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Iranian Alert -- March 8, 2004 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD --Americans for Regime Change in Iran
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 3.8.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 03/07/2004 11:07:41 PM PST by DoctorZIn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

1 posted on 03/07/2004 11:07:42 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

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

2 posted on 03/07/2004 11:10:54 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Can the EU Afford to Underestimate the Threat Posed by the Islamic Republic?

March 07, 2004
Iran va Jahan
Darius Dana

The impressive boycott of the Iranian parliamentary election has put the European advocates of "critical dialogue" at an awkward position. It will no longer be easy for the EU to claim to be encouraging indigenous reforms in Iran when the last elements of the supposed reformist movement have been chased out of the system. Of course the temptation to continue to cut deals with the theocracy will always be there. What better way to build thriving economies than trading with a desperate dictatorship willing to dish out just about any trade incentive in return for "turning a blind eye" to its abuses of human rights and violations of international law?! It's an ironic dilemma indeed; A young union of nations bound by a firm belief in liberty and democracy on one side and a medieval, oil-rich theocracy with no respect for the civilized world on the other. These unlikely partners are drawn to one another by very different reasons. For the EU, the attraction is commercial gain, but for the Iranian regime the stakes are much higher. With Washington piling up the pressure and growing unrest at home, the mullahs need the EU for their political survival. Be that as it may, there are at least three practical reasons why the EU should refrain from throwing a lifeline to the Islamic Republic.

1 - Islamic Republic's Stability

Although the Islamic Regime seems fairly stable now, it has never been weaker in its 25 year history. The departure of the so called reformist faction means that the whole weight of the system lies on the back of a few aging and insecure mullahs totally out of touch with the popular mood inside the country and ignorant of the realities of the modern world. Put the spiraling rates of poverty, unemployment, prostitution and addiction together with the regime's inability to create jobs or hope for the young who constitute 70% of Iran's fast growing population, and you'll soon come to realize that the mullahs are fighting a losing battle. The right wing power brokers of Iran simply lack the flexibility and intelligence to formulate any rational policies in domestic or foreign affairs. Paranoid as ever with the "plots of the enemies", the mullahs have increased repression at home while turning to yet more terrorism abroad. Hardly a safe environment for trade and commerce!

2 - EU and Iranian Perceptions

Britain, France and Germany are already mistrusted by most Iranians of all classes and backgrounds. The general perception amongst most Iranians is that the EU trio are ignoring the demands of the vast majority of Iranian people and are engaged in appeasing their oppressors for commercial gain. The failure of EU to make a clear stand on the issue of human rights has caused most Iranians to look to the US for inspiration and support. It is said that "seeing is believing"; What Iranians see these days is the obscene spectacle of cordial embraces and handshakes between EU foreign ministers and the most hawkish elements of the Islamic Republic who're directly responsible for the arrest, torture, and murder of Iranians. Insisting on such unwise policies will go a long way in downgrading the EU trio from "misguided rivals" to "colonial adversaries" in the eyes of Iranian people and opposition. It's always hard to predict the future, but most analysts agree that Iranian society is reaching boiling point and that some kind of change in the Iranian political scene is likely. In the event of such change, it is plausible that the prevailing forces most likely to be of secular and nationalist nature, will seek to retaliate against the EU for its support of the Islamic Republic. A future Iranian government of almost any complexion will probably seek to sideline the EU by favoring the US for strategic partnership and trade.

3 - A Pattern of Deception and Lies

The size and scope of Iran's nuclear program and the ever increasing evidence of a grand deception by the mullahs will only serve to embarrass the advocates of dialogue in Europe. The European visionaries who beat the drums of a "multi-polar world" can not afford to ignore the fact that some regimes do not play by the rules. The old school of "deterrence" and "balance of power" only apply to those who appreciate the limits and understand the rules. Both the well intentioned and the cynical EU decision makers are well advised to read through the short and bloody history of the Iranian revolution. They will find a disturbing tale of broken promises and deception on a grand scale; A revolution whose leaders promised a nation freedom and democracy, but unleashed death and destruction upon them once they grabbed power; A regime that compromises only when it's under serious threat and flouts international law when it's not; A regime whose leader is regarded as the "biggest predator of press freedom" and a president that talks of reforms and democracy while on trips to EU capitals and condones public executions and torture at home. Can the EU really count on the goodwill of a regime with such history? Can the EU afford to underestimate the threat posed by the Islamic Republic?
3 posted on 03/07/2004 11:11:43 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran: Eyes on America

March 07, 2004
Telegraph of Nashua
Devin Foxall

Editor's note: Devin Foxall of Lee spent one month last fall traveling in the Middle East - Turkey, Egypt, Qatar and Iran - to ask young people what they thought of America. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 2003. He is currently earning money for another trip, though he has not decided where to journey next. The Iranians invited the American into their carpet shop in Tehran to chat over tea. Then they locked the door to tell their secret.

