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Iranian Alert -- February 21, 2004 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD --Americans for Regime Change in Iran
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 2.21.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 02/21/2004 12:02:29 AM PST by DoctorZIn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

1 posted on 02/21/2004 12:02:30 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

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

2 posted on 02/21/2004 12:05:05 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranian reform backers shun vote

By Borzou Daragahi

TEHRAN — Iran's conservatives yesterday appeared poised to take control of the country's legislature as pro-reform liberal voters heeded a boycott call and stayed away from the polls to protest what they said was a rigged election.

The only suspense was how many voters had heeded reformist calls not to vote to protest the blacklisting of thousands of moderate candidates. Official numbers are expected to begin trickling in today.

The government began a massive publicity campaign, warning that abstaining would be tantamount to aiding "the enemy," America. While turnout was lighter than in the past, a mass repudiation of the vote did not materialize.

Analysts predicted the Developers of Islamic Iran, a group of hard-liners, would be the new dominant political force in the country. The group's leader, lawmaker Gholamali Haddadadel, is a relative of Ayatollah Khamenei, the Islamic Republic's supreme religious leader and dominant political force.

Election commission head Ahmad Azimzadeh late yesterday was quoted as saying turnout in the region including Tehran was estimated at 40 percent, higher than many reformists had hoped.

Mr. Azimzadeh said conservative candidates seemed to be ahead.

Turnout in more conservative villages and towns outside the major urban centers is expected to be higher, and some analysts were projecting a turnout of 50 percent. That would be more than 16 percentage points lower than the previous parliamentary elections in 2000, but far from the widespread rejection some reformists had hoped for.

The Bush administration, which had muted its criticism of the election for fear of provoking a nationalist backlash, yesterday stepped up its attack on the election.

"Candidates have been barred from participating in the elections in an attempt to limit the choice of the Iranian people for their government," State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said in Washington.

"These actions do not represent free and fair elections and are not consistent with international norms."

Iran's Interior Ministry said it expected to release the first results and a turnout figure today and dismissed early estimates as mere speculation.

"As long as we have not opened the ballot boxes, none of the figures being bandied around can be confirmed by the Interior Ministry," said spokesman Jahanbakhsh Khanjani.

Four years ago the lines of voters extended out into the streets, with jubilant Iranians talking politics and singing songs as they sent a band of reformers to take over the parliament and deliver a stinging rebuke against the country's hard-line Islamic rulers.

Those elections put Iran's government in the hands of moderates, setting off a battle between the theocratic nation's divinely mandated rulers and elected officials such as President Mohammed Khatami.

But last month the game came to an abrupt end: An appointed conservative watchdog called the Council of Guardians barred thousands of liberal candidates, including dozens of sitting members of parliament, from running. Hundreds more allowed to run withdrew in protest. Many called for a boycott, bypassing the censored media using the Internet or text messages via cell phone.

As a result, the election rolls yesterday were devoid of reformists, liberals and opponents of the clerical regime.

"There's no way I'm going to vote this time," said Amir Farmani, a pubic works engineer who spent the day shopping with his family. "I don't believe in the system. I'd like a system like France or England, where anyone can vote for anyone."

But at a polling station in the southern Tehran, supporters of Iran's clerical regime did turn out to heavy numbers. Most of those who showed up said they were not supporters of Mr. Khatami, the reformists' champion twice elected with huge majorities.

Some, like Fatemeh Hossein, said they were coming to vote for a specific candidate, such as incumbent Soheila Jelodarzadeh, a labor advocate. "She's done well," she said. "She's always speaking up for poor people like me."

In contrast, many of Mr. Khatami's onetime supporters branded him a coward for failing to stand up to the conservatives. The 66-year-old mid-ranking cleric backed off earlier threats to join the boycott.

His supporters were disgusted. "In the end, Khatami turned out to be just like the conservatives," said Sassan Haghighpour, a long-haired medical student walking past a mosque doubling as a voting center. "He betrayed his supporters."

Voting centers were barren in the city's modern, wealthy north, though many Iranians like to vote in the evenings. Late reports said voters were filling polling places in central Tehran and that ministries had kept centers open for as much as four hours after the official closing time to boost turnout figures.

•This article is based in part on wire service reports.

3 posted on 02/21/2004 12:10:36 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
More accurate polling estimates will be reported later on this thread!

4 posted on 02/21/2004 12:17:58 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
The "reformers" got 9 out of 60 seats so far.
5 posted on 02/21/2004 1:03:06 AM PST by AdmSmith
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To: DoctorZIn
I thought you might find interesting election reports from Persian blogs. These are translations posts from Persian blogs into English...

Ramshad Shadman: I've never seen so many armed guards in polling stations. I saw four of them in one station. This is not normal.

Iran and World News: This morning, on 10:30, around 50 people gathered around a minibus — a mobile polling station — in Revolution (Enghelab) square... An old lady in black veils who was constantly talking about sacrifice for the revolution and its leader. She said: I wish the flag of Islam rise all over the globe; as a proof of globalization of Islam, you see that women in France also wear head scarves.

My Daily Notes: I just returned from my journey around a few polling station in the city of Karaj. In 2-3 stations in the city center, a number of people had queued to vote, but the queues were not at all as long as they show on TV. Very normal, very calm, most of them were elderly people, a few very young ones. There was almost nothing going on in the polling venues in the posh area of the city; very few people came in, voted and went away. The average age was around 40. I had my camera with me and wanted to click some shots in the polling stations, but none of the station managers allowed me to do so.

eehum: An Evaluation: The number of old women and old men in the queues is really considerable. I can easily claim that the majority of voters are over 45 years old. Now this is while Iran is one of the youngest countries in the world [roughly 70% of population is under 30 years old]. In the presidential elections of 1997, it was exactly the opposite: the majority of voters were young people.

Ramshad Shadman: 8 o'clock in the morning, it was a little bit cold and was raining...I went to a nearby mosque which is managed by a right-wing [conservative] cleric to see what was going on, but unfortunately this year the mosque was not turned to a polling station and there was nothing to report. In other stations, the number of observers and watchdogs were clearly more than the number of voters. Even though 2 hours had passed since the official start of the elections, some stations were still opening up and putting candidate names on the walls. In all the stations that I visited, the number of policemen and armed forces was more than the voters. For instance in one venue, apart from armed soldiers, there were four higher ranking officers holding colts, G3s and Klashnikovs, which was a rather unusual scene for me. I am not sure what the law says in this regard [holding machine guns in polling stations].

Ramshad Shadman: It's 16:30 in the afternoon, and I have prepared another report for you. My observations show that the number of voters differ a lot, from one polling station to another. The participation is very low in general; in one polling station — apart from the big group of security forces and watchdogs — there are not even 2 voters (mostly in schools which have been turned to polling stations). In some other venues you see more people (for example, in a mosques that has been turned into a polling station - probably because the senior clergy in charge of the mosque is relatively popular among the people in that area). The clergy told me that the rate of participation of people is between a third or a quarter, comparing to the presidential elections of 1997 [which brought the reformist president to power].

Achamenian: I'm from the city of Esfahan. In the morning I went out to see what was going on in the city. I went from one polling venue to the other but nothing especial was going on. In the afternoon I talked to a guy in charge of one of the polling stations; he told me that until that time (4 o'clock in the afternoon) only about 50 people had come to vote!! I was very delighted ;-)

Sohrab: After lunch I was tempted to go out again and see what was happening. I left home around 2 o'clock in the afternoon, and went to a few polling stations (more remote areas). In all the stations, there were 1 to 2 people voting, and all the authorities in the stations were either taking a nap, or smoking cigarettes or chatting with each other. I could see in their faces that they were extremely bored and were counting down to close the station and go home. In every station, I attracted a lot of attention because there was hardly anyone else; they were wondering what this guy (me) was doing there.

Tears and Fears My most important observations were the two agents with their revolvers at the doors of the station, as if there were a serious raid for a murderer or somthing. "Masoumeh" highschool had to live with its only 4 voters at 13:33, empty and overquiet. In "Kaj" square in Saadat Abad there are photos of the candidates posted on a bus, and numerous cops were present.
A crowd of 14-15 people were densely gathered around a camera, obviously faking a report for the TV. I actually noticed it all through the day on TV, anchors backed by 15-16 people to block the view. The trick was not however played at "Hosseinieh Ershad", as it's a rather roomy place. There are two bearded guards at the doors of the mosque with their walkie talkies, definitely intelligence agents. Women's station #154 was hosting a maximum of 14 voters, 10 of them wrapped in their chadors and the rest in scarves.

World of an Iranian : Unlike last years when the polls were extended through midnight, this year's extension is no later than 19hr local time. In "Kargar" street there are 3 polling stations above "Jalaal Al Ahmed" cross [about ten blocks], two of which is inside of Tehran Uni. dorms of boys and girls. The stations were clearly less crowded than the local municipal's election two years ago. Street was nothing crowded either; a very normal friday indeed.
By the way, among the students who did cast their votes there were a couple warning others on their future prospects, when their birth certificates would be verfied for stamps should they apply for any [governmental] jobs.

6 posted on 02/21/2004 1:05:18 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert; Pan_Yans Wife; freedom44; McGavin999; windchime; AdmSmith; Eala; Pro-Bush; ...
US concerned over Iran's parliamentary election

February 21, 2004
IranMania News

WASHINGTON, Feb 20 (AFP) -- The United States on Friday voiced concern over Iran's parliamentary elections, saying measures taken by government hardliners prior to the vote were inconsistent with international norms.

"I think looking at the process leading up to the elections, there are reasons for concern," State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said, citing the closure of the largest reformist party's offices and of two reformist publications.

Some 2,300 reformist candidates were also barred from running in the election.

"These actions do not represent free and fair elections and are not consistent with international norms," Ereli said.

He declined to comment on voter turnout "until credible numbers about voter turnout are available."

"I don't think we're more critical of the elections than the Iranian people are," he added.

Voter turnout is considered a key factor in determining the 25-year-old Islamic regime's popularity.

Conservatives opposed to reformist President Mohammed Khatami are expected to sweep the elections.
7 posted on 02/21/2004 2:25:45 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn; AdmSmith; McGavin999; nuconvert

Eurasia Net
21 Feb 2004

A reformist election boycott February 20 appears to have kept turnout in Iran’s parliamentary election well under 50 percent. The boycott’s apparent success could undermine the authority of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and stands to hamper the ability of conservatives to push through their political agenda in the next parliament.
8 posted on 02/21/2004 2:29:57 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn; McGavin999; faludeh_shirazi; AmericanVictory; Cindy; nuconvert; freedom44; ...
Beware Iran's atomic ayatollahs

NY Daily Times
21st Feb 2004

The numbers aren't in, but it seems reasonable to project that Iran's hard-liners have regained control of the parliament they lost to insurgents four years ago. You can win elections handily when you've got divine authority to throw candidates off the ballot, shut newspapers and drop hints to the people that if they don't vote in approved fashion, they're likely to pay in the afterlife or sooner.
So goes the Triumph of the Clerics, who banned thousands of reformist candidates from standing for election in a bid to put one foot back in the 15th century. The trouble is that Iran's other foot is planted very much in the 21st century. As in: Atomic Age.

Evidence is mounting that Tehran's fundamentalist regime is determined to maintain a covert nuclear program in defiance of international standards. In October, it made a large goodwill show of handing over details of the country's nuke activities to the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency. To much relief, it also promised to cooperate fully with nuclear inspections.

At the time, the U.S. was skeptical that a charter member of the Axis of Evil was so suddenly ready to be a good citizen of the world. The wisdom of that skepticism has now been borne out. Exposure of a nuclear black market based in Pakistan has turned up documents indicating that Iran didn't come entirely clean, as U.S. officials had suggested to their more trusting European counterparts.

Indeed, the IAEA reports that Tehran is sitting on key bomb-building components heretofore unreported. Iran's Foreign Ministry flatly denies that it has nuclear weapons programs. "They are just trying to create a fuss about this," said a spokesman.

You're darn right they are. Uranium-enrichment capabilities in the hands of crackpots who teach their young from the cradle that murdering infidels is their highest duty - now there's a nightmare for you. The IAEA is quite properly going to want hard - and fully verifiable - answers from Tehran very soon.

Iran must get no more wiggle room. And the United Nations must gear itself to cracking down with economic sanctions and every other means possible to ensure that Iran does not get close to developing a weapon of mass destruction. Because there are exactly two words for a nuclear-capable Iran: imminent threat.
9 posted on 02/21/2004 2:33:58 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: All

Who did vote in yesterday election?

10 posted on 02/21/2004 2:37:06 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn
Just wanted to inform you about the latest stats;
According to ISNA News Agency, Governor of Tehran said that he predicts a turnout around 1,700,000 to 1,800,000 votes in the city of Tehran and suburb.
The number of potential voters in Tehran are around 8 and half milion.
11 posted on 02/21/2004 2:47:14 AM PST by Khashayar
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To: Khashayar; freedom44; DoctorZIn; Eala; nuconvert; faludeh_shirazi; Pan_Yans Wife; RaceBannon; ...

A grandmother sews at home as she and her husband - both of whom asked not to be named - boycotted national parliamentary elections, staying at home in Tehran, Iran Friday, Feb. 20, 2004. Low turnout was predicted for the election, as Iran's pro-reform parties have urged a mass boycott after the conservative theocracy banned more than 2,400 candidates. (AP Photo)

A husband and wife - both of whom asked not to be named - stay at home and watch television instead of voting in national parliamentary elections, Iran Friday, Feb. 20, 2004. Low turnout was predicted for the election, as Iran's pro-reform parties have urged a mass boycott after the conservative theocracy banned more than 2,400 candidates. (AP Photo)

12 posted on 02/21/2004 3:16:51 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: All
Tehran, Feb 21, IRNA -- Early poll exits at a sample ballot box in
Tehran constituency, where 30 seats are up for grabs, have put the
Coalition of the Islamic Iran Constructors well ahead.
Incumbent Parliament Speaker Mehdi Karroubi, who is running in
the election, is said to be lagging at a far 49th in Islamshahr and
55th in Rey, both southern Tehran suburbs.
The results, although not confirmed by the Interior Ministry, are
as follows:
1. Gholamali Hadad-Adel
2. Ahmad Tavakkoli
3. Amir-Reza Khadem
4. Saeed Aboutaleb
5. Fatemeh Rahbar
6. Mohammad Khoshchehreh
7. Mehdi Karroubi
8. Majid Ansari
9. Hassan Ghafouri-Fard
10. Jamileh Kadivar
11. Soheila Jelodarzadeh
12. Ali Hashemi Rafsanjani
13. Alireza Mahjoub
13 posted on 02/21/2004 3:26:16 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn; MLedeen; freedom44; Ragtime Cowgirl; Cindy
Do you know that #4 (Aboutaleb) on the above list is the guy being captured by American troops 6 months ago and later freed.
He was charged with espionage, filming American military facilities and couraging Iraqis to start uprising in south of Baghdad.
14 posted on 02/21/2004 4:38:33 AM PST by Khashayar
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To: Khashayar; DoctorZIn; freedom44; nuconvert
I think you are right. I have found some thing about him.
He was in our custody months ago.

Ayatollah Khamenei receives two released filmmakers

IranMania News
5th Nov 2003

Tehran, Nov 5, IRNA -- Ayatollah Ali Khamenei received Soheil Karimi and Saeed Aboutaleb, the two Iranian documentary filmmakers detained in Iraq for several months.

During the meeting, Khamenei expressed his happiness with the release of the two documentarians of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) who were released on Monday after spending 127 days in captivity in Iraq.

'Karimi' and 'Aboutaleb' were arrested on July 1 by US troops in Iraq`s southeastern city of "Kut" together with an interpreter and a local driver as they were preparing a documentary on the life of the Iraqi people.

They were later transferred to "Diwaniyah", and afterwards to "Baghdad" before being handed over to the British troops in "Um-al Qasr" prison, southern Iraq.

Upon arrival at "Mehrabad International Airport", the IRIB crew were warmly welcomed by a number of officials and a large group of people.
15 posted on 02/21/2004 4:45:57 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn
IRIB state run TV keeps on saying that turnout was around 70% and at the same time, IRNA which belongs to reformers says that 40% was the turnout through out Iran and 25% in city of Tehran.
16 posted on 02/21/2004 5:07:49 AM PST by Khashayar
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To: Khashayar
You'd think there would have been a plan in place, when the SHAM elections were being prepared, that the official numbers would be X when completed.

Can't they think far enough ahead? I know the hardliners have all the power, and rule with an iron fist, but, don't they realize how FOOLISH they look?
17 posted on 02/21/2004 7:48:17 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (Your friend is your needs answered. --- Kahlil Gibran)
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To: DoctorZIn
This just in from inside of Iran... preliminary numbers on the regimes 7th parliamentary elections.

"IRNA reported 25% in Tehran and 40% turnout in Iran, but IRIB keeps censoring this stat and claims a 70% turnout.

According to web-page (a very reliable source of news)less than 20% voted in Tehran.

In 6th parliamentary election 3 million voted in Tehran
this time less than 1,200,000 voted."
18 posted on 02/21/2004 8:21:09 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: F14 Pilot
Alright, we already know what the results will be and we know they are lying about the turnout, but what now? What are the people of Iran going to do now that the mullahs are going to tighten down everything once again?
19 posted on 02/21/2004 8:36:41 AM PST by McGavin999 (Evil thrives when good men do nothing!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Too Slow in Proving it Has No Nuclear Bomb Program

February 21, 2004
Khaleej Times Online

WASHINGON -- US Secretary of State Colin Powell on Friday criticized the Iranian government for moving too slowly in showing the world it is not trying to build an atomic bomb and urged Teheran to give up its suspected weapons of mass destruction program.

“After 18 years of trying to deceive the International Atomic Energy Agency and the world, Iran is slowly—still too slowly—coming forward with answers needed by the IAEA and by the rest of the international community to make sure that they are not violating their obligations,” Powell said.

Powell, who was speaking at Princeton University in New Jersey, added that Iran “needs to pledge an end—not just a suspension—to all of its WMD programs and it must follow those promises with action.”

The White House voiced concern on Thursday over a report that IAEA inspectors found in Iran components of an advanced uranium-enrichment centrifuge.

Iran should have declared the centrifuge’s existence by October 31, 2003 under an ultimatum from the Vienna-based IAEA, diplomats in Vienna said.

In a statement, Iran Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said the report was “without any basis or foundation.”

Asefi said Iran’s research into advanced centrifuges was “a purely scientific project” and that such centrifuges had “never been put into service”
20 posted on 02/21/2004 8:36:58 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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