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Iranian Alert -- December 4, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 12.4.2003 | DoctorZin

Posted on 12/04/2003 12:01:24 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.

DoctorZin


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iaea; iran; iranianalert; protests; southasia; studentmovement; studentprotest
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 12/04/2003 12:01:25 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 12/04/2003 12:03:52 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Washington tunes in to (KRSI) Iranian radio

BBC News Online in Washington
4 December, 2003, 01:30 GMT

A conservative American think tank has joined up with an opposition Iranian radio station (KRSI) to broadcast into and out of Iran.

Usually, the American Enterprise Institute hosts forums with politicians, officials and analysts from the "inside the beltway" Washington community.
But for a one-off event, it invited ordinary Iranians to air their views to listeners in Washington and across their country through KRSI Radio Sedaye Iran - which broadcasts from Los Angeles on short wave and on the internet.

The station said there could be reprisals against people phoning in, so KRSI would call those who had previously got in touch - though they said they had not selected activists with any particular viewpoint.

The full names and other details were also withheld for security reasons according to the AEI, which is close to the Republican Party and Bush administration.

KRSI is one of a number of broadcasters which circumvent jamming by the Iranian authorities and transmit radio and television programmes into the Islamic Republic calling for change.

'Reforms dead'

All of those interviewed from Iran said they opposed both the mullahs and those portrayed as reformers, such as President Mohammad Khatami.

One woman who described herself as a housewife who had joined the activists said she saw no hope for reform by the regime.

"We have given them a lot of chances, especially when Mr Khatami was being chosen.
We have given him six-and-a-half years but nothing has happened and we don't trust them any more," she said in comments translated from Farsi for the Washington audience.

A woman student said bluntly: "Reform in Iran is dead."

She said there were some "tricks" that could persuade some that there was some form of democracy in Iran but added she was not fooled: "Believing in reform is nonsense."

A poet called Mohammed said even those people who had pioneered promised reforms admitted that they had got nowhere.

"Because of the ideological framework, reforms are not possible in such a regime," he said.

Each caller said the situation seemed to be coming to a head. "The people of this country are ready to fight, to sacrifice their lives," said a university professor.

People or prince

But there was a range of answers when callers were asked who should lead a new Iran.

The housewife said "People can lead themselves", some called for the return of the son of the ousted shah and others said there should be a council of leaders or a referendum.

This election is nothing, all of the people have been through this - even our baker says no
Aresh
Mohammed the poet said: "The one person who can lead the country is Prince Reza."
All agreed that it should be the people of Iraq who should decide.

"The people of Iran should choose if they want a king or a republic," said Saeed, who described himself as an activist in the south of Tehran.

But they also agreed that elections scheduled for early next year would do nothing to improve democracy and all the callers said they would stay away.

"This election is nothing. All of the people have been through this. Even our baker says no," said a man called Aresh who told listeners he had been jailed for activism.

Seeking support

Several asked for help from the United States, either directly in terms of funding of opposition movements such as KRSI or at the very least by not courting the government leaders.

A disabled veteran of the Iran-Iraq War said: "I want the government of the United States to support Iran emotionally, that is all we expect."
A student who called herself Ms Nargess said it would be in the long-term interest of the US and European countries to support the opposition.

"The potential ally of the US is the people not the mullahs."

Washington's hawks and doves differ widely on ways to handle Iran, and it is impossible to tell if a broadcast heard by an invited group in a conference room in the US capital will do anything to change minds.

But as the special broadcast came to its scheduled end after two hours, radio host Saeed Farahani had a message for listeners at home and abroad: "I'm asking you all to resist."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3289337.stm
3 posted on 12/04/2003 12:06:14 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
British Government Publishes its Ten Year Plan for Foreign Affairs

December 02, 2003
Kayhan-London
Nazenin Ansari

London -- For the first time the British Government has published a comprehensive strategy paper describing UK's priorities for international policy over the next five to ten years and the role of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office in achieving them.

According to the white paper entitled "UK International Priorities: A Strategy for the FCO", the war against international terror and security of the world's energy supplies will dictate UK foreign policy for much of the next decade. The White Paper states that one of the principle aims for the FCO within this context will be to work "with others to prevent the development of nuclear weapons by Iran and North Korea."

Echoing this objective Tony Blair today stated at his monthly press conference, " I think it is very important we keep up the pressure on Iran, because it is potentially a dangerous situation and I hope Iran realizes, and I am sure it does, that it has got to fulfil its obligations completely."

In addition the FCO will aim to: "maintain UK's commitment to rebuilding Afghanistan and Iraq"; "strengthen the capacity of key states to deal with terrorism and proliferation"; "ensure that multilateral arms and export control regimes evolve to reflect technological change"; "agree more effective verification, and negotiate stronger compliance measures for biological arms control", and, "strengthen UK, EU and international approaches to dealing in advance with the problems of state failure."

In a chapter on energy, the white paper says Britain will seek to "resolve disputes and promote peaceful and economic reform in the Middle East, parts of Africa and . . . the former Soviet Union." It will "provide early warning of and help prevent terrorist and other threats to the energy infrastructure", the paper says.

According to the Financial Times, the document came as it emerged Downing Street's strategy unit is conducting a review of policy on "failed states" that could lead to more funding for intervening in countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

In a written statement to Parliament, Jack Straw, the British Foreign Secretary said: 'The FCO Strategy analyses the ways in which we expect the world to change in the years ahead. It concludes, among other things, that our foreign policy should focus on a broad agenda of issues with global impact: they include countering terrorism and weapons proliferation, acting to prevent state failure and climate change, and dealing effectively with poverty, corruption and conflict.'

'We shall need to build a wider, shared international understanding of how best to deal with these problems. They affect us all. We cannot afford to stand back from them. The UK must remain diplomatically active and engaged, and be able to exert global influence through diplomacy, advice, persuasion, aid and other economic assistance – and if necessary military force.'

The eight priorities identified in the FCO Strategy White Paper are:

a world safer from global terrorism and weapons of mass destruction;

protection of the UK from illegal immigration, drug trafficking and other international crime;

an international system based on the rule of law, which is better able to resolve disputes and prevent conflicts;

an effective EU in a secure neighborhood;

promotion of UK economic interests in an open and expanding global economy;

sustainable development, underpinned by democracy, good governance and human rights;

security of UK and global energy supplies; and

security and good governance of the UK's Overseas Territories.

http://iranvajahan.net/cgi-bin/news.pl?l=en&y=2003&m=12&d=04&a=2
4 posted on 12/04/2003 12:07:45 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Torture Victim First Battle Ottawa for Right to Sue Iranian Government

December 03, 2003
CBC News
cbc.ca

OTTAWA -- Lawyers for victims of torture are challenging the federal government in a court case both sides say is a crucial test of Canadian and international law.

The case concerns Houshang Bouzari, an Iranian-born Canadian who's trying to sue the government of Iran. Bouzari alleges that 10 years ago while he was an oil industry consultant living in Tehran, he was kidnapped by Iranian government agents, tortured and held for months until his family paid several million dollars ransom.

Iran has ignored the lawsuit Bouzari filed in Ontario. But lawyers for the federal attorney general have intervened in the case. They argue that allowing Bouzari to sue Iran would be illegal and could damage diplomatic relations.

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice agrees with Ottawa and, on Wednesday, lawyers for both sides took their arguments to the Ontario Court of Appeal. David Matas, Bouzari's lawyer, says his client's case is nothing short of precedent setting. "This case is the benchmark," he said, "it will determine whether people in Canada can sue foreign governments for torture."

Right now Canadians can't sue foreign governments for torture, because the State Immunity Act adopted by Parliament in 1982 doesn't allow it. The attorney general's department wants to keep it that way.

Christopher Greenwood a professor of international law at the London School of Economics, appeared as an expert witness for the federal government. Greenwood says Canada's State Immunity Act simply puts in writing what every nation already accepts.

"The answer in all of those jurisdictions that have considered the matter is that a state remains immune from the jurisdiction of other states in respect of acts of torture committed within its own territory."

In Canada there are only two exceptions to the restrictions of the State Immunity Act. One is if the lawsuit is for commercial reasons, for example over a broken contract. The other exception is in the highly unlikely scenario of the torture occurring in Canada, at the hands of a foreign government. But torture in a foreign country is not a basis for a suit.

Osgoode Hall law professor Craig Scott, who has written extensively on the subject, says it's not surprising government lawyers would try to defend the validity of Canadian legislation. But he says that doesn't mean there shouldn't be any further exceptions for people like Bouzari.

"Canada has a responsibility. The fact is, as a refugee, or somebody who can't go back to Iran, he has to go somewhere. And if coming to Canada is a reasonable place to go then I think we have some kind of responsibility to him as one of us now to give him access to justice."

Peter Southey, counsel for the attorney general, says there are good reasons to prevent Canadian courts from hearing cases against foreign governments. Southey says if courts awarded financial judgments, it could lead to the seizure of embassy property and assets.

"Instead of having a world in which there are diplomatic relations and international affairs, that people would stop having, or countries would stop having, embassies and international relations because the courts would be interfering in their proper operations."

But Matas says no one's talking about ending the idea of state immunity, just extending an exception in cases of torture.

Former foreign affairs minister Lloyd Axworthy is also critical of Canada's position. Axworthy says Ottawa can and should allow Canadian courts to try to influence international human rights law.

Canada, says Axworthy, "is very much behind. The reticence is a recognition that we have been engaged in the last couple of years through our own anti-terrorism legislation and our cross-border agreements in the United States, in implicating ourselves in a lot of practices that demonstrate a willingness to have security trump rights, rather than have rights trump security."

The U.S. has a similar legal prohibition against its citizens suing foreign governments, but it does allow lawsuits against countries it considers state sponsors of terrorism. That loophole has resulted in a number of financial judgments that have been paid through the seizure of foreign assets.

But, ultimately, it may be U.S. taxpayers who foot the bill. Sandra Coliver, executive director of the Center for Justice and Accountability, says when and if diplomatic relations are restored with the offending nations, the U.S. treasury may have to repay them.

"There have been many victims of the Iranian government, the Iraqi government, and the system of litigation enables those claimants with certain kinds of lawyers to be at the head of the line. I don't know if it is the best public policy to mete out the money in that fashion," she said.

But Coliver agrees with people like Matas, Axworthy and others that even without any monetary judgment, a civil lawsuit that names and shames a government for torture has its own value in shining a light on the practice.

Both sides are now waiting for the Ontario Court of Appeal to decide.

http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2003/12/03/torture031203
5 posted on 12/04/2003 12:08:31 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
US Forces Accused of Iraq 'Massacre'
(Was Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Behind the Samarra Insurgency?)

December 03, 2003
The Financial Times
Peter Spiegel and Nicolas Pelham

The US army came under renewed pressure on Wednesday over its conduct in a battle at the weekend in the central Iraqi town of Samarra, as Iran's senior religious leader accused the American forces of "a savage massacre" in which 54 locals were reportedly killed.

