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Iranian Alert -- February 27, 2004 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD --Americans for Regime Change in Iran
Student Movement Coordinating Committee for Democracy in Iran ^ | 2.27.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 02/26/2004 11:04:13 PM PST by DoctorZIn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

1 posted on 02/26/2004 11:04:14 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

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

2 posted on 02/26/2004 11:06:53 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Won't Send Body of Dead Flogged Man

February 26, 2004
The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER -- Iran has refused to send to Canada the body of a man who died after being flogged in prison, despite pleas by his family now living here, a lawyer representing the man's three sisters said Thursday.

"The government of Iran will not allow the body to leave the jurisdiction," Robert Kurland said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

"There are many technical reasons that they are raising. I think, practically speaking, what government would allow evidence of a body with scars and lash marks all over it?"

Mohsen Mofidi, 35, died last weekend, a few days after being released from prison, where he received 80 lashes for violating the Islamic republic's strict code of conduct.

Kurland said Mofidi had been weakened by severe lung and sinus infections in prison. Even under Iran's harsh justice system, his punishment should have been postponed, the lawyer said.

"I intend to press for an investigation within the domestic Iranian legal arena," Kurland said.

Mofidi was to be buried in Iran on Thursday, Kurland said. The family - his mother and three sisters live in suburban Richmond - planned to hold a private memorial at their home on Saturday.

Kurland is suing the Canadian government on behalf of Mofidi's sisters, who were also jailed in Iran before being allowed to emigrate to Canada.

Their mother won refugee status in 1999 and sponsored her daughters, aged 18 to 22, but Mohsen Mofidi was too old to qualify.

The women claim delays by Immigration Canada in delivering visas to the women after they'd been approved allowed them to be arrested, jailed and beaten with chains.

Mohsen Mofidi turned himself in to police in Tehran so authorities would release his sisters, Kurland said.

The family's problems began last summer when Iran's morality police broke up a party at Mofidi's apartment, attended by two of the sisters and where young men were also present contrary to Islamic law.

The sisters were taken into custody and said they were beaten with chains, breaking their teeth. They were forced to sign confessions that they had boyfriends and were also sentenced to be flogged.

Mofidi was accused of corrupting his sisters, owning an illegal satellite dish and having medicines that contained alcohol.

His plight caught the attention of Amnesty International.

"We had raised concerns in advance of the flogging that took place about the ill treatment that was going to occur," said spokesman John Tackaberry from Toronto.

He said the organization's secretary general spoke with Iran's ambassador to Canada on Thursday, asking for clarification of why an apparently ill man was flogged and calling for an open, impartial investigation.

"We have called for a moratorium on all these types of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment such as flogging," Tackaberry added.

No one was available for comment Thursday at Iran's embassy in Ottawa.

Kurland said it appears the judge who approved Mofidi's flogging didn't properly assess whether he could handle it.

"In this case there was clear evidence that Mr. Mofidi physically was not capable of receiving his punishment," he said.

Kurland said he had been attempting to get Mofidi temporary sanctuary in the Netherlands while trying to get him a visa for Canada when the flogging took place.

Ironically, Kurland said Mofidi's jail sentence was cut short by a mass parole of prisoners to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Iran's Islamic revolution.

"On the last day of his sentence he's lashed, so that (the parole) brought forward in time the lashing," he said.

Kurland said he believes Canada, possibly Justice Minister Irwin Cotler, may have tried to intervene behind the scenes with Iranian authorities before the flogging was pushed up.

"If something was done it may have been done behind a diplomatic curtain," said Kurland.

Kurland filed a -million suit in Federal Court against the minister of citizenship and immigration last month on behalf of Mofidi's mother and sisters, alleging delays in bringing the sisters to Canada resulted in the arrest and torture of two of them.

In a statement of defence filed this week, the government categorically rejected claims it was responsible for their injuries or trauma.
3 posted on 02/26/2004 11:07:57 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
EU not considering sanctions on Iran: Patten

BRUSSELS: The European Union is not considering sanctions but has questions over the Iranian government’s commitment to democracy after the elections.

EU External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten said this after meeting Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, here on Thursday. He said, "We haven’t been overwhelmed by the progress made in human rights in Iran."

Iranian leaders, however, dismissed the EU criticism of their victory in the legislative elections and urged the EU, Iran’s largest trading partner, not to take sides. Ebadi asked the EU not to impose sanctions on her country. She told the European Parliament that the only hope to push reform was through talks.

Patten noted that the talks launched in 2002 on improving trade and other ties were umbilically linked to human rights, democracy and political issues, and in particular the nuclear question. The talks have been frozen since June due to Western concerns about Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Patten urged Iran to pursue a serious course of democratisation, as well as safeguard civil liberties, meet international concerns about nuclear weapons and work as a constructive partner and neighbour. "In the aftermath of an electoral process, which very few regard as fair, we obviously have big questions about the commitment of the Iranian authorities to some of the things that we believe in," he said. Ebadi urged the EU to continue to insist on democracy and the rule of law in its dealings with nations.
4 posted on 02/26/2004 11:11:06 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
I am not sure I fit neatly in any catagory. But then, not too many Christians do what I do. It tends to change one's viewpoint on a lot of things living in Israel.

Blessings to you and yours
5 posted on 02/27/2004 1:36:36 AM PST by American in Israel (A wise man's heart directs him to the right, but the foolish mans heart directs him toward the left.)
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To: DoctorZIn
The EU would not consider sanctions if the mullahs nuked Paris and Berlin!

Many thanks DoctorZIn for continuing to keep us up to date - I read them every day.

6 posted on 02/27/2004 1:52:42 AM PST by Heatseeker
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To: DoctorZIn; McGavin999; freedom44; nuconvert; Eala; AdmSmith; dixiechick2000; onyx; Pro-Bush; ...
Syria, Iran discuss military cooperation

February 27, 2004
IranMania News

DAMASCUS, Feb 26 (AFP) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad discussed "regional developments and cooperation between the Syrian and Iranian armies" with Iran's Defence Minister Ali Shamkhani, the official SANA news agency said.

Assad and Shamkhani, who arrived in Damascus on Wednesday, "particularly looked at developments in Iraq and in the Palestinian territories, as well as relations between the two friendly countries," SANA said.

Syria and Iran, close regional allies, are both the targets of pressure and sanctions by the United States which accuses them of supporting "terrorist" groups.

Shamkhani is due to leave on Friday for Lebanon, whose Hezbollah guerrilla movement is backed by both Syria and Iran, an Iranian diplomatic source said.
7 posted on 02/27/2004 5:00:23 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Denies N-deal with Pak, Seeks Indian Help at IAEA Meeting

February 27, 2004
The Indian Express
Express News Services

NEW DELHI -- Iran today denied receiving any nuclear assistance from Pakistan. Emphasising this, the visiting Secretary of the Iranian Supreme National Security Council also hoped that India would play a positive role at next month’s meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board at Vienna.

‘‘We have not received anything from Pakistan,’’ said Hasan Rohani on being asked about the recent disclosures of clandestine transfer of nuclear technology by Pakistan to Iran, Libya and North Korea. He added that 14 years ago, Iran had received some parts from a European dealer but did not know about its origins.

Rohani, who called on PM A.B. Vajpayee and held discussions with National Security Advisor Brajesh Mishra, hoped the Non-Aligned Movement, particularly India, will extend ‘‘positive cooperation’’ to Iran at the IAEA. India is among the 35 member countries which constitute the IAEA Board that is slated to discuss its report on Iran on March 8.

Speaking of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Iranian leader expressed concern over industrialised nations and the IAEA ‘‘not fulfilling their obligations’’ of providing assistance to countries wanting access to nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

It must be noted that IAEA director-general Mohammed ElBaradei while praising Iran for its ‘‘good cooperation’’ a few days ago, had said: ‘‘I would like to see more prompt information coming from Iran.’’

Further, Rohani made it clear that his visit to India was not aimed at influencing New Delhi to abstain from voting at the IAEA.

‘‘My visit to India takes place in the context of the ongoing annual meetings of the two national security councils.’’

According to Rohani, the feasibility studies for the proposed gas pipeline between Iran and India through Pakistan were being carried.

The discussions, he added, now revolved around whether it should be through sea or over land. On the possible transfer of power later this year in Iraq, Rohani said a ‘‘puppet government’’ would not serve the purpose and that the Iraqi people should be allowed to decide on the country’s destiny.

Meanwhile, the MEA spokesperson said both India and Iran exchanged views on the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan and agreed to intensify cooperation in energy and transit sectors.
8 posted on 02/27/2004 5:22:24 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Europe Should Stand Up

February 27, 2004
Iran va Jahan

The Islamic Regime of Mullahs in Iran has since its inception trampled upon all basic principles of the United Nation's Charter of Human Rights and subjected the Iranian people to barbaric and medieval acts. Recently two brave western journalists acting as tourists have secretly prepared a documentary in Iran which discloses the Islamic Regime's atrocities such as stoning of women to death, cutting fingers and extracting the eyes of victims in public places and regular arrests, imprisonment, torture, and killing of students whose only guilt is the desire for liberty and freedom of expression. This documentary, which was shown on BBC television in the United Kingdom and on Antenne 2 in France, is a vivid and undeniable evidence of the Islamic Regime's violation of Human Rights in all its aspects.

The Mullah's Regime in Iran is continuously committing the horrendous acts demonstrated in this documentary despite outright condemnation of the Regime by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and its confirmation and approval by the UN General Assembly, as well as repeated warnings by the Western World. The Iranian people and in particular the younger generation who form more than sixty percent of the population have for many years been crying out loud and seeking the help of the free world to put an end to the Islamic Regime's atrocities against them. The Islamic Regime of Iran depends for its survival on the support of the European Union, some of whose member countries are the Regime's main trading and commercial partners. It is now evident that constructive dialogue with the Regime of Mullahs has in no way proved effective in stopping them from violating Human Rights in Iran.

It is therefore time for the International Community and in particular the European Union to support their humanistic thoughts and words with concrete action and deeds in response to the rightful demands and aspiration of the people of Iran for freedom and democracy.
9 posted on 02/27/2004 5:23:43 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranians Unite Against Ruling Mullahs

By Reza Bayegan | February 27, 2004

With the disappearance of the last vestiges of hope for democratic transformation within the existing political system, the Iranian opposition to clerical dictatorship is closing ranks and converging on items of a common agenda for the future of the country. At the beginning of Khatami's presidency, even many of those Iranians who were sympathetic to the Islamic revolution privately voiced the view that the reform card was the regime's last chance. They argued that either Mohammad Khatami would succeed in transforming the religious state into a democracy, or his presidency would be remembered as the final nail in the coffin of the Islamic Republic. Not very surprisingly a term and a half into his presidential mandate, Mohammad Khatami looks increasingly like an undertaker. His public credibility has all but vanished and the political movement that became synonymous with his name lies in tatters.

Hashim Aghageri, a leading Iranian dissident reacting to the massive disqualification of reformist candidates by the Guardian Council has declared that Iran's reform movement is finished. In an open letter published by the Iranian news agency ISNA, this history professor who is a reformist himself said that hopes for mending the system from within are over and he advises Iranians to oppose the regime through passive resistance.

Passive resistance or civil disobedience is one of the items on the wish-list, which is uniting Iranian activists from all over the political spectrum. Many of the items on this wish-list entered the Iranian political lexicon with the publication of a book in 2002 called Winds of Change by Reza Pahlavi, son of the late Shah of Iran, who is leading a campaign to overthrow the mullahs' dictatorship from his home in exile in the United States. Arguing that violence breeds more violence, he has been insisting on a peaceful plan of bringing down the regime through political non-participation. He has also proposed a democratic referendum on the future of the country as the only way out of the present political quagmire. Many of the reformist intellectuals who once vehemently supported President Khatami and his effort to change the republic from within now have also come to see a referendum on the future of the country as the only viable option. One of these people is the prolific satirist Ebrahim Nabavi. Reflecting on the legacy of the reformist movement in a recently published article, this hugely popular writer says: 'What we can all do at this moment is to make up for our past mistakes. We have no choice but to carefully navigate our country's vessel through its surrounding stormy waters and towards the free and democratic world. The reformist movement at this point should concentrate on forcing the hardliners to accept a national referendum on the future of the country'.

What Nabavi means by 'forcing the hardliners' is putting them in a situation so they can see that a quiet departure is their only route to self-preservation and the most generous deal they can expect from the nation. Twenty-five years of mismanagement and impetuous policies in the name of revolutionary Islam has brought the country to the verge of collapse. Iranians are left unprotected not only against man-made and natural calamities, but also against a government that has consistently assaulted their human rights and freedoms. How such a government with such a disastrous record has been able to survive for such a long time has been the subject of mystifications even for some Iranians with long experience in politics. Fereydoun Hoveyda, Iran's ambassador to the United Nations during the time of the Shah, blames the British, French and Germans for propping up the Islamic Republic and preventing its downfall.

In an article published on 13 February 2004, he asks 'how a group of incompetent and often corrupt lower ranking clerics' who have brought nothing but misery and bankruptcy to our nation have been able to survive except with the backing of those powerful European governments in whose economic benefit it is to keep them in power.

Whether one agrees or disagrees with this theory, it is true however that the Islamic Republic has succeeded in defrauding, or as Mr. Hoveyda argues bribing the key European countries and even elements within the Democratic Party in the United States. Seeking the protection of these powers the mullahs have found it necessary to create the impression that they are interested in democratic reform. One should keep in mind that a dictator like Khomeini who thought nothing of ordering the mass execution of hundreds of his opponents also found it expedient to call himself a democrat. Many Iranian activists who had a soft spot for Khomeini's revolution turned a blind eye on profound and irreconcilable defects of the system. They waited patiently hoping that one day a democratic state could emerge from within the Islamic Republic.

One of these activists who supported the 1979 revolution was Shirin Ebadi, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Faced with the mass elimination of candidates, she has declared that she will refuse to vote in an undemocratic election where people are deprived of the right to vote for whomever they wish. The decision of the influential Nobel laureate to stay away from the polls is bound to give a moral boost to the the advocates of political non-participation and civil disobedience.

Ironically, the reform movement which was an ineffective force in its prime, is showing signs of vitality at its deathbed. The disgruntled candidates not only boycotted the polls but have broken a taboo by openly criticizing Khamenei's role in their disqualification accusing him of duplicity.

The recognition that the Islamic Republic is the common enemy of freedom and democracy has induced the country's political activists; monarchists as well as republicans to form a united front against dictatorship.
10 posted on 02/27/2004 5:29:02 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Evidence of possible work on nukes tests Iran's credibility

Christian Science Monitor - By Scott Peterson
Feb 26, 2004

Tehran says new equipment discovered by IAEA is used to make nuclear energy. But why wasn't the work made public?

TEHRAN AND MOSCOW – Iran's nuclear ambitions - and its honesty - are being tested by fresh IAEA findings of undeclared centrifuge designs, components, and past experiments that could be linked to a weapons program.

Iran denies that it is pursuing nuclear weapons. It has accepted snap inspections by the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and signed the Additional Protocol of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in December.

But a series of inspections since then has left "discrepancies and unanswered questions," the Director General Mohamed ElBaradei told the IAEA Board of Governors in a confidential report circulated on Tuesday.

"The people who are studying this are getting more and more suspicious," says a Western diplomat in Vienna. Late last year Iran said its declaration was "full and complete, and this raises the question: 'Is this everything?' "

The IAEA has been granted unimpeded access to all civilian and military sites in Iran, the report notes. And on Tuesday - just hours before the report was released and leaked to the press - Iran offered to expand the suspension of its uranium enrichment program.

"Iran was telling the truth all the time ... Inspectors are here to prove this," says Hussein Shariatmadari, a representative of Iran's Supreme Leader, and head of the conservative Kayhan publishing group in Tehran. "The Americans are looking for an excuse to drag our case to the UN Security Council." Any gaps between Iran's declarations and recent IAEA findings are "accidental," says Mr. Shariatmadari.

"There was a lack of coordination between the Foreign Ministry, National Security Council, and the Atomic Energy Ministry," says Abbas Maleki, a former deputy foreign minister who now heads a Caspian Studies institute in Tehran. "Iran wants to show that it is honest, and that it doesn't want to do something against the Tehran Declaration [the watershed nuclear deal Iran signed with Britain, France, and Germany last October]. That is the best way for Iran."

But the IAEA still has questions, especially about how much Iran benefited from a pipeline of black market nuclear technology that originated in Pakistan. Libya received bomb plans from Pakistan, and pursued a nuclear program that the IAEA report says used "very similar" technology "from the same foreign sources" as Iran.

As a signatory to the NPT, Iran has always claimed its right to nuclear technology for power production. US officials have just as strongly alleged that Iran was using its civilian program as a cover to make nuclear weapons.

Revelations from last year about four separate uranium enrichment processes in Iran - which can be used to produce nuclear fuel for energy, or for bombs - sparked US-led IAEA pressure on the Islamic republic to open fully to inspections.

"[Iran's leaders] are trying to become incrementally more transparent, while testing the trust of the US and the EU," says Mohammad Hadi Semati, a Tehran University political scientist, who is now at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington. "If they can talk honestly with the IAEA, credibility could be restored. But if this pattern continues, it will be a big problem."

"Deep down there is still a consensus, a fundamental commitment [in Tehran] to no nuclear weapons," Mr. Semati says. But there has also been a domestic backlash, which may explain tough rhetoric about limiting the suspension of uranium enrichment programs, and Iran bridling at IAEA rules.

"They did not anticipate the political reaction from forces inside Iran, that say they sold out the regime," says Semati. "So they had to look tougher."

But if Tehran is trying to appease a domestic constituency, the price may be a loss of credibility in the international community.

"A substantial fraction of European observers confused a big move on the part of Iran [last fall] with a big enough move," says Michael Levi, a nuclear nonproliferation expert at the Brookings Institution in Washington. "In theory, this should be the final demonstration that Iran is acting in bad faith. Iran is confronted with a tough decision. If they turn over more documents, it shows they are more open. But it also proves they did something wrong."

Tough IAEA scrutiny last year led the agency to report that Iran had been hiding a vast clandestine nuclear effort for 18 years. Little direct evidence points to a weapons program, though some experiments point to weapons uses: Iran dabbled in uranium metal; and tests more than a decade ago with polonium-210 are described for the first time by the IAEA in this report.

While polonium can be used for "nuclear batteries," the latest report says, it can also be used, with beryllium, as a "neutron initiator in some designs of nuclear weapons."

Also detailed is Iran's failure to declare design plans for a more advanced centrifuge known as a P-2 - and components manufactured for mechanical testing. The IAEA called the omission "a matter of serious concern" that "runs counter to Iran's declaration."

Inspectors also found two different types of uranium contamination at two separate sites in Iran - raising questions about Iranian claims that the traces came solely from imported equipment.

In one room at the Kalaye Electric Company in Tehran, IAEA sampling found uranium enriched to levels 30 times as high as Iran has declared it has achieved using centrifuge technology. Those levels, the report said, "suggests the presence of more than just trace quantities of such material."

"The hole in which Iran was in has stopped shrinking - it got deeper," says a Western diplomat in Tehran, about the discrepancies. "It's not clear if it was an oversight or a deliberate deception, but chances are it's the latter. It doesn't look good for Iran.

"We're worried when bits of information tumble out of the closet," the diplomat says. "It doesn't necessarily mean 'weapons program' when a P-2 turns up. The question is whether there is any link between P-2 components, and the ever- present possibility there could be other facilities."

Iran denies that any more undisclosed facilities exist, and senior officials have been meeting with the IAEA in Vienna this week to take the edge off the new discoveries.

On Tuesday, Iran promised to broaden its temporary suspension of enrichment activities, by halting the assembly of new centrifuges and making new components. Any production under existing contracts will be put under IAEA seal.

"It's very significant, because they can't do anything. Their centrifuges can't spin; uranium can't be enriched," says the Vienna diplomat. "What's clear is that the IAEA is on to them - they probably underestimated the ability of the inspectors."
11 posted on 02/27/2004 5:34:52 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
New political conflict shaping up in Iran

San Francisco Chronicle - By Borzou Daragahi
Feb 26, 2004

Tehran -- Now that hard-liners have seized control of Iran's parliament, they also have assumed the challenge of managing a moribund economy while containing the aspirations of restless Iranians demanding more personal freedom.

Analysts say a new conflict could be brewing between the religious fundamentalists, who want to tighten social controls, and pragmatic conservatives who want to follow the "Chinese model" by adapting to new domestic and international realities.

"One part of them are these unknown people who are making slogans about development and economic growth," said Rajabali Mazroui, a liberal member of parliament who was barred from running in this month's elections. "Another part of them are the very radical, harsh right-wingers. It's not clear who's going to come out on top."

The hard-liners' carefully crafted takeover of parliament comes as Iran prepares to reopen its economy to the world for the first time since Iranians toppled pro-Western Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi in 1979.

The stock market has agreed on rules for individual foreigners to invest in Iranian firms. Last week, Turkcell, a Turkish firm listed on the New York Stock Exchange, won the contract to build a mobile phone network.

Japan has agreed to invest $2 billion in developing oil fields. The French car manufacturer Renault has signed a deal to invest $750 million in Iran over the next few years.

Although U.S. sanctions on Iran remain, many U.S. allies are eager to do business there. For those ventures to succeed, the new political leaders may be forced to keep the most extreme hard-liners in check.

"If there's a huge crackdown on human rights in Iran, there's going to be huge pressure on these companies to leave," said Ali Ghezelbash, an analyst at a Tehran-based investment consulting firm. "These companies don't want to be seen as supporting a despotic government."

Conservatives took control of parliament by blocking the candidacies of most reformers, even incumbent lawmakers.

Under Iran's system of government, the ultimate authority lies not with the elected president, but with a group of unelected clerics who disdain liberalism and answer only to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Unable to field liberal candidates, reformists urged voters to stay home, guaranteeing the new parliament will shift hard to the right.

Political unknowns calling themselves the Association of Advancement of Islamic Iran, known locally as Abadgaran, won the biggest block of votes. Their leader, incumbent lawmaker Gholamali Haddadadel, is married to a daughter of Khamenei.

The group has endorsed many of the good-government slogans of the reform movement -- for example, vowing not to crack down on women with hair showing beneath their headscarves or young people listening to pop music.

"Our goal is to solve economic problems," said Emad Ghetassi, who works in Abadgaran's public relations office. "The last parliament ignored economic problems. We've promised to solve unemployment. We've promised to increase people's purchasing power and solve the inflation problem."

Political analysts here say the new conservative majority is bifurcated into two strains, one pragmatic and focused on improving the economy, the other ideological and focused on bolstering Islam. The two groups married temporarily for the sake of defeating the reformists in last Friday's elections, but a new split may emerge.

The pragmatic conservatives talk of a new approach: a Chinese model, in which the country would open itself to foreign investment, provide jobs and limited social freedom while keeping most political dissent in check. Adherents of this approach disdain the tactics of the clerics' most strident supporters.

"They know that if the hard-liners start putting pressure on people, it's dangerous," said Ghezelbash. "If people get beaten up on the head, they might go home. But they'll go home angrier and angrier and eventually blow up."

Pragmatic conservatives such as former President Hashemi Rafsanjani and U. S.-educated state television director Ali Larijani would like to "water down the existing severe social atmosphere, implement reforms, give minor social freedoms to the society and develop a positive approach with foreign powers," including the United States, said Davoud Hermidas Bavand, a professor of international relations in Tehran.

But the Chinese model will be no easy fit for Iran. Although the country has reformed foreign investment laws and set up tax holidays for investors, its market potential -- 68 million Iranians, compared to 1.2 billion Chinese -- is relatively small, while the potential for a public relations fallout is immense, especially with foreign companies that have significant U.S. investments.

One Tehran representative of a European multinational put it bluntly: "Iran is an interesting market, but it's not China."

Moreover, foreign investment will mean foreigners bringing Western and secular values, demanding social freedoms and introducing new ideas.

"If you are building a foreign company here, it means bringing hundreds of families here," said noted French scholar Bernard Hourcade, a specialist in Iran. "The sociology of these cities will change. The social climate will change."

That's exactly what will alienate the pious traditionalists who believe Iran should implement and export Islamic values.

Bavand predicts those forces might stymie the pragmatic conservatives' goal of a Chinese model, leaving them unable to solve Iran's myriad domestic problems -- unemployment, brain drain, drug addiction, corruption -- as well as the international condemnation of its secret nuclear weapons program, support for terrorist movements and record of human rights abuses.

After all, for nearly two decades after the 1979 revolution, the various conservative factions held near-monopolies on power in Iran and still weren't able to solve domestic problems.

"You look at them now, it's the same individuals," said Bavand. "Previously they had the same authority, and they weren't able to do a thing."
12 posted on 02/27/2004 5:37:09 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: F14 Pilot
They're up to no good.............
13 posted on 02/27/2004 6:00:32 AM PST by nuconvert (CAUTION: I'm an acquaintance of someone labelled :"an obstinate supporter of dangerous fantasies")
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To: AdmSmith
"Inspectors also found two different types of uranium contamination at two separate sites in Iran - raising questions about Iranian claims that the traces came solely from imported equipment. "

"In one room at the Kalaye Electric Company in Tehran, IAEA sampling found uranium enriched to levels 30 times as high as Iran has declared it has achieved using centrifuge technology. Those levels, the report said, "suggests the presence of more than just trace quantities of such material."

"ever- present possibility there could be other facilities."

Like to wager there are?

14 posted on 02/27/2004 6:08:50 AM PST by nuconvert (CAUTION: I'm an acquaintance of someone labelled :"an obstinate supporter of dangerous fantasies")
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To: F14 Pilot
Reformist lawmakers train guns on Khatami
Tehran |Reuters | 27-02-2004
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Dozens of angry Iranian reformist parliamentarians have demanded President Mohammed Khatami appear before them to explain why he let last week's elections go ahead even though 2,500 of his supporters were barred from standing.

Many reformers and ordinary Iranians feel let do-wn by Khatami, who promised freedom of speech and the rule of law, but failed to stand up to hardliners once they blocked him.

Conservatives won control of parliament in Friday's polls, leaving Khatami increasingly isolated, heading a cabinet that ac-hieved little even when it had a majority in the assembly.

"We are preparing to summon Khatami to parliament to explain his efforts for a fair election, what he did to ensure there was a free and fair election and why his government held an election which they believed was neither free nor fair," outgoing reformist deputy Reza Yousefian said yesterday.

Pro-reform candidates only won 40 seats in the 290-seat assembly, compared to conservatives' 154, according to Interior Ministry official results released yesterday.

There are currently around 190 reformists in parliament.

Independents won 30 seats, five seats are reserved for religious minorities and 60 seats are to be recontested as candidates did not get the minimum 25 per cent of votes. Polls in Bam were postponed due to December's earthquake.

The biggest reformist party, led by Khatami's brother, boycotted the ele-ctions saying they were rigged. The soft-spoken president first criticised the barring of candidates, then, after talks with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said the polls should go ahead.

With some 100 pro-reform publications banned and state broadcasting fir-mly in the hardliners' grip, outgoing reformist MPs now cling to parliament as one of the last platforms they have to vent their frustration before they step down at the end of May.

Some 75 reformists dep-uties had so far signed the demand to summon Khatami to parliament, Yousefian said.

But parliament speaker Mehdi Karroubi said he did not think the deputies would get the 105 signatures necessary to force Khatami to appear.

Ministers, appointed by the president, are not obl-iged to give regular reports to parliament. MPs have summoned other ministers for questioning in the past, but not Khatami himself.
15 posted on 02/27/2004 8:32:00 AM PST by freedom44
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To: F14 Pilot
Freedom now!
16 posted on 02/27/2004 9:51:30 AM PST by blackie (Be Well~Be Armed~Be Safe~Molon Labe!)
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To: DoctorZIn; All
Europe's Iran Wimpout

Wall Street Journal
| Feb 27, 2004 |

Anyone who still believes the "international community" had the will to contain Saddam Hussein through inspections need only look at the non-functional non-proliferation process now taking place in neighboring Iran.

This week's report from the International Atomic Energy Agency is as close as could be expected to smoking-gun proof that Tehran's hardliners are building an atomic bomb. The country has been shown to be running multiple uranium-enrichment programs -- all of which it originally failed to declare to the U.N. inspectors, and the more sophisticated of which it kept hiding even when given a chance to come clean in an international agreement last October.

Iran has absolutely no need to enrich uranium if its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, as it claims it is. What's more, IAEA inspectors discovered traces of polonium-210, an element they dryly note can be used "as a neutron initiator in some designs of nuclear weapons." In short, they've found work on what appears to be a bomb core and its trigger.

Yet barely had the ink dried on their pro-forma denunciation of last Friday's rigged Iranian elections when European Union foreign ministers offered Iran another chance to deceive. A senior Bush Administration official tells us our European friends -- including erstwhile disarmament stalwart Tony Blair -- rebuffed an explicit request from President Bush, and cut a deal with Tehran to expand the definition of its ostensibly suspended "enrichment activities."

The IAEA says the agreement, which likely precludes a referral of Iran to the U.N. Security Council when the IAEA board meets next month, "will contribute to confidence building." That sounds about right -- confidence on the part of Iran's ruling mullahs that they're going to get away with it.

Short of finding a bomb blueprint (which Iran probably got from Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan as Libya did) or actual device, after all, the IAEA report could hardly be more damning. The agency threw cold water on Iran's excuse that numerous traces of highly enriched uranium were due to the contamination of foreign-purchased parts. It traced most of the contamination to elements of Iran's domestic program, and it noted that the purity of uranium from one site was 36% -- less than the 90% needed for a bomb but much more than needed to fuel nuclear reactors.

As CIA Director George Tenet told the Senate Intelligence Committee this week, "The difference between producing low-enriched uranium and weapons-capable high-enriched uranium is only a matter of time and intent, not technology." The IAEA report also notes the military links of what Iran claims is a civilian program: "Most workshops for the domestic production of centrifuges are owned by military industrial organizations."

But as in Iraq, IAEA chief Mohammed El Baradei simply asked for better behavior. "I hope," he implored earlier this week, "this will be the last time any aspect of the program has not been declared to us." Most IAEA member states, meanwhile, seem more interested in oil contracts than in enforcing international atomic energy rules. In recent weeks French and Japanese companies signed petroleum exploration deals with the Islamic Republic. Not surprisingly, Iran's IAEA representative, Hassan Rohani, has responded to the Europeans with outright contempt: "We have other research projects which we have not announced to the agency and do not think it is necessary to announce them to the agency."

Mr. Rohani happens to be a close political ally of former Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani, who said a few years ago that "If a day comes when the world of Islam is duly equipped with the arms Israel has in possession, the strategy of colonialism would face a stalemate because application of an atomic bomb would not leave anything in Israel but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world." By "colonialism," he means Anglo-American foreign policy. Iran wants the bomb to contain the U.S. and become the dominant power in the Middle East.

More than a decade ago Margaret Thatcher almost certainly saved the world from a nuclear-armed Saddam Hussein by delivering her famous "Don't go wobbly" message to George H.W. Bush. Now's the time for the current occupant of the White House to return the favor by delivering a similar message of resolve to his British counterpart.

Prime Minister Blair may think he's defending the international non-proliferation system by drawing out negotiations with Iran, but the truth is he risks permanently discrediting it. If Iran's repeated deceptions are not cause for referral to the Security Council, then nothing is. And if Iran goes nuclear on the IAEA's watch, then the agency might as well cease to exist.
17 posted on 02/27/2004 11:27:26 AM PST by nuconvert (CAUTION: I'm an acquaintance of someone labelled :"an obstinate supporter of dangerous fantasies")
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To: DoctorZIn; All
AP Exclusive: Pakistan Threatened to Give Nuclear Weapons to Iran, Former Officials Say

Feb 27, 2004

By Matt Kelley
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Pakistan warned the United States 14 years ago that it might give nuclear technology to Iran, but the administration of President Bush's father did little to follow up, former Pentagon officials say.
Word of the 1990 threat from Pakistan's top general apparently was not passed along to the Clinton administration when it took office three years later, according to interviews by The Associated Press.

One of Pakistan's top nuclear scientists admitted last month that he sold nuclear technology to Iran, as well as North Korea and Libya - all nations on the U.S. list of terrorism sponsors. President Bush said the underground nuclear network was exposed by U.S. and British intelligence agencies' work over the past few years.

But former government arms control officials and declassified documents show the United States knew about Pakistan's nuclear procurement network since 1983 and suspected the transfers to Iran since the mid-1980s. The United States had hints of the transfers to North Korea in the mid-1990s, officials say.

The clearest evidence of the Iran link came in January 1990, when Pakistan's army chief of staff conveyed his threat to arm Iran to a top Pentagon official. Henry S. Rowen, at the time an assistant defense secretary, said Pakistani Gen. Mirza Aslam Beg issued the warning in a face-to-face meeting in Pakistan.

"Beg said something like, 'If we don't get adequate support from the U.S., then we may be forced to share nuclear technology with Iran,'" said Rowen, now a professor at Stanford University.

Beg has acknowledged Iran approached him seeking nuclear assistance that year and he publicly advocated military cooperation between Pakistan and Iran to counter U.S. power in the region. Beg said he never authorized nuclear transfers to Iran or made threats to the United States.

"I have said many times it's all pure lies," Beg said in a telephone interview. "Am I a fool, to tell the U.S. what to do or what not to do?"

In recent weeks, evidence has emerged that Pakistani nuclear aid to Iran began in the mid-1980s but accelerated after 1990 and included transfer of some of Pakistan's most advanced nuclear technology.

The former Pentagon officials' accounts suggest the United States may have missed an early opportunity to thwart some of those transfers.

"We knew they were up to no good," said Henry Sokolski, the Pentagon's top arms control official in 1990.

The Pakistani scientist at the center of the nuclear network, Abdul Qadeer Khan, made a public confession this month and said Pakistan's leadership was unaware and uninvolved. President Pervez Musharraf pardoned Khan a day later.

President Bush has said the United States became aware of Khan's network only in the past few years through daring work by U.S. and British intelligence agents.

"We unraveled the Khan network and we are putting an end to its criminal enterprise," Bush's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, said in a speech Thursday.

But Sokolski and Rowen said former President Bush's administration did little to follow up on Beg's warning. "In hindsight, maybe before or after that they did make some transfers," Rowen said.

Ashton Carter, an assistant defense secretary from 1993 to 1996, said he doesn't remember even being told about the problem when he joined the Pentagon.

Rowen said he told Beg that Pakistan would be "in deep trouble" if it gave nuclear weapons to Iran. Rowen said he was surprised by the threat because at the time Americans thought Pakistan's secular government dominated by Sunni Muslims wouldn't aid Iran's Shiite Muslim theocracy.

"There was no particular reason to think it was a bluff, but on the other hand, we didn't know," Rowen said.

Declassified documents and former officials say U.S. officials knew since at least 1983 about Pakistan's extensive underground supply network for its nuclear weapons program, which first tested nuclear explosives in 1998. Former officials say Washington had other murky clues about Pakistani help to Iran and strong suspicions of the North Korea link by the late 1990s.

Most of the middlemen for Khan's network in the 1990s were either investigated or convicted in Europe for supplying Pakistan's nuclear program in the 1980s.

Pakistan never cracked down on its scientists when former President Clinton and other U.S. officials shared their suspicions with Pakistani leaders, former U.S. officials say.

"The response was, 'Yes, we'll examine your concerns, but we don't believe they are well founded,'" said Robert Einhorn, who was the head arms control official in the State Department from 1999 to 2001.

While Islamabad and Washington squabbled about the evidence, the Khan network provided sophisticated technology to Libya, North Korea and Iran, three countries the United States considered among the most dangerous.

A decade earlier, the Reagan administration had looked the other way on Pakistan's nuclear program, said Stephen P. Cohen, a State Department expert on the region from 1985 to 1987. Back then, Washington used Pakistan as a conduit for sending weapons and money to guerrillas fighting the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

"They were covering up our involvement in Afghanistan, pretending we played no role in Afghanistan, so they expected us to cover up their role in procuring a weapons system they saw as vital to their survival," said Cohen, now with the Brookings Institution think tank.

American officials scolded Pakistan repeatedly for buying nuclear technology from sources in Europe, Asia and the United States, Cohen said. But often those warnings were with "a wink and a nod" that Washington would tolerate those activities, he said.

A declassified State Department memo from 1983 says Pakistan clearly had a nuclear weapons program that relied on stolen European technology and "energetic procurement activities in various countries."

Cohen said the United States suspected Pakistan was helping Iran in the late 1980s, in part because Pakistan had cooperated with Iran on nuclear matters before Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution. The evidence, however, was murky, Cohen said.
18 posted on 02/27/2004 11:50:52 AM PST by nuconvert (CAUTION: I'm an acquaintance of someone labelled :"an obstinate supporter of dangerous fantasies")
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To: DoctorZIn
Rafsanjani Says Elections a Success, US Policies Doomed to Failure

February 27, 2004
Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran -- Substitute Leader of the Tehran Friday Prayers Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said the 20 February parliamentary elections was a great success for the Islamic Republic on the international stage.

Addressing the worshipers gathered for the weekly congregational prayers at the Tehran University campus, Ayatollah Rafsanjani termed as very "important" the result of elections.

He said the enemies of the Islamic Republic who have launched psychological war against Iran were after sending some figures into the parliament otherwise they preferred that the elections would have been marred. Rafsanjani who is also Chief of Expediency Council was pleased over the heavy turnout in the 20 February parliamentary elections and said it was a big defeat for Iran`s arch-foes the United States. He said one should know that the US president George W. Bush revealed how successful the Islamic system was in its policies and strategies.

Rafsanjani pointed out that Bush had said he had been disappointed by hearing the results of elections in Iran. He noted that the chief of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the United States in a speech in Senate said the US authorities made a mistake in their policies because the US officials had thought that Iran would either move toward electing those who have tendencies toward the United States or it would move towards crisis and civil unrest.

Rafsanjani praised the Iranian masses for keeping vigilant in time of the voting and said if the people had had a low turnout in the elections, then the enemies would have more severely criticized the Islamic system.

He said the active participation of the people from all walks of life have ashamed the enemies of the system and prevented them to direct further criticisms. Rafsanjani hoped that the next four years would be turning point in determining the fate of the country and called on the officials to follow the directives given by the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei.

He added that the strong turnout of voters in the 7th Majlis elections would cement the national authority and security in the country. Rafsanjani noted that "the massive participation of the religious, revolutionary, brave and noble people of Iran constituted another epic in the country`s history that is more glorious and brilliant than those in the past." He said the United States is now backing the opposition in Iran to side with the NGOs or spark new struggles against the Iran regime.

He said employing the terms such "illegitimate elections" or "unfair elections" were void of meaning because the elections were held in a fair atmosphere and were meant to contribute to the democratic process in the Iranian society. Rafsanjani said however that if there had not been a tug-of-war among the political camps and factions in Iran the results of elections would have been yet more eye-catching.

He referred to the Iranian foreign policy and said Iran has put top on its agenda the detente policy and said Iran would keep open its door to all states for cooperation except the United States and Israel.

Referring to the US Secretary of States`s report on human rights of countries, he criticized the Untied States for criticizing some countries for their human rights conditions while turning a blind eye on the crime it is committed in many parts of the world.

He said the US had an inhuman behavior towards those it is keeping it its jail in Guantanamo adding that the US is stampeding the human rights of the prisoners in its prison.

Rafsanjani called on the officials to adopt measures not to allow staunch enemies to intervene in Iran`s internal affairs.

He said the United States and its European allies are after finding a pretext to interfere in Iran`s internal affairs and so officials should be quite vigilant not to allow them to pursue their evil aims. He went on to say that the current circumstances are critical.

Touching on Iraq, he supported the will of the Iraqi people to hold elections to take into their hands the fate of their country and said the United States is well aware that it can do nothing in Iraq against the will of the Iraqis. He commented on the US policies and said the United States has claimed to be in favor of democracy in Iraq but they have made clear that the Iraqis are not allowed to hold the elections in the way they want.
19 posted on 02/27/2004 1:36:09 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Once Upon a Spymaster

February 27, 2004
National Reviw Online
Michael Ledeen

Consulting my man Angleton.

I was going to write something about the testimony of George Tenet (director of Central Intelligence) to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence) last Wednesday, but then I thought I'd consult with my old friend, the late James Jesus Angleton. After all, he'd been the chief of CIA counterintelligence for many years, and knew a lot more about the intelligence business than I ever would. So I dragged out the ouija board, and after a few failed efforts (probably the fault of the Patriot Act) I got through.

ML: So how goes it?

JJA: It's pretty boring, frankly. But we do get a few interesting documents up here. I've been reading the Zawahiri tape and the Zarkawi letter, both of which are fascinating.

ML: Did you have a chance to look at Tenet's testimony?

JJA: Oh yes. We watched it, of course, and then I read it twice.

ML: The committee seemed to be impressed, and Tenet got good press on it. What did you think?

JJA: He's got it down pat now. He knows what they like, he speaks well, and the most important thing is that the senators know he's got a close working relationship with the president. That is the single-most important strength of any DCI. If the president likes him and listens to him, the CIA feels strong. Presidents like Clinton always discourage the intelligence community, and produce very weak CIA directors, but this president is interested in it, so Tenet matters a lot.

ML: Anything in there surprise you?

JJA: I thought it was badly crafted. There are many sentences in which it's impossible to decipher what he's referring to. For example, he warns that we have to carefully watch "places where terrorist networks converge." Then he says "Iraq is of course one. But so are the backyards of our closest allies. Even Western Europe is an area where terrorists recruit, train, and target." I don't get that "even." It suggests that Western Europe is in a different category from "backyards of our closest allies." So who are the close allies he's talking about?

ML: Israel maybe?

JJA: Maybe. He does talk about 600 attacks by Palestinian terrorists in 2003, producing 200 dead, including Americans. But I think he's also thinking about the Saudis?

ML: But the Saudis give lots of support to some of the terrorists.

JJA: Sure they do, but he's got them right at the top of his list of "Coalition partners, who have been central to our effort against al Qaeda." He implies that this cooperation is recent, saying that since the May 12 bombings the Saudis have been fighting hard, "and Saudi officers have paid with their lives." Then he talks about Jordan, Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, the UAE, Oman, Pakistan, and then finally "partners in Southeast Asia" and then "our European partners." I guess that's the full list.

ML: So what's the problem?

JJA: The problem is that several of these countries, starting with the Saudis, are both friends and enemies, and you'd expect the DCI to try to educate the senators, and the American public, to the fact that the real world is complicated, and at least hint at our knowledge of the complexities.

ML: I agree. I was disappointed to find him lapsing back into some of the discredited oversimplifications that got us into so much trouble before 9/11, like the Sunni vs. Shiite business.

JJA: Right, and he puts it right in his "blockbuster." "What I want to say to you now may be the most important thing I tell you today," he says. You can almost hear the drum roll. And what is this most important thing? It's a single sentence: "The steady growth of Osama bin Laden's anti-U.S. sentiment through the wider Sunni extremist movement and the broad dissemination of al Qaeda's destructive expertise ensure that a serious threat will remain for the foreseeable future — with or without al Qaeda in the picture."

ML: You see? There's that "Sunni extremist movement" bit again, as if (Shiite) Hezbollah weren't one of the worst — if not the worst — of the terrorist groups. And as if Osama and Zarkawi weren't getting help from (Shiite) Iran as well as (Sunni) Syria, both of which he names as terror sponsors.

JJA: Indeed. Although he rightly says that it's a mistake to think about the terror network as a collection of discrete organizations — he stresses that it's a global movement — he still seems to believe that the division between Sunni and Shiite is fundamental.

ML: Why do you think he clings to this myth?

JJA: Two reasons. First, it's been conventional wisdom at the agency for a long time, and these things get embedded in the culture in Langley. And second, I think we have much better sources among the Sunni than among the Shiites, particularly in Iran. So he can speak much more confidently about Sunni groups and Sunni countries.

ML: I liked a lot of what he said about Iraq.

JJA: Yes, me too. He was quite explicit that the "insurgency" in Iraq aims at "driving the U.S. and our Coalition partners from Iraq." That's exactly right, and it should point right back to Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. But then he loses sight of one of the main objectives of the jihadists: the creation of an Islamic republic in Iraq. That never gets mentioned, he deals with the insurgency as if it were a purely paramilitary force. Even when he talks about Iran's support for the Badr militia, for example, he only mentions their penetration of the Iraqi police and media outlets in the south of the country. But the fact is that Iran wants to dominate the whole country, because a democratic Iraq would encourage the Iranian people to overthrow the regime in Tehran.

The greatest weakness of his presentation on Iraq is that it's a kind of political-science-style thumbnail sketch of the various contending forces. It's interesting, so far as it goes, but it's not enough. He tells us that, according to the agency, Iran wants a non-threatening Iraqi government (but he doesn't say, "and therefore an undemocratic regime") that is "not a U.S. puppet, can maintain the country's territorial integrity, and has a strong Shia representation." But there is every reason to think that Iran wants an Iraqi Islamic Republic, and there is abundant evidence that they are working towards it. Don't we listen to their radio and television broadcasts to Iraq? They certainly say that often enough.

ML: I thought he put a bit too much stress on the "movement," and not enough about the countries that support it.

JJA: True, although he covered his flanks by stating flatly that Iran and Syria were supporting terrorism, in Iraq and elsewhere. But you're right, his main emphasis was on the "movement," and he even said that you no longer need a state in order to produce terrible weapons. True, but it's a hell of a lot easier when you've got a state supporting you. And if the regimes in Damascus and Tehran were toppled, you'd see much less terrorism.

ML: He was happy to talk about Libya, wasn't he?

JJA: Oh, yes, and he's entitled. That was very well done indeed, and he was also happy to talk about the agency's good work on AQ Khan and his worldwide nuclear-proliferation network.

ML: Anything else strike you?

JJA: Yes, there was that non-sequitur about China.

ML: I missed that.

JJA: Well, he said quite a lot about China's military programs — although you have to pull together elements from different sections of his talk to see it all — and then he comes out with this one: "All of these steps will over time make China a formidable challenge if Beijing perceived that its interests were being thwarted in the region."

Feh! That "if" is a total non-sequitur. All those steps will make China a formidable challenge, period. And China's interests are global, not just regional, as they say in their published military doctrine.

So that was a big disappointment.

ML: And you don't need spies to figure out that one.

JJA: No, you only need people who can read Chinese.

I was about to ask him whether he thought we had enough of those Chinese-language readers, and it occurred to me that I should ask him about Arabic and Farsi raiders, too, but the connection went all wheezy (he was a chain smoker, so it was hard to tell if it was him or the line), and that was it for the day.

Next time I'll follow up.
20 posted on 02/27/2004 1:37:47 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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