A man with serene eyes spoke first. “There is no hope,” he said. “There is no hope. There is no hope.”

The man, who was in his 20s, sat languidly in a metal folding chair, resting his head on the blood-red carpet hung on the wall. His friend, also in his 20s, chain-smoked cigarettes and typed feverishly on a computer.

Two teenagers sat by a metal urn filled with tea. The boys never spoke except to ask if their visitor would like more tea, or perhaps more sugar if he found his drink too bitter.

Over the next hour, the Iranians talked bluntly about a future they had long given up on and a generation of young people whose eyes were filled with sadness. Their words provide a window into a society that often seems closed to the outside world, America in particular.

They saved their most venomous criticism for their country’s religious leaders, who have imposed their strict vision of Islam on Iran since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

“They use Islam as a gun,” the man at the computer said. “It’s not Islam. They say, ‘Do that, don’t do that.’ You ask, ‘Why?’ And they lie and say it’s in the Koran.”

They blamed the ruling clerics for denying the thousands of small freedoms and emotions that make people human.

They could not kiss a pretty girl. They could not read a book deemed inappropriate. They could not listen to the Beatles. It seemed, they said, that they weren’t even allowed to be happy.

To do anything like this, they were told, was not simply illegal but an offense to God.

“Our government says, ‘You must go to paradise,’” the calm man explained. “We should be able to choose whether we want to go to paradise or hell.”

Suddenly, the man behind the computer sprang up. “It works,” he said smiling. The three others gathered behind him. They gestured for the American to come watch.

But first one of the boys checked outside the door to make sure no one was secretly listening. Then the computer man pressed the key, and the contraband sprang to life: Jennifer Lopez, snug in angel-white pants, shook her hips.

“She’s American, right?” the calm man asked. He touched her pixilated butt. “You have to be proud of that.”

The American watched Lopez offend God with each gyration and then said it was time to leave.

But before he left, the Iranians had one question. They were anxious to know if the rumors were true: would America soon attack? The American said that he doubted it, that the United States had its hands full with Iraq.

“You know, some people hope America invades,” the calm man said. Perhaps realizing the danger of saying this, he quickly distanced himself from this view. He had heard such things, he explained, though this was not necessarily what he thought.

“I’ve heard people say that, too” the man behind the computer said and looked at his friend. He said he doubted it would happen, though. America attacked Iraq for oil, he reasoned, and now they’ve got it.

“They don’t need our oil, now,” he concluded, glumly.

Iran, the legend goes, is like a shadowy nightmare for America.

But to visit the country and talk with the people is to learn that not all is quite as it seems.

The most striking experience for a visiting American is the extraordinary friendliness of the Iranians. To say you are an American is to be greeted with a smile and an invitation for supper and cups of hot tea.

Iranian youth delight in talking about the American pop stars and Hollywood celebrities they know from illegal bootlegs. They can talk endlessly about the opportunities they believe America offers. And, invariably, they will ask what Americans think of them.

Most, though, already have an answer: Americans are wary of Iran, they admit, if not afraid.

Young people say this image of Iran embarrasses them; they blame a small

but vocal ruling group of clerics for its broadcast.

They would like to offer a new image: On the evening of Sept. 11, 2001, about 200 young people gathered in Tehran in a spontaneous candlelight vigil to express sympathy for the United States. It was the only such demonstration in the Islamic world after the attacks. The next night, the basij, a religious vigilante group, and the police attacked the vigil.

The moment unveiled the forces battling for Iran’s future: young people, if timidly at first, sought to connect with the nation they had for their whole lives been taught was the Great Satan, while the aging religious leaders tried to retain control with violence.

This question engulfs Iran: How much longer can the ruling clerics impose a strict Islamic state on a nation 70 percent of whose people are under 30?

“Five percent of the people support the mullahs,” one Iranian said. “But they have 95 percent of the power.”


An American in Iran faces many obstacles when trying to gauge peoples’ feelings toward their future.

Most notably, a visitor must understand the schizophrenia of Iranian life that splits its personality between the public and private world.

The popular example - and the transformation most spectacular to behold - is of the woman who in public covers herself in a chador, the long dark cloak designed to cover curves, then, once home, unveils trim designer clothes and a cascade of frosted hair.

This leaves one seeking subtler clues to the people’s mood - in the questions they ask when they learn a visitor is American; in the graffiti sprayed on city walls; in their criticisms of other Middle Eastern countries as much as their own; in the way young women subvert the strict dress code.

These clues illuminate a young society trying to stay human through small, private acts of rebellion.

The questions Iranians have for American visitors are embroidered with their secret hopes. Some ask when President Bush might invade, but many more ask when American and Iran will have normal relations. They ask how hard it is to visit America and if Iranians are treated well there. They want to talk about the music and movies they are not allowed to see.

