Skip to comments.
Iranian Alert -- March 5, 2004 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD --Americans for Regime Change in Iran
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^
Posted on 03/05/2004 12:01:17 AM PST by DoctorZIn
The US media almost entirely ignores news regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran. As Tony Snow of the Fox News Network has put it, this is probably the most under-reported news story of the year. But most Americans are unaware that the Islamic Republic of Iran is NOT supported by the masses of Iranians today. Modern Iranians are among the most pro-American in the Middle East.
There is a popular revolt against the Iranian regime brewing in Iran today. Starting June 10th of this year, Iranians have begun taking to the streets to express their desire for a regime change. Most want to replace the regime with a secular democracy. Many even want the US to over throw their government.
The regime is working hard to keep the news about the protest movement in Iran from being reported. Unfortunately, the regime has successfully prohibited western news reporters from covering the demonstrations. The voices of discontent within Iran are sometime murdered, more often imprisoned. Still the people continue to take to the streets to demonstrate against the regime.
In support of this revolt, Iranians in America have been broadcasting news stories by satellite into Iran. This 21st century news link has greatly encouraged these protests. The regime has been attempting to jam the signals, and locate the satellite dishes. Still the people violate the law and listen to these broadcasts. Iranians also use the Internet and the regime attempts to block their access to news against the regime. In spite of this, many Iranians inside of Iran read these posts daily to keep informed of the events in their own country.
This daily thread contains nearly all of the English news reports on Iran. It is thorough. If you follow this thread you will witness, I believe, the transformation of a nation. This daily thread provides a central place where those interested in the events in Iran can find the best news and commentary. The news stories and commentary will from time to time include material from the regime itself. But if you read the post you will discover for yourself, the real story of what is occurring in Iran and its effects on the war on terror.
I am not of Iranian heritage. I am an American committed to supporting the efforts of those in Iran seeking to replace their government with a secular democracy. I am in contact with leaders of the Iranian community here in the United States and in Iran itself.
If you read the daily posts you will gain a better understanding of the US war on terrorism, the Middle East and why we need to support a change of regime in Iran. Feel free to ask your questions and post news stories you discover in the weeks to come.
If all goes well Iran will be free soon and I am convinced become a major ally in the war on terrorism. The regime will fall. Iran will be free. It is just a matter of time.
TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iaea; iran; iranianalert; iranquake; protests; southasia; studentmovement; studentprotest
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-20, 21-27 next last
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!
"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail DoctorZin
posted on 03/05/2004 12:01:18 AM PST
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
posted on 03/05/2004 12:04:53 AM PST
(Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
IRANIAN NGO FILES LABEL AGAINST THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC WITH THE ICC
THE HAGUE 4 Feb. (IPS)
For the first time, the International Criminal Court accepted a formal accusation against the Islamic Republic filed by an Iranian Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), according to a member of the US-based NGO.
The Iranian Think Tank, a NGO led by Dr. Masood Ansari, an Iranian university professor in Washington, registered officially a criminal file against the Islamic Republic with the ICC on 27 of February, accusing the ruling Iranian theocracy of gross violations against the Iranian people and human rights, Mrs. Homa Ehsan, a veteran Iranian journalist and political activist told Iran Press Service from The Hague, where ICC is based.
The voluminous file includes thousands of written statements, eyewitness reports, tapes and videotapes by Iranians who had been jailed, tortured, deprived of their most basic rights and discriminated under the laws of the Islamic Republic, based on the Islamic Sharia.
There are videotapes of stoning, cutting hand and foot, taking out eye, inhuman tortures of prisoners, some under the Islamic law of "qesas", or the Talion, the Los Angeles-based Mrs. Ehsan described.
"Your Communication that includes five videotapes has been dully registered with the office of communications of the Registry and would be given consideration as an appropriate time and in accordance with the provisions of the ICC", a letter of acknowledgment* says, signed by Mr. Thomas Sarkis on behalf of the President of the ICC.
The International Criminal Court was formed in Rome in 1998 with the participation of 120 nations, with the aim of promoting the rule of law and ensure that the gravest international crimes do not go unpunished, by bringing to prosecution officials, including leaders from any regime that abuses the rights of its citizen. So far, 92 countries have adhered to its principles, including the Islamic Republic, which has not yet ratified the adhesion officially.
A permanent body, which is independent of the United Nations, the 18 judges ICC, which is presided over by Judge Philippe Kirsch of Canada, is however bound to the UN by an Agreement that was approved in the Italian Capital on September 2002.
Tehran is pressing to immune its leaders from international prosecution, arguing that since its laws are based on Islam, therefore the actions taken by the regime and its leaders are validated by Islam and cannot be answerable but to God and Islam.
This is the first time that a group of Iranians have filed a criminal label against the Islamic Republic, sources told IPS, adding that others, some of them based in Berlin, are also gathering evidences against the present Iranian regime to be prosecuted under crime against humanity, war crimes and crimes against human rights.
The ICCs Trustee Board includes the Jordanian Queen Rania, the former Polish Prime Minister, Bishop Desmund Tutu of South Africa, a former president of Costa Rica and Mrs. Simone Veil, a former French Minister and human rights activist. ENDS IRAN ICC 4304
*Editors note The Think Tank Organisations "communication" with the ICC is officially registered under Number OTP-CR-52/04 and every Iranian, either in Iran or abroad, can contact the ICC and file label against the Islamic Republic. http://www.iran-press-service.com/articles_2004/Mar_04/iran_icc_4304.htm
posted on 03/05/2004 12:07:52 AM PST
(Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
According to Debka....
Bush decides to postpone action on Iranians nuclear weapons program from March to June. Tehran gains an extra three months to work on program without facing international pressure. http://www.debka.com/
posted on 03/05/2004 12:12:11 AM PST
(Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
Nigeria & Pakistan deny N-tech dialogue
05 March 2004 Friday 13 Muharram 1425
ABUJA, March 4: Nigeria on Thursday withdrew an earlier statement claiming that the visiting Pakistani defence chief had offered to help it to acquire nuclear power, saying it was a mistake and should be ignored.
"The reference to nuclear power in the statement earlier issued was a mistake, a typographical error," defence ministry spokesman Nwachukwu Bellu, told AFP, confirming the reaction of the Pakistani authorities to the issue.
"There were no discussions at all on nuclear power, development and acquisition," Mr Bellu added. He said the portion of the statement on nuclear power issued after Wednesday's meeting between Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, Gen Muhammad Aziz Khan, and Nigerian Defence Minister Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso in Abuja, should be ignored.
"It was a mistake. The section concerning nuclear power should be ignored. Nothing on that matter was discussed at the meeting," he said. The statement had quoted Gen Aziz as saying "his country is working out the dynamics of how it can assist Nigeria's armed forces to strengthen its military capability and to acquire nuclear power."
But Pakistan immediately denied the claim, saying it was baseless. "We are denying it. This is baseless. He (Gen Aziz) said nothing of this kind," military spokesman Maj-Gen Shaukat Sultan told AFP.
Information Minister Shaikh Rashid Ahmed accused Nigeria of mounting a smear campaign. "This is sheer nonsense. It seems to be part of a campaign to smear Pakistan," he said.
A spokesman for the Nigerian armed forces said that nothing on nuclear power had been discussed since Gen Aziz began a five-day visit to the West African country on Monday.
"Discussions have centred only on military cooperation in terms of training and acquisition of new equipment. Nothing at all on nuclear power," Col Ganiyu Adewale told AFP.
Our Correspondent in Islamabad adds: Pakistan has denied that Gen Aziz offered any 'nuclear' help to Nigeria. "It is such unadulterated rubbish for a Pakistani general travelling these days to be offering nuclear help," Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri said at a joint press conference with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.
Mr Kasuri was responding to a question about a statement attributed to the Nigerian defence ministry claiming that Gen Aziz had offered to assist Nigeria's armed forces to strengthen their military capability and to "acquire nuclear power."
The foreign minister said the way the story was flashed "tells you how the media sometimes picks up stories." "So I don't know what to say except to use the expression that I have used," he said.
He said Pakistan did not support such a view (helping others with nuclear technology), especially when the country was seeking the help of the Commonwealth.
Mr Straw said he could not say much about the issue except that when he was in Nigeria before Christmas, the issue of acquisition of nuclear technology did not seem to be on top of the Nigerian agenda.
"But they have got huge oil reserves, but that's another matter," the British foreign secretary said, tongue in cheek in an obvious reference to criticism about war on terrorism being directed against potentially oil-rich Afghanistan and Iraq in its first phases.
When contacted for comments on the issue, Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) director-general Maj-Gen Shaukat Sultan said the Nigerian government had contradicted the statement attributed to it.
When asked if he had seen the statement of the Nigerian government, the military spokesperson said he was informed by the BBC about it. Maj-Gen Sultan further said the Nigerian statement was quoted out of context.
In reply to a question as to when Gen Aziz was expected to return, the ISPR chief said he was not sure about the exact date. He said from Nigeria, Gen Aziz would visit Egypt and then come back to Pakistan.
Meanwhile, an ISPR press release said the spokesperson had strongly contradicted a news item issued by an international news agency about Gen Aziz's ongoing visit to Nigeria during which he was said to have offered unspecified military assistance, including nuclear power, to Nigeria.
The spokesman said Gen Aziz neither made any offer of Pakistan's assistance to Nigeria to acquire nuclear power, nor did he issue any such statement. The spokesman said that the country's nuclear capability was solely for the purpose of deterrence of aggression against Pakistan.
It fortified national security and it would never be in our national interest to share this technology in whatever form with any other country, the spokesperson said.
Pakistan is a responsible nuclear state and it fully understands its obligation towards non-proliferation, said the spokesperson and requested the international and domestic media to refrain from such ludicrous and fabricated stories, the press release said. http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/toptease_5.html
posted on 03/05/2004 12:50:39 AM PST
(Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
ANSAR AL-SUNNAH ARMY VOWS MORE ATTACKS, CRITICIZES SHI'A IN IRAQ.
"Al-Hayat" reported on 1 March that the Ansar Al-Sunnah Army has posted a statement on a web group hosted by the Islamic Media Center http://groups.yahoo.com/group/globalislamicmedia
vowing continued attacks against the U.S. military in Iraq. The statement, signed by the army's "amir," Abu Abdallah al-Hasan bin Mahmud, criticized the Governing Council for colluding with the U.S.-led coalition, and the Shi'a community for failing to take a stand against "the infidel assailants in our Muslim country." Specifically, the statement said the Governing Council members are "members in a government where the U.S. governor and not Allah the Exalted makes the final decisions."
Regarding the Shi'a, the statement says: "We were not surprised by this ignominious stand on their part, but praised Allah the Exalted for not giving them a share in the jihad and the reward for it.... It is in [the Shi'a] community's nature to stand with the infidels against the people of the Sunnah...." The statement also criticized mosque preachers for not encouraging jihad in Iraq and said that jihad not only threatens the U.S. military in Iraq but "is also a danger to the American people." (Kathleen Ridolfo)
and the related group Ansar al-Islam:
KURDISH ANSAR MEMBER CLAIMS LINKS TO AL-QAEDA.
A Kurdish member of the terrorist group Ansar Al-Islam has acknowledged links to Al-Qaeda, Al-Jazeera television reported on 25 February. The station broadcast a videotaped statement by Hoshyar Salih Hama Arif, who is now in coalition custody, in which he says: "We know for sure that the United States is technologically superior to us.... We do not care about their strength. [Jihad] is the best way for us to win the best reward in the hereafter. At the beginning, we tried to obscure our relationship with Al-Qaeda to dissociate ourselves from the U.S. list of wanted persons. However, when the Americans attacked us, we became no longer fearful of showing our association with Al-Qaeda." (Kathleen Ridolfo)
Comment: these two sunni-groups are trying to start a civil war between Sunni and Shi'ia, like the one in Khaf:
SUNNIS, SHI'ITES REPORTEDLY CLASH IN NORTHEAST IRAN.
Clashes between Sunnis and Shi'ites broke out on 1 March in the northeastern Iranian town of Khaf, Mehr News Agency reported on 2 March. Iranian Interior Ministry spokesman Jahanbakhsh Khanjani said a traffic accident involving a group of Shi'a and two Sunni motorcyclists led to a fight. A group of Sunnis reportedly later blocked the road on which the Shi'a were traveling and clashes erupted. The Khorasan Province Governorate-General's Security Council brought the situation under control, according to the news agency. However, clashes broke out again on 2 March resulting in injuries to a few people and destruction to some public and private property. (Kathleen Ridolfo)
source: RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT Vol. 7, No. 8, 5 March 2004
posted on 03/05/2004 3:07:18 AM PST
" who is now in coalition custody"
Well, so much for Hoshyar Salih Hama Arif. Guess he won't be having anymore bright ideas.
posted on 03/05/2004 4:10:28 AM PST
(CAUTION: I'm an acquaintance of someone labelled :"an obstinate supporter of dangerous fantasies")
posted on 03/05/2004 5:23:01 AM PST
(Podesta about Bush: "He's got four years to try to undo all the stuff we've done." (TIME-1/22/01))
To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert; yonif; freedom44; RaceBannon; McGavin999; onyx; dixiechick2000; ...
The Hezbollah within us
Maariv Int'l - Israel
Mar 5th, 2004
Palestinian terrorism has a new boss: Master terrorist Imad Mughnieh, Nasrallahs deputy of operations. * He heads The Organization for Internal Operations. His people manufacture terror attacks. * From instructions for assembling devices through explanations on the exact place in the bus to explode. * From ways to smuggle materiel through ways to finance terror cells.
The last time that Shadi Abdu from Nablus visited Jordan, he received a very attractive gift, a new Sony PlayStation. However, Shadis present, generously purchased by the Hezbollah, was not intended for playing games. Truthfully, nothing could have farther from his mind. A digital memory card, which could be removed and installed in any home computer, was concealed inside the popular game. The card came from a Hezbollah laboratory and contained clear, detailed diagrams that showed precisely how to manufacture explosives, explosive vests and roadside charges.
Thats the way Hezbollah operates. It has initiative. It is innovative. It challenges the Israeli security services, every single day. After the Israeli Navy succeeded in catching the ship of Abu Hassan at sea last May and confiscated the training material on-board, Hezbollah started to look for new ways to smuggle their death courses. If they cant smuggle large quantities of arms, like they tried to do on the Karine A, they would find other, more sophisticated and harder to detect, methods.
For three years, the Lebanese organization (with full support from Iran) has been trying to tighten its hold on the Palestinian terrorist cells. On the Israel Security Services maps, names of the Palestinian cells and terrorists, with Hezbollah connections, can be found in every city in Judea and Samaria, from Jenin in the north to Hebron in the south. The Gaza Strip, too, has not been forgotten.
The Hezbollahs take-over of Judea, Samaria and parts of the Gaza Strip began gradually, developed and gathered strength. When the flow of money from the Palestinian Authority and its security organizations ceased, Hezbollah representatives arrived with full pockets that caused the Tanzim to become addicted to Lebanese money. A friend introduces a friend and additional cells began to receive instructions from abroad. Today, almost 100% of the Fatahs operations under the name Al-Aqsa Brigades are financed and directed by the Shiite organization and Iran. Hezbollah has become an employment agency for the Tanzim, explained a source from the security services.
Although the process was gradual, Israeli sources say that neither coincidence nor luck were involved. Rather, it was an official Iranian decision that Sheik Hassan Nasrallah and his cohort translated into policy. Iran and the Hezbollah established an entire organization for this purpose and invest millions of dollars annually. Recently, it appears that Hezbollah is not content with only the Tanzim and is continuing in other directions. The more they eat, the hungrier they get.
The new trend is to the take-over Islamic Jihad cells and to control them directly. Ahmed Sari Hussein, a senior terrorist from Tul Karm, who received money and instructions from Lebanon without reporting it to the Jihad offices in Damascus, is a good example. The Islamic Jihad is considered a close ally of Iran and its leader Ramadan Shallah was appointed as a result of Iranian pressure. The fact that the Hezbollah is stealing Jihad activists could be a sign that Iran is pleased with the system they used with the Tanzim and wants to expand its influence in the Palestinian sector.
Haled Shawish, a terrorist from Force 17, is accused of a series of attacks against Israeli targets. One of the most wanted terrorists, he was hiding in the Muqata (Arafats headquarters) in Ramallah until a few days ago. He, too, is suspected of ties to Hezbollah. Speaking to Maariv, he denied any connection between Hezbollah and Iran and accused the GSS of spreading rumors against the Palestinian organizations.
We have our own leadership. Abu-Amar (Yasser Arafat) is commander-in-chief. No one else, he said and stressed that he is not involved in any military activity sponsored by Hezbollah. Shawish claimed that his only connection to Hezbollah was with the Al-Manar station before the prisoner exchange, when he tried to get his brother, who an Israeli court sentenced to four life sentences, included in the list of Palestinian prisoners to be released.
However, he does admit that the Hezbollah is trying to take over the Palestinian organizations. The organization has an interest in laying its hands on every Palestinian fighter, Shawish said and added that Hezbollah wants to see the Palestinian Authority fail.
Two Iranian organizations are at the top of the command hierarchy that controls Palestinian terrorism: the Intelligence Ministry and the Revolutionary Guard. Beneath them are Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah and Imad Mughnieh, his deputy for the military affairs. Mughnieh heads a special group, The Organization for Internal Operations that is responsible for all activities in Israel and the territories.
The entire complex operation is managed from a small office that employs only a few people. Hezbollah assigned the task to a small group of veterans who were responsible for the military operations against the IDF in southern Lebanon. They have killed Israelis themselves and understand the needs of terrorists in the field and know how to get it to them. Now they are taking advantage of their knowledge and combat experience to operate the Palestinians by remote control.
Israel is still trying to map out how the organization works. It is involved in the finest details of terror attacks including training, finances and sending the bombers to their targets. The developing portrait reveals that Hezbollah has allocated several operators to guide the terrorist activities in the territories.
One of these is Kais Obeid, the Israeli Arab from Taibeh who was involved in kidnapping Elhanan Tennenbaum. Israeli intelligence officials claim that Obeid is very valuable to Hezbollah because he can connect them directly to the field, using e-mail, ordinary and cellular telephones and every other possible means of communication.
The curfews and closures on Palestinian cities and the focus on building the anti-terrorism barrier make it hard for terror cells from different cities to cooperate. This has created an absurd situation; only someone in Lebanon can see the whole picture and connect the suicide bomber in Jenin with the explosive vest in Nablus.
In the middle of last year Kais Obeid was able to recruit Firas Halaileh, an explosives expert from Nablus. Halaileh began to receive payments from Hezbollah, through messengers from abroad, in order to carry out attacks and recruit members for the Shiite organization. He took a central role in the Hezbollahs operations in Samaria and began to supply weapons and explosives throughout Judea and Samaria. By the time he was arrested in October, he was able to connect Obeid to Bethlehem and Hebron where Hezbollah still has infrastructure.
In addition to controlling existing cells, Hezbollah is trying to establish independent cells that will have no other loyalties. Shadi Abu-Hussein, a pharmacist from Gaza, organized one of these, until he was arrested last month. For three years, he was in constant contact with Lebanon, receiving instructions and money. He sent messengers to Lebanon who returned with expertise in explosives. They tried to build rockets, shoulder-launched missiles and sophisticated explosives. Shortly before the cell was uncovered, they were in the advanced stages of producing an explosive model airplane. They built the airplane, installed the motor and had added the explosive device. They had even conducted an unsuccessful experiment. The plane took off but landed immediately. Security officials believe it was intended for use against settlements or IDF posts in the Gaza Strip.
The Hezbollah operation is highly departmentalized. The leaders make every effort to conceal their identities from the heads of Palestinian cells. For example, Ali Hussein Salah was a Hezbollah terrorist who operated cells in the Gaza Strip. In August, a mysterious explosion killed him in his car. Even though the incident received broad media coverage, his operatives did not connect the story to their contact in Lebanon. Only two weeks later did rumors spreading by word-of-mouth, lead them to understand that someone had settled accounts with their Lebanese supervisor.
Hezbollah invests great efforts in smuggling sophisticated weapons into Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip. The maritime attempts failed but that hasnt stopped them from continuing intensive efforts via the tunnel under Rafah. Therefore, they have greatly expanded their operations in Sinai. Locals, usually Bedouin do the actual smuggling, but the instructions and money come from Lebanon. Some of the weapons are purchased in Egypt; other are smuggled from Lebanon to Egypt and from there to the Gaza Strip.
Most of the smuggled materiel is light weapons, like Kalashnikov rifles, but the security services have also captured heavier arms, including rockets and advanced missiles. However, the assumption is that if any of these had gotten through to terrorists in the Gaza Strip, they would have used them against Israel by now.
In addition to familiar methods of smuggling, Hezbollah is trying to develop new channels. Investigation of Arab Israelis who were recruited by Hezbollah and arrested by the GSS, revealed plans to smuggle weapons directly into Israel, concealed as imported electronic appliances. Their assumption was that not every container entering Israel is inspected.
Since smuggling weapons isnt easy, especially in Judea and Samaria, experts in explosives and other technologies from Hezbollah and Iran searched for ways to improve the Palestinians engineering skills. The memory card concealed in the PlayStation is only one example. They also use the Internet. Knowledge trickles down to the field, especially in the Gaza Strip. Israeli security sources estimate that several of the sophisticated devices captured in the Gaza Strip were based on Lebanese-Iranian technology.
There are training films that teach how to produce R-D-X, an especially strong explosive, and how to use it to build a catapult-like device that can propel metal balls over a distance of several dozen meters. Another shows how to build a thin explosive vest that is hard to detect. Later in the film, it shows exactly where in the bus should a suicide bomber stand so the maximum effect would be achieved.
Unlike written instructions for building explosive devices, which can be found on many Internet sites, the films come with clear, visual explanations. This is a serious, professional production that demonstrates, step-by-step, how to build deathly devices. Israeli experts in the field who have seen the films estimate that even someone without any previous background could build an explosive vest after viewing them.
The Palestinian Authority is aware of Hezbollahs activities on its home court but is doing nothing to change the situation. Arafat, either unwilling or unable to act, watches from the side as Nasrallah steals his former loyalists. The last time Arafat felt his leadership challenged, during the prisoner exchange, he did nothing. Nasrallah has won a place in Palestinian hearts paying the Tanzim and releasing prisoners but the PA does nothing to disconnect the lines between Lebanon and the Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip.
In Israel, you love to give the public security and intelligence information, says Shawish from his hiding place in Ramallah. But your intelligence distorts many details in an attempt to tell the Israeli people that the Palestinian resilience is connected to Hezbollah. Its not true. He also had a request for the GSS, Dont spread rumors to keep the Palestinians down and strengthen the Sharon government.
However, the security forces have difficulty understanding why the international community, and maybe Israel, too, doesnt take the intensive Hezbollah activity in its backyard more seriously. They claim that Lebanese involvement in Palestinian terrorism is much more extensive than the terrorist activity on the northern border. In the last year, Tanzim cells, directed and financed by Hezbollah, carried out 16 serious attacks in which 32 Israelis and one foreign worker were killed. Despite this, Hezbollah is still considered a threat on the northern border. http://www.maarivintl.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=article&articleID=4106
posted on 03/05/2004 6:29:58 AM PST
by F14 Pilot
To: F14 Pilot
posted on 03/05/2004 7:06:14 AM PST
(Podesta about Bush: "He's got four years to try to undo all the stuff we've done." (TIME-1/22/01))
Broaden the Nonproliferation Campaign
Daryl G. Kimball
4th of March 2004
Arms Control Today
Following last months disclosures of illicit Pakistani nuclear assistance to Libya and Iran, President George W. Bush outlined new measures to restrict the trade of key equipment that can be used to make bomb material. However, Bushs proposals, as well as his overall nonproliferation strategy, are too limited and contradictory to address current and future nuclear weapons dangers adequately.
The nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) guarantees non-nuclear-weapon states the right to nuclear technology for energy and other nonmilitary purposes under international safeguards. Decades of nuclear trade, however, have led to the broad diffusion of uranium-enrichment and spent-fuel reprocessing technologies, which can also be used to make bomb-grade uranium and plutonium. Some states, such as Iran and North Korea, have abused the system and acquired the means to produce these fissile materials.
In response, Bush has proposed that the 40-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) not sell enrichment and reprocessing equipment to any state that does not already have the capability. He has also proposed that these nuclear supplier states not provide equipment to nations that have failed to agree to a tougher set of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections. This proposal is mostly designed to limit Irans nuclear capabilities.
Although a push for new and tighter nuclear export restrictions through the NSG is long overdue, long-term success requires the application of the same standards to all states and more aggressive efforts to eliminate other means of fissile material production. Several important, additional steps should be considered.
First, those states currently without enrichment or reprocessing capabilities, such as Brazil and Iran, will strongly resist efforts to deny them access to such technologies. If these and other states are to be expected to agree to tougher restrictions, their access to low-enriched uranium fuel for light-water reactors (LWRs) will need to be guaranteed. The solution requires the creation of a long-term, multinational fuel supply that would make national possession of uranium-enrichment plants unneeded and uneconomical.
This could be accomplished in a number of ways, each of which presents challenges and requires more visionary U.S. leadership. As IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei has suggested, one approach is to develop a new protocol to the NPT that would bar enrichment and reprocessing capabilities but continue to guarantee access to nuclear fuel supplies and regulate spent-fuel disposition under the supervision of the IAEA. Another option is low-cost access to fuel for LWRs through market-based consortia.
Second, the Bush formula would allow significant nuclear suppliers not part of the NSG, such as Pakistan, to continue to peddle their wares. The recent disclosures about transfers of uranium and uranium-enrichment equipment from the Khan Research Lab warrant, at the very least, revisions to Pakistans lax export-control system.
Third, Bush should immediately quash two ongoing Department of Energy nuclear research programs that actually promote the spread of reprocessing technology and the means to produce plutonium. Spent-fuel reprocessing is an uneconomical, polluting, and unnecessary way to harness nuclear energy. Currently, global stockpiles of separated civilian plutonium exceed 195 tonnes and pose a long-term proliferation threat.
Fourth, the United States should reaffirm its long-standing support for negotiation of a fissile material cutoff treaty. The treaty would verifiably halt the production of highly enriched uranium and plutonium for weapons by all states; establish baseline information on global stockpiles; and help bring India, Israel, and Pakistan into the nonproliferation system. A shift in Chinas position opens the way to revive the long-delayed negotiation, but now the Bush administration has announced it is reviewing the U.S. position.
Finally, Bushs call for others to abide by tougher nonproliferation rules rings hollow as his administration continues to reject meaningful limits on U.S. nuclear weapons capabilities. Bush remains opposed to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and to verifiably dismantling excessive U.S. and Russian nuclear bombs and missiles. Worse still, the administration has outlined plans for developing new earth-penetrating nuclear weapons at cost of nearly a half-billion dollars over the next five years. Not only are such weapons impractical and unnecessary, but they invite hard-liners in other states to keep their nuclear weapons options open.
The evolving nature of the nuclear threat requires a more comprehensive and robust global nonproliferation strategy than the work in progress outlined by Bush. In the end, it requires more than just pressure on a few of the nuclear have-notsit requires greater restraint and leadership from the nuclear haves. http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2004_03/Focus.asp
Iran's Empress in Exile Finds 'a Way to Go On'
March 05, 2004
The Washington Post
It could be the eternal wisdom of Persia's great poets, an unforgettable bond to Iran and an everlasting love for a ruler the world shunned in his last days in exile that have kept Farah Pahlavi anchored.
She has suffered in her 25 years since the shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, piloted his family out of Iran. At 66, she remains philosophical about her losses, the dizzying highs and lows her journey has involved.
"There are days where I find myself depressed and tired . . . people write to me and they want me to give them courage," she said. "Life is a struggle, for everyone at every level, but you should not lose your dignity. To go on is the struggle of life."
"There are so many answers in Persian poetry. A blue sky, love of family and nature. All this gives me positive energy," she said. "At the end, it is in yourself that you have to find the way to go on."
The account of her life as a glamorous and stunning empress who had to give it all up in the face of historical upheaval is narrated in her memoir, "An Enduring Love: My Life With the Shah," published in English by Miramax Books. The book, which was translated from French, topped bestseller lists for weeks last fall in France.
In the book, she chronicles Iran's plunge into chaos and arbitrary executions in the early days of the revolution, and her husband's battle with cancer. She describes the humiliation of becoming a diplomatic burden in search of a haven and medical care at the height of the U.S. hostage crisis in Tehran.
She details the political maneuvering she and her husband faced as they jetted from Egypt to the United States, the Bahamas, Mexico and Panama before finally returning to reside in Egypt. It is a retelling of events based on her own diary entries as well as accounts from the shah's doctors, the former first lady of Egypt, Jehan Sadat, and others.
Pahlavi talked about her life and work Wednesday in an interview at her home in Potomac. The afternoon sun flooded her living room, decorated with kilim carpets, modern Iranian paintings and a bronze bust of the shah.
She follows every newscast and development in Iran as if still there, and she devotes time each day to answering e-mail from students in Iran who ask her to call them, parents worried about their children or disillusioned expatriates who need her moral support.
Pahlavi began writing her book three years ago, when she was overcome with grief as her youngest daughter was losing a battle with depression, eating disorders and a dependence on sleeping pills. Leila, 31, died in a hotel room in London in 2001.
"I felt so miserable, I started then," she said of beginning the memoir.
Pahlavi said that if she has one regret, it is that she did not spend more private time with her husband and children. Her happiest memories are of giving birth to a boy, a girl, a boy, a girl, and of traveling around the Iranian countryside, where she said she met ordinary people. "I always wanted to travel without maids, or cross the Iranian desert on camel back. Apparently, it is an unbelievable experience," she said longingly.
Pahlavi was born Farah Diba, an only child. She lost her father and was brought up by her mother in her uncle's house.
In the summer of 1959 in France, while trying to obtain a scholarship to continue her architecture studies in Paris, a chance encounter with the shah developed into a romance. They married later that year.
A longtime acquaintance, Haleh Esfandiari, who served as deputy director of one of her many cultural foundations, said that "she never lost that popular touch. She was genuine. While the shah gave the impression of being distant, she allowed people to rush and embrace her while visiting the provinces." Esfandiari, director of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center here, attended the same girls school in Tehran as Pahlavi.
Pahlavi describes the forced separation from her children when they needed their parents the most, the final scene of tearful farewells with palace personnel throwing themselves at the shah's feet, and the cook who grabbed his copper pots and bags of lentils and beans to take with him on the plane.
"When we look back, we all had a part in this revolution," she said of her countrymen. "They all, in a sort of hysteria, thought religious men could bring freedom and democracy.
"Khomeini used them all," she said of the grand ayatollah who led the 1979 Islamic revolution. "Maybe we should have handled or addressed problems differently," she conceded, noting that there were shortcomings in her husband's rule. He died in 1980.
The political jockeying by some members of the royal entourage after the death of her husband still stings. "It's very hard to have seen one side of human beings, then have to see the other side, their actions and words, coming from people who were close to you," she said.
But, she added, "I have tried to put myself above it."
"If you have to cross the desert to reach your goal, go," she said, borrowing from the words of Hafiz, one of Iran's most celebrated poets, "pay no heed to the wounding thorns." http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A32044-2004Mar4.html
posted on 03/05/2004 9:10:14 AM PST
(Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
Blair Terror Speech in Full
March 05, 2004
Here is the full text of Tony Blair's speech spelling out the terror threat facing the UK and defending the Iraq war.
No decision I have ever made in politics has been as divisive as the decision to go to war to in Iraq. It remains deeply divisive today.
I know a large part of the public want to move on. Rightly they say the Government should concentrate on the issues that elected us in 1997: the economy, jobs, living standards, health, education, crime.
I share that view, and we are. But I know too that the nature of this issue over Iraq, stirring such bitter emotions as it does, can't just be swept away as ill-fitting the pre-occupations of the man and woman on the street.
This is not simply because of the gravity of war; or the continued engagement of British troops and civilians in Iraq; or even because of reflections made on the integrity of the prime minister.
It is because it was in March 2003 and remains my fervent view that the nature of the global threat we face in Britain and round the world is real and existential and it is the task of leadership to expose it and fight it, whatever the political cost; and that the true danger is not to any single politician's reputation, but to our country if we now ignore this threat or erase it from the agenda in embarrassment at the difficulties it causes.
In truth, the fundamental source of division over Iraq is not over issues of trust or integrity, though some insist on trying to translate it into that.
Each week brings a fresh attempt to get a new angle that can prove it was all a gigantic conspiracy. We have had three inquiries, including the one by Lord Hutton conducted over six months, with more openness by government than any such inquiry in history, that have affirmed there was no attempt to falsify intelligence in the dossier of September 2002, but rather that it was indeed an accurate summary of that intelligence.
45 minutes claim
We have seen one element - intelligence about some WMD being ready for use in 45 minutes - elevated into virtually the one fact that persuaded the nation into war.
This intelligence was mentioned by me once in my statement to the House of Commons on 24 September and not mentioned by me again in any debate. It was mentioned by no-one in the crucial debate on 18 March 2003.
In the period from 24 September to 29 May, the date of the BBC broadcast on it, it was raised twice in almost 40,000 written parliamentary questions in the House of Commons; and not once in almost 5,000 oral questions.
Neither was it remotely the basis for the claim that Saddam had strategic as well as battlefield WMD. That was dealt with in a different part of the dossier; and though the Iraq Survey Group have indeed not found stockpiles of weapons, they have uncovered much evidence about Saddam's programme to develop long-range strategic missiles in breach of UN rules.
It is said we claimed Iraq was an imminent threat to Britain and was preparing to attack us.
In fact this is what I said prior to the war on 24 September 2002: "Why now? People ask. I agree I cannot say that this month or next, even this year or next he will use his weapons."
Then, for example, in January 2003 in my press conference I said: "And I tell you honestly what my fear is, my fear is that we wake up one day and we find either that one of these dictatorial states has used weapons of mass destruction - and Iraq has done so in the past - and we get sucked into a conflict, with all the devastation that would cause; or alternatively these weapons, which are being traded right round the world at the moment, fall into the hands of these terrorist groups, these fanatics who will stop at absolutely nothing to cause death and destruction on a mass scale.
"Now that is what I have to worry about. And I understand of course why people think it is a very remote threat and it is far away and why does it bother us. Now I simply say to you, it is a matter of time unless we act and take a stand before terrorism and weapons of mass destruction come together, and I regard them as two sides of the same coin."
The truth is, as was abundantly plain in the motion before the House of Commons on 18 March, we went to war to enforce compliance with UN Resolutions.
Had we believed Iraq was an imminent direct threat to Britain, we would have taken action in September 2002; we would not have gone to the UN.
Instead, we spent October and November in the UN negotiating UN Resolution 1441. We then spent almost 4 months trying to implement it.
Actually, it is now apparent from the Survey Group that Iraq was indeed in breach of UN Resolution 1441. It did not disclose laboratories and facilities it should have; nor the teams of scientists kept together to retain their WMD including nuclear expertise; nor its continuing research relevant to chemical weapons and biological weapons.
As Dr Kay, the former head of the ISG who is now quoted as a critic of the war has said: "Iraq was in clear violation of the terms of Resolution 1441". And "I actually think this [Iraq] may be one of those cases where it was even more dangerous than we thought."
Then, most recently is the attempt to cast doubt on the attorney general's legal opinion. He said the war was lawful.
He published a statement on the legal advice. It is said this opinion is disputed. Of course it is. It was disputed in March 2003. It is today.
The lawyers continue to divide over it - with their legal opinions bearing a remarkable similarity to their political view of the war.
But let's be clear. Once this row dies down, another will take its place and then another and then another.
All of it in the end is an elaborate smokescreen to prevent us seeing the real issue: which is not a matter of trust but of judgement. The real point is that those who disagree with the war, disagree fundamentally with the judgement that led to war.
What is more, their alternative judgement is both entirely rational and arguable. Kosovo, with ethnic cleansing of ethnic Albanians, was not a hard decision for most people; nor was Afghanistan after the shock of September 11; nor was Sierra Leone.
Iraq in March 2003 was an immensely difficult judgement. It was divisive because it was difficult. I have never disrespected those who disagreed with the decision.
Sure, some were anti-American; some against all wars. But there was a core of sensible people who faced with this decision would have gone the other way, for sensible reasons.
Their argument is one I understand totally. It is that Iraq posed no direct, immediate threat to Britain; and that Iraq's WMD, even on our own case, was not serious enough to warrant war, certainly without a specific UN resolution mandating military action. And they argue: Saddam could, in any event, be contained.
In other words, they disagreed then and disagree now fundamentally with the characterisation of the threat.
We were saying this is urgent; we have to act; the opponents of war thought it wasn't. And I accept, incidentally, that however abhorrent and foul the regime and however relevant that was for the reasons I set out before the war, for example in Glasgow in February 2003, regime change alone could not be and was not our justification for war. Our primary purpose was to enforce UN resolutions over Iraq and WMD.
Of course the opponents are boosted by the fact that though we know Saddam had WMD; we haven't found the physical evidence of them in the 11 months since the war. But in fact, everyone thought he had them. That was the basis of UN Resolution 1441.
It's just worth pointing out that the search is being conducted in a country twice the land mass of the UK, which David Kay's interim report in October 2003 noted, contains 130 ammunition storage areas, some covering an area of 50 square miles, including some 600,000 tons of artillery shells, rockets and other ordnance, of which only a small proportion have as yet been searched in the difficult security environment that exists.
But the key point is that it is the threat that is the issue.
The characterisation of the threat is where the difference lies. Here is where I feel so passionately that we are in mortal danger of mistaking the nature of the new world in which we live.
Everything about our world is changing: its economy, its technology, its culture, its way of living.
If the 20th century scripted our conventional way of thinking, the 21st century is unconventional in almost every respect.
This is true also of our security.
The threat we face is not conventional. It is a challenge of a different nature from anything the world has faced before. It is to the world's security, what globalisation is to the world's economy.
It was defined not by Iraq but by September 11th. September 11th did not create the threat Saddam posed.
But it altered crucially the balance of risk as to whether to deal with it or simply carry on, however imperfectly, trying to contain it.
Let me attempt an explanation of how my own thinking, as a political leader, has evolved during these past few years.
Already, before September 11th the world's view of the justification of military action had been changing.
The only clear case in international relations for armed intervention had been self-defence, response to aggression.
But the notion of intervening on humanitarian grounds had been gaining currency. I set this out, following the Kosovo war, in a speech in Chicago in 1999, where I called for a doctrine of international community, where in certain clear circumstances, we do intervene, even though we are not directly threatened.
I said this was not just to correct injustice, but also because in an increasingly inter-dependent world, our self-interest was allied to the interests of others; and seldom did conflict in one region of the world not contaminate another.
We acted in Sierra Leone for similar reasons, though frankly even if that country had become run by gangsters and murderers and its democracy crushed, it would have been a long time before it impacted on us. But we were able to act to help them and we did.
So, for me, before September 11th, I was already reaching for a different philosophy in international relations from a traditional one that has held sway since the treaty of Westphalia in 1648; namely that a country's internal affairs are for it and you don't interfere unless it threatens you, or breaches a treaty, or triggers an obligation of alliance.
I did not consider Iraq fitted into this philosophy, though I could see the horrible injustice done to its people by Saddam. However, I had started to become concerned about two other phenomena.
The first was the increasing amount of information about Islamic extremism and terrorism that was crossing my desk. Chechnya was blighted by it. So was Kashmir. Afghanistan was its training ground.
Some 300 people had been killed in the attacks on the USS Cole and US embassies in East Africa.
The extremism seemed remarkably well financed. It was very active. And it was driven not by a set of negotiable political demands, but by religious fanaticism.
The second was the attempts by states - some of them highly unstable and repressive - to develop nuclear weapons programmes, CW and BW materiel, and long-range missiles.
What is more, it was obvious that there was a considerable network of individuals and companies with expertise in this area, prepared to sell it.
All this was before September 11th. I discussed the issue of WMD with President Bush at our first meeting in Camp David in February 2001.
But it's in the nature of things that other issues intervene - I was about to fight for re-election - and though it was raised, it was a troubling spectre in the background, not something to arrest our whole attention.
President Bush told me that on September 9th 2001, he had a meeting about Iraq in the White House when he discussed "smart" sanctions, changes to the sanctions regime. There was no talk of military action.
September 11th was for me a revelation. What had seemed inchoate came together.
The point about September 11th was not its detailed planning; not its devilish execution; not even, simply, that it happened in America, on the streets of New York. All of this made it an astonishing, terrible and wicked tragedy, a barbaric murder of innocent people.
But what galvanised me was that it was a declaration of war by religious fanatics who were prepared to wage that war without limit. They killed 3000.
But if they could have killed 30,000 or 300,000 they would have rejoiced in it.
The purpose was to cause such hatred between Moslems and the West that a religious jihad became reality; and the world engulfed by it.
When I spoke to the House of Commons on 14 September 2001 I said: "We know, that they [the terrorists] would, if they could, go further and use chemical, biological, or even nuclear weapons of mass destruction.
"We know, also, that there are groups of people, occasionally states, who will trade the technology and capability of such weapons. It is time that this trade was exposed, disrupted, and stamped out.
"We have been warned by the events of 11 September, and we should act on the warning."
From September 11th on, I could see the threat plainly. Here were terrorists prepared to bring about Armageddon.
Here were states whose leadership cared for no-one but themselves; were often cruel and tyrannical towards their own people; and who saw WMD as a means of defending themselves against any attempt external or internal to remove them and who, in their chaotic and corrupt state, were in any event porous and irresponsible with neither the will nor capability to prevent terrorists who also hated the West, from exploiting their chaos and corruption.
I became aware of the activities of A Q Khan, former Pakistani nuclear scientist and of an organisation developing nuclear weapons technology to sell secretly to states wanting to acquire it.
I started to hear of plants to manufacture nuclear weapons equipment in Malaysia, in the Near East and Africa, companies in the Gulf and Europe to finance it; training and know-how provided - all without any or much international action to stop it.
It was a murky, dangerous trade, done with much sophistication and it was rapidly shortening the timeframe of countries like North Korea and Iran in acquiring serviceable nuclear weapons capability. I asked for more intelligence on the issue not just of terrorism but also of WMD.
The scale of it became clear. It didn't matter that the Islamic extremists often hated some of these regimes. Their mutual enmity toward the West would in the end triumph over any scruples of that nature, as we see graphically in Iraq today.
We knew that al-Qaeda sought the capability to use WMD in their attacks. Bin Laden has called it a "duty" to obtain nuclear weapons. His networks have experimented with chemicals and toxins for use in attacks.
He received advice from at least two Pakistani scientists on the design of nuclear weapons. In Afghanistan al-Qaeda trained its recruits in the use of poisons and chemicals.
An al-Qaeda terrorist ran a training camp developing these techniques. Terrorist training manuals giving step-by-step instructions for the manufacture of deadly substances such as botulinum and ricin were widely distributed in Afghanistan and elsewhere and via the internet.
Terrorists in Russia have actually deployed radiological material. The sarin attack on the Tokyo Metro showed how serious an impact even a relatively small attack can have.
The global threat to our security was clear. So was our duty: to act to eliminate it.
'No blind eye'
First we dealt with al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, removing the Taliban that succoured them.
But then we had to confront the states with WMD. We had to take a stand. We had to force conformity with international obligations that for years had been breached with the world turning a blind eye.
For 12 years Saddam had defied calls to disarm. In 1998, he had effectively driven out the UN inspectors and we had bombed his military infrastructure; but we had only weakened him, not removed the threat.
Saddam alone had used CW against Iran and against his own people.
We had had an international coalition blessed by the UN in Afghanistan. I wanted the same now. President Bush agreed to go the UN route.
We secured UN Resolution 1441. Saddam had one final chance to comply fully. Compliance had to start with a full and honest declaration of WMD programmes and activities.
The truth is disarming a country, other than with its consent, is a perilous exercise. On 8 December 2002, Saddam sent his declaration. It was obviously false.
The UN inspectors were in Iraq but progress was slow and the vital cooperation of Iraqi scientists withheld. In March we went back to the UN to make a final ultimatum. We strove hard for agreement. We very nearly achieved it.
So we came to the point of decision. Prime ministers don't have the luxury of maintaining both sides of the argument.
They can see both sides. But, ultimately, leadership is about deciding.
My view was and is that if the UN had come together and delivered a tough ultimatum to Saddam, listing clearly what he had to do, benchmarking it, he may have folded and events set in train that might just and eventually have led to his departure from power.
But the Security Council didn't agree.
Suppose at that point we had backed away. Inspectors would have stayed but only the utterly naïve would believe that following such a public climbdown by the US and its partners, Saddam would have cooperated more.
He would have strung the inspectors out and returned emboldened to his plans.
The will to act on the issue of rogue states and WMD would have been shown to be hollow. The terrorists, watching and analysing every move in our psychology as they do, would have taken heart.
All this without counting the fact that the appalling brutalisation of the Iraqi people would have continued unabated and reinforced.
Here is the crux. It is possible that even with all of this, nothing would have happened. Possible that Saddam would change his ambitions; possible he would develop the WMD but never use it; possible that the terrorists would never get their hands on WMD, whether from Iraq or elsewhere.
We cannot be certain. Perhaps we would have found different ways of reducing it. Perhaps this Islamic terrorism would ebb of its own accord.
But do we want to take the risk? That is the judgement. And my judgement then and now is that the risk of this new global terrorism and its interaction with states or organisations or individuals proliferating WMD, is one I simply am not prepared to run.
This is not a time to err on the side of caution; not a time to weigh the risks to an infinite balance; not a time for the cynicism of the worldly wise who favour playing it long.
Their worldly wise cynicism is actually at best naivete and at worst dereliction.
When they talk, as they do now, of diplomacy coming back into fashion in respect of Iran or North Korea or Libya, do they seriously think that diplomacy alone has brought about this change?
Since the war in Iraq, Libya has taken the courageous step of owning up not just to a nuclear weapons programme but to having chemical weapons, which are now being destroyed.
Iran is back in the reach of the IAEA. North Korea in talks with China over its WMD. The A Q Khan network is being shut down, its trade slowly but surely being eliminated.
Yet it is monstrously premature to think the threat has passed. The risk remains in the balance here and abroad.
These days decisions about it come thick and fast, and while they are not always of the same magnitude they are hardly trivial.
Let me give you an example. A short while ago, during the war, we received specific intelligence warning of a major attack on Heathrow.
To this day, we don't know if it was correct and we foiled it or if it was wrong. But we received the intelligence.
We immediately heightened the police presence. At the time it was much criticised as political hype or an attempt to frighten the public.
Actually at each stage we followed rigidly the advice of the police and Security Service. But sit in my seat. Here is the intelligence. Here is the advice. Do you ignore it?
But, of course intelligence is precisely that: intelligence. It is not hard fact. It has its limitations. On each occasion the most careful judgement has to be made taking account of everything we know and the best assessment and advice available.
But in making that judgement, would you prefer us to act, even if it turns out to be wrong? Or not to act and hope it's OK?
And suppose we don't act and the intelligence turns out to be right, how forgiving will people be?
And to those who think that these things are all disconnected, random acts, disparate threats with no common thread to bind them, look at what is happening in Iraq today.
The terrorists pouring into Iraq, know full well the importance of destroying not just the nascent progress of Iraq toward stability, prosperity and democracy, but of destroying our confidence, of defeating our will to persevere.
I have no doubt Iraq is better without Saddam; but no doubt either, that as a result of his removal, the dangers of the threat we face will be diminished. That is not to say the terrorists won't redouble their efforts. They will.
This war is not ended. It may only be at the end of its first phase. They are in Iraq, murdering innocent Iraqis who want to worship or join a police force that upholds the law not a brutal dictatorship; they carry on killing in Afghanistan.
They do it for a reason. The terrorists know that if Iraq and Afghanistan survive their assault, come through their travails, seize the opportunity the future offers, then those countries will stand not just as nations liberated from oppression, but as a lesson to humankind everywhere and a profound antidote to the poison of religious extremism.
That is precisely why the terrorists are trying to foment hatred and division in Iraq. They know full well, a stable democratic Iraq, under the sovereign rule of the Iraqi people, is a mortal blow to their fanaticism.
That is why our duty is to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan as stable and democratic nations.
Here is the irony. For all the fighting, this threat cannot be defeated by security means alone.
Taking strong action is a necessary but insufficient condition for defeating. Its final defeat is only assured by the triumph of the values of the human spirit.
Which brings me to the final point. It may well be that under international law as presently constituted, a regime can systematically brutalise and oppress its people and there is nothing anyone can do, when dialogue, diplomacy and even sanctions fail, unless it comes within the definition of a humanitarian catastrophe (though the 300,000 remains in mass graves already found in Iraq might be thought by some to be something of a catastrophe).
This may be the law, but should it be?
We know now, if we didn't before, that our own self interest is ultimately bound up with the fate of other nations.
The doctrine of international community is no longer a vision of idealism. It is a practical recognition that just as within a country, citizens who are free, well educated and prosperous tend to be responsible, to feel solidarity with a society in which they have a stake; so do nations that are free, democratic and benefiting from economic progress, tend to be stable and solid partners in the advance of humankind.
The best defence of our security lies in the spread of our values.
But we cannot advance these values except within a framework that recognises their universality. If it is a global threat, it needs a global response, based on global rules.
The essence of a community is common rights and responsibilities. We have obligations in relation to each other.
If we are threatened, we have a right to act. And we do not accept in a community that others have a right to oppress and brutalise their people.
We value the freedom and dignity of the human race and each individual in it.
Containment will not work in the face of the global threat that confronts us. The terrorists have no intention of being contained.
The states that proliferate or acquire WMD illegally are doing so precisely to avoid containment. Emphatically I am not saying that every situation leads to military action.
But we surely have a duty and a right to prevent the threat materialising; and we surely have a responsibility to act when a nation's people are subjected to a regime such as Saddam's.
Otherwise, we are powerless to fight the aggression and injustice which over time puts at risk our security and way of life.
Which brings us to how you make the rules and how you decide what is right or wrong in enforcing them. The UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights is a fine document. But it is strange the United Nations is so reluctant to enforce them.
I understand the worry the international community has over Iraq. It worries that the US and its allies will by sheer force of their military might, do whatever they want, unilaterally and without recourse to any rule-based code or doctrine.
But our worry is that if the UN - because of a political disagreement in its Councils - is paralysed, then a threat we believe is real will go unchallenged.
This dilemma is at the heart of many people's anguished indecision over the wisdom of our action in Iraq.
It explains the confusion of normal politics that has part of the right liberating a people from oppression and a part of the left disdaining the action that led to it.
It is partly why the conspiracy theories or claims of deceit have such purchase. How much simpler to debate those than to analyse and resolve the conundrum of our world's present state.
Britain's role is try to find a way through this: to construct a consensus behind a broad agenda of justice and security and means of enforcing it.
This agenda must be robust in tackling the security threat that this Islamic extremism poses; and fair to all peoples by promoting their human rights, wherever they are.
It means tackling poverty in Africa and justice in Palestine as well as being utterly resolute in opposition to terrorism as a way of achieving political goals. It means an entirely different, more just and more modern view of self-interest.
It means reforming the United Nations so its Security Council represents 21st century reality; and giving the UN the capability to act effectively as well as debate.
It means getting the UN to understand that faced with the threats we have, we should do all we can to spread the values of freedom, democracy, the rule of law, religious tolerance and justice for the oppressed, however painful for some nations that may be; but that at the same time, we wage war relentlessly on those who would exploit racial and religious division to bring catastrophe to the world.
But in the meantime, the threat is there and demands our attention.
That is the struggle which engages us. It is a new type of war. It will rest on intelligence to a greater degree than ever before.
It demands a difference attitude to our own interests. It forces us to act even when so many comforts seem unaffected, and the threat so far off, if not illusory.
In the end, believe your political leaders or not, as you will. But do so, at least having understood their minds. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3536131.stm
posted on 03/05/2004 9:11:39 AM PST
(Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
Should Iran Obtain Nukes, Turkey, Egypt, Saudis Could Follow Suit
March 05, 2004
Turkey could quickly assemble atomic bombs should Iran achieve nuclear weapons capability. Leading analysts said Turkey could be one of several Middle East states that could launch a crash nuclear weapons program if its Iranian neighbor achieves such capability. The other countries likely to turn nuclear after Iran include Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Turkey has been a NATO member for more than 50 years. But the analysts said NATO was not structured to defend Turkey from a nuclear Iran, Middle East Newsline reported.
"Were Turkey to decide that it had to proliferate to defend itself, it has good industrial and scientific infrastructures which it could draw upon to build nuclear weapons on its own," Patrick Clawson, director of research at the Washington Institute, wrote in an analysis. "It would be difficult to prevent a determined Turkey from building nuclear weapons in well under a decade."
Entitled "The Potential for Iran to Provoke Further Proliferation in the Middle East," Clawson's analysis envisions the consequences of Iranian nuclear weapons for the Middle East. The analysis forms part of a the book "Iran and its Neighbors: Diverging Views on a Strategic Region," published in 2003 by SWP German Institute for International and Security Affairs.
Clawson said Saudi Arabia is the most likely neighbor of Iran to launch a nuclear weapons program in wake of Teheran's indigenous weapons capability. Riyad's preferred option is an alliance with Pakistan, which would store nuclear warheads for Saudi Arabia's arsenal of intermediate-range CSS-2 missiles in an arrangement that would not violate the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
"Pakistan might have developed nuclear warheads for missiles," Clawson said. "Pakistan and Saudi Arabia could follow the example set by the United States and Germany during the Cold War with dual-key missiles, that is Pakistan could store in Saudi Arabia nuclear warheads designed to fit on to the Saudi-controlled missiles. That would be consistent under Saudi Arabia's obligations under the NTP."
Clawson said Egypt would seek to turn nuclear should Saudi Arabia accelerate its nuclear weapons program. But he said Syria would not turn nuclear in fear of Israeli reaction. Instead, Damascus would maintain its chemical weapons arsenal.
"Syria is quite aware of how severely Israel would react to nuclear acquisition," the analysis said. http://220.127.116.11/2004/me_wmd_03_03.html
posted on 03/05/2004 9:13:17 AM PST
(Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
Ameri Urges Secretary Powell Against Negotiations with Iran
March 04, 2004
Goli Ameri for Congress
PORTLAND, OR -- High tech small business owner and Republican candidate for Congress (OR-01), Goli Ameri today released an open letter to Secretary of State Colin Powell urging him to take a strong public stand against negotiating with the ruling clerical regime in Iran.
Ms. Ameri said her letter was occasioned by two separate events that concern her about the possibility the State Department might try to establish a working relationship with the clerical regime.
First, Secretary Powell has indicated, in recent weeks, he might be willing to build closer ties with the regime in return for an agreement to dismantle their nuclear weapons program.
Second, elections held last week in Iran were a complete fraud. In fact, the ruling Mullahs denied some 2,400 candidates access to the ballot simply because they supported one kind of reform or another.
"The Bush administration needs to know the regime in Iran cannot be trusted. They will do anything to stay in power. That includes lying about nuclear weapons. I have sent this letter to Secretary Powell because I know first hand the horror these people are capable of," stated Ameri, who was born in Iran.
Ameri's letter reads in part:
"The regime in Iran is the most offensive and unrepentant sponsor of terrorist activity in the entire Middle East. The autocratic clerics stand squarely against nearly every value we Americans prize: individual freedom, personal dignity, equal rights and civil decency."
"We must help the people of Iran to do what they desperately want to do: replace this evil regime and make Iran once again a respected and trustworthy member of the civilized world."
"The Clinton administration tried to negotiate with North Korea and we are just now learning what a disastrous move that was," Ameri concluded. "I urge the State Department not to make the same mistake with Iran."
The complete text of the letter:
March 4, 2004
Secretary of State Colin Powell
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
Dear Secretary Powell:
It was with great concern I read your recent remarks which seemed to indicate your intent to abandon America's long standing policy against negotiating with terrorists and reopen talks with the government of Iran. From first-hand experience and historical precedence, I can assure you that any such dialogue with the ruling clerics will only lead to more deceit and reinforce their belief that they can pursue their radical agenda without consequences.
One need only look at the sham elections just held in Iran to understand the ruling regime has no interest in playing fair. Over 2,400 candidates for various elective offices were barred from access to the ballot. Other candidates actually served jail time on Election Day. Simply put, we cannot trust the governing clerical regime in Iran.
Worse, the regime in Iran is the most offensive and unrepentant sponsor of terrorist activity in the entire Middle East. The autocratic clerics stand squarely against nearly every value we Americans prize: individual freedom, personal dignity, equal rights and civil decency.
Please, Secretary Powell, do not negotiate with these tyrants. In a world too often scarred by terror, any dialogue that legitimizes this clerical regime jeopardizes the lives of innocents around the globe.
We must help the people of Iran to do what they desperately want to do: replace this evil regime and make Iran once again a respected and trustworthy member of the civilized world.
Goli Ameri http://www.ameriforcongress.com/.docs/pg/press_releases.html?rid=82
posted on 03/05/2004 9:14:30 AM PST
(Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
Senior Cleric Says US Trying to Divide Muslims
March 05, 2004
BBC Monitoring Middle East
Ayatollah Mohammad Emami-Kashani a member of the influential body Guardian Council has warned against "enemy" plots aimed at dividing Muslims. He said: "Islam has had enemies from the beginning. The enemies intended to crush Islam... Tyranny and global arrogance or should I say the American Zionism and Israeli Zionism are lying in ambush against nations... They harbour another plan in their minds and, that is, to create division among the people in Islamic society." The following is an excerpt from the Tehran Friday prayer sermons delivered on 5 March and broadcast live by Iranian radio. Subheadings inserted editorially:
In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
First of all, at this point I call on God to bless the souls of all martyrs and beseech God Almighty to grant reward, patience and blessing to all the survivors [of the recent explosions in Karbala and Baghdad].
I recommend that our dear people take care when visiting Karbala and the shrine of the Lord of the Martyrs, peace be upon him. They should be careful, vigilant and listen to what the government says and carry out the government's instructions.
The government should also do its best and the Interior Ministry, which is doing its best, should do even more. They should not allow people to go there [Iraq]. They should control the borders completely and those who are sent should be sent properly, according to plans and they should observe all aspects which would help their security.
On Iraqi blasts
Why are these things [blasts in Iraq] happening? About these problems we know that Islam has had enemies from the beginning. The enemies intended to crush Islam. I mean, the religion, all divine religions, have had enemies. All these religions were confronted by the arrogant [powers] of their era. However, Islam enjoyed a big power base and [spread] globally. As a result, the enemies confronted Islam harshly. Islam was confronted by the arrogance of every era. One of the way that they confronted Islam was to try and create discord [among Muslims]. They began and carried out some work to separate Muslims from one another. This problem has remained ever since.
However, new conditions prevail today and that is, the world countries have become like villages next to each other [in other words, the world has shrunk]. It is now possible to go from one place to another easily by planes. Moreover, electricity acts like the nervous system which connects all regions of the earth to one body. There are television and radio stations as well as the internet and other means of mass communication. These devices have turned the entire world into one cohesive society. New thoughts can go from one part of the world to another at high speed. This is a point.
The next point is that tyranny and global arrogance, or should I say the American Zionism and Israeli Zionism, are lying in ambush against nations, against [Islamic] ummah and mankind's societies. Although these matters existed in the past, at present they are reaching the climax. In other words, tyranny is reaching the zenith. At the same time, in a region of the world a government has been created [which is the Islamic Republic of Iran] which has a base among the people. This is a popular government. But while this republic relies on the people, it is not as if these people say that any kind of republic will do. No, these people demand that their republic should be based on the pivot of religion. Moreover, when they say that it should be based on the religion, it is not as if everyone can interpret the religion in his own way. The religion requires a proclaimer. I have said before, in my sermons, that monotheism requires a proclaimer. The proclaimer was Prophet Muhammad. [the congregation chants slogan in praise of Muhammad]
Submission to Islamic republic
After Prophet Muhammad, the proclaimer is the remnant of God [the hidden Imam of Shi'is] who is innocent of any sin. During his prolonged occult [when the Imam is hidden] the chief theologian becomes the proclaimer. That is, a human being who is endowed with wisdom and knowledge. [passage omitted, reviewing the principles of Islamic Republic]
The arrogant world is today facing the people [of Iran] who wish to run their country on the basis of wisdom and knowledge. This is a fact and all the rallies staged by our people prove it. The Majlis elections too, despite all the controversies which I do not wish to discuss here, demonstrated what sort of people we have. The elections demonstrated the extent of the people's support [for our Islamic Republic]. The elections demonstrated what our people want.
At this point, I wish to offer some advice to those individuals who do not support [this republic]. My dear fellow! Do you know what you should not support? You should not support your own destruction. Avoid your own ruination. What has global arrogance achieved? What has America achieved but plundering? What have they achieved except looting? They plunder assets of the world to build themselves. Britain is the same, and so are the other [arrogant] countries. They may be on a different echelon [as far as the plundering of the world assets are concerned], but the fact remains [that they are all plunderers].
[He begins addressing the opposition in Iran] Where is your sense of nobility, justice and humanity? Why do you not think of your society, your people, human beings, God and the Day of Judgment? Why are you sacrificing these matters to satisfy your own selfish desires? Why are you so eager to safeguard your own position? Why do you blab so much about your [freedom of] pen and tongue [that is, why do you keep complaining about press freedom and freedom of speech]? We must push out such thoughts from our brains. This will be the way to our prosperity. Other ways [that you the members of the opposition are demanding] will lead to ruination of mankind.
At any rate, praise be to God, the majority of our nation turned out for the elections. The majority is the powerful and strong strata of the society. They took part in the seventh round of Majlis elections.
On US, Al-Qa'idah
The majority of our people are very strong and they participated in the 7th Majlis elections. I hope, God willing, the 7th Majlis can respond to the people's expectations. [reads a Koranic verse in Arabic]. If we correctly respond to the people's expectations, then the people will be pleased with us. Otherwise, there will be some problems. I do not intend to talk about this [in detail], however, I thank the great, knowledgeable and dear people of Iran [for taking part in the elections].
I want to say that we staged a popular revolution based on Islam and our leader was the exalted late imam [Khomeyni], may God be satisfied with his deeds. This happened and now they do not want this to continue. And they do not want this system to be established in another country. Well, electricity has become the nervous system of the Earth and countries like villages are next to each other and communication has become global. They do not want this [the spread of Islamic system].
Now let me talk briefly about our assets. One of our major assets is the sacred blood of Imam Husayn, the lord of the martyrs, peace be upon him, and Ashura [the day Imam Husayn was martyred in Karbala]. Ashura is a major asset and, therefore, we see that [religious] groups are attacked every year in India, Pakistan and other countries in the name of religion. Who carries out the attacks? Those who pretend to be religious but, they have no perception of religion expect violence, rebellion and tyranny, and they are supported by American and Zionist arrogance.
[Passage omitted: people chant death to America, death to Israel]
Although, they say that we want to arrest members of Al-Qa'idah and take different measures against them but, they have given birth to Al-Qa'idah and they are nurturing it, feeding it and providing it with a pasture [to graze]. They are doing everything for Al-Qa'idah. They are behind this [organization].
Now this has been added to the dirty sediments of the Ba'thist regime of Iraq. Now they have joined ranks. The third point is that the occupying forces are watching this. On the one hand they say that they are maintaining security [in Iraq] and on the other hand they [occupying forces] support them. At the same time, they do not have the capacity to maintain security in Iraq. Now Iraq is facing such problems. All of these stem from Islamaphobia. Islam is a religion whose pivot is Imam Husayn, peace be upon him. Islam is a religion that moves societies forward. They have created these situations. What should be done?
In this connection Ayatollah al-Sistani, may his blessings continue, issued a statement. And what a solid and at the same time brief and comprehensive statement made our exalted leader [Khamene'i] in which he called on the people to maintain their unity of words with reference to the policy that stems from the leadership of sources of emulation [Khamene'i]. This is an important point. The people should gather around this axis. He referred to this point. This is the cure, the people must be vigilant and should deny them [enemies] from infiltrating [in our society] and the losses should awaken them and in fact they will awaken them. They might be happy with their actions but, they should know that all of these contribute to further awakening of society.
On plots to divide Muslims
The last point I would like to mention is that they [the enemies of Islam] harbour another plan in their minds and, that is, to create division among the people in Islamic society. They plan to deprive us of reaching unity and establishing [an Islamic] government with all its bright consequences. They intend to do so by destroying the main asset of this movement which is the uprising of Imam Husayn in Karbala, peace be upon him. Furthermore, they intend to turn away the people from these divine centres. This is one of the main objectives [of the enemies].
However, the last point which concerned the enemies' main objective of turning people away from divine centres [such as the holy shrines in Iraq] is beyond their power. This is in God's hand; and God has said that He will not allow such a thing to happen. Holy Zaynab [Imam Husayn's sister] said the same thing to [Caliph] Yazid. She said: God knows that you cannot deprive us of our faith and you should therefore not even try.
Imam Husayn is very great and his flag [of Islam] is dear to us. We respect his shrine as we respect God's sovereignty. God will thus safeguard his shrine. [passage omitted reviewing events of the early Islamic era, leading to the martyrdom of Imam Husayn]
Source: Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Tehran, in Persian 0835 gmt 5 Mar 04 http://www.monitor.bbc.co.uk/
posted on 03/05/2004 9:15:45 AM PST
(Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
Trans-Atlantic Relations: Accentuating the Positive
March 04, 2004
A meeting between U.S. and EU foreign policy chiefs in Washington this week barely registered in the media, underscoring a reconciliation in trans-Atlantic relations that has taken shape one year removed from the Iraq war -- and almost completely on U.S. terms. Although trans-Atlantic disagreements will continue to flare up, Europe -- in particular France and Germany -- is in no mood for a reversal in relations and will continue to accommodate Washington on priority issues.
Top U.S. and EU foreign policy officials met March 1 in Washington for ministerial-level talks on a range of foreign policy issues including Iraq and Afghanistan, a U.S. plan to modernize the "Greater Middle East," weapons proliferation, Bosnian peacekeeping and the Israeli peace process. EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, Irish Foreign Minister Brian Cowen and the EU's External Affairs Commissioner, Chris Patten, headed the European delegation, with Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice on the U.S. side. Bagels were eaten, views exchanged, a press conference was held - - all of which registered barely a blip in the mainstream media.
The lack of both controversy and coverage underscores a general rehabilitation of trans-Atlantic relations since the Iraq war, when French- and German-led opposition to the war divided Europe and fractured relations with Washington. Those fractures generated loads of juicy news stories on the deteriorating trans- Atlantic relationship and focused the media microscope in the months following the war on meetings that previously went pretty much unnoticed. Things now appear to be getting back to normal.
A number of recent events have helped to solidify rickety relations between Europe and the United States. Most recently, U.S. President George W. Bush called French President Jacques Chirac on March 2 to "hail the excellent U.S.-French cooperation on Haiti and thank France for its efforts," according to a Chirac aide. That follows a Feb. 27 meeting between Bush and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who had run seriously afoul not only of the administration but also of Bush personally. Washington always expected France to be difficult, but Germany's betrayal was much harder for Washington to swallow.
France and Germany -- together with Belgium -- amounted to an "axis of evil allies" during the Iraq war, and Washington set out to make life uncomfortable for them. In that context, personal efforts by Bush to reach out to both Chirac and Schroeder in the last week are quite remarkable.
Though their rehabilitation in Washington's eyes is far from complete, relations have drifted back toward a status quo in which Europe and the United States -- based on shared interests - - work more or less in tandem on major foreign policy issues, Paris strikes out on its own where it sees fit, and occasional spats center around issues of trade and more nuanced foreign policy disagreements. For lack of a better word, we will call it "normalization."
It is important to note two things about this normalization. First, it has happened almost entirely on U.S. terms. Washington effectively froze Paris and Berlin out of Iraq, while the major initiatives to mend relations have come from the European side. Having managed to rebuild some trust and goodwill with Washington, Europe -- particularly Paris and Berlin -- is in no mood for another reversal.
Second, on the flip side, it should not be assumed that Europe has capitulated to the United States and agreed to take a subservient global role. This was not the case before Iraq, and it is not the case afterward. Trans-Atlantic relations are complex and will remain so, but they will be friendlier in the coming year than they were in 2003.
Since summer 2003, Europe has been cooperative on major U.S. foreign policy priorities. In Afghanistan, Europe has supported a limited extension of NATO's role and responsibilities under European command, which has taken some of the burden off overstretched U.S. troops. The same is true for Iraq, where Europe largely has stopped challenging U.S. leadership. In addition, the two sides recently came to an important tentative agreement on the compatible operation of the U.S. military- controlled Global Positioning System (GPS) and Galileo, Europe's plan for a competing satellite navigation system. That deal was good for both sides. It preserved GPS as the dominant system for military use by NATO, while allowing Europe to continue development of a potentially better -- and thus more profitable - - commercial system. The United States succeeded in its primary goal, while Europe didn't simply roll over.
European leaders have been fairly careful not to antagonize Washington, even when standing up to it. One example is the EU's March 1 implementation of World Trade Organization-authorized trade sanctions on certain U.S. exports. Europe gave Washington substantial time to get rid of the underlying corporate tax credits, making this a well-telegraphed trade punch. It could also be argued that Europe has pulled its punch. Sanctions will build slowly by 1 percent a month from a baseline of 5 percent. More importantly, Europe did not choose to apply sanctions to politically sensitive sectors (citrus fruit, textiles, certain manufactured goods) that might hurt Bush in key battleground states (Florida, Ohio, Michigan) in the upcoming election, choosing instead to apply them to fairly innocuous goods such as jewelry, toys, honey, refrigerators, paper, nuclear reactors and roller skates -- none of which have particularly large political lobbies.
Reconciliation will not mean that U.S. and European leaders will see eye to eye on everything, especially trade and certain foreign policy nuances such as the Israeli peace process. Israel, in fact, was one area of disagreement cited by the European delegation following the March 1 meeting. Cowen noted there was some disagreement over Palestinian leader Yassar Arafat's role in the peace process, but at the same time said the United States and Europe remain united behind the road map and the larger peace process.
Likewise, the U.S. and European delegations chose to emphasize their areas of agreement in the broader Middle East, including the administration's somewhat controversial Greater Middle East Initiative. Patten warned that the West should not be seen as "parachuting our ideas (for reform) into the region," and noted that Europe's Barcelona process for Mediterranean cooperation and integration was based on a principle of partnership. Still, Cowen called these initiatives "complementary" and said the two sides had "very good" talks. Both delegations went to great pains to emphasize the positive, overlapping areas where they can cooperate, while not shying away from the differences.
Just like the good old days. http://www.stratfor.com/
posted on 03/05/2004 9:16:47 AM PST
(Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
American journalists and Iranian elections
March 5, 2004
A recent Harvard book (1) reminds the public about the controversy provoked by New York Times' Walter Duranty reports from the Soviet Union and the Pulitzer prize he won in 1932 . Like many other journalists and intellectuals he was soft on Stalin's terrible suppression of peasants opposed to the forced "collectivization" of agriculture . Duranty and other Western reporters found many excuses for the bloodshed and repression accompanying the so-called Communist "experiment".
Reading about Iran in the past seven years in the New York Times , the Washington Post, the Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, Le Monde and many other Western papers, reminded me of the Soviet "enthusiasts" of the 1930s and 1940s in the West.
Indeed a majority of the Middle East reporters and specialists saluted the "landslide" election of Mr Khatami as president of the Iranian Khomeinist theocracy as a sign of democratization. They created their own out of whole cloth analysis of Iranian politics in presenting Khatami and his minions as "reformists" if not totally "liberals".
According to Western journalists these so-called "moderates" opposed the "conservatives" harsh liners and the supreme leader ayatollah Khamenei who had to compromise with them because of the popular support they enjoyed . This fictious explanation of Iranian politics perdured for seven years even in Western governmental circles .
The British, French and German officials, in turn, invented the so-called "constructive dialogue" with Tehran. They even boasted recently that they had persuaded Tehran's mullahs to make a clean breast of their nuclear programs and ambitions.
Not only did Khatami and his group of so-called reformists produce no reforms and were consequently rebuffed often by the hardliners, but it appears now that the mullahs, including Khatami and his ministers, deceived the UN atomic agency.
In that context, last month's elections, came as a clarifying "nostrum". Tired by the inefficiency and inaction of Khatami and his group, a majority of Iranians shunned the ballot box despite pressures and even menaces. The limited turnout of voters deprieves the theocratic regime of the few shreds of legitimacy it claimed. The conservatives impeached Khatami's parliamentary supporters before the vote and are therefore assured of a legislature at their entire devotion.
During the past seven years they had already muzzled the press and the media without facing any real reaction from Khatami. They also had unleashed their organized thugs against the students and other opponents. It seems that the general population, living in hardship, has lost hope for any peaceful reform and even turned its back to politics altogether. Only the students and a few liberal, democratic or leftist minded small groups pursue their opposition inside and outside the country.
Will finally journalists and other observers in the West come to a realistic assessment of Iranian politics? It took the so-called Soviet "enthusiasts" of the thirties and fourties almost half a century to revise their opinion. I don't think that Iranians can wait that long.
A quarter of century has already passed since the so-called Islamic revolution. Iranians seem totally disappointed by the attitude of the West. Some official declarations by the president about Iran and the Middle East in the past two and a half years kindled some hope. But they were quelled by contradictory actions and comments by cabinet members.
One can understand governmental fickleness: Indeed, Iran's Shiite theocratic regime can indirectly manipulate Iraq's 60% Shiite population and create problems for the Bush administration, especially in an electoral year.
But what about the press and the media? What about the Pulitzer Prize comittee? Are they going to help the mullahs gain another lease on life, as they did with the Soviet leaders in the thirties and fourties? http://www.iranian.com/FereydounHoveyda/2004/March/Journalism/
To: F14 Pilot
For three years, the Lebanese organization (with full support from Iran) has been trying to tighten its hold on the Palestinian terrorist cells.
Iran involved with terror attacks on Israelis?
I am shocked, shocked.
Especially after John Fatah Kerry sent a big smooch to Khamenei's bottom--after all, he's (perhaps) Jewish (or Irish, or African, or Vietnamese. . . .).
posted on 03/05/2004 4:14:04 PM PST
(Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
Empress Farah Pahlavi with Barbara Walters tonight on 20/20 at 10pm ET (ABC Television)
March 4 This week on 20/20, a love story for the ages the never-before-told details of the romance between a beautiful commoner and her king. It's no fairy tale; this is a story written in newsprint and blood. The former empress of Iran, Farah Pahlavi, shares with us the joys and
tragedies of her marriage to the late shah, the man who swept her off her feet at the age of 20 to become his third wife. Together, they would produce an heir to the Peacock Throne and three other children but revolution in Iran, coupled with global politics and the ravages of a
terrible disease, would turn their privileged lives into a nightmare.
The former empress recalled the day of her coronation in 1967: "It was very important, I think, for me and the women in our country because I always say when my husband crowned me I felt he was crowning all the women of Iran." I asked her if her crown was heavy, and she laughed, saying, "It was. It was diamonds and emeralds and rubies and pearls, but
I always say that the weight of the responsibility is much heavier than the crown that you wear for only a few hours."
The Iranian Revolution, of course, put an end to the monarchy and forever changed the family's life. Farah Pahlavi has never spoken so revealingly of these events, and about her inner feelings, until now. It is a compelling and moving conversation, and I hope you will join us for
posted on 03/05/2004 4:51:25 PM PST
(Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-20, 21-27 next last
Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual
posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its
management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the
exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson