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Iranian Alert -- October 19, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD PING LIST
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^
Posted on 10/19/2003 12:00:54 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 10/19/2003 12:00:54 AM PDT
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Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread
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posted on 10/19/2003 12:05:14 AM PDT
EVIN (PRISON) IS NOT A BAD PLACE
by Shirin Ebadi*
TEHRAN - When I went to visit my friend, colleague and ex-client, Mrs. (Mehrangiz) Kaar and told her in a semi-humorous, semi-serious tone that I had requested prison authorities to put her in the best cell possible, I understood the true meaning of what I had told her when fifteen days later, that is on the seventh day of the first month of summer of 1379 (27/5/00), I was myself transferred to the Evin Prison ward called 209.
As soon as the two night guards (women) saw the papers, they told me kindly we will give you Ms. Kaar's cell.
As I entered the cell, the sight of its small window and its soiled floor mat disturbed me. I frowned. One of those women said: if you don't like it, you can have a look at other empty cells. Take any one that you like. After visiting other cells, I realised that they indeed had reserved the best one for me, that is the one that Mrs. Kar had lived in.
Quite kind were the guards of Ward 209.
There are nearly 30 solitary cells in this ward. When I was there, only half of them were occupied. I was not allowed to see anybody. I could use the small airing space only when no other soul was around.
However, by what I could hear in the Ward and the conversation I had with the prison guards, I gathered that the overwhelming majority of prisoners there had something to do with drugs and addiction.
Iranian people welcome the winner of nobel peace prize Shirin Ebadi, at the airport in Tehran on Tuesday Oct. 14, 2003.
The woman in the adjacent cell was a drug addict that had recently quitted her addiction and would ask for a cigarette every half an hour. If her request were not immediately satisfied, she would scream and cry out loud, saying: I used to take 5 grams of heroine a day and now I desperately need a cigarette.
The prisoners were very aggressive and foul mouthed. The pettiest things would make them scream and curse everything and everybody, specially the authorities. The interesting point was that none of these screaming and cursing would affect the way the authorities treated the prisoners.
The food was enough, but it was divided in a very calculated and rationed way. Twice a day they distributed tea and if anybody missed the first run for any reason, she would have to wait for the next time. Later, when I started to suffer from some digestive disorders, I realised that the tap water was not the purified water of the city, but supplied by a well nearby.
I couldn't sleep at nights because of the screaming of the prisoners who asked for more sleeping pills.
On the third day the guard notified me to observe the hejab (Islamic dress) as the Head of the Ward was coming for inspection.
A few minutes later, an angry man stepped into my cell and while inspecting my bag and other objects in the cell, he repeatedly asked: to whom did you want to give the telephone number?
Completely stunned and without knowing what he meant by that, I told myself this must be another intrigue and excuse to punish me for my activities.
No matter how much I tried, I was unable to answer him like my neighbours would do, that is to give him the kind of answer that would suit all the accusations and insults he was ushering at me.
At the end of his inspection when he failed to find anything in my cell, the man told the guards: She is not allowed to go to the airing space until I tell you and he left me with a world of amazement and wonder.
One of the two women who were now more affectionate than before said: Damn that law college you studied in. Why the hell couldn't you defend yourself?
Foolishly, I looked at her and said: There is a new intrigue coming up.
Like a sister, she touched my shoulder and said: trust in God.
On the next night, it was at eleven o'clock when two women closed my eyes, took me into a car and transferred me to another building. The interesting point was that the new Ward was also called 209. In other words, there were two wards with exactly the same name only 800 meters apart - it was said in the new ward that this one was assigned to political prisoners.
In the section allocated to women, there were ten cells, all empty. There were four guards working in two shifts. In the new ward the quality of food was better.
They would give me tea whenever I asked for it. It was up to me to choose when to eat and as one of the guards said: In fact it seemed that they were my prisoners and not the other way round.
There was nothing to complain about, except the whole place was devoid of life and human spirit. There were no insult or punishment, but the behaviours were quite calculated and the words stereotyped.
They took away all my belongings, even my spectacles, although there was nothing to read.
Loneliness and silence could drive one crazy. I was missing my ex-neighbours' cursing and swearing. I wish there were somebody banging against the iron door at night asking for a cigarette.
Silence and loneliness was a good opportunity for contemplation and calculation of the victories and failures in life. I realised that although I was imprisoned, but I was relieved to think about the daily chores. I didn't need to worry about the article I had promised to write or a coming trial. In prison, there were no students asking whether I did get a chance to look at their thesis. There was no need to worry about cooking dinner for my husband and children. Surely, somebody would be found to pay for the mortgage. There was surely somebody who would take care of my duty in the society supporting the rights of children and
Therefore, prison was not that bad after all and as the proverb says: one had the chance to drink a glass of cool water there.
As time passes the guards get kinder and come out of their hard solid shell, particularly when they notice that the new prisoner is used to take refuge in the Creator in her loneliness, that she is docile and does not expect much...
But the solitary cell gradually starts to become hallucinating, particularly because one is not allowed to write and read. They give you no books to read, no papers to write on. (I was not allowed to read for eighteen days. After that I was could borrow books from the library).
A few days later, all the physical pain that I had been suffering since a few years ago exacerbated. Sciatic, palpitation, dyspnoea, hypertension and stuttering. I hate myself for being so weak. I try not to complain. I would just press my teeth against each other and would flex my fingers hard - my nails have turned blue because of the intensity of the pressure - but never would I groan.
I try to remember who said we are not born to suffer but I can't. Wrathfully, with the end of a spoon I try to engrave on the cement wall of the cell: We are born to suffer because we are born in the third world, where space and time are imposed on us. Therefore, there is nothing to do except to stay patient. ENDS SHIRIN EBADI PRISON DAYS 20301 http://www.iran-press-service.com/articles_2003/Oct-2003/ebadi_prison_days_141003.html
posted on 10/19/2003 12:06:44 AM PDT
So Who's talking to Iran?
By ADAM ZAGORIN AND SCOTT MACLEOD
Saturday, Oct. 18, 2003
Iran, which President Bush includes in his famous axis of evil, may be easing toward cooperation with the U.S. It could be a dramatic turnaround, provided Iranian hard-liners cooperate. The two nations have clashed over Iran's nuclear ambitions, and Washington has accused Tehran of harboring senior al-Qaeda members. The U.S. broke off official dialogue in May, after it blamed a bombing in Saudi Arabia on al-Qaeda leaders based in Iran. But Abdullah Ramezanzadeh, spokesman for Iranian President Mohammed Khatami, tells TIME that Tehran is supplying intelligence services of friendly Western and regional powers with information culled from some 500 al-Qaeda captives. "If Americans need any information," he says, "they can ask through countries friendly to us." Ramezanzadeh also insists that three al-Qaeda leaders reportedly in Iran are not among those his country has captured: Osama bin Laden's son Saad, bin Laden's right-hand man Ayman al-Zawahiri, and spokesman Sulaiman Abu Ghaith.
The two sides have even begun talking again. Sources tell TIME that several former senior U.S. officials have recently held informal discussions with Iran, among them Brent Scowcroft, chairman of Bush's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. Participants on both sides say the talks have touched on Iran's suspected nuclear-weapons program, its sponsorship of terrorism and other sore points. None of the issues have come close to being resolved. But Tehran has offered to repatriate some al-Qaeda suspects if the U.S. cracks down on the People's Mujahedin (m.e.k.), a group of Iranian exiles in Iraq who want to overthrow Iran's mullocracy. After complaints from Tehran, the U.S. in August shut down the group's offices in Washington and Los Angeles. But Iran wants the m.e.k.designated a terrorist group by the Clinton Administrationto be fully disarmed, as President Bush has ordered. Citing Iran's claims of cooperation in fighting al-Qaeda, a senior Iranian official notes, "There is no need for an unending crisis in U.S.-Iranian relations." But Administration hard-liners oppose any thaw, insisting the only sound policy toward Iran is one pressing for "regime change." http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101031027-524396,00.html
posted on 10/19/2003 12:45:14 AM PDT
by F14 Pilot
To: windchime; DoctorZIn; AdmSmith; nuconvert; Persia; McGavin999; onyx; dixiechick2000; seamole; ...
Iran can calm the US
but it cant ignore this lawyer
19 October 2003
A human rights lawyer who won the Nobel peace prize has captured Iranian hearts
and the ruling clergy are getting nervous. By Dan De Luce in Tehran
For a fleeting moment last week the grim authority of Irans theocratic system seemed to fade away. Instead of riot police or dreary speeches, there were women wearing white headscarves and throwing white flowers.
