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Iranian Alert -- March 12, 2004 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD --Americans for Regime Change in Iran
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 3.12.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 03/11/2004 11:36:29 AM PST by DoctorZIn

The US media almost entirely ignores news regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran. As Tony Snow of the Fox News Network has put it, “this is probably the most under-reported news story of the year.” But most 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: caruba; 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 03/11/2004 11:36:32 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 03/11/2004 11:39:42 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
A Public Letter for the Attention of the 108th U.S. Congress

March 11, 2004
Washington Times
Commentary Section

Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran (SMCCDI)

President of the U.S. Senate
U.S. Vice-President
Richard Cheney

Speaker of the U.S.
House of Representatives
J. Dennis Hastert

Honorable members of the 108th U.S. Congress

Dear Vice President Cheney, Dear Speaker of the House Hastert, Dear members of the 108th Congress,

This letter is a view of concern with the fragmented U.S. policy toward the theocratic regime in Iran.

As prescribed by the U.S. Constitution, President George W. Bush has, on several occasions definitively outlined American policy toward the Islamic republic regime. These policies outlined by your respected President clearly clarify the outstanding issues of US consternation with the oligarchic and autocratic despotic governance in our country.

Coincident with President Bush's clarification of current Iranian regime issues of concern, your leaders from both houses of congress and executive branch advisors have also defined the same Islamic regime requirements that must be met, to revise U.S. sanctions or to establish any formal relation with an illegitimate regime.

It is without doubt, that a promulgated clarification of these policies and standards are needed, as a point of reference for a few in Congress as well as the Iranian people.

Distinguished members of the U.S. Congress,

The overwhelming national exasperation with the despotic regime in Iran, and the unprecedented geopolitical changes in Afghanistan and Iraq best defines our situation today. The eradication of brutal and renegade regimes in the two neighboring states by the U.S., and President George W. Bush's repeated public support of Iranian freedom lovers and secular forces are buoying belief that we can benefit from your strong support in our mission to free Iran. Through pragmatism and assertiveness, there is now a clear possibility of future regional accountability and peace, especially in Iran. It's stronger, with such knowledge and hope, that our countrymen are rising up, once again, against the mullahs' tyranny and their so-called reformists' demagoguery by employing all possible means of civil disobedience available.

A recent example of the Iranian peoples' will to free themselves of the despotic mullahs occured on February 20th, 2004, when the majority of voting age Iranians boycotted the sham elections the illegitimate regime attempted to perpetrate. Proving to the world that the mullahs' government is illegal and not based upon a popular representation basis. As amply reported, Iranians boycotted the sham election to show their disgust, and then proceeded to demonstrate and protest against the heavy-handed and brutal mullahcracy. Prior to that, the refusal of Iranians to support the so-called regime's reformists, who for seven years occupied the Iranian Parliament with their empty promises, demonstrates clearly that few, if any, still believe in the sham theory of reforms coming from within. The vast majority of our countrymen have made their point by sending a clear message to the World that "they want to totally rid themselves of this illegal and unreformable regime."

This clear message has since been reiterated by thousands of brave teachers and maverick Iranian Women who despite knowing the dangers defyied the regime by striking or celebrating the banned "Int.'l Women Day". More protest actions and shows of defiance are planned at the occasion of our upcoming banned ancestral and cultural events, which are qualified by the dogmatic mullahs as "pagan tradition".

So let it be said and understood once and for all that Iranians do not want a theocracy or a customized 'reformist' oligarchy. They want a real democracy! Let it also be understood that Iranians do not want to be associated with terror and fanaticism. They do, however, want to participate as a respected nation in a world of peace and prosperity!

Therefore, an unanimous message must be sent by the U.S. Congress and, especially, the U.S. State Department that, indeed, concurs and supports President Bush's Iranian statements. Your President's goals of helping our countrymen to, indeed, determine their own national destiny must be understood and scrupulously followed by all members of congress. It is also tantamount that the U.S. government firmly demand that the rest of the world, especially the European Union, eliminate its' often surreptitious and unlawful financial relations that effectively bankrolls the Islamic regime. Assisting the Iranian people cast off the despotic regime through a referendum under UN auspices and U.S. observation, as implemented in South Africa will legitimately determine the true will of the Iranian people.

It is also mandatory that the Theocratic regime's blood stained humanitarian record of repression be forwarded to the UN Security Council, following the upcoming UNCHR session. Appropriate UN actions must then be taken against this repressive and backward structure by the world community to resolve the human rights abuses the mullahs are committing.

Distinguished representatives of the noble American people,

In recent years Iranians have shown, on several occasions, their bravery despite persistent brutal regime repression. They have demonstrated their rejection of terrorism, and how they're striving for peace and freedom. Many of you surely remember the compassionate images from Iran following the Islamic terrorist atrocity of September 11th, 2001. The Iranian candlelight marchers were subjected to numerous vicious assaults by the regime's mercenaries and zealots sending a clear message of our people's deep humanitarianism, political maturity, and readiness to pay the ultimate price for freedom in our homeland and Worldwide peace.

But, despite all of these clear signals sent by the Iranian people, it appears that a few in the U.S. Congress, including the apparent democratic presidential hopeful, are still having doubts about the urgency of our situation and the true aspirations of our countrymen. Misguided Iranian neophytes, controversial fund raisers, and unscrupulous commercial circles lobbying congress for short-term benefit from this inhumane situation that exists for many Iranians encapsulates this Machiavellian scenario. They, your few errant colleagues, have closed their eyes and ears to the plight of our countrymen seeking freedom and democracy by demonstrating and projecting a muddled American position. Their course of action, unfortunately, borders on endorsing the mullahs' despotism. Oft heard comments and erroneous statements by your few politically motivated colleagues mislead and are an attempt to exploit and obfuscate the Iranian peoples aspirations of freedom. The regime's meetings and convivial dinners with your congressional brethren is misleadingly used by the tyrants to justify their brutal existence in Iran. The entire Machiavellian charade is paid for with the untold loss of Iranian lives, blood and suffering so your few colleagues can dream of establishing "meaningful" relations with the tyrants. Compounding their arrogance, we hear that they want to "repair the damages done by the Bush administration" by, effectively, appeasing and rewarding the terror masters.

Let it be clearly understood that the errant members of congress' actions are wrong, indecent, inhumane, and contrary to all principles members of both houses of US Congress have sworn to uphold! We do believe that the good hearted and noble people of America do not agree with this type of misrepresentation or controversial leadership!

We invite, once again, those few colleagues of yours to learn the real Iranian situation, and change their erroneous behavior. We beseech them to follow the path of their own distinguished colleagues, Messrs. John Cornyn, Sam Brownback, Norm Coleman, Jon Kyl and Robert Andrews, who well understand our people and their true aspirations. Furthermore, we invite them, once again, to assiduously adopt President Bush's correct and popularly acclaimed vision.

We do believe the Iranians' uncontested bravery and increasing civil disobedience will be able to bring the downfall of the mullahs and their so-called reformists alike. Unified pressure from the U.S. and the rest of the free World will expedite the downfall of the totality of the Islamic republic regime in a less bloody manner and with no need of any military intervention.

It is only by such common and clear policy that the US will assure its respected gained place in millions of Iranian hearts that are now languishing and awaiting a clear and firmer U.S. position. Without doubt, an unified US Congress official promulgation projecting President Bush's visions will quickly convince the absolute majority of appreciative Iranian masses and Iranian-Americans that America true to its principles, indeed, is ready to support their aspirations of freedom and want friendly relations with the people of Iran and not with its very shaky but dangerous oppressors.

It is only then and through the installation of a secular and popularly elected Iranian regime whose actions are accountable and transparent that the Middle East can be finally at peace. This ultimate hope will not be realized, until the Islamic republic regime is displaced with a government that does not promote backward and barbarian ideology and sponsors terrorism.

May God bless you in all your noble endeavors, in pursuit of America's founding fathers' ideals.


On behalf of SMCCDI,

Aryo B. Pirouznia (for the Committee)
3 posted on 03/11/2004 11:41:18 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
A Public Letter for the Attention of the 108th U.S. Congress

March 11, 2004
Washington Times
Commentary Section
4 posted on 03/11/2004 11:42:10 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Alarm Raised Over Quality of Uranium Found in Iran

March 11, 2004
The New York Times
Craig S. Smith

IENNA -- United Nations nuclear inspectors have found traces of extremely highly enriched uranium in Iran, of a purity reserved for use in a nuclear bomb, European and American diplomats said Wednesday.

Among traces that inspectors detected last year are some refined to 90 percent of the rare 235 isotope, the diplomats said. While the International Atomic Energy Agency has previously reported finding "weapons grade" traces, it has not revealed that some reached such a high degree of enrichment.

The presence of such traces raises the stakes in the international debate over Iran's nuclear program and increases the urgency of determining the uranium's origin. If the enrichment took place in Iran, it means the country is much further along the road to becoming a nuclear weapons power than even the most aggressive intelligence estimates anticipated.

Iran has said that its nuclear program is for purely peaceful purposes, while the United States contends it has secretly tried to produce nuclear weapons. The atomic agency is expected to vote Friday on a resolution criticizing Iran for lack of candor about its nuclear efforts.

Iran has said that all of the highly enriched uranium found on its nuclear facilities was contamination that occurred before imported equipment arrived in the country. Iranian officials said they could not identify the origin of the contamination because the equipment was imported through middlemen in five countries.

I.A.E.A. officials said the contamination may have originated in Pakistan. Abdul Qadeer Khan, a Pakistani nuclear weapons scientist, has admitted secretly supplying uranium enrichment equipment to Iran and other nations. The agency has asked Pakistan for permission to take environmental samples from its enrichment facilities to see if they match the weapons-grade traces in Iran. "Pakistan could let Iran off the I.A.E.A. hook," said a European diplomat here.

American officials argue that traces of such highly enriched uranium, regardless of their origin, are another disturbing clue to what they believe are Iran's hidden ends.

"What it shows is that they have a system that is capable of producing weapons grade uranium," said an American official speaking from Washington. "If it's an assembly that was removed from Pakistan or elsewhere, it's already battle tested," he said.

On Wednesday, Iran's defense minister, Ali Shamkhani, acknowledged for the first time that the Iranian military had produced centrifuges to enrich uranium, the Associated Press reported from Teheran. He said they were manufacturing unsophisticated models for civilian users. The admission came after the I.A.E.A. presented Iran with evidence that some of its nuclear activities were taking place on military bases.

"It's rather strange, don't you think, that the military gets involved in the electric-power generating business?" asked one senior American official. "Or that they forgot to mention this before, when they were `fully disclosing' all details of their program?" American officials are lobbying hard to keep international pressure on Iran.

An I.A.E.A. resolution on Libya, passed by the agency's board of governors on Wednesday, is part of that campaign. The resolution, negotiated by the United States, Britain and Libya in London last week, praises Libya for swiftly dismantling the nuclear weapons program discovered last year. But the resolution's key paragraph calls for the agency to report Libya's past breaches of the Nonproliferation Treaty to the United Nations Security Council.

"The trap is sprung," said a senior American administration official speaking from Washington, saying that the Libyan resolution sets a precedent for future I.A.E.A. resolutions on Iran. "It makes it very hard not to at some point address Iran's breaches by referring them to the Security Council," he said.

The United States has been lobbying since late last year to threaten Iran with Security Council scrutiny if it continued to withhold information on the scope of its nuclear program. Britain, France and Germany have resisted making an explicit threat for fear that it would anger Iran and hinder future cooperation.

Iran warned Wednesday that American-led criticism could "complicate" its relations with the I.A.E.A. "America is taking advantage of any opportunity to put pressure on Iran," Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said in Teheran, the Associated Press reported. "Unfortunately the I.A.E.A. is sometimes influenced in this regard."

Mr. Kharrazi was quoted as saying that Iran would resume enriching uranium for peaceful purposes once its relations with the I.A.E.A. "return to normal."

David E. Sanger contributed reporting from Washington for this article.
5 posted on 03/11/2004 11:43:07 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Ultimately A Regime Change Will Defuse Iran's Nuclear Threat

March 11, 2004
David Johnson

What does it take for the European Union’s Big-3 (Britain, France, and Germany) to conclude that Iran indeed possesses a nuclear weapons program?

Given their lucrative trade relations and regional geopolitical rivalries with the United States, the EU-3 may believe they have legitimate reasons for leniency towards Tehran, but the specter of an Iran – the most active state sponsor of terrorism – armed with nuclear weapons is too frightening and too destabilizing to let appeasers in the EU to take the lead. The US must demonstrate firm leadership to prevent mullahs’ from reaching the nuclear point of no return.

The board of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is meeting this week and Iran is at the top of the agenda. The IAEA’s Iran report released last week, short of an actual bomb attached to it, leaves no doubt that Tehran does have a nuclear weapons program.

Late last year, after 18 years of deception and double talk, Iran was forced to acknowledge it had been secretly developing a nuclear capability, in violation of relevant non-proliferation protocols. The IAEA’s report last year chronicled staggering breaches of Iran’s obligations to its international commitments. The details of Iran’s secret activities provided a stunning picture of a strategic and sophisticated program which began in the mid-80s. As Gary Samore of the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London, said: "This is unquestionably a bomb program… The purpose is to develop a weapons material capability. Nothing else makes sense given the scale of Iran's nuclear power program."

In November, however, in what amounted to just a slap on the wrist, the IAEA board opted not to sanction Iran for those breaches. The last minute intervention by the EU-3’s foreign ministers provided some breathing room for Iran’s rulers. Although there were ample indications that the mullahs had no intention of saying farewell to their nuclear weapons program, the EU-3 hailed the deal brokered with Tehran as a big victory. Most experts scoffed at the idea, saying that the deal was full of loopholes and wiggle room for Iran, and would provide the mullahs a fig leaf with which to buy time and continue to play their hide-and-cheat game with the IAEA.

The European Union is by far Iran's biggest trade partner, accounting for 28 % of Iran's exports and imports in 2001, more than twice as much as second-place Japan. And the French banks are the No.1 lender to Iran, having lent Tehran about $2.5 billion.

Tehran’s past conduct and attempt to exert its dominance in the Gulf region, leaves no doubt that it has strategic goals in developing nuclear arms. In the mid-1980’s, Tehran’s leaders came to the conclusion that they needed a non-conventional arsenal to gain the upper hand in the region and fulfill their hegemonic desires, and adopted asymmetric warfare as the cornerstone of their military doctrine. It would be naïve to suggest that Iran's rulers have since had a change of heart.

And far from suggestions that mullahs are now willingly cooperating with the IAEA, it was the intense international pressure following last year’s revelations by the Iranian opposition group, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, and subsequent IAEA inspections of nuclear sites in cities of Natanz, Arak and Tehran, that forced the clerics to buckle under.

Now, more than three months of IAEA’s scrutiny of Iran’s nuclear program has revealed more startling facts about Tehran’s nuclear facilities and know-how. Typical of Mr. Mohammed ElBaradei, the IAEA Director General, he put the most optimistic face on this damning report, describing a “sea of change” in Iran’s cooperation with the agency.

The recent report shows that Iran has been running multiple uranium-enrichment programs, none of which were originally declared to the IAEA’s inspectors. Several were kept secret even after the last November agreement. The IAEA also reported that Iran’s Military Industrial Organization (MIO) was directing some nuclear activity. This revelation undermined Tehran’s claims about running a civilian nuclear program. Indeed, it was again the Iranian opposition, the National Council of Resistance, which originally revealed last July that the MIO had a new nuclear site at a military facility near Tehran where centrifuge equipment for processing enriched uranium was installed.

Despite these revelations, the EU gave Iran yet another fig leaf; it rejected a U.S. push to refer Iran’s nuclear file to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions. “The EU-3 has hijacked the process," one U.S. official told Reuters, adding “there are countries out there who are always going to give Iran the benefit of the doubt.” So it seems the clerics will continue to deceive and lie while the EU continues to appease and pat the mullahs on the back.

America’s national security interests and Middle East stability are far too important to be left in the hands of the EU-3. This is where U.S. leadership must remain unwavering in its demand that the Security Council take up Tehran’s nuclear breaches. It must keep tightening the screws on Tehran and not allow the clerics to squirm their way out. If Iran, “the most active state sponsor of terrorism,” acquires a nuclear weapon, it would only be a matter of time until the terrorist groups it supports will also have access to them.

In the long term, however, only a regime change will ensure that Iran will be free of weapons of mass destruction. Simultaneous with its efforts in the IAEA, the US administration should increase its support of the democracy movement in Iran and embrace democratic opposition forces that are working to oust the ruling mullahs. For now, Iran’s breach of its nuclear obligations must be referred to the United Nations. Anything short of a referral is leniency. No, it is lunacy.

David Johnson is a co-founder of the US Alliance for Democratic Iran and its Director of Operations.
6 posted on 03/11/2004 11:43:44 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Scores of Iranian Kurds Arrested after Demonstrations

March 10, 2004

Tehran -- Around 100 Iranian Kurds were arrested after staging demonstrations to show their solidarity with Iraqi Kurds following the signing of Iraq's new interim constitution, two ethnic Kurdish MPs told AFP.

