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Iranian Alert -- December 16, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 12.16.2003 | DoctorZin

Posted on 12/16/2003 1:00:26 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 12/16/2003 1:00:26 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
2 posted on 12/16/2003 1:03:03 AM PST by Fledermaus (Fascists, Totalitarians, Baathists, Communists, Socialists, Democrats - what's the difference?)
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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”

3 posted on 12/16/2003 1:03:29 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
I hope so and thank you for keeping us informed about Iran.

4 posted on 12/16/2003 1:06:13 AM PST by Steve Van Doorn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran's clerics under pressure
By Stefan Smith in Tehran
Tuesday, 16 December , 2003, 09:30

Iran's clerical rulers are nearing the 25th anniversary of their Islamic revolution under greater pressure than ever from "Great Satan" the United States, as they watch another neighbour swamped with American troops and feel the heat over its nuclear programme.

It was a nerve-wracking 2003 for Iran's leaders: the Saddam Hussein regime collapsed in just three weeks under overwhelming US firepower, leaving many here to fear Iran - now effectively surrounded by American forces - could be the next "axis of evil" member to come under attack.

In addition, the Islamic republic, founded in February 1979, found itself accused of the same offences used to justify the US invasion of Iraq; developing weapons of mass destruction, sponsoring terrorists undermining the Middle East peace process, and harbouring Al-Qaeda.

And on the home front, the regime did battle with more student pro-democracy protests - with which the United States expressed its solidarity - although any internal threat to its grip on power was stemmed by some 3,000 arrests and a tough judicial crackdown of dissidents and radical reformers.

Iran could not escape the spotlight on its human rights record given its heavy-handed quelling of the protests, the killing in custody of Canadian-Iranian photographer Zahra Kazemi and with human rights activist Shirin Ebadi taking the Nobel Peace Prize.

Ebadi, aged 56 and the first Muslim woman and first Iranian to win the prize, is a lawyer whose campaigning for the rights of women, children and dissidents has enraged hardliners here.

Even embattled President Mohammad Khatami was obliged to distance himself from her when he dismissed her achievement as "not important". Conservative/reformist tensions also continued to boil, with the position of pro-reform Khatami and his pledge to overhaul the way Iran is run appearing weaker than ever in the face of opposition from powerful but unelected hardliners controlling the judiciary and legislative oversight bodies.

Frustrations with the political in-fighting and stagnant economy were visible in February when during municipal elections, voter turnout was at an all-time low and conservatives triumphed in major cities.

Analysts say reformers risk the same treatment during parliamentary elections in early 2004, with another no-show by voters presenting the regime with a crisis of legitimacy.

All the pressure added up to give the impression that it was a regime under siege - at home and overseas. As the United States prepared to invade Iraq, the government allocated a special budget to the fight against US "plots".

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei eventually classed the attack on Iraq as a "war against Islam". But given Iran's long hatred of Saddam - whose "imposed war" in the 1980s cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iranians - diplomats reported some top secret cooperation between Iran and the United States.

But those behind-the-scenes contacts in Geneva failed to make any headway. And they soon broke down amid US allegations that Iran was meddling in post-war Iraq and - more seriously - harbouring al-Qaeda fugitives linked to the May suicide bombings in Riyadh.

Iran eventually said it was holding some top al-Qaeda members, but refused to hand them over to Washington. Diplomats said they include bin Laden's son, Saad, Al-Qaeda's spokesman, Sulaiman Abu Gaith, and its number three, Saif al-Adel.

The heaviest pressure was over Iran's bid to generate nuclear energy, described by Iran as crucial for meeting future energy needs but seen by many as a convenient cover for nuclear weapons development.

Israel was also alarmed, especially given that Iran had completed and deployed its Shahab-3 missile capable of hitting the Jewish state and paraded here with the banner "Israel should be wiped off the map".

After US lobbying, the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in September gave Iran a deadline to comply with nuclear inspections, cease uranium enrichment and come clean on its activities - or else be referred to the UN Security Council.

It was a time of tough decision-making here. Pragmatists in the regime urged compliance, with hardliners calling for the country to take the path of North Korea and pull out of the Non-Proliferation Treaty altogether.

Eventually in October, with Britain, France and Germany sending their foreign ministers here to secure a deal, Iran agreed to take the path of diplomacy and head off the threat of possible UN sanctions, or even US or Israeli strikes.

The IAEA then condemned Iran for 18 years of covert nuclear activities, although a report said there was no clear evidence the country has been developing nuclear arms. With Washington dismissing that conclusion as "simply too impossible to believe" and Israel warning the point of no return in the alleged Iran nuclear programme may be reached within a year, Iran's woes appear to be far from over.

But Iranian diplomacy did kick into action to bolster its position following the US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, another of Iran's neighbours. It courted and officially recognised the US-appointed Iraqi Governing Council, hosted European ministers, UN rights envoys and sought to repair and boost ties with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Algeria and Egypt.

