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Iranian Alert -- March 24, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- Americans for Regime Change in Iran
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 3.24.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 03/23/2004 10:34:36 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. I began these daily threads June 10th 2003. On that date Iranians once again began taking to the streets to express their desire for a regime change. Today in Iran, most want to replace the regime with a secular democracy.

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

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

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

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

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

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


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iaea; iran; iranianalert; iranquake; protests; southasia; studentmovement; studentprotest
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Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

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

1 posted on 03/23/2004 10:34:37 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 03/23/2004 10:39:13 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Report: Iran, N. Korea building secret underground nuke plant

World Tribune

North Korea and Iran are building a secret underground facility in northwestern North Korea to produce centrifuges to enrich uranium, according to a Japanese press report.

The Sankei Shimbun newspaper reported March 10 that the factory would be located north of the Yongbyon facility near the town of Kusong.

The report, quoting a military source, stated that a high-ranking Iranian military official visited Pyongyang in late January and stayed several days for negotiations with the North Koreans.

The centrifuges would be used in a "cascade" - a series of such machines to produce enriched weapons-grade uranium.
3 posted on 03/23/2004 10:56:15 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Yep, we've read about this before.
Sounds just as bad now as a few weeks ago.
Something has to be done about it......
4 posted on 03/24/2004 4:42:09 AM PST by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ( President Bush 3-20-04))
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To: DoctorZIn
Why Sharon Did It

New York Post - By Amir Taheri
Mar 24, 2004

'IN my prayers, I always beg the God Almighty to bless me with the honor of martyrdom." This is how Sheik Ahmed Yassin often expressed his deepest desire.

Despite such pronouncements, the sheik was extra careful not to be caught in a situation in which he would meet martyrdom. Yet the other day the Hamas leader had his wish fulfilled at the hands of an Israeli commando dispatched to eliminate him on the orders of his most determined foe, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

But why would Sharon want the sheik out of the way - and why now?

Yassin's "targeted killing" could be seen as part of Sharon's broader plan to withdraw Israeli forces from Gaza and to dismantle Jewish settlements there.

Sharon does not want his withdrawal from Gaza to look like Ehud Barak's retreat from southern Lebanon, which Hezbollah translated into a great triumph for itself. Sharon wants to leave Gaza from a position of strength. So he needs to dismantle as much of the Hamas infrastructure as he can.

Before leaving, Sharon must find someone to assume control of Gaza. Secret negotiations have been going on with Egypt for months. Egypt, which administered Gaza between 1947 and 1967, had indicated interest in returning in an interim role - on two conditions:

* It should not face radical armed groups that could turn their guns and suicide bombers against Egyptian forces after the Israelis are gone.

* The Western world must provide a package of urgent aid to revive Gaza's economy and provide jobs for at least part of the working population - which, shut out of the Israeli labor market, would be in total despair.

Sharon's hope is to revive the "Gaza first" plan first worked out by Shimon Peres in 1993. The idea is to let Gaza shape its own destiny as best as it can. But Gaza could easily become another southern Lebanon, which means another Damocles' sword hanging above Israel's head.

This is why Sharon wants all Palestinian groups in Gaza disarmed before the enclave is put under the control of Egypt, one of only two Arab states that have signed a peace treaty with Israel.

Sharon also believes that by decapitating Hamas - and in this context one must expect more "targeted killings" - he could bring the current Intifada (uprising) to a quick end. A similar tactic was used when the first Intifada was brought to an end with the elimination of its principal leaders, notably Khalil al-Wazir (Abu Jihad), Yasser Arafat's No. 2 and closest associate.

The timing of Yassin's killing may also be linked to two other facts:

* It came just days before the Arab summit at Tunis - where Syria, backed by its client state of Lebanon, plans to promote a new version of the "rejection front" both against Israel and the American initiative for a new Middle East.

* Sharon is scheduled to visit Washington soon to discourage moves to take Hamas off the State Department's list of international terrorist organizations.

BUT possibly the most important reason why Sharon believes he can hit Hamas at the highest level of its leadership is the Israeli belief that the Palestinian radical movement is losing momentum. In 2003, the number of Israelis killed by Hamas and other radical groups such as Islamic Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine was down by almost 50 percent compared to 2002. Although this was partly due to more effective prevention work, there has also been a sharp decline in the total number of planned attacks.

Hamas and virtually all other Palestinian radical groups have been experiencing growing difficulties in attracting new recruits, especially for suicide operations. Hamas is also facing financial difficulties.

The fall of Saddam Hussein closed what had become the single biggest source of funds for Hamas in the past five years. Several other Arab countries have been forced to close channels through which funds were collected for and directed to Hamas.

Both the United States and the European Union have also plugged sources of finance for Hamas. (Until 2001 nearly half of all foreign contributions to Hamas came from front organizations in the United States.)

Talks between Hamas and Iran, held in Tehran in February, failed to produce a massive increase in Iranian contributions. Since last November, the cash prize offered to the families of "suicide-martyrs" has been reduced from $25,000 to just over $11,000.

SHARON'S Gaza gamble may look like a daring tactical move. What is needed, however, is a strategy aimed at enabling a new Palestinian leadership to emerge. Caught between "suicide" leaders like Yassin and corrupt despots like Arafat, the Palestinians have no opportunity to put together a moderate and clean political leadership to lead the nation out of the current impasse and onto the path of peace based on the two-states principle.

Most Palestinians know that suicide attacks have never secured freedom and independence for any nation. They also know that the Arafat coterie is unable, if not actually unwilling, to lead the nation at this juncture. Yet the combination of Arafat, with his financial clout, and Yassin, with his suicide squads, has left little space for an alternative leadership to emerge.

And without such a Palestinian leadership, prospects for a durable end to violence shall remain dim.

In the 1980s, Israel helped create Hamas as a counterweight to the Palestine Liberation Organization. In the 1990s, Israel brought Arafat back from his political tomb in order to outflank the moderate Palestinian leadership that had emerged under people like Faisal al-Hussaini and Heidar Abdul-Shafi.

That leadership had made a strategic choice of accepting Israel as a reality, something that neither Yassin nor Arafat were able to make. The result is that the majority of Palestinians are excluded from any meaningful role in shaping their future.

Yassin's demise may provoke a final bouquet of suicide attacks. But once that is over, we shall still be left with the real issue: how to help Palestinians and Israelis to emerge from the impasse of violence and terror.
5 posted on 03/24/2004 8:21:58 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Leader Warns That Enemies Are Trying to Destabilize Iran

TEHRAN, March 24 (Mehr News Agency)

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said on Sunday that the enemies should know that any act against Iran would be thwarted because Iranians are awake and vigilant.

Addressing large groups of pilgrims at the holy shrine of Hazrat Musa al-Reza (AS), the eight Shiite Imam in Mashad, Ayatollah Khamenei said that Americans and Zionists have faced an impasse in Iran as well as in Iraq and Palestine.

Contrary to their expectation, the U.S. has encountered numerous difficulties in Iraq and is bogged down in a quagmire, said the Supreme Leader said.

Urging the people to maintain their vigilance and awareness, Ayatollah Khamenei said enemies and the arrogant powers have today realized that Iranian nation would show their national strength whenever needed.

He warned the audience that enemies are striving to destabilize Iran because instability would inhibit scientific, economic, and cultural progress.

The most important duty of people and officials is to be vigilant and responsible and make the most of the stability in the country obtained through high public turn out in rallies and elections.

The Supreme Leader instructed the officials to be accountable to the public, report details of their performance to them and avoid considering themselves immune to any criticism.

He further urged the officials to abide by their faith, strive for social justice, avoid discrimination, squandering public wealth, violation of public rights and abusing their positions.

The Supreme Leader also urged the judiciary to provide the public with the first hand account of its performance for restoration of the oppressed`s rights and turn the judiciary branch as real sanctuary of the oppressed.

The Supreme Leader said the MPs-elect for the seventh Majlis should know that the public expect them to work and act in line with the Islamic ethics.
6 posted on 03/24/2004 8:23:55 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn; yonif; PhilDragoo; RaceBannon; freedom44; seamole; Valin; southland; SusanTK; ...
Iran says intifada is Palestinians' only option

Hi Pakistan Daily
25th March 2004

TEHRAN: Iran's government on Wednesday condemned Israel's killing of Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin but said the action would only strengthen Palestinian resistance to the Zionist criminals.

'The objective of Israel was to bring the heroic Palestinian resistance to its knees. But experience shows that with the martyrdom of each Palestinian, that the intifada (uprising) will only gain more strength,' the government said in a statement carried by the official iranian news agency.

Slamming Monday's assassination as 'a terrorist act by a terrorist government', Iran also blasted 'a direct complicity in the crimes of Israel by the United States.' It condemned what it said was the 'silence of certain international organisations and world powers'.
7 posted on 03/24/2004 8:25:02 AM PST by F14 Pilot (John Fedayeen Kerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: DoctorZIn
China to Buy Iran’s LNG, Ignoring U.S. Energy Sanctions

TEHRAN March 24 (Mehr News Agency)

Iran has advanced in negotiations to sell up to $20 billion worth of liquefied natural gas to China, Interfax reported on Sunday.

No Iranian Oil Ministry officials were available to give comments or further information on the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC)’s MOU, signed on March 3 in Beijing.

In what could be the largest Iranian energy deal since 1996, Tehran has agreed in principle to sell $20 billion worth of LNG to China over the next 25 years. The two countries -- ignoring U.S. energy sanctions on Tehran -- have signed a memorandum of understanding that envisions the start of LNG supplies in 2008.

Under the proposed arrangement, the Beijing-based, government-sponsored oil trading company, Zhuhai Zhenrong Corp., a spin-off of China's defense and missile contractor, China North Industries Corp., would begin importing an annual 2.5 million metric tons of Iranian LNG. That figure would increase to five million tons annually starting in 2013.

China North Industries, also known as Norinco, has been the target of U.S. sanctions.

"The [LNG framework] agreement is a supplementary deal to the MoU signed by us at the end of last year," Interfax quoted Zheng Mei, with the International Trading Department of Zhuhai Zhenrong, as saying.

"The deal represents purely a corporate operation, through which we've concentrated on discussing the possibility of cooperation," continued Zheng. "Doesn't the government encourage us to develop such kind of projects?"

The agreement also stated that the National Iranian Gas Exporting Company (NIGEC), under the auspices of NIOC, had made it one of its priorities to export LNG to China, according to information from the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration

Commission (SASAC).

According to SASAC's announcement, Iran has finished engineering design for the project that is going to make the contracted LNG delivery to China. Tenders for the project have been issued to bidders, and the current estimate for the start of production is 2008.

Zhuhai Zhenrong was founded in 1994 and is among nearly 200 large state-owned enterprises under the direct administration of the central government, which have been under the authority of SASAC since last year. Among the top 500 trading companies in China, the firm had imported a cumulative total of 34 million tons of oil as of 2001.

Starting in 2002, it imported 12 million tons of crude oil annually from Iran under a 10-year governmental fixed-volume oil-trading contract. Last year's oil imported by the company stood at 11.76 million tons.

Energy guzzler China, which imported 12.4 million tons of crude oil in 2003, has become a major energy client of Iran and plans to develop Iranian energy fields. In April, a Zhenrong unit, Tianbao Energy, will renew a contract to buy 80,000 tons of fuel oil a month from the state-owned NIOC. That contract will last through March 2005.

China has signed LNG importing contracts with Australia and Indonesia, and is constructing two terminals in the provinces of Guangdong and Fujian in the south to receive the first delivery from the two countries in 2006 and 2007 respectively.

The imported LNG from the two countries, expected to reach more than 6 million tons per annum combined, will be mainly used to fuel power plants in southern China that suffered rolling blackouts during the power shortages last summer. Up to four more LNG terminals are being planned by the government on China's eastern coastline, in Shanghai, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Tianjin, as Interfax previously reported.
8 posted on 03/24/2004 8:27:11 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Gains by Kin in Iraq Inflame Kurds' Anger at Syria

March 24, 2004
The New York Times
Neil MacFarquhar

AMISHLIYE, Syria -- The larger-than-life statue of the late president, Hafez al-Assad, that towers over a traffic circle here stands hidden beneath a blue and red striped tarpaulin, which residents say hides the fact that antigovernment protesters knocked off its head.

In Malikiya, a nearby town, two gilded plaster busts of the elder Mr. Assad and his son, President Bashar al-Assad, the main décor inside a culture center, were also decapitated and the building was set on fire. Someone scrawled "Kurdistan" in bright red spray paint across an interior wall of the gutted Water Authority building there, too.

Antigovernment protests are extremely uncommon in Syria, where grim memories are vivid of thousands of Islamic militants mowed down by government troops in the early 1980's. But grievances simmering within the Kurdish minority for decades — over their difficulties in obtaining citizenship, the ban on their language, their poverty amid rich farmland — finally boiled over in the last few weeks.

Kurdish Syrians, 2 million of Syria's 17 million people, say that watching rights for Kurds being enshrined in a new if temporary constitution next door in Iraq finally pushed them to take to the streets to demand greater recognition. In their wake is a toll of blackened government buildings, schools, grain silos and vehicles across a remote swath of the north.

"What happened did not come out of a void," says Bishar Ahmed, a 30-year-old Kurd whose cramped stationery shop sits right next to a cluster of blackened buildings in Malikiya. "The pressure has been building for nearly 50 years. They consider us foreigners; we have no rights as citizens."

Clashes on March 11 between fans from rival soccer teams set off the sudden squall, which officially left 25 people dead and dozens wounded. But the raw emotions shocked Syrians and left officials painting a sinister picture of foreign plots to partition the country.

To a man, local officials all suggest that the Kurds were motivated by infiltrators from Iraq. "They came from outside the country, from the east, and they have been paid in U.S. dollars supplied by Bremer and his gang," said Ahmed al-Salah, an employee of a burned-down government feed warehouse in Qamishliye, some 400 miles northeast of Damascus. He was referring to L. Paul Bremer III, the American administrator of Iraq.

For their part, Kurdish residents claim the government responded to what they call peaceful protests with violence as an excuse to say Syria remains too unstable to introduce the kind of democratic reforms that are helping their brethren in Iraq.

"We want democracy like the others," said Hoshiar Abdelrahman, another young shopkeeper in Malikiya, 60 miles east of Qamishliye.

The question of minorities remains a highly sensitive, largely unspoken topic in Syria, particularly because one small group, the Alawites, dominates the government. "Unity" has been their rallying cry. Already edgy about the possibility Iraq will split on sectarian lines, Syrian officials see the Kurdish riots as another step in an attempt to partition all Arab states.

After the first few demonstrators were killed, Kurdish areas throughout Syria bubbled over with years of repressed grievances, local residents say. In Malikiya, a town of one and two-story buildings, the tide of angry voices at the Saturday market eventually led to a march on city hall. As the crowd approached, troops opened fire, killing a 17-year-old and a 20-year-old, residents said.

The government version is that the Kurds starting setting fire to buildings first and the government fired on them to protect its property. "If we were attacked by an Israel missile, we would respond with all means possible," said Salim Kabul, governor of Hassakeh Province, where Kurds are concentrated. "So what do you expect when we are attacked from inside?"

He put the toll in his province at 20 dead, including 14 Kurds and 6 Arabs, among them two policemen. Kurds suspect the toll is far higher.

The area produces significant amounts of oil, wheat and cotton, and yet, residents say, they get little development money. Instead, they complain, for the past four decades the government has been slowly moving more Arabs into the area, trying to form a belt 10 miles wide and 165 miles long to sever the Kurds from ethnic kin in Iraq and Turkey.

Village and even mountain names have been Arabized and the Kurdish language banned, although most families teach it at home. Worse, tens of thousands of Kurds are denied citizenship. (Kurdish groups say more than 200,000; the government says 100,000.) The government says Kurds denied citizenship are the offspring of illegal immigrants who came over the border from Turkey to find jobs and stayed.

"My grandfather was born here, yet my father is considered a foreigner, I am a foreigner and my 3-year-old son has no nationality," said Mr. Abdelrahman, the shopkeeper. Both he and his wife's identification cards read "single"; their marriage is not recognized.

He pulls out a tattered orange identification card that reads, "Foreign Records Department, Hassakeh Governorate," and notes that the bearer cannot travel outside Syria.

Suddenly every young man in a crowd that has gathered starts waving similar cards and shouting against the government. It was a brazen, unusual display of discontent, considering that the Ministry of Information had organized the recent tour for a few journalists, who were escorted by security officers.

Syrian officials deny that the Kurds face any discrimination or have any real basis for their complaints. They note that the young President Assad visited the area in 2002 and pledged greater development, which will come.

After the riots, the Kurdish Democratic Party in Iraq issued a statement suggesting that Damascus do something to end the problems in "Syrian Kurdistan" peacefully. Shock waves rippled through the government here.

Hoshar Zubairy, Iraq's Kurdish foreign minister, made his first official visit to Syria, partly to try to smooth ruffled feathers. At a news conference on Monday, where Mr. Zubairy was peppered with questions that fell just short of calling him an American stooge, he said Iraq had enough trouble with instability to want to create any here.

Of course, not even a riot in the Middle East seems complete without invoking some historical precedent, in this case, Saladin. This Kurdish warrior, who is buried in Damascus, evicted the Crusaders from Jerusalem in 1187.

Syrian officials asked aloud this week how a country that enshrined Saladin could mistreat his descendants. "We want a political dialogue because our nation is for all," Ahmed Haj Ali, a consultant to the minister of information, said on Al Arabiya satellite television.

But Abdul Baqi Youssef, a Kurdish opposition figure in Qamishliye, said that by drawing all the warriors and intellectuals out of the Kurdish area to battle the Crusaders, Saladin left it buffeted by overlords to this day. "The Arabs should consider him a saint, but he brought devastation to the Kurds," Mr. Youssef said.
9 posted on 03/24/2004 8:28:57 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: F14 Pilot
Freedom ~ Now!
10 posted on 03/24/2004 8:40:39 AM PST by blackie (Be Well~Be Armed~Be Safe~Molon Labe!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Caught on tape: Syrian State`s crimes against humanity - updated
London ( 20 March 2004: Amatuer cameramen caught on tape the Syrian state security forces firing indiscriminately on unarmed Kurdish civilians at a March 13th funeral.

Similar pictures were broadcast by the UK TV station Channel 4, which reported that the officials in the Syrian embassy in London declined to be interviewed.

In a newly released unedited videotape, the mourners are taking for burial the bodies of the Kurds who had been killed by the same state security forces during a football match the day before, on March 12th, in the Kurdistani city of Qamishlo.

The unedited videotape, along with two other edited tapes, clearly demonstrates that Syrian state security forces responded to the unarmed crowd of men, women and children by shooting to kill.

The images show that the Kurdish protestors at first think that the soldiers and militias on moving vehicles were firing into the air. Some in the crowd are trying to calm the panicking crowd. People are falling down by what seems to be the gunshot wounds they receive.

Some in the crowd are trying to help the wounded while some demonstrators put up resistance, by shouting slogans and throwing stones, many civilians are running for their lives; women and children are screaming.

The videotapes were released by a newly established Web site, It is a news and information site, established by a number of other information providers to offer information specifically on the current situation of West [Syrian] Kurdistan.

1) Unedited video:

2) Edited video 1
3) Edited video 2
Warning: The videos include extremely violent images, not suitable for children or other vulnerable people.

11 posted on 03/24/2004 9:56:57 AM PST by AdmSmith
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To: DoctorZIn
Karbala Connection: Where Bombs, Heroin and Islam Meet

March 24, 2004
Kuwait Times
Ned Parker

The US-led coalition and its Iraqi allies say they have another enemy in Iraq-Afghan drugs that are providing Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda network with the cash to finance the car and suicide bombings dogging the occupation.

The police and coalition military officials told AFP that the drugs trade has bankrolled the recruitment of Iraqis into the ranks of a growing Islamic extremist movement that now counts up to 200 cells around the country.

Karbala police say some of the suicide bombers are doped up on volatile mix of Islam and anti-psychotic pills when they go on their deadly missions. "Drugs are entering into Iraq through Al-Qaeda. They are using the revenues to finance their network," said Karbala investigative judge Ahmed Al-Hillali who has been tracking the clandestine world of terror that has carried out two major attacks on Karbala since December.

Despite widespread accusations against alleged Al-Qaeda operative Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, US military officials concede that the network of Islamic extremism is first and foremost Iraqi. "Even if we have 10 or 12 Zarqawi-like personnel out there ... they still depend on the local area for sanctuary, linguistics, for support, for transportation," Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt told AFP. "It is my judgement that you may bring some foreigners in from the outside, but numerically we have far more Iraqis involved in support of these operations-if not the actual trigger pullers."

Police say that with a porous border and an influx of pilgrims from around the Islamic world, particularly neighbouring Iran, the shrine city of Karbala is the perfect centre for al-Qaeda agents and drug smugglers. All parties come together in this hothouse of intrigue. "First it (drugs) spreads from Afghanistan to Iran then it's smuggled through the pilgrims. No one searches the pilgrims when they enter Iraq," said police colonel Kareem Sultan, the deputy commander for Karbala. "The drug merchants are closely related to Al-Qaeda people." The main Afghan cash crop of heroin leaves its trail of sallow-skinned addicts in this city. The traffic then moves down into the scorched desert on the Saudi Arabian border. "Drug dealers in Saudi Arabia are buying it from these guys," Sultan said. The profits pay for, and ease the journey of, Iraqis into the cadres of Islamic radicalism. Drug money has penetrated the mixed Sunni and Shiite villages north and south of Karbala, which boast a small population of Wahhabi Muslims, the puritanical sect of Islam embraced by al-Qaeda. "We have what we call the troubled areas; one is Ukhaidhir, another is Husseiniya and Awanad but the main one is Ukhaidhir. It was not originally Wahhabi but it collaborated and was won over with money and drugs as well," Sultan said. Last month, raids by police and Polish forces on these villages exposed what they believe to be the drug and terrorism connection.

In Ukhaidhir, the security forces grabbed nine suspects from the al-Khadush tribe, two of whom coalition officials forces said were Al-Qaeda figures. They also seized a large amount of drugs, thought to be heroin which would be worth 20 million dollars, according to Sultan. "Two of the men were from the Al-Qaeda group connected with Zarqawi," Master Warrant Officer and spokesman Zbigniew Dabkiewicz told AFP. The two Iraqis were allegedly implicated in the coordinated December 27 four-car suicide bomb attack on Karbala that killed 19 people. The pair were now in US custody, while the other men were divided among the US, Polish and Iraqi security forces.

The Polish forces say they believe drug money was financing the attacks around Karbala. Sultan said: "We suspected such behaviour from the Khadushes. We had intelligence about them from the beginning about links to Wahhabi, Qaeda, and drugs." He added that some of those rounded up in February 23 raids were intoxicated on drugs like R-Tine, an anti-psychotic medication available at pharmacies. many of the suicide bombers, some of them Iraqi, were believed to be drugged up when they attacked, he said. "We believe they pay them money and give them drugs to have them half-conscious when they detonate their explosives. It's like brainwashing." Kimmitt said the Americans were trying to understand the secretive and purposefully decentralized Iraqi Islamist movement. "We think there are a couple of hundred (cells) out there," he said. "They're loosely affiliated but they're not all inter-connected. Small cells, at the most maybe double figures. What we have to do is go knock down that one, knock down that one and keep going after them," he said. But this extremist world is a new one for the Americans. "The absence of the ideology is what confounds us. This is not like Vietnam, where it was democracy versus communism; or a corrupt Vietnamese government against a pure communist government," Kimmitt said. "This is freedom, democracy, liberty, a country at peace with its neighbour versus something else and we are just having a hard time figuring out what that something else is." he said.
12 posted on 03/24/2004 10:23:20 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Our National Celebration of Life

March 24, 2004
Iran va Jahan
Reza Bayegan

Until quite recently the custom of Noruz courtesy visits required that the younger people called on those relatives and friends who enjoyed seniority in age. Is this custom changing? This year in the first few hours of Noruz I received phone calls from many Iranians who were much older than myself; and I in turn picked up the telephone and without any qualms saluted younger friends and relatives on the occasion of our highest national day. It was as if we had important news to communicate which did away with rigid rules and strict conventions.

Moreover, vitality and flexibility rather than rigid rules and strict regulations are the hallmarks of Noruz. There are no injunctions or decrees telling people on how to "correctly" observe the Noruz rituals. You do not need the advice or blessing of a clergy or a spiritual intermediary. More than anything else, this spring feast is an affirmation of life and celebration of creative forces in our surrounding universe. It has persisted since time immemorial by the individual devotion of every Iranian family without any expectation of heavenly reward and sometimes under serious threats of earthly punishment.

Noruz is the cornerstone of being an Iranian. And what do we mean by an Iranian? Is it a matter of certain blood type, DNA composition or racial characteristics? Do you have to be born in Iran or of Iranian parentage to qualify as an Iranian? Being an Iranian I believe is a great deal like being a student. You can be a student and truly live up to the high standard demanded from such a status or you can be called a student, carry a valid student card, dress like a student, attend school and do anything except studying.

Accordingly, being an Iranian can be a matter of mere citizenship or it can be a deep moral and emotional allegiance to a certain way of life and frame of mind. In this latter sense it entails partaking of a rich heritage and sensitiveness to those values that are part and parcel of a great civilization.

For centuries Noruz, this highest mark in the Iranian calendar has brought together Tajiks, Persians, Arabic speaking Iranians, Turkmen and Kurds to rejoice around a collection of symbols that stand for vitality, compassion and enlightenment. It has united Jews and Christians, Zoroastrians and Moslems in a common tribute to the inestimable splendor of life.

When the Al Qaeda assassins claimed responsibility for the slaughter of hundreds of innocent men, women and children on the 11 March in Madrid their benighted spokesman said, "You love life and we love death." No lover of death and no promoter of persecution and terror can understand what Noruz is all about, or truly participate in its celebration. That is why the criminal rulers of Iran have done their level best in the past quarter of a century to undermine and belittle the celebration of life affirming national feasts such as Noruz and Chaharshanbeh Soori (Bonfire Wednesday). What the ruling mullahs in Iran share with Al Qaeda is a love of death, blood and destruction.

Iranian people in their annual testimony to what their rich culture and ancient civilization stands for, reiterate their rejection of terrorism and dictatorship. They affirm their hope to a bright and exquisite future and the spring of their political emancipation.
13 posted on 03/24/2004 10:24:00 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran to buy TU 100-204 planes from Russia

Islamic Republic News Agency - Report Section
Mar 24, 2004

Moscow - Head of Iran`s Civil Aviation Organization Hassan Hajalifard is to travel to Russia on Friday to hold talks with Russian aviation committee on purchase of Russian-made TU 100-204 planes.

Hajalifard is to go to Moscow along with a delegation, which will
also comprise a group of experts.

The visit follows a visit by a 13-member Russian aviation
delegation to Tehran in February.
14 posted on 03/24/2004 10:25:13 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranian radio host helps his listeners bridge culture gap

By Azadeh Moaveni
Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — It is one hour into Farhang Holakouee's daytime radio show, and a caller reveals a Persian version of "The Scarlet Letter."

The woman is 33, unmarried and six weeks pregnant. Her boyfriend refuses to marry her. Should she have an abortion or become a single mom? Her own horrified mother, meantime, is staging "typical Iranian mother theatrics."

"My dear, you need to think realistically," Holakouee says, gently probing the woman's ethical position on abortion and her financial ability to raise a child alone.

In a calm voice, he walks her through some costs of keeping the baby: It will be harder to find a husband. Her family might not be willing to help. He suggests she weigh that against her reluctance to end the pregnancy.

"Find some solitude, talk quietly with your God, and decide which pain is easier to bear," he says.

Then he takes a moment to stick up for the maligned "Iranian mother": "Theatrics?" he asks. "Isn't it possible she's simply upset?"

Six days a week, Holakouee offers thousands of Iranian listeners advice on how to balance their traditional values with U.S. culture. He preaches a sympathetic realism in dealing with shifting gender roles, homesickness, mental illness and the conflicts between generations over premarital sex and cohabitation.

Holakouee has helped to make it respectable to discuss such concerns outside the family and with a stranger, a significant break from Iranian tradition.

Since 1980, Holakouee has transformed himself from a teacher of classes on self-esteem and anger management into a radio star in the Iranian community through his show, "Needs and Mysteries."

His seminars pack hotel ballrooms in Los Angeles, New York, Washington and Europe. He speaks on cruise ships bound for Mexico and Alaska. His radio show on Los Angeles' Persian station KIRN-AM reaches thousands of Iranians living in Southern California. He also draws listeners via satellite and the Internet from Iranian expatriate communities around the world.

Holakouee grounds his thinking in history, philosophy, literature and psychology. He sprinkles his lectures with references to Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, 19th-century philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer and 11th-century Persian Sufi poet Mevlana Jalaleddin Rumi.

His critics, who include husbands leery of psychology who can't fathom why their wives listen to his show, accuse him of dispensing advice that runs counter to Iranian culture. They say such ideas as a person's "inner child" and attention-deficit disorder are Western notions Iranians must avoid to retain cultural purity.

But such criticism often is overshadowed by praise from his devotees. "He's insightful, funny and makes a point of keeping you engaged," says Ferial Sarrafian, of Beverly Hills, who regularly listens to him on her commute home.

Holakouee says he is trying to find a middle ground, where Iranians shed the worst of Persian and U.S. cultures and forge more humane values.

"If you're wise, you don't believe culture is holy."

His callers' dilemmas are commonplace: an immigrant teenager obsessed with Internet chat, a girl frustrated with her father's traditional reserve, a husband estranged from a rapidly assimilating wife, a meddling mother- in-law.

Some need coaching to relax their hold on daughters so the daughters can leave home to attend college or get jobs. Others might struggle with prejudice if their daughters date men of other backgrounds.

Holakouee's followers see him as a catalyst for change.

"It's rare that one person can change a culture," says Homa Mahmoudi, a psychologist who has practiced in Los Angeles for 35 years.

Holakouee, 59, grew up in the Iranian city of Shiraz, where the great national poets he quotes are buried.

He taught collective behavior at the University of Tehran until 1977, when he anticipated the Iranian revolution and moved to the United States.

He earned a doctorate in sociology and a master's degree in marriage and family counseling at the University of Utah and began teaching classes and seminars.

Along the way, his marriage ended and he raised his two sons alone.

When asked by a listener how he can advise on marriage when his own failed, he replies that he prefers to keep his life private.

Rarely does Holakouee dispense harsh advice. But his tone can drip with dismay, such as when he chided a mother for being concerned about her tot's choice of outfit: "Dear lady, a 3-year-old cannot distinguish from chic."

Often, callers are perplexed by the dizzying array of choices of life in the United States.

Holakouee's biggest lesson is that freedom has consequences. "Having options is certainly progress. But when you're free, it's your own choices that can confine you."
15 posted on 03/24/2004 1:43:26 PM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
Quake shakes northeastern Iran
An earthquake measuring 4.6 degrees on the Richter scale rocked the Iranian city of Shahroud, in the northeastern province of Semnan Wednesday morning, according to IRNA news agency.

