Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Iranian Alert -- January 28, 2004 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD --Americans for Regime Change in Iran
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 1.28.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 01/28/2004 12:01:29 AM PST by DoctorZIn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iaea; iran; iranianalert; iranquake; protests; southasia; studentmovement; studentprotest
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 01/28/2004 12:01:29 AM PST by DoctorZIn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

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 01/28/2004 12:05:23 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Casualty number of Kerman province clashes increases

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Jan 27, 2004

The casualty number of last Saturday and Sunday's clashes, of Babak City and Khatoon-Abad of Kerman province, has raised to over 19 deaths and more than 300 injured among the protesters. Several other injured have been reported as being in critical conditions and might succumb from their injuries while tens of other protesters have been arrested and transferred to the Pasdaran Corp. HQ in Kerman city.

The demonstrators were attacked, on Sunday, from air by the special heliported forces of the Militia, sent from Medras base, and on the ground by Commando forces. These forces are composed by hardcore Iranian militiamen and foreign Islamist elements known for their extreme brutality.

Tens of protesters and even regular residents were killed by blind bullets shot from the regime's choppers, just as like as, during the bloody repression of the Akbar-Abad and Eslamshahr demonstrations back in 1996.

The savage heliported repression started following a popular riot, on Saturday, which sparkled in reaction to the brutal attack of peaceful demonstrators by the local militiamen. This attack had resulted, already, in the deaths of at least three demonstrators including a young woman having rushed to protect her husband. Bullets, Clubs, Chains and Tear gas were the only answers of the Islamic regime to residents who had gather to protest against the raising unemployment and the degrading economic conditions of the residents.

The situation in the region is very tense and most neighboring cities, villages and the famous Sar-Chechmeh facilities have been placed under intense military watch.
3 posted on 01/28/2004 12:06:46 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
The demonstrators were attacked, on Sunday, from air by the special heliported forces of the Militia,

And nothing in our papers !!

4 posted on 01/28/2004 12:12:56 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States - and war is what they got!!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Media are almost silent.
5 posted on 01/28/2004 12:20:12 AM PST by F14 Pilot ("Terrorists declared war on U.S. and War is what they Got!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Terrorism and The Iranian Model:
Who is Responsible?

By Ali Sina

In the last four decades, the interest in Islam has picked. During the sixties and seventies the Iranians, who were Muslims by name and never paid much attention to religion, flocked the Mosques and in other Islamic countries thousands of Madressahs were built brainwashing Muslim youth. All that fueled the rise of Islamic fundamentalism which led to Islamic terrorism. The question is how this all happened? Why suddenly Islam became a threat to human civilization and why it was chosen as the vehicle of the terror for political gains?

To answer this, we have to know the history. History is a chain of events. One link leads to another and all links are interrelated.

Forty years ago J.K. Kennedy, fearing the spread of communism ordered Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the dictator of Iran, to make land reforms. Shah took good agricultural lands from their owners and gave them to the peasants. In this way Kennedy thought they would "vaccinate" Iran against the threat of communism. Iran was an agrarian country. The landowners had the villagers working for them. They also had means to transport their products and market them. When the land was taken away from them and given to the peasants, the peasants were left with a piece of land with which they did not know what to do. They sure knew how to till the land but did not have the means to market their products let alone modernize and expand their operations. To produce lucratively, they needed machinery. Simple farmers did not have enough money to buy such machinery. They had no means of transportation and did not know how to market, process or export the fruit of their labor. Soon the new owners were left with a worthless title that was useless to them. Before they had work and pay, but now they were left on their own with no work to do and no wages to earn. They could no more feed their families. They became discouraged and were forced to leave behind their families to go to big cities in the search of work. During the day they engaged in menial works and in the evenings they met in the mosques to socialize. There, the Mullahs indoctrinated them and instilled in them the hatred of the Shah, who they blamed for their plight.

Coming from small cut-off villages, accustomed to living pastoral lives, they felt alienated in modern and westernized cities. While Shah was heedlessly celebrating his "victories" and consolidating his monarchy with pompous feasts, ordering Cyrus the Great to "sleep because we are awake", the poor Iranian peasants, now stranded in inhospitable cities felt betrayed and cheated.

These people became part of the huge mass of the discontent Iranians who marched in the streets when Khomeini asked them to and shouted death to Shah and death to America. The Iranian intellectuals went along with that because they too remembered how CIA staged a coup against their nascent democracy a quarter of century earlier and overthrow the legitimate government of Dr. Mossadegh, replacing it with a puppet king who turned to be a despot and incompetent.

The revolution succeeded. It in turn became an inspiration to other Islamists in other countries. Suddenly Islam was seen as a powerful tool to combat dictatorial regimes. Even the West promoted this idea and reinforced the Muslim Jihadis in order to contain the spread of communism. The hatred of the West and particularly America was instrumental in inciting people in Iran and hence it is now the focal point of the Islamists everywhere. To unite people you need an enemy. Muslims overthrew a 2500 year old monarchy and grabbed a relatively stable country such as Iran in a revolution. Terrorism led to revolution and revolution led to power. It worked once and hence it should work again.

In America there are huge landowners. But Kennedy did not think land reform is necessary for America, however he thought it was necessary for Iran. The intention may have been good. Unfortunately, as we see time and again, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

To add insult to injury, at the time that the Islamic Revolution was taking shape the USA had an incompetent man as the president. Carter was a peanut grower and a religious nutcase. He had no idea of politics and world stability. At a time when America should have propped the regime of the Shah, they abandoned him. Carter did not think Shah is worth saving because of his bad human rights records. This man did not have brains to see the consequence of his inaction.

the U.K. and France had long time grievances against the Shah, who had become too willful and did not obey them as he used to when he was younger. Shah was a weak man but lately he felt omnipotent. He eliminated his critics leaving a bunch of sycophants to adulate him. You praise any man and he loses his head. Shah was no more servile to UK and France and they in return vented the fire of the revolution. BBC bombarded the airwaves of Iran with anti Shah propaganda and magnified the problems of that country. BBC became the official radio of the Islamists reporting their every move and airing any statement they made, inciting the people and preparing them for the uprising.

Only now the Iranians realize they were played by the BBC. Today the BBC is deafeningly silent in reporting the atrocities of the Mullahs even though this regime is a thousand times worse than that of the Shah. Today there is no mention of the uprisings of the Iranians in the BBC. By overthrowing the Shah and supporting the Islamic Republic the United Kingdom and France won good business deals but the world lost its stability.

