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Iranian Alert -- October 27, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD PING LIST
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^
Posted on 10/27/2003 12:11:32 AM PST by DoctorZIn
The US media almost entirely ignores news regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran. As Tony Snow of the Fox News Network has put it, this is probably the most under-reported news story of the year. But most Americans are unaware that the Islamic Republic of Iran is NOT supported by the masses of Iranians today. Modern Iranians are among the most pro-American in the Middle East.
There is a popular revolt against the Iranian regime brewing in Iran today. Starting June 10th of this year, Iranians have begun taking to the streets to express their desire for a regime change. Most want to replace the regime with a secular democracy. Many even want the US to over throw their government.
The regime is working hard to keep the news about the protest movement in Iran from being reported. Unfortunately, the regime has successfully prohibited western news reporters from covering the demonstrations. The voices of discontent within Iran are sometime murdered, more often imprisoned. Still the people continue to take to the streets to demonstrate against the regime.
In support of this revolt, Iranians in America have been broadcasting news stories by satellite into Iran. This 21st century news link has greatly encouraged these protests. The regime has been attempting to jam the signals, and locate the satellite dishes. Still the people violate the law and listen to these broadcasts. Iranians also use the Internet and the regime attempts to block their access to news against the regime. In spite of this, many Iranians inside of Iran read these posts daily to keep informed of the events in their own country.
This daily thread contains nearly all of the English news reports on Iran. It is thorough. If you follow this thread you will witness, I believe, the transformation of a nation. This daily thread provides a central place where those interested in the events in Iran can find the best news and commentary. The news stories and commentary will from time to time include material from the regime itself. But if you read the post you will discover for yourself, the real story of what is occurring in Iran and its effects on the war on terror.
I am not of Iranian heritage. I am an American committed to supporting the efforts of those in Iran seeking to replace their government with a secular democracy. I am in contact with leaders of the Iranian community here in the United States and in Iran itself.
If you read the daily posts you will gain a better understanding of the US war on terrorism, the Middle East and why we need to support a change of regime in Iran. Feel free to ask your questions and post news stories you discover in the weeks to come.
If all goes well Iran will be free soon and I am convinced become a major ally in the war on terrorism. The regime will fall. Iran will be free. It is just a matter of time.
PS I have a daily ping list and a breaking news ping list. If you would like to receive alerts to these stories please let me know which list you would like to join.
TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iaea; iran; iranianalert; protests; southasia; studentmovement; studentprotest
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To: F14 Pilot
Freedom for Iran ~ Now!
posted on 10/27/2003 8:58:12 AM PST
Nobel Prize Winner Tells Iranians to Go Out and Vote
October 27, 2003
TEHRAN -- Iranian human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi has added her voice to appeals for voters in Iran to turn out during next February's parliamentary elections.
Her appeal comes amid widespread concern among reformists that the elections on February 20 will see a repeat of this year's municipal elections, which were marred by widespread voter apathy and conservative victories.
"To shun the ballot box does not cure any ailment," Ebadi said in an interview published Monday by the Iran News newspaper. "In the city council elections a great number of people did this, and did they gain anything from it?"
"When you shun the ballot box, you do nothing else except leave the field open to your competitor."
Iran's embattled reformist movement is facing its next major test in February, amid massive frustration over the camp's failure to push through its much-hyped plan to shake-up the way Iran is run.
Reformists have controlled parliament since 2000, but much of their legislation has been blocked by more powerful conservatives, particularly those in the Guardians Council -- an unelected senate-like body.
The vote will also be a test for pro-reform President Mohammad Khatami, whose position could become untenable if he no longer has the backing of parliament.
Although Ebadi says she -- like many other Iranian women -- voted for Khatami in 1997 and 2001, she asserted that she does "not think like he does" and reiterated her desire to keep out of politics.
"May God not bring the day when I entertain the idea of attaining power," she told the paper. "I know that I would never enter any political group. I will not enter the halls of government ."
