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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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