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Iranian Alert -- November 19, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 11.19.2003 | DoctorZin

Posted on 11/19/2003 12:15:39 AM PST by DoctorZIn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

1 posted on 11/19/2003 12:15:39 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 11/19/2003 12:19:26 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Today's blog from an Iraqi woman (screen-named "River") who is living in Baghdad... Enjoy her wonderfully evocative accounts of daily life there at html//

This blog is the first note of real anger I have noticed...

Baghdad Burning

"... I'll meet you 'round the bend my friend, where hearts can heal and souls can mend..."

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Difficult Days...
They've been bombing houses in Tikrit and other areas! Unbelievable... I'm so angry it makes me want to break something!!!! What the hell is going on?!

What do the Americans think Tikrit is?! Some sort of city of monsters or beasts? The people there are simple people. Most of them make a living off of their land and their livestock- the rest are teachers, professors and merchants- they have lives and families. Tikrit is nothing more than a bunch of low buildings and a palace that was as inaccessible to the Tikrit is as it was to everyone else!

People in Al Awja suffered as much as anyone, if not more- they weren't all related to Saddam and even those who were, suffered under his direct relatives. Granted, his bodyguards and others close to him were from Tikrit, but they aren't currently in Tikrit- the majority have struck up deals with the CPA and are bargaining for their safety and the safety of their families with information. The people currently in Tikrit are just ordinary people whose homes and children are as precious to them as American homes and children are precious to Americans! This is contemptible and everyone thinks so- Sunnis and Shi'a alike are shaking their heads incredulously.

And NO- I'm not Tikriti- I'm not even from the 'triangle'- but I know simple, decent people who ARE from there and just the thought that this is being done is so outrageous it makes me want to scream. How can that *** of a president say things are getting better in Iraq when his troops have stooped to destroying homes?! Is that a sign that things are getting better? When you destroy someone's home and detain their family, why would they want to go on with life? Why wouldn't they want to lob a bomb at some 19-year-old soldier from Missouri?!

The troops were pushing women and children shivering with fear out the door in the middle of the night. What do you think these children think to themselves- being dragged out of their homes, having their possessions and houses damaged and burned?! Who do you think is creating the 'terrorists'?!! Do you think these kids think to themselves, "Oh well- we learned our lesson. That's that. Yay troops!" It's like a vicious, moronic circle and people are outraged.

The troops are claiming that the attacks originate from these areas- the people in the areas claim the attacks are coming from somewhere else. I really am frightened of what this is going to turn into. People seem to think that Iraq is broken into zones and areas- ethnically and religiously divided. That's just not true- the majority of people have relatives all over Iraq. My relatives extend from Mosul, all the way down to Basrah- we all feel for each other and it makes decent people crazy to see this happening.

There have also been a string of raids all over Baghdad, but especially in Al-A'adhamiya. They've detained dozens of people with the excuse that they own more than one weapon. Who owns less than two weapons? Everyone has at least one Klashnikov and a couple of guns. Every male in the house is usually armed and sometimes the females are too. It's not because we love turning our homes into arsenals, but because the situation was so dangerous (and in some areas still is) that no one wants to take any risks. Imagine the scene: a blue mini-van pulls up 10 dirty, long-haired men clamber out with Klashnikovs, pistols and grenades and demand all the gold and the kids (for ransom). Now imagine trying to face them all with a single handgun... if Baghdad were SECURE people would give up their weapons. I hate having weapons in the house.

I'm so tired. These last few days have been a strain on every single nerve in my body. The electricity has been out for the last three days and while the weather is pleasant, it really is depressing.

No one knows why the electricity is out- there are murmurings of storms and damage to generators and sabotage and punishment... no one knows exactly what's going on.

There are explosions everywhere. Yesterday it was especially heavy. Today there was a huge explosion that felt like it was nearby but we can't really tell. How do you define a war? This sure as hell feels like war to me: no electricity, water at a trickle, planes, helicopters and explosions.

We didn't send the kids to school today. My cousin's wife spent last night talking about horrible premonitions and it didn't take much to convince my cousin that they would be better off at home.

It's hard for adults without electricity, but it's a torment for the kids. They refuse to leave the little pool of light provided by the kerosene lamps. We watch them nervously as they flit from candlelight to lamplight, trying to avoid the dark as much as possible. I have flashes of the children knocking down a candle, hot, burning wax, flames... I asked the 7-year-old the other night if she was afraid of 'monsters' when she shied away from a dark room. She looked at me like I was crazy- monsters are for losers who don't need to fear war, abductions and explosions.

We (5 houses in the neighborhood) all chipped in and bought a generator immediately after the war. What we do now is 2 houses get enough electricity for some neon lights, a television, a refrigerator and a freezer. We asked them to 'save our electricity up' and give us a couple of hours after futtoor and that's how I'm typing now. But my time is almost up and I'm afraid if the electricity goes off suddenly, it'll damage my computer.

E. and I hang out on the roof after futtoor and only duck inside when the helicopters begin hovering above. We watch the main street from the roof. One of the merchants has a little generator and he sets up chairs outside of his shop, in front of a small black and white tv. The guys in the neighborhood all stream towards the lights like ants towards a sticky spot. They sit around drinking tea, and chatting.

You really can't appreciate light until you look down upon a blackened city and your eyes are automatically drawn to the pinpoints of brightness provided by generators - - it looks like the heavens have fallen and the stars are wandering the streets of Baghdad, lost and alone.

I have to go now. Hope the electricity is back tomorrow, at least.

3 posted on 11/19/2003 12:27:08 AM PST by slym
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To: DoctorZIn
I have always thought the road would lead into Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia... you are right, it is just a matter of time.
4 posted on 11/19/2003 12:28:29 AM PST by Terridan (God help us send these Islamic Extremist savages back into Hell where they belong...)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran still fooling UN nuclear watchdog-exile group

By Louis Charbonneau

VIENNA, Nov. 18 — Tehran is still concealing some nuclear activities and a ''secret atomic weapons programme'' from the U.N. nuclear watchdog, an exiled Iranian opposition group that has informed accurately in the past said on Tuesday.

Last month, Iran submitted a declaration of its entire nuclear programme to the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that Tehran said was accurate and complete to comply with an October 31 IAEA deadline to come clean about its programme.

In this declaration, Iran admitted to reprocessing a small amount of plutonium and concealing a uranium enrichment programme for 18 years.

But Tehran has strenuously denied having a weapons programme and has consistently said its nuclear policy was aimed at generating power for peaceful purposes.

Shahin Gobadi, a spokesman for the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), told Reuters that his group had specific information about further ''recent violations'' of Iran's obligation to report all its nuclear activities to the IAEA.

Tehran is also hiding ''its secret atomic weapons programme,'' Gobadi said, echoing an accusation the United States has also made.

The NCRI is a coalition of exiled opposition groups and sees itself as a potential replacement for Islamic rule in Iran. But the U.S. State Department lists the NCRI and its armed wing, the People's Mujahideen, as a terrorist organisation.

Gobadi also said officials working within Iran's nuclear industry, parts of which had been kept hidden from the IAEA for nearly two decades, had informed some workers that Iran's current policy of openness with the IAEA was ''all temporary.''

These statements came two days before the IAEA's Board of Governors meets to discuss an IAEA report on Iran's long history of hiding some of its nuclear plans from the U.N. body.

The full details of the NCRI's latest findings will be revealed on Wednesday, Gobadi said.

In August 2002, the NCRI sparked the current crisis surrounding Iran's nuclear programme by revealing an underground uranium-enrichment plant at Natanz and a heavy-water production facility at Arak.

One Western diplomat who follows IAEA issues closely said that the NCRI was accurate ''around 70 percent of the time.''

Another diplomat said that if Tehran was still hiding things from the U.N. agency, ''it would be all over for Iran,'' which would be reported to the U.N. Security Council for lying to the IAEA and would likely face economic and diplomatic sanctions.

Copyright 2003 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters.
5 posted on 11/19/2003 12:31:39 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Europe to Oppose U.S. Effort to Air Iran Arms Issue in U.N.

NY Times
Published: November 19, 2003

LONDON, Nov. 18 — Europe will resist an American effort to bring the suspected Iranian development of nuclear weapons before the United Nations Security Council, hoping to lure Iran into compliance with negotiations and incentives, European officials said Tuesday.

The stand was a rebuff to Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, who met in Brussels with European foreign ministers and sought a forceful response to a United Nations report that Mr. Powell said had proved that Iran was defying its obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Later, he flew here to London to join President Bush.

The Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency is scheduled to take up a resolution this week by France, Germany and Britain that seeks to compel Iran to halt enrichment and reprocessing of uranium and holds out the lure of cooperation, including sharing nuclear technology for civilian use.

Javier Solana, the top European Union diplomat, said Europe would follow a policy of "constructive engagement" directed at inducing Iran to abandon materials that could be used to produce weapons. European officials agreed Tuesday to demand that Iran sign a nonproliferation clause in any future treaties.

Mr. Solana acknowledged that the report, drafted by Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, chief of the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency, showed that Iran's past behavior was "not compatible" with its nonproliferation pledge. But he and European colleagues said Iran had shown a new willingness to cooperate.

At a news conference in Brussels on Tuesday, Mr. Powell voiced doubts about whether the European approach was strong enough. "We have some reservations about the draft resolution," he said. "The fact of the matter is Iran has been in noncompliance."

Later on Tuesday, on the flight to London, he said the last draft he had seen lacked "trigger mechanisms" to punish Iran for noncompliance. He said Dr. ElBaradei agreed that the resolution was "inadequate to the report he had prepared."

Bush administration officials have hewed to a tougher line toward Iran in the wake of Dr. ElBaradei's report, which concluded that, despite past transgressions, there was no evidence that Iran is actively pursuing nuclear weapons. John Bolton, an under secretary of state who is responsible for nonproliferation, declared that conclusion "simply impossible to believe."

An American official said Tuesday that the administration was still considering bringing the Iranian matter before the Security Council, which has the power to authorize sanctions or military action.

The administration has not settled on its strategy, the diplomat said, and it may yield in the short term to the European initiative. One European diplomat said some of the ministers were eager to avoid another Iraq-style showdown at the United Nations. "You will see Europeans united around, `Let's maintain this issue in Vienna,' " the diplomat said, adding that it would "probably create more problems than solve them by taking it to the U.N. Security Council."

Mr. Powell and his counterparts also discussed Iraq, and the European envoys expressed satisfaction that the administration had moved up its timetable for handing over control to an interim government.

Talks With U.N. on U.S. Plan for Iraq

WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 — Administration officials said Tuesday that Secretary of State Colin L. Powell had begun discussions with Secretary General Kofi Annan of the United Nations about the possibility of a new Security Council resolution that would, in effect, bless the new American plan for a transfer of power to an interim Iraqi government by the middle of next year.

As part of the talks, reported in the Wednesday issue of The Washington Post, American officials said they had asked Mr. Annan to consider appointing a new special representative for Iraq to take part in plans for the transition. There has been no senior diplomat serving in that capacity since Sergio Vieira de Mello was killed in the bombing of United Nations headquarters in Baghdad in August.
6 posted on 11/19/2003 12:33:57 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
The London Streets
Who are these anti-Bush people?

National Review Online
By Amir Taheri
November 18, 2003, 11:02 a.m.

LONDON — George W. Bush's visit to London this week will be historic for at least two reasons. He will be the first U.S. president to come to Britain on a state visit. He will also observe a bizarre political marriage: one between the remnants of the Marxist-Leninist Left and militant Islamists. Negotiated over the past two years, the "wedding," will be celebrated in a mass demonstration against Bush's visit.

The demonstration is organized by a shadowy group called "Stop the War Coalition," part of the Hate-America-International, which has orchestrated a number of street "events" in support of the Taliban and the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein since 2001.

When I called the coalition to ask whether the idea was to stop all wars, a spokeswoman assured me that this was not the case.

She referred me to the first article of the coalition's charter that states: "The aim of the coalition is simple: to stop the war currently declared by the United States and its allies against 'terrorism.'"

"We really want to stop Bush and Blair from going around killing babies," she said. "Our objective is to force the U.S. out of Iraq and Afghanistan."

But what if a U.S. withdrawal means the return of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein?

"Anything would be better than American Imperialist rule," she snapped back.

Who are these nostalgics of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein?

The coalition has a steering committee of 33 members. Of these, 18 come from various hard left groups: Communists, Trotskyites, Maoists, and Castrists. Three others belong to the radical wing of the Labour party. There are also eight radical Islamists. The remaining four are leftist ecologists known as "Watermelons" (Green outside, red inside).

The chairman of the coalition is one Andrew Murray, a former employee of the Soviet Novosty Agency and leader in the British Communist party. Cochair is Muhammad Asalm Ijaz of the London Council of Mosques. Members include John Rees of the Socialist Workers' party and Ghayassudin Siddiqui of the Muslim Parliament. Tanja Salem of the Al-awdah (The Return) group, an outfit close to Yasser Arafat, is also a member along with Shahedah Vawda of "Just Peace," another militant Arab group, and Wolf Wayne of the "Green Socialist Network."

A prominent member is George Galloway, a Labour-party parliamentarian under investigation for the illegal receipt of funds from Saddam Hussein. In his memoirs, Galloway says that the day the Soviet Union collapsed was "the saddest day" of his life.

Galloway says the only terrorism in the world today comes from the United States, not from organizations such as al Qaeda or the remnants of the Iraqi Baath party.

The coalition was created in London in September 2001, at first as an exclusively leftist concoction bringing together the remnants of the Stalinist "peace movement" of the 1950s, diehard "no nukes" activists, and some fellow travellers.

The coalition has succeeded beyond the wildest dreams of its founders. For the first time ever it has brought together all radical leftist and anarchist groups. Under its umbrella march such traditional former archenemies as Stalinists and Trotskyites.

But the coalition's biggest success is the alliance that it has forged between the extreme Left and militant Islamist groups. This would have been unthinkable even a couple of years ago. The Left always regarded Islam as a "relic of feudalism" and an instrument of reactionary Arab regimes. For their part, the Islamists regarded leftists as atheist enemies who had to be put to the sword.

The first to advocate a leftist-Islamist alliance against Western democracies was Ayman Al Zawahiri al Qaeda's #2.

In a message to al Qaeda sympathizers in Britain in August 2002, he urged them to seek allies among "any movement that opposes America, even atheists."

The idea has received strong support from Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, the Venezuelan terrorist known as "Carlos the Jackal."

In his book Revolutionary Islam, published in Paris last month, Carlos, who says he has converted to Islam, says he has advised Osama bin Laden, the al Qaeda leader, to forge an alliance with "all guerrilla, terrorist and other revolutionary groups throughout the world, regardless of their religious or ideological beliefs."

