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Iranian Alert -- December 13, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 12.13.2003 | DoctorZin

Posted on 12/13/2003 12:04:59 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 12/13/2003 12:05:00 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 12/13/2003 12:08:04 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran handed over 12 Kurdish workers to U.S. as ’Al-Qaeda’

12/12/2003 -
By Bryar Mariwani
London ( 12 December 2003:

The Iranian government has handed over 12 Kurds working in the Islamic Republic of Iran to the U.S. as "members of Al-Qaeda", reported the Kurdish weekly Hawlati.

Hawlati reported that according to its sources there are 12 Kurds serving as prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, the American maximum-security prison in Cuba.

The Kurds are from Sulemani, Halabja, Kalar and Pebaz in south Kurdistan. The Kurdish X-ray prisoners have sent letters to their families via the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Ministry of Human Rights.

Hawlati quoted Soran Mahmood, 22, from Pebaz, in one of his letters to his family saying, "We weren’t aware of anything. We were working in Iran and the Iranian government arrested us and handed us to the U.S. forces".

Soran’s brother, Ameer Mahmood told Hawalati, "We are now working through the Iraqi Foreign Ministry to free my brother."
3 posted on 12/13/2003 12:11:10 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran calls on EU to help release N-equipment

Daily Times

TEHRAN: Iran’s vice president has called on Britain, France and Germany to honour their words and help secure the release of nuclear equipment that Iran has bought.

Gholamreza Aghazadeh, who is also the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation, did not say on Friday where the Iranian imports were blocked, but it is known that Iran has purchased nuclear material from EU states in the past.

“The equipment that we purchased a long time ago - and there is no legal prohibition on its use - has been held up at the factory or customs of producing countries, and permission has not been issued to export it to Iran,” Aghazadeh told state television.

When the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany visited Iran on Oct. 21, they issued a statement saying that if Iran proved its nuclear programme is only for energy production, their governments would make it easier for Iran to get nuclear technology.

In return for the undertaking, Iran pledged to sign a protocol of the International Atomic Energy Agency providing for unfettered inspections of its nuclear sites and to suspend its uranium enrichment programme. Iran has suspended its enrichment programme and its government has approved the protocol, but not yet signed it.

“We met all the demands of the European ... countries. Now it is their turn to fulfill their promises,” Aghazadeh said.

“We seriously expect our European partners, who visited Iran, to help solve the problem and live up to their commitment of expanding nuclear cooperation for peaceful purposes with Iran,” Aghazadeh said.

Aghazadeh said that in the past Iran had been coy about its nuclear activities because it feared difficulties in importing equipment.

“We knew if we had announced the details of our totally peaceful nuclear activities, our legitimate activities would have been hampered as it has happened now,” he said.

The International Atomic Energy Agency censured Iran last month for failing to disclose certain aspects of its nuclear programme. It adopted a resolution that warned Iran to stick to the rules in order to allay fears that its programme may be used for building of nuclear weapons.

The United States strongly suspects Iran has a secret nuclear weapons programme. Iran insists its programme is only for the production of civilian energy.

Turning to the latest developments in the programme, Aghazadeh said Iran’s uranium conversion facility in the central city of Isfahan will go on stream “in the near future.”

“We have completed installation of equipment at uranium conversion facility and fuel rod production in Isfahan, and materials will be injected into the factory in the near future based on the authorization we’ve got from the IAEA,” he said on television.

He also said Iran planned to build a 40 Megawatt heavy-water reactor in Arak, central Iran, but he did not elaborate. —AP

Govt to protect Nobel winner: Khatami

PARIS: Iranian President Mohammad Khatami was quoted on Friday as saying he had told his government to ensure that Nobel peace prize-winning lawyer Shirin Ebadi could continue her work without disruption. Khatami told French newspaper Le Monde that Ebadi, the first Muslim woman to win the prize, had in the past encountered “a few problems”. He gave no details, but Ebadi has powerful foes. Despite her status as a hate-figure among Iran’s religious hardliners - she has received death threats and was assigned a bodyguard by the government - Ebadi argues passionately that Islam is not incompatible with human rights. “I have given very firm instructions that Mrs Ebadi be allowed to continue her work in appropriate conditions,” he told the newspaper in an interview for its Saturday edition. “I have instructed the interior and information ministries to ensure she can work in full safety.” He did not specify what sort of support she would get from his government. Ebadi, who received the 2003 award on Wednesday for her work to promote the rights of children and women, flouted Iran’s dress code for women by appearing at the prize ceremony without a headscarf — a move for which Khatami chided her. —Reuters
4 posted on 12/13/2003 12:12:35 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Modern Iranians are among the most pro-American in the Middle East.

5 posted on 12/13/2003 12:14:05 AM PST by Pro-Bush (Homeland Security + Tom Ridge = Open Borders --> Demand Change!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Foreign Pressure Can Help Iran's Reformists

Fri December 12, 2003 11:35 AM ET
By Paul Hughes
TEHRAN (Reuters)

The head of a reformist Islamic party banned by Iran's hard-line judiciary said Friday foreign pressure on issues such as human rights can help the cause of reformists in Iran.

Ebrahim Yazdi, 71, head of the Freedom Movement of Iran facing trial on charges including acting against state security, praised the European Union's policy of critical engagement with Iran compared with Washington's isolationist approach.

"Europeans put more emphasis on restoration of human rights in Iran," he told Reuters at his Tehran home. "I can benefit from foreign pressure, but I'm against foreign intervention."

The FMI, which is appealing the judiciary's decision in 2000 to outlaw it, is a religious nationalist group which advocates a separation of religion and politics.

Yazdi, who was a close aide to the Islamic revolution's founding father Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and served as foreign minister in the first post-revolutionary government, cited the award of the Nobel Peace prize to human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi as a good example of pressure.

Following her award Yazdi appointed Ebadi, who has also criticized U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, to his legal defense team.

Yazdi, who has attended 52 interrogation sessions since returning from medical treatment in the United States in April 2002, insists he should be tried in an ordinary criminal court with a jury and not by the Revolutionary Court where the judge also acts as interrogator and prosecutor.

"I want to make it harder for them to try me in a closed forum. I will increase the cost for them as much as possible. That's why I appointed Mrs Ebadi," he said.

After Ebadi joined his defense team the Revolutionary Court informed Yazdi his scheduled court appearance on December 13 had been postponed.

"It shows that they are responding to international pressure. This is very important because there was a time that they would say 'forget about it, who cares about them?"'

Yazdi said he and his colleagues in the FMI would register to stand in February's parliamentary elections despite the fact that they are almost certain to be barred by a hard-line vetting body.
Registration opens Saturday for candidates for the Feb. 20 vote, seen as a key test of flagging public support for moderate President Mohammad Khatami's reformist agenda.

Despite winning landslide presidential votes in 1997 and 2001 and gaining reformist control of parliament in a 2000 election, Khatami's popularity has slid due to his inability to overcome resistance to change from powerful conservatives.

One of the key conservative weapons against Khatami has been the Guardian Council, a 12-member body which can reject legislation deemed un-Islamic or unconstitutional and can also block candidates it says are unfit to run for office.

Yazdi said he would use the election build-up to bring attention to a number of key political demands such as releasing dozens of political prisoners from jail and lifting the bans on scores of liberal newspapers.

"It's election season and I'm going to use it ... Let them pay the price for rejecting my candidacy," he said.

With disillusionment running high over Khatami's ability to deliver real change many analysts predict a repeat of February's local council elections when a low voter turnout handed reformists a crushing election defeat.

But Yazdi, who said Iran's political deadlock between reformists and conservatives was reaching a "turning point," said reformists could prevail, even in a low turnout, provided that they presented a unified list of candidates.
6 posted on 12/13/2003 12:14:27 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
British Foreign Secretary says Iran agreement 'good illustration' of EU foreign policy


British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw suggested Thursday that the agreement with regard to Iran's nuclear programme was a good example of the future cooperation to achieve a common EU foreign policy as proposed by the UK, IRNA reported from London.

