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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 12/01/2003 12:07:31 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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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”

2 posted on 12/01/2003 12:14:40 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
1.12.2003. 15:10:48

An Iranian man whose home was raided earlier this year by the Australian Federal Police says his family now feels constantly paranoid and has been ostracised by the neighbourhood.

In June, Jahangir Hosseini's home was one of the ten Iranian-Australian homes across Australia raided for suspected links to the Iranian opposition group, the Mujahedin-e Kalq.

Mr Hosseini says he is a supporter of the group but does not advocate violence or terrorism.

He says the Federal Police returned more than 20 boxes of his family's confiscated personal possessions a few days ago and no charges were laid.

Bu Mr Hosseini says he and his family are scared the police put listening devices in their house and people in their community look at them differently now.

"The local people - like shop people, like banks, like the post office - they see us and their reaction is a little bit changed. They are afraid of us. With a joke, they say, 'Excuse me, are you carrying a bomb?' With laughter, but this kind of thing is very bad in front of my children."

He says his 12 year old daughter often does not sleep until after 5.00 am, the time when the raid started.

Mr Hosseini's other daughter, 17 year-old Nosrat, says when she hears a sound around the house she thinks it could be another raid.

She says her parents are refugees from persecution in Iran and have never hidden their opposition to the Iranian government from the Australian authorities.

Nosrat Hosseini claims the raids were politically motivated.

"It's just as a result of Mr John Howard's tactics to scare the people, to spark fear into the people's eyes, just so during the election campaign he can exploit these fears, he can exploit these circumstances to be re-elected."
3 posted on 12/01/2003 12:16:33 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Synagogue bombings suspect confesses to al-Qaida ties

Jerusalem Post
Nov. 30, 2003

A Turkish man who allegedly ordered the start of a suicide truck bombing attack against an Istanbul synagogue has confessed to having ties with the al-Qaida terrorist network, Turkish newspapers reported Sunday.

The man, whom police said was captured last week while trying to slip into Iran, has been charged with trying to overthrow Turkey's "constitutional order" - a crime equivalent to treason.

He is accused of having given the order to carry out the Nov. 15 truck bombing of the Beth Israel synagogue - one of four suicide attacks in Istanbul that killed 61 people, police said.

Police have not identified the man, but nearly all major Turkish newspapers said the man was Yusuf Polat. The daily Radikal said Polat was born in 1974 in Turkey's southeastern province of Malatya.

The leading daily Milliyet and other newspapers said Polat had confessed to belonging to a 10-man cell that he said was an extension of the al-Qaida terror network. Police also had evidence that the attacks had received support domestically and from abroad, Milliyet reported.

The daily Sabah also reported that several members of the cell, including several of the suicide bombers, had met while training in Afghanistan.

Citing Polat's confession, Sabah reported that the man suspected of being the suicide bomber at the HSBC bank in Istanbul, began plotting the attack in June because of "the occupation of Iraq" and because "Muslims were suffering." Newspapers have identified that man as Habip Aktas.

Police arrested the man Tuesday at the Gurbulak crossing in eastern Agri province, which borders Iran. Police said he went to the Beth Israel synagogue before the attack ordered the start of the attack.

The daily Hurriyet said the man had been tracked down through his mobile telephone records after allegedly calling the suicide bomber only minutes before the attack.

On Saturday, a court charged the man with attempting to overthrow Turkey's constitutional order by force, an offense that amounts to treason and is punishable by life in prison.

He was the first major figure charged in connection with the bombings at the two synagogues, the British Consulate and the bank.

Authorities have charged another 20 people in connection to the bombings, but for lesser roles. Turkish authorities have said all the suicide bombers were Turks.

Western and Turkish officials say the suicide attacks bore the hallmarks of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida.

Turkey has long accused Tehran of fueling radical Islam in Turkey and has alleged that members of an Islamic radical group suspected in a series of killings trained in Iran and received support from its government.

American counterterrorism officials said last month that several senior al-Qaida operatives who fled to Iran after the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan ousted the Taliban may have developed a working relationship with a secretive military unit linked to Iran's religious hard-liners.

Iran has said it has some al-Qaida operatives in custody but has refused to identify them or provide other details.

Authorities have identified the synagogue suicide bombers as Mesut Cabuk, 29, and Gokhan Elaltuntas, 22, both from the town of Bingol in the Kurdish-dominated southeastern Turkey. The consulate and bank bombers have yet to be officially identified.
4 posted on 12/01/2003 12:19:35 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Blame the British for the problems of Iran

Gulf News
Behzad Farsian | 01-12-2003

The Tehran taxi driver's knowing remark is unsurprising: "The British are behind everything in Iran."

After all, we have been riding in Iran's national car, an adaptation of the old Hillman Hunter, past British-built buildings and finally dropped at the vast British embassy compound in Teheran.

His remark reflects a national consensus. Everyone, from shoeshine man to entrepreneur, has conspiracy theories to offer about Britain and its influence in Iran over the past 100 years.

Ingilis'eh kalak, or Tricky English, is a common phrase. There is a widespread notion among anti-clerical elements, for example, that Whitehall conspires with the Islamic leadership, or that London organises attacks against itself.

When the British embassy came under fire in recent attacks, newspapers suggested it was the work of the British themselves. Few seemed to believe that elements close to the theocratic government might be seeking to convey a message about the arrest of a former Iranian diplomat in Britain.

"Whoever shot at the embassy was a madman," said Hojatoleslam Fazel-Maybodi, a middle-ranking cleric. "The shooting definitely does not represent the government's line towards the British and from what I have seen from the public, they also condemn the shootings."

At the Café Naderi, a well-known gathering place for intellectuals and philosophers before the 1979 revolution, many of the older crowd who meet to discuss politics echo the sceptical tone.

"It is plausible for the British to have attacked their own embassy," said one customer. "The shooting gave the British a reason to halt trade. Less trade with Iran shows no British commitment to the stability of our political system, similar to what happened in Iraq before the current occupation."

A businessman who did not wish to be named partly agreed with this theory. "Our (British) goods were not released from Iranian customs during the whole affair (over the ambassador, who has since been freed). We were not given a reason why. We were just told we have to wait," he said.

Dr. Fardanesh, professor of political science at Teheran's Beheshti University, said: "It is in the blood of Iranians today to blame everything on the British.

"But it is not their fault. The press are mostly to blame. They constantly bring up the memories of British political involvement in Iran. As long as the public are reminded of past events, they will always blame the British for anything."

The cleric, Fazel-Maybodi, explained: "There are some things the British have done in Iran that we can't forget.

"They elevated Reza Khan to power (in 1921). Then they abdicated him in favour of his son Mohammad Reza Shah (in 1943), and of course, the unforgettable coup d'état against Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh (in 1953).

"Because of these past covert events the Iranian people believe Britain and America are still up to their old tricks."

The presence of British troops on Iran's borders, in Afghanistan to the East and Iraq to the West, is never mentioned. Nor is the permanent presence of Royal Navy vessels in the Gulf. Instead, Iranians see a far more subtle influence, a hidden British hand deep within their own country. They point to the past for inspiration.

Fazel-Maybodi is part of Iran's reforming circle. Based in Qom, he believes Iran should not dwell on the past. "The Islamic Republic has come to a juncture where we should have relations with every country in the world, regardless of what they have done," he said.

Yet the old Iranian beliefs persist. The five visits of Jack Straw, Britain's Foreign Secretary, over the past two years are the latest target. "Newspapers and people wonder whether Jack Straw is a puppet for the US, and is yet another joint conspiracy against Iran," said the professor.
5 posted on 12/01/2003 12:22:36 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Quote of the Day by Sapper26
7 posted on 12/01/2003 1:12:16 AM PST by RJayneJ
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To: DoctorZIn
Managing Iraq

December 01, 2003
National Review Online
Michael Ledeen

We can't continue this way.

It's not just our diplomats who do not believe we are in a real war. The Japanese victims of terrorists in Iraq on Saturday were headed for a meeting in Tikrit, to evaluate whether or not the power station there was a worthy recipient of aid. But since the Japanese refuse to acknowledge that they are participating in a war effort, they weren't particularly careful about security, so their car was not armored, they had no weapons with them, and so they were easy prey.

Add them to the growing list of scores of people who have died in Iraq because they assumed that the terrorists wouldn't confuse them with the evil Americans. This little conceit led to such folly as U.N. officers in Baghdad insisting that the Americans remove cement blocks from the approach to their offices, the Red Cross declining protection, and so on. It reminds me of a terrible story some years ago, about a very nice girl from southern California who went to South Africa to help the victims of apartheid. She, too, assumed that she would be protected by her innate goodness, and went to the wrong township one night. Her body was flown back to America a few days later.

This sort of foolishness would not have been possible in the days right after 9/11, but our instant understanding of the world after the terror attacks has long since been diluted by the usual triumph of old reflexes and bureaucratic emphasis on procedure at the expense of content. Thus, we seem not to know who is "behind" the killings (even though the Iranians, Saudis, and Syrians brag about it almost daily), and the Pentagon puts Paul Wolfowitz in one of the most dangerous buildings in Baghdad. Thus, we have Iraqi leaders who are clearly in great doubt about our seriousness and resolve. That, I take it, is the explanation of Ayatollah Sistani's recent catering to Iranian calls for the "Islamization" of Iraq, after devoting his life to the principle of separation of mosque and state.

Our diplomats are so intent on pretending that we can "work with" Iran, that they failed to take any serious steps to prevent the recent appeasement of the mullahs' covert nuclear program. If we had been serious, then Secretary Powell could have told his friend British Foreign Minister Jack Straw that it was a very bad idea to fly to Tehran with his French and German colleagues. Everybody knew that the trip was designed to cut a deal with the Islamic Republic, and once we failed to denounce it, we were trapped into proclamations of great joy at the toothless warning that came out of the United Nations nuclear crowd.

Meanwhile, the Turks caught the leader of the terrorist group that savaged Istanbul — sneaking into Iran. Imagine that.

It seems that the administration has decided to "manage" Iraq until Election Day, and then take stock of the situation. That, too, is a suicidal conceit, for no matter how marvelous our armed forces are, it gives the entire initiative to our enemies. And, as General Patton once remarked with his usual bitterness, fixed defenses are a tribute to the stupidity of the human mind. Yes, we are defending ourselves better, and yes, we are rounding up lots of bad guys, and yes, we are killing them in mounting numbers. All to the good. But the terrorists are looking at a target-rich environment, and we cannot defend all the targets.

Managing Iraq, which means taking it easy on Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia, also means condemning lots of people to death who could be saved if we waged war against our enemies.

Take Syria, for example. When the Israelis bombed a terrorist training camp in Syria a couple of months ago, we suddenly and unexpectedly heard things from the State Department that we had never heard before. They said that the Syrians had been unhelpful in the war against terrorism, whereas previously they had always said that the Syrians were helping, and that it was only a matter of time before good old Bashar Assad did what Powell, Assistant Secretary William J. Burns, and various intermediaries from good old Jim Baker down in Houston had asked: Cooperate with us.

If we were serious about waging war against our enemies, we would have put enormous pressure on the Syrians to shut down the network of terrorist facilities in Lebanon, and expel Hezbollah, which Deputy Secretary Armitage has called the most dangerous terrorist organization. But it was only words. Foggy Bottom's compulsive confession of failure after Israel's gesture quickly faded away, and we're back to "managing" the thing.

Take the Arab-Israeli matter, for another example. It is simply humiliating to see the State Department acting as if a deal conjured up by bunch of unelected and unrepresentative people from the PLO and a splinter group from Israel were somehow worthy of support. But instead of the back of our hand, it gets a drooling French kiss.

And all this in total defiance of the president's call for a democratic revolution in the Middle East! If we were serious about that, we would condemn the wildcat diplomacy of the unelected poseurs who are wasting time, and Swiss-government money (which probably means some secret subsidy from us) on the latest wasted effort to "solve" a problem that can only be properly addressed once the terror masters have been defeated.

No amount of presidential bravery, no number of magnificent speeches, can save the lives of our people and of our allies, and give the Middle East a hope for real peace, if we insist on "managing" the terrorist war and play pretend diplomacy, which is what we're doing these days. The terror masters know they must drive us out of Iraq. They know they must split off our allies. They believe the best way to do this is to kill more and more Americans, Italians, Spaniards, Japanese, South Koreans, Turks, Poles, and Iraqis.

They are not running for reelection, and they are not trying to be loved. They want to be feared.

Faster, please.

— Michael Ledeen, an NRO contributing editor, is most recently the author of The War Against the Terror Masters. Ledeen is Resident Scholar in the Freedom Chair at the American Enterprise Institute.
10 posted on 12/01/2003 7:21:22 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Shiite Clerics Emerge as Key Power Brokers

December 01, 2003
The Washington Post
Anthony Shadid

NAJAF, Iraq -- The office of Grand Ayatollah Bashir Najafi is conscientiously bare, reflecting the asceticism of Iraq's most senior Shiite Muslim clergy in this holy city. His lone indulgence is a Persian prayer rug, on top of which sits a mud prayer stone, a Muslim rosary and a comb for his flowing gray beard.

But the conversation in his office and those of Iraq's influential clerics these days is anything but modest. The debate revolves around religion and state, secular and sacred, and the part the clerics will play as leaders of the country's Shiite majority.

"The grand ayatollahs will always be the highest spiritual guide in everything -- economics, politics and social issues," said the ayatollah's son and spokesman, Ali Najafi, sitting on a straw mat. "They will be the fathers, the leaders and the advisers."

Before any election for a government, before any debate over a constitution, Najafi and the other senior Shiite clerics have emerged in the vacuum left by former president Saddam Hussein's destruction of civil society. They have become the most influential figures in the country today. In a process both abetted and opposed by the U.S. administration, the elderly clerics in Najaf have begun sketching out for the first time in decades the sharply contested role of Islam in the country's political life.

By far, the most influential among them is Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, a once-reticent cleric who has taken on a far more activist role. This weekend, he made public his opposition to key elements of a U.S. plan for a political transition in Iraq. That followed his edict in June that any convention charged with writing a constitution must be elected. Together, they have secured a role for him and other clergy in helping determine the issues central to Iraq's future -- the selection of a government, the shape of a constitution and the nature of law.

"They are gaining momentum now," said Wamid Nadhme, a political science professor at Baghdad University.

"It seems that Mr. Sistani is showing his teeth to the Americans, that he is showing his willpower to the Iraqis" in the U.S.-appointed Governing Council, he added. "It's as if he's saying to all those concerned that I'm the man who is the last word."

Sistani and the others have insisted their political role will be limited, and their influence will almost certainly fall far short of the clergy's domination of neighboring Iran. But the very challenge of drawing the line between Islam and government could have a broad impact in a country where officials of the U.S.-led administration still hope a largely secular state will evolve. It has sent a shudder, too, through the minority Sunni and Kurdish communities, which face the prospect of a Shiite-led country for the first time in Iraq's history.

"If we see something that violates Islam and our country's traditions, we will give advice," said Ali Waadh, Sistani's deputy in Baghdad. "People look to [Sistani] as the highest authority. People listen to him before they listen to a government."

In a country long ruled by minority Sunni Muslims, Shiites were relentlessly repressed by Hussein's government, and the revival of Shiite ritual since Hussein's fall on April 9 has emerged as one of the most startling displays of newfound freedom. Streets, bridges and squares have been renamed after revered Shiite figures, as was Baghdad's largest neighborhood. Shiite iconography -- from green flags to portraits of Shiite martyrs -- has multiplied across the capital and southern Iraq, which is overwhelmingly Shiite. The holy cities of Najaf and Karbala, whose influence faded in the 1960s, have undergone a boom as they host tens of thousands of pilgrims.

The clergy's activism, followers say, marks the progression of that revival from ritual into politics.

"We are guides and advisers," said Waadh, 52, who had been under house arrest for 19 years until Hussein's fall.

The Shiites, seen by occupation officials as the key to stability in postwar Iraq, are torn between politics and personalities. Some of the best-organized parties -- among them the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq -- have engaged U.S. authorities and taken part in the Governing Council. Others, such as the followers of Muqtada Sadr, a 30-year-old cleric whose father was a revered ayatollah, have come out defiantly against the occupation, devoting their attention to street politics.

But none of the parties claims the religious authority enjoyed by the grand ayatollahs, four of whom in Najaf are widely recognized as deserving the title marja al-taqlid, or source of emulation. Their authority among their followers is unquestioned.

Each day, crowds gather at the end of the winding alley that leads to Sistani's modest office. Nothing marks it, except for a folded slip of paper on a nearby wall that informs religious students when their salaries will be paid. The pleas of the crowd range from requests for aid to questions on everyday life. They are typically answered in hand-written notes, some of which are posted on his Web site.

Can Muslims play chess and backgammon? "It is not permissible." Are birth control pills allowed? "Yes." Can a Muslim go to a swimming pool where both men and women mingle? "Absolutely not permissible, as a precaution."

Under Hussein's rule, Sistani and the other senior clerics largely confined themselves to such day-to-day questions. Those who did not -- Sadr's father among them -- were executed, assassinated or imprisoned. But survival was not the clerics' only motive. Of Najaf's four grand ayatollahs, all are students of the most quiet tradition in Shiite Islam, which traditionally confines the role of clergy to spiritual matters.

Given Sistani's traditional reluctance to enter politics, the forcefulness of his recent opinions caught some by surprise. For months, the senior ayatollah, who has remained secluded in his home since the war's end because of fears for his safety, faced criticism from some Shiites for his lack of assertiveness. His reticence allowed more militant factions, such as that led by Sadr, to seize ground as public frustration mounted.

Some have argued that Sistani is being manipulated by Shiite political parties such as the Supreme Council, whose leaders had hoped his intervention would provide them more leverage in negotiations with U.S. authorities. Another argument, more common, is that he believes he has a responsibility to make clear his opinion on the country's most pressing issues and, at the same time, revive the prominent leadership role played by Shiite clergy in the debate over Iran's constitution in the early 20th century and the revolt against British forces in Iraq in 1920.

Those who have met Sistani say he, and the other grand ayatollahs, are setting up an oversight role for themselves -- well short of Iran's example, but influential nonetheless in debates only now getting underway.

"If there's something that will affect the entire population and if there is any strategic point like the constitution, he will pass judgment on it," said Mowaffaq Rubaie, a member of the Governing Council who returned from exile in Britain and has met Sistani. "He won't go for policy. He will go for strategic issues." Sistani's role, Rubaie said, "is in a state of evolution."

He said he expected Sistani to play "a very strong advisory role."

Sistani's supporters insist that he has deep concerns about the intentions of the United States, which is appreciated by many Shiites for overthrowing Hussein but, at the same time, resented for failing to support a U.S.-encouraged uprising after the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

There is also suspicion that U.S. officials are delaying elections -- increasingly a central concern for Shiites -- in hopes of securing a more secular government down the road at the expense of the clergy's influence. Sistani's followers say he is particularly worried by the example of neighboring Turkey, where unremitting secularism has long served as state ideology.

"This is what we fear," said Mustafa Jaabari, a student of Sistani's for nine years. "That we will repeat this mistake here."

So far, Sistani's demands have centered on the broadest political issues in Iraq. His edict in June -- at first largely ignored by U.S. officials -- later forced the Bush administration to overhaul its plan for a political transition when Sistani made clear he would not compromise. His latest statement insisting that a provisional government be elected could force another revision in the plan. If his demand is not heeded, the U.S. administration and its Iraqi allies risk a conflict with the clergy, who are widely recognized to have far more credibility than an appointed Governing Council still struggling for legitimacy.

Sistani has also insisted that no legislation contradict Islamic law, according to Shiite politicians. That could potentially set up the clergy as arbiters of what constitutes a violation.

"Who's going to judge?" Nadhme said. "Who will be an authority on Islam who we are going to trust with our future?"

Three of the four grand ayatollahs were born outside Iraq -- Sistani in Iran, Najafi in Pakistan and Ishaq Fayed in Afghanistan. Sistani, 73, speaks Arabic with a heavy Persian accent.

Some more junior clergy, particularly those eager to put a more Arab and Iraqi stamp on a strain of Islam dominated by Iran, have pointed to Sistani's nationality to question his right to intervene. Those resentments are particularly strong among followers of Sadr, whose father was a rival of Sistani before he was assassinated in 1999.

"Whatever the respect for them, no Muslim will accept someone of another nationality interfering in determining Iraq's future," said Abbas Rubaie, a Sadr spokesman. "It is not a religious issue, it is national issue, and it's strange that they're interfering."
12 posted on 12/01/2003 7:23:43 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Turks Question Bomb Suspects Extradited By Syria

December 01, 2003
Dow Jones Newswires
The Associated Press

ISTANBUL -- Turkish authorities are questioning 22 suspects in the deadly Istanbul suicide bombings who were handed over to Turkey by Syria, a Turkish governor said Monday.

Several key suspects in the bombings that killed 61 people were believed to have gone abroad after the suicide attacks on two Istanbul synagogues on Nov. 15 and the British consulate and a U.K. bank in Istanbul five days later.

Syria on Sunday repatriated the suspects in the bombings to Turkey, authorities said, adding they were being held in the southern city of Antakya, near the Syrian border. No one has been charged.

Hatay provincial Gov. Abdulkadir Sari confirmed that the suspects were being interrogated Monday. He also said that 20 had enrolled in Islamic education courses in Syria, but provided no details. Six of those being questioned were under 18 years of age, he said.

Among those handed over by Syria was Hilmi Tugluoglu, who is linked to Azat Ekinci, a key suspect in the blasts, according to a statement from paramilitary police.

Separately Monday, Istanbul police were questioning the wife of Mesut Cabuk, one of the synagogue suicide bombers, and another woman, private NTV television reported.

Turkish media has reported that authorities have been investigating if the militants belonged to a Turkish cell of al-Qaida.

Western and Turkish officials say the suicide attacks bore the hallmarks of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network and there have been at least three claims of responsibility claiming to be from al-Qaida.

News reports have said Ekinci used fake identities and cash to buy the pickup trucks containing the bombs. Tugluoglu's wife was also brought to Turkey and was being questioned.

On Saturday, a Turkish court charged another key suspect, whom police said was captured last week while trying to slip into Iran , with trying to overthrow Turkey's "constitutional order" -a crime equivalent to treason. That man is accused of having given the order to carry out the Nov. 15 truck bombing of the Beth Israel synagogue.

Police have only identified the man as Y.P. Nearly all major Turkish newspapers identified the man as Yusuf Polat.

Turkish newspapers reported Sunday that Polat and others had confessed to belonging to a 10-man cell that he said was an extension of the al-Qaida terror network.

All the suicide bombers were believed to be Turks.
13 posted on 12/01/2003 7:24:42 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Washington And Tehran: An Equation Of Defeat And Victory

December 01, 2003
Sami Shoursh

During the times of armed resistance in the mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan in the 1980s, one of the Peshmerga fighters, a peasant from a mountain village, became famous for constantly complaining about the students, professors and intellectuals working for the Kurdish resistance, describing them as being good only at distorting the truth and twisting words.

When someone would ask him to give examples corroborating his claims, he would immediately respond: these people are calling the military withdrawal at the fronts as an organized retreat, the crime of killing a person by revolutionary execution and the crime of killing another person as martyrdom, the political withdrawal as a tactic, a defeat as a victory, and stealing people as donations.

This Kurdish fighter came to my mind when I heard Iran's reaction to the decision of the IAEA regarding its nuclear program. The Iranians welcomed the decision and agreed to sign the additional protocol for the non-proliferation treaty. They also vowed to permanently cease the uranium-enriching operations, seriously cooperate with the international agency and allow its inspectors to enter every site they wished to inspect. But the problem is that they borrowed the language of the educated, which the Kurdish peasant talked about, and started calling the decision as a victory for Tehran over an American-Zionist conspiracy, and a defeat for Washington before the resistance of a country that refuses to yield! But the question that Tehran did not wish to ask is: which victory and which defeat?

Which victory? The Iranian regime was forced, after long years of a worsening situation, postponing and raising tension with neighboring countries and the international community, to admit that is owned a program for enriching uranium. Which victory? The Iranian officials had to confirm, under pressure and threats, that they had violated to some extent their commitments towards the international agency.

What defeat then? The Americans achieved what they wanted and even more after they succeeded in rallying the international community, and especially Europe, and imposed over Iran an accurate and strict inspections system over all of its institutions and programs, in addition to obtaining a direct pledge from Tehran to seriously and fully cooperate. What defeat? Washington also succeeded in rallying the various Iranian movements, conservatives, reformists and centrists, behind a single pragmatic position, at least in the context of the nuclear file, thus managing to pave the way for a more pragmatic Iranian position that could prevent what is described as an Iranian interference in Iraqi affairs.

And yet, it is not right to say that Iran was defeated, or that Washington won. Tehran was not defeated; it took a wise step in respecting the interests of its people. As for Washington, it did not win; after the September 11 attacks, it placed its decision-making power in the hands of the Department of Defense, but did well when it took it back to the Department of State during the time the IAEA decision was made.

But the question is: can this decision put an end to the American-Iranian crisis over the nuclear file? It can't. Both countries face another major test and other essential questions related to implementing the decision: will Tehran proceed with its current policy based on cooperation, compliance and positivity at a time when the agency's inspectors will be supervising its institutions and nuclear laboratories? Or will it adopt Saddam Hussein's way in cooperating with the international resolutions on paper and create crises in the execution? Also, will Washington proceed with its positive dealing with Iran? Did the U.S. want to invest the agreement of the international community over the last resolution to convince Tehran of the need to cooperate with the IAEA? Or does it want to use this agreement as the foundation stone for building a new international political alliance against Iran within the near future?

Answers to these and other questions are not yet clear. But what is more important than the answers is that Tehran will stop its heraldry description, which is full of the 'revolutionary' spirit to the decision of the international agency, and to avoid turning the facts into pompous and untruthful terms such as 'victory,' 'resistance' and 'foiling conspiracies.' What happened is not a victory for Iran or Washington, nor a defeat for either of them, but is in the best situation a positive sign from both capitals, and from the regional and international community, that it is possible to overcome the suffocating crisis and the oppression in the world, if we refer to a brain that Saddam Hussein have always lacked.
14 posted on 12/01/2003 7:25:45 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Noble Aspirations

December 01, 2003
National Review Online
Koorosh Afshar

We Iranians seek fundamental change.

TEHRAN, IRAN -- Most Westerners know very little, if anything, about the true psyche of the Iranian masses. Allow me to enlighten: For centuries, it has been dominated by fruitless anticipation and superstition. The people of my nation have been told to await a messiah who will finally deliver them; they faithfully cling to the idea that one great leader will relieve their suffering. Twenty-five years ago, the enemies of my nation took advantage of this embarrassing fantasy, setting the stage for the Islamic revolution. Since then, Iran has languished for more than two decades, and was doomed to fall for another mendacious and sinister mullah, Khatami, six years ago.

As time passed, the Iranian citizenry realized that this mullah, like the others, was nothing more than a mediocre Islamist politician, and certainly not the long-awaited messiah.

In fact, our national messiah never came. He never will.

But at least we've wizened up. Instead of superstition, the majority of the new generation of Iranians diligently embraces the concept of self-determination.

It was, then, good news for us when one of our compatriots (a woman, no less), Shirin Ebadi, won the Nobel peace prize earlier this year. We sincerely hope that this will help secularize our thinking and bring about meaningful change. It will have to: There is no other path for the future of our nation. So long as the militant Islamists are in power, talk of reform is futile.

The first and foremost task for a person like Ebadi is to help represent the Iranian nationalist mindset and identity to the world. The mullahs, however, are not making her job any easier: They criticize on religious grounds, condemning Ebadi's unorthodox views. But in her capacity as an Iranian ambassador to the world, her religion (whether compatible or at odds with the mullahs') is quite irrelevant. Religion is merely a private matter, and it must not and will not have any place in the future political system of Iran.

This is essential. Historians know full well that whenever a state is controlled by particular religious institution, human-rights violations follow in short order. There can be no talk of individualism while, at the same time, the state imposes on everyone a specific spiritual ideology. The inevitable result of such a system is strict categorization: Citizens are branded either as insiders or outsiders, believers or infidels. Those peers of mine who poured into the streets of Tehran, left with nothing but clenched fists and slogans, had completely given up on "reforming" this flawed system. They do not aspire to bring about a milder version of the current regime, and neither do I: We seek more fundamental change.

Now Mrs. Ebadi is at a very critical juncture. She can, with her wise secular words, shatter the suffocating bonds of theocracy, and represent to the world the desires of the Iranian nation. As she faces obstacles in doing so, she should be bolstered by the fact that nothing is nobler than the just, secular aspirations of my nation — or the act of supporting them. She should remember the words of Thomas Paine: "Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst; every other species of tyranny is limited to the world we live in; but this attempts to stride beyond the grave, and seeks to pursue us into eternity."

As we pursue reform, accomplishing religious freedom would be nice. But our priority should be casting aside old superstitions, and replacing them with a much more powerful, fundamental faith: the religion of freedom.

— Koorosh Afshar is a pseudonym for a student in Tehran. His name has been changed for his protection. He has previously written for NRO here and here.
15 posted on 12/01/2003 7:26:43 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Rejects International Arbitration with Kuwait on Offshore Natural Gas

December 01, 2003
Bahrain Tribune

TEHRAN: Iran rejects international arbitration over the disputed offshore natural gas field it shares with Kuwait, foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said yesterday.

“The Kuwaiti minister suggested referring the case to the International Court in the Hague, but both countries would have to agree, and such a referral is not on the agenda for the Islamic Republic,” Asefi told his weekly Press conference.

“We are not looking for an escalation with Iran. There are diplomatic efforts being pursued by the foreign ministry to resolve the border issue,” Kuwaiti Energy Minister Shaikh Ahmad Fahd Al Sabah said on November 23.

“If no understanding is reached, there are international mechanisms which govern such disputes,” including the international court of justice which has ruled on similar disputes, the minister said.

Kuwait however will not exploit the prevailing political situation and the presence of US troops in the region to force a settlement in the Dorra gas field, also shared by Saudi Arabia, Shaikh Ahmad said.

The dispute goes back to the 1960s when Iran and Kuwait each awarded an offshore concession, the first to the former Anglo-Iranian Petroleum Co., which became part of BP, and the latter to Royal Dutch/Shell. The two concessions overlapped in the northern part of the Dorra gas field.

Iranian drilling at Dorra in 2001 spurred Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to agree on a maritime border deal which stipulated that the two countries jointly develop the natural resources of the offshore zone.

Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh said on October 28 that Tehran would not surrender its claim to the Dorra gas field.
16 posted on 12/01/2003 7:27:23 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Please ping this important message. Today is the last day for this historical offer.

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12/1/03 | Diotima

Posted on 12/01/2003 9:11 AM PST by diotima


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18 posted on 12/01/2003 10:34:08 AM PST by Grampa Dave (Sore@US, the Evil Daddy War bucks, has owned the Demonic Rats for decades!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Close Cooperation Stressed with Saudi Arabia

November 30, 2003
Iran Daily

TEHRAN -- The head of State Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani stressed the continuation of consultations and close cooperation with Saudi Arabia, IRNA reported.

In a meeting with the newly-appointed Saudi Ambassador to Tehran Nasir Ibn Al-Barik, Rafsanjani discussed bilateral relations, regional issues and the situation in the Muslim world.

"Iran and Saudi Arabia, as important founder-members of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), should hold consultations as well as strategic and closer cooperation to settle regional issues and those of the Islamic world," he said.

Pointing to the two countries' potentials and the need to use bilateral capacities, the SEC chief said Iran and Saudi Arabia face no obstacles to political, economic, cultural and security cooperation.

Rafsanjani called for developing linking routes between the Saudi province of Sharqia and Imam Khomeini Port as the ground for strengthening trade and economic ties and facilitating visits by Iranian pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.

Al-Barik, for his part, outlined economic, political and security situation in Saudi Arabia and called for expansion of relations in all fields.

He pointed to cultural, religious and historical commonalities between the Iranian and Saudi nations, and stressed exchange of intellectuals and students to promote scientific and cultural cooperation.
19 posted on 12/01/2003 11:07:32 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Deutsche Bank-led Consortium Provides $1.7 bln Funding for Iran Gas

December 01, 2003
AFX News

TEHRAN -- A consortium of European and Asian banks lead by Deutsche Bank AG will provide 1.7 bln usd in financing for phases 9 and 10 of Iran's giant South Pars Gas project, the state news agency IRNA reported.

The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) said the package, covering the purchase of equipment, will be the first time in Iran a sum this large has been secured to finance a project.

The pay back period is ten years.

The consortium also includes the Export-Import Bank of Korea, Natexis Banques Populaire, BNP Paribas and SG Corporate and Investment Banking of France, Commerzbank AG and German development bank Kreditanstalt fuer Wiederaufbau, and ING Group NV.

South Pars Gas field is shared between Iran and Qatar. It has been divided up into 20 to 25 phases.
20 posted on 12/01/2003 11:08:02 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iraqi Freedom's Friend

December 01, 2003
New York Post
Amir Taheri

THOSE making Iraq policy in Washington appear to have found an easy way to explain, and explain away, whatever snag that their changing and contradictory plans may hit at any given time. It consists of one phrase: the Sistani logjam.

This refers to Grand Ayatollah Ali Muhammad Sistani, the primus inter pares of Shi'ite clerics in Najaf.

The day the war started, Sistani issued a fatwa calling on Iraqis not to hamper the progress of the Coalition forces. Immediately after liberation, however, he was blamed for the decision to halt town-hall style consultations about a new constitution. In July, he got the blame for the failure of the Governing Council and the Coalition to provide a timetable for the transition. In September, the grand ayatollah was blamed for the Coalition's failure to fix a framework for creating a constituent assembly.

And now we hear voices blaming Sistani for what look like hitches in the latest plan to transfer power to an interim government by next June.

Such a blame game is unlikely to do anyone any good. Worse, it could harm what should be the central goal of both the Coalition and the Iraqis: the creation of a people-based system in the liberated country.

Blaming Sistani for the mistakes and failures of others is easy for two reasons.

First, Sistani does not appear on television, and grants no interviews. Nor does he have a party through which he can play the power game. This is because he believes that mullahs should not play politician.

Second, blaming Sistani is an indirect way of sustaining suspicion against the Shi'ites who form a majority of the Iraqis.

Self-styled experts on American TV claim he is seeking power and/or wants to set up an "Islamic" republic, whatever that means. Anyone familiar with Sistani's life's work, however, would know that this is the opposite of what he wants.

Sistani belongs to the quietist school of Shi'ism that has always opposed mixing theology and politics. This is why he has refused to meet officials from more than a dozen countries, including the United States and Britain, who have applied to meet him.

Throughout the 1960s and '70s, decades that witnessed a great Shi'ite political debate, Sistani opposed other Najaf clerics (notably the late Muhammad Baqer Sadr and Ruhallah Khomeini) who wanted mullahs to seize power in the name of the Hidden Imam. (In doing so, Sistani continued the tradition of such scholars as Allameh Hilli, Abol-Hassan Isfahani, Muhsen Hakim-Tabatabai and Abol-Qassem Mussavi Khoei.)

What has Sistani been demanding right from the day Saddam Hussein went into hiding? He has told the mullahs to stay clear of political posts and, when there is a power vacuum, only act as advisers to non-clerical administrators.

Instead, Sistani has been calling for elections. The surprise is that Washington, rather than welcoming this, sees it as a hostile demand.

After all, Saddam was overthrown so that Iraqis could choose their form of government and the people they want to run it. Hasn't President Bush said repeatedly that he wants Iraq to become a model of democracy? Can there be democracy without elections?

Some claim that Sistani is so keen on elections because the Shi'ites, being a majority, could win a dominant position in a future government.

That claim is based on an "essentialist" view of politics that is seldom borne out by reality. If it were, all American Catholics would vote the same way in every election, and all Hindus in India would back the same party all the time.

Sistani is calling for elections precisely because he does not want the politics of new Iraq to be based on ethnic and sectarian divisions. Such considerations are paramount in forming selected, not elected, bodies. (For example, the Governing Council, appointed by the Coalition, has a Shi'ite majority.)

If there were elections in Iraq today, we would see the Shi'ite vote split among at least three broad groups: moderate Islamists, the left and the liberals (liberals in the European, not the American, sense).

Each of these has allies in other parts of Iraq, including the Kurdish areas. Thus any future parliament, rather than reflecting sectarian divisions, would reveal the relative strength of the various political movements that have marked Iraqi life for the past eight decades.

Iraqi Kurds, divided into two big blocs and several smaller ones, do not all vote the same way. Nor could anyone claim that Iraq's Sunni Arabs constitute a single bloc. So why assume that the Shi'ites are an exception?

By asking for elections, Sistani is, in fact, pulling the carpet from under the feet of those who wish to play sectarian politics.

Right now, the leadership of the biggest Shi'ite parties, often returning from decades of exile, are committed to positions that include a dose of sectarianism. This is understandable. Under Saddam, Shi'ites were persecuted because of what they were, not what they did. Their natural reaction was to become more of what they were, de-emphasising the importance of what they did. In an election, however, they would have to offer political, rather than sectarian, programs.

Another reason why Sistani wants elections is to see a leadership that is not almost entirely constituted of returning exiles. This need not be seen as a slight against the exiles, many of whom have heroic histories of struggle against tyranny. But the new Iraq needs a better leadership mix, with individuals who have a more direct experience of life and struggle under tyranny.

Sistani does not want an "Islamic" republic, and loathes the system created by Khomeini in Iran. He is calling for elections because he knows that a majority of the Iraqis will choose a pluralist system in which Islam, while providing the context of the nation's ethical existence, does not dictate its politics.

Finally, Sistani wants the break with the past to be legitimized by popular will. The Coalition brought political liberation. Elections would provide moral liberation.

Provided the Coalition has the will, reasonably free and fair elections could be held in Iraq. It is not Sistani's business to show how. He is not a politician. He is offering his reading of the situation. It is up to the Coalition and the Governing Council, who will get the praise if there is success, to decide whether or not what he says makes sense.

One thing is certain: Sistani knows that he would be dead if Saddam, or anyone like him, were to come to power. He also knows that any attempt at imposing a Shi'ite regime would mean civil war, which, in turn, would spell the end of his quietist brand of the faith. Thus he shares the Coalition's strategic goal in Iraq.

21 posted on 12/01/2003 11:09:03 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
U.S. Opens Afghan Reconstruction Mission

December 01, 2003
The Associated Press
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

HERAT, Afghanistan -- U.S. and Afghan officials on Monday inaugurated a joint military-civilian reconstruction mission in western Afghanistan, part of an effort to bring stability to the country's troubled provinces.

About 60 U.S. troops are being deployed in the city of Herat to foster security and carry out relief projects in four western provinces close to Afghanistan's borders with Iran and Turkmenistan.

The so-called Provincial Reconstruction Team is the sixth of its kind sent to provincial Afghan cities. Three are operated by the United States, while forces from Britain, Germany and New Zealand each run one team.

Worried by the re-emergence of Taliban guerillas, the power of regional warlords and burgeoning drug production, the United Nations and the Afghan government have called strongly for more international troops to be sent to the provinces.

Ministers from members of NATO, which commands the international peacekeeping force in Kabul, opened a meeting Monday in Brussels to discuss how they can supply more troops to expand that operation into key cities around the country.

Two years after the fall of the Taliban, there are still about 11,600 U.S.-led coalition forces in Afghanistan trying to track down anti-government forces. The international peacekeepers under NATO command number about 5,500.

Gen. John Abizaid, the chief of the U.S. Central Command, visited American troops searching for rebels in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday.
26 posted on 12/01/2003 3:49:59 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
An Interview With Dr. Amir Aslan Afshar

December 01, 2003
Iran va Jahan
Cyrus Kadivar

15th January 1979. One day before his departure from Tehran, Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi stood in front of a statue of Reza Shah I in one of the rooms at the Niavaran Palace and expressed his regrets for deciding to leave Iran and said farewell to his father. Dr Amir Aslan Afshar, Chief of Protocol at the Imperial Court, stands to the right of the Emperor.

An Interview With Dr. Amir Aslan Afshar

By Dr Mostafa Alamouti

Translated from the Persian edition of Dr Mostafa Alamouti’s series “Iran During the Pahlavi Era” Vol.15 (1994) by Cyrus Kadivar, 28 December 2003, London, UK.

Introduction: Dr Amir Aslan Afshar is among the few knowledgeable Iranian diplomats with a distinguished career as a former ambassador to the United States, Germany, Austria and Mexico. His last role was Protocol Chief at the Imperial Court of Iran. Dr Aslan Afshar served the second Pahlavi during his final months in power and accompanied the emperor on his flight from Iran and remained by his side until the very end. He currently lives between Nice and Vienna.

Dr Mostafa Alamouti(MA): You were close to the Shah during those turbulent days. Why did the Shah’s morale weaken so much that in late 1978 he was unable to take any decisions? I still recall the day when the Shah granted an audience to a high level parliamentary delegation. It was clear to me that he no longer had the will to run the nation’s affairs.

Dr Amir Aslan Afshar(AAA): Soon after the liberalisation policy was declared His Majesty wished to see his people participate in their national affairs within a constitutional framework. Unfortunately, his internal and external opponents took advantage of the situation and totally paralysed the country. His Majesty soon realised that the scope of the agitation was very great and those who came to see him offered their own set of solutions. None of them were able to calm matters. As things grew worse day by day His Majesty’s morale grew weaker and his opponents exploited the situation and did their utmost to strike against the imperial regime.

MA: Don’t you think that the Shah’s flagging morale had something to do with his cancer? Was His Majesty aware of his illness? Were you who met the Shah regularly aware of his cancer? Or did they, as Dr Safavian has said, kept the cancer a secret from the Shah?

AAA: I was unaware of His Majesty’s cancer until the day we left the country together. His Majesty never said anything about his illness. I suspect that at first he was not aware of it. After the Revolution when I met Professor Karl Fellinger, the Shah’s medical consultant, in Austria, he told me that he was aware of the Shah’s illness and that he had discussed it with Dr Ayadi and that he too had been of the view that the Shah’s cancer be kept a secret. Once when I was working at the Imperial Court His Majesty informed me that two French doctors would be coming to Tehran the next day and asked that they be welcomed by a protocol officer and that upon their departure they should each be given a special gift. When this repeated itself a few times I asked my colleague Rostam Bakhtiar, “Who are these doctors that His Majesty keeps talking about?” He said that the issue was very secret because the Queen Mother has cancer and that they were coming to treat her. (Of course it was a rumour.)

MA: What was the reason behind the change in the Shah’s decision to appoint General Azhari instead of General Oveissi as prime minister? Who were the people who influenced him?

AAA: The American and British ambassadors frequently visited His Majesty for consultations. Since His Majesty considered the disturbances in the country as being political in nature he was naturally seeking a political solution which is why he paid so much attention to their views. In those troubled days, especially during the last days of the Sharif Emami government when I saw how desperate the situation had become, a few of my friends including General Badrei, General Hashemi Nejad, General Khosrowdad, General Moinzadeh, Kambiz Atabai and Jahanbini came to my office. It was early evening. They pleaded with me to tell His Majesty to do something before the country was lost. In front of these gentlemen I threw myself at the Shah’s feet besides his car and said, “Your Majesty, think of something, because this situation can not last like this, the banks and shops are being set on fire, security is non-existent and the people are miserable.” Khosrowdad had tears in his eyes. He said that the demonstrators were insulting his troops in the capital. His Majesty was very moved by what he had heard and told me: “Go and phone Oveissi and tell him to stay at his office because I want to talk to him.” All those present, especially the military, were overjoyed as they assumed that Oveissi would be asked to name his cabinet and restore order. I went and informed Oveissi. Moments later, His Majesty asked me to summon the American and British ambassadors to the Palace. I phoned the U.S. ambassador [William H. Sullivan] and he said that the town was noisy and since the embassy was in the northern part of the town he would still be able to come but since the British embassy had been set on fire, the British ambassador had sought refuge in the French embassy and asked that I should call him there. I rang and he [Sir Anthony Parsons] said that I have no security and I am afraid of coming over. I promised to send him an armoured car belonging to the army and did so. The American and British ambassadors were granted an audience and began their talks. They also met with Her Majesty, the Shahbanou, and exchanged views. Later His Majesty told me that he had decided to ask Azhari to form a cabinet. “And what about Oveissi?” I asked. His Majesty replied: “Call him and say that I don’t need him anymore.” As it transpired, the American and British ambassadors were of the opinion that Oveissi would use violence which would make matters worse and even Her Majesty, Shahbanou Farah, believed that the demonstrators should not be maltreated. As a result His Majesty changed his mind about making Oveissi prime minister and immediately summoned Azhari and asked him to form a cabinet. Later in Morocco when I asked His Majesty why he had changed his mind, he replied that the American and British ambassadors were convinced that Oveissi would advocate tougher measures and that this would only further complicate the situation. It was therefore more sensible to appoint a milder person to quiet down the masses. In my humble opinion all these things were part of a plan and I believe the United States and Britain did not want to calm the situation.

MA: After the revolution certain individuals claimed or wrote that during the final days of the late Shah’s rule they visited him regularly to offer him their blunt advice. How true is this?

AAA: I have read most of these claims. In my opinion the majority of these stories are not true. These are empty talks in exile. During the final days of His Majesty’s stay in Iran the number of people requesting an audience were very few. One day His Majesty said: “Why are there so few visitors today? What am I to do all day?” For this reason I decided to contact various personalities and invited them to come and meet with His Majesty and many of them I invited by telephoning them. Some of them visited him one or two times but all of them were polite and respectful during their conversations usually offering friendly advice on how to deal with the crisis. I advised His Majesty that in order for the people to be aware of what was happening to their country it would be better if we invited the heads of various guilds, the merchants, and other classes, to Saadabad Palace to talk with His Majesty. He agreed and this was done one or two times. When the people of southern Tehran came and met with His Majesty they expressed their support in an emotional manner. This lifted His Majesty’s spirits. Unfortunately, as the crisis worsened these meetings were abandoned. Those people who have written that they met the Shah many times and spoke to him for long hours are simply exaggerating.

MA: Some people believe that a foreign conspiracy led to the collapse of the imperial regime in Iran. What is your view on the role played by foreigners in creating the 1979 crisis?

AAA: The truth of the matter is that when His Majesty was fighting to raise the price of oil and leading other OPEC members to do the same the oil companies became very angry with His Majesty and decided to avenge themselves by using their influence in the media. Even the Israelis who enjoyed excellent relations with Iran became worried when they saw how much Arab-Iranian relations had advanced. They were alarmed when relations between Iran and Iraq improved in the aftermath of the Algiers Agreement [1975] and Iran sent troops to Oman to quell the Dhofar rebellion. The Israelis felt that the close relations between Iran and the Arabs was too dangerous. For this reason they decided to change their stance and by using their influence in the world media they began a vicious publicity campaign against Iran and the monarch. The Americans and the British had their own reasons to be unhappy with the Shah and the situation in Iran and supported the agitation. His Majesty told me in Morocco that these [powers] did not want me no matter what I did. One day I suggested to His Majesty that now that the Americans and the Europeans are agitating against Iran it is better that we get closer to the Russians so that they understand that Iran would review its foreign policy, or that His Majesty should visit Brezhnev or that we invite Brezhnev to Iran. His Majesty accepted my proposal and summoned the Russian ambassador. The next day the Russian ambassador was given an audience during which His Majesty reminded him of the friendly relations between Iran and Russia and there was talk of inviting Brezhnev to Iran and His Majesty’s visit to Moscow and the ambassador happily agreed to inform Moscow of the royal decision. The following day the Russian ambassador invited me to dinner and said that he planned to host a reception in honour of the Shahbanou’s mother. It was a private dinner with about 16 guests. After our meal the Russian ambassador made a very lengthy speech about the expanding and friendly relations between Iran and the Soviet Union and hailed the stability and advances made under the leadership of His Majesty. After hearing this speech I was sure that a state visit would soon take place. The Russian ambassador went to Moscow and we never heard from him again and the daily problems did not allow a follow up. When I asked His Majesty in Morocco about the whereabouts of the Russian ambassador and whether he ever gave an answer to our proposal for a state visit, His Majesty replied that the ambassador had left and did not return until after Khomeini seized power and this proved that even the Russians wanted to see a change of regime. What other way could the Russians rid themselves of 40,000 Americans in Iran? How else could they dismantle the listening posts along the Caspian Sea? Then His Majesty added: “Therefore, the best way to achieve their goals was to destroy me.” His Majesty also told me that [before leaving] the British ambassador had told him that if Khomeini entered the United Kingdom he would not require a visa but when he had wanted to go to England they had refused. This proves that the foreign powers were implicated in a plot against Iran.

MA: What is your opinion about the BBC broadcasts during that time?

AAA: During his final days in Iran, His Majesty ordered me to summon the British ambassador to my office and tell him that the BBC was causing a sensation. I was to say that although the Imperial Guard possessed the equipment to jam the BBC broadcasts we preferred not to do so and instead request that such programs be halted. The British ambassador came to my office of protocol and I told him the matter. Of course, as always he said that the BBC was not state-controlled but free and that the British government could not interfere in its work. He promised to contact London and report back the outcome. A few days later the ambassador returned to my office and explained that a few nights ago British television had aired a programme ( BBC interview with members of the IRA) and added that these terrorists had agreed to be interviewed on the condition that they wear masks over their faces. During the interview they attacked the British government and stated that they would fight to the bitter end using their weapons and any method to advance their patriotic goals despite being accused of terrorism. The British ambassador said that when British television showed such programmes which went against British interests and ignored the wishes of the government how could we expect that they prevent its radio broadcasts? The BBC he said was free and did not receive orders from any public or private organisation. Later we discovered that after the ambassador’s report was sent to London with our request to halt the BBC’s provocative broadcasts they had staged a fake interview using their own staff who had Irish accents to appear on television so that their ambassador could give a reasonable answer and justify the free nature of the BBC and its independence from the government. Of course, I do not understand why despite what is taking place in Iran these days the BBC has gone quiet. And why did this programme take place two or three days after our request when the conflict between the English and the Irish had been going on for years?

MA: When in January 1979 His Majesty was leaving Tehran did he still hope to return to Iran? Or did he think that the monarchy in Iran was about to collapse?

AAA: His Majesty always complained that Sullivan, the US ambassador in Iran, is incapable of reporting the true situation in Iran to the State Department and the White House and that Iranian officials are equally unable to shed light on matters, so I have to go to the US myself and tell Carter and other American officials that what is taking place will create a lot of problems for Iran and the region, maybe in this way they will come to their senses and find a sensible political solution and in any case prevent them from taking action against Iran. For this reason His Majesty would say that he would be travelling at most for two or three months and that his destination is the United States and part of his luggage was flown by plane to America. During the last days of his stay in Iran, Carter suggested that it would be better if His Majesty would stop in Egypt on his way and participate in discussions between ex-President Ford and Anwar Sadat so that they may benefit from his views on the Egypt-Israel (Camp David) peace plans. The reason was that His Majesty was always telling Sadat that Egypt’s national interest lay in making peace with Israel because you are the one facing danger while the other Arab countries simply watch. One year before His Majesty’s trip, Sadat made a few secret visits to Iran and met privately with His Majesty at Saadabad Palace. His Majesty told him: “You should make peace with Israel and I will help.” Because His Majesty had an important role in the advancement of these talks the Americans wanted that he pay a visit to Egypt on his way to the United States. Three days after staying in Aswan the Americans informed His Majesty that his visit to the United States would be inadvisable. That’s when Ardeshir Zahedi arranged His Majesty’s trip to Morocco where we went and witnessed the collapse of everything. Maybe when Carter had asked His Majesty to come to the United States (we had sent the luggage to America) he had used the talks in Aswan to delay the trip. An interesting point was when we wanted to go from Iran to Egypt all our communication had been cut because of the continuous strikes and we were unable to get in touch with Egypt and the US ambassador kept asking every day for His Majesty’s departure date. Since I had no interest in leaving, I kept saying that we were still unable to establish contact and that once we did I would let him know. At midnight the ambassador telephoned me and said: “We have radioed our embassy in Egypt. Hosni Mubarak said that the day after tomorrow at 2p.m. Anwar Sadat is expecting His Majesty’s arrival to Aswan.”

MA: His Majesty’s trip to Egypt and Morocco took place with the royal aircraft piloted by Colonel Moezzi who is now the head of the military wing of the Mujaheddin-eh Khalq. How could such a person have gained His Majesty’s trust?

AAA: While I was still in Iran, the pilot Moezzi was among His Majesty’s most trusted officers and was always beside him during all his trips and at the end of each flight he would receive a reward. The day we wanted to leave Iran, His Majesty was in the Imperial Pavilion waiting for the parliament members to give their vote of confidence to the Bakhtiar government. I must add something here that three days before this date [16th January 1979] a group of parliamentarians came to the protocol office to ask me to inform His Majesty that should he leave Iran they would not vote for Bakhtiar. I passed on their message and His Majesty said: “We shall be going abroad for only three months to hold political talks and receive medical treatment and then we shall return.” In any case while His Majesty waited at the Imperial Pavilion all the telephone lines went down and we were unable to contact the Majlis (Parliament) to find out the outcome of the vote. Finally, using the equipment of the Imperial Guard we made contact and sent a helicopter to the Majlis’s parking to pick up the prime minister and the chief of parliament after the vote of confidence to the Imperial Pavilion so that His Majesty could make his farewells. After saying goodbye at the airport, Bakhtiar came into the plane and His Majesty said: “You have all the powers, I leave Iran to you, and God Protect you.” His Majesty piloted the aircraft while he was over Iran but later handed the controls to Moezzi who flew the rest of the journey. When His Majesty was ready to take lunch we discovered that there was no dining service in the plane and that at the airport no food had been loaded unto the aircraft. I asked the hostess: “Did you not contact that officer at the airport responsible for the Shah’s trips?” The reply was: “Yes, I did contact him (I have forgotten his name) and he said to give him sandwiches.” Finally, Kabiri, the Shah’s private cook, put a pot of lentil rice he had carefully prepared for the security guards on the table and there was no sign of any service. This proved how much the opposition had infiltrated the regime that they had even prevented the plane from being properly stocked. Another point worth mentioning is that I have read in certain publications that the pilot Moezzi had said that he had not wanted to pilot for the Shah and that during the flight he had considered crashing the aircraft killing the emperor and himself. Moezzi’s statement is a complete lie. He always had the Shah’s trust and he left Morocco on orders from His Majesty and he returned the plane to Iran. All those who were with him during their farewell at the palace in Morocco fell to the ground and kissed the emperor’s feet and said: “Majesty, we will avenge you.” But now that his political loyalties have changed he says these things which are not true. Once I wrote an article protesting that the pilot Moezzi was forbidden to make such statements and reminded him that this was not in line with the behaviour of an officer of the Imperial Iranian Air Force. Of course, he never replied. Before His Majesty left Tehran I showed him a statement and suggested that His Majesty refer to the great things that were done in our country so that people could be more aware. His Majesty said: “These things are for someone who plans to leave the country forever and wants to say farewell to his nation while we will soon be coming back. In the past, did we always make a statement to our nation each time we went on vacation?” I must add that a few days before His Majesty’s departure abroad, the former British Foreign Minister (George Brown) accompanied by Sir David Alliance (an Iranian textile businessman living in England) came to Tehran and met with His Majesty. The next day he called me and said he wanted to meet me. I asked His Majesty’s permission and he said go and see what he wants. I went to see him at the Hilton hotel. George Brown said: “I have suggested to His Majesty that now that you are leaving the country for two or three months it would be a good thing that Aslan Afshar whom you trust should be your only contact with Bakhtiar so that he can carry your messages to Tehran and bring back the replies. I have mentioned this to His Majesty and he has agreed. I just wanted to let you know this.”

MA: In the diaries of Alam I read that His Majesty had called certain people names or used bad words about them which I personally never witnessed nor heard from his close relations. You who were close to HIM did you ever hear him use such [alleged] foul language about people or his intimate circle?

AAA: I always found His Majesty well-mannered and kind. I never heard him shout or use a bad word against anybody, not even his enemies. Only once he told me to tell so-and-so minister that if the rumours I hear about you are true I will pull your father out of the grave. When I hesitated to make sure that was what he wanted me to say, His Majesty said: “Tell him these exact words.” I phoned the minister and relayed the message and he laughed and said that His Majesty could be assured that these stories were untrue and simply gossip and that the matter was being taken care of. Of course, after some time the minister was dismissed. After that I never ever heard such words from His Majesty, not even during the most difficult times. I do not know where Alam had picked up such harsh words. His Majesty was an extremely polite person. His Majesty often travelled to Switzerland for his winter holidays and once while I was posted in Austria he came to a skiing village. On the day of his departure as he left the hotel his car was followed by police cars and those of his entourage. We were a few kilometres away from the village when His Majesty’s car halted. His entourage stepped out and I saw that he was scolding Dr Ayadi: “We forgot to say goodbye to the hotel porter.” Ayadi replied: “But we gave him a good tip.” His Majesty said: “You talk about money all the time. Is money really the solution to everything? This porter was always shaking the snow off my clothes, removing my boots, polishing my skiing gear. Such an individual at least expects a simple thank you. Let us return to the hotel.” We made our way back to the hotel with some difficulty through the narrow mountain passes. The hotel manager who could see the Shah’s car in the distance became worried that something bad had happened. The Shah got out of the car and walked over to the hotel porter and shook hands with him and said: “I am sorry it was too busy and I was not able to say goodbye. Thank you for all the kindness and hard work.” The Shah was very shy, considerate and kind. Each time he was upset with someone he never told them directly but relayed his feelings through some other person. One day during an official ceremony the Shah became upset at one of the protocol officers who happened to be his adjudant and told me: “Pull this fellow’s ears.” When I left His Majesty’s office he added: “Make sure you don’t pull too hard. I don’t want his ears to fall off!”

MA: What was the situation like outside the country during the period which you spent with His Majesty?

AAA: His Majesty was of course very upset by what had happened to Iran. He used to say: “All the achievements of my father and me and the Iranian nation during the past 57 years has gone up in smoke. Iran is experiencing the Great Terror and this will last for a long time. People will later understand what has happened to them but by then it will be too late.” I must admit that His majesty truly loved Iran. Of course, even a lover makes mistakes. One day in Morocco while walking with King Hassan he turned to the Shah and said: “Reza, one of your greatest mistakes was that you loved Iran more than the Iranian people and you wanted Iran to advance too quickly.” His Majesty replied: “I loved both Iran and the Iranian people. Was not everything I did for the farmers, workers, scholarships for students studying abroad, free meals for students in Iran, and other things, for the glory and prosperity of the Iranian nation?” In Morocco I told His Majesty that in our country many things took place which Your Majesty was not informed about. For instance, during the 2,500 years celebrations when I was the Iranian ambassador in the United States I suggested that with the cooperation of the American authorities we try to catalogue all Iranian objects gathered in the US museums. It was a complete project. I prepared a report on the subject among other things and His Majesty liked the idea so much that he asked [Court Minister] Alam to execute it. A meeting was held with Dr Eghbal. The Court Minister said: “I want to thank you in the presence of Dr Eghbal who has allocated One Million Dollars to be sent to you.” I also thanked them and returned to Washington. When I got to America all I received was $100,000 and there was no sign of the remaining $900,000 and the Court Ministry never gave me an explanation. When I told His Majesty this story he said: “Why did you not inform me? It was your fault.” I replied: “On numerous occasions Your Majesty expressed satisfaction regarding my work as ambassador in Austria, USA, Germany and Mexico. Nevertheless, I was certain that if I had complained I would have received a telegram a few months later thanking me for my services and informing me of another posting and ordering me to hand over my office to a member of the embassy staff.” His Majesty laughed and said: “Maybe you are right.” One day, while I was serving as the Iranian ambassador to Washington, I received the CFO of the company that built Phantom jets at the Imperial Iranian Embassy. I asked him why there had been such a long delay in the delivery of the Phantoms? The fellow said that they were trying their best but that they were busy with the Vietnam War and would try to deliver the jets in the near future. He said: “The real reason for my visit is that Mr Mahvi has approached us and has asked to be given the agency for the Phantoms but as you well know the Phantoms are not Cadillacs to require an agency and such a thing is unheard of, which is why I have come for your help?” I replied: “I don’t know, let me ask Tehran.” I sent a coded message to the Court Ministry since I knew His Majesty’s great interest in Phantom jets. From Tehran I received a reply signed by Mr Alam, the Court Minister, that: “I passed on the message. His Majesty wants to know what does this have to do with our past instructions?” The meaning of this telegram was that we were eager to receive the jets and that the rest is not of your business. At the time I thought that Mr Alam had presented the report [to the Shah] in such a way to help Mr Mahvi. One day in Morocco I told this story and His Majesty replied that he was unaware of it and that Alam had never raised the subject.

MA: In exile, did His Majesty ever complain of the ingratitude of those closest to him and who did he name? What were his feelings about his childhood friend [General] Fardoust?

AAA: His Majesty often complained about Behbahanian. During the final days when I was with him at the hospital in Cairo he said: “He [Behbahanian] treated us very badly.” About Fardoust he did not want to believe that he could have been so disloyal. As for Hossein Sadegh and Khosravi who had been serving at the Rome Embassy between 19-22 August [1953] and who had proved their loyalty in those days, he asked: “Why are they not here? They have not even telephoned once or written a letter.” I said: “Regarding these matters perhaps you have been misinformed. Your Majesty should not upset yourself. Inshallah, you will soon get better and return to the country.” His Majesty said: “With my health problems and after what the people did to me, how could I possibly return? In any case, I did everything in my power to serve my nation and now I await my fate. I have always been close to God and continue to be so. I always talk to my God but what can I do, the conversation is one way and I hear no response.” During the last days of his life, His Majesty had grown very weak. Instead of thinking about his illness, he was thinking about his country and the Iranian nation and with great emotion he would say: “We wanted to guide Iran towards the Great Civilization but the current regime will definitely take Iran towards final destruction. I fear that Iran will be dismembered.” His Majesty would say: “You know, the rate of suicide is greater in the advanced nations than those of the Third World. Take Sweden as an example. Despite having the highest standard of living it has the highest rate of suicide in the world. But in countries like Biaphra or Eritrea where people do not even have enough food to eat nobody thinks about suicide. If the Iranian people were fair and compared their situation with other countries and how Iran was 50 years ago, they would see that they were living in peace. They had it so easy that they decided to have a revolution to supposedly further improve their lives. But this was not a revolution of the Iranian people. In fact it was collective suicide on a national scale that took place at the height of prosperity.” Two days after saying these words, His Majesty passed away and joined immortality.
27 posted on 12/01/2003 3:51:19 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Khatami Warns Against Furthur Politicising Religion in Iran!

December 01, 2003
Iran Weekly Press Digest
Iran WPD

President Mohammad Khatami on Monday warned against politicising religion in Iran in the forthcoming parliamentary elections, the news agency IRNA reported.

“Our aim should be spiritualising politics, not politicising religion,” Khatami said with reference to his hardline clergy opponents.

The president said that preventing institutionalisation of democracy might lead to wide-spread efforts to undermine the Islamic system as a whole and move towards a secular one.

The elections are scheduled to be held in February next year with clear indications that people might show their political frustration by boycotting the elections like in the municipality elections earlier this year.

“Nobody is doing himself a favour not to vote as a democratic base can only be achieved though direct participation of the people,” Khatami said.

Khatami and his reformists won the presidential elections 1997 and 2001 and the parliamentary elections in 2000 with a vast majority but neither the executive nor the legislative body could implement their promised liberal policies against the hardline clergy minority.

While encouraging the people to attend the polls, Khatami said that any political groups believing in the Islamic system and constitution should be allowed to get nominated with the final decision left to the people.

“The elections this time will have a decisive role on the future of the administration,” Khatami said confirming standpoints that the February elections will be a political turning point for the Islamic Republic.
28 posted on 12/01/2003 3:55:12 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Violent clashes lead to injuries and arrests of tens of demonstrators

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Dec 1, 2003

Violent clashes rocked Karaj, a suburb City of Tehran, this afternoon, as the Islamic regime's forces intervened in order to save one of their affiliates from a public lynching.

Hundreds of residents exasperated by the persistent injustice and the expropriation of the residents' homes, by the regime's men and the managers of the local Mosque, tried to give a popular justice as a young girl was reported having beaten to death by the latter.

The special forces of the Pasdaran Corp., sent from Gohar dasht prison and several neighboring areas, intervened brutally in "Seraj Avenue", with clubs and tear gas, while members of Bassidj force and regime's plainclothes apparatus attacked, with clubs and chains, the angry crowd who was shouting slogans against the regime and its leaders;

The attacks increased more the crowd anger and retaliation by using stones thrown against the regime's men and patrol cars.

Tens of demonstrators were injured and arrested while members of the regime forces were also seen taken to hospitals by their colleagues.
29 posted on 12/01/2003 3:57:29 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
The Tipping Point

December 02, 2003
Bruce Walker

Wars have a tipping point when one side realizes that it will, inevitably, lose. In 1918, the unbeaten German Army in France and Belgian saw that the flow of fresh troops from America made ultimate defeat certain. In 1990, when the Berlin Wall was torn down, the ultimate collapse of the Soviet Empire was inevitable.

Leftism has reached the same tipping point: the Left will lose its war on America and ordered liberty. There is no specific event - no Battle of Midway or Siege of Yorktown - which precisely defines the coming collapse of Leftism, but a cluster of trends all point in the same direction.

Leftists pined for another Great Depression in America, which, they hoped, would bring back the good old days of soup lines and socialist rabble rousers. But the economy is growing at the fastest rate in two decades. This insures the reelection of President Bush, but it causes Leftists other problems as well.

Sanctimonious whining about the federal deficit, which never once concerned Leftists when the welfare state was being created, look increasingly silly as the engine of economic recovery produces much greater federal tax revenues. In the 2004 campaign, honest economic analysts will be able to project surpluses during the second term of President Bush.

Leftists invented the politics of personal destruction. They have used this tactic not only against politicians but against anyone who stands in their way, but it no longer works - and everyone sees that it no longer works.

Rush Limbaugh, hit with a double whammy in a single week, is back on the air and very popular. The risible concern expressed about Mel Gibson’s production of a film which simply reflects the honest beliefs of Christians about the death of Jesus failed to concern serious people and will insure a bigger audience for The Passion.

Katherine Harris is now Congresswoman Harris and a member of the leadership of the majority party in Congress. Newt Gingrich is a frequent and respected commentator on conservative news programs. Senator Carnahan, by contrast, is now citizen Carnahan. Governor Davis is now citizen Davis.

Most important, the shrill hatred of President Bush, whose personal popularity has been higher than any president in the history of modern polling, shows the Lilliputian size of the Left. Conservatives and other normal people look at Leftist whining about President Bush’s surprise Thanksgiving visit to our troops in combat zones with a combination of bafflement and contempt.

Leftists attackers now find themselves the attacked. The LA Times-Democrat and the New York Times-Democrat double teamed Governor Schwarzenegger several days before the recall election. Their sneaky slanders did not hurt him, but the LA Times-Democrat lost subscribers it could ill afford to lose and the New York Times-Democrat added its lies about a pro-Nazi Schwarzenegger to its ghastly incompetence in the Jason Blair fiasco.

CBS was forced to scratch The Reagans because the network grossly underestimated the intensity and organization of a very broad, connected and informed conservative majority in America. Books like Bias show Leftism is bankrupt and dishonest.

Academia is facing increasing scrutiny and ridicule as its absurd, surreal hatred of all things good about America becomes more and more commonly understood. The salient fact in this area: students are much more conservative than their faculty and much less willing to be cowed into submission.

The political landscape has changed as well. The Republican Party is now, unquestionably, the majority party in America. Men who once were listened to in the Democrat Party - Ed Koch, Zell Miller, and Andrew Cuomo - now throw up their hands in frustration at a political party that weighs the political consequences of fighting terrorism.

The picture around the world looks even bleaker for Leftists. When President Bush is reelected, the evolution of Iraq into a tolerant nation of ordered liberty is assured. The mullahs of Iran will lose power and be replaced, inevitably, by secular and pro-American leaders. The changes in these two nations will not just transform the Middle East, but Islam itself.

Castro will die soon, and Cuba will live again. Germany will soon have a political party sympathetic, rather than unsympathetic, to our goals. Revelations that the ruling Social Democrat Party was infested with Stasi spies and the sleazy way in which Schroeder won his last election will mean that the next Chancellor of Germany will want to mend relations with America quickly.

Everything points in the same direction: the outcome of the war between Leftism and ordered liberty is certain. Conservatives and other normal people will win this war. Marxists, Fascists, Socialists, Nazis, Islamic totalitarians and other Leftists will lose. As that fact becomes clearer, the orderly retreat of the Left will become a rout.
33 posted on 12/01/2003 7:38:37 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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