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Iranian Alert -- February 10, 2004 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD --Americans for Regime Change in Iran
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 2.10.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 02/10/2004 12:01:19 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
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 02/10/2004 12:01:21 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

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

2 posted on 02/10/2004 12:03:59 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
TEHRAN TYRANY'S 25TH

by Amir Taheri
New York Post
February 10, 2004

TEN Little Indians" is the title of a nursery rhyme that inspired one of Agatha Christie's best loved thrillers. In it, the "Indians" in question disappear one after another until we learn that "then there was none."

This could be a parable of Iran's Khomeinist revolution, which marks its 25th anniversary tomorrow. The revolution started with quite a few "Indians."

In 1978 it had forged a coalition of parties that had nothing in common except hatred for the Shah.

The heart of the coalition consisted of Khomeinist militants ready to kill, and to die, to install their "Imam" to head a system in which a single mullah, claiming to represent God on earth, is the absolute master of the nation.

Khomeinism, a form of fascism, was, and remains, a consistent political doctrine. Ayatollah Ruhallah Khomeini was honest enough never to promise a pluralist system. He raised the banner of revolt against the Shah not because Iranians did not have enough freedom, but because, he claimed, they had too much.

Nevertheless, many who described themselves as liberals, democrats, social democrats and supporters of a constitutional monarchy, rallied to Khomeini.

Each must have known that Khomeini, or for that matter any mullah from any religion, is unlikely and unable to offer democracy. They all believed that they could use Khomeini as a bridge over which to walk to power. They underestimated Khomeini's intelligence. Having planned to double-cross him, they ended up being double-crossed by him.

There were other "little Indians" around the ayatollah. They included a variety of mullahs - Iran had almost a quarter of a million of them in 1978 - who pursued different agendas. They, too, wanted to use Khomeini to win a bigger share of the pie, all along thinking that, once they had achieved their goals, they would double-cross him.

Again, Khomeini proved too clever for them.

But the strangest of all "little Indians" of the time were the leftist parties whose leaders suddenly grew beards, bought rosaries and started going to the mosques for prayers.

The members of the Soviet-created Communists of the Tudeh (Masses) Party replaced their portraits of Marx and Lenin with those of Ali Ibn Abi-Talib and Hussein Ibn Ali, the first and third imams of Shiism.

Their chief ideologist, the octogenarian Ihsan Tabari, even wrote a book to prove that Ali had been the true founder of "Socialism." Then there were the People's Mujahedin, a Marxist-Islamist terrorist organization that specialized in robbing banks and killing policemen. Alongside them were two versions of another terror group, the so-called People's Fedayeen Guerrillas, one pro-Moscow, the other pro-Peking.

There were, as well, the Trotskyites, the Spartacists, the Guevarists and countless other leftist terrorist gangs with names like "Storm," "Thunder," "Workers' Banner" and "Red Star." They, too, secretly hoped that once the Shah was gone they could stab Khomeini in the back and seize power for themselves. Khomeini, however, was not as gullible as the "little Indians" imagined.

Once in power he began destroying his former allies one by one, starting with the weakest.

Within months, Khomeini had put Grand Ayatollah Kazem Shariatmadari under house arrest and disbanded his People's Republican Party. All the other "little Indians" applauded, naively hoping that they would escape a similar fate.

Next to disappear were the Musaddeqists, fans of Muhammad Mussaddeq who had served as prime minister for a couple of years in the 1950s.the "Islamist-Nationalists" were next to go. Their leader Mahdi Bazargan was used by Khomeini as prime minister for a few months, before being disposed of like a used napkin.

Then came the crackdown against the Mujahedin, followed by a campaign to annihilate the leftist guerrilla groups.

By 1983 most of the "little Indians" who had hoped to double-cross Khomeini had been liquidated.

According to Amnesty International, between 1981 and 1983, the ayatollah executed some 25,000 people, almost all of them his former supporters. Also, dozens of prominent politicians and mullahs were assassinated by hit-squads set up by Khomeini.

Khomeini destroyed virtually the entire opposition to the Shah's regime, from the extreme right to the extreme left - something the Shah had failed to do.

The "little Indians" took years to understand what had happened. They complained about having been "duped" by Khomeini. Even today remnants of the "little Indians" do not realize that they only have themselves to blame. They lied to Khomeini, lied to the Iranian people and, above all, lied to themselves.

Logically, a communist, a Mussadeqist, a socialist, a liberal, a nationalist, or a democrat cannot vote for "Walayat Faqih," the Khomeinist system under which power is concentrated in the hands of a single mullah. And yet, in the constitutional referendum that Khomeini organized within months of coming to power, they voted for that system.

Twenty-five years after the victory of the Khomeinist revolution, only two "little Indians" remain standing. One represents the genuine Khomeinists who believe that theocracy is the best system not only for Iran but for all nations.

These Khomeinists sincerely believe that a woman is half as valuable as a man and that she should cover her hair because it emanates rays that drive men wild with lust. They genuinely believe that men who shave their beards will go to hell. They regard the West as a civilization in decline, and its values, including human rights and democracy, as decadent.

Their strategic goal is to destroy Western-dominated civilization and replace it with a better, Islamic, one. They dream of wiping Israel off the map and, one day, hoisting their flag of faith atop the White House.

At the same time they are realistic enough to know that the current balance of power is not in their favor and that they should not become involved in a direct clash with the West. Thus they are ready to offer concessions, including some humiliating retreats, which may be required in foreign policy, provided their power inside Iran is not threatened.

The second group are the ersatz Khomeinists who suffer from split personality. They are fascinated by the West and would die to be accepted by it as "reformists" and/or "democrats." At the same time they are unable to cut their ties to Khomeinism. Outside Iran, they talk of democracy and pluralism. In Tehran they go on pilgrimage to Khomeini's tomb and light candles so that the Imam will save them from annihilation. These fake Khomeinists are the latest "little Indians" to be seen off by the revolution. The next general election, on Feb. 20, could seal their fate.

Once these double-fakers are out of the way Iran will be left with the last group of "little Indians," the hard-core, real McCoy Khomeinists. And then we can look forward to the day when they, too, will disappear.

And then there will be none.

http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/17543.htm
3 posted on 02/10/2004 12:05:53 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
TEHRAN TYRANY'S 25TH

by Amir Taheri
New York Post
February 10, 2004

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1074964/posts?page=3#3
4 posted on 02/10/2004 12:07:18 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
DoctorZin Note: Story about the regime's "Rent a Anti-American Demonstration". The regime has to ship in demonstrators from the rural areas and pay them to create a crowd.

Mass transfers of "celebrators" and future "voters" start again
SMCCDI (Information Service)
Feb 10, 2004

Confirming reports from main Iranian cities and especially the Capital are stating about the start of mass transfers of paid "celebrators" and future "voters" to these cities.

These transfers managed and supervised by the Offices of Islamic Propagation and the Pasdaran Intelligence are made in preparation of the "celebration" of the 25th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution, on Wednesday, and the regime's sham parliamentary elections of Feb. 20th.

Full buses are reaching the cities of Tehran, Esfahan, Shiraz, tabriz, Mashad, Hamadan and Oroomiah (former Rezai-e) by delivering their load of paid rural people who are receiving money, gifts, promises and free full paid travel to cities.

