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Iranian Alert -- December 10, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 12.10.2003 | DoctorZin

Posted on 12/10/2003 12:03:03 AM PST by DoctorZIn

The US media almost entirely ignores news regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran. As Tony Snow of the Fox News Network has put it, “this is probably the most under-reported news story of the year.” But most American’s are unaware that the Islamic Republic of Iran is NOT supported by the masses of Iranians today. Modern Iranians are among the most pro-American in the Middle East.

There is a popular revolt against the Iranian regime brewing in Iran today. Starting June 10th of this year, Iranians have begun taking to the streets to express their desire for a regime change. Most want to replace the regime with a secular democracy. Many even want the US to over throw their government.

The regime is working hard to keep the news about the protest movement in Iran from being reported. Unfortunately, the regime has successfully prohibited western news reporters from covering the demonstrations. The voices of discontent within Iran are sometime murdered, more often imprisoned. Still the people continue to take to the streets to demonstrate against the regime.

In support of this revolt, Iranians in America have been broadcasting news stories by satellite into Iran. This 21st century news link has greatly encouraged these protests. The regime has been attempting to jam the signals, and locate the satellite dishes. Still the people violate the law and listen to these broadcasts. Iranians also use the Internet and the regime attempts to block their access to news against the regime. In spite of this, many Iranians inside of Iran read these posts daily to keep informed of the events in their own country.

This daily thread contains nearly all of the English news reports on Iran. It is thorough. If you follow this thread you will witness, I believe, the transformation of a nation. This daily thread provides a central place where those interested in the events in Iran can find the best news and commentary. The news stories and commentary will from time to time include material from the regime itself. But if you read the post you will discover for yourself, the real story of what is occurring in Iran and its effects on the war on terror.

I am not of Iranian heritage. I am an American committed to supporting the efforts of those in Iran seeking to replace their government with a secular democracy. I am in contact with leaders of the Iranian community here in the United States and in Iran itself.

If you read the daily posts you will gain a better understanding of the US war on terrorism, the Middle East and why we need to support a change of regime in Iran. Feel free to ask your questions and post news stories you discover in the weeks to come.

If all goes well Iran will be free soon and I am convinced become a major ally in the war on terrorism. The regime will fall. Iran will be free. It is just a matter of time.


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iaea; iran; iranianalert; protests; southasia; studentmovement; studentprotest
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

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

1 posted on 12/10/2003 12:03:03 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 12/10/2003 12:05:37 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
As Tony Snow of the Fox News Network has put it, “this is probably the most under-reported news story of the year.”

Tony nailed that one .. I haven't heard squat in the news of what is going on

3 posted on 12/10/2003 12:07:37 AM PST by Mo1 (House Work, If you do it right , will kill you!)
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To: DoctorZIn
What bothers me is the fact we have three 24 hour cable news services and they can't find enough time in the day to even give us a heads up to what's going on over there without focusing continuously on car chases in LA, 2 inches of snow in Washington DC, Scott Peterson, and Wacko Jacko ad nauseum.
4 posted on 12/10/2003 12:15:25 AM PST by BigSkyFreeper
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran's Nobel Winner Hits Out at U.S. Foreign Policy

Tue December 9, 2003 11:44 PM ET

By Inger Sethov
OSLO (Reuters) - The first Muslim woman to win the Nobel peace prize took a swipe at U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East Tuesday in the run up to the ceremony where she will collect her $1.4 million award.

Iranian reformist lawyer Shirin Ebadi, in Oslo to receive the 2003 award for her work to promote the rights of children and women, rebuked Washington for the U.S.-led war in Iraq and reluctance to give the United Nations a meaningful role in Iraq's postwar resurrection.

"Democracy should not be used as a pretext to attack other countries," Ebadi told a news conference at the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo where she will collect her prize Wednesday.

"But what is important is the support of international public opinion and the United Nations."

President Bush's administration who labeled North Korea, Iran and pre-war Iraq an "Axis of Evil" initially said it launched the Iraq war in March to rid the country of weapons of mass destruction, but none have been found. It now says Iraq is better off without president Saddam Hussein.

Pro-reform activists in Iran hope that Ebadi's prize will help reinvigorate reformists in Iran, who under President Mohammad Khatami have struggled to overcome stiff resistance to change from powerful hard-line clerics.

Dressed in a pale pink suit and flaunting Iran's dress code for women by appearing without a headscarf, Ebadi warned reformists the award was a platform to call for change and not a magical event that would transform the political landscape.

"If only the Nobel Peace Prize they have given me was a golden key which could open the prison doors," she said. "All I can do is voice my demands and hope to get a response."

In the background to the press conference a group of about 50 Iranians outside the Nobel institute were chanting: "Islamic Republic -- Down, down, down."

Some women demonstrators dressed in ankle-length black veils with chains twined around them held up signs saying: "Iran is Auschwitz for women."

The decision to award the peace prize to Iran's first female judge, before the 1979 Islamic revolution forced her to step aside in favor of men, will do little to dissuade conservatives in Iran who say she is a political stooge of the West.

It is also a news story about a Muslim which will stand in sharp relief to the steady diet of reports of militant Islamic suicide bombers, who have filled the pages of Western newspapers since Saudi born Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda suicide hijackers killed 3,000 people in the United States on September 11, 2001.

