Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Iranian Alert -- February 12, 2004 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD --Americans for Regime Change in Iran
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 2.12.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 02/12/2004 12:35:31 AM PST by DoctorZIn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iaea; iran; iranianalert; iranquake; protests; southasia; studentmovement; studentprotest
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 02/12/2004 12:35:31 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 02/12/2004 12:38:08 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Iran fails to declare nuclear design

By Roula Khalaf in London
Published: February 11 2004 19:53 | Last Updated: February 11 2004 19:53

United Nations inspectors have found a new type of centrifuge design in Iran and other experiments that Tehran has failed to declare, despite its claim in November that it had fully disclosed its nuclear programme.

The new findings come at a time of heightened concern about nuclear proliferation after the discovery of the rogue procurement network headed by Abdul Qadeer Khan, the so-called father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb.

President George W. Bush on Wednesday night called for tougher international action to control the spread of nuclear weapons. Western officials told the Financial Times that the International Atomic Energy Agency's findings in Iran would be included in a progress report prepared by Mohamed ElBaradei, the agency's director general, ahead of the IAEA's board meeting in March.

Iran submitted to the IAEA in November what was described as a comprehensive and accurate declaration of its nuclear programme. The declaration listed material and equipment along with information on the countries that had supplied them.

A western diplomat said the omissions detracted from Iran's credibility but did not add to Iran's known capabilities.

Despite western suspicions that Iran wants to develop nuclear weapons, the IAEA said in November that it had not yet found evidence that Iran's programme to develop the nuclear fuel cycle was aimed at anything more than energy production.

The new information comes as the UK, France and Germany continue to press Iran to suspend uranium-enrichment activities. This was part of an agreement reached in Tehran last October, but the parties have since disagreed on the interpretation of the suspension clause.

To the frustration of the Europeans, Tehran is believed to have continued to assemble centrifuges, which European governments consider a failure to fulfil obligations under the agreement.

"We're going to have quite a difficult period between now and the next [IAEA] board meeting," said a western official on Wednesday.

Of potentially greater risk to Iran is the IAEA's investigation into the black market network. Mr Khan has admitted a role in supplying technology to Iran, Libya and North Korea.

The agency is looking at whether Iran received weapons designs similar to those delivered to Libya. If evidence of this emerges, it would represent a devastating blow to Tehran's insistence that its nuclear programme is civilian.

Controversy over Iran's nuclear activities subsided in November after Tehran pledged full co-operation with the IAEA and agreed to sign the so-called additional protocol to the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty, allowing greater access to inspectors.

The Iranian moves were facilitated by October's agreement with the UK, France and Germany. Uranium enrichment is allowed under the NPT but Iran was asked to suspend activities to build confidence.
3 posted on 02/12/2004 12:42:41 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Iran's young turn their backs on the revolution and grip of Ayatollahs

By Angus McDowall in Tehran
12 February 2004

Grey-robed and bearded, the elderly cleric paused at the exit of the plane and the crowd surged forward in ecstasy. They did not realise it, but the millions of Iranians who flooded the streets of Tehran and thronged the airport to greet the returning exile, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, were part of a political earthquake that would eventually bring down the most powerful man on earth and shake the world for the next quarter-century.

The revolutionary fervour that gripped Iran in 1979 stunned the world. The CIA spooks and well-dressed foreign businessmen who had haunted Iran's marbled corridors of power for decades were gone. In their place were a motley but triumphant crew of mullahs, thinkers and dissidents.

That November, students besieged the "nest of spies" as they called the American Embassy in Tehran and took dozens of US citizens hostage. President Jimmy Carter ordered a daring rescue operation that humiliatingly failed when two helicopters crashed into the desert floor before even reaching the capital.

He was gone within a year and his successor, President Ronald Reagan, allegedly forged a back-door deal to release the hostages on the day of his inauguration, more than 400 days after they were captured. In Lebanon, the long-running civil war became a new battle front for the Islamic Revolution as Iranian-backed Shia groups made suicide bombing an art form and drove the American military presence out of the country.

The new Islamic Republic prided itself on being a democracy forged in revolution, but freedom of speech and human rights quickly dropped from the agenda amid bloody purges and a social crackdown. As power was passed among the diverse factions of the new revolutionary government, the hanging judge, Sadeq Khalkhali, became the new face of state fear as he gleefully condemned the enemies of his revolution. Royalists and courtiers were strung up in their thousands, "like starlings on a wire", alongside revolutionaries who had backed the wrong ideological horse.

A terrorist campaign gripped the nation as the leftist Mujahedin-e Khalq Organisation bombed and slaughter- ed many of the new Islamic Republic's leading political lights and alienated many of its then numerous supporters. On the streets, piety became the law as conservative dress codes and social relations were rigidly enforced. University students with long hair were forcibly shaved and denounced by revolutionary committees.

Twenty-five years later, the revolution is running out of steam. After a decade of war and a decade of economic decline, Iranians are tired. Yesterday, 100,000 people gathered underneath the Azadi monument in western Tehran to celebrate the anniversary.

But their avowed support for the conservative rulers of Iran is in stark contrast to many of their fellow Iranians, who believe they have again seen the glimmer of democratic hope snuffed out before their eyes.

In 1997, as millions voted for the reformist President Seyyid Mohammed Khatami, a new wave of euphoria swept Iran. It seemed violence could be banished from politics and the voice of the people ring in government again. But in the years since, that turned to disillusionment as change was blocked by an entrenched hard core of unelected conservatives.

Now the reformist movement appears to be dying fast, threatening the creeping liberalisation it struggled to promote. Thousands of reformist candidates have been barred from running in next week's Majlis elections, in what has been described as a parliamentary coup d'état.

Yesterday, President Khatami warned that the Islamic Republic must follow the path of reform or risk being taken over by extremists, who he said resembled the Taliban in Afghanistan. "They oppose freedom and democracy in the name of religion. Their model is a detestable and violent one," he told the mainly conservative crowd during the anniversary rally. But although most Iranians still support the social and political changes at the heart of the reformist agenda, the movement is on the back foot. The conservatives are expected to take back the Majlis after next week's elections, and to seize the presidency in mid-2005. But as another period of conservative rule beckons, the legitimacy of the Islamic Republic has never seemed weaker.

Voter turnout at last year's municipal elections fell below 20 per cent in large cities such as Tehran, a staggeringly small figure in a country where polling booths have drawn more than half of the population for almost every election since the revolution. The conservatives had wanted a show of strength at the anniversary celebrations. But yesterday's crowds were a shadow of those who once thronged here. The fire has gone out of Iran's revolutionary spirit.

A black-bearded conservative in dark glasses said the crowd this year was bigger than before. "Anybody with eyes can see this is the largest demonstration ever," he said, as curious boys nearby talked about Arsenal and Manchester United. Another man said the people had made the revolution and won the war and would turn out for the election to prove the Islamic Republic's strength. But the mood was more countryside carnival than revolutionary rally.

Fundamentally, the Islamic Republic today is very different to when millions took to the streets for the return of Ayatollah Khomeini from exile in early 1979. Then, less than half the population was literate and more than 60 per cent was rural. Now the population has doubled and the majority are educated city-dwellers. Most are barely adults. The new generation is eager for change, but has shunned the political activism of its forebears.

Apart from occasional demonstrations, attended by a few thousand, there is little sign the young are interested in politics. Instead, the reformist generation is pushing back the boundaries of social acceptability, often taking its cue from the West. Rock music, fast cars, parties and relationships define middle-class Iranians more than religion or revolution.

Falling mosque attendance also suggests that far from inculcating Iranians with religious zeal, the revolution has dampened Iranian enthusiasm. An eminent sociologist and reformist commentator who did not want to be named said: "Before the revolution, there was a strong religious culture, otherwise the revolution would not have been religious. The interesting point is that the present generation does not care who rules, but how."
4 posted on 02/12/2004 12:45:01 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Quarantined by the People, Iran's Regime Has Lost Its Authority

PARIS, February 11 /PRNewswire/

Reza Pahlavi of Iran Declares that Breaking this Quarantine Translates Into Siding Against the People

Reza Pahlavi of Iran today compared the clerical regime to a terminally- infected and quarantined patient. At a press conference, hosted by the French American Press Club and attended by nearly 100 members of the international media, the 43 year old opposition leader to the clerical regime argued that, while at odds with the Iranian people's desire for secularism and a democratic system of government, "It may be that the regime has physically separated Iranians from the world and from each other. Politically, however, the clerical regime is today in a quarantine, isolated, by the people who have, in effect, cut off its support and sapped its authority."

Fielding questions in English, French and Farsi, Reza Pahlavi drew attention to the regime's own recently released opinion poll, whereby 90% of Iranians had declared their intentions not to vote in the forthcoming Majles election -- for any candidate, so long as it is within this regime; this he declared, "Demonstrates that Iran's political conflicts are not based on tactical differences between the so called reformists and conservative factions, but that it is a conflict between the people of Iran and the regime in its entirety."

Reflecting on 25 years of theocracy within his homeland, Reza Pahlavi said, "The legacy of the clerical regime has been one of enmity, polarisation, hostility, class warfare and war with modernity. For 25 years, the regime has thrived by having created an atmosphere of permanent crisis. The Iranian people today reject that. They want peace, stability, prosperity and security. They want to build equity and, in fact, they want modernity." He added that "faced with these facts, the regime has no choice but retreat from many of its positions of zeal. For international consumption, it must temper its image. But the real question is that will it be able to make the ultimate concessions: to popular sovereignty, a transparent economy, or equal rights for all citizens? If it does, it will mean its end."

Reza Pahlavi, who has been leading a campaign of political defiance by calling for nonviolent acts of civil-disobedience against the Iranian theocracy, is the former Crown Prince of Iran. He is an accomplished jet fighter pilot and graduate of US Air Force Training Program at the former Reese Air Force Base. Author of Winds of Change, The future of democracy in Iran, he is a Political Science graduate of the University of Southern California. He resides in the State of Maryland, and is married to Yasmine Etemad Amini who, last month, gave birth to their third daughter, Princess Farah Pahlavi.

Distributed by PR Newswire on behalf of Secretariat of Reza Pahlavi
5 posted on 02/12/2004 12:48:25 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
EU-Syria deal under threat

A historic trade and political deal between the EU and Syria hangs in the balance after demands on Damascus to take a firmer line against weapons of mass destruction.

According to the Financial Times the UK, Germany and the Netherlands want Damascus to follow Libya?s example of renouncing weapons of mass destruction and Iran?s agreement to allow tough international inspections of its nuclear sites.

"Some member states feel they can beef up the language on WMD in the EU-Syria accord because of developments in Libya and Iran," an EU diplomat told the paper.

Last December, the EU has forged ahead with closer ties with Damascus despite efforts by Washington to isolate Syria on the international scene.

The country was the last of the 12 North African and Middle Eastern countries to sign an Association Agreement with Brussels.

Each pact creates preferential trade terms in exchange for closer cooperation on human rights concerns, terrorism, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

It marked the first time the EU had imposed a "conditionality" clause on WMD in a trade accord with a non-EU country.

Syria's signature of the agreement would also require it to lower trade levies and liberalise its economy, a move which the commission believes will bring the EU closer to creating a Euro-Mediterranean free-trade area by 2010.

But while the EU wants to use its relations with Syria to boost reform and help modernise the economy, Washington has taken a much firmer line.

Last December the US imposed sanctions on Damascus, accusing the regime of harbouring terrorist organisations, developing weapons of mass destruction and damaging peace-making efforts in the Middle East.
6 posted on 02/12/2004 1:36:43 AM PST by AdmSmith
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
EU presses for Iran

12 February 2004
Gulf Daily News, Bahrain

BRUSSELS: The European Commission (EC) welcomed yesterday the WTO's decision to grant observer status to Iraq and expressed hope that Iran would be given similar status "soon".

