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Iranian Alert -- December 29, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 12.29.2003 | DoctorZin

Posted on 12/29/2003 12:01:28 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 12/29/2003 12:01:28 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 12/29/2003 12:04:01 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Tehran accepts American help without hesitation

Scotsman - By Mike Theodoulou
Dec 29, 2003

IRAN’S decision to accept the United States’ offer of aid within hours of the earthquake was a far cry from 1990, when Tehran was slow to appeal for international aid after a quake that killed 35,000 people.

Then, the authorities dithered before accepting help from traditional enemies such as the US and Iraq, a decision that brought criticism from the Iranian public.

Last week, Iraq’s president, Mohammad Khatami, wasted little time before admitting his country was unable to cope with the disaster alone.

That Iran has now appealed for help - from everyone apart from Israel - is a sign both of the magnitude of the disaster and of how far the country has sought to move away from the international isolation it courted under the Ayatollah Khomeini.

Mr Khatami, a reformer, has worked hard to improve ties with other countries in the Middle East and the rest of the world after he was elected in 1997.

When an earthquake killed 1,500 people that year, Tehran swiftly brushed aside political differences with the West to appeal for help.

European diplomats in Iran are hoping the US offer of help, and Iran’s swift acceptance, will help improve ties between Tehran and Washington, which were severed more than two decades ago.

George Bush, the US president, has offered condolences to the families of the dead and injured and promised humanitarian aid.

"The Americans are starting to send in aid and it’s a very positive step," one envoy in Tehran said. "Whether the momentum of goodwill is sustained is a different question.

"It would be great if it led to something and a lot of diplomacy does move by lucky breaks and things like this happening, which allow other things to happen, but it’s far too early to talk about the long-term effects that might accrue from this.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_4257.shtml
3 posted on 12/29/2003 12:06:43 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Hope fades in Iran as crews expect to find few survivors amid ruins of ancient city

ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writer
Sunday, December 28, 2003 (12-28) 13:52 PST BAM, Iran (AP) --

Hopes of finding more earthquake survivors in Iran's ancient city of Bam faded Sunday as the sharp, foul smell of death permeated the pulverized rubble where mud-brick houses became instant tombs for more than 20,000 people.

Rescue workers from around the world joined Iranians in searching through powdery debris that left little room for air pockets, which could allow people to survive while awaiting help.

More than 20,000 bodies, including one American killed while visiting the city's 2,000-year-old citadel, have been retrieved since Friday's 6.6-magnitude earthquake shook the city and surrounding region in southeast Iran, a local government spokesman said.

Another 10,000 people were hospitalized, the spokesman Asadollah Iranmanesh said. Other officials have expressed fears that the death toll could rise as high as 40,000.

Only one man was pulled alive from the rubble Sunday, Iranmanesh said. A day earlier, officials reported freeing 150 survivors.

"We have not lost hope for survivors, and our priority remains to find them," Interior Minister Abdolvahed Mousavi Lari said.

Later, he told reporters that the search for survivors would probably end Monday night: "Tomorrow is the last hope."

Experts say that 72 hours is generally the longest people can survive if they are trapped in rubble. Sunrise Monday is Bam's 72-hour mark.

Planes from dozens of countries landed in the provincial capital of Kerman with relief supplies, volunteers and dogs trained to find bodies and survivors. U.S. military C-130 cargo planes were among them, despite long-severed diplomatic relations and President Bush's characterization of Iran as being part of an "axis of evil" with Iraq and North Korea.

Interior Minister Lari said Iran accepted U.S. government help and not Israeli help because Tehran considers the United States a legitimate government, but opposes Israel for its actions against Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Israel "is a force of occupation," he said.

As for Americans, Lari said. "I believe it is possible that they have a humanitarian sensibility in such a dramatic situation."

Traffic clogged the roads leading in and out of Bam, 630 miles southeast of Tehran, the Iranian capital.

Survivors with any kind of motor vehicle loaded furniture and whatever they could salvage and headed for other cities. Incoming traffic brought relief supplies, volunteers and relatives desperate for news of their kin.

Mostafa Biderani and his wife, Zahra Nazari, wept in front of a destroyed police station in the center of Bam, slapping their faces and beating their chests in an Islamic expression of grief.

"I pulled my son out of the rubble this morning," said Biderani, who drove from Isfahan, 470 miles to the northwest. "But all my hopes were dashed when I saw the police station had collapsed. I pulled out my son with my bare hands."

The traditional sun-dried, mud-brick construction of the houses doomed many occupants, as it has for centuries in quake-prone Iran. Heavy roofs, often sealed with cement or plaster to keep out rain, sit atop mud-brick walls that have no support beams. When walls crumble, roofs smash down, leaving few air pockets and crushing or suffocating anyone inside. Friday's quake struck about 5:30 a.m. when most people were sleeping.

"In these conditions, we are not optimistic of finding anyone alive. Hopes are dwindling fast," said Barry Sessions of Britain's Rapid-UK rescue group, which did not find any survivors in 24 hours of searching.

"The earthquake reduced most of the buildings to something like talcum powder. Many of the casualties suffocated and there are few voids or gaps left in the buildings where we would normally find survivors."

His thoughts were echoed by other relief workers.

Luca Spoletini, spokesman for the Italian Civil Protection, said its teams found nothing but corpses after a day spent probing the rubble.

Describing a visit to Barazat, a town with a population of 20,000 a few miles outside Bam, Spoletini said, "There is nothing any more. Not one single house, not one single building stands upright. It is like the Apocalypse. I have never seen anything like that."

By Saturday night, enough tents had arrived to accommodate the thousands of homeless. There was even a bit of normalcy, with people complaining they had to share a tent with another family.

Looters were also out, grabbing food from warehouses and grocery shops. Police tried to control them by shooting in the air.

In addition to Italian and British teams, rescuers, supplies or pledges of aid arrived from Austria, Azerbaijan, Britain, Finland, Germany, Russia, Turkey and dozens of other nations.

The United States arranged an airlift of 150,000 pounds of food, water and medical supplies. Four military planes flew into the country from Kuwait.

"The reception was beyond expectations," said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Jeff Bohn, who was on the first plane. "The warmth that the Iranian military and civil aviation workers gave us was truly incredible."

An Iranian navy helicopter crashed 30 miles southwest of Bam on Sunday after delivering tents and blankets, the regional governor's office said. All three crewmen were killed, he said.

Bam was best known for its medieval citadel, considered the world's largest surviving mud fortress. Most of the fortress, including a massive square tower, crumbled like a sand castle when the quake hit.

Associated Press reporter Alessandra Rizzo in Bam contributed to this report.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/2003/12/28/international1457EST0492.DTL
4 posted on 12/29/2003 12:14:03 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; ...
Questions regarding the disaster in Iran

30 Dec 2003
Posted on 12/28/2003 10:57:50 PM PST by Khashayar

I am an Iranian Freeper, Would like to answer your questions on Iran.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1047949/posts?
5 posted on 12/29/2003 12:18:17 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Thanks Doc! FREE IRAN!
6 posted on 12/29/2003 12:27:57 AM PST by cmsgop ( It comes out your bum,Like a bullet from a gun,.."Diarrhea, Diarrhea"...........)
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To: DoctorZIn
Long Live America, Long Live a Free Iran
7 posted on 12/29/2003 12:40:23 AM PST by Khashayar
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To: DoctorZIn
Hope fades in Iran as crews expect to find few survivors amid ruins of ancient city

ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writer Monday, December 29, 2003






(12-29) 00:27 PST BAM, Iran (AP) --

Survivors and rescuers in Iran's historic city of Bam were jolted by two frightening aftershocks Monday morning that caused some of the few remaining walls to tumble and left a rising cloud of dust over the remains of the city's ancient fortress.

More than 21,000 bodies have been retrieved since Friday's 6.6-magnitude earthquake shook the city and surrounding region in southeast Iran, according to provincial government spokesman Asadollah Iranmanesh.

"Many, many more people remain buried under the rubble, increasing fears of a much greater death toll at the end," Iranmanesh said.

Some officials have expressed fears the death toll could rise as high as 40,000. Iranmanesh said Sunday that 10,000 people were hospitalized.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made an unannounced visit to Bam Monday morning to inspect relief efforts and President Mohammad Khatami was expected to arrive later in the day.

Hopes of finding more survivors faded as sunrise Monday marked 72 hours since the quake hit, entombing thousands of sleeping residents in their homes. Experts say 72 hours is generally the longest people can survive if they are trapped in rubble.

Rescue workers from around the world joined Iranians in searching through powdery debris that left little room for air pockets, which could allow people to survive while awaiting help.

James Brown, spokesman for a British rescue team, said a human being can survive three to four days without water, and three to four weeks without food.

"There is always hope for survivors," Brown said Monday.

Only one man was pulled alive from the rubble Sunday, Iranmanesh said. A day earlier, officials reported freeing 150 survivors.

Interior Minister Abdolvahed Mousavi Lari said Sunday that the search for survivors would probably end Monday night.

Ted Pearn, coordinator of U.N. relief operations in Bam, said 1,400 international relief workers were in Bam, part of 35 teams from 26 countries.

Planes from dozens of countries, including the United States, have landed in the provincial capital of Kerman with relief supplies, volunteers and trained dogs.

U.S. military C-130 cargo planes were among the arrivals, despite long-severed diplomatic relations and President Bush's characterization of Iran as being part of an "axis of evil" with Iraq and North Korea.

Interior Minister Lari said Iran accepted U.S. government help and not Israeli help because Tehran considers the United States a legitimate government, but opposes Israel for its actions against Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Israel "is a force of occupation," he said.

As for Americans, Lari said. "I believe it is possible that they have a humanitarian sensibility in such a dramatic situation."

The traditional sun-dried, mud-brick construction of the houses doomed many occupants, as it has for centuries in quake-prone Iran. Heavy roofs, often sealed with cement or plaster to keep out rain, sit atop mud-brick walls that have no support beams. When walls crumble, roofs smash down, leaving few air pockets and crushing or suffocating anyone inside.

Mostafa Biderani and his wife, Zahra Nazari, wept in front of a destroyed police station in the center of Bam, slapping their faces and beating their chests in an Islamic expression of grief.

"I pulled my son out of the rubble this morning," said Biderani, who drove from Isfahan, 470 miles to the northwest.

"In these conditions, we are not optimistic of finding anyone alive. Hopes are dwindling fast," said Barry Sessions of Britain's Rapid-UK rescue group, which did not find any survivors in 24 hours of searching.

"The earthquake reduced most of the buildings to something like talcum powder. Many of the casualties suffocated and there are few voids or gaps left in the buildings where we would normally find survivors."

His thoughts were echoed by other relief workers.

Luca Spoletini, spokesman for the Italian Civil Protection, said its teams found nothing but corpses after a day spent probing the rubble.

Describing a visit to Barazat, a town with a population of 20,000 a few miles outside Bam, Spoletini said, "There is nothing any more. Not one single house, not one single building stands upright. It is like the Apocalypse. I have never seen anything like that."

By Saturday night, enough tents had arrived to accommodate the thousands of homeless. Looters were also out, grabbing food from warehouses and grocery shops. Police tried to control them by shooting in the air.

Bam was best known for its medieval citadel, considered the world's largest surviving mud fortress. Most of the 2,000-year-old fortress, including a massive square tower, crumbled like a sand castle when the quake hit.





Associated Press writer Alessandra Rizzo in Bam contributed to this report.
8 posted on 12/29/2003 12:50:35 AM PST by stlnative
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
After months of work I am proud to announce that the Iranian Alert's "Must Read Posts Thread" is complete and current.

Special Thanks to Nuconvert and Pan_Yans Wife! It wouldn't have been done without their many hours of hard work.

Must Read Iran Posts: Your on-line briefing on Iran.

The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 12.28.2003 | DoctorZin
Posted on 12/28/2003 9:17:30 PM PST by DoctorZIn

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1047913/posts
9 posted on 12/29/2003 1:00:02 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Brief yourself on the events in Iran, the people, the issues that will likely effect all of our lives

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

10 posted on 12/29/2003 1:10:33 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Why the Iran Earthquake Death Toll is a Failure of Governance!

by Patrick S. Lasswell [A Blogger United In The Struggle]
http://pslasswell.blogspot.com/

I'm attending a First Responder (FR) advanced emergency care course these days. One of the instructors was involved in an incident this month where he came across a man laying in the middle of the road. He stopped, called 911, and within one minute he had an ambulance, a fire truck, and three patrol cars. One minute.

He told us about this incident because it was somewhat remarkable for its speed and scope of response, but it also illustrated an important point about the level of coverage in the metropolitan area. Anywhere in urban Portland, within five minutes of calling 911, the standard level of response is three EMT-Paramedics on site and treating the patient.

While we complain about our government, often with good cause; as an entity to serve the populace, it does really quite well. The communications system needed to transfer the emergency messages, the road system to carry the emergency vehicles, the building codes to prevent emergencies, the response coordination, the emergency services training, and the emergency responders are all there either because the government led the way, did the work, or in many instances had the decency to get out of the way of others who lead. Of paramount importance to our national emergency care apparatus is that lives are not wasted because of insufficient response.

