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Iranian Alert -- February 3, 2004 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD --Americans for Regime Change in Iran
California Recall Daily Thread: Up To The Minute News ^ | 2.3.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 02/03/2004 12:01:09 AM PST by DoctorZIn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iaea; iran; iranianalert; iranquake; protests; southasia; studentmovement; studentprotest
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To: F14 Pilot
Thanks for the ping!
21 posted on 02/03/2004 8:50:55 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: DoctorZIn
Thanks for the ping.
22 posted on 02/03/2004 8:59:21 AM PST by GOPJ (MTV Flash --Grown men don't watch porn/whores with their mothers, wives, and children in the room)
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To: F14 Pilot
Freedom ~ Now!
23 posted on 02/03/2004 9:03:18 AM PST by blackie (Be Well~Be Armed~Be Safe~Molon Labe!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Very promising. Thank you.
24 posted on 02/03/2004 9:12:17 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (Say not, 'I have found the truth,' but rather, 'I have found a truth.'--- Kahlil Gibran)
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To: DoctorZIn

Disappeared like so many others, last friday.
25 posted on 02/03/2004 10:18:09 AM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
US calls on Iran to hold free elections
Posted Tue, 03 Feb 2004

The United States on Monday renewed its calls for authorities in Iran to "respect the Iranian people's wish" for free and fair elections amid a political crisis in the Islamic republic over upcoming parliamentary polls.

"We urge the Iranian government to respect the Iranian people's wish for a genuine voice through free and fair elections," State Department spokesperson Richard Boucher said.

"We've always been supporters of free and fair elections, always been supporters of the idea that the Iranian people should have a right to decide their government and their government's policies," he told reporters.

He refrained from any specific comment on the situation unfolding in Iran but said the United States was watching developments closely after the main reformist party has vowed to boycott the February 20 election in a dispute with conservatives.

"Certainly we've been following closely the various events out there and the questions in Iran about how they (the elections) proceed," Boucher said.

"We've also made clear our concerns about the status of political freedom and human rights in Iran generally, and we watch the events unfolding in that context.

Earlier Monday in Tehran, the leader of the main reformist party — and brother of Iranian President Mohammad Khatami — said the Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF) would not participate in the elections after conservatives barred many of its candidates and refused to postpone the poll.

"We have no hope that free and legal elections will be held on February 20," said Mohammad Reza Khatami, while stressing that the IIPF could change its mind if the polls were postponed as the reformists are demanding.

The factional conflict has plunged the Islamic republic, now celebrating its 25th anniversary, into what many see as its worst-ever crisis.

Last month, Iran's conservative Guardians Council vetting body barred some 3500 would-be parliamentary candidates out of around 8000. Most were reformists who were disqualified for an alleged lack of respect for Islam and the constitution.

Subsequently, the council — ordered to carry out a review by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei — reinstated 1160 in a drawn-out appeals process, but some 80 sitting MPs, prominent pro-reform figures and allies of the embattled president remained barred.

A total of 125 members of parliament have resigned in protest along with all 28 provincial governors, according to the official news agency IRNA.
26 posted on 02/03/2004 10:18:43 AM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran conservative prosecutor warns eight dailies

Tuesday, February 03, 2004 - ©2003

TEHRAN, Feb 3 (AFP) -- Leading conservative prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi has warned eight reformist newspapers about their coverage of Iran's political crisis, the Culture Ministry said Tuesday.

Mortazavi, the prosecutor for Tehran who shut down dozens of newspapers when he was at Iran's press tribunal, "has written to the Culture Ministry asking it to warn (the newspapers) Shargh, Yas-e No, Nassim-e Sabah, Tossee, Aftab-e Yazd, Etemad, Hambasteghi, Mardom Salari," said the Ministry, quoted by the official news agency IRNA.

Iran Deputy Culture Minister Mohammad Sohfi, who praised the papers for "doing their work" properly since the political struggle between reformists and conservatives erupted, said the prosecutor accused the newspapers of "spreading discord".

The Ministry, which oversees the press, has defended the newspapers during the crisis which erupted last month when the conservative Guardians Council vetting body barred 3,500 would-be candidates out of around 8,000 from standing for the February 20 parliamentary election.

Most of those barred were reformists.