Ebadi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work on women's and children's rights in Iran, as well as her defence of political dissidents -- a campaign that has angered many prominent hardliners in Iran. http://www.iranmania.com/News/ArticleView/Default.asp?NewsCode=19084&NewsKind=Current%20Affairs
Tehran Backtracks On Pledge To End Uranium Enrichment
October 27, 2003
Radio Free Europe
Iran appears to be having second thoughts about its promise to the European Union to suspend its uranium-enrichment effort -- a central part of the international crisis over Iran's suspected nuclear-weapons program. The Foreign Ministry now says Tehran will have to consider the "modalities of a suspension" before taking action, while the arms-control community remains determined that Iran renounce its enrichment activities.
Prague -- Iran is showing signs of backtracking on its pledge to European Union leaders last week to fully cooperate with demands by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that it stop activities that could lead to the development of a nuclear weapons capability.
One of the key steps Tehran promised to take was to cease clandestinely enriching uranium. In an accord reached with the visiting foreign ministers of Great Britain, France, and Germany on 21 October, the Iranian government said it would suspend that activity for an unspecified "interim period," as well as accept more intrusive IAEA monitoring of its nuclear-related facilities.
But over the weekend, Tehran modified that pledge by saying it had yet to suspend uranium enrichment and would need further domestic deliberation before deciding whether to do so. A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, Hamid Reza Asefi, told Western correspondents in Tehran that Iranian officials are now considering what he called the "modalities of a suspension." He gave no further details.
The hesitation to fully commit to suspending uranium enrichment comes less than a week before the 31 October deadline the IAEA had set for Iran to fully answer all remaining questions about its nuclear activities and to demonstrate it is pursuing only civilian-use nuclear programs. The IAEA has previously threatened to refer its concerns over Iran's suspected weapons development to the UN Security Council -- a measure that could ultimately lead to the council levying sanctions against Iran -- if Tehran fails to meet the agency's demands.
Iran's uranium-enrichment effort worries international arms-control experts because it could provide the direct means for developing a nuclear bomb. Iran's enrichment activities first came to light in the summer of last year when an exiled Iranian opposition group reported the existence of a secret pilot enrichment plant at Natanz, south of Tehran. A visit to the site by IAEA inspectors earlier this year revealed Iran had constructed some 160 operational gas centrifuges for enriching uranium in fortified facilities largely being built underground.
Fred Wheling, an arms control expert at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, California, said the secret nature of the site casts doubt on Tehran's subsequent explanations that it is purely intended to develop fuel for commercial reactors. "If Iran was to develop an indigenous enrichment capacity, it could eventually make its own fuel, which could then be used in [Iran's planned commercial reactor at] Bushehr," Wheling said. "But if that were really the case, then you wouldn't need to go to all the trouble of having a clandestine facility and acquiring uranium under the table to test it and so on."
Iran plans to build up to seven electricity-generating commercial reactors by 2020 and is currently constructing the first one with Russian technical assistance near the Gulf port of Bushehr.
Under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), of which Iran is a signatory, Tehran has the right to build the reactors and produce its own reactor fuel through uranium enrichment. However, if Iran already has begun enriching uranium at Natanz, as many arms experts suspect, that secret progress would be in violation of the treaty's requirement that signatories declare such activities to the IAEA so inspectors can monitor them. The monitoring is intended to ensure that no enriched uranium is diverted to weapons making.
In one sign that Iran might have already begun enriching uranium, samples taken by inspectors this summer reportedly found traces of uranium at Natanz enriched to a level of 20 percent. That is well above the 2 to 3 percent level needed for commercial reactor fuel. Tehran has said the readings are due to preexisting contamination on equipment it received from unidentified foreign sources and do not indicate any Iranian weapons program.
Charles Ferguson, a nuclear expert at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, called uranium enriched to a 20 percent level "right at the dividing line" between civilian and military-use nuclear programs. He says that uranium enriched to 7 percent or less is only usable in commercial applications, while 20 percent is already adequate to produce a primitive nuclear device -- primitive because the result would weigh close to one metric ton and be difficult to deploy. "If you had 800 kilograms of 20 percent enriched uranium 235, you could -- in principle -- produce a nuclear bomb," Ferguson said. "But it is hard to work with that much material.... As enrichment [level] goes higher, you need less uranium to form a bomb."
