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Iranian Alert -- November 7, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD PING LIST
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 11.07.2003 | DoctorZin

Posted on 11/07/2003 12:01:16 AM PST by DoctorZIn

The US media almost entirely ignores news regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran. As Tony Snow of the Fox News Network has put it, “this is probably the most under-reported news story of the year.” But most American’s are unaware that the Islamic Republic of Iran is NOT supported by the masses of Iranians today. Modern Iranians are among the most pro-American in the Middle East.

There is a popular revolt against the Iranian regime brewing in Iran today. Starting June 10th of this year, Iranians have begun taking to the streets to express their desire for a regime change. Most want to replace the regime with a secular democracy. Many even want the US to over throw their government.

The regime is working hard to keep the news about the protest movement in Iran from being reported. Unfortunately, the regime has successfully prohibited western news reporters from covering the demonstrations. The voices of discontent within Iran are sometime murdered, more often imprisoned. Still the people continue to take to the streets to demonstrate against the regime.

In support of this revolt, Iranians in America have been broadcasting news stories by satellite into Iran. This 21st century news link has greatly encouraged these protests. The regime has been attempting to jam the signals, and locate the satellite dishes. Still the people violate the law and listen to these broadcasts. Iranians also use the Internet and the regime attempts to block their access to news against the regime. In spite of this, many Iranians inside of Iran read these posts daily to keep informed of the events in their own country.

This daily thread contains nearly all of the English news reports on Iran. It is thorough. If you follow this thread you will witness, I believe, the transformation of a nation. This daily thread provides a central place where those interested in the events in Iran can find the best news and commentary. The news stories and commentary will from time to time include material from the regime itself. But if you read the post you will discover for yourself, the real story of what is occurring in Iran and its effects on the war on terror.

I am not of Iranian heritage. I am an American committed to supporting the efforts of those in Iran seeking to replace their government with a secular democracy. I am in contact with leaders of the Iranian community here in the United States and in Iran itself.

If you read the daily posts you will gain a better understanding of the US war on terrorism, the Middle East and why we need to support a change of regime in Iran. Feel free to ask your questions and post news stories you discover in the weeks to come.

If all goes well Iran will be free soon and I am convinced become a major ally in the war on terrorism. The regime will fall. Iran will be free. It is just a matter of time.


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

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

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

1 posted on 11/07/2003 12:01:16 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 11/07/2003 12:03:35 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran set for snap U.N. nuke checks

2003-11-07 / Reuters

Iran's representative to the United Nations atomic watchdog said on Wednesday his country would give the U.N. a letter formally accepting tougher, short-notice nuclear inspections within days.

"The letter has been prepared and we are going to hand it over to the IAEA Secretariat," Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency told Reuters in an interview. "I would say it's in days."

Salehi also said Iran had given the IAEA original drawings of uranium-enrichment centrifuge parts on which IAEA inspectors had found traces of bomb-grade highly-enriched uranium (HEU).

"They have enough clues now to make their own conclusions," he said.

The United States accuses Iran of secretly working on an atomic bomb. Tehran vehemently rejects this claim and insists its program is solely for peaceful generation of electricity.

Iran says the parts were contaminated with HEU before Iran purchased them abroad, an explanation that has met with scepticism among countries like the United States which believe Iran bought or purified the uranium itself for use in a bomb.

A diplomat familiar with the IAEA told Reuters delivery of the original drawings is significant, because they represent the "building blocks of Iran's centrifuge program" and can help the agency's investigation into the origin of the uranium.

Iran has repeatedly said it was about to hand over the letter of intent to sign a protocol accepting short-notice inspections, but has yet to do so. Salahi emphasised there was no question over Iran's intention to sign.

"We cannot specify exactly the date. But it's certainly going to be before the (IAEA board meeting on November 20) because they have to be informed before the board so they can put it on the agenda," he said.

The main item on the IAEA governing board meeting is IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei's report on inspections in Iran and compliance with an October 31 deadline for Tehran to make a complete declaration of its nuclear program.

After the board approves Iran's intention to sign the Additional Protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran can sign the document. Tehran has said it will allow the tougher inspections even before parliament ratifies the protocol.
3 posted on 11/07/2003 12:10:37 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Court rejects Iran claim on US reparations

By Nikki Tait in London
Published: November 7 2003 4:00 | Last Updated: November 7 2003 4:00

The US will not have to pay reparations to Iran for destroying three offshore oil production complexes belonging to the National Iranian Oil Company during the 1980s Iran-Iraq war, the International Court of Justice ruled yesterday.

But The Hague-based court threw out US arguments that the attacks were justified "as measures to protect the essential security interests of the US". And it dismissed a counterclaim against Iran in which the Americans sought reparations on the grounds that Iran had violated treaty obligations by attacking vessels in the Gulf.

The ICJ decision ends an 11-year-old claim by Tehran that its oil exports were damaged when the US navy attacked the three Iranian platforms in October 1987 and April 1988. Iran filed the complaint with the United Nations-backed court in 1992, arguing that the destruction of the rigs violated a 1955 friendship treaty between the two countries - although diplomatic ties had already been severed following Iran's Islamic revolution.

Iran had claimed that the US had taken sides during the Iran-Iraq conflict, and had supplied Baghdad with weapons - an embarrassing reminder of how US attitudes to Saddam Hussein's regime changed over the past two decades.

The US countered that it had remained neutral during the eight-year war and only acted to defend its own security interests. It counterclaimed that Iran had violated the friendship treaty by "attacking vessels in the Gulf and otherwise engaging in military actions that was dangerous and detrimental to commerce and navigation between the US and Iran".

The court said the US measures were not necessary to protect security interests "as interpreted in the light of international law on the use of force". But by a 14 to 2 majority it also rejected Iran's claims that the attacks amounted to a US breach of treaty obligations.

The court said that the platforms involved in the 1987 attack had been under repair and not operational, so there was no trade in crude oil from those platforms between Iran and the US at the time. It said the same applied to the 1988 attack, because by that stage all trade in crude between Iran and US had been suspended under the oil embargo.
4 posted on 11/07/2003 12:11:40 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn; AdmSmith; faludeh_shirazi; Pan_Yans Wife; nuconvert; freedom44; downer911; Persia; ...
Iran-EU trade increases significantly in 2003

Friday, November 07, 2003
IranMania News

IRANMANIA - According to Iran's State News Agency (IRNA), trade between the European Union and Iran increased significantly in the first six month of 2003, with Iranian exports up by 28% and imports up by 17% compared with the same period last year.

Iranian exports to the EU grew to 3.3 billion Euros in the first half of this year, up from 2.6 billion Euros in the first six months of 2002.

EU exports to Iran also grew from 3.7 billion Euros 4.3 billion Euros over the same period. If the trend continues the value of this year’s trade is likely to exceed last year’s total of 13.6 billion Euros by at least 1.6 billion Euros to its highest ever level.

The increase in Iranian exports was dominated by the rise in EU oil imports. It continued to be led by Italy, Iran’s biggest European oil market, whose imports from Iran reached 935 million Euros, up 19 million Euros on the first half of 2002.

The significant increase in Iran's oil exports was to the Netherlands and Spain. A 162 million Euro increase to 488 million Euros in purchases by the Netherlands, home of the Rotterdam oil spot market. But there was an even bigger increase of 188 million Euros to 479 million Euros in exports to Spain.

The continuing growth in EU exports was led by Iran’s three largest suppliers, Germany, Italy and France, whose sales together totaled nearly 3 billion Euros.

Figures from Eurostat show that while Spain consolidated itself as Iran’s fourth biggest trading partner, Sweden may replace it in the future, as it doubled its exports to Iran to 228 million Euros and increased its imports by over 160 percent to 387 million Euros.
5 posted on 11/07/2003 5:25:41 AM PST by F14 Pilot (A whole lot...and More)
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To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert; freedom44; AdmSmith; Persia; downer911; seamole; Valin; Texas_Dawg; ...
Worse than North Korea?

Nov. 2, 2003
Jerusalem Post

Over the past decade, the North Korean "people's" regime of Kim Jong-Il has starved an estimated three million of its citizens. A roughly equal number work in slave labor camps that dwarf Auschwitz in size and nearly in cruelty.

The regime has developed nuclear weapons, in violation of several agreements, and intends to sell those weapons to the highest bidder. It has lobbed ballistic missiles over Japan. It threatens a war of annihilation against its southern neighbor. It supports itself by dealing drugs and counterfeit currency. But at least it's not as bad as Israel.

That, at any rate, is the conclusion of a just-released poll of Europeans from 15 EU member states sponsored by the European Commission. Asked to rank 15 countries on how they threaten "world peace," Europeans chose their top threats thus: Israel, Iran, North Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq, and the United States.