Subsequently, the council -- ordered to carry out a review by Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei -- reinstated 1,160 in a drawn-out appeals process, but some 80 sitting MPs, prominent pro-reform figures and allies of embattled President Mohammad Khatami remain barred.

Sohfi also emphasised that elections are organised under the authority of the Interior Ministry and it is up to the Ministry to determine whether the press has committed offences.

The Culture Ministry has received no instruction about any new working rules for journalists, he said.

Meanwhile, an Iranian journalist noted for his support for press rights has been summoned before a judge over his harshly critical coverage of the political crisis.

Friends said Mashallah Shamsolvaezin has been accused of "spreading confusion among the public".

Shamsolvaezin has been jailed in the past and had three of his papers closed by the courts. Several reformist papers have run his comments on the elimination of the reformist candidates by the Guardians Council.
27 posted on 02/03/2004 10:21:13 AM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
Main Iran reformist party to boycott elections

Tuesday, February 03, 2004 - ©2003

TEHRAN, Feb 2 (AFP) -- Iran's main reformist party, the Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF), will boycott parliamentary elections on February 20 following the widespread barring of its candidates, its leader Mohammad Reza Khatami said Monday.

"The Participation Front has decided by a very large majority not to participate" in the poll, Khatami, brother of Iran's pro-reform President Mohammad Khatami, told a press conference after a meeting of party delegates.
28 posted on 02/03/2004 10:22:14 AM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
Americans appeasing evil.

Sorry to say, I haven't reread Dante's "Inferno" for some years, but I still remember his description of a very low and extremely unpleasant level of hell that houses traitors. Surely abject appeasers of evil qualify for the same treatment, and we must note grimly that three prime candidates have recently come forward to swell the ranks of that overheated realm: Senator Joe Biden of Delaware (D.), Senator Arlen Specter (R.), of Pennsylvania, and Congressman Bob Ney of Ohio (R.).

All have undertaken to "improve relations" between the United States and the theocratic fascist regime of Iran. Specter announced over the weekend that congressional staffers would soon go to Tehran in the first stage of the appeasement program. After supping in Washington with the Iranian ambassador to the U.N. at a dinner helpfully facilitated by the State Department, Specter proclaimed that Iran had "helped us in the fight against al Qaeda and in the Afghanistan situation. I don't think we have given them sufficient credit. They deserve credit." And since "They are showing some signs of wanting to improve relations. Now is a good time."

One must wonder what elixir was served at the dinner, or if these remarks are the result of a more durable mental disorder. The recent wave of terror attacks against our Coalition in Afghanistan famously include the Iranian-supported forces of Gulbadin Hekhmatiar, and the whole world now takes it for granted that top al Qaeda figures, including Osama and his number-one son, along with the likes of Zawahiri and Zarkawi, have been operating out of Iran for some time.

Senator Specter has long labored for better American relations with Middle Eastern tyrannical regimes, three times traveling to Damascus for meetings with Syrian dictators: kicking off a short-lived love-fest with Syria's Hafez al Assad in January, 1990 with a sortie to Damascus; again in December, 1998, when he witnessed a mob storm the U.S. embassy following Clinton's missile attack on Baghdad; and then in January, 2003, when he met with Bashar Assad as part of a holiday junket to Europe and the Middle East. On that occasion, Specter warned of massive Arab uprisings against the United States if we attempted a military liberation of Iraq, and reiterated his insistence that we ask for further U.N. resolutions before moving forward.

Ney and Biden have reportedly received campaign contributions from pro-Tehran Iranian-American groups, and Biden has been outspokenly critical of President Bush's repeated criticism of the mullahcracy. He vigorously rejected the inclusion of Iran in the Axis of Evil — even though Iran is always number one on the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism — and recently met with the Iranian foreign minister at the big party in Davos, Switzerland.

Ney, who lived in Iran 30 years ago, has been the most cautious of the three, endorsing the Iran-trip idea by warning that "I don't think it is set in stone." Ney's first-hand experiences may have made him more perspicacious than Specter, because, within hours of the "announcement" of the trip, an Iranian foreign-ministry spokesman said that he knew of no such plans.

This is part of a longstanding pattern, part of the Iranians' policy of deception, aimed simultaneously at us and at their own people. It is not unusual for conflicting statements to emerge from different offices and different leaders. Over and over again for the past several months, some of our most celebrated officials, from Secretary of State Colin Powell and his loyal deputy Richard Armitage, to State Department spokesmen, have enthusiastically gushed over vague hints that the Iranians were prepared to hand over al Qaeda terrorists who, it was said, were "being held in Iran. The Iranians officially announced their desire to cooperate with the United States, then quickly attacked America as a satanic force. The same has happened with regard to "better relations;" some leaders speak as if they welcome it, others declare it out of the question. The same, again, happens with regard to Iran's "promise" to "suspend uranium enrichment;" one day, one leader says it's a whole new policy, and the next day another leader says it's only temporary, it depends on what "suspend" means, and it's going to be resumed right away.

This is baffling to our diplomats, who love to parse language and to believe that words have the same significance to our enemies as to us. But with the mullahs, it's important to reason from first principles. No terrorist of any importance was, or will be, released, for the simple reason that Iran is a major supporter of al Qaeda, and could no more enable us to strike a major blow at Osama and his henchmen than they could provide us with Imad Mughniyah, the top killer of Hezbollah, or any of the others who receive all manner of support from the Islamic regime.

Did Specter, Ney, and Biden — and the deep thinkers at State who sponsored the appeasement — happen to notice that, at the very moment they were kissing up to the mullahs, the leaders of some 30-plus terrorist organizations were converging on Tehran for their annual powwow? Is this the sort of helpfulness of which Senator Specter oozed enthusiastic?

If the Specter/Ney/Biden efforts to "improve relations" were simply acts of folly by men who don't know better, one might laugh them off. But they have serious consequences, as our diplomats — who actively encouraged the representatives' acts of appeasement — must realize. The Iranian people overwhelmingly hate the regime, and look to Washington for encouragement and support to carry out a democratic revolution, and therefore the mullahs try to create opportunities to convince the people that the Bush administration in fact approves of the regime itself. Any warm statement from a famous American is a body blow to the democratic opposition, and a balm to the mullahs, just as every critical word from President Bush has encouraged the people, and weakened the tyrants.

Appeasers are sent deep into the Inferno, because their acts are truly wicked, shoring up our would-be killers and discouraging our would-be allies inside the country. And they are doing it at a potentially explosive moment, as can be learned by listening to the instructions given to Iranian interpreters, assigned to the foreign journalists flying in for the 25th-anniversary celebrations starting this week (of which the terror jamboree is a part). The words came from Mohammad-Hossein Khoshvaght, head of Iran's international press bureau. He reminded them that lying or mistranslating Iranians' words is mandatory, if the truth would give a bad image of the country. "If a woman starts saying that her lipstick is a sign of revolution, just don't translate it. Say it's nonsense."

If any foreign journalist tries to cover politically sensitive matters (like student protests) or if they ask to work on their own, the interpreters should immediately report them to the regime. Furthermore, foreign journalists are not to enter Iranians' homes, and the interpreters should remember that the journalists' phone calls will be monitored by security officers.

"These days are very tough days," he told the translators. "The security of the regime is threatened. You shouldn't do anything that threatens the security of the system."

And almost anything can be judged to threaten the mullahcracy nowadays. Ask poor Ali Akabar Najafi, a 27-year-old taxi driver who was arrested in south Tehran for an imaginative bumper sticker: "The era of arrogant rulers is over." He was held blindfolded, in solitary confinement, for 53 days, and now, according to Reuters, "faces a possible lengthy prison term or even the death penalty."

But Specter, Ney, and Biden, and their State Department facilitators, think this is a good time to improve relations.

Someone should tell them about the January 24 executions of several commanders and senior officers of the Revolutionary Guards, the elite security force of the regime. The most distinguished of the men was Brigadier General Mohammed-Mehdi Dozdoozani, one of the founders of the RG and a hero in the Iran-Iraq War. His crime was to have exposed government corruption, especially the massive trafficking in young Iranian girls, sold for prostitution to Arab countries. Dozdoozani and his comrades had written an open letter, entitled "We the Warriors," threatening rebellion against these evils.

If they want to know more, they can read "Sex Slave Jihad" by Donna M. Hughes, which speaks of a 635-percent increase in teenage prostitution, and trafficking of girls as young as 8 and 10 years old. There are 25,000 street children in Tehran alone, and the trafficking network feeds on them, often in cahoots with authorities, including judges and Justice Department officials. As Hughes concludes, "only the end of the Iranian regime will free women and girls from all the forms of slavery they suffer.

But Specter, Ney, and Biden, and their State Department facilitators, think this is a good time for "improved relations."

It would be nice to think that they will be held accountable for their acts of appeasement — Ney and Specter are up for reelection — but the odds are that justice will be delayed until their final judgment.

Faster, please.

-- Michael Ledeen, an NRO contributing editor, is most recently the author of The War Against the Terror Masters. Ledeen is Resident Scholar in the Freedom Chair at the American Enterprise Institute.
29 posted on 02/03/2004 10:29:28 AM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn; Pan_Yans Wife; nuconvert; Cyrus the Great; Persia; faludeh_shirazi; democracy

Only 10% will vote according to Islamic Republic website.
30 posted on 02/03/2004 10:32:43 AM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
Banned from Reelection, MPs Resign, & Call for Revision of All Election Bans

•The reformist Majles MPs, who resigned yesterday after the Guardians Council refused to overturn bans on their election, called for reinstatement of all election candidacy applicants in their 16th communiqué, issued after their joint resignation letters was read at the open session of the Majles. Of the 290 Majles MPs, 124 resigned, and announced that they would accept no deal until all 2,800 reformist candidacy applicants who have been disqualified by the Guardians Council from standing in the February 20 elections are allowed to run. Even if all disqualifications were overturned, still the elections have to be postponed, the communiqué said. (Bahman Bahman)

•The MPs' resignations have bolstered the Islamic student activists. The Islamic student council of Tehran's Amir-Kabir University announced that it will hold a meeting on Tuesday in support of the reformist MPs. Members of the Islamic student council of the Tehran University's medical school applied for permit to hold a rally on Wednesday in front of the university's gate. In Shahrekord, a town in Kurdistan, nearly 1,000 demonstrated against bans on reformist candidacy applicants, and the Islamic student council of the city's medical school announced that it will hold a street demonstration to protest what it called “illegal and undemocratic move by the totalitarian faction.” (Bahman Bastani)

•The gathering scheduled for tomorrow takes place inside the university campus and does not require permission from the government, secretary of the Amir-Kabir University's student Islamic council Mehdi Habibi tells Radio Farda. The meeting is called “in defense of the republic,” and will be held to protest the violation of citizens' right to free and fair elections, he adds. (Farin Asemi)

•In a second letter to the Guardians Council, interior minister Abdolvahed Mousavi-Lari asked once more for postponement of the elections date, arguing that the candidates need more time for campaigning. (Bahman Bastani)

•President Khatami and Males speaker Mehdi Karrubi began a new set of negotiations last night to resolve the elections crisis, Karrubi announced at the open session of the Majles. (Bahman Bastani)

•The Guardians Council cannot agree to the interior ministry's request to postpone the elections, Guardians Council member Hadi Zavarei said, arguing that such a move would delay the start of the next Majles. (Alireza Taheri)

•Tehran's elections executive board announced that it will not be able to hold free and fair elections on February 20. (Bahman Bastani)

•The state radio-TV monopoly did not air the news of the MPs resignations. In statements of support, Islamic student councils and other political groups tried to broaden the protest to demand other suppressed social and individual freedoms. (Arash Qavidel, Tehran)

•The vetting process, in which the Guardians Council “determines” the qualifications of applicants for standing in the Majles elections, is against the constitution, member of the initial constitutional assembly Mohammad Hojati Kermani said in an interview with state-run reformist labor news agency ILNA. Head of the initial constitutional assembly Ayatollah Montazeri said the Guardians Council has added another stage to the elections process by vetting the candidacy applicants, which is contrary to the constitution and a violation of people's right to chose. (Amir Armin)

•In a meeting chaired by vice president Mohammad-Reza Aref, the cabinet announced that holding elections on the scheduled date would only be possible if elections could be free, fair and competitive. (Nima Tamadon)

•The pro-reform party Participation Front (Jebhe-ye Mosharekat), which has the largest block of MPs in the Majles, announced that it will not take part in the upcoming elections. The party does not tell the voters not to turnout for the elections, but believes that with major parties staying out, voter turnout would be low, party chief Mohammad-Reza Khatami said. (Farin Asemi)

•If 124 of British MPs resign, the government would fall, and new elections would have to be held immediately, British MP David Chidgey, member of the Parliament's foreign relations committee and an expert on Iran politics, tells Radio Farda. Behind the elections crisis is a hard battle brewing between the Guardians Council and its opponents, he says. It is ultimately up to the Iranian people to decide the form of their government, he adds. (Shahran Tabari, London)

•The cabinet's agreement with the MPs to postpone the elections is an important step, European parliament member from Germany's social democrat party Ozan Ceyuon tells Radio Farda. He denounces the mass disqualification of Majles MPs and other candidacy applicants, and condemns the lack of firmness in the EU policies on Iran. (Shahram Mirian, Cologne)

•The current elections crisis could mean the end of the reform movement in the Islamic Republic, Vienna's daily Presse writes. The reformists are worried that the conservative faction may hold the elections with the help of the armed forces, German daily Die Welt writes. (Parviz Farhang)
31 posted on 02/03/2004 10:45:48 AM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
It seems that Reporters Without Borders is forgetting what happened to Batebi after Ligabo's visit. Hard to believe they forgot about his disappearence and subsequent return to prison before receiving the medical care he sought. And we never did hear any outrage from Mr. Ligabo regarding that incident.
32 posted on 02/03/2004 12:55:54 PM PST by nuconvert ("Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?")
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To: DoctorZIn
Yesterday one of America's most popular radio hosts
Hugh Hewitt linked our thread on his blog...

You can hear him online by going to:

Attention Hugh Hewitt listeners!

If you are new to the Free Republic and would like to join in the conversations, go to:

You can sign up for a free account!

33 posted on 02/03/2004 1:23:04 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Heady Concerns
France goes where law should not.

By Amir Taheri
February 03, 2004, 11:11 a.m.

Ignoring the advice of many, the French government has just presented to the parliament a draft bill to prevent women from wearing the so-called "Islamic" headgear, or foulard, at state-owned schools.

The move became inevitable when President Jacques Chirac, in a solemn address to the nation, televised live last December, presented the banning of the foulard as vital for the preservation of France's "secular character."

Like other hasty moves in politics, this one, too, is likely to be subjected to the law of unintended consequences.

Even before it becomes official and binding, Chirac's foulard policy has done some damage:

It has divided France's Muslim community into pro- and anti-hijab camps.

It has killed the recently established French Council of Islam, and enabled the most radical extremists to take center stage.

It has given official recognition to the foulard as a religious icon, when Islam recognizes none and considers obsession with symbols as a sin.

To win support for the ban on the foulard, Chirac dispatched emissaries to Arab capitals to seek fatwas from Muslim theologians. In one instance, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy traveled to Cairo to secure a fatwa from the rector of al-Azhar, Muhammad Said al-Tantawi. This was a bizarre scene: a minister from a major Western democracy asking a Muslim mufti to give his blessing to a law that is supposed to defend French "secular values."

This Pandora's Box has only just opened.

Once the bill becomes law, possibly later this month, the authorities will face the task of spelling out what constitutes "ostentatious religious signs" that should be banned.

The primary target, of course, is the foulard, but even that is not as easy as it might sound. There is no agreement, for example, on what constitutes an "ostentatious foulard."

Would this include Hermes scarves, sold for $300 apiece?

Should the colorful headgear worn by Berber and black African ladies also be banned?

What if the girls appear at school with transparent headgear, designed by L'Oreal, which covers the hair without concealing it?

And what about the hijab designed by Calvin Klein, which covers the hair but leaves the ears and the neck free to view?

There is also the fluorescent horse-hair wig, including a blonde version, marketed by Iranian designers, that gives a woman a second head to expose to public view without revealing her own hair.

With the focus on the foulard, the girls could also turn up wearing turbans of the kind once favored by Tallulah Bankhead and Marlene Dietrich.

There are countless forms of hijab, all rooted in folklore and tribal traditions. Here are a few: burqaa, chador, chaqchur, kulaya, maqna'ah, niqab, purdah, picheh, rusari, rubandedh, sitrah, and tolqa.

Is Mr. Chirac going to define them all before he can ban them?

And what would happen if Muslims of the Sitri sect, originally from Baluchistan, appeared in their traditional gear, which consists of a white drape that covers the entire body of a man or a woman from head to toe, leaving only two holes for the eyes? (The Sitri rule is applied to both sexes from the age of four.)

What's more, the new law's proponents will have to decide whether the it applies only to women.

In a gesture of fake impartiality, the new law will also ban "large" Jewish skullcaps and "big" crosses. But what do "large" and "big" mean in this context? Would we have special agents measuring skullcaps and crosses at school gates?

French Sikhs, who number 6,000, have already expressed concern that their traditional turbans may be banned.

And what if France's 1.8 million Muslim schoolboys decided to wear turbans and/or kufia headgear, as is the fashion among Iranian mullahs and Arab tribesmen?

And what about neckties? They are banned in Iran as "a sign of the cross" and in Saudi Arabia as a Zoroastrian symbol, smuggled into Islam by Jaafar Barmaki, the Persian vizier of the caliph Harun al-Rashid. Would France want to ban neckties as well?

Then there is the vexing problem of beards.

Islamist fundamentalists believe that a man who shaves ceases to be a "complete Muslim." Iran's President Muhammad Khatami claims that a man's beard is "a shield against impiety."

France's Education Minister Luc Ferry has made it clear that the ban could include "some forms of the beard."

But what forms?

Will short beards and designer stubbles, of the kind once sported by Brad Pitt, be tolerated?

Can those with a goatee or a Vandyke enter French schools?

Or will we have agents posted at French schools to measure the pupils' facial growths, much like the Taliban did in their heyday in the bazaars of Kabul? (The Taliban wanted long beards, while Ferry wants short ones.)

Minister Ferry may not know it, but the length of a man's hair could also be a religious symbol. Ferry himself, for example, wears his hair flowing down his neck. This conforms exactly to the style of the sect of Qalandars in Islam, who regard any shortening of a man's hair as "a step towards the fires of hell." The Sikhs are, of course, required by their faith never to cut their hair.

What would Ferry do if hundreds of thousands of boys turned out at French schools with long hair, bushy beards, and "ostentatious" turbans?

Even a lack of hair could be a religious symbol, as is the case with Buddhist monks. In Islam, too, many sects, including the Malamatis, shave their heads completely.

As Jung observed decades ago, man's ability to invent symbols is limitless. Fighting symbols is, at best, a quixotic endeavor, and, at worst, a symptom of national self-doubt.

— Amir Taheri is an Iranian-born author of ten books on the Middle East and Islam. He is reachable through
34 posted on 02/03/2004 1:49:20 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Tehran Bans Student Demonstration

February 03, 2004
BBC News

Iranian students say they have been banned from holding a demonstration to support reformist candidates barred from this month's election.

The student news agency, ISNA, quoted the Tehran governor's office as saying no authorisation had been given for a rally planned in the city on Wednesday.

Student protests last year sparked a national security crackdown.

Iran has been embroiled in a three-week row between conservatives and reformists over the 20 February poll.

Request denied

The Tehran University branches of the Islamic Association said they had requested permission to stage a demonstration outside the main campus.

But Ali Taala, director of political and security affairs for the city, was quoted as telling the students: "No gathering will be allowed outside the entrance of Tehran University."

Correspondents say students are often seen as a driving force behind the reformist movement.

Last week, the main pro-democracy student movement, the Office to Consolidate Unity, OCU, called for a national boycott of the elections from which thousands of candidates have been banned by the conservative Guardians Council.

The students also called for a referendum on the country's political future.

But Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said on Tuesday that he hopes the controversy will be resolved to allow free and fair elections.

Speaking during a visit to Ukraine, Mr Kharrazi said Iran was following a path of democratic change.
35 posted on 02/03/2004 5:13:03 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Khamenei Effectively Sides With Hard Liners

February 03, 2004
Dow Jones Newswires
The Associated Press

TEHRAN -- Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, opposes postponing Feb. 20 elections, effectively siding with hard-liners in a crisis that has paralyzed the nation's political system, a prominent lawmaker told The Associated Press Tuesday.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told President Mohammad Khatami during crisis talks that parliamentary elections must be held as scheduled, reformist lawmaker Rajabali Mazrouei said.

"The leader insisted that elections must be held on Feb. 20th under any circumstances," Mazrouei, who has been barred by hard-liners from running in the polls, said.

The meeting between Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters, and the embattled president was seen as a last chance to ease Iran's worst political crisis in years.

The meeting was also attended by parliamentary speaker Mahdi Karroubi and Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, the hard-line head of judiciary.
36 posted on 02/03/2004 5:13:47 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
To Woo the French, Iran Rolls Out its Carpets

February 04, 2004
The New York Times
Elaine Sciolino

PARIS -- At Friday prayers in Tehran late last month, 150 Iranian female members of Iran's volunteer militia chanted "Death to France" to protest an anticipated French law banning religious symbols, including Muslim headscarves, from public schools.

The "hand of Satan" could be seen in France's decision, a declaration read out at the end of the protest stated.

But in Paris last month, Iran used carpet diplomacy to show a softer side, exhibiting 159 hand-knotted, state-of-the-art carpets to demonstrate the depth and regional diversity of the country's centuries-old carpet industry.

The exhibition coincided with an official visit by Mohammad Shariatmadari, the Minister of Commerce and several dozen Iranian businessmen. So perhaps it should not have been surprising that most of the carpets were both for show and for sale.

"You could spend a month in Iran and not see carpets like this," said Mohammad Sadegh Kharazi, Iran's 40-year-old ambassador to France, who claimed that never before in the history of Iran's 25-year Islamic Republic had such a show been organized. "I bought three of them myself on the first night," for more than $100,000, he added.

M.R. Behzadian, President of the Tehran Chamber of Commerce, who came to Paris to drum up investment from French corporations, also struggled to stress the artistic. "Art," Behazadian said, "is more important than business."

At about $600 million a year, carpets remain Iran's top non-oil export, according to Commerce Ministry figures. So the exhibition was a welcome showcase for the seven carpet dealers, all approved by the ministry, who participated in the exhibition.

Yet Iran has been struggling without much success to regain its market share in the face of stiff competition in recent years from other countries, particularly China, India, Nepal and Pakistan, which have copied traditional Persian designs.

It was Kharazi who pulled together the sale in one of the choicest exhibition spots in Paris. An English speaker with a master's degree in political science from New York University, he has used much of his 16-month tenure here to campaign for both his country's cultural heritage and its business potential. He dispenses French translations of "The Rubiyat of Omar Khayyam," velvet-boxed CD collections of traditional Iranian music and packets of saffron to visitors, even as he brags that only Germany is a bigger European trading partner with Iran.

This month, with the blessing of Unesco and the French Ministry of Culture, he is acting as host for an Iranian classical theater and music production at the headquarters of UN cultural organization in Paris to raise money for the survivors of the recent earthquake than leveled the historic Iranian city of Bam, leaving 30,000 people dead.

"I am sponsoring everything - the food, the hotel, the transportation, the rental of the salon," said Kharazi, at a cost, he estimated, of about $250,000.

But it is Kharazi's extraordinary pedigree that has helped make him one of Iran's most well-placed Iranian ambassadors around the world. He is both the son of Ayatollah Mohsen Kharrazi, who sits on the influential Assembly of Experts, and the nephew of Iran's Foreign Minister, Kamal Kharazi.

Carpet creations in Iran run the gamut - from rough picnic coverings woven in wool by tribal women and traditionally placed on the ground at mealtime to densely-knotted fine silk carpets that are never walked on and whose colors move with the light.

The centerpiece of the carpet exhibition, which was held at the domed Bourse de Commerce hall in the heart of Paris, was a silk and wool carpet commissioned by the 20th century monarch Reza Shah and made by Amu Oghli, one of the master carpet weavers of Mashhad who produced many carpets for the king.

Although independent carpet dealers in Paris who have seen the exhibition said that the carpets are priced competitively, only 14 were sold, according to an Iranian official at the embassy. (In the first 11 months of 2003, France imported only $11 million worth of Iranian carpets and woven textiles such as kilims.)

The relaxation of U.S. sanctions on Iran in 2000 did not dramatically bolster the market in the United States, although Iranian carpet dealers still lavish praise on Madeleine Albright, the former secretary of state, for pushing through the measure.

"We presented Mrs. Albright with a small carpet with her portrait woven on it," said Razi Miri, managing director of Miri Iranian Rugs, whose family has been in the carpet business in Iran for five generations, and whose carpets are on display in the exhibition. "Her face looked very natural. She was very happy to receive it."
37 posted on 02/03/2004 5:14:23 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; ...
I am on the Hugh Hewitt's Radio Show talking about the events in Iran.

Tune in now!

You can listen online at:

38 posted on 02/03/2004 5:19:24 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Pakistan's Military Faces Scrutiny After Nuclear Secrets Leaks

Tue Feb 3

ISLAMABAD (AFP) - Attempts to prosecute the disgraced father of Pakistan's nuclear program Abdul Qadeer Khan for selling nuclear secrets could backfire by placing the military's alleged role under scrutiny, analysts have warned.

Khan confessed in an 11-page statement at the weekend to selling nuclear expertise to Iran, Libya and North Korea from 1988 to at least 1997, according to the government.

The government is now weighing up whether to prosecute Khan, one of Pakistan's most revered national heroes. It has already sacked him as special adviser on strategic affairs.

But analysts like Riffat Hussain, head of the Strategic Studies Department at Islamabad's Quaid-e-Azam University, said trying Khan would open a "Pandora's box."

"Pushed to the wall A.Q. Khan can spill the beans, which can complicate matters -- especially Islamabad's claims that technology leakage was done without official sanction," Hussain said.

Khan's daughter left Pakistan last month carrying a cassette recording of Khan "in which he defends himself and levels charges against certain people," The News daily reported Monday.

It said officials were trying to retrieve the tape "fearing it might damage the country if it fell into the hands of the anti-Pakistan lobby."

In his statement Khan accused former army chiefs Aslam Beg and Jehangir Karamat of "indirectly instructing" him to proliferate, a senior military official told AFP.

"He named two gentlemen, (retired) generals Beg and Karamat, who were then questioned," the official said, requesting anonymity.

Beg, who denied in interviews last week approving or being aware that nuclear secrets were being sold off, was army chief from 1988 to 1991, and Karamat was army chief until 1998.

"(Khan) said they were in the know. In one case he said he did it on their instructions, but not directly. They asked someone else and that fellow instructed A.Q. Khan and that man is now dead."

The middleman was the late brigadier Imtiaz, defence adviser to Benazir Bhutto during her first tenure as prime minister from 1988 to 1990.

"There was no evidence found of what A.Q. Khan was saying, so it could not be sustained," the official said.

But Beg and Karamat were questioned thoroughly, he added.

"If there is any more evidence of involvement of anyone else they will be questioned, no one is above the law."

President Pervez Musharraf has adamantly denied that the military or former governments encouraged or approved the transfers of nuclear technology and expertise, blaming civilian scientists and the world black market.

Pakistan's military was "not at all" concerned about possible scrutiny if Khan is put to trial, the military official said.

"The military is keen to put the house in order, if at all someone is involved he must be taken to task and the house must be put in order."

Officials also insist that no proliferation occurred after 2000, when the military established the National Command Authority (NCA) and command and control structures to secure the country's nuclear program.

"Certainly nothing happened after the NCA was established in 2000," a government official told AFP Monday.

But observers are sceptical that Khan could have proliferated so widely without military approval.

"What is rather clear to me is that it was not just personal profit that was involved, nor was the action of mere individuals possible," Pervez Hoodbhoy, a physics professor who campaigns for nuclear disarmament, told AFP.

"Rather it has to be something much deeper than that and which involved state apparatus, because the transfer of such materials is impossible without explicit permission from the security apparatus that constantly surrounds the nuclear establishment, installations and personnel."
39 posted on 02/03/2004 6:00:48 PM PST by nuconvert ("Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?")
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To: F14 Pilot
Permit? Get some reporters and cameramen and just do it.

After all, the whole world is watching.

Frontline's Forbidden Iran Redux.

40 posted on 02/03/2004 7:29:30 PM PST by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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