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Iranian Alert -- March 27, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- Americans for Regime Change in Iran
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 3.27.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 03/26/2004 9:26:33 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.

DoctorZin


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

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

1 posted on 03/26/2004 9:26:37 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 03/26/2004 9:29:01 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Thanks for the ping!
3 posted on 03/26/2004 9:33:28 PM PST by Rabid Dog (Join your FreeRepublic Chapter and make a difference!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iraq, Integrated - Civil war is not inevitable

National Review - By Steven Vincent
Mar 26, 2004

KIRKUK - Along with the one-year anniversary of the Coalition's invasion of Iraq has come the media's "summing-up" of the war and its aftermath. One overview I found particularly interesting appeared in the Financial Times's March 20-21 Weekend section. Below a year-old photograph of a terrified Iraqi infant, the paper ran a timeline entitled "Iraq: A Year On," listing such high points of Iraq's liberation as car bombs, civilian deaths, and the fruitless search for WMDs. You'd think it might have mentioned the discovery of mass graves — a major event to Iraqis — but never mind. The FT also printed a chart registering military fatalities to date (671), although more edifying statistics might have included Iraq's daily oil production (2.5 million barrels, nearly at the pre-war level of 2.8 million), electricity generation (4,200 megawatts, just short of the prewar level of 4,500), or the 200 neighborhood and tribal councils created by the CPA. But that would contradict the negative assessments of the war favored by the press.

What really captured my attention, however, was an accompanying article headlined, "A year after the invasion the spectre of murderous civil war still hangs over Iraq". Aside from the word "murderous" (is there another kind of civil war?), I was surprised by the FT's narrow conception of present-day Iraq. Yes, civil war is a possibility here. The current elbowing for power among the country's constituencies — particularly the Kurdish and Shiite populations — may escalate into fisticuffs once the CPA dissolves on June 30. And it is troubling that many government ministries have become virtual fiefdoms for ethnic and confessional groups. But like many other articles on this same topic, the FT's piece ignored Iraqis who maintain a tenacious optimism about the future and are working in countless ways, large and small, to defeat the forces seeking to tear their nation apart. Where are the voices of these people in the discussion about the potential for harb ahlea — civil war?


Take, for instance, Kirkuk, where a multiethnic population of 700,000 is a microcosm of Iraq as a whole. In the one-story headquarters of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) — which, along with the Kurdistan Democratic party (KDP), is the main political group in northern Iraq — I met Sabah Mohammad. "Everyone wants peace and democracy — Kurds, Shiites, Turkmen, Arabs, we work as one," he said, rubbing his index fingers together in the Iraqi sign for cooperation. Down the street from the PUK's office is the Islamic Union of Kurdistan. There, director Abdul Kharder said, "Our purpose is to foster justice and brotherhood among the people of Iraq. Under Islam, there is no difference between Sunnis, Shiites, Kurds, or Arabs."

To be sure, these expressions of comity mask tensions that periodically erupt into violence — in the mid-1990s, for example, the PUK and KDP fought a brief war, while over the last year Kurdish gunmen have killed numerous Arabs and Turkmen protesting Kurdish demands for autonomy in northern Iraq. And although the population of this region is overwhelmingly Muslim, many people reject an Islamic state. Over tea at the Women's Freedom Center, office manager Parrween Ahmed commented, "We want freedom, even if we go against the Koran. The mixture of secular law and sharia is not good for women or democracy."

Complicating matters, for nearly 40 years the Baathists displaced tens of thousands of Kurds, Turkmen, and Assyrians from Kirkuk and settled Arab families in their places, a process known as "Arabization." How deep resentment runs against Arabs in Kirkuk can be measured by one cab driver's comment, startling for anti-Semitic Iraq: "Kurds are better than Arabs, Turkmen are better than Arabs — even Jews are better than Arabs."

Amidst this sociological maelstrom sits Farmid Hamid, director of the Office of Human Rights. Among his myriad tasks, Hamid helps adjudicate complaints among Kirkuk's restive ethnic groups. "Right now the situation is stable, and will be as long as terrorists don't stir up ethnic conflict," he told me, our conversation interrupted by ringing phones and document-bearing assistants. "We know the world is watching — if we can't manage our problems, what does this mean for the future of Iraq?" As for Kurdish demands for autonomy, he envisions instead a federal system in which "certain Kurdish laws would pertain to Kurdistan only" — laws, for example, granting women freedom from sharia. "The Iraqi people want to stay together," he concluded. "We believe Kurds and Arabs should live together peacefully."

