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Iranian Alert -- February 4, 2004 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD --Americans for Regime Change in Iran
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 2.4.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 02/04/2004 12:04:20 AM PST by DoctorZIn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DoctorZin


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iaea; iran; iranianalert; iranquake; protests; southasia; studentmovement; studentprotest
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Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

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

1 posted on 02/04/2004 12:04:21 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

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

2 posted on 02/04/2004 12:06:51 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Amir Taheri: Iran's Islamic republic faces moment of truth

04-02-2004
Gulfnews

Is Islam a sufficient basis for building a modern nation-state? This is the question that Iran's Khomeinists, in both mullah and "civilian" versions, have shunned for the past quarter of a century. They labelled their regime an "Islamic Republic", an oxymoron, and erected some of the décor of democracy including an elected parliament, an elected president and a constitution mostly copied from that of the French Fifth Republic.

For 25 years they have grappled with the fundamental contradiction of their system: a forlorn attempt at operating a "democratic theocracy." The current crisis over who could stand in the coming general election has brought that contradiction into focus. What caused the crisis?

Briefly, the conflict started when the Council of Guardians of the Constitution rejected the candidacy of some 3,000 individuals, including some incumbent members of the Majlis (parliament) on the grounds that they were not sufficiently "Islamic". Last month some of the rejected politicians started a sit-in at the Majlis, triggering a verbal duel with the Guardians Council. On Sunday, 116 members of the outgoing parliament resigned in protest.

The Western media describe the protestors as "reformers" and the Guardians Council as "conservative". Such labels, however, ignore the facts.

• The so-called "reformers" do not propose to reform anything. They are not asking for the Guardians Council to be abolished. Nor do they propose that the council lose its constitutional power to vet and, if necessary, veto candidacies. All that the "reformers" want is for the Guardians Council to dance to their tune.

• The Guardians Council is acting in strict accordance with its constitutional powers and duties. It is, therefore, the so-called "reformist" camp that wants the constitution to be violated, in both letter and spirit.

• In the case of a dispute between the Majlis and the Guardians Council, the present constitution includes adequate mechanisms for conflict resolution. Thus there is no need for sit-ins and threats of mass resignation. The disputing parties could take the matter to the Expediency Council which will hear both sides and issue a verdict. If the dispute continues beyond that verdict, the two sides could take the matter to the "Su-preme Guide" who has the final say on all matters, religious and temporal.

• Whatever the final list of candidates, to be published on Feb-ruary 7, it is certain that no "outsider" will be allowed to stand. This has been the case in all the elections held by the Khomeinist regime since 1979. Thus the choice is between two brands of Khomeinism, one presumably "lite", the other hard.

• The mass of Iranians are uninterested in what is, at best, a family feud between two factions whose members are often related to one other by blood, marriage and/or business interests. A poll by the Interior Ministry in Tehran last week revealed that 85 per cent of the electorate would boycott the coming polls even if all the candidates belonged to the so-called "reformist" faction of the Khomeinist family.

Showdown

The showdown within the Khomeinist family has provoked a huge yawn inside Iran, but has forced the leaders of the regime to raise the taboo question: Is Islam compatible with democracy as normally understood across the globe?

President Mohammed Khatami, often introduced by the Western media as the leader of the "reformist" camp, had the courage to raise the question last Saturday.

Emerging from a pilgrimage to the tomb of Khomeini, Khatami had this to say: "The system of our Islamic Republic is based on the two principles of Islamism and republicanism. Just as those who do not accept Islamism are excluded [from our system] those who reject the republican aspect of our Islamic Republic fall outside it."

Khatami was careful to use the term "Islamism" rather than Islam, thus reducing religion to the status of a political ideology.

This was no mere semantic trick. For Khatami knows that Islam is incompatible with democracy. To say so is not meant as a disparagement of Islam. On the contrary many sincere Muslims regard any suggestion that Islam is not politically self-sufficient as an insult to their faith. The same sincere Muslims would feel hurt by Khatami's suggestion that Islam is a political ideology that cannot exist without the support of republicanism, a Western system of government.

In Islam all power belongs to Allah and is exercised only by His "regents" (Caliphs) in strict accordance with the immutable rules of the faith. In other words, it is Allah, and not the people, who is Sovereign.

The Khomeinist system is based on the claim that all of Allah's powers are concentrated in the hands of a mullah, named "Faqih Wali" (The Jurisconsult Custodian), who can even order the suspension of the rites of Islam itself.

In a republic, however, power belongs to the people on the basis of national sovereignty. A republic does not distinguish among its citizens on the basis of religion, although it respects their religious faith, whatever it happens to be. In a republic there are no immutable Divine Laws; an elected legislature can change whatever laws it deems fit in accordance with an earthly constitution.

In other words one can have an Islamic state just as one can have a republic. What one cannot do is to have both. The Iranian experience of the past 25 years shows that both Islam and republicanism emerge as losers from attempts to use them as a facade for a despotic regime based on violence, terror and corruption.

The true reformists in Iran are not to be found within the Khomeinist establishment. But they are present at all levels of Iranian society. They, too, are divided into two camps.

Traditionalist

The first camp, consisting of traditionalist Muslims, wants the regime to abandon its dishonest pretensions to be "almost democratic" by establishing a fully Islamic state in which there are no secular legislative organs. Such a system could still hold periodical elections, but only to reaffirm the people's allegiance to the regime.

The second camp consists of the overwhelming majority of politically active Iranians who want a democratic system in which power belongs to the people and is exercised on its behalf by elected representatives. In such a system Islam will certainly remain the religious faith of most Iranians, the framework of the nation's cultural life, and a vital element of its identity.

Neither of those two camps is represented within the Khomeinist establishment. Both camps deserve respect because they are sincere in their beliefs.

The traditional Muslims believe that Islam has the answer to all questions that may ever be asked.

The democrats believe that Islam's principal function is to teach the individual how and what questions to ask.

This is the real debate in Iran, not the shadow-boxing in and around a meaningless parliament whose membership is disputed among members of the same politico-ideological tribe.

The Khomeinists, whether so-called "reformist" or "hardliners", deserve little respect because their positions are based on a lie labelled "Islamic Republic", a tyranny that is neither Islamic nor republican.

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

http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/Opinion.asp?ArticleID=109817
3 posted on 02/04/2004 12:09:40 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran conservative prosecutor warns eight dailies

Tuesday, February 03, 2004 - ©2003
IranMania.com

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.

http://www.iranmania.com/News/ArticleView/Default.asp?NewsCode=22235&NewsKind=Current%20Affairs
4 posted on 02/04/2004 12:11:40 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran's top leader refuses to put off elections

Published February 4, 2004
By Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson
Knight Ridder

Tehran, Iran — Iran's all-powerful supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, refused Tuesday to delay this month's controversial elections for Parliament, fueling reports that reformist President Mohammad Khatami will step down.
Khatami's Cabinet will discuss the anticipated resignation at a regularly scheduled meeting this morning, after which the president probably will deliver a statement, supporters said. Another top-ranked politician, Parliament Speaker Mehdi Karrubi, who made an impassioned public plea to Khamenei on Sunday to postpone the election, is expected to announce that he won't seek re-election.

It's unclear what a Khatami resignation and Karrubi's decision would mean to the floundering reform movement. Both are seen as key to the movement, but many supporters, especially students, are disillusioned with the slow pace of political and social change.

The current crisis, the most public since the Islamic republic formed 25 years ago, was sparked last month when the conservative Guardian Council banned hundreds of pro-reform candidates, including the president's younger brother, from running in the parliamentary elections Feb. 20. On Sunday, 125 lawmakers resigned in protest.

Rescheduling the vote was the last recourse, and Khamenei, who succeeded the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1989 as Iran's unelected top ruler, was the only one who could take that step after the Guardian Council refused to act. Khamenei directly or indirectly appoints all 12 of the council's members — who are clerics and Islamic jurists — and has ultimate veto power.

Khatami met Tuesday with 70 reformist lawmakers, who urged him to press Khamenei for a postponement, then met with Khamenei. Khamenei issued no statement, but reformers said the ayatollah declined to intervene.

Analysts here said there was little reason for the ayatollah to risk alienating hard-liners by delaying the vote, given that public reaction to the crisis, particularly among students, has been muted.

http://www.news-leader.com/today/0204-Iranstople-2829.html
5 posted on 02/04/2004 12:12:46 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Youssef M. Ibrahim: Watch for the right indicators

04-02-2004
GulfNews

This week marks the opening of the American presidential election commencing with a succession of primaries that will bring into sharper focus which Democrat will face George Bush for the presidency as well as what differentiates Democrats from Republicans.

A word of caution to the reader: American elections are always decided over domestic, not foreign, issues. While the outcome is undoubtedly of crucial interest to the Gulf region as well as the whole Arab and Muslim world, it is important to watch for the right indicators.

In this coming election Iraq will affect the outcome to the degree that it has acquire too many "domestic" American features and not because the public cares about what happens to Iraqis. The questions being asked about Iraq now by pundits, candidates, inside the White House, within the army and the government as well as among the public are:

1) Did we have to go to war and invade Iraq? Were we lied to?

2) What did the president know and when did he know it about Weapons of Mass destruction: Where did intelligence end and politics begin?

3) How and when do American troops get out?

But these are not the only issues that will decide the outcome of this coming presidential election. Given that all politics are domestic, the American economy will be a major issue. And, the question of "character and integrity" among the president's team and about the president himself will also determine the outcome. The latter two will the subject of separate columns.

One way or the other, while the presidential decision is made in America, the outcome is crucial to this region and the world. Simply put four more years of the hard-line, extreme right-wing Republican administration of Bush carries the gravest risks.

Should Neoconservatives stay in power they will continue to implement an agenda of regime changes, pre-emptive actions, war of civilisations, and a growing strategic alliance with the equally hard-line government of Israel. This could spell chaos in Iraq, the total occupation of the West Bank by Israel ensuring high insecurity in the region . The results will not, as we saw in the aftermath of the Iranian revolution of 1979, necessarily be democratic or in the West's interests. Gradual change and reform is one thing. Change in the neoconservative Bush bully-style spells catastrophe.

All this suggests that anything-but-Bush is a good idea. Right? Not surely.

Signals coming from a heretofore confused Democratic Party are not reassuring. While all challengers from the Democratic Party have in one way or another criticised the invasion and occupation of Iraq, none that matter have really disagreed with it nor proposed a coherent set of different strategies. Worse yet, the leading democratic candidates including Senator John Kerry and John Edwards have not said a word about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, oil policy, or the so-called democratisation process of the Muslim world, not to mention relations with the rest of the world.

So the picture of confusion that characterised mostly the Bush Administration from its very start as it is riven by ideological disputes on foreign policy is not much clearer on the other side of the aisle.

Take Iran. Republicans and Democrats have wavered between advocating some dialogue with Iran on issues of mutual interest, such as Afghanistan and Iraq, while, bizarrely at the same time fostering a revolt against the ruling clerics by street demonstrators whose agenda they know little about. Remember, American intelligence has been absent from Iran since 1979 as has been dialogue between Washington and Tehran.

Similarly, confusion in both parties reigns supreme when it comes to relations with Saudi Arabia.
Alternatively, the Saudis are described as enemies of the United States who foster religious intolerance and at the same time strategic allies because of their undeniable clout as the world's largest oil superpower. One day, a group of senators and congressmen propose a law to hold Saudi Arabia to account and possibly freeze Saudi assets. The next day, the president forks out a spokesperson to assure the undying alliance with Saudi Arabia.

And then there is the policy on Iraq, which takes the cake.

Relief and reconstruction effort, assigned by Bush to the Pentagon in January, have, to put mildly, stumbled over graft, corruption, bad staffing, lack of transportation and poor communication. The pattern of corruption as shown by the scandal with Halliburton, the industrial group once led by Vice President Dick Cheney is grave, promising to leave Iraq in shambles not reconstructed.

This foul smell of dishonesty is made worse on the political level by the inconsistent messages about Iraq's political future – at first US forces where going to be there until 2006, now they have to get out by June?

Just as before the invasion there were no coherent plans for what comes next. Which leaves one last thought.

If the Americans do not know what to do in the Arab and Muslim world, what is preventing Arabs and Muslims from coming together on a plan they want, or at least a minimal view of their own future.

Youssef M. Ibrahim , a former Middle East correspondent for the New York Times and Energy Editor of the Wall Street Journal, is Managing Director of the Dubai-based Strategic Energy Investment Group, a consulting firm specialising in assessing political risk in the Gulf, Middle and Near East region. He can be contacted at ymibrahim@gulfnews.com

http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/Opinion.asp?ArticleID=109816
6 posted on 02/04/2004 12:14:36 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran on brink of self-sufficiency in missile industry: Official

Payvand's Iran News ...
2/3/04

Iran has taken fundamental steps for self-sufficiency in its nascent missile industry with the domestication of much of the technology used in projectiles, the head of the country's aerospace organization said in Tehran on Tuesday, IRNA reported.

Brigadier Ahmad Vahid recalled the hardship which dogged Iran throughout the war imposed by Iraq between 1980-1988, when the country bore the brunt of stinging economic and military sanctions.

"Logistic needs of the imposed war on one side and stringent sanctions slapped on the Islamic Republic of Iran on the other forced the country to found its missile industry.

"Thus, the industry started its rapid growth while none of the superior powers of the world were ready to cooperate with Iran in this field and everything took shape with belief in God and dependence on domestic knowledge and experience," he added.

Vahid cited achievements of Iran's Aerospace Industries Organization and its products, including production of anti-tank rockets as well as surface-to-surface Shahab missiles.

"There exist bright prospects for the organization in being a national front runner in the area of (access to) modern technologies and launch of light satellites and design of various products," he added.

Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani said last month that Iran will launch its locally-built satellite within one and half years, making the country the first in the Islamic world to capture outer space.

The country later unveiled a new type of naval Ra'd missile, designed to be fired from ships or coastal batteries as well as a radar guidance system for homing Nur rockets into their targets.

Shamkhani has hailed Iran's aerospace achievements, saying the aerospace capacity of the Islamic Republic is among the most genuine areas for bolstering of the country's deterrence force through the cooperation of the defense industries and universities.

"There was a time when the Persian Gulf was regarded as a launch pad of threats against the Islamic Republic, but today with the power Iran has acquired, this region cannot be used by any non-regional power against us," he said last month.

Iran' state telecommunications company had for long been seeking a foreign contractor to construct the country's first independent satellite.

Several entities, including from China, India, France and Russia had submitted proposals for the project, dubbed 'Zohreh' which the press had cited once worth 300 million dollars, but none of them were ever pushed through.

The project had been in the air since the 1980s. Iran, with a population of more than 65 million spread out on a territory of 1.6 million kilometers, is seeking to improve its communications system.

http://www.payvand.com/news/04/feb/1023.html
7 posted on 02/04/2004 12:15:58 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Your job is massive. It is almost the equivilant (in size) to the colonists taking on the British Empire. It can be done. but you need constant and vocal publicity to get anyone in the lame stream media to pay attention. And remember their attention span is equal to a two year old childs.
8 posted on 02/04/2004 12:52:05 AM PST by marty60
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To: DoctorZIn; McGavin999; freedom44; nuconvert; Eala; AdmSmith; dixiechick2000; onyx; Pro-Bush; ...
Feature: The Resecularization of Iran

Can we learn from our fathers' mistakes?

Sunday, April 14, 2002
IranMania News

Why did the Iranian modern middle class go into an alliance with the Mullahs against the Shah?
Why cannot secular minded Iranians agree on a political platform even though they all want the same things?

It is high time that we Iranians start to ask and answer these questions regardless of our political opinions if we want to find a way out of our current impasse.
In any country, any nation, democratic or semi democratic, military dictatorship or theocratic tyranny, there is always an inner sanctum of power, a control chamber where the state's vital interests, its very existence is protected.
In a democracy, the membership of that higher council is elective.
In Turkey, Pakistan or Egypt, they have elections but the military top brass are the final arbiters of power and therefore in charge of distinguishing the country's best interests.
In pre revolutionary Iran, the secular intellectuals were in charge of the control chamber, the "deep state".
In any moment of serious crisis the consensus of the secular intellectuals had the final and conclusive word on the course of the events.
The Iranian secular leadership was far more competent than their counterparts in similar societies .The 1979 Iran or even 1960s Iran was far ahead of Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan, Brazil, Venezuela, Malaysia or Thailand in terms of economic development, the material basis of modernization. Political development, the building of the intellectual basis of the institutions of civil society did not however materialize.
The question then becomes why was not democracy institutionalized in Iran while education and economic development clearly flourished?
There has been a range of answers so far:
The institution of monarchy and the personality of Mohammed Reza Shah were the biggest impediment to democracy in Iran or Mohammed Reza Shah was a megalomaniac by nature since he liked to fly airplanes and would always take his picture with Damavand in the background. (See Marvin Zonis, "The Majestic Failure").
Or the all too familiar conspiracy theory: Mohammed Reza Shah was groomed to be a dictator at the pay of the British and the Americans since the moment of his birth. (See the fictitious memoirs of Hossein Fardoust by the IR intelligence service).
These infantalizing, patronizing and ideology-ridden readings of history fail to answer one basic and simple question.
Supposing they are right why did the builders of the common secular consensus, the very architects of the Pahlavi State let it happen.
Where were they? Why did not they stop it?
It is therefore logical to consider that perhaps the secular state itself with or without the Shah had underlying design flaws when it came to the distribution of power or the production of a democratic consensus.
I believe that the lack of institutionalization of democracy in Iran during the Pahlavi State can be traced to the value system of the secular intellectuals themselves.
I believe that the social milieu into which Iranian institutions of civil society were borne and within which they operated had everything to do with their failure.
The social institutions of the Enlightment, an independent judiciary, a parliament, a free press can only exist if there is a consensus in society that individual humans as its members are "persons."
In the beginning of the Pahlavi era with an illiteracy rate of over 95%, neither the intellectuals looked at the majority of people as "persons" nor the majority of people thought of themselves as equal human beings to intellectuals.
That was the curse of our history. In her 1926 memorable Travel diary to Iran, "Passenger to Tehran", Vita Sackville-West, a member of the famous Bloomsbury group and a keen social observer makes an interesting comment: "This country is like the sands of its deserts, you can mold them any way you wish but the mold breaks the moment you loosen your grip. The reason is they have never experienced the 19th century when the foundations were built."

During the reign of Reza Shah, the intellectuals were convinced that democracy could wait until there actually was an Iran. As a result the secular intellectuals were the planners and Reza Shah was the muscle, the raw executive power behind economic modernization.
The relations between Mohammed Reza Shah and the intellectuals were different.
At the outset, as Iran was occupied, they looked at the Shah as a figurehead, a symbol of the continuation of the sovereign state.
As the threat to the country's national integrity subsided, the modern middle class and their delegates, the intellectuals started to treat the Shah as an independent arbiter of their differing views regarding the future path of the country.
The Shah was not the dominating power but the umpire, the power broker who maintained the balance of the secular consensus.
The attempts at building of grassroots genuine party politics in Iran were short lived and failed because of two main reasons: First, the country as a whole was still culturally and politically underdeveloped. Meaningful debates on substantive issues were nonexistent and parties would only exist as the expression of the political ambitions of their founders. Second, the material basis of Iran's modern middle class was weak. As a result power politics in the sense of independent nongovernmental civic entities exacting authority and demanding their agenda did not exist. Politics was more a case of the intellectuals theorizing and expecting change from the state.
As the institutions of the Enlightment failed to materialize, the intellectuals started to become disillusioned with the feasibility of the whole project itself rather than looking for the underlying faults. As a result, the modern middle classes were attracted by the ideals of communism in its various guises.
The Stalinist Tudeh party was a body blow to the secular consensus for not only it robbed it from some of its best talents in every field of humanities but also it imported the violent, ideological, uncivil discourse of third worldist Marxism to Iranian politics.
The events of the 28th Mordad and the fall of Mossadegh were the definitive coup the grace, the one cataclysmic event that sealed the fate of the secular alliance.
From its very beginning the motto of the constitutional movement was "The idea of legality and progress," "Andisheh Ghanoun va Taraghi".
Mohammed Mossadegh represented "Ghanoun", the political development side of Iranian modernization, the ideal of democratic legitimacy.
Mohammed Reza Shah represented "Taraghi", the economic development side of modernization, the ideal of material progress.
On the surface, Mossadegh and the Shah looked as opposites. In reality they complimented each other. No two men ever needed each other more than Mossadegh and Mohammed Reza Shah. For one was the body and the other the soul. One was critical logic and the other instrumental rationality.
Mossadegh was the consummate communicator, political tactician and crisis manager. Mohammed Reza Shah was a builder, the aloof, calculating long-term strategist.
The secular alliance needed both.
Their failure to work with each other for the common good of Iran destroyed each of them in turn and blew up the secular alliance.
Mohammed Mossadegh was arguably one of Iran's most honest, secular minded, patriotic and capable politicians. However by virtue of being a nineteenth century trained jurist, Mossadegh had very little understanding of the post war international politics and modern economics.
He actually believed that he could defeat Britain by not selling them Iranian oil.
In his memoirs he makes claims such as: " Reza Shah's building of the trans Iranian railway was a British plot. The project of sending students to Europe was a mistake for they all came back as scoundrels. Iranians do not need freight insurance for they trust each other."
Mossadegh's first year in power, was one of the best years in Iran's history. The whole of Iran united behind Mossadegh and Mohammed Reza Shah and together they accomplished one of Iran's proudest moments. The Nationalization of the oil industry. More important than the nationalization itself is how they did it. There was no hostage taking, no hate rallies, and no terrorist bombings. The Jews, Bahais or Armenians were not singled out as the enemy's fifth column.
In a manner befitting a proud, noble, old nation, they fought in the world's courts of justice and public opinion and they won.
Mossadegh's second year in power, 1953 was the year of Iran's shame. For the one man who was the symbol of democracy in Iran, Mossadegh, closed the Majlis, the Senate, the Supreme Court and ruled by decree.
And the symbol of Iran's national sovereignty and the country's best technocrat, the Shah, formed an alliance with foreigners against his own prime minister.
Mohammed Reza Pahlavi has been universally condemned and blamed for the failure of the secular state. The reality is that Mossadegh is as much responsible as Mohammed Reza Shah.
Mohammed Reza Shah did nothing wrong when he signed the edict removing Mossadegh from power. The constitution clearly gave him that right in the absence of the Majlis. The whole story of the CIA and MI6 involvement in the removal of Mossadegh is true but aggrandized way out of proportion.
Regardless, had Mohammed Reza Shah faced Mossadegh alone and defeated him without foreign interference of any amount or nature, Iran's history would undoubtedly be different.
The involvement of foreign powers as insignificant and minuscule as it was made all the difference as far as the legitimacy of the Shah and the future disposition of the secular alliance were concerned.
The economic boom which started in the 1960s mainly as a result of the Shah's and the technocratic elite's managerial expertise actually made matters worse since it laid bare the non existence and the necessity of the civic institutions of the Enlightment.
The whole modernization paradigm in Iran can be compared to a stool standing on the two pillars of economic progress and political development. The more emphasis on linear economic buildup in the absence of democracy resulted in the instability of the whole system.
As a result those secular forces that supported the Shah lost their faith in the whole system. They either retreated from politics altogether or worse they stayed on but became cynical participants in a macabre game of make believe.
On the side of the secular opposition to the Shah, from the late sixties onward the whole discourse was characterized by almost a complete lack of concern for the ideas of the Enlightment. Instead, attention was focused with what extremist political ideologies had to offer for emancipation from the domination of the West. Sociopolitical institutions were no longer discussed as a key to progress. If and when there was talk of civil liberties, it was clear from the context that it was meant only to signify the desire of the protagonists of this or that ideology to be able to have everything their own way.
The whole social milieu of the Iranian middle class became slanted and paradoxical. In one hand, the modern middle class loved the end products of economic modernization: material comfort, modern education and a cosmopolitan life style. On the other hand, they hated the very system that had produced them because of the lack of the other necessary ingredient: civil liberties. The dilemma of the modern middle class was not just political, it extended itself within every sphere of social activity: gender relations, family relations, etc. The Iranian modern middle class attempted to resolve its identity crisis, its spiritual dissatisfaction by going through a devotional metamorphosis, a metaphysical reconfiguration.
On the political side, to hide their role in the creation of the secular alliance, Iranian intellectuals created the "Myth of 28th Mordad" as the secular version of the "Karbala Syndrome".
The whole semiotics, screen play, Manichist set up of the legend of 1953 as portrayed by lay Iranian intellectuals in the 70s is reminiscent of a "Tazieh" play.
Mossadegh became the secular saint, the infallible, the Mazloum, the Shahid, the latter day Imam Hussein.
Mohammed Reza Shah became the Shiaa villain par excellence, the usurper, the tyrannical modern Yazid.
It did not matter how many dams, roads, universities, power plants the Shah built. It did not matter what the creation of OPEC did for Iran and the whole region. It did not matter that Iranian Armed Forces became the fifth in the world. It did not matter that for the very first time in our entire post Islamic history, women and religious minorities enjoyed full citizenship rights. It did not matter that the Pahlavi State succeeded where Amir Kabir and Abbas Mirza had failed
To carry the flag of patriotism, to be an authentic Iranian; you had to defy the Shah. Lock, stock and barrel.
On the social side, "Cultural Authenticity" was hailed as the solution to Iran's identity crisis. Cosmopolitanism became Westoxication, "Gharbzadegi." The opening of the Iranian culture to the world and the resulting scrutiny became "Cultural Invasion." To top it off, the intellectuals became suicidal and labeled themselves "Cultural Traitors," those who sold their ancestral faith to the devil of western modernity.
When a half literate, apprentice village Mullah, Ali Khamenei calls the whole Iranian intelligentsia, "A sick plant imported from abroad." Do not blame him.
We the secular intellectuals taught him.
The exchange of the ideals of the Enlightment for "Cultural Particularism " became the grounds for the odd coalition of the secular middle class and the political clergy to topple the last bastion of modernity in Iran, the Pahlavi State.
It did not however lead to the successful assumption of power by the secularists.
The reason is obvious, in the same way that Political Shiism has never surpassed its Karbala syndrome and is doomed to remain a creed of protest, the 70s version of Iranian ethnic nationalism could not surpass its Mossadegh myth and therefore remained the party of the honorable vanquished.
Bazargan's unwillingness to face off Khomeini when he was in control of all the levers of power is clear indication of the defeatist mind set.
In the whole fervor of the 1978-1979 Iran, three men of the secular alliance understood the depth of the tragic faith that the Iranian modern middle class faced and had the courage to stand up against the overwhelming flow. Gholam Hossein Sadighi when he asked the Shah not to leave Iran. Shahpour Bakhtiar when he put a last ditch effort to stop the inevitable. Abbas Amir Entezam when he opposed the passing of Velayat Faghih though the establishment of the assembly of experts. All three of these men were isolated or banned by their colleagues from the remnants of the secular alliance.
While in the past hundred years, we secular middle class Iranians have been busy with the demons of our past, the creations of our culture and collective conscience: the Iranian Enlightment, the Myth of Mossadegh and Cultural Authenticity; another metanarrative, a new global mega reality has been happening right under our nose.
If one takes a country's economy as a proxy for its competitive advantage amongst nations then we have miserably failed.
The general profile of Iran's economic predicament at the beginning of the Twenty first century is exactly as it was at the turn of the Twentieth century.
It is as if the collapse of the Oriental monarchy of the Qajars, the rise and demise of the Pahlavi State, the succesfull institutionalization of Political Islam and now its decay have not in the slightest measure changed the destiny of the Iranians from relying on a mono product economy for their survival.
We are still an insignificant, miniscule, marginal link in the global economic order.
The consequences of this predicament in the next decades will be catastrophic for Iran and will test the entire existence of our culture and nation.
What we have witnessed in the past twenty years is that economic globalization and the telecommunication revolution has made all kinds of third worldist Marxism, chauvinist nationalism and ethnic religious nativism simply obsolete.
The claims of those inside or outside Iran who brandish "Islamic Reformism" as a substitute to or a parallel project with the ideals of the Enlightment is entirely bogus. It is hard to believe that serious people still talk about Islamic modernism when the dramatic failure of the two hundred years old project of the construction of Political Shiism and Velayat e Fafghih as an ideology of governance out of the medieval faith of a nation is in full view of history.
"Islamic Reformism" is yet another trap to plunge the Iranian polity even deeper into an exclusively religious discourse.
If there is an iota of self-respect in the common travails that we Iranians have endured in the last two hundred years, it is certainly not in the sophistry of Ali Shariati or his reincarnation, Haj Hossein Dabagh circa AbdolKarim Sorush but in the works of Mohammad Ali Foroughi or AbdolHossein Zarinkoub or Ehsan Yarshater. If Iran has done anything where two hundred years from today, our children may proudly look back at it, it is not in the acts of hostage taking or terrorism but the trans Iranian railway, the Tehran University, the nationalization of oil, the creation of OPEC.
We do not have a choice but to rebuild the secular alliance where our fathers left it.
We are condemned to learn the art of disagreement if we are to survive.