Most of the state's foundations' hotels and dorm places, Bassij centers, mosques and even part of the regime's military facilities, such as in Lavizan (NE of Tehran) are receiving these guests.

The regime intends by this way to boost its "popular legitimacy" and avoid empty streets on these days while each of the ministries have received the order to gather groups of employees, school students and plainclothes militaries and to send them for the two events ahead.
5 posted on 02/10/2004 12:13:00 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Bump!
6 posted on 02/10/2004 12:41:17 AM PST by windchime (Podesta about Bush: "He's got four years to try to undo all the stuff we've done." (TIME-1/22/01))
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To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert
Iranian Plane Crashes in UAE, Officials Say

10 Feb 04
Yahoo! News

SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates (Reuters) - An Iranian plane with at least 40 passengers on board crashed Tuesday during take-off from Sharjah airport in the United Arab Emirates.
Witnesses said only flaming bits and pieces remained of the Kish Airlines plane. Ambulances were rushing to and from the scene. There was no immediate word on the number of casualties in the incident.

"Only a bit of the tail remained. It doesn't look like many people survived. Rescue teams are still looking for people," one witness said.

"The plane crashed near the tarmac. Police have sealed off the area to allow rescue operations," she added.

The official UAE news agency WAM said the plane was carrying 40 passengers. A UAE officials had earlier said the plane was carrying 60 passengers.

A Kish Airlines official in Iran confirmed that one of the company's planes had been involved in an accident but said the company was still seeking further information.

Earlier, security sources had said the plane was a Russian cargo jet with 35 passengers on board. The type of plane was not clear.

Iran's airlines have difficulty maintaing their aging fleet of Boeing aircraft, many of them bought before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, due to U.S. sanctions. Instead, they have turned to Russian made-aircraft often leased from former Soviet countries.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=586&e=1&u=/nm/20040210/wl_nm/airline_emirate_crash_dc
7 posted on 02/10/2004 1:42:01 AM PST by F14 Pilot (Do Not Believe The Media)
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To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert; Pan_Yans Wife; freedom44; McGavin999; MEG33; windchime; Cindy; Grampa Dave; ..
Iran now a land of theocrats and cynics

Tuesday, February 10, 2004
BY BORZOU DARAGAHI
For the Star-Ledger

TEHRAN, Iran -- In a narrow alleyway, the Refah School, incubator of Iran's revolution 25 years ago, continues to pulse with life.

The Refah School is where Shi'a Muslim clerics secretly met for years to prepare for the arrival of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who commanded a revolution that introduced Islamic fundamentalism as a force in the world.

Today Refah is an elementary school for girls. They have festooned its walls with drawings and poems decrying America, Israel and the shah who had ruled Iran before Khomeini, and praising the leader of the revolution.

The slogans remain the same, but Iran is far different from when Khomeini seized power, 25 years ago tomorrow.

Months of street protests against the rule of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi had paved the way for Khomeini's return from 15 years in exile. He arrived in Tehran Feb. 1, 1979, on an Air France plane from Paris. The U.S.-backed shah had already fled, and Khomeini was received by throngs of millions in the streets.

Ten days later, he took control of the government and declared the birth of the Islamic Republic, sending the country on a collision course with the Western world.

Contemporary Iran is younger, busier, more complex, modern and secular. It is also more cynical and outspoken.

"The revolution put us at least two decades ahead of other Arab and Muslim countries. People in those countries now want religious government," said Hamidreza Jalaipour, a University of Tehran social scientist.

"We've already experienced that. We thought religious government could solve all our problems. But religion didn't become more popular, the mosques didn't become more full and the state didn't become more efficient."

Twenty-five years later, the revolution that started at the Refah School casts a long shadow on Iran.

There was the 444-day hostage crisis at the U.S. Embassy, just blocks away, that destroyed ties with Washington and led to a quarter-century of economic isolation. There was the eight-year Iran- Iraq War that left hundreds of thousands of Iranians dead or wounded.

The clerics' shock troops enforced Islamic rules against liquor, dancing and pop music -- bans that continue today.

There was the clerical takeover of the courts, intelligence services and military, the stifling of dissident voices, the jailings, the executions, the creation of a police state that forces women to cover their heads.

There were the militants dispatched overseas, the masters of terror who frayed Iran's relations with nearly every country in the world.

But today, with U.S. troops occupying Iraq to the west and guarding Afghanistan to the east, Iran's clerical leaders are under pressure to establish some sort of relations with the country they consider the Great Satan.

Europeans are demanding Iran make concessions on terrorism and weapons proliferation in exchange for foreign investment badly needed to help curb Iran's unemployment, estimated as high as 20 percent.

Europeans, Americans and Iranian dissidents also have demanded that Iran be more accountable for its human rights record, which only worsened from the time of the shah and the first few years of the clerical regime that succeeded him.

Most agree human rights have steadily improved since the late 1980s. But the government has shut down scores of newspapers over the past few years and continues to jail dissidents.

"The reality is our situation is like a nightmare," said a prominent intellectual released from jail last year, who asked that his name not be used for fear of retribution. "I'm waiting to wake up ... and be able to comfortably think and write without worrying that my phone calls are being monitored and that my activities are being watched."

Over the past few years, a group of people within the regime has tried to change Iran, a group led by President Mohammad Khatami, the cleric who was elected with huge majorities in 1997 and 2001. These reformists were recently barred from running in the Feb. 20 legislative elections by the hard-line judiciary, setting off a political crisis that has yet to abate.

But increasingly, politicians aren't the only driving force for change in Iran. Two-thirds of Iranians are under 30, a generation of well-educated discontents pushing for good jobs and opportunities.

Women, especially, are a force of change. The revolution at first reinforced patriarchy, giving men custody rights and keeping women and girls at home. But restrictive childhoods made them academic superstars. Now 60 percent of university students are women, a confident generation entering previously taboo arenas.

Jalaipour, the social scientist, calls the stronger role of women in Iran one of the positive results of the revolution. "It brought women into the streets," he said. "Before the revolution, religious women were stuck in the house. Now their life is outside -- in the schools, in the universities, in the workplace, in the gym."

Internet service, lackadaisically filtered, and satellite television, banned but tolerated, have opened the world for Iranians.

"You can't open a magazine or look at a billboard or look at a business card these days without seeing the company's Web address," said Majid Imami, vice president of Pars Online, Iran's largest Internet service provider.

Khomeini, who died in 1989, once said he hadn't led the revolution to improve people's material lives. But sensing people's needs, even Khomeini's ideological heirs have adjusted their message.

Though he continues to disparage America and Israel and to cite many of the revolution's spiritual successes, conservative historian and cleric Mohsen Alviri admits the regime needs to do more to address people's earthly needs.

"Domestically in terms of management and solving economics, we haven't been successful," he said.

Even a man called simply Bashir, who as a member of the Basiji militia would spend weekends harassing women showing too much hair or boys playing pop music, says he no longer has the heart to do it.

"People have such big problems and they're out trying to enjoy themselves a little bit," he said. "Either the guy has economic problems and can't get married, or he's got difficulties at work. Who am I to bother him?"

Not everyone in Iran complains of poverty. Late-model Mercedes-Benzes roll through streets lined with expensive jewelry shops. Tehran's stock market has risen an average of 50 percent a year over the past five years, enriching some in a country where many live in dire poverty.

Critics complain that the economy remains in the hands of conservative clerics and their allies who seized businesses at the beginning of the revolution. More than half of all stock market volume is owned by organizations or individuals with ties to the government, says Fariborz Raissdana, an economist barred from teaching for his outspoken views.

"There's no accountability," he said. "You have no idea whether they're well-run or where the money's going. You just know they're making money for someone."

Such corruption has disgusted many Iranians, including those in the spiritual center of Qom, the city 75 miles south of Tehran where Khomeini studied religion for years.

Liberal clerics there say the revolution has strayed far from its original purposes. "We were looking for freedom and social justice," said one of those clerics, Fazel Maibadi. "We wanted to eliminate poverty and corruption. We wanted real freedom. We're still a long way from that."

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/index.ssf?/base/news-13/107639704979190.xml
8 posted on 02/10/2004 1:51:23 AM PST by F14 Pilot (Do Not Believe The Media)
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To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert; Pan_Yans Wife; windchime; freedom44; MEG33; McGavin999; downer911; seamole; ..
Failure Of Political Islam in Iran

Feb 9, 2004
Iranian.ws

The political crisis in Iran grows more complicated by the day. With the resignation Sunday of more than a third of the country's parliament, Iran is in such turmoil now that the possibility of another major upheaval in the Middle East cannot be ruled out.

National legislative elections are scheduled for Feb. 20. But the unelected religious extremists who control much of the Iranian government have used an agency called the Guardian Council to disqualify more than a third of the 8,200 candidates running. Nearly all of those disqualified are reformers — including more than 80 current members of the Majlis, or parliament.

Iran's president, Mohammad Khatami, leads the reformers but has disappointed much of the electorate by his inability to institute change. He threatened to quit if the Guardian Council, guided by Iran's "supreme leader," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, refused to reverse itself on the political candidates it has disqualified.

Since then hundreds of candidates have been reinstated, but that hasn't been enough to satisfy most of the nation — nor should it.

On Tuesday, Khameini was insisting the elections be held as scheduled.

Any vote taken in these circumstances will lack legitimacy. Iran's leaders should understand that their actions are further isolating their country, which already is viewed as a pariah by the international community.

http://www.iranian.ws
9 posted on 02/10/2004 2:07:04 AM PST by F14 Pilot (Do Not Believe The Media)
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To: DoctorZIn
A failed regime

February 10, 2004
San Diego Union Tribune

Iran celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Islamic Republic by demonstrating its government has become nonfunctional.

The power struggle between reformers and Islamists that has marked the republic since its inception has become no contest. Asserting their power, the clerics have decided that they – not the people – will determine who sits in parliament, the body that putatively makes laws.

The decision by the so-called Guardian Council to ban some 4,000 people from standing for Feb. 20 elections – including more than 80 reformist incumbents – makes the elections a farce. Recognizing this, 125 parliamentarians resigned, urged that elections be postponed and appealed to President Mohammad Khatami to seek a compromise with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Khatami, popularly elected twice by overwhelming margins, urged Khamenei, Iran's "supreme leader," to intervene with the council to reinstate the banned candidates. Khatami failed.

If ever there were an example of why Islam and democracy have problems, it is Iran. For years, experts on Iran have predicted that reformers in parliament plus a growing student democracy movement would tip the balance toward reform. Modern Iran demanded it.

Instead, the balance has tipped the other way. As reformers have gained in popular strength, the clerics have slammed the door.

The Guardian Council gives fiction to Iranian democracy. Composed of appointed clerics and Islamic lawyers, set up originally to supervise elections, it has turned into a kind of Islamic politburo, deciding who is and is not faithful enough to stand for election.

Reformers have finally recognized that the council makes voting meaningless. In resigning and boycotting elections, they are raising the stakes. They are refusing to give the council and Khamenei more democratic cover. Elections should be called off.

Iranians need to work out these differences before the reform pressures explode. They need to work them out before the lesson that democracy and Islam are incompatible spreads next door to Iraq, which hopes soon to have elections of its own.

It doesn't have to be this way. Turkey's new president is proof that a Muslim can be a democrat. The hybrid that Iran has created is a democratic monster.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/op-ed/editorial2/20040209-9999_mz1ed9bottom.html
10 posted on 02/10/2004 2:10:27 AM PST by F14 Pilot (Do Not Believe The Media)
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To: DoctorZIn
Maybe this?
11 posted on 02/10/2004 3:30:45 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
Update at 8 AM, 43 passengers killed, 3 survivors.
12 posted on 02/10/2004 5:05:33 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
"Any vote taken in these circumstances will lack legitimacy. Iran's leaders should understand that their actions are further isolating their country, which already is viewed as a pariah by the international community."

They've lacked legitimacy for a long time, but it's nice to know their plans are backfiring this year.
13 posted on 02/10/2004 5:06:01 AM PST by nuconvert ("Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?")
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To: DoctorZIn
Like Taheri's take............and the sooner the better.
14 posted on 02/10/2004 5:57:29 AM PST by nuconvert ("Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?")
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To: DoctorZIn
The Jihadis' Primal Scream

February 10, 2004
National Review Online
Michael Ledeen

Zarkawi's "Yaarrrhhh!"

Unless you depend on CNN for information — CNN totally and stunningly transformed the story, Instapundit informed us yesterday — by now you have heard of the New York Times story about the discovery of a 17-page letter from Abu Musab al Zarkawi, written from Iraq in the middle of last month to the leaders of al Qaeda. It's an extremely explosive story.

According to the Times — whose correspondent, Dexter Filkins, saw both the Arabic original and a military translation, and "wrote down large parts of the translation" — the letter is a sort of jihadist primal scream. It says that the jihad against the Americans in Iraq is going badly. The Iraqis are not signing up for martyrdom or jihad, they do not even permit the jihadis to organize their terrorist attacks from local houses, and, worst of all, the Americans are not afraid of the terrorists. With that charming neglect of logic that seems to define much of the radical terrorist "mind," Zarkawi says both that the Americans "are the biggest cowards that God has created," and that "America...has no intention of leaving, no matter how many wounded nor how bloody it becomes."

And he adds, "we can pack up and leave and look for another land, just like what has happened in so many lands of jihad. Our enemy is growing stronger day after day, and its intelligence information increases."

If we had a government capable of advancing its case to the world at large, those phrases would be broadcast around the world, because they constitute an admission of defeat by a man in the forefront of the campaign against us in Iraq.

If that were all it said, it would be sensational for most Americans, although certainly not for NRO readers. I pointed out a couple of months ago that the terror masters in Damascus, Tehran, and Riyadh were undoubtedly gnashing their teeth, because their grand design for mass slaughter of Americans and bigtime insurrections all over Iraq, had failed. They had expected a bloodbath of epic proportions, and the same sort of "revolutionary" demonstrations that they had used so effectively against us in Lebanon in the 1980s and against the Israelis a decade later. But instead, they have discovered that the Iraqis don't like them (can we all finally put a nail in the coffin of that idiotic "they're all Shiites so they will all work together" myth?), and that the country is, indeed, headed toward democracy. Zarkawi even uses the word, as he gasps, "by God, this is suffocation!"

