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Iranian Alert -- October 30, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD PING LIST
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 10.30.2003 | DoctorZin

Posted on 10/30/2003 12:33:46 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.


PS I have a daily ping list and a breaking news ping list. If you would like to receive alerts to these stories please let me know which list you would like to join.

TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iaea; iran; iranianalert; protests; southasia; studentmovement; studentprotest
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

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

1 posted on 10/30/2003 12:33:47 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 10/30/2003 12:37:42 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Demands Concessions From U.S. in Return for Cooperation

Published: October 30, 2003

TEHRAN, Oct. 29 — Iran said Wednesday that it would not share intelligence with the United States on operatives of Al Qaeda or hand over Qaeda suspects in Iranian detention and would resume dialogue only after the United States undertakes what it termed measures to build confidence.

It was not clear whether the United States would first have to restore diplomatic relations broken after the storming of the American Embassy in Tehran in the fall of 1979.

"You cannot threaten from one side and freeze assets from the other side; level accusations from one side and then request dialogue from the other side; we need to see America's practical steps," the government spokesman, Abdullah Ramezanzadeh, told reporters.

"They have leveled too many false accusations against us and they should stop that," he said. "They should also unfreeze our assets and lift the sanctions."

Mr. Ramezanzadeh was responding to comments made Tuesday by Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage, who signaled American willingness to hold limited talks with Iran. Mr. Armitage, striking a conciliatory tone, also said that the Bush administration did not favor "regime change" in Iran.

By contrast, President Bush in his 2002 State of the Union address grouped Iran with Iraq and North Korea as an "axis of evil."

The United States severed talks with Iran after a series of bombings in Saudi Arabia in May which the United States said were linked to groups based in Iran. Iran has denied the assertion.

The United States had also asked Iran to turn over detained senior members of Al Qaeda. Mr. Ramezanzadeh said Wednesday that Iran had no security agreement with the United States to turn over the detainees. He said Iran had returned some detainees to nations with whom it had such security agreements and said the rest would be dealt with according to Iranian laws.

Iran announced this week that it had given to the United Nations the names of 225 Qaeda members it had arrested. It said that nearly 78 of them had been returned to their nations of origin.

"We believe that all countries should deal with terrorism and terrorist groups indiscriminately," Mr. Ramezanzadeh said. "We have also taken necessary measures against terrorism according to international regulations and do not need other countries to interfere in our affairs."

The government of President Mohammad Khatami has come under increasing pressure from hard-liners since last week, when the government reached an agreement with the foreign secretaries of Britain, Germany and France to allow more intrusive inspections of its nuclear sites and to suspend enrichment of uranium.

Hard-line militants, who oppose any restrictions on Iran's nuclear program, have accused the government and influential clerics who have sided with the government of undermining the nation's security.

"We are worried about the kind of guarantees that our negotiators have received over our national security and sovereignty," a group of militant students wrote in a letter, the Jomhouri Islamic daily reported today.

"How do we know that because of the nuclear agency's financial dependence on America, Iraq's experience would not repeat in Iran and American spies would not come under the guise of inspectors?" the letter asked.

The agreement needs to be approved by Parliament before it can be enforced.

3 posted on 10/30/2003 12:43:28 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Interview: 'Peaceful reform Iran's only option'

By Amir Taheri,
Special to Gulf News | 30-10-2003

The Nobel Committee's decision to name Iranian human-rights lawyer and activist Shirin Ebadi the 2003 peace laureate has turned her into a household name throughout Iran and the Muslim world.

Moreover, the 56-year-old Ebadi has become an alternative source of moral authority in Iran - and a rare figure of consensus in that fractious society. With the exception of the hardline Khomeinists who have branded her "an enemy of Islam," Ebadi has won praise from virtually all Iranians - from left to right. She now possesses a capital of goodwill that few others seem to have in Iran.

What will she do with it? Will she, as some opposition leaders clearly hope, lead a list of pro-democracy candidates in next March's general elections? Will she go further and become a candidate for the presidency in 2005?

These and many other questions were posed in a recent telephone interview conducted by Amir Taheri, editor of the French quarterly Politique Internationale, who also translated the interview from Persian. It is excerpted here.

Amir Taheri: A few weeks ago you left Tehran for Paris as just another traveller. Now you have returned to a hero's welcome, although some had believed you might decide to stay in Europe. What are your feelings?
Shirin Ebadi: There was never any question of not returning. Without my attachment to Iran, my life would have no meaning. I was not prepared for what happened. I did not even know that my name had been put forward for a Nobel.

But, as I said right from the beginning, I see the prize as a message from the international community to the people of Iran, especially to women, and, beyond them, to the Muslim world. The message is that human rights belong to all mankind and that peace is possible only if they are respected.

Will your Nobel prize mean a new start for the democracy movement which seems to have lost some steam in recent weeks?
SE: I hope so. The message is that fighting for human rights in Iran is not a lonely pursuit. It will also strengthen civil society, without which no democratisation is possible. A society changes when large numbers of its members change within themselves. This is happening in our country.

Can the present regime be reformed without violence?
SE: Yes. I think nothing of lasting value can come out of violence. I think we can work within the law and seek the changes that are needed through constitutional processes. I have never done anything illegal and support peaceful means. The number of people who want reform is rising all the time.

Some say your selection is a political move by Europe to show that regime change can come through "soft power" as against the American use of "hard power" in Iraq and Afghanistan.
SE: I don't share that analysis. The situation in Iran is different from Iraq and Afghanistan. There were no mechanisms for internal change in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iran, there are. Europe has understood that to stop wars it is necessary to ensure respect for human rights throughout the world. This is both a principled and a pragmatic position.

You supported the election of President Khatami. Do you still regard him as a leader for reform?
SE: I was one of millions who voted for Khatami because had we not done so, the conservatives would have won. We had no other choice. Unfortunately, however, I must admit that President Khatami has missed the historic opportunities he had. The reform and democracy movement has passed him by.

President Khatami has said that your prize is not worth "all that fuss." What is your reaction?
SE: I respect the president's view. People are free to have their own opinions on all subjects.

Some say that, with time, you might become a half-forgotten icon like Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese leader who also won the Nobel peace prize.
SE: I don't know about Burma. But I know about Iran. What is at stake is beyond me or any other individual. We have a deep-rooted and growing movement for democracy and human rights that has support in all sections of society.

And yet the situation in Iran seems blocked. In all elections, there are overwhelming majorities for reform. And yet there is no reform. Some people believe a new revolution is necessary.
SE: I think the era of revolutions has ended. Also, there is no guarantee that another revolution would provide something better than the one we had 24 years ago. After years of reflection I have come to the conclusion that revolutions never deliver what they promise.

What I am working for is a reform movement in all walks of life, political, social, cultural, and, of course, individual rights. Like me, the people of Iran are deeply disappointed with the Islamic Revolution. In the Islamic Revolution and the war with Iraq that followed, countless families lost their children and/or parents. The nation lost the flower of its youth.

Also, millions of Iranians were forced into exile. The cost of this revolution will take generations to absorb. The only way out is through peaceful reform. Khatami is not the only proponent of reform. The failure of his administration is not the failure of the reform movement. In any case Khatami's second and final term will come to an end. But that will not mean the end of our people's aspirations.

In practical terms, how do you think change could come in Iran?
SE: History is never written in advance. It is always full of surprises. Change could come through elections. What we need is an amended electoral law that allows citizens to vote for any candidate they wish.

If the present system continues and the Council of the Guardians of the Constitution retains its power to fix the elections, the Iranian people are certain to massively boycott the next general election in March 2004, just as they did in the recent municipal elections.

Should the Islamic Republic be replaced with a secular regime?
SE: There is some confusion here. What we have in Iran is not a religious regime, but a regime in which those in power use religion as a means of staying in power. If the present regime does not reform and evolve into one that reflects the will of the people, it is going to fail, even if it adopts a secularist posture.

I support the separation of state and religion because the political space is open to countless views and interests. This position is actually supported by the grand ayatollahs. So it is in conformity with the Shiite tradition.

There is some talk that you might lead a list of pro-democracy candidates in the next parliamentary election or even become a presidential candidate in 2005.
SE: I am a human rights militant and a lawyer and have no other agenda. I can tell you that I have no plans to stand for election. The prize given to me shows that the method I have used in the past two decades has been the right one. I am the friend of the powerless, the voice of the voiceless. I must prove that I am worthy of the honor bestowed upon me.

Some opposition figures, including a grandson of Khomeini, have called for American military intervention in Iran. What is your view?
SE: I am opposed to any foreign intervention in our affairs, whether political or military or in any other form. The people of Iran know their problems and know how to seek the solutions. All they need is moral and political support from the international community.
4 posted on 10/30/2003 12:46:00 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
UN deadline on Friday for Iran


VIENNA (AFP) - Iran is facing an international deadline on Friday to prove to the United Nations nuclear watchdog it is not secretly making atomic weapons, with UN sanctions a possibility if it fails to comply. Although nothing definitive will happen Friday, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is to begin writing a report on Iranian compliance, with the matter to be considered at an IAEA board of governors meeting in Vienna on November 20.

The IAEA had on September 12 imposed the October 31 deadline on Iran to provide full disclosure of its nuclear program. At stake is whether the IAEA judges Iran to be in non-compliance with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and sends the issue to the UN Security Council, which could then impose punishing sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

In Washington, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the United States, which has said Iran is part of an "axis of evil" of proliferating rogue states, expects Tehran to meet its international commitments. "They need to follow through on what they've committed to do," he said. Iran seized the diplomatic initiative when it delivered a report to the IAEA October 23 that it said answered all the agency's questions, just a week ahead of the deadline.

The IAEA has been investigating Iran's nuclear program since February but Tehran only issued the report after reaching an agreement with three leading EU foreign ministers. Iran admits in the report to failures in honoring nuclear safeguards commitments, Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran's representative to the IAEA, said last week.

Salehi said the failures involved "some lab tests" but he said they were "not significant" and that "it is 100-percent clear that Iran has never been involved in anything that would indicate it was involved in a nuclear weapons program." The foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany had come to Tehran October 21 to persuade Iran to come clean on its nuclear program and allow tougher inspections of nuclear sites.

Diplomats close to the IAEA said these three countries would now be in Iran's corner when the IAEA board of governors meets. The United States has already said that Iran is in non-compliance, charging it with dodging international safeguards controls by secretly trying to find ways to enrich uranium. But, said one Western diplomat, "the three (European) nations think Iran is willing to carry out some sort of commitment and should be encouraged."

In addition, it would take the IAEA "months, if not years" to verify information from Iran, if the IAEA judged that the report was a sincere and serious effort. This would seem to weaken the US hand in seeking condemnation of Iran. But a senior Western diplomat said that if "the Iranians are truly coming clean then they will have to report to the board and therefore to the world a number of activities that would be in clear violation of their safeguards obligations."

"That would suggest there will be grounds for a non-compliance resolution," the diplomat said. But others said this logic will not work if Iran does give facts on its program and then shows good faith by signing a protocol allowing unrestricted and unannounced inspections. Iran has said it will in the coming days inform the IAEA of its intention to sign the protocol.

