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Iranian Alert -- October 29, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD PING LIST
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 10.29.2003 | DoctorZin

Posted on 10/29/2003 12:08:28 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 American’s are unaware that the Islamic Republic of Iran is NOT supported by the masses of Iranians today. Modern Iranians are among the most pro-American in the Middle East.

There is a popular revolt against the Iranian regime brewing in Iran today. Starting June 10th of this year, Iranians have begun taking to the streets to express their desire for a regime change. Most want to replace the regime with a secular democracy. Many even want the US to over throw their government.

The regime is working hard to keep the news about the protest movement in Iran from being reported. Unfortunately, the regime has successfully prohibited western news reporters from covering the demonstrations. The voices of discontent within Iran are sometime murdered, more often imprisoned. Still the people continue to take to the streets to demonstrate against the regime.

In support of this revolt, Iranians in America have been broadcasting news stories by satellite into Iran. This 21st century news link has greatly encouraged these protests. The regime has been attempting to jam the signals, and locate the satellite dishes. Still the people violate the law and listen to these broadcasts. Iranians also use the Internet and the regime attempts to block their access to news against the regime. In spite of this, many Iranians inside of Iran read these posts daily to keep informed of the events in their own country.

This daily thread contains nearly all of the English news reports on Iran. It is thorough. If you follow this thread you will witness, I believe, the transformation of a nation. This daily thread provides a central place where those interested in the events in Iran can find the best news and commentary. The news stories and commentary will from time to time include material from the regime itself. But if you read the post you will discover for yourself, the real story of what is occurring in Iran and its effects on the war on terror.

I am not of Iranian heritage. I am an American committed to supporting the efforts of those in Iran seeking to replace their government with a secular democracy. I am in contact with leaders of the Iranian community here in the United States and in Iran itself.

If you read the daily posts you will gain a better understanding of the US war on terrorism, the Middle East and why we need to support a change of regime in Iran. Feel free to ask your questions and post news stories you discover in the weeks to come.

If all goes well Iran will be free soon and I am convinced become a major ally in the war on terrorism. The regime will fall. Iran will be free. It is just a matter of time.

DoctorZin

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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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”

1 posted on 10/29/2003 12:08:29 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail DoctorZin”

2 posted on 10/29/2003 12:11:51 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Armitage Informs Senate of U.S. Policy Toward Iran

October 29, 2003
U.S. Department of States
Washington File

The United States intends to pursue a "flexible, dynamic and multifaceted" policy toward Iran in order to encourage the Iranian people's desire for greater freedom while countering negative policies of their government, such as pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and support for terrorism.

Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee October 28 that Iran "is a country in the midst of a tremendous transformation, and I believe American policy can affect the direction Iran will take."

In his prepared remarks, Armitage said the Iranian people were now "engaged in a very rich and lively debate about the kind of society they want for themselves and for their children," including the desire for substantial economic and democratic reforms

With most of the population under the age of 30, Armitage said the Iranian people are "far more concerned about Iran's chronic unemployment than they are about Iran's past."

"The Iranian people should know of our support for their aspirations, but also that the full rewards of that support will only be realized once their government ends its destructive external and internal policies. We look forward to the day when the will of the people of Iran prevails," he said.

The deputy secretary listed U.S. concerns over what he termed the "negative and destructive policies and actions" taken by the Iranian government, namely its poor human rights record, its nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programs, and its support for terrorist organizations.

These behaviors, said Armitage, undermine regional and international stability and security. He asserted that they "shake the confidence of the international community and deny the Iranian people the quality of life commensurate with the country's rich human and natural resources."

Iranian authorities use torture, arbitrary detention and excessive force to repress the freedoms of speech, association and religion, said Armitage.

Iran's pursuit and development of weapons of mass destruction have aroused international concern, said Armitage. Iran also "continues to be the world's foremost state supporter of terrorism," not only through support of organizations such as Hizballah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, but the United States also believes elements of the Iranian government have helped members of al-Qaida and Ansar al-Islam "transit and find safe haven in Iran," he said.

Iran must change its course on support for terrorism, said Armitage. "[R]esolution of this issue would be an important step in U.S.-Iranian relations and we cannot move forward without this step," he explained.

The United States, he said, does not seek conflict with Iran. However, to counter negative Iranian activities, the United States is employing sanctions, interdiction, law enforcement, diplomacy, and international public opinion, said Armitage. He said such measures "will be especially effective" if other countries participate in a sustained effort.

The deputy secretary also said that despite "significant unhelpful interference," Iran has taken steps to promote stability in neighboring Iraq and Afghanistan. He praised Tehran's pledges of material support to both countries and said the Iranians "continue to cooperate with regional counter-narcotics and refugee repatriation efforts."

The United States, he said, has encouraged such behavior by engaging in direct dialogue with Iranian authorities "on issues of mutual and immediate concern."

If it serves U.S. interests, "[w]e are prepared to meet again in the future," said Armitage.

The deputy secretary added that the United States is "always prepared" to change its policies toward Iran if the country ceases its support for terrorism and abandons its weapons of mass destruction programs.

Following is the text of Armitage's prepared remarks:

(begin text)

U.S. Policy and Iran

Richard L. Armitage, Deputy Secretary of State
Testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Washington, DC
October 28, 2003

As Prepared

Chairman Lugar, Senator Biden, Members of the Committee, as always, I welcome the opportunity to appear before this body to discuss the foreign policy priorities and challenges of the day. I particularly appreciate this opportunity to discuss Iran, given the high stakes of this very fluid situation and the importance and influence of U.S. policy on this matter. I look forward to a dialogue with you.

Iran is a country in the midst of a tremendous transformation, and I believe American policy can affect the direction Iran will take. This is a complex situation, but if you will allow a simplification: today in Iran, there is a struggle between destructive elements of Iran's society and leadership, who want to keep the country mired in a violent, corrupt, and insular past, and a forward-looking popular movement, which wants a more engaged and modern Iran to emerge. The fact that the Nobel Peace Prize was just awarded to an Iranian citizen is no aberration; rather it is a sign of the sweeping desire for change across Iranian society. Indeed, all Iranians stand to benefit from a modern state, one that draws on the strengths of free minds and free markets. American and international security and well being also stand to benefit. United States policy is, therefore, to support the Iranian people in their aspirations for a democratic, prosperous country that is a trusted member of the international community.

Given the complexities of the situation, it is no surprise that there is a range of views including on this Committee about how to best implement that policy. That is entirely appropriate. Indeed, a single, static, one-size-fits-all policy would not be appropriate in the circumstances. In order to best protect and advance U.S. interests, our policy needs to be flexible, dynamic, and multifaceted. That is why the President and this Administration are pursuing a policy that weighs the full range of options available to us, both through bilateral and multilateral means. We seek to counter the government of Iran s negative and destructive policies and actions, while encouraging constructive policies and actions and engaging in a direct dialogue with the Iranian people about the freedoms they want for their own country.

As President Bush noted when talking about Iran last week, not every policy issue needs to be dealt with by force. Secretary Powell also noted last week that we do not seek conflict with Iran. We will continue to pursue nonproliferation and other such control measures as necessary and we must keep all available options on the table, given the lack of clarity about Iran's future direction and ultimate destination. At the same time, we are prepared to engage in limited discussions with the government of Iran about areas of mutual interest, as appropriate. We have not, however, entered into any broad dialogue with the aim of normalizing relations.

There is no question that Iran is engaged in a number of destructive policies and actions. Our most pressing concerns are Iran's poor human rights record, nuclear weapons program, as well as chemical and biological weapons programs, support for terrorism, and interference in regional politics, particularly in the Arab-Israeli peace process. These behaviors, along with the government's oppressive and corrupt centralized economic policy, shake the confidence of the international community and deny the Iranian people the quality of life commensurate with the country's rich human and natural resources. These behaviors also undermine regional stability and have ripple effects across U.S. and international security. We are taking and will take the necessary measures to protect U.S. interests.

Across the board, the United States is actively countering such Iranian activities through a variety of tools, including sanctions, interdiction, law enforcement, diplomacy, and international public opinion. When necessary, we will act alone. The United States, for example, has a broad array of sanctions on Iran. This includes prohibitions on a range of exports and assistance, particularly to the military and to the oil industry, strict regulations on economic transactions, and targeted sanctions against specific entities in other countries that aid Iran's weapons of mass destruction programs.

We believe, however, that international and multilateral responses if sustained will be especially effective in meeting the challenges Iran poses to regional stability, disarmament and nonproliferation regimes, and the rights of its own citizens. As President Bush said last week, we have confidence in the power of patience and the collective voice of the international community to resolve disputes peacefully.

We are working with the international community to effect change in Iran's abysmal human rights record, for example. According to our own documentation and to international organizations, the government of Iran uses torture, excessive and lethal police force, and arbitrary detention to repress free speech, freedom of association, and religious freedom, among other abuses. We are actively seeking a resolution on the human rights situation in Iran in the U.N. General Assembly s Third Committee or at the U.N. Commission on Human Rights.

We believe a united international front is especially critical in dealing with Iran's clandestine nuclear weapons program, about which there is widespread concern across the international community. We also remain concerned about Iran's biological and chemical weapons and ballistic missile programs. Our efforts to counter these programs include bilateral discussions with allies and friends, such as President Bush's meeting with Russian President Putin at Camp David, where the two leaders agreed on the goal of an Iran free of nuclear weapons. We consistently have urged our friends and allies to condition any improvements in their bilateral or trade relations with Iran on concrete, sustained, and verifiable changes in Iran's policies in this and other areas of concern. We think it is appropriate, for instance, that the European Union has conditioned progress in its Trade and Cooperation Agreement with Iran on movement in these areas.

Our international efforts also include the use of innovative and established multilateral tools. The Proliferation Security Initiative, for example, is a new counterproliferation initiative to interdict weapons of mass destruction-related shipments to and from states and non-state actors of proliferation concern. The nations involved in this initiative have singled out Iran and North Korea as countries of particular concern. We are, of course, also working through the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to resolve critical international concerns about Iran s nuclear program.

Indeed, our close cooperation with Russia, the European Union, and a host of other countries has led to two very strong IAEA Board of Governors resolutions on Iran. Last week, the French, German, and British Foreign Ministers traveled to Iran in support of those resolutions. As a result of that mission, Iran declared its intention to sign an Additional Protocol to the safeguards agreement with the IAEA, provide full cooperation to the IAEA, and temporarily suspend uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities. We welcome this progress, but as British Foreign Minister Straw said, the proof of the value of the European agreement with Iran will depend above all on the implementation of what has been agreed. We are waiting to see if the information Tehran provided the IAEA last week will substantively meet the IAEA Board of Governors October 31st deadline for coming clean on its nuclear program. Our consultations with our allies on this matter are continuing.

We are also engaged in bilateral and multilateral efforts, from sanctions to direct appeals, to put a stop to Iran's support for terrorist organizations, which we believe includes al-Qaida. We believe that elements of the Iranian regime have helped al-Qaida and Ansar al-Islam transit and find safe haven in Iran, despite Iran's official condemnation of these groups. Despite public statements that they would cooperate with other countries, the Iranians have refused repeated requests to turn over or share intelligence about all al-Qaida members and leaders they claim to have in custody. As the President made clear last week, Iran must change its course on this front; resolution of this issue would be an important step in U.S.-Iranian relations and we cannot move forward without this step. We will continue to press this issue from the highest levels of our government, as well as to encourage our friends and allies to press the Iranians.

In its support for terrorism, including by arming violent factions, Iran is interfering in the internal affairs of Afghanistan and Iraq, and especially in the fate of the Palestinian people. Indeed, Iran continues to be the world's foremost state supporter of terrorism, offering financial and logistical support to both Shia and Sunni terrorist organizations, including Hizballah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Through these abhorrent groups, Iran destabilizes the region and tries to stymie any movement toward peaceful resolution of the Middle East conflict.

On the other hand, Iran says it wants a stable, unified neighbor in both Afghanistan and Iraq and despite significant unhelpful interference, has taken a few steps in that direction. This includes rhetorical support, by welcoming the end of the oppressive regime of the Taliban, which exported drugs, violence, and millions of refugees across the border into Iran. Iran also welcomed the formation of the Iraqi Governing Council. The Iranians have backed up that rhetoric with pledges of material support at both the Bonn and Madrid Donors Conferences and they continue to cooperate with regional counter-narcotics and refugee repatriation efforts.

Although we make no conclusions about the nature of Iranian intent, we have encouraged such constructive behavior by engaging in direct dialogue on issues of mutual and immediate concern. This dialogue has been limited in scope and produced some success in the Afghanistan context. The last such meeting was canceled after the May 12 Riyadh bombings, however, due to Iran's unwillingness to cooperate on the al-Qaida issue. The Secretary made clear at the time that we canceled only a meeting, not the process of discussing these issues with Iran. We are prepared to meet again in the future, but only if that would serve U.S. interests. Of course, we can remove any country from the list of state supporters of terrorism if that country is prepared to take the necessary steps. We are always prepared to respond if Iran changes its ways, in particular ceasing its support for terrorism and abandoning its weapons of mass destruction programs, by making corresponding changes in our own policies.

An important aspect of ongoing U.S. efforts to influence the direction of Iranian policy is encouraging the healthy development of Iran's civil society. We see many signs that the people of Iran want a different life and a more responsive government, and we believe we can encourage such developments through direct engagement with the Iranian public. An estimated 70 percent of the 68 million people in Iran are under the age of 30, and they are far more concerned about Iran's chronic unemployment than they are about Iran's past. Iranian displays of sympathy after the September 11th attacks and polls showing overwhelming desire for improved relations with the U.S. reflect strong popular sentiment, as do demonstrations and elections in support of reform. The government tries to blame any sign of dissent on outside agitators, but it is clear that the agitation in Iran is a genuine expression of a homegrown desire for change. Consider that thousands of ordinary Iranians spontaneously flocked to the airport to greet Shirin Ebadi two weeks ago when she returned to Tehran after the announcement of the award of the Nobel Peace Prize.

We believe we can encourage the triumph of public resolve by engaging in direct communication with the people of Iran. We are doing this through Radio Farda, which operates 24 hours a day, and Voice of America (VOA) radio and television broadcasts into Iran. VOA has recently instituted a daily Persian television news program to Iran, in addition to its two weekly television feature programs. In May, the State Department brought on line a website in Persian and we continue to explore opportunities to incorporate Iran-related projects into our broader Middle East Partnership Initiative. Our Education and Cultural Affairs Bureau also supports cultural, educational, and professional exchanges.

We know our message is getting through. An average of 3,000 people already views our Persian website every day, for example. It is challenging to come by concrete measures of the audience for our television and radio programming inside Iran, but we do have evidence of a broad consumer base. The United States has no direct diplomatic presence in Iran, but we do have what we call a virtual embassy in the surrounding nations and beyond. Foreign Service Officers talk to Iranian citizens living and traveling across the region and around the world, collecting and sharing with us their observations. Based on such anecdotal evidence and on the direct contacts we get, particularly through the Internet, we know we have an attentive audience in Iran.

I firmly believe that our strategy will succeed in helping to push and pull Iran in the right direction, particularly with the close cooperation of other nations. But it is not up to the United States to choose Iran's future. Ultimately, I am most hopeful for that future because it is the people of Iran themselves who are providing the key impetus for change. Despite living under a regime that limits or denies its people even basic human rights, Iranians are engaged in a very rich and lively debate about the kind of society they want for themselves and for their children. They have made it clear that they want democratic and economic reform, accountability and transparency from their government, an end to corruption, religious moderation, and reintegration with the international community. The Iranian people should know of our support for their aspirations, but also that the full rewards of that support will only be realized once their government ends its destructive external and internal policies. We look forward to the day when the will of the people of Iran prevails.

http://usinfo.state.gov/xarchives/display.html?p=washfile-english&y=2003&m=October&x=20031028170142namfuaks0.9644892&t=usinfo/wf-latest.html
3 posted on 10/29/2003 12:13:09 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Time for a "Helsinki Accords" for Iran

October 29, 2003
Iran va Jahan
Shaheen Fatemi

While on a panel discussion with two prominent members of the 'Deutscher Bundestag' in Berlin last week I was challenged to suggest an alternative to the current so-called "constructive dialogue" which I had said was going nowhere. During my entire recent visit to Germany which included talking to important and influential German government officials, leading members of the ruling party (SPD) as well as the opposition party (CDU), I was under the impression that while trade with Iran is very important for them, they do seem to be aware of the 'human rights' dilemma. I certainly believe that selection of Dr. Shirin Ebadi by Nobel Peace Award committee has further exacerbated this contradiction for all those who profess respect for human dignity while dealing with the Mullahs in Iran. Time and again, the same argument has been raised, "we know how bad things are in Iran, we hope to improve the situation by 'engaging' the government in our dialogue."

The questions that were raised by members of the audience at this gathering where the panel discussion took place were not much different from those that repeatedly have been asked by the members of the Iranian community in Europe from the leaders of the European Union:

What do you have to show for your years of "constructive dialogue" with this murderous, dishonest and totalitarian regime?

Why do you overlook the fact that leaders of this regime have been indicted for murder of innocent people in Germany, France, Switzerland and Argentina?

How do you expect "the post-liberation" Iranian nation to forget your continued moral and material support for this regime?

When I was challenged at this meeting to come up with an alternative for the present practice, I reminded the German deputies of another era when another generation of Western leaders was faced with an earlier version of totalitarian monsters in the Soviet Union and its Satellite States. At that time representatives of thirty-five nations gathered in Helsinki, Finland, in 1975 for a Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. The Final Act of the Conference, known as the Helsinki Accords, set forth a number of basic human rights by guaranteeing that:

"The participating States will respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief, for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.

They will promote and encourage the effective exercise of civil, political, economic, social, cultural, and other rights and freedoms all of which derive from the inherent dignity of the human person and are essential for his free and full development.

Within this framework the participating States will recognize and respect the freedom of the individual to profess and practise, alone or in community with others, religion or belief acting in accordance with the dictates of his own conscience.

The participating States on whose territory national minorities exist will respect the right of persons belonging to such minorities to equality before the law, will afford them the full opportunity for the actual enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms and will, in this manner, protect their legitimate interests in this sphere.

The participating States recognize the universal significance of human rights and fundamental freedoms, respect for which is an essential factor for the peace, justice and well-being necessary to ensure the development of friendly relations and co-operation among themselves as among all States."


This accord was backed up with an organization of representatives of virtually all the states of Europe-with the exception of Albania-as well as the United States and Canada, committed to formalizing decisions on important questions affecting the security and stability of European continent as a whole. The Soviets wanted security of the post-WW II borders. The West, in return, was interested in obtaining safeguards for the observance of human rights behind the Iron Curtain. This major diplomatic agreement signed in Helsinki, Finland on August 1, 1975, by President Gerald Ford, General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Andrei Gromyko, was perhaps the most important first step towards liberation of Russia and Eastern European countries.

We see a clear historical parallel. The Iranian regime needs the Europeans for trade and diplomatic respectability in order to get out of its virtual isolation. Europe can in return ask for written and codified guarantees for the observance of human rights in Iran.

This seems to be the minimum decent thing to do.

http://iranvajahan.net/cgi-bin/news.pl?l=en&y=2003&m=10&d=29&a=1
4 posted on 10/29/2003 12:14:14 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran and Syria told to stop foreign fighters going to Iraq

By Andrew Buncombe in Washington
29 October 2003

President Bush yesterday demanded that Iran and Syria close porous borders that he claimed were allowing "foreign fighters" to enter Iraq and carry out terrorist strikes.

On a day which brought a fresh spate of attacks, including a suicide bombing that killed six, and the news that one of Baghdad's deputy mayors had been assassinated, President Bush blamed Ba'ath Party loyalists and foreign operatives for the ongoing violence.

"It is dangerous in Iraq because there are some who believe we are soft, that the will of the United States can be shaken by suiciders," Mr Bush said. "We are working closely [with Syria and Iran] to let them know we expect them to enforce borders to stop people coming across."

Earlier, his spokesman, Scott McClellan, said he would not want to speculate on who was behind the recent attacks, but added: "We're making it very clear to [Syria and Iran] that they need to also take action to stop that cross-border infiltration. And they know what those concerns are and we expect them to act to address those issues."

Military and intelligence officials are divided over who is responsible for the increasingly organised and coordinated attacks, which on Monday targeted the Baghdad offices of the Red Crossand several police stations. Thirty-five people were killed and 230 injured in Baghdad's bloodiest day since Saddam Hussein was ousted.

Mr Bush and his senior officials are involved in a determined PR campaign to try to persuade the American public that progress is being made in Iraq and that much of the positive news in not getting through the "media filter".

But he is not having it all his way. Last week he suffered an embarrassing defeat on Capitol Hill when the Senate voted to turn part of an $87bn request for Iraqi reconstruction into loans rather than grants. At the international donors conference in Madrid at the weekend much of the money pledged by other countries was also in the form of loans

Perhaps partly as a result of Mr Bush's visible difficulties in obtaining international support, recent polls suggested the American public is losing trust in the President's ability to deal with the situation in Iraq and prevent the US from being immersed in a quagmire similar to the situation in Vietnam 25 years ago.

Aware of the danger that both this and the escalating violence in Iraq represent to his re-election fortunes, Mr Bush used his Rose Garden press conference at the White House yesterday to repeat what has become a regular theme: that the so-called war on terror launched in the aftermath of the attacks of 11 September, 2001, now has its focus in Iraq.

