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Iranian Alert -- October 25, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD PING LIST
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^
Posted on 10/25/2003 12:05:32 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
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!
"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail DoctorZin
posted on 10/25/2003 12:05:32 AM PDT
To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!
posted on 10/25/2003 12:09:20 AM PDT
Diplomats claim US isolated on Iran N-programme
VIENNA: The United States, has become isolated in its hardline attitude towards Tehran as more countries want to engage rather than punish it, diplomats said on Friday.
On Thursday, Irans envoy to the UN International Atomic Energy Agency, Ali Akbar Salehi, gave the IAEA a declaration he said fully discloses all aspects of Tehrans nuclear programme, which he insisted is entirely peaceful.
The IAEA governing board set an October 31 deadline for Iran to provide it with such a declaration. Failure to do so would have left the agencys board with no choice but to report Iran to the UN Security Council for possible economic sanctions.
But US officials insist Iran is in clear breach of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and if the 35-nation IAEA board agreed, it would have to notify the Security Council.
Washington had hoped to push the IAEA board to declare Iran in non-compliance with its NPT obligations at a November 20 board session. But diplomats said it would be very difficult after Iran made several major gestures this week to show it may want to cooperate with the UN nuclear watchdog.
Whatever happens now, the winds of engagement are now in favour, a Western diplomat on the IAEA board told Reuters.
The diplomat said this deal included an understanding that France, Germany and Britain would not support a finding of NPT non-compliance in November provided IAEA chief Mohamed El Baradei has no shocking revelations in his next Iran report.
Former UN weapons inspection David Albright said the success of the Big Threes mission on Tuesday showed engaging Iran was the superior strategy.
Iran is responding and I think it calls for the US to at least rethink its isolationist policy for Iran ... which is based on calling them names and isolating them, Albright, who is president of the Institute for Science and International Security, a US-based think-tank, told Reuters. Reuters http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_25-10-2003_pg4_14
posted on 10/25/2003 1:10:29 AM PDT
posted on 10/25/2003 3:20:39 AM PDT
Iran gives names of al-Qaeda captives to UN
By Mark Huband, Security Correspondent, in London
Published: October 25 2003 5:00 |
Last Updated: October 25 2003 5:00
Iran has for the first time revealed the names and number of alleged members of the al-Qaeda terrorist network that it is holding, after giving a list of 240 names to the United Nations Security Council, a senior Iranian official revealed yesterday.
The list was given to the Security Council's al-Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Committee on Wednesday, a UN spokeswoman confirmed yesterday.
Iran has been accused by US officials of harbouring al-Qaeda members and allowing them to operate from Iran. This has been denied by Tehran, which aims to prosecute some of those it is holding on charges of planning terrorist attacks inside Iran.
An official said Iran had decided to give the names to the Security Council because some countries refused to accept the repatriation of their detained nationals. He said Iran had deported 400 former Taliban or al-Qaeda fighters, who had crossed from neighbouring Afghanistan since the US-led war that overthrew the Taliban regime. Most had gone to the Gulf states, the official said.
Iran has arrested 2,300 people since October 2001, the official said. It is unclear what has happened to those who were no longer being held and had not been deported.
"Some of these al-Qaeda people were helped to come to Iran by Pakistani officers," the Iranian official said. "The ones we are holding must be kept in Iran for some time, as some will go on trial for planning acts against Iran."
Evidence that al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, visited Iran in 1998 has led some US officials to suggest that the terrorist network has ties with Iran.
UK officials reject this, saying that Iran's public suspicion of al-Qaeda is genuine.
"Al-Qaeda isn't a problem that Iran wanted to have wished upon it," said one official. "Iran is almost as much of an enemy for al-Qaeda as the west. Up to a point there is a genuine Iranian wish to see al-Qaeda dealt with."
Some analysts and western intelligence officials say that officers within the al-Quds Brigade of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps were protecting al-Qaeda activists, possibly including Mr Bin Laden's son Seif. http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1066565362117
posted on 10/25/2003 8:07:35 AM PDT
Two more believed Freedom fighters executed in Iran
SMCCDI (Information Service)
Oct 25, 2003
The Islamic regime has executed at least 2 more Freedom fighters in the latest of a spate of executions carried in Iran.
Official dailies of the theocratic regime have reported the executions of :
- "An unidentified man aged 29" who was publicly executed murder in a square in Zahedan, in southeastern Sistan-e-Baluchistan province. It's to note that several young Zahedanis were arrested following the armed attack against an "Elegance Patrol" of the security forces 2 months ago. The "Elegance Patrol" is in reality the name attributed by Iranians to brutal security apparatus patrolling aboard newly purchased "Elegance Mercedes-Benz" cars from the very friendly nation of Germany along with several repressive electronic devices.
- The second victim was hanged in the southwestern city of Shiraz for murdering a police officer during what has been reported as an "armed robbery". It's to note that the City of Shiraz was scene of bloody crackdowns during the 2 last years and that many young were arrested as they retaliated to the militiamen's brutal attacks especially against female and elder protesters.
Many Iranians are starting to believe that this week's executions, which have increased, are related to a general deal made between the regime and the European FMs who visited Iran on the Nuclear issue. http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_3177.shtml
posted on 10/25/2003 8:09:13 AM PDT
New nuke site found in Iran: Facility built to test centrifuges needed to make bombs
WorldNetDaily.com ^ | Saturday, October 25, 2003
Posted on 10/25/2003 3:47 AM PDT by JohnHuang2
An Iranian opposition group that first identified Iran's covert nuclear weapons facility has uncovered a new site in the western part of the country.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran said the new site was built to test centrifuges used in making highly enriched uranium for nuclear bombs.