A full 59 percent of those polled in 15 European nations ranked Israel as the top threat. What is one to make of this?

The simplest explanation cannot be dismissed. As Minister-without-Portfolio Natan Sharansky, responsible for Diaspora affairs, responded, the fact that Europe regards Israel as more threatening than nations that support and finance terrorism is "proof that behind 'political' criticism of Israel stands nothing less than pure anti-Semitism."

It is fair for Sharansky to challenge the EU to work to halt the "demonization" of Israel "before Europe again deteriorates to the dark vestiges of its past." But the poll results do not just reveal hateful and intense anti-Israel sentiment – they are incoherent.

Among the six nations ranked as top threats are two veteran democracies besieged by terrorism, the US and Israel; two rogue dictatorships, Iran and North Korea; and two former terrorist states now beginning to taste freedom, Afghanistan and Iraq. It is as if the European mind worked like this: any country that is in the headlines related to the war against terrorism, whatever side it is on and regardless of whether it is free or oppressed, is a threat to world peace.

We know that Europeans tend to regard any discussion of good and evil, or democracy and dictatorship, as "cowboy talk" and terribly unsophisticated. But now we find the European opposition to such petty distinctions taken to an opposite extreme.

How sophisticated is it for Europeans to become the modern-day equivalent of the old non-aligned movement with respect to the greatest threat of the day, the threat from militant Islam and its embrace of terrorism?

Truly sophisticated Europeans would perhaps notice that continental nihilism is getting out of hand. During the Cold War, an equally irresponsible neutralism became fashionable in Europe between the US and the Soviet Union. But in reality, Europe remained part of NATO and the threat of being overrun by Soviet divisions was extremely remote.

Not so in the current conflict.

Militant Islam and its arsenal of terrorism will either be beaten, or it will engulf Europe as well. It does not take an enormous degree of sophistication to realize that, now that the United States and Israel have come under vicious attack, remaining neutral in the struggle will not save protect Europe over the long run.

This realization seems to have begun to sink in to the extent that even Europe is worried about Iran developing nuclear weapons. But this poll shows that whatever ability European governments have to distinguish between political fashion and reality may not extend to European publics.

The fact that so many Europeans feel that Israel and the United States are threats to world peace comparable to Iran and North Korea bespeaks a profound intellectual and ideological malaise.

Is Europe's fourth estate so confused that it would have answered the poll the same way?

In any case, European journalists should ask themselves, did we really intend to lump Israel, now suffering its fourth year of suicide bombings, along with Iran, a primary terrorism sponsor, and North Korea, a nuclear proliferator?

Ironically, the same poll found that 81 percent of Europeans thought that the EU should become more involved in Middle East peacemaking efforts.

Obviously, such polls confirm every Israeli instinct to keep Europeans as far away from any position of diplomatic influence as possible.

Memo to Europe: Demonizing a democracy under attack is no way to win friends and influence people.
6 posted on 11/07/2003 5:33:02 AM PST by F14 Pilot (A whole lot...and More)
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To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert; AdmSmith; Pan_Yans Wife; RaceBannon; yonif; Persia; freedom44; seamole; ...
IRAN: Interview with UN Special Rapporteur Ambeyi Ligabo

7th of Nov, 2003

TEHRAN, 7 Nov 2003 (IRIN) - Ambeyi Ligabo, the UN special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, spoke to IRIN while in Iran on his first-ever visit. In what is one of the most symbolic and important moves to address human rights in the country, the Iranian government has invited Ligabo on a fact-gathering mission. As well as meeting imprisoned journalists, students and government officials, Ligabo will investigate discrimination, threats or use of violence and harassment directed at those who have peacefully expressed their opinions.

Ligabo's long-awaited visit - already once postponed - comes at a critical time for Iranian human rights, which have been propelled into the spotlight by Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi, the death of the Canadian photojournalist, Zahra Kazemi, and more recently the arrest of five new members of the Office to Consolidate Unity - the main student reform movement.

QUESTION: You've been meeting a wide range of people here - whom have you met?

ANSWER: I have met quite a broad section of people, ranging from senior government officials, members of the civil societies, students and other individuals who I thought would be important in getting some facts about my mission.

Q: What were the results of your discussions with Shirin Ebadi?

A: Shirin Ebadi, as you know, has done great work with regard to the rights of women, and in the struggle of human rights and the right of freedom of opinion in general, and we had quite exhaustive discussions, which ranged on various issues with regard to the problem facing newspapers in this country, women generally, and the way forward with regard to what is necessary to help the process move forward.

