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Iranian Alert -- February 5, 2004 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD --Americans for Regime Change in Iran
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 2.5.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 02/05/2004 12:05:00 AM PST by DoctorZIn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iaea; iran; iranianalert; iranquake; protests; southasia; studentmovement; studentprotest
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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 02/05/2004 12:05:01 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 02/05/2004 12:07:59 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
3 posted on 02/05/2004 12:12:52 AM PST by AmericanVictory (Should we be more like them, or they like us?)
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To: DoctorZIn; McGavin999; freedom44; nuconvert; Eala; AdmSmith; dixiechick2000; onyx; Pro-Bush; ...
When Iran's two crises intersect

The National Business Review
Stuart McMillan

Iran has two crises on its hands which may intersect and cause regional and possibly global problems later this month.

Last Sunday more than 40% of its members of Parliament (124 out of 290) tendered their resignations because so many who sought reform in Iran were declared ineligible to stand in the elections due on February 20.

They were declared ineligible by the Guardian Council, a small unelected conservative and hardline Islamic group. Originally, the council had disqualified 3600 of the 8200 who filed papers saying they wanted to stand for the parliament. After fierce complaints from various members of parliament and words from Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme ruler of Iran, who has the final say in all political matters, 1160 were restored, leaving a few more than 2400 ineligible.

The council declared it was nothing to do with the politics of the disqualified but because they did not have appropriate political experience. Those disqualified had among their number about 80 who had served in the present Parliament and who were not convinced by this explanation.

A further appeal to Ayatollah Khamenei was not possible because he had retreated to somewhere in the country and could not be contacted. It is Ayatollah Khamenei who appoints the Guardian Council.

The Speaker of the Parliament, Mahdi Karroubi, rebuked the council ­ a rare event in Iran ­ asking them: "Are you loyal to Islam if you pray daily, but then trample on the rights of the people?" Mr Karroubi is himself a cleric.

The legislators conducted a sit-in at the Parliament for about three weeks but when the council was unmoved the mass resignations occurred. Mohammad Reza Khatami, son of Mohammad Khatami, president of Iran, was among those who resigned. Some of the conservatives in the Parliament stayed away, hoping to thwart them by causing a lack of a quorum but there were enough who wanted to resign to help make up a quorum.

Under Iran's constitution the resignations do not have to be accepted, though there is nothing to make the legislators actually attend Parliament.

President Khatami, himself a liberal, has hinted the elections will be postponed. Another liberal has said that if the elections were held with the present number of people disqualified it would amount to a coup by the conservatives with military backing.

Most of the reformers in Iran belong to the Islamic Iran Participation Front.

All of this is occurring at the very time Iran is marking the 25th anniversary of the return to Iran of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and the Iranian revolution.

That revolution did much to sweep away a fairly sophisticated middle class, which made the mistake of backing the revolution being preached by Ayatollah Khomeini from exile. Although the revolution always had a powerful religious element, a great many liberals, angered by the Shah, joined in, thumbing their noses, as it were, at him.

What has happened to the values of those people after 25 years of sometimes oppressive Islamic rule will be one of the interesting discoveries when the social science of Iran is studied. Possibly the reformers mark their re-emergence in Iranian society.

The other crisis Iran is facing about mid-February is the findings of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which will declare whether Iran has gone too far toward developing nuclear weaponry. Iran has been showing some co-operation with the IAEA, to the extent that it has been disclosed that Pakistan is the source of much of its nuclear technology.

This had been suspected for some time but the suspicion was never enough to make Pakistan treat the allegation seriously.

After the disclosure in Iran, Pakistan was no longer able to ignore the issue and its popular nuclear weapons scientist, A Q Khan, confessed to selling nuclear know-how to Iran, Libya and North Korea. When asked why, he replied that he thought other Islamic nations should have nuclear weaponry, but appeared somewhat stuck for a reply when he was asked about the Islamic credentials of North Korea.

The extent to which Mr Khan sold the technology out of fellow Islamic feeling or to make a personal profit is one of the subjects being investigated in Pakistan. Mr Khan has built what has been described as a "fabulous" hotel in Timbukto, Mali, named after his Dutch wife, and is alleged to have used the Pakistan Air Force to transport furniture to it. His bank accounts are now being examined.

Last October Iran appeared to have agreed not to develop nuclear weapons in return for nuclear technology from Europe. Questions remain, however, and the IAEA will give its verdict within the next few days. The issue of sanctions against Iran has been raised. It will take a sure-footed and stable government in Iran to ride out any adverse finding. By that time Iran may have unelected Islamic clerics in sole charge.

The transfer of nuclear technology by black-market means has long been an international fear. Pakistan and Iran have proved to be a classic example of such blackmarket trading.

An even more complex worry is that Iran seems to be pushing the boundaries of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, of which it is a signatory, interpreting the treaty in a way which allows it to be on the very verge of developing nuclear weapons without actually possessing them. Thus Iran might consider itself to be acting within international law and there may not be a black-and-white case to say that Iran has broken the treaty.

If, however, Iran gets away with that, other countries hankering after nuclear weapons will likewise test the outer limits of the interpretation of the treaty.

The world will need some sense out of Iran at a time that Iran is unlikely to be making any sense of itself.
4 posted on 02/05/2004 12:20:19 AM PST by F14 Pilot ("Terrorists declared war on U.S. and War is what they Got!")
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To: F14 Pilot
When asked why, he replied that he thought other Islamic nations should have nuclear weaponry, but appeared somewhat stuck for a reply when he was asked about the Islamic credentials of North Korea.(Khan)

That reads like an understatement. Unbelieveable! That slap on the wrist is surely gonna hurt.

5 posted on 02/05/2004 4:18:05 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
Pakistani Leader Pardons Nuke Scientist


President Gen. Pervez Musharraf pardoned the father of Pakistan's nuclear program Thursday for giving technology to Iran, Libya and North Korea.

The Pakistani leader's pardon headed off a showdown with the political and religious groups which strongly opposed punishment for Abdul Qadeer Khan.

Musharraf accepted the scientist's plea for mercy after he admitted the leaks in a televised apology.

"There's a written appeal from his side and there's a pardon written from my side," Musharraf said at a news conference.

Details of the pardon were not made public, including whether Khan would have to repay any of the money he received for selling Pakistan's nuclear secrets.

Earlier Thursday, the Cabinet had sent a recommendation to Musharraf that Khan be pardoned for the proliferation to the three countries that make up what President Bush had termed the "Axis of Evil."

In a televised apology Wednesday after meeting Musharraf, Khan accepted full responsibility for nuclear leaks he said were made without government knowledge or approval and asked for forgiveness.

Two weeks ago, Musharraf vowed to move against proliferators he condemned as "enemies of the state," but a decision to prosecute Khan would have outraged many Pakistanis.

On Thursday, Musharraf said he had sought to balance Pakistan's domestic interests and international demands that proliferation activities be brought to light.

"Whatever I have done, I have tried to shield him," Musharraf said of Khan, a national hero. But the president said "one has to balance between international requirements and shielding."

"You cannot shield a hero and damage the nation," the president said.

Musharraf refused to give further details about the pardon, a decision that he said was made on the recommendation of the National Command Authority — which controls the country's nuclear assets — and the Cabinet.

Asked about Khan's motives, Musharraf said: "What is the motive of people? Money, obviously. That's the reality."

He said Pakistan wouldn't submit to any U.N. supervision of its weapons program, and that no documents would be handed over to the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency. He also ruled out an independent investigation of the military's role in proliferation.

However, he said the IAEA was welcome to come and discuss the proliferation issue with Pakistan.

"We are open and we will tell them everything," Musharraf said.

Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told reporters before the pardon was announced that it wasn't up to him to comment on "whether he (Khan) would be pardoned apprehended or decorated."

A trial of Khan could have uncovered embarrassing revelations about top government and military officials — amid widespread skepticism about claims that they didn't authorize or know about proliferation of nuclear technology and hardware from tightly guarded facilities to countries where Pakistan had strategic interests.

The president said again on Thursday there was no official involvement in proliferation.

"The reality is that the government is not involved and that the military is not involved," Musharraf said. "It's only the media that are saying this."

In order to become a nuclear power and address the imbalance of military power with rival India, Musharraf said Pakistan had needed people like Khan — who operated covertly from the 1970s until the country's first public nuclear test in 1998.

"In the covert period there was autonomy," Musharraf said. Khan "was tasked to do something and he did it. One could not be that intrusive in case what you desired was not accomplished," he said.

Pakistan began its investigation in November after Iran told the U.N. nuclear watchdog it obtained nuclear technology from Pakistan.

In Vienna, IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei promised further investigations into the nuclear black market and said experts need to overhaul export controls on nuclear components in light of Khan's admissions.

"Dr. Khan is the tip of an iceberg," ElBaradei said Thursday. "We still have a lot of work to do."

"He was an important part of the process," ElBaradei said. "(But) Dr. Khan was not working alone. There's a lot of chain of activity that we need to follow through on."

Also Thursday, Malaysia said it would investigate a company controlled by the prime minister's son for its alleged role in supplying components to Libya's nuclear program. That company has also been connected to the international nuclear black market tied to Pakistan.
6 posted on 02/05/2004 6:12:25 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: Pan_Yans Wife
Iran Reformists Stick to Demands in Electoral Row

Parisa Hafezi

Iranian reformist politicians stuck on Thursday to their demand for hundreds of disqualified candidates to be allowed to run in parliamentary elections as decision time neared in Iran's worst political crisis for years.

President Mohammad Khatami's pro-reform government has voiced optimism that a dispute over the mass disqualification of reformist candidates by a hardline watchdog will be resolved on Thursday, allowing the February 20 vote to go ahead.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the last word on all state matters, on Wednesday firmly rejected government calls for the vote to be postponed.

But he has ordered the Guardian Council -- an unelected oversight body run by religious hard-liners -- to carry out a second review of the bans it imposed on some 2,000 hopefuls, mainly accused of lacking loyalty to Islam and the constitution.

Reformists, fighting to preserve the parliamentary majority they won in 2000 elections, remained skeptical.

"They (hard-liners) have sent us many messages that they are reinstating all those illegally disqualified," said Mostafa Tajzadeh, a member of Iran's largest reformist party the Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF).

"But we do not believe them because they have never fulfilled their promises in the past," he told Reuters.

IIPF spokesman Saeed Shariati said the Guardian Council had so far reinstated just 51 additional candidates from a list of 600 names suggested by the reformist-run Intelligence Ministry.

The ministry list comprised candidates about whom the government said there was no proof of any wrongdoing.

Most of those disqualified are reformist allies of Khatami, including about 80 members of the current 290-seat parliament.


Reformists argue the mass disqualification of candidates is a crude attempt by hard-liners to regain control of parliament. They say they will be unable to compete for more than half of parliament's seats if the candidate bans stand.

The IIPF announced on Monday it would boycott the vote unless there was a change.

But Tajzadeh left the door open for a change in stance.

"If they reinstate all the illegally disqualified candidates and we feel it is not a pre-determined election, we will decide what to do," he said.

Reformists say they consider illegal all disqualifications that are not backed up by solid proof of the basis for the disqualification.

They also insist that hundreds of candidates who had been approved to stand in previous elections had been unfairly disqualified this time around and must be reinstated. This would include all of those current legislators who have been banned.

The liberal Sharq newspaper on Thursday quoted an unnamed Guardian Council source as saying Khamenei had asked the council to review any mistakes it may have made in imposing the bans.

"The council has fulfilled its legal duty and it will review any cases of mistakes," the source said.

Analysts say the council is unlikely to reinstate many banned candidates, leaving reformists with a tough choice about whether to take part in the election.

Public interest in the electoral row remains muted. Nearly seven years after Khatami's landslide election win, most Iranians have grown disillusioned with the reformists' ability to overcome hardline opposition to reform.
7 posted on 02/05/2004 6:15:55 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
...President Gen. Pervez Musharraf pardoned the father of Pakistan's nuclear program...

Musharraf is more afraid of Khan's supporters than he is of the wrath of the US.

What the US does in response will be a signal of our commitment to the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons.
8 posted on 02/05/2004 7:34:51 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran: A Theocracy, Intrinsically and Structurally Incapable of Reform

February 03, 2004
Asia Times
Nir Boms and Reza Bulorchi

Defying conventional wisdom, fresh voices of freedom appear to be coming from the Middle East as of late. Bashar Assad of Syria delivers his plans for democratization directly to the New York Times. Muammar Gaddafi of Libya delivers his to Newsweek as he claims to be an ally in the "war against terrorism" and invites the world to review his nuclear arsenal. Mohammad Khatami of Iran, the "moderate" president, threatens to resign due to an election crisis resulting from the Guardians Council's decision to disqualify more than 3,000 candidates from the ballot of his country's upcoming February 20 elections.

Among the disqualified candidates were 80 incumbent parliament deputies - including two deputy speakers. The banning of candidates, of course, is never a positive step. But the political crisis brewing in Iran must clearly show that voices of freedom are indeed making headway there - right?

Wrong. What you see is not always what you get when it comes to the Middle East, a region that has not yet began the process of democratic change. The cynical Syrian abuse of the crisis in Bam, Iran - the Syrians flew humanitarian aid into the earthquake-devastated city only to bring back weapons for terrorist groups - is just one example of these new cosmetics that are given to the same old faces. Nevertheless, knowing there are forces of reform in a country like Iran is welcome news in Washington, where there are many who would like to show that our policies in the Middle East are already producing results. There is only one problem: what Iranians have seen from Khatami and his faction over the past seven years has been nothing more than just the rhetoric of reform.

Iran's theocracy is based on a theory of government called the Velayat-e Faqih, or the absolute clerical rule. Velayat-e Faqih is at the core of the complex structure of the Iranian political system in which immense religious and political authority rests with the Supreme Leader, currently Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The interpretation of what is or is not an "Islamic principle" falls within the authority of the Supreme Leader and his hand-picked Guardians Council, the 12-member body tasked with vetting candidates for their "heart-felt" and "written" allegiance to the "Supreme Leader".

To be sure, there are factions within the Iranian political system, but the conflict is more of a power grab rather than a content debate over fundamental issues facing society, above all secular democracy. "I have principles for my path," said Khatami to parliament deputies, "and the most important principle for me is to conserve the system." Indeed, the so-called reformist faction has lost no opportunity to conserve the doctrine of Velayat-e Faqih.

In Iran, elections serve as a veneer to mask a rigid theocracy. The mullahs have perverted the pillars of Western democracies - elections and the parliamentary system - and ensured that those institutions would not pose a threat to their grip on power. This hybrid of theocratic soul and democratic gloss has created a paper democracy in Iran, giving ammunition to Tehran's advocates in Washington and Europe to justify "engagement" and "dialogue" with its clerics.

Khatami's "reformists", by the way, have some interesting associations. Among them, you will find Mullah Mohammed Mousavi-Khoeiniha, one of Khatami's close allies who was fully behind the US embassy takeover in Tehran in 1979. He was joined with the recently deceased Ayatollah Sadiq Khalkhali, the notorious hanging judge; Ali Akbar Mohtashami, the terror master, who directed the Hezbollah in Lebanon in the 1980s and is believed to have coordinated the 1983 bombing of the US Marine barrack in Beirut; the US embassy hostage-takers; the architects of the Ministry of Intelligence and former commanders of the Revolutionary Guards. These and others were baptized as "reformers" following Khatami's presidency.

And this brings us to one of the biggest deceptions since Khatami's presidency in 1997: promise of rule of law and civil society. In a system erected on the anti-democratic doctrine of Velayat-e Faqih, this is a non-starter. This principle was built into the constitution to make it, in essence, reform-proof. In fact, the biggest beneficiary of Khatami's mantra of "rule of law" has been the rival faction that consistently invoked it, casting aside the president's faction by applying the existing election and press laws. In Iran, rule of law means rule of Velayat-e Faqih. In other words, Islamic Sharia law. The establishment never gave Khatami's faction any real say in domestic policies. His smile, his citing of Montesquieu and Alexis de Tocqueville, and his shallow discourses on lofty topics such as Islam and democracy and dialogue between civilizations served as a diplomatic facelift for Tehran.

The Iranian government is already besieged by domestic, social and political crises, as well as by international pressure for its sponsorship of terrorism and procurement of nuclear weapons. And despite the brave face they keep in public, Iran's leaders cannot escape the reality of what has happened in its neighboring countries to the east and the west.

The Guardians Council's move has made one thing abundantly clear: under the current political structure a metamorphosis of the Islamic Republic from within by the likes of Khatami is an impossible task and a "reformed" Velayat-e Faqih system is a contradiction in terms. Change - by way of genuine reform - can only come from inside the country, but outside this regime.

US Secretary of State Colin Powell has recently talked about Iran's "encouraging" moves and "new attitude". This is misplaced praise for a regime that still thrives on domestic terror and the export of fundamentalism. We need to see the clerical regime for what it really is: a theocracy, intrinsically and structurally incapable of reform. After a quarter of a century of acquiescence, the US must help the Iranian people and opposition forces tear down the clerics' house of cards.

Reza Bulorchi is the executive director of the US Alliance for Democratic Iran. Nir Boms is a fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.
9 posted on 02/05/2004 7:36:31 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
ElBaradei Says A.Q.Khan Just Tip of Atomic Iceberg

February 05, 2004
ABC News

VIENNA -- The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog said Thursday the father of Pakistan's atomic bomb was not working alone in creating an illicit network to sell nuclear technology to Libya, Iran and North Korea.

"Dr (Abdul Qadeer) Khan was not working alone," International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Mohamed ElBaradei told reporters, saying he had help from people in many different countries. "Dr Khan is the tip of an iceberg for us."

Khan publicly confessed to leaking nuclear secrets on Wednesday, but said that the Pakistan government and military knew nothing of his black market activities.

ElBaradei said he was not even sure Khan was the one in charge of a nuclear black market created to skirt sanctions and sell sensitive technology to countries subject to embargo.

"I don't know whether he (Khan) was the head. He was clearly an important part," he said.

"We're still in the process of investigating this whole network of supply, so we haven't really seen the complete picture. I think that's really our number one priority."

He said Pakistan was being very helpful in providing the agency with information needed to help crush the nuclear black market though ElBaradei said he wanted more information from Islamabad.
10 posted on 02/05/2004 7:37:32 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Surrender or Prison!

February 05, 2004
Iran va Jahan
Iran va Jahan Network

Our sources in Iran have informed us that there is a strong likelihood that some “reformers” may be arrested today.

According to the same source, in a compromise between Khamenei and Khatami, the Intelligence Ministry will review the disqualifications, and the Government has agreed to proceed with organizing the sham elections of Feb. 20th.

Should the reformers refuse this so called compromise, or the final list to be published by the Intelligence Ministry later today, they risk arrest and religious persecution as implied by Khamenei yesterday.
11 posted on 02/05/2004 7:38:20 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Min: Israel Holding 4 Iranians Abducted In 1982

February 05, 2004
Dow Jones Newswires
The Associated Press

BEIRUT -- Israel is holding four Iranians kidnapped during its 1982 invasion of Lebanon, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said Thursday, an allegation Israel has long denied.

The Iranians, who included two diplomats, were abducted at a checkpoint manned by an Israeli-backed militia north of Beirut. The militia, the now-disbanded Lebanese Forces, says the four were killed, but their bodies have never been found.

Kharrazi spoke on his arrival in Lebanon for talks on the second phase of a prisoner exchange between Israel and the militant group Hezbollah. Under the plan, whose first phase saw the swap of more than 400 captives last week, Iran and Hezbollah are to look into the fate of missing Israeli airman Ron Arad and Israel is to consider releasing its longest-held Lebanese militant.

"Those (Iranians) were taken prisoner in an area controlled by a (Lebanese) group linked to Israel," Kharrazi told reporters at Beirut airport. "Much information confirms that those (Iranians) have been taken to Israel in order to secure the release of a number of Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners held in Israel."

Kharrazi did not specify whether he believed the Iranians to be alive. The minister was accompanied by the son of one of the missing Iranians, charge d'affaires Mohsen Musavi, and relatives of the others.

"We are certain and there is much evidence that they (four Iranians) are alive and they are held in Israel," the son, Raed Musavi, told The Associated Press. "Many say that the Israeli side wants to exchange them for Israeli airman Ron Arad."

Kharrazi promptly held talks with Lebanese President Emile Lahoud and later with Foreign Minister Jean Obeid.

Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah has said his group will form a committee to seek information on Arad and the four Iranians.

The Iranian Embassy in Beirut says the four Iranians -Musavi, fellow diplomat Ahmad Motovasselian, photographer Kazem Akhavan and embassy driver Mohammad Taqi Rastgar Moghaddam -were abducted at a Lebanese Forces checkpoint on July 4, 1982 while they were traveling to Beirut from the northern city of Tripoli.

Lebanese Forces was a Christian militia backed by Israel during Lebanon's 1975-90 civil war. The Israeli army was occupying large tracts of Lebanon at the time of kidnapping.

Asked about Kharrazi's comment Thursday, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman David Saranga recalled Israel had repeatedly denied taking the Iranians and added: "nothing has changed in Israel's policy."
12 posted on 02/05/2004 7:39:19 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
More than Don Quixote

February 05, 2004
Intellectual Conservatives
Nooredin Abedian

Iran's Defense Minister, Ali Shamkhani, is seen by certain experts as the Islamic Republic's true Don Quixote. Brandishing his armada of short and medium ranged missiles, he never misses a chance for saber rattling against Israel, the United States, and the "world arrogant powers," poised, in his thoughts, to attack Iran from all sides to tear it to parts. The 49 year old Revolutionary Guards' commander-turned-Rear-Admiral is, however, a bit more than a mere big-mouthed version of Cervantes' lovely hero.

He was the ruthless Revolutionary Guards' commander of his native province, Khouzestan. Quickly, he became the second in command of the Guards' Corps, commanding the infamous counter intelligence and security apparatus of the feared army. At one time, he served as the minister of Revolutionary Guards, and then as the commander in chief of the mullahs' navy, before ending as the Minister of Defense. During his years in office, he has turned the Defense and Armed Forces Logistics into a veritable producer of deadly weapons.

Only three days ago, his visit to an electronics center in the southern city of Shiraz was broadcast on National Television, boasting a dozen new weapons-related guidance and avionics systems ranging from sophisticated night vision apparatus to state of the art radars. A few days back, he presented the "Raad" missile, a short ranged guided missile capable of being launched from fixed or floating launch pads with a 70 percent hit-probability for the first and 100 percent probability for the second missile, at a range of well over 350 kms. But he does not always stick to short ranged stuff. The 1300 to 1500 km Shahab3 missile, an Iranian version of the North Korean No-dong1, already distributed to combat units of the Revolutionary Guards and capable of carrying an 800 kg conventional or NBC warhead, and the long range Shahab4, a version of the North Korean SS4, whose existence is denied by the regime but is confirmed to be under secret development, are just two examples to cite. This latest version is designed to a range of more than 2000 kms and is capable of carrying a warhead weighing 1.5 tons. In the beginning of January, he even boasted that the Islamic Republic would put its own satellite into orbit with an Iranian-made launch system within 18 months.

Shamkhani is as able and cruel a politician as he is a weapons' guru. In an interview on January 14 with the Saudi newspaper Al-Riyadh, he warned Israel not to think about carrying out its "menace" towards the Iranian nuclear centers, the same way it acted on the Iraqi Ozirak in 1981. He even threatened to use "new forms of military operations" against Israel if it dared move against those centers.

"If Israel attacks Iran, we will respond in a way no Israeli politician has ever dreamed about," he warned in another interview by the Qatari al-Jazeera television. When he was asked if he was referring to nuclear weapons, Shamkhani gave a negative reply, but added that "time would tell" the nature of Iran's response.

He very cleverly chose a Saudi paper, and a Qatari Television, to menace Israel. If Israel is too far an enemy to reckon with, there are always closer ones at hand. In fact, his flawless Arabic would have been much more clearly heard and understood in the Gulf capitals than in Tel Aviv. Those Gulf States, in the fundamentalist vision of the mullahs, are "ripe" fruits to fall one after the other, to the mercy of their version of Islam, were it not for the US presence in the Gulf.

As far as regional ambitions are concerned, Shamkhani seems more a man of deeds than one of words. In fact, many countries have their stockpiles of surface to surface missiles, but few have had as much field experience as has Iran, and against live targets too. During their 1980-1988 war against Saddam, the mullahs let the Kuwaitis have a taste of their then-primitive Chinese-built Silkworm missiles. They have not stopped their field practice in missile technology ever since. Exploiting the Iraqi isolation since 1991, they have launched every now and then a few missiles into their western neighbor's territory, citing the presence of opposition elements near their borders. In April 2001, they launched not less than 70 short and medium range missiles in a matter of hours against more than 7 targets along the 1200 km long Iran-Iraq border, aiming to eliminate the bases of the opposition Mujaheedin Khalq in Iraq. Although they were keen enough to tell the UN that they had acted in "self defense," they were however reluctant to hide the true message of those 70 Scud missiles: a few days later, Ali Larijani, Shamkhani's look-a-like who is in charge of the mullahs' Radio and Television, told a crowd gathered for Friday prayers in Tehran: "Those missiles were a warning to these small countries around the Gulf not to play around with the Lion's tail."

Nooredin Abedian is an Iranian engineer based in Germany, and a former lecturer at Tehran University. He writes from time to time on Iranian issues and politics. email:
13 posted on 02/05/2004 7:40:30 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Will the US assist Musharraf in cracking down on his opponents? Musharraf is trying to protect his neck.
14 posted on 02/05/2004 7:42:47 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: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
ElBaradei Says A.Q.Khan Just Tip of Atomic Iceberg

February 05, 2004
ABC News
15 posted on 02/05/2004 7:46:06 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Those Gulf States, in the fundamentalist vision of the mullahs, are "ripe" fruits to fall one after the other, to the mercy of their version of Islam, were it not for the US presence in the Gulf.

Exporting theocracy, should also get more play in the media. Goodness... the laundry list of the evils of the regime is so long that I sometimes wonder if the press is too lazy to even go to bat.

16 posted on 02/05/2004 8:34:10 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
Freedom Now!
17 posted on 02/05/2004 8:40:45 AM PST by blackie (Be Well~Be Armed~Be Safe~Molon Labe!)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
The Text of C.I.A. Director George J. Tenet's Speech at Georgetown University
Feb. 5, 2004

(Relevant excerpt.)

Let me briefly mention Iran, and I will not go into detail. I want to assure you of one thing: that recent Iranian admissions about their nuclear programs validate our intelligence assessments. It is flat wrong to say that we were surprised by reports from the Iranian opposition last year.

And on North Korea, it was patient analysis of difficult-to- obtain information that allowed our diplomats to confront the North Korean regime about their pursuit of a different route to a nuclear weapon that violated international agreements.

One final spy story. Last year in my annual worldwide threat testimony before Congress in open session, I talked about the emerging threat from private proliferators, especially nuclear brokers. I was cryptic about this in public, but I can tell you now that I was talking about A.Q. Khan. His network was shaving years off the nuclear weapons development timelines of several states, including Libya.

Now, as you know from the news coming out of Pakistan, Khan and his network have been dealt a crushing blow and several of his senior officers are in custody. Malaysian authorities have shut down one of the network's largest plants. His network is now answering to the world for years of nuclear profiteering.

What did intelligence have to do with this? First, we discovered the extent of Khan's hidden network. We tagged the proliferators, we detected the networks stretching across four continents offering its wares to countries like North Korea and Iran.

Working with our British colleagues, we pieced together the picture of the network, revealing its subsidiaries, its scientists, its front companies, its agents, its finances and manufacturing plants on three continents. Our spies penetrated the network through a series of daring operations over several years.

Through this unrelenting effort, we confirmed the network was delivering such things as illicit uranium enrichment centrifuges. And as you heard me say in the Libya case, we stopped deliveries of prohibited material.

I welcome the president's commission on proliferation. We have a record and a story to tell and we want to tell it to those willing to listen.
18 posted on 02/05/2004 9:26:44 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; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Iran MPs Resign en Masse After Bar on Most Candidates Upheld

February 05, 2004

Some 130 pro-reform MPs announced they would go ahead with their resignations from the Iranian parliament and a boycott of February 20 polls after hardliners reinstated just 51 of some 2,500 candidates barred from standing.

Despite appeals for leniency from Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, a conservative-controlled vetting body has reinstated just 51 candidates.

"According to the information available to us, they have reinstated 51 candidates, eight or nine of them sitting MPs," said Islamic Iran Participation Front leader Mohammad Reza Khatami, brother of reformist president Mohammad Khatami.

He said that as a result, the party's promised boycott of the February 20 polls would go ahead. "It's the worst possible outcome," the party leader said.

Earlier, the pro-reform student news agency ISNA had said reviews of 600 out of the 2,500 barred candidacies had resulted in the reinstatement of 51 candidates so far.

But Khatami said that "after studying more than 120 cases submitted by the intelligence ministry, the Guardians Council has declined to hear any more."

Around 80 sitting MPs and a raft of key reform leaders were among the 2,500 candidates blacklisted by the Guardians, in what many see as the worst crisis in the 25-year history of Iran's Islamic regime.
19 posted on 02/05/2004 9:31:46 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: F14 Pilot
Thanks for the ping!
20 posted on 02/05/2004 10:22:31 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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