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Iranian Alert -- January 21, 2004 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD --Americans for Regime Change in Iran
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 1.21.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 01/21/2004 12:09:13 AM PST by DoctorZIn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DoctorZin


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
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 01/21/2004 12:09:14 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 01/21/2004 12:12:06 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Movement endorses France decision on banning religious symbols from state schools

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Jan 21, 2004

The Movement has expressed its support of France's decision on banning religious symbols from state schools. This support has been expressed formally by Kaveh Mohseni, the SMCCDI's representative in France, and by Aryo Pirouznia, SMCCDI's Coordinator, in the form of Public letters or interviews made with French and Persian media.

Mohseni who has written a letter to the French President, on January 7th by supporting the conclusions of the official commission, and has made several interviews with French media sources, such as the "Proche Orient Info"; Has sent, today, a second letter for the attention of Mr. Staci head of the official commission by expressing the Movement's constant support and reminding him of the dangers posed by the religious fanatism. The SMCCDI's representative in France has requested the change of French policy in reference to Iran and this country's public support of the Iranian Nation in order to reach Secularity and Democracy.

"Your support of Iran's Secular and Democratic forces will be what will help to create long standing relations between our 2 people" he has stated in parts of these two letters available on the "Documents" section of the French version of this website.

From the other part, Pirouznia who was speaking, yesterday, to the abroad based "Azadi TV" denounced the Islamic regime's policy of demagogy and its constant try to enflame the religious feelings of naive believers. Reacting to the regime's governmental TV and statement, the SMCCDI's Coordinator stated: " The French decision has nothing against Islam. Banning of any religious or sectarian signs is a general French principle dating from 1905 Separation of State and Church in this country and especially from the Jules Ferry law intending to fight against any discrimination in public schools and buildings. This interdiction is not only for Islamic symbols, such as veil, but also for Christian, Jewish or even Anarchists signs in these institutions."

"the Islamic regime is here by simulating that this French decision is targeting Islam while the Mufti of Cairo has expressly confirmed that the measure has nothing to do against it. We're witnessing, here again, the correct reaction of some of the Islamist scholars as we are still witnessing the gesticulations of the Iranian mullahs and their Arab paid mercenaries in some European cities in a desperate try to detourn the attentions from the real source of problems meaning themselves... I hope that the mullahs actions and demagogy will serve as a lesson to those French officials who are making of themselves the "Allies du Diable" (allies of Evil) as they say." Pirouznia added.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_4672.shtml
3 posted on 01/21/2004 12:13:02 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Pressure on North Korea, Iran

1.21.2004

(CNN) --South Korea has given a cautious welcome to U.S. President George W. Bush's pledge to keep weapons of mass destruction out of the "hands of the world's most dangerous regimes."

Japan was more upbeat, describing Bush's speech as a strong message that the U.S. is committed to world peace.

Bush singled out North Korea and Iran in his annual State of the Union address on Tuesday and vowed America would not allow them to pursue WMD programs.

North Korea has been pushing for a lifting of sanctions, economic and fuel aid, and a security commitment from the U.S. before it gives up its nuclear ambitions -- repeated consistently since October 2002 when U.S. officials said Pyongyang admitted to secretly pursuing a nuclear weapons program in violation of a 1994 treaty.

The White House has refused the demands saying it will not be blackmailed into concession, and has been seeking to resolve the standoff via diplomatic channels in cooperation with other nations in the region. However, international talks aimed at finding a resolution have so far achieved little.

South Korea's Foreign Ministry on Wednesday said Bush's speech reinforced Washington's consistent hard-line stance against weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their proliferation.

The ministry also said Bush hasn't dramatically changed his stance since he branded Iran and North Korea, along with Iraq, an "axis of evil" two years ago.

After applauding Libya for its disclosure and promise to dismantle its WMD programs -- achieved, Bush said, through nine months of "intense negotiations" -- the U.S. president admitted "different threats require different strategies."

"Along with other nations in the region, we are insisting that North Korea eliminate its nuclear program. American and the international community are demanding that Iran meet its commitments and not develop nuclear weapons," Bush said.

South Korea applauded Bush for contrasting the case of North Korea with the recent positive example of Libya and also Iraq's Saddam Hussein regime, which was toppled by a U.S.-led invasion.

"The U.S. president clearly sent a message that North Korea should come out to negotiate and not ignore the nuclear issue," ministry spokesman Shin Bong-kil said, noting Seoul had not yet fully digested the speech.

In Tokyo, Japan's foreign ministry also welcomed Bush's renewed promise to use multi-nation dialogue to try and end the North Korean standoff.

"We are pleased President Bush committed to international cooperation to the reconstruction of Iraq and also in resolution of the North Korean issue," ministry spokesman Hatsuhisa Takashima told CNN.

"The message was very strong and we are pleased President Bush not only emphasized the importance of protecting American people but he is also committed to world peace."

Japan -- a close U.S. ally that has been involved in diplomatic efforts to resolve the North Korean crisis -- has recently dispatched an advance team of ground troops to pave the way for a larger deployment of soldiers to assist in humanitarian projects in Iraq.

Hatsuhisa said the troop dispatch was proof Tokyo shared the same commitment as Bush in the reconstruction of Iraq as well as the ongoing fight against terrorism.

Elsewhere, there little immediate response to the State of the Union address.

North Korea and Iran did not immediately respond to the speech.

Tehran three months ago promised to halt uranium enrichment -- a key process in the manufacture of nuclear weapons.

But international efforts to ensure a fragile agreement negotiated in October to avert a looming crisis appear to be failing with experts and Western diplomats concerned Iran may be reneging on the deal.

There were no indications that any of China's government controlled television stations carried the speech live.

Internet news reports on state-run Xinhuanet.com focused on Bush's defense of the Iraq war as well as the continuing war on terror. The China Daily used CNN.com's coverage of the State of the Union address.

http://edition.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/asiapcf/01/21/sotu.reax/
4 posted on 01/21/2004 12:17:59 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Some ministers have resigned.
5 posted on 01/21/2004 3:09:17 AM PST by AdmSmith
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To: AdmSmith
http://www.iranmania.com/News/ArticleView/Default.asp?ArchiveNews=Yes&NewsCode=21821&NewsKind=CurrentAffairs
TEHRAN, Jan 21 (AFP) -- A number of Iranian Ministers and vice presidents have submitted their resignations in protest at the mass disqualification of candidates from next month's election, and will quit the cabinet unless hardliners back down, Vice President Mohammad Ali Abtahi said Wednesday.

"A certain number of ministers and vice-presidents have resigned," Abtahi told reporters after a meeting of the reformist government.

But he said those concerned would stay in their jobs to await the outcome of the re-examination of its candidate blacklist by the Guardians Council, the conservative political watchdog that has moved to bar large numbers of reformers from contesting the February 20 parliamentary polls.

"It is natural that they wait for the outcome of the work" of the Guardians Council, Abtahi said, without naming the cabinet members who had decided to resign.
6 posted on 01/21/2004 3:14:37 AM PST by AdmSmith
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To: AdmSmith
How many have resigned? And will they renege, if they learn that their disqualification has been overturned?
7 posted on 01/21/2004 4:25:51 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (He who has never hoped can never despair.)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; AdmSmith
"would stay in their jobs to await the outcome of the re-examination of its candidate blacklist by the Guardians Council,"

This sounds to me like their resignations don't mean much.
8 posted on 01/21/2004 4:34:45 AM PST by nuconvert ( "It had only one fault. It was kind of lousy.")
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To: nuconvert
Then once again, it appears that their tactics have more to do with retaining their position, than in outrage over the hardliner's tactics.
9 posted on 01/21/2004 4:36:15 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (He who has never hoped can never despair.)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
Angry outbursts, sit-ins, dawn 'til dusk fasts, "resignations",........dramatic, isn't it? ; )
10 posted on 01/21/2004 4:41:15 AM PST by nuconvert ( "It had only one fault. It was kind of lousy.")
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To: AdmSmith
This whole drama seems like a way for the Guardian Council to rid themselves of a few trouble-makers, but get the public more interested in voting. They knew the people were getting fed-up with all of them and planning on staying away from the polls. So why not stir things up and get people emotionally charged? Votes for the reformists, looks better than no voting at all. They just went over-board disqualifying too many. But that fits the definition of fanatic, doesn't it?
11 posted on 01/21/2004 5:03:35 AM PST by nuconvert ( "It had only one fault. It was kind of lousy.")
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To: nuconvert
I do not think that everything was staged. The GC is really doing what they think is the best. Naturally, it is madness, but they think it is the right thing. However, IF the government really resigns and calls upon the Iranians to protest against the GC then the events can get a life of its own.

However, I think that Khatami is more an academic than a politician, so he will be the chicken.
12 posted on 01/21/2004 5:24:36 AM PST by AdmSmith
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To: AdmSmith; nuconvert
Addendum: As Khatami is in Davos, the resignation is not yet a real move. Khatami will probably make some announcement on changes in the economic regulations in Iran(privatizations?) and speak about the need for foreign investments. The audience will say that they have heard this before and need something more than just talk.
13 posted on 01/21/2004 5:34:29 AM PST by AdmSmith
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To: AdmSmith
Khatami's past inactions prove he's "chicken".

"IF the government really resigns and calls upon the Iranians to protest against the GC then the events can get a life of its own."

Yes. This would be great....but I don't think it's going to happen.

And where is Rafsanjani? Awfully quiet, isn't he?

14 posted on 01/21/2004 5:42:24 AM PST by nuconvert ( "It had only one fault. It was kind of lousy.")
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To: nuconvert
Rafsanjani is counting his money.

Is it possible to see if he has sold his stakes in the companies listed in Tehran? (I think that he started to divest last year...)
15 posted on 01/21/2004 6:15:14 AM PST by AdmSmith
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To: AdmSmith; DoctorZIn; nuconvert; Pan_Yans Wife; freedom44; RaceBannon; seamole; Valin; McGavin999; ..
West says Iran still enriching uranium

The Washington Times
21st of Jan, 2004

LONDON, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Western diplomats say Iran has breached its promise and has begun enriching uranium again, The Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday.

The enrichment process is a crucial step in producing nuclear weapons.

"This is clearly a breach," one diplomat told the newspaper. "The goal is cessation of enrichment and we are moving in the opposite direction."

Iran says it had only "temporarily" suspended operation of the gas centrifuges to enrich uranium and insists it has a right to make fuel for nuclear reactors to generate electricity.

The latest disclosure could undermine the fragile agreement negotiated in October by Britain, France and Germany to avert a new crisis over weapons of mass destruction.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw met his German and French counterparts Monday to discuss Iran and other issues.

http://washingtontimes.com/upi-breaking/20040121-064558-2249r.htm
16 posted on 01/21/2004 7:04:04 AM PST by F14 Pilot (Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists.)
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To: DoctorZIn
Straw to Meet Khatami in Davos Today

January 21, 2004
The Financial Times
James Blitz, Christopher Adams and Robert Graham

The British, French and German foreign ministers this week held a private three-way meeting near London in another indication of how the UK is seeking to boost its trilateral relationship with Paris and Berlin in the newly enlarged European Union.

None of the countries' foreign ministries gave any briefing on Jack Straw's private meeting with Dominique de Villepin of France and Joschka Fischer of Germany at Mr Straw's official country residence at Chevening in Kent on Monday night.

However, the meeting comes amid growing indications that the three countries are developing a co-ordinated approach to a variety of international issues, such as the possession by Iran of weapons of mass destruction and European defence and budgetary affairs.

According to one senior foreign office official, both Tony Blair, prime minister, and Mr Straw want London to hold trilateral policy meetings with their Paris and Berlin counterparts about every six weeks. Both men are thought to believe that when the EU enlarges to 25 members in May, business will best be done among small groups of nations.

"You cannot really discuss policy among 25. You can vote on it but not really have real, free discussion," said the official.

Developments in Iran are almost certain to have been one of the main issues discussed at Chevening, not least because Mr Straw is due to meet President Mohammad Khatami at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos today.

The tripartite mission of the British, French and German foreign ministers to Tehran last year led to Iran's decision to accept heightened international inspections of its nuclear programme, as an example of enhanced EU co-operation.

But the prospect of the Iranian authorities refusing to deliver on these pledges of nuclear co-operation has increased as hardline elements in the Tehran regime tighten their grip ahead of national elections.

The changing situation in Iran threatens to undermine the credibility of the three ministers' action in heading off a confrontation between Tehran and Washington on the nuclear issue.

Against this backdrop, Britain, France and Germany have every interest in examining ways to maintain pressure on Iran to comply with its diplomatic undertaking to halt developing the nuclear cycle for military purposes.

With the Pakistani government also cracking down on scientists believed to have passed nuclear secrets to Iran, Libya and North Korea, there is also a chance to confront Tehran with hard evidence of its plans to harness its nuclear programme to military ends.

France also remains deeply concerned about Syria's refusal to listen to any friendly advice over how to lessen US hostility towards Damascus. Recently Syria rejected an offer of talks with Israel and the Syrian regime still remains deeply embedded in Lebanon. But a tripartite mission to Syria would not be undertaken unless some gesture was likely to be forthcoming from the Syrian regime.

http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1073281184655&p=1012571727166
17 posted on 01/21/2004 7:31:34 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Torch Bearer for Iran's Pragmatic Conservatives

January 21, 2004
The Financial Times
Gareth Smyth

For the past week Iranian television has followed the parliamentary "sit-in" of reformist deputies after the Guardian Council excluded 80 of them from next month's parliamentary election.

In contrast to the sit-in, which has excited little public response, the news also featured a visit by Hassan Rowhani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), to Paris for discussions with President Jacques Chirac over Iran's nuclear programme.

"Rowhani is doing real politics, whereas the parliament is just a skirmish," says a former Iranian diplomat.

"Rowhani understands we've suffered too long from ideologies, and that Iran should instead pursue its national interest."

At 55, Mr Rowhani is not well known in Iran, but he has solid experience and powerful allies.

Within political circles, he is expected to carry the torch of pragmatic conservatism in next year's presidential elections.

As secretary of the SNSC since 1988, he is trusted by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader. He is also close to Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, former president and influential head of the Expediency Council, which arbitrates between arms of government, the judiciary, state-owned television and the armed forces.

Mr Rowhani left parliament four years ago and is not a candidate in next month's election. Yet he may be its main winner.

The self-styled "new conservatives" are confident of a parliamentary majority that will give them a springboard to capture the presidency next year and so end the reformist era that began with Mohammad Khatami's victory in 1997.

They believe Mr Rowhani's growing public image as a man of action can reverse the trend of two heavy conservative defeats in consecutive presidential elections.

Even some outside the conservative camp agree.

"Khatami has been too nice - Rowhani will be more successful because his goal is improved administration and managing the economy, not a cultural revolution," says Saed Leylaz, vice-president of the government-owned Khrodro Diesel vehicle manufacturers, who has known Mr Rowhani for many years.

"We need a leader like Tony Blair, someone good at PR but who's serious and firm."

Siamak Namazi, managing director of Tehran consultants Atieh Bahar, says: "Rowhani is a credible person for the west and, crucially, is trusted by the system here."

The rise of Mr Rowhani has been steady rather than spectacular. Born in the central Iranian city of Semnan, he went to Qom aged 12 to study Islamic jurisprudence, rising to the rank of hojjat al-islam, one below ayatollah.

After a degree at Tehran university, he did a PhD in law at Glasgow university in the late 1970s, interrupting his studies to join Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's entourage in Paris as the 1979 Islamic Revolution loomed.

Mr Rowhani entered parliament in 1980, becoming head of its defence and foreign affairs commissions and deputy speaker. This brought him close to Mr Rafsanjani, then parliamentary speaker, who held executive responsibility for the 1980-88 war with Iraq.

The relationship between the two men unnerves those who see Mr Rafsanjani as a manipulator.

"Rowhani is not the decision-maker, the power is somewhere else," says a leading reformer.

"Even if the conservatives win the parliamentary elections and Rowhani becomes president, he won't be able to deliver in the face of opposition from hardline conservatives who think he's betraying them."

Reformists argue that leading Iran towards rapprochement with the west and domestic reform requires a vision that Rowhani lacks.

They say the "new conservatives" have simply stolen reformist ideas - including more relaxed social codes.

The new conservatives shrug off the criticism. "The reformers didn't have enough power to succeed. Any system resists change, and conservatives want to improve, not change, the system," says Amir Mohebian, political editor of the conservative daily newspaper Resalat. "This means we no longer insist on the form of the hijab (the veil), it doesn't have to be the chador (the head-to-toe garment covering all bar the face)."

"The reformers used to be popular because they criticised social restrictions," says Mr Leylaz. "But the moral police have largely gone and people are free in their private lives - so they're less interested in politics."

Iran's conservatives expect voter apathy to help them in coming elections. Internationally, they believe the US is less concerned with Iran's political system than with its nuclear programme, its influence in Iraq and its holding of leading members of al-Qaeda.

As SNSC general-secretary, Mr Rowhani has handled all these issues. While no one abroad sees him as a pushover - he insists strongly that Iran's suspension of uranium enrichment is entirely voluntary - there is also a sense that amid Iran's competing centres of power, he is a reliable negotiator.

"Many in the west like Rowhani because they think he can get things done, as indeed he has over the nuclear issue," says one diplomat.

"This means that in the short term at least, they may prefer an Iranian leadership that can deliver, even if it's not very representative."

http://news.ft.com/world/mideastafrica
18 posted on 01/21/2004 7:33:06 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Vice President Play Down Election Flap

January 21, 2004
Reuters
Parinoosh Arami and Parisa Hafezi

TEHRAN -- A top Iranian official said on Wednesday President Mohammad Khatami and his reformist cabinet were ready to quit but later made clear he was reiterating a resignation threat government officials made last week.

Vice-President Mohammad Ali Abtahi told reporters many ministers and vice-presidents had handed in their resignations over a hard-line ban on liberal candidates standing in parliamentary elections and Khatami could lead a mass walk-out.

But speaking later to Reuters by telephone, Abtahi said his remarks repeated the threat made by senior government officials last week and comments by Khatami that reformists should either stick together or leave together.

"It's nothing new. The resignation letters were submitted last week," he said.

Khatami and his allies have made repeated resignation threats in recent years in response to moves by unelected hard-liners to block their efforts at reform.

Other officials played down talk of a political crisis and said they were optimistic a dispute over the disqualification of thousands of parliamentary candidates would soon be resolved.

"The talks are ongoing and we are very hopeful it will be resolved," said one minister, who is among roughly 16 cabinet members who have submitted their resignations.

Abtahi stressed the election row could still be defused if the hard-line Guardian Council, which has barred almost half the 8,200 hopefuls from running in the February 20 vote, followed the advice of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who has urged a thorough revision of the disqualifications.

"The framework set by the Supreme Leader is very good and can save the country from the crisis," he told reporters.

Khatami, who is due to address the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, later Wednesday, told reformist politicians in a letter Tuesday he was optimistic about the chances of a fair election.

TALKS CONTINUE

The Guardian Council -- an unelected 12-member body dominated by hard-line clerics with sweeping powers -- announced Tuesday it had so far reversed only 200 of the candidate bans, about five percent of those it had originally disqualified.

Reformists accuse the Guardian Council of trying to help conservative candidates reverse their defeat in 2000 parliamentary elections to reformists, who currently hold roughly two-thirds of parliament's 290 seats.

"These methods (of the Guardian Council) can harm the principles of the (Islamic) revolution and democracy and turn the election into a sure thing," Abtahi told reporters.

Reformist parties, including Khatami's, have threatened to boycott the vote unless the bans are overturned. Dozens of MPs have held an 11-day sit-in at parliament in protest.

Another senior reformist, Vice-President Mohsen Mehralizadeh, said the political standoff had been exaggerated.

"I am convinced that this crisis, if you want to call it that, will be resolved and has no significance," Mehralizadeh told reporters after meeting Austrian President Thomas Klestil in Vienna Wednesday.

http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=4175064
19 posted on 01/21/2004 7:33:52 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranian Vice Presidents, Others Resign
1/21/04
Photo: Iranian Vice President Mohammad Ali Abtahi, leaves a cabinet meeting in this Sept. 17, 2003, file photo. Some Iranian Cabinet ministers and vice presidents have submitted their resignations to protest disqualifications of thousands of prospective election candidates, Abtahi announced Wednesday Jan. 21, 2004. Iran's Guardian Council, an unelected body controlled by hard-liners, triggered the crisis when it disqualified more than a third of the 8,200 people who applied as candidates in the Feb. 20 elections. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Some Iranian Cabinet ministers and vice presidents have resigned to protest the disqualifications of thousands of prospective election candidates, Vice President Mohammad Ali Abtahi said Wednesday.

Abtahi did not say how many officials resigned nor did he identify them.

"A number of Cabinet ministers and a number of vice presidents have resigned. Naturally, they are waiting to see how things go," Abtahi said after a Cabinet meeting at the Presidential Palace.

"The Cabinet ministers are very serious in their resignation."

When asked if he had also resigned, Abtahi smiled but did not respond.

The resignations are the latest twist in an ongoing political crisis between reformists and hard-liners.

The crisis was triggered when supervisory bodies affiliated with Iran's Guardian Council, an unelected body controlled by hard-liners, disqualified more than a third of the 8,200 people who applied as candidates in the Feb. 20 elections.

State media controlled by hard-liners say those disqualified failed to meet the legal criteria for candidacy, but reformists maintain the move was intended to skew the elections in favor of conservatives.

"Such disqualifications of prospective candidates is against democracy. The 1979 Islamic revolution was based on democracy, and such methods (by hard-liners) damage our Islamic democracy and turn elections into sham elections," Abtahi said.

The announcement of the resignations came a day after the Guardian Council said it was reinstating 200 candidates and would reconsider the cases of thousands more. That came after fierce opposition from reformists.

Interior Minister Abdolvahed Mousavi Lari presented a report during Wednesday's Cabinet session saying the hard-liners want to secure at least 180 seats in the 290-seat parliament.

Abtahi said that in recent days a presidential committee has "exerted much effort to reverse the situation, but practically, there has been little progress."

Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, who is attending an international conference in Davos, Switzerland, must approve the resignations for them to take effect.

Khatami, a leading reformer, has warned that he also might resign if the disqualifications are not reversed.



20 posted on 01/21/2004 8:12:18 AM PST by FireTrack
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To: F14 Pilot
Thanks for the ping!
21 posted on 01/21/2004 8:17:58 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: nuconvert
"A number of Cabinet ministers and a number of vice presidents have resigned. Naturally, they are waiting to see how things go," Abtahi said after a Cabinet meeting at the Presidential Palace.

ping

22 posted on 01/21/2004 8:24:04 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (He who has never hoped can never despair.)
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To: All
Pakistan Sent Nuclear Investigators to Iran

Wate.com
21st of Jan 2004

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN (AP) -- It's a sign of how seriously Pakistan is treating the charges that it's allowed its nuclear weapons technology to spread to Iran and Libya.

A senior Pakistani official says Pakistan sent its own investigative teams to those two countries in recent months.

And the official says those visits then led to Pakistan's questioning of some of its top nuclear scientists.

The official tells The Associated Press the interrogations also resulted from evidence that was given to Pakistan by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The U.S. is pressuring Pakistan to stop the spread of technology that can be used to make atomic weapons.

Pakistan denies that it authorized the sale of any of that technology. But officials say scientists may have done so on their own.

http://www.wate.com/Global/story.asp?S=1610140

23 posted on 01/21/2004 8:33:26 AM PST by F14 Pilot ("Terrorists declared war on U.S. and War is what they Got!")
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To: F14 Pilot
Informative post, thanks.
24 posted on 01/21/2004 8:40:01 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (He who has never hoped can never despair.)
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To: F14 Pilot
Freedom now ~ Bump!
25 posted on 01/21/2004 8:52:22 AM PST by blackie
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To: AdmSmith
LoL. And he has a lot to count.

Don't know how public they make that information.

He has property in U.S., I believe.
26 posted on 01/21/2004 8:57:27 AM PST by nuconvert ( "It had only one fault. It was kind of lousy.")
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
"Naturally, they are waiting to see how things go,"

Naturally.....LOL!

Khatami, a leading reformer, has warned that he also might resign ....LOL! Not Again ! LOL!
27 posted on 01/21/2004 9:03:02 AM PST by nuconvert ( "It had only one fault. It was kind of lousy.")
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To: DoctorZIn
Khatami Intends to Stay in Job

Reuters - World News
Jan 21, 2004

ZURICH - Iranian President Mohammad Khatami said Wednesday he intended to continue in his job, despite reports he and his cabinet were ready to resign over a ban on liberal candidates standing in parliamentary elections.

"I have the intention of continuing my task and my service to the people," Khatami told Swiss television SF DRS, which provided a transcript of his comments translated into German.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_4681.shtml
28 posted on 01/21/2004 9:05:59 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Finally, an English translation of:
Plan For The Removal of The Islamic Regime.

This is an english translation of part of the plan of action proposed by BestOfIran.com during the 6 hour satelite broadcast on Sunday January 18th. Further english translations will be released by them shortly.

National “Black-Out” In Iran is the New “Silent Referendum”
For Unity and Solidarity Iranians are planning to Turn Off lights on every Thursday night (9.00-9.30 pm)




Why A National “Black-Out” Will End an Era of Horror, Terror, Torture, Murder, Human Right’s violation and theft of our National Wealth in Iran.

Since Feb. 1979, according to an international plan, a theocratic regime has been imposed on the Iranian people and our country. Most of the silent Iranians from the very first day, and by passage of time, almost 95% of the Iranians believe that this Islamic Regime is an Unwanted regime that doesn’t feel any responsibility with respect to the Past, Present and the Future of Iran and Iranians.

Shortly after the end of the imposed Iran-Iraq war, the majority of the Iranians who are living in Iran, started to oppose this barbarian regime that kills, tortures and murders the people simply by the verdicts of the uneducated mullahs that are dressed as judges. Amazingly, such a barbarian regime that doesn’t have even have one positive point in its past 25 years of governing Iran, has remained stable in its position and none of the international bodies have decided to act against it on behalf of the Iranian people. We feel that our compatriots who have shown their strong and powerful will to the world- have decided and will act in order to bring down this regime and weaken the support of their European supporters.

We want and we will act individually based on a global cooperation and decision. This means that, up to a critical point, we should act individually in order to minimize the possibility of the regime’s interference and after reaching that point we will gather as a united community in order to bring down this filthy regime.

A long study has shown that “Silent Referendum”which could take place by a “Black Out” at a pre-determined time and interval, will result in unity of the Iranian people. Base on declaration of the IOT members and their approval, since Jan. 22, 2004 (2 Bahman Mah 1382) all Iranians who believe that this regime should be removed from power, will turn off all their lights at home and workplaces (if private & possible) for half an hour from 9.00 9.30 pmon Thursday nights. No one should wait for others in order to follow him. Every Iranian should feel that he or she is a leader in this movement and should speak with at least two people in order to convince and ask them to do so. Now let’s see why this action is important in bringing down the regime:

1- The Islamic regime has caused the people to be fearful of each other and there are no other better tactics or instruments by which the Iranians could show their opposition to the world. Turning off the lights at a determined time and interval, will result in the unity of the Iranian nation inIran and abroad without any danger of being traced.

2- By turning off the lights in a pre-determined time and interval, the people will start to notice each others’ neighborhoods and will slowly start to build up unity among groups in different regions of each city.

3- If every one tries to convince 2 other people to participate in this “Silent Referendum” Campaign, then within 6 months we will see that more than 80% of the lamps will turn off as the best opposition signal of the people in each city. After this critical point, other plans will be announced that finally will result in a national unity. It is at this point that the Iranian people will be able to rely on each other for future tasks.

4- Also at the midst of that critical point, or even sooner than that, the Iranians that are living in Iran will invite the foreign diplomatic missions to witness such a huge opposition of the people against the present regime.

5- By Turning Off our lights on every Thursday night (9.00-9.30 pm) we will conduct weekly referendums in order to show the world that we don’t want this regime and that we want the cooperation of the UN for a free referendum in Iran.

If we want to be free of this regime, we should turn off our lights on every Thursday 9.00 – 9.30 pm, as a vote against the legitimacy of the present Iranian government. No one should wait and it is our duty to convince others to join us in this campaign.

The Committee of Domestic Compatriots

http://www.activistchat.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1084

http://www.bestofiran.com/frontend/index.asp
29 posted on 01/21/2004 9:11:54 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Finally, an English translation of:
The Plan For The Removal of The Islamic Regime.

This is an english translation of part of the plan of action proposed by BestOfIran.com during the 6 hour satelite broadcast on Sunday January 18th. Further english translations will be released by them shortly.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1062014/posts?page=29#29
30 posted on 01/21/2004 9:13:10 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
"I have the intention of continuing my task and my service to the people," Khatami told Swiss television"

LOL ! Please, don't do them any favors.........
31 posted on 01/21/2004 9:33:59 AM PST by nuconvert ( "It had only one fault. It was kind of lousy.")
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To: DoctorZIn
Thank you.

This sounds like it could gain momentum... and I like the imagery of people noticing that their neighbors, one by one, are joining in the black out. This could be a powerful symbol of solidarity.
32 posted on 01/21/2004 10:06:20 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (He who has never hoped can never despair.)
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To: DoctorZIn
Violent clashes rock Hamadan

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Jan 21, 2004

Violent clashes rocked the western City of Hamadan as the Islamic regime's plainclothes men and security forces intervened in order to put stop to a speech made in the "Teachers Forum" on the political situation. The clashes spreaded soon to neighboring streets and hundreds of residents started to shout slogans against the regime and calling for true and free elections in Iran.

Slogans such as "Referendum, Referendum, in ast shoar mardom!" (Referendum, Referendum, this is the People's slogan!) and "Nabood bad Estebdad" (Down with Dictatorship) were shouted.

Special forces of the Pasdaran Corp. and plainclothes men attacked tens of students, teachers and scholars as well as their supporters with clubs, chains and tear gas resulting in the injuries and arrests of tens of demonstrators.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_4687.shtml
33 posted on 01/21/2004 11:25:40 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Violent clashes rock Hamadan

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Jan 21, 2004

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1062014/posts?page=33#33
34 posted on 01/21/2004 11:28:26 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
On Iran's Political Track, No Moderation Can be Seen

January 21, 2004
Ha'aretz
Zvi Bar'el

"Kill the butcher from Cairo," the conservative Iranian newspaper Jumhour-i Islami, which is close to Iran's spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, shouted this week. The "butcher" refers to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who, according to the paper, persecuted and also killed Islamicists in Egypt, and also maintains close ties with Israel.

The article comes at a time when Tehran and Cairo are on the verge of resuming diplomatic ties: Khaled Islamabuli Street in Tehran, named after the killer of President Anwar Sadat was renamed at Egypt's behest and is now called Intifada Street; and new trade agreements have been signed between the two countries.

Two days after the newspaper report, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher announced the resumption of ties between the two countries had been postponed "due to the circumstances in Iran." In Egypt, they understand that such sharp remarks appearing in an important Iranian paper are not an expression of freedom of speech, a concept that Egypt frequently refers to when its official papers criticize Israel or the United States. They suspect, with good reason, that such remarks are being directed from above.

But that is not the only reason the renewal of ties was postponed; Egypt wants to see how the current crisis between conservatives and liberals in Iran is resolved before it lands in the middle of the Iranian bazaar with a historic political gesture, such as renewing diplomatic ties. "We don't want to appear as if we are influencing political processes inside Iran at such a sensitive time," a senior Egyptian official explained last week.

Did the U.S. administration have a hand in the matter? The senior official denies this and cites the comments of the State Department spokesman who viewed favorably the meeting in Geneva around a month ago between Mubarak and Iranian President Mohammed Khatami and the plans to resume ties between the two countries.

Double-edged power struggle

Delaying the resumption of ties between Egypt and Iran is symptomatic of the nervousness surrounding the upcoming elections for the Iranian parliament on February 20. This is a double-edged power struggle: The conservatives want to recapture the parliament from the liberals who have been in control and also gain momentum for the presidential elections to be held in another year and a half - Khatami will not be able to run because, according to the constitution, a president may not serve more than two terms.

In the past year, the conservatives swept to victory in the local authority elections due to a political error by the liberals, who decided to boycott the elections because of the mass disqualification of their candidates by the Guardian Council, which is controlled the conservatives. As the parliamentary elections approach, the liberals will not want to repeat that mistake.

Ostensibly, the conservatives' behavior should not be much of a surprise. Prior to the previous parliamentary elections in 2000, many candidates were also disqualified. However, unlike those elections, where only 10 percent of the total number of candidates was disqualified, this year the Guardian Council dared to disqualify nearly half of the candidates.

The Guardian Council consists of 12 members, half appointed directly by Khamenei and half appointed by the parliament from a list presented to it by the court system, which is also controlled by Khamenei. Four years ago, the Iranian parliament decided to disqualify two candidates from membership in the committee and flexed a threatening muscle in front of the conservative establishment. This year, the Guardian Council showed the parliament who has more power.

Khatami: The presentable puppet

However, the power under discussion is not the kind of absolute conservative power that people tend to think of, just as "reformists" does not necessarily reflect a desire for Western-style democracy. There is also some kind of system of checks and balances in Iran. So, for example, you can see women wearing tight-fitting clothes and symbolic hair coverings that do not hide their hair; cafes where couples meet are not unusual; a billiard hall has opened in the holy city of Qum; card dealers on the streets are no longer afraid of the moral police; at the entrance to the police "welfare office" in Tehran, there are no longer hundreds of parents massed after the weekend to bail out their children who were detained by the moral police; watching satellite television stations is no longer cause for fear and even smoking in public during the month of the Ramadan no longer incurs a punishment.

All of these are "concessions on a personal track," as Iranian spokesmen put it. "On the political track," no moderation is visible. Three years ago, in one of his frank public statements, President Khatami said that "after three and a half years as president, I don't have enough power to implement the law, which is my greatest responsibility ... basically the president cannot stop the trend toward violence or enforce the law."

This not only Khatami's claim regarding himself, but also the claim against Khatami of Iranian citizens, who granted him decisive victories in two election campaigns. "Khatami has become the presentable puppet of Iran, but it's doubtful whether he is even able to wear the fine clothes that are put on the puppet," says an Iranian now living in Los Angeles. "There is very deep disappointment with his behavior as president and as someone who was given a mandate to change the face of Iran. If Khatami now feels that his policies are being torpedoed, then he should resign, create a political storm and smile shyly and continue in his position."

The arguments against Khatami are no longer about the fact that he is incapable of carrying out the reforms, but that he is no longer even effective as a "protest banner." After his arguments against the conservatives three years ago, it was not expected that he would run in 2001 and thereby indicate that Iran was in a deep crisis. But he continued in office. He did not resign, not even after the Guardian Council - the same council that disqualified the candidates and is responsible, among other things, for checking that laws enacted in parliament do not contradict religion - disqualified two laws intended to grant him wider powers. One law was to have taken away the Guardian Council's authority to disqualify candidates; the second law sought to grant the president the right to cancel legal decisions that are contrary to the law.

He also did not resign last summer after severe student protests, in which the students called on Khatami to resign along with Khamenei. And now, when he festively announced that if the conservatives do not allow proper elections because of the numerous disqualifications of candidates, he would resign - "If they have to leave [the parliament], we'll all leave" - no one believes him. In the meantime, Khamenei has entered the picture quicker than he himself had planned.

First he said he would intervene only after all legal means were exhausted, that is, when the disqualified candidates' appeals to the Supreme Court were completed. But the concern was that the crisis would trickle down into the street and Khamenei hurriedly "suggested" that the Guardian Council take another look at the disqualifications and in the event, he determined, candidates have already served in parliament should not be disqualified. The result is that the Guardian Council is now reconsidering all of its disqualifications.

Student silence

Khamenei again proved who can resolve crises and who is in control. It seems the reformists are also displeased with his involvement, which may perhaps prevent political scuffling that could be embarrassing for them. Previously, the reformists could rely on the student unions to mobilize masses of students to protest against the religious establishment. This time it turned out that the students had to be prodded. The heads of the student unions announced that at this stage they are not getting involved. Some student spokesmen even said there was no point in fighting any more on behalf of Khatami or the parliament because they are unable to bring about change.

The public at large in Iran is not aware of the dimensions of the crisis in Tehran. Government papers blocked mass publication of information and government radio and television stations concealed most of the details of the dispute. Foreign correspondents who have recently visited Iran say that in cities far away from Tehran, they did not even know about the crisis.

In such a situation, the reformists could not rely on the public joining their struggle. "Especially when Khatami's government and his fellow reformers have also turned out to be worthless when it comes to matters that are absolutely their responsibility and in their jurisdiction," says an Iranian activist who was asked to comment on recent events via e-mail. The hottest topic, he says, is the tragedy in the city of Bam where over 40,000 people were killed in an earthquake. Who prevented this government from preparing equipment, buying drugs or preparing alternate living arrangements for the victims?" he asked. "Are Khamenei and his conservatives guilty of that as well?"

These charges are reminiscent of the serious charges Turks leveled at their government after the big earthquake in 1999. According to the Iranian activist, the anger at the government over the fiasco in Bam is so great that people considered reformists said they no longer want to hear about "large reforms, democracy or human rights, when those who speak of these fine values are incapable of saving human lives."

It is possible that these reactions, the students' indifference and the overall disappointment with the reformists created a sense among conservatives that they can cross the accepted lines and make wholesale disqualifications of parliamentary candidates. The conservatives, and especially the spiritual leader, Khamenei, also want to let the world know that only they can carry out genuine reforms, including all foreign policy matters. Khamenei was the one who permitted the signing of an additional protocol of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and even sent his emissary, the head of the National Security Council, Hassan Rowhani, to conduct the negotiations, as opposed to a representative of the Khatami government.

Khamenei is the one who approved changing the name of Khaled Islamabuli Street at Egypt's request and he is the one who approved accepting American aid for the victims of the Bam earthquake.

The question is, will Khamenei also be the one to conduct negotiations to renew ties with the U.S? At the end of the week, Khamenei's ally and fellow conservative, Hassan Rowhani, said in an interview with the French paper, Le Figaro, that ties between Iran and the United States will be renewed one day and the trick will be in choosing the appropriate time. The same Rowhani also said that after the IDF's withdrawal from the Shaba'a Farm there would no longer be any justification for Hezbollah's existence as a military organization. Even Khatami has not voiced such statements.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/385190.html
35 posted on 01/21/2004 11:29:50 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Mujahedin-e Khalq Plan D.C. Fundraiser

January 21, 2004
The Hill
Sam Dealey

House Administration Chairman Robert Ney (R-Ohio) will ask Attorney General John Ashcroft today to investigate a charity event for ties to an Iranian terrorist group backed by Saddam Hussein.

The event, to be held Saturday at the Washington Convention Center, is billed as a “night of solidarity with Iran.” The organizers, led by the Iranian-American Society of Northern Virginia, hope to raise $140,000 to help survivors of the earthquake in Bam on Dec. 26, which killed 30,000 people.

But a number of sponsoring groups have strong ties to the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), and the fundraiser may violate the prohibition on providing material support for global terrorism.

“I intend to ask the attorney general to investigate this,” said Ney. “The MEK is hiding behind earthquake victims; you’ll find those are false groups. They’re not supposed to operate, and I don’t know what they’re going to do with the money. I just think it smells.”

An MEK representative in Washington did not return repeated calls for comment.

Spokesmen for the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI said they were not aware of Saturday’s event and declined to comment on the sponsor groups.

An official with the Iranian-American Community of Northern Virginia declined to provide any details on the participating groups.

“It’s about solidarity with victims of the earthquake in Iran and to support the Iranian Resistance and call for referendum in Iran,” said the official, who would not give his name.

The Iranian Resistance is a pseudonym for the MEK.

The official said all of the money raised would be donated to the American Red Cross, but the Red Cross has backed out of the event.

“The American Red Cross will not be accepting donations from this fundraiser,” said spokeswoman Jacki Flowers. “Given the political undertones of the event, we just could no longer field donations because of the potential to compromise our neutrality.”

The MEK is an Iranian opposition group formerly based in Baghdad but with a continuing strong presence in the United States, primarily for fundraising and efforts to reverse its terrorist designation, first imposed in 1997.

The U.S. intelligence community alleges the MEK was responsible for the deaths of at least six American servicemen and civilians in Iran during the mid-1970s and actively participated in the 1979 U.S. Embassy seizure in Tehran. Having fallen afoul of Khomeini, in 1986 the group took refuge in Baghdad under Saddam Hussein.

In addition to its periodic hit-and-runs inside Iran, intelligence sources say, the MEK took part in Saddam’s grisly suppression of the Kurdish and Shiite minorities.

Saddam’s backing of the MEK was used as one justification for the Iraq war, and coalition forces viewed the MEK as enemy combatants. Last fall, federal law enforcement raided several MEK-related organizations in the Washington area.

Of the 23 organizations listed as sponsors for the event, 17 are known MEK front groups or linked to prominent MEK members and activists. None appears to be registered with the Internal Revenue Service or state agencies as legitimate businesses or charities.

The MEK has often created fictional philanthropic and social organizations to convey legitimacy. In a 1994 dossier on the group, the State Department noted that “many of these member groups are actually shell organizations, established by the [MEK] in order to make [it] appear representative and … popular.

“Likewise,” the report continued, “the [MEK] has formed associated groups with benign names, such as the ‘Association of Iranian Scholars and Professionals’ and the ‘Association of Iranian Women.’”

Among the groups sponsoring the earthquake benefit is the Association of Iranian Women USA. The group is also known as the Association of Iranian Women, and is headed by Behjat Dehghan, whom intelligence sources have identified as a prominent MEK member in the United States.

Other sponsors of the event that have been identified in media reports as MEK front groups include the Iranian Society of South Florida, the Iranian-American Society of Texas, and the National Committee of Women for a Democratic Iran. Ramesh Sepehrrad spearheads the latter group. Intelligence officials say Sepehrrad is a major MEK organizer in Washington.