http://www.iranmania.com/News/ArticleView/Default.asp?NewsCode=22261&NewsKind=Current%20Affairs
9 posted on 02/04/2004 2:06:29 AM PST by F14 Pilot ("Terrorists declared war on U.S. and War is what they Got!")
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To: DoctorZIn; F14 Pilot
Thanks for your posts. Very informative.
10 posted on 02/04/2004 2:23:59 AM PST by PGalt
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To: DoctorZIn
The Aytollas and Muftis and Fartwas must remain in cjarge in IRAN, serving as an example in the world of how f*cked up this Islam is!
11 posted on 02/04/2004 2:48:46 AM PST by observer5
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To: DoctorZIn
You would think the American press would pay more attention to the press in Iran. The fact that the IRI has it's official news mouthpiece, and threatens or shuts down papers that question the regime, speaks volumes about its goal of squelching any dissent.
12 posted on 02/04/2004 4:58:35 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: observer5
Better yet, after the Islamic regime falls the world will notice that pretending to be democratic and using religion as an excuse to crush the spirit of citizens, is not conducive when trying to sustain power.
13 posted on 02/04/2004 5:07:55 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: Pan_Yans Wife
More cheating by Tehran

February 01, 2004

Washington Times Op-Ed

Tehran doesn't seem to have learned the central lesson from the demise of Saddam Hussein: The rules have changed, and it has become dangerous to lie and play games with the international community when it comes to weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Just a few weeks ago, Tehran acknowledged that it is continuing to build uranium-enrichment centrifuges, which are needed to make nuclear weapons. This contradicts the announcement made last fall by Britain, France and Germany that Iran had agreed to halt such activity. In short, the European trio appears to have been hoodwinked.

In September, the U.N.-affiliated International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) called on Iran to suspend its uranium-processing and enrichment activities and sign a protocol permitting more intrusive inspections of its nuclear facilities. Iran agreed to sign the protocol and suspend the activities. In return, Iran gained a promise that it could have more access to high technology from Europe. Then, in December, Iran signed the protocol, much to the relief of politicians and diplomats in Europe and Washington.

Unfortunately, they were jolted back to reality when Iran announced several weeks ago that it is building the centrifuges. Tehran now brazenly claims that the deal does not require it to halt all "enrichment-related" activities and that it has the right to continue to amass centrifuges. France, Britain and Germany disagree with Tehran's very narrow interpretation of the agreement. But Germany wants to use gentle persuasion to get Iran to change its behavior, while Britain, France and IAEA Director-General Mohammed ElBaradei may be inclined to ratchet up the pressure if Iran's defiance continues.

"Iran is just the opposite of Libya," one frustrated diplomat told Reuters last month, referring to Moammar Gadhafi's renunciation of WMD and opening facilities up to international inspectors.

Of course, Tehran's cheating is nothing new. It merely continues behavior that has gone on for several decades. In November, the IAEA issued a 30-page report documenting Iranian deception about its nuclear weapons programs dating back to the mid-1980s. At the time, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control John Bolton warned that if Iran "is continuing to conceal its nuclear program and has again lied to the IAEA, the international community must be prepared to declare Iran in noncompliance with its IAEA safeguards agreements."

Iran's continued cheating could have dire consequences. Henry Sokolski of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center (who has been notably prescient in warning about the Iranian threat) writes in National Review Online that, if Iran fed those centrifuges with the enriched uranium that Russia plans to send it for the light-water Bushehr reactor, Tehran could produce enough material for a bomb "in a matter of weeks."

This week, a who's who of international terrorists — including Hezbollah and al Qaeda offshoots — are meeting in Tehran to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Ayatollah Khomeini's seizure of power. This event, known as the "Ten Days of Dawn," serves to remind us all why it would be intolerable to permit the Iranian regime to obtain nuclear weapons and why preventing this should be a top priority for American policy-makers.

http://washingtontimes.com/op-ed/20040131-104829-5803r.htm
14 posted on 02/04/2004 5:11:43 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: Pan_Yans Wife
Iran Election Row Edges Toward Compromise Solution

Wed February 4, 2004
By Parisa Hafezi

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's pro-reform government said Wednesday it was close to resolving a bitter row with hard-liners over parliamentary elections that has plunged the Islamic Republic into its worst political crisis for years.

The compromise deal over the exclusion of hundreds of reformist candidates from the Feb. 20 vote appeared to have been hammered out thanks to the intervention of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali-Khamenei, who has final say on all state affairs.

"We hope that by tomorrow afternoon we can reach acceptable results which could prepare the ground for the government to be able to hold the election," government spokesman Abdollah Ramazanzadeh told reporters after a cabinet meeting.

He said Khamenei had called on officials to ensure a high voter turnout. Reformists have said the mass disqualification of candidates by the hard-line Guardian Council would dissuade an already politically-disillusioned public from voting.

"We hope the leader's views will be implemented," he said.

The Guardian Council -- an unelected oversight body dominated by religious hard-liners -- is expected to announce many of those barred from the election race can now run.

Reformist allies of President Mohammad Khatami, who had previously said they would boycott the election even if all of the more than 2,000 barred candidates were reinstated, hinted they may be prepared to soften their stance.

"If there are positive developments we will review our decisions for the future," Ali Shakourirad, a member of Iran's largest reform party, told Reuters. "I believe there is a lot of hope but we should wait and see what practical steps are taken."

KHAMENEI: NO DEAD-END

The vast majority of those barred were reformists and included more than 80 current members of the 290-seat parliament.

Khamenei, who analysts had long expected to step in to sort out the standoff, said such disputes were not unusual.

"There have always been disputes. (But) there is no knot which cannot be untied... There is no dead-end facing the Islamic system and the Iranian nation," Khamenei said in a speech, excerpts of which were broadcast by state television.

Reformists had called for the election to be postponed, but Khamenei made it clear a delay was unacceptable, officials said.

"The elections must be held on the appointed date of February 20 without a single day of delay," he said.

Khamenei, who has tended to side with hard-liners in disputes since Khatami's 1997 election win, strongly criticized reformist officials for threatening to resign over the election dispute.

"Evading responsibility by resigning or any other method is illegal and religiously forbidden," he said.

More than 120 reformist lawmakers resigned from parliament Sunday and dozens of other officials, including vice-presidents, ministers and state governors, had also threatened to quit.

Khatami was due to meet later Wednesday with reformist lawmakers to discuss the latest developments.

Reformists say the mass disqualifications were a crude attempt by hard-liners to regain control of parliament which they lost to reformists in 2000 elections.

Unelected hard-liners control powerful institutions such as the military, judiciary and Guardian Council, which they have used to block reformist legislation, jail dozens of reformist activists and close down scores of liberal newspapers.

Public interest in the election row has been muted with most Iranians disillusioned with the reformist-conservative power struggle and the lack of progress on economic and social reforms.

http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=4280545
15 posted on 02/04/2004 5:53:05 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: Pan_Yans Wife; nuconvert; AdmSmith
I'd like to keep saying that there is no difference between the so-called reformists and their colleagues named as hardliners.

No Difference.

They are loyal to the Islamic regime.

16 posted on 02/04/2004 6:03:29 AM PST by F14 Pilot ("Terrorists declared war on U.S. and War is what they Got!")
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To: F14 Pilot
Can you explain the process by which Iran sets its elections? Is it unprecedented for the elections to even be halted?
17 posted on 02/04/2004 6:07:46 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: Pan_Yans Wife; nuconvert; freedom44; DoctorZIn; AdmSmith; McGavin999; Eala
As far as I know, the Government of Iran is the executive section for the election and doesn't have any role to decide on whether who can join the campaign.
The Guardian Council is the Supervisory section and has more power to ban or halt the elections.
And as far as I know it has never been such a crisis in Islamic Republic of Iran since its foundation in 1979.
I would like to say that it looks like a Power Struggle and it doesn't really indicate the whole people's demand/wish for greater reforms or changes.
18 posted on 02/04/2004 6:14:21 AM PST by F14 Pilot ("Terrorists declared war on U.S. and War is what they Got!")
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
Khamenei rules Iran polls to go ahead on time
AFP

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ruled it was the pro-reform government's duty to hold parliamentary polls on schedule despite a crisis sparked by a mass disqualification of candidates.

"The parliamentary elections will be held on February 20, without being delayed by even one day," Khamenei said before several thousand people in Tehran, state television reported Wednesday.

He also warned that resignations by officials aimed at impeding the Majlis elections in protest at the barring of reformist candidates were "against the law and prohibited by Islam", at the risk of heavy penalties.

"It is the duty of the government to organise the elections and nobody can, in dispute, fail to carry out their legal duty and dispense with their responsibilities," said the supreme guide of the Islamic revolution.

Reformists had called for a delay in polling after the conservative Guardians Council vetting body ruled out some 2,500 candidates out of 8,000, most of them reformists and including some 80 sitting MPs.

Khamenei expressed optimism that a compromise solution would be found between the rival camps in the political crisis, blaming a "plot" by unspecified enemies of the Islamic republic.

"There is no knot that can not be untied ... as shown by the revolution which has overcome every obstacle placed in its path," he said, referring to the Islamic revolution which toppled the shah 25 years ago.

"This kind of tension has always existed," said Khamenei, apparently playing down the latest crisis.

"Enemies of the republic" were "encouraging certain officials of the executive to step down from their posts", and they had also "infiltrated parliament", he warned.

Several resignations have been announced among ministers, deputy ministers and provincial governors, while 125 MPs announced Saturday that they were quitting, depriving the Majlis of a quorum.

"The strategy of the enemy is to prevent the February 20 elections from taking place," he said, adding that both sides in the crisis were "resisting" heavy pressure.

"The government and the people will foil this plot," said Khamenei.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world/view/69495/1/.html

19 posted on 02/04/2004 6:17:18 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: F14 Pilot
Agreed that it is an internal struggle. And with the people staying away from the elections, it appears that the victory of the hardliners will be bittersweet. How can they claim that the people have support for the regime, if ninety percent of the people do not vote? The only goal is to retain power, reform is not forthcoming.

Just my two cents. :)
20 posted on 02/04/2004 6:19:31 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: Pan_Yans Wife
Insight on the News - World
Issue: 02/17/04

Proof That Tehran Backed Terrorism
By Kenneth R. Timmerman

As a former Iranian intelligence officer was providing testimony in a courtroom in Germany detailing operational ties between the September 11 hijackers and the government of Iran, lawyers from the U.S. departments of State and Justice and appeals-court judges in Washington were working hard to overturn a law that has allowed victims of terrorism to sue foreign governments for sponsoring terrorist crimes that have killed Americans.

The measure, known as the "Flatow amendment," was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in October 2000. Terrorism experts believe it has had a sobering effect on terrorist sponsors, including Iran and Libya, because it has made them financially accountable for the crimes of their proxies by awarding damages to victims from frozen assets held in the United States.

The simple message of the Flatow amendment is this: If you direct terrorist groups to kill Americans, you will pay. Damage awards to victims from Iranian government assets in the United States in some 50-odd cases now top $3 billion.

Among those victims have been U.S. hostages held in Lebanon, the families of U.S. citizens killed by Iranian government proxies in suicide bombings in Israel and the Palestinian territories, and the families of the 241 U.S. Marines who were killed when an Iranian government agent rammed a truck full of explosives into their barracks outside of the international airport in Beirut on Oct. 23, 1983 [see "Invitation to September 11," Jan. 6-19].

Now the U.S. government, apparently without the consent or knowledge of the Bush White House, is about to engage in what observers call "an act of unilateral disarmament" that will comfort state sponsors of terror, especially Iran.

"We always knew the State Department was against these lawsuits and tried to scuttle them from day one," a representative of a group of victims' families tells Insight. "At every step of the way, they intervened - whether to block efforts to discover where frozen Iranian government assets were held, or how we could get them released once we found them on our own."

But in the opinion of congressional sources, the attorneys for the victims and the family members themselves, the decision handed down by Judge Howard Edwards of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Jan. 16 is an act of judicial activism that violates the will of Congress and delivers an overwhelming victory to terrorist states. "By vacating the Flatow amendment pure and simple, the U.S. government is sending a crystal-clear message to the terrorists: Go right ahead," said one attorney who has followed these cases for several years.

Pleading the case to repeal the law was Peter D. Keisler, an assistant attorney general in the Bush administration. He was assisted by U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Roscoe C. Howard Jr. and Mark A. Clodfelter, a legal adviser to the secretary of state.

"We ran this up the flagpole and went through the whole interagency process before sending our recommendation up to the Solicitor General's Office," an official involved in the litigation tells Insight. "The solicitor general approved our approach and set out the guidelines for our appeal."

If true, that would be astonishing. Barbara Olson, the wife of U.S. Solicitor General Ted Olson, was among those killed during the 9/11 attacks when American Airlines Flight 77 was crashed into the Pentagon by al-Qaeda hijackers. As solicitor general, Ted Olson vigorously has defended every aspect of the U.S. war on terror, including the USA PATRIOT Act and the government's right to detain illegal combatants for indefinite periods without access to counsel. When pressed about who had authorized their appeal, government attorneys interviewed by Insight declined to respond.

Lawyers from the State and Justice departments argued that the law crafted by Congress, and vetted by their own attorneys at the time, allowed victims of terrorism to sue in U.S. courts but not to seek damages because the language provided "no private cause of action against foreign governments." In response to questions from Insight, they insisted that the distinction was not just "splitting legal hairs." But attorneys who helped write the legislation contested that view and revealed that State Department attorneys made last-minute "technical changes" to the bill that required victims of terrorism to sue "officials, employees and agents" of a foreign state, rather than the government itself.

"We had no objection to that change during the conference," one of the attorneys told Insight, "because they are one and the same thing. But what they are saying now is that Congress is a bunch of incompetents who don't know how to draft legislation. We'll be back in a year's time with a much more muscular bill."

These are not lawsuits like any other. They involve U.S. foreign policy, national security and the rights of victims of murderous crimes to seek redress under the law.

What makes the decision by Judge Edwards and the active intervention of the State and Justice department lawyers particularly odious, lawyers and family members of victims tell Insight, is the potential cost in human lives it could entail. As President Ronald Reagan was fond of saying, weakness or the perception of weakness invites attack.

The shabbiest treatment of all was reserved for the families of the 19 U.S. airmen and Air Force personnel who lost their lives when Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorists drove a truck bomb into the Khobar Towers barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, in June 1996. After keeping them waiting two weeks for their day in court, Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson sent some 100 family members back to their homes around the country in mid-December after she single-handedly attempted to block the testimony of former FBI Director Louis Freeh [see "Is Khobar Towers Testimony Being Silenced," posted Dec. 17, 2003].

Freeh already had testified in open session on Oct. 8, 2002, to the Joint Intelligence Committee about involvement of the Iranian government in the Khobar Towers bombing and told Insight when he first appeared in Robinson's courtroom on Dec. 2, 2003, that he planned to give the same testimony. But Robinson kept disappearing from her own courtroom for brief, unexplained recesses. When she returned, she read out long lists of questions, apparently dictated to her by others, that raised objections to Freeh's testimony and to every other witness the victims' attorneys tried to call. A longtime observer of the court called Robinson's courtroom behavior "disingenuous" and "out of line" and "in violation of federal rules of evidence."

To family members, Freeh had become a hero. "He was the only man in Washington during this whole thing who gave a damn," said Katherine Adams, mother of U.S. Air Force Capt. Christopher Adams, a pilot who had been taking another officer's tour of duty in Saudi Arabia so he could stay home with his wife while she was having a baby. "He was the only man who kept his word to the families, who cared, who met with us. [President] Clinton never did anything, except to show up for a photo op," Katherine Adams says.

When Robinson finally allowed the former FBI director to testify to an empty courtroom on Dec. 18, Freeh got straight to the point. "My own conclusion was that the [Khobar Towers] attack was planned, funded and sponsored by the senior leadership of the government of Iran," he said. Freeh's breathtaking conclusion, and the hard evidence of the Iranian government's role in the attack, is widely seen as far more compelling than the evidence used by the Bush administration to justify the war in Iraq. Making all evidence public could increase pressure on the administration to move militarily against Iran, a step most observers agree the administration would prefer to avoid.

Robinson also took the unprecedented step in a terrorism case of disqualifying the most qualified nongovernmental witness on Iranian government funding of terrorism, Patrick Clawson of the Washington Institute of Near East Policy, in a written order handed down Jan. 27. Clawson has testified in more than a half-dozen lawsuits against the government of Iran, providing hard data culled from Iranian government reports on state budgets allocated to international terrorism. Robinson ordered that his testimony be "stricken in its entirety" because Clawson would not reveal all the sources for his expert opinion on Iranian government sponsorship of terror. Clawson was unable to attend one hearing, an affidavit shows, because he was scheduled for all-day briefings at CIA headquarters in McLean, Va.

Sources familiar with the U.S. government investigations tell Insight that Iran "supplied the explosives" for the 1998 al-Qaeda bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa that killed more than 200 persons, and designated top terrorist operative Imad Mugniyeh as their liaison to Osama bin Laden's groups.

U.S. intelligence agencies consistently have argued that Iran could "not possibly" have a connection to al-Qaeda or to Sunni Muslim terrorist networks because Sunnis and Shias "do not talk to one another." And yet, a handful of intelligence analysts resisted this consensus view and compiled "B-Team" reports on al-Qaeda/Iran contacts for Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and Undersecretary of Defense Doug Feith. After an Oct. 26, 2001, briefing, Wolfowitz expressed astonishment that this information had been kept from him, and he asked to be given more information as it became available. Instead, the Defense Intelligence Agency analyst who compiled the report, Kai Fallis, was fired by his superiors.

"What has been done is incredibly hypocritical," says Stephen Perlis, a lawyer involved in a dozen similar cases, including the original Flatow case. "They used the Flatow amendment to facilitate rapprochement with Libya by resolving the Pan Am 103 case, but now they want to destroy it when it applies to Iran."

As the war on terror progresses, the Bush administration is seeking to put pressure on hard-line clerics in Iran, deter their use of terror, stop weapons of mass destruction and encourage pro-democracy forces - at least, that is what the president says. But the message sent by the repeal of the Flatow amendment, and by the refusal of the State Department to back up the president's promise to support the pro-democracy movement in Iran, suggests a policy process the president does not control, say former National Security Council officials.

http://www.insightmag.com/news/2004/02/17/World/Proof.That.Tehran.Backed.Terrorism-594889.shtml
21 posted on 02/04/2004 7:38:38 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: Pan_Yans Wife
IAEA Urges Iran To Halt Uranium Enrichment
Gary Fitleberg, 02/04/04

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) pressed Iran on to suspend more activities related to enriching uranium, a technology that can be used to make nuclear weapons.

"I am advising them that it would be good to have a very generous, comprehensive suspension," Mohamed ElBaradei told Reuters after talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

"That would create confidence and it would help me and the Europeans to move forward in normalizing and expanding cooperation between Iran and the international community."

El Baradei stated IAEA concerns focused on the discovery by agency inspectors in Iran of equipment contaminated with highly enriched uranium, along with continued enrichment-related activities like production of centrifuges.

Iran has blamed the contamination on parts imported from elsewhere without identifying their origin.

Asked about the IAEA's concerns, Kharrazi said: "It's just a question of spare parts or something, it's minor issues."

"We have very good cooperation with the IAEA," he told Reuters. "I believe the important thing is that we do not have any program to produce weapons and this is now established."

U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, also in Davos, said his country would support European diplomatic efforts to get the Iranians to agree to a more intrusive inspection regime.

"We'll have to see whether or not that produces the desired result. We believe the Iranians have been actively and aggressively pursuing an effort to develop nuclear weapons," Cheney told the conference of political and business leaders.

"They deny that, but there seems to be a good deal of evidence out there to support the fact that that's exactly what they have been doing," he said.

Kharrazi said Iran's nuclear technology was a source of pride for all Iranians. "At the same time it is totally peaceful and nothing is wrong with having nuclear technology for peaceful purposes," he said.

"We have suspended the activities of uranium enrichment, but this does not mean we are going to stop it for ever. This is our right, based on the NPT, to have nuclear activities for peaceful purposes," he said, referring to the provisions in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty for the sharing of nuclear know-how.

France, Britain and Germany, whose diplomacy encouraged Iran to suspend uranium enrichment and sign the NPT's additional protocol permitting intrusive inspections, worry that Iran is reneging on its November pledge to halt all enrichment-related activities in return for a possible exchange of technology.

Western diplomats say Iran has been acquiring large amounts of equipment for centrifuges, used to enrich uranium.

Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and Britain met and discussed Iran's insistence on applying a very limited definition of the term "enrichment-related" to enable the continuation of amassing centrifuges.

http://www.americandaily.com/item/4589
22 posted on 02/04/2004 7:41:25 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
More Iran Election Bans to be Reversed

February 04, 2004
Reuters
Parisa Hafezi

TEHRAN -- A hardline watchdog will reinstate some reformist candidates it had barred from standing in parliamentary elections in a compromise deal to end Iran's worst political crisis for years, lawmakers say.

But the reformist lawmakers said it was not clear if the number of candidates recalled to the February 20 race would satisfy their demands.

"It seems that they are going to qualify some of the rejected candidates," one of the legislators said. "They are trying to reach a compromise," said another.

The government of reformist President Mohammad Khatami, which organises the election, has called for the polls to be postponed and has threatened not to hold the vote at all.

But Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh told reporters after a cabinet meeting on Wednesday that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the last word on all state matters, has made it clear he wants the vote to go ahead on schedule.

"The leader has said the elections should be held on February 20," he said.

And government spokesman Abdollah Ramazanzadeh also said on Wednesday the government hopes to solve the row by Thursday afternoon that will allow it to hold the elections as planned.

"We hope that by tomorrow afternoon we can reach acceptable results which could prepare the ground for the government to be able to hold the election," Ramazanzadeh told reporters.

The lawmakers said the compromise deal on reinstating some candidates emerged from talks involving top officials including Khamenei and Khatami.

Khatami's government is outraged by the move by the Guardian Council -- an unelected oversight body dominated by religious hardliners -- to bar more than 2,000 aspiring candidates from standing in the election.

Most of those barred are reformist allies of Khatami, including more than 80 current members of parliament.

PRESSURE PLOYS

The lawmakers said they did not know how many candidates would be reinstated by the council or whether they included prominent firebrand reformists such as deputy parliament speaker Mohammad Reza Khatami, the president's brother.

Protesting reformist lawmakers, who have staged a three-week sit-in at parliament, resigned from their parliament seats and announced a boycott of the election in an effort to put pressure on the council, had said they would not take part in elections on February 20 even if all of the candidate bans were reversed.

They argue that the electoral dispute has disrupted their campaign to retain their parliamentary majority and have called for a postponement.

Khatami was elected in a popular landslide in 1997 and his reformist allies won control of parliament in 2000.

But unelected hardliners control powerful institutions such as the military, judiciary and Guardian Council, which they have used to block reformist legislation, jail dozens of reformist activists and close down scores of liberal newspapers.

Public interest in the election row has been muted with most Iranians disillusioned with the reformist-conservative power struggle and the lack of progress on economic and social reforms.

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/040204/325/el5nd.html
23 posted on 02/04/2004 7:51:49 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Between Worlds

February 04, 2004
Open Democracy
Charles Grant

How do Iranians see the world – its foreign policy establishment, its dissident intellectuals, and its ordinary people? Charles Grant, just returned from a week in Tehran, presents a vivid portrait of a political system under pressure.

The rest of the world has become used to viewing Iran as a stable country. The country’s conservatives and liberals seem locked in struggle that is never resolved. The United States continues to shun relations with the Islamic Republic, while the European Union goes on trading with it. And on the streets of Tehran – an ugly, gridlocked city of some 14 million people, strangely void of historical monuments – there are few signs that Iranians expect dramatic changes in the near future.

However, Iran may be less stable than it appears. President Mohammad Khatami and his reformist allies in the majlis (parliament) are a spent force. At the same time, American and European responses to Iran’s attempt to gain nuclear weapons capabilities have thrown Iranian foreign policy into a state of flux.

I have just returned from my first trip to Iran, to attend a seminar on Iran’s foreign policy organised by the Tehran-based, foreign ministry-backed Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS) in cooperation with the London-based Centre for European Reform (which I work for) and the Landau Network-Centro Volta, an Italian institute.

The seminar provided insight into current Iranian thinking at leadership level, and a week in Tehran provided the opportunity for more informal discussions with a wider circle of Iranians – journalists, academics, professionals. The big question that came up in conversations at all levels is whether, and to what extent, Iran should open up to the United States and the European Union.

At the seminar, the exchange of views was frank. When the Europeans recommended that Iran should recognise Israel in order to promote closer ties with the west, the Iranians – who included the deputy foreign minister, Alireza Moayeri – said that hostility to Israel was a fundamental principle of the Islamic Republic.

The Iranians regarded the concept of “conditional engagement” – which underlines the European Union’s negotiating a trade and cooperation agreement with Iran – as a patronising one that did not treat them with “dignity”. We agreed instead on the idea of “reciprocal engagement”: if Iran does certain things that the EU desires, the EU should respond with things that Iran wants.

Beneath the surface, fear

Iran can seem a fairly free country. Print journalists, though not television or radio, do criticise the regime. Iranians do not need an exit visa to leave the country; foreign businesses can and do trade there. By most measures, the human rights situation is better than it was ten years ago.

But I sensed uneasiness, even fear. The regime is afraid, because it knows that many people hate it, and that its anti-American stance has provoked widespread pro-American sentiment amongst much of the population. Its primary concern is how to maintain power. Indeed, the evident pro-American sentiment of the people – and not only liberal academics – was the biggest surprise that I had in Iran. In the words of one prominent academic at Tehran university: “if there was a referendum on whether Iran should have close relations with the United States, 80% would vote yes.”

The regime’s liberal opponents are also afraid. The various intelligence services spy on them, tap their phones, prevent them from teaching, and send informers to shadow them at conferences when they go abroad.

More active liberals are in prison, though incidents like the killing of the Canadian-Iranian journalist, Zahra Kazemi – who died in July 2003 from severe injuries inflicted when in the custody by security officers – are now relatively rare.

Within the regime, the president and his allies appear to be more or less finished. They have proved incapable of pushing through many of the reforms they promised. Conservatives, using the Council of Guardians to block reformist legislation, wield the real power. The reformists have frequently threatened to resign unless the Guardians pass a reform – only to back down and remain in office.

Most people appear to oppose the regime, but they will not demonstrate or vote in support of the reformists. It is significant that there have been no popular demonstrations in favour of the sit-in by reformist members of the majlis protesting against their exclusion from the legislative elections due on 20 February.

Instead, many opponents of the regime, fed up with politics and the blocking of reform, are adopting a quietist attitude; they want to get on with their lives as best they can. Most of the young Iranians I met, while contemptuous of the mullahs, have lost faith in the parliamentary system and are planning to abstain in the elections.

The real political struggle is between the ideological conservatives on the Council of Guardians, who usually have the support of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei; and the pragmatic conservatives, such as Hashemi Rafsanjani, who chairs the Expediency Council (which has the job of reconciling disputes among other bodies), and Hassan Rohani, who chairs the Supreme National Security Council.

The ideological conservatives do not want to open up politically or economically, or to modify their US-hating, Israel-hating ideology. The pragmatic conservatives probably want to pursue a Chinese model: liberalise the economy and make peace with the US – but maintain political repression, albeit with the worst excesses softened.

The pragmatists understand that the Iranian economy is a basket-case and that it needs to open up to international investment: per capita GDP is about 30% lower than it was before the 1979 revolution. That is partly because of the population explosion: from 36 million Iranians in 1979 to 67 million by 2003, of whom more than two-thirds are under 30. The regime has proven incapable of converting the country’s oil wealth – 10% of global reserves – into economic development.

Iran and the United States

A key question for members of the political elite in Iran is how to conduct relationships with the United States and the European Union. Some opposition figures expect the west to topple the mullahs; one intellectual told me that he wanted a US invasion. In such circles, there is criticism of the EU policy of conditional engagement (and notably the promised trade and cooperation agreement) on the grounds that engagement prolongs the life of the regime. The US sanctions might work, said one intellectual, if the EU joined in too.

A widely-held view in Tehran is that the pragmatic conservatives are keener to strike a bargain with the US than are the liberal reformists. The pragmatists agreed the deal with the EU in October 2003 that led to Iran putting its nuclear facilities under international supervision; they did so because they want the trading agreement. They have shown the west that, unlike the reformists, they can deliver; now they want to engineer a rapprochement with Washington, and an end to US sanctions.

But is the US ready to make peace with Iran? The short answer is no. The hostage crisis of 1979 is still seen in the US as a national humiliation that has never been resolved satisfactorily. It is one reason why the American right is so keen on regime change in Iran. The fact that Iran has always opposed the Oslo peace process and a two-state solution in Israel/Palestine is another reason why many Americans do not want to deal with Tehran. Iran also supports groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas, which use violence against Israel.

There are two more proximate reasons that hold the US back from dealing with Iran. The first is Iran’s detention of an unspecified number of al-Qaida operatives, whom the Americans want handed over for interrogation while any information they can provide might still have value. The second is Iran’s efforts to assemble the capability to build an atomic bomb.

There is no longer any doubt about Iran’s ambitions: in 2003 the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) discovered that Iran had broken its obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty and used clandestine means to buy the technology required to build a bomb. After the deal with the EU, Iran signed the IAEA’s “additional protocol”, which means that it has to accept unannounced inspections of its nuclear facilities. But many in Washington still believe that Iran is merely playing for time, and that it has not abandoned its nuclear ambitions.

Is Iran ready to give the US what it wants, in order to engineer a rapprochement? The government has softened its rhetoric on Israel a little. Foreign minister Kamal Kharrazi now says that if the Palestinians reach a settlement with Israel, Iran will endorse it and that it will “not be more Palestinian than the Palestinians”. However, there are no signs that the al-Qaida prisoners – apparently held by the Revolutionary Guard – will be handed over to the US. As for Iran’s nuclear ambitions, only time will tell whether it is serious about setting them aside; the regime’s track record of not telling the whole truth makes the US right to be cautious.

The US’s current difficulties in Iraq guarantee that its leadership will not, for the foreseeable future, attempt to remove the Iranian regime by force. But any reconciliation with Iran would annoy those Republicans who cheered when it was placed in the “axis of evil”, and President Bush will not want to do that in an election year.

There are, however, informal contacts between the US and Iranian governments. The two countries are cooperating quite well over Afghanistan and Iraq. Once the Iranian legislative and US presidential elections are over, the two sides may try to move towards a partial thaw.

The future of Iran-US relations may depend on the balance of power between realists and ideologues in Washington and Tehran. If it tilts in favour of the neo-conservatives in Washington, who are virulently opposed to any dealings with the mullahs, and the hardliners in Tehran, who hate the US, there will be no deal. But if the realists in both countries – who believe in putting national interest ahead of ideology – win the argument, a deal becomes feasible.

Iran and the European Union

For as long as the regime has no formal ties with the United States, it needs good relations with the European Union. Iran will probably provide the ‘assurances and clarifications’ on the nuclear deal that the EU has demanded (for example, that Iran’s promise to ‘suspend’ the enrichment of uranium really means that the process has stopped). The current EU line is that it will restart negotiations on the trade and cooperation agreement only when these assurances are provided and when the IAEA gives Iran a clean bill of health. On this basis, the negotiations could start in spring 2004.

However, human rights are a constant source of tension in EU-Iran relations. The Iranians generally give Javier Solana, the EU’s high representative for its Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), a very hard time; they almost cancelled his January visit to Tehran – because of his tough criticism of Iran’s human rights record and its nuclear ambitions.

When in Tehran, during the sit-in of liberal parliamentarians, Solana said publicly that while he did not want to interfere in Iran’s internal politics, the electoral process was important, and that if it was flawed it would have an impact on Iran’s relationship with the outside world. And so it would: the EU might find it hard to go ahead with the trade and cooperation agreement if the reformists are not allowed to stand in the elections. The Americans, too, would find it harder to restore ties.

Although Solana insists on mentioning human rights when he meets members of the Iranian regime, this subject has not been the EU’s top priority. The EU believes that it is easier to influence Iran on external matters – namely the nuclear programme, the fight against terrorism, and cooperation on Iraq and Afghanistan.

If the EU achieved success on the external dimension, I asked Javier Solana in Tehran, would it then try harder to influence Iran’s internal behaviour? He said that in those circumstances the EU would pay much greater attention to human rights issues. European pressure has already secured limited ‘victories’: Iran has agreed to halt public amputations and execution by stoning, and some dissidents have had their death penalties commuted to life imprisonment. However, Solana is not free to say a great deal on this subject: it is the member-states who define the terms on which the EU deals with Iran.

Iran and nuclear weapons

Only those at the heart of the Iranian regime know the extent of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear ambitions. All factions of the regime probably want at least the capability to build a nuclear bomb. Some hardliners undoubtedly want the weapons themselves, as a defence against a potential US invasion; but many others in positions of power would probably be prepared to trade the nuclear programme in exchange for sufficiently high dividends. If this is right, the European policy of using stick and carrots to influence Iran is the right one. The policy of the US hawks – that Iran is determined to become a nuclear weapons state, whatever the EU or the US offers, so it would be wrong to offer carrots to an evil regime – is less likely to achieve the objective of a non-nuclear Iran.

If the EU and the US try hard enough, they may be able to persuade Iran to abandon its nuclear plans. This will require real concessions – diplomatic recognition and an end to sanctions from the US, negotiation of the trade and cooperation agreement from Europe, the transfer of technologies and encouragement of Iran’s ambition to join the World Trade Organisation from both.

They might go further, and help the Iranians develop the idea of a common regional security framework – proposed by, amongst others, my colleague Steven Everts – involving the states around the Persian Gulf. A Gulf Security Organisation (GSO) would encourage confidence-building measures and transparency on military matters, while establishing procedures for resolving disputes. Iran is more likely to abandon its nuclear ambitions if it feels that its security concerns are being addressed through an institutional framework.

Iranian foreign ministry officials told me they like this idea, as does Javier Solana. Senior officials in the UK and French governments, and in the US state department, also speak in favour of it. However, the dependence of the Gulf states (including, for now, Iraq) on the US in security matters means that a GSO becomes feasible only when the US and Iran have made peace.

Iran and Russia

The west needs to be unified in its dealings with Iran, in order to maximise its chances of success. It should also try to involve Russia, which is a major trading partner in Iran, and is building the nuclear reactor at Bushehr in south-west Iran. I have discussed Russia’s ties with Iran with officials in Moscow, who are reluctant to admit any worry about Iran’s nuclear ambitions; they regard the Iranians as a friendly people who, even if they had the bomb, would not use it against Russia. When pressed, these officials say they would prefer Iran not to have a bomb, but they also express total confidence in the IAEA’s ability to sort out the problem.

Most Iranians know that the US and the EU have more of the technology their economy, especially the oil industry, needs. Iran’s leaders tend to regard Russians as unreliable and as susceptible to US pressure (for example they are slowing work on the Bushehr reactor) though some hardliners see Russia as a bulwark against US hegemony.

A number of people close to the government also think that a Franco-German-led EU could help create a multipolar world. I told them they should not count on it: the Iraq war of 2003 was a very specific event, and the west’s divisions over the war stemmed partly from President Bush’s inept diplomacy. Iran should not assume that the transatlantic rift will continue for ever.

The future of the regime

Should Europe try to expand trade with Iran, even if it prolongs the life of the regime? I believe that it should: more trade generates more contact with the outside world, more wealth, more dynamism in the economy – and thus more social change. This process would undermine the bonyads, the Islamic foundations which control much of the economy and fund the bodies dominated by ideological conservatives.

Yet the EU is right to apply a policy of “conditional” (or, in our agreed term, “reciprocal”) engagement: only when the EU suspended talks on the trade and cooperation agreement did Iran agree to sign the IAEA additional protocol.

How long will the Iranian regime – formally democratic but in practice, largely theocratic – endure? At present, the pragmatic conservatives seem to be gaining ground over both reformists and hardliners. Many analysts in Tehran argue that these pragmatists have a better chance of modernising the economy than the reformists, on the grounds that they are tougher and better able to deliver. If the Hashemi Rafsanjani / Hassan Rohani grouping can make peace with the US, and open up the economy, the system could evolve without a convulsion.

At the same time, the Iranians – despite years of disillusion – still care about politics and democracy. The mullahs will find it very hard to modernise the economy while smothering political life.

If the pragmatic conservatives fail to modernise the economy, the combination of slow economic growth, the population explosion, and frustration with the corrupt and repressive nature of the regime could prove explosive. Although the current generation of reformers has lost credibility, in time another group may arise. Iranians have shown in recent decades that when they are angry they are prepared to demonstrate. Another revolution cannot be ruled out.

http://www.opendemocracy.net/themes/article-3-1710.jsp
24 posted on 02/04/2004 7:55:03 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran's Leader Sticks to Poll Plan

February 04, 2004
BBC News
BBCi

Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has insisted parliamentary elections due later this month should go ahead as planned.

The government argues they should be delayed because conditions are not right for a free and fair election.

Mr Khamenei was speaking after talks between the hardline Guardian Council and senior politicians failed.

He said the 20 February polls would not be "delayed by even one day" and warned against "un-Islamic" protests.

The BBC's Middle East analyst, Roger Hardy, notes that Iranians should be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the revolution which overthrew its US-backed monarchy and replaced it with a radical and fiercely anti-American Islamic republic.

Instead, he says, their country is in constitutional chaos and its political institutions are gridlocked, with reformists on the ropes and their followers deeply demoralised.

Warning

More than 2,000 reformist allies of President Muhammad Khatami have been barred from taking part in the vote.

The conservatives are now confident they can deliver the knock-out blow by recapturing control of parliament and re-taking the presidency once Mr Khatami stands down at the end of his second term.

In calling for the elections to go ahead as scheduled, Ayatollah Khamenei argued there was "no knot which cannot be untied".

But he also warned reformists not to advance their case too far by threatening to resign over the election dispute.

"Evading responsibility by resigning or any other method is illegal and religiously forbidden", he said.

On Sunday, more than 120 members of parliament resigned in protest over the vote row.

They said that the mass disqualification by the hardline Guardian Council only served to dissuade an already politically disillusioned public from voting.

The Guardian Council is an unelected overview body dominated by religious hardliners.

But there are now signs of a compromise, with the Council expected to announce that many of those barred from the election race may now run.

It is not clear if the deal will be enough to satisfy reformist MPs.

They have insisted that not only should all the bans be overturned but also that the vote should be postponed to give all candidates enough time to conduct their campaigns.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3458589.stm
25 posted on 02/04/2004 7:56:02 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
"The government of reformist President Mohammad Khatami, which organises the election, has called for the polls to be postponed and has threatened not to hold the vote at all."

Yes, but has he threatened to quit this week? LOL

""It seems that they are going to qualify some of the rejected candidates," "

Wonder if it will be more than the 7 extra they Added to the list after the "reformists" protested. LoL


26 posted on 02/04/2004 8:00:10 AM PST by nuconvert ("Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?")
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To: DoctorZIn
Persian Warriors, Intellectuals, Opportunists and History

SMCCDI (Letters - By John Ross)
Feb 4, 2004

Throughout recorded history, warriors, male and female, have defined the geographic boundaries of nations. Intellectuals, when permitted, develop the social backbone of successful nations and empires. Opportunists and politicians govern, and, ultimately, dilute the purpose and sacrifices warriors and intellectuals have made through ignorance, or greed. The cycles repeat themselves building upon the sacrifices of previous warriors and intellectuals made through history to, hopefully, refine and create economic and social order.

Somewhere within the male and female Persian psyche is the warrior that will free their ancient land from the foreign forces that have come to dominate this tormented people. The intellectual sophistication of Persians is revered, feared, and continues to evolve. Sacrifices and commitment will be needed to throw out hated foreign influences, or they will continue to bicker amongst themselves, and be managed as mere Arab cattle.

For a quarter of a century, Iranian Persians have been subjected to anti-reformist Islamic pogroms, forced into international isolation, and treated as inferiors by their government. The Iranian Persians that escaped to the West in1979, have become the doctors, lawyers and engineers that help ensure the success of a nation, and define its? social order. As such, Iranian Americans recognize and appreciate the freedoms and opportunities that are enjoyed by everyone in America that will work hard and make sacrifices.

Recent Iranian national and international orchestrated events are about to culminate into an opportunity that could result in the orderly, or violent, political transition of Iran. Huge American, European, OPEC and Islamic interests are at play in this all but predetermined dance of giants that will be determined by the Persians themselves. Arab mercenaries, Palestinian, Afghan and Saudis that influenced the outcome of the 1979 revolution, and Iranian Islamic fanatics will soon be the recipients of Persian retribution.

Compounding the Persian anger is the American public and military that remembers the 1979 hostage situation, Beirut bombing and current complicity in Iraqi resistance. Seething just below the surface is that Americans will learn in a Hamburg courtroom that the highest levels of Iranian government were complicit in the WTC atrocity of 9/11/01. It has been recently reported that significant political contributions have been given to Sen. John Kerry by the Islamic Iranian government, hoping to unseat President Bush. Selected members of the European Union are not eager for the present Islamic Iranian theocracy to lose power, because of financial arrangements that have been awarded. The "awards," given to key politicians and organizations, similar to the influence buying that Saddam Hussein did, are just now becoming common knowledge.

The freedom loving people of Iran can now remove the Islamic fascist mullahs without fear of Iraq, or other foreign influences, because the U.S. will not allow any intervention. In addition, the Iranian military, should it turn its' guns on their fellow Persians, could very easily become the targets of U.S. bombs.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_4187.shtml
27 posted on 02/04/2004 8:00:56 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
The Mother of All Probes

New York Post - By Amir Taheri
Feb 4, 2004

BEFORE the liberation of Iraq, the war cry of the "Don't touch Saddam" lobby was: Let's have a U.N. resolution. Now that he's behind bars, the Saddam fan club has found a new slogan: Let's have an inquiry.

Two committees of the British House of Commons have already held inquiries into aspects of the war. Another, led by a senior British judge, looked into the row over the use of intelligence information available on the eve of the war. This week Prime Minister Tony Blair and President Bush announced yet other inquiries.

Will all that satisfy the "Don't touch Saddam" lobby? No.

Remember when they were playing the resolution game? Each time the United Nations passed a resolution, the "Don't touch" lobby asked for one more. On the eve of the war, with 18 resolutions already in place (some for more than a decade), the Saddamites clamored for a 19th, which would have envisaged a 20th.

The truth is that the Saddamites didn't want a resolution at all. What they wanted was to keep the despot in power.

Some in the "Don't touch Saddam" lobby had landed there because they hate the United States and/or George W. Bush. It's a school of thought that says, echoing Mephistopheles in "Faust," Where America is, I shall be on the opposite side. Other lobby members had benefited from Saddam's largesse, in some cases for years.

These guys would never have been satisfied with any number of resolutions, and now won't be content with any number of inquiries. Last March, they wanted to stop the film of history from moving forward. Today, they want to rewind it to cast doubt on the justice of the liberation of Iraq.

In the "resolutions" phase of the game, Saddam's supporters always insisted on narrowing the debate down to one issue, the search for weapons of mass destruction. They knew that the United Nations would never find hidden weapons unless Saddam wanted it. The resolution game was aimed at ensuring endless, and meaningless, inspections that would leave Saddam in place.

Today, too, those clamoring the loudest about the need for inquiries into the war are trying to narrow the focus to the WMD issue. What they say is simple: Show us the large stocks of WMDs that Saddam held, or admit that we should not have removed him from power.

It is as if Saddam Hussein had been a whiter-than-white angel whose sole fault was a penchant for collecting deadly weapons. However, anyone who reads the 18 resolutions passed by the Security Council (all available on the Internet) would realize that WMDs constituted just part of the U.N. dispute with Saddam.

He was a an evil ruler who had practiced genocides against Shi'ites and Kurds, triggered two civil wars and three foreign wars, refused to recognize the borders of any of Iraq's neighbors, funded more than two dozen terrorist organizations and remained a threat to regional peace.

So, if we are going to have yet another inquiry let us have a "Mother of All Inquiries."

This can start with the WMD issue.

No one could claim that Iraq never had any WMDs. Exhaustive lists of Iraqi WMDs are available from countless U.N. reports. Just a week before the liberation war started, Iraq admitted it was manufacturing the Al-Samoud missiles in violation of U.N. resolutions.

But establishing what kind and how many WMDs Iraq had, and until when, won't provide the full picture. We should also find out who gave Iraq the technology, the equipment and the materiel.

Our "Mother of All Inquiries" should establish a full list of companies that sold Saddam pieces of his death machine over three decades. Is it too much to ask who sold Saddam an estimated $100 billion in weapons and materiel between 1975 and 2000?

Who built Saddam's first atomic center, launching his nuclear weapons program?

Who were the estimated 6,000 Western and Russian technicians who, according to Tariq Aziz (one of Saddam's most faithful minions), worked in Iraqi military industries throughout the 1980s?

We also would like to know who financed Saddam between 1980 and 1988, when Iraq couldn't export oil because of the war with Iran.

Let us also not limit the inquiry into the WMDs that Saddam had or did not have on the eve of the war. It is possible that at that time he had destroyed or shipped abroad his remaining WMDs to weather the storm he faced. What is certain, however, is that he had the intention, the scientists and the resources to re-launch his programs once the storm had passed.

Let us establish the circumstances under which the 4,000 mass graves came about and who were the 300,000 skeletons found in them. And should we not find out who organized those gas attacks that killed tens of thousands of Iraqi Kurds and Iranians in what is now regarded as the biggest use of chemical weapons since 1918?

Our inquiry should also take testimony from the estimated 5.5 million Iraqis who served prison terms of varying length under Saddam and, in many cases, were subjected to tortures unseen since the darkest days of Stalin.

And should we not hear from the former inhabitants of the 4,000 villages that Saddam torched and razed during his infamous Anfal campaign?

The inquiry will have to hear at least some of the 4 million plus Iraqis driven into exile during Saddam's reign of terror. It would also have to provide answers for families who are still searching for more than 10,000 people listed as "missing" after being arrested by Saddam's agents.

We may not find the "large quantities of WMDs" that Rolfe Ekeus, Richard Butler and Hans Blix reported as missing. But we have thousands of mass graves and millions of torture marks to prove that Saddam was evil and his removal an overdue act of human mercy.

Our "Mother of All Inquiries" would show one thing above all else: It was a shame that the so-called international community, ignoring its own resolutions, chose to appease Saddam and, in some cases, even prop up his murderous regime for more than a decade after the first Gulf War.

The nit-picking lawyers' approach to this complex issue will do further injustice to the victims of Saddam's terror.

The only proposition worth debating is this: Removing Saddam Hussein from power was an act of international justice - Discuss!

Sure, let's have an inquiry.

http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/17240.htm
28 posted on 02/04/2004 8:04:11 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Although Solana insists on mentioning human rights when he meets members of the Iranian regime, this subject has not been the EU’s top priority. The EU believes that it is easier to influence Iran on external matters – namely the nuclear programme, the fight against terrorism, and cooperation on Iraq and Afghanistan.

Human rights abuses is the sure way to gain attention to the regime's crimes. Why would the EU want to highlight that? It is only America who stands up to help those who demand freedom. When was the last time the Italians, French or Belgians were implored by repressed people to denounce their suffering? And what was the result? Seems to me that when people clamor for democracy, they look to America... the leader of the Willing.

29 posted on 02/04/2004 8:04:47 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
Historian's Take on Islam Steers U.S. Policy

Wall St Journal ^ | 2-02-04 | PETER WALDMAN
Posted on 02/03/2004 5:19:18 AM PST by SJackson

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1070558/posts
30 posted on 02/04/2004 8:10:23 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Arab mercenaries, Palestinian, Afghan and Saudis that influenced the outcome of the 1979 revolution, and Iranian Islamic fanatics will soon be the recipients of Persian retribution.

I am not a historian, however the emphasis of outside influence on the revolution and the hostage crisis should be explained further, if the goal is to get the average America interested in the current events in Iran. For many Americans, the hostage crisis is their main argument, and they won't listen further.

31 posted on 02/04/2004 8:11:37 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
Bump!
32 posted on 02/04/2004 8:23:55 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))
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
Pardon for scientist who sold atom bomb secrets
By Ahmed Rashid in Lahore and Robin Gedye
February 4, 2004

Pakistan is likely to pardon without trial the father of the country's atomic bomb even though he has confessed to selling nuclear technology to rogue states, a senior government official told the Telegraph yesterday.

President Pervaiz Musharraf, now facing mounting anger over the detention of Abdul Qadeer Khan, is expected to indicate the government's plans in a television address in the next few days.

The scientist, a national icon, is under house arrest. He is said to have confessed to selling nuclear weapons technology to some of the world's most radical anti-western states, including Libya, Iran and North Korea, over at least 11 years.

There were growing indications last night that the mix of popular feeling and the risk that a trial would expose the army's involvement in the scandal will effectively end any chance of a trial.

Since Mr Khan had confessed to selling technology "there was no further need to humiliate the father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb, who has kept the nation safe from Indian attack", the official said.

The official, intimately involved in Mr Khan's investigation, said a trial would be too sensitive when "political opposition to the president is building up".

According to yesterday's Washington Post, the Pakistanis have other reasons for burying the issue.

It quoted a friend of Mr Khan and a senior Pakistani investigator as saying the scientist helped North Korea design and equip facilities for making weapons-grade uranium with the full knowledge of senior military commanders, including Gen Musharraf, who is also army chief of staff.

Mr Khan apparently urged investigators to question army commanders and Gen Musharraf, saying "no debriefing is complete unless you bring every one of them here and debrief us together".

Even if the president does not explicitly pardon Mr Khan, who led Pakistan's development of the Islamic world's first nuclear bomb in 1998, he is expected to say enough to calm mounting anger over his detention.

Both Washington and London, keenly aware of President Musharraf's dilemma, are understood not to have pressed him to stage a public trial.

While Pakistan can expect international indignation if a pardon were granted, the Americans and British say they are content that the nuclear network has been smashed.

"There is relief that this avenue for proliferating nuclear weapons has been cut off," said a senior diplomat in London.

"These transgressions occurred several years ago and even though one must assume they did so with the knowledge of Pakistan's intelligence services, it is not for us to advise a key ally on how to deal with the matter."

Other western diplomats appeared less conciliatory. One said leading western countries and institutions, including the US, Britain and the International Atomic Energy Agency, would demand that their experts debrief Mr Khan "in jail and not after a pardon in his mansion".

Another promised international indignation in the event of pardon. "He is the world's biggest criminal, involved for 27 years in selling nuclear technology. If you let him off with a slap on the wrist, then what kind of message are you sending to others?" he said.

Mr Khan has let it be known that he is prepared to blow the whistle on the army's involvement. A cabinet minister revealed that Mr Khan's daughter, a British citizen, had travelled to London with papers that could incriminate generals and other Pakistani leaders, including the former prime ministers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif.

Mr Khan is also reported to have briefed several trusted local journalists with similar information before he was placed under house arrest two weeks ago, asking them to publish it if he went on trial.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/02/04/wpak04.xml&sSheet=/news/2004/02/04/i
33 posted on 02/04/2004 8:25:16 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: F14 Pilot
You are absolutely right Pilot. Reading the article it came to me that this looks like a set up. I think they will allow the people to run that they always anticipated allowing to run. The people will think they won this round and will show up and vote thus giving legitimacy to these "reformists".

This looks to me like a magic show to manipulate the people into thinking they won something.

34 posted on 02/04/2004 8:33:03 AM PST by McGavin999 (Evil thrives when good men do nothing!)
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To: F14 Pilot
Freedom now ~ Bump!
35 posted on 02/04/2004 9:32:35 AM PST by blackie (Be Well~Be Armed~Be Safe~Molon Labe!)
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To: F14 Pilot
I followed your link to this thread.

This is a MOST illuminating article.

The kind of self-criticism that leads to truth. Refreshing to read, and giving hope for the kind of society that will truly revive the Persian people.

36 posted on 02/04/2004 10:48:41 AM PST by happygrl
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
Thanks for this post.

"We always knew the State Department was against these lawsuits and tried to scuttle them from day one,"

The enemy of the people; THE STATE DEPARTMENT.

President Bush: TEAR DOWN THAT BUREAUCRACY!!!!!!

37 posted on 02/04/2004 10:54:29 AM PST by happygrl
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran's supreme leader orders review of disqualified electoral candidates

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran's supreme leader has ordered a review of the disqualifications of thousands of candidates from legislative elections, a government spokesman said Wednesday, in a bid to defuse a standoff with reformers threatening a boycott.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's move came a day after he sided with hardliners and rejected a request by reformist President Mohammad Khatami for the Feb. 20 elections to be postponed.

Khatami's government has said it would not stage voting unless the disqualifications are overturned. However, the powerful, hardline Guardian Council has refused to withdraw its disqualification of about 30 per cent of the 8,200 people who applied to run in the polls.

Government spokesman Abdollah Ramezanzadeh said Khamenei decided on the review, the second in less than a month, in a meeting with Khatami on Tuesday.

"We hope to achieve a final result as soon as possible that would allow us to hold an election with a huge turnout," Ramezanzadeh told reporters.

"I think we can expect some positive results tomorrow," Ramezanzadeh added. He did not elaborate.

Ramezanzadeh's announcement was the first in days that suggested the elections might go ahead as planned. On Tuesday, scores of reformist legislators called for the elections to be postponed.

Also, Iran's provincial governors said in a statement posted on the Interior Ministry's website that they would not hold the elections, suggesting that hardliners would have to use the military to run the polls.

The Guardian Council, which is appointed by Khamenei, has disqualified more than 2,400 people from the polls. Reformers have protested the disqualifications as an attempt to fix the elections in favour of conservatives. Hardliners have denied any political motives, arguing that the disqualified lacked the criteria to stand. But the disqualified include 80 incumbent legislators.

Ramezanzadeh said the review would be conducted by the Intelligence Ministry.

A cabinet minister indicated that most of the candidates, but not all, were likely to be restored to the ballot by the review.

"A large number are expected to be reinstated," said Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, a pro-reform minister told reporters Wednesday.

While Ramezanzadeh and Zanganeh sounded upbeat about the review's prospects, reformists have been disappointed before. Early last month, Khamenei urged the Guardian Council to reconsider the disqualifications. It did so, but its reinstatements were regarded as politically insignificant.

What makes the new review different is that it is to be conducted by a ministry that is nominally under the control of reformists.

When the list of approved candidates was first announced in early January, it emerged that the Guardian Council had disqualified about 3,600 people of the 8,200 who filed papers to stand.

After protests, and Khamenei's requested reconsideration, the council reinstated 1,160 low-profile names, but the major reformists, including the leaders of the Islamic Iran Participation Front, remained barred. Reformists rejected the reinstatements as cosmetic.

The meeting between Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters, and Khatami was seen as a last chance to ease Iran's worst political crisis in years. It was attended by parliamentary speaker Mahdi Karroubi, a reformist who had urged Khamenei to intervene, and Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, the hardline head of the judiciary.

The leader of the Islamic Iran Participation Front, the largest reformist party, Mohammad Reza Khatami, said Monday his group would boycott the polls. The day before, more than 120 legislators tendered their resignations, saying there was no point in holding elections whose outcome was a foregone conclusion.

http://www.canada.com/news/world/story.html?id=AAFFB595-447A-483A-A626-1B69A5FC44F3
38 posted on 02/04/2004 11:09:34 AM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
Proof That Tehran Backed Terrorism

February 04, 2004
The Insight Magazine
Kenneth R. Timmerman

Nineteen U.S. Air Force personnel died here when terrorists attacked with a truck full of explosives. Freeh testified it was planned, funded and sponsored by Iran.

As a former Iranian intelligence officer was providing testimony in a courtroom in Germany detailing operational ties between the September 11 hijackers and the government of Iran, lawyers from the U.S. departments of State and Justice and appeals-court judges in Washington were working hard to overturn a law that has allowed victims of terrorism to sue foreign governments for sponsoring terrorist crimes that have killed Americans.

The measure, known as the "Flatow amendment," was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in October 2000. Terrorism experts believe it has had a sobering effect on terrorist sponsors, including Iran and Libya, because it has made them financially accountable for the crimes of their proxies by awarding damages to victims from frozen assets held in the United States.

The simple message of the Flatow amendment is this: If you direct terrorist groups to kill Americans, you will pay. Damage awards to victims from Iranian government assets in the United States in some 50-odd cases now top $3 billion.

Among those victims have been U.S. hostages held in Lebanon, the families of U.S. citizens killed by Iranian government proxies in suicide bombings in Israel and the Palestinian territories, and the families of the 241 U.S. Marines who were killed when an Iranian government agent rammed a truck full of explosives into their barracks outside of the international airport in Beirut on Oct. 23, 1983 [see "Invitation to September 11," Jan. 6-19].

Now the U.S. government, apparently without the consent or knowledge of the Bush White House, is about to engage in what observers call "an act of unilateral disarmament" that will comfort state sponsors of terror, especially Iran.

"We always knew the State Department was against these lawsuits and tried to scuttle them from day one," a representative of a group of victims' families tells Insight. "At every step of the way, they intervened - whether to block efforts to discover where frozen Iranian government assets were held, or how we could get them released once we found them on our own."

But in the opinion of congressional sources, the attorneys for the victims and the family members themselves, the decision handed down by Judge Howard Edwards of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Jan. 16 is an act of judicial activism that violates the will of Congress and delivers an overwhelming victory to terrorist states. "By vacating the Flatow amendment pure and simple, the U.S. government is sending a crystal-clear message to the terrorists: Go right ahead," said one attorney who has followed these cases for several years.

Pleading the case to repeal the law was Peter D. Keisler, an assistant attorney general in the Bush administration. He was assisted by U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Roscoe C. Howard Jr. and Mark A. Clodfelter, a legal adviser to the secretary of state.

"We ran this up the flagpole and went through the whole interagency process before sending our recommendation up to the Solicitor General's Office," an official involved in the litigation tells Insight. "The solicitor general approved our approach and set out the guidelines for our appeal."

If true, that would be astonishing. Barbara Olson, the wife of U.S. Solicitor General Ted Olson, was among those killed during the 9/11 attacks when American Airlines Flight 77 was crashed into the Pentagon by al-Qaeda hijackers. As solicitor general, Ted Olson vigorously has defended every aspect of the U.S. war on terror, including the USA PATRIOT Act and the government's right to detain illegal combatants for indefinite periods without access to counsel. When pressed about who had authorized their appeal, government attorneys interviewed by Insight declined to respond.

Lawyers from the State and Justice departments argued that the law crafted by Congress, and vetted by their own attorneys at the time, allowed victims of terrorism to sue in U.S. courts but not to seek damages because the language provided "no private cause of action against foreign governments." In response to questions from Insight, they insisted that the distinction was not just "splitting legal hairs." But attorneys who helped write the legislation contested that view and revealed that State Department attorneys made last-minute "technical changes" to the bill that required victims of terrorism to sue "officials, employees and agents" of a foreign state, rather than the government itself.

"We had no objection to that change during the conference," one of the attorneys told Insight, "because they are one and the same thing. But what they are saying now is that Congress is a bunch of incompetents who don't know how to draft legislation. We'll be back in a year's time with a much more muscular bill."

These are not lawsuits like any other. They involve U.S. foreign policy, national security and the rights of victims of murderous crimes to seek redress under the law.

What makes the decision by Judge Edwards and the active intervention of the State and Justice department lawyers particularly odious, lawyers and family members of victims tell Insight, is the potential cost in human lives it could entail. As President Ronald Reagan was fond of saying, weakness or the perception of weakness invites attack.

The shabbiest treatment of all was reserved for the families of the 19 U.S. airmen and Air Force personnel who lost their lives when Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorists drove a truck bomb into the Khobar Towers barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, in June 1996. After keeping them waiting two weeks for their day in court, Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson sent some 100 family members back to their homes around the country in mid-December after she single-handedly attempted to block the testimony of former FBI Director Louis Freeh [see "Is Khobar Towers Testimony Being Silenced," posted Dec. 17, 2003].

Freeh already had testified in open session on Oct. 8, 2002, to the Joint Intelligence Committee about involvement of the Iranian government in the Khobar Towers bombing and told Insight when he first appeared in Robinson's courtroom on Dec. 2, 2003, that he planned to give the same testimony. But Robinson kept disappearing from her own courtroom for brief, unexplained recesses. When she returned, she read out long lists of questions, apparently dictated to her by others, that raised objections to Freeh's testimony and to every other witness the victims' attorneys tried to call. A longtime observer of the court called Robinson's courtroom behavior "disingenuous" and "out of line" and "in violation of federal rules of evidence."

To family members, Freeh had become a hero. "He was the only man in Washington during this whole thing who gave a damn," said Katherine Adams, mother of U.S. Air Force Capt. Christopher Adams, a pilot who had been taking another officer's tour of duty in Saudi Arabia so he could stay home with his wife while she was having a baby. "He was the only man who kept his word to the families, who cared, who met with us. [President] Clinton never did anything, except to show up for a photo op," Katherine Adams says.

When Robinson finally allowed the former FBI director to testify to an empty courtroom on Dec. 18, Freeh got straight to the point. "My own conclusion was that the [Khobar Towers] attack was planned, funded and sponsored by the senior leadership of the government of Iran," he said. Freeh's breathtaking conclusion, and the hard evidence of the Iranian government's role in the attack, is widely seen as far more compelling than the evidence used by the Bush administration to justify the war in Iraq. Making all evidence public could increase pressure on the administration to move militarily against Iran, a step most observers agree the administration would prefer to avoid.

Robinson also took the unprecedented step in a terrorism case of disqualifying the most qualified nongovernmental witness on Iranian government funding of terrorism, Patrick Clawson of the Washington Institute of Near East Policy, in a written order handed down Jan. 27. Clawson has testified in more than a half-dozen lawsuits against the government of Iran, providing hard data culled from Iranian government reports on state budgets allocated to international terrorism. Robinson ordered that his testimony be "stricken in its entirety" because Clawson would not reveal all the sources for his expert opinion on Iranian government sponsorship of terror. Clawson was unable to attend one hearing, an affidavit shows, because he was scheduled for all-day briefings at CIA headquarters in McLean, Va.

Sources familiar with the U.S. government investigations tell Insight that Iran "supplied the explosives" for the 1998 al-Qaeda bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa that killed more than 200 persons, and designated top terrorist operative Imad Mugniyeh as their liaison to Osama bin Laden's groups.

U.S. intelligence agencies consistently have argued that Iran could "not possibly" have a connection to al-Qaeda or to Sunni Muslim terrorist networks because Sunnis and Shias "do not talk to one another." And yet, a handful of intelligence analysts resisted this consensus view and compiled "B-Team" reports on al-Qaeda/Iran contacts for Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and Undersecretary of Defense Doug Feith. After an Oct. 26, 2001, briefing, Wolfowitz expressed astonishment that this information had been kept from him, and he asked to be given more information as it became available. Instead, the Defense Intelligence Agency analyst who compiled the report, Kai Fallis, was fired by his superiors.

"What has been done is incredibly hypocritical," says Stephen Perlis, a lawyer involved in a dozen similar cases, including the original Flatow case. "They used the Flatow amendment to facilitate rapprochement with Libya by resolving the Pan Am 103 case, but now they want to destroy it when it applies to Iran."

As the war on terror progresses, the Bush administration is seeking to put pressure on hard-line clerics in Iran, deter their use of terror, stop weapons of mass destruction and encourage pro-democracy forces - at least, that is what the president says. But the message sent by the repeal of the Flatow amendment, and by the refusal of the State Department to back up the president's promise to support the pro-democracy movement in Iran, suggests a policy process the president does not control, say former National Security Council officials.

Kenneth R. Timmerman is a senior writer for Insight magazine.

For more on this story, read "Defector Points Finger at Iran in September 11 Plot."

http://www.insightmag.com/main.cfm?include=detail&storyid=594915
39 posted on 02/04/2004 1:45:32 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Defector Points Finger at Iran in September 11 Plot

February 04, 2004
The Insight Magazine
Kenneth R. Timmerman

An Iranian defector stepped forward to provide key testimony in the trial of an alleged 9/11 conspirator, a 31-year old Moroccan named Abdelghani Mzoudi, just hours before a German court was preparing to drop all charges against him. The defector, Hamid Reza Zakeri, told a court in Hamburg on Jan. 30 that a Mzoudi colleague, 9/11 hijacker Ziad Samir al-Jarrah, met in Iran with Zakeri's former bosses at the Ministry of Information and Security (MOIS), Iran's intelligence service, two years before the September 11 terrorist attacks. "I saw him at a training camp in eastern Iran with [Lebanese terrorist] Imad Mugniyeh and [top al-Qaeda operative] Saef al-Adil," he said.

Mzoudi himself was in Iran for training in 1997, Zakeri says. The Germans had charged Mzoudi with providing material support to the al-Qaeda cell in Hamburg that included al-Jarrah and two other 9/11 hijackers, but they were preparing to drop the charges before Zakeri stepped forward with new information. Insight first published Zakeri's allegations of an Iranian government link to the 9/11 conspiracy last year [see "Defector Alleges Iranian Involvement in Sept. 11 Attacks,"posted June 10, 2003, at Insight Online]. At the time, the CIA responded to Insight inquiries regarding Zakeri's credibility by calling him a "serial fabricator."

Zakeri claimed that he met with a CIA officer at the U.S. Embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan, in July 2001 and provided warning of the 9/11 attacks. The CIA acknowledged the meeting, then claimed Zakeri had provided no credible evidence of a terrorist plot against the United States. But German prosecutors and the German intelligence agencies who have interviewed Zakeri don't appear to share that assessment. Germany's counterespionage service, the Bundeskriminalamt, supplied prosecutors with a 30-page transcript of its interview with Zakeri on Jan. 21, prompting the court to halt Mzoudi's trial and expected release.

In his original interview with Insight, which was picked up by American media organizations only after Zakeri's name surfaced in the German 9/11 trial on Jan. 21, the former MOIS operative said he personally handled security at two meetings between top al-Qaeda operatives and Iranian officials held in Iran just months before the September 11 attacks.

Zakeri's information dovetailed in many respects with an earlier report on Iran's al-Qaeda ties produced by the Defense Intelligence Agency that Insight first revealed in November 2001 [see "Iran Cosponsors Al-Qaeda Terrorism," Dec. 3, 2001]. Both reports have been spiked until now.

Zakeri backed up his original account of the two meetings between al-Qaeda and Iran with a document signed by Hojjat-ol eslam Ali Akbar Nateq-Nouri, who headed the Intelligence Department for Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. The letter, dated May 14, 2001, carried instructions from Khamenei to his Intelligence Ministry regarding relations with al-Qaeda.

In a follow-on interview with Insight just hours before he appeared in the Hamburg courtroom on Jan. 30, Zakeri reiterated his earlier allegations that Saad bin Laden, eldest son of the Saudi terrorist, and bin Laden's deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, both came to Iran in the months prior to the 9/11 attacks to discuss the logistics and strategy of a major attack on the United States with Iranian intelligence officers.

Saad bin Laden "spoke good English" during his talks with MOIS officials when he came to Iran four months and seven days before 9/11, Zakeri tells Insight.

Another top al-Qaeda operative, Saef al-Adil, currently is in Iran, Zakeri tells Insight, where he has met with the deputy military commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Gen. Mohammad Baqr Zolqadr. Training of al-Qaeda operatives by the IRGC took place at the "Fathi Shiqaqi" camp to the northeast of Iran, he adds. Shiqaqi was the leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), an Iranian-backed terrorist group, until Israeli intelligence operatives assassinated him in Malta in October 1995. Shiqaqi was replaced as head of PIJ by Ramadan Shallah, who left a teaching job at the University of South Florida where he had worked alongside professor Sami al-Arian, now awaiting trial in the United States on terrorism-related charges.

U.S. officials say they believe Saad bin Laden currently is in Iran, where he is being given refuge and safe harbor, but repeated requests to the Iranian government to hand him over for trial have gone unanswered. The Iranian government says only that a number of al-Qaeda operatives crossed into Iran from neighboring Afghanistan and that they currently are awaiting prosecution for unspecified violations of Iranian law.

Kenneth R. Timmerman is a senior writer for Insight.

For more on this story, read "Proof That Tehran Backed Terrorism."

http://www.insightmag.com/main.cfm?include=detail&storyid=594889
40 posted on 02/04/2004 1:46:31 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
EVEN THE MOST DICTATORIAL REGIMES CHANGE WHEN PEOPLE IS UNITED

By Safa Haeri

PARIS, 4 Feb. (IPS)

Iranian republicans are against the present system of "velayat faqih" and instead, promote a "secular, democratic regime based on the power of parliament. But at the same time, they rule out any covert or violent methods to achieve their aims", according to Mr. Bizhan Hekmat, one of the organizers of the recent meeting of the Iranian Republicans in Berlin.

"For the time being, what we are looking for is to unite Iranians in the Diaspora who favour a republican system for Iran based on parliamentary democracy, to be an umbrella and work for radical changes in Iran", he pointed out in a wide-range interview with Iran Press Service.

A member of the Iranian Nationalist Republicans, the 65 years old Hekmat adds that for the time being, the Union of Iranian Republicans (UIR) that was created in Berlin as a result of the meeting does not want to concentrate on organizing the Iranians inside the country.

The Berlin conference, held from 8 to 10 of January, was the largest ever of any gathering of Iranians outside Iran in the past decades, with more than 1.300 people coming from as far as the United States, Canada and Iran attending, among them several veteran political activists.

"The situation in Iran does not bode well for clandestine activities. We saw that in the past the underground groups did much less than the mullahs who were engaged in more open activities", Mr. Hekmat pointed out.

The road the UIR proposes for bringing changes does not differ from the one that the majority of Iranians are for: peaceful methods, starting by organizing the masses for civil disobedience.

In the view of Mr. Hekmat, this regime is not reformable, but at same time, it is possible to force the ruling conservatives to open doors to more changes, like limiting the powers of the vali-e-faqih (in this case, Ayatollah Ali Khameneh’i) and the un-elected bodies such as the Council of Guardians Special Rights for eliminating undesirable candidates… "under a combination of pressures from inside and outside".

"But nothing could take place in Iran without the existence of a nationwide political movement. Hence, our effort to that end, but first, we have to unite our ranks outside and then building bridges with inside, on due time, without precipitation", he observed.

In a Manifesto, or Road Map for action, the Conference proposed a secular, democratic system, an open market economy and a "decentralized" administration. Externally, they propose "détente and friendly" relations with "all nations", that includes Israel without naming the Jewish State.

"We are for the official recognition of two separate Israeli and Palestinian states", Mr. Hekmat said, insisting that he speaks more on his own name that on behalf of the UIR.

He also thinks that one should not "exaggerate" the role of the American Jewish lobby in "all" the decisions taken by American administrations.

On the position and the role of the students at present political situation, Mr. Hekmat belittles the importance of Iranian students lack of enthusiasm for the embattled reformists and says they might be in a "moment of thinking".

An active member of the former Confederation of Iranian Students that fought the toppled Monarchy by supporting the Islamic Revolution of Grand Ayatollah Roohollah Khomeini, Mr. Hekmat went back to Iran after the victory of the Revolution, but like many other fellows, he was "disenchanted" and came back to Paris, where he runs a computer center, "to start again the fight, this time against the Islamic Republic".

The students have realized that bringing some 300, backed by some 8.000 people, into the streets, is not enough. So, they are thinking about the past but mostly the road to take in the future", he said.

Below are large excerpts from the interview:

Iran Press Service – What was the aim of your congress?

Bizhan Hekmat – To form an umbrella for the (Iranian) Republicans and as far as possible, bringing structural changes in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Of course, you might say "but this is not possible from outside". We too. But we think that we can have some impact on what is going inside the nation by establishing contacts with forces inside, as seen by the presence in our meeting of some people who came from Iran. However, we do not intend to organize inside before organizing and mobilizing ourselves outside in order to be able to be reckoned by the international community, helping foreign powers, lawmakers and politicians to understand Iranian realities and promote human rights, democracy and political liberties in Iran.

IPS – Why not starting by mobilizing Iranian republicans in Iran. After all, Iran is already a Republic?

B H – Conditions are not ripe for full open anti-regime activities and we are against covert operations that, even in the past, before the Islamic Revolution, had not been much successful. The organization that really helped the process was that of the (Iranian) clergy that was fighting openly. Also, the present situation makes it much more difficult for clandestine activities while at the same time there is some limited room for open civil and political actions, as seen by the existence of human rights groups, centers for the defence of journalists and intellectuals, the Bar Association etc that, if developed further, better organized and working in harmony with each other, they can become a force to reckon with.

IPS – It seems that in your meeting you had difficulties if reaching a consensus on some important issues, such as the secularism or radical changes in the Constitutions?

B H – This not correct. A large majority approved the separation of religion from the State, changing the Constitution and a regime based on parliamentary system, all the points prefiguring in our Manifesto. The only points of divergences were whether to boycott the forthcoming elections and the controversial subject of so-called nationalities or ethnicities. On the first question, it was left to the Coordination Council to decide and on the other; we thought we should not waste our time on the form of the future Republic, a federal or centralized system. However, we have expressed our total support for all Iranian minorities and a decentralized government.

IPS – What do you think about the present electoral crisis and the regime itself?

B H – We support a referendum, but left the decision to our Council.

IPS – But considering the past experiences and the regime’s 25 years of authoritarian rule, do you think that the ruling clerics are bent to reform?

B H – I doubt that this regime can change its present structures and the past six years have proved that the regime is not self reformable. However, in every regime, even the most dictatorial, when people enter the scene and the international atmosphere is also ripe, it is possible to impose some of the people’s basic demands.

IPS – Yes, but what in a regime ruled by the concept of velayat faqih, meaning a semi-divine?

B H – We support all efforts aimed at limiting the powers of the vali e faqih, as well as those of other un-elected centers of decisions. The way we suggest to that goal is a national referendum. But again, before, it is necessary to have organized and united all Iranian democratic forces.

IPS – But we see that Iranians are not much enthusiastic. The students, who are at the forefront of political activities, are mute.

B H – The students had known a lot of ups and downs. I would say their present silence is a moment of thought for them; reviewing the past and thinking about future strategies. They realized that bringing some 300 students in the streets, backed by some 8.000 people is not enough.

IPS – You have kept aside other Iranian political groups like the Monarchists that, like you, also want a democratic, secular system. Don’t you want reach a coalition with other forces?

B H – When the Monarchists gathers, they do not invite us. I might say that for the time being, they might be better organized. As I said, we have to organize ourselves first. But this does not mean that doors are closed to dialogue with other political formations, both inside and outside, like Constitutionalist Monarchists, and study what we can do together.

IPS – Would you say that doors are open for a coalition on few points, like changing the regime to a secular, parliamentary democracy?

B H – What we have said is that doors are open.

IPS – So far, none of foreign governments have taken Iranian opposition seriously. Why?

B H – No, this is not very correct. They had contacts with the late Mr. Shapour Bakhtiar or the Mojahedeens (the Iraqi-based Mojahedeen Khalq Organisation)...

IPS – … I mean Western powers. And if they had contacts, was it not using them as scarecrows against the regime?

B H – Establishing contacts with foreign governments needs time, organisation, plans, all the things we (the Iranian opposition outside) lacked. As far as we are concerned, this is in our plans. I must also add that authoritarian regime never allow opposition forces to emerge, as a result, foreign governments have no precise idea about them, their strength, numbers, policies etc. But the fact that a certain number of important German personalities, politicians and lawmakers attended our meeting is a positive point.

IPS – In relation with the United States and the influence of Jewish lobbies in Washington concerning the Islamic Republic, what is your position?

B H – As far as Israel is concerned, our position is very clear. We are for two separate Israeli and Palestinian states, working peacefully together to guarantee the equal and legitimate rights of both Palestinians and Israelis.

On the other question, we think one must not exaggerate the importance of the American Jewish lobby, one that had always been there. Thinking that this lobby has the control of American decision-makers is not correct, as seen by the former Democrat Administration that, despite enjoying very close relationship with these lobbies, offered the Islamic Republic important concessions, from the Foreign Affairs minister, Mrs. Madeleine Albright, herself also a Jew.

ENDS IRANIAN REPUBLICANS 2204

http://www.iran-press-service.com/articles_2004/Feb_04/iran_republicans_2204.htm
41 posted on 02/04/2004 2:08:49 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Mesbah satellite ready to go to space
By
Feb 4, 2004, 18:36

Minister of Communications and Information Technology Ahmad Motamedi said here on Tuesday that Mesbah miniature satellite is going to be launched into space with in the next one year and four months.

Motamedi told a group of his staff that Iran's Aerospace Organization will be in charge of the project which is in the implementation phase.

The minister ruled out the speculations that Zohreh satellite project has reached a dead-end.

He said however, that the project is rather apriority on his ministry's agenda.

He said the project has encountered an array of executive problems but it is hoped that necessary decisions will be taken on it in the future.


http://www.iranian.ws/iran_news/publish/article_1609.shtml
42 posted on 02/04/2004 3:05:19 PM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
Ney says Fox News using Middle East consultant with Iranian terrorism link

By GREG WRIGHT
Gazette Washington Bureau




WASHINGTON -- Ohio Rep. Bob Ney says an expert on the Middle East who appears regularly on the Fox News Channel has ties to an Iranian terrorist organization.

Alireza Jafarzadeh said Friday his group's opposition to Iran's fundamentalist Muslim government doesn't make it a terrorist group.

The State Department added the National Council of Resistance of Iran to its terrorist list in 2002 because it had ties to Mujahedin-e Khalq, a terrorist organization that seeks to overthrow Iran's government.

Jafarzadeh was the Washington-based council's congressional representative until the State Department closed its offices in August 2002.

"Absolutely not -- that is ridiculous," Jafarzadeh said when asked if his organization was a terrorist group.

Jafarzadeh, who runs his own consulting firm, claims the Bush administration put his group on the terrorist list because the White House wants to improve ties with Iran.

"Now he's simply not telling the truth," Ney, R-St. Clairsville, said in a telephone interview late Thursday.

Fox News officials refused to comment. Jafarzadeh said he would continue to appear on the 24-hour cable news network.

Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) is a Marxist-Islamic organization created by children of college-educated Iranian merchants in the 1960s, the State Department said. The group resented the infiltration of Western culture during Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi's reign.

MEK supported the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and fundamentalist revolution that overthrew the shah. But MEK turned against the regime in the 1980s and is now the largest Iranian dissident group.

American relations are slowly warming with Iran's fundamentalist government. Iran is considering allowing a delegation of American lawmakers to visit for the first time since the 1979 revolution.

On Wednesday, Ney was in a group of lawmakers who met with Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran's ambassador to the United Nations.

Jafarzadeh, who attended college at Ohio University in Athens, accused Ney of switching sides by cozying up to an Iranian regime he used to criticize. Ney taught English in Iran before the revolution and is fluent in Farsi.

"We were good friends until he switched sides and he began defending the Iranian regime," Jafarzadeh said of Ney. "I have nothing personal against him. I still respect him."

Ney is also asking the Justice Department to investigate the Iranian-American Society of Northern Virginia, which planned a January benefit for victims of last month's Iranian earthquake. Ney said that group is also linked to MEK and Jafarzadeh and should not be allowed to raise money in the United States.

The Justice Department will review Ney's request, spokesman John Nowacki said.


http://www.chillicothegazette.com/news/stories/20040131/localnews/327329.html

Note: Although the MKO is a terrorist group and should be treated as such, Bob Ney has gone on an aggressive campaign of trying to undermine opposition groups to the Islamic Republic while at the same time meeting members of the Islamic regime.

Important to note that Ney had Trita Parisa working for him for a while. Mr. Parisa is a ranking member of the NIAC (a group large segments of Iranian-Americans believe is affiliated underhandedly with the Islamic Republic).

Mr. Ney may have been brainwashed by Mr. Parisas propaganda.
43 posted on 02/04/2004 3:09:44 PM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert; F14 Pilot; faludeh_shirazi; Cyrus the Great; democracy; Pan_Yans Wife; ...


Iranian-American actress Goli Samii

Actress - filmography (2000s) (1990s)

First Interview (2003) .... Kelly Maryam (2000) .... Leila

Souvenir (1998) .... Vision #1 Definite Maybe, The (1997) .... Kelly
44 posted on 02/04/2004 3:17:36 PM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn


Survivors of a devastating earthquake in Bam, Iran, are seeing the love of God demonstrated through the work of Southern Baptist disaster relief volunteers from Alabama who traveled to the scene to help. The words "Alabama Disaster Relief" provided the first witness to God's love as the team began unloading equipment and supplies, said team leader Larry Murphy of Enterprise
45 posted on 02/04/2004 3:20:03 PM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
Pars Organization

Pars Organization began its activities in November 1998.
This organization is recorded in the book of French register on February 12, 2000.
The duty of Organization is the coordination of the opponents with interior and exterior of Iran of the elements subversive of the terrorist government of the Islamic republic.

This organization continues its combat for a democratic and laic company in order to protect the human rights in Iran.

The central part of Organization gathers 70 members in the field of the policy, economic, cultural and military and intellectuals.

This organization has the responsibility to maintain solidarity and to coordinate the groups policy including/understanding, the republicans, like the national party, the Socialists democrat, the side ? Iranians and the Democratic movement.

This organization gathers approximately 3000 members and sympathizers throughout the world.

Doctor Nouri is the general manager.



The Charter


The Islamic Republic is responsible for systematic violations of the Humans right and of the destruction of the Iranian national culture, considered as foreign by its leaders.

The Committee for the Inversion of the Islamic mode Iran gives itself for mission the dismissal of the mode, with the assistance of all our compatriots? willing of freedom. This is in order to establish a State of right, legitimacy by the real practice of the vote for all.

The Committee takes as a starting point the following principles:

1 Strict separation between the religion and the businesses of the State Protection of the freedom of the worship on the basis of SECULARITY.
2 Installation of a government resulting from the parliamentary majority leading only the policy of the country and person in charge in front of the deputies.
3 Application of the multi-party system within a legal framework
4 Handing-over with the honor of the Iranian culture
5 Equality of all in front of the law. Respect of essential freedoms, in accordance with the charter of the Declaration of the rights of man
6 Adhesion has a liberal economic system moderated by the control of the State

The Committee for the Inversion of the Islamic mode of Iran proclaims its support for the forces of opposition mode. It precisely asks all our compatriots to be linked, inside as outside the country, in order to reverse the Islamic dictatorship in Iran.


http://www.sazmanepars.org/
46 posted on 02/04/2004 3:24:29 PM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
Bttt.

5.56mm

47 posted on 02/04/2004 3:29:05 PM PST by M Kehoe
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To: freedom44
"Mr. Parisa is a ranking member of the NIAC (a group large segments of Iranian-Americans believe is affiliated underhandedly with the Islamic Republic)."

Slight correction : Trita Parsi is the President of NIAC
48 posted on 02/04/2004 4:03:48 PM PST by nuconvert ("Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?")
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
"I am advising them that it would be good to have a very generous, comprehensive suspension," Mohamed ElBaradei told Reuters "

That's really telling them, El Baradei.
I'm sure it will be effective. (NOT)
49 posted on 02/04/2004 4:13:13 PM PST by nuconvert ("Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?")
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To: freedom44
She's a keeper. :)
50 posted on 02/04/2004 4:24:25 PM PST by blackie (Be Well~Be Armed~Be Safe~Molon Labe!)
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