Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Iranian Alert -- February 9, 2004 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD --Americans for Regime Change in Iran
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 2.9.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 02/09/2004 12:01:42 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
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-64 next last
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 02/09/2004 12:01:43 AM PST by DoctorZIn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

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

2 posted on 02/09/2004 12:04:11 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Kerry Says He Will Repair Damage If He Wins Election

Tehran Times - By Mehr News Agency
Feb 8, 2004
WASHINGTON (Mehr News Agency) -- The office of Senator John Kerry, the frontrunner in the Democratic presidential primary in the U.S., sent the Mehr News Agency an e-email saying that Kerry will try to repair the damage done by the incumbent president if he wins the election. The text of the e-mail follows.

As Americans who have lived and worked extensively overseas, we have personally witnessed the high regard with which people around the world have historically viewed the United States. Sadly, we are also painfully aware of how the actions and the attitudes demonstrated by the U.S. government over the past three years have threatened the goodwill earned by presidents of both parties over many decades and put many of our international relationships at risk.

It is in the urgent interests of the people of the United States to restore our country's credibility in the eyes of the world. America needs the kind of leadership that will repair alliances with countries on every continent that have been so damaged in the past few years, as well as build new friendships and overcome tensions with others.

We are convinced that John Kerry is the candidate best qualified to meet this challenge. Senator Kerry has the diplomatic skill and temperament as well as a lifetime of accomplishments in field of international affairs. He believes that collaboration with other countries is crucial to efforts to win the war on terror and make America safer.

An understanding of global affairs is essential in these times, and central to this campaign Kerry has the experience and the understanding necessary to successfully restore the United States to its position of respect within the community of nations. He has the judgment and vision necessary to assure that the United States fulfills a leadership role in meeting the challenges we face throughout the world.

The current Administration's policies of unilateralism and rejection of important international initiatives, from the Kyoto Accords to the Biological Weapons Convention, have alienated much of the world and squandered remarkable reserves of support after 9/11. This climate of hostility affects us all, but most especially impacts those who reside overseas. Disappointment with current U.S. leadership is widespread, extending not just to the corridors of power and politics, but to the man and woman on the street as well.

We believe John Kerry is the Democrat who can go toe-to-toe against the current Administration on national security and defense issues. We also remain convinced that John Kerry has the best chance of beating the incumbent in November, and putting America on a new course that will lead to a safer, more secure, and more stable world.

SMCCDI Note: The bold and underlined of the original introduction of the article as posted are made by SMCCDI in order to show the fact, stated by the official Mehr News agency, that J. Kerry's offices have started to lobby beside entities affiliated to the Islamic republic regime while the very same regime is promoting violence in Iraq and elsewhere.

3 posted on 02/09/2004 12:06:33 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Anger grows among children of Iran's 25-year-old revolution

Guardian - By Dan De Luce in Tehran
Feb 9, 2004

They slice through traffic on their motorbikes, racing each other at breakneck speed while holding their mobile phones.

They listen to heavy metal, read Günter Grass and admire Tom Cruise. They don't go to the mosque the way their parents did, and they have given up on politics.

A third of Iran's 65 million people are aged between 15 and 30, struggling to find jobs, queuing for visas, and frustrated with the theocracy they have inherited.

As Iran this week marks the 25th anniversary of the revolution that toppled a monarchy and delivered clerical rule, members of the "third generation" won't be celebrating an event that they don't even remember.

"It was a futile revolution," says Sohrab, who is as young as the Islamic Republic. "It brought nothing but harm for the people."

He speaks amid the roar of traffic and choking pollution in the working-class district of Shoosh in south Tehran, a place where the revolution enjoyed enthusiastic support in 1979.

Now Sohrab and his friends blame the clergy for Iran's troubles. "You cannot accuse anyone else," he says. "The revolution was in their hands, they made it happen. They were responsible. They started with a slogan of Islam, but they betrayed Islam."

He complains about the social restrictions that make having a girlfriend a clandestine project; the risks of speaking out publicly against the theocracy; the inflation that eats away at his wages; corruption; and his country's pariah status. "Ask me what doesn't bother me," he says.

He worries about friends who have turned to drugs. More than a million young Iranians are addicts, and hundreds of thousands of young men are in jail for drug offences.

With the clergy so deeply identified with politics, young people are turning away from religion, he says. "After all this, do you expect us to go to mosque and listen to them?"

Like his peers, he wears his hair long and slicked back with gel. He has a "hidden friendship" with a girl; "people have learned to do everything they want in society behind closed doors". He adds: "We are human beings. It's natural."

Although he failed to secure a coveted place at university, he says he is lucky, because he works for his father's small transport business. His friends are scraping by and desperately seeking decent jobs.

Hoping for real change, Sohrab, along with millions of other young Iranians, voted for reformists four years ago in parliamentary elections. But the reformist majority was overruled in a system that gives final authority to appointed ideologues.

"They know how to fool us" he says. "I had a lot of enthusiasm at the time. But I won't vote again. Even if my father becomes a candidate, I won't vote."

At Tehran University, where student unrest in the 70s helped force the Shah from power, Islamic militancy lost its appeal long ago.

"The ideas of that time are now outdated," says Hooshang, an electrical engineering student. "Politically, we can't speak out. If we speak freely, they'll compile a file on us."

Some students who have dared to speak out have been imprisoned or summoned to court. One of them, Ahmad Batebi, appeared in a dramatic photograph on the cover of the Economist in 1999, holding up the bloodied T-shirt of a classmate beaten by vigilantes. Batebi was convicted of endangering national security and remains behind bars.

Apart from student leaders and a few young journalists, most Iranians are tuning out of politics. They are focusing on finding a job or an emigration visa, or the next heroin fix.

Unable to contain the vast youth population, the Iranian establishment has been forced to grant a limited degree of social freedom, allowing couples to hold hands on the street, spicing up programming on state television and permitting concerts and billiard halls.

Journalists say the leadership hopes to follow China's example, easing social and economic restrictions while holding on firmly to power.

Among young couples sharing ice cream at a shopping centre, there is no gratitude for the new social allowances.

"It's not a matter of tolerance. They were forced to act because society was about to explode," says Sadjad, 19, a university student.

"We are not the youth of 10 years ago and we have more access to the rest of the world, so they have to give us more freedom."

His girlfriend Mara says the concessions are meaningless. "Freedom is not only about going with your friend hand-in-hand. It's being able to speak freely, even in front of a policeman."

After Iraq invaded Iran in 1980, the founder of the Islamic republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, called on families to produce children for the defence of Islam and the revolution.

But instead of being disciples of the cause, the generation now coming of age poses a daunting challenge to the survival of his theocracy.

The road to theocracy

1977 US president Jimmy Carter toasts the Shah and calls Iran "an island of stability" in the Gulf

January 1978 Newspaper article written by the regime slanders the Shah's most outspoken critic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, as a British spy. Wave of anti-Shah protests follows

September Martial law declared as protests continue against the Shah and his notorious secret police, the Savak

October The Shah insists Iraq evict Ayatollah Khomeini after years in defiant exile. Khomeini refused entry to Kuwait and takes refuge in a suburb near Paris. The regime unravels and the Shah and his family flee

February 1 1979 Without permission to land, the ayatollah returns to acclaim

February 11 Government troops return to barracks

December New constitution ratified in a referendum declaring an Islamic republic

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_4822.shtml
4 posted on 02/09/2004 12:09:07 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert; Pan_Yans Wife; freedom44; AdmSmith; McGavin999; windchime; faludeh_shirazi; ..
"Iran Guardian Council acts as a political party"

Sunday, February 08, 2004
IranMania News

Tehran, February 8 ( IranMania) – A student gathering called ‘Defense for Democracy’ was held in Elm-o-Sanat University of Tehran on Saturday. The reformist MPs, Elaheh Koulaee, Mohammad Kianoushrad and Ali Tajernia took part in the gathering. The get-together which was organized by the university’s Islamic Association was warmly welcomed by the students.

According to Iran’s Labor News Agency ( ILNA), Elaheh Koulaee said: “25 years ago we had some ideals in mind, but see what we have achieved today! Iranians have started struggling for democracy and a fair distribution of political power since a century ago, but today they face challenges they could never imagine. The question now is why we have problems in understanding such concepts as freedom, independence and Islamic republic which were clearly defined by the founder of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini.”

Elaborating on the hardliners’ recent moves, Koulaee reiterated: “The conservatives are inflicting a heavy blow on the entire nation by their shortsightedness. We have to be united inside the borders of our homeland. For as long as we don’t listen to different views, we will gain nothing.”

Concerning her disqualification by the Guardian Council, the MP stated:
“Two years ago, the Daricheh Internet site released an article saying that I cooperate with the Russian embassy. My friends repeatedly asked me to insistently deny the news. However I told them the issue is too comic and trivial to react to, for, my record is available to everyone. When the Guardian Council termed me unqualified to stand for the upcoming parliamentary elections, I found the same baseless reports as the body’s basis of decision-making. We have to learn from past experiences. Every 25 years the Iranian nation experiences a great development. Thus having this issue in mind, why should we repeat the same mistakes? The conservatives accuse us of skepticism the same way the anti-reform forces accused the constitutional revolutionaries at the end of the Qajarid era.”

The reformist MP noted: “How is it that if the members of the National Security Commission in their secret meetings talk about resumption of ties with the US, it is considered a crime and a reason for their invalidation, but those affiliated to the conservatives can talk for hours with US diplomats without being blamed?”

Mohammad Kianoushrad for his part said: “Presently some try to turn the Islamic Republic into an Islamic Monarchy. We are opposed to the change and defend the nature of the Islamic system. The disqualification of the candidates was a politically-motivated move and the Guardian Council acted as a political party which tried to do away with its rivals.”

http://www.iranmania.com/News/ArticleView/Default.asp?NewsCode=22425&NewsKind=Current%20Affairs
5 posted on 02/09/2004 12:25:38 AM PST by F14 Pilot (Do Not Believe The Media)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Charles on Iran Visit, the First Since 1971 by a British Royal

By REUTERS
Published: February 9, 2004

EHRAN, Jan. 8 (Reuters) — Prince Charles on Sunday became the first member of the British royal family to visit this Islamic Republic, arriving here after meeting with British troops in Iraq.

Charles, welcomed at Mehrabad Airport here by the British ambassador, Richard Dalton, will meet President Mohammad Khatami on Monday before traveling to the ancient southeastern city of Bam, where an earthquake on Dec. 26 killed more than 40,000 people.

Earlier on Sunday, Charles met British troops based in the southern Iraqi city of Basra and listened to prominent Iraqi officials discuss a range of political and economic problems.

British officials said Charles's visit to Iran, which comes at a time of political tension in a country once listed by President Bush as a member of an "axis of evil," was focused purely on relief efforts for Bam.

"Prince Charles is patron of the British Red Cross, and he is coming in that role," said Andrew Dunn, press officer at the British Embassy in Tehran. "It's a completely nonpolitical visit."

Diplomats said such a trip would have been unthinkable five years ago, before relations between the countries improved as Iran began a reform process and Britain adopted a more conciliatory approach.

Britain, France and Germany, members of the European Union, are following a policy of engagement with Tehran, in contrast to the line of isolation pursued by the United States.

The last official visit to Iran by members of the British royal family was in 1971, eight years before the Islamic fundamentalist revolution overthrew the monarchy.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/09/international/middleeast/09PRIN.html
6 posted on 02/09/2004 12:26:14 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Students in Iran sound boycott call

Tehran, Feb. 8 (Reuters)

Several hundred pro-reform Iranian students today called for a boycott of the February 20 parliamentary elections, reflecting mounting tension in the country gripped by its worst political crisis for years.

The Guardian Council, an unelected conservative watchdog body, has barred more than 2000 candidates from the poll, mainly reformist allies of President Mohammad Khatami, including some 80 MPs from the 290-seat parliament. Reformists yesterday abandoned an attempt to have the election postponed over the issue.

Baton-wielding police blocked a crowd of about 400 students, often the vanguard of reformist protest in Iran, from leaving Tehran University campus. The protest ended without violence. “Boycotting the parliamentary election is the way ahead for Iranians,” students chanted from behind the university gates.

The Guardian Council, composed of clerics and Islamic lawyers, last month rejected almost half of 8,200 aspiring candidates, saying they were not loyal to the values of the Islamic Republic.

But Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the last word on all state matters in Iran, ordered a review of the bans and just under 1,400 candidates were cleared on appeal.

The students called on Khatami to resign and for a referendum to overhaul the constitution that gives hardliners such massive vetting powers.

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1040209/asp/foreign/story_2876598.asp
7 posted on 02/09/2004 12:30:09 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert; Pan_Yans Wife; freedom44; McGavin999; MEG33; PhilDragoo; risk
We are opposed to the change and defend the nature of the Islamic system

There's no obvious difference between the so-called Reformists and Hardliners inside Iran.

8 posted on 02/09/2004 2:06:13 AM PST by F14 Pilot (Do Not Believe The Media)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: F14 Pilot; Alamo-Girl; ALOHA RONNIE; tet68; ExSoldier; Squantos; Travis McGee; ...
There's no obvious difference between the so-called Reformists and Hardliners inside Iran.

Good point. What does "moderate" or "reformist" mean in the context of such inexplicable evil? On a related note, what about John Kerry's recent involvement in Iran?

As DoctorZin's earlier post #3 has observed, Kerry is also working at cross-purposes to real change in Iran. Is there a serious difference between Kerry's cries for Regime Change at Home and ANSWER, NION, or CAIR? He wants direct talks with the mullocracy now. Just when our diplomatic pressure is could be about to foment real change. If there weren't offers of big money to the Kerry campaign from the Coalition's enemies, there will be now.

9 posted on 02/09/2004 2:33:28 AM PST by risk
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: All
Prince Charles Meets With Iranian Leader

ALI AKBAR DAREINI
Associated Press Writer
Mon, Feb 09, 2004

TEHRAN, Iran - Britain's Prince Charles headed Monday to the earthquake-flattened city of Bam after meeting with President Mohammed Khatami on the first visit to Iran in 33 years by a member of the British royal family.

After a handshake at the Red Palace in central Tehran, Prince Charles inquired about Khatami's recent back pain, which had confined him to his home for several days.

"It's due to old age," the 61-year-old president said with a smile, standing straight and with no visible signs of pain.

His smile, however, appeared forced and his face was not as fresh as journalists usually see him. Khatami has been under tremendous pressure about Feb. 20 legislative elections that he says will be unfair because more than 2,000 pro-reform candidates have been banned from running by a hard-line council.

There was no immediate comment from Khatami's office about his hour-long private discussions with Prince Charles.

The prince arrived in Tehran late Sunday after dropping in on British troops in a high-security visit to the southern Iraqi city of Basra. There, dressed in desert camouflage and boots, he sipped tea with soldiers and praised them for their role in securing in southern Iraq.

After the meeting with Khatami, the prince left for Bam, where more than 41,000 people died in a December earthquake that destroyed the ancient southeastern city.

Charles' visit ostensibly was planned so he could see quake aid work in Bam. However, the visit prompted speculation of political motives, perhaps to further improve relations strained after the 1979 Islamic revolution. The British Embassy asserted the prince's trip had no political implications.

"The prince is a patron of the British Red Cross and is visiting Iran in that role. It's an official but completely a nonpolitical visit," said Andrew Dunn, First Secretary at the British Embassy in Tehran.

The prince is accompanied by a small entourage that includes the head of the British Red Cross, Sir Nicholas Young.

A magnitude-6.6 quake flattened the southeastern city of Bam on Dec. 26, killing more than 41,000 people and injuring more than 15,000. The quake also leveled most of the ancient city, including the Arg-e-Bam, or Citadel of Bam, the world's largest mud-brick fortress.

On Friday, Charles made an appeal in London for funds to aid quake survivors.

Dunn said Charles and Young will assess how the British Red Cross can help the survivors and try to resume agricultural life in the area.

The last time a British royal family member visited Iran was in 1971, when Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and Princess Anne attended grand celebrations marking 2,500 years of monarchy in Iran.

Now, three decades later, Charles is visiting a completely different Iran, ruled by hard-line clerics who routinely have denounced British support of the former shah.

People on the streets of Tehran were surprised by Charles' visit.

"I won't believe a British royal figure is in Iran unless I see it by my own eyes," said Hadi Taqipour, a store clerk.

With Britain often serving as a bridge between Iran and the West, analysts say the unexpected trip will have political repercussions.

Political analyst Davoud Hermidas Bavand said Charles' visit could strengthen hard-liners' position in the power struggle with reformists that has dominated Iranian politics in recent years. That struggle has intensified in the run-up to Feb. 20 elections, with reformists accusing hard-liners of rigging the polls through disqualifying reformist candidates to ensure a hard-line parliament.

"Whether Charles means it or not, the trip will be interpreted as boosting the position of hard-liners," he said.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20040209/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iran_prince_charles&cid=540&ncid=716
10 posted on 02/09/2004 3:48:10 AM PST by F14 Pilot (Do Not Believe The Media)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn; McGavin999; freedom44; nuconvert; Eala; AdmSmith; dixiechick2000; onyx; Pro-Bush; ...
I am sorry to keep using this damned word "Reformists", Btw there is no obvious difference between hardliners and reformists but as long as there is a struggle among them, it makes me happy and we have to follow the News.
We all know that most Media do not know any thing about the things we may know/understand as people.



Why Iran's elections will exclude reformists

Monday February 9, 2004
The Guardian

Why will the reformists be missing from ballot papers?
Iran's reformists abandoned on Saturday an attempt to postpone this month's parliamentary election, from which many of their candidates have been barred. The Guardian Council, a powerful body of clerics and Islamic lawyers, has barred more than 2,000 candidates from the February 20 poll, mainly reformist allies of President Mohammad Khatami, including some 80 MPs from the 290-seat parliament. The reformist-run Interior Ministry twice called for the election to be postponed until its fairness could be guaranteed but hardliners shot down the suggestion. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the last word on all state matters, insisted earlier this week that the election should not be delayed ... Reformists accuse the Guardian Council of a bloodless coup d'etat to wrest parliament away from them after they won a huge majority in 2000. Iran's largest reformist party, the Islamic Iran Participation Front, has said it will boycott the vote.
Parinoosh Arami for Reuters, February 7

How much real political debate goes on in Iran?

We have yet to see a system develop in which political parties with clear-cut manifestos, membership and mantles of leadership can become institutionalised. The two main facets of Iranian politics today are the "reformists" or the Islamic Iran Participation Front ... and the "conservatives", who hold most of the remaining seats and wield power and influence in other branches of the Islamic establishment ... Given [that] political polarisation has come to stay in state affairs, it would be in the public interest to promote healthy party politics.
MP Zamani in Iran Daily, February 4

Are there divisions within the conservatives?

The real political struggle is between the ideological conservatives ... and the pragmatic conservatives ... 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.
Charles Grant at opendemocracy.net, February 3

What is that ideological line?

All those who base their actions on useless political obstinacy ... are guilty and should answer to the nation ... It is as if they have not made an oath to defend the constitution and the achievements of the revolution, the late Imam Khomeini, or the people. Undoubtedly, the resentful enemies of Iran, particularly the destructive and racist Zionist regime ... intend to take advantage of the current circumstances and damage the reputation of the Islamic Republic further.
From an editorial in Tehran Times, February 5

What is the mood among voters?

Most Iranians, disillusioned by years of broken promises of reform, have grown apathetic to the reformist-hardline power struggle. Turnout in local council elections a year ago plunged to about 15% in major cities, and most analysts expect a similar outcome in the parliamentary election.
From the International Herald Tribune, February 3

What about young Iranians?

While a central premise of Iran's Islamic government from the time of its inception has been its steadfast opposition to the US and Israel, for most Iranians no such nemeses exist. Iran's young populace - more than two-thirds of the country is younger than 30 - is among the most pro-US in the Middle East, and tend not to share the impassioned anti-Israel sentiment of their Arab neighbours.
Karim Sadjadpour in the Washington Post, February 3

Can we expect a thaw in US-Iranian relations?

On the Iranian side, factions within the conservative camp feel that a full opening to the west could undermine their grip upon political power ... On the American side, a group of Iranian expatriates ... have blocked avenues of potential improvement ... The US policy of isolating Iran through economic sanctions has not only failed to achieve its intended objectives, it has also prolonged the dominance of Iran's hardliners.
Mehrdad Valibeigi in the Middle East Report Online, January 28

http://www.guardian.co.uk/editor/story/0,12900,1143781,00.html
11 posted on 02/09/2004 4:02:53 AM PST by F14 Pilot (Do Not Believe The Media)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert; PhilDragoo; freedom44; Pan_Yans Wife; Eala; downer911; faludeh_shirazi
This article points to the fact that how Old European countries support the Mad Mullahs of Tehran and every cent they invest there makes the Mullahs live one day longer.


Volume of German exports to Iran

Monday, February 09, 2004
IranMania News

TEHRAN, Feb 8 (Mehr News Agency) -– On Jan 30 MNA reported that the volume of German exports to Iran declined by approximately 80 million euros in 2003 compared to the previous year and the volume of Iranian exports to Germany declined by 79 million euros.

However, it should be noted the figure released pertains to the volume of trade in the first ten months of 2003.

Markus Potzel, the economic counselor of the Germany Embassy in Tehran, told the Mehr News Agency by phone that the volume of German exports to Iran may show increase in view of the volume of trade between the two countries during the 12 months of 2003.

http://www.iranmania.com/News/ArticleView/Default.asp?NewsCode=22453&NewsKind=Business%20%26%20Economy
12 posted on 02/09/2004 4:06:52 AM PST by F14 Pilot (Do Not Believe The Media)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: F14 Pilot
While a central premise of Iran's Islamic government from the time of its inception has been its steadfast opposition to the US and Israel, for most Iranians no such nemeses exist.

This is a difficult thing for the Western media to express. I believe so many of the media hate American values, and put so much emphasis on moral relativity, that proving to its readers and viewers that Iranians are not anti-American, goes against the media's mission in undermining America.

13 posted on 02/09/2004 4:18:19 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (Say not, 'I have found the truth,' but rather, 'I have found a truth.'--- Kahlil Gibran)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: risk
Then how do you characterize the conservatives in Iran?
14 posted on 02/09/2004 5:17:18 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (Say not, 'I have found the truth,' but rather, 'I have found a truth.'--- Kahlil Gibran)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yans Wife
Let me answer your question with another. Do you think that average, even unsupportive Germans were not responsible for what Hitler and the Nazi party decided to do with their power in the 1930s?

There is always evil. It's when it goes unopposed that it causes real harm.
15 posted on 02/09/2004 5:29:01 AM PST by risk
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: risk
You didn't answer my question.

Until you understand the terminology that the government uses, how can you frame an honest opinion about the citizens who are ruled by the theocratic regime?

Welcome to the Iran thread, I encourage you to enjoy the countless hours of research that Doctor Zin has put into it.
16 posted on 02/09/2004 5:31:50 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (Say not, 'I have found the truth,' but rather, 'I have found a truth.'--- Kahlil Gibran)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: risk
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1047913/posts

Doctor Zin's archive.
17 posted on 02/09/2004 5:32:55 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (Say not, 'I have found the truth,' but rather, 'I have found a truth.'--- Kahlil Gibran)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Bump!
18 posted on 02/09/2004 5:33:06 AM PST by windchime (Podesta about Bush: "He's got four years to try to undo all the stuff we've done." (TIME-1/22/01))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn; F14 Pilot
Thanks for your work!
19 posted on 02/09/2004 5:40:51 AM PST by PGalt
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: F14 Pilot
Bump!
20 posted on 02/09/2004 5:41:13 AM PST by windchime (Podesta about Bush: "He's got four years to try to undo all the stuff we've done." (TIME-1/22/01))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yans Wife
Prince Charles Meets Iran Quake Survivors
By ALI AKBAR DAREINI
Associated Press Writer

Prince Charles met with earthquake survivors in the flattened city of Bam after talks with President Mohammed Khatami earlier Monday in the first visit to Iran by a member of the British royal family in 33 years.

The prince surveyed reconstruction work and spoke to survivors of the quake that struck Bam on Dec. 26, killing more than 41,000 people and injuring 15,000 others.

In Tehran, the prince met Khatami in his office and inquired about his recent back pain, which had confined him to his home for several days.

``It's due to old age,'' the 61-year-old president said with a smile, standing straight and with no visible signs of pain.

Khatami has been under pressure over Feb. 20 legislative elections that he says will be unfair because more than 2,000 pro-reform candidates have been banned from running by a hard-line council.

There was no immediate comment from Khatami's office about his hour-long private discussions with Prince Charles.

In Bam, Charles discussed efforts to restore irrigation canals after thousands of wells were damaged by the quake.

The prince later visited the site of the world's largest mud-brick fortress known as Arg-e-Bam, or Citadel of Bam. The quake destroyed the 2,500-year old citadel.

Charles' trip prompted speculation of political motives, perhaps to further improve relations strained after the 1979 Islamic revolution. But the British Embassy said the trip had no political implications.

Charles and Sir Nicholas Young, head of the British Red Cross, would assess how to help the survivors and try to resume agricultural life, said Andrew Dunn, first secretary at the British Embassy in Tehran.

The last time a member of the British royal family visited Iran was in 1971, when Prince Philip, duke of Edinburgh, and Princess Anne attended celebrations marking 2,500 years of monarchy in Iran. They were hosted by pro-Western Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, who was toppled by the 1979 Islamic revolution, led by anti-American clerics.

Now, three decades later, Charles is visiting a completely different Iran, ruled by hard-line clerics who routinely have denounced British support of the former shah.

People on the streets of Tehran were surprised by the visit.

``I won't believe a British royal figure is in Iran unless I see it by my own eyes,'' said Hadi Taqipour, a store clerk.

After the revolution, bilateral ties were strained by a 1989 fatwa, or religious edict, issued by revolution founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, against British author Salman Rushdie. The fatwa ordered Muslims to kill the novelist because he had allegedly insulted Islam in his best-selling novel, ``The Satanic Verses.''

In 1998, the Iranian government declared it would not support the fatwa, but said it could not rescind the edict as, under Islamic law, that could be done only by the person who issued it. Khomeini died in June 1989. The government declaration, however, paved the way for upgrading ties to ambassadorial level a few months later.

The prince arrived in Tehran late Sunday after visiting British troops in the southern Iraqi city of Basra. There, dressed in desert camouflage and boots, he sipped tea with soldiers and praised their role.

http://www.ajc.com/news/content/news/ap/ap_story.html/Intl/AP.V7096.AP-Iran-Prince-Cha.html
21 posted on 02/09/2004 5:44:05 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (Say not, 'I have found the truth,' but rather, 'I have found a truth.'--- Kahlil Gibran)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yans Wife
And you didn't answer mine. Nonetheless I do drop by this thread from time to time. I'm just not as optimistic as most of its participants. When the students and their parents are ready to lock and load, then change will come -- but no sooner. If all they want is their MTV, the mullahs will at least give them that.
22 posted on 02/09/2004 5:45:46 AM PST by risk
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: risk
If all they want is their MTV, the mullahs will at least give them that.

I don't get your sense of humor. The political prisoners, the students who are arrested, the women who are silenced appear to have a broader vision of freedom than you do. Freedom means much more than the ability to chose television programming.

23 posted on 02/09/2004 5:56:05 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (Say not, 'I have found the truth,' but rather, 'I have found a truth.'--- Kahlil Gibran)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

Comment #24 Removed by Moderator

To: Pan_Yans Wife
Thanks to you also.
25 posted on 02/09/2004 6:00:27 AM PST by PGalt
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: PGalt
You're more than welcome. Thanks for joining the discussion.
26 posted on 02/09/2004 6:00:59 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (Say not, 'I have found the truth,' but rather, 'I have found a truth.'--- Kahlil Gibran)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yans Wife
Maybe this will stimulate your mind, or someone else's.

What Say the Reeds at Runnymede?
A poem commemorating the signing of Magna Carta
Runnymede, Surrey, June 15, 1215

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

At Runnymede, at Runnymede,
What say the reeds at Runnymede?
The lissom reeds that give and take,
That bend so far, but never break,
They keep the sleepy Thames awake
With tales of John at Runnymede.
At Runnymede, at Runnymede,
Oh, hear the reeds at Runnymede:
'You musn't sell, delay, deny,
A freeman's right or liberty.
It wakes the stubborn Englishry,
We saw 'em roused at Runnymede!

When through our ranks the Barons came,
With little thought of praise or blame,
But resolute to play the game,
They lumbered up to Runnymede;
And there they launched in solid line
The first attack on Right Divine,
The curt uncompromising "Sign!'
They settled John at Runnymede.

At Runnymede, at Runnymede,
Your rights were won at Runnymede!
No freeman shall be fined or bound,
Or dispossessed of freehold ground,
Except by lawful judgment found
And passed upon him by his peers.
Forget not, after all these years,
The Charter signed at Runnymede.'

And still when mob or Monarch lays
Too rude a hand on English ways,
The whisper wakes, the shudder plays,
Across the reeds at Runnymede.
And Thames, that knows the moods of kings,
And crowds and priests and suchlike things,
Rolls deep and dreadful as he brings
Their warning down from Runnymede!
27 posted on 02/09/2004 6:03:02 AM PST by risk
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: risk
Your rights were won at Runnymede!

I prefer to think of rights as divinely given by the creator. Man is just the steward of free will. But, thanks for the poem.

28 posted on 02/09/2004 6:07:08 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (Say not, 'I have found the truth,' but rather, 'I have found a truth.'--- Kahlil Gibran)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yans Wife
God helps those who help themselves.
29 posted on 02/09/2004 6:08:42 AM PST by risk
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: risk
And He embraces those who fall in defeat. He does not ignore those who suffer.
30 posted on 02/09/2004 6:13:39 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (Say not, 'I have found the truth,' but rather, 'I have found a truth.'--- Kahlil Gibran)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yans Wife
Nice plattitudes. Now pass the ammunition. You're no expert on the rights of man and how to defend them, I can see that. Only a complete simpleton would have retorted that Kipling's poem suggested anything but the divinity of men's rights -- to say the least.

Go back and study the roots of the American revolution before you try to give these poor Iranians any more advice. They need something more than civil disobedience to win their freedom.
31 posted on 02/09/2004 6:20:28 AM PST by risk
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: risk
They need something more than civil disobedience to win their freedom.

I agree. So I can count on you to join the letter writing campaign, urging the media to cover the story accurately, urging the WH to explain the political structure of Iran in the correct light, urging the UN and the EU to stop working with the regime, offering financial assistance to the SMCCDI, offering aid to the citizens of Bam, as well as contributing to thoughtful discussions?

Thank you for joining the cause, risk! Every voice added counts. And the people of Iran will be forever grateful.

32 posted on 02/09/2004 6:26:33 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (Say not, 'I have found the truth,' but rather, 'I have found a truth.'--- Kahlil Gibran)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yans Wife
Some of that, just a little, but yes. However, this is up to the Iranians themselves. It's their choice -- stand up and seize their freedom, or let the beards hold them down. No amount of outside influence can give them lasting freedom. If it's not purchased drop by drop with the blood of tyrants and patriots, it'll just be taken back by the next cleric who happens along with visions of the Caliphate.
33 posted on 02/09/2004 6:36:20 AM PST by risk
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: risk
However, this is up to the Iranians themselves.

They acknowledge that completely, and haven't called for American troops to intervene. They are a proud people who are struggling to come together. In time, change will come. Patience.

34 posted on 02/09/2004 6:48:09 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (Say not, 'I have found the truth,' but rather, 'I have found a truth.'--- Kahlil Gibran)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yans Wife
Patience? With tyranny?
35 posted on 02/09/2004 6:53:33 AM PST by risk
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: risk
Patience until the people are ready, they don't have to check their calendars with ours. When the time is right, they will act. For us to think otherwise is presumptuous.
36 posted on 02/09/2004 6:56:13 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (Say not, 'I have found the truth,' but rather, 'I have found a truth.'--- Kahlil Gibran)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yans Wife
So you think it's fine for Iran to emerge as a nuclear power before this little change of beards happens?
37 posted on 02/09/2004 6:58:04 AM PST by risk
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: risk
Like I said above, we need to get the WH to frame the arguments correctly.
38 posted on 02/09/2004 6:59:38 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (Say not, 'I have found the truth,' but rather, 'I have found a truth.'--- Kahlil Gibran)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: F14 Pilot
Freedom in Iran, now ~ Bump!
39 posted on 02/09/2004 7:10:44 AM PST by blackie (Be Well~Be Armed~Be Safe~Molon Labe!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yans Wife
The Whitehouse is busy fending off one John Kerry. If there is a regime change in the future, it might be here. If you want to be free, then you've got to pay the price yourselves. Think 1775. Think Lexington and Concord. This is all I have to say for today.
40 posted on 02/09/2004 7:11:03 AM PST by risk
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: risk
Thanks for the ping!
41 posted on 02/09/2004 7:22:49 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Risky Mission is Designed to Restore Western Ties with Iran

February 09, 2004
The Times
Richard Beeston

The Prince of Wales embarked on one of the most risky and overtly political missions of his career last night, when he arrived in Tehran on a ground breaking visit exactly 25 years after the Shah of Iran was driven into exile by Ayatollah Khomeini.

British officials admitted last night that the mission was unlike any other undertaken by the Prince, who normally confines humanitarian trips of this kind to the British Isles. Most of his foreign visits are to Commonwealth countries or to Britain's close allies.

Although his trip is ostensibly on behalf of the British Red Cross to help the victims of the Boxing Day earthquake in the city of Bam, it is hard to exaggerate the impact of the future King's arrival in Iran. The country, which has had a stormy relationship with Britain during the past quarter of a century, was until recently regarded as a pariah that supported terrorist groups and sought to build a nuclear bomb. Only two years ago it was branded part of the "axis of evil" by President Bush.

This time, however, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office clearly decided that the Prince could not only draw attention to a worthy cause -the plight of the tens of thousands of victims in Bam -but also help to promote relations with the Islamic republic.

Iran's co-operation is regarded as vital in helping the smooth transfer of power in neighbouring Iraq, bringing normality back to Afghanistan and stopping support for terrorist groups and the spread of nuclear weapons technology. It also co-operates in the war against drugs-smuggling.

In spite of the many shared interests, the timing of the visit could be risky for the Prince. Iran is in the throes of a bitter power struggle between reformers and the ruling conservative clergy over elections scheduled for February 20. The Guardian Council, a powerful religious watchdog, has barred thousands of reformist candidates from standing in the polls and the reformers have threatened boycotts and demonstrations in response.

Many Iranians on both sides will interpret the brief meeting scheduled for today between the Prince and President Khatami, the beleaguered Iranian leader, as a boost to his campaign to curtail the powers of the conservative clergy and open Iran to the West.

For Britain the visit will consolidate a foreign policy drive by Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, to restore normal relations between Britain and Iran and to open the way for a resumption of diplomatic ties between Washington and Tehran.

After the earthquake in Bam, the Bush Administration sent a humanitarian team to the site, the first official American delegation to Iran since the revolution.

When the Americans attempted to capitalise on the "earthquake diplomacy" by proposing a high-level delegation headed by Elizabeth Dole, the senator who is the head of the American Red Cross, the Iranians shied away. The Prince's visit, therefore, will be seen as an attempt to revive that dialogue.

British officials conceded last night that the Prince's visit was highly irregular and that the decision to go was taken only after careful consideration of the security risks. The announcement of the trip was not confirmed until the Prince had set foot in Tehran.

Given the long history of tension between Iran and what it used to refer to as the "little Satan", the caution was understandable. Many Iranian hardliners will be furious that the heir to the British throne, which was blamed in the past for meddling in Iranian affairs and keeping the country weak, is being greeted in Iran.

Only four months ago Britain was embroiled in a potentially explosive row with Tehran after the arrest of Hade Soleimanpour, the former Iranian Ambassador to Buenos Aires, who was studying in Britain. He was arrested and held on an extradition warrant from Argentina, which accused him of involvement in the bombing of the Jewish community centre in the capital in 1994 that killed 85 people.

The move triggered demonstrations outside the British Embassy in Tehran. Relations were restored when Mr Soleimanpour was released by Bow Street magistrates.

Nevertheless, the spat was a reminder of how volatile the relationship is between the two countries. Relations broke down after the revolution in 1979, when Britain closed its mission and was represented by an interests section in the Swedish Embassy. The British Embassy was reopened in 1988, but relations were broken again the next year when the late Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa (religious edict) calling for the death of Salman Rushdie for writing The Satanic Verses. Ties were restored, but not before several mini-emergencies.

There does seem to be determination on both sides to put the past behind them. In one of the breakdowns in relations, a young British diplomat was arrested and manhandled by Iranian Revolutionary Guards. However, Edward Chaplin, now the head of the Middle East and North Africa Department at the Foreign Office, has probably done more than anyone to make this visit possible.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/
42 posted on 02/09/2004 8:50:19 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Khatami's Party Declines to Follow Allies into Poll Boycott

February 09, 2004
Agence France Presse
Laurent Lozano

The party of Iranian President Mohammad Khatami Monday dashed its allies' hopes of a united response to the exclusion of hundreds of reformers from February 20 parliamentary elections, announcing it would take part despite the blacklist.

Two leaders of the moderate Association of Combattant Clerics told the pro-reform student news agency ISNA that, contrary to a previous announcement on the interior ministry's official website, the party would not be following its more radical allies into a boycott of the key poll.

"None of the candidates of the Association of Combattant Clerics intends to withdraw from the election," said Majid Ansari. "During last (Sunday) night's meeting, we decided that we would run a list."

His colleague Rassoul Montajabnia said the party was now looking to run a common list with other pro-reform candidates who had survived the mass disqualifications announced by the conservative-dominated Guardians Council last month.

The party was in talks with "some" of its partners in the 18-member pro-reform alliance that backs Khatami, said Montajabnia. "We are going to publish the joint list in the next few days."

A statement released by the party overnight called on supporters to vote for pro-reform candidates in constituencies where they were still able to stand and independents where they had been disqualified.

The decision to take part had been motivated by a determination to prevent "totalitarian candidates entering parliament" and stop the "organizers of this parliamentary coup de'etat from succeeding in their goal of electing a puppet legislature."

The moderates' decision to step back from a complete break with regime conservatives came after a menacing call to order from supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Organizing elections was "one of the officials' responsibilities vis-a-vis the devoted nation and the struggles of the sacred martyrs," Khamenei warned Sunday.

"It is appropriate that certain grievances of the organs against each other are ignored and all join hands in order to fulfil this grave task in the best and healthiest fashion."

The Association's decision not to boycott ran against the policy adopted by the Islamic Iran Participation Front, the biggest pro-reform party led by Khatami's brother Mohammad Reza, as well as by the more radical Organisation of the Mujahedeen of the Islamic Revolution.

It also conflicted with the policy of the pro-reform alliance, known as the 2nd of Khordad Front. Its coordinator Ali Mohammad Hazeri told ISNA Monday that the alliance's boycott decision still stood but conceded that its rules allowed each of its 18 member parties to "take their own decision."

Khatami himself had openly expressed frustration Sunday at the continued exclusion of more than 2,000 mainly reformist candidates, 75 of them sitting MPs.

"Those in power whose power doesn't come from the people, but who work against them, who use religion, science and even culture to reinforce their power and humiliate others, who deform history ... will be judged mercilessly by history," the president told a conference in Tehran.

According to figures carried by the official IRNA news agency Monday, a total of 5,650 candidates have been retained for the parliamentary elections out of some 8,000 originally nominated.

ISNA had reported that the Guardians Council would issue a definitive list of candidates on Monday after completing a review of the original blacklist which saw another 15 candidates reinstated Sunday evening.

The scale of the disqualifications ordered by the Guardians has sparked the resignation of some 120 MPs, as well as provincial governors and ministers, despite threats of prosecution from hardliners.

The conservative-controlled watchog prompted a new round of recriminations Monday with a decision to bar the use of computers in the count.

The Guardians said their decision had been motivated solely by the failings of the computer system prepared by the reformist-run interior ministry.

But the pro-reform governor of Tehran, Ali Awsat Hashemi, insisted: "All the problems were resolved ... We still don't know what the Guardians are making a fuss about."

http://www.afp.com/english/home/
43 posted on 02/09/2004 8:52:14 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Bam Residents Seemed Not to Care About the Visitor's Identity

February 09, 2004
Reuters
Christian Oliver

BAM, Iran -- Prince Charles has offered sympathy to earthquake survivors during the first visit by a British royal to Iran -- dubbed an "axis of evil" member by Washington -- since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Charles, whose trip should cement much improved ties between London and Tehran, spoke to people and officials in the ancient citadel city of Bam in southeastern Iran where more than 40,000 people died in a devastating December 26 earthquake.

"I wish we could do more. We've been trying to gather more assistance in Britain," Charles told Barani Baravati, a date farmer now living in a tent on the outskirts of the ruined city.

Scores of curious onlookers watched the prince's entourage as it swept through the dusty streets on Monday, but most seemed either not to know or care about the visitor's identity.

The last official visit by British royals to Iran was by the late Queen Mother in 1975.

Her trip followed a visit in 1971 by Prince Philip and Princess Anne who attended celebrations organised by the then Iranian monarch, Mohammad Reza Shah, for the 2,500th anniversary of the Peacock Throne. The shah was later overthrown in the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Iran is now in the throes of its worst political crisis for years.

President Mohammad Khatami and his reformist allies are outraged by a religious hardline body's move to disqualify hundreds of candidates from parliamentary elections this month.

The visit also coincides with celebrations to mark the 25th anniversary of the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's revolution to create an Islamic state in Iran.

According to the official IRNA news agency, Khatami told Charles during a brief meeting in Tehran that Iran's recent negotiations with European countries over its nuclear programme were a sign of better relations with the West.

BETTER UNDERSTANDING

Following talks led by Britain, Germany and France last year, Iran agreed to allow snap inspections of nuclear facilities which Washington says are designed for making atomic weapons.

Iran insists its nuclear ambitions are entirely peaceful.

"We are trying to change misunderstandings into better understanding and cooperation through talks and logical behaviour," Khatami told Charles, IRNA reported.

IRNA said Charles told Khatami Iran's signature on a U.N. protocol on snap nuclear inspections was "very satisfying" and also welcomed Khatami's pet theme of promoting greater dialogue between religions and countries.

"Dialogue among civilisations and religions is a necessity of today's world," IRNA quoted Charles as saying.

Relations between Iran and Britain have often been strained since the revolution, notably when Khomeini issued a religious fatwa in the late 1980s calling for author Salman Rushdie to be killed for insulting Islam.

But Britain has in recent years been at the forefront of a European Union policy of engagement with Iran, in stark contrast with the line of isolation pursued by Washington.

While British officials stressed that Charles, who paid a morale-boosting visit to British troops in Iraq on Sunday, was in Iran for purely humanitarian reasons, some Iranian newspapers attached a political weight to the trip.

"This symbolic trip is a turning point in Iran's relations with the West," the liberal Sharq newspaper said.

Hardline newspapers and state radio and television, which often accuse London of plotting to destabilise the Islamic Republic, made no reference to Charles's visit.

http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsPackageArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=454962&section=news
44 posted on 02/09/2004 8:53:34 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Students 'Watch In Silence'

February 09, 2004
Radio Free Europe
Bill Samii

The student movement's attitude towards the current political crisis in Iran is "worth elaboration," according to a commentary in the 29 January "Aftab-i Yazd." One could expect the students to be unsympathetic towards the parliamentarians' fate, because the current legislature never really followed up on the violent suppression of the students in July 1999 or on other similar incidents. However, they are not indifferent, they are "watching in silence," according to the commentary. What they are trying to determine is if they are just seeing a display of political gamesmanship, or are the parliamentarians serious about pursuing their goals and standing up for their rights?

Allameh Tabatabai University's Chancellor Najafqoli Habibi said that the country's university students must not be indifferent to events, and added that the universities have a duty to take the elections seriously, "Mardom Salari" reported on 28 January.

These are noble sentiments, but until 8 February the students were finding it difficult to act because the government refused to issue rally permits and it otherwise repressed them.

The Iranian press reported in January that a crackdown on student activists is under way. Tehran University Dormitory Guild Council Secretary Hamid Dehnabi received a court summons relating to the previous June's unrest, "Mardomsalari" reported on 21 January. Fifteen students from Malayer received prison sentences ranging from 91 days to six months for their roles in the previous year's unrest, "Aftab-i Yazd" reported on 20 January and "Sharq" reported the next day. A reformist website, roshangari.com, on 20 January reported on the filing of charges against a University of Rafsanjan student activist and the sentencing to prison of 15 students from Hamedan's Bu Ali Sina University.

The Isfahan Revolutionary Court summoned Said Razavi-Faqih of the Office for Strengthening Unity, "Hambastegi" reported on 13 January. The Revolutionary Court summoned Tehran University law student Payman Aref, "Etemad" reported on 12 January. Two websites, daneshjooyan.org and mellimazhabi.org, on 13 January and 20 January reported on the arrest of Isfahan University medical students and the receipt of court summons by Sabzevar students.

Student organizations' efforts to hold rallies were encountering problems, too. The government refused to issue a permit for an off-campus Students Day event in December (see "RFE/RL Iran Report," 8 December 2003).

The Office for Strengthening Unity's late-December annual meeting at the Medical Sciences University in Ahvaz was cancelled and it failed to secure a permit to hold the meeting at Tehran's Tarbiat Mudariss University. Tehran parliamentary representative Fatimeh Haqiqatju said on 4 January that she would ask the minister of intelligence and security about his agency's interference in the student organization's affairs, the Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) reported.

The Islamic Students Union of Tehran University announced on 3 February that it wanted to hold a rally in front of the university's main gate on 8 February, the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) reported. Ali Talai, an official with the Tehran Governorate-General's Political-Security Affairs Directorate, said earlier in the day that the student's application to hold a rally on 4 February was rejected because it would have disrupted traffic, ISNA reported. The student organization asked why, if traffic is such a concern, conservatives are allowed to hold rallies in the same location after every Friday prayers.

By 8 February the students seemed to have had enough of watching in silence. On that day about 200 students affiliated with the Allameh wing of the Office for Strengthening Unity marched along Inqilab Avenue toward the University of Tehran and chanted slogans such as "Death to Tyranny," "Referendum, Referendum, This is the slogan of the people," and "Voting in Elections, Treachery, Treachery," Fars News Agency reported. At the university itself, the students called for President Hojatoleslam Mohammad Khatami's resignation, dpa reported, citing ISNA.

http://www.rferl.org/reports/iran-report/
45 posted on 02/09/2004 8:54:53 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Excellent report. Thanks, Doc.
46 posted on 02/09/2004 8:58:37 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (Say not, 'I have found the truth,' but rather, 'I have found a truth.'--- Kahlil Gibran)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Fresh demo rocks Shiraz University

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Feb 9, 2004

Fresh demo lead to sporadic clashes at Shiraz Medical School and its neighboring streets as tens of plainclothes men attacked identified protesters who seized the today gathering of the so-called reformist as an opportunity to show their rejection of the Islamic republic.

Students and supporters were shouting slogans angered by the desperate try of the Islamic Student Association to use the situation in favor of the regime's reformist camp.

The so-called reformists speeches were often cut, inside the university, by slogans, such as, "Referendum, Referendum, in ast shoar Mardom" (Referendum, Referendum, this is our people's slogan), "Sherkat dar entekhabat, khyanat, khyanat" (Participation in elections, a betryal, betryal), "Khatami, khejalat, khejalat", (Katami, shame, shame), "Ansar jenayat mikonad, Rahbar hemayat mikonad" (Ansar commit crimes, Supreme Leader support them), "Marg bar Dictatori" (Down with Dictatorship), "Marg bar Taleban, tche Kabol, Tche Tehran" (Down with Taleban, in Tehran as in Kabul), "Zendani e siassi, Azad bayad guardad" (Political Prisoners must be freed) and "daneshjoo mimirad, Zellat nemipazirad" (Student will die but won't accept submission) shouted by the students.

The very same slogans were responded by hundreds of supporters gathered outside and who were facing the regime forces which were trying to keep them affar.

Bassij forces were trying to confiscate any camera and placard from the hands of students and their supporters.

Hundreds of tracts were distributed in the premises denouncing the Feb. 20th sham elections. Same type of tracts have been distributed in wide scale in main Iranian cities calling for solidarity in the general boycott and predicting the future downfall of the regime.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_4828.shtml
47 posted on 02/09/2004 9:14:44 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Tucson eyes on Iran

Monday, February 9, 2004
JUDY CARLOCK
Tucson Citizen

The Feb. 20 elections will not be legal and free. My party will not participate in this election."
- Deputy Speaker Reza Khatami, barred candidate for parliament

Though Iran's hard-line regime faces perhaps the most significant challenge of its 25-year history, some Tucsonans from Iran are skeptical it will lead to major change.

With "feet in both countries," they have seen a loosening of some strictures - most visibly the dress code imposed on women. But the conservative clerics known collectively as "the mullahs" retain a solid grip on government.

A showdown may be imminent. Of the 8,000 candidates for the 290-seat legislature, 3,600 reformists were barred from running, spurring mass resignations and a call for voters to boycott elections, though some candidates were later reinstated. Most recently, Iran's president, Mohammad Khatami, brother of parliament's deputy speaker, has told Iran's supreme leader that elections will go forward, but only under orders.

Tucsonan Kasra Massarat, 44, will have a front-row seat for the controversy: He left for Iran Friday.

Like many Iranians of his generation, he came to America in his teens. Two years later, the Islamic revolution of 1979 erased much of the Westernized life he had known under the shah.

He first returned in 2000.

"It was quite a shock to see the country had gone back 50 years while 23 years had gone forward," he said. "People didn't seem very happy. The women had to wear head scarves."

In the 1970s, "as I remember, my girlfriends were wearing microskirts."

But, he adds, "I expected more of a police state than I encountered. I was shocked at how openly defiant the general public was against the government."

Another surprise: "I had not realized when I went over there how much the common people like Americans in general."

Massarat came here to attend the University of Arizona, where he received a degree in mechanical engineering.

"I never practiced," he said. "During the hostage situation, nobody would hire me, so I started a business" - Asian Trade Oriental Rug Center. On Nov. 4, 1979, Iranian students had seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, eventually holding 52 hostages captive for 444 days before they were released on the day of President Reagan's inauguration.

Since President Clinton partially lifted a trade embargo, allowing importation of Persian rugs, Massarat has been back to Iran about a dozen times.

"I was there the day before we started the war in Iraq," he said. "I went back two months after the war had ended.

"Everybody was saying, 'When are they going to come and free us up?' "

Most people he talks to, he said, believe that if the United States wanted the hard-liners gone, they would be gone.

In fact, many suspect that it was the United States - which reinstalled Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in a 1953 CIA-backed coup after he was forced from the country - that ultimately engineered his ouster.

"Eight out of 10 people fully believed that we overthrew the shah because the price of oil was getting out of hand," he said.

Of the current regime, he said, "This has gone on far longer than anyone imagined.

"I asked a taxi driver, 'Why don't these guys loosen up?' He said, 'They realize the day this regime is overthrown or changed there'll be a mullah hanging from every tree branch in Tehran.'

"These people aren't going to give up power easily, because they have no place to go."

There have been changes, he acknowledged.

"Every once in a while they loosen up on one thing or another," he said. "Eventually, it's gotten better for the people."

But the Iranian people are tired of fighting, said Elahe Peyghambarian, 39, a local health-care professional.

At first, she said, the revolution didn't have a huge impact on her hometown of Mashhad, near the border with Afghanistan.

"It's a religious town. We have a prophet that's buried there. So things are a bit different," she said.

Still, "by the time the shah left there were a lot of women who were not covering themselves."

After the revolution, the dress code was enforced by roving morals squads. In some cases, she said, extremists would throw acid on the faces of uncovered women.

Like Massarat, she was 17 when she left, finishing high school in Albuquerque, N.M., and receiving degrees at the University of Massachusetts and Boston University.

Her last visit was 10 years ago. "Things were a lot better than how it was in the beginning, but there was still a lot of oppression," she said. "Things are looser now. Even looser since the U.S. went into Iraq."

That may be enough for many Iranians, she said.

"In the war with Iraq, so many people died," she said of the 1980-88 war that claimed at least 300,000 Iranian lives. "The people are tired."

They are also often deeply conservative.

"The thing this government has going for it is there are religious people that are concerned about their country," she said. "People feel a little more comfortable that things aren't going to go wild and out of control."

Mo Ehsani, a professor of civil engineering at UA, is openly critical of the government in one area - but it has little to do with the regime.

Ehsani, 49, came to the United States in 1972 to study engineering at the University of Michigan and has lived in Tucson since 1982. An earthquake expert, he predicts that if a temblor - such as the one that killed 43,000 people in Bam in December - hit Tehran, a million of its residents would die.

Without a system of continuous inspections, he said, actual construction may bear little resemblance to approved plans.

That kind of oversight in Iran is "almost unheard of. I hate to say this: I think it's more or less part of a culture. If government thought this was a valid cause, they should enforce it. But they don't. They are very lax."

Though he believes this system was not much different during the shah's reign, he said it is up to the current government to do something about it.

The crisis over elections may spark changes, he said. But that's far from certain.

"Obviously, this system isn't right," Ehsani said. "I don't think you can have democracy if you cannot vote for the person you want to vote for. It's not democracy the way it's known in the rest of the world."

Many reformists are asking voters to stay away from the polls - even though low turnout would likely benefit the conservatives.

That's if the elections go forward. All 28 of Iran's governors have disavowed administering ballots that they consider illegal.

"If large numbers (don't vote), the legitimacy of the election could be questioned," Ehsani said. "I'm not sure how that kind of outcome could be ignored. But at the same time, especially for people who live in Iran, this is not such an easy thing."

He would welcome more openness, to foster intellectual exchanges and bring more visitors to Iran.

"If they were to open the doors of this country, there would be tremendous potential," he said. "Here is a country that has so much natural resources and natural beauty. It would be a wonderful place to visit."

Americans might be surprised at the reception they'd get.

"I would say by far the majority of Iranians have very warm feelings toward the U.S.," Ehsani said, noting a candlelight vigil residents of Tehran held in support of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

"At the human, individual level, there is a lot of good will," he said. "But for the governments, it may be advantageous to have a so-called 'axis of evil.'

http://www.tucsoncitizen.com/index.php?page=local&story_id=020904a1_iranians
48 posted on 02/09/2004 10:36:11 AM PST by F14 Pilot (Do Not Believe The Media)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Iranian-American community in Virginia to honor Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department Urban Search & Rescue Team for their efforts in Bam
Children of Persia & a coalition of Iranian community organizations will be hosting a recognition ceremony on Sunday, February 22 in Fairfax, Virginia to honor The Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department Urban Search & Rescue Team & USAID/DART for their efforts to aid the quake victims in Bam, Iran.

Sunday, February 22, 2004
4:30 pm-7:30 pm
(Ceremony will begin at 5:00 pm)
Board Auditorium
Fairfax County Government Center
12000 Government Center Parkway
Fairfax, VA 22035


Program will include speakers, musical performance, a short activity report and slide show by the Team and Award Presentation, followed by tea/coffee reception.

For additional information call (310)315-0750

http://www.payvand.com/news/04/feb/1077.html
49 posted on 02/09/2004 1:39:36 PM PST by freedom44
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Iran: Inflation rises further to 10.6 percent
Inflation in Iran continued its upward trend for the second consecutive year, going up to 10.6 percent in a year to Azar, the ninth month of the Iranian year, with fish, vegetables, fresh fruits, cotton, aluminum and imported medicine becoming costlier, IRNA reported from Tehran.

Reflecting the increased cost of living, the general price line, measured by the wholesale price index (WPI), rose by 10.1 percent in Azar compared to the figure for the corresponding month last year and rose by 2.1 percent in the month to 214.2 points compared to the previous month of Aban as prices of certain goods continued upward compared to those in the previous year's level.

In Iran, inflation is mainly caused by banking mismanagement, staggering loan and borrowing, mostly by the state organizations, government's domination of key economic sectors, indiscriminate allocation of subsidy both to the poor and the rich, and government's expansionary policies.

The fixed income group, which includes employees and workers, suffer the most from inflation.

Government has been trying to follow deflationary policies, including raising taxes, issuing participation bonds, and revising banking policies.

http://www.payvand.com/news/04/feb/1075.html
50 posted on 02/09/2004 1:40:16 PM PST by freedom44
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-64 next last

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

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

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