"Over the past few days, residents of several Kurdish towns have taken to the street to show their joy and their solidarity with the Iraqi Kurds, who have gained the right of autonomy after years of repression," said Jalal Jalalizadeh, a deputy from the western Iranian town of Sanandaj.

"In many of the towns, security forces acted quickly, but unfortunately in some towns the demonstrators committed riotous acts and the police arrested around 100 people as a result," he said.

According to the MP, unrest was seen in the towns of Mahabad, Boukan and Marivan, with some protestors demanding "democracy in Iran and autonomy for Iranian Kurdistan".

Under the interim Iraqi constitution signed in Baghdad on Monday, Iraqi Kurdistan will retain its federal status, while Kurdish is recognised as one of the two official languages of Iraq.

On Wednesday, the hardline Jomhuri Islami newspaper also reported unrest in Kurdish towns, and quoted a police statement from Marivan as saying that a politician barred from standing in last month's parliament elections was among those detained.

The paper also said the demonstrators destroyed a statue of a young Iranian killed in the 1980-88 war with Iraq and used by the Islamic regime here as a symbol of devotion and sacrifice to the revolution.

"Apparently the inhabitants did destroy the statue," Jalalizadeh said. "For several years they have been asking for the erection of a statue of the great poet of Marivan, Mohammad Khanegh who died 30 years ago, but this has been refused."

Another Sanandaj MP, Bahayedin Adad, said that in the town of Boukan some 20 people were arrested, and 15 injured.

Iran has an estimated six million Kurds, and successive central governments in Tehran have consistently shown little mercy towards any moves in the Kurdish regions towards independence.

The area was the scene of heavy fighting after the 1979 revolution between Kurdish separatists and the regime.

The Islamic regime has also in the past made deals with the two main Iraqi Kurd parties -- the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) -- that Iranian Kurdish opposition groups based across the border are kept on a tight leash.

Iran Monday welcomed the signing of Iraq's interim constitution but failed to comment on its contents, which as well as guaranteeing Kurdish autonomy give only a supporting role to Islam.
7 posted on 03/11/2004 11:44:28 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Overplaying Sistani

March 11, 2004
National Review Online
Abu Ayad

A Western media giant.

One year ago, the name Ali Sistani was forbidden in Iraqi newspapers. Today, a whisper from the grand ayatollah's house sends Western journalists scrambling, their Iraqi stringers ordered into action. To journalists, and armchair pundits, the reality of Sistani's influence is irrelevant. What matters is what thousands of Americans living isolated in their cocoon beyond the walls of the Green Zone believe, or what is believed by the CNN and BBC reporters who seldom venture out from their luxury hotels. English-speaking Iraqis cringe at the simplistic generalizations we see on Western television.

The Sistani you see and the Sistani we see are, in many ways, two different people.

Let me be clear: Sistani has always been a peaceful spiritual figure. He treaded carefully during Saddam Hussein's reign. Saddam's ego was immense; he was wary of anyone who might challenge his iconoclastic presence. Would-be political leaders had three choices: They could flee Iraq, they could distance themselves from politics, or they could be co-opted by the regime. Some did all three. Indeed, most Iraqis believe that the murder last April of Sayyid Majid al-Khoie — the son of the late Grand Ayatollah al-Khoie — transpired, in part, because he twice met Saddam prior to his 1991 flight to exile.

Many Iraqis besides Sistani have called for direct elections. But it would be a mistake to assume that all Iraqis — let alone all Shia — support the grand ayatollah, or see democracy as simplistically as he does. I represent a mixed Sunni-Shia area in Baghdad. My constituents understand that fair elections are impossible without safety and security. No one will wait in a line to vote if he fears being mowed down by Shia militias like the Badr Corps, which, far from disarming, Ambassador Paul Bremer has actually encouraged. The American decision to fill the ranks of the new Iraqi police force with Badr Corps members — more loyal to the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq than to the idea of Iraqi democracy — is one sign of this. The same thugs who sought to impose an Iranian dress code on Iraqi women now have U.S.-issued weapons and roam streets and university campuses harassing women and girls. As long as the Badr Corps move uncontrolled, elections will not be possible. Democracy is about tolerance and compromise, not enforcing pro-Iranian dictates from the barrel of a gun.

Iraqi professionals are acutely aware of the lack of any law that would govern elections for any level of government. It is one of the reasons that Iraqis joke that "CPA," the acronym for the Coalition Provisional Authority, really stands for "Can't Provide Anything." I'd guess that most of the crowds for hire, paid by some Shia political parties to rally around Sistani's beck and call, are also aware that elections are impossible at this juncture. I am not too pessimistic, because Iraq does have an atavistic memory of a more democratic period. Unfortunately, it has been 60 years since we have experienced and practiced such free expression.

Sistani's statements have done little good for Iraqi democracy. Rather, his calls appear timed to bolster his own image above those of competing populists. I do not deny Sistani's religious importance; there is no doubt that religiously, the Shia are better organized. But such organization does not necessarily translate into a powerful voting block. Iraq has the most educated population of any Arab country: Iraqi Shia doctors, dentists, and engineers may be respectful to Sistani because of his age and learning, but would laugh at the idea that they should take political advice from a man who was born in Iran and hasn't been out of his house in decades. When John F. Kennedy was campaigning to be president of the United States, some in the media suggested that a Catholic president would take orders from the pope. The reality is far different: Such a thing would never happen in America, and Iraqis resent the implication from Western journalists that it will happen here. We also resent the implication — from so-called experts in the U.S. State Department and British Foreign Office — that the only "legitimate" Shia are those wearing turbans, just as we resent the view that "legitimate" Sunnis are those who set off bombs and explosives.

There are other reasons why Iraqis resent the implication that as Sistani says, so Iraq will do. First of all, Iraqi Sunnis question the assumption that the Shia are the majority in Iraq. The Shia sparsely populate the south, while the Sunnis live in concentrated clusters. Anyone who has visited the environs of Baquba, Tikrit, Mosul, or Fallujah, and compared them to the suburbs of Karbala, Najaf, or Kut, will notice the difference immediately. If there is one lesson for the West, it should be to not trust the estimates of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Sistani may have the bully pulpit, but opponents seek to undermine his base daily. Iranian agents have free run of Iraq, thanks to Ambassador Bremer's failure to close the borders. The Islamic Republic of Iran bases its legitimacy on the fallacy that its unelected Supreme Leader has religious legitimacy. The United States has made many mistakes in Iraq, but they have given us freedom of speech. This frightens the Iranian mullahs, who fear that Sistani will muck around in Iranian politics, just as he now does in Iraq. The irony is that Sistani may even have a greater following in his home country, Iran, than in Iraq. These Iranian agents — from the Qods Force, Revolutionary Guards, and Iranian intelligence service — seek to muzzle Sistani, just as the Iranian regime has muzzled Grand Ayatollah Montazeri and dissident voices from Qom. Iraqis want real democracy, not the farce that is Iranian democracy.

Sistani may have trouble translating his calls into action. Most Iraqis do not take the old man literally, but rather see him as a symbol. Shut tight within the walls of Saddam's palace, Ambassador Bremer has failed to translate American promises into reality. Sunnis and Shia alike may be grateful for Iraq's liberation, but that does not mean we want to give the Americans a carte blanche. If American policy continues to move aimlessly, Iraqi nationalism will grow. By kowtowing to his beck and call, the Americans have bolstered Sistani's prestige. Sistani has tasted power and likes it. He will use his bully pulpit to voice Iraq's frustration. It would be a mistake, however, for America to overestimate Sistani: He is a barometer, nothing more. To treat Sistani with anything more than polite respect will only antagonize the vast majority of Iraqis — Sunnis and Shia alike — upon whom the new Iraq will be built.

— Abu Ayad is the pseudonym for an Iraqi Arab Sunni who sits on a Baghdad district council.
8 posted on 03/11/2004 11:45:12 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Caving In to the Mullahs

March 11, 2004
The Wall Street Journal
Review & Outlook

With new evidence of Iran's nuclear deceptions emerging almost daily, it is troubling that Europe seemed to have coaxed the U.S. into yet another wrist-slapping exercise. At the board meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna Tuesday, Washington gave in to European demands and agreed in a draft resolution to tone down criticism of Iran's clandestine nuclear program and even praise Teheran's "cooperation" with the IAEA.

Yet there is no longer any doubt that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons. Hassan Rohani, of the Supreme Council for National Security, practically admitted as much: "We want Iran to be recognized as a member of the nuclear club, that means Iran be recognized as a country having the nuclear fuel cycle, and enriching uranium."

The issue is how to deal with the problem. As always, Europe is more interested in process than results and wants to keep the dialogue alive. Many Europeans like to distance themselves from gung-ho Americans, advocating instead traditional diplomacy, preferably of the multilateral kind. Multilateral is eurospeak for any initiative that enjoys French and German approval.

That's why they were so quick to congratulate each other last October, when the British, French and German foreign ministers appeared to have struck a deal with Teheran. In return for European technical assistance, Iran pledged to come clean on its nuclear program.

But recently, IAEA inspectors found designs for hitherto undeclared advanced uranium enrichment facilities and polonium, a radioactive element for triggering nuclear weapons. So it seems diplomacy isn't working so well after all. British Prime Minister Tony Blair remarked himself in his recent defense of the Iraq war: "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?" In other words, the few, albeit questionable results the trip to Teheran produced, such as Iran's promise to allow intrusive inspections, weren't really the fruits of French foreign minister Dominique de Villepin's labor but rather "collateral benefit" from disposing of the butcher from Baghdad.

But even with thousands of U.S. troops breathing down the mullahs' necks, Iran seems determined to soft-pedal the negotiations and to draw them out. Europe's diplomacy, ostensibly designed to bring about a peaceful solution, is so inadequate that it may actually create a situation where nothing short of military intervention will stop the Iranians from acquiring the ultimate weapon.

To quote Mr. Blair again: "This is not a time for the cynicism of the worldly wise who favor playing it long." Unfortunately, when it comes to Iran, Mr. Blair too favors playing it long, even though Iran may only be a year or two from having the bomb. So time is certainly on Teheran's side.

What should concentrate the minds of the diplomats is that Iran already possesses the delivery capability to hit Israel, European targets and soon also the U.S. Iran is working on putting satellites into orbit, which would give it the technology to launch intercontinental missiles. Not to speak of the possibility of Iran passing on nuclear material to terrorists for a "dirty bomb" that could go off anywhere in the world.

If diplomacy is to have any chance, the Western world needs to up the ante. All the Europeans are telling the Iranians at the moment is that if they don't play ball the EU won't sign an extended trade agreement. But Teheran knows that with its current human rights record and last month's sham elections, even the EU couldn't justify extending economic ties.

Europe must be willing to drag Iran before the U.N. Security Council. It must threaten economic sanctions and go through with them if necessary. Given that Europe is Iran's biggest trading partner, this would seriously hurt the mullahs. Iran clearly wants to muscle its way into the select fraternity of nuclear-armed nations. But if the weak-kneed "diplomacy" of the West allows that to happen, we may as well write off non-proliferation policy and let everyone who wants to extract nuclear blackmail in the door.
9 posted on 03/11/2004 11:45:38 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Caving In to the Mullahs

March 11, 2004
The Wall Street Journal
Review & Outlook
10 posted on 03/11/2004 11:46:17 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
The Clerics Lash Back as Iranians Question Their Legitimacy VIGOROUS ATTACKS

Iran By Alan Peters, Contributing Editor

ON THE CREDIBILITY and legitimacy of the clerical leadership in Iran have continued to mount since the February 20, 2004, Majlis (Parliament) elections which, despite the removal of so-called “reformists” from the ballot, still failed to attract a meaningful voter turn-out. The elections showed the extent of electoral fraud to which the clerics were forced to turn, highlighting their tenuous hold on power. There are now signs that the underpinnings of the clerics will be attacked still further, especially as evidence is now available showing even that their claims to religious authority are open to question.

The late Soviet leader Joseph Stalin once said: “It’s not who votes, but who counts the votes”, a maxim which has found resonance in the February 20, 2004, Iranian national elections. A substantial cadre of ballot officials, directly answerable to the hard-line clerical leadership of Supreme Leader Ali Hoseini-Khamene‘i, “counted” the votes and issued results which almost nobody in Iran or abroad really believed to be accurate. 2

The credibility of the February 20, 2004, elections was essentially further undermined when observers saw already half-filled ballot boxes “stuffed with fake votes” transferred into polling stations on election day, and artificial crowds created by reducing the number of available ballot boxes at each location to create long lines and the appearance of a large turnout. This deception was bolstered by “rent-a-crowd” groups of black “chadored” women who were called into action when any one of the 300 foreign journalists, covering the elections, appeared at a polling station.

Tehran sources report that 54 full ballot boxes disappeared and that initially the Interior Ministry offered “correct” voter turnout figures showing an attendance of about 11 percent in Tehran. This task was taken away from the Interior Ministry and the tally given as more than 30 percent for the capital and a touch more than 50 percent for the nation. Missing from all statistics are the huge number of blank votes cast by Government employees and students forced to vote to receive a “voted” stamp in their ID cards, without which they could face future difficulties. Reformers and opposition groups of all kinds, including the leftist Iran Mujahedin Organization calculated that the hardliners only truly had the support of about 10 to 15 percent of Iran’s voters. What bears watching more than the struggle between the hardliners and the so-called “reformers” is the turmoil, rising from the political depths, which threatens to destabilize the status quo in Iran far beyond the earlier student unrest and which now targets the legitimacy of the Islamic coup itself.

“Reformers”, with nothing left to lose and outraged by the disqualification of their candidates and the resultant takeover by the hardliners of the only nationally- elected government body, have begun to poise an attack at disqualifying the ruling clerics’ claim to any legitimacy; to even be in power, let alone rule. Diplomatic sources speculate that a significant nudge in this direction could well result in a speedy downfall of the Iranian clerics.

Supreme Ruler Ali Khamene‘i’s authority and ability to govern has been publicly and directly questioned in an unprecedented open letter written by members of the Majlis (parliament) and widely publicized outside Iran. Two Iranian newspapers, Yaass Noh and Shargh, which reprinted the letter within the country, were immediately closed down. This essentially unprecedented confrontation against the clerical leadership of Iran signaled an attempt to cut the clerics off at the knees rather than dispute election details or the misuse of existing power structures. Nor are the hardliners still a monolithic group, sharing the same religious and ideological aims and opinions, as was the case when “Ayatollah” Ruhollah Khomeini was alive and in charge after the 1979 collapse of the Imperial Government.

Khomeini had demonstrated an unbending, single-minded resolve and capability to hold all institutions and individuals in line, but now, previously concealed dissent among the major players has sprung to the fore. When the veil of “democratic and fair elections” was torn away by the hardliners, it revealed more than was intended. Significantly, the former President of Iran and head of the Expediency Council and international businessman “Ayatollah” Abbas Hashemi Rafsanjani has also openly announced his policy disagreement with Ali Khamene‘i over talks with the US, citing sorrow that Khamene‘i’s clinging to Khomeini’s anti-US edicts rather than to pragmatic policy, had stifled Iran’s ability to advance politically. Religious scholars can find no basis for Ali Khamene‘i’s self-awarded ayatollah title nor of Rafsanjani’s use of that appellation. Nor Khomeini’s, though he was artificially elevated and granted use of Ayatollah to save his life.

With all bets off, the reformers have now struck at the heart of the revolution and are insisting on an inquiry into the disappearance of Grand Ayatollah Mussa Sadr, some 25-years ago, during a visit to Libya.3 The Iranian born leader of the Lebanese Shia was revered and respected above all others in the Shia world. He refused to accept Ruhollah Khomeini as an ayatollah and with the influence Mussa Sadr enjoyed, he became an insurmountable obstacle to Khomeini’s political plans, and of those who supported the overthrow of the Shah and needed a despot like Khomeini to be their cat’s paw. Grand Ayatollah Sadr’s mysterious disappearance in Libya – his body was never found – opened the way for Khomeini to “invade” Iran, which accurately describes the action of a foreign national taking over a country in which he was neither born nor had any Persian blood in his veins at all, paternally or maternally. While one devout Iranian in California speaks of Khomeini reverently as a “great man, similar to Hitler”, other less friendly Persians liken him to an invader like Genghis Khan, the Mongol scourge.

Unable to strike at the hardliners on an uneven playing field, the “reformers” have now begun an all-out assault on their former clerical allies. The cornerstone and founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, from which the present leaders draw their legitimacy to govern, was Khomeini and the structure which he put in place. However, there is compelling evidence that Ruhollah Khomeini was never an Iranian in the first place and had no right to inflict his policies on the Iranian people. Nor was his elevation to the title of ayatollah anything more than a political, face-saving expediency to prevent his being hanged for treason in 1964.

Considerable effort was made in 1979 to eradicate evidence of any record of either Khomeini’s non-Iranian origins and the source of his use of the title of ayatollah, and one of the first actions which Khomeini took, within hours of his return to Iran after the Shah left, was to execute two prominent men who were living proof of his origin and also of his false ayatollah status. One of these was Gen. Hassan Pakravan, Head of SAVAK, the Imperial Iranian national intelligence and security organization.

