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Iranian Alert -- October 15, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD PING LIST
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 10.15.2003 | DoctorZin

Posted on 10/15/2003 12:12:08 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.


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 10/15/2003 12:12:09 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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2 posted on 10/15/2003 12:12:52 AM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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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”

3 posted on 10/15/2003 12:13:53 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Just checked your latest Iranian Alert posting, it loaded fine, no browser shut down, no problem.
4 posted on 10/15/2003 12:31:27 AM PDT by Drammach
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To: DoctorZIn
I'm wondering if Ledeen's prediction of a nuke test within a few months will come true?
5 posted on 10/15/2003 1:52:17 AM PDT by risk
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To: DoctorZIn; AdmSmith; nuconvert; Persia; Eala; yonif; RaceBannon; downer911; McGavin999; ...
Iran: Thousands Greet Nobel Prize Winner In Tehran

14 October 2003 (RFE/RL)

-- Several thousand Iranians, mostly women, today greeted Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi when she arrived in Tehran.

Immediately after stepping off the plane, Ebadi called for the freeing of political prisoners.

Ebadi won the award on 10 October for her work in Iran defending the rights of women and children. Before her departure from Paris for Tehran, she expressed hope that the consequences of her work will reach beyond Iran.

"I hope the message from my country, which is a peace-loving country that hates war and cruelty, reaches the world."

Iranian President Mohammad Khatami today said that the Nobel committee's decision to honor Ebadi was based on political considerations.

Khatami said the Nobel Peace Prize is not very important. He also reminded Ebadi to use her achievement in the interests of Iran.
6 posted on 10/15/2003 3:01:58 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (Californication...!)
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To: DoctorZIn; McGavin999; Eala; AdmSmith; dixiechick2000; nuconvert; onyx; Pro-Bush; Valin; ...
Straw hints at military action against Iran

Hi Pakistan Daily

LONDON: British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said on Tuesday he wanted the standoff over Iran’s nuclear programme resolved peacefully but did not rule out possible military action.

Asked in parliament if he ruled out such action if Iran did not cooperate with the UN nuclear watchdog, Straw said: "We wish to see this matter resolved peacefully. I’m not going to predict what is going to happen except to say we have adopted a consistent approach in respect of Iran."

"The UK government has frequent contact with the government of Iran on this subject and we’ve made clear our serious concerns," Straw told parliament. "We’ve also made clear our wish that Iran must maintain complete transparency about its nuclear programmes and comply fully with the demands set out by the IAEA board of governors resolution on December 12."

The IAEA on Tuesday told Iran an October 31 deadline to clear up allegations that it is seeking nuclear weapons stood firm, as IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei prepared to leave for Tehran. The stern warning came after the Iranian opposition gave details on a secret nuclear installation where it claims the regime is enriching uranium with a view to producing atomic weapons.

IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming told AFP: "There are two phases to our work. The first phase involves Iran providing all the information to us on unresolved questions no later than October 31." Fleming said the second phase entailed verification of the information provided by Tehran.

ElBaradei, IAEA’s Secretary-General, was due to arrive in Tehran for a visit on Thursday on invitation of the Islamic republic. The inspectors’ concerns focus in particular on traces of highly enriched uranium found on two samples they took from a nuclear site in Natanz.
7 posted on 10/15/2003 3:05:33 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (Californication...!)
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To: F14 Pilot
8 posted on 10/15/2003 3:12:52 AM PDT by windchime
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To: DoctorZIn; Persia; nuconvert; AdmSmith; McGavin999; yonif; Eala; dixiechick2000; seamole; Valin; ...
UN wants access to Iran military sites - diplomats


VIENNA, Oct. 15 — The U.N. nuclear watchdog asked to look at military sites in Iran as part of its investigation to determine if Iran has a secret atomic weapons programme as the United States alleges, diplomats said on Wednesday.
9 posted on 10/15/2003 6:45:03 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (Californication...!)
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To: DoctorZIn
UK: Iran Must Come Clean About Nuclear Plans

October 14, 2003
The Jerusalem Post

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw did not rule out the use of military sanctions against Iran should the Islamic Republic fail to disclose the full extent of its nuclear program to the UN's International Atomic Agency by the end of the month.

The IAEA's board of governors earlier this month set the deadline for Iran to prove that its atomic programs are peaceful as Tehran says they are.

