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Iranian Alert -- February 25, 2004 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD --Americans for Regime Change in Iran
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^
Posted on 02/25/2004 12:06:36 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 Americans 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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Many even want the US to over throw their government.
This came from the article. I just copy/pasted it. This is asking for more than just moral support which I freely and happily give them.
Sure I wrote that "Iranians didn't deserve freedom" but you ripped this from the sentence where "unless they do it themselves" followed it. Nobody likes being misquoted or quoted out of context.
The French did not start our Revolutionary War, the Americans did. And nobody gives the French the credit for "liberating" the colonies.
posted on 02/25/2004 1:42:33 PM PST
(Oh that's right, I'm a certified doom and gloomer.)
Nobel winner Ebadi says poll shows rift in Iran
BRUSSELS, Feb 25 (Reuters) - The poor turnout in Iran's parliamentary election showed a widening gulf between the people and government, Nobel peace prize laureate Shirin Ebadi said on Wednesday, adding she hoped the rift would not lead to violence.
"In the sixth Majlis election the turnout was 85 percent. In the seventh parliamentary election (on February 20), as announced by the government, something like 50 percent turned out," she told reporters after meeting European parliament President Pat Cox.
"This drop in the figure shows the gap between the government and the Iranian people, which has widened. I hope those candidates who succeeded will work in such a way as to close that gap," she added.
Ebadi, a human rights lawyer who won the Nobel Peace Prize last year, urged Europe to continue a dialogue with Iran, saying it was essential to promote human rights and democracy there.
She praised the European Union on its record of promoting human rights, adding: "Societies in which human rights are violated will sooner or later resort to violence."
Asked if human rights violations in Iran might lead to violent unrest, she replied: "As an Iranian I hope that Iran will never go towards violence."
Ebadi confirmed that she had not voted in Friday's election, in which Islamic conservatives secured a big victory over reformists after some 2,500 reformist candidates were barred from standing by an unelected Guardian Council.
She said she did not vote as she did not know any of the candidates, but declined further comment on the result.
Cox, who said he had worried over whether the European parliament should maintain contacts with its Iranian counterpart in the light of the election result, said Ebadi had urged him to do so.
"Her strong advice to me is to continue the dialogue," he said, adding that human rights and democracy would be high on the agenda of any future dealings. http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L2531560.htm
EU line on Iran seen undermining US stance
Wednesday, February 25, 2004 - ©2004 IranMania.com
VIENNA, Feb 25 (AFP) -- European successes in winning Iranian cooperation on nuclear issues are making it difficult for the United States to bring Iran before the UN Security Council as a non-proliferation violator, diplomats said Wednesday.
The UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, is to meet at its headquarters in Vienna on March 8 to consider the question of Iran, which the United States charges is hiding a program to develop atomic weapons.
US undersecretary of state for non-proliferation issues John Bolton had said earlier this month: "There's no doubt that Iran continues a nuclear program."
"There is no doubt we think that the case of Iran should be referred in the (United Nations) Security Council," Bolton said.
US President George W. Bush has labeled Iran part of an "axis of evil" -- states trying to develop weapons of mass destruction.
But the United States failed at an IAEA board of governors meeting in November to get the board's other 34 member states to follow it in hauling Iran up before the UN Security Council, which could impose punishing sanctions.
Britain, France and Germany, which advocate a policy of constructive engagement with Tehran, had convinced Iran just a month before, in an agreement reached in Tehran on October 21, to come clean on its nuclear program.
The IAEA board, which includes non-aligned states favorable to Iran, decided that Iran should be given a chance, even though the board condemned the Islamic Republic for nearly two decades of covert nuclear activities.
But the IAEA said in a report Tuesday ahead of the March board meeting that Iran had failed since October to report possibly weapons-related atomic activities, despite promising full disclosure.
The IAEA said Iran had not told the agency it had designs for sophisticated "P-2" centrifuges for enriching uranium nor that it had produced polonium-210, an element which could be used as a "neutron initiator (to start the chain reaction) in some designs of nuclear weapons."
But diplomats said this would not be enough for the United States to win backing for the sanctions it seeks, since European nations still want to give Iran a chance to cooperate.
The report included an important gesture by Iran.
It said Iran had, only hours before the report was issued, promised to suspend all activities related to uranium enrichment, including "the assembly and testing of centrifuges."
Iran had previously suspended uranium enrichment, but was still making centrifuges.
A senior official close to the IAEA said this wider suspension "only came as a result of very intensive discussions" by European countries in Brussels with Iranian representatives.
"It's a beginning of a mainstreaming of Iran with Europe," the official said.
"This will open the door to a dialogue with the Europeans," he said, adding that this could involve a "trade agreement" or even "relaxation of sanctions on some technology controls."
Another diplomat said the report prepared for the March 8 meeting, unlike a report issued before the November meeting, does not accuse Iran of breaching safeguards agreements from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
"It's a progress report," the diplomat said, noting that the IAEA seems to want to avoid the controversy that swirled in November when the United States claimed the report justified sending Iran to the Security Council.
The diplomat said IAEA member states "have finally gotten what they wanted, the 100 percent suspension of uranium enrichment and related activities."
He said it would be unfortunate if European successes in getting the Iranians to cooperate "disturbed other plans," a clear reference to the Americans.
He said the IAEA board might pass a resolution "warning the Iranians about the things they haven't done" but he said the wording of such a resolution would be important, in order not to go too far in condemning the Iranians.
The senior official said that if the IAEA "doesn't get major surprises" in its continuing investigation of Iran it will in coming months, perhaps by the end of the year, "see the light at the end of the tunnel." http://www.iranmania.com/News/ArticleView/Default.asp?NewsCode=22921&NewsKind=Current%20Affairs
Iranians queue up for mobile phone SIM cards
Wednesday, February 25, 2004 - ©2004 IranMania.com
TEHRAN, Feb 25 (AFP) -- Hundreds of thousands of Iranians have been laying siege to post offices and banks this week to sign up for the latest issue of mobile telephone SIM cards -- even at the sky high price of $530 apiece.
"The queues to get a mobile phone line have been longer than for the elections," joked one taxi driver, referring dryly to last week's parliamentary polls that drew a record low 50.5% turnout.
The mobile phone market here is big business.
Even though the SIM cards on offer will not be released for a year and cost a small fortune and customers still have to pay for the telephone itself, existing lines bought on the open market cost more than double.
With the present rate for a SIM card currently hovering around the $1,200 mark, any new lines are highly sought after. Just three million mobile phone lines are currently in service.
Prior to the end of the current Iranian year on March 20, Iranian telecommunications authorities are planning on selling two million new lines, netting them over one billion dollars.
According to figures from the Post and Telecommunications Ministry, a quarter of a million new lines were sold in the first 48 hours after sales opened on Saturday -- the equivalent of $390 million.
In addition, on average each customer appeared to be buying up between 10 and 15 lines each -- a sign that the mobile phone market, like the car and property sector, has become a key form of investment.
According to press reports, one businessman even bought 5,000 lines.
But the new lines will be confronting a network already overloaded and in desperate need of investment -- judging by the difficulties involved, even in the capital Tehran, of placing a call or finding a strong enough signal to do so.
The public demand has, however, put the Islamic republic under pressure to open up its state monopoly on communications to private sector consortiums.
A second mobile network has recently been awarded to a group headed by Turkey's Turkcell and including Sweden's Ericsson and Finland's TeliaSonera. Their investment is expected to total $3.1 billion over 15 years.
With the number of mobile phone lines expected to reach 5.5 million in a year, Iranian authorities are setting their sights on reaching the 10 million mark after five years.
The Turkcell-led consortium is planning to sell substantially cheaper SIM cards -- around $178 -- but communications will be more expensive. They eventually hope to sell 16 million lines after 15 years. http://www.iranmania.com/News/ArticleView/Default.asp?NewsCode=22903&NewsKind=Business%20%26%20Economy
Hey, IAEA.... like this!
posted on 02/25/2004 6:18:41 PM PST
(CAUTION: I'm an acquaintance of someone labelled :"an obstinate supporter of dangerous fantasies")
...Sure I wrote that "Iranians didn't deserve freedom" but you ripped this from the sentence where "unless they do it themselves" followed it. Nobody likes being misquoted or quoted out of context.
The French did not start our Revolutionary War, the Americans did. And nobody gives the French the credit for "liberating" the colonies...
Please reread my statement. I was responding to your statement(in context) with the fact that our own revolutionary war was won with the help of other nations. Foreign military help was very important to our ultimate success at some critical moments.
The Iranian people are doing what you suggested. They have not asked for foreign intervention. They have simply been seeking our moral support.
I was objecting to what appeared to me to be a rather condescending attitude towards the Iranian people. Perhaps I was wrong about your intent. I see many Iranian freedom fighters as displaying tremendous courage and felt I needed to respond.
posted on 02/25/2004 8:56:48 PM PST
(Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
'This is war,' Rumsfeld Told Bush
February 25, 2004
The Washington Times
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's determination to kill terrorists and transform the military is detailed in "Rumsfeld's War" (Regnery Publishing Inc.), the new book by Rowan Scarborough, defense reporter for The Washington Times. Exclusive excerpts:
Donald H. Rumsfeld sat in a vault-like room studded with video screens and talked with President Bush as the Pentagon burned.
"This is not a criminal action," the secretary of defense told Bush over a secure line. "This is war."
The word "war" meant more than going after the al Qaeda terrorist network in Afghanistan, the fault line of terrorism. Bush said he wanted retaliation.
The setting was the Pentagon's Executive Support Center, where Rumsfeld held secure video teleconferences with the White House across the Potomac or with ground commanders 10,000 miles away.
The time was 1:02 p.m., less than four hours after terrorists steered American Flight 77 into the Pentagon's southwest wall.
Rumsfeld at first had dashed to the impact site. In his shirt and tie, he helped transport the wounded.
Finally convinced to leave the scene, Rumsfeld entered the closely guarded ESC, where whiffs of burned rubble penetrated the ventilation system. The video monitor in front of him was blank, but there was an audio connection with the president at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.
Rumsfeld's instant declaration of war, previously unreported, took America from the Clinton administration's view that terrorism was a criminal matter to the Bush administration's view that terrorism was a global enemy to be destroyed.
"That was really a breakthrough strategically and intellectually," recalls Douglas Feith, undersecretary of defense for policy. "Viewing the 9/11 attacks as a war that required a war strategy was a very big thought, and a lot flowed from that."
Rumsfeld wanted a war that was fought with ruthless efficiency: special forces, high-tech firepower, a scorecard for killing or capturing terrorists. He had no desire to become the world's jailer. And he refused to be stymied by bureaucracy.
Rumsfeld quickly shared his views in a meeting of his inner circle, the so-called Round Table group including Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and the chairman and vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
This would be a global war, Rumsfeld said, and he planned to give Special Operations forces Delta Force, SEALs and Green Berets unprecedented powers to kill terrorists.
Special Operations missions lived or died on secrecy, so he would tolerate no leaks. Staff meetings that once attracted 20 or more bureaucrats quickly were shrunk to no more than 10.
Rumsfeld publicly threatened criminal prosecution whenever "classified information dealing with operations is provided to people who are not cleared for that information."
The defense secretary kept his eyes on two balls one relatively small, the other as big as the globe:
He authorized Army Gen. Tommy Franks to bring him a war plan for toppling the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, where Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda operated. Perhaps far more importantly, he also summoned his top Special Operations officer, Air Force Gen. Charles Holland, to draw up a blueprint for a broader war on terror.
Holland's Special Operations Command in Tampa, Fla., was a sleepy outpost at MacDill Air Force Base. U.S. Central Command (CentCom), across the street, got all the press. It fought wars. Holland's command, dubbed SoCom, merely equipped some 35,000 special forces soldiers. When they went into battle, combatant commands such as CentCom took control.
Rumsfeld wanted that changed. Holland, however, was not a door-busting commando. He was a pilot who had flown the lumbering but deadly AC-130 gunships. Colleagues described Holland as courtly, polite and soft-spoken. He was a compromiser, not a bureaucratic infighter like his boss, Rumsfeld.
Holland arrived for his first wartime face-to-face meeting with Rumsfeld on Sept. 25, 2001. Rumsfeld told Holland he wanted SoCom to become a global command post.
Deeply disappointed by Holland's caution, Rumsfeld walked to the Pentagon pressroom that same day and announced: "The United States of America knows that the only way we can defend against terrorism is by taking the fight to the terrorists."
It was a message for Holland and other commanders as well as the public.
Rumsfeld's Round Table began to settle on strategy.
"We developed what we called the territorial approach to fighting terrorism," Feith recalls. "Instead of chasing every individual terrorist, you recognize that for terrorist organizations over a sustained period to do large-scale operations, they need bases of operations."
Afghanistan was the logical first step. But al Qaeda and its surrogates also thrived in border regions and ungoverned states such as Somalia.
Rumsfeld made a list:
Yemen, where al Qaeda planned the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole.
The Horn of Africa, where terror cells freely moved money and men.
The Philippines, where a group of Islamic terrorists, Abu Sayyaf, used kidnappings and deadly bombings to try to bring down the pro-American democracy.
Summer of discontent
By June 2002, Afghanistan's interim government was functioning amid the U.S.-led coalition's low-intensity conflict with Taliban holdouts. Iraq war planning had been started.
But Rumsfeld's ideas for hunting down terrorists worldwide had not taken hold. And he let Feith know he was not happy.
"I think we need a scorecard for the global war on terrorism," Rumsfeld said in a confidential June 20 action memo to his undersecretary for policy.
Less than two weeks later, Rumsfeld sent another memo to Feith asking, "How do we organize the Department of Defense for manhunts? We are obviously not well organized at the present time."
Rumsfeld wanted action. He wanted it from, among others, Holland.
Stephen Cambone, a close aide to Rumsfeld, told colleagues: "Holland was given the keys to the kingdom and he didn't want to pick them up."
Another aide told Rumsfeld: "You're going to have to put your finger in his chest and tell him what you want done."
On July 15, Holland returned to the Pentagon for another face-to-face with the boss. Holland again expressed caution about assuming new terror-hunt responsibilities. He didn't want to step on the toes of combatant commanders like Tommy Franks.
Rumsfeld castigated the top commando, saying he had made it clear to Holland and other four-stars that he wanted them "leaning forward." He ordered Holland to come up with a plan of action.
A historic change
I can reveal for the first time that Rumsfeld didn't wait. On July 22, he initialed a highly classified directive to Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs.
The Rumsfeld directive is just one page, but its impact was historic: The defense secretary changed the nature of Special Operations forces and the Pentagon by giving commanders the authority to plan and execute missions on their own with a minimum of bureaucratic interference. Some excerpts:
"The objective is to capture terrorists for interrogation, or if necessary, to kill them, not simply to arrest them in [a] law enforcement exercise.
"The objective should be that processing of deployment orders and obtaining other bureaucratic clearances can be accomplished in minutes and hours, not days and weeks.
"Special Operations command will screen DoD for personnel civilian and military with languages, ethnic connections and other attributes needed for clandestine and covert activities.
"Gen. Holland will brief me on initiatives that can disrupt or destroy terrorist operations and additional assets that might be needed to pursue such initiatives."
Holland returned July 31 with a plan that became known as the "30 percent solution," because Rumsfeld wanted it done one chunk at a time.
Holland wanted more men and money. He wanted diplomatic approval to go anywhere, anytime. And he wanted the always elusive "actionable intelligence" that decided whether a mission was successful.
Rumsfeld wanted to make sure he got it.
In January 2003, as Rumsfeld's tenure reached the two-year mark, he appeared in the Pentagon pressroom to announce a revamped SoCom. From now on, in-theater SoCom units would have authority to plan hunt-and-destroy missions, requisition weapons and men and run covert actions.
Rumsfeld abandoned the Clinton administration's decree that the military must have an official "finding" signed by the president a step that meant congressional notification and increased the possibility of leaks before taking any action. Now, special forces on the scene could react immediately to track and kill terrorists.
By spring 2003, Holland had won commitments from the Pentagon for 5,000 new positions and $1 billion more a year, bringing his budget to $6 billion.
But Rumsfeld demanded results. At a conference of commanders at the Pentagon, he pulled Holland aside.
"Have you killed anyone yet?" he asked.
Rumsfeld panel caught Bush's eye
This is the second of three exclusive excerpts from "Rumsfeld´s War" (Regnery Publishing Inc.), the new book by Rowan Scarborough, defense and national security reporter for The Washington Times.
A phone call from House Speaker Newt Gingrich's office marked Donald H. Rumsfeld's re-entry to Washington and the good graces of the Republican majority in Congress.
In little more than two years, the practiced Washington hand would be named secretary of defense again.
In 1998, Rumsfeld accepted Gingrich's offer of the chairmanship of a congressionally created panel charged with assessing the threat to the nation posed by ballistic missiles.
"We were looking for a strong team and I was a huge admirer of his and always thought he was a potential president," Gingrich recalls. "He was available. He was willing to do it."
Missile defense had become a core Republican issue.
President Reagan had spent billions trying to develop a virtual shield against attack. His "Star Wars" rhetoric rattled the Soviet politburo, helping to hasten the "Evil Empire's" collapse.
Gingrich thought Rumsfeld's resume impressive: Navy pilot, congressman from Illinois, head of the Office of Economic Opportunity and U.S. ambassador to NATO in the Nixon administration, White House chief of staff and defense secretary (the youngest ever) in the Ford administration, the chief executive officer who turned around pharmaceutical giant G.D. Searle & Co., special Middle East envoy for Reagan.
Since 1989, the argument for missile defense had focused on rogue nations like Iran, Iraq and North Korea, which appeared bent on building an arsenal of ballistic missiles armed with nuclear, biological or chemical warheads.
History showed that such rogue regimes made progress acquiring weapons at a faster pace than the CIA predicted. North Korea, for example, did not spend a lot of time on testing and perfecting missiles. The communist regime tested once and then deployed.
The Rumsfeld commission's formal name was the Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States. Conservative Republicans saw the panel five Republicans and four Democrats as a chance to debunk the CIA's latest national intelligence estimate (NIE) on missile proliferation.
An NIE is the intelligence community's best judgment on a national security issue. This particular NIE said the United States had a safety net of 15 years before a rogue nation could activate intercontinental ballistic missiles.
If the Rumsfeld commission could compile evidence to challenge that assessment, it would provide a boon to advocates of developing and deploying a missile defense.
The nine-member commission was tilted in Rumsfeld's favor.
On the panel were his old friend Bill Schneider, a veteran of the Reagan administration; future deputy Paul Wolfowitz, who got his first Pentagon job in the Carter administration; William Graham, an early "Star Wars" enthusiast; and James Woolsey, President Clinton's former director of central intelligence.
But in achieving what Rumsfeld wanted a unanimous report two members might put up objections. One was Richard L. Garwin, a renowned scientist who had advised Democratic administrations, and the other was Barry M. Blechman, who ran his own consulting firm.
Garwin and Blechman long had supported the Anti?Ballistic Missile Treaty. Liberals cited the 30-year-old ABM Treaty with the Soviet Union as an impenetrable firewall between research, which the pact allowed, and deployment, which it did not.
Also working for the commission was Stephen Cambone, a young defense analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Introduced to Rumsfeld by Schneider, Cambone had passed the Rumsfeld test: He was smart and willing to work long hours on tough problems.
"Rumsfeld forces you to make a decision about whether you will take the time and energy to be his guy," says a person who worked on forming the commission.
Cambone became the panel's chief of staff and helped the chairman get the right intelligence information.
Rumsfeld immediately cleared away some stumbling blocks. He made it clear that the commission was to assess the current missile threat, not recommend what to do about it. That approach won over anti-missile critics like Garwin.
The full story
The chairman then worked to get access to the CIA's most sensitive intelligence on any given nation's arms programs. Initially, CIA briefers passed out useless information.
"When we started, they were trying to give us pap," Blechman recalls. "It was worse than a briefing for the Kiwanis Club: 'The Russian federation has a lot of missiles.' It was a joke."
After one briefing, Schneider commented, "That briefer is a waste of food."
No expert on one country seemed to know what was going on in other countries.
Rumsfeld took his complaints directly to CIA Director George Tenet. Soon, the commission not only got better information, it got office space at Langley to view the crown jewels.
"Rumsfeld pressed and pressed and pressed until we got the full story on these different countries," Blechman says.
Members remember Rumsfeld reading all the material himself.
"Rumsfeld got very concerned about the intelligence community's lack of willingness to fill in the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle for which they didn't have direct evidence with judgment," Woolsey recalls. "That's what you've got to do."
Rumsfeld culminated the research by having the staff write a first draft of findings only. He then reworked it and unveiled the product.
Only when the findings were agreed upon did the staff produce a 300-page report. In the end, all agreed on relatively simple, but important, language:
"The threat to the U.S. posed by these emerging capabilities is broader, more mature and evolving more rapidly than has been reported in estimates and reports by the intelligence community," the Rumsfeld commission concluded. ... "The warning times the U.S. can expect of new, threatening ballistic missile deployments are being reduced."
In spring and summer 1998, during the Rumsfeld commission's investigation and immediately afterward, two events reinforced the notion of a dangerous, unpredictable world.
In May, India conducted its first underground testing of a nuclear warhead since 1974. It did so while deceiving the United States, lying to the Clinton administration about its plans and preparing the site while U.S. spy satellites were not overhead. India's test prompted Pakistan to do the same.
On Aug. 31, a month after the Rumsfeld commission released its findings, North Korea, as if on cue, test-fired its Taepodong rocket over Japan.
"[Rumsfeld] figured out that a unanimous commission was worth everything, because a unanimous commission meant that [liberal Democrats] are voting yes and it's impossible to discredit the report," Gingrich says. "It's an example of his ability to strategically understand what's necessary and then discipline himself to get it.
"What he wanted to do was get to the hardest unanimous report he could get to, and that was an art form. I think it's a really great work of leadership."
Tapped by Bush
Rumsfeld's chairmanship of the ballistic missile commission gave him his first entry into the inner circle of presidential candidate George W. Bush, the governor of Texas.
In January 2000, about 10 months before the election, Bush invited Rumsfeld to Washington to brief him on missile threats. The setting was a private room at the Mayflower Hotel.
"I met with him for hours, just alone," Rumsfeld recalls.
Rumsfeld told me that he never had a formal job interview with Bush.
After the election, the president-elect sought Rumsfeld's advice on the qualities needed in a defense secretary.
"He wanted to ask me questions about what I thought about the intelligence community and what I thought about defense and foreign policy areas," Rumsfeld told me. "And not because I had any desire to come in or he had any desire to have me. I think that was out of the question. It wasn't on the radar screen."
But Rumsfeld met again with Bush, this time in Austin, Texas. The president-elect did talk jobs, but made no direct offer. Rumsfeld also traveled to Bush's ranch in Taos, Texas.
A few days later, the phone rang. It was Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld's former protege in the Nixon and Ford administrations, offering him the defense job.
Gingrich analyzes the Bush-Rumsfeld marriage this way:
"Bush is talking to a first-rate politician, who won elective office, who's been chief of staff to a president, who was the youngest secretary of defense in history, who had been CEO of a big corporation, very successful big corporation.
"So [Bush] could say to him, do you think you could redo the Pentagon? Well, this Rumsfeld spent his career preparing for this."
Gingrich adds: "It doesn't hurt that the guy in charge of staffing the administration [Cheney] is Rumsfeld's former deputy. This is a small conspiracy."
Rumsfeld targets 'future threats'
"Rumsfeld's War" (Regnery Publishing Inc.), the new book by Rowan Scarborough, defense and national security reporter for The Washington Times, details the defense secretary's determination to transform the military.
"It's a different world today," Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told an audience of Marines in Okinawa.
"We have to become much more agile," Rumsfeld said, talking with the troops about terrorism and other threats during a "town-hall" meeting in November. "We have to be able to move in hours or days instead of weeks or months or years."
Rumsfeld's boss, President Bush, had not singled out individual threats to national security in his inaugural address in January 2001, less than nine months before the terrorist attacks.
But even then, Rumsfeld and other Bush aides realized they needed new strategies against Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, as well as against the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea.
"We will build our defenses beyond challenge, lest weakness invite challenge," Bush said after his swearing-in. "We will confront weapons of mass destruction, so that a new century is spared new horrors. The enemies of liberty and our country should make no mistake: America remains engaged in the world by history and by choice, shaping a balance of power that favors freedom."
Waiting for the new president at the Pentagon was a classified, 160-page report on future threats stretching to the year 2020. The secret report was prepared for the Clinton administration by analysts at the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon's own CIA in miniature, which sends agents around the world to collect information.
The DIA report, compiled in 1999, still is used actively today by Rumsfeld and others in the Bush administration with the required security clearance. I obtained a copy of the report, called "A Primer on the Future Threat" and stamped SECRET.
Among the chilling predictions:
The radical Islamic state of Iran planned to have nuclear capability by 2008 and 10 to 20 nuclear weapons by 2020, including missiles capable of striking Europe.
China would more than quadruple its nuclear arsenal of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) capable of reaching the United States, skyrocketing from 40 to as many as 220 missiles.
Stalinist North Korea could hold as many as 10 atomic weapons, including ICBMs.
Israel would maintain a nuclear arsenal of about 80 warheads.
Warring neighbors Pakistan and India would continue to entrench themselves in the nuclear club by building nuclear-tipped missiles, more than doubling their stockpiles. India would launch its first submarine that fires ballistic missiles.
Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Colombia and Indonesia were among nations in danger of economic failure and collapse, with "profound implications for the United States."
"While the message is sobering, my intent in preparing this primer is not to instill fear or foreboding," Army Lt. Gen. Patrick M. Hughes, then DIA director, wrote in a foreword to the secret report. "Rather, I hope that by identifying and discussing in realistic terms the emerging threat environment, such knowledge will help leadership better understand and prepare for it."
The DIA report, warning of the "emergence of less predictable groups," forecasted that international terrorism posed a growing threat.
"It is probable that terrorist organizations or individuals will employ a weapon of mass destruction [WMD] against U.S. interests by 2020," the report says. "Heightened publicity about the vulnerability of civilian targets, an increased interest in inflicting mass casualties ... and greater availability of WMD-related production knowledge and technology have already drawn the attention of some terrorist organizations.
"Additionally, the hoax or blackmail value of WMD is a potentially powerful psychological weapon in itself, and its ... use can be expected to increase."
The DIA notes that the Soviet Union developed a nerve agent that, after the communist state's collapse, spread to other countries and cannot be controlled through the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention.
Chemical weapons are easier to obtain than some terrorists might realize, the report adds.
"Many of the components needed for chemical or biological agent weaponization are used in other types of weapons systems, many of which are available in the international arms market," it says. "Chemical and biological agents can be disseminated by tube and rocket artillery, ground and naval mines, aerial bombs ... and a wide variety of spray devices.
"An increasing number of countries are also capable of employing unmanned aerial vehicles, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles for chemical and biological attack. Terrorist use should also be anticipated, primarily in improvised devices, probably in association with an explosive."
The DIA warns that the combination of drug trafficking and terrorism could produce more failed states, requiring U.S. intervention.
"Drug-related corruption will reach epidemic levels in certain countries," the DIA says. "This may require a more direct response from the United States to protect our national security."
Nations deemed capable by 1999 of delivering both chemical and biological agents included Iraq, Russia, China and North Korea.
"Iran has a chemical weapons capability and probably a limited biological agent delivery means," the DIA report says. "Libya, Egypt, India, Taiwan, Israel, South Korea and Syria have chemical weapons capabilities.
"Pakistan, Sudan, Serbia and Croatia are believed to have programs to develop [chemical weapon] capabilities. Moreover, Libya, Syria and Pakistan probably can produce biological agents on a limited scale and presumably have some means of delivery even if not by military systems."
By 2020, Egypt, India, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia will have deployed medium-range ballistic missile systems, "and WMD payloads will be available in each of these countries," the report says. India, China, North Korea, Indonesia and Turkey will develop or acquire short-range missile systems.
"Future conflicts," the DIA predicts, "probably will involve the use of these weapon systems with WMD, including nuclear weapons."
The report predicts the United States will keep its status as the world's pre-eminent power for the next 20 years.
"The key 'peer' candidates all have long-term larger problems, and none has the capability or the will to usurp the U.S. over this time frame," the report says. " ... The United States will remain the sole superpower through its economic, political, military, cultural and technological superiority for at least the first quarter of the next century."
Still, the report says a "camp" of unaligned countries would continue to try to limit U.S. power. This group included Russia, China, France, India, Mexico, Iran and Iraq.
The DIA report that Rumsfeld's Pentagon inherited also made these findings and predictions as of 1999:
Iran "is slowly but steadily building an offensive capability far in excess of its mere defensive needs" and poses the biggest threat in the Persian Gulf now that the U.S.-led coalition has ousted Saddam in Iraq.
In addition to nuclear aims, Iran was "seeking self-sufficiency" in dual-use equipment to produce biological agents for weapons, as well as protective clothing resistant to chemical or biological weapons and medical protection against biological agents.
"Iran should have a greater capability to disrupt the flow of commerce in the Gulf over the next decade, primarily through the use of mine warfare and integrated anti-ship cruise missiles. In fact, absent U.S. intervention, Iran could close the Strait of Hormuz to maritime traffic indefinitely."
North Korea's communist regime, appearing firmly in control, possessed two to four nuclear weapons of limited yield and an offensive biological and chemical arsenal of uncertain size but thought to include "anthrax, plague, cholera and toxins."
"The likelihood that North Korea will initiate a war to reunify the peninsula is diminishing, but the possibility of conflict spurred by internal instability, miscalculation or provocation is increasing."
China planned to reduce its People's Liberation Army of 2.5 million by 20 percent, make big increases in strategic forces, deploy its first ballistic-missile submarine and achieve a four-fold boost in spy satellites, to 15 orbiters.
Even though the number of Chinese ICBMs capable of striking the United States will jump to 220, "Nothing indicates China will field the much larger number of missiles necessary to shift from a limited, retaliatory strategy to a first-strike, war-fighting strategy."
'Going to school'
It is not clear how much of the DIA's report was absorbed by Rumsfeld and other key Bush administration officials before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
But it is a certainty that they have done so by now, and that Rumsfeld has his own ideas on how to meet the threats. The secretary of defense is moving to enlarge special forces, improve intelligence collection and analysis so that it is "actionable," and streamline the military for war-fighting in the 21st century.
"We have to have a mindset that is willing to continuously go to school on the terrorists," Rumsfeld said in October, "just as terrorists are going to school on us and watching what we do.
"And," he said, "we've got to be able to move inside of their decision cycles and react sufficiently fast, given the difficulty of intelligence." http://www.washingtontimes.com/national/20040224-113731-3670r.htm
posted on 02/25/2004 9:04:17 PM PST
(Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
Ebadi: EU Must Continue Talks with Iran
February 25, 2004
Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi has urged the EU to continue negotiating with Tehran in the wake of last weeks flawed elections.
I constantly state that the resolution of issues should be through negotiations. I do not believe in issues such as sanctions because they are not solutions, she told reporters in Brussels.
Solutions that come out of negotiations need time to come to fruition and I hope that the negotiations the EU is having with Iran will lead to positive results.
Ebadi, who won the prestigious Nobel prize last year for her outspoken campaigns for democracy and greater rights for Iranian women and children, said she had abstained from voting in the recent parliamentary poll because she did not know who she would be voting for.
The EU on Monday denounced the Iranian elections as undemocratic, warning of a setback in relations with the regime.
The decision by ruling hardline clerics to outlaw some 2500 reformist candidates made genuine democratic choice by the Iranian people impossible, said a statement issued by EU foreign ministers.
Trade and political talks, with parallel negotiations on human rights and democracy, stalled last June due to Irans intransigence over its nuclear ambitions.
President of the European Parliament Pat Cox, said MEPs would not accept any association agreement concluded between the EU and Iran that did not have any link to human rights issues.
Trade only will not be a sufficient ground to win the approval of this house, he stressed.
Speaking later to members of the parliaments womens rights committee, Ebadi said that the Western world should not see Islam as a threat.
You can have a correct interpretation of Islam compatible with the exigencies of the time therefore you should not fear Islam, she stressed.
Perhaps it is necessary to fear some Muslims but you should not fear Islam.
Commenting on recent moves in Europe to ban the wearing of headscarves in educational institutes, she argued in favour of the freedom of choice.
I believe this is something that is up to women to decide. They should be free to choose whether or not they want it, whether in Europe or Islamic societies.
The diverse situation of Islam in various countries shows that Islam is not against women, she said.
Ebadi has grown to be a popular figure in Iran as a key figure in the reformist movement.
Elected the first female judge in the country, she was forced to resign with the advent of the Islamic republic in 1979 and went on to establish her own law practice, specialising in politically sensitive and human rights cases. http://www.eupolitix.com/EN/News/200402/093050d1-b5ab-4b1a-9186-d4b29b0027aa.htm
posted on 02/25/2004 9:05:23 PM PST
(Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
Iran Digs in Heels Over Nuke Secrets
February 25, 2004
Parisa Hafezi and Louis Charbonneau
TEHRAN/VIENNA -- Iran has rejected calls for it to be more open about its nuclear programme while Washington says the latest report by the U.N. nuclear watchdog was further proof that Iran wants atomic weapons.
"Iran has given enough answers to the agency's questions," Hassan Rohani, head of the Supreme National Security Council and Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, was quoted as saying by the official news agency IRNA.
On Tuesday the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog, said Iran had continued to hide from it technology and research that could be linked to a weapons programme -- despite its declaration in October that it had no more secrets to divulge.
"We have other research projects which we haven't announced to the agency and we don't think it is necessary to announce to the agency," Rohani said. The IRNA report gave no details on the kinds of projects he was referring to.
Washington lashed back at Iran's defiant statement.
"Iran needs to demonstrate verifiably to the (IAEA) and the international community that it has abandoned its efforts to develop a nuclear weapons capability," U.S. ambassador to the U.N. in Vienna, Kenneth Brill, told reporters.
He said the IAEA report only strengthened the U.S. view that Iran's programme "is clearly geared towards the development of nuclear weapons".
In a statement sent to Reuters, Iran's foreign ministry spokesman, Hamid Reza Asefi, downplayed IAEA concerns about Tehran's nuclear programme, calling them "purely procedural" which did not undermine Iran's denials that it wants the bomb.
However, IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei said on Tuesday he wanted to see "much more prompt" information from Tehran.
"I hope this will be the last time any aspect of the programme has not been declared to us," ElBaradei said. However, he praised Iran's overall cooperation and its decision to suspend all activities related to the enrichment of uranium.
The IAEA said Iran had failed to declare designs and parts for advanced "P2" centrifuges, which can produce material for nuclear weapons, as well as experiments with polonium-210, a substance that can help trigger a chain reaction in a bomb.
On the subject of polonium, Asefi said the issue had been a "misunderstanding" and was misrepresented by the media.
NO U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL REPORT
Despite U.S. criticism of Iran's nuclear secrecy, diplomats from members of the 35-nation IAEA Board of Governors said Washington was unlikely to push for a resolution at the board's March 8 meeting that would report Tehran to the U.N. Security Council, which has the power to impose sanctions.
"I don't think the U.S. will try for the Security Council," one Western diplomat told Reuters, adding that few states were ready to support such a resolution by the IAEA board.
The United States has lobbied Russia to cut off its nuclear supplies to Iran. But in a statement certain to annoy Washington, Moscow reaffirmed its intention to work with Iran.
"Russia supports Iran's right to peacefully use nuclear power and intends to continue its cooperation with Iran in this sphere," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Alexander Yakovenko said in a statement. "Russia will fully accomplish its duties regarding the construction of a nuclear power plant in Bushehr."
CLUES FROM LIBYA
The IAEA said inspections of Libya's arms programme, which Tripoli agreed in December to dismantle under IAEA supervision, were helping it understand Iran's programme. Tuesday's report said: "The basic technology (in Iran and Libya) is very similar and was largely obtained from the same foreign sources."
A senior Vienna-based official familiar with the report said IAEA inspectors had asked Tehran if it had obtained nuclear warhead designs that Libya bought on the black market.
"They have made an absolute denial that they have weapons designs," the official said. "(The IAEA) asked them and they said no, but the agency is still investigating."
Gary Samore, who was an adviser on non-proliferation issues to former U.S. President Bill Clinton, said he had no doubt Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan's atom bomb, had offered Iran the nuclear warhead designs he sold Libya.
"It's safe to assume that Khan offered Iran the weapons designs which Libya bought for $50 million (26.7 million pounds)," said Samore, who runs the International Institute for Strategic Studies. "The question is, did they agree on a price?"
Khan was a key player in a global atomic black market that stretched from Europe and Africa across the Middle East to Asia. http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsPackageArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=464408§ion=news
posted on 02/25/2004 9:06:40 PM PST
(Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
"Rights situation have Improved in Iran" claims Nobelist
SMCCDI (Information Service)
Feb 25, 2004
Shirin Ebadi, the controversial Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner, is urging the EU to continue negotiating with the clerics despite last weeks flawed elections and the clear signal, sent by millions of Iranians, who rejected the last doubts on any supposed popular legitimacy of the regime .
This new controversial statement was made, today, at a sitting of the European Parliament's committee of foreign relations in Brussels (Belgium).
Ebadi who has become very unpopular in Iran, due to her condemnable statements in favor of the regime and for closing eyes on the plight of her countrymen, responded to the critics of some EU Mps that "human rights in Iran have made a good progress".
Trying to save the regime from a total isolation and a future collapse, she pushed the "audacity" by trying to buy more time for the Islamic republic and by calling the EU to continue "dialogue" with the Islamic Republic.
It's to note that Ebadi is qualified by many Iranians as a EU tool in service of financial relations with the Islamic regime and she has managed, just in few months, to change from a "noble rights activist" in a "shameless political broker". http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_5092.shtml
posted on 02/25/2004 9:10:44 PM PST
(Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
Iran dismisses UN nuclear charges
By Jim Muir
BBC correspondent in Tehran
Iran's top security official says Tehran is not obliged to tell the UN's nuclear watchdog of plans to build centrifuges for enriching nuclear fuel.
Hassan Rohani, who also handles Iran's nuclear 'file', further denied polonium - a nuclear-blast trigger - was being used to enrich the fuel.
A report by the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) has accused Iran of hiding its nuclear intentions.
Iran's government agreed last year to fully disclose its nuclear plans.
The IAEA's report to its board of governors, who are due to meet in early March, complained that Iran had not declared to the agency that it had designs for advanced P-2 centrifuges.
Nor, according to the report, did it declare that it had produced polonium - a material that can be used to trigger nuclear explosions.
In reply, Mr Rohani said that the country was under no obligation to declare research on P-2 centrifuges, which it had not developed.
He also denied Iran had been using polonium for enrichment, saying that that too had only been at research stage.
He said Iran was pursuing other research projects which it had also not declared to the IAEA because it saw no need to do so.
As for accounting for the traces of highly-enriched uranium discovered by agency inspectors at several sites in Iran, Mr Rohani said that all the traces found - apart from some very low-enriched ones - had come on contaminated parts bought on the black market from abroad.
Therefore, he said, the IAEA should look elsewhere for answers.
He praised the level of co-operation between Iran and the Agency and said he expected the IAEA to move towards a final resolution of the Iran issue.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman meanwhile said that the points raised in the IAEA report were mainly matters of form which did not cast doubt on the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear programme.
But on the polonium issue, he said that it was an unfinished research programme going back thirteen years and there had been a misunderstanding, he said, which would soon be removed.
The IAEA report urged Iran to intensify its co-operation in order to clarify outstanding questions.
But Iranian officials appear confident that, despite American pressures, they will avoid being referred by the IAEA to the United Nations for being in breach of their Non-Proliferation Treaty obligations. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3486930.stm
posted on 02/25/2004 9:17:57 PM PST
(Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
New revelations on Iran heighten pressure on Bush
Robert Collier, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 25, 2004
A new report by the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency suggesting that Iran's secret nuclear programs are more extensive than had been earlier believed adds new pressure on the Bush administration to either increase attempts to overthrow the regime or recognize the power of the country's Shiite ayatollahs.
Coming after the Iranian clerics' bare-knuckled grab of power in widely criticized parliamentary elections Friday, the revelations left Washington policymakers at a crossroads in their attempts to promote democracy and stop nuclear weapons development, analysts say.
Along with European nations -- which share the American distaste for Iran's Shiite Islamic extremism but have taken a more conciliatory line -- conservatives in Washington are pushing hard for a change in policy, saying they will insist that Iran, one of the two remaining members of the administration's "axis of evil," be put in the American crosshairs. There is even pressure to support the Mujahedeen Khalq, an anti-Tehran guerrilla group that has had off-again-on-again relations with the United States over many years and now is on the State Department's list of terrorist organizations.
The report by the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency stated that Iran has failed to fully comply with an agreement reached with European officials in October, in which Iran pledged not to develop nuclear weapons and promised to release all information related to its clandestine development of a civilian nuclear power industry. The report said IAEA investigators in Iran had discovered the existence of advanced designs for P-2 centrifuges -- which experts say would be most suited for making highly enriched uranium for weapons, not for civilian uses -- and had found traces of polonium, a rare material that could be used for nuclear weapons.
Experts say the results are highly suspicious but do not constitute a "smoking gun," because the programs discovered could be used for civilian nuclear power, as the Iranian government claims. Still, the disclosures ensure that Iran will face continued skepticism about its pledge to remain free of nuclear arms. Any hope in Tehran that the country will soon be able to win trade and investment concessions from the West are dead, analysts said.
Iranian officials, briefed about the report by IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei, pledged Tuesday to take stronger steps to suspend their uranium enrichment program, as they had promised in October. The officials said that Iran, which earlier shut down its enrichment plant but continued to assemble gas centrifuges, will stop the assembly and testing of centrifuges.
The Bush administration praised the toughness of the report and said it will continue to work within the IAEA to press Iran for results, but U.S. officials parried reporters' attempts to draw strong criticism of Tehran.
"I haven't seen anybody here say they've lied," said State Department spokesman Richard Boucher. "I don't think anybody has said that the information that they provided wasn't more or less correct. What we've said is it was not complete."
Boucher also took a mild stance on the controversial elections, and suggested that the administration wants to keep the door open to negotiations with the hard-liners.
"It was not an electoral process that met international standards." he said. "We are willing to engage Iran on specific issues of mutual concern in an appropriate manner, if we decide it's in our interest to do so."
Many U.S. conservatives are angry at what they see as the Bush administration's unwillingness to confront Iran, which President Bush in 2002 linked with Saddam Hussein's Iraq and North Korea's Stalinist regime as a three-state "axis of evil.""We're three years into (the Bush administration) and we don't have an Iran policy," said Michael Ledeen, an analyst at the American Enterprise Institute who was a highly influential advocate of last year's Iraq invasion. "Iran is the leading supporter of terrorism in the world, and we claim to be in a war against terrorism. Maybe we should stop coddling them. Maybe we should support democracy."
Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., a member of the House International Relations Committee, is pushing the Bush administration to take the Mujahedeen off the terrorist list and let the group's 3,500 fighters out of the quarantine where they are kept on a military base north of Baghdad.
"We should no longer be constrained to play an aggressive role with Iran, " Tancredo said. "By preventing elections, they've given us an opportunity to do what I think we should have done for a long time. There should be aggressive support for opposition parties inside Iran and dissident groups outside Iran," he said, citing the Mujahedeen as the leading example.
Many analysts said that by ignoring election fraud while focusing mainly on nuclear weapons, the United States will be seen by Iran's neighbors and around the world as enforcing a double standard.
"Just as the United States has dealt with (Libyan leader Moammar) Khadafy on nuclear issues, with no mention of democracy, we'll be seen as not serious on democracy stuff, like nuclear is all that matters," said Michael McFaul, an Iran expert at Stanford's Hoover Institution.
Currently, the U.S. and European governments give no overt aid to Iranian reformers, and any move to do so would immediately cause the recipients to be jailed by Iranian authorities, analysts say.
"Frankly, there's not much that the United States is going to do," said Shireen Hunter, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. "I think there will be a cooling-off period, but the United States will be willing to continue dialogue," probably using the Europeans as proxies, she said. "There is no reason to expect a big revolt by the Iranian people in the near future."
Some analysts say that the United States should teach by example in Iraq, where Shiites comprise a long-downtrodden majority of the population. The Bush administration has been resisting calls by Iraqi Shiite leaders for full democratic elections by the June 30 deadline for handing over power from the U. S. occupation, apparently fearing that the Shiites would win national power and would install an Iranian-style theocracy.
"If something like grassroots democracy were allowed to develop in southern Iraq, that would be a pretty powerful message to the Shiites that the United States is practicing what it preaches," said Juan Cole, professor of Middle East history at the University of Michigan.
"The best way of bringing democracy to Iran is by practicing it in Iraq."
E-mail Robert Collier at email@example.com. http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/02/25/MNG8657PK51.DTL
posted on 02/25/2004 9:39:26 PM PST
(Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
State Dept. cautions companies in Iran
The Associated Press
2/25/2004, 4:16 p.m. ET
WASHINGTON (AP) Oil companies investing in Iran are making a mistake, the State Department said Wednesday.
"We just don't think it's wise to be investing in Iran's petroleum sector at this point when Iranian behavior has still not changed in so many areas," department spokesman Richard Boucher said.
Iran's National Iranian Oil Co. has signed a $2 billion deal with France's Total and Malaysia's state oil giant Petronas to form Pars LNG, a liquefied natural gas joint-venture, state-owned radio reported in Tehran on Wednesday.
The deal was the second in a week following Iran's signing last week for the $3 billion development of the massive Azadegan onshore oil field with a Japanese consortium in the face of disapproval by the United States, which says Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons.
Boucher said the government would look at the 1996 Iran-Libya Sanctions Act to see whether it can take action against companies investing in Iran.
"We do not encourage investment in Iran's petroleum sector," Boucher said. "We have laws that affect our attitudes toward these investments. And we will have to look at those laws appropriately." http://www.mlive.com/newsflash/lateststories/index.ssf?/base/business-15/107774394463930.xml
posted on 02/25/2004 9:53:45 PM PST
(Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
I was objecting to what appeared to me to be a rather condescending attitude towards the Iranian people.
That was not my intent at all. And thanks for being decent and reasonable with me.
In some countries like N. Korea the government has too much power for the people to overthrow their government. They need for someone to liberate them as we did with Iraq. Now honesty I don't know enough about the regime in Iran to say this is the case for them.
But when the people have enough power to overthrow their tyrannical government I say they need to do it themselves. And I agree they will need support military wise and I would not deny them that. This is essentially my point: if the people are not willing to shed blood to overthrow their government why should any other country be willing to shed their blood for people who don't want freedom bad enough?
posted on 02/25/2004 11:15:46 PM PST
(I think I think, therefore I am, or maybe not.)
I think we finally agree.
posted on 02/25/2004 11:57:36 PM PST
(Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
This thread is now closed.
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posted on 02/26/2004 12:03:37 AM PST
(Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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