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Iranian Alert -- December 7, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 12.7.2003 | DoctorZin

Posted on 12/07/2003 12:03:00 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 12/07/2003 12:03:00 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 12/07/2003 12:06:00 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Jordan Promoting U.S.-Iran Contacts
Quid Pro Quo on Al Qaeda Sought

By Robin Wright
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, December 7, 2003

Jordan's King Abdullah is quietly trying to broker a deal that would lead Tehran to surrender about 70 al Qaeda operatives, including the son of Osama bin Laden, in exchange for U.S. action on the largest Iranian opposition group now based in Iraq, according to U.S. and Middle East officials.
Abdullah, who is hoping to revive dialogue between the United States and Iran, discussed prospects with the Bush administration during a private visit to Washington on Thursday and Friday. He visited Tehran earlier this fall, the first visit by a Jordanian leader in a quarter-century, the officials said. Jordanian Foreign Minister Marwan Muasher also traveled to Iran for further talks shortly before the king's U.S. visit.

Jordan's effort reflects growing interest in the Middle East in seeing the United States reopen informal talks with Iran, which were suspended after three sessions in Europe earlier this year. During his tour of Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria last week, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell was also urged to improve relations with Iran.

"Certainly people in the region, including other heads of state, are interested in seeing something happen. It's clear that people in the region would like us to do what we can to establish a better relationship," a senior State Department official said yesterday.

The growing interest by Arab countries is a significant shift, given long-standing tension between Arabs and Iran's Persians, and the general fear among secular Arab governments of Iran's Islamic regime.

The young monarch, who is growing into the role of regional mediator once played by his father, King Hussein, was heartened by interest even among Iran's hard-liners in resuming dialogue with the United States, U.S. and Arab diplomats said.

Jordan and other Arab governments believe the time is ripe in part because of instability in Iraq, which shares its longest border with Iran. Although Iran has a majority Shiite Muslim population, it also has large Kurdish, Arab and Sunni Muslim minorities, and any tensions among those communities in Iraq could spill across the 910-mile border.

The agreement two weeks ago between the United States and Europeans on Iran's nuclear energy program may improve prospects, Iran experts say. The resolution at the International Atomic Energy Agency avoided a new U.S.-Iran showdown through a compromise that deplores Tehran's past failure to come clean on nuclear enrichment efforts and institutes a fast-track procedure to discuss punitive sanctions at the U.N. Security Council if Iran engages in further violations.

After agreeing to surprise inspections and to suspend its uranium enrichment program, Tehran wants talks with Washington on its nuclear energy program. "Whatever we do with the rest of the world and whatever diplomatic gains we may be able to score, we won't be able to resolve this issue until the United States is on board. We're really serious about resolving it," an Iranian official said.

Despite pressure from U.S. neoconservatives to press for governmental change in Iran, the Bush administration has left open the possibility of renewing dialogue if Iran acts on al Qaeda.

In congressional testimony, Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage said in October that Washington is not interested in governmental change in Tehran and is open to dialogue if the al Qaeda issue is resolved. "We and others have made clear what Iran needs to do: hand over al Qaeda members to the United States or their country of origin," Sean McCormack, a National Security Council spokesman, said yesterday.

A key stumbling block is the People's Mujaheddin, or MEK, about 3,800 Iranians who launched attacks against Iran from camps in Iraq. In 1999, the State Department listed the MEK as a terrorist organization, and since the U.S. occupation of Iraq, the MEK has been confined to camps. "The Mujaheddin-e Khalq is a terrorist organization and will be treated like a terrorist organization," McCormack said.

Yet U.S. officials concede that the MEK still broadcasts anti-government programs into Iran and none of its members have been prosecuted or turned over to Iran -- as the United States demands Iran do with al Qaeda suspects. Iran says it is unwilling to cooperate on al Qaeda as long as the United States does not take similar steps on the MEK.

U.S. officials counter that many senior MEK officials fled to Europe, particularly France, and those left behind are largely "worker bees" and children. U.S. military officials continue to investigate whether any of the 3,800 should be prosecuted for terrorist acts. The MEK's fate has divided the administration, however, with the State Department pressing the Pentagon to fully disarm the MEK and treat it as a terrorist organization -- rather than as a potential ally.

Jordan is interested in al Qaeda in part because a top official still on the loose is Jordanian-born Abu Musab Zarqawi, who has been reported in northern Iraq, Turkey, Lebanon and Iran. Among those suspected of being in Iran are Saad bin Laden, the son of the al Qaeda founder; military organizer Saif Adel; al Qaeda spokesman Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, and Abu Mohammed Masri, who was tied to the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A42018-2003Dec6.html
3 posted on 12/07/2003 12:23:28 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
University Students Day' (16th Azar) observed in Iran

12/07/03
Payvand Iran News

The Students Committee of the Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF) on Saturday held a special ceremony in Tehran to mark the 50th anniversary of the University Students Day (16th Azar or December 7), IRNA reported.

The participants at the ceremony said that freedom, independence and democracy are the three demands of Iranian students movement.

Students Mostafa Bozorg-nia, Mehdi Shariat Razavi and Nasser Qandchi were martyred by the deposed regime's police when they had joined a demonstration to protest a plan to accord an honorary doctorate degree to Richard Nixon (vice-president in the Eisenhower administration) from Tehran University during his visit to Tehran in 1953.

Nixon was due to celebrate the US-engineered coup that toppled the popular government of the then-prime minister Mohammad Mossadeq four months earlier in 1953 for which the United States spent dlrs 21 million.

http://www.payvand.com/news/03/dec/1036.html
4 posted on 12/07/2003 1:11:30 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn; McGavin999; freedom44; nuconvert; Eala; AdmSmith; dixiechick2000; onyx; Pro-Bush; ...
Iran students rally for free speech, prisoners

MSNBC
By Parisa Hafezi

TEHRAN, Dec. 7 — Around 1,000 pro-reform students rallied in the Iranian capital on Sunday calling for freedom of speech and the release of political prisoners, witnesses said.

The protesters in Tehran chanted ''Free all political prisoners'' and ''Death to despotism'' on the annual Student Day, which marks the death of three students during a protest against former U.S. President Richard Nixon's Iran visit in 1970.
Students have been at the forefront of protests against the Islamic Republic's clerical establishment in recent years, often clashing with hardline vigilantes loyal to conservative clerics opposed to any watering down of Iran's Islamic system.
Dozens of students have been arrested during major street protests in recent years.
Under tight police security, protesters inside the Tehran University campus on Sunday carried pictures of their jailed classmates.
Students played a crucial part in President Mohammad Khatami's landslide win over his conservative rivals in 1997 and his re-election in 2001 on a platform of liberal political and social reforms.
But angry at Khatami's non-confrontational approach and advocacy of gradual change in Iran, the country's biggest student movement, the Office to Consolidate Unity, has withdrawn its influential political support for Khatami and his allies.
''Reformists used our votes as a political tool and in return we got broken promises. They forgot us,'' Matin Meshkini, a student leader, told Reuters.
Khatami's reformist government and the pro-reform parliament have experienced stiff opposition to change from powerful hardliners who control key unelected bodies within the political system such as the judiciary and the Guardian Council constitutional watchdog.
Khatami's reformist movement faces a key test of its support in parliamentary elections in February.
''Khatami and his allies will not receive our support due to Khatami's failure to use the opportunities to push the reforms ahead,'' Meshkini said.
But some political analysts say the student movement, one of the most powerful voting blocks in Iran where around 70 percent of the 66 million population is under 30 years old, may not remain out of the political fray for long.
''The student movement might enter the race at the last minute. Like the rest of people, they are not predictable,'' said Hamid Reza Jalaipour, a political analyst.

http://famulus.msnbc.com/FamulusIntl/reuters12-07-044829.asp?reg=MIDEAST
5 posted on 12/07/2003 5:24:34 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: F14 Pilot
Thanks for the ping!
6 posted on 12/07/2003 7:40:57 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran-contra contact linked to White House
By James Risen
December 8, 2003

When clandestine meetings between Pentagon officials and Iranian dissidents were revealed in the middle of the year, the US played down the importance of the contacts, particularly with one participant - a discredited Iranian dealmaker who had played a role in the Iran-contra affair in the late 1980s.

But now officials say the initial meeting with the Iranians was organised with the knowledge of a national security adviser to President George Bush, who also informed the CIA director, George Tenet, and the Deputy Secretary of State, Richard Armitage.

The Senate select committee on intelligence is examining the meetings, in December 2001 and June last year, which were initiated by Manucher Ghorbanifar, an Iranian who acted as a middleman in the Iran-contra affair during the Reagan administration and was long ago labelled a fabricator by US intelligence officials. One important question is whether US officials were aware of his involvement before the meetings.

Stephen Hadley, Mr Bush's deputy national security adviser, raised no objection when Pentagon officials told him of plans to meet the Iranians in late 2001, several officials said. An Administration official familiar with his version of events said Mr Hadley did not remember being told that Mr Ghorbanifar would be at the meeting.

When the contacts with Mr Ghorbanifar and other Iranians were first reported in the media last northern summer, the high-level attention the meetings received at the White House and other agencies was not disclosed. The fresh details about the contacts also illuminate a schism between US intelligence agencies and more hawkish officials at the Pentagon and in the White House who pursued the contacts.

Mr Ghorbanifar's involvement caused concern within the Bush Administration because it evoked memories of Iran-contra and questions about whether the Pentagon was engaging in rogue covert operations. The Pentagon had conducted its own internal review of the Ghorbanifar matter, officials said.

In the 1980s Mr Ghorbanifar repeatedly sought contacts with the CIA to act as a go-between with Iranian officials in what became known as the Iran-contra affair. The arms-for-hostage scandal was a series of secret manoeuvres to sell arms to Iran in exchange for the release of US hostages in Lebanon and financing for contra fighters opposing the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. It led to lengthy congressional and criminal investigations that deeply scarred the Reagan administration and the CIA.

One result of the Iran-contra scandal was a decision by the CIA that it could not trust Mr Ghorbanifar. A 1987 congressional report on Iran-contra said that after he failed CIA-administered lie tests, the agency issued a warning that he "should be regarded as an intelligence fabricator and a nuisance". He has been considered a con artist by the CIA ever since.

But he has been persistent. Two years ago he found a way to act as an intermediary again - this time with the Pentagon. The secret meetings were first held in Rome in December 2001, and were brokered by Michael Ledeen, a conservative analyst at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington who has a longstanding interest in Iranian affairs and close ties to many hardline conservatives in the Bush Administration.

At first, Mr Ledeen was sceptical of the offer.

"Ghorbanifar called me, and at first I said, 'Are you insane?' " he said. "But he said he could arrange meetings with Iranians with current information about what Iran was doing. It wasn't information coming from him. He was just arranging the meetings."

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/12/07/1070732073061.html
7 posted on 12/07/2003 8:34:28 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife ("Your joy is your sorrow unmasked." --- GIBRAN)
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To: DoctorZIn
Jordan Promoting U.S.-Iran Contacts

December 07, 2003
The Washington Post
Robin Wright

Jordan's King Abdullah is quietly trying to broker a deal that would lead Tehran to surrender about 70 al Qaeda operatives, including the son of Osama bin Laden, in exchange for U.S. action on the largest Iranian opposition group now based in Iraq, according to U.S. and Middle East officials.

Abdullah, who is hoping to revive dialogue between the United States and Iran, discussed prospects with the Bush administration during a private visit to Washington on Thursday and Friday. He visited Tehran earlier this fall, the first visit by a Jordanian leader in a quarter-century, the officials said. Jordanian Foreign Minister Marwan Muasher also traveled to Iran for further talks shortly before the king's U.S. visit.

Jordan's effort reflects growing interest in the Middle East in seeing the United States reopen informal talks with Iran, which were suspended after three sessions in Europe earlier this year. During his tour of Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria last week, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell was also urged to improve relations with Iran.

"Certainly people in the region, including other heads of state, are interested in seeing something happen. It's clear that people in the region would like us to do what we can to establish a better relationship," a senior State Department official said yesterday.

The growing interest by Arab countries is a significant shift, given long-standing tension between Arabs and Iran's Persians, and the general fear among secular Arab governments of Iran's Islamic regime.

The young monarch, who is growing into the role of regional mediator once played by his father, King Hussein, was heartened by interest even among Iran's hard-liners in resuming dialogue with the United States, U.S. and Arab diplomats said.

Jordan and other Arab governments believe the time is ripe in part because of instability in Iraq, which shares its longest border with Iran. Although Iran has a majority Shiite Muslim population, it also has large Kurdish, Arab and Sunni Muslim minorities, and any tensions among those communities in Iraq could spill across the 910-mile border.

The agreement two weeks ago between the United States and Europeans on Iran's nuclear energy program may improve prospects, Iran experts say. The resolution at the International Atomic Energy Agency avoided a new U.S.-Iran showdown through a compromise that deplores Tehran's past failure to come clean on nuclear enrichment efforts and institutes a fast-track procedure to discuss punitive sanctions at the U.N. Security Council if Iran engages in further violations.

After agreeing to surprise inspections and to suspend its uranium enrichment program, Tehran wants talks with Washington on its nuclear energy program. "Whatever we do with the rest of the world and whatever diplomatic gains we may be able to score, we won't be able to resolve this issue until the United States is on board. We're really serious about resolving it," an Iranian official said.

Despite pressure from U.S. neoconservatives to press for governmental change in Iran, the Bush administration has left open the possibility of renewing dialogue if Iran acts on al Qaeda.

In congressional testimony, Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage said in October that Washington is not interested in governmental change in Tehran and is open to dialogue if the al Qaeda issue is resolved. "We and others have made clear what Iran needs to do: hand over al Qaeda members to the United States or their country of origin," Sean McCormack, a National Security Council spokesman, said yesterday.

A key stumbling block is the People's Mujaheddin, or MEK, about 3,800 Iranians who launched attacks against Iran from camps in Iraq. In 1999, the State Department listed the MEK as a terrorist organization, and since the U.S. occupation of Iraq, the MEK has been confined to camps. "The Mujaheddin-e Khalq is a terrorist organization and will be treated like a terrorist organization," McCormack said.

Yet U.S. officials concede that the MEK still broadcasts anti-government programs into Iran and none of its members have been prosecuted or turned over to Iran -- as the United States demands Iran do with al Qaeda suspects. Iran says it is unwilling to cooperate on al Qaeda as long as the United States does not take similar steps on the MEK.

U.S. officials counter that many senior MEK officials fled to Europe, particularly France, and those left behind are largely "worker bees" and children. U.S. military officials continue to investigate whether any of the 3,800 should be prosecuted for terrorist acts. The MEK's fate has divided the administration, however, with the State Department pressing the Pentagon to fully disarm the MEK and treat it as a terrorist organization -- rather than as a potential ally.

Jordan is interested in al Qaeda in part because a top official still on the loose is Jordanian-born Abu Musab Zarqawi, who has been reported in northern Iraq, Turkey, Lebanon and Iran. Among those suspected of being in Iran are Saad bin Laden, the son of the al Qaeda founder; military organizer Saif Adel; al Qaeda spokesman Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, and Abu Mohammed Masri, who was tied to the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

http://iranvajahan.net/cgi-bin/news.pl?l=en&y=2003&m=12&d=07&a=2
8 posted on 12/07/2003 8:44:08 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran's Former No. 2 Cleric Now Favors U.S.

December 07, 2003
The Washington Post
Karl Vick

QOM, Iran -- Ayatollah Ali Meshkini stood erect in the pulpit of this holy city's central mosque, delivering the political portion of his Friday sermon by engaging the 3,000 worshippers in a familiar volley of call and response.

"The first issue and only issue is Palestine," said Meshkini, a lean figure who wore a white turban. "The Great Satan is supporting Israel unconditionally. That's why they are repressing the Palestinians."

"Down with the U.S.A.," chanted the faithful.

A few blocks down Riverbank Street, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri sat in the house where Iran's government kept him locked away for five years. His audience numbered six, including the man holding a cassette recorder to capture Montazeri's words for posting on his Web site — provided the Iranian government had not hacked it again.

"I feel irritated whenever I hear this slogan, 'Death to America' or 'Down with America,' '' said Montazeri, key architect of the theocracy that he now fights with all the energy an 82-year-old with a heart condition can muster.

"I believe," he said, "that the 300 million people of North America are mostly religious people, hardworking people."

By Iranian standards, Montazeri's views are hardly radical. He favors elected government, greater personal freedoms and the sanctioning of Israel. He called the U.S.-led ouster of Iraq's president, Saddam Hussein, "a good thing," and said that despite the U.S. occupation, "Iraqis are being treated well by the American soldiers."

In the pallid, dusty city where politics and theology were knotted 24 years ago and the Islamic Republic of Iran was born, the debate over the wisdom of this country's clerical government remains lively.

As Montazeri received visitors behind a desk stacked with 17 volumes, he looked like an owl in a creamery: He wore a white knit skullcap, a cream-colored sweater opened over a belly upholstered in yet more white.

"People are asking for the promises that were not fulfilled," Montazeri said. "They are asking for freedom, independence and a natural republic. They want freedom of speech, freedom of expression. Now anybody who criticizes the leader, they jail."

The late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the coal-eyed imam who was the Islamic republic's first supreme religious leader, often said Montazeri would succeed him. He called the younger man "the fruit of my life's work."

When Iran was ruled by Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and Khomeini was in exile in Paris, Montazeri was Khomeini's chief representative in Iran. He played a central role in fashioning the clerical government that took power after the 1979 revolution that toppled the shah and in tailoring it to fit Khomeini's outsized presence and broad appeal.

In the 1980s, however, as Iran's theocratic government executed political opponents by the thousands and sent much of a generation to perish in human-wave attacks in the Iran-Iraq war, Montazeri spoke out. "This is wrong," he said at the time.

Khomeini replied by stripping Montazeri of his titles and naming a political aide, Ali Khamenei, as his successor, after a hasty promotion to ayatollah. Khamanei's 1989 accession to supreme religious leader was made official by a clerical council chaired by Meshkini, whose Friday sermon flashed with the harsh rhetoric that still defines Iran's government to the outside world.

Montazeri said he grew troubled as the clerical class assumed greater and greater authority while Iran became more isolated internationally. "I have condemned occupying the U.S. Embassy. I felt that was a mistake and should not have happened," Montazeri said of the 444-day hostage drama that cost Iran its diplomatic ties with Washington.

More than two decades later, the embassy takeover is still officially celebrated in Iran. It was a desultory affair this year, attended by schoolchildren on vacation and a few old-timers .

Today, public opinion polls indicate most Iranians want to see relations with the United States restored and the power of the religious hard-liners curtailed. Twice, they have voted overwhelmingly for a president, Mohammad Khatami, who promised greater personal freedoms and engagement with the West. But his limited success over six years has resulted in widespread disillusionment.

"All this disappointment is temporary," Montazeri said. "If people want real change, they should do something. If people become aggressive, they can change anything."

Montazeri was arrested and charged with "treason against the revolution" in 1997 after suggesting that the supreme leader "supervise, not rule." Soldiers clad in the distinctive dark green of the Revolutionary Guard shut down his mosque, where he taught 2,000 students. Montazeri was confined to his nearby house.

From there, he continued to lambaste his captors through faxes and a Persian-language Web site. He was released from house arrest in January as reports of his failing health circulated. Analysts said the government was not prepared for the public reaction if he died in custody.

http://iranvajahan.net/cgi-bin/news.pl?l=en&y=2003&m=12&d=07&a=3
9 posted on 12/07/2003 8:45:10 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Á terre in Iran . . .

December 07, 2003
Iran va Jahan
Koorosh Afshar

After 25 years of living under an ochlocracy, we, the Iranian people, have quite well learned the nature and the ways usual to the mullahs. Nowadays almost everybody in Iran believes that the ruling clerics are terribly busy doing something evil and nasty in the neighboring Iraq. In fact the mullahs have clearly perceived that, with a free and prosperous Iraq, they would not have any chances of prolonging their corrupted reign of terror and tyranny in Iran.

Although the two countries of Iran and Iraq were engaged in an eight-year war against one another, which left hundreds of thousands killed, many more maimed and amputated and some totally disappeared, these two nations have a long history together rooted deep in the distant years of history. One can still find people in both countries who have their relatives in the other one.

The difference between these two nations, generally, is the fact that - unlike our Iraqi neighbors - the Iranians have had the experience of a short-term semi-democracy in their country, and the process of modernization started in Iran proportionately very early at the time of Reza Shah. The people of Iran started their modern political life much earlier - nearly a century ago - in the constitutional movement (I wouldn't use the term "revolution" here as it only reminds me of destruction and loss which is far from the objectives of the constitutional movement) when they raised against the traditional and tyrannical government of the age, and achieved what they were seeking in the end. Although these achievements were not that long lasting, they had a tremendous effect on the mindset of the Iranians. What our noble fathers sought and struggled for, if not fully achieved at the time, has left us with an honorable and glorious legacy.

Unfortunately, not many Iranians are familiar with their own history.

Our people have a long history of nonviolent and democratic movements. They have proven that they can make a change whenever they decide to do something. But the same teacher - history - has taught us that, with blood thirst leaders like Ayatollah Khomeini and his like minded henchmen, the next thing that could happen after the desired change is only a big U-turn that can potentially take us back even years before the starting points. I, as an Iranian university student in Iran, fervently believe in these words of that British dramatist: "The humble and meek are thirsting for blood." Our people are not. Not anymore. A quarter of a century of blood shed, war and persecution is enough. Ever since I had the chance to let the people of the world hear my voice, I have had the opportunity to befriend many brave people from all the corners of the globe. The message of freedom cried by the Iranian youth was so strong, it was able to bind the hearts of the people of various countries and ethnic groups together - Americans in particular. Only I would like to tell everyone, one more time, that we are NOT worried whether or not the politicians of this country or any other country say something in favor of our struggle, as, unlike you, they might not know that your freedom and ours cannot be separated. What we are concerned about is your message of support. It is your resolve that warms our hearts and gives us more hope and stamina to move forward towards that final free and secular Iran that all of us look forward to as the future of our beloved homeland.

"How can we help?" a lot of you might ask. The answer is very simple: let the others hear our message. Tell the others who might not know that the mullahs and the ruling minority are a very small fraction of the more than 70,000,000 freedom-and-peace-loving-Iranians. Guide them to informative sources, which can give them a vivid and true image of Iran's youths.

Throughout the whole period of these 25 years my nation has never been this much hopeful for her future, although we are standing with our clenched but bare hands, à terre. But please, remember that every little helps.

I remember that once I read somewhere from Hartley Coleridge: "But what is Freedom? Rightly understood, a universal license to be good."

We ought to be "good" together. That is the only path to a bright future for all of us.

- Koorosh Afshar is a pseudonym for a student in Tehran. His name has been changed for his protection.

http://iranvajahan.net/cgi-bin/news.pl?l=en&y=2003&m=12&d=07&a=6
10 posted on 12/07/2003 8:48:05 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Movement's Special Representative Calls on Italy for Support of Iran's Freedom Process

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Dec 7, 2003

It was to an audiance composed of Italian officials, activists and journalists that, on Saturday, Mr. Kaveh Mohseni, the SMCCDI's Special Representative to the Cagliari (S. Italy) Conference, called for the support of the "Iran's Freedom Process" and its "Secularist forces" by Italy and its European partners of EU.

Mr. Mohseni's speech, on behalf of Iran's Student Movement, was in French but was simultaneously translated in Italian and English for the audiance and reporters. Several deputies, such as, Michele Cossa who's a member of the current majority asked from Mohseni of what are the Movement needs while thanking him about the enlightments made on the REAL situation in Iran.

This meeting, coordinated by Ms. Stefania Lepanna and Mr. Michele Demontis, was organized by Italy's "Radicali Sardi" and the "TransNational Radical Party", and several Italian deputies from groups such as, the "Democratie-Socialisti", were among the supporters and speakers.

Members of the Media, present in the conference room, such as, TV Sardenia 1, TCS, Unione Sarda, La Nuova Sardegna, I Sardi.net, Sa Sardigna and Radio Press asked also several questions on the Iranian situtaion or made interviews with Mr. Mohseni helping to show to Italians about the plight of Iranians and their struggle to reach Freedom and Democracy.

The day before the meeting, Mr. Mohseni, was admitted to the City Hall where he received, on behalf of the "oppressed Iranian nation" and "Iranian Student Movement", the official books and welcoming of the city's officials.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_3943.shtml
11 posted on 12/07/2003 9:01:29 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Violent clashes rock Tehran University area

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Dec 7, 2003

Violent and sporadic clashes have rocked the Tehran University area and especially the Enghelab (24 Esfand) and Amir Abad as hundreds of students along with their supporters joined each other in the streets in order to shout slogans against the regime and its leaders.

Special units of the Pasdaran Corp and Bassidj along with plainclothes men attacked the demonstrators who retaliated to them resulting in tens of injuries and arrests.

Clubs, Chains and tear gas were used against those who defied the regime by getting out of the university and were joined by residents exasperated by the rule of theocracy.

Noise of sirenes and slogans against the regime ofered a prelude to a future revolution concert.

The situation is still very tense in the area despite the begining of dark.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_3952.shtml
12 posted on 12/07/2003 9:02:26 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
What we are concerned about is your message of support. It is your resolve that warms our hearts and gives us more hope and stamina to move forward towards that final free and secular Iran that all of us look forward to as the future of our beloved homeland.

I find that heartwarming. But, any support that I give feels inadequate. More can be done, don't you think?

13 posted on 12/07/2003 9:02:36 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife ("Your joy is your sorrow unmasked." --- GIBRAN)
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To: F14 Pilot
Freedom for Iran ~ Bump!
14 posted on 12/07/2003 9:06:50 AM PST by blackie
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Violent clashes rock Tehran University area

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Dec 7, 2003

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1035524/posts?page=12#12
15 posted on 12/07/2003 9:07:02 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
This Weblog talked about us.
Thought some might like that...!

http://www.persianblogger.com/english/archives/000039.html
16 posted on 12/07/2003 9:43:44 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: F14 Pilot
And I'm glad to see the misconception was cleared up. :)
17 posted on 12/07/2003 9:54:39 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife ("Your joy is your sorrow unmasked." --- GIBRAN)
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To: DoctorZIn
Does Islam Need a Luther or a Pope?

December 04, 2003
Tech Central Station
Edward Feser

It has become the conventional wisdom in the two years since 9/11 that the trouble with Islam is that, unlike Christianity, it never had a Protestant Reformation. The idea seems to be this: Christianity was (so it is held) rigid and authoritarian before Luther and company came along and paved the way for liberal democracy, science, and all things modern and good; Islam's problem is that it remains stuck in its "Medieval phase," still awaiting Reformers of its own.

This analysis dovetails nicely with the conceptions most people have these days of the Reformation, of traditional Catholicism, and of freedom and rationality and their relationship to authority and tradition. It is, for that reason, completely worthless. For such conceptions rest largely on clichés whose content owes less to actual historical fact than to the needs of Reformation and Enlightenment era anti-Catholic polemic.

Scholars like Stanley Jaki have painstakingly demonstrated that the scientific revolution was a natural outgrowth, rather than a wholesale rejection, of the Medieval Catholic intellectual tradition, and the oversimplifications and distortions inherent in the standard anti-Catholic reading of the Galileo episode have been exposed in books like Wade Rowland's recent Galileo's Mistake. Henry Kamen's work on The Spanish Inquisition documents similar distortions typical of accounts of that event, and Thomas Madden's A Concise History of the Crusades makes evident that the Crusades were in essence nothing more than a (failed) attempt to turn the tide of centuries of Islamic aggression and liberate once-Christian lands long suffering under Muslim conquest - something for which modern Westerners owe no apology. The notion that the Medieval Church lay in darkness, oppression, and superstition, desperately awaiting liberation by a coarse German monk, is, in short, a myth.

But there is another and deeper problem with the received analysis. The fact of the matter is that those aspects of Islam that seem to put it unalterably at odds with the modern world are, for the most part, precisely those that it shares in common with Protestantism; and that those features of modern Western civilization most crucial to the maintenance of liberty and scientific reason owe far more to the Catholic Church than they do to Luther and Calvin.

The Rule of Law

To see that this is so, we need to understand something of the nature of modern civilization, of the dispute between Protestantism and Catholicism, and of Islam.

To start with the first, there is, in my view, no more penetrating account of our civilization than that provided by the work of the economist and social theorist Friedrich A. Hayek (1899-1992). Hayek is, of course, well known for his defense of the market economy, but no less significant is his analysis of the social and cultural preconditions for the survival and flourishing of such an economy. The key is the stability of individual freedom, private property, and contract made possible by the rule of law -- something by no means to be identified with the mere existence of laws, understood as decrees issued by some governing authority.

Indeed, it is possible for many such individual decrees to exist, and even to be enforced, in the total absence of the rule of law. A dictatorship, whether headed by a single despot or a party, might issue any number of orders brutally and effectively implemented by the prospect of torture or imprisonment. But this would amount to the exact opposite of the rule of law in Hayek's sense, for such orders would by their nature be arbitrary, their existence and enforcement owing entirely to the ever-changing whims of those in power. Such a system would in substance differ not at all from sheer lawlessness, distinguishable from Mafia-style criminality only in that the Mafiosi would in this case be wearing police uniforms.

It is the arbitrariness or discretionary power itself that is most crucial to such lawlessness, however, and not the brutality of the methods with which it is backed up. A benign and well-meaning authority -- the traditional socialist economic planner, say (at least in his self-conception) -- would also govern in a way at odds with the rule of law if his decisions rested not on any objective principle but rather on caprice or even high sentiment. For what matters to the rule of law is that there is an order of rules that operate impersonally, independently of the will of any governing individual or body, and to which even such individuals and bodies must submit, whether or not they approve of the consequences of applying such rules.

This is part of why socialism turns out in Hayek's view to be incompatible with the rule of law: there simply cannot be any system of impersonal rules that guarantees a distribution of wealth or income satisfactory to the socialist, for there will, given differences in individual abilities and circumstances, always be cases in which individuals follow the rules and yet end up economically far better or worse off than others do, so that socialist governing officials would constantly have to intervene arbitrarily in the lives of individuals to "correct" for these deviations from their favored pattern of distribution.

Another, highly relevant, reason socialism is incompatible with the rule of law is that no socialist authority could possibly have all the knowledge of economic circumstances germane to the central planning of an economy. The determination of how best to use economic resources requires information concerning a vast constellation of local conditions and individual abilities and needs, all of which are constantly changing. In a capitalist economy, such information is encapsulated in the prices generated by the free operation of the impersonal law of supply and demand, prices which, in effect, signal to consumers and entrepreneurs how best to use available resources. The socialist planner would seek to abolish this law, however, and all he has to replace it with is his own subjective and arbitrary estimation of what people ought to have and ought to produce. The inevitable result is the massive wasting of resources, poverty, and tyranny that have characterized every real-world experiment in socialist planning.

What Is True of Economics...

What is true of economics is also true more generally, in Hayek's view. The problem with socialism is that it seeks to abolish the impersonal principles of respect for private property, freedom of contract, market competition, and the like and replace them with the purportedly more rational and compassionate decrees of social engineers. The result is irrationality and suffering on a scale unmatched in human history, for such engineers are simply incapable of harnessing the vast body of information about local circumstances and individual abilities and needs that the conscious design and control of a complex economic order would require.

But the same problem afflicts every attempt to impose, by fiat and on a massive scale, a new order of things whose origin lies in the vision -- moral, social, economic, or religious -- of a single individual or small group of individuals. Individual human beings are simply too limited in their knowledge and understanding to create, all at once, a workable and humane system of law, morality, or government.

By contrast, the hoary and impersonal products of tradition, though they may seem superficially to be less rational than the novel insights of individual intellectuals, poets, and artists, are in fact far more rational, for, reflecting as they do the experience of millions of individuals over many generations, and having survived the winnowing forces of cultural evolution, they embody far more information about the concrete details of human life than any individual theorist can hope to acquire. Traditional practices and institutions must, then, get the benefit of the doubt. If they are ever to be altered -- and Hayek doesn't deny that they sometimes can and must be -- the burden of proof must always be on the innovator rather than the conserver of tradition, and (especially where the institution or practice is very ancient and widespread) the change can never be more than piecemeal, a tinkering around the edges that leaves the core of the practice or institution intact.

The defender of civilization, then, must in Hayek's view necessarily be the enemy of all those who would overthrow the products of tradition, and substitute for them their own idiosyncratic visions. He must be the enemy, that is, of all forms of what Hayek called "constructivist rationalism": the tendency, embodied most vividly in modern times by socialists and proponents of the sexual revolution, to seek to construct wholesale an entirely new order of things according to some artificial design alleged to be more "rational" than some ancient existing order. And such opposition makes the defender of tradition the true upholder of freedom and rationality: for there can be no true freedom divorced from the rule of law and the equal submission of all to rules whose authority does not rest on any individual's arbitrary will, and there can be no true rationality that ignores the collective wisdom of millennia and arrogantly substitutes for it the piddling and eccentric musings of intellectuals and social engineers.

Protestantism, Catholicism and the Rule of Law

Now, what does all this have to do with Protestantism, Catholicism, and Islam?

Consider that the debate between Protestants and Catholics has always at bottom been about authority: does it lie ultimately in the Church or in the Bible? At first glance it might seem that the Protestant answer is a distinctly Hayekian one: the Bible, rather than the Church or the Pope, ought to be the believer's guide in all things, and as such the believer might seem to be liberated from the arbitrary will of those holding ecclesiastical power.

But appearances are deceiving. For the Bible does not, of course, in any literal sense interpret itself. And yet each believer, being his own "priest," is supposed to have direct access to the meaning of the text, without the need for guidance by an authoritative Church.

So what are believers to do when they are not sure what the Bible means, or when they disagree as to its meaning? The standard Protestant answer is that the Holy Spirit will lead the believer into understanding. But what criteria are there for determining exactly what the Spirit is saying, or whether He is really speaking to one at all? Here the believer must inevitably fall back on his own private judgment. The result, notoriously, has been the splintering of Protestantism into thousands of denominations. The Bible ends up saying whatever the individual believer thinks it says -- however ill-educated or bigoted that believer might be, and whatever extra-Biblical agenda he may unconsciously be reading into it. Every man becomes, in practice, his own authority -- which means, in effect, that there is no authority at all.

There is, that is to say, no rule of law in the religious sphere, but rather sheer lawlessness: the majestic and objective will of God as enshrined in the Bible is imperceptibly transformed into the puny, subjective will of the believer who interprets it.

That believer may also go on to found a sect, thereby creating a sphere within which to enforce that will -- a sphere which constitutes an attempt, a la constructivist rationalism, to sweep away the institutions of the past and create a new order from the ground up on the basis of nothing more than the insight of the individual believer himself.

The revolutionary socialist or libertine has, paradoxically enough, an analogue in every sectarian who sets out for the umpteenth time to re-invent the theological wheel, promising that in his teachings we have, at long last, a true understanding of God's will. And the subjectivist and lawless consequences of sola scriptura are only exacerbated by that other great watchword of Protestantism, sola fide. "Faith alone" is for many a Protestant the ground, not only of salvation, but ultimately also of knowledge. "Reason is the devil's whore," Luther tells us, and it "must be deluded, blinded, and destroyed."

One cannot imagine Aquinas or the other great thinkers of the Medieval Church saying such things. The Catholic idea was always rather that the individual preacher, theologian, or mystical visionary cannot put aside the duty of testing his claims against the light of reason as much as against the light of Scripture. And Scripture itself must always be understood, not according to the limited perspective of the individual reader, but in the light of reason and of the Tradition of which the Bible is a part, a complex body of teaching that has come down from the Apostles and Fathers, and the contents of which have been illuminated by innumerable saints and Doctors of the Church, all of them as subject to it as the average believer.

This is a Tradition that the Church herself does not create but merely preserves and passes on -- emendations to that Tradition occurring only very infrequently, deliberately, gradually, and minimally, and always in a way which merely draws out the implications of what was there already rather than introducing some novel or foreign element. The authority of councils and Popes is at bottom merely the authority of the night watchman who guards a museum whose works he could not have created himself, and would not presume to tamper with. The teachings of a Pope are never strictly his teachings, but merely those of the 2,000-year old institution of which he is a temporary steward and to which he must submit as dutifully as any of the faithful. Far from being an arbitrary despot, he is merely the servant and executor of a system of law he did not make and cannot change. He is, one might say, the very model of the Hayekian statesman, transplanted into the sphere of religion.

The rule of law, or rather its theological analogue, is thus the very essence of Catholicism -- just as its rejection is of the essence of Protestantism. This essence was preserved by the Medieval Church's refusal to submit itself to the State, viz. to the contingencies of arbitrary political power. And this distinction between Church and State has survived the Reformation to become one of the most prized elements of Western Civilization. Or at least it has in those countries in which some Protestant sect or other hadn't captured the apparatus of government: it must never be forgotten that it was Calvin, and not some Medieval Catholic, who founded in Geneva the world's first Christian totalitarian state, that it is Lutheran bishops who were traditionally the paid employees of German and Scandinavian governments, and that it is the Church of England, and not the Church of Rome, whose head is a secular monarch.

The Relevance for Islam

Perhaps the relevance to the question of Islam is starting to become clear. For there has never been in Islam any more than in many Protestant denominations what there has always been in Catholicism -- a distinction in principle between Church and State, a distinction guaranteeing the independence of the former and strict limitations upon the latter. Muhammad was not only a prophet, but also a head of state and a commander in chief, and his followers have always sought faithfully to emulate him in this as in his other qualities. Like Luther and Calvin, he did not inherit his doctrine from any existing institution: the Koran came to him straight from God, or so he tells us, and the reader must simply obey it. Nor did he, any more than Luther or Calvin, leave behind him any authoritative interpreter. One reader is in practice as good as any other, and an effective mullah requires no more of institutional link with the Prophet than a functioning Protestant minister needs to be in communion with the Pope. Nor is reason any less subservient to the text -- that is to say, to the reader's own understanding of the text -- than it is in Protestantism: sola fide has its Muslim parallels as surely as sola scriptura does.

One consequence of all this is that there is no mechanism in Islam, as there is in Catholicism, for an application of the principles of an ongoing Tradition to new circumstances -- be they social, political, scientific, or technological -- by drawing out heretofore implicit consequences. That is, there is no broad and complex body of teaching of which its sacred book forms but a part, and thus no resources as authoritative as the text itself to appeal to in applying it to the modern world. There is simply a dead letter, revealed once and for all centuries ago, and presupposing a historical context to which one must, in obeying the revelation, strive constantly to return. Hence if modern science and liberal democracy seem foreign to the world of the Koran, so much the worse for them. Another consequence is that there is, quite simply, no more of a basis for concluding that this Muslim sect is more "authentically" Islamic than that one than there is for saying that Lutheranism is more authentically Protestant than Calvinism. In particular, the suggestion that semi-Americanized Muslim college professors have a greater claim to authenticity than Wahhabi autodidacts is little more than a risible liberal fantasy. And Muhammad himself - who was, after all, not exactly a touchy-feely multiculturalist - would in any event clearly have resonated to the rough martial spirit of the latter more readily than to the bland gentility of the former.

To these considerations we might add the oft-noted parallels between the abstract and overwhelming Will that is Allah and the similarly impersonal and forbidding God of Calvinism, the Deity in both religions issuing orders that have no basis other than that Will itself and predestining men to a salvation or damnation whose justice they can neither fathom nor question. There is also in both religions (and in paradoxical juxtaposition to their suspicion of reason) the cold rationalism of an iconoclasm that will tolerate neither sacraments nor images, and an anti-humanism that despises the works of man even when he aspires to glorify God. The Taliban who dynamited those Buddhist carvings thereby demonstrated their kinship, not to the Medieval Catholics who venerated Plato, Aristotle, and other great writers of pagan antiquity, nor to the Renaissance Popes in their patronization of the arts, but to the Protestant mobs whose vandalism purged so many once-Catholic European churches of their stained glass, statuary, and beauty.

In short: if the problem with Islam is that it seems constantly to give rise to sects violently hostile to secular institutions, to reason, and to cultured sentiment; that the countries in which it predominates have a chronic tendency toward theocratic despotism; and that as a religion it exhibits no institutional structure that might finally impose some discipline on the chaotic and lawless spiritual impulses that it generates -- if all that is the problem (which it surely is), then it is absurd to hold that the solution is for Islam to find its Martin Luther. It has already had its Luther, not to mention its Calvin and its Henry VIII, all rolled into one: his name was Muhammad. What Islam needs is a Pope.

Edward Feser (edwardfeser@hotmail.com) is Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, and author of On Nozick (Wadsworth, 2003).

http://www.techcentralstation.com/120403A.html
18 posted on 12/07/2003 9:55:13 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Thanks for the ping!
19 posted on 12/07/2003 10:46:20 AM PST by Dec31,1999
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To: DoctorZIn
Yaalon: Syria and Iran Involved in Palestinian Terror

December 07, 2003
The Jerusalem Post
JPost.com

Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Moshe Yaalon told a cabinet meeting that Damascus is conveying clear and precise instructions to perpetrate terror attacks in the West Bank and Gaza, and is also transferring cash to banks in Nablus to fund these operations.

Yaalon also told members that the Iranian Revolitionary Guard was trying to make inroads into Palestinian terror activities.

On Friday, Syrian President Bashar Assad ordered his armed forces to prepare for an Israeli military strike following a foiled suicide bombing targeting a school in Yokne'am. Assad's order came after he charged that Israel had rejected his peace bids.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1070775780260&p=1008596981749
20 posted on 12/07/2003 11:31:19 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Scholars Say Iraq Could Slide Into Dictatorship

December 07, 2003
Reuters
Haitham Haddadin

KUWAIT -- Iraq could slide into dictatorship if U.S. efforts to transfer control to local authorities failed and regional powers like Iran increased their influence in the fractured country, experts meeting in Kuwait said on Sunday.

''The regional powers, they enter (Iraq) on a private agenda and not for political reform,'' Iraqi Islamic scholar Mohammad AbdulJabar told a three-day conference on the role of Islamic groups in the political reform process in the Middle East.

''Iran has a big role in Iraq, it sends money, men and I don't know if it also sends weapons.''

Mohammad al-Jassem, editor-in-chief of the Kuwait daily al-Watan, said some Iraqi Islamic groups were effectively Iran's Trojan Horse.

They could tip Iraq and Gulf states towards Tehran-style Islamic states if Washington failed to establish an Iraqi system under its continuous control, Jassem added.

''The expected result will be the return of dictatorship,'' Jassem said. ''That's not necessarily by the return of Saddam Hussein but by any religious party or group. The Islamic groups' belief in democracy is not clear.''

But Ibrahim al-Jaafari, a member of Iraq's Governing Council and head of the Islamic Da'wa Party, dismissed the idea saying Shi'ite groups in Iraq will not seek to dominate other religious groups or minorities.

''The notion that Islamic groups introduce democracy and then turn it into a dictatorship is a really weird one,'' he said.

In a major policy shift that came amid rising U.S. casualties from guerrilla attacks, Washington has dropped its insistence that the writing of a constitution and elections should occur before it transfers power to the Iraqis.

Iraq's U.S.-appointed Governing Council and the U.S.-run Coalition Provisional Administration (CPA) signed an agreement stating a new transitional government is to take over in June.

Jassem warned against a quick handover of power to Iraqi political parties that lack experience in state administration.

Marina Ottaway of U.S.-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said in addition to the political problems, there were big technical factors standing in the way of a smooth transition, including registering voters in the nation of 24 million people, putting together an election law, and setting up the polling stations.

''The problem of the transition is you can't have early elections until you have a constitution and you can't have a constitution until you have an elected body,'' she said.

''This is the vicious circle that exists'' in Iraq.

Ottaway said she thinks the agreement between the Governing Council and the CPA is on the verge of collapse.

''The issue has been re-opened on whether or not this transitional assembly should be elected or selected,'' she said.

''The second element, why it is on the verge of collapse, is the growing evidence that the United States is trying to make this interim constitution into a permanent constitution.''

''There is still a lot of resistance from the United States for a democratic process to unfold (in Iraq),'' said Ottaway, who studies post-conflict situations around the world and whose group co-sponsored the gathering.

http://famulus.msnbc.com/FamulusIntl/reuters12-07-105841.asp?reg=MIDEAST
21 posted on 12/07/2003 12:23:13 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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Comment #22 Removed by Moderator

To: F14 Pilot

Hey, hey, remember yours is a religion of peace, dude-tami.

23 posted on 12/07/2003 3:12:22 PM PST by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Arrests Vigilantes for Beating Up Reformist MP

Dec. 7 — TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran has arrested five men for beating up a leading reformist MP in an attack seen as saber-rattling before parliamentary elections, Parliament Speaker Mehdi Karroubi said Sunday.
February's elections will test whether Iran's voters have lost patience with the country's embattled reformists who, despite controlling parliament, have largely failed to overcome objections from the Islamic Republic's powerful hard-line clerics.





Hard-line vigilantes attacked Mohsen Mirdamadi, head of parliament's Foreign Affairs and National Security Commission, in the central city of Yazd Friday.

Newspapers showed a bruised Mirdamadi with a bandaged face receiving a check-up from doctors. "Five people have been arrested," Karroubi told parliament in a live radio broadcast. "(The attack) is an insult to parliament."

Hard-line vigilantes, loyal to conservative camps that accuse reformists of selling out to the West, have disrupted reformist speeches in the run-up to elections before but the identity of paymasters is unclear.

Iran's reformist President Mohammad Khatami called for the attackers to be brought to justice swiftly.

"These days legal gatherings are being attacked and officials are being abused and violently confronted. This is completely intolerable," he was quoted as saying on the ISNA students' news agency.

Mirdamadi was quoted by the reformist Yas-e No daily as saying 40 people had attacked him while he was delivering a speech. He thought one of the assailants shot into the air.

He said the attack was an act of political gamesmanship in the run-up to the February 20 elections.

"The closer we get to the elections, such incidents are done to enflame the political atmosphere...those who did these things have powerful supporters," he said.

The official IRNA news agency reported the governor-general of Yazd saying 17 people had been summoned in connection with the assault.

Morteza Nabavi, editor of the hard-line Resalat newspaper, also condemned the beating and insisted the election had to be contested on peaceful terms.

"I hope no-one creates an excuse for turning the political competition into violence and tension," he was quoted as saying by his own newspaper.

http://abcnews.go.com/wire/World/reuters20031207_46.html
24 posted on 12/07/2003 3:13:05 PM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Should Consider Serious Military Presence in Caspian Sea: Experts


TEHRAN, Dec. 7 (Mehr News Agency) — A political analyst Ali Khorram said Iran should prepare for an active military presence in order to safeguard its interests and national security.

Since Russia and the Republic of Azerbaijan along with the U.S. are pushing for the militarization of the sea the division of the sea resources and its legal regime has gained paramount importance, Khorram told the Mehr News Agency.

Khorram said if the littoral states agree to a common use of the seabed resources, any military presence could be provocative.

However, Khorram said Iran should insist on non-militarization of the sea and at the same time be ready for serious military presence in the sea.

Hassan Qashqavi, a member of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, also told the Mehr News Agency that if one day an exigency arises, Iran is quite prepared to defend its national interests in the sea.

Fearful of the Russian military presence in the sea, Qashqavi said, the Azeri officials have asked the U.S. to have military presence in the sea.

Qashqavi said except Russia, which sees itself as an unrivalled power in the region, has a security and strategic view of the sea, and opposes the presence of any other superpowers in the sea, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan share similar views with Iran, which call for non-militarization of the sea.

While Iran maintains that the Caspian Sea should remain a sea of “peace and friendship” Iran is ready to defend its national interests, the member of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy stressed.

http://www.tehrantimes.com/Description.asp?Da=12/8/03&Cat=2&Num=025

Note: Iranian government is equipping itself, sensing that people will largely boycott upcoming parlimentary elections as sign of rejection of both reformists and hard-liners, they're pushing forward with violence and trying to arm the military.
25 posted on 12/07/2003 3:15:43 PM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
As Iranian Elections Approach, Voters Lose Faith in the Reformers
By NAZILA FATHI

EHRAN, Dec. 6 — In 1997 Lida Salehi enthusiastically worked on the presidential campaign of Mohammad Khatami, the reformist candidate. She even talked her parents, who had not cast a ballot since the referendum in 1979 that turned Iran into an Islamic Republic, into voting for him.

"I believed that he was the man who would bring change, especially because of what he said about freedom and democracy," said Ms. Salehi, a 25-year-old painter. She has voted for reformist politicians in three more elections since then.

Now, with parliamentary elections scheduled for February, she and many others who supported the reformists are changing their minds, saying their support has merely resulted in a continuation of the current system.

The most evident sign of disillusionment with President Khatami's reform movement appeared in the local town council elections a year ago. Unlike those in national elections, the candidates in the local elections had not been vetted by the hard-line Guardian Council, which has been a powerful deterrent in keeping voters at bay.

The turnout in large cities, however, was as low as 10 to 15 percent — sharply lower than the 52 percent turnout that was recorded in 1980.

A low voter turnout on Feb. 20 is likely to help hard-line politicians galvanize their support and win control of Parliament, which is now in the hands of reformists. Tehran's municipal council was easily conquered last year by hard-liners, who have reversed liberal plans for modernizing the city.

The new mayor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, turned several art galleries into prayer centers during the Islamic religious month of Ramadan, canceled concerts and suspended many events at the city's cultural centers. He plans to build women-only parks.

"People's behavior last year showed that people do not want just to vote for candidates," Ali Akbar Mousavi Khoini, a reformist member of Parliament, said in a recent speech at Amir Kabir University, referring to the low voter turnout.

"They want their vote to have an impact on the layers of power structure and affect their rights in society," he said.

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/07/international/middleeast/07TEHR.html?ex=1071464400&en=85788363b338029a&ei=5040&partner=MOREOVER
26 posted on 12/07/2003 3:18:31 PM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
Anti-regime Demonstration in Tehran

December 07, 2003
AFP
IranMania

TEHRAN -- About 1,500 Iranian students gathered at Tehran University on Sunday, shouting slogans against the Islamic regime and its clerical leadership, and demanding the freeing of political prisoners, an AFP journalist at the scene said.

The students were massing to mark national students day, commemorating the 1953 shooting by police of three students who were protesting against the then regime of the Shah.

"Death to the dictator", "We don't want an repressive regime or its police", "Free students" and "Free political prisoners" were among the slogans heard inside the campus where the group was confined by security forces.

Slogans were directed against supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the head of the hardline-controlled judiciary, Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi. Criticising Khamenei is a crime in Iran.

Students, who have been the most vocal critics of the nearly 25-year-old regime in recent years, were forbidden from protesting off campus by anti-riot police.

The group also directed their frustrations at embattled pro-reform President Mohammad Khatami, who has seen much of his agenda consistently blocked by his more powerful conservative superiors.

"Khatami is a puppet. After six years (as president), Khatami has failed to put reforms in action. The youth have no more confidence in him," one student activist told the gathering.

Several students also called for a boycott of the February 20, 2004 elections when Iran decides whether to renew the mandate of reformists who presently control parliament but who have seen most of their legislation blocked by unelected oversight bodies.

In parallel to the student gathering, some 1,000 members of the Basij militia -- an Islamist volunteer force attached to the Revolutionary Guards -- also staged their own rival meeting.

But there was no sign of any clashes.

Tehran last saw protest gatherings on July 9, when thousands turned out in their cars around the university to mark the anniversary of student riots in

The month of June also saw several successive nights of anti-regime protests that fizzled out in the face of a massive police operation which, according to official figures, resulted in the arrest of 3,000 people.

http://www.iranmania.com/News/ArticleView/Default.asp?NewsCode=20382&NewsKind=Current%20Affairs
27 posted on 12/07/2003 3:20:15 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Photo's of today's demonstrations in Tehran.

2003 IranMania.com & AFP Photo/Behrouz Mehri Iranian students march at Tehran university during a gathering marking Student Day, 07 December 2003. Some 1,500 students gathered at Tehran University, shouting slogans against the Islamic regime and its clerical leadership, and demanding the release of political prisoners.

2003 IranMania.com & AFP Photo/Behrouz Mehri An Iranian student hides her face during a gathering by Iranian sudents at Tehran university to mark Student Day, 07 December 2003. Some 1,500 students gathered at Tehran University, shouting slogans against the Islamic regime and its clerical leadership

2003 IranMania.com & AFP Photo/Behrouz Mehri Iranian students shoutin slogans against the Islamic regime and its clerical leadership, and demand the release of political prisoners during a gathering by Iranian sudents at Tehran university marking Student Day, 07 December 2003. Some 1,500 students gathered.

2003 IranMania.com & AFP Photo/Behrouz Mehri Iranian police officers stand guard outside Tehran university during a gathering by Iranian sudents marking Student Day, 07 December 2003. Some 1,500 students gathered at Tehran University, shouting slogans against the Islamic regime and its clerical leadership, and demanding the release of political prisoners.

28 posted on 12/07/2003 3:29:19 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Pakistan Nuke Official Held for Iran Links

December 07, 2003
The Telegraph India
telegraphindia.com

Dubai -- Pakistani authorities have picked up a director of Pakistan’s Kahuta Research Laboratories (KRL) to probe his alleged involvement in nuclear-related deals with Iran.

Unnamed family friends said the director, Farooq Mohammed, failed to return to duty after the Id holidays that ended on December 1.

The KRL, considered to be behind Pakistan’s nuclear bomb and the medium-range ballistic Ghauri missile, has not received any leave application or notice from Mohammad or his family.

This has prompted his colleagues to believe that he has been detained for interrogation, apparently sparked by Iranian revelations to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that the country received nuclear-related information from people of Pakistani origin.

Farooq, claim his friends, might be privy to KRL’s procurements abroad. Sources in the United Arab Emirates as well as Dubai say some businessmen in the Emirates are also being tapped for information.

They say the Emirates had been one of the biggest transit stations for Pakistan’s nuclear-related consigments, bought either through cover or front companies.

Farooq is believed to know a lot about the deals with these businessmen.

Attempts by Farooq’s friends to get in touch with his family were met with silence. “No, we don’t have any information about him,” his son said.

Farooq is the third official from the Pakistani nuclear establishment being interrogated due to the ongoing war against terrorism as well as the mounting pressure on Iran.

Bashiruddin Mehmood, considered one of the founding fathers of a nuclear reactor in Punjab, was arrested and grilled for several months by Pakistani and US intelligence officials for alleged links with Osama bin Laden and his terror network.

Months of intensive questioning later, Mehmood was released and his Umma Tammeer Nau (UTN), a non-governmental organisation, banned.

The UTN ran relief and welfare projects in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. Mehmood now leads a quiet retired life, most probably in Islamabad or Rawalpindi, the garrison town south of the capital.

A Dubai-based source said the IAEA’s efforts against nuclear proliferation haved turned the heat on Pakistan, particularly after Tehran, in an attempt to ease international pressure, revealed its secret dealings with Pakistani businessmen on nuclear knowhow to the UN inspectors.

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1031208/asp/foreign/story_2655481.asp
29 posted on 12/07/2003 3:30:39 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Thanks for the pics
30 posted on 12/07/2003 3:51:29 PM PST by nuconvert ("There's no point playing Christmas jingles in a section selling sausages.")
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To: DoctorZIn
Clubs, Chains and tear gas were used against those who defied the regime by getting out of the university and were joined by residents exasperated by the rule of theocracy.

Our wussy State Department to the contrary notwithstanding, our CIA should be working for the overthrow of this "theocracy".

Before it achieves critical mass.

31 posted on 12/07/2003 4:15:37 PM PST by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: DoctorZIn
Of course they have our support. The "media" is attempting to surpress their fight for freedom but we can counter that. Talk about the people's wish for freedom to everyone. Act shocked that they weren't aware of what was happening.
32 posted on 12/07/2003 5:24:36 PM PST by McGavin999
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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”

33 posted on 12/08/2003 12:12:07 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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