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Iranian Alert -- December 27, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 12.27.2003 | DoctorZin

Posted on 12/27/2003 12:09:34 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.

DoctorZin


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iaea; iran; iranianalert; iranquake; protests; southasia; studentmovement; studentprotest
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 12/27/2003 12:09:37 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 12/27/2003 12:13:02 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
I just received this from a student in Iran...

"It is really hard to write any thing about what happened in my country and in one of the oldest cities of Iran.
And it is harder to make you sad when you are celebrating the New Year.

I want to thank those Freepers who sent Condolence Messages and I'd like to say my best wishes to them as well.

I also need to share my frustration with those people who keep making cruel remarks toward the people of Iran in this time of tragedy. They know nothing about the real faces of the Iranian society

I want to thank you in advance for the help you and your nation are providing those touched by the tragedy and also in our struggle to end our brutal regime.

Thank you very much."

What the people of Iran need today is not insults but our support in achieving their goal and their goal is freedom. -- DoctorZin
3 posted on 12/27/2003 12:29:20 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Statement by the President

December 26, 2003
The WHite House
President George W. Bush

Laura and I heard this morning of the earthquake centered in the city of Bam, Iran. We are greatly saddened by the loss of life, injuries, and widespread damage to this ancient city. I extend my condolences to all those touched by this tragedy. The thoughts of all Americans are with the victims and their families at this time, and we stand ready to help the people of Iran.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/12/20031226-1.html
4 posted on 12/27/2003 1:19:29 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
This just in from Iran...

I am being told that they can hear a large number of helicopters returning to Tehran, apparently with the wounded from Bam.

They are also saying that real government help has yet to arrive.
5 posted on 12/27/2003 1:23:26 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Red Cross Sets Up Iran Quake Appeal

December 26, 2003
AFP
ABC News

The International Red Cross (IRC) is preparing an appeal for about $US8 million to help victims of the deadly earthquake that devastated part of south-eastern Iran, a spokesman said.

The appeal will cover emergency supplies such as tents, blankets, and possibly field hospitals, IRC and Red Crescent Societies spokesman Roy Probert said.

"We will be putting out a preliminary appeal in the next few hours - the Iranian Red Crescent asked us for help," Mr Probert said.

"It will probably be about 10 million Swiss francs [$US8 million]," he said.

Mr Probert said national Red Cross societies in Europe were already "queuing up" with offers of help for Iran.

The Iranian Red Crescent had deployed two field hospitals in the first hours after the disaster, as well as tents and medical supplies.

The Red Crescent in Iran is highly regarded at the Geneva-based IRC, because of its experience in dealing with the aftermath of more than 1,000 earthquakes in the country since 1991, which have claimed about 17,600 lives.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/s1016663.htm
6 posted on 12/27/2003 1:39:41 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Israeli NGOs Look to Help Iran Quake Victims

December 27, 2003
The Jerusalem Post
JPost.com

The Foreign Ministry announced Friday that Israeli non-governmental organizations are "looking into offering their help" victims of the catastrophic earthquake in southeastern Iran.

The 6.7-magnitude earthquake struck about 5:30 a.m., local time, collapsing buildings in the city of Bam in southeastern Iran, severing power lines and shutting down water service.

Israel regards Iran as its greatest external security threat, and Iran has recently threatened Israel with missile attack if the latter attacked Iran's nuclear facilities.

Mohammed Ali Karimi, the governor of Kerman province, told Khatami that preliminary estimates put the death toll at 5,000 to 6,000, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

Iran has appealed for international aid.

"We need sniffer dogs and detection equipment, blankets, medicines, food, but also prefabricated houses because winter is coming very quickly," an interior ministry statement said.

Belgium, Germany, Spain, Greece, Russia and Turkey were among the first to respond.

The United Nations is dispatching a team of experts to Iran.

The International Red Cross (IRC) is preparing an appeal for about $US8 million to help victims of the deadly earthquake that devastated part of south-eastern Iran, a spokesman told AFP.

The appeal will cover emergency supplies such as tents, blankets, and possibly field hospitals, IRC and Red Crescent Societies spokesman Roy Probert said.

The United States will offer humanitarian aid to Iran after an earthquake in the southern part of the country killed at least 5,000 and injured 30,000, the White House said Friday.

"I extend my condolences to all those touched by this tragedy," President George W. Bush said in a statement Friday. "The thoughts of all Americans are with the victims and their families at this time, and we stand ready to help the people of Iran."

A senior administration official said it was too early to say what form the aid might take. The Red Cross, the Iranian Red Crescent Society and the United Nations are assessing damage, and the U.S. assistance will reflect what those organizations and what Tehran say Iran needs, the official said.

Bush said: "We are greatly saddened by the loss of life, injuries, and widespread damage to this ancient city."

Bush had not spoken to any Iranian leaders, said his spokesman, Scott McClellan, who was flying with the president to Texas for a weeklong holiday break at his ranch in Crawford.

McClellan said he did not know whether any aid discussions would be carried out through an intermediary organization or a third country.

The United States does not have formal diplomatic relations with Iran, which Bush described, along with Iraq and North Korea, as part of the "axis of evil" in his 2002 State of the Union speech. The United States says Iran sponsors terrorism, is trying to acquire nuclear weapons and has a poor human rights record.

U.S. sanctions prohibit most trade with Iran and most dealings between the countries are conducted through the auspices of Switzerland, Pakistan or international organizations.

Last year, United States used the United Nations to channel $300,000 in humanitarian aid to Iran after a magnitude 6.1 million quake killed 245 people in the northwestern part of the country.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1072420674113&p=1008596981749
7 posted on 12/27/2003 1:40:41 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
City of the Dead in Iran

December 27, 2003
The Sun
Michael Lea

AT least 20,000 people were feared dead last night after an earthquake left the ancient Iranian city of Bam devastated “beyond imagination”.

Seventy per cent of its traditional mud-brick buildings — home to 80,000 — were flattened.

Sobbing relatives tore at debris with their hands, trying to find loved ones. Corpse after shrouded corpse was loaded into vans.

As darkness fell homeless families huddled under blankets, shivering in temperatures of -6°C.

A distraught 17-year-old who gave her name only as Maryam said: “I have lost all my family under the rubble.” A grief-stricken old woman smeared her face with dirt as she repeated: “My child, my child.”

At Bam’s only cemetery, 1,000 mourners wailed and beat their chests and heads as hundreds upon hundreds of bodies were buried in mass graves.

Mohammed Karimi, in his 30s, was there with his dead wife and daughter. Cradling four-year-old Nazine’s body, he sobbed: “Last night before she went to sleep she made me a drawing and kissed me four times. When I asked, ‘Why four kisses?’ she said, ‘Maybe I won’t see you again, Papa’.”

The official death toll stood at 20,000 with more than 50,000 injured. About 90 per cent of the injured were said to be critical.

Countries including Britain geared up for an international aide operation. A spokesman for Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott said fire and rescue teams from Essex, Hampshire and Kent were on their way.

Those on stand-by included Rapid-UK, which has up to 20 rescuers and search dogs ready to jet off, and a 15-strong team from the British-based International Rescue Corps.

US President George Bush vowed to send humanitarian assistance, despite his country having broken off diplomatic relations with Iran after 52 Americans were held hostage there throughout 1980.

Russia, Greece, Italy, Germany and Jordan also pledged help. UN officials said they were releasing an immediate emergency grant of £60,000 and had sent experts to assess damage.

The most pressing need was said to be for medicines, tents, mobile hospitals, electricity generators, water purification equipment and blankets.

The quake — 6.3 on the Richter scale — struck at 5.28am local time. It was followed by a series of aftershocks, one measuring 5.3.

Water supplies, electricity and phone lines were all cut to the city, 630 miles south-east of the capital Tehran. Its 2,000-year-old citadel — which attracts thousands of tourists — was all but ruined.

Two hospitals crumbled, crushing doctors and nurses. Hundreds of injured had to be evacuated to hard-pressed hospitals 120 miles away. Many lay on floors waiting for life-saving treatment.

Roads in and out of Bam were choked with ambulances ferrying the wounded and people desperately searching for family members.

Local politician Mohammad Ali Karimi said: “There are a lot of dead and injured. What is certain is the old structure of the city has been totally destroyed.”

It was the worst quake to hit Iran since 1990 when 50,000 people died in the north west.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2003600515,00.html
8 posted on 12/27/2003 1:41:39 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
2,000 Years of History in Ruins

December 27, 2003
The Guardian
Tania Branigan

For two millennia the tawny walls of the ancient citadel at Bam rose from the vast Dasht'e Kavir desert, drawing traders and pilgrims towards the lush oasis. But in just a few minutes yesterday morning, those centuries of splendour vanished as one of Iran's greatest archaeological treasures was levelled.

The citadel, one of the greatest mudbrick structures in the world, had simply crumbled - along with hundreds of houses in the modern city around it.

While Bam has a long and glorious past it was its more recent success as an agricultural and industrial centre which drew thousands of migrants from across the south-east of Iran, indirectly leading to the earthquake's huge death toll.

Large-scale, low-quality construction dominated as foreign and domestic investment boosted the city's population to as many as 200,000 inhabitants. Residents copied the mudbrick structures of their ancestors, but added heavier roofing and threw up the buildings rapidly to cope with the desperate shortage of housing.

Until yesterday Bam's rapid growth appeared to herald a city on the rise. Much of the credit for its expansion is owed to Iran's former president, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who was born to a pistachio-farming family in the region.

The city is famed for its rich crops: above all its dates, but also the oranges which are currently in season. Lush citrus groves surround the urban sprawl.

Mr Rafsanjani used his position to electrify the city - although power was cut off by yesterday's quake - and create the Arg special economic zone at Bam, where Daewoo car seats are now manufactured. Further investment brought hotels, sports fields, a race course and an airport - which may prove crucial to the international rescue and relief operation.

The new facilities now lie amid the devastation of the older areas, where residents yesterday shivered around the bonfires they had built on rubble-strewn streets.

"The historical quarter of the city has been completely destroyed and caused great human loss," said Mehran Nourbakhsh, chief spokesman for the Red Crescent.

There could be no greater contrast with the splendour the city once knew. Its citadel, Arg-e Bam, built from mud bricks, straw and the trunks of palm trees, covers almost six square kilometres. Hundreds of houses encircled the ruler's palace; its central stables housed 200 horses; and it boasted a prison, a bazaar and a gymnasium. It appears that few of those structures remain today.

"It's a tragedy for the whole country," said Shahrokh Razmjou, a curator at the National Museum of Iran in Tehran.

"The citadel is one of the greatest structures made in mudbrick in the world. Outside the fortified walls you have traces of the Parthian period, almost 2,000 years ago, and there are references to the town in documents from earlier periods as well."

Dr Razmjou said that over time the town has developed layer upon layer. "There have been reconstructions and changes to the city in different dynasties. You have almost everything there from different periods: mosques, schools, the palace for governor and houses for the people."

Bam became an important commercial centre because of its location on the Silk Road between China and Europe, and the southern trade route from Pakistan and India. The city is just 350km (217 miles) west of modern Pakistan.

It was celebrated for its high quality textiles, and its Zoroastrian fire temple - later replaced by a mosque - attracted pilgrims from across the region. At the height of its power, in the Savafid period, between the 16th and 18th centuries, it was home to almost 13,000 people.

But it gradually declined in importance after an Afghan invasion in 1722, and most residents moved to areas outside the walls in the 19th century, leaving the citadel to be used as barracks until even the army abandoned it in 1932.

Restoration efforts began 21 years later, and after the revolution it became a major tourist site, attracting more than 100,000 visitors each year.

But tourism had recently been hit by crime in the region, including the kidnap of western holidaymakers by armed gangs.

Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office advised visitors to exercise caution and travel only with government-approved tours.

The loss of valuable income from foreign holidaymakers will compound the desperate plight of Bam's residents. "Historically and archaeologically the whole area is very, very rich and a very important part of Iran," said Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis, a curator at the British Museum and editor of Iran, a journal of Iranian studies.

"It's a terrible shame, though the human loss is of course far greater. With this earthquake the damage is probably so, so great that I don't know whether they can reconstruct [the citadel]. They did a lot of work there with the Cultural Heritage Foundation and have detailed plans so they do know exactly what the outlines are. But of course it would be very difficult - and costly - to reconstruct it."

Unesco, the United Nations main cultural agency, has asked Tehran for permission to dispatch an assessment team to examine what remains of the structure.

John Curtis, keeper of the ancient near east at the British Museum, said that the Iranian government had a good record in preserving cultural sites, but that there were not many precautions they could have taken to prevent damage to a site such as the citadel.

"They have looked after archaeological and historic sites very well and I'm sure they will do their best to minimise the impact of this disaster, but it will be substantial nonetheless," he said.

"It's a very spectacular site, incredibly well preserved, which is why it's so important; it's a whole 18th century town. It's a great loss to the cultural heritage of Iran.

"The tourist trade in Iran has been gradually increasing ever since the revolution and there are many spectacular sites. But I have no doubt they were hoping to promote and encourage tourism and this is obviously a blow to that effort."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/iran/story/0,12858,1112944,00.html
9 posted on 12/27/2003 2:05:49 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Survivor: "I Feel I Could Die Tonight It's So Cold"

December 26, 2003
Reuters
Parisa Hafezi

BAM, Iran -- Tahmasb Yousefabadi said he lost 17 family members when an earthquake razed much of this ancient Iranian city and buried thousands of people.

Streets were packed with frightened survivors, huddling under blankets and hoping that relief supplies would come soon.

"No-one has come to help us. All we are after is a tent. I feel I could die tonight it's so cold," said Yousefabadi, 25, a taxi driver.

The quake toppled about 70 percent of the buildings in the city, burying sleeping residents under their mud-brick homes.

As night fell and temperatures headed below zero, people lit fires to keep warm and made torches from palm branches for light as they dug with bare hands for survivors.

Bam was without water, gas or electricity. Bawling infants and dazed adults who had escaped the collapse of their homes were gathered in city squares, shivering from the cold under woolen blankets.

The dead were piled on the back seats of cars or heaved into trucks. The injured lay on brick- and rubble-strewn pavements, some receiving intravenous fluids.

Workers dug trenches that were hastily filled with corpses.

"If this were the West, we would have had plenty of help by now," said Ruhollah Bahrami, a shopkeeper.

Roads into Bam were choked with ambulances and cars full of people desperate to find out whether their relatives were alive.

Residents handed out biscuits to the motorists and gasoline to ambulances.

President Mohammad Khatami appealed for international aid. The government said it had sent 19 aircraft to ferry survivors to hospitals, while helicopters were being used to remove some of the injured.

Television showed dirty and dazed survivors packed into one commercial airliner. Many were bloodied, and some were wrapped in sheets.

Several nations were sending teams of doctors and rescuers with sniffer dogs and special equipment to locate survivors buried beneath rubble. But one survivor, Maryam, 17, said the ambulances would come too late.

"I have lost all my family. My parents, my grandmother and two sisters are under the rubble," she said.

Maliheh, 50, said she had lost her three children and was desperate for a cell phone to contact family and friends.

Old women beat their heads and smeared their faces with dirt at the sight of their relatives' corpses laid out in rows, and state television showed people wailing as the severely injured were taken to Tehran for treatment.

Reporters at the scene said that they had seen few aid workers and that the hospitals still operating were overflowing. Many of the injured were being taken to neighboring towns.

http://iranvajahan.net/cgi-bin/news.pl?l=en&y=2003&m=12&d=27&a=6
10 posted on 12/27/2003 2:06:59 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Bump!
11 posted on 12/27/2003 2:11:37 AM PST by windchime (Podesta about Bush: "He's got four years to try to undo all the stuff we've done." (TIME-1/22/01))
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To: DoctorZIn


September 18, 2001: Iranian women light candles in Tehran's Mohseni Square in memory of the victims of the terror attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington DC.


Ordinary Iranians mourned 9/11.. one died that night at the hands of the thugs in the regime who attacked those mourning.
12 posted on 12/27/2003 2:11:57 AM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
Pak revelations strengthen probe into Iran's N-programme

Associated Press
Vienna, December 27

While Pakistan and its nationals are believed to have played the major role in helping Iran's nuclear programme, more than six other countries are now under UN scrutiny, diplomats and arms experts say.

They say a months-long investigation by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has traced the origins of the Iranian enrichment programme to the late 1980s, when Iran was supplied with the first drawings on centrifuge technology, its main way of enriching uranium.

The investigations have widened "well beyond" Pakistan, Russia and China to include companies in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and other West European countries, one diplomat said.

One of those talking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity also linked Pakistan to North Korea's weapons programme, saying US intelligence had "pretty convincing" evidence of such a connection.

Iran and North Korea are the key concerns of the Vienna-based UN atomic agency, whose main task is to curb weapons proliferation through inspections and monitoring of countries that have ratified the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.

North Korea withdrew from that treaty after the Bush administration revealed the existence of its nuclear weapons programme late last year.

After months of intense international pressure, Iran now is cooperating with IAEA efforts to unravel nearly two decades of covert activities that the United States and other countries say point to a weapons programme.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_509869,00050004.htm
13 posted on 12/27/2003 2:35:18 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: freedom44; DoctorZIn; nuconvert; McGavin999; RaceBannon; Eala; AdmSmith
A great webpage to see pictures of Ancient Buildings and remains in the province of Kerman, Iran.

http://www.kermanmiras.org/albums/albums_new.htm
14 posted on 12/27/2003 3:29:05 AM PST by F14 Pilot (life cannot be built by hand or bought by man.)
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To: DoctorZIn
L.A.-based search-and-rescue team headed to Iran

AP
Herald Tribune, CA
Saturday, December 27

LOS ANGELES --
A search-and-rescue team comprised primarily of county firefighters prepared to depart Saturday to Iran to aid victims of a devastating earthquake.

About 70 firefighters from California Task Force Two were loading up equipment early Saturday morning at a Pacoima facility and were set to fly to Iran aboard a military cargo plane, said Inspector Roland Sprewell of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

It was the first international deployment for the team, which also responded to the 1994 Northridge earthquake, the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and went to New York City and Washington D.C. following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Sprewell said.

The crews were packing enough food to sustain them for 10 to 15 days, which is the expected length of their mission, he said.

Special cameras with lenses that can fit in tight crevices were being packed for the trip and search dogs also were going on the trip to Iran, Sprewell said. Several local fire departments volunteered search dogs, including "Duke," a chocolate Labrador from Santa Barbara County, that recently searched for survivors following the Paso Robles earthquake.

A magnitude 6.5 quake hit the southeast Iranian city of Bam early Friday and tens of thousands were feared dead.

The California team was one of two teams nationwide headed for Iran, with the other team being sent from Fairfax County, Va., Sprewell said.

The federal government's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance requested the help of the Los Angeles-based team, Sprewell said.

http://www.heraldtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20031227/APN/312270579
15 posted on 12/27/2003 5:14:07 AM PST by F14 Pilot (life cannot be built by hand or bought by man.)
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To: DoctorZIn
"we stand ready to help the people of Iran."
GWB

Help is on the way!

16 posted on 12/27/2003 8:08:34 AM PST by BellStar
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To: BellStar
Thank you and GWB!
17 posted on 12/27/2003 9:54:22 AM PST by F14 Pilot (life cannot be built by hand or bought by man.)
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To: DoctorZIn
I just heard FoxNews report that the USA is forming significant teams to assist in the rescue of the victims of the Iranian Earthquake. The estimates of deaths from the quake has now risen from 20,000 to 40,000 people.
18 posted on 12/27/2003 10:56:05 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
UK Experts Joining Quake Rescue

December 27, 2003
BBC News
BBCi

British rescue teams are "optimistic" they will find earthquake survivors, after arriving in Iran on Saturday.

More than 60 UK doctors, paramedics and volunteers were joining emergency workers in the city of Bam, where 10,000 to 25,000 people are feared dead.

Graham Payne, head of charity Rapid-UK said: "The weather is not too bad, so if anyone is found trapped there is a good chance we will get them out."

The UK government has pledged £150,000 to help pay for emergency supplies.

The British Embassy in Tehran said that up to 30 Britons known to be in Bam, one of Iran's most important tourist sites, all survived the earthquake.

Sniffer dogs

The British rescuers flew from Stansted Airport in Essex to Kerman, 125 miles from the epicentre of Friday's quake, which also injured thousands of people and destroyed 70% of homes.

The government funded flight also carried sniffer dogs and officials.

Christmas dinners abandoned to help

Rapid-UK's team of 20 was expected to scour rubble from two hospitals and larger apartment blocks that local workers have not had time to search.

They have specialist equipment with them, including snake-eye cameras, high-tech listening devices and carbon dioxide detectors, to search for people trapped under buildings.

Also on the flights were members of the International Rescue Corps (IRC) and fire and rescue teams from Essex, Hampshire and Kent.

The IRC's Willie McMartin said rescuers would have been working since the earthquake to rescue people on the surface of buildings.

"We then go on to look for all the people who are sub-surface, deeply trapped within the structures," he said.

"That's where the specialists come in."

The British Red Cross (BRC) has launched an appeal to raise money for tents, tarpaulins, water containers, kitchen sets and water purification tablets.

Paul Anticoni, head of international aid at BRC, said: "The Iranian Red Crescent are well trained and ready to respond to earthquakes, however due to the massive scale of this disaster they need our help."

'Thoughts and prayers'

International Development Secretary Hilary Benn described the earthquake as a "major catastrophe", but said there survivors could still be found.

He said: "We know from previous disasters that some people have remained trapped under buildings for some days."

Mr Benn said the Iranian authorities were being very helpful and had cleared the British helpers without visas.

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw spoke to Iranian foreign minister Kamal Kharrazi to express the condolences of the British Government.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of this area who have been affected," he said.

Anyone wanting to donate to the Red Cross appeal can call0207 245 1000.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3350551.stm
19 posted on 12/27/2003 11:09:07 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran's Arch-foe Israel Offers Condolences

December 27, 2003
AFP
ABC News

The Israeli Government offered condolences on Saturday following the devastating earthquake in Iran, saying it had "no conflict" with the Iranian people, despite its enmity with the Islamic regime.

"The Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister, Sylvan Shalom, addresses in the name of the Israeli Government and the people of Israel condolences to the Iranian people after the catastrophe," the Foreign Ministry said.

"The Government and people of Israel are moved by the human tragedy experienced by the Iranian people and believe that despite all differences a mobilisation of the whole international community is needed to come to the help of families of the victims and wounded," it said in a statement.

Tehran has called for international relief aid from any country except Israel following Friday's quake in south-east Iran, according to a provisional official estimate.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/s1016907.htm
20 posted on 12/27/2003 11:10:17 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
U.N. Probe Into Iran's Nuclear Program Widens

December 27, 2003
The Associated Press
The santa Fe New Mexican

VIENNA, Austria -- While Pakistani scientists are believed to have played a major role in advancing Iran's nuclear program, more than a half-dozen other countries are now being drawn into the U.N. investigation, diplomats and arms experts say.

They say a monthslong probe by the International Atomic Energy Agency has traced the origins of Iran's program to the late 1980s, when Iran was supplied with the first drawings on centrifuge technology, its main way of enriching uranium.

The investigations have widened "well beyond" Pakistan, Russia and China to include companies in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and other West European countries, said one diplomat.

There are no U.N. or other international sanctions against Iran that would have prevented foreign companies from providing equipment that could be used in a nuclear program. But investigating companies yielded useful information when the world body investigated Iraq's weapons programs in the early 1990s.

One of those diplomats talking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity also linked Pakistan to North Korea's weapons program, saying U.S. intelligence had "pretty convincing" evidence of such a connection.

Iran and North Korea are the key concerns of the Vienna-based U.N. atomic agency, whose main task is to curb weapons proliferation through inspections and monitoring of countries that have ratified the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

North Korea withdrew from that treaty after the Bush administration revealed the existence of its nuclear-weapons program late last year.

After months of intense international pressure, Iran now is cooperating with IAEA efforts to unravel nearly two decades of covert activities that the United States and other countries say point to a weapons program.

Iran insists its nuclear activities are peaceful. But suspicions have heightened with revelations that it was enriching uranium, and the discovery of traces of weapons-grade enriched uranium on some of its centrifuge equipment.

A diplomat told AP that the agency was following up on three to four different samples of highly enriched uranium -- beyond the two whose existence had been previously revealed.

The agency is trying to trace the origins of the equipment to test Iranian claims that Tehran did not enrich uranium to weapons grade and that the highly enriched traces were inadvertently "imported" on the components. Neither Iran nor the IAEA have revealed the countries of origin, but diplomats had previously told AP that Pakistan, China and Russia were among the probable suppliers.

Russia has acknowledged signing a contract with Iran in the mid-1990s to deliver equipment that could be used for laser enrichment of uranium, but officials in Moscow say the contract was canceled several years later in response to U.S. pressure in the initial stages of the program.

http://www.santafenewmexican.com/main.asp?SectionID=2&SubSectionID=8&ArticleID=37743
21 posted on 12/27/2003 11:11:05 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
"This is the Apocalypse"

December 27, 2003
The Associated Press
Ali Akbar Dareini

Overwhelmed rescue crews picked through entire city blocks of rubble in search for survivors and bodies a day after an earthquake ruined this southeast Iranian city. With the death toll in the thousands, Iran appealed for international help and promised to waive visas for foreign relief workers.

The scope of the tragedy was so vast that a reliable death toll was impossible to pin down so soon after the magnitude 6.5 quake hit Bam early Friday. The Interior Ministry's early estimate on Saturday was 20,000 dead, while two leading rescue officials said the toll could eventually double.

"As more bodies are pulled out, we fear that the death toll may reach as high as 40,000. An unbelievable human disaster has occurred," said Akbar Alavi, the governor of the city of Kerman, the provincial capital.

The leader of one relief team, Ahmad Najafi, said in one street alone in Bam on Saturday, 200 bodies had been extracted from the rubble in one hour's work. Workers used their bare hands and shovels, while a few bulldozers moved piles of bricks in the search for bodies and survivors.

A man with white turban and graying beard dug into and lifted rubble from the remains of his house, where his family was buried. When a hand of his teenage daughter appeared, he fainted and collapsed, and eventually, the bodies of his daughter, wife and two sons were brought out.

With hospitals in the area destroyed, military transport planes had to evacuate many wounded for treatment to Kerman, and even to Tehran.

"There is not a standing building in the city. Bam has turned into a wasteland. Even if a few buildings are standing, you cannot trust to live in them," Interior Minister Abdolvahed Mousavi Lari told reporters Saturday.

One man interrupted Lari as he spoke. "My father is under the rubble," the man said, his face streaked with tears. "I've been asking for help since yesterday, but nobody has come to help me. Please help me. I want my father alive."

Lari tried to calm the man down and assigned an aide to see that he got assistance.

Authorities had new trouble to deal with Saturday. About 800 convicts escaped from the Bam prison, guard Vahid Masoumpour told The Associated Press. The prison lies outside the city and its walls fractured or collapsed without killing any inmates.

Thousands of residents of the city spent Friday night outdoors, sleeping under blankets in temperatures close to freezing. A few hundred slept in tents erected by relief workers, and more tents arrived Saturday.

Men and women were seen slapping their own faces and beating their chests in an Islamic ritual of mourning.

"This is the Apocalypse. There is nothing but devastation and debris," Mohammed Karimi, in his 30s, said Friday when he brought the bodies of his wife and 4-year-old daughter to the cemetery.

The government appealed for international aid and said it would waive visa requirements for foreign relief workers.

"The disaster is far too huge for us to meet all of our needs," President Mohammad Khatami said Friday. "However, all the institutions have been mobilized."

Many countries responded, and relief crews from across Europe began arriving. A search-and-rescue team from Los Angeles — mostly county firefighters — was getting ready to go as well.

Bam's population was 80,000 before the quake, and surrounding villages were also severely damaged.

In one of the city's cemeteries, relief workers were digging and a bulldozer was excavating a mass grave. More than 20 corpses were already lying in the mass grave. A cleric and 10 relatives were saying prayers over an individual grave.

The quake destroyed much of Bam's historic landmark — a giant medieval fortress complex of towers, domes and walls, all made of mud-brick, overlooking a walled Old City, parts of which date back 2,000 years. Television images showed the highest part of the fort — including its distinctive square tower — crumbled like a sand castle down the side of the hill, though some walls still stood.

The quake struck at 5:28 a.m., while many were asleep. The state news agency IRNA put the magnitude at 6.3; the U.S. Geological Survey measured it at 6.5. Survivors were panicked throughout the day by aftershocks, including one that registered a magnitude of 5.3, according to the geophysics institute of Tehran University.

The interior minister said 70 percent of residential Bam had been destroyed, and there was no electricity, water or telephone service. Iran's Red Crescent, the Islamic equivalent of the Red Cross, said rescue and relief teams had been sent to Bam from numerous provinces.

Entire neighborhoods in Bam had collapsed. On one street, only a wall and the trees were standing. People carried away injured, while others sat sobbing next to the blanket-covered corpses of their loved ones. One man held his head in his hands and wailed.

The quake's epicenter was outside Bam, and nearby villages were also damaged in the region, which is home to about 230,000 people and lies about 630 miles southeast of the capital, Tehran.

In Iran, quakes of more than magnitude 5 usually kill people because most buildings are not built to withstand earthquakes, although the country sits on several major fault lines and temblors are frequent. Iran has a history of earthquakes that kill thousands of people, including one of magnitude 7.3 that killed about 50,000 people in northwest Iran in 1990.

The United Nations cultural agency, UNESCO, asked Iran for permission to send an UNESCO team of experts to the city's historic fortress, which has been under consideration for the agency's list of protected World Heritage Sites.

Parts of the Old City — once an important stop on the Silk Road through Asia — date back 2,000 years, though most of the structures were built in the 15th to 18th centuries.

Khatami declared three days of mourning. "God willing, we will try even harder to meet your needs," he said in a phone call to Kerman's governor that was aired on television.

Shocked Iranians mobilized to help. In Tehran, volunteers jammed a blood donation center. In Fars province, neighboring Kerman, the governor asked for donations of blankets and food and for volunteers to head to Bam to help in relief work.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=540&ncid=736&e=4&u=/ap/20031227/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iran_earthquake
22 posted on 12/27/2003 11:11:59 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Martial Law Instated in Kerman Province

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Dec 27, 2003

State of Martial Law has been instated in Kerman Province and especially in the cities of Bam and Jiroft destroyed by the deadly quake.

Thousands of security forces have been deployed under the command of the infamous General Ghalibaf, sent to Bam, in order to control the desastrous situation and to repress the spontaneous and sporadic protest actions which have followed the quake.

Many residents and first voluntary rescuers are blaming the regime for the increase of the Death Toll which has reached over 30,000 individuals.

Tens of protesters have been arrested as they were shouting slogans against the regime and its leaders. Protesters were qualifying the regime's leaders as "bunch of thiefs and murderers".

The situation on the ground has been reported as dramatic and apocalyptic.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_4230.shtml
23 posted on 12/27/2003 11:24:11 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
The sheer numbers are hard to grasp.

May God bless the victims of this tragedy.
24 posted on 12/27/2003 11:29:58 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (Submitting approval for the CAIR COROLLARY to GODWIN'S LAW.)
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To: DoctorZIn
70,000 Dead and Wounded According to Health Minister

December 27, 2003
Misna.org
Misna

The earthquake that devastated the city of Bam in southeast Iran yesterday morning may have killed or wounded as many as 70,000 people, the Iranian health minister Massoud Pezechkian has told the news agency ‘AFP’.

“We currently estimate that 65-70 per cent of the inhabitants of Bam were killed or wounded” when their houses collapsed, the politician said.

This would take the number of casualties to around 70,000. “The problem is that we have not recorded the number of dead and wounded exactly. The figure that we have represents the total number of people involved, which is very, very high,” added the minister.

Pezechkian concluded by inviting the international community to send medicines and equipment, but not volunteers.

One hundred thousand people lived in Bam before the earthquake, which measured 6,3 on the Richter scale, while the same number again populated the province. Earlier, government sources put the death toll at around 20,000, with 30,000 victims.

http://www.misna.org/news.asp?lng=1&id=103560
25 posted on 12/27/2003 11:35:41 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
U.S. Sends Medical Supplies, Searchers to Iran

December 27, 2003
The Associated Press
Scott Lindlaw

CRAWFORD, Texas -- The Bush administration is sending 150,000 pounds of medical supplies to quake-ravaged Iran in a military airlift, government officials said Saturday.

The administration is also dispatching teams of about 200 search-and-rescue and medical experts from Fairfax County, Virginia, Los Angeles and Boston, the officials said.

The military and civilian teams will work with the International Red Cross, the Iranian Red Crescent Society and the United Nations to determine needs and distribute the supplies.

Among the medical supplies being shipped to Iran are blood, food and other humanitarian rations, the officials said. The effort is being coordinated by the White House, State Department and the Pentagon, which is supplying at least a half-dozen cargo planes, several of them from Kuwait.

The airlift could mark a significant step forward in relations with Iran, which President Bush branded part of an ``axis of evil'' last year for allegedly seeking weapons of mass destruction.

Two Americans are among the casualties in the devastating earthquake that rocked southeastern Iran, a State Department official said Saturday.

Spokesman Lou Fintor said one American was killed and another was injured in Friday's powerful quake in the ancient city of Bam.

The State Department did not release the names of the two Americans, who were visiting the city's 2,000-year-old citadel at the time.

Fintor said the injured American has been hospitalized in Tehran and is receiving medical care. The injuries are serious but do not appear to be life-threatening, he said.

Iran's Interior Ministry has estimated that about 20,000 people were killed in the earthquake, but rescue officials said the number could be twice as high.

More than 30,000 people were injured.

In a statement of Friday, President Bush offered his condolences to ``all those touched by this tragedy.''

http://cbsnewyork.com/national/US-Iran-aa/resources_news_html
26 posted on 12/27/2003 12:08:08 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
US Government Working with Iranian Authorities

December 27, 2003
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

The United States government is currently working with Iranian authorities, the United Nations, and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent to rapidly deploy humanitarian assistance to the people of Iran following yesterday's devastating earthquake in Bam.

The United States will deploy civilian teams composed of more than 200 experts in urban search and rescue, emergency surgery, and disaster response coordination -- including medical response teams from Boston, Massachusetts, and local disaster response teams from Los Angeles, California, and Fairfax County, Virginia. Disaster response experts will also be drawn from USAID, FEMA, and the Department of State, and the US military will deliver more than 150,000 pounds of medical supplies from bases in Kuwait to the people of Iran.

The United States will continue to work with Iranian authorities and international relief organizations to help the people of Iran during this challenging time.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/12/20031227-1.html
27 posted on 12/27/2003 12:08:54 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
OFFICIALS OFFER CONFLICTING FIGURES ON THE TOLL FROM THE QUAKE

TEHRAN-Kerman, 27 Dec (IPS)

More than 24 hours after the strong earthquake that destroyed the old Iranian city of Bam in the southeastern Province of Kerman, the authorities have not been able to provide an official toll of dead and wounded.

While the official news agency IRNA quoted some local officials as having refuted certain media claims, including one by Iran Press Service on the toll from the Friday earthquake, Health Minister Ahmad Pezeshkian confirmed that out of the city’s 80.000 to 90.000 inhabitants are dead or wounded, with more than 5.000 transferred to hospitals in other cities.

Director of Iran’s Natural Disasters Headquarters Abbas Jazayeri told reporters that the injured have been taken to hospitals in Khorasan, Fars, Isfahan and Yazd provinces. Jazayeri said some of the injured had undergone outpatient treatment, and others have been hospitalised.

"According to Health Ministry’s statistics, 65 to 70 per cent of the population in Bam are either dead or wounded, some in critical conditions", the Minister told the independent news agency ISNA.

The Interior Ministry also estimated 20,000 dead and 30.000 injured, but two leading rescue officials said the number could be twice as high.

But Deputy Governor General of Kerman for Political and Security Affairs Mohammad Farshad said in an interview with IRNA on Saturday that certain media reports on tolls from Friday’s deadly quake in Bam were not correct, insisting that the figure is much less than what they announce.

"The figures are not correct; no precise statistics on the number of casualties are available yet but it seems that number of the victims is less", he said, adding 7,000 of the injured have thus far been carried to hospitals in Kerman and the nearby provinces.

Based on the latest surveys, Bam has a population of 100,000, Mr. Mohammad Ali Karimi, Kerman’s Governor said the bodies of 2,500 of the quake victims were buried as late as 12:00 pm on Friday, adding that the burials have been continuing throughout Saturday.

He further stressed that 300 planes and helicopters have carried out rescue operations in the quake-stricken city.

As international relief is arriving from across the world and people are complaining from the authorities slow reaction to the needy ones, reliable sources said tents, blankets, clothes, foodstuff and warm garments as well as sniffer dogs, life-detectors, ambulances, heavy and light machinery are urgently needed for the quake victims.

Rescue teams from several dozen countries had started arriving at the quake scene, the United Nations announced, and a 40-tonne UN cargo aircraft carrying aid equipment was due to leave on Sunday.

The transport plane was to fly from southern Italy carrying with 40 tonnes of tents, tarpaulins, blankets, generators and water purification tablets, donated by Italy and Norway.

The international Red Cross in Geneva appealed for almost 10 million euros (12 million dollars) to provide aid to some 200,000 people over a six-month period.

"There is not a standing building in the city. Bam has turned into a wasteland. Even if a few buildings are standing, you cannot trust to live in them", Interior Minister Hojjatoleslam Abdolvahed Mousavi Lari told reporters Saturday.

Thousands of residents of the city spent Friday night outdoors, sleeping under blankets in temperatures close to freezing. A few hundred slept in tents erected by relief workers, and more tents arrived Saturday.

Men and women were seen slapping their own faces and beating their chests in an Islamic ritual of mourning.

"The disaster is far too huge for us to meet all of our needs," President Mohammad Khatami said. "However, all the institutions have been mobilised".

Red Crescent Society, Natural Disasters Headquarters, the Islamic Republic Army, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, police and Ministry of Health are busy rendering relief services to the victims in the quake-hit areas.

"Many people braving the night's cold and darkness searched in vain their ruined houses in search of relatives buried under the ruins", one local journalist told Iran Press Service, complaining from the absence of order and coordination in providing essential services.

The quake destroyed much of Bam's historic medieval fortress complex of towers, domes and walls, all made of mud-brick, overlooking a walled Old City, parts of which date back 2,000 years. Television images showed the highest part of the fort — including its distinctive square tower — crumbled like a sand castle down the side of the hill, though some walls still stood.

ENDS IRAN EARTHQUAKE UPDATE 271203

http://www.iran-press-service.com/articles_2003/Dec-2003/iran_earthquake_toll_271203.htm
28 posted on 12/27/2003 12:11:33 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Are there US-based relief agencies we can donate money or goods to in order to help? I saw that the International Red Cross was appealing for money, and that the LA firefighters were headed over to help, but no one other than them to contact.
29 posted on 12/27/2003 12:27:40 PM PST by SeattleTiger
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To: DoctorZIn
The Iranian students who joyously wished Americans well as we celebrated our Christmas, should know that our thoughts and prayers are with them today.

America is great because of the strength and compassion of its citizens. We reach out a hand to those in need, no matter where they may live. Disaster relief is on the way.

My sympathy and prayers to the victims and those who mourn today. May God bless them.

As the New Year approaches, we have much to be thankful for. And yet there is much work that needs to be done. May the new year bring strength and resolve to the students and their quest for democracy. They are being heard.
30 posted on 12/27/2003 1:15:28 PM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (Submitting approval for the CAIR COROLLARY to GODWIN'S LAW.)
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To: DoctorZIn
US seeks bin Laden here, there and everywhere

By Mark Huband and Mohsen Asgari
Published: December 26 2003 18:43 |
Last Updated: December 26 2003 18:43

Much of the story behind Saddam Hussein's eight months on the run has yet to be made public. But US military and intelligence officials say the Iraqi dictator never wandered far from the banks of the Tigris. Remaining within the Sunni heartland, he scrambled from one farmhouse to the next, sometimes by car or van, sometimes by boat.

By contrast, Osama bin Laden, leader of the al-Qaeda terrorist group, appears to have become far more adept at evading the manhunt.

The US is unshaken in its will to find its other most-wanted fugitive. Last week, General Richard Myers, chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, vowed that Mr bin Laden "will be captured some day, just like we captured Saddam Hussein".

But Gen. Myers went on to say that the al-Qaeda leader was likely to be hiding "where he has some support, where he can buy support, and probably in very difficult terrain".

The common belief is that this terrain lies somewhere on the 1,500 mile (2,400km) wild and sparsely populated frontier between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Mr bin Laden and a handful of loyal followers could be anywhere in the high mountain passes or the tribal lands where the writ of neither Islamabad nor Kabul counts for much.

But sporadic and unconfirmed sightings of Mr bin Laden have also begun to crop up further afield. These include sightings in Kashmir, Pakistan's tribal areas and Baluchistan on the border with Iran.

Even if these do not amount to a reliable guide to his whereabouts, they are a tribute to his elusiveness. In one recent account, a man with links to Iran's intelligence services and hard-line Revolutionary Guard Corps (RGC) has told the Financial Times that he saw the al-Qaeda leader in Iran two months ago. He saw him arrive at an RGC guest house close to the small town of Najmabad, west of Tehran, on 23 October.

The al-Qaeda leader, accompanied by Ayman al-Zawahiri, his deputy, was being driven by RGC officers when they arrived at the guest house, a 90 minute drive from Tehran.

A meeting taking place in the building was suddenly halted to allow the two men to use it. The witness said both had subtly changed their appearances, with trimmed beards hair cut short. Neither was wearing their traditional turbans, he said, and both were dressed in Pakistani-style clothes and carrying long shawls across their shoulders.

Senior Iranian security officials strenuously deny the claims. The country is holding an unknown number of al-Qaeda activists, and has provided a list of names to the United Nations. But it has denied that any senior al-Qaeda figures are among those being held, and says those in the country are under house arrest. Hamid Reza Asefi, foreign ministry spokesman, said: "It is a baseless allegation and is not true at all. It is a fictitious interview with an unknown eyewitness. It is like a fantasy. Any group with any sort of interest does not back bin Laden in Iran, and he has no room in Iran."

The vehemence of the Iranian denial is a reflection of how serious the country - which George W. Bush, US president, defined as a part of an "axis of evil" - views any accusation that could make it a target of US action. Officials within the reformist government of President Mohamed Khatami also deny that Mr bin Laden has ever been in Iran. Mr Khatami's strong suspicion of al-Qaeda's Sunni fundamentalism has fed fears that Iran could itself become a target for Mr bin Laden's organisation.

The ewitness to the sighting near Najmabad did not think the government knew about the alleged visit, and said rogue hardliners in the RGC may have organised it independently.

But a senior Iranian security official said: "There have been so many similarly false stories that said bin Laden has been in Tabriz or Qazvin, but they were rumours. People tantalised by the $25m ) [offered by the US as a reward] have created these myths."

But western intelligence officials are less sure. One said the main focus of the search remained the Pakistani-Afghan border region but "it is not out of the question that he is in Iran, as we know he has been able to move around".

Those chasing Mr Hussein struggled to find him in the Sunni triangle, north of Baghdad. Those pursuing Mr bin Laden do not have the luxury of restricting their search to one district - or even to one country.

http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1071251778420&p=1012571727088
31 posted on 12/27/2003 3:12:18 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn; F14 Pilot; Grampa Dave
Many residents and first voluntary rescuers are blaming the regime for the increase of the Death Toll which has reached over 30,000 individuals.

The regime has kept the country in the third world state of danger--

Freedom is necessary for the changes which must be made.

California enacts and enforces safe building codes--

Iran enforces only obedience and conformity to tyranny.

32 posted on 12/27/2003 3:44:05 PM PST by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: DoctorZIn
U.S. Airlifting Disaster Aid into Iran:
First flights since failed hostage-rescue raid in 1980

December 27, 2003
CNN
CNN.com

WASHINGTON -- To offer assistance to Iranian earthquake victims, the United States will send its first military flights into the country since an elite force tried to rescue U.S. hostages in April 1980.

Operation Desert One was a failed, top-secret mission designed to rescue 66 hostages held in the capital, Tehran.

Mechanical problems in Iran's Great Salt Desert caused the mission to be aborted. As one of six helicopters departed, it crashed into a C-130 cargo plane, causing an explosion that killed eight servicemen.

The U.S. did not try a second rescue attempt, and the hostages were eventually released. The United States has no diplomatic ties with Iran, a nation that President Bush has labeled part of the "axis of evil."

The new mission will include more than 200 personnel and more than 150,000 pounds of medical supplies, including blood, to provide emergency assistance for the victims of Friday's earthquake in Bam, Iran, the White House said Saturday.

The earthquake -- with a magnitude of 6.6 -- hit the ancient city before dawn, killing between 5,000 and 20,000 people. As many as 30,000 people are believed to have been injured, the Interior Ministry said.

The flights carrying personnel to assist victims of the earthquake were scheduled to depart three U.S. Air Force bases -- Dover, March and Westover -- on Saturday, a Bush administration official said.

The medical supplies would be sent from U.S. bases in Kuwait, the White House said.

The plans were made after extensive discussions between the U.S. and Iranian governments, the Bush administration official said.

In a statement, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the United States is working with "Iranian authorities, the United Nations, and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent to rapidly deploy humanitarian assistance.

"The United States will deploy civilian teams composed of more than 200 experts in urban search and rescue, emergency surgery, and disaster response coordination," including medical response teams from Boston, Massachusetts, and local disaster response teams from Los Angeles, California, and Fairfax County, Virginia, the statement said.

Disaster response experts will be sent from the United States Agency for International Development and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

At least one U.S. citizen was killed in the earthquake and another was injured, a State Department official said.

The two Americans -- whose names were not released -- were in Bam to visit the city's 2,000-year-old citadel, the State Department official said.

The injured American has been hospitalized and is receiving medical care for injuries that are serious but not life-threatening, the department official said.

http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/12/27/iran.us.aid/index.html
33 posted on 12/27/2003 4:42:36 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
U.S. Airlifting Disaster Aid into Iran:
First flights since failed hostage-rescue raid in 1980

December 27, 2003
CNN
CNN.com

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1047182/posts?page=33#33
34 posted on 12/27/2003 4:43:51 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Poor Facilities Hamper Iran Rescue Efforts

December 28, 2003
The Peninsula
Agencies

BAM, Iran -- Rescue worker Omid Alipour had been given a luminous jacket but no shovel.

After a whole night clawing away at the levelled remnants of the ancient Silk Road city of Bam, shattered by a violent pre-dawn earthquake on Friday, he sheepishly admitted his team had only recovered three injured from the rubble.

“There are probably 20,000 still buried under the ruins,” an exhausted, dust-covered Alipour said. “We don’t have anything, just our bare hands.”

The official IRNA news agency reported an international sniffer dog team had recovered 20 people alive from the debris.

Alipour’s team may just have had their bare hands but they had no shortage of help.

Iranians from all corners of the country have poured into Bam to help shift the crumbled mud-brick that crushed to death at least 20,000 people and injured more than 30,000.

Blood clinics in Tehran are overwhelmed by a rush of eager donors. Collection centres for food and blankets are being set up across the capital.

But for so many people, it was too late.

Hundreds of bodies have already been tipped into broad trenches hollowed out by mechanical diggers. Cemeteries were crammed to overflowing with fully-clothed corpses and the stench of death was beginning to pervade the streets.

Fatemeh, 35, was burying her two children. “I am burying myself in this grave,” she said.

Taher, 50, was inconsolable, sobbing “wake up, wake up” to the body of his teenage son Farzad.

Television showed the injured, bloodied and bandaged, being crammed into aircraft and flown to cities around the country. It said 3,000 had been flown to hospitals in other cities.

Iran’s normally sharply divided newspapers have united in grief across the conservative and reformist camps.

The reformist Sharq newspaper said Iranians had to learn to live with earthquakes: “Nature is not violent, it is man that makes himself vulnerable by not observing the rule of nature”. It also called for enforcement of the country’s widely-flouted construction laws.

Iranian earthquake experts have attacked the Islamic Republic’s dismal earthquake education and public fatalism.

“Most people think what God wills, will happen. This is absolutely wrong. This thinking is poisonous,” Bahram Akasheh, professor of geophysics at Tehran University, told Reuters in an interview in October.

Twenty people were pulled from the ruins of the quake-devastated city after being located amid the rubble by sniffer dogs provided by the Iranian army or European donors, the official Irna news agency reported.

Iranian reluctance to allow foreign rescue teams to bring the animals delayed international relief efforts after quakes in Iran in 1990 and again last year. But since the mid-1990s a growing number of Iranian theologians have justified the use of sniffer dogs to save human life and on Friday the interior ministry specifically appealed for international donors to send the animals.

The dogs provided by the Iranian army are normally used in the fight against traffickers of heroin and cannabis from neighbouring Afghanistan and Pakistan headed for Europe and the Gulf.

Between 65 and 70 percent of 90,000-strong population of Bam was killed in Friday’s pre-dawn temblor, which razed the fortress city’s historic heart.

Thousands are believed to lie buried amid the ruins and the race has been on to rescue them as night-time temperatures plummeted to below zero degrees Celsius.

http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/Display_news.asp?section=World_News&subsection=Gulf%2C+Middle+East+%26+Africa&month=December2003&file=World_News2003122811754.xml
35 posted on 12/27/2003 4:45:24 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Survivors Deplore Poor Rescue Efforts

December 27, 2003
The Peninsula
Agencies

BAM -- Survivors of the massive earthquake were beside themselves with grief yesterday, as the scale of the catastrophe swamped rescue workers.

Dozens of bodies littered the streets of the city, built almost entirely from mud brick and ill-equipped to withstand disaster, witnesses said. Bereaved residents wandered the streets pleading for the authorities to speed up rescue efforts after the historic centre of the city — once a jewel in the crown of Iran’s rich culture — was completely destroyed.

Streets were packed with frightened survivors. Bawling infants and dazed adults who escaped the collapse of their homes gathered in city squares, cowering from the piercing cold under woollen blankets. “No-one has come to help us, all we are after is a tent. I feel I could die tonight it’s so cold,” said Yousefabadi, 25.

The dead were piled onto the back seats of cars or heaved into trucks. Brick and rubble-strewn pavements were peppered with the prostrate injured, some on intravenous drips. Workers dug trenches that were hastily filled with corpses. As soon as the graves were dug, survivors buried their dead, foregoing the traditional Muslim rite of washing them beforehand because they were impossible to perform. As men and women watched in tears, the diggers quickly dumped earth on top.

Ruhollah Bahrami, a shopkeeper, also felt let down by the authorities. “If this were the West, we would have had plenty of help by now,” he said.

President Mohammad Khatami acknowledged the Islamic Republic was stretched and Iran appealed for international aid. The government said it had sent 19 aircraft to ferry survivors to hospitals and it was using helicopters to lift out some of the injured.

Television showed dirty and dazed survivors packed into one commercial airliner. Many were bloodied and some were wrapped in sheets. Several nations were sending teams of doctors and rescuerswith sniffer dogs and special equipment to locate survivorsburied beneath rubble.

But Maryam, 17, accepted the ambulances would come too late. “I have lost all my family. My parents, my grandmother and two sisters are under the rubble,” she said. Maliheh, 50, said she had lost her three children and was desperate for a mobile phone to contact family and friends.

Old women beat their heads and smeared their faces with dirt before the corpses of their relations laid out in rows, and state television showed people wailing as their severely injured relatives were taken to Tehran for treatment.

As night fell and temperatures headed below zero, people lit fires to keep warm and made torches from palm branches for light as they dug with bare hands for survivors. Bam was without water, gas or electricity. Residents scoured for any kind of vehicle that would take them to refuge in the province’s main city of Kerman.

http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/Display_news.asp?section=World_News&subsection=Gulf%2C+Middle+East+%26+Africa&month=December2003&file=World_News200312274544.xml
36 posted on 12/27/2003 4:47:31 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
U.S., Iran Hold Direct Talks on Quake Relief

December 27, 2003
Reuters
Mark Felsenthal

CRAWFORD, Texas -- U.S. and Iranian officials put aside diplomatic differences to directly discuss humanitarian aid after the earthquake in Iran that claimed tens of thousands of lives, a State Department official said on Saturday.

The United States will send government and civilian emergency workers and 75,000 tons of medical supplies to Iran, the White House said.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said in a statement that the United States was working with Iranian authorities, the United Nations and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent to quickly send aid to Iran after the devastating earthquake in the city of Bam, where officials estimate the death toll at 20,000.

The U.S. announcement followed rare direct talks between U.S. and Iranian officials, State Department spokesman Lou Fintor said.

"Given the urgency of the situation we deemed direct contact to be the most appropriate channel," Fintor said.

Washington broke relations with the Islamic republic after students stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979 and held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.

President Bush, in his 2002 State of the Union speech, branded Iran as part of an "axis of evil." But the president offered condolences to the families of the dead and injured on Friday and promised the United States would provide humanitarian aid.

U.S. officials usually communicate with Tehran through intermediaries, often channeling messages through Swiss diplomats.

But Fintor denied there was diplomatic significance to the direct contacts with Iran.

"There is no political angle. There is a humanitarian catastrophe in Iran and our only mission is to alleviate the human suffering associated with yesterday's earthquake," he said.

Iran's quick acceptance of help contrasts with its rejection in 1990 of outside doctors, workers, blood supplies, sniffer dogs and used clothes after an earthquake claimed 36,000 lives and injured 100,000 people.

The United Sates will send medical response teams from Boston, Los Angeles and Virginia and disaster experts from government agencies, McClellan said. The U.S. military will deliver medical supplies from bases in Kuwait, said the spokesman, who was with Bush at his Texas ranch.

Separately, World Vision, a major U.S.-based humanitarian relief organization, announced it plans to airlift supplies to Iran next week.

World Vision said it would send an airlift of $250,000 worth of supplies including plastic sheeting and water purification tablets and equipment early next week.

http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=politicsNews&storyID=4049458
37 posted on 12/27/2003 4:48:27 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Now Iran must face the political aftershocks

By John Simpson
(Filed: 28/12/2003)

Apart from a tidal wave, no natural phenomenon is as terrifying as an earthquake. As the earth bucks and heaves underneath you, throwing off the feeble constraints that mankind has built on it, you realise how helpless we are when the forces of the planet choose to exert themselves.

In Iran, as in India, Turkey and Mexico - three other countries which have suffered severe earthquakes in recent decades - the disasters have been made far worse by bad and careless building. Bam's suffering was caused as much by shoddy construction as by seismic action.

Iran, one of the most beautiful countries on earth, both in terms of landscape and architecture, has been horribly vulnerable to earthquakes during the past quarter-century. In 1978, 1990 and now 2003, there has been frightening destruction and loss of life, worse than any other country has suffered during this period.

The sight of the citadel of Bam, dominating the landscape as you cross the Dasht-e Kevir desert, was always a magnificent one. Now, many of the buildings within the citadel walls have been shaken to a mass of reddish-brown dust as the sun-dried bricks simply crumbled under the pressure. There was little wood to absorb the sudden shock: Bam rises up in the centre of a vast arid plain, with few natural sources of timber nearby.

The citadel itself dates at least from the days of the Parthians, 2,000 years ago. They presented a persistent threat to the Roman Empire. The rest of the town, built around the citadel's base, had been largely unchanged since the late 17th or early 18th centuries. It is nearly as much an aesthetic and cultural disaster as a human one.

The bolder Western tourists who went there and were delighted by its air of unchanged majesty, and by the spectacular views over the surrounding plain, were never large in number, but in recent years even they have been staying away because of the danger of attack and kidnapping in the lawless area between Bam and the Pakistani border; Baluchistan has always been a tricky place for Westerners to penetrate. Now, presumably, no tourists will go there at all, and the money they once brought with them will be spent elsewhere.

The Iranian government has had a great deal of experience in dealing with the aftermath of earthquakes, and the rescue operation is likely to be relatively efficient. It is helped by the genuine efforts of many other countries, including Britain and the United States.

Earthquakes have always had a strong political aftershock in Iran; the one in Tabas, which killed 15,000 people, was used by the enemies of the Shah to undermine his reputation for good and concerned government. Now the Americans are trying to turn the Bam earthquake to a more peaceful advantage. President Bush abated his habitual threatening tone towards Iran and made a statement of generous concern. Unlike the quieter American assistance that followed last year's smaller earthquake, Mr Bush was open about America's willingness to help.

The quarrelsome, competitive press in Teheran has reported this fully. Iranians are people of considerable generosity of spirit, and do not forget these things. Ever since the revolution of 1978-9, the relationship between Britain and Iran has always been a difficult one, but it was at its friendliest and closest after the 1990 earthquake, close to the Caspian Sea, which killed 35,000 people.

The government of Margaret Thatcher immediately offered help and aid on a large scale, and President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was touched and grateful that the country, which was often regarded as its enemy, should have stood by Iran at such a time. Soon, a high-level delegation from London visited Teheran, and the strange on-again, off-again relationship between the two countries became noticeably warmer for a time.

Now, swift and generous aid from both Britain and America may offer a new opportunity for closer links with Iran: assuming, of course, that Washington wants that. Britain certainly does, and Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, has put his personal prestige into the balance to try to improve the relationship. It is the difficult, gridlocked politics of Iran itself that have prevented closer links between London and Teheran during the past year.

As experienced Western volunteers fly in to Iran to help, and Europe and America give large amounts of money to the charities that are co-ordinating the relief work, we will have another chance to improve the atmosphere with a country which is never easy to deal with, but which is too important to leave out in the cold.

And there is another opportunity. The Iranian government has shown itself to be remarkably concerned with its historical and architectural heritage. We should do what we can to help Iran rebuild Bam in something like its past glory.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2003/12/28/wqke228.xml&sSheet=/news/2003/12/28/ixnewstop.html
38 posted on 12/27/2003 7:52:32 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Fortress in Bam after earthquake
39 posted on 12/27/2003 8:54:45 PM PST by nuconvert
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To: DoctorZIn
Fortress after earthquake
40 posted on 12/27/2003 9:05:37 PM PST by nuconvert
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To: DoctorZIn

41 posted on 12/27/2003 9:07:07 PM PST by nuconvert
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To: nuconvert

42 posted on 12/27/2003 9:08:32 PM PST by nuconvert
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To: nuconvert

43 posted on 12/27/2003 9:09:49 PM PST by nuconvert
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To: nuconvert
A front-end loader digs a mass grave in Bam
44 posted on 12/27/2003 9:12:52 PM PST by nuconvert
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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”

45 posted on 12/28/2003 12:16:52 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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