Hamid is not the only Iraqi attempting to hold his nation together. In Baghdad, Abdul Mashtaq is also dedicated to uniting Iraq. "We need political parties that represent more than the interest of ethnic or religious groups," said the genial 69-year-old man on a day I found him addressing a group of Arab and Kurdish tribal leaders about his plans for a new political party called "Building Democracy." "We seek to unite all of Iraq, no matter what ethnic, social, or religious background." When I asked him about the danger of harb ahlea, he shrugged. "There's no danger of that. Kurds will not press for independence, and Shiites will agree to a federal-style government. Besides," he noted, patting my knee, "in the Middle East, no force can oppose the United States. You will prevent civil war."

Other proponents of unity and democracy include Iraq's Communists. Unlike the scores of secular parties emerging across the country, the Communists possess name recognition, a legacy of resistance against Saddam Hussein, and experience in grassroots organizing. Plus, they are saying many of the right things these days. "We oppose religious and ethnic parties seeking to divide Iraq," commented Samir Adil, head of Baghdad's Worker-Communist party. "Our enemies are not Shia, Sunnis, or Kurds, but Islamic terrorists." Seated in his tiny office just off Ferdowsi Square, where Saddam's statue fell on April 9, Adil related how WCP members in Kirkuk assisted the American army in calming tensions after outbreaks of ethnic violence last May. "We also helped the Americans keep order in many Baghdad neighborhoods."

In Basra, Communist-party head Ali Medhi sounds more like a Social Democrat than a to-the-ramparts Bolshevik. "We want an honest police force and an accountable government that represents all the people," he said. "We favor capitalism, too. Capitalism can unite Iraq." No wonder the director of a Basra-based NGO commented to me, "If the Americans really want to support democracy and help prevent civil strife, they should pour money into Iraq's Communist parties."

But even the best-funded group can do little in a society that, after 40 years of Baathist rule, has forgotten the concept of democracy. Quipped the same director, "We must remind Iraqis that just because you win 51 percent of the vote, you don't go out and kill the other 49 percent." Still, this lack of experience doesn't trouble Juliana Yussef, editor of the Basra newspaper Al-Akhbaar. "The climate is poor for democracy now, but that doesn't mean the country is heading for civil war. Iraqis will stay together because we have no other alternative."

You hear that a lot these days. Despite their differences, Iraqis know that failure to stand together will bring unimaginable catastrophe — and this realization, combined with their innate common sense and distaste for fanaticism, might prevent the nation from splintering. While this attitude reflects some wishful thinking, it does have a historical basis: From its ancient desert kingdoms until the rise of the Baath party in the 1960s, Iraq's multi-ethnic peoples lived together in relative harmony. Today in Karaada, the Baghdad neighborhood where my apartment is located, one finds Arabs, Kurds, Armenians, Chaldean Christians, Sunni, and Shia forming a model of Iraqi integration.

This is why the March 17 car bomb that destroyed Karaada's Mount Lebanon hotel was such a powerful reminder of the damage terrorists can inflict on Iraq's psyche. By detonating 1,000 pounds of plastic explosives in this neighborhood, Islamofascists signaled that multicultural tolerance was no protection against the chaos they spread. How Iraqis interpret this message remains to be seen. For among the people these days, a counter-feeling is developing — one literally growing out of the ruins of the hotels and police stations shattered by terrorists. "Iraq is a divided country," says poet Naseer Hasan. "But each terrorist attack joins our people in bonds of shared suffering. In the end, it may be the terrorists who make us one."

— Steven Vincent is a freelance American writer currently living in Iraq.

http://nationalreview.com/comment/vincent200403260845.asp
4 posted on 03/26/2004 9:34:57 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
UN Nuclear Inspectors Returning to Iran Saturday

VOA News
26 Mar 2004

United Nations nuclear inspectors are expected to return to Iran Saturday to visit two nuclear facilities.
Their trip comes after Iran postponed a March 12th visit after the International Atomic Energy Agency's board of governors adopted a resolution criticizing Tehran for hiding sensitive information about its nuclear program.

An IAEA spokeswoman, Melissa Fleming, says the team will conduct inspections at the Natanz gas centrifuge enrichment facility and the Isfahan nuclear research center.

Previously, inspectors have found traces of highly enriched uranium at the Natanz facility. Iran said that was the result of contamination in the country where the equipment originated.

Earlier this week, IAEA chief Mohammed ElBaradei said he plans to visit Iran early next month. He will then report his findings to the organization's board of governors before the end of May.

Iran has consistently maintained that its nuclear program is for the civilian production of energy, not atomic weapons, as some Western countries believe.

http://www.voanews.com/article.cfm?objectID=DB2E3788-EA2F-48F5-BA7000EAFFF9F4ED
5 posted on 03/26/2004 9:52:53 PM PST by F14 Pilot (John Fedayeen Kerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: DoctorZIn
Fearful Iranians seek passports

By Tom Spender
Times UK

There has been a surge in applications for British passports from the borough's Iranian community in response to the fate of two Barnet-based refugees who are languishing in an Iranian jail.

Dr Rudi Vis, the MP for Finchley and Golders Green, said that the Foreign Office had not visited either Abrahim Khodabandeh, of Barnet, or Jamil Bassam, of Hendon, in jail in Iran because neither had chosen to take British nationality despite living in the borough for more than 30 years. They were arrested while visiting Syria last April and were flown back to Iran a flagrant breach of the Geneva Convention on Refugees.

Now Dr Vis, who was born in Holland, said: "More people from Iran who are more British than I am are asking for British citizenship. They may want to go to countries neighbouring Iran such as Syria to meet up with families and friends."

A Foreign Office spokesman has said that the Government has no right to visit the men in jail in Iran because they are not British citizens.

But Mahmoud Tabrizi, a childhood friend of Mr Khodabandeh who lives in Mill Hill, said that passports were not the real issue.

"The Government could do something if it wanted to. It's a matter of humanity. These men have been living here for 30 years morally they have as many rights as any other citizen.

"The Foreign Office is choosing not to use the influence it claims to have."

The Government has said it is pursuing a policy of engagement with Iran, which it hopes will give it enough influence to try to persuade the Iranians to improve their record on human rights.

http://www.barnettimes.co.uk/news/localnews/display.var.473930.0.fearful_iranians_seek_passports.php
6 posted on 03/26/2004 10:22:10 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Spinning a tale of desperation out of 'Gold'

By Wesley Morris, Globe Staff, 3/26/2004

Crimson Gold" opens in remarkable distress. A man holds up a small jewelry store in Tehran. It's empty save for the harried jeweler who runs it. A woman comes in and runs out when she realizes what's happening. The alarm goes off, and the robber, a big hulk of a man, shoots the jeweler, who's just off-screen. Outside, in daylight and in front the store's iron gate, a frantic crowd gathers, including the gunman's friend, who wants to know why on earth he's shooting people, but he just waves them back and busts open some of the cases.

The sequence is filmed in a single, static take, with the camera positioned so the store's entrance becomes the center of the frame. By the robbery's conclusion, the camera has crept from the back of the store to the front, and we're left with a chilling, abjectly ironic awareness of the chasm between chaos and control. The camera's sobriety can capture mayhem, but it can't stop it from happening.

The director of "Crimson Gold" is Iran's Jafar Panahi, who also made "The White Balloon" and "The Circle," a stinging, tautly structured indictment of Iranian society told through its women's eyes.

"Crimson Gold" takes us back to the days before the botched heist, whipping us from that gunshot and static camera to a motorbike flying through the streets of Tehran. We meet the demoralized robber in a less desperate but no less unhappy state. His name is Hussein (Hussein Emadeddin), and he has a large face that seems to be swallowing his eyes and his mouth and whatever else he'd need to complete a communicative facial expression. His pal Ali (Kamyar Sheissi) arrives with a purse he claims he found. From it falls a gold wedding band and a note about an expensive Italian necklace at a jewelry shop.

The two hop on Ali's bike and head over to the shop. They want to see what such a pricey necklace looks like. But the owner (Shahram Vaziri) takes one look at them and says to try someplace else. Ali lets the incident go, but Hussein has a tough time moving on. You start to see his weight as an extension of his inability to put life's humiliations behind him. Quite literally, he's heavy with hurt.

Written by the director Abbas Kiarostami, who wrote Panahi's debut, "The White Balloon," the film takes us through protracted snapshots of Hussein's life. On any given night, his pizza-delivery job could bring Hussein to a building with a broken elevator, which means a trip up several flights of stairs. (Indeed, Emadeddin really delivers pizzas for a living.) His customers include a former co-worker who doesn't recognize him because of his weight gain. As the slights to his dignity increase, Hussein grows frustrated and sad.

Hussein gets a respite when a rich, American-bred kid invites him into his palatial bachelor pad to share a pizza. While the boy ignores him to talk on his cell phone, Hussein tours the house, samples the libations, and has a swim. The next day, hungover more from dispossession than alcohol, he pulls his heist.

To a large extent, "Crimson Gold" is about the unbearable weight of being. The film, however, is deceptively light in its construction, built of long sequences and enduring silences. Spareness is a virtue for Panahi as he contemplates the space between commentary and cinema. Emadeddin's work is unaffected but deeply informed, and no close-ups or reaction shots are required to feel his character's pain. His emotionality is a surprise because it's emitted more than expressed. This is the first beautiful performance in the year's first great movie.

