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Iranian Alert -- November 2, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD PING LIST
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 11.02.2003 | DoctorZin

Posted on 11/02/2003 12:10:54 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
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Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

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

1 posted on 11/02/2003 12:10:54 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 11/02/2003 12:15:07 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Saudis fear that Britain sees them as the next Iran

(Filed: 02/11/2003)

Saudi officials believe that Britain and the US have begun a smear campaign against their country, writes John Simpson.

There was silence among the orderly lines of men sitting cross-legged down the length of a hall in the King Abd-al Aziz Mosque. Someone looked at his watch. Another man fiddled with the box of food in front of him, caught the disapproving looks of his neighbours, and stopped.

Then came the stuttering of a microphone, and expectant movement in the lines. The instant the muezzin's voice proclaimed the end of the day's fasting, the hungry men pulled their boxes open and started eating. The warm evening air was filled with the smell of chicken and saffron rice. Iftar, the evening feast, had begun.

The holy month of Ramadan is a bad time to visit Saudi Arabia if you want to do business. This year it is worse then usual: to the irritation of the Saudi government, the British Foreign Office and the American State Department have warned people not to come here unless they have to.

Half a column-inch in the newspapers here hints at the reason: a senior al-Qaeda figure, Abu Mohammed al-Ablaj, has sent out an e-mail promising "devastating attacks" during Ramadan. This is presumably part of the information the British and Americans have based their warnings on. It looks to me as though al-Ablaj is talking about Iraq, but now that people have taken to suing their governments for not telling them the obvious, the State Department and the Foreign Office tend to warn first and ask questions afterwards.

This has, of course, got up the nose of the Saudis in no small way. The government here maintains that it has a very firm grip on the security situation. Six hundred suspects have been arrested since April, and 3,500 Muslim clerics have been sent for "re-education". At Friday prayers two days ago, the sermon I heard could have been written by the Ministry of Information, it was so politically correct.

The irritation with Britain and America is widespread throughout officialdom, from Saudi Arabia's urbane ambassador to London, Prince Turki al-Faisal, to his relative Prince Sultan, the minister of defence. Last Thursday, choosing his words carefully, Prince Sultan told a group of generals who came to offer their Ramadan greetings that there was a smear campaign against the kingdom. "We are neither terrorists nor parasites," he said.

In other words, he was responding angrily to accusations in Washington that Saudi Arabia, the recipient in the past of so much American military support, is somehow behind the new wave of anti-American violence.

Here, most people seem to take it for granted that the United States has shifted decisively away from Saudi Arabia as a result of the September 11 attacks. They see the invasion of Iraq as being America's way of securing a safe supply of oil for the future, and assume that the shifting of US military bases from here to Qatar and Iraq symbolises the parting of the ways.

As for the British attitude, it is a source of annoyance rather than anger. The Saudis expect a greater sensitivity and understanding from the British, and feel that they haven't had it. Senior government figures scan British statements anxiously for any sign that London believes that Saudi Arabia is going the way of Iran, a generation ago; and they feel they can spot them.

Having watched the course of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, I think the similarities are exaggerated - and yet the danger is clearly there. The Shah, too, tried to re-educate his clergy, but he did it the hard way and simply reinforced their anger and willingness to be martyred. In the teeming slums of Teheran his soldiers shot down the demonstrators, while he himself vacillated between toughness and conciliation.

The Saudis are aware of the precedent, though they feel that the experiences of a Shi'ite state have little relevance to them. Perhaps they are right, but history never repeats itself precisely. Two weeks ago, hundreds of Saudis demonstrated for economic and political reform in the streets of Riyadh; since demonstrations are illegal here, the police dispersed them with tear gas and arrested a hundred or more.

As in Iran in 1978, the opposition comes as much from liberals as from fundamentalists, and they have a tendency to make a brief, tactical alliance, though it doesn't last long. Like the Shah, the Saudi government is experimenting with a little ultra-cautious liberalisation: press restraints are marginally fewer, and there will be limited elections next year.

These are nerve-racking times for the Saudi government. It feels abandoned by its friends and increasingly threatened by its enemies, and the princes who control most of the ministries cannot agree on the right way forward. Maybe Ramadan will pass off without the attacks the Americans and British have warned about; even so, the political choices here won't be any easier.