Ebadi has said she will return to Iran despite security concerns and use her prize money to continue that work.

"My place is in Iran. I have to go back."
5 posted on 12/10/2003 12:16:08 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
</cnn>we got to have our scott peterwacker updates every 10 minutes there isnt time to listen to the stinking iranians, besides it doesnt fit into our play books, a country full of people wanting america to help them......ppppppt yeah right </cnn off>
6 posted on 12/10/2003 2:42:49 AM PST by Kewlhand`tek
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To: DoctorZIn; McGavin999; freedom44; nuconvert; Eala; AdmSmith; dixiechick2000; onyx; Pro-Bush; ...
Iran hails Iraq decision to expel armed opposition

Middle East Online

Iran's intelligence minister denies any link between handover of al-Qaeda fugitives and extradition of People's Mujahedden.

TEHRAN - Iran on Wednesday hailed a decision by Iraq's US-backed interim leaders to expel the Iranian armed opposition People's Mujahedeen, but denied suggestions of a secret deal involving the extradition of detained al-Qaeda members from the Islamic republic.

"The decision taken by the (Iraqi) Governing Council is very positive. We have been saying to the fighters not to be stubborn and to surrender, in which case we will show leniency," Intelligence Minister Ali Yunessi told reporters.

When asked if Iran could now hand over top members of al-Qaeda it says are in its custody, Yunessi said "there is no link".

"When it comes to terrorists, we do not do deals," added government spokesman Abdollah Ramazanzadeh.

"The judiciary will decide on what to do with them if they have not committed crimes against Iranians and if there are no Iranian complaints against them," he added, repeating statements that some detained al-Qaeda members here could be tried in Iranian courts.

Several Western diplomats have said Iran has been resisting handing over top-ranking al-Qaeda fugitives, complaining that the United States had failed to deal with the People's Mujahedeen after the invasion of Iraq.

"We have very good relations with the Governing Council, and we have had discussions (on the People's Mujahedeen) and this decision is the result," added Vice President Mohammed Ali Abtahi.

Iraq's interim Governing Council decided unanimously Tuesday to expel several thousand members of the People's Mujahedeen, branding the Iranian opposition force a "terrorist organisation".

The statement did not say where the people would be sent when they are expelled, but that its offices would be closed and its arms and financial resources confiscated.

The money would "be given to the compensation fund for victims of the former fascist regime" of Saddam Hussein.

The People's Mujahedeen, or Mujahedeen-e Khalq Organization (MKO) set up base in Iraq in 1986 and carried out regular cross-border raids in Iran, with which Iraq fought a bloody war between 1980 and 1988.

Several thousand Mujahedeen militiamen were disarmed by US forces following the fall of Baghdad in April and barred from undertaking military operations.

Around 4,000-5,000 people were grouped in Camp Ashraf, the main Mujahedeen base in Diyala province northeast of Baghdad, where they were screened for terror activities.

The US army announced in September that it had detained 3,856 members of the Mujahedeen.

The group kept out of the US-led war, although its bases were bombed by US warplanes. After lengthy negotiations, it struck a deal with the US-led coalition and withdrew to Camp Ashraf.
7 posted on 12/10/2003 4:01:35 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: All
Iran won't pay ransom for seized Western cyclists

Dec 10th, 2003

TEHRAN, Dec. 10 — Iran will not pay a ransom to drug-runners who have kidnapped three European cyclists in the rugged border region with Pakistan and Afghanistan, Interior Minister Abdolvahed Mousavi-Lari said on Wednesday.

Iranian officials said the kidnappers demanded five million euros ($6.1 mln) for one Irishman and two Germans seized on December 2 near the city of Zahedan, capital of Sistan-Baluchestan province.
When asked whether Iran had any intention of paying Mousavi-Lari replied: ''Not at all.''
Deputy Interior Minister Aliasghar Ahmadi said recent drug seizures had left the traffickers strapped for cash.
''This is the price we pay for the war on drugs,'' he said.
Ahmadi said telephone calls from the kidnappers could have come from abroad, suggesting a cross-border gangster network.
Drug-runners use Iran's porous eastern borders to traffic opium and heroin along the transit route to Europe.
Security officials say firefights have killed 17 border guards and 28 smugglers on the border in the last eight months.
Although the Iranians refuse to pay, rumours abound that Germany has paid ransoms for release of its citizens, fuelling speculation that German tourists could be lucrative targets.
Western media have named the Irish cyclist as Aidan James Leahy, a mechanic in his 30s living in London.
Most European countries advise their citizens Iran is safe country for travel, but urge caution on the borders.
Iran's leading tourism official said there was no need for alarm.
''This could happen in any country. It is completely natural. The hostage-taking of three people on our border areas is not a sign of insecurity. We will nonetheless press for their release,'' Taha Abd-e Khodai told the Farhang-e Ashti newspaper.
Kidnapping is rare in Iran which is trying to promote tourism as a way of diversifying its oil-dependent economy.
Ten Europeans were kidnapped in three separate incidents in 1999. The hostages were freed unharmed and three of the kidnappers publicly hanged in 2001.
8 posted on 12/10/2003 4:03:50 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: F14 Pilot
Why Iran might be wise to build the nuclear bomb
by Iqbal Siddiqui
Tuesday 09 December 2003

"Although they are classified as weapons of mass destruction, and the US makes much of their terrorist potential, history suggests that the real value of nuclear weapons is in having them as a deterrent. Certainly the Cold War was much cooler than it might have been had one of the two side had an advanage in terms of nuclear weapons."

The tortuous saga of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s inspection of Iran’s nuclear program finally reached a conclusion of sorts on November 25, when it was announced that the powers represented on the body and of the UN Security Council had agreed the text of a new resolution accepting the conclusions of an IAEA report on Iran’s nuclear program. The resolution is due to be considered at a meeting of the IAEA’s board of governors on November 26. Reports suggest, however, that a compromise has been reached by which any Iranian breaches of the resolution would be referred to the IAEA for consideration. The original draft apparently did not threaten any specific action in case of an Iranian breach of the resolution.

The controversy over the resolution had arisen a week earlier, when the IAEA finalised their report, based on months of investigations and talks with Iranian officials, concluding that although Iran had had a covert nuclear program for 18 years, there was no evidence of a nuclear weapons programme. This conclusion, based on intense scientific scrutiny of Iran’s nuclear facilities, was immediately rejected by the US, whose top arms control official, John Bolton, said on November 13 that the IAEA’s conclusions were "impossible to believe". Totally ignoring the detailed findings of the investigation, he went on to say that "a massive and covert Iranian effort to acquire sensitive nuclear capabilities only makes sense as part of a nuclear weapons program."

The US, which had originally demanded the investigation into Iran’s nuclear programme in order to put political pressure on Iran, had apparently been demanding that any suspected breaches referred to the UN Security Council, which it dominates. This possibility was strongly rejected by Iran, which knows that the US wants to manipulate and exploit the issue, as well as by Britain, France, Germany and other Western powers, nervous of the US deciding on war and forcing its will on the international community, as happened over Iraq. Iran has always insisted its nuclear programme is only for peaceful power-generation, but has been wary of the IAEA investigation, both because it represents a gross invasion of Iranian sovereignty, and because of the US’s proven ability to manipulate international organisations.

The question that arises, however, is whether it might be wiser for Iran to develop nuclear weapons. Although they are classified as weapons of mass destruction, and the US makes much of their terrorist potential, history suggests that the real value of nuclear weapons is in having them as a deterrent. Certainly the Cold War was much cooler than it might have been had one of the two side had an advanage in terms of nuclear weapons.

This, of course, is what the US is eager to avoid. At the moment it feels free to act as a global bully, exploiting its massive military and political hegemony to impose its will on international institutions, other western powers and other countries alike. The last thing it wants is for a country such as Iran to be able to defend itself, and therefore feel free to defy the US writ. It can be argued that not only did the US not attack Iraq because it had weapons of mass destruction, but in fact the US only attacked because Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction.

Although Iran is strong compared to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and other Muslim countries, its determination to maintain its independence and avoid being subverted, infiltrated or undermined by a hegemonic foreign power makes it a major target for an aggressive, out-of-control superpower like the US. Some people argue that Iran would be foolish to try to develop nuclear weapons under the beady eyes of the US and its subordinate international bodies. But we have seen, in the very recent and high-profile case of Iraq, that not developing weapons of mass destruction, and attempting to cooperate with the international bodies as far as possible, is no defence once the US decides it wants a war and is determined to find excuses for one. That is not, of course, to advocate that Iran should develop nuclear weapons; that is not for us to say. But certainly no-one should be surprised if, under the circumstances, some in Islamic Iran do feel that that might indeed be the wisest thing to do.
9 posted on 12/10/2003 4:32:13 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife ("Your joy is your sorrow unmasked." --- GIBRAN)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
Iran to sign nuclear protocol
Wed 10 December, 2003


Iran's government has given the go-ahead for the country to sign an international protocol binding it to tough, snap inspections of its nuclear facilities.

"The Foreign Ministry was given permission by the government to sign the Additional Protocol" to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Vice-President Mohammad Ali Abtahi told reporters on Wednesday after a weekly cabinet meeting.

Abtahi and government spokesman Abdollah Ramazanzadeh declined to say exactly when Iran would sign the protocol.

Iran agreed to sign up to tougher nuclear inspections in October after concerted international pressure for it to dispel U.S.-led concerns it may be developing nuclear arms.

Implementation of the protocol could still face other government hurdles, but these are widely expected to be cleared and Iran has promised to put it into effect.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) last month strongly condemned Iran for an 18-year cover-up of sensitive nuclear research and warned it that no further breaches of its non-proliferation obligations would be tolerated.

Iran, which has also agreed to suspend uranium enrichment in a confidence-building measure, insists its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful and not geared to weapons production.

Ramazanzadeh said the protocol would be signed in Vienna by Iran's representative to the IAEA.

After the signature, "the government will send it to parliament as a bill," he said.

If approved by lawmakers, the majority of whom are allies of President Mohammad Khatami, the bill would then need to be sent to the Guardian Council, a 12-member body dominated by conservative clerics who decide whether proposed legislation is in accordance with the constitution and Islamic Sharia law.

The Guardian Council has been a thorn in the side of Khatami and his allies in recent years, rejecting many reformist proposals. Several of its members spoke out strongly against signing up to tougher nuclear inspections earlier this year.