"Basically, what they [the attackers] are trying to do is cause people to run," he said. "They want to kill and create chaos. That's the nature of a terrorist. That's what terrorists do. They're not going to intimidate America. The terrorists rely on the death of innocent people to create the conditions of fear that therefore will cause people to lose their will. That's their strategy. And it's a pretty clear strategy to me. It's in our interest that we do our job for the free world."

Mr Bush twice compared the assaults in Iraq to the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington, though he did not claim Saddam Hussein's regime was involved in the hijackings. He said: "It's the same mentality, by the way, that attacked us on 11 September 2001. Just destroy innocent life and watch the great United States and their friends and allies, you know, crater in the face of hardship. [We] must never forget the lessons of 11 September.''

One of the biggest challenges facing Mr Bush and his senior military advisers is the development of a realistic exit strategy from Iraq. While the White House has indicated it would like to reduce the current US military presence from 130,000 troops to around 50,000 within 12 months, most analysts say that is probably unrealistic given the current violence.

Mr Bush is regularly asked about his comments at the beginning of May when he announced an end to "major combat operations" in Iraq. Yesterday he declined to be drawn on when the US may be in a position to pull out of Iraq. "I think you ought to look at my speech," he said. "I said Iraq's a dangerous place. We got hard work to do, there's still more to be done."

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?story=458316
5 posted on 10/29/2003 12:25:12 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
U.S. Takes Softer Tone on Iran, Once in the 'Axis of Evil'

By STEVEN R. WEISMAN
Published: October 29, 2003

WASHINGTON, Oct. 28 — The Bush administration assured Iran on Tuesday that the United States did not favor "regime change" in Tehran and signaled a new willingness to engage in a dialogue with Iran over its nuclear program, its alleged support of terrorism and other issues.

The administration's newly conciliatory approach toward Iran, enunciated by Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, resolved at least part of a contentious internal debate among aides to President Bush, administration officials said.

The officials said Iran's nuclear program and the safe haven it is said to have offered members of Al Qaeda remain major obstacles to improving relations but that entering into conversations with Iran on those and other issues was also considered urgent.

The change in tone comes slightly less than two years after Mr. Bush, in his 2002 State of the Union address, grouped Iran with Iraq and North Korea as an "axis of evil."

American envoys still held occasional talks with Iran until May, when Washington cut them off after a series of bombings in Saudi Arabia linked to groups based in Iran.

In his Senate testimony, Mr. Armitage said the United States "must keep all available options on the table" toward Iran. He did not specify these options, but they were understood to include the use of force if necessary.

"At the same time," he added, "we are prepared to engage in limited discussions with the government of Iran about areas of mutual interest, as appropriate. We have not, however, entered into any broad dialogue with the aim of normalizing relations."

Like North Korea, Iran has provoked an intense debate between hard-liners and advocates of diplomacy within the Bush administration. Many at the State Department favor diplomatic contacts because of the range of issues requiring cooperation with Iran.

The biggest point of contention within the administration is over Iran's nuclear program. Hard-liners, many of them at the Defense Department, favor a more confrontational policy toward Tehran, including sending the issue to the United Nations Security Council for consideration of possible sanctions.

Last week, however, a delegation of envoys from France, Russia and Britain won Iran's agreement to accept new international inspections of some of its nuclear facilities and to suspend production of enriched uranium, a fuel for potential use in making weapons.

The administration has been careful to say that these steps must be verified. A similarly skeptical response has followed Iran's promises to avoid contact with Al Qaeda.

Mr. Armitage said the administration believed that "elements of the Iranian regime" helped both Al Qaeda and Ansar al-Islam, which the administration links to Al Qaeda, "transit and find safe haven in Iran, despite Iran's official condemnation of these groups."

Administration officials say that, with anti-American violence rising in Iraq, it is imperative to deal with Iran over the future makeup of Iraq. The Iranian government wields influence on Shiite groups seeking to establish an Islamic government.

American officials have labeled as "unhelpful" some of Iran's recent actions in support of these groups.

Many administration officials say a Shiite-dominated government is inevitable in Iraq, partly because Shiites predominate. Some fear that a Shiite government that imposed its will on the Sunni minority would accelerate the violence in central Iraq.

Administration officials said Mr. Armitage's testimony was approved by the White House after a number of recent small steps by Iran, including reports over the weekend that it had released a list of Qaeda members, formerly based in Iran, who had been returned to their countries of origin.

There appeared to be disagreement in the administration over the significance of the list. One senior American official said that it indicated a small but positive step by Iran to address American concerns.

But another said it was merely a list of militants returned to Pakistan, Afghanistan and other countries, with no indication of what happened to them after that.

Mr. Armitage said that, on the positive side, Iran had supported the American-led ouster of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the formation of the Iraqi Governing Council, whose members were chosen by the American occupation authorities.

Iran also surprised some American officials by showing up last week at the Madrid conference of international donors to Iraq and contributing aid.

The Governing Council is discussing a deal to ship oil to Iran and receive electricity in return, one administration official said, a step that L. Paul Bremer III, the occupation administrator, has not yet sought to block.

Mr. Armitage was asked Tuesday by Senator Chuck Hagel, a Nebraska Republican, if "regime change" was American policy in Iran. "No, sir," Mr. Armitage replied, adding that "our policy is to try to eliminate the ability of Iran to carry forward with disruptive policies."

Administration officials said one reason the United States does not favor changing governments as a solution in Iran is that any government — even a secular Western-oriented one — would probably continue the quest for nuclear weapons.

Mr. Armitage said that was a product of Iran's longstanding ambition to be a major force in the region and its self-regard as the modern heir to ancient Persian longings for greatness — what he called "an innate grandeur still in the dreams of Persepolis and all of that."

The other major issue is Iran's support of Hezbollah, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other Islamic militant groups that have carried out attacks in Israel. Administration officials say they have made no headway on persuading Iran to end its support of these groups.

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/29/international/middleeast/29DIPL.html?ex=1068008400&en=a3ba7afbf1355c2a&ei=5062&partner=GOOGLE
6 posted on 10/29/2003 12:28:06 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Amir Taheri: Iranians talk of reforms as constitution fails

Gulf News
29-10-2003

In Iran's fractious politics there is one word on which almost everyone agrees. And it isn't even a Persian word. It is the Latin word "referendum", pronounced by Persians as refrandoom. (The Persian neologism of hameh-porsi, literally : asking everyone, has not replaced the Latin word.) These days almost everyone in Iran is talking about the need for holding a referendum; not always for the same reasons.

The argument is that the current constitution, hastily put together in 1979 in the heated aftermath of the revolution, is not working. The various mechanisms envisaged in the constitution for the exercise of power have produced a gridlock which prevents effective decision-making by a divided government. The only way out is to hold a constitutional referendum to approve amendments that would break the gridlock.

The current constitution is a rough translation of the constitution of the French Fifth Republic introduced by General De Gaulle. It, therefore, envisages a strong executive and a weak legislative with the status of the judiciary left murky.

The problem, however, is that the authors of the Iranian constitution added a number of articles that break the inner logic of the original French version.

The most important of these are articles related to the doctrine of the "Walayat Faqih" (Custodianship of the Jurisconsult). The articles give a single mullah, referred to as "The Supreme Guide", virtually unlimited powers thus rendering the constitution superfluous.

"The Supreme Guide" is elected for life by the so-called Assembly of Experts, a body of 90 mullahs, which also has the authority to remove him under highly unlikely circumstances.

Once elected, "The Supreme Guide" becomes the centre of power in the system. He is the head of state and must approve the heads of all three powers - the legislative, the judiciary and the executive.

Judiciary vs the executive

Some confusion is created because the head of the executive, known as president, is elected by direct universal suffrage. Nevertheless, the elected president cannot take office until an edict from "The Supreme Guide", approves his election. At the same time "The Supreme Guide" can always trigger constitutional mechanisms to dismiss the elected president.

"The Supreme Guide" can also dissolve the elected majlis or parliament. He can even suspend the basic rules of Islam, if and when he deems fit. No ruler in history has been given so much power as the Iranian"Supreme Guide" today.

The constitution contains other anomalies. It provides for a Council of The Guardians of Constitution, the equivalent of the French Constitutional Council. The Iranian council has a right of veto on all laws passed by the parliament. (The French version does not have such a right. It intervenes only if it is asked to determine whether or not any piece of legislation is in violation of the constitution.)

Iran's constitutional problems do not end there. Yet anther body, named The Council for the Discernment of the Interests of the System, can also intervene to stop or cancel laws passed by the parliament. In the past two years the council has even claimed to have the right to pass laws on its own without referring to the elected parliament.

The founder of the Islamic Republic, the late Ayatollah Ruhallah Khomeini, had initially opposed the enactment of any constitution. Under the system of "Walayat Faqih" that he offered there would be no elections, no parliament and no president. In his system "The Supreme Guide" would rule in the name of Divine Power. He would appoint a prime minister and a council of ministers to act as advisors and executors of his orders.

Khomeini was unable to get all he wanted because, at the time, he still needed the support of democrats, liberals and leftists to consolidate his hold on power. It was as a concession to them that he accepted the idea of having a constitution.

But at no point did he have the slightest intention of creating a constitutional system. And, for as long as he was alive, he acted as an absolute ruler with no regard for any constitutional constraints.

His successor, Ali Khamenehi, lacks the stature to continue the tradition. At the same time, the revolution is now but a faint memory for most Iranians. When Khomeini seized power in 1979, Iran had a population of 38 million. Today there are more than 70 million Iranians. This means that some two-thirds of Iranians were either not born or were too young to vote in the constitutional referendum that Khomeini organised almost a quarter of a century ago.

"A referendum would allow our people to decide what form of government they desire," says Shirin Ebadi, the winner of this year's Nobel Prize for Peace. The idea of holding a referendum has also received support from Reza Pahlavi, son of the late Shah who now leads the monarchist opposition, and the National Front, a grouping of dissidents built on the memory of Dr. Muhammad Mussadeq, the nationalist prime minister of the 1950s.

Some senior clerics, including Grand Ayatollah Ali Montazeri, are also calling for a referendum as a way out of the political impasse that could lead to violence.

"A referendum is better than a civil war," says Mohsen Kadivar, a pro-democracy mullah.

The idea of holding a referendum is also finding echoes within the ruling establishment. The Participation Front, a grouping that supported President Muhammad Khatami, has already called for constitutional amendment. And efforts are under way to form a new bloc of candidates for next March's general election under the banner of a referendum.

The idea of a referendum has also received support from the remnants of half a dozen leftist parties.

Despite wide agreement that a referendum is necessary, when it comes to what questions should be put to the people's vote, views diverge. The monarchists and the leftists want a referendum that would abolish the Islamic Republic altogether, replacing it either with a "constitutional monarchy" or a "People's Republic" in which religion has no place.

Revision of the constitution

Others, however, want a revision of the existing constitution. They want the position of "The Supreme Guide" abolished so that the Iranian system comes closer to that of its original model: the French Fifth Republic.

The directly-elected President of the Republic will be head of state and would have large powers, including that of naming the prime minister. But he would not have the power to suspend the constitution let alone interfere with the rules of Islam.

The most minimalist position on referendum is that of those who simply want the "Council of the Guardians of the Constitution" and the "Council for the Discernment of he Interest of the System" to be abolished. Such an amendment would leave the powers of "The Supreme Guide" intact while enhancing the powers of the elected president and parliament.

The referendum issue is likely to emerge as the key theme of next March's general election. Right now, however, prospects for a referendum appear rather dim. On the contrary, some hard-line theorists around Khamenehi are publicly calling for a suspension of the constitution and a period of direct rule by "The Supreme Guide". It may take some time before Iran makes a final choice between a peaceful referendum and violent regime change.

The writer, an Iranian author and journalist, is based in Europe. He can be contacted on his e-mail at amirtaheri@benadorassociates.com

http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/Opinion.asp?ArticleID=101492
7 posted on 10/29/2003 12:30:06 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Armitage Informs Senate of U.S. Policy Toward Iran

October 29, 2003
U.S. Department of States
Washington File

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1010280/posts?page=3#3

8 posted on 10/29/2003 12:31:44 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Amir Taheri: Iranians talk of reforms as constitution fails

Gulf News
29-10-2003

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1010280/posts?page=7#7
9 posted on 10/29/2003 12:32:32 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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Comment #10 Removed by Moderator

To: DoctorZIn
US eyes limited talks with Iran

BBC News
Wednesday, 29 October, 2003

America has said it is prepared to open limited talks with Iran but is against restoring normal diplomatic relations at this stage.

Contacts with the Islamic Republic could be made on issues such as Iraq and drugs, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage told Congress.

The move came after Iran moved to allay fears it is building a nuclear bomb.

Low-level talks broke off earlier this year after the US accused Iran of harbouring al-Qaeda members.

"We are prepared to engage in limited discussions with the Government of Iran about areas of mutual interest, as appropriate," Mr Armitage told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington.

"We have not entered into any broad dialogue with the aim of normalising relations."

He suggested the talks would not be one-on-one to start with but rather be in some kind of multilateral forum such as the United Nations.

The BBC's state department correspondent, Jon Leyne, says policy towards Iran is fiercely fought over in Washington and Mr Armitage's announcement may not be the end of the matter.

No Iranian reaction to Tuesday's announcement was immediately forthcoming.

Al-Qaeda question

Mr Armitage said Iran was withholding information about suspected members of al-Qaeda - the Islamic group held responsible for the 11 September 2001 attacks on America - on its territory.

"Despite public statements that they would co-operate with other countries, the Iranians have refused repeated requests to turn over or share intelligence about all al-Qaeda members and leaders they claim to have in custody..." he said.

"Resolution of this issue would be an important step in US-Iranian relations and we cannot move forward without this step."

Iran announced on Sunday that it had given the names of extradited al-Qaeda suspects to the UN Security Council but gave no details of detainees still in its custody.

Washington dismissed the announcement, insisting that all al-Qaeda suspects should be extradited to either the US, their country of origin or third countries.

Iran, however, said that the suspects had committed offences in Iran and would be tried in its courts.

Relations between the two countries have further been strained by suspicions that Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

Tehran agreed this month to enhanced UN inspections and said it would suspend its enrichment of uranium which could be used to make nuclear weapons.

Warning on Iraq

In another development on Tuesday, US President George W Bush warned Iran - along with Syria - not to let militants cross into Iraq from their territory.

"We are working closely with those countries to let them know we expect them to enforce borders," he said.

In his report to Congress, Mr Armitage noted that there had been some progress in ties with Iran.

Tehran, he said, had made pledges for the reconstruction of Iraq at the Madrid donors' conference and Iran had also agreed to move back some border posts that were on Iraqi territory.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3222649.stm
11 posted on 10/29/2003 12:59:21 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: All
Iran MPs hit out over killing

By Behzad Farsian in Teheran
29/10/2003
The Telegraph, UK

A report by Iran's reformist-dominated parliament yesterday condemned a hardline prosecutor over the killing of a Canadian photojournalist.

Zahra Kazemi, 54, a Canadian citizen born in Iran, was arrested in June for taking pictures outside Teheran's Evin prison, where many dissidents are held. She died in custody from a brain haemorrhage caused by a blow to the head.

Yesterday, a parliamentary commission dealing with press freedoms, attacked Teheran's chief prosecutor, Said Mortazavi, who has a reputation for jailing journalists and closing down newspapers. He had accused Ms Kazemi of spying and working without journalistic accreditation, and had blamed her death on a stroke.

"The detention of Kazemi was not justified and was against legal procedures," said the report broadcast on state-run radio.

The reformist MPs criticised Mr Mortazavi for failing to respond to questions. They are demanding a judicial investigation into his role. An intelligence ministry agent, Reza Ahmadi, has been charged with the killing, but MPs are examining a series of irregularities in the judicial investigation which led to him being accused.

The intelligence ministry, part of the reformist camp, claims the charges are politically motivated. In August, MPs said the hardline judiciary was responsible for Ms Kazemi's death and that she had already been struck on the head by the time she was handed over to the intelligence ministry.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2003/10/29/wiran29.xml&sSheet=/news/2003/10/29/ixworld.html
12 posted on 10/29/2003 1:00:50 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: All

The US Soldiers watch Iranian Border.

13 posted on 10/29/2003 1:04:20 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: seamole
Unfortunately.
14 posted on 10/29/2003 1:25:17 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: All
Iran says won't share al Qaeda information with U.S

Wed 29 October, 03
Reuters

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran says it will not share intelligence with the United States about al Qaeda members held in Iran despite repeated requests from Washington for it to do so.

"We don't have any relations with American security services so there is no reason to do anything on this issue," government spokesman Abdollah Ramazanzadeh told a weekly news conference on Wednesday.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said on Tuesday Washington was prepared to resume limited contacts with the Iranian government but that relations would not improve until Tehran shared intelligence on al Qaeda.

Washington broke off talks with Iranian officials over Afghanistan and Iraq in May after accusing Iran of sheltering al Qaeda members behind bombings in Riyadh on May 12 which killed 35 people, including nine Americans.

Iran denies cooperating with al Qaeda and says it has caught and extradited hundreds of suspected members of Osama bin Laden's network in the last two years.

Iran recently handed over to the United Nations Security Council a list of more than 200 names of al Qaeda members it has recently extradited to their home countries.

But it refuses to publicly announce details of those al Qaeda members it still holds in custody, thought to include some senior members of the organisation.

"Despite public statements that they would cooperate with other countries, the Iranians have refused repeated requests to turn over or share intelligence about all al Qaeda members and leaders they claim to have in custody," Armitage told a Senate committee hearing.

Iran has said it plans to try some of the al Qaeda members it is holding and will extradite the rest to their countries of origin.

http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsPackageArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=395894&section=news
15 posted on 10/29/2003 3:17:50 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: Arkie2; DoctorZIn
Come on over to the active thread. You can be added to Doctor ZIn's ping list, if you so desire. Read through the posts, there is always a lot to learn about the situation in Iran, the reform movement and the student protestors.

The other threads are for a MUST READ ARCHIVE, and are separate from the running daily commentary.

16 posted on 10/29/2003 5:44:29 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (You may forget the one with whom you have laughed, but never the one with whom you have wept.)
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To: Semper Paratus
ping
17 posted on 10/29/2003 6:04:06 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (You may forget the one with whom you have laughed, but never the one with whom you have wept.)
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To: DoctorZIn
You have Freepmail!
18 posted on 10/29/2003 6:19:11 AM PST by Marie Antoinette (Caaaarefully poke the toothpick through the plastic...)
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To: Hans
Pinging you to the active daily thread. Welcome!
19 posted on 10/29/2003 7:02:02 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (You may forget the one with whom you have laughed, but never the one with whom you have wept.)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
Thanks for your supports!
20 posted on 10/29/2003 7:25:56 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn
U.S. Plans Funding Broadcasts into Iran

October 29, 2003
United Press International
Eli J. Lake

The State Department plans to fund some independent Iranian radio and television stations that broadcast into that country, a senior official told Congress yesterday.

Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the U.S. support for the private Iranian broadcasters would be on a "case- by-case basis."

The department would consider funding for these stations through the Middle East Partnership Initiative, a program started last year to support democratic movements in the Middle East and spur the region's authoritarian regimes to reform, he said.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Elizabeth Cheney, daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, oversees the initiative and has received more than $100 million so far in funding for its projects.

Since last spring, the State Department and Sen. Sam Brownback, Kansas Republican, have been locked in a battle over U.S. funding for U.S.-based satellite stations that broadcast into Iran and are run by Iranian exiles who seek to overthrow the Islamic Republic's theocracy.

Unlike current U.S. broadcasting into Iran that is overseen by the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the exile-run stations usually broadcast a much tougher line against the ruling mullahs in Tehran and have been more closely associated with the son of the late shah of Iran, Reza Pahlavi.

One such station, Azadi (Freedom) TV, has been operating for the past year at a considerable loss.

"We needed the money like yesterday," the station's owner, Fariborz Abbassi, said in an interview yesterday. He said he raises on average around $25,000 a month from individuals in Europe and the United States, but his costs exceed $120,000.

In April, Mr. Brownback proposed legislation to set up a $50 million annual fund for Iranian democracy, with much of the money set aside for satellite stations, according to a former Brownback staff member who worked closely on the legislation.

Mr. Armitage's announcement yesterday "seems to be a new position" for the State Department, the official said. "Previously, they had opposed any of our efforts to reach out to these independent groups."

http://www.washtimes.com/world/20031028-083513-7057r.htm
21 posted on 10/29/2003 7:58:24 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
U.S. Plans Funding Broadcasts into Iran

October 29, 2003
United Press International
Eli J. Lake

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1010280/posts?page=21#21

This is great news! -- DoctorZin
22 posted on 10/29/2003 8:00:27 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Memo From Iraq: We Will Be Free

October 29, 2003
Capitol Hill Blue
Ken Joseph Jr.

On a quiet afternoon in Baghdad I waited with some trepidation for a meeting with a member of the Preparatory Committee for the Constitution of the Iraqi Governing Council. This is the group charged with putting together the recommendations for the new Iraqi constitution.

I say with trepidation because after conversations with Ambassador Paul Bremer and sitting in on his testimony before Congressional Committees it seemed clear that the Iraqi constitution would be an Islamic one.

Critic after critic I spoke to was clear that the battle for a secular constitution for Iraq was over. Words such as "they are just going to have to live with it," referred to the minority Assyrian Christians, of whom I am one. As can be imagined, many Christians in Iraq are alarmed at the prospect of a post-Saddam Iraq being even worse than when he was in power, and that a secular dictator will be replaced by an Islamic fundamentalist regime.

The most important issue facing Iraq is in fact the constitution. If a secular constitution is put in place establishing the rule of law with a clear separation of church and state, then there is truly a future for Iraq. Having been born and raised in Japan I have lived the miracle of what an American-imposed constitution did for a nation in a similar state as Iraq now finds itself in. The constitution is critical.

Ambassador Bremer when asked the question "will the future Iraqi constitution contain the words 'Islam is the religion of the State' replied 'that is for the Iraqis to decide -- after all the British constitution is 'Christian.'"

His clear testimony, much to the consternation of the committee members was that they were doing the best to get a good, secular constitution for the Iraqi people but that as a Muslim country they really had no choice and could not insist.

Imagine my surprise when I began to speak with the representative from the very committee charged with making the recommendations for the constitution of Iraq.

"The committee will be recommending that there be no inclusion of any ideology or religion in the constitution."

I was expecting to get into an argument as to how Iraq must not have an Islamic constitution if there was any hope for the country to succeed. I was completely taken aback as the representative continued.

"If there is any mention of religion or ideology or a phrase such as 'Islam is the religion of the state,' it will be the death of democracy in Iraq."

Any such mention would disenfranchise half of the Iraqi population -- namely the women.

I could not believe my ears. I thought the Iraqi committee as had been clearly presented in Washington were going to put together a constitution that was Islamic. The Coalition was doing all it could to persuade them otherwise but it was a losing battle.

The representative continued: "The Iraqi people are secular and will never accept any mention of this in the constitution. We do not want to become like Iran.

"We just want to become like a normal country. We want a constitution that is secular and gives local autonomy. It is against the teaching of the Koran to allow religion's involvement in government.

"We have suffered for many, many long years under dictatorship and we will never, never lose this chance for democracy and freedom that has finally come to us."

I was stunned! Why was the message so different?

I then proceeded to explain the testimony of Ambassador Bremer before various congressional committees which I had attended as well as my personal conversation with him.

The response was immediate anger! "That is none of Mr. Bremer's business!"

Then the anger turned to surprise. "We thought the Americans wanted democracy to grow in Iraq? Why would they even think of an Islamic constitution?"

What could I say? I had no words! Why in the world would the Americans fight a war to liberate Iraq only to let the country fall into an Islamic government worse than the one it had before?

Well, there is hope. The Iraqis are more intelligent than we give them credit for and their message is simple. Do not speak for us. We will speak for ourselves. We will never allow victory to be snatched from us. We will be free.

(Rev. Ken Joseph Jr., an Assyrian has been in Iraq since before the war and is currently writing a book based on his experiences in Iraq entitled "I Was Wrong.")

http://205.177.120.143/artman/publish/article_3369.shtml
23 posted on 10/29/2003 8:01:35 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
New Iran Information Revealed in Rafsanjani - Statoil Scandal

October 29, 2003
Nettavisen
Carin Pettersson

A letter sent by the former director of International affairs, Richard Hubbard, revealed that the acting executive director Inge K. Hansen is connected to the scandal in Iran. Furthermore, it is becoming evident that it was ex president’s son Rafsanjani who provided Statoil with information about the current situations in the country.

The plot thickens as the letter from Hubbard, which was revealed Tuesday, states that the acting executive director Inge K. Hansen was one of the five directors who agreed to enter into the controversial Iran agreement.

Hansen allegedly said that “1.5 million dollars annually is cheap for consultancy.”

However, the Statoil board still has confidence in Hansen, stated Kaci Kullman Five, acting chairperson, the Norwegian television channel Tuesday evening.

According to Hubbard’s letter, it is Medhi Hashemi Rafsanjani, the son of the powerful ex president in Iran, who is the actual advisor for Statoil in Iran. Horton Investments, the company which is listed as the official partner, is less important.

According to Hubbard, it was Rafsanjani who suggested that the consultant agreement should be directed through Abbas Yazdi and his company Horton Investments.

Medhi Hashemi Rafsanjani is referred to as “Junior” in Hubbard’s letter due to his status as son of the president.

The letter allegedly stated; “Junior” gave us good advice about the business conditions and current political relations. It was a great help.

According to the Norwegian financial paper Dagens Næringsliv, Richard Hubbard had a strained relation to Inge K. Hansen.

http://pub.tv2.no/nettavisen/english/article149737.ece
24 posted on 10/29/2003 8:02:32 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Slogans, cheers welcome Ms. Ebadi in high security speech at Amir Kabir University

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Oct 29, 2003

Slogans and cheers greeted, today, Ms. Ebadi, the first Iranian Nobelist, at the Amir Kabir University of Tehran.

The speech, organized under high security measures, focused on the promotion of rights and changes "from within" but was cut at several occasions by students who shouted slogans against the regime and its incompetent reformers.

These protests brought the speaker to try to justify her controversial declaration and even taking a nationalistic tone by offering her prize to Cyrus the Great (Founder of Iran) and to all those "who are in the jails for their beleives". The students slogans forced her as well to correct herself by stating that if she speaks about existence of rights, she's in reality comparing the "improvement of the rights situation with 20 years ago".

Ms. Ebadi is under sharp critisizms following her irresponsible comments praising Khatami for "his achivements and right to have won the Peace Prize" as well as calling for "reforms from within".

In less than 2 weeks following her awarding, many Iranians are qualifying her as a 2nd Khatami promoted by "mercantilist Europeans" in order to win time for the regime.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_3278.shtml
25 posted on 10/29/2003 8:03:47 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
This is great news!

Definately. I saw much of Mr. Armitage's testimony yesterday. He's one of the few who really 'gets it', and is unafraid to say it.

26 posted on 10/29/2003 8:04:08 AM PST by StriperSniper (All this, of course, is simply pious fudge. - H. L. Mencken)
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To: All
Iran's Parliament pegs Kazemi's death on 'butcher of the press'

Statement broadcast live: Prosecutor-general deliberately hid cause of death, reformists say

Graeme Hamilton and Norma Greenaway
National Post of Canada
29th of October, 03


Iran's Parliament yesterday blamed the death of Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi on Tehran's notorious prosecutor-general, Saeed Mortazavi, a man who earned the nickname "the butcher of the press" by closing more than 100 newspapers.

In a dramatic statement broadcast live on state-run Tehran radio, a parliamentary commission said Mr. Mortazavi was responsible for Ms. Kazemi's illegal detention and the subsequent attempt to cover up the fatal beating she received.

"The detention of Kazemi ... was not justified ... and against legal procedures," the Parliament said in its report on the killing, read in an open session against the objections of conservatives concerned about harming the country's image.

Bill Graham, Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, welcomed the parliamentary report as "a very positive development."

He said the Canadian government has always maintained there is "an internal political dimension" to Ms. Kazemi's death. "Her death gives the reformers in Iran an opportunity to step up to the conservatives who run the judiciary and say to them, "Look, you mishandled this,' " Mr. Graham said.

He said the report clearly indicates reformers have "no faith" in the prosecutor, and it confirms the need to maintain a strong Canadian diplomatic presence in the country.

The Parliament said Mr. Mortazavi, who initially claimed Ms. Kazemi had died of a stroke, deliberately hid the circumstances of her death.

Citing police and intelligence reports, the report said Ms. Kazemi was first severely beaten by judiciary officials in Evin prison, north of Tehran. Guards who witnessed the beating were forced to change their reports.

The Parliament accused Mr. Mortazavi of levelling false accusations that Ms. Kazemi was a spy and had no permission to work as a journalist. Its report said Ms. Kazemi carried an official media card authorized by Culture Ministry officials.

The accusations are evidence of a power struggle between the reformist-dominated Parliament and the conservative judiciary, which is aligned with the country's unelected but all-powerful religious leaders.

Stockwell Day, the Canadian Alliance foreign affairs critic, called on the Liberal government to increase diplomatic pressure on Iran.

"It was the hope of the guilty murderers to drag the investigation process out so long that the glare of international scrutiny would fade away. We cannot allow that to happen," Mr. Day said in a written statement. "Now more than ever, Canada must be relentless in publicly pressuring Mortazavi to resign from this case. He is a known state enforcer who may have played a first-hand role in the killing."

This is not the first time Mr. Mortazavi's name has surfaced in connection with Ms. Kazemi's death.

She was arrested on June 23 while taking pictures of demonstrators outside Evin prison. She fell into a coma while in custody and died on July 10.

In July, the French newspaper Libération, quoting unnamed sources, reported Mr. Mortazavi struck Ms. Kazemi on the head with a shoe during her interrogation.

Maurice Copithorne, a law professor at the University of British Columbia, who, until last year was a United Nations special representative on the human rights situation in Iran, said Mr. Mortazavi was an enemy of the free press.

"One name always popped up with regard to cases where there was an egregious denial of the rights of the newspapers concerned, and that name was Saeed Mortazavi," he said.

Mr. Mortazavi is a prominent figure in the regime, and singling him out for blame is much different than trying to blame some rogue element.

"It would cost someone quite a lot of face to have him put on trial," Mr. Copithorne said.

Karim Lahidji, a legal advisor to Ms. Kazemi's son and president of the Paris-based Iranian League for Human Rights, said the Parliament's report was an unprecedented challenge to Mr. Mortazavi. He noted the report effectively clears the intelligence agent currently on trial for the killing.

"The real guards were under the authority of Mortazavi, and they are still at work to find other Zahra Kazemis and torture them," Mr. Lahidji said.

Mr. Copithorne said the report is evidence that the reformers in Parliament are willing to assert themselves. "It's far from certain whether anyone will ever be charged and convicted, but the longer the issue is kept alive, the more political pressure is maintained on the governing elite," he said.

http://www.nationalpost.com/national/story.html?id=1B9970EA-7C9B-4858-84D5-ECAB38644715
27 posted on 10/29/2003 8:06:41 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn
Sometimes we mustn't berate the Defense Dept., when they come through like this! Excellent news, Doctor ZIn!
28 posted on 10/29/2003 8:15:06 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (You may forget the one with whom you have laughed, but never the one with whom you have wept.)
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To: DoctorZIn
Bump!
29 posted on 10/29/2003 9:20:14 AM PST by windchime
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
NO ONE SPEAKS FOR ALL MUSLIMS
Amir Taheri
October 29, 2003 -- A FEW months ago, during a meeting with Mahathir Mohamed in London, I asked the 77-year-old politician what he intended to do after retiring as prime minister of Malaysia this October. He said he had not decided, and asked whether I had any ideas. I thought he might make a good roving ambassador for Islam. "Oh, no," he responded. "I won't be any good. I cannot control my tongue."

This month, Mahathir proved that his self-assessment was right. In a speech at the 10th Islamic summit in Kuala Lumpur, he began by urging Muslims to abandon violence and to embrace the modern world. But then he went on to claim that the modern world, which he had lavishly praised, had been created by the Jews who also continue to rule it. This was typical Mahathir.

The reaction to it was also typical. The Bush administration instantly came out with outright condemnation. The British expressed dismay and regret. The European Union, persuaded by French President Jacques Chirac (who did not wish to sound like the Americans), decided not to react.

That is understandable. What is not understandable is that many commentators in the West, especially in the United States, have presented Mahathir as a spokesman for the Muslim world as a whole. Mahathir has no such position.

One difficulty in the so-called "dialog of civilizations" is that many in the West try to understand Islam in Christian terms. This is partly a problem of semantics. The term Christendom defines the existential reality of Christian states, while the term Christianity defines the religion of Christ. There are no equivalent terms to distinguish Islam as a religion from the existential reality of 57 Muslim states.

Another difficulty is that many Westerners cannot conceive of a religion without a formal structure resembling a church, and no clergy resembling the Christian priesthood. In Islam, however, there is neither church nor clergy in the Christian sense.

There are, to be sure, large numbers of mullahs, muftis, moulawis and other individuals who earn a living by offering religious opinions. But they have no sacerdotal mandate. There is no mechanism through which any particular opinion could be presented as that of all, or even a substantial number, of Muslims.

The problem is compounded by the fact that we have a large number of organizations using the "Islamic" label.

Mahathir was addressing a summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). His speech was broadcast by the Islamic News Agency. There are a dozen more "Islamic" outfits. These are all political organizations that operate in a perfectly secular manner and must be regarded as parts of the paraphernalia of international diplomatic, cultural and economic relations. What they say and do may reflect the views of Islamdom, to coin a phrase, but not necessarily of Islam as a faith.

The West's perplexity is understandable. And the confusion will continue for as long as we use the label Islamic where it is not warranted.

It is also a fact that anyone who tries to understand the policies of any Muslim country in strictly religious terms would reap nothing but confusion. The Kuala Lumpur summit made that amply clear.

Russia, which has massacred more Muslims in Chechnya than all the victims of all the Arab-Israeli wars, was admitted as an associate member of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Russian President Vladimir Putin received a hero's welcome in Malaysia.

India, which has the world's second-largest population of Muslims, was refused even as an observer because Pakistan was against it. The Turkish Cypriot government was also shut out because Greece, which backs the Greek Cypriot government, has always supported the Arab position on Palestine.

Muslim states behave like any other state - that is to say, in accordance with real or imagined geopolitical and other secular interests, and not on the basis of any religious agenda.

No, Mahathir was not talking on behalf of Islam. He was talking as a political leader who happens to be a Muslim, in a country where non-Muslims account for nearly half the population. Some Muslims liked what he said, and some did not.

But this could be true of a statement made by any politician anywhere in the world.

http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/9335.htm

30 posted on 10/29/2003 9:58:18 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (You may forget the one with whom you have laughed, but never the one with whom you have wept.)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
Iraq attacks carried out by supporters of "occupation"

TEHRAN, Oct 29, (AFP) -- Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi has reasoned that a string of devastating bombings in and around the Iraqi capital have been carried out by those seeking to prolong the US occupation of the country, the official news agency IRNA reported.

Describing the situation in neighbouring Iraq as "dangerous", Kharazi said "the attack against the International Committee of the Red Cross was launched by those who want the occupation forces to stay in Iraq".

IRNA did not say if Kharazi elaborated on the comment, although he was quoted as calling for a rapid transfer of sovereignty to Iraqis and a central role for the United Nations.

The United States blames a combination of supporters of ousted president Saddam Hussein and foreign fighters possibly linked to the al-Qaeda network.

http://www.iranmania.com/News/ArticleView/Default.asp?NewsCode=19147&NewsKind=Current%20Affairs

31 posted on 10/29/2003 10:02:16 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (You may forget the one with whom you have laughed, but never the one with whom you have wept.)
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To: boris
Ping.

Join us at the Iranian Alert daily thread. Welcome!
32 posted on 10/29/2003 10:13:31 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (You may forget the one with whom you have laughed, but never the one with whom you have wept.)
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To: F14 Pilot
"Iran's Parliament yesterday blamed the death of Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi on Tehran's notorious prosecutor-general, Saeed Mortazavi, a man who earned the nickname "the butcher of the press" by closing more than 100 newspapers."
"In a dramatic statement broadcast live on state-run Tehran radio, a parliamentary commission said Mr. Mortazavi was responsible for Ms. Kazemi's illegal detention and the subsequent attempt to cover up the fatal beating she received."
"The Parliament accused Mr. Mortazavi of levelling false accusations that Ms. Kazemi was a spy and had no permission to work as a journalist. Its report said Ms. Kazemi carried an official media card authorized by Culture Ministry officials."

Yea!!!!! Get rid of this murdering sociopath!
33 posted on 10/29/2003 1:54:05 PM PST by nuconvert
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To: DoctorZIn
THE IRAN-AL-QAEDA CONNECTION

With its leadership scattered and traditional safe haven destroyed, a new crop of operatives have begun to reconstitute al-Qaeda from a new base of operations in the Middle East. High-level members of the terrorist network -- including Saad bin Laden, one of Osama bin Laden's oldest sons, al-Qaeda operations chief Saif al-Adel, and Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, the organization's chief financial officer -- are now operating out of Iran, from where they have begun to coordinate the organization's global activities. These al-Qaeda elements are said to be protected by Qods Force, a branch of Islamic Republic's feared Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or Pasdaran. Highly-trained and politically powerful, the unit has long been a liaison between Iran's hard-line clergy and an array of prominent international terrorist groups, and is suspected of having provided safe haven and tactical assistance to al-Qaeda elements in the aftermath of the U.S. campaign in Afghanistan. (Washington Post, October 14, 2003) from:

Eurasia Security Watch No. 3, October 29, 2003
American Foreign Policy Council, Washington, DC
http://www.afpc.org

Editor: Ilan Berman
Associate Editor: Artem Agoulnik

Enough with the diplospeak--Iran is a terrorist state.

34 posted on 10/29/2003 5:36:58 PM PST by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: DoctorZIn
Nobel Winner Says She Owes Award To Jailed Intellectuals

October 29, 2003
Dow Jones Newswires
The Associated Press

TEHRAN -- Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi praised modern and ancient enemies of the Islamic hard-liners who rule Iran, saying Wednesday she owes her award to those jailed here for their beliefs and to the example set by a sixth century B.C. pioneer of human rights in Persia.

Earlier this month, Ebadi, a lawyer and rights campaigner, became the first Muslim woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Since then, Iranian reformers have looked to her to rally opposition to hard-liners who say the country's cleric-controlled system of government can't be changed.

After a speech Wednesday that drew wild applause from over 1,000 students at Amir Kabir University, Ebadi made a small but telling gesture: shaking hands with two men, Habibollah Peyman and Mohammad Maleki, both prominent dissidents. Under Iran's Islamic-inspired laws, it's a crime for men and women who aren't related to shake hands in public. Possible punishments range from jail to flogging.

In her speech, Ebadi named some of Iran's prominent jailed reformers and intellectuals.

"Let's remember those who are not with us because of their beliefs, including Hashem Aghajari, Abbas Abdi and Naser Zarafshan," she said.

Aghajari, a history professor at Tehran's Teachers Training University, was sentenced to death last year for questioning clerical rule in a speech. His sentence was reduced following nationwide protests and he now is serving a four-year jail term.

Abdi, a top member of the reformist Islamic Iran Participation Front, is serving an eight-year sentence after being convicted in February of selling classified information to foreign intelligence agencies, a charge stemming from a poll he conducted showed strong public support for dialogue with the U.S.

Lawyer Zarafshan was found guilty last year on charges of divulging state secrets and illegal possession of a firearm after speaking out about the murders of Iranian dissidents. He is serving a five-year sentence.

Dozens of political activists, journalists and others have been jailed on vague charges of working against the Islamic establishment. Ebadi herself was convicted in a closed trial three years ago of slandering government officials. She spent three weeks in jail before being given a suspended sentence.

"The road to the peace prize was also paved through the pains and sufferings of people who have spent many years in jail because of their beliefs...long live all those who paved this road," Ebadi said Wednesday.

In her first press conference in Iran as a Nobel laureate, Ebadi earlier this month demanded Iranian leaders free all "political prisoners," including journalists and activists jailed for alleged crimes against the Islamic establishment. Wednesday, she said there has been no response from the leadership.

Ebadi, though, told the students not to lose hope that democratic reforms in Iran can be achieved peacefully.

http://framehosting.dowjonesnews.com/sample/samplestory.asp?StoryID=2003102919180010&Take=1
35 posted on 10/29/2003 5:38:42 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Photos Prompt Iran Attack Fears

October 29, 2003
Hendon and Finchley Times
Lawrence Marzouk

Reports that suspected Iranian terrorists have been photographing synagogues in the borough have fuelled fears that an attack is being prepared on a Jewish target.

Last week's Sunday Telegraph claimed that 20 Iranians, many of them students, were involved in surveillance operations on numerous buildings used by the Jewish community in London, and two have subsequently been deported. The article quoted unnamed intelligence sources speculating on a possible link to an al-Qaeda terror attack within the next few months.

Since then, the Sternberg Centre in East End Road, Finchley, which houses the New North London Synagogue (NNLS), has confirmed it was photographed in suspicious circumstances.

Brian Berelowitz, chairman of NNLS, said: "There was a photograph incident some time ago, about three months. The person was stopped. [When I heard of the Sunday Telegraph report] it worried me with the past incident."

He refused to be drawn further on details of the incident, including on whether there was a link to Iran or al-Qaeda.

The Community Security Trust (CST), which provides security measures for most of the UK's Jewish public sites, confirmed that at least one Jewish community building had been targeted, but refused to say which one or if other similar incidents had taken place.

A spokeswoman said: "We have been warned of a Jewish community building being photographed. We have a high level of security at the moment. We are asking members of the community to be very vigilant."

Mr Berelowitz said: "We will have to discuss what level of alert the synagogue takes. But we do not take the decision, the CST takes it."

Iran has a history of terrorist activity abroad as the sponsor of the militant Islamic group Hizbullah.

Hadi Soleimanpour, the former Iranian ambassador to Argentina, was arrested in Britain this August in connection with the bombing of a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires in 1994 which killed 85 people.

Two Palestinian students, Jawad Botmeh and Samar Alami, were convicted of a car-bomb attack on a Jewish charity in Tally Ho Corner, North Finchley, in 1994, which injured four people.

Al-Qaeda leaders have urged terrorist cells to attack synagogues and Jewish sites, and two al-Qaeda-linked attacks last year were directed at Jewish targets in Mombasa, Kenya, and Casablanca, Morocco.

Barnet is home to the UK's largest Jewish community — around 46,000 — as well as an estimated 5,000 Iranians, many of them opposed to the current regime in Tehran.

Massoud Zabeti, from Golders Green, is a prominent member of the Iranian community with links to the Iranian opposition party and believes that these are clear signs of preparation for an attack. He said: "There have been surveillance operation against Iranian dissidents and foreigners for years — this is typical of how the Iranian regime operates. This is the type of thing which the Iranian people have been warning about for years.

"We should be more vigilant with what they are doing. If we are not more vigilant, there might be an attack."

But the Metropolitan Police do not believe an attack is imminent. A spokesman said: "We have no knowledge of that incident. Since 9/11, the level of threat is, and remains, very high. We do not discuss security matters."

If you see anything suspicious, call New Scotland Yard's anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789321.

http://www.hendontimes.co.uk/news/localnews/display.var.427533.0.photos_prompt_iran_attack_fears.php
36 posted on 10/29/2003 5:56:07 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iraqi Council Blames Foreign Terrorists for Deadly Bombings

October 29, 2003
The New York Times
Susan Sachs

BAGHDAD -- Iraqi political leaders lined up behind President Bush today, blaming foreign terrorists for the latest wave of suicide bombings and calling on Syria and Iran to help control the violence by closing their borders.

"Our investigations and inquiries have revealed that a number of those who have executed the terrorist acts in Iraq have entered the country across the borders from neighboring countries," the Iraqi Governing Council said in a statement.

The reproach to Iran and Syria, both opponents of the occupation, signified a sharper new tone in the Iraqis' foreign policy toward their powerful neighbors.

Mr. Bush, whose administration selected the members of the transitional Iraqi government council, also blamed the attacks on outside militants and ousted members of Saddam Hussein's security forces.

American military commanders on the ground, however, have said they have not seen significant infiltration of foreign fighters into Iraq.

Even as insurgents widened their attacks this week to include clearly civilian neighborhoods, American military casualties also spiked with a new round of mortar attacks, roadside bombs and shootings.

The American death toll from the daily bombings now exceeds the number of American combat deaths in the war to overthrow Mr. Hussein's dictatorship.

Military officials said two soldiers with the Fourth Infantry Division soldiers were killed today and one was wounded when their tank hit an improvised bomb. They also said one soldier with the First Armored Division was killed and six others wounded in Baghdad in a rocket-propelled grenade attack.

The differing assessments of the presence of foreign fighters suggest that despite their concerns for Iraq's borders, the American-led occupation forces do not yet have a clear picture of who has organized and carried out the increasingly devastating attacks on coalition troops and Iraqi civilians.

The attackers certainly include some Iraqis from the old security apparatus who may be fighting out of loyalty to the deposed Baath Party or out of a sense of humiliation after Iraq's defeat, according to Iraqis familiar with the capabilities of their country's once-powerful military.

The occupation authority has at least one person in custody who was involved in the five coordinated car bombings in Baghdad on Monday, when at least 34 people were killed and more than 230 injured. The suspect was caught running from a sixth vehicle rigged with explosives.

Iraq's health minister, Khudair Abbas, said the would-be suicide bomber was carrying a Syrian passport, according to a report on the Arabic satellite news station Al Jazeera.

The bombers in four other explosions that took place in Baghdad that day, when at least 34 people were killed and 230 wounded, were apparently incinerated after detonating their explosives.

The International Committee of the Red Cross, meanwhile, said it would scale back its staff in Iraq but would not pull out entirely. Its office in Baghdad was hit in the Monday suicide bombings. Other aid groups had drastically reduced their presence in south and central Iraq after the United Nations headquarters here was attacked in August, and the United Nations maintains only a small staff now.

The Iraqi Governing Council, which said it would deliver its message directly to Syria later in the week, called on its "brotherly neighboring countries" to take a clear stand to condemn the attacks by guerillas. Syrian and Iran have also been under pressure from Washington to better police their borders with Iraq.

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/29/international/middleeast/29CND-IRAQ.html
37 posted on 10/29/2003 5:57:01 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
US Lawmakers Warn World Bank Against Lending To Iran

October 29, 2003
Dow Jones Newswires
Joseph Rebello

WASHINGTON -- U.S. lawmakers are growing increasingly alarmed by the World Bank's plans to boost loans to Iran despite new evidence that the country has secretly been developing technology that could be used to make nuclear weapons.

For three years, ever since the bank ended a seven-year hiatus in lending to Iran, lawmakers have mostly been silent over the loans. Rep. Brad Sherman, a California Democrat, regularly grumbled about them but few of his colleagues joined him. That changed Wednesday, when several lawmakers denounced the loans and upbraided the Bush administration for failing to stop them.

"A country that's able to pursue a nuclear-weapons program hardly ought to be able to plead poverty when it comes to dealing with the needs of its people," said Rep. Barney Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat. "Secondly we have a regime that's violative of human rights internally, and of the requirements of civility between nations externally."

Frank said the loans could undermine popular support for U.S. participation in the World Bank. "This is a very serious warning...to other countries that have votes on the board of the World Bank," he said at a hearing. "If they continue, they will make the job of American cooperation with the bank, which I regard as a very desirable thing, much harder than it is."

Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency recently found traces of highly enriched uranium at an underground nuclear facility that the country had kept secret for years. The IAEA said Iran hasn't lived up to the terms of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which it signed in 1970, and gave the government an Oct. 31 deadline to provide a full accounting of its nuclear activities.

The World Bank, however, has shown no sign of suspending plans that call for disbursing nearly $1 billion in loans to Iran over the next few years. "We are trying to build relationships with Iran," World Bank President James Wolfensohn said in a speech Wednesday. "We are trying to support more moderate actions and we are doing some few projects there in relation to social projects."

Since 2000, the bank has approved $432 million in loans to Iran - over the objections of the U.S. government, which is required by Congress to vote against them. William Schuerch, a deputy assistant Treasury secretary, told lawmakers Wednesday that the government hasn't been able to persuade other leading shareholders of the bank to vote against the loans.

"The commercial opportunities in Iran, where U.S. companies could not compete due to U.S. sanctions, have been enticing to many of our G-7 partners," he said, referring to the Group of Seven industrial nations. Moreover, he said, European countries think the loans will bolster Iran's political reformers in their struggle with the hardline clerics that rule the nation.

But although Schuerch said the U.S. government hasn't been "fully successful" in stopping approval the loans, he suggested it has made significant progress in keeping the cash from flowing. So far the bank has released just $42 million of the $432 million in loans approved, Schuerch said.

"If I were going to be aggressive, I could try to assert the United States has been successful behind the scenes in order to stop the disbursement, or slow it down substantially," he said. But he said that assertion would have "particular problems with other shareholders."

The bank's managers, he said, would argue that the funds haven't been released because "Iran is a particularly difficult place to do business in, and they are having trouble getting started."

Schuerch nevertheless got an earful from lawmakers who said the Bush administration has either been too gentle or too inconsistent in its approach to Iran.

"There are moments in which we list them on the 'axis of evil,' say they're developing nuclear weapons (and) think it's a high priority to stop it," said Rep. Rahm Emanuel, an Illinois Democrat. "We know they're supporting terrorist groups, and yet we're giving them financial assistance. All I'm saying is for me it's a bit confusing."

Sherman, the California Democrat, asked Schuerch whether the government had threatened to retaliate against World Bank shareholders that voted for the loans. "Have we deprived them of a single hors d'oeuvre, or have we basically said you can vote the way you want to, you can subsidize the nuclear destruction of American cities if it ever comes to that, and you won't lose a single hors d'oeuvre?" he said.

Schuerch said the Bush administration hadn't threatened any country "with that kind of behavior." That triggered a heated exchange with Sherman. "This administration cares more about our banana exports - which we don't even grow here - than it does defending American security from this threat," Sherman said.

Schuerch replied: "I think you better count the number of troops that we have over in this part of the world, if that's what you think. This issue is much broader than Treasury or a few dollars out of an international institution...We have Americans next door to this country...dying day by day."

Some lawmakers have proposed legislation that would reduce U.S. contributions to the World Bank in the amount of the loans that it makes to Iran. But at the hearing Wednesday, Schuerch said the World Bank isn't an appropriate forum for resolving short-term political problems. Other experts who testified agreed.

"There are grave risks to U.S. interests if foreign-policy considerations dominate decisions about World Bank lending," said Patrick Clawson, deputy director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. "Many governments oppose aspects of U.S. foreign policy, and they could be tempted to block U.S. loans allies," including Iraq, he said. The World Bank has proposed lending up to $5 billion to Iraq by 2007.

Ray Takeyh, a professor of national security studies at the National Defense University, said the suspension of World Bank loans to Iran wouldn't change its government's attitude toward the sponsorship of terrorism and the development of nuclear weapons.

"The trajectory of Iran's foreign policy and its overall conduct reveals that the theocracy responds only when it is confronted with multilateral pressure spearheaded by important commercial partners, particularly the European Union and Japan," Takeyh said. "A U.S. policy that encompasses American pressure and European determination will have far-reaching effects on Iran and extract important concessions from the theocracy."

-By Joseph Rebello, Dow Jones Newswires; 202-862-9279; joseph.rebello.com

(Elizabeth Price contributed to this report.)

http://framehosting.dowjonesnews.com/sample/samplestory.asp?StoryID=2003102921260031&Take=1
38 posted on 10/29/2003 5:57:55 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
And the truth shall make you free.
39 posted on 10/29/2003 6:19:40 PM PST by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: DoctorZIn
DEPUTY SECRETARY ARMITAGE: "Iran is a democracy. Iraq and North Korea are not."

-Dec. 13, 2002 in Australia when asked to make distinctions regarding Iran ,Iraq, and North Korea.

Don't forget that Armitage is an animal of the State Department and the State Department CANNOT BE TRUSTED.
40 posted on 10/29/2003 6:26:51 PM PST by wolf24
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To: SouthernFreebird; Argus
Join us in the daily Iranian Alert thread where you can learn the latest news and add to the commentary.
41 posted on 10/29/2003 6:47:54 PM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (You may forget the one with whom you have laughed, but never the one with whom you have wept.)
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To: Akira
Welcome to the Iranian Daily alert thread that keeps everyone informed on the latest news, as well has containing excellent commentary on the student movement in Iran.
42 posted on 10/29/2003 6:54:39 PM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (You may forget the one with whom you have laughed, but never the one with whom you have wept.)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
Thanks. I'm on DoctorZIn's daily ping list.
43 posted on 10/29/2003 6:57:48 PM PST by Akira (Blessed are the cheesemakers.)
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To: Akira
It's such a LONG list, it is easy to lose a name in the shuffle. My apologies, but I just wanted to make a distinction between the two groups of postings.

Best wishes.
44 posted on 10/29/2003 7:02:00 PM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (You may forget the one with whom you have laughed, but never the one with whom you have wept.)
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To: DoctorZIn
IRAN REPEATED CONDITIONS FOR IMPROVING TIES WITH WASHINGTON

PARIS 29 Oct. (IPS)

Iran cold shouldered recent American suggestions of adopting a "flexible, dynamic and multifaceted" policy towards Tehran, saying one "can not pose threats on the one hand and then call for talks on the other.

In a statement read to the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Richard Hermitage, the Under Secretary of State in charge of the Middle East said the United States intends to pursue a "flexible, dynamic and multifaceted" policy toward Iran in order to encourage the Iranian people's desire for greater freedom while countering negative policies of their government, such as pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and support for terrorism".

However, he warned that relations would not improve until Iran hand over to the American Justice the members of the al-Qa’eda organisation it held in its prisons, stops supporting terrorist groups and renounces to producing nuclear weapons.

"The United States is always prepared to change its policies toward Iran if the country ceases its support for terrorism and abandons its weapons of mass destruction programs", Mr. Armitage told American lawmakers, pointing out that negotiations with Iran on issues of mutual concern, like Iraq or fighting drugs would continue at "low-level" and in "multi-party talks".

In response, Mr. Abdollah Ramezanzadeh, the Iranian government official spokesman said that the United States must take "practical steps" to improve relations with Iran. "We are looking forward to the US practical measures", he said, adding that Washington must end sanctions it had enforced against the Islamic Republic, free Iranian assets it has blocked and ends baseless charges in order to build confidence.

"You cannot pose threats on one hand, block Iranian national assets, fabricate charges against Iran and then call for talks", the official news agency IRNA quoted him as having told reporters on Wednesday in response to a question whether Iran accepts Armitage’s proposal to Iran to initiate talks.

For his part, President Mohammad Khatami found "nothing new" about the accusations made by Mr. Armitage.

Addressing reporters after attending a cabinet meeting Wednesday, in response to a question on US charges against Iran, the Chief Executive termed it as "baseless and outdated", IRNA reported.

"Iranian authorities use torture, arbitrary detention and excessive force to repress the freedoms of speech, association and religion", said Armitage, adding that Iran's pursuit and development of weapons of mass destruction have aroused international concern. Iran also continues to be the world's foremost state supporter of terrorism, not only through support of organizations such as Hizballah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, but the United States also believes elements of the Iranian government have helped members of al-Qaida and Ansar al-Islam transit and find safe haven in Iran".

Though some Iranian political analysts shared Mr. Khatami’s views, however, they said Armitage’s latest statement was "encouraging", specially in regard of his assessments of the Iranian political situation.

"Iran is a country in the midst of a tremendous transformation, and I believe American policy can affect the direction Iran will take", the Under-Secretary went on, quoting Mrs. Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian lawyer and human rights activist who won this year’s Nobel Peace prize that "changes in Iran must come from within the nation".

In his prepared remarks, Armitage said the Iranian people were now "engaged in a very rich and lively debate about the kind of society they want for themselves and for their children", including the desire for substantial economic and democratic reforms.

"The agreement reached last week in Tehran between the Iranian authorities with the foreign affairs ministers of France, Germany and the United Kingdom concerning Iran’s atomic projects has had diminished Washington’s concern over Iranian atomic projects for a great deal and paved the way for a more amenable atmosphere in relations between Iran and the United States", observed Mr. Hooshang Amir Ahmadi, the Chairman of the American-Iranian Council, that encourages rapprochement between Tehran and Washington.

He said though Mr. Armitage did not mentioned the situation of human rights in his remarks to the Senate, but it does not mean that the issue is no more a matter of concern for Washington.

"The Americans are advancing step by step. At present, their priority is Iran’s quest for producing nuclear weapons. This concern seems partly diminished after Iran pledged to the three European ministers that it would sign the additional Protocols (to the Non Proliferation Treaty) and suspend its uranium enriching programs", he added during an interview from New York with the Persian service of Radio France International.

The deputy secretary listed U.S. concerns over what he termed the "negative and destructive policies and actions" taken by the Iranian government, namely its poor human rights record, its nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programs, and its support for terrorist organizations.

The United States, he said, does not seek conflict with Iran. However, to counter negative Iranian activities, the United States is employing sanctions, interdiction, law enforcement, diplomacy, and international public opinion, said Armitage. He said such measures "will be especially effective" if other countries participate in a sustained effort.

But Mr. Amir Ahmadi, who is also teaching Middle Eastern policies at New York universities, doubted the Iranian clerical-led regime could be more explicit in its conflictual relations with the United States.

Washington cut off all ties with the Islamic Republic and imposed unilateral sanctions after Iranian students stormed the American embassy in Tehran on 4 November 1979, taking 55 American diplomats and staff as hostages for 444 days.

However, officials from the two sides meet regularly in meetings over issues of mutual concerns, such as Afghanistan and Iraq, two Iranian neighbours where former governments hostiles to Iran had been toppled under American military interventions. ENDS IRAN US DIALOGUE 291003

http://www.iran-press-service.com/articles_2003/Oct-2003/iran_us_dialogue_291003.htm
45 posted on 10/29/2003 7:34:37 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Russian official: No obstacle in sending fuel to Iran's Bushehr plant

10/29/03
Payvand Iran News

Russian Minister of Nuclear Energy Alexander Rumyantsev in a meeting in Moscow on Wednesday with Iranian Ambassador to Moscow Gholam-Reza Shafei said there is no obstacle to sending fuel for Bushehr nuclear power plant, IRNA reported.

The two sides also discussed the general trend of the two nations nuclear cooperation, the progress in the Bushehr power plant operational phases and the return of spent fuel to Russia.

The Russian energy minister said, "Moscow has always had good ties with Iran and our position regarding ties with Tehran have not changed."

He also stressed on speedy completion of Bushehr nuclear power plant saying he is ready to make a trip to closely inspect the construction and remove possible technical operational snags. "We can also begin preliminary discussions on building the second phase of Bushehr power plant," he said.

Following the signing of an addendum to the contract, return of spent fuel to Russia and its related documents, fuel for the power plant will be sent, he said.

For his part, Shafei alluded to the 'useful comments offered on the part of Russian officials' regarding the recent Tehran decisions on its nuclear program.

Hopefully, following Iran's announcement on signing the additional protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the two countries will forge closer cooperation.

He said the Russia should follow up its commitments in building the Bushehr power plant so it can be completed on schedule.

Russian specialists have worked on the power plant's initial phase since 1995. The completion rate is nearing 80-85 percent. Under the newly-agreed schedule the reactor is to become operational in the first months of 2005. About 1,500 Russian specialists are building the power plant.

Over one hundred Russian enterprises are involved in the project in the capacity of providers. The first reactor's estimated cost is nearly one billion dollars.

Also, the last group of Iranian shift engineers for the Bushehr nuclear power plant has completed a course of training at the Novovoronezh nuclear power plant in Russia.

By that time of the completion of the first phase of the power plant a total of 700 Iranian specialists will have been trained at the training site.

Over 300 specialists have already completed training with the use of simulators approximating all conceivable processes at an operating nuclear power plant.

Last group of Iranian shift engineers for Bushehr trained

Voronezh, Russia, Oct 29, Itar-Tass/ACSNA/IRNA -- The last group of Iranian shift engineers for the Bushehr nuclear power plant has completed a course of training at the Novovoronezh nuclear power plant in Russia.

The graduation examinations were attended by representatives of an Iranian government agency, the chief of the Novovoronezh nuclear power plant training center, Alexander Ivanchenko told Tass.

The first reactor at the Bushehr nuclear power plant is scheduled to go into operation in the first months of 2005. By that time a total of 700 Iranian specialists will have been trained at Novovoronezh in more than 30 specialties.

Over 300 specialists have already completed training with the use of simulators approximating all conceivable processes at an operating nuclear power plant.

The engineers trained in the last group will be responsible for commanding work shifts.

"They are competent specialists with university degrees. Some received higher education in European countries. They have in-depth knowledge of how a nuclear power plant works and should be run," Ivanchenko said.

http://www.payvand.com/news/03/oct/1179.html
46 posted on 10/29/2003 9:45:56 PM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn; McGavin999; Eala; AdmSmith; dixiechick2000; nuconvert; onyx; Pro-Bush; Valin; ...
Iran says US deputy secretary of state`s comments inappropriate

IRNA News Agency
Iran

Tehran, Oct 30, IRNA -- Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi
here on Wednesday evening branded US Deputy Secretary of State Richard
Armitage`s comments on Iran as "inappropriate and one-sided."
Armitage repeated the United States` claims at the US Senate
Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday that "Washington remains
concerned about Tehran`s alleged support for terrorist groups...
including Al-Qaeda"
Asefi said, "The literature used by US politicians do not match
the demands they are making."
Armitage had earlier on Tuesday said that the US may hold limited
talks with Iran, but normal relations -- broken in 1980 -- were not
on the table.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, touching on Al-Qaeda
issue, added, "The US stand on terrorism issue is quite vague and
unclear," adding, "the Americans do not have a bright and unbiased
record in international campaign against terrorism either."
On deputy US secretary of state`s announcement that the United
States may hold talks with Iran, Asefi said, "Such comments are
made following the accelerating pace of the troubles with which the
Americans are faced with in this region, as we had predicted from
scratch."
He said, "Iran`s decisions are made based on our national
interests and national security, not that of the others."
Armitage had made resumption of talks with Iranians conditional
with securing the US interests, adding that Washington would not
yield to any preconditions for talks with Iran.
Iranian Government Spokesman Abdollah Ramezanzadeh, too, responded
to Armitage`s recent comments after the cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
"We are expecting practical steps by US," he said, adding, "you
can`t threaten from one side and block our assets... then request
negotiations."
Ramezanzadeh said, "First and foremost, the US should stop
accusing us."

http://www.irna.ir/?SAB=OK&LANG=EN&PART=_NEWS&TYPE=HE#2003_10_3000_32_02F08
47 posted on 10/29/2003 10:05:27 PM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranian fighter crashes, pilots died

2003/10/29
IRIB News

Tehran, Oct 29 - A US-made Iranian Air Force (IRIAF) F-4 fighter downed in central province of Zanjan Wednesday morning.

The airplane took off at about 10:35 local time (0700GMT) from Noje military airbase in Hamedan, western Iran.

Both pilots were killed after the plane plumetted into the earth.

An investigation has been launched into the cause of the incident.

http://www.iribnews.com/Full_en.asp?news_id=191359&n=34



(( For more Information on the type of the jet visit http//:www.iiaf.net ))
48 posted on 10/29/2003 10:10:59 PM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn
This thread is now closed.

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”

49 posted on 10/30/2003 12:36:41 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: F14 Pilot
Free Iran, now!
50 posted on 10/30/2003 9:14:00 AM PST by blackie
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