The night Shirin Ebadi returned to Iran, Tehrans airport virtually shut down as thousands of people came to greet the winner of the Nobel peace prize. Parents held their children up to catch a glimpse of the human rights lawyer who had embarrassed the ruling clerical establishment.
I love her, said one middle-aged woman. We feel somehow that someone is going to explain to the world what is in our hearts.
The jubilant scene at the airport was beamed around the world, but Iranian television ignored it. When the Nobel decision was announced it took the state broadcasting monopoly several hours to acknowledge the news, and then only briefly. Like Andrei Sakharov in the former Soviet Union, Ebadi poses an awkward dilemma for the theocratic regime.
There are Nobel prizes that are predictable and soon forgotten, and there are those that thrust people fighting repression and injustice into the spotlight. By awarding the prize to Ebadi, the Norwegian Nobel committee has sent a tremor through the Islamic republic.
This can help unify the groups trying to push for reform, said Issa Sah arkhiz, editor of the weekly Aftab. This gives us energy to go forward.
Ebadi does not speak in polemics and has never held elected office. It is her relentless focus on legal principles that makes her so formidable.
She carries a simple but powerful message: Iran must grant all its citizens freedom of expression and civil rights. She has set up a centre to promote childrens rights and an office that provides legal aid to political prisoners.
She argues her cause in the courtroom, at the university and in her books, case by case, penal section by penal section.
Unlike many Iranian dissidents, Ebadi has never changed her colours, compromised her beliefs or emigra ted. She has remained in the trenches, patiently but firmly insisting that Islam and human rights are complementary and compatible. She cites moderate clerics who say equal legal status for women is in keeping with the spirit of the Islamic faith.
My problem is not with Islam, she often says. My problem is with the culture of patriarchy.
Her ideas were ignored in the fanatical climate following the 1979 revolution that toppled the Shah, but she now speaks for a younger generation of women who are educated and working outside the home. She has ruled out political activity, but the ultimate effect of her campaign for human rights is nothing but political.
Ebadis award comes at a time when Iranians feel let down by the reformists they elected over the past six years, especially President Moh ammad Khatami. Expectations that he would deliver dramatic change have given way to contempt for his cautious approach. There is a sense that his time has passed and the torch is being passed to the likes of Ebadi.
The first chapter is over, we are entering a new stage in the reform movement, Saharkhiz said.
With the reformist majority in parliament stymied by unelected bodies that wield blanket veto power, acti vists have given up on the ballot box. Now they are talking about hunger strikes and sit-ins and openly calling for restricting the authority of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The presidents brother, Mohammad Reza Khatami, who leads the biggest reform party, is more forth right than his sibling. He boldly spoke out on Thursday for amending the constitution.
Hardliners say the supreme leader is above the law and not responsible to any elected bodies, Reza Khatami told his partys annual meeting. We believe the leader cant be above the law.
Conservative newspapers have predictably attacked Ebadi as a tool of western governments, trying to undermine traditional Islamic values. The hardline daily Jomhuri-ye Eslami referred to her as an ex-convict.
Yet Ebadi is not an easy target. She uses the Koran and Islam to support her calls for reform and has never entered the partisan political fray. And she has refused to bow to intimidation or pressure, once spending several weeks in solitary confinement.
She received a suspended sentence for publicising an interview with a former paramilitary who provided detailed accounts of repression against students and an assassination attempt against the former vice-president. Her name appeared on an intelligence ministry document that was an apparent hit list of political enemies.
Recognition from the West was once the kiss of death in Irans revolutionary climate, but times are changing. With its human rights record and nuclear programme increasingly com ing under international scrutiny, the clerical establishment will be forced to tolerate Ebadi now that she has won the Nobel.
Irans situation deeply depends on international public opinion. Iran can no longer ignore whats going on in the world, said Ebrahim Yazdi, leader of the liberal Freedom Movement.
The world signalled it was losing patience with Iran last month when the UN nuclear agency demanded Tehran prove it has no nuclear weapons programme by October 31 or face possible UN Security Council action. After sending out conflicting signals for months, Iran appears to have got the message.
The political leadership has invited the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany to Tehran this week to discuss a possible compromise designed to resolve the crisis over the nuclear programme. The deal was first proposed by the three European governments over the summer, but Iran failed to take up the offer.
Now the threat of UN-imposed sanctions has forced Iran to reconsider. The night Ebadi came back to Tehran, European diplomats arrived to lay the groundwork for negotiations on an arrangement that would give Iran access to civilian nuclear technology in return for agreeing to snap inspections and handing over spent nuclear fuel.
Such a compromise would require Iran to divulge its nuclear secrets and make it much more difficult to pursue a secret weapons project. It remains to be seen if the more hardline elements of the leadership are ready for such a painful climbdown.
If they want to, the conservative clerics who rule Iran can easily defuse the nuclear issue. But the fearless 56-year old woman who has won the Nobel represents something much more threatening and much more difficult to counter. She exudes the quiet confidence of someone who knows time is on her side. http://www.sundayherald.com/37531
posted on 10/19/2003 12:53:44 AM PDT
by F14 Pilot
posted on 10/19/2003 1:47:42 AM PDT
To: F14 Pilot
posted on 10/19/2003 1:48:49 AM PDT
To: DoctorZIn; Cincinatus' Wife
stunned bump, "the sweet one" is as tough as titanium.
"I would just press my teeth against each other and would flex my fingers hard - my nails have turned blue because of the intensity of the pressure - but never would I groan."
posted on 10/19/2003 4:41:12 AM PDT
Iran gives green light for nuclear inspections
19/10/2003 20:49:40 | ABC Radio Australia News
Iran has begun formal talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency on tougher inspections of its nuclear sites.
It has until the end of this month to give a full account of its nuclear activities or face possible U-N sanctions.
The IAEA's spokeswoman, Melissa Fleming, says the agency has now received assurances from Iran.
Assurances we did get, yes. Promises that information would be forthcoming. And not only vague information, but concrete detailed information about the history of Iran's nuclear activities. http://www.abc.net.au/ra/newstories/RANewsStories_970252.htm
posted on 10/19/2003 6:10:13 AM PDT
by F14 Pilot
October 19, 2003
Terrorism expert Michael Ledeen has refueled the fight between neocons close to the Pentagons civilian leadership and their foes at the CIA.
Ledeen says that in early August, Manucher Ghorbanifaran Iranian businessman whose claims of contacts among Tehran moderates touched off the Iran-contra scandalput him in touch with an informant claiming to know where highly enriched uranium was hidden in postwar Iraq. Ledeen took this info to top Defense contacts, who passed it to the CIA (which in the 1980s ordered its operatives to shun Ghorbanifar). Ledeen says agency spooks did meet in Iraq with Ghorbanifars subsource. The contact soured when the CIA demanded a sample of the alleged nuclear material.
Ledeen says Ghorbanifars post-9/11 track record has been impressive. He says info from a Ghorbanifar associate helped save U.S. lives in Afghanistan. (U.S. intelligence sources confirmed this.) A Ghorbanifar contact predicted developments in Irans nuclear-weapons program. The CIA remains wary. One of Ghorbanifars contacts recently asked U.S. officials for $250,000 to gather information in Tehran to foil a terror attack on the United States, scheduled for about Nov. 23 through Nov. 25 of this year, that would be bigger than 9/11. Ghorbanifar claims post-9/11 anthrax letters originated in Iran and that if the U.S. or Israel attacks Irans nuclear facilities, the ayatollahs will attack Israel with chemical and biological weapons. CIA spokesman Bill Harlow reaffirmed that the agency considers Ghorbanifar a fabricator who sought to sell fake information for cash.
Oct. 27 issue http://www.msnbc.com/news/982178.asp
Iranian Art: Coming to America? Not Today
October 19, 2003
New Yorks Asia Society launched an ambitious exhibit of Iranian art last weekbut none of the 75 works on display comes from Iran. The pieces that make up Hunt for Paradise: Court Arts of Iran, 1501-1576, are, of course, originally from Iran, but none of them is on loan from the Mideastern country.
Surprisingly, this is through no fault of Iran, which was willing. U.S. import relations are such that the embargo of Iran allows for little to be brought into the United States other than carpets less than 100 years old and pistachios. Not much help. And after President Bushs Axis of Evil speech and the subsequent invasion of Iraq, the museum didnt even try to persuade the State Department to let it import Iranian art. We didnt count on the political winds changing, says museum director Vishakha Desai. We didnt have a chance.
