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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 03/20/2004 12:00:20 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 03/20/2004 12:02:48 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranian New Year Starts

SMCCDI (information Service)
Mar 20, 2004

The Iranian New Year 1383 (of Solar Calendar) started at 10: 18' 37" (local time) on Saturday March 20, 2004. This precise timing is based on the start of Spring and to one full cycle made by the Earth around the Sun.

Heavy and unprecedented snow is falling on Tehran. Such climatic phenomenon hadn't happened since 31 years ago and many Iranians are seeing this as a sign of prosperity and freedom.

Most Iranians wishes and prayers were for health, happiness and freedom in this starting year.

The year 1383 is based on a muslim calendar rather than true Iranian basis. An increasing number of Iranians are seeking a calendar based on Iran's history.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_5418.shtml
3 posted on 03/20/2004 12:03:48 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranians in America Celebrate Nowruz

State Department - Washington File
Mar 19, 2004

Berkeley, California -- Celebrants rope off a city block and light a fire in the street. Soon a crowd of more than 1,000 people, aged between five and eighty-five, boys and girls, men and women, grandfathers and grandmothers, are hopping over the blaze, shouting, "Give me your healthy reddish hue and take from me my yellowish winter pallor," a traditional Persian chant.

The fire jumping celebration, a vestige of the ancient Zoroastrian faith, is held Tuesday evening each year before the vernal equinox, which marks the start of the joyous traditional Persian New Year holiday, Nowruz.

In another town, the fire has been lighted on the beach, and thousands attend. In still another city, people are marching in a Nowruz parade. Children dress in costumes and scamper from house to house, ringing doorbells. In one city after another, Iranians lay out the Nowruz cloth with seven objects that begin with sin. Wanting to share in their citizens' festivities, mayors attend Nowruz parties and the president as well as several governors have issued Nowruz proclamations.

But wait! The city block is not in Tehran, but Berkeley, California. The beach fire is not on the shore of the Caspian, but of the Pacific Ocean, in a place called Stimson Beach, near San Francisco. The parade is not in Mashhad, but New York. The costumed children roam the streets of Los Angeles and Washington. The president in question is the President of the United States, and all the other officials in question are also American.

America's Iranian community this month celebrates Nowruz with others all over the world. Persian and Iranian centers around the country have organized parties, fire jumps, parades. In thousands of American homes, families have laid out the Nowruz cloth with wheat shoots, goldfish, the egg on the mirror and other traditional objects, and prepare for the family dinners that mark the New Year. The holy book in the center of the cloth may, reflecting Iran's diversity as well as that of the United States be the Koran, the Christian bible, or the writings of the Bahai faith. In many of these homes they will count down the moments before the spring equinox with the Persian language television and radio stations that dot the country, especially the West Coast of the United States, which has the largest Iranian-American populations. For some, with satellite dishes, Iranian-Americans can view programs originating from Iran, watching them at the same time as friends and family back in the home country.

Many in the Iranian-American community consider it crucial to maintain their celebration of Nowruz as an important part of the Iranian heritage of which they are fiercely proud. A woman named Mandana, who lives in the San Francisco Bay area and works at the Persian Center in Berkeley, makes clear that the celebrations in the United States has additional meaning for those, like her, born in Iran. In a recent interview she said, "We want our children to be exposed to the culture, to learn and know about that culture. That's one of (the center's) missions." She adds, "It's like with my children. I have to tell them what it is all about. We try hard to celebrate it, to keep the culture alive."

Nowruz represents only one of the highlights of the Persian Center's active yearly calendar. "Our purpose," Mandana says, "Is to create an environment to strengthen the sense of community for Iranians and Iranian-Americans." She adds that many of those attending Nowruz activities will not be of Persian heritage, but other Americans who have come to know of and enjoy this inclusive and happy celebration. This reflects one of the strongest missions of the 10 year-old Persian Center. It offers Farsi and other classes not only to Iranians and the children of Iranian-Americans, but to the many other Americans who wish to learn about Iran and its culture -- in many cases, the culture of their friends and neighbors.

Tofan, who works in a business established by her parents, called the Nowruz Bazaar, echoes these sentiments. "Iran is a very diverse country. Nowruz brings us all together," she says. "To me it is beautiful ... a spiritual and joyful experience." Tofan describes how she and her family gather around the Nowruz spread, with its traditional objects. ("We grow our own wheat sprouts," she says.) and watch Persian television. They will repeat Nowruz prayers in unison with the Farsi-speaking television presenter. Tofan says that she knows of families that invite non-Iranian friends to their dinners. Many Iranians have also married non-Iranians and it is important, they feel, for their children to understand and celebrate their Iranian heritage.

Some say that, in part because of maintaining the joyous and welcoming tradition of Nowruz, their American neighbors are far more aware of the Iranian community in their midst and its cultural riches. The list of public officials, from the President on down, congratulating Iranian-Americans on the advent of Nowruz attest to this. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, recognizing the special contribution that Iranian-Americans have made to his state, said that Nowruz represents "a distinctive cultural occasion in California" that "promises a new life and rejuvenation." The governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich, said that Persian-Americans have "made an outstanding contribution to our growth and the development of our diverse and unified state." President Bush, in last year's Nowruz message, recognized that the "Occasions provides am opportunity for Persians to cherish their rich heritage and enjoy the company of family and friends in anticipation of happiness and blessings in the year ahead."

Persian Centers around the country, similar to the one at which Mandana works in Berkeley, will hold special events for Nowruz, inviting many Americans, not only those of Iranian descent, to their festivities. One of the most remarkable of the events will be a major parade, held in the heart of New York City's Manhattan business district, not far from the site of the World Trade Center towers, the parade itself speaking to the wish of New Yorkers to celebrate their unity, despite the efforts of terrorists to drive them apart. Centers in Washington and other major cities have invited prominent members of the community, Iranian and non-Iranian, to celebrate with them. Universities with Persian or Iranian Studies Programs also will hold events.

Finally, though the most important events may be the dinners of family and friends spoken of by Tofan and Mandana, when thousands upon thousands of Iranian-Americans and their non-Iranian friends will quietly celebrate good food, an ancient and happy passage marking the beginning of a new year with its many hopes and possibilities, and honor the ties that bind them together in a new country.

Tofan speaks for many of them when she describes how her family will take a solemn moment in the midst of their celebration to pray. "We pray for friends and family. Pray for a good year for everyone. Pray for Iran and friends there. Pray for peace. It is important to us to remember who we are."

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_5415.shtml
4 posted on 03/20/2004 12:04:44 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Rise of the Internet as a political force in Iran

Mar 19, 2004, 23:53
By Luke Thomas, DFN.org

Iranians Go Digital in Their Quest for Freedom

On Feb. 20, Iranians went to the polls and cast their ballots in the country's parliamentary elections. In a remarkable display of democratic solidarity, they voted overwhelmingly in support of hard-line fundamentalist candidates.

At least, that's the "official" report. Unfortunately, the government story bears little resemblance to the real and distressing reality.

Just two days before the elections, the Iranian Shiite mullahs forcibly closed two reformist newspapers. Clerics also sealed off the campaign office of the main reformist party and shut down its Website.

One month earlier, the government had "disqualified" more than 2,500 reformist candidates, and in protest to that move, another 1,179 reform candidates willfully dropped out of the race.

Westerners watching these developments unfold cannot help but question whether these elections are a great setback for a country that seemed to be moving in a reformist direction. But there is a silver lining to this dark cloud over Iran.

Iranians know the mullahs will never truly allow any substantive democratic reform. So reformists are using other means to spread the democratic message - namely, the Internet.

The mullahs won a majority of seats in the rigged election, but they are fighting a losing battle to keep dissident Websites in check. Myriad Farsi-language Websites have sprung up with news and opinions that question the clerical government of Iran.

For every site the government shuts down, 10 more emerge in their place. Emrooz manages to operate despite having its editors arrested and jailed.

There are now between 20 and 30 major political Websites active in Iran, most of them being pro-reformist. There are also roughly 20,000 Iranian blog sites, and between 50 and 60 have become widely read for their reformist political content. Much to the chagrin of the government, these types of politically oriented sites are growing. Official estimates place the number of Internet users in Iran anywhere from 2.5 million to 4 million. To satisfy the Web surfers, Tehran alone has approximately 1,500 Internet cafes.

This rise of the Internet as a political force is breathtaking in speed, and absolutely unprecedented in human history. To put it into perspective, consider that the Internet is less than 10 years old, yet roughly 10 percent of the world's population has already experienced it. The telephone, on the other hand, has existed almost 125 years, but only made its way to half the world's people just a few years ago. The Internet's diffusion is literally the fastest spread of technology in recorded human history.

In Iran, this online trend is further accelerated because two-thirds of Iran's population of 66 million is younger than age 30. And in addition to being politically active, they also are computer literate.

Popular sites in Iran include Gooya, a directory of links that includes news and links to Persian-language news sites, chat rooms, music and shopping pages. The Iranian Students News Agency, created four years ago as an alternative to state-run news, also has garnered a large following.

These Internet chat rooms, libraries, blog sites, link directories, and news-gathering organizations are an integral part of the civil society today in Iran. Admittedly, the associations on the Internet are more nebulously constructed and short-lived. However, they still fulfill the basic human and democratic need: free speech.

The U.S. government has recognized this trend and is playing its part to help. In August 2003, the U.S. Office of Global Internet Freedom agreed to sponsor a Web proxy service for Iranian Web surfers created by an electronic-privacy software company called Anonymizer Inc. The service gives instructions in Farsi and allows Iranians to visit any Website without being traced.

Iran's backward government has tried to bar reform, but merely outlawing something will not make it disappear. Iranians now have access to an unprecedented amount of information and new methods of expression, all on one medium. This knowledge brings them power. Eventually, it will make them free.

The "landslide" victory of Iran's clerical regime should surprise no one. In a country where all power ultimately rests in the hands of a single religious tyrant, there is very little room for reform. But this concerted suffocation of real democracy cannot last. Iranians are demonstrating that one way or the other, they will participate in democracy - and practice their basic right to free speech - even if for now it is only on the Internet.

Luke Thomas is a fellow at the Digital Freedom Network (DFN.org), a nonprofit human-rights group based in Newark, N.J. His e-mail is l.thomas@dfn.org.

http://www.iranian.ws/iran_news/publish/article_1772.shtml
5 posted on 03/20/2004 12:09:17 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
US Officials extend their wishes to People of Iran

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Mar 20, 2004

Several high rank and prominent U.S. officials and lawmakers have extended their wishes to the People of Iran at the occasion of Nowruz, the Iranian New Year.

These greetings have been widely welcomed among the majority of Iranians who have found in the U.S. a strong ally in their struggle against dictatorship and especially in these dark times that they're deprived from a true democratic and legitimate system of governance. The US officials calls' become more significant and impact more deeply the Iranians' hearts as they see in the clerics the main enemies of their ancestral traditions and have witnessed how the mullahs tried in vain to undermine Nowruz and its meanings by qualifying them as "pagan tradition".

The popular President George W. Bush had issued, on February 10th, an early statement at the occasion of Nowruz (Iranian New Year). "The Messiah of Freedom" as he is being qualified by many Iranians has stated: "I send greetings to Iranian Americans observing Nowruz, the traditional Persian New Year. Nowruz is a special time to celebrate with family and friends, honor cultural heritage, and enjoy holiday traditions. It is also a time to celebrate the arrival of spring in anticipation of the opportunities of the new year. During this joyous season, I encourage people of all faiths to pray for peace and mutual understanding throughout the world. Laura joins me in sending our best wishes for a joyous New Year filled with health and happiness".

Mr. Bush who has supported openly and at several occasion the Iranian freedom lovers has renewed his calls twice in the last 48 hours for freedom in Iran and in the "Greater Middle East".

In addition to Mr. Bush, several US officials and senators, such as, Arnold Schwarzenegger Governor of California, Rod Blagojevich Governor of Illinois, the principled Senator John Cornyn of Texas and the admired Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas have all issued statements for this cherished tradition of Iranians wishing them the best and recognizing the major constructive impact of Iranian-Americans on the American society.

In his statement, issued today, Mr. Cornyn is stating: "I extend warm congratulations to Iranians in Texas and across the United States as they celebrate Norooz, their New Year. During this time of celebration and coming together, it is especially important to be thankful for the blessings of liberty and democracy. As Iranians celebrate new life this spring, I'd like to emphasize my belief in core Texas values - encouraging personal responsibility, compassion for others, and supporting family values. Strong families are the foundation for a prosperous and civilized society, and a compassionate government recognizes their importance in fostering successful communities, happier homes, and healthier lives. I strongly believe that every individual is worthy of respect. I support providing opportunity for all and removing government limitations on freedom so that every citizen has the chance to realize the American dream. Iranian-Americans, like all immigrants, make a tremendous contribution to our society, and I wish them all the best for a peaceful, prosperous and happy new year."

For his part, Mr. Brownback who took the lead in defending the Iranians, since the bloody crackdown on the 1999 Student Uprising, states: "I'm delighted to be able to send my best wishes for a happy NoRooz to the Iranian people. I have heard numerous reports from the widespread celebrations that have been going on inside Iran. Yet again, the Iranian people are showing their courage by celebrating in defiance of the regime's order that the people turn their back on their own rich culture. NoRooz is the time of beginnings. It is said that how one spends this day will set the tone for the coming year. Iranians by thousands are spending this day pursuing their freedom, cherishing their ancient civilization and standing tall against tyranny. Indeed, it is a new day in Iran - and I am confident it will be the year of your liberation. I have been very moved by the hundreds of phone calls and faxes of support for my resolution supporting the Iranian people - S. Res. 82. I have never before seen such a supportive reaction to one of my efforts. I am humbled by your support, and I promise you - I will not give up on you. May you and your families have a blessed new year. Happy NoRooz ! {Iran-A Ahh-Zahhd}."

It's to note that Mr. Brownback (R-KS) uses often the Persian phrase {Iran-A Ahh-Zahhd} while addressing the Iranians. This phrase means "Free Iran". Along with Mr. Cornyn (R-TX), he introduced, last year, the famous "Iran Democracy Act"which seeks to strengthen support for Iranians who want to create a democratic, secular government which respects human rights, abandons state-sponsored terrorism, and rejects the possession and use of weapons of mass destruction.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_5419.shtml
7 posted on 03/20/2004 7:32:18 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
People protesting for release of prisoners. Haft sin on car outside Evin Prison
9 posted on 03/20/2004 8:06:22 AM PST by nuconvert (CAUTION: I'm an acquaintance of someone labelled "an obstinate supporter of dangerous fantasies")
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To: DoctorZIn

10 posted on 03/20/2004 8:07:14 AM PST by nuconvert (CAUTION: I'm an acquaintance of someone labelled "an obstinate supporter of dangerous fantasies")
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To: DoctorZIn
What a GREAT speech Bush gave in Orlando!

Iranian regime, be afraid.....be VERY afraid.

(new tagline)
15 posted on 03/20/2004 10:21:37 AM PST by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ( President Bush 3-20-04))
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To: DoctorZIn
Wife of Late Shah Calls for More Freedom for Iranians

March 19, 2004
Voice of America
VOA News

Washington, D.C. -- Farah Pahlavi, the wife of the late Shah of Iran, told the Voice of America (VOA) today that Iranians need to gain their freedom now, and once they gain that freedom, the people should decide what type of government Iran should have.

The woman many Iranians still refer to as Queen Farah, who fled from Iran along with her husband during the Islamic revolution in 1979, made the comments on VOA's Persian-language radio and TV program Roundtable with You. She was also interviewed on VOA's daily Persian-language radio and TV program News and Views and on the English-language radio program Main Street.

The former queen of Iran said "the Islamic republic has lost its credibility." When asked why the Shah had not done more to stop the influence of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini when he had a chance, She replied, "He was not willing to retain power by shedding blood." Speaking to VOA's audience in Iran, she said, "I do not remain bitter. You youth have suffered far more than I have. I wish the youth of Iran a bright future." She also said that the Shah was lucky to have died before witnessing the suffering of the Iranian people during the last 25 years, and what has happened to women and to human rights in Iran.

During the Roundtable with You call-in, the Persian Service staff received hundreds of emails and numerous phone calls. There was time to take only 33 emails and phone calls during the broadcast, but the former monarch was clearly touched by the response. "With all the calls and emails that were flowing in," she said, "I felt myself overwhelmed as if I'm in Iran and among the Iranian people."

Her book about her life with the Shah, An Enduring Love: My Life With the Shah: A Memoir, has recently been published.

The Voice of America reaches millions of Iranians with its Persian-language TV programs including Roundtable with You, a 90-minute call-in show; News and Views, a nightly newscast; and Next Chapter, a youth-oriented magazine program. VOA also broadcasts on shortwave radio inside Iran and its programs are also available in audio and video at www.VOANews.com/persian.

The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government. VOA broadcasts 1,000 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide radio and TV audience of 87 million people. Programs are produced in Persian and 44 other languages.

For additional information, contact the Office of Public Affairs at (202) 401-7000 or email publicaffairs@voa.gov.

http://www.voanews.com/
16 posted on 03/20/2004 6:18:15 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Two Israelis Suspected of Smuggling Arms to Iran

March 21, 2004
Ha'aretz
Yossi Melman

Two Israelis are currently under suspicion - for the third time in the last decade - of smuggling arms to Iran, police and Defense Ministry sources told Haaretz over the weekend.

Eli Cohen and Avihai Weinstein are suspected of smuggling components for Hawk missiles and radar systems used in Phantom fighter jets. The components were purchased in the United States, and allegedly were to be sold to Iran via additional middlemen.

Police questioned the two men about the affair a few weeks ago, and raided the warehouses of a company owned by Cohen and Weinstein, seizing the suspected shipment. The sources said the shipment was small and not worth a lot of money, but "what we are trying to clarify is the trend - whether they were involved in previous shipments or planned future shipments."

The two men denied that the equipment was destined for Iran.

In a rare move, Attorney General Menachem Mazuz has decided that Malmab, the Defense Ministry unit responsible for internal security in the defense establishment, be allowed to investigate the affair, even though his predecessor, Elyakim Rubinstein, had ordered the unit dismantled about a year ago on the grounds that there is no justification for any ministry to maintain an independent investigation unit not responsible to the police. Mazuz made the decision in order to advance the investigation.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations and other American agencies are also participating in the inquiry.

On Friday, a 70-year-old American Jew named Leib Kohn was indicted in Bridgeport, Connecticut for allegedly buying components for Hawk missiles and Phantom radars on behalf of partners in Israel. According to the indictment, Israel was merely going to be a way station, with the components ultimately destined for another state, whose name was not mentioned. The American prosecutor, Kevin O'Connor, praised the Israel Police in court for its help with this investigation.

The shipment seized by the Israel Police from the warehouses of Cohen and Weinstein's company in Netanya contained some of the components allegedly purchased by Kohn from the Radio Research International Corporation of Westbury, Connecticut.

The last time Cohen and Weinstein were investigated - in August 2002 on suspicion of trying to smuggle parts for Israeli-made armored personnel carriers to Iran - the Defense Ministry decided to suspend their license to export arms. But following various court hearings and in light of the fact that they were never indicted, their arms dealing license was restored.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=406826&contrassID=1&subContrassID=5&sbSubContrassID=0&listSrc=Y
17 posted on 03/20/2004 6:19:51 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”

20 posted on 03/20/2004 9:03:09 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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