Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Iranian Alert -- February 24, 2004 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD --Americans for Regime Change in Iran
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 2.24.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 02/24/2004 12:08:15 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
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-60 next last
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

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

1 posted on 02/24/2004 12:08:16 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 02/24/2004 12:10:32 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Flawed Iran polls could jeopardise talks: EU


BRUSSELS: The European Union on Monday denounced Iran’s parliamentary elections as undemocratic as ministers warned of a new chill on relations between Tehran and the West.

“It is plain for everybody to see that these were from the start flawed elections,” British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said as he arrived for a meeting of his EU counterparts.

Conservatives claimed a majority in the Iranian parliament Monday after hard-liners barred more than 2,400 candidates, many of them reformers, from participating.

In a statement, the ministers expressed “deep regret and disappointment” at the exclusion of reformist candidates, saying it made “a genuine democratic choice by the Iranian people impossible.

“This interference was a setback for the democratic process in Iran,” it said, calling on Iran to “return to the path of reform and democratisation.”

The ministers made no mention of possible sanctions, but earlier German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said Europe would “very carefully analyse” how it should now deal with Tehran.

The EU is eager to maintain what it calls a “constructive dialogue” with Iran to support reformers who want to push the Islamic state into adopting more democratic rights.

But talks launched in December 2002 to grant Iran greater access to EU markets in exchange for improvements in human rights have been frozen since June due to Western concerns about Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

“We have to send a clear message that the European Union ... wants an opening up of the regime there,” Spanish Foreign Minister Ana Palacio said, adding that cooperation on nuclear issues was also important. “I urge the Iranian authorities to take account of this.”

The United States suspects Iran of conducting a secret program to build nuclear weapons. Iran denies the accusations and insists it seeks only energy-producing reactors. Straw said the elections “will obviously create a new environment for the discussions”.

Also on Monday’s agenda was the EU’s increasingly rocky relations with Russia, which worries about losing markets and travel rights in its former satellites after they join the western bloc this spring.

They also were to discuss Zimbabwe, days after agreeing to renew an asset freeze and travel ban on government ministers, as well as Cyprus and the Middle East.

Ministers opened their regular monthly session with financial issues - preparations for next month’s economic summit and proposals for the next EU budget cycle, 2007-2013 - both of which are already causing controversy.

Leaders of Europe’s big three - Germany, France and Britain - provoked angry jibes from smaller countries last week when they held a private pre-summit meeting to discuss ways to jump-start the continent’s sluggish growth.

The three also are leading the push for an EU budgetary spending freeze, drawing fire from European Commission President Romano Prodi, who was to present his proposals for increased expenditures to pay for new members and tasks.

Eight formerly communist countries in eastern Europe are among the 10 joining the EU on May 1. But Moscow has so far refused to agree to extend to them the “partnership and cooperation agreement” with the EU, which covers trade, travel and other issues. —AP
3 posted on 02/24/2004 12:19:24 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
The Region: Iran's no-win election

Jerusalem Post

The Iranian regime's handling of elections is a case study of Middle East politics second to none. An examination of the how and why behind the event will give a broad picture of the workings of this region.

In February 2004, Iran marked the 25th anniversary of the Iranian revolution. This is not only an important date for Iran; it should also show what happens when radical Islamism takes over a country, and whether it can deliver on its promises.

The basic outcome of this experiment is clear: The great enthusiasm of the revolutionary period has given way to a massive disillusionment. The great majority of Iranians opposes the regime and is quite willing to say so. In election after election it has voted overwhelmingly for moderate reform candidates.

Even the president was identified with this camp. The regime's electoral support was only at about 20 percent.

But two very important points should remain clear here. First, the regime has stayed in power. There was never any question but that the hard-line rulers (one could call them either "conservative" or "radical") have had their way on every issue. The reform-minded parliament and president have been unable to change a single feature of the system. This situation has prevailed for several reasons.

The regime, of course, retains control of the armed forces, courts, and other such institutions. In addition, it established structures allowing it to veto the desires of the popularly elected representatives. The Council of Guardians, appointed by the hard-line spiritual leader, has been the real agency controlling legislation.

Another important factor is the regime's control of the agenda and definition of politics. It was agreed that Iran would remain an Islamic republic following a certain general line. Like Arab regimes, it used the great scapegoats of the United States and Israel as the cause of all evils and the rationale for retaining its dictatorship.

Second, the regime used the limited degree of democracy as a safety valve. Dozens of independent newspapers were created, for example, and criticized the regime – which let them print their views, then closed them down and threw the editors in jail. A little while later, they were allowed to reopen under different names.

But people had a margin of freedom in their daily lives which made them tolerable. With some liberty, why should they launch a revolution which could lead to hundreds of thousands of dead and Iran's cities in ruins?
This was also enough to let most of the world – governments (especially European ones), academics, media – conclude that there was an important degree of progress in Iran.

Don't press the regime too hard, they said, or this will hurt the moderates. Wait patiently and things will change. Pretend that Iran isn't developing an atomic bomb. Use trade to moderate the situation.

And if the Iranians sponsor terrorism more than any country and rave about wiping Israel from the map, well, excuses can be found.

THEN COMES the 2004 election. The regime has tired of the game. This time it bans 2,000 proposed parliamentary candidates, 80 of them people already serving in parliament. This is very regrettable, says the supreme leader, but the election must go on as scheduled. Few reform supporters, or at least well-known ones, are left on the ballot.

The opposition tries to fight back, but picks a very bad method: boycott. More than 130 deputies in the 290-seat parliament resign, while another 679 candidates who are permitted to run pull out of the race. Many members of parliament write a letter to the supreme leader complaining: "You lead a system in which legitimate freedoms and the rights of the people are being trampled on in the name of Islam."

Predictably, of course, the election is held and the regime wins by an overwhelming majority. Despite the fact that the turnout is low, the rulers lie, claiming it is high. The people have spoken, they insist, and the regime remains in power.

But how does the regime try to justify itself to the masses at home and to the gullible part of the world? By using, albeit with less success, the same methods that work in the Arab world.
And so the supreme leader explains that reformers are traitors ("against the Iranian nation and the revolution") while the regime must act in the way it does to battle demonic foreign enemies ("The loser of this election is the United States [and] Zionism.")
Each ballot cast for his supporters, he explains, is "a bullet into the heart of President George Bush."

The opposition must thus prove that it is not a pawn of America and Israel and not an enemy of Islamist revolution and Iran (a safer route but unlikely to lead anywhere, as the experience of recent years shows). Or it can challenge the whole system.

Mohammed Reza Khatami, the president's younger, tougher brother, and one of the parliamentarians denied the chance to run for reelection, has now said it is time for Iran to become a secular republic.
The reformists have a tough battle ahead, should they choose to fight it. Their eventual victory may seem likely, but how many more decades will it take?

The writer is a former Fulbright scholar, director of the GLORIA Center, and co-author of the recently published Yasir Arafat: A Political Biography.
4 posted on 02/24/2004 12:23:11 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
EU raps Iran elections, trade pact on hold

Brussels |Reuters | 24-02-2004

Iran's hopes of a lucrative trade pact with the European Union hit a snag yesterday as the bloc branded the exclusion of reformist candidates from its parliamentary polls a setback for democracy.

Diplomats said that even if a UN report on Iran's nuclear compliance due this week was reassuring, the EU would proceed cautiously with Tehran now packed with Islamic conservatives.

"There will be a cooling off," said one senior diplomat. "Our interlocutors were the reformers, and of them essentially only the president and the foreign minister remain."

A draft statement agreed by diplomats of the EU's 25 current and future members for foreign ministers meeting later in the day said the electoral "interference" was a disappointment after a decade of progress towards political freedom.

"The ministers expressed deep regret that large number of candidates were prevented from standing... making a genuine democratic choice by Iranians impossible," said the draft. The UN nuclear agency will this week issue a report on Iran's nuclear programmes.
5 posted on 02/24/2004 12:26:12 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Another Nuclear Program Found in Iran

February 23, 2004
The Washington Post
Karl Vick

TEHRAN -- International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors have discovered that Iran produced and experimented with polonium, an element useful in initiating the chain reaction that produces a nuclear explosion, according to two people familiar with a report the inspectors will submit to the United Nations this week.

Iran reportedly acknowledged the experiments but offered an explanation involving another of polonium's possible uses, which include power generation. The IAEA noted the explanation and left the issue "hanging there," said one person familiar with the matter. The experiments were described by this person as occurring "some time ago."

The discovery is the latest example of a nuclear activity that Iran had not previously disclosed. Earlier, it was revealed that Iran had obtained plans and parts for a nuclear centrifuge, a sophisticated machine used to enrich uranium for use in power plants, as well as in nuclear weapons. Iran insists it always intended its nuclear program to be used only to supply electrical power.

Polonium is a radioactive, silvery-gray or black metallic element. The most common natural isotope is polonium-210. It has some industrial purposes, but can also be utilized, in combination with beryllium, to make sure that the chain reaction leading to a nuclear explosion is initiated at precisely the right moment.

"It does heighten suspicions because polonium-210 is so linked to a certain type of neutron-initiator," said David Albright, an expert on nuclear proliferation at the Institute for Science and International Security. "But it's not an ideal neutron-initiator. It doesn't last long, so you've got to keep producing it."

Polonium-210 has a half-life of 138 days. Experts say research on polonium would be done early in a weapons program. "It's quite clear they were trying to make an explosive device," said one person with knowledge of the polonium discovery. "But they hadn't gotten far enough. No one will find a smoking gun because they weren't able to make a gun."

The disclosures present an unwelcome political challenge for Iran, which was hoping to put the nuclear issue behind it before March 8, when the full board of the IAEA convenes in Vienna. Instead, diplomats said, Iranian officials were bracing for a report raising enough questions to keep the nuclear issue alive.

"They are going to be facing this problem for a while," said one diplomat.

"We remain committed to our obligations under the International Atomic Energy Agency," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said on Sunday, while acknowledging to reporters that Iran had acquired nuclear equipment from "middlemen" representing a Pakistani nuclear scientist. "We've never pursued nuclear arms and will never do so," he said.

The disclosures come as Iran is undergoing fresh inspections by the IAEA, the U.N. body charged with enforcing the 1970 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Iran was facing a deadline for disclosing its nuclear activities late last year when three European countries persuaded its government to accede to international pressure to open its nuclear program. Iran agreed to permit more rigorous inspections, suspend uranium enrichment and make a full accounting of nuclear programs it had kept largely secret for 18 years.

Inspections appear to have gone smoothly. Iran's state-controlled media make no mention of the presence of the foreign inspectors. And though one foreign official said the IAEA would prefer that Iranian officials be "more pro-active" in revealing previously hidden elements, Iranian officials have made no effort to block the inspectors when they follow leads they generate themselves.

On the other hand, their discoveries corrode Iran's already fragile credibility. Neither the polonium work nor plans for a P-2 centrifuge were mentioned in Iran's earlier "comprehensive" summary. Discovery of the P-2 centrifuge design and components -- revealed after Libya exposed a black market in nuclear programs run out of Pakistan -- was especially damaging to trust, officials said.

"They say it was an oversight. The IAEA people don't think it was an oversight," said one analyst here. "You have forces that want to keep things secret."

Albright, who has written extensively on Iran's nuclear program, said, "The Libyan bomb design looks like what China gave Pakistan, and why wouldn't have Iran gotten it?

"There's a lot of pressure on Iran," he said. "And I don't think it's credible that Iran says it never had a military nuclear program. To me, it's not so much a suspicion, it's more of an assessment that Iran did have a nuclear weapons program."

Privately, many foreign and Iranian analysts agree. "The intention is clear from the fact they had a clandestine program," said one analyst, who would not be identified by nationality or position.

Begun by Iran's own accounting at the height of its 1980-88 war with Iraq, the nuclear program is believed to have been chiefly under the control of the hard-line Islamic Revolution Guard Corps. Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was using chemical weapons on the front line, and Iran was internationally isolated.

One Iranian political figure said powerful players in Iran's religious government -- who diplomats said agreed only reluctantly to the agreement brokered by Britain, France and Germany -- rebuffed the pleas of some inside the government to reveal the military side of the atomic program at the time, when it might have done so without penalty.

"I think it was because they wanted to conclude things in a way that it did not look like they had been totally defeated," he said.

In fact, no firm proof of a weapons program has emerged from Iran's far-ranging nuclear activities. But several analysts said they expect more evidence trails to emerge from a prodigious record that Iranian officials have pleaded they have trouble sorting through themselves.

By the time a working gas centrifuge and other advanced components of the clandestine program began coming to light a year ago, outside experts were stunned to see Iran had set out to produce enriched uranium by four distinct methods. The end product could be used either for generating power or, if enriched to weapons grade, for making warheads.
6 posted on 02/24/2004 12:36:34 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Another Nuclear Program Found in Iran

February 23, 2004
The Washington Post
Karl Vick
7 posted on 02/24/2004 12:37:27 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Political battle rages in Iran over record low voter turnout

24 February 2004
Channel News Asia, Singapore

TEHRAN : A political battle in Iran over the record low voter turnout in controversial parliamentary elections continued to rage, with the interior ministry hitting back at conservatives' allegations it was seeking to discredit their win.

The reformist-run ministry, responsible for organising Friday's polls and overseeing the vote count, put turnout at 28 percent in Tehran and 50.57 percent nationwide -- the lowest for a major election in the 25-year history of the Islamic republic.

This was contested by the hardline Guardians Council, a political oversight body that virtually guaranteed conservatives a win by disqualifying most reformist candidates. Along with the conservative press, it put turnout at a more respectable 60 percent.

The interior ministry responded in a statement by pointing to a "lack of information and negligence" and "propaganda" by its critics.

Rather than contesting the number of people who had voted, conservatives had questioned the number of eligible voters.

Voter turnout became a key issue in the polls, with many viewing participation as an indication of public support for the regime.
8 posted on 02/24/2004 2:26:54 AM PST by F14 Pilot
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Uh, I hate to burst your bubble, but if you think a Muslim populace anywhere is capable of self-government, you're severely deluded.

Sorry. It's just the truth. Muslims are barbarians and incapable of behaving in a civilized manner. Heck our president is kidding himself if he thinks there will ever be "democracy" in Iraq.

It's best just to subjugate those people. It will never work.

9 posted on 02/24/2004 3:37:11 AM PST by Gurn (Islam is a cancer.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gurn
A religion that advocates murdering all their intellectuals and moderates, will eventually have a moronic, terrified population.
10 posted on 02/24/2004 4:07:17 AM PST by tkathy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: tkathy; Gurn
Sorry, but do you think NON-MUSLIMS are the only people who deserve democracy? Or you are gonna be bigots?
11 posted on 02/24/2004 7:23:32 AM PST by F14 Pilot
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: All
Iran made and tested polonium

Hi Pakistan Daily
24 Feb 04

WASHINGTON: Iran produced and experimented with polonium used in the timing of nuclear explosions some time ago, but says it was not used for such purposes, The Washington Post said today.

The International Atomic Energy Agency will include Iran's experimentation with polonium in a report to be submitted this week at the United Nations, two people familiar with the report told the daily.
12 posted on 02/24/2004 7:34:14 AM PST by F14 Pilot
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Atom Bomb Spotlight on Iran

February 24, 2004
Louis Charbonneau

TRIPOLI -- The U.N. nuclear watchdog says it expects Libya's nuclear weapons programme to be dismantled by June while suspicions deepen that Iran has a similar covert atom bomb programme.

Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), on Monday urged countries suspected of having similar projects, such as Iran and North Korea, to follow in Libya's footsteps.

"What I preach everywhere I go is full transparency, full cooperation," ElBaradei told reporters, adding senior Libyan officials had reaffirmed their commitment to disarming.

ElBaradei said he hoped to put a full stop behind Tripoli's nuclear weapons, currently being dismantled, by June.

"We will make every effort to come to a closure on this issue hopefully by June," ElBaradei told reporters after meeting Libya's deputy prime minister in charge of the nuclear programme, Matoug M. Matoug.

The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that IAEA inspectors in Iran had found a substance, polonium, that could be used to initiate a chain reaction for a nuclear explosion. It said Iran had experimented with polonium "some time ago".

Coupled with the recent discovery of designs, components and few fully assembled "P2" centrifuges, which can be used to produce weapons-grade uranium, the discovery of the polonium would appear to cast doubt on Iran's statements that it had never sought nuclear weapons.

Diplomats in Vienna have told Reuters that Iranian officials have been lobbying envoys on the IAEA's governing board -- which meets on March 8 to discuss Iran and Libya -- to remove Tehran's nuclear programme from the agenda by the board's June meeting.

"This is absurd," a non-aligned diplomat told Reuters.


ElBaradei was due to meet Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Abderrhmane Chalgam on Tuesday to discuss further disarmament steps before returning to IAEA headquarters in Vienna.

Several Western diplomats said Libya's openness with the U.N. watchdog contrast sharply with Tehran's reluctant cooperation since an exiled opposition group broke the news Iran was hiding a massive underground uranium-enrichment facility at Natanz.

"We would like to see Iran showing the same kind of active cooperation that Libya has shown," a diplomat said.

The IAEA will release a report on Iran's nuclear programme this week. Diplomats said it would list numerous failures by Iran to disclose sensitive nuclear technology and research that could be related to a weapons programme.

The IAEA began inspections of Libya's nuclear programme in December after Tripoli agreed to renounce its covert nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programmes.

Last week the IAEA issued a report saying Libya had begun trying to develop nuclear arms as far back as the early 1980s, and the programme was much bigger than previously thought.

Several Western diplomats have expressed concern Libya wants to keep a research reactor and a uranium conversion plant, despite Washington seeking the removal of all such technology.

Diplomats said Libya's attempt to keep the conversion plant was now half-hearted and expected Tripoli to agree to its dismantling by U.S. and British experts.

ElBaradei said he was not concerned about the reactor or Libya's desire to keep "peaceful-use" nuclear technology.

But he said discussions were under way to convert the reactor, which uses weapons-grade highly-enriched uranium, to one using low-enriched fuel.
13 posted on 02/24/2004 8:56:44 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
The Iranian Deception

February 24, 2004
The Wall Street Journal
Review & Ootlook

Now is precisely the time for Mr. Bush to show solidarity with the majority of Iranians who want greater freedom, just as Ronald Reagan spoke up for the people of Poland in the early 1980s. The only way to stop Iran's despotic regime from getting nuclear weapons is to help Iranians change the regime.

So when are President Bush's critics, including those in his own State Department, going to concede that he was right all along to include Iran in the "axis of evil"?

Now would seem to be an apt moment, after last Friday's sham election in which Tehran's ruling clerics bullied their way to a majority in what passes for a parliament. The mullahs also fessed up over the weekend to yet another instance of deceiving U.N. nuclear inspectors, conveniently ahead of a report this week from International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Mohammed El Baradei.

The most logical interpretation of all this is that Iran's junta is betting its survival on a crash program to build a nuclear bomb. By the way, does Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage still think Iran is operating a "democracy," as he noted not long ago? Just checking.

The Iranian nuclear revelations are the latest fruit of the exercise in non-proliferation known as the Iraq war. Saddam's fate convinced Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi that WMD production was a bad career move, which in turn led to the unraveling of a nuclear proliferation network run by Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan.

Earlier this month Mr. Khan confessed to supplying Iran with nuclear parts, and last week a Malaysian police report said a middleman in the Khan network had confessed to selling Iran nuclear equipment for $3 million in cash. "We purchased some parts from some dealers," an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman conceded Sunday.

That admission comes on the heels of the reported discovery by the IAEA of uranium-enrichment equipment at a military airbase in Iran. The P-2 centrifuge parts are said to be far more sophisticated than anything the Iranians had admitted to having, and would seem to lend credence to reports that the mullahs are operating multiple, simultaneous enrichment programs lest international inspectors shut any one of them down. Iran has still not adequately explained a prior discovery of centrifuge parts contaminated with highly enriched uranium.

Iran has no need to enrich uranium if its nuclear program is for peaceful energy purposes, as it claims. Russia has agreed to supply the fuel. These latest deceptions occur, moreover, even as Iran is being given a chance to come clean to the IAEA as part of an October agreement following the discovery of two previously undeclared nuclear sites.

As for the elections, they ought to mark the end of President Mohammad Khatami as a repository of Western and Iranian hopes for reform. Mr. Khatami won a resounding victory in 1997 as the more liberal of the candidates the unelected Guardian Council had deemed to be acceptable protectors of the Islamic Revolution. In 2000 Iranians chose a relatively liberal majority from a carefully screened list of candidates for the country's parliament, or majlis. But Mr. Khatami backed off on threats to resign as laws curbing the power of the Guardian Council and the judiciary were vetoed. His credibility never recovered.

This time around the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameini, decided the appearance of democracy was not worth the risk of another showdown. The list of thousands of disqualified candidates included more than 80 sitting members of parliament. Internet providers were ordered to restrict access to potentially subversive sites.

Publication of an election-eve letter of protest from more than 100 MPs resulted in closure of the country's last two significant reformist newspapers. Iran's hardliners now say they're plotting a crackdown on satellite dishes, and word is they're preparing Hassan Rohani -- their point man with the IAEA -- to "run" for President when Mr. Khatami's term expires in 2005.

Even the cynical, oil-driven countries of Old Europe recognize the significance of the coup that's just happened -- at least as a public relations blow to their policy of "constructive engagement." The mullahs made "a genuine democratic choice by the Iranian people impossible," read a joint statement from EU foreign ministers. As ever, France's Dominique de Villepin isn't quite ready to write off a planned trade deal: "We have to wait and see how things emerge."

No doubt forgiveness will be the temptation in Washington too. With the U.S. already committed in Iraq, Mr. Armitage and his allies will tempt Mr. Bush with the offer that he can win new concessions on WMD if he keeps quiet about elections and human rights. In addition, the Iranian regime has been signaling it may turn over the al Qaeda members in its custody, or at least not make too much trouble for U.S. troops next door.

We should have learned by now this is a fool's game, entirely at odds with Mr. Bush's "forward strategy of freedom" in the Middle East. Now is precisely the time for Mr. Bush to show solidarity with the majority of Iranians who want greater freedom, just as Ronald Reagan spoke up for the people of Poland in the early 1980s. The only way to stop Iran's despotic regime from getting nuclear weapons is to help Iranians change the regime.
14 posted on 02/24/2004 8:57:32 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
The Iranian Deception

February 24, 2004
The Wall Street Journal
Review & Ootlook
15 posted on 02/24/2004 8:58:38 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Iran's Conservatives Turn Friendlier Face to the West

February 23, 2004

Officials in Tehran said Feb. 23 they do not object to U.S. companies investing in oil and gas projects in Iran. This indicates the clerics feel their post-election grip on power is secure. The announcement sends a message to United States that Tehran is ready to publicly do business -- and perhaps even more.


Conservatives in Iran are on their way to retaking control of the Majlis, or parliament. They won 149 of 290 seats in the Feb. 20 elections; reformists and independents clinched a meager 65 seats in the unicameral legislative body. Following the victory, the clerical regime is trying to attract U.S. companies to invest in business ventures entailing 25 years' worth of commitment -- showing that the conservative powerbrokers in the Islamist republic have consolidated their position in Tehran.

These statements indicate that the conservative-controlled government finally is ready to take its secret relationship with the United States to the next level without risking embarrassment.

The conservatives long have subtly signaled that they would be willing to gradually resume relations with the United States, but only on their own terms. Until now, the Iranian legislature -- and consequently the executive branch -- has not been fully under conservative control, which prevented the hard-liners from comfortably moving toward détente with the United States. The parliament and cabinet have been dominated by liberal, modernist clerics since the landslide victory in 1997 that brought President Mohammed Khatami to power.

Reformists and conservatives, however, certainly recognize the overarching geopolitical reality that dealing with Washington could give Iran an upper hand in Iraq. Although this would benefit the conservatives, they worry that should the reformists be allowed access to this process, potential advantages gained from a relationship with the United States could be squandered -- or at least not carefully controlled and cultivated.

The working relationship between Khatami and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei kept the two sides from destroying the Islamist political system, and both sides were able to agree on almost all foreign policy matters -- except the issue of seeking détente with the United States.

If it were up to Khatami and the reformist camp, U.S.-Iranian relations now would be overt and public. The conservatives -- with their careful constitutional engineering -- have circumscribed the president and his cabinet in areas in which the conservatives felt threatened.

The conservatives know well that they eventually would be ousted if they let Iran's relations take their own course. The unelected clerics know that Washington's dealings with elected officials could strengthen the reformists, who in time could effect a coup.

Conservatives likely gained confidence from dealing with Washington and Europe -- over Iraq, the Iranian nuclear program and al Qaeda -- that the West would look the other way if the reformists were ousted. The United States and Europe have criticized the Iranian elections, but the relatively mild tone of officials' statements indicates that the West is willing to ignore Tehran's manipulation of the electoral process for the sake of larger interests.

The United States and Europe are much more interested in securing cooperation on the aforementioned issues from Tehran than squabbling over election practices. Dealing with a unified government firmly controlled by those who exercise ultimate authority is the best way to realize this objective. Divisions among the reformists and their inability to command much public support also gave the green light to conservatives to go ahead with their plans.

As a result, they easily took control of unstable government institutions by barring their opponents from contesting the polls. The conservatives' overwhelming victory has allowed them carte blanche to forge relations with the United States as they wish.

The conservatives have won this round and even are beginning to turn a friendlier face to the West, but they will have to act soon. The clock is ticking -- in both Baghdad and Washington.
16 posted on 02/24/2004 8:59:53 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
The Internet Under Surveillance

February 24, 2004
Reporters Without Borders

Conservatives muzzle the Internet during elections

Judge Said Mortazavi signals closure of pro-reformist news web site

Iranian authorities have followed official harassment of pro-reformist newspapers with an attack against online news publications, said Reporters Without Borders, which protested at the latest development.

Judge Said Mortazavi announced on 23 February that he would shortly shut down the pro-reformist web site

Calling for the site to be made available again in Iran, the international press freedom organisation said, "The Internet is now regularly used by Iranians to access independent news, despite controls put in place by the authorities.

"We call on conservative judges to halt their ideological censorship of the net, which has clearly intensified during this electoral period."

Emrooz has been blocked in Iran since the start of the year but remains accessible from abroad. The decision announced by Judge Mortazavi will shortly mean a complete shutdown of the news site, viewed as "damaging to the security" of Iran.

The independent online news site, popular with Iranian Internet-users, was also added to the "black list" at the start of the year. Reporters Without Borders has information that this order has since been lifted.

Weblogs - personal or collective pages in which Internet users make their own comments about the news - are also subjected to censorship by the conservatives. Among the 50 or so bloggers commenting on the Iranian elections are: and a collective weblog "news about the boycott" (

The authorities have also stepped up harassment of the news site which has been the target of technical strikes that made it inaccessible for several days. has officially been blocked from 18 February onward and may be soon closed down by the authorities.

Finally, the Reporters Without Borders site (available in Farsi), has recently been added to the list of filtered sites and is therefore now unavailable in Iran.

As the organisation revealed in its previous report on free expression on the Internet (available on Iran is very repressive towards the Internet and managers of online publications. Censorship, which is officially said to protect people against immoral content, quickly extended to political news. It is moreover now easier to access pornographic sites on the Internet in Iran than those of censored pro-reformist publications.

According to information obtained by Reporters Without Borders, Iranian delegations are currently in France and Germany with the aim of updating technical means for the Islamic Republic of Iran to control the Internet.
17 posted on 02/24/2004 9:00:37 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gurn
Perhaps you have forgotten [or likely with your education level] didn't know Iran had elected a democratic secular government in 1953, which was subsequently overthrown by the British MI6 which eventually coerced Kermit Roosevelt and the CIA involvement?

Before you rant and rave do some historical studying.. or better yet pass the 3rd grade.
18 posted on 02/24/2004 9:01:14 AM PST by freedom44
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Gurn
Perhaps you have forgotten [or likely with your education level] didn't know Iran had elected a democratic secular government in 1953, which was subsequently overthrown by the British MI6 which eventually coerced Kermit Roosevelt and the CIA involvement?

Before you rant and rave do some historical studying.. or better yet pass the 3rd grade.
19 posted on 02/24/2004 9:01:37 AM PST by freedom44
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Reza Pahlavi

20 posted on 02/24/2004 9:02:17 AM PST by DoctorZIn (z)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-60 next last

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

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

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