Furthermore he immediately tried to assassinate the highly-respected Ayatollah Shariatmadari, who, with Ayatollah Golpayegani, had in 1964 granted Khomeini the false title. They had agreed to allow Khomeini—then literally awaiting death on charges of treason — to be called an ayatollah to save his life: it was forbidden to execute an ayatollah. This took place in 1964 at the urging of the British Ambassador to Iran and Gen. Pakravan, when a face-saving legal reason had to be found not to hang Khomeini for treason. It is known that Pakravan had fought hard to avoid Khomeini’s execution at that time.

Later, when the 1979 assassination attempt failed against Shariatmadari, Shariatmadari, far higher in the religious hierarchy than Khomeini, was placed, incommunicado and under house arrest, without the right to preach or receive visitors other than a handful of close relatives, whose anti-Khomeini statements could be easily impugned as biased.

Recent reports from Tehran showed the death fatwa (religious edict or opinion) issued against British author Salman Rushdi by Khomeini for writing an “anti-Islamic” book and cancelled a few years ago, had been reinstated to warn journalists or writers the clerics cannot directly control, that they risked death at the hands of devout Moslem fanatics if they uttered a word against the rulers in Iran or weakened their standing by revealing the illegitimate provenance of their power and thus contest their right to impose their theocratic despotism on a reluctant people. Few contest that Khomeini’s mother was a Kashmiri Indian, but even fewer — Iranians or otherwise—know his father’s origins or his real name. The late Iranian Senator Moussavi, who represented Khuzestan Province in Southern Iran, at the time of the monarchy, knew Khomeini’s father and his four sons well, looked after their needs, used his influence to obtain their Iranian identity cards with fictitious dates and places of birth to avoid military service. Sen. Moussavi died for this help, on Khomeini’s personal orders, immediately on this mullah’s return from France after the 1979 coup.

SAVAK chief Gen. Pakravan, the man who saved Khomeini’s life in 1964, was taken that same night onto the roof of his house and shot to death for having compiled a complete background file on Khomeini. The SAVAK background file still exists, as a senior SAVAK official, who defected and joined SAVAMA (the clerics’ equivalent of the SAVAK) took possession of it. This same man was reportedly head of SAVAMA in the US for quite some time, and sources indicate that he has kept the file “for a rainy day”.

Why did Khomeini return to Iran with such a bloodthirsty mind set? It seems clear that it was to exact the revenge which he said he would have. Prior to his return to Iran in 1979, Khomeini openly stated that he would kill as many Iranians — he considered everyone in Iran guilty in advance —as there were hairs on the head of his son, killed in a car accident, but in his mind killed by Iranian authorities. Unable to provide an acceptable paternal background for Khomeini, a story was concocted to link his paternal heritage to that of his Kashmiri Indian mother and introduced an Indian-born father (also from Kashmir) but of Iranian heritage. In fact, no such person existed. But someone with similar and misleading characteristics certainly did, which could lend credence to
this fiction of an Indian father.

Khomeini’s real father, William Richard Williamson, was born in Bristol, England, in 1872 of British parents and lineage. This detail is based on first-hand evidence from a former Iranian employee of the Anglo- Iranian Oil Company (later British Petroleum: BP), who worked with and met the key players of this saga. This fact was supported by the lack of a denial in 1979 by Col.Archie Chisholm, a BP political officer and former editor at The Financial Times, when interviewed on the subject at his home in County Cork, Ireland, by a British newspaper.

The then-78-year old Chisholm stated: “I knew Haji [as Williamson was later known] well; he worked for me. He certainly went native – but whether he is Khomeini’s father I could not say.” Would not an outright, ridiculing denial have been the natural response, were there no truth to the British paternity? From someone who “knew Haji [and thus the truth] well”?

Chisholm obviously wished to avoid a statement leading to political controversy or possible personal retribution in the very year Khomeini took over in Iran. Nor as a former, experienced political officer himself would he be willing to drag Britain into the new Middle East conflict. But neither was he prepared to provide an outright lie instead of his “no comment”.

How it all happened: A stocky, handsome, dark-haired Bristol boy, Richard Williamson ran away to sea at the age of 13 as a cabin boy, on a ship bound for Australia. However, he jumped ship before he got there. Little is known about him until he showed up, at the age of 20, in Aden at the Southern end of the Arabian Peninsula in South Yemen, where he joined the local police force. His good looks soon had Sultan Fazl bin-Ali, ruler of Lahej, persuading him to quit the police force to live with him. Richard later left him for another Sheikh, Youssef Ebrahim, a relative of the Al- Sabah family, which rules Kuwait today.

A few points should be remembered about the Persian Gulf and Arabian Peninsula area at that time.

Regional countries like Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia and so forth did not exist as sovereign entities and were artificially created about 70 years ago by the British and French governments when they partitioned the area. Iran, or Persia as it was called, was soon to be controlled by Russian Cossacks in the North and the British Army in the South, although technically it remained an independent monarchy under the largely absentee Qajar dynasty. British military presence in Iran was under Lt.-Col. Sykes (later Sir Percy Sykes), based in Shiraz, but politically controlled by Sir Arnold Wilson in Khorramshahr (then called Mohammareh) with assistance from E. Elking- ton in Masjid-Suleiman and Dr Young, based in Ahwaz. All three were cities in Khuzestan Province, which was later represented by Senator Moussavi. Col. T.E. Lawrence, who gained fame as “Lawrence of Arabia”, operated out of Basra in Mesopotamia (Iraq) and Khorramshahr during this same period.

Oilfields, far beyond the technological capability of the Arab tribes (or Persia) to develop or appreciate as a valuable commodity, were being discovered and exploited by the British, including via the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, formed to siphon off oil from Khuzestan Province in Southern Iran.

Kuwait, on the other side of the Persian Gulf was still not a country at the time. As the major player in the Middle East oil industry, Britain had to exert influence and control through its political and oil personnel. Haji Abdollah Williamson became one of these in 1924 when he joined British Petroleum as political officer. He retired under that same name in 1937, at the age of 65.

Earlier, in what is now Kuwait, Richard Williamson had very quickly converted to Islam and adopted the first name of Abdollah. Family names were still unusual and “son of the son of”or “son of a type of worker or craftsman” was still commonly used to identify people. For 14 years he had lived among the Bedouin tribes on the Arabian Peninsula and in 1895 and 1898 he went on pilgrimages to Mecca, took on the rightful title of Haji and took on his first benefactor’s name of Fazl, adding Zobeiri to it as a distin- guisher. ThusWilliam Richard Williamson became Haji Abdollah Fazl Zobeiri.

During his service with British Petroleum in the Persian Gulf, Haji Abdollah took his vacations in Indian Kashmir, to rest from the relentless Gulf heat and in this timeframe married at least seven times — to Arab and Indian women — each under Muslim marriage rituals. He sired 13 children of whom seven were boys and the rest girls with most of the children dying in early childhood. His repeated Kashmir excursions and Indian wives and use of the name Abdollah Fazl Zobeiri probably give rise to the “Kashmir Indian” father misconception. With dark-haired Haji Abdol- lah a fanatically devout Muslim, a characteristic he imposed on his children, this fervent religious attitude and Arab nomenclature would not normally be an expected combination for a foreigner, especially an Englishman. He insisted his four surviving sons attend religious school inNajaf (in Iraq) under the tutelage of Ayatollahs Yazdi (meaning of the city of Yazd) and Shirazi (of the city of Shiraz). Two of them, Hindizadeh (meaning Indian born) and Passandideh (meaning pleasing or approved) studied well and eventually became ayatollahs in their own right.

The third boy, a troublesome young man, failed to make his mark in Najaf and went to the Iranian holy city of Qom, where he studied under Ayatollah Boroujerdi. When family names became a requirement by law under His Majesty Reza Shah, the young man chose the city of his residence—Khomein—as the designator and took on the name Khomeini (meaning “of Khomein”).

The fourth son hated theology and went across the Persian Gulf to Kuwait and opened up two gas (petrol) stations using the paternal family name of Haji Ali Williamson, though it is unclear if he ever performed the Haj pilgrimage. This in itself links Khomeini — through that brother —with Haji Williamson. Why, otherwise, would Rouhallah Khomeini’s undisputed brother use the Williamson family name?

The patriarch of this brood, Haji Abdollah Fazl Zobeiri (aka Haji Abdollah Williamson in BP), was thrown out of Iran by Reza Shah along with three other British political officers for anti-Iranian activity and joined his son in Kuwait. Here he took on the duties of Oil Distribution for the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. With his longstanding contacts in the Arab world and his Muslim religion, he forced a 50/50 agreement between US oil interests in Kuwait and the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company as well as in 1932 pursuing the exclusive exploration rights for British Petroleum in Abu Dhabi.

His lack of a formal education forced British Petroleum to send out Archie H. T. Chisholm (see above), a senior executive, to conclude the Abu Dhabi contract and together with Haji Abdollah’s political influence they overcame competition from Major Frank Holmes, Sheikh Hussein and Mohammad Yateen to successfully land the exclusive contract. Chisholm, as he said, got to know Khomeini’s father well. Back in Iran again in 1960, Khomeini saw an opportunity to exact revenge for his father having been thrown out of Iran and to impose his Islamic fundamentalist philosophy onto an Iran struggling with budget problems, caused mostly by its oil being in the control of foreign oil companies, which decided — not Iran — how much oil the country was allowed to produce and at what price it had to be sold. With his own and his family’s theological background, he began to foment an anti-monarchy revolt through the mosques, which by 1964 resulted in imposition of martial law and finally with his arrest and his being sentenced to death by hanging. And consequently being given the life-saving ayatollah title which he had not earned.

After formally being exiled to Turkey, he ended up in Iraq where he wrote some philosophical and social behavior dissertations which were so bizarre by religious standards that, where possible, the tracts were bought up and destroyed by the Iranian Government when he took over in 1979. The most damning were in Arabic language versions and then later, “cleaner” texts appeared as edited translations in Farsi.

Some linguists, who studied his public speeches in 1979 and 1980, concluded his Farsi vocabulary to be less than 200 words, so not only did he not have Persian blood, he did not even speak the language. With the number of Iranians who have died because of him and his successors over the past 25 years going into the hundreds of thousands, if not well over a million if the death toll from the eight-year Iran-Iraq war is included, this Anglo-Indian with
Arab Sunni Muslim theological and philosophical roots may have had no love or compassion for Iranians either. In the Iran Air aircraft flying Khomeini back from France to Tehran in early 1979, with cameras rolling, a journalist asked: “What do you feel about returning to Iran?” He replied: “Nothing!” The question was repeated, and again he replied: “Nothing!”

1. Alan Peters is the nom de plume of a correspondent who spent many years engaged in security and intelligence issues in Iran. This report is copyright © 2004 by Alan Peters. 2. See Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily February 23, 2004: Iranian Elections Reinforce Short- Term Clerical Grip; Heighten Political Instability. 3. Editor’s note: See Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily March 1, 2004: Iranian Leadership Seeks Ways to Circumvent IAEA, and to Suppress Possible Libyan Revelations About Iranian Involvement in PA103 and WMD. Significantly, while this report deals with the concern of the Iranian clerics over the possibility of launching terrorist or insurgent attacks against Libyan leader Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi of Libya over matters related to Iran’s involvement in WMD programs and the PA103 terrorist bombing, it is possible that the clerics also feel concern that the transformation of Libya’s relations with the US could also reveal unpalatable truths about the disappearance of Lebanese Grand Ayatollah Mussa Sadr.
11 posted on 03/11/2004 12:33:02 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Time for Regime Change in Tehran

March 11, 2004
The Boston Globe
Jeff Jacoby

It has been more than two years since President Bush pronounced Iran a charter member of the "axis of evil." In his 2002 State of the Union address, he told Congress that the theocratic regime in Tehran was aggressively pursuing nuclear weapons and exporting terror "while an unelected few repress the Iranian people's hope for freedom."

It has been 20 months since Bush issued a statement encouraging the thousands of prodemocracy demonstrators who had taken to the streets of Iran's major cities. "The people of Iran want the same freedoms, human rights, and opportunities as people around the world," he said, promising that if Iranians moved to replace their rulers with a government committed to liberty and tolerance, "they will have no better friend than the United States of America."

It has been four months since the president articulated a "forward strategy of freedom in the Middle East." Speaking at the National Endowment for Democracy, he noted that Iranians' "demand for democracy is strong and broad" and warned: "The regime in Teheran must heed the democratic demands of the Iranian people or lose its last claim to legitimacy."

When it comes to the liberation of Iran, President Bush's words have been perfect. When will his administration's deeds follow suit?

The United States should long ago have made regime change in Tehran a clear-cut goal of US foreign policy. At every turn, the mullahs who rule Iran have demonstrated their enmity for everything we are trying to accomplish in the Middle East. They are determined to keep Iraq agitated and unstable and actively work to undercut US influence there. They camouflage their pursuit of a nuclear bomb behind a cloud of diplomatic blue smoke, one day making a show of cooperation with Western investigators, the next day demanding that the investigations end. Iran remains the world's foremost sponsor of terror, sheltering Al Qaeda thugs within its borders and dispatching trained killers to Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, and Saudi Arabia.

At home, meanwhile, the Iranian regime of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei continues to prove that elections are not necessarily evidence of democracy. Last month's rigged vote took a long-running soap opera -- the political struggle between Iran's Islamist hard-liners and its supposed reformers -- to a new low. Virtually all of the 5,600 candidates running for Parliament were reactionary loyalists; the mullahs made sure of that by kicking more than 2,000 critics of the regime off the ballot.

Washington should be seizing every opportunity to identify the Khomeinists who rule Iran as illegitimate despots, and to make the case that their downfall is essential to the repair of the Middle East. Instead, administration officials describe Iran as "a sort-of democracy" and insist that the best way to deal with the mullahs is through engagement and patient diplomacy. When Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage was asked during a congressional hearing whether it was US policy to support regime change in Iran, his answer was blunt: "No, sir."

When is Bush going to demand that the State Department start promoting his foreign policy for a change? After 25 years of Islamofascist rule in Tehran, it is sheer fantasy to believe that anything less than a clean sweep will end Tehran's hostile policies. The mullahs may occasionally alter their outward behavior for tactical reasons, observes the prolific journalist Amir Taheri, who was born and educated in Iran. "But the regime's strategy, which is aimed at driving the US out of the Middle East, destroying Israel, and replacing all Arab regimes with `truly Islamic' ones, remains unchanged."

The Iranian government started the war we are in with an attack on the US Embassy in Tehran in November 1979. In the years since, it has had a direct or indirect role in the killing or maiming of thousands of innocent victims worldwide. Every bomb that unleashes new carnage in Iraq is a reminder that our war on terrorism will end in our defeat unless the turbaned thugs next door are forced from power. So what is the administration waiting for?

Toppling the mullahs would not require a US invasion. The majority of Iran's 67 million people loathe their government. Many are unabashedly pro-American. If the United States explicitly called for regime change in Tehran and backed up that call with diplomatic and financial support for the pro-democracy resistance, Iranians would respond with courage and resolve. Like the festering communist dictatorships that collapsed when the people of Eastern Europe rose against them in 1989, the corrupt Islamists in Iran can be defeated by the men and women they have oppressed for so long.

If we are going to win the war on terror, the liberation of Iran is not an option. It is a prerequisite. The Bush administration should be saying so -- and living up to its words.

Jeff Jacoby's e-mail address is
12 posted on 03/11/2004 1:06:34 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran: Delivering Armageddon

March 10, 2004
National Anxiety Center
Alan Caruba

While most of our attention is fixed on Iraq and the difficult process of instituting a democratic government there (and in Afghanistan), the news out of Iran is largely erroneous and does not focus on the fact that, along with Saudi Arabia, it is the leading supporter of Islamic terrorism in the world.

It is Iran that identifies the United States of America as "the Great Satan."

It is Iran that has been systematically seeking to develop a nuclear arms program since the 1980s and lying about it. It is Iran that will not only be able to destroy an American city with a nuclear device, but it is also Iran that is the most likely to do so.

The mainstream American press has not been well served by reporters for majornews services who, for example, continue to refer to recent elections in Iran as having been between "reformers" and "conservatives" as if to suggest that there is a real chance of reform in Iran. There hasn’t been any such opportunity since Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini seized power on February 1, 1979 after Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi had fled the country.

The Islamic Revolution that began then is now twenty-five years old and Iran has long since sunk into the Dark Ages of the same Islamic Revolution being pursued by al Qaeda and other Islamic terror organizations would impose on the entire world. To look at Iran today is to see what the future would be if this violent revolution should ever succeed.

"The reality is our situation is like a nightmare," said one prominent Iranian intellectual. The demographics of Iran are interesting. Two-thirds of Iranians are under 30. They are a generation of well-educated men and women. Fully 60 percent of university students are women. They can see the outside world via satellite television and have access to the Internet. They want good jobs and opportunities, but so long as the ayatollahs remain in control, they have few of either. A recent report on Iran by Borzou Daragahi notes, "The economy remains in the control of conservative clerics and their allies who seized businesses at the beginning of the revolution."

Largely unknown or ignored by the mainstream press is the way the current Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and his unelected Guardian Council retains total control over all aspects of life in Iran. The so-called parliament of Iran is composed of only those people who have been approved for membership. The notion that President Mohammad Khatami favors reform is easily dismissed by ignoring what he says for public consumption and reviewing his record of doing nothing to open Iranian society to less oppression. There is, simply stated, no credible internal opposition to the dictators who run Iran.

Like all dictators, the Supreme Leader and his cohorts will not yield their power through elections and, controlling all the instruments of power in Iran, the people there have no means to initiate any change. Earlier efforts, mass marches in the streets, have given way to despair. Just as in Iraq, any change will likely require military intervention. This is the sad, inevitable truth about the Middle East and it is one that many Americans either don’t understand or might well oppose given our current commitment along with its problems and costs. Neocons argue that whatever we spend toward these goals saves the US from far worse costs from attacks such as 9-11. I agree. As it was, 9-11 continues to have a negative impact on our economy.

The fact remains that without change Iran poses as great, if not the greatest threat to the United States and the world so long as it continues under the present leadership.

The record is there for anyone to examine. First came the 1979 taking of US diplomats as hostages for 444 days. This is unprecedented in modern history. Other American hostages were those taken in Lebanon in the 1980s. Iran provides the funding for Hizbollah, the terrorist organization that has staged so many terror bombings in Israel (along with Hamas, the Palestinian organization). It was Iran that funded the truck bombing of 241 US Marines in Beirut on October 23, 1983.

Intelligence sources, according to a recent issue of Insight on the News told that magazine that Iran "supplied the explosives" for the 1998 al Qaeda bombings of US embassies in Africa.

It was Iran that funded the attack in 1996 on the Khobar Towers barracks for US military personnel in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, that killed nineteen soldiers and injured 400 others. Former FBI Director, Louis Freeh, testified the attack was "planned, funded, and sponsored by the senior leadership of the government of Iran."

It can and should be argued that we have been in a state of war with Iran since 1979. At the very least, it is obvious that Iran sees itself as being in a state of war with America.

Just as we went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq to eliminate the threat that fanatical Jihadists represented there, the need for regime change in Iran is ten times more essential because this is a nation with the will to destroy America.

No doubt the findings of the International Atomic Energy Agency will, with US pressure, find their way to the United Nations Security Council and no doubt they will linger there just as the many resolutions regarding Iraq lingered until the US took action. No doubt, too, Europe and the IAEA bureaucracy will seek to delay that action.

As much as Americans find their role in transforming the Middle East distasteful and costly in terms of the lives spent and the billions required, it is the only realistic option. We have had one 9-11. That’s enough.

Editorial Policy: The views expressed within are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Iran va Jahan.
13 posted on 03/11/2004 1:07:29 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
The Pub Is Closed: A Review Of The Parliamentary Elections In Iran
By Bahman Aghai Diba

The pub or its Iranian equivalent “Ghavehkhaneh” is the gathering place of persons who speak about various things and they go home without anyone taking them seriously. This is what the Iranian Majlis had tuned into. The hardliners, who had always the power in their hands, did not let any of the serious issues considered by the Sixth Majlis or the reformist Majlis to take much distance from the mere words.

Out of the approvals of the last Majlis, no great bill or proposal was finalized. Some of the important bills and proposals that never reached anywhere, but wasted a lot of time and energy were:

Bill on the adhesion of Iran to the United Nations Convention on Elimination of discrimination against women
Twin bills for amendment of the authority of the President for implementation of the Constitutional Law
Bill for adhesion of Iran to the International Convention on banning of torture
Proposal for definition of the political crimes
Proposal for amendment of the elections law
Proposal to inspect the expenses of the Iranian Radio-TV Organization
Proposal for control of the finances of the institutions under the supervision of the Supreme Leader

During the last twenty-five years the extremists have run the Iranian regime. They will continue to do so as long as the fundamental components of the regime stay the same. At the present conditions, negation of the religious extremism (as the major culprit in violation of civil rights) is the negation of the present regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The regime is not ready to improve and it has proved time and again that it is not geared up to change. However, the extremists of Iran have one big talent. They are able to neutralize any person or organization that dare to walk out of the red line set by certain figures. The Sixth Majlis was so neutralized that a third class, illiterate, and impolite judge of the public courts could call all of the deputies as traitors and put them to trial for speaking in the Majlis. On the other side, an office in the disciplinary forces, which originally was established to do issues like giving certificates of wedding ceremonies, had turned into an organization that summoned people for interrogation and gave public statements about the most important problems of the country, that are expected to be issued from the office of the president. At the same time, the president is forced to turn into a dissatisfied superficial figure heading a bunch of ministers who are not allowed to do their job as they want.

There is nothing new in these words for the people of Iran. Many of Iranians stayed away from elections, because the Guardians Council had already made the choosing for them. A great number of those who voted in the recent elections, voted only because they were afraid to lose their rights or privileges. Those who work or take benefits from the governmental organizations or the so-called revolutionary institutions are afraid to lose her jobs or benefits (such as low cost housing in good places, admission in universities without passing the difficult tests, getting monthly allowances, and getting permits for everything from opening a store to driving a cab) if they do not vote. Those who want to travel out of Iran are always worried that they may face problems if they do not vote and do not have the stump of elections in their ID cards. Those who voted and those who did not knew that changing the persons sitting in the pub had no meaning. The so-called representatives speak, bluff, and tell fake stories about “ hunting” and go home. Those who had the power are still holding it and they are not able to solve the problems of this country that they have created many of them.

The Sixth Majlis was part of the game played by the extremisms under the disguise of reforms. Some persons, whose real affiliation to reforms is seriously under doubt, and a collection of persons who were always at the service of the extremist regime wanted to waste the time of this nation. The Sixth Majlis was sometimes forgetting that it was not intended to be anything more than being a pub. They impeached several ministers of the reformist cabinet as if these miserable figures were responsible for anything. Take the case of the foreign minister. He was almost impeached several times by the deputies of Majlis for the policies that he was not decision-maker on them. One of serious cases was the failure of Iran in the Caspian Sea and its pipeline diplomacy. The foreign minister was not responsible for bad relations of Iran with the key countries in and out of the region. But he was going to be impeached.

The real problem in the politics and government of the Islamic Republic of Iran is that the Majlis, like many other institutions in Iran does not have the traditional or standard meaning. Consequently, this leads to improper expectations from those institutions. I would like to explain some these institutions in the present day Iran.

Iranian Parliament: What we see in Islamic republic of Iran is not the parliament in the sense of the dictionary of politics. This is an Islamic Consultative Assembly (Majlisse Shoraye Islami). “Islamic” here means that the whole institution is subject to observing Islamic tenets and hierarchy. (Islamic in the present day Iran means whatever a few persons say. They are not under obligation to keep their words the same and they can interpret Islam as they wish). Consultative means that it is in the level of consultation and nothing more. According to existing interpretation from the Islamic rules, Allah defines “laws” and mankind is not permitted to make laws, they only can find ways to implement them. Legislation is an act of God and approving anything in contrary to those acts, is considered to be “Bedat” which means “initiative” and it is an important sin. As such there is no equivalent of the Western Parliament in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The members of Majlis do not have political immunity, or even ordinary rights, for what they say in Majlis and more important than that they are under no obligation to do or say what their constituencies want, rather they are committed to act according to the interests of Islam (with official interpretation).

Elections: All kinds of elections in the I.R .of Iran are hold after detailed and strict screening of the candidates by several institutions. The aim of the screening is to make sure that they the candidates are in the line of ruling circles. One of the important screening sources is the Council of Guardians, which will be introduced. There are others, which work in different levels. The results of these screenings usually lead to choosing certain types of persons. Most probable persons that come out of the screening are clergies and their relatives and/or employees of the intelligence organizations or so-called revolutionary institutions. This is a known fact and persons who do not have the required strong relations (by blood or marriage or through regular payment of a special tax called “the share of Imam”) do not bother to become candidate. They know that there is no chance to pass the barrier and they save the embarrassment. Those who do not observe the rule, face the same result and they are eliminated without any regards to what people may think or what are the reactions of other countries and organizations. Therefore, it can be said that there is no elections in the IR of Iran. What we have there is a kind of appointment. In the case of elections for Majlis, the supervisory organs reserve the right to reject the results of elections in at least two more stages.