A number of the sponsor groups are known to have strong MEK sympathies. They include the Iranian-American Cultural Association of Missouri, Colorado’s Iranian-American Community, the Society of Iranian Americans in Dallas and the Association of Iranian-American Scholars in Southern California.

A website for US for Democracy and Human Rights in Iran, yet another program sponsor, is www.defend-maryam-rajavi.org. Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the MEK, was arrested in Paris last year on terrorism charges. The group’s site was registered to Hamid Azimi, once president of the Southern California Society of Iranian Scholars and Professors, another MEK front group.

A prominent member of US for Democracy and Human Rights in Iran is Saeid Sajadi, who is also known to law enforcement as an MEK member. He is also president of the Iranian-American Solidarity Society of Kansas City and the Society of Iranian-American Medical Professionals. Both groups have strong MEK sympathies; neither is registered as a legitimate professional organization.

At least one group that is not affiliated with the MEK – Loyola University of Chicago — says it was fraudulently listed as a sponsor.

“Absolutely not,” said university spokesman Bud Jones. “In no way does Loyola University of Chicago support this group or the event. That would be totally inaccurate.”

The Iranian-American Society of Northern Virginia would not comment on Loyola’s sponsor status.

Other groups that do not have apparent ties to the MEK but are listed as sponsors are the Justice Matters Institute, the Women’s Institute for Freedom of the Press and the Women’s Freedom Forum. Spokespeople for the groups could not be reached immediately for comment.

La Leche League International, another sponsor, withdrew its support upon learning of the possible MEK ties.

Following the earthquake, the Bush administration temporarily lifted sanctions on donations by Americans to Iran, which is listed as a state sponsor of terrorism.

“This sounds to me like the MEK is trying to feed on and exploit that legitimate concern of Iranian Americans for their own political purposes,” said Ken Timmerman, publisher of the Iran Brief newsletter.

http://www.thehill.com/news/012104/terrorists.aspx
36 posted on 01/21/2004 11:31:20 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
UH Head calls for free and fair "elections" in Iran

AP - World News
Jan 21, 2004

BADEN-BADEN - UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Wednesday called for free and fair elections in Iran as reformists and hard-liners struggled for power ahead of voting set for next month.

“We follow very closely the developments in Iran,” Annan said after talks with German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer.

“I hope they will be able to find a way to resolve their differences, so that one can have free and fair elections with participation of all the parties,” he told reporters.

Annan was in Baden-Baden, an elegant southern German spa town, to receive the German Media Prize - awarded annually by a group of editors to an international personality.

Iran’s Guardian Council, an unelected body controlled by clerical hard-liners, triggered the latest crisis when it disqualified more than a third of the 8,200 people who applied as candidates in the Feb. 20 elections. In protest, reformist lawmakers have been holding sit-ins and fasts.

Earlier on Wednesday, Vice President Mohammad Ali Abtahi said some Iranian Cabinet ministers and vice presidents have submitted their resignations to protest the disqualifications.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_4686.shtml

DoctorZin Note: Remember, even if the hardliners permit all the reformist candidates on the ballot Iran will not have a "free and fair" election. The regime will still prohibit candidates that do not support the existing regime to appear on the ballot.
37 posted on 01/21/2004 11:41:23 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
THE CABINET IS SERIOUS ABOUT RESIGNATION

TEHRAN 21 Jan. (IPS)

Hojjatoleslam Mohammad Ali Abtahi said Wednesday that entire government of the beleaguered Mohammad Khatami is ready to resign if the Council of the Guardians did not review its decision to stop reformist candidates to enter the next elections for the Majles.

"Many ministers, vice-presidents and governors have already handed in their resignations, Mr. Abtahi, a vice-president for Parliamentary and Legal Affairs told reporters at the end of a cabinet meeting.

Asked whether Khatami would join them in walking out, he said: "If it is supposed to go, then we shall go all together", implying that the decision would also comprise the President himself.

However, Mr. Khatami, now in Switzerland where he is addressing the World Economic Forum at the posh mountain resort of Davos, has ruled out the government mass resignation, saying he (still) hope that a solution would be find with the Council of the Guardians.

Though Mr. Abtahi did not say which one of the officials have resigned, but according to some reports, at least six ministers have submitted their resignation, in the expectation that in case the next Majles is controlled again by the conservatives, Khatami would be forced to reshuffle his government, introducing new ministers acceptable to new lawmakers.

"All those who have tendered resignation are very serious", Abtahi told journalists, but considering numerous similar threats by reformists in recent years, including Mr. Khatami, few Iranians take the resignation warnings seriously.

Khatami has largely struck a conciliatory stance over the election row, saying he hopes negotiations will yield a satisfactory compromise.

He said a political crisis could still be averted if the Council of the Guardians (CG) followed the advice of the leader Ayatollah Ali Khameneh’i who has urged a thorough revision of the disqualifications.

"The framework set by the leader is very good and can save the country from the crisis", he told reporters after a weekly cabinet meeting, adding that however, until now, we have seen no action from the Guardians".

The 12 members CG, that is controlled by the conservatives, has barred almost half the 8,200 candidates to the next Legislative elections due on 20 February, including 80 incumbent reformist lawmakers, some of them outspoken critics of the ruling conservatives.

According to the CG’s spokesman, the Guardians have so far studied the case of only 200 of the disqualified candidate.

"These methods (of the Guardian Council) can harm the principles of the (Islamic) revolution and democracy and turn the election into a sure thing", Abtahi, a close aide to Khatami, said.

But many Iranian analysts say even if the reformists, both lawmakers and government officials resign, nothing drastic would be changed.

"Not only it is too late for resigning, but it would also be wrong to think that such dramatic action could reconcile the people with the reformists", Mr. Ali Keshtgar, a veteran analyst and Editor of the monthly "Mihan" (Homeland) told Iran Press Service.

In an open letter published Wednesday in the Iran-Emrooz (www.iran-emrooz.de) internet newspaper, the human rights activist Hoseyn Baqerzadeh called on the reformists to "join the people by demanding national referendum for changing the present Constitution.

"The 20 February elections would not be very different from other elections held in Iran. It would be unjust and unfair. The majority of the candidates would have no right to stand and the great majority of Iranians denied the right to elect their candidates freely. Seen from a human rights angle, such elections are condemned in advance and taking part in them is equivalent to confirm violation of human rights principles", he wrote.

"By conciliation and compromises with the ruling power, you (reformists) have lost your political credibility and are no more able to attract the people’s confidence. So, forget the next elections and join the bulk of the people demanding radical changes in the regime’s political structures", Mr. Baqerzadeh added.

ENDS DISQUALIFICATIONS 21104

http://www.iran-press-service.com/articles_2004/Jan_04/iran_disqualifications_21104.htm
38 posted on 01/21/2004 11:42:56 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
It is a sad commentary on the inneptitude of the UN, when you have to add your own rebuttal to Annan's statement, to refocus the sobering reality.
39 posted on 01/21/2004 11:50:43 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (He who has never hoped can never despair.)
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To: DoctorZIn
MULLAHS DREAM OF EXPORTING THE KHOMEINIST REVOLUTION

by Amir Taheri
Gulf News
January 21, 2004

Together they form the largest bloc in the Iran parliament where, with their allies, they command a two-third majority. So, why are 80 members of the 290-member Islamic Consultative Assembly, the Iranian parliament, behaving like an opposition and threating mass resignation?

The reason is that the next general election, to be held on February 20, could end the parliamentary career of many of them, not because of rejection by voters but because they won't even be allowed to stand.

A couple of months ago Richard Armitage, the number-two at the US State Department described the Iran as "a sort of democracy". Well, he was sort of right if by democracy we mean the holding of regular elections without bothering about their quality and purpose.

In a normal democracy, anyone who does not have a criminal record and meets basic qualifications such as citizenship is allowed to stand for elected office. But this is not the "sort of democracy" that Iran has had since the mullahs seized power in 1979.

In Iran, all candidates must be pre-approved by a body known as the Council of the Guardians of the Constitution, a 12-man, mullah-dominated organ appointed by the "Supreme Guide" and answerable to him. These "guardian angels", as they are known not without irony, can decide who is a good Muslim and who is not. Good Muslims are allowed to stand for elections, and bad Muslims are pushed aside. But even that is not the end of the story.

Good and bad

A man regarded as a good Muslim and allowed to stand as a candidate may be re-classified suddenly as a bad Muslim after the election. In that case "the guardian angels" have the power to cancel the election, kick the newly discovered bad Muslim out of parliament, and even send him to jail. The same man could enter one parliament as a good Muslim but be excluded from the next as a bad one.

The story does not end there either. Even a parliament composed entirely of good Muslims cannot legislate as it deems fit. The "guardian angels" have the power to annul any piece of legislation they do not like. The current crisis started when the Guardian Council rejected the applications of 2004 men and women, among them scores of incumbents, who wished to stand in next month's general election.

By doing so, the "guardian angels" have already determined the shape of the next parliament, making sure that it would be dominated by a new majority. And that has outraged the present majority. But what are the key points of difference between the two sides? The short answer is: not much.

For purposes of simplification, the western media refer to the two sides in Iran as "reformists", supposedly led by President Mohammed Khatami, and "conservatives", whose leader is identified as another mullah, Ali Khamenei, the Islamic Republic's "Supreme Guide".

The terms "reformist" and "conservative", however, mean little, if anything, in the current context of Iranian politics. The supposedly "reformist" bloc has controlled the presidency for the past six years and parliament for the past four years. And yet it has implemented absolutely no reforms of any significance.

Nor has it even proposed such reform. For its part the "conservative" faction bases its ideology not on the need to conserve anything but on the necessity of exporting the Khomeinist revolution first to other Muslim countries and then to the entire world. The so-called "conservatives" have a coherent discourse that one may like or dislike.

Put simply, it runs like this: Islam is the only true faith, all other religions have either been abrogated by God or were man-made concoctions from the start. Today, the only country in the world that has a truly Islamic system is Iran.

It is, therefore, Iran's duty to help replace all other regimes in the Muslim world with truly Islamic ones. Once that has happened, a powerful Islamic bloc should be formed, led by the Iranian "Supreme Guide", to convert the whole of mankind to the Khomeinist version of Islam, if necessary, by war.

In the meantime, no deviation from the established rules should be tolerated inside Iran. Women should cover their heads, and men should grow beards. The "polluting" culture of the west should be kept out. Such ideas as pluralism, democracy and human rights, all inventions of the Jews and the Crusaders, must be kept out of the Dar Al Islam (The House of Islam). Elections should still be held, but only as a periodical re-confirmation of the people's devotion to the system.

The discourse of the so-called "reformists" lacks similar clarity. Khatami, for example, has become a master in the art of ambiguity and double-talk. When addressing the Europeans he talks of reason and science and cites Aristotle and Hegel. But when talking in Iran he claims that women should cover their heads because their hair emanates a dangerous ray that drives men wild.

As far as foreign policy is concerned the "conservative" faction is not suicidal. It knows that it cannot take on the "Zionist-Crusader" bloc, led by the US. It admits that it can never develop friendly ties with the "Zionist-Crusader" bloc but is prepared to accept a period of peaceful coexistence in the name of détente.

The so-called "reformist" faction, however, is bedevilled by its contradictions. It knows that women's hair does not emanate deadly rays. But, at the same time, it opposes the repeal of the law imposing the hated headgear.

The so-called "reformist" faction knows that it is possible to be a Muslim without growing a beard. But its members grow substantial beards and continue to spread the lie that those who shave will end up in Hell. What is happening in Iran today is a power struggle between two factions within the same Khomeinist establishment.

The so-called "reformist" faction is not objecting to the principle of vetoing candidacies by the "guardian angels". It is objecting to the fact that its own members are vetoed.

The so-called "reformist" faction is not calling for a constitutional amendment either to abolish the Council of Guardians or to lift its veto over candidacies. What it really wants is to gain control of the council for itself and use it as a means of preventing its rivals from standing for election.

Fail to understand

What is astonishing is that many in the democratic world still fail to understand the reality of the Iranian situation. The European Union, for example, has just appealed to the "guardian angels" not to veto so many candidacies. The EU is only asking for a reduction in the dose of the poison, and not an end to the poisoning of a nation's political life.

Even if the Council of Guardians allow all the so-called "reformists" to stand as candidates, the forthcoming election would still be far from democratic. The reason is that no one who is not a Khomeinist of one sort or another is allowed to stand for election to anything.

As long as the current constitution remains in force the Iran shall remain, at best, only a "sort of democracy", and, at worst, a tyranny that holds fraudulent elections to confuse the EU and people like Richard Armitage.

Amir Taheri is an Iranian author of 10 books on the Middle East and Islam. He's available through www.benadorassociates.com

http://www.benadorassociates.com/article/1364
40 posted on 01/21/2004 1:40:46 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; ...
MULLAHS DREAM OF EXPORTING THE KHOMEINIST REVOLUTION

by Amir Taheri
Gulf News
January 21, 2004


http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1062014/posts?page=40#40

DoctorZin Note: This is an excellent analysis of the current election "crisis" in Iran.
41 posted on 01/21/2004 1:42:45 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; ...
Germany Delays 9/11 Verdict, New Witness Found -- IRAN INVOLVED IN 911????

Reuters ^ | January 21 2004 | Philip Blenkinsop
Posted on 01/21/2004 9:18:50 AM PST by knighthawk

According to this article in Der Spiegel -- Neuer Zeuge verzögert Urteilsspruch [New Witness Delays Court Verdict] --
http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/0,1518,282836,00.html

the Iranian witness is saying that the Iranian government participated in the planning for 9/11.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1062269/posts?page=3#3
42 posted on 01/21/2004 1:48:18 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
" a tyranny that holds fraudulent elections to confuse the EU and people like Richard Armitage. "

Apparently, they're easily confused.
43 posted on 01/21/2004 1:50:36 PM PST by nuconvert ( "It had only one fault. It was kind of lousy.")
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To: nuconvert
It would appear some people want to be confused...
44 posted on 01/21/2004 2:04:13 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
David Frum: His warning to Iran will echo loudest.

David Frum's Diary:

JAN. 21, 2004: SOTU
Headlines

The splashiest item in last night’s speech was the president’s endorsement of the Federal Marriage Amendment – a huge win for social conservatives.

The best bit of speechmaking was the perfect timing of the president’s list of the countries that had joined the US coalition in Iraq.

The cleverest political snare was his detailing of the taxes that would rise if Congress failed to make his tax cuts permanent.

But the words that will echo loudest around the world were the words of the presidents’ stern warning to the government of Iran. All he said was that the United States remains “committed” to keeping the world’s most dangerous weapons out of the hands of the world’s most dangerous regimes. But post-Iraq, those words take on extra resonance. They mean something – and that is Bush’s (and the U.S. military’s) gift to the American nation.

This is an excerpt...

http://www.nationalreview.com/frum/diary012104.asp
45 posted on 01/21/2004 2:23:59 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Khatami Rules Out Political Talks with U.S.

January 21, 2004
The Associated Press
Alexander G. Higgins and Nicolas B. Tatro

DAVOS, Switzerland -- Iranian President Mohammad Khatami called for dialogue Wednesday as a solution to global conflicts but said he felt there was no chance for political talks with the United States because of a lack of respect for Tehran's Islamic government.

"Partnership and security will only come about as a result of dialogue," Khatami said in his keynote speech at the World Economic Forum that drew warm applause.

At a news conference later, however, he made clear that in relation to the United States, dialogue should start with cultural exchanges.

"The dialogue that I spoke of is between cultures and civilizations, between scholars and wise men," Khatami said. "If those are realized, then we can have political dialogue as well."

"The prerequisite for any kind of dialogue is the mutual respect between the two partners to the dialogue. Any time we sense that the other side respects us and isn't forcing anything on us, we are prepared to talk. We have not sensed that from the United States."

Asked if he would speak with Vice President Dick Cheney, who arrives later this week at the conference of government and business leaders, Khatami said he was speaking of a process that would begin with an exchange of scholars and improved cultural ties.

Khatami predicted there would free elections in Iran next month and indicated that his reform movement would contest the balloting despite threats to resign over attempts by hard-liners to disqualify his allies.

"With the will of God, we will have a good election," Khatami said.

The Iranian president, dressed in a black robe with black turban, said in a veiled reference to the United States that military power had limitations in bringing security.

"Military might may perhaps bring transient security," he said. "But the gap between this type of security is the difference between a security based on armed peace and peace based on compassion and friendship toward humanity."

Khatami laughed when he was asked if he was "afraid" of a hard-line U.S. policy that President Bush claims forced Libya and Iran to back off attempts to develop weapons of mass destruction.

Asked about reports that North Korea had supplied Iran with nuclear weapons technology, he said, "I categorically deny that there were nuclear shipments from North Korea to Iran."

Khatami told a small group of reporters after his news conference that Iranian officials had not had any contacts with Israeli officials following a recent appeal for dialogue by Israeli President Moshe Katzav.

He said he felt there was "no chance for peace in the Middle East" as long as Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his followers were in power.

However, Khatami took a question from an Israeli reporter at the news conference and said that Iran had a "moral issue" with Israel over the occupation of Palestinian land.

He said recognition of Israel would depend on the Palestinian people and "whatever they decide."

Threats to peace and prosperity -- especially in the Middle East -- dominated the discussion as the annual Alpine gathering began.

Before meeting Khatami, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw urged the United Nations to return to Iraq to help resolve a dispute over elections.

He defended the U.S.-led coalition's decision to go to war and lobbied for international support in the postwar rebuilding.

"I am in no doubt that if we had sat on our hands and not acted, the world would be today a much more dangerous place," Straw said.

He said he also would press Khatami on the nuclear issue. An October visit to Tehran by Straw and his French and German counterparts helped broker an agreement on U.N. access to Iran's nuclear sites.

Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, who took the stage shortly after Khatami, backed his sentiment for dialogue.

"When you care and share -- which is partnership -- then it strengthens the security, it strengthens the stability of that community," he said.

Earlier, Straw expressed hope that U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who is due here Thursday, will support an American and Iraqi request for U.N. experts to assess whether Iraq could hold elections in time for a transitional government to take over July 1.

"If there were to be a re-engagement of the U.N. and early appointment of highly qualified special representative, that could only assist in this process," Straw said.

U.N. foreign staff pulled out of Iraq in October following two bombings at U.N. headquarters in Baghdad, and security remains a concern.

A prominent Iraqi religious leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani, has demanded direct elections but U.S. and Iraqi officials want to use caucuses, saying early elections are not feasible.

Protesters who accuse the forum of being elitist and imperialist tried to stop participants from traveling up the Alps to Davos by blocking access to a main highway at Zurich airport for about half an hour, police said. More demonstrations were planned Saturday, when Cheney is to speak.

Police evacuated part of a hotel in Davos early Wednesday after security services sweeping a room where a forum event was to be held found a firework. The session was held after an hour's delay.

http://iranvajahan.net/cgi-bin/news.pl?l=en&y=2004&m=01&d=21&a=12
46 posted on 01/21/2004 2:33:12 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
New twist in German September 11 case
A German court has postponed its verdict in the trial of a Moroccan student suspected of involvement in the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States to hear a new witness, in a further dramatic twist to the case.

The court in the northern city of Hamburg said on Wednesday it would allow federal prosecutors to present a witness to testify against Abdelghani Mzoudi, who is charged with more than 3,000 counts of accessory to murder for the attacks on New York and Washington.

No new date was given for a verdict.

Defence attorney Guel Pinar said that the witness was an unidentified Iranian intelligence agent claiming to have informed US authorities before September 2001 of an impending attack.

She said the agent had also told German investigators that Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda network, blamed for the coordinated assault with hijacked planes, had threatened Mzoudi's life because it believed he had cooperated with German authorities when questioned.

The court said that the prosecution had applied on Monday to delay the proceedings for 30 days so it could assess the credibility of the witness.

Although the five-judge panel granted the request for a postponement, it had not yet decided on the length of the interruption.

The judges will now on Thursday hear two police officers and a federal prosecutor who have questioned the new witness.

Mzoudi, 31, has been on trial since August and has denied the charges against him.

The prosecution has demanded 15 years in prison for the defendant, who they say provided logistical help to the so-called Hamburg cell that produced three of the suicide hijackers including alleged ringleader Mohammed Atta.

Mzoudi is accused of helping cover the tracks of the cell's members and is believed to have undergone paramilitary training at an Al Qaeda camp in Afghanistan.

In the case's first surprise development, Mzoudi was released by the court in December pending a verdict when a report by Germany's federal crime office gave fresh evidence from a witness in US custody claiming to exonerate him.

Presiding judge Klaus Ruehle had identified an alleged top Al Qaeda operative, Ramzi Binalshibh, as the likely source of new testimony.

But US authorities have nevertheless repeatedly rebuffed German attempts to have Binalshibh appear before the Hamburg court or allow his full testimony to be examined.

The case has threatened to drive a new wedge between Germany and the United States, whose ties were already strained over Berlin's opposition to the Iraq war and reluctance to play a major role in stabilising the country.

The ruling to free Mzoudi was already sharply criticised by US Attorney-General John Ashcroft who has said he was "disappointed" by the twist in the trial and noted that US authorities handled such cases of national security differently.

Hamburg state justice minister Roger Kusch angrily dismissed Mr Ashcroft's comments last week as "uncalled for and presumptuous" and said the judges did not deserve to be criticized because their ruling was "politically undesirable" and "did not fit somebody's ideas."

-- AFP
http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/s1029436.htm
47 posted on 01/21/2004 5:17:05 PM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (He who has never hoped can never despair.)
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To: DoctorZIn
US Renews Call for Free and Fair Election in Iran

January 21, 2004
AFP
Yahoo News

WASHINGTON -- The United States renewed its call for next month's parliamentary elections in Iran to be free and fair as the political crisis over the vote between religious conservatives and reformists continued.

"We think it's important that Iran's leadership permit free and fair elections through an electoral process that meets international standards and that government needs to be responsive to the needs of the people," State Department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli said.

"This is an evolving situation and there are a lot of developments every day," he told reporters. "We are watching these events carefully."

His comments came in response to questions about reports from Tehran that several ministers and vice presidents in President Mohammad Khatami (news - web sites)'s reformist government had tendered their resignations to protest the mass disqualification of candidates from the February 20 polls.

Khatami, speaking in Switzerland, has expressed hope the crisis was moving towards settlement and said he did not plan to resign in the showdown.

Iran was plunged into the crisis earlier this month when the conservative Guardians Council, the body that screens all legislation and candidates, disqualified 3,605 of the 8,157 people seeking to stand for the legislature.

Most were reformists and among those blacklisted were prominent figures in Khatami's reform movement and some 83 incumbent MPs.

After Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khameni ordered the council, all of whose members he directly or indirectly appoints, to be less stringent in its vetting procedure, it reinstated 300 candidates although none were sitting MPs.

Reformists have protested the partial reinstatements as not enough and submitted their resignations, threatening to quit unless the council backs down on what they see as a bid to purge the regime of moderates.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20040121/pl_afp/us_iran_vote_040121213912

DoctorZin Note: I hope the State Department means what it says when it calls for "free and fair" elections. Because even if this "crisis" ends soon with the hardliners backing down, there will not be "free and fair" elections in Iran until they stop their practice of vetting the candidates. Currently, only candidates that clearly support the Islamic Regime can even run for office.
48 posted on 01/21/2004 6:11:23 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranian vice-presidents, cabinet ministers resign

Associated Press
1.21.2004

Tehran — Some Iranian cabinet ministers and vice-presidents have resigned to protest the disqualifications of thousands of prospective election candidates, Vice-President Mohammed Ali Abtahi said Wednesday.

Mr. Abtahi did not say how many officials resigned nor did he identify them.

"A number of cabinet ministers and a number of vice-presidents have resigned. Naturally, they are waiting to see how things go," Mr. Abtahi said after a cabinet meeting at the Presidential Palace.

"The Cabinet ministers are very serious in their resignation."

When asked if he had also resigned, Mr. Abtahi smiled but did not respond.

The crisis was triggered when supervisory bodies affiliated with Iran's Guardian Council, an unelected body controlled by hard-liners, disqualified more than a third of the 8,200 people who applied as candidates in the Feb. 20 elections.

State media controlled by hard-liners say those disqualified failed to meet the legal criteria for candidacy, but reformists maintain the move was intended to skew the elections in favor of conservatives.

The announcement of the resignations came a day after the Guardian Council said it was reinstating 200 candidates and would reconsider the cases of thousands more. That came after fierce opposition from reformists to the ban.

Iranian President Mohammed Khatami, who is attending an international conference in Davos, Switzerland, must approve the resignations for them to take effect.

Mr. Khatami, a leading reformer, has warned that he also might resign if the disqualifications are not reversed.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20040121.wiran0121/BNStory/International/
49 posted on 01/21/2004 6:26:28 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranian President Mohammed Khatami, who is attending an international conference in Davos, Switzerland, must approve the resignations for them to take effect.

Unbelieveable. Can he force them to retain their position?

50 posted on 01/21/2004 6:55:47 PM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (He who has never hoped can never despair.)
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