A spokeswoman for EU trade commissioner Pascal Lamy, said that the WTO general council had initiated a process to evaluate Iran's request for observership status. "This is something we also support ... we hope we can see soon also Iran's request to become a WTO observer accepted by the WTO and all its members," she said.
EU still supports the Mullahs
7 posted on 02/12/2004 2:53:55 AM PST by F14 Pilot (Do Not Believe The Media)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: F14 Pilot
Wed 11 Feb 2004
3:40pm (UK)
Election Boycott Could Signal New Iranian Revolution


Under banners and balloons praising the Islamic Revolution, crowds streamed on to the streets of Teheran today to celebrate a death – the end of the Western-backed monarchy 25 years ago.

In another part of Teheran – away from the speeches and patriotic songs – a student activist was waging a quiet counterattack on the system that succeeded the shah.

He worked the phones and faxes to support the boycott of February 20 parliamentary elections that liberals consider have been hijacked by Iran’s ruling theocracy.

The dissident also dreams of someday joining an even bigger protest.

He calls it a “pink revolution:” applying the same tactics of mass resistance and clear goals that Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini used to claim control of Iran in 1979.

“I don’t like what has happened,” said Roozbeh Riazi, a leader of the Office for Fostering Unity, Iran’s biggest reformist student movement.

A growing array of believers – from think tank analysts to veterans of Iran’s political scuffles – say next week’s elections may offer a defining moment for the country.

It could, they say, finally clarify and energise the so-called reform movement that started with the election of President Mohammad Khatami in 1997 and his calls for “Islamic democracy”.

“This boycott is the beginning of the collapse of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” said Qasem Sholeh Sadi, a former lawmaker who wrote a stunning open letter in 2002 to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei complaining about a lack of political openness. “The boycott is the start of social disobedience.”

For years, Iranian reformists have been unable to find a unifying theme. Some pressed for more social freedoms. Others sought a greater voice in political affairs or expanded human rights.

But the anger over the elections could sharpen the focus straight to the top: the almost unlimited power of the ruling clerics.

President Khatami has not made it clear whether he will join the boycott. But he used the Islamic Revolution ceremonies to take a sharp jab at the system.

“Elections are a symbol of democracy if they are performed correctly,” Khatami said in a speech. “If this is restricted, it’s a threat to the nation and the system. This threat is difficult to reverse.”
8 posted on 02/12/2004 3:18:10 AM PST by risk
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: F14 Pilot
"The European Commission (EC) welcomed yesterday the WTO's decision to grant observer status to Iraq and expressed hope that Iran would be given similar status "soon".

I hope they were just trying to be polite, or were thinking ahead, about Iran after the demise of the regime.
9 posted on 02/12/2004 4:30:18 AM PST by nuconvert ("Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: AdmSmith
Is the EU going to make similar demands of Iran?
10 posted on 02/12/2004 7:09:43 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 6 | View Replies]

To: All
U.S. accuses Iran of still seeking nukes

Thu 12 February, 2004
Reuters, UK

BERLIN (Reuters) - U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton has accused Iran of pursuing efforts to acquire nuclear arms and of failing to comply with a commitment last year to suspend uranium enrichment activities.

"There's no doubt in our mind that Iran continues to pursue a nuclear weapons programme," Bolton told a security conference in Berlin on Thursday.

"They have not yet, in our judgement, complied even with the commitments they made in October to suspend their uranium enrichment activities," he added.

Germany, Britain, and France persuaded Iran last year to suspend uranium enrichment and agree to more intrusive inspections by the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

"Essentially, they are not spinning centrifuges but their activity to put together the components they need for their uranium enrichment programme continue," Bolton said.

Western diplomats earlier told Reuters the IAEA had uncovered designs for machines in Iran that can be used to make bomb-grade material, calling into question Tehran's pledge to cooperate with the agency.
11 posted on 02/12/2004 7:57:54 AM PST by F14 Pilot (Do Not Believe The Media)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yans Wife
President Announces New Measures to Counter the Threat of WMD
Remarks by the President on Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation
Fort Lesley J. McNair - National Defense University
Washington, D.C.

2:30 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Thanks for the warm welcome. I'm honored to visit the National Defense University. For nearly a century, the scholars and students here have helped to prepare America for the changing threats to our national security. Today, the men and women of our National Defense University are helping to frame the strategies through which we are fighting and winning the war on terror. Your Center for Counterproliferation Research and your other institutes and colleges are providing vital insight into the dangers of a new era. I want to thank each one of you for devoting your talents and your energy to the service of our great nation.

I want to thank General Michael Dunn for inviting me here. I used to jog by this facility on a regular basis. Then my age kicked in. (Laughter.) I appreciate Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, from Germany. Mr. Ambassador, thank you for being here today. I see my friend, George Shultz, a distinguished public servant and true patriot, with us. George, thank you for coming; and Charlotte, it's good to see you. I'm so honored that Dick Lugar is here with us today. Senator, I appreciate you taking time and thanks for bringing Senator Saxby Chambliss with you, as well. I appreciate the veterans who are here and those on active duty. Thanks for letting me come by.

On September the 11th, 2001, America and the world witnessed a new kind of war. We saw the great harm that a stateless network could inflict upon our country, killers armed with box cutters, mace, and 19 airline tickets. Those attacks also raised the prospect of even worse dangers -- of other weapons in the hands of other men. The greatest threat before humanity today is the possibility of secret and sudden attack with chemical or biological or radiological or nuclear weapons.

In the past, enemies of America required massed armies, and great navies, powerful air forces to put our nation, our people, our friends and allies at risk. In the Cold War, Americans lived under the threat of weapons of mass destruction, but believed that deterrents made those weapons a last resort. What has changed in the 21st century is that, in the hands of terrorists, weapons of mass destruction would be a first resort -- the preferred means to further their ideology of suicide and random murder. These terrible weapons are becoming easier to acquire, build, hide, and transport. Armed with a single vial of a biological agent or a single nuclear weapon, small groups of fanatics, or failing states, could gain the power to threaten great nations, threaten the world peace.

America, and the entire civilized world, will face this threat for decades to come. We must confront the danger with open eyes, and unbending purpose. I have made clear to all the policy of this nation: America will not permit terrorists and dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most deadly weapons. (Applause.)

Meeting this duty has required changes in thinking and strategy. Doctrines designed to contain empires, deter aggressive states, and defeat massed armies cannot fully protect us from this new threat. America faces the possibility of catastrophic attack from ballistic missiles armed with weapons of mass destruction. So that is why we are developing and deploying missile defenses to guard our people. The best intelligence is necessary to win the war on terror and to stop proliferation. So that is why I have established a commission that will examine our intelligence capabilities and recommend ways to improve and adapt them to detect new and emerging threats.

We're determined to confront those threats at the source. We will stop these weapons from being acquired or built. We'll block them from being transferred. We'll prevent them from ever being used. One source of these weapons is dangerous and secretive regimes that build weapons of mass destruction to intimidate their neighbors and force their influence upon the world. These nations pose different challenges; they require different strategies.

The former dictator of Iraq possessed and used weapons of mass destruction against his own people. For 12 years, he defied the will of the international community. He refused to disarm or account for his illegal weapons and programs. He doubted our resolve to enforce our word -- and now he sits in a prison cell, while his country moves toward a democratic future. (Applause.)

To Iraq's east, the government of Iran is unwilling to abandon a uranium enrichment program capable of producing material for nuclear weapons. The United States is working with our allies and the International Atomic Energy Agency to ensure that Iran meets its commitments and does not develop nuclear weapons. (Applause.)

In the Pacific, North Korea has defied the world, has tested long-range ballistic missiles, admitted its possession of nuclear weapons, and now threatens to build more. Together with our partners in Asia, America is insisting that North Korea completely, verifiably, and irreversibly dismantle its nuclear programs.

America has consistently brought these threats to the attention of international organizations. We're using every means of diplomacy to answer them. As for my part, I will continue to speak clearly on these threats. I will continue to call upon the world to confront these dangers, and to end them. (Applause.)

In recent years, another path of proliferation has become clear, as well. America and other nations are learning more about black-market operatives who deal in equipment and expertise related to weapons of mass destruction. These dealers are motivated by greed, or fanaticism, or both. They find eager customers in outlaw regimes, which pay millions for the parts and plans they need to speed up their weapons programs. And with deadly technology and expertise going on the market, there's the terrible possibility that terrorists groups could obtain the ultimate weapons they desire most.

The extent and sophistication of such networks can be seen in the case of a man named Abdul Qadeer Khan. This is the story as we know it so far.

A. Q. Khan is known throughout the world as the father of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program. What was not publicly known, until recently, is that he also led an extensive international network for the proliferation of nuclear technology and know-how.

For decades, Mr. Khan remained on the Pakistani government payroll, earning a modest salary. Yet, he and his associates financed lavish lifestyles through the sale of nuclear technologies and equipment to outlaw regimes stretching from North Africa to the Korean Peninsula.

A. Q. Khan, himself, operated mostly out of Pakistan. He served as director of the network, its leading scientific mind, as well as its primary salesman. Over the past decade, he made frequent trips to consult with his clients and to sell his expertise. He and his associates sold the blueprints for centrifuges to enrich uranium, as well as a nuclear design stolen from the Pakistani government. The network sold uranium hexafluoride, the gas that the centrifuge process can transform into enriched uranium for nuclear bombs. Khan and his associates provided Iran and Libya and North Korea with designs for Pakistan's older centrifuges, as well as designs for more advanced and efficient models. The network also provided these countries with components, and in some cases, with complete centrifuges.

To increase their profits, Khan and his associates used a factory in Malaysia to manufacture key parts for centrifuges. Other necessary parts were purchased through network operatives based in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. These procurement agents saw the trade in nuclear technologies as a shortcut to personal wealth, and they set up front companies to deceive legitimate firms into selling them tightly controlled materials.

Khan's deputy -- a man named B.S.A. Tahir -- ran SMB computers, a business in Dubai. Tahir used that computer company as a front for the proliferation activities of the A. Q. Khan network. Tahir acted as both the network's chief financial officer and money launderer. He was also its shipping agent, using his computer firm as cover for the movement of centrifuge parts to various clients. Tahir directed the Malaysia facility to produce these parts based on Pakistani designs, and then ordered the facility to ship the components to Dubai. Tahir also arranged for parts acquired by other European procurement agents to transit through Dubai for shipment to other customers.

This picture of the Khan network was pieced together over several years by American and British intelligence officers. Our intelligence services gradually uncovered this network's reach, and identified its key experts and agents and money men. Operatives followed its transactions, mapped the extent of its operations. They monitored the travel of A. Q. Khan and senior associates. They shadowed members of the network around the world, they recorded their conversations, they penetrated their operations, we've uncovered their secrets. This work involved high risk, and all Americans can be grateful for the hard work and the dedication of our fine intelligence professionals. (Applause.)

Governments around the world worked closely with us to unravel the Khan network, and to put an end to his criminal enterprise. A. Q. Khan has confessed his crimes, and his top associates are out of business. The government of Pakistan is interrogating the network's members, learning critical details that will help them prevent it from ever operating again. President Musharraf has promised to share all the information he learns about the Khan network, and has assured us that his country will never again be a source of proliferation.

Mr. Tahir is in Malaysia, where authorities are investigating his activities. Malaysian authorities have assured us that the factory the network used is no longer producing centrifuge parts. Other members of the network remain at large. One by one, they will be found, and their careers in the weapons trade will be ended.

As a result of our penetration of the network, American and the British intelligence identified a shipment of advanced centrifuge parts manufactured at the Malaysia facility. We followed the shipment of these parts to Dubai, and watched as they were transferred to the BBC China, a German-owned ship. After the ship passed through the Suez Canal, bound for Libya, it was stopped by German and Italian authorities. They found several containers, each forty feet in length, listed on the ship's manifest as full of "used machine parts." In fact, these containers were filled with parts of sophisticated centrifuges.

