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Iranian Alert -- November 20, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 11.20.2003 | DoctorZin

Posted on 11/20/2003 12:04:04 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; lebanon; protests; qassemsoleimani; southasia; studentmovement; studentprotest; syria
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 11/20/2003 12:04:04 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 11/20/2003 12:06:36 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranian Hard-Liners Wary of Nuclear Deal

Washington Post - By Karl Vick
Nov 20, 2003

U.N. Agency to Weigh Action on Past Violations

TEHRAN, Nov. 19 -- Iran's commitment to tighter monitoring of its nuclear program is vulnerable to sabotage by hard-line conservatives, despite apparently broad support within the country's divided government, according to analysts and officials here.

A major test of last month's agreement between Iran and European diplomats looms Thursday, when the governing board of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) convenes to decide how strongly to admonish Iran for decades of secret nuclear research that involved procedures potentially useful in a weapons program, which Iran denies any interest in.

The Bush administration is pushing for the IAEA to declare Iran in violation of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and to report Iran to the U.N. Security Council for penalties that could include economic sanctions. Iranian officials warn that doing so would violate the bargain struck with the Europeans, who want the IAEA to focus on Iran's declared willingness to suspend uranium enrichment and its agreement to accept on-demand inspections.

Iran's ambassador to the IAEA told reporters last week that "things could very easily get out of control" and "lead to consequences that none of us would like to witness" should the 35-nation panel refer the matter to the Security Council.

Diplomats and mainstream Iranian officials and analysts say they detect no evidence that Iran is backing away from the declaration it signed Oct. 21 with the visiting foreign ministers of France, Britain and Germany. The government has ordered a stop to uranium enrichment and repeated its pledge to sign an enhanced safeguards agreement called the "Additional Protocol" to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, whose provisions Iran had repeatedly violated during more than 20 years of secret atomic research, the IAEA found.

In an additional move that diplomats said was not negotiated -- but apparently was meant by Iran to build confidence in the afterglow of the pact -- the Defense Ministry renewed a vow not to build a medium-range missile, the Shahab-4, capable of carrying a conventional payload as far as Europe or a nuclear warhead to Israel.

Yet defiant rhetoric from the conservative press and high-ranking clerics illustrates the lingering tensions over the bargain, which was flatly opposed by two-thirds of Iran's major decision-makers when negotiations opened, according to diplomats and informed Iranians.

"We shouldn't say it's signed and we've lost everything," prayer leader Mohammad-Reza Tabatabaie told worshipers Friday in Isfahan, Iran's second-largest city. "Almighty God's power is above all, and even if it's signed, any change He deems necessary may come our way. We can change the decision with your prayers."

Ali-Naqi Khamoushi, a prominent conservative and longtime president of Iran's Chamber of Commerce, said: "I do not deny that there is a problem here, and this problem may get severe in the future. But at the same time, I believe that those who are in favor of the agreement are more powerful."

Hard-line conservatives already are seizing on a vaguely worded assurance in the Oct. 21 declaration promising that inspections will not undermine Iran's sovereignty. The sentence was intended to reassure Iranians that the IAEA inspections would be less aggressive than those the Security Council had ordered in neighboring Iraq, a key factor in bringing Iran around, several sources said.

"They don't want to humiliate a country," said Mohsen Mirdamadi, the reformist chairman of the Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Committee.

But some conservatives are interpreting the provision as declaring off-limits not only shrines and mosques, which inspectors would not normally approach, but also universities. "These are the symbols of our national dignity and pride," said Habibollah Asgar-Owladi, general secretary of the Islamic Coalition Association.

There is also confusion over whether the Europeans promised to provide Iran with technical assistance in a peaceful atomic program. Numerous Iranians interviewed said they expect such assistance. One foreign diplomat close to the negotiations said it would come only after years of confidence-building. But another diplomat said any nuclear assistance was "explicitly" ruled out during negotiations. "That's not in the agreement, but it's understood," this diplomat insisted.

To many outside Iran, the Oct. 21 declaration read like capitulation. But the agreement actually dovetailed with a quiet trend among Iran's ruling clerics toward seeking ties with the West after more than two decades of international isolation. Driven by social and economic pressures, Iranian diplomats opened negotiations with Europe on human rights and trade. Iran's supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, last year took the dramatic step of inviting foreigners to invest in an economy that is 70 percent controlled by the government.

"Absolutely this was an effort to attract the world," said Taha Hashemi, who edits the moderate conservative Entekhab newspaper and advises Khamenei.

But the shift has come at the expense of hard-liners, who control the most powerful branches of Iran's divided government and have a long history of thwarting approaches to the West, sometimes violently. Concentrated in the Revolutionary Guard and the judiciary, Iran's conservative clerics have defined Iran's foreign policy since the 1979 Islamic revolution, embracing isolation as the natural condition for a theocracy founded in opposition to a meddling West.

Opinion polls indicate, however, that Iranians -- two-thirds of whom are under age 30 -- long ago tired of such rhetoric. Three-quarters of Iranians favor reestablishing ties with Washington, according to the surveys.

"You like Bush?" asked an army guard at the former U.S. embassy in Tehran, now a museum celebrating its 1979 takeover by militant students, who held 52 Americans hostage for more than a year. "I like Bush. He seems like a tough guy."

Support from Iranians hungry for change has put pro-reform clerics in most of the government's elective positions, including the presidency and the majority of legislative seats. But when the state appears to be coming under threat, even reformers inside Iran's government close ranks with the conservatives.

The reflex kicked in this summer following disclosures that Iran had secretly invested $4 billion to $8 billion to build facilities that might produce fissile material for nuclear weapons by four separate paths. As international pressure mounted, defiance dominated the internal debate.

"The hard-line position was that a confrontation is inevitable: 'We're implacably opposed to one another. Better to have it now when we're at full strength rather than in 10 years after being weakened by sanctions,' " said a foreign diplomat in Tehran.

The moderate alternative called for drawing out negotiations with the Europeans for perhaps a month, then walking away. "What is wrong with considering this treaty on nuclear energy and pulling out of it?" Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, chairman of Iran's powerful Guardian Council, asked in late September. "North Korea withdrew."

In coaxing Iran's political establishment toward cooperation, the Europeans made clear that whatever their differences with the Bush administration over Iraq, the West stood united against nuclear proliferation, and if Iran did not come clean it almost certainly would face U.N. sanctions. The message hit home, said one economic analyst, noting that in a country that must produce 800,000 new jobs a year to absorb young workers, "there is absolutely no capacity to bear even a one-month ban on oil exports."

At the same time, the European envoys offered Iran face-saving assurances, including an explicit affirmation of Iran's right to pursue nuclear energy. Although that merely asserted what the Non-Proliferation Treaty grants any signatory, it let the Europeans play good cop to Washington's bad and allowed Iran's government to appear triumphant, at least in the state-controlled media that create much of the context for Iran's insular politics. When Khamenei publicly endorsed the bargain on Nov. 2, he declared that his government had dodged "a conspiracy by the Americans and the Zionists" aimed at isolating Iran.

Demonstrations against the pact immediately stopped. Seyed Ahmad Alavi, an official in the Basiji -- militia forces that pledge fealty to Khamenei -- said that "no Basiji organization will protest now. He is not only the political leader. He is the leader of our souls and our bodies."

But observers warn that the calm may be temporary.

"I'm really afraid of the backlash, because some people are really, really angry right now," said a political analyst who spoke on condition of anonymity. "They didn't want this to happen. The anger is still there. And they would do something -- if not everything -- to sabotage this deal."

Indeed, the hard-line newspaper Jomhouri Eslami advised in a Nov. 8 editorial that the current silence "is an obedient silence."

The editorial argued that Iran has the right to develop nuclear weapons even if religious doctrine prevents their use. It concluded with the ambiguous warning that with "the least indication" from Khamenei, "all these suppressed sentiments would be reflected in the form of a great explosion."

Khamenei "was not totally in favor of the deal that was struck," one diplomat said. "But he invested his own authority in endorsing it publicly."

It was the abruptness of it all that worried one Iranian analyst.

"What is really important is how much help these people get from the outside world, to make the hard-liners embrace this," the analyst said. "The hard-line conservatives were saying the United States is going to come and get us anyway, so just bring it on. Coming back from that brink and making the deal seemed quite extraordinary."
3 posted on 11/20/2003 12:09:27 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Nuclear Board Said to Rebuff Bush Over Iran

NY Times
Published: November 20, 2003

VIENNA, Nov. 19 — The board of the International Atomic Energy Agency appears prepared to approve a resolution on Iran's 18 years of secret work on a nuclear program that will stop short of recommending United Nations Security Council action, a setback to President Bush, senior officials from several countries said here Wednesday.

Only hours after Mr. Bush, in Britain, declared that the agency must hold Iran to its obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, officials here said that the board was likely to adopt a European-sponsored resolution that was being strengthened on Wednesday to include wording that would likely "deplore" Iran's deceptions and declare that they amounted to a "breach" of its obligations.

But Secretary of State Colin L. Powell was unable to persuade more than three of the board's 35 member countries — Canada, Australia and Japan — to vote for a formal censure of Iran. Even the government of Prime Minister Tony Blair, Mr. Bush's host, sided with France and Germany and said that the best way now to deal with Iran is to encourage its sudden conversion to openness.

