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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 01/19/2004 12:07:15 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 01/19/2004 12:09:15 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Leader Casts Off Robes for First-hand Look at Bam

January 18, 2004

TEHRAN -- Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has disguised himself in civilian clothes to get a better look at how relief and recovery operations are progressing in the quake-hit city of Bam, press reports said Sunday.

According to the conservative Ressalat newspaper, the Islamic republic's all-powerful leader donned a coat and hat and strolled around the southeastern city with a top local official during a surprise visit there on Friday.

"Only a few officials were aware of the visit, and when residents saw the local official they approached him and told them of their problems, without realising the Guide was there," the Javan newspaper said, saying there were several complaints over aid distribution.

The incognito walkabout prompted Khamenei to urge local officials to speed up reconstruction efforts. During his visit, his office also upped the death toll from 30,000-35,000 to 41,000-45,000.

Khamenei is no stranger to donning less religious attire. He is a keen and accomplished mountaineer, and is sometimes spotted in hiking boots and an anorak walking in Iran's lofty mountains.
3 posted on 01/19/2004 12:12:35 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Pakistan Detains More Nuke Scientists

January 19, 2004
Arab News
Matthew Pennington, AP

ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan has expanded its investigation of the country’s premier nuclear weapons laboratory, detaining as many as seven scientists and administrators for questioning, amid allegations that sensitive technology may have spread to countries such as Iran, North Korea and Libya, officials said yesterday.

Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said that over the past two or three days between five and seven personnel at the Khan Research Laboratories had been taken in for “debriefing.”

Among them was Islamul Haq, a director at the laboratory. Two uniformed men believed to be intelligence agents picked him up as he was dining on Saturday at the residence of the father of Pakistan’s nuclear program, Abdul Qadeer Khan.

The laboratory is named after Khan, a national hero for leading Pakistan to its underground test of the Islamic world’s first nuclear bomb in 1998, designed as a deterrent to its larger rival India. Haq is Khan’s principal staff officer.

“We have had no contact with him,” Haq’s wife, Nilofar Islam, told The Associated Press. “We don’t know where he is and what he is being asked.” She was informed of Haq’s detention by Khan.

Though all the men remained in custody, Ahmed played down the detentions, saying the personnel being debriefed were not “necessarily involved in something or have allegations against them,” he said.

In the past two months, Pakistan has interrogated a handful of scientists at the laboratory, after receiving unspecified documents from the watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency about Iran’s nuclear program, officials say.

Among those who have been questioned is Khan, although he has not been detained and is still treated as an official dignitary in Pakistan.

Pakistan has strongly denied any official involvement in possible proliferation to Iran, Libya and North Korea, but has acknowledged that individual scientists acting on their own account may have transgressed that rule.

In his first-ever speech to Parliament on Saturday, Pakistan’s military ruler, President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, noted that the world suspects Pakistan of being a nuclear proliferator and that the country must show that it is a responsible power.

The Jan. 2 arrest of a businessman at Denver airport in the United States, accused of smuggling nuclear bomb triggers to Pakistan, has deepened suspicions of Pakistani involvement in the nuclear black market. Asher Karni, who heads a South African company, is accused of being the middleman for a Pakistani company’s purchase of dozens of triggered spark gaps — electronic devices that can be used to trigger nuclear weapons — allegedly using an elaborate scheme to try to get around US export restrictions to Pakistan.

The proliferation allegations are an embarrassment to Washington, which calls Pakistan a key ally in the war on terrorism.
4 posted on 01/19/2004 12:13:13 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
The incognito walkabout prompted Khamenei to urge local officials to speed up reconstruction efforts.

The Guide (is that like the 'Great Helmsman'?) is master of the obvious.

9 posted on 01/19/2004 6:27:37 AM PST by Jabba the Nutt
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To: DoctorZIn
Khatami Fails to Live Up to Great Expectations

January 19, 2004
The Guardian
Dan De Luce

He once attracted the kind of adoration celebrities enjoy in the west, but those days are long gone. The electoral crisis gripping Iran shows why President Mohammad Khatami no longer enjoys such reverence, and why so many former supporters are disillusioned with his cautious approach.

The smiling cleric who set out to reform Iran's rigid theocracy has proved unable to fulfil the high expectations that met his victory six years ago.

Last week, while condemning the Guardian Council's ruling to ban more than 3,000 moderates from standing in next month's elections, Mr Khatami pleaded with MPs to call off their sit-in at parliament. The whole issue, he said, could be solved through talks with the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

It was a typical Khatami moment, full of restraint, humility and eloquence. But it was infuriating for those who believe democracy will never be won without rallying popular anger on the street.

The reformists rejected his offer, saying it was no time to cave in to blatant manipulation of the electoral process. "If this decision is allowed to stand, it will mean a defeat for reformists and a renewal of dictatorship," said MP Ali Tajernia.

Yesterday's developments suggest Mr Khatami's lobbying could still lift the ban on some of the reformists, although almost certainly not all.

When Mr Khatami was pressured to stand in the 1997 presidential election, moderates thought he would inject fresh ideas into the political arena but never expected him to win.

Critics say he has squandered his support and he should have fought the conservative establishment long ago, over attacks on press freedom and the obstruction of his agenda.

Instead he has preached patience and settled for small steps forward. His defenders say Mr Khatami has opened up a closed society, nurtured the growth of non-governmental groups and softened Iran's foreign policy.

"This is very significant given the conditions in Iran. After all, we are not talking about Switzerland here," said Hamid-Reza Jalaeipour, a reformist commentator. "His popularity has decreased from what it was, but he is still important."

Mr Khatami has accepted that the pace of reform has been slow, but with students, journalists and dissidents languishing in jail and parliamentary initiatives vetoed, Mr Khatami seemed ready to throw down the gauntlet in 2002.

He proposed two bills to stop arbitrary vetting of electoral candidates and end political trials. Without the bills, Mr Khatami said he could not carry out his role as president.