The interception of the BBC China came as Libyan and British and American officials were discussing the possibility of Libya ending its WMD programs. The United States and Britain confronted Libyan officials with this evidence of an active and illegal nuclear program. About two months ago, Libya's leader voluntarily agreed to end his nuclear and chemical weapons programs, not to pursue biological weapons, and to permit thorough inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. We're now working in partnership with these organizations and with the United Kingdom to help the government of Libya dismantle those programs and eliminate all dangerous materials.

Colonel Ghadafi made the right decision, and the world will be safer once his commitment is fulfilled. We expect other regimes to follow his example. Abandoning the pursuit of illegal weapons can lead to better relations with the United States, and other free nations. Continuing to seek those weapons will not bring security or international prestige, but only political isolation, economic hardship, and other unwelcome consequences. (Applause.)

We know that Libya was not the only customer of the Khan network. Other countries expressed great interest in their services. These regimes and other proliferators like Khan should know: We and our friends are determined to protect our people and the world from proliferation. (Applause.)

Breaking this network is one major success in a broad-based effort to stop the spread of terrible weapons. We're adjusting our strategies to the threats of a new era. America and the nations of Australia, France and Germany, Italy and Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom have launched the Proliferation Security Initiative to interdict lethal materials in transit. Our nations are sharing intelligence information, tracking suspect international cargo, conducting joint military exercises. We're prepared to search planes and ships, to seize weapons and missiles and equipment that raise proliferation concerns, just as we did in stopping the dangerous cargo on the BBC China before it reached Libya. Three more governments -- Canada and Singapore and Norway -- will be participating in this initiative. We'll continue to expand the core group of PSI countries. And as PSI grows, proliferators will find it harder than ever to trade in illicit weapons.

There is a consensus among nations that proliferation cannot be tolerated. Yet this consensus means little unless it is translated into action. Every civilized nation has a stake in preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction. These materials and technologies, and the people who traffic in them, cross many borders. To stop this trade, the nations of the world must be strong and determined. We must work together, we must act effectively. Today, I announce seven proposals to strengthen the world's efforts to stop the spread of deadly weapons.

First, I propose that the work of the Proliferation Security Initiative be expanded to address more than shipments and transfers. Building on the tools we've developed to fight terrorists, we can take direct action against proliferation networks. We need greater cooperation not just among intelligence and military services, but in law enforcement, as well. PSI participants and other willing nations should use the Interpol and all other means to bring to justice those who traffic in deadly weapons, to shut down their labs, to seize their materials, to freeze their assets. We must act on every lead. We will find the middlemen, the suppliers and the buyers. Our message to proliferators must be consistent and it must be clear: We will find you, and we're not going to rest until you are stopped. (Applause.)

Second, I call on all nations to strengthen the laws and international controls that govern proliferation. At the U.N. last fall, I proposed a new Security Council resolution requiring all states to criminalize proliferation, enact strict export controls, and secure all sensitive materials within their borders. The Security Council should pass this proposal quickly. And when they do, America stands ready to help other governments to draft and enforce the new laws that will help us deal with proliferation.

Third, I propose to expand our efforts to keep weapons from the Cold War and other dangerous materials out of the wrong hands. In 1991, Congress passed the Nunn-Lugar legislation. Senator Lugar had a clear vision, along with Senator Nunn, about what to do with the old Soviet Union. Under this program, we're helping former Soviet states find productive employment for former weapons scientists. We're dismantling, destroying and securing weapons and materials left over from the Soviet WMD arsenal. We have more work to do there.

And as a result of the G-8 Summit in 2002, we agreed to provide $20 billion over 10 years -- half of it from the United States -- to support such programs. We should expand this cooperation elsewhere in the world. We will retain [sic] WMD scientists and technicians in countries like Iraq and Libya. We will help nations end the use of weapons-grade uranium in research reactors. I urge more nations to contribute to these efforts. The nations of the world must do all we can to secure and eliminate nuclear and chemical and biological and radiological materials.

As we track and destroy these networks, we must also prevent governments from developing nuclear weapons under false pretenses. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was designed more than 30 years ago to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons beyond those states which already possessed them. Under this treaty, nuclear states agreed to help non-nuclear states develop peaceful atomic energy if they renounced the pursuit of nuclear weapons. But the treaty has a loophole which has been exploited by nations such as North Korea and Iran. These regimes are allowed to produce nuclear material that can be used to build bombs under the cover of civilian nuclear programs.

So today, as a fourth step, I propose a way to close the loophole. The world must create a safe, orderly system to field civilian nuclear plants without adding to the danger of weapons proliferation. The world's leading nuclear exporters should ensure that states have reliable access at reasonable cost to fuel for civilian reactors, so long as those states renounce enrichment and reprocessing. Enrichment and reprocessing are not necessary for nations seeking to harness nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

The 40 nations of the Nuclear Suppliers Group should refuse to sell enrichment and reprocessing equipment and technologies to any state that does not already possess full-scale, functioning enrichment and reprocessing plants. (Applause.) This step will prevent new states from developing the means to produce fissile material for nuclear bombs. Proliferators must not be allowed to cynically manipulate the NPT to acquire the material and infrastructure necessary for manufacturing illegal weapons.

For international norms to be effective, they must be enforced. It is the charge of the International Atomic Energy Agency to uncover banned nuclear activity around the world and report those violations to the U.N. Security Council. We must ensure that the IAEA has all the tools it needs to fulfill its essential mandate. America and other nations support what is called the Additional Protocol, which requires states to declare a broad range of nuclear activities and facilities, and allow the IAEA to inspect those facilities.

As a fifth step, I propose that by next year, only states that have signed the Additional Protocol be allowed to import equipment for their civilian nuclear programs. Nations that are serious about fighting proliferation will approve and implement the Additional Protocol. I've submitted the Additional Protocol to the Senate. I urge the Senate to consent immediately to its ratification.

We must also ensure that IAEA is organized to take action when action is required. So, a sixth step, I propose the creation of a special committee of the IAEA Board which will focus intensively on safeguards and verification. This committee, made up of governments in good standing with the IAEA, will strengthen the capability of the IAEA to ensure that nations comply with their international obligations.

And, finally, countries under investigation for violating nuclear non-proliferation obligations are currently allowed to serve on the IAEA Board of Governors. For instance, Iran -- a country suspected of maintaining an extensive nuclear weapons program -- recently completed a two-year term on the Board. Allowing potential violators to serve on the Board creates an unacceptable barrier to effective action. No state under investigation for proliferation violations should be allowed to serve on the IAEA Board of Governors -- or on the new special committee. And any state currently on the Board that comes under investigation should be suspended from the Board. The integrity and mission of the IAEA depends on this simple principle: Those actively breaking the rules should not be entrusted with enforcing the rules. (Applause.)

As we move forward to address these challenges we will consult with our friends and allies on all these new measures. We will listen to their ideas. Together we will defend the safety of all nations and preserve the peace of the world.

Over the last two years, a great coalition has come together to defeat terrorism and to oppose the spread of weapons of mass destruction -- the inseparable commitments of the war on terror. We've shown that proliferators can be discovered and can be stopped. We've shown that for regimes that choose defiance, there are serious consequences. The way ahead is not easy, but it is clear. We will proceed as if the lives of our citizens depend on our vigilance, because they do. Terrorists and terror states are in a race for weapons of mass murder, a race they must lose. (Applause.) Terrorists are resourceful; we're more resourceful. They're determined; we must be more determined. We will never lose focus or resolve. We'll be unrelenting in the defense of free nations, and rise to the hard demands of dangerous times.

May God bless you all. (Applause.)

END 3:07 P.M. EST

12 posted on 02/12/2004 8:15:42 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 10 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yans Wife
Thanks for the post.
13 posted on 02/12/2004 8:43:53 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Iran's Anti-Americanism in Decline [Excerpt]

February 12, 2004
The Washington Post
Karl Vick

TEHRAN -- On Revolution Day, the Iranian equivalent of the Fourth of July, Azadi Street was again transformed from east-west artery to carnival midway. Men lined up for free yogurt. Hawkers coaxed women to finger the material on baby clothes. Children clamored for a turn throwing darts at George W. Bush's caricature.

Hossein Asadi put three darts right between the eyes of the caricature, sketched on a pair of boards mounted in a sideshow tent. He walked away with a new yellow tennis ball but no change in his feelings, which were nothing if not admiring.

"They like me to hit George Bush, so I hit George Bush," said Hossein, 15. "They say it's the great Satan, but I say it's a great country."

Wednesday marked 25 years since an elderly Muslim cleric with eyes the color of coal declared Iran a theocracy. But while religious figures remain firmly in charge, sweeping aside an entire reform movement last week with the stroke of a pen, another pillar of the revolution appears shakier.

Anti-Americanism is not what it used to be in Iran.

As the United States and Iran edge warily toward possible rapprochement, the Iranian public makes no secret of its appetite for restoring relations formally severed in 1980 after militant students took over the U.S. Embassy. In recent months, Iranians say, the appetite has grown for an unexpected reason: Iranian pilgrims returning from Iraq are spreading admiring stories of their encounters with American troops.

Thousands of Iranians have visited the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala since the war ended. Many have expressed surprise at the respectful and helpful behavior of the U.S. soldiers they met on the way.

Leila Araki, waiting in the back of a car as her husband peddled shoes, said her mother-in-law somehow lost her money on the road to Karbala. She said a U.S. soldier reached into his pocket and handed her taxi fare back to Najaf.

"This is something quite contrary to what we have been told about Americans," said Araki, 31, who was told of Americans flashing a thumbs-up and saying, "Good, Iranians."

"They were really surprised. I would never be this respected and well-treated even in my country, by my countrymen."
14 posted on 02/12/2004 8:46:36 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Our servicemen and women are wonderful good-will ambassadors. I'm proud of them!
15 posted on 02/12/2004 8:49:19 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 14 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn

16 posted on 02/12/2004 8:55:16 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
The Tehran Times recently published a John Kerry campaign letter: Kerry Says He Will Repair Damage If He Wins Election. (

Via Little Green Footballs) Quoting the letter:

"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."

The Tehran Times did not included the list of the letter's signers, which can be seen at the Kerry Web site: Letter for Democrats Abroad. While there may some doubt as to who send what to whom and why, what is clear is that the theocratic Iranian regime approved of the letter and its publication. And considering Kerry's approach to foreign policy, there's also no doubt that the mullahs would prefer Kerry over George "Axis of Evil" Bush.

In a 1970 interview, Kerry referred to himself as an "internationalist" and said, "I'd like to see our troops dispersed through the world only at the directive of the United Nations." (Via LGF)

Kerry has since softened his language a bit, but his position today appears to be essentially the same. In his December 2003 speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, Kerry claimed that he "will not cede our security to any nation or institution." Yet throughout the speech he repeatedly invokes the United Nations and advocates "collective action," "international sanction," a "new era of alliances," and rejoining the "community of nations." In contrast, he criticizes President Bush for being "unilateral," "imperial" and "intoxicated" with American power.

Ultimately he declares: "I will treat the United Nations as a full partner -- not only in the war on terror, but in combating other common enemies like AIDS and global poverty."

A "full partner"? So much for not ceding our security to any nation or institution.

In regard to Iran, a country even our appeasing State Department ranks as the world's worst sponsor of terrorism, Kerry said:

"[T]he Bush Administration stubbornly refuses to conduct a realistic, non-confrontational policy with Iran even where that may be possible. As President, I will be prepared early-on to explore areas of mutual interest with Iran, just as I was prepared to normalize relations with Vietnam a decade ago."

Lest we forget what kind of regime Kerry proposes being "non-confrontational" with, WorldNetDaily reports: Iran hosting global terrorist conference.

"Just as the U.S. State Department approves wider contact with Iran and as members of Congress begin planning the first official trips in 25 years, Tehran is sponsoring a 10-day conference of major terrorist organization beginning [this] week.

The purpose of the conference is to discuss anti-U.S. strategy. Among the groups headed to Iran to participate are: Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and al-Qaida allies Ansar Al Islam."

Yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of Iran's Khomeinist revolution. A short history of its reign of terror is contained in Amir Taheri's op-ed, Tehran Tyranny's 25th. (Via 'Free Iran' News)

"Khomeinism, a form of fascism, was, and remains, a consistent political doctrine. [...] [Today's ruling] 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."

For the Iranian theocracy and the terrorists it supports, the choice for the next American president is no contest: John "Non-Confrontational" Kerry.
17 posted on 02/12/2004 8:59:09 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Reza Pahlavi Foresees Democratic Iran

February 11, 2004
Eva Cahen

With the approach of widely contested legislative elections in Iran, the son of the late Shah is urging the world's democracies to withhold diplomatic support for the government in Tehran, which he said was anyway powerless as only the country's divine council was allowed to create and approve laws.

"The elections are meaningless," Reza Pahlavi told a press conference in Paris on Wednesday, the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Shah's government, in what became known as the Islamic Revolution.

"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 ..."

The elections are scheduled for Feb. 20 after a campaign marked by a stand-off between reformists and the hard-line Guardians Council, which advises the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

President Mohammad Khatami has protested that the elections will not be fair because thousands of reformist candidates have been disqualified and people would have no motivation to vote.

Pahlavi pointed out that a recently released opinion poll indicated that 90 percent of Iranians did not intend to vote for any candidate, within the current regime.

He argued that this "demonstrates that Iran's political conflicts are not based on tactical differences between the so called reformists and conservative factions, but that it is a conflict between the people of Iran and the regime in its entirety."

Pahlavi said a non-violent movement of civil disobedience against the rule of the mullahs was gaining strength and the best support Western countries could offer would be to deny legitimacy to a government which Iranians themselves no longer considered legitimate.

The 43-year-old, who has lived in exile in the United States since his father was overthrown in 1979, predicted that Iranians would "soon tear down the black wall of the Islamic Republic and join the free world."

Pahlavi said he maintains contact with a wide array of the Iranian population, including students, workers, clergy, military and intellectuals. Nine out of ten Iranians no longer support the Islamic regime, he asserted.

Pahlavi said, "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-e-vis the people, but within the regime and with respect to the organs of the government itself."

While he foresees the regime falling, Pahlavi pleaded against armed intervention, which he said could result in a massacre.

"It is just a question of time that the cracks in the regime will widen and the Iranian people will have achieved democracy themselves."

Asked whether he envisioned returning to the throne his father was forced to abdicate, Pahlavi said he hoped Iranians would be able to hold a referendum to decide what kind of government they wanted.

If they chose a constitutional monarchy, he would be available, but he would not impose himself.

Pahlavi said he imagined Iran's future as a secular democracy, bringing peace and stability to the region.

After the Islamic Revolution, his country had become "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.

"Maybe the reverse could happen when Iran becomes a democracy."
18 posted on 02/12/2004 9:01:05 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
I just received this from a student in Iran...

"Doc, I think this thread, 11th of Feb, was one of the greatest threads I have ever read so far.
Thank You"
19 posted on 02/12/2004 9:03:24 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
"It is just a question of time that the cracks in the regime will widen and the Iranian people will have achieved democracy themselves."

If Reza Pahlavi, who has his finger on the pulse of the turmoil in Iran, can say, "Patience!", two thoughts come to mind.

First, the momentum is building, as you suggested recently regarding a coming shift in the EU's position.

And lastly, that the framework is being built... not only in terms of Iranians seizing control of their nation, but also in their plans for their future.

In my opinion, revolution is just one half of the equation, being prepared to govern wisely is the other.

20 posted on 02/12/2004 9:06:35 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 18 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Analysts Look at Challenges Ahead for Possible US-Iran Rapprochement

Laurie Kassman
12 Feb 2004, 02:45 UTC

The United States broke off diplomatic ties with Iran after the 1979 Islamic revolution that toppled U.S. ally Shah Reza Pahlavi. Protesters seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and held American diplomats hostage for more than a year. Twenty-five year later, there are signs of efforts to repair those broken ties.
For nearly a quarter of a century, Iran's hard-line religious leaders have referred to Washington as the Great Satan.

The United States has accused Iran of sponsoring terrorist groups and secretly trying to build a nuclear weapons program. Two years ago, President Bush called Iran part of an "Axis of Evil."

Since his 1997 election, Iran's pro-reform president, Mohammad Khatami, pursued a foreign policy aimed at repairing Iran's tarnished image in the world. The efforts paid off with European governments, which initiated what they call a "critical dialogue" to improve ties and influence.

The awarding of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize to Iranian human rights activist Shirin Ebadi highlighted the work of Iran's reformers. But hard-liners within Tehran's religious leadership have blocked attempts to thaw relations with the world's remaining superpower.

Strategic analyst Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies supports the idea of outside pressure to help foster changes inside Iran. But he recently told the U.S. Senate's Foreign Relations Committee that a tough U.S. attitude might undercut Washington's ability to encourage reforms there.

"We have tended to demonize Iran rather than to try to influence it or create a dialogue," he said. "We have made it into a political symbol that has weakened its moderates and strengthened its hard-liners rather than influenced and changed its behavior."

Professor Shaul Bakhash of George Mason University says that confrontational attitude appears to be changing. "The regime in the last four or five years has decided to reintegrate itself in the international community and normalize its relationships with as many countries as possible," he said. "And they seem to think in Tehran that some kind of understanding with this administration in the United States is possible. Let us say immediately that the problems on both sides remain very serious and difficult to surmount."

Still, there has been movement on both sides. Analysts point to Iran's recent agreement to open its nuclear programs to more intrusive international inspection.

Washington still accuses Iran of sponsoring Middle East terrorism. But unofficial cultural and sports exchanges have quietly expanded. And, the U.S. administration recently eased its economic sanctions to rush relief aid to victims of a devastating earthquake.

Mr. Bakhash says the presence of U.S. troops in neighboring Afghanistan and Iraq has forced Tehran to rethink its policies, too.

"Like many other countries, Iran is repositioning itself in light of these new regional realities," he said. "I don't think there are signs of panic as a result of U.S. occupation of Iraq, but rather looking at the new realities and adjusting Iranian policy as a result of that."

Even with the signals of a diplomatic thaw, analyst Rassoul Nafissi of Strayer University in Virginia does not expect any immediate changes. "There are voices on both sides asking for political change, but I don't think it's going to happen soon," he said. "Besides, I think everything depends on the coming elections. When the elections take place in Iran and the United States, we will see how the new initiatives are taken."

Iranian reformers face a challenge for power in the parliament in elections later this month, after the conservative oversight council disqualified hundreds of pro-reform candidates. A loss of influence for reformers in the parliament could weaken their movement and any momentum toward repairing U.S.-Iranian relations.
21 posted on 02/12/2004 9:08:06 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Iran Students "Watch In Silence"

Feb 11, 2004, 22:48
Bill Samii, RFE/RL

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,, 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, and, 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.

Bill Samii, RFE/RL
22 posted on 02/12/2004 9:13:54 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in
February 12, 2004

The Honorable George W. Bush
President of the United States of America
The White House
Washington, DC

Fax: (202) 456-2461

Dear Mr. President:

On behalf of the Iranian Student Movement and the Iranian
Diaspora around the World, especially our oppressed
countrymen, we extend our sincerest appreciation for your
leadership and efforts to promote long term peace and
democratic rule in the World. We also want to use this
opportunity to express, once again, our deepest gratitude
for your consistent and open support of our people in their
quest for true freedom and democracy.

Indeed, your tireless support of our subjugated and
tyrannized people has touched millions of Iranians and they
view you as an ardent defender of freedom and a source of
hope. As one of the few world leaders that fully
appreciates and openly supports the aspirations and goals
of our subjugated country, we extend our thanks. Let us
assure you, as you plan for the conquest of Mars, that you
have already succeeded in conquering the hearts and souls
of millions of Iranians. It is, therefore, imperative that
you are re-elected this November, and you can count on our
constant support, and votes, in the upcoming election.

Mr. President, in less than three centuries, America has
become the beacon of hope and support for people worldwide
seeking freedom and democracy. Embedded in your actions to
free the oppressed is, we believe, a deep seated moral
basis that is a reflection of America's founding fathers
objectives. The moral fiber that you and many of the
people in your administration represent is the same
democratic principals that the people of Iran desperately
want and need. Serving as a model for the world to
emulate, America, you, and most of your administration
provides inspiration and hope for the future of Iran.

We believe that as with the American defeat of Nazism,
Communism, Baathism and Talibanism, America will help to
defeat the Islamic Fascists who have no place in a
civilized world. Peace, democracy, true freedom, and
equitable opportunities and living conditions for all
Iranians and Middle Easterners, in general, can be
attained, through total defeat of the of Islamic Fascism in

Sir, the oppressed people of Iran have been mislead by the
Islamic Fascists, brutalized by their fanatic mercenaries,
manipulated by their so-called reformists, and mentally and
physically coerced to tolerate their illegitimate rule for
the last 25 years. We have faith that the Islamic Republic
will, as all regimes that relies on terror and
intimidation, soon be swept away and be a mere historical
footnote. We do believe that a populous purge, with
America's firm moral support, can contribute to a rapid and
somewhat bloodless removal of this abomination bent on
imposing its archaic ideology and barbarian processes on
the Iranian nation.

Indeed, as you have clearly articulated in the past, "each
problem has its' different answer," so too does the Iranian
situation. In recognizing that Iranians want their country
to dispose of the Islamic fascists, and not the U.S.
Military, your deft management is obvious. Applying logic
and reasoning you have imbued America in the hearts and
minds of the Iranian psyche, and, are systematically
driving the mullahcracy to distraction.

Indeed, the Islamic Republic regime is the mother of
Islamist terrorism, and the main source of Middle East
problems, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan. Iranians are
openly opposed to its' illegitimate rule, and are seeking
increased coordinated moral and direct diplomatic support
from the totality of your administration. In this area,
your State Department and some misguided elements of the US
Congress are giving "aid and comfort" to the Terror
masters. In addition, the European Union's policy of
"constructive dialogues" is a waste of time, and is being
used by the Islamic masters of deceit and treachery to kill
opposing Iranians, Americans, and Israelis, while
attempting to acquire weapons of mass destruction.

Mr. President, now, more than ever, the vast majority of
Iranian men and women believe that the Islamic Republic is,
without question, an evil regime that must be forced into
abandoning their power. To this end, Iranians seek a
national referendum, under the auspices of the UN and the
U.S., that will permit them to vote for self-determination
as a true democratic and secular state. We are sure that
with your help, Iran can quickly, and somewhat bloodlessly,
attain the aforementioned goals that will result in our
contributing, as a nation, to world peace and prosperity.

With the above in mind, we wish you a great upcoming
"Presidents Day," and express, at this occasion, our
deepest hopes for your success in your noble personal,
national and international endeavors.


On behalf of SMCCDI

Aryo B. Pirouznia (for the Committee)
23 posted on 02/12/2004 9:27:42 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Blueprints in Iran?

Diplomats in Vienna close to the UN nuclear agency say the IAEA's inspectors have found blueprints in Iran for a newer type of centrifuge despite Tehran's disclosure promise of last November. One diplomat said the IAEA had traced evidence from Libya through the international black market that led to Iran. The watchdog agency's head Mohamed ElBaradei told the New York Times that he too was worried about the black market in atomic materials. The world risked "self-destruction", El Baradei said. He urged nuclear powers to disarm as part of a global effort to deny terrorists such weapons. There was now a "sophiscated worldwide network", he added. U.S. President George W. Bush has called for a co-ordinated clampdown after disclosures in Pakistan of clandestine sales in past decades.,3367,4789_W_1113076,00.html
24 posted on 02/12/2004 9:53:54 AM PST by freedom44
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
In Iran, a kinder view of Uncle Sam

Updated: 12:36 a.m. ET Feb. 12, 2004

TEHRAN, Feb. 11 - On Revolution Day, the Iranian equivalent of the Fourth of July, Azadi Street was again transformed from east-west artery to carnival midway. Men lined up for free yogurt. Hawkers coaxed women to finger the material of baby clothes. Children clamored for a turn throwing darts at George W. Bush.

Hossein Asadi put three darts right between the eyes of the caricature, sketched on a pair of boards mounted in a sideshow tent. He walked away with a new yellow tennis ball but no change in his feelings, which were nothing if not admiring.

“They like me to hit George Bush, so I hit George Bush,” said Hossein, 15. “They say it’s the Great Satan, but I say it’s a great country.

“I’ve seen nothing bad from the Americans.”

Wednesday marked 25 years since an elderly Muslim cleric with eyes the color of coal declared Iran a theocracy. But while religious figures remain firmly in charge here, sweeping aside an entire reform movement last week with the stroke of a pen, another pillar of the revolution appears shakier.

Anti-Americanism is not what it used to be in Iran.

As the United States and Iran edge warily toward possible rapprochement, the Iranian public makes no secret of its appetite for restoring relations formally severed in 1980, after militant students took over the U.S. Embassy here. In recent months, Iranians say, the appetite has grown for an unexpected reason: Iranian pilgrims returning from Iraq are spreading admiring stories of their encounters with American troops.

Thousands of Iranians have visited the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala since the war ended. Many have expressed surprise at the respectful and helpful behavior of the U.S. soldiers they met along the way.

Leila Araki, waiting in the back of a Renault sedan as her husband peddled shoes, recalled that her mother-in-law somehow lost her money on the road to Karbala. She said a U.S. soldier reached into his pocket and handed her taxi fare back to Najaf.

'Quite contrary to what we have been told'
“This is something quite contrary to what we have been told about Americans,” said Araki, 31, who was told of Americans flashing thumbs-up and saying, “Good, Iranians.”

“They were really surprised. I would never be this respected and well-treated even in my country, by my countrymen.”

Esmaeil Omrani told of a relative with asthma struggling to breathe in the dust of Najaf. A young American in full battle dress advised him to switch inhalants, then gave the pilgrim his own, plus an extra for the road. “Everybody liked them,” Omrani said.

Hossein Amiri related a similar story from a thirsty relative given water by a U.S. soldier outside Najaf when the city was closed by a car bombing.

“Between our countries, there might be problems at the top,” said Amiri, 48, a civil servant. “There is no problem at the bottom.”

This unusual cultural exchange has emerged at a fortuitous time, according to analysts and ordinary Iranians. After a quarter century of mutual hostility, the U.S. and Iranian governments are working quietly to establish order both in Afghanistan and Iraq, neighboring countries that Iran considered hostile under the regimes that the United States and allied nations recently toppled.

The prospect of formal relations remains uncertain. Senior Iranian officials said they do not expect serious progress until after the U.S. presidential election and Iran’s own contest for a new president in 2005.

But the soft words rising from Azadi Street carry significance. The annual gathering on Revolution Day draws Iranians who remain most fiercely devoted to the hard-line government, loyalists who routinely chant “Death to America” at Friday prayers (a refrain not heard on Wednesday). Bussed to Azadi, their numbers include volunteers of the Basiji militia who have pledged fealty to the country’s supreme leader and veterans who defended the nascent Islamic republic in the 1980-88 war against Iraq.

'Good things could happen'
U.S. support for Iraq in that war has been an abiding complaint in Iran, along with the CIA role in a 1953 coup that replaced a nationalist government with Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, widely seen as a U.S. puppet disrespectful of Islam.

“I was a volunteer during the war,” said Amir Hossein Yazdarian, 35, who has used a wheelchair since an Iraqi grenade pierced his spine. “I was injured by the weapons of Saddam Hussein, who was supported by the Americans. So I have suffered from the Americans. But I don’t see any reason why we should not have relations.

“We are a nation with an ancient civilization. America is a nation with a modern civilization. If we cooperate, good things could happen.”

In the complex geometry of Iranian politics, prospects for U.S. ties may actually be enhanced by the electoral crisis still unfolding here. Since 2000, the government has been stalemated between elected reformers and conservatives who occupy the appointed positions that carry real authority here.

Last month, conservatives summarily disqualified most of the most prominent reform candidates for parliament. The move prompted a mass resignation among lawmakers, calls to boycott the Feb. 20 election and a stern warning from the reformist president to the several hundred thousand assembled on Wednesday.

“Elections are a symbol of democracy if they are performed correctly,” said President Mohammad Khatami, who has reluctantly vowed to go ahead with the election. “If this is restricted, it’s a threat to the nation and the system. This threat is difficult to reverse.”

But analysts said a government dominated by conservatives may accelerate the move toward negotiations with Washington. Renewed U.S. relations long have been quietly regarded as the ultimate prize in domestic politics here, one that reformers and conservatives have been loathe to see the other side win credit for delivering.

As for anti-American rhetoric enshrined by the 1979 revolution, a foreign diplomat in Tehran said, “I think ultimately Iranians feel they’ve been fed a line.”

“Whatever the cost of living there, please take me to America,” said Mohammad Tehrani, a bus driver waiting to carry the faithful home. He stood beside a kiosk bearing the slogan, stenciled in English, “Down with USA.”

“We have no problems with America really,” insisted Hassan Diyanat, a fellow driver. “Why should we have problems?”

© 2004 The Washington Post Company

Note: These interviews are typically with the poor and less educated of Iran who may have become more pro-American after meeting troops in Iraq. Millions of Iranians receive satellite dishes, and there are millions of Iranian diaspora who regularly visit so it's rather ridiculous to say 'troop visits' had much to do with the increase in pro-Americanism.
Iranians have been pro-American for many years.. nice that the media has finally noticed.
25 posted on 02/12/2004 9:57:49 AM PST by freedom44
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Valentine's Day finding place in Iran's heart

FARNAZ FASSIHI, The Wall Street Journal

(02-12) 06:05 PST (AP) --

TEHRAN, Iran -- Two clerks at Beautiful, a cosmetics shop here, recently stayed past midnight on a secret mission: decorating the windows with red satin drapes and Valentine hearts.

Valentine's Day has arrived in Iran, much to the chagrin of the conservative Muslim clerics who run the country. The government made the public mingling of unmarried couples illegal when it came to power in 1979. It views a Western holiday dedicated to love and sensuality as decadent and intolerable.

But many Iranians, especially the young, have picked up on the holiday of love and romance by watching satellite television and cruising the Internet -- two channels to the wider world that the hard-line mullahs can't control.

The government is trying to crack down, as it did last year when it became obvious that Cupid was gaining a foothold here. It has threatened to arrest unmarried couples who appear together in public. It asks couples checking into hotels to produce marriage certificates. Officials from the Office of Vice and Virtue, which is responsible for safeguarding the public from un-Islamic behavior, made the rounds of popular restaurants, cafes and shops this week to warn that facilitating romance could result in having their licenses revoked.

None of this appeared to concern Hamid Ghaderi, a 23-year-old industrial designer, as he eyed the bottles of imported perfumes at Beautiful. He finally asked the clerk for the "Escada Collection," his girlfriend's favorite scent. "Valentine's Day is new in Iran," said Mr. Ghaderi, who has never been outside Iran and hadn't heard of the holiday until a few years ago. "It's very popular, all my friends celebrate it. Even if they can't write their name in English, they know what Valentine's means."

Shops say their sales in the week leading to Valentine's Day now match those of Norouz, the Iranian New Year celebration. Many florists admit they have ordered two or three times the usual number of red roses and that they have more orders for bouquets and baskets than they can handle. For the past two years, flower distributors say they have been able to increase prices by 20 percent Valentine's week.

A new underground industry has sprung up to cater to the holiday, merchants say. Valentine goods are imported from China through Dubai or bought from local manufacturers that make everything from ribbons and wrapping paper to greeting cards and candles.

Since its inception, the Islamic Republic has insisted on raising the revolution's children -- those born after 1979 -- in accordance with the strict religious laws of Islam known as Sharia. Schools are segregated, and girls have to cover their hair and bodies in the Islamic dress code of hijab after the age of nine. Study of Arabic and the Quran are part of the curriculum through college.

Teenagers can be fined for playing loud music in their cars. Young couples can be arrested for holding hands or for any other type of touching in public. The laws are enforced sometimes severely and sometimes not, by the morality police, or basij, who prowl the cities on the lookout for alcohol, pop music and magazines with pictures revealing too much flesh.

In reality, the strict measures haven't worked. More than half of Iran's population is under the age of 25. And young people still date, listen to music, drink and dance. Iranian society remains as divided as ever between those who truly believe in Islamic ways and those who favor secular and Western ways.

"The clerics want us to only celebrate religious holidays, but we are Iranian, we are tired of mourning for imams and martyrs, and sick of all this sadness imposed on us," said Homa, an 18-year-old clerk at the perfume shop who asked that only her first name be used. "I like Valentine's Day because it's happy and it's about love."

Some moderate conservative voices have sought to co-opt the holiday. A weekly newspaper for young people, Omid Javan (Hope of the Youth) ran a headline this week saying, "Valentine is an occasion for MARRIED couples to celebrate their love, not street friends." The paper devoted half its front page to an article about the history of Valentine's Day and reiterated that marking the event was suitable for married or engaged couples only.

According to the paper, last year a cleric named Hojat al-Islam Zam called on the Iranian government to figure out a proper alternative to a Westernized Valentine's Day. He suggested an "Islamic Valentine" that would mark the wedding 1,400 years ago of Imam Ali, whom Shiites believe was the prophet Mohammad's rightful successor, to the prophet Mohammad's daughter, Fatima.

A more modern youth magazine, Chelcheragh, ran five full pages of Valentine-related articles this week, mostly personal love stories, and asked readers to send in their funniest love stories or poems. It also ran an essay on how an Iranian boyfriend expresses his love: winking, Internet chatting, writing love letters and loitering outside girls' schools.

Young people argue that celebrating love is an ancient Persian tradition, dating back thousands of years and stripped from Iranians when the clerics took power. Ancient Persian writings, by Omar Khayyam among others, are full of poems and legends honoring passionate forbidden love between unmarried men and women. Two of the most popular female names in Iran to this day are Shireen and Leili, both heroines of illicit love affairs.

Negin Shalchian, 18, and her brother Ashkan, 14, visited a gift shop with their mother this week looking for Valentine's gifts for their friends. They plan to attend a Valentine's party where they will mingle with other boys and girls and dance to Western tunes. Negin insisted that her mother buy her a tight red sweater to match her black pants.

Neither of the Shalchians has ever left Iran. Yet they say they relate more to Western music channels than to national Iranian television. Young people here say that their knowledge about Valentine's Day comes from the Internet, Western magazines smuggled into Iran by friends and the satellite TV channels, which have now become mainstream.

Shopkeepers and restaurant owners say that in the past week members of the government's Vice and Virtue Office have paid them visits and issued guidelines. The list for Valentine's Day this year: no couples with flowers or gifts are allowed inside; no dimming of the lights; no candles; no red or heart-shaped decorations; no romantic music and no mention of the word Valentine.

Monsoon, a popular Thai restaurant, says it expects to be booked solid Saturday night. Mohammad Amin-Nejad, the manager, says that while the restaurant won't take any special measures -- such as a changing the menu or putting up colorful decorations -- it will still do its best to cater to customers.

An Italian restaurant nearby, Casa Mia, has already decided to close rather than risk a confrontation with the police. "We know they will raid the restaurant this year on Valentine's Day, and it's not worth it to be open for this one night and then get shut down for weeks," says Karim Mikhaeli, a 25-year-old waiter.

Ramona Rad, a 23-year-old business graduate, plans to spend a romantic evening with her boyfriend at home. Ms. Rad, who was shopping for red and white candles for the occasion, said that last year she and her boyfriend drove around for three hours. They couldn't find a single restaurant with an available table.
26 posted on 02/12/2004 10:05:44 AM PST by freedom44
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yans Wife
That was a GREAT speech.
27 posted on 02/12/2004 10:06:58 AM PST by OXENinFLA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Iran is Ripe for an Explosion

February 10, 2004
Le Parisien
Bruno Fanucchi

Reza Pahlavi, son of the Shah of Iran - Interview by Bruno Fanucchi, Le Parisien

Q: With less than ten days remaining to the parliamentary elections, which has led to a political crisis in Iran between conservatives and reformists, are you calling for a national boycott?

Reza Pahlavi: The greatest error by Western analysts, is to believe in the struggle between so-called reformists and conservatives. There indeed exists two other camps: on one hand the entire regime – this theocratic dictatorship-, on the other the people, who demand popular sovereignty and respect for human rights. The Iranians are fed up, for they know that this regime is unable to reform itself. The demonstrations in Iran, the strikes and calls for boycotts is proof that the entire regime has been rejected and is about to implode. When there is no liberty of expression, the only way to be heard, is to boycott the elections.

Q: Twenty five years after the return of Khomeini to Iran, his successors are still in power...

Reza Pahlavi: It took the Russian people seventy years to get rid of the totalitarian communist regime.

Q: Your idea is to put the choice of the regime (monarchy or republic) to a referendum...

Reza Pahlavi: Clearly this referendum can not be organised until after the fall of the regime. My role is to bring together my compatriots to the stage where they can decide freely the regime of their choice. Tomorrow’s Iran, I hope, will be the first Muslim country in the world to adopt a system that is both secular and democratic.

Q: The Ayatollah’s Iran is according to George Bush part of an “axis of evil”. Will it be the next target after Irak?

Reza Pahlavi: Today, the main problem, from Moscow to New York, is terrorism. This cancerous virus began in our country with the Islamic revolution. A man like Bin Laden admitted that he had been inspired by Khomeini. Iran has been the epicentre of fanaticism and terrorism. We do not need external military intervention, even an American one. It would even be counter-productive at a time when Iran is ripe for an explosion, and Iranians are telling the West: “Stop trading and dealing with this regime!”

Q: Could Bin Laden be hiding in Iran?

Reza Pahlavi: It is difficult to prove this, but it is clear that Al- Qaeda elements were trained by THE Revolutionary Guards. For many years, they have been trained, equipped, financed and armed in our country. I know from reliable sources that a great part of the terrorism in Iraq is being directed from Tehran: destabilising the region is the only chance for their survival.

Q: How did you react to the capture of Saddam Hussein?

Reza Pahlavi: All the Irakis told themselves: “Ouf, it’s over!” On the contrary, I did not approve the sensationalism of this arrest for everyone deserves to be treated with human dignity, even if the person in question is the greatest Attila in history.

Q: Do you hope to return soon to Iran?

Reza Pahlavi: Since I have been in exile, I have always remained Iranian. It is my country. I hope to see it as soon as possible. To rid the Iranian people from the regime that represses it.

At 43, Reza Pahlavi, who lives in exile in the USA, launches his latest book “Pour L’Iran”* (For Iran) in Paris.

*”Pour L’Iran” (Entretiens avec Ahmad Ahrar), Flammarion, 254 pages, 19EUROS

Reza Pahlavi, son of the last Shah of Iran
Interview by Bruno Fanucchi
Translated from Le Parisien by CK
28 posted on 02/12/2004 11:05:18 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Terror war accelerated Iran's WMD

WorldNet Daily - From Geostrategy-Direct Intelligence Brief
Feb 12, 2004

Despite defeating Iraq, the United States has failed to deter Iran from pursuing its nuclear weapons program.

A study published by the U.S. Army War College asserts the U.S. ouster of Saddam Hussein has led to an acceleration of Iran's nuclear weapons program.

Neither Iran nor its ally, North Korea, has been swayed to abandon its missile or weapons of mass destruction programs, the report said.

"Iran also revealed a potential nuclear program more advanced than most suspected," stated the report, "Bounding the Global War on Terrorism."

"Neither state seemed in the least bit deterred, although North Korea, under considerable pressure from China, finally entered into multilateral negotiations with as yet unknown results.

The administration, however, did not take or even speak of military action against these states in part because of preoccupation with Iraq and in part because military action against Iran, and especially North Korea, would entail far greater difficulties and risks than action against Iraq."

Authored by Jeffrey Record, the report said the Bush administration chose to attack Baghdad because of the U.S. assessment that the Iraqi military would quickly collapse.

In contrast, the administration has rejected suggestions to attack neighboring Iran, with a much more powerful military, despite Teheran's huge nuclear and missile programs. The college said the report does not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Army.

"Iran is much larger and poses a much greater terrorist threat than Iraq, and Iran's location and terrain are logistically and operationally much more forbidding," stated the report, released in December 2003.

"All of this suggests that the value of threatened or actual preventive military action may be limited to target states, like Iraq, that are incapable of either offering effective military resistance or placing at risk assets highly valued by the United States and its allies. States capable of doing so may indeed be deterring the United States rather than being deterred."

Record, a professor at the War College in Montgomery, Ala. and a former Senate aide, said the U.S. military presence in Iraq has severely limited options for another U.S. campaign to prevent the emergence of a nuclear power.

The United States still has the option of air strikes on underground nuclear facilities with the use of Earth-penetrating weapons armed with low-yield nuclear warheads. But Record said this would violate international treaties and blur what he termed the critical distinction between nuclear and conventional weapons.

"In short," the report said, "threatened or actual preventive military action seems an inherently dangerous and potentially very counter-productive means to achieve the goal of halting the continued proliferation of WMD, which itself may simply exceed the limits of American power."
29 posted on 02/12/2004 11:07:02 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Diplomats: UN Uncovers New Iranian Atomic Secrets

February 12, 2004

VIENNA -- The UN nuclear watchdog has uncovered highly-sensitive designs for machines in Iran that can be used to make bomb-grade material, calling into question Iran's cooperation with the agency, diplomats said on Thursday.

In Berlin, a senior U.S. official repeated Washington's accusation that Iran wants to make a nuclear bomb.

Several Western diplomats told Reuters on condition of anonymity the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has found parallels between Libya's nuclear weapons program and Iran's atomic programme, which Tehran says is purely peaceful.

"They bought the same stuff from the same people," said one Western diplomat who follows the IAEA closely.

U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton told a security conference in Berlin it was clear what Tehran was up to.

"There's no doubt in our mind that Iran continues to pursue a nuclear weapons program," said Bolton, described by diplomats in Vienna as one of Washington's hardest hardliners.

But Iran shrugged off the charges. "The burden of proof is on the one who makes the allegations," Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi told reporters in Rome. "There may be questions by IAEA inspectors, but we are ready to verify those."

Another diplomat said the discovery of designs for gas centrifuges was not because of Iranian cooperation but "good inspection work by the IAEA". He said Iran only admitted it had the designs after the IAEA showed evidence it knew it had them.

Gas centrifuges spin at supersonic speeds to separate fissile uranium 235 from the non-fissile uranium isotopes.

The blueprints in question are based on the so-called "G2" centrifuge developed by the British-German-Dutch enrichment consortium Urenco. There were no indications Urenco, which denied selling technology to Iran, provided the designs.

Pakistan is known to have designs for both the G1 and G2.

The steel G2 centrifuge is better than the earlier aluminium G1, a version of which Iran has already been mass producing.

After keeping its enrichment program a secret for 18 years, Iran gave the IAEA in October what it said was a full declaration of its nuclear programme. But it did not mention the G2-based centrifuge designs, diplomats said.

Diplomats said Libya has told the IAEA exactly what it bought, when and from whom. They said many purchases were handled through an illicit network based in Dubai and linked to Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan's atom bomb.

The IAEA has been investigating the global nuclear black market that helped Iran, Libya and North Korea bypass international sanctions and purchase sensitive nuclear technology that could be used to make weapons.

Gary Samore, head of the International Institute for Strategic Studies and an adviser to former U.S. President Bill Clinton, said the discovery of the designs raises the question of whether Iran has a hidden enrichment facility.

"There's always been a suspicion that Iran got the more advanced (G2) and there's some concern that they might be building an undeclared facility someplace that would utilize both the G1 and G2 for the production of weapons grade uranium," Samore told Reuters.

Diplomats said it was unclear if Iran had been manufacturing or procuring G2-compatible components or actual centrifuges.

This issue will likely be discussed in an IAEA report on Iran expected to be circulated among Vienna diplomats next week.

"This (design discovery) raises very serious questions that we will address at the upcoming IAEA board meeting (on March 8)," a Western diplomat told Reuters.

Diplomats said the designs could give Washington new ammunition in its drive to report Iran to the UN Security Council for concealing the extent of its nuclear programme. The Council can impose economic and diplomatic sanctions.

Several diplomats said they thought Iran had bought the same nuclear warhead designs that Libya handed over to the IAEA.

"It's safe to assume that Khan offered Iran the weapons designs which Libya bought for e50 million," Samore said.

Another sensitive subject at the March IAEA board meeting will be Iran's decision to continue manufacturing and assembling centrifuges, despite promising in November not to.

"They have not yet, in our judgment, complied even with the commitments they made in October to suspend their uranium enrichment activities," said Bolton.

Germany, Britain, and France persuaded Iran last year to suspend enrichment and accept snap inspections by the IAEA.
30 posted on 02/12/2004 12:24:06 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Fighting Terror with a Forceful Neo-Con Stick

February 07, 2004
National Post
Adam Daifallah

"There is no middle way for Americans: It is victory or holocaust." When authors use language like that to open up a book, it is a safe bet that what follows will be rather stark and forceful. Such is the case in David Frum and Richard Perle's An End to Evil, which is best described as a dummies' guide to the neo-conservative view of the war on terror.

In their manifesto, Frum and Perle--two men of unrivalled hawkish credentials--offer a candid assessment of the post-9/11 actions of the United States. They chart various mistakes that have been made, review present challenges and offer counsel for the future.

There is nothing really new in the way of policy prescriptions in An End to Evil; most of the ideas have already been put forward on the opinion pages of The Wall Street Journal or in the Weekly Standard magazine or other conservative publications. But it is nonetheless useful to have these ideas summarized in one short book.

Frum and Perle certainly cannot be accused of being dovish. Among the authors' suggestions for next steps in the war on terror: more overt support for the democratic forces in Iran (a neoconservative hobby horse for years); adopting a more "stern and uncompromising" stance toward the Baathist regime in Syria; a "four-point checklist" for North Korea, including the closing of its missile bases and planning for a pre-emptive strike against its nuclear facilities, and a more realistic and frank relationship with America's putative ally, Saudi Arabia. Indeed, An End to Evil's excoriation of the House of Saud is one of its more useful sections, because it takes the United States to task for turning a blind eye toward the kingdom's egregious human rights abuses, its support for and incitement of terrorism and the exporting of its puritanical brand of Wahhabi Islam to every corner of the globe. (Republicans and Democrats are equally guilty.)

Also useful is An End to Evil's examination of the deficiencies of various arms of the U.S. government -- particularly the State Department and the CIA, whose shortcomings were so damaging to the Bush administration in the lead-up to the Iraq war. The CIA's intelligence gathering was, as we now know since this book's publication, way off-base on Iraq's weapons capabilities. The agency was never fully on board with President Bush's plans for Iraq in the first place, preferring instead to cling to their years-old pipe dream of overthrowing Saddam Hussein in a coup.