And with the US facing daily attacks in Iraq, analysts say that Iran may - for the time being at least - have some breathing space.
5 posted on 12/16/2003 1:08:59 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
BUMP! I appreciate your perseverance Doctor!
6 posted on 12/16/2003 1:09:19 AM PST by Pro-Bush (Homeland Security + Tom Ridge = Open Borders --> Demand Change!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran 'doing its best' on terror

From CNN Bureau Chief Al Goodman
Tuesday, December 16, 2003 Posted: 0013 GMT ( 8:13 AM HKT)

MADRID, Spain (CNN) -- Iran's foreign minister says his country is doing all it can to battle terrorism.

Asked in a news conference whether fighters in Iran are crossing the border to Iraq, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said, "We certainly will do our best to not allow any terrorist elements to use Iranian territory.

"Of course, we have a long border. There have been cases that we have arrested people trying to do so, and some have been sent back to Kurdish authorities" in Iraq.

Kharrazi, who talked to reporters after meeting with Ana Palacio, Spain's Foreign Minister, said the danger from the border went both ways.

"Some elements from Iraq have entered Iran to engage in activities against Iranian interests," he said. "Therefore, we are under threat also. There is no reason why we should not do our best to control this."

Kharrazi said Iranians were happy to hear about Saturday's capture of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. "He is a criminal," Kharrazi said. "Many people are victims of his atrocities."

Though the capture may result in a reduction in the number of attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq, "I do not think it will stop totally -- because of other elements who are not supporters of Saddam who are in Iraq against the occupiers," he said.

"The best way [to stop the attacks] would be to hand over authority to the Iraqi people," he added.

With Kharrazi by her side, Palacio said the international community was expecting Iran to sign the protocol on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, suspend its enrichment of uranium and allow inspectors into the country.

"We expect an exquisite compliance" with the terms sought by the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, she said.
7 posted on 12/16/2003 1:10:45 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iraqi press: Nation 'swimming in sunshine'
Elsewhere in Arab world media laments 'humiliation' of capture

Posted: December 16, 2003
1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2003

Iraqi newspapers generally reacted with joy and relief to Saddam Hussein's capture by U.S. forces, but commentators elsewhere in the region spoke of humiliation brought upon the Arab world by the former dictator's submission to American soliders.

Saddam Hussein in U.S. custody

The leading independent Iraqi daily, Al-Zaman, in an editorial titled "The Fall of Saddam is Complete and the Sun has Returned to Shine on Iraq," said the captured former dictator proved to be a "coward who would not defend himself."

The roundup of media reaction, including translations, was performed by the Washington, D.C.-based Middle East Media Research Institute, or MEMRI, which now has an office in Baghdad.

Al Zaman said, "The capture of Saddam is another window of hope for a clean Iraq, swimming in sunshine and far away from a dark past crowded by the dungeons of the secret services in which hundred of thousands of Iraqis have disappeared because of a word or a whisper or an opposing view."

Beneath the headline "Saddam is Finished and the News has Shaken the World," MEMRI said the daily Al-Sabah described the population's joy, reflected in the distribution of sweets, the firing of guns in the air and the ululation of women at the demise of the dictator "who has excelled in war games, mass killing, destruction, and the increase [in the number] of orphans and widows throughout this injured land, whose time has come to restore its health and bid farewell to the Republic of Fear."

A second editorial in Al-Sabah, by Sa'ad Hadi, titled "An End Suitable for Criminals," stated: "This is how the beast finally appeared in his true form which he has hidden for 35 years – a form of someone mentally deranged, weak, and a liar who knows nothing but the art of deceit and betrayal."

"This is how the 'Prince of Darkness' was picked up from his hole without resistance," Hadi wrote. "If there was another person in his place, he would have deserved sympathy, but a criminal like him does not deserve but a long moment of silence to remember his crimes and wickedness, and what he has left behind in pain and agony in the hearts of the Iraqis."

'The blessed editorial'

In a piece called "The Blessed Editorial," Abd Al-Bassit Al-Naqqash, editor in chief of the daily Al-'Ahd Al-Jadid, writes: "The day of the despot … we have said that it was coming and have no doubt about it. And there shall be no escape for the judgment of Allah on the wicked. Justice has caught the bloodsucker, the despot who has humiliated his people and relatives!!!"

"This is the clearest and most beautiful morning in my country, Mesopotamia," he wrote. "Be joyful, oh my brothers, be joyful oh my brothers, for this is great news for Iraq."

In the daily Al-Nahdha, Jalal Al-Masheta writes under the title "What is After the Red Dawn?" that "the hyena, which always pretended to be a peacock, has finally fallen into the trap."

"Saddam Hussein, who has written his name on the stones of Babylon and turned his statutes into new idols and coveted Iraq as a personal property while [forcing] some of its people across the border at one time and at other times … forcing them into mass graves or burning in the fire of wars, has fallen," Al-Masheta said.

The daily Baghdad, associated with the National Reconciliation Movement in Iraq, writes in an editorial: "This has been one of the great scenes of the century. The written word says that Saddam Hussein has fallen into the cage of justice. The celebration was the firing of guns as well as the shedding of tears, and the unannounced cries from the mouths of thousands of victims. …"

The editorial asked: "Have you remembered, Mr. President, the moment of lighting the huge Havana cigar? One Cuban cigar you used to burn and spread its smoke and illusions over those who are with you; those who were carrying ribbons and medals of fear and deceit. It [the price of the cigar] would have been enough to feed a whole family for a month."

"Peace, Tolerance and National Reconciliation" is the heading of an editorial in the daily Al-Ta'akhi, associated with the Kurdish Democratic Party of Jalal Talabani, which says: "The time has come to control emotions and return to tranquility, logic and contemplation. The despotic regime that has harmed the people's present and future has been sealed."

The paper said Saddam's capture "will weaken the front [opposing the Governing Council] and will strengthen the Governing Council and all the supporters of the new era. It will raise the credit of the government of the American president, particularly in the presidential battle, and will also raise the credit of British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the rest of the allies."

Al-Jazeera tried to 'kill the joy'

The Iraqi daily Al-'Ahd Al-Jadid, said the Arabic-language news channel Al-Jazeera "apparently tried [Sunday] night to kill the joy of the Iraqis by televising meetings with the horn-blowers and beneficiaries of Saddam and his gang. It has also tried to incite others by reporting on the subsequent attacks by the resistance following the arrest of the head of the pyramid and forgot that Saddam was the head of a sword who surrendered quietly."

The Iraqi daily also reported the Museum of Saddam's Gifts will be the site of the court established to try people, such as Saddam, for crimes against humanity. The hall, formerly a repository of Saddam's gifts, is so tall Iraqis call it "the clock tower."

'Defeat for Arab propaganda'

Elsewhere in the Arabic press, the London Arabic-language daily Al-Hayat's headline read "He Didn't Resist, He Has No Regrets."

Deputy Editor Ghassan Charbal wrote: "Where is the pistol they said was his old comrade and last friend? Where is the last bullet he said he was saving for himself, so his enemies would not see him in captivity? … The story could have been different had his finger come near the trigger and had the barrel been put to his temple, and had the Americans gotten a corpse, not a prisoner."

Chabel said the "legend is always greater than the man and becomes a story without a bullet. A corpse would not have been pardoned for his deeds, but it would at least have helped claim that he paid the price. … The master of the bullets was parsimonious on one bullet to his temple – despite his great generosity in all things regarding bullets for others. …"

Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed, editor of the London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, wrote: "The night Saddam was arrested was another night of defeat for Arab propaganda that has become accustomed to spreading illusions while basing itself on ghosts, certain that none will discover the truth. …"

Al-Rashed said Saddam's "appearance angered all those misled by the illusions, because he did not wear an explosive belt, did not rely on a submachine gun and did not swallow cyanide capsules to commit suicide."

"All he possessed was a telephone and a bundle of dollars with which he ruled what remained of Iraq from a small pit, as he had from his luxury palace in Baghdad – with one hand ordering killing, with the other hand buying loyalty," Al-Rashed wrote. "His end is the end of one of the false heroes that fill the pages of our history. Because we know that when one lie falls, another is born, we anticipate a new chapter of fraud."

Arab 'humiliation'

The editor of the Egyptian government daily Al-Ahram, Ibrahim Nafi' took a different approach, however.

"The sight of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein at the time of his arrest … is painful and shocking. No Arab would wish this upon the Arab president of Iraq, one of the most important Arab countries," he wrote.

"Many Iraqis hoped that his rule would be ended by the Iraqis, but Saddam rejected all calls to him by the Arab forces, primarily by Egypt, to prevent the danger lying in wait for Iraq and the Arabs," said Nafi. "He entered into an ill-thought-out conflict with the international forces that seek to rule the world. … Now he must be tried in an Iraqi court, not an American court."

Abdallah Nasser Al-Fawzan wrote in the Saudi daily Al-Watan: "In all seriousness, I feel a powerful desire to now pen a long, warm eulogy for Saddam's two sons Uday and Qusay," who were killed in a firefight with American soldiers earlier this year after refusing to give up, thinking "their father would not surrender to the Americans, whatever the cost, and that it would be shameful and humiliating if they did so, they resisted the Americans, to their deaths."

"We all saw the pictures," Al-Fawzan wrote, "Saddam was miserable, and I, as an Arab, felt humiliation. But my other feelings against Saddam were stronger. He was a paper knight."

Columnist Suleiman Al-'Aqili wrote in Al-Watan: This is "a golden opportunity to instill realism into Arab policy and close the door on all military adventures and political slogans that tickle the feelings of the masses without taking consequences into account."

George Hadad wrote in the Jordanian daily Al-Dustour: "The theory of 'kill the shepherd, and the sheep will scatter' in which tyrants and villains have always believed, as have sheep thieves and wolves, is a theory that has been proven a failure by history."

"Iraq is occupied by the international mafias, the warmongers, the oil gangs and world Zionism, and all the media and all the [channels] of distortion in the world, headed by the Arab oil-satellite channels, cannot change this fact and present invasion and aggression as liberation," he said. "Iraq is Iraq, before Saddam Hussein and after Saddam Hussein. …"

Haddad said the "arrest of President Hussein will perhaps benefit the American president in his television appearances and media fireworks, but ultimately it will be the most important lesson that the Iraqis teach the world, and whoever survives will see it!"

