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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 9:00:49 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 03/20/2004 9:04:14 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Where's the beef?
3 posted on 03/20/2004 9:07:28 PM PST by Bobibutu
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To: DoctorZIn
I just heard from Banafsheh that all communication with Iran has been cut since Norooz including Internet and telephone.

We have a total news block-out.
4 posted on 03/20/2004 9:55:21 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
I am looking to get confirmation of this communication block out from other news agencies. I will report back ASAP.
14 posted on 03/20/2004 11:43:12 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn; All
Khamenei Upbeat on Iranian New Year

Saturday, March 20, 2004

TEHRAN, March 20 (AFP) - Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Saturday hailed the failure of US efforts to undermine the Islamic regime in an upbeat speech marking the Iranian new year.

Even the progressive encirclement of Iran by US forces as the US-led invasion of Iraq followed on the occupation of Afghanistan and the establishment of US bases in central Asia had failed to dent the regime in the year ending March 19, Khamenei said.

"Although the year 1382 started with US-British assualt on our western neighbour (Iraq) and the Great Satans' soldiers deployed on our borders creating some worries for our people, our wicked, despised enemy Saddam (Hussein) was overthrown," he said in the speech broadcast on state television.

"During the summer (of 2003), the US and Israeli intelligence services tried to provoke unrest in Iran but these plots were foiled due to the vigilance of our people and institutions," he said in allusion to short-lived student unrest last July.

The regime had also faced down US efforts to use Iran's nuclear programme against it through its "mature and correct policy" of accepting tougher international safeguards in return for a promise of Eurpean technical assistance, he said.

Along with communist North Korea, Iran is one of the two surviving members of the "axis of evil" targeted for replacement by the US administration of President George W. Bush.

But even chief US ally Britain has so far stuck to the European Union's policy of engaging the Islamic regime, despite its staunch support for US policy in Iraq.
16 posted on 03/21/2004 6:00:18 AM PST by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ( President Bush 3-20-04))
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To: DoctorZIn; All
Ayat. Taskhiri arrives in Kuwait


Kuwait, March 21 - Serectary general of the International Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thoughts Ayatollah Mohammad-Ali Taskhiri arrived here on Saturday night to attend aconference on `Islam and Regional and International Cooperation'.

Taskhiri was welcomed by Kuwaiti Minister of the Endowments and Islamic Affairs and several other senior Kuwaiti and foreign officials.

The conference on Islam and the Regional and International Cooperation is to be held in Kuwait from March 22-24, to be attended by more than 70 senior religious and scientific officials from Islamic states.

The meeting is to find ways of promoting cooperation among Muslim and other nations to build a better world for living and forge consensus on the issue.
17 posted on 03/21/2004 6:08:29 AM PST by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ( President Bush 3-20-04))
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To: DoctorZIn; McGavin999; AdmSmith; yonif; Eala; Pan_Yans Wife; PhilDragoo; windchime; RaceBannon
Arms dealers suspected of Iran-connection

March 21 2004
The Washington Times

TEL AVIV, Israel, March 21 (UPI) -- U.S. and Israeli law enforcement authorities reportedly suspect two Israeli arms traders of attempting, again, to sell military equipment to Iran.

It is the fifth time in the past 12 years the two men, Eli Cohen and Avihai Weinstein, have been suspected of such dealings. So far, they have not been convicted, the Ha'aretz newspaper reported.

A clandestine joint operation with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security reportedly led police to a warehouse in Binyamina, south of Haifa, where spare parts for Hawk anti-aircraft missiles and radar systems for Phantom planes were found.

The parts' final destination is suspected to be Iran, the Maariv newspaper said.

Eli Cohen, whose company owns the warehouse, was arrested, questioned, and released on bail.

His attorney, Haim Misgav, told Israel Radio authorities found five electric cables "of the kind you find in every truck." He said he cables had been sent to Binyamina by mistake and the sender asked they be returned.
19 posted on 03/21/2004 7:04:55 AM PST by F14 Pilot (John Fedayeen Kerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: DoctorZIn
Taking First Steps in Iran

March 21, 2004
The Boston Herald
Boston Herald editorial staff

Resembling nothing so much as a dog with its tail between its legs, the president of Iran, once the bright hope of reformers, has stretched himself out in front of the steamroller of the hard-line ruling clerics.

Mohammad Khatami, who encouraged a free press and relaxation of the strict Islamic code after his election in 1997, withdrew from parliament two bills aimed at curbing the authority of the Council of Guardians, along with Ayatollah Ali Khameni (who appoints members), the real power in the country. The Guardians vetoed the bills after their passage last year, and with the hard-liners' takeover of parliament this year after the council ruled reformers off the ballot, the president saw no point in trying again. He issued a remarkably unnecessary warning to the people that he has little power.

All this would be news for Iranians and specialists were it not for two facts: Iran's security agencies, never under the president's control, are the biggest backers of terrorism in the Middle East, notably through their support ot Hezbollah, and the ruling clerics are hell-bent for nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian power program.

It is a dangerous regime, appropriately placed on the axis of evil by President Bush last year. After a few hopeful steps under Khatami, citizens are bracing for the next blow. The press is again under the thumb of the mullahs.

Ordinary Iranians are the most pro-American of any Islamic country. Any regime they installed by democratic processes would be a force for stability and progress in a region in desperate need of one.

The challenge for the Bush administration is how to find a way to keep hope alive among the citizens. The first step is to make unmistakably clear that it does not seek a ``normalization'' of relations with such a regime, despite recent calls for such a step by some pooh-bahs of former administrations in Washington. There are reports that the administration soon will hold direct talks with the Tehran junta on nuclear matters. That would be the ideal arena for some straight talk.
25 posted on 03/21/2004 9:10:01 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Blasts 'Non-Coherent' US Stance After Rice Rejects Dialogue

March 21, 2004
Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran -- Iran said on Saturday that a senior U.S. official's dismissal of dialogue between Tehran and Washington was 'another example of contradictory and non-coherent stances in the American policy-making apparatus'.

White House national security adviser Condoleeza Rice rebuffed on Thursday suggestions that Washington should consider a dialogue with Tehran in order to reach a deal over Iran's nuclear program. Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said, "The statements made by the American government's national security advisor are primarily intended for domestic consumption." The official said 'US failure in Iraq and Afghanistan and the existing doubts which have been raised about the appropriateness of American policies among its own allies' have forced Rice to make such statements.

Talking to CNN, the senior Bush aide listed a series of ongoing concerns the United States has about Iran, including Washington's belief that Tehran is seeking to develop an atom bomb. "The Iranians know very well, through all kinds of channels and public statements, what our problems are in the relationship," Rice said, adding, "So I don't think anybody needs to have a conversation with the Iranians, because they know what the problem is." Her comments came after the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohamed ElBaradei, was said to have recommended Washington to approach Tehran about the possibility of dialogue in order to sort out their differences.

Washington cut ties with Tehran in 1980 in the wake of a hostage crisis after Iranian students stormed the US embassy in Tehran and arrested its staff.

In recent months, the United States has sent contradictory signals to Tehran, with the Bush administration offering humanitarian aid to the victims of a destructive earthquake and possibility of a dialogue at one hand and taking a hard stance regarding Iran's nuclear program on the other.

Iranian officials have stressed that only a fundamental change in US policies would change the existing atmosphere of hostility between the two arch-foes.

Asefi seized on mounting doubts raised in recent weeks by America's own allies about the US case for the Iraq war. "America's childish persistence on its wrong policies has led to the escalation of insecurity in the world and ostracized that country among independent governments and the world public opinion," he said. Poland, a key US ally in the war against Iraq, raised heckles after its President Aleksander Kwasniewski said recently that his country was misled over the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. His remarks came at a bad time for Washington, when the incoming Spanish Socialists pledged to pull out the country's troops from Iraq.
26 posted on 03/21/2004 9:10:58 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Kurdish Unrest Stirs Old Regional Fears

March 21, 2004
The Turkish Daily News

BAGHDAD -- Kurdish unrest in Syria and Iran alarms countries worried that Kurdish gains in postwar Iraq could excite ambitions among their own Kurdish minorities.

For that reason, the recent violence may be unwelcome to Iraqi Kurdish leaders who have sought to dampen Arab, Turkish and Iranian fears thatconsolidating hard-won Kurdish autonomy in northern Iraq could inspire contagious Kurdish nationalism.

"They have been trying to show the Americans that they can have autonomy without breaking up Iraq or instigating a regional agenda for separatism," said Gareth Stansfield, an Iraq expert at Britain's Exeter University.

Up to 30 people have been killed in northeastern Syria in clashes that began at a soccer match on Friday.

Last week police in Iran briefly held scores of people when Iranian Kurdish celebrations over the signing of Iraq's interim constitution - which made Kurdish an official language and recognised the Kurdish regional government - turned violent.

About 5,000 Kurds in the Iraqi city of Arbil protested onWednesday at what they called the "massacres" in Syria.

So far, reaction in regional capitals has been muted, although Syrian Vice President Abdel-Halim Khaddam has accused unspecified foreign forces of trying to exploit the trouble. "No one can breach the national fabric of Syria," he declared.

Denied a nation

Historically, Kurds feel hard done by. Numbering some 25 million spread across

Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria and other lands, they have no country of their own and have often suffered persecution, notably at the hands of Saddam Hussein. The anniversary of his 1988 poison gas attack that killed 5,000 Kurds in the Iraqi town of Halabja fell this week.

Kurdish guerrillas have in the past fought long rebellions against central governments in Iran, Iraq and Turkey.

Determined to keep the self-rule they have enjoyed since 1991 and eager to expand its territorial scope, Iraqi Kurdish leaders have little interest in upsetting prickly neighbours.

Iraqi Arab leaders backed their rejection of any role for Turkish troops after the U.S.-led invasion, but many Sunni and some Shi'ite Arabs fear the Kurds might one day secede.

Kurds elsewhere are keenly watching events in Iraq, though conditions in their host countries influence their responses.

"There has been a rise in nationalist feeling among Syria's Kurds, but there are several factors at work," Syrian political analyst Samir al-Taqi said.

"What was realised for the Kurds in Iraq, especially after the interim constitution, helped create a political opportunity for this phenomenon," he said, adding that Syria should now try to contain the violence and tackle Kurdish grievances.

Kurds make up about two million of Syria's 17 million people. They have often said they want equal rights and demand citizenship for about 200,000 stateless Kurds.

Limited aspirations

Iranian political analyst Hossein Rassam traced the unrest in Iran's Kurdish areas to discontent over the banning of reformists in last month's Iranian election as well as joy at the constitutional gains by their fellow-Kurds in Iraq.

He said Iraqi Kurds had no interest in meddling in Iran. "I don't think they want to reach out to the Iranian Kurds too much because this would anger the Iranian government."

Rassam said Iranian Kurds were poorly organised politically and most saw themselves as Iranians. They had been less badly treated than Kurds elsewhere. Iran's Shi'ite clerical leaders remained wary of them, partly because most were Sunni Muslims.

Turkey, recovering from its own bloody conflict with Kurdish rebels, has long looked askance at Kurdish autonomy in Iraq and at U.S. policies that have nurtured it since the 1991 Gulf War.

Sami Kohen, columnist with the mainstream Milliyet daily, said Turkish experts linked the disturbances in Syria to Iraq.

"The fact that the (Iraqi) Kurds succeeded in having most of what they wanted in the new constitution encourages Kurds in other countries to show their faces," he said.

"Turkey has always said that the United States opened a Pandora's Box in Iraq and of course Turks have grave concerns about a spillover," he said, also citing the protests in Iran.

Kohen suggested growing U.S. demands on Syria might haveindirectly emboldened the Kurds there.

Washington says it will soon slap new sanctions on Syria, which it sees as a rogue state that supports terrorism and seeks banned weapons - charges Damascus denies.

"This is read in the region as a signal by the United States to weaken, if not completely destabilise Syria," Cohen said.
27 posted on 03/21/2004 9:12:06 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Syrian Surprise

March 21, 2004
New York Post
Amir Taheri

What happens when something happens in a country where nothing has happened for decades? In Syria, even the most insignificant event triggers an avalanche of conspiracy theories. And the events this last bastion of Ba'athism has witnessed in recent weeks are anything but insignificant.

In a series of anti-regime demonstrations in five Syrian cities over the past two weeks, an estimated 22 people have been killed in clashes with the security forces and a further 150 injured. At least 700 people have been arrested.

According to eye-witness reports, the centers of the predominantly Kurdish cities of Qameshli, Hassakeh, Raf el-Ain and Hamoudah were turned into "battle zones" last weekend.

But the mainly Arab cities of Hama and Aleppo also saw anti-regime demonstrations last week. In Hama (where by Ba'athist special forces massacred an estimated 20,000 people in 1982), most shops closed while the authorities shut all schools for four days. In Aleppo several Ba'ath Party offices were set on fire.

Other minorities, including the Yazidis, Turcomans and Assyrians, have also come out with calls for reform and an end to religious discrimination.

Earlier, Damascus, the capital, had witnessed its first unauthorized political demonstration in four decades as a crowd of 700 protestors gathered outside the parliament building on March 7. Hours later, copies of a letter to President Bashar Assad were distributed. Signed by some 1,500 Syrian intellectuals and academics, it calls for an immediate lifting of the state of emergency imposed by the Ba'athists 41 years ago.

"An emergency is, by definition, something short and temporary," said Akhtam Naisse, one of the petitioners who are now under arrest. "An emergency lasts a few hours, a few days, at most a few weeks, not a lifetime."

The extent and the intensity of the protest movement appear to have taken the Syrian leadership by surprise. The initial reflex of the regime was to do what it has always done, i.e. crushing the slightest show of opposition by main force.

Hours after the first riots broke out in Qamishli a special army unit was on its way to the city. But this was not 1982 and the idea of killing thousands of people in the streets was vetoed "at the highest level," according to Arab sources.

Next, the leadership tried to portray the troubles as part of an "American conspiracy" backed by Iraqi Kurds and aimed at detaching Kurdish regions of Syria into a separate state encompassing both Iraqi and Syrian Kurds.

When it became clear that the protests were not limited to ethnic Kurds, another theory was circulated: Washington wanted to carve an Arab Sunni state out of the region known as al-Jazeera. Such a state would detach the so-called Sunni Triangle from Iraq, allowing the rest of the oil-rich country to prosper under a pro-American Shiite regime.

But the wildest of all conspiracy theories is based on the claim that the anti-regime protests are encouraged by President Assad himself as part of a scheme to frighten the regime's old guard into accepting his, as yet unspecified, reforms.

Because the Syrian media are muzzled and outside journalistic access to the country is restricted, it is hard to appreciate the full meaning of the recent events. Piecing together this complicated jigsaw, a picture emerges, of a regime in crisis. Assad's timid attempts at cosmetic reform, including a change of prime minister and the symbolic release of 100 political prisoners, some after 40 years of internment, have convinced no one.

What is certain is that the regime has been shaken by the fall of its sister Ba'athist regime in Baghdad.

That fear is not entirely groundless. Syria under Assad has many points in common with Iraq under Saddam Hussein:

* The Syrian regime is based mainly on the Alawite minority as Saddam's was on the Takritis.

* As in Saddam's Iraq, almost all organs of state have been atrophied by years of despotism, leaving the security services as the only dynamic part of the regime.

* As in Saddam's Iraq, Assad's Syria is beset by corruption, racketeering and nepotism.

Nevertheless, there are differences. Syria is not in violation of 18 mandatory U.N. resolutions as Iraq was under Saddam. Nor is Assad as arrogant, as reckless and as egomaniacal as was Saddam.

Assad seems to be unsure of what course to take. Sometimes, he is convinced that the Americans are after his blood and that, no matter what he does, he is targeted for regime change.

As a measure of insurance against that, Assad has signed a military pact with Tehran under which Iranian troops could be dispatched to Syria to counter any American and/or Israeli "aggression."

Assad has also visited Ankara to persuade the Turks that regime change in Damascus could lead to the creation of a Syrian-Iraqi Kurdish state that would, in turn, seek to annex Turkey's Kurdish provinces.

At other times, Assad seems to be tilting toward reform in the hope of securing U.S. support: Syria worked hard to prevent an outright rejection of President Bush's "Greater Middle East Initiative" by the Arab states.

"This young man could go either way," says a senior Syrian politician about President Bashar Assad. "Some people urge him to adopt his father's iron-fist methods. Others tell him that the world has changed and that iron-fists lead leaders into a hole, as was the case with Saddam."

Such an analysis, however witty, is pointless. Neither the Syrian people nor the rest of the world have the patience to wait for Assad to sort out his Hamlet-like tergiversations.

The Syrian opposition, which seems to cover large swathes of society, is not asking for the moon. Three basic demands for reform have emerged so far:

* An end to the 41-year-old state of emergency under which anyone can be arrested without charge and all "unauthorized" political, social, cultural and trade union activities are banned.

* The immediate release of all prisoners of conscience, believed to number several thousand, some held since 1970.

* The holding of free and fair elections under international supervision.

The fall of Saddam and American pressure for change in the region have certainly encouraged reformist movements throughout the Middle East. But these movements have existed for decades and have deep roots in their respective societies. To see them as nothing but the fruit of "American plots" could be suicidal for the regimes concerned.


Amir Taheri will be speaking in New York March 25. For information, call (212) 717-9966 or e-mail events
28 posted on 03/21/2004 9:12:52 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Families of political prisoners celebrated Nowruz by Evin's walls

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Mar 20, 2004

Families of political prisoners that are held in the infamous Evin prison in Tehran celebrated the coming of the New Iranian year by conducting the age old New Year ceremonies outside of the prison walls amidst an unusual snowfall.

They set up the “Haft-Siin”( the Iranian New year’s ceremonial arrangement of Seven items, with their Persian names beginning with the Persian alphabet letter Siin equivalent with S in English, on a piece of precious cloth) in solidarity with their jailed loved ones.

This action resulted in great fear and concern of security amongst the prison officials. In an effort to minimize the probable consequences of the event, the prison officials rushed the political prisoners back inside the locked cells from the prison court yard and disconnected the telephone lines to outside of the prison. Fortunately the prisoners were somehow made aware of the events that were unfolding just beyond their prison walls.
31 posted on 03/21/2004 10:37:24 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn; All
U.N. Atomic Agency Chief: Doubts Remain About Iran's Nuclear Program

Mar 21, 2004

The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) - The head of the U.N. atomic watchdog agency said Sunday his inspectors remain skeptical about the intentions of Iran's nuclear program because of Tehran's past secrecy.
In an interview on CNN's "Late Edition," Mohammed ElBaradei, director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, urged Iran to be completely open about its nuclear program if it wants to clear itself of suspicions it is developing weapons.

The IAEA has made "very good progress" in learning details of the Iranian nuclear program, ElBaradei said.

"Iran has agreed to fully suspend its enrichment program as a confidence-building measure, so we have to acknowledge we have made a good headway along our effort to make sure that Iran's program is completely for peaceful purposes," ElBaradei said.

However, he said Iran has not been able to remove all doubts because "it's a program that has been undeclared for over 15 years.

"There's still a lot of skepticism that something might still be hidden," ElBaradei said.

Iran says its nuclear activities are designed to generate electricity.

ElBaradei said he hoped to visit Iran in the next couple of weeks and intended to make clear "that transparency is an absolute key if they want to clear their name, and for us to be able to conclude that the program is completely for peaceful purposes."

Earlier this month, Iran barred U.N. nuclear inspections for two weeks after the IAEA adopted a resolution deploring recent discoveries of uranium enrichment equipment and other suspicious activities Tehran failed to reveal. Iran later agreed to allow inspections to resume March 27.

ElBaradei has said he hopes to have a more definitive assessment of Iran's nuclear activities by June, when he is due to give his next report to the IAEA Board of Governors.

ElBaradei, who met last week with President Bush and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, said it is important to learn the right lessons from the experiences of U.N. weapons inspectors in Iraq.

ElBaradei said the Iraqi experience showed that "an inspection takes time, that we should be patient, that an inspection can, in fact, work."

But he also faulted Saddam Hussein's regime for not openly cooperating with U.N. inspectors.

On the same CNN program, Hans Blix, the former chief U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq, said evidence brought forward by the Bush administration about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction programs "was rapidly falling apart" just before the United States attacked Iraq.

Blix said the Bush administration initially gave the U.N. inspectors a lot of support and information but "lost their patience much too early."

After Secretary of State Colin Powell presented America's case against Saddam to the U.N. Security Council, Blix had his experts look into it and reported back to the council that the "evidence was shaky."

"I told that to Condoleezza Rice, as well, so I think they were aware of it, but I think they chose to ignore us," he said.

38 posted on 03/21/2004 6:13:37 PM PST by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ( President Bush 3-20-04))
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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”

39 posted on 03/21/2004 9:03:58 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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