Nevertheless, dissenting voices among Iran's hardliners towards the protocol have been virtually absent in recent weeks and Iran has promised to implement the protocol even before it is ratified by parliament.

The European Union said on Monday it would wait for the IAEA's next report on Iran early next year before resuming talks with Tehran on a potentially lucrative trade pact.
10 posted on 12/10/2003 4:42:59 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife ("Your joy is your sorrow unmasked." --- GIBRAN)
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To: F14 Pilot
Freedom ~ Now!
11 posted on 12/10/2003 8:07:11 AM PST by blackie
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To: DoctorZIn
Egypt, Iran Presidents to Hold Landmark Meeting

December 10, 2003

CAIRO -- Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will meet Iranian President Mohammad Khatami in Geneva on Wednesday, the first time presidents from the two countries have met since the Iranian revolution in 1979, officials said.

Iran broke relations with Egypt after the 1979 Islamic revolution and denounced it for its peace moves with Israel, but ties are slowly on the mend. Egypt and Iran do not have full diplomatic links, but maintain representative offices in Tehran and Cairo.

''I can confirm the president will meet with Khatami in Geneva,'' said an Egyptian official who declined to be named. Mubarak and Khatami have never met, he added.

An Iranian official in Cairo said: ''This will be the first time since the revolution (in Iran) that the presidents of Iran and Egypt will have met face to face.''

Both presidents are in Geneva to attend the World Summit on the Information Society, which opens on Wednesday in the Swiss city. Mubarak will also meet Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom.

The Iranian official said the closest contact between Khatami and Mubarak of Egypt had been a telephone conversation two years ago.

The naming of a Tehran street after Islambouli, an Islamic radical who assassinated Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in 1981, has hampered Iran's efforts to mend fences with Egypt. Cairo has said if the street were renamed it would remove a major obstacle to better relations.
12 posted on 12/10/2003 8:31:31 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Ebadi Vows to Continue Struggle

December 10, 2003
The Billings Gazette
The Associated Press

OSLO, Norway - Iranian democracy activist Shirin Ebadi received the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize on Wednesday, saying it would inspire Iranians and women around the Muslim world to seek their rights and denouncing leaders who use Islam as a pretext for dictatorship.

Ebadi, the first Iranian and Muslim woman to win the Peace Prize, appeared at the award ceremony without the headscarf that Iran requires women to wear in public, in what many viewed as a silent expression of her battle for freedom.

An audience of hundreds, including members of the Norwegian royal family, rose to give the laureate a standing ovation after she was given the coveted Nobel gold medal and diploma.

The award "inspires me and millions of Iranians and nationals of Islamic states with the hope that our efforts, endeavors and struggles toward the realization of human rights and the establishment of democracy … enjoy the support, backing and solidarity of international civil society," Ebadi said a speech after receiving the $1.4 million award.

"Undoubtedly, my selection will be an inspiration to the masses of women striving to realize their rights, not only in Iran but throughout the region," she said, speaking in Farsi.

Ebadi also criticized the United States for using the war on terror as a pretext for violating human rights, pointing to the detention of hundreds of Muslim men at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, without access to lawyers.

The 56-year-old lawyer, author and activist, Iran's first female judge, was named the 2003 Nobel peace laureate for her work in fighting for democracy and the rights of women and children. In 2000, she was jailed for three weeks on charges of slandering government officials and banned from working as a lawyer after riling her nation's theocratic rulers.

Since winning the Nobel, Iranian reformers have looked to Ebadi to rally opposition to unelected hard-liners who oppose any change to the conservative Islamic system of running the country. Hard-liners have denounced her as a "Western mercenary" and she recently was given police bodyguards after receiving numerous death threats.

Last week, about 60 female hard-liners prevented Ebadi from making a speech at a women's university in Tehran.

Ahead of the ceremony outside Oslo City Hall, thousands of children sang for the laureate, with snow surrounding the building.

Ebadi, wearing a light-colored skirt and blouse, spoke during a solemn one-hour ceremony before an audience that included members of Ebadi's own family and Academy Award winning actors Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones. The ceremony also featured music performed live by an Iranian-Kurd folk music group.

"If the 21st Century wishes to free itself from the cycle of violence, acts of terror and war … there is no other way except by understanding and putting into practice every human right for all mankind regardless of race, gender, faith, nationality or social status," she said, according to an English translation of her speech.

The other 10 Nobel winners, including six Americans, were to receive the awards for medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and economics in Stockholm, Sweden. J.M. Coetzee, 63, was to receive the literature prize, the second South African to pick up the award after Nadine Gordimer in 1991.

In her acceptance speech, Ebadi said despotism was incompatible with Iranian and Islamic traditions.

"Some Muslims, under the pretext that democracy and human rights are not compatible with Islamic teachings and the traditional structure of Islamic societies, have justified despotic governments and continue to do so," Ebadi said.

She said the plight of women in Islamic states and the lack of freedom and democracy is caused by "the patriarchal and male dominated culture prevailing in these societies, not in Islam."

Ebadi also took the United States to task for its human rights record.

She warned that threats to human rights also come from countries who have used the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks as pretexts for limiting freedoms.

"Regulations restricting human rights and basic freedoms … have been justified and given legitimacy under the cloak of the war on terrorism," she said. She also criticized the world's failure to enforce U.S. resolutions calling for an end to Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The Nobel Prizes, first awarded in 1901, were created by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel in his will and are always presented on Dec. 10, the anniversary of his death in 1896.
13 posted on 12/10/2003 8:32:50 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Laurels for an Iranian Revolutionary

December 10, 2003
The Washington Post
Mehrangiz Kar

Today my friend of more than 25 years, Iranian human rights advocate Shirin Ebadi, is to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Predictably enough, when the honor for this remarkable woman was announced in October, forces that control her country's most powerful state organs were infuriated. "Awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to a defender of human rights in Iran is a political act that aims to interfere in Iran's internal affairs," they said.

Indeed, it is. For Iranians, especially women, who for 24 years have experienced the bitter consequences of the 1979 revolution, it is a welcome political message. It is a political act aimed at improving human rights in Iran, and one that many Iranians hope can help to bring about much-needed change.

How did Shirin Ebadi become the carrier of this message? It began, perhaps, when she and the country's other female judges were removed from the bench following the revolution. And for what offense? For the offense of being women.

Attacks on the lives, wealth and dignity of women as well as on non-Muslims and on the political opposition have been a continuing feature of the Iranian revolution, a revolution that supposedly was to bring democratic and accountable government.

When it began, Shirin was a revolutionary woman. She never imagined that human rights would be trampled in the name of Islam. She is a Muslim, one who places special importance on worship and who performs her religious duties. Among friends, I have never heard her criticize Islam as being in conflict with human rights. Nor did she believe that religious law could deprive women of the right to serve as judges.

I will never forget her angry, distraught look when she was removed from the bench. A deep depression threatened her. But before long, she became a mother, and soon she began her new work as a tireless defender of children's rights. She wrote a book on the subject and laid the foundation for establishment of the Association for the Support of Children's Rights. After receiving her license to practice law, she became active in the political arena. She fought violations of human rights by the prevailing judicial and political powers, and she took on the defense of political prisoners under the most dangerous political conditions.

When political disaster struck me and my family, Shirin put herself in danger to help us. She accepted my case when I was imprisoned for participating in the Berlin conference on Iran in 2000. When the judge insulted her and refused to admit her in court, she resigned in protest, later explaining her reasons in world tribunals. For a year in 2001, while my husband endured confinement in illegal jails, Shirin worked to learn of his condition. She sought to save us from the awful fear that comes from not knowing.

For years Shirin has worked for reform -- carefully but steadily. Over time, the movement of which she is a part has become an undeniable force in the political and social construct of the country. Today its political power has been recognized by the world's most important watchdog organizations, which have determined that Iran's fundamentalists are slowly losing the strength to confront this measured political force.

Today's award to Shirin is a signal that Iranians working for human rights will have the support of the world. It is indeed a type of political interference -- but it is without bombs, missiles or military occupation, and it is supported by the Iranian people.

Shirin's prize will help give Iranians the confidence to change the human rights situation in their country. She represents all those who have nonviolently strived and sacrificed over the years for human rights. Shirin's prize confirms that those who suffer for her cause in Iran are not alone -- even those in solitary confinement.

Moreover, it draws attention to the laws of Iran, under which even an accomplished woman such as Shirin Ebadi has little more than the rights of a slave. Women have little legal control over children. (With regard to custody, mothers can have custody of boys up to 2 years of age, and girls up to age 7.) They must have the written official permission of their husbands to leave the country. They must wear Islamic covering or risk jail. They live in danger of floggings, stonings and other violent punishments.

People such as Shirin Ebadi can be condemned to death in secret courts resembling Europe's Inquisition. Lawyers are not permitted to be present with their clients at the first interrogation, which is usually accompanied by torture. In many cases, lawyers cannot have access to the complete files of cases that are considered political.

I pray that Shirin Ebadi, as the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, can move forward to instill in Iranian girls the spirit of hope and the energy and drive to act against this assault on human rights. I hope the Iranian people will take courage from this prize and organize to build a powerful movement in Iran for human rights. We have no time to waste.

Mehrangiz Kar, a lawyer and writer, was imprisoned in Iran. She now lives in the United States. This article was translated by Dokhi Fassihian.
14 posted on 12/10/2003 8:33:45 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Voices From Inside Iran - Can the United States Aid the Iranian Opposition?

American Enterprise Institute
Dec 10, 2003

Iran remains the most influential religious and political laboratory in the Middle East. A coherent U.S. strategy toward Iran is increasingly necessary as dissent among the Iranian populace grows and evidence of both an aggressive nuclear weapons program and terrorist ties mounts. With international support, the Iranian opposition could bring about the end of the theocracy, but much of what we know about these opposition groups comes filtered through the media or intelligence analysts. Can the tyranny of the mullahs be ended, can the internal Iranian opposition take on the task, and should the United States assist opponents of the regime in any way?

On December 3, AEI hosted an unprecedented Iranian-American town hall meeting with leaders of the opposition inside Iran. A panel of experts and activists at AEI joined a panel of opposition leaders in Iran to discuss the future of Iranian leadership, possible paths of reform, and the potential American role in this process. Audience members at AEI will have the rare opportunity to ask opposition leaders direct questions. This meeting will be live and simultaneously broadcast via KRSI radio (Los Angeles) into Iran. This event was conducted almost entirely in Farsi, with simultaneous translation available for our Washington audience.

Danielle Pletka

Although Washington decision makers frequently speak about the strategic threat posed by the Iranian regime to the rest of the world, it is easy to overlook the situation inside Iran, where human rights and the most basic freedoms are denied. The Iranian dissidents have accomplished an enormous amount, but the question remains: What can the United States do to aid their cause? This event will provide an unprecedented opportunity for the Iranians to explain for themselves what they want from the United States. It is intended as an opportunity for everyone involved in this debate to explain and discuss their differing viewpoints; there has been no attempt to exclude anyone.

The American Enterprise Institute and KRSI radio have put forward a list of very specific questions for the Iranian participants-both those in Iran and those at AEI. They are:

What do Iranian oppositionists expect the United States to do, both for them and against the regime of the mullahs?

Should gradual or intermediate reform be pursued in Iran? If an intermediate path is chosen, how should it be implemented?

If theocracy is unacceptable, what form of government will best serve the future of Iran?

Regarding the notion of Islamic democracy: what is the relationship between Islam and democracy in Iran, and what does "Islamic democracy" mean to you?

Who presents the best potential for post-mullah leadership in Iran?

Will the Iran Diaspora play a role in the future of Iran or on the question of a transition from the mullahs?


Taghi Hamidi
Ms. Hamidi described herself as a housewife living in Iran.

The present regime in Iran cannot be reformed. President Khatami has had more than six years, but the situation has not improved. Consequently, the democracy activists do not trust him anymore. The Iranian people want a government that is free of religion-a democracy in which the people have the opportunity to choose their future for themselves. For this reason, it is not productive to look for a new "leader," since this will only lead to another dictatorship; instead, the Iranian people must learn to lead themselves. Activists expect the United States not to support the Islamic government of Iran and pay greater consideration to human rights in formulating policy. Every time President Bush expresses his support for the Iranian activists, it energizes us.

"Ms. Nargess"
Ms. Nargess addressed AEI from Iran.

The reform project in Iran has died. As Europe has learned, theocracy is incompatible with freedom or democracy. Religion is the connection between an individual and his or her God. If religion has a hand in the government, it will only damage both. It is especially important for Iranian women that the country adopts a secular government. The absence of leadership, however, has hurt the dissident movement. Reza Pahlavi can play an important role in this regard. The U.S. government can assist us by supporting opposition media, as well as coordinating groups working within the United States so that there is a single unified policy among them.

With regard to the question of Iran's nuclear program, there are more pressing priorities facing the activist movement. Before nuclear energy, the people of Iran need a safe, secure society without a government that is part of the axis of evil. It is possible to create such a government through civil resistance and without bloodshed.

"Professor in Tehran"
A professor at a university in Tehran addressed AEI.

The Iranian people have witnessed eight years of so-called "reforms." They could go on for eighty years, and it would not change the fundamental character of this regime, which has prevented freedom of expression for the past quarter-century. The form of the future Iranian government should be decided in a referendum. It does not matter, then, if it is ruled by a Pahlavi or Khomenei; what matters is that the people themselves will have control. The United States should spend some of its extraordinary wealth to help the activists in Iran. At present, the students do not even have cab fare to go back to their homes. The Iranian Diaspora should also lend financial support. In addition, the opposition radio should provide better programming-not just rants about "down with Iran," but rather, programs that are interesting and educational.

Shahrum Rahnema
Shahrum Rahnema fought in the Iran-Iraq war and was crippled during it.

It is by now clear that there is no more potential for reform in this regime. Religion is a personal affair that has nothing to do with politics. The opposition should synchronize its activities both inside and outside of Iran. Any attempt to choose a single leader will only fracture these groups, so it is better not to bother. The United States government should support Iranians emotionally and push the rest of the world to recognize and support us.

"Mr. Mohammed"
Mr. Mohammed described himself as a poet living in Iran.

Most people in Iran are still surprised by the death of the reform process, but the reality is that the ideological framework of the regime prevents reform. The only person who can lead is Reza Pahlavi. The United States should put pressure on the Iranian regime, including sanctions. After all, the people of Iran are already suffering under the "sanctions" on life imposed by the regime itself.

"Mr. Koorosh"
Mr. Koorosh described himself as an activist who had been in jail and only recently freed.

The biggest success of the activist movement so far has been to make people in Iran-regardless of background and class-realize that they can take part in the fight for a free society. Even a baker can participate in this movement.


Ramin Parham
Iran Institute for Democracy

Iran is the center of a civilization and the middle of a region of vital importance in world affairs. The instability in Iran, however, affects not only the Middle East, but also Europe and the United States. Likewise, if Iran can be fixed, it will help improve the political climate in the rest of the region. Iran has been systematically ravaged for twenty-five years: its culture, its monuments, and its museums have been destroyed. Despite billions of dollars in oil and gas revenue, this regime has done nothing to help the Iranian people; instead, they have used that wealth to impose a theocracy.

There is no one better than the people living inside Iran to prove that the present regime cannot be reformed. The mullahs believe that whatever they say and do is the will of God; how, then, is it possible to "reform" God? The United States should recognize that the people of Iran are trapped inside a dictatorship, much like the people of the Soviet Union or Yugoslavia once were. The Yugoslavs were not capable of liberating themselves without the help of the United States. The Bush administration should apply a "Milosevic" policy toward Teheran.

Aryo Pirouznia
Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran

There is no "dialogue of civilizations" inside Iran, but rather, a monologue against civilization. The voice of the Iranian people demonstrates that they are no longer afraid of the government. Having rightly branded the Iranian regime as part of the axis of evil, the U.S. government must now help the people in Iran achieve democracy and a secular state.

Throughout history, religion has proven incompatible with democracy. Religion cannot interfere with government, and ideological governments cannot be reformed. How can such a regime accept the rights of its own people, when some of those people are Christian and other faiths? The women of Iran, no matter how educated or intelligent, cannot become leaders under this regime.

Corruption is a problem among both hardliners and reformers in the Iranian government. While a prominent theocratic judge is caught selling girls to other Middle Eastern countries and then promoted, a prominent reformer is found creating shell companies on Mediterranean islands. In both cases, an oligarchic mafia plagues Iran.

With regard to the question of Iran's nuclear program, nuclear power is the right of every country, even if Iran has a great deal of oil and gas. Nuclear power provides an opportunity for Iran to join the modern world and engage with other countries in peaceful scientific exchange.

Roozbeh Farahanipour
Marze Por Gohar Party

The overwhelming majority of people living in Iran do not want the government they have. Even the bodyguards of President Khatami go out into the street to protest. Mr. Khatami has repeatedly said that the Iranian regime must respect the rule of law, but the problem isn't respect for the law-it's the law itself. The problem is an Islamic constitution. Iran must find unity not in ideology or religion, but in its nationality. Nothing else can be representative of all the diverse peoples living in Iran.

Manda Ervin
International Alliance of Iranian Women

In Iran today, there are fifty million young people who, due to the Islamic republic, who do not have a future in front of them. The European countries, which have spoken constantly about the importance of human rights, have only followed their own financial interests in Iran. The regime in Tehran has signed agreements with the Europeans that would never be tolerated in a democracy. Consequently, European governments have done their best to keep the mullahs in power. The Iranian government is a dictatorship that has less to do with ideology than the pursuit of profit. The most effective course for the United States is to support the people of Iran and human rights there.

AEI Research Assistant Vance Serchuk prepared this summary.
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15 posted on 12/10/2003 8:37:19 AM 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; ...
Voices From Inside Iran - Can the United States Aid the Iranian Opposition?

American Enterprise Institute
Dec 10, 2003
16 posted on 12/10/2003 8:38:28 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
I just received this from our friends at re: the recent demonstrations is Iran.

Dear Compatriot:

Following is a brief list of many of the slogans and chanting which occurred at the Anti-Regime protests over the past few days. Also, if you would like to join this thread in message board you can click here:

Original in farsi found at:

Deektator haya kon mamlekat ra raha kon= Have Shame you dictators and leave the nation alone

Death to dictator

Khamenei Pinoche, Iran will not be another Chille

Students are awake and they are sick of Sad Ali

Amel har jenayat e een regime Velayate= The cause of all crimes of position are the Velayat (Supreme Leader)

Jomhooreeye Eslami degar asr nadarad, rahbar bejoz khodkoshee rahe degar nadarad= The Islamic Republic has no more effect, the leader has no way out exept for suicide

This is your last chance/final warning, the students are ready for the uprising

Posters and tracts that were distributed had many slogans in favor of US intereference in Iran. A poster read "Establish democracy with American boots", another one read "foreign oppression is preferable to domestic oppression" . The cover of a student magazine carried by everyone stated "Establishing democracy and freedom has the highest value even if its through occupation and foreign interference".

A tract read: "Our main enemy is not the US, our main enemy is inside of our house".

Some students called out these slogans to the chagrin of other students who felt sad that the situation had become so desperate as a result of 25 years of dictatorship that some would prefer a foreign invasion.These slogans included: "Amercia is Victorious the Dictators will be destroyed"

Other slogans urged non-participation in the next elections and demanded Referendum
17 posted on 12/10/2003 8:48:08 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran tourists to be freed soon

10 December 2003

TEHERAN - The students' news agency ISNA reported late Tuesday that three European tourists and their Iranian guide soon will be freed after being kidnapped in southeastern Iran.

ISNA, whose news coverage of the incident has so far been reliable, quoted informed sources in the border province Sistan- Baluchistan as saying that the abducted tourists will be released within two or three days.

Deputy Interior Minister Ali-Asqar Ahmadi told the news agency IRNA earlier Tuesday that Iran will not make any compromise with the kidnappers.

"We will try to solve the case without payment of any ransom and without giving in to any compromise," Ahmadi said.

"We have mobilized all our forces to solve the case at the earliest term and send the tourists to their families back home in good health," he said, adding that Iran will not allow bandits to jeopardize the lives of foreigners who are guests in Iran.

Ahmadi called the kidnapping an act of retaliation by criminal gangs against the Iranian government's decisive combating of drug trafficking.

"This is the price we have to pay for the task," he said, adding that the amount of the ransom – EUR five million euro - is approximately the street value of narcotics confiscated from the gangs by police in recent months.

Police have yet to find any trace of the three tourists and the guide, who were kidnapped last week on a bicycle tour in southeast Iran, a government official said Tuesday.

The general director of the Sistan-Baluchistan governor's office, Gholam-Reza Javdan, told the news service Kar that the one Irish and two German tourists and the Iranian guide were abducted by a drug- trafficking ring.

He could give no details but said that police had seized 40 tons of drugs from traffickers within the last eight months, and that the ransom money might be an effort to compensate for that loss.

He added that police and security forces will continue their extensive search for the kidnapped persons in the border province which is notorious as transit route for drug trafficking from Afghanistan and Pakistan to European markets.

Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi confirmed the abductions and accused the tourists themselves of acting "irresponsibly" by ignoring local police while planning a bicycle tour in a well-known insecure area.

"We have, however, mobilized police and security forces to trace the kidnappers and bring the case to a swift end," Kharrazi told the news network Khabar.

The head of Iranian tourism, Mohammad Abd-Khodaie, told the student news agency ISNA Tuesday that Iran is still a very safe place for tourists, except for the border areas to Afghanistan and Pakistan, where the tourists were abducted.

The government hopes to grow tourism into a major, new income source for Iran, and reports on security problems could harm efforts to attract foreign travellers.

Informed sources said Tuesday in Zahedan that though police and secret service have kept the operations quite secret for security reasons, news has leaked out that all four hostages are men.

The tour guide was blamed by police for not sufficiently warning the three tourists of the risks in the area, sources said, adding that a swap of jailed members of the notorious Shahbakhsh gang, suspected in the abductions, could be possible in return for the hostages.
18 posted on 12/10/2003 8:50:13 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Is the Empire Striking Back?
By Glenn Harlan Reynolds

There's a summit on Internet governance going on in Geneva this week. Reader Micael O'Ronain is worried, and emails:

Control of the Internet is going to become an extremely critical issue over the next few years. The tyrants and bureaucrats are losing the control over the information dissemination channels they once enjoyed and they want it back. If the EUreaucrats and UN take over the web, control will be exercised under the guise of political correctness. Questioning the honesty of public officials will be classified as hate speech.

I'd like to dismiss this as paranoia, but I can't. (Though I should note that some European nations have actually been fighting the Internet-censorship effort.) The stakes here are very real. As this Reuters story notes, it's a "fight for control of the net," in which governments -- threatened by their steady loss of control over what their citizens read, say, and buy -- are trying to claw back some of the power that they've lost:

We are seeing a clear shift from the mid-90s when governments were told to stay away," said Michael Geist, a law professor at University of Ottawawho specialises in Internet governance issues. "Governments have shown they are very interested in getting involved on a domestic level and now they are looking at the international level."

One might think that this would be an obvious violation of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which provides:

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Though it hasn't been entirely silent, the human rights community has been less critical, so far, of efforts to censor the Internet than one might expect. Presumably, it has been kept too busy by criticism of the United States' activities in Guantanamoto address something as trivial as the empowerment of worldwide censorship. It's true, of course, that -- despite its plain language -- Article 19 has never been treated as truly binding. Like Bill Murray in Ghostbusters, the position has been "Actually, it's more of a guideline than a rule..." But there's something rather suspiciously convenient about that attitude.

The Geneva summit has already demonstrated its commitment to free expression by excluding Reporters Without Borders because of its criticism of the UN's hypocrisy on human rights:

Reporters Without Borders was told it was being banned from the 10-12 December summit in Genevain a letter from WSIS executive director Pierre Gagné on 3 September. This grotesque decision followed the organisation's suspension for a year from the UN Commission on human rights at the request of regimes that are the worst press freedom violators because it energetically condemned the absurd choice of a Libyan representative as the commission's chairperson.

National and transnational bureaucrats don't, as a rule, like free speech -- or, as the choice of Libyaindicates, human rights in general. And they don't like it that you can read Reporters Without Borders' criticism of them on the web, without needing permission from some government official. That's because free and open international communication is an enormous threat to bureaucracies, both national and transnational, that owe much of their power to their ability to keep people in the dark about what they're doing, and to pretend that voices criticizing their policies don't exist. The Internet, as I've written here before, has become a huge threat to the power of these folks, and it's expecting too much to think that they won't fight back. They are, and they will.

What's more, it's doubtful that we'll see this issue get the attention it deserves from Big Media. I hope I'm wrong about that, but given that the Internet is as big a threat to the power (and self-importance) of Big Media folks as it is to the power and self-importance of bureaucrats, I'm inclined to doubt that they'll be much help.

So what should we do? To begin with, we should use the power of the Internet to expose this sort of thing, and we should pressure Big Media to report on it, and pressure national governments, in democracies, to support free speech on the Internet. It's clear that they're afraid of us. Let's give them reason.

UPDATE: Hey, maybe it's already having an effect! After this column was written, but before it appeared, the current proposal for a U.N. takeover was setaside. But don't expect this to be more than a temporary retreat, and don't take your eye off of them. Eternal vigilance, and all that.
19 posted on 12/10/2003 10:24:09 AM 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; ...
Is the Empire Striking Back?

By Glenn Harlan Reynolds
20 posted on 12/10/2003 10:25:05 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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