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Iranian Alert -- January 18, 2004 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD --Americans for Regime Change in Iran
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 1.18.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 01/18/2004 12:17:09 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 01/18/2004 12:17:10 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 01/18/2004 12:20:06 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
This is a reminder!

Plan for the peaceful removal of the Islamic Regime Broadcast

TODAY! Sunday, January 18, 2004

A Plan for the peaceful removal of the Islamic Regime of Iran will be announced during a live program broadcast on many Iranian satellite TV and Radio stations. The program starts at 10 AM PST from NITV studios in Los Angeles and will last for 6 hours, including a fundraising segment to support the plan. Other media who have confirmed the live broadcast of this program include Pars TV, Radio Sedaye Iran, Radio Yaran, Radio Sedaye Emrooz, Rangarang TV, Apadana TV, and Lahzeh TV.

This program can also be seen live via the Internet at who will provide a FREE link on that day.
3 posted on 01/18/2004 12:28:46 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran’s MPs stage sit-in protests, but drastic options wait in the wings


As crucial elections loom, moderates claim they’re working for democracy … but they’re fast losing support in favour of more direct action. Is this reform’s last chance? From Dan De Luce in Tehran

In Iran’s parliament last week there were dramatic words about the country facing a pivotal moment. Reformist MPs have been holding a sit-in to protest a ban against more than 3000 moderate candidates hoping to run in next month’s elections. If the ban is not lifted, the MPs warned hopes for building in democracy would die.

But, in a strange contrast, outside on Tehran’s streets there was no drama. Despite threats from MPs, cabinet ministers and provincial governors to resign, no crowds massed outside the parliament’s gates. Why? Because university students were not ready to brave police beatings on behalf of the MPs.

Disillusionment runs deep. The euphoria that accompanied Mohammad Khatami’s election in 1997 has given way to frustration with his cautious tactics.

Khatami and a reformist majority in parliament raised expectations for reform but they ran up against a blockade put up by conservative clerics holding the upper hand in Iran’s theocracy.

When dissident intellectuals were murdered, newspapers shut down, journalists jailed and students assaulted, Khatami and the parliament could only stand by and offer words of concern.

When bill after bill was vetoed by unelected hardliners in the Guardian Council, reformist MPs spoke of resignation but never followed through on their threats.

Khatami preached patience, criticising conservative excesses, often obliquely, while some of his own associates sat in prison cells.

Some 18 months ago, Khatami seemed ready to quit. He proposed two bills to end the arbitrary vetting of parliamentary candidates and prevent political trials in the conservative judiciary. The bills, he said, represented the minimum required to fulfil his duties as president.

Reformists MPs spoke about resigning en masse if the bills were vetoed. The bills were, as expected, rejected by the Guardian Council, the same body that last week disqualified all those reformist candidates. Khatami expressed disappointment without raising his voice. No one resigned.

So it was no surprise when young demonstrators shouted “Down with Khatami” during last summer’s street protests. They see his caution as a betrayal of their efforts to achieve real change.

Mehdia Aminzadeh, a student leader who has spent time in jail, believes Khatami could have confronted the establishment when his presidential authority was clearly violated and when he enjoyed overwhelming popular support. But, he says, it’s too late now. “He missed so many golden opportunities,” he said.

Instead of rallying support, Khatami called for restraint while pursuing negotiations behind closed doors with the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

In a clear attempt to orchestrate the Febuary 20 elections, this month’s crisis exposed the limits of Khatami’s tactics. An unelected body with sweeping powers chose to disqualify some 80 sitting MPs and thousands of other moderate voices on dubious legal grounds.

Saying he was optimistic he could broker a solution to the crisis, Khatami met protesting MPs and pleaded with them to call off the sit-in while he held talks with the supreme leader’s office.

The MPs declined and privately expressed exasperation at the president’s refusal to enter into battle with the conservatives.

With his interest in philosophy, his clerical background and his gentle personality, Khatami seems more suited to academia than politics. He chose a quiet life of study at the national library in the 1990s after he was chased out of his post as minister of culture. Hardliners had disagreed with his attempts to lift censorship on films and books.

Moderates pressed Khatami into running for president in hopes of stirring up the election campaign . Even his critics acknowledge he has ushered in a more open climate that has brought a degree of social freedom and a flourishing of the arts.

“He was the first person to broadcast democratic concepts among ordinary people,” said Hamid Reza Jalaleipour, a sociologist who has advised Khatami in the past.

He has encouraged the creation of hundreds of NGOs and his ideas about a more tolerant, modern interpretation of Islam have gained popular favour, changing the terms of political debate.

On the foreign policy front, Khatami has helped repair Iran’s relations with former adversaries in the region and persuaded European governments to engage Tehran diplomatically.

Perhaps he is a victim of his success in opening up discussion about how Iran should evolve. His ideas about incremental reform are being questioned now by his allies in parliament, including his more outspoken younger brother, Mohammad Reza Khatami, who leads the largest reformist party, the Participation Front.

The president’s brother and other MPs say the time has come to amend the constitution to limit the vast, unaccountable authority of the supreme leader.

If they cannot achieve their goals in parliament, the MPs say they will launch more civil disobedience and turn to the public for support.

“People are disillusioned with the reformists, but not with the idea of reform,” said Khatami.

Sympathy might be revived if the reformists prove they are ready to stick with their sit-in without caving in to compromise offered by the theocratic leadership.

“Until now, we have tried to secure the people’s rights and advance our reformist agenda cautiously,” said reformist MP Elahe Koulaiee. “I believe strong and decisive action is called for now by the reformers and it is never too late to stand firm and act resolutely.”

There are signs Khatami’s lobbying will produce a mixed result. The supreme leader has called for a review of the ban on reformist candidates and suggested most should be allowed to stand.

Judging by past experience, the conservatives will probably retain the ban against candidates they deem too critical of “the system”.

Whatever the outcome of the crisis, by putting off today’s reformers, conservative clerics could be sowing the seeds of a more radical opposition among a younger generation that won't be ready for compromise.

18 January 2004
4 posted on 01/18/2004 12:36:08 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
What Do You Think of Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Prize Winner or Mullahs' Spokeswoman?

Mullah's Spokeswoman - 55.3%
Nobel Prize Winner - 42.9%
Don't Know - 1.8%

Total votes: 282
5 posted on 01/18/2004 12:41:29 AM PST by F14 Pilot (Is there any truth in that, senor?)
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To: All
Ebadi rejects U.S. claim of Iran nuke plan

China Post of Taiwan

Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi on Saturday ridiculed U.S. suggestions that her native Iran is trying to develop a nuclear bomb.
"Iran ... doesn't need a nuclear bomb. We have not made any nuclear bombs and we do not have that technology," she said. "If Americans are condemning us, don't forget that at one point they were saying the same things against Iraq.

"But did they find any weapons of mass destruction?" the Iranian human rights lawyer asked in an interview with The Associated Press on the sidelines of the World Social Forum in Bombay.

The United States has accused Tehran of secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons, but Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful and geared only toward producing electricity.

Ebadi, who won the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize, is among the most prominent speakers at the six-day forum, billed as the world's largest gathering of anti-globalization activists.

She said that after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, it was "easier than in the past for people to be labeled terrorists."

"Unfortunately the misuse of the war on terrorism is increasing in the world," she said.

She also dismissed the view of a so-called clash of civilizations between the Christian West and the Muslim Middle East.

"This theory is just a justification for war. Since they started teaching this theory in U.S. universities, they started to justify war," Ebadi said, adding if any terrorists are "killing in the name of Islam, they are misusing Islam."

The 56-year-old activist, who was awarded the Nobel for her work on the rights of women and children, has been criticized at home by Muslim fundamentalists. She was given bodyguards in Iran after receiving death threats.

"Since 10 years, I have been threatened through letters and over the telephone in Iran. Fear is ... like hunger, you can't control it. I'm afraid, but I can handle this fear," she said.

Her Nobel Prize acceptance speech, at which she appeared without the traditional Muslim headscarf, was not televised in Iran.

Ebadi, the first woman judge in Iran, was forced to resign after the country's 1979 Islamic revolution, and now works at Teheran University.

She has been imprisoned several times, and has been involved in several controversial cases, including one related to fatal attacks on students at Tehran University in 1999.

Ebadi said Iranians believe there is a possibility of a U.S.-led war against them.

"Iranian people think about this possibility. But I am sure that the Iranian people in the case of a war from the U.S. will be united to stop an occupation of their country."

Comment: I report, You decide. I also ask you to view the above poll done by an Iranian website.
6 posted on 01/18/2004 12:48:24 AM PST by F14 Pilot (Is there any truth in that, senor?)
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To: DoctorZIn
7 posted on 01/18/2004 12:51:31 AM PST by windchime (Podesta about Bush: "He's got four years to try to undo all the stuff we've done." (TIME-1/22/01))
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To: DoctorZIn; McGavin999; freedom44; nuconvert; Eala; AdmSmith; dixiechick2000; onyx; Pro-Bush; ...
The Mullah Behind the Curtain

Michael Hirsh
Jan. 17, 2004

Granted vast authority under the U.S. occupation, L. Paul Bremer has been the most powerful man in Iraq for the past seven months. But that is changing fast—almost hourly. Indeed the new Iraqi era that America set in motion last March is hurtling ahead so fast that one can barely keep up with it.

Bremer may still hold the title of Iraq’s civil administrator. But the most powerful man in Iraq at the moment is actually the Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the reclusive Shiite cleric from the southern city of Najaf who persistently refuses to meet with Bremer. That’s not necessarily bad news for the Americans. Sistani’s obstinacy has little to do with a cloistered or backward mentality, which is how some frustrated U.S. officials characterize his thinking. It has everything to do with the fact that, while Sistani claims he knows nothing about politics (he resolutely stayed out of it during Saddam’s rule), he is proving to be the most brilliant politician in Iraq. Indeed, if Sistani continues his current strategy of mild confrontation with Washington, the aging ayatollah—who is described as “frighteningly intelligent” by one political ally—will likely emerge as the most dominant and revered figure in post-occupation Iraq. He is also likely to be the man (and here’s the good news) who can best realize the dreams of both his fellow Shiites and the Americans: creating a stable democracy that could potentially transform the Arab world.

But if the Bush administration is to make an ally of Sistani—and it really has no choice but to do so, though this will never be an intimate relationship—it must better understand the political game he is playing. This means, first, stomaching some unpleasant realities. Today anti-Americanism has become smart politics around the world. Much as Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder won re-election in Germany by playing the anti-American card, and President Roh Moo Hyun hoisted himself to prominence in South Korea’s politics by bashing Washington, a successful national campaign in most countries today means distancing yourself from the much-resented superpower. And more: standing up to it.

Sistani knows this, say sources in Baghdad who talk with him. He has watched as the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council, which sits behind high concrete blast walls in central Baghdad in the shadow of Bremer’s Coalition Provisional Authority, has developed little or no credibility with Iraqis, in part because the Council consists largely of exiles appointed by the Americans. Ahmad Chalabi, the Shiite exile whom Pentagon hawks once saw as a potential future president (and compliant U.S. ally), is today despised by many Iraqis and has no chance of winning an election. The eagerness with which some in the Bush administration went about putting an all-American stamp on the occupation, slighting the need for UN or multilateral cover while hoping to inspire an I-love-Uncle Sam gratitude in the hearts of Iraqis, has blown up in their faces. It is a destroyed dream that cannot be put back together.

To his credit Bremer appears to see this, and he’s adjusting—fast. On Monday he will come knocking at the door of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and one hopes it is with an appropriate display of humility. Bremer, whose task may be the most difficult of any American diplomat since Ben Franklin went hat in hand to France, has a lot of repair work to accomplish, considering all the damage his overseers back in Washington have done to U.S.-UN relations. As recently as a few weeks ago, the Bush administration had little time for Annan or the United Nations. The world body was given no role in a Nov. 15 agreement that set a timetable for a handover of sovereignty to Iraqis on June 30. Now Annan could well play the decisive part in orchestrating a compromise between Bremer and Sistani—or what is more important, in creating a face-saving way to do so.

Sistani issued a fatwa demanding direct elections to form the nation’s new transitional assembly, which is to be elected by the end of May and will formally assume power from Bremer and the Governing Council. And he has threatened not to recognize the national body if his demands are not met, a potentially devastating blow to Bush's plans for Iraq. Bremer and most Council members say there simply isn’t time to conduct national elections properly. Instead, eager to quell the anti-American insurgency that has threatened George W. Bush’s own re-election hopes, last fall they hurriedly conceived a plan to hold “caucuses” of elites in each of Iraq’s 18 provinces that would select members of the new assembly.

But just as he doesn’t like the taint of U.S. occupation, Sistani doesn’t like the anti-democratic smell of caucuses. This has much to do, no doubt, with the fact that Shiites represent a large majority in Iraq and with the Shiites’ painful historical memory of the oppressive rule they have endured under Iraq’s Sunni minority. Now, with a studied disingenuousness, Sistani is throwing America’s prize values back in its face. “He keeps on saying ‘I’m not a politician, I’m apolitical,’” says one Iraqi Shiite politician who talks with Sistani frequently. “He says, ‘I read this textbook of democracy in the world, and the first thing I read is about elections, and so I’m asking for elections. I didn’t go to the Koran, there is nothing written in the Koran about elections.’”

Yet Sistani is also quite pragmatic, with a long view of the future and a reasonableness that has won over even some Sunnis and Kurds. Not for him the anti-American bellicosity of Moqtada Sadr, a rival Shiite cleric whose diatribes have marginalized him in the eyes of many Iraqis, not to mention the CPA. Agitate and defy the Americans, yes, but not so much that you might delay their departure six months from now, or cause their wrath to fall on your head in some other way. So Sistani is quite willing to cut a deal, sources close to him say. The problem is that since he has come out publicly against the caucuses, he needs a face-saving way to tell his Shiite flock that he is not backing down.

That’s where Kofi Annan comes in. Several weeks ago Sistani signaled his flexibility by summoning Shiite notables to his base of power in Najaf. “He said, ‘I do not mind looking into an alternative to [direct] elections on the proviso that it would be inclusive and preserve the representation and the transfer” of power, according to the Shiite politician. Sistani’s alternative? Local Shiite referendums to select delegates. But he wants Annan to send a U.N. team to affirm that broader national elections are not possible at this point, given the lack of a national census and voter registration, and to supervise the delegate selection. The aura of international legitimacy—as opposed to a U.S. diktat—conveyed by the world body would give Sistani the cover he needs. (As further evidence, consider that Sistani was quite willing to meet Bremer’s junior partner, the martyred U.N. envoy to Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello, last June.) “If it happens just under the [CPA] then whatever the result is, everybody will say again this was made by the Americans, just like the Governing Council,” says Mahmoud Othman, a Kurdish member of the Council.

In recent days Bremer too has signaled that referendums of some kind are doable, and he and Annan will no doubt be discussing them on Monday. But Bremer still has some distance to travel. With a bit of diplomatic tinkering—and a central role by the UN, with perhaps some Arab League participation—Sistani will back a new plan for picking an assembly, sources say. But he still won’t call the result “caucuses,” and Bremer might do well to drop the word, at least in his public comments.

This all sounds like small stuff, back-room politicking over technical issues. But what will be negotiated over the next weeks between Sistani and Bremer, with Annan in the middle, could well determine Iraq’s long-term future and define America’s stature in the Arab world.

The stakes could not be higher. Suspicions remain in the Bush administration that Sistani’s long-term goal is to get the Americans out and the Koran in—in other words, to create another mullah state as in Iran. That is unlikely. In fact, some Iraqis say, the Americans don’t fully comprehend the historic gift Sistani is offering them, if only they have the wisdom to take it. The grand ayatollah and the millions of Shiites who revere him “have made a paradigm shift” away from the militancy of Hezbollah, their traditional political voice, and towards the Americans and the international system of democratic capitalism that Washington oversees, says a Sistani ally in Baghdad. The Americans, he says, have not yet “seen the distance the Shia traveled over to them.” If Washington plays it right, this change in sensibility in the Shiite world could prove to be George W. Bush’s most signal victory in the war on terror.

Sistani’s personal history is a window into the significance of this shift. Born in Iran—he moved to Iraq in the early 1950s—Sistani has seen up close the failures of the Shiite mullah state next door. He, like other Iraqi Shiites, has also seen the failures of Arab nationalism-which is how Sunni minority elites have justified their rule in the Arab world but which has led only to autocracy, poverty and the angry-young-man rage that produces terrorism. The last, best alternative may be a moderate, Shiite-dominated democracy, brokered and blessed by Sistani and conceived with a nuanced federalism that will give the Kurds, Sunnis and others their due. Even some Iraqi liberals note happily that Sistani evinces no desire to actually run the country like the Iranian mullahs, and they support the idea of a secular-run Iraq under an Islamic umbrella, as Baghdad University professor Muhammed Al-Da’mi puts it. The rise of a moderate Shiism in Iraq will unsettle U.S. allies from Saudi Arabia to Egypt to Jordan. But it will also help to undercut the radical, anti-Shia, anti-Americanism of Osama bin Laden’s Sunni radicalism. And for the Americans who went to war in Iraq hoping for historic change, the Sistani option is pretty much all that’s left on the table.

Let’s hope that Washington has the wisdom to seize it. In six months Bush and Bremer will set free a new Iraq over which they will have very little control. In Iraq today there is no Hamid Karzai, the secular, Westernized Afghan leader who was handed the reins by Washington and has proved a powerful unifying force and ally ever since. Perhaps the scariest thing about today’s Iraq, from America’s strategic point of view, is not the ongoing insurgency but the almost universal consensus in Baghdad that there is no Iraqi political leader, even on the horizon, with the stature to unite this fractious country democratically. Except the quiet ayatollah from Najaf.
8 posted on 01/18/2004 1:09:23 AM PST by F14 Pilot (Is there any truth in that, senor?)
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To: All
Re: #6

Ebadi turn to nuke expert on behalf of mullahs

Iran News
Jan 18th, 2004

9 posted on 01/18/2004 1:12:24 AM PST by F14 Pilot (Is there any truth in that, senor?)
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To: DoctorZIn
10 posted on 01/18/2004 1:28:33 AM PST by Quix (Particularly quite true conspiracies are rarely proven until it's too late to do anything about them)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran's economy, victim of election crisis

Saturday, January 17, 2004 - ©2003

Tehran, January 17 (IranMania) - While two key and crucial bills of Iran namely the 1383 budget bill and the fourth development plan bill have been presented to the parliament by the administration for final approval, the political tensions of recent weeks, mainly influenced by the upcoming February parliamentary elections, have prevented their passage in Parliament.

The two bills were supposed to be the top priority for Iranian officials.

Just some weeks ago, Iran’s Management and Planning Organization warned the parliament to study the fourth development plan bill in the shortest possible time.

Therefore the parliament ratified a bill to decrease the duration of studying the plan from 110 days to 45 days so that the bill could be ratified before the new parliament starts work. However the plan proposed by the parliament has been rejected by the Guardian Council which is also at the heart of the election crisis.

The country is thus ‘on hold’ until the present crisis is resolved.
11 posted on 01/18/2004 1:43:56 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: F14 Pilot
Pakistani nuclear technology has gone to Iran, Libya and North Korea.
12 posted on 01/18/2004 1:43:56 AM PST by Pro-Bush (Homeland Security + Tom Ridge = Open Borders --> Demand Change!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Revealed: how Pakistan fuels nuclear arms race

Antony Barnett investigates the illegal global market in nuclear equipment and expertise and how the weapons programmes of Iran, Libya and North Korea all lead back to Pakistan

Sunday January 18, 2004
The Observer

The Austrian village of Seibersdorf is so anonymous that cab drivers from nearby Vienna have difficulty finding it. But it is home to a laboratory complex whose scientists have the power to start a war or keep the peace.
Hunched over electron microscopes and mass spectrometers, they are the world's nuclear detectives, analysing minute fragments of radioactive matter collected by UN inspectors in places such as Iran and Libya. Testing particles as small as one-hundredth of the width of a human hair, they can spot the secret yet indelible signs of a nuclear programme.

It was in Seibersdorf last summer that a scientist analysing dust taken from a cotton swipe used inside facilities in Iran discovered evidence of highly-enriched uranium - the key component of an atomic bomb. It was the first hint of a programme that had remained hidden for 18 years.

Like DNA from a crime scene, analysis of these particles also provides vital clues to the source of any nuclear material. Each radioactive isotope has its own signature.

Scientists at Seibersdorf work for the UN's nuclear watchdog - the International Atomic Energy Authority. They are just one part of a nuclear police force that is at the forefront of a war against a growing black market in nuclear material, equipment and atomic know-how. The battle involves rogue scientists selling their technical knowledge, nations desperate to join the nuclear weapon states and middlemen turn ing a quick buck by trading equipment and material.

Dramatic evidence from Iran and now Libya reveals a clandestine and sophisticated network stretching from North Korea, Malaysia and China to Russia, Germany and Dubai. Yet one country more than any other stands accused of easing this proliferation. In the network of illegal radioactive trade, all roads point to Pakistan. More precisely, they lead to the Khan Research Laboratories in Kahuta in north Pakistan.

Uranium 235 is the holy grail in bomb-making. It is a specific radioactive isotope whose atoms can split in two, releasing the huge amount of fissile energy vital to an atomic weapon. One way of acquiring it is to obtain uranium ore from the ground - which has minute amounts of uranium-235 - then 'enrich' it using thousands of centrifuges. This involves putting unrefined uranium into a tube and spinning it at twice the speed of sound to expel any impurities. By doing this, the amount of uranium-235 becomes more concentrated.

While this process may not sound too complicated, it requires a feat of supreme technical engineering involving a number of complex components. In particular, the rotors of the centrifuge spin so fast they need to be made of extremely strong material and be perfectly balanced.

In the mid-Seventies, these engineering problems were faced by a Pakistani metallurgist, Abdul Qadeer Khan. An ardent nationalist, he had just seen India test its first nuclear bomb. At the time he was working in Holland for an Anglo-Dutch-German nuclear engineering consortium called Urenco. Through his work there, Khan became aware of secret blueprints for two types of uranium enrichment centrifuges: one based on rotors made of aluminium and another based on a highly-strengthened alloy of steel.

Khan went on to steal the blueprints and a list of Urenco suppliers. With the blessing of the then Pakistani government, he established the Khan Research Laboratories near Islamabad and, with the help of the Chinese, went on to secretly develop the country's atomic bomb.

When, in 1998, Pakistan tested its first nuclear bomb in the desert of Baluchistan, Khan became a hero in his home country as the 'father of the Pakistani nuclear programme'. He once said: 'All Western countries are not only the enemies of Pakistan but in fact of Islam.'

His fundamentalist sympathies mean that it is perhaps no surprise that he is also known as the 'godfather of the Islamic bomb'. Evidence has now emerged from Iran and Libya that Khan's programme in Pakistan may be the source of the greatest level of nuclear weapons proliferation since the Cold War.

The Observer has learnt that UN inspectors who have recently visited a number of facilities in Libya discovered large amounts of aluminium centrifuge parts that had 'all the hallmarks of the Urenco designs' stolen by Khan. Pakistan used these to enrich uranium before later turning to the more complex steel centrifuges.

A Vienna-based diplomat familiar with the Libyan inspections said: 'The big surprise was that components found were almost off-the-shelf turnkey equipment. It was as if somebody had been shopping at Ikea and just needed to put the bits together.'

The diplomat said this was unlike Iraq's secret nuclear programme, which required large teams of scientists to deal with research issues and solve mechanical problems. He said: 'The worry is that if a country like Libya - with little industrial infrastructure and a small population - could lay its hands on this equipment, then a large country might be able to set up a weapons programme at a very fast pace indeed.'

Libyan authorities have been helping the IAEA to piece together the 'cartel' of middlemen feeding this clandestine network of nuclear know-how and equipment. They have been helped by the US seizure of a German-registered ship in the Suez Canal last October destined for Libya with thousands of parts - believed to be Malaysian-made but based on Pakistani designs - for aluminium centrifuges.

The UN inspectors uncovered evidence that many of the same middlemen were responsible for arming Libya and Iran. Last November, Iran finally admitted to a vast, secret procurement network that acquired thousands of sensitive parts and tools from numerous countries over an 18-year period.

It is believed that rogue scientists from Pakistan, motivated by million-dollar payouts, were helped by German middlemen and Sri Lankan businessmen based in Dubai. The middlemen are believed to have secured items for Iran from European, Asian and North American companies.

Until the end of last year the Pakistani government furiously denied that any of its nuclear technology had been 'exported'. However, it now accepts that 'certain individuals might have violated Pakistani laws for personal gain'. Last month Pakistan announced it was questioning four of its scientists over the sale of nuclear secrets, including Abdul Khan, but Western officials fear little will come of this inquiry.

The political sensitivity of 'arresting' a national hero such as Khan would inflame Islamic sentiment and backfire on both the US and President Pervez Musharraf, who is an important ally in the war on terrorism. Yet while the 'rogue scientist' theory is helpful to all parties in explaining how Pakistani equipment has ended up in Libya and Iran, an added complication is the role played by North Korea.

US intelligence claims that the Pakistani government, through the Khan laboratories, struck a deal which swapped Pakistani nuclear centrifuge technology for North Korean long-range missiles.

South Korean intelligence agents were reported to have discovered the transactions in 2002 and that summer US spy satellites photographed Pakistani cargo planes loading missile parts in North Korea.

Pakistan has denied such a deal, but pressure is mounting for Musharraf to clamp down. Reports have also emerged of Pakistani nuclear scientists visiting Burma. It is clear that the extent of the black market in nuclear weapons technology is only just beginning to emerge. As one of the scientists in Seibersdorf said: 'This year looks like being a busy one.',6903,1125614,00.html
13 posted on 01/18/2004 1:51:55 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Bump, good doctor! Noble cause you take on.
14 posted on 01/18/2004 1:53:36 AM PST by Pro-Bush (Homeland Security + Tom Ridge = Open Borders --> Demand Change!)
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To: F14 Pilot
"We have not made any nuclear bombs and we do not have that technology"

Ms. Ebadi needs to stick to what she knows and keep silent on things she doesn't.
Nuclear technology and weapons and Iran's nuclear abilities are obviously Not subjects with which she's well informed .
15 posted on 01/18/2004 6:25:45 AM PST by nuconvert ( "It had only one fault. It was kind of lousy.")
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To: DoctorZIn
"'godfather of the Islamic bomb'. Evidence has now emerged from Iran and Libya that Khan's programme in Pakistan may be the source of the greatest level of nuclear weapons proliferation since the Cold War."

Khan is an extremely dangerous man. Proof that he's had blackmarket dealings should be all the U.S needs to take him out of circulation. And without hesitation.
16 posted on 01/18/2004 6:44:32 AM PST by nuconvert ( "It had only one fault. It was kind of lousy.")
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To: DoctorZIn; All
Iraq's Shiites Warn of Fatwa over US Handover
By Suleiman al-Khalidi
January 17, 2004

Iraq's US administrator Paul Bremer was to meet President George Bush in Washington last night to discuss mounting tensions over the US plan to hand sovereignty to Iraqis without direct elections.

Tens of thousands of Iraq's majority Shiite Muslims marched through Basra to chants of "No to America" on Thursday. An aide to the Shiites' spiritual leader warned of wider protests if the long-oppressed group's demand for elections was not met.

Mr Bremer will talk with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Monday to try to convince the UN to send staff back to Iraq to help with the transition.

A US plan to hand over power by July has run into stiff opposition from Iraq's top Shiite cleric, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, a Kurdish drive for autonomy in the north and a warning of bloodshed from a leader of the minority Turkmen. An aide to the ayatollah warned that he might issue a fatwa against the proposed new government.

The demonstration in the southern city was a rare show of strength in support of Ayatollah Sistani's call for direct elections to choose a new government, and comes as a blow to Washington's plans.

One of the cleric's aides warned that if Mr Bremer did not accept his demand, Ayatollah Sistani might issue a ruling telling Iraq's Shiite majority not to accept the new government.

Mr Bremer's talks at the White House would cover "the political dynamic (in Iraq), the ongoing discussions with Sistani and the Kurds", a US official said.

Ayatollah Sistani has objected to the US plan for a transitional assembly to be selected by regional caucuses. The assembly will choose an interim government for sovereignty by the end of June. Full elections are due to follow next year.

Mr Bremer has said he respects Ayatollah Sistani but that there is not enough time for elections before a handover of sovereignty, because of a lack of electoral registers and polling laws.

US officials said they were reviewing the planned regional caucuses to make the process as open as possible.

"If (Sistani) issues a fatwa (edict) all the Iraqi people will go out in protest marches and demonstrations against the (US-led) coalition forces," an aide to the cleric, Ayatollah Mohammad Baqer al-Mohri, said in Kuwait.

Ayatollah Mohri earlier told Abu Dhabi television such a fatwa could undermine the legitimacy of any unelected Iraqi administration.

An edict from Ayatollah Sistani could turn many Shiites against Washington as US-led forces battle guerillas in the minority Sunni Muslim areas north and west of Baghdad, heartland of support for now captive former dictator Saddam Hussein.

Adding to tensions, the country's Arabs and Turkmen bitterly oppose a plan by Kurds on the Governing Council for significant autonomy for a Kurdish area in the north.

American officials and the Iraqi Governing Council were trying to persuade Ayatollah Sistani to soften his stance.

- Reuters, Guardian

This story was found at:

Seems Sistani has already issued his fatwa *see

17 posted on 01/18/2004 7:18:28 AM PST by nuconvert ( "It had only one fault. It was kind of lousy.")
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To: DoctorZIn; All
* What Is a Fatwa?

This term seems to be used, abused, misused and misunderstood.
As near as I've been able to define it, it is:

* the legal opinion of a religious law specialist or legal scholar, which is binding on him and his followers. It is usually issued in order to settle a legal question.

There seems to be some disagreement as to whether it is an edict. Well, that seems to depend on the definition of edict. An edict, according to my Random House Dictionary is defined as:

" 1) a decree issued by a sovereign or other authority. 2) any authoritative proclamation or command"

What is the definition of decree?

"1) an ordinance or edict promulgated by civil or other authority. 2) a judicial decision or order."

So, is a fatwa just a legal "opinion", as Amir Taheri says, or is it an order, a command, an ordinance or law-binding rule? If the opinion is "binding", as stated in the original definition of fatwa, it seems to be more of an order or command.

To confuse matters even more, it is not completely agreed upon, who can issue a fatwa. The opinion of one religious expert may differ with another's, and therefore contradictory fatwas can be issued.

This is the information I've gathered in my own research. I welcome information from others to help clarify the term "fatwa".
18 posted on 01/18/2004 8:02:26 AM PST by nuconvert ( "It had only one fault. It was kind of lousy.")
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To: DoctorZIn
The last three paragraphs of this post, lead me to believe that there has been a powerful shift. It appears Sistani may already have taken the greatest leap of faith... perhaps it is necessary that we bridge the gap.

And yet, democracy in Afghanistan may not be an accurate measure. In Afghanistan, I am already concerned about the limitation of rights for women. Will the same be the case in Iraq?

Is the problem Shia or Sunni democracy? In terms of historical precidence, how do you plan for a democracy that is rooted in Shia or Sunni Islam? Or is it simply akin to democracy in America which has its roots in Christianity? Doesn't all law come from faith? The Commandments are God's (Old Testament) laws, and in adhering to them, we naturally come up with the formula for the rest of the laws within our nation.
19 posted on 01/18/2004 9:30:59 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (He who has never hoped can never despair.)
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To: DoctorZIn
Radicals for Freedom

New York Post - By Amir Taheri
Jan 18, 2004

"An End To Evil": How to Win the War on Terror by David Frum and Richard Perle, Random House, 284 pages, $25.95

ASK the average interested citizen who the "neocons" are, and the two names you are most likely to hear will be those of David Frum and Richard Perle. Frum is the patented father of the term "Axis of Evil," used by President George W. Bush to describe the states that sponsor international terror. Perle, the "Prince of Darkness" to his detractors, is recognized as one of the key strategists of the group.

It would be pointless to argue that such a group does not, in fact, exist, and that those branded as members of a "neoconservative cabal" hold different views on many key issues of American foreign and defense policies. The only thing that the alleged members of the "cabal" agree upon is that the war on terrorism is a real war and that it could include invading other countries if and when necessary.

Frum and Perle are anything but conservative. They are radical thinkers promoting an almost 19th century style message of economic liberalism and political pluralism.

The typical conservative discourse emphasizes the merit of existential reality combined with a readiness to contemplate cautious reform to make the status quo more stable. The conservative may paint the house, redecorate it and change its furniture. He may add an extension or even a whole floor. But he wouldn't bring in the bulldozer to flatten whole or parts of it to be rebuilt from scratch.

"An End To Evil," however, could be regarded as a primer, if not a manifesto, on what is a radical, even revolutionary, vision of the contemporary world and the role that the United States can and must play in reshaping it.

Frum and Perle propose changes that, if implemented, would radically alter the way the United States itself is governed. The White House, the State Department, the CIA, the Pentagon, the FBI and virtually every other part of the U.S. government would change beyond recognition.

This is even more so with American foreign policy.

Let us take just one example: Iran. The conservative approach, favored by the European Union and sections of the Bush administration, is to acknowledge the legitimacy, if not the desirability, of the present regime in Tehran. That is followed by demands that the mullahs change aspects of their behavior abroad.

The Frum-Perle approach is different. They don't want the present Iranian regime simply to change its behavior abroad by doing things that would please the United States and the E.U. Nor do they even ask the mullahs be gentler toward their own people. What Frum and Perle want is to overthrow the Iranian regime and replace it with one that would not need to change its behavior because it wouldn't be behaving badly in the first place.

It was on the basis of a similar analysis that Frum and Perle campaigned for the war to liberate Iraq.

The French are especially sore at the Bush administration because they are sure that they had managed to persuade Saddam Hussein to mend his ways. Frum and Perle, however, would not have been happy even if Saddam had danced to an American tune. They would rather see him in the dock.

They disagree with President Lyndon B. Johnson that as long as a foreign despot was "our son-of-a-bitch" he could do as he pleased with his own people.

Similarly, Frum and Perle are not seeking mere behavioral or even policy changes by other targeted regimes, including North Korea and Syria. They want those regimes replaced by ones that adopt democracy and market economics.

Such an approach to foreign policy is in contrast with the culture of døƒnte and coexistence that dominated the last decades of the 20th century and, arguably, prolonged the life of the Soviet "Evil Empire" by at least a generation. The authors believe that there are regimes and political organizations that are evil by nature and that fighting to destroy them constitutes not only prudent strategy but also a moral imperative.

"An End To Evil" reads more like an 18th century French pamphlet, and is designed to provoke passions and encourage polemics.

It questions conventional wisdom, mocks political correctness and asserts that politics is about choosing between friends and foes. And that's a refreshing departure from the postmodernist view of the world - the one that regards Osama bin Laden as a justly aggrieved religious person who has chosen an excessive way of expressing his understandable anger, but who could be persuaded to behave better through a dialogue of civilizations.
20 posted on 01/18/2004 9:46:35 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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