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Iranian Alert -- November 3, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD PING LIST
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 11.03.2003 | DoctorZin

Posted on 11/03/2003 12:15:04 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 11/03/2003 12:15:05 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 11/03/2003 12:17:48 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
"Is Iran Rethinking Its Position on Israel?"

Posted by Jean Shaw
Monday, November 03, 2003

Afshin Molavi and Karim Sadjadpour, writing for The New Republic, discuss the possibility that Iran--led in part by the growing youth movement--may be rethinking its position on Israel.

Shortly after Iran's 1979 revolution toppled the Shah, Yasir Arafat turned up in Tehran to celebrate. With Arafat in town, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini announced the Islamic Revolution would march until ''the liberation of Jerusalem.'' Crowds responded with waves of applause. After all, in 1970s Iran, support for the Palestinians had emerged as a litmus test of commitment to the revolutionary ethos. Unsurprisingly, an anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian stance quickly became a central tenet of the Islamic Republic. The government lavished financial support on groups opposing Israel, and the keys to the de facto Israeli embassy in Tehran were turned over to Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization. Across Iran, billboards urging justice for palestine dotted the country, and every major city soon had a ''Palestine Square'' and a ''Palestine Street.'' State television described suicide bombings as ''martyrdom operations.'' The Iranian government even proclaimed a ''Jerusalem day,'' on which government workers were ''encouraged'' to take part in protests against the ''bloodthirsty Zionist state.''

Twenty-four years later, however, Iranian demonstrators are in a vastly different mood. In mid-June, Iranian youths staged a series of large rallies at Tehran University. Amid calls for greater democracy and freedom, one of the more popular slogans was: ''Forget about Palestine! Think of us!'' These two lines, delivered in rhyming, lilting Persian, encapsulate the sentiments of many young Iranians. In fact, though the West still thinks of Iran as a cauldron of anti-Israel passion, a new generation of pro-democracy Iranians increasingly speaks out against the government's seeming obsession with the Palestinians. And these youths are finding cohorts in an unlikely quarter: a group of senior conservative officials who are beginning to question the utility of Iran's close ties to anti-Israel groups.

Iranians under the age of 30--who comprise more than two-thirds of the population today--express little interest in terrorist groups, anti-Zionism, and radical politics in general. In places where young people congregate, Iranians constantly question their government's support for terrorist groups. ''I see the way people look at me when I travel,'' complained one young Iranian. ''Immediately, they think, 'Watch out for the Iranian, he might be a terrorist.' I blame our government for cultivating this image by supporting radical groups.'' Meanwhile, on campuses, rumors abound that Palestinian militants and Hezbollah fighters are imported from Gaza and southern Lebanon to help quell recent student unrest--tales that make the groups even more unpopular. Reformist newspapers and reformist clerics have begun questioning Iran's hard-line stance on Israel. Abdollah Nouri, a former Interior minister and close confidant of Khomeini, has bluntly criticized the Islamic Republic's desire to act ''more Palestinian than the Palestinians.''

This disaffection with the Palestinian cause stems in part from many Iranians' frustration with Iran's economic and political problems. They see Iran's moribund economy partly as a result of the country's embrace of international radicalism, which has damaged foreign business ties. Many students have traded in Che Guevara posters, which used to hang in many dormitories as a sign of commitment to radicalism, for Microsoft ads. At cafés, conversations increasingly revolve around the need to find jobs and the push for more social freedoms, and some even use the disparaging term ''Hezbollahi'' (a Hezbollah type) to refer to anyone who is radical and violent. Even some older Iranians have grown weary of the Palestinization of foreign policy. At an earthquake site in northern Iran last year, a group of elderly victims complained bitterly about the government's slow response. ''If the earthquake occurred in Palestine, they would have sent money and supplies. To us, they only give empty slogans,'' one said.

Still, reformers and the frustrated populace are too weak to influence official policy, which continues to be dominated by conservatives. But, in the past few months, several senior conservatives have quietly joined the chorus, hinting that Iran's support for terrorist groups opposed to Israel is negotiable. According to one senior conservative official, ''Iran's policy in the Middle East and the peace process is not beyond the realm of possibilities that can be discussed, given a dialogue with the United States.'' Translation from Islamic Republic-speak: We can talk turkey on Israel/Palestine. Sadeq Zibakalam, a Tehran University professor with close ties to conservative officials, underscored this view earlier this year, when he told the U.S.-funded Radio Farda Persian service that Iran understands Washington's concerns about Tehran's support for Hezbollah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad. President Mohammed Khatami, a reformer who has long argued that Iran should not interfere in any agreements made between Israel and the Palestinians, is unlikely to quibble with the conservatives.

Why have some conservatives begun to shift? Pragmatism plays a role. Conservatives are realizing that Iran's sinking economy, which will need to find hundreds of thousands of jobs for its young people, desperately needs foreign investment. As a result, despite claims of Islamic and revolutionary solidarity, Tehran quietly favors pragmatism above ideology in its foreign policies. Iran has ignored the plight of Kashmiri Muslims in favor of growing rapprochement with India and says nary a word about oppressed Muslims in Chechnya, so as not to offend its ally Russia. Meanwhile, Iranian opposition to Saudi Arabia's repression of its Shia Muslim minority has gone silent since the two countries have grown closer in the past few years.

In all these instances, revolutionary solidarity has been sacrificed for national interest. Now, Tehran might be considering essentially the same formula regarding the Palestinian case: abandoning the Palestinians to cut a deal with the United States. After all, U.S. economic sanctions are due in part to Iran's support for violent groups opposed to Middle East peace and have prevented billions of dollars in potential foreign capital from entering Iran. As Dr. Qassem Sa'adi, a prominent nationalist intellectual, wrote in an open letter in December 2002 to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khameini, ''The Palestinization of Iranian foreign policy has been disastrous to our national interests.''

Even former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, one of the harshest critics of Israel in the Islamic Republic, has signed on. Around him has coalesced a small but influential group willing to consider softening Iran's stance on Israel. These conservative pragmatists have been influential in the on-again, off-again back-channel talks between Iranian and American officials in the past year, which sources in both Tehran and Washington say are on again.

If Iran were to put its anti-Israel stance on the table, what would it expect in return? Most likely, a comprehensive package that would include a security agreement and assurances that Washington would move toward removing sanctions. Iran also wants something intangible: recognition as a regional power. Says Zibakalam: ''If the Americans officially recognized a powerful Iran ... the Iranians would see no reason for Iran-U.S. tensions.''

Tehran, however, faces a highly suspicious White House--angry about Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program and in little mood to cut an overt, comprehensive deal with the ruling mullahs. Nonetheless, Iran's recent announcement that it will accept a more vigorous nuclear inspections regime may allow back-channel talks between Tehran and Washington to continue.

Still, how Iran views Israel, and how much support it offers to Palestinian groups, will help determine the future of U.S.-Iran talks. What's important for American policymakers to realize is that Tehran has tentatively put its position on the table. ''Clearly, our stance on the peace process is of interest to the Americans, and we are prepared to talk about this as well as everything,'' says a senior Iranian official. And, unlike in the Arab world, where politicians must tread carefully before they make any concessions to Israel or the United States for fear of popular reaction, the youthful ''Iranian street'' would gladly welcome a less strident stance.

Afshin Molavi is the author of ''Persian Pilgrimages: Journeys Across Iran.'' Karim Sadjadpour is an analyst with the International Crisis Group.
3 posted on 11/03/2003 12:20:50 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
This Deal Won't Put A Lid On Iran's Nukes

BusinessWeek - By Stan Crock in Washington, with Babak Pirouz in Tehran
Nov 10, 2003

Is the Iranian nuclear crisis over? The Oct. 21 agreement between Britain, France, and Germany and Iran makes it seem so. Iran agreed to provide complete information on its nuclear programs and sign a "protocol" that will open the country to intrusive inspections. In return, the Europeans promised easier access to technology, including possibly nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

The timing was perfect: Iran faced an Oct. 31 deadline by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the U.N. watchdog, to disclose the full details of its program, and failure to comply could have led to U.N. sanctions. The IAEA was already aware of secret nuclear sites and traces of enriched uranium in Iran, which can be used to make bombs. No wonder even U.S. President George W. Bush called the last-minute accord "a very positive development."

Many hurdles
But it's wishful thinking to conclude this crisis is over. True, the European deal keeps Iran in the international fold for now. Reformists in Tehran and global observers had feared the government might heed demands from ultrahard-line clerics to follow North Korea's example and quit the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. That could further destabilize the region. And it would destroy efforts to improve relations between Iran and Europe -- and eventually perhaps the U.S.

But Tehran has so many hurdles to overcome to meet IAEA demands that tensions are bound to rise again. And Iran, mindful of its national pride, has demands of its own, as well as cards to play. As a goodwill gesture, Tehran offered to suspend its uranium-enrichment operations -- a process used for weapons or energy. But, warns Amir Mohebian, political editor of the conservative Iranian daily Resalat: "If the Europeans do not carry out [their] commitments, it will elevate the wall of mistrust."

The next crunch time is Nov. 20. That's when IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei must inform his governing board whether Iran is fully cooperating. Early signs are not promising. Two days after signing the European deal, Iran submitted to the IAEA a report that acknowledged serious violations of IAEA rules, including clandestine imports of uranium from China. But Iran failed to explain the origin of tiny amounts of weapons-grade uranium that the IAEA had found.

Meanwhile, Washington conservatives are likely to push for a rollback of Iran's entire nuclear program. They even want to prevent the completion of Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant, which Russia is building. If the nuclear-energy program isn't dismantled, "it's simply a prescription for mischief," warns Henry D. Sokolski, executive director of Washington's Nonproliferation Policy Education Center. With an election coming up, President Bush may want to avoid another Mideast confrontation. But whether he can ignore Iran may depend on how much it opens up to IAEA inspectors, who will have to verify that the regime isn't hiding secret programs. Tehran now bears the burden of proving its honest intent.
4 posted on 11/03/2003 12:30:41 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn; McGavin999; Eala; AdmSmith; dixiechick2000; nuconvert; onyx; Pro-Bush; Valin; ...
Sons, Aides of Top Iran Cleric Arrested

November 3, 2003
Associated Press Writer

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iranian security agents on Monday arrested two sons and two close aides of Iran's leading dissident cleric, a wife of one of the detainees said.

Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri's sons, Ahmad and Saeed Montazeri, plus his aides, Reza Ziaei and Gholamreza Hojjati, were taken into custody by plainclothes security agents in Qom, a holy city 80 miles southwest of Tehran, Zahra Rabbani, Ahmad's wife, told The Associated Press.

Rabbani said Iranian authorities gave no reason for the arrests, but the move came after she had decided to turn a building next to her home into a seminary school for the elder Montazeri to teach in.

Security agents have closed the building, which is where Monday's arrests occurred.

Montazeri, 81, resumed teaching in September after spending five years under house arrest in Qom for telling students that Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was incompetent to issue religious rulings.

Montazeri had also accused ruling hard-line clerics of monopolizing power and ignoring the democratic demands of ordinary Iranians. Khamenei denounced him as a traitor and the mosque where he made the speech was closed.