Just as harmful were the antics of State, a department whose hallways are still dominated by status quo Arabists out-of-touch with Mr. Bush's vision. As the authors note, Foggy Bottom's senseless recalcitrance toward working with exiled Iraqi democrats like the Iraqi National Congress contributed to the chaos after Baghdad fell. Frum and Perle call for the abolition of regional bureaus at State and a sharp increase in the number of political appointees there. (Unless the entire swamp is drained, it is unclear whether that would make much of a difference.)

Frum and Perle are pertinacious in their view that the United States must reassess its international relationships, including those with Europe and in particular with France. America's relationship with France must be calibrated "to reflect French behaviour" and the United States should "force European governments to choose between Paris and Washington." The authors also urge aiding Britain in maintaining its independence from Europe. (This is going to be difficult to achieve, given Tony Blair's obvious preference for further integration into the European Union and eventual adoption of the euro.) The authors' antipathy toward France is understandable given its recent behaviour. But it does seem unproductive to actively oppose France and to pursue a policy that would further alienate Paris, especially at a time when the United States is looking for friends in Iraq.

An End to Evil also calls for quite sensible reforms to ensure the survival of the United Nations. The UN is not this reviewer's or the authors' favourite body. But changes such as amending the UN's Article 51 to give states the right to defend themselves against threats other than an "armed attack" (which it currently does not do) might allow that institution to remain viable. If it does not, it will go the way of the League of Nations.

This book does not call for invading a host of countries -- the authors know that the American military, with more than 100,000 troops in Iraq, is already stretched thin. It does not call for an American empire. It is not a Muslim-bashing screed. It is definitely idealistic, and perhaps over-ambitious. But it provides an articulate and well-argued case for an uncompromisingly strong United States, and for democratization of the Middle East as the only way to eradicate Islamic terrorism.

The usual chorus of so-called experts are already out dismissing this book as being shrill and extreme. But what if an al-Qaeda terrorist does detonate a dirty bomb in a New York subway? What if a Syrian-coddled jihadi blows himself up in a Los Angeles bistro? What if North Korea decides to lob a nuclear-tipped missile at Japan?

One hopes none of these things will happen, but if they ever should, this book's detractors will have egg on their faces, and Frum and Perle will be vindicated.

Adam Daifallah is a member of the National Post's editorial board.,filter./news_detail.asp
31 posted on 02/12/2004 3:20:41 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #32 Removed by Moderator

To: DoctorZIn
Blair Says will Wait for UN Report on Iran Before Judging Nuclear Claims

February 12, 2004
Yahoo News

BERLIN -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair said the international community should reserve judgment on whether Iran has a nuclear weapons program until the UN atomic energy watchdog issues a report in March.

Asked if he was concerned about accusations that Iran may have gone back on a commitment made to foreign ministers from Britain, France and Germany in October to come clean on its nuclear program and suspend the enrichment of uranium, Blair said he would wait to judge.

"The good thing about the situation we helped to bring about is that the International Atomic Energy Agency are now committed in Iran and they'll produce a report I think in March and that is a report that can go through all these issues," he said.

"I think probably rather than me comment at this stage, we should wait until they make that report then. They, as the international commission looking at these things, are best placed to do that," he told a news conference after talks with Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in Berlin.

The IAEA's board of governors is to meet March 8 to review the situation in Iran, following an ultimatum that expired last October 31 for the Islamic republic to reveal all details of its nuclear program.

In Berlin Thursday, US undersecretary of state John Bolton said there was "no doubt that Iran continues a nuclear program".

"We'll be looking seriously at what to do about Iran," he said, adding that the next steps could be taken in cooperation with Britain, France and Germany.

Meanwhile Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi insisted Thursday on a visit to Rome that Tehran had a "legitimate right" to nuclear technology for peaceful purposes but denied it had any intention to develop nuclear weapons.
33 posted on 02/12/2004 3:23:23 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Pope Urges Iran to Cooperate With U.N.

February 12, 2004
The Associated Press
The New York Times

ROME -- The Vatican issued a stern message on nuclear weapons during the visit of a top Iranian official Thursday, with Pope John Paul II urging Tehran to continue cooperating with U.N. inspectors and his foreign minister warning that the pursuit of such weapons only multiplies conflicts.

The message was delivered to Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, who denied Tehran had any nuclear weapons ambitions and played down the discovery by U.N. inspectors of drawings of equipment that can be used to make weapons-grade uranium.

``We do not have anything to hide and we are ready to be inspected more (seriously) by IAEA inspectors,'' Kharrazi told reporters on the sidelines of a conference celebrating 50 years of Vatican-Iranian relations.

Iran agreed last year to end nearly two decades of nuclear secrecy by opening its facilities to inspections by the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency.

At the start of the conference, the Vatican foreign minister, Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, read a message from the pope to Iranian President Mohammad Khatami in which John Paul stressed the need for international cooperation to fight terrorism and nuclear weapons proliferation.

``I would like here to express the Holy See's appreciation of the efforts made by Iran in this regard and to encourage that these efforts continue,'' the pope's message read.

In his comments to Kharrazi and the conference, Lajolo spoke generally about the nuclear threat, saying a nuclear arms race risked aggravating wars.

``The use of enormous resources for preparing new weapons is an obstacle to aid for indigenous populations and hinders the development of peoples,'' he said. ``Arming oneself at all costs multiplies the causes of conflicts and increases the risks of their spreading.

``The Holy See looks with hope and satisfaction to fuller cooperation that, in the name of peace, Iran offers in this area to the United Nations and its agencies,'' he added.

The comments came on the same day that diplomats in Vienna reported that U.N. inspectors had discovered drawings of high-tech equipment that can be used to make weapons-grade uranium.

Kharrazi didn't refer to the nuclear question in his comments to the conference, but told reporters ``there should not be any concern about the programs of Iran'' because it was cooperating with the IAEA.

Asked specifically about the new design discovery, Kharrazi said: ``There may be questions by IAEA inspectors but we are ready to verify those and what has been achieved altogether up until now is out of our cooperation with IAEA. As long as we are ready to continue our cooperation all outstanding questions will be verified,'' he said.
34 posted on 02/12/2004 3:56:19 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Iran's Young Elite Face Trial by Fire

February 13, 2004
The Christian Science Monitor
Scott Peterson

TEHRAN -- No political opponent ever accused Iran's youngest woman parliamentarian of mincing words - and she has strong ones for the hard-line conservatives who have engineered almost certain victory in next week's parliament vote.

The election campaign officially began Thursday, but Fatemah Haqiqat-Jou - along with some 2,500 other candidates - is barred from running by the unelected Guardian Council.

The freshly minted lawmaker first came to office in 2000 full of hope, imbued with ideals of justice and democracy, and backed by 1 million Tehran votes - part of a reformist landslide that ushered in a new generation of young leaders.

But today the collapsing dreams of Ms. Haqiqat-Jou, whom the Monitor first met on the campaign trail four years ago when she was 31, is emblematic of how hardliners in Iran have triumphed over the first reform parliament since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution.

That victory cannot last, vows Haqiqat-Jou, a demure new mother who expects that she may soon have to fulfill a prison sentence, handed down by a notoriously hard-line prosecutor in August 2001.

"There are two options: Either [conservatives] are destroyed, and finally destroy the Islamic system, or they change their behavior toward people," warns the soft-spoken deputy, who wears her many-layered chador with elegant ease.

"I believe in the proverb: 'Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,' " says Haqiqat-Jou, narrowing unflinching eyes. "That is our main problem now."

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei makes all final decisions. But after twice asking the Guardian Council to reconsider the cases of nearly 4,000 barred candidates, he finally accepted the banning of some 2,500, and said the vote would not be delayed.

Like most reformists, Haqiqat-Jou sees it differently. The decisions of the Guardian Council are "both un-Islamic and illegal," says the lawmaker, one of 11 women deputies in the 290-seat parliament, or majlis.

"Reforms from within the state are impossible now," she says during an interview in the downtown offices of the main reform party, the Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF). The IIPF is boycotting the election. "They are not dead; the young generation is determined to find reforms, even if they take a different form."

That message was echoed during a rally to mark the 25-year anniversary of the revolution on Wednesday, by reform-minded President Mohammad Khatami, who has watched his own vast popularity disappear amid charges of ineffectiveness.

"Elections are a symbol of democracy if they are performed correctly," Mr. Khatami told the conservative crowd. Not a single portrait of the embattled head of state was evident among the sea of pictures of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, father of Iran's revolution, and Iran's current Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. "If this is restricted, it's a threat to the nation and the system."

It already may be too late, says Haqiqat-Jou, who receives "a lot of complaints" about the failure of reformers from students when she teaches at a local university. "I think people are disappointed and in despair, because they think their vote doesn't count."

The unassuming woman hardly looks like a populist firebrand who held audiences of both men and women rapt four years ago, before and after her election victory, when 83 percent of Iranian voters flocked to polling booths.

Back then, Haqiqat-Jou spoke confidently about the reform interpretation of "individual and social rights and pluralism," and the public rejection of methods that "used religion to take power and finish with their enemies."

"It's a fight we have to win," she had declared.

But today, Haqiqat-Jou's rap sheet includes detention, sit-in protests, and a 20-month prison sentence for "misinterpreting" the words of Ayatollah Khomeini and for insulting the Guardian Council. She was acquitted of the first charge, taking 10 months off the sentence.

Haqiqat-Jou says she expects there will be arrests of other prominent reformers, who led a three-week sit-in in parliament last month, to protest the disqualification of the reform candidates, including 80 sitting members of parliament.

A mass resignation of more than 120 MPs deepened the political crisis; even more MPs were disqualified upon appeal to the Guardian Council, including the president's brother Reza Khatami, who received more votes in 2000 than any other politician.

Some observers are cautious when interpreting the meaning of the disqualifications, however. "This is not 2,500 nice, enlightened democrats who want to participate in the vote, against the bad, dark Guardian Council that wants to kick them out - that is not true," says a Western diplomat.

Besides basic standards of literacy and education, candidates are also required to prove their devotion to Islam and to the supreme leader, who is deemed infallible among Iran's revolutionary faithful - a test that the increasingly secular reformists, including Haqiqat-Jou, may not have passed.

"I don't mean to take the side of the Guardian Council, but [some of] these people made clear they want a secular system, which is against the Constitution," the diplomat says.

The result may be that political debates on sensitive subjects that have marked this reform parliament may end, and spark "a new repression after the election."

But how did the reform tidal wave that swept Khatami to his first election victory in 1997 lose its power after the 2000 vote? In those days, Haqiqat-Jou expressed unbridled optimism for the daunting task of meeting high expectations, because conservatives "have no choice but to let the new parliament do its work," she had said.

But then the judiciary and security organs, still in the hands of hard-liners who feared for their political lives, began immediately to shut down scores of reform newspapers, and to arrest key editors and critical intellectuals. The Guardian Council blocked every single piece of reform legislation - including those meant to curtail the powers of unelected bodies.

"I couldn't have predicted for a single moment that such difficult things were awaiting reformists ... that the conservatives would use all the legal and illegal means, while we limited ourselves to the legal," Haqiqat-Jou says, in calm, measured tone.

"If [conservatives] win the majlis, reformists will be under even more pressure, and will have even more obstacles," says Haqiqat-Jou.

"Some could possibly be arrested. I have 10 months [of jail time to serve] from before; I will have new friends in prison."
35 posted on 02/12/2004 3:57:26 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

I agree.
36 posted on 02/12/2004 4:14:24 PM 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: DoctorZIn

Between the Potomac and the Euphrates

The unfolding political crisis in Iran is intimately linked to the goings-on in Washington. The perception that Bush may be a one-term president is what has emboldened the conservatives in Teheran to make a move on the reformists. No peace talks between Israel and Syria will take place until it becomes clear how important it is to the White House to uncover the WMD Saddam stashed away in Syria shortly before the balloon went up.

Over the past fortnight two highly important political developments have been going on in the Middle East. Syria has been desperately attempting to reopen peace talks with Israel, while on the other side of the Fertile Crescent, the conservatives in Iran have initiated a showdown with the reformist elements.

