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Iranian Alert -- January 5, 2004 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD --Americans for Regime Change in Iran
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 1.5.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 01/05/2004 12:02:46 AM PST by DoctorZIn

The US media almost entirely ignores news regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran. As Tony Snow of the Fox News Network has put it, “this is probably the most under-reported news story of the year.” But most American’s are unaware that the Islamic Republic of Iran is NOT supported by the masses of Iranians today. Modern Iranians are among the most pro-American in the Middle East.

There is a popular revolt against the Iranian regime brewing in Iran today. Starting June 10th of this year, Iranians have begun taking to the streets to express their desire for a regime change. Most want to replace the regime with a secular democracy. Many even want the US to over throw their government.

The regime is working hard to keep the news about the protest movement in Iran from being reported. Unfortunately, the regime has successfully prohibited western news reporters from covering the demonstrations. The voices of discontent within Iran are sometime murdered, more often imprisoned. Still the people continue to take to the streets to demonstrate against the regime.

In support of this revolt, Iranians in America have been broadcasting news stories by satellite into Iran. This 21st century news link has greatly encouraged these protests. The regime has been attempting to jam the signals, and locate the satellite dishes. Still the people violate the law and listen to these broadcasts. Iranians also use the Internet and the regime attempts to block their access to news against the regime. In spite of this, many Iranians inside of Iran read these posts daily to keep informed of the events in their own country.

This daily thread contains nearly all of the English news reports on Iran. It is thorough. If you follow this thread you will witness, I believe, the transformation of a nation. This daily thread provides a central place where those interested in the events in Iran can find the best news and commentary. The news stories and commentary will from time to time include material from the regime itself. But if you read the post you will discover for yourself, the real story of what is occurring in Iran and its effects on the war on terror.

I am not of Iranian heritage. I am an American committed to supporting the efforts of those in Iran seeking to replace their government with a secular democracy. I am in contact with leaders of the Iranian community here in the United States and in Iran itself.

If you read the daily posts you will gain a better understanding of the US war on terrorism, the Middle East and why we need to support a change of regime in Iran. Feel free to ask your questions and post news stories you discover in the weeks to come.

If all goes well Iran will be free soon and I am convinced become a major ally in the war on terrorism. The regime will fall. Iran will be free. It is just a matter of time.


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iaea; iran; iranianalert; iranquake; protests; southasia; studentmovement; studentprotest
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Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

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

1 posted on 01/05/2004 12:02:47 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: All
Linda Carter is completely unrelated to Free Republic. But if I am going to have to post donation begs until the Freepathon is over, I'm going to occasionally post something I want! And there is only one way you can stop me!

2 posted on 01/05/2004 12:04:10 AM PST by Support Free Republic (I'd rather be sleeping. Let's get this over with so I can go back to sleep!)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

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

3 posted on 01/05/2004 12:05:48 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: Doctor Stochastic; SJackson; knighthawk; McGavin999; Stultis; river rat; cmsgop; KevinDavis; ...
My poem for Bam.

Windless in Bam

By Slater Bakhtavar
January 5, 2004

It's windless in Bam
Out in the winter blaze
I saw a dead generation
Scattered around an ancient city
Bodies piled up, and crumbled
In a motionless stench
These bodies sat dry!
They're searching for recognition
Acceptance of their identity
Then I felt a brisk breeze
Sliding through the dead sky
A vivid light holding new breathe
Spawning into a chameleon being
I felt the compassion of innocent children
I felt the sacrifice of innocent mothers
I felt the purity of innocent souls
The light beams embraced a lost city
Like flakes they feel in triumph
Into the mouth of the dead
With entrance of a new breathe
Shadow of a vibrate existence
The souls stood with bright life
Rejoicing towards a heavenly light
It's windless in Bam
4 posted on 01/05/2004 12:07:47 AM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
U.S.-Iranian Thaw Could Be at Hand

Monday, January 05, 2004
By Kelley Beaucar Vlahos

WASHINGTON — Could a devastating earthquake that killed upwards of 30,000 people be the event that finally improves U.S. relations with Iran, one-third of President Bush's "Axis of Evil"?

So far, any all-out thaw seems unlikely, at least right away. On Friday, Iran said no to a U.S. offer to send a high-profile delegation to Iran on a humanitarian mission, preferring that the U.S. proposal be "held in abeyance."

But the nature of the catastrophe — a Dec. 26 earthquake that destroyed much of the ancient city of Bam — and the fast U.S. public offers of aid have led some to predict a change for the better is possible.

"An earthquake became the pretext for an opening that was struggling to be opened over at least the last six to eight months," argued Hooshang Amirahmadi (search), president of the American-Iranian Council in New Jersey, and a professor at Rutgers University.

The U.S. outreach on earthquake aid comes several weeks after Iran agreed to allow surprise international inspections of its nuclear facilities. For some, this was a sign the Iranian government was trying to cooperate, at least in the area of weapons proliferation.

"The conditions for the kind of moment you're seeing now have been gradually growing," Amirahmadi said, adding he hopes the movement toward better relations "will be more sustainable this time."

With the earthquake, the United States already has sent Iran several planes of humanitarian relief, including teams of doctors and aid workers. Plus, Bush announced that sanctions put in place during the 1979 hostage crisis would be temporarily eased so that individuals and firms could transfer funds to Iran for disaster relief.

The administration had wanted to send former Sen. Elizabeth Dole (search), R-N.C., a former director of the American Red Cross, along with other unnamed administration officials and a member of the Bush family, as part of a relief mission.

But after hearing back from Iranian officials, the administration said it was holding off.

Although Iranian leaders did not make public statements commenting on the U.S. offer, state-run radio in the country on Friday charged that Bush had "once again demonstrated that America's interfering and hostile policy against Iran has not altered at all."

Since the 1979 hostage crisis, not only have there been no formal diplomatic ties, but Iran has been a consistent member of the U.S. State Department's list of states that sponsor terrorism. In fact, the State Department said Iran was one of the most active sponsors of terrorism in 2002.

Iran's sincerity in cracking down on Al Qaeda (search) has been "mixed," said the State Department in 2003. Iran is also accused of sponsoring anti-Israeli terrorist groups like Hamas and the Palestine Islamic Jihad.

Bush has said that reaching out to the Iranians now does not change his administration's demands, which include a dismantling of Iran's nuclear weapons program and cracking down on suspected Al Qaeda terrorists there. In 2002, Bush called Iran, Iraq and North Korea the "Axis of Evil."

"What we are doing in Iran is showing the Iranian people the American people care, that we've got great compassion for human suffering," the president said from his Texas ranch on Jan. 1. But Bush said U.S. outreach does not diminish calls for a change in the hard-line fundamentalist regime there.

"The Iranian government must listen to the voices of of those who long for freedom, must turn over the Al Qaeda that are in their custody and must abandon their nuclear weapons program," he said.

For some analysts on Iran, this is the right tone to take.

Alireza Jafarzadeh, president of Strategic Policy Consulting, Inc. (search), a Washington, D.C.-based firm that supports the movement against the current regime in Iran, cautions against dealing directly with the Iranian regime. But Jafarzadeh said U.S. officials should seize the moment to foster improved relations through the people.

"I think that the humanitarian aid to the Iranian people should be separated from relations with the Iranian regime," he said. "President Bush is absolutely right in reaching out to the people of Iran by emphasizing that the Iranian government should listen to the voices of those Iranians who long for freedom. You cannot expect any success until (Capital City) Tehran alters its behaviors."

Nile Gardiner, a foreign policy analyst for the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., agrees.

"The situation should not change as far as identifying Iran as a rogue state," he said. "But I do think that it has helped to change the image of the United States among the Iranian people. The main focus to promote internal reform and try to encourage internal change in the country."

This is not the first time an earthquake has offered an opening for improved dialogue between two nations in a diplomatic standoff, points out Christopher Prebble, foreign policy studies director at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C.

"I can think of a few parallels where a humanitarian crisis or natural disaster has softened both sides," he said. "So much of an adversarial relationship is based on our perceptions of differences. Then something like an earthquake happens and it brings home that we are more alike than different."

After an earthquake and subsequent fires killed more than 140,000 Japanese on Sept. 1, 1923, in Tokyo, the United States rushed disaster relief assistance to Japan, despite strained diplomatic relations.

"(President Calvin) Coolidge sent, without hesitation, a fair amount of help," said Prebble. "He said this was a humanitarian crisis and our relations notwithstanding, we want to pledge our help."

The aid helped to ease tensions, but any improvements were reversed a year later, when the U.S. passed a harsh new immigration law aimed at stemming the flow of Japanese workers into the U.S.

U.S. diplomacy with Iran is at a crossroads, some analysts on Iran said, adding that American officials need to maintain an important balance of appealing to ordinary Iranians, while keeping up a firm stance against the fundamentalist regime ruling Tehran.

"I wouldn't read any ulterior motive into it, but one of the byproducts of American aid is to win over the hearts and minds of Iranians," said Gardiner. However, "we're only going to see a thaw in relations if there is a significant change in the government there in the country."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.,2933,107342,00.html
5 posted on 01/05/2004 12:07:53 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Reza Pahlavi: US Overtures Should Not Appease the Clerical Regime

January 04, 2004

Listen to Reza Pahlavi's live interview with Fox News Sunday (Chris Wallace)

WASHINGTON -- Reza Pahlavi, son of the late shah of Iran, said Sunday that any US diplomatic overtures to Iran should not seek to appease "the clerical regime" ruling the country.

Pahlavi spoke with Fox News in the wake of Iran's decision to turn down a US offer to send a high-level humanitarian delegation to the site of last month's massive earthquake in the city of Bam.

"As long as such overtures (are) consistent with the distinction that is made between the people of Iran on the one hand and the clerical regime, I believe the right impression will be left with the Iranian people," Pahlavi said.

He said any US approach should seek to engage the Iranian people rather than be seen as an effort to "appease" the country's government.

Pahlavi said he would like to see an open referendum occur in Iran "so that the people of Iran can democratically decide for themselves what they want."

US President George W. Bush has referred to Iran as a member of the "axis of evil" along with North Korea and the former dictatorship of Iraq's Saddam Hussein.

Despite reservations, Pahlavi said engagement with Tehran was necessary.

"Isolation helps such regimes survive much longer. It is only when they're exposed to democratic societies and the democratic world where they begin to crumble from within."

He said evidence also suggests that al-Qaeda had been active in Iran, and that the terror network had received training and finance in the country.

Asked if he thought al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was hiding out in the country, Pahlavi replied: "That, I don't know for a fact. I've heard some rumors about it. I can not tell you right now I have a yes or no answer to that question. There are speculations."
6 posted on 01/05/2004 12:09:19 AM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn


In a recent talks with his sycophants, often illiterate and uneducated young men and women known as basijis, or volunteers, Ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i, the leader of the Islamic Republic said the present Iranian theocracy is "the best model" of regimes not only for the Muslims, but also for the whole world and one that would eventually "defeat" the United States that, in his eyes, represents the "mother of all corrupt governments".

But in an interview published on 12 December by "Baztab", an internet newspaper owned by Mr. Mohsen Reza’i, the Secretary of the Assembly for Discerning the State’s Interests (ADIS, or the Expediency council that is chaired by Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the regime’s virtual number two man), Mr. Ali Mohammad Namazi, a representative of the Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF) in the Majles said that "Iran is on the brink of an actual social breakdown".

"One only has to look at the daily newspapers to detect several alarming trends: a continuous, disturbing rise in the number of men and women engaged in prostitution, a significant increase in the number of hard drug addicts, thousands of youngsters running away from their parents homes due to financial and social difficulties, an increase in the number of children living on the streets, an increase in the number of civilians imprisoned for taking part in all sorts of illegal activities and so on and so forth", he pointed out.

Calling upon the leaders of the Islamic Republic "to take heed and to give some serious consideration to these ominous figures that "herald a social breakdown that has already started taking its toll on the country", he cited some news items that actually have become landmarks of Mr. Khamenh’i’s regime and society.

It is worth mentioning that all the information below is based on newspapers published in Tehran or websites operating mainly in Tehran, some of them controlled by the ruling conservative clergy.

According to Mr. Eshaq Jahangiri, the Iranian Minister of Industry and Mines, Iran’s share of the global trade is less than 0.5 percent. "Only 10 percent of all Iranian exports were industrial products, whereas industrial products usually account for 70 percent of the exports in Far East countries", the daily Entekhab (Choice), quoted him as having stated.

Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Safdar Hoseyni alerted that the number of unemployed young Iranians, university graduates in particular, could reach as high as 5.6 million.

But as Hojjatoleslam Mohammad Khatami, the powerless President of Iran expressed satisfaction at the number of people employed, independent analysts put the number of unemployed as something over or under ten million, one of the highest rate among third world nations.

According to Mr. Hoseyni, the current figure crossed the 3-million mark and therefore issued a call to recruit all Iran’s resources and all organizations operating under the Islamic regime to stand against the tangible threats emanating from the daily increase in the unemployment rate.

The minister stressed that one out of every three Iranians is aged 22-29, an age group that is considered to be seeking job opportunities. According to the minister, the annual growth rate must reach 8.6 percent to prevent an additional rise in the unemployment rate.

Scientific study reveals that the number of unemployed men without post-secondary education is increasing year by year as a consequence of the significant rise in the number of women who get ahead of men and enroll to universities. The study, published by Iran daily, is based upon figures indicating that it is the third year in a row that over 57 percent of the students in Iranian universities are women. It alerts to the implications of women being more educated than men, who are forced to stay at home.

Labour House secretary-general and Majles deputy Alireza Mahjoub says that the last two years alone have seen an additional decrease of 50 percent in the workers capacity to purchase staples for their families. He called upon the government to try to come up with new and more effective ways to improve the workers economic situation.

Thousands of workers in the petrochemical complex in Arak province continue hunger strike in protest of the ongoing measures to hand over the plants, which previously belonged to the National Petroleum Company, to the private sector. More than a thousand workers in the tractor manufacturing plants in the city of Tabriz continue their strikes and protests over the fact that their salaries have not been paid in the last several months.

Three more factories in the province of Mazandaran were closed down; over

Five hundred workers were fired as a result. These three factories, including the Harir Ghaim-Shahr textile factory, operated under Iran’s Bank of Industry and Mines.

The factories, which, until now, were among the region’s only profitable ones, went bankrupt as a result of the privatization process and the unsuccessful management. The workers representative in the province of Mazandaran told the independent Iranian Labour News Agency ILNA that in recent years, thousands of workers in the textile industry were living under appalling conditions and were afraid of being fired and sent home without any compensation whatsoever.

Farmers in the Caspian Sea region are disgruntled over the fact that the government has not paid its debts for rice it purchased from the farmers. They claim that their situation has never been direr and that they had no choice but to sell the rice to the government at exceptionally low prices.

Tens of thousands of traditional Persian rice farmers in the Caspian Sea region have gone bankrupt in recent years and moved with their families to large cities. It is worth mentioning that the revolutionary financial institutions and the various governmental organisations have imported thousands of tons of rice from abroad in recent years, thus intensifying the distress in the Persian rice farming business. Iran’s tea growing industry experiences similar difficulties.

A parliament representative from the city of Ilam says, "the real reason for the spread of crime and corruption, -- two other productions of Ayatollah Khameneh'i’s "model nation" -- is the difficult economic situation that plagues the families".

"There is no point in the government concealing the actual data on crime, prostitution and drug addiction", says Mohammad Kianfar, a Majles deputy from the city of Ardabil, stressing that the Iranian Radio and Television, controlled directly by Mr. Khameneh'i, does not provide an accurate reflection of Iranian society.

"As a result of the surging unemployment rate, the lack of hope and the ever-growing social inequality, there has been a real increase in the number of women and even men engaged in prostitution to support their families", he told ILNA.

The average age among men and women engaged in prostitution has dropped to 20, whereas the equivalent figure five years ago stood at 27. More than eight thousand brothels and women trafficking businesses operate in Tehran alone; in addition, there are thousands of smaller prostitution organizations operating in private homes. In Tehran alone, more than 300 thousand girls aged 13-14 are engaged in prostitution. This year, the annual turnover of hard drug trade has reached $1.8 billion, a figure indicating an increase of 600 percent compared to 1995, according to ISNA.

Head of Iran’s Welfare Organization, Mohammad Reza Rah-Chamani (formerly, a member of the Majles associated with the conservatives), has vehemently denied the "overestimated figures published in Iranian newspapers about a significant increase in the number of citizens engaged in prostitution for living".

He said that "the recently published figure of 600 thousand women in Tehran alone engaged in prostitution to support their families is something from the realm of fantasy and not consistent with reality at all".

But he admitted that, based on recent information published in Tehran’s newspapers, the number of children living on the streets has exceeded the 2 million mark.

Malnutrition in Iran is the cause of death of over fifty percent of infants and Iranian children under the age of five. Manager of the governmental institute for nutrition research said that Iranian children faced a risk of death from malnutrition that was ten times larger than in the past. He further mentioned that there were additional groups of children and teenagers suffering from malnutrition and lack of vitamins. He also pointed out that nearly twenty percent of the adult population suffered from malnutrition as well. He identified the families’ inability to purchase staples such as meat as the root of the problem.

86.7 percent of those suffering from various forms of lung diseases in the province of Esfahan suffer from malnutrition as well, resulting in prolonged recovery periods. Most of the ill are women and children from the families of the labourers and the unemployed, a recent research proved.

Head of the medical research centre in the University of Tehran says that the death rate from cancer has recently surged upward and that cancer (gastric cancer in particular) has become the third leading cause of death in Iran in recent years.

"This stems mostly from inadequate nutrition and severe mental stress exerted upon the citizens. 35 thousand Iranian citizens die of cancer each year", he told the official news agency IRNA last December.

Dr. Mahbubeh Haj Abdolbaghi, one of the senior doctors in the Imam Khomeini Hospital, claims that the true number of HIV carriers in Iran is between 30 to 40 thousand people. She added that over 5700 people would die of the disease in the near future and issued a call to "set aside the shame" and "provide students in schools, universities and other educational institutions with information on AIDS.

Most students say that at least one of their family members is addicted to hard drugs. A significant percentage of students are forced to discontinue their studies in high school or even earlier in order to help support their families financially, addicted to drugs.

During the last eight months, an additional 131 tons of hard drugs have been uncovered and confiscated, and tens of thousands were arrested on charges of drug smuggling. These figures indicate an increase of 43 percent compared to last year. According to the data, 72,921 civilians have been arrested on charges of drug smuggling during the last eight months and more than 175 thousand drug addicts have been arrested during the same period (Entekhab, December 6, 2003).

In a single area in Tehran’s suburbs called Khak-e Sefid, hard drug users consume more than 1000lbs of heroin and opium daily. A senior sociologist in the University of Tehran who made a reference to this figure added that in addition to the extreme daily use of hard drugs in that suburb of Tehran, that dangerous area is a "feast of prostitution" that even the police forces do not dare to approach.

A special investigating judge appointed by the judiciary to deal with the phenomenon of the upsurge in moral corruption in the city of Qom says that tens of thousands of the city’s residents, so far considered to be Iran’s most religious and traditional city, use hard drugs, drink alcoholic beverages and have even formed organisations involved in filming of pornography.

The clerics special website in Qom, quoted the special investigating judge, Hojatoleslam Talebi as having admitted that illegal sexual relations and the multitude of pornography are the two most disturbing phenomena in that holy city. He blamed the situation on the "enemies on the outside" and said that the enemies were attempting to damage Islam.

Every day, thousands of young women in Tehran undergo illegal abortions in order to terminate pregnancies conceived as a result of illegal sexual intercourse.

Consequently, the number of clinics practicing the forbidden craft of abortions has increased. In quite a few cases, the young women die as a result of lack of proper medical care after the abortion, the moderate "Shargh" newspaper indicated.

There has been a disturbing rise in the number of deaths among Iranian women living mostly in rural areas. "The current mortality rate stands at 45 per 100,000, according to the Iranian women website, quoting the Deputy Director General of the Health Ministry, explaining that the phenomenon had to do with the spread of poverty and the lack of appropriate medical care for women.

More than a thousand infants born to women who are held in prisons throughout Iran have been recently taken out of the prisons and delivered, in most cases, to orphanages. 167 infants were delivered to the arrested women’s parents, 90 were delivered to their relatives and the rest were delivered to orphanages. Vice-chairman of the Elmolholda welfare organization said that there were still 173 infants held in the custody of their detained mothers.

A substantial number of infants were born to political prisoners who conceived as a result of rape by jail wardens. Dozens of former political prisoners described these experiences in painful detail after being set free. A substantial number of books and numerous testimonies on this phenomenon have been gathered in recent years.

As the ruling clerics boast on success achieved by the Islamic revolution in eradicating illiteracy, a senior official in the Education Ministry says that there is a shortage of 140 thousand classrooms across the country.

"This serious shortage results in the students being forced to study in crammed classrooms for shorter periods of time, a situation that only serves to further decrease the level education", IRNA reported

The lack of space in classrooms in hundreds of schools in Tehran’s southern suburbs forces students in elementary, junior high and high schools to stand during the entire study period since neither the benches nor the floor have any room left for the students to sit. Many teachers complain about the fact that the intolerably crowded conditions contribute to chronic fatigue and to the spread of contagious diseases among students.

"The students are uncomfortable to ask leave to go to the bathroom since going out of the classroom forces dozens of other students to move from the place where they stand or sit on the floor", he added.

A principal in one of the overcrowded schools in the area said that even though the school was supplemented with dozens of tents and improvised classrooms, the lack of space made it physically impossible for thousands of teenagers in that part of Tehran to be accepted to the school.

7 posted on 01/05/2004 12:09:22 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Isolation Helps Iranian Regime, Says Reza Pahlavi

January 04, 2004
Voice of America
Michael Bowman

Listen to Reza Pahlavi's live interview with Fox News Sunday (Chris Wallace)

Listen to Michael Bowman's report (RealAudio)

The exiled son of the late Shah of Iran says the United States should continue to try to engage the nation of his birth, but do so in such a way that does not prop up the government in Tehran.

Friday, Iran rejected a U.S. proposal to dispatch a high-level humanitarian delegation to the earthquake-ravaged nation, citing logistical difficulties. The United States and Iran have had no diplomatic relations since 1980.

Reza Pahlavi, whose father ruled Iran prior to the country's 1979 Islamic revolution, says the cause of democratic reform in Iran could be furthered, if relations were to thaw between Washington and Tehran. Mr. Pahlavi spoke on the U.S. television program "Fox News Sunday."

"Engagement and dialogue is much better than containment and isolation," said Mr. Pahlavi. "What is important for the people of Iran, however, is, after so many years of suffering, they would love to see the international community, for a change, shift their focus on them [their aspirations], rather than trying to cut a deal with the current regime."

The Iranian government has not ruled out the possibility of a visit by U.S. officials in the future. Nevertheless, Iran's state-controlled news media have expressed suspicions about U.S. motives, accusing the Bush administration of seizing upon the earthquake tragedy in the southeastern city of Bam as an opportunity to create a rift between the Iranian government and its citizens.

Reza Pahlavi said the government has already lost its legitimacy with the Iranian people. "This rift was created a long time ago by the regime's own doing," he said. "It has nothing to do with the U.S. government or any other foreign government."

Mr. Pahlavi said President Bush has always taken care to distinguish between his criticism of Iran's leaders and his feelings toward the country as a whole. He said that has not gone unnoticed by the people of Iran.
8 posted on 01/05/2004 12:10:32 AM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
Intelligence Minister Urges US to Accept Regime as Reality of Iran

•The US government has never accepted the reality of the Islamic Republic, intelligence minister Ali Yunessi said on Saturday, explaining the reason Iran rejected the trip of a high-level US humanitarian delegation headed by former head of the US Red Cross Senator Elizabeth Dole. The current US government has always tried to weaken and overthrow the Islamic Republic, Yunessi said, adding that the US has classified Iran among the ‘axis of evil.' He said as “concrete proof” of renouncing hostility to the Islamic Regime, the US can extradite to Iran members of the Iraq-based anti-regime group the Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO), and stop radio TV broadcasts of Radio Farda and Voice of America, which he said were aimed at weakening the Islamic regime.

•In fact, the Islamic Republic is asking the US to do all it can to preserve a dying regime, a regime that has lost its popular support and legitimacy, and has found itself in the same conditions that the Shah's government was in the years before the revolution, Los Angeles-based political activist Mohsen Nezhad tells Radio Farda.

•Nobody explained to the people why secret negotiations with the US took place in Geneva, and why they were abandoned, reformist Tehran daily Aftab-e Yazd writes. Also, the authorities gave no explanation for accepting the US offer of help, and then rejecting the US proposal to send a high-level mission, it adds. The Americans have announced that Iran's rejection has not disappointed them, and they hope to arrange for the visit later, writes reformist daily Shargh. (Amir Armin)

•The US medical relief team continues helping earthquake victims in Bam. Today, US doctors performed five surgeries and delivered four babies. Twelve tent hospitals have been erected in Bam for foreign medical relief teams. Two Chicago-based Bam-born Iranian-Americans help out in the US tents. (Masoud Malek)

•Nobody burns US flags that wave above the US tents in Bam, writes the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine (Parviz Farhang, Cologne)

•US Iranians say until a democratic government replaces the current regime they cannot be happy about improvements in US-Iran relations. Opponents of the Islamic regime believe that closer ties with the US will reinforce the regime, Los Angeles-based writer Homa Sarshar tells the Associated Press. (Leyli Arman)

•The US assured Saddam Hussein of support during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, after he used chemical weapons against the Iranian army, according to declassified documents printed by the Arabic London daily Asharq-ol-Awsat. (Ali Sajjadi)

•The positive move of the US requires a positive response from the foreign ministry, Tehran MP Meysam Saidi, member of the Majles foreign relations and national security committee said. (Amin Armin)

•The time is not ripe for the visit of the US mission led by Senator Elizabeth Dole, foreign ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said. “If a dominant view emerges in the US administration to bring down the wall of mistrust, then a new situation will develop and we can talk,” he added. “It's not yet clear if there is a will on the part of the Americans,” Asefi said.” Asefi praised the 90-day lifting of some U.S. sanctions against Iran and said permanent lifting could be one of the practical changes Iran has been waiting for. (Shireen Famili)

•One has to ignore Iran's temporary rejection of the US proposed high-level mission to Iran, as President Bush did, because the news of possible US-Iran rapprochement worries Syrian President Bashar Asad, who would find himself more isolated, and the Saudi Arabian rulers, on whose oil the US would no longer depend, writes Italian daily Il Riformista. (Ahmad Ra'fat, Rome)

•The US should continue to try to engage Iran, but do so in such a way that does not prop up the Islamic regime, former crown prince Reza Pahlavi in an interview on Fox News Sunday. "Engagement and dialogue is much better than containment and isolation," said Mr. Pahlavi. “What is important for the people of Iran, however, is, after so many years of suffering, they would love to see the international community, for a change, shift their focus on them [their aspirations], rather than trying to cut a deal with the current regime,” Mr. Pahlavi added. (Behruz Nikzat)
9 posted on 01/05/2004 12:15:04 AM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
Government Disqualifies Hundreds of Election Candidacy Applicants

•The interior ministry's election executive committees in Tehran and other provinces disqualified hundreds of applicants for candidacy in the February 20 Majles elections, before the Guardians Council began its vetting process. Among those rejected are nearly all members of the nationalist opposition party the Freedom Movement of Iran (FMI), and at least 15 Majles MPs. In reaction, President Khatami's government replaced two provincial governors, who oversaw the election committees. In a letter to the election executive committees, Khatami warned against denying citizens their right to stand for election. Many disqualifications were the result of opinions sent by the intelligence ministry to the interior ministry, MP Jafar Golbaz, member of the Majles foreign relations and national security committee, said. Many of the responses given by the intelligence ministry were background information, intelligence minister Ali Yunessi said Saturday in a press conference. The intelligence ministry reported on members of this and that cult, who consider themselves qualified, or, this and that subversive element, or a foreign spy who considers himself qualified to become a Majles MP. (Keyvan Hosseini)

•The conservatives believe that they would have a better chance at winning in the elections if less people vote, the reformists believe the opposite, former deputy interior minister Mostafa Tajzadeh said. (Fereydoun Zarnegar)
10 posted on 01/05/2004 12:16:36 AM PST by freedom44
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To: freedom44
This is a good post! Some one should ask the Iranian government about the realities they talked about.
11 posted on 01/05/2004 12:22:04 AM PST by F14 Pilot ( "Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists. ")
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To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert; F14 Pilot
This is a VERY important post. Iran today resembles Soviet Union before the chrash. Perhaps this should be posted every third day the coming month, to make sure it will be known.
12 posted on 01/05/2004 2:05:01 AM PST by AdmSmith
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To: AdmSmith
chrash =>crash
13 posted on 01/05/2004 2:06:11 AM PST by AdmSmith
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To: DoctorZIn
But he admitted that, based on recent information published in Tehran’s newspapers, the number of children living on the streets has exceeded the 2 million mark.

And Tehran is a city with a population of twleve million?

I am literally speechless, now.

14 posted on 01/05/2004 3:55:32 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (Freedom is a package deal - with it comes responsibilities and consequences.)
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To: DoctorZIn
Freedom Advocates Desire Conditions for Iran Talks
New York Sun - By Eli Lake
Jan 5, 2004

WASHINGTON — Iranian opposition leaders and their supporters in Washington are stressing that American overtures to Iran in light of last month’s earthquake in Bam should focus on improving the country’s political freedoms as a condition for warming ties between the two nations.

Many American-based opponents of the regime in Tehran — including an heir to the peacock throne, Reza Pahlavi, and Senator Brownback, a Republican of Kansas — welcome American aid to the victims of the December 26 earthquake that has claimed nearly 30,000 people. But they also express concern that such aid could open a new thaw between the Bush administration and the government that the State Department says is the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism.

On January 2, Tehran rejected an American offer to send a high-level delegation to be led by Senator Dole, a Republican of North Carolina. On December 29, 62 members of a 73-person search and rescue team from America were sent home after the Iranian government said it no longer needed such assistance. A State Department deputy spokesman, Adam Ereli, said last week that the proposed Dole delegation would only discuss how America could aid the earthquake victims. But Secretary of State Powell indicated last month that America would consider wider-ranging talks with Iran. Mr. Powell told the Washington Post on December 29, “We should keep open the possibility of dialogue at an appropriate point in the future,” in light of the Iranian U.N. ambassador’s speedy response to a phone call from the deputy secretary of state, Richard Armitage, offering assistance to the earthquake victims. Also being weighed is Tehran’s declared willingness to agree in principle to unannounced U.N. inspections of its hitherto clandestine nuclear program.

“I thought it was a good move to try to send humanitarian relief into Iran,” Senator Brownback told The New York Sun yesterday. “We should send the message that we are not opposed to the Iranian people, we are opposed to their government.” However, the senator added, “I do not think this should be the opening for a dialogue or removing sanctions when you have a regime that is developing nuclear weapons and sponsoring terrorism.”

Mr. Brownback managed to get a modest amount of funding for Iranian democracy promotion inside the country in the 2004 federal budget last month over initial objections from the State Department. He said in the new year, his office planned to “bring together the various democracy movements that have exterior arms and to begin talking about what programs would be best to pursue.” The $1.5 million in funding is the first time America is slated to spend public dollars on democracy programs inside Iran. Mr. Brownback said that he believed the Iranian opposition was “more organized and more financially capable” than the Iraqi opposition he supported up until the fall of Baghdad, but added that the Iranian opposition was also more fractious and more prone to internal squabbles.

Mr. Pahlavi, who leads one of those Iranian opposition groups calling for the overthrow of the current theocracy, said he would welcome American talks with Iran if they were conditioned on addressing the Iranian people’s desire for a more responsive and democratic government. “Any such earthquake diplomacy, if directed to the Iranian people as opposed to the regime, would contribute enormously to the reservoir of the good will between our two peoples,” he told the Sun. “On the other hand if such an overture is misconstrued by the Iranian people as appeasement and condoning of the regime’s long-established behavior of suppression and global terror, it would sow the wrong seeds for a long time to come.”

President Bush on January 2 reiterated that he believed Iran should be responsive to Iran’s democracy movement and should also hand over Al Qaeda leaders residing in Iran. “The Iranian government must listen to the voices of those who long for freedom,” he said. He added that Iran “must turn over Al Qaeda that are in their custody and must abandon their nuclear weapons program.’’

The spokesman for the Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran,Aryo Pirouznia, said,“An American dialogue with Iran on humanitarian issues is a positive step for the people of Iran only if this dialogue focuses on true principles of the United States, which means freedom, secularity, and democracy.”

Mr. Pirouznia added, “I wonder, will Mrs. Dole go to Iran with a headscarf or without it. Will she cover her head with a scarf, like so many other European women envoys?”
15 posted on 01/05/2004 8:31:24 AM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranians Struggle as Some Speak of Rebuilding Bam

January 05, 2004
The Washington Post
Karl Vick

BAM, Iran -- The road to Bam is littered with the detritus of desperation. At a rest stop along what centuries ago was a main artery of the Silk Road, used hypodermic needles betray the highway's current infamy as a route for smuggling raw opium from Afghanistan, 200 miles to the east, across terrain that alternates desert pan with mountain ridge.

The wrecks on the roadside suggest a sharper trauma. In the frantic scramble to find medical attention for more than 10,000 people all hurt at once, the highway north from Bam became a drag strip, cars and trucks passing frantically -- and not always making it back into lane -- in a 140-mile sprint to the nearest hospital in Kerman, once known as "the heart of the world," now a provincial capital.

The hospitals in Bam were flattened, as was the rest of the city, an ancient place sketched by the Silk Road trade route over a half-dozen centuries and, on the day after Christmas, erased in a matter of seconds by an even older, roughly parallel line: a fault in the earth.

Iranian officials are not certain how many people were killed in the earthquake, when one plate beneath the surface abruptly moved northwest and the other due southeast. But more than 30,000 bodies have been buried so far in what had been a boomtown of perhaps 100,000 people.

"It's not worth living here," said Reza Miri, his artificial leg squeaking as he walked over the rubble of his street, where steel gates remained on their hinges but the houses behind them had disappeared.

In this city, turned into piles of rubble, only the size of the heaps denotes relative wealth. Luxury homes collapsed as thoroughly as the one-room estate Maryam Abbasnejad's father had built by hand, and where he died with his wife, on their side of a blanket hung to divide the tiny living space in half. Maryam, 10, alone survived, with a broken arm and purple bruises down one cheek.

Aid Distribution Uneven

In Miri's neighborhood -- working-class, by the size of the piles -- survivors fended for themselves while a dozen young Iranian Red Crescent volunteers killed time watching traffic three blocks away.

"I'm a war veteran, and I haven't seen one of these damned people come and help us," Miri said, cursing the helicopters circling overhead, air cover for another Iranian official touring the city.

A neighbor tugged free three red carpets, rolled them up and piled them onto a metallic gold Camaro; they fit nicely on the fastback. Around the corner, a baby goat stood bleating in the cab of a loaded pickup.

Five days after the quake, the city was emptying out. But not entirely.

"Our neighbors went to villages to stay there for shelter, but we have no car to go in," said Birjan Mohammadi, a woman in her fifties. She squatted on a mound of bricks and watched dusk gather toward another night that she and her grandchildren -- a beaming little girl of 5 or 6 and her little brother, standing side by side -- would spend sleeping atop the rubble that had crushed their parents. On the ground were empty plastic bottles of Ashi Mashi cola and empty tuna tins.

"We sleep outside in the open air," the woman said. "It's freezing cold."

The relief effort was far from uniform, officials have acknowledged. Iran's first responder in disasters, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, was on the scene within hours, and by all accounts took matters firmly in hand, airlifting 4,000 wounded residents to hospitals across the country in the first 24 hours after the quake. But distribution of the torrent of aid that arrived in the ensuing days was uneven at best.

"Look out!" a bystander yelped, as another bit of largess was tossed off the back of a passing truck last week. Aimed at a row of tents that a displaced family had erected at the curb of a main street, the packet whacked a journalist in the head and flapped onto the asphalt. Batool Shahrokhi picked it up -- a lacy tablecloth, tightly bound in plastic -- and kept talking.

A moment later, she dropped it and grabbed her weeping husband as the ground rumbled. Another aftershock.

"We have nowhere to go," she said, shrugging.

A Frontier Outpost

Two days after the quake, men armed with sticks looted aid trucks on the main road into town, on a stretch where soldiers were posted the next day. Miri, the veteran, said he saw a man making off with a trailer of donated canvas tents, announcing that he would sell them in Sistan-Baluchistan, the frontier province that borders Afghanistan and Pakistan, where the tribes that overlap among the three countries boast a cheerful disregard for international protocols.

This has given Bam a reputation as a frontier outpost, the last place firmly controlled by Tehran on a road leading into a desert where anything might happen. Three weeks before the earthquake, suspected drug smugglers kidnapped three Europeans bicycling east from Bam. They demanded $6 million in ransom, but released the three without receiving any money.

"Bam is a strategic point in the country, a forefront against wicked people, bandits and drug traffickers, and therefore it must be reconstructed at any price," a former Iranian president, Hashemi Rafsanjani, declared in a visit to the stricken city Thursday.

Reconstruction, however, is a dicey subject.

Most of the people killed in the earthquake perished in their beds, crushed in an instant by the weight of the mud bricks forming the domed roofs that were the pride of Bam.

Refined over 2,000 years, the local architecture guaranteed a cool refuge even on the hottest days, and rendered the tree-lined streets of the modern city a vibrant living version of the famous citadel of Bam, an outdoor museum that has drawn thousands of tourists a year to the largest mud-brick edifice in the world, just outside town.

"There is some discussion of trying to relocate the city," said Hossain Jafari, a U.N. disaster official in Iran. "They will do micro-zoning studies to see what is the best place and design a new city."

It would not be the first such attempt to start over here.

In 1932, the municipality of Bam was officially moved from the vast, visually arresting complex of mud houses at the foot of the citadel to its present location a few miles north. The move freed the majestic ancient site for preservation -- already plans are underway to repair the heavy quake damage -- but offered residents a less certain future.

The 'New Citadel'

In the years before the quake, Iranians knew Bam for delicious dates, assorted citrus and dope.

"I went into Bam to buy some opium, but couldn't find any," a taxi driver from Kerman said Tuesday night. The surprise evident in the announcement has translated into desperation among the 20 percent of Bam's population older than 15 who are addicted. The Associated Press reported that emergency supplies of methadone and codeine were being rushed in to tide them over.

The rate of drug use follows from proximity to smuggling routes, but also from economic disappointment. In 1993, with much fanfare, the central government created a "Special Economic Zone," dubbed the "new citadel," on Bam's northern boundary.

The results were mixed at best. Factories appeared. So did people looking to work in them. Mohammad Ali Mo'einfer, an expert in human geography, estimated that 100,000 Iranians migrated to Bam in search of work, doubling the area's population in the decade before the quake.

"They were, of course, not rich enough to care about the kind of accommodation they were choosing," he said. The housing boom that ensued produced homes no more likely to be up to code than the government buildings that collapsed with them, including both of the city's hospitals.

But the largest factory, built to assemble automobiles for South Korea's huge Daewoo conglomerate, ended up producing only car seats and smaller parts for export. Layoffs left much of the population struggling even before their homes were destroyed.

From his tent on the street, Mohammad Mozhdehi could see what remained of his. It hung there, a second-story apartment broken in half and showing its naked kitchen to passing traffic. Mozhdehi moved closer to a fire fueled by salvaged 2-by-4s and cabinet doors. He had lived with his wife, who died in the quake, above a shop in the city's main business district, the only neighborhood where reinforced construction kept at least a wall or two standing. The result was private spaces suddenly exposed: a living room wall with a gilded clock still keeping time, a tiled bathroom with a portrait of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini scowling over the sink.

No Reason to Remain

On the street, the exodus continued at traffic circles where grassy centers had been turned into campgrounds. Heavy trucks carrying aid jostled with pickups laden with household belongings and an Iranian sedan called Pride, with its entire back half squashed but the wheels turning.

Just before the main highway, they all stopped at the last checkpoint. Residents need written permission to leave the city. They received it in a shattered police station, where two officers with batons were chasing two prisoners across a parking lot.

"I'm a teacher!" one of the prisoners yelled.

"You're a thief!" an officer yelled back.

At the station, Majid Fakhri, hollow-eyed but stoic, clutched his permission slip.

At 32, he was a widower.

"I lost all my family," he said. "More than 10 in all."

He was about to leave for the home of relatives elsewhere.

"There is nothing left to remain for," Fakhri said. "Now the main thing is the reconstruction."
16 posted on 01/05/2004 8:36:00 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Egypt's Maher: Camp David Issue "in the Past"

January 05, 2004

TEHRAN -- Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Maher has asserted that his country's Camp David peace accord with Israel was "is merely a thing of the past" and Cairo and Tehran should boost their ties, the official Iranian news agency reported Monday.

"I don't think using the issue of Camp David will be useful, because it does not exist anymore and is merely a thing of the past," Maher said of the 1979 peace deal -- one of the reasons why Iran broke off ties with Egypt.

"There have been many changes and I believe that this issue between Iran and Egypt has already been closed. What exists now is the interest of Iran and Egypt to work with each other," he said in an interview with IRNA.

The two countries severed diplomatic ties in 1980, a year after Cairo gave asylum to the deposed shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and signed peace with Israel.

Relations were particularly bad while Egypt supported Iraq during its 1980-1988 war with Iran. However, trade and other ties have been improving since the 1990s.

And in a major step forward, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Iranian President Mohammad Khatami met last month on the sidelines of a UN technology summit in Geneva.

Mubarak has also been invited to Iran in February to attend the D-8 economic summit of developing nations, and a confidant to the Egyptian president said Mubarak would visit Tehran and normalise ties if Iran scraps public tributes to his predecessor Anwar Sadat's assassin.

A street in Tehran is named after Sadat's assassin, Khaled Eslamboli, branded as a "martyr" with a big mural of him on the towering building. Mubarak has also taken issue with Iran's alleged support of Egyptian Islamist militants.

Maher termed the talks between Khatami and Mubarak "very important", adding "Iran and Egypt are now preparing the ground to cement their relations, and these efforts must continue."
17 posted on 01/05/2004 8:37:18 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn

Unable to control Iranians seeking 'democracy, human rights, and secularism', the regime regularly imports 'Arab mercenaries' from surrounding countries. Here are pictures of the'moral police' roaming the streets of Iran, speaking 'Arabic'.

Some may have a difficult time telling the difference between Iranians and Arabs, but Iranians can spot foreign Arabs from a mile away usually based on facial bone structure, and mannerish.
18 posted on 01/05/2004 8:38:50 AM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
Just before the main highway, they all stopped at the last checkpoint. Residents need written permission to leave the city. They received it in a shattered police station, where two officers with batons were chasing two prisoners across a parking lot.

Shaking my head in disbelief. What is there worth staying for? Why can't they just leave?

19 posted on 01/05/2004 8:39:11 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (Freedom is a package deal - with it comes responsibilities and consequences.)
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To: DoctorZIn
Blair Warns States that Sponsor Terrorism and Develop WMD

January 04, 2004
10 Downing Street

PM thanks UK armed forces in Basra visit

The Prime Minister has praised the work UK troops are carrying out in Iraq. On a visit to Basra Mr Blair said the world will owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude.

Read the Prime Minister's address to troops in full below:


Good Afternoon everyone. It is a great honour for me to be here today and to say a few words to you, and really the first thing I want to say is a huge thank you for the work that you have done, and that reputation of the British Armed Forces I don't think has ever been higher than it is today, or its prestige ever greater, and that is down to you and the work that you have done. And whatever people, and as you know there are a few different opinions about the wisdom of conflict, but whatever opinions people had of that, there is absolutely nobody - nobody - back home who has anything other than enormous pride in the British Armed Forces, and rightly so.

And I think there is one very good reason why your reputation and your prestige is so high, and I think that the British soldier, the British Armed Forces today, they are if you like the new pioneers of soldiering in the 21st century, because the threat that we face today, the threat that our country faces from other countries around the world, is not the one that certainly my generation grew up with, it is not the prospect of a big world war where countries are fighting each other, you can never discount that, but it is highly improbable, except I suppose in one set of circumstances, and those are the circumstances of chaos, and that chaos comes today from terrorism, from a particular virus of Islamic extremism that is a perversion of the true faith of Islam, but is nonetheless incredibly dangerous and which you see literally in every part of the world. And that is one part of the threat, and I don't suppose there is a single country round the world at the moment that is not trying to guard against it. But the other threats are brutal and repressive states who because of their brutality, because they don't actually have the support or consent of their people, are developing weapons that can cause distraction and destruction on a massive scale and are a huge, huge liability for the whole security of the world.

And those two threats come together. Democracies don't sponsor terrorism. No country that obeys the rule of law tortures and maims its citizens. No government that owes its position to the will of the people will spend billions of pounds on chemical, and biological and nuclear weapons whilst their people live in poverty. And these threats together produce chaos, because in the world in which we live, if there is chaos then the whole world system economically and politically breaks down. And this conflict here was a conflict of enormous importance, because Iraq was the test case of that. Iraq was a country whose regime and proven record of the use of weapons of mass destruction, not just their development, and a regime so abhorrent that as you will now know better than you did before, literally hundreds of thousands of its citizens died in prison camps, in the ways of torture and repression. And if we had backed away from that, we would never have been able to confront this threat in the other countries where it exists. And so the British soldier and the British Armed Forces in what you have done in winning the conflict in Iraq was immensely important.

But then there is the other part of 21st century soldiering, which is that you haven't just to win the conflict, you have then got to win the peace, and that is difficult too. But there is one reason why I think we can be optimistic. It is not just that the interests of ourselves and the Iraqi people today are the same. I have just visited the Police Training Camp and seen the Iraqi police officers try to get the basic rudiments of proper police training so that they can police their country properly so that people no longer fear the police but see them as their friends and supporters on the streets of Iraq. And what the Iraqi people want is prosperity, they want security, they want to bring up their families in some peace and decent way of living, and that is what we are trying to do. And so we are trying to help them do it and your role there is of course of immense importance, and that is perhaps the single most important thing now, it is the greatest challenge we face, which is that your soldiering has got not just to be about fighting and being able to engage in combat, and to win that combat and win it well, which you do brilliantly, but it is also to win the peace, it is to win the hearts and minds of people. It is to show by the way that we try and help this country on its feet as a stable and prosperous democracy, to show in the manner by which we do it, that there is a better way forward for Iraq, that countries like this whose people have never enjoyed the freedoms we have taken for granted, actually can exist side by side with each other, with democracy, with the rule of law, with basic canons of respect for other people and respect for themselves, and that work again you do brilliantly. And by nature and by instinct and by the intelligent use of the experience that you have had, Iraq today is taking shape under your help and with your guidance in a way that would have been unthinkable a year ago.

So of course I want to say to you, thank you for the work that you are doing, but I think that when you come to a far away country such as this and you spend many months, it is as well to know not merely that you are fighting because that is what you have been ordered to do, but that the work that you have been doing has been in a noble and a good cause, and it has. And there are people here - and I have just met some Iraqis, ordinary Iraqi people - who for decade upon decade knew nothing but the Secret Police, poverty, utter dependence on the state, fear, inability to make any difference to the country in which they lived, who today have some hope and some prospect of a future thanks to you.

So I know that this a multinational effort, and I know that you have been working hard with the Americans of course, our principal allies, but also with the scores of other countries that are here now helping us in Iraq. But I wanted to say a special word of thanks to you. I believe, you know how passionately I believed in this cause and in the wisdom of the conflict as the only way to establish long term peace and stability, but I would like you to know that part of the pride that people feel in you is the knowledge that in years to come people here in this country, and I believe around the world, will look back on what you have done and give thanks and recognise that they owe you a tremendous debt of gratitude, and from the bottom of my heart I thank you very much indeed. Thanks.
20 posted on 01/05/2004 8:40:58 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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