"What we are doing in Iran is following an agreed European foreign policy," Straw told domestic and foreign journalists at a briefing in London Thursday.

"It is a good illustration of where sovereign states are perfectly entitled to run their own separate foreign policy, as they are now, and will be under any conceivable constitutional treaty," he said.

The Foreign Secretary said, "EU can work better coming together with a common position, as we have done in the European Union and then have three of the major countries - France, Germany and ourselves - seeking to implement it."

"We have effectively agreed through the European Union, through the discussion we had in Tehran on October 20, and in the IAEA Board on November 26, an agenda in respect of the nuclear dossier," he said.

Straw said there were separate discussions with Iran over trade and cooperation and human rights and these are kept under review as EU foreign ministers did during their meeting in Brussels last Monday.

He declined to directly answer that it was the hope of the UK to assist Iran in developing its nuclear programme following Tehran signing the additional protocol of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Last week, Straw told the parliamentary Foreign Affairs Select Committee that he believed Iran would continue to meet its obligations on its civil nuclear programme following his visit to Tehran with his French and German counterparts.

He also confirmed that if Iran continued to cooperate with Europe, looked forward to supplying technology to the country's industry, including the civil nuclear programme, which was part of the agreement.
7 posted on 12/13/2003 12:16:02 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn; McGavin999; freedom44; nuconvert; Eala; AdmSmith; dixiechick2000; onyx; Pro-Bush; ...
We cannot acquiesce to a nuclear Iran

by Ephraim Sneh
13 December 2003
Media Monitors Network, The USA

"Within a few short years, this balance is liable to change dramatically. As early as 2004, Iran will apparently reach a "point of no return": that phase in its nuclear weapons development wherein it is no longer dependent on the external supply of technology and can construct a bomb using its own resources."

For decades the Middle East has been characterized by a reality of strategic parity. At one pole was the conventional military power of the Arab countries, and at the other was Israeli nuclear ambiguity or opacity. Israel has never revealed officially what it does at the Dimona nuclear research center. It allowed the Arabs to guess. Speculation deters.

But nuclear ambiguity was not created to counter Arab conventional power. In aggregate the Arab states can field a military coalition that comprises tanks, aircraft and artillery in quantities several-fold in excess of those of Israel. The supply of western arms to Arab countries has also reduced Israel's qualitative edge. To this we must add Israel's geographic dimensions, which render it an even more vulnerable state. All these have, as noted, been balanced by Israel's nuclear ambiguity.

Within a few short years, this balance is liable to change dramatically. As early as 2004, Iran will apparently reach a "point of no return": that phase in its nuclear weapons development wherein it is no longer dependent on the external supply of technology and can construct a bomb using its own resources. Iran already has operational missiles capable of delivering a nuclear bomb to a range of 1,300 kilometers; missiles with ranges of 2,000 and 5,000 kilometers are being developed.

The International Atomic Energy Agency recently confirmed that for 18 years Iran has been secretly developing nuclear weaponry. This program coincides with the strategy of the ayatollahs' regime as defined by Iranian Minister of Defense Ali Shamkhani in a speech on "Revolution Day" in August 1998: the Iranian strategic objective is to defend Muslim minorities and organizations anywhere on earth. In practical terms, Iranian nuclear missiles will enable the theocratic regime in Tehran to threaten any country that refuses to bow to its own domestic Islamic extremists. The immediate victims of Iranian nuclear blackmail will be the Gulf states, followed of course by Israel, and then by the rest of the world.

From Israel's standpoint, this means a daily existential threat. Most of Israel's economic and intellectual assets are located in a narrow coastal strip between Haifa Bay and Ashkelon. Two nuclear bombs could render Israel a burned-out third world state. Such a threat would seriously affect national morale, people's readiness to build their futures in the country, and the key decisions taken by Israeli governments. Even today the government of Israel is making decisions that it would previously never have considered, because tens of thousands of Iranian missiles and rockets are deployed in southern Lebanon, where they threaten a million and a quarter Israelis in the north of the country. Acquiescence in Lebanese pumping of the Hatzbani waters and de facto annexation of the Israeli village of Ghajar are examples of such decisions. Against this backdrop it is easy to imagine how an Iranian nuclear threat would affect decisionmaking in Jerusalem.

Clearly, too, an Iranian nuclear weapon will push Saudi Arabia to obtain similar weaponry to balance Iran's threat. The Saudi investment in the Pakistani nuclear project encompasses a Pakistani commitment to deliver to Saudi Arabia, upon the latter's request, a Pakistani nuclear warhead for mounting on the Chinese-made surface-to-surface missiles that the Saudis possess.

Only a campaign of massive and immediate political pressure, accompanied by tough economic sanctions and led by the United States, could delay the progress of the Iranian nuclear project. Iran's current strategy is thus to play for time, through deception and deceit.

If the US insists on not being deceived, and maintains pressure on the president of Russia to block the Russian assistance that is so necessary to the Iranians, then there is a chance that the pace of development will be slowed. Any delay is for the good. Israel must act at the diplomatic level to ensure that the US deploys all of its political and economic power in this regard.

If this does not happen, and Iran approaches the point of no return, Israel will confront several tough alternatives. Acquiescing in the possession of nuclear weapons by those who vow to erase Israel from the map is not one of those options.

Ephraim Sneh, a member of Knesset (Labor Party) and a former member of the Israeli Cabinet, is currently chairman of the Knesset Subcommittee on Defense Planning and Policy.
8 posted on 12/13/2003 2:03:42 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: F14 Pilot
Thanks for posting this commentary by Mr. Sneh.
It is a wake-up call.

9 posted on 12/13/2003 2:06:39 AM PST by Cindy
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To: DoctorZIn
The Mullahs' Nukes

December 12, 2003
The Wall Street Journal
Review & Outlook

Iraq was a failure of the United Nations arms-control system, but Iran could very easily be its last hurrah. If the mullahs follow North Korea in going nuclear under the not-so-watchful eye of the International Atomic Energy Agency, that body will have breathed its last.

Yet IAEA chief Mohammed ElBaradei -- who sees 18 years of deception as "no evidence" of a weapons program -- has given no indication he understands what's at stake. Neither has the vast majority of IAEA member states -- especially those most committed to the concept of "multilateralism." The IAEA board recently voted to respond to Iran's lies (and lies about prior lies) with barely a slap on the wrist. Now Tehran appears to be stalling even on the recent European-brokered inspections deal.

Recall that last year Iran was found to harbor two previously undeclared nuclear sites -- an underground uranium enrichment plant at Natanz, and a heavy-water facility at Arak. Iran then called that enrichment program indigenous, only to blame foreign suppliers when traces of weapons-grade material were detected.

Yet the IAEA has decided not to refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council for sanction. At the behest of America's ostensible allies in Europe, including Britain (only Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan supported strong language), no referral was even threatened. If this is as far as the agency is prepared to go following inarguable violations of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, then it might as well close up shop.

A large part of the problem here is the European Union, which has long pursued a petroleum-driven policy euphemistically known as "constructive engagement" with Iran. The mullahs, in turn, have made it clear that European appeasement will be rewarded. "Iran will not treat countries that stood beside America and others equally ... in big economic projects," a senior Iranian official said recently. He added that any suspension of uranium enrichment would be "voluntary and temporary."

We recognize that there's no easy solution here. It would be one thing if the cautious EU "multilateral" approach was simply a matter of making the best of a bad situation, and based on a sober appreciation of the aims of the Iranian atomic program. But the U.N. conclusion that there is "no evidence" of an arms program -- which Russia has taken as a green light to continue assistance with Iran's reactors -- beggars belief.

There is, after all, the matter of the deception. There is also the fact that oil and gas rich Iran has little need for peaceful atomic energy. And there is the fact that Iran continues to extend the range of its Shahab missile, which is little threat if not armed with an unconventional warhead.

There are also the mullahs' own words. "If a day comes when the world of Islam is duly equipped with the arms Israel has in possession, the strategy of colonialism would face a stalemate because application of an atomic bomb would not leave anything in Israel but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world," the powerful former president, Hashemi Rafsanjani, said just two years ago.

Notice that he's talking about thwarting "colonialism," not just Israel, and recall that Iran regards the U.S. as the "Great Satan." The Iranian nuclear program is intended most directly as a deterrent to the U.S. ability to deploy forces to protect its friends and interests in the Middle East. Yet this is no reason for European complacency either. Any hopes they have of influencing future developments in the Middle East and beyond would also likewise be subject to the veto of a nuclear-armed Iran.

The Bush Administration has, if anything, been remarkably restrained on all of this, bowing to European desires. U.S. Undersecretary of State for Arms Control John Bolton put things with his usual clarity earlier this month when he said that "The United States believes that the longstanding, massive and covert Iranian effort to acquire sensitive nuclear capabilities makes sense only as part of a nuclear weapons program." But so far it has accepted the U.N. refusal to act.

For starters, the Administration could do more to convince the Europeans that their entire multilateral edifice is at stake. Plans should be made now for an appropriate response if IAEA inspectors cannot give Iran a clean bill of health in several months time. More important, the U.S. could get serious in its rhetoric about regime change for Iran, as well as about covert aid to Iranian dissidents. The ultimate problem in Iran is the current radical and anti-American regime.

None of this may stop a determined government in Iran. Its nuclear program appears to be both well developed and well concealed. But only the threat of Security Council or Western action has any chance of keeping the mullahs tethered to a serious inspections system. If the U.N. and Europe fail in Iran as they failed in Iraq, they have to understand that the only other recourse for the U.S. or Israel will be the use of force.
10 posted on 12/13/2003 7:09:07 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranian Rebels Urge Pentagon Not to Let Iraq Expel Them

December 12, 2003
The New York Times
Douglas Jehl

WASHINGTON -- Representatives of an Iranian opposition group are appealing to the Pentagon to overrule an order this week by the Iraqi Governing Council that would expel its members from Iraq by the end of the year, possibly to Iran.

The group, the People's Mujahedeen, or Mujahedeen Khalq, maintained armed camps in Iraq under Saddam Hussein. It is listed by the United States as a terrorist organization, but it has strong supporters in the Pentagon, who see it as an important pressure point on the Iranian government.

The request was sent on Thursday to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and shown to The New York Times on Friday by someone sympathetic to the group. It is being cast by some in the organization as a last-ditch effort to avoid an expulsion that could put its members into the hands of the Tehran government.

Iran has quietly been seeking to persuade the Bush administration to agree to hand over the group, administration officials said. Tehran has relayed word through intermediaries that it may move in turn to expel members of Al Qaeda that it says it has in custody. But the Bush administration has rejected the idea of such an exchange.

The group's status in Iraq since the American invasion has remained murky, with several thousand of its members confined to a sprawling camp outside Baghdad under American military supervision as part of a cease-fire agreement reached in April.

None of the group's members have been detained by the United States, and they have been permitted to keep some small weapons and to continue broadcasts into Iran.

Bush administration officials have defended that treatment as appropriate to the group's status as a terrorist organization. But the State Department spokesman, Richard A. Boucher, has refused to say whether the administration supports the order by the Iraqi Governing Council, whose authority to act unilaterally remains uncertain. Mr. Boucher has said only that American officials will be "discussing the matter" with their Iraqi counterparts.

In appealing to the Pentagon, the Mujahedeen are clearly reaching out to factions within the administration that have shown the most sympathy for the group, which has carried out many acts of sabotage and assassination inside Iran and which the Iranian government regards as its most powerful external foe.

In a letter sent Thursday to Mr. Rumsfeld, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz and others, a lawyer for the group argued that the United States had an obligation under the Geneva Convention as the occupying power in Iraq to prevent the organization's members from being expelled.

Any expulsion, particularly to Iran, "would constitute a violation of the laws of war and an egregious breach of international human rights law," said the letter from Marc Hezelin, a Swiss lawyer representing the group.

Larry Di Rita, a spokesman for Mr. Rumsfeld, declined to comment on Friday, saying he did not know whether the defense secretary had received Mr. Hezelin's letter.

Iran has hailed the decision to expel the group by the end of the year. The order did not specify a destination, but the Iranian statement suggested that Tehran believed that it would be given custody of the fighters.

The People's Mujahedeen was listed as a terrorist organization by the United States during the Clinton administration, which blamed it for the killing of Americans in Iran in the 1970's.

Last summer, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell raised the pressure by outlawing several of the group's affiliates in the United States, while France moved even more harshly in June by arresting more than 150 members in raids outside Paris.

American warplanes bombed the Mujahedeen's camps in Iraq during the war. But the group, which operated with the support of the Hussein government, did not take part in attacks against United States forces.

In the months since, the Pentagon and the State Department have squabbled about how the organization should be treated, with the Pentagon winning an initial battle that led to a negotiated agreement rather than an unconditional surrender.

The State Department has succeeded in blocking any reconsideration of the group's status as a terrorist organization, an option being pressed by some at the Pentagon to add to pressure on Iran.

But senior officials say the administation has been united in rejecting a proposal floated during the summer by Iran for an exchange of Mujahedeen members for Qaeda fighters whom Iran said it was willing to surrender to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other Arab countries.

At a State Department briefing this week, Mr. Boucher said that all countries had an obligation to act against terrorism, and that the obligation was "not dependent on some two-way deal."
11 posted on 12/13/2003 7:11:34 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Top Scholar Contradicts Khatami

December 13, 2003
Bahrain Tribune

TEHRAN -- A top Iranian conservative scholar yesterday called on Muslims not to embrace Western democracy, just a day after reformist President Mohammad Khatami gave it an unusually frank endorsement.

“They are lying. Do not be fooled by them. Leave democracy alone,” Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, who heads the powerful Guardians Council legislative vetting body, said in a Friday prayer sermon.

“Islam calls for justice, and this is what we understand,” he added, before citing Muslim Algeria as an example of the failure of democracy.

“So do not forget: curse and death to America, since they do not believe in anything except their own interests,” said the scholar, who also sits on the Expediency Council, another powerful conservative-run oversight body.

Jannati’s comments came just a day after Khatami, a reformist scholar, made an address to a seminar on religious tolerance in Geneva.

“I think democracy is the only alternative. We can take it as Muslims,” Khatami said. “We must accept this has been materialised in the West, we must accept this as Muslims.”

The embattled president, who has seen his reform agenda blocked by hardline institutions here like the Guardians and Expediency Councils, warned the alternative to democracy was authoritarian and despotic rule.
12 posted on 12/13/2003 7:14:32 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Yemen 'Foils UK Embassy Bomb Plot'

December 13, 2003
Neville Dean

An al-Qa'ida plot to blow up the British Embassy in Yemen was foiled just weeks before the bombings in Istanbul, it was reported today.

Twenty militants confessed to planning to crash a truck containing explosives through the embassy gates in Sanaa, the BBC said.

Security officials said the would-be bombers were receiving instructions from al-Qa'ida operatives in Iran, according to the report.

The planned attack on the embassy, which is on a busy street, would have been devastating if the plotters had not been captured three months ago, the BBC said.

The militants drove around the building, videoing every angle, looking for weak points.

"We are very conscious that we are a high priority target here in Yemen," British Ambassador Frances Guy told the BBC.

"We try our best on a daily basis to review our security and improve it as much as we can."

Concrete blocks have been placed outside the embassy to stop truck bombs. The ambassador also travels with armed bodyguards.

The plot was thwarted by Yemeni intelligence officers before the would-be bombers could get hold of explosives, the report said.

The British Consulate in Istanbul was destroyed in a bomb attack last month.

Twelve people died in the blast, including consul general Roger Short.

The nearby headquarters of the HSBC bank was also targeted, and the total number of deaths in both attacks was more than 60.
13 posted on 12/13/2003 7:17:11 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran to sign nuclear protocol in days 2003-12-13 20:23:16

TEHRAN, Dec. 13 (Xinhuanet)

Iran will sign an additional protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in the next few days, Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi said on Saturday.

Asked when Iran would sign the additional protocol during a press conference with visiting Indian Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha Kharazi said "in the next few days we will sign it."

On Wednesday, Iranian Vice-President Mohammad Ali Abtahi said after a cabinet meeting that the government has given permission to the Foreign Ministry to sign the protocol.

Iran agreed with visiting British, French and German foreign ministers on Oct. 21 to sign up the protocol, accept more strict inspections to its nuclear sites, show full transparency of its nuclear program and suspend uranium enrichment.

In accordance with the agreement, Tehran handed overdocumentation of its past and present nuclear activities toInternational Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Oct. 24 and hassuspended its uranium enrichment activities since Nov. 9.

Hassan Rowhani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, said last week that the government would authorize its representative to IAEA to sign the protocol.

An Iranian government spokesman said on Wednesday that after thesignature, the government would send the protocol to parliament forapproval. And if it is approved, it would still need to be approvedby the Guardian Council, a body dominated by conservative clerics.Enditem
14 posted on 12/13/2003 7:21:58 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: F14 Pilot
Acquiescing in the possession of nuclear weapons by those who vow to erase Israel from the map is not one of those options.

Peace through strength, bump.

15 posted on 12/13/2003 8:31:07 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife ("Your joy is your sorrow unmasked." --- GIBRAN)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
Iran Candidates Register for Elections

Iran's leading pro-reform party on Saturday warned it might boycott next year's parliamentary elections if its candidates are disqualified.

The warning came in a press conference by Mohammad Reza Khatami, a younger brother of President Mohammad Khatami, hours after prospective candidates began registering for the Feb. 20 elections.

The elections are seen as a crucial test of the reform movement in Iran. Liberals might lose control of the parliament because of popular disenchantment with their failure to deliver reform.

Candidates have to go through a screening process run by the Guardian Council, a conservative body that has vowed to disqualify many of the current reformist lawmakers.

One of the tests they must pass is "loyalty to the principle of Velayat-e-Faqih," or rule by Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The supreme leader sides with conservatives in the power struggle with reformists that has bedeviled Iranian politics in recent years.

Mohammad Reza Khatami, who leads the Islamic Iran Participation Front, said that if the Guardian Council blocks the front's candidates, "we may avoid fielding a list of candidates."

However, Khatami said his party would not support a voter boycott on polling day.

Khatami, who is also a deputy speaker of parliament, questioned the council's ability to screen candidates, saying: "Even the people of a small town understand (what is in their interests) better than the 12-member Guardian Council."

"People should be given various options to choose from. That (hard-liners) say they know what is best for the country when they disqualify candidates with certain views - this is dictatorship and unacceptable," Khatami said.

In the last legislative elections, in February 2000, reformists gained control of the parliament for the first time since 1979. Hard-liners responded by launching a campaign against liberals, in which at least 50 reformist publications were banned and dozens of journalists and political activists were detained and prosecuted.
16 posted on 12/13/2003 10:26:35 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife ("Your joy is your sorrow unmasked." --- GIBRAN)
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To: F14 Pilot
Freedom ~ Now ~ Bump!
17 posted on 12/13/2003 11:43:43 AM PST by blackie
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To: DoctorZIn; F14 Pilot; All
FOX "TEHRAN, Iran  — Iran will sign an agreement in the next few days allowing unfettered inspection of its nuclear facilities, Iran's foreign minister said Saturday." (Saturday, December 13, 2003,2933,105685,00.html
18 posted on 12/13/2003 12:58:30 PM PST by Cindy
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To: DoctorZIn
Jannati is a member of the 12-man Guardian Council which vets candidates for office.
Biography Shaykh Jannaati was born in Tash, a city in Shaahroud, in 1932. He began to learn the Holy Qur'an and Persian literature when he was only six years old. At the age of eleven, he entered the Islamic Seminary of Shaahroud, where he finished his studies at the highest levels of Fiqh (jurisprudence) and Usool (principles) offered by the seminary.

He left his hometown for Mashhad when he was 18 in order to continue his studies. In Mashad, he attended the lectures of Ayatollah Milaani. After that, he returned to Qom and attended the lectures of Ayatollah Boroujerdi and Imam Khumayni.

Al-Jannaati, thereafter, migrated to Najaf, and for 25 years he benefited from the knowledge of great and eminent scholars such as: Ayatollah Sayyid Mahmoud Shaahroudi, Hajj Sayyid Muhsin Al-Hakeem, Hajj Sayyid Abdul Haadi Shiraazi, Hajj Shaykh Husayn Al-Hilli, Hajj Mirza Muhammad Baqir Zanjaani, and Hajj Sayyid Abul Qaasim Khou'i. In Najaf while teaching advanced levels of the seminary studies he compiled many books over an eleven-year period. Short after the victory of the Islamic Revolution he returned to Iran to live in Qom. Today, he is teaching the Kharij stage (seminary lessons) in Fiqh and Usool.

Al-Jannaati has written more than (350) articles on subjects like Fiqh, Usool, Qur'anic sciences, Tafseer and Hadith (tradition). Many of his articles have been published in various magazines inside and outside of Iran. He also delivered many lectures and attends many international conferences, and educational/cultural congresses.
19 posted on 12/13/2003 1:21:08 PM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn

Iran reformists may boycott poll

By Jim Muir
BBC Tehran correspondent

The main reformist party in Iran has said it may boycott the country's general election if too many of its members are barred from standing.
The registration of candidates began on Saturday, but leaders of the Participation Front fear their candidates could be vetoed.

The unelected Guardian Council has previously disqualified candidates without explanation.

Widespread public disillusionment could result in a low turnout on 20 February.

Mohammad Reza Khatami leads the reformist Participation Front
The current parliament, or maglis, is dominated by reformists who have won all major national elections since 1997, but they have been able to achieve little in office because of obstruction by entrenched hardliners.

A poor turnout could result in a victory by default for the conservatives.

One of the pieces of legislation that the reformists tried to push through would have changed the way the election procedures work.

They wanted to curb the role of the Guardian Council, a highly conservative unelected body. But the bill was vetoed by that very same council, so the first hurdle for all of the would-be candidates is still a rigorous vetting by the council.

Public disillusionment

The first question hanging over this election is therefore how many of the reformist candidates will survive.

Hopefuls have a week to register and their eligibility should be decided within the following 10 days.

The Participation Front, the biggest of the reformist factions which currently dominate parliament, has said it will take part in the race, but it reserves the right to pull out if too many of its entrants are disqualified.

At present much of the betting is that the reformists will do poorly at the polls even if their candidates get that far.

They have got little to show in practical terms for their years in office, largely because their efforts to bring about change have been blocked by an entrenched hardline minority.

Many of the millions of Iranians who voted overwhelmingly for the reformists are now bitterly disillusioned. Some have said they will not bother to vote.

That is what happened in city council elections last February where the turnout in Tehran was less than 12% and the conservatives won by default.

But other considerations come into play in a national election. There are no foregone conclusions in Iranian politics.

20 posted on 12/13/2003 3:07:56 PM PST by freedom44
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