So howd they pull it off? Since Iranian art has been popular among royals and private collectors since the 17th century, there were plenty of pieces outside Iran. Not that it was easy persuading foreign collectors to loan to a museum in a city that was a recent target of terrorist attacks. (After 9/11, both a major corporate sponsor and a Russian collector pulled out.) But by pitching in on the restoration of certain pieces and filling in gaps with items from the Metropolitan, the museum proved that it is possible to show an insightful Iranian exhibit without actually borrowing from Iran. The pieces it securedcarpets, textiles, illuminated manuscripts and ceramicsgive a rare and exquisite look at the golden age of Iranian art. And ambitious viewers can still have a look at Iranian loans. The exhibit travels to Milan in March; Italy has diplomatic relations with Iran.
Oct. 27 issue http://www.msnbc.com/news/981882.asp
Iranian Man Executed
October 19, 2003
TEHERAN - A convicted murderer has been executed in a prison in Irans western province of Ilam, the Jomhuri Eslami newspaper reported on Sunday.
The man, identified as Houshang Rostami, had been found guilty of a personal feud killing two years ago, the paper added without giving any further details.
Iran imposes the death penalty for a variety of offences, including murder, rape, armed robbery, heavy drug trafficking, blasphemy and apostasy. http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2003/October/middleeast_October368.xml§ion=middleeast&col=
October 17, 2003
Iran va Jahan
"... we are not so much for the freedom of religion as we are for the religion of freedom."
The common westerner knows very little, if any, about the true psyche of the Iranian masses. It has been some centuries that the people of Our nation have been told to await a Messiah who will finally arrive. The think-tanks of the Ochlocratic regime of the Mullahs are well aware of this superstitious perception. Abusing this embarrassing psyche, the enemies of our nation set the stage for the Islamic revolution nearly a quarter of a century ago. Suffering from this self-inflicted, foreign-paced plague for more than two decades our nation was doomed to fall for another mendacious and potentially more sinister mullah, Khatami, some 6 years ago.
Time passed by and proved to the Iranian citizenry that this Mullah, like the others, was nothing more than a mediocre second handed Islamist politician, let alone the long awaited messiah of the Iranians.
In fact, the messiah never came.
After all these years of trial and error, I do not wish to amplify our achievements as what we have accomplished is petty in comparison to what we have lost during these past years notwithstanding the priceless experience we have gained. We are not looking for another messiah, at least, if not true about all the Iranian people, the majority of the new Iranian generation are diligently embracing the concept of self determination and the understanding of this fact that the head of a nation, albeit the best in that nation, cannot single-handedly or solely be fit to lead a country in todays world.
It was a good tiding for us that a woman from amongst our compatriots, Dr.Shireen Ebadi, won the Noble peace prize. We sincerely hope that this will bolster secularization of our mindset and bring about meaningful and substratal change in our country. And it will have to, after all, for there is no other way for the future of our nation. Let us not forget that talk about reforms so long as the militant Islamists are in power, is simply futile. The first and foremost task for a person like Dr. Ebadi is to help represent the Iranian nationalist psyche and identity in the world. In that regard, her religion (whether compatible or at odds with the basic human rights) is quite impertinent as religion is merely a private matter and it must not and will not have any place in the future political system of Iran.
Historians know full well that whenever a state gets subjugated under a particular religion, the very first that occurs is the violation of human rights. You can not speak of individuality as, at the same time, the state takes side with one specific celestial ideology; the product of such a system will soon be a branding where citizens as categorized as either insiders or outsiders. Those peers of mine who poured into the streets of Tehran having nothing but clenched fists and slogans, had completely given up on "reform" and do not aspire to produce a milder version of the current ochlocracy. A fundamental change is what we are seeking.
Now Dr.Ebadi is at a very critical point. She can, with her wise secular words, shatter the suffocating boundaries of any religion, and in essence, repeat the desires of the Iranian nation.
She should keep in mind that nothing can be nobler than the noble and equitable secular aspirations of our nation. In the words of Thomas Paine:
Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst; every other species of tyranny is limited to the world we live in; but this attempts to stride beyond the grave, and seeks to pursue us into eternity.
In conclusion, we are not so much for the freedom of religion as we are for the religion of freedom. http://iranvajahan.net/cgi-bin/news.pl?l=en&y=2003&m=10&d=19&a=4
Iran Asks Ministers to Nuclear Talks
October 19, 2003
Iran has officially confirmed it has invited the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany to come to Tehran in the next few days to help resolve the crisis over its nuclear activities.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi revealed that Iran had opened negotiations some days ago with the three European countries.
These countries had written a letter to Iran several months ago offering to co-operate in the field of peaceful nuclear power production if Iran met all the requirements laid down by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The initiative involving the European countries is part of a broader process spearheaded by the IAEA.
Officials from the agency are currently in Tehran hoping to finalise an agreement with Iran on signing up to a tougher inspections regime for its nuclear facilities.
Diplomats here say the three ministers would only come if Iran has clearly decided to announce its readiness to sign an additional protocol, which would enable tougher inspections of its nuclear sites and agreements to restrictions on its efforts to enrich uranium.
Negotiations with IAEA officials on signing the protocol have gone into a second day here in Tehran.
As for the Iranian enrichment issue, that is where the three ministers would come in, with assurances that - provided Iran complies with the IAEA - Europe will help it get the technology and expertise it needs to produce peaceful nuclear power. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3204748.stm
Peace Prize Renews Hope of Changes for Iranians
October 18, 2003
The New York Times
TEHRAN - This year's Nobel Peace Prize winner, Shirin Ebadi, returned to Iran this week, promising to continue her struggle for human rights.
On Friday, she visited a program in which she has been campaigning to force the government to pay for the education of children who work to support their families.
"This prize has put a heavy burden on my shoulders because I have to prove, at least to myself, that I deserved it," she said at a news conference in Tehran on Wednesday. "So I will not lessen my work but will increase it. I will never deprive myself of the honor of struggling for human rights."
Ms. Ebadi, 56, a human rights lawyer, was in Paris attending a conference on Iranian film when the prize was announced Oct. 10.
Iranians' optimism about the possibility of reform has been turning to anger and disappointment at the failure of reformist politicians, including President Mohammad Khatami, to deliver any fundamental changes. But the awarding of the prize to an Iranian who advocates reform has revitalized hope among Iranians who want change.
More than 10,000 people gathered at the airport to welcome Ms. Ebadi. She was always well known among the intelligentsia here, but many ordinary people came to the airport, they said, to show solidarity with her. They said they saw her as a symbol of democracy and national pride.
"Our coming here tonight shows our demand for democracy," said Pourya, a 22-year old university student who, like others interviewed, agreed to be identified only be her first name because she feared reprisals. "We have come to say we support what she says about human rights and we are so proud of her."
Ms. Ebadi's appearance before the news media in Paris without a head scarf, which is mandatory in Iran, was praised by many women and condemned by the hard-line press.
"She has become a reason for me as a woman to feel empowered, especially after I saw her on satellite TV in Paris without her head scarf," said Monir, 55, who had come to the airport six hours before Ms. Ebadi's flight was scheduled to land. "It takes a lot of courage to do what she did, and I admire her for that."
Ms. Ebadi said in her news conference that the law applied only when women were in Iran. She said she respected the law and covered her hair when she was in the country.
Shadi Sadr, 30, a lawyer and advocate for women's rights in Tehran, said the prize would help younger women who had been struggling for more rights for women. "When young women see what a woman from this patriarchal society has achieved they feel more confident to continue their struggle," she said.
Although reformers first reacted cautiously to the news of the prize, members of Parliament and the government spokesman, Abdullah Ramezanzadeh, welcomed Ms. Ebadi as she stepped off the plane.
Fatimeh Haghighatjoo, an outspoken member of Parliament, greeted Ms. Ebadi with a hug and kisses on the cheeks, and Zahra Eshraghi, President Khatami's sister-in-law and the granddaughter of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader the 1979 Islamic revolution, placed a wreath of flowers around her neck.
Mr. Khatami, however, did not congratulate her and played down the significance of the prize, causing angry reactions. "The Nobel Peace Prize is not that important," he said in an encounter with journalists. "The ones that count are the scientific and literary prizes."
In response, the people who greeted her chanted, "Khatami, shame on you," and, "Freedom of thought is not possible with Khatami."
Hard-line newspapers have also reacted with anger, raising fears that the international stature Ms. Ebadi has earned may not shield her.
But members of hard-line vigilante groups who showed up at the airport with banners that read "Death to paid writers of imperialism" were forced to leave after people booed, and beat one of them. http://www.nytimes.com/auth/login?URI=http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/19/international/middleeast/19IRAN.html
No Islamic Help
October 19, 2003
New York Post
As the latest reports indicate, it seems that the Muslim states have scripted themselves out of efforts to shape the future of Iraq.
The Organization of the Islamic Conference summit, held in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, is expected to end with a call for the U.S.-led coalition to announce a time frame for ending its occupation of Iraq. There will, however, be no attempt at offering an alternative vision for Iraq.
The OIC members may have missed an opportunity to devise a collective policy on Iraq. Doing so, they have divided themselves into four groups:
* In one group are states that, like Turkey, are determined to cooperate with the United States because of their national interests. In its own way, Kuwait, too, could be regarded as part of this group. Do not be surprised if other states, notably Pakistan and Bangladesh, emerge as members within the next few weeks.
* Another group includes countries like Jordan, Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and others who are cooperating with the coalition but do not wish to admit it in public.
* A third group consists of states that find themselves between a rock and a hard place. This is especially true of Iran and Syria. Both hate to see a pro-American regime in Baghdad. They may not be too unhappy about American difficulties in Iraq. But they also fear chaos, which could overspill into their respective territories.
* In the fourth group, one finds the remaining OIC members, who seem satisfied with a variety of postures, from shrill rejectionism to elegant obfuscation. The fact is that most of them do not know what to do or are fearful of standing out from the crowd. They find it more comfortable to take no position collectively than to adopt one individually.
Before the summit, Turkey and Pakistan had launched diplomatic initiatives to forge a collective OIC position on Iraq. The Turks wanted the summit to set up an eight-country special committee to deal with Iraq during the period of transition from occupation to self-rule.
The Iranians did all they could to sabotage the Turkish move. The idea of Turkey gaining a position of leadership on Iraq, and on behalf of the entire Muslim world, was too much for them.
Also, the Turkish effort was derailed because several Arab countries were not prepared to give a non-Arab state a leading role in Iraq, an Arab country.
The Pakistanis, meanwhile, wanted the summit to create a pan-Islamic peacekeeping force for Iraq to which individual OIC member states would contribute men and materiel as they saw fit.
Such a move would have solved the problem that Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf is facing. Asked by the United States to send 10,000 troops to Iraq, Musharraf is keen to do so but is concerned about an Islamist backlash against his government. A pan-Islamic force would have provided him with the needed fig leaf.
Pakistan's initiative failed because several Arab states found it easier to say "no" to everything than say "yes" to something that they would have to explain later. Saying "no" is a well-established, and safe, tradition in Arab diplomacy.
Although no one said so in so many words, it is clear that both the summit, and the foreign ministers' conference that preceded it, felt no sympathy for Saddam Hussein. There was a general recognition that the toppling of one of the most brutal regimes in modern Arab history was a positive event not only for the Iraqis but also for the entire region.
Although some Iraqis do not wish any of the OIC members to play any role in their country, the absence of Muslim nations is bad both for the OIC and for Iraq. The average Iraqi will feel abandoned by his Muslim and Arab brethren. And that could sap his morale at a time he is most vulnerable.
The Muslim nations should take a leading role in stabilizing and rebuilding Iraq. They should welcome the liberation of Iraq and offer the support needed to shorten the period of occupation.
For occupation to end quickly, it is necessary to speed up the country's stabilization, which means contributing peacekeeping troops, and financing reconstruction projects, which means investments, grants and loans.
Iraq is a major Muslim nation. It would be odd if the Muslim world simply turned its back to it at this crucial time.
Amir Taheri is an Iranian author of 10 books on the Middle East and Islam. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/8392.htm
To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
To: F14 Pilot
It's revolution time in Iran!
posted on 10/19/2003 9:00:41 AM PDT
To: F14 Pilot
"Promises that information would be forthcoming. And not only vague information, but concrete detailed information about the history of Iran's nuclear activities."
We'll see about this. I doubt there will be anything new we don't already know.
As for inspections, no one seems to be talking about them much. They will not agree to all the inspections as specified. (IMO)
To: F14 Pilot; DoctorZIn
Freedom Bump ~!
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