Young Iranians have linked American musicians with the idea of freedom and rebellion. There is no anti-government graffiti on the street walls; instead, the names of Eminem and Avril Lavigne are crudely spray-painted.

Young women have begun rebelling through fashion. Legally, they must obey Hejab, modest Islamic dress designed to enforce a kind of sexual anonymity. The unintended side effect is that any variation in a woman’s dress serves as a political statement.

Standing on a city street, it is possible to witness a timeline of the last 25 years of Iran’s history. Older women wrap themselves in black chadors, clenching the fabric in their teeth to keep their hands free.

Younger women, especially around a university, wear a slim black jacket that stops short of their knees, tight jeans and a scarf balanced at the back of their head. Black eyeliner circles their eyes like moats, foundation cakes their cheeks - and white bandages embrace their noses. (Nose jobs have become common practice for rich girls in Tehran.)

The most direct channel to peoples’ mood, of course, was in private conversation. Alone with an American, one woman admitted that whenever she hears that another U.S. soldier has died in Iraq, she thinks “what a waste.”

From her satellite dish, she has heard President Bush justify the war as a means to achieve democracy in the Middle East. “They could have democracy in Iran without dropping a bomb,” she said. “Just support the reformers.”

Even in private, some people would only criticize their government through a less than direct route.

Two young men in a fabric shop in Esfahan, a city of turquoise-tiled mosques 250 miles south of Tehran, focused their attack on Saudi Arabia before shifting close to home.

“We all hate Arabs,” the tall one said, reminding a visitor that Iranians are Persians. “Arabs brought Islam to Iran 1,400 years ago. That is the whole problem now.” His friend agreed. “Saudi Arabia is crazy. They still love Islam. They love it. We hate it.”

Other Iranians used black humor to make their point. A man in a carpet shop in Esfahan asked, “Would you like to hear a joke? What is the difference between a madman and a mullah?” He paused, then delivered the punch line.

“Nothing.” He didn’t laugh.

Public flirting is scowled upon in Iran; for some, though, it is sometimes worth it to make exceptions.
The cafe

In a cafe in Shiraz, a city in the southwest of Iran known for its nightingales and tombs for Persian poets, two girls ask an American if he would like an espresso or a chocolate sundae. Over the next half-hour they lightly flirt and - due partly to the girls’ faltering English - talk about nothing much in particular.

In almost any other country, this would be unexceptional. But in Iran, the conversation and, more importantly, each tiny gesture is packed with meaning - and even criminal rebellion.

The brown hair of one girl spilled from beneath her scarf and onto the front of her shoulders. Her friend would every few minutes liberate a strand of hair - the color of starless night - and let it fall across her cheek.

Soon, the girls let their scarves become so loose that they would take them completely off - offering, perhaps, a momentary vision of Iran’s future - allow a moment to retie them and then slip the covering back on.

The laws concerning social behavior here seem to be in perpetual flux so there is rarely any consensus on what is allowed. In general, public mingling of the sexes is best avoided, people warned a visitor, and to flirt is to invite harassment. Physical contact of any kind, including a handshake, could, if the wrong people were watching, mean the girl’s arrest.

And so here, in a tiny cafe hundreds of miles from the capital, the quiet revolution of Iran’s youth took another step forward. When it was time to leave, the girls extended their hands with the hope that the American would share the moment’s rebellion.
4 posted on 03/07/2004 11:13:39 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
CIA: Iran Regime Plans Crackdown

March 08, 2004
Middle East Newsline

WASHINGTON -- The CIA has assessed that Iran's ruling clergy plans a major crackdown against the reformist movement.

Officials said the CIA assessment has determined that the reformist movement has sustained a sharp blow with its loss of parliament in February. They said the regime of Ali Khamenei will crack down on dissidents and seek to remove reformist politicians from government.

"With the victory of hardliners in elections last weekend, governmental-led reform received a serious blow," CIA director George Tenet told the Senate Intelligence Committee on Feb. 25. "Greater repression is a likely result."

Tenet said the influence of the reformist movement will wane as it is expelled from government and parliament. He said the reformists will seek to work with labor unions and non-governmental organizations "to rebuild popular support and keep the flame alive."
5 posted on 03/07/2004 11:14:35 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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Comment #6 Removed by Moderator

To: DoctorZIn
Regime increases pressure on identified opponents

SMCCDI (information Service)
Mar 7, 2004

The regime's pressure has been increased from the begining of the Iranian week, Saturday, on identified opponents who have had judicial problems.

Arbitrary arrests, search of homes and cars, questionning and threats are used against those who had been formerly jailed but released while several new arrests have been made among student, teacher and worker activists.

The regime seems to be preparing itself for an International diplomatic confrontation and is intending to pacify any threat coming from whitin the country.
7 posted on 03/07/2004 11:18:21 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
High security measures adopted to stop "Int.'l Women Day" celebration

SMCCDI (information Service)
Mar 8, 2004

High security measures have been adopted and will be applied, later today, in order to stop the planned celebration of the "Int.l Women Day". The regime forces have been mobilized, especially in the Capital, to crackdown against Iranian women and their male supporters by pretexting the unlawful nature of the gatherings.

While the right of making peaceful demonstrations is recognized by the Islamic regime, its Ministry of Interior has not issued any response to the formal request made by several feminist organizations.

Iranian Women who are representing the majority of the Iranian Nation have been struggling, since the conception of the Islamic republic regime, to keep their rights which have been mainly revoked and disregarded.

They have all been subjected to the Sharia Apartheid Law and discriminatory measures while hundreds of them have been killed and thousands wounded and forced to leave their job for their braveries and having defied the backwarded regime's ideology. Several of them were killed on January 7, 2003, as they defied the regime and its taboos by burning their veils. Savage militiamen used of their knives and acid base substance to kill and wound several of them with the benediction of the regime's hardliners and the silent complicity of the sham reformists.

One of the Iranian Women's main slogan, since the Islamic revolution of 1979, has been the famous and so many times shouted: "Na Roosari, Na Too Sari" (No Veil, No submission).

It's to note that the Iranian Women had one of the most freer life styles during the former Iranian regime while some of the familial law had been changed according to their rights and many other were under discussion in order to secularize them. Many of them, unveiled, were exercing high rank professions and functions, such as, Ministry of State, Ambassador, Policewoman, Military Officer, Fighter Pilot, Doctor, Teacher, Nurse, Ingenior, Actress, Director and various other jobs.

Knowing these historical facts, some demagogue International Reporters, such as Christiane Amanpoor of CNN who's of Iranian origin, tried to promote the sham theory of reforms under Khatami's presidency and to cover this flagrant discrimination by pretexting that "Iranian women situation is better than in Saudi Arabia as they're allowed to drive car".

Ms. Amanpoor was able to take back her father's home, confiscated during the revolution, following several reports which highly credited the so-called reformists in the eyes of the unaware world opinion. She's married to M. Rubin who was the White House Speaker during the Clinton administration.
8 posted on 03/07/2004 11:19:12 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
9 posted on 03/08/2004 1:27:31 AM PST by windchime (Podesta about Bush: "He's got four years to try to undo all the stuff we've done." (TIME-1/22/01))
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To: DoctorZIn
IAEA: Iran, Libya Violated Nuclear Treaty

VOA News
08 Mar 2004

The International Atomic Energy Agency says Iran and Libya are both guilty of long-term violations of their obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Mohammed ElBaradei, director-general of the IAEA, told reporters in Vienna he would discuss violations by Iran and Libya during a meeting Monday of the U-N agency's board of governors.

A spokeswoman for the IAEA announced separately today that Libya has decided to sign an agreement giving U-N inspectors the right to conduct "intrusive" inspections of its nuclear facilities on short notice.

Libya admitted last year that it has been developing nuclear weapons in secret. Officials in Tripoli have promised to dismantle the program, under international supervision.

Before today's developments, Iran had called on the IAEA to complete its 13-month investigation of Tehran's nuclear program (on the grounds that Iran has taken steps to build confidence among members of the international community).

The head of Iran's security council, Hasan Rohani, said that Tehran expected the IAEA to close its files and confirm that Iran is developing nuclear capabilities for peaceful purposes.

The IAEA has previously said that, despite Iran's promises to co-operate fully with the agency, inspectors discovered that Tehran possessed (unreported) components -- equipment that could be used to build nuclear weapons. The IAEA says it is still investigating how sensitive nuclear technology was sent to Iran, and who sent it.
10 posted on 03/08/2004 4:56:20 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: F14 Pilot
For those who may have missed this wonderful thread when it was ORIGINALLY posted:

Bush draws a crowd
[USC Daily Trojan covers pro-Bush Iranian-American/Free Republic rally] ^ | March 4, 2004 | SHRADDHA JAISWALI
Posted on 03/04/2004 5:32:13 AM PST by RonDog

Bush draws a crowd

President Bush spoke at the Shrine Auditorium Wednesday. More than 100 showed up for the event.

Elizabeth Leitzell | Daily Trojan
Mixed Emotion. The Iranian American Republicans were among the demonstrators who welcomed President Bush to the Shrine Auditorium Wednesday afternoon; they said they support him because he opposes terrorism in Iran.

Staff writer

President George W. Bush's visit to Southern California on Wednesday was marked by demonstrations from more than 130 supporters and opponents who packed onto the four corners of Jefferson Boulevard and Shrine Place in the early evening.

The demonstrators, both for and against the president, waved signs and shouted slogans at the drivers passing the Shrine Auditorium where Bush was scheduled to speak at 5:35 p.m.

With the clock ticking down to the November presidential election, Bush planned a three-day visit to California in hopes of raising funds for his re-election campaign.

The anti-Bush corner was home to about 80 people of all ages waving signs reading everything from a general "Stop Bush" to the more specific "End Occupation in Iraq" and "Immigrant Rights."

Many of the anti-Bush signs were provided by the Act Now to Stop War and End Racism organization, but they were joined by groups such as Code Pink, The Socialist Organization and Out Against War as well as by individuals simply wanting to be heard.

Those gathered at the corner shouting against Bush's policies felt it was necessary to protest even at a fundraising event to open the eyes of Californians.

"I hope to call attention to the fact that other people who think he should not be president will know they are not alone," said Eda Hallinan, a member of the women's peace group Code Pink.

"Bush is probably the worst president this country has ever had," she said. "I think that we are so much worse off now than when he first took office, in terms of the economy and our own security."

Along with the sea of anti-Bush posters, the protesters chanted their messages from a megaphone with sayings such as, "George Bush — we know you — your daddy was a killer too," and "Hands off Haiti."

But despite the loud anti-Bush sentiments, Bush supporters were not deterred from standing their ground. The largest group of Bush advocates at the four corners was a group of Iranians waving flags and shouting praises of the president's international policies.

"We're here to support President Bush because he's for democracy, not only in Iran, but around the world," said 59-year-old Reza Ershadi.

Fellow conservatives praised the Iranian effort to support Bush saying that they were dedicated and knew that Bush could help them.

"These guys have been here since 3 p.m.," said Ron Smith [aka RonDog] pointing to the Iranians. "Think about it, they've got family in Iran. They've got family right now in a brutal regime, and they're saying, 'well we appreciate what you did in Iraq, how about coming over here and helping us out in Iran...'"

CLICK HERE for the rest of that thread

11 posted on 03/08/2004 5:24:09 AM PST by RonDog
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To: DoctorZIn
12 posted on 03/08/2004 5:32:13 AM PST by Gritty ("America has her very own Pharisee Class. We call them 'Liberals'!)
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To: RonDog
13 posted on 03/08/2004 6:55:33 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn
The Iranian nuclear project is purely envisaged by the Iranian scientists themselves while enriched uranium and equipment were obtained from the international market, Aref said. "It is very much clear that our nuclear technology is for peaceful purposes," he said and added that obtaining of nuclear weapons never remained part of our strategy. Every nation in the world has the right to obtain the technology for its development, he said while defending the acquisition of nuclear technology.

They lie~they plan for weapons.

14 posted on 03/08/2004 6:58:13 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States - and war is what they got!!!!)
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To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert; Pan_Yans Wife; happygrl; dixiechick2000; Cindy; Ragtime Cowgirl; Suffrage; ...
Ebadi: Women a force for change in Iran

Middle East OnLine
8th Mar 2004

GENEVA - Nobel peace prize winner and Iranian human rights campaigner Shirin Ebadi declared Monday that the women's movement would be a force for change in her country because the fight for sexual equality was a fight for democracy.

During a debate on women's rights organised by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Ebadi blamed discrimination against women in Iran on the patriarchal nature of society, rather than Islam or religion.

"This patriarchal culture is a tribal culture. Not only does it not accept women, it does not tolerate democracy," she said through an interpreter.

Before the debate began, Ebadi told a news conference that "many people use Islam to justify the unequal position of women, which is not so. Islam is a religion that believes in the quality of human beings," she added.

"The feminist movement in Iran has depth and staying power," she said and would be "at the root" of change.

The 2003 Nobel laureate, dressed in a black suit and without a veil or headscarf, said she was in "mourning for women's rights" to mark International Women's Day, March 8.

"Today, because of the situation of women, the discrimination they face, I am wearing black not only for women in my country but also around the world," Ebadi added.

Although 63 percent of university students were women in Iran, well above higher education rates for men, women suffered unemployment at a rate 18 percent higher than men, she noted.

Highlighting everyday examples of inequality, Ebadi pointed out that women needed their husband's permission to get a passport, while in Iranian courts two women witnesses were needed to match the testimony of a man.

"A man can without explanation divorce, but it is near impossible for women," Ebadi added, also criticising polygamy in Iran.
15 posted on 03/08/2004 7:02:50 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: F14 Pilot
Thanks for the ping!
16 posted on 03/08/2004 7:26:52 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: DoctorZIn


March 7, 2004 -- 'WE must not be provoked!" This is the message out of a meeting of the leadership of Iraq's Shiites in the wake of Tuesday's terrorist attacks in Karbala and Baghdad, which killed 270 people and injured 500 others, mostly Shiite pilgrims.

The Wednesday meeting was called by Grand Ayatollah Ali-Muhammad Sistani, the primus inter pares of Iraqi Shiite clerics, at his home in Najaf. Virtually all prominent religious and political figures in Iraqi Shiism attended. It was the first time in almost four decades that the Iraqi Shiite leadership was able to join in one place to show its unity.

Sistani called the meeting hours after Tuesday's attacks, dispatching emissaries to all the nation's key mosques and husayiniahs (places of Shiite worship). His intervention played a key part in preventing Shiites from taking revenge action against their Sunni fellow citizens.

The terrorists chose their attacks to coincide with Ashura, the most important religious date for Shiites. And, as news of the tragedy spread, some Shiite leaders began to call for jihad (religious war) against the Munafeqin (Hypocrites), a code word used to depict Muslims who do not accept the Jaafari form of mainstream Shiism. In Kazemiah, north of Baghdad, armed bands of Shiites began to prepare for attack on Sunni neighborhoods, raising fears of a religious civil war.

"Sistani's message came like cold water on fire," says Muhammad-Taqi Haeri-Yazdi, a mullah in Baghdad. "He marched us back from the edge of the precipice." Soon, the firebrand young mullah, Muqtada Sadr-Mahallati, was ordering his armed supporters to go home and wait for further instructions.

Sistani's brief statement, announcing the meeting in Najaf, made no mention of the Sunnis and blamed the terrorist attacks on "enemies of Islam and the House of the Prophet." His emissaries were even more specific: The tragedy was not the work of Iraqi Sunnis but part of a worldwide anti-Shiite campaign by a network of radical Sunnis, mostly from the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and Pakistan, known as the Salafis.

"There may have been some Iraqis among the aggressors," a spokesman for the grand ayatollah told us from Najaf. "But this was not an Iraqi Sunni operation. It was planned, organized, financed and, at least in part, carried out by terrorists from other countries."

By Wednesday, some 20 suspects, including Iranians and Iraqis, were under arrest.

THE Sunni-Shiite feud dates back to 680 A.D. when Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad and the third Imam of Shiites, was killed in Karbala by men working for the Sunni Caliph Yazid Ibn Muawyyiah.

The two versions of Islam hated one another more than they hated even the Jews and Christians. For almost a century, the Ottoman Empire (raising the banner of Sunni Islam, with its symbol of the crescent moon), fought the Persian Empire (whose Lion-and-Sword banner symbolized Ai Ibn Abi-Talib, the Prophet's son-in-law and father of Imam Hussein).

The prize in the two Muslim empires' struggle: southern Mesopotamia, home to Shiite "holy" shrines in Najaf, Karbala, Kazemiyah and Samarra. By the 18th century, the "holy region" had become a lawless no-man's-land. This enabled an army of jihadists recruited in Arabia and led by Muhammad Abdul-Wahhab to invade and destroy the Shiite shrines.

The Ottomans soon re-imposed control and allowed the Persians, now at peace with them, to rebuild the shrines. But the de-Shiification of Mesopotamia remained Ottoman policy. Over decades, this transformed Samarra (north of Baghdad), where the 12th and last Imam of Shiites went into hiding over 1,000 years ago, into a predominantly Sunni city. They also settled Turkish, Kazakh and Turcoman tribes, all Sunnis, in parts of what is now Iraq to alter its Shiite character.

At modern Iraq's founding in 1921, the Shiites decided to stay out of politics because of their belief that any government formed in the absence of the Hidden Imam is illegitimate. That allowed Arab and Turkic Sunnis, some 18 percent of the population, to dominate the government and use its power to marginalize the Shiites.

IN 1946-47, the principal seminary at Qom (in Iran), acting on behalf of Shiites, and the Al-Azhar seminary in Cairo, representing Sunnis, negotiated a concordat ending almost 13 centuries of enmity between the two main branches of Islam. The mithaq al-taqrib (convergence pact) allowed Shiites and Sunnis to pray together, to intermarry, to trade, to accept each other's testimony and, most re important, to stop murdering each other in the name of jihad.

From the mid 1950s onward, Iraqi Shiites provided the popular base of several major political movements, from communist to Arab nationalist. But by 1963, the coalition of Sunni Ba'athists and Nasserites who had seized power in Baghdad regarded the Shiites as something of a "fifth column" for Iran. By 1970, a new de-Shiification had become part of the official Ba'athist ideology.

This was spelled out in a book by Taha Yassin al-Jizrawi, later vice president under Saddam Hussein: "Three That Allah Should Not Have Created: Shiites, Jews and Flies." In it, Jizrawi recalls how the Jews, in the 1930s almost a quarter of Baghdad's population, had been "flushed away." He then notes the "speedy disappearance of flies" from Iraq, thanks to imshis, small pesticide vaporizers. "We now," he wrote, "need imshis for the Shiites."

From 1968 to 1978, the Saddam regime tried to change Iraq's demographic balance by turning Shiites into minorities. Over a million were deported to Iran or forced into other exile on the grounds that they had not been registered under Ottoman rule. Saddam also imported more than a million Sunnis from Egypt and the Palestinian territories and he transferred almost 400,000 Sunni Kurds from their northern villages to towns and villages in the Shiite south.

In 1991, Saddam ordered the wholesale massacre of Shiites. By some estimates, over 200,000 were killed and a quarter of a million forced to flee the country.

YET Saddam's fall has not been followed by any major acts of revenge by the Shiites. The reason may well be their confidence that the new Iraq that will emerge in the next two to three years will give them a fair share in the decision-making process, ending decades of minority rule.

"I know that many in the West talk of a Shiite-Sunni civil war in Iraq," says Muwaffaq al-Riba'i, a member of the Governing Council. "I also know that many in the West, and the Arab world, hope for such a civil war either because they want the Coalition to fail in Iraq or because they hate Shiites.

"But we Shiites have no interest in a civil war because we do not wish to destroy our own country. Our interest is in democracy that provides the best way for rebuilding our country."

17 posted on 03/08/2004 7:42:50 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Chief Nuclear Inspector Rejects Iran Call

March 08, 2004
The Associated Press
George Jahn

VIENNA, Austria -- The head of the U.N atomic agency on Monday rejected Iranian demands of an end to international scrutiny, saying Tehran would remain in the spotlight as long as questions remained about its nuclear agenda.

Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, spoke at the start of an IAEA board of governors meeting trying to bridge differences over Iran's nuclear intentions - and what to do about them.

Germany, Britain and France want an emphasis on the progress Iran has made in revealing nuclear activities and cooperating with IAEA inspectors since the discovery last year of a secret uranium enrichment program and covert tests that could be applied toward making nuclear weapons.

Convinced that Tehran at one point wanted to make nuclear weapons, Washington, however, wants tough language to dominate in any resolution adopted by the board.

Ahead of the meeting, a senior Iranian official on Sunday demanded an end to the board's scrutiny of its nuclear activities, insisting that they were never geared toward making arms. He also demanded that the three European countries deliver on promises of access to advanced nuclear technology in exchange for cooperation with the IAEA.

"We told them that if you don't fulfill your promise everything will return to day one," Hasan Rowhani said at a meeting with other senior Iranian officials in Tehran.

ElBaradei, however, suggested that Iran's nuclear activities would remain under scrutiny.

"The issue will (only) be removed form the agenda when we are done with all the issues that are outstanding," he told reporters ahead of the meeting. Progress on clearing up question marks about Iran's past suspect nuclear activities, "depends very much on the kind of cooperation we hopefully will continue to receive from Iran," he said.

"To build confidence takes years and requires absolute transparency and full openness," said ElBaradei. He said the board would also discuss agency findings resulting from its probe of the black market providing Iran, Libya and North Korea with technology that can be used to make nuclear weapons.

He described both Iran and Libya - which has acknowledged having a weapons program and has pledged to scrap it - as in violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation treaty.

But with Libya commonly accepted as willing to reveal all about its former nuclear secrets, it is Iran that is under the gun at the Vienna meeting.

While insisting it is interested in uranium enrichment only to generate power and not to arm warheads, Iran has suspended its enrichment program to defang criticism and ease months of international pressure. Still, it insists it has every right to resume such activities, despite international demands that Iranian enrichment be scrapped, not just suspended.

Tehran has also allowed IAEA inspectors broad access to its nuclear programs and has handed over materials requested by ElBaradei in his investigation of nearly two decades of covert activities, including purchases from the nuclear black market that also supplied Libya and North Korea.

Still, an IAEA report prepared for Monday's meeting of the 35-nation board faults Tehran for continuing to hide evidence of nuclear experiments unearthed by agency inspectors and again urges it to come clean. Made public last month, the dossier dealt the Islamic Republic a setback in its efforts to convince the world that its nuclear program is peaceful and that it is fully cooperating with the U.N. agency.

The report mentioned finding traces of polonium, a radioactive element that can help trigger a nuclear chain reaction, but which Iran says it was interested in for generating electricity. And it expressed concerns with the discovery of a previously undisclosed advanced P-2 uranium centrifuge system - a finding that the U.S. administration said raises "serious concerns" about Tehran's intentions.

Nia Zamani, a member of the Iranian delegation, told reporters his country is "working actively with the agency to resolve outstanding issues." He said any resolution should reflect "this trend of positive cooperation and outstanding issues being resolved one after the other."

U.S. officials don't agree. Undersecretary of State John Bolton said last week that Iran was exhibiting "a continuing pattern of deception and concealment."

"We're absolutely determined ... that we're not going to ease pressure on Iran," he said in Lisbon, Portugal.

The German, French and British, feel, however that too much pressure could backfire, particularly at a time of domestic political struggle between Iran's moderates and hardliners.
18 posted on 03/08/2004 7:45:38 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iraq Interim Constitution Signed

March 08, 2004

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Calling it a new beginning for Iraq, Iraqi Governing Council members Monday signed an interim constitution, laying the ground work for future elections, a permanent constitution and eventually a return to self-rule.

"Here we are today standing in a historical moment to lay the strong foundation for rebuilding a new Iraq," said governing council President Mohammed Bahrululum. "A new, free, democratic Iraq that protects the dignity of the human being and protects human rights."

As governing council members gathered, an explosion was heard across Iraq's capital city, but was not apparent at the conference center where the ceremony took place.

According to Iraqi police, the rocket hit a house near the police patrol station in Karada in central Baghdad, wounding four people, including two children and a police officer.

The latest attack followed a barrage of at least seven small rockets that damaged a hotel Sunday evening in central Baghdad.

The newly approved 25-page interim constitution defines a new Iraq as being "federal, democratic and pluralist," according to an advance copy secured by CNN's Jane Arraf.

The ceremony was delayed by nearly a week because of deadly violence and disagreement among Shiite and Kurdish council members.

The missiles in Sunday's attack were fired toward the so-called Green Zone from the bed of a Toyota SUV parked about 400 yards (400 meters) north of the Al-Rashid Hotel, the official said.

A civilian security employee was slightly wounded but later returned to duty, the official said.

The Green Zone includes the Coalition Provisional Authority's headquarters in the presidential palace, which is across the street from the conference center where the signing ceremony was scheduled to take place.

The 80 mm rockets were launched about 7:25 p.m. (11:25 a.m. ET) from two "simplistic" launchers containing 11 tubes each, the official said.

Seven unused missiles remaining in the tubes after the attack were later destroyed by coalition troops, the official said.

Word of Sunday's attack came shortly after a spokesman for a member of the Iraqi Governing Council said Iraq's interim constitution would be signed without changes Monday.

"There were different opinions among us, but we were able to come to an understanding," said Sayed Mohammed Hussein Bahrululum, son of the council president. "We will continue with the signing of the interim constitution without making any changes in it".

On Friday, Shiite council members backed out of the ceremony after the nation's top Shiite cleric objected to a provision that would effectively give three Kurdish provinces veto power over approval of a permanent constitution.

"They reached a positive and clear understanding by the religious authorities for the development of the constitution and they plan to continue with the signing of the interim constitution on Monday," said Ali al-Shabout, spokesman for council member Muwafaq al-Rubaie.

The clause at issue says that if two-thirds of the voters in any three provinces reject the permanent constitution, which is to be drawn up in coming months, it would not go into effect until it is revised.

The three Kurdish provinces want more autonomy than the majority Shiites are likely to approve.

Shabout said the meetings were attended by clerics Mohammed Ishak Sayed, Mohammed Said Al-Hakim and Grand Ayatollah Sayed Ali al-Sistani.

In addition to Rubaie and Bahrululum, council members who attended the meetings were Adnan Chalabi, Adel Abdul Mehdi, who is a spokesman for Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, and a spokesman for Ibrahim al-Jaafari.

The signing ceremony was originally to take place Wednesday but was delayed for three days during a mourning period for victims of suicide bombings in Baghdad and Karbala.

The council gathered for a pomp-filled ceremony Friday afternoon to sign the historic transitional constitution, but the disagreements delayed the event and the council adjourned eight hours later.

The document will be the law of the land while efforts are made to adopt a permanent constitution and to directly elect Iraqi leaders -- a period Senor said would begin July 1, when sovereignty is set to be transferred from the Coalition Provisional Authority to Iraq.

The interim constitution will not go into effect until given the go-ahead by Paul Bremer, the top civilian administrator in Iraq, who is expected to approve it.
19 posted on 03/08/2004 7:46:39 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Says Dossier to IAEA Not Meant to Be Complete

March 08, 2004
ABC News

VIENNA -- Iran's ambassador to the United Nations in Vienna said Monday a declaration it gave the U.N. watchdog in October, once described by Tehran as complete, was never intended to be a complete picture of Iran's atomic past.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of the U.N. nuclear agency's governing board, ambassador Pirooz Hosseini said Iranian officials had been "misquoted" by the press last year as saying the October dossier was complete.

"We were not at the time of October 21 to say everything, because what we announced at that time was based on our obligations under the Safeguards Agreement," he said, referring to an agreement permitting only limited U.N. inspections.

His comments contrasted with Iran's statements at the time.

Iran's former ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Ali Akbar Salehi, said on October 21 the declaration he gave IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei "fully discloses our past activities, peaceful activities, in the nuclear field."

ElBaradei said in remarks prepared for delivery at Monday's closed-door IAEA board meeting that Tehran's failure to include research into advanced "P2" centrifuges capable of producing weapons-grade uranium was a serious omission.

"I am seriously concerned that Iran's October declaration did not include any reference to its possession of P2 centrifuge designs and related (research and development), which in my view was a setback to Iran's stated policy of transparency," he said.

He urged Tehran to stop withholding information from the U.N. body and take "the initiative to provide all relevant information in full detail and in a prompt manner."
20 posted on 03/08/2004 7:47:28 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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