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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 03/12/2004 11:30:20 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 03/12/2004 11:33:06 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Attention: It is now midnight in Iran, March 13th, 2004.
3 posted on 03/12/2004 11:33:35 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Unsung Heroes

March 12, 2004
Iran va Jahan
Nicole Sadighi

"We shall not fail or falter; we shall not weaken or tire. Neither the sudden shock of battle nor the long-drawn trials of vigilance and exertion will wear us down".
Sir Winston Churchill - Feb 9, 1941

I was only a little child when the black revolution happened in Iran and an old mullah by the name of Ruh'ollah Khomeini replaced the late Shah of Iran and declared the country as the Islamic Republic of Iran. Although I was so young, my early recollections are still so vivid; yet this decaying country I see today is a far cry from my memories of old.

Nearly 26 years ago a dark cloud descended over Iran's beautiful pastures and her fertile soil. This darkness raped her of her culture, values, ethics and a prosperous and rich future. An ancient land, which has bared witness to the birth of renowned poets and artists, scientists and philosophers and the rise and fall of many great dynasties. A land where Cyrus the Great wrote the first declaration of the human rights in 539BC, and ordered the release of all captive nationalities held as slaves for generations in Babylon, including 50,000 Jews, who were freed and their return to their homeland was financed; has today been transformed into a torture chamber for the forgotten souls.

Still, it is astonishing to ones rational mind, that somehow this regime has strangely managed to survive for 25 years; during which time it has caused some of the most horrific catastrophes and devastation known to the history of man. Even more mind-boggling is that the EU's big three, France, Germany and the UK have supported them throughout. By doing so they have seemingly turned their backs on humanity and endorsed and prolonged the oppression and torment of millions of Iranian people, who have been imprisoned, executed and tortured at the hands of these thugs for merely defending their fundamental human rights! The EU's continued fat trade deals with the Islamic Republic, in return for oil concessions, has been one of the regime's biggest source of income and, the IR "Islamic Republic" has the most notorious reputation for funding, training and providing a safe haven for all the terrorist networks, including Americas most wanted, Al Qaeda.

Not a matter of "if" but "when"

In the meantime a country that publicly executes, lashes, imprisons its own people, for as minor reason as speaking out for their basic rights, has been surreptitiously developing nuclear capabilities and WMD's ... Who knows what might happen if this regime developed a little red button to push. A consideration that is realistically viable and highly disturbing. On February 26th news agencies reported after a meeting in Vienna, with France, Germany, UK, the U.N.'s Chief nuclear watchdog, Mohamed El Baradei, of IAEA, (International Atomic Energy Agency), persuaded Tehran to agree to suspend all activities linked to uranium enrichment. Ironically in the same report, the head of IR's Supreme National Security Council, Hassan Rohani was quoted to have bluntly stated that IR is not obliged to declare its activities to the UN watchdog. Taking into account the fact that the IR has been concealing its uranium enrichment programme from the IAEA for almost 20 years, this report further emphasises the regimes attempt at buying time and playing politics and, time and time again dialogue with these islamo-fanatics has proved to be unproductive. This is characteristically reminiscent of another cat and mouse play; which led to a war against Iraq.

Yet, one would like to believe that EU's big three, would not wish history to repeat itself; still they insist on the soft approach and continue "constructive dialogue" with the regime in spite of its recent election charade. So yet again the mullahs have the advantage.

In point of fact, much to ones concern, they have the upper hand in their foreign affairs as they do with their domestic affairs. The regime excels in the field of corruption and aggressive dictatorial rule, having so violently imposed themselves on the people of Iran it is without a doubt that they impose a definite threat to the international community. It is not a matter of "if" but "when".

Neither fair nor free

Unfortunately many democratic voters of the western world are not aware of the true face of IR. This is no surprise; particularly when some journalists and leading news institutions such as the BBC, regularly choose to be unfairly selective of their news reports and thus ignore the journalists code of ethics; which is that "A journalist shall strive to ensure that the information he/she disseminates is fair and accurate, avoid the expression of comment and conjecture as established fact and falsification by distortion, selection or misrepresentation". This can be typified in their inaccurate report of the recent IR election fiasco. They reported that at the polling stations, namely Niavaran, in northern Tehran, voters were eager to express their views, even if some were less willing to give their names or have their photographs taken. They reported that the Interior Ministry had confirmed that turnout was the lowest, since the IR was born 25 years ago and well down the 67% who voted in 2000.

Considering journalists from all over the world were allowed into Tehran for the elections, this is an exceedingly fanciful representation of news and couldn't be farther from the truth. They chose to neglect the fact that there was widespread instability and violent unrest throughout the country, that several people had been killed, that people were being threatened and beaten in a violent attempt at forcing them to vote and that the true number of votes are frighteningly less than the reported official figures, with authentic figures as low as 5% in some cities.

Is this not, one hastens to ask, valuable material of great magnitude for news, particularly when one is reporting about an illegal election, in a country that is part of the volatile mid-east and is governed by unelected tyrannical mullahs that would make President Mugabi of Zimbabwe look like a saint? The BBC's Jim Muir reported from the streets of Tehran and said, "Many Iranians might agree that the election wasn't very fair but there's no sign there will be any trouble. Most ordinary Iranians basically just want a better life, if they think a new right wing parliament can give them that then they'll give it a chance".

In fact on February 25, the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor released a report emphasising that: "There were reports of political killings. The Government was responsible for numerous killings during the year, including executions following trials in which there was a lack of due process. Government affiliated vigilante groups also were responsible for extrajudicial killings. The law criminalised dissent and applied the death penalty to offences such as insults against the memory of Imam Khomeini and against the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic and outrage high-ranking officials. Citizens continued to be tried and sentenced to death in the absence of sufficient procedural safeguards".

Due to its consistently poor journalism, (such as the disgrace of Gilligan/Kelly-gate and the resulting resignations of BBC Chairman) the BBC has unfortunately lost its credibility inside and outside of the UK. It sees it fit to practice unprincipled and bad journalism and has built up a reputation for delivering unreliable and flimsy news.

Their portrayal of the regime as a legitimate entity is highly unjustified. The reason why these vanquishers are referred to as the "hardliners" is because they are dogmatic and ruthless; they were not established for the people, by the people.

Since 1979 the year of Black Revolution in Iran, about four million Iranians have been living in exile and 25 years on, the same black cloud still casts a dark shadow over their once free land. They are fortunate to be able to voice their concerns freely and without fear. They have the opportunity to vote without restraint and continue to take pride of who they are and where they come from. However let it be said, that the EU and all its foreign policy devotees should stop their continued trade relations and stop referring to the IR as though they would speak of their own democratic societies and, they should start supporting and listening to the voices of the Iranian people who will remember who stood by them, when they, the unsung heroes, win the real war on terror and the terrorist regime.

Nicole Sadighi, London

Miss Nicole Sadighi is an advocate of the non-violent movement for establishment of democracy in Iran. She can be contacted at:
4 posted on 03/12/2004 11:34:39 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
IAEA Deadlocked Over Iran Nuke Censure

March 11, 2004
The Associated Press
George Jahn

VIENNA, Austria -- U.N. nuclear agency members were deadlocked Thursday over how harshly to censure Tehran for failing to fully expose its nuclear activities.

Informal meetings ended with no agreement, after the nonaligned bloc at the 35-nation board of governors watered down a draft resolution backed by the United States, Canada, Australia and European countries. Those Western nation then rejected the altered resolution as being too gentle on Iran.

The deadlock left Canadian and Australian diplomats shuttling between U.S. and nonaligned representatives in a reflection of how far apart the two sides were before the informal meetings were adjourned for the night with no agreement.

Consultations were set to resume Friday, two days after what had been the scheduled end of the conference.

The United States, which insists Iran has a nuclear arms program, earlier held out the example of Libya as a nation whose openness has reaped international rewards.

"A country that truly comes clean with the agency and truly cooperates ... gets a constructive response," U.S. delegate Kenneth Brill told reporters after the IAEA board passed a resolution Wednesday praising Tripoli for scrapping its nuclear weapons program.

"Countries that seek to avoid providing the kind of cooperation that Libya has continue to be the subjects of intensified ... scrutiny," he said.

Iran asserts its nuclear programs are peaceful and has promised to cooperate with IAEA inspectors to dispel suspicions prompted by revelations last year of finds of traces of uranium enriched to 90 percent, or weapons grade, and other activities that could be used to make arms. Since then, however, new finds by IAEA inspectors of undeclared items and programs have cast doubt on Tehran's assertions that it has no more nuclear secrets.

The United States, along with Canada and Australia, wanted strong condemnation of Iran. The draft submitted to the nonaligned group was, however, a less harsh compromise to please European nations seeking to focus more on Tehran's cooperation with the IAEA, even though that began only after last year's discovery that Iran had plans to enrich uranium and had secretly conducted other tests with possible weapons applications.

An IAEA report last month accused Tehran of hiding evidence of nuclear experiments and noted the discovery of traces of radioactive polonium, which can be used in nuclear weapons. The report also expressed concern about the discovery of a previously undisclosed advanced P-2 centrifuge system for processing uranium.

Iran asserts its now suspended enrichment plans are geared only toward generating power. But on Wednesday, Iran announced plans to resume enrichment, eliciting a negative response from Mohamed ElBaradei, the IAEA chief, who said it would hurt Tehran's chances of proving that it has no interest in nuclear weapons.
5 posted on 03/12/2004 11:35:17 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Bernard Lewis Says "Change Will Come to Iran"

March 12, 2004
Khaleej Times

If no solution is found for the Middle East conflict, I expect the involvement of new players in the fray," according to the noted Orientalist Bernard Lewis, who has been busily engaged since 67 years in writing about Islam and yesterday to the Middle East countries. Mr Lewis, whose books on history have won international accolade, sees the cup as half full of muddy water.

He is of the belief that China and India will soon be dragged into the Middle East imbroglio. Even though the two countries are not interested in intervention at present, they will be forced to enter the game sooner or later for geo-strategic reasons.

He said, "I was expecting the recurrence of the classic situation and the happenings in the 19th century when powerful countries controlled the region. These powers now could be China and India, perhaps Russia instead of Britain and France as was in the past."

China and India, in his opinion, will not find it difficult to penetrate the region through existing active diplomatic channels, partnership, trade and military agreements and treaties.

Answering a question whether a miracle might happen with America succeeding in solving the Arab-Israeli problem, he said conflicts at present were solved only by a third party. "I don't see a desire for this in most Israelis, but Arabs have an interest in seeing the status quo maintained without too much variation either way." He said Arab states do not want war even though the current situation is cause for a lot of bitterness among their peoples. According to Lewis, bloody conflicts are to be found in every nook and corner of the Muslim world. These are useful to the regimes of the day for deflecting the anger of the masses away from them. Regarding Yasser Arafat, Lewis says if he became president of the independent Palestinian state, his position would rapidly deteriorate because in that case he would lose his halo as a tenacious revolutionary who fights for the freedom of his people and wins the recognition of the world. Politicians from all corners of the globe pay him visits while he gets huge economic aid and limitless donations. By contrast, his conversion to head of state would rob him of all the qualities of charismatic leadership while his people would hold him accountable for their poverty and misery. The world by and large will ignore Arafat, he reiterated. In all scenarios of Bernard Lewis, Arafat will not become the president of the independent Palestinian state. He said it would be better for Arafat to remain in the place where is available now.

Lewis said he was in an Arab country when they announced that Saddam had been captured. It was joy at first but later people got angry when they saw the TV footage. Murder or imprisonment, in their eyes, was acceptable, but humiliation was not. The footage created sympathy in the hearts of people for Saddam, even among those who opposed the policies of the Iraqi president.

Lewis said he was sure that the TV footage of Saddam had an impact on Libyan leader Muammar Gadaffi's decision for change to avoid the fate of the former Iraqi ruler. People in the Arab world can't say what they want to say and what they feel, he said, cited the examples of journalists roaming about and walking on Baghdad streets during the siege. He said people in the Arab world are helpless and have no way to influence their rulers.

Lewis said that change had reached the ayatollahs in Iran and this would happen within two or three years. When asked about the nuclear danger, and who will succeed in the race, the power of change or the nuclear danger, he said this is really worrying "but we should always remember that ayatollahs would not use it against the residents of Iran but would direct it at the outside world". He said, "I believe the Iranians want to protect themselves by using these weapons as deterrent arms. Nuclear weapon to them serves as a protecting shield for the existing position and the regime."

Lewis opposed the Jordanian option because it considered the majority Palestinians in the kingdom as a domestic matter concerning Jordan alone and no outsider had the right to change the system of that country.

Regarding Syria, he dismissed President Bashar Assad's calls for talks, saying Damascus was a hopeless case. He did not find real evidence of desire on the part of Assad to reach peace with Israel, and what he was concerned was the new position in Iraq and his fear of an American revenge, Israel launching offensive against him as well as democracy and the complicated relations with Turkey.

He said a weak leader would not accept concessions, but only the strong.

Iraq for Lewis is fraught with hope despite the instability of the present order. He accused Al Qaeda of being behind the instability and disorder in the war-scarred country. If Iraqis succeed in setting up a real democratic regime and stable rule, this would amount to a quantum leap for the Muslim and Western worlds. This would be the road to reach peace with the Jewish state, because Arabs today are not accepting Israel, and those who insist on the right of return for all Palestinians want continuity of the conflict, not its end.
6 posted on 03/12/2004 11:36:06 AM 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 Terrorists

March 12, 2004

WASHINGTON -- A senior U.S. West Asia diplomat, in a further sign of a hardening U.S. stance toward Iran, accused it 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 programmes, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State David Satterfield yesterday 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.
7 posted on 03/12/2004 11:37:31 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
God bless you for keeping the focus and light shining on this.

God bless those fighting for liberty in Iran...may God in Heaven hear their cry and support them. May we support them. The mullahes and power mongers in Iran are afraid of the truth and afraid of liberty. I pray the folks there and our own nation can obtain a victory over them and avoid far worse should we allow those fighting for freedom there to be silenced.

Keep up the good work!


9 posted on 03/12/2004 11:38:27 AM PST by Jeff Head
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To: DoctorZIn
Irate Iran

March 12, 2004
Daily Mojo

You know your country is internationally isolated when it is being compared -- and not favorably -- to Libya. And that was only the start of the bad news for Iran at this week's meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna.

Much to Iran's disappointment, the United States seems to have secured Western European countries' approval of a draft resolution that expresses "most serious concern" that Iran's recent declarations about its nuke activity "did not amount to the correct, complete and final picture of Iran's past and present nuclear program."

This marks a change of tone. The Europeans are usually much less hard on Iran than is the U.S. And even the U.S. has been pretty upbeat about Iran's recent cooperation in disclosing its nuclear program and allowing I.A.E.A. inspectors to investigate its facilities.

(The U.S. draft is an implicit retreat from George Bush's claim that "rogue states" like Iran have heeded the lessons of his "war on terror" -- with Saddam Hussein serving as an example -- and are mending their ways to avoid the same from happening to them.)

Nothing but "an act of [American] bullying and putting pressure on the others," Pirooz Hosseini, Iran's ambassador to the I.A.E.A, said of the draft. Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi threatened that Iran might cease cooperation with the nuclear watchdog, and rebuked the Europeans for kowtowing to the U.S.:

"We advise the Europeans to respect their obligations and to resist American pressure, otherwise there is no reason for co-operation to continue."

Even the reformist President Mohammad Khatami confirmed the threat in a call to Russia's Putin and insisted that the I.A.E.A. must adopt a "realistic policy and not be influenced" by the United States.

Support for the U.S. draft was secured after the I.A.E.A. presented evidence that Iran's nuclear facilities had traces of highly enriched uranium -- pure enough to be used to produce nuclear weapons –- and that its military had been involved in Iran's supposedly civilian nuclear program. In response, Iran's Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani admitted, for the first time, that the military produced centrifuges to enrich uranium. Shamkhani insisted that this was done for civilian uses only. As for the traces of highly enriched uranium, officials claimed ignorance –- suggesting that it must have been a case of contamination of imported equipment.

The latest U.S. draft resolution is harshly critical of Iran, though even this was toned down a notch from the original. The draft was modified to incorporate the Europeans' insistence that Iran must get a pat on the head for its current cooperation with the I.A.E.A.

The head of the I.A.E.A., Mohamed ElBaradei, expressed concern over Foreign Minister Kharrazi's remark that Iran plans to resume its uranium enrichment program "when relations with the I.A.E.A. are normalized." As ElBaradei said:

"Iran has been in breach of its [nuclear non-proliferation] obligations for many years and we need to build confidence. I think suspension is a confidence-building measure and, as I said, Iran needs to do everything possible right now to create the confidence required."
At the same time, ElBaradei praised Iran's recent cooperation:

"Now they [Iranian officials] are cooperating in a very good way with the agency, and I hope we will continue to get Iran's cooperation so we can verify that all their programs are exclusively for peaceful purposes..."
What's behind the Iranian bluster? It cold reflect that hardline conservatives in Iran have been emboldened by their success in last month's parliamentary elections. Then, the un-elected Guardian Council –- vested with the power to rule if laws and politicians conform to Islamic principles –- barred several thousand reformist politicians from registering as candidates. This prompted a sit-in by liberal parliamentarians, some of whom urged the voters to boycott the election -- a call many of their supporters heeded. The hard-liners succeeded in recapturing the parliament in an election that was condemned as neither free nor fair by the international community.

Iran's hardliners may be playing to nationalist sentiment by showing that Iran is not going to take bullying from anyone. For them, Iran's nuclear program is necessary, legitimate, and a matter of national pride. They also deplore what they denounce as the United States' double-standard in nuclear and other policies in the Middle East: financing Israel's nuclear and military prowess, which they consider the region's greater threat, while bullying countries such as Iran for pursuing much more moderate nuclear programs. Whether the confrontation in Vienna will translate into greater support for their cause among the populace is difficult to tell, especially given signs of rising harassment of the media and reformist candidates.

Given what we know about Iran's nuclear program, the consequences of a failure to reach a compromise in Vienna may be disastrous.
11 posted on 03/12/2004 11:40:16 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Postpones UN Nuclear Inspection Mission

March 12, 2004
Ample News

VIENNA -- Iran has put off an inspection mission from the UN nuclear watchdog that was due to arrive this week, according to the Iranian ambassador to the IAEA.

He said that "due to the approaching of the Iranian New Year we asked them to come later."

The ambassador said no new date had been set.

IAEA officials refused to comment on the inspection mission.

Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi had threatened the country may end its cooperation with the IAEA unless it stopped being "influenced by the Americans".

However Hosseini said the delay in the inspection mission was not politically motivated.

He said that people will be out of their offices, since when the Iranian new year begins next week "there are five or six days of official holiday and then schools are closed for 15 days and parents take off to be with their children."

Nevertheless a diplomat close to the IAEA said: "of course it's political", and added that "the delay in inspections will definitely slow down what the IAEA is trying to do."
13 posted on 03/12/2004 11:40:53 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Russia, China Resist U.S. Over Iran Nuke Resolution

March 12, 2004
Louis Charbonneau

VIENNA -- Washington faced growing resistance on Friday as Russia, China and non-aligned members of the U.N. atomic watchdog rejected a resolution that condemns Iran's nuclear secrecy and keeps the door open for sanctions.

In backroom meetings at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Canadian, Australian and European diplomats on the IAEA's Board of Governors negotiated with diplomats from the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) to revise a draft IAEA resolution.

The United States, France, Britain and Germany struck a tentative deal this week on an Australian-Canadian draft text that "deplores" Tehran's keeping sensitive information from the IAEA and suggests a military link to Tehran's atomic program.

Iran's ambassador to the U.N. in Vienna, Pirooz Hosseini, told Reuters the draft was unacceptable and "consultations are going on to... reach an agreed language." Iran is not on the board but is involved in the talks as a key NAM member.

NAM states have 13 out of 35 seats on the IAEA board and proposed a series of amendments to tone down the draft resolution. NAM insists that the word "deplores" be changed to "strongly regrets" or something else, but NAM diplomats complained the U.S.-led camp were not being very accommodating.

"We don't want the word "deplores,"" a non-aligned diplomat told Reuters. "We want something that sounds more like the IAEA report on Iran, which used the word "concern.""

He also said that Russia and China had received instructions from home to put their political weight behind the NAM proposal.

"The Russians got instructions from Moscow," the diplomat said. "They're with us. The Chinese too."

Not only that, several diplomats on the board told Reuters that France and Germany were willing to accept most of the NAM amendments, but that Britain was with Washington. This meant there were signs the EU-U.S. deal was falling apart, they said. Non-aligned diplomats said the NAM block -- the largest on the board -- would not back the resolution if its sponsors did not include more of its proposed amendments in the text.

The IAEA adopts resolutions by consensus, so the board meeting could run into the weekend as negotiators seek a deal.


Russia, which is helping Tehran build an $800 million nuclear power station in Iran, has objected and tried to soften every U.S.-backed IAEA resolution or statement on Iran in the past year. Russian U.N. delegates in Vienna declined to comment.

"Russia doesn't like this reference to the military and would like to see it out," said one diplomat. He said Moscow may fear Washington would point to the military link as a reason for Russia to end its lucrative atomic cooperation with Iran.

The draft resolution cites IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei's finding in his February 24 report on Iran that "most of the workshops used in Iran's centrifuge enrichment program are "owned by military industrial organizations.""

NAM also wants this section out of the draft.

The draft stops short of referring Iran to the U.N. Security Council for sanctions, but Secretary of State Colin Powell said he was confident Iran would be warned it could face sanctions at the IAEA board's June meeting.

Iran has accused Washington of "bullying" the IAEA and warned the resolution may complicate its ties with the watchdog.

The draft also calls for the board to wait until June to decide to react to Iran's withholding of information from the IAEA -- about issues such as advanced "P2" centrifuges that can make bomb-grade uranium. This is another section NAM wants out.

(Additional reporting by Francois Murphy, Mark Trevelyan and Maria Golovnina)
14 posted on 03/12/2004 11:42:20 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
The Mullahs' Bomb

March 12, 2004
The Wall Street Journal
Review & Outlook

Iran is ruled by a fanatical regime that is despised by its own people and every year tops the State Department's list of terror-sponsoring governments. Yet now Iran wants to be recognized as a perfectly normal nuclear state, with the right to enrich weapons-grade uranium.

Yes, that's the incredible message coming out of Tehran and Vienna this week. As American and European diplomats quibble over whether they'll "deplore" or "condemn" the country's repeated nuclear deceptions, Iranian officials have all but declared they intend little or no future cooperation with International Atomic Energy Agency attempts to prevent them from getting the bomb.

"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," said Hassan Rohani, Iran's nuclear pointman and head of the Supreme Council for National Security.

President Mohammed Khatami and Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazzi have both warned that a strong rebuke could lead to a cessation of cooperation with the IAEA. Not surprisingly, they are attempting to drive a wedge between America and its European allies, warning the latter to "resist U.S. pressure" and offering lucrative oil contracts. Iran's state-sanctioned press has even mooted withdrawal from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).

This bluster is no doubt designed to obscure all of the ominous news about the Iranian nuclear program. The latest is that inspectors have found traces of bomb-grade, 90%-enriched uranium-235. There is no civilian application for uranium of that quality. Iran has also been forced to fess up to the military links of what it had claimed was merely a civilian enrichment program. And of course Tehran had denied having any enrichment program at all until an Iranian resistance group and Western intelligence proved otherwise. IAEA inspectors have also found traces of polonium-210, a radioactive element primarily useful as the trigger for a nuclear explosion.

In sum, no serious person can doubt that the Iranians are hellbent on building a nuclear arsenal. The only question is whether anyone is going to do anything about it.

Earlier this week the United States, along with Britain, France and Germany -- the three European countries who brokered this inspections process -- agreed to present the full IAEA board with a resolution that fails to refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council but does condemn the multiple deceptions that have been exposed. Today in Vienna they'll face pressure for further compromise -- especially from Russia, which would like to continue building Iran's million reactor at Bushehr, a facility that would add plutonium to the list of Iranian options for a bomb core.

But far more critical than the language of the next IAEA resolution are the steps that could be taken in the coming months. The options here are not as limited as they might first appear, at least if the world can be persuaded to get serious.

Henry Sokolski of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center has useful suggestions built around strengthening "country-neutral" non-proliferation rules. They include a declaration that countries cannot unilaterally withdraw from the NPT, the suspension of all nuclear cooperation with any nation that doesn't get the IAEA's full seal of approval, and support for interdiction efforts against countries failing the IAEA test.

He also suggests asking the IAEA to spell out exactly what and how long it would take to certify that Iran is not in the bomb-making business. The Secretary of State or the President could also use the bully pulpit to demand Europe and Japan refrain from Iranian oil investments until the nuclear issues are cleared up.

We'd add there's an opportunity here for John Kerry to show a little statesmanship and do some good for the world too. Iran's mullahs are clearly trying to draw out their dance with the IAEA in the hope they'll get a friendlier Administration in Washington next year. But the presumptive Democratic nominee could help persuade them to abandon that strategy with an unequivocal declaration that he too would make stopping the Iranian bomb a priority.

The consequences of failure, after all, would be to permanently discredit the international arms control system that Mr. Kerry loves so much. It would also pave the way for future terrorist atrocities that make yesterday's carnage in Madrid look like child's play.
15 posted on 03/12/2004 11:43:02 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Standing Up To Mullahs

March 12, 2004
National Post

In late 2003, there was hope that the international crisis surrounding Iran's nuclear program was near its end. Following heavy diplomatic pressure from the West, Iran agreed to halt its "civilian" uranium enrichment program -- which the United States believes to be a smokescreen for weapons development. Iran also pledged to disclose details of its nuclear efforts to the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and announced it would sign on to the Additional Protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which allows surprise IAEA inspections.

But it has become obvious that Iran did not come clean. Nor did the country abandon its thinly concealed ambition to build an atomic bomb. On Feb. 24, the IAEA released an interim report that shows Iran has imported a variety of undeclared uranium processing technologies -- almost certainly through the network run by Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan. Tehran also concealed from the IAEA its experiments with polonium, a radioactive element used to trigger nuclear explosions.

Yet the report did little to shame the mullahs. Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi protested the IAEA criticism with the claim that "it's our legitimate right to enrich uranium." Like other Iranian officials in recent months, he made it clear that last Fall's compromise was merely a stall tactic aimed at getting the IAEA off Iran's back so its scientists could get back to their centrifuges.

Mr. Kharrazi's comments came as the IAEA's 35-member board of governors met in Vienna to discuss (among other matters) how to deal with Tehran. The United States has long urged that Iran must be publicly censured for breaching its international agreements. Washington also wants the body to threaten action by the UN Security Council, a step that could lead to economic sanctions.

But, France, Britain and Germany are lobbying for a strategy of conflict avoidance. A compromise resolution meant to satisfy these nations would criticize Iran for its continued secrecy, but also offer praise for allowing more inspections. The resolution does not refer Iran to the Security Council for breaching the NPT, and a final decision on how to deal with the country would reportedly be put off till the IAEA's June meeting.

No fools, the mullahs are doing their best to drive a wedge between the U.S. and European positions. This week, Mr. Kharrazi warned that European nations looking to maintain commercial interests with Iran must remain "committed to their obligations and resist U.S. pressures."

For the sake of world peace, we hope the Americans can stiffen the Europeans' spines. Along with North Korea, another rogue dictatorship with a burgeoning nuclear program, Iran stands as one of the two greatest threats to Western security. The ruling mullahs have shown themselves to be liars bent on achieving an "Islamic bomb" by any means necessary. Surely, the Europeans can be made to realize that stopping this menace is more important than giving their oil companies a leg up in the race for Iranian crude.

The ray of hope in the Iranian crisis is that, unlike Saddam-era Iraq, Tehran can likely be brought to heel through diplomatic pressure and sanctions. The country is in bad economic shape, and has signalled its eagerness to attract outside investment. Indeed, Hassan Rohani, the secretary of Iran's "Supreme Council for National Security," recently admitted that Iran adopted a conciliatory posture on nukes last fall because "most of the world's leading industrial nations conditioned trading with us to the signing of the protocol." As a specific example, he cited fears that Japan might pull out of plans to develop his country's Azadegan oilfields.

But for this approach to work, the West must speak with one voice, and Tehran cannot be permitted to play one IAEA member off against the other. By most accounts, Iran is only a few years away from getting The Bomb. And so this week's IAEA board of governors meeting may be one of the last chances the world has to stop the project through peaceful means. If the Europeans are too scared to take on Tehran now, God help us when a Persian nuclear threat hangs over Paris, London and Berlin.
16 posted on 03/12/2004 11:43:46 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran: An Overview

March 12, 2004
Energy Compass

After crushing their reformist rivals to engineer a parliamentary majority, Iran's conservatives effectively have a free hand in shaping the economic and political future of Opec's second-biggest producer for the next five years at least. But the outcome will hinge largely on their ability to attract more foreign investment, and to turn soaring oil revenues into jobs for the country's young and increasingly disaffected population. Leading conservatives may also attempt a rapprochement with the US, after spending years sniping at the "Great Satan." Not only are most Iranians in favor of such a move, but Iran's removal from the US hit-list would bring substantial commercial benefits. Given Washington's suspicions about Iran's nuclear program, it appears in no mood to play ball, however.

A big plus is the relatively healthy state of the oil industry, which has brought in about $20 billion a year for the past couple of years. According to the oil ministry, production capacity has risen to around 4.2 million barrels per day, and should pass 4.5 million b/d in the next two or three years as new fields come on stream. Right now, crude oil exports out of Kharg Island are 2.3 million b/d, and could rise as increasing volumes of imports via swap deals with Russia, Kazakstan and Turkmenistan free up more domestic oil for export. At the same time, National Iranian Oil Co. (NIOC) has upgraded by 20% its estimates of proven reserves to some 130 billion bbl, catapulting Iran above Iraq into second place in the world league table behind Saudi Arabia -- although some analysts refuse to accept the new figures without independent certification .

The giant onshore Azadegan field will account for some of the production increase. Under a $2 billion deal signed with Japan's Inpex just before the Feb. 20 elections, output from southern Azadegan will kick off in 2007 and plateau at 260,000 b/d five years later. Other Asian firms like China's Sinopec and India's Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) are now among the companies bidding to develop northern Azadegan. A source says the field has the long-term potential to produce at least 700,000 b/d, but this will depend on careful handling of the reservoirs, a massive water-injection program and use of the best technology.

Inpex is now seeking an experienced international partner after Royal Dutch/Shell decided to give the field a wide berth. The likeliest candidate is Total, which is keen to build on the success of its contract to implement Phases 2 and 3 of the giant South Pars gas scheme. Total has also carried out detailed studies on the Majnoon field across the border in Iraq, which Iranian industry officials say may be part of the same structure as Azadegan.

The oil ministry has said it would like a US company involved. But given the continued tensions -- not to mention US sanctions -- that is impossible. Azadegan earlier became tangled up in messy politics. In 1999, NIOC gave Conoco exclusive rights to develop the field, according to sources close to the matter, but the US firm was forced to relinquish them under White House pressure. Since being taken over by Phillips, Conoco has given up its Iranian ambitions, and has switched its Middle East focus to tiny Qatar, where it has joined the race to produce liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the giant North Field.

Qatar's spectacular progress on the LNG export front is leaving Iranian attempts to develop LNG facilities to be fed with gas from South Pars -- part of the same structure as Qatar's North Field -- in the shade. NIOC, Total and Petronas have just finalized the Pars LNG joint venture, to build two LNG trains, each with a capacity of 4.2 million tons per year. NIOC also hopes to sign a deal with BG to build two more trains, and is discussing another LNG scheme with Shell and Repsol YPF.

But US sanctions don't help. Companies' ability to secure markets for their LNG is critical -- and the US, which is looking to LNG imports to meet incremental gas demand, is off-limits. Moreover, most of the current technology used to produce LNG is patented by American companies. Aware of the commercial benefits of a rapprochement, leading conservatives may soon launch a charm offensive via an intermediary, such as former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who in the mid-1990s tried hard to get US oil companies back in Iran and before that was a key figure in America's bungled Iran-Contra arms-for-hostages affair.

But the US remains deeply unimpressed by Iran's failure to divulge the full details of its nuclear program. "They will investigate the possibility of re-establishing relations," a US diplomat says of the conservatives. "But they will soon find out that they can't."
17 posted on 03/12/2004 11:44:37 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
EU Big Three Violates Tehran Declaration, Iran to React

VIENNA, March 12 (Mehr News Agency)

A member of the Iranian diplomatic mission to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors said Friday that Britain, France and Germany have reneged on their promises and violated the Tehran declaration adding that Iran will react to this move.
He told the Mehr News Agency that Tehran will react promptly, wisely and logically to the Europeans’ non-committal move.

Despite diplomatic efforts and insistence that Iran has implemented the clauses of the Tehran Declaration and that Paris, London, and Berlin should also live up to their commitments unfortunately these three countries have backed down from their promises and this move would definitely affect Iran’s relations with Europe, the Iranian diplomat said.

On October 21, Iran struck a deal with the European Union big three, Britain, France and Germany. According to the Tehran Declaration, Tehran agreed to sign the 93+2 Additional Protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and also voluntarily agreed to suspend its uranium enrichment program. In return, the EU big three agreed to recognize Iran’s legitimate right to have a civilian nuclear energy program and to transfer nuclear technology to Iran.

By resorting to unjust and illogical ways these countries are trying to replace legal issues with political matters, said the diplomat.

In recent days, he said, Russia, China and the Non-Aligned members have been trying to soften the views of Canada, Australia, U.S. and even the European big three but unfortunately they did not succeed. Some NAM members interpreted the Westerners’ behavior toward themselves as unprincipled and disrespectful.


18 posted on 03/12/2004 12:02:42 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
"Iran Reaffirms its Goal of Controlling the Nuclear Fuel Cycle"

March 11, 2004
The Power and Interest News Report
Erich Marquardt

In recent days, Iran has reaffirmed its commitment toward its goal of gaining complete control over the nuclear fuel cycle. Tehran's desire to research and control every aspect of the nuclear fuel cycle required for producing nuclear energy has been hotly contested by the United States.

The aspect of Tehran's nuclear research program that has drawn the most flak is the uranium enrichment program. In order to create fuel for a nuclear reactor, it is necessary to produce low-enriched uranium. At the same time, however, high-enriched uranium can be used to create nuclear weapons. It is for this reason that the United States has made every attempt to prevent Iran from undertaking the uranium enrichment process and has attempted to forge together a coalition of states demanding that Iran only import enriched uranium, rather than produce it independently.

The political wrestling between the two states culminated in an accord signed by Tehran on October 21, 2003. The countries of Great Britain, France and Germany intervened and compromised with Iran, causing Tehran to sign an extra protocol to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) allowing for more intrusive inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and placing into effect a temporary halt on all uranium enrichment activities inside Iran. In exchange for these concessions, London, Paris and Berlin offered Tehran nuclear research information and greater access to modern technology.

Tehran agreed to the additional protocol not because it planned on giving up its uranium enrichment program, but because it considered signing the protocol to be the best available route toward that program. By complying with the IAEA's demands, and forging a compromise with London, Paris and Berlin, Tehran hoped to secure greater assistance from trade partners in the form of modern technology. This assistance would help Iran better understand the methods involved in all aspects of nuclear technology, including the methods of creating nuclear weapons. Outside support would also help Tehran build the necessary infrastructure to increase the country's economic and military stability -- a path that it must follow due to the regional threats it faces.

Iran's true intentions of restarting its uranium enrichment program can already be seen in the recent statements by Iranian officials. Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi argued during a cabinet meeting that "it's our legitimate right to enrich uranium." Echoing statements made in October of last year, following the signing of the additional protocol to the NPT, Kharrazi continued, "We suspended uranium enrichment voluntarily and temporarily. Later, when our relations with the IAEA return to normal, we will definitely resume enrichment."

Hassan Rohani, the secretary of the Supreme Council for National Security, also made a statement, explaining how Tehran complied with the additional protocol only because it considered it the best route toward the country's goal of controlling every aspect of the nuclear fuel cycle. Rohani explained that Tehran agreed to a compromise with the three European states because "the pressures applied on Iran were so great that most of the world's leading industrial nations conditioned trading with us to the signing of the protocol, as seen in the Azadegan oilfields that the Japanese refused to develop."

Also, by not compromising with the main European Union states, there would be little chance that the Europeans would be able to restrain the United States' aggressive foreign policy. Rohani admitted as much, warning that had Tehran failed to comply with the IAEA, "it would face the same fate as Iraq." Indeed, the threat that the United States poses to Iran is very real, and is one of the driving factors behind Iran's possible quest for nuclear weapons.

Washington's demonstration of power in Iraq perhaps proved to the leadership in Tehran that the threat from the United States could not be taken lightly, and that in order to prevent the United States from using force to push through political decisions affecting Iran, it would have to develop a solid deterrent force made up of nuclear weapons. Furthermore, Tehran is also aware that its future progression as a regional power will be stunted by the state of Israel, unless Tehran acquires the capability of deterring Tel Aviv. Israel, due to its support from the United States, has always remained a force for the status quo in the Middle East, working with the United States to prevent any Middle Eastern or regional contender from becoming strong enough to alter the balance of power. This strategic relationship was best seen during Tel Aviv's attack on Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981.

With these two threats in mind, Tehran is aware that if it is to have an independent foreign policy, free from the restraints of outside powers, it will need to develop nuclear weapons in order to deter against conventional attacks. While becoming nuclear-armed would not ensure its protection from attacks from the United States, Israel, or other neighbors, it would lessen the risks. In fact, the only reason that Iran would not seek nuclear weapons was if it were afforded a nuclear umbrella, similar to the way the United States shielded Western Europe under its own nuclear umbrella during the Cold War.

Iran, presently, has no such protection. The primary country willing to offer Tehran military support is the Russian Federation, but Moscow is in no position to assist Tehran in any military conflict with Washington. Therefore, the leadership in Tehran must rely on itself for its security and, in a region full of threats, it may need to develop nuclear weapons to adequately do so.

Rohani admitted as much, stating, "We want 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. This is very difficult for the world to accept." Rohani continued, outlining Iran's agenda, "We have two goals ahead of us that we must achieve. One is closing Iran's nuclear dossier with the IAEA and bringing the board of governors to take it out of their agenda, and the other is to have Iran recognized globally as a nuclear country."

With such outspoken policy goals, Tehran's aim of joining the nuclear club is sure to spark incessant controversy. With the United States and Israel desperately trying to preserve the balance of power in the Middle East, they will tactfully respond to each step Iran takes toward acquiring control over the nuclear fuel cycle. The only way that such persistent conflict may end is if Iran does indeed prove that it is a nuclear-armed country. The response by the United States and Israel might then be rather muted, similar to the way the world responded when China acquired nuclear weapons in 1964; rather than launch a military attack to restore the balance of power in the region, the Nixon administration at the time instead responded to Beijing with none other than a full presidential visit, giving China instant credibility in the eyes of the world.

Report Drafted By: Erich Marquardt
23 posted on 03/12/2004 7:00:39 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
This thread is now closed.

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

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

30 posted on 03/13/2004 11:31:08 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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