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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 12/17/2003 12:00:48 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 12/17/2003 12:03:34 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranian Fund is Called Off

December 17, 2003
International Herald Tribune
Bloomberg

LONDON -- Iran has canceled a mutual fund for foreign investors because of concern about stoking the stock market and fueling inflation, according to a consultant involved with the project.

The First Iran Fund folded after Tahmasb Mazaheri, Iran's economic affairs and finance minister, reversed a plan to back the fund, according to Albrecht Frischenschlager, a Tehran-based consultant who had helped set up the fund. An Egyptian bank, EFG-Hermes Holding, was going to manage the fund's assets of E50 million, or $61 million.

"The Iranian government said they were not going to honor the existing arrangements, so the fund was wound up," said Tom Rodwell, co-manager of the Pictet Emerging Markets Fund in London.

The sponsor of the fund was to have been the state-owned Iran Foreign Investment Co. Faradjollah Mahdavi, a director of the fund and an adviser to the state-owned concern and the Iranian government, declined to return calls or respond to e-mails seeking comment. The legal advisers to the state company, Norton Rose, also declined to comment.

Iran raised E500 million in July 2002 by selling its first foreign bonds since 1979 and has been looking at opening its market further to foreign investors. The fund was the second attempt by EFG-Hermes to tap into Iran. A previous fund failed last year because it did not have the backing of the government.

The First Iran Fund, which was open to non-U.S. investors, was seeking clients in the Middle East with at least E100,000 to invest in global emerging markets funds, according to Tristan Clube, an executive director of EFG-Hermes Asset Management.

With Iran's inflation rate standing at more than 18 percent, the Iranian central bank and government were concerned that an injection of foreign capital would push stock prices up further, Frischenschlager said.

"The government's biggest fear is inflation and that if there's a stock market bubble, it will get even worse with the arrival of foreign money," he said.

The First Iran Fund had planned to buy stocks listed in Tehran, where the benchmark index has doubled in the past eight months. The country is the No. 2 oil producer in the Middle East, after Saudi Arabia, and owner of the world's second-biggest gas reserves. Iran has a population of 65 million, and the International Monetary Fund expects its economy to expand 8.4 percent this year as oil prices rise.

The market capitalization of the Tehran Stock Exchange has risen to $33 billion from $13 billion in the past six months, according to the bourse. The government has sold more than $1 billion of state assets in the past eight months.

http://www.iht.com/articles/121771.html
8 posted on 12/17/2003 8:46:39 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Announces Shihab-3 Upgrade

December 17, 2003
Middle East Newsline
MENL

NICOSIA -- Iran has announced plans to upgrade the Shihab-3 intermediate-range missile. Iranian officials said the upgrade project would replace previous plans to develop the longer-range Shihab-4. But officials said the range of the Shihab-3 would also be extended.

"We will be optimizing our Shihab-3 instead," acting Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan said. "Such allegations [of developing the Shihab-4] are part of the U.S. and Israeli psychological war against the Islamic Republic."

Dehghan was quoted in the Iranian daily Siyasat-e-Rouz as saying that Iran would not build the Shihab-4. The defense minister did not elaborate on what he meant by optimizing the Shihab-3.

http://www.menewsline.com/stories/2003/december/12_17_2.html
9 posted on 12/17/2003 8:47:50 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran to Sign Nuclear Protocol

December 17, 2003
The Guardian
Agencies

Iran will sign an agreement tomorrow that gives unfettered access to its nuclear facilities, the country's vice president, Gholamreza Aghazadeh, has announced.

"Iran will most probably sign tomorrow," Mr Aghazadeh told reporters after a weekly cabinet meeting.

The United States, along with Britain, France and Germany, have been pushing Iran to sign an additional protocol to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty since it became evident that the country had an advanced nuclear programme.

Having insisted that its nuclear programme is peaceful and that it is needed to meet booming domestic electricity demand and free up its hydrocarbon resources for export, Iran admitted in October that it had hidden a secret uranium enrichment programme from UN inspectors for nearly two decades.

Tehran committed itself to signing the protocol on October 21, and the delay had triggered speculation that the government was backtracking. Senior conservatives in Iran are known to oppose the protocol as a surrender of sovereignty.

But Mr Aghazadeh, who is also the head of Iran's atomic energy organisation, said that the protocol would be signed in Vienna by a representative of the Iranian foreign ministry.

Vienna is the seat of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the nuclear watchdog of the United Nations.

Iran's signing of the protocol, however, will be just the first step in implementing the agreement, government spokesman Abdollah Ramezanzadeh told reporters earlier this month.

"After the signing, it will return to the government for ratification. Then the government will submit it to the parliament as a bill for approval. At the final stage, it has to be ratified by the guardian's council into law," he said. Under Iran's constitution, any international agreements have to be ratified by both parliament and the guardian's council, the latter being a body dominated by conservatives.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/iran/story/0,12858,1108720,00.html
10 posted on 12/17/2003 8:49:33 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Nobel Prize Winner's Priorities Skewed

December 17, 2003
The Intelligencer
theintelligencer.net

The annual announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize lately is more often anticipated with a cringe, with the likes of Yasser Arafat having claimed the prize. This year's prize sends another highly mixed message. Shirin Abadi, an Iranian human rights activist, is this year's recipient, and she used the occasion to lash out not at the oppressive mullahs of Iran but against the West in general and, in thinly veiled remarks, the United States in particular.

"Regulations restricting human rights and basic freedoms ... have been justified and given legitimacy under the cloak of the war on terrorism," she said. That may well be true in some corners of the world, so it's a fair enough statement coming from a human rights activist. But then she went on to say this: "The concerns of human rights advocates increase when they observe that international human rights laws are breached not only by their recognized opponents," but also by "Western democracies ..." She specifically cited U.S. prisoners of war held at Guantanamo Bay as an example.

Abadi apparently has done much to attempt to improve the lot of Iranians, especially Iranian women. But please, spare us the sanctimonious moral equivalence drawn between the horrors inflicted by despots and an American prison camp where the captives are treated better than they ever were in their home countries.

Lest the Peace Prize diminish to Lilliputian import, the Nobel Committee would do well to raise its sights a bit higher.

http://www.theintelligencer.net/edit/story/1217202003_edtiedit2.asp
11 posted on 12/17/2003 8:50:43 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Khatami Says Tehran To Pardon Many Mujahedin Khalq

December 17, 2003
Radio Free Europe
RFE/RL

Tehran -- Iranian President Mohammad Khatami says that Iran is ready to pardon most members of the Mujahedin Khalq, an armed opposition group set to be expelled from neighbouring Iraq.

Khatami said after a cabinet meeting that the majority of Mujahedin Khalq members who are not guilty of crimes should be pardoned so they can return home. He said those linked to attacks against Iran's clerical regime should also return to Iran for what he said would be fair trials.

Earlier this month, Iraq's U.S.-installed interim Governing Council said the Mujahedin Khalq would be expelled by the end of this month. The group mounted attacks from Iraq against Iran when Saddam Hussein was in power. More than 3,800 members of the group are in U.S. custody in Iraq.

http://www.rferl.org/nca/features/2003/12/17122003124614.asp
12 posted on 12/17/2003 8:51:35 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran's GC blocks many election applicants

Wednesday, December 17, 2003 - ©2003 IranMania.com

Tehran, Dec17, (IranMania) - The evidence at hand indicates that Iran’s hardline Guardian Council is not the least interested in cooperating with the Ministry of Interior in the upcoming Parliamentary elections, according to the reformist ‘Yase-No’ newspaper.

This is based on the widespread rejection of candidate applications for the upcoming February Parliamentary Elections.

According to IRNA, the supervisory boards in Iranian cities (overseen by the Guardian Council) have invalidated many candidates so far. The Secretary of the election headquarters of Kurdistan Province, Artikas Eghbal said: “In Sanandaj, Kamyaran and Divandarreh, out of 30 nominees so far 23 have been ruled out by the supervisory boards.”

An informed official announced the deepening rift over the rejections between the governor of Sanandaj and the supervisory board.

The Ministry of Interior’s database also reported that in an unprecedented move, the supervisory boards have so far ruled out the majority of the nominees in Fars, Kohkilouyeh Boyer Ahmad and Lorestan.

So far almost 70% of Shiraz candidates, mostly academic and cultural figures, have been rejected by the supervisory boards as unacceptable.

Among the rejected applicants are figures such as the head of Shiraz University, Professor Majid Ershad, Dean of the engineering faculty of Shiraz University, Professor Javadpour, Deputy head of Shiraz University, Professor Akhoundi, Head of the Education Organization of Fars Province, Hamid Reza Azari and University Jihad Chief of Fars, Keramatollah Akbari.

In Aligoudarz, Lorestan Province, none of the candidates so far have been approved and in Khorram Abad only 4 were accepted out of a list of 30 aspirants.

In Isfahan only one of the candidates has so far been allowed to take part in the elections.

The daily noted that many Iranian analysts and political figures have warned that under current circumstances, moves by the Guardian Council to bar candidates from taking part in the February elections “will weaken the nation’s trust of the system and the process of elections and this is a threat to Iran’s national interests.”

Right at the start of the election process a war of words seems to have started between the hardline Guardian Council and President Khatami’s Interior Ministry.

The Secretary of the Guardian Council, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati sent a letter to the Minister of Interior, Mousavi Lari which was published by the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

Part of the letter reads: “The Guardian Council considers the new regulations and application forms related to the executive regulations of Majlis election law as in conflict with the constitution, while these regulations have already been presented to the governors nationwide by the Ministry of Interior.”

Jannati then referred to 16 legal setbacks found in the elections rules and application forms distributed.

Political analysts believe that the Guardian Council will go on with its strict measures to tighten its noose on the executive boards so that it can direct the upcoming elections to its own political benefit.

This comes at a time when the Ministry of Interior has repeatedly warned against rejection of candidates without any legal justification, emphasizing that it will seriously deal with such violations.

The Guardian Council’s move will not only lead to the disappointment of nominees in the election system but will also dissuade people from voting the Yase-No editorial noted.

Iran’s government spokesman, Abdollah Ramazanzadeh warned the supervisory and executive boards to act in a way so that the administration and the president may not be forced to intervene to defend the rights of the people. “Will this really happen?” the paper asked.

http://www.iranmania.com/News/ArticleView/Default.asp?NewsCode=20702&NewsKind=Current%20Affairs
15 posted on 12/17/2003 9:41:06 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Israel Defense Minister Converses with Radio Listeners in... Iran

December 17, 2003
DEBKAfile Special Report

This week, Israel’s Iranian-born defense minister Shaul Mofaz made the unique gesture of answering questions from listeners in Iran – in their own language - in a live broadcast over Israel Radio’s Farsi-language service.

The questions came thick and fast.

In answer to one, he promised everything would be done to protect the environment against radioactive fallout should Israeli forces destroy Iran’s nuclear capability.

Shaul Mofaz was only six when his family emigrated from Iran to Israel. His knowledge of Farsi is rudimentary at best. But that didn’t stop the Israeli defense chief from getting his message across to a stream of callers from the Islamic Republic who appealed to him for help on Israel Radio’s Farsi service this week.

One caller from a city in central Iran asked when Israel and the Jews would finally repay their historical debt to Cyrus the Great and rescue the Iranian people from the dread ayatollahs, just as US President George W. Bush had helped the people of Iraq and Afghanistan throw off their oppressors.

(It was in 538 BC that Cyrus, king of Persia, fulfilling the word of God as spoken by the Prophet Jeremiah, issued a proclamation allowing the Jews to return to Zion from their exile in Babylon and rebuild their Temple in Jerusalem.)

Mofaz, admitting he was not in the miracle business, wished the Iranian people success in their struggle for freedom. But then a stream of callers pleaded for Israel to intervene to help overthrow the Islamic regime. The defense minister replied it was up to the Iranian people to determine its fate. But he also mentioned the United States role in the region and said the Americans still had much work to do after prevailing in Afghanistan and Iraq. Iran and Syria were still there as key elements of Bush’s axis of evil.

This reply brought forth a chorus of listeners who wanted to persuade the Israeli minister that the Teheran regime was more of a danger to the region and the world than Saddam Hussein had ever been.

Mofaz gently parried these demands. He also refrained from answering a listener, apparently calling from the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, who wanted a rundown of Israel’s attitude on the Kurdish question and Iraq’s future.

Many of the questions focused on Iran’s nuclear weapons program. One caller wanted to know how Israel would respond to Iran’s efforts to build an atomic bomb or stage a nuclear attack. Mofaz said that, should it became necessary to destroy Iran’s nuclear capabilities, Israel would take steps to ensure the safety of Iranian civilians.

Some callers asked for a response to the Iranian defense minister Hossein Dehghan’s statement on Sunday, December 14, that Iran had no choice but to develop increasingly powerful weapons to overcome the technological threats posed by its strongest enemies, the United States and Israel. Mofaz denied any threat. The Jewish state had no offensive intentions towards Iran; nor did it nurture any hostility toward the Iranian people. In the past, Iran and the Jewish states had enjoyed warm and productive relations. But if Israel came under attack, he emphasized, it would defend itself with all the measures it deemed necessary.

A woman caller, a Muslim, then recalled tearfully the disappearance eight years ago of the son of Jewish neighbors who had never been heard of since being caught in flight across the border with Pakistan. In the last decade, 12 Iranian Jews have been caught fleeing by way of Pakistan and never seen again.

Mofaz reiterated Israel’s commitment to protect Jews all over the world. He promised to investigate these cases and see what could be done to help.

At the end of the 50-minute program, Mofaz said he would never have imagined the depth of sympathy for Israel entertained by ordinary Iranians - in sharp contrast to the violence and hate emitting from the rulers of the Islamic Republic. The gap between regime and people was dramatic. A lot of this sympathy is born of the Iranian people’s historic resentment of their Islamic rulers and the Arabs, who invaded their country 1,400 years ago, destroyed Iranian culture and forced the populace to embrace Islam.

Israel Radio’s Farsi service has become a byword among a wide audience in Iran. Just last week, an Iranian legislator who voiced sharp criticism in parliament of the Iranian government was asked sarcastically whether he was not Menashe Amir, director of Israel Radio’s Farsi service, in disguise.

Mofaz’s warm dialogue with ordinary Iranians occurred in the same week as harsh comments from Iran’s supreme leader and strongman, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on the capture of Saddam Hussein last Saturday December 12. The ayatollah voiced the wish that “Bush and Sharon” share the same inglorious fate suffered by the former Iraqi dictator. Cynically parroting the words of President George Bush about Saddam, Khamenei thundered, “The world would be a better place without them.”

Tehran’s hostility is not confined to belligerent language.

DEBKAfile’s military sources reported on December 15 that Russia has sold Iran advanced 300-A air defense missile systems – over Washington’s objections - to defend its controversial nuclear reactor in the southern town of Bushehr. Their deployment was discovered by chance Sunday, when two of the missiles while being installed flew out of control. One hit a minibus, killing two bus passengers and injuring 20; the second caused heavy damage to town buildings – far more extensive than admitted by Tehran. The official Iranian news agency IRNA, reporting on the incident, said a self-targeting weapon – which it did not identify -- failed to trigger its auto-destruct mechanism and slammed into the minibus.

The diplomatic fallout from this discovery will be considerable.

Israel too is watching Iran’s constant weapons upgrades with a wary eye.

On Tuesday, December 16, Israeli Shin Beit director Avi Dichter, in a rare public appearance, named Iran as the world’s No. 1 terror state and Israel’s most dangerous security threat. Tehran, he said, targets both Israel and Jews everywhere. He cited Tehran’s hand behind the 1994 bombing of the Buenos Aires Jewish community in which 85 died and more than 200 were wounded. Dichter accused the Iranians of continually hatching trouble right up to the present. Beyond backing, financing and arming the virulently anti-Israel Lebanese Shiite terror group, the Hizballah, Tehran has marked out Israel’s Arab citizens for exploitation as a potential fifth column. He described Iranian agents are actively recruiting hirelings in the Arab community.

http://www.debka.com/article.php?aid=746
16 posted on 12/17/2003 9:53:54 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Doubts Fair Trial for Saddam

December 17, 2003
BBC News
BBCi

Iranian President Mohammad Khatami has said Saddam Hussein is unlikely to receive a fair trial because he could reveal too many embarrassing details.

"Saddam will undoubtedly make statements that will not be pleasing to many people among those who are now standing against Saddam," he said.

Iran - which was invaded by Iraq in 1980 - is preparing charges against the ousted Iraqi president.

Mr Khatami has said he does not "like the death penalty".

Double standards

"But I believe if there is one case where there should be an execution, the fairest case would be for Saddam," the moderate cleric told reporters.

Iran's hardline judiciary frequently passes the death penalty.

It can be applied to convicted murderers, armed robbers, rapists, apostates and drug traffickers.

At least nine executions across the country have been reported by the Iranian media in the last week alone.

President Khatami said Saddam Hussein had hurt "many people," including many Iranians.

"What we want is an open trial for Saddam, and that it should be fair," he said.

But he said he doubted that the trial of the former Iraqi leader would be "totally fair" because of the awkward details he could reveal.

Former allies

The United States backed Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war, providing financial assistance and military intelligence.

After the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran, the country was regarded by Washington as more dangerous than its neighbour Iraq.

Saddam Hussein was also supported by the Soviet Union, European nations and other Arab states.

BBC News Online world affairs correspondent Paul Reynolds says the French President Jacques Chirac and the US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld might find their names in the frame.

In 1975, Mr Chirac - then prime minister - showed Saddam Hussein round a nuclear plant and later referred to him as "My dear friend".

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3327861.stm
17 posted on 12/17/2003 11:21:21 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran hardline GC rejects 'new electoral directives'

Wednesday, December 17, 2003 - ©2003 IranMania.com

TEHRAN, Dec 16, Iran Daily -- The fundamentalist-dominated constitutional watchdog Guardians Council (GC) rejected new electoral directives issued by the Interior Ministry as 'illegal', saying the initiative has numerous legal problems, IRNA reported.

Secretary of the Guardians Council Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati stressed in a letter to Interior Minister Abdolvahed Mousavi Lari that the executive directives and electoral forms must be revised.

"It is unclear (to me) whether His Excellency has been informed of the very many legal problems existing in these directives and forms or not," he said, adding that "it is necessary for the Interior Ministry to rectify these directives".

The GC secretary also said that the Interior Ministry-affiliated Election Supervisory Board can only verify the qualification of candidates and is not in a position to determine whether they are disqualified or not. Jannati went on to say that some of the electoral forms have been formulated by the Interior Ministry in a way that they would interfere with the Guardians Council's supervisory task.

"Adherence to the supreme jurisprudence and the constitution was incorporated in special forms for candidates during previous parliamentary elections, whereas this important part has been eliminated from the prerequisites for becoming a candidate in one of the Interior Ministry's electoral forms," he maintained.


http://www.iranmania.com/News/ArticleView/Default.asp?NewsCode=20705&NewsKind=Current%20Affairs
18 posted on 12/17/2003 1:13:15 PM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
Ten Lessons

Wall Street Journal, Wednesday, December 17, 2003
By DENNIS PRAGER

Ten lessons from Saddam Hussein's capture:

1. America is the greatest force for good on the planet. America, with the support of Britain and some other countries, and against the rest of "world opinion," liberated Iraq from evil. If it were up to the U.N. or the EU, or the editorial boards of most major American newspapers, Saddam would still be happily making palaces for himself and torture dungeons for his people.

2. The positive effect on humanity of good vanquishing evil cannot be overstated. When evil people get away with what they have done, it has a dispiriting effect. Even those of us who believe that a just God dispenses justice after this life ache to see justice done here and now. In this regard, it is not only good that Saddam was captured; it is good that he lived in holes, and aware that his sadistic sons had been killed. It is nice to know that he has been suffering.

3. No Muslim or Arab country lifted a finger to help the Iraqi people. This is because the Muslim and Arab worlds do not divide the world between good and evil, but between Muslim and non-Muslim and Arab and non-Arab. Since Saddam was a fellow Muslim and Arab, the fact that he tortured and murdered so many was as irrelevant to the Muslim and Arab worlds as the Islamic regime's genocide in Sudan and the subjugation of women in Taliban Afghanistan.