Carlos says Islam is the only force capable of persuading large numbers of people to become "volunteers" for suicide attacks against the U.S.

"Only a coalition of Marxists and Islamists can destroy the US," he says.

This week's anti-Bush demonstration in London will mark the emergence of a coalition the hard core of which consists of the radical Left and militant Islamism. Around it we find other groups who hate the U.S. for different reasons. There are supporters of free abortion, opponents of capital punishment, anti-globalization fanatics, advocates of the Kyoto protocol on the environment, and anti-Semites who believe the Jews control the United States. But a good part of the planned demonstrations will, as always, consist of what Lenin called "the useful idiots", men and women of good faith whose political naiveté makes them natural targets for experts in agitprop.

But why are these people taking to the streets?

One reason is that the parties, groups, and individuals involved have consistently failed to find a place in the normal institutions of British democracy.

The 60 or so leftist and Islamist groups involved in this odd enterprise have never managed to win more than one half of one percent of the votes in any British general election. Nor have they succeeded in winning a single seat in parliament or a majority in a single municipal council.

Those who can never win elections, always take to the streets. Street politics enables them to escape debate on complex issues that cannot be reduced to a few simplistic slogans.

Britain's participation in the war against terrorism was the subject of four exhaustive debates in the House of Commons in 2001 and 2002, each followed by a vote that Prime Minister Tony Blair won.

Street politics is for those who wish to abolish individual political judgment, the cornerstone of democratic life. Street politics encourages the irrational tendencies of crowds that could turn into hunting packs or lynch mobs. Power won in the streets produces only ochlocracy (rule by the worst).

To make sure that no discordant voice is heard, the organizers of the demonstrations have announced that only "authorized" t-shirts, hats and other paraphernalia will be allowed. Only four slogans are permitted: "Stop Bush," "Stop Blair," " U.S. Out of Iraq and Afghanistan," and " Bush Go Home!"

The demonstration's security force, made up of muscular Marxists and Islamists, has instructions to prevent any sign of pro-American sentiments. A group that has said it wants to take part in the demonstrations with t-shirts saying "Bush-Cheney: Four More Years!" has been warned of "dire consequences."

The London demonstration is planned and will be supervised in the best Stalinist traditions still in force in North Korea.

In countries that suffer under despotism, the street is, at times, the only space available to the opposition. This is why we hear so much about the so-called "Arab street." But do we need a "British street" that disdains the institutions of democracy, including mainstream political parties, and the parliament?

Amir Taheri, and NRO contributor, is an Iranian author of ten books on the Middle East and Islam. Taheri is reachable through
7 posted on 11/19/2003 12:38:18 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: Terridan; slym; yoe; cardinal4; LoudRepublicangirl; DoctorZIn; Pan_Yans Wife; nuconvert; ...
Israel: Iran, Afghan links to synagogue bombers


ISTANBUL, Nov 18 (AFP) - Israeli parliamentary speaker Reuven Rivlin said Tuesday that suspected bombers involved in the Istanbul synagogue attacks were Turkish nationals with links to Afghanistan and Iran.

"We found out here in Turkey, along with our friends in Turkish intelligence forces, that the two terrorists, actually Turkish civilians were educated in Afghanistan and trained in Iran," Rivlin said at a news conference here.

He was speaking after attending the funeral of the six Jews who were among the 25 people killed when suicide bombers drove explosives-laden trucks past two synagogues in old Istanbul on Saturday.

Turkish press reports on Tuesday named four local Islamists as suspects in the bombings, although it is not yet clear how many of them may actually have been killed or been at the scene of the attacks.

Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said clues uncovered in the investigation suggested a link with Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda, but added that a definite conclusion could be drawn only after the completion of DNA tests.

"We see that a link has emerged with that organization in Afghanistan at least on the level of mentality and ideology," he said.

An Arabic newpaper reported this week that a branch of al-Qaeda had claimed responsibility for the attacks.
8 posted on 11/19/2003 12:38:36 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn
Resist US pressure, Iran urges IAEA

Gulf News
Tehran |Reuters

Iran appealed to the UN's nuclear watchdog yesterday to resist US pressure to declare Tehran in breach of international nuclear agreements.

Washington says Iran has violated the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and wants the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to refer the case to the UN Security Council.

The IAEA's board meets tomorrow. "The members of the board should not allow a country to impose its views on them and should act independently," Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said.

"America should abandon such useless pressures and stop imposing its ideas on the agency," he said in a statement faxed to Reuters.

Meanwhile, state television Irib quoted Asefi saying recent remarks by US State Department indicated their "anger at the peaceful and professional negotiations between Iran and the global community."

He was referring to Washington's recent requests that the IAEA should declare Tehran non-compliant with the NPT and refer it to the Security Council for possible sanctions.

By contrast, European Union foreign ministers ruled Monday Tehern was making efforts to meet international demands for tougher nuclear controls, and refused to take the issue to the Security Council.

US Secretary of State Colin Powell criticised the EU's view and doubted that Iran had been honest about its nuclear programme which, the US believes, is aimed at producing nuclear weapons.

"Realism ... should cause all of us to have serious concerns about judging too quickly whether or not we have now received the full and complete story," Powell said.

The IAEA last week released a 29-page report which found that Iran had illegally concealed a programme to enrich uranium during an 18-year-period and violated obligations under the non-proliferation agreement. However, the the nuclear watchdog concluded there was no evidence of an Iranian programme to produce nuclear weapons.

John Bolton, the US State Department undersecretary for non- proliferation, had rejected the findings as "simply impossible to believe" in a speech.

Diplomats in Vienna said on Monday that Britain, France and Germany had drafted an IAEA resolution that does not find Iran's nuclear programme in violation of international agreements.
9 posted on 11/19/2003 12:39:36 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Reform takes on a new face in Iran

By Safa Haeri

PARIS - Iran's reformists, already facing defeat that some political analysts predict as "crushing" in the legislative elections due in February, face a further daunting challenge from militia belonging to the ruling ayatollahs' guardians of the Islamic revolution.

At least 40 officers of the elite Revolutionary Guards are believed to have shed their olive-green uniforms to take seats in the next majlis, which will be the eighth since the country's Islamic revolution in 1979. "Though the military is barred by the constitution from political activities, their participation in elections has no constitutional limitation on condition that they have got out of the ranks in due time," Dr Qasem Sho'leh Sa'di, a prominent lawyer and scholar, told Asia Times Online.

The conservatives plan to retake control of parliament by bringing in the soldiers at a time that reforms promised more than six years ago by Hojjatoleslam Mohammad Khatami during his electoral campaign have not only not materialized, but the regime faces a "legitimacy crisis".

"Iran is on the brink of a kind of social collapse," warned Mohammad Ali Namazi, a member of the reformist fraction that currently controls the majlis, calling on officials to pay more attention to domestic problems, particularly social factors, than political and international issues.

"Generalized corruption, the increase in cases of illegitimate relations of women for material reasons, the escape from home of young girls, the staggering number of financial and drug addict prisoners on the one hand and prostitutes on the other, the hopelessness of the youngsters and the gap between the rich and the poor etc have discredited the system," he told a recent open session of parliament.

Tensions between the Revolutionary Guards - or Pasdaran in Persian - with reformists heightened after Fatemeh Haqiqatjoo, an outspoken member of the majlis' Article 90 Committee, which deals with legal, judicial and human rights issues, denounced the guard's "illegal activities", including allegedly the incarceration of dissidents in prisons that are outside the control of both the government and the majlis.

"Arrest, imprisonment and torture of students, nationalist-religious activists, journalists and dissidents in the past years were carried out by the Revolutionary Guards," she told the open House on November 10, noting that lawmakers had been able to visit most of the prisons bar "frightening, terrible, dreaded ones that are controlled by the Guards".

"If threatening the Islamic Iran Participation Front [the country's largest political organization led by Mohammad Reza Khatami, the president's younger brother] by a high-ranking commander of the Revolutionary Guards, the arrest of students and journalists, torturing and forcing them to fabricate confessions shown latter on television are not brazen cases of involvement in political affairs, what are they?", asked the outspoken deputy from Tehran.

Her remarks met with a stern warning from General Yahya Rahim-Safavi, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards, who, in a letter to Hojjatoleslam Mehdi Karroobi, the speaker of the majlis, urged him to "harness some of his cattle".

"I call on you to stop some of the deputies going too far in their declarations by informing them that confronting the enemy, wherever and whoever he might be, is the prime duty of the Guardians of the Islamic revolution," he said.

At the same time, a student commander of the Basiji - Iran's volunteer Islamist militia - warned reform-seeking students that their views and activities would no longer be tolerated by the forces of the revolution.

Sho'leh Sa'di says that the regime is "already overwhelmed by the military" and observes that every time dissidents or the population show any signs of major protest, the rulers call on the military to frighten them. "The militarization of the regime's organs, particularly the majlis, would only precipitate the confrontation between the regime with the population," he warned, explaining: "The more soldiers take part in the elections, the less people will turn out at ballot boxes. As the elimination of the classic reformists would place the conservatives directly in front of the people, mostly the young generation and its growing demands for radical changes, the outcome is crystal clear: more civil disobedience leading to more confrontation, leading to opening the doors to foreign intervention," hinting at possible United States involvement as Washington has Tehran firmly in its sights.

A university professor, Sho'leh Sa'di, spent 40 days in jail because of an open letter to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the leader of the Islamic Republic, not only because he addressed him as hojjatoleslam, a lower rank in the Shi'ite hierarchy, but also because he criticized Khamenei's domestic and foreign policies.

Ali Keshtgar, editor of the Paris-based Mihan (Homeland) monthly review, agrees. "By bringing in the soldiers of their own to the majlis, the conservatives, already a tiny minority, would cut their remaining roots in Iranian society, paving the way for more opposition from the people against the present oppressive system," he told the Persian service of Radio France International.

According to a recent opinion survey carried out by students at Tehran Medical University, more than 83 percent of the people want radical changes in the constitution, and 77 percent of the interviewees believe that the reform process has reached a dead end. As a result, 38 percent demand that Khatami step down, while 30 percent would prefer that all reformist members of the majlis resign.

Asked to designate the main causes of the failure of the reformists to implement their promised reforms, the great majority of the people questioned in the survey point to the systematic opposition of the all-important organs controlled by Khamenei, namely the Council of Guardians and the judiciary.

A crucial, if not the vital issue, in the elections will be the normalization of relations with the "Great Satan", the name Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the Islamic revolution, bestowed to the United States.

Washington cut all relations with the newly-proclaimed Islamic Republic of Iran soon after the events of 1979 that drove the US-backed monarchy out of power, and imposed economic sanctions after revolutionary students stormed the huge American embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979, taking 55 staff and diplomats hostage for 444 days.

Aware that the survival of their regime is directly linked to the state of relations with the US, the world's undisputed master after the fall of the Soviet empire, the conservatives have appointed Mohammed Javad Ardeshir Larijani, one of their best and most trusted brains, to lead the campaign for the conquest of the majlis as the first step towards restoration of ties with America.

"Larijani, an ardent defender of Islamic values, educated in sun-bathed California, and his team of strategists not only do not consider the 'Great Satan' as an enemy of the Islamic Republic, but as a political and trading partner in the future," wrote Der Spiegel, one of Germany's most influential news weeklies in a recent article.

The son of a senior ayatollah, Larijani was named some months ago as the international communications director for the judiciary. His younger brother, Ali, a former officer of the Revolutionary Guards, is the director general of the state-run, leader-controlled Voice and Visage (Radio Television) of the Islamic Republic.

The Havana cigar-smoking, smartly dressed Larijani is the director of a think tank that advises the leader on important, complicated and complex international issues. He is credited for having urged Khamenei to authorize the signing of the controversial additional protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and thereby escape possible international sanctions that could have been decided by the United Nations Security Council in the event that Tehran did not bow to the demands of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The US, Israel and some European countries are concerned that Iran's ongoing project for the construction of an atomic-powered electricity plant in the Persian Gulf port of Bushehr is a front for building a nuclear arsenal aimed primarily at destroying Israel. But Iran and Russia, which is providing the atomic reactor, insist that the project is for civilian use only, and IAEA inspectors have confirmed that they have found no evidence confirming American claims.

Under the agreement signed by Hojjatoleslam Hasan Rohani, the influential secretary of the Supreme Council for National Security, with the foreign affairs ministers of Britain, France and Germany, on October 21, Iran accepted to open up all its nuclear-related projects and programs to international inspectors and suspend its uranium-enriching activities.

Although many people see no way out for Iran's hardliners, they still have some trump cards to play. "Contrary to the reformists, who claim that opening up the political atmosphere of the nation is key to solving other shortcomings, mostly the anger of the young generation at the lack of political freedom, what the majority of people are interested in is not politics, but more employment, especially for the hundreds of thousands of youngsters who under present conditions see no other solution but to seek jobs outside the country," notes one Iranian economist in Tehran.

Directly controlling all the regime's levers of power, including the armed forces, the security and intelligence services, the economy and the judiciary, the conservatives call all the shots. Thus, they could, should they seriously want to remain in power, yet improve relations with the US, take a number of steps. These could include: order the Revolutionary Guards back to their garrison; rein in the activities of pressure groups; enforce more privatization of the economy; bring the huge wealth of the bonyads - foundations - under government control, such as making them pay taxes; improve the country's human rights record, and stop supporting radical Islamist and Arab groups opposed to peace with Israel.

"If they do that, and the odds are that they will, a new map will emerge for the region comprising Iran, Turkey and ... believe it or not, Israel, the three linked to Washington at the expense of Europe in one hand and some Arab states, like Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt, on the other," an Iranian scholar following the situation in his home country told Asia Times Online on condition that his name not be mentioned.

(Copyright 2003 Asia Times Online Co, Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact for information on our sales and syndication policies.)
10 posted on 11/19/2003 12:50:18 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran “Vigorously” Pursued Program To Produce Wmd

American Daily
By Gary Fitleberg on 11/18/03

America considers the “axis of evil” nations to include Iran, Iraq, and North Korea.

America has long believed that Iran has pursued a dangerous and destructive path, policy and program to produce weapons of mass destruction. The U.S. suspicions were true as documentary evidence now shows very clearly. Iran’s nuclear development program is currently the focus of an investigation and the scrutiny of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The U.N. watchdog agency has noted that there are significant gaps in its initial report although Iran was to make complete disclosure before a October 31st deadline. The agency can make recommendations to the U.N. Security Council which can issue sanctions if there are any apparent violations

Iran "vigorously" pursued programs to produce nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and sought help from Russia, China, North Korea and Europe, according to a recent CIA report.

"The United States remains convinced that Tehran has been pursuing a clandestine nuclear weapons program," according to a semi-annual unclassified report to Congress on the acquisition of technology relating to weapons of mass destruction.

"Iran sought technology that can support fissile material production for a nuclear weapons program," said the report, covering the period Jan. 1 to June 30.

Satellite imagery showed Iran was burying a uranium centrifuge enrichment facility at Natanz, a town about 160 km south of Tehran, probably to hide it in case of military attack, the CIA report said.

Iran says its uranium enrichment program is only for the peaceful generation of electricity and not for atomic weapons. Earlier this week, it said it had handed over to the UN nuclear watchdog drawings of equipment to help prove that.

The CIA said it was concerned about uranium centrifuges discovered at Natanz capable of enriching uranium for use in nuclear weapons.

Iran was believed to be pursuing nuclear fuel from both uranium and plutonium, the report said. A heavy water research reactor pursued by Iran "could produce plutonium for nuclear weapons," it said.

The report had only one paragraph on Iraq, noting that the U.S.-led war that toppled Saddam Hussein occurred during that period. "A large-scale effort is currently underway to find the answers to the many outstanding questions about Iraq's WMD and delivery systems," it said. Many analysts believe that the circumstances will be discovered eventually. The answer may lie in interviews with captured Iraqi officials and scientists. Some believe the weapons components were smuggled out of Iraq prior to attack most likely through Syria’s porous border.

Critics have suggested the White House may have exaggerated the threat Iraq posed due to weapons of mass destruction, used to justify the war, because no such weapons had been found.

The report also briefly discussed North Korea's nuclear ambitions. In late February, Pyongyang restarted its five-megawatt nuclear reactor, which could produce spent fuel rods containing plutonium.

In April, North Korea told U.S. officials that it had nuclear weapons and signaled its intent to reprocess the spent fuel for more. "We continued to monitor and assess North Korea's nuclear weapons efforts," the CIA said.

Syria has a nuclear research center at Dayr Al Hajar and broader access to foreign expertise provides opportunities to expand capabilities, "and we are looking at Syrian nuclear intentions with growing concern," the report said.

The threat of terrorists using chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear materials "remained high" during the first half of 2003, the CIA report said. But terror groups would probably continue to favor conventional tactics like bombings and shootings, it said.

Documents and equipment recovered from Al Qaeda facilities in Afghanistan showed that Osama bin Laden had "a more sophisticated unconventional weapons research program than was previously known," the report said.

Al Qaeda also had ambitions to acquire or develop nuclear weapons, it said. Also it was possible that Al Qaeda or "other terrorist groups" might try to launch conventional attacks against the chemical or nuclear industrial infrastructure of the United States to cause panic and economic disruption.

China has over the past several years taken steps to improve on nonproliferation, "but the proliferation behavior of Chinese companies remains of great concern," the report said.

While China in 1997 agreed to end nuclear cooperation with Iran, the CIA said it remained concerned that some interactions continued.

The report also said the possibility of contacts between Chinese entities and entities associated with Pakistan's nuclear weapons program could not be ruled out.

One certainly can believe that Iran is only pursuing a peaceful program of nuclear development but the documentary evidence and facts point in the opposite direction. Iran’s purchase of enriched uranium on the “black market” is a telltale sign that its nuclear program was not for peaceful purposes to build weapons of mass destruction.

Iran is headed on the same dangerous, defiant, destructive and dishonest path as Iraq and might face the same fate eventually. In the international “War On Terrorism” Iran may be the very next target!!!
Click here to send feedback to the author

Gary is a Political Analyst specializing in International Relations with emphasis on Middle East affairs. His articles have been published in numerous publications including La Prensa (Managua, Nicaragua equivalent to the L.A. Times), Pakistan Today, The Kashmir Telegraph, The Iranian and many more.

Copyright © 2002-2003 Gary Fitleberg.
11 posted on 11/19/2003 12:51:25 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
I understand that Cuba is hosting a satellite that is jamming broadcasts to/from Iran - what would it take for US ham operators to unfix this?

Yeah, like Ashcroft is going to send FBI agents after ordinary Freepers who are undoing an unholy alliance of evil....

think about it,

we Freepers could do lots about this right now.

12 posted on 11/19/2003 12:55:19 AM PST by japaneseghost
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To: DoctorZIn
Is anyone actually hearing what Bush is saying?

Christian Science Monitor- online
By John Hughes
November 19, 2003

SALT LAKE CITY - It's a pity that 99 percent of the protesters against President Bush during his British visit this week will not have read his democracy speech of a couple of weeks ago to the National Endowment for Democracy. (I'm fairly confident about that percentage, because not even 99 percent of his own compatriots have read it).

It offered remarkable insight into Mr. Bush's thinking about freedom for the world's still unfree, and contained significant clues about the new direction he will take in advancing freedom for them during his presidential tenure.

You can protest against the manner in which Bush has gone about bringing freedom to Iraq. That is a legitimate issue for debate. You can rail, with European hauteur, against the style of an American president who wears cowboy boots with his tuxedo and bestows folksy nicknames on foreign leaders.

But nobody, after reading that democracy speech, can doubt the man's passion for bringing at least some form of democracy to those parts of the world where people are still denied it.

Some will dismiss this as simplistic and naive. That, of course, was what some Europeans thought of Ronald Reagan's Palace of Westminster speech in 1982, when he told a British audience that a turning point in history had arrived - that Soviet communism had failed because it did not respect its own people, their creativity, and their rights.

The British protesters against Bush already enjoy stable democracy. Nevertheless their prime minister, Tony Blair, has paid a high political price for voicing the same ambitions as Bush for the world's oppressed. But nobody who listened to his speech at London's Guildhall a few nights ago (a speech 99 percent of Americans never heard, unless they happened to be watching C-SPAN late at night) could question Blair's commitment to the pursuit of liberty for others that his countrymen already celebrate.

In his speech calling for a new "forward strategy" in US foreign policy, Bush pledged to put American power "at the service of principle." But this was no bellicose threat of military action against every nation that tramples human rights.

The postwar problems in Iraq must surely have been sobering to the White House and to the American public alike. The president targeted Cuba and Burma (Myanmar) and North Korea and Zimbabwe as "outposts of oppression," but his particular frustration was reserved for the lands of the Middle East, whose lack of freedom, he said, had been "excused and accommodated," for 60 years by Western nations.

Thus persuasion, and the encouragement of the "leaders of new democracies," who will one day emerge "from prison cells and from exile," seems to be at the heart of the new policy.

Particularly interesting were his remarks about Iran. Though US intelligence about Iraq's nuclear planning may have been flaky, there isn't much doubt that Iran has had nuclear ambitions and tried to cover them up. Despite recent Iranian promises of openness to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), designed to forestall sanctions, Iran's potential nuclear capability remains considerable.

Yet Bush made no threat of a US invasion of Iran in his speech, rather suggesting that reform and change should come from within: "The regime in Iran must heed the democratic demands of the Iranian people, or lose its last claim to legitimacy."

A few days before, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage had assured US senators that regime change in Iran is not US policy. But, said Mr. Armitage, the US would be "very forthright in our views about transparency and governance and human rights."

Experts I've talked to suggest that Iran is not currently in a prerevolutionary mode. Offending newspapers and dissidents feel the brunt of the regime's apparatus of repression. But recent student demonstrations have abated. And while there is substantial discontent (12 to 15 percent of the population "officially" unemployed, but actually perhaps nearer 20 percent), the public seems leery of violent upheaval, instead hoping for peaceful evolution through constitutional means.

Against this background at home, the Iranian regime seems willing to engage in dialogue with the US, while taking pragmatic steps to stave off confrontation with the IAEA, and the European Union, both of which took a tough stand on disclosure and inspection of Iran's nuclear facilities.

While the awesome might of the American military remains evident, the George Bush the British are seeing this week is embarked on a new "forward strategy" that involves far less militancy.

13 posted on 11/19/2003 6:04:58 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (You may forget the one with whom you have laughed, but never the one with whom you have wept.)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
A very good Article, Thanks ~!
14 posted on 11/19/2003 6:52:32 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: japaneseghost
I understand that Cuba is hosting a satellite that is jamming broadcasts to/from Iran - what would it take for US ham operators to unfix this? ...

I would imagine all methods of communication are being tried, but perhaps some of this threads readers can provide a better answer.
15 posted on 11/19/2003 8:29:47 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Foreign Money Funds Iraq Attacks - Ex-US Official

November 18, 2003

WASHINGTON -- Large amounts of money, possibly from Iran and Syria, are flooding into Iraq to finance attacks against the U.S.-led occupation, a former senior U.S. Treasury official said on Tuesday.

"Not only are Jihadists pouring into the country (Iraq), but great gobs of money are pouring into the country to underwrite the insurgency," said David Aufhauser, former Treasury general counsel who left office on Oct. 31 to return to the private sector.

Asked who was behind the flow of funds, he said: "I'm going to give you my opinion, and not fact ... Iran is responsible for funding there. Syria is responsible for funding there, and the concealed wealth of (former President Saddam) Hussein and his allies and our failure to find it (are) responsible there."

Officials at the Syrian Embassy in Washington and the Iranian mission to the United Nations in New York were not immediately available for comment.

Aufhauser, who played a central role in the U.S. government's fight against terrorist funding since the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001, would not give figures for the amount of money he said was flowing into Iraq.

He merely said it was enough "to give anybody pause and actually to give urgency to what we started in the search for the concealed assets of Hussein."

But he conceded the quest was "one of the more disappointing exercises I engaged in," adding he had failed to convince other U.S. officials to give a top priority to questions about funding during prisoner interrogations.

Turning to Saudi Arabia, which critics say is not doing enough to root out budding militants, Aufhauser said the kingdom had made "dramatic" changes in policing its financial system and was improving a "disappointing" track record.

"They are moving in the direction of acknowledging that unaccounted for money -- and there is no place on earth where there is more unaccountable money -- ... can be used and turned into acts of terror against them," he said.

Aufhauser said cooperation by Saudi Arabia, where most of the Sept. 11 hijackers came from, had increased "exponentially" after suicide bombings at Riyadh housing compounds in May killed 35 people, including nine Americans.

But he said the oil-rich kingdom still had to be more proactive in its pursuit of dirty money.
16 posted on 11/19/2003 8:30:47 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Diplomat Accused in 1994 Bombing Returns Home

November 19, 2003

TEHRAN -- A former senior Iranian diplomat accused of involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish centre in Argentina returned to Iran on Wednesday following Britain's decision not to extradite him, state media reported.

The British Home Office said last week Argentina had failed to provide sufficient evidence to merit Hadi Soleimanpour's extradition to Buenos Aires to be tried in connection with the attack in which 85 people were killed.

Iran has long denied any involvement in the attack and said Britain's decision proved the case was baseless and ''politically motivated.''

''The plot has so far been foiled, but further work still needs to be done,'' Soleimanpour, who was Iran's ambassador to Argentina at the time of the bombing, told reporters on his return to Tehran, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Britain has said proceedings against Soleimanpour could be resumed if Argentina produces the necessary evidence. Israel and the United States have said they suspect guerrillas backed by Iran were behind the attack on the Jewish centre.

The Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA), said in a statement after Soleimanpour's release that Britain's decision was ''arbitrary and political.''

Iran cut economic and cultural ties with Argentina in August after Britain arrested Soleimanpour at Buenos Aires' request.

Soleimanpour, who had been studying at the University of Durham in northeastern England, was released on bail in September. ''My studies have been completed,'' he said when asked if he intended to return to England.
17 posted on 11/19/2003 8:32:02 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Canada Drafts UN Resolution Condemning Iran

November 18, 2003

UNITED NATIONS -- Canada said it had introduced a draft UN resolution accusing Iran of sweeping human rights violations, adding to the international pressure on Tehran's Islamic regime.

The draft resolution, obtained by AFP, says Iran has failed to comply with human rights norms in the use of torture, discrimination against women and religious minorities and a clampdown on freedom of expression.

The measure is being co-sponsored by nine other nations including the United States, which lumps Iran in the "axis of evil" and has accused the regime of trying to develop nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies.

Diplomats said they expected a vote this week in the General Assembly's human rights committee. Passage in committee usually means approval by the entire assembly.

The UN's Commission on Human Rights, based in Geneva, annually approved resolutions condemning the rights situation in Iran beginning in the 1980s but the measure was shot down last year.

Canada's move comes four months after an Iranian-Canadian photographer, Zahra Kazemi, died in police custody from a blow to the head. She was arrested for taking pictures outside Tehran's notorious Evin prison.

Kazemi is not mentioned specifically but the draft resolution accuses Iran of a range of rights abuses, including the "continued deterioration of the situation with regard to freedom of opinion and expression."

It expresses concern over the Islamic republic's use of torture and "other forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, in particular the practice of amputation and flogging."

It also calls on the Shiite Muslim regime to "eliminate all forms of discrimination" against minorities and other religious faiths including Christian, Jewish, Bahai and Sunni Muslim.

At the same time the measure welcomes Iran's cooperation with Ambeyi Ligabo, the UN's special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, who met with some of Iran's most high-profile prisoners earlier this month.

Ligabo, who carried out a weeklong fact-finding mission, is preparing a report on the human rights situation in Iran.
18 posted on 11/19/2003 8:33:20 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Fooled UN Inspectors With Decoy Site

November 19, 2003
Reuters AlertNet

VIENNA -- Iran continues to deceive the U.N. nuclear watchdog and even took the agency's inspectors to a decoy site to prevent them from uncovering an undeclared nuclear workshop, an exiled Iranian opposition group said on Wednesday.

This allegation comes a day before the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) Board of Governors meets to discuss an IAEA report on Iran's 18-year concealment of the full extent of its nuclear programme from the U.N. body.

The United States accuses Iran of secretly developing nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran vehemently denies. Iran says it has opened its nuclear programme completely and has no secrets.

Firouz Mahvi, a member of the foreign relations committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) told a news conference IAEA experts went to inspect an alleged nuclear site in Hashtgerd, near Karaj, but were taken to a similar site.

"Information from within the clerical regime made it clear that they had been taken to a site similar to the site in question and they were not shown the actual site. This is one example of the clerical regime's deceptive tactics," he said.

IAEA officials were not immediately available for comment.

In August 2002, the NCRI sparked the crisis surrounding Iran's nuclear programme by revealing an underground uranium-enrichment plant at Natanz and a heavy-water production facility at Arak both of which Iran later declared to the IAEA.

The NCRI sees itself as a potential replacement for Islamic rule in Iran, but has little popular support inside the country. The U.S. State Department lists the NCRI and its armed wing, the People's Mujahideen, as a terrorist organisation.

Mahvi said Iran was still lying to the U.N. and that its cooperation was a ruse that would eventually be ended.

"They (the Iranian government) want to buy time and cooperate as much as possible to get to the 'point of no return'," Mahvi said, adding that the point of no return was the moment Iran could not be prevented from making an atom bomb.

He said that the NCRI believed this point would be reached in several months to two years. Washington believes it would take Iran until the latter part of this decade.
19 posted on 11/19/2003 8:34:58 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Iran Fooled UN Inspectors With Decoy Site

November 19, 2003
Reuters AlertNet
20 posted on 11/19/2003 8:36:00 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Perle's words mark US anger at Iran

03:05:21 È.Ù

Tehran, Nov 19 - Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said here on Wednesday that the anti-Iran remarks by Pentagon adviser Richard Perle in Berlin demonstrated the height of Washington's anger and arrogance.

Asefi said the US official has become confused and has made the remarks to express his personal feelings.

He stressed that the remarks showed Perle's unfamiliarity with Iranians.

"What can be understood from the remarks is that the official is not familiar with Iran and Iranians, and we are really sorry for the American people that such `idle-talking' officials are ruling their country.

"The most ancient nations enjoying the richest civilizations have always ignored such unimportant and idle-talking individuals," Asefi said.

He added that the performance of the US administration has already become a source of contempt for the American people.

"The American people should ask their incompetent officials why they are trying to cover up their humiliating setbacks in various corners of the world through wrath and insult?" he said.

Asefi further stressed that Iran considers the US administration to be a source of evil and a symbol of terrorism, stressing that a close look at the "black record" of US support for Israel's state terrorism and Washington's performance as the "sponsor of terrorism" clearly prove this reality.
21 posted on 11/19/2003 8:51:30 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
IAEA officials were not immediately available for comment.

Their silence shows complicity, not the notion that they are dumbstruck by deception!

22 posted on 11/19/2003 9:12:44 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (You may forget the one with whom you have laughed, but never the one with whom you have wept.)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Rejects Further IAEA Demands on Enrichment

November 19, 2003

TEHRAN -- Iran will refuse any further demands from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to halt its uranium enrichment activities, a top national security official said on Wednesday.

"We have said clearly that any phrase in a resolution aimed at transforming the voluntary pledge by Iran to suspend uranium enrichment into a legal obligation will be unacceptable to us," said Iran's Supreme National Security Council Hassan Rowhani.

Rowhani made the remarks just one day before IAEA Board of Governors is to meet on Iran's nuclear program, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Iran in October agreed to accept IAEA demands to suspend uraniumenrichment, but made clear that the voluntary suspension was to show its goodwill to the international community and it reserved the right to resume the activity at any time.

Iran also pledged to sign and implement an additional protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which would allow IAEA inspectors to carry out more strict checks on its nuclear activity.

Tehran has also handed what it said all the documentation on itspast and present nuclear activities to IAEA.

But halting uranium enrichment is seen as crucial to preventing Iran from ever acquiring nuclear weapons. The United States and European Union are pressing for Iran to totally stop enrichment in return for guarantees of overseas nuclear fuel supply for Iran's nuclear plant.

Rowhani maintained that Iran's domestic production of nuclear fuel is totally legitimate, saying Iran was under no obligation to concede to demands that go beyond the NPT or additional protocol, because under the NPT, legitimate work on the nuclear fuel cycle ispermitted.

"We have said that after all this, our relationship with the agency should be normalized and we will not accept anything beyond the additional protocol and the safeguard clauses," Rowhani said.
23 posted on 11/19/2003 9:26:40 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Russia, Iran Put Off Nuclear Pact

November 19, 2003
VOA News
Voice of America

Russia and Iran have put off the signing of an agreement that would clear the way for Moscow to complete construction of a nuclear power plant in Iran.

Russia's Atomic Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev says Iran has not had enough time to work on an agreement on the issue of returning spent nuclear fuel to Russia. He said Tehran is busy preparing documents for the International Atomic Energy Agency on its nuclear program.

Russia has said it will not deliver any fuel for the plant until Iran signs an agreement.

The announcement comes one day before IAEA officials plan to meet to discuss Iran's nuclear program.

The United States has accused Iran of using its nuclear power program as a cover to develop nuclear weapons. Iranian officials say they want to enrich uranium solely to generate fuel for nuclear power.

Iran agreed last month to suspend its enrichment of uranium and allow unannounced inspections of nuclear sites.

Some information for this report provided by AFP.
24 posted on 11/19/2003 9:31:26 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
U.S., IAEA Head Want Stronger Condemnation of Iran

November 19, 2003
Louis Charbonneau

VIENNA -- The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog is worried that a draft resolution on Iran's past breaches of U.N. obligations is too weak, echoing U.S. criticism of the text as "deficient," Western diplomats said on Wednesday.

France, Britain and Germany have circulated a draft resolution, criticizing Iran's 18-year concealment of its atomic program from the U.N., to be discussed by the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) Board of Governors on Thursday.

Washington, which accuses Tehran of secretly trying to build nuclear bombs, says the draft lacks teeth. Diplomats in Vienna said IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei was also concerned about it.

"Dr ElBaradei has expressed his concern that the draft resolution as it stands does not sufficiently support the agency," a Western diplomat told Reuters.

Another diplomat said: "I'm confident the agency would want the resolution to take a clear stand against the Iranian breaches in the past."

In a new report on Iran, ElBaradei said it had been guilty of numerous breaches of its safeguards obligations under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), including the undeclared production of plutonium and enrichment of uranium.

The draft chides Iran for "failures to meet safeguards obligations," diplomats familiar with the text told Reuters.

Secretary of State Colin Powell did not try to hide his disappointment with the draft.

"The resolution that I was aware (of) being presented by the EU three (states) was not adequate," Powell told reporters on a flight from Brussels to London to join President Bush on his visit to Britain.

"It did not have the trigger mechanisms in the case of further Iranian intransigence or difficulty," he said.

Powell said the draft was a matter of intense discussion and he said Washington was considering whether to abandon the quest for one entirely, saying: "If a resolution (is) totally inadequate, then maybe don't have a resolution right now."

Diplomats in Vienna said Washington was probably willing to compromise on the issue of whether to report Iran's breaches to the U.N. Security Council, which can impose sanctions, but not on whether to formally declare that Iran was in "non-compliance" with the NPT.


Shahin Gobadi, a spokesman for the exiled opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), told Reuters his group knew of further "recent violations" of Iran's obligation to report all its nuclear activities to the IAEA.

The NCRI, which has supplied accurate information about Iran's nuclear sites in the past but is listed as a terrorist group by Washington, said it would give details later on Wednesday.

The head of Iran's powerful Supreme National Security Council, Hassan Rohani, warned that any resolution that instructed Iran to permanently stop enriching uranium would be unacceptable to Iran.

"Any sentence in the (IAEA) resolution that turns our voluntarily suspension into a legal commitment, will be unacceptable for us," the official IRNA news agency quoted Rohani as saying.

On October 21, the foreign ministers of France, Britain and Germany agreed to consider an exchange of technology with Iran if it suspended its uranium enrichment program and signed an NPT protocol permitting more intrusive IAEA inspections.

Washington says enrichment, the purification of uranium for use as nuclear fuel or in weapons, is at the heart of a secret Iranian weapons program.

Iran's ambassador to the IAEA Ali Akbar Salehi told Reuters the Islamic republic considered itself to have a right to carry out enrichment.

"This is our right. How can you deny the right that you have under all these different treaties and statutes?" he said.

(Additional reporting by Parisa Hafezi in Tehran and Gideon Long in London)
25 posted on 11/19/2003 9:33:09 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
President Bush mentioned Iran in his speech in London, today.

"My nation welcomes the growing unity of Europe, and the world needs America and the European Union to work in common purpose for the advance of security and justice. America is cooperating with four other nations to meet the dangers posed by North Korea. America believes the IAEA must be true to its purpose and hold Iran to its obligations.

Our first choice, and our constant practice, is to work with other responsible governments. We understand, as well, that the success of multilateralism is not measured by adherence to forms alone, the tidiness of the process, but by the results we achieve to keep our nations secure...."

The entire sppech can be read at:
26 posted on 11/19/2003 9:37:44 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
How can this be said with a straight face?!

"We have nothing to hide, but will continue to do so!" UGH!
27 posted on 11/19/2003 9:38:18 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (You may forget the one with whom you have laughed, but never the one with whom you have wept.)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
The Iranian regime are making the same gamble that Sadaam made. They are believing Europe will keep the US from taking action.

I find it interesting that, inspite of our state department, president Bush is again making it clear that the UN must hold Iran accountable for its action.
28 posted on 11/19/2003 9:45:37 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
The Iranian regime are making the same gamble that Sadaam made. They are believing Europe will keep the US from taking action.

Has the regime noticed that Clinton isn't in office? Gambling on the IAEA as the ONLY force against them is foolish, at best.

The pressure needs to be increased on the WH. I know that Bush has a lot on his plate. But, if more support is shown to the demonstrators and activists within Iran, their strength will increase.

"Iran will fall from within." That is what I keep hearing. And I can see how that could happen, but a little nudge, here or there, even if it is done covertly, is called for.

We owe it to them. We say we hear them, and yet they may not believe us, unless we are louder. Because Americans are known for their freedom of speech, we owe it to those who suffer under the regime, to speak FOR them.

Just my two cents.

29 posted on 11/19/2003 9:51:38 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (You may forget the one with whom you have laughed, but never the one with whom you have wept.)
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To: japaneseghost
Cuba jammed Iranian-American satellite broadcasts to Iran for a month during the student demonstrations.

Iranian-Americans have 13 stations that beam into millions of homes in Iran, they regularly call for demonstrations. Cuba helped jam those stations at a critical time and due to pressure from the US stopped the activity.
30 posted on 11/19/2003 10:33:49 AM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
I'm actually surprised at the tought stance the State Department is taking all the sudden.
31 posted on 11/19/2003 10:34:21 AM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
Please take me off the ping list, please! Thanks :-)
32 posted on 11/19/2003 1:25:40 PM PST by Marie Antoinette (Happily repopulating the midwest since 1991!)
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To: Marie Antoinette
Readers of this thread.

Please do not post requests to be added or deleted to this thread!

Please freepmail the ping author privately.
Thank You.

33 posted on 11/19/2003 7:29:48 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
A Free Iran Will Help Build Freedom in Iraq

November 19, 2003
The Baltimore Sun
Austin American-Statesman

The recent wave of attacks in Iraq has drawn attention to the involvement of foreign governments in that country. By far, Iran tops the list.

The question of who is behind the attacks notwithstanding, what is of paramount importance is to recognize what is the most dominant force laying the social, religious and political grounds for such attacks in Iraq. Who is the prime beneficiary of these attacks and continued chaos in Iraq?

According to Iranian government sources, Tehran has smuggled large amounts of weaponry into Iraq in the past two months, including mortars, anti-aircraft missiles, 106 mm guns, 107 mm multiple rocket launchers, RPG-7s and machine guns, largely hidden in agricultural fields and villages.

For months, the notorious al-Quds (Jerusalem) Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards has been working to spread its influence in the Shiite-dominated southern regions of Iraq with the ultimate goal of erecting a sister Islamic republic there.

After major military operations ended in Iraq, many Iraqi expatriates, groomed, trained and funded by the mullahs for years, were dispatched to the country to gain control of key local and government positions. They now dominate a major portion of southern Iraq, including Samavah, Meissan, Nasiriyah, Basra, Wasset, Karbala and Najaf provinces, according to sources with access to the Iranian government.

At least 2,000 Iranian and Iraqi clerics entered Iraq from Qom and Mashad in Iran. Truckloads of books, CDs and cassette tapes promoting Tehran's fundamentalist version of Islam accompanied them.

In late August, sources said, the commanders of the al-Quds Force and Iraqi surrogate groups met in Tehran and the oil-rich Iranian city of Ahwaz to work on a plan of action in Iraq, the sources said.

Part of the plan called for setting up cells in mosques and recruitment from all regions. Tehran pledged to provide logistic support.

In that meeting, the al-Quds Force commander, Brig. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, said that more instability, insecurity and U.S. casualties would benefit the Iranian regime.

The force also set up medical centers in various cities, including Najaf, Baghdad, Hillah, Basra and Al Amarah, to garner support among the local population, much the same way the Revolutionary Guards did in Lebanon's Bekka Valley.

Against this backdrop, as long as fundamentalists control the reins of power in Iran, their sphere of influence will inevitably spill into Iraq. In many ways, Tehran is the heartland of fundamentalism and terrorism, much as Moscow was for communism. With the mullahs out of power, fundamentalist thinking would wither away under the power of democracy and secularism.

The United States and the international community must be firm against Tehran and support the call by Iranians and the opposition movement for a referendum for regime change in Iran.

Giving in to Tehran's demands, including the bombing of Iranian opposition camps, did not deter the clerics' postwar meddling in Iraq. Accommodating them now would only invite further intervention, bringing Tehran a step closer to its dream of establishing an Islamic empire.

Democracy in Iran is a prelude to democracy in Iraq, not vice versa.
34 posted on 11/19/2003 7:32:17 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Sugar Daddies to Dictators

November 19, 2003
The Wall Street Journal
Mike Gonzalez

"Follow the money" is an old adage of American journalism, and it means that economic interest will eventually explain much human behavior. That France opposed the removal of Saddam Hussein because he owed millions to French banks adheres to this theory, for example. Less well known, but much more troubling, are key French financial links with other U.S. enemies around the globe. They raise the possibility that the Franco-American conflict over Iraq was just a beginning.

For France was not just Baathist Iraq's largest contributor of funds; French banks have financed other odorous regimes. They are the No. 1 lenders to Iran and Cuba and past and present U.S. foes such as Somalia, Sudan and Vietnam. This type of financing, incidentally, is shared by Germany, France's partner in the pro-Saddam coalition. German banks are North Korea's biggest lenders, and also enjoy that dubious status with notorious rogue states such as Syria and Libya.

But France is the most active. In Fidel Castro's sweltering gulag, French banks plunked down $549 million in the first trimester this year, accounting for one-third of all international credit to Cuba. The figure for Saddam's Iraq, where the opposition was gassed and buried in mass graves, is $415 million. But both of these pale in comparison to what French banks have lent Iran , which is building a nuclear arsenal: $2.5 billion.

The figures come from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Basel, and were cobbled together and interpreted by Inigo More for Madrid's new hard-hitting think tank, the Real Instituto Elcano. As Mr. More says, "one could think that Parisian bankers wait for the U.S. to have an international problem before taking out their check books." His report can be read at

Mr. More told me on the telephone that the figures are statistically significant. French banks seem to be almost anywhere U.S. banks are absent. They lend in 57 countries where the U.S. is not present, and are the main lenders in 23 of those.

The report does not bode well for Franco-American ties in the foreseeable future, and it offers additional reasons why Dominique de Villepin really ought to stop using the phrase "our American friends" every time he talks about the U.S., as he did again this week when he called on the U.S. to leave Iraq now. Nobody believes Mr. de Villepin thinks of the Americans as friends and he comes out sounding slippery and insincere. As French foreign minister he has helped craft a policy that is inimical to U.S. interests, but one that is in keeping with what France is becoming as a nation.

The policy of offering France as an alternative to the U.S. has had a deeply corrosive effect on the political relationship this year, something that will only increase as the U.S. continues its war on terrorism and as President George W. Bush enunciates a clear, idealistic and long-term policy of expanding freedom around the world.

But, as the banking figures attest, this vision of France extends beyond politics. Other evidence suggests that it has become deeply embedded in the French psyche and encompasses not just finance and politics but also culture, media and almost every other human activity. France, in all its manifestations, positions itself as an alternative to the U.S., and expects to profit from it.

In a small but telling example, it often shocks journalists newly hired by Agence France-Presse, especially non-French ones, to hear from veterans that the press agency must present the news from a "non-Anglo-Saxon perspective" -- that this is what clients want. Most seasoned journalists ask what that could possibly mean -- what is the "French perspective" in presenting who, where and how? It doesn't take a journalist without ideological blinders long to realize that what clients will use are the dispatches that are fastest, most accurate and well written.

French movie directors likewise go out of their way to position their product as the "un-cola" (or in this case the "un-Schwarzenegger.") In this industry, at least, it is clear that selling the "non-American" alternative has been a disaster. The plots of French movies can hang on a raised eye-brow or a twitched lip. The denouement, however, can come too late for the three people in the audience, who have fallen asleep by then. The result is that Hollywood rules the planet.

With banking the BIS does not say how profitable or competitive lending to dictators and demagogues has made French banks. But it's worth mulling the chicken and egg question here. As Mr. More suggests, perhaps in jest, it could be not that one should follow the money to discover French policy, but that the money has followed French foreign policy.

As with every country, some of France's lending practices can be explained away by its colonial past. It is preponderant in francophone Africa, while the U.K. is Asia's main lender and Spain Latin America's (edging out the U.S. even in Mexico). The past could explain the leading position French banks have in the communist dictatorships and kleptocracies of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

But no colonial linkage could explain Cuba (a colony of Spain), Iraq (Britain), Sudan (Britain) or Somalia (Britain and Italy). There must be something else.

Mr. More offers that it could be French "universalist thinking." U.S. banks could be restrained by laws and conventions against lending to certain countries, for example. This is then where French banks find a niche. Leaving aside the pro- and con- positions on whether sanctions have proved to be ineffective, at least the policy that produced them is not amoral. The niche explanation points to how pervasive the positioning of France as an alternative to the U.S. has become.

It is something not just for U.S. policy makers to reckon with. The rest of Europe, which has not asked to fight this battle (nor was it asked by Paris whether it wanted to), must also deal with the consequences.

Write to Mike Gonzalez at
35 posted on 11/19/2003 7:33:04 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
FM Shalom: Iran Threatens us All

November 19, 2003
The Jerusalem Post Staff

Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom is meeting with International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Muhammad el-Baradei in Vienna to discuss the Iranian nuclear program, which according to Israeli sources will be reaching the point of no-return within a year.

Shalom's message to Baradei is that this threatens not only Israel but the world at large, and that Iranian diplomatic attempts to relieve international pressure are a pretense.

The agency is to meet tomorrow to decide whether to transfer the problem to the UN Security Council.

He also mentioned the possibility of future terror attacks in other places, including South-East Asia, North America, Europe and Turkey.

On Tuesday, Mossad chief Meir Dagan, testifying before the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, warned that terrorists intend to target Jewish and Israeli sites in other cities on several continents.

He said that while the Mossad had received intelligence that terrorists were planning to attack Jewish targets in Turkey, there were no specific warnings.

Meanwhile, Minister-without-Portfolio Gideon Ezra (Likud) told the Knesset Wednesday that warnings have been received regarding possible terror attacks on Jewish targets in South Africa and other Western countries.
36 posted on 11/19/2003 7:34:00 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
IAEA Board Set To Reject US Move vs Iran

November 19, 2003
The Associated Press
Dow Jones Newswires

VIENNA -- The U.N's nuclear agency is set to back a European initiative to reward Iran's sudden nuclear openness and not censure it for past cover-ups as the U.S. wants, diplomats said Wednesday.

Washington had hoped that the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency would effectively find Iran in violation of the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty at its meeting opening Thursday.

But diplomats polled across the spectrum of the 35-nation board agreed on the eve of the conference that no more than three nations - Canada, Australia and Japan - actively supported Washington's stance.

Instead, said the diplomats, majority sentiment was in favor of a resolution being drafted by France, Germany and the U.K. Among those in support were key board members Russia and China, they said.

The draft minimizes nearly two decades of covert nuclear programs that the U.S. administration says points a nuclear weapons agenda, they said. Instead, it focuses on positive steps taken by Iran over the past few weeks as it tried to deflect international suspicions, including suspending uranium enrichment and agreeing to what are essentially intrusive inspections on demand by agency inspectors.

The three West European sponsors of the draft "want to see continued cooperation and transparency from Iran," a senior diplomat familiar with the resolution-in-the-making.

He said the draft would make clear that the board would not accept "repetition of past mistakes, deceit or tricks," and would urge Iran to open its nuclear programs immediately to pervasive inspections even before the agreement is formally ratified.

It would also ask Iran to maintain its commitment to suspending uranium enrichment - one of the activities that heightened suspicions when discovered early this year that Iran might have a weapons agenda.

While the Americans have no dispute with those demands, they are dismayed that the draft "glosses over" past deceptions like enrichment and experimental plutonium processing that they says puts Iran in violation of the Nonproliferation Treaty, the diplomats said

In a compromise, the American delegation in Vienna was said to be ready to give up on demands Iran be called to task by the U.N. Security Council. But it rejected the "mild tone" of the West European draft and its lack of "a triggering mechanism" - threat of future censure or punishment - in the event of further non-compliance, said one of the diplomats.

He said the lack of teeth in the draft is also alarming IAEA Director General Mohammed ElBaradei, who is normally above the fray at board meetings.

ElBaradei took the Iranians to task for effective "breaches" of the Non- Proliferation Treaty in a report written for the board that also said, however, that there was no proof Iran had a weapons agenda.

The agency had no comment. But a diplomat familiar with ElBaradei's thinking said he was looking for "a strongly worded report" that stops short of asking for Security Council involvement.

Traditionally, the board makes decisions by consensus, but the appeared increasingly unlikely late Wednesday, as the clock ticked down to the start of the meeting with no sign of a narrowing of the trans-Atlantic rift.

The diplomats said that the U.S. was ready to push for a meeting that ends without an Iran resolution rather than sign on to something it considered spineless.

The West Europeans fear that too much pressure would turn Iran from cooperation to confrontation. But several diplomats said that the dispute also reflected new West European independence of the U.S. along the line of Franco- German muscle-flexing in the failed attempt to scuttle the U.S.-led invasion of Iran earlier this year.

Washington was particularly dismayed that the U.K., its staunchest ally in Iraq, was siding with the French and Germans over Iran, they said.

The Americans see the draft as "another (European) chance to stick your thumb in the eyes of the United States," said a diplomat familiar with U.S. dismay.

Ahead of the meeting, an Iranian opposition group accused Tehran of continuing to deceive the IAEA. Firouz Mahvi of the National Council of Resistance of Iran told reporters in Vienna that agency inspectors toured an alleged nuclear site near Karaj that was in reality a decoy site.

IAEA officials said they could not immediately evaluate the claims and said the organization had a mixed record of accuracy.

The U.S. State Department lists the in-exile NCRI and its armed wing, the People's Mujahedeen, as a terrorist organization.
37 posted on 11/19/2003 7:34:43 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Official Criticizes US For Dissident TV Programming

November 19, 2003
The Associated Press
Dow Jones Newswires

HAVANA -- Iran's ambassador to Cuba criticized the U.S. government Wednesday for allowing Iranian exiles in California to broadcast dissident television programming via satellite to their homeland.

But during a news conference, Ambassador Ahmad Edrisian didn't directly answer reporters' questions about the U.S. government's complaints earlier this year that those signals were being jammed on the communist-run island.

"How does it dare to allow the transmission of programs that provoke rebellion in an independent country?" Edrisian asked of the U.S. government. "We ask the United States to stop its meddling in the internal affairs of an independent country."

The Cuban government in July denied it was intentionally causing interference in those signals, and the jamming reportedly stopped soon afterward.

Cuba for years has jammed signals from the U.S. government's Radio Marti and Television Marti, which includes programming that criticizes the government of Fidel Castro, who has been in power nearly 45 years.
38 posted on 11/19/2003 7:35:28 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
VOA-TV Gains Large Audience in Iran

November 19, 2003
VOA News
Voice of America

Voice of America's (VOA) Persian television programs, including a daily show that focuses on sought-after news and information, are reaching a remarkable 12 percent of Iranians over the age of 18, a new survey shows.

"News and Views," a 30-minute program launched only three months before the survey, along with two separate weekly Persian-language programs, are seen by about four million people each week via direct-to-home satellite, according to a nationwide telephone survey taken in September.

The survey of over 1,000 people also shows that the total audience for all U.S. international broadcasting products -- radio and television -- tops out at 18 percent of the adult population of Iran, a country where the government jams international radio broadcasts, bans television satellite dishes and censors all news. While VOA-TV reaches 12 percent of the over-18 population, Radio Farda has a 7 percent audience share and VOA Persian radio has 2 percent.

"It's amazing that in a country where viewing of satellite television is illegal, American-produced news shows in Persian can attract 12 percent viewership," said Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which oversees all U.S. non-military international broadcasting. He noted that "News and Views" has quickly proved popular, attracting a 6 percent audience.

"That Radio Farda has a 7 percent listenership is likewise remarkable considering the intense jamming of our radios by the Iranian government," Tomlinson said. Radio Farda, a joint project of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) and VOA, is a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week service. Broadcast from Washington and Prague, it features at least 7.5 hours of news and current affairs programming daily as well as Western and Persian music aimed at a younger audience.

In less than a year, Radio Farda has gained an audience roughly comparable to that of the BBC, the survey showed. Started in December 2002, Radio Farda is broadcast to Iran on AM and shortwave as well as digital audio satellite and Internet. VOA Persian radio, featuring a news-driven format, is transmitted in the same fashion as Radio Farda.

Researchers said the number of Iranians who listen to or watch BBG programs is almost certainly higher than reported because of the understandable reluctance of respondents in Iran to answer questions about viewing habits over the telephone.

William Bell, U.S. international broadcasting's Director of Research, said the first-ever national telephone survey was "designed to get around restrictions involved in conducting face-to-face interviews" in Iran. "In particular, random household sampling is not possible in Iran, especially for surveys dealing with sensitive topics such as foreign radio and TV broadcasts."

VOA-TV's two other weekly Persian-language programs are "Roundtable With You," a 90-minute weekly current affairs call-in show, and "Next Chapter," an hour-long newsmagazine for younger viewers.

The BBG is an independent federal agency which supervises all U.S. government-supported non-military international broadcasting, including the Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL); Radio Free Asia (RFA); Radio and TV Martí, Radio Sawa and Radio Farda. The services broadcast in 65 languages to over 100 million people in 125 markets around the world.

Nine members comprise the BBG, a presidentially appointed body. Current governors are Chairman Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, Joaquin Blaya, Blanquita W. Cullum, D. Jeffrey Hirschberg, Edward E. Kaufman, Robert M. Ledbetter, Jr., Norman J. Pattiz and Steven Simmons. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell serves as an ex officio member.

For additional information, please call Joan Mower at (202) 260-0167 or (202) 401-3736 or send email to
39 posted on 11/19/2003 7:36:21 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
The Unnoticed Alignment: Iran and the United States in Iraq

November 19, 2003
The Stratfor Weekly
George Friedman

Iranian President Mohammad Khatami has quietly announced his recognition of the Iraqi Governing Council and acceptance of the U.S. timeline on the transfer of power in Iraq.

The announcement speaks to a partnership that will direct the future course of Iraq. The alliance is of direct short-term benefit to both countries: The United States gains a partner to help combat Sunni insurgents, and Iran will be able to mitigate the long-standing threat on its western border. What is most notable is that, though there has been no secrecy involved, the partnership has emerged completely below the global media's radar.


Iranian President Mohammad Khatami did something very interesting Nov. 17: He announced that Iran recognized the Iraqi Governing Council in Baghdad. He said specifically, "We recognize the Iraqi Governing Council and we believe it is capable, with the Iraqi people, of managing the affairs of the country and taking measures leading toward independence." Khatami also commented on the agreement made by U.S. Administrator Paul Bremer and the IGC to transfer power to an Iraqi government by June: "The consecration of this accord will help with the reconstruction and security in Iraq,"

This is pretty extraordinary stuff. The IGC is an invention of the United States. The president of Iran has now recognized the IGC as the legitimate government of Iraq, and he has also declared Iran's support for the timetable for transferring power to the IGC. In effect, the U.S. and Iranian positions on Iraq have now converged. The alignment is reminiscent of the Sino-U.S. relationship in the early 1970s: Despite absolute ideological differences on which neither side is prepared to compromise, common geopolitical interests have forced both sides to collaborate with one another. As with Sino-U.S. relations, alignment is a better word than alliance. These two countries are not friends, but history and geography have made them partners.

We would say that this is unexpected, save that Stratfor expected it. On Sept. 2, 2003, we published a weekly analysis titled An Unlikely Alliance, in which we argued that a U.S.-Iranian alignment was the only real solution for the United States in Iraq -- and would represent the fulfillment of an historical dream for Iran. What is interesting from our point of view (having suitably congratulated ourselves) is the exceptionally quiet response of the global media to what is, after all, a fairly extraordinary evolution of events.

The media focus on -- well, media events. When Nixon went to China, the visit was deliberately framed as a massive media event. Both China and the United States wanted to emphasize the shift in alignment, to both the Soviet Union and their own publics. In this case, neither the United States nor Iran wants attention focused on this event. For Washington, aligning with a charter member of the "axis of evil" poses significant political problems; for Tehran, aligning with the "Great Satan" poses similar problems. Both want alignment, but neither wants to make it formal at this time, and neither wants to draw significant attention to it. For the media, the lack of a photo op means that nothing has happened. Therefore, except for low-key reporting by some wire services, Khatami's statement has been generally ignored, which is fine by Washington and Tehran. In fact, on the same day that Khatami made the statement, the news about Iran focused on the country's nuclear weapons program. We christen thee, stealth geopolitics.

Let's review the bidding here. When the United States invaded Iraq, the expectation was that the destruction of Iraq's conventional forces and the fall of Baghdad would end resistance. It was expected that there would be random violence, some resistance and so forth, but there was no expectation that there would be an organized, sustained guerrilla war, pre-planned by the regime and launched almost immediately after the fall of Baghdad.

The United States felt that it had a free hand to shape and govern Iraq as it saw fit. The great debate was over whether the Department of State or Defense would be in charge of Baghdad's water works. Washington was filled with all sorts of plans and planners who were going to redesign Iraq. The dream did not die easily or quickly: Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was denying the existence of a guerrilla war in Iraq as late as early July, more than two months after it had begun. Essentially, Washington and reality diverged in May and June.

Fantasy was followed by a summer of paralysis. The United States had not prepared for a guerrilla war in Iraq, and it had no plan for fighting such a war. Search-and-destroy operations were attempted, but these never had a chance of working, since tactical intelligence against the guerrillas was virtually non- existent. All it did was stir up even more anti-American feeling than was already there. The fact was that the United States was not going to be in a position to put down a guerrilla war without allies: It had neither the manpower nor the intimate knowledge of the country and society needed to defeat even a small guerrilla movement that was operating in its own, well-known terrain.

At the same time, for all its problems, the situation in Iraq was not nearly as desperate as it would appear. Most of the country was not involved in the guerrilla war. It was essentially confined to the Sunni Triangle -- a fraction of Iraq's territory -- and to the minority Sunni group. The majority of Iraqis, Shiites and Kurds, not only were not involved in the guerrilla movement but inherently opposed to it. Both communities had suffered greatly under the Baathist government, which was heavily Sunni. The last thing they wanted to see was a return of Saddam Hussein's rule.

However, being opposed to the guerrillas did not make the Shiites, in particular, pro-American. They had their own interests: The Shiites in Iraq wanted to control the post-Hussein government. Another era of Sunni control would have been disastrous for them. For the Shiites -- virtually regardless of faction -- taking control of Iraq was a priority.

It is not fair to say that Iran simply controlled the Iraqi Shiites; there are historical tensions between the two groups. It is fair to say, however, that Iranian intelligence systematically penetrated and organized the Shiites during Hussein's rule and that Iran provided safe haven for many of Iraq's Shiite leaders. That means, obviously, that Tehran has tremendous and decisive influence in Iraq at this point - which means that the goals of Iraqi Shiites must coincide with Iranian national interests.

In this case, they do. Iran has a fundamental interest in a pro- Iranian, or at least genuinely neutral, Iraq. The only way to begin creating that is with a Shiite-controlled government. With a Shiite-controlled government, the traditional Iraqi threat disappears and Iran's national security is tremendously enhanced. But the logic goes further: Iraq is the natural balance to Iran - - and if Iraq is neutralized, Iran becomes the pre-eminent power in the Persian Gulf. Once the United States leaves the region -- and in due course, the United States will leave -- Iran will be in a position to dominate the region. No other power or combination of powers could block it without Iraqi support. Iran, therefore, has every reason to want to see an evolution that leads to a Shiite government in Iraq.

Washington now has an identical interest. The United States does not have the ability or appetite to suppress the Sunni rising in perpetuity, nor does it have an interest in doing so. The U.S. interest is in destroying al Qaeda. Washington therefore needs an ally that has an intrinsic interest in fighting the guerrilla war and the manpower to do it. That means the Iraqi Shiites -- and that means alignment with Iran.

Bremer's assignment is to speed the transfer of power to the IGC. In a formal sense, this is a genuine task, but in a practical sense, transferring power to the IGC means transferring it to the Shiites. Not only do they represent a majority within the IGC, but when it comes time to raise an Iraqi army to fight the guerrillas, that army is going to be predominantly Shiite. That is not only a demographic reality but a political one as well -- the Shiites will insist on dominating the new army. They are not going to permit a repeat of the Sunni domination. Therefore, Bremer's mission is to transfer sovereignty to the IGC, which means the transfer of sovereignty to the Shiites.

From this, the United States ultimately gets a force in Iraq to fight the insurrection, the Iraqi Shiites get to run Iraq and the Iranians secure their Western frontier. On a broader, strategic scale, the United States splits the Islamic world -- not down the middle, since Shiites are a minority -- but still splits it. Moreover, under these circumstances, the Iranians are motivated to fight al Qaeda (a movement they have never really liked anyway) and can lend their not-insignificant intelligence capabilities to the mix.

The last real outstanding issue is Iran's nuclear capability. Iran obviously would love to be a nuclear power in addition to being a regional hegemon. That would be sweet. However, it isn't going to happen, and the Iranians know that. It won't happen because Israel cannot permit it to happen. Any country's politics are volatile, and Iran in ten years could wind up with a new government and with values that, from Israel's point of view, are dangerous. Combine that with nuclear weapons, and it could mean the annihilation of Israel. Therefore, Israel would destroy Iran's nuclear capabilities -- with nuclear strikes if necessary -- before they become operational.

To be more precise, Israel would threaten to destroy Iran's capabilities, which would put the United States in a tough position. An Israeli nuclear strike on Iran would be the last thing Washington needs. Therefore, the United States would be forced to take out Iran's facilities with American assets in the region -- better a non-nuclear U.S. attack than an Israeli nuclear attack. Thus, the United States is telling Iran that it does not actually have the nuclear option it thinks it has. The Iranians, for their part, are telling the United States that they know Washington doesn't want a strike by either Israel or the U.S. forces.

That means that the Iranians are using their nuclear option to extract maximum political concessions from the United States. It is in Tehran's interest to maximize the credibility of the country's nuclear program without crossing a line that would force an Israeli response and a pre-emptive move by the United States. The Iranians are doing that extremely skillfully. The United States, for its part, is managing the situation effectively as well. The nuclear issue is not the pivot.

The alignment represents a solution to both U.S. and Iranian needs. However, in the long run, the Iranians are the major winners. When it is all over, they get to dominate the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula. That upsets the regional balance of power completely and is sending Saudi leaders into a panic. The worst-case scenario for Saudi Arabia is, of course, an Iranian-dominated region. It is also not a great outcome for the United States, since it has no interest in any one power dominating the region either.

But the future is the future, and now is now. "Now" means the existence of a guerrilla war that the United States cannot fight on its own. This alignment solves that dilemma. We should remember that the United States has a history of improbable alliances that caused problems later. Consider the alliance with the Soviet Union in World War II that laid the groundwork for the Cold War: It solved one problem, then created another. The United States historically has worked that way.

Thus, Washington is not going to worry about the long run until later. But in the short run, the U.S.-Iranian alignment is the most important news since the Sept. 11 attacks. It represents a triumph of geopolitics over principle on both sides, which is what makes it work: Since both sides are betraying fundamental principles, neither side is about to call the other on it. They are partners in this from beginning to end.

What is fascinating is that this is unfolding without any secrecy whatsoever, yet is not being noticed by anyone. Since neither country is particularly proud of the deal, neither country is advertising it. And since it is not being advertised, the media are taking no notice. Quite impressive.
40 posted on 11/19/2003 7:37:12 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
The Terror Ahead

November 19, 2003
Commentary Magazine
Gabriel Schoenfeld

ON DAY 18 of the war in Iraq, a single United States Air Force B-1 bomber attacked a residence in the north of Baghdad where Saddam Hussein was believed to be hiding. The effects were dramatic. Explosions not only demolished the structure entirely but left a gigantic crater of jumbled steel and debris 60 feet deep and 150 feet wide. This devastation was caused by four conventional bombs, each weighing 2,000 pounds. They are by no means the heaviest bombs in the U.S. arsenal. The Air Force’s “Daisy Cutter” weighs in at 15,000 pounds and can dig a much deeper and wider area of destruction.

But these devices, fearsome though they may be, are trivial in their effects compared with a nuclear weapon. If the destructive power of each of the bombs dropped in Baghdad was roughly equivalent to 1,000 pounds of TNT (trinitrotoluene), a nuclear bomb fueled by a single pound of a fissionable element like uranium or plutonium would release the explosive equivalent of approximately sixteen million pounds (eight kilotons). Over the course of the nuclear age, devices in the megaton range (millions of tons of TNT) have been developed and tested.

The tremendous force of a nuclear blast causes correspondingly greater destruction, including from its sheer heat. Whereas a conventional explosion generates temperatures nearing 9,000 degrees Fahrenheit, a nuclear detonation unleashes heat in the millions of degrees, which is then dispersed with terrible effect. In the initial phase, all of the material of the bomb itself—the nuclear fuel, the metal casing, the triggering device—is converted instantaneously into an intensely compressed vapor. Within less than a millionth of a second, this vapor expands into a highly luminous mass of burning air and nuclear material that ascends on its own far up into the atmosphere, reaching widths as large as thousands of feet across.

On the surface of the earth, the fireball vaporizes whatever solid materials abut the explosion, including soil and rock, which then fuse with the radioactive elements of the bomb itself and are borne aloft, gradually returning to earth as fallout: highly lethal radioactive particles ranging in width from the size of a grain of fine sand to small marbles. The rapidly expanding gas of the explosion also gives off a shock wave, a wall of air that continues to move away from the explosive center well after the fireball has disappeared. The wave generates winds exceeding several hundred miles an hour at the epicenter of the explosion and can cause destruction for miles around.

Finally, nuclear weapons yield radiation, including highly penetrating gamma rays that remain lethal over a considerable distance. The rays from a one-megaton explosion can extend approximately two miles; at one mile from ground zero, one would need a concrete barrier four-feet thick to afford protection from them—on the unlikely assumption one could survive the blast’s other, more violent effects.

Nuclear weapons have been used in anger only twice: first at Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and then three days later, when the Japanese still refused to capitulate, at Nagasaki. In all, the immediate death toll from the two attacks was approximately 150,000, with many more tens of thousands left gravely injured. Whatever one’s view of President Truman’s decision to employ the bomb against Japan, no one then or later would dispute that these are the most dreadful weapons ever devised.

Which is why, ever since their invention, a mainstay of American policy has been to prevent a surprise attack with them on our soil. During the cold war, one main leg of this effort was the policy of deterrence, aimed at convincing our principal adversary, the USSR, that a nuclear strike on the U.S. would be met by an even more devastating counterattack that would wipe the USSR from the map. The policy worked, and now that the Soviet empire is no more, we are engaged in a largely cooperative relationship with its nuclear- and non-nuclear-armed successor states.

A second leg of our effort was, and still is, aimed at keeping nuclear weapons from falling into the wrong hands. Until relatively recently, this policy too has largely been a success. Here, technology was long on our side. So considerable were the costs and expertise required to create nuclear weapons that, in the first decades after World War II, only highly developed countries—the USSR, China, England, and France (and, by the late 1960’s, perhaps Israel)—succeeded in developing them on their own. But with the passage of years, the spread of civilian nuclear technology—especially nuclear power plants—and the emergence of a global cadre of nuclear engineers and physicists steadily reduced the obstacles to building such weapons. The essentials of bomb design are today widely understood, and key technologies can either be fabricated indigenously or purchased on open or black and gray markets. Only the nuclear fuel itself—plutonium or highly enriched uranium—remains exceedingly difficult to acquire, although countries with civilian nuclear-power programs can create it on their own.

The U.S. has employed a variety of diplomatic instruments to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. The primary tool—the “cornerstone of U.S. nuclear nonproliferation policies,” according to a ranking Bush administration official—is the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). This multilateral agreement became international law in 1970 and has by now been signed by some 187 nations—all the nations of the world save three: India, Pakistan, and Israel.*

Along with lofty-sounding provisions calling for peace, the elimination of all nuclear weapons from the planet, and a number of other general goals, the NPT includes a number of specific measures. In particular, it obligates those signatories who do not already have nuclear weapons to remain in that condition, and to accept regular inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to verify that any civilian nuclear resources are under “safeguard” and are not being covertly diverted to military ends.

In some respects, the NPT has worked extremely well. Thanks to IAEA inspections, the U.S. government and the world community have access to a wealth of highly detailed information about the civilian nuclear programs of countries around the globe, including countries hostile to the United States. The NPT regime has also played a vital role in preserving the nuclear-free status of regional rivals like Argentina and Brazil, to name two countries that in the 1970’s and 80’s were veering into a nuclear-arms race. Perhaps the treaty’s most remarkable achievement was to have fostered the denuclearization of South Africa; as F. W. de Klerk, that country’s former president, would confess, South Africa had surreptitiously developed a small nuclear arsenal, but then dismantled and destroyed it in order to accede to the agreement in 1991.

Such accomplishments have led supporters of the NPT to insist, in the words of the Bush administration, that the “global nuclear nonproliferation regime remains strong.” But the global nuclear nonproliferation regime is not strong. It has been in serious and growing difficulty for years, and is now virtually in tatters. The story of its decline is full of the most worrisome implications for the future course of world politics. It is also a case study in the pitfalls of relying on multilateral arms-control agreements to protect critical U.S. interests.

IN RECENT years, the NPT regime has faced serious challenge from four countries, and flunked each test. In the case of only one of them—Iraq—has the crisis been definitively resolved, but at the cost of two major wars. Other dangers remain very much upon us, and they are both terrible to contemplate and difficult to avoid.

The history of Iraq’s nuclear program exemplifies what has gone wrong. Iraq ratified the NPT in 1969 under Saddam Hussein, but the country’s signature was an act of deceit. From the outset, the Iraqi dictator was seeking to acquire nuclear weapons; by the mid-1970’s, assisted by avid European suppliers, he had an active program under way. By 1981, Iraqi scientists were on the verge of gaining access to a plentiful source of nuclear fuel from their new reactor at Osirak, a turn-key facility provided by France. Then, on June 7, 1981, Israel, fearing a nuclear-armed Saddam in its neighborhood, destroyed the facility in a precision air-strike that shocked the world.

Iraq responded to this setback by reconstituting its secret program, dispersing facilities widely and placing key technology in hardened shelters. Although the program’s existence was widely suspected, IAEA inspectors came and went without uncovering evidence that radioactive materials were either being diverted from civilian reactors or being acquired by other means. Only in 1991, in the aftermath of the first Gulf war, did the scope and scale of Iraq’s prewar efforts become evident.

Yet even in defeat, and even after having signed surrender terms pledging to disclose all information about the illicit program, Saddam Hussein’s government continued to engage in denial and deception. At first it stated flatly that it had “no industrial and support facilities related to any form of atomic-energy use which have to be declared.” When this statement was rebutted with incontrovertible facts by the IAEA, the regime acknowledged a handful of sites but still failed to disclose the lion’s share of its activity. Only after the IAEA initiated special on-site inspections did Iraq begin to release significant information, even then omitting important details and either blocking IAEA access to key sites or hurriedly removing nuclear-related equipment from locations that inspectors were likely to visit. The full scope of the Iraqi effort become evident only when the IAEA stumbled on a trove of classified documents.

Under the noses of IAEA inspectors, those documents revealed, the Iraqis had constructed what Hans Blix, then the head of the agency, ruefully admitted was a “vast unknown, undeclared uranium-enrichment program in the billion-dollar range,” constituting an essential part of “an advanced nuclear-weapons development program.” Among other things, Iraq was in possession of some 400 tons of previously undisclosed radioactive materials, including six grams of clandestinely produced plutonium and more than 35 kilograms of highly enriched uranium—not yet bomb-grade material but of “high strategic value.” Iraq had also acquired a large number of calutrons for enriching uranium; these electro-magnetic devices, used by the U.S. in constructing its first atomic bombs but subsequently abandoned in favor of more efficient means, were extremely well suited for a clandestine program like Iraq’s.

It seems that, at the time of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, Baghdad had been only months away from acquiring a workable nuclear device. Had Saddam Hussein been a little more patient, he could have had a nuclear-equipped military before embarking on that aggressive adventure. Standing up to him in those circumstances would have presented incalculably greater risks to Washington and its hesitant allies in Europe.

Nor, in the aftermath of the first Gulf war, did Iraq cease its activity. A great deal of information came to light in 1995 with the defection to Jordan of Hussein Kamel, Saddam Hussein’s son-in-law, who revealed a well-funded and continuing program to mount a nuclear warhead on an intermediate-range ballistic missile as well as efforts to turn highly enriched uranium into fuel for a nuclear bomb. Once again, these efforts were proceeding in the face of special IAEA and UNSCOM inspections mandated by the UN Security Council and far more intrusive than the ones for a normal country under the NPT.

What happened to Iraq’s nuclear program after the mid-decade revelations, and especially after 1998 when Saddam Hussein halted all cooperation with the UN inspectors and they withdrew from the country, is unclear. As is well known, Washington based its case for the second Gulf war in part on intelligence pointing to a continuing covert Iraqi effort to acquire nuclear weapons, including the highly controversial sixteen words in President Bush’s State of the Union Address about Iraq’s alleged effort to purchase uranium yellowcake from the African country of Niger. But in the aftermath of our victory, the search for evidence of this program has thus far come up dry. Did the Iraqi dictator order the program transferred to new and as yet undiscovered locations, or was it dismantled and destroyed? We do not yet have the answer.

IF IRAQ represents one kind of failure for the NPT, Pakistan represents another—not so much of the treaty itself as of U.S. policy. The salient fact here is that Pakistan has refused to sign the pact, and is not subject to its strictures.

The Pakistani nuclear program, like Iraq’s, is decades old. It began in earnest after the loss of East Pakistan—now Bangladesh—to India in the war of 1971, a defeat that impelled Pakistan to develop an “Islamic bomb” (in the phrase employed at the time by prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto) to counter India’s Hindu one. The fuel for this Islamic bomb was initially to come from a reprocessing facility provided by France in 1974, although the French and other Western suppliers withdrew as Pakistani intentions became clear. In stepped the Chinese, who in the intervening decades have provided Pakistan with technicians, highly enriched uranium, key components of enrichment facilities, and a heavy-water reactor for the production of plutonium and tritium, as well as designs for a relatively sophisticated and readily deliverable 25-kiloton-yield weapon.

Lacking recourse to the machinery of the NPT, the U.S. has responded to this Pakistani program with an assortment of carrots and sticks, pledging financial and military assistance if Pakistan would desist, threatening a series of sanctions, some of them mandated by Congress, if it pressed ahead. But the sanctions have been waived at every turn, for the simple reason that Pakistan has been a pivotal player in U.S. foreign policy as a frontline state both in the Soviet-Afghan war that began in 1979 and in the war against al Qaeda and the Taliban that began in October 2001. In any case, the sanctions were unlikely to have deflected Pakistan from a strategic goal it has perceived as vital to its national existence.

Already by the mid-1990’s, Pakistan was widely believed to have obtained a small stockpile of nuclear weapons, as well as the missiles for delivering them. Its status as a nuclear power was confirmed when it conducted five underground tests on May 28, 1998. By any yardstick, this date deserves to be remembered as a watershed in international affairs, marking the first time that a certifiable basket-case of a country became an officially-declared nuclear power.

Since its birth as a nation in 1947, Pakistan’s government has been regularly toppled by military coups. A major segment of the population is in the grip of radical Islam, and some leading nuclear scientists have close ties to the most fanatical Muslims of Afghanistan and al Qaeda. The country is locked in a conflict with India over the status of Kashmir that periodically threatens to become the first nuclear flashpoint since World War II. To complete the picture, Pakistan is so desperately poor that it has been paying for its military programs by barter.

Its most important partner in this arrangement happens to be North Korea. In exchange for North Korean missiles that can carry a nuclear payload, Pakistan has provided Pyongyang with gas centrifuges, a key technology for processing uranium into bomb-grade material. The U.S. response to this illicit trade has been a mild slap on the wrist: this past April, Washington imposed a two-year ban on any American dealings with the research laboratory where Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are designed and fabricated.

IF PAKISTAN is a stick of dynamite, North Korea is a stick of dynamite with a lit fuse. The Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK), run today by the mad Communist dictator Kim Jong Il, became a signatory of the NPT in 1985. But from the outset it declined to permit the IAEA to verify its initial accounting of nuclear materials, or to monitor more than a single one of its reactors. As the charade continued in the 1990’s, the Clinton administration engaged in an intense but ultimately fruitless effort to persuade the North to abandon its nuclear ambitions, encouraging it to sign a supplementary agreement—the Yongbyon Agreed Framework, brokered by former President Jimmy Carter—that promised generous foreign aid in exchange for forbearance. North Korea grudgingly accepted the aid but, as we now know, declined to show any forbearance.†

The most dramatic chapter of this saga opened last October, when for no discernible reason Pyongyang suddenly revealed that, in violation of both the NPT and Yongbyon, it was operating an active nuclear-weapons program all along. By December it had ratcheted up the pressure, declaring the Yongbyon agreement null and void and renouncing the NPT in the bargain. On New Year’s eve, all IAEA personnel were expelled from the country. In April, Pyongyang declared that it already possessed nuclear weapons and was in the midst of manufacturing more, having reprocessed the fuel from 8,000 control rods at one of its “civilian” reactors. In August, it announced that it might shortly commence test-firing nuclear weapons, something it has not yet openly done (although one of Pakistan’s nuclear tests may actually have been of a North Korean device).

The North Korean regime is Stalinist to the core—and then some. Thanks to a calcified, centrally-planned economy, large portions of the country suffer from famine. Amid the general destitution, Kim Jong Il has sponsored a personality cult whose symbols and slogans are ubiquitous. His subjects speak of him with the mandatory appellation “Dear Leader” and wear a badge of his likeness on their lapels. The North Korean regime has engaged in bizarre kidnapping plots (of South Korean actors and actresses, to jump-start an indigenous film industry; of girls off beaches in Japan, to be employed as teachers of Japanese language and manners in a school for spies). Pyongyang has also engaged in terrorism. Among other violent deeds, it blew up a South Korean airliner in 1987, killing all 115 aboard.

It is this demented and venomous regime that boasts of having nuclear weapons at its disposal. According to the CIA, in addition to the one or two bombs already in its possession, the North has been “constructing a plant that could produce enough weapons-grade uranium for two or more nuclear weapons per year when fully operational—which could be as soon as mid-decade.” According to another government study, Pyongyang has also been at work on two very large “electrical-generating” stations that, upon completion, will produce sufficient spent nuclear fuel to yield 200 kilograms of plutonium, enough to manufacture approximately 30 nuclear weapons a year.

Compounding the peril is the fact that North Korea has been vigorously developing intermediate- and long-range missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. It has already successfully tested intermediate-range missiles that can strike all of Japan, points far beyond in Asia and the Pacific, and—with a reduced payload—the west coast of the United States. In September, U.S. officials reported a new model in the works with a range of 9,400 miles, a capability that would place every city in the United States under its shadow.

Not only is North Korea steadily adding missiles to its own arsenal, it is exporting them to other unsavory regimes around the world. With its ample supplies of uranium and uranium-enrichment equipment, it has threatened to export nuclear materials as well. Not only does North Korea “pose a serious and immediate challenge to the nuclear non-proliferation regime,” in the words of Mohamed ElBaradei, the current head of the IAEA; it poses an even more serious and immediate challenge to the peace and security of the world.

AMONG THE countries trading with North Korea is Iran, a country likewise governed by violent fanatics, of the Islamic rather than the Marxist-Leninist stripe. Iran joined the NPT at the treaty’s inception. It was then still under the rule of the shah, who had started an ambitious civilian-nuclear program and possibly some weapons-related research as well. But IAEA inspectors were finally invited to visit the country’s facilities only in 1992, thirteen years after the shah was deposed by the Islamic revolution. The ayatollahs appear to have calculated that, being limited to officially designated sites, the IAEA would be unable to find evidence of their secret program. If so, their calculation proved correct, for the IAEA regularly certified Iran to be in compliance with the treaty’s strictures—until it became unmistakably apparent that it had been in violation all along.

Earlier this year, in the face of detailed media reports, Iran admitted to the IAEA that it had been constructing two hitherto secret plants: one to enrich uranium and another to produce heavy water, an essential ingredient in developing plutonium. The Iranians also acknowledged having imported nearly two metric tons of uranium from China in 1991, which, in a major breach of the NPT, they stored in a facility not subject to IAEA supervision. In late August and again in late September, IAEA inspections turned up traces of uranium on equipment in supposedly non-nuclear facilities, leading the agency to conclude that an illicit enrichment program was under way. Commented ElBaradei: “This worries us greatly.”

Iran is an oil-rich country. It has no need for an ambitious civilian nuclear-energy industry. The fact that it has been vigorously developing one was a red flag that the ayatollahs did not deign to conceal. To augment the menace, Iran is “the most active state sponsor of terrorism” in the world, according to the U.S. Department of State. Tehran has carried out a series of kidnappings and assassinations in Europe. It has funded and provided training and arms to a variety of Palestinian terrorist organizations, including Hizballah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and factions within Yasir Arafat’s PLO. It was almost certainly behind the bombings in Argentina of the Israeli embassy in March 1992, killing 29, and the Jewish community center in July 1994, killing 86. It is thought to have had a hand in the June 1996 bombing of the al-Khobar barracks in Saudi Arabia that took the lives of nineteen U.S. soldiers. It has ties with al Qaeda and, in the wake of September 11, may have given shelter to some of its leading operatives. The list goes on and on.

To augment the menace even more, Iran has also been building missiles at a feverish pace. In July it successfully tested the Shehab-3 (a variant of the No Dong missile first provided to it by North Korea), with a range of 930 miles and capable of carrying a small nuclear warhead. Iranian engineers are similarly moving forward with the Shehab-4 and Shehab-5, with ranges of 1,240 and 3,100 miles respectively. Brigadier General Safavi, who heads Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, declared not long ago that “Iranian missiles can cause irreparable damage to either Israel or the United States.” This is partly bluster. Israel indeed lies within range of Iranian missiles. The United States does not—not yet.

PERHAPS BECAUSE the attention of our policymakers has been diverted elsewhere, perhaps because our military resources are stretched thin in Afghanistan and Iraq, perhaps because the options are all so unattractive, perhaps because the issues are so dire, the twin challenge presented by North Korea and Iran has met with an even more muted American response than has the challenge posed by Pakistan.

In Asia, the U.S. has been engaged in desultory six-way talks with North Korea and its neighbors. The idea is to bring pressure to bear on Pyongyang, especially from China and Russia, while also holding out the prospect of still more aid if North Korea dismantles its program in a verifiable way. It would be something of a miracle if the talks were to succeed; this approach has been tried in the past and failed.

Under the Yongbyon framework, the Clinton administration plied North Korea with huge shipments of oil. It also promised two proliferation-resistant light-water nuclear reactors if Pyongyang would only promise to stop developing the bomb. In a magnanimous gesture during Clinton’s final year in office, Madeleine Albright became the first American cabinet member ever to visit Communist Pyongyang—following which, noting “important progress” in talks about missile exports, the administration eased longstanding sanctions against the North under the Trading with the Enemy Act, the Defense Production Act, and the Export Administration Act. But there was no “important progress”: North Korea did not limit its missile exports or do anything else, except, presumably, absorb a lesson or two about American credulity. In the end, one may hope that it will turn out to be an incorrect lesson; but if, today, the North Koreans make preposterous demands and feign outrage when we do not yield, at least we have some inkling why.

The American reaction to developments in Iran has been even quieter. Once again, we have attempted to work in concert with neighbors and, especially, the IAEA to pressure the ayatollahs to adhere to their obligations under the NPT or face the disapprobation of the UN Security Council. The IAEA is also seeking Iran’s signature on a supplementary protocol that would make the country more “transparent” to inspectors. The success of these initiatives may be judged by the fact that Ayatollah Khatami, Iran’s “moderate” president, has pledged continued fealty to the NPT even as his regime blatantly breaches its provisions. Other influential clerics, including Ayatollah Jannati, head of the Guardian Council and closely aligned with Iran’s “hardline” supreme leader, Ayatollah Kha­menei, have urged that the government shun the “extra humiliation” of the new protocol and follow the path of North Korea by withdrawing from the NPT altogether.

HOW NORTH KOREA and Iran will conduct themselves in the months to come is a matter of speculation. Many different behaviors are possible, ranging from delaying tactics to phony concessions to threats of aggression. But, the immediate future aside, the predicament we are in is as unmistakable as is our apparent determination to ignore or deny it.

The NPT regime is radically flawed. Three countries whose facilities have been under its safeguards have managed either to develop nuclear weapons or to come perilously close to it. This has occurred because the NPT exhibits almost all the classical problems of arms-control agreements as Washington has pursued them. Elaborate mechanisms are put in place that seem to ensure the achievement of desirable objectives. Yet, in the absence of airtight verification procedures, the only countries thereby restrained are the law-abiding ones who are not themselves a menace. In the meantime, determined cheaters like Iraq, Iran, and North Korea make use of loopholes to pursue their objectives. Though the NPT appeared to work well in its early years, when the relevant technology was more difficult to acquire, now it serves mostly as a cover for would-be proliferators, offering assurances to the world that everything is fine and encouraging Washington to slumber when it needs most to be alert.

The NPT also exhibits structural defects specific unto itself. IAEA inspectors, of whom there are only several hundred responsible for policing approximately 1,000 nuclear facilities around the world, can barely do their job as it is. They are spread even thinner by the need to devote the same amount of attention to wholly innocuous programs in countries like Canada as they do to suspicious ones in countries like Iran. At the same time, IAEA officials lack the freedom to conduct unfettered inspections of any site they choose; they can only visit sites declared (by the signatory nation) to be under the IAEA’s “safeguard.” And even if they were granted more sweeping rights, the idea that they could find undeclared facilities on their own in a country attempting to conceal them is a delusion. Finally, a glaring loophole in the treaty exempts states from declaring a nuclear installation until 180 days before introducing radioactive material into it; this is precisely the escape mechanism that Iran has exploited to build the uranium and plutonium facilities it has only now disclosed.

In theory the NPT could be strengthened by closing its loopholes and mandating intrusive inspections of sites selected by the inspectors themselves. But the political obstacles would be formidable, and the countries of greatest concern would almost certainly demur. Even if there were universal agreement about amending the NPT, moreover, it would remain only as strong as the will of its strongest members to enforce it. Thus far, with the exception of the decisive action taken on two occasions by the United States against Iraq, that will has been absent. One should note, of course, that even here, Iraqi breaches of the NPT were not a casus belli cited by the U.S. before either Gulf war.

As for Pakistan, as a non-member state, it would of course not be directly touched by any changes to the NPT. For the moment, unlike Pyongyang and Tehran, the government of Pakistan does still seem capable of making rational choices. But if that situation were to change, and radical Islamists were to ascend to power, the prospect that Pakistani nuclear weapons might be transferred to the remnants of al Qaeda or to other Islamic terrorists would be intolerable. Both India and the United States would feel under tremendous pressure to disarm Islamabad, a step that in the logic of things would quite possibly require a nuclear first strike.

U.S. influence on the future course of Pakistani politics is quite limited. Where the U.S. might play an active role right now is in making it utterly clear to our ostensible ally that unless it ceases to export its nuclear know-how and materials to rogue states, it will be made to pay a very stiff price. Similar efforts might also be made to rein in or punish other exporters of nuclear material, including not only Pakistan and North Korea but also Russia, China, and France.

THE RADICAL insufficiency of the NPT confirms once again the wisdom of deploying a missile-defense shield. This project, widely ridiculed when it was first proposed by Ronald Reagan in the 1980’s, has become an urgent national imperative. The U.S. needs a strategic system to defend its own skies, and portable ship- or air-borne theater systems to defend its allies.

But even if we could deploy an impermeable missile shield tomorrow (and no missile shield is likely to be impermeable), there are other ways than missiles to deliver nuclear weapons. Such weapons can be packed into shipping containers and brought into American ports, or smuggled across our borders wrapped inside, say, a bale of marijuana. Countering this particular facet of the threat defensively is virtually impossible—a fact that points toward yet another urgent imperative.

In the National Security Strategy he unveiled at West Point in June 2002, President Bush enunciated a doctrine of preemption. Certain kinds of international challenges, he said, must be forcibly answered before the evidence of danger is presented to us in the shape of a mushroom cloud. The United States, Bush declared,

can no longer solely rely on a reactive posture as we have in the past. The inability to deter a potential attacker, the immediacy of today’s threats, and the magnitude of the potential harm that could be caused by our adversaries’ choice of weapons, do not permit that option. We cannot let our enemies strike first.

This was precisely Israel’s thinking when it destroyed Iraq’s reactor at Osirak in 1981. At the time, Israel’s action was condemned by all the countries of the world, including the United States. In its unanimous resolution, the UN Security Council asserted that Iraq was a member in good standing of the NPT, had “accepted [IAEA] safeguards on its nuclear activities, and . . . these safeguards have been satisfactorily applied to date.” It went on to denounce Israel’s raid as a “danger to international peace.”

We can now see things as they are—that is, just as the government of Israel saw them in 1981. In the aftermath of September 11, fanatical anti-American regimes like those ruling Iran and North Korea cannot be permitted to obtain weapons that can be easily hidden and used without warning to destroy entire cities in an instant. If peaceful means of persuasion have been exhausted, it is incumbent on us to consider, coolly, other means.

Unfortunately, military action is not likely to be as simple as it was for Israel at Osirak—not that that operation was in the least simple. Rehearsed for months by the Israeli air force, it required up-to-date intelligence, superb airmanship, and total surprise to succeed. It also had to be done within a narrow window of time, before the reactor went critical; otherwise, there was a real possibility of radiological contamination over a large area.

In both North Korea and Iran, the radioactive elements are already in place and hence some level of contamination would be likely in a preemptive strike. There are other major difficulties as well. Although Iran is without question the easier country to hit, the locations of its nuclear facilities being well-known and within range of American warships and bases, the sites there are nevertheless widely dispersed, guarded by air-defense systems, and in some cases built underground and protected by heavy layers of reinforced concrete. A successful strike would need to be broad-based and sustained and include very heavy bunker-busting weapons.

As for Iran’s ability to retaliate, that is limited but not insignificant. Though it has attempted to modernize its forces in the aftermath of its war with Iraq, the pace has been slowed by a general shortage of cash. That shortage, indeed, is one reason Tehran has confined itself to a narrow buildup, focusing on the acquisition of unconventional weapons—not only nuclear but also chemical and biological—and the shells and missiles to deliver them. It has also invested in its navy, with the idea of being able to choke off Western supplies of oil by obstructing the Persian Gulf. Its final point of leverage lies in its command of terrorist forces like Hizballah in Lebanon and elsewhere, which in a crisis could be used to divert Western arms.

In a worst case, a preemptive strike against Iran might lead to a medium-sized conflagration involving unconventional weapons. Nevertheless, given Iran’s overwhelming weakness, this contest would be one in which the U.S. and its allies would rapidly prevail. That in itself holds out a faint ray of hope—namely, that the very threat of a preemptive strike, especially if it is preceded by a visible military buildup and an ultimatum, might possibly persuade the ayatollahs to stand down and relinquish their nuclear ambitions.

North Korea is a much trickier problem. Some facilities are buried deep inside mountains and cannot be readily attacked and destroyed from the air. Others we may not know about at all. The regime itself is highly secretive, and unless the U.S. had reliable and timely intelligence about the whereabouts of Kim Jong Il and his top lieutenants, exceptional luck would be required to decapitate it by means of a conventional blow. Even if we did get lucky, there would still be the possibility of a North Korean response.

Not only does the North appear to have deliverable nuclear weapons, it also has one of the world’s largest armies, comprising 1.2 million soldiers, some 70 percent of whom are positioned in and around the 12,000 underground bunkers near the demilitarized zone (DMZ) that separates the two Koreas. These forces are armed with approximately 10,000 artillery pieces and over 800 missiles capable of reaching South Korea and some of its neighbors. In addition, they are equipped with 2,500 multiple-rocket launchers capable of firing (by a conservative estimate) 500,000 shells an hour to a range of 33 miles. The city of Seoul, situated 24 miles from the DMZ and with a population of more than ten million, could be devastated within hours.

That is the bad news. The better news is that North Korea is not ten or even six feet tall. Its military equipment consists of aging Soviet and Chinese stocks that qualitatively are vastly inferior to both the U.S. and South Korean militaries. Its army is large to the point of bloat; significant numbers of conscripts are engaged in forced-labor projects that have little or no military significance. The populace from which these troops are drawn is hungry and downtrodden, and many soldiers are undoubtedly hungry as well. It is an open question whether, if push came to war, North Korea’s military would disintegrate on its own, and with it the Communist regime.

IN THE final analysis, we cannot know with any certainty how such preemptive actions would play out. We can be certain only of this: as the danger looms closer, the divas of peace at any price will begin their predictable serenades. It is “vital,” says Jimmy Carter, “that some accommodation” be reached with Pyongyang, a regime that “feels increasingly threatened by being branded an ‘axis of evil’ member.” The New York Times, for its part, editorializes that “diplomacy is the only acceptable alternative,” just as it editorialized back in 1995 when, lauding the “accommodation” with North Korea achieved by the same Jimmy Carter, it urged the Clinton administration to strike a similar “bargain” with the ayatollahs in Tehran.

Curiously enough, even the notoriously cautious Clintonites may, at the time, have had doubts about the efficacy of this course of inaction where North Korea was concerned. In fact, if a recent article by then-Secretary of Defense William B. Perry and Assistant Secretary of Defense Ashton J. Carter is to be believed, the administration seriously weighed a preemptive attack on the North’s weapons-producing site at Yongbyon. The Clinton team, Perry and Carter write,

readied a detailed plan to attack the Yongbyon facility with precision-guided bombs. We were highly confident that it could be destroyed without causing a meltdown that would release radioactivity into the air. The plutonium would be entombed, and the special buildings nearby designed to reprocess the reactor fuel into bomb material would also be leveled.

To be sure, there was the worry of a “spasmodic” North Korean response that would cost the lives of thousands of U.S. troops, tens of thousands of South Korean troops, and an untold number of civilians. Nevertheless, Perry and Carter conclude, “we believed that the nuclear program on which North Korea was embarked was even more dangerous, and [we] were prepared to risk a war to stop it.” Indeed, it was only when Jimmy Carter stepped in to “solve” the problem through his brand of personal diplomacy that the plan for preemptive war was dropped.**

Needless to say, the North Korean problem was not solved and a crucial decade has been lost. Today, while our forces are engaged in a major open-ended operation in Iraq, a minor open-ended operation in Afghanistan, and a global war against al Qaeda, we are quietly sliding into the gravest crisis of this kind since Nikita Khrushchev placed nuclear-tipped missiles in Cuba. Two crazy states—both charter members of what President Bush has rightly called the “axis of evil,” both openly flouting an international treaty to which they are party, both perpetrators of acts of international terrorism, both animated by a blistering hatred for America and the West—are bent on acquiring weapons of unthinkable destructive power. The CIA, as it admits in its own statements, does not know what it needs to know about either country, except that North Korea almost certainly possesses two or more fully operational bombs and could have as many as ten within months, while Iran is at most several years away from acquiring the bomb unless it purchases one or more tomorrow or next week or next month from Pyongyang.

Whatever the constraints on our resources, the challenge is unmistakable and cannot be dodged. The price of action is likely to be high, very high; the price of inaction is likely to be much higher. Courtesy of Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, we have already had to relearn the lesson of Pearl Harbor in a second and more terrible form. In the age of terrorism and nuclear weapons, we cannot afford to relearn it a third time and a fourth.

* The Washington Post, October 20, 2002. Perry and Carter may be engaged here in historical revisionism, designed to make timorousness look like toughness. In open testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1995, Perry stated flatly that he and his advisers only considered destroying North Korea’s nuclear installations but did not advocate this to the President. Instead, they recommended the imposition of sanctions, plus a military build-up in case the sanctions provoked a North Korean first strike.

† For a discussion of Israel’s nuclear-weapons program, see my article, “Thinking About the Unthinkable in the Middle East,” in the December 1998 Commentary.

** The record is laid out by Joshua Muravchik in “Facing Up to North Korea” in the March 2003 Commentary.

GABRIEL SCHOENFELD is the senior editor of Commentary. His book, The Return of Anti-Semitism, will be published by Encounter later this year.
41 posted on 11/19/2003 7:38:20 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
The Terror Ahead

November 19, 2003
Commentary Magazine
Gabriel Schoenfeld
42 posted on 11/19/2003 7:39:06 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Anything secular from Commentary is always welcome.
43 posted on 11/19/2003 8:01:21 PM PST by RLK
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To: RLK; yoe; LoudRepublicangirl; Alamo-Girl; Cindy; Persia; MEG33; windchime; freedom44; yonif; ...
Canada drafts UN resolution condemning Iran


UNITED NATIONS, Nov 18, (AFP) -- Canada said it had introduced a draft UN resolution accusing Iran of sweeping human rights violations, adding to the international pressure on Tehran's Islamic regime.

The draft resolution, obtained by AFP, says Iran has failed to comply with human rights norms in the use of torture, discrimination against women and religious minorities and a clampdown on freedom of expression.

The measure is being co-sponsored by nine other nations including the United States, which lumps Iran in the "axis of evil" and has accused the regime of trying to develop nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies.

Diplomats said they expected a vote this week in the General Assembly's human rights committee. Passage in committee usually means approval by the entire assembly.

The UN's Commission on Human Rights, based in Geneva, annually approved resolutions condemning the rights situation in Iran beginning in the 1980s but the measure was shot down last year.

Canada's move comes four months after an Iranian-Canadian photographer, Zahra Kazemi, died in police custody from a blow to the head. She was arrested for taking pictures outside Tehran's notorious Evin prison.

Kazemi is not mentioned specifically but the draft resolution accuses Iran of a range of rights abuses, including the "continued deterioration of the situation with regard to freedom of opinion and expression."

It expresses concern over the Islamic republic's use of torture and "other forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, in particular the practice of amputation and flogging."

It also calls on the Shiite Muslim regime to "eliminate all forms of discrimination" against minorities and other religious faiths including Christian, Jewish, Bahai and Sunni Muslim.

At the same time the measure welcomes Iran's cooperation with Ambeyi Ligabo, the UN's special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, who met with some of Iran's most high-profile prisoners earlier this month.

Ligabo, who carried out a weeklong fact-finding mission, is preparing a report on the human rights situation in Iran.
44 posted on 11/19/2003 10:35:03 PM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn
This thread is now closed.

Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

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45 posted on 11/20/2003 12:05:30 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: F14 Pilot
46 posted on 11/20/2003 2:35:42 AM PST by windchime
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To: DoctorZIn
Will the public see any action taken against Iran as a premptive strike against nuclear war? Because that is how the press would play it, wouldn't they? Bush would be the "madman" with his finger on the button.

And perhaps this is the biggest argument why Iran must be dealt with today. North Korea is watching us closely.

And, it is interesting, when reading Woolsey's paper about the feasibility of a ground war with N. Korea. If such a plan can be drawn up for North Korea, then Iran is not much of a hurdle.

And with both nations, the humanitarian aspect shouldn't be ignored. We hear some about the conditions inside Iran. But the silence about the conditions in North Korea makes me think that Hitler and Saddam were kinder, more gentle monsters than Kim Jong Il. He may be the most infamous of all, in the end.
47 posted on 11/20/2003 5:43:56 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife ("Your joy is your sorrow unmasked." --- GIBRAN)
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