Dictators care about power, not people. Regardless of the inane revolutionary mouthing of the chattering class, the fundamental indication of a government for, of, and by the people is their treatment of the people. This summer, more than fifteen thousand people died in France because the labor leadership is stronger than the people they pretend to protect. Mandated short work weeks, onerous overtime rules, and a month of vacation caused systemic failure of their emergency management system and more civilians died needlessly in France than in Iraq since the invasion.

This week in Iran, more than forty thousand people died needlessly because militant Islam does not care how many people it kills in its drive to religious purity. Twenty-five years ago, a quake more than ten times as powerful killed fewer people. Thirteen years ago, fifty thousand people died in an earthquake five to ten times as powerful.

Location of the epicenter plays some part, but an institutional indifference for the people of Iran is the real culprit here. The nation is going to be hit by earthquakes, and no fatwah is going to change that. By any reasonable standard, the government of Iran failed its people this week. Again. When will the Mullah's yield power to a government that cares enough about its people to prepare for earthquakes and other emergencies that will come? How many more hundreds of thousands must die so the Mullah's can indulge their addiction to intolerance?

http://activistchat.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=746
11 posted on 12/29/2003 1:19:44 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: All
Quake aid may open door for US and Iran

December 29, 2003
Christian Science Monitor
By Ilene R. Prusher

The US delivered about 120,000 pounds of aid to earthquake-stricken Iran Sunday.

ISTANBUL, TURKEY – For the first time in more than a decade, four American military aircraft landed in Iran Sunday in a gesture between two countries more noted for acrimony than mutual aid.
The US, joining dozens of other countries in providing emergency aid after Friday's earthquake, delivered about 120,000 pounds of medical supplies and water to the nation once branded by President Bush as part of the "axis of evil."

But it is often at humanity's most trying moments that old foes are brought together in a spirit of cooperation and compassion.

"The reception was very warm," said Lt. Col. Vic Harris in a phone interview after returning to his base in Kuwait. "We worked side by side with Iranian soldiers to download the supplies. The Iranian base commander said he hoped this would be the beginning of a new relationship."

Diplomats and analysts see Washington's offer of help - and Tehran's willingness to accept it - as a test of how far each is prepared to go in publicizing a new softening of the antagonism that has marked their relationship for a quarter-century. "The Americans are starting to send in aid and it's a very positive step," says one European diplomat reached in Tehran. "Whether the momentum of goodwill is sustained is a different question."

With the death toll in the earthquake in southern Iran now estimated at more than 20,000, and up to 100,000 made homeless, the need is great.

If recent history is any guide, aid extended at such a moment can open doors that seem welded shut. Here in Turkey, a country which suffered from an equally destructive earthquake just over four years ago, generations of enmity with neighboring Greece reached a historic turning point when Greek officials sent over rescue teams. Not long after that August 1999 earthquake, Athens also suffered a major quake, and Turks in turn sent in their best emergency teams.

"We worked in great harmony with the Greeks, and of course this turned the relationship in a much more positive direction," says Nasuh Mahruki, the president of AKUT, the Turkish Search and Rescue Association, a volunteer group which assisted in the Athens earthquake and has sent teams to Iran.

After several days of rescue efforts, Mr. Mahruki recalls, the Greek president invited the Turkish teams to his official residence to thank them. "It was a great honor to be there as part of a Turkish team," he says. "Then the two countries' foreign ministers started to talk, and then the nongovernmental organizations got in contact with each other, and relations got better."

Moreover, he says, average Greeks and Turks developed a better image of the "other" - as human beings eager to help. "Even at that time, we knew that this was the beginning of a new era between Turks and Greeks," says Mahruki.

Others says that the countries' leaders were simply ready to tame decades of tensions. "If the governments want to use it as an excuse, it's a wonderful excuse," says Mehmet Ali Birand," a prominent Turkish columnist and commentator who covered the 1999 earthquakes here and in Athens. "If there is a mood in the governments" to portray that aid as a watershed, he says, that's one option - but only one of many. "The man in the street really sympathizes with those coming to help. I felt it here and I felt it in Greece," Mr. Birand says.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/1229/p01s01-wome.html
12 posted on 12/29/2003 2:05:21 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn
DoctorZIn

Thanks for your unstinting efforts to bring this important story -- well, whole series of stories, really -- to our attention at Free Republic! You desevere nomination for Freeper of the Year!

13 posted on 12/29/2003 7:30:42 AM PST by CatoRenasci (Ceterum Censeo [Gallia][Germania][Arabia] Esse Delendam --- Select One or More as needed)
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To: DoctorZIn
Dennis Pager discussing Iran now. Thinks all nations should have withheld aid as long as aid from Israel was denied. Thinks that this would have aided in revolt in Iran.
14 posted on 12/29/2003 9:38:57 AM PST by Roarkdude (no tag line entered)
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To: DoctorZIn
Want To Help Personally??

You can donate through the following centers or Bank accounts... If any one wish to send money or things out:

American Red Cross: You can call them at 1-800-418-1111

Ritts National bank of Washington: acct# 17122944 or you can call 1-800-435-7669




World Vision: World Vision has setup an online account that everyone can donate money to. You can select an option to send the money only for the victims of the earthquake in Iran.

https://worldvision.org.nz/form_donate.asp?




British Red Cross: You can call 0207-245-1000 or go online and donate at http://www.redcross.org.uk

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1047949/posts?page=167#167
15 posted on 12/29/2003 11:07:34 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; ...
Want To Help Personally??

You can donate through the following centers or Bank accounts... If any one wish to send money or things out:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1047961/posts?page=15#15
16 posted on 12/29/2003 11:31:13 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Khamenei Visits Bam

December 29, 2003
Telegraph
telegraph.co.uk

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, has visited Bam, where hopes of finding survivors from the earthquake which has killed more than 20,000 people are fading.

Ayatollah Khamenei toured the ancient city in a convoy of around 20 cars, accompanied by bodyguards, before promising to rebuild the city.

He is due to be joined later today by the country's president Mohammad Khatami.

But rescue workers have said that it will be a miracle if they find any more survivors from Friday's earthquake.

Paul Wooster, a section leader from recovery specialists Rapid-UK, said that morale was high among his team although they had failed to find anyone alive in the wreckage.

"I would say that we are optimistic but also very realistic," he said. "The three-day window of survivability is now almost at its end. If we find anybody now it is going to be a miracle and that's the honest opinion."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2003/12/29/uiran.xml&sSheet=/portal/2003/12/29/ixportaltop.html
17 posted on 12/29/2003 11:31:51 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
The Iranian Media in 2003

December 29, 2003
Radio Free Europe
Bill Samii

This report discusses Iranian media developments in 2003 -- including print publications, radio and television, and the Internet.

The print media in Iran are subject to a harsh yet vague press law, and selective enforcement of that law by conservative courts over the past 3 1/2 years has resulted in the closure of approximately 100 publications and the prosecution of dozens of journalists. Moreover, state decrees on what and how to cover events (e.g. Operation Iraqi Freedom and the June student protests) amount to a form of censorship. The Internet, therefore, is becoming an increasingly important news source -- and in 2003 the government took measures to control Iranians' access to websites. The state monopolizes broadcast media: the news provided by state television and radio is biased and inaccurate and the entertainment available there is not appealing. As a result, satellite television programming is popular, although owning satellite equipment is illegal. For the same reasons, Iranians listen to Persian-language radio broadcasts from other countries.

I. Print media.

Since Spring 2000, the Iranian government has used a variety of pretexts to close approximately 100 publications. The parliament launched an unsuccessful effort in January to change the press law, with amendments that would remove both the current geographic restrictions on the distribution of publications and a requirement that subject matter be limited to a specific topic.

A previous attempt to amend the press law, in August 2000, was quashed. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned at the time in a letter that was read aloud to the parliament, "Should the enemies of Islam, the revolution, and the Islamic system take over or infiltrate the press, a great danger would threaten the security, unity, and the faith of the people and, therefore, I cannot allow myself and other officials to keep quiet in respect of this crucial issue." Khamenei went on to say in his letter, "The current [press] law, to a degree, has been able to prevent the appearance of this great calamity, and [therefore], its [amendment] and similar actions that have been anticipated by the parliamentary committee are not legitimate and not in the interest of the country or the system."

The Supreme Leader is empowered to overrule any other state official. If predictions of voter apathy are borne out, it seems increasingly likely (as of December) that a conservative majority will recapture the legislature in the February 2004 parliamentary election. There is little chance that the press law will be reversed any time in the foreseeable future.

In October, however, the legislature did pass a law that limited the duration of "temporary" press closures. In some cases these temporary closures have lasted several years, making them permanent for all intents and purposes. The intent of the legislation is to limit temporary closures to a maximum of 10 days for newspapers, four weeks for weeklies and biweeklies, two months for monthlies, and three months for other publications. Once that period expires, the ban cannot be renewed.

Another development related to the way press courts operated. The Tehran Province Justice Administration announced on 9 October that press court verdicts would be issued by three judges after they obtain the jury's opinion. Iranian Journalists Guild director Rajabali Mazrui described this as a positive development, and Muslim Journalists Society chairman Amir Mohebbian said that this would restore journalists' trust, "Aftab-i Yazd" reported on 14 October.

Restoration of journalists' trust in the government will be difficult, in light of events that took place during the 7 August press festival. Some reporters refused to accept their awards, while others presented their prizes to the families of imprisoned colleagues. Bahman Ahmadi-Amoui, who won an award for investigative reporting, did not accept his prize; instead he objected to state radio and television correspondents receiving awards while nothing was said about Akbar Ganji, Abbas Abdi, and others who are in jail, "Yas-i No" reported on 10 August. Mohammad Heidari turned down his prize for political reporting and said, "Journalists are free in the country if they write something that has no relation to the interests of the powerful people." Heidari also voiced his objection to the death of Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, who was beaten to death in Evin prison.

II. Broadcast media.

A. State broadcasting.

There is no private radio or television broadcasting in Iran. A state agency, Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB, a.k.a. Voice and Vision of the Islamic Republic), is responsible for all broadcast programs originating in the country. IRIB's director is Ali Larijani, a conservative appointed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Under Larijani's guidance, and especially during the presidency of Hojatoleslam Mohammad Khatami, IRIB has earned a reputation for political bias and inaccuracy in its coverage of both domestic and foreign affairs. This has engendered criticism from pro-reform Iranians.

For example, several Iranian commentators criticized IRIB's coverage of Operation Iraqi Freedom. A Tehran University professor warned in early April that IRIB's biased reporting could be harmful to Iran's national interests and expressed the hope that no Iranian official would believe this reporting. "Reports such as 'America is being defeated,' 'all their plans have failed,' 'America has been bogged down on the battlefield,' 'the Iraqis have been successful,' and suchlike, which one can deduce from the news reports and analyses of the Voice and Vision, are unreal," the professor said. One parliamentarian complained in April that IRIB analyses of the war depicted events in such a way that viewers were likely to believe that the Iraqi regime would win, while another parliamentarian said that IRIB's coverage was so biased that it violated Iran's stated policy of neutrality.

IRIB is no better at covering domestic news. It imposed a news blackout during the July demonstrations in Tehran. The reformist daily "Mardom Salari" said in June that IRIB did not report on unrest and rioting in Tehran that month until 10 days after it had ended, and the report that was broadcast tried to connect the riots with satellite-television channels based outside the country and with the U.S. leadership. Moreover, IRIB merely showed "pictures of broken windows and thrown stones on the ground," while it "forgot about the universities and students." On the program, a citizen complained that his telephone cable was disconnected -- but there was no mention of the violent and bloody attack at Allameh Tabatabai University.

The IRIB Supervisory Board, which monitors state radio and television, criticized on 27 October what it described as a failure by IRIB to behave impartially, as well as lobbying for a political party. This went against IRIB's role as the "national media," the board announced, and it called on IRIB Director Ali Larijani to ensure impartiality in coverage of legal or real entities, particularly parliamentarians.

State television has six channels in Tehran. Channels 1 and 2 offer news and entertainment; Channel 3 offers sports and entertainment; Channel 4 has cultural programming; Channel 5 offers Tehran-oriented programs; and Channel 6 is news.

There are seven national radio stations -- Network One, Farhang (Culture), Koran, Educational, Sports, Youth, and Payam (an FM station heard mostly in Tehran that has traffic reports, short news items, and music). Provincial broadcasters are more popular than the national stations, however, according to a November 2002 survey of 13,600 radio listeners in 31 cities by the VVIR Center for Radio Program Research, Study, and Evaluation. Listeners said that the quality of the signal, as well as the specific topics on the air, generally determined their listening choices.

B. Exile radios.

As of approximately one year ago, more than 20 radio stations not affiliated with the Iranian government broadcast in Persian for an Iranian audience. This number has fallen because a number of these stations were based in Iraq and affiliated with the Baghdad-backed Mujahedin-i Khalq Organization, and since the ouster of President Saddam Hussein they are rarely heard. Other stations included the Voice of the Iranian Communist Party (still broadcasting but subject to jamming) and many that were linked with Kurdish groups, such as the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan's Voice of the People of Kurdistan (still available), the Kurdistan Democratic Party's Voice of Iraqi Kurdistan (still available), Radio Komala (still broadcasting but subject to jamming), and Voice of Kurdistan Toilers (no longer available).

Other Persian-language exile stations are the Worker-Communist Party of Iran's Radio International, the Voice of Southern Azerbaijan, and Radio Barabari (Radio Equality), which claims to be on the side of workers, women, the unemployed, and national minorities.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), China Radio International, Deutsche Welle, Kol Yisrael (Voice of Israel), NHK Radio Japan, Radio Farda, Radio France International, Voice of America, and Voice of Russia all broadcast in Persian to Iran.

Iran also is the target of religious broadcasting, and currently Christian programming is "completely organized by the evangelical branch of Protestant Christianity" (Biener). Trans World Radio and Adventist World Radio transmit in Persian. A Bahai station, Radio Payam-i Doost (Radio Message from a Friend), began shortwave broadcasts to Iran in May 2001.

C. Satellite-television broadcasts.

In 1994, the Interior Ministry declared satellite dishes illegal. At the time, hard-line figures said that satellite dishes were like U.S. flags and the programs they receive were part of a cultural war. A law banning satellite dishes went into effect in 1995. In October 2001, reformist parliamentarians called for an end to the ban on receiving satellite television, but the government blamed satellite-television broadcasts for riots that month and resumed confiscation of private satellite dishes.

Discussions on eliminating the satellite ban started again in November 2002, and were soon followed yet again by dish confiscations. The legislature ratified portions of a bill that would legalize private ownership of satellite receiving equipment in December 2002. The Guardians Council, which must approve all legislation on constitutional and Islamic grounds, rejected legislation in January 2003 authorizing private ownership of satellite receiving equipment.

Given the boring and biased nature of domestic programming, Iranians continue to ignore such restrictions and to tune in to Persian-language satellite broadcasts. Some of the stations available to them are: Appadana (http://www.appadana.com), Azadi TV (http://www.azaditv.com), Channel One TV (http://www.channelonetv.com), IPN TV (http://www.ipntv.com), Iran TV Network (http://www.irantvnetwork.com), IRTV (http://www.irtv.com), Jaam-e-Jam (http://www.jaamejam.com), Melli TV (http://www.mellitv.com), NITV (http://www.nitv.tv), Pars TV Network (http://www.parstvnetwork.com), Rang-a-Rang (http://www.rang-a-rang.com), and Tapesh TV (http://www.tapeshtv.com). All of these stations are based in the Los Angeles area, with the exception of Rang-a-Rang, which is based near Washington, D.C.

The Communist Workers Party of Iran intends to establish a satellite television channel, an anonymous "source close to the leadership of the Communist Workers Party of Iraq" said in the 1 December issue of the Kurdish weekly "Jamawar." The Iranian and Iraqi parties reportedly will share airtime. According to an announcement on the party website (http://www.wpiran.org/english.htm), broadcasts will commence in January 2004.

Voice of America (VOA) launched a nightly Persian-language television program called "News and Views" in July. VOA also produces a weekly news magazine called "Next Chapter" and a 90-minute discussion show called "Roundtable With You." According to a November U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) press release that cited a nationwide telephone survey of 1,000 people, these programs reach 12 percent of Iranians over the age of 18.

The Iranian exile stations offer a mixture of news and entertainment, and the extent of their political involvement varies. According to Purdue University Professor Yahya Kamalipur, NITV and Azadi TV are pro-monarchist, while Tapesh and Iran TV are more commercial, "Entekhab" reported on 4 and 5 November. Kamalipur said that the satellite broadcasts emphasize entertainment over education, although there are some useful shows. The channels also expend a lot of energy insulting each other, Kamalipur said. "It seems that the Iranian satellite channels spend half of their time selling Iranian carpets," he added.

The broadcasters claim to be very influential. California State University, Los Angeles, Professor Afshin Matin-Asgari is less sanguine. He told PBS "Newshour" on 19 June that a "very small percentage of the population, mostly upper-class households in Tehran, maybe a few other cities," could afford access to satellite television. "Most people don't see satellite television," Matin-Asgari concluded.

Whatever the extent of the satellite stations' influence, the regime clearly fears them. Recognizing the futility of merely banning satellite-receiving equipment, Tehran turned to jamming satellite broadcasts. In April, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps transmitted powerful jamming signals from its bases in Tehran, which prompted complaints from President Khatami and reformist members of parliament. The jamming took a more forceful tack in July, when broadcasts from VOA-TV and other Persian-language stations were the target of signals originating in Cuba. Tehran and Havana denied any involvement in the jamming of the satellite broadcasts.

III. Internet.

Telecommunications Company of Iran (TCI) Information Affairs Director Mohammad Sadri said in the 20 June issue of "Entekhab" newspaper that about 1.7 million Iranians use the Internet. He estimated, furthermore, that there would be 5 million Internet users in the country by March 2004 and this number would reach 15 million in five years.

In light of the restrictions placed on the press and the limitations of broadcast media, the Internet has become an increasingly popular source of information for Iranians. Tehran reacted to this development with concern: in January, the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution created a special committee to identify problematic websites. In May, a government spokesman said the state telecommunications company has started blocking access to "immoral" sites -- including chat rooms, through which Iranian men and women get acquainted, as well as political sites.

Also in May, the judiciary announced the creation of a special unit to deal with Internet-related issues and the prosecutor-general said that the judiciary is drawing up a bill to investigate Internet offenses. One month later, a judiciary spokesman said the absence of government-imposed filtering would put off potential Internet users.

The judiciary spokesman listed more than 20 matters that would likely be filtered, including "the dissemination of blasphemous items; insulting Islam and Islamic sanctities; opposing the constitution and publishing any item that might undermine the independence and the territorial integrity of the country; insulting the leader [Ayatollah Khamenei] and the sources of emulation [leading clerics]; [distorting] the values of the Islamic revolution and the principles of the political thought of Imam Khomeini; undermining national unity and solidarity; creating pessimism and hopelessness among the people regarding the legitimacy and effectiveness of the [Islamic] system; providing publicity for illegal groups and political parties...propagating prostitution and forbidden acts; publishing pictures and photographs that are contrary to public morality; providing publicity for smoking cigarettes and the taking of narcotics; making false accusations against any of the officials or ordinary members of the society; insulting individuals or organizations; and creating any unidentified radio or television network and program without the supervision of the Voice and Vision Organization [radio and television]."

Iranians reacted angrily to the blocking of websites, particularly personal publication websites known as weblogs. In July, the Ministry of Post, Telegraph, and Telephone announced that the weblogs were blocked due to a private company's mistake. Students at Amir Kabir University threatened to take legal action against President Khatami's cabinet for blocking Iranians' access to their website. In late August, 40 reformist parliamentarians called for Post, Telegraph, and Telephone Minister Ahmad Motamedi to answer their questions about website filtering. They noted that although the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution had approved filtering by the ministry, the filtering was being enforced selectively and for factional reasons.

Website filtering continued as of late November. A committee formed by the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution occasionally provides Internet Content Providers (ICP) with a list of sites that should be filtered, and an anonymous ICP manager said in the 25 November issue of the newspaper "Farhang-i Ashti" that this list is logical because it focuses on pornographic sites and those that are anti-regime. A compact disc distributed to ICPs by the Data Processing Company of Iran (http://www.dpi.net.ir), however, listed thousands of websites, even "ordinary and useful" ones such as Google. If all these sites were filtered, the manager said, "it would have been more feasible to shut down everything."

The manager of Azad Net Medium ICP, Kasra Hedayat, said that the Post, Telegraph, and Telephone Ministry prepares the list of sites that will be filtered. Hedayat said, "The policy of filtering was appropriate in most cases, but in certain cases, it extended to shutting down social and political sites, and after some time, they were forced to reopen them." He also said that some Internet Service Providers and ICPs do not filter any sites and do not face any legal restrictions, and this attracts consumers who see this as improved service.

IV. Conclusion.

Iran consistently rates poorly in international surveys dealing with media issues. The Freedom House survey released on 18 December, for example, placed Iran in the "Not Free" category. On a scale of 1-7, with 7 being the least free rating, Iran earned scores of 6 for political rights and 6 for civil liberties in the 1 January 2003-31 November 2003 timeframe.

Iran finished in the bottom 10 (160th place out of 166 countries) in the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) world press freedom ranking that was released in October. RSF said in its January 2002 "Annual Report," "With 18 journalists behind bars, Iran is the biggest jail for journalists in the Middle East." Although that number had dropped to 10 by the 2003 "Annual Report," RSF noted, "Iran remained the biggest prison for journalists in the Middle East."

These assessments are not encouraging for advocates of free expression, unless one takes the view that there is room for improvement.

Additional Sources.

Geneive Abdo, "Media and Information: The case of Iran," "Social Research," Volume 70, No. 3 (Fall 2003).

Geneive Abdo and Duncan Campbell, "Wistful Iranians feed on a satellite beam of nostalgia," "The Guardian," 16 August 2000.

Steven Barraclough, "Satellite Television in Iran: Prohibition, Imitation, and Reform," "Middle Eastern Studies," Volume 37, No. 3 (July 2001).

Hansjoerg Biener, "The Arrival of Radio Farda: International Broadcasting to Iran at a Crossroads," "MERIA Journal," Volume 7, No. 1 (March 2003).

Michael Dobbs, "Iranian Exiles Sow Change Via Satellite," "The Washington Post," 26 June 2003.

Nazila Fathi, "Opposition TV Stations Stir Up Unrest in Fundamentalist Iran," "The New York Times," 25 October 2001.

Nazila Fathi, " TV Stations Based in U.S. Rally Protesters in Iran," "The New York Times," 22 June 2003.

Freedom House, "Freedom in the World 2004," 18 December 2003 (http://www.freedomhouse.org/research/survey2004.htm).

Michael Lewis, "The Satellite Subversives," "The New York Times," 24 February 2002.

Babak Rahimi, "Cyberdissent: The Internet in Revolutionary Iran," "MERIA Journal," Volume 7, No. 3 (September 2003).

Reporters Without Borders, Second World Press Freedom Ranking, October 2003 (http://www.rsf.fr/article.php3?id_article=8247).

Reporters Without Borders, "Annual Report," January 2002 (http://www.rsf.fr/article.php3?id_article=1438).

Reporters Without Borders, "Annual Report," January 2003 (http://www.rsf.fr/article.php3?id_article=6688).

A.W. Samii, "Sisyphus' Newsstand: The Iranian Press Under Khatami," "MERIA Journal," Volume 5, No. 3 (September 2001).

A.W. Samii, "The Contemporary Iranian News Media, 1998-1999," "MERIA Journal," Volume 3, No. 4 (December 1999).

Compiled by A. William Samii.

http://www.rferl.org/iran-report/
18 posted on 12/29/2003 11:33:09 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert
Your compassion and perspective are most appreciated in this effort.

I just follow your lead.

Kudos to nuconvert!

Best wishes.
19 posted on 12/29/2003 11:36:51 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (Submitting approval for the CAIR COROLLARY to GODWIN'S LAW.)
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To: DoctorZIn
UN Says Donors Give Initial $6 Million For Iran Quake

December 29, 2003
Dow Jones Newswires
The Associated Press

GENEVA -- Donor nations have given $6 million to the U.N. relief effort in earthquake-hit Iran but far more money inevitably will be needed as the full extent of the disaster becomes clear, a senior U.N. official said Monday.

"We have to think further, beyond the immediate stage," said Rashid Khalikov, who is steering the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs' aid operation. "We have to think about tomorrow and the week after tomorrow and two or three months after tomorrow," he said following a meeting with donors in Geneva.

The U.N. will launch a massive appeal for donations once it has completed a formal assessment of needs in and around the southeast Iranian city of Bam, which was struck by a magnitude-6.6 quake early Friday morning, Khalikov said. He said he was unable to set a figure until U.N. experts who are in Iran have reported back to Geneva.

The initial contributions include cash donations of $2.7 million from the European Union, $1.4 million from Australia and $770,000 from Japan. The rest of the U.N's $6 million is made up of donations of emergency supplies from countries including the U.S., Canada, France and Germany.

Around 30 countries also have provided aid directly to Iran, including Germany, the U.K., the U.S., Jordan and India.

"Our biggest fear is that as soon as news about the quake disappears from the TV screens this will affect the contributions from the international community," Khalikov told reporters.

Thousands of sleeping Bam residents were entombed in their homes by Friday's quake. More than 25,000 bodies have been retrieved, but officials have expressed fears that the death toll could rise as high as 40,000.

Experts say three days is generally the longest people can survive if they are trapped in rubble, and many of the international search and rescue teams which headed to Bam after the quake have called off their hunt.

"We will continue to have hope as long as we can continue to have hope," but attention must now turn to quake survivors, Khalikov said.

At least 10,000 people are believed wounded.

Both hospitals in Bam were destroyed, although the Iranian Red Crescent moved fast to set up an emergency field clinic. Medical supplies are needed urgently, Khalikov said.

The quake also disrupted the water supply, raising fears of disease outbreaks as people drink untreated water in a city already at risk because it is littered with bodies.

The earthquake damaged 90% of Bam's buildings, leaving around 70,000 people homeless. Most have been sleeping in the open, facing nighttime temperatures of -15 degrees Celsius.

An eight-truck convoy from the U.N. refugee agency was expected to arrive in Bam late Monday carrying 1,000 tents, 3,000 blankets and 10,000 blankets from its stockpile in northwest Iran. Khalikov said Bam's residents also need basic food supplies like rice, cooking oil and flour.

The U.N. World Food Program said a cargo plane carrying 40 metric tons of high energy biscuits was set to arrive in Iran Tuesday.

Non-government aid groups also have sent supplies and experts. The International Red Cross has given thousands of tents, blankets and plastic sheets, as well as water purification tablets, electricity generators and kerosene heaters.

The Red Cross also has appealed for $12.3 million in cash or supplies to help 200,000 people for six months.

http://framehosting.dowjonesnews.com/sample/samplestory.asp?StoryID=2003122916190005&Take=1
20 posted on 12/29/2003 12:34:30 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
I just heard reports from Iran that when the USAF crews were preparing to leave Kerman Airport for home, that the local Iranians were pleading with them not to leave and begging them to stay.

My sources are trying to send me photos and recordings of the incident.
21 posted on 12/29/2003 12:37:19 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
IRANIAN LEADER URGED AUTHORITIES TO SET UP COORDINATION CENTRE

BAM-TEHRAN 29 Dec. (IPS)

Iran’s leader on Monday urged the authorities to set up a centralised command centre to supervise all the relief, rescue and activities related to the earthquake that devastated the city and the region of Bam, in southeastern Iran early Friday.

Ayatollah Khameneh'i was indirectly responding to Iranian and foreign relief missions growing complaints about the lack of coordination, four days after the earth shake.

Preceding the President Mohammad Khatami by half a day, Ayatollah Khameneh'i said the creation of such a centre was "a necessity" to avoid waste of time and energy from both Iranian and foreign rescue and relief teams.

Speaking to the grieved people of the ancient city that, according to latest official estimates, has lost at least 25.000 of its inhabitants, Mr. Khameneh’i said the tragedy was a "divine test" which should not weaken our spirit and promised to rebuild the city on more solid foundations.

"We should strengthen our spirit to leave behind the bitter tragedy. Many nations which had been victims to great tragedies managed to build on the destruction and came out making progress and advance."

"We should take advantage of the bitter tragedy to strengthen national resolve to build a better future", the leader said before chairing a meeting of the official in charge of helping the needy people.

However, relief experts from some 26 countries, including the United States and Iranians doctors said the risk of epidemic spreading must be taken very seriously, as the city still lack all essential services like running water, electricity and sanitary.

Though a six months old baby have been found on Monday under tonnes of ruins, but most experts say one should not expect more "miracles", in an old city 1000 metres above sea level, where temperature is freezing, mostly by nigh time.

"There is enough of everything, but one had the impression that everything is missing, particularly heavy machinery like bulldozers and tents", one journalist on the sport reported, adding that popular solidarity for the grieved people of Bam was "overwhelming".

"It seems that the thieves are better organised that the authorities", another journalist said, referring to reports that hundreds of tents and blankets have been taken away by robbers and sent to other cities to be sold on the open market.

"I just arrested a thief who had stolen tens of blankets and tents from one truck belonging to a foreign relief mission while nearby people were warming themselves with bonfire in the open", a policeman said.

To stop the robbers, the judiciary announced it was setting up a court in the area to bring swift justice to armed bandits, who have been seen prowling the streets, and other criminals.

According to the Interior Ministry and local officials, 25.000 corpses have been buried, many in common graves, a procedure forbidden by Islam, the nation’s dominating religion.

"The scale of the catastrophe is so big that whatever has been done is not yet sufficient", he told reporters. "I hope more and more aid will arrive in coming hours", Mr. Khatami added upon his arrival at Bam airport.

I believe the (death) toll will reach 30,000", said a government official in Kerman.

ENDS IRAN EARTHQUAKE 291203

http://www.iran-press-service.com/articles_2003/Dec-2003/iran_earthquake_291203.htm
22 posted on 12/29/2003 12:55:25 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Dead Mother's Embrace Saves Iranian Baby's Life

By Parisa Hafezi
Reuters
Monday, December 29, 2003; 1:55 PM

BAM, Iran, Dec 29 - A baby girl cradled in her dead mother's arms was rescued from the rubble of a collapsed building in Bam, officials said on Monday -- a rare moment of joy amid the devastation of Iran's earthquake.

Red Crescent aid officials told Reuters the mother's protective embrace had shielded six-month-old Nassim from falling debris and saved her life.

The rest of her family, which officials said included sisters and brothers, were found dead.

Details of Nassim's recovery are still sketchy.

One Red Crescent Society official said the girl was discovered on Monday a full 72 hours after the quake, but rescue officials and state television later said she had been found after 37 hours.

"She is alive because of her mother's embrace," Hessamoddin Farrokhyar, Red Crescent public relations deputy director in Tehran, told Reuters. "The baby girl is in good condition considering the circumstances."

He said the girl was found in the southern part of Bam. It was not clear how she survived without food or water. Temperatures at night have been bitterly cold.

Iranian state television also reported Nassim's rescue, a sliver of hope on an otherwise bleak day when the death toll climbed towards 30,000.

"The baby girl was found after 37 hours by rescue teams," state television reported. "Unfortunately her mother was dead and she is the only one left alive in her whole family in that house."

The world's most lethal quake in at least 10 years laid waste most of Bam's mud brick buildings in seconds.

Officials have warned the death toll, which is now officially 25,000, could reach 30,000.

The quake which measured 6.3 on the Richter scale struck before dawn as people slept.

On Saturday night, rescuers found a young boy alive under the rubble, but he suffocated as people rushed forward to dig him free.

"We found a seven-year-old boy alive," said Austrian rescue worker Sabine Seichtinger. "The crowd rushed to the scene. But the boy choked and then died."

The search for children -- and the recovery of their broken lifeless bodies -- has provoked particular grief in Iran, with the media capturing heart-breaking images such as one of a man carrying the corpses of his two young sons over his shoulders and burying them together in a small grave.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A38540-2003Dec29.html
23 posted on 12/29/2003 1:23:09 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
The following article is an important read inorder to understand the middle-eastern mind. -- DoctorZin

The Conspiratorial Mind of the Arab World

By Robert Spencer
FrontPageMagazine.com | December 29, 2003

Have you heard? Saddam Hussein is in Tel Aviv. He has been an agent for the U.S. and Israel since 1980, and followed instructions given him by George W. Bush himself in a phone conversation last winter about how to behave when American troops entered Iraq. The capture of Saddam was an elaborate charade designed to bolster the flagging morale of American troops in Iraq. The bearded, broken man who was captured wasn’t Saddam; any keen observer would know that Saddam had a mole or wart on his cheek, but that the crude double in the hands of the Americans has no such mark. What’s more, in the footage of Saddam’s hideaway, the foliage is from late summer! Clearly the Americans are trying to fool us with months-old archival footage that has nothing to do with Saddam at all!

Saddam’s sons Uday and Qusay, meanwhile, are in Monte Carlo, continuing to live the high life. American troops spirited them out of the country and staged their deaths in order to demoralize the Iraqi resistance.

This kind of talk, fantastic and unbelievable as it is, is rampant in the Muslim world today. The idea that the Americans faked the capture of Saddam, and that the genuine article is still at large somewhere, is just the latest installment in a string of paranoid fantasies that have captured the imagination of untold numbers of Muslims worldwide. Most notorious, of course, is the idea that Mossad or the CIA, or both, actually flew airplanes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. If Muslims were involved at all, goes the story, it was only to take the rap and justify the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan (as well as, coming soon to a theater of war near you, Syria and Iran).

While courageous souls such as the American Ambassador to Egypt, David Welch, have confronted these lurid fictions head-on in meetings with Muslim media figures, the stories persist — in no small part because some of these have been spread at the highest levels. Not long after 9/11, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Yasir Arafat declaimed to an appreciative audience in Ramallah: "Oh brothers, there is a conspiracy to Judaize Jerusalem." MEMRI also reports that Uday, before he took up his place at those great Monte Carlo gaming tables in the sky, wrote in an Iraqi paper in 2002 that Iran was "part of the new conspiracy against Iraq and that the Iranians were ready to cross the border at any moment to materialize their ambitions."

And of course, the mother of all conspiracy theories, that noxious incitement to genocide known as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, still circulates widely in the Muslim world. Nor would an inquiring mind have to go to a seedy bookstore in a shabby part of town to pick up a smudgy copy of this implausible account, cooked up by the Czar’s secret police in the 19th century, of the Zionists’ plot to rule the world. An up-to-date conspiracy theorist would need only a television: during this past Ramadan, Hizballah’s worldwide satellite TV network broadcast a thirty-part dramatization of "the criminal history of Zionism" that was quite similar to the Protocols — the genuine article was already dramatized on Egyptian television the previous year. More literary types could repair to the new Library of Alexandria, the heir to the legendary collections that shone in antiquity as beacons of civilization. There, until an international outcry forced its removal, the first Arabic translation of the Protocols was prominently displayed next to a Torah in a manuscript exhibit. According to MEMRI, a library official, Dr. Yousef Ziedan, explained that the Protocols "is more important to the Zionist Jews of the world than the Torah, because they conduct Zionist life according to it... It is only natural to place the book in the framework of an exhibit of Torah [scrolls]."

Amid all this there are glimmers of self-awareness, particularly in post-Saddam Iraq. "Every time Arab peoples are afflicted with disaster, defeats, or tragedies, it is always blamed on a Zionist, colonialist, or American imperialist conspiracy." This strikingly honest assessment comes from Iraq’s Al-Ittihad daily. Unfortunately, however, it’s unlikely that conspiracy paranoia will be extinguished in the Islamic world anytime soon. After all, it has deep roots.

A fundamental element of Islamic culture is an implacable belief in its own superiority. This idea is rooted in the Qur’an and Islam: the revelation to Muhammad, according to orthodox Muslim belief, is the final and perfect revelation from the one true God. It corrects and abrogates all previous revelations, including the Torah and Gospel that form the foundation of the culture of the non-Muslim West. The Jews and Christians who remain in the world after the time of Muhammad are renegades who have rejected this final revelation out of corruption and malice. At certain points in the Middle Ages, this Muslim self-understanding meshed quite well with the realities of the world: a unified Muslim empire encroached inexorably upon a Christendom riven by squabbles and overmatched in both military might and technology.

But when all that began to change, and when the squabbling mini-states of Western Europe began to chip away at the former domains of the Mehmet the Conqueror and Suleiman the Magnificent, the Muslim world found that it had no framework to deal with defeat. The superiority of the House of Islam was a given. How then did it lie defeated, divided, colonized? Well, it must not have been a fair fight. The Muslims must have fallen victim to shabby, shadowy trickery — to a conspiracy. After all, even the Qur’an itself portrays Jews and Christians as scheming liars: "When they come to [Muhammad], they say: ‘We believe’: but in fact they enter with a mind against Faith, and they go out with the same, but Allah knoweth fully all that they hide" (Sura 5:61). Jews are even portrayed as fabricating divine revelations in their lust for money: they "write the Book with their own hands, and then say: ‘This is from Allah,’ to traffic with it for miserable price!" (Sura 2:79).

The orthodox Muslim view of verses like these (and there are many others like them) is not that they are seventh-century polemic, but words spoken by Allah himself which retain their validity for all time. Consequently all too many Muslims today see them as revelatory of the twenty-first century world. The crafty, dishonest Jewish and Christian renegades are up to their same old tricks. But even though Bush, Sharon and Co. have all the world’s resources at their disposal as they weave their conspiracies and deceptions to ensnare the Muslim world, the Muslim can see through them: he has the Qur’an.

This is the point at which all these conspiracy theories stop being merely amusing or pathetic and start to appear genuinely lethal. For what bridges of genuine trust can be built with people who view the world from this perspective? The epidemic of conspiracy stories in Middle East and Iraq in particular today betrays a mistrust that is far deeper than most anyone has imagined, and is in fact founded upon fervently held religious concepts. We may fervently hope that cooler heads will prevail, and it isn’t inconceivable that they ultimately will. But it would be wise not to expect too much in the short term.

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and the author of Onward Muslim Soldiers: How Jihad Still Threatens America and the West (Regnery Publishing), and Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World’s Fastest Growing Faith (Encounter Books).

http://frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=11483
24 posted on 12/29/2003 1:33:24 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Great news about the baby. I also heard that a 12 year old girl was found alive. I hope they don't give up.

Have you heard any more from your friend about the incident at the airport? I'm anxious to hear about it.

25 posted on 12/29/2003 5:34:01 PM PST by McGavin999
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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”

26 posted on 12/30/2003 12:11:46 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Bump!
27 posted on 12/30/2003 1:16:26 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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