Following Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution, Montazeri had been the designated successor of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. That was until he fell out with Khomeini shortly before his 1989 death after complaining about powers wielded by unelected clerics.

Criticizing Khamenei is considered taboo in Iran and critics are subject to punishment. But in recent months, reformers have become bolder and directly criticized Khamenei and the unelected bodies he controls.

On Monday, Mojtaba Lotfi, a close aide to the grand ayatollah, said the mosque Montazeri preached at in Qom has remained closed since he was first placed under house arrest.

``They (hard-liners) believe the mosque where Khamenei was criticized in should never open again,'' he said. ``It is apparently a symbolic decision to tell everyone that Khamenei should not be criticized.''

Lotfi said Montazeri condemned the arrest of his sons and aides. He did not elaborate.

In his first public speech in six years following the lifting of the house arrest order in September, Montazeri denounced Iran's theocratic establishment as undemocratic and urged it to allow the country's young people to choose their future.

Montazeri, who is in poor health, is one of a few grand ayatollahs, the most senior theologians of the Shiite Muslim faith. He enjoys huge followings in Qom and Isfahan, his birthplace.,1280,-3342475,00.html
5 posted on 11/03/2003 4:42:21 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: F14 Pilot
Is it possible to check which of the security services that did this, and who ordered it?
6 posted on 11/03/2003 4:45:16 AM PST by AdmSmith
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To: AdmSmith
It is done by the Regime. There is no difference between that part or this part.
They are all the same... Don't you think so?
7 posted on 11/03/2003 4:49:11 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: F14 Pilot
No, they are not.
8 posted on 11/03/2003 4:53:05 AM PST by AdmSmith
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To: All
Iranian journalists freed from Iraq

3 November, 2003
By Jim Muir
BBC correspondent in Tehran

The two men, Saeed Abu Taleb and Soheil Karimi, were filming near an American checkpoint at the time of their arrest on 1 July .

Iran and the US do not have diplomatic relations, and Britain played a key role in mediating the release of the two journalists.

As the representative of the Americans' closest ally in the coalition occupying Iraq, the British embassy in Tehran came under strong pressure to do intervene in the issue.

'Security regime'

Behind the scenes, British diplomacy worked hard to resolve the case as quickly as possible - no easy task, with the American military under constant threat in Iraq, and with no love at all lost between Washington and Tehran.

Just over four months after their detainment, a statement from the British Embassy in Tehran and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London, said the Coalition had ordered the release of the two men, after US forces had completed their investigation and decided not to press charges.

The statement said it was "unfortunate that the two journalists had been caught up in the stringent security regime currently in place in Iraq".

"The UK has been in contact with the US and Iranian governments throughout their detention, and has intervened at a senior level to press for the investigation to be brought to an early conclusion," the statement said.

"After several fatal attacks on Coalition forces at checkpoints, the Coalition authorities could not afford to take any chances. But we are pleased that the issue has now been resolved and the men are now on their way home," it added.

Iranians will remain convinced that the two were held because of their nationality. But there will be relief and joy among their families over their eventual release.

Sensitive relations

For most of the past four months, their families have received virtually no news of the two and why they were being held.

Saeed Abu Taleb is a well-known documentary-maker working for Iranian state television, and Soheil Karimi was his cameraman.

Britain's role in helping to bring about their release may earn it some credit from the Iranian authorities - but there are plenty of other complications in this constantly sensitive relationship.

Recent remarks by Prime Minister Tony Blair, to the effect that the war in Iraq helped bring Iranian compliance on the nuclear issue, have ruffled feathers in Iran.

The case against a former Iranian diplomat, Hadi Soleimanpour, currently on bail in the UK after an extradition request from Argentina, has added to difficulties. Argentine authorities want to try him in connection with the bombing of a Jewish centre in Buenos Aires nine years ago.

More than 50 other Iranians remain in US military custody in Iraq. Many of them are believed to be would-be pilgrims who crossed the border illegally to visit Shia Muslim holy places in southern Iraq.

9 posted on 11/03/2003 4:54:26 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn; AdmSmith; nuconvert; Pro-Bush; onyx; seamole; Eala; yonif; Persia; freedom44; ...
EU sees Iran as a reliable partner

IRIB English News

Tehran, Nov 2 - French ambassador to Iran Francois Nicoulloud said on Sunday that the European Union attached maximum respect to Iran by sending three foreign ministers to Tehran for the four-party declaration on October 21.

Foreign Ministers of France Dominique De Villepin, Germany Joschka Fischer and Britain Jack Straw voiced their countries' commitment to supply Iran with nuclear technology in line with the safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Iran has planned to generate 8,000 megawatts of electricity from nuclear energy by the year 2010 by setting up nuclear power plants.

"It was unprecedented in the diplomatic world that foreign ministers of France, Germany and Britain embarked on a mission to acknowledge their respective countries support for Iran's national program on nuclear energy in line with the IAEA criteria, "Nicoulloud said.

The French ambassador said that the European countries regard Iran as a reliable partner and expect Iran to take steps towards paving the way for wider cooperation with the EU by notifying the international agency that it is signing the protocol.

"Signing the protocol will help the EU countries upgrade their cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran, bring acclamation from the friends and the trust of the international community in Iran's nuclear program," he said.
10 posted on 11/03/2003 4:57:06 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: F14 Pilot
Hey Europe... Leave IRAN Alone >>>>>>>>
11 posted on 11/03/2003 4:59:49 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: All
12 posted on 11/03/2003 5:43:34 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: F14 Pilot
In the future, it may be Europe that sides with the mullahs, but America will side with the citizens of Iran.

I base this belief upon the fact that whenever a nation's citizens fight for freedom and rights, they don't turn to the French to help them... they ALWAYS turn to America.
13 posted on 11/03/2003 6:33:03 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (You may forget the one with whom you have laughed, but never the one with whom you have wept.)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
LOL....... Thanks for the notice, You are Right.
14 posted on 11/03/2003 6:36:24 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: F14 Pilot
Very impressive, tears in my eyes.
15 posted on 11/03/2003 6:45:02 AM PST by AdmSmith
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
Posted: 03 November 2003 2016 hrs

Iran's supreme leader says nuclear deal no climbdown

TEHRAN : Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has insisted Iran's agreement to comply with demands for transparency over its nuclear programme was not a "surrender", and warned the country still reserved the right to pull out of the deal.

In his first public comments on a European-brokered agreement for Iran to boost cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the all-powerful leader stressed the country had scored a diplomatic victory against what he described as a "Zionist-US conspiracy".

"There was no surrender in it," Khamenei was quoted as telling a gathering of top officials in a report overnight Sunday by the official IRNA news agency.

"What happened was right and well managed in order to foil the US and Zionist conspiracy."

The IAEA had given Iran until the end of October to fully disclose details of its nuclear programme, and urged it to allow a tougher inspections regime by signing an additional protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Iran was also called upon to suspend uranium enrichment.

After initially rejecting the deadline, Iran agreed to comply just 10 days before it expired, during an unprecedented joint visit here by the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany, Jack Straw, Dominique de Villepin and Joschka Fischer.

But Khamenei warned the Europeans that they also had to live up to their commitments -- providing technical assistance if the IAEA deems that Iran has cooperated, and a pledge that tougher inspections will not infringe on Iranian sovereignty.

"If the discussions with the Europeans continue in the way they have been going, we will continue. But if parties in the dialogue or our enemies want to step in and show excessiveness, everything will be disrupted," he said.

"If we reach the point where our national interests and the regime's values are tarnished, we will have no doubts about cutting off this process."

Khamenei, who was speaking during an iftar meal -- the evening dinner that breaks the daytime fast observed by Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan -- also warned that "the regime's enemies should not imagine that the Islamic republic is trapped."

The term "enemies" usually applies to the United States and Israel, both of which allege Iran is using its atomic energy programme as a cover for nuclear weapons development.

But amid opposition to the nuclear accord from some hardliners -- many of whom have called for Iran to follow the path of North Korea and pull out of the NPT altogether -- Khamenei appealed for unity behind the deal.

"This issue should not bring about differences. Officials, intellectuals, the press, MPs, Friday prayer leaders and those who have access to public podiums have a very heavy resposibility," he said.

And Khamenei reiterated Iran's determination to generate nuclear power, touted by officials here as crucial for meeting future energy needs.

Part of this, he said, was Iran's mastering of the complete nuclear fuel cycle.

This is something the European foreign ministers would rather see kept out of the country -- hence calls for a suspension of uranium enrichment here and an unwritten pledge of eventual nuclear fuel supplies.

"Some countries say that Iran does not need to produce nuclear fuel. These countries are trying to take charge of providing Iran with nuclear fuel for its plants in order to take Iran and Iranians hostage and put pressure on the Islamic republic," Khamenei said.

"But, based on international regulations, we will produce nuclear fuel," he said, warning that: "If anyone wants to challenge the Islamic republic in the area of peaceful nuclear activity or interfere in our internal affairs, they will get a blow to the mouth."

Reformist President Mohammad Khatami, who was also present at the meeting, emphasised that "Iranian officials did not commit themselves to something that is irreversible.

"It is the other side that has to keep its word and promises," he said.

16 posted on 11/03/2003 6:48:14 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (You may forget the one with whom you have laughed, but never the one with whom you have wept.)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
Iran woman in death row case spared from execution

Monday, November 03, 2003 - ©2003

TEHRAN, Nov 3, (AFP) -- An Iranian woman condemned to death for killing a police officer she says was trying to rape her has had her case sent back to the supreme court by Iran's hardline-run judiciary, press reports said Monday.

The reports said the head of the judiciary, Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahrudi, ordered that the death sentence be lifted following "doubts" over the original court ruling.

"I also have doubts regarding the case, so I want it to be reviewed," the judiciary chief was quoted as writing to the supreme court after intensive lobbying by female reformist MPs.

In March, a court condemned 32-year-old Afsaneh Noruzi to hang for the stabbing death of a high-ranking officer she testified had tried to rape her in his office on the Gulf island of Kish in 1997.

Last month, Noruzi was notified of her imminent execution, sparking protests from women's rights advocates and a group of female MPs who argued that she was merely fulfilling her Islamic obligation to defend her honour.

Noruzi's supporters also lobbied Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi -- a prominent lawyer and women's rights activist -- to take up the case.

Reports said three female MPs -- Jamileh Kadivar, Azam Nasirpour and Tehereh Rezazadeh -- had written to thank Shahrudi for his decision.
17 posted on 11/03/2003 6:51:31 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (You may forget the one with whom you have laughed, but never the one with whom you have wept.)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
Mixed-sex party busted in Iran, 36 arrested

Monday, November 03, 2003 - ©2003

TEHRAN, Nov 3, (AFP) -- Thirty-six young people have been arrested after Iranian police raided a mixed-sex birthday party near the capital Tehran following complaints from neighbours, the Iran newspaper reported Monday.

The paper said the raid was carried out in the satellite city of Karaj after local residents called a police hotline to complain of noise. Among those arrested was the owner of the home, who argued that she was merely throwing a birthday party for her children.

It said she was released on bail of 150 million rials (17,850 dollars) while the other partygoers were let out after posting 10 million rialsdollars).

Punishments for mixed-sex parties and dancing -- strictly banned in Iran -- include heavy fines, short jail terms and lashings.

18 posted on 11/03/2003 6:52:41 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
Thanks for the heads up!
19 posted on 11/03/2003 6:54:37 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
Israel wants pressure kept up on Iran over nuke plan

Monday, November 03, 2003 - ©2003

MOSCOW, Nov 3, (AFP) -- Israel wants the international community to keep up the pressure on Iran over its nuclear program, an official accompanying the Israeli prime minister on a visit to Russia told AFP Monday.

"Europe has made a step in the right direction in making Tehran, under threat of sanction, accept tighter controls of its nuclear installations," the official said.

"But international pressure must be constant as Iran wants to gain time and fool the world in regard to its intentions," he said.

The official is part of a delegation accompanying Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on a three-day visit to Russia, and on Monday was due to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russia is building Iran's first nuclear power reactor at Bushehr, which has been fiercely criticized by Washington and Israel.

Israel hopes that Russia "is doing everything possible to prevent the transfer of technologies on uranium enrichment and fusion that are indispensable for developing a nuclear program that constitutes a strategic menace for Israel," the Israeli delegation official said.

Iran, which has been branded by US President George W. Bush part of an "axis of evil" along with Iraq and North Korea, has faced growing international criticism in regard to its nuclear program.

In September the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) imposed an October 31 deadline on Iran to fully disclose details of its nuclear program and urged it to sign the additional protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) allowing tougher inspections by the UN watchdog.

Iran was also urged to suspend uranium enrichment.

After initially rejecting the deadline, Iran agreed to comply with IAEA demands just 10 days before the deadline expired during an unprecedented joint visit by British, French and German foreign ministers.

Iran has also pledged to sign up to tougher inspections, but has yet to implement its agreement to suspend its work on the nuclear fuel cycle.

And on Sunday, it said that it remained unwilling to totally halt uranium enrichment.

"Our uranium enrichment activities are still in their early stages, and it has only been several months since we began. We have said we agree to voluntarily suspend this, but not stop," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters.
20 posted on 11/03/2003 6:57:08 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: Alamo-Girl
Thanks for your SUPPORTS ~!
21 posted on 11/03/2003 7:06:03 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: F14 Pilot
It is my honor to support the Iranians who are bravely seeking liberty!
22 posted on 11/03/2003 7:09:59 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Pan_Yans Wife

23 posted on 11/03/2003 7:13:39 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
Rohani Cancels Trip to Moscow

November 03, 2003

Hassan Rohani, head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, has cancelled his planned trip to Moscow, an embassy official said on Monday.

Rohani had been due to arrive in Moscow on Monday and had been expected to announce when Iran would sign the so-called additional protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). This allows the international nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, to conduct snap inspections of nuclear installations.

''He is not coming. The trip is cancelled, at least for the time being,'' an Iranian embassy official told Reuters in Moscow.

On Friday, a Russian Atomic Energy Ministry official told Reuters Rohani would announce during his Russia trip the date on which his country would sign the Additional Protocol.

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon arrived in Russia to discuss, among other things, concerns about Russia's transfer of nuclear technology to Iran.

Asked whether Rohani's trip was cancelled because it concided with that of Sharon, the embassy official said: ''No, I can't comment on that.''

Russia, long criticised for its nuclear ties with Iran, has been pressing ahead with plans to help Iran build a nuclear reactor in Bushehr.
24 posted on 11/03/2003 7:50:27 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Why History Has No End

November 03, 2003
City Journal
Victor Davis Hanson

Writing as the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, Francis Fukuyama famously announced the “End of History.” The world, he argued, was fast approaching the final stage of its political evolution.

Western democratic capitalism had proved itself superior to all its historical rivals and now would find acceptance across the globe. Here were the communist regimes dropping into the dustbin of history, Fukuyama noted, while dictatorships and statist economies in Asia and South America were toppling too. A new world consumer class was evolving, leaving behind such retrograde notions as nationhood and national honor. As a result, war would grow rare or even vanish: what was there left to fight about? Gone, or going fast, was the old stuff of history—the mercurial, often larger-than-life men who sorted out on the battlefield the conflicts of traditions and values that once divided nations. Fukuyama acknowledged that the End of History would have a downside. Ennui would set in, as we sophisticated consumers became modern-day lotus-eaters, hooked on channel surfing and material comforts. But after the wars of the twentieth century, the prospect of peaceful, humdrum boredom seemed a pretty good deal.

How naive all this sounds today. Islamist hijackers crashing planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and the looming threat of worse terror outrages, have shown that a global embrace of the values of modern democracy is a distant hope, and anything but predetermined. Equally striking, it’s not just the West and the non-democratic world that are not converging; the West itself is pulling apart. Real differences between America and Europe about what kind of lives citizens can and should live not only persist but are growing wider.

A Fukuyaman might counter that September 11 was only a bump on the road to universal democracy, prosperity, and peace. Whether the Middle East’s mullahs and fascists know it or not, this argument would run, the budding spiritual and material desires of their masses for all things Western eventually will make them more like us—though how long this will take is unknown. It’s impossible ultimately to disprove such a long-range contention, of course. But look around. Fukuyama’s global village has seen a lot of old-fashioned ethnic, religious, and political violence since history’s purported end in 1989: Afghanistan, Algeria, Colombia, Iraq, Russia, Rwanda, Sudan, the former Yugoslavia, to name just a handful of flash points. Plato may have been right when he remarked in his Laws that peace, not war, is the exception in human affairs.

In fact, rather than bringing us all together, as Fukuyama predicted, the spread of English as the global lingua franca, of accessible, inexpensive high technology, and of universal fashion and communication has led to chaos as often as calm. These developments have incited envy, resentment, and anger among traditional societies. The men and women of these societies sense—as how could they not when encountering the image of Britney Spears gyrating or the subversive idea of free speech?—an affront to the power of the patriarch, mullah, or other hierarchical figure who demands respect based solely on religious dogma, gender, or class.

The new technologies, despite what Fukuyama would say, do not make modern liberal democrats out of our enemies but simply allow them to do their destructive work more effectively. Even though Islamists and other of globalization’s malcontents profess hatred for capitalist democracy, they don’t hesitate to use some of the West’s technological marvels against the West itself. How much easier it has become to plot and shoot and bomb and disrupt and incite with all those fancy gadgets! Flight simulators made it simpler for medieval-minded men, decked out in Nikes and fanny packs, to ram a kiloton or two of explosive power into the New York skyline. Both Usama and Saddam have employed modern mass media to cheer and spur the killing of infidels.

Leaving aside the mullahs and Arab despots, where is there much proof that freedom must follow in the train of affluence, as Fukuyama holds? Left-wing capitalists in China, their right-wing counterparts in Singapore, or their ex-KGB counterparts in Russia certainly do not assume that their throngs of consumers are natural democrats, and so far there’s little to say that they’re wrong. And where is the evidence that these consumers will inevitably become comfort-loving pacifists? Democracy and market reforms seem only to have emboldened India to confront Pakistan’s terrorist-spawning madrassa culture. Rich and free Japan is considering rearming rather than writing more checks to stop North Korean missiles from zooming through its airspace.

America, too, seems as subject to history as ever. Abandoning the belief that it’s always possible to keep thuggish regimes in check with words and bribes, it is returning to military activism, seeking to impose democracy—or at least some kind of decent government—on former terrorist-sponsoring nations, instead of waiting for the end of history somehow to make it spring up. Sure, postmodern, peroxide-topped Jasons and tongue-pierced Nicoles sulk at malls from coast to coast—bored, materialistic Fukuyamans all. But by contrast there are those American teens of the Third Mechanized Division, wearing their Ray-Bans and blaring rock, who rolled through Iraq like Patton’s Third Army reborn, pursuing George W. Bush’s vision of old-fashioned military victory, liberation, and nation building.

What about Europe? Surely there we can see Fukuyama’s post-historical future shaping up, in an increasingly hedonistic life-style that puts individual pleasure ahead of national pride or strong convictions, in a general embrace of pacifism, and in support for such multinational institutions as the United Nations, the International Criminal Court, and the European Union, which promise affluence and peace based on negotiation and consensus. Europeans say that sober reflection on their own checkered past has taught them to reject wars of the nation-state, to mediate, not deter, and to trust in Enlightenment rationality instead of primitive emotions surrounding God and country.

Look closer, though, and you’ll discover the pulse of history still beating beneath Europe’s postmodern surface—and beating stronger daily. During the cold war, it is important to remember, the looming threat of the Soviet Union kept in check the political ambitions and rivalries of Europe’s old nations. The half-century of peace from 1945 to 1989 was not so much a dividend of new attitudes as the result of the presence of a quarter-million American troops, who really did keep the Russians out and Germany’s military down. Facing a mutual foe armed with the most advanced weaponry, fielding an enormous army, embodying a proselytizing revolutionary ideology, and willing to shed the blood of 30 million of its own citizens did wonders to paper over less pressing differences. If France and Germany don’t stand as squarely with us in the War on Terror as they did in the cold war, it’s in part because al-Qaida and its rogue-nation supporters, menacing as they are, don’t threaten Europe’s capital cities with thousands of nuclear missiles, as did the Soviets.

With the evil empire’s collapse and America’s gradual withdrawal (the U.S. has closed 32 bases in Europe and reduced its troop presence there by 65 percent since a cold-war high), the European nations’ age-old drive for status, influence, and power has slowly started to reassert itself, increasing tensions on the Continent. German chancellor Gerhard Schröder proclaims “decisions will be made in Berlin,” French president Jacques Chirac shakes a finger at Poles and Rumanians for not following France’s leadership, and Italian and German politicians hurl schoolyard insults at one another. The Eastern Europeans, bordered by a reunified Germany and a nationalist Russia, wonder whether American guns might not provide better insurance than the European Union should the aggressive urges of historical enemies prove merely dormant and not extinct. It will be interesting to see whether all of Europe or just some of its historically more bellicose states will boost defense expenditures above the parsimonious European average of 0.5 percent of GNP.

Europe’s resurgent political ambitions and passions are even more apparent in the Continent’s relations with the U.S.—relations that, in the controversy over military action in Iraq, worsened to the point where France and Germany openly opposed and undermined their ally of a half-century.

Such behavior hardly squares with the End-of-History model, even though the Europeans were making post-historical complaints that the United States was acting like the Lone Ranger in threatening to go to war in Iraq without the approval of the “world community,” and even though the European position was that the diplomacy of the international community, working through the United Nations, could eventually have handled the Iraq problem without the terrible cost of war. But in truth, the European opposition to the U.S. over Iraq and the fuss the European nations made about international organizations and diplomacy had more to do with realpolitik—the desire of those nations to answer American influence and champion their own power—than they did with any belief in the obsolescence of national identity or military force. How else could the once-great nations of Europe counter American influence, given the present comparative weakness of their arms and the rigidities of their economies, than by shackling the “hyper-power” with the mandates of the “world community”?

Indeed, for all the self-righteously idealistic rhetoric that French foreign minister Dominique de Villepin spouted at the U.N. last spring, the real reason that he strong-armed the Third World nations to vote against the American push for military action in Iraq was to recapture a little French puissance on the cheap. (Recall that he penned a hagiography of that ultimate French nationalist, Napoleon.) With just one wee aircraft carrier, the Charles de Gaulle, in its national arsenal, France finds it wiser and more financially feasible—for now—to exert its clout through the U.N. than to build lots of new carriers to try to match the U.S. in military might.

The dustup between the old Europeans and the U.S. over Iraq, in which Europe’s historical national ambitions played an indisputable role, only widened an already existing transatlantic rift, the product of substantial historical, cultural, and political differences between Europe’s democracies and our own. Resentment of the U.S. runs deep on the Continent. In part, this is a psychological residue of World War II. With nations, as with people, no good deed goes unpunished. France would not exist today without Normandy Beach—a permanent blow to its self-esteem. American arms both destroyed Germany and helped make it the flourishing nation it is today. Should Germans hate us or thank us for saving them from themselves? Both France and Germany would have become a playground for Russian soldiers and tanks if not for the U.S.’s military presence in NATO, and for proud European nations to become so dependent must surely rankle. Since the end of the cold war, it has become harder for European nations to keep this wounded pride in check—though of course the resentments have been intertwined with genuine gratitude and friendship toward America.

European animosity toward the U.S. also has a snobbish component—an anti-bourgeois disdain that is the dual legacy of Europe’s socialist Left and ancien régime Right. Notice how the latest “nuanced” European criticisms of America often start out on the Left—we’re too hegemonic and don’t care about the aspirations of poor countries—and then, in a blink of an eye, they veer to the aristocratic Right: we’re a motley sort, promoting vulgar food and mass entertainment to corrupt the tastes of nations that have a much more refined tradition. That Europeans now eat at McDonald’s and love Hollywood trash—that’s simply the result of American corporate brainwashing.

Our old-fashioned belief in right and wrong along with our willingness to act on that belief also infuriates the Europeans. Americans have an ingrained distrust of moral laxity masquerading as “sophistication,” and our dissident religious heritage has made us comfortable with making clear-cut moral choices in politics—“simplistic” choices, Euros would say. It is precisely because we recognize the existence of evil, pure and simple, that we feel justified in using force to strip power from ogres like Mullah Omar and Saddam Hussein—or kill them, like Uday and Qusay Hussein. Europeans, cynical in politics and morals, think that this attitude makes us loose cannons.

But paradoxically, the most consequential reason Continental Europe and America are pulling apart is the European Union itself. European visionaries have had a long history of dreaming up and seeking to implement nationalist or socialist utopias—schemes, doomed to fail, that have trampled individuals under the heavy boot of the state as the price of creating a “new man” and a perfect world, bringing history to fulfillment. The murderous fraternity of the French Revolution, nineteenth-century Bonapartism, Marxism and modern communism, Francoism, Italian fascism, Nazism—all these coercive programs for remaking the world sprang from what seems an ineradicable Continental impulse.

The European Union, benign as it currently seems, is the latest manifestation of this utopian spirit. The E.U.’s greatest hubris is to imagine that it can completely overcome the historical allegiances and political cultures of Europe’s many nations by creating a “European” man, freed entirely from local attachments and resentments, conflicting interests, ethnicity, and differing visions of the good life, and wedded instead to rationality, egalitarianism, secularism, and the enlightened rule of wise bureaucrats. No less utopian is the E.U.’s assumption, contrary to all economic reason, that a 35-hour workweek, retirement at 55, ever-longer vacations, extensive welfare benefits, and massive economic regulation can go together with swelling prosperity. All that makes this squaring of the circle plausible even in the short term is Europe’s choice to spend little on defense, which allows more money to go to welfare programs—a choice itself resting on another utopian assumption: that the world has entered a new era in which disagreements between nations can be resolved peacefully, through the guidance and pressure of international organizations—above all, the United Nations. In reality, of course, Europe relies on the United States to take care of many of its defense needs.

Like Europe’s brave new worlds of the past, the E.U. is in fact a deeply anti-democratic mechanism that elites can use to grab power while mouthing platitudes about “brotherhood,” designed to appeal to the citizen’s desire to participate in some kind of higher vision. The E.U.’s transnational government has nothing in place to ensure an institutional opposition—no bicameral legislature, no independent review by high courts, no veto power for individual member states. This authoritarian arrangement allows the E.U. to rule by diktat rather than by consensus and review. Rural Montanans can complain to their congressmen that Washington is out of touch; to whom will Estonians complain that Brussels has no right to decide what goes on their restaurant menus?

The E.U.’s disdain for democracy on the Continent carries over to its relations with the rest of the world. Even as Jews duck Muslim mobs in French cities, E.U. apparatchiks can slur democratic Israel as fascist, and Berlin and Paris can triangulate with Iran’s mullocracy. Only contempt for the messy give-and-take of democracy, plus a nasty dose of anti-Semitism, can explain why the despotic Arafat is more popular than the democratic Sharon among E.U. elites.

As for the U.S.—the democratic nation par excellence (so to speak)—the E.U. is contemptuous, so much so that anti-Americanism often seems to be the union’s founding principle. The E.U. channels all the wounded pride, resentment, and snobbish scorn that Europeans feel toward Americans into its grand ambition to stand up to the U.S. on the world stage. Regardless of whether Bush or Clinton is in charge, we hear boos from Athens to Berlin. Was it Durban or Kyoto that angered Europeans? Or maybe it was the execution of Timothy McVeigh, John Ashcroft’s hunt for terrorists, the lack of good cuisine at Guantanamo, or the failure to find WMDs?

It’s understandable, really, that the E.U. has set itself against America. Nothing is more foreign to European statist utopianism than the American emphasis on individual liberty, local self-government, equality under the law, and slow, imperfect reform. America has always been immune to utopian fantasies—indeed, it has always opposed them. The skeptical Founding Fathers, influenced by the prudence and love of liberty of the British Enlightenment, built the American republic based on the anti-utopian belief that men are fallible and self-interested, love their property, and can best manage their affairs locally. The Founders saw the café theorizing of Continental elites and French philosophers as a danger to good government, which requires not some grand, all-encompassing blueprint but rather institutional checks and balances and a citizenry of perennially vigilant individual citizens.

From America’s very beginnings in the wilderness of the New World, that spirit of rugged individualism and self-reliance has found a home here, and it stands diametrically opposed to European collectivism in all its forms—from the organic, hierarchical community extolled by the old European Right to the socialist commune on the Left to the E.U.’s rationalist super-state. Of course, our self-reliant ethos sometimes can seem less than fraternal, as I can attest from personal experience. I farm, among other things, raisins. Recently, the price of raisins crashed below its level of some 40 years ago. My friends casually suggested that I pack it in, uproot an ancestral vineyard, move on to something else—not, as in Europe, circle the tractor around the capitol, block traffic, or seek government protection and subsidies as a representative of a hallowed way of life under threat from globalization. But who can plausibly deny that America’s astounding dynamism and productivity result from this deep-seated belief that individual men and women are responsible for their own destinies and have no birthright from the state to be affluent?

The growing split between the U.S. and Europe that has resulted from these trends is of seismic importance. Though the effort to create a “European Union” may offer superficial relief when one considers Europe’s bloody history, it in fact constitutes a potential long-term threat to the U.S. and to the world. To the extent that this project succeeds in forging a common European identity, anti-Americanism will likely be its lodestar. But of course, it ultimately will fail, because for most people being a European could never be as meaningful, have such rich cultural and historical resonance, as being a Frenchman or a German. And even in failure, the project could be catastrophic: by denigrating a healthy and natural sense of nationhood, the E.U. risks unleashing a militaristic chauvinism in some of its member states—threatening not only the U.S. but Europe as well. When a German chancellor wins reelection campaigning as an anti-American and trumpeting a new “German way,” it’s not hard to see behind his success an embittered populace, motivated by the belief that German cultural energy and economic prosperity (increasingly encumbered by the corporate welfare statism that is the real “German way”) don’t win sufficient status on the world stage, where military might counts the most.

Behind the pretense that a dash of multinationalism and pacifist platitudes have suddenly transformed Europe into some new Fukuyama-type End-of-History society, it is still mostly the continent of old, torn by envy and pride, conjuring up utopian fantasies of pan-European rule at the same time as nationalist resentments fester. That’s what makes the question of European rearmament so crucial. Should Europe rearm—and I think it will, either collectively or nation by nation, as America reduces its military presence—it has the population, economic power, and (most important) the know-how to field forces as good as our own. If Germany invested 4 to 5 percent of its GNP in defense, its new Luftwaffe would not resemble Syria’s air force. Two or three French aircraft carriers—snickers about the petite Charles de Gaulle aside—could destroy the combined navies of the Middle East. We may laugh today at the unionized Belgian military of potbellied cooks and barbers, or scoff at German pacifism, but this is still Europe, which gave birth to the Western military tradition—the most lethal the world has ever known.

How a re-militarized Europe views the United States is therefore important. A powerful, well-adjusted Europe, made up of nations that would curb arms sales to rogue regimes, fight shoulder to shoulder with us against Islamic terror, warn North Korea, and stop funneling money to Arafat’s Palestinian Authority would make the world a better place. An armed Europe of renascent nationalisms, or one pursuing the creation of a transnational continental super-state, could prove our greatest bane since 1941. That Europe is now militarily weak and hostile does not mean that it will not soon be either powerful and friendly—or powerful and hostile.

These emerging trends require the United States to rethink its relations with Europe. NATO’s American architects rightly believed that the organization they created not only would protect Europeans from Russians and Europeans from one another, but shield us from them as well. We need comparable hardheadedness in thinking of what steps we should take to improve relations with Europe—and protect ourselves at the same time.

Completing the removal of most of our troops from Western Europe is a good first move. It would lessen the Europeans’ sense of impotence and thus diminish envy and encourage maturity. (Leaving a few bases in Britain, Italy, and Spain will allow us to retain some vital transportation and communication facilities—and have monitoring stations in place to gauge the tempo of the inevitable rearming.) We can redeploy the freed-up troops in strategically vital areas of the Middle East.

Second, there’s nothing wrong with bilateralism, so we should treat the E.U. the way we treat Yasser Arafat: smile, and deal with someone else. We should seek good relations and coalitions with willing European states, presuming that we can be friendly with many, even though we are not friendly with all. By offering an alternative to European nations that might worry about the E.U.’s anti-democratic tendencies, we can perhaps limit the union’s worst behavior.

Finally, if the Europeans insist on empowering unaccountable international organizations like the U.N., we should at least try to make them more accountable and reflective of political realities, making it harder for the Europeans to use the mask of internationalism to pursue their own power-political ends. The permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, for example, should include India and Japan, countries that by all measures of population, economic power, and military potential warrant parity with current permanent member France. If the General Assembly is always going on about democracy and human rights, moreover, why not put constant pressure on some of its more benighted members to extend human and democratic rights to their own peoples?

A tough-minded stance toward Europe will accept that a Germany or a France will not always be our ally; given our respective histories and differing views of the state, we should not be surprised to meet with hostility—and when it comes, we should recognize that it may have more to do with what we represent as a nation than any particular policies that we have pursued. The West has experienced similar intramural conflict throughout its history: between Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant Christians; between Atlantic-port New Worlders and Mediterranean galley states; between the French and the British as they triangulated with the Ottomans—to say nothing of the mad continental utopians, warring on the free societies of Europe and the world.

Ultimately, America seeks neither a hostile nor a subservient Europe, but one of confident democratic allies like the U.K.: allies that provide us not only with military partnership but trustworthy guidance too. The U.N. has never really either prevented or ended a war; our democratic friends in World War I and II, along with NATO, sometimes have. We stand a better chance of bringing about such a future if we remember from history that man’s nature, for all the centuries’ talk about human perfectibility, is unchanging—and that therefore history never ends.
25 posted on 11/03/2003 7:52:19 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Afghans Get Constitution Draft

November 03, 2003
The Associated Press
Burt Herman

Afghanistan unveiled a post-Taliban draft constitution Monday, a historic milestone on what has been a bloody, bumpy and often tragic path to recovery after decades of war.

The draft starts by declaring that "Afghanistan is an Islamic Republic," then later creates the posts of president and vice president, as well as envisioning two houses of congress.

The draft reflects the government's desire to bring the country together under the banner of Islam, which is practiced by the vast majority of Afghans. However, the hard-line Islamic law enforced by the former Taliban regime is not expected to be a part of Afghanistan's future.

Under the Taliban, men were forced to grow beards and pray, women were banned from schools and almost all public life, and music was forbidden. Executions were carried out before large crowds at Kabul's sports stadium.

"The religion of Afghanistan is the sacred religion of Islam. Followers of other religions are free to perform their religious ceremonies within the limits of the provisions of law," the draft states, according to an English translation provided by the government.

While avoiding direct mention of Shariah, Islamic holy law, the draft states that "in Afghanistan, no law can be contrary to the sacred religion of Islam and the values of this Constitution."

The position of prime minister — included in previous versions — was cut from the final draft. Many feared a strong prime minister could have emerged as a political and military rival to the president, a major concern in a country that has known little but war for a quarter-century.

"The most important thing that a country like Afghanistan needs is stability," said Jawid Luddin, a spokesman for President Hamid Karzai. "This constitution is made for Afghanistan for the next 100, 200 years."

The draft must still be debated at a grand council, or loya jirga, next month. Ratification of the document will set the stage for nationwide elections scheduled for June.

A rash of violence by suspected Taliban insurgents and fighting among powerful warlords that control large swaths of the country has raised fears of the security of holding a vote in June, and officials say privately it is possible the election might be delayed.

A red-bound copy of the long-awaited draft constitution was handed to former King Mohammad Zaher Shah, Karzai and Lakhdar Brahimi, special envoy of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, during a ceremony at Kabul's Presidential Palace.

"I hope this will be acceptable for the people and will direct people toward peace, security and democracy," said the 88-year-old Shah. The constitution enshrines Shah as the ceremonial "father of the nation," but he has no official political role and the title will not be passed along to his son.

Karzai made no comment during the unveiling ceremony. The draft constitution was handed out in Dari and Pashto, and the English-language version was later released by e-mail.

The draft allows political parties to be established as long as their charters "do not contradict the principles of Islam" and sets other conditions such as not having any military aims or foreign affiliation. It sets Pahsto and Dari as the official languages, but the national anthem will be sung in Pashto.

While not specifying gender, the draft states "any kind of discrimination and privilege between the citizens of Afghanistan are prohibited. The citizens of Afghanistan have equal rights and duties before the law."

Women suffered greatly under the former Taliban regime and in conservative Afghan society are usually given fewer rights than men. Many still wear the all-covering burka robe, and husbands don't allow wives to be seen by male guests.

A variety of divisive issues sparked heavy backroom negotiating between various factions, and the release of the draft constitution has been delayed several times over the past month.

The constitution, which has 12 chapters and 160 articles, was drafted by a 35-member Constitutional Review Commission that started work a year ago after two months of delays. The constitutional loya jirga has also already been pushed back two months.

After criticism that the constitution was being written in secrecy, the commission sent 460,000 questionnaires to the public and held meetings in villages across the country seeking input.

Karzai is widely expected to win next year's elections, and some of the disputes have focused on how much power will be concentrated in the presidency.

Had a prime minister's post been established, it likely would have been filled by a member of the ethnic Tajik-dominated Northern Alliance — who toppled the Taliban with the help of the U.S.-led anti-terror coalition.

Karzai, an ethnic Pashtun, has increasingly distanced himself from the Northern Alliance and its military commanders as he seeks to expand the influence of his central government.

Under the draft, the vice president will run on the same ticket as the president and succeed him should he die in office or become incapacitated. New elections would be mandated within three months.

The constitution gives congress the power to impeach the president, but bars the president from dissolving congress.

The country also commits to preventing terrorism as well as the production and smuggling of narcotics. Afghanistan is the world's leading producer of opium.
26 posted on 11/03/2003 7:53:50 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Clinton & Khobar

November 03, 2003
National Review Online
Rich Lowry

Wesley Clark the other day blamed the Bush administration for the intelligence failures leading to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. And Hillary Clinton said, darkly, that the administration's refusal to hand over documents to a 9/11 commission "unnecessarily raises suspicions that it has something to hide." Meanwhile, Condi Rice in a speech last week pointed to the failure to take terrorism seriously during the 1990s — in other words, she pointed to Clinton administration failures.

The war over the war on terror has just begun.

In this battle, it's useful to stick to specifics. Let's take, for instance, the Clinton administration's handling of the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia in 1996. If Clinton was as vigilant against terrorism as he says — handing over a wondrous counterterrorism policy to an inept and inattentive Bush administration — it should be clear in cases like that of Khobar. Instead, as I write in my new book Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years, the Clinton administration deliberately looked the other way after the Khobar bombing and made a near-apology to the perpetrator of the attack.

In November 1995, a bomb exploded in central Riyadh at an office of the Saudi National Guard, which had long cooperated with the American military. It killed five Americans and two Indians. In June 1996, a massive bomb exploded at a U.S. base supporting the southern no-fly zone in Iraq. It ripped into the eight-story Khobar Towers complex, killing 19 U.S. servicemen.

For the Clinton team, desperate times called for the usual measures — a poll. Dick Morris noted in a memo a few days after the bombing:

SAUDI BOMBING — recovered from Friday and looking great
Approve Clinton handling 73-20
Big gain from 63-20 on Friday
Security was adequate 52-40
It's not Clinton's fault 76-18"

A fraught three-way tug-of-war began over the investigation into the bombing between the Saudis, who didn't want the U.S. to get at the truth in the case; the FBI, which was determined to ascertain the facts and suspicious of the motives of the White House; and the White House, which loathed its FBI director and was lukewarm about pursuing the case.

The pattern of Saudi non-cooperation had been set after the Riyadh bombing, when the Saudis denied FBI agents access to four suspects, and swiftly beheaded them to lend finality to that lack of access. In the Khobar case, the shroud of Saudi non-cooperation further clouded a complicated picture that made no sense according to the conventional wisdom that Shiite and Sunni terror groups — representing different variants of Islam — could never cooperate.

A Shiite extremist group, Saudi Hezbollah, backed by high-ranking officials in the Iranian government appeared primarily responsible. But bin Laden, who had earlier reached out to Hezbollah, sympathized with the bombing — a "praiseworthy act of terrorism" — and so did some of the kingdom's radical Wahhabi clerics.

The Saudis may have refused cooperation not just because — as is often argued — they feared that the United States would lash out and bomb Iran in retaliation, but because they wanted to obscure the role of prominent Saudis in the emerging terrorist network.

If the Saudis feared U.S. military retaliation against Iran, they clearly didn't know with whom they were dealing. While the investigation into the murder of 19 Americans in an Iranian-backed operation was ongoing, the Clinton administration began a campaign to woo Teheran. It is difficult to warm relations with a regime at the same time as pursuing its connections to terror. So by 1998 the administration appeared prepared to forgive and forget Khobar Towers.

"American officials," writes Madeleine Albright biographer Thomas W. Lippman, "stopped saying in public that they suspected Iran of responsibility for the terrorist bombing of the U.S. Air Force residential compound in Saudi Arabia." The administration softened the State Department warning about travel to Iran, waived sanctions against foreign oil firms doing business there, and removed it from the list of major exporters of illegal drugs.

Iran was determinedly, and predictably, unmoved, because anti-Americanism was close to the core of the regime. The administration then deployed its big gun: a soupy, let's-all-get-along near-apology to the Iranians from the president of the United States, which had been a longtime demand of the Teheran terror regime. President Clinton's statement in April 1999, while the FBI was still trying to unravel the Iranian terror plot, ranks among the most shameful things he ever said in office.

"It may be that the Iranian people have been taught to hate or distrust the United States or the West on the grounds that we are infidels and outside the faith," Clinton said. "And, therefore, it is easy for us to be angry and respond in kind. I think it is important to recognize, however, that Iran, because of its enormous geopolitical importance over time, has been the subject of quite a lot of abuse from various Western nations. And I think sometimes it's quite important to tell people, look, you have a right to be angry at something my country or my culture or others that are generally allied with us today did to you 50 or 60 or 100 or 150 years ago. But that is different from saying I am outside the faith and you are God's chosen."

The outreach to Iran was exactly at variance with Clinton's rhetoric immediately after the Khobar attack. "The cowards who committed this murderous act," Clinton said upon learning of the bombing, "must not go unpunished. Let me say again: We will pursue this. America takes care of our own." Clinton made his semi-apology to Iran before officially requesting its cooperation in the Khobar case, which he did only in October 1999 and never backed up with international pressure.

FBI director Louis Freeh, and those around him, began to suspect that the administration didn't care that much about finding the perpetrators because if connections with Iran were established it would be forced to take, or at least consider, action against Iran. This meant that getting to the bottom of the case would present what the administration hated most: a difficulty, a risk.

"It was hard," says Dale Watson, who was executive assistant director of the FBI for counterterrorism and counterintelligence. "It was hard because of the question: What would you do if there was a state sponsor behind this?" Instead of lapsing into its default mode of attempting to placate a country like Iran, the administration would have been forced at least to talk tough, and perhaps think about doing something about it. "It was an attitude of look the other way," says retired Special Forces Gen. Wayne Downing, who led a Pentagon review of the bombing in 1996.

"Director Freeh was the only one in Washington," says former chief of the international-terrorism division of the FBI Mike Rolince, "pushing for direct access to suspects, pushing for records, pushing for identities of the people, wanting this investigation to succeed. We got a lot of lip service from people who said that they were behind us, but we knew for a fact that when certain Saudi officials came into town and it was the right time to push them for things the Bureau wanted, we know from other people that the issue wasn't even raised. It was crystal clear to some of us that they were hoping that this whole thing would just go away."

In a meeting that was supposed to be devoted to pressuring the Saudis on Khobar, Clinton got weepy when Crown Prince Abdullah expressed support for him in the Lewinsky affair and didn't push the Saudi hard. Saudi Ambassador to the United States Prince Bandar told Freeh that the White House wanted to avoid confrontation with Iran at all costs, even if it meant ignoring the Khobar Towers attack. For its part, the White House thought Freeh was out of control and trying to make U.S. foreign policy. "We weren't out of control," says Dale Watson, "we were working extremely hard to collect information and evidence that we could use possibly to charge and prosecute people with."

That's what the administration professed to be interested in as well. But this was a more complicated case, where the law-enforcement approach to terrorism might not help avoid the alternative of waging war.

"What the administration did was latch onto law enforcement as a way of showing that they were doing something," says former CIA director Jim Woolsey. "And if you prosecute successfully a small fry, you can claim victory. If you show yourself to be looking for foreign-state involvement in something, it's sort of like a pass in football — several things can happen and most of them are bad. You may turn up foreign state involvement, in which case, you've got to do something about it, and that might mean body bags coming back on the evening news. Or you don't do anything about it and you look weak. Or you don't find it, and people say, well, 'You were looking for it and didn't find it, so you're incompetent.' Politically the safest thing to do in a lot of circumstances is to circumscribe your efforts."

In the Khobar case, the law-enforcement approach itself risked creating pressure for a military strike. The White House was therefore angered when Freeh — the head of its lead agency in the fight against terror, whose job it was to pursue the facts — pursued the facts.

When Freeh told national security adviser Sandy Berger there was evidence to indict several suspects, Berger asked, "Who else knows this?" He then proceeded to question the evidence. A reporter for The New Yorker who later interviewed Freeh about the case writes that the FBI Director thought "Berger . . . was not a national security adviser; he was a public-relations hack, interested in how something would play in the press. After more than two years, Freeh had concluded that the administration did not really want to resolve the Khobar bombing."

The price of not getting to the bottom of the matter — although the Saudis opened up somewhat in response to Freeh's proddings and allowed the questioning of suspects — wasn't just shrugging off the murderer of 19 Americans. It was failing to understand fully the changing nature of the terror threat. "Khobar provided the keys that unlocked the new terror world," says one terror expert. "Everything you needed to know about the new terror network, the cooperation between all the different sects and factions, the rise of Wahhabi radicalism in Saudi Arabia, the changing dynamic of the Middle East — it all was present in that case."

An attack against American servicemen abroad was not merely a crime. It was an act of war. As Louis Freeh later put it, "Khobar represented a national security threat far beyond capability or authority of the FBI or Department of Justice to address. Neither the FBI Director nor the Attorney General could or should decide America's response to such a grave threat."

The Khobar bombing should have prompted severe consequences for both Saudi Arabia, for its financial support for the growing terror network, and Iran, for its direct involvement in the attack. But the Clinton administration couldn't bring itself to change the basis of its relationship with Saudi Arabia, or to punish Iran, which actually got softer treatment after Khobar.

Clinton wasn't in the business of subjecting Middle Eastern states to further "abuse from various Western nations." Knowing that about him is the beginning of knowledge in the brewing war over the war on terrorism.
27 posted on 11/03/2003 7:55:15 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Unpunished Failure

November 03, 2003
National Review Online
Michael Ledeen

What are we waiting for?

Let's start with a simple, albeit apparently unasked question: Who got fired for permitting Wolfowitz to stay at a hotel in Baghdad, when there was abundant evidence that Iranian-sponsored terrorists had been instructed to target the hotels? When a relative of mine recently asked for advice before making a trip to Baghdad, I had just one strong recommendation: "Never, ever, set foot in a hotel in Baghdad."

Evidently nobody told the deputy secretary of defense.

Placing Paul Wolfowitz in such a place at such a time was a criminal blunder, and everyone who okayed the decision should be fired, along with the people on the ground in Baghdad who seem unable to understand that we are really at war, and that our men need proper protection and intelligence, whether they are in helicopters or in convoys or in hummers. And if my information is correct, the terrorists now have anti-tank weapons, which we may see in action in the near future.

It's long past time — since September 12, 2001 to be precise — for people to be sacked for failure, and the fact that virtually no one has — except for Larry Lindsay (seemingly for insufficient aerobic exercise) and a couple of others dealing with "the economy" or with faith-based initiatives and volunteerism — is the greatest failure of this administration. The bureaucracy has learned that there is no penalty for failure. The only way to change their mindset is to do to them what Reagan did to the air controllers.

Unfortunately, Dubya has embraced the Loyalty Thing that is one of the Bush family's most cherished values. He doesn't turn on his own loyal aides, even (perhaps especially) when they come under attack. But this is no way to wage a war, where the only thing that matters is victory.

As of now, there is reason to think that this administration does not understand that we are at war. The president occasionally reiterates the old themes (we make no distinction between terrorists and the states that support them, etc., etc.) but his administration does not act on them. This was obvious in last week's instructive testimony by Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Armitage first said United States policy is "to support the Iranian people in their aspirations for a democratic, prosperous country." If that were true, then we would (as we should) support regime change in Iran, since the country today is anything but democratic and prosperous.

But it is not true. In the last paragraph of his prepared testimony, Armitage said, "it is not up to the United States to choose Iran's future." And when asked directly by Senator Chuck Hagel (a man who has rarely met or even thought about a tyrant he did not want to appease) whether our Iran policy was regime change, Armitage flatly said "No." So the bit about supporting democracy in Iran is the usual State Department two-step: They tell you what they think you want to hear, and then, figuring you won't read the small print, they go ahead and do what they want to do, which is usually to appease the tyrants and open a new round of negotiations.

That this is the essence of State Department intentions is clear from Armitage's words. A few weeks ago, he had spoken optimistically about getting Iran to turn over the al Qaeda terrorists who even State now agrees are there. But in his testimony, this demand had been downgraded to "turn over or share intelligence about all al-Qaida members and leaders." And he added these plaintive words: "resolution of this issue would be an important step in U.S.-Iranian relations and we cannot move forward without this step."

As if our goal were to improve relations with the Islamic Republic! What happened to the Axis of Evil and the war against terrorism? It got gutted by Powell and Armitage, that's what. Never mind the president, who said, after all, that we would not distinguish between the terrorists and the states that support them. Never mind that Iran is the foremost supporter of terrorism in the world — the State Department says so every year; Powell and Armitage do indeed distinguish between the Iranian regime and the terrorists Iran supports.

And the hell of it is that they make this distinction, and work very hard to improve relations, even though they know that Iran actively supports the terrorists who are killing Americans in Iraq (anyone who thinks that these well-planned attacks by well-armed professionals are the actions of die-hard Saddam loyalists, rather than of the intelligence organizations of Iran and the other terror masters, should stop reading now and simply subscribe to State Department transcripts).

Simple commonsense and an elementary concern for American lives would dictate that we actively support the Iranian people in their desperate struggle for freedom, but instead, the next round of schmoozing with the mullahs has already been set, in Geneva, within the next couple of weeks. This sort of activity chills the blood of the Iranian democrats, and plays right into the hands of the turbaned tyrants of Tehran.

The two appeasers who run the Senate Foreign Relations Committee — Sens. Richard Lugar and Joe Biden — might have contributed to public enlightenment, and even good policy, if they had asked Armitage why he had failed to obtain Iranian cooperation in the matter of the al Qaeda terrorists. The correct answer is that Iran will never betray al Qaeda leaders, because Iran supports al Qaeda. The mullahs would no more give us Osama's henchmen than they would cut off an arm or a leg. Al Qaeda is part of their enterprise, which is to kill Americans and American friends wherever they can, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But Armitage would probably not have said that. When the Iranians humiliated him by refusing to cooperate in any way, Armitage blamed the debacle on the fact that Pentagon experts had had conversations with Iranians who did not like the regime.

Powell and Armitage, and their buddies at CIA don't like it when other people talk to Iranians, which is easy to understand: State and CIA don't know very much about Iran, and they hate it when they're shown up. What to do? They went for total censorship: They threw a hissyfit and demanded that Rumsfeld order his people to stop doing their jobs. No more talking to Iranians. Only State and CIA should do that.

Incredibly, it was done. As of today, the Pentagon's Iran analysts can only talk to themselves, or to the misnamed intelligence community. Why those famously tough guys, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz, acquiesced to this outrageously stupid demand is hard to comprehend. In effect, they agreed to blind their own eyes and deafen their own ears on the subject of Iran, even though that puts their soldiers and even themselves at mortal risk. As we have seen, existing information is so bad that Wolfowitz was sent to sleep in a deathtrap. So shouldn't they be looking for better, and independent sources of understanding Iranian activities instead of forbidding their people to work on it?

I guess some top official will have to die at the hands of (obviously) Iranian-supported terrorists before the Pentagon is permitted to work on the subject.

Deliberately refusing to know about Iran is an old story for this crowd. If we had intelligence oversight committees worthy of the name there would be hearings to ask, inter alia, why Powell (twice) and Tenet (once) ordered the termination of a program about Iranian terrorist activities, even though it saved Americans in Afghanistan. The program had been approved by the National Security Council and carried out by Pentagon experts, risked no American lives, cost only some travel expenses, and yielded terrific results, far beyond anything that the American participants expected.

This question should be asked again and again, by the two chief overseers, Congressman Porter Goss and Senator Pat Roberts: Why did the secretary of state and the director of central intelligence deliberately deprive the U.S. government of information that saved Americans from Iranian-sponsored terrorism?

People who refuse information that saves American lives aren't likely to know very much about plans to assassinate the deputy secretary of defense, or the vice mayor of Baghdad, or leading moderate Iraqi Shiite leaders. Nor are they very likely to know the location of weapons of mass destruction. Indeed, as I personally discovered in September and October, they won't even take a few hours to check out the claim that there's some enriched uranium in Iraq.

They don't want to know about Iran, because if they did, they would be driven to take actions that they do not want to take. They would have to support democratic revolution in Iran, and they prefer to schmooze with the mullahs.

All of which can be briefly and sadly summarized: We don't have a war cabinet, and we are once again giving our enemies time and opportunity to figure out how to kill us.

Faster, anyone?
28 posted on 11/03/2003 7:56:45 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Unpunished Failure

November 03, 2003
National Review Online
Michael Ledeen

What are we waiting for?
29 posted on 11/03/2003 8:02:26 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
anyone who thinks that these well-planned attacks by well-armed professionals are the actions of die-hard Saddam loyalists, rather than of the intelligence organizations of Iran and the other terror masters, should stop reading now and simply subscribe to State Department transcripts


30 posted on 11/03/2003 8:11:55 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: Ragtime Cowgirl
To 28 and Ledeen's latest article.
31 posted on 11/03/2003 8:12:44 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
Is the Axis Still Evil?

November 03, 2003
National Review Online
Saul Singer

North Korea is not evil mainly because it has developed nuclear weapons, or because it is the world's foremost arms peddler to dangerous regimes. It is evil because it does these things to finance and protect the most brutal gulag on the globe today.

There is a report on the U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea's website). Read it, if you dare to puncture the ignorance of evil that keeps us from despair. Issued last week, the report contains 120 pages of satellite photos and eyewitness testimony coolly documenting the enslavement of a nation on a scale that may be unprecedented.

On page 60, for example, a former inmate describes a small corner of this gulag, a camp where 100 people who tried to escape North Korea and were sent back by China were held. They worked from 4:30 in the morning until 8 at night, with three half-hour breaks. Inmates were allowed to eat grass where they worked, to supplement meals of dried corn. The inmates, mostly women, included 10 who were pregnant. According to Choi, the eyewitness, the women were induced to give birth and then their babies were smothered to death in front of them with the explanation, "no half-Han [Chinese] babies will be tolerated."

In Iran, it took the granting of the Nobel Peace Prize to an Iranian human-rights activist, Shirin Ebadi, to shine a spotlight on what that regime is doing to those who would dissent. Iran may be paradise compared to North Korea, but it is only through the arrests and beatings of thousands that mass demonstrations against the regime are being quelled. And as in North Korea, the government is racing to protect its tyranny with a nuclear umbrella.

Yet when it comes to both nations, the remaining members of the "axis of evil," President George W. Bush seems to at most talk about what makes them threatening, but not about what makes them evil. In Asia last month, Bush spoke of the "clear message" that the U.S. and surrounding nations were sending to North Korea. But the message was that they must cough up their nukes. What if they do? Does the U.S. have no beef with a non-nuclear North Korea? How much will the U.S. pay for a North Korea that sheds its nukes and keeps its gulag?

In Asia, Bush ruled out the non-aggression pact that Pyongyang wants, but also ruled out taking military action, which amounts to the same thing. Perhaps it is wise not to take military action, but why rule it out?

The picture is not much better with respect to Iran. The U.S., far from progressively isolating the regime, seems to have taken an if-you-can't-beat-'em-join-'em attitude.

Testifying before the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said that the U.S. is "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." What is this, the axis of mildly annoying?

To cap it off, when a senator asked whether the U.S. sought regime change in Iran, Armitage shot back with an unqualified "No, sir," adding only that "our policy is to try to eliminate the ability of Iran to carry forward with disruptive policies."

For those who think this is only the squishy State Department speaking, there is this embarrassing answer by Bush himself during his latest press conference. Asked why, given his own statement that foreign terrorists were involved in the string of bombings in Iraq, "why aren't Syria and Iran being held accountable?" Bush responded hesitantly, "Yes. Well, we're working closely with those countries to let them know that we expect them to enforce borders...." Perhaps it was a faux pas to speak of "working closely" with Syria and Iran, as if they were Canada and Mexico, but you get the drift.

This is not just the axis of evil unraveling, but the Bush Doctrine itself. No one is suggesting that the U.S. must continue militarily removing regimes at the rate of one a year, but the Bush Doctrine without the stick of regime change means a reversion to the West's pre-9/11 modus operandi.

In her introduction to the report on the North Korean gulag, Anne Applebaum points out the original Stalinists went to great lengths to hide the Soviet gulag from foreign eyes, because "if the truth were would undermine the regime's legitimacy at home."

The U.S. must not be muzzled by the nuclear ambitions of rogue regimes. On the contrary, the nuclear precipice on which Iran and North Korea sit requires that the West strike where those nations are most vulnerable: on human rights. Bring Iranian and North Korean activists and defectors to the White House. Link trade and aid to human rights. Bush, don't lose your voice.

— Editorial Page Editor Saul Singer is author of the book, Confronting Jihad: Israel's Struggle & the World After 9/11. This piece was first published in the Jerusalem Post and is reprinted with permission.
32 posted on 11/03/2003 9:45:58 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Sons of Iranian Dissident Cleric Released

November 03, 2003
VOA News
Voice of America

Iranian security agents detained two sons of leading dissident cleric Hossein Ali Montazeri for several hours Monday, before releasing them along with two aides.

A spokesman for Ayatollah Montazeri's office said plainclothes officers arrested the men Monday after they tried to open a building that authorities had ordered closed.

The family had purchased the building in the Shi'ite holy city of Qom to expand the cleric's teaching facilities.

Later Monday, Ahmad Montazeri told VOA that he and his brother Saeed and the two aides had been released after several hours of questioning.

Earlier this year, Ayatollah Montazeri was released from five years of house arrest for criticizing Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. After his release, the 80-year-old cleric vowed to continue speaking out for the rights of the people of Iran because it is his religious duty.

He is one of the few Iranian clerics to have attained the status of Grand Ayatollah. He was once in line to succeed the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
33 posted on 11/03/2003 9:46:35 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: F14 Pilot

An Iranian exile claims that he is in contact with an Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) defector who was involved in the late-August assassination of Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) leader Ayatollah Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim, "Al-Sharq al-Awsat" reported from London on 30 October. Former Ansar-i Hizbullah member Amir Farshad Ibrahimi said he recently received an e-mail from a member of the IRGC's special operations unit -- the Qods Force -- requesting help escaping from Iran; this individual is reportedly in an Eastern European country bordering Turkey.

The IRGC member claims he and the 10-man Qods Corps hit squad were told that al-Hakim had backed away from calls for an Iraqi Islamic republic. The assassins had cover as radio and television correspondents and filmed al-Hakim for several days before killing him in Al-Najaf with a car bomb, according to the source. In exchange for asylum in Iraq or another Arab state, the exile said, the IRGC member claimed that he would provide information about al-Hakim's murder, the 19 September bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad, and the 26 October attack on the Rashid Hotel in Baghdad. BS

source:RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 7, No. 207, Part III, 31 October 2003
34 posted on 11/03/2003 10:07:48 AM PST by AdmSmith
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To: DoctorZIn
35 posted on 11/03/2003 10:40:58 AM PST by windchime
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To: F14 Pilot
36 posted on 11/03/2003 10:43:13 AM PST by windchime
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
Next Stop, Iran?

Don't these people ever learn?
by Alistair Millar

Is Iran next? Hasn't George Bush got enough to worry about in Iraq? Costs are escalating, troops are dying. Iraqi civilians are still deprived of their most basic needs, and the U.N. is relegated to the sidelines. Senior military officials and experts from both parties are increasingly vocal in their criticism of the administration. According to Ronald Reagan's secretary of the Navy, the invasion and occupation of Iraq "is one of the most ill-advised and reckless actions that the U.S. government has ever taken."

Nonetheless, hawks in the Bush administration are undaunted. They have waited for years to execute their strategy to "secure the realm" and reshape the Middle East. For them Iraq is just the first act.

Echoing charges that were used to justify the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has openly said he supports a policy of regime change in Tehran, saying that Iran is harboring al-Qaeda members and developing nuclear weapons. At the same time the administration is limiting its diplomatic options by shutting down its back-channel communication with senior Iranian officials. U.S. officials are reported to have met on May 27 to discuss possible efforts to overthrow the government in Tehran.

America has had enough trouble building international political, financial, and military support for the war on—and occupation of—Iraq. A campaign against Iran will further isolate America. Even the U.K. government—which supports engagement with Iranian reformers and whose public is still extremely skeptical of claims that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction sufficient to justify war—has said they will not support a U.S.-led campaign against Iran.

The conservative magazine The Weekly Standard has opined that we must now "take the fight to Iran." The Project for the New American Century, which boasts its affiliation with many key administration officials, wrote an open letter to Bush just after 9-11. The letter strongly urged the president to pursue a "war on terror," invade Afghanistan, alienate Yasir Arafat, attack Iraq, and target Iran. While it does not seem politically, militarily, or economically feasible now, Tehran is still on the to-do list and may well be next if Bush is re-elected.

This sends the worst possible message to Iranians and will ruin the prospects for internal reform. Pro-reformists in Iran have been clear that if the Americans are belligerent, it will help the conservatives to rally the Iranian people behind them. It may encourage Iran to learn from the Iraqi regime's fate and take a cue from North Korea: Your only option for survival is to build a bomb as soon as you can. As David Albright, a former International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspector and president of the Institute for Science and International Security, said in September: "You can end up driving Iran into a corner and causing it to embark on a crash nuclear program out of fear."

THERE IS NO doubt that uncertainties about Iran's nuclear program are a cause for concern. Iran is not being fully transparent about all of its nuclear activities and has not complied with previous IAEA requests to freeze its uranium enrichment program. The IAEA has just passed a unanimous resolution calling on Iran to provide a "full declaration" of its nuclear program, to open all nuclear sites for inspection, and to agree to environmental testing in advance of an IAEA meeting scheduled for November. There is a real danger that Iran could decide to drop out of a dialogue with the multilateral atomic agency and respond negatively to pressure generated by neocons from the United States.

To prevent that from happening, U.S. policy should take a more nuanced approach with Iran. America must reduce risks and ensure that several key objectives are met. U.S. policy must prevent weapons proliferation, increase cooperation in the campaign against terrorism, and encourage Iran's evolution toward a more democratic society. Iran is presently caught in an internal tug-of-war between a pro-reform, democratically elected government and a conservative, anti-American clergy that wields significant political power. The United States should design its policies in ways that strengthen the hand of reform constituencies and take a regional approach toward the disarmament of weapons of mass destruction across the Middle East.

Steps toward engagement should be taken and linked to reciprocal gestures of cooperation from Iran, such as acceptance of the IAEA resolution and concrete steps toward implementation of U.N. counterterrorism mandates. Over the past 20 years, incentives have been used to successfully encourage other emergent and existing nuclear weapons powers to forswear the bomb, making the world a much safer place. Increased dialogue and cooperation with Iran will increase understanding on both sides and create a basis for a gradual improvement in political relations and enhanced security on both sides. We don't have to look far to see how the option of regime change by force is working.

Alistair Millar is vice president and director of the Washington, D.C. office of the Fourth Freedom Forum, an independent research organization that works on global security issues.

37 posted on 11/03/2003 2:23:58 PM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (You may forget the one with whom you have laughed, but never the one with whom you have wept.)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife

The link for above.
38 posted on 11/03/2003 2:26:17 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: F14 Pilot

When reform is effective against Khomenei.

39 posted on 11/03/2003 4:50:14 PM PST by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: DoctorZIn
The correct answer is that Iran will never betray al Qaeda leaders, because Iran supports al Qaeda. The mullahs would no more give us Osama's henchmen than they would cut off an arm or a leg. Al Qaeda is part of their enterprise, which is to kill Americans and American friends wherever they can, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Robert Baer, See No Evil, said the 1983 bombing of the Beirut embassy which killed sixty was done by Iran's sock puppet Islamic Jihad Organization (IJO)--but that his superiors would not pursue his lead.

Nothing has changed in twenty years.

Memo to Bush--get rid of these pantywaist bureaucrats before the next 911--

You should have given Tenet a boot up the ass after the FIRST.

40 posted on 11/03/2003 5:52:18 PM PST by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: DoctorZIn
"As if our goal were to improve relations with the Islamic Republic!"

This is the impression I've been getting recently, too.
What is going on back there in Washington?
Going to TALK Khamenei and the Guardian Council out of being "bad guys"? This is a WAR on Terrorism. (At least,
I thought it was.) And these men are in league with Terrorists. There's no "making nice". They've got to GO!!!
41 posted on 11/03/2003 6:59:21 PM PST by nuconvert
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To: DoctorZIn
US Slams Torture Claims

November 03, 2003
The Australian
From correspondents in Baghdad

THE US-led coalition overnight vigorously rejected allegations by two Iranian journalists they were tortured during four months of detention in Iraq.

"The coalition does not mistreat anyone in its custody - full stop," a US military spokesman said on condition of anonymity.

Journalists Saeed Abou Taleb and Sohail Karimi told Iranian state television after they were freed yesterday that they were subjected to "severe torture" in the early days of their detention.

They described the duration of their incarceration as "terrifying" and "very bad, very bad" upon returning home from Iraq. They did not elaborate on the torture allegations.

The two journalists work as documentary film-makers for Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), and were arrested on July 1 in the town of Kut, southeast of Baghdad, after being spotted filming a US base.

Coalition sources had suggested the pair may have been spying, although IRIB says the two were merely making a film on the life of the Iraqi people after the US-led forces toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein.

They were later transferred to Diwaniyah, and then to Baghdad, before being handed over to British troops in Umm Qasr prison, southern Iraq, and eventually released, Iran's state news agency IRNA said.

Both US and British officials in Iraq have accused Iran of supporting elements inside Iraq that are actively undermining post-war security, a charge Tehran denies.,5744,7764514%255E1702,00.html
42 posted on 11/03/2003 7:25:04 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Bomb in Holy Iraqi City Kills Three

November 03, 2003

A bomb exploded outside a hotel used by Iranian pilgrims in the holy Shi'ite city of Kerbala in Iraq on Monday, killing at least three people, Shi'ite officials said.

They said the bomb appeared to have been planted in a nearby car and had destroyed much of the front of the hotel.

A spokesman for the Polish-led multinational force responsible for security around the Kerbala region confirmed there had been a bomb explosion and that there were Iraqi casualties.

"There were no casualties from coalition forces," the spokesman said.

There was no indication who was behind Monday's deadly blast, which follows days of violence farther north in Baghdad and west in the area known as the Sunni triangle.

Kerbala, 90 km south of Baghdad, was tense last month after U.S. forces killed eight followers of cleric Mahmoud al-Hassani in a shootout on October 16. Three U.S. military police and two Iraqi police also died.

The cleric is a sympathizer of radical Shi'ite leader Moqtada al-Sadr, an opponent of the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq.

In August, a bomb blast in the Shi'ite holy city of Najaf killed senior Shi'ite cleric Mohammad Baqer al-Hakim and more than 80 of his followers.
43 posted on 11/03/2003 7:25:53 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
U.S. Warning on Iran Nuke Stance

November 03, 2003
Elise Labott

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. State Department says any decision by Iran to end cooperation on its nuclear program would be "gravely troubling".

The comment follows remarks made by Iran's religious leader threatening that excessive demands by the international community could prompt Tehran to end its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

As a party to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, Iran "has an obligation to cooperate fully with the IAEA to ensure verification of compliance with Iran's safeguards agreement," State Department deputy spokesman J. Adam Ereli said Monday, adding that Iran must also meet additional requirements put forth by the IAEA in a September 12 resolution.

Iran's religious leader Ayatollah Khamenei earlier praised an agreement made by Tehran with the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany, but warned that Iran could end its cooperation if pushed too hard by the international community. ('Don't push us on nukes')

Last month, Iranian officials pledged in the agreement to fully cooperate with the IAEA, sign a protocol allowing for surprise inspections of its nuclear facilities, and immediately stop enriching uranium.

The nuclear inspections arm of the United Nations expects Iran to provide a letter of intent next week that would set a process in motion for signing a formal protocol on nuclear weapons, a spokeswoman for the International Atomic Energy Commission said Friday.

Ereli said, "threats from Iran to end such cooperation, rather than give the IAEA full access to and answers about its nuclear activities, would be gravely troubling and would further deepen the international community's concerns that Iran continues to have something to hide from the IAEA."

Iran had until Friday to provide a declaration and information on its nuclear programs, including answering all questions IAEA inspectors have turned up in their investigations over the past few months, said IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming.

The declaration and other data were provided on October 23, and Fleming said they were being studied to see if they meet IAEA standards.

She said IAEA Director General Mohammed ElBaradei considers what was handed in, about 200 pages, "very comprehensive." But more actions were expected, Fleming added.

Tehran claims it has provided the United Nations with full disclosure on its nuclear weapons program. Javad Zarif, Iran's ambassador to the United Nations, told CNN that Iran was "extending full cooperation" with the IAEA.

"Whether it takes the IAEA one day or two days or two weeks to verify that, it's up to the IAEA," Zarif said Sunday in an interview on CNN's Late Edition.

Civilian uses
"We have agreed to suspend our uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities and we will send a notification to the IAEA that we are ready to sign the additional protocol and start implementing it."

Iran has denied it is developing nuclear weapons and insists that its program is intended only for civilian uses, such as the production of electricity.

"Nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction have no place in our defense doctrine," Zarif said. "And that is the policy that we have pursued and we continue to pursue today."

But he added that signatories to the NPT, who forswear pursuing nuclear weapons, "have a right to pursue nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and nuclear technology for peaceful purposes."

"That is an area that is extremely important to us," he said.

The United States has said Iran, which U.S. President George W. Bush has branded part of an "axis of evil" along with North Korea and pre-war Iraq, must demonstrate it does not have a nuclear weapons program.
44 posted on 11/03/2003 7:26:36 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
U.S. Warning on Iran Nuke Stance

November 03, 2003
Elise Labott
45 posted on 11/03/2003 7:27:38 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn

DAMASCUS, First of November (IPS)

The meeting of Iraqi neighbours that opened in Damascus Saturday was doomed to fail as Iraq decided to keep away from it, stating that Baghdad would not “accept any recommendations or decisions that come out of this meeting without Iraq's participation".

Foreign Affairs ministers from Iraq neighbours, namely Turkey, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria plus that of Egypt, worried by the escalating violence in the US-occupied country and the risks of regional instability, was called by Syria that originally had not invited Mr. Hoshyar Zebari, the Iraqi interim government’s top diplomat.

The past week has seen the worst bloodshed since US troops entered Baghdad in April, with a wave of car-bombings in the Iraqi capital prompting a host of foreign missions to withdraw or downscale their staff, undermining the post-war reconstruction effort.

But under pressures from Jordan, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia that had menaced to boycott the meeting if Iraq was not present in the one hand and Iran, one of the few first nations to have recognised the American-installed Provisory Government of Iraq on the other, Syria sent an 11th hour an invitation to Mr. Zebari in order to “save” the meeting from total collapse.

"The way the invitation has been extended was not in keeping with Iraq's dignity", Mr. Zerbari, , who is a Kurd belonging to the Democratic Party of (Iraqi) Kurdistan led by Mr. Mas’oud Barzani, told a press conference in Baghdad.

"In the absence of a frank and clear invitation from the Syrian government for Iraq to participate in the Damascus meeting, it is impossible to take part", he explained.

"A few of us don't see the logic of a meeting without Iraq, especially since it was called for by Syria to discuss Iraq", AFP quoted a diplomat close to the meeting as having said on condition of anonymity.

"We believe Iraq ought to be represented at any meeting dealing with the country", Jordanian Foreign Affairs Minister Marwan Mo’asher said before his departure from Amman for the talks.

"We are in favour of any cooperation with the interim Governing Council that might lead to a rapprochement between Arab states and Iraq, and help put an end to the occupation of the country and improve its internal situation."

Mo’asher, pointing out that it would have been “perverse” to have denied Zebari a seat in Saturday's talks given that Arab ministers had already admitted him to an Arab League meeting in Cairo in September.

“The failure of Iraq’s Foreign Minister to attend the meeting has compounded the situation while some sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, have foreseen that emerging tension would cast doubt on the confab”, the official Iranian news agency IRNA commented.

“They said the deliberations among the participants would take place behind closed doors and the prospects of public discussions are grim”, the Agency said, quoting the same sources as having warned that of the “eventuality of the verbal disputes among participants”.

However, a senior Iraqi diplomat had called on the participants “to do more” to stop the infiltration of foreign militants that the US Administration holds responsible for the growing violence in Iraq, including daily attacks on American forces.

"We are asking neighbours to help us curb border infiltration and hand us information on all persons who infiltrate into Iraq". "The issue of terrorism remains a priority", AFP quoted the diplomat who was speaking on condition of anonymity.

The first such encounter took place in Istanbul last April before the fall of Saddam Hoseyn, the Iraqi dictator.

"It is only natural that the meeting should address the difficulties of the Iraqi people and try to find the means to put an end to the occupation", Syrian Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Bushra Kanafani said.

Like all other participants, Syria had opposed the US-led war and the American military presence in Iraq, with whose regime it had long been at odds before a rapprochement with Saddam in the mid-1990s.

But Washington says all the neighbours, but most particularly Syria could do more to prevent Islamic militants infiltrating Iraq through their borders.

A key issue at the Damascus meeting will be whether to contribute troops to a stabilisation force. Under US pressure, only Turkey has so far agreed to send troops, although no action has been taken on the ground, a decision vehemently opposed by the Iraqi interim government, a “melting pot” made of various Iraqi forces, including the two mainstreams, namely the Kurds and the Shi’ites that make the majority of the Iraqi population.

For Syrian Vice President Abdel Halim Khaddam, a pillar of the old guard who form a circle around President Bashar al-Assad, it is "out of the question" for Syria to send peacekeeping troops to Iraq.

No Arab country would take such action, he said last week during a meeting with a delegation of Iraqi parties not represented in the Governing Council. The visit raised question marks over the intentions of the Syrian leadership.

The Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Kamal Kharrazi was one of the first ministers to arrive in Damascus on Saturday morning to take part in the fourth ministerial meeting of Iraq’s neighbours.

Heading a high- ranking delegation to the two-day meeting which is expected to debate the latest developments of Iraq and their effects on the security and stability of its neighbours, Mr. Kharrazi said he hoped that the conference could reach a “certain consensus” over the best ways and means to contribute to Iraq’s stabilisation, according to an Iranian diplomat speaking on condition that not be named .

“The meeting is also expected to discuss the assistance that Iraq’s neighbours can provide for the reconstruction of the country”, he added, pointing out that Iran made some “constructive undertakings” at the Iraqi Donors conference that took place in Madrid on 23 and 24 October.

At that meeting, Iran, the only participant that has no diplomatic relation with the United States while others, except the host country, are Washington’s close allies in the region, Tehran had offered to help actively in the reconstruction of Iraq by providing natural gas and electricity to the predominantly Shi’ite inhabited southern Iraq.

The Turkish, Egyptian, Jordanian, Iranian, Kuwaiti and Saudi ministers have taken part in a sundown Iftar, the meal which follows the dawn-to-dusk fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, hosted by their Syrian counterpart at a Damascus restaurant.

Commenting on the aims of the Damascus meeting, Syrian foreign
ministry spokesman said the meeting would by no means interfere in the
internal affairs of Iraq but it would probe into the repercussions of the developments of Iraq over its neighbour states and the regional countries.

The last meeting of Iraq’s neighbours was held in Tehran in June on the sidelines of the ministerial conference of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the official Iranian news agency IRNA said in a dispatch from Damascus. IRAQI NEIGHBOURS CONFERENCE 11103
46 posted on 11/03/2003 8:00:23 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
"The U.S. State Department says any decision by Iran to end cooperation on its nuclear program would be "gravely troubling"."

Get ready to be "gravely troubled".
47 posted on 11/03/2003 9:17:58 PM PST by nuconvert
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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”

48 posted on 11/04/2003 12:15:05 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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