John Simpson is the BBC's World Affairs Editor
3 posted on 11/02/2003 12:20:26 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
4 posted on 11/02/2003 1:31:41 AM PST by windchime
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To: DoctorZIn; McGavin999; Eala; AdmSmith; dixiechick2000; nuconvert; onyx; Pro-Bush; Valin; ...
Iran challenged over US professor

BBC News
Jim Muir
BBC Tehran correspondent

A senior Iranian official has expressed concern over the continued detention of an Iranian-born American professor.

Dariush Zahedi was arrested on suspicion of spying during a summer visit to his family in Tehran.

The hardline judiciary has refused to release him even though he has been cleared of the charges, said Mohsen Mirdamadi, a senior parliamentarian.

International human rights groups and the US State Department have expressed concern over professor Zahedi's fate.

Solitary confinement

Dariush Zahedi emigrated to the United States in his teens.

He is now a political science professor, teaching classes at the University of California.

Like many Iranian-born Americans he returned home in June to visit his family.

He was arrested in Tehran at the request of the intelligence ministry on suspicion of spying.

After a lengthy investigation, the ministry concluded he was innocent and recommended he be freed.

However, according to the head of the Iranian parliament's foreign affairs and national security committee, Mohsen Mirdamadi, the hardline judiciary refused to comply.

He said the judiciary took Professor Zahedi from the intelligence ministry's custody and transferred him to "a parallel intelligence apparatus".

Mr Mirdamadi expressed fears that Mr Zahedi would be subjected to long periods of solitary confinement and other pressures which might force him into a false confession.

Precedent set

He compared the case with that of Zahra Kazemi, an Iranian-born Canadian who died in July from a blow to the head while in custody after a similar dispute between the intelligence ministry and the judiciary.

Mr Mirdamadi said that by law the ministry alone had the right to investigate and decide on cases of possible espionage.

He said his committee would be taking up Professor Zahedi's case.

The reformist-dominated parliament, and the intelligence ministry which is also largely reformist these days, are already involved in a bitter dispute with the judiciary over the case of Zahra Kazemi's death.

Although the case has gone to trial with an intelligence ministry interrogator in the dock, the parliament has issued a detailed report accusing the Tehran public prosecutor of tampering with evidence and perverting the course of justice.
5 posted on 11/02/2003 2:23:46 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: All
Iranians at odds over jailed lecturer

The Washington Times
Nov 1st, 2003

TEHRAN (AP) — Iranian hard-liners have refused to release a jailed University of California lecturer despite demands from government officials, a top lawmaker said yesterday, expressing fears he could meet the same fate as a Canadian photojournalist who was killed while in custody.

Dariush Zahedi, an Iranian-born American citizen who lectures at the University of California, Berkeley, has been held since July, when he was detained on suspicion of espionage while visiting relatives in Iran.

Mohsen Mirdamadi, who heads the Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said the Intelligence Ministry, which is dominated by reformists, has requested his release. But officials in the judiciary, which is controlled by hard-liners, have refused.

"The outcome is that they keep such people in solitary confinement for a long time and put him under various pressures to confess to espionage," Mr. Mirdamadi said, according to Iran's official Islamic Republic News Agency.

Mr. Mirdamadi said if Mr. Zahedi "resists pressures" during questioning to confess to the espionage charges, "the story of Zahra Kazemi may repeat and [judiciary officials] won't accept responsibility."
Mrs. Kazemi, 54, died July 10 after suffering fatal head injuries during 77 hours of interrogation. She was detained June 23 while taking photos outside north Tehran's Evin prison during student-led protests.

Tehran's hard-line prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi accused Mrs. Kazemi of spying, but parliament has issued a report saying there was no basis for that charge and accused Mr. Mortazavi of covering up the killing.

Mr. Zahedi is being held in the same prison Mrs. Kazemi was detained in.
He was supposed to teach a class on war and peace in the Middle East.
6 posted on 11/02/2003 2:27:42 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn
Tehran summons British ambassador

IRIB English News

Tehran, Nov 1 - Iran's Foreign Ministry on Saturday summoned the British ambassador to Tehran Richard Dalton to express protest over the recent remarks by British Prime Minister Tony Blair on the Islamic Republic.

Director General of the West European affairs of the Foreign Ministry "Ebrahim Rahimpur" said Tehran has voiced its protest at Blair's outrageous statements as for Iran.

In his Thursday remarks, Blair had said the military action against Iraq would produce positive results and, for instance, would push the Islamic Republic to more effectively cooperate with the international community.