4. Not everyone is happy about Saddam's capture. Palestinians, for example, are weeping. Saddam was their hero. Iraqis were forced to march with his posters, but Palestinians did so voluntarily. Many on the Left are also not particularly happy. Saddam's capture is a victory for American force and for George W. Bush, and the Left hates both more than it hates Saddam.

5. The Left seeks power, but is incapable of leading because leadership and wanting to be loved are mutually exclusive. Leftists, including liberal politicians, want to be loved and want America to be loved. That was President Clinton's great desire, and that is why, with all his abundant talents, he could never lead. Much of the Left's criticism of Mr. Bush revolves around this issue: "Look at how popular we were right after 9/11 and how unpopular we are now."

6. Most of the Left does not hate evil; hatred of evil is primarily found on the Right. With exceptions such as Tony Blair and Joseph Lieberman, virtually the entire Left finds evil far less disturbing than global warming, smoking, economic inequality, and drug prices. And with the exceptions of "paleoconservatives" such as Pat Buchanan, most of the Right regards the use of American power to vanquish evil as the greatest good the U.S. can engage in.

7. In the Arab world, power is venerated. For years leading up to 9/11, Islamists were respected for their increasing power and America was losing respect as it suffered blows at the hands of Islamic terror. Now America is seen as the powerful one, and is earning the respect once accorded Saddam and Osama. The importance of this cannot be overstated.

8. There are many who respect goodness above all else. But humanity as a whole has far more respect for power, and takes powerful societies more seriously than good ones. That is why China is respected despite its being a dictatorship and its brutal crushing of Tibet. China is powerful. The stronger America is, the more people will take it and its values seriously. As an unprecedented combination of power and goodness, America could reshape the world.

9. The Marxist belief that forces, not individuals, shape history is wrong. George W. Bush is living proof.

10. The reason the president is shaping history is that he has as strong a set of beliefs -- in America's moral mission and in Judeo-Christian religious values -- as those he is fighting. Those who hold bad beliefs can only be defeated by those have equally strong good beliefs.

Mr. Prager, a radio talk show host, is author of "Why the Jews?" (Touchstone, 2003).

Updated December 17, 2003

Phone: (800) 225-8584 | Fax: (818) 376-8376 | 15531 Lanark Street, Van Nuys, CA 91406

Entire contents Copyright © The Prager Perspective, LLC. All Rights

http://www.dennisprager.com/articles_by/tenlessons.html
20 posted on 12/17/2003 2:21:23 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Is Khobar Towers Testimony Being Silenced?

December 17, 2003
Insight Magazine
Scott L. Wheeler

A senior government official says the State Department is interfering with a civil lawsuit, creating setbacks for family members of victims of the 1996 bombing of a military barracks in Saudi Arabia.

The official, who spoke on condition that he not be named, told Insight that the State Department is taking "active measures" to prevent family members of some of the 19 victims of the Khobar Towers bombing from proceeding with a civil court case that alleges Iran sponsored the bombing and seeks a judgment http://www.insightmag.com/news/577844.htmlagainst the Islamic nation which the State Department itself lists as a country that sponsors terrorism.

Former FBI Director Louis Freeh and the former head of the FBI's counterterrorism unit, Dale Watson, had been slated to testify in the trial and had even shown up in court to testify on one occasion but were told they couldn't appear, even though lawyers for the victims said they had received permission from the Justice Department for their testimony to go forward. In court, attorneys stated that there was another agency that had not granted permission and was holding up the testimony. The government official, who does not work for the State Department but who does have dealings with it on matters pertaining to terrorism, told Insight that State was the agency holding up testimony and attempting to prevent it from occurring altogether. "First they did everything they could to prevent Freeh and Watson from testifying," the official says, "and now they are putting pressure on the judge to dismiss the case."

A spokesman for the State Department said that "We reviewed the request without objection," but could not say when the Justice Department was notified of State's clearance of testimony by Freeh and Watson.

Another source close to the Justice Department told Insight that U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, the boss of presiding judge U.S. Magistrate Deborah Robinson, was approached by the State Department and told that the Khobar Towers case was "still under investigation" and a "matter of national security" and that the case should be dismissed. When asked about allegations that the State Department applied pressure on the judge, a department spokesman told Insight, "We do not discuss ongoing cases."

Last Friday, after two weeks of hearing testimony, Robinson indicated her desire to dismiss the case even if Freeh and Watson are allowed to testify. "What evidence will be presented to make the trial worth holding over?" the judge asked attorneys for the families of the victims. Freeh and Watson both had concluded and previously had testified in other venues that Iran's assistance in the Khobar Towers bombing amounted to state sponsorship of the attack.

Robinson, however, raised questions over whether testimony of the two would divulge "classified" information. Attorneys responded that they only intended to pursue information provided by Freeh and Watson that already had been made public in other court depositions. The government official says that claims of national security in this case are "specious at best. This is about the State Department putting the interests of Iran and Saudi Arabia ahead of that of their own citizens." Testimony by the two former FBI officials is viewed as the cornerstone of the case for the family members and, according to several attorneys without an interest in the outcome of the case, would go well beyond the evidence necessary to win in a case where the defendant doesn't show up and put on a defense.

On Tuesday the court learned that the Justice Department had agreed to allow testimony from Freeh and Watson to go forward. However, family members of victims of the Khobar Towers bombing said they were disheartened by Robinson's statement about whether the family members who previously were scheduled to testify would be allowed to testify. Last week the judge told the victims' family members who had traveled at their own expense to testify at the trial to just "go home." Marie Campbell, wife of Air Force Sgt. Millard Dee Campbell, fighting back tears, told Insight, "It hurts a lot to have to prepare to testify about the loss of my husband" and then to be told "to just go home." Campbell says being involved with the lawsuit "may be the only justice we get" for the attack.

"My tears never stop," said Jennie Haun, wife of Air Force Capt. Timothy Haun, another Khobar Towers victim.

"We have so many things that make us suffer. Our loved ones were murdered and we only want what little bit of justice this provides," Haun told Insight. Haun also was scheduled to testify but says that after what happened in court yesterday she sees a chance for "a little bit of peace" slipping away.

Attorneys for the victims' families had no comment.

Scott L. Wheeler is a contributing writer for Insight.

http://www.insightmag.com/news/577844.html
21 posted on 12/17/2003 2:47:24 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Israel Urged to Stop Iran's Nuke Program

December 18, 2003
Middle East Newsline
MENL

HERZLIYA, Israel -- The government of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has been urged to halt Iran's nuclear weapons program.

A senior Israeli parliamentarian regarded as a leading expert on Iran's strategic programs has warned the Sharon government that it cannot rely on the United States to stop Teheran's nuclear weapons project. The parliamentarian said Iran will achieve independent nuclear weapons capability over the next year.

"If we don't act by ourselves, then others won't do anything," Knesset member Ephraim Sneh told a strategic conference in Herzliya on Tuesday. "They will only do something if they know that we will act, providing no other alternative. This moment is approaching."

Sneh, a minister in previous Israeli governments, warned of Iran's nuclear capability as early as 1993 and helped draft policy that called for U.S. pressure to stop Russian technology to Teheran. He is a member of the Knesset Foreign Affairs Committee, which receives frequent intelligence briefings on Iran's nuclear weapons program.

http://www.menewsline.com/stories/2003/december/12_18_2.html
22 posted on 12/17/2003 2:49:02 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
EU Sill Troubled by Iranian Nclear Programme

December 17, 2003
AFP
Space War

HERZLIYA, Israel -- EU leaders remain deeply concerned about Iranian efforts to develop an atomic programme which could spark a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said Wednesday.

"Iranian efforts to master the entire fuel cycle are extremely disquieting," he told a security conference in the Israeli town of Herzliya.

"We have from the very beginning made it unmistakeably clear to the Iranian side that the West will under no circumstances tolerate such a development," a stance based partly on concern for Israel's security, he added.

Fischer was one of three EU ministers who flew to Tehran earlier this year to persuade Iran to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

"It would be a nightmare not just for Israel but also for the whole region and indeed Europe if the Middle East were to acquire nuclear capabilities and thus face a nuclear arms race."

The subject of Iran was brought up earlier Wednesday in Fischer's talks with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on the final day of a short visit to the region.

Fischer warned Tehran to comply with international demands for inspections, saying "the only thing that counts for us are verifiable facts."

Iran, which insists its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful, said earlier Wednesday it would probably be signing on Thursday an additional protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty allowing for unscheduled inspections of suspect sites by the IAEA.

Israel is generally believed to possess nuclear weapons, the only country in the Middle East to do so.

http://www.spacewar.com/2003/031217133312.p5y4ow6o.html
23 posted on 12/17/2003 2:51:56 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
I've already got the Sam Adams Lager on ice to toast the Israelis once they drop a few eggs on Irans nuke factilites. God bless our troops and our Commander in Chief!
24 posted on 12/17/2003 3:13:05 PM PST by WyCoKsRepublican
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To: DoctorZIn
US Says Iran's Signature on New Nuclear Inspection Protocol Not Enough

December 17, 2003
AFP
Space War

WASHINGTON -- Iran's expected signing this week of a new agreement to allow surprise inspections of its nuclear sites will not be enough to assuage US concerns about its atomic program, the United States said Wednesday.

The State Department said Iran's accession to the additional International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) protocol would be only one step in dealing with suspicions that Tehran is secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons.

"We'd certainly welcome Iran signing of the additional protocol, but the signature is only one step toward resolving the remaining open questions about Iran's nuclear program," spokesman Richard Boucher said.

It is only one step "toward increasing international confidence that Iran's nuclear program will be limited to peaceful activities and that they will truly suspend all uranium enrichment-related and reprocessing activities," he said.

To fully convince Washington and the rest of the world, Boucher said Tehran would have to completely implement the provisions of the protocol and provide the IAEA will all the access it needs for the inspections.

Earlier Wednesday, the IAEA, which last month found Iran to have failed to meet all of its commitments to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), said Iran would sign the additional protocol on Thursday.

The United States accuses Iran of using its civil atomic energy program to mask nuclear weapons development but the IAEA has said there is no clear evidence to support that charge.

Iran vehemently denies the US allegations but had long resisted signing the additional protocol.

Tehran argued that inspectors could violate its national sovereignty and probe sites that are crucial to the defense of the country and demanded guarantees this would not happen.

But Iran finally gave in to IAEA demands after the agency threatened to refer its concerns to the UN Security Council, which would have left Iran vulnerable to sanctions.

That U-turn came in October during an unprecedented visit to Tehran by the foreign ministers of the European Union's big three -- Britain, France and Germany after which Iran agreed to sign the additional protocol, hand over full details of its activities and suspend uranium enrichment.

http://www.spacewar.com/2003/031217184909.01856sv0.html
25 posted on 12/17/2003 3:24:55 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Mofaz Talks of Eventual Nuke Raid on Iran

December 17, 2003
The Washington Times
UPI

TEL AVIB, Israel -- Speaking on Israel radio's Farsi language Shaul Mofaz promised to protect the environment from radioactive fallout if Israel destroyed Iran's nuclear ability.

Israel's Iranian-born defense minister Shaul Mofaz made the unique gesture of answering questions this week from listeners in Iran in their own language.

In a live broadcast over Israel Radio's Farsi-language service the questions came thick and fast.

Mofaz was six when his family emigrated from Iran to Israel. His knowledge of Farsi is rudimentary at best. But that didn't stop the Israeli defense chief from getting his message across to a stream of callers from the Islamic Republic who appealed to him for help on Israel Radio's Farsi service this week.

One caller from a city in central Iran asked when Israel and the Jews would finally repay their historical debt to Cyrus the Great and rescue the Iranian people from the dread ayatollahs, just as U.S. President George W. Bush had helped the people of Iraq and Afghanistan throw off their oppressors.

Mofaz, admitting he was not in the miracle business, wished the Iranian people success in their struggle for freedom.

http://washingtontimes.com/upi-breaking/20031217-032627-3518r.htm
27 posted on 12/17/2003 3:26:41 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranians never willfully accepted the hijab [Veil] (History with pictures)

Iranian ^ | 12/17/03 | Iranian
Posted on 12/17/2003 3:59:11 PM PST by freedom44

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1042420/posts
38 posted on 12/17/2003 11:48:14 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
This thread is now closed.

Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

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

39 posted on 12/18/2003 12:02:28 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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