But there is more. He says the only chance for victory in Iraq is to provoke a Sunni/Shiite civil war, and the best way to do that is to unleash jihad against the Iraqi Shiites — referred to as "the perverse sects" — expecting that they will blame the Sunnis for it. The civil war would then "awaken the sleepy Sunnis..."

I have said for some time that the strategy of terror masters — above all, the mullahs in Tehran — was to foster civil strife in Iraq. They have been trying very hard to foment Kurdish/Turkamen, Sunni/Shiite and intertribal conflict for at least the past few months. But they greatly underestimated both the savvy of the Iraqis — who have seen the hundreds of Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers and their al Qaeda allies swarming all over the country, guiding the suicide bombers, organizing the radio and television broadcasts, and intimidating the locals whenever possible — and the slow but deliberate progress of the American armed forces. We aren't nearly as stupid as we look, and, as Zarkawi has discovered to his dismay, we don't run from a fight. At least not so long as this president is confidently in charge.

At the same time they underestimated us and the Iraqis, they overestimated their own capabilities. Iranian leaders have been told for months by their operatives in Iraq that large-scale destruction and major political action was just around the corner. But with every passing week, they realize they've been the victims of their own fantasies.

Although Zarkawi has often operated from Iran — as proven by court documents in Italy and Germany, and by information gathered by both our military and our intelligence folks in Europe and the Middle East — he is not Iranian. He's a Jordanian Palestinian, whose basic mission is the overthrow of the Hashemites in his native land. To judge by this letter, he is not particularly sophisticated about the requirements of the mullahcracy back in Tehran. They cannot "pack up and leave and look for another land," for, as President Bush rightly said in his Sunday session with Tim Russert, they are mortally threatened by the spread of democracy in the Middle East. They will have to play every card they have to drive us out, and, as Zarkawi's letter shows, they realize they are on a tight schedule: Once an Iraqi government is in place in June, "the sons of this land will be the authority...This is the democracy. We will have no pretexts."

So we can expect to see a desperate campaign against us and against the Shiites in the next several weeks.

Meanwhile, back in Iran, the natives are reading the various auguries, wondering what the primal forces of world history have in store for them. On the one hand, the parade of appeasers added a distinguished figure from the country that coined the word itself. Britain's very own Prince Charles sneaked off to Tehran to meet with the impotent President Khatami in yet another effort to make a deal that would save the tyrants from their doom. On the other hand, a handful of parliamentarians, mostly those rejected by the regime and thus denied high status and a guaranteed monthly wage, went to the universities to join in the boycott of the February 20 general elections. Their support is hardly necessary — a government poll in Tehran a week ago produced a truly amazing statistic: More than 90 percent do not intend to vote — but they deserve high marks for personal and political courage. Most Iranians expect that the regime will install a new Stalinism once the elections have been held, leading judicial figures have publicly scolded the parliamentarians to expect punishment, and the regime's thugs have launched a preemptive war on student leaders all over the country.

Nonetheless, demonstrations continue all over the country. Demonstrations in Kerman a couple of weeks ago were so large that the regime was forced to bring in helicopter gunships to mow down the protesters, and the usual thugs were unleashed on student demonstrators in Tehran and Shiraz in the last few days. Despite the calls for appeasement from the State Department and a handful of our elected representatives, the Iranian people can see what is going on in Iraq, and they must take a measure of comfort from it. And the regime was so upset by President Bush's passing reference to Middle Eastern tyrants who feel threatened by the liberation of Iraq (this weekend), that on Monday the official news service reported that Bush had threatened Iran with the same treatment he had delivered to Iraq. I can hear the Iranians sighing, "oh, if only it is true."

We do not need to fight a war to liberate Iran, but we must liberate Iran in order to win the terror war in Iraq. Zarkawi is part of a terror network that is based in Iran, and receives enormous support from the mullahs. If Iran were a free country, Iraq would be immeasurably more peaceful. It is time for Secretary Powell to call an end to the shameful efforts at appeasement, and throw his enormous personal prestige behind the just cause of the Iranian people. He disappointed them last summer, when he proclaimed that we did not wish to get engaged in the Iranian "family squabble." But it is not that; it is part of the life-and-death struggle in which we are now engaged. The longer we wait to support freedom in Iran, the more Americans, Italians, Poles, Japanese, Dutch, Romanians, Spaniards, and others, will be killed in Iraq.

Faster, please.

http://www.nationalreview.com/ledeen/ledeen200402100835.asp
15 posted on 02/10/2004 8:32:35 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
This just in from a student inside of Iran...

"I would like our Freeper friends to know that the Rallies in Tehran, on the anniversary of the IRI victory in 1979 revolution, that they may watch on TV, or read on papers are not showing the popularity of the regime.

They import poor people from Suburb and order Military Servicemen to join the rallies.

I strongly ask the people in the US not to believe what they might see tomorrow and please keep supporting us in order to liberate Iran sooner.

Thank You! "
16 posted on 02/10/2004 8:48:01 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
"Celebration" ornaments and posters destroyed

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Feb 10, 2004

Many "Celebration" ornaments and posters praising the 25th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution have been destroyed by groups of opponents working during night time.

The popular move is in reaction to the official propaganda praising the legacy of what is qualified by the majority of Iranians as the "Holocaust".

The regime which has spent millions of dollars for these materials, shows which will take place on Wednesday and transfers of paid celebrators in order to fill the streets has a hard time to control the popular reaction despite the heavy presence of its forces.

Tracts are distributed calling for empty streets.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_4843.shtml
17 posted on 02/10/2004 8:50:26 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
As usual, there are so many different angles to the Iranian story. But, when Ledeen frames it in terms of the future of Iraq, the picture becomes clearer. (That's why he is so good.)

I posted the initial report from Reuters mentioning an assassination attempt on Sistani. My first thought was the ripples such an event would cause in the entire region, not just Iraq. Again, the war in Iraq is much bigger than the media wants us to believe.

The dominoes are set to fall.
18 posted on 02/10/2004 8:50:44 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: DoctorZIn
I cannot speak for all who follow your thread, but I will say that standing firm today, can only help strengthen the resolve of those in Iran. It can't hurt. And I think we all know about watching propaganda in the media.

Without your thread and Freerepublic, how many would even begin to understand the bigger story in Iran?
19 posted on 02/10/2004 9:07:16 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (Say not, 'I have found the truth,' but rather, 'I have found a truth.'--- Kahlil Gibran)
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To: DoctorZIn
Looks like the regime took a page out of the Democrat playbook- I encountered paid Democrat protesters in election 2000 down in South Florida. I spoke with some of them. They paid one homeless lady I spoke with ten bucks just to chant and hold a sign. Others were hired up north by a transit union and bussed in. And of course, we're all familiar with Jessie Jackson's traveling snake oil show.
20 posted on 02/10/2004 9:17:33 AM PST by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge.)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
"Without your thread and Freerepublic, how many would even begin to understand the bigger story in Iran?"

You're absolutely right.
21 posted on 02/10/2004 9:19:08 AM PST by nuconvert ("Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?")
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To: F14 Pilot
Bump!
22 posted on 02/10/2004 9:22:38 AM PST by windchime (Podesta about Bush: "He's got four years to try to undo all the stuff we've done." (TIME-1/22/01))
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To: F14 Pilot
Thanks for the ping!
23 posted on 02/10/2004 9:49:07 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: DoctorZIn
Freepers know about "rent a crowds"-- it's a typical thug technique. Freepers have faith in the Iranian people and the brave students, but thanks for the warning. Not everyone understands totalitarian ways...

