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Iranian Alert -- November 28, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 11.28.2003 | DoctorZin

Posted on 11/28/2003 12:03:30 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.


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

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

1 posted on 11/28/2003 12:03:30 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 11/28/2003 12:15:40 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Note: My web page features a famous photo of this young man on my web page.


PARIS 27 Nov. (IPS) Ahmad Batebi, a young Iranian students who was abducted earlier this month after meeting Ambeyi Ligabo, the United Nations’s Special Rapporteur, has been transferred to Evin prison and held in a special cell controlled by the Revolutionary Guards, student’s sources reported Thursday.

Mr. Batebi was jailed four years ago for displaying the bloody shirt of a friend wounded in clashes with the regime’s security forces. He was arrested after a picture of him holding the bloodstained T-shirt was displayed in several western publication, including the British influential weekly The Economist that had printed it on its cover page.

He had been photographed during the first major anti-regime demonstrations by Iranian students in July 1999 and condemned to death, but the sentence was reduced to ten years of imprisonment, thanks mostly to national and international pressures.

Mr. Batebi was on a short leave from prison when went missing while on his way to a students meeting after talking briefly with Mr. Ligabo, according to his father and a lawyer.

In the absence of any reaction from the authorities, including the government, Iranian sources familiar with this kind of abductions speculated that the dissident student might have been arrested on orders from Judge Sa’id Mortazavi, the Prosecutor for Tehran and Islamic revolution courts.

"He (mortazavi) might have ordered the abduction of Batebi deliberately, just to show Ligabo and the international community that the Islamic Republic has its own laws independent from the outside world in the one hand and that the Judiciary is independent from the government", one senior analyst told Iran Press Service, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"He looked very tired and his face and body covered with bruises, marks of tortures", friends who saw him briefly in Evin reported to the Iranian Students United Front, a dissident organisation struggling for radical changes in the present clerical-led system.

"He said interrogators he could not identify were pressing him to make confessions they had submitted the text to him", the ISUF said in a statement, quoting Mr. Batebi.

Several Iranian students organisations expressed "deep and serious" concern over the fate of both Mr. Batebi and Akbar Mohammadi, another student also detained during the student’s anti-regime uprising of July 1998 and warned the authorities to free them "immediately and without any conditions" or they would alert international organisations.

Though the Iranian Judiciary claim there are no political prisoners in Iranian jail, but Iranian and international human rights groups confirm the presence of tens of prisoners of conscience, several of them leading journalists, researchers, scholars, lawyers and intellectuals.

3 posted on 11/28/2003 12:18:44 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn

BAGHDAD, 27 Nov. (IPS) Two senior Iraqi clerics from the Shiite majority called for general elections to and an elected Iraqi administration independent from the American Administration led by Mr. Paul Bremmer, Mr. Jalal Talabani, chairman of the US-backed Governing Council announced.

Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani (the highest authority for the Iraqi Shi’ites) wants full elections for all Iraqi administrative and political bodies to be formed in the future", Mr. Talabani, the leader of the Patriotic Union of (Iraqi) Kurdistan was quoted by the French news agency AFP as having told reporters.

"Ayatollah Sistani wants the Iraqi people to be consulted. He wants elections to be held for the municipal councils as well as the legislative council", Mr. Talabani said, explaining that this is the "one reservation" the Grand Ayatollah has with the agreement, signed by the interim Governing Council and the US-led authority on November 15 for the transfer of political power to Iraqis.

"All that Grand Ayatollah Sistani wants is that the Administration must represent truly the people of Iraq and be based on Islam and Sh’ia principles", Ayatollah Abdolqasem Dibaji, the Representative of Mr. Sistani in Kuwait told the Persian service of Radio France International on Thursday.

Talabani said a reference to Islam has been restored, but gave no details.

According to Mr. Talabani, who was talking to reporters after a meeting with Sistani in the holy city of Najaf, there are no difference of views between the present American-installed Iraqi Provisory Council and the Grand Ayatollah, who is the most senior Shi’ite cleric among the five living grand ayatollahs in Iraq.

The regional caucuses would have 15-member organizing committees, five of them named by the Governing Council, five by provincial governments and one each by the five largest local councils in any province. Like the Governing Council, the U.S.-led coalition or local American commanders have handpicked most provincial governments and local councils.

"Despite the lack of a reliable census in Iraq, elections can still be held on the basis of the food ration cards distributed to the population under the ousted regime of Saddam Hoseyn and that are still in use", said Talabani, quoting Mr. Sistani.

The Council and the U.S.-led coalition will discuss the cleric’s demands for average Iraqis to have a direct role in selecting a transitional legislature, Talabani added.

Talabani, who signed the transition plan as head of the Governing Council on 15 November travelled to this holy city to meet with al-Sistani after the cleric's views were reported by Hojjatoleslam Abdolaziz Hakim, the leader of the Supreme Assembly of the Islamic Revolution of Iraq (SAIRI), another member of the Provisory Council.

Under the plan, regional caucuses attended by politicians and selected scholars, professionals, tribal chiefs, legal experts and other prominent people would choose members of the transitional assembly.

Earlier, Hojjatoleslam Hakim had quoted Mr. Sistani as having stated that the present American plan for the transfer of powers to the Iraqis does not answer Iraqi people’s demands.

According to Mr. Hakim, Grand Ayatollah Sistani argued that since the the present members of the Provisory Council are named by the Americans, they could not be considered as representatives of the Iraqi people.

Hakim told reporters Wednesday that Sistani expressed "deep concern over real loopholes" in the power-transfer plan. Unless those objections are dealt with, "the process will be deficient and fail to meet the expectations of the people of Iraq".

"One of al-Sistani's main demands is for voters to directly elect a transitional national legislature", he pointed out, adding that Sistani also wants an interim constitution to be drafted by the Governing Council to guarantee Iraq's "Islamic identity."

"The plan worked out by (the American Governor of Iraq Paul) Bremer in Washington is aimed at the formation of an Iraqi Administration that safeguards American Interests while Sistani and other Shi’a and even Sunni religious leaders wants real democratic elections, an event the Americans don’t want", observed Mr. Hasam Hashemian, a professor of international politics at Tehran University.

"It would be very difficult for the Americans to oppose Grand Ayatollah Sistani because he is respected by all Iraqis, being Kurd, Sunni, Arab, Christian or Shi’ite", he added in an interview with RFI.

A spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition in Baghdad declined to comment, saying U.S. administrator L. Paul Bremer had no wish "to negotiate in public." Speaking on condition of anonymity, the spokesman said the plan is a "framework" for which "a lot of difficult details must still be worked out".

Shi’ite leaders are eager to quickly translate their community's position as Iraq's majority into formal political power. Shiites have been marginalized for generations by Sunni Muslims, who dominated Iraq during Ottoman rule, British colonialism and then Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s reign.

The power-shifting plan calls for the assembly to elect a provisional government that would take power by first of July 2004 and general election would be held no later than 15 March 2005, and a permanent constitution be drafted and adopted before the end of that year.

4 posted on 11/28/2003 12:19:50 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
UN's nuclear arms watchdog censures Iran

COMPROMISE: The resolution was weaker than the US had hoped for, but the head of the IAEA said it would give him the power to verify Iran's nuclear intentions

The Taipei Times.
Friday, Nov 28, 2003,Page 6

The UN atomic agency censured Iran Wednesday for 18 years of secrecy, issuing a resolution that its head said gives him more muscle in policing the country for evidence of nuclear weapons ambitions.

Warning Tehran to stay in line, Director General Mohamed ElBaradei of the International Atomic Energy Agency said the measure sends an "ominous message that failures in the future will not be tolerated."

"This is a good day for peace ... and nonproliferation," ElBaradei told reporters, saying the resolution "strengthens my hand in ensuring that Iran's program is for peaceful purposes."

The text, adopted by the 35-nation board of governors of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, was weaker than the US had sought.

It avoided a direct mention of the Security Council -- which has the power of imposing sanctions -- to allow for compromise between the US administration and key European powers wanting weaker wording.

ElBaradei nonetheless emphasized that the resolution gave him expanded powers both in probing Iran's past for signs of nuclear arms ambitions and supervising present programs to ensure they are peaceful.

While the text does not directly invoke the Security Council, its wording means the council could be asked to get involved should there be "serious failures in the future," by Iran, ElBaradei said.

Adopted by consensus, the resolution warns against "further serious Iranian failures," saying that could lead the board to consider actions allowed by its statute -- shorthand for possible referral to the Security Council.

While welcoming Iran's "offer of active cooperation and openness" -- including suspending uranium enrichment and agreeing to thorough inspections on IAEA demand -- the measure calls for a "particularly robust verification system" to test Tehran's honesty.

Washington had insisted last week it would hold out for at least a threat of Security Council action over 18 years of clandestine activities by Iran that US officials say point to a weapons program, including enrichment and plutonium processing.

But France, Germany and Britain opposed a direct Security Council threat, fearing Iran could backtrack on its cooperation and its commitment to clear up questions about its past were it too strongly pressured.

Backing the three European countries, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said in Warsaw, Poland, Wednesday that invoking the Council "would have further complicated an uneasy situation."

A senior US official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Washington was "pretty happy" with the compromise text.

"We were handed a lemon by the EU Three, and we turned it into lemonade," he said.

"The US is very skeptical that Iran has stopped its covert nuclear weapons program, and it's only a matter of time until this comes out," under the resolution giving the agency greater policing powers, he said.

In a slap at the US and its allies, an Iranian statement said the resolution offered only "marginal relief to the few hard-liners" on the board.

"Iran's nuclear program is exclusively peaceful and will remain peaceful," said the statement.

ElBaradei was not so unequivocal.

He described his agency's probe as a "work in progress," adding: "We still have a lot work to do before we can conclude that Iran's program is exclusively for peaceful purposes."

US envoy Kenneth Brill asserted that the resolution already found Iran in "noncompliance" -- and therefore pulled the "trigger" needed for Security Council involvement.

"The board will not countenance further evasive maneuvers by Iran," Brill told the meeting.

Later, he described Iran as being at a "crossroads."

"They can decide to continue down the well-worn path of the past -- almost 20 years of denial, deception and deceit -- or they can turn toward the path of a new chapter, wherein they really do come clean," he told reporters.
5 posted on 11/28/2003 12:21:42 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Tehran's Stonewalling

November 28, 2003
The Washington Times

It is doubtful that Monday's decision by Washington — under heavy pressure from the European Union (EU) — to acquiesce to a softened International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) resolution criticizing Iran's nuclear program will persuade Iran to halt its efforts to produce atomic weapons.

Instead, the agreement brokered by Secretary of State Colin Powell and representatives of France, Germany and Britain postpones the day of reckoning and sets the stage for a new round of diplomatic battles with Europe come February, when the IAEA files its next compliance status report on Iran.

At first blush, the language of the IAEA resolution sounds fairly tough, stating that the agency "strongly deplores" Iran's 18 years of secretly developing nuclear weapons and lying about it. But a careful look at what actually took place in Vienna is deeply unsettling.

For one thing, going into the talks, Washington insisted that Iran's behavior be condemned and that the matter be referred to the U.N. Security Council. Iran balked, declaring that it would not cooperate with the IAEA if this took place. And Tehran's intransigence was rewarded. According to the New York Times, Mr. Powell was unable to persuade more than three of the IAEA's 35 board members (Canada, Japan and Australia) to support a formal censure that would have brought the matter to the Security Council.

For most of this month, the administration appeared to be determined to go to the mat with the Europeans and the IAEA bureaucracy — which was opposed to any imposition of sanctions against Iran, whatever the evidence of cheating. On Nov. 10, IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei issued a 30-page report documenting Tehran's deceptions dating back to the mid-1980s, but the report concluded that "no evidence" of an Iranian nuclear weapons program had been found. Just two days later, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control John Bolton sharply criticized the refusal of Mr. ElBaradei and the IAEA to publicly tell the truth about what Tehran is actually up to: developing nuclear weapons.

"I must say that the report's assertion is simply impossible to believe," Mr. Bolton said. "In what can only be an attempt to build a capacity to develop nuclear materials for nuclear weapons, Iran has enriched uranium with both centrifuges and lasers, and produced and reprocessed plutonium ...The United States believes that the massive and covert Iranian capabilities make sense only as part of a nuclear weapons program." If Iran is "continuing to conceal its nuclear program and has again lied to the IAEA, the international community must be prepared to declare Iran in noncompliance with its IAEA safeguards obligations," Mr. Bolton concluded. We agree.

No one — not even the Europeans or the IAEA bureaucracy — says that the Iranians are today in compliance with their obligations to the IAEA. The challenge before the international community right now is how to come up with a diplomatic formula that will achieve results, in this case, a verifiable way to end Iran's efforts to develop nuclear weapons, in the next few months. But if diplomacy is permitted to drag on indefinitely while Iran continues to cheat and refuses to disarm, then it becomes a formula for failure. That would leave the international community with two alternatives: allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons (an intolerable alternative) or disarm it by force.
6 posted on 11/28/2003 9:36:36 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Where is the Middle East's Sakharov?

November 20, 2003
The Jerusalem Post
Asla Aydintasbas

Soon after the war in Iraq, I was in Europe attending a conference on Iraq alongside an odd mix of Arab journalists, Eastern Europeans, and American officials on their way to or back from Baghdad.

Over drinks one evening, a Syrian dissident, a gloomy and thoughtful man, quietly told me: "I am depressed. I don't think Americans will really push for change in Syria. Iraqis are lucky - they have a chance at democracy. Am not sure we do."

He pointed out that in his recent visit to Damascus, US Secretary of State Colin Powell had not uttered the d-word, and that while Washington may have issues with the Syrian regime's support for the Saddam clan, its regional ambitions did not extend to "the other Ba'athist" state.

Having just come back from a month in Iraq - visiting mass graves, crippled lives, talking to souls broken from years of tyrannical madness - I had nothing but immense sympathy for a fellow Middle Easterner longing for freedom. How else could the man feel about living under a police state?

I had already been shocked earlier this year to hear similar yearnings from ordinary Iranians on a visit there. Iranians are engaged in a quiet struggle: Women try to bend the Islamic regime's dress code; young men challenge the police; everyone openly criticizes the theocratic elders. When asked about the possibility of the US toppling Saddam Hussein, most Iranians I spoke with said "Inshallah," adding some version of "So these guys [the mullahs] would understand their time could come too."

Historian Bernard Lewis explains this as the great paradox of the modern Middle East: the so-called moderate regimes such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt have populations irate with anti-American and anti-Western sentiments, while among the people in rogue regimes like Iran, Iraq and Syria, there is sympathy for the West and support for the new American mantra for regime change.

Skeptical? Go take a cab in Teheran - where the drivers feel free to curse at the government in front of a total stranger and move on to discuss ways Iranians could achieve freedom.

In fact President George W. Bush's speech earlier this month about promoting democracy in the Middle East could not have arrived at a better time for the Middle East. Predictably, the Arab (and European) media dismissed Bush's idealism; scoffed at his mea culpa; banished the call for freedoms as a smoke screen to cover up the US occupation of Iraq. No surprises here.

Instead of self-criticism, the official Middle East and its intelligentsia would rather revel in discussions of America's past support for Saddam, the looting at the Baghdad archeological museum, the failures to find Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, how the US companies are milking Iraqi oil, and so forth.

BUT WHAT cannot be ignored by anyone is the quiet beginnings of an uprising against autocratic, repressive, and corrupt governments in the various corners of the Middle East and the Muslim world. The fact that practically all Muslim nations - with the exception of Turkey and perhaps Bangladesh - are run by regimes that are characterized as anti-democratic is an abomination first and foremost to Muslims. And we know it.

"Any regime that represses is bad. But a dictatorship that combines state and religion is especially unacceptable. There is nothing Islamic about this," Hussein Khomeini, a Shiite cleric and the grandson terrible of Iran's revolutionary radical Ayatollah Khomeini, told me a few months ago in New York. He looked exactly like his grandfather, but could he possibly be any further from the man who gave us the Islamic revolution?

In today's Iran, a pro-democracy movement and popular discontent with the state have significantly altered the political debate. When the human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi recently won the Nobel peace prize, 10,000 people showed up at the airport to greet her. In Egypt last year, pro-democracy intellectual Saad Eddin Ibrahim served a prison term for his work. But the international uproar and the humiliation to the government meant things would not be business as usual in this country anymore. Already journalists are talking about slightly more freedom. The regime is defensive.

In Iraq, a soon-to-be-formed provisional government representing all sections of the society is planning to take the country to its first democratic elections. It will be the first Arab democracy. In Kuwait, reform has entered the lexicon. Even the Saudis are slowly starting to talk about reform and elections - albeit for the municipal councils!

Rather different from all these countries, yet setting an unavoidable model for the entire region is the Turkish experiment. Sure, Turkey has inherited from the Ottoman Empire a long-standing state tradition and its parliamentary system goes back decades. But it was really in the last decade that Turks have made their most serious advances towards the Western league of democratic nations. Economic and political reforms have been popularly backed in Turkey.

Today, ruled by a party of devout Muslims, which likens itself to the right-wing Christian Democrats in Europe, Turkey is knocking on the door of the European Union. Its leaders are not afraid to discuss anti-Semitism in a global forum or talk about the need to modernize Islamic practices. Turkey is undoubtedly the best and so far the only example showcasing the fact that Islam and democracy could work. But it won't be the last.

While courageous at promoting a new policy for the Middle East, George Bush has neither invented human nature nor the idea of freedom. There was and there will be a struggle for freedom among Muslims. With luck, Bush can tap into the energy of the freedom-seekers challenging repression and corruption in various parts of the Middle East.

But apart from policy, Bush has done something more important - he has rhetorically legitimized the struggle for democracy and human rights, and dumped it on the table as an inalienable right for all Muslims. Now there is nothing for the region's despots and Europe's appeasers but to accept the logic of Bush's forward strategy. Finally, there is a chance for the Middle East.

The writer is a New York-based columnist and senior correspondent for the Turkish daily Sabah.
7 posted on 11/28/2003 9:38:09 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
U.N. Probes Iran-Pakistan Nuclear Link

November 28, 2003
Los Angeles Times
Douglas Frantz

Istanbul -- The United Nations' nuclear agency is investigating potential links between the atomic programs of Iran and Pakistan after discovering that Iran's secret uranium-enrichment program used technology identical to Pakistani plans, according to diplomats.

Tehran has acknowledged to the International Atomic Energy Agency that its centrifuge enrichment program was based on designs by a European company, Urenco. Diplomats said the designs were the same Urenco-based technology used by Pakistan to develop its nuclear bomb in the 1990s.

Centrifuges are used to process uranium into fuel for reactors or fissile material for bombs. The purification process is complex, and perfecting the machines, which spin at twice the speed of sound, can take years.

The most recent IAEA report on Iran's nuclear program said Tehran had started research in 1985 and had gotten the centrifuge designs "from a foreign intermediary in 1987."

Iran has told the agency that they came from a middleman whose identity remains a mystery.

The United States has accused Iran of using a civilian program to conceal efforts to develop an atomic bomb. IAEA inspections in recent months have uncovered numerous instances in which Iran concealed nuclear activities that could have played a role in developing an atomic bomb.

Earlier this month, Tehran agreed to provide the IAEA with a full disclosure of its program's history and accept tougher IAEA inspections of the country's nuclear facilities.

On Wednesday, the IAEA governing board in Vienna condemned Iran for its long cover-up of sensitive nuclear research and warned that any future violation of its nonproliferation obligations could result in sanctions.

The board stopped short of referring Iran to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions, as the Bush administration initially wanted.

'A lot of work to do''

Mohamed ElBaradei, the director general of the IAEA, said a new report on Iran would be ready for the agency's board in mid-February. He said the agency's inspectors had "a lot of work to do before we can conclude that Iran's program is exclusively for peaceful purposes."

Diplomats said discovering the origins of the Iranian uranium-enrichment process had been one of the key areas under investigation by the IAEA as it has attempted to reconstruct 18 years of hidden activities.

A diplomat said the IAEA had not determined whether the centrifuge plans had come directly from Pakistan or had been obtained or stolen from a Pakistani nuclear laboratory by the middleman.

Urenco is a British, Dutch and German consortium and a world leader in centrifuge design and operation. The company denied supplying centrifuge technology or blueprints to Iran.

Pakistan has repeatedly denied providing nuclear assistance to Iran and has responded to articles suggesting that it aided Iran by calling them anti- Muslim. Iran also has denied cooperating with Pakistan.

Abdul Qadeer Khan, the primary developer of Pakistan's nuclear bomb, worked at the Urenco enrichment plant in the Dutch city of Almelo in the 1970s.

After returning to Pakistan, he was accused of stealing centrifuge plans from the facility.

Two former Iranian diplomats told the Los Angeles Times last summer that Khan had made several trips to Iran, beginning in 1987, to help with Iran's nuclear program.

One of the diplomats, Ali Akbar Omid Mehr, said Khan had been given a villa on the Caspian Sea in return for his assistance.

Earlier this month, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said a reported visit by Khan to Iran was connected with attempts to purchase short-range missiles, not nuclear-technology sales.

The Iranian centrifuge program is at the top of the IAEA inquiry list because traces of weapons-grade uranium were discovered in two locations where the machines had been assembled and tested.

Similar designs

One of the locations was the huge underground enrichment plant being constructed near Natanz in central Iran.

Diplomats said IAEA inspectors had spotted the similarity to the Urenco designs when they visited the plant.

Traces of weapons-grade uranium also were discovered at Kalaye Electric Co. Once identified as a watch factory, the Iranians reluctantly acknowledged having performed extensive tests there on purifying uranium with centrifuges.

Iran had long maintained that its centrifuge program was indigenous. Confronted with the IAEA discoveries, Iranian officials said some components were purchased outside the country through middlemen and were contaminated with enriched uranium.
8 posted on 11/28/2003 9:39:45 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Raised to be a King, Shah's Son Preaches Democracy

November 28, 2003
The Star-Ledger
Borzou Daragahai

Pahlavi appeals to young Iranians who hate clerical rule and don't remember his father's regime

McLEAN, Va. -- With his plastic watch and blue suit, Reza Pahlavi blends easily into the strip malls and bedroom communities that sprawl beyond the Capital Beltway.

But the son of Iran's deposed king has far greater aspirations than the white-collar professionals and stay-at-home moms who populate suburban Washington: He wishes to lead the Iran of his youth -- the nation that sent him into a quarter-century of exile -- from dictatorship to democracy.

"Look at Solidarity in Poland and what it accomplished," he said during a late October interview in the house of an aide here.

"Look at the ANC and Mandela in South Africa. Look at so many different campaigns of civil disobedience that happened in a variety of countries. It doesn't matter. The point is that it's in the hands of the people themselves."

Since Sept. 11, 2001, the U.S. government has vowed to transform the Middle East, attempting push back a tide of Islamic extremism that launched the terrorist attack. Iran, ruled by anti-American Islamic clerics since Pahlavi's father, the late Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, was booted out in 1979, is among the nations that have come under increasing scrutiny.

U.S. officials accuse Iran of attempting to develop nuclear weapons, harboring terrorists and blocking its people's democratic aspirations.

Pahlavi, a burly 43-year-old with his father's distinctive nose, argues that democracy -- not diplomacy -- is the best way to defuse Iran's nuclear program and its alleged support of Islamic militants as well as to alter a theocracy that punishes drinking and premarital sex by lashings and jails political opponents as heretics.

"The best guarantee to make sure that terrorism is eradicated is that whoever supports terrorism or is terrorist in nature is eliminated," he said.

"I've always maintained that regime change in Iran is in the best interests of not only Iranians, but the whole world," he said.

Pahlavi has been calling for Iranians to rise up against their nation's clerical government for much of his 2 1/2 decades in exile. Mostly, he's been ridiculed as an overzealous and none-too-bright pretender to his father's throne.

"He doesn't read books," said one Iranian political observer, who asked that his name not be used because he maintains cordial relations with the former imperial family. "He hasn't accomplished anything of note."

But as economic and political despair grips Iranians, Pahlavi's stock has gone up in Iran.

"He's a symbol of hope," said a clean-cut teenager working as a laborer in Tehran's labyrinthine main bazaar, traditionally a bastion of conservative political and cultural sentiment. "We're tired of thinking about the past. We want to think about the future. He's the future."

In a historic meeting, Pahlavi recently sat down for an afternoon tea with dissident Iranian cleric Hossein Khomeini, grandson of the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the fiery cleric who led the overthrow of the monarchy in 1979.

The young Khomeini was in Washington to give a speech at the American Enterprise Institute. "We talked about issues such as civil disobedience, such as secularization, such as separation of religion from state, such as self-determination, such as a referendum," Pahlavi said.

"Basically we had a common vision on all these points."

Pahlavi has met with Iranians of all political stripes, attempting to fine-tune a political message and a strategy that will appeal to the broadest segments of Iranian society.

Unlike many exiled Shah loyalists, he is critical of the excesses of his father's regime -- which tortured and jailed dissidents and tolerated less freedom of expression than the current government -- and offers nuanced critiques of the Islamic republic and the revolution that ushered in clerical rule.

"I think the experience of the revolution itself was perhaps the greatest achievement for a nation that is striving for freedom and modernity and learning it perhaps in the toughest and hardest way," he said.

Just as Khomeini used cassette tapes recorded in exile to distribute his revolutionary messages inside Iran, Pahlavi has been using satellite television and radio broadcasts.

He has shored up his presence inside Iran, calling for the end of a theocratic rule and a referendum on the country's future government.

"When I see him on television, I feel comforted," said Mina, a woman in her 50s who says she avidly watches Iranian satellite television broadcasts from abroad, which are illegal but generally tolerated.

"The people sense that they can't make any change through any of the internal forces in Iran, so they look abroad," said an Iranian dissident intellectual, recently released from jail and afraid of being sent back, who asked to remain anonymous.

"They've also forgotten the bad things about the previous government, and Pahlavi's satellite broadcasts have a great impact on the young generation."

During his early years, Crown Prince Reza sauntered through a gilded life filled with private tutors and trips to Europe. He was 14 when his father was diagnosed with cancer, and his education in royal leadership was kicked into overdrive, with state visits to Egypt and England. At 19, when revolution convulsed Iran, he was in the United States, learning to become a fighter pilot.

But the fall of the monarchy his grandfather and namesake established 70 years ago shattered his family and hurtled him into a life of exile.

His father died of cancer shortly after the 1979 revolution that ushered in Iran's clerical government. His mother, Empress Farah, settled in Paris, where she recently wrote a book describing her glamorous and tragic life. His uncle was busted in a Beverly Hills drug raid in 1992, charged with possession of a half-kilo of opium. Two years ago, Pahlavi's younger sister, Leila, died of a drug overdose in an apparent suicide. She was 31.

The fortune Pahlavi inherited was squandered and pilfered by a dishonest financial adviser, and he spent much of the last two decades attempting to get adjusted to a less glamorous life in America, where he has a green card, a Jeep Grand Cherokee and a house somewhere in the suburbs of Washington.

In recent years, he has begun networking with neoconservative intellectuals and political strategists, many of whom helped plan the removal of Saddam Hussein in neighboring Iraq.

But Pahlavi says has more ties to liberals in Washington than conservatives, and he vocally opposes U.S. military intervention in Iran.

Unlike his father, who in 1953 returned to his throne in a CIA-backed coup d'etat, the younger Pahlavi says he would return to lead Iran's monarchy only if Iranians opted for its restoration.

"As an Iranian I would shudder under the fact that my country would have to come under foreign attack of any sort," he said.

"It is in fact insulting for me to hear that people are not willing to believe that Iranians are capable of managing their own affairs and would require a foreign force doing it for them."

In Iran, however, at least a sizable number of the youth -- frustrated by social controls and the lack of economic opportunities -- have succumbed to the fantasy that Pahlavi will rescue the country from abroad.

"There's a perception that he's going to come and save us," said the dissident intellectual, who himself opposes restoration of the monarchy as a step backward for Iran.

"If the situation doesn't change, he has a good chance of coming back."

Star-Ledger correspondent Borzou Daragahai reported this story in Virginia and in Iran.
9 posted on 11/28/2003 9:41:31 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Ayatollah a thorn in side of Iranian leaders
By Christopher Kremmer, Herald Correspondent in Qom, Iran
November 29, 2003

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Nobody is exactly sure why Iran's most senior ayatollah no longer wants an Islamic revolution.

Is it because Grand Ayatollah Ali Hossein Montazeri, 82, has spent five of the past six years under house arrest in his spartan quarters in this seminary town, two hours' drive south-west of Tehran?

Or that the 1979 revolt he helped plan to oust the Shah has since executed hundreds of mullahs like himself for treason or deviation?

Does he still hold a grudge for the way he was stripped of his position as heir apparent to the father of the revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini?

Or has he really experienced a "road to Mecca" conversion, believing, as he says, that Iran's mullahs "don't know anything about economics or politics", and should make way for democrats and technocrats?

Despite his age and uncertain health, the feisty Shiite religious leader is not letting up on the sporadic attacks that have blotted his Koranic copybook with former friends in Iran's leadership.

In a rare interview, Grand Ayatollah Montazeri blamed Iran's recent difficulties over its nuclear ambitions and terrorist links on the existence of "government within a government", in which unaccountable Islamic "guardians" frustrate the will of the people's elected representatives.

"People have been deprived of the power to vote for their favoured candidates. Necessarily, when people are deprived of their power to vote, the legitimacy of the Government is undermined," he told the Herald at his office in Qom.

Having co-authored the Islamic constitution, Grand Ayatollah Montazeri no longer likes the plan. Or at least, he says, later amendments perverted the original intention.

"We defined [the Guardian Council members'] duty as just to supervise the fairness of the elections, nothing more," he said, criticising the vetting of candidates for elections and arrest of pro-democracy demonstrators.

Iran's isolation, says Grand Ayatollah Montazeri, is more to do with mismanagement at home than foreign conspiracies against it.

His continued outspoken criticisms will remain a thorn in the side of the authorities, who released him from house arrest in January, fearing that the death in custody of the octogenarian religious leader could trigger a political crisis.

"It's symptomatic of the wider stalemate between reformers and hardliners. He has to be put up with them, and they have to put up with him," a Tehran-based foreign diplomat said.
10 posted on 11/28/2003 9:41:37 AM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
This guy was a bloodsucker.

"Hanging judge", Khalkhali, dies in Iran
AFP - World News (via Iranmania)
Nov 27, 2003

TEHRAN -- Ayatollah Sadeg Khalkhali, who as head of Iran's first revolutionary tribunals after the 1979 birth of Iran sent dozens if not hundreds of people to the gallows, died Thursday at the age of 76, state TV said.
The judge died in a Tehran hospital after undergoing a brain operation.

Reuters Picture

Known in the foreign media as "the hanging judge," the ayatollah shot to prominence after condemning to death in absentia the deposed shah of Iran and ordering the execution of former premier Amir Abbas Hoveyda.

The ex-chief of the shah's dreaded Savak secret police, Nematollah Nassiri, was also among those executed under his death sentences, along with several generals and former officers in the imperial army.

In the late 1990s, Khalkhali, who was close to the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the 1979 revolution, published a list of 85 people, mostly officers or officials of the former regime, whose execution he had personally ordered.

However dozens of left-winger and Kurds who rebelled against Khomeini after the revolution were also put to death on Khalkhali's orders.

He voiced no regrets for his verdicts. "If I had to do it again, I would restart," the judge wrote in his memoirs.

Khalkhali also wrote of how he ensured the execution of ex-premier Hoveyda was carried out without any last-minute intervention by the liberal government of Mehdi Bazargan.

"I ordered the telephone lines to be cut and the prison gates shut until the judgement was over ... During the trial, a helicopter flew over the prison but I held firm," he said.

In the early years of the revolution, Khomeini also ordered him to crack down on drug traffickers, of whom many were executed.

Khalkhali was an MP for the Shiite holy city of Qom in central Iran for more than a decade, but his parliamentary candidacy was rejected in 1991 by the Council of Guardians legislative watchdog.

He was later politically sidelined, while supporting pro-reform president Mohammad Khatami, and retreated to a theological school in Qom where he gave lessons.

Khalkhali is to be buried in Qom on Friday.

11 posted on 11/28/2003 9:42:51 AM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
International opinion focuses on Iran

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Nov 28, 2003

The International Opinion is focusing on Iran and the plight of its oppressed people in quest for Justice, Self Determination, Secularity and Democracy.

This increasing attention marks the end of any real believe in the chance of the theocratic regime to mantein its power as it underlines the awarness of the World on the illegitimacy of the clerical administration and any of its so-called "reformist" factions.

Meetings and conferences are set up, Worldwide, one after another while newspapers are starting to focus on the rights issue and Canada was successful to condemn, at the UN, the Islamic republic for persistent abuses, tortures and executions.

In line with this new correct approach, 2 important meetings will be held, next week, in the US and in Europe on Iran and its future.

The first meeting will be held on Wednesday December 3rd (from 11:00 AM till 01:30 PM local time) under the auspices of the famous American think tank organization known as the "American Enterprise Institute" (AEI) in its head quarter located in the Capital City of Washington DC, where selected Iranian activists and panelists will join via tele-conference opponents inside of Iran in order to debate on the current situation and what needs to be done in order to obtain's its Freedom.

The second meeting will be held on Saturday December 6th (from 11:00 AM till 01:30 PM local time) in the southern Italian City of Cagliari located in Sardinia at the "Hotel Regina Margherita", where members of the Italian "Sardi Radicali", "TransNational Radical Party" and the "Socialisti Democratici Italiani" will host a meeting named "AZADI - Repressione e lotta per la libertà in Iran" (AZADI-Repression and the struggle for Freedom in Iran).

SMCCDI members will participate in these 2 meetings and while the Movement's Coordinator, Aryo Pirouznia, will appear as one of the panelists at the US Conference, the SMCCDI's representative, Kaveh Mohseni, will be the guest speaker at the Italian meeting.

For more information, please check the "Demonstration" section of this website or check the following 2 links:
12 posted on 11/28/2003 11:18:43 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Dear all,i will be at that conference.
13 posted on 11/28/2003 12:02:18 PM PST by democracy
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To: DoctorZIn
Reformist Deputies Step Up Criticism Of Hard-Line Establishment

November 28, 2003
Radio Free Europe
Golnaz Esfandiari

Prague -- This is not the first time that Iranian reformist deputies have used the parliament as a platform for criticizing the conservative establishment. But recent comments made by the pro-reform lawmaker Ahmad Shirzad were harsh enough to make even other pro-reformists uneasy.

Shirzad said the ruling hard-liners are responsible for Iran's international reputation as a supporter of terrorist groups and as an oppressive regime that aims to possess weapons of mass destruction.

In reference to the slogans repeated by the country's leaders over the last two decades, the reformist lawmaker said: "We [Iranians] have always claimed that we are the world spiritual leaders and all deprived people of the world have their hope in us. But they [the conservative mullahs] have given us the image of a violent, suppressive, unpopular, and militarized regime which does not put up with any criticism."

Other reformist lawmakers have also spoken out harshly against the conservatives, who control many tools of power such as the judiciary, the armed forces, and the broadcast media.

Reformist lawmaker Ali Akbar Musavi-Khoeini, speaking at a student gathering, criticized the unlimited power of Iran's supreme leader. Criticism of the supreme Leader is rare in reformist political discourse.

And Fatemeh Haghighatjou, an outspoken female lawmaker, called for a referendum as the only way to make the regime accountable.

Analyst Ghassem Shoaleh Saadi, a university professor in Tehran and a former member of parliament, says that by harshly criticizing the hard-liners, the reformist lawmakers are trying to win back the support of voters ahead of February parliamentary polls.

"The city council elections showed that people have lost their faith in the reformists and -- especially in these times where there is lots of talk about civil disobedience -- the assumption is that people will not participate in the parliamentary elections either. Therefore, [the reformists think] these efforts can encourage people to participate in the elections," Shoaleh Saadi says.

In the March 2003 city-council elections the turnout was very low, only about 20 percent. Many observers have seen that as an indication of growing frustration with the apparent inability of the reform movement to bring about change in the face of resistance from the conservative establishment.

RFE/RL Radio Farda correspondent Siavash Ardalan says that it has been very difficult for the reformists to get their message to the people through the liberal press, which has been largely closed in crackdowns by the hard-line-led judiciary.

"The atmosphere of fear and intimidation is so overwhelming among reformist circles that even many of the pro-reform newspapers affiliated with some of these deputies who are making outspoken speeches refuse to carry out those messages in their entirety. So in a sense, even though ever since the landslide election of President [Mohammad] Khatami the reformists have been able to voice their criticism in unprecedented ways, nevertheless the conservative crackdown has given these reformists pause in being able to spread their message [to] the public and especially at these times where their failed promises have made the public extremely skeptical of much of the messages they are trying to put through," Ardalan says.

Ardalan adds that only a small portion of the population today is aware of the harsh criticism the reformists make of the hard-liners: "It's not at all certain whether such speeches will ever reach the public ear and unless you [have] Internet or you're listening to short-wave broadcast coming out from countries like the United states, it's very difficult to keep in touch with this tug-of-war between both factions."

Even if the reformists manage to get their message to the people, analysts say the unelected Guardians Council will disqualify many of their high-profile candidates and prevent them from running in future elections. The Guardians Council has already established oversight committees across the country.

Former lawmaker Shoaleh Saadi says the reformists are expressing their anger over the future disqualification process: "The assumption is that the conservatives will -- in all seriousness -- try to block the re-election of the reformist MPs to the parliament. Therefore they [the reformists] are angry and they want to use this last opportunity as much as they can against the conservatives -- in a way, they want to express their anger."

On 26 November, about 800 conservatives staged an angry protest outside Shirzad's office, breaking windows and throwing mud on walls and doors. Even reformist parliamentary speaker Mehdi Karubbi charged Shirzad with making serious charges against the Islamic system. Mohammad Shirzad himself denied the allegation and said he still considers himself a true son of the Islamic Revolution.

Last year, a reformist lawmaker was jailed for criticizing the judiciary. However, he was released after weeks of protest by reformist MPs. After that, other outspoken MPs were also sentenced to jail but not imprisoned.

The judiciary has so far not reacted to Shirzad's strong speech.

Correspondent Ardalan says it is difficult to predict the judiciary's reaction, given the decline in the reformists' fortunes: "As the time for the parliamentary election draws near and the reformists know that their chances for repeating the same landslide victory that they did four years ago are very dim, it's not at all certain how the judiciary would want to react to these people -- whether they would like to summon them and crack down on them or just let them exhaust themselves until the parliamentary elections, [in which] their chances for entering the next parliament would be very dim."

In reaction to Shirzad's speech, a conservative lawmaker said: "If such radical outbursts against the system continues, we should not be surprised if the people hang some of the traitor lawmakers before the parliament building."
14 posted on 11/28/2003 1:05:24 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: democracy
Seated along side freedom?
15 posted on 11/28/2003 4:58:22 PM PST by Pan_Yans Wife ("Your joy is your sorrow unmasked." --- GIBRAN)
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To: DoctorZIn
3 Arrested in European Terror Probe

November 28, 2003
Los Angeles Times
Sebastian Rotella

PARIS -- Italian and German police today arrested three suspects who allegedly are part of a network accused of recruiting Islamic extremists in Europe to train in terror camps in Iraq, according to Italian officials.

A chief target of the lengthy Italian investigation, an Algerian named Abderrazak Mahjoub, was arrested in Hamburg, Germany. He is one of several suspects who were close associates of the Hamburg cell that plotted the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. Starting in late 2001, the cell has spread out across Europe and the Middle East to participate in terror plots overseen by Abu Musab Zarqawi, an Al Qaeda warlord, investigators said.

In recent months, five of the recruits have died in suicide attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq, authorities said.

As the war in Iraq approached this year, Mahjoub based himself in Syria. He supervised the flow of North African and Kurdish holy warriors from Europe through Syria and Iran to the terror camps in Iraq run jointly by Zarqawi's network and Ansar al Islam, a Kurdish terror group operating in territory that was not controlled by Saddam Hussein's government.

In recent months, the Ansar-Zarqawi alliance has played a role in the onslaught of suicide bombings against diplomatic, military and humanitarian targets in Iraq, according to European and U.S. officials.

Five Tunisians recruited in northern Italy took part in that violent campaign, including the rocket attack on the Baghdad hotel of Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz last month, according to Italian investigators. Three of the Tunisians died in a vehicle bomb attack on a coalition target in September, investigators said.

Also today, two other suspects were arrested in Milan, according to the Interior Ministry. They were identified by wire service reports as Housni Jamal, 20, of Morocco and Bouyahia Maher Ben Abdelaziz, 33, of Tunisia.

But the whereabouts of Zarqawi, who is also accused of ordering last year's murder of a USAID official in Jordan and aborted attacks in Britain, France and Germany, remains mysterious.

Investigators believe he is in Iran, where he has spent a considerable amount of time, according to European counter-terror officials.

"But it is not clear if he continues to operate or he is in some kind of custody by the Iranians," an Italian law enforcement official said.

Zarqawi interests law enforcement because of suspicions that he and other Al Qaeda figures have found refuge in Iran. He also could help provide information about the Bush administration's prewar allegations of links between Hussein and Al Qaeda.

Times wire services contributed to this report.
16 posted on 11/28/2003 7:07:38 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Kowtowing to Iran

November 27, 2003
New York Daily News

For readers born with a substantial supply of optimism and always hungry for more, here is a gift that will make them happier than ever. It is a mound of information collected by the U.S. and some of its allies that shows Iran and North Korea have achieved technological advances in nuclear weapons that startle even Western experts.

The optimism grows from the belief of some of these experts that they will be able to get Iran and North Korea to stop making more nuclear weapons, and even destroy some of their existing weaponry.

But some of these optimistic Westerners likely will sink into pessimistic holes. After that, they will collapse into still deeper gloom, because their own countries could be sinking deeper into danger.

Just a few weeks ago, the CIA and the International Atomic Energy Agency got swift kicks in the ankles and other parts of their anatomies for discovering a couple of unpleasant surprises. Iran is far along in producing nuclear weapons, and North Korea's program is even broader and deeper.

Then on Wednesday, the atomic energy agency, which is an arm of the UN, met in Vienna and said some decidedly nasty things about those two countries. But the agency did not demand that they destroy the nuclear weaponry they have stored in forts they call warehouses.

Many of the nations of the world wanted a resolution about all this sent to the UN Security Council. However, the international agency has decided it wants the resolution sent not to the Security Council but to itself.

That's just part of the story. It was revealed by Western nuclear specialists less than two weeks ago that Iran has been working on a nuclear program for 18 years. Yes, 18 years, almost the same length of time Saddam Hussein worked on his nuclear weapons, a program that received a major setback from an Israeli air attack on an atomic reactor in 1981. (The reactor was built, by the way, with French equipment.)

Exactly why the board of governors of the atomic energy agency took some sharp slaps at Iran but not North Korea is a bit of a mystery because North Korea is already a nuclear power, has a huge army and is controlled by a near-mad ruler. It is also in a perpetual state of hunger. Any sign of nuclear weapons being prepared for action against North Korean revolutionaries probably would destroy the government - and most of the rest of the peninsula. One part of Korea would destroy the other.

Still, the international agency did speak out against Iran's program. And while there is no hope that rulers of Iran will now turn their country into a placid nation, the statement could be a weapon against those who are tyrannizing Iran. There are enough Iranians who are sick enough of the dictatorial clergymen not only to long for freedom, but to achieve it. The statement makes clear what a rogue nation they are living in.

Here's what Director General Mohamed ElBaradei said:

"By today's decision, the international community affirmed, in no uncertain terms, the integrity of the nuclear nonproliferation regime by strongly deploring Iran's failures and breaches to comply with its obligations under the safeguards agreement.

"The international community also laid down a marker that Iran must strictly adhere to its nonproliferation obligations in both letter and spirit through a policy of active cooperation and full transparency. Importantly, and in addition, it made it clear that any serious failures in the future by Iran to comply with its obligations will be met with an appropriately serious response."
17 posted on 11/28/2003 7:08:21 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Khalkhali: "Kill Him! Next!"

November 29, 2003
The Independent
Adel Darwish

After the establishment in 1979 of a fundamentalist Islamic republic in Iran under the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Iranian army occupied three Kurdish-Iranian towns for supporting the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, condemned by Khomeini as "un- Islamic". The hardline cleric Ayatollah Sadeq Khalkhali set up his Islamic revolutionary court to weed out "counter-revolutionaries" in the town of Saghez.

Learning that a Kurdish defendant who was born in Orumiyeh had lost a hand to a grenade explosion during the Tehran uprising, Khalkhali asked what he was doing in Saghez.

"I am a guest at a social get- together, your honour," replied the defendant.

"That fits together very well," Khalkhali said candidly, "Born in Orumiyeh, participated in the Tehran uprising, executed in Saghez. Kill him! Next!"

The next defendant was charged with being the son of a usurer.

"What does my father's crime have to do with me?" protested the defendant.

"Usury is haram - sin," thundered Khalkhali, "and so is the seed of usury. Kill him! Next."

Twenty-four other Kurds were tried that day by Khalkhali. All were executed.

The scene was typical of Khalkhali's Islamic revolutionary court, where he acted as a prosecutor, judge and jury. The trials went on for just under two years, earning him titles like "the hanging judge" or the "butcher of the revolution". Two thousand members of the Shah's regime were executed in 1979 alone, by Khalkhali's own admission in his 1999 memoirs. Twenty years on, he remained unrepentant. "I would do exactly the same again," he said, when reminded how defendants had been given little chance to speak or get a lawyer to challenge evidence, if any were presented. "If they were guilty, they will go to hell and if they were innocent, they will go to heaven."

Hundreds of diplomats, academics and politicians were executed as "counter-revolutionaries" in his court. They included Abbas Hoveida, Iran's prime minister for 12 years under the Shah. When a reporter from Le Figaro told Khalkhali in 2000 that he could face the international courts of justice, he said: "No, it is not possible. If I did anything wrong, Ayatollah Khomeini would have told me. I only ever did what he asked."

Mohammed Sadeq was born in 1926 to Mohammed Sadeq Givi, a farmer, and Mashadi Khanum Um-Elbanin, in the village of Givi near Khalkhal in the north-western province of Azerbaijan. His education was exclusively religious as a seminarian in the holy city of Qom, where he added the provincial name Khalkhali according to clerical custom.

In the 1950s he joined an underground terrorist group Fedayeen Islam (Commandos of Islam). The group was responsible for killing numerous secular politicians in the 1960s and 1970s. Khalkhali was arrested by the Shah's security services on many occasions between 1963 and 1978, for his support of the fundamentalist Ayatollah Khomeini, who was living in exile until 1978.

In May 1950 the Shah's father, Reza Shah Pahlavi I, the founder of modern Iran, died and Khalkhali planned to set fire to the corpse when it was transferred from Egypt, but the train carrying it did not stop at Qom as planned, thus foiling the plot. Later, when the Shah was deposed by Khomeini in 1979, Khalkhali supervised the destruction by dynamite of the mausoleum of Reza Shah I.

Khalkhali became part of a cruel dictatorship hiding behind a population they imagined approved of their deeds. "I issued judgment and acted as the conscience of 35 million people," Khalkhali said. However, Iranian intellectuals saw him as more of a psychopath. Some reports suggested he spent time during his youth under strict observation in a lunatic asylum for his sadistic habit of strangling cats.

Television footage taken in 1980 showed Khalkhali prodding the burnt corpses of US soldiers killed in an unsuccessful mission to rescue American hostages held at the US embassy in Tehran. Khalkhali supported terrorism abroad and encouraged agents and volunteers to assassinate exiled "counter-revolutionaries" and former politicians he had condemned to death in absentia.

By 1981, Khomeini had forced Khalkhali to retreat into the background but he resumed his executions as a head of the Iranian anti-narcotic agency from 1982. He remained a member of parliament from 1980 until 1992. In 1992 he retired to Qom to teach in religious schools and write his memoirs, and would give interviews gloating over the fate of thousands of his victims.

Mohammed Sadeq Givi Khalkhali, cleric and writer: born Givi, Azerbaijan 27 July 1926; married (one son); died Tehran 27 November 2003.
18 posted on 11/28/2003 7:09:25 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Top Iran Cleric Shrugs Off UN Council Warning

November 29, 2003
The Peninsula

TEHRAN -- Iran should not be afraid if its nuclear activities are referred to the UN Security Council, a top Iranian hardline cleric said yesterday, after a warning from the UN's atomic watchdog that any further infringements by Tehran would be met by stern action.

"We should not be so frightened of the United Nations Security Council," the head of the Iranian Guardians Council, the Iranian legislative vetting body, Ayatollah Ahmad Janati said in Tehran's Friday sermon.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Wednesday condemned Iran for 18 years of covert nuclear activities but stopped short of taking Tehran to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions, as Washington had previously hoped.

The resolution was a compromise between the US call to censure Iran and demands from Britain, France and Germany that Iran be rewarded for cooperating since October with the IAEA.

But the text of the resolution also contained harsh words for Iran, in particular a passage warning that any further Iranian breaches of non-proliferation would be met by stern action from the IAEA's board of governors using "all options at its disposal."

Janati warned that Iran's nuclear case has only been "put on the back burner," and said that the United States would not stop trying to damage Iran's interests.

"Nowadays the US is talking about the Iran's violations of human rights, and is dispatching envoys here, but they turn on a blind eye to atrocities in Iraq and Israel, where women and children are bombarded."

"Once they are done with the human rights issue, they will turn to the Mideast peace issue, then to the support of the terrorism issue, they will never let go... but relying on people and God's support we will stand against them," he added.

Last week, the UN human rights committee approved a Canadian-drafted resolution condemning the rights situation in Iran, expressing concern over alleged torture, violent methods of punishment and discrimination against religious minorities.

Widespread support for the measure means its formal adoption by the UN General Assembly is all but guaranteed, so there is little chance the Islamic republic will escape damaging formal condemnation.

Meanwhile, the UN nuclear agency is probing a possible link between Iran and Pakistan after Tehran acknowledged using centrifuge designs that appear identical to ones used in Pakistan's quest for an atom bomb, diplomats say.

Diplomats said the agency was trying to determine whether the drawings had come from someone in Pakistan or elsewhere.
19 posted on 11/28/2003 7:10:16 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Coaxing Iran to Come Clean

November 27, 2003
The Economist Print Edition
The Economist

A GOOD day for “peace, multilateralism and non-proliferation”? So concluded Mohamed ElBaradei, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), after his 35-nation governing board agreed unanimously on November 26th “strongly” to deplore Iran's 18-year record of illicit nuclear dabbling—especially its undeclared enrichment of uranium and separation of plutonium—but not to refer those transgressions to the UN Security Council. Or, at least, not yet.

This week's compromise, haggled out between America and a European trio of Britain, France and Germany, leaves the agency's inspectors, armed with Iran's assurances of full co-operation and transparency, with the task of checking what Iran insists is this time the full story of a nuclear programme it claims to be entirely peaceful. But Iran's nuclear intentions are still open to doubt, as is the continued unanimity of the IAEA.

America, backed by Australia, Canada and Japan, had wanted Iran's violations (this week's resolution talks less accusingly only of “failures and breaches”) of its nuclear safeguards to be put before the Security Council, even if talk of sanctions could wait while Iran's co-operation with inspectors was tested. But the European trio had struck a deal with Iran last month to avoid UN referral in return for suspension of all uranium and plutonium activity and a promise (yet to be fulfilled, sceptics note) to sign up for toughened inspections. Better to encourage co-operation, the trio argued, than to hasten confrontation.

That rather depends on whether Iran has decided to abandon the nuclear-weapon option that its concealed nuclear experiments seemed designed to support. Disquiet about its intentions, both among other Europeans and some of Iran's erstwhile allies in the non-aligned movement, helped stiffen this week's resolution. Should any further “serious” failures come to light, the IAEA's board will still have “all options at its disposal”—code for future Security Council action.

Will this keep Iran honest? Perhaps. Iran is keen to avoid UN sanctions, which would hurt its economy, and to evade military action: something America has not yet threatened, but which Israel was said to be contemplating while Iran was still lying about its nuclear activity.

Much now depends on whether the pile of documents that Iran handed over to the IAEA last month fully accounts for its nuclear programme. Inspectors are particularly keen to discover the origin, whether inside Iran or outside, of the many different isotopic traces of uranium, some enriched well beyond the level needed for civilian use, that they have already found at different sites inside the country. Iran blames imported centrifuge and laser-enrichment equipment, so inspectors will be following the trail to other countries: they won't say which, though China, Russia and Pakistan are thought to be on the list, as well as companies in Europe. Uncovering Iran's supply network could help stem further proliferation.

However, some Iran-watchers still suspect that Iran may also have illegally imported enriched uranium directly via the black market, possibly from Russia. If so, Iran would quickly find itself back in the dock and this time with scant diplomatic cover from the European trio—all of whom earlier this year signed up to a tough new European Union strategy to curb the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

America's secretary of state, Colin Powell, professed himself pleased that concerted co-operation—from America, the Europeans, Japan and even Russia, which made clear that it would not complete the nuclear reactor it is building for Iran at Bushehr unless the inspectors were satisfied—has pushed Iran to submit to vigorous inspection.

All the better if it can be persuaded to drop, verifiably and permanently, all further plans for uranium enrichment and plutonium separation—the two technologies that could be misused for nuclear bomb-building. That would help the search for a better non-proliferation bargain, one that draws a clearer line between acceptable civilian nuclear pursuits and unacceptable potential military ones.

Iran would probably demand, as part of a final deal, that America lift its economic sanctions. America, for its part, insists that Iran should stop supporting groups that use violence against Israel. All a long way from this week's diplomacy at the IAEA. But that is roughly what it will take to secure peace.
20 posted on 11/28/2003 7:11:56 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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