The battle, in which US forces attempting to deliver new Iraqi currency to two Samarran banks were ambushed by a small force of insurgents - said by US officials to have been dressed as fighters from Saddam Hussein's fedayeen militia - has led to wildly differing accounts from American military officials and local witnesses.

Hospital officials in Samarra said only eight people were killed, all of them civilians, including one Iranian pilgrim. Samarra is the burial place of two of Shia Islam's most revered imams.

Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, deputy director of operations for coalition forces in Iraq, said he had spoken about the incident on Wednesday to the commander of the division responsible for security in central Iraq, Major General Ray Odierno, but that no investigation had been sought. "He, at this point, believes he has been given the full truth but wants to close out any questions out there," Brig Gen Kimmitt said.

Saadun Isawi, a police official at Samarra hospital, said the facility had received 54 wounded and that the dead included a 73-year-old Iranian pilgrim to the Imam Hadi shrine, a 10-year-old boy and a female employee at Samarra pharmaceutical plant.

Asked about the discrepancy in the numbers of dead, Brig Gen Kimmitt, who said the figure of 54 killed had been arrived at after debriefing troops involved in the action, added: "I can't imagine why the enemy would want to bring a dead body to a hospital."

US officials were at pains to point out that any Iraqi deaths came only after American troops had been ambushed and that the incident had not been instigated as part of the coalition's recently stepped-up offensive operations. They also said conflicting accounts often existed of firefights but that the first rendition from US soldiers engaged in an attack was usually borne out in final reporting. "I trust the reports of my soldiers," said Brig Gen Kimmitt. "The people that attacked those trucks were attacking not only coalition soldiers but were attacking Iraqis trying to provide money for a restored, restabilised, rebuilt Iraq."

According to the official Iranian news agency, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, said "the brutal and arrogant occupiers" had "desecrated" a holy Islamic site. Both the outer perimeter walls of the al-Hadi shrine complex, and the mirrors of the shrine itself were scarred by bullets but it was not clear who had fired them. Locals claimed US soldiers had fired indiscriminately at attackers and civilians alike; an American military official acknowledged that munitions used in the engagement could easily have passed through walls behind combatants.

http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1069493699640&p=1012571727172
6 posted on 12/04/2003 12:11:07 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
The IAEA's Report on Iran: An Analysis

Paul Kerr

On Nov. 10, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued a report charging Iran with violating its obligations under the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. In particular, the IAEA said that Tehran had been conducting experiments with imported nuclear material without informing the agency. The report also revealed that Iran had carried out a variety of clandestine nuclear activities for more than two decades. In doing so, it had deceived the agency on numerous occasions by concealing facilities and providing the IAEA with incomplete and false information. A discussion of the IAEA’s revelations follows.

Uranium Enrichment

Gas-Centrifuge Enrichment

Iran’s gas-centrifuge uranium-enrichment program dates back to 1985 and currently consists of a small pilot facility at Natanz and a larger commercial facility under construction at the same location. Uranium-enrichment facilities can produce fissile material for nuclear weapons, as well as fuel for civilian nuclear power reactors.

Iran had previously claimed its gas-centrifuge program was completely indigenous and had not been used to test nuclear material, but both of these claims were proven false by the IAEA.

The IAEA first visited the Natanz facility in February. Its advanced state of operation led the agency to suspect that Iran had tested the centrifuges with nuclear material without first notifying the agency—a violation of its safeguards agreement. (See ACT, November 2003.) Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei reported that IAEA environmental sampling showed that particles of both low-enriched and highly enriched uranium (LEU and HEU) had been present during that time at the Natanz facility, suggesting possible confirmation of the inspectors’ suspicions. Although LEU is used in civilian power plants, HEU can be used to build nuclear weapons. The presence of this material could be evidence that Iran produced weapons-grade uranium at Natanz and has nuclear material that it has not yet declared to the IAEA—each a violation of its safeguards agreement. At the time, however, Iran blamed the material’s presence on contaminated, imported components and continues to do so.

Meanwhile, Iran introduced nuclear material into the Natanz facility’s centrifuges under IAEA safeguards in June, although the IAEA Board of Governors had issued a statement earlier that month encouraging Iran not to do so. Tehran accelerated its tests in August but, in an October deal with European foreign ministers, agreed to suspend its uranium-enrichment activities. At the time, Iran did not say when the suspension would take effect, but the new IAEA report says Iran told the IAEA that it would suspend its enrichment activities effective Nov. 10. (See ACT, November 2003.)

Iran also admitted Oct. 21 to using small amounts of uranium hexafluoride to test centrifuges at the Kalaye Electric Company in Tehran between 1999 and 2002, according to the report. Centrifuges spin uranium hexafluoride gas in cylinders to increase the concentration of the relevant isotopes. Iran had previously acknowledged producing centrifuge components there but denied conducting any tests with nuclear material. Iran dismantled “the test facility at the end of 2002,” according to the report.

Activities at the Kalaye facility have been contentious because Iran had hindered IAEA investigations there and prevented agency inspectors from conducting environmental sampling until August. These samples also detected HEU and LEU particles, a finding Iran also attributes to contaminated components. Tehran maintains it only enriched uranium at Kalaye to a degree that is not suitable for weapons.

Iran continued to obstruct the IAEA’s investigation of the Kalaye facility until recently, according to the report. Tehran initially told agency inspectors that the centrifuges had been destroyed but later admitted to their existence and allowed the IAEA to inspect them Oct. 30-31. The components had been stored elsewhere in Iran, but it is unclear how the agency became aware of this fact.

In the Nov. 24 issue of Time magazine, ElBaradei said that five European and Asian countries supplied Iran with the components and that the agency will discuss the matter with those governments.

In a further misstep, Iran tested the centrifuges with uranium hexafluoride imported in 1991. A June agency report pointed out that Iran not only violated its safeguards agreement by failing to report the imported material but also could not account for some of the material, raising suspicions that Iran had conducted illicit enrichment experiments. At the time, Iran said the material had leaked from its containers.

Laser Enrichment

According to the report, Iran told the IAEA Oct. 21 that it had been pursuing a laser-based uranium-enrichment program since 1991. An August IAEA report stated that Iran had previously acknowledged a research and development program involving lasers, but not an enrichment program.

IAEA inspectors visited a site called Lashkar Ab’ad in August. Although they did not find any activities related to uranium enrichment being conducted there, the agency asked Iran to confirm that there had not been any past “activities related to uranium laser enrichment” at any location in the country and to allow environmental sampling at that location. Iran allowed inspectors to conduct sampling on Oct. 6 and told the IAEA Oct. 21 that it conducted laser-enrichment experiments with undeclared imported uranium metal at a site in Tehran until October 2002.

Iran later told the IAEA during an Oct. 27-Nov. 1 visit that it had established “a pilot plant for laser enrichment” at Lashkar Ab’ad in 2000 and conducted enrichment experiments there between October 2002 and January 2003. Iran dismantled the equipment in May and presented it to IAEA inspectors on Oct. 28, according to the report.

Other Concerns

Reprocessing

The IAEA found that Iran separated a “small amount” of plutonium from spent fuel produced in a research reactor in Tehran—an action Iran was obligated to report to the IAEA. Reprocessing activities have caused concern because Iran has nearly completed a light-water reactor (LWR) at Bushehr and has announced plans to build a heavy-water reactor, each of which produce plutonium. LWRs are considered more proliferation resistant. Such reprocessing can also produce fissile material for nuclear weapons.

Uranium Conversion

Iran announced in March that it had completed a facility located near Isfahan for converting uranium oxide into uranium hexafluoride. Iran first told the IAEA that it had completed the facility without having tested it with nuclear material but later admitted to conducting uranium-conversion experiments in the early 1990s. (See ACT, September 2003.) Iran was required to disclose these experiments to the IAEA.

According to the November report, Iran told the IAEA Oct. 9 that it conducted previously undisclosed uranium-conversion experiments with multiple phases of the conversion process between 1981 and 1993. Iran also admitted that it was planning to produce uranium metal for use in its laser-enrichment program. In June, a Department of State official noted that Iran would most likely use uranium metal in nuclear warheads.

The report also states that Iran failed to provide design information about the facilities where the concealed nuclear activities took place, as is required by its safeguards agreement.

http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2003_12/IAEAreport.asp
7 posted on 12/04/2003 12:17:11 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran's Akbar Ganji hospitalised: report

Wednesday, December 03, 2003 - ©2003 IranMania.com

TEHRAN, Dec 3 (AFP) - A prominent jailed Iranian dissident journalist, Akbar Ganji, has been hospitalised with serious respiratory problems, a member of the Iranian Journalists Association told the student news agency ISNA on Wednesday.

Badr-Alsaadat Mofidi told the agency she had been informed of the medical problems by a cellmate of the dissident, who was said to be suffering from severe asthma and lung problems.

Ganji was jailed in 2000 for six years on charges of propogating against the Islamic regime and underming state security after he wrote a series of articles alleging that senior officials were behind a string of murders of dissidents in 1998.

Authorities insisted the killings were the work of rogue intelligence agents.

http://www.iranmania.com/News/ArticleView/Default.asp?NewsCode=20293&NewsKind=Current%20Affairs
8 posted on 12/04/2003 12:18:35 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Khatami upholds public say in polls

IRIB
2003/12/02

Tehran, Dec 2 - President Mohammad Khatami said on Monday that members of parliament represent the public conscience and that all political groups should be allowed to take part in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

President Khatami was addressing the board of monitors of the seventh parliamentary elections.

Khatami rejected exclusive right for each and every party from among the recognised political hues to run for the elections, lambasting the result of such a process as having nothing to deal with the public conscience.

"Only free and fair elections guarantee representing the public conscience."

"The parliament will be efficient if it represents majority of the people, not a special group which may consider itself as the only group which deserves the right to be elected," he said.

He said that the upcoming parliamentary elections are of highly important for the future of the country.

"The late Imam Khomeini's assertion that the parliament is above all the affairs is not a compliment. No doubt that parliament has very decisive role in the democratic system of government," President Khatami asserted.

The parliament is a powerful body in terms of both legislation and supervision directly empowered by the people's votes.

There are other constitutional powers too which are being monitored by the parliament, President Khatami said.

"The parliament is a power which is recognized for its totality so every individual within the parliament has not the same right. It is empowered to monitor performance of the strongest power for instance the chief executive and the office of the Supreme Leader."

"This is democracy. A constitutional body is capable of overseeing the performance of the strongest office. Such a democratic mechanism prevents emergence of dictatorship," he said.

Dictatorship and complacency emerge when the power is being accumulated in the hands of an individual, he said.

"In the democratic system of government, the power are being controlled, but, in dictatorship systems, there is no control or supervision or possible reprimand,' he said.