Iran has also promised to suspend enrichment that can produce highly enriched uranium useable for nuclear fuel but also to make atomic bombs. Salehi said Iran was currently working through the modalities of suspending enrichment and that a halt was "probably a matter of weeks, maybe before or after the (next IAEA) board meeting".

A Western diplomat said "this talk of modalities raises concern that the Iranians may in fact be dragging out a process that could be resolved in a short amount of time." Another diplomat, however, said Iran had time. "Apparently the Iranians have made the choice at a very high level to cooperate with the IAEA," he said. The key is to see "how this translates into action," the diplomat said.
5 posted on 10/30/2003 12:47:35 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: All
U.S. Would Be Open to Limited Iran Talks

The Guardian

WASHINGTON (AP) - The United States is open to talks with Iran on a limited basis, the Bush administration said Wednesday while insisting that any improvement in relations would require Tehran to hand over terror suspects.

Even as the administration raised the prospect of a dialogue, the United States said it would be watching to see if Iran complied with a Friday deadline to prove that its nuclear program is peaceful under terms set by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

``Our feeling has been and continues to be that they are not in compliance with their nonproliferation obligations and that, under those circumstances, the matter as a matter of course should be referred to the (United Nations),'' said State Department spokesman Richard Boucher.

The administration is debating whether to soften its hardline attitude toward Iran, a nation that President Bush branded as part of an ``axis of evil'' along with North Korea and prewar Iraq. Concern about Iran's nuclear program has aggravated U.S. suspicions about Tehran.

A day after an administration official signaled a more conciliatory approach, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said, ``Our policy towards Iran remains the same.

``We are continuing to insist that they abide by their international obligations on nonproliferation, that they stop supporting terrorism and that they turn over to the countries of origin the al-Qaida terrorists that they are now harboring,'' McClellan said.

McClellan's comments followed testimony Tuesday by Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He said, ``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.''

McClellan called attention to Bush's comments earlier this month about Iran. ``He (Bush) said that Iran must change its course, change its behavior'' particularly with regard to terrorism, McClellan said.

``If they could resolve that issue, it would be an important step in our relations,'' the spokesman said. ``But we cannot move forward without that step. There are still serious concerns we have with Iran and they need to address.''

In Iran, government spokesman Abdollah Ramezanzadeh said that if the United States wants better relations, it could start by ending accusations that Iran supports terrorism. ``They have to avoid making irrelevant accusations against us,'' he said.,1282,-3325268,00.html
6 posted on 10/30/2003 1:41:08 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn; McGavin999; Eala; AdmSmith; dixiechick2000; nuconvert; onyx; Pro-Bush; Valin; ...
Iraq could offer common ground for US and Iran

Christian Science Monitor
By Michael Theodoulou | 30 October 2003

Iran has offered Iraq a line of credit and access to electricity and gas supplies.

TEHRAN, IRAN – Huge murals of the young "martyrs" who fell in the eight-year war with Iraq cover the sides of many buildings in Tehran. They are a constant reminder of the huge suffering inflicted on Iran by the devastating conflict Saddam Hussein unleashed in 1980.
Not surprisingly, Iranians are relieved to see the back of the Iraqi dictator. His removal has also enabled devout Iranians to visit Shiite holy places in Iraq, despite the dangers from mines and bandits.

For the fractured Iranian regime, however, the consequences of Mr. Hussein's fall and Iran's encirclement by US forces are far greater. The new situation presents opportunities as well as dangers that could shape both the internal power struggle and Tehran's relations with Washington.

American officials have accused Iran of trying to destabilize Iraq, but European diplomats in Tehran believe Iran has so far played a "reasonably constructive" role. Britain's former ambassador to the United Nations, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, agreed on Sunday, saying: "I think on the whole that they have been quite cooperative."

Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazzi has also promised Iraq credit of up to $300 million and offered cross- border electricity and gas supplies. A stabilized Iraq could boost Iran's regional power as the ally of Iraq's Shiite Muslim majority.

By proving it can be an "anchor of stability" in Iraq, Iran could also reduce American hostility, analysts say. This could pave the way to an eventual restoration of ties with Washington, which polls show would be very popular with ordinary Iranians. US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said on Tuesday that Washington was prepared to restore limited contacts with Tehran, a change he tied to Iran sharing intelligence on Al Qaeda, a move Tehran has so far rejected.

Observers see Iraq as a potential patch of common ground between the two countries.

"Tehran has given the Iraqi governing council more legitimacy than any Arab country," a senior European envoy says. "Like the US, Iran wants an Iraq that is stable, prosperous, nonthreatening, and democratic, which would accord Iraqi Shiites their due weight in running the country."

While the US was willing to allow Iran to help in Afghanistan, neoconservative hawks in Washington appear determined to prevent Tehran from having any role in Iraq.

"This is a big mistake," another European diplomat in Tehran says. "It risks driving Iran down the very path America is so scared of. If Iran is not allowed to get involved positively, there is the risk it will do so negatively."

The European Union's policy of "conditional engagement" with Iran, using carrots and sticks in contrast to US threats, was seen to have paid important dividends last week.

Britain, France, and Germany persuaded Iran to comply with demands for tougher nuclear inspections and to suspend its uranium-enrichment project to ease fears that Iran's nuclear energy program was a cover for developing the bomb.

The international community should also take measures to address Iran's "strategic loneliness" to steer Iran away from feeling it might need a nuclear deterrent, the European diplomat says. "Iran has few serious friends. We should be looking at regional security structures to tie Iran in and give it the feeling that it's not out in the cold."

The disorder in Iraq has enabled hard-line media to portray the US as a blundering superpower that has suffered an ideological and strategic defeat.

"They are also portraying the whole occupation of Iraq as an anti-Islamic move by the United States and posing the question: 'Why should we respect international conventions ... when the US so openly violates every international convention?' " says Sadegh Zibakalam, a political science professor at Tehran University.

Radical hard-liners, such as Massoud Dehnemaki, who edits a newspaper but is suspected of being a leader of a feared Islamic vigilante group, say Iran's hostility to Washington has been vindicated.

"Twenty years ago, people were burning the US flag in Iran. Now it is being burned in other countries," he says. "Twenty years ago, we said the UN was under the control of America. Now all countries say this."

Yet those such as Mr. Dehnemaki are a radical minority.

"The majority of the conservative and reformist leadership would prefer to see a stable Iraq," Mr. Zibakalam says. Iran wants an end to the American presence next door, but is playing a stabilizing role, he adds.
7 posted on 10/30/2003 3:53:09 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: All
Iran says US can act to improve ties

Hi Pakistan Daily

TEHRAN: If the United States wants better relations with Tehran, it could start by ending accusations Iran supports terrorism, an Iranian government spokesman told reporters Wednesday.

"They have to avoid making irrelevant accusations against us," government spokesman Abdollah Ramezanzadeh said, referring to the terrorism charges. He also called on US officials to "release our assets blocked there and lift sanctions". "These are the preliminary practical measures to win the confidence of the Iranian nation. We need to justify better ties with America for our people," Ramezanzadeh said after a Cabinet meeting.

He was reacting to a statement by Deputy US Secretary of State Richard Armitage, who said Washington may hold limited talks with Iran. Ramezanzadeh said the Americans "appear to be understanding regional realities more than before," but said Washington should stop its threats if it wants dialogue to develop. —AP

Ramazanzadeh also said that Tehran would not share its intelligence on al-Qaeda with the United States. "We don’t have any relations or links with the US or its security services. So there is no reason to cooperate with them by giving them information," government spokesman Abdollah Ramazanzadeh told reporters.

He added that Iran may "never" reveal the identities of its detainees, and he later clarified to AFP that "we have no programme to announcing their names". "It depends on our national interests," the spokesman said.
8 posted on 10/30/2003 5:44:37 AM PST by F14 Pilot (And I know, It ain't gonna last !)
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To: sticker; GOPJ
Join us at the daily thread, for up to date news and commentary. Welcome!
9 posted on 10/30/2003 6:23:00 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
You would hope that Iran would remember how quickly America reacted to Afghanistan and then Iraq. Have they looked to the east and the west and realized that they are surrounded?

My American bias is showing, but truly, they must wake up to reality.
10 posted on 10/30/2003 6:28:13 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: freeangel; Guillermo; camle; M1Tanker; aynrandfreak
Join us at the daily thread, for up to date news and commentary. Welcome!
11 posted on 10/30/2003 7:23:01 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
Message from Iran Says Tehran Seeks Talks with Israel

October 30, 2003
Aluf Benn

Government sources are looking into a message from Iran that effectively says that Tehran wishes to open talks with Israel. Israel has asked a third party to make inquiries in Tehran and establish whether the message is serious.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom have been advised of the message, which was not delivered directly. Israel is deliberating whether the message is a sign of real change in Tehran.

Iran agreed last week to freeze its uranium enrichment efforts and allow surprise inspections in its nuclear facilities. But Israeli sources say the Iranian activity is problematic and that the road to change still seems very long.

Sharon sees no signs of moderation in Iran, or modification in its hostility toward Israel and its support for terror groups.

Sharon suspects it is convenient for the Iranians to hint at possible flexibility because of other problems they are facing, and that their statements regarding the nuclear issue should be put to the test.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said on Tuesday at the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee meeting that the United States is not out to change the Iranian regime, but only to change its behavior in matters like nonconventional weapons and toward Israel.

Armitage said Iran is the leading terrorist supporting state and that its statements about nuclear weapons should be regarded skeptically and require verification. He also spoke of the possibility of a dialogue between the U.S. and Iran.

European parliament members who visited Tehran recently reportedly warned Iran's supreme national security chief that Israel would attack Iran's nuclear installations if it rejects the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) demands.

The delegation formed the impression that Iran is very fearful of having its case transferred from the IAEA to the UN's Security Council, which is able to impose sanctions that could harm Iran's economy.
12 posted on 10/30/2003 7:23:32 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran's Nuclear Enablers

October 30, 2003
Reza Bayegan

As the bearded fanatics of Tehran defied the international community and America pondered its options to inter their nuclear "energy" program, the dovish foreign ministers of France, Germany and the United Kingdom swooped into Iran and concluded a "peaceful end to Iran's nuclear ambitions." What seems to have been forgotten amidst all the Europeans' self-congratulation for "defusing" a major international crisis is that the Euro-Islamist pact is a meaningless agreement struck with an illegitimate government.

Ironically, the upshot of the meeting of the three European foreign ministers with the officials of the Islamic Republic in Tehran will actually make it easier for the mullahs to acquire atomic weapons. The signed agreement can be likened to a sigheh (a Shia term for "temporary marriage") that provides the protection of the law for prostitution and adultery. The three foreign ministers of France, Germany and the United Kingdom went to Tehran and signed an agreement that in effect will protect the Islamist regime's pursuit of WMDs. Guarantees pledged by the Islamic Republic to suspend the operations of its uranium enrichment plant, and submit to the IAEA's intrusive inspection regime, were never worth the paper they were written on. On October 22, only hours after confirming that his government would voluntarily suspend its enrichment program, Mohammad Khatami said that Iran would never give up its right to enrich uranium -- for "future nuclear power plants," of course.

Mohsen Mirdamad, head of the Parliament's National Security Committee, let the cat out of the bag. Mirdamad put the inherent impotence of the IAEA's surveillance into perspective, saying, "Accepting the protocols does not mean that we are obliged to execute it tomorrow. This is a complicated task and for some countries it has taken up to three years." It has been estimated that the Islamic Republic will be able to construct its nuclear bomb in less than two years, one full year ahead of the completion of the IAEA survey. By that time the inspection team will have nothing more to "survey"; atomic bombs in the hands of Iran will be a fait accompli.

We ask ourselves what then has been achieved after all this fanfare in the Iranian capital and joint communiqués of foreign ministers? Unfortunately, precious little has been accomplished to make the world a safer place. Furthermore, the opposing interests of Western powers have produced a powerful tonic that will likely prolong the life of Tehran's brutal tyranny and may endanger the Middle East or the entire world.

To understand why the Europeans, and especially France (which is more jubilant and optimistic about the deal than the others), took such a step at this moment and facilitated the membership of the Islamic Republic into the nuclear club, we do well to search for a link between this issue and the greatest source of trouble in the region: the Arab-Israeli conflict. The mission to the Iranian capital was to bring the desperado state under the protective umbrella of the IAEA and forestall any preemptive strike by Israel or the United States against nuclear facilities spread throughout the Iranian territory.

At the heart of rushing to the Ayatollah's rescue lies a European policy towards the Middle East that sharply differs from that of the United States. It is axiomatic of American foreign policy to box in the power and influence of terrorist-supporting regimes and to help secure a democratic Israel. Making sure that the Islamic Republic will never be able to acquire nuclear capability is absolutely essential to the security of both Israel and the United States -- and indeed, the entire West. The Europeans, however, do not seem to have the same anxieties.

For the French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin, the bottom line is economics. The lucrative trade ties with countries that consider Israel their number one enemy will dictate the course of France's foreign policy in Iran as they did in Iraq for twenty years. Criticizing U.S. and Israeli security strategies in an interview with The Guardian on October 18, de Villepin points out Europe's close financial links with both sides of the Middle Eastern conflict, but particularly with the Arab world. A translation of this diplomatic language amounts to a declaration of support for the foes of America, Israel and Western progress. The "violent" American approach, he asserts, will create more hostility in the region. The "peaceful" French solution on the other hand will conciliate and pacify:

"We think that using going to...give new reasons to some people [like al-Qaeda] to oppose us."

The above statement is more than a call for finding non-violent solutions; it is a sympathetic nod to political blackmail. This seemingly benevolent language intimates that previous al-Qaeda attacks were a reaction to, and a logical consequence of, misdeeds perpetrated by the Western world. According to de Villepin, the Western powers (read: the United States) must change its act to avoid supplying fresh reasons for terrorist groups to engage in "martyrdom."

The absurdity of the attitude expressed by the French Foreign Minister becomes clear when we realize that the only way for the Israelis to stop supplying fresh reasons to the terrorists is by dislodging their country into the sea. And Iran would not rest with Israel.

In fact, Iran is not content merely to persecute foreigners. While in the Iranian capital, Dominique de Villepin could have benefited from visiting political detainees in the notorious Evin and Towhid prisons. These men and women kept under despicable conditions for exercising their basic rights of free expression could have informed him that surrendering to tyranny and terrorism is a betrayal of all humanity. To pay such a ransom, to give up our freedom and betray our democratic dreams in pursuit of a sham arms control agreement, is as treacherous as it is craven.

Iranians with huge oil and gas reserves need no nuclear power program. What they urgently require is the restoration of their fundamental human rights. The three European foreign ministers trip to Tehran and the subsequent agreement reached with the government of the Islamic Republic only emboldened a major sponsor of global terrorism. And thanks to their efforts, the mullahs may one day help terrorists train the ultimate weapon upon Tel Aviv and Washington, D.C. -- followed by Paris, Berlin and London.
13 posted on 10/30/2003 7:26:41 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Hamas Joins Forces with Islamic Jihad

October 30, 2003
The Washington Times
Ramit Plushnick-Masti

JERUSALEM — The Palestinian militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, with their operatives on the run, have increasingly forged a common front against Israel, and there are signs they are also being guided by Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas.

Days after issuing a joint statement calling for coordinated "resistance" against Israel, the two groups attacked an Israeli army base Friday in the Netzarim settlement in the Gaza Strip, killing three soldiers and reviving heated debate in Israel over whether to hang on to the Jewish enclave.

The two groups have cooperated to a lesser degree in the past, with militants joining forces at the local level, but last week's call for coordinated attacks signals closer ties — a consolidation that might make the groups more efficient and more difficult to bring down.

Adnan Asfour, a Hamas leader in the West Bank, said the alliance with Islamic Jihad is a response to Israel's increasing military pressure, including its hunt for members of the groups' military wings and, more recently, political leaders.

"With the expansion of Israel's circle of aggression, there must be an expansion of the circle of resistance," said Mr. Asfour, adding that other militant groups may be invited into an alliance.

Israeli officials are clearly concerned, especially by what some say is a growing involvement in the Palestinian territories of Hezbollah, a militant group backed by Syria and Iran. Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and the army chief, Lt. Gen. Moshe Yaalon, told the Cabinet on Sunday that Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah are planning joint attacks in Israel.

Hezbollah spearheaded a successful campaign to end Israel's 18-year occupation of southern Lebanon in 2000, and can offer Palestinian groups a wealth of knowledge about everything from military training to arms smuggling.

"Cooperation with Hezbollah strengthens the Islamic Jihad and Hamas," said Boaz Ganor, an Israeli counterterrorism expert.

Since Israeli-Palestinian fighting erupted three years ago, Hamas and Islamic Jihad have carried out 15 joint operations, mostly gunbattles, according to Hamas.

The deadliest, a strike June 8 that also included the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, a militant group with ties to Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, killed four soldiers before the gunmen were fatally shot.

The two groups' leaders convened a meeting Oct. 20, led by Khaled Mashaal, head of Hamas' political bureau, and Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, leader of Islamic Jihad.

A statement faxed that day to the Associated Press in Beirut said "the two movements agreed to confront the Zionist aggression on our people in Palestine and to urge all [Palestinian] factions and resistance forces to coordinate among each other to confront this aggression."

The extent of Hezbollah's involvement in the Palestinian territories remains murky.

Osama Hamdan, a Hamas leader in Lebanon, said Hezbollah had not been actively involved in attacks against Israel and the group was not present at the Oct. 20 meeting.

Mr. Asfour said Hamas leaders later met separately with Hezbollah representatives "for the purpose of political and public-relations cooperation."

Still, Friday's attack in Netzarim was the latest of a series of Palestinian attacks with Hezbollah's fingerprints.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad spent weeks spying on Netzarim, planning the attack and waiting for ideal weather conditions — a pea-soup fog — to move in. Two gunmen, one of whom escaped, burst into the soldiers' sleeping quarters, spraying machine-gun fire in all directions.

Hours later, the groups released a videotape showing Hamas gunman Samir Fouda, 21, who was killed, standing alongside his surviving Islamic Jihad compatriot, whose face was blurred to protect his identity.

Surveillance footage of the settlement — showing settlers' cars and bike riders moving along the town's roads — is reminiscent of images Hezbollah would release after successful attacks on the Israeli army.

Though Hamas and Islamic Jihad share a fundamentalist Islamic ideology, they have long been rivals and past efforts at cooperation have broken down.

Hamas is a large group with popular support, especially in the Gaza Strip, and includes a political wing that focuses on charity and welfare programs. The smaller Islamic Jihad, which has backing from Iran, sticks to violent activities.

As the U.S. war on terror has progressed, Hamas and Islamic Jihad have found themselves under heavy international pressure, with the United States and the European Union declaring them terror groups and freezing funds.
14 posted on 10/30/2003 7:27:57 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Told to Give Full Nuclear List

October 30, 2003

PARIS -- The head of the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency has urged Iran to ensure nothing is omitted in its declaration on nuclear activities.

"All their installations must be declared," IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei was quoted as saying in an interview published in the French daily newspaper Le Monde on Thursday.

"They say that their declaration is complete and exact. I hope it's the case," he said.

ElBaradei gave nothing away on the likely outcome of the inspection report being prepared by IAEA experts for a meeting of the Vienna-based IAEA's governing board on November 20.

Asked how he would respond if Iran were to announce in the coming days that there were things it had forgotten to enter in its initial declaration, ElBaradei said:

"Adjustments would not enhance their credibility but I would accept them. What counts above all is that we fully understand their (nuclear) programme".

Iran denies U.S. accusations that it is trying to develop an atomic bomb, but due to past failures to fully declare its nuclear sites the IAEA has demanded that Tehran show evidence or face possible United Nations Security Council sanctions.

The IAEA is particularly keen to have details about the origin of uranium enrichment centrifuge parts, which Iran says it bought on the black market and blames for contaminating two Iranian sites where the IAEA found traces of bomb-grade uranium.
15 posted on 10/30/2003 7:30:01 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
We Missed Amnesty by 13 Days

October 30, 2003
The Evening Chronicle

A family who claim they could be killed if they are returned to Iran have missed out on the UK's biggest asylum amnesty by just 13 days.

Sonbol Nazery, who said her life would be in danger if she was forced to go home, began to organise celebrations when the amnesty was announced by Home Secretary David Blunkett last Saturday.

She and her supporters believed it signalled the end of her three-year campaign to stay in the North East community which has taken her to their hearts.

But happiness turned to despair when they discovered the offer will apply only to families who sought asylum before October 2, 2000.

Mrs Nazery, who claims her brother was tortured to death in an Iranian prison, made her first application for asylum on October 15, 2000.

Now Mrs Nazery, husband Korosh and son Ceavash, eight, are relying on an appeal against the Home Office's refusal to grant them refugee status so they can stay in Fencehouses, near Houghton-le-Spring.

She said: "It's terrible news. We are saddened that we are losing out by only 13 days, but our fight will go on."

Houghton and Washington East MP Fraser Kemp, who took up her case, said today: "Despite her losing out in the amnesty, my representations to the Home Office on her behalf will continue."

He took up the case after her brother's death, saying it reinforced her application to stay in the UK indefinitely.

The Nazerys left behind a wealthy lifestyle when they fled from Iran three years ago. They decided to run when Mrs Nazery, a Kurd who had spent three spells in prison because of her opposition to the Iranian authorities, was tipped off that police would raid a political meeting she was to attend.

Parishioners at Our Lady Queen of Peace RC Church, Penshaw, have sign-ed a petition appealing to the Home Office to reconsider.

Petitions backing the family were organised by St Mary's RC School, Sunderland, and St Robert of Newminster RC Comprehensive Sixth Form College, Washington.

Members of the Bethany Christian Centre, run by evangelists in Houghton-le-Spring, also drew up a petition.

News that Mrs Nazery's brother had been killed in prison came in July, just days after she received a phone call saying he and his wife Mahien, son Pouya and daughter Helia, 10, had been captured fleeing Iran.

They had been heading towards Turkey in an attempt to avoid political unrest, common at that time of the year among Kurds opposed to the Iranian regime. His family were released on bail, but Sonbol's brother, Farahmand, a former member of the opposition party Komala, was held in prison for 10 days.

When the family asked to see him they were told he was dead. He had been tortured and relatives were ordered to bury him within two days.

An estimated 15,000 asylum seeker families will be eligible for the amnesty to save support payments and legal aid, said Mr Blunkett.

