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Iranian Alert -- March 19, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- Americans for Regime Change in Iran
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 3.19.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 03/18/2004 9:48:16 PM PST by DoctorZIn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DoctorZin


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iaea; iran; iranianalert; iranquake; protests; southasia; studentmovement; studentprotest
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 03/18/2004 9:48:17 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

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

2 posted on 03/18/2004 9:51:02 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
I am getting reports that the student movement in Iran has significant plans for Saturday. I will report more on this soon.
3 posted on 03/18/2004 9:53:57 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran must be monitored, MPs warn

Mar 19 2004

Iran needs to monitored with "continued vigilance" to ensure it honours a commitment not to develop nuclear weapons, MPs have warned.

The Commons Foreign Affairs Committee said there is "no certainty" an agreement struck by Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and his French and German counterparts with the Tehran regime would achieve its objectives.

Following reports that Iran was continuing to develop sophisticated centrifuges needed to produce weapons-grade uranium, the committee said Tehran appeared to be "guilty either of careless inefficiency or deliberate deceit".

The European Union "troika" of Mr Straw, French foreign minister Dominic de Villepin and Germany's Joschka Fischer, won an assurance from Iran that it would voluntarily suspend all uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities, after visiting Tehran in October.

The Iranians also agreed to sign up to a new protocol allowing the International Atomic Energy Authority - the United Nations nuclear watchdog - increased access to inspect its nuclear facilities.

However, the committee warned that the limits of the agreement are likely to be "thoroughly tested" by the Iranians.

"Welcome though the agreement with Iran on its nuclear activities is, there can as yet be no certainty that it will achieve its objectives," it said.

"Scrupulous enforcement by the IAEA will be necessary, backed up by continued resolve on the part of the EU troika and other parties."

http://icsouthlondon.icnetwork.co.uk/0100news/nationalnews/tm_objectid=14067722&method=full&siteid=50100&headline=iran-must-be-monitored--mps-warn-name_page.html
4 posted on 03/18/2004 9:58:32 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Yes. The leftists have decided that, since the Islamists are enemies of America, then they are comrades. This is more than evident in their "reporting". The US media are enemies of freedom. No doubt about it. God speed political reform in Iran.
5 posted on 03/18/2004 10:00:50 PM PST by Mad_Tom_Rackham (Any day you wake up is a good day.)
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To: DoctorZIn
Factional Infighting in Iran Could Hamper Conservatives' Political Agenda in Parliament

March 18, 2004
EurasiaNet
Ardeshir Moaveni

The leaders of Iran’s conservatives, who have taken control of parliament, are developing a restrained agenda that they hope will secure the backing of a generally skeptical population. However, some Iranian political analysts believe that several major obstacles, including ideological differences among factions, could derail the conservatives’ plans.

Conservatives will enjoy a dominant majority when the Islamic republic’s 7th legislature convenes in late May. At the same time, a majority of Iranians continue to view conservative political leaders unfavorably, concerned that they seek to re-impose strict Islamic protocols. According to some estimates, only about 15 percent of the Iranian electorate actively backs conservative parties. To win the parliamentary election, conservatives relied heavily on decisions by the hardliner-controlled Guardian Council, which disqualified roughly 2,500 parliamentary candidates and effectively hindered the reformists’ ability to mount a viable campaign. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive]. Conservatives also benefited from widespread apathy among erstwhile reform supporters.

Tacitly acknowledging that their political survival depends on not alienating the population further, several conservative leaders have already pledged not to roll back the loosening of social restrictions that occurred in recent years. They are also laying the groundwork for a massive consumer-sector spending spree, which they hope will boost their popularity ratings by offering quick-fix remedies for the country’s structural economic problems. To buy time for their economic plan to work, many conservatives are also hoping to improve the country’s tense relationship with the United States.

Shortly after the parliamentary election, Golamali Haddad-Adel – who is related to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and who is viewed as a leading candidate to become the next parliament speaker – indicated that a conservative-dominated legislature would keep existing social policy intact. "There will not be a return to the past," he said. Later, on March 6, Haddad-Adel touched upon the issue of women’s rights, saying; "For women, it is not against the law if they choose not to wear a hejab [traditional head covering] while they are traveling outside the country."

While these conservatives are promising no radical shifts in the social sphere, they are planning major changes in the economic sector. Observers in Tehran suggest the conservatives are attempting to develop an economic program that fuses Keynesian economic practices with the tightly controlled Chinese model of economic and political development.

Overcoming the country’s deep economic problems is widely viewed as a major political challenge for conservatives. Some projections suggest that Iran will have to create up to 1 million jobs per year to keep pace with the country’s burgeoning population. At present, the country is creating only about 300,000 jobs per year. The vast majority of the country’s population is under age 30.

In an attempt to relieve mounting popular frustration, conservatives will encourage a massive influx of consumer goods. The next legislature is thus expected to give serious consideration to lowering or eliminating tariffs on imports, and the expansion credits to merchants. Concurrently, in an effort to alleviate unemployment, conservatives will promote a massive civic-sector construction boom, including highways, housing projects, parks and shopping malls. Already, the conservative-controlled city council in Tehran is developing a tentative blueprint to remake the cityscape. The overall cost of the government programs could stretch into the billions of dollars.

To pay for the government spending spree, conservatives are prepared to tap into the country’s considerable foreign currency reserves. However, in recent weeks they have struggled with their reformist rivals over control of a special fund containing an estimated $10 billion, derived from Iran’s windfall oil sales profits. On March 10, conservative leaders cautioned the lame-duck reformist-dominated legislature against taking steps that would deplete the fund. The lame-duck legislature has nevertheless persisted in its efforts to allocate a significant amount of the special fund, which was established in 2000 by President Mohammad Khatami’s reformist government. The executive branch is the last bastion of reformist power.

On March 15, the Guardian Council, which, in addition to vetting candidates for political office, also wields veto power over parliamentary legislation, rejected an attempt by reformists to utilize $6.5 billion for reformist-backed construction and development programs, and to pay off some of the country’s foreign debt. The next day, however, the Expediency Council, Iran’s supreme oversight body, approved a $5 billion allocation to the reformist-controlled government.

Conservatives accuse the reformists of trying to drain the special fund before presidential elections are held in 2005. Conservatives view their ability to control the fund as central to achieving their aim of regaining control over the executive branch in the presidential election.

Even if conservatives are left with sufficient funds to implement their economic agenda, some political observers believe they could become bogged down by infighting. Already there is evidence of tension between conservatives who are believers in the Keynesian methods and hardliners who favor strict adherence to the Chinese authoritarian model. Some influential ultra-conservatives reportedly are concerned that their legitimacy would be damaged if they are seen to embrace a liberal economic position, or endorse a foreign policy that seeks detente with the United States.

The question of promoting a rapprochement with the United States is proving contentious. The majority of conservatives feel that Washington must be engaged in order to prevent any possible US attempt to disrupt their domestic economic plans, or endanger Iranian national security. But extreme rightists, a highly influential constituency within the conservative bloc, have already vowed to oppose any attempt to seek a normalization of relations with the United States.

Editor’s Note: Ardeshir Moaveni is a freelance journalist specializing in Iranian politics.

http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/insight/articles/eav031804a.shtml
6 posted on 03/18/2004 10:02:11 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
BTTT
7 posted on 03/18/2004 10:10:45 PM PST by Fiddlstix (This Space Available for Rent or Lease by the Day, Week, or Month. Reasonable Rates. Inquire within.)
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To: DoctorZIn
I just received a statement from the student movement inside of Iran. We are translating it and will publish it soon.
8 posted on 03/18/2004 10:45:02 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
We have just received a flyer from students inside of Iran announcing an important event this Saturday, March 21, 2004 (Norooz , the Iranian New Year).

They are calling on the regime to free all political prisoners by Saturday. If the regime fails to release these prisoners they are calling on all students, teachers, laborers, and families of political prisoners to gather together at the infamous Evin Prison. They will bring a traditional Persian News Years presentation called “Sofreh Haft Sean” to the Prison.

They are saying that now this a good time both domestically and internationally for Iranians to join together, show their solidarity and resolve and call for the release of these prisoners.

(DoctorZin Note: I understand the students are planning a sit-in at the prison. They hope for thousands to join them. They are planning on bringing the “Sofreh Haft Sean” because it is a beloved New Years tradition and reminds Iranians of their Persian heritage and the regime hates Persian traditions like this.)
9 posted on 03/18/2004 11:36:59 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Wishing them success. This is very symbolic. Thanks for sharing.
10 posted on 03/19/2004 4:31:55 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (Much of your pain is self-chosen. --- Kahlil Gibran)
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To: DoctorZIn
NOROOZ PIROOZ
11 posted on 03/19/2004 5:02:22 AM PST by nuconvert (CAUTION: I'm an acquaintance of someone labelled "an obstinate supporter of dangerous fantasies")
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To: DoctorZIn
"Sofreh Haft Sean" = cloth of seven dishes .
12 posted on 03/19/2004 5:28:26 AM PST by nuconvert (CAUTION: I'm an acquaintance of someone labelled "an obstinate supporter of dangerous fantasies")
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To: DoctorZIn; All
FYI

President Bush will speak about WOT at 11:00AM EST.
This marks one year anniversary of War in Iraq.
13 posted on 03/19/2004 7:16:47 AM PST by nuconvert (CAUTION: I'm an acquaintance of someone labelled "an obstinate supporter of dangerous fantasies")
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To: DoctorZIn; yonif; RaceBannon; PhilDragoo; southland; XHogPilot; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Valin; ...
The best of the bad boys

by Micah D. Halpern
The JewsWeek


Saddam Hussein used to be the uncontested Bad Boy of the Middle East. Now Syria and Iran have signed an agreement for defense and security.

For years the incontestable Bad Boy was Saddam Hussein, all the others simply paled by comparison.

The role of the leader of the Bad Boys is one of the most powerful and consequently, essential positions in the Mid East. He is revered by the street in almost every Arab country, even the Good Boy countries and is elevated to statuesque heights in the eyes of the public. His challenge to the West - especially the United States, is accepted and expected. He moves and maneuvers and manipulates the media in order to attack the West and to incite anti-Western spirit within all the countries of the region.

This new Iranian-Syrian nexus is a very important development for the region. And it is especially important for Israel and the United States.

Intelligence analysts for both countries will be watching this new alliance and not-so-new friendship very carefully over these next few months. It is clear to all the powers that be that the "foreign threats" Assad was referring to was just a euphemism for Israel and the U.S.

All this comes at the same time that Iran is training a group of ex-pat Libyans to return to Tripoli and, once inside, to perpetrate as many terror attacks as possible within their home country.

The Iranian intention is to exert pressure on Libya's leader, Gadhafi, who has invited U.S. and international inspectors into his country to record and track his unconventional weapons arsenal and capability. Iran hopes to "convince" Gadhafi not to hand over details of the joint weapons programs that Libya has been collecting with the help of Iran and North Korea.

And as this is happening, the United States is preparing to implement the Syrian Accountability Act that demands U.S. sanctions against Syria for supporting terror.

The international intelligence community has little doubt that almost all non-al Qaida acts of terror perpetrated around the world today are backed by Syria or by Iran. Actually, there are many in the world of intel who say that there is a deep alliance between the al Qaida world and Iran and Syria.

In fact, just days after the Syrian/Iranian pact announcement Israeli Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon accused Syria and Iran of being the chief sponsors and advocates of terror in Israel. Indeed, many believe that the vacuum created by the dethronement of Saddam and the U.S. invasion of Iraq was quickly, quietly, ruthlessly, filled by Iran and Syria.