To build the kind of lightweight bomb that could be deployed by missiles or strike aircraft, an enrichment level of 90 percent would be needed. Critics of Iran's nuclear activities say Tehran appears to be interested in developing such lightweight bombs to give it a modern nuclear force. If so, the work at Natanz could be another step on the long road toward that goal.
Some nonproliferation experts have predicted that Iran could develop the capability to produce an operational nuclear bomb in seven to nine years if left unobstructed.
As Iran now hesitates to suspend its uranium enrichment activities, it is unclear whether the hesitation is motivated by its stated desire to develop a fully indigenous nuclear energy capability or by a secret desire to keep a dual-use program that could directly contribute to building nuclear weapons.
Making a final decision to give up uranium enrichment would be difficult for Tehran, in either case. http://www.rferl.org/nca/features/2003/10/27102003170152.asp
To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
To: F14 Pilot
Oh goody, another agreement.
posted on 10/27/2003 4:24:50 PM PST
(Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
Will Iran's Nuclear Promise Resolve Crisis?
*See also, Germany rearms despite limitations, Japan circumvents nucler treaties, Russia aids Iran, antiproliferation agreements to the contrary notwithstanding.
Also, "The check's in the mail."
posted on 10/27/2003 5:10:40 PM PST
(Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
Renault Signs Production Joint Venture with Iran's Idro
October 27, 2003
PARIS -- French automaker Renault said it had signed an agreement with Iran's state auto holding company Idro for the joint production and marketing of Renault's new X90 low-end model, aimed at emerging markets.
The joint venture will be launched in early 2004, with X90 production slated to begin in 2006. It will be held 51 percent by Renault and 49 percent by AID, an entity composed of Idro and Iran's two main automakers, Iran Khodro and SAIPA.
The joint venture plans to invest 300 millions euros (352.7 million dollars) in the first phase of the project, a Renault spokesman said.
Production will begin at existing Khodro and SAIPA plants, with initial capacity of 100,000 vehicles for each company. Depending on demand, a new production site could be built by the Renault/AID venture.
"This programme is in keeping with Renault's international development strategy, which foresees an annual production of over 500,000 units of this (X90) model throughout the world by 2010," Renault said.
The code-named X90 car will also be produced from 2004 in Romania, where it will be carry a sticker price beginning at 5,000 euros.
It also will be assembled in Russia, Morocco and Colombia.
In Iran, Iran Khodro and SAIPA will be responsible for marketing the X90.
These two groups already are partners with Peugeot and Citroen, the two brands of the French group PSA. Peugeot sold almost 119,000 cars in Iran in the first nine months of 2003, and Citroen sold 3,200 units.
Until now, however, their rival Renault had not been present in the Iranian market, where foreign car imports have been banned since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
In recent years PSA; Japanese automakers Nissan, 44.4 percent owned by Renault, and Mazda; and South Korean company Kia have been producing cars in Iran with local partners.
Iran, with its population of 67 million, has had a booming car market for the past three years, Renault noted. The French company estimated the Iranian market would reach 700,000 vehicles this year. http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1519&ncid=1189&e=1&u=/afp/20031027/bs_afp/france_iran_auto_venture
Europeans Hail Tehran´s Promise on Nukes, But Israel Says: Beware
October 27, 2003
JERUSALEM -- Israel is warning that Iran´s acquiescence to a European ultimatum to freeze development of nuclear power should not be trusted.
Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz told the Cabinet this week that Iran does not really intend to suspend its nuclear project, and is "only trying to buy time."
"Iran´s agreement to put its nuclear project under supervision should be regarded as temporary and limited," Mofaz said.
Key members of the opposition Labor Party, such as the former defense minister, Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, and the former deputy defense minister, Ephraim Sneh, share Mofaz´s view.
"I have no doubt that the Iranians cheated the Europeans," Ben-Eliezer told JTA on Monday. "The Europeans see mostly their economic interest, and they are shortsighted."
"The Iranians are pulling the legs of everyone," Sneh said. "Their problem is to buy time. They have pushed back the immediate pressure and will now negotiate over implementing the agreement."
"The problem is that the Europeans want to be cheated," he said, suggesting that the positive reaction in Europe to Tehran´s announcement of compliance is indication of how fervently Europe wants to avoid a serious rift with Iran over the issue.
A special team from the International Atomic Energy Agency went to Iran at the beginning of this month and is still there. The U.N.-backed group has set an Oct. 31 deadline for Iran to come clean.
The foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany last week claimed they had persuaded Iran´s ruling ayatollahs to suspend the country´s suspected uranium enrichment program and allow international inspection of nuclear sites.
The E.U. foreign ministers said that once Iran signed the protocol of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the International Atomic Energy Agency approves the country´s revised nuclear program, Europe would provide Iran with technical know-how.
No one in Israel denies that, whatever its ultimate goals, Iran is trying hard to be nice toward the West. This week, it claimed to have deported 225 Al-Qaida members to their home countries.
The United States has said that none of the men appeared to be top members of the terrorist group, but the fact that Iran boasted about the deportations shows that Iran wants to move from confrontation to dialogue, observers said.
"The Iranians have been facing a difficult situation," Ephraim Kam, deputy head of Tel Aviv University´s Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, said. "They could have resisted the European ultimatum and proceeded with the uranium enrichment program. However, this would have meant facing a difficult battle in the Security Council and worse yet possible military action by the U.S."
By doing so, Kam said, Iran runs the risk that it will be forced to expose more to the West than it would like.
Iran´s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hamid-Reza Asefi, announced Sunday that Iran had stopped the uranium enrichment process. Someone in the regime apparently thought the spokesman was going too far, however, and his statement later was corrected to say that the country was "negotiating" to stop the uranium enrichment process.
"This is an indication of the internal debate in Iran," said Menashe Amir, head of the Persian program on Voice of Israel radio. Amir, considered a top expert on internal Iranian politics, said in an interview that the clerics who run the country are following a two-faced policy.
On the one hand, Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei has guided Hassan Rohani, secretary-general of Iran´s national security council, to reach an agreement with the European foreign ministers, Amir said. On the other, the ayatollahs that run the country instigated massive demonstrations protesting Iran´s intention to cooperate with the Europeans.
The newspaper Jumhuri Islami, owned by Khamenei, Iran´s "Supreme Guide," lashed out against "those who pull Iran by the nose and want to bow before the U.S."
"If Khamenei wants to avoid confrontation, why those acts of protest?" Amir asked. His explanation: "Iran feels forced to please Europe. It feels that such an understanding would serve as a safeguard against American intervention against Iran."
Iran has regarded itself as a regional power since the days of the shah. As such, it has aspired to arm itself with both conventional and non-conventional weapons, including ballistic missiles and, more recently, nuclear arms.
One of Iran´s major suppliers has been Russia, which has supplied Iran with more than 100 T-72 tanks since the early 1990s. Three years ago, Iran adopted a 25-year armament plan that relies heavily on Russian arms and technology.
Things got trickier when the cooperation extended to the nuclear sphere. In the mid-1990s, the two countries agreed that Russia would build an $800 million nuclear reactor at Bushehr, Iran. Both Iran and Russia have claimed that the reactor is for civilian purposes only though some question why a country with such large oil reserves needs nuclear energy.
Iran has stressed time and again that its nuclear installations are subject to supervision of the IAEA, and it is committed to the Non- Proliferation Treaty.
Both Israel and the United States doubt Iran´s declarations. Maj. Gen. Aharon Ze´evi-Farkash, head of Israel´s military intelligence, recently told the Knesset Security and Foreign Affairs Committee that both Iran and Saudi Arabia are trying to obtain tactical nuclear arms "in the immediate future."
If Iran is not stopped, it could complete its uranium enrichment project by the summer of 2004, which would allow it to produce its own nuclear bombs by 2006.
Considering that Iran´s Shihab-3 missile has a range of nearly 8,000 miles and can reach any point in Israel and that one of the country´s hard-line clerics has threatened Israel with nuclear obliteration Iran´s nuclear progress poses a real threat to the Jewish state.
The Europeans intervened due to their concern that further missile development also could threaten European targets.
Kam, who is finishing a book on Iran´s nuclear option, doubts that Iran will give up on its nuclear program, even after the recent agreement.
In addition, some worry that Iran could follow the example of North Korea and resume its nuclear program at a later date with all its equipment and technology intact.