Rahimpur termed as "irrational" Blair's claims saying these statements clearly show that Blair has tried to find a way out of the internal problems of Britain and to avoid questions by the British public opinion.

Dalton said Blair might have not the intention to outrage the Islamic Republic while reiterating that London's policy toward Tehran has not changed.

He went on to say that Britain is interested in continuing cooperation with Iran in all areas.

Finally, he promised to transfer Tehran's dissatisfaction over Blair's remarks to the British authorities.
7 posted on 11/02/2003 2:30:54 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: F14 Pilot
Thanks for the heads up!
8 posted on 11/02/2003 7:12:33 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: DoctorZIn; McGavin999; Eala; AdmSmith; dixiechick2000; nuconvert; onyx; Pro-Bush; Valin; ...
Active expatriates

The L.A. area is a hotbed of Iranian American efforts to bring political change to their homeland

By Emily Bazar -- Bee Capitol Bureau
Sunday, November 2, 2003

LOS ANGELES -- A call came into Zia Atabay's Woodland Hills studio as he hosted one of his late-night talk shows. Then another. And another.
All from viewers wanting to talk politics.

All from Iran.

Iranian residents call, fax and e-mail so much they've become a regular part of Atabay's two weekly television shows.

Modern technology has helped Atabay build a worldwide audience for the National Iranian Television (NITV) network, a satellite TV station he operates in this middle-class community northwest of downtown. From his nondescript studio in a business park, the 61-year-old former pop singer beams news and analysis critical of the Islamic Republic to Iranians more than 11 time zones -- and half a world -- away.

Atabay belongs to a large and active Iranian American community concentrated in Southern California that is agitating for political change in Iran.

The reform-minded immigrants have intensified their efforts of late, capitalizing on political unrest in Iran and growing international pressure on the government there to muzzle its nuclear program.

Many of the expatriates here have become American citizens and boast successful careers, grand homes and expensive cars. Though most say they never would move back, they feel strong social and cultural ties to Iran and a responsibility to spur change.

"I'm American, I'm here, I'm good. I'm in a free, powerful government. But our motherland is still a prison," said the raven-haired Atabay. "If I can do something about it, I can't say, 'I'm just going to enjoy my life, it's not my problem.' "

While reluctant to discuss his politics in an interview, Atabay is widely viewed as a member of the monarchist faction that would like to see the exiled son of Iran's former shah return to assume the kingship.

Analysts say Iran is a country ripe for upheaval, its population torn between the religious ruling class and vocal dissidents thirsty for change.

At the same time, Iran is undergoing a demographic revolution all but certain to force some sort of reform: Of the country's 66 million residents, two-thirds are under age 30. Every so often, the streets of Tehran and other large cities erupt as students protest for freedom.

There's been growing international recognition of Iran's emerging diversity of thought. Last month, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Shirin Ebadi, the first such honor to an Iranian. Ebadi, a female lawyer and author, has worked to improve the legal status of women and children in Iran.

These are encouraging signs to Iranian expatriates in Southern California, who sometimes refer to Los Angeles as "Tehrangeles." The area is home to the largest concentration of Iranians outside Iran: more than 115,000 according to official census tallies and 600,000 according to community members.

Most are scattered throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties, though there are hot spots. Along one stretch of Westwood Boulevard, Iranian restaurants, bookstores and carpet galleries pack storefronts. Persian grocers sell cookies flavored with rose water. And salons offer Persian-style waxings for fashion-conscious women.

Like the Cubans in Florida and the Vietnamese in Orange County, most of these Iranians arrived in America not by choice, but because of political upheaval. The majority fled after the revolution in 1979, when the shah was overthrown and replaced by an Islamic regime.

As a group, those who landed in the Los Angeles area tend to be educated and wealthy. They maintain strong family ties in Iran, and an even stronger sense of nostalgia for their birthplace.

Some have translated that nostalgia into action, using the Internet and advanced satellite systems to needle the Iranian population into action.

Atabay says he escaped Iran after being punished by the Islamic regime. "The mullahs don't like my music," said Atabay, who has been described as Iran's pre-revolutionary version of Tom Jones. "They don't want people to be happy."

He landed in the United States after stints in Spain, Sweden and Great Britain and started NITV in 2000. Now, Atabay offers what he called "100 percent political" programming 24 hours a day.

When student protests erupted earlier this year, Atabay exhorted Iranians to take to the streets.

"This is your country, a new generation," Atabay told his viewers. "You have a big country, rich and powerful and especially, young. You have to change it."

In July, Atabay and American government officials accused Cuba of jamming satellite transmissions into Iran. Atabay believes the Iranian government was behind the disruption.

"That shows how powerful our influence in Iran is," said Atabay, a jug of hot tea and a bowl of sugar cubes waiting behind his desk. "They don't want Iranians to listen ... how the world is judging the Iranian government."

Atabay's is among more than a dozen Iranian television stations operating out of Southern California. Most require a satellite system to access, said Ahmad Mesbah, owner of an Irvine translation business who co-founded the Network of Iranian-American Professionals of Orange County.

About four or five of them broadcast into Iran, he said.

"Iranians desperate for some information about the outside world look to these stations, even those stations that are operating on a shoestring and don't have the resources to provide good news coverage," said Patrick Clawson, deputy director at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

"I think a lot of people find the invective they hurl at the regime liberating and invigorating."

As much as these messages might reverberate in Iran, the expatriates have limited influence.

"It is true they have a role in provoking people into action in Iran," writer Ramin Jahanbegloo, who is based in Tehran, said via e-mail. "However, their role should not be exaggerated. They lack credibility with Iranians to a large extent, mainly due to the fact that the presenters are neither intellectuals nor politicians."

Plus, Mesbah said, the majority of stations are run by monarchists. Mesbah himself supports the Jebhe Melli -- or Iran National Front -- which advocates religious freedom and a republican system of government based on free elections.

Attorney and expatriate Maziar Mafi also drums for democracy. The casually confident Mafi hosts a television show called "The Other Colors," which is picked up by four different Persian-language satellite stations.

The show focuses on a political effort Mafi is involved in called "Iran of Tomorrow." As part of the project, Iranians from around the world are creating a blueprint for a democratic government, said Mafi, 42. In effect, the group is working to create a parallel Iranian government overseas. The majority of the participants are in Southern California.

Mafi ran as a Democrat in the 2000 congressional primary, hoping to unseat Republican incumbent Christopher Cox of Newport Beach. Mafi, who has been in the United States since he was 15, made it clear he doesn't want to participate in the governance of Iran and intends to remain here.

But he called the effort to aid his homeland "the most important thing I've ever done."

"I believe there is a chance to give birth to a free society and by God, what else could be more exciting?" asked Mafi, his feet kicked up on a leather chaise lounge in his Laguna Beach home, Persian rugs strewn about him. " ... It's not going to happen all from within. In the history of any significant social change, internal affairs and forces and powers on the outside have an influence."

Mafi's role in the project is to compile a draft constitution, a version of which already has been posted on the Web site

Its first declaration reads, "All power and authority derives from the people."

He hopes that by December a final draft will be voted on via Internet by more than 50,000 people, mostly in Iran. With that much input, he said, Iranian reformers everywhere will make a forceful statement.

"You become a huge opposition force impossible to ignore, even outside the country," said Mafi. "Every government will have to look at you seriously."

About the Writer
The Bee's Emily Bazar can be reached at (916) 321-1016 or Bee researchers Pete Basofin and Becky Boyd contributed to this report.
9 posted on 11/02/2003 7:13:28 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: F14 Pilot
Interesting post.

10 posted on 11/02/2003 7:27:48 AM PST by nuconvert
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To: DoctorZIn

NY Post
November 2, 2003 --

IN Iran's fractious politics there is one word on which almost everyone agrees. And it isn't even a Persian word, but the Latin word "referendum" (pronounced by Persians as "refrandoom"). These days almost everyone is talking about the need for holding a referendum - not always for the same reasons.
The argument is that the Constitution, hastily put together in 1979 in the heated aftermath of the revolution, is not working. The various mechanisms it envisaged for the exercise of power have produced a gridlock that prevents effective decision-making by a divided government. The only way out: Hold a constitutional referendum to approve amendments that would break the gridlock.

The current Constitution is a rough translation of the constitution of the French Fifth Republic introduced by Gen. Charles de Gaulle. It envisages a strong executive and a weak legislature, with the status of the judiciary left murky.

The problem is that the Iranians added a number of articles that break the inner logic of the French original. The most important of these express the doctrine of the "Walayat Faqih" (Custodianship of the Jurisconsult). They give a single mullah, referred to as "The Supreme Guide," virtually unlimited powers, thus rendering the Constitution superfluous.

The Supreme Guide is elected for life by the so-called Assembly of Experts, a body of 90 mullahs that also has the authority to remove him under highly unlikely circumstances. Once elected, the Supreme Guide becomes the center of power in the system. He is the head of state and must approve the heads of all three branches - the legislative, the judicial and the executive.

Some confusion is created because the head of the executive, known as president, is elected by direct universal suffrage. Yet the elected president cannot take office until an edict from the Supreme Guide approves his election.

At the same time, the Supreme Guide can always trigger constitutional mechanisms to dismiss the elected president. The Supreme Guide can also dissolve the elected Majlis or parliament. He can even suspend the basic rules of Islam, if and when he deems fit. No ruler in history has been given so much power as the Iranian "Supreme Guide" today.

The Constitution contains other anomalies. Its Council of The Guardians of Constitution is the equivalent of France's Constitutional Council - but Iran's council has a right of veto on all laws passed by the parliament. The French version has no such right, intervening only if asked to determine whether a piece of legislation violates the Constitution.

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

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

But Khomeini still needed the support of democrats, liberals and leftists to consolidate his hold on power. As a concession, he accepted the idea of a constitution. But at no point did he have the slightest intention of creating a constitutional system. And, for as long as he was alive, he acted as an absolute ruler, with no regard for any constitutional constraints.

His successor, Ali Khamenei, lacks the stature to continue that tradition. And the revolution is now but a faint memory for most Iranians. Some two-thirds of the populace were either not born or were too young to vote in the constitutional referendum that Khomeini organized almost a quarter of a century ago.

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

Some senior clerics, including Grand Ayatollah Ali Montazeri, call for a referendum as a way out of a political impasse that could lead to violence. "A referendum is better than a civil war," says Mohsen Kadivar, a pro-democracy mullah.

The referendum idea is also finding echoes within the ruling establishment. The Participation Front, a group that supported President Muhammad Khatami, has already called for constitutional amendment. And efforts are under way to form a new bloc of candidates for March's general election under the banner of a referendum. The idea has also received support from the remnants of half a dozen leftist parties.

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

Others, however, want a revision of the existing Constitution. They want the position of the Supreme Guide abolished so that the Iranian system comes closer to that of its original model: the French Fifth Republic. The directly-elected president would be head of state, with large powers, including that of naming the prime minister. But he would not have the power to suspend the Constitution, let alone interfere with the rules of Islam.

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

The referendum issue is likely to emerge as the key theme of next March's general election. Right now, however, prospects for a referendum appear rather dim. On the contrary, some hard-line theorists around Khamenei are publicly calling for a suspension of the Constitution and a period of direct rule by "The Supreme Guide."

It may take some time before Iran makes a final choice between a peaceful referendum and violent regime change.

11 posted on 11/02/2003 7:33:17 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...

NY Post
November 2, 2003 --
12 posted on 11/02/2003 7:34:27 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Implosions are sometimes good!;^)
13 posted on 11/02/2003 7:35:53 AM PST by SwinneySwitch (Freedom isn't Free - Support the Troops & Vets!!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Israel Outraged as EU Poll Names it a Threat to Peace

November 02, 2003
The Observer
Peter Beaumont

Israel has been described as the top threat to world peace, ahead of North Korea, Afghanistan and Iran, by an unpublished European Commission poll of 7,500 Europeans, sparking an international row.

The survey, conducted in October, of 500 people from each of the EU's member nations included a list of 15 countries with the question, 'tell me if in your opinion it presents or not a threat to peace in the world'. Israel was reportedly picked by 59 per cent of those interviewed.

The leaking of the results of the poll to El Pais and the International Herald Tribune has sparked a bitter row, with a major Jewish human rights and lobbying group, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, demanding that the EU be excluded from the Israel-Palestinian peace process and accusing Europe of suffering the worst outbreak of 'anti-semitism' since World War Two.

The results appear to be a mark of the widespread disapproval in Europe of the tactics employed by the government of Ariel Sharon during the present intifada.

Israeli Ministers and spokesman have also been at pains recently to insist that a definition of modern 'anti-semitism' should include criticism of the way the state of Israel chooses to protect itself, defining that criticism as an overt attack on Israel's survival.

Members of the Sharon government have bridled at the efforts of Tony Blair and UK officials to try to mediate between the two sides. At one stage journalists were briefed that Israel regarded the Foreign Office as having an 'Arabist' bias.

Reacting to the poll, the Simon Wies enthal Centre, which claims 400,000 members in the US alone, has begun ordering a petition to condemn the European Commission and demand the EU no longer be represented in the so-called Quartet group trying to mediate an end to violence between Israel and Palestine.

The poll also comes against a background of an increase in anti-semitic attacks in Europe in the past year, although the evidence in countries such as France suggests that many are being committed by young Islamists.

'This poll is an indication that Europeans have bought in, "hook, line and sinker", to the vilification and demonisation campaign directed against the state of Israel and her supporters by European leaders and media,' said Rabbi Marvin Hier, the Wiesenthal Centre's founder.

'This shocking result that Israel is the greatest threat to world peace, bigger than North Korea and Iran, defies logic and is a racist flight of fantasy that only shows that anti-semitism is deeply embedded within European society, more then at any other period since the end of the war,' he added.,6903,1076073,00.html
14 posted on 11/02/2003 7:36:35 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Sharon to Russia for Talks on Road Map, Iran

November 02, 2003
Aluf Benn

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon set off for Russia on Sunday morning, to try to persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin to drop plans to turn the road map for a performance-based peace process into a United Nations Security Council Resolution for Middle East peace.

Iran's nuclear program will also top the agenda, a government official said.

Israel is vehemently opposed to the road map being moved to the Security Council because, it says, that would harm the chances for implementing it, and obstruct negotiations in the future.

Russia has proposed the Security Council pass a resolution adopting the road map as the council's proposal for a Middle East peace process.

Israel objected to the road map and only accepted it in principle after the government pegged 14 "reservations" on it that essentially placed the entire onus for getting it started on the Palestinian Authority warring against armed Palestinian factions. Putin's idea is for the Security Council to grant the Quartet an official status.

Sharon trip is his third to Russia since becoming prime minister. He will also meet with the Russian prime minister and defense and foreign ministers.

He was to be accompanied by Immigration and Absorption Minister Tzipi Livni and Russian-born Transportation Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who heads the Israel-Russia Economic Council.
15 posted on 11/02/2003 7:37:54 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Speaker Frowns at Blair's Remarks

November 02, 2003
Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting

Tehran -- Majlis Speaker Mehdi Karroubi said on Sunday that British Prime Minister Tony Blair has made miscalculated statement against Iran.

He told reporters at the end of the open session of the parliament that Blair escalated tension between Tehran and London rather than do something in line with detente owing to the background of bilateral relations and the mentality of the Iranian people toward Britain's past records.

"Britain has taken steps over the past several years to remove the Iranian people's mentality of the past about that country. With his latest statement, Blair indicated that he even lacks the knowledge about the British people too and is going ahead with his ambiguous policy," Karroubi said."

In our meetings with the British officials, especially, the parliamentary delegation which visited Tehran last week, we discussed matters concerning the need to respect the independence and national sovereignty of every country, proceed with dialogue and non-interference in the other countries' internal or external affairs," Karroubi said.

Asked about the four-party agreement made in Tehran with the European Union, on October 21, Karroubi said, "we are satisfied with the outcome of our talks with the Europeans.

The next steps will be taken in line with national interest. They are also expected to abide by the commitments they made."
16 posted on 11/02/2003 7:41:43 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: F14 Pilot
Freedom ~ Now!
17 posted on 11/02/2003 8:01:33 AM PST by blackie
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To: F14 Pilot
Freedom ~ Now!
18 posted on 11/02/2003 8:06:20 AM PST by blackie
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To: DoctorZIn
This helps explain why Graham and Chretin are building some backbone, months after the unfortunate death.The pressure is on.
19 posted on 11/02/2003 10:17:46 AM PST by albertabound (It's good to beeeeeee Alberta bound.)
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To: DoctorZIn
"Laws should be so appropriate to the people for whom they are made that it is very unlikely that the laws of one nation can suit another." - from 'The Spirit of the Laws' by Montesquieu.

Montesquieu was one of the primary sources read by the founders of the United States. Even before the second World War he was often required reading in American high schools. That is not true now, and most likely, Rumsfeld and the rest of the Bush administration doesn't own a single copy. If they do, we certainly can say they have either never read him or never taken him seriously.
20 posted on 11/02/2003 10:28:09 AM PST by Held_to_Ransom
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