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Iranian Alert -- February 2, 2004 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD --Americans for Regime Change in Iran
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^
Posted on 02/02/2004 12:06:43 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 Americans are unaware that the Islamic Republic of Iran is NOT supported by the masses of Iranians today. Modern Iranians are among the most pro-American in the Middle East.
There is a popular revolt against the Iranian regime brewing in Iran today. Starting June 10th of this year, Iranians have begun taking to the streets to express their desire for a regime change. Most want to replace the regime with a secular democracy. Many even want the US to over throw their government.
The regime is working hard to keep the news about the protest movement in Iran from being reported. Unfortunately, the regime has successfully prohibited western news reporters from covering the demonstrations. The voices of discontent within Iran are sometime murdered, more often imprisoned. Still the people continue to take to the streets to demonstrate against the regime.
In support of this revolt, Iranians in America have been broadcasting news stories by satellite into Iran. This 21st century news link has greatly encouraged these protests. The regime has been attempting to jam the signals, and locate the satellite dishes. Still the people violate the law and listen to these broadcasts. Iranians also use the Internet and the regime attempts to block their access to news against the regime. In spite of this, many Iranians inside of Iran read these posts daily to keep informed of the events in their own country.
This daily thread contains nearly all of the English news reports on Iran. It is thorough. If you follow this thread you will witness, I believe, the transformation of a nation. This daily thread provides a central place where those interested in the events in Iran can find the best news and commentary. The news stories and commentary will from time to time include material from the regime itself. But if you read the post you will discover for yourself, the real story of what is occurring in Iran and its effects on the war on terror.
I am not of Iranian heritage. I am an American committed to supporting the efforts of those in Iran seeking to replace their government with a secular democracy. I am in contact with leaders of the Iranian community here in the United States and in Iran itself.
If you read the daily posts you will gain a better understanding of the US war on terrorism, the Middle East and why we need to support a change of regime in Iran. Feel free to ask your questions and post news stories you discover in the weeks to come.
If all goes well Iran will be free soon and I am convinced become a major ally in the war on terrorism. The regime will fall. Iran will be free. It is just a matter of time.
TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iaea; iran; iranianalert; iranquake; protests; southasia; studentmovement; studentprotest
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Iranian Reformers to Boycott Elections
February 02, 2004
The Associated Press
TEHRAN, Iran -- The leader of Iran's largest pro-reform party said Monday it will boycott Feb. 20 parliamentary elections, saying they would not be free and fair and raising the stakes in the country's growing political crisis.
Mohammad Reza Khatami, leader of the Islamic Iran Participation Front and brother of Iran's president, said the party would not field any candidates because thousands of liberal candidates have been disqualified from the polls by hard-line clerics of the Guardian Council.
Many of the disqualified candidates are sitting lawmakers, including Khatami, who also is deputy parliament speaker.
"We have no hope for the possibility of free and fair elections. All legal opportunities have been killed," Khatami said.
Earlier, the government spokesman said Iranian Cabinet ministers backed calls to postpone the vote and vowed during an emergency meeting not to hold a sham election. The decision came after Interior Minister Abdolvahed Mousavi Lari presented a report saying conditions for free elections did not exist.
"The Cabinet also agreed not to hold elections that are not competitive, fair and free," spokesman Abdollah Ramezanzadeh said.
Reformist President Mohammad Khatami did not attend the Cabinet meeting because he is resting at home with severe back pain.
The five ministers assigned last week to reach a compromise with the council said their efforts had failed "despite showing flexibility," Ramezanzadeh said.
The powerful council ultimately decides when an election is held, but the government's position strengthens the hand of reformists demanding a boycott.
Without the participation of the Islamic Iran Participation Front, enough hard-line candidates will run uncontested to retake control of parliament from the reformists. Reformists won the parliament in 2000 for the first time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and used it as a platform to press for social and political reforms.
The controversy began last month when the Guardian Council, whose 12 members are appointed by Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, disqualified more than 3,600 of the 8,200 people filing papers to run in the polls.
After protests and an opinion from Khamenei, the council Friday restored 1,160 low-profile candidates to the list still keeping more than 2,400 candidates out.
Reformists say the council disqualified liberal candidates to fix the election in favor of conservatives. The hard-liners repeatedly have thwarted President Khatami's efforts toward greater democracy and a relaxation of the Islamic social code.
The council denies political motives and argues that the disqualified candidates lacked the criteria to stand for election, even though more than 80 of them were elected in 2000.
Some 124 lawmakers in the 290-seat Majlis, or parliament, resigned Sunday in a dramatic gesture intended to force the clerical hierarchy to reinstate the candidates.
Hard-liners may have to resort to extraordinary measures perhaps even relying on the elite revolutionary guards and other armed forces simply to hold the elections in two weeks as scheduled. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,110129,00.html
posted on 02/02/2004 8:46:40 AM PST
(Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
The Road Not Taken
February 02, 2004
Iran va Jahan
Four years before the fall of the Iranian monarchy, Paul E. Erdman published a novel entitled, The Crash of '79. Those who have read it will recall that the villain of the piece was Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, described as a "megalomaniac" who dreams of controlling the Middle East by exploding six nuclear bombs over Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Of course, like all bestsellers the book caused a sensation.
Certainly, the Shah's Iran was awash with the most sophisticated weapons purchased with billions of dollars from the United States and Europe. The Nixon Doctrine had turned Iran into the Policeman of the Persian Gulf and one of the West's most reliable allies in the oil-rich region. It was no secret then that Iranian scientists were engaged in developing their country's atomic energy for peaceful purposes.
In another long forgotten book published in 1977 and entitled The Mind of A Monarch, the Shah revealed his vision for his country with a sense of responsibility for the future that the current Islamic leaders of Iran have squandered. "I have proposed a military nuclear-free zone in the Middle East," the Shah told the author, R.K. Karanjia, an internationally famous Indian journalist.
Far from being the madman in Erdman's thriller, the Iranian monarch stressed that while he had no intention in building atomic weapons his country would pursue atomic energy or nuclear technology for industrial and developmental purposes.
"According to my thinking," he said, "the whole world should collaborate, on the one hand, against nuclear weapons and, on the other, in promoting nuclear energy for peaceful purposes."
Fast forward. The Shah's Iran is now part of history. An irresponsible gang of pseudo-clerical despots have ruled the country since the 1979 revolution that brought them to power. In 2003 the international community woke up to the possibility that Iran would possess an atomic bomb in three or five years' time, if not sooner. Worse yet, the Russians have reached the warm waters of the Persian Gulf by building Iran's first nuclear reactor in Bushehr and planning a few more in the near future.
The passage of almost a quarter of a century has given historians enough time to draw comparisons between Iran yesterday and that of today. The Shah's vision before his unforeseen and tragic downfall may have seemed exaggerated at the time it was expressed. Yet, revisiting it again one finds that it contains the key elements of a progressive and rational mindset that has eluded the heirs to Khomeini.
What was the golden road Iran would have taken had there been no Islamic revolution? While still on the Peacock Throne the Shah had envisaged a "Great Civilization" often mocked by his leftist critics as "unattainable."
Perhaps the rapid modernisation was to blame for the rising gap between what was being promised and what was achievable. The sudden liberalisation of the political system had unleashed uncontrollable expectations that the government was unable to influence.
But this vision given what followed in Iran after Khomeini's followers "hijacked" the revolution was a logical aspiration articulated by a leader obsessed by Persia's grandeur. Even in exile, Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi went to his grave convinced that Iran's future lay in the next 25 years when it would rank among the globe's five great non-atomic powers in a single generation. That generation was destroyed in 1979.
The current Iranian generation aged between 16-30 appear to be demanding from their masters a volatile mixture of political, economic, social and cultural reforms that would allow it to compete in the highly technological world facing them. The Shah and his technocratic advisors had spoken of developing all Iran's resources to cope with the rising population that was estimated to reach 65 million people.
"Every citizen will have an equal opportunity to show his ability, his skills, his attainments," the Shah had said in 1977. "Within the next two decades, our standard of living will be such that nobody will go hungry and all will be able to eat as much as they can ... We shall have big steel, aluminium and copper industries, and go for atomic and solar energy in a big way
We shall be building more roads, harbours and airports ... We have no aggressive intentions or ambitions."
The revolution changed all that overnight. Iran, once called an "Island of Stability" by US President Carter is now viewed as part of the "Axis of Evil" by President Bush.
Iran's diplomatic successes under the Shah's regime had meant that the country enjoyed international support from the USA, Europe, Japan, Russia, China and many Arab and African states. The revolution overturned any goodwill that existed. A radical regime committed to spreading its violent message unleashed a wave of trouble.
The capture of American embassy staff in Tehran for 444 days, a bloody 8 year war with Iraq that left millions dead, the state sponsorship of terrorism, the development of long-range missiles capable of hitting Tel Aviv and London and an ambitious nuclear bomb programme (despite continued denials) has justly raised many diplomatic eyebrows. The "Punch and Judy show" played in Iran by the hardliners and the so-called reformists within the clerical regime is not very comforting.
All this can hardly be conducive to attracting foreign investment, halting the brain drain or reassuring the West that the Iranian regime can become a trusted partner contributing to peace and stability in the Middle East.
Despite recent attempts by the foreign ministers of France, Germany and Britain to quell a mounting crisis over Iran's nuclear program, the US is determined to prove that Iran has "lied" for the past 18 years by, among other things, producing plutonium and enriched uranium in ways that would be useful only for the manufacturing of an "Islamic bomb."
In the late 1970s a seminar was held in Tehran on the Third World in the 21st Century. In a speech given at the time the late Shah warned the participants that the duty of the developed world was "to speed up the development of backward countries" in order to "ensure a new policy of peace and co-operation, as against the old one of the Cold War and co-destruction." Only in this civil manner, he predicted, would mankind be united in an international, harmonious, working partnership.
Such lofty ideals were replaced with several symposiums in recent years inviting the leading heads of various terrorist organisations to unite in combating US influence. The most disturbing allegations that senior members of the notorious Al-Qaeda were hiding in Iran has strengthened the hawkish advocates of a military strike.
The most reassuring development has come from an unexpected quarter: the Iranian society. The struggle between the people and the Islamic state has come at a time when the country is witnessing an erosion in moral values (Iran has one of the Islamic world's largest drug, suicide and prostitution statistics), a widening gap between rich and poor, high unemployment, corruption and greater repression.
In 2004 apathy, bitterness and despair has reached epidemic proportions in a nation that once enjoyed the thrill and excitement of a swiftly developing society which invested young people with a patriotic commitment to nation-building over 25 years ago.
It is time for the Iranian people to build a new road to lead them to freedom and progress or continue on a senseless path to nowhere. http://iranvajahan.net/cgi-bin/news.pl?l=en&y=2004&m=02&d=02&a=8
posted on 02/02/2004 8:47:50 AM PST
(Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")