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Iranian Alert -- November 4, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD PING LIST
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 11.04.2003 | DoctorZin

Posted on 11/04/2003 12:10:38 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; journalist; 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 11/04/2003 12:10:38 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 11/04/2003 12:17:56 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
I received this from an Iranian student in Iran...

"This is what I saw today morning on my way to class.

All streets to the former Embassy of the United States were blocked by Police. Around 500 hard line militants and students gathered to chant against the US interest and also remember the Hostage crisis days.

I was in the Taxi and the driver didnt know what today is or why Police blocks the streets.

It seems that many people forget those days but some hard-liners still insist on remembering the worst days of Iran's history because they need a reason to make people afraid of a power in order to rule the Iranian society."
3 posted on 11/04/2003 12:21:57 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran's economic strengths come back into focus

Monday, November 03 - 2003 at 19:01

Gill James and Daniel Hanna

Iran's agreement with the UN Nuclear Watchdog, the IAEA, was an important positive step. It removed a potential obstacle to foreign investment and should also allow attention to shift from politics to economics, and Iran's impressive recent growth performance. Daniel Hanna and Gill James examine an economy that is on track to grow by 6% in 2003.

Iran is expected this week to confirm when it will sign the Additional Protocol of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty. This marks a remarkable turnaround from a month ago where it seemed that Iran could ignore an October 31st deadline imposed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and be subject to UN economic and political sanctions. Iran's disclosure of documents last week detailing its nuclear programme has lifted a major political risk that had been overhanging the country.

Uncertainties remain. Iran's declaration needs to be verified by the IAEA as being comprehensive and comments over the weekend highlight that some senior Iranian officials remain uncomfortable with some of the IAEA's demands. Nonetheless the progress has been positive and the agreement with the IAEA is an important step forward. It also potentially removes a major obstacle to foreign investment. Several large deals, particularly in the oil and gas sector, had been postponed and these should now be revived. Indeed a positive response from the IAEA at its next board meeting on November 20th would allow attention to shift to Iran's economic position, rather than its political one, and the strong performance of the economy in 2003.

The non-oil sector is booming and the dominant oil sector (it accounts for close to 50% of government revenues and 80% of export earnings) is benefiting from the twin effects of increased output and high international crude oil prices. We now expect real GDP growth to reach around 6% in the current Iranian year ending March 2004. Although below the 6.8% growth reported by Bank Markazi for the year ended March 2003, this is well above recent trend growth.

Non-oil sector activity is once again driving the economy. Iran's non-oil sector has benefited tremendously from the gradual easing in import restrictions (imposed to protect foreign exchange reserves and allow Iran to meet external debt obligations in the 1990s) that has accompanied the steady build up in foreign exchange reserves since 2000. Combined with exceptionally low interest rates and increased liquidity, industrial and manufacturing activity has soared. Services are also booming. The Tehran stock exchange is on a roll. Share prices have rocketed and market capitalisation has gone through the roof. The outlook for non-oil sector activity remains positive with non-oil GDP expected to build on last year's strong performance (7.5% in the year ended March 2003). There are suggestions that some import restrictions may be re-imposed if oil revenues slump, but if so they will be limited.

Currently the near term outlook for oil is reasonably encouraging. Supply disruptions and low inventory levels suggest prices will remain firm through the northern-hemisphere winter months. The big test is likely to be Q2 2004, when seasonally oil demand traditionally softens. Oil market fundamentals imply that OPEC members, including Iran, will need to cut production to defend the cartel's target price band. Iranian crude output has been running at an average 3.7mn barrels a day (mbd) so far this year, 7.5% up on average output in 2002.

Annual growth has averaged 6% since 1999 but further economic reforms are needed if Iran's economy is to reach its full potential. Efforts to diversify the economy away from oil and gas need to be accelerated, trade liberalisation enhanced and the role of the state in the economy scaled back. The IAEA's approval on November 20th would lift a major geopolitical risk surrounding Iran and should help support the reform process.

Gill James is Standard Chartered's Chief Economist for the Middle East and South Asia. Daniel Hanna is the Regional Economist for the Middle East.
4 posted on 11/04/2003 12:27:04 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
All of this shows that Persia will be liberated from the Mullahs soon
5 posted on 11/04/2003 12:32:36 AM PST by Cronos (W2004)
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To: All
Today is 4th of November
6 posted on 11/04/2003 12:37:02 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn
Thank you, DoctorZIn.
7 posted on 11/04/2003 4:28:37 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 Agents Free Most of Cleric's Aides

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iranian security agents freed all but one of the close aides to Iran's most senior dissident cleric - including two of his sons - but sealed off a building that he planned to use as a seminary, one of the cleric's son said Tuesday.

Ahmad Montazeri, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri's son, said that he, his brother Saeed, and several others were freed Monday evening. However, Reza Ziaei, one of Montazeri's close aides, was blindfolded, handcuffed and beaten during interrogation and his whereabouts remain unknown.

Ahmed Montazeri said he and his brother were not mistreated while in custody. He said they were questioned about the family's plans to turn a building next to their home into a seminary where the elder Montazeri would teach.

On Monday, Rabbani had said that security agents detained four people but Ahmad told The Associated Press Tuesday that two more aides and five construction workers were detained Monday but freed several hours later.

The elder Montazeri, 81, is one of a few grand ayatollahs, the most senior theologians of the Shiite Muslim faith. He enjoys a huge following in Qom and Isfahan, his birthplace, and many reformists see him as a charismatic leader who could bring profound democratic changes in Iran.

The elder Montazeri resumed teaching in September after spending five years under house arrest in Qom, a holy city 80 miles southwest of Tehran, for telling students that Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was incompetent to issue religious rulings.

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

"That mosque still remains closed, and we need facilities for the grand ayatollah to teach," Ahmad Montazeri said Tuesday. Hard-liners "don't want my father to have any facilities to teach, let alone engage in political activities."

He said security agents on the order of the Special Clergy Court, a body dealing with clerics, used welding machines to seal off the entrance to the building where the seminary was to have been located. He did not say whether the family would press ahead with plans to open a seminary.

The senior Montazeri had been the designated successor of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of the 1979 Islamic revolution, until he fell out with Khomeini shortly before his 1989 death after complaining about powers wielded by unelected clerics.

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.

8 posted on 11/04/2003 5:22:25 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
ElBaradei: Iran Didn't Comply with NPT Commitments
Tue November 4, 2003 06:11 AM ET

(Page 1 of 2)
MADRID (Reuters) - The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog said Iran's declaration showed it had previously failed to comply with commitments under the global non-proliferation pact, a Spanish newspaper reported Tuesday.
"We have analyzed certain parts of the documents and they show that Iran failed to comply with some of its commitments under the (nuclear Non-Proliferation) Treaty," International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Mohamed ElBaradei said in an interview published in El Pais newspaper.