"What I would like to see is a resolution that strengthens my hand," the director general of the atomic energy agency, Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, said in an interview in his office here on Wednesday, without discussing specifics. Dr. ElBaradei sided with Mr. Powell in urging a strengthening of the language of the proposed resolution but stopped short of recommending any sanction against Iran. Dr. ElBaradei angered Bush administration officials last week when he issued a report that described in great detail Iran's deceptions, including its attempt to use an exotic laser technology to enrich uranium, but concluded there was not sufficient evidence to prove that the country was seeking a nuclear weapon. Mr. Powell said he believed the evidence inevitably led to the conclusion that Iran intended to build a weapon, even if it had not yet succeeded.

"I told him I cannot verify intentions," Dr. ElBaradei said on Wednesday, as representatives of some of the countries on the agency's board met nearby to work out compromise language. The formal session begins on Thursday.

Iran has maintained that its nuclear work has been for peaceful purposes, and President Mohammad Khatami has said the report showed that his nation has complied with the Nonproliferation Treaty.

Turning to Iraq, Dr. ElBaradei said that based on what he has read and heard since Mr. Bush declared in May that major combat operations had ended, American inspectors have been unable to contradict his conclusion before the war that there was no evidence that Iraq had an active nuclear weapons program.

At the time, those statements enraged some hawkish members of the Bush administration, and they directly contradicted statements by President Bush and Vice President Cheney. It was the international atomic agency that first concluded that the evidence Mr. Bush cited in his State of the Union speech in January, saying that Saddam Hussein had tried to obtain nuclear material in Africa, was based on forged documents.

"We were right after all" to declare to the United Nations that the Bush administration was overstating the evidence, Dr. ElBaradei said. "We said there was no evidence, and it turned out to be true."

He said his agency, which has been blocked from returning to Iraq, should be allowed to "go back and finish this," and he added that the United States was spending a billion dollars on a search effort his staff could do more efficiently.

Officials here note that the budget for the international agency's operations to safeguard nuclear programs around the world is about a tenth of what the United States is spending on the search.

The argument over how to handle Iran's nuclear revelations has echoes of the debate in the United Nations earlier this year about confronting Iraq — though in this case, the administration appears to be working toward building diplomatic pressure rather than moving to military action.

The question is whether Iran will open up more fully if it feels the constant pressure of threatened United Nations sanctions or whether that threat would be counterproductive, undercutting the country's recent announcement to freeze the enrichment of uranium and open itself to full inspections.

Mr. Powell has argued that Iran only revealed details of its nuclear program because the pressure on it was overwhelming. Other senior officials around Mr. Bush said that the agency had a statutory responsibility to report breaches of the Nonproliferation Treaty and that failure to go to the Security Council would send a message around the world that there is little penalty for secretly working on nuclear weapons. But the Europeans and Russia and China argued that Iran should not be punished for finally telling some part of the truth.

The first draft of their proposed resolution played down the 18-year-long covert program and congratulated Iran for its recent turnaround. Dr. ElBaradei objected, as did the United States.

But the drafts circulating Wednesday night included stronger proposed language, including a statement that Iran was in "breach of its obligations."

The last time the board referred a country to the Security Council for action was this year, when North Korea threw out the agency's inspectors and announced it would withdraw from the Nonproliferation Treaty and restart the production of bomb-grade plutonium. The Security Council has not acted, keeping the issue in abeyance until the outcome of six-nation talks on the issue scheduled to reconvene in Beijing in December.
4 posted on 11/20/2003 12:15:55 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Canada pressures UN over Iranian human rights

Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - Page A17

Ottawa -- Canada is asking the United Nations to condemn Iran for human-rights abuses, including torture, suppression of news media, imprisonment of political dissidents, and discrimination against women and religious minorities. The Canadian resolution, which could come to a vote at the UN General Assembly in New York later this week, expresses serious concern about how security forces have cracked down against journalists, parliamentarians, students, clerics and academics.

Authorities in the Islamic republic are responsible for a deterioration in the respect for human rights, Canada says, especially freedom of opinion and expression of political views. Normally, such resolutions are introduced, debated and voted upon at the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva during long sessions in the spring. The Canadian approach with this resolution will bring it to a quicker vote.
5 posted on 11/20/2003 12:17:49 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Things are about the heat up in Iran.


I have a feeling that the US and UK efforts against the mullahs of Iran is about to heat up significantly.

Secretary Powell and his DOS are finally speaking much more clearly that we need to act and soon against Iran, if it doesn’t abandon its nuclear ambitions. Iran must back down. But of course they will not. The mullahs of Iran will continue down the path it is on until the EU withdraws its support of Iran. But the EU is trying to maintain its support Iran The EU appears to believe that this support will protect them from terrorist attacks.

But the UK is much more dependent on its relation with the US. I am convinced the Royals invitation of Bush to the UK providing him the honors not given to a US president in nearly a century is due to their conviction that events around the world are about to change. It appears to me an orchestrated effort to win the hearts of Britain and shift the debate around the world. Bush’s three pillars speak is the heart of this and lays the groundwork for action against Iran (and perhaps others).

Why is the Bush administration willing to increase the pressure on Iran, now? I believe that our intelligence fears an attack on the US is imminent. Such an attack is likely to be much more deadly than 911. The connection of Iran and Al Al Qaida is already well established.

I think that if an attack on America or Britain does take place that these two nations will no longer hesitate to launch massive efforts against all those implicated in the attack. The UK and the US have recently charged Iran with preplanning attacks on the US and Britain.

Without an attack on the US or UK, Iran may be safe for the next year, but if we are attacked all bets are off.

2004 may be much more unpredictable than the pundits predict.
6 posted on 11/20/2003 1:05:03 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
7 posted on 11/20/2003 1:50:59 AM PST by windchime
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To: DoctorZIn; McGavin999; freedom44; nuconvert; Eala; AdmSmith; dixiechick2000; onyx; Pro-Bush; ...
ElBaradei says Iran guilty of nuclear ''breaches''

20th of November, 2003

VIENNA, Nov. 20 — The head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog said on Thursday Iran had been in breach of its obligations under the global anti-nuclear weapons pact, but said the U.N. was now conducting tough inspections of Iran.

Speaking to reporters before a key meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) Board of Governors, IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei said he hoped the board would pass a resolution that ''strengthens my hand'' and reacts to the ''the bad news and the good news'' about Iran's atomic programme.
''The bad news is that there have been failures and breaches and the good news is that there is a new chapter in cooperation with Iran,'' he said.
Iran has agreed to sign the Additional Protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which gives the IAEA the right to conduct more intrusive, snap inspections of atomic sites.
Although Tehran has yet to sign the document, ElBaradei said that the IAEA had begun conducting its inspections as if it had been signed and ratified.
''We are acting as if the protocol is in force and we have been getting all the access we need, both to locations and to information,'' he said, adding that there was ''a new spirit'' of cooperation in Tehran.
The IAEA said in a recent report on Iran that over the last two decades Tehran had repeatedly failed to comply with its obligations to keep the U.N. body informed of its nuclear activities. It had -- among other things -- secretly produced plutonium and enriched uranium.
The IAEA's 35-member board is meeting to discuss the report and a draft resolution circulated by France, Germany and Britain accusing Iran of ''failures to meet safeguards obligations,'' a phrasing too mild for both Washington and, diplomats say, ElBaradei.
8 posted on 11/20/2003 2:57:51 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: F14 Pilot
Thanks for the ping!
9 posted on 11/20/2003 8:09:05 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: F14 Pilot
Freedom ~ Now!
10 posted on 11/20/2003 8:18:09 AM PST by blackie
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranians Wary of Program to Build Nukes

November 20, 2003
The Washington Times
Borzou Daragahi

TEHRAN — Just out of jail, a dissident Iranian intellectual has an urgent message for Europeans compromising with Iran on its nuclear ambitions: Don't do it.

"We Iranians see the nuclear program not as a way of ensuring the security or future of our nation, but as insurance to maintain the political power of the clerical government," he said, asking that his name not be used.

"We see the potential for nuclear weapons as weapons against [the people], rather than weapons against other countries."

Iran's nuclear ambitions have come under increased international scrutiny in recent months, with the United States and Europeans both pressuring the country to come clean on its attempts to develop nuclear weapons.

Today, the United Nations' atomic-watchdog agency meets in Vienna, Austria, to discuss Iran's failure to disclose elements of its nuclear program.

Iran insists its program — begun in the 1970s under Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, who was deposed in a 1979 Islamist revolt — is a peaceful one. It recently admitted, however, that it had enriched small quantities of uranium, a step toward developing nuclear weapons.

The nation of 70 million remains far from united about the prospect of obtaining nuclear power, much less the nuclear weapons prohibited under international agreements.

Even within Iran's fractious government — where a weak, reform-minded elected body led by President Mohammed Khatami is overwhelmed by hard-line clerics who control the judiciary, intelligence and military branches — a classic guns-vs.-butter debate has raged.

"On the one hand, some were saying, 'No way. We won't accept these conditions and will continue our efforts at nuclear development,' " said Muhammad Reza Dehshiri, a professor of international relations in Tehran.

"On the other hand, there were others who were saying it's better to concentrate on ameliorating living conditions of ordinary Iranians instead of spending the public budget on nuclear development. The latter group won the debate."

Among Iranians, too, there remain differences of opinion. Some, such as the dissident intellectual, see Iran's nuclear ambitions as an effort to gain international legitimacy.
11 posted on 11/20/2003 8:23:32 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
EU Should Get Tougher with Iran, Sharon Says

November 20, 2003

ROME -- Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said in an interview published on Thursday Iran poses a major threat to peace and that he has urged the European Union to be tougher over Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

Sharon said he had asked Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to take the lead in hardening the EU position during a three-day visit to Rome that ended on Wednesday.