Tory David Ruffley asked Straw if he would confirm that if Iran did not comply with the IAEA deadline, he would continue to rule out the threat of military sanctions against Iran.

The Foreign Secretary replied: "We wish to see this matter resolved peacefully. I'm not going to predict what is going to happen except to say we have adopted a consistent approach in respect of Iran."

If Iran is found to be violating the treaty banning the spread of nuclear weapons, the UN Security Council could order economic and political sanctions.

Mr. Straw told MPs that the UK Government has made clear it's "serious concerns" about Iran's nuclear development.

"We've also made clear our wish that Iran must maintain complete transparency about its nuclear programs and comply fully with the demands set out by the IAEA board of governors resolution on December 12," Straw added.
10 posted on 10/15/2003 7:13:41 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranian Nobel Prize Winner Receives Hero's Welcome

October 15, 2003
The Guardian
Dan De Luce

Nobel Peace prize winner Shirin Ebadi received an emotional reception last night as thousands of Iranians greeted the human rights lawyer with chants of "Hello Freedom!"

"This prize is not mine, it belongs to our people," Ms Ebadi told the jubilant crowd over a megaphone after arriving on a flight from Paris.

"This prize means that Iran's desire for realising human rights, democracy and peace has been heard by the world," she said to roars of approval from the crowd.

In a spontaneous demonstration of sympathy with Ms Ebadi's struggle for civil rights and freedom of expression, Iranians of all ages and background gathered at Tehran airport to celebrate.

"I feel so grateful. I can't explain it," said a 45-year-old woman called Shabnam. "We feel somehow that someone is going to explain to the world what is in our hearts."

Ms Ebadi became the first Iranian and the first Muslim woman to win the Nobel last Friday. She was welcomed by Vice-President Mohammad Ali Abtahi, but earlier yesterday President Mohammad Khatami belittled the Nobel winner, describing the prize as "not very important". The president, who has portrayed himself as a champion of democracy and reform, asked: "Do we have to issue an official message about whatever happens in the country? In my opinion, the Nobel peace prize is not very important."

"Of course, the prize on literature is important, but the one for peace is not," he said. He was happy that an Iranian had received the award, but hoped that the recipient would bear in mind the interest of the Islamic world and Iran and "not allow the position she has achieved to be exploited".

Mr Khatami's critics dismiss him as too weak to fight Iran's rigid theocracy, and last night his comments were ridiculed by Ms Ebadi's supporters: "The world understood this prize but our own officials didn't understand it," said Nahid, a 30-year-old woman.

"I am optimistic because this prize provides a degree of security for Ms Ebadi and this will bring an opportunity to bring up women's issues in a more radical way," she said.

Young Iranians danced and led renditions of the pre-revolution national anthem as they waited for Ms Ebadi to emerge from the airport terminal. Women in the crowd wore white headscarves and carried white flowers, symbolising peace, in an event organised largely by word of mouth.

"This shows the world has heard our voices after 24 years of imprisonment," said Kefayat Kousha, 38, a school teacher. "People are hopeful again."

As a lawyer, university lecturer and author, Ms Ebadi has fought for rights for children born outside of marriage and for women in divorce, inheritance and employment law.

"From today," she told the crowd, "I will be at your service as always.",12858,1063015,00.html
11 posted on 10/15/2003 7:16:32 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Ebadi Defiant Despite Khatami Scorn

October 15, 2003
The Peninsula

TEHRAN -- Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi was given a overwhelming welcome from thousands of fans as she returned to Iran yesterday, with the human rights activist shrugging off government warnings and immediately calling for the freeing of political prisoners.

“I hope that all political prisoners will be freed,” Ebadi, the first Muslim woman and first Iranian to win the prize, told reporters after she stepped off an Iran Air Boeing 747 from Paris.

“This prize is not only for me, but for all those in favour of peace, democracy, human rights and legality,” said a visibly emotional Nobel laureate, who almost fell to the ground in the crush of people who turned out to greet her.

“My message for Iranians is a message of love, friendship, peace and justice.” Ebadi, 56, was given the prize last Friday for her efforts to promote democracy and human rights, particularly for women and children in the Islamic republic.

Some 10,000 people, a majority of them women, had descended on Tehran’s Mehrabad airport for the homecoming of the petite and softly-spoken jurist, with bumper-to-bumper traffic bringing an area around the airport to a standstill.

Many in the crowd shouted political slogans, echoing Ebadi’s calls for political prisoners to be set free, and chants directed against embattled reformist President Mohammad Khatami who earlier broke four days of silence over her win, warning her to “pay attention”.

An irritated Khatami demanded: “Must I always send a message for everything,” when asked why he had taken so long to respond to the award. Obviously I am pleased that a compatriot has achieved such success.”

But, in comments that stunned observers, Khatami added: “The Nobel Peace Prize is not very important, the ones that count are the scientific and literary prizes.

“I hope that Ebadi, who comes from a religious family and has expressed her love for Islam, will pay attention to the interests of the Islamic world and of Iran, and not allow anyone to exploit her success.”
12 posted on 10/15/2003 7:17:45 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
American-Israeli Strategic Group Plans Talks on Iran

October 15, 2003
Aluf Benn

A periodic meeting of the American-Israeli strategic cooperation forum, the Joint Political Military Group (JPMG), will take place at the end of this month.

The talks will focus largely on efforts to stabilize the new regime in Iraq and to block Iran's efforts to acquire nuclear weapons capability. In addition, the two sides will exchange situation assessments on a number of strategic issues.

The talks will take place in Israel this time, and will be headed by Defense Ministry Director-General Amos Yaron and Lincoln Bloomfield, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs.

The JPMG, established 20 years ago, has remained in continuous operation ever since, despite repeated changes in the governments of both countries. A higher-level strategic dialogue forum also exists, but has not met since November 2002.

Meanwhile, the U.S. administration has reported to Congress over the last few weeks on three impending defense deals with Israel:

-The supply of $65 million worth of medium-sized trucks to the Israel Defense Forces. The IDF will acquire 256 high-mobility (6x6) trucks manufactured by American Truck, as well as 49 rescue vehicles and 10 training vehicles.

-Alterations in the aircraft warning system that Israel is developing together with Singapore. The project is valued at more than $50 million.

-The supply of 420 machine guns to the IDF.
13 posted on 10/15/2003 7:18:47 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Furious Over Human Rights Criticism From EU

October 15, 2003

TEHRAN -- Iran has reacted with fury to a EU statement criticising Iran for violating human rights, with the foreign ministry here bluntly telling the 15-member bloc to mind its own business.

"How can the European Union dare to challenge the organs and the institutions of Iran?" fumed an angry statement signed by foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi.

On Monday, EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg voiced concern about "serious violations of human rights" in Iran, despite "the commitment expressed by the government of Iran to strengthen respect for human rights in the country and to promote the rule of law."

"The situation with regard to freedom of opinion and expression continues to be deeply troubling," the ministers said, while also voicing their "grave concern" at Iran's failure to reassure the world over its nuclear capacity.

But Asefi said such statements were "unacceptable".

"By announcing a certain number of obligations for (Iranian) legislative bodies, the EU has engaged itself in the judicial and legislative process of the country," he complained.

"Unfortunately, the EU's view on human rights and the nuclear issue is detached from reality, guided by political interests and considerations and inexact information," Asefi said.

"Iran wants to preserve and develop relations with the EU," he asserted, while reminding the bloc that such relations had to be based on "the EU's respect for the principle of mutual respect".

On the nuclear issue, Asefi asserted that by refusing to help Iran's nuclear programme, it was European countries that were not respecting the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty -- which contains clauses related to mutual assistance for civil nuclear power projects.

"In order to prove its transparency and sincerity on its nuclear programme, Iran has always invited other European countries to participate in a serious and open manner and we are still waiting for a serious response," Asefi said.

In contrast to the United States, which has labelled Tehran part of an "axis of evil," the European Union is pressing ahead with a policy of constructive engagement with Iran, pressing human rights issues while at the same time seeking to negotiate a bilateral trade agreement.

But relations have been severely tested by the recent crisis over Iran's nuclear capacity.

EU ministers were discussing Iran at a two-day meeting in Luxembourg, and in particular the prospect of a possible new UN Security Council resolution on human rights in the country.
14 posted on 10/15/2003 7:21:04 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Radical Iraq Cleric Confounds U.S. Allies

October 15, 2003
Knight Ridder
Drew Brown

BAGHDAD -- Coalition officials say a radical young cleric named Moqtader al-Sadr is behind a recent spate of suicide bombings and political assassinations that he is using to try to gain power over Iraq's Shiite Muslim majority. But they have not yet decided how to deal with him for fear of touching off even worse violence.

Coalition officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, say they now think that a car bombing Sunday at the Baghdad Hotel was a Sadr-inspired assassination attempt against Mowaffak al-Rubaie, a moderate Shiite physician who sits on Iraq's U.S.-appointed Governing Council. Rubaie, who was in the hotel, was slightly wounded. Six Iraqis, mostly paramilitary police officers, were killed, and at least 36 were injured.

Coalition officials think that attack was coordinated with a roadside bomb that struck the car of Sheik Saed Hussain al-Shami, Iraq's newly appointed deputy secretary of religious affairs, as he was on his way to work. Shami, another prominent Shiite moderate, also was slightly wounded.

The allegations about Sadr come as the struggle for primacy among Shiites, who make up 60 percent of Iraq's population, intensifies.

Overnight Tuesday, about 40 to 50 armed Sadr gunmen battled with about 200 gunmen claiming allegiance to Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, Iraq's top Shiite leader, after Sadr's men took control of two mosques in the sacred city of Karbala, about 50 miles southwest of Baghdad. At least six people were killed and an unknown number were wounded, said 1st Lt. Hashim Adami, a Karbala police officer.

The incident, the first major clash between Shiite groups since the U.S.-British invasion last spring, reflects the deep divisions between Sistani, who is said to favor strict separation between religion and politics, and Sadr, who favors a theocracy like Iran's.

The revelations come as Sadr, who is believed to be about 30, has declared the Governing Council illegitimate and announced government ministers of his own. They follow a two-week period in which gunmen from Sadr's self-styled ``Medhi Army'' have clashed several times with U.S. soldiers, mostly in Baghdad, where he has a significant following.

In the worst incident, two American soldiers were killed and three were wounded Thursday night in what military officials said was an ambush in Sadr City.

Shiite cooperation is essential to the coalition's reconstruction efforts. Shiites generally welcomed the U.S.-led invasion, having suffered years of repression under Saddam's mostly Sunni Muslim government, and are reveling in new political and religious freedoms.

Senior coalition officials and leading Shiite politicians maintain that Sadr does not represent a majority of Shiites. But he has grown steadily bolder. Last week, armed followers took over several municipal offices in Sadr City, an act that was condemned publicly by Baghdad's city council.

Publicly, coalition officials have been delicate in their statements regarding Sadr. Privately, they admit they don't have enough evidence to move against him.

But they also say he and his followers are becoming a security concern. Arresting a prominent cleric is a serious matter in Iraq; previous instances in which clerics have been detained have led to massive demonstrations. Taking the wrong step at this stage could inflame the situation further, they say.

After the gunbattle in Karbala overnight Tuesday, American tanks sealed off streets in Sadr City to prevent gangs of armed men from flocking to Karbala.

The fighting in Karbala began around 7 p.m. Monday when Sadr's men appeared at a coalition-funded radio station and demanded that the manager rename it a ``holy Islamic station,'' said coalition officials. Sadr's gunmen also kidnapped eight members of the city's government and took over the Al-Qaas and Al-Mukhaym mosques, several blocks from the Shrine of Imam Hussein, one of the holiest sites in Islam.

After about 200 gunmen claiming allegiance to Sistani arrived, a gunbattle ensued, which included exchanges of AK-47 fire and rocket-propelled grenades. The battle continued until morning, and the streets remained tense at midafternoon Tuesday, as U.S., Polish and Bulgarian troops sealed off the city and local mediators tried to negotiate an end to the standoff.

A mob of angry men near Al-Mukhaym mosque threatened a Knight Ridder reporter and photographer, who managed to get near the site before the city was sealed.

``Go away! There is nothing to see here!'' shouted one young man, shaking a fist in the air. ``We are all brothers in Islam.''

Several blocks away, another man explained the hostility.

``They're all Sadr's people,'' said Raad Mohammed, 35. ``So they don't want you to see the bad things they've done.''

Other residents said the sectarian violence had nothing to do with religion or politics. Both sides were fighting, they said, because the mosques pull in millions of Iraqi dinars each month from the donations of Shiite pilgrims.

Addressing the world's media on the sweltering rooftop of an elementary school in An-Najaf and flanked by portraits of his father and grandfather, Sadr called on Iraqis to demonstrate continuously to illustrate his political legitimacy. If only 1 percent of Iraqis demonstrate in his support, Sadr said, his government will be more representative of the Iraqi people than the 24-member Governing Council.