In an editorial, the Palestinian daily Al-Quds said: "This event reflects the fragility of the Arab regimes, from which broad sectors of the peoples have dissociated themselves. This sight [of the arrest of] Saddam Hussein … will remain among the painful sights of history that attest to the humiliation and atrophy to which the Arab nation has sunk as a result of the disagreements, [internal] struggles and pursuit of [private] interests. …"

"The saddest and most disgraceful thing in all things concerning Saddam Hussein and his regime is that toppling the regime and arresting its head was carried out by the occupation forces," Al-Quds said. "Had this operation been carried out by the Iraqis, it would not have caused such a flurry of emotions. Thus, every [incident] of resistance in Iraq will constitute a natural response to the desecration of Iraqi sovereignty. …"

Conspiracy theories

MEMRI said while most newspapers reported the act of Saddam's capture in detail, "conspiracy theories" are beginning to emerge.

Abd Al-Bari Atwan, editor in chief of Al-Quds Al-Arabi and a loyalist of Saddam Hussein, wrote the arrest "without resistance, hiding in a small and filthy hole, was most likely a theater and a finely woven hatching operation."

In its editorial, the Saudi daily Al-Riyadh suggested a conspiracy was at work: "It can be thought that Saddam was in the hands of the Americans, and that his public exposure was a show produced with the aim of neutralizing the explosive situation, and so that it would be possible to ease the emotional and military pressure by the American forces and give new momentum to the American president just when he needs this kind of event. …"

The Saudi daily Okaz theorizes Saddam's second wife, Samira Al-Shabandar, who lives in Lebanon under a false identity with Saddam's only surviving son, Ali, might have been the source of information which led to Saddam's arrest.

"It is possible," says the paper, that "for delivering the head of her husband she will receive the award of $25 million," offered by the U.S. for information leading to Saddam's arrest or killing.

An interview with Al-Shabandar in the London Sunday Times on Sunday indicated Saddam had been in touch with her weekly. Okaz suspects the phone calls were monitored by the U.S. forces and led to Saddam's arrest.

The Iraqi daily Al-Zaman quotes a Palestinian in the West Bank who was certain Saddam was anticipating the arrest because of an agreement with the Americans reached through intermediaries.

The paper interviewed someone from Tikrit, Saddam's home town, who was certain the former dictator was "drugged" before his arrest because "he is a lion and will remain a lion."
8 posted on 12/16/2003 1:29:06 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran to Upgrade Missiles

December 16, 2003
Bahrain Tribune

Iran will upgrade its medium-range Shahab-3 missiles that analysts say can hit Israel and US bases in the Gulf rather than develop a new, longer range weapon, a senior official was quoted as saying yestedray.

Acting Defence Minister Hossein Dehghan denied reports Iran intended to build a new missile, Shahab-4, with a 2000-km range, but said the Shahab-3 would be improved.

“We will be optimising our Shahab-3 instead,” he was quoted as saying in the hardline Siyasat-e Rouz newspaper.

It was not immediately clear whether “optimising” meant improving the weapon’s accuracy, range or its firepower. Defence Ministry officials were not immediately available for comment.

Tehran test-fired the Shahab-3 in June. It is thought capable of carrying a warhead of more than a tonne about 1,300km.

Analysts viewed June’s test as sabre-rattling while international pressure mounted on Iran to prove claims that its nuclear programme was peaceful.

The missile was later deployed by the country’s elite Revolutionary Guards.
Six Shahab-3 missiles were paraded in Tehran in September carrying banners which read: “We will wipe Israel from the map”.
9 posted on 12/16/2003 1:39:31 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: F14 Pilot
Today: December 16, 2003

Israeli Says Iran Top Terrorism Sponsor

Iran is the world's "No. 1 terror nation" and is plotting relentlessly to attack Israeli targets, the head of Israel's Shin Bet security service said Tuesday, calling on Western nations to restrain Tehran.

Israel has in the past accused Iran of sponsoring militant groups that attack Israel, but the remarks by the Shin Bet chief, Avi Dichter, appeared particularly harsh.

Addressing a conference on national security, Dichter said Iran is sponsoring terrorism and developing non-conventional weapons, and poses a strategic threat.

"It is clear that because of terror, Iran presents a strategic threat to Israel. And if you connect the other abilities that Iran is developing to this, the threat is even bigger," he said, in an apparent reference to Tehran's nuclear program.

"Iran is the No. 1 terror nation in the world," Dichter said.

"Iran acts against Israel and Israeli interests around the world," he said, citing the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people and wounded more than 200 in Argentina's deadliest terror attack.

Some Argentine and Jewish leaders allege the bombing is linked to the Lebanon-based Islamic terrorist group Hezbollah and the Iranian government, charges Tehran has repeatedly denied.

Israel's army chief of staff, Moshe Yaalon, described Iran as a "serious threat to Israel." He cited "its development of surface-to-surface missiles and its attempts in recent years to acquire nuclear capabilities. even if it has run into difficulties, due to international pressure."

Last month, the International Atomic Energy Agency, a U.N. group, censured Iran for not declaring certain aspects of its nuclear activities and warned the country to abide by the rules in the future to assure the world it is not making nuclear weapons. Iran has said it will sign a protocol allowing IAEA inspectors access to any nuclear site but has yet to do so.

Dichter said Iran is trying to attack Israel not only by sponsoring Hezbollah and Palestinian militants in the West Bank and Gaza, but also by recruiting Israel's Arab citizens.

"The third way, which is possibly the most dangerous for us, is that Iran has marked the Israeli Arabs as a potential fifth column for them to exploit," Dichter said.

He said the United States, the European Union and Russia need to restrain Iran.
11 posted on 12/16/2003 5:22:50 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife ("Your joy is your sorrow unmasked." --- GIBRAN)
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To: DoctorZIn
Saddam's Capture Leads to Arrest of Top Insurgents

December 16, 2003
Bahrain Tribune

ADWAR, Iraq -- Saddam Hussein’s capture is reaping dividends for the US military, providing intelligence that led to the capture of several top regime figures in Baghdad, a US General said yesterday.

A member of the Iraqi Governing Council said Saddam could be put on trial in the next few weeks and face execution if convicted, though another member said it could take four to six months to begin the trial.

“My name is Saddam Hussein,” the fallen Iraqi leader told US troops in English as they pulled him out of a dank hole on Saturday night that had become his home. “I am the president of Iraq and I want to negotiate.” US Special Forces replied: “Regards from President Bush.” The exchange was recounted one day after Saddam’s capture by Maj. Bryan Reed, operations officer for the 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division.

Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Saddam was not helping.

“He has not been cooperative in terms of talking or anything like that,” Rumsfeld told CBS’ 60 Minutes on Sunday. A day earlier the top US commander in Iraq said Saddam had been talkative and cooperative.

In Baghdad, US Army Brig. Gen. Mark Hertling of the 1st Armored Division said he hoped Saddam will clear up allegations that he had chemical and biological weapons and a nuclear weapons programme.

“I certainly think some of that will come out,” Hertling said in an interview. “I think we’ll get some significant intelligence over the next couple of days.” Since Saddam’s capture, US Army teams from the 1st Armored Division have captured one high-ranking former regime figure – who has yet to be named – and that prisoner has given up a few others, Hertling said. All the men are currently being interrogated and more raids are expected, Hertling said.

The intelligence that led the military to the men came from the first transcript of Saddam’s initial interrogation, and a briefcase of documents Saddam carried with him at the time of his arrest, Hertling said.

“We’ve already gleaned intelligence value from his capture,” Hertling said. “We’ve already been able to capture a couple of key individuals here in Baghdad. We’ve completely confirmed one of the cells. It’s putting the pieces together and it’s connecting the dots. It has already helped us significantly in Baghdad.” Hertling said: “I’m sure he was giving some guidance to some key figures in this insurgency.”

Saddam’s exact whereabouts yesterday were unclear. US officials said he had been moved to a secure location and remains in Iraq, Hertling said.

In Tikrit, police broke up a pro-Saddam protest by hundreds of university students who chanted: “With our blood and with our souls, we will defend you, Saddam.” There were no reports of injuries.

Saddam Hussein could be tried “in the next few weeks” and could be executed if convicted, said Mouwafak Al Rabii, a Shiite member of the Iraqi Governing Council said yesterday. Other council members said a trial would likely begin later.

“We will get sovereignty on the 30th of June, and I can tell you, he could be executed on the 1st of July.” said Al Rabii, a longtime human rights activist.
It was not known immediately if anyone has a claim to Saddam money, though US forces found him after receiving information from an Iraqi – a member of a family close to Saddam, Odierno said.

Within three hours of the tip, troops were at a farm in Adwar, 16km from Saddam’s home town of Tikrit, where they found Saddam in a hole.

His capture leaves 13 figures at large from the list of 55 most-wanted regime officials; the highest ranking is Izzat Ibrahim Al Douri, a close Saddam aide who US officials say may be directly organizing resistance.

In Baghdad, radio stations played jubilant music and some bus passengers shouted, “They got Saddam! They got Saddam!” But some residents of Adwar recalled fondly how Saddam used to swim in the nearby Tigris River and bemoaned the capture of the leader who donated generously to area residents.

“This is bad news to all Iraqis,” said Ammar Zidan, 21.

- KUWAIT CITY: Prime Minister Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah said yesterday Kuwait was not interested in pressing for the extradition of Saddam Hussein, who ordered Iraqi troops to occupy the emirate in 1990.

“What do we need him for a trial here for?” the premier told reporters in response to a question on whether Kuwait will demand to try Saddam in the Gulf.
“The (Iraqi) Governing Council will look into this matter,” Shaikh Sabah said after attending a parliament session.

The Kuwaiti cabinet in October formed a special committee to account for war crimes committed by former Iraqi officials during Baghdad’s seven-month occupation of the country.

- GAZA: About 200 diehard Palestinian supporters of Saddam Hussein burnt US and Israeli flags yesterday to protest against his capture by US troops while Yasser Arafat kept silent.

Most Palestinians were no champions of Saddam’s brutal dictatorship but all saw him as the only consistent Arab patron of their independence struggle against Israel and many were in shock after his meek surrender.

Chinese-made dolls of Saddam dressed like a boxer had been bestsellers in Gaza but yesterday sales were no longer brisk.

“He is no longer fit for boxing,” one salesman said.

Activists of the pro-Saddam Arab Liberation Front and the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a spin-off of Arafat’s Fatah faction, marched in Gaza’s Khan Younis refugee camp, firing assault rifles into the air and setting US and Israeli flags alight.

They held up old posters of a sleek, imperious Saddam contrasting with the grubby unkempt fugitive found hiding in a hole in the ground by US troops, and waved Iraqi flags. “The Americans may have captured you but you captured our hearts,” organiser said through loudspeakers.
12 posted on 12/16/2003 7:33:18 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Shin Bet: Iran World's No. 1 Terror State

December 16, 2003

In a rare public appearance, the chief of the Shin Bet security service Tuesday called Iran the "number one terror state in the world," and urged Israel to build the West Bank fence as quickly as possible, calling it "critical" to Israel's security.

Addressing the Herzliya Conference on Israeli security and strength, Shin Bet chief Avi Dichter also warned of a potential "strategic threat" of Jewish terrorists, which he said dreamed of removing the mosques on Jerusalem's Temple Mount or Noble Sanctuary, a step which he said could turn the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in to a confrontation pitting the world's 13 million Jews against one billion Muslims.

Acknowledging that security forces had failed to provide Israelis the level of security they deserve, Dichter said it was critical to speed the construction of the security fence according to the route defined by the government, despite the enclaves of Palestinian villagers who may be cut of by the fence. "Fence now, enclaves later," Dichter said.

"We must say this honestly: the defense establishment, and, within it, the General Security Service [Shin Bet] have not provided the people of Israel the security 'suit' that they deserve."

Dichter said that it was clear to Yasser Arafat that "he's the only one in the Palestinian Authority who is capable of uniting the security forces in order to act against terrorism and to succeed."

Instead, Dichter said, Arafat betrayed the trust placed in him by Israel and other nations, both during the years of the Oslo process and the last three years of conflict. "His men expected to receive orders from him to act to end terrorism, but he choose to look on from the grandstand

“In Judea and Samaria, it is critical to speed the building of the fence and the Jerusalem envelope,” even if the funds come from small collection boxes in every home, marked “The Fence for the Existence of Israel,” a play on the Hebrew for the Jewish National Fund.

He said the existing sections of the fence had already proven that the barrier saves lives. Dichter cited the Islamic Jihad cell that set out recently to attack a school in the northern town of Yokneam. Instead of a direct route of 27 kilometers, the terrorists were forced to take a circuitous route by taxi, tractor and auto, that resulted in their capture. “I can state that if there had been no fence, we would be holding this conference after a horrible attack in Yokneam.”

As for the issue of the enclaves of Palestinian villages created by the route, “the reservations over this Arab village or that should be postponed. In other words, ‘Fence now, enclaves later.'”

Iran as world's number one terror state

“Iran may be defined, sharply and clearly, as the number one terror state in the world," Dichter said. "The Iranians are acting against Israel in a number of channels in order to strike both at Israel and at Israeli interests throughout the world," he said, citing the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people and wounded more than 200 in Argentina's deadliest terror attack.

Argentine and Jewish leaders have in the past linked the bombing to the Lebanon-based Islamic terrorist group Hezbollah and the Iranian government, charges Tehran has repeatedly denied.

Dichter said Iran is trying to attack Israel not only by sponsoring Hezbollah and Palestinian militants in the West Bank and Gaza, but also by recruiting Israel's Arab citizens. "The third way, which is possibly the most dangerous for us, is that Iran has marked the Israeli Arabs as a potential fifth column for them to exploit," Dichter said.

Detailing the Israeli losses of the Palestinian uprising, Dichter said that suicide bombings had constituted only 2 percent of the total number of attacks, but had caused 55 of the Israeli killed and wounded.

Over the past 10 weeks, Israeli security forces have intercepted more than 20 suicide bombers en route to Israel, he said, three of them in the last 10 days.

His remarks were carried live on national radio, which said it was the first time his voice had been heard in a broadcast medium. Until recently, the identity of the directors of the Shin Bet and of its international counterpart, the Mossad intelligence agency, were a state secret.

"The terror state of Iran contributes to heavy terrorism against Israel, both independently and in its support of Palestinian terrorism by the Islamic Jihad, the Tanzim [affiliated with Yasser Arafat's Fatah], and Hamas."

Dichter said the involvement of Israeli Arabs, and in particular of the Arabs of East Jerusalem, to Palestinian terror, is "worrisome and very harmful." A total of 120 East Jerusalem Arabs have been involved in terrorism, "70 percent of them murderers," he said.

He also singled the Palestinian Authority out as a factor in terrorism "The leaders of the Palestinian Authority, with Arafat at their head, largely in their not fighting terror." According to Dichter, throughout the intifada, Arafat has refrained from ordering his security forces to foil terror

"It's clear to Arafat that he's the only one in the Palestinian Authority who is capable of uniting the security forces in order to act against terrorism and to succeed."

Instead, Arafat has violated the trust placed in him by Israel and other nations, both during the years of the Oslo process and the last three years of conflict, Dichter continued. "His men expected to receive orders from him to act to end terrorism, but he choose to look on from the grandstands."