Wesley Morris can be reached at wmorris@globe.com.

http://www.boston.com/news/globe/living/articles/2004/03/26/spinning_a_tale_of_desperation_out_of_gold/
7 posted on 03/26/2004 10:23:11 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
IRAQI POLICE SAY AL-QAEDA RECRUITING IRAQIS TO BE SUICIDE BOMBERS.

An Iraqi police officer told "The Times" of 22 March that Al-Qaeda is increasingly recruiting young Iraqis, brainwashing, and even drugging them before sending them out to commit terrorist acts against their own people. Iraqi police Colonel Karim Sultan told the British daily that raids along the Saudi border before the 2 March Ashura bombings (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 2 March 2004) led to the arrest of a dozen men in possession of audiotapes of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and some $20 million worth of narcotics.

Sultan said the drugs are shipped from Afghanistan via Iran. They are then transported to Iraq with the crowds of Iranian pilgrims that cross the border to visit the holy sites in Karbala and Al-Najaf. The drugs also made their way to the Saudi market via the same Afghan-Iran route, he said. "It's a huge network. They have a lot of different contacts. It's almost impossible to count. Bin Laden is starting to funnel his money in here," Sultan said. Regarding the recruitment, he added: "It's a long process to brainwash them. They seduce them with money, then start to use drugs on them until they are half conscious." The Iraqis are then sent out on missions. The antispasmotic prescription drug Artane is a favorite, he said, because it reportedly induces a sense of invulnerability in the user. Sultan speculated that recruitment is taking place in villages, where he has heard Al-Qaeda has sponsored lectures. Sultan said that Al-Qaeda communicates through a variety of means: Internet, satellite telephones, letters, and couriers. (Kathleen Ridolfo)

source: RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT Vol. 7, No. 11, 26 March 2004
8 posted on 03/26/2004 11:22:01 PM PST by AdmSmith
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To: AdmSmith
"DIVINE INTERVENTION" AT THE IRANIAN BALLOT BOX?

Expediency Council member Habibullah Asgaroladi-Mosalman said on 11 March of the previous month's parliamentary elections, "God guided the hearts of the pious throughout this land in such a way that of the 225 elected representatives, 160 were fundamentalists," "Aftab-i Yazd" reported. Asgaroladi, who is the secretary-general of the conservative Islamic Coalition Party, added, "We witnessed divine intervention in the seventh parliamentary elections, and you must thank God for this blessing with your work." BS

source:RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 8, No. 56, Part III, 24 March 2004

comment: Divine intervention with a little help from your friends...
9 posted on 03/26/2004 11:30:22 PM PST by AdmSmith
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To: AdmSmith
IRANIAN PARLIAMENTARIAN FORBIDDEN TO LEAVE COUNTRY AFTER RESIGNATION.

Fatimeh Haqiqatju, whose resignation from the legislature was accepted in late February, said in a 23 March interview with ISNA that she has been banned from leaving the country and thus cannot accept an invitation to visit Great Britain. Haqiqatju said she has no intention of leaving Iran to live elsewhere, and added, "Those who do not have a place among the people are the ones who should flee this country, not the reformists who can rely upon the support of the majority of the people." BS

source:RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 8, No. 56, Part III, 24 March 2004
10 posted on 03/26/2004 11:30:47 PM PST by AdmSmith
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To: AdmSmith; DoctorZIn; nuconvert; PhilDragoo; seamole; MEG33; onyx; blackie; Cindy; ...
Report says Iran hiding nuclear activities

27.03.2004
LOS ANGELES (Reuters)
Swiss Info

A committee of senior Iranian officials is overseeing efforts to conceal important elements of
Tehran's nuclear program from international inspectors, the Los Angeles Times has reported, citing Western diplomats and an
intelligence report.

The newspaper said on Saturday if the allegation was confirmed, it would bolster Washington's charge Iran was seeking to
hide an atomic weapons program.

The United States says Tehran is using its nuclear power program as a front to develop an atom bomb. Iran denies that and
insists its program is solely for the peaceful generation of electricity.

The diplomats told the paper Iran set up the committee late last year to coordinate the concealment efforts after inspectors
found evidence it had tried to hide elements of its nuclear program, including research on advanced centrifuges that could
produce weapons-grade uranium.

The newspaper quoted a diplomat, speaking anonymously, as saying the committee's work included trying to hide nuclear
evidence at almost 300 locations. The committee is said to include senior officials of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization who
report to high-level government officials.

Pirooz Hosseