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Iranian Alert -- October 16, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD PING LIST
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^
Posted on 10/16/2003 12:54:48 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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posted on 10/16/2003 12:54:48 AM PDT
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posted on 10/16/2003 1:00:17 AM PDT
Amir Taheri: OIC summit will have to find answers to a lot of questions
Special to Gulf News | 15-10-2003
What's 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 Organisation of Islamic Conference, OIC, will face when they gather in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital, from October 16 to 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 September 11, 2001 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.
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 honour 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 Organisation. More importantly, 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.
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 mobilise the poorer nations in a new rejection front within the old non-aligned framework.
In this context they single out the United States as the number-one 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 organisation 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.
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 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's 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 that is a 100 per cent Muslim land. Turkey, a 99 per cent 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 this week hide their shortcomings behind Islam. 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 Hussain, 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 recognise 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 used by some mullahs to prove that women are inferior beings. The summit should also welcome plurality and the competition of beliefs in an atmosphere of freedom and understanding.
The writer, Iranian author and journalist, is based in Europe. His e-mail is: email@example.com http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/Opinion.asp?ArticleID=100293
posted on 10/16/2003 1:01:18 AM PDT
Bin Laden looks for new blood
October 16, 2003
OSAMA bin Laden is having his son groomed in a secret base in Iran to take over the reins of al-Qaeda.
Saad bin Laden, 24, is believed to have had close contact with the al-Qaeda cell that killed 35 people in a suicide bombing in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in May.
He may also have been involved in the bombings four days later in Morocco which killed 45 people.
Intelligence officials believe Saad, who speaks fluent English, is part of a small group of leaders managing the al-Qaeda terror network from Iran.
The group is protected by an Iranian army loyal to hard-line clerics.
Saad, a serious young man devoted to his father, grew up at bin Laden's side as he fought against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the '80s.
He is dedicated to al-Qaeda and has been personally trained by his father in terrorist strategy, tactics and leadership.
He was smuggled into Iran from Afghanistan about a year ago.
According to Saudi intelligence sources, an elite private army known as the Jerusalem Force is protecting Saad and other top al-Qaeda figures.
The Saudis believe Saad played a central role in plotting the May 12 suicide attacks on Western housing compounds near Riyadh and in the May 16 bombings in Morocco.
In a security clampdown after the Riyadh attacks, the Saudis arrested more than 200 al-Qaeda members and handed over three naturalised Americans to the FBI.
The Saudis say that in the days immediately before the Riyadh bombings Saad was in touch with an al-Qaeda cell in Saudi Arabia and ordered and planned the bombings from Iran.
British and US intelligence sources say Saad is bin Laden's favourite son. Although there are other sons active with al-Qaeda, none is as trusted as Saad.
The Jerusalem Force protects the terrorist chiefs at a series of bases near the Afghan border.
Those close to Saad include al-Qaeda's chief of military operations, chief financial officer and 24 other al-Qaeda leaders.
They are in contact with bin Laden, still thought to be hiding in caves along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
A debate is now under way between the US and Saudi Arabia on how best to reduce Iranian support for terrorism.
President George W. Bush has named Iran as part of the "axis of evil".
However the US State Department says privately it does not believe Iran's Government has any control over the clerics and it would not be able to hand over al-Qaeda members.
Saad bin Laden is one of the 11 children of bin Laden and his first wife Najwa Ghanem, who is from Syria.
Born in Saudi Arabia, Saad and his mother travelled to Afghanistan to be with bin Laden in the late '80s.
In 1989 the family returned to Saudi Arabia but left in 1991 after the authorities objected to bin Laden's extremism.
They settled in Sudan, where Saad received most of his formal education and learned to speak English.
In 1996, Saad, then 17, went with bin Laden back to Afghanistan.
He fought by his father's side against US and British troops and escaped with him into Pakistan as the country fell.
Until about 12 months ago, Saad was with his father in the mountains. Bin Laden sent him to Iran because the electronic communications blackout imposed for security reasons made it impossible for him to direct operations.
The Daily Telegraph http://www.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,7572366%255E401,00.html
posted on 10/16/2003 1:05:58 AM PDT
Iran's judiciary says Nobel Prize "lacks credibility"
Wednesday, October 15, 2003 - ©2003 IranMania.com
TEHRAN, Oct 15, (AFP) -- Iran's conservative-run judiciary, the main target of Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi's human rights campaigning, has poured scorn on her win by saying the prize "does not have much credibility", reports said Wednesday.
"I think she won the prize for politically motivated reasons," Mohammad Javad Larijani, a deputy head of the judiciary and influential conservative, was quoted as saying by several Iranian newspapers.
He asserted that the "Nobel Peace Prize does not have much credibility among intellectuals," but did concede that he was "very happy that she (Ebadi) won a good deal of money."
He then went on to accuse the West of being engaged in a vast conspiracy against Iran and the Muslim world.
"The West, along with the Zionist, Christian and Jewish organisations, have begun a military, economical, political and propaganda war against Islam, which is reminiscent of the Crusades," he said, but added that "they will lose in their offensive."
Ebadi was Iran's first female judge, but was stripped of her post after the 1979 Islamic revolution. Since then, she has angered hardliners by spearheading a drive to provide greater legal rights to women and children and also by defending political dissidents whose cases few other lawyers would dare to touch.
Ebadi, 56, was given the Nobel Peace Prize -- which carries a 1.1-million-euro (1.3-million-dollar) purse -- last Friday "for her efforts for democracy and human rights." http://www.iranmania.com/News/ArticleView/Default.asp?NewsCode=18706&NewsKind=Current%20Affairs
posted on 10/16/2003 1:07:39 AM PDT
Ebadi, A New Messiah For Iran's Democratization?
By Kaveh L. Afrasiabi
Like a thunder whitening a dark and cloudy sky, the stunning news from the Nobel Committee, bestowing the Peace Prize for 2003 to the pro-democracy activist Shirin Ebadi, has instantly opened a floodgate of questions about the impacts and ramifications of this new development on the political process in Iran.
Mrs. Ebadi's immediate reaction is itself revealing of some of the answers. In her various media interviews today, Ebadi called for the release of all political prisoners, almost all of whom are held without the due process of law. At a time when even scores of Majlis deputies stage hunger strikes to protest the mistreatment of political prisoners, one would expect that the movement inside Iran against torture and physical abuse of prisoners would gain momentum as a direct result of Ebadi's world-wide fame as a champion of political prisoners.
Second, the entire reform movement in Iran will likely benefit from this momentous development which, in many ways, can and should be legitimately interpreted as an international sign of approval on the Ebadist course of action, namely, non-violent, gradual reform of the legal, political, and cultural system. With her reputation as a bona fide supporter of the Second Khordad Movement, Mrs. Ebadi can now throw her weight behind this movement and help it uplift itself from its present dormant, ailing, state of affairs, caused partly as a result of the absence of viable democratic leadership.
Thus, Mrs. Ebadi can in all likelihood utilize her new stature to fill the sad vacuum of leadership in the democratic movement, which has been experiencing a crisis of identity of its own as of late while reeling under the pressure of repression and censorship imposed from the above. We should therefore expect a new surge in the attempts to broaden the scope of free speech in today's Iran, particularly in the area of freedom of press.
Third, Mrs. Ebadi will unquestionably assume a more strident role in the women's movement and its struggle for rights in the contemporary male-dominated society (jameeh mardsalar), notwithstanding the vivid shortcomings of President Khatami on his campaign promises for opportunity and equality for women. To his credit, Mr. Khatami has appointed more women to middle level positions than all his predecessors combined, and during his term the number and ratio of female students and college professors has increased rather dramatically. Yet, parallel to every "success story" there have been a number of setbacks. Case in point, over the past few years, the government has introduced greater restrictions on the women's education whereby university women have access to around %80 of the subjects while the only restriction for males is Gynecology.
To give another example, thanks to the efforts of human rights activists such as Ebadi, a new penal code on child abuse has been promulgated. Yet, a clue to the paradoxes of rights situation in Iran, the new code, by exempting parents, has sadly contributed to a new upsurge in parental child abuse, the main form of child abuse in Iran according to the information by the Ebadi-led Society for Protection of Children's Rights.
Mrs. Ebadi has championed the cause of changing the legal status of women by focusing on such laws as inheritance, marriage, divorce, child custody. Echoing the sentiment of reformist law-makers such as Elaheh Koolaee, Mrs. Ebadi has called on the government to ratify the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discriminations Against Women. Already approved by a Majlis committee, if approved, this Convention provides new ammunition for the advocates of women's right in Iran to push against the archaic laws, such as law of witness, or the insurance laws, which essentially count women as half the men. Based on the present insurance laws, if a couple are injured in a car accident, the compensation received by the woman will be half that of the man irrespective of the degree of injury. Indeed, how can any one at the turn of the 21st century justify such discriminations?
Both the marriage law, allowing children of 9 years age to get married, and the divorce law, which continues to be one-sidedly in favor of men's rights despite minor recent improvements, are candidates for change. The minimum age for marriage should be revised to 16 or older, and the divorce and inheritance laws need to be re-written from scratch.
And this is precisely where Ebadi's self-described "Islamic feminism" may experience its optimal limits, in the light of the Quranic and Hadith-based reservoir of inequality sanctioning the current laws. Henceforth, surrounding this year's Nobel Laurel for Peace will be a new round of debate on an old question: Which path to reform? Outright secularism, or Islamist reform?
For now at least, given the Nobel Committee's statement on why they chose Ebadi, crediting her for her synthesizing Islam and human rights, the upper hands belongs to the 'reform strategy from within' emphasizing the importance of re-interpretative process, of Islamic texts and knowledge, for the sake of deepening the societal respect for universal human rights and norms of civil society. This strategy, lacking a sound economic and political component, has to refine its methodological and analytical tools now, in order to address the criticisms raised by the secular reformists, above all, that the rigid political system has effectively stifled the path of gradual reform from within.
However, Mrs. Ebadi and her like-minded colleagues active in the reform movement in Iran have remained steadfast in their conviction that the arduous process of reform requires patience and resilience, and that it should not be limited to the political process. In fact, repeatedly Mrs. Ebadi has pointed out the role of backward culture, using religion as a cover, to perpetuate male-dominance, such as widespread self-immolation of women especially in the rural areas. Perhaps a new culturist strategy for reform is what is needed right now and can benefit directly from Ebadi's sudden prominence -- as a female messiah for peaceful reform in Iran.
As a lawyer representing various victims of political violence, Mrs. Ebadi is well-aware of the entrenched nature of the beast she and others are fighting against. In one of her recent comments on the death of reporter, Zahra Kazemi, Ebadi has pointedly stated that the crime has all the markings of the chain killings -- indeed an ominous development raising the specter of a back to the past backlash featuring vigilante justice and political gangsterism. For the moment, President Khatami's forceful denunciation of this crime and its perpetrators is a welcome news that the genie of "religious fascism" is not yet fully out of the bottle yet and can still be locked back in.
It is important to bear in mind the complex regional milieu which simultaneously works for and against democratization in Iran. Thus, while the demise of Saddam Hussein and Taliban and their replacement with nominally-democratic systems undoubtedly helps the democratization process in Iran, unfortunately the same cannot be said about (a) U.S.-led miniaturization of the region together with the demonization of Iran by the U.S. increasing the national insecurity of the ruling elite, and (b) the growing chaos and war-lordism in both war-ravaged neighbors undermining the push for democracy. Thus, to some extent the fate of democracy in Iran is tied in with the outcome of the democratic experiments in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention the rest of Iran's neighbors and near neighbors as well as regional crises.
Concerning the latter, the current nuclear row, if degenerated into a full-blown crisis featuring UN Security Council sanctions on Iran, backed by the European Union, will likely act as a major impetus for the tightening of the political system in Iran to the clear detriment of moderate politicians. An external crisis of this nature can only benefit the hard-liners who dread a true democratization of the theocratic republic as antithetical to their interests.
Mrs. Ebadi has lost no time in expressing her opposition to any foreign meddling in Iran's internal affairs, rightly insisting that Iranian people are the engines of change in Iran and they alone should decide the fate of their country. Speaking in the tradition of Mosadegh, Mrs. Ebadi knows the political psychology of Iranian people, and the wealth of foreign paranoia fed these days by the American military behemoth at Iran's doorsteps. Perhaps for this reason alone, Mrs. Ebadi will resist any calls for expanding the purview of her reformist agenda and try to telescope her incremental, legalistic approach to social change, to any fundamental regime-change. One thing is for certain, however, and that is Mrs. Ebadi's newly-gained ability to push the limits of possible and to become a much greater voice and catalyst for legal modernization. Undoubtedly, even on this ground, Ebadi's success will depend on her ability to enter into and form new coalition of the willing, committed to peaceful reform, and on this account Mrs. Ebadi's skill has yet to be tested. http://www.payvand.com/news/03/oct/1086.html
posted on 10/16/2003 1:09:07 AM PDT
A champion in Iran
A 56-year-old Iranian woman -- a lawyer devoted to fighting for human rights in her oppressive country -- is now permanently linked to the likes of Jimmy Carter, Nelson Mandela, Mikhail Gorbachev, Lech Walesa and Martin Luther King Jr.
Calling attention to the plight of women in Iran and other Middle Eastern countries, the Norwegian Nobel Committee named Shirin Ebadi this year's recipient of the cherished Nobel Peace Prize.
Ebadi, who has suffered under repressive regimes in Iran, has been involved in the struggle for women's rights for more than 30 years. Although she became Iran's first female judge in 1977, she was forced out of that office two years later when the revolution ushered in a backward and suppressive era, especially for women.
That episode made Ebadi more determined to fight for change in the country's archaic laws, and she often defended dissidents who challenged and irritated the theocratic government.
She would be suspended from practicing law for three years after being convicted of slandering government officials.
But nothing would stop her from standing up for women and children and for the dignity of all of Iran's citizens, never thinking about any honors for herself. She was too busy working for justice.
When she got the news from the Nobel committee about an award for which she didn't even know she was being considered, Ebadi was in France, where she had attended a conference on women. She used her first news conference to call for the release of all political prisoners in her country, and she challenged the Islamic government's rules by appearing with her head uncovered.
This mother of two, who has given of herself unselfishly, truly shares the spirit of many of the other Peace Prize laureates who have come before her.
In her, women -- and humanity as a whole -- have a true champion. http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/news/opinion/7018360.htm
posted on 10/16/2003 1:10:05 AM PDT
She would be suspended from practicing law for three years after being convicted of slandering government officials.
This comment reveals so much about the freedoms we take for granted here. In any case, what an amazing woman. I wish I had just a fraction of her courage.
posted on 10/16/2003 1:21:55 AM PDT
Iran upbeat about nuclear talks with ElBaradei
16 Oct 2003 06:16:31 GMT
TEHRAN, Oct 16 (Reuters) - A senior Iranian official said he was hopeful talks with U.N. nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei in Tehran on Thursday would remove concerns about Iran's nuclear ambitions.
ElBaradei arrived in Tehran early on Thursday and was due to spend most of the day in talks with Iranian officials.
The visit comes just two weeks before a U.N. deadline for Iran to disprove U.S.-led claims it has a secret atomic weapons programme. Failure to do so could see Iran's case referred to the U.N. Security Council in November.
"I believe this visit will be very positive and I hope that during these talks all the problems will be solved," Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), told Reuters.
Concerned that Iran could be concealing a secret atomic weapons programme, the IAEA has given Iran until October 31 to prove that its nuclear facilities are, as Tehran says, geared solely to electricity generation.
Speaking to Reuters en route to Tehran on Wednesday night ElBaradei said Iran could not expect an extension of the October 31 deadline and called on Tehran to answer all his outstanding questions.
He also confirmed that U.N. inspectors have visited some military sites in Iran during recent inspections.
"I cannot accept that by the end of the month we will be in a position...(where) we believe we have not gotten all the information we require," ElBaradei said.
Diplomats have said Iran might ask for the deadline to be extended. Iran has said it does not recognise the deadline as binding but has decided to offer all the information the IAEA is seeking as quickly as possible.
But ElBaradei said Iran was not acting as quickly as the IAEA would like.
"We still need more information," he said. "Now is the time to come forward with a full and comprehensive declaration of all they have done. This is a must."
The IAEA's concerns centre on Iran's uranium enrichment facilities, which the United States says are at the heart of a clandestine attempt to build an atom bomb.
Iran says it needs to produce low-grade enriched uranium to use as fuel in nuclear power reactors.
Highly enriched uranium can be used in nuclear bombs and the IAEA has found traces of it at two Iranian nuclear sites. Tehran said it was due to contaminated machinery bought from abroad. http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/HUG620141.htm
posted on 10/16/2003 1:23:09 AM PDT
Supreme Leader exalts armed forces
IRIB English News
Tehran, Oct 16 - Supreme Leader of the Islamic revolution and Commander in Chief of Iran's Armed Forces Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei attended the evening military parade of Zanjan region's joint forces on Wednesday.
The supreme leader, addressing the Zanjan region's forces on behalf of country's armed forces said, "The Iranian armed forces are the guardians of high and humanitarian values."
Ayatollah Khamenei added, "The braveries of our combatants during the eight years of sacred defense hoisted the banner of hope in the hearts of the Iranian nation."
The leader recalling the martyrs of the Islamic Revolution and the sacred defense prayed for the salvation of their sacred souls.
He said, "The Iranian nation highly respects its armed forces, that are ready to face any threats against national security."
Ayatollah Khamenei further stressed, "Yet, your military readiness does not mean that we are warmongers, but it is a sign of the Iranian nation and the Islamic system's alertness.
Referring to the clamorous political campaign against Iran's advanced nuclear technology, the leader said, "The arrogant powers in the world accuse us of warmongering, and pretend that we wish to take military advantage of that technology, but the real warmongers are those who launched two world wars in 20 time."
The supreme leader added, "Today too, the real warmongers are those nasty capitalists who flicker the flames of wars here and there in the world to fill their pockets more by boosting the international trade and sell more weapons, at the cost of massacring innocent people."
Ayatollah Khamenei referred to the Iranians as "a brave, powerful and yet, oppressed nation, arguing, "This nation will powerfully and resolutely resist against the oppressive demands of its enemies and safeguard the prestige, sovereignty, and independence of Iran, and the values of Islam."
Prior to the leader's address, the Commander of the Islamic Republic Guard Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General Rahim Safavi said, "The armed forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran, including the IRGC, the army, basij mobilization forces, and the disciplinary forces, are just as always, alertly ready to defend Islam, the revolution, and dear Iran." http://www.iribnews.com/Full_en.asp?news_id=190385
posted on 10/16/2003 1:38:15 AM PDT
by F14 Pilot
Leader urges Muslim states not to bow to US threat
Thursday, October 16, 2003
Tehran, Oct 13, IRNA -- Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei called on Muslim heads of state to appreciate the importance of the power of Muslim nations and solidarity among Islamic states and also not be intimidated by US threats or be deceived by its dissembling smiles.
Addressing large groups of jubilant crowd, who had gathered at the local Workers` Sports Stadium in Zanjan to welcome him, Ayatollah Khamenei said that Muslim heads of state should realize that the world`s power centers would not do a damn thing if Muslim states rely on the might of their nation like Iran and resist `illegitimate` demands of the arrogance.
Ayatollah Khamenei said, "This is the message of the Iranian nation: We want to remain independent and free and we ourselves decide our country`s fate not the US and international haughty powers."
The Supreme Leader said explicit words of the US officials on the need for changing the Middle East map point to efforts by arrogant powers to plunder resources of regional states and provide Israel with more support.
He said that contrary to the efforts, the US faces enormous problems in Iraq and Afghanistan and Israel is really afflicted and helpless in facing Intifada thanks to the courage and faith of the defenseless Palestinian nation as well as devotion of the Palestinian male and female martyrdom seekers.
Referring to his ongoing visit to Zanjan and the warm welcome extended to him by the local population, Ayatollah Khamenei said, "What happened in Zanjan today is an example of the will, determination and the spiritual might of the iron-like Iranian nation, who would with all might defend their dignity and pride as well as independence, freedom and Islamic Revolution."
The Supreme Leader called for unity and coordination in the ranks of the officialdom to settle the ongoing economic and welfare problems of the public. Ayatollah Khamenei said any failure in identifying public demands and problems will be a stumbling block to social progress.
The Supreme Leader referring to unemployment and inflation as the main problems facing the society and said the officials should try to identify and address the major and real problems rather than the minor ones.
The Ayatollah hoped that people would turn out in massive numbers at the upcoming seventh term of Majlis elections, slated for February 20.
The Supreme Leader arrived here on Monday morning to a rousing welcome by various strata of the society, including students, workers, civil servants, farmers and clerics. http://www.iranmania.com/News/ArticleView/Default.asp?NewsCode=18681&NewsKind=Current%20Affairs
posted on 10/16/2003 1:44:33 AM PDT
by F14 Pilot
Tempting Fate in Gaza
October 16, 2003
TIME Online Edition
The killings of three Americans in Gaza Wednesday may produce serious and long-lasting repercussions for the Palestinians. The first Palestinian terror attack deliberately directed at a U.S. target in more than two decades marks a fateful decision by some element in the murky underworld of Gaza's terror cells to link the Palestinian struggle against Israel to the global jihad against the U.S. That provides ammunition for Ariel Sharon's efforts to persuade Washington that Israel and the U.S. face the same terror threat. More important, while countries like Syria and Iran can provide support for groups that conduct terror attacks on Israelis, it makes it harder for countries like Syria and Iran to continue to support Palestinian terror attacks. The rush by the Palestinian Authority to denounce the attack as "an ugly crime" and by both Hamas and Islamic Jihad to distance themselves from it signals that none of the major Palestinian groups sees much good coming from bombing Americans.
There was suspicion in Palestinian political circles on Wednesday that the attacks may even have been related more to the situation in Iraq than in Gaza the Arab Liberation Front is a tiny Palestinian faction long allied with Saddam Hussein, which has a presence in both the West Bank and Gaza and has tended to hire militants from other groups to carry out attacks in its name. But the Iran-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah also has an active presence in Gaza, where its operatives have helped Hamas and other groups develop roadside-bomb technology and Qassam rockets.
Despite the fact that many Palestinians regard the U.S. as almost indistinguishable from Israel, even the radicals of Hamas and Islamic Jihad have scrupulously avoided directly attacking American interests. Some in Hamas have long advocated targeting Americans to punish the U.S. for its support for Israel, and also in solidarity with the wider Islamist cause. But that view has never prevailed in the organization. Tempting the wrath of the superpower has not been considered a prudent political course even among the radical Islamist Palestinians, not least because of the impact this would have in the Arab world. Even many of the Arab regimes that have support the U.S. war on al-Qaeda still see Palestinian terror attacks on Israeli civilians as a legitimate tactic of resistance to occupation, and have avoided lumping groups such as Hamas together with Bin Laden's networks. The U.S. had already persuaded European and Arab governments to crack down on these organizations, but after the Gaza bombing the pressure on the likes of Hamas and Islamic Jihad will be overwhelming.
The Gaza attack is an unmitigated catastrophe for the Palestinian Authority, which has been trying mostly in vain to persuade the U.S. to put pressure on the Sharon government over settlements, the separation fence, and the conditions of occupation, while fudging its own obligations under President Bush's "roadmap" to close down Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigade. The PA has vowed to investigate the attack with the help of the FBI. Such a probe could prove uncomfortable, given the fact that the attackers appear to have been aware of the schedule of the American convoy. U.S. officials traveling into PA-controlled areas typically coordinate their movements with Palestinian security officials. Whatever the outcome of the investigation, however, the U.S. will now brook no further excuses from the PA for failing to go to war on the radical groups. But with Palestinian politics is disarray, the ability of the PA to carry out an effective crackdown is far from certain even if PA leaders find the political will and until now, the political consensus in the PA is that the radical groups have to be persuaded, by national consensus, to end terror attacks.
The Gaza attack is also a reminder of the dangerous fracturing of centralized command and control among Palestinian terror cells. Even during the ill-fated "hudna" cease-fire negotiated between the PA and representatives of Hamas, JI and the al-Aksa Brigades, it was clear that localized cells such as the Hamas operatives in Hebron and some of the Al-Aksa structures in the northern West Bank, which Israeli intelligence believes had been penetrated by elements from Hezbollah retained the capability and the intent to violently veto agreements reached by their political leadership. The attack in Gaza may be a sign that at least some elements in the terror cells have taken up the banner of the Iraqi insurgency, or al-Qaeda or Hezbollah or some combination. Washington's call for all U.S. personnel to leave Gaza suggests an expectation that there may be more to come, and that Gaza, and possibly the West Bank may become a new front in America's war on terrorism.
-- WITH REPORTING BY JAMIL HAMAD http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,518649,00.html
Interesting posts again this morning. Thanks so much.
posted on 10/16/2003 3:08:57 AM PDT
To: onyx; DoctorZIn; AdmSmith; McGavin999; RaceBannon; nuconvert; dixiechick2000; Pro-Bush; seamole; ...
THE ROVING EYE
Iran and al-Qaeda: Odd bedfellows
By Pepe Escobar
Investigators from a special anti-terrorist cell in the European Union have expressed doubts over a Washington Post report this week in which sources claimed that Saad bin Laden, 24, Osama's eldest son, is now a top al-Qaeda member and that he runs operations out of Iran.
The paper reported its sources as saying that Saad and a close circle of about two dozen of bin Laden's trusted lieutenants are "protected by an elite, radical Iranian security force loyal to the nation's clerics and beyond the control of the central government".
Asia Times Online has already reported that Iran has admitted to holding a number of al-Qaeda members in its custody.
But, Asia Times Online's European intelligence sources caution, "The leaks [to the Post], when put together, convey the impression that Iran, a Shi'ite Islamic Republic, is now supporting al-Qaeda, an Islamist, Wahhabi, terrorist, transnational organization. That is simply not true."
The attempt to throw all big cats - "axis of evil" Iran, "foreign terrorists" in Iraq and al-Qaeda - into one big bag is seen by European intelligence agencies as a crude attempt on the part of the Bush administration to "refocus" the "war on terror" from former "axis of evil" member Iraq to current member Iran, and from Saddam Hussein to the ayatollahs in Tehran. This, they say, bears a strong resemblance to the non-stop campaign in early 2003 to link Saddam to al-Qaeda, even though the evidence did not support this.
Anti-terrorist European intelligence raises several points. First, there is no proven connection between al-Qaeda and the Islamic Republic's religious leadership. And Saad is not the new Osama. According to one special investigator, "Our main target now is not Osama's son, but Muhamad Ibrahim Makkawi [aka Saif al-Adil, a former colonel in the Egyptian army, born in 1960 or 1963]. He is an explosives expert and most probably the successor of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed." Khalid Shaikh, widely reputed to be the mastermind of September 11, was captured in Pakistan in March.
Saif al-Adil has extensive combat and covert operation experience: after fighting alongside the mujahideen in Afghanistan against the Soviets in the 1980s, he founded the military branch of bin Laden's deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri's Islamic Jihad, and is considered to be the top al-Qaeda military operative still at large. Saif al-Adil has for several years been in charge of terrestrial operations, security, military education, intelligence and liaison with al-Qaeda's special forces, the infamous Brigade 055. The only known photograph of Saif al-Adil is a passport photo dating from when bin Laden was still in Sudan, in the mid-1990s.
The Americans, though, are convinced that Saif al-Adil is in Iran, along with top al-Qaeda financial expert Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah and a few dozen others, all of them under the regime's custody, but still operative.
The Europeans are not so sure: they insist that al-Qaeda's imprint is mostly in the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf regions, not in Iran. "Most al-Qaeda leaders took refuge in the Hadramut, between Yemen and Saudi Arabia, where the bin Laden family comes from. The most influential ulemas from the Hadramut tribes are Wahhabis, as well as key officials of the Saudi security forces and the religious police." says a European intelligence operative. As for the Islamic Republic's authorities, they have always vehemently denied supporting al-Qaeda - although they have not disclosed the identities of their al-Qaeda detainees.
According to the leaks to the Post, Saad bin Laden is being protected by the elite unit among the five branches of Iran's Revolutionary Guards - the Jerusalem force (al-Quds) - which completely eludes "control from the central government".
Analysts question this possibility. Such a unit could well elude President Mohammad Khatami, but certainly not the Supreme Leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to whom all security services are subordinated. And for all practical purposes, "central government" means Khamenei, not Khatami.
US intelligence is persuaded that the Jerusalem force has trained more than three dozen "foreign Islamic militant groups in paramilitary, guerrilla and terrorism" tactics, Sunni and Shi'ite alike, including Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Palestine. That sounds like an Israeli Mossad mish-mash - once again throwing all cats into the same bag, as the agendas of Hezbollah and Palestinian liberation groups are totally different.
Although for some European intelligence sources the Jerusalem force is "a state within a state, able to offer protection to al-Qaeda", there's great skepticism towards its supposed, effective internationalist role. "Saddam Hussein also had a Jerusalem Liberation Army. It proved to be invisible, just a propaganda coup," adds another European counter-terrorist operative.
European intelligence agrees that Saif al-Adil and Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah are indeed the current top deputies to bin Laden and al-Qaeda's number two, Ayman "the Surgeon" al-Zawahiri, who now contact their operatives only through human couriers. But the assumption that Ayman al-Zawahiri used his decade-old relationship with the Jerusalem force to negotiate a safe harbor for some of al-Qaeda's leaders bombed by the Americans in Tora Bora, in southeast Afghanistan, in December 2001, is also ludicrous: these al-Qaeda leaders escaped to Pakistan's tribal areas, where they remained ever since. There's evidence that only but a few crossed the border from Pakistan's to Iran's Balochistan desert.
According to the Post, Saudi Arabia has tried to convince Iran to extradite Saad bin Laden and his al-Qaeda brothers-in-arms because they are suspected of masterminding the May 12 Riyadh suicide bombing (35 dead). According to the Saudis and the Americans, they were in contact with an al-Qaeda cell in Riyadh. The Saudis have told the Americans that there may be up to 400 al-Qaeda members holed up in Iran. European intelligence also takes this information with a pinch of salt, considering the fact that the Saudis are trying to do everything at the moment to appease America's discomfort with their role vis-a-vis what is essentially a Saudi Arabian, hardcore Islamist, terrorist organization (al-Qaeda).
The authorities in Tehran have "challenged foreign intelligence services to come up with evidence" that they are supporting al-Qaeda, according to government spokesman Abdullah Ramezanzadeh: "We have announced time and again that we will not allow these activities to take place in Iran. This is a decision taken by the highest officials in the country. The report is an absolute lie."
The regime blames the leaks that led to the report on the powerful Israeli lobby in Washington: indeed, for neo-conservatives from Pentagon number two Paul Wolfowitz down, closely intertwined with the hardline Ariel Sharon government in Israel, Iran's ayatollahs are the next big target. According to a European counter-terrorist expert, for the neo-cons "an al-Qaeda free to operate in Iran is a dream ticket in their agenda. They have already started to prepare American opinion for an attack on Iran."
Ramezanzadeh, the Iranian government spokesman, acknowledges that Iran's porous borders with Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan are difficult to control, so "sometimes some elements suspected of cooperating with al-Qaeda may enter the country". Al-Qaeda is supposed to have its bases along the Afghan border: American satellite photos could easily provide some evidence. The official Iranian position was spelled out by Ramezanzadeh: "We are asking all the world's security services and anyone else who has any information about these suspects to come forward with the information. After substantiating the information, we will arrest them."
Saad bin Laden is one of at least 11 sons from Osama's first wife and also first cousin, Najwa Ghanem from Syria. Out of five marriages, Osama has fathered about 20 children. Saad arrived in Iran in 2002, from Afghanistan. He is fluent in English and information technology. European intelligence operatives somewhat agree that he may now be a key player in al-Qaeda's logistics. He may have been close to, and may have learned a lot from Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. But he is not the new Osama - at least not yet. And there's still no proof that he is the Tehran ayatollahs' new lethal weapon. http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/EJ17Ak02.html
posted on 10/16/2003 7:16:44 AM PDT
by F14 Pilot
To: F14 Pilot
Gotta wonder whether their murderous ways are in the genes as well as the Koran.
posted on 10/16/2003 7:28:43 AM PDT
To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Why the Mullahs Fear Her
October 16, 2003
New York Post
'NOT worth all that fuss!" This is how Iran's President Muhammad Khatami has reacted to the designation of Shirin Ebadi as this year's winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Khatami's comment is a sign not only of sour grapes - he himself had hoped to get a Nobel when he won his first term in office in 1997 on a platform of reforms - but also an indication of how the ruling mullahs view Ebadi as a symbol of everything they fear and loath.
* Ebadi is a woman and as such is regarded by Khatami and other mullahs as, at best, half a human being. To present her as a hero for mankind as a whole is just too much to bear for the mullahs.
* She makes a point of emphasizing her Iranian-ness, much to the chagrin of the mullahs - who insist that Islam recognizes no national boundaries and that the love of one's homeland is incompatible with the love of God.
* Ebadi says she is proud to be a Muslim - in her own way. She insists that no one, least of all the mullahs, has the right to tell others how to live and practice their faith.
"There are no priests and no church in Islam," she repeats. "As Muslims, we are alone responsible for our deeds and shall face Divine Judgment as individuals. Because we are not robots no one could program us with his version of religion."
* She makes no secret of her dislike of the Hijab, a head-covering invented in the 1970s in Lebanon and gradually imposed as a symbol of Islamic radicalism throughout the world. She is forced to wear it in Iran; refusal is punishable by six months in jail and/or a caning in public. But, like all other Iranian women, she casts it aside as soon as she is outside the realm of the Islamic Republic.
"Instead of telling Muslim women to cover their heads, we should tell them to use their heads," Ebadi says. "We must not accept anything that is rejected by our reason. "
Ebadi's rejection of the Hijab is one of the themes now used in the propaganda campaign launched against her by the sate-owned media in Tehran. This is because Islamism, having failed to develop a serious philosophy, is forced to cling to head-coverings and beards as its only achievements. It is as if one challenged the Swastika in Nazi Germany or the sign of the cross under the Inquisition.
* Ebadi is the product of a society that the Islamist terrorists have been trying to destroy since 1979. She was part of a second generation of Iranian women who were able to attend university. She studied law, a field expressly closed to women by Islamists, and became a judge in 1974. (She was one of 46 women to serve as judges. In 1979 the Iranian Supreme Court also included one woman among its nine members.)
The significance of a woman serving as a judge may be hard to grasp for non-Muslims. But the advent of woman judges in Iran under the Shah was a truly revolutionary event, unprecedented in the 1,500 year history of Islam.
Women, whose testimony is regarded as only half as valid as a man's in the Islamic shariah, were not allowed even to act as ordinary lawyers, let alone to judge their "superiors," men.
For the Islamist fascist, a woman must not leave home without a chaperon nor travel without the written permission of her husband, brother, father or another male relative. A man could take up to four permanent wives and as many temporary ones as he likes, and can repudiate any at any time without informing her.
In that context, Ebadi's generation - which gave Iran its first women members of parliament, Cabinet ministers, provincial governors, ambassadors, army and police commanders, aircraft pilots, high-skill surgeons, bus and taxi drivers, etc. - was a truly heroic one in the history of Islam.
The mullahs tried to kill that generation and push women back to the margins of society. They failed for two reasons.
First, the Iran-Iraq war, which lasted eight long years, kept almost a million men at the front, making it impossible to run many sectors of the economy without letting women work.
The other reason was that there were heroic women like Shirin Ebadi who were ready to fight, and in many cases to die, in defense of their newly won rights.
Mrs. Ebadi, now aged 56 and mother of two daughters, has been beaten up by Islamist thugs on countless occasions. She has been imprisoned, kept under house arrest, prevented from working and subjected to the most vicious of media campaigns. And yet she has not wavered. The mullahs hate her because she symbolizes the failure of their criminal enterprise.
* Finally, Ebadi frightens the mullahs, and Islamists in general, because she is a defender of human rights.
"All human beings are of equal worth simply by existing," she says.
That, of course, is in direct contravention of the basic principles of Islamist fascism. Under it, humanity is divided according to a strict hierarchy of worth:
At the top are free Muslim males, the cream of humanity.
Next come Muslim male slaves. Then free Muslim women, followed by Muslim female slaves.
Next come the males of the so-called People of the Book (Jews and Christians), and then the females of the People of the Book.
And that is all.
The rest of humanity - Buddhists, Hindus, agnostics and others - are regarded as worthless, and, because they lack a soul, cannot claim to have any rights whatsoever.
Ebadi rejects that "Islamic" hierarchy as "absurd and dangerous."
"There is no future for mankind without human rights," she said at her first international press conference in Paris on Monday. "Any discrimination on the basis of gender, race or religion is a challenge to our basic humanity."
Giving the Nobel Peace Prize to Ebadi is a strong signal from the democratic world to those Muslims who are fighting against fascism disguised as religion, often at the risk of their lives.
The world of Islam is passing through a civil war of ideas of a magnitude not seen since the 12th century. And like the 12th century, the fight is between those who wish to turn religion into a weapon of rule by terror, and those who, like Ebadi, believe that faith is a matter between the individual and his or her God. In the 12th century the fascists of the time won the war. The result was the advent of Islam's Dark Ages from which it began to recover only in the 19th century - and even then slowly.
Who will win this time?
With women like Shirin Ebadi in the field, even though Khatami pretends that she is not "worth the fuss," be sure that the fascists will lose.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/8191.htm
'Iran's Case Should Not Go Before the Security Council''
October 16, 2003
The Associated Press
Iran is prepared to open more military sites to U.N. nuclear inspectors to prevent questions over alleged weapons programs from reaching the Security Council, a top official said Thursday.
Iran faces an Oct. 31 deadline to prove its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. If U.N. nuclear watchdogs are not satisfied, the issue could go the Security Council and open the way for possible sanctions.
''Iran's case should not go before the Security Council,'' said Mohsen Mirdamadi, head of the parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy committee. ''If allowing inspections of military sites resolves this problem, then we should do it.''
Mirdamadi's comments came as the International Atomic Energy Agency chief, Mohamed ElBaradei, began talks with Iranian authorities in Tehran to press for expanded cooperation. ElBaradei told The Associated Press there were ''still outstanding issues to be resolved.''
America and its allies accuse Iran of working on a secret nuclear weapons program. Tehran says it is only interested in generating electricity.
Mirdamadi insisted that Iran is under no obligation to open sites not registered with the U.N. nuclear agency. But he claimed Iranian authorities were working ''in the spirit of transparency.''
''Iran definitely does not want international bodies visiting military sites,'' Mirdamadi told the AP. ''But we don't want Security Council action ... We can't allow that to happen.''
There was no immediate information on the plans of ElBaradei or the U.N. inspectors, who stepped up probes earlier this month.
But ElBaradei suggested there could be expanded reviews of both military and civilian facilities. He said Iran has already opened one military site. Officials close to the agency, speaking on condition of anonymity, identified the site as Kolahdouz near the Iranian capital.
''If it's civilian or military sites doesn't matter much,'' he said. ''We visit sites that are relevant to our work. If it's important to us to visit a site, we will do so,'' he said after arriving in Iran earlier Thursday.
The Kolahdouz site has been identified by a dissident group in exile, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, as the alleged location of Iranian efforts to produce enriched uranium which is needed for energy reactors, but can be used for weapons if highly enriched.
The group said centrifuge equipment there was reputedly meant to operate as a supplement to the uranium enrichment site in Natanz in central Iran.
IAEA experts have a list of other military sites they hope to visit, the officials confirmed.
ElBaradei said he would not comment on his Iran probe before presenting his report to the next board meeting. The board convenes again Nov. 20.
''I think we need all the information that we requested, and so far we have not received all this information,'' ElBaradei said Wednesday. ''The key issue is the enrichment program to make sure we have seen all nuclear experiments that have taken place in Iran, that we have seen all the nuclear material in Iran.''
Iran has confirmed twice in recent months that particles of weapons-grade enriched uranium were found in separate places in the country. But the government maintains its equipment was ''contaminated'' by a previous owner.
Iran has signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which bans the spread of nuclear weapons.
''There has been increased cooperation, but again there are a lot of outstanding important issues that remain ... we don't have much time left,'' ElBaradei said before leaving for Iran.
On the Net:
IAEA, www.iaea.org/worldatom http://famulus.msnbc.com/FamulusIntl/ap10-16-034218.asp?reg=MIDEAST
Iran Sentences Six to Death
October 16, 2003
TEHRAN -- A court in southeastern Iran has upheld the death sentence for a gang of six men who confessed to killing five people in the name of Islamic morality, a newspaper said on Thursday.
The men, aged between 18 and 22, last year killed some of their victims by tying them up and throwing them into a swimming pool or by stoning them to death to ''eliminate vice on the earth,'' the Etemad daily said.
''The six men were tried by a second court and their death sentences were upheld by this court,'' the daily said.
Earlier this year, a trial held behind closed doors sentenced the six to death. But the case was sent to another court after they objected to the sentence, saying the killings were religiously motivated.
''The second court said there was no evidence that the victims were in any way corrupt and approved the first ruling,'' the daily said.
The killers earlier confessed to murdering the five people. They said they committed the murders to fight against moral corruption and promote virtue, Etemad said.
The paper quoted an informed source as saying the men would be publicly hanged. http://famulus.msnbc.com/FamulusIntl/reuters10-16-070535.asp?reg=MIDEAST
Iran Willing to Accept Tougher Nuclear Checks
October 16, 2003
The Financial Times
U.N. nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei says Iran will answer concerns raised over its nuclear programme and sign the Additional Protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday after a meeting in Tehran with Iran's Supreme National Security Council chief Hassan Rohani, ElBaradei said: "I was assured by Dr Rohani that the Islamic Republic of Iran will clarify all the outstanding issues for us to be able to verify all aspects of Iran's nuclear activities."
He said Rohani had told him Iran was also willing to accept tougher, no-notice inspections of its nuclear facilities by signing the Additional Protocol of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
ElBaradei's visit comes just two weeks before a U.N. deadline for Iran to disprove U.S.-led claims it has a secret atomic weapons programme. Failure to do so could see Iran's case referred to the U.N. Security Council in November.
ElBaradei arrived in Tehran overnight, warning that Iran had still not provided his agency with the full disclosure it was seeking.
"I hope we will be able to clarify these issues and get a satisfactory answer," he said after meeting Rohani.
ElBaradei said despite Iran's willingness to agree to virtually unfettered, snap inspections of its nuclear sites, Rohani had raised "apprehensions" about signing the NPT Additional Protocol.
Hardliners in Iran have said signing the protocol would be tantamount to sanctioning spying on the country and government officials have voiced concerns that inspectors could visit military or religious sites.
"I made it very clear that all these apprehensions are unfounded. I mean the protocol is never meant in any way to compromise state sovereignty, security, dignity and technology development," ElBaradei said. http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1059480641995&p=1012571727172
To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
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