``The Iraqi people can make clear their decision by a demonstration to either refuse or accept us,'' he said. ``If they agree, they will go out and demonstrate. If they refuse, they will stay at home.''

Sadr also said he had not ``turned his guns on the Americans'' and the Americans had not ``turned their guns'' on him.

Drew Brown reported from Baghdad and Karbala. Knight Ridder correspondent Jeff Wilkinson in An-Najaf and Mercury News Staff Writer Maureen Fan in Baghdad contributed to this report.
15 posted on 10/15/2003 7:22:28 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
UN Wants Access to Iran Military Sites

October 15, 2003
Louis Charbonneau

VIENNA -- The U.N. nuclear watchdog asked to look at military sites in Iran as part of its investigation to determine if Iran has a secret atomic weapons program as the United States alleges, diplomats said Wednesday.

Diplomats also said it was very likely that the U.N. agency's governing board would choose to report Iran to the U.N. Security Council in November, though it would almost certainly not press for any kind of sanctions yet.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, diplomats told Reuters the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had given Iran a list of a few sites it wanted to inspect ahead of an October 31 deadline for Iran to prove it is complying with its obligations under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The diplomats said Iran, which denies having a nuclear weapons program, accepted the list of sites and agreed to grant the IAEA access. It was unclear how many military sites were on the list, though one diplomat said the list was "short."

"One country in particular said (to the IAEA) that the inspections could not verify anything unless inspectors visited military sites," said a Western diplomat, adding that the IAEA agreed. This "one country" clearly refers to the United States.

Until now, the IAEA has been focusing on civilian sites.

Another Western diplomat familiar with the IAEA said that inspecting military sites made perfect sense given that the IAEA is trying to determine whether Iran has been secretly diverting nuclear resources to a military program.

"Isn't the whole point to see if they've crossed the line from civilian into military activity?" the diplomat said.

IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei leaves Wednesday for a one-day trip to Tehran for talks with senior Iranian officials.

An IAEA press release said the point of the visit is "to clarify important questions that are still outstanding about Iran's nuclear programs," wording that suggests Iran has been far from forthcoming in its dealings with the United Nations.


On Sept. 12, the IAEA passed a tough resolution that demanded Iran hand over all information and documentation related to its nuclear program by October 31, in particular its uranium enrichment activities.

IAEA inspectors have found weapons-grade uranium at two sites in Iran, fueling fears that Iran has been secretly purifying uranium for use in a bomb. Iran denies this and blames the uranium traces on contaminated machinery purchased abroad.

The IAEA board meets on November 20 to consider the IAEA's judgment of whether or not Iran complied with the resolution.

Diplomats said discussion at that crucial meeting would depend on the findings detailed in the IAEA's next report on Iran though several diplomats said the board would almost certainly report Iran to the Security Council after the meeting.

"I don't think Iran can get out of the next board meeting without some kind of non-compliance verdict," said a Western diplomat. "But this doesn't meet sanctions. Sanctions are not necessary at this point."

Another diplomat said that two IAEA reports on Iran from June and August already contained enough evidence to justify a non-compliance finding.

"The word non-compliance may not be used (in November), rather that the IAEA can't provided assurances" Iran is not diverting nuclear resources to a military program, he said.

A verdict of non-compliance with NPT safeguards obligations would require the IAEA to notify the Security Council.

However, the diplomats all said that they would only want the council to issue a statement demanding that Iran cooperate more with continued IAEA inspections.
16 posted on 10/15/2003 7:23:26 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
A Nobel Condemnation

October 15, 2003
Reza Bayegan

The Nobel Peace Prize conferred upon Shirin Ebadi is a recognition of the untiring efforts of a courageous human rights advocate. It is also an unequivocal condemnation of the clerical regime in Tehran by one of the most prestigious juries the world over. Ms. Ebadi has spoken up for justice in a political system that has continued its existence by breaking the law and abusing even those scant freedoms which its own faulty legislation has sanctioned for the country's citizens.

It is a biting irony that Shirin Ebadi has been acclaimed for efforts that amount to moving her country's legal system back to the rank it had reached a quarter of a century ago. She has endeavored to redeem for Iranian women and children those rights and freedoms that were achieved and taken for granted in the progressive era before the cataclysm of the 1979 Revolution. As a token of the Islamic Republic's disregard for women’s rights, Ms. Ebadi along with thousands of other Iranian women were told by the religious dictatorship to leave their jobs.