Q: What way forward do you think that is?

A: The way forward for the Iranian government is that it's important they work together with the civil societies, with the human rights groups in this country, and also with the Commission on Human Rights to improve on various obstacles that are impediments to the right to freedom of opinion generally in the country.

Q: What impact, if any, do you think Shirin Ebadi's winning the Nobel Peace prize will have on freedom of expression and human rights in Iran?

A: I think it will have quite an impact. Here is a lady whose life she has dedicated to fighting for various discriminative acts against women. Here is a lady who has fought extensively to help those whose rights, either in court or generally, have been violated, and she won the Nobel Peace prize. This sends a very clear signal that the struggle she's waging is not a one person's struggle. It is a global issue and it's an issue which everybody in the international community cherishes, and it has sent clear signals to even various groups in Iran who may have thought her struggle is in vain. It has indicated to them that this is a struggle which has to go forward, and I think that [her] winning the Nobel Peace prize will have a very, very great impact.

Q: What is the main message you have been hearing from civil organisations?

A: Civil organisations believe that there are various obstacles, administratively, that are hindering their free expression of ideas, and they believe that some of the acts are done not based on the constitution, but some are based on decisions that are made administratively, and these are areas whereby they believe some changes are necessary.

Q: On Wednesday, Human Rights Watch [HRW] called on you to investigate cases of Iranians jailed for peacefully expressing their views. What are your thoughts on this and are you going to investigate?

A: Yes, I believe that I have a number of people who are alleged to be confined or arrested because of expressing freely their views in papers, and I think I will have the opportunity to visit some of those in prison, and the government has agreed and will facilitate my meeting those people on Saturday.

Q: What is the message you are going to give to the imprisoned journalists you meet?

A: I will meet them and discuss with them exactly what they have been accused of. I will also try to find out from them personally what they think their offence was, and I will also compare this with what the government has told me.

Q: And how do you think you can help them?

A: I think I will have to come up with proposals and recommendations, which I will bring to the government, and this I will be able to let you know at the end of my mission.

Q: What have the students been saying to you?

A: The students have talked to me. I have met some of them who had just been released, and some of them have told me also that they were picked [up] from university and that they have been accused of endangering national security - I don't think they did anything, according to them, that could be construed as a danger to national security. I have talked to them and I am still talking to them. I will have a meeting with some of them again this evening.

Q: How satisfied are you with Iran's response to the death of Zahra Kazemi?

A: They have given their explanation, but I have brought up other issues particularly based on the report and the investigation of members of Article 90 [human rights group]. I have also brought up the issue that the investigation needs to be done by an independent group. I have also brought up the issue that I believe that there might not have been any legal paces to denying the relatives of Zahra Kazemi to take the body and bury it in Canada according to their wishes. And we are still discussing this issue with the Iranian authorities and we shall see how the discussion unfolds.

Q: What steps need to be taken for greater press freedom in Iran?

A: I think there needs to be open, candid, transparent discussions in Iran, which will involve the government, the civil societies, the Pars association, the students and any other entities that are interested, and this should be open so people can talk freely, and this will help the whole movement forward so that people are free to express themselves without fear.

Q: Can you tell me the importance of the Pars society?

A: The Pars society, as you know, are eminent lawyers, and the discussion I had with them was quite interesting, exhaustive and quite informative, because they themselves are not a political organisation, and they brought up issues solidly based on their understanding of the legal problems with regard to the freedom of opinion and expression in this country.

Q: How can the UN help to improve freedom of expression in Iran?

A: We are ready to work with the government of Iran. We - the UN Commission on Human Rights - are ready to extend certain technical programmes to the government of Iran. We are ready to reactivate the working groups so that various technical programmes involving education programmes can create awareness with regards to human rights, particularly in the judiciary, in the police force and law enforcement agencies. This is when the UN is ready to cooperate, and when I bring up my report I will come up with concrete proposals and recommendations on how the UN can work with the Iranian government. But all this, as you know very well, depends on the government. It is for the government to ask us to help, we cannot impose our help - the UN cannot impose its will on any government - whether it's the government of Iran or any other.

Q: What role do you think a wider and more pluralistic media could play in Iran?

A: I think first of all, the right to freedom of opinion revolves on free ideas and this is normally done better through the media - a media which is quite pluralistic, which has no impediment. This is a tool of forward development, it is a tool of more innovative thinking, and this, I believe, is an area the government should look into, and I believe that expansion of avenues of expression of ideas of the media will go a long way to helping the country develop further.