Over the past three and a quarter years since the outbreak of the Al Aqsa intifada, 901 Israelis have been killed and 6,000 wounded in Palestinian terror attacks, he said, adding that 80 percent of the casualties were civilians. A total of 540 of the dead were killed within the Green Line and in Jerusalem.

Threat of Jewish terror

Turning to terrorism committed by Jews, Dichter said that in the first two years of the intifada, Jewish terrorists killed seven Palestinians and wounded 19. There were additional attempts to use firearms and explosives to harm Palestinians.

“Stealing weapons from IDF reservists who were sent to guard their settlements was a ‘kosher’ act, in order to use them for terrorist attacks.”

“In my view, the dream of these extremists – in their words, to remove the ‘abomination’ from the Temple Mount, the mosques on the Mount - - should trouble us greatly.”

“For the state of Israel and the Jewish people in the Diaspora, Jewish terrorism is liable to create a substantial strategic threat, and to turn the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians to a confrontation between 13 million Jews and one billion Muslims across the world."
13 posted on 12/16/2003 7:37:07 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
"We Cannot Acquiesce to a Nuclear Iran"

December 11, 2003
Ephraim Sneh

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.
14 posted on 12/16/2003 7:39:11 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Ex-FBI Officials Allowed To Testify In Saudi Terror Suit

December 15, 2003
The New York Times
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- The Justice Department has given two former top FBI officials permission to testify in a lawsuit blaming Iran for a 1996 terrorist bombing in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 U.S. Air Force personnel and injured scores more.

Deputy Attorney General James Comey decided late last week to allow former FBI Director Louis Freeh and the bureau's former counterterrorism chief, Dale Watson, to testify in the Khobar Towers lawsuit, Justice Department officials said Monday.

The move came a few hours after a federal judge was told Friday that Freeh and Watson were being prevented from testifying. It wasn't clear Monday just when the two would actually testify in the case.

The lawsuit, filed by family members of some of the Khobar Towers victims, seeks to blame Iran for the bombing. Freeh has previously told Congress that he believes the bombing was sanctioned, financed and directed by senior Iranian officials.

In addition, a U.S. criminal case remains pending against 13 Saudis and one Lebanese man, all of whom are fugitives. Some of them are believed to be in Iran , U.S. officials have said.
15 posted on 12/16/2003 7:41:24 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Japan Tomen gives up talks on Iran's Azadegan

Monday, December 15, 2003 - ©2003

Tehran, Dec 15, (IranMania) -- Tomen Corp which is part of a state-backed private Japanese consortium established to hold talks with Iranian officials on the development of the Azadegan Oil Field dispensed with the negotiations.

Quoting the Japanese newspaper of Yomiuri Shimbun, the Fars News Agency reported that the withdrawal of a company such as Tomen which has close ties with Iran will definitely influence continuation of talks between Iran and Japan on the Azadegan Oil Field.

Japan’s news agency ‘ Kyodo’ reported that the Japanese’ official talks with Iran will probably fail, unless Tehran gives referential rights and concessions to Japan.

However quoting a governmental source, Japan’s Asahi newspaper’s opinion was that Tomen’s withdrawal will have no impact on the talks. The Japanese consortium includes Inpex Corp. and Japan Petroleum Exploration Co besides Tomen Corp.
16 posted on 12/16/2003 7:44:05 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Halliburton asked for details on Iran

New York official wants information
Copyright 2003 Houston Chronicle Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON -- New York City's comptroller is prodding Houston-based Halliburton Co. to release more details about its business dealings in Iran.

William Thompson Jr., who manages the New York police and fire department pension funds, has been agitating for months for Halliburton's board to reconsider doing business in Iran because of that country's links to terrorism.

Federal law bars American citizens from doing business in Iran, but independent foreign subsidiaries of U.S. firms can operate there.

The two New York funds have about $31 million invested in Halliburton.

"If we are trying to eradicate terrorism, we must ensure that companies in our portfolio are not using offshore subsidiaries to legally evade United States sanctions against terrorist-sponsoring states," Thompson said.

Halliburton spokeswoman Wendy Hall responded: "We hope that the (comptroller's) office is not playing politics with pension funds."

In March, Halliburton officials promised to detail the company's Iranian operations. In exchange, Thompson agreed to withdraw a shareholder proposal urging the board to reconsider doing business in Iran.

In October, Halliburton sent Thompson a report stamped "confidential." Company officials hoped the information would remain secret until Halliburton issues its 2003 annual report next year. Thompson, however, posted the report on his Web site.

In that document, Halliburton revealed that its Halliburton Products & Services Ltd., a Cayman Islands firm headquartered in the United Arab Emirates, expected to sell more than $39 million worth of oil-field services to customers in Iran this year.

Halliburton also owns a British oil tool company, and three engineering outfits based in the United Kingdom and Sweden, which have some minor sales in Iran.

In working in Iran, Halliburton said it was competing against the foreign affiliates of a number of companies well known in Houston, including Schlumberger, Baker Hughes, Smith International, Weatherford, ABB Vetco Gray, FMC and Cooper-Cameron.

On Monday, Thompson complained the report failed to detail the "potential financial reputational risks" of its operations in Iran.

Hall, while calling the release of the report "surprising and disturbing," argued it "provided a full and accurate picture" of the company's operations in Iran.

If the New York comptroller has a problem with U.S. policy toward Iran, "we suggest he address that concern to Congress or the executive branch," Hall said.
17 posted on 12/16/2003 7:45:14 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Tuesday, December 16, 2003

U.S. relationship with Iran is clouded by suspicion
There is mistrust on both sides, with Baghdad in middle


BADRAH, Iraq -- Shuffling along and pushing their belongings on carts, thousands of Iranian Shiite Muslims cross this isolated border post each day, making their way to the Iraqi holy cities of Karbala and Najaf.

Their pilgrimages would not have been possible before the U.S.-led overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

This is only one of the ways in which the postwar occupation of Iraq is bringing Iran and the United States into unexpectedly close contact despite their longtime hostility.

But the new relationship is clouded by mutual uncertainty and suspicion.

American officials fear that among the pilgrims -- who also come from Russia, Afghanistan and Pakistan -- may be terrorists intent on joining an anti-U.S. jihad in Iraq.

Some U.S. officials have also charged that Iran is stirring up Iraq's Shiites, about 60 percent of the population, to support a Muslim theocracy like the one imposed in Iran by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini after the 1979 revolution.

Evidence to support either charge is spotty.

Across central and southern Iraq, photos, books and pamphlets extolling Khomeini are being distributed widely, though it is unclear by whom. Shiite militias have taken virtual control of many towns and cities, melting away when U.S. troops approach and reasserting their grip when the Americans leave. But it is not always clear to whom the militias answer.

Radical firebrand cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose anti-American sermons and paramilitary organizing have raised fears that he intends to lead a jihad against occupation troops, takes his cue from Ayatollah Kadim Al-Haeri, an exiled Iraqi cleric who is close to Iran's top religious leaders and prefers to work behind the scenes.

But there are also signs of pragmatic caution. Iran recently recognized the U.S.-appointed Governing Council as Iraq's legitimate government, and it has offered to sell Iraq much-needed electricity and to refine its crude oil.

Last month, Iraqi Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani, who at the time held the rotating presidency of the Governing Council, received red-carpet treatment during an official visit to Tehran. He and top Iranian leaders declared that relations between the two countries -- who fought a bitter eight-year war -- were the best they have ever been.

Talabani and fellow Governing Council member Abdel Aziz al-Hakim, leader of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, an Iran-backed Shiite party, have called -- unsuccessfully, so far -- for the release of 70 Iranians held by U.S.-led forces on suspicion of having entered Iraq to attack occupation soldiers. Al-Hakim also helped obtain the release of two Iranian journalists held by the coalition for four months on spying charges.

Such actions reflect the positive tone the Governing Council has taken toward Iran, somewhat to the dismay of the Bush administration. Al-Hakim's group and another Shiite group, the Islamic Dawa Party, both of which were in exile in Iran during Saddam's dictatorship, have played a generally moderate role in Iraq's postwar politics and have strongly opposed attacks on occupation forces.

"The Iranians clearly want influence here on all levels -- with the Americans, with the Governing Council and on the streets," said Wamidh Nadhmi, a political-science professor at Baghdad University.

But some warn that Iran may be playing a double game.

"Iran has two policies at the same time toward Iraq," said an Iraqi Shiite exile in Tehran who is a high-ranking member of the Basij, a vigilante enforcer group loyal to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

"It is trying to support the government in Baghdad and enter the political process, and it is laying the foundations among Shiites for future armed struggle against the Americans, if that becomes necessary."

Diplomats and analysts in Tehran say that while Iran is genuinely happy about the overthrow of archenemy Saddam, it worries that the United States will use Iraq to launch covert operations against Iran.
18 posted on 12/16/2003 8:19:53 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Coalition Forces Release Iranians

December 16, 2003
BBC News

Forty-one Iranians held in Iraq over the past seven months have been released by coalition forces, the Iranian news agency Irna reports.

The group was released from Umm Qasr prison in southern Iraq and crossed back into Iran at the Shalamcheh border post near the town of Khorramshahr.

Governor Mohammad Ali Shirali told Irna they had been wrongly detained.

He said the prisoners were mainly pilgrims and aid workers who went to Iraq "in order to help the Iraqis".

He complained that the prisoners had also had their vehicles and possessions confiscated by the coalition forces.


The news agency said the release had been arranged by the Iranian embassy in Iraq and the Red Cross.

In late November, nine Iranian prisoners detained by US troops were released from the same prison.

US troops are still believed to be holding at least a further 50 Iranians in Baghdad.

Iran says most of them are would-be pilgrims trying to reach Shia holy sites in southern Iraq, arrested for crossing the border illegally.
19 posted on 12/16/2003 11:14:55 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Bush, Sharon to share Saddam's fate, Khamenei says

Reuters ^ | 16 Dec 2003
Posted on 12/16/2003 2:38:07 PM PST by yonif
20 posted on 12/16/2003 4:55:31 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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