She was forced to resign her position as the first female judge in the history of the country. Nevertheless she refused to go home and keep silent. She bore being relegated to the rank of a legal assistant by the religious philistines who considered the place of women closer to the kitchen table than the judicial bench. She likens this painful experience to a demotion from the rank of company president to that of janitor.

The simile of degradation from the level of the President to that of a janitor can very aptly be applied to the debasement of the Iranian nation as whole in the hands of the forces of Islamist backwardness and tyranny. From the rank of one of the most advanced countries in the Middle East, and a highly respected member of the international community, Iran was metamorphosed into a land of human persecution and a hotbed of terrorism. It earned its full-fledged membership of the Axis of Evil by fostering, sponsoring and harboring the deadliest global assassins. Like Shirin Ebadi however, many other Iranians refused to sit down and accept this terrible fate for their homeland. A great number of those who courageously challenged the totalitarian regime are not alive today to witness this high tribute that in the words of Shahla Lahiji, a close friend of Ebadi's, "is like a prize to all Iranian people, who should be separated from their government."

The further the chasm deepens between the ruling clergy and the people of Iran, the closer we will get to the establishment of democracy in Iran. It should be obvious to everyone by now that the dark dreams of a regime whose President last year traveled to Lebanon and shamelessly announced his government's full support for the world's most pernicious terrorist groups has nothing in common with the aspirations of a people whose defender, and the defender of all human rights, is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. When Shirin Ebadi in an interview in Paris a few days ago said that "Iranian people are deeply disappointed by the revolution" and called for radical changes, she voiced the view of the majority of Iranians.

Within the country itself the buzzword today is "gozar," which is the Persian term for "transition." Everyone is waiting for the denouement of this tragic revolution and an end to years of pain and suffering. The status quo has become untenable and the lofty speeches of the President and the spleenful slogans of the Supreme Leader have lost whatever effectiveness they once possessed.

The credibility of the Islamic Republic has been completely exhausted in the world arena, as well. The attempt on the part of some members of the international community to invest hope in the person of Mohammad Khatami and his platform of reform has proven itself to be wishful thinking. The unity of the hard-liners and the reformists over the issue of sponsoring global terrorism and the development of a nuclear program clearly indicates that ultimately there is no substantial difference between the various factions of the governing establishment. Khatami's offer for a "Dialogue among Civilizations" in the face of later developments proved itself to be shrill grandstanding. Such a call is incompatible with the congenital nature of a political system founded on murder and violence. Those countries that chose the path of "constructive engagement" with the mullahs very soon found themselves to be the victims when those mullahs unleash the violent side of the Islamic Republic's yo-yo diplomacy.

As the entire regime moves towards further isolation, both within the country and abroad, the role of individuals like Shirin Ebadi in shaping the political future of the country becomes increasingly important. Although the Machiavellians within the government of Khatami are not wasting any time in trying to claim her as one of their own children, the Iranian Nobel laureate has so far steered clear of aligning herself with any political faction. In an interview with Newsweek's Marie Valla, she likened Iran to a sick old mother that she will not desert. The moral authority of the Nobel Committee and the international recognition of her achievement will help her fight the illness that has paralyzed her country for two-and-a-half decades.

It was a proud moment for all Iranians to see the messages of congratulations pouring in from all over the world at Shirin Ebadi's award. President Bush, the man who included the Islamic Republic in the Axis of Evil, was one of the first world leaders to express his joy and approval. It was a fresh reminder that the free world is ready to celebrate the achievement of the Iranian people and stand by them in condemning the government that has kept itself in power by trampling upon their dignity and their fundamental rights. Shirin Ebadi has reclaimed her pride and her rightful place, jumping from "janitor" to Nobel laureate. The rest of the country cannot but be inspired to follow suit.
17 posted on 10/15/2003 7:24:36 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
A Nobel Condemnation

October 15, 2003
Reza Bayegan
18 posted on 10/15/2003 7:25:33 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: F14 Pilot
Thanks for the heads up!
19 posted on 10/15/2003 8:49:19 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl (Please donate to Free Republic!)
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To: DoctorZIn; F14 Pilot
Thanks for the daily threads and the pings.


Into the Quagmire: Important days ahead for Iran. ~ Michael Ledeen.

20 posted on 10/15/2003 9:20:03 AM PDT by Ragtime Cowgirl ("Life's a roller coaster." ~ Rummy 10/2 - in response to a reporter re. critics wanting him fired.)
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