''I spoke at length with Berlusconi about the danger posed by's the number one danger,'' Sharon told Corriere della Sera newspaper.

''I hope that (Italy) keeps Iran in very close check because it seems to me that the EU position has been lightweight up until now,'' he said.

France, Germany and Britain have come under attack this week from the United States for a draft document the three countries have drawn up on Iran's 18-year concealment of atomic research.

Washington believes the draft does not go far enough in criticising Iran and wants the European heavyweights to acknowledge formally that Iran violated a global pact on atomic weapons.

Iran denies its nuclear programme is designed to make atomic weapons. It says its nuclear policy is peaceful and devoted to generating power.

Sharon said Iran had not hidden its desire to destroy Israel and Jews. ''What no one says is that if Iran possesses nuclear weapons they will be able to threaten not only us but the whole region,'' he added.

He went on to say that Italy was Israel's closest ally in Europe and praised the Italian presidency of the European Union.

''Let me say that the EU Italian presidency is the best one there has ever been,'' he said. ''Israel's best friends are the United States and Italy.''

Italy has traditionally been seen as having close ties with Arab states and Iran but under Berlusconi's leadership over the past two years the emphasis has shifted to giving more vocal support to Israel.
12 posted on 11/20/2003 8:24:26 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Jordan FM to Visit Iran with Message from King

November 19, 2003

AMMAN -- Jordanian Foreign Minister Marwan Moasher will travel to Iran early next week to deliver a letter from King Abdullah II to Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, official Petra news agency reported Wednesday.

Petra did not give the exact date of the visit or specify the content of the message but said that during the visit Moasher will meet Iranian officials to discuss regional developments and issues of concern for the two countries.

In September, Abdullah was the first Jordanian monarch in 25 years to visit Iran in what was seen by both countries as an "important" step in improving bilateral relations.

Talks during that visit focussed on the Palestinian conflict with Israel and the future of war-battered Iraq.

Diplomatic relations were restored between Amman and Tehran in 1991 after a 10-year break, during which Iran criticised Abdullah's father, the late King Hussein, for supporting Baghdad in the 1980-1988 Iraq-Iraq war.
13 posted on 11/20/2003 8:25:40 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
US Administration Acknowledges Iraq Gesture to Iran

November 20, 2003
The Associated Press
Barry Schweid

WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration confirmed on Wednesday that Iraq has made overtures to Iran and said it was up to Baghdad to work out its relations with its neighbors.

A senior administration official said Jalal Talabani, the interim president of the Iraqi Governing Council, signed several documents of mutual understanding during a visit Tuesday to Tehran.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Iraqi government had to work out its relations with countries in the region.

The U.S.-led Coalition for Provisional Authority, which is headed by L. Paul Bremer III, appointed the Iraqi council to help arrange transition to Iraqi self-rule.

The Bush administration has since reached agreement with the council to accelerate the transition and an end to the U.S. occupation by next June.

During a visit by Talabani to Turkey on Wednesday, a spokesman for the interim president's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, Adel Murad, said Iran was the first country other than the United States to recognize the council.

"They helped us to control the area and they closed the border," stopping infiltration into the Kurdistan region, he said.

Last month, Murad said, council aides went to Tehran for preliminary talks.

Secretary of State Colin Powell (news - web sites), meanwhile, dismissed a call by France for an end to the transition within six weeks.

"We would like to do it as soon as possible," Powell told France TV3. "But it has to be done in a realistic way and it has to be sovereignty that is given to a group of leaders, effective, prominent leaders, who enjoy solid legitimacy with the people."

Powell said "there really is not yet a government that enjoys legitimacy of the people to which one would turn authority over to."
14 posted on 11/20/2003 8:26:33 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
UN Identifies Iran's Nuke Suppliers

November 20, 2003
SKY News
Headline News

The UN's nuclear watchdog has identified Russia, China and Pakistan as probable suppliers of some of the technology Iran used as part of its nuclear programs.

Iran has said it cannot identify the countries of origin because it bought the centrifuges and laser enrichment equipment through third parties.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) needs to establish where the equipment came from, however, to be able to verify whether Iran is telling the truth about the source of the traces or whether it enriched uranium to nuclear weapons levels domestically.

Reacting to earlier reports linking it to Iran's enrichment program, Pakistan has denied all involvement.

IAEA Director General Mohamed El Baradei has said that five countries and companies in Asia and Europe are the source of the enrichment equipment.

The revelations came amid intense discussions by the IAEA on a "quite strong" resolution on Iran's past covert nuclear activities that also acknowledges its recent co-operation, said El Baradei.

Iran has begun co-operating with international authorities after increasing pressure to open up its domestic nuclear programme.,,30200-12931124,00.html
15 posted on 11/20/2003 8:27:28 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Sensing Shiites Will Rule Iraq, U.S. Starts to See Friends, Not Foes

November 20, 2003
The New York Times
Steven Weisman

WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration, which was wary earlier this year of installing a government dominated by Shiites in Iraq, has concluded that such a development is virtually inevitable and not necessarily harmful to American interests, administration officials said Wednesday.

The officials said that fears of an Iranian-style . and Iranian-influenced . theocracy in Baghdad have faded because it has become clear that Iraq's Shiite population is not a monolithic bloc and not necessarily dominated by Tehran.

"Our basic position is that as we get to know more of Iraqi society, we're more comfortable with a democratic process, and if that emerges with a predominant Shiite role, so be it," said an administration official. "There's been a steady education process here."

Still, American officials are taking steps to ensure that when a Shiite-dominated government is installed next year, as most expect, religious freedom and minority rights are respected and Iraq's neighbors are reassured that the first Shiite-governed Arab country does not pose a threat to them.

The shift in the administration's thinking laid the groundwork for the decision announced last week to accelerate the timetable for self-government in Iraq, administration officials say.

Administration officials acknowledge that elections or local meetings held to choose an interim government next year are likely to be dominated by Shiites, who represent a majority of Iraq's population and who are better organized to win.

And while administration officials believe such a government will seek to be independent of Iran's religious influence, some experts on Iran and the Middle East caution that even the more secular of Shiites will also come under at least some influence of religious leaders in Iraq, and perhaps even in Iran.

"It is true that the Shiites are not monolithic," said Flynt Leverett, a former director of Middle East affairs at the National Security Council under President Bush. "It's also true that most Iraqi Shias do not want to see an Iranian style rule brought into post-Saddam Iraq."

But Mr. Leverett cautioned that most Iraqi Shiites also "want to see a system in which Islam has an official standing, and in which Islamic law is recognized as an important foundation for society."

This fact, he said, could create problems for the Bush administration as it plans for a government that respects religious diversity and the rights of minority groups and separates religion and state. Mr. Leverett is now a visiting fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution.

Half the Iraqi Governing Council's 24 members are Shiites. The number was 13 out of 25, a bare majority, until the assassination of one member earlier this year. But Bush administration officials note that the Shiite members range widely in ideology: some are clerics, some are not, and there is also at least one Communist.

The Bush administration first prepared for the likelihood of a Shiite government by insisting that the Iraqis write a constitution enshrining certain minority rights before an Iraqi government was installed. But that process looked like it was going to take a year or two.

Because of the worsening security situation, the administration speeded up that timetable last week. Now the administration wants the establishment of what it calls a "fundamental law" . in effect, an interim constitution . before an interim government is chosen next year.

That law is to be developed in "close consultation" with the American-led occupation authority's in Baghdad, according to a document on its Web site.

American officials say that the main fear concerning a Shiite government in Iraq is more external than internal. Some of Iraq's neighbors . Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Gulf states . are said to be worried that a new Shiite-ruled nation in their midst might inflame their own restive Shiite populations.

If that came to pass, some Arab diplomats say, neighboring countries might end up encouraging the Sunni minority in Iraq to rebel against the government in Baghdad . as some Sunnis are already doing.

Another possibility, some in the administration say, is that Iraq could evolve toward a political compromise forged by the exile Ahmad Chalabi . a secular Shiite. Mr. Chalabi might manage to stitch together pro-Iranian groups, Kurds and others into a government.

A top administration official predicted recently that in that event, Mr. Chalabi . who set up an office for his opposition group in Tehran before the American invasion of Iraq . could become the first Iraqi prime minister.

The fear among American policy makers has long been that Iran would exercise too much influence over Shiites in Iraq. The best-known Shiite groups opposing Mr. Hussein, officials note, had links to Iranian intelligence services.

Now, however, American officials say that Iran might see a Shiite-dominated government in Baghdad more as a rival than an ally. Iraq has many centers of Shiite study, like Najaf, that could easily pose a threat to Iran's centers, including the city of Qum.

"We see the religious rivalry playing itself out," said an administration official. "Some of us call this the coming Najaf-Qum rivalry."
16 posted on 11/20/2003 8:29:50 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Movement's call for boycott of anti-Semite "Ghods Day" rallies well perceived

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Nov 20, 2003

The Movement call for a massive boycott of the governmental anti-Semite rallies of "Ghods Day" has been well perceived by many in Iran. The SMCCDI's call which was part of a statement condemning last week's bombings in Istanbul and accusing the Islamic regime of sponsorship and promotion of Islamist Terrorism was issued on Monday and broadcasted by several abroad based sources, such as the famous Azadi and NITV Satellite Networks.

The mouvement requested as well the official ban, by major European countries, of such rallies planned to be held in their capitals. The request was made as a symbolic gesture and despite knowing the countries, such as Germany or France, are following a dual policy and will not interfere in the organization of such Hate Actions by groups funded by the Iranian clerics. An official meeting was held, yesterday, in Berlin where the Movement's request for ban along with the condemnation, by several right groups, of German authorities silence were discussed.

The Berlin's Mayor pressured by a growing anti hate opinion has only promised " to ask from the organizers to avoid shouting hate slogans".

In Iran, most nationals have planned to stay home, tomorrow, and far from the governmental rallies where the same load of usual "professional" demonstrators and forced school students and gvernmental employees will be brought to the scenes of this "show of force" by the Islamic regime.

It's to note that as the Movement's stated in its analysis, the Istanbul bombings against Jewish centers happened just the day after that the regime's Supreme Leader pointed to the dangers threatening the Iranian theocracy and requested actions and a massive participation in "Ghods Rallies" .

The "Ghods Day" was instated, in 1979, by Rouh-ollah Khomeini who made of Israel the first target of his regime. "Ghods" means "Jerusalem" in Arabic language.

The Movement's call was issued in Persian and translated in several languages, such as, English, French and German and was mass e.mailed while being posted on this website.
17 posted on 11/20/2003 8:31:16 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
US, allies seek to close divide on Iran
Powell urges hard line while Europe strikes softer note
By Brian Whitmore, Globe Correspondent, 11/20/2003

VIENNA -- Diplomats convening today to address Iran's alleged weapons program worked late into last night in an effort to mend a growing rift between the United States and key European allies over how hard a line to take with Tehran.

The Bush administration has accused Iran of using its civilian nuclear power program to covertly produce plutonium and enriched uranium, which could be used in nuclear bombs. It had been pushing for the International Atomic Energy Agency to declare Tehran in violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and to bring the issue before the UN Security Council, which could impose sanctions.

"America believes the IAEA must be true to its purpose and hold Iran to its obligations," President Bush said in a speech in London yesterday.

Britain, Germany, and France are pushing a softer line and have circulated a draft resolution on Iran that the United States views as inadequate. The European nations argue that despite past concealments of nuclear activities, Iran has recently come clean and agreed to comprehensive inspections.

Punishing Iran when it is beginning to cooperate, they say, could prompt Tehran to cease its new openness, possibly withdraw from the Nonproliferation Treaty, and spark an international crisis.

Faced with an impasse as the IAEA's 35-member board of governors begins meetings in Vienna today, Germany, Britain, and France are working to insert language into the draft resolution "that would be more acceptable to the United States," Western diplomats close to the talks said last night.

Some diplomats said a possible compromise would formally forgo reporting Iran to the Security Council and pushing for sanctions, but would seek tougher language in the draft condemning Tehran's past concealment of its nuclear activities and saying that Iran had "breached" the Nonproliferation Treaty.

A US official who spoke on the condition of anonymity described the situation as "very fluid" and would not comment on the details of a potential compromise.

How the issue is resolved, diplomats close to the talks say, could set an important precedent for how to combat proliferation amid mounting fears that nuclear weapons could spread to terrorists and to states that support them.

The trans-Atlantic rift broke into the open in Brussels earlier this week when Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and European foreign ministers failed to agree on a common approach to Iran's alleged nuclear program. Powell expressed concern that the draft resolution prepared by Britain, Germany, and France fell short of declaring Iran to be in violation of the Nonproliferation Treaty.

"We had some reservations . . . about whether the resolution is strong enough to convey to the world the difficulties that we have had with Iran over the years," Powell said Tuesday.

The draft focused on Iran's efforts to cooperate with the international community in the past few weeks, including the voluntary suspension of uranium enrichment and agreement to allow tougher inspections by the IAEA. Critics say it minimizes nearly two decades of covert possession and potential production of plutonium and enriched uranium.

Some countries on the IAEA board, including Canada, Australia, and Japan, support the US approach. But the majority, including Russia and China, appear to back the Europeans, diplomats said. Russia's foreign minister, Igor Ivanov, told CNN yesterday that he saw "no grounds for imposing sanctions against Iran."

In a classified Nov. 10 IAEA report, the agency's director, Mohamed ElBaradei, detailed 18 years of Iranian nuclear violations, including the failure to report plutonium production and uranium enrichment. But he said there was no evidence that Tehran was trying to build a bomb. "In the past, Iran has concealed many aspects of its nuclear activities, with resultant breaches of its obligations," said the report, which was made available to the Globe. It added, however, "There is no evidence that the previously undeclared nuclear material and activities . . . were related to a nuclear weapons program."

Signatories to the Nonproliferation Treaty may enrich uranium, but must report such activity to the IAEA. The IAEA report also said that "Iran's policy of concealment continued until last month" and that cooperation had been "limited and restrictive." But in recent weeks, Tehran had "shown active cooperation and openness."

On Oct. 21, the foreign ministers of Germany, France, and Britain won key concessions from Iran, including an agreement to voluntarily suspend uranium enrichment and to allow the more stringent inspections.

But Hassan Rohani, the head of Iran's powerful Supreme National Security Council, warned yesterday that Iran would not tolerate any resolution legally requiring it to cease enriching uranium.

"Any sentence in the resolution that turns our voluntary suspension into a legal commitment will be unacceptable for us," Iran's official IRNA news agency quoted him as saying.

Material from Reuters and the Associated Press was included in this report.
18 posted on 11/20/2003 8:39:32 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife ("Your joy is your sorrow unmasked." --- GIBRAN)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
Thursday, November 20, 2003.

An 18-hour ride along Iran's rocky road reveals nation in transition

By Steve Coll; Reuters
The Washington Post

BISTOUN, Iran — Among the least of its many problems, Iran's isolated and bloated bureaucracy struggles with English spelling. A battered tourist sign declares, "Historical Remainds of Bistoun," and sure enough, around the side of a cliff looms an ancient bas-relief, a chiseled king whose hand stretches to the divine while his foot grinds the neck of a prostrate rebel. Several well-dressed Iranian travelers stare up at this tableau.

Their talk turns easily to politics and war.

"Iranians — especially young people — have a strong feeling. They think maybe America will help them change the system," offers Ayoub Adeli, an engineering manager from Tehran. But he doubts this will occur; perhaps there has been enough upheaval already. "I think everything will happen from within Iran, inside the system."

Overweight trucks honk and belch below on the highway from Baghdad to Tehran. A hundred miles to the west lies Iraq, a country in ferment because the state has been overthrown. To the northeast lies the seat of an Iranian government no less in ferment over how to retain its grip.

An 18-hour drive from Baghdad to Tehran is a ride among people in flux, some lifted by hope and faith, some cowed by threats.

Nahid is the youngest traveler among us. Thirty-one and unemployed, she says she seethes at the Iranian mullahs who shadow her ambitions, dictating about lipstick, jobs and television channels.

To one side of the highway's gated border, American military commanders seek amid rising violence to re-create Iraq as a democracy from the top down. Across a sparse frontier, a season of debate grips Iran: How should the country manage its estrangement from the United States? How should it reply to encroaching U.S. power and ideas?

A mass of motion

Along the highway between, thousands of people have been set newly in motion. Devout Iranian pilgrims and clerics trek to Iraqi Shiite shrines previously beyond reach. Displaced Kurds flood into the borderlands to reclaim lost property. Traders, smugglers, political agents and tribal chieftains slide back and forth in search of money and influence.

Out of Baghdad, the road unfurls at dawn across a half-lit sandy plain dotted with date palms. Dented Datsun and Toyota mini-pickups zip and weave in a high-speed ballet of near-miss. Some haul single cows strapped precariously in their tiny beds. Others carry chador-clad female field hands collected at roadside day-labor markets.

Behind lies the sprawling Iraqi capital, its occupied center sprouting with razor wire and crossed by protective blast walls. Ahead lies fertile Diyala province, a Sunni Arab flatland long favored by former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's patronage machine. The highway is wide and smooth here. Electric lines crisscross walled villages.

Eighty miles from Baghdad, beyond the last U.S. checkpoint, beyond the last convoys of gun-swinging Bradley armored personnel carriers, the road rises toward Iran across an arid dunescape.

The Kurds step in

The U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority has recently deployed an Iraqi border force here to check for possible terrorist infiltrators from Iran. The force includes scores of Kurds recruited from friendly U.S.-allied militias to the north. Their new Nissan double-cab trucks are stenciled "Border Patrol" in freshly painted English.

In hastily erected shacks along the road they control sit the beneficiaries of their nascent regime: Kurdish farmers who have left impoverished villages for new lives as highway shopkeepers, hoping to sell candy bars and cans of warm Pepsi to recent busloads of Shiite pilgrims rolling from Iran.

The bare hills are strewn with detritus from the long, decimating stalemate of the 1980s Iran-Iraq war. Berms and mounds from abandoned Iraqi gun emplacements stretch to the horizon, as if this were a vast suburb of prairie dogs. For two decades it was nearly impossible for ordinary Iraqis to travel to Iran, or even to approach the border. It was equally difficult for Iranians to reach Iraq.

From the late 1990s, Saddam authorized a few controlled bus tours for Iranian pilgrims to visit the holy Shiite cities of Najaf and Karbala, but mainly he managed the area as a vast security zone, enforced by interlocking networks of Iraqi militia and local informers. Now Kurdish return, Shiite revival and the retreat of Saddam's forces define the region.

Besides the 2,000 approved Iranian pilgrims who pour through the area's sole official border checkpoint each week, thousands more are crossing to Iraq illegally on foot. At least 200 have been killed by land mines or died of exposure along these pathways since the summer, the Tehran Times has reported.

Through the door

A black steel gate divides Iraq from the Iranian border village of Khosravi. At 10:30 a.m., a long line of anxious Iranian pilgrims snakes behind it — young families toting Nike duffels, old women shuffling in pairs, turbaned religious scholars in dry-cleaned robes barking on cellphones. They press toward the narrow door into Iraq. Kurdish border guards call names from a clipboard and wave the chosen toward a row of Hyundai buses bound for Najaf.

"Amer-I-kee good," the Iranian gatekeeper finally announces after two hours, and through the gate we squeeze, across to a cavernous, airport-style terminal where polite policemen dip each of my 10 fingers into thick black ink and rub the fingerprints — twice — onto colonial-style registries.

Iranian security forces run checkpoints and drive in mobile patrols to enforce a 12-mile exclusion zone running east, off-limits to the general public.

Memorials to the 1980s war with Iraq festoon Iran's border provinces. Billboards on the outskirts of every small town depict the painted faces of young war dead. Whitewashed graves and battered tanks hoisted onto concrete pedestals are still freshly dabbed in revolutionary slogans: "Death to the Traitors," or "Martyrs Are the Heart of History."

Yet the vernacular of Islamic revolutionary nationalism holds little appeal to many younger Iranians. Along the highway — and hundreds of miles from the elite, international neighborhoods of Tehran — they talk instead of jobs, fashion, romantic relationships and the attractions of a more tolerant Islam.

Iran's clerics now run the country mainly to take care of their own, complains Reza, a clean-shaven security guard who works in the southwest mountains. "Those mullahs have sunk some roots with the majority of the people," he says. "They give them jobs, privileges, houses." He and his friends support the urban university students who have tried off and on since 1999 to demonstrate for political change in Iran, but who more recently have been subdued by mass arrests.

Reza doubts the students can succeed. The rural poor in his area who depend on government handouts "think that if the mullahs go away, they will lose everything. And the rest of the country is so poor they can't think about this kind of thing. It's hard just to take care of a family."

An arc of frustrations

Later on the road, Nahid, the unemployed young woman, traces the arc of her frustrations. She earned a college degree in Persian literature, then was rejected for a high-school teaching job because the mullahs in her provincial city said she was on a list of girls who wore too much makeup on campus. She remembers the exact words the Islamic official spoke when he rejected her: "We don't need people like you." She had gone to the job interview with her mother, who scolded her afterward for bringing this on herself.

"You feel sinful," Nahid says. "I think they want to give you this feeling." In early afternoon, she invites me to her family's small apartment to break my drive. It is clean but modest, three or four rooms lit with a fluorescent bulb. Government TV news plays on a small set in the corner.

Nahid's family wants their landlord to get a satellite dish that can pick up international channels. The dishes are in bloom across Iran, illegal on paper but lately tolerated by the government, part of a modest loosening of social rules in response to the student protests.

The government anchors talk over footage from CNN depicting violence in Iraq, then air sound bites from Democratic candidates in the United States, who criticize the Bush administration's policies.

"I think the majority of the young are like me," Nahid says, meaning they are fed up with their government. "Yet we have no good opinion about this situation in Iraq. Maybe before, we thought it would be good to have the United States come in. But now, we look at these pictures from Iraq, and it looks terrible. So we think, maybe it is just better to be patient and hope for change from within — or tolerate the system we have.

"All of our lives have been spent in wars, revolution, changes. When you think about this, you prefer silence."

Sixty miles short of Tehran, sputtering in the darkness, my boxy Iranian car-for-hire runs low on gas. The first station the driver tries is closed. Then the second. In a panic he pulls down the highway to a third. We are on a six-lane superhighway in the heart of urban Iran, northwest of Karaj, and still there is no gas. Truckers and tourists have clustered at the shuttered station, desperate. A policeman turns up and is set upon by the drivers. There is no gas between here and Tehran, he announces.

Maybe, just maybe, he confides, if you drive back three miles in the opposite direction, off the highway in a small town, you might find one station with some gas left. An angry convoy sets forth across dusty lanes, down through a culvert, twisting and turning off-road, trying to find the village. There it is: a huge pileup of vehicles, more than a hundred idling in line before the pump islands and jockeying for position like demolition-derby drivers.

Oil-exporting Iran is a gasoline importer. Its price subsidies (25 cents a gallon at the pump) are designed to quell popular discontent, but they encourage overconsumption and mass smuggling. Its refining capacity is inadequate to meet demand, battered by war and crimped by closed-market policies.

The great majority of Iran's economy is state-run, unable to create jobs for its swelling population. There is no consensus within the government about what to do.

It is nearly midnight when the lights of the capital at last appear, sparkling across a vast valley.

Show and tell

The next morning Tehran celebrates the 24th anniversary of the seizure of the U.S. Embassy by militant students on Nov. 4, 1979. "Death to America," echo the familiar megaphone chants. Amid the modest crowd of bused-in demonstrators outside the former embassy — mainly young students joyous to be free from a day of classes — it all feels a bit phoned-in. The chanting is dim and desultory. A press badge identifies me in Persian as an American. Protesters read the badge and laugh, then pose for snapshots.

A few blocks away the real student radicals live behind university campus gates guarded by crisply dressed plainclothes police. The press badge does not impress the cops: no entry.

A passing student carries a message to the local chapter of the Office for Fostering Unity, one of the most radical of the splintered movements. Ten minutes later Sadjad Ghoroghi, 23, a marine engineering major, saunters through the gates and leads the way to a private office nearby.

He and a colleague lay out their platform: "completely confronting the system in certain areas," as Ghoroghi puts it. They seek by nonviolent means a full electoral democracy in Iran, separation of religion and politics, respect for human rights and a free-market economy. Many of their members have been charged with political crimes or jailed, some beaten or tortured, Ghoroghi says.

One of his colleagues, Mehdi Habibi, is appearing in court across town on this day. He and 10 colleagues at universities across Iran wrote a letter to the United Nations outlining their government's systematic human-rights violations and demanding international help. After the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, they issued a statement declaring that outside force was sometimes necessary to overthrow dictatorship.

Last June, thousands of students took to the streets in protest against government policies. But the numbers did not shake the system, and many were later arrested. The demonstrations have waned. Some Iranians say that by loosening social rules and cracking down on student leaders, the clerics are gaining the upper hand.

Ghoroghi sees the religious establishment he opposes as increasingly pragmatic. "They will bow to changes and developments — they're not like the Taliban," he says. "These people are political. They want to stay in power." Yet there are hard-core militants in the security services and Islamic societies who gird the establishment, he says, "people with whom you can never hold a dialogue."

As for the Americans and their program of regional change, he says the future of the Iranian student movement may be dependent on the course of the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

Many Iranian students remain inspired by U.S. and European ideas. Yet the impact of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq "very much depends on how well the United States will be able to establish a democratic system in Iraq and be responsive to the demands of the Iraqi people," he says.

"If the U.S. fails in Iraq, it may change the attitudes of the Iranian populace."

Refugees cross border

TEHRAN, Iran — A small convoy of refugees crossed into Iraq from Iran yesterday to test the route for repatriating about 200,000 people, a U.N. spokesman said.

The pilot convoy of 69 people traveled from a camp near the southwest Iranian city of Ahvaz to return to the area around the southern Iraqi city of Basra.

Many southern Iraqi Shiite Muslims fled Saddam Hussein's crackdown on an uprising after the 1991 Gulf War. This was the first official return of refugees to Iraq from the Islamic republic since this year's U.S.-led war to oust Saddam.

The United Nations had hoped to repatriate 70,000 to 80,000 refugees by the end of the year, but the program was frozen because of the bombing of the U.N. office in Baghdad and other security fears.
19 posted on 11/20/2003 9:09:41 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife ("Your joy is your sorrow unmasked." --- GIBRAN)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
Democracy in Iraq depends on Iran

By Alireza Jafarzadeh 20/11/2003

The recent wave of attacks in Iraq, including the deadly bombing in Nasiriyah, 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 recognise 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?

On August 24, the top US administrator in Iraq, L. Paul Bremer III, told CNN: "The Iranian Revolutionary Guards are present in Iraq, the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence is present here and we think that Iraqis do not appreciate interference in their affairs." A month later, he said, "Iranian intelligence agents have been aiding groups that have carried out violent attacks in different parts of 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. The weapons were smuggled in trucks carrying fruit and vegetables, buses and utility vehicles to evade border inspections.

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.

"Najaf residents talk of Iranians who take up long stays in the city's hotels," the Reuters news agency reported September 7. "They suspect they are secret-service agents sent to keep a close eye on developments on the ground." Even in Baghdad, a majority of the government agencies are run by Shiites, many loyal to Tehran, sources within Iranian agencies dealing with Iraqi affairs said.

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 August meeting, the Al Quds Force commander, Brigadier-General Qassem Soleimani, said that more instability, insecurity and US casualties would benefit the Iranian regime.

The force also set up medical centres 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.

Bremer told a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing in September that 62 captured Iranians were the second-largest group of detained saboteurs. "Elements of the Iranian government are causing mischief in Iraq, interfering in affairs through their intelligence services and through the Revolutionary Guards. This is not helpful."

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' post-war intervention in Iraq.

Accommodating them now would be a recipe for disaster, for it 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.

Jafarzadeh heads a consulting company in Washington and is a longtime commentator on Iranian affairs

20 posted on 11/20/2003 9:14:12 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife ("Your joy is your sorrow unmasked." --- GIBRAN)
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
Ping to 20.
21 posted on 11/20/2003 9:15:36 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife ("Your joy is your sorrow unmasked." --- GIBRAN)
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To: F14 Pilot; DoctorZIn; nuconvert; Pan_Yans Wife
22 posted on 11/20/2003 12:14:59 PM PST by downer911
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To: DoctorZIn
Europe and U.S. near deal on Iran resolution

Thu 20 November, 2003 18:29
By Louis Charbonneau

VIENNA (Reuters) - European and U.S. diplomats are inching closer to an agreement on a draft U.N. nuclear resolution that would condemn Tehran's 18-year cover-up of the full extent of its atomic programme, diplomats say.

Members of the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) Board of Governors have been meeting behind closed doors on Thursday to find a compromise and one Western diplomat told Reuters Europe and Washington were now "closer to an agreement"

The resolution could possibly be put to the board on Friday, the diplomat said.

France, Germany and Britain first proposed chiding Iran for "failures to meet safeguards obligations", a phrasing too mild for the United States. They also did not call for reporting Iran to the U.N. Security Council, as U.S. officials had wanted.

Under pressure from Washington, which accuses Iran of developing atomic weapons, IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei and the eight other present and future EU countries on the board, Europe's "big three" circulated a revised draft resolution, seen by Reuters, that "strongly deplores Iran's past breaches".

This was closer to Washington's thinking, but not close enough.

Diplomats said U.S. negotiators had agreed to forgo reporting Iran to the Security Council, which could impose sanctions, but still insist Iran be declared in "non-compliance" with international non-proliferation obligations.

"We are considering an implicit reference to non-compliance, perhaps something like 'we hope Iran will be in compliance in the future', but we don't know if the Americans will accept that," a diplomat close to the negotiations told Reuters.

But Iran's ambassador to the IEAE, Ali Akbar Salehi, told Reuters any reference to non-compliance in an IAEA resolution would be "unacceptable to Iran".

The United States also wanted the resolution to include a "trigger mechanism" in the event of further breaches by Iran.

A trigger is in the revised draft -- a clause calling for the board to meet and decide on "measures to be taken" in the event that further breaches are uncovered, though it was unclear if this was satisfactory to U.S. negotiators.

In Tehran, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi told reporters the United States was now trying to exert the maximum influence on the resolution.

"They are looking for excuses to send Iran's case to the Security Council but initiatives from us and the Europeans remove the excuses," he said.


ElBaradei appeared to back U.S. reservations about the original European draft resolution and called on the board to approve a text that both "strengthens my hand" and reacts to the "the bad news and the good news" about Iran's atomic activities.

Iran denies having a secret atomic weapons programme and says it only wants nuclear power to generate electricity.

But in a new report on Iran, the IAEA said over the last two decades Tehran had failed to comply with obligations under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) by -- among other things -- secretly producing plutonium and enriching uranium.

While ElBaradei's report said there was no clear evidence to support U.S. allegations that Iran had a secret atomic weapons programme, he said the jury was still out on whether Tehran's nuclear ambitions were entirely peaceful as it insists.

Iran recently agreed to sign an Additional Protocol to the NPT, which gives the IAEA the right to conduct more intrusive, snap inspections of atomic sites.

Although Tehran has yet to sign the document, ElBaradei said the IAEA was working as if it had been signed and ratified.

Former U.N. weapons inspector David Albright, now head of the Institute for Science and International Security, a U.S.-based think-tank, told Reuters there would probably be more revelations about Iran's nuclear secrets in the coming months.

"It's hard to believe they didn't have a weapons programme at some point," Albright said. "Why else would you start an enrichment programme in the middle of an Iran-Iraq war?"

(Additional reporting by Tehran bureau and Francois Murphy in Vienna).
23 posted on 11/20/2003 12:18:55 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Resolution Presses Bush on Iran

November 20, 2003

A bipartisan resolution circulating in both houses of Congress calls on President Bush to “use all appropriate means to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.”

The resolution, which is unlikely to be heard until next year, recommends diplomatic pressure on European countries and Russia to cut ties with Iran should the Islamic republic fail to prove that it isn’t developing nuclear weapons.

The House resolution has been circulating since October, and the Senate resolution — led by California Democrat Dianne Feinstein — was launched last week.
24 posted on 11/20/2003 12:20:02 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
25 posted on 11/20/2003 12:22:39 PM PST by Pan_Yans Wife ("Your joy is your sorrow unmasked." --- GIBRAN)
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To: F14 Pilot; nuconvert
Europe, leave Iranian people alone ~!
26 posted on 11/20/2003 1:33:48 PM PST by downer911
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To: F14 Pilot
The IAEA's 35-member board is meeting to discuss the report and a draft resolution circulated by France, Germany and Britain accusing Iran of ''failures to meet safeguards obligations,'' a phrasing too mild for both Washington and, diplomats say, ElBaradei.

As though France, Germany and Britain chastised Hitler for not having his gas chambers and ovens up to code.

The point, he explained, is they're not supposed to have any enriched material.

27 posted on 11/20/2003 3:30:52 PM PST by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran May be Censured for Nuclear Activity

November 20, 2003
The Associated Press
USA Today

VIENNA, Austria -- Seeking to avoid a rift with the United States, European nations discussed increasing censure of Iran over its past covert nuclear activities as they prepared for a key meeting of the U.N. atomic agency.

The United States had hoped that the 35-nation board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency would find Tehran in noncompliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty at its meeting, which opens Thursday.

It rejected a proposed West European draft resolution that would urge Iran to continue cooperation with the agency but refrain from harshly condemning it for concealing parts of its nuclear program, saying it was prepared to opt for no resolution rather than a toothless one.

IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei also was unhappy with the lack of stronger language in the European proposal, a diplomat familiar with his thinking said. Drawn up by France, Germany and one of Washington's closest allies, Britain, the rough draft minimized nearly two decades of covert nuclear programs that the U.S. administration says point to an effort to develop nuclear weapons.

Instead, it focused on positive steps taken by Iran over the past few weeks to deflect international suspicions, including suspending uranium enrichment and agreeing to inspections on demand by IAEA inspectors.

Hopes for compromise grew after 25 European nations — The 15-member European Union and 10 others set to join next year — met late into Wednesday night in an attempt to minimize differences with the "group of four" — the United States, Canada, Australia and Japan.

A senior diplomat, who reported on the meeting on condition of anonymity, said the main point of discussion was "how to deal with Iran's past nuclear activities."

Whereas the initial West European wording chastised Iran for "failure to fulfill its obligations," there was discussion at the late Wednesday meeting of stronger language — either including past "noncompliance" of IAEA agreements on the part of Iran, or finding it in "breach of its obligations."

Both would be more acceptable to the United States and its allies, said the diplomat. He said the proposed language would likely be discussed between Prime Minister Tony Blair and President Bush as well as between Secretary of State Colin Powell and German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer,

The three West European sponsors of the draft "want to see continued cooperation and transparency from Iran," said another senior Western diplomat.

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 immediately open its nuclear programs to pervasive inspections even before the agreement is ratified.

It would also ask Iran to maintain its commitment to suspending uranium enrichment — one of the activities that raised suspicions when discovered early this year.

While the Americans have no dispute with those demands, they were dismayed that the initial proposed draft glossed over activities such as uranium enrichment and experimental plutonium processing that they say violate the Nonproliferation Treaty, the diplomats said.

But IAEA director general ElBaradei also sought a tougher stance. He took the Iranians to task for effective breaches of the Nonproliferation Treaty in a report that also, however, concluded that there was no proof Iran had a weapons agenda.

ElBaradei wants "a strongly worded report" that stops short of asking for Security Council involvement, a step that could lead to sanctions against Iran, one diplomat said.

The West Europeans fear too much pressure would turn Iran from cooperation to confrontation and hope to help Iran with its peaceful nuclear programs. But several diplomats suggested the dispute also reflected West European independence similar to that shown by the French-German attempt to scuttle the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

Washington was particularly dismayed that Britain, 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 one.
28 posted on 11/20/2003 8:51:14 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
US Rejects European Compromise on Iran Resolution

November 20, 2003
Louis Charbonneau

VIENNA -- France, Britain and Germany revised a draft U.N. nuclear resolution on Thursday in a bid to satisfy U.S. demands that the U.N. strongly condemn Iran, but it was not critical enough of Tehran for Washington's hard-liners.

Members of the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) Board of Governors have been meeting behind closed doors to find a compromise on a resolution condemning Iran's 18-year concealment of the full extent of its nuclear program.

France, Germany and Britain originally proposed a resolution chiding Iran for "failures to meet safeguards obligations," a phrasing too mild for the United States. It also did not call for reporting Iran to the U.N. Security Council, as U.S. officials had wanted.

Under pressure from Washington, which accuses Iran of developing nuclear weapons, IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei and the eight other present and future EU countries on the 35-nation IAEA board, Europe's "big three" changed the draft to say the board "strongly deplores (Iran's) breaches," a diplomat said.

This was closer to Washington's thinking, but not close enough. Diplomats said U.S. negotiators had agreed to forgo reporting Iran to the Security Council, which could impose sanctions, but still insist that Iran be declared in "non-compliance" with international non-proliferation obligations.

The United States also wants the resolution to include a "trigger mechanism" in the event of further breaches by Iran.

Washington has only a few allies on the board -- Canada, Australia, Japan and New Zealand. But diplomats said small groups of board members were having unofficial meetings to agree on a new compromise that would make the Americans happy.


ElBaradei appeared to back U.S. reservations about the original European draft resolution and called on the board to approve a text that both "strengthens my hand" and reacts to the "the bad news and the good news" about Iran's atomic activities.

"The bad news is that there have been failures and breaches and the good news is that there is a new chapter in cooperation with Iran," he said.

Iran denies having a secret atomic weapons program and says it only wants nuclear power to generate electricity.

But in a new report on Iran, the IAEA said over the last two decades Tehran had failed to comply with obligations under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) by -- among other things -- secretly producing plutonium and enriching uranium.

While ElBaradei's report said there was no clear evidence to support U.S. allegations that Iran had a secret atomic weapons program, he said the jury was still out on whether Tehran's nuclear ambitions were entirely peaceful as it insists.

"(Iran's) breaches and failures are, of themselves, a matter of deep concern and run counter to the both the letter and spirit of the (NPT) Safeguards Agreement," he told the IAEA board.

Iran recently agreed to sign an Additional Protocol to the NPT, which gives the IAEA the right to conduct more intrusive, snap inspections of atomic sites.

Although Tehran has yet to sign the document, ElBaradei said the IAEA was working as if it had been signed and ratified.

"We are acting as if the protocol is in force and we have been getting all the access we need, both to locations and to information," he said.

Former U.N. weapons inspector David Albright, now head of the Institute for Science and International Security, a U.S.-based think-tank, told Reuters there would probably be more revelations about Iran's nuclear secrets in the coming months.

"It's hard to believe they didn't have a weapons program at some point," Albright said. "Why else would you start an enrichment program in the middle of an Iran-Iraq war?"
29 posted on 11/20/2003 8:54:23 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Italian FM to Meet Iranian Leaders in Nuclear Row

November 19, 2003

ROME -- Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini will travel to Iran Sunday for talks with President Mohammad Khatami, the foreign ministry announced Wednesday.

Frattini whose country currently holds the presidency of the 15-nation European Union will also meet with his Iranian counterpart Kamal Kharazi and Iranian national security council chief Hassan Rowhani, Iran's main negotiator in the ongoing row over Tehran's nuclear program.

The United States accuses Iran of secretly working to manufacture highly enriched uranium, which can be used to make atomic bombs. Tehran has categorically denied the claims.

Rowhani warned Wednesday that any further demands from the UN nuclear watchdog for Iran to halt its uranium enrichment activities would not be acceptable, despite widespread calls for the Islamic republic to abandon its controversial work on the nuclear fuel cycle.

The comment came the day before the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna is due to meet to discuss a new resolution on Iran's nuclear programme that addresses fears the clerical regime's bid to generate atomic energy is merely a cover for weapons development.

Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon meanwhile called on EU president Italy to pressure Iran for guarantees about its nuclear programme in talks with Frattini.

"The prime minister has asked Europe to intervene to ensure transparency in Iran's nuclear programme and we told him that we are waiting for concrete signs from Iran," Frattini told reporters after a meeting in Rome Wednesday.
30 posted on 11/20/2003 8:55:10 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranian Bank Staffers Wounded in Istanbul Bombings

November 20, 2003
Focus Information Agency

Some 10 staffers of Iranian bank in Istanbul were wounded, four of them critically, by terrorist bombings in the city, the president of the bank told IRNA on Thursday.

President of the Istanbul Branch of Iran`s "Mellat Bank" Younes Hormozian said the bank was adjacent to the point where the bombs went off, adding that the bombs had completely destroyed the building of the bank.

Hormozian also said that the Turkish police have launched a strict surveillance on the area.
31 posted on 11/20/2003 8:56:27 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Nuclear Agency Deadlocked on Iran

November 20, 2003
BBC News

The governors of the UN's nuclear watchdog have failed to agree on how to deal with Iran's nuclear programme.

The United States is pressing the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to take strong measures against Tehran, but has only moderate support.

The executive body of the IAEA met for a only a few hours in a heated, private session before adjourning until Friday.

IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei recently reported that Iran had violated the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

He said that Iran had secretly produced plutonium and enriched uranium - materials that can be used in nuclear weapons.

Iran has admitted to some violations but says its nuclear programme is peaceful.

Critical wording

Britain, France and Germany reportedly have proposed that the IAEA "strongly deplore Iran's past breaches", but Washington wants stronger language.

The US, which is not convinced that Tehran's atomic programme is peaceful, wants Iran to be declared in "non-compliance" with the NPT.

Such a statement would automatically send the issue to the UN Security Council - which can impose sanctions.

Iran has warned that such a development would trigger an international crisis.

Britain, France and Germany want to encourage Iran to continue co-operating with the IAEA.

'Right track'

Mr ElBaradei said before the meeting adjourned that the agency was "on the right track" and he hoped for a strong resolution.

The 35-nation board of governors is considering both his report and a draft resolution by France, Germany and Britain - the wording of which is being haggled over with the United States.

In his report, Mr ElBaradei said Iran had committed numerous "breaches" of the NPT, including the secret production of plutonium and enrichment of uranium.

He told reporters as the meeting started that he wanted a resolution which strengthened his hand and addressed "the bad news and the good news" about the Iranian nuclear programme.

"The bad news is that there have been failures and breaches and the good news is that there is a new chapter in co-operation with Iran," he said, adding that the agency was now getting "all the access we need".

The BBC's State Department correspondent Jon Leyne says some officials in Washington are simply trying to keep up the pressure on Iran to end its nuclear programme, but others may feel this is an issue they can use to destabilise a government they profoundly detest.
32 posted on 11/20/2003 8:57:07 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
U.N. Nuclear Agency Headed Toward Condemning Iran

November 20, 2003
The Associated Press

VIENNA, Austria -- The United States and European nations were working to bridge a rift over how harshly to censure Iran for 18 years of covert nuclear activity at a key meeting of the U.N. nuclear agency resuming Friday.

The board of governors' meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency was adjourned Thursday only two hours after it started at Iran's request, a senior diplomat said. But the European countries and Washington were using the break to decide how far to go in recognizing Iran's recent willingness to throw open its nuclear facilities to agency inspections.

By late Thursday, Washington had persuaded the Europeans to accept language ''much stronger'' than what Britain, France and Germany had proposed in an initial draft, said a diplomat. That initial proposal urged Iran to continue cooperation with the agency but refrained from harshly condemning it for concealing parts of its nuclear program.

President George W. Bush's administration — which has dubbed Iran as being part of a so-called ''Axis of Evil'' along with North Korea and prewar Iraq — rejected that proposal Wednesday.

Washington insists that Iran wants to build nuclear weapons. Washington wants the IAEA to declare Tehran in violation of its obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and pass the matter to the Security Council, a move which could trigger sanctions against Iran.

Iran, which is awash with oil and gas reserves, says its nuclear program is only geared toward generating electricity.

Reflecting the seriousness of the divide between Washington and Europe, Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair would try to find common ground on the issue while Bush was in London, a senior diplomat told The Associated Press.

By late Thursday, one diplomat said, ''things look a lot better'' for the United States.

Under the stronger draft, the board reserves the right to immediately call an emergency session should any evidence surface that Iran was guilty of ''significant failures.''

The IAEA director general, Mohamed ElBaradei, has said he wants a strongly worded report that nonetheless stops short of asking for Security Council involvement.

The agency still doesn't know if Iran has tried to build nuclear weapons. That, ElBaradei told the board, ''will take some time and much verification effort.''

Also Thursday, diplomats speaking on condition of anonymity told the AP that the agency has identified Russia, China and Pakistan as among probable sources for equipment used by Iran for possible nuclear weapons development. They gave no other details.

Identification of some of Iran's nuclear supplier nations brings the agency closer to solving the puzzle over Tehran's past nuclear activities which the Americans and others say point to a weapons agenda.

While acknowledging that some of its enrichment centrifuges had traces of weapons-grade highly enriched uranium, Iran insists its enrichment program was low-level and only for power generation. It asserts the high-level traces were inadvertently imported on material it purchased abroad.
33 posted on 11/20/2003 8:58:40 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Nothing to Lose But Their Chains

November 20, 2003
The Spectator
Michael Ledeen

The most controversial part of George W. Bush’s vision of the war against terrorism is his insistence that this is a war against tyranny, and that we will not be able to win the war until we have helped democratic revolutions succeed in the key countries, those that provide the terrorists with much of their vital wherewithal. It’s controversial for varying reasons, depending on the critic. Some say that countries are marginal in the terror universe; it’s transnational organisations like al-Qa’eda which we must defeat. Others are upset because they think the President is declaring war on any country, anywhere, that helps the terrorists, and they ask where the money and the troops will come from. Still others are critical of Bush’s belief that the Middle East can be successfully democratised at all, and wish that the United States would either give up this crazy dream, or get serious about building an empire and find proper viceroys, etc.

A bit over a year ago I published a book that argued precisely this thesis (The War Against the Terror Masters), and my main complaint about the coalition’s performance thus far is that we have been too cautious, too slow, and, above all, that we have failed to support the democratic opposition forces which threaten the countries that sponsor terror and are primarily responsible for the terror war we now face in Iraq (and which I predicted many months before the liberation of Iraq).

Our enemies in Damascus, Tehran and Riyadh are all tyrants, which is their common denominator. Note that our enemies are not, as is commonly presumed, jihadists, since the Baathist regime in Syria, like its late brother in Iraq, came to power as a secular Arab socialist regime, not as a step along the road to a fundamentalist caliphate. This is not a clash of civilisations; it’s an old-fashioned war of freedom against tyranny. The President is entirely right on this point.

Our failures to date are primarily the result of bad intelligence and insufficient attention to the peoples of the region (which go hand in hand, you’ll notice). If we had supported the Iraqi democratic opposition (as was required by American law, and for which considerable sums were appropriated but never disbursed, because the state department didn’t think it was a good idea), we would be in a better position to find out what is really going on inside the country, instead of having one general tell us that we’re mostly under attack from foreigners, and another general say no, it’s mostly enraged Saddam followers.

The CIA and the state department have seemingly spent more energy on defeating the Iraqi National Congress — the umbrella opposition organisation led by Ahmad Chalabi — than on overthrowing Saddam and working with the opposition to plan for the postwar period. Iran has created at least a dozen radio and television stations to spread its poison throughout Iraq, while the United States only recently got its first national radio station on the air. If we were serious about enlisting the people, we’d have been prepared to talk to them from the outset. So when you think about the Dubya Doctrine of spreading democratic revolution, remember that he’s got the bureaucracy working against him.

It was a mistake to think about Iraq as a thing in itself, as if we could detach it from the regional context and ‘solve’ it alone. During the 14 or 15 months from Afghanistan to Iraq, the terror masters made a war plan that called for replicating the successes of Lebanon in the Eighties: kidnapping, assassination, suicide bombs and terrorist attacks — mostly from Hezbollah — eventually drove out both American and French armed forces. They made no secret of their intentions — Iranian and Syrian leaders openly announced them, but the war planners apparently either ignored them or laughed it off.

Iran has always been the most powerful and the most lethal of the terror masters (Hezbollah is an Iranian creation, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Islamic Republic), but it also holds another record of sorts: it is the first example of a totally failed Shiite Islamist state. The crazed leaders of the Islamic Republic have wrecked and ransacked the country for their own personal profit, oppressed, enslaved, murdered and tortured the Iranian people, and supported the killers of thousands of innocent people all over the world. The Iranian people hate this regime. They have expressed their hatred in every imaginable way, from mass demonstrations to amazingly candid replies to pollsters, to sending heartbreaking faxes and emails to people in the West who seem to understand their plight and share their dreams of freedom.

If the mullahs were brought down, they would certainly be replaced by a democratic government that separated mosque and state and gave the Iranian people a major voice in the country’s policies. There are very few knowledgeable people who doubt this, and this has been a major theme of the Dubya Doctrine all along. But to our shame the words have not been accompanied by action, either in Washington or London or any other Western capital, even though all are agreed that Iran is the leading terror master, that many of our troubles in Iraq are the result of Iranian actions or the actions of Iranian proxies, and that the Iranian people are ready to take to the streets against the mullahcracy in the same way the Serbs organised to bring down Milosevic.

Iran is ready for democratic revolution, and it is the key to the terror network. Ergo we should be supporting democratic revolution in Iran, and we should get on with it quickly before they show us that they have finally built an atomic bomb. It is hard to argue that Iran is somehow incapable of democracy, or that the mullahcracy should be tolerated any longer, let alone supported. Yet European and UN ‘diplomatic missions’ regularly show up in Tehran, occasionally mutter a few critical remarks about human rights violations or suspicious uranium samples, and then go away. I think we would do a lot better to recite the known facts about Iran every day, and give the Iranian people the support they deserve: round-the-clock broadcasting to encourage them to be brave, money to support potential strikes in the country’s crucial oil and gas and textile industries, communications toys like satellite phones so that they can communicate with one another when the regime shuts down the cells, as was done last summer on the eve of an announced national strike. Instead, we have remained aloof and even made highly misleading remarks (take the deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage, who proclaimed Iran ‘a democracy’; and the secretary of state Colin Powell, who, on the verge of the planned uprising last summer, said the United States really didn’t want to get involved in the Iranians’ ‘family squabble’.) Many Iranians felt betrayed, since they had earlier heard the President’s numerous statements about the need to spread freedom in their region.

My guess is that if we show we are serious about supporting the democratic opposition in Iran, the mullahcracy will fall and the contagion will reach all areas of the Middle East. Indeed, some of that has happened already; for example, we have recently seen the first pro-democracy demonstrations in the history of Saudi Arabia. And it cannot be an accident that those demonstrations came shortly after the liberation of Iraq, and the Arabs saw more than 200 Iraqi newspapers spring up, along with countless magazines, new courses at the universities and other signs of intellectual creativity that hadn’t been seen for generations.

I do not believe that Arab or Muslim DNA is mysteriously lacking a democracy chromosome or a freedom gene. I don’t think that democratic revolution is all that difficult, or that it requires some key sociological component such as a middle class or a historical event such as a Reformation or an industrial revolution (Athenian democracy had none of the above). I believe that the advantages of a free society are pretty clear to almost the entire population of the planet, that most people would choose to be free if they were free to choose, and that, thereafter, some would do well and others not, just as in the past. There is no lack of evidence for this, in the Middle East or elsewhere.

For many years the same sorts of objection to the feasibility of democracy in the Middle East were raised against democracy in South America. The Latinos, it was said, just weren’t cut out for it; they liked caudillos too much. And yet during the eight years of Ronald Reagan’s presidency democratic revolution swept the entire region. There were only two elected governments in South America at the beginning, and only two unelected ones in the whole region when he handed the keys to the White House to Bush the Elder.

I think we are on the verge of the same kind of revolutionary transformation in the Middle East today. The real question is not whether it can be done, but whether we have the will to do it. We haven’t been very good in Afghanistan, where American negotiators unaccountably agreed to the creation of an ‘Islamic Republic’ when we should have vetoed the very idea. We haven’t been nearly as active as we should have been in embracing the Iraqis, who have proved many of the pessimists totally wrong: there hasn’t been a religious or ethnic civil war, the Iraqi Shiites have not been manipulated by the Iranians, and there are plenty of talented and educated Iraqis who, given the chance, could do a thoroughly presentable job of managing their country. We’re getting better, but the people of the region are running ahead of us whenever they can. There was a brief ‘Prague Spring’ in Damascus after the death of the old tyrant, but it was crushed soon after. I don’t think it will be that difficult to find suitably democratic forces in Syria in the future, especially if we deal effectively with Iran.

The main thing is to see the situation plainly: we are at war with a group of tyrants who sponsor a network of terrorists. Our most potent weapon against them is their own people, who hate them and wish to be free. We don’t need to invade Iran or Syria or Saudi Arabia, but we certainly need to support the calls for freedom coming from within those tyrannical countries.

And that’s the Dubya Doctrine.
34 posted on 11/20/2003 9:09:34 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Nothing to Lose But Their Chains

November 20, 2003
The Spectator
Michael Ledeen
35 posted on 11/20/2003 9:14:17 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Mansoor Ijaz: Bin Laden in Iran

Posted on 11/20/2003 3:24 PM PST by Dog

Mansoor Ijaz just reported Bin Laden is in Iran as of July.
36 posted on 11/20/2003 9:17:45 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Mansoor Ijaz just reported Bin Laden is in Iran as of July.

I'm watching the rerun of Brit now waiting for that segment. I hope reports from the RPG attack in Baghdad doesn't cut into that one.


37 posted on 11/20/2003 9:21:37 PM PST by StriperSniper (The "mainstream" media is a left bank oxbow lake.)
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To: DoctorZIn
Dr. Z, what legitimacy do you think Ijaz has in this matter. He intimated that his source was someone in Iran's "Intelligence" community, but how did he develop those?

He is an American born finaceer of Pakistani heritage. His only diplomatic experience was in The Sudan.

I don't believe the story. If Bin Laden were alive, and protected by Iranian Security Services and the Clerics, he would have produced video statements that provided unequivocal current event evidence that he is alive and well.

I don't think the motives of the Iranian government, as explained by Ijaz on Britt Hume, add up. That's too high a level of intrigue in Tehran, too great a risk for even the Clerics to openly assume.

38 posted on 11/20/2003 9:52:09 PM PST by ArneFufkin
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To: ArneFufkin
I certainly don't know his intellegence sources, but I believe you are mistaken that Mansour Ijaz said his source was from with Iran's intelligence community.

I heard him say that intelligence sources inside of Iran had confirmed that Bin Laden there.

My reading of that statement was that this was referring to some other nation's intelligence service.

Ijaz further stated that Bin Laden had shaven his head, gained a lot of weight, etc in order to disquise himself. If this is accurate it could explain why he hasn't done any video tapes.

Finally, the Iranian goverment has confirmed that members of Al Qaida are in Iran. It is reasonable to assume that the mullahs of Iran are using them as a bargining chip with the US if things get desperate for them. The mullahs are no fools, they are very skilled in deception and negotiation.
39 posted on 11/20/2003 11:01:03 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
This thread is now closed.

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

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

40 posted on 11/21/2003 12:10:55 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn; MLedeen
A most excellent article.
41 posted on 12/21/2003 8:02:56 PM PST by sauropod ("If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.")
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