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Iranian Alert -- November 22, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^
Posted on 11/22/2003 12:06:42 AM PST by DoctorZIn
The US media almost entirely ignores news regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran. As Tony Snow of the Fox News Network has put it, this is probably the most under-reported news story of the year. But most Americans are unaware that the Islamic Republic of Iran is NOT supported by the masses of Iranians today. Modern Iranians are among the most pro-American in the Middle East.
There is a popular revolt against the Iranian regime brewing in Iran today. Starting June 10th of this year, Iranians have begun taking to the streets to express their desire for a regime change. Most want to replace the regime with a secular democracy. Many even want the US to over throw their government.
The regime is working hard to keep the news about the protest movement in Iran from being reported. Unfortunately, the regime has successfully prohibited western news reporters from covering the demonstrations. The voices of discontent within Iran are sometime murdered, more often imprisoned. Still the people continue to take to the streets to demonstrate against the regime.
In support of this revolt, Iranians in America have been broadcasting news stories by satellite into Iran. This 21st century news link has greatly encouraged these protests. The regime has been attempting to jam the signals, and locate the satellite dishes. Still the people violate the law and listen to these broadcasts. Iranians also use the Internet and the regime attempts to block their access to news against the regime. In spite of this, many Iranians inside of Iran read these posts daily to keep informed of the events in their own country.
This daily thread contains nearly all of the English news reports on Iran. It is thorough. If you follow this thread you will witness, I believe, the transformation of a nation. This daily thread provides a central place where those interested in the events in Iran can find the best news and commentary. The news stories and commentary will from time to time include material from the regime itself. But if you read the post you will discover for yourself, the real story of what is occurring in Iran and its effects on the war on terror.
I am not of Iranian heritage. I am an American committed to supporting the efforts of those in Iran seeking to replace their government with a secular democracy. I am in contact with leaders of the Iranian community here in the United States and in Iran itself.
If you read the daily posts you will gain a better understanding of the US war on terrorism, the Middle East and why we need to support a change of regime in Iran. Feel free to ask your questions and post news stories you discover in the weeks to come.
If all goes well Iran will be free soon and I am convinced become a major ally in the war on terrorism. The regime will fall. Iran will be free. It is just a matter of time.
PS I have a daily ping list and a breaking news ping list. If you would like to receive alerts to these stories please let me know which list you would like to join.
TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iaea; iran; iranianalert; protests; southasia; studentmovement; studentprotest
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Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!
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posted on 11/22/2003 12:06:43 AM PST
To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!
"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail DoctorZin
posted on 11/22/2003 12:12:05 AM PST
Vote on Iran nuclear activity postponed
By Judy Dempsey in Brussels
Published: November 22 2003 4:00
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) yesterday postponed until next Wednesday a vote on its response to evidence of Iran's clandestine nuclear programme.
Diplomats said the decision was made in a bid to buy time so as to bridge big differences between the US, and Britain, France and Germany. The Europeans have presented a draft resolution to the 35-nation IAEA board that does not say Iran is in non-compliance with its obligations under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
A country is in non-compliance when the IAEA cannot confirm that country has not diverted nuclear resources to a weapons programme, or when it confirms a country has diverted resources. Any mention of non-compliance could mean the case being referred to the United Nations Security Council, a move favoured by Washington.
The US said the European draft was too soft. "Iran's violations have been brazen and systematic," said Ken Brill, US ambassador to the IAEA. Iran's purpose, he said, "was the pursuit of nuclear weapons." Colin Powell, US secretary of state, told the Europeans this week the draft provided "no trigger mechanism in the case of further Iranian intransigence or difficulty."
Mohamed ElBaradei, IAEA head, said Iran had for over 18 years concealed parts of its nuclear programme. The agency's latest inspection report, formally presented to the agency's board, said Iran had received help from four countries for developing nuclear weapons.
Despite this, Mr ElBaradei said there was "no proof Iran has been trying to build nuclear weapons."
Diplomats said both sides would now try to find language that would keep up the pressure on Iran to implement the IAEA's 'additional protocol', giving the nuclear watchdog the right to conduct inspections without notice.
Even if the Europeans amend the text, diplomats said they remained determined not to refer Iran to the UN Security Council, a move that would lead to some kind of sanctions regime being imposed on Iran. A German official said this would weaken any leverage the Europeans had over Tehran.
* A fire bomb was thrown at the British embassy compound in central Tehran yesterday, but a UK diplomat said no one was hurt and there was little damage, Reuters reports from Tehran.
"We're in touch with the Iranian authorities and we're reviewing our security arrangements," the diplomat said. http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1069132072161
posted on 11/22/2003 12:50:39 AM PST
Iran's FM : No Obligation If....
Nov 22, 2003, 04:21
Iran news: The initiatives of Iran and the European countries have robbed the US from the chance of influencing the IAEA board of governors, Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi told reporters.
The foreign minister also said that Britain, France and Germany, the Europe and the Non-Aligned Members (NAM) have already asserted their support for a resolution whereas the US is not satisfied with it and is seeking to take the case to the Security Council.
He further stated that the Islamic Republic of Iran has already accepted the additional protocol but went on to say that Iran will certainly not feel obliged to comply with it if it observes that the Europeans are not fulfilling their commitments to the IAEA. http://www.iranian.ws/iran_news/publish/article_703.shtml
posted on 11/22/2003 12:51:45 AM PST
Iran ups oil output to 4.2 million barrels per day
SPECIAL TO WORLD TRIBUNE.COM
Thursday, November 20, 2003
Iran has reached a crude oil production level of 4.2 million barrels per day.
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh attributed the oil production increase to the completion of projects that expanded capacity. Zanganeh said Iran had additional oil production capacity and required the money to fund development projects.
"Undoubtedly Iran can boost its production to higher levels," the minister said. "The country needs to develop its oil sector to use the revenues for promotion of other sectors."
About 75 percent of Iran's hard currency revenue stems from oil exports. Zanganeh said oil exports play a significant role in the five-year economic development plan. http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/front_2.html
posted on 11/22/2003 12:54:44 AM PST
To: DoctorZIn; McGavin999; freedom44; nuconvert; Eala; AdmSmith; dixiechick2000; onyx; Pro-Bush; ...
General Assembly committee approves resolution expressing concern at Iran rights violations
San Francisco Chronicle
A U.N. General Assembly committee approved a resolution Friday expressing serious concern at human rights violations in Iran.
The Canadian-sponsored draft resolution was adopted by a vote of 73-49 with 50 abstentions. It now goes to the full General Assembly where a similar vote is expected.
The United States and most European countries supported the resolution while Islamic nations opposed it.
The resolution expresses serious concern at "the continued deterioration of the situation with regard to freedom of opinion and expression" and at the use of torture and other forms of cruel and inhuman punishment.
At the same time, it welcomed Iran's invitation to human rights groups in April 2002 to visit the country and the opening of a human rights dialogue with a number of countries.
Before the vote, Iran's representative said that a journalist with dual Iranian and Canadian citizenship had died in Iranian custody, and said it was regrettable. The government has taken all necessary measures to bring those responsible to justice and an inquiry is under way, the diplomat said.
An Iranian intelligence agent has been charged in the murder of photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, who died July 10 after suffering fatal head injuries during 77 hours of interrogation following her June 23 detention.
The Iranian diplomat stressed that the incident involving Kazemi was not enough to determine that there was no freedom of press in Iran.
Iranian hard-liners have jailed several dozen reformist journalists and political activists and closed about 100 pro-democracy publications during the past 31/2 years for criticizing the rule of the country's unelected hard-liners.
President Mohammad Khatami, who was elected on promises of introducing social and political reforms to Iran, has said newspaper closures and arrests of intellectuals and writers without trial or in closed, jury-less trials violated the constitution. Hard-liners have ignored his warnings. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/2003/11/22/international0419EST0461.DTL
posted on 11/22/2003 1:42:34 AM PST
by F14 Pilot
JOURNALIST REPORTS MASS DISCONTENT, EERIE QUIET IN TEHRAN
A journalist who spent part of the summer in Tehran says Irans fundamentalist rulers expect reformists to fail in upcoming elections. This event would spur Irans theocrats to make overtures to the United States and introduce economic reforms, the journalist says. And Iranians disillusioned, increasingly secular and chronically underemployed may accept progress on these terms.
Afshin Molavi, who has written for EurasiaNet and others, told an Open Forum of the Open Society Institute how much hed learned by traveling through Tehran on July 9 the fourth anniversary of violent student protests. What struck him, he said, was how thoroughly the hardliners who control the judiciary had discouraged mass protest. After a three-year period in which the conservative Guardian Council a 12-member group appointed by the countrys Supreme Leader brazenly shut down independent newspapers and silenced critics, Molavi said, Iranians are more likely to talk about "economic pain" than about political yearnings.
On July 9, he explained, Tehran felt "eerily quiet." While the fundamentalist Guardian Council, headed by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, controls the judiciary and big sections of the security and economic systems, reformists, including President Mohammed Khatami, are "on the ropes." Molavi also sees thousands of Iranians who "reject" the entire government but remain "disorganized, leaderless, expectant and ineffective."
A hint of the fundamentalists success came at 8 a.m., he said, when he turned on his television to see that satellite signals from Iranian expatriate stations in Los Angeles, along with the Voice of America, had been blocked. The fact that satellite news from Los Angeles has become Iranians main source of information, Molavi explained, testified to the success of the media crackdown. Further testimony came at an early afternoon press conference when armed thugs working for the judiciary carried students away at gunpoint before a shocked group of reporters. The students, said Molavi, had been explaining why they were calling off protest actions for security reasons.
"A couple of years ago, the word fear did not come up as often as it did this summer," Molavi told his audience. "The judiciary is trying to inject fear into the discourse." As a result, he said, student leaders who once placed their hopes in Khatami "are now more interested in leaving Iran." [For background see the Eurasia Insight archives.]
Economic stagnation plagues Irans civilians. Molavi says conditions include 40 percent unemployment, annual emigration in the hundreds of thousands, and wages so weak that trained physicians often take jobs as market traders or taxi drivers. Things are so bleak, he said, that some express nostalgia for the dictatorship that prevailed before the 1979 Islamic revolution.
At the same time, Molavi said, Irans ruling theocrats are feeling more confident than ever. All the regional parties who had pressured them in the past the Taliban in Afghanistan, Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and aggressively pro-Western officials in Russia are either deposed or subdued. Molavi expects the Guardian Council to "vet" any 2005 presidential candidates who appear more radical than Khatami. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archives.] This would lead to a rout at the polls, as reformists stay home in disgust, repeating a pattern that prevailed in Tehrans City Council elections in March. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archives.] It would also free the conservatives to claim a fresh mandate. That mandate, Molavi predicted, would lead them to "engage with the United States and open some social channels, just so that they can have political credit for advances."
Before any of that happens, though, mass repression will probably remain in force. Molavi made that clear with his description of the evening of July 9.
At around 6 p.m., Molavi said, he sat in the office of a Basij commander who showed him a fax ordering the volunteer militia to avoid the university area. This overt effort to scare students into feeling unsafe rippled through the city, Molavi said. On the way to Tehran University, he found several Basij checkpoints, where men in keffiyeh wearing buttons honoring the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini inspected cars and otherwise bullied travelers. "One person told me that the scene eerily recalled the early days of the revolution," Molavi said. The Basij have traditionally allied with conservatives, but their deployment on July 9 openly intimidated reformists. Molavi says the conservatives also tapped a more radical group, Ansar al-Hezbollah, to clamp down on protest.
As a result, Molavi said, a rock concert across town drew higher turnout than any protest action. "People said: look, I could go to the demonstration and get arrested or beaten, or I could go to a concert and have fun," Molavi said. "They were doing the math."
Despite this grim day, Molavi said, "civil society is not dead" and many Iranians in a burgeoning middle class yearn for freer lives. He noted that the country skews very young, and said that within a generation, up to 75 million voters will have no memory of active membership in the Islamic revolution. While conservatives will probably be able to control politics in the short term, Molavi pointed to several trends that could upset fundamentalists rule.
One is a growing anticlericalism among intellectuals. Molavi said he had seen ordinary clergy passed by as they try to hail cabs and otherwise face sneers from the public. This trend fits in with a broader philosophical acceptance of secularism among the middle class. With secularism comes, Molavi said, growing "resentment of" Irans funding to Hezbollah and Hamas and disaffection for the Palestinian cause in general. And all these trends fuel a surprising surge in Iranian nationalism, which has never informed the states politics as much as religion has. http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/recaps/articles/eav112103.shtml
posted on 11/22/2003 6:46:45 AM PST
by F14 Pilot
To: F14 Pilot
Freedom ~ Now!
posted on 11/22/2003 7:52:05 AM PST
To: F14 Pilot
Thanks for the ping!
Swiss Expert Fears Iran's Nuclear Ambitions
November 22, 2003
A Swiss expert claims Iran does have a secret nuclear weapons programme and is in breach of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
As the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) meets in Vienna to decide the matter, Christoph Wirz says Irans denials are simply not credible.
The nuclear specialist works at the Spiez Laboratory, the Swiss governments nuclear, biological and chemical defence establishment.
Writing in the Allgemeine Schweizerische Militärzeitschrift, a Swiss military journal, Wirz questions why an oil and gas-rich country like Iran says its needs to generate nuclear energy for civil purposes.
He argues that there are clear indications that Iran is producing nuclear weapons: the presence of a civil nuclear programme without clear economic advantages, inadequate international supervision of nuclear facilities, and a missile programme.
And Irans justification that it wants to use less oil to produce electricity is questionable, says Wirz.
He argues that the countrys claims to want to protect the environment and to make money from selling black gold on the open market ring hollow, given that this is dependent on the dollar rate and the price of oil.
The Swiss expert also believes that a missile-producing nation is likely to have a military nuclear programme. Iran is one of the few states to have produced or tested missiles with a range of more than 1,000 kilometres.
National security is likely to be a driving force behind any nuclear weapons programme, argues Wirz. Geographically the country sits close to nations that already have nuclear weapons at their disposal - Israel, Russia, China, India and Pakistan.
To date, the IAEA has not uncovered any conclusive proof that Iran has a secret nuclear weapons programme. At the beginning of this month, Teheran agreed increased inspections by the nuclear watchdog.
And on November 10, Iran informed the IAEA that it would sign the Additional Protocol to NPT, paving the way for inspections at short notice.
An IAEA spokeswoman told swissinfo that Irans decision to sign the protocol was a positive development.
While it could be months before Iran actually signs the agreement, the IAEA says this is not a cause for concern.
The United States has been pressing for Iran to be declared in breach of NPT, claiming Teheran has not been honest about acquiring materials that could be used to make nuclear weapons.
If the US gets its way, this could pave the way for sanctions to be imposed by the United Nations Security Council.
The Europeans, on the other hand, favour a more softly-softly approach and would be prepared to share civil nuclear technology with Teheran.
IAEAs 35-member governing board is likely to decide the matter by the end of this week. http://www.nzz.ch/2003/11/22/english/page-synd4471564.html
Precisely why the oil workers have to go on strike if the regime is to crumble in Iran.
This lunatic wants to be the next President after Khatami. http://www.iranian.com/FarhadRadmehrian/2003/November/Larijani/index.html
November 21, 2003
By: Farhad Radmehrian
A recent article in the German magazine Spiegel features a brilliant idea man who may just be the one they're grooming to replace Khatami.
The article profiles Mohammad Javad Larijani, who is a powerful member of Iran's ruling class. This is a class that consists of high ranking Shiite clergy, their relatives and close allies, with almost exclusive control of all commerce, business and anything that will produce political power and influence.
The men in this group are mostly the offspring and close relatives of the ruling Shiite clergy, many of whom are educated abroad, many in the United States and the Western Europe These are the backbone of Iranian regime's administrators and managers, also called the Islamic technocrats!
Doctor Javad Larijani who apparently holds a PhD in mathematics is the son of a middle ranking ayatollah. Daddy's connection, as well as his fluency in English has apparently done him good. He has been in several political positions, including deputy foreign minister and member of parliament.
The Spiegel article introduces Larijani as a "pragmatic conservative" and a respected ideologue for the Islamic theocracy who sees a bright future for the Islamic Republic. Larijani's optimism for the future of the regime arises from his vision for an economic bloom, similar to that of post-Mao China, which resulted in the fastest growing economy and enormous improvements in the people's standard of living, without having to give up the dictatorial and centralized one-party rule or allowing social reforms.
I'm sure that such a solution would appeal to the likes of Larijani. Apparently he believes you can implement an economic and industrial renaissance, and at the same time withhold the much needed social and political freedoms and keep the populace under the strict and unconditional rule of the ayatollahs.
There are so many holes in Larijani's theory that one is almost embarrassed to even attempt to counter it, as I can hear the collective "Duhhh!" coming from the readers. But I just can't help it. At the very least, maybe Larijani will read this and realize that although his head is stuck in the snow, everyone can see him and his brilliant ideas for what they really are!
Doktor joon, when Mao's successors began their economic revolution, they had a few essential ingredients that you guys do not and will not have. The first thing was an environment that is inviting to anything foreign, not only foreign investments but foreign people, tourism and the open cultural exchange with the rest of the world that will be an essential ingredient of such a renaissance.
Your father's cronies have setup a closed theocratic fortress that has actively and dutifully repelled any meaningful exchange with anyone worth exchanging with. Before the post-Mao Chinese leadership could start herding the peasants to foreign owned factories to assemble the billions of toys and gadgets that turned around China's fortunes, they had to make foreign investors and partners believe that China was stable, dynamic and receptive. How much help do you think smashing a photographer's brain would have been to China's future plans?
Foreign investors require a day when a foreign female can walk the streets of Tehran or Isfahan and sit in a sidewalk cafe without the fear of harassment from bearded juveniles. But thankfully, your system is fundamentally and inherently incompatible with the creation of such conditions.
The second big problem with your doctrine is the people's expectations. The political awareness and expectations of Iranian youth, who make up nearly three quarters of the population, and are your regime's number one problem, in no way compares with the Chinese population back in the late 1970's and 80's when they began implementing their plans.
In the age of widespread access to the Internet, personal blogs, satellite TV and the ever-increasing exchange of ideas with the rest of the world, people's expectations are far above and ahead of Chinese peasants, most of whom didn't even know something like television or the computer existed.
Therefore, the Islamic Republic is out of time. The people were ready for grand plans 25 years ago. The Chinese model worked for a post-Mao China as a next move, rightfully expected for that milestone and a way to keep the most populated country on Earth from falling into starvation, chaos and anarchy. It was time for it and no one held it back or resisted it.
Larijani's brilliant idea would have been quite perfect as a fresh post-Khomeni switch and people would have jumped on it. They could have even changed directions when they put on that Khatami show back in 1997, but they took the people for granted again. But the Islamic Republic has squandered all opportunities for a positive change of direction in its 25 years of existence and ploys like this doctrine are exposed as what it is; just a scheme to keep current rulers from sharing their exclusive power!
Larijani is a U.C. Berkeley-educated mathematician. My question is what the hell was he doing during the years he spent in California of all places? Did he live in a closet or a basement somewhere? How could he have lived in such a beautiful, peaceful, and freedom inspiring place and end up being an ideologue for a repressive, murdering theocracy?
How could he have gone to UCB library and mingled with the youth from all manner of cultures, attended lectures and classes where they discussed and exchanged ideas freely and then end up condoning a system that puts a young student in years of solitary confinement simply for the "crime" of picking up a bloody T-shirt from the pavement and displaying it to the public?
How could he produce any work of authorship as a scholar or thinker and then end up in a band of thugs who kill a woman just because she snapped some pictures outside a prison?
How could he be a student of mathematics, science and history and not see that he's part of a brutal power grab that has no way to go but down?
Canadian-Drafted Iran Rights Rebuke Approved by UN Panel
By Evelyn Leopold
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - A key U.N. committee approved a Canadian-drafted resolution rebuking Iran for alleged human rights abuses, including torture, suppression of free speech and discrimination against women and minorities.
The vote in the General Assembly's human rights panel was 73 in favor, 49 against and 50 abstentions. Most European and Latin American nations as well as the United States supported Canada, while Islamic countries voted against the measure as did Russia, China and India.
Adoption by the panel, which includes all U.N. members, is a virtual guarantee of passage by the full General Assembly.
The Geneva-based U.N. Commission on Human Rights adopted annual resolutions on Iran's rights record from 1984 to 2001 and the assembly followed suit. But last year the draft was narrowly defeated in Geneva and not revived by the assembly.
Specifically, the Canadian resolution calls on Iran, dominated by Shi'ite Muslims, to eliminate religious discrimination against minorities, including Bahais, Christians, Jews and Sunni Muslims.
It expresses concern at continuing public executions, the use of torture and amputation, arbitrary sentencing of political dissidents, suppression of press freedom and systematic discrimination against women and girls "in law and in practice."
Photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, a Canadian citizen of Iranian descent, died in custody in Iran in June, from a blow to the head, seriously damaging relations between Ottawa and Tehran.
The Canadian draft did not refer to her but singled out crackdowns by the judiciary and security forces against journalists, parliamentarians, students, clerics and academics. It expressed "serious concern" at the "harsh reactions to student demonstrations" such as imprisonment and mistreatment.
But Canadian envoy Gilbert Laurin mentioned her in his address to the panel on Thursday, saying, "What the Kazemi case did was to highlight for the Canadian people the situation of journalists in Iran and the absence of freedom of expression."
Scores of student activists, estimated at 4,000, were jailed during the 10-day pro-democracy protests in June. Only a number of students were released after the supreme religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on the judiciary to exercise leniency.
Iran's powerful Guardian Council, which reviews all legislation to see it accords with Islamic Sharia law, has countered many reforms attempted by President Mohammad Khatami.
Co-sponsors of the draft resolution with Canada were the United States, the Czech Republic, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Andorra and Micronesia.
To: F14 Pilot; DoctorZIn; Grampa Dave; dennisw
Note that the no votes and the abstentions totalled outnumber the yes votes on this resolution to merely express concern at the deterioration of the human rights situation in Iran.
The General Assembly routinely sanctions Israel and the United States with overwhelming tallies.
This is the United Nations which the nine Mondales and others of the Traitor Party insist we must consult and obey.
There is a police state in Iran as evil as any conceived by Stalin, Hitler, Saddam Hussein or Fidel Castro.
The United States should be waging a robust multi-layered effort to effect the ouster of the terrorist mullahs--before they develop a nuclear weapon and hand it off to their guest Osama bin Laden.
posted on 11/22/2003 3:54:42 PM PST
(Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
Iran Vows: 'No' to Dicisions Suppressing its Nuclear Energy Rights
November 22, 2003
"Former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani here on Friday refreshed vows that Iran would not accept any "oppressive" decision coming out of the meeting of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) later in the day," IRNA reported yesterday.
The IRNA report said "Rafsanjani, in a sermon at Tehran Friday prayers, said Iran is waiting to see how much the US can influence the IAEA board meeting, and warned against any imprudent decision by the agency regarding Iran`s nuclear energy program."
The report said "The next few hours are the hours of trial. We are waiting to see how much the US can impose its own inhuman and colonial views on the board through threat, coercion and bribing," he said. "The ball is now in their (IAEA) ground... If they do bad, the things will be then out of our control, and I hope they take no illogical decision because no oppressive decision can ever deprive Iran from its due rights."
The IAEA admitted this week "we have no proof to date that Iran's past undeclared activities have been linked to a nuclear weapons program."
Rafsanjani was quoted by IRNA saying that "Iran has shown good cooperation with the IAEA toward its nuclear energy activities, stressing that Europe as well as IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei were exercising good-will toward that issue."
the report said: He added that Iran's performance to foil the propaganda of the US and Israel that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons had been "very prudent and logical," and renewed Iran's positions that it will not give up its rights to exploit the nuclear industry for peaceful purposes.
"The correct thing that was done was that it was proved to the world that there is no evidence that Iran pursuing nuclear weapons in its scientific and technical movement," said Rafsanjani, who is also the chairman of Iran's Expediency Council (EC). http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/031122/2003112223.html
Beware Iranians Bearing Gifts
November 22, 2003
United Press International
Derk Kinnane Roelofsma
The old saying, "Beware Greeks bearing gifts" should be updated to "Beware Iranians bearing gifts."
It is timely to do so as the Iranians have been bearing gifts for the United States.
On Nov. 17, President Mohammad Khatami made a gift of recognition for the Iraqi Governing Council, the U.S. creation that has less than complete legitimacy in the eyes of much of the international community.
"We recognize the Iraqi Governing Council and we believe it is capable, with the Iraqi people, of managing the affairs of the country and taking measures leading toward independence," he said.
As Ray Takeyh, a Middle East expert at the National Defense University, points out in the current Fall issue of The National Interest, an important and influential segment of the Iranian Right, headed by supreme leader Ali Khamenei, has defected Khatami's reformist foreign policy line.
The trouble is that Iranian politics is made up of various segments with differing attitudes; and changes in positions may be merely tactical and short term. Take the current U.S. and U.N. concern to prevent Iran developing nuclear weapons.
Iran has said it intends to sign an additional protocol to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty that would allow the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, to conduct intrusive, snap inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities.
However, even if Iran does go ahead and signs the protocol, it would not come into force until ratified by Iranian parliament. And Tehran says it will reconsider signing if the IAEA board, now meeting in Vienna, adopts, as Washington would like, a resolution declaring Iran in non-compliance with the NPT. At the same time, Tehran acknowledges it has violated the treaty during the 20 years since it signed it.
The Iranians, whether on the right or those such as Khatami, are nationalists. As such they intensely dislike the strongly worded IAEA draft resolution. If the resolution is adopted, parliament might well refuse to ratify adhesion to the additional protocol.
But even if parliament were to ratify it, the rightist-dominated Guardians Council would be able to override parliament.
The past week has seen hard-line Iranians demonstrating against the additional protocol. Last Friday, Muhammad Reza Tabatabaii, the influential Friday prayer leader in Isfahan, Iran's second city, told his congregation: "Almighty God's power is above all and even if (the protocol) is signed, any change he deems necessary may come our way. We can change the decision with your prayers."
Given Iran's theocratic state and how its mullahs choose to interpret God's word, Tabatabaii was signaling that Iranian acquiescence to Western demands was far from a sure thing.
These inconsistencies are part of a larger consistency the Iranians have shown in relations with Washington since the United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001. While the government offers a helping hand, other centers of power try to pull the rug out from under the United States.
In Afghanistan, Iran was helpful by allowing its ports to be used by the United States during the war, and in the Bonn conference that set up the Afghan interim government, headed by Hamid Karzai. But Iran also "expelled" Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the most viscerally anti-American and brutal of Afghan warlords, from comfortable sequestration back into Afghanistan.
Some say the Iranians did so because they wished to placate Washington by not seeming to shelter Hekmatyar. Others insist the Iranians knew he would add to America's problems by doing just what he has done, rally his supporters and join forces with the resurgent Taliban.
In the east of Afghanistan, the Iranians helped warlord Ismail Khan to restore his tyrannical rule over Herat and surrounding areas, putting him under obligation to Tehran by supplying a variety of aid that included uniforms for his fighters and a strong Iranian intelligence presence.
The same kind of thing is going on now. Iran has excellent reasons to avoid provoking the United States, given the U.S. military is present on both the eastern and western flanks of the country. There is a belief in Iran that only the mess the United States is faced with in Iraq has prevented it from proceeding with more regime changes, in Tehran and Damascus.
The worry they might be next on the American list has pushed the rightist mullahs to go along pragmatically with Khatami's moderation. Their anti-Western ideology has not softened, nor has their power lessened.
The right continues to dominate key governmental structures, such as the Council of Guardians, the national economy, the armed forces, the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps, the judiciary, the basij militia, its own intelligence services outside the government, and hard-line vigilante groups used to beat up students demonstrating for a liberalized Iran.
It is the IRGC that enabled the guerrillas of Ansar al-Islam, a group of Iraqi Kurdish Islamists with ties to al-Qaida, to escape into Iran when Ansar came under joint U.S.-Iraqi Kurdish attack, then later allowed it to filter back into Iraq and resume its activities.
In the Shiite part of Iraq, Iran is indirectly supporting the would-be firebrand cleric, Moqtada al-Sadr. Last summer, he went to Iran and met with top leaders before returning to Iraq to whip up hostility to the U.S. presence, particularly among the 2 million Shiite poor who inhabit the Baghdad slum known as Sadr City.
Iraqi sources told United Press International that Sadr is known to be close to, and to receive funds from, Hassan Nasrallah, head of the Lebanese Shiite militant organization, Hezbollah, an offspring of the Iranian mullahs.
As an Iraqi said, "The Middle Eastern governments are masters of double-games -- and the Iranian mullahs are much more clever than Iran's other neighbors, the Syrians and the Turks." http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20031121-111254-5924r
307 Foreigners Detained in Iraq, 70 are Iranians
November 23, 2003
BAGHDAD -- Coalition forces in Iraq have at least 307 suspected foreign fighters in detention, mainly Syrians and Iranians, a US military official said yesterday.
Two days ago the number was 307, the official said, listing 140 Syrians, 70 Iranians and small numbers from Yemen, Chad, Saudi Arabia and the West Bank.
He was referring to non-Iraqis detained since Washington declared an end to major combat on May 1 after the war that toppled Saddam Hussein.
The men are suspected to have entered Iraq to carry out suicide and other attacks against foreign occupying forces and Iraqi authorities cooperating with them.
The number of foreign nationals entering Iraq to fight US occupying forces was just a trickle, the official said, adding: Thats a serious problem, even if its just one.
He said a total of 11,000 detainees were in custody in Iraq.
Attacks which Washington blames on remnants of the former Baathist regime and Islamists allied to al Qaada have killed 182 US soldiers since major combat was declared over.
The US official discounted any link between guerrilla operations and suicide bombings. We didnt see links between them. What we do see is some evidence of regional coordination (in guerrilla attacks), he said.
He discounted the likelihood of Saddam or his deputy Izzat Ibrahim Al Duri playing a significant role in coordinating the guerrilla campaign, saying: (I) dont see that.
Washington this week said there was evidence that Ibrahim was directly involved in some attacks and put a million price on his head.
The US commander of the 79th Ordnance Battalion in Iraq said yesterday that while anti-coalition insurgents might not show sophistication in manufacturing improvised explosive devices (IEDs), they are extremely innovative.
I am not sure about sophistication, I would say innovation. Theyve been extremely innovative, Lieutenant Colonel Dick Larry told a Baghdad press conference.
Earlier on, weve seen very simplistic types of explosive devices, theyve gone to great measures to hide and camouflage those devices using various means to deliver them.
Larry was speaking a day after donkey carts were used to conceal multiple rocket launchers which fired at Baghdads main media hotels and oil ministry complex, wounding two people, one of them seriously.
The incident that happened yesterday using a donkey to deliver an improvised rocket device is innovation, he said.
He said his 125-strong team had also found quite a few animals that had been used as IEDs, while other booby-traps were molded to make it look like the curb. He said the explosives used by insurgents were available in Iraq. http://www.bahraintribune.com/ArticleDetail.asp?ArticleId=13699&CategoryId=2
U.S. Wants Tough Resolution on Iran
November 22, 2003
WASHINGTON -- The United States is negotiating with the U.N. nuclear watchdog a resolution that would condemn Iran for past violations of its nuclear obligations, a senior State Department official said Saturday.
A meeting this week of the International Atomic Energy Agency's Board of Governors failed to adopt a decision on Iran's nuclear situation because of divisions among its members.
Last week, the IAEA released a 30-page report detailing how Iran admitted to producing small amounts of low-enriched uranium and plutonium in violation of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty.
At the same time, the IAEA said that there was "no evidence" that those previously undeclared materials were "related to a nuclear weapons program."
The Bush administration wanted the IAEA to declare Iran in violation of its treaty obligations and report Tehran to the U.N. Security Council.
However, the IAEA's 35 governors said Friday that they would decide Wednesday what to do next.
The decision was not a setback for the United States, the senior State Department official said, adding that the Bush administration still thinks the matter should be taken up later at the United Nations.
"It is inaccurate to say the U.S. went into meetings in Vienna last week looking for, and expecting, to get a majority of the IAEA Board of Governors to agree to refer the matter to the U.N. for possible sanctions," the official said.
He said, however, that "it is correct to report that the U.S. is now negotiating with the IAEA Board of Governors to draft a resolution condemning Iran for having a secret nuclear program for 18 years," in violation of the nonproliferation treaty.
In its report, the IAEA says "Iran has now acknowledged that is has been developing, for 18 years, a uranium centrifuge enrichment program, and, for 12 years, a laser enrichment program."
The State Department official said the negotiations could result in a provision saying that if Iran doesn't comply with its obligations in the near future, there "could be some reference to going beyond the IAEA" --in other words, making a report to the Security Council.
Secretary of State Colin Powell discussed Iran's nuclear program with his European Union counterparts in Brussels, Belgium, this week. After those meetings, Powell said a draft resolution sponsored by Britain, France and Germany on Iran's nuclear program -- a draft that does not refer to Iran's non-compliance or to the Security Council -- does not go far enough.
A Western official said a major issue is whether the final resolution on Iran should contain a "trigger" mechanism that would automatically refer the matter to the Security Council if Iran fails to take several steps further cooperating with the IAEA.
The Europeans say they oppose any U.N.-related trigger.
The official also said that Japan, Australia, Canada and the Netherlands are joining the U.S. in supporting tough language pressuring Iran to cooperate more fully, among other things by suspending its uranium enrichment program.
Iran earlier this month promised to take that step and to allow tougher nuclear inspections.
Although Powell said he is "pleased Iran seems to be moving in the right direction now," he said it remains to be seen whether it "is cooperating fully and openly with the international community."
Iran has said its nuclear program is purely for peaceful purposes.
Although the IAEA has acknowledged there was no evidence that Tehran's undeclared nuclear activities were related to a weapons program, its report said it was premature to "concluded that Iran's nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes."
The primary reason cited by the IAEA for its continued skepticism is "Iran's past pattern of concealment." http://edition.cnn.com/2003/US/11/22/us.iran.nuclear/index.html
US, EU Moving Closer on Iran
November 23, 2003
EU and US leaders sought to bridge a transatlantic divide, this time on tackling Iran's nuclear program, deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said.
"There's movement on all sides as we fashion the appropriate response," he told PBS television.
Mr Armitage said the transatlantic allies were not at loggerheads.
"I would prefer to use a term that we haven't yet reached agreement, rather than do not agree," he said in the interview.
"We're still continuing these discussions," he told the public broadcaster, according to a transcript provided by the State Department.
The US diplomat did not bring up the State Department's earlier goal of taking the matter before the UN Security Council, which could decide whether to impose sanctions.
On Friday, the State Department backed off.
That brought the United States closer to the positions held by many European countries.
France, Germany, Britain and several others on the IAEA board of governors would like to send a more measured message to Iran, taking into account its efforts to reassure the international community that its civilian nuclear program is not being diverted to military use.
Discussions at IAEA headquarters are to resume on Wednesday. http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/s995282.htm
Ex-UN Arms Inspector Ritter: US Wants Iran Regime Change
November 22, 2003
The Associated Press
Dow Jones Newswires
PRAGUE -- A former U.N. weapons inspector said Saturday that Washington seems to be questioning the credibility of the U.N. atomic agency in an attempt to achieve in Iran what it has already carried out in Iraq: regime change.
Scott Ritter, a former U.S. Marine, was a weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991 to 1998. He has been a vocal critic of U.S. President George W. Bush's policy on Iraq.
Friday, the U.S. questioned the credibility of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency for failing to conclude that Iran has pursued a nuclear weapons program, as Washington believes it has. Washington softened its initial remarks later in the day.
Ritter said that the agency - which carried out inspections in prewar Iraq, where it never found any evidence of a nuclear arms program -"did a fairly professional and responsible job in dealing with Iraq."
"There's no reason to doubt that the (agency) would be any less professional and responsible in dealings with Iran," Ritter told The Associated Press following a speech in the Czech capital.
Ritter said he believed the U.S. would continue to put pressure on the IAEA so it would issue reports that back up the U.S. position.
If the agency fails to comply, then the U.S. "will denigrate the work of the IAEA and move forward unilaterally," he said.
Ritter said the U.S. wants the issue to be transferred to the U.N. Security Council "to create a perception of threat to international peace and security."
"The policy of the United States is to achieve regime change in Iran - the president has made it very clear," he said.
At a key meeting in Vienna on Friday, the agency's director general, Mohamed ElBaradei, said his experts had found "no evidence" of a weapons program and that more time and inspections are needed to determine whether Iran is truthful in saying it is using nuclear technology only to produce electricity.
Washington then accused him of playing down evidence that Iran has tried to build nuclear weapons over the past 18 years. http://framehosting.dowjonesnews.com/sample/samplestory.asp?StoryID=2003112221350000&Take=1
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