The site is located near the city of Isfahan and has 120 to 180 centrifuges.
Firouz Mahvi, a spokesman for the group in Austria, said the new site is known under the cover name as a "fuel research and production center."
Tehran "is continuing its uranium enrichment program despite demands by the International Atomic Energy Agency to the contrary," he said.
The IAEA has given Tehran until Oct. 31 to deal with questions about the covert nuclear program. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1007813/posts
posted on 10/25/2003 8:13:06 AM PDT
Perhaps we should add this to the post regarding the Zahedanis: Zahedan (1991 pop. 361,623), capital of Sistan and Baluchistan prov., SE Iran, near the borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan. One of Iran's poorer cities, Zahedan is a road junction and the terminus of a railroad that runs into Pakistan.
and from this 2002 link http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/DL17Ak03.html
Iran's unsung rebellion By Syed Saleem Shahzad
ZAHEDAN, Iran - The world outside Iran sees political turmoil in the student demonstrations. This, however, is just a small segment of a big canvas. The demonstrations, restricted within campus walls, are nothing but a storm in a teacup compared to other factors that are silently simmering in Iranian society. What is more, it is these other factors that, unlike the students, may constitute a deadly antithesis to the hardline Shi'ite clerical establishment.
An independent study of Iranian society based on conversations with Iranian student leaders, political leaders, clerics and workers suggests that the present political turmoil taking place in Tehran is unlikely to translate into a revolt against the present system. Instead, these protests are likely to be settled through compromises within the existing setup. And, in fact, these compromises are taking place with every passing day.
Iranian religious circles, business groups, artists and workers are not on the verge of revolting against the establishment; what they are doing is trying to mould the establishment into new forms according to their own definition of human rights.
The threat of revolution, if any exists in Iran, will come not from Tehran, but from the fiercely independent Sistan-o-Baluchestan province near the Iranian-Pakistan border. This area contains 70 percent of the country's Sunni population, and used to be the base of the banned Iranian group Mujahideen-i-Khalq Organization (MKO), which translates as the "People's Fighters". The MKO fought the ruling Shi'ite mullahs until, after brutal suppression, its leaders were forced to flee, mostly to Iraq.
The MKO has been characterized at times as a left-wing, pro-socialist organization; at other times as an alliance between left-wingers and supporters of the former Shah. But for residents of Zahedan and Iranian Balochistan, the characterizations are meaningless. Under the pretext of fighting the MKO, all Zahedanis and Balochis were targeted by the central government no matter what their politics and, for this reason, the MKO is heroic in the eyes of many in these regions.
Mohammed (not his real name) is one of these. A resident of Zahedan who runs a grocery store, he has relatives who were associated with MKO. In return, every member of his family has been targeted. "After a rally against the Iranian government in Zahedan several years ago, the Iranian government carried out operations, and soldiers of the Iranian military marched to the area with aerial firing to harass the people. One stray bullet killed my brother," he says.
"I took the body with me and met the concerned army officer and mentioned that they had killed a peaceful citizen. The officer said they were given a task to 'eliminate the dogs, and your brother was of the same lot'. They referred to the Sunni Muslims of Zahedan as 'dogs'."
When this correspondent mentioned statements of the late Imam Khomeini that stressed harmony between Shi'ites and Sunnis, and also pointed out graffiti on the walls of Zahedan that read: "Shi'ite, Sunnis in brotherhood" - Khan provided a different perspective. "When you meet Iranian officials in Tehran, ask them why they do not allow a Sunni mosque in Tehran, despite a good number of Sunnis living there? During the election campaign, President Mohammad Khatami had pledged to allow a Sunni mosque in Tehran. This was nothing but election sloganeering. After he won the elections, he was reminded of his promise but he said that the [Supreme] Leader [Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei had not agreed to the proposal."
Mohammed continued, "There used to be a single mosque in Mashad, where the Sunni population is 10 percent. That single mosque was turned into a park in just one night. What justification do Iranian officials have for the demolition of that mosque?"
Apart from religious rights, Zahedanis are also denied basic rights. The representation of Zahedanis in government is very low, while their presence in essential services such as the Iranian army is almost non-existent. Iranian officials generally argue that Zahedanis are generally rustic people who do not have the quality of education to qualify for good jobs.
Apparently it is a valid answer - but that is only because Sistan-o-Baluchestan is the only region of Iran where access to quality education is non-existent. There is only one technical college and no university in Zahedan. Wrong or right, there is a general perception in Zahedan that since the military and police are under the control of the Shi'ite clerics, Zahedanis are not given jobs in these departments.
These feelings are very common in Zahedan and generate a feeling of defiance against the Iranian establishment. It is a fact that Zahedanis are not urbane like Tehranis or Isfhanis. They live near the border area of Pakistani Balochistan and Afghanistan and therefore they share certain tribal values and a way of life with the Balochi-Pashtun belt of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Thus one easily discerns a negative attitude toward the central government among Zahedanis, who generally have no hesitation in defying any Iranian laws. For instance, only certain kinds of music are allowed in Iran. Indian music is not alowed. However, all Iranians from Zahedan to Tehran enjoy listening to Indian music. In Tehran, they listen to it only in their houses; in Zahedan all the taxi drivers play Indian music as loud as they want without fear.
Iranian officials and clerics sitting in Tehran always suspect the loyalties of Zahedanis, but they have never taken any concrete steps to improve their lives. Several sources in Tehran are positive that, in fact, Zahedan will be a real flashpoint if the US were to try to infiltrate by supporting a revived MKO.
Over the past few years, Iranian reformist parties have tried to forge better ties with those living in the belt of Iranian Sistan-o-Baluchestan. The people of Zahedan voted in favor of the reformist parties, but now, even in the second term of President Khatami, they feel that they are still second-class citizens. Thus, years of repression by hardliners and political bungling by reformists in Tehran have created a facet of Iranian society that is dead-set against the ruling clergy, that feels like second-class citizens - and that lies situated dangerously along the Pakistani border.
(©2002 Asia Times Online Co, Ltd.)
posted on 10/25/2003 8:35:58 AM PDT
MKO has virtually zero support in Iran.
To: Cyrus the Great
Agree, but in this region perhaps they have some support.
My opinion is that MKO should be terminated, as you can see in my earlier comments.
posted on 10/25/2003 10:53:03 AM PDT
To: AdmSmith; DoctorZIn; nuconvert; onyx; Pro-Bush; seamole; Valin; McGavin999; Cindy; Alamo-Girl; ...
"Iran will not overlook its right to access nuke tech"
Saturday, October 25, 2003 - ©2003 IranMania.com
TEHRAN, Oct 24, IRAN NEWS -- Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi in a meeting with his Spanish counterpart, Anna Palacio, in Madrid stressed that Iran would not overlook its right to the peaceful application of nuclear technology, IRNA reported
Currently visiting Madrid to attend the International Donors Conference on Iraq's Reconstruction, Kharrazi conferred with the Spanish foreign minister on Thursday afternoon. In the meeting, Kharrazi said that Iran had suspended its uranium enrichment program to show its goodwill.
Turning to the recent talks between Iranian officials and the foreign ministers of the three EU states in Tehran, he added, "We have announced time and again that Iran is prepared to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty's (NPT) additional protocol provided that Iran's interests, security and national sovereignty are protected."
The Iranian minister added that this was guaranteed during the recent Tehran meeting. Expressing satisfaction with the promotion of mutual ties, he reiterated the need for exchange of views between the high-ranking delegations from the two states. For her part, Palacio underlined that fortunately a new atmosphere had been developed in Tehran-Madrid ties. She noted that the understanding reached bilaterally has provided for the equal interests of both sides.
Palacio declared the readiness of her country to cooperate with Iran in all fields. "Iran's noteworthy experience in the region, especially with respect to Iraqi affairs, is a significant element contributing to development of ties between Tehran and various states," she added.
Turning to economic and industrial cooperation between Iran and Spain, she noted that the trend of bilateral ties has so long shown good progress and hoped that it would continue. The two foreign ministers also discussed the procedure of the participation of world countries in the reconstruction of Iraq. http://www.iranmania.com/News/ArticleView/Default.asp?NewsCode=18981&NewsKind=Current%20Affairs
Meet Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi
October 25, 2003
Editor's Note: The Nobel Committee's decision to name Iranian human-rights lawyer and activist Shirin Ebadi the 2003 peace laureate has turned her into a household name throughout Iran and the Muslim world.
Moreover, the 56-year-old Ebadi has become an alternative source of moral authority in Iran--and a rare figure of consensus in that fractious society. With the exception of the hardline Khomeinists who have branded her "an enemy of Islam," Ebadi has won praise from virtually all Iranians--from left to right. She now possesses a capital of goodwill that few others seem to have in Iran.
What will she do with it? Will she, as some opposition leaders clearly hope, lead a list of pro-democracy candidates in next March's general elections? Will she go further and become a candidate for the presidency in 2005?
These and many other questions were posed in a recent telephone interview conducted by Amir Taheri, editor of the French quarterly Politique Internationale, who also translated the interview from Persian. It is excerpted here.
A few weeks ago you left Tehran for Paris as just another traveler. Now you have returned to a hero's welcome, although some had believed you might decide to stay in Europe. What are your feelings?
There was never any question of not returning. Without my attachment to Iran, my life would have no meaning. I was not prepared for what happened. I did not even know that my name had been put forward for a Nobel. But, as I said right from the beginning, I see the prize as a message from the international community to the people of Iran, especially to women, and, beyond them, to the Muslim world. The message is that human rights belong to all mankind and that peace is possible only if they are respected.
Will your Nobel prize mean a new start for the democracy movement which seems to have lost some steam in recent weeks?
I hope so. The message is that fighting for human rights in Iran is not a lonely pursuit. It will also strengthen civil society, without which no democratization is possible. A society changes when large numbers of its members change within themselves. This is happening in our country.
Can the present regime be reformed without violence?
Yes. I think nothing of lasting value can come out of violence. I think we can work within the law and seek the changes that are needed through constitutional processes. I have never done anything illegal and support peaceful means. The number of people who want reform is rising all the time.
Some say your selection is a political move by Europe to show that regime change can come through "soft power" as against the American use of "hard power" in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I don't share that analysis. The situation in Iran is different from Iraq and Afghanistan. There were no mechanisms for internal change in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iran, there are. Europe has understood that to stop wars it is necessary to ensure respect for human rights throughout the world. This is both a principled and a pragmatic position.
You supported the election of President Khatami. Do you still regard him as a leader for reform?
I was one of millions who voted for Khatami because had we not done so, the conservatives would have won. We had no other choice. Unfortunately, however, I must admit that President Khatami has missed the historic opportunities he had. The reform and democracy movement has passed him by.
President Khatami has said that your prize is not worth "all that fuss." What is your reaction?
I respect the president's view. People are free to have their own opinions on all subjects.
Some Khomeinist figures have issued thinly disguised threats against you. Will you feel safe?
I have learned to control my fears and am not put off by threats. As for the comments made against me, people are free to express their views. Those who fight for human rights in places like Iran, and many other developing countries, should always be prepared for the worst. But those who make threats would be wise to stop for a moment to ponder the undercurrents of history. They will see that the age of rule by fear is coming to a close throughout the world. Why should Iran be an exception?
Some say that, with time, you might become a half-forgotten icon like Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese leader who also won the Nobel peace prize.
I don't know about Burma. But I know about Iran. What is at stake is beyond me or any other individual. We have a deep-rooted and growing movement for democracy and human rights that has support in all sections of society.
And yet the situation in Iran seems blocked. In all elections, there are overwhelming majorities for reform. And yet there is no reform. Some people believe a new revolution is necessary.
I think the era of revolutions has ended. Also, there is no guarantee that another revolution would provide something better than the one we had 24 years ago. After years of reflection I have come to the conclusion that revolutions never deliver what they promise. What I am working for is a reform movement in all walks of life, political, social, cultural, and, of course, individual rights. Like me, the people of Iran are deeply disappointed with the Islamic Revolution. In the Islamic Revolution and the war with Iraq that followed, countless families lost their children and/or parents. The nation lost the flower of its youth. Also, millions of Iranians were forced into exile. The cost of this revolution will take generations to absorb. The only way out is through peaceful reform. Khatami is not the only proponent of reform. The failure of his administration is not the failure of the reform movement. In any case Khatami's second and final term will come to an end. But that will not mean the end of our people's aspirations.
In practical terms, how do you think change could come in Iran?
History is never written in advance. It is always full of surprises. Change could come through elections. What we need is an amended electoral law that allows citizens to vote for any candidate they wish. If the present system continues and the Council of the Guardians of the Constitution retains its power to fix the elections, the Iranian people are certain to massively boycott the next general election in March 2004, just as they did in the recent municipal elections.
Should the Islamic Republic be replaced with a secular regime?
There is some confusion here. What we have in Iran is not a religious regime, but a regime in which those in power use religion as a means of staying in power. If the present regime does not reform and evolve into one that reflects the will of the people, it is going to fail, even if it adopts a secularist posture. I support the separation of state and religion because the political space is open to countless views and interests. This position is actually supported by the grand ayatollahs. So it is in conformity with the Shiite tradition.
What would you say to those who say Islam is incompatible with human rights?
That they are wrong. It is true that human rights are violated in most Muslim countries. But this is a political, not a religious, reality. We have had all sorts of regimes in Muslim countries, including secularists, Marxists, and nationalists. They, too, violated human rights. If corrupt and brutal regimes oppress their people, in what way is this a sign of Islam's incompatibility with human rights? The Baathist regime in Iraq was supposedly secular. And in North Korea we do not have an Islamic regime.
So you believe that we should leave religion out of political discussions.
As individuals we are all affected by our religious beliefs or lack of them. That is a fact of life. What I am saying is that we should not allow anyone to impose his interpretation of religion on others by force, intimidation, or peer pressure. People should stop putting the adjective Islamic before or after every word so that they can interpret everything in the interest of their corruption and brutality. They talk of "Islamic" psychology so that they can claim that women are weak, unstable, and unfit to have a role in decision-making. They talk of "Islamic" economics so that they can justify the abuse of the nation's wealth. They talk of "Islamic" education so that they can justify their policy of brainwashing children and youths. They talk of "Islamic" philology so that they can twist language to suit their aims.
Some feminist circles have hailed you as one of their own. What is your reaction?
The problem that women face in Muslim societies is not because of religion. It is a result of the patriarchal culture.
What we need is a gender-neutral reading of Islamic texts. The humiliation inflicted on women is the result of a diseased gene that is passed to every generation of men, not only by society as a whole but also by their mothers. It is mothers who raise boys who become men. It is up to mothers not to pass on that diseased cultural gene. I am not against men. I am against a patriarchal culture that denies equal rights for half of humankind.
There is some talk that you might lead a list of pro-democracy candidates in the next parliamentary election or even become a presidential candidate in 2005.
I am a human rights militant and a lawyer and have no other agenda. I can tell you that I have no plans to stand for election. The prize given to me shows that the method I have used in the past two decades has been the right one. I am the friend of the powerless, the voice of the voiceless. I must prove that I am worthy of the honor bestowed upon me.
Some opposition figures, including a grandson of Khomeini, have called for American military intervention in Iran. What is your view?
I am opposed to any foreign intervention in our affairs, whether political or military or in any other form. The people of Iran know their problems and know how to seek the solutions. All they need is moral and political support from the international community.
What are the projects you now have in mind?
The authorities have decided to definitely close two major cases on which I was working: the case of the thugs that attacked the university dormitory in Tehran, and the case of the murder of [dissident leader] Dariush Foruhar and his wife Parvaneh. The decision to close those cases is political. It means that justice will not be done. There is nothing more that I can do. But I have many other cases to pursue. I also have my nongovernmental organization for children plus programs to help women. One other project is to help with mine-clearance in provinces that were affected by the Iran-Iraq war.
Outside Iran, you do not wear the hijab. Why?
I wear it in Iran because it is imposed by law. If I don't wear it, I will be violating the law. I want that law changed, because I think the state has no business telling women whether or not they should cover their heads. I don't wear the hijab outside Iran because there is no such law. This is the case with many Iranian women. Instead of telling girls to cover their hair, we should teach them to use their heads. I am also against states that pass laws to prevent women from wearing the hijab.
Tell us a little bit about your family life.
I was born in Hamadan, but my family moved to Tehran when I was six months old. My father, the late Muhammad-Ali Ebadi, was a prominent lawyer. He was the author of a classic book on commercial law, which is still taught at universities and reissued in new editions every few years. My mother, Minoo Amidi, is alive and a great source of support for me. My husband is Javad Tavassolian, who is five years older than I and an electrical engineer. We have two daughters. The elder one, Negar, aged 22, is a graduate in communications-engineering from the Sharif University in Tehran. She is currently attending a postgraduate course at McGill University in Canada. Our younger daughter, Narguess, aged 21, is following in my footsteps by studying law at Beheshti University in Tehran.
Do you take time to look after your domestic responsibilities?
Yes. I am a mother and a housewife. My social activities may not leave me much time. But I always make sure that our home is properly organized and run.
Does your husband help you with housework?
Certainly, whenever I enlist his support. But he, too, is quite busy with his work.
Do you cook for your family, and, if yes, do they like your cooking?
I do cook the family meals. As for whether they like it or not, you have to ask my husband and my daughters.
Any message for Muslim women?
Yes. Keep fighting. Don't believe that you are decreed to have an inferior position. Study the Koran carefully, so that oppressors cannot impress you with citations and interpretations. Don't let individuals masquerading as theologians claim they have a monopoly on understanding Islam. Educate yourselves. Do your best and compete in all walks of life. God created us all equals. In fighting for equality we are doing what God wants us to do.
Weekly Standard - From the November 3, 2003 issue http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/003/294whlna.asp
To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Iran Demands OPEC Support Of Nominee For Secretary General Post
October 25, 2003
Dow Jones Newswires
TEHRAN -- The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries shouldn't expect support from Iran if members don't back up Iran's nominee to the post of secretary general of OPEC when the post is contested in December, a senior oil official said Saturday.
Hussein Kazempour Ardebili, Iran's representative to OPEC's board of governments, told local newspaper Sharq that "OPEC can't expect support and cooperation for its decisions from Iran if it does not reciprocate that."
"What I am saying is that Iran's constant cooperation and constructive involvement in OPEC must not be taken as bygone without reciprocity," Kazempour said.
Iran has been seeking in recent years to hold the top administrative job in OPEC with no success. It has continuously failed to secure the necessary unanimity vote for its nominees.
This time, Iran has nominated Hadi Nejad Husseinian, deputy oil minister in charge of international affairs, to run against incumbent Secretary General Alvaro Silva Calderon of Venezuela and Kuwaiti candidate, Adnan Shihab-Eldin, who is currently director of the research department at the OPEC Secretariat in Vienna.
Although Iran is a founding member of OPEC, an Iranian hasn't filled the job since Fuad Rouhani, the organization's first secretary general, held the post from 1961-64.
"There are many OPEC countries which have not had the level of cooperation with OPEC but that have been chosen as secretary general," Kazempour said.
He added that as far as Iran is concerned, no other OPEC member will be able the secure unanimity vote for the post since Iran will withhold its vote, leaving the organization only with the choice of adopting the rotation-based appointment as prescribed by OPEC's charter.
Meanwhile, Kazempour said OPEC still have a major influence on the international oil market despite the growing loss of market share to non-OPEC producers.
He said despite the rhetoric against its power and influence, OPEC still determines the global energy market by setting the standards and defining market criteria. He didn't elaborate.
Kazempour said violation of quotas by member states is rampant but it becomes a problem when it is done on regular basis by some members.
He refereed to Algeria, Nigeria and Libya as member countries which have violated their quotas regularly in past months.
-By Hashem Kalantari, Dow Jones Newswires; 9821 896 6230. http://news.nasdaq.com/news/newsStory.aspx?&cpath=20031025ACQDJON200310251115DOWJONESDJONLINE004764.htm
Iran Amputates Thief's Fingers
October 25, 2003
The Associated Press
The Jerusalem Post
A convicted armed robber has been punished by having four fingers on his right hand amputated, a local judiciary official said Saturday.
Mohammad Hossein Masoudinejad said Saddam Askareh's fingers were amputated in public following Friday prayers in the Khuzestan provincial capital of Ahvaz, 880 kilometers (545 miles) southwest of Tehran.
"Amputation is carried out to frighten robbers and maintain order," Masoudinejad told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.
Askareh was convicted of stealing 40 million rials (US$5,000) from a shop in Mahshar, a Gulf port city in February.
The official Islamic Republic News Agency said Friday the punishment was carried out after the Supreme Court upheld the sentence.
While Iran's hard-line controlled judiciary follows a strict interpretation of Islamic law, enforcement of punishments, like amputation, are rare.
Masoudinejad said the dramatic increase in armed robberies in Khuzestan had forced judiciary officials to start issuing harsh rulings.
Ahvaz newspapers have blamed the increase on the instability in neighboring Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime six months ago.
Hard-line Iranian authorities issue harsh rulings occasionally intending to stem the spread of corruption and disorder.
Reformists, however, say amputations, public executions or floggings hurt Iran's international image and reflect badly on Islam. http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1067093931479&p=1008596981749
To: DoctorZIn; onyx; nuconvert; seamole; McGavin999; downer911; AdmSmith; Pro-Bush; blackie; Cindy; ...
Iranian politician warns US trying to come between Iran and Europe
25 october 2003
Washington was trying to obstruct relations between his country and the European Union and was looking for excuses to make trouble for Iran, a senior Iranian politician warned in an interview to be published on Monday.
"We have a lot of respect for Europe and we have a regular exchange of visits and views," Mehdi Karoubi, the speaker of the Iranian parliament, told the German magazine Der Spiegel.
"But the United States is trying to interpose itself between us and Europe. Therefore the Europeans most act very intelligently," he said.
"We fear the Americans are looking for new excuses, for political reasons, to cause problems for us. But, thank God, the Europeans behave differently."
Iran pledged on Tuesday to show "full transparency" to the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), reiterated its commitment to the international nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and stressed atomic weapons had "no place" in its defence doctrine.
"The Iranian goverment has decided to engage in full cooperation with the IAEA ... and clarify and correct any possible failures," its declaration said.
It also said it had "decided to sign the additional protocol" to the NPT. This would allow the IAEA to carry out surprise visits to suspect nuclear facilities.
Iran also "decided voluntarily to suspend all uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities", bowing to another key IAEA demand.
If the good relationship between Tehran and Europe did not change, Karoubi said he was sure Iran's members of parliament would soon vote to sign the additional NPT protocol on surprise and random visits to nuclear sites.
But if the agreement with the IAEA was "interpreted politically in an improper way, with a view to intefering in our internal affairs, we shall review our position", he warned. http://www.eubusiness.com/afp/031025185521.trf4ll9s
To: F14 Pilot
Free Iran ~ Now!
posted on 10/25/2003 3:30:10 PM PDT
To: F14 Pilot
Screw this politician.. it is not HIS country - he is a corrupt mafia cleric.. It is the country of the Iranian people.. not a bunch of Islamic whackjobs.. Secondly -- the reason these jerks love Europe is because Europe and them do BIG BUSINESS together and Europe is trying to help these corrupt guys stay in power.. In the end though - they will all lose.. The IRanian people will be free and the UNITED STATES will be the country who works with the Iranian people well into the future..
btw, visit http://www.activistchat.com
for additional news..
DOCTORZIN- you rock.. btw, can you put us on your news list..
Bill Would Tighten Sanctions on Iran, Libya
October 26, 2003
Middle East Newsline
WASHINGTON -- Congress will examine legislation that will tighten sanctions on Iran and Libya.
Under the bill sponsored by House subcommittee chairman on the Middle East and Central Asia, many of the exemptions and waivers on the ban of energy investment in Iran and Libya would be eliminated. The bill by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen seeks to penalize companies that invest $20 million or more in Iran and Libya under the 1996 Iran-Libya Sanctions Act Enhancement and Compliance Act, also known as ILSA.
"Neither Iran or Libya have shown signs of relenting in their support for international terrorism," Ms. Ros-Lehtinen said. "Those companies who continue to pursue investment in the oil sectors of these rogue nations, thus enabling this aggression, must realize that they are bankrolling terrorism. ILSA must be amended to address this continued financing of terror."
The United States has never imposed sanctions on companies that violated the Iran-Libyan sanctions act, congressional sources said. The new bill expands those subject to sanctions to include public and private financiers and lenders. http://www.menewsline.com/stories/2003/october/10_26_4.html
Iranian Spies Roam Britain 'to Locate Synagogues for Attack by al-Qa'eda'
October 26, 2003
Iranian spies have been photographing synagogues and other Jewish buildings in Britain, seemingly in preparation for terrorist attacks.
MI5, the security service, and Special Branch officers have discovered Iranians photographing such buildings in London and the Home Counties for some time, with an upsurge of activity over the past two months.
Up to 20 Iranians, most studying here legally as students at universities, are involved in the surveillance and two men have been asked to leave the country as a result.
Mike Whine, the security spokesman for the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said that the authorities were taking the threat seriously.
"We have been aware for some time that Iranians are monitoring synagogues and Jewish community buildings," he said. "They have been seen taking photographs and most synagogues are now aware of the threat and keep a look-out.
"We understand from intelligence received that they are photographing them as possible terrorist targets. We don't know for definite but there could be a link with al-Qa'eda."
He said the activities of the Iranians had caused considerable worry to the Jewish community. Among the buildings photographed were synagogues in Finchley, north London, an area that is home to one of Britain's largest Jewish communities.
British security officials are convinced that Iran is sheltering members of al-Qa'eda, including one of Osama bin Laden's sons. Since May 2002, communication interceptions have suggested that al-Qa'eda is using Iranians in Europe to target Jews.
Al-Qa'eda leaders have urged followers repeatedly to seek out synagogues and Jewish institutions for attack. One intercepted message, heard time and time again, informs members: "You must have faith, do not worry, there will be a major strike." It is believed to have originated from a new base for the terror group in Iran, close to the Afghan border.
Abu Qatada, the north London Islamic cleric being held under the Terrorism Act who has been described as bin Laden's "ambassador" in Europe, also has links to Iran.
In August, it was revealed that Hadi Soleimanpour, the former Iranian ambassador to Argentina, had been arrested in Britain on an extradition warrant from Buenos Aires. He is wanted in connection with the bombing of a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires in 1994 which killed 85 people. The Metropolitan Police do not think, however, that the Iranians in Britain are planning an imminent terrorist attack, but they remain concerned that some outrage is being planned within the next few months. Their intelligence has been shared with the US State Department and the CIA.
Diplomatic relations between Britain and Iran were restored in 1988, eight years after the infamous six-day siege of its London embassy at Prince's Gate, south Kensington, was ended in dramatic fashion by the SAS.
The Iranian embassy last week refused to comment on the activities of its citizens. http://www.portal.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2003/10/26/nspy26.xml&sSheet=/news/2003/10/26/ixhome.html
Needed: A "Great Convention"?
October 24, 2003
National Review Online
Nikolas K. Gvosdev
Dealing with the present nuclear threat.
The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) framework is crumbling. It doesn't matter whether Iran, for example, agrees to new inspections or pledges to suspend enrichment programs, because once a country can say, "We have the technology," it can easily conceal components or begin work at sites that are not known to the inspectors. Nor is North Korea likely to open all of its facilities, even if it receives the security guarantees it has demanded as preconditions for any further talks on nuclear disarmament. Rather than discussing ways to patch an increasingly leaky roof, it is time to begin envisioning a new structure altogether.
Like the ABM Treaty, the NPT was a product of the Cold War. It took shape in a world where two nuclear superpowers with global reach had extended actual or tacit guarantees of protection for their allies and clients. There was a sense that regional conflicts such as in East Asia or the Middle East would be contained by the United States and the Soviet Union. It was also signed at a time when obtaining the technology needed to fabricate nuclear weapons was both prohibitively expensive and geo-strategically difficult and the various nuclear powers had important incentives to try and prevent such weapons technology from spreading.
But most importantly, the NPT worked because most countries found it in their interests to abide by its provisions. A developing country like Brazil, facing no real external threat and subsiding under the hemispheric nuclear umbrella of its northern neighbor, saw no real benefit to expending scarce funds to develop such weapons and such assessments hold true to this present day.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, however, a number of the assumptions that undergirt the treaty have fallen by the wayside. Nuclear-weapons technology is not so inaccessible as it was 30 years ago. And a number of regimes now have different perceptions of their security interests. A sign of the changing times was the decision by both India and Pakistan to move ahead with becoming full-fledged members of the nuclear club.
Ironically, it was America's two greatest military triumphs of the 1990s that did much to cause a number of regimes to reassess the value of the NPT. The overwhelming conventional superiority of U.S. armed forces in the first Gulf War of 1991 dashed any hopes that regional powers could employ the "stalemate" strategies utilized by Egypt and Syria in the 1973 Yom Kippur war against Israel being able to "hold out" until cease-fires could be implemented, giving the weaker parties the ability to gain some wiggle room in subsequent negotiations. In other words, after 1991, it was clear that no state or combination of states possessed sufficient conventional military might that could withstand a U.S. assault.
There are a number of indications that the 1999 Kosovo war was decisive in convincing officials in places like Iran and North Korea to move ahead with their nuclear weapons programs. They concluded that the willingness of the United States to engage in a "humanitarian intervention" against Yugoslavia (for methods that appeared to be no more brutal than those employed by NATO ally Turkey in dealing with the Kurdish counterinsurgency) signaled that Washington would move against countries or regimes it did not approve and that lacked any credible deterrent. After all, a consistent refrain during the bombing campaign was that the Serbs did not possess anything capable of restraining Western militaries a view reinforced by the outcome of the Second Gulf War.
If Iran and North Korea cross the nuclear threshold, there is likely to be a significant domino effect. A nuclear-armed Iran torpedoes any chance that Israel might be induced to give up its nuclear deterrent, and increases the possibility that neighboring states such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia, or Egypt may reconsider their own commitment to the NPT. Similarly, a North Korean nuclear arsenal calls into question whether South Korea, Taiwan, or Japan will also not seek the option of being able to produce nuclear weapons.
Unless the United States commits itself to full-scale invasions and occupations of both Iran and North Korea, there are no guarantees that "selected" military strikes can destroy all of the nuclear infrastructure of both countries. Indeed, the real danger is that targeted strikes may miss crucial institutions or facilities, especially since selected strikes would not be followed up by full-scale invasions.
Nor is it clear that either of the threshold regimes are likely to give up their entire nuclear program in exchange for security guarantees from the United States. Pyongyang and Teheran are all too aware that the U.S. preference is for regime change. One can already see the basis for hedging in statements by Dr. Hassan Rowhani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, that portions of the agreement with the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany would need to be approved by Iran's parliament at an undisclosed time.
Other major actors the European Union, China and Russia among them have an almost fatalistic approach to the problem; while decrying the possibility that Iran and North Korea may become nuclear powers within the decade, they seem almost fatalistically reconciled to its inevitability. Nor are these powers prepared, it seems, to plunge Iran or North Korea into the total isolation needed to send the strongest possible nonmilitary signal of disapproval. As long as Russia and the EU maintain strong trading relations with Iran and Beijing continues to prop up North Korea with shipments of food and fuel, U.S. sanctions efforts will fail.
Stephen Blank, writing in the Asia Times, pessimistically observes: "the experience of the 20th century and of current world politics tells us that if we really want to prevent someone from going nuclear, it is necessary either to physically destroy the weapons by preemptive strike, as Israel did to Iraq in 1981, or to occupy the country, as the post-1945 history of Japan and Germany tell us." Yet this is the consensus the United States will need to begin to build among the major actors.
Frank Herbert is best known as a science fiction author. But one concept drawn from his novels may be the foundation of a new approach to replace the failing NPT. In his universe, the "Great Convention" mandated that any use of nuclear weapons against human targets would result in the complete and total annihilation of the offending regime. If the NPT cannot prevent countries from deciding to "go nuclear," if the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) cannot stop all technologies and materials from reaching regimes intent on nuclearization, then a clear and definitive statement must be made from the United States, with allies if possible, alone if necessary. Rogue regimes must be placed on notice: any use of a nuclear weapon or nuclear-based device (such as a dirty bomb) will result in complete regime annihilation no matter whether we have definitive proof of complicity or not. North Korea and Iran must be placed on notice that if they choose to cross the nuclear threshold, they cannot pass weapons to terrorists or third-party agents and disavow "any knowledge" of their actions. After all, it was a similar understanding that kept both the USSR and China from providing any nuclear materials to the scores of "liberation" movements that they sponsored.
Fear of actual annihilation, not weak international sanctions, might be the only thing to hold these regimes back from actually producing weapons. Writing in this fall's issue of The National Interest, Ian Bremmer, in an article tellingly entitled "The Art of the Bluff," maintains that the sine qua non of the regime in Pyongyang (and by extension, in Iran) is survival and this guides their nuclear strategy.
The world thought it put the doctrine of MAD (mutually assured destruction) behind itself when the Cold War ended. Sadly, we may now be entering an era where regimes and countries are held hostage to the "good behavior" of their leaders. In an ideal world, we could fix the NPT framework and get it back on track. Practically, however, we need to start preparing for worse-case scenarios. Pretending that the nuclear club is not on the point of expansion is not healthy for our national security.
Nikolas K. Gvosdev is a senior fellow for strategic studies at the Nixon Center and editor of In the National Interest. http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/gvosdev200310240909.asp
To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Al-Qa'ida May be Poised to Attack, US Warns
October 26, 2003
Concern about aterror attack occurring in Saudi Arabia, possibly imminently, was growing yesterday as the United States issued a warning that it could happen as early as today.
"The embassy continues to receive information that terrorist groups within the kingdom are still active and planning operations," the US embassy in Riyadh said. "It is [our] assessment that terrorist groups may place special operational significance on Ramadan, and American citizens are therefore urged to be particularly vigilant."
The US warning follows similar announcements by Britain and Australia that attacks against Western targets in Saudi Arabia are imminent. Ramadan, which involves a month of fasting, is due to begin today.
Britain's warning on Friday, that "terrorists may be in the final phases of planning attacks", echoed one issued by the UK authorities in May, just days before suicide bombers attacked Western compounds in Riyadh, killing 26 people.
"It doesn't mean we knew then something was going to happen," said one British diplomat in Saudi Arabia. "It meant the planning was in the last stages. The [advice] reflects the assessment that the threat from terror is serious."
While Britain has not advised its citizens to leave Saudi Arabia, it has warned against all non-essential travel to the country. The British defence giant BAe Systems, which employs 5,500 people throughout Saudi Arabia, said it had no plans to evacuate staff, however, and the Saudi ambassador in London, Prince Turki al-Faisal, complained that Britain should have consulted the kingdom before issuing its warning.
In the US, intelligence officials said there had been a recent steady stream of information suggesting plans for fresh attacks against Western targets, but no specific intelligence. Any British knowledge of an imminent or specific attack would be shared with the US and Australian authorities.
Since the attacks in May, the Saudi authorities claim to have been involved in a crackdown against Islamic militants, partly to counter criticism that the country had not done enough in the "war on terror".
Fifteen of the 19 hijackers behind the attacks in the US in September 2001 were Saudi citizens. Riyadh has been urged by many in the US to do more to counter terrorists.
A Saudi official said yesterday: "Saudi security forces are working hard to foil any terrorist organisation and have uncovered several cells in past weeks and thwarted all their plans to destabilise security."
Prince Turki said last week that two-thirds of the 600 people arrested on suspicion of having links to al-Qa'ida were still in custody.
US intelligence claims Osama bin Laden's son, Sa'ad, said to be in Iran, was involved in planning the attacks on Riyadh's Western compounds. http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?story=457303
"Reformists, however, say amputations, public executions or floggings hurt Iran's international image and reflect badly on Islam."
Really? What makes them think that?
To: F14 Pilot
Thanks for the heads up!
Pakistan Accepts Iran's Gas pipeline Offer, Asks India to Join Project
Hindustan Times ^ | Islamabad, October 24
Islamabad has accepted an offer from Tehran to lay a gas pipeline from Iran to South Asia, and said it would guarantee India uninterrupted supply if it joined the project. Pakistan's Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali made the pledge during a three-day visit to Tehran, a senior Petroleum Ministry official said on Friday on condition of anonymity.
But the project would go ahead even if India declined to be involved, Jamali said.
"The gas pipeline was to go to India via Pakistan. Since India is hesitating, Iran has offered to lay a pipeline uptil Pakistan, and we have accepted it," Jamali told a news conference after returning late on Friday.
India remains reluctant to leave itself dependent on Pakistan to ensure a secure supply of a vital resource, fearing the flow of gas could be severed during any escalation of hostilities.
But the latest discussion, reviving a proposal first raised in 1996, comes at a time when India and Pakistan are taking steps to improve relations and expand contacts between their citizens. On Wednesday, India offered a 12-point plan to increase travel and sporting ties.
The 2,600-km pipeline, projected to cost more than $ 3 billion if it extends to India, could help India overcome its energy deficit. Pakistan also would draw gas from the pipeline, and earn an estimated $ 600 million annually in transit fees for the gas to India.
The Petroleum Ministry official said that experts from Pakistan and Iran will start preparing a feasibility report for the project "very soon".
Pakistan produces about 70 million cubic meters of natural gas a day, but needs 96 million cubic meters. Experts have said Pakistan might face a shortfall of 8.5 million cubic meters a day of gas in 2010.
Jamali said Iran also agreed to supply power to Pakistan's remote tribal regions in southwestern Baluchistan, a province bordering Iran where most villages have no electricity.
Technical experts from the both countries will meet within two months to discuss details, he said.
Pakistan has also been discussing two other gas projects with Turkmenistan and Qatar. One project would carry natural gas from Turkmenistan across Afghanistan to Pakistan, a potential boon to the struggling Afghan economy.
Turkmenistan wants to take this 1,460-km pipeline to India. But, New Delhi has shown little interest for the same reason of security. http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_431640,00050002.htm
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