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Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

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

1 posted on 03/05/2004 12:01:18 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

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

2 posted on 03/05/2004 12:04:53 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
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. Mas’ood 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 Shari’a.

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 ICC’s 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

*Editor’s note The Think Tank Organisation’s "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
3 posted on 03/05/2004 12:07:52 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
According to Debka....

Bush decides to postpone action on Iranian’s 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/
4 posted on 03/05/2004 12:12:11 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Nigeria & Pakistan deny N-tech dialogue

05 March 2004 Friday 13 Muharram 1425
WorldTribune

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
5 posted on 03/05/2004 12:50:39 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran's Empress in Exile Finds 'a Way to Go On'

March 05, 2004
The Washington Post
Nora Boustany

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
12 posted on 03/05/2004 9:10:14 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Blair Terror Speech in Full

March 05, 2004
BBC News
BBCi

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.

Real threat

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.

Previous fears

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."

UN role

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.

Diversion

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.

Weapons evidence

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.

Passion

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.

Rationale

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.

Extremism fears

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.

Bush talks

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.

Pre-war persuasion

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.

Nuclear trade

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.

Al-Qaeda efforts

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.

Leadership

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.

Risk factor

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.

Diplomacy?

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?

Stability drive

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.

Human spirit

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.

Global rules

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.

UN changes?

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.

Britain's role

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.

War reasons

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
13 posted on 03/05/2004 9:11:39 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Should Iran Obtain Nukes, Turkey, Egypt, Saudis Could Follow Suit

March 05, 2004
World Tribune
World Tribune.com

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://216.26.163.62/2004/me_wmd_03_03.html
14 posted on 03/05/2004 9:13:17 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Ameri Urges Secretary Powell Against Negotiations with Iran

March 04, 2004
Goli Ameri for Congress
ameriforcongress.com

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.

Sincerely,

Goli Ameri

http://www.ameriforcongress.com/.docs/pg/press_releases.html?rid=82
15 posted on 03/05/2004 9:14:30 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Senior Cleric Says US Trying to Divide Muslims

March 05, 2004
BBC Monitoring
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].

On Islamophobia

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/
16 posted on 03/05/2004 9:15:45 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Trans-Atlantic Relations: Accentuating the Positive

March 04, 2004
Stratfor
Stratfor.com

Summary

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.

Analysis

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/
17 posted on 03/05/2004 9:16:47 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
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
it.

http://activistchat.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1555
20 posted on 03/05/2004 4:51:25 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
UN Nuke Watchdog Must Keep Hands on Iran - Diplomats

March 05, 2004
Reuters
Louis Charbonneau

VIENNA -- The United States and the European Union's "Big Three" were searching for a compromise on a draft U.N. nuclear resolution on Iran that is not too harsh but keeps up the pressure on Tehran, diplomats said on Friday.

On Monday, the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) Board of Governors begins meeting to discuss resolutions on Iran and Libya's previously undeclared nuclear programs -- both of which were supplied by a global black market linked to the father of Pakistan's atom bomb, Abdul Qadeer Khan.

Diplomats from the 35 states on the IAEA's board told Reuters a resolution on Iran had been drafted by the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and was being circulated. But it had to be revised to accommodate comments from France, Britain, Germany and non-aligned countries.

"It's important that the board keeps its hands on this issue," said one Western diplomat, adding that the draft's tone was "not too critical" so as to avoid being controversial. "It's important to send a message that the board remains involved."

The diplomat said the EU's "Big Three" were working on softening the resolution by "making the text more positive."

In a new report on U.N. inspections in Iran, IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei said Iran withheld information on its research in the advanced "P2" enrichment centrifuge, which can produce arms-grade uranium at twice the speed of the "P1" centrifuge.

In October, Tehran gave the IAEA what it described at the time as a full and truthful account of its entire nuclear program. But it failed to mention either the P2 or sensitive experiments with plutonium and polonium, a substance that can be used to initiate a chain reaction in a nuclear fission bomb.

Iran has been lobbying board members to remove the Iranian atomic program from the IAEA's agenda, but the resolution proposed by Washington and its allies would prevent that.

Washington has long accused Iran of running a secret atomic weapons program in violation of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and has called on the IAEA board to declare Iran in "non-compliance" and report it to the U.N. Security Council. That could lead to sanctions.

But the United States has met with strong resistance on the IAEA board from the "Big Three," who would prefer to engage Iran instead of isolating it, and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), which has been loathe to come down hard on Tehran.

Washington dropped the idea of reporting Iran to the Council at next week's meeting, but diplomats said the Libyan precedent would set the stage for a possible Council report in June.

THE LIBYAN PRECEDENT

In December, Libya announced it had a nuclear weapons program but invited the IAEA oversee its dismantling. Since then, U.S., British and IAEA experts have evacuated most sensitive atomic equipment and documents to the United State.

For the United States, Libya has become everything that Iran is not -- cooperative with U.N. inspectors, transparent and apparently sincere in its desire to dismantle its weapons of mass destruction programs.

On Thursday, U.S. Under Secretary of State for arms control and international security, John Bolton, told reporters in Lisbon that Iran's behavior was in sharp contrast to that of Libya, where disarmament is moving at an "acceptable pace."

The United States and Britain are co-sponsoring a resolution, the text of which Libya has already approved, that will praise Tripoli's disarmament but will call for a report to the U.N. Security Council, diplomats said.

"This Security Council report will be purely informative," said one diplomat. "There will be no sanctions against Libya, but it will set an important precedent for Iran."

He said that in June, Washington could then cite the Libyan precedent as a basis for reporting Tehran to the Security Council, but without the praise that Libya will get.

http://abcnews.go.com/wire/World/reuters20040305_317.html
22 posted on 03/05/2004 6:44:28 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Human Rights

March 05, 2004
Voice of America
Editorial

An Iranian man named Mohsen Mofidi died recently, reportedly after receiving eighty lashes with a leather cord as part of an official punishment. According to the human rights group Amnesty International, Mr. Mofidi was accused of possessing a satellite dish and medicine containing alcohol. Amnesty International says he was also accused of fostering so-called “corruption” because his sisters apparently had boyfriends. Before the flogging, Mr. Mofidi reportedly spent four months in prison, where he became ill. The flogging was carried out despite his illness.

In its latest report, the U.S. State Department says the Iranian government’s poor human rights record has gotten worse. The report cites the July 2003 death in police custody of Zahra Kazemi, an Iranian-Canadian photographer. She was killed by a blow to the head after being arrested for taking pictures at Evin prison in Tehran. Torture of detainees and prisoners by Iranian security forces is frequent.

Many hundreds of pro-reform demonstrators were arrested in June 2003. Many Iranian political activists, student leaders, and journalists remain in prison. There have also been reports of political killings.

Lorne Craner is U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor: “It’s another issue that we’ve tried to pursue, both in the [United Nations] General Assembly and the Commission on Human Rights. Canada proposed the resolution on Iran. . .condemning these kinds of practices in Iran at the General Assembly last fall.”

The U-N General Assembly’s adoption of that resolution sends a clear message that people around the world recognize the plight of the Iranian people. Mr. Craner says the U.S. is working with other countries to hold Iran’s theocratic regime accountable for its human rights abuses.

The Iranian people have made it clear that they want change. But the unelected Council of Guardians has vetoed most reform legislation. This year, the council went ever further: it disqualified more than two-thousand candidates for controlled parliamentary elections, including many reform-minded incumbents. In response, record numbers of Iranians boycotted the elections.

http://www.voanews.com/Editorials/article.cfm?objectID=424A2EEE-8803-49F6-8DEF4917B46AC4FE&title=3%2F5%2F04%20%2D%20IRAN%20HUMAN%20RIGHTS
23 posted on 03/05/2004 6:45:30 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Defector says Iranian military pro-U.S.

Believes as many as 40% 'waiting for the arrival of America'

Posted: March 5, 2004
1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2004 WorldNetDaily.com

A former commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has defected to Azerbaijan and disclosed that Iran's military is infused with pro-U.S. sentiment.

Col. Bakharali Bagiryan arrived in Baku last week.

"I came to Azerbaijan 40 days ago and was registered with the Azerbaijani representative office of the UNHCR as a political émigré," Bagiryan said at the Baku Press Club Feb. 23.

Bagiryan said many Iranian military troops would like to defect.

"In Iran, the military are not issued with passports, which deprives them of the opportunity to leave the country legally," he said. "I have been sent to Azerbaijan in the capacity of a representative of those who want cardinal changes in Iran's state structure."

The IRGC are Islamic shock troops and are Teheran's key liaison with international terrorist groups, such as Lebanese Hezbollah.

Bagiryan said some 40 percent of servicemen in the Iranian army think as he does and are "waiting for the arrival of America in Iran."

"The strengthening of the U.S. position in the region causes optimism among many Iranian servicemen and they secretly support the operation in Iraq," the colonel said. "I think that many of them would back a similar U.S. operation in Iran."

Bagiryan said Teheran's claim that the Iranian army fully supports the government is groundless. He said he intended to stay in Azerbaijan and help those fighting for the national interests of southern Azerbaijan.

His remarks appeared in the Baku newspaper Turan, an independent, non-governmental news agency close to the People's Front of Azerbaijan.

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=37417
24 posted on 03/05/2004 11:09:09 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
This thread is now closed.

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”

26 posted on 03/06/2004 12:05:42 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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