Council of Guardians: this is consisted mostly of persons appointed by the Supreme Leader (or Valie Faghih. This expression is usually taken as the leader or some kind of king. It’s not correct. “Vali” means guardian, or the person who has the position of guardian toward person or persons who need guardianship. According to the Iranian regime’s version of Islam, the Valie Faghih is the person who has the guardianship over all Muslims who need the service. This has important direct and implied results. The most important one is that the views or the votes of those who are in need of guardianship are not pertinent in appointing or electing of the “guardian”. Also, the guardian is not obliged to do things that the persons in need of guardianship (minors) want to be done. The guardian can tell lies or tell something and do something else because he is the sole source of distinguishing what is good or bad for the minors.) For keeping an eye on the Majlis. This is really interesting. If the state is really Islamic and its parliament is the Islamic Consultative Assembly, then why should another council supervise it to make sure that Islam is observed? Who says that more than 200 persons (almost all of them Mullahs) which have been partly elected by people (the reality is that even these persons are not people’s representatives. The Council of Guardians has strictly screened all candidates) do not understand Islam but the small group, which is gathered in the Council of Guardians, can do that?

Freedom (Azadi): This word is largely misused in Iran. Some of the Iranian religious leaders claim that the freedoms, which are mentioned in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, are not enough to express the scope of freedoms that Islamic regime gives to Human beings. If you review their teachings you will soon notice that they only use the term ”human beings” for their own followers, otherwise they do not consider others as human beings. Therefore, they have certainly much more extended rights and privileges for their followers.

Council of Experts (Majlis e Khobreghan): This institution has been introduced to people as a kind of constitutional assembly and it is referred to as such in the Western press. This not corrects. Council of experts is not consisted of people’s representatives. They are all Mullahs screened by the “Council of Guardians” for this post.

Expediency Council: The council was originally envisaged to solve the conflicts between the Majlis and the Council of Guardians, but it is doing something else. The real name of this institution is: The Assembly to Distinguish Expediency of the Regime. This is very clear. The council is not in charge of finding the expediency of Iran or Islam or any thing like that. It is only in charge of finding what is best for continuation of the regime. This council is as important as the Ayatollah and power broker, Rafsanjani, who is heading it. Because the council and its leader are ready and willing to do what is finally required for the continuation of regime, this may include better relations with the United States.

The experience of Islamic revolution in Iran proved once again that mixture of politics and Islam, in the world, which is divided into nation-states and the governments, which are designed to follow the national interests, does not work. For a long time in Iran (hundreds of years), religious people had claimed that all problems in the society came from non-observance of Islamic rules and if religious Islamic leaders become political masters in the society, everything would be in order and justice would prevail all over the state. More than two decades of Islamic government in Iran has showed clearly that the idea was not working. There is no doubt that the people of Iran are less religious and more under-developed now, compared to twenty-five years ago. What is happening in Iran at the present juncture is a clear struggle by the people of Iran to get religion separated from politics. There is no other way. Anyone, including all Muslims and any government, especially the U.S., that wish a better life for the people of Islamic countries and similar states, and also seek international peace and development, should help the cause of separating religion from politics.
14 posted on 03/11/2004 2:27:05 PM PST by freedom44
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To: knighthawk; McGavin999; SJackson; tet68; Eala; Stultis; river rat; risk; F14 Pilot; DoctorZIn; ...

Abducted, tied him to a table, his arms were injured, burnt by Acid, damaged by burning gun powder. Name's and slogan carved on his back burnet by cigarette.

Torture Methods used in the Islamic Regime on Iran's Students.


Following arrest; students or decedents are severely beaten. If female they are raped or scared them of such crime.

The students are kept awake for several days by physical beatings, pouring hot water into their ear, standing them on the edge of tall buildings, exposing them to 10 hours of very loud excruciating noise which collapses them into a nervous breakdown, constant verbal abuse, denying them drinking water and giving them inedible food, and preventing them from going to the toilet.

Many of the imprisoned students have developed nervous problems and many are suffering from physical ailments.

Constant cries of the detained students can be heard in the corridors of the Evin prison which adds to the overall awe of this Islamic dungeon.

According to the latest reports, the majority of the interrogations are carried out by a notorious interrogator known as Bakhshi, who works under the direct orders of the Judge Saeed Mortazavi.

Amongst other names that are mentioned is torturer known by the name Nakheii.

Students are forced to undergo this treatment in order to break down their spirits and confess anything the interrogators ask them to.

As usual much of what they have to confess is involvement in sexual deviances.

Source : Amirkabir University Students website.
15 posted on 03/11/2004 2:32:13 PM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn; F14 Pilot; freedom44; nuconvert; Grampa Dave; dennisw
We do believe the Iranians' uncontested bravery and increasing civil disobedience will be able to bring the downfall of the mullahs and their so-called reformists alike. Unified pressure from the U.S. and the rest of the free World will expedite the downfall of the totality of the Islamic republic regime in a less bloody manner and with no need of any military intervention.

That and prying Jean-Fraud Kerry's botoxed lips off Khamenei's butt, not to put too fine a point on it.

16 posted on 03/11/2004 4:10:58 PM PST by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: DoctorZIn
Yet there is no longer any doubt that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons.

And you told them the centrifuges were to make goat cheese.

17 posted on 03/11/2004 4:16:03 PM PST by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: DoctorZIn
Notice Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Iran

March 11, 2004
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

On March 15, 1995, by Executive Order 12957, the President declared a national emergency with respect to Iran pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701- 1706) to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States constituted by the actions and policies of the Government of Iran, including its support for international terrorism, efforts to undermine the Middle East peace process, and acquisition of weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them. On May 6, 1995, the President issued Executive Order 12959 imposing more comprehensive sanctions to further respond to this threat, and on August 19, 1997, the President issued Executive Order 13059 consolidating and clarifying the previous orders.

Because the actions and policies of the Government of Iran continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States, the national emergency declared on March 15, 1995, must continue in effect beyond March 15, 2004. Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency with respect to Iran. Because the emergency declared by Executive Order 12957 constitutes an emergency separate from that declared on November 14, 1979, by Executive Order 12170, this renewal is distinct from the emergency renewal of November 2003. This notice shall be published in the Federal Register and transmitted to the Congress.



March 10, 2004.

Message to the Congress of the United States


Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)) provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, prior to the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date. In accordance with this provision, I have sent the enclosed notice, stating that the Iran emergency is to continue in effect beyond March 15, 2004, to the Federal Register for publication. The most recent notice continuing this emergency was published in the Federal Register on March 14, 2003 (68 Fed. Reg. 12563).

The crisis between the United States and Iran constituted by the actions and policies of the Government of Iran, including its support for international terrorism, efforts to undermine Middle East peace, and acquisition of weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them, that led to the declaration of a national emergency on March 15, 1995, has not been resolved. These actions and policies are contrary to the interests of the United States in the region and pose a continuing unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States. For these reasons, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared with respect to Iran and maintain in force comprehensive sanctions against Iran to respond to this threat.



March 10, 2004.
18 posted on 03/11/2004 5:00:01 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
US diplomat says Iran boosts aid to militants

By Saul Hudson

WASHINGTON, March 11 (Reuters) - A senior U.S. Middle East diplomat, in a further sign of a hardening U.S. stance toward Iran, accused it on Thursday of increasing financial and operational support for anti-Israel militant groups.

Against the backdrop of this week's U.S. pressure for a U.N. watchdog to condemn Iran over its nuclear programs, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State David Satterfield told Reuters the increased backing was a "very disturbing trend."

The longtime U.S. enemy was delivering more money to the Lebanon-based Hizbollah and the Palestinian groups, al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and Islamic Jihad, as well as giving instructions to the Palestinian guerrillas through Hizbollah, he said.

"This is an accelerating process, not a static or a diminishing one," Satterfield said. "There has been a very significant increase in funding as well as operational direction through Hizbollah through the Iranian Revolutionary Guard."

"The increasing lethality that Hizbollah brings in terms of its preparations, and in support to Palestinian acts of terror is extremely destabilizing," added Satterfield, whose main responsibility is promoting peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Iran is officially opposed to the existence of Israel but denies arming and funding militant groups fighting the Jewish state.

While Washington repeatedly says Iran backs militants, U.S. diplomats have not recently accused it of bolstering its support.

Satterfield did not say how much Washington believed the financial aid had risen or when it first noted the trend.

A Bush administration official, who asked not to be named, said Iran had been gradually increasing its support for about two years but that it had intensified over the last five months.

"There is increased intelligence evidence that there's been a renewal of arms and support flights through Syria to Hizbollah," the official added.

Israel alleged that Tehran allowed Syrian planes which flew relief to Iran after the December earthquake to return with weapons for Hizbollah. Iran said that was a lie and the United States says it has not confirmed the charge.
19 posted on 03/11/2004 5:22:58 PM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn

A Good Start.
20 posted on 03/11/2004 7:38:40 PM PST by nuconvert (CAUTION: I'm an acquaintance of someone labelled :"an obstinate supporter of dangerous fantasies")
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