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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
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: 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
Bush Signs Syria Accountability Act

December 13, 2003
The Jerusalem Post
Janine Zacharia

Syria said the signing Friday of the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act imposing sanctions on the country was the work of the "the partisans of Israel in the American Congress."

In the first official reaction by the state owned SANA news agency, Syria said the Jewish lobby in Washington "worked actively for the adoption of this law."

"These partisans of Israel want more than anything for Syria to end its support for the resistance of the Palestinian people," the statement added.

US President George W. Bush on Friday signed into law the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003, which could lead to the imposition of fresh sanctions on Damascus unless the administration can certify changes in Syrian behavior.

"President Bush needs to impose sanctions on Damascus immediately because Syria continues to destabilize the Middle East and support some of the deadliest terrorist groups in the world. By signing this legislation, President Bush has committed the United States to fighting terrorism in Syria," said Rep. Eliot Engel (D-New York), author of the Syria Accountability Act.

The Act directs the president to ban US sales of weaponry and dual-use items - items that could be used for civilian or military purpose - unless Syria abandons its support for terrorism, removes its troops from Lebanon, stops the flow of terrorists into Iraq, and abandons its pursuit of non-conventional weapons.

The Act also calls on the president to impose two or more sanctions from a list of six: an export ban; ban on US businesses operating in Syria; restrictions on Syrian diplomats in the US; exclusion of Syrian-owned aircraft from US airspace; a reduction of diplomatic contacts with Syria; or freezing of Syrian assets in the US.

The president, however, can waive this obligation to impose sanctions if he deems it in US national security interests.

In a statement issued by the White House Friday, Bush said, "the Act is intended to strengthen the ability of the United States to conduct an effective foreign policy."

"My approval of the Act does not constitute my adoption of the various statements of policy in the Act as U.S. foreign policy," he added.

Bush suggested that he would be inclined to use the waiver.

"Section 5 of the Act purports to impose upon the President requirements to take certain actions against Syria unless the President either determines and certifies to the Congress that the Government of Syria has taken specific actions, or determines that it is in the national security interest of the United States to waive such requirements and reports the reasons for that determination to the Congress.

A law cannot burden or infringe the President's exercise of a core constitutional power by attaching conditions precedent to the use of that power," he said.

The legislation, in Section 6, requires that an executive branch official inform Congress about various subjects involving Syria and terrorism. Here to, Bush suggested the White House could limit the White House's reporting to Congress.

"The executive branch shall construe section 6 in a manner consistent with the President's constitutional authority to withhold information the disclosure of which could impair foreign relations, national security, the deliberative processes of the Executive, or the performance of the Executive's constitutional duties," he said.

The White House has been frustrated by Syria's failure to prohibit the flow of jihadists into Iraq and for its continued support of Palestinian terrorist groups. But Syria has also provided valuable intelligence related to al-Qaida, officials have said, and therefore are keen to keep a channel of communication with Syria open.

News Agencies contributed to this report
21 posted on 12/13/2003 7:14:58 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
America Adrift

December 11, 2003
The Jerusalem Post
Danielle Pletka

On January 29, 2002 in his famous "axis of evil" State of the Union address, President George W. Bush condemned Iraq, Iran and North Korea: "States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world. By seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and growing danger. They could provide these arms to terrorists, giving them the means to match their hatred. They could attack our allies or attempt to blackmail the United States. In any of these cases, the price of indifference would be catastrophic."

Bush made a persuasive case, and the American people backed him as he moved to remove Saddam Hussein from power. But since that momentous day in April when Saddam's statue was toppled in Firdos Square in Baghdad, US policy on Iraq, Iran and North Korea has been dangerously adrift. And if the president is to be believed, the implications of that policy drift could well be catastrophic.

In Iraq, it may have appeared that job No. 1 was military action to decapitate the regime. Washington has since learned that removing Saddam was the easy part; figuring out what to put in his place was considerably harder. Dithering, changes in "plan" and a reluctance to trust Iraqis has sent dangerous signals throughout the Middle East. If Iraq is to be the cornerstone of a new region, it had best start looking like something worth building upon, and soon.

Still, as far as defeating the axis of evil is concerned, Iraq remains, relatively speaking, the sole success story. The Iranian regime remains intact to this day, with few signs that Bush's rhetoric has resulted in US policy initiatives. To the contrary, Bush's National Security Council has allowed individual agencies of the US government to pursue separate - and opposing - policies on Iran that have succeeded only in confusing the world as to America's intentions.

Throughout much of 2003, the Department of Defense has quietly explored options in destabilizing the Iranian regime, including several "controversial" meetings with Iranian dissidents and other opposition figures. Meanwhile, the Department of State has quietly reauthorized back-channel chats between its envoys and regime officials. For a brief moment, the US government was able to unite behind the idea that the International Atomic Energy Agency would be an engine for multilateral action to isolate Iran. But when the Europeans effectively scuttled that effort, it was back to business as usual.

The Iranians, correctly sensing that the United States has little intention of actually doing anything to bring about the downfall of the regime, have cemented a warm relationship with al-Qaida (allowing the coordination of terrorist acts from Iranian soil). They have continued to sponsor Hizbullah, Hamas and other terrorist groups, and inked a deal with the IAEA that may well grant sufficient time for the mullahs to develop a nuclear weapon. At the same time, the regime is stirring up trouble for the US in Iraq.

FURTHER IN the annals of "grave and growing danger" is the situation in North Korea. Unfettered by international inspectors or other outside pressure, North Korean nuclear and missile programs now operate with impunity inside the hermit kingdom. Six-party talks designed to pressure North Korea into disarmament have transformed into a mechanism to pressure the United States into conciliatory gestures toward the Kim Jong Il regime.

Inside the US government, agencies continue to interpret vague guidelines as to the direction of North Korea policy. Following the diktat not to negotiate, some officials inside the Department of State instead use Japan and South Korea to negotiate on Washington's behalf. Thus, they were able last weekend to achieve a proposal on joint talks for China to present to North Korea. Others inside State and at the Pentagon flail angrily at the proponents of "engagement," insisting they are flouting the president's vow not to negotiate.

No one is really undercutting policy, because there is no policy. Asked point-blank whether US policy toward Iran requires regime change, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee "No, Sir." Then what does it require? After months of insisting that North Korea must "verifiably" dismantle its nuclear program before Washington could contemplate assistance, a senior State Department official announced in September that Pyongyang "would not have to do everything" to get aid.

And in Iraq, the US first opposed a governing council, then supported it but opposed a provisional government; opposed elections prior to a constitution and now has reversed itself. Do we or do we not wish Iraqis to govern themselves?

Grumbling in Washington about a policy vacuum has reached a crescendo in recent months. Liberals have been encouraged by setbacks in Iraq to criticize Bush's "ideological" foreign policy. Meanwhile, ideologues in sympathy with Bush have grown increasingly angry over the administration's failure to implement Bush's rhetorical vision. The bottom line is that neither hawks nor doves inside the administration have offered any genuine policy options. Engaging bad guys may not amount to policy, but neither does isolating them. They must be isolated with a purpose in mind.

In fact, what the president seemed to indicate in his clarion call was that regimes that develop weapons of mass destruction and arm terrorists cannot be allowed to continue. That requires that they stop or be removed. Iraq has stopped, but Iran and North Korea continue apace.

In the case of both Iran and North Korea, there are multiple policy options for ratcheting up pressure on the regimes that do not require military action. In the case of North Korea, a redeployment of US troops on the Korean peninsula, a decision to freely admit North Korean refugees into the US, or a project to contemplate the rearmament of Japan would focus the attention of Pyongyang and its supporters in Beijing.

In the case of Iran, the Iranian people are begging for US moral, diplomatic and economic support to organize against their government. Far from Mossadegh redux, what the Iranian people want most is a clear decision from the US government that the Teheran regime is beyond the pale, neither a partner in back-channel chats nor a candidate for rehabilitation or reform.

Iraq should be the lesson that guides the Bush administration as it considers the remaining parts of the axis. Indecision breeds confusion in official Washington. As many in this administration have asserted trenchantly, it was the weakness of the Clinton administration throughout the 1990s that encouraged al-Qaida to believe we could be attacked and defeated. Let's not go there again.

The writer is vice president for foreign and defense policy at the American Enterprise Institute.
22 posted on 12/13/2003 7:16:12 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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25 posted on 12/13/2003 11:56:47 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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