The bills were adopted by parliament but vetoed by the council. Mr Khatami chose not to follow through on his implied threat to step down and the bills remain dead.

With a year left in his second and final term, Mr Khatami's political star seems to be fading. More radical ideas and tactics, including civil disobedience, may eventually overtake his go-slow policy.

Even if the reformists manage to win another majority in parliament on February 20, which remains uncertain, some dissidents say the elections have lost meaning, because parliament has been rendered impotent.

By staying in office, Mr Khatami's critics say he runs the risk of becoming an apologist for the regime.

"He is standing between two roads going in different directions and refusing to choose sides," said one dissident newly released from jail. "If he is unable to choose the movement for democratic change, then it is better he withdraw and not get in the way.",12858,1126185,00.html
11 posted on 01/19/2004 9:17:09 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Khatami's Party Threatens to Boycott Iran Election

January 19, 2004
Paul Hughes

TEHRAN -- President Mohammad Khatami's political party has threatened to boycott Iran's parliamentary elections unless bans on hundreds of aspiring liberal candidates are promptly overturned, newspapers reported on Monday.

The February 20 parliamentary vote has been thrown into doubt by the decision of the hardline Guardian Council -- an unelected body with sweeping powers -- to bar nearly half of 8,200 hopefuls from running.

The vast majority of those disqualified were allies of Khatami, whose attempts to deliver reforms since his 1997 election have been hindered by hard-liners opposed to any watering down of Iran's Islamic values and political system.

The Guardian Council's move has prompted threats to resign by government ministers and state governors and led dozens of liberal MPs to stage an eight-day sit-in at parliament.

Reformists accuse the Guardian Council of trying to influence the outcome of the election so conservatives can win back control of parliament which they lost to reformists in 2000 elections.

Khatami's pro-reform League of Combatant Clerics, following a meeting of it's central committee on Sunday, decided that "if the current situation, under which not all legal (political) factions can compete freely, continues, there is no reason for the League to take part in the parliamentary elections," liberal newspapers reported.

Unfulfilled threats to resign or boycott elections have become so commonplace from reformists in recent years that most Iranians no longer take them seriously.

In an interview with London's Guardian newspaper, published on Monday, 2003 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi said Khatami should now make good on his previous threats to quit.

"President Khatami said himself that if he couldn't pass measures because of the Guardian Council he would resign," the Iranian human rights lawyer said.

"But still he has not. I think he should fulfil his promise," she said.

Few analysts expect leading reformists, including Khatami, to resign over the political standoff.

In an apparent bid to defuse the election row, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the last word on all state affairs, last week urged the Guardian Council to review the list of disqualified candidates.

The Guardian Council said on Sunday it was following Khamenei's advice but would not be pressured into backing down. The council has until the end of the month to review appeals lodged by disqualified candidates.

Reformist MPs expect the council to lift the bans on most reformist candidates while excluding a small number of outspoken and high-profile liberals.

(Additional reporting by Amir Paivar)
12 posted on 01/19/2004 9:18:42 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Guilty as Charged

January 19, 2004
National Review Online
Andrew Apostolou

President Bush was as right as our intelligence was wrong.

Two years after President Bush's much bemoaned 2002 State of the Union address, the charges that he leveled against the "Axis of Evil" have been proven. As President Bush had alleged, Iran, Iraq, and North Korea were seeking to develop weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in violation of their international obligations. That Bush was justified in his public indictment of these states is rarely acknowledged. That in each case Bush was vindicated by an intelligence failure is insufficiently discussed.

In each "Axis of Evil" state, the successful concealment of WMD efforts went hand-in-hand with eluding detection by U.S. intelligence. The extent of deception in Iraq was so great that even after ten months of controlling the country, the U.S. has been unable to fully unravel and explain Saddam's WMD programs. Back in January 2002, President Bush said that:

Iraq continues to flaunt its hostility toward America and to support terror. The Iraqi regime has plotted to develop anthrax, and nerve gas, and nuclear weapons for over a decade. This is a regime that has already used poison gas to murder thousands of its own citizens — leaving the bodies of mothers huddled over their dead children. This is a regime that agreed to international inspections — then kicked out the inspectors. This is a regime that has something to hide from the civilized world.

What we do know is that Saddam was adopting a WMD system that would have allowed him to play along with the U.N. inspectors so that he could have the sanctions lifted. Had he succeeded, Saddam would today be in a palace, not a prison. His sadistic sons would still be tormenting Iraqis with their complementary talents of torture and rape. The mass graves, which the U.N. never cared to search for, would have lain undisturbed. The hidden Iraqi WMD programs, instead of being a vast research project for the CIA's Iraq Survey Group, would now be emerging into the open to again threaten the lives of thousands.

There was a similar dual failure of intelligence and inspections in Iran. President Bush said in January 2002 that: "Iran aggressively pursues these weapons and exports terror." Bush, like previous U.S. presidents, had worried that Iran would use its planned nuclear reactor at Bushehr on the Persian Gulf, which is being built by Russian firms to make nuclear weapons. Unknown to President Bush, Iran had a covert program designed to evade U.S. attempts to slow the construction of Bushehr. Whereas Saddam's Iraq and North Korea were able to turn their international isolation to advantage, Iran used its greater openness as a means of focusing attention on Bushehr, thereby turning the plant into a decoy.

While U.S. diplomats buttonholed their Russian counterparts about Bushehr, the more dangerous Iranian nuclear program was hidden from the outside world thanks to a well thought out policy of dispersing facilities. It was only in December 2002, nearly a year after President Bush's speech that vague geographical information from an Iranian exile group allowed the Institute for Science and International Security, a Washington-based think tank, to locate the Natanz uranium-enrichment plant. The revelation of Natanz, along with the Arak heavy-water plant, showed that Iran was wise to how U.S. intelligence monitoring and sanctions could thwart its overt nuclear programs and had instead found a clever way to defeat both while bringing the clerical regime to within three years of acquiring a nuclear weapon. As Secretary of State Colin Powell declared on March 9, 2003, following a visit to Iran by the IAEA: "Here we suddenly discover that Iran is much further along, with a far more robust nuclear weapons development program than anyone said it had."

Iranian behavior since then illustrates the aggressiveness with which the Islamic republic is moving towards a nuclear-weapons option. Iran has been exposed as violating its nuclear commitments and has been demonstrated to have conned the IAEA for close to two decades. Under considerable diplomatic pressure, Iran has suspended actual enrichment of uranium, a vital process in bomb manufacturing. Yet Iran continues to buy the technology that it will need to enrich uranium and make nuclear weapons.

On the topic of North Korea, President Bush was more accurate than he or his advisers knew when he claimed that: "North Korea is a regime arming with missiles and weapons of mass destruction." Ill intent is easy to allege, especially when the suspect is the world's last Stalinist state, it is the consequences of dishonesty that are more difficult to identify. In October 2002, the North Koreans, taking advantage of the growing focus on Iraq and gambling that the international response would be limited, admitted to visiting U.S. officials that they had a secondary, covert nuclear program in breach of their 1994 commitment to forsake a nuclear-weapons option.

The intelligence failure in the Axis of Evil was to a degree understandable. These states are extremely hard intelligence targets. The workings of their governments are shrouded in secrecy, protected by multiple, and sometimes competing, secret police forces and intelligence agencies. They are well aware of the remarkable U.S. capabilities in signals and electronic intelligence and they have done all that they can to neutralize this. As David Kay, the head of the ISG pointed, out on October 2, 2003, Iraq had "deception and denial built into each program." As a result, Saddam's Iraq, like Kim Jong-Il's North Korea, was to a degree intelligence proof.

Faced with the limits of what intelligence can tell us, the U.S. and its allies have only two options available for dealing with WMD proliferators. The U.S. can wait and hope that polite conversation, tea, and sympathy with the French foreign minister will change the minds of regimes that have poured great resources and effort into acquiring prohibited weapons. Or the U.S. can enforce international law and reverse the strategic gamble that these states have made, that WMDs will enable them to survive. Instead, the U.S. can hold up the example of Saddam Hussein to show that those who seek WMDs are signing their own death warrants. What we cannot do is to wait for our intelligence system to turn on the warning lights at the right time.

— Andrew Apostolou is director of research at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.
13 posted on 01/19/2004 9:21:32 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
The Anti-Reform Headquarters, Hard-Line Websites, and Parallel Organizations

January 19, 2004
Radio Free Europe
Bill Samii, Golnaz Esfandiari

Conspiracy theories can thrive in a society where public affairs are not transparent and where there is no independent press to serve as a watchdog over the government.

In the case of Iran, furthermore, there is the knowledge that, despite the existence of all the accoutrements of democracy -- such as elections -- ultimate decision-making is in the hands of a small elite that answers to itself. Under these circumstances, rumors about "anti-reform headquarters" and "parallel intelligence organizations" thrive, and such rumors are bolstered by anti-reform websites that are the modern equivalent of the "shabnameh" (literally "night letter," a kind of samizdat; on the connection between these publications and the hard-liners, see "RFE/RL Iran Report," 15 January 2001).

One hundred and forty legislators wrote to President Mohammad Khatami recently and urged him to publish a Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) report about "anti-reform" websites, "Sharq" reported on 1 January. This report, which has yet to be published, allegedly identified the people running the websites and their aims.

"Khabar-nameh-yi Gooya" ( is one such site, and it provides links to similar sites. It also has links to hard-line political organizations (for example, the Islamic Coalition Party, http://, newspapers (for example, "Kayhan"), publications (for example, "Loh"), and weblogs (for example, Other connections are with sites glorifying individuals such as Navab Safavi (a.k.a. Mujtaba Mirlohi), who founded the Fadaiyan-i Islam in 1945 ( This group assassinated anti-Shi'a author Ahmad Kasravi in 1946, Court Minister Abdol Hussein Hazhir in 1949, and Prime Minister Ali Razmara in 1951. Safavi and his deputy, Khalil Tahmasebi, were executed in 1956.

Member of Parliament Davud Suleimani complained that these sites engage in character assassination against reformist political figures, "Aftab-i Yazd" reported on 4 January, they do so in an "immoral and impolite" way, and they discuss people's "personal affairs." Suleimani pointed out that these websites have replaced newspapers as the vehicles for such attacks. Tehran's Elahe Kulyai added that the sites have attacked Speaker of Parliament Hojatoleslam Mehdi Karrubi.

Hojatoleslam Ali-Akbar Mohtashami-Pur, who represents Tehran, also called on the president and the MOIS to look into this matter and then publicize its findings, "Nasim-i Saba" reported on 8 January. He said the judiciary should follow up on these findings through an "independent and impartial judiciary branch."

Yet these websites could be just the tip of the iceberg.

Reformist parliamentarian Behzad Nabavi had said during the 9 December session of parliament that there is an anti-reformist "headquarters" that was created "months ago on the eve of the election" to attack the parliament, "Sharq" reported on 10 December. According to Nabavi, who is a member of the Mujahedin of the Islamic Revolution Organization (MIRO), this headquarters circulates "rumors and calumnies through the websites affiliated with the parallel intelligence organizations." Nabavi said that accusations in a previous legislative session that linked him with the death of Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi appeared previously on one of these websites. Nabavi urged President Khatami to reveal the connection between the websites and governmental institutions, their financing through the public purse, and their hidden links, "Sharq" reported.

Qazvin representative Nasser Qavami continued in this vein when he spoke after Nabavi, according to "Sharq." He noted the numerous attacks against reformist figures by hard-line pressure groups and the disruptions of public meetings, and he asked why the president and MOIS do not reveal the identities of these groups and expose the powers supporting them. If the MOIS and the Interior Ministry have not discovered these identities yet, Qavami asked, then should Iranians not be worried about their security?

Government spokesman Abdullah Ramezanzadeh repeated the claim about the existence of an anti-reform headquarters on 7 January, state television reported the next day. He accused it of psychological warfare against the government. "It has been active for a long time," he continued. "It is known where their sources are, where they are formed, which instruments they use."

Parallel intelligence organizations, which Nabavi linked with the websites and the anti-reform headquarters, are also an issue of concern to the reformists. Their existence was noted in summer 2001, when reformists complained that hard-line parallel intelligence organizations were eavesdropping and tapping telephones, and hard-liners complained about an X Committee that would create crises (see "RFE/RL Iran Report," 16 July 2001). Reformist concern about these institutions resurfaced in summer 2003 (see "RFE/RL Iran Report," 15 September 2003).

Deputy Speaker of Parliament Mohammad Reza Khatami said on 12 October that the meetings of his Islamic Iran Participation Party were being bugged, "Toseh" reported the next day.

Parliamentarian Mohsen Armin said on 7 November that telephone bugging was going on without the knowledge of the Ministry of Post, Telegraph, and Telephone, ISNA reported. He said certain power centers are not answerable to anybody else. In his words, "Certain cliques believe they have iron-clad alibis and that they cannot be held accountable by the parliament." This specific problem will not be solved as long as the country's predominant political problem is not solved, Armin said. (Bill Samii)


Iran's hard-line judiciary last week ordered one of the main pro-reform websites to be filtered, meaning that its contents cannot be viewed inside the country. The Emrooz website ( was originally launched by people close to the reformist camp of the Iranian political establishment. It has become a focal point for views opposed to the country's conservative rulers.

The Iranian press reported last year that a list of 150 other sites facing a ban, including those of U.S. international broadcasters Radio Farda and Voice of America's Persian Service, has been prepared by the government and sent to Internet service providers (see "RFE/RL Iran Report," 29 December 2003). Iran's telecommunications minister denies the existence of such a list.

Emrooz defenders say the move against their site is illegal, arguing Iran has no legislation that would limit the use of the Internet. Sina Motallebi, an Iranian journalist and the first author of a weblog (a.k.a. blog) to be jailed for articles published on the web, says Emrooz plays an important role in Iran's political scene. "The Emrooz website has a particular importance among political websites that were created in Iran during the last two years. On one hand, because of the closeness of Emrooz owners with the most progressive branch of reformists within the government, Emrooz covers first-hand and exclusive news. On the other hand, because the owners of the site were not active under a political party and were part of a news organization, they were free from restrictions and redlines imposed on other groups."

Since its launch, Emrooz has been under fire from hard-liners who are dissatisfied with its contents. Motallebi says by banning Emrooz ahead of parliamentary elections in February, the conservatives are attacking one of the last media outlets controlled by the reformists. "Now, because of the importance of the parliamentary election and its political challenges, the action against the Emrooz website can be considered as an attack on one of the last media outlets of this faction."

Motallebi says, however, he does not believe the conservatives can stop the free flow of information through the Internet. "Technical problems will not let them massively ban websites. Right now there are many possibilities for getting around filtering inside Iran. Apart from that, the rapid growth of weblogs will prevent them from stopping the flow of information with banning one or two websites."

In recent years, online diaries have become a popular method of expression in Iran. The more than 20,000 Iranian weblogs cover a wide range of topics, from taboo issues like sex and dating to political developments.

Hussein Derakhshan, a leading Iranian weblog writer, believes the online diaries are the only free media left in Iran. "Weblogs are actually functioning as the only free media right now in Iran. Weblogs are absolutely free. You just need Internet access to simply build your weblog in one or two or three minutes and then you can publish your thoughts to the world."

Motallebi last year spent three weeks in jail for articles he published in his weblog and for interviews with foreign radio stations. He credits a petition circulated over the Internet as playing an important role in his release. He adds that during the time he spent in jail he realized that conservatives are determined to restrict websites with political content critical of the establishment. In his words: "From that time I realized that the conservatives are very concerned about the rise of political content on websites and that they are strongly determined to restrict and stop this movement. They have different ways for doing that such as restricting websites or summoning and even jailing writers."

Some say that given the political nature of many weblogs, any new restrictions on the Internet could eventually affect many different sites. But weblog author Derakhshan argues that since most of the weblogs are not backed by any political group or party, it is unlikely that they will be banned too. "You have to be always worried in Iran, for everything -- even for illogical and irrational things. But I think the government, especially the judiciary, is more concerned about websites that are close to their opponents. Reformists, on the other hand, are very concerned about the websites that are backed by hard-line politicians and groups." (Golnaz Esfandiari)
14 posted on 01/19/2004 9:23:02 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
"Iran exports to US on the rise": US reports

Sunday, January 18, 2004 - ©2003

Tehran, January 18 (IranMania) - “In the first 11 months of 2003, Iran exported goods worth $145 million to the US,” the US Statistics Center reported.

According to the report, during the same period in 2002, the rate of Iran’s exports to the US stood at $140 million which has increased 4% in 2003.

This is while Iran’s imports from the US in the same period was $93 million which shows more than a $70 million rise compared to 2002.

Iran’s yearly trade surplus with the US seems however to be declining and for the latest month of the report, November 2003, the report indicates Iran exported goods worth $11 million to the US while it imported $17.5 million.
15 posted on 01/19/2004 10:09:29 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Rohani: EU cooperation to increase

Sunday, January 18, 2004 - ©2003

TEHRAN, Jan 17 (Iran Daily) -- The Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Hasan Rohani said Iran will expand ties with the European Union (EU) member-states, including France, IRNA reported.

Talking to reporters upon his arrival from a three-day visit to France, Rohani assessed the Iranian government's evaluation of bilateral issues and promotion of Iran-EU ties as 'positive'.

"Iran and France discussed avenues to settle problems in political, social, cultural and economic fields," Rohani said, adding relations between the sides would receive a boost in the future.

Asked about Iran-US ties, the SNSC secretary said the American government has adopted no positive measure and the situation is just like before.

He noted that the two sides discussed future developments in Iraq, the Middle East and Palestine as well as security in the Persian Gulf. Rohani further said that Iran and the European Union have reached agreements on Iran's nuclear case.

"Iran has fulfilled its commitments and it is necessary for the EU to implement its promises. Iran has had appropriate cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and presented all required documents to the agency. We should wait for the IAEA's report on Iran's nuclear case (in February)," he said.

Referring to the arrest of some Al-Qaeda members in Iran, the official said, "Iran has returned these figures, whose names are available at the United Nations, to their own countries."

He pointed to his meeting with French President Jacques Chirac and the latter's demand for a free and democratic election in Iran and said one of Iran's glories after the victory of the Islamic Revolution is that people have participated in all state affairs and the Iranian nation are free to elect their representatives with full satisfaction.

Rohani further stated that the French side called for emulating the model of signing the NPT Additional Protocol for other issues pending between Iran and the European Union.
16 posted on 01/19/2004 10:10:40 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Calls for More U.S. Moves to Thaw Relations

January 19, 2004
Mona Megalli and Parisa Hafezi

TEHRAN -- A senior Iranian official on Monday called on the United States to take more concrete steps toward Iran following its temporary suspension of some sanctions.

President Bush last month eased some U.S. sanctions on Iran for 90 days to speed up humanitarian assistance to victims of Iran's December 26 Bam earthquake, which killed more than 40,000 people.

That move, combined with the first direct U.S. aid to Iran since the two countries severed relations 24 years ago, signaled a faint thaw in their frosty relationship.

Mohammad Hossein Adeli, deputy foreign minister for economic affairs, suggested Bush could follow up by allowing U.S. companies led by oil and gas firms do business with Iran.

"They (the United States) don't have to do anything for Iran, they can do it for American companies that are so enthusiastic about tapping the Iranian market," Adeli told Reuters in an interview.

He said Tehran was still unsure how to interpret U.S. humanitarian aid for Bam.

"We are not sure if it is a signal or not, it depends on whether it is going to be supported by other practical measures," Adeli said.

Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser during the presidency of Bush's father and an advocate of dialogue with the Islamic state, told Reuters Friday Washington might extend the sanctions suspension beyond its initial 90-day limit.

Scowcroft said Tehran could affect U.S. attitudes favorably if it acceded to U.S. demands to turn over suspected members of al Qaeda believed to be in its territory.

Washington bars U.S. firms from dealing with Iran, a country it branded as part of an "axis of evil" two years ago along with Saddam Hussein's Iraq and North Korea.


The decision to ease the flow of humanitarian assistance for Bam victims will have no material effect on Iran's economy, but will allow any money raised in the United States, especially by Iranian expatriates, to be transferred more directly.

Tehran also wants to help rebuild its western neighbor, U.S.-occupied Iraq. As an opponent of the war, Iran is not among the countries the United States has allowed to bid for reconstruction contracts.

"Iraq is (not) going to be reconstructed by American money, it will be Iraqi money, so we are waiting for June when the Iraqis are going to be in charge and I guess that we would be there," Adeli said, referring to a proposed transfer of power to an Iraqi transitional government by mid-year.

"We don't mind joining forces with all countries, including Americans, to do something over there."

Adeli played down suggestions that a defeat of reformists supporting President Mohammad Khatami in forthcoming parliamentary elections would derail economic reform in Iran or damage its drive to attract foreign investment.

"If we look to the positions of various factions of the parliament toward basic economic issues... the positions of both conservatives and reformists on most of the basic economic reforms are not very different," Adeli said.

International rating agency Fitch in December revised Iran's B+ sub-investment grade to "positive" from "stable," but said the effect of the coming parliamentary elections on economic reforms could be a factor.
21 posted on 01/19/2004 2:30:01 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Pakistan Questions 8 Linked to Nuclear Program

January 19, 2004
The New York Times
David Rohde

ISLAMABAD -- Authorities in Pakistan are questioning eight officials from its nuclear weapons program — including the personal assistant to the father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb and two retired brigadiers — regarding allegations that nuclear weapons technology was shared with Iran, the government's information minister said Sunday.

The minister, Sheik Rashid Ahmed, did not provide further details of the interrogations or say when they had begun. But the disclosure came a day after Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, said the country must convince the world that Pakistan is not a proliferator of nuclear weapons.

Mr. Ahmed identified one of those questioned as a personal assistant to Abdul Qadeer Khan, creator of Pakistan's first nuclear bomb. He said authorities were also questioning a retired brigadier who is the former head of security at the country's main nuclear weapons site, the A. Q. Khan Research Laboratories, and one other retired brigadier.

Pakistan began an inquiry into its nuclear program in late December after American intelligence officials and the United Nations nuclear agency said Iranian officials disclosed that Pakistanis were among middlemen who the Iranians said had aided Iran's nuclear weapons program. American intelligence officials also said they believed that Pakistan had traded nuclear technology to North Korea in exchange for missile technology. The Americans further said Pakistan was the source for designs of centrifuges used by Libya's recently disclosed nuclear program.

Pakistani officials have said that no nuclear technology was transferred to Libya and that no nuclear technology is currently being transferred to North Korea. Pakistani officials have conceded the possibility that individuals motivated by personal ambition or greed may have sold nuclear technology to Iran between 1987 and 1993.

The wife of Maj. Islam Ul Haq, the personal assistant to Dr. Khan, said Dr. Khan told her that the major had been detained by two uniformed intelligence agents on Saturday night while the two men were eating dinner at Dr. Khan's house, The Associated Press reported. Major Haq is a director at the Khan Research Laboratories.

Telephone calls to Ms. Islam's home, as well as to Dr. Khan's, were not answered Sunday night.

For the past decade, Dr. Khan has been lionized as a national hero. The reported detention of his top aide, in his own home, comes as domestic criticism of the investigation rises.

Since three scientists were detained for questioning in December, Pakistani analysts, opposition politicians and relatives of the scientists have scoffed at the suggestion that they could have transferred such sensitive technology without the government's knowledge.

Pakistan's nuclear arsenal is considered the country's most precious asset and is tightly guarded by the military, which dominates the country.

In an interview this week, relatives of one scientist who has been in detention for more than a month, Farooq Muhammad, bitterly accused the government of using low-level scientists as scapegoats to appease the United States. They said that they did not believe the American charges of Pakistani proliferation and that they feared that Mr. Muhammad was in American custody.

"Might is right," said Maher Aamir, the scientist's nephew. "It's all to praise or make happy the U.S.A. by framing innocent people."

Officials at the American Embassy in Islamabad declined to comment. Pakistani officials said Dr. Farooq was in Pakistan.

Senior Pakistani government officials emphasized that no proof of wrongdoing had been discovered. Last week, Iranian and Libyan officials said they had received no nuclear assistance from Pakistan.

Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan, a spokesman for Pakistan's military, said Sunday that the investigation was continuing and "anyone who has broken the law will be held accountable."

In late December, officials said Dr. Khan himself had been questioned, but was not in detention. Nearly all those questioned so far have been his close aides.

A senior Western diplomat who spoke on condition of anonymity said Dr. Khan should be the focus of any inquiry. "It's completely impossible for there to have been any proliferation activities without A. Q. Khan's knowledge," the diplomat said. "That much is clear."

But Pakistani analysts said it would be political suicide for General Musharraf to detain or prosecute Dr. Khan. Tariq Rahman, a professor at Quaid-e-Azam University, said the public would regard it as an unacceptable bid " to destroy Pakistan's nuclear scientists and its nuclear weapons."

Opposition political groups have dismissed the American charges as false claims aimed at weakening the world's only nuclear-armed Muslim country.

S. A. Shamsi, a spokesman for a coalition of hard-line religious parties that holds the third largest number of seats in Parliament, criticized the government for what he called capitulation to American pressure. "Our government is doing things that others are demanding," he said Sunday.

Questions regarding nuclear technology and Pakistan continue to percolate.

On Jan. 2, the police in Colorado arrested Asher Karni, an Israeli businessman who lives in South Africa, on charges of trying illegally to export to Pakistan triggering devices that could be used in nuclear weapons. American officials have said the Pakistani government may have been involved.

Mr. Karni planned to use front companies to ship the switches to South Africa, then to the United Arab Emirates and ultimately on to a company in Islamabad, federal law enforcement officials charged. Court papers said the recipient in Pakistan was to have been a company called Pakland PME. The company's Web site says its sells dozens of kinds of electrical equipment, including oscilloscopes and transformers. It lists an office address in downtown Islamabad, roughly a mile from the Parliament building.

This weekend, calls to the telephone number listed by the company went unanswered.

Workers in the office building said they had never heard of such a company.
22 posted on 01/19/2004 2:31:05 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Solano Visit to Iran Highlights EU Policy Dilemma

January 19, 2004
Radio Free Europe
Ahto Lobjakas

Originally, EU foreign and security policy chief Javier Solana's two-day visit to Iran was intended to probe Iranian progress on dissipating doubts over its alleged nuclear weapons program. The political crisis that emerged in Iran during Solana's visit, however, complicated debate within the EU over the possible resumption of the "twin-track" dialogue on trade and human rights.

Talks were suspended in June pending Iran's agreement to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Protocol. Tehran agreed to sign the NPT after a joint visit in October 2003 by British, German, and French foreign ministers.

A major aspect of Solana's talks in Tehran, however, was the decision by the Guardians Council to reject many prospective candidates from running in February's parliamentary election.

The European Parliament's "rapporteur" (the deputy tasked with compiling thematic reports) for Iran, Michael Gahler, told RFE/RL on 12 January he believes the EU should not rush to restore discussions with the country before the issue is resolved. "If it were that this situation were not solved, if it were that the 80 members of parliament and the hundreds of other candidates were on the day of the election still being banned, I think we should not go on to business as usual. At this stage I think we should also leave some options open, it depends on the current affairs, I would not definitively say what our reaction should be."

Gahler said a group of MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) will be traveling to Tehran in two weeks to assess the situation.

EU officials say there is no consensus within the bloc at this time whether to resume talks with Iran quickly or wait for further concessions. The European Commission appears to be pushing for a flexible approach, arguing that action against weapons of mass destruction -- although top of the EU priority list -- is one of four main goals. The others are the fight against terrorism, Iran's cooperation in the Middle Eastern peace process, and progress on human rights.

Nevertheless, one official told RFE/RL that the commission recognizes that no moves will be made to restore talks before the head of the UN's International Atomic Energy Administration, Muhammad el-Baradei, reports to the body in February on Iran's actual willingness to cooperate on nuclear issues.

The official also suggested that supporters of a tougher line within the EU, led by Britain, point to the conclusions of the last EU foreign ministers' meeting in December 2003, which say cooperation can only be resumed "if there is full international confidence in Iran's adherence to nonproliferation." The official said there is a "spectrum of views" among the member states, with many asking whether Iran "has done enough."

Eberhard Rhein, a senior analyst with the Brussels-based European Policy Center, told RFE/RL on 12 January that he expects EU foreign ministers to play for time at their next meeting in Brussels on 26-27 January, but predicted the eventual decision will be positive.

"They will once again deliberate, they will take stock of the domestic situation, of the international situation, on all these three [the progress Iran has made weapons of mass destruction, the Middle East peace process and human rights] and maybe additional accounts," Rhein said, predicting that there will be no decision before the parliamentary election.

Rhein continued, "If the elections will take place with full democratic representation, and if the Ministry of Interior and [President Mohammad] Khatami impose their will on the judiciary [and other conservative bodies] to restore the initial candidates, then I think the [European] Union will have no choice but to tell the [European] Commission 'go ahead, talk to the Iranians and see whether you can pursue and resolve negotiations.'" He predicted that talks probably will resume before the end of June.

EU officials acknowledge that Iran is in a "delicate situation" internally. One official said it was "no coincidence" that the Iranian climb-down over its nuclear program followed a high-level EU visit to Tehran. The official went on to suggest that forces in Iran in favor of greater cooperation with the West now expect counter-moves from the EU. One important theme at issue here is the assistance promised by the British, French, and German ministers to Iran's civilian nuclear projects. The United States, on the other hand, continues to question the need for any nuclear activity in Iran.

Rhein is convinced the EU will eventually choose to capitalize on the long-term success of its "constructive engagement" with Iran, believing its influence has played an important part in the ascendancy of reform-minded forces in the country who continue to need outside support. Rhein says the EU-Iranian talks, once resumed, will inevitably contain important elements for the EU, putting human rights observance and the rejection of WMD by Iran on a "contractual basis."

Rhein explained, "So, an agreement will be much more in our [EU] interest than the Iranian interest. The agreement does not carry any political, economic, or financial substance; it is a framework, nothing else. Everything can be done, so it's a gesture. It helps the Iranians out of their isolation [and] to say that "we have now formal diplomatic and contractual relations with one of the big players of the world -- the European Union."

Rhein agrees Iran may play a key role in attempts by the EU to emancipate its "common foreign and security policy" further from the United States. Rhein says a continued EU engagement with Iran, if crowned with success, would both bolster the bloc's image and provide an important service to the United States in the region. "Probably the Americans [are] increasingly ambivalent to the European Union. Whenever the European Union scores a success they will see it as rivalry in an area they normally cover for themselves. But on the other hand, they should be happy because if the [EU] goes ahead and scores a success that will allow them to follow suit."
23 posted on 01/19/2004 2:32:01 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranian Paper Views "New Stumbling Blocks" in Ties with Egypt

January 19, 2004
BBC Monitoring Middle East
BBC News

Text of editorial: "Is Israel trying to derail Tehran-Cairo ties?", published in English by Iran News web site on 19 January

During the last few days, new stumbling blocks have appeared in the trend toward normalization of ties between Iran and Egypt.

Unfortunately, voices from here or there can be heard who are hard at work trying to derail the rapprochement process between Cairo and Tehran. These two great civilizations would not only benefit themselves from the resumption of official diplomatic relations but the fact is such a development would be auspicious for many in the region. Nevertheless, There are players in this part of the world who oppose this impending development. Israel is certainly one of those players. For instance, Tel Aviv has implicitly threatened economic retaliation against Cairo by replacing the Suez Canal as a main shipping thoroughfare. Moreover, a famous neoconservative and Pentagon adviser, Richard Perle, has strongly criticized the US policy of providing Egypt with billions of dollars in annual financial aid.

It is not hard to conclude that the Jewish state and Washington hardliners are pursuing a common strategy of increasing pressure and creating obstacles for Egypt. However, the fact is that Tehran and Cairo are both sensitive and cognizant of these issues but nevertheless are determined to pursue the gradual trend toward normalization of diplomatic relations.

The two sides should not allow radicals on both sides as well as from third parties to turn the current dialogue between the two nations back into the counterproductive "name calling" that has existed between the two nations during the last 25 years. It is a tremendously positive step that Tehran and Cairo have agreed to move beyond the Camp David and the Khaled Eslamboli affairs. Eslamboli, whose name was on a main street in Tehran until a few days ago was the army officer who assassinated Egypt's late president Anwar Sadat. Of course, the two countries will not have a common position on every issue but diplomatic ties between these two regional powerhouses could be greatly beneficial for the entire Arab-Muslim world. It is hoped that the two countries proceed with their logical and pragmatic drive to renormalize ties and not succumb to extremists or those countries who would like nothing better than to keep the status quo in bilateral Iran-Egypt ties.

In conclusion, it is an undeniable reality that normalization of Tehran-Cairo ties is no longer a bilateral exigency but in fact a regional necessity.

Source: Iran News web site, Tehran, in English 19 Jan 04
24 posted on 01/19/2004 2:33:01 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Time To Rejoice

January 19, 2004
Reza Bayegan
Reza bayegan

Iran va Jahan has received many emails and notes in connection with the news of the latest addition to the Pahlavi Family. We have forwarded all such messages to the office of Shahzadeh in Washington. The following is from a member of our own Editorial Board.

There has been an addition to the Pahlavi family. A friend sent me an e-mail telling me of the happy event. A baby daughter has been born to Shahzadeh Reza Pahlavi and Princess Yasmine on 17 January, at 17:10 Tehran time. She has been named Farah. Thousands of children are born everyday in Iran and around the world. Many of them are born to famous people and celebrities. Why should this birth be any different from those? And yet it is. The royal family is the reflection of our national hopes and dreams and the quintessence of our collective character.

Hearing the news I could not help but remember the times when I heard about the births of the children of Shahbanou and the late Shah of Iran. I remember the joy and celebration that those happy moments brought to the nation. It was a confirmation that we were all members of a great family. In Iran, the real home of the royal family was not somewhere behind the walls of an inaccessible palace, but in every Iranian household. Their felicity filled us with gladness and brought smiles to our faces. Those were the time of oneness and emotional integrity in the life of our nation.

Today looking at those royal children who have become grown up men and women we are filled with pride. The Pahlavis wherever they have gone in the world, have brought honour to Iran and have raised the stature of their country. Their detractors have done exactly the opposite.

Farah Pahlavi named after her grandmother is born after Noor and Iman. Gladness has joined light and belief. For those who believe in an enlightened Iran, it is an occasion to rejoice and be glad.
25 posted on 01/19/2004 2:36:09 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
US Troops Say Iranian Group Left Bomb at House in Iraq

January 19, 2004
Dow Jones Newswires
The Associated Press

BAGHDAD -- U.S. soldiers found a homemade bomb that they believe was left inside an unfinished house by a group of Iranians in Samarra, 100 kilometers north of Baghdad.