I'm not sure if Bashar Assad of Syria has what it takes to be the leader of the Bad Boys of the Middle East. I know that if not for Saddam, his father could and would have had that distinction. I also know that Muammar Gadhafi has what it takes. But, for now at least, Gadhafi has opted out of the race, predicting that he will get further by cooperating with the West.

That leaves Iran - a society run by the Ayatollahs. These religious leaders are not Arabs, they are Shiite Muslims. My hope/thinking is that resentment and hatred against them from the greater Arab and Muslim worlds will deny them the opportunity of assuming leadership of the Bad Boys.

If that should happen, if Syria is incapable and Iran is isolated, it paves the way for possible reforms within the Arab Middle East. And if that happens, then perhaps, perhaps, the world will see a little less terror. But until then, Syrian and Iran, each country alone and the two together, are to be considered armed and even more dangerous.

http://www.jewsweek.com/bin/en.jsp?enPage=BlankPage&enDisplay=view&enDispWhat=object&enDispWho=Article%5El1096&enZone=Opinions&enVersion=0&
14 posted on 03/19/2004 8:09:20 AM PST by F14 Pilot (John Fedayeen Kerry - the regime's candidate)
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To: DoctorZIn; freedom44; kian; Pan_Yans Wife; nuconvert; dixiechick2000; Eala
Empress's love of Iran, the Shah everlasting

By Kevin Chaffee
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Mar 19 2004

PERSONALITY: The beauty and serenity that once made Her Imperial Majesty Farah Pahlavi, Shahbanou (Empress) of Iran a magazine cover favorite has hardly changed in the 25 years since she and her husband, Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, were swept from power by an Islamic revolution that changed their ancient land and, as it turned out, the world as well.

THE SCENE: Wearing a tailored pantsuit with gold button earrings of Persian motif, her golden brown hair perfectly coifed, the elegant Shahbanou, 65, gracefully descends onto a settee to discuss her recently published autobiography, "An Enduring Love: My Life With the Shah," in the ultramodern living room of her substantial — though hardly palatial — home in Potomac, where she moved two years ago to be closer to her eldest son, Prince Reza Pahlavi, his wife, Yasmine, and their three daughters.

Q: What kind of a man was the Shah?
A: He loved his country and his people and wanted to bring progress and development to Iran, which he did. He was civilized, kind, just and patient and never showed any temper. He was a good father to his children, although unfortunately he didn't have as much time to spend with them as he would have liked. He was also a loving husband, and I am so grateful that he allowed me, as a woman, and as his wife, to [participate] in so many activities in that period. As time passes, I have even more admiration for him.

Q: It must have been very difficult to go from your student life in Paris to the royal court, where you were the center of attention.
A: Like any woman entering a new family, I had to be very careful ... I'm not a person who likes intrigue. I put myself above it.

http://washingtontimes.com/entertainment/20040318-083536-6272r.htm
15 posted on 03/19/2004 8:37:53 AM PST by F14 Pilot (John Fedayeen Kerry - the regime's candidate)
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To: DoctorZIn
Clashes rock Kashan

SMCCDI (information Service)
Mar 19, 2004

Sporadic clashes rocked, yesterday, the usually very calm City of Kashan as the Islamic regime's security forces intervened in order to break a workers demo in a brutal manner.

Clubs and chains were used against striking employees of the Kashan Textile and their family members and supporters. The repressive forces sent from Esfahan have injured and arrested several protesters.

The situation is tense in the city and employees refuse to continue work unless their conditions are met.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_5412.shtml
16 posted on 03/19/2004 8:38:45 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Clubs and chains were used against striking employees of the Kashan Textile and their family members and supporters.

"The beatings will continue until morale improves."

This regime is committing suicide.

17 posted on 03/19/2004 8:49:20 AM PST by Clint Williams
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To: F14 Pilot
Thanks for the ping!
18 posted on 03/19/2004 9:43:03 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: DoctorZIn
This is just a movie review, but I thought I'd share it for the commentary/ending...

Chronicling Iran

Iranian greats Jafar Panahi and Abbas Kiarostami team up for another powerful film

By JAMES DIGIOVANNA

Crimson Gold. Directed by Jafar Panahi. Starring Hossain Emadeddin, Kamyar Sheisi, Azita Rayeji and Shahram Vaziri.

Director Jafar Panahi and writer Abbas Kiarostami last teamed up on The White Balloon, which is a serious contender for best movie ever made. The tale, told in real time, of a young girl sent to the store to buy a goldfish, is so incredibly tense that I once witnessed a grizzly, 300-pound, punk-rock musician leap from his chair and cry at the screen, "Won't somebody help that little girl!"

After The White Balloon, Panahi made the equally excellent and equally little-girl-centered The Mirror, and then changed directions with The Circle, a film about the taboo subject of adult women.

Which is to say, Panahi works in Iran. Iranian films in the '90s were known for focusing on the lives of children. Besides The White Balloon and The Mirror, films like The Water Jar, A Time for Drunken Horses and The Children of Heaven employed casts of children, in part, because Iranian censorship rules made it very difficult to film adults of different sexes in the same scene.

Artists like Panahi and Kiarostami, though, couldn't live with this rule, and started making grown-up movies. As a result, both have had trouble with censors, and Panahi's The Circle was banned in Iran. Their more recent films are therefore more overtly political, but they don't translate as well, since the children's stories had to rely on universal themes while the adult films are more about specifically Iranian problems.

Crimson Gold tries to split the difference by using an emotive center to talk about social problems. In many ways, it seems like a Persian take on a French new wave take on an American film noir, but it's not just another Irano-Franco-American noir-wave existential crime thriller. Instead, it's the story of how class differences weigh upon the soul of an impoverished war hero named Hussein.

The film opens with a robbery gone wrong that results in the suicide of one of the criminals. That criminal turns out to be Hussein, and the rest of the film details how he came to think it would be a good idea to bust up a jewelry store and then stick a gun to his head and decorate the walls with his brains.