"No doubt, the penetrating control will make it more difficult for them, but it makes more sense that they will seek clandestine ways to develop their nuclear option, and they may even at one time withdraw from the" non- proliferation treaty, Kam said.
Still, he said, "every month of suspension is a month gained."
Yuval Steinitz, chairman of the Security and Foreign Affairs Committee, agreed.
"I welcome the developments," he said. "I hope the Iranians are changing course, but I do not underplay the possibility that they are simply buying time."
Ben-Eliezer was less hopeful.
"I have said more than once that Iran makes me more concerned than Iraq did," he said. "Iran poses an existential threat to Israel."
According to media reports, Israel has been considering a pre-emptive blow against Iranian nuclear installations, similar to the 1981 air raid on Iraq´s nuclear reactor. Israel has dismissed the reports.
Reserve Maj. Gen. David Ivri, who was commander of the Israel Air Force at the time of the Iraq attack, said in a recent interview that a military raid should be the last resort.
Israel "has the capability to attack," he said. Still, he said, the main goal "should be to try to prevent the neighboring countries from attaining weapons of mass destruction, but through diplomatic means." http://www.jta.org/page_view_story.asp?intarticleid=13368&intcategoryid=1
Powell Renews U.S. Push for Iran Terror Suspects
October 27, 2003
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON Secretary of State Colin Powell on Monday insisted that Iran hand over senior terror suspects even as U.S. intelligence evaluates a list of 225 suspected operatives provided to the United Nations by the Tehran government.
How Iran responds -- and how serious is its offer to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency -- could determine whether the Bush administration tries to reverse more than two decades of diplomatic disconnect.
On Sunday, Iranian Foreign Minister spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said Iran last month gave the U.N. Security Council the names of 225 suspected Al Qaeda operatives it had detained after they had crossed the country's border.
But Powell told reporters Monday that the administration was seeking "clarification" of the information Iran had provided to the United Nations.
Meanwhile, he insisted that any Al Qaeda operatives held by Iran should be turned over to their country of origin or to the United States for interrogation and trial.
Iran in the past has turned over some suspects, but Richard Boucher, the State Department spokesman, said: "We are not aware of any particular progress with regards to the Al Qaeda who are currently in detention."
And, Boucher said, the Iranians themselves have said they were holding senior officials of the terror network headed by Usama bin Laden.
American counter-terrorism officials said last week that a handful of senior Al Qaeda operatives who fled to Iran after the war in Afghanistan two years ago may have developed a working relationship with a secretive military unit linked to Iran's religious hard-liners.
The U.S. government isn't certain of the extent of the contacts with the Iranian unit, called the Qods Force, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
U.S. officials have said intelligence suggests that Al Qaeda figures in Iran include Saif al-Adl, a top Al Qaeda agent possibly connected to bombings in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, last May; Abu Mohammed al-Masri, wanted in connection with the bombings of two U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998; Abu Musab Zarqawi, whom some U.S. officials describe as the key link between Al Qaeda and toppled Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein; and Usama bin Laden's eldest son, Saad.
The Al Qaeda operatives are believed to have fled to Iran from neighboring Afghanistan during the Taliban's fall in late 2001 or early 2002.
Iranian spokesman Asefi, when asked Sunday how many Al Qaeda operatives were in Iranian custody, said only they had "a number of them." He said Iran would not reveal the number and names of Al Qaeda suspects in custody for security reasons.
Intelligence Minister Ali Yunesi confirmed for the first time in July that Iran was holding "a large number of small and big-time elements of Al Qaeda."
On the nuclear front, Iran last week promised European governments it would expand IAEA inspections and suspend enrichment of uranium in response to suspicions it is developing a nuclear weapons program.
"We're looking for action," Boucher said, sounding a skeptical note. Until that happens, the spokesman said he could not speculate on any improvement in relations. http://www.foxnews.com.edgesuite.net/story/0,2933,101370,00.html
I was just speaking with friends in Iran and they are telling me that Iranians inside Iran are celebrating American holidays. They are getting together in secret to celebrate Halloween and buying turkey's to celebrate our Thanksgiving. Interesting.
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