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Iranian Alert -- March 3, 2004 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD --Americans for Regime Change in Iran
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 3.3.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 03/02/2004 11:39:29 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 03/02/2004 11:39:30 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 03/02/2004 11:43:24 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
IDF Intelligence Overheard Iran and Pakistan's Nuke Deals

00:28 Mar 03, '04 / 10 Adar 5764

A report by the New Yorker credits Israel with intercepting coded communication between Pakistan and Iran leading to the exposure of the international black market for nuclear-weapons material.

“Israeli signals-intelligence agency, known as Unit 8200, broke a sophisticated Iranian code and began monitoring communications that included talk between Iran and Pakistan about Iran’s burgeoning nuclear-weapons program,” says the New Yorker report. “The Israeli intelligence community has many covert contacts inside Iran, stemming from the strong ties it had there before the overthrow of the Shah, in 1979; some of these ties still exist.”

The report alleges that the reason no outrage has emanated from the United States over Pakistan’s recent pardon of Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program – who recently admitted to being “solely responsible for operating an international black market in nuclear-weapons materials”- stems from a deal allowing U.S. troops to go after Osama Bin Laden in Pakistani territory.

It also draws an alarming picture of a web of deception and nuclear proliferation that has spread throughout the Arab world, with the main culprits seemingly immune to international action by merit of Pakistan’s cooperation in the U.S. war effort.

“The Israeli intercepts have been shared, in some form, with the United States intelligence community,” reads the report, “and they show that high-level officials in Islamabad and Tehran had frequent conversations about the I.A.E.A. investigation and its implications.”

The report concluded that, “It’s clear from the intercepts… that Iran did not want to give up its nuclear potential. The Pakistani response was, ‘Don’t give away the whole ballgame and we’ll look out for you’.”
3 posted on 03/02/2004 11:46:31 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert; Pan_Yans Wife; McGavin999; freedom44; windchime; Cindy; dixiechick2000; ...
Irani Youth Passive on Politics, Push Social Restrictions to Limit

Patricia Nunan
Tehran - VOA News
2 Mar 2004

In the controversy surrounding Iran's recent parliamentary elections, the country's young people largely stood on the sidelines. There were no student protests, as Islamic conservatives prevented thousands of reformist candidates from running for election, and conservatives took control of the parliament.
It is late Thursday in northern Tehran - party night for the city's young people. Dozens of boys and a few girls in their teens and 20s are talking, flirting and just hanging out in front of a shopping mall.

Most of the young men are wearing blue jeans and jackets, and some of them have baseball caps. But many of the women are pushing the fashion limits.

Women in Iran are required to wear headscarves. But some of the girls' headscarves almost appear to defy gravity - pinned to a ponytail, and barely resting on their heads.

Women also have to wear abayas - smock-like shirts with hems that fall beneath the knee. But peaking out beneath them are combat pants and laced-up army boots - similar to the fashions worn by many teenagers on the streets of London or New York.

About a dozen young people, men and women alike, have taken over two tables in a nearby coffee shop. For their protection, they only give their first names. Among them are 21-year-old Hamid and his 17-year-old girlfriend. To Hamid, living in Iran is about living with restrictions. Hamid says, if he goes out with his girlfriend in public, they might be stopped by the police. If they get in trouble they will not be able to go out again, he says.

One of the young women, 17-year-old Shohreh, agrees. She says young people are constantly being watched. Even sitting in a group in the coffee shop, she said, they are afraid that someone will come around to check on them, and that they will get in trouble when they leave to go home.

Asked where they think young people can live more freely, the group lists the city of Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, as well as Europe and the United States. Shohreh said women in America have more rights. And, she added, she feels that women in Iran have no value.

That is far different from the generation of these young people's parents. Many of them took to the streets in 1979 to topple the government of the Shah of Iran and bring on the Islamic Revolution. The new government in Iran demonized the United States, and dozens of U.S. diplomats were held hostage for a year and a half.

Now, 22-year-old Mohammed says, Iran's young people simply do not accept what their government tells them about the United States. He said the most recent evidence of the difference between what the Iranian government says about America and what the young people see was the aftermath of the huge earthquake in southern Iran in late December.

After the earthquake, said Mohammed, Americans helped Iran, even though the Iranian government does not like the United States. He says that exposes what he calls the Iranian government's propaganda, which tells young people that everything in America is bad.

Some of this group's complaints may be typical teenage rebellion, but their anger has the potential to be much more. Roughly 70 percent of Iran's 69 million people are under the age of 30, and approximately 50 percent are under age 20, making them a huge source of energy, brainpower and potential political power.

They have taken an active role in recent years, but not during the election controversy of the past few months.

The controversy started in December, when Iran's conservative and unelected Guardian Council barred more than 2,300 pro-reform candidates from running in the February 20 parliamentary election. The reformists boycotted the election, allowing the Islamic conservatives to sweep to power amid low voter turnout of about 50 percent. The ballot was condemned as unfair by both the United States and the European Union.

Throughout the controversy, Iran's young people were, by and large, nowhere to be found. No one in the group at the coffee shop voted, nor did any of them protest against the actions of the Islamic hardliners. There were no protests to join.

That is different from what Iranian young people have done in the recent past. In 1999, thousands of students clashed with police in protests against an unauthorized raid on a student dormitory. Observers say the demonstrations transformed into rage against the conservative government and its lack of reform.

In 2002, students demonstrated daily for more than two weeks to protest the death sentence given to a pro-reform professor for heresy. He had said that all Muslims should have the right to interpret the Koran in their own way.

The protesters also called for more reforms and more freedom. Iran's supreme court eventually overturned the professor's sentence, but the professor is still in jail, and the court ordered harsh punishments for the student protest leaders.

Since then, the authorities have clamped down, and student leaders, newspaper editors and others who disagree with the government have faced arrest.

Analysts say many young people have lost their faith in Iran's reform leaders, who came to power in 2000, because they failed to bring about significant change in the face of opposition from senior Islamic leaders. That has led to disillusionment and apathy among young people.

In the coffee shop, 25-year-old Farhad says that even the large student demonstrations in 1999 were not really about politics. He says, because Iran's young people are so restricted, they rebel in other ways - like the demonstrations. He says the protesters just wanted to have fun and were not really interested in politics. Anybody who saw the protests, he said, would have seen students laughing and chasing each other from alley to alley.

Some at the coffee house also admit to taking drugs - smoking marijuana or hashish, or even taking ecstasy. They also throw illegal dance parties in private homes. They say that, like the protests, it is all part of ordinary youthful rebellion.

Of course, not every young person in Tehran fits the same mold. Twenty-one-year-old Peyman Aref is a student leader, who has been arrested and imprisoned four times for speaking out about the government. One time, he spent three months in jail.

Peyman says the time of revolutions is over. But he says that does not mean Iran's young people will not stop pushing for democracy.

Others agree. Ibrahim Yasdi served as Iran's foreign minister during the reign of Ayatollah Khomeini - the leader of the Islamic Revolution. Disillusioned with Iran's hardline leaders, Mr. Yasdi is now with a pro-reform party. He says a return of the student political movement is just a matter of time.

"After this election, what I know is that, internally, within their own group, the students are debating what they have done, why such apathy, why such inactivity," he said. "And all of us are expecting that the student movement will get another momentum and become very active."

At the coffee shop, that seems a long way off. These young people say they want changes in Iran. But these days, they are not motivated to take risks to try to make those changes happen.
4 posted on 03/03/2004 12:15:43 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: F14 Pilot

Iran blames al-Qaida for explosions

Official says terror group sees U.S., Shiites as its enemies

By Ali Akbar Dareini, Associated Press

TEHRAN, Iran -- An Iranian vice president blamed al-Qaida for Tuesday's attacks on Shiite Muslims in Iraq and Pakistan, condemning the terrorist group's rigid thinking for the bombings and shootings that killed more than 20 Iranian worshippers and wounded 69.

Mohammad Ali Abtahi, Iran's vice president for legal and parliamentary affairs, wrote in a message posted on his personal Web site that al-Qaida considers Shiites more dangerous than their political enemy -- the United States.

"The reactionary al-Qaida terror group reached a conclusion ... that they have two enemies: the United States as the political enemy and Shiites as the ideological enemy," Abtahi wrote.

Al-Qaida, led by Osama bin Laden, is a predominantly Sunni militant group, and draws its members from some of the most conservative streams of Sunni thought -- segments of Muslim society that consider Shiites heretics.

"Blasts in Karbala and Kazimiya (a shrine in Baghdad) today ... are the direct result of this reactionary religious thinking," Abtahi wrote.

A total of 185 people were killed in Tuesday's bombings in Baghdad and Karbala, Iraq, and Quetta, Pakistan.

President Mohammad Khatami said the explosions were the work of "devils who oppose stability, security and national sovereignty in Iraq," state-run television reported Tuesday.

Khatami also criticized the United States' occupation of Iraq. **It has become clear today that occupation of Iraq not only has not brought stability and security to this country but has increasingly taken away peace from the Iraqi nation and caused many damages to them,** state television quoted Khatami as saying.

Abtahi's comments about al-Qaida are noteworthy because the United States has accused Iran of harboring al-Qaida fugitives, The United States believes those fugitives include>including bin Laden's eldest son, Saad.

President Bush also included Iraq in his "axis of evil" with North Korea and prewar Iraq.

Iran still wields tremendous influence in the region and many Gulf countries, primarily Saudi Arabia, worry that the now-emboldened Iraqi Shiites -- a long-repressed majority in Iraq -- will strike up close ties with Iran and become more powerful.

In Iraq, at least 143 people were killed and hundreds more were wounded in Tuesday's nearly simultaneous bombings in Baghdad and Karbala, which came during the Shiite festival of Ashoura. They coincided with a shooting attack on Shiite worshippers in Quetta, Pakistan, that killed at least 42 people and wounded more than 150.

At least 22 Iranian pilgrims were killed and 69 others injured in the Karbala explosions, Iranian Interior Ministry spokesman Jahanbakhsh Khanjani said.

But state television quoted hospital sources in Karbala as saying more than 75 percent of the dead and more than 90 percent of the injured were Iranians.

Khanjani said some victims in the Kazimiya explosions in Baghdad were Iranian but had no figures.

Deputy Interior Minister Ali Asghar Ahmadi said dozens of Iranian ambulances were at the border to transport any victims to Iranian hospitals, and Iran was trying to send a plane to Baghdad to pick up casualties, state television reported.

Iran's state media have reported that more than 100,000 Iranian pilgrims went to Iraq to mark the feast.

The death of Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, and his 72 companions in 680 on the plains of Karbala is marked every year with mourning ceremonies in Iran and Shiite communities across the world.,1413,86~10669~1993331,00.html
5 posted on 03/03/2004 5:42:14 AM PST by AdmSmith
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To: AdmSmith
15 detained over Iraq attacks

Staff and agencies
Wednesday March 3, 2004

Iraqi police and US troops detained 15 people in connection with yesterday's devastating suicide attacks against Shia pilgrims in Baghdad and Kerbala, a coalition official said today.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Associated Press that 15 people were detained in Kerbala after the blasts, nine of them in Iraqi custody. The others, being held by coalition forces, included four Farsi speakers thought to be Iranians.

The development came as the Iraqi governing council declared a three-day mourning period and huge crowds gathered in Kerbala for the first funerals of victims.

An estimated 100,000 Iranians travelled to Iraq for the Ashura celebrations that were targeted in yesterday's bombings, and many are thought to have been among the dead and injured.

It also emerged today that further attacks may have been planned as part of yesterday's orchestrated day of bloodshed. Iraqi officials said suspected suicide bombers were arrested in Basra and in Kirkuk, while police found a bomb with 10kg of TNT alongside a road where Shias had planned to march.

Anwar Amin, the Iraqi civil defence corps chief in Kirkuk, said police defused the bomb and the march was cancelled.

Meanwhile, as the clear-up operation continued, authorities gave varying estimates of the death toll.

The American count of the dead was revised down, from 143 to 117, a senior coalition official said today. But Iraq's health ministry said 185 people were killed, and some unofficial Iraqi death totals were as high as 230. Estimates of the wounded ranged from 300 to more than 400.

US officials and Iraqi leaders named a Jordanian militant, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, as a "prime suspect" for the attacks, saying he is seeking to spark a Sunni-Shia civil war in Iraq to wreck US plans to hand over power to the Iraqis on June 30.

Iranian vice-president, Mohammad Ali Abtahi, blamed al-Qaida for the attacks in Iraq and Pakistan. He wrote in a message posted on his personal website that al-Qaida considers Shias more dangerous than their political enemy - the United States.

"The reactionary al-Qaida terror group reached a conclusion ... that they have two enemies: the United States as the political enemy and Shias as the ideological enemy," Mr Abtahi wrote.

Iraq's US-appointed governing council pleaded with Iraqis to remain united - an attempt to avert reprisals. In a sign of unity, Shia, Sunni and Kurdish council representatives appeared before journalists hours after the attacks urging Iraqis to "maintain unity" to "cheat our enemies of the chance to inflict evil on the nation."

However, the attacks forced the delay of a key event on the road toward the US handover of power to the Iraqis on June 30 - the planned signing tomorrow of an interim constitution agreed by council members this week.

Iraq's US administrator Paul Bremer said the signing would be delayed due to the three-day mourning period.

Also today, it was announced that US soldiers arrested two Iraqis wanted for attacks against coalition forces. Major Bryan Luke, of the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment of the 4th Infantry Division, said troops conducted separate raids late yesterday in Tikrit and nearby Uja, both former strongholds of Saddam Hussein and his family.,2763,1160958,00.html
6 posted on 03/03/2004 5:44:44 AM PST by AdmSmith
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To: AdmSmith
Perhaps we get more info on the Farsi-speaking killers soon.
7 posted on 03/03/2004 5:45:43 AM PST by AdmSmith
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To: DoctorZIn
Let's Get Serious About Nuclear Proliferation

March 03, 2004
International Herald Tribune
Samuel R. Berger and Flynt Leverett

WASHINGTON -- President George W. Bush pledged in a speech Feb. 11 that America would "rise to the hard demands of dangerous times" - specifically, to prevent the world's deadliest weapons from falling into the hands of rogue regimes and terrorists.

The president's attention to nonproliferation issues is welcome, as is Libya's apparent renunciation of weapons of mass destruction. Yet a sustained and comprehensive strategy for dealing with the proliferation threat is still lacking.

We are losing the fight to stop the spread of nuclear-weapons capabilities to rogue states. In too many places, the approach to proliferation challenges is curiously complacent - marked by an inability to translate rhetoric into action.

Recent events have underscored the risk of nuclear breakout. The deal brokered by three European foreign ministers with Tehran last autumn is not stopping Iran's development of an infrastructure that could ultimately produce weapons-grade fissile material for nuclear bombs. Worse, Iran's foreign minister said twice last week that Tehran intends to sell nuclear fuel abroad.

The European approach is based on two premises: first, that Iran's nuclear program is motivated primarily by nationalist ambitions to achieve world-class technological prowess; and second, that Tehran would ultimately relinquish the militarily applicable parts of its program in exchange for international assistance in developing the rest of its nuclear agenda. Unfortunately, this represents more wishful thinking than reality. Compelling evidence suggests Iran's nuclear program is intended to give Tehran a nuclear-weapons hedge against what Iranians see as very real threats to their national security, and that Iran will not give up its nuclear aspirations until those concerns are addressed. Yet, the Bush administration stubbornly resists any suggestion of a "grand bargain" with Iran.

As for North Korea, Kim Jong Il has clearly slipped the bonds of the nonproliferation regime. Analysts may debate the number of nuclear bombs North Korea has built, but it is virtually certain that Pyongyang possesses considerably more reprocessed plutonium today than a year ago, on its way to potentially becoming the first nuclear weapons Wal-Mart for terror groups. Given this reality, the Bush administration's dithering on serious diplomatic engagement is inexplicable.

Recent disclosures about the activities of the Pakistani nuclear scientist and proliferation entrepreneur Abdul Qadeer Khan underscore additional risks. We know there are sophisticated clandestine procurement networks for nuclear fuels and technology. Yet the administration remains complacent in securing loose nuclear materials around the world and redirecting weapons scientists and assets to peaceful, constructive purposes.

The Nunn-Lugar initiative is designed to dismantle or transform potentially dangerous nuclear activities in the former Soviet Union. At present funding levels, it will not complete the job for more than a decade. Meanwhile, as Senator Sam Nunn has said, right now, "tons of poorly secured plutonium and highly enriched uranium - the raw materials of nuclear terrorism - are spread around the world."

What would a serious strategy for containing the spread of nuclear weapons look like?

First, it is time to define clear strategic choices for Iran and North Korea. Washington should publicly offer to normalize relations with Iran - including a commitment not to change its government by force - and help it integrate into the global economy, provided that Iran gives up, definitively and verifiably, its weapons of mass destruction programs and ties to terrorist organizations.

The United States also should lay out for North Korea the security guarantees and economic benefits it could expect for dismantling its nuclear weapons program and abandoning its nuclear ambitions - as well as make clear that further separation of plutonium will result in serious consequences, coercive if necessary. Only by defining North Korea's options in such stark terms, and demonstrating our willingness to get to Yes, can the United States marshal the regional and international support we will need if Pyongyang says No.

Second, we must deal with the crisis of unsecured nuclear materials around the world. We must globalize Nunn-Lugar programs and fund them at the levels necessary to do the job, which will be much greater than the administration's current budget envisions.

Third, it is time to close increasingly obvious gaps in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. The president's proposals are fine as far as they go, but they do not go far enough. Tighter regulation of fuel cycle activities, keeping states under investigation by the International Atomic Energy Agency off the agency's board of governors, and mandating implementation of the Additional Protocol as a condition for nuclear imports are all essential steps. But we also need to make sure that if states provide assistance to others for peaceful nuclear energy, spent fuel rods are returned to international storage, under international supervision.

Further, we need to make it illegal for a state to withdraw from the nonproliferation treaty if its nuclear activities are under investigation. America should lead the UN Security Council in defining sanctions that would be imposed automatically on any state threatening to use the treaty as a springboard for nuclear weapons development.

As Bush stated Feb. 11, the consensus among nations that proliferation is intolerable "means little unless it is translated into action." But translating counter proliferation goals into action will take sustained American leadership and engagement, skillful diplomacy, and serious investments of political and financial capital. None of those have been forthcoming so far.

Samuel R. Berger, who was national security adviser to President Bill Clinton, is chairman of Stonebridge International. Flynt Leverett, who was senior director for Middle East affairs at the National Security Council from February 2002 to March 2003, is a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution.
8 posted on 03/03/2004 7:58:00 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: AdmSmith
I see the fine hand of the mad mullahs in those attacks. They fear the freedom of Iraq, it might spread to Iran.
9 posted on 03/03/2004 8:14:54 AM PST by McGavin999 (Evil thrives when good men do nothing!)
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To: McGavin999
Unfortunately, Iranian hands are spread all over Iraq. But they do not all have the same agenda, a proxy war between them can be expected; who is supporting Sistani and who is supporting Sadr?
10 posted on 03/03/2004 8:29:31 AM PST by AdmSmith
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To: AdmSmith
I agree with you. Sadar is stirring up some real trouble in Iraq. BUT, one of the good things is that by watching the followers of each branch you begin to get a clear idea of who is the troublemakers.
11 posted on 03/03/2004 8:34:23 AM PST by McGavin999 (Evil thrives when good men do nothing!)
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To: McGavin999

Iranian Hardliners More Pragmatists Than Zealots After Election Victory

News Analysis, By Shahla Azizi,
Pacific News Service, Mar 02, 2004
Editor's Note: The recent elections in Iran, where many reformist candidates were barred from taking part, yielded predictable results - low turnout and a hardliner victory. But PNS contributor Shahla Azizi says that hardliner victory will not necessarily spell Iran's further isolation from the West.


TEHRAN, Iran --Iranian reformists, dissidents and many university professors failed to convince Iranians to boycott the recent elections. The reformists, including President Khatami, were once again stymied in their attempt to put Iran on the road to democracy. But now that the dust has settled, it's becoming clearer that while iran lost the opportunity for its own Perestroika, it's not going to fall into the hands of Taliban-like zealots either.

The Guardian Council turned down all attempts by the Majlis (parliament) to reform the electoral process. Small steps have been taken to ease social restrictions, but electoral reform, which would have limited the authority of the un-elected Guardian Council, never materialized. That could have been the death knell of the clerical regime itself, much like Perestroika led to the fall of the Soviet regime.

I went out on Election Day, visiting six polling stations in Tehran, all of which were practically deserted. The doorman at my building told me, "I have never voted, and will not now."

The janitor who cleans our street said, "What difference will it make? I voted once for Khatami and now I regret it."

But other people felt they had to vote. The taxi driver who took me around told me, "They scare people into voting. They have announced a 20 percent pay cut for all government employees who refuse to vote."

A young student ,entering one of the polling stations, looked at me with shame in his eyes and said, "I am in my second year at Sharif University (Iran's MIT). Last week they assembled us and told us that without the vote stamp in our Identity Cards they will not register us for the next term."

In Iran each time you vote the authorities stamp your birth certificate. My mother-in-law urged me to vote because, she argued, without a stamp, I would have a hard time finding work or going after my confiscated property. I told her that if I did, I would be prostituting myself and might as well stand on a street corner like so many other female and male compatriots who sell themselves for money. My own husband cast his ballot, despite my admonitions, because he needs a business license!

So despite a 20-percent unemployment rate, a 25-percent official inflation, a brain drain that has taken all our top students abroad, and an election turnout that even by official estimates was at least 25 percent lower than earlier elections, here in Iran we are celebrating the continuing victory of the Revolution and the defeat of the "Great Satan" -- the United States.

The conservatives claim that the reformists, especially those who called for boycott of elections, are foreign agents guilty of treason.

"Each vote is a bullet in the heart of Bush," was supreme leader Khamenei's way of putting things. He dubbed the elections a "slap in the face of Bush."

Keeping America as public enemy number one is the rhetorical security blanket of this regime, which came to power on the basis of a then-popular, but now staid, rejection of American imperialism.

But it's hard to take these mullahs' rhetoric too seriously.

What does this hard-liner victory mean for the West? Not much will change as far as foreign policy is concerned. Iran will not isolate itself. Iranian hard-liners, headed by the powerful millionaire and head of Expediency Council, Hashemi Rafsanjani, are really just businessmen. They are no Taliban. They want more lucrative contracts like the ones they already have with the Europeans and the Japanese.

The defeat of the reformists will only mean that now the world will deal with those who are really in power. Hard-liners didn't let the U.S. delegation visit earthquake-struck Bam because they didn't want the reformists to take the credit. But now they may slowly take steps towards reconciliation. Two days after the elections, the head of a right-wing party, a relative of Khamenei, claimed that rapprochement with the United States is a possibility.

The most powerful wing of the conservatives is made up of bazaar pragmatists. In fact a few days ago, security forces announced an end to the curfew that had been in place for at least 18 months. Now we Iranians can stay out till three in the morning at restaurants, etc. This was meant as a signal to the largely young and restless public that life is not going to become harder now that the hard-liners have taken the Majlis.

Before the elections one candidate even advocated that men and women walk on separate sides of the street. But the ruling elite knows that the large majority of youth needs breathing space. However they will give only enough space to keep them from revolting and toppling the theocracy. These mullahs are more clever and worldly than Saddam or the Taliban. They have inherited the savvy of the bazaar and the clever reasoning of the mosque.

Shahla Azizi ( is a Western-educated Iranian American who lives in Tehran with her two children. Her name has been changed.
12 posted on 03/03/2004 8:52:39 AM PST by AdmSmith
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To: DoctorZIn
Listen to the Iranians, They Know

March 03, 2004
Iran va Jahan
Michael Ledeen

Returning to a conversation.

Monday night, following the gruesome massacres in Najaf and Baghdad at Shiite holy places, Iranians took to the streets all over the country: Tehran, Isfahan, and Shiraz above all. The demonstrations had a double-pronged message. First, that the people care more about freedom than about the celebration of Ashoura, the grave day of mourning for the murder of Hossein, the grandson of Mohammed, and dozens of his followers. And second, to accuse the regime of having orchestrated the slaughter in Najaf and Baghdad. The first reports even suggest that some of the security forces were fighting on the side of the demonstrators, although such reports are often wrong.

We and our policymakers should listen to these brave Iranian demonstrators, for they know more about their tyrants than our own experts. They know that the mullahs have organized massacres in the past in order to advance their own interests. This happened in the runup to the Revolution, when a movie theater was set on fire and then blamed on the shah's secret service, and then again a few years ago when a Shiite shrine was bombed and then blamed on opponents of the regime. So the idea that a Shiite regime would resort to the mass murder of other Shiites is not at all preposterous to the people of Iran, and we should take it seriously. As we know from recent intelligence in Iraq (and as some of us knew two years ago), the jihadists — enthusiastically supported by the mullahs-are desperate to drive us out of Iraq, and will resort to anything that demonstrates American weakness, and that fosters civil war within the country.

The Iranians know their oppressors. If only our own leaders would listen.
13 posted on 03/03/2004 10:25:46 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Listen to the Iranians, They Know

March 03, 2004
Iran va Jahan
Michael Ledeen
14 posted on 03/03/2004 10:27:12 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
We and our policymakers should listen to these brave Iranian demonstrators, for they know more about their tyrants than our own experts.

Our own silence will not compel our national leaders to act. They need to be shown the way.

Excellent post, Doc.

15 posted on 03/03/2004 10:32:07 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals. --- Kahlil Gibran)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
A number of the terrorists in Iraq were Farsi speakers..Ledeen is right..Must be really desperate times for the Mullahs to blow up their co-religionists on their holiest day to try to stop democracy next door..
16 posted on 03/03/2004 11:11:16 AM PST by the Real fifi
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To: the Real fifi
Must be really desperate times for the Mullahs to blow up their co-religionists on their holiest day to try to stop democracy next door..

But, it isn't about faith, it's about control and power and terrorism.

17 posted on 03/03/2004 11:29:35 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals. --- Kahlil Gibran)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
I am begging the Iranian-Americans on this Board to make sure their community knows what a disaster Kerry would be for Iran. Begging.He is another Jimmy Carter.
18 posted on 03/03/2004 12:38:23 PM PST by the Real fifi
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Denies to be Connected With Iraq Attacks

March 03, 2004

An Iranian foreign ministry official representative denied his country played any role in the wave of anti-Shiite attacks in neighbouring Iraq and renewed Tehran's condemnation of the carnage says AFP.

"The terrorists use all sorts of cover-ups to achieve their evil ends, and speaking different languages could be interpreted as part of that," said the unnamed official, in a statement received by AFP In Baghdad, a senior US-led coalition official said earlier that "terrorists" could have crossed into Iraq with thousands of Iranian pilgrims to carry out Tuesday's attacks in the Iraqi capital and Karbala that cost more than 180 lives.
19 posted on 03/03/2004 12:45:16 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iraq's Terror Sources Reside Next Door

March 03, 2004
The New York Sun
Michael Ledeen

What does the terrible slaughter in Karbala and Baghdad demonstrate?

Just ask Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq's leading Shiite religious leader: It shows that the Americans are unable to protect the faithful, to close the borders, to stop the terrorism. Or, you could ask the Iranian interior minister and the foreign minister, who for perhaps the first time in the history of the Islamic Republic were hard at work on one of the holiest days in the Shiite calendar. They, too, blamed America for the massacre of the Shiite faithful, of whom the great majority in Najaf were Iranians.

Everyone in Iraq knew that these days would be very dangerous, and they knew it without having read the now-celebrated "Zarqawi letter" that laid out the terrorists' design of fomenting a religious war in Iraq in order to be able to mobilize large numbers of people against the American-led coalition. And the Iraqis also know, even if they will not always say so, that the driving force behind the terrorists sits outside Iraq's borders, hence Mr. al-Sistani's condemnation of our failure to control his borders.

Those borders divide Iraq from Syria and Iran. And, as luck would have it, just a couple of days ago the two countries signed a mutual "defense" pact. In a way, it was redundant, since Damascus and Tehran have long cooperated in the terror war against us in Iraq, and, in another bit of bravado, they told us in advance that they were going to do it. The formal agreement was a bit of braggadocio, a defiant spit in the eyes of the coalition, followed by this latest horror.

There have been many complaints that Iraqi leaders, religious and secular, have a tendency to "tilt" toward the Iranian view of some matters. But suppose that you were an Iraqi public figure. You know that there are Iranian agents all over the country. You see that many of your colleagues from Ayatollah Khoi to Ayatollah Hakim to several members of the Provisional Authority to countless local officials, have been gunned down or exploded by the holy martyrs. You know that suicide terrorism was unknown in Iraq before its liberation, while Iran has made a cottage industry out of it. Would you make denunciation of Iran the cornerstone of your policy? There are few people brave enough to do that, even if Jerry Bremer fumes when they protect themselves against the assassins. Mr. Bremer is leaving soon; they're not so sure about the mullahs.

We will never have true freedom and stability in Iraq until the terror masters in Tehran and Damascus have been defeated and removed from power.

Iraqi leaders will necessarily and quite reasonably be intimidated by the terror masters until and unless we demonstrate that we are serious about the war against terrorism, and that we are determined and capable of taking the struggle to Damascus and Tehran.

It is a strategic error of enormous dimensions to focus all our attention on Iraq, thereby leaving the Iranian mullahs and the Syrian Baathists a free hand. It has just cost hundreds of lives in Baghdad and may well cost many more. If all goes badly, it may yet lead to our defeat in the region.

Our greatest weapon against the terror masters is not military, but political. Yesterday, as news of the Iraqi carnage reached Iran, thousands of people poured into the streets to demonstrate against the tyranny of Ali Khamenei and Hashemi Rafsanjani. At this writing, there are only scattered reports, but many of the demonstrators seem to be accusing the regime of orchestrating the massacres. They know what many Western leaders and pundits seem unable to grasp: that the mullahs are happy to arrange for the mass murder of their own people in order to advance their cause. And it has a delicious side benefit, at least in the eyes of the tyrants: they can then claim that they are victims of Al Qaeda.

Last night French television reported that "Iranians" had been arrested in Iraq in connection with the bombings. These early reports are often mistaken, but the French instincts in this matter are certainly sound. The targets, the timing, and the operations themselves (a sequence of suicide bombers at separate locations, and then grenades thrown from neighboring buildings) bear the imprint of a ruthless, professional intelligence service. This was not the work of leftover Saddam followers. It was part of the broader war, in which we are the major target but not yet a fully engaged protagonist.
20 posted on 03/03/2004 12:46:01 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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