The seismological base of Tehran University's Geophysics
Institute said the tremor took place at 07:09 hours local time (0239 GMT).

There were no reports of any casualties or damage to property caused by the quake, the agency added. (
16 posted on 03/24/2004 1:44:27 PM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran mullahs: Palestine, most important issue of world of Islam
Mar 25, 2004, 00:50

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IRNA -- Head of Majlis Speaker`s office in Tehran Ahmad Hosseini said on Tuesday that Palestine is the most important issue of the world of Islam. In a meeting with Hamas representative in Tehran Abdulmoatta in Tehran on Tuesday, Hosseini underlined the valuable role of the late spiritual leader of Hamas Sheikh Ahmed Yasin in formation of Hamas and Intifadha, saying his martyrdom would be source of blessing for Palestinians` Intifadha.

Hosseini attended the meeting on sidelines of a ceremony to lay wreath at Hamas`s Tehran office in commemoration of late Yasin, who was assassinated by Israel in Gaza early Monday morning. He said Iranian government and people pay special attention to Palestinian issues and consider Palestinian Intifadha as a valuable move taken by Palestinians to regain their legitimate rights.

He added that Zionist occupiers` "criminal" move in the occupied Palestine is clear stance of terrorism. "The US that claims to have been fighting terrorism is the main propagator of terrorism in the region and the world for supporting the criminal move," said Hosseini.

He voiced sympathy with Palestinians on the incident on behalf of Iranian government and people. Abdulmoatta said for his part that the million-strong presence of people in Yasin`s funeral was sign of public support for Intifadha.

He said that the usurper Israel and its US ally were falsely thinking that they would be able to suppress Intifadha by assassination of Yasin. Iran`s government on Tuesday condemned assassination by Israel of Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmad Yasin, saying that Palestinians` continued resistance is the only way to face Israel`s brutal policies. Issuing a six-point statement, Iranian government also stressed further unity among Palestinians against Israeli threats. The statement said that undoubtedly, Israel`s main objective in adopting such measures is to bring the heroic resistance of the Palestinian people into its knees but experience has shown that martyrdom of any Palestinian inhales a new life to other Palestinians, their resistance and Intifadha. The statement said the "terrorist" incident indicates the US` direct role in Israeli atrocities.

It highly criticized the international organizations and communities, especially certain Arab and Muslim states, for their indifference towards the ongoing events in Palestine as well as Israel`s crimes against the defenseless Palestinian people.

It said that international organizations` silence had further encouraged Israel to go on with its policy of assassination and massacre. It added that Israel has been insisting on its policy of assassination, suppression and insecurity, proving that it considers its life depended on escalation of tension in the occupied lands and the region. It warned that the US` support for Israel and the global community`s silence against Israeli atrocities would undoubtedly result in continued instability, tension and atrocities of Israel in the region.

Supreme Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, President Mohammad Khatami, Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Majlis Speaker Mehdi Karroubi, Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, Vice-President Mohammad-Ali Abtahi, government spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi, Leadership envoy in Syria Ayatollah Seyed Mojtaba Hosseini, Friday prayers leaders in Iran, Majlis National Security Commission, Islamic Revolution Martyrs Foundation and Basij have thus far condemned the assassination.

Israel on Monday assassinated Hamas founder and spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yasin. An Israeli warplane fired several missiles at Yasin`s car shortly after he performed the dawn prayer at a central Gaza mosque. Sheikh Yasin and two of his aides were killed instantly. Following his death, thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip took to the streets, shouting "God is Great." Hamas has vowed to avenge Yasin`s death and the movement`s leaders said the retaliation would be thunderous. The Zionist regime claimed responsibility for the murder.
17 posted on 03/24/2004 1:49:57 PM PST by freedom44
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To: freedom44
Oh Barf
18 posted on 03/24/2004 2:40:03 PM PST by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ( President Bush 3-20-04))
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To: AdmSmith
I'm glad they have the truth on video.
19 posted on 03/24/2004 2:51:50 PM PST by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ( President Bush 3-20-04))
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To: DoctorZIn
"He warned the audience that enemies are striving to destabilize Iran because instability would inhibit scientific, economic, and cultural progress"

LoL. I'm sure the audience looked at each wondering what economic and cultural progress he was referring to.

Hey, Khamenei! We just want to inhibit the nukes and YOU!

20 posted on 03/24/2004 2:58:15 PM PST by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ( President Bush 3-20-04))
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