He said that the Islamic Republic of Iran is treading the path of democracy despite the hostile propaganda against the trend.

http://www.iribnews.com/Full_en.asp?news_id=193553&n=33
9 posted on 12/04/2003 12:23:39 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranian activists reach US think tanks

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Dec 3, 2003

A panel composed by selected Iranian activists. from inside and outside Iran, reached, this morning, tens of American think tanks during an unprecedented meeting held at the famous "American Enterprise Institute" (AEI).

The panel was composed by Mandana Zand-Karimi; Ramin Parham; Roozbeeh Farahanipoor and Aryo Pirouznia, of SMCCDI, and was broadcasted live worldwide by the famous Los Angeles based KRSI which had placed Saeed Ghaem Maghami, its famous anchor, as the moderator and special reporter. Several female and male activists were joined in duplex from Iran and exposed as well their views and aspirations for an audiance shocked about the degree of the popular rejection of the Islamic republic regime and the Iranians exasperation ready to die in order to gain Freedom and Democracy.

Aryo Pirouznia, speaking on behalf of the Movement, qualified the Islamic regime as ideological and un-reformable system and qualified it as the main craddle of tension, tyranny and terrorism in the region. While he blasted the regime's lobbyists in the US, such as, the self called "American Iranian Council" (AIC) and the "National Iranian American Council" (NIAC), (which its head was present as observer in the meeting), Pirouznia requested, from all Freedom Lovers the moral and financial support of Iranian opponents living inside which have been depraved from basic living standard for their opposition to the mullahs.

The SMCCDI's coordinator stated that Iranians have found, at this time, their separate identity than their forcible rulers. "Now its a matter of "us" and "them" and such psycological gain was necessary to be reach" he stated while along with all other panelists, he predicted the general boycott of regime's future sham elections by the Iranian People who are intending to deprive the regime from any possibility to simulate legitimacy.

Pirouznia continued:"After nearly 25 years of Theocracy and 7 years of sham reforms, Iranians have become well aware that the 2 noptions of Democracy and Islam can't result in something good for their nation and their only goal is to establish a secularly democratic regime following the Freedom of Iran.

On the Atomic issue, Pirouznia defended the right of the Iranian "Nation" to use for civilian purposes the Atomic energy while he reminded that a future accountable regime will not need to obtain Nuclear weapons.

The complete recording of this 2- 1/2 hour meeting will soon be available on the website of the Movement.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_3908.shtml
10 posted on 12/04/2003 12:26:59 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranians Offer Neighborly Advice

By Karl Vick
Dec 4, 2003

Many Cite Theocracy's Shortcomings as Iraqis Ponder Shape of New System

Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, December 4, 2003; Page A20

ISFAHAN, Iran -- They snatched money right out of her hand in Iraq, Mahvash Mardanian said. Her oppressed fellow Shiite Muslims were greedy not for the cash -- it was Iranian currency after all -- but for the picture of the old man peering out from under his turban on the 5,000 rial note. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was revered in Iraq, the visitor discovered. Her hosts pressed the grubby bills to their lips before handing them back.

"I was very interested to see that Iraqis loved the Iranian system very much," said Mardanian, 30, a professional midwife huddled against a north wind on the bank of the Zayandeh Rud River. "Perhaps they didn't have a very good idea of what exactly it is, but . . . ''

But Iranians do.

For a quarter-century, citizens of the Islamic Republic of Iran have lived under the watchful eye of Shiite religious leaders whose counterparts in Iraq -- where the population is 60 percent Shiite -- were brutally suppressed under President Saddam Hussein's government. Now, as Iraqis mull what form of government their country will adopt when the U.S. occupation officially ends, some gaze longingly eastward, toward Iran.

But few on this side of the border appear inclined to recommend their system to their neighbors -- at least not without repeated, emphatic and sometimes downright angry warnings.

"Our government is not worthy. Why would I suggest it to Iraq?" asked Hassan Dahmardeh, 30, a car dealer watching the river from concrete steps a few yards downstream from Mardanian. He gestured toward the evening strollers. "Most of the people you see here are unemployed. How could I suggest a system that can't provide jobs to the people?"

"You can see that we have failed," said Nozanin, 22, a student of industrial management who offered only her first name. "It's better if Iraqis think of a new constitution for themselves."

In two dozen interviews on the streets of Isfahan -- Iran's second-largest and most splendid city -- only two ordinary Iranians answered with a firm yes when asked whether their theocratic system offered a model to Iraq. Another seven offered mixed assessments.

The remaining 15 were frankly down on their government.

"No, it's not good," said Abbas Ghazy, 20, his head freshly shaved for an obligatory stint of military service, belongings stuffed into a pair of pale blue plastic bags at his feet. "This government is not good at all. It's full of problems. There's all sorts of wrongdoing. It's full of theft. They don't think of the young people. They only think of their pockets."

The interviews, conducted mostly at random around the picturesque Bridge of the 33 Arches, broadly reinforced what Iranians have said repeatedly at the ballot box. Since 1996, elections at all levels have been won by candidates promising to make Iran's theocracy more responsive to its 68 million people, half of whom are under age 20.

But in the architecture of Iran's political system, the constitution places two panels of clerics above the elected parliament, and Khomeini's successor above the office of elected president. As a result, little has changed.

"In the beginning of the revolution, the objectives were very good," said Ali Torabi, 42, a cheerful man who makes a living selling office supplies. "But afterward people appeared to act only in line with their own interests. They're busy accumulating money. They don't think of the people. They don't think of international relations. Iran has lost a lot.

"The people of this regime are exploiting Islam in order to safeguard their interests."

Iran's Islamic constitution was fashioned around Khomeini, and the almost royal powers vested in him as supreme religious leader evoked an age when monarchs were considered agents of God. The supreme leader served as a placeholder for the missing 12th imam, the messianic figure who vanished in the 10th century and whose return, Shiites believe, will herald the age of perfect justice.

Since Khomeini's death in 1989, his successor, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has relied heavily on a governing class of fellow clerics who gradually but steadily have come to be viewed as oligarchs. In Iran, the theocracy is underpinned not only by the country's massive oil revenues, but also by two huge "foundations" that dominate most other sectors of the economy. Numerous children of clerics are leading business figures in Tehran.

"Nothing is as it should be," said Mehdi Haj Sabagh, 25, who recently graduated with a degree in civil engineering but has been unable to find work. "There's a big economic gap. Perhaps only 5 percent of the people are well-to-do. Ten percent make up the middle class, and 85 percent are penniless."

"There are many bad things here," said Mina Hossieni, 39. "They talk of Islam but they don't act on it."

Yet a state built on Islamic principles still strikes many Iranians as an ideal, especially in Isfahan. The city of about 1.5 million has long had a reputation for piety, and its turquoise mosques communicate the beauty of faith to legions of tourists. The city, about 300 miles south of Tehran, was a hotbed of support for the 1979 revolution and in the debilitating eight-year war against Iraq was said to contribute more "martyrs'' than any other province.

Today, the city's reputation is firmly reformist. Explaining why, ordinary Iranians again and again refer to the message of social justice that runs through Islam, a faith whose story begins with the prophet Muhammad wandering into the Arabian hills to reflect on the avarice of local business leaders.

"The true Islamic core is good, because of the justice in the core," said a 53 year-old female visitor from Tehran, who would only give one name, Davari. "But only if it's observed according to what the prophet said. I don't believe the system in Iran has been entirely observing this."

Iranians said clerics inside government have parted with the tradition of religious figures accumulating great prestige -- and often great offerings -- while living lives almost ostentatious in their modesty. In Tehran, when imported cars had long been almost impossible to obtain, the first people seen in BMWs were governing clerics.

"Justice and fairness would allow everyone to have the same benefits they are having," said Hossieni, seated beside her sister, Minoo, in an alcove of the pedestrian bridge. Shopping bags sat at their feet. Pushed by the Iraq war from the tidy border town of Qasr Shirin, they live in Karaj but come to Isfahan to shop.

"There's a big gap between the classes economically," Minoo said. "There's a great difference between their lives and ours."

"But there's no social justice," Mina said.

Not everyone agrees. Polls show the ruling clerics can reliably turn out about 15 percent of the population at elections, a figure that has remained constant for years.

"We have very good rule," said a 41-year-old woman who declined to give her name. "We have security here. It's much better than in the shah's time."

At the far end of the bridge, a young woman, Aghileh Mokteri, listened intently as an old man read aloud from a book he held in the air. The appetite for fortune-telling in Iran is as persistent as the street urchins peddling predictions scrawled in Persian on tiny scrolls. When Mokteri finished hearing hers, she smiled to herself.

"Yes, I was happy with it," she said.

Less so with her government.

"Unfortunately the Islam we're talking about right now has been turned upside down. It's not the true Islam," she said. "The young people do not have the freedom they deserve. Security is diminishing."

A man in a gray sport coat interrupted.

"The freedom she seeks is immorality," Farid Hakimi declared. He is 49 and works in a textile factory.

"What is freedom in your mentality?" asked Mehdi Tabotabi, 19, dressed all in black. Referring to the headscarf that theocrats have decreed all women must wear in public, he said, "The kind of liberty we want is not just to remove the hijab."

A crowd was forming, but before the debate could get any hotter a policeman broke through. Summoned by reports of a foreign journalist asking political questions, the officer apologized for being obliged to take the reporter to his kiosk to wait for an intelligence officer.

It was the second such interruption in as many days. The previous evening, when Mardanian was saying how much Iraqis loved Iran's system, a slender young man brandishing a cigarette and a threatening air identified himself as a member of the Basij, an ardent pro-government militia. When no one heeded his demands for papers, the militiaman stalked away, declaring he would call the police.

Torabi, the office-supply salesman, watched him go.

"That," he said, "is why we had a revolution."

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_3912.shtml
11 posted on 12/04/2003 12:28:31 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
This is a letter written to THE ECONOMIST by Sara Hessenflow who is the former legislative assistant on Foreign Policy to U.S. Senator Sam Brownback.

Date: Wed, 3 Dec 2003 11:39:21 -0500 (GMT-05:00)
From: Sara Hessenflow
To: letters@economist.com
Subject: Iran human rights

Dear Editor --

I write in protest of your recent article on the improvement of Iran's human rights record ("Small Mercies,"
Nov 27th 2003). Your article made the point that while things are still bleak in Iran, human rights have
improved under the reformist President Khatemi. This is simply not true.

As the senior foreign policy staffer for U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS), author of the Iran Democracy Act, I worked extensively with Iranians from around the world. I no longer work for the Senator, but remain close to many of the Iranian friends I made during this time. Our office received hundreds of letters, emails and calls on a daily basis, pleading for us to shine a light on the abuses these people have endured -- abuses that their friends and relatives are still enduring. It is this experience that made me cringe, and compelled me to write when I read your article.

I understand the point you were trying to make: things are bad - but they have gotten better and the world
should take that into account in making foreign policy so as to encourage continued improvement. The
problem with this argument, is that the premise is completely false. There has not been signficant improvement in Iran's treatment of its own people. And to say that their has, merely lets the hardline judiciary see that using Khatemi as a puppet to cover up their harsh policies, is a worthwhlile endeavor. Whether Khatemi is sincere in his attempt to reform or not, the fact is the judiciary has rolled back every reform Khatemi has made. How can this be called improvement?

The Islamic Republic of Iran is a government that imprisons young women for merely having in their possession material that encourages political reform. This is a country where political prisoners are STILL executed and where young women are raped by Islamic authorities so as to deny the girls entry to paradise since they are no
longer virgins. The behavior of the Islamic Republic violates even the strictest reading of the Qu'ran and is
repulsive to the Iranian people. For your magazine to excuse this ongoing behavior by saying there has been
improvement is repugnant and does not rise to the level of your usually thoughtful analysis. Saying there is
improvement in Iran's human rights record while these atrocites continue disrespects the pain and suffering of
thousands oppressed under this regime.

Sara Hessenflow
former legislative assistant on foreign policy for U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback
Arlington, VA
12 posted on 12/04/2003 12:32:41 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
I have been corresponding with an Iranian student discussing their elections in Funerary of 2004. Here are a few of his thoughts.

"This is my own assessment of the next Parliamentary elections.

Most people expect that a large group of people (Around 75%) will boycott the whole election but The 75% is an unreal and unpredicted amount.

But to me, as many as 60-65% do not intend or have not decided to VOTE.

Voting against a Hard line candidate will send a moderate to the Parliament.

But we have to remember that the whole "VOTING" will confirm the popularity of the regime and will show that no one can intervene to help the Iranian Freedom Fighters.
We have to remember, Moderates & Hard liners are from the same family. Their only difference is that Moderates or Reformists are not in Power.

They believe in "change within" but Hard-liners or Conservatives do not believe in any CHANGE.

Confirming the Reformists to go to Parliament will also prove and last the life of other hard line mad men.
A big "NO" to all sections of the mullah's regime is the best message for "Free World" to go and help them.
Even a weak percentage of voter's will make the Mullahs to say that, "Yes, We have credit among our own people".

We also know that, we can not expect a full boycott because hard liners have their own traditional supporters but they are not more than 20% or 25% of the whole Iranian people.
Also remembering the facts that Mullahs will make us all busy with these new games and they will go ahead to build their Nuke Bomb, torturing imprisoned journalists, killing dissidents and terrorist the Free World. "
13 posted on 12/04/2003 12:40:27 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
President Khatami was addressing the board of monitors of the seventh parliamentary elections.

They've had only 7 elections since the Islamic Republic of Iran was FORMED? Huh?

14 posted on 12/04/2003 4:12:27 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife ("Your joy is your sorrow unmasked." --- GIBRAN)
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To: DoctorZIn
Boycotting the vote won't change anything, then?

It seems to me, that in not voting, they are sending a huge message... but, as you say, there isn't a huge difference between the groups.

Sadly, it seems that an uprising is needed. And I will not lecture anyone within Iran about the change that would result because of that.

Which article was it recently that reminded everyone... there is no Nelson Mandela in Iran. The LEADER hasn't been found yet, although, he may be there, waiting for his time.
15 posted on 12/04/2003 4:19:36 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife ("Your joy is your sorrow unmasked." --- GIBRAN)
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To: DoctorZIn
He said that the Islamic Republic of Iran is treading the path of democracy despite the hostile propaganda against the trend.

Surely you jest.

16 posted on 12/04/2003 4:22:13 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife ("Your joy is your sorrow unmasked." --- GIBRAN)
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To: DoctorZIn
BUMP!
17 posted on 12/04/2003 4:23:53 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife ("Your joy is your sorrow unmasked." --- GIBRAN)
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To: DoctorZIn
"That," he said, "is why we had a revolution."

BUMP

18 posted on 12/04/2003 4:30:14 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife ("Your joy is your sorrow unmasked." --- GIBRAN)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
22 Elections at all.
7 Parliamentary elections.
19 posted on 12/04/2003 4:52:56 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: F14 Pilot
Thank you.
20 posted on 12/04/2003 4:53:34 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife ("Your joy is your sorrow unmasked." --- GIBRAN)
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To: All
Iran making room for its spiritual minorities
But one religion still faces unapologetic persecution

By Robert Collier
San Francisco Chronicle
December 4, 2003

Yazd, Iran -- Shahram Goharian could be called a typical Iranian, except for the poster of the Hebrew prophet Moses that he hangs above his shop counter.

He owns a small clothing store in the city of Yazd, a historic caravan stop amid the vast emptiness of the country's central desert. On a recent day, his store was filled with neighboring shopkeepers whiling away a slow afternoon in front of a soccer match on his television.

Hands waved, and shouts erupted. No one paid any notice to the Moses poster.

Goharian is Jewish, one of a tiny, sometimes persecuted minority in Iran that is tenaciously holding on to its way of life under Iran's Shiite Muslim theocracy.

When asked how it is to be a Jew in Iran, he smiled. "It's not anything important. All my neighbors know. I'm open Fridays (the Muslim holy day) but closed Saturdays (the Jewish Sabbath). They collect my packages on Saturdays," he said.

A murmur of assent came from his friends in the shop -- all of them Muslim -- before they swung their attention back to the soccer game.

Among its population of 70 million, Iran has about 25,000 Jews, 100,000 Christians and 60,000 adherents of Zoroastrianism, which was the religion of the Persian Empire before the Muslim conquest in the seventh century.

While they have been through troubling times since the 1979 Islamic revolution -- the government has acknowledged executing 17 Jews, often on charges of spying for Israel, and the number of Jews in the country has shrunk by one half -- the three groups today appear to be making slow, discreet progress, a sign that the government itself is slowly becoming more open.

Last year, Jewish leaders in Iran successfully petitioned the nation's top cleric, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to halt a campaign of anti- Semitic slander in the conservative media under his control. Also, 10 Iranian Jews sentenced to prison in 2000 on charges of spying for Israel were released.

Despite their small numbers, the three groups -- "recognized minority religions" under the 1979 constitution -- are guaranteed five seats in the 290-member parliament. Jews and Zoroastrians get one seat each, Armenian Christians two, and Chaldean and Assyrian Catholics share one seat. They have their own schools, as well as churches, synagogues and temples. Unlike Iran's Muslims, men and women of these minority faiths are permitted to dance together in their clubs and to serve liquor -- as long as no Muslims are admitted to the premises.

Another major step forward may come with the ending of one of Iran's most egregious forms of discrimination -- unequal status for minorities in the payment of "blood money" as compensation for victims of violent crime.

Under the system, the amount legally owed by a perpetrator to the victim's family is just 1/13 of the amount due to Muslims.

Iranian law retains an old Islamic definition of blood money as one of the following: 100 camels, 200 cows, 1,000 sheep, 200 silk dresses, 1,000 gold coins or 10,000 silver coins.

To simplify things, religious authorities have set an inflation-adjusted cash equivalent, which this year is 150 million rials, or $18,750. Because auto and life insurance coverage is rare in Iran, the ability to collect blood money can be vital for citizens who lose a family member.

A bill to eliminate the discrepancy between Muslims and non-Muslims is winding its way tortuously through the legislative system -- after being vetoed twice by the powerful 12-member Guardian Council as un-Islamic -- and may become law by the end of this month.

Western governments and human rights groups have pressed Iran to approve the bill, and the equally powerful Expediency Council, which consists of senior clerics and former top politicians and has final say over disputes between government bodies, is expected to approve a compromise under which Khamenei will decide on a revised payment formula.

"For sure, this bill will not be rejected in the Expediency Council," said Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi, a cleric in the city of Qom who is close to Khamenei. "The supreme leader has expressed his support for it. There is a fatwa determining that blood money should be equal."

Said Leon Davidian, an Armenian Christian member of parliament, "We have received assurances from the supreme leader's office that the bill will be approved, and if that occurs, it would be a big step for making minorities feel more comfortable here in Iran."

Except for one. The Baha'is, Iran's largest religious minority, continue to face unapologetic persecution. A 19th century offshoot of Shiite Islam, the Baha'i faith is viewed as apostasy by the Shiite establishment.

The estimated 300,000 Baha'is in Iran are denied permission to worship, hold office or carry out other communal affairs publicly or privately. They are banned from university education, they are denied most business and professional licenses, and their property is often confiscated.

Jewish legislator Moris Motamed said that the ayatollahs' antipathy for Baha'is makes the issue too hot to handle. "Their situation is beyond our grasp," he said.

Iranian women also will not benefit from the blood money reform. They receive only half the payment due Muslim men (or 1/26 if they are female members of the three minority religions).

A group of female legislators is campaigning to equalize the amounts. They say that while the system may have made sense centuries ago in a nonindustrial society, in which the death of a man spelled the loss of a family's entire income, it is unjust for women in contemporary Iran.

"The issue of minorities and blood money is very closely linked to the issue of women," said Mohsen Esmaeli, one of 12 members of the Guardian Council who voted to veto the bill. "There are important precedents that we must be very careful about because this could have many bad effects."

After the soccer game ended on Goharian's television, the merchant guided a visiting reporter down his city's crooked alleyways, lined with ancient mud walls, to his synagogue.

Early in the 20th century, it was one of 13 in Yazd. But now, as most Jews have moved away to Tehran, the United States or Israel, it is the only one remaining, and there are barely enough worshipers to fill the Friday night service.

It is a simple, adobelike structure -- the ceiling a single whitewashed dome, the floor covered with Persian carpets with Hebrew lettering. An ancient teiva (ark) stands in the middle. But in a sign of Islam's ultimate power, a small portrait of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the father of Iran's Islamic revolution, hangs on the wall.

"It's a sign of respect, nothing more," said Goharian, shrugging. "This is an Islamic country. What can we do?"

E-mail Robert Collier at rcollier@sfchronicle.com

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2003/12/04/MNG0Q3FQD31.DTL
21 posted on 12/04/2003 5:51:39 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn; McGavin999; freedom44; nuconvert; Eala; AdmSmith; dixiechick2000; onyx; Pro-Bush; ...
Iran Still Hasn't Signed Nuke Agreement


WILLIAM J. KOLE
Associated Press
Dec 4th, 03

VIENNA, Austria - Iran still has not signed a key agreement opening its nuclear facilities to outside scrutiny, the U.N. atomic agency chief said Thursday, raising questions about whether Tehran is stalling.

Mohamed ElBaradei, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told reporters that although Iran has not yet signed the accord, he expected it to do so "shortly."

Iran agreed last month to open nuclear sites that until now have been off-limits and to let IAEA inspectors conduct intrusive, unannounced checks to ensure the country is not trying to develop atomic weaponry, as the United States has alleged.

Hasan Rowhani, the head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, had indicated that Tehran would sign the agreement soon - possibly within days.

ElBaradei suggested a signing could come within a week. Other IAEA officials sought to play down the delay and said the agency would not become alarmed unless another week passes without Iran's signature.

But a Western diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press that Tehran appeared to be stalling, and that the United States and other countries were waiting with impatience "for Iran to keep its promises and sign."

Last week, the IAEA's 35-nation board of governors censured Iran for 18 years of secrecy in a resolution that warned Tehran to stay in line with international efforts to make sure the country has no nuclear weapons ambitions.

Although the resolution did not confront Iran with a direct threat of U.N. sanctions - a tougher approach that Washington had sought - it warned Tehran that the IAEA would consider further action if "further serious Iranian failures" arise.

The wording implicitly warned Iran that the agency could report it to the Security Council, which has the power to impose economic or diplomatic sanctions.

Iran insists its atomic energy program is peaceful and geared only to producing electricity. Under international pressure, it has agreed to sign the inspection agreement and to suspend its enrichment of uranium, which it says had been confined to non-weapons levels anyway.

ElBaradei said the agency was developing a "plan of action" in the next few months on how to deal with Iran.

He said agency experts were now in the process of contacting companies that sold Iran centrifuges and other equipment that bore traces of highly enriched, weapons-grade uranium. Iran contends the equipment already was contaminated when it acquired it. ElBaradei declined to identify the companies or the countries involved.

"We still have a lot of work to do, and a lot of work is in progress," he said.

Although there has been evidence of suspect nuclear activity in Iran, ElBaradei characterized it as "laboratory-scale involving small quantities" and expressed confidence that his agency would uncover any significant effort to enrich uranium for weapons use.

"There will always be a centrifuge somewhere. But we can detect industrial-scale activities," he said. "If a country moves from research and development to the industrial scale, it's highly unlikely that would go undetected."

ElBaradei said the agency hopes to return its inspectors to Iraq, and said he expects the Security Council to give it a fresh mandate next year, even though he still considers its current mandate valid.

Although the agency has found no evidence Iraq was trying to revive its atomic weapons program before the war, "we still need to verify that Iraq does not have nuclear weapons of mass destruction," ElBaradei said.

"We need to go back as soon as possible," he said.

http://www.timesleader.com/mld/timesleader/news/7412411.htm
22 posted on 12/04/2003 5:55:04 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: F14 Pilot
Thanks for the ping!
23 posted on 12/04/2003 6:27:45 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: DoctorZIn
BTTT
24 posted on 12/04/2003 8:11:23 AM PST by Gritty (Mullahs? Ve don't need no steenking Mullahs!!)
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To: F14 Pilot
Freedom ~ Bump!
25 posted on 12/04/2003 8:30:33 AM PST by blackie
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To: DoctorZIn
U.S. Gets Tough Over WMD Trade

December 03, 2003
CNN News
David Ensor

WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration says the U.S. and its allies are willing to use "robust techniques" to stop so-called rogue nations from getting materials to make weapons of mass destruction.

The blunt warning, delivered by U.S. Under Secretary of State John Bolton on Tuesday, could involve measures that include the interdicting and seizing of such "illicit goods" on the high seas or in the air if those nations weren't willing to follow a path of non-proliferation.

Bolton specifically cited Iran and North Korea, along with Syria, Libya and Cuba, as rogue nations "whose pursuit of weapons of mass destruction makes them hostile to U.S. interests."

He said those countries "will learn that their covert programs will not escape either detection or consequences."

Bolton also singled out Iran, saying the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) should refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council if it discovers any more violations of nuclear non-proliferation agreements -- a step that has so far been opposed by U.S. allies in Europe.

"The real issue now is whether the board of governors (of the IAEA) will remain together in its insistence that Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons is illegitimate, or whether Iranian efforts to split the board through economic incentives and aggressive propaganda will succeed," he said. (Full story)

Bolton -- who oversees the State Department's arms control and international security efforts -- said that while the United States and its allies will "pursue diplomatic solutions whenever possible" to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction, they might also use military assets to interdict WMD materials.

"If rogue states are not willing to follow the logic of non-proliferation norms, they must be prepared to face the logic of adverse consequences," Bolton said in a speech to a security conference sponsored by the Institute of Foreign Policy Analysis.

"It is why we repeatedly caution that no option is off the table."

Officials tell CNN that Bolton's remarks were cleared by Secretary of State Colin Powell and senior White House officials.

The under secretary said recent interdiction training exercises hosted by Australia, Britain, Spain and France will be followed by concerted action to stop trafficking in WMD and missile technologies.

The activities are part of a new Proliferation Security Initiative announced by U.S. President George W. Bush in Poland in May.

While 11 countries initially joined together to create the PSI, Bolton said more than 50 nations have now signaled that they are ready to participate with interdiction efforts.

"Properly planned and executed, the interception of critical technologies can prevent hostile states and terrorists from acquiring these dangerous capabilities," Bolton said. "At a minimum, interdiction can lengthen the time that proliferators will need to acquire new weapons capabilities."

Addressing the standoff over North Korea's nuclear ambitions, Bolton said the United States will insist on a tough verification regime as part of any deal made during six-party talks to resolve the dispute, in order to make sure Pyongyang cannot restart its program.

http://edition.cnn.com/2003/US/12/02/wmd.warning/index.html
26 posted on 12/04/2003 8:53:17 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Police Close Popular Fast-food Restaurants in Iran

December 04, 2003
Reuters
Ha'aretz

TEHRAN -- Police have shut down four of the Iranian capital's Western-style fast-food restaurants, popular with youngsters as meeting places to mingle with the opposite sex, in an apparent crackdown on un-Islamic behavior.

Restaurant owners said the closures were ordered 12 days ago by a branch of the police notorious for closing down shops and eating places deemed to have contravened the Islamic Republic's strict moral code.

"They closed the biggest fast-food places in Tehran in one day, without giving a reason," one owner, who declined to be named, told Reuters on Thursday. "We've had to fire all our workers because we don't know when we'll be allowed to reopen."

Bored teenagers, officially prohibited from socialising with unrelated members of the opposite sex, pack into brightly lit eateries and coffee shops in the evenings and at weekends to subtly flirt over a burger or a coke. Young women, in particular, have incurred the wrath of hardline authorities by wearing make-up, short coats and colourful scarves pushed back to expose as much hair as possible instead of the head-to-toe black chadors deemed necessary by the country's ruling clerics to protect a woman's modesty.

Another owner told the reformist Tosea newspaper that police said his restaurant - located, like the other three, in upmarket northern Tehran - was shut for "not observing the Islamic code of behavior."

"If (the police) have a problem with how the youth dress or behave they should adopt a cultural solution for the problem," Tosea quoted him as saying.

Tehran police officials could not be reached for comment.

Tired of such costly closures, some restaurants in Tehran have begun to employ soccer-style penalties for diners who could jeopardise their business. Girls deemed to be improperly dressed or men flirting too openly with the opposite sex may receive a "yellow card" on their table warning them to modify their dress or behavior.

Repeat offenders receive a "red card," and are asked to leave at once.

Psychologists said shutting restaurants would have the opposite effect to that intended. "By closing such places they are channeling that behavior
indoors where anything could happen. You cannot suppress young people's instincts," one psychologist, who asked not to be named, told Reuters.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=368479&contrassID=1&subContrassID=8&sbSubContrassID=0&listSrc=Y
27 posted on 12/04/2003 8:54:53 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Freep Poll (Should We Attack Iran)

www.countypressonline.com ^ | 12/3/03
Posted on 12/04/2003 8:04 AM PST by Tribune7

If Al Qaeda bases should be found In Iran, should we attack them?

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1033815/posts
28 posted on 12/04/2003 8:59:52 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
The fact that Ayatollah Khamenei and Rafsanjani have offically called for 'large voter turnout', should tell you that a large vote turnout whether a vote for reformist or conservatives just shows support for the "System".

Iranians want to show that they are against the 'entire system' whether it be khatami's goonies or khameneis
29 posted on 12/04/2003 9:40:07 AM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran boosts export of shrimps to US
A senior specialist from the Fishery Department of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Jerry Sullivan said in Tehran on Wednesday that the export of Iran's shrimp to the US over the first eight months of the current year doubled to 1,000 tons compared to similar period last year, IRNA reported.

Speaking at the scientific conference titled 'Prospects of Aquatics Production and Trade in Next Decade', he referred to the positive export trend of Iran's aquatics in 2002 and added that the volume of Iran's shrimp exported to Spain within the first seven months of the current year dropped by 15 percent as a consequence of the boost in its export to US.

According to the FAO official, the per capita aquatics consumption and export in the developing countries such as China and Thailand is expected to increase remarkably over the coming 10 years.

For his part, another FAO senior expert, Alfredo Montes M. Nino, said that the consumers of aquatics have shown increased sensitivity towards import of the product in recent years.

The conference called 'Prospects of Aquatics Production and Trade in Next Decade' was held at Tehran permanent international exhibition grounds simultaneous with the third International Fishery, Aquatics and Fishing Fair (December 2-6).

Some 95 Iranian and foreign companies participated the third International Fishery, Aquatics and Fishing Fair.

The one-day conference aimed to introduce the producers of aquatics products to the target markets and examine the problems and difficulties facing the breeders and producers of aquatics products.


http://www.payvand.com/news/03/dec/1027.html
30 posted on 12/04/2003 11:03:29 AM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
New Ways Considered For Tackling Growing Drug Use Among Young People in Iran
By Golnaz Esfandiari
Despite its best efforts, Iran's drug problem has worsened over the years, with the number of addicts rising, their ages decreasing, and more and more narcotics being seized in the country.

Prague, 3 December 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Iran has paid a heavy price for its fight against drugs -- 3,500 police officers and soldiers have been killed in clashes with drug traffickers and billions of dollars have been spent on efforts to combat illegal narcotics over the last 20 years.

During this time, Tehran says 2.7 million people have been arrested for drug-related offenses and more than 10,000 drug traffickers and distributors have been executed. According to Iranian law, anyone who is found to be carrying more than 30 grams of heroin or 5 kilograms of opium could face the death penalty, although in recent years only a small percentage of these sentences have been carried out.

Despite these efforts, however, the drug problem in Iran has worsened. Officially, Iran has some 2 million drug addicts. But some experts say the real number of addicts is as high as 5 million to 6 million -- and increasing.

Drug addiction is the source of many of Iran's social problems, such as domestic violence and prostitution. Drug addiction is also the main cause for the fast spread of HIV/AIDS in Iran. Seventy percent of Iranians infected with the deadly virus are intravenous drug users. There are currently about 300,000 intravenous drug users in the country.

The major consumers of opium and heroin in Iran are young people. The use of chemical drugs, such as ecstasy, is also spreading among youth. Drug use among young people is a major preoccupation for Iranian officials, since 70 percent of Iran's population is 35 or younger.

Experts say an unemployment rate of about 20 percent, combined with a lack of social freedoms, are among the main causes for drug use among Iran's young population.

