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Iranian Alert -- November 17, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^
Posted on 11/17/2003 12:00:46 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 Americans 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!
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posted on 11/17/2003 12:00:46 AM PST
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
posted on 11/17/2003 12:03:53 AM PST
"The Jury Is Still Out"
November 24, 2003 | Vol. 162 No. 20
Is Iran trying to make an atomic bomb? The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports that there is "no evidence" of such a program, though Iran is developing relevant technology and has shown a "pattern of concealment" over the past 18 years. At this week's IAEA meeting, officials will decide whether to declare Iran in noncompliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and refer it to the U.N. for possible action, as the U.S. wants, or reprimand but continue to work with it, as the U.K., France and Germany prefer. TIME's Andrew Purvis spoke to IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei.
IRAN'S NUCLEAR PROGRAM DOESN'T LOOK LIKE A TYPICAL CIVILIAN POWER PROJECT. DOES ANYBODY BELIEVE IT IS FOR PEACEFUL PURPOSES? It's not a question of belief or disbelief. Iran is saying it is willing to come clean. We got answers to all our questions. We got access to the facili- ties. We are getting robust inspections. But this is a work in progress.
U.S. UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN BOLTON CALLED YOUR FINDING OF NO EVIDENCE "IMPOSSIBLE TO BELIEVE." We are not in the business of judging intentions. What we look for are facts and proof, and so far we have no proof of a nuclear-weapons program. The jury is still out.
TEHRAN HAS EXPLAINED THE DISCOVERY OF WEAPONS-GRADE URANIUM TRACES AS THE RESULT OF CONTAMINATED EQUIPMENT. IS THAT TRUE? We are closer [to an answer]. We now know where the components that Iran says were contaminated came from. Our next priority is to go after the countries where they came from and talk to the governments. There are five, in Europe and Asia.
SHOULD IRAN BE REFERRED TO THE U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL? The Security Council's basic function is to ensure compliance with the [Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty], and right now we are seeing compliance by Iran.
DO WE NEED THE U.N. TO CONTROL NUCLEAR CAPABILITIES? Unless you are ready to bomb your way through every country you suspect of developing weapons of mass destruction, I see no alternative to international inspectors. The lesson of Iraq is that we should be very cautious about jumping to conclusions. the u.s. says you no longer have a role In Iraq. We could close the nuclear file faster than the U.S. team. We have the experience. We know where to go. We know the scientists. And we have credibility. http://www.time.com/time/europe/magazine/article/0,13005,901031124-543746,00.html
posted on 11/17/2003 12:07:25 AM PST
50 lashes for violating Ramadhan codes in Iran
TEHRAN (AFP) - Seven Iranian women in the southwestern city of Shiraz were sentenced to 50 lashes each for undermining strict Islamic codes during the holy month of Ramadhan, a hardline paper reported Saturday.
The women, wearing heavy makeup, were dancing and listening to loud music at the time of "iftar", the evening meal that breaks the day-long fast during Ramadhan, making fun of fasting Muslims, the Kayhan newspaper said.
They were arrested by police, the paper said, without giving any further details. Iran, governed by strict Islamic law since the 1979 revolution, prohibits drinking, smoking and eating in public places during Ramadhan.
Even non-Muslims and those excused from fasting for medical reasons are told to keep their non-observance quiet. Anyone found guilty of intentionally flouting this warning is sentenced to lashes and fines. http://www.brunei-online.com/bb/mon/nov17w25.htm
posted on 11/17/2003 12:09:07 AM PST
IRAN LEADS AID FOR SYRIA'S MISSILE PROGRAMS
WASHINGTON [MENL] -- The United States has determined that Iran has been a major contributor to Syria's missile development programs.
U.S. officials said Iran has transferred expertise and technology to Syria in such fields as solid-fuel engine development, nonconventional warheads and guidance systems. The officials said some of the Iranian transfer reflects indigenous capabilities and others were obtained directly from such countries as China, Russia and North Korea.
"Damascus is pursuing both solid- and liquid-propellant missile programs and relies extensively on foreign assistance in these endeavors," Undersecretary of State John Bolton said. "North Korean and Iranian entities have been most prominent in aiding Syria's recent ballistic missile development."
In testimony to the House subcommittee on the Middle East and Central Asia, Bolton said Syria has obtained chemical warheads for a portion of its Scud missile arsenal. The U.S. official, who heads nonproliferation issues in the Bush administration, said Syrian missiles can reach Israel, Iraq, Jordan and Turkey. http://www.menewsline.com/stories/2003/november/11_16_4.html
posted on 11/17/2003 12:09:54 AM PST
EX CHIEFS OF ISRAEL SECURITY CALL FOR PEACE WITH PALESTINIANS
15th of Nov
PARIS, 15 Nov. (IPS) As the Turkish 30.000 to 35.000 Jewish community was hit Saturday by a devastating bomb explosion carried out by islamist terrorist fundamentalists, four former heads of the Shin Bet security service warned of a "catastrophe" if a peace deal is not reached with the Palestinians.
Two Jewish synagogues, one of them the historic Neve Shalom, were targets of car bombs almost simultaneously, killing a total of 23 people and wounding some 300 others, most of them ordinary Turkish passer by or neighbours.
The cars exploded by remote control device as hundreds of Jews were praying inside the synagogues on the shabat.
Though a little known islamist extremist group, the Islamic Great Eastern Raiders,-- widely believed to be backed by Iran -- claimed responsibility for the twin attacks, but senior Turkish, Israel and European experts immediately pointed out at "well-organised terrorist organisations, possibly al-Qaeda or affiliated groups.
Turkish officials said al-Qaeda might have had a hand in the blasts. "This is a terrorist event with international links", Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Abdullah Gul said as emergency services struggled to treat the victims.
One of the largest and strongest of Muslim nations, Turkey has close military, security and intelligence cooperation with the Jewish State and for this reason is the subject of harsh criticism from its two major neighbours, the Islamic Republic and Syria, but also other Arab nations like Egypt and Jordan that have also diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv.
Though the present Turkish government is Islam-based, yet Prime Minister Recep Teyyeb Erdogan has kept its ties with Israel.
The terrorist operation was immediately condemned by most Western leaders, with French President Jacques Chirac calling on the international community to take "stern measures" to combat terrorism, but there were few words of condemnation in the Muslim and Arab world.
Meanwhile, Yaakov Perry, a former Head of Israel security service told the mass-circulation daily "Yedioth Ahronoth" that "if nothing happens and we go on living by the sword, we will continue to wallow in the mud and destroy ourselves".
According to the influential daily "Haaretz", Perrys warning reflects a consensus among his three colleagues Ami Ayalon, Avraham Shalom and Carmi Gillon.
The four said that Israel need to withdraw from the West Bank and Gaza Strip even if it entails an inevitable clash with the settlers.
"The only way forward was for Israel to take unilateral steps, such as withdrawing from the Gaza Strip. Doing so could help draw the Palestinians to peace talks, minimize terror and help Israel improve economically. It would also raise Israel's status in the eyes of the world", Perry latter told Israel Radio.
"We need to take the situation into our own hands and leave Gaza with all the difficulty that that entails, and to dismantle illegal settlements", said Perry, who headed the agency for seven years, including during the 1987-1993 intifada. If Israel fails to take such steps, he said, it would remain under a constant threat of terror.
He was joined by Ayalon, a left-leaning former general who directed the Shin Bet from 1996 to 2000, urging the government to act unilaterally and pull troops and settlers out of the Gaza Strip, a position, which Peri told the newspaper he also supported.
"We are taking sure, steady steps to a place where the state of Israel will no longer be a democracy and a home for the Jewish people" Ayalon was quoted by the same Yedioth Ahoronoth newspaper.
Ya'alon also accused the government of contributing to the failure of the Abbas government, claiming that Israel did not take enough steps to bolster Abbas, who ultimately resigned after a failed power struggle with Yasser Arafat.
Shalom, who served as Shin Bet head from 1980 to 1986 and is the veteran of the group, called the government's policies "contrary to the desire for peace".
"We must once and for all admit there is another side, that it has feelings, that it is suffering and that we are behaving disgracefully... this entire behaviour is the result of the occupation", Shalom told the newspaper.
Ayalon said he expects that only 10 percent of the more than 220,000 settlers would resist an evacuation of settlements. "We have to be capable of facing such a number," he said.
Carmi Gillon, whose term as Shin Bet chief was cut short in 1996 when he resigned after agency bodyguards failed to prevent the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin by a Jewish extremist, described the government as short sighted.
"It is dealing solely with the question of how to prevent the next terrorist attack", Gillon said, referring to Palestinian suicide bombings. "It [ignores] the question of how we get out of the mess we find ourselves in today".
Palestinian Cabinet minister Saeb Erekat praised the former Shin Bet leaders on Friday. "It reflects the realistic policy required from the Israeli side", he said, quoted by Haaretz.
Two weeks ago, the Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon also criticized government policy, saying the roadblocks in the West Bank and Gaza Strip were fuelling Palestinian resentment and leading to an increase in support for Hamas and other militant groups.
But former President Ezer Weizman called the ex-security service chiefs the "four musketeers" and accused them of bringing a catastrophe of their own upon Israel. http://www.iran-press-service.com/articles_2003/Nov-2003/israel_palestine_151103.htm
posted on 11/17/2003 1:30:57 AM PST
by F14 Pilot
Al-Tamimi's Top Iraqi Scientist Likely Fled to Iran
November 17, 2003
The Iraqi scientist who headed Saddam Hussein's long-range missile program has fled to neighboring Iran, a country identified as a state sponsor of terrorism with a successful missile program and nuclear ambitions, U.S. officers involved in the weapons hunt told the Associated Press.
Dr. Modher Sadeq-Saba al-Tamimi's departure comes as top weapons makers from Saddam's deposed regime find themselves eight months out of work but with skills that could be lucrative to militaries or terrorist organizations in neighboring countries. U.S. officials have said some are already in Syria and Jordan.
Experts long feared the collapse of Saddam's rule could lead to the kind of scientific brain-drain the United States tried to prevent as the former Soviet Union collapsed. But the Bush administration had no plan for Iraqi scientists and instead officials suggested they could be tried for war crimes.
"There are a couple hundred Iraqis who are really good scientists, particularly in the missile area," said Jonathan Tucker, a former U.N. inspector now with the Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute in California. "In the chemical and biological areas, their work wasn't state of the art but it was good enough to be of interest to other countries."
Only now is the State Department exploring the possibility of a government-funded program to block a scientific exodus and prevent Iraqis from doing future research in weapons of mass destruction. Initial cost estimates for the program run about million, according to a Nov. 3 draft proposal obtained by AP.
Two members of the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency involved in questioning scientists in custody told AP the Iraqis continue to deny the existence of illicit weapons programs in Iraq. Dozens of Iraqi scientists have been questioned and less than 30 remain in custody. All of them, including senior members of Saddam's regime, have been subjected to lie-detector tests, which have come up clean on weapons questioning, the DIA officers said.
But U.S. scientists and weapons experts, who all spoke on condition of anonymity, said they're having trouble finding some Iraqi experts in Iraq and have no way of tracking ones they've met.
"They could leave Baghdad tomorrow and we'd never know," said one senior official involved in the hunt. "Very few are obligated to tell us where they're going or what they're up to."
U.N. inspectors spoke with Dr. Modher in Baghdad a week before the U.S.-led war began on March 20. Two U.S. weapons investigators say they believe he crossed the Iraq-Iran border on foot at least two months after U.S. forces took Baghdad.
His activities in Iran are unclear and may explain why his disappearance hasn't been disclosed publicly. The CIA declined to discuss its efforts with Iraqi scientists or identify individuals.
Thought to be in his mid 50s, the Czech-educated scientist specialized in missile engines. He met numerous times with U.N. inspectors during the 1990s and earlier this year when he argued that the Al-Samoud missile system under his command wasn't in violation of a U.N. range limit. The inspectors determined otherwise when tests showed it could fly more than 93 miles. They quickly began destroying the Iraqi stock, much to his frustration. http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/1117iraq-scientist17.html
posted on 11/17/2003 8:39:47 AM PST
EU's Solana Says Iran Honest on Nuclear Program
November 17, 2003
BRUSSELS - European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana said Monday that Iran had been honest about its nuclear program and should not be reported to the U.N. Security Council this week for potential sanctions. His comments contrasted with the public stance of the United States, which says it wants the U.N. nuclear watchdog to declare Tehran has not complied with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and to report it to the Security Council.
Solana also sounded more trusting than the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which said in a report leaked last week that while there was no evidence Iran was developing atomic weapons, it had failed to declare some past nuclear activities.
Solana said it was now up to Tehran to comply with an agreement it reached with three EU foreign ministers last month to halt uranium enrichment and open all its nuclear facilities to intrusive spot checks by U.N. inspectors.
"They have been honest. Let's see if they continue this all the way to the end," he told reporters before talks with Hassan Rohani, secretary of Iran's powerful National Security Council.
Asked if the board of the IAEA should report Tehran to the Security Council for concealing the scope of its nuclear program, which Washington says is a front for efforts to develop a bomb, Solana said he hoped not.
"I think that the decision that will be taken on the 20th will be less than that. It will not be a report to the United Nations, that is my hope. They (Iran) have to clearly manifest that they are doing what they committed to do," Solana said.
DIFFERENCES WITH WASHINGTON
Rohani, a conservative cleric close to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, also met the foreign ministers of Britain and France, who along with Germany negotiated last month's deal offering the prospect of sharing technology if Iran ends uranium enrichment and accepts tough spot inspections.
Both sides described the talks as constructive.
Rohani told reporters there were no grounds to take Tehran to the Security Council and he did not expect such a move.
"Iran's dossier on our peaceful nuclear program leaves no justification, no reason for our case to be sent to the Security Council. Therefore I have no concerns whatsoever," Rohani said.
Visiting EU headquarters on the same day as Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, he said he had also raised "the danger posed by the arsenal of weapons of mass destruction of Israel."
Israel formally denies having atomic weapons but is widely believed by Western governments to be the only Middle East state with a nuclear arsenal.
EU foreign ministers are expected to discuss policy toward Iran with Secretary of State Colin Powell when he visits Brussels Tuesday.
The United States wants the 35-nation IAEA board to pass a resolution declaring Tehran in breach of its obligations under the treaty designed to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.
But EU diplomats played down talk of differences, saying U.S. and European officials were seeking a consensus text.
An EU diplomat said Rohani's talks with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin and a senior German official covered Iran's longer-term ties with "the wider West" -- code for the United States.
"What we are actively working toward is establishing this as a long-term process...to build further on Iran's relations with the wider West," the diplomat said.
Solana said Brussels and Washington shared the same aim, but the Europeans believed engagement was a better way to make Iran comply rather than threats.
The IAEA said in last week's report that the jury was still out on whether Iran had in the past tried in secret to develop atomic bombs as Washington says. http://wireservice.wired.com/wired/story.asp?section=Breaking&storyId=799552&tw=wn_wire_story
posted on 11/17/2003 8:41:17 AM PST
Sanctions against Iran unacceptable
Moscow, Nov 17
International sanctions against Iran would be "unacceptable" as Tehran has been open about its nuclear programme, Russia's Atomic Energy Minister said in an interview published Monday.
Alexander Rumyantsev said he hoped that the UN's nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, which on Thursday is to hold a key meeting on Iran, would "note the growing transparency and openness" of the Islamic Republic.
"Sanctions are unaccceptable as nothing has been discovered," the Russian Minister told the Vremya Novostei daily.
"Iran has shown everything it has (in the nuclear field). It is hard to imagine Iran still has something to disclose."
Iran, which is building its first nuclear power reactor with the assistance of Russia, is accused by the United States of using the atomic power project as a cover to develop nuclear weapons.
Copyright 2002, http://www.iribnews.com/Full_en.asp?news_id=192618
posted on 11/17/2003 8:46:44 AM PST
Missing Iranian student activist back in prison
AFP - World News (via Iranmania)
Nov 17, 2003
TEHRAN -- A prominent Iranian student activist reported missing after he met with a visiting United Nations rights envoy is back in prison, his father was quoted as saying in press reports Monday.
The activist, Ahmad Batebi, was reported by his father to have gone missing on Saturday after meeting the UN's Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, Ambeyi Ligabo, who spent a week here on a key fact-finding mission.
Batebi was one of hundreds detained during student-led protests in Tehran in 1999, and a photograph of him holding aloft a bloodstained T-shirt -- a picture that was widely carried across the world -- earned him a death sentence for propagating against the Islamic regime.
His sentence was eventually reduced on appeal to 13 years imprisonment, and he had been on prison leave for medical reasons when he met with Ligabo.
The prison leave had been due to expire on Monday. But his father, Mohammad Baqer Batebi, was quoted as saying he had been informed by Tehran's chief prosecutor -- hardliner Saeed Mortazavi -- that the student activist was now back behind bars.
The father also complained that he himself had been interrogated and threatened with arrest, and said his son then phoned home but had sparked worries about his condition due to the tone of his voice. http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_3591.shtml
To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
his son then phoned home but had sparked worries about his condition due to the tone of his voice.
We need more details. The international pressure should NOT let up. He may be found, but he isn't "safe".
posted on 11/17/2003 9:12:54 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.)
Movement condemns Istanbul murders and the preparation of the so-called "Ghods Day"
SMCCDI (Information Service)
Nov 17, 2003
The Movement has issued a strong condemnation of the bombings which killed over 20 people in Istanbul and injured over 200 other mainly among Turkish Jewish worshipers.
SMCCDI slammed, in addition, the Islamic republic regime for its main role in the raise of terrorism in the region while noting most of the clerics main involvments in many deadly actions and support of various death groups around the World and especially in Iraq.
The statement critisized, as well, the refusal of many European mayors, such as in Berlin (Germany) to ban the hate meetings named "Ghods Day" which is calling for the annhiliation of the Israeli state and its residents. The movement reminded that the Istanbul bombings, similar to those happened last decade in Argentina, occured just a day following the harsh tone call of the Islamic regime's Supreme leader asking for the "celebration" of "Ghods Day" around the World.
The original Persian text can be seen, in the Persian Section, located at: http://www.daneshjoo.org/cgi-bin/farsinews/viewnews.cgi?category=4&id=1069013057
Its translation is under progress and will be posted on the Public Statement of the website. http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_3600.shtml
To: DoctorZIn; All
IRAN: THE MOST DANGEROUS NATION ON EARTH
Iran poses the greatest threat to world peace and America's security. Iran has been a self-proclaimed enemy of the United States since 1979 when members of the radical Islamist regime invaded the U.S. embassy and took much of its staff hostage.
Iran is unique as a threat due to a combination of 4 factors:
(1) Active involvement on the wrong side in the war on terrorism.
(2) A growing ballistic missile program.
(3) A large arsenal of chemical and biological weapons.
(4) A quest for nuclear weapons.
An issue has been raised about the credibility of the Bush administration's use of intelligence to justify Operation Iraqi Freedom, especially as that intelligence applied to Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Even though I believe this issue to be nothing but a red herring floated for political purposes, this report will attempt to put the Iranian threat in a historical perspective by illustrating the threat's growth in the 1990s and by citing statements by officials of the Clinton administration to debunk any thoughts that the Iranian threat is trumped up by "neo-conservatives."
The Iranian threat is real and it is growing.
Iranian Support for Islamist Terrorism
Iran sponsors Islamist terrorism around the globe.
Iran is the chief supporter of Hezbollah, a terrorist group described by the U.S. State Department and Senator Bob Graham as the "A Team" of Islamist terrorism. Until September 11th, 2001, Hezbollah boasted the highest body count of Americans of any Islamist terrorist group. Among other atrocities, Hezbollah was responsible for the 1983 truck-borne Kamikaze attack on the Marine barracks in Beirut in which 241 Americans were killed.
Perhaps no nation has done more to disrupt the Arab-Israeli peace process than Iran, which has provided funding, supplies and training for the two prominent Palestinian Islamist groups, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Despite the fact that Al Qaida is a Sunni Islamist group with beliefs supposedly opposed to those of the Shiite theocracy in Tehran, Iran had also provided safe haven for Al Qaida operatives since before America's war on terrorism began. Iran's support for Al Qaida was documented in Bill Gertz's bestseller, Breakdown, in which Gertz quotes a Defense Intelligence Agency analyst who uncovered the Iran-Al Qaida alliance. That alliance was also documented by former CIA agent Robert Baer in his bestseller, See No Evil. When U.S. forces dismantled the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, hundreds of Al Qaida terrorists fled across the border into neighboring Iran where they were granted safe haven in training camp-like enclaves, complete with rifle ranges.
More recently, Geostrategy-Direct reported that Iran had been holding 15 senior Al Qaida operatives, including Osama Bin Laden's son, Saad. Intelligence sources believe Saad directed a bombing in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from Tehran and Saudi authorities were said to be furious that the Iranians let Saad and other senior operatives leave Iran without turning them over to Saudi Arabia or one of its allies. Geostrategy-Direct quoted U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitrage as testifying before the U.S. Senate that Iran was "the world's foremost state sponsor of terrorism." Armitrage also said that Iran has helped Al Qaida operatives escape U.S. military operations in Afghanistan.
Furthermore, as World Tribune reported on Tuesday November 4th, numerous Al Qaida operatives have been infiltrating into northern Iraq from Iran, with the intention of carrying out terrorist attacks against U.S. and Kurdish forces.
Iran's Missile Threat
Iran's decision to surrender to Iraq in the 1980-88 war was mostly due to Iraq's ballistic missile attacks on Tehran. According to Britain's authoritative Center for Defence and International Security Studies (CDISS), as soon as that war ended, Iran embarked on a major program to develop long-range ballistic missiles.
Iran is rapidly developing missiles and western Europe could soon be within range of their arsenal. If the French, Germans and Italians fall within range of Iranian missiles equipped with WMD warheads, cooperation with the U.S., such as it is, could halt.
According to CDISS, Iran has a large arsenal of missiles. Their inventory includes everything from relatively short-range Chinese-made CSS-8 missiles with a range of 118 miles or so, to the Shihab-3 MRBM (Medium Range Ballistic Missile) with a range of over 800 miles.
Credible reports in the West indicate the development of a Shihab-4 missile with a range of over 1,200 miles, which would put Europe within reach. Iran denies that it is developing longer-range ballistic missiles.
Most ominous is Iran's relationship with North Korea in the area of ballistic missile research. The Shihab series is believed to be derived from North Korea's Nodong series. Iran has invested heavily in Kim Jong Il's missile program and the North is known to be developing the Taepo Dong ICBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile), which it test fired in 1998. CDISS estimates that the Taepo Dong 2 may have a range of as much as 3,700 miles. With a belligerent, cash-strapped North Korea that has already exported some 400 ballistic missiles to the Middle East and an oil-rich, belligerent Islamist Iran, it may only be a matter of a few years before Iran can strike as far away as London. And once the threshold of multiple stage rockets is crossed, the technical obstacles to developing a missile that could reach even further--including all the way to the United States--are relatively easy to overcome.
According to a September 2000 article in Bar Ilam University's Middle East Review of International Affairs, it is probably prudent to assume that Iran will possess ballistic missiles capable of striking U.S. cities by 2010.
Iran's Chemical and Biological Weaponry
In a report published during the Clinton administration in June 1997, the CIA declared that Iran was active in seeking all types of WMD as well as the capability to produce them. In 1996, Michael Eisenstadt of the Washington Institute for Near East Studies said that Iran was producing "several hundred tons of chemical agent a year" and that its then-current stockpile stood at 2,000 tons. Eisenstadt described Iran's chemical warfare program as "the most active chemical warfare program in the developing world."
While Iran is at least evasive and at worst dishonest about its WMD programs, a statement made by their Revolutionary Guards Corps commander, Yahya Rahim Safavi, in the spring of 1998 may reveal their intentions with regard to WMD:
"Can we withstand American threats and domineering attitude with a policy of detente? Can we foil dangers coming from America through dialogue between civilizations? Will we be able to protect the Islamic Republic from international Zionism by signing conventions to ban the proliferation of chemical and nuclear weapons?"
There has been much talk of reform in Iran, but even reformists in Tehran seem keen to develop WMD. In 1999, CIA Director George Tenet stated bluntly that "Iran's reformists and conservatives agree on at least one thing: weapons of mass destruction are a necessary component of defense and a high priority."
According to the Monterey Institute of International Studies' Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Iran has been stockpiling cyanogens, phosgene and mustard gas since 1985 and even used chemical weapons in limited quantities during its war with Iraq. In 1994, Iran began domestic production of nerve agent as well. On September 21, 2000, the CIA's Deputy Director of the Agency's Non-Proliferation Center, A. Norman Schindler, testified before a Senate subcommittee that Iran was "rapidly approaching self sufficiency and could become a supplier of chemical weapons-related materials to other nations."
If Iran is capable of supplying chemical weapons to other nations, it would seem plausible that it would be capable of supplying such agents to the Islamist terrorist groups that it has been sponsoring for decades.
Iran's biological weapons program is much murkier. They are suspected of having a bio-weapons research facility believed to be located at Damghan, about 150 miles due east of Tehran and 50 miles south of the Caspian Sea. The CIA believes that Iran has had a biological weapons research program since the 1980s and, given the nation's relatively advanced legitimate biomedical research capability, biological weaponry is within their reach.
There have been independent reports of Iranian forays into bio-weaponry. On August 14, 1989, the Toronto Globe and Mail reported that an Iranian scientist had made repeated efforts to obtain harmful fungi from Canadian and Dutch sources and, in December 1998, the New York Times reported that Iran was attempting to hire former Soviet scientists who had worked on the U.S.S.R.'s biological weapons program.
The Iranian Nuclear Program
Despite the seemingly rosy news of an agreement between the European Union and Iran to allow inspections of its supposedly "peaceful" nuclear power program, there are years of historical evidence that Iran's nuclear program is in fact a weapons program (IAEA denials notwithstanding).
Citing sources within Mossad, Israel's intelligence agency, respected New York Times columnist William Safire reported that hundreds of Russian scientists were in Iran building nuclear reactors and that, since Iran sits on a sea of cheap oil, its only reason for building a nuclear reactor was to produce plutonium for bombs.
The Iranians, of course, deny this.
In January 1994, Undersecretary of State for International Security, Lynn Davis, told USA Today that "Iran's actions leave little doubt that Tehran is intent upon developing nuclear weapons capabilities." Davis went on to say that "Iran's nuclear acquisitions are inconsistent with any rational civil nuclear program."
To this day, Iran claims that its nuclear program is entirely peaceful and they insist that they have no desire to have nuclear weapons. The IAEA seems intent on taking them at their word.
However, if one digs deep enough, one finds more sinister motives--out in the open for all to see. Probably no one has done a better job of digging than Kenneth R. Timmerman who, in 1995, wrote Iran's Nuclear Program: Myth and Reality
, which was published by the Middle East Data Project. He found four alarming statements by two Iranian leaders and two other world leaders with regard to nuclear weaponry--statements that leave little doubt as to the Iranians' true intentions.
In February 1987, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameini uttered these words in a speech before his country's Atomic Energy Organization:
"Regarding atomic energy, we need it now. Our nation has always been threatened from the outside. The least we can do to face the danger is to let our enemies know that we can defend ourselves. Therefore, every step you take here is in defense of your country and your revolution. With this in mind, you should work hard and at great speed."
That certainly does not sound as if the Ayatollah wants nuclear power to air condition his mosque!
An even more overt statement came a year later. In a broadcast over Tehran radio in October 1988, the speaker of the Iranian parliament, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani
made this chilling declaration that called for the development of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons:
"We should fully equip ourselves both in the offensive and defensive use of chemical, bacteriological and radiological weapons."
It was only after Iran's nuclear program began to grow and the Iranians began to secure the assistance of Russia and China that denials about their quest for nuclear weapons started popping up. But there is simply no getting around the fact that the scope and size of Iran's nuclear program is way beyond what one would reasonably expect from an oil-rich nation. Between 1988 and 1995, Iran started construction on no fewer than 15 nuclear facilities. That is the kind of active program that one would expect from a country in a severe energy crisis--or one that is hell-bent on having nuclear weapons.
A lot more evidence of Iranian nuclear intentions surfaced during the 1990s. German and French security officials reported that, from 1992 to 1995, they foiled several; attempts by Iranian intelligence agents to purchase equipment needed to create an atomic bomb. But perhaps the clearest evidence spilled out in January 1995 in a nuclear deal signed between Iran and Russia. After the U.S. strongly protested the agreement, Russian President Boris Yeltsin acknowledged that the agreement did in fact contain a military "component" and he announced that he was voiding that portion:
"But it is true that the contract does contain components of civilian and military nuclear energy. Now we have agreed to separate those two. In as much as they relate to the military component and the potential for creating weapons grade fuel and other matters--the centrifuge, the construction of shafts--we have decided to exclude those aspects from the contract."
Such statements make Iranian claims that they do not desire to have nuclear weapons appear to be bald-faced lies.
There is still more evidence. Ukrainian President Leonid Kucha was quoted as saying that Iran was seeking help from his nation to build nuclear weapons:
"We need oil from Iran because Russia is strangling us. We have no intention of responding to the repeated request by the Iranians to share with them know-how on nuclear weapons, or to sell them any equipment in this field."
Once again, lest you believe that this is Bush administration "neo-con" scare mongering, the threat posed by Iran's nuclear program was recognized long ago by members of the Clinton executive branch. Way back in 1994, the head of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, John Hollum, predicted that Iran would have an atomic bomb in ten years--in other words, 2004. And an authoritative report by the Monterey Institute of International Studies written in 1995 quoted unnamed U.S. and Israeli intelligence officials as saying that they believed Iran would be nuclear-armed in a ten year time frame--in other words, 2005.
Either way, we are getting perilously close.
Perhaps that is why the Iranians are now going to great lengths to conceal the true nature of their nuclear program, perhaps so that they can avoid a confrontation with the West before they have a nuclear bomb.
The Iranians seem to be using the playbook that North Korea successfully used to become a nuclear power. First the Iranians feign cooperation, then they prevaricate. They insist that their nuclear program is entirely peaceful, then claim to reserve the sovereign right to do as they wish with nuclear power. One day we may wake up and the Ayatollahs in Iran will suddenly announce that they have The Bomb.
And then our options will be non-existent. Then it will be too late. http://www.nationalsecurityonline.com/special.php
US-Europe rift on Iran widens ahead of UN nuclear watchdog meeting
Monday, 17-Nov-2003 1:10PM
Story from AFP / Michael Adler
Agence France-Presse (via ClariNet)
VIENNA, Nov 17 (AFP) - A rift between a hardline United States and a more conciliatory Europe over how to deal with Iran's hiding suspect nuclear activities widened Monday, only three days before the UN nuclear watchdog meets to decide on whether to be tough on Iran.
A keenly awaited top-secret, draft resolution from Britain, France and Germany avoids citing Iran for non-compliance with international nuclear safeguards despite almost two decades of hidden suspicious activities, diplomats told AFP Monday.
"It's very weak. It does not use the word non-compliance and it does not in any way refer to (bringing the matter before) the UN Security Council," a diplomat said about the text being prepared for a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)'s 35-nation board of governors in Vienna Thursday.
The IAEA is to decide whether to judge Iran in non-compliance with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) after 18 years of covert nuclear activities, a determination that automatically takes the issue to the Security Council.
The Council could then impose punishing sanctions.
IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei said in a report last week that while Iran has violated international safeguards by making plutonium and enriched uranium, there was so far no evidence it is trying to make a nuclear bomb.
The United States wants a non-compliance resolution but most countries do not back it.
The majority of states, including non-aligned and Latin American countries, think like Britain, France and Germany that Iran should not face possible UN sanctions but be encouraged to cooperate, diplomats said.
In Washington, US Secretary of State Colin Powell said a European Union evaluation that Tehran had been "honest" with the IAEA had gone too far.
"I wouldn't have gone quite as far," Powell told reporters in reference to the judgement on Iran's cooperation presented earlier Monday by top EU diplomat Javier Solana.
He reaffirmed the US position that ElBaradei's report proved Washington's contention that Tehran had been seeking to develop atomic weapons.
Britain, France and Germany apparently do not agree.
Their draft report released Monday at the IAEA and parts of which diplomats read to AFP speaks only of "failures to meet safeguards obligations," said diplomats who asked not to be identified.
It "calls on Iran to give full cooperation to the agency in implementing Iran's declared new policy of full disclosure," they said.
A diplomat said the draft was clearly a working document, with much discussion and undoubtedly revision to take place before the IAEA meeting.
But he said "it's a text that doesn't formally recognize 18 years of lying."
Another diplomat said: "This can only appease the countries which don't have a real and clear commitment with the non-proliferation regime."
Spokesmen for Britain, France and Germany were not immediately available for comment.
A diplomat said the Americans were holding off on offering a counter-resolution since they do not think they have a consensus for their position.
The British, French and German foreign ministers won on a visit to Tehran on October 21 key concessions, including Iran's full disclosure of its past nuclear activities, a pledge to accept tougher inspections and a suspension of the enrichment of uranium.
Diplomats, as well as Iran's ambassador to the IAEA, said a deal was struck in Tehran that Iran would be rewarded for cooperation by being spared a citation for non-compliance before the Security Council.
The Iranian ambassador, Ali Akbar Salehi, has warned that a non-compliance finding would "escalate the issue into an international crisis."
Diplomats said Iran could back off from its pledge to sign an additional protocol on unannounced inspections or could resume uranium enrichment, a process that produces nuclear fuel but also possible weapons-grade material.
Iranian security chief Hasan Rowhani said in Brussels Monday: "There is no justification, no reason to refer Iran's peaceful nuclear programme" to the Security Council.
posted on 11/17/2003 5:27:28 PM PST
by Pan_Yans Wife
(You may forget the one with whom you have laughed, but never the one with whom you have wept.)
To: Pan_Yans Wife
Here we go again.....axis of weasels (where's Russia?)
And what is the United Nations human rights envoy doing for the imprisoned student rights activist's human rights?
The UN should be evicted and its building used for a nice USO for our troops in the vanguard of the fight for the world's human rights.
posted on 11/17/2003 5:50:45 PM PST
(Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
Powell says Solana went to far in saying Iran 'honest' with
17 November 2003
The split between the United States and Europe over Iran's nuclear program widened on Monday as US Secretary of State Colin Powell said an EU evaluation that Tehran had been "honest" with the UN's atomic watchdog had gone too far.
"I wouldn't have gone quite as far," Powell told reporters in reference to the judgement on Iran's cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) presented earlier Monday by top EU diplomat Javier Solana.
He reaffirmed the US position that an IAEA report on Iranian compliance with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) had proved Washington's contention that Tehran was seeking to develop atomic weapons -- an assertion not contained in the report and apparently not shared in Europe.
"It confirms what the United States has been saying for some time, and which we believe, that the Iranian nuclear development program was for more than just the production of power," Powell said.
"It had an intent to produce a nuclear weapon and I think that the information that has come forward establishes that," he said after meeting at the State Department with German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer.
Fischer, along with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and French Foreign Minister Dominque de Villepin, travelled to Tehran last month and won a key concession from the Iranians to stop enriching uranium.
Powell acknowledged that the trio had played a "very, very helpful role" in dealing with Iran but said the Islamic republic's history of deception about its nuclear intentions made Solana's judgement premature.
That history "should cause all of us to have serious concerns about judging too quickly whether or not we have received a full and complete story from the Iranians," he said.
Solana, speaking earlier in Brussels, said Iran had been "honest" in its nuclear dealings with the international community but stressed that it must now implement a deal to open up its nuclear sites to snap inspections.
"They have been honest. Let's see if they continue all the way to the end," he told reporters ahead of talks with Powell in the Belgian capital on Tuesday and a meeting of the IAEA governing board in Vienna on Thursday.
"We still have some hurdles to pass, but we have passed some very important ones," Solana said, adding that he did not expect the board to refer the Iranian matter to the UN Security Council, a move that could lead to sanctions.
Text and Picture Copyright © 2003 AFP. All other copyright © 2003 EUbusiness Ltd. All rights reserved. This material is intended solely for personal use. Any other reproduction, publication or redistribution of this material without the written agreement of the copyright owner is strictly forbidden and any breach of copyright will be considered actionable. http://www.eubusiness.com/afp/031117184418.lata67rx
Iran denies harbouring Iraqi rocket scientist
Also, top Iraqi officials blames porous borders for flow of foreign fighters
ALI AKBAR DAREINI
TEHRAN - Tehran today denied that a top Iraqi scientist who headed Saddam Hussein's long-range missile program has fled to Iran.
The government reaction came a day after The Associated Press reported that Dr. Modher Sadeq-Saba al-Tamimi had fled Iraq to neighbouring Iran, quoting U.S. officials close to the hunt for weapons of mass destruction.
"This report is completely baseless," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hamid Reza Asefi told Iran's official Islamic Republic News Agency.
Also today, the president of Iraq's U.S.-appointed Governing Council said he does not believe Iran or Syria are behind violence in his country, but that militants could be slipping across the "out of control" borders, IRNA reported.
Jalal Talabani led a Governing Council delegation that arrived Monday on a first visit to Iran. His delegation was expected to sign political, economic and security agreements with Iran, IRNA said. Iranian-Iraqi relations were strained under Saddam Hussein and Iran now is wary of U.S. influence over its neighbour.
U.S. officials have called on Iraq's neighbours, Syria and Iran, to do more to keep infiltrators out of Iraq.
Foreign fighters inspired by anti-U.S. Muslim militant rhetoric, Saddam loyalists and Iraqis angered at being under U.S.-led occupation are believed behind a series of attacks on U.S. forces, international aid agencies and Iraqis working with the occupation administration.
The scientist's reported departure came as top weapons makers from Saddam's deposed regime find themselves eight months out of work but with skills that could be lucrative to militaries or terrorist organizations in neighbouring countries. U.S. officials have said some are already in Syria and Jordan.
UN inspectors spoke with the missile expert in Baghdad a week before the U.S.-led war began March 20. Two U.S. weapons investigators say they believe he crossed the Iraq-Iran border on foot at least two months after U.S. forces took Baghdad.
His alleged activities in Iran are unclear and may explain why his disappearance has not been publicly disclosed. The CIA declined to discuss its efforts with Iraqi scientists or identify individuals.
Thought to be in his mid-50s, the Czech-educated scientist specialized in missile engines. He met numerous times with UN inspectors during the 1990s and earlier this year when he argued that the Al-Samoud missile system under his command didn't violate a UN range limit. The inspectors determined otherwise when tests showed it could fly more than 150 kilometres. They quickly began destroying the Iraqi stock, much to his frustration.
"Dr. Modher was declared by Iraq to have been one of the principal figures in their missile programs," said Ewen Buchanan, spokesperson for the UN inspectors. http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1069069223371&call_pageid=968256289824&col=968705899037
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