"I would like our Freeper friends to know that the Rallies in Tehran, on the anniversary of the IRI victory in 1979 revolution, that they may watch on TV, or read on papers are not showing the popularity of the regime.

They import poor people from Suburb and order Military Servicemen to join the rallies.

24 posted on 02/10/2004 11:04:44 AM PST by GOPJ (NFL Fatcats: Grown men don't watch hollywood strip shows with wives and children.)
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To: DoctorZIn
Students Call on Khatami to Resign Over Election Flop

February 08, 2004
Iran Weekly Press Digest
WPD

Hundreds of students gathered inside the Tehran university on Sunday and, while protesting against efforts by the conservative clergy to eradicate republicanism in Iran, called on President Mohammad Khatami to resign.

“Our final word is this: if you (Khatami) can still hear the voice of the people and still care for them, then resign,” the students news agency ISNA quoted the students as saying in a letter addressed to the president.

Students blamed the president to have once again made a flop in confronting the hardline clergy following the elimination of more than 2000 liberal candidates, including 87 sitting legislators, in the February 20 parliamentary elections.

Khatami’s efforts to persuade the conservative clergy in the senate-like Guardian Council to revise the eliminations finally failed and he eventually gave in to holding the polls as scheduled although he had earlier vowed to prevent undemocratic and uncompetitive elections.

“Khatami is not the Khatami of 1997 (when first elected as president) and if he was no longer capable to lead the reform movement, then he should resign,” the students said.

The students further said that the conservative clergy with less than 20 per cent of popular support plan to eradicate not only republicanism nut also the right of electing and replace it with appointing deputies for the parliament.

Several students groups, in line with liberal groups, have proclaimed that they would boycott the elections in protest against the elimination of liberal candidates.

http://www.iranwpd.com/
25 posted on 02/10/2004 11:16:15 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Urged to Stop Harassing Journalists

February 09, 2004
Reporters Without Borders
RSF

Reporters Without Borders is concerned at an upsurge in harassment and obstruction of journalists since the 11 January ruling barring huge numbers of reformist candidates from contesting 20 February parliamentary elections.

The international press freedom organisation has called on the authorities in the Islamic Republic to allow journalists to freely report on the political crisis currently shaking the country. Reporters Without Borders also urged the authorities to grant visas to all foreign journalists who apply for them.

Eight reformist dailies - Yas-e no, Sharq, Nassim-e Sabah, Tosseh, Aftab-e Yazd, E'temad, Hambastegi, et Mardomsalari - were threatened by the legal authorities in the week of 29 January for their coverage of the sit-in by reformist deputies in front of the parliament.

Prosecutor Said Mortazavi has called on the Ministry for Culture and Islamic Orientation to issue a warning to these newspapers accusing them of "sowing discord". The prosecutor went even further on 8 February with the threat, "Any newspaper carrying articles about the election boycott will be immediately closed down."

Five journalists have also been officially summoned by the Justice Ministry :

- Shadi Sadr, journalist at Yas-e no and publisher of the site www.womeniran.com is due to appear shortly before a court in Qazvin to respond to a complaint from the prosecutor's office.

- Abdollah Nasseri, head of the official IRNA news agency, was summoned by Section 1083 of the Teheran court to respond to complaints from the prosecutor's office linked to his coverage of the political crisis.

- Mashallah Shamsolvaezin, editor-in-chief of several major banned reformist newspapers, was summoned on 28 January by the 6th section of the Teheran court over his articles on the parliamentary crisis.

- Abdolrassul Vessal, publisher of the daily Iran, was summoned by the 6th section of Teheran court over its report on the government spokesman's speech during the reformist deputies' sit-in at parliament. He is accused of "publishing false news".

- Rassul Montakhabnia, reformist deputy and journalist, was summoned by the Clergy Court over a highly critical article about a speech by the Guide of the Islamic Republic about the press in Iran.

Throughout the country and particularly in provincial cities, journalists have confirmed to Reporters Without Borders that they have received phone threats over articles about the political crisis. Courts have summoned some newspaper bosses this week on the basis of complaints laid many months or even years earlier.

Finally, several media have been shut down :

- The weekly Hadith-e Kerman, in Kerman province was closed on 7 February for coverage last year of serial killings committed by armed militia.

- Another weekly in Khorrassan province, No Andish, was suspended for one year on 4 February on the order of the 7th appeal court in Mashhad, on the basis of a complaint from the prosecutor's office. The editor-in-chief, the publisher and a journalist were fined five million rials (about 500 euros at the official rate) and another journalist was fined 1 million de rials (about 100 euros).

http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=9204
26 posted on 02/10/2004 11:16:46 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
ConocoPhillips Pressured to End Iran, Syria Work

Reuters - World News (via Yahoo)
Feb 10, 2004

NEW YORK - ConocoPhillips, the No. 3 U.S. oil company, is ending its operations in Syria and Iran after a New York City official asked the company to examine its ties with countries that "promote terrorism."

New York City Comptroller William Thompson Jr. on Tuesday released a letter from the Houston-based company which said it had agreed not to "approve business ventures in sensitive countries unless it is convinced that it can do so legally and within the spirit of U.S. law."

Thompson last year made a proposal on behalf of the New York City Police and Fire Department Pension Funds -- which have $34.8 million invested in ConocoPhillips -- that the company ensure oversight of operations in Iran and Syria.

ConocoPhillips has now ended its business connections with Iran and said a contract for a partial stake in a gas-processing facility in Syria could end as early as next year, Thompson said in a statement.

The agreement also extends to the company's domestic and foreign subsidiaries.

New York City's five pension funds, overseen by Thompson, have more than $164 million invested in ConocoPhillips. The story was first reported in amNewYork, a daily newspaper in New York City.

ConocoPhillips was not immediately available for comment.

"I hope that these decisions will encourage other companies to thoroughly examine their relationships with rogue nations, and any ties that can promote terrorism," Thompson said.

"Over the next few months, my office will expand the scope of our efforts and increase pressure to ensure responsible relationships," he added.

Thompson has also asked General Electric Co. and oil field services company Halliburton to end their operations in countries that sponsor terror.

However, he expressed "displeasure" that neither of those companies have taken measures similar to ConocoPhillips.

He recently submitted a renewed shareholder proposal calling on Halliburton to review its operations in Iran. Halliburton in February 2000 opened an office in Iran through a Cayman Islands unit, Halliburton Products and Services Ltd.

Thompson expects to submit another shareholder resolution with GE later this year.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_4845.shtml
27 posted on 02/10/2004 11:20:24 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Very promising. I hope other companies follow suit.
28 posted on 02/10/2004 4:54:19 PM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (Say not, 'I have found the truth,' but rather, 'I have found a truth.'--- Kahlil Gibran)
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To: DoctorZIn
I don't expect Khatami to resign, however, what would happen if he did? What is the line of succession and would that result in turmoil?

I ask because it seems like an easy answer, but I wonder if the result would actually mean change or more of the same?
29 posted on 02/10/2004 5:01:13 PM 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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BTTT
30 posted on 02/10/2004 5:29:56 PM PST by sarasmom (No war for oil=Give France/Russia/China etc oil ,and no war-or so Saddam thought.)
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To: DoctorZIn
http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0211/p01s04-wome.html

Iran's revolution at 25: out of gas

Wednesday's silver anniversary marks a peak of political disillusionment.

By Scott Peterson | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

TEHRAN, IRAN – Even flying into Tehran at night shows how Iran is ready to celebrate Wednesday - in unprecedented magnitude - the 25th anniversary of the Islamic revolution.
But the endless strings of bright lights and buildings aglow with the red, green, and white national colors celebrate a political vigor and hope that have now largely faded from Iran.

In 1979, the triumphant toppling of the reviled, US-supported shah changed the face of the Middle East, inspired Islamic militants around the world, and led to humiliation for American diplomats taken hostage for 444 days.

Today, instead of reveling in the Islamic justice and democracy once promised by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Iranians are racked with doubts. They question clerical rule, doubt the compatibility of Islam and democracy, and are disillusioned by unmet expectations.

"Behind closed doors, even the clergy is debating velayat-e-faqih [divine rule by clerics] and secularism, and their role in political power," says a Western diplomat. "They are asking: 'Is it so wise that we are running the state, that we are doing things against the will of the people, which is against Islam?' "

Many of the two-thirds of Iran's population who are under 30 - and have little more memory of the revolution than dire warnings from elders that the bloody upheaval must never be repeated - view Wednesday's silver jubilee with apathy.

The crisis between reformers and conservatives continued Tuesday, when the hard-line Guardian Council (a 12-man unelected body) released its official list for the Feb. 20 parliamentary vote - and confirmed the rejection of more than 2,000 candidates as "unfit" to stand.

Analysts say the conservative clerics are trying to retake control of the 290-seat parliament, which they lost to reformers in 2000. The hard-liners calculated that the rejection of candidates would draw only minor protest from a public that has grown disillusioned after seven years of failed democratic reform. They were right.

"After 25 years, we are at the end of attempts to legally reform the system, and there are real fears and worries," says a former revolutionary, whose skepticism is widely echoed.

Wednesday's celebrations are "nice to remind ourselves that we came from that very bloody fighting [of the revolution]," says the analyst, who asked not to be named. "But this is part of a dead end: If you don't want another revolution, and legal reform doesn't work, there is nothing left but a miracle."

In the early years of the revolution, Iran tried to forge a modern Islamic state after decades of repressive and undemocratic rule under Shah Reza Pahlavi, the last emperor during 2,500 years of Persian monarchy.

Ayatollah Khomeini himself warned against handing political power to clerics, and banned them from running in the first two post-revolution presidential races. But in the Shiite branch of Islam - to which nearly all Iranians adhere - political and religious rule has always been entwined.

It was the charismatic Khomeini who determined that final say in all matters should rest with the position of Velayat-e-faqih, the Guardian Theologian seen among Iranian believers as God's deputy on earth. Khomeini assumed that position. Since his death in 1989, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has filled the role.

"To supervise the state is Shia tradition, but to run the state itself is different, and was new with Khomeini," says the Western diplomat.

In recent years, the most radical reformers - including some senior dissident ayatollahs - have questioned the infallibility of the Supreme Leader, and have paid the price with house arrest and jail time. But they also cite his words as justifying for their efforts.

"The most important factor in distributing political power is the vote of the people - that is Khomeini's famous standard," says Morad Veisi, editor of the reformist Yas-e-No newspaper. "Those who don't believe in the people's vote are not correct in the theocratic system."

Reform-minded President Mohamad Khatami has warned that Iran is veering towards religious despotism and "dictatorship," though he also supports the Islamic system. Contrary to Iran's constitution, many other reformers are shifting toward a far more secular view - one likely reason many were disqualified from the upcoming vote.

Reformers have been left with little recourse. The main reform party, the Islamic Iran Participation Front, lead by the president's own brother, has declared that it will boycott the Feb. 20 vote - a move that will almost certainly hand control of parliament to conservatives. But the president's smaller League of Combatant Clerics party told Reuters Tuesday that it will participate in the elections.

If voter turnout is less than 35 percent nationwide, conservatives will "have a real problem, because it will be clear that people are abandoning the system, and the legitimacy question will come into play," adds the diplomat. "It already exists in people's minds, but it will be on the table."

SCORES of reform newspapers have been shut down in recent years. Dozens of political prisoners languish in jail - some for simply publishing the results of an opinion poll that showed a majority of Iranians wanted to reestablish ties with the US.

But those who played roles in the first revolution say this second quest for change - under way far more quietly at the moment - has so far cost little.

"In the revolution, the price was so high: people died, not only in the revolution, but in the war with Iraq afterwards," which was cast as a "sacred" holy war by the ayatollahs, says Hamid Reza Jalaiepour, a political sociologist at Tehran University, and former editor of a number of closed reformist newspapers.

"The price so far today has been low," Mr. Jalaiepour says ticking them off: "Four intellectuals killed, [a chief reform strategist] wounded in an assassination attempt; 400 activists in prison; 4,000 students arrested and released.

"In terms of political structure, [reformists] couldn't pass a bill, or change anything," adds the editor. "But if you look at achievements in society, it is so high. When reformists won the presidency and majlis [the parliament], many avenues opened up."

The conservatives paid a high price, too, Jalaiepour says, "because their activity has made Iran become part of the 'axis of evil.' The US and other Western countries will not sit down with them. It's why they are so angry: They have no credibility among the people."

That credibility is perhaps lowest among Iranian students, who these days dole out almost equal opprobrium toward the failed reform camp. Student protests led to clashes with pro-regime militias and vigilante groups in July 1999. Further clashes shook parts of Tehran last June. Requests in recent weeks to stage protests against conservative control of the democratic process were refused.

"For years, they tried to push the religious stuff down [students'] throats, and it caused a reaction," says the revolutionary, noting a recent poll that reportedly found 45 percent had negative feelings toward religion. "Twenty years ago, is that reaction the leaders of Iran wanted? They wanted to train soldiers for Islam, and got exactly the opposite."

Even some senior clerics have been disturbed by political restrictions.

"Islam is the religion of peace, of rights, of justice, not tyranny, violence and prisons - let alone terrorism and killing people and torture in prisons, even if this torture is putting them in solitary confinement," said reformist Grand Ayatollah Yusef Saanei, in a recent interview.

"All of these things are against Islam," says Mr. Saanei, one of only a handful of grand ayatollahs in Shiite Islam. "In one word: What you would like for yourself, you must do for others. These are all the human rights and freedoms, which the Prophet calls justice."

Instead, vigilante groups still break up political meetings, and some human rights legislation is tied up by hard-liners, Saanei says: "I don't think Iran can be presented as an Islamic example."

That assessment is far from the vision ofa quarter century ago. The aim then was to "export the revolution," and for Iran to be a beacon for all Muslims.

"We thought we would get rid of the US, get a new government with a good leader, and all our problems would be over," says the former revolutionary. "Only in the last decade we began to think of what we missed - human rights, democracy. I wish I could blame the mullahs, but it's a much deeper problem all of us Iranians share."

31 posted on 02/10/2004 6:06:19 PM PST by freedom44 (MORE INFORMATION AT DOCTORZIN'S DAILY IRAN REPORT)
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To: DoctorZIn
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3471841.stm

Fresh Iranian bands ready to rock
By Miranda Eeles
BBC, Tehran

Iranian music fans are beginning to access a variety of styles

Rock, rap and reggae are not the first things that spring to mind when you think of music in Iran.

But groups playing all three genres have entered a competition aimed at introducing new talent in the Islamic Republic.

The competition has been organised by tehranavenue.com, a Tehran- based website which is run entirely by young, enthusiastic and talented volunteers.

The offices of tehranavenue.com have been busy for months.

It is not an easy task organising a music competition over the net.

And when you live and work in the Islamic Republic of Iran, there are certain limitations, either subconscious or explicit, on forms of self-expression.

Subjects such as censorship, quality, and who should be the judge turned many meetings into lengthy discussions.

Alternative

The competition - called Tehran Avenue Music Open - attracted hundreds of emails from interested bands.

The website eventually accepted 42 tracks. "Some of the tracks are really professional, said Soheyl Shahsavari, one of the organisers.

"For example Motogen from France.

"The style is reggae, the singer is Iranian, the rest are French.

"It's a great track."

Most of the bands are from Iran, but there are also entries from Sweden, France and Canada - all with an Iranian connection.

"Some are good, but others still have a long way to go to improve," said Shadi Vatanparast, one of the website's key members.

"An interesting point about this year's participants is that there are all kinds of genres.

"Last year it was only rock but now we have alternative rock, progressive rock, pop rock.

"This variety makes the competition more attractive."

Restrictions eased

The web-based music competition is not just a sign of slightly looser times in Iran.

It also reveals how innovative and adept Iranian youth can be when it comes to modern technology.

They have taken advantage of a medium - the internet - which by its very nature is less controllable, and turned it into a means of self-expression.

The site is one of the only ways young aspiring musicians can get their music heard by the public.

After the Revolution in 1979 only traditional music bands could perform.

When reformist President Mohammad Khatami came to power in 1997, restrictions on live performances were eased.

Soon the first Iranian pop bands started to appear on the scene.

However, concerts are few and far between and remain strictly controlled.

Fans have to stay seated - dancing, even moving energetically in your seat - is forbidden.

Although it's obviously a kind of rock music, there's an Iranian tinge to it and that's different

Bahram Bahrami, music fan

The alternative rock group "127" was recently given permission to play at Tehran's art university.

It is one of the few places where live performances are allowed for groups such as theirs.

"Four years ago we could never play here", said lead singer Sohrab Mohebbi.

"It was impossible to do such a thing but now we're getting a chance to play so maybe in a couple of years we can play more in different places, not just in universities."

The audience clearly loved the performance, particularly when guest musicians playing traditional Persian instruments came to join them on stage.

"The better part of it is that as you listen, although there it is obviously a kind of rock music, at the same time you can hear the Iranian tinge to it and that's different," said Bahram Bahrami, a medical student.

Underdeveloped

One of the main problems facing rock musicians in Iran is the fact that the audience is unaccustomed to new genres.

Most live music in Iran is still of the traditional variety and concerts where well-known musicians play classical instruments like the daf, the setar and the nay sell out well in advance.

Producers then are reluctant to support underdeveloped genres for Iranian musicians like rock, rap and reggae.


"127" hope restrictions on where they can perform will be relaxed

Babak Chamanara runs the Beethoven music store in Tehran.

He says it is still tough to find Iranian producers who are used to hearing anything but traditional music or the standard pop fare that comes from exiled musicians in Los Angeles.

"The problem is that non-traditional and non-pop music sounds a bit strange to music industry people, including concert holders, album makers, technical crews and marketing companies", said Chamanara.

"This is a market problem, they see that this genre does not sell, therefore they do not invest in it or make advertisements for it."

Which is why a music competition like the one at tehranavenue.com can help the development of alternative music in Iran.

It not only gives bands a chance to work on their sound, it also gives more Iranians a chance to listen to music, even if they have to do it online.


32 posted on 02/10/2004 6:08:39 PM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
Reza Pahlavi's Opening Statement at the French - American Press Club in Paris

February 10, 2004
Reza Pahlavi Secretariat
rezapahlavi.org/

A quarter century ago, a disease from the middle ages took over my country. Its symptoms were fear of freedom and a fanatical zeal to reverse the march of civilization. With strange mutations, the disease spread as far as North Africa and the Far East, creating a brotherhood of terror which is the greatest threat to international security today.

The strategic vacuum created by the Islamic Revolution in Iran drew the Soviets into Afghanistan the following year. To counter them, the West organized and trained the killers we now know as the Taliban. Similarly the Iran-Iraq war brought the West to Saddam's support, fueling ambitions responsible for the current predicament. Iran itself became a convention center for the terrorist industry, a meeting place for those who fund, organize, lend logistic and scientific support, plan events and coordinate strategies against the free world. Add up all of that cost - This is a problem that must be solved!

All cure starts with a good diagnosis. It is critical not to mistake so-called reforms and elections as a cure for the Islamic Republic. Even perfect elections are meaningless for a Parliament that does not have the right to make laws. This is a theocracy; remember… where daring to think free and decide your future is seen as the arrogance of the infidel. The obligation of the faithful is obedience to those who reveal the law of God, those around the "Faghih," the Supreme Leader.

This may all sound gloomy, but actually, today I came here to bring you positive news. My compatriots, particularly the young generation, have found the antidote to fanaticism in their passion to join the free world. For you see, while the governments the world over were struggling against fanatical terrorists, in Iran these were the government. Having suffered the most, it is no surprise that it is Iranians who are now rising to stamp out the epicenter of the disease.

Physically, it may be the regime that separates Iranians from the world and from each other. Politically, however, it is the people who are isolating the regime, cutting off support and sapping its authority. Indeed, it is striking the extent to which this regime has lost authority, not just vis-à-vis the people, but within the regime and with respect to the organs of the government itself.

This is what gives us confidence. This is why I spend my every moment leading an effort to bring together political movements in Iran, from different persuasions and walks of life, for the coordinated action required to force this regime to crumble. My compatriots' hope and energy allows me to guarantee to you today that Iranians will soon tear down the black wall of the Islamic Republic, join the free world, and demonstrate that, given the opportunity, all men prefer the light of enlightenment to the darkness of fanaticism.

Marxism faded when the wall came down and people saw the reality behind it. Religious intolerance too will lose its virulence as the Islamic Republic of Iran crumbles. Civilized nations will no longer have to fight each other over how to defeat terror. Free of fear, a world without barricades will create a better life for all of its citizens.

This is our collective future. We will get there - later, if the free world lends the regime credibility, sooner, if it supports the people in establishing a new order based on popular sovereignty and fundamental human rights.

http://www.rezapahlavi.org/fapc21004.html
33 posted on 02/10/2004 6:19:41 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC IS A "CENTRE FOR TERRORIST INDUSTRY":

REZA PAHLAVI

By Safa Haeri

PARIS, 10 Feb. (IPS) Iran, under the rule of the ayatollahs, has become a "convention centre for terrorist industry" and the Islamic Republic has created a "brotherhood of terror which is the greatest threat to international peace and security", according to Iranian Prince Reza Pahlavi.