An Iraqi living in the area told soldiers that he saw two cars each carrying five Farsi-speaking men pull up at the building late Sunday and leave shortly after. Soldiers searched the building and found a device packed with plastic explosives, the U.S. military said Monday.
26 posted on 01/19/2004 2:37:10 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran to Open Tender for Six Nuclear Power Plants

January 19, 2004
World Markets Research Centre
Catherine Hunter

Iran is apparently on the verge of opening a tender to build six new nuclear power plants, according to a report in the Petroenergy Information Network. The move comes just weeks after Iran ratified the additional protocol to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and pledged to stop work on uranium enriching, after the disclosure of 18 years of covert nuclear activity.

Significance: The Iranian tender seems like a red rag to the US bull, which has only just switched its attention from Iran after last summer's crisis, when US military action didn't look completely out of the question.

Iran does have a long-term target to produce 7,000MW of nuclear power by 2020 to help meet demand growth of 7% a year. However, the timing of this announcement suggests that this tender may be a potential political chip to be bargained in exchange for concessions over US unilateral sanctions. Iran has been struggling to build its existing nuclear facility - Bushehr - since 1974.

Iran to Hold Tender for Power Plants

Tehran - P.I.N. - K.Soltani - 2004/01/18 15:56

TEHRAN – Iran will submit tender bids for building six nuclear power plants, the foreign ministry said Sunday, adding that the affair should go through proper channels. The spokesman for the ministry Hamid-Reza Assefi also told a news briefing that Iran’s nuclear programs were peaceful.

“From the very beginning we announced that our nuclear technology follows peaceful purposes. We highlighted this issue in our talks with the foreign ministers from the EU troika,” Assefi said, referring to the October 21 agreement signed between Iran and the Great Britain, France and Germany.

“The International Atomic Energy Agency has also endorsed peaceful nature of our activities,” he said.

Assefi dismissed foreign print media reports citing the UN nuclear watchdog as saying that the agency had yet to agree with Iran on what constituted suspension of uranium enrichment activities.

"Such reports and comments are aimed at torpedoing the trend of cooperation and agreements between Iran and the European Union," he told reporters.
Assefi turned up the heat on the United States and said that Washington was not happy with the Oct 21 agreement Iran signed with EU troika.

The United States views with skepticism Tehran's insistence its nuclear program is aimed only at generating electrical energy.

Uranium enrichment has been a sensitive issue in Iran ever since IAEA inspectors found traces of bomb-grade highly-enriched uranium at two sites in the country. This sparked concerns that Iran either made or imported weapons-grade material for a bomb.

Tehran insists its nuclear program is purely peaceful and says the traces were from contaminated machinery Iran purchased on the black market during the 1980-1988 Iraq-Iran war.

Asked to comment on full signature of the additional protocol to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Assefi said: “The additional protocol should go through its stages and it has nothing to do with the legislative elections.”
Regarding the comments from Hassan Rowhani, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, that Tehran and Washington will re-establish ties one day, he said: “I have studied Mr Rowhani’s comments. Mr Rowhani has not fixed any timeline for resuming ties with the United States.”

"We have to be realistic. One day ties will have to be re-established," Rowhani told French newspaper Le Figaro in an interview.

"Our skill, I would say our artistry, will be to choose the right moment," he told Le Figaro during a visit to Paris.

The United States severed ties with Iran -- accused by US President George W. Bush of belonging to an "axis of evil" -- in 1980, after Islamic revolutionaries stormed its embassy in Tehran.

Assefi also said that Austrian President Thomas Klestil will visit Tehran within the framework of bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
“His visit has nothing to do with nuclear issues,” he said.
27 posted on 01/19/2004 2:37:52 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
World Vision to Build Health Clinics in Iran

Tuesday, 20 January 2004, 10:02 am
Press Release: World Vision New Zealand

World Vision will rebuild health clinics destroyed during the Bam earthquake under an agreement signed with the Iranian Government yesterday (New Zealand time).

World Vision relief manager Paul Sitnam says the agreement with the Ministry of Health was a breakthrough in dealings with the Iranian government which is traditionally wary of foreign non-government organisations (NGOs).

"The agreement gives World Vision legitimacy in the eyes of the government. We can continue to function in Iran with a greater degree of confidence," he says.

World Vision will reconstruct two village health posts and three health centres. In addition to the rebuilding, World Vision will supply clinics with refrigerators for vaccines, medical equipment, latrines, washbasins and furniture.

Professor Iraj Sharifi, who signed the agreement on behalf of the Iranian Ministry of Health, said the health centres and health posts are vital.

"It's necessary to rebuild them and we need NGOs to help with this problem," he says.

Professor Sharifi says 90 per cent of Bam's health buildings were now either piles of rubble or suffering serious structural damage, making them unfit to use.

But he commended the international community for its support, saying their provision of field hospitals and tent clinics had helped Bam restore medical services to 70-80 per cent of its former capacity.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed in converted containers supplied by the Turkish government, in the grounds of Bam's ruined central hospital.

World Vision expects the cost of rebuilding and furnishing the clinics to be about US$850,000. Meanwhile World Vision New Zealand has raised NZ$600,000 in its Bam Earthquake Appeal. The money raised will be used in ongoing rehabilitation work in Bam, including rebuilding houses and schools. Donations can still be accepted on 0800 80 2000, or through the website
28 posted on 01/19/2004 5:01:07 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn; PhilDragoo
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.


Thanks for your valuable efforts. Keep up the good work.

31 posted on 01/19/2004 6:45:40 PM PST by BOBTHENAILER (One by one, in small groups or in whole armies, we don't care how we do, but we're gonna getcha)
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To: DoctorZIn
This thread is now closed.

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

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

35 posted on 01/20/2004 12:05:29 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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