Q: Are the press laws in Iran too stringent?

A: Well, by talking of stringent or not stringent, you have to make a comparative analysis. Stringent compared to what? Every country has its own constitution, has its own values, its own cultures and traditions. However, I believe in Iran, society itself, even tradition itself and religion itself, does not prohibit the free expression of ideas.
7 posted on 11/07/2003 7:20:28 AM PST by F14 Pilot (A whole lot...and More)
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To: F14 Pilot

The Iranian legislature has already passed several parts of a 137-article bill regulating military offenses, "Sharq" reported on 5 November. These articles of the bill are intended to prevent political and electoral activities by military personnel. Article 40 of the bill bans military personnel from membership in political organizations or parties, forbids their interference with or participation in "political line-ups and disputes," and bans them from engaging in election publicity. Article 17 states that military personnel who use armed forces' assets to engage in planning intended to change or overthrow the Islamic republican system and who form an association of more than three people with this intention will be subject to the punishment for those who are "at war with God" (muharib; the penalty is death). Under another article, military personnel found to have created an association of more than two people with the intention of undermining national security or "causing fear, riots, or murder" will serve three to 15 years in prison unless they are found to be at war with God. Military personnel who try to damage the country's independence or territorial integrity will face the punishment for those who are at war with God. BS

source: RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 7, No. 212, Part III, 7 November 2003

Comment: Why do they think that they have to have this type of legislation?
8 posted on 11/07/2003 7:58:13 AM PST by AdmSmith
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To: F14 Pilot
Thanks for the heads up!
9 posted on 11/07/2003 8:12:22 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Says It Will Abandon Development of Longer-Range Missile

November 07, 2003
The Washington Post
Karl Vick

TEHRAN -- Iran will abandon development of a missile that could have carried a conventional warhead as far as Europe or threatened Israel with a heavier nuclear or biological payload, the Iranian government announced.

The declaration that it would not manufacture the Shahab-4 missile came less than three weeks after Iran agreed to suspend uranium enrichment activities and open its mostly secret nuclear program to short-notice inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

By publicly discarding a possible delivery system, Iran's government appears intent on further reassuring an international community alarmed by Iran's nuclear program, whose swift development had taken proliferation monitors by surprise. Iranian officials insist their nuclear program has no military component.

"I believe that if the [missile] experiment were to be carried out, it would not be positive for our politics," said Habibollah Asgarowladi, general secretary of the Islamic Coalition Association, Iran's hard-line conservative political party. "I'm just speaking personally, but I believe that if we want to settle down our politics, it was a good move."

The Shahab-4 was being designed to carry a one-ton payload as far as 1,250 miles, or a heavier warhead -- such as a relatively crude nuclear device -- a shorter distance that would include Israel. Iran has said it has deployed the Shahab-3, which can carry a payload of one metric ton 800 miles.

Experts differed on whether the Iranian missile was a copy of North Korea's No Dong missile or the Russian SS-4. Both countries have shepherded Iranian military missile development in the past. Iran asserted that the Shahab-4 (Shahab is Farsi for "meteor") was intended for satellite launches.

Anthony H. Cordesman, an analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said development of the Shahab-4 had not reached the point of mass production. The Shahab-4, he said, "in a lot of ways is a paper missile," in that it existed mainly in frame designs and possibly engine components.

Cordesman said the announcement that work on the missile was being scrapped appeared to indicate that Iran's usually divided government continues to speak with one voice. But he warned that "it doesn't meant this is something that's permanent." The missile's development could continue secretly, he said, just as a program aimed at producing atomic weapons could conceivably elude inspectors.

The Defense Ministry statement, quoted by the Iran Student News Association on Wednesday, said the announcement that it "does not have any plans for manufacturing Shahab-4 missiles" followed "certain expressions in society."

The statement did not elaborate, but it was published the same day Iran's ambassador to the IAEA was quoted as saying his government within "days" would sign the addendum to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty allowing snap inspections of nuclear facilities. Iran agreed to adopt the addendum under the terms of an agreement signed Oct. 21 with the foreign ministers of France, Germany and Britain, quelling a mounting crisis over Iran's nuclear program.

Davoud Bavand, a law professor and leading analyst in Iran's reform movement, called the Shahab-4 announcement "one more step toward rapprochement with the demands of the major powers."
10 posted on 11/07/2003 9:03:31 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Defector Ties Iran to 1994 Bombing of Argentine Jewish Center

November 07, 2003
The New York Times
Larry Rohter

RASÍLIA -- Testifying in a public setting for the first time, a defector from Iran's intelligence agency has accused a group of senior government officials in Tehran of having "led, orchestrated and executed" a bomb attack on a Jewish community center in Argentina that killed 85 people and wounded 200 almost a decade ago.

"A special committee under the direction" of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's spiritual leader, "made the decision to initiate an attack in Buenos Aires," the Iranian agent, Abdolghassem Mesbahi, told Argentine lawyers during eight hours of court testimony on Wednesday. Mr. Mesbahi, who is living in exile in Germany, was testifying in English via a video link to the Argentine Embassy in Berlin, according to Argentine broadcast and Internet news accounts from people who were inside the courtroom.

The death toll from the explosion of a powerful car bomb on July 18, 1994, outside the Argentine Jewish Mutual Aid Association, known by the Spanish acronym AMIA, is the highest from an anti-Semitic incident anywhere since World War II. The attack came two years after 28 people died in a similar explosion outside the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires that Mr. Mesbahi has said previously was also organized by Iran.

On three earlier occasions — 1998, 2000 and 2002 — Mr. Mesbahi made detailed depositions about the AMIA case to Argentine investigators. Based on his testimony and the leads he supplied to intelligence agencies, an Argentine judge in March issued arrest warrants for four Iranian government officials, though he shied away from a prosecutor's recommendation that more than a dozen others also be indicted, including Ayatollah Khamenei.

The only official on the list who has been detained is Hadi Soleimanpour, who was the Iranian ambassador to Argentina at the time of the bombing. He was taken into custody in England in August but was released on bond, though he remains in England while officials there consider Argentina's request that he be extradited to stand trial in Buenos Aires.

Even that limited action, however, has led to a major diplomatic rift. Iran has repeatedly and angrily denied any role in the terrorist attack, accusing Argentina of acting in concert with "Zionist interests" and warning the government there it would "adopt appropriate measures" if Argentina did not revoke the indictments. Iran has also threatened Britain with retaliation.

Nonetheless, Mr. Mesbahi described the Iranian ambassador as having been "very, very involved" in "supporting all aspects of the operation" in 1994. Mr. Soleimanpour is widely reported — and Argentine intelligence has confirmed — to have been one leader of the students who in 1979 kidnapped and held hostage a group of American diplomats, and later entered the Iranian diplomatic service.

In his testimony, Mr. Mesbahi also reiterated an earlier accusation that the former Argentine president, Carlos Saúl Menem, sent a secret emissary to Teheran to negotiate a $10 million bribe in return for shifting the focus of the Argentine investigation away from Iran. He described the emissary as bearded and middle-aged, but when shown pictures of several aides to Mr. Menem who fit that description, he said he did not recognize them.

Mr. Mesbahi said that the Iranian government was eager to reduce the scrutiny of its actions and approved the payment. But he said he could not personally confirm that the bribe was actually delivered.
11 posted on 11/07/2003 9:06:25 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Studying Saudis
Lots of non-useful reading.

By Amir Taheri
November 07, 2003, 9:16 a.m.
National Review Online

During the past two years a growing industry has emerged producing reports, articles, books, and documentaries on Saudi Arabia. Holding conferences on the kingdom is the fashion in the world of research institutes. The number of authors described as "specialist in Saudi affairs" at the bottom of opinion-page articles has multiplied.

This sudden interest in Saudi Arabia, one of the least-studied societies in the contemporary world, would have been welcome if it had been motivated by scholarly concern.

Unfortunately, this is not the case.

The mass of material on the Kingdom could be divided into three categories.

The first consists of James Bond-style thrillers disguised as political studies. They portray the kingdom as a giant-size version of Dr. No with a hidden agenda either to buy or to destroy the Western civilization and seize control of the world.

Osama Bin Laden and the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorists make cameo appearances in all such studies.

The second category belongs to articles and books that portray the kingdom as a cross between a hedonist paradise and a desert concentration camp.

In the third category we find works that, signed by self-styled experts, bear a scholarly veneer but offer little or no serious analysis of the situation in the kingdom today.

The first two categories could be regarded as propaganda and must be discussed elsewhere. Our focus here is on the third category.

These works suffer from a number of flaws. Almost all follow a standard pattern for studying the kingdom.

This starts with a long introduction on Islam.

To be sure, understanding Islam is important for any analysis of the present situation in Saudi Arabia. But this does not mean that the two issues are identical. The traditional approach to studying Saudi Arabia tends to give the enterprise a theological dimension that is neither necessary nor helpful.

Having discoursed about Islam at length, the standard work on Saudi Arabia proceeds with an equally lengthy account of the life of Muhammad Abdul Wahhab. Since Abdul Wahhab did not leave behind much written theological work, let alone political treatises, the standard writer on Saudi Arabia is forced to concoct a Wahhabist ideology out of his imagination.

Next we come to a lengthy chapter on the late King Abdul Aziz ibn Saud, founder of the current Saudi state. Here we get an account of battles fought in the last century along with a portrayal of the poverty that afflicted the desert kingdom in its early days.

The standard writer then moves to a fourth "imperative" of Saudi studies: Oil. This is presented as a source of fabulous wealth, which flows on its own, requiring almost no management, no investment, no technology, and no policies.

Next comes a chapter on the members of the royal family, which is variously said to have between 5000 and 30,000 members. The assumption is that this is a monolith in which everyone thinks and acts alike.

The typical book on Saudi Arabia will contain other clichés and images: Philby, camels, palm groves, the Empty Quarter, and the Bedouin.

The author would not forget Mecca and Medina, even though he may never have visited them or understand their significance in religious terms.

By the time those imperatives have been covered, little space is left to deal with Saudi Arabia as it exists now. The impression is of a society in which the last page of the calendar was torn off sometime in the 1950s.

It is as if the latest studies on the United States were limited to a history of Protestant Christianity, the Puritans, George Washington, Lafayette (The U.S. Philby), the Civil War, Caryl Chessman, and the California gold rush.

What is needed is an understanding of Saudi Arabia today.

Here is a nation of 20 million people with one of the highest rates of urbanization in the world. Relative to its population, it has a larger middle class than most other Arab countries. It is also one of the few countries that tried to develop their specific models of society in the pre-globalization era.

For the average Western reader it is hard to imagine Saudi Arabia as a society with workers, farmers, managers, businessmen, poets, writers, lawyers, doctors, artists, architects, civil servants, soldiers — in short, all the categories that exist in any other modern nation.

The really useful book on Saudi Arabia would limit the historic part to no more than a fifth.

Because Saudi Arabia has changed faster than the records of its change, the useful book would be based on personal observation and countless interviews with people from all walks of life. It would reflect the tensions, some creative, some not, that affect a society in transition from the traditional to the modern.

Instead of focusing on abstractions it would deal with concrete issues such as the kingdom's need for an overhaul of its defense doctrine, a review of its foreign-policy strategies, a thorough reform of its social and economic structures, and the definition of its place in a world in which it is becoming more and more difficult to be different.

— Amir Taheri is an Iranian author of 10 books on the Middle East and Islam. He's available through
12 posted on 11/07/2003 9:33:46 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Studying Saudis
Lots of non-useful reading.

By Amir Taheri
November 07, 2003, 9:16 a.m.
National Review Online
13 posted on 11/07/2003 9:34:35 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
When it comes to Iran, why engage in double-speak?

By Reza Pahlavi | 07-11-2003
Gulf News

The US 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 spectre of the foremost state sponsor of terrorism acquiring nuclear weapons should unite the EU and the US in great fear.

But which is the greater component of that fear: Is it the nuclear state or the regime?

In Iran's immediate neighbourhood, 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 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 recognised 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 theo-crats who rule Iran are tough 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 compartmentalisation, knowledge developed and resources accessed were confined to a tightly controlled few, Iran has a souq 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 terror networks.

But the world need not live in fear of a nuclear 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 regime.

Pahlavi is the son of the late Shah of Iran. He can be reached through
14 posted on 11/07/2003 9:48:25 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran calls for end of US sanctions


Tokyo, Nov 7 - Vice-president and head of the department of the environment Ms Masoumeh Ebtekar in statements published on Friday called for an end to the US sanctions against the Islamic Republic saying many things would change if Washington shifts its Iran policy.

The daily Yomiuri, Japan's highest circulation newspaper which conducted an interview with Ebtekar, quoted the Iranian presidential advisor as saying that to change anything as for the relations between Iran and US, Washington has to lift sanctions it has imposed on Iran.

Ebtekar, the one time student taking part in the takeover of the US embassy in Tehran in 1979, said in today's world the mutual respect constitute the cornerstone of the relations among countries.