Hussein is a delivery man who rides his motorcycles through the streets of Tehran, bringing the shining gift of pizza to the Persian masses. In the course of this job, Hussein is constantly reminded of his social status. At one point, he is denied entry to a fancy jewelry store (which he'll later return to for the brain-painting); on another occasion, he must sit and wait for hours while the police raid a party. Later, he is invited into the house of a wealthy roué, where the opulence in which the decadent man lives only makes Hussein more strongly feel his own poverty.

Husky Hussein greets all of these injustices with silent brooding, and by the latter half of the film, you can clearly see that he's on the verge of going totally Travis Bickle. (Actually, there's a lot of Taxi Driver in this film, including an awesome jazz-trumpet soundtrack by Peyman Yazdanian, who you probably remember best from his work Kaze no jutan or Gahi be aseman negah kon. Or not.)

Sadly, instead of getting his angst out by loving Jodie Foster, Hussein just swallows it and gets more and more morose. Panahi uses Hussein's blank silence as the focal point around which contemporary Tehran can reveal itself.

Perhaps most telling is the scene in which Hussein must wait outside an apartment building while the cops arrest party-goers. Hussein is detained for no reason and becomes a spectator to a quintessentially Iranian scene. The police know that there's a party going on, but instead of raiding the building, they wait at the door and arrest the revelers, one by one, as they leave. It shows the small indignations and vague horror of a country in which "party" is no longer allowed to be used as a verb.

As he waits for the raid to finish, Hussein asks a young soldier if he's ever had any fun. In a heavy-handed moment, the soldier admits that he doesn't know what the word "fun" means.

There are a number of bits (like that one) that hit too hard, but on the whole, the film retains a reasonable degree of subtlety, thanks in large part to cinematographer Hossein Djafarian, who keeps things dark and tight with lots of evil-looking shadows and careful framing.

The final and opening sequence is shot in a nearly dark room with the camera centered upon a doorway opening into the morning light. During the course of the scenes, the camera zooms slowly in on the open door, which is then barred shut. In some ways, this is an overly obvious metaphor, both for Hussein's increasingly obsessive attitude about his social class and for Panahi's take on Iranian society. Either way, the film retains a good deal of the power, if not the originality, of Panahi's earlier work, while pointing out that the limits under which Iranian filmmakers have worked for so long have now reached a boiling point that verges on violence.

Don't worry, though: Word on the grapevine is that a revolution is scheduled for a fall release, and it's sure to feature a cast of millions. Let's hope Panahi is there with his camera when the clerical government heads into its third act; I can't wait to see the kind of work he'll do when he doesn't have two mullahs and an ayatollah trying to drape a veil over his lens.

19 posted on 03/19/2004 10:34:49 AM PST by Eala (Sacrificing tagline fame for... TRAD ANGLICAN RESOURCE PAGE: http://eala.freeservers.com/anglican)
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To: F14 Pilot
Freedom now!
20 posted on 03/19/2004 11:22:32 AM PST by blackie (Be Well~Be Armed~Be Safe~Molon Labe!)
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To: Clint Williams
"The beatings will continue until morale improves."

Exactly.
21 posted on 03/19/2004 3:03:52 PM PST by nuconvert (CAUTION: I'm an acquaintance of someone labelled "an obstinate supporter of dangerous fantasies")
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To: Eala
"...a revolution is scheduled for a fall release..."

If not sooner?
22 posted on 03/19/2004 3:05:14 PM PST by nuconvert (CAUTION: I'm an acquaintance of someone labelled "an obstinate supporter of dangerous fantasies")
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To: nuconvert
One can hope.
23 posted on 03/19/2004 3:15:57 PM PST by Eala (Sacrificing tagline fame for... TRAD ANGLICAN RESOURCE PAGE: http://eala.freeservers.com/anglican)
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To: DoctorZIn
Demonocracy

March 19, 2004
National Review Online
Victor Davis Hanson

Beware of Once-Elected Thugs

What exactly does democracy — "people power" — really mean? Even the Greeks who invented this peculiar institution were not quite sure. Was it just rule by a majority vote? Or did it include mechanisms and subsidies to ensure the participation of the poor? Or to protect the minority from mob rule? Aristotle himself was baffled about what actually distinguished some forms of oligarchies from democracies; indeed his Politics can offer only a hopelessly confused typology.

Later Westerners who looked back at democracy in Athens were also confused over whether it was the noble "School of Hellas" of Pericles or the mobocracy that had precipitously executed Aegean islanders and condemned Socrates — or both. Sober critics of democracy usually preferred a "Mixed Constitution," a consensual constitution that had various checks — sometimes legislative, sometimes executive and judicial — on popular will.

In any case, through the long cauldron of Western political thought there has emerged a consensus that constitutional government should have elements of both direct voting and elective representatives to protect citizenry from their own spontaneous and raw emotions. An independent judiciary, constitutional protection of minority and religious rights, guarantees of personal freedom and expression — all these institutions are also essential to the idea of "democracy."

In addition, free markets are integral to consensual government. So are property rights. And these institutions are not simply to be ensured at the national level alone; in a modern free country they naturally permeate all of society, from informal elections at local PTA meetings to airing squabbles freely at the local chamber of commerce.

"Democracy" is also an evolving concept. From its inception in ancient Greece it has steadily become more inclusive — dropping barriers to participation based on wealth, race, and gender. And it has also become more careful to distance governance from what a given electorate happens to feel on any given day, whether through judicial intervention or the rise of vast bureaucracies run by the executive branch.

In the modern world, the terms "democracy" and "republic" — nomenclature native only to Western languages — are bandied about quite loosely, inasmuch as they lend a veneer of legitimacy to otherwise awful regimes. The Soviet Union was supposedly a conglomeration of "republics." So were North Vietnam and East Germany. Indeed "democratic peoples" and "socialist republics" were usually code words for no voting and no liberty.

In light of the propaganda value of giving lip service to freedom, dictatorships on the Right also rarely call themselves "The Autocracy of Chile" or "The Nicaraguan Dictatorship." Many of the Arab autocracies — the Saudi monarchy's employment of "kingdom" is an exception — are officially "republics." Of course, not a single one has a really consensual government or regularly scheduled elections that are truly free.

So most countries that are not democratic claim that they are; and yet democracy itself turns out to be much more than just the occasion of one free election. And this paradox can raise real problems. Look at the Iranian elections of 1980 that took place in a climate of intimidation and without constitutional guarantees. Secular candidates were harassed and voters intimidated. Within three years there was essentially only one Islamic party and thereafter only sporadic rigged elections. The Iranian "president" and "parliament" meant little then and mean less now, as we learn from the recent forced withdrawal of a number of "reform" candidates.

Ditto for the Palestinians. Arafat had one sort of free election in 1996. But his "opponent," Samiha Kahil, was denied commensurate air time and contended with the bribery, violence, and censorship of Fatah, before garnering a mere nine percent of the vote. There have been no presidential elections since, no free judiciary, and no free press. The Palestinian Authority is about as democratic as the regime of Saddam Hussein, who "won" his similarly fixed election by about the same plurality as Arafat. Yet the New York Times praised Arafat in 1996 for his electoral victory and like most others in the media has been reluctant since to condone his isolation to his Ramallah bunker, given that chimera that he was a "democratically elected leader."

Haiti is not much different. An exiled Mr. Aristide was restored by the United States in 1996, on the pretext that he probably won the 1994 election. But since then he has engaged in criminality, censorship, blackmail, and violence to ensure that both the parliamentary and presidential elections of 2000 were engineered to his own satisfaction. For all his priestly past, New York sojourns, and professed sympathy for the poor, he too is a one-vote, one-time thug.

In some ways these aborted democracies are more pernicious than the old-style dictatorships, in that they use their purportedly democratic geneses as cover for some pretty awful things. The modus operandi works something like this. An initial election follows after the demise of a prior government either associated with autocracy or the machinations of the West — the abdication of a Duvalier, Shah, or Israeli governing authority. Jimmy Carter arrives to certify (sometimes quite accurately) that the election is more or less fair — even as he can say little about the absence of a ratified constitution, free press, legitimate opposition, or bill of rights. U.N. "observers" lurk and prowl in the shadows to legitimize the proceedings, understandably scurrying back to their compounds or hotel the first time some hired goon sticks an AK-47 up their noses.

In the years that follow (such "reelected" leaders never lose and never step down), various human-rights organizations and Western leftists subsequently praise the new progressiveness of the "emerging democracy" and turn mostly a blind idea to the predictable theft, killing, and lawlessness that follow.

So happy are supporters of elected indigenous scoundrels that they issue a lifelong pass, one that has the practical effect to encourage all sorts of pathologies, from making nuclear bombs (Pakistan and Iran) to blowing up innocent civilians (Arafat). In most cases, vocal Westerner sympathizers — a Sartre, Foucault, or Chomsky — are never interested much in real democratic government, but instead find a vicarious delight in seeing raw power employed under the slogans of "social justice" and "national liberation" and expressed in predictable anti-Western tones — democracy providing them necessary cover on the cheap for cheering on pretty awful rulers.

To this day, supporters of Iranian nationalism still cite voting in Teheran. "Elected" Mr. Arafat enjoys the fruits of moral equivalence and thus is seen as no different from Sharon — inasmuch as he too "won" a majority vote just like his counterpart. That Fatah is a lawless gang — that Palestinians have no real free press and are routinely robbed, shaken down, and sometimes killed by their thugocracy — is again excused by a single, once-upon-a-time vote. By the same token, Mr. Aristide is championed by the Congressional Black Caucus and an array of leftists precisely because he once won a purportedly transparent election when those he now despises took the effort to ensure his accession.

We should worry about these developments as we press ahead with needed democratic reform in Iraq. It will be easy to have one free election in Iraq under Western auspices. But precipitous voting will hardly make a democracy. Indeed it may have the opposite effect of extending legitimacy to radical Islamicists or strongmen who emerge through the liberality and sacrifice of Western blood and treasure — only in the years ahead to curb free speech, individual rights, the right to own property, and engage in commerce without government coercion. And far from hating "democracy," such demonocratic subversives welcome its initial largess, by which all the better they can later destroy it.

What to do when we wish to leave — and those most likely to subvert the process most want us out? The most important development now unfolding in Iraq is not the date of elections, but the emergence of a constitution that protects secularism, women's rights, and ethnic minorities, and a popular culture — Internet, television, free assembly, and consumerism — that promotes free and easy association.

Without all that, we will inevitably see a one-time elected leader who will systematically transform American-sponsored fair voting into an institutionalized sham. And these demonocrats will largely be given a pass from anti-American Westerners who, when the corpses pile up and the chaos ensues, will still cling to the myth that Sheik X, Ayallatoh Y, or Chairman Z was in fact "elected."

The administration seems to grasp all these pitfalls and yet senses that democracy can still work in formerly awful places like South Africa, Poland, and Turkey — if there is a commitment to these vital ancillary institutions and protections. But they are between the rock of global demands for instant Iraqi popular sovereignty and the hard place of guaranteeing long-term democratic success a decade from now when our troops are gone and the world may be an even more dangerous place.

This is not the old realpolitik of giving a pass for pumping oil and keeping Communists at bay, or ignoring the usual descent into demonocracy. Instead of slurring our efforts as colonialist and self-interested, we should at least concede that the implementation of consensual rule in Iraq is the most idealistic, perhaps expensive, and in the end audacious initiative in the last half century of American foreign policy.

Indeed, we are in one of the rare periods of fundamental transformation in world history — as the United States has pledged its blood and treasure in both a dangerous and daring attempt to bring the Middle East, kicking and screaming, into the family of democratic nations and free societies. So while American soldiers fight, build, patrol, and sometimes die in Iraq and Afghanistan, the world at large — the Saudi royal family, President Musharraf, Mr. Khaddafi, the mullahs in Iran, the young Assad, the kleptocracy on the West Bank, and the weak and triangulating Europeans — wonders whether the strong horse will prove to be the murderous bin Laden and his Arab romance of a new Dark Age, or George Bush's idea of a free and democratic Middle East.

http://www.nationalreview.com/hanson/hanson200403190815.asp
24 posted on 03/19/2004 3:37:36 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Free Ensafali Hedayat

March 19, 2004
Iran Press Service
Safa Haeri

Iranian and international press and human rights organizations urged Iranian clerical authorities to free Mr. Ensafali Hedayat, an Iranian independent journalist jailed more than two months ago on unspecific charges.

The 51 years-old reporter was arrested early on January after his return from Berlin, where he had covered the meeting of Iranian Republicans, attended by hundreds of Iranians, including a dozen who had come from Iran and several other journalists, most of them working for foreign-based Iranian media.

Since then, not only the authorities have kept Mr. Hedayat in jail without giving any serious reason for his detention, but also local media of both sides of the leadership have been conspicuously silent on his fate, despite several letters wrote to the President and other officials by his young daughter, asking them to provide explanation or inform the public about possible charges.

According to informed friend and family sources, Mr. Hedayat is seriously ill and needs urgent medical treatments, but the authorities refuses to provide him needed care, including visit by specialists.

An independent journalist covering Iranian political and social scene for local and foreign-based media like the Prague-based Radio Farda, Mr. Hedayat had been systematically vindicated by the authorities, forcing domestic newspapers not take any article from him.

As a result, he had sold his small apartment in Tehran and left for Tabriz, the capital city of the Eastern Azarbaijan Province, where he lives in a one room flat with his wife and two children.

Informed sources say though his contribution to Radio Farda might be one of the reasons of the authorities anger with Mr. Hedayat, but what has made the rulers so determined in humiliating him is his straight forward and factual reporting, including his outstanding coverage of the strong earthquake that hit the historical city of Bam last year, killing more than 46.000 people, detailing the shortcomings of the Iranian authorities in dealing with the tragedy.

"Why this silence. Why this void. Why no one answers. Why everybody seems to take his distance in this nation from the case of my father, Ensafali Hedayat, a courageous and proud journalist?" wrote Ms. Fatemeh Hedayat in a moving open letter to the Iranian nation.

Iranian media except a few internet sites based outside Iran have refused to publish Ms. Hedayat letters.

"I’m asking why my father is in jail and nobody answers. I’m asking what my father has done and no one say anything. But I’m proud of my father. He is a free, courageous and strong man. He would stand up and shake hands of his countrymen. No matter he is in prison, deprived of all rights, but he is in the right path and his pencil writing the truth, the plights and the pains of his countrymen without fear, nor favour", she continued.

She also confirmed in the letter that his father is seriously ill, suffering from bleeding and infections due to bad prison conditions, but "no one pays any attention".

In letters and faxes to Iranian leaders, including Ayatollah Ali Khameneh’i, the leader of the Islamic Republic, Mohammad Khatami, the President and Ayatollah Mahmood Hashemi Shahroodi, the Head of the Judiciary, the Rome-based Association of Iranian Journalists Abroad (AIJA), joined by the international press watchdog Reporters Sans Frontieres called on them to free Mr. Hedayat "immediately and unconditionally" or take "all the consequences".

"Mr. Hedayat is in prison since early January and despite all inquiries, the authorities of the Islamic Republic have refused to provide any answer on the charges against the journalist", both AIJA and Reporters Without Borders said.

For its part, the executive committees of the Iranian Republicans also send a petition to the Iranian authorities, protesting to the "arbitrary" arrest of Mr. Hedayat, whom, it said, had done nothing wrong but to cover the meeting "as did several others of his colleagues".

According to the RSF, the Islamic Republic is one of the world’s largest prison for journalists and its leader, Ayatollah Khameneh’i, "one of the world’s most dangerous predator of press freedom".

Since 1999, Iranian clerical authorities, acting on orders from Mr. Khameneh’i, have shut more than 120 publications and arrested tens of leading Iranian journalist, commentators and editors, some of them still behind bars, including Hoda Saber, Taqi Rahmani, Siamak Poorzand, Reza Alijani and Iraj Jamshidi, but also lawyer Naser Zarafshan, Researcher and writer Abbas Abdi, Islamist reformer Hojjatoleslam Hasan Yusefi Eshkevar and university professor Hashem Aqajari.

http://www.iran-press-service.com/articles_2004/Mar_04/ensafali_hedayat_18304.htm
25 posted on 03/19/2004 3:38:21 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Rafsanjani Says Madrid Bombings Result of US Policy

March 19, 2004
AFX News
Ample

TEHRAN -- Influential former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said last week's terrorist bombings in Madrid were the result of US policy in Iraq and the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories.

"As long as these two problems are not resolved, there will be no security in this region or anywhere else," he said during a sermon at midday prayers in Tehran, broadcast on public radio.

"We cannot separate the attacks in Spain with the problems of the Middle East and Iraq," he added.

"Those who are attacked (in the region by the Americans) take their revenge elsewhere. We do not approve of their methods, but that is the reality," he told worshippers.

http://www.iii.co.uk/shares/?type=news&articleid=4929366&action=article
26 posted on 03/19/2004 3:39:04 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Zarqawi May Be Mastermind Behind Bomb Attacks in Madrid

March 19, 2004
The Wall Street Journal
David Crawford

European intelligence officials say a prime suspect as the mastermind of last week's train bombings in Madrid is Abu Musab Zarqawi, a 37-year-old Jordanian believed to be one of the most dangerous Islamist leaders at large.

According to police and intelligence documents, as well as interviews with Spanish and German investigators, Mr. Zarqawi has links with Jamal Zougam, one of those detained in connection with the Madrid attacks. Mr. Zougam traveled regularly to Norway to meet the leader of a Kurdish religious group known as Ansar al Islam. Mr. Zarqawi formed a cooperative relationship with the group before U.S. troops drove him and his supporters out of training camps they ran for jihad fighters along Afghanistan's Iranian border.

"All of the important leads in the case point toward Zarqawi," said Jean-Charles Brisard, a French private investigator who has been following the case for lawyers representing families of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the U.S.

Another connection is through Amer Azizi, one of Mr. Zougam's top associates, according to Spanish police documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. In the documents, Mr. Azizi is portrayed as a close friend of Mr. Zougam, putting him up at his home and spending time with him at meetings. Mr. Azizi is a member of al Tawhid, a Jordanian Islamist organization that Mr. Zarqawi heads.

In November 2001, Spanish investigators lost track of Mr. Azizi after he disappeared into Iran en route to Afghanistan, according to the Spanish documents. According to a German investigator and intelligence reports, the clandestine routes between Iran and Afghanistan were controlled at that time by Mr. Zarqawi.

A U.S. intelligence official said he hadn't seen any evidence tying Mr. Zarqawi to the Madrid bombing, but he said anything was possible. Although the Spanish government has begun sharing some evidence in the investigation with Washington, the U.S. has no agents on the ground in Madrid.

In a communiqué attributed to Mr. Zarqawi that the U.S. made public in early March, the suspected al Qaeda operative suggested that he would confine his activities to Iraq. In the letter, Mr. Zarqawi said he intended to disrupt U.S. plans to create an independent Iraqi government on July 1 by creating an army that would "gain control of the land at night." The "zero hour" for the formation of this army, Mr. Zarqawi said, "will come four months or so before the promised government is formed."

The focus on Mr. Zarqawi comes as Spanish police continue to pursue leads closer to home. Late Wednesday and Thursday, they arrested five men for allegedly participating in the Madrid attacks, bringing to 11 the total arrested so far.

*The Associated Press reported yesterday that statements attributed to al Qaeda warned that the U.S. or other coalition partners in Iraq -- Japan, Italy, Britain or Australia -- could be the next target after Spain.

--Christopher Cooper contributed to this article.

Write to David Crawford at david.crawford@wsj.com

http://online.wsj.com/public/us
27 posted on 03/19/2004 3:40:02 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Trilateral Maneuvers

March 19, 2004
National Review Online
Ilan Berman

Iran Gets Tight with Syria and Lebanon.

If the Bush administration needed another reason to look beyond Baghdad in its war on terrorism, it has just been given one. In late February, Iran's defense minister, Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani, embarked on a whirlwind tour of Syria and Lebanon. The resulting tightening of ties between Tehran, Beirut, and Damascus marks the birth of an ominous new alliance, deeply threatening to American interests.

Shamkhani's diplomatic offensive commenced with a two-day tour of Syria. There, Iran's defense minister held a very public summit with his Syrian counterpart, Lieutenant General Mustafa Tlas, at which the two hammered out a landmark strategic accord. The new "memorandum of understanding" establishes a joint working group on bilateral military and security, paving the way for deeper defense-industrial cooperation between Tehran and Damascus. More significant still, the agreement contains an unprecedented Iranian commitment to defend Syria in the event of either an Israeli or an American offensive, formally making the Baathist state a part of Iran's security.

From Damascus, Shamkhani traveled to Beirut, where he held court with the upper echelons of the Lebanese government. In meetings with the country's president, Emile Lahoud, as well as Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, Parliamentary Speaker Nabih Berri and Army Commander Michel Soleyman, he pledged closer military ties with Beirut — and an active Iranian role in Lebanon's emerging military modernization.

The Iranian defense minister also made a point of meeting with the leadership of Lebanon's Shiite terrorist powerhouse, Hezbollah, to whom he confirmed that the newly minted security guarantees between Syria and Iran would extend to their country. The message was unmistakable — the Israeli and American "enemy" would now "think a thousand times before attacking Lebanon."

Tehran's full-court press is already paying dividends. In an outright show of support, President Lahoud has publicly praised the regional importance of the emerging "Tehran, Damascus, and Beirut axis." And Syrian officials — under fire abroad for their government's deep support for terrorism — have similarly made no secret of their enthusiasm for the nascent alliance's deterrent potential.

But these stirrings reflect more than simply a broadening of political bonds between Iran, Syria, and Lebanon. They are indicative of a larger realignment now underway in the Middle East, where the political vacuum created by overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime has begun to be filled.

And Iran is rapidly emerging as the biggest beneficiary of the new regional status quo. Over the past two years, American efforts in the war on terrorism have successfully eliminated Iran's most immediate strategic adversaries — Saddam Hussein's Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan — while effectively de-clawing the principal terror threat to the Islamic republic: the radical, Iraq-based Mujahedeen e-Khalq organization. These moves have left the United States Iran's principal remaining regional challenger. It is no wonder that Iranian policymakers like Expediency Council Secretary Mohsen Rezai have begun to view their country as the natural "center of international power politics" in the post-Saddam Middle East.

Tehran has wasted no time translating this vision into action. In recent months, the Islamic republic has gravitated toward a new, more confrontational strategic doctrine — one that includes a major expansion of Iran's military capabilities and political presence in both the Persian Gulf and the Caucasus. This aggressive agenda has only been solidified by the sweeping victory of regime hard-liners in the country's recent, hotly contested parliamentary elections.

The trilateral alliance just crafted in Damascus and Beirut is a big part of these plans. Iran's leaders hope that such a radical coalition will blunt the impact of the U.S.-led transformation taking place in Iraq on their own restive population, and derail larger American plans for a sea change in the region's political balance — an initiative they view as a "serious threat to the security, independence, and stability of the Islamic countries." Simultaneously, Tehran is seeking an answer to pro-Western constructs, like the Israeli-Turkish strategic partnership, capable of supplementing American efforts. And, in the midst of the war on terrorism, the Islamic republic is working hard to ensure the continued relevance of its most potent regional proxy, Hezbollah.

If it manages to accomplish these objectives, Washington might just find that U.S. Middle East policy has become a victim of Tehran's success.

— Ilan Berman is vice president for policy at the American Foreign Policy Council in Washington, D.C.

http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/berman200403190918.asp
28 posted on 03/19/2004 3:41:19 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
MPs Call for 'Good Friend' Policy with Iran

March 19, 2004
Financial Times
Christopher Adams

Britain should act as a "good friend" to Iran as the west tries to persuade it to give up its nuclear ambitions and support for terrorist groups, an influential committee of MPs will say today.

A report by the Commons foreign affairs committee urges renewed vigilance after Tehran's failure to declare some parts of its nuclear programme since agreeing to more intrusive inspections.

It is largely supportive of the UK's policy of "constructive engagement" but says significant barriers remain to Iran's return to the international community.

In particular, the report criticises Tehran's record on human rights and on the treatment of women.

"We are seriously concerned that Iran has yet to repeal provisions allowing the stoning of women adulterers and we conclude Iran cannot be fully accepted into the international community while such abhorrent practices remain permitted under its laws," it says.

The MPs criticise the conduct of the recent elections in Iran, where the barring of many reformists contributed to the conservative victory.

The poll was a "significant and disappointing setback for democracy . . . we recommend that the government take every opportunity ...to remind Iran of the benefits to its own people and to its standing . . . of upholding democratic values".

Iran's interpretation of the tenets of Islam, "is incompatible with its desire to enjoy normal relations with other countries". The committee says Iran will complete its journey towards reform, and the government should be a "good friend . . . criticising where necessary but supporting where it can".

Despite recent diplomatic setbacks, there is praise for London's "critical dialogue with Iran". The war against drug trafficking should remain a priority in bilateral relations. The MPs call on the government to set out what it and its allies are doing to secure greater co-operation in the war against terrorism.

In a separate report, the committee yesterday questioned the government's contribution to a previous inquiry into the Iraq war. Calling for more powers to call ministers, civil servants or documents, it said the select committee process risked going into decline if it did not gain access to intelligence material.

The government had co-operated more fully with the intelligence and security committee, staffed by MPs and peers, and the Hutton inquiry into the suicide of David Kelly, the weapons expert, it added.

http://www.ft.com/
29 posted on 03/19/2004 3:42:24 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Condoleezza Rice Sees No Need for U.S.-Iran Talks

March 18, 2004
Reuters
Caren Bohan

WASHINGTON -- A senior U.S. official on Thursday dismissed suggestions that Washington should consider a dialogue with Tehran aimed at working out a deal on Iran's controversial nuclear program.

White House national security adviser Condoleezza Rice listed a series of ongoing concerns the United States has about Iran, starting with Washington's belief that Tehran is harboring senior members of the al Qaeda militant group.

She said the concerns also include U.S. beliefs that Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons and suspicions that the Iranians might be trying to interfere with U.S. efforts to build a democratic government in Iraq. Iran denies those allegations.

"The Iranians know very well, through all kinds of channels and public statements, what our problems are in the relationship," Rice told CNN in an interview. "So I don't think anybody needs to have a conversation with the Iranians, because they know what the problem is."

UN nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei, during meetings with U.S. officials in Washington this week, brought up the possibility of a U.S.-Iran dialogue.

U.S. sources have suggested ElBaradei said the Iranians might be open to a deal on the nuclear issue if movement toward normal ties with the United States was possible.

The United States broke ties with Tehran following the 1979 Islamic revolution, when student fundamentalists held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.

The Bush administration has wavered between taking a hard line on Iran - signaled by U.S. President George W. Bush's labeling of the country as part of an "axis of evil" - and at times showing an openness to dialogue.

In the aftermath of the catastrophic Dec. 26, 2003, earthquake in the Iranian city of Bam, Washington offered to send a high-level humanitarian delegation to Iran. But Iran rebuffed the offer, which helped cool some of the interest within the administration in pursuing a dialogue.

Openness to dialogue further cooled after Iranian hard-liners in recent elections tightened their hold on the government.

Bush is in the midst of a re-election campaign, which analysts say makes it even more unlikely he would risk a bold gesture toward Tehran.

http://www.reuters.com/
30 posted on 03/19/2004 3:43:02 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Thousands of Iranians to Demonstrate in Brussels

March 19, 2004
Agence Europe
EU/IRAN

On the eve of the General Affairs Council on 22 March, thousands of Iranians are planning to demonstrate in Brussels to call on the EU for greater firmness in dealing with Teheran.

In a press statement, the Friends of a Free Iran announced the demonstration to commemorate Nowrooz, the Day of the Iranian Year, on 21 March. The communique denounced the hardening of the Iranian "theocratic regime" towards dissidents.

http://www.agenceurope.com/EN/GobalFrameset.html
31 posted on 03/19/2004 5:32:18 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: F14 Pilot
Syrian and Iran, each country alone and the two together, are to be considered armed and even more dangerous.

Bill Gertz, Betrayal: How the Clinton Administration Undermined American Security, Regnery, 1999, details how Russia, China, and North Korea contributed to Iran's missile program.

Now, with assistance from these countries, Iran sprints toward the nuke finish line.

The Tehran-Damascus-Beirut axis has infiltrated and assumed control of al Aqsa and Hamas.

Our forces in Iraq are being freed up for missions in Afghanistan-Pakistan and elsewhere.

Khamenei and Assad, the red dot on your foreheads means you're elsewhere.

32 posted on 03/19/2004 5:36:21 PM PST by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: DoctorZIn
Good!
33 posted on 03/19/2004 7:22:28 PM PST by nuconvert (CAUTION: I'm an acquaintance of someone labelled "an obstinate supporter of dangerous fantasies")
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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”

34 posted on 03/20/2004 12:01:57 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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