Twenty-year-old Amir from Tehran says that for many of his friends, using drugs is a way to escape. "We don't have entertainment here, and drugs are very cheap and easy to get," he said. "Whatever you get from the supermarket, for the same price you can buy drugs in your neighborhood. Because of this lack of entertainment, whenever young people get together, the only thing they think about is getting and using drugs because it makes them happy. And also because of the problems they have, they want to get rid of these problems for some time. They have no hope in the future. They think there is no future for them in Iran."

While possession of any drugs is forbidden in Iran, casual drug use is often tolerated and penalties for possession are not strictly specified. In most cases, first-time offenders are let go with a warning and a flogging. Those arrested numerous times for drug-related offenses can be sentenced to prison at the discretion of individual judges.

Iranian officials admit that, up to now, the methods they have used to fight drug use have been one-dimensional and unsuccessful. In recent years, officials in charge of the antidrug campaign have been underlining the importance of preventive measures and treatment. Drug addiction is being viewed more as a social problem than a crime.

Dr. Said Jahanshahi is an expert on the prevention of addiction and launched Iran's first website on the subject. Jahanshahi says more attention is now being paid to prevention in Iran. "The programs are moving toward prevention and harm reduction. For example, we don't have as many arrests as before, when they would immediately arrest someone for the use of drugs," he said. "The laws have not changed, but because the way addiction is viewed has changed, this problem [of arresting people] is to a large extent being solved. The budget for preventive measures has also naturally increased a lot."

Jahanshahi said Iran's Welfare Organization, the main state body responsible for the prevention of drug addiction, is focusing on new methods intended to eliminate the use of drugs as psychological "crutches."

"For example, a series of skills is being taught to students. They are not directly connected to addiction, but they learn how to control their emotions," Jahanshahi said.

Drugs are readily available in Iran due to its proximity to Afghanistan, the world's top opium producer. Drug traffickers use Iran as a major transit route for the transport of drugs from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Europe and Persian Gulf countries.

A large portion of the smuggled drugs hit the Iranian market. Iran accounts for 80 percent of the opium and 90 percent of the heroin seized in the world. But these hauls are estimated to be only about 15 percent of the drugs that enter the country.

William Samii is a regional analyst for Southwest Asia at RFE/RL. Samii says it is difficult for Iran to stop the flow of narcotics along its eastern borders. "It's a very long border with Afghanistan. It's about 936 kilometers long, and the terrain is very rough. It goes from mountainous to desert. The police, the army, and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps are tasked with guarding this border, but just because of this difficult terrain, they can't cover the entire range of it," Samii said, adding that drug traffickers tend to be more heavily armed than the security forces opposing them.

Samii says stopping the cultivation of opium poppies in Afghanistan is largely out of Iran's control. "One thing Iran is doing is working with Afghanistan to have crop substitutions so the Afghan farmers grow less opium and try to grow other crops," he said. "Unfortunately, this is something that's out of the Iranians' hands. As much as you might try to help Afghan farmers, if they don't have other economic options, they're going to continue to grow opium just so they can feed their families. So that's an issue that's going to confront the region -- not just Iran -- for years to come."

During a recent visit to Iran's eastern borders, Antonio Mario Costa, head of the UN's Office on Drugs and Crime, said more work needs to be done in Afghanistan. "Unless the farmers stop growing," he said, "the drugs will keep flowing."

http://www.payvand.com/news/03/dec/1023.html
31 posted on 12/04/2003 11:04:22 AM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Courrt Convicts Journalist of Campaigning Against Govt

December 04, 2003
The Associated Press
Dow Jones Newswires

TEHRAN -- An investigative journalist who accused a former Cabinet minister of murdering dissidents has been convicted in the Revolutionary Court and given a suspended sentence of one year's imprisonment, his lawyer said Thursday.

Emadeddin Baqi, author of the book "Tragedy of Democracy in Iran," was found guilty of campaigning against the ruling Islamic establishment and working in favor of opposition groups, said lawyer Saleh Nikbakht.

Baqi condemned the trial Thursday, telling The Associated Press he had received an "illegal verdict issued after a two-minute, so-called closed-door trial."

Judiciary officials couldn't be reached for comment late Thursday, which is the beginning of the weekend in Iran.

Baqi walked out of prison in February after serving most of a three-year term for "insulting sanctities" and "publishing falsehoods." Officials then warned him he could face new charges relating to articles he wrote before entering jail.

Baqi wrote for several pro-reform newspapers, which were closed down by hard- line judges.

His trials and the newspaper bannings are part of a power struggle between reformists and conservatives in Iran. The reformists, who look to President Mohammad Khatami, seek to liberalize the Islamic system whereas the hard-liners, who look to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, seek to uphold a strict theocracy.

Baqi said Thursday he was summoned to the Tehran Revolutionary Court last month and told he was on trail.

"My lawyer was not allowed in," he said. "There was only a judge who didn't even identify himself. He briefly read the charges against me without specifying what. I still don't know why such charges have been brought against me."

Baqi said he told the judge he considered the court illegal and refused to defend himself.

On Thursday, he was again summoned to the court and received the verdict and sentence.

"What kind of a trial is it where there is no lawyer, no jury, the judge is the prosecutor and the accused is not even informed of the specific charges against him?" he said to the AP.

Baqi said he viewed the suspended sentence as a warning that he would be imprisoned for any more criticism of hard-liners.

Lawyer Nikbakht told the AP he intended to appeal the sentence even though Baqi did not want him to.

In his book, Baqi accused hard-line clerics, notably former Intelligence Minister Ali Fallahian, of murdering four dissidents in late 1998. Fallahian has denied the allegation.

The Intelligence Ministry admitted its agents were involved in the murders, but said they were rogue operatives.

In 2001, a court convicted three former Intelligence Ministry agents of the murders and condemned them to death. Five other people were sentenced to life imprisonment for lesser roles in the murders.

Many Iranian intellectuals and reformist politicians believe the agents didn't act on their own initiatives. They accuse the government of failing to get to the bottom of the affair.

http://iranvajahan.net/cgi-bin/news.pl?l=en&y=2003&m=12&d=04&a=11
32 posted on 12/04/2003 1:56:47 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: F14 Pilot
"..raising questions about whether Tehran is stalling"

We all KNOW the answer to that question.

"...we can detect industrial-scale activities," he said. "If a country moves from research and development to the industrial scale, it's highly unlikely that would go undetected."

Hmmm...unfortunately, their "detectability" rating hasn't been very good over the past 18 yrs.
33 posted on 12/04/2003 2:13:51 PM PST by nuconvert ("There's no point playing Christmas jingles in a section selling sausages.")
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To: F14 Pilot
"If a country moves from research and development to the industrial scale, it's highly unlikely that would go undetected."

Except for India and Pakistan.

We really must get Iran to sign that piece of paper.

Only then will we have Peace in Our Time.

34 posted on 12/04/2003 2:44:14 PM PST by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: DoctorZIn
The Baha'is Still Faces Unapologetic Persecution in Iran

December 04, 2003
San Francisco Chronicle
Robert Collier

Yazd, Iran -- Shahram Goharian could be called a typical Iranian, except for the poster of the Hebrew prophet Moses that he hangs above his shop counter.

He owns a small clothing store in the city of Yazd, a historic caravan stop amid the vast emptiness of the country's central desert. On a recent day, his store was filled with neighboring shopkeepers whiling away a slow afternoon in front of a soccer match on his television.

Hands waved, and shouts erupted. No one paid any notice to the Moses poster.

Goharian is Jewish, one of a tiny, sometimes persecuted minority in Iran that is tenaciously holding on to its way of life under Iran's Shiite Muslim theocracy.

When asked how it is to be a Jew in Iran, he smiled. "It's not anything important. All my neighbors know. I'm open Fridays (the Muslim holy day) but closed Saturdays (the Jewish Sabbath). They collect my packages on Saturdays," he said.

A murmur of assent came from his friends in the shop -- all of them Muslim -- before they swung their attention back to the soccer game.

Among its population of 70 million, Iran has about 25,000 Jews, 100,000 Christians and 60,000 adherents of Zoroastrianism, which was the religion of the Persian Empire before the Muslim conquest in the seventh century.

While they have been through troubling times since the 1979 Islamic revolution -- the government has acknowledged executing 17 Jews, often on charges of spying for Israel, and the number of Jews in the country has shrunk by one half -- the three groups today appear to be making slow, discreet progress, a sign that the government itself is slowly becoming more open.

Last year, Jewish leaders in Iran successfully petitioned the nation's top cleric, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to halt a campaign of anti- Semitic slander in the conservative media under his control. Also, 10 Iranian Jews sentenced to prison in 2000 on charges of spying for Israel were released.

Despite their small numbers, the three groups -- "recognized minority religions" under the 1979 constitution -- are guaranteed five seats in the 290-member parliament. Jews and Zoroastrians get one seat each, Armenian Christians two, and Chaldean and Assyrian Catholics share one seat. They have their own schools, as well as churches, synagogues and temples. Unlike Iran's Muslims, men and women of these minority faiths are permitted to dance together in their clubs and to serve liquor -- as long as no Muslims are admitted to the premises.

Another major step forward may come with the ending of one of Iran's most egregious forms of discrimination -- unequal status for minorities in the payment of "blood money" as compensation for victims of violent crime.

Under the system, the amount legally owed by a perpetrator to the victim's family is just 1/13 of the amount due to Muslims.

Iranian law retains an old Islamic definition of blood money as one of the following: 100 camels, 200 cows, 1,000 sheep, 200 silk dresses, 1,000 gold coins or 10,000 silver coins.

To simplify things, religious authorities have set an inflation-adjusted cash equivalent, which this year is 150 million rials, or ,750. Because auto and life insurance coverage is rare in Iran, the ability to collect blood money can be vital for citizens who lose a family member.

A bill to eliminate the discrepancy between Muslims and non-Muslims is winding its way tortuously through the legislative system -- after being vetoed twice by the powerful 12-member Guardian Council as un-Islamic -- and may become law by the end of this month.

Western governments and human rights groups have pressed Iran to approve the bill, and the equally powerful Expediency Council, which consists of senior clerics and former top politicians and has final say over disputes between government bodies, is expected to approve a compromise under which Khamenei will decide on a revised payment formula.

"For sure, this bill will not be rejected in the Expediency Council," said Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi, a cleric in the city of Qom who is close to Khamenei. "The supreme leader has expressed his support for it. There is a fatwa determining that blood money should be equal."

Said Leon Davidian, an Armenian Christian member of parliament, "We have received assurances from the supreme leader's office that the bill will be approved, and if that occurs, it would be a big step for making minorities feel more comfortable here in Iran."

Except for one. The Baha'is, Iran's largest religious minority, continue to face unapologetic persecution. A 19th century offshoot of Shiite Islam, the Baha'i faith is viewed as apostasy by the Shiite establishment.

The estimated 300,000 Baha'is in Iran are denied permission to worship, hold office or carry out other communal affairs publicly or privately. They are banned from university education, they are denied most business and professional licenses, and their property is often confiscated.

Jewish legislator Moris Motamed said that the ayatollahs' antipathy for Baha'is makes the issue too hot to handle. "Their situation is beyond our grasp," he said.

Iranian women also will not benefit from the blood money reform. They receive only half the payment due Muslim men (or 1/26 if they are female members of the three minority religions).

A group of female legislators is campaigning to equalize the amounts. They say that while the system may have made sense centuries ago in a nonindustrial society, in which the death of a man spelled the loss of a family's entire income, it is unjust for women in contemporary Iran.

"The issue of minorities and blood money is very closely linked to the issue of women," said Mohsen Esmaeli, one of 12 members of the Guardian Council who voted to veto the bill. "There are important precedents that we must be very careful about because this could have many bad effects."

After the soccer game ended on Goharian's television, the merchant guided a visiting reporter down his city's crooked alleyways, lined with ancient mud walls, to his synagogue.

Early in the 20th century, it was one of 13 in Yazd. But now, as most Jews have moved away to Tehran, the United States or Israel, it is the only one remaining, and there are barely enough worshipers to fill the Friday night service.

It is a simple, adobelike structure -- the ceiling a single whitewashed dome, the floor covered with Persian carpets with Hebrew lettering. An ancient teiva (ark) stands in the middle. But in a sign of Islam's ultimate power, a small portrait of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the father of Iran's Islamic revolution, hangs on the wall.

"It's a sign of respect, nothing more," said Goharian, shrugging. "This is an Islamic country. What can we do?"

E-mail Robert Collier at rcollier@sfchronicle.com.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2003/12/04/MNG0Q3FQD31.DTL
35 posted on 12/04/2003 3:34:28 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Europe's 9/11 Labeled 'Made in Iran'?

December 04, 2003
World Tribune
Sol Sanders

“See Naples! and Die!”. In World War II, some of us heading into combat, not overly taken with the beauty of the Vomero, interpreted this differently than the poet. But as EU foreign ministers packed up in late November to leave a meeting there, “cheered”, we are told, for having formulated a new defense gimmick, you have to muse on our more literal interpretation. What the European diplomats put together was a new EU military “skeleton” outside NATO [or maybe tucked into NATO? hiding behind NATO? — or maybe just deducting from NATO. Cherchez la texte francaise!].

Whatever. The fact is that with declining military budgets all over Europe, wherever the new “initiative” leads, it isn’t going to solve Europe’s problem of – yes, still – living in a dangerous world.

Almost immediately, in Brussels where the EU bureaucrats usually hang out, outgoing NATO Secretary-General Robertson, using his famous Scottish pluck, scrounged to make NATO credible in Afghanistan. Robertson was “demanding” 14 helicopters and 400 specialist troops for NATO‘s 5,700-man force now in Kabul. Plans call for expanding NATO’s peacekeeping to other cities — a pledge made by the way to the UN which the Europeans so often call on in their mantras to peace through multilateralism. Meanwhile the U.S. strike force does the heavy lifting, continuing to beat back the Taliban – and if luck is with them, either find, kill, or finally neutralize Osama Bin Ladin in the fierce tribal areas on the Afghan-Pakistani border. Tune in next week to see if the EU members of “the world’s most successful alliance” get with the program.

A much more sinister EU “initiative” was taking place, however, in a Vienna United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] confab. It was, in fact, a trial for Iran’s fanatic mullahs, leading terrorist sponsors. The U.S. pushed for reporting Tehran’s suspected nuclear weapons program to the UN Security Council for multilateral action the Europeans [and the Junior Senator from New York] say world peace requires. Tehran had owned up to 15 years of playing hide and seek with the IAEA – not a terribly demanding game, it turns out, with versions already perfected by Sadaam Hussein and Kim Il Jong.

Iranian exiles earlier accurately reported Teheran's secret nuclear program including Potemkin facilities the mullahs built for the IAEA. When the IAEA finally discovered weapons quality uranium, the mullahs first said it must have rubbed off on them by accident when they imported machinery, then finally came clean and promised to reform. The Iranians said they would halt their uranium enrichment program, sign the so-called Additional Protocol – [originally designed to halt weapons of mass destruction in Iraq!] In what must have been accidental double entendre [you can’t make this stuff up!], Iran’s Supreme National Security Council head Hassan Rohani, told journalists Iran "is not at all worried with the continued [IAEA] inspection operations".

Still the Europeans, unfortunately led by Britain, beat back the U.S. proposal for new promises. Hardly was the debate ended, and everyone finished their Sacher tort and went home, when the Tehran mullahs said they had changed their minds: they would not halt their uranium enrichment program because they wanted the full nuclear fuel cycle for their power program. [Why one of the largest oil and gas producers with some of the world’s largest reserves wants nuclear power has never been explained.]

The exiles say the West is rapidly reaching the point of no return, that Iran is self-sufficient in nuclear capability [it has uranium], that it could be reached as early as the early 2004. Israel’s Mossad Director Meir Dagan told the Israel’s cabinet Nov. 23 that the Russian-built Bushehr nuclear reactor – which President Bush has repeatedly pleaded unsuccessfully with President Putin to halt -- would be operational over the next 14 months and the Kashan uranium-enrichment plant would have an annual 10 atomic bombs.capacity.

But then is not Iran – from the European perspective -- “a far and distant country about which we know little”? Not quite. Iran simultaneously had announced it would suspend Shihab-4 development– a missile unlike the inventoried Shihab-3 – which had not yet reached production but is estimated able to strike Europe. Even were the announcement accepted at face value, Britain’s International Institute for Strategic Studies says it does not represent any overall slowdown in Iran's missile development. Early estimates gave the Shihab-3, based on the North Korean Nodong [remember the “Axis of Evil”?], has a nominal range of 1,300k – enough to reach Israel, other Mideast U.S. partners and parts of Europe. But recent Iranian statements have set its range at 1,700k, while Israel warns it might be extended to 2,500k.

Now with reports that Osama’s son is holed up in Iran, it might be well to begin to think of missile defenses for the Eifel Tower, Westminster, or the new Bundestag in Berlin. A EU military planning initiative, indeed.

Sol W. Sanders, (solsanders@comcast.net), is an Asian specialist with more than 25 years in the region, and a former correspondent for Business Week, U.S. News & World Report and United Press International. He writes weekly for World Tribune.com.

http://216.26.163.62/2003/s12_01.html
36 posted on 12/04/2003 3:35:52 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Europe's 9/11 Labeled 'Made in Iran'?

December 04, 2003
World Tribune
Sol Sanders

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1033592/posts?page=36#36
37 posted on 12/04/2003 3:36:39 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
''Tehran Outmaneuvers Washington For Now''

December 04, 2003
Power and Interest News Report
Erich Marquardt

From the beginning, Iran's decision to comply with the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) latest stipulations on its nuclear research program was an attempt to politically outmaneuver Washington.

Tehran agreed to temporarily cease its uranium enrichment program and to allow for more stringent inspections of its nuclear facilities. The Bush administration has been pushing for international pressure to be placed on Iran in the hopes of stunting the country's nuclear research program. Washington fears that Iran's growing nuclear knowledge and sophisticated nuclear facilities will allow the country to develop nuclear weapons, a scenario that would greatly increase Iran's power potential in the Middle East and Central Asia.

On the face of it, this outcome looks to have worked in Washington's favor, but the latest set of demands by the IAEA are much too weak to have any significant effect on Iran's nuclear research program. The stipulations that Iran agreed to are considered temporary, as is only too evident by statements made in Tehran shortly after its decision to comply with the IAEA. Hassan Rowhani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, assured observers that Iran's suspension of its enrichment program "could last for one day or one year; it depends on us."

Diverging interests

The differing geopolitical interests in Europe and in the United States can best explain why the IAEA promoted such a watered down set of demands. Unlike the United States, the European Union does not consider Iran to be a "rogue state." The European Union has important diplomatic and economic ties with Tehran; it is Iran's biggest trading partner, especially the E.U. states of the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. This growing relationship explains why these three countries sent their foreign ministers to help negotiate Iran's decision to comply with the IAEA.

Even more disturbing to Washington policymakers was how the three E.U. countries also promised Tehran that if it complied with IAEA demands the E.U. would be willing to assist Iran's nuclear research program by giving it greater access to modern technology and supplies. This would allow Iran to buy nuclear technology that has been kept out of its grasp due to 20 years of sanctions. Nikolai Shingaryov, spokesman of the Russian Atomic Energy Ministry, made a similar offer, telling Itar-Tass last Thursday that the IAEA resolution on Iran "gives an opportunity to step up Russian-Iranian cooperation in nuclear power engineering."

Other regionally significant countries, such as Russia, are also unwilling to support a hard-line U.S. policy towards Iran. In contrast to U.S. strategy, Russia is currently building a nuclear reactor in the city of Bushehr in southern Iran. Moscow also has provided massive supplies of military equipment to Tehran, such as MiG-29 fighter aircraft, Su-24 fighter bombers, T-72 tanks, and Kilo class attack submarines. Moscow is pursuing the prospect of building more nuclear reactors and facilities in Iran, a development that would help Russia earn much-needed financial capital. Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov summarized Moscow's commitment to Iran, recently saying in a CNN interview, "I see no grounds for imposing sanctions against Iran. On the contrary, if it carries out its obligations to the IAEA, the world community, on the basis of international agreements, is obliged to assist Iran in developing its nuclear program for peaceful aims."

Additionally, Russia does not want Iran to be weakened by the United States, since Washington is already encroaching on Russia's southern border in Central Asia. If Washington were able to orchestrate a change of government in Tehran -- one that complied with American interests rather than Russian interests -- it would cause a further deterioration in Moscow's security environment across its southern border. Furthermore, it would allow Washington to have increased influence in the rich oil and gas areas of the Caspian Sea -- an outcome that Russia would like to avoid.

These geopolitical differences explain why the European Union intervened and fostered an agreement that would place temporary, rather than permanent, limits on Iran's nuclear research program.

Concern in Washington

Washington's fear over Iran developing nuclear weapons is not contrived. Washington is attempting to preserve the current power balance in the Middle East and Central Asia. If Iran were to become a nuclear-armed state, it would greatly increase the Persian country's foreign policy leverage. A nuclear-armed Iran, coupled with its already sizeable military, would greatly increase the country's defensive capabilities and limit the ability of rival states to threaten Iran's territorial and governmental integrity; moreover, it would also prove more difficult to check Iran's regional ambitions. Indeed, this is why the leadership in Tehran has been so keen on furthering its nuclear research program.

Iran has demanded that it be able to enrich uranium for the purposes of providing fuel to its nuclear reactors, a process necessary for the development of nuclear energy. Enriching uranium is also a process, however, that can be used to provide nuclear material required for the production of nuclear weapons. Because Iran has the legal right to control the entire nuclear fuel cycle for the purposes of peaceful nuclear research, the United States has been trying to bind Iran to an agreement where Tehran would only import enriched uranium, rather than enrich it independently. This would allow greater transparency of Iran's nuclear research program and make it more difficult for Iran to covertly develop nuclear arms.

With the agreement designed by the European Union, this stipulation was not proposed. Now, the only legal way to prevent Iran from enriching uranium is for international observers to prove that the country is using the uranium for nuclear weapons, rather than for research and energy purposes. Finding proof to make a case against a country that may be secretly developing nuclear weapons has always proved difficult.

Take, for instance, Israel, which began a covert program to develop nuclear weapons in 1952. When U.S. weapons inspectors visited Israel's Dimona nuclear reactor in the 1960s, they were unable to detect that Israel was secretly developing nuclear weapons. According to the Federation of American Scientists, in order to hide their nuclear weapons program, Israeli engineers had installed "false control room panels and [placing] brick over elevators and hallways that accessed certain areas of the facility."

Viewed in this context, the agreement between the European Union and Iran may only delay Iran's development of nuclear arms. If inspectors fail to find that Iran has a covert nuclear weapons program -- which is likely -- then the country will eventually be allowed to enrich uranium and handle all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle.

Regional implications

A nuclear-armed Iran would threaten Washington's ability to alter the power balance in the Middle East since it would limit Washington's political and military leverage in the region. A nuclear-armed Iran would also subdue Israel's power projection capabilities; presently Israel has a nuclear monopoly in the Middle East, being the only state that has developed nuclear weapons. Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, speaking in the United States, argued that a nuclear-armed Iran would be "intolerable."

Tehran has watched as Washington increased U.S. influence in the entire region; first by establishing military bases in Afghanistan, and second by establishing them in Iraq. This explains why Tehran has been unwilling to compromise on the future of its nuclear research program. Shortly after agreeing to the European Union's provisions, Rowhani was quick to assert that Iran would remain sovereign over all aspects of its nuclear research program. Rowhani stated, "We believe that stopping enriching uranium is totally unacceptable and we think nobody agrees with [doing] that in Iran."

Then, in recent days, Rowhani continued to assert Iran's nuclear mandate: "Our decision to suspend uranium enrichment is voluntary and temporary. Uranium enrichment is Iran's natural right, and [Iran] will reserve for itself this right. ... There has been and there will be no question of a permanent suspension or halt at all." Rowhani continued: "We want to control the whole fuel cycle. ... Today, we can produce centrifugal parts ourselves. We possess the technology."

Therefore, as long as the European Union and other significant states that have influence in Tehran - such as Russia - are unwilling to unite with Washington's desired hard-line policy towards Iran, the leadership in Tehran may be able to outmaneuver Bush administration policymakers and come closer to their goal of acquiring nuclear weapons.

http://pinr.com/report.php?ac=view_report&report_id=116&language_id=1
38 posted on 12/04/2003 3:37:27 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
"A panel composed by selected Iranian activists. from inside and outside Iran, reached, this morning, tens of American think tanks during an unprecedented meeting held at the famous "American Enterprise Institute" (AEI)."

The complete recording of this 2- 1/2 hour meeting will soon be available on the website of the Movement(SMCCDI)

Glad to hear they will be making this available.
39 posted on 12/04/2003 4:16:51 PM PST by nuconvert ("There's no point playing Christmas jingles in a section selling sausages.")
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To: nuconvert
Great news.
40 posted on 12/04/2003 6:05:02 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Congress Readies Iran Freedom Funding

December 04, 2003
New York Sun
Eli Lake

WASHINGTON -- Congress is preparing for the first time to authorize public funding for human rights and democracy activities inside the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Tucked inside the 2004 Omnibus Appropriations bill is language that instructs the State Department to spend $1.5 million “for making grants to educational, humanitarian and nongovernmental organizations and individuals inside Iran to support the advancement of democracy and human rights in Iran.”

While the amount is modest, it breaks a long-standing barrier against American spending inside Iran and could signal the Bush administration’s intention to no longer heed a 1981 agreement with Tehran that pledged that Washington would not interfere in the internal affairs of that country.

The expected passage of the spending measure next month would coincide with a campaign on the ground in Iran to urge citizens to boycott February’s elections to the Majlis, the Iranian parliament.

At the American Enterprise Institute yesterday, democracy activists in Iran speaking by teleconference said they had seen many buildings in their neighborhoods emblazoned with “Na,” Persian for no, the unofficial slogan of the upcoming boycott campaign.The push to keep Iranians away from the polls next year is in keeping with recent tactics of Iran’s democrats to avoid large demonstrations in favor of more diffuse actions.

Last March, municipal elections were boycotted and on July 9 many Iranians did not show up for work to commemorate the anniversary of violent crackdowns against students.

In the last three months, the Bush administration has signaled that it is not prepared to confront Iran’s government, a regime that the president nearly two years ago declared a member of the “axis of evil.”The Pentagon has chilled its ties in the last two months with anti-regime Iranian activists, while Secretary of State Powell last month praised a resolution from the International Atomic Energy Agency that found no evidence that the country intended to use uranium centrifuges it had kept hidden from the U.N. body for nuclear weapons.

At the same time, the American-appointed Iraqi Governing Council concluded a series of diplomatic and trade agreements with the Islamic Republic last month with the blessing of the Coalition Provisional Authority.

While the executive branch softens its stance against Iran, many in Congress have pushed a harder line.

Earlier this year, Senator Brownback, a Republican of Kansas, introduced legislation that would have set aside $50 million each year for broadcasts from exiles into Iran and stated that American policy was to end the rule of the clerics in charge there.The proposal was opposed by the State Department and the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Richard Lugar, a Republican from Indiana.

But Mr. Brownback continued to push for some funding for those opposing Iran’s government, and he managed to get the rather modest $1.5 million into the appropriations legislation.

“This is an important precedent,” the president of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, Clifford May, said. “For the first time we are seeing Washington give concrete support for the democratic forces in Iran.”

While the National Endowment for Democracy runs a handful of programs that aim to push democracy in Iran, all of them are grants to organizations in America that have supported reformists in Iran.The new instructions in the budget for next year would for the first time go toward programs on the ground in Iran.

The State Department in the past has been wary of American funding for programs inside Iran because of the 1981 Algiers Accord, which established a commission to settle outstanding property claims between Iran and America and pledged that future presidents would not interfere in the Islamic Republic’s internal affairs.

Rep. Brad Sherman, a Democrat of California, said he supported the money for Iranian democracy building.

“I hope that this is the start of a concerted effort by our government to assist the Iranian people in their struggle for a more representative government,” he said.

http://daily.nysun.com/Repository/getFiles.asp?Style=OliveXLib:ArticleToMail&Type=text/html&Path=NYS/2003/12/04&ID=Ar00700
41 posted on 12/04/2003 6:05:28 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Congress Readies Iran Freedom Funding

December 04, 2003
New York Sun
Eli Lake

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1033592/posts?page=41#41
42 posted on 12/04/2003 6:05:59 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranian Opposition Supporters Voice Discontent with Regime

December 04, 2003
Washington File
Afzal Khan

Washington -- The growing opposition to the Islamic regime in Iran found expression during an intercontinental radio talk show connecting Iranian opposition supporters with Iranian Americans December 3.

The event was organized by the American Enterprise Institute in Washington and was broadcast live by the Farsi-language radio station "Radio Sedaye Iran (KRSI)" that broadcasts daily into Iran from Los Angeles, California. A panel of Iranian-American activists invited by AEI joined in the discussions with opposition activists from within Iran participating by phone.

The callers from Iran, who used pseudonyms for security reasons, were united in their belief that the so-called reforms promised by the Islamic regime are a sham and that true freedom and democracy can only return to Iran with the removal of the "mullah-ridden" government there.

A caller identifying herself as a housewife said, "We gave President Khatami six and a half years to impose his reforms, but nothing has happened. We don't trust him," she said

The housewife, who claimed to be a member of the "activist" movement in Iran, said that democracy cannot "co-exist" with an Islamic regime, and that religion must be divorced from government.

Asked what the United States can do to help the democracy movement in Iran, she said the U.S. government must not "support" or encourage the Islamic regime. Instead, the Bush administration should "boycott" the regime, she said.

She said she was part of a large group of Iranians who on September 11, 2001 took part in a candlelight procession. "Many of us were arrested and taken to solitary cells," she said.

A student under the pseudonym of "Ms. Nargess" called on the United States to play "a bigger role" against the Islamic regime by providing support to the opposition media.

"Nargess" said that as a woman living in Iran, she wanted a secular government, not an Islamic one.

The third caller, identifying himself as a university professor, said that Iranians for the last 25 years have been denied freedom.

He said the 65 million people in Iran have "God-given rights" and that they should be allowed to hold a referendum to choose their government, "be it a monarchy or a Khomeini-like one."

The professor urged Iranians living abroad to help the opposition. He pointed out that radio programs beamed into Iran need to be more sophisticated and have "interesting programs" such as on human rights, instead of just rhetoric against the Islamic regime.

A fourth caller said that he is "a handicapped man" as a result of wounds suffered during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s.

He said he is a practicing Muslim who wanted the opposition to be more organized. "We want the United States to recognize us," he said.

The fifth caller, "Hassan," said he too was handicapped from wounds sustained in the Iran-Iraq war.

"Hassan" said the highly touted reforms are "done and finished" and the people in Iran are "fed-up and cannot take it anymore."

The sixth caller, describing himself as a poet, complained about the dire economic conditions facing many Iranians. He said he knew many jobless people who eat just one meal a day of "only potatoes and no meat or chicken."

In answer to a question from AEI moderator, Danielle Pletka, a caller identifying herself as "Miss Iran" said activists in the student movement were going to boycott the parliamentary elections planned by the regime in February.

Another caller, "Mohammad," said that "two months ago" posters to boycott the elections began appearing on walls.

The four Iranian-American panelists who took part in the dialogue were:

-- Manda Zand Ervin, the founder and president of the International Alliance of Iranian Women, which draws international attention to human rights abuses against the women and children of Iran;

-- Roozbeh Farahanipour, a writer and journalist who is a founder-organizer of "Hezbeh Marzeh Por Gohar" (The Glorious Frontiers Party), which has been outlawed by the regime;

-- Ramin Parham, of the newly founded Iran Institute for Democracy;

-- Aryo Pirouznia, who worked with the Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran.


(The Washington File is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

http://usinfo.state.gov/xarchives/display.html?p=washfile-english&y=2003&m=December&x=20031204185336retsurbmraw0.4855463&t=usinfo/wf-latest.html
43 posted on 12/04/2003 6:06:41 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
AWESOME BUMP! Excellent news.
44 posted on 12/04/2003 7:38:11 PM PST by Pan_Yans Wife ("Your joy is your sorrow unmasked." --- GIBRAN)
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To: DoctorZIn
This thread is now closed.

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

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

45 posted on 12/05/2003 12:12:00 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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