On Oct. 23, Iran gave the IAEA a declaration that it described as a complete and accurate history of its nuclear program, which Tehran insists is peaceful.

This declaration was delivered to the United Nations to meet an October 31 deadline set by the IAEA governing board for Iran to come clean about its nuclear program, which Washington says is a front for building an atomic bomb.

"I will give further information on this next week," ElBaradei said in the interview which took place Monday in New York.

Next week, diplomats in Vienna are expected to receive ElBaradei's latest report on IAEA inspections in Iran. This report will be the subject of discussion at the IAEA Board of Governors meeting on November 20.

Although the contents of Iran's declaration have been kept confidential, Iran's ambassador to the IAEA Ali Akbar Salehi said Tehran had been forced to be "discreet" about many of its nuclear activities due to decades of sanctions.

This was why it had repeatedly not informed the IAEA of many of its atomic activities, Salehi said.


The United States has been pushing the 35-nation IAEA governing board to declare Iran in "non-compliance" with its Safeguards Agreement under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Such a finding would require the board to report Iran to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions. Diplomats have told Reuters that Washington has little support on the IAEA board and that Iran will likely escape censure by the council.

Furthermore, Iran says its failures to inform the IAEA of its activities are all in the past and that it has since declared all activities and facilities to the U.N. inspectors.

ElBaradei said there were "divisions" on the board about whether to inform the council about Iran's failures. He also made it clear the inspection process in Iran was far from over, indicating that a finding of non-compliance would be premature.
"There are still a lot of things to analyze," ElBaradei said. "I don't think we will have finished before the November 20 Board of Governors meeting."

ElBaradei said the investigation into the origin of traces of weapons-grade highly-enriched uranium found at two sites in Iran would take months to complete.

Iran says the traces came from contaminated machinery purchased abroad, an explanation that has met with skepticism among countries like the United States which suspect that Iran either bought or purified the uranium itself for use in a bomb.

"We have to identify the country of origin of the contamination, go to that country, take traces to verify if, in fact, the traces of enriched uranium are from contamination and not home-produced," ElBaradei said. "(We need) at least another couple of months, until the beginning of next year."
9 posted on 11/04/2003 5:34:43 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
The special clergy court was created after the 1979 Islamic revolution to try offenses committed by clerics, they also close newspapers. The special clergy court charged clerics with apostasy, spreading corruption on earth and waging war against God - all carrying the death penalty under Iran´s strict Islamic law. They can order whipping and jail.
10 posted on 11/04/2003 6:00:16 AM PST by AdmSmith
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
"We have analyzed certain parts of the documents and they show that Iran failed to comply with some of its commitments under the (nuclear Non-Proliferation) Treaty,"

What makes anyone think they will comply with IAEA?
The regime can't be trusted. Period.
11 posted on 11/04/2003 6:34:42 AM PST by nuconvert
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To: nuconvert
Yes, but Saddam proved that the game of failure to comply, coupled with resolutions and sanctions can march on for years and years, while the nuclear program is conducted in secret.

12 posted on 11/04/2003 6:50:09 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



(think that will help?)
13 posted on 11/04/2003 7:09:30 AM PST by nuconvert
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To: DoctorZIn
"Flag burning" Marks Iran-US Hostage Anniversary

November 04, 2003

TEHRAN -- Some 10,000 Iranian hardliners gathered outside the former US embassy here Tuesday for the 24th anniversary of the storming of the compound, with the annual letting off of steam featuring the habitual chanting of "Death to America".

After being driven by specially-arranged buses to the city centre compound -- now a Revolutionary Guards base -- the crowd waved anti-US banners and chanted "Death to America", "Death to Britain" and "Death to the Zionists".

Other slogans included "Martyrdom is our dream, this is the response to our enemies". US and Israeli flags and effigies of Uncle Sam were also set ablaze in the festivities.

Flags were also laid out on the road so drivers could enjoy taking a spin over the stars and stripes.

On November 4, 1979, in the wake of Iran's Islamic revolutions, a group of Islamist students stormed the US embassy in Tehran and held its staff hostage there for 444 days. The crisis led to the suspension of diplomatic ties between Washington and Tehran.
14 posted on 11/04/2003 8:04:22 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
UN Rights "Rapporteur" in Iran For Key Probe

November 04, 2003

TEHRAN -- A top United Nations human rights official began a week-long visit to Iran Tuesday to conduct a key probe focusing on press freedoms and freedom of expression, UN officials here said.

During his visit, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression Ambeyi Ligabo is lined up for talks with senior Iranian government officials and magistrates as well as members of the media and academics.

In a statement, the UN said he would be "gathering relevant information on, among other issues, discrimination and threats or use of violence and harassment directed at persons, including professionals in the field of information, seeking to exercise or to promote the exercise of the right to freedom of opinion and expression."

Ligabo had initially been due to visit the country in July, but Tehran postponed the trip in June at the height of anti-regime protests accompanied by arrests of journalists, student leaders and dissidents.

The intervening period has seen the spotlight focus on more on Iran's human rights record, following the death in custody of Canadian-Iranian photographer Zahra Kazemi and the Nobel Peace Prize win of women's rights activist and lawyer Shirin Ebadi.

During his visit, UN sources said Ligabo was expected to meet with Ebadi -- a woman loathed by Iranian hardliners for her defence of dissidents.

The French-based press rights watchdog Reporters Without Bordersurged Iranian authorities to use the visit to unconditionally free 11 jailed journalists and lift bans on a number of newspapers.

It also said the rapporteur should be permitted to meet the detained writers, especially those being held in solitary confinement

More than 100 Iranian newspapers have been shut down since 2000, amid a crackdown on the reformist press carried out by the hardline-controlled judiciary.

RSF has branded Iran "the biggest prison for journalists in the Middle East".
15 posted on 11/04/2003 8:06:00 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Sharon Leaving Moscow with Russia's Sympathy

November 04, 2003
The Associated Press
The International Herald Tribune

MOSCOW -- Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon held a second day of meetings in Moscow Tuesday after raising concerns about Iran’s nuclear program and a Russian-backed U.N. resolution on a Mideast peace plan.

In a Kremlin meeting on Monday with President Vladimir Putin, Sharon failed to win any guarantees that Russia would meet his requests to drop a U.N. resolution on the ‘‘road map’’ plan or act against what Israelis say is a covert Iranian nuclear arms program.

Nor did he get any firm pledge from Putin that Russia would pressure Syria to rein in the radical Islamic Hezbollah group in Lebanon, a senior Israeli official said.

The official added that Hezbollah currently has 11,000 Syrian and Iranian-supplied missiles deployed in southern Lebanon with ranges of up to about 50 miles and the ability to hit many northern Israeli cities and towns.

On Tuesday morning, Sharon met Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov. He was due to meet Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, then fly home Tuesday evening.

Israel sees the United Nations as a hostile body, skewed in favor of the Palestinians, and objects to Russia’s move to have the Security Council formally endorse the ‘‘road map’’ Mideast peace plan, which lays out steps for the end of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the creation of a Palestinian state.

The Israeli official said Sharon told Putin the road map was aimed at forging a bilateral agreement between Israel and the Palestinians and could not work if imposed by outsiders.

‘‘The agreement we accepted was between two sides and needs to be resolved between two sides, not by coercion from the Security Council,’’ the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Israel only reluctantly accepted the road map, attaching a list of reservations making its implementation dependent on the Palestinians’ disarming and disbanding militant groups and stipulating that any monitoring be under U.S. control.

‘‘Russia’s position in this (U.N.) forum does not help strengthen our relations,’’ the official quoted Sharon as telling Putin.

A major part of the one-on-one portion of Monday’s summit was devoted to Israel’s fears that Iran is covertly trying to develop nuclear weapons, the official said.

Sharon told Putin that a nuclear-armed Iran would pose a threat not only to Israel but to world peace. The official said Putin and Sharon agreed to keep up consultations on the issue.

Asked if Sharon carried any American message on the perceived Iranian threat, the official said only that Jerusalem and Washington were in very close contact on developments in Iran.

Russia’s relations with Israel have seen a dramatic improvement since the Soviet collapse, and Moscow has played a role in peace efforts as part of the international quartet also including the United States, the United Nations and the European Union.
16 posted on 11/04/2003 8:06:46 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Set My People Free

November 04, 2003
The Wall Street Journal
Reza Pahlavi

The U.S. blessing for the joint trip by the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany to Tehran demonstrates a spirit of unity absent in their recent past. It is understandable that the specter of the foremost state sponsor of terrorism acquiring nuclear weapons should unite the EU and the U.S. in great fear.

But which is the greater component of that fear: Is it the nuclear state or the terrorist regime? In Iran's immediate neighborhood, in one of the least technologically advanced regimes, the Taliban's allies demonstrated that all they need is box cutters to use the free world's own resources against it. Yet nuclear-armed Pakistan is frequently praised as an ally in the war against terror. So it is the character of the regime, rather than the technology it possesses, that constitutes the greater part of the threat.

Then why doesn't the international community come together on the greater part of its fear, and declare its unambiguous opposition to a terrorist regime in such a strategic region? Why doesn't it unite with Iran's people, whose loudly demonstrated wish is to be rid of the only regime in the world whose theocratic constitution specifically rejects popular sovereignty?

Why the double talk from the West? Sometimes it is recognized that Iran is governed by an unelected few. But we also hear that Iran is democratic because it holds elections -- even though unelected cabals veto candidates; more journalists are in jail than in any other country; a self-styled judiciary is accountable to none; and, most importantly, the elected president, now in the second half of his last term, confesses that he never had the power to carry out his mandate.

The explanation may be the belief that the 50 theocrats who rule Iran are thuggish enough to keep Iranians enslaved for years to come, and so the world must content itself with damage limitation and containment. That belief is as wrong as it is cynical, and it is seen as such by my compatriots. It also means living in continuous fear of a catastrophe, possibly delayed by relying on "nuclear fact-finding" in a country four times Iraq's size, with deeper valleys and higher mountains than bin Laden's hideouts.

Even more ominous is Iran's approach to nuclear technology. Whereas with Saddam's paranoid compartmentalization, knowledge developed and resources accessed were confined to a tightly controlled few, Iran has a souk approach. There are mullahs who compete for public slush funds by developing networks for sourcing nuclear material and skills. No one knows who will use these networks in the future, or where and for what purpose. We only know that the theocrats have provided a safe haven and funds for nurturing these and other terror networks. But the world need not live in fear of a nuclear terrorist regime: I have no doubt that if it unites in support of democracy in Iran, it will unleash a popular force that will overwhelm the theocrats and sweep away their terrorist regime.

Mr. Pahlavi is the son of the late Shah of Iran.
17 posted on 11/04/2003 8:08:16 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Set My People Free

November 04, 2003
The Wall Street Journal
Reza Pahlavi
18 posted on 11/04/2003 8:09:36 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Focusing their anger at the US, Britain and the Zionists resembles Don Quixote jousting at a windmill.
19 posted on 11/04/2003 8:14:43 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
We do know that the Iranian people need a leader to lead their desire for change.
Can you tell us why Reza Pahlavi is not acting as a leader of the Iranians?
20 posted on 11/04/2003 9:33:51 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: F14 Pilot
Iran scraps Russia talks over Israeli PM's visit

Hi Pakistan Daily
4th of Nov. 2003

MOSCOW: Hassan Rohani, head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, scrapped Kremlin talks on Monday in a move analysts said may be linked to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's presence in Russia.

"He is not coming today," an Iranian embassy official said in Moscow. "We will announce it when there is a precise date of his visit." On Friday, a Russian Atomic Energy Ministry official told Reuters Rohani was expected to announce in Moscow when Tehran would sign a key additional protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty allowing snap inspections of its nuclear sites.

Iran has in principle agreed to sign the document in what was seen as a major step forward in its months-long standoff with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over its nuclear programme. However, it has yet to say exactly when it will do so.

Despite US accusations Tehran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons, Russia is helping Tehran build an $800 million nuclear reactor in Bushehr. Iran says its atomic programme is entirely peaceful.

Political observers in Moscow said the postponement was due to Sharon's visit to Moscow. He arrived on Sunday to discuss, among other things, concerns about Russia-Iran nuclear ties.

"Sharon is the main reason," said Alexander Pikayev of the Carnegie Centre in Moscow. "They can't be in the same city together. Otherwise there'll be talk they're meeting in private."

Israel accuses Iran of backing Islamic militants. The United States, Israel's closest ally, says Iran is part of an "axis of evil" of states pursuing weapons of mass destruction, along with North Korea and pre-war Iraq.

The Iranian embassy official, asked whether Rohani's trip was postponed because it coincided with that of Sharon, said: "No, I can't comment on that."Pikayev said another reason could be a warning by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that Tehran would end co-operation with the IAEA if further demands undermined Iran's national interests.

But a Western diplomat in Vienna, where the IAEA is based, said it was almost inconceivable Iran would end co-operation despite the expressed views of some hardline Iranian officials.
21 posted on 11/04/2003 9:48:09 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn
22 posted on 11/04/2003 11:54:53 AM PST by windchime
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To: DoctorZIn
Kazemi's Son Rejects Nobel Winner's Help

November 04, 2003

The son of slain Montreal photojournalist Zahra Kazemi is upset over reports that Nobel peace prize laureate Shirin Ebadi will appear in Iranian court on behalf of the Kazemi family.

Stephan Hachemi said that Ebadi can't represent him in court because he rejects the trial completely.

"She represents my grandmother," said Hachemi. "This is exactly what the Iranian government wants—for me to recognize the legitimacy of their justice—and that's exactly what I'm not going to do."

An Iranian intelligence ministry official is accused of what is called the "semi-premeditated" murder of Kazemi, who died in Iranian custody last July after she was detained for taking photographs outside a Tehran prison. INDEPTH: Zahra Kazemi

Hachemi said her death is a political issue, not one for the justice system in Iran.

He vowed to continue lobbying the federal government to apply political pressure to have his mother's remains returned to Canada.
23 posted on 11/04/2003 2:18:12 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
No leadership from diplofairies.

Time to overthrow the mullahcracy and its mad lust for its Islamist bomb.

Eschew Powell; rig for Rumsfeld.

24 posted on 11/04/2003 7:14:42 PM PST by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: PhilDragoo

A second generation yearns for a country it has never seen.

Issue of 2003-11-10

On June 21, 1998, Iran’s national soccer team walked onto the field in its first World Cup tournament since the country had overthrown the Shah, installed an Islamic government, and taken fifty-two Americans hostage, nineteen years earlier. As millions watched on live television, the players handed white good-will bouquets to their American opponents. Then Iran beat the U.S. team, 2-1. From Tehran to Toronto, Iranian teen-agers danced on cars and old women in head scarves lifted their faces to the sky and praised God.

In Westlake Village, California, in a two-story stucco house on a cul-de-sac dotted with lemon trees and oversized roses, a twelve-year-old boy named Jonathan Dorriz watched the game with his father. Jonathan was born in the San Fernando Valley, and he didn’t know much about soccer or about Iran, his parents’ home country. But when the Iranian team scored its second goal, he jumped on his father’s back and they galloped around the house, yelling until they were hoarse. Jonathan had always lived among expatriate Iranians, but that evening, on a visit to family friends, he saw them in a different light: “It was the first time I’d seen Iranians all rooting for the same thing instead of arguing about ‘the Shah did this,’‘the mullahs did that.’ I saw a sense of unity, and I felt like this was something important.” Soon afterward, Jonathan began to go by his Iranian name, Parshaw.

Now in his senior year of high school, Parshaw is a handsome, loose-limbed boy with dark wavy hair, warm brown eyes, and a prominent nose. He wears long T-shirts and baggy jeans. He likes to cruise around the neighborhood—a circle of well-kept houses radiating out from the local elementary school—in his black Lexus GS 300, a seventeenth-birthday present from his parents. When I visited him last spring, he drove me past Westlake’s jagged hills, which were dusted with a light green that set off the pink mansions along the ridges. On the main strip, Thousand Oaks Boulevard, each tree was tied with a neat yellow ribbon, and luxury-car dealerships shared street frontage with a set of international-themed gardens. Dangling one arm over the steering wheel, Parshaw sang along with Mansour, a local Iranian pop singer. He pointed out the park where a recent Iranian New Year’s picnic had attracted so many people that valet parking was required. He told me about the posses of Iranian tough guys who come in from the Valley to strut in front of Westlake’s Iranian girls. But there was something a little self-conscious about Parshaw’s identification with Iran. His Farsi, which he has been improving with the help of a teach-yourself CD-rom, was laced with charming mistakes. At the Iranian market on Thousand Oaks, he excitedly ordered rosewater-flavored “MashtiMalone,” a locally made ice cream, and a videotape of “Noon-o-Goldoon,” an Iranian movie. He smiled as he spoke, as if he were using passwords known to only a select few.

Half an hour down the 405 freeway, on Westwood Boulevard, you can tell by the way people cross the street that you’re in the Iranian part of Los Angeles. Instead of waiting at the crosswalk, pedestrians dash between moving cars, careful to lock eyes with each driver before striding into a lane. This is how people cross the street in Iran, and here in Irangeles the cars slow down as if they know whom they’re up against.

Two decades ago, this treeless stretch of road, just south of Wilshire Boulevard, was an unremarkable strip with a dry cleaner, a hair salon, and a restaurant called the All American Burger. My family came here regularly then. In January of 1979, my Iranian father and my American mother moved our family from Iran to the United States and settled in Portland, which seemed to be populated entirely by pale-skinned, third-generation Oregonians and was as un-Iranian as a city could be. But my grandparents lived in Los Angeles, and when we visited we would lose my father for days at a time to two Iranian bookstores on Westwood whose shopkeepers always had the latest news from Iran.

Today, those stores are surrounded by Farsi-scripted awnings offering photocopies, wedding videos, tailoring, ice cream, rugs, groceries, and body waxing. The larger of the two bookstores, Ketab, now sells CDs and videos and publishes the bilingual Iranian Yellow Pages, which has thickened over the years to more than a thousand pages, a sixth of which feature ads for Iranian doctors and dentists. The store also sells rustic reminders of home: wooden backgammon sets, Esfahani printed tablecloths, and givehs—woven peasant shoes that most Los Angeles Iranians would never have considered putting on their feet when they lived in Iran. The Canary Chicken House, down the street, serves kalepacheh, a stew made of sheep’s head, hooves, and eyeballs, which, in Iran, is traditionally eaten for breakfast by poor laborers. Last fall, a billboard paid for by a local exile group informed northbound traffic here that ten thousand political prisoners had been killed by the Islamic regime.

It is not surprising that a nondescript street could be so quickly transformed into a thriving immigrant hub; what is unusual is this one’s location, sandwiched between Beverly Hills and Brentwood, in one of the world’s most exclusive swaths of real estate. Here and in surrounding neighborhoods, the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf cafés overflow with dark-haired men and women sipping Darjeeling and speaking the Farsi-English hybrid Finglish. Downtown, a dilapidated alley has become a cheap clothing bazaar where Mexican employees speak Farsi with their Iranian bosses. In a San Fernando Valley strip mall, I came across a little market with handwritten signs in Farsi: “Sweet Lemons Have Arrived” and “Pomegranates Just in from Saveh” (a town in Iran that is famous for the fruit). It was a joke; there were no sweet lemons, and the giant pomegranates arranged in a pyramid came from Mexico. “Better soil than here,” the shopkeeper explained. “More like Iran.”

Last fall, the Iranian community flocked to the Music Hall Theatre, in Beverly Hills, to see “Low Heights,” a movie about a man in Iran who, desperate to get his extended family to a country that offers more opportunities, hijacks a plane with his relatives on board. A heated family argument ensues over possible destinations, and a young man who has never left Iran cries out, “If anything happens to me, my last wish is that my body be buried in Los Angeles!”

Los Angeles and Iran lie at opposite ends of the world, but for the past twenty-five years—ever since the first Iranians fleeing the revolution established an exile outpost in L.A.—the two places have been closely linked. Under the Shah, when, as one Iranian writer put it, Iran suffered from “Westoxication” (a tendency to view all things Western as a gold standard), L.A. was Tehran’s sister city. Under the Islamic regime, it became a wicked stepsister. In Iran, people were arrested for possessing Western or Iranian music recorded in America, as well as for watching “Baywatch” and “Beverly Hills 90210,” both of which were long-running favorites on illegal satellite TV. In L.A., especially during the hostage crisis, many Iranians began to refer to themselves as “Persian.” (As one man explained, “You think of Iran, you think of crazy mullahs; you think of Persia, you think of Persian carpets, Persian cats. Which would you rather be associated with?”)

The L.A. area is home to the largest Iranian community outside Iran. (The number of Iranians in the greater metropolitan area falls somewhere between a hundred thousand and six hundred thousand, depending on which source you choose to believe.) The city has Iranian Republican clubs, Iranian Rotary clubs, and Iranian night clubs; Iranian bank tellers, Iranian insurance agents, and even a few Iranian homeless people. For a time, Westlake Village had an Iranian mayor, and two Iranians recently ran for governor. Like Tehran, L.A. is a mountain-ringed, traffic-plagued, smog-filled bowl, where Iranian retirees putter in gardens and wait at bus stops. For exiles living elsewhere, visiting the city can feel as it might for an American who, coming across a U.S. military base in a strange land, suddenly finds himself awash in Kraft Singles and Lynyrd Skynyrd records. It can be comforting, but it can also be suffocating. Maz Jobrani, a thirty-one-year-old standup comedian who moved south from Marin County and got a job at a Westwood record store, recalled a fellow-Iranian walking in. “In Marin, you’d be, like, ‘Hey, are you Iranian? What’s your name? I think my dad knew your dad in Iran.’ Here it was ‘Hey, are you Iranian?’ and the guy goes, ‘Yeah, so?’”

Although many Iranians have moved out to Orange County and the San Fernando Valley, those who live in Beverly Hills—where about a fifth of the population is Iranian—have come to embody the stereotype. Their American neighbors often see them as flashy and loud; other expatriate Iranians tend to regard them as caricatures—former royal ministers and other “Shahi” types who fled the revolution with bags of jewels, leaving their Tehran mansions and Caspian Sea villas in the care of servants. Their wives shop for designer clothes on Rodeo Drive; their children grow up to be, or to marry, doctors.

Of course, most L.A. Iranians were never ministers. Like Iranians anywhere, they are rich or poor, Muslim, Jewish, Baha’i, Christian, or Zoroastrian, secular or religious, conservative or leftist, highly educated or less so. But to some extent they are all élite. In Iran, they were not maids or shepherds but people who had enough sophistication and cash to get to America. Most are Shiite Muslims, but in West Los Angeles the Jewish Iranians are the most cohesive, connected through synagogues, marriages, and jobs. Few of L.A.’s mosques are Shiite, and, in any case, the last thing that most people fleeing the Islamic revolution wanted to see was a mosque. “If you’re Jewish, you have American Jews,” says Mehdi Bozorgmehr, a sociologist who has studied the community. “Being Muslim, Iranian, and secular is a potent negative baggage to carry. You’re secular, so where do you go?” The community was outraged last December, when men from some Muslim countries were ordered to register with the Immigration and Naturalization Service and several hundred L.A. Iranians, including many Jews, were detained on visa violations. Most were eventually released, but in a rare show of unity thousands of Iranians marched down Wilshire Boulevard in protest. The thought that they had anything to do with Osama bin Laden was, to them, an absurdity.

Since his World Cup initiation into the society of Iranian exiles, Parshaw Dorriz has cemented his membership by attending family gatherings, Iranian concerts, and meetings of the Westlake High School Persian Club, of which he and his twin sister, Parastoo, became co-presidents this year. He has taken a Persian-history class at U.C.L.A. and gone on 3 a.m. excursions with his father to a kabob restaurant in the Valley to eat halim, a sort of cream-of-wheat-and-shredded-turkey breakfast served in mountain teahouses in Iran. But some Iranian flavors remain elusive, like kharbozeh, a sweet, white-fleshed Persian melon that is now grown on farms around L.A. Parshaw hates the taste of it, but when he starts to say, “Akh, kharbozeh,” his father cuts in. “You don’t know,” he says. “In Iran they taste so much better.” Parshaw is used to hearing this from older Iranians, for whom food has become the touchstone for more intangible longings. “They talk about it all the time,” he says. “The lamb and the meat—how it was different because the lamb had all the fat on the tail.”

Someday, Parshaw wants to be a doctor, and to volunteer his services in the poor regions of Iran. For now, he’d just like to see Shemiran, the tree-shaded north Tehran neighborhood where his parents grew up. Sometimes he calls there to talk to his twenty-eight-year-old cousin, Ario, whom he has never met. “The first time I talked to him, he was, like, ‘Your Farsi’s so good,’” Parshaw says shyly. “He said, ‘Come on over, I’ll take you everywhere,’ which is exactly what I want.”

It is not what his parents want. They left Iran three decades ago and have never gone back. They opened their own businesses—Ali is a real-estate developer, Sholeh owns a beauty salon—and chose to bring up Parshaw and Parastoo far from revolution, war, and the strictures of Islam. They don’t understand why Parshaw, an honors student and a basketball player with all the advantages of American life, would want to go to a country where he could be drafted, at a time when the U.S. government is murmuring about “regime change” there, a country that is a pariah not only to Americans but also to many of the Iranians who left it.

Unlike most exiles, Parshaw’s family left Iran by design. In 1966, Ali, like many privileged young men—he was the oldest son of a wealthy Tehran businessman—went abroad to study, travelling around Canada and the United States before earning a civil-engineering degree and settling down in the Valley. Sholeh was the daughter of an art-school administrator and a schoolteacher in Shemiran. When she finished high school, suitors were already lined up for khastegari, a formal courtship that is still widely observed in Iran. She chose, instead, to continue her studies in America. In 1970, at the age of seventeen, she landed in Houston. She knew only three English phrases and was so homesick that she lost thirty pounds. Over time, she adjusted, and a few years later her parents moved to America, too.

When Sholeh and Ali arrived in the United States, the few Iranians living here were considered exotic and harmless. By the time they met, in the early eighties—he was a client at the bank where she worked—Iranian refugees were pouring in, shell-shocked and rootless. Although the community eventually coalesced, Sholeh and Ali never really joined the busy circuit of dinners and parties. “If you’re not a doctor, if you’re not a millionaire, if you don’t have a Mercedes, if you don’t go on ski trips, you’re nobody,” Sholeh says. When it comes to business, Ali says, he keeps his distance from other Iranians. “They never work a day in their life,” he explains. “They’re on government benefits. They say America owes them because it took their oil.” (He is not alone in his disdain. Many L.A. Iranians complain about how Iranians cheat on their taxes, cut lines, and appropriate handicapped license plates for their cars. In the same breath, many admit to having their own handicapped plates.)

But in some ways the Dorrizes are very Iranian. Their house is filled with the Louis XIV-style furniture popular in Iran. They have antique chairs with cream-and-bronze striped upholstery, a silk Esfahani carpet, and an old-fashioned water pipe in their front window. Sholeh brought the children up on Persian food and demanded that they follow Persian etiquette. “I emphasized, ‘Persians don’t do this,’‘Persians don’t do that,’‘When you’re offered something, you talk with respect,’” she says. At the same time, she had no intention of inspiring her children to go to Iran. “I’m used to my freedom,” she says. “A woman is not a piece of furniture here. I cannot go back now and live in a society where men rule.”

In Parshaw’s bedroom, under a poster of Tupac Shakur, is a copy of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Understanding Islam.” He says sheepishly that the book is perfect for someone like him, who has grown up knowing so little about his own religion. His religiosity isn’t traditional—he sees “problems with the Shiites and problems with the Sunnis,” so, like a picky diner at a buffet, he takes only what he likes from each side. He doesn’t pray the requisite five times a day, and he doesn’t believe in martyrdom, but whenever he runs out to school or to a friend’s house he stops at the small table by the door to kiss the large family Koran.

This makes his mother uncomfortable. Five feet tall, with shaggy, wine-colored hair, Sholeh has dark, expressive eyes, and they often betray her fears for her son. “Parshaw has surprised me in so many ways,” she told me as we sat together on the couch, cradling miniature glasses of hot tea. Religion has helped to make him a good kid, she says. He doesn’t drink, he doesn’t smoke, he doesn’t run after girls; he doesn’t cause her the same kind of anxiety as Parastoo, a striking girl who uses her American name, Sabrina, loves to go to parties, and chafes at not being allowed to date until she’s eighteen. But Sholeh can understand Parastoo’s desires. Parshaw’s are more disconcerting to her. The last thing she wants, she says, is “a mullah on my hands.” Last year at Ramadan, to her horror, Parshaw decided to fast for the entire month. “I said, ‘I don’t think that’s a good idea. You play basketball and you run track.’ I’m getting a little worried. He reads the Koran before he goes to bed. He wants to fast, and he doesn’t touch pork. Believe me, I would like to get his DNA checked.”

Ali and Sholeh often speak nostalgically about Iran, but their sentiments have nothing to do with Islam. When the family watched a movie that had been filmed recently in Tehran, Sholeh smiled and clucked her tongue fondly at shots of the snow-covered city. Ali recognized a type of door that his grandmother used to have—wooden, with separate iron knockers for men and women. Then, during a scene in which a mullah called people to prayer, Parshaw sat up. “You know that call of the muezzin?” he said. “It’ll chill you to the bone. It gives me goosebumps, and I love that.”

Sholeh put her head in her hands. When the film showed a group of high-school girls draped in black, she wrinkled her nose. “I don’t want to see my country like this,” she said.

“Like what?” Parshaw said testily.

“Those women in black chadors—it’s like a herd of penguins walking.”

Later, after Sholeh and Ali had gone to bed, Parshaw and I watched the characters in the film stop to light a candle at a tiny shrine built into the side of a building. Parshaw looked pained. “Did you see that?” he asked. “For me, it’s such an uphill battle just to get my parents to allow me to go to mosque. They think all the radical ideas come from the mosque. But these people, they’re going home, and on the way home they stop at a shrine, which I’m sure they don’t even think twice about.”

Parshaw has tangible objects that link him to Iran. In his bedroom, alongside his CDs of Jay-Z, Ja Rule, Marvin Gaye, and Louis Armstrong, are CDs of Iranian singers. On his bulletin board is an official photograph of the Iranian soccer team; a hand-drawn map of Iran; a picture of Googoosh, the pop diva of seventies Iran who was silenced by the Islamic regime; a flyer from his high-school Persian Club’s Kabob Day. He has a photo album filled with outdated Iranian paper currency, and a twenty-rial coin with the Shah’s profile, which Ali found when he knocked down the kitchen wall a couple of years ago. (It must have been built in by the former owners, who were also Iranian.) “I wouldn’t spend that if you paid me,” Parshaw said, placing it in my hand.

As I held the coin that I had once used to buy ice-cream cones, I felt a pang. Growing up in America after the revolution, I, too, had hoarded treasures from Iran. The items I carried onto the plane in the final week of the Shah’s reign—my class notebook with its half-finished assignments, my school T-shirt, an amber-colored hand-shaped pendant that my aunt had pressed into my palm on the morning we left—were, as I saw it, the only objects that remained from my old life. The rest of my childhood was gone.

But it was hard to fathom how Parshaw, who had never been to Iran, could feel the same way. It was as if, after five years of obsession, Iran and the absence of Iran had become so tightly wound into his being that he had, in a sense, turned himself into an exile. Above his bed was a homemade poster that included both the Islamic Republic’s Allah symbol and the Shah’s lion and sun. To anyone who ever lived in Iran—pre- or post-revolution—this would be jarring, like seeing Castro and Batista on the same T-shirt. Also on the wall was a Shah-era Iranian flag. “That’s my flag, my prize flag,” Parshaw said. “It gives such a sense of strength.” He sighed like a man who has seen and lost it all. “Chi boodim . . . chi shodim,” he murmured. “What we were . . . what we became.”

Iranians in the United States and Europe are often compared with Miami Cubans and exiled White Russians—not immigrants fleeing poverty or pogroms but élites wrenched from a life of privilege into a shadow existence that will never live up to the charmed world they remember. Like the Miami Cubans, L.A.’s Iranian exiles tend to be Republicans. Many blame Jimmy Carter for the revolution, saying that the Shah was soft on the revolutionaries because Carter was pressuring him to improve human rights. They were outraged last year when Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize. (This year, however, the community rejoiced when the prize went to Shirin Ebadi, an outspoken human-rights lawyer in Iran.) When President Bush named Iran a member of “the axis of evil,” many cheered, and when he declared war with Iraq some hoped that he would bomb Iran, too.

In the eighties, Iran’s government, like those of Cuba and the U.S.S.R., arrested, tortured, and executed suspected dissidents and blocked much foreign travel. Most expatriates were either too worried that their names were on blacklists or too ideologically opposed to the government to consider a trip home. But after Khomeini died, in 1989, return gradually became easier for all but the most vocal opponents of the regime. Passports that once cost a thousand dollars and took months to process now cost less than a hundred and arrive within weeks.

Some Iranians still refuse, on principle, to go back. Some, like a school friend of mine who came to America when I did, can’t bring themselves to go for fear of disillusionment. Others simply have no interest. I met a trim, bronze-haired Beverly Hills real-estate agent in her fifties, who grew up in Iran at a time when women were expected to be only wives and mothers. Here, she socializes with prominent Iranian academics, psychologists, and journalists. “L.A., to Iranians, is like the Kaaba, like Mecca,” she marvelled. “It’s our second homeland.” But Iranian men her age have been less ready to embrace American culture. “One of the grudges my husband is holding against me is that I brought him here,” she said. “He only reads Iranian magazines, he only watches Iranian TV. He had a much better life in Iran. His passion is teaching, and he lost that here. For him, life in L.A. isn’t that promising.”

Her story reminded me of Andre Dubus III’s novel “House of Sand and Fog,” in which a former Iranian colonel puts on a suit every morning and then changes clothes on the way to his job as a trash collector on a California highway. For all the successful Iranian entrepreneurs, there are also men of a certain age who, paralyzed by the loss of their former status, came here and refused to learn English or to get driver’s licenses. Often, their wives took up the slack, going to school and launching careers of their own. I have met no women older than fifty who want to go back to Iran, but I spoke with many men who longed for home. A Beverly Hills schoolteacher told me that her father, a wealthy insurance agent with an elegant condominium in Brentwood, dreams of spending his final days in a shack on the Caspian Sea. Even a man I met whose brother and friend were executed after the revolution for their leftist political beliefs still wanted to go back. “I look at life like a ghezel-ala,” he told me. “What is this fish? Born in the river and then goes to the sea and then comes back and dies in the river.”

But even today, after thousands of Iranians have returned to Iran without incident, a scrim of fear still covers those who haven’t made the trip. Last year, L.A. Iranians were shaken when a well-known dance teacher with U.S. citizenship went back after a twenty-year absence to see his sick father and was arrested for corrupting the youth of Iran with his videos; he was barred from leaving Iran for ten years (though he was later allowed out). Parshaw’s parents have horror stories of their own. “Sholeh’s brother went back, they gave him a rosy picture,” Ali says. “Then he ended up having to flee. They found a picture of him in the Shah’s time with a right-hand man of the Shah. Another guy went back to bury his mother. When he wanted to leave, they made him pay ten thousand dollars. How can you trust people like that?” An Iranian travel agent told me about two friends who recently returned for the first time: “One came back, and he said, ‘Khoda, how much fun it was. People are bullshitting when they say Iran is bad. Every night we had parties, opium from here to there, vodka, girls who will do anything to come to America.’ Two days later, his friend calls me and says, ‘I will never go back. There is so much sadness, so much poverty. These people I was staying with had to get up at five in the morning to buy bread to give these parties.’”

Those who were adolescents at the time of the revolution feel perhaps the greatest ambivalence about where home is. Ali Behdad, a forty-two-year-old professor of English at U.C.L.A., sees himself as part of a lost generation, too young to have had an independent life in Iran but too old to feel completely at home in America. Iranians his age have trouble sustaining relationships, he says; he has been divorced three times, and recently married again. Between his marriages, his family in Iran offered to find him a beautiful wife if he would only come home. “But, especially for someone like me, who is trained in post-structuralism, feminism, Marxism, psychoanalysis, you can’t go back,” he says. “As they say in Iran, I’m a stick that’s been dirtied on both ends—rotten on one side, forgotten on the other.” Still, he adds, “there is a place I can go when I get homesick: I can go to Irangeles.”

Through all the years of official silence between their two countries, Iranians in Los Angeles and Tehran have keenly watched one another from afar. In the late nineties, exiles in L.A. started beaming satellite-TV programs to Iran. This past June, when students in Iran held demonstrations against the Islamic government, the satellite stations tried to stage their own virtual-reality revolution, taking calls from Iranians who reported on the street battles, and exhorting viewers in Iran to go out and protest against the clerics. Mostly, though, the stations, which are also widely watched in L.A., broadcast ads, music videos, and talk shows featuring celebrity doctors. Young women call in to ask the TV plastic surgeon if they should get breast implants. Parents ask Dr. Holakouee, a psychologist who has a local radio show, how to handle their pot-smoking adolescents. “It’s still a primitive culture,” said Payam Farrahi, who hosts a radio show with his father. “There’s still a concept of calling the head of the village to solve your problems.”

The owners of the stations generally disclaim political affiliations, and their aesthetics are often dated—marked by layered blow-dried hair, tight pants, pointy shoes, and wide lapels that survive among older Iranians in L.A. long after they have gone out of style both in the United States and in Tehran. (Young Tehranis take their cues from MTV, not from the aging newscasters of stations like Pars TV or NITV.) The outdated styles seem to reflect a deeper inertia among the exiles—an inability to move beyond the political and social mind-set of the Shah era. To Mehdi, a thick-bearded man who works at one of the bookstores in Westwood, the Iranian community’s pining for the past is misguided. “They have no idea what is happening in Iran,” he told me. “It’s been twenty years, and nobody takes responsibility for what happened in Iran. We don’t accept our dark side.” Fariborz Davoodian, a forty-four-year-old Hollywood producer and actor with a shaved head and stylish black jeans, told me, “I’ve read somewhere that this is typical—the home country moves forward, but migrant groups don’t.”

Although Sholeh Dorriz assiduously heeds Dr. Holakouee’s advice, she worries about the effect that the stations’ nostalgia may have on her children. For a teen-age boy accustomed to the American media’s dour images of Iran, the exile programs can be alluring. “They say, ‘Iranians are this, they are that, they are the most educated immigrant. They have this kind of doctor, that kind of doctor.’ My kids hear that there’s no crime among us, that we have a good culture, a good backbone. It’s constantly brainwashing the people about how good we are.” Sholeh’s friend Azita, a blond, well-manicured woman who lives a few blocks away from the Dorrizes, admits that she has painted a similarly romantic picture for her son, Daniel. “He says to me, ‘Oh my God, you had a perfect childhood,’ and I say, ‘Yeah, I did,’” she says. “But now you can be arrested for listening to foreign music. I mean, I don’t think my children can comprehend this. I don’t think Daniel could ever comprehend that he can’t wear shorts going down the street.”

At Westlake High School, a clutch of low stucco structures set into a sheared-off hill, the parking lot is lined with shiny Jettas, Audis, BMWs, and one enormous black Cadillac S.U.V. with twenty-three-inch reverse-spinning rims, which, Parshaw tells me, in a hushed voice, cost five thousand dollars apiece. On the school grounds, tanned girls in tight jeans and Guess T-shirts talk on cell phones as they walk past oak trees and rosebushes. Boys in baggy shorts eat onion rings and cookies. Many are Iranian. A sign above the administration office announces that the school is a National Top 100 School. There is a rumor among the students that Heather Locklear was once enrolled here, and although the school has no record of her ever attending, the mere idea of it would thrill many boys in Iran. It does not thrill Parshaw and Daniel. Hanging out in Daniel’s room after school, the boys study a National Geographic map of the world pinned above the desk, something that they say would hold little interest for most of their classmates.

“We’re the political ones,” Parshaw says.

“Most kids are so stupid,” adds Daniel, a sturdy kid with a dark-blond brush of hair, pale skin, and red cheeks. Only his dark eyebrows hint at his mother’s Iranian roots. (His father is American.) “They think Westlake is it, like the rest of the world is so far away.”

“I know this sounds kind of bad, but we don’t have any American friends,” Parshaw says. Parshaw and Daniel are, of course, American, and so are their friends, though many have parents who come from other countries. But the boys identify with Iran, an anachronistic Iran that has more to do with their grandparents’ generation than with their own. Parshaw imagines Tehran in black-and-white, as it is in his parents’ old pictures. When Sholeh’s father, who is ninety-four and lives in Torrance, near the Los Angeles airport, comes for dinner, Parshaw drapes his long arm around the old man’s narrow shoulders and tries to memorize the Persian poetry that his grandfather carefully writes out in a shaky calligraphy. Daniel imagines Iran with nineteen-fifties-era cars, and dreams of hunting leopards with his grandfather. Those images of Iranian life are more meaningful to the boys than their encounters with the Iranian kids in the Valley who get tattoos that say “Allah” and pick fights with Iranian Jews.

Instead of a tattoo, Parshaw has a screen name, Parshaofiran, which he uses to chat with other Iranian teen-agers and trade “You know you’re Iranian if . . .” lists. (He is delighted to find entries that apply to him, such as “You drive a black Lexus, Mercedes, or BMW,” “You rewind the movie ‘Clueless’ to show your friends the Persian Mafia part,” “You have a hookah as a centerpiece in your living room,” and “You actually like carbonated yogurt drinks.”) He also has a hidden mark. “I don’t show this to many people,” he said softly, pulling off his heavy gold Westlake High School class ring and dropping it into my hand. On the inside, inscribed in a delicate cursive, were the words “Allah Akbar. I am Iran’s youth.”

When I was at the Dorriz house, Parshaw showed me a thick stack of papers lying beside the family TV: copies of his parents’ expired Empire of Iran passports and blank applications for new Islamic Republic ones. The forms had been there for months, though Parshaw said that it would take only half an hour to fill them out. A few weeks ago, Sholeh said, she finally mailed them off, “simply because he drove me crazy.” Parshaw is ecstatic, but Sholeh is still hoping that he’ll outgrow his obsession with Iran. It is perhaps more likely that over the years Iran will grow closer to Parshaw. The real youth of Iran—the young people living there now—make up more than half of the country’s population; as they come of age, they will gain leverage against the Islamic rule imposed by the older clerics. How Iran will change remains to be seen, but chances are it will become, in certain ways, more like L.A.

L.A., on the other hand, is probably as Iranian as it will ever get. In coming generations, many of the Iranians there will assimilate. Some will move back to Iran. Among those will be people like the middle-aged man in his Brentwood condo, dreaming of a beachside shack, and people, like Parshaw, whose inherited nostalgia is strong enough to pull them across the world. Once that happens, there may come a day when a child in Iran, listening to his American-born parents’ tales of lemon trees and veggie burritos, will close his eyes, let out a wistful sigh, and claim Los Angeles as his own lost home.
25 posted on 11/04/2003 9:57:54 PM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn
Islamic regime's Anti-American rallies turn into new fiascos

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Nov 4, 2003

The majority of Iranians and especially the Capital's residents boycotted the Islamic regime's sham show of force organized at the occasion of the 24th anniversary of the attack of the US embassy in Iran.

The Islamic regime was just able to gather a crowd estimated at under 15,000 indiduals in Tehran while the Capital has over 12 milions of habitants. The situation in most provincial cities was not better, for the regime, and turned into fiascos in Esfahan, Abadan, Mashad, Khorram-Abad and Oroomiah (former Rezai-e) where most residents stayed home or used their day to visit friends and relatives.

It's to note that the gathered "professional" demonstrators were mainly young school kids and members of military forces brought by buses to the scenes of what were supposed to become "Popular and National Gatherings Against the US Imperialism and the Sionism".

The regime had planned even to play the nationalistic feelings of Iranian students and had created a sham Student organization which had called on students to participate. But the Iranian Students, reaching 1.5 million of members, preferred to turn their backs to the falling theocracy.

The majority of Iranians are judging very severly the illegal action of the hostage takers and qualifying it as a criminal act against all international norms existing in 1979. They accuse the regime men and the hostage takers as bunch of lunatic terrorists who created many problems for the Iranians and undermined Iran's National Interests.

Massoumeh Ebtekar, the current aid to the Islamic president, and several other members of the so-called "reformist" clan were part of the Terrorist group which held 52 US diplomats as hostages for 444 days.

The war name of Ms. Ebtekar was "Sister Mary" and she was the english speaker of the Terrorist group. Most reporters remember of her as the young veiled girl holding an assault gun and threatening to kill the hostages.
26 posted on 11/04/2003 10:02:48 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Islamic regime's Anti-American rallies turn into new fiascos

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Nov 4, 2003
27 posted on 11/04/2003 10:03:46 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Appeal for release of 11 imprisoned journalists to mark UN envoy's visit to Iran

Payvand's Iran News

Reporters Without Borders called today on the Iranian authorities to unconditionally free 11 jailed journalists during an official visit by the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, Ambeyi Ligabo.

It called on them to allow the top UN envoy, who arrives in Teheran on 4 November, to meet the journalists, especially those being held in solitary confinement. There has been no news of one of them, Iraj Jamshidi, for over four months. The press freedom organisation also demanded that the ban on a number of newspapers be lifted to mark Ligabo's visit.

The 11 journalists imprisoned in Iran are :

-Akbar Ganji, of Sobh-e-Emooz (since 2 April 2000).
-Hassan Yussefi Eshkevari, of Iran-e-Farda (since 5 August 2000).
-Hossein Ghazian, of Norooz (since 31 October 2002).
-Abbas Abdi, of Salam (since 4 November 2002).
-Alireza Jabari, of Adineh (since 17 March 2003).
-Siamak Pourzand, who works for several independent papers (since 30 March 2003).
-Taghi Rahmani, of Omid-e-Zangan (since14 June 2003).
-Reza Alijani, editor of Iran-e-Farda and winner of the
Reporters Without Borders - Fondation de France Prize (since 14 June 2003).
-Hoda Saber, editor of Iran-e-Farda (since 14 June 2003).
-Iraj Jamshidi, editor of the business daily Asia (since 6 July 2003).
-Alireza Ahmadi, of Asia (since 29 July 2003).

More than 100 newspapers have been shut down in Iran since 2000, press offences still carry prison terms and trials are often held in secret. Five detained journalists have been waiting to be tried for several months. Police and courts regularly harass those who are freed. Emadoldin Baghi, of Neshat, who was released after three years in prison, is now being accused of writing articles calling for press freedom saying that Iran is the biggest prison for journalists in the Middle East.
28 posted on 11/04/2003 10:33:42 PM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn
put me on, please
29 posted on 11/04/2003 10:37:04 PM PST by demsux
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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”

30 posted on 11/05/2003 12:22:38 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: F14 Pilot
Just saw your post.
Thanks for the list of journalists.
31 posted on 11/05/2003 9:12:57 PM PST by nuconvert
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To: F14 Pilot
Nice read.
32 posted on 11/05/2003 9:15:04 PM PST by nuconvert
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