Shah suddenly felt he is abandoned. He was shocked to see this much hatred against him, much of which was unjustified and created by the BBC misinformation campaign. He waited for instruction from Washington. The instructions did not come and he did not have the guts to subdue the revolution by force. Being a narcissist, shah was very arrogant and even ruthless when he felt strong but fearful and coward when he felt weak. So Iran fell.

The fall of Iran was a success for Islamists across the globe. They learned that terrorism pays off. The revolution of Iran started with setting fire to the Rex Theater in Abadan, killing over 400 innocent people and blaming the Shah for their own dastardly crime. The perpetrators won and Ali Khamanei who was one of the masterminds of this heinous crime eventually became the supreme leader.

The Iranian model was a total success for the Islamists. That is why they are doing what they are doing now. They want to replicate what they did in Iran. The Islamists will continue with their terrorism until they destabilize the countries and bring about revolutions. By doing so they intend to create a power vacuum, which would be filled by them as soon as the present power is removed. This is the tested and proven Iranian model that they are following.

Today we are in a war against terrorism. Many innocent people have already died and many more are to die. Cities in the West will be nuked. Millions would perish. This is not a matter of IF, but WHEN. It is easy to blame it all on Islam. But let us not forget the incompetence and malicious machinations of some non-Muslims that made Islam a universal threat including to themselves. They let the genii out. Now it proves to be much more difficult to bottle it back.

Today we have no other option but to fight against the Islamic terrorism. The terrorists must be defeated at all cost. This is a matter of life and death for all of us. They must be annihilated and destroyed. Unless they are not destroyed completely, the Iranian model will be followed and terrorism will not end.

The Iranian Mullahcracy must be overthrown. The madressas must be closed. The Islamic terrorist groups, including Hamas must be squashed. The rise of Islamic terrorism is the fault of many. Those who are the victims of this menace are also responsible for it. The PeeCeeists are fueling Islamic fundamentalism and validating their terrorists activities. When Jenny Tonge, a United Kingdom MP condones suicide bombing, it tells us that some of our politicians have lost every notion of right and wrong. Our only chance is to acknowledge our own mistakes and change our ways. Regrettably, the BBC does not seem to have learned from its mistakes and is battling more against America than the Islamists who are the real enemies of Mankind. France does not get it either, and now, with the rise of religious strife in French soil, it is reaping what it has wrought. France will pay heavily for its blind support of Islamism. With 10 percent Muslim population, the woes of France have just begun.

If we want to win the war against Islamic terrorism, all of us must join hands and combat Islam on all fronts. But the most important front is the ideological front. The Islamic terrorism is the outcome of Islamic theology. The terrorists, the suicide bombers, are born and raised within the bosom of Islam. It is the belief in Islam and the hate speeches of the Quran that makes them despise the rest of mankind and pushes them to such extremes. We can't fight Islamic terrorism if we do not address its cause.

DoctorZin Note: This was published on a Secular Humanist Website Against Islam.
6 posted on 01/28/2004 12:45:49 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Watching Iran's Coup

Wednesday, January 28, 2004; Page A20
Washington Post Editorial

EUROPEAN GOVERNMENTS lately have been congratulating themselves for what they see as a turn toward moderation by the Iranian government, which has agreed to more stringent international inspections of its nuclear program. There is talk of a renewed political dialogue between Washington and Tehran, too: After an earthquake devastated the city of Bam late last month the administration considered dispatching a relief delegation headed by Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.). Such steps are hardly unprecedented -- Iran and Western governments have been flirting with rapprochement sporadically for years. What's remarkable is that the latest effort is developing at a moment when Iran's conservative clergy is engaged in an aggressive campaign to destroy, once and for all, the country's democratic reform movement. Before proceeding, the United States and Europe ought to draw the right conclusions from that political struggle.

The crisis began earlier this month when a clerical body, the Guardian Council, banned nearly 4,000 candidates for next month's elections, including more than 80 incumbent members of parliament. The council's aim was to prevent a repeat of the 2000 elections, in which democratic reformers won a parliamentary majority. By rigging this election, the mullahs would prepare the way for replacing Iran's reformist president, Mohammad Khatami, with a conservative next year. Khatami and his parliamentary allies already have failed to push through reforms of the Iranian political system; most of their legislation has been vetoed by the Guardian Council. The electoral manipulation could demolish what is left of the movement, leaving Iran's government entirely in the hands of hard-liners.

Although they cultivated Mr. Khatami for years, European governments appear ready to accept this development. Hassan Rowhani, the hard-liner who has begun speaking for Iran on subjects such as nuclear inspections, was received in Paris last week by French President Jacques Chirac, even while the reformist parliamentarians were engaged in a sit-in to protest their banishment. The Bush administration, too, may be tempted to overlook the eclipse of Mr. Khatami. The White House has tended to discount his party in favor of the more radical youth movement that, it is hoped, might eventually bring revolutionary regime change to Iran. Some officials argue that Iran's hard-liners are at least as interested as Mr. Khatami in striking a deal with the West -- and more able to deliver on their promises.

It would be a mistake, however, to ignore a conservative coup. Iran's mullahs, authors of its continuing sponsorship of terrorism, should not be the beneficiaries of Western political approval, much less favors in trade and technology. It's not only that their pledges of a nuclear freeze would lack credibility. The larger problem is that Iran's ruling clergy is now so deeply unpopular among its own people that its ability to monopolize power for long is doubtful. Perhaps in recognition of this weakness, the clergy have recently reversed the ban on some parliamentary candidates and hinted at further compromise. Whatever the outcome of the crisis, however, the West's interest lies in standing with Iran's pro-democracy majority -- even if that means an end to the latest diplomatic thaw.
7 posted on 01/28/2004 12:58:43 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Iran rejects al Qaeda links heard in German court

TEHRAN, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Iran rejected on Tuesday testimony from a witness in a German court who said Iran had contacts with Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network before the September 11 attacks against the United States.

The Hamburg court heard testimony in which the witness, identified only by his cover name Hamid Reza Zakeri, said on Thursday that he had worked for part of Iran's secret service "responsible for carrying out terrorist attacks globally".

When asked about Zakeri's assertions, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said the witness was not credible.

"This is untrue. He has made up this information...he has made it up for fraudulent purposes. He wants to make money and his views are of no value," he told a joint news conference with Italy's Foreign Minister Franco Frattini.

Zakeri's testimony, delivered to the court by the presiding judge and two police officers, also said a delegation including one of bin Laden's sons had been in Iran in 2001.

Zakeri, summoned to appear in court himself this Thursday, said he had tried to warn the United States about the September 11 attacks in mid-2001 but was not believed by the CIA.

The court is trying Moroccan Abdelghani Mzoudi on charges of aiding the September 11 attackers.
8 posted on 01/28/2004 12:59:42 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Press reflects Iran election turmoil


Uncertainty over the future of next month's parliamentary elections in Iran continues to worry the country's press.

One daily believes the turmoil will deter the electorate from voting, and another urges the powerful Guardians Council to state openly what it is seeking to achieve by banning a large number of candidates from standing.

The reformist daily Sharq warns that unless swift action is taken, MPs will resign en masse.

"This option seems the more likely unless leaders take immediate and effective steps to end the crisis."

Why vote?

The conservative daily Khorasan points its finger at all sides in the stand-off, blaming them for what it sees as "the people's sense of despondency and disenchantment".

"The people are asking themselves a serious question: Why should we vote?"

In a criticism aimed at the reformists, it accuses them of behaving "like drowning people clutching at straws".

If the people really feel free and confident, voter turnout could be impressive

Iran Daily commentator
"The people have a right to ask: why now? Why, when the knife is held to your neck, have you started to protest?"

A centre-right daily, Entekhab, insists that Guardian Council "should be transparent and should provide an explanation for its reasoning".

Entekhab also takes to task the state-run radio and television channels which it calls "supporters of the Guardian Council".

It says they "imagine that they are supporting the institution, but instead they are destroying its image".

A hardline daily which supports the country's spiritual leader, Ali Khamenei, reports there was a "commotion" after students at a sit-in over the election stand-off objected to the unrepresentative nature of the statement put out on their behalf.

They "started to voice their criticisms and said that those statements were written by one person in the name of all the students", Kayhan reports.

Optimistic voice

A commentator in the English-language Iran Daily writes that the public is being put off voting by a combination of disappointment with the status quo, a lack of trust in politicians and decline in the popular belief of the legitimacy of civil society.

However, noting the fact that "a large number of relatively young aspirants have nominated themselves for the legislature", his is one of the few relatively optimistic voices.

"If the people really feel free and confident that they can vote for their candidates of choice, voter turnout could be impressive on 20 February," he believes, "provided the ongoing controversy over the performance of the electoral supervisory boards is resolved without further delay."

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.
9 posted on 01/28/2004 1:02:26 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Iran lifts poll ban on 700


TEHRAN: Seven hundred candidates who were among thousands barred from contesting next month's parliamentary polls, have had their candidacies reinstated, Iran's state news agency IRNA said yesterday.

The report quoted a source in the Guardians Council, a political watchdog that sparked a major political crisis when it blacklisted 3,605 out of the 8,157 people who registered to contest the February 20 elections.

Most of those reinstated on appeal were for voting in greater Tehran.

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered the Guardians Council, an unelected body which screens all laws and candidates, to be less stringent in its vetting.

The Council is still examining appeals, and is due to release its final list of approved candidates on Friday.

The mass barring of candidates, most of them reformists, prompted allegations that hardliners were seeking to rig the elections.

Meanwhile, President Mohammad Khatami has refused to accept the resignation of top government officials, while reformists spoke of a compromise in the efforts to resolve the country's worst political crisis in years.

Khatami said the ministers and vice-presidents, who had submitted their resignations to protest a hard-line council's mass disqualification of election candidates, had a duty to perform. He called on them to "proceed with their services to the people", the agency said.
10 posted on 01/28/2004 1:03:40 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Just as I predicted...

The world media has had several weeks to follow this so called "crisis" and wake up to the reality that Iran is not a democracy.

Now the only question is whether or not the world media will have the courage to expose this fraudulent government OR call this a reformist triumph and a victory for democracy.
11 posted on 01/28/2004 1:21:51 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Revolt or revolution?

By Bruce Fein

Either a revolt or a revolution is under way in Iran against the oppressive rule of Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Council of Guardians dominated by extremist mullahs.

Political predictions are notoriously problematic. Thus, the European upheavals of 1848 marked a turn in history that didn't turn. The Tiananmen Square Massacre of 1989 was commonly misjudged as the beginning of the end of the Chinese Communist Party. Upon learning at Versailles of the storming of the Bastille in 1789, King Louis XVI inquired: "Is it a revolt? The Duc de La Rochefoucauld-Liancourt retorted: "No, Sire, it is a revolution."

During the last century, Iran surprised the world twice. Its 1906 constitutional revolution inaugurated unprecedented individual liberties and representative institutions. In contrast, the 1979 Islamic Revolution featuring spiritual leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini plunged Iran into a theocratic despotism alien to its culture. Indeed, it marked the flip-side of the budding Iranian democracy under Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh that the United States shipwrecked with a 1953 royalist coup d'etat in favor of Mohammed Reza Shah, the second and last in the Pahlavi line.

An indigenous Iranian democratic revolution seems vastly more promising than in neighboring Arab states. According to experts, the Council of Guardians and Leader Khamenei enjoy but 10 percent to 15 percent popular support. In contrast, the Iranian people voted overwhelmingly for a more liberal president, Mohammed Khatami, and a 290-member Majlis during the last two elections.

Under Iran's constitution, however, the Leader and Guardian Council stand at the apex of power. Article 94, for instance, stipulates that, "All legislation passed by the [Majlis] must be sent to the Guardian Council... with a view to ensuring its compatibility with the criteria of Islam and the Constitution." And Articles 110 and 113 make the leader superior to the president on every significant executive matter.

Ayatollah Khamenei and the Council have worked hand in glove to block political, free speech and judicial reforms enacted by the Majlis. The ruling mullahs are seeking to placate widespread resentment of their brutal grip on power by blinking at commonplace defiance of strict Islamic behavioral codes. Iranian youths routinely wear Western dress, listen to pop music, and flirt or otherwise show signs of affection in public without punishment by the religious police.

But as King Louis XVI's letters de cachet provoked the storming of the Bastille, the Guardian Council may have ignited a democratic revolution in disqualifying more than one-third of candidates for the impending Feb. 20 Majlis elections because of their liberal stripes. Emboldened by the political floundering of the United States in neighboring Iraq, the 12-member council hopes to push its dominance into the Iranian parliament by excluding rivals to their hand-picked slate.

They had reason for optimism their latest despotic gambit would succeed. A popular student uprising was suppressed in 1999 without awakening public protest. And the sound track of President Khatami during his two terms has been to speak for democratic reforms but to carry a twig, not a big stick a la U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt.

The council's disqualifications, however, may prove to have been the last straw for the seething and sullen Iranian people. Eighty disqualified parliamentary incumbents protested with a sitdown strike. The Guardian Council and Leader Khamenei flinched in lifting the ban for 200 candidates. Fear of the twin oppressors receded. The strike continued in support of the remaining disqualified candidates. The chief election official pledged to scuttle balloting unless the disqualifications were renounced. Six vice presidents and 24 ministers resigned to signal opposition to the Guardian Council.

Even the timid President Khatami, joined by Speaker of the Majlis Mahdi Karroubi, issued a flinty statement last Saturday that portends a defining confrontation. It maintained the disqualifications were against "Islamic democracy," and that the ongoing attempted orchestration of the elections is "against the dignity of the noble Iranian nation." The two insisted on "fair, free and competitive elections and hope•... the Guardian Council reconsiders disqualification as soon as possible." And on Sunday, the Majlis enacted an emergency bill to marginalize the council's vetting power, which it instantly vetoed.

The council's slender support does not guarantee its overthrow by a democratic revolution. Brutality and ruthlessness regularly defeat widespread peaceful opposition. The Bolshevik Revolution succeeded for 75 years in the Soviet Union by practicing and inculcating terror and fear. The reviled and reptilian military thugs in Myanmar hold an iron-grip on power despite virtual universal support for Nobel Peace Prize icon and National League for Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Saddam Hussein's widespread execration was no match for his indiscriminate wretchedness, torture, and general barbarism.

On the other hand, Iran has twice tasted the freshness of a democratic dispensation. Its political culture is mature, resembling that of Turkey's. A majority of Iran's citizens are young and unthrilled by the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and these include the Ayatollah Khomeini's grandson. An Iranian woman lawyer, Shirin Ebadi, recently captured the Nobel Peace Prize for opposing the mullahs. And the exhilarating fervor that greeted the overthrow of the shah of Iran and the taking of American hostages for 444 days has long since dissipated amidst corruption, economic hardships, and petty mullah ambitions.

The odds thus seem favorable to an Iranian democratic revolution in 2004. The United States should scrupulously resist intermeddling to avoid tainting indigenous democrats by association with the much hated shah.
12 posted on 01/28/2004 4:24:09 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (He who has never hoped can never despair.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; F14 Pilot; DoctorZIn
"19 deaths and more than 300 injured"

Civilians attacked by air.....This story needs to be sent to media.
13 posted on 01/28/2004 4:38:02 AM PST by nuconvert ( It's a naive domestic Burgundy without any breeding, ..I think you'll be amused by its presumption)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn; McGavin999; freedom44; nuconvert; Eala; AdmSmith; dixiechick2000; onyx; Pro-Bush; ...
Iran's main student group calls for polls boycott

Middle East Online

Office to Consolidate Unity urges reformist MPs to keep up their sit-in at parliament, demand polls be postponed.

TEHRAN - Iran's main pro-democracy student group Wednesday called for a nationwide boycott of next month's parliamentary elections following the mass disqualification of reformist candidates, the official news agency IRNA reported.

"Noting the fact that people's votes have no effect... and that there is no possibility for fair and free elections, there is no justification for people to participate in these elections," the Office to Consolidate Unity (OCU) said in a statement carried by IRNA.

The group, which had so far largely stayed out of the two-week-old crisis, called on reformist deputies to keep up their sit-in at the parliament building and to demand the February 20 polls be postponed.

"Just as they have stood up honestly until now and have sworn to defend the rights of people, they should also resist holding these elections," the OCU said.

"The biggest mistake and failure of the reformists will be to give in and accept to have these elections."

The OCU said deputies should instead press for a referendum on the Islamic republic's political future.

"The students ask for a referendum, which would provide a wise alternative to this political dead-end. The deputies should approve a proposal for a referendum," the statement said.
14 posted on 01/28/2004 5:00:47 AM PST by F14 Pilot ("Terrorists declared war on U.S. and War is what they Got!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
15 posted on 01/28/2004 5:01:24 AM PST by windchime (Podesta about Bush: "He's got four years to try to undo all the stuff we've done." (TIME-1/22/01))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert; AdmSmith; freedom44; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; faludeh_shirazi; ...
Stone cutting factories 'on strike' in Isfahan, Iran

Wednesday, January 28, 2004
IranMania News

Tehran, January 28 (IranMania) – The factories of stone cutting factories in Isfahan, Iran suspended their activities on Tuesday.

Incoming reports from the Central Iranian city indicate that a group of industrialists have organized the move in protest to certain economic policies of the government.

According to the report, high transportation cost is one of the reasons behind the syndicate’s protest. Over the past year, the cost of transportation for stone made goods has increased three fold.

Soaring industrial electricity charges are another factor which led to the dissatisfaction. On average each stone-cutting factory is charged around 1.2 million tomans ($1400) per month for industrial electricity and if the owner does not pay the bill within 20-30 days, the factory’s electricity is cut.

Another reason for the Isfahani industrialists’ strike is the Iranian Ministry’s Labor and Social Welfare’s decision on banning Afghan nationals from working in the industrial workshops.

Isfahan is the main center of the stone industry in Iran and undoubtedly the continuation of such a trend will inflict a heavy blow on the country’s stone market.
16 posted on 01/28/2004 5:04:15 AM PST by F14 Pilot ("Terrorists declared war on U.S. and War is what they Got!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: F14 Pilot
On average each stone-cutting factory is charged around 1.2 million tomans ($1400) per month for industrial electricity and if the owner does not pay the bill within 20-30 days, the factory's electricity is cut.

And what is the cost per kWh and other electricity costs?

Iran to provide electricity to Iraq; damages to Iraqi electricity network due to US past actions are $8 billion Iraq-Iran, Economics, 1/22/2004

Iraq and Iran on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate in the field of electricity, according to which Tehran gives support to Baghdad to rehabilitate its network and provide it with electrical power.

The Iraqi minister of electricity, Ayhem al-Samerai, said following his return back from Iran, following a three day visit, that according to the memorandum of understanding "Iran will give support and help to Iraq in the field of electricity and provides it with an amount of 100 to 130 Megawatt at a maximum. This is in the course of the Ministry's efforts to ensure electricity supplies from the countries neighboring Iraq."

He said that this amount is not enough to fill the deficiency in electrical power because Iraq is still in need of additional 15,000 megawatts. Al-Samerai continued that his ministry "could not sign the private contracts by adding new 1800 megawatt to the national Iraqi electricity organization because sums estimated at 600 million dollars have not been allotted.

During his visit to Jordan, al-Samerai announced that the cost of rehabilitating the electricity public sector for next year is estimated at 8 billion dollars.

here is some other info:

Turkmenistan To Supply Electricity To Iran 4 September 2003

Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov and Iranian Energy Minister Habibollah Bitaraf on 4 September signed a contract for the supply of Turkmen electricity to Iran and an intergovernmental memorandum on long-term cooperation of the two countries in the area of electricity, ITAR-TASS reported.

"Turkmenistan generously shares its wealth -- gas and electricity -- with its neighbors," Niyazov said at the signing ceremony. He recalled that Turkmen power engineers are successfully implementing the long-term agreement on the construction of a number of electricity-transmission lines to Afghanistan.

"The newly signed contract with Turkmenistan envisages the implementation by both sides of certain volume of work to link their energy systems in three points on the border -- Meshed, Serahs, and Gonbad," Bitaraf said. "When electricity-transmission lines on the border go into operation, the capacity of Turkmen energy supplies will reach 700 megawatts."

According to Turkmen Energy Ministry, 1 kilowatt-hour of electricity will cost $0.02 under the contract with Iran. Turkmenistan will supply $48 million in electricity to Iran annually. Iran will pay for half of the energy in hard currency and half in electrical-engineering equipment. (ITAR-TASS)

comment: 0.02 USD/kWh is rather expensive! but provide opportunities for bribes.
17 posted on 01/28/2004 5:23:32 AM PST by AdmSmith
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Two Arms Scientists Aided Iran, Libya

January 28, 2004
The Washington Post
Kamran Khan

KARACHI, Pakistan -- Pakistani investigators have concluded that two senior nuclear scientists used a network of middlemen operating a black market to supply nuclear weapons technology to Iran and Libya, according to three senior Pakistani intelligence officials.

Abdul Qadeer Khan, considered the father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb, and Mohammed Farooq provided the help--including blueprints for equipment used to enrich uranium--both directly and through a black market based in the Persian Gulf emirate of Dubai, the officials said.

The middlemen, from South Africa, Germany, the Netherlands, Sri Lanka and elsewhere, allegedly also offered the Pakistani scientists' services to Syria and Iraq. But the deals apparently never materialized, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

In return for the scientists' assistance in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Iran channeled millions of dollars to foreign bank accounts allegedly controlled by the two men, one of whom, Khan, amassed large real estate holdings in Pakistan and Dubai, the officials said. Khan and Farooq were longtime colleagues at the country's premier nuclear weapons laboratory, A.Q. Khan Research Laboratories, which is named for Khan.

The officials said the findings arose from an investigation being conducted by the Pakistani military's Inter-Services Intelligence agency. The probe, which officials say is nearing completion, was begun after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) presented Pakistani officials late last year with evidence that Pakistani technology appeared to have played a role in the clandestine nuclear weapons programs of both Iran and Libya.

As a result of the probe, Khan has been confined to his house in an elite neighborhood in Islamabad, one of the officials said, and Farooq has been in detention since late November. Telephone calls to Khan's home seeking comment went unanswered on Tuesday.

In addition to concerns raised by the IAEA, U.S. intelligence officials have said they believe North Korea obtained uranium-enrichment technology and equipment from Pakistan in exchange for missiles. Pakistan is one of a handful of countries that remain outside the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and technically is not bound by many of the international restrictions on the export of nuclear technology.

Pakistan first tested a nuclear device on its own soil in 1998, the culmination of decades of research by Khan and other scientists as part of a program largely overseen by the Pakistani military. A variety of high-ranking military officials ``looked the other way as insiders volunteered information about all sorts of problems in the highest echelon of the KRL bureaucracy,'' said one of the three officials, referring to Khan Research Laboratories.

Gen. Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's president, acknowledged last week that some of Pakistan's nuclear scientists appeared to have sold their expertise abroad. Musharraf and other officials have said the scientists acted without authorization and have vowed to take action against those involved. That, however, could provoke a political backlash in Pakistan, where many people regard Khan and his colleagues as national heroes.

``To show its commitment and international responsibility to nuclear nonproliferation, Pakistan has assured the IAEA of strong legal action against the culprits,'' said one of the three officials.

Although government officials assert that the nuclear program is now under tight control, they acknowledge that it has suffered from lax security in the past, when Khan and other senior scientists were given vast resources and freedom from outside scrutiny that may have contributed to the leaking of nuclear secrets.

``It was a no-questions-asked regime for the KRL,'' said a nuclear scientist who spent 30 years in the country's nuclear program. ``Dr. Khan was never supposed to answer or explain his frequent foreign trips. He spent billions of dollars without any significant financial oversight.''

Khan was chairman of the laboratory until 2001, when he was dismissed by Musharraf, at least partly because of concerns about financial improprieties at the lab, officials said.

One of the officials involved in the current investigation said that while the ``money trail'' provides some of the evidence against Khan and Farooq, the most damaging information was given by Iran and Libya to the IAEA, which then passed it along to Pakistani authorities.

``The governments of Iran and Libya have exposed the racket,'' one of the officials said. ``They made no attempt to hide their sources, as if they wanted to settle score with Pakistani scientists.''

A senior official close to the Pakistani president said that the information provided by the IAEA was so specific and incriminating that Musharraf decided to personally confront Khan in the last week of November. ``For the first time ever, I saw tears in the eyes of the president, who thought that it was the worst-ever breach of the nation's trust,'' recalled the aide.

Musharraf is eager to pursue charges against the scientist, but some advisers are urging a milder punishment, such as dismissing Khan from his post as an adviser to the government on nuclear issues, the official added.

Khan has subsequently been questioned by Lt. Gen. Ehsanul Haq, chief of the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, and Lt. Gen. Khalid Kidwai, commander of the Strategic Planning and Development Cell, which was created several years ago to oversee nuclear security in Pakistan.

Pakistani investigators have determined that in addition to selling technology through black-market intermediaries, Khan also provided direct help to Iranian nuclear scientists by giving them blueprints for high-speed centrifuges used to enrich uranium for nuclear bombs, and the names of clandestine suppliers for centrifuge parts, officials said. Farooq, an engineer with expertise in centrifuges, helped facilitate Khan's efforts during several trips to Iran, the officials said.

Khan was well-compensated for his work in behalf of the Iranians, the officials said. He purchased houses for his children and spent considerable sums to organize seminars, distribute posters and publish books aimed at lauding his achievements in the country's nuclear program, officials said.
18 posted on 01/28/2004 8:29:00 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: F14 Pilot
Freedom ~ Now!
19 posted on 01/28/2004 8:43:35 AM PST by blackie ((Be Well~Be Armed~Be Safe~Molon Labe!))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: F14 Pilot
Pro-Iran bump!

Congratulations on your Quote of the Day!
Great job!
20 posted on 01/28/2004 9:44:24 AM PST by dixiechick2000 (President Bush is a mensch in cowboy boots.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: F14 Pilot
Thanks for the ping!
21 posted on 01/28/2004 9:50:10 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; F14 Pilot
Members of Islamic Republic shooting demonstrators from planes doesn't matter. If the Shah had done this it would have been front page on every single major publication like TIME, Newsweek, LA Times and NY Times.

22 posted on 01/28/2004 1:46:45 PM PST by freedom44
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Anti-war nations 'took bribes' before war began

Investigation launched into claims that Saddam Hussein used oil to win support around the world

By Anne Penketh
28 January 2004

Claims that dozens of politicians, including some from prominent anti-war countries such as France, had taken bribes to support Saddam Hussein are to be investigated by the Iraqi authorities. The US-backed Iraqi Governing Council decided to check after an independent Baghdad newspaper, al-Mada, published a list which it said was based on oil ministry documents.

The 46 individuals, companies and organisations inside and outside Iraq were given millions of barrels of oil, the documents show. Thousands of papers were looted from the State Oil Marketing Organisation after Baghdad fell to US forces on 9 April.

"I think the list is true," Naseer Chaderji, a Governing Council member, said. "I will demand an investigation. These people must be prosecuted." Rumours had circulated for months that documents implicating senior French individuals were about to surface. Such evidence would undermine the French position before the war when President Jacques Chirac staked out the moral high ground in opposing the invasion.

A senior Bush administration official said Washington was aware of the reports but refused further comment. Another US source said that incriminating oil ministry documents allegedly implicating France concerned the two-year period before the war, when the UN sanctions were in danger of collapse.

French diplomats have dismissed any suggestion that their foreign policy was influenced by payments from Saddam. The French have always insisted their anti-war stance did not mean support for Saddam. But British diplomats suspected France's steadfast opposition to the war was driven by something other than the reasons stated by President Chirac. "Oil runs thicker than blood," is how one former ambassador put his suspicions about the French motives for opposing action against Saddam.

The list quoted by al-Mada included members of Arab ruling families, religious organisations, politicians and political parties from Egypt, Jordan, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Sudan, China, Austria, France and other countries. But no names were available last night.

Organisations named include the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Communist Party, India's Congress Party and the Palestine Liberation Organisation. The United States and Britain launched the war on Iraq on 19 March, 2003 without UN approval after tense negotiations in the Security Council collapsed in the face of a veto threat from France. France's relations with Britain and the US deteriorated to their worst point in decades over the Iraq rift, and have yet to heal.

China, another Security Council permanent member with veto power which is named by al-Mada, was also opposed to the Iraq invasion. Arab countries, in addition to France, had warned of the risk of instability spreading throughout the Middle East as a result of the war. Turkey, a Nato member, was a crucial player because of the opposition to the war among its Muslim majority population. There is the possibility that the documents in al-Mada are forgeries. At present there is almost a war of documents under way as Iraqis come to the realisation that they could be used as blackmail or as a settling of scores. And the leak of the documents could be a manipulation by the US-backed authorities in Iraq to discredit France.

The Iraqi authorities will be keen to interview prominent Iraqi officials held by the Coalition Provisional Authority who could shed light on illegal payments. Those officials include the former oil minister, Amer Mohammed Rashid. Assem Jihad, an oil ministry spokesman, said the documents stolen from his ministry may prove Saddam used bribery to gain support. "Anyone stealing Iraqi wealth will be prosecuted," he said.

Although under sanctions from the 1990 invasion of Kuwait until after the second Gulf War, the Iraqi government could sell oil under a UN agreement that proceeds from the oil sales be used to buy food, medicine and basic supplies.

Some international companies selling goods to Iraq may have paid commissions to Iraqi officials that were deposited in Arab banks in exchange for contracts under the oil for food deal. A paper trail should exist.

Saddam smuggled out billions of dollars worth of oil through Turkey, a Syrian pipeline and Iranian coastal waters. The Americans turned a blind eye to the smuggling via Turkey, because they needed to keep their Nato ally on board.
23 posted on 01/28/2004 1:55:38 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Iran: Uranium Enrichment Halt to Be Short

Wed January 28, 2004 11:06 AM ET

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's suspension of uranium enrichment will be short-lived and the Islamic Republic will restart the program whenever it chooses, Hassan Rohani, head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, said Wednesday.
Iran announced it had suspended uranium enrichment in November as a goodwill gesture. It was under intense U.S.-led international pressure to prove it was not seeking atomic weapons.

"It (enrichment) is not stopped, rather it is suspended and this will not last long. Whenever we think it is right we will restart it," the mid-ranking cleric told a students gathering, reported by the official IRNA news agency.

Western diplomats have told Reuters Iran has been acquiring large amounts of equipment for centrifuges used to enrich uranium despite its promise to suspend all activities.

Enriched uranium can be used to fuel nuclear power stations for domestic electricity supply. But a further enrichment to so-called weapons grade can be deployed in warheads.

Iran is building a nuclear power station at the southern port of Bushehr with Russian assistance and has ordered plans drawn up for a second facility.

It insists its nuclear program is geared toward meeting booming domestic electricity demand and freeing up its finite fossil fuels for export.

Although Iran last month signed the Additional Protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) that allows snap U.N. inspections of nuclear facilities, pressure on Iran to come clean on its activities is still fierce.

Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi has said that under the NPT, Iran was entitled to pursue nuclear activities for peaceful purposes. "We have suspended the activities of uranium enrichment, but this does not mean we are going to stop it forever," he said.

Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, said last week Iran would face "serious implications" if it did not fully co-operate with efforts to monitor its nuclear program.

The father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb Abdul Qadeer Khan is a key suspect in an investigation into the sale of nuclear technology to Iran, Pakistani officials said Monday.
24 posted on 01/28/2004 2:06:08 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Iran students urge poll boycott

Angry MPs are holding a sit-in against the ban in parliament

Iran's main pro-democracy student group has called for a national boycott of next month's parliamentary elections.
It said a mass ban of reformists from standing meant there was no chance of a free ballot, according to a statement carried by the state Irna news agency.

The Office to Consolidate Unity also urged reformist MPs to continue their protests against the poll blacklist.

Reformists oppose the conservative Guardians Council's ballot ban on more than 3,000 candidates.

"The reason why people are so disillusioned is because of the existence of powerful bodies which in the end render parliament powerless," the group said in its statement.

Even if one person has been disqualified unfairly, as president, I will defend his right

President Mohammad Khatami
It said the only way out of the political deadlock is to hold a referendum on the future of the Islamic republic.

The BBC's correspondent in Tehran says up until now the student movement, historically a powerful political voice in Iran, has kept a low profile in this crisis.

In the past they have accused the reformists of failing to live up to their promises.


President Mohammad Khatami, himself a reformist, says he still believes the row can be resolved but warned he would not accept even a single "unfair" disqualification.

"Even if one person has been disqualified unfairly, as president, I will defend his right," Mr Khatami told reporters after a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

The president said ministers and vice-presidents had submitted their resignations in protest over the mass disqualifications.

But with negotiations continuing, he said he "will not accept resignations of any kind".

The 12-member Guardians Council has disqualified more than a third of the 8,200 people - including more than 80 sitting MPs - who applied to run in the 20 February elections.

So far it has reinstated about 700 of the disqualified candidates, after Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, ordered a review.

It is still examining appeals and is due to announce its final decision on the others on 30 January
25 posted on 01/28/2004 2:07:19 PM PST by freedom44
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Iranian students call election boycott
crisis not over
Wed Jan 28,11:58 AM ET Add World - AFP to My Yahoo!

TEHRAN (AFP) - Iran's main pro-democracy student group weighed into a bitter political stand-off, calling for a boycott of next month's parliament elections in protest over the mass disqualification of reformist candidates.

And dampening hopes that the Islamic republic could pull out of one of its worst political crisis amid intense government wrangling with hardliners, embattled President Mohammad Khatami (news - web sites) cautioned it was too early to say if an acceptable solution could be found.

A statement from the Office to Consolidate Unity (OCU) -- a coalition of pro-reform student groups -- dealt a symbolic blow to the president when it said voters should stay at home on February 20.

"Noting the fact that people's votes have no effect ... and that there is no possibility for fair and free elections, there is no justification for people to participate in these elections," the OCU said in a statement carried by the state news agency IRNA Wednesday.

Student activists, who last summer sparked a nationwide security alert when they led a series of anti-regime protests, represent one of the main driving forces behind the reform movement, put into power by a massive youth vote.

Their call for a boycott was seen as reflecting mounting frustration with the president, who has been widely criticised for being too weak in the face of more powerful conservatives.
26 posted on 01/28/2004 2:17:41 PM PST by freedom44
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: freedom44
That is a brilliant move on the part of the students in Iran.

Now if the world media will continue to publicize their boycott.
27 posted on 01/28/2004 3:00:29 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
The Anti-Federalist Society
Why Turkey, Iran, and Syria all have worries about Iraq's new federalist outlook.

by Gerald Robbins
01/28/2004 11:40:00 AM

TURKEY'S PRIME MINISTER Recep Tayyip Erdogan is scheduled to meet with President George Bush in Washington today. Among the topics that will be discussed are Iraq's political future. While the aim of this parley is to correct the recent dissonance in U.S.-Turkish relations, recent signals from Ankara indicate that this will not be a simple task.

The two leaders last met in December 2002. The major issue then concerned Washington's ultimately futile attempt to secure Turkish support for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Both sides now wish to move past those differences, yet Iraq still remains a contentious topic. There's major discord over how to govern post-Saddam Iraq. Whereas Washington believes in a federalist solution, Ankara thinks otherwise.

Generally speaking, Turks are wary about federalism. It is a concept at variance with the nation's administrative infrastructure. History explains why: The Ottoman Empire's decentralized character was a major factor in its eventual downfall. Loose management of a multiethnic population resulted in constant rebellions and general instability.

Kemal Ataturk, modern Turkey's founding father, saw autonomy's detrimental effects and sought to rectify it. His solution was to create a strong, centralized system, largely derived from the French model of governance. This structure has remained intact throughout the past 80 years, warding off all attempts at reform.

THE ISSUE of the Kurds substantiates Turkey's centralist nature. Fears that a centralized Iraq can augment separatist notions among Turkey's estimated 13 to 16 million Kurds (approximately 20 to 25 percent of the nation's 67 million inhabitants) are based on precedent.

From the early 1980s to mid 1990s, the Turkish government fought a Kurdish insurrection which claimed 37,000 lives. Turkey's national psyche is still scarred.

Yet comparing Turkey's Kurds with their Iraqi brethren is mixing apples and oranges. The Kurdish populace is a collection of different tribes and dialects that are often at cross-purposes with one another. This even extends to the political sphere--Turkey's Kurdish separatists adhere to Marxist-Leninist precepts while Iraq's Kurdish leadership reflects a meshing of clan affiliation with social democratic thought.

It can be further argued that a de facto federalism already exists in Kurdish Iraq. A U.N.-sponsored Kurdish enclave was established after the 1991 Gulf War ended. Cognizant of Turkey's cross-border concerns, it hasn't turned into a staging area for Kurdish separatism. Trading thrives between this landlocked entity and the Turkish interior.

FEARS ABOUT FEDERALISM aren't a uniquely Turkish phenomenon. The very idea of decentralization also worries Iraq and Syria. In Teheran's case, the prospect of a federalist structure succeeding within the region is particularly vexing. It not only possesses a sizeable minority of 6.5 to 8 million Kurds, but nearly one quarter of Iran--66.5 million people--are Azeri Turks. When Arab, Baluchi, and other groups are further added to Iran's ethnic picture, it turns out that only 51 percent of the country's total population is of Persian descent.

NONETHELESS, democratic Turkey, theocratic Iran, and authoritarian Syria are all united in their stances against federalism. There's a censuring tone that's nearly indistinguishable among their respective leaderships. When Syrian president Bashir al-Assad visited Turkey earlier this month (the first time a Syrian leader traveled there), he stated that a Kurdish state in Iraq would be "a red line, not only as far as Syria and Turkey, but for all the countries in the region." Prime Minister Erdogan recently told the Egyptian newspaper al-Ahram that federation "contradicts the reality of Iraq and the will of neighboring countries." Even the Turkish military, usually known for averting public discourse, had their say. "If there is a federal structure in Iraq on an ethnic basis, the future will be very difficult and bloody," one of Turkey's top generals commented.

Amid all this knee-jerk reaction, signs of a more amenable tone towards federalism have begun to appear. Several Turkish analysts note that it isn't federalism that they object to per se, but the emphasis on an ethnic and religious criteria for Iraq. A regional federalism is advocated instead, with Germany seen as the ideal prototype: They would like to see Bavaria's relation to Berlin emulated by the Kurds formulating their ties to Baghdad.

Germany's model can be studied, but to view it as the potential solution to Iraq's political future is an exercise in specious thinking. Bavarian and Turkish sociopolitics can't be homogenized into a one-size-fits-all apparatus. There is no set methodology to federalism, Iraq's model will differ from German and even American designs.

At least the Turks appear willing to give federalism a closer look. It doesn't fit current regional viewpoints, but Ankara and her autocratic neighbors lack any viable alternatives. It will be a tough task marketing, but decentralization is the best solution for Iraq and the future Middle East.

Gerald Robbins is an Associate Scholar with the Foreign Policy Research Institute.
28 posted on 01/28/2004 3:10:38 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: freedom44
How many students will join this boycott? What are the raw numbers?
29 posted on 01/28/2004 3:17:36 PM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (He who has never hoped can never despair.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Iran's governors confront Tehran

Provincial officials refuse to allow elections unless candidates reinstated

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran's provincial governors escalated the confrontation today over who can run in next month's elections by declaring they would not allow polling in their areas unless most of the disqualifications are overturned.
"All provincial governors have announced unanimously that, under present circumstances, there will be no possibility of holding elections," Interior Ministry spokesman Jahanbakhsh Khanjani told The Associated Press.

While Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has the authority to overrule the governors, their declaration suggests that if the hardliners responsible for the disqualifications do not back down, they will have to resort to extraordinary measures to hold the legislative elections on Feb. 20.

The hardline Guardian Council has disqualified more than a third of the 8,200 candidates, including more than 80 sitting legislators. The move has triggered Iran's biggest political crisis in years, with reformers accusing conservatives of trying to skewer the elections.

Khanjani said the governors made the decision at a meeting in Tehran that ended tonight.

Earlier today, Iran's largest group of pro-reform students urged people to boycott next month's elections in protest against the disqualifications. It was the first time any political group had called for a boycott since the crisis erupted.

President Mohammad Khatami tried to head off a boycott of the legislative elections on Feb. 20, telling reporters he would strive to reverse the disqualifications down to the last unfairly treated candidate.

"There is no possibility of fair and free elections," the student movement, the Office for Fostering Unity, said in a statement carried on the official Islamic Republic News Agency.

"Considering that people's vote has no affect on the establishment, and there is no way to hold fair and free elections, there is no justification for people to participate in this election," the students said in their statement.

The students praised the reformist legislators, who have been staging sit-in protests in the parliament building since the disqualifications were announced earlier this month.

Khatami set aside earlier hints that he might resign over the affair and pledged to work both to reinstate the candidates and to defend the reform program that hardliners have largely succeeded in blocking.

"Even if one person has been disqualified unfairly, as the president, I will defend his right," Khatami told reporters after a cabinet meeting today.

Appearing more confident than he has been in recent weeks, Khatami said: "If somebody is a thief, or is a drug smuggler or documents prove he has worked to overthrow the establishment, he is not qualified to run. But all those disqualified were so? ... Many of those disqualified deserve to run."

The Guardian Council has reinstated more than 700 candidates, Khatami said. "Based on our talks, this figure is set to rise," he added.

Iran's chief of elections, Deputy Interior Minister Morteza Moballegh, criticized the Guardian Council today, accusing them of taking too long to review the disqualifications in a more sympathetic light, as supreme leader Khamenei has urged them to do.

"Not even one prominent person or legislator is among those reinstated," Moballegh said in a statement on the Interior Ministry's website. "The trend of reinstatements is not convincing. If only a few disqualified persons are to be reinstated, we won't hold such elections."

Khatami referred to ongoing meetings between the Guardian Council and four cabinet ministers who were assigned to reach a compromise after top reformists and hard-liners met Khamenei on Monday night.

Defence Minister Ali Shamkhani, one of the four ministers, was optimistic today.

"The necessary ground has been prepared to settle the dispute over the disqualification of candidates," IRNA quoted Shamkhani as saying.

But Iran's largest reformist political party, the Islamic Iran Participation Front, sounded pessimistic, saying the number of reinstatements was insufficient.

"It's not important how many disqualified candidates are reinstated. The key is that candidates of all tendencies must be free to run unless strong legal reasons proves them to be unfit," said Saeed Shariati, a leader of the front.

Khatami said he has not accepted the resignation of his cabinet ministers and vice presidents because "we must hold competitive elections."

Last week, the government announced that most of Iran's six vice-presidents and 24 ministers had tendered their resignations. They were not identified, and the resignations needed Khatami's approval to become effective.

The president said he intended to complete his second four-year term, which expires in May 2005, in order to defend a program of political and social reforms he has pursued since his first election in 1997.

"Reform is in our essence. The content of my work has been to bring reforms ... I've come and will stay to the end," he said.
30 posted on 01/28/2004 5:01:17 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: F14 Pilot
Boycott Polls
Referendum on Trolls

No polls with these trolls.

31 posted on 01/28/2004 8:08:07 PM PST by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
"Not even one prominent person or legislator is among those reinstated," Moballegh said in a statement on the Interior Ministry's website."

That's why they're all still upset.

Lots of information in that post. Thanks.
32 posted on 01/28/2004 8:08:31 PM PST by nuconvert ("Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn; PhilDragoo
"The content of my work has been to bring reforms ... I've come and will stay to the end..."

LOL.....time for the "LaLaLaLa" picture?
33 posted on 01/28/2004 8:12:50 PM PST by nuconvert ("Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: nuconvert; DoctorZIn; F14 Pilot
I've come and will stay to the end

I do not hear any talk of boycotts or referenda--

Because I put my hands over my ears like this and sing
LA LA LA LA LA LA I can't HEAR you!

34 posted on 01/28/2004 10:02:03 PM PST by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
This thread is now closed.

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

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

35 posted on 01/29/2004 12:02:43 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PhilDragoo
LOL ! Thanks.
36 posted on 01/29/2004 8:40:50 AM PST by nuconvert ("Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson