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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

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

2 posted on 02/25/2004 12:09:12 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
11 posted on 02/25/2004 5:30:14 AM PST by windchime (Podesta about Bush: "He's got four years to try to undo all the stuff we've done." (TIME-1/22/01))
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To: DoctorZIn
U.S.: Iran Must Prove It Has Abandoned A-Bomb Effort

Feb. 25 — VIENNA (Reuters) - The U.S. envoy to the United Nations in Vienna said Wednesday the U.N. nuclear watchdog's latest report on Iran strengthens Washington's view that Tehran has a secret nuclear weapons program.
"Iran needs to demonstrate verifiably to the (IAEA) and the international community that it has abandoned its efforts to develop a nuclear weapons capability," ambassador Kenneth Brill told reporters.

Tuesday the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) published an interim report on its inspections of Iran's nuclear program, which Tehran says is intended only for the peaceful generation of electricity.

The report said Tehran had continued to hide from the IAEA technology and research that could be linked to a weapons program, despite its declaration in October that it had no more secrets to divulge.

"The continuing pattern of Iranian deception and delayed admissions about its nuclear activities, as well as specific information in the IAEA report, strengthens our assessment that Iran's nuclear clearly geared toward the development of nuclear weapons," Brill said.
20 posted on 02/25/2004 1:42:30 PM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
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.
22 posted on 02/25/2004 1:42:57 PM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranians queue up for mobile phone SIM cards

Wednesday, February 25, 2004 - ©2004

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.
24 posted on 02/25/2004 1:45:06 PM PST by freedom44
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