These two developments have much more in common than meets the eye. The Syrian-Iranian alliance has been going on for well over a decade, nourishing Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations. The two countries regularly coordinate their policies, and there is little doubt that Teheran knew about, and perhaps even advised Bashar Assad to launch his bogus peace offensive, with the option of turning it into the real thing if circumstances warrant it.

Iran was always the senior partner in the alliance. This has become much more obvious and blatant ever since the inexperienced Bashar succeeded his father Hafez Assad, who had the reputation of being a sly and wily fox.

This being the case, one needs to examine very closely Iran’s machinations ever since the US entered Iraq. The most surprising phenomenon, to those unfamiliar with Iran’s tradition of sophisticated diplomacy was the relative cooperation the US has enjoyed from the Iraqi Shiite majority, over which Iran, as the Moslem world’s only Shiite power has a significant influence.

The Iranian leadership was initially taken aback by the swiftness of the US victory. It decided to adopt a policy of wait and see, until things became clearer. For this reason the word went out to the Shiite leadership in Iraq, many of whom had found asylum from Saddam’s murderous rule in Iran, not to make life too difficult for the US forces. This was also in the Iraqi Shiites interest, since the last thing they wanted was for either Saddam or one of his Sunni henchmen to resume Sunni rule, which for the Shiite majority had been an unmitigated disaster.

The last thing the Iranian conservatives wanted was to provoke the US. Their ultimate fear was to see Uncle Sam’s boys cross the Euphrates to liberate Iran from a regime only slightly less bestial and inherently much more dangerous than Saddam’s. The nearest this came to pass was last summer, when it seemed as if the reformist government might give the students the green light to set off massive demonstrations which would be joined by other disaffected groups. There was much talk at the time in the US of seeing the Iranian youth liberate themselves. Within a month the situation had changed, the demonstrations never really took off, and the crisis seemed to be over.

What really happened was that the conservatives, fearing what might happen, made a deal with reformist president Khatami, inferring they were willing to cut him some slack. The reason for this was not a willingness to adopt reform, but a cold-blooded realistic analysis of the situation. It had become clear the US was not going to be thrown out of Iraq, and that the Iraqi Shiites were unlikely to open a second guerrilla front against US forces even if Iran had given the word, since their self interest was to have the US turn over power to them as the democratically elected majority, not have the US pushed prematurely out. Moreover the Iranian interest was to see the Shiites become the dominant political force in Baghdad.

At the same time President Bush seemed assured of a second term. No one, not even the arch reactionary Ayatollah Ahmed Jannati, chairman of the Council of Guardians was willing to risk taking on George W. Bush, who had demonstrated very clearly his willingness to wield a very big stick. The only thing to assure this was to give the appearance that the reformists were, slowly but surely gaining the upper hand.

Events in Washington over the past month changed that perception. The conservatives seem to have decided that Bush could be vulnerable. As a result, they decided to renegotiate their agreement with Khatami, since they believe Iran can afford to get away with presenting a less enlightened image to the world. The result is the current crisis. Supreme leader Khamenei, the leader of the conservative faction, which is between the reactionaries and the reformists, but on the whole tends to side mostly with the former, will not take any decisive step until he has to, meaning until he and his advisors decide what Bush’s chances are. If they decide that his defeat is not a sure thing, the compromise he will arrange will favor the reformists, at least somewhat. If he decides that Iran can take the risk of assuming that Bush will not be reelected, the compromise will, in effect be an ultimatum to the reformists to surrender or else. If he decides to wait and see, he will go along with the reformists’ demand to postpone the election, without necessarily acting to get the Guardians to reinstate the disqualified reformist candidates.

A hint at this was provided last week by foreign ministry spokesperson Reza Asefi, who said that the current row “could seriously impact Teheran’s foreign policy. In Iranian political talk this meant that it might be premature to assume that Bush is a lame duck, and that a premature push for power by the reactionaries could endanger Iran’s recent foreign policy achievements, primarily an informal understanding with the US that Iraq’s Shiites will take control of Iraq when the US departs.

This is of utmost importance to Iran, which over the past 200 years has had to face powerful enemies, Russia in the north (which throughout the 19th century nibbled away at Persia’s northern territories, conquering Moslem Chechnya and Azerbaijan in the process), and the Ottoman Empire in the southwest, which ruled the area today known as Iraq.

Iran is now in a unique position, all too rare in its history of being able to secure both its traditionally vulnerable flanks. Russia is weaker than ever before, and there is an opportunity to ensure a friendly regime in Mesopotamia, which has been a rival of Iran (or Persia) since biblical times. This can only be possible as long as the US is willing to continue its discreet behind the scenes dialogue with Teheran, which has enabled it to alternatively cajole and seduce Iran into not giving it grief in Iraq in return for the likelihood of the emergence of a government that would be reasonably well disposed towards it, and unlikely to pose a threat to its eastern neighbor.

This covert understanding between Iran and the US was able to take place because of the balance of power in Iran, between the reformists led by President Khatami and Majlis (Parliament) speaker Mehdi Karroubi, the conservatives led by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and former president Rafsanjani, and the ultra-conservatives (some say reactionaries), led by the Ayatollahs Jannati, Meshkini and Shahrudi.

The latter have decided to take out the reformists, having decided that Bush is unlikely to be reelected, and therefore willing to risk US ire, which, as far as they are concerned, will be limited to words if Bush is no longer president. If there is one thing these men do not fear, it’s words.

It is no coincidence that there have been recent reports that Hezbollah, which is supported, nourished and ultimately controlled by the reactionaries and the conservatives, has begun operating in Iraq after the fall of Saddam. The Iranians, especially the conservatives, need controlled chaos in Iraq, enough to enable them to get the maximum concessions from the US in return for ensuring Shiite quiet, but not enough to make them go home prematurely, before the Shiites have gained control.

The capture of Saddam threatened to unravel this strategy. The response has been twofold. One part was to get Bashar Assad to try initiate peace talks with Israel. The logic is that this would, if successful, prevent a US invasion of Syria. The reason Iran fears this is that US forces would probably discover the Iraqi WMD that are hidden there. Such a development would end Bush’s domestic problems, and all but ensure him a second term, a disaster to the Iranian conservatives. Moreover the Syrians might just inform the US authorities that the Iranians pressured them to do this in the first place. The last thing the conservative clerics want is an enraged George Bush sitting safely in the Oval office for four more years.

The second part of the Iranian response to Saddam’s capture has been to have the all but eliminated Sunni resistance replaced by Hezbollah. The recent targets show what is at work here. The main targets over the past 2-3 weeks have not been Americans, but Iraqi intelligentsia, the backbone of an enlightened and traditional, but overall fairly secular middle class. This is precisely the class that wants to see US style democracy succeed, and is the one most inimical to seeing the Baathist dictatorship replaced by a Shiite one.

Teheran’s aim is to see Bush defeated. The thinking in Teheran is that a Democratic president would not have the stomach to go to war in order to save Iraq’s middle class. The result, snap elections won by the Shiites, the formation of a new anti-western Damascus-Baghdad-Teheran axis, armed with a large variety of lethal non conventional weapons,

The Iranians are confident that even if hard evidence of Hezbollah terrorism in Iraq shows up, Bush will not be able to do anything until the elections. However the one potential fly in the ointment the Iranians have so assiduously being concocting is if the Iraqi WMD that have been hidden in the remote corners of the Syrian desert were to be discovered, thus vindicating Bush and all but assuring him of four more years.

This could only happen if either the US invaded, or the regime fell. To ensure neither of these events occur, Iran suggested to Assad that he embark on a peace initiative. For Iran this is a win-win proposition. If the talks eventually fail, they would still have served their purpose, preempting a scenario that could vindicate Bush and assure him reelection. If, by some mischance the talks actually led somewhere, it would be no skin of their nose, since Syria, not Iran would be making the required concessions. In the long run Syria is less important to Iran than Iraq, since unlike Iraq, the majority of Syrians are Sunni Moslems, who intensely dislike the Baath regime dominated by the minority Alawis, who are theologically much closer to the Shiites than to the Sunnis (who unlike the Shiites regard them as heretics). Iran knows it may, and can afford to lose Syria as an ally. It cannot afford to lose Iraq.

Israel and the US however, were not taken for a ride. This means that all options are still open. The current administration is not about to see a virulently anti-western conservative dominated Iran become the ultimate benefactor of the war. American blood was not shed in order to facilitate unprecedented Iranian hegemony over the region. If, in order to prevent such an outcome it becomes imperative to vindicate the Bush administration by proving estimates of Iraqi non-conventional capabilities were essentially correct, then an invasion of Syria cannot be ruled out. The pretext would be either proof of Syrian complicity in allowing Hezbollah to operate in Iraq, or allow Israel to initiate a war with Syria over its support of terrorism.

For this reason Bush is willing to let Sharon make the road map as obsolete as the horse and buggy, despite the blow to his prestige. Both men may need a war with Syria to ensure their political survival, and the world may need it to take out another link in the axis of evil, and to prevent the emergence of an Iranian dominated Damascus-Baghdad-Teheran axis, which would soon become a Islamic regional superpower that could, and probably would pose as much of a threat to the west as it would to Israel.

The higher the probability of the Iranian domestic balance of power being shifted in favor of the ultra-conservatives, the greater the likelihood of a war with Syria becomes.

The writer is the Editor-in-Chief of Ma’ariv International

(2004-02-08 18:06:38.0)

The Source

Forgive me if this has been posted. I'm taking a difficult sabbatical from Free Republic to see what it's like to be ordinary.

37 posted on 02/12/2004 4:24:58 PM PST by bert (Have you offended a liberal today?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
This is a bit of satire but is closer to the truth than the publisher may suspect. -- DoctorZin

Radicals, Extremists Vie For Control Of Iran

TEHRAN—As the Feb. 20 parliamentary election approaches, hard-line conservative religious radicals and fundamentalist Islamic extremists are stepping up their disparate campaigns. "It's up to the people: Does the future of Iran lie in the hands of the far-right extremists or the far-far-right radicals?" said Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, head of the hard-line Guardian Council that recently banned thousands of moderate candidates from the election. "Will the old-school clerics win, or is the country ready for a new stripe of fundamentalists who will take authoritarianism in an entirely different direction?" Jannati urged all of Iran's citizens to get out and make their votes count.
38 posted on 02/12/2004 5:24:00 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
"..the discovery of the designs raises the question of whether Iran has a hidden enrichment facility.
"There's always been a suspicion that Iran got the more advanced (G2) and there's some concern that they might be building an undeclared facility someplace that would utilize both the G1 and G2 for the production of weapons grade uranium," Samore told Reuters.

"they thought Iran had bought the same nuclear warhead designs that Libya handed over to the IAEA.
"It's safe to assume that Khan offered Iran the weapons designs which Libya bought "

Those suspicions sound like reasons enough to tell the regime that the game's over.
39 posted on 02/12/2004 5:41:32 PM PST by nuconvert ("Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Brief report on yesterday's lecture...

Iran: from a great civilization to the axis of evil.

Beverly Hills Hotel

Over five hundred people (mostly Iranian) attended the lecture in the historic hotel. It opened with a pro Iranian film of Iran’s history up to the present. The film was short on content but strong in imagery.

The program was strongly pro Bush and the reaction of the audience great. Radio host, Larry Elder spoke frankly about the need for change within. An Iranian named Bijan Kian also spoke and was one of the most articulate Iranians I have ever heard. We need to remember him in the future. He would do very well on the cable news networks.

Finally Kenneth R. Timmerman of the Middle East Data Project (and author of the new book, Preachers of Hate) spoke of the corruption of the Iranian regime. He made it clear that there was no real distinction between the hardliners and reformist camps. I believe we will have opportunities to work together in the future.
40 posted on 02/12/2004 11:43:25 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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”

41 posted on 02/13/2004 12:02:56 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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
Topics · Post Article

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