She said unfortunately the conservatives in the United States are not after making up for their past mistakes toward Iran.

Asked to comment on the reasons for the takeover of the US embassy in Tehran, she said in that time, conspiracies had been hatched to overthrow Iran's Islamic system and that is why the Iranian students decided to take over the US embassy.

The Iranian students in that time, she added, were convinced that the holding of rallies and sit-ins outside the US embassy would not settle the crisis sparked by the United States and then they chose to take the embassy over.

Commenting on the reformation drive in Iran, she said the democracy has found vast dimensions in the Islamic Republic and the Iranian constitution has provided the favorable grounds for the growth of democracy.

He said however that reforms should be enshrined in many areas including the judicial apparatus.

Iranians enjoy the freedoms of expression and though while these freedoms had not existed during the Shah regime, she noted.

The United States has been since long to contain Iran's Islamic Revolution since the Islamic Revolution had endangered the US interests in the region, she said.

She went on to say that the Revolution has left behind tough times and it will be faced with many challenges and dangers in the future too.
15 posted on 11/07/2003 9:53:15 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: F14 Pilot
Freedom in Iran ~ Now!
16 posted on 11/07/2003 10:02:18 AM PST by blackie
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To: F14 Pilot; DoctorZIn
Thanks for your posts.

Viva Freedom, Viva a Free Iran ~!

17 posted on 11/07/2003 10:59:55 AM PST by downer911
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To: nuconvert
Thanks for your support.
18 posted on 11/07/2003 11:01:49 AM PST by downer911
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To: DoctorZIn
Another iteration of this article.

The Saudis--what to do with them?

Their Wahabbi sympathies and funding of terrorists, their obstruction of our investigation of terrorism on the peninsula--

Recall the girl students burned to death in a fire because they were not allowed to flee without their coverings?

One thing is certain: they have bought our State Department.

Robert Baer, Sleeping With The Devil:

19 posted on 11/07/2003 2:49:45 PM PST by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: DoctorZIn
A Statement of purpose

New York Post - Editorial
Nov 7, 2003

'Sixty years of Western nations excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in the Middle East did nothing to make us safe, because in the long run stability cannot be purchased at the expense of liberty."

So said President Bush yesterday in a speech to the National Endowment for Democracy that should be required reading for those who see the War on Terror only in terms of casualties and costs.

An eloquent, often moving restatement of American foreign policy at its most generous and idealistic, the speech put the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in a historical context that went way beyond narrow conceptions of national interest or, for that matter, partisan politics.

In proclaiming the spread of liberty to be both America's national mission and the foundation of her future security, the president linked democracy building in Iraq with the 1947 defense of Greece against Communism as well as the Berlin Airlift.

And he deliberately evoked his predecessor, Ronald Reagan - who was once mocked as naive for espousing the rollback of Communism, but whose idealism was eventually borne out in the fall of the Soviet bloc.

Bush recalled a June 1982 speech in England's Westminster Palace, when Reagan "argued that Soviet Communism had failed, precisely because it did not respect its own people - their creativity, their genius and their rights" and that a turning point in history had arrived.

That speech, dismissed at the time as simplistic and overly optimistic, turned out to be . . . correct.

As Bush noted, "In the early 1970s there were about 40 democracies in the world." But then, in "the swiftest advance of freedom in the 2,500-year story of democracy," that form of government came to places like Portugal, Spain and Greece, to Korea and Taiwan, to Nicaragua and South Africa, and of course to the former Soviet empire: "As the 20th century ended, there were about 120 democracies in the world. And I can assure you that more are on their way."

Bush reminded his listeners that countries that once seemed extremely barren ground for the growth of representative government - Germany, Japan, India - now enjoy the fruits of democracy. And that the same could someday be true of Cuba, Burma, North Korea, China, Iran and the Arab societies of the Middle East.

He insisted that when skeptics say that democracy is incompatible with Islam, they are engaging in what Reagan called "cultural condescension."

Bush also stressed something that many people forget - namely that one of history's lessons is that political freedom, prosperity and stability are inextricably linked, and together they lead to peace.

"Liberty is both the plan of Heaven for humanity, and the best hope for progress here on Earth," he said.

Too often those who talk about foreign policy fail to look at the big picture or the long view.

Not President Bush: "The advance of freedom is the calling of our time; it is the calling of our country."

Stirring words for a stirring cause in an era of challenge - and opportunity.
20 posted on 11/07/2003 2:55:11 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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