His official spokesman said most of the eligible families were failed asylum seekers who had exhausted the main appeals process but had not yet been deported.

He described the offer as a one-off exercise.
16 posted on 10/30/2003 7:32:20 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
King and Country

October 29, 2003
The Wall Street Journal
Bernard Lewis and R. James Woolsey

Following the recent passage of the Security Council resolution on Iraq, the key issue continues to be how quickly to move toward sovereignty and democracy for a new government. The resolution's call for the Iraqi Governing Council to establish a timetable by Dec. 15 for creating a constitution and a democratic government has papered over differences for the time being.

But there are still substantial disagreements even among people who want to see democracy and the rule of law in Iraq as promptly as possible. The U.S. sees the need for time to do the job right. France, Germany and Russia want both more U.N. participation and more speed -- a pair of mutually exclusive objectives if there ever was one. Some Iraqis call for an elected constitutional convention, others for a rapid conferring of sovereignty, some for both. Many Middle Eastern governments oppose democracy and thus some support whatever they think will fail.

* * *

There may be a path through this thickening fog, made thicker by the rocket and suicide-bombing attacks of the last three days. It is important to help Ambassador Paul Bremer and the coalition forces to establish security. But it is also important to take an early step toward Iraqi sovereignty and to move toward representative government. The key is that Iraq already has a constitution. It was legally adopted in 1925 and Iraq was governed under it until the series of military, then Baathist, coups began in 1958 and brought over four decades of steadily worsening dictatorship. Iraqis never chose to abandon their 1925 constitution -- it was taken from them. The document is not ideal, and it is doubtless not the constitution under which a modern democratic Iraq will ultimately be governed. But a quick review indicates that it has some very useful features that would permit it to be used on an interim basis while a new constitution is drafted. Indeed, the latter could be approved as an omnibus amendment to the 1925 document.

This seems possible because the 1925 Iraqi constitution -- which establishes that the nation's sovereignty "resides in the people" -- provides for an elected lower house of parliament, which has a major role in approving constitutional amendments. It also contains a section on "The Rights of the People" that declares Islam as the official religion, but also provides for freedom of worship for all Islamic sects and indeed for all religions and for "complete freedom of conscience." It further guarantees "freedom of expression of opinion, liberty of publication, of meeting together, and of forming and joining associations." In different words, the essence of much of our own Bill of Rights is reflected therein.

We need not shy away from the 1925 constitution because it establishes a constitutional monarchy. Understandings could readily be worked out that would not lead to a diminution of Amb. Bremer's substantive authority in vital areas during the transition -- some ministries may, e.g., transition to Iraqi control before others. In the document as it now stands the monarch has some important powers since he appoints the government's ministers, including a prime minister, and the members of the upper house, or senate. Many of these and other provisions would doubtless be changed through amendment, although the members of the current Governing Council might be reasonably appointed to some of these positions on an interim basis. Some new features, such as explicit recognition of equal rights for women, a point not clear in the 1925 document, would need to be adopted at the outset. During a transition, pursuant to consultations with Amb. Bremer and with groups in Iraq, the king could under the constitution appoint ministers, including a prime minister, and also adopt provisional rules for elections. The elected parliament could then take a leading role in amending the constitution and establishing the rules for holding further elections.

Using the 1925 constitution as a transitional document would be entirely consistent with permanently establishing as head of state either a president or a monarch that, like the U.K.'s, reigns but does not rule.

It is worth noting that monarchy and democracy coexist happily in a number of countries. Indeed, of the nations that have been democracies for a very long time and show every sign that they will remain so, a substantial majority are constitutional monarchies (the U.S. and Switzerland being the principal exceptions). And we should recall how important King Juan Carlos was to the transition from fascism to democracy in Spain. As odd as the notion may seem to Americans whose national identity was forged in rebellion against George III, there is nothing fundamentally undemocratic about a limited monarchy's serving as a transitional, or even a long-term, constitutional structure in Iraq or any other country.

Selecting the right monarch for the transitional government would be vitally important. Conveniently, the 1925 constitution provides that the people of Iraq are deemed to have "confided . . . a trust" to "King Faisal, son of Hussain, and to his heirs . . . ." If the allies who liberated Iraq recognized an heir of this Hashemite line as its constitutional monarch, and this monarch agreed to help bring about a modern democracy under the rule of law, such a structure could well be the framework for a much smoother transition to democracy than now seems at hand. The Sunni Hashemites, being able to claim direct descent from the Prophet Mohammed, have historically been respected by the Shiites, who constitute a majority of the people of Iraq, although the latter recognize a different branch of the family. It is the Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia, not the Hashemites, who have been the Shiites' persecutors.

The respect enjoyed by the Hashemites has been earned. They have had a generally deserved reputation for tolerance and coexistence with other faiths and other branches of Islam. Many Iraqis look back on the era of Hashemite rule from the 1920s to the 1950s as a golden age. And during the period of over 1,000 years when the Hashemites ruled the Hejaz, wherein the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina are located, they dealt tolerantly with all Muslims during the Haj, or annual pilgrimage. Disagreements and tension under Hashemite rule have never come close either to the bloody conflicts of many centuries' duration in Europe between Catholics and Protestants or to the massacres and hatred perpetrated by the Wahhabis and their allies in the House of Saud.

Recently in a brilliant essay in the New Republic, Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen has pointed out that tolerance and "the exercise of public reason" have given democracy solid roots in many of the world's non-European cultures, and that balloting must be accompanied by such local traditions in order for democracy and the rule of law to take root. The legitimacy and continuity which the Hashemites represent for large numbers of people in the Middle East, and the tolerance of "public reason" with which they have been associated, could provide a useful underpinning for the growth of democracy in Iraq.

Historically, rulers in the Middle East have held office for life and have nominated their successors, ordinarily from within the reigning family. This ensured legitimacy, stability and continuity, and usually though not invariably took the form of monarchy. In the modern era succession by violence has sadly become more prevalent. It would be reasonable to use the traditional Middle Eastern concepts of legitimacy and succession and to build on the wide and historic appreciation for the rule of law and of limited government to help bring about a transition to democracy. The identification of legitimacy with the Western practice of balloting has now occurred in many cultures around the world, but it may well occur sooner in Iraq if it is developed at least initially as an expanding aspect of an already legitimate constitutional order.

* * *

Some contend that a process that gave the U.N. a central role would somehow confer legitimacy. We are at a loss to understand this argument. Nearly 40% of the U.N. members' governments do not practice succession by election. In the Middle East only Israel and Turkey do so. Why waste time with U.N. member governments, many of them nondemocratic, working out their differences -- and some indeed fundamentally oppose democracy in Iraq -- when the key parties who need to do that are the Iraqis? Besides, real legitimacy ultimately will come about when Iraq has a government that "deriv[es] its just power from the consent of the governed." During a transition in which Iraq is moving toward democracy, a government that is operating under its existing constitution, with a monarch as called for in that document, is at least as legitimate as the governments of U.N. members that are not democracies at all.

Much would hinge on the willingness of the king to work closely and cooperatively with Amb. Bremer and to appoint a responsible and able prime minister. The king should be a Hashemite prince with political experience and no political obligations or commitments. In view of the nation's Shiite majority, the prime minister should be a modern Shiite with a record of opposition to tyranny and oppression. Such leaders would be well-suited to begin the process that would in time lead to genuinely free and fair elections, sound amendments to the 1925 Iraqi Constitution, and the election of a truly representative governing body. We would also strongly suggest that the choices of king and prime minister be made on the basis of character, ability and political experience -- not on the basis of bias, self-interest, grudges or rivalries held or felt by some in the region and indeed by some in the U.S. government.

Mr. Lewis is a professor emeritus at Princeton and the author, most recently, of "The Crisis of Islam" (Modern Library, 2003). Mr. Woolsey is a former director of the CIA.,,SB106739137546587700-search,00.html?collection=wsjie%2F30day&vql_string=Bernard+Lewis%3Cin%3E%28article%2Dbody%29
17 posted on 10/30/2003 7:34:46 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
King and Country

October 29, 2003
The Wall Street Journal
Bernard Lewis and R. James Woolsey
18 posted on 10/30/2003 7:35:46 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Germany to Build 1.7 billion-Euro Kish Resort Area

October 30, 2003
Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting

Berlin -- The German architecture firm Drees and Sommer will be in charge of the construction of a 1.7 billion-Euro holiday resort town project, known as 'Flower of the East', on the Iran's Kish island, the German-based website Iran-Now reported Thursday.

The 220 hectares-mega project, due to be ready by 2008, will include a business park, a shopping mall, a seven star and several five star hotels.

Further it will have a marina, an 18-hole golf course, multiple apartment complexes, villas and town houses.

The construction master plan intertwines traditional Persian architecture with today's state-of-the-art high-tech architecture.
19 posted on 10/30/2003 7:39:44 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: F14 Pilot
Thanks for the heads up!
20 posted on 10/30/2003 8:10:21 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: F14 Pilot
Iran is ready for freedom, now!
21 posted on 10/30/2003 9:22:59 AM PST by blackie
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Gov't. Angry at Journalists' Arrest

October 30, 2003
BBC News
Jim Muir

The continued detention of two Iranian journalists - arrested by US forces in Iraq while filming at a checkpoint on 1 July - has stirred mounting concern and anger in Iran.

The Iranian Government has sent an official protest to Washington through the Swiss embassy in Tehran, which handles US interests. Diplomatic relations between the US and Iran were broken after the Islamic revolution in 1979.

Iranian officials say they have also stopped issuing visas to American and British journalists wanting to visit Iran. British forces are part of the US-led coalition in Iraq.

The two detained Iranians, director Saeed Abu Taleb and cameraman Soheil Karimi, were filming for the Iranian state television's second channel when they were arrested at Diwanieh in south-central Iraq.

Coalition officials say they are being held on suspicion of spying.

Until this week, the two men's families had virtually no news of them. After a month of silence, they received forms from the International Committee of the Red Cross with the rubber-stamped legend "Safe and Well" - but no further details.


But Faranak Dalpay, Saeed Abu Taleb's wife, said that this week she received another letter with a four-line message from her husband. This followed a recent visit to the two men by Iranian consular officials who were allowed to see them in the Umm Qasr prison in southern Iraq.

"Just waiting, and having no news, is what's hard for the families - for me and the children," she said.

"The main problem is knowing nothing about how they are, or what they're being accused of doing. We just don't understand. We're waiting from minute to minute for the phone to ring, or to hear some news on the TV or radio."

Saeed Abu Taleb is a well-known documentary maker with a string of pioneering films to his credit.

He filmed, edited and scripted the first Iranian film on the marine life of the Persian Gulf.

His other works include dramatic documentaries on organ transplants, and the link between Aids and drug addiction in Iran. He is also the author of a chemistry textbook for schools.

Friends and family have set up a website to campaign for their release. Their case has been strongly taken up by Iranian officials.

'On-going investigations'

British diplomats have also been engaged in behind-the-scenes efforts to press their US allies to resolve the case one way or the other.

At one stage, it was wrongly but widely reported in Iran that the two men had been handed over to British forces in Iraq, bringing additional pressure on the UK embassy in Tehran.

Officials of the US-led coalition in Baghdad denied that the two Iranians had simply disappeared into a bureaucratic black hole or were being held out of political spite.

"In the case of these journalists, there are investigations still going on," coalition spokesman Charles Heatly said.

"We were certainly very concerned about their activities, and believe that they may have been involved in espionage activities at the time of their arrest. They are being held as security internees.

"When those investigations have been completed, then a decision will be made as to whether either to bring criminal proceedings, to take any further proceedings on security grounds, or to release them," he added.

Mr Abu Taleb and Mr Karimi are among 55 Iranians being detained by coalition forces.

Iran says most of them are would-be pilgrims trying to reach Shia holy sites in southern Iraq, arrested for crossing the border illegally.

Coalition officials say they are holding fewer than 5,000 prisoners in all categories, including prisoners or war, common criminals, and security internees like Mr Abu Taleb and Mr Karimi.
22 posted on 10/30/2003 2:18:23 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
German Mediator to Ask Iran over Ron Arad

October 30, 2003
The Jerusalem Post

German prisoner-exchange mediator Ernst Uhrlau will travel to Iran in an attempt to obtain information on missing IAF navigator Lt.-Col. Ron Arad.

Uhrlau is expected to meet with top Iranian officials over the question of Arad's whereabouts, Channel 10 reported Thursday night.

Arad bailed out of his plane over Lebanon in 1986 and was captured by Mustafa Dirani, then security chief of the Shi'ite militia Amal. Dirani reportedly 'sold' Arad to the Iranians.

Ernst Uhrlau is the coordinator of the German Federal Intelligence and the leading German mediator between Israel and Hizbullah.

A special committee set up last year to reassess and examine the situation regarding the fate of missing IAF navigator Lt.-Col. Ron Arad has concluded that he is still alive, noting that it has not received any evidence showing otherwise.
23 posted on 10/30/2003 2:19:29 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Shirin Ebadi and Iran's Women: in the Vanguard of Change

October 30, 2003
Nazila Fathi

Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian human rights lawyer and 2003 Nobel Peace Prize winner, returned to Tehran on 13 October to a mixed reception that is itself a symbol of the country’s deep political divisions. Where ordinary people and activists greeted her with joy and pride, pro-regime hardliners unleashed an unprecedented wave of hostility against her.

A spontaneous gathering of 10,000 people assembled at Tehran’s airport to welcome Shirin Ebadi as she flew in. They made the occasion a pro-democracy demonstration and demanded the release of political prisoners and a referendum on the future state of the country.

One of them was Shadi Sadr, 30, a lawyer and advocate for women’s rights, who said that the prize would help younger women in their campaigning. “She has become a role model for young women. When young women see what a woman from a patriarchal society has achieved they feel more confident to continue their struggle.”

Indeed, although the winning of the peace prize has made Ebadi a symbol of democracy and national pride throughout many sectors of society, she is a particular inspiration for younger, educated women. More than 60% of students accepted to universities this year were women and they are striving for equal rights with men.

The crowd at the airport included several members of the majlis (parliament) who came to show their solidarity. “The prize has given Ebadi’s demands an international credibility now. We expect it to become difficult for the judiciary to confront her,” said Alireza Alavitabar, a professor of political science at Tehran University .

But the exuberant response at the airport was matched by the bitter denunciation of the award from partisans of the regime. One indication of their anger was that they forced university officials to cancel a ceremony in her honour scheduled to take place at Tehran’s Polytechnic University.

This was only the start. A militant newspaper, Ya-Lessarat, issued a covert death sentence against her; one member of the majlis compared her to Salman Rushdie, the British author of the book Satanic Verses, against whom Iran’s late religious leader Ayatollah Khomeini had proclaimed a fatwa in 1988; and a group of clerics from the religious city of Qom released a statement saying that the aim of Ebadi’s prize was to ridicule Islam.

“The Nobel institute has been after political gains … and has given the prize to a person who has tried to show the enlightening Islamic teachings as dark and has challenged the fundamentals of religion,” thundered an editorial in the Jomhuri-ye Islami.

A voice without fear

“This is really unusual and worrying,” Shirin Ebadi told me in her modest, book-lined office. Yet, since her return from Paris, where she heard the news of her prize while attending a conference on Iranian film, she has taken on several new cases to defend political activists and has vowed to continue her struggle for human rights. “This prize has put a heavy burden on my shoulders because I have to prove at least to myself that I deserved it,” she says. “So, I will not lessen my work but will increase it. I will never deprive myself of the honour of struggling for human rights.”

Before the 1979 revolution she had been one of the country’s first women judges, but the new Islamic Republic deemed women ‘too emotional’ for such work and demoted her to court assistant. Her campaign for human rights starts from this event.

She started her work with children. “Children are the most vulnerable group in society and their rights are widely violated. But they do not have anyone to defend them,” she says. She was the founder of the Association for Children’s Rights where she campaigned against child beating, child labour, and for government payment for the education of working children.

For twenty-five years, Ebadi has carried on her principled, professional work while refusing to become entangled in Iran’s political divisions. Now, at 56, she remains assertive, severe and fearless – probably the worst nightmare of Iran’s hardline clerics who have attempted relentlessly to confine women and limit their ability to play a full part in society.

Since her return with the prize, Ebadi has been giving constant interviews explaining how she will pursue her career. “Iran has signed major international human rights conventions and is obligated to change those (national) laws that are in contradiction to these conventions,” she says. “It is governments that always violate human rights and I will continue my fight until they respect them.”

Her bravery reminded me of December 1998. I was visiting her at her office in central Tehran and we had just heard that another dissident, Mohammad Pouyandeh, had disappeared – the fifth in ten days. The others had been found stabbed or strangled to death a few days after they were kidnapped. The last three had been members of the Writers’ Association, as was Shirin Ebadi. Her name had appeared on a blacklist that some newspapers claimed to be a death list.

She was indeed jailed in 2000 and kept in solitary confinement for three weeks for revealing a tape in which a former vigilante had confessed that members of his group had planned an assassination attempt against two reformist ministers. When asked now if she fears imprisonment, she replies: “fear is an instinct like hunger and we all know it. I have learned not to let fear prevent me from what I should do.”

Who are the hardliners?

Iran is in political limbo: conservative politicians who have opposed a more liberal society confront all those who have campaigned for human rights and democracy. Although recent elections have showed that the former enjoy less than 15% support from the people, they control most levers of power: the judiciary, army, and the ‘watchdog’ body known as the Guardian Council which has the right to veto laws it holds to be inconsistent with Islamic law or the constitution. As a result, reformist supporters of President Khatami, who came to office in 1997 with majority support, have proved incapable of advancing their reform agenda.

Many of these supporters and allies of the president have been jailed by the judiciary. The Guardian Council has prevented the majlis from approving bills that could permit more civil liberty. Some twenty journalists and many students are in jail today; more than 100 reformist newspapers have been shut down since 1998; paramilitary forces have suppressed pro-democracy demonstrations; dissident intellectuals have been murdered by a rogue group of intelligence ministry officials (Shirin Ebadi volunteered to represent the family of the first two victims, Parvaneh and Daryoush Forouhar).

These restrictions and oppressions affect everyone, but as a woman Shirin Ebadi represents a particular challenge to the hardline elements. They hold that women’s rights are incorporated by the tenets of religion, and they wish to maintain their authority in defining those rights.

Women’s status, freedom’s condition

After the 1979 revolution, Iran’s Islamic regime replaced the secular legal code with an Islamic one according to which women’s lives and their testimony are considered half of those of men’s. According to the law, women have no right to divorce but “a man can divorce his wife whenever he wishes.” After divorce, the son belongs to her mother until the age of 2 and the daughter until the age of 7. Segregation is enforced in public places and women are required to cover their hair and wear long shapeless coats.

Ebadi argues that Islam is a religion of peace and equality, and that inequality originates from culture not religion. Moreover, Islamic law should be interpreted according to modern needs; “I am against (patriarchal) culture, not Islam,” she says.

One of the most notorious cases Ebadi defended was that of Leila Fathi, an 11-year old rural girl who was raped by three men and then killed. The court ruled that since Leila’s life was worth half of the value of each man who had murdered her, her family – in so-called compensation for the death sentence imposed on them – actually had to pay blood money for the men.

To this day, the men have not been punished because Leila’s family has failed to raise the necessary amount even after they sold all their property. “Leila’s family lost their daughter. They are homeless now because they sold everything to seek justice. Doesn’t this money seem like a prize to the family of these men?” asks Ebadi. The law remains unchanged.

A spate of recent incidents shows how this injustice is felt at all levels of society. In July, a female photo-journalist, Zahra Kazemi, was suspiciously slain in custody; in August, a young woman received a death sentence for killing a man who had allegedly tried to rape her; four women were given suspended prison sentences merely for translating and writing secular articles about women’s rights. Reformist women in parliament suffered a major setback in August after the Guardian Council rejected a bill that would have allowed Iran to sign the United Nations Convention on Eliminating Discrimination against Women.

All this makes the Nobel Peace Prize even more significant. The lawyer Shadi Sadr sums up the feelings of many: “what is important is that this prize restores an identity and pride that has been taken away from women. The Nobel Peace Prize makes us feel vindicated after all our sufferings.”
24 posted on 10/30/2003 2:20:32 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Bush's Challenge: Balancing Israel vs. Iran on Nukes

October 30, 2003
Michael Moran

With a deadline for Iran to open up its nuclear facilities looming Friday, the Bush administration faces a daunting challenge: ensuring that it does not sign on to any deal on Iran’s weapons that leaves Israel feeling it must act unilaterally to secure itself.

NUCLEAR POLITICS makes strange bedfellows.

Exhibit 1: China’s forceful intervention on behalf of the U.S. effort to reign in North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, which Thursday won another round of multiparty talks from the reticent regime in Pyongyang.

Exhibit 2 may be even more shocking: the prospect of a nuclear Iran has caused some in Saudi Arabia’s senior military and security ranks to ruminate about the beneficial effects of an Israeli air strike on Iranian facilities.

Friday marks the official deadline for Iran to open its nuclear books, facilities and soul to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which already has started drafting a report on Iran’s compliance — or failure to comply — with the terms of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Following a diplomatic intervention by three European Union nations (Germany, Britain and France), the Iranians began delivering documents and making promises about access to suspect sites to the IAEA, the U.N.’s nuclear regulatory organization. The IAEA report will be the center piece of the IAEA board meeting in Vienna on Nov. 20, and if Iran is deemed insufficiently cooperative, the consequences could be severe.

There is much speculation about why Iran would suddenly decide to come clean. European officials doubt that the threat of losing a lucrative free trade deal with the EU was enough to tip the scales. Indeed, according to a European parliament member who traveled to Tehran, “the main things they fear are a U.N. vote on economic sanctions, the possibility that Israel will bomb their facilities to smithereens if they don’t agree to tough inspections, and the long term threat that Saudi Arabia will feel threatened enough to go nuclear, too.”


For those who tend to see little difference between Muslim nations, it may come as a surprise that the Saudis would be seen as a potential enemy in Tehran. Their shared contempt for Israel, hatred of the deposed Saddam and mutual lip service to Palestinian rights have obscured their rivalry in Western eyes. But, particularly with Iraq prostrate and occupied, the fierce competition between Iran’s revolutionary brand of Shiite Islam (ala Hizballah) and Saudi Arabia’s radical Sunni Wahabbism (ala al-Qaida) has reemerged.

That alone would not be enough to prompt a nuclear arms race in the Persian Gulf. Last month, however, The Guardian of London carried a report based on interviews with U.N. nuclear officials, saying that the prospect of both Israel and Iran armed with nuclear weapons had prompted a very high-level debate in Saudi Arabia about purchasing or developing a nuclear arsenal, or, more likely, signing a nuclear accord with Pakistan which would funnel Saudi money to its nuclear program in exchange for being included under Pakistan’s “nuclear umbrella.”

A Washington Times correspondent with good connections inside the Bush administration, Arnaud de Borchgrave, advanced the story further this week, suggesting the Saudis and Pakistanis have “an agreement in principle” on the funds-for-umbrella idea.

An Israeli nuclear expert, speaking to on condition of anonymity, further asserted that Saudi commanders have debated the merits of sharing intelligence information on Iran’s program with the United States — all in the knowledge that it might make its way to Israeli air force targeters.

The State Department has no evidence to substantiate this, and both the Saudis and Pakistanis deny it. The Iranians, of course, deny that they have any nuclear facilities working on anything but a peaceful research program aimed at producing electricity — a position widely regarded as a lie by the world’s major powers.
25 posted on 10/30/2003 2:22:07 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Al-Qaida Planned, Executed Baghdad Bombing

October 30, 2003
United Press International
Richard Sale

The United States has strong evidence that members of al- Qaida, assisted by Iranian hard-liners, was responsible for Monday's horrific series of suicide bombings in downtown Baghdad that killed about 40 people and wounded more than 200. Several serving and former U.S. intelligence officials say this is further evidence that terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden is poised to turn Iraq into a major theater of terrorist operations against the United States.

Within a 45-minute burst of coordinated savagery, four suicide bombers hit soft targets that included the headquarters of the International Red Cross and four Iraqi police stations at sites 10 miles apart, according to various U.S. officials interviewed by United Press International.

A fifth suicide bomber attempted to blow up a police station but was shot by an Iraqi policeman before he could detonate his vehicle, U.S. officials said.

"Do these latest attacks in Iraq remind you of anything?" said one former very senior CIA official. "Look at the Sept. 11 attacks -- in forty five minutes, the bombings of the World Trade Center and Pentagon brought the entire American continent to a standstill, the president stranded in the air on Air Force One, U.S. fighters aloft with orders to shoot down any commercial airliners that strayed from their paths, the vice president sheltering in a bomb-proof cave below the White House."

The naming by U.S. intelligence officials of al-Qaida and its sympathizers as the force behind Monday's bombings contradicted statements made Monday to another news agency by Pentagon officials who said they believed loyalists of ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein were responsible.

As UPI reported exclusively in August, members of al-Qaida along with Iraqi nationalists has joined former Baathists in a guerrilla war that was described by one administration official as "gaining in breath of personnel, sophistication of tactics, and supplies of weapons."

According to the most current CIA estimates, the core of al-Qaida/foreign fighters now totals between 1,000 and 3,000 operatives, according to another former senior CIA official.

The al-Qaida operatives come from Egypt, Chechnya, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and even Albania, U.S. intelligence officials said.

Many of them are coming over the border of Iran "in a flood," according to one administration analyst.

U.S. intelligence officials told UPI that the attacks were two to three months in the planning and displayed a high degree of coordination, a superb sense of targeting, and the ability to inflict mass casualties against U.S. allies at will.

One senior administration drew a dark picture and warned: "The White House had better begin to see these attacks for what they are -- extremely canny, shrewd, sophisticated, almost impossible to defend against. This is a sustained, calculated offensive being waged against us."

The attack on the International Red Cross was done by the same terrorists who on Aug. 19 bombed U.N. headquarters, causing many casualties, he said.

The Monday attacks involved advanced reconnaissance, planning, and organization of support infrastructure that probably involved Ansar al-Islam, a Kurdish movement, based in the north of Iraq and supported by Iran, which has alleged ties to al-Qaida and which is now known to be in the Baghdad area, U.S. intelligence experts said.

"The problem is that al-Qaida members coming in from third countries are forging all sorts of tactical alliances with Baathists, Iraq nationalists and other groups," said former CIA counterterrorism chief, Vince Cannistraro.

One administration official said not only was Ansar al-Islam providing infrastructure support, but it was also helping to provide operational security for the attacks.

"The support system probably began running in the early spring or summer," he said.

One U.S. government analyst speculated there were probably two networks of terrorists involved using about a dozen operatives. One would have been made up of explosives experts, the other of the perpetrators. For security purposes, they would have had little contact with each other, he said.

The Defense Intelligence Agency officials said that military officials on the ground in Iraq had reports that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, working with explosives experts from Hizbollah, may have assisted al-Qaida.

Several CIA officials expressed skepticism at this saying that Hizbollah was not widely active in Iraq, but a DIA official disputed this saying: "There is a lot of indications of Iranian activity in Baghdad."

From assessing the damage, administration officials said that the bombs were expertly built. One U.S. official said: "It looks as though you had shaped charges mixed with incendiary and other accelerants that detonate right after the main blast to cause additional damage."

Another U.S. official said that the fuses of the bombs appeared to have been "very sophisticated." He added that the attack last weekend on the Al Rashid hotel displayed none of al-Qaida's characteristic expertise: "The attack on the Al-Rashid hotel was a plain old attack by former Baathist operatives with military training," he said.

Serving and former CIA officials warned that they have evidence that business contractors are slated to be the next targets of al-Qaida attacks. "The purpose of these attacks is to collapse the U.S.-led effort to rebuild Iraq.

Anyone -- Iraqis who are cooperating, businessmen -- they are all fair game."

A State Department official agreed: "Perhaps the greatest damage inflicted has been psychological. Our major goal has got to be to convince the Iraqi populace that we have the means to assure their protection and restore to them a normal, secure life. Attacks like Monday's undermine those claims, increase U.S. unpopularity and are sure to slow reconstruction."
26 posted on 10/30/2003 2:23:14 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Al-Qaida Planned, Executed Baghdad Bombing

October 30, 2003
United Press International
Richard Sale
27 posted on 10/30/2003 2:23:54 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
28 posted on 10/30/2003 2:38:46 PM PST by windchime
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To: F14 Pilot
29 posted on 10/30/2003 2:45:12 PM PST by windchime
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To: F14 Pilot
neoconservative hawks in Washington

How can we escape the quagmire without the matchless Theodoulou?

Let Iran "reform" away its islamofascist repression, cease its support of terrorism and provide real transparency on nuclear weapons.

We don't really need Ted Bundy's help at the rape crisis center, thank you very much.

30 posted on 10/30/2003 5:28:06 PM PST by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: DoctorZIn
Had Clinton listened to Woolsey, 911 need never have happened.

Woolsey should replace Tenet now.

Woolsey's advice vis a vis constitutional monarchy is of interest--but how will it poll in Baghdad?

31 posted on 10/30/2003 5:47:07 PM PST by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: DoctorZIn
Al-Qaida Planned, Executed Baghdad Bombing

Oh, but there's no al Qaeda/Iraq link--Jay Rockefeller told us.

32 posted on 10/30/2003 6:10:15 PM PST by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: PhilDragoo
What's most important on the Iran issue that you all need to seriously be active about and informing others is the rift between White house and State Dept - and the fact that State is leaning towards EU policy of working out deals and negotiating with the regime - when in reality the US should be pushing for FREE REFERENDUM - A REMOVAL OF ALL POLTICAL PRISONERS - A DELIVERY OF ALL AL QUAEDA - A RELEASE OF BERKELEY PROFESSOR - and the STEPPING DOWN OF AN ILLEGITIMATE REGIME -

YOU MUST all work hard to inform others and lobby the State Dept not to make deals with the regime and do not give into Euro lobbying...

33 posted on 10/30/2003 7:45:03 PM PST by faludeh_shirazi
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To: DoctorZIn
Friday October 31, 02:50 AM

"35 or 40" countries able to make nuclear weapons: IAEA chief

Up to 40 countries are believed to be capable of manufacturing nuclear weapons, underlining the need to reinforce and update the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei told a French newspaper.

The treaty, which came into force in 1970, has been overtaken by a world in which developing nuclear arms has become attractive not only to many countries, but also to "terrorist groups," ElBaradei told Friday's issue of Le Monde.

The number of countries believed to be able to create such weapons "is estimated at 35 or 40," he said.

"And under the current regime, there is nothing illicit for a non-nuclear state to conduct uranium-enriching activities ... or even to possess military-grade nuclear material," he said.

Should any one of them decide to break their commitment to the non-proliferation treaty, experts believe it "could produce a weapon in just a few months."

He added: "We are already on the verge of catastrophe with North Korea."

Elsewhere in the interview, ElBaradei said his agency was at work verifying Iran's nuclear programme, and said a report would be made at the next UN Security Council meeting.

To cope with the increasing risk of other countries developing nuclear arms, the agency head said a beefed-up version of the non-proliferation treaty was needed, beyond the tweaking that it went through in 1995 after the first Gulf War.

"We have to reach agreement on limiting the construction, in civilian programmes, of nuclear material for military ends by confining this to installations under multilateral control."

A "new safety system" that would treat the causes of international insecurity, not just their symptoms, also should be created that would not be based on "dissuasion, but on fairness and universality," he argued.
34 posted on 10/30/2003 8:45:05 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
Bolton Says U.S. Is Actively Seeking to Curb Proliferation

October 30, 2003
U.S. Department of State
Washington File

"Rogue states such as Iran, North Korea, Syria, Libya and Cuba, whose pursuit of weapons of mass destruction makes them hostile to U.S. interests, will learn that their covert programs will not escape either detection or consequences," says John Bolton, undersecretary of state for arms control and international security.

Addressing the Bruges Group in London October 30, Bolton said that "while we will pursue diplomatic solutions whenever possible, the United States and its allies must be willing to deploy more robust techniques, such as the interdiction and seizure of illicit goods, the disruption of procurement networks, sanctions, or other means."

"In situations where we cannot convince a state to stop proliferant behavior," he said, "we also have the option of interdicting shipments to ensure the technology does not fall into the wrong hands." He pointed to several U.S. initiatives to prevent proliferation, including the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), the G-8 Global Partnership, the Dangerous Materials Initiative, and HEU [highly enriched uranium] Minimization.

The United States worked with 10 allies to develop the Proliferation Security Initiative, agreeing on a "Statement of Interdiction Principles." Today more than 50 countries have indicated that they support the PSI and are ready to participate in interdiction efforts, Bolton said. Additionally, PSI participants "have agreed on a series of 10 sea, air, and ground interdiction training exercises to occur into 2004," he said. Already, participants have "trained for maritime interdiction operations in both the Mediterranean and the western Pacific Ocean, two areas that are particularly prone to proliferation trafficking," he added.

"Our long-term objective is to create a web of counterproliferation partnerships through which proliferators will have difficulty carrying out their trade in WMD and missile-related technology," said Bolton. He described the G-8 Global Partnership Initiative, launched by G-8 leaders at the June, 2002, Kananaskis Summit, as an important nonproliferation achievement of the Bush administration. He also highlighted the Dangerous Materials Initiative, which was developed in response to President Bush's call at the U.N. General Assembly "to secure the most dangerous materials at their source." The United States is also working "to reduce to an absolute minimum international commerce in and unsecured storage of weapons-usable uranium throughout the world" through the HEU Minimization program, he said.

"Each of these initiatives moves us closer to a more secure world where we are able not only to prevent the spread of WMD, but also to ‘roll back' and ultimately eliminate such weapons from the arsenals of rogue states," said Bolton, who earlier noted that "Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Libya are aggressively working to acquire weapons of mass destruction and their missile delivery systems."

In fact, "Iran is a crucial test for the international community and for the credibility and survival of the Non-Proliferation Treaty," observed Bolton. "While Iran has consistently denied any program to develop nuclear weapons, the large and still-growing number of contradictions, inconsistencies and prevarications in its shifting explanations to the IAEA demonstrate convincingly that Iran is actively concealing a weapons program," he said.

If Iran does not comply with its NPT obligations by satisfying the specific criteria laid out by the IAEA by October 31, Bolton said, "we expect the Security Council would then call on Iran to comply with IAEA demands and would use its authority to reinforce the IAEA's efforts."

Turning to North Korea, Bolton said that it also represents "a profound challenge to regional and even global stability, and to the nuclear nonproliferation regime." While the United States will continue to seek to bring about "the complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement of North Korea's nuclear programs ... through diplomatic dialogue in a multilateral framework ... North Korea will not be given inducements to reverse actions it took in violation of its treaty commitments and other international obligations," he said.

Bolton also expressed U.S. concern over Syria's nuclear aspirations, stating that the United States will continue "to watch for any signs of nuclear weapons activity or foreign assistance that could facilitate a Syrian nuclear weapons capability."

He also noted that the United States has observed Syria taking "a series of hostile actions toward Coalition forces, such as allowing dual-use and military equipment to flow into Iraq on the eve of and during the war." Syria also permitted individuals to cross its border into Iraq "who sought to attack and kill our service members during the war," said Bolton. While Syria has curbed the flow of people and weapons into Iraq in recent weeks, "the infiltration of these fighters into Iraq continues to be a significant problem for us, and we call on Syria to stop such traffic from moving across its borders," he added.

Following is the text of Bolton's prepared remarks:

(begin text)

The New World After Iraq: The Continuing Threat of Weapons of Mass Destruction
John R. Bolton, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security
Remarks to the Bruges Group
London, United Kingdom
October 30, 2003

It is a real pleasure to have the opportunity to address the Bruges Group to discuss the steps the Bush administration is taking to keep our country and our friends and allies safe from the threat of weapons of mass destruction. Without question, today's greatest threat to international peace and stability comes from rogue states and terrorist groups that are unrestrained in their choice of weapon and undeterred by conventional means.

Until our Coalition took action last spring, the world faced a serious security threat with Saddam Hussein in power in Iraq. Here was a dictator who, while defying 17 Security Council resolutions, had ambitions to reconstitute his weapons arsenal, had obstructed and deceived international inspectors for 12 years, had used weapons of mass destruction (WMD) against his own people, had twice invaded neighboring countries, and who had supported, and in some cases even harbored, terrorist groups. The interim report of the Iraq Survey Group shows that, as we suspected, Saddam never disarmed or disclosed as required. Dr. David Kay reports, for instance, that through interviews with Iraqi scientists and officials, the Group discovered "dozens of WMD-related program activities and significant amounts of equipment that Iraq concealed from the United Nations during the inspections that began in late 2002."

Had we not eliminated Saddam's regime, he would have remained, as [National Security Advisor] Condoleezza Rice said earlier this month, "poised in the heart of the Middle East, sitting atop a potentially deadly arsenal of terrible weapons, threatening his neighbors and the world." Some analysts have said that not finding WMD in Iraq -- to date -- proves that Saddam was not an imminent threat, and that, therefore, our Coalition military action was not justified. These criticisms miss the mark that our concern was not the imminence of Saddam's threat, but the very existence of his regime, given its heinous and undeniable record, capabilities and intentions. President Bush specifically and unambiguously addressed this issue in his January, 2003, State of the Union message when he said: "Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option."

Given the right opportunity or incentive, Saddam could have easily transferred these weapons to terrorist groups or other non-state actors for their use against us, with potentially catastrophic results. For such terrorist groups, a weapon of mass destruction is increasingly a weapon of first, not last, resort, which they seek to acquire any way they can. State sponsors of terrorism, such as Iran, North Korea, Syria and Libya, are aggressively working to acquire weapons of mass destruction and their missile delivery systems. Here lies a dangerous confluence of nefarious motives, and we must prevent the one from abetting the other. As President Bush told the United Nations last month, "Outlaw regimes that possess nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons -- and the means to deliver them -- would be able to use blackmail and create chaos in entire regions. These weapons could be used by terrorists to bring sudden disaster and suffering on a scale we can scarcely imagine. The deadly combination of outlaw regimes and terror networks and weapons of mass murder is a peril that cannot be ignored or wished away."

We acted in Iraq because we were not willing to trust our security, and the security of our friends and allies, to the supposed restraint and circumspection of a dictator committed to acquiring deadly weapons of mass destruction. Saddam's continued defiance of U.N. resolutions and continued interest in weapons of mass destruction justified Coalition action. The risks of continued inaction were simply too high. As the president said recently, "It's a new kind of war, and America is following a new strategy. We're not waiting for further attacks. We're striking our enemies before they can strike us again."

Saddam's removal from power has unquestionably improved the international security situation. We are working tirelessly with 30 other Coalition partners to allow the Iraqis themselves to build the institutions of liberty and representative government, a peaceful society that no longer diverts its resources away from its citizens and toward the pursuit of WMD. But we face significant challenges in other parts of the world from terrorist-sponsoring regimes that are developing weapons of mass destruction in many forms. Rogue states such as Iran, North Korea, Syria, Libya and Cuba, whose pursuit of weapons of mass destruction makes them hostile to U.S. interests, will learn that their covert programs will not escape either detection or consequences. And while we will pursue diplomatic solutions whenever possible, the United States and its allies must be willing to deploy more robust techniques, such as the interdiction and seizure of illicit goods, the disruption of procurement networks, sanctions, or other means. If rogue states are not willing to follow the logic of nonproliferation norms, they must be prepared to face the logic of adverse consequences. It is why we repeatedly caution that no option is off the table.


Let me turn to the problem of Iran. Although Iran has robust BW [biological warfare], CW [chemical warfare] and missile programs, tonight I will focus on their nuclear weapons program. Our strategy is to use bilateral and multilateral pressure to end that program, and to secure international consensus against Iran's pursuit of enrichment and reprocessing capabilities. To date, two reports by the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have established that Iran is in violation -- in multiple instances -- of its safeguards obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). While Iran has consistently denied any program to develop nuclear weapons, the large and still-growing number of contradictions, inconsistencies and prevarications in its shifting explanations to the IAEA demonstrate convincingly that Iran is actively concealing a weapons program.

The United States believes that Iran's covert and costly effort to acquire sensitive nuclear capabilities make sense only as part of a nuclear weapons program. Iran is trying to legitimize as "peaceful and transparent" its pursuit of nuclear fuel-cycle capabilities that would give it the ability to produce fissile material for nuclear weapons. This includes uranium mining and extraction, uranium conversion and enrichment, reactor fuel fabrication, heavy water production, and "management" of spent fuel -- a euphemism for reprocessing spent fuel to recover plutonium. Iran is also benefiting from international nuclear assistance for its reactor project, even while it uses such ostensibly legitimate programs to help conceal its clandestine nuclear work.

For many years, the United States has called for increased international scrutiny of Iran's nuclear program. The member states of the G-8, the European Union, the members of the nuclear supplier regimes, and other multilateral bodies have joined us in expressing the strongest concern over Iran's nuclear activities, and have called on Iran to cooperate more fully to answer all outstanding questions. The IAEA Board's September 12 resolution made these concerns clear, and required that Iran fully satisfy specific criteria by October 31 if it expects to avoid a formal finding of NPT noncompliance by the Board. It is a testimony to the effectiveness of concerted international pressure that Iran has recently been willing to promise to agree to the Additional Protocol, and has provided the IAEA with at least some additional information about its nuclear program, a positive but long-overdue step. It still remains to be seen whether these initiatives will amount to more than mere words, and even if Iran follows through with its promises, many further steps will still be required in order to prove beyond doubt that Iran is foreswearing the pursuit of nuclear weapons.

If Iran does not comply with its NPT obligations, the Board of Governors must do its duty and -- based on the facts already reported by the Director General, along with whatever else he reports next month and other information we now have -- find Iran not in compliance with its NPT safeguards obligations. This would trigger a report by the IAEA to the [U.N.] Security Council. If that occurs, we expect the Security Council would then call on Iran to comply with IAEA demands and would use its authority to reinforce the IAEA's efforts.

Iran is a crucial test for the international community and for the credibility and survival of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. If we stand firm together on this crucial issue, I am confident that we can preserve the credibility of the nuclear nonproliferation regime and help bring Iran back into compliance.

North Korea

With regard to North Korea, President Bush's objective is quite clear: the United States seeks the complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement of North Korea's nuclear programs. We seek to bring this about, as we have said repeatedly, through diplomatic dialogue in a multilateral framework involving those states with the most direct stakes in the outcome. Other states may yet be involved as appropriate. The North Korean nuclear program is not a bilateral issue between the United States and the DPRK. It is a profound challenge to regional and even global stability, and to the nuclear nonproliferation regime.

By pursuing this course, the president is determined that blackmail and bad behavior on the part of North Korea will not be rewarded. North Korea will not be given inducements to reverse actions it took in violation of its treaty commitments and other international obligations.

During the August six-party talks in Beijing, the United States, China, Russia, Japan, and South Korea emphasized that the Korean Peninsula must be free of nuclear weapons. North Korea further isolated itself by threatening provocative actions such as nuclear tests -- adding to threats it made in April that it might build more nuclear weapons and perhaps even transfer nuclear material or weapons to third parties.

In addition to seeking a solution through multilateral diplomacy, the United States, working with other countries, has taken steps to curtail dangerous and illicit North Korean activities such as drug smuggling, counterfeiting, and trade in WMD and missiles -- activities that finance Kim Jong-il's regime, including its nuclear activities.

We should not forget, however, that -- like Iran -- North Korea's violations of international norms are hardly restricted to its pursuit of nuclear weaponry. Although the DPRK has maintained its September, 1999, self-imposed, long-range missile flight test moratorium, it has remained active in the research, development, testing, deployment, and export of ballistic missiles and related materials, equipment, and technology. During a September, 2002, meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, DPRK President Kim Jong-il stated that North Korea would maintain its missile flight test moratorium through 2003. We are concerned, however, that North Korea may be trying to circumvent its promise by cooperating in testing and development with foreign missile programs.

North Korea has acceded to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC), but nonetheless has probably continued a biological warfare capabilities effort that began in the 1960s. Pyongyang's resources include a rudimentary biotechnical infrastructure that could support the production of infectious biological warfare agents such as anthrax, cholera, and plague. North Korea is believed to possess a munitions-production infrastructure that would allow it to weaponize biological agents, and may have biological weapons available for use.

We believe North Korea has had a long-standing chemical weapons program. North Korea's chemical weapons capabilities include the ability to produce bulk quantities of nerve, blister, choking, and blood agents using its sizeable, although aging, chemical industry. We believe it possesses a sizeable stockpile of these agents and weapons, which it could employ should there be renewed fighting on the Korean peninsula.

North Korea's international procurement actions continue. In May, 2003, for example, German authorities intercepted 30 metric tons of the Australia Group-controlled chemical weapons precursor, sodium cyanide, bound for North Korea. In August, 2003, Taiwan authorities off-loaded 158 barrels of the controlled chemical weapons precursor phosphorous pentasulfide, from the North Korean vessel Be Gae Hong. North Korea represents a dangerous mix of repressive dictatorship, pursuit of WMD capabilities, and longstanding ties to international terrorism.


As I have recently testified to Congress, we are concerned about Syria's nuclear research and development program and continue to watch for any signs of nuclear weapons activity or foreign assistance that could facilitate a Syrian nuclear weapons capability. We are aware of Syrian efforts to acquire dual-use technologies -- some, through the IAEA Technical Cooperation program -- that could be applied to a nuclear weapons program. In addition, Russia and Syria have approved a draft program on cooperation on civil nuclear power. Broader access to Russian expertise could provide opportunities for Syria to expand its indigenous capabilities, should it decide to pursue nuclear weapons. Syria is a party to the NPT, and has a standard safeguards agreement with the IAEA, but has not yet signed or, to our knowledge, even begun negotiations on the IAEA Additional Protocol. The Additional Protocol is an important tool that, if fully implemented, could strengthen the IAEA's investigative powers to verify compliance with NPT safeguards obligations.

Since the 1970s, Syria has pursued what is now one of the most advanced Arab state chemical weapons capabilities. It has a stockpile of the nerve agent sarin that can be delivered by aircraft or ballistic missiles, and has engaged in the research and development of more toxic and persistent nerve agents such as VX. Syria is fully committed to expanding and improving its CW program, which it believes serves as a deterrent to regional adversaries. It remains heavily dependent on foreign sources for key elements of its chemical warfare program, including precursor chemicals and key production equipment. As a result, Syria will need to continue foreign procurement activities in order to continue its CW program. We believe that Syria is continuing to develop an offensive biological weapons capability as well.

In addition, Syria's failure to secure its border with Iraq to guerrillas and terrorists poses a continuing threat to Coalition forces in Iraq. We have seen Syria take a series of hostile actions toward Coalition forces, such as allowing dual-use and military equipment to flow into Iraq on the eve of and during the war. Syria permitted volunteers to pass into Iraq, volunteers who sought to attack and kill our service members during the war. Although the situation on the Syrian border has improved somewhat in recent weeks, the infiltration of these fighters into Iraq continues to be a significant problem for us, and we call on Syria to stop such traffic from moving across its borders. As Secretary Powell said last month, "I made it clear to the Syrians that to have good relations with the United States and with a liberated Iraq, they should do everything they could to make sure that the wrong sorts of people are not crossing the border to cause trouble in Iraq." The message that the Bush administration and the Congress are sending is clear: Syria must immediately change course and change its behavior on all of these fronts, or face the consequences.

New Initiatives

To roll back the proliferation activities of the rogue states, and to ensure that any of their WMD progress is not passed on to terrorist groups, the United States is employing a variety of methods, including multilateral agreements, diplomacy, arms control, threat reduction assistance, export control aid, and other means where necessary. Most importantly, we and our partners in the international community must maintain an unvarnished assessment of the proliferators, and disrupt their supply of sensitive goods and technology before it contributes to an increased WMD capability or falls into the hands of terrorists.

In situations where we cannot convince a state to stop proliferant behavior, or where items are shipped despite our best efforts to control them, we also have the option of interdicting shipments to ensure the technology does not fall in to the wrong hands. These interdiction efforts are an important addition to our comprehensive strategy to prevent proliferation. Interdiction involves identifying an imminent shipment or transfer and working to stop it. As the president noted in his National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction, we must enhance the capabilities of our military, intelligence, technical, and law enforcement communities to prevent the movement of WMD materials, technology, and expertise to hostile states and terrorist organizations.

Proliferation Security Initiative

One of our newest and most promising counterproliferation initiatives, the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), was announced by President Bush on May 31. An essential component of U.S. counterproliferation strategy is to work with other concerned states to develop new means to disrupt the proliferation trade at sea, in the air, and on land. In this context, the United States and 10 other close allies and friends -- Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and the UK -- have worked to develop this new initiative. Our goal is to create a more dynamic, creative, and robust approach to preventing WMD, missiles, and related technologies flowing to and from countries of proliferation concern.

The PSI has been a fast-moving effort, reflecting the urgency attached to establishing a more coordinated and active basis to prevent proliferation. On September 4, after just three months, agreement on and publication of the PSI "Statement of Interdiction Principles" was achieved. The Statement of Interdiction Principles has been shared with countries around the world. The response to the PSI and the Principles has been very positive, with more than 50 countries already indicating they support the PSI and are ready to participate in interdiction efforts. We are moving to establish the practical basis for cooperating on interdictions with such countries.

PSI participants have agreed on a series of 10 sea, air, and ground interdiction training exercises to occur into 2004. Australia organized and executed one such exercise last month in the Coral Sea that involved both military and law enforcement assets. Four PSI partners, including the United States, sent vessels to the exercise, and all PSI partners were involved in some capacity. On October 8-9, the United Kingdom hosted the first PSI air interdiction training exercise, designed to explore operational issues associated with the interception of proliferation-related trafficking in the air. And in mid-October, Spain hosted the second maritime interdiction training exercise, this one in the western Mediterranean Sea. This exercise involved concrete contributions from France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as observers from other PSI participant nations. PSI nations have now trained for maritime interdiction operations in both the Mediterranean and the western Pacific Ocean, two areas that are particularly prone to proliferation trafficking. Additional training exercises will be held in the months to come, further improving our ability for interdictions.

As the PSI moves forward, we expect other countries will join in these training opportunities. President Bush has made clear that we hope to involve all countries that have a stake in nonproliferation and who have the will and ability to take necessary action to address this growing threat. Our long-term objective is to create a web of counterproliferation partnerships through which proliferators will have difficulty carrying out their trade in WMD and missile-related technology. As the president said last month, "We're determined to keep the world's most destructive weapons away from all our shores, and out of the hands of our common enemies."

It is important to note that our interdiction efforts in PSI are grounded in existing domestic and international authorities. By coordinating our efforts with other countries, we can draw upon an enhanced set of authorities for interdiction; that is, the sum of our efforts may be more effective than taking action individually.

Properly planned and executed, the interception of critical technologies while en route can prevent hostile states and non-state actors from acquiring these dangerous capabilities. At a minimum, interdiction can lengthen the time that proliferators will need to acquire new weapons capabilities, increase their cost, and demonstrate our resolve to combat proliferation.

G-8 Global Partnership

The G-8 Global Partnership Initiative, launched by G-8 Leaders at the June, 2002, Kananaskis Summit, is also an important nonproliferation achievement of this administration. The goal of the Global Partnership Initiative is to raise up to billion over 10 years for nonproliferation, disarmament, and nuclear safety cooperation projects to prevent the spread of weapons and materials of mass destruction.

President Bush is committed to raising half of this total. Counting the U.S. contribution, the G-7 countries have pledged a little over billion to date, and Russia intends to spend about billion on its priority projects. We hope to see the remaining gap closed by the next G-8 Summit. The G-8 welcomed the participation of six additional countries -- Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland -- this past summer. The initial focus has been on projects in Russia, but we expect the Partnership to recognize additional states of the former Soviet Union as recipients in the coming year, beginning with Ukraine.

As we approach the U.S. G-8 Presidency beginning January 1, improved Russian cooperation regarding project implementation remains a challenge for the success of the Partnership. Securing Russian agreement to support effective verification measures and to provide adequate liability provisions, commensurate with those in the U.S.-Russian Cooperative Threat Reduction umbrella agreement, is essential to moving forward on key nonproliferation projects. Taxation exemption and access to work sites are continuing concerns, as well as Russian delays in concluding implementing arrangements with other donor countries, impeding expenditure of their pledges.

Dangerous Materials Initiative

Yet another new initiative, the Dangerous Materials Initiative (DMI), responds to the president's call at the U.N. General Assembly last month to secure the most dangerous materials at their source. Through the DMI, the administration will work to identify gaps in the control of dangerous materials worldwide. DMI projects will help regulate, track, secure and safeguard biological, chemical, nuclear and radiological materials, as well as the know-how to make them into weapons of terror and war. To encourage international participation, we will share with our partners a menu of important projects in this area that they might support.

HEU Minimization

In the decades after World War II, large quantities of highly enriched uranium (HEU) were exported to more than 50 countries, primarily by the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Most of this material was used to fuel research reactors, and much of it still remains stored at or near these reactors under security arrangements that vary widely in quality. Since 1978, the United States has been engaged in an expanding effort to minimize international commerce in HEU, to reduce, and if possible eliminate, stockpiles of this weapons-usable material in foreign countries. Where this is not immediately feasible, it aims to improve physical protection at storage sites.

Our current efforts include a number of such programs, several of which involve close cooperation with Russia. These programs assist in the conversion of research reactors from HEU to low enriched uranium, and return U.S.-origin HEU from reactors in up to 41 counties for permanent disposition in the U.S. The Departments of State and Energy are fully cooperating to advance all of these programs. Our goal is to reduce to an absolute minimum international commerce in and unsecured storage of weapons-usable uranium throughout the world.


Each of these initiatives moves us closer to a more secure world where we are able not only to prevent the spread of WMD, but also to "roll back" and ultimately eliminate such weapons from the arsenals of rogue states and ensure that the terrorist groups they sponsor do not acquire a shortcut to their deadly designs against us. As President Bush said this month, "After all the action we have taken, after all the progress we have made against terror, there is a temptation to think the danger has passed. The danger hasn't passed.... America must not forget the lessons of September 11th." Indeed, that danger is present in a growing number of places, and we must be vigilant in recognizing -- and then confronting -- the emerging threats against our common security.
35 posted on 10/30/2003 8:55:54 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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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”

36 posted on 10/31/2003 12:16:46 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: F14 Pilot
"If the United States wants better relations with Tehran, it could start by ending accusations Iran supports terrorism,..."

And if Iran wants better relations with the U.S., it should end its support of terrorism.

"Ramazanzadeh also said that Tehran would not share its intelligence on al-Qaeda with the United States. "
He added that Iran may "never" reveal the identities of its detainees, and he later clarified to AFP that "we have no programme to announcing their names"

Well, they can't make it any clearer than that. Is the State Dept listening? Your wasting your time talking to these mullahs. Next? Let's move things along. The 31st is here. TIME's UP.
37 posted on 10/31/2003 3:34:24 AM PST by nuconvert
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To: nuconvert
Hey Everyone - private message me and let me know if there are other forums like free-republic also.. we need to increase the awareness to everyone of what is going on.. Any ideas?

best -
38 posted on 10/31/2003 5:59:59 AM PST by faludeh_shirazi
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