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Iranian Alert -- November 29, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 11.29.2003 | DoctorZin

Posted on 11/29/2003 12:00:33 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 11/29/2003 12:00:33 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 11/29/2003 12:03:05 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran: Nukes déjà vu

Posted: November 29, 2003
1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2003

Did you sense last Thanksgiving that we were on the verge of war? Did you sense this Thanksgiving that we may be on the verge of another?

Last year, we had sought a United Nations Security Council resolution that would give us the authority to invade Iraq if U.N. inspectors discovered that Saddam Hussein was not in compliance with his disarmament agreements.

Well – neo-crazies to the contrary – UNSC Resolution 1441 didn't give us the authority to invade Iraq.

Even for nukes and the makings thereof, UNSCR-1441 simply directed International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors to search for prohibited items and activities and to report immediately "any interference by Iraq with inspection activities, as well as any failure by Iraq to comply with its disarmament obligations, including its obligations regarding inspections under this resolution."

What was to happen if Director General ElBaradei did find "evidence" that Saddam was not complying? Well, the Security Council was to convene immediately upon receipt of his report "in order to consider the situation and the need for full compliance with all of the relevant Council resolutions in order to secure international peace and security."

The Security Council could have authorized member states to use military force to secure international peace and security.

But, ElBaradei reported to the Security Council on March 17, 2003, that he could find in Iraq "no evidence of ongoing prohibited nuclear or nuclear-related activities."

The U.N. chem-bio weapons inspectors made a similar report.

Rats! No chance for a U.N.-authorized invasion and occupation of Iraq. In fact, the reports of the U.N. inspectors could easily justify the removal of the U.N. sanctions that had been imposed on Iraq in 1991.

So, President Bush shifted to Plan B. He told Congress that Plan A – "diplomacy" – had failed. But Iraq posed "a continuing threat to the national security of the United States" by "continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations."

Well, it's eight months later, and everything has gone according to plan in Iraq.

But what about Iran?

This year, we first sought a U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency resolution which would refer to the Security Council Iran's failures to meet its obligations under its Safeguards Agreement. Once referred, we would have then sought a Security Council resolution that would give us the authority to invade Iran if U.N. inspectors discovered additional failures.

ElBaradei has told the IAEA Board of Governors that although Iran has failed to meet its obligations under its Safeguards Agreement, he has not uncovered any "prohibited" activities.

The Israelis loudly dispute ElBaradei's conclusions and have threatened to destroy everything in Iran that looks suspicious to them.

The most drastic action the IAEA can take is to refer the matter to the Security Council, which can authorize really drastic actions, including military force.

The neo-crazies claim the IAEA resolution, just passed, effectively accomplishes their objective, warning Iran that further violations could lead to Security Council sanctions.

Well, the words "violation" and "sanction" don't appear anywhere in it, and there is no mention of the Security Council.

The resolution "notes with deep concern that Iran has failed in a number of instances over an extended period of time to meet its obligations under its Safeguards Agreement with respect to the reporting of nuclear material, and its processing and use, as well as the declaration of facilities where such material has been processed and stored."

The resolution does warn that "should any further serious Iranian failures come to light, the Board of Governors would meet immediately to consider, in the light of the circumstances and of advice from the director general, all options at its disposal, in accordance with the IAEA Statute and Iran's Safeguards Agreement."

Well, if the board does refer the issue to the Security Council, Iran will follow the example of North Korea and withdraw from the NPT. As soon as the U.N. inspectors are out of the country, the neo-crazies will attack.

But, that's not likely to happen.

You see, this IAEA resolution gives Director General ElBaradei a chance to repair some of the damage done by the neo-crazies and their media sycophants to the IAEA Safeguards regime in the last year. ElBaradei was given the dual role of chief inspector and chief adviser, precisely so that what happened to Iraq in March won't happen again to Iran next February.

Unless the neo-crazies are really crazy, it won't.

Physicist James Gordon Prather has served as a policy implementing official for national security-related technical matters in the Federal Energy Agency, the Energy Research and Development Administration, the Department of Energy, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Department of the Army. Dr. Prather also served as legislative assistant for national security affairs to U.S. Sen. Henry Bellmon, R-Okla. -- ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee and member of the Senate Energy Committee and Appropriations Committee. Dr. Prather had earlier worked as a nuclear weapons physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and Sandia National Laboratory in New Mexico.
3 posted on 11/29/2003 12:05:19 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
The states have not for got you guys prepare for change.
4 posted on 11/29/2003 12:25:23 AM PST by hannityforpres08
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To: DoctorZIn
"Most want to replace the regime with a secular democracy. Many even want the US to over throw their government."

The people of the West find this very difficult to believe. It's like it's too good to be true.

Do the people of Iran want to repudiate Islam and cast it out and return to the civilization of the Persian Empire? Now that would really be BIG NEWS--and WELCOME NEWS! That would get the people of the West very excited!

5 posted on 11/29/2003 12:35:04 AM PST by Savage Beast (If Europeans have forgotten the price of appeasement, Americans are well qualified to remind them.)
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To: hannityforpres08
John 3:16 my friends thats all!!!!
6 posted on 11/29/2003 12:50:29 AM PST by hannityforpres08
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To: hannityforpres08; Savage Beast; DoctorZIn; McGavin999; freedom44; nuconvert; Eala; AdmSmith; ...
Iran not afraid of UN Security Council: top cleric

November 28, 2003

TEHRAN, Nov 28 (AFP) - Iran should not be afraid if its nuclear activities are referred to the UN Security Council, a top Iranian hardline cleric said on Friday, 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) 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.
7 posted on 11/29/2003 2:22:08 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran: First Uranium Then Plutonium: What’s Next?

By Gary Fitleberg on 11/28/03
American Daily

Is Iran developing a nuclear weapons program? Or is its nuclear program for peaceful purposes?

One thing is perfectly clear. Iran has not come clean time and time again regarding complete disclosure of the facts surrounding its nuclear program.

Iran did not first disclose possession of enriched uranium (obtained illegally on the black market). Now it has come to light that Iran has also produced plutonium. Both ingredients for nuclear weapons. Can Iran be taken on its word and trusted? Will further investigation be necessary by the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)?

Iran managed to produce some plutonium, says a new report that will be delivered by Mohammed El Baradie to the IAEA. The report, disseminated two nights ago among member states in the IAEA, won't be published officially until a board of governors meeting on November 20.

It says that in a letter delivered by Iran on October 21 to El Baradie, and signed by the head of the Iranian atomic energy commission, Vice President Gholamreza Aghazadeh, "Iran admits that between 1968 and 2002, it conducted a series of experiments in the process of enriching uranium with centrifuges at the Kleia Electronics Corp., using uranium it had imported in 1991, as well as enrichment procedures with the use of lasers, and between 1991 and 2000, it managed to produce seven kilograms of uranium from which it processed small amounts of plutonium."

The report says Iran did not declare that it has any plutonium in all the various contacts it had with the IAEA, until that letter of three weeks ago.

According to the report, Iran has a broad nuclear capability, including uranium mines, converting uranium, enriching it, manufacturing uranium fuel, manufacturing heavy water, a cold water reactor, a research reactor based on heavy water, and sites where extensive nuclear activity is underway.

The report says that Iran systematically hid its nuclear program, and did not fulfill its international commitments, including cooperation with the IAEA - at least up until September of this year, when the IAEA delivered an ultimatum to start cooperating.

But despite all the new revelations in the report, it goes on to say that there is no proof that the nuclear activity that has so far been undeclared "is connected to a nuclear weapons program." Yet, in light of the pattern of concealment, says the report, it will take time before the IAEA can reach the conclusion that Iran's nuclear program was for peaceful purposes only.

Furthermore, the report praises Iran for its decision in September to sign the additional protocol, which enables IAEA inspectors to make surprise, intrusive visits to Iranian facilities.

Is Iran developing a nuclear weapons program? Or is its nuclear program for peaceful purposes? You be the judge!!!

Gary is a Political Analyst specializing in International Relations with emphasis on Middle East affairs. His articles have been published in numerous publications including La Prensa (Managua, Nicaragua equivalent to the L.A. Times), Pakistan Today, The Kashmir Telegraph, The Iranian and many more.
8 posted on 11/29/2003 2:29:54 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: F14 Pilot
Playing with fire: deepening suspicions that Saudis are considering atomic arms

The Daily Star - Lebanon

BEIRUT: Western military analysts have long believed that Saudi Arabia was the Arab power most likely to take up the nuclear weapons option and in recent days there has been mounting speculation that Riyadh is moving in that direction. That is a development that would have the most profound impact on the highly volatile Middle East-South Asia region at a time when the Americans are extending their military power. Nuclear proliferation by the Saudis and others and the “war on terrorism” is a dangerous mix.
That scenario has been given considerable weight by the hardening evidence that Iran has had a clandestine nuclear arms program for some years and that Israel’s newly acquired German-built submarines are being equipped with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, greatly extending Israel’s nuclear reach. Israel claims Libya is seeking nuclear know-how.
But possibly the most defining element has been the sharp deterioration in Riyadh’s relationship with the United States since Sept. 11, 2001. Saudi Arabia’s ruling elite understands that it can no longer place any reliance on US protection, even in the face of Iranian intimidation.
Riyadh denies it is mulling a nuclear option, but questions remain. On Oct. 8, the Saudi-owned newspaper Asharq al-Awsat, published in London, added to the conundrum with a report headlined: “Yes, we are afraid of Iranian uranium.” The article said: “It would be a mistake to defend our neighbor Iran because of its ignorance and because of the excuse that its actions are meant to deter Israel.
“The Iranian nuclear danger threatens us more than the Israeli and Americans ­ our duty is to seek the dismantling of Israel’s nuclear weapons but we cannot deceive ourselves that Iran is arming itself with nuclear weapons as a response to Israel. We have used conventional weapons against each other more than against Israel and the situation won’t change if we add a nuclear bomb to our arsenal.”
According to US analysts Kenneth Weisbode of the Atlantic Council and James Goodby of the Brookings Institution: “If Iran joins Israel as a de facto nuclear-weapon state, with three other nuclear-weapon states nearby ­ Russia, India and Pakistan ­ it is very unlikely that other nations in the vicinity will be able to resist launching or accelerating their own nuclear weapons programs.
“It is not at all inconceivable,” they wrote in an October analysis, “that a Middle East with four, five or six nuclear-weapon states, including Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, will be the reality of the early 21st century.”
There has been much speculation that Riyadh is seeking either nuclear technology or actual weapons from Pakistan, a nuclear power with whom it has had close ties for many years. Riyadh and Islamabad deny they have a nuclear pact, or are working toward one. The US State Department says that it has “not seen any information to substantiate” reports that the Saudis are trying to acquire nuclear weapons.
Yet a State Department study published in August 2002 reported that senior Saudi officials had discussed the prospect of nuclear arms cooperation with Pakistan. And in November 2002, a former US Defense Intelligence Agency official, Thomas Woodrow, said that Riyadh had been financing Islamabad’s nuclear and missile purchases from China.
Woodrow, a senior China analyst, wrote in a research paper that “Saudi Arabia has been involved in funding Pakistan’s missile and nuclear program purchases from China, which has resulted in Pakistan becoming a nuclear weapon-producing and proliferating state.” He went on to note that Riyadh was “buying nuclear capability from China through a proxy state, with Pakistan serving as the cut-out.”
The indications of sharper Saudi interest in nuclear arms has touched raw nerves in Washington, particularly at a time when the US is challenging Iran and North Korea over their nuclear capabilities and their links to terrorism. The last thing the US wants is another nuclear power in the highly volatile Middle East-South Asia region. A Saudi decision to go nuclear would wreck whatever remains of the Saudi-US relationship, and that may be inhibiting Riyadh.
President George W. Bush and senior officials in his administration are reported to have confronted Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf about them. It is not known whether he was able to reassure the Americans, who rely heavily on Musharraf’s government in the war against the Taleban and Al-Qaeda.
Suspicions that the Saudis were funding Pakistan’s nuclear arms program have been around for years. Both governments have denied it, but the Saudis have had exceptional access to Pakistan’s maximum-security nuclear facilities for years. In 1999, Saudi Arabia’s powerful defense minister, Prince Sultan, was admitted to the uranium-enrichment plant and ballistic missile production facilities at Kahuta, near Islamabad shortly after Pakistan conducted nuclear tests. Woodrow said Sultan “may also have been present in Pakistan” during the test-launch that year of the nuclear-capable Ghauri missile.
Crown Prince Abdullah visited Pakistan on Oct. 18-19 amid considerable speculation that nuclear arms was high on his agenda.
Simon Henderson, a specialist on Saudi Arabia, noted in a recent paper for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, that “given recent revelations about the progress of Iran’s nuclear program, Crown Prince Abdullah may well believe that now is the time for Islamabad to repay Riyadh for its support.”
For either Riyadh or Islamabad to enter into a nuclear arms agreement at this time would seriously antagonize the US and complicate Bush’s expanding war against global terrorism. But perhaps the Saudis found it timely to make such an approach since India’s rapidly growing military ­ and possibly nuclear ­ ties with Israel are causing considerable unease in Islamabad. Pakistan, outgunned by India in the nuclear field, wants to find what the Americans call “equalizers” to deter India, and having nuclear weapons in Saudi Arabia, outside India’s targeting reach, could offer that possibility ñ and might also check Iran.
It is ironic that it was Pakistan, which is believed to have helped Iran develop its nuclear program ­ along with China, Russia and possibly North Korea ­ which has given apparent impetus to Riyadh’s efforts to counter the threat from Tehran.
While the details of Abdullah’s discussions in Islamabad during his 26-hour visit have not been disclosed, the British newspaper The Guardian reported on Sept. 18 that the Saudis, alarmed at Iran’s accelerating nuclear program and their development of Shehab intermediate-range ballistic missiles, were considering a strategy review at the highest level that contained three options: acquiring a nuclear capability as a deterrent, allying with a nuclear power that would offer protection, or pursuing a regional agreement for a nuclear-free Middle East.
The Saudis vehemently denied any effort to acquire nuclear arms. However, according to Henderson, the basis for the Guardian report was a meeting held a few days earlier during a three-day international symposium on Saudi Arabia, Britain and the Wider World at Oxford University. The meeting was organized by the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies, whose chairman of the trustees is also the deputy leader of Saudi Arabia’s consultative council, a body with no executive powers which advises the monarchy.
Among the invitees were three Saudi princes, including Prince Turki al-Faisal, who had headed the kingdom’s intelligence service for 25 years until his surprise resignation in July 2001, shortly before the suicide attacks on the United States. He was later appointed ambassador to Britain. A Saudi Cabinet minister and two members of the consultative council were also in attendance. The substance of the Guardian report has been confirmed by senior Saudis, according to Henderson.
The Israeli take on these developments was that Riyadh was signaling Washington to act decisively to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power because they fear that if that happens, the region will face a nuclear arms race that in the end can only threaten the Jewish state.
Ariel Sharon warned last month that Libya was “diligently attempting to acquire nuclear know-how with help from North Korea and Pakistan ­ not help in buying a bomb, but help in acquiring technology and expertise to build a bomb.” Whether that was simply more scare-mongering to justify Israel’s hard-line position and its own nuclear armory is not clear, although some US commentators have deduced that Israel had obtained hard intelligence that Libya was pursuing nuclear technology.
If the Saudis are moving toward acquiring nuclear weapons, or the technology, they already have some of the required infrastructure ­ 50-60 CSS-2 Dong Feng 3A ballistic missiles secretly bought from China in the mid-1980s.
All this, it would seem, is part of the sweeping geopolitical realignment unfolding in the Middle East and its environs, particularly in South and Central Asia, triggered by Sept. 11, and by the US response to that catalytic event, particularly the conquest of Iraq. While the Americans see themselves establishing a new military base from which to dominate the region ­ in effect substituting Iraq for Saudi Arabia ­ they must also face the possibility that, proliferation concerns apart, the regional regimes they have propped up for so long, particularly Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and even Pakistan, could be overthrown by Islamic radicals somewhere down the line. And that gives the prospect of Saudi Arabia acquiring nuclear weapons, however amorphous that may be at this time, a more menacing aspect.

Ed Blanche, a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, has covered Middle Eastern affairs for years and is a regular contributor to The Daily Star
9 posted on 11/29/2003 2:40:14 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: F14 Pilot
"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."

And this is a theocracy???

10 posted on 11/29/2003 5:36:16 AM PST by Savage Beast (If Europeans have forgotten the price of appeasement, Americans are well qualified to remind them.)
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To: F14 Pilot
Freedom ~ Now!
11 posted on 11/29/2003 7:12:09 AM PST by blackie
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To: DoctorZIn
Chris Patten: Unstable Iraq Would be Disastrous

November 29, 2003
EU Business

EU External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten has warned that an unstable Iraq will be disastrous and that Syria and Iran should be engaged and not bullied.

"If Iraq is in a shambles and acting as a magnet for terrorists, if there's conflict between Shias and Sunni and Kurds, the results for all of us will be a disaster," Patten said in an interview published Saturday in the Hindu newspaper.

"My own view is that we have to see a transfer to a credible set of Iraqi institutions as soon as possible," he added.

Patten is currently in New Delhi for an India-EU summit.

The official also warned that pushing Syria and Iran into a corner could be counter-productive.

"I actually think while there is some way to go to ensure that the agreement we now have with Iran is watertight, our approach has been extremely successful. And that it is better to engage Iran and Syria than seek to isolate them or bully them," Patten said.

The United States has pressured Syria since the fall of Saddam Hussein's Iraqi regime, with accusations including letting armed men cross its border with Iraq to fight coalition forces.

The US Congress voted on November 12 for a bill levying economic and political sanctions against Syria, which must be signed by President George W. Bush to take effect.

On Iran, Western nations have warned the country on its controversial nuclear programme.

This week the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) 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.

Patten said tackling "terrorism" required "an adequate security response as well as an adequate political response".

"I also have no doubt that unless we'd been prepared to try to find political accommodation, unless we had addressed real issues of social grievance, we wouldn't have got a settlement. So it's a question of combining all these things," he said.
12 posted on 11/29/2003 9:02:33 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Bush's visit showed US fear of Iraqis: Iran -- Detail Story
TEHRAN, Nov 28

Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi said on Friday that US President George W. Bush's top secret visit to Baghdad showed that Washington was afraid of the Iraqi people, state television reported.

"The US president's sudden visit to Iraq was a sign of the US fear of the Iraqi people," said Mr Kharazi, whose country opposed the US-led invasion of Iraq.

Mr Bush was at the Iraqi capital's airport for 150 minutes late on Thursday to join 600 troops for an emotional Thanksgiving dinner, on a lightning trip arranged under strict secrecy.

News of the visit was not even released until Air Force One had already left Baghdad, for fear of the sort of missile fire by insurgents that forced an emergency landing by a DHL civilian cargo jet last week.

The only Iraqis he encountered were four members of the US-installed interim Governing Council.-AFP
13 posted on 11/29/2003 9:12:58 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: F14 Pilot
Why worry when the EU has your back?
14 posted on 11/29/2003 9:32:33 AM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranian Women Win Improved Child Custody Rights

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iranian women won the right to have custody of boys up to the age of seven on Saturday, giving divorced mothers the same rights over their sons as they do over their daughters, a reformist parliamentarian said.

Under Iran's strict Islamic law, divorced women already had automatic custody of girls until they are seven, but were previously only able to keep boys until they were two.

"The Expediency Council granted divorced mothers custody of both girls and boys until the age of seven," Elaheh Kulai, a reformist women deputy, told Reuters after it was broadcast on state television.

Iran's conservative-controlled legislative body, the Guardian Council, had twice rejected the change on the grounds that it was against Islamic law, despite its approval by the reformist-led parliament last year. But parliament's decision was backed by the powerful Expediency Council, the top arbitration body headed by influential former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

"It is a positive step forward for defending women's rights," said Kulai.

The reform is one of several bids by parliament overcome the conservatives' resistance and improve the lot of Iranian women, who cannot become president or a judge and are entitled to half of the inheritance due to a man.

Judges also often give fathers the custody of their children, regardless of their qualifications as parents.

Iranian law gives men the right to divorce a woman without her consent. But a woman can seek divorce only if her husband is a drug addict or impotent, almost always impossible for her to prove.

Note: Taking orders from their EU masters, the Islamic Republic are giving "minor" concessions.

One step forward, two steps backwards

15 posted on 11/29/2003 9:54:29 AM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn

Wild about the West
Sidney Morning Herald - By By Christopher Kremmer in Qom, Iran
Nov 29, 2003

While Iran's clerics wrangle with each other to retain control, a new generation seems ready to sweep away the theocracy and reach out to the wider world.

He's 82 now, yet the defiance that made Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri one of the architects of Iran's Islamic revolution is undiminished. As deputy to the revered and reviled Ayatollah Khomeini, he helped humiliate America by ousting the pro-Western Shah, and gave the politics of the pulpit a momentum that persists across the Islamic world.

Now, almost a quarter century later, his enemies are the very clerics whom he helped seize power. It's time, he says, for the mullahs to go back to their mosques. "An Islamic jurist is just that. He doesn't know anything about economics or politics," Montazeri tells me in a rare interview at his office in Qom, a pilgrims' town on the edge of a great salt desert two hours' drive south-west of Tehran. "These things should be handled by experts, and the representatives of the people."

The way Iran's leading clerical dissident sees it, the Islamic revolution has been unravelling ever since it began in 1978, when violent protests against the monarchy broke out in Qom, the town where Khomeini had preached before being exiled by the Shah.

But in recent years, the ragged political system Khomeini bequeathed to this country of some 70 million has faced increasing challenges. Student protests, US military intervention in neighbouring Afghanistan and Iraq, and international pressure over Iran's nuclear program and the alleged presence of al-Qaeda militants have led some observers to predict a new revolution will topple the theocratic regime.

Writing last year in the Wall Street Journal, a former director of the US Central Intelligence Agency under the Clinton administration, R. James Woolsey, asserted: "Shiite theocracy today is where Soviet communism was in the early 1980s: still in power, but widely recognised as being rigid and unworkable."

In the heady weeks after the US declaration of military victory in Iraq, neo-conservative commentator Michael Leeden, founder of the US-based Centre for Democracy in Iran, urged American forces onwards to Tehran. "The time for diplomacy is at an end; it is time for a free Iran, free Syria and free Lebanon," he told the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs in Washington.

However, with the liberation of Iraq not working out exactly as planned, the momentum for new adventures in Iran has - for the time being - ebbed. In recent speeches, the US President, George Bush, has indicated that the United States wants Iran's reformers, in particular radical students, to do the job that US forces can't, and has pledged support to them. IN THE heart of Tehran, the sprawling campus of the Amir Kabir University of Technology is just the sort of place where Bush's hoped-for rebellion might begin. Political posters alternate with banners for Quentin Tarantino's latest film, Kill Bill. Reformist and conservative students frequently hold protests and counter-protests as the political temperature fluctuates.

In a computer room commandeered for our interview, I meet Mehdi Habibi, head of the main students' association. The usual Persian hospitality is absent. Since July, when he was arrested along with about 4000 others for participating in student protests, Habibi has been running purely on adrenaline. He spent 35 days in solitary confinement at Tehran's notorious Evin prison, was questioned daily and occasionally slapped, before being released. "It was a humiliating experience. I was placed in a cell less than two metres square," he says, eyes filled with a terrible intensity and hands trembling. "They wanted me to admit that I was part of a foreign conspiracy."

At 26, the engineering student's education has become increasingly political. Democracy protests are routinely crushed by government-backed vigilantes, and he takes it for granted his mobile phone is bugged.

It is one of Iran's great ironies that students, who helped spearhead the Islamic revolution, are now its greatest critics. In November 1979, it was radical students who seized control of the American embassy in Tehran and held diplomats hostage for 444 days. The US hasn't had an embassy in Tehran since. But while a minority of students today still shout "Death to America", most would prefer the death of the clerics' monopoly on power.

Clerical opposition to birth control after the revolution created the demographic bulge that has driven Iran's reform movement. In 1997, a new generation longing for greater social freedoms galvanised around a mild-mannered mullah from Ardakan, in central Iran, Mohammed Khatami, and swept him to power and international prominence.

This self-assertion by Iranian youth - 60 per cent of the population is under 25 - clawed back some of the freedoms restricted by the mullahs after the revolution. The chador is now little worn by women in the well-heeled suburbs of north Tehran - a modest headscarf to cover the hair suffices - and a culture of questioning is well entrenched in the country's parliament and print media.

But the younger generation's fondest hope - that Iran would become a normal country, with normal relations with the rest of the world, allowing them to travel and study abroad - remains hostage to the revolutionary rump that still dominates politics. "They expected too much, they demanded too much, and they underestimated their opponents," says Mohammed Hadi Semati, a Tehran University professor and occasional speechwriter and adviser to President Khatami.

Like most of those who voted for Khatami, student leader Mehdi Habibi no longer believes that the Islamic republic can be reformed. "Iran is a time bomb. The smallest spark could cause the people's anger to explode," he warns. "Reform by government has come to an end. Voting doesn't get us anywhere. It only legitimises this sham of democracy."

Although reformers dominate the majlis, or parliament, the bulk of their legislative agenda has been vetoed by the powerful Council of Guardians, which is dominated by conservatives. Numerous reformist candidates have been disqualified from standing for election, and newspaper editors who have challenged the status quo have been jailed and their papers shut down.

Real power remains in the hands of the unelected supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, a conservative cleric who, according to one long-time friend and supporter, is determined that the Islamic system "will not budge or retreat one step". QOM is the kind of place where you would expect the supreme leader of an Islamic republic to command devotion and respect. Religious students from around the Islamic world crowd its blue-tiled mosques and seminaries. Women are cloaked in the chador.

Yet although this provincial town has prospered under the Islamic republic's patronage, Khamenei still struggles for legitimacy here. He has yet to attain the rank of grand ayatollah - despite strenuous efforts - and his attempts to unify and control the Shia clergy, sometimes by force, are greeted with suspicion.

It's often forgotten that many of the Islamic regime's victims have been clerics. Special courts established after the revolution have sent at least 600 to the gallows for crimes ranging from theological deviation to treason.

The most revered Shia leaders - the two dozen or so grand ayatollahs, men of deep conviction and learning responsible for fostering Islam's minority sect - have not been spared. Foremost among them is Montazeri. In 1989, he was dismissed from his position as Khomeini's deputy after criticising the execution of thousands of political prisoners. Six years ago this month, his fall from grace deepened after he made a speech questioning supreme leader Khamenei's authority to issue fatwas, or religious edicts. A mob of about 1000 attacked his home, and Revolutionary Guards set to work erecting barricades outside the premises. He would spend five years under house arrest.

Last January, after protests in parliament and reports that his health was failing, the government ended Montazeri's confinement. The death in custody of a founder of the revolution was a prospect too dangerous to risk. In September, he resumed teaching in Qom.

A humble lane leads to the anonymous compound in which the diminutive, but pugnacious, ayatollah spent his lost years. Across a covered courtyard reserved for public audiences, a narrow steel staircase leads to the office of a man regarded by millions of Shia Muslims worldwide as a marja-e taqlid, or "source of emulation". Followers donate 20 per cent of their incomes to Montazeri for religious and charitable works. His interpretations of the Holy Koran inform all aspects of his devotees' lives.

In an airy, barely furnished room he stands at his desk, his silver beard diaphanous in the afternoon light, to welcome me with a few words of English. Wearing a lace skullcap and trademark oversized spectacles, he appears in ruddy good health, despite a lifetime of struggle that included prison and torture at the hands of the Shah's US-backed regime.

The week before our meeting, his two sons, Ahmed and Saeed, had been briefly arrested, and a mosque where he once preached remains closed as an example to other dissidents.

Where did the revolution go wrong, I wanted to know? Montazeri, a co-author of Iran's constitution, says the clerics' power far outstripped the intentions of the revolution's founding fathers. He calls the main bastion of this power, the Guardian Council, a "government within a government".

"We defined their duty as just to supervise the fairness of the elections, nothing more," he says, pointing out that he opposed later amendments that allowed the council to disqualify candidates. "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."

Having been incarcerated by both the monarchy and the Islamic republic, the octogenarian religious leader has a natural affinity with the embattled students, and shares their cynicism about Khatami. "Actually, the president has no power. He just makes speeches," he tells me, in his spirited croak of a voice. "It's wrong to jail religious nationalists or students. Jailing them has no benefit for us. It only leads to crises and mobilises the international community against us." FOR supreme leader Khamenei, the barbs of a religious grandee who is his senior, both in age and eminence, are galling. But Khamenei still holds a trump card. Fed up with political gridlock, Iranians are blaming the failed reformist Khatami, rather than the supreme leader who blocked his program.

Voter turnout at municipal elections held in Tehran last February plummeted to 12 per cent. If that were to be repeated at next February's parliamentary polls, conservatives could regain control of the majlis.

16 posted on 11/29/2003 9:58:00 AM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn

Iranian-Americans march in California
17 posted on 11/29/2003 10:57:58 AM PST by freedom44
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To: F14 Pilot
but relying on people and God's support we will stand against them

Yet "people" are against the tyranny of the mullahcracy.

As for God--God is not mocked.

Janati, you may flout the UN's sanctions, but Israeli jets?

And U.S. airpower is not in the hands of Howard Dean and Hillary Clinton--no matter what CNN tells you.

18 posted on 11/29/2003 4:37:16 PM PST by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran To Block All Nominees For Top OPEC Job If Own Fails

November 29, 2003
Dow Jones Newswires
Sally Jones

TEHRAN -- Iran will block all candidates who may stand for OPEC's key job of secretary general if Tehran's own nominee isn't elected, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh said Saturday.

Speaking on the sidelines of an industry event, Zangeneh told reporters "our decision hasn't changed." He added that if Iran's candidate doesn't secure the top job at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Tehran won't vote in favor of anyone else.

OPEC ministers are due to meet in Vienna on Dec. 4, when in addition to discussing the group's output policy, they also are set to discuss the appointment of a new secretary general. The issue has in the past often been fraught with tension and isn't helped by the fact that the decision has to be unanimous among all 11 members.

In addition to Iran's nominee, Hadi Nejad Hosseinian, Kuwait nominated Adnan Shihab-Eldin, while Venezuela is re-nominating current secretary general Alvaro Silva.
19 posted on 11/29/2003 6:39:25 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Turkish Bombing Suspect Captured While Trying to Slip into Iran

November 29, 2003
The Associated Press
The Globe and Mail

Ankara, Turkey — A suspect in the bombing of a Turkish synagogue was charged Saturday with attempting to overthrow Turkey's "constitutional order by force," the Anatolia news agency reported. The charge amounts to treason and is punishable by life in prison.

The alleged plot leader was captured while trying to slip into Iran with a fake passport, Istanbul police said Saturday.

The charge used to carry the death penalty but now carries life imprisonment after Turkey abolished the death penalty as part of reforms designed to improve its chances of joining the European Union.

The Anatolia news agency said the suspect, who has not been named, was taken to Istanbul's Bayrampasa prison. No trial date was set.

Anatolia did not say why the court charged the man with treason. But leaders of outlawed groups that aim to overthrow the system have been charged with treason in the past.

Istanbul Deputy police Chief Halil Yilmaz said police detained a man suspected of plotting and of giving the go-ahead for the Nov 15 suicide truck bombing outside Istanbul's Beth Israel synagogue. He was arrested Tuesday at the Gurbulak crossing in the eastern Agri province, which borders Iran.

Police did not specify whether the man was just a local plot leader or if another person was the mastermind behind the attack. His detention, however, was the first major arrest in the investigation into the four suicide truck bombings that devastated two synagogues on Nov. 15 and the British Consulate and a British bank five days later.

Twenty-nine people, including the two bombers, perished in the synagogue bombings. The attacks on the British targets claimed 32 lives, including the two bombers. All four suicide bombers were Turks.

Police had been tipped off that the man planned to flee Turkey using false documents, Mr. Yilmaz said, without elaboration.
20 posted on 11/29/2003 6:40:48 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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