"The strategic vacuum created by the Islamic Revolution in Iran drew the Soviets into Afghanistan the following year. To counter them, the West organized and trained the killers we now know as trhe Taleban. Similarly the Iran-Iraq War brought the West to Saddam’s support, fueling ambitions responsible for the current predicament. Iran itself became a convention center for terrorist industry, a meeting place for those who fund, organize, lend logistic and scientific support, plan events and coordinate strategies against the free world. Add up all of the cost. This is a problem that must be solved", he said during a press conference held on Tuesday at the Foreign Press Centre in Paris.

Speaking on Tuesday to a packed audience of journalists, Mr. Pahlavi reiterated that he had no other mission than to help Iranians organize a national and free referendum on the future regime of Iran and recommended "civil disobedience" to achieve this goal "peacefully", reminding that the method that started in India yielded "positive results" in South Africa, some Latin nations as well as in the former Soviet Union satellites like Poland, Czechoslovakia or Serbia.

"It is noteworthy that the idea of national referendum – that he suggested more than two years ago -- has become the leitmotiv of the majority of Iranians opposed to the regime, among them and foremost the students ", he gladly observed, calling on all Iranians of all walks and political ideologies opposed to the Islamic Republic to unite together in achieving this goal.

"We are all in the same boat and we have to row in unison. In the past 25 years, we never had such a golden chance. It is up to all of us to take it and the international community will also help", he went on.

In Paris to launch the French translation of his new book entitled "For Iran"*, a 248 pages of interview with Mr. Ahmad Ahraar, one of Iran’s most respected journalist and commentator reckoned also by all critics as one of the most serious analyst of Iranian affairs, Mr. Pahlavi also cautioned the Western world against sending "confusing signals" that Iranians translates as support for the present theocracy.

"If you are really for democracy, human rights and freedom in Iran, meeting and talking with the powerless president (Mohammad) Khatami about the so-called dialogue of civilizations is not the best way", he said, referring to the just concluded trip to Iran by Prince Charles of England and his talks with Mr. Khatami.

Expressing his "confidence" to see the Islamic Republic "crumble" as did the Soviet Union, he told his fellow Iranians: "We also would be free. Later if the free world lends this regime credibility, sooner if it supports the people in establishing a new order based on the sovereignty of the people and fundamental human rights", he added.

"You have to choose between the 90 per cent of the Iranians which reject this regime and the 10 per cent that cling to power for their own personal interests. But don’t forget that the day the Iranians free themselves from this regime, they would remember the governments that turned their back to them during the hard years they suffered", he said, increasing visibly the tone of his criticism against the European Union.

To those in the West, officials, analysts or journalists, who see in the present cacophony over the elections signs of democracy, the son of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi who was toppled by the Islamic Revolution in January 1979 said "it is critical not to mistake the so-called reforms and elections as "a cure" for the Islamic Republic.

"Even perfect elections are meaningless for a parliament that does not have the right to make laws. This is a theocracy where daring to think free and decide your future is seen as the arrogance of the infidel. The obligation of the faithful is full obedience to those who reveal the law of god, those around the Faqih, or the Supreme Leader. This is not election, but a masquerade of selection", he noted.

Asked about plans by Washington to also attack Iran, Prince Reza observed immediately that the situation in Iran was "totally different" from those that prevailed in neighbouring Afghanistan and Iraq. "In Iran, you have a sold administration with experienced cadre, a people that despite repressions expresses its demands, dissidents that despite crackdowns challenge the regime, a lively society that oppose the system that wants keep isolated from the world that the Iranians, particularly the younger generation, want to join", he said.

To a question about Tehran backing the Iraqi Shi’ite for an Islamic Republic similar to the one ruling Iran, Mr. Pahlavi observed that in the struggle between the "hauzeh" (religious circle) of Qom where religion "has been nationalized" and is crumbling fast in the one hand and that of Najaf in Iraq that has "recovered its freedom and increases its influence" the Islamic Republic would let "no one stone unturned to spread trouble".

However he expressed optimism as to the Middle East crisis, seeing peace coming back to the region after the resent Iranian theocracy changes into a free, secular, democratic regime based on a parliamentary system, "a nation then that would play the key role in maintaining stability for the whole of area".

To a question about the future regime he recommends for Iran, Prince Reza said that was not his concern. "What I’m interested and all my efforts are turned and concentrated is to achieve the referendum. The form of the future regime would be and must be decided by the people, no matter if they go for a constitutional monarchy or a republic, provided either form is based on parliamentary democracy, secularism and plurality, where all Iranians are equal, regardless of sex, ethnic or religion". This is my mission and don’t expect more than that from me”, he pointed out, adding with conviction that the future king of queen should reign, but not rule”, a veiled reference to the former Monarchy where his father had become an authoritarian Monarch.

ENDS REZA PAHLAVI PRESS CONF 10204

http://www.iran-press-service.com/articles_2004/Feb_04/reza_pahlavi_press_conf_10204.htm
34 posted on 02/10/2004 6:21:19 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Vatican congratulates Iranian nation

Vatican City , Feb 10 -

Vatican officials, on Monday congratulated the 25th anniversary of the victory of Iran's Islamic Revolution to the Iranian nation and government.

Vatican's minister of foreign affairs, and the country's head of the Papal, peace and justice affairs, as well as other Vatican officials, attended a ceremony held by Iran's ambassador to vatican Mostafa Boroujerdi, on the occasion of the anniversary of Iran's Revolution, and congratulated the occasion.

Also present at the ceremony, held in Italy's capital, Rome, were the ambassadors and political representatives of various foreign countries in Vatican, professors of Vatican's Papal University, Catholic intellectuals, and a group of Iranians.

The guests participating at the ceremony appreciated the Iranian nation's long years of struggle aimed at embracing liberty, that led to the victory of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, as well as President Mohammad Khatami's wise initiative of dialogue among civilizations, that is a stride towards global pace.

http://www.iribnews.com/Full_en.asp?news_id=198207

(Propaganda speaks for itself.)
35 posted on 02/10/2004 7:24:35 PM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (Say not, 'I have found the truth,' but rather, 'I have found a truth.'--- Kahlil Gibran)
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To: DoctorZIn

Who'll be the next to die? Khatami?

36 posted on 02/10/2004 7:31:18 PM PST by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: DoctorZIn
They import poor people from Suburb and order Military Servicemen to join the rallies.

No wonder Kerry is "reaching out" to the mullah fakirs--they're Democrats.

37 posted on 02/10/2004 7:46:33 PM PST by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
"Vatican officials, on Monday congratulated the 25th anniversary of the victory of Iran's Islamic Revolution to the Iranian nation and government. "

?? They get TV or newspapers there?
38 posted on 02/10/2004 9:33:52 PM PST by nuconvert ("Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?")
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
Don't actually know about "line of succession", but I can't imagine it would cause turmoil. Not like the President really does anything except make speeches. He's just the puppet of Khameini. The next person in line would be a puppet also. Same puppetmaster.
39 posted on 02/10/2004 9:49:09 PM PST by nuconvert ("Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?")
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To: DoctorZIn
This thread is now closed.

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”

40 posted on 02/11/2004 12:12:03 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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