
Israel also reported the transfer of four 120 mm mortars to the United States. Israel also imported 54 M113 armored personnel carriers from the United States.
Is this a joke? Why don't we hold Israel to the same non nuclear proliferation standards that we hold the rest of the Muslem world? Our foreign policy in the mideast is a joke and not in American interests.
posted on 10/14/2003 4:49:57 PM PDT
((If you see ten troubles comin down the road, Nine will run into the ditch before they reach you.))
Terrorist Son of Bin Laden 'Has Haven in Iran'
October 15, 2003
Traditionalist clerics in Iran are blocking the extradition of senior al-Qa'eda members, including one of Osama bin Laden's sons, amid growing evidence that they are masterminding terrorism in other countries.
Western and Arab intelligence sources quoted in The Washington Post said up to 400 al-Qa'eda terrorists were being sheltered in eastern Iran close to the Afghan border by an elite religious militia, the Jerusalem Force.
The group is reported to be closely tied to Iranian mullahs who are contemptuous of the reformist government in Teheran.
The terrorist group is said to be headed by Saad bin Laden, 24, a son of Osama bin Laden. The report links him to suicide attacks in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, which killed 26 people and explosions in Casablanca, Morocco, which killed 32. The attacks happened within days in May.
Saad, the third eldest of Osama bin Laden's 22 children, is said to have made a telephone call from Iran to a member of the Riyadh cell days before the bombings.
Saad is reported to have grown up at his father's side in Afghanistan during the anti-Russian war of the 1980s.
He is fluent in English and is computer-literate and the Post reported that he is winning his growing terrorist role through ability rather than favouritism.
Iran has admitted that it is holding a number of al-Qa'eda members but has refused to disclose their names, arguing that it was difficult to identify them. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are negotiating to have some of them extradited.
The Teheran government has dismissed suggestions that it is harbouring active al-Qa'eda members and has challenged foreign intelligence services to provide evidence.
It is understood that Iran's hardline clerics hope to use the captives as bargaining chips in negotiations with America over Teheran's attempts to become an independent nuclear power.
An Iranian opposition group that has exposed some of Iran's most secret nuclear sites claimed yesterday that the regime was hiding another uranium enrichment facility in Isfahan.
The National Council for the Resistance in Iran said the regime had built a site "to test centrifuges that enrich uranium" in a complex with several other known nuclear facilities. http://www.portal.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2003/10/15/wiran15.xml&sSheet=/news/2003/10/15/ixnewstop.html
Iranian Force Has Long Ties to Al Qaeda
October 14, 2003
The Washington Post
Dana Priest and Douglas Farah
The elite Iranian force believed to be protecting Saad bin Laden and two dozen al Qaeda leaders is one of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' five branches, and has been given the mission of "exporting the Islamic revolution" by training, arming and collaborating with foreign terrorist groups -- even those that do not share Iran's fundamentalist Shiite brand of Islam.
The Jerusalem Force, also known as the Qods Force, is highly trained and well-funded. It has provided instruction to more than three dozen Shiite and Sunni "foreign Islamic militant groups in paramilitary, guerrilla and terrorism" tactics, according to a recent U.S. intelligence analysis.
Groups including Hezbollah, or Party of God; the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas); and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have received arms and training at one of several specialized sites in Iran, according to that document.
The Jerusalem Force's former commander, Ahmad Vahidi, allegedly helped plan the 1994 bombing of the Amia Jewish Center in Buenos Aires, in which 85 civilians were killed and 230 injured, according to Argentine intelligence officials and others.
The group has also maintained ties with the al Qaeda terrorist network for more than a decade, according to U.S. and European intelligence officials. Senior al Qaeda leaders first met and formed a tactical alliance with the nascent Jerusalem Force in Sudan in the early 1990s, according to intelligence officials. The group was creating terrorist training camps there at the same time that Osama bin Laden had begun to create his own financial and training infrastructure.
Bin Laden's second-in-command, Ayman Zawahiri, used his decade-old relationship with Vahidi, then commander of the Jerusalem Force, to negotiate a safe harbor for some of al Qaeda's leaders who were trapped in the mountains of Tora Bora, Afghanistan, in 2001, according to a European intelligence official.
The group is "a state within a state, and that is why they are able to offer protection to al Qaeda," one European intelligence analyst said. "The Force's senior leaders have long-standing ties to al Qaeda, and, since the fall of Afghanistan, have provided some al Qaeda leaders with travel documents and safe haven."
The organization's autonomy from Iran's elected leaders underscores the deep split between the moderate government of President Mohammad Khatami and the unelected hard-line clerics who control much of the nation's security apparatus.
Khatami, who has repeatedly denied that senior al Qaeda figures are in Iran, has no control over security organs such as the Revolutionary Guard, which answer to the office of the supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Although Iran is a Shiite Muslim nation, the Jerusalem Force's willingness to work with rival Sunni Muslim organizations has made it particularly dangerous as a liaison between Iran and other Islamic groups that share its goal of destroying secular Muslim states.
The Jerusalem Force has agents in "most countries with substantial Muslim populations," according to the U.S. analysis. "Their mission is to form relationships with Islamic militant and radical groups and offer financial support either to the groups at large or to Islamic figures within them who are sympathetic to the principles and foreign policy goals of the Iranian government."
The Force's training regime includes psychological and guerrilla warfare operations, with emphasis on the use of hand grenades, mines, booby-trap techniques, camouflage and ambushes. Its terrorist-related training includes assassinations, kidnapping, torture and explosives, according to the U.S. intelligence analysis. http://iranvajahan.net/cgi-bin/news.pl?l=en&y=2003&m=10&d=14&a=2
To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Iranians mobilize to welcome Mrs. Ebadi
SMCCDI (Information Service)
Oct 14, 2003
Thousands of Tehran's residents have started to prepar themselves to come out of their homes and to start a slow move toward the Mehrabad International Airport in order to welcome the first Iranian Nobelist and Women's rights defender. Many young of neighboring cities have come also to Tehran for the event.
Calls are made by many to their family members and friends to keep ready to be pick up or to don't forget the event.
Most street talks are on Ebadi and the consequences of the political message she's carrying and some even are comparing her return to the return of Rouh-Ollah Khomeini from the same "France" by emphasizing that the Europeans sent a "Devil" in 1979 and now are sending an "Angel" in 2003.
Security measures are starting to increase in the Capital and especially in the Enghelab avenue and the Azadi square where demonstrations leading to repression are expected.
Mrs. Ebadi took off from Paris, in the afternoon, by Iran Air flight #IR 732 departing from S. Orly Terminal where tens of supporters had gathered to wish her luck.
The regime's official news agency have kept the silence on Ms. Ebadi's departure starting by IRNA which has several reporters based in Paris. http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_2916.shtml
Huge crowd gathers to welcome Mrs. Ebadi
SMCCDI (Information Service)
Oct 14, 2003
Thousands are gathering at this time, 20:00 (IR local time), in the Mehrabad International Airport and the Azadi square despite the heavy presence of the regime forces who are contenting to watch the supporters of the first Iranian Nobelist.
Thousands of flowers have been purchased and distributed in order to be given or thrown on the passage of Ms. Ebadi.
Slogans welcoming the right activists have been written banners.
The foreign reporters presnet in Tehran and even many foreign diplomats or members of diplomatic corps are at the airport.
Huge traffic jams have been created around the area.
Ms. Ebadi's flight shall be landing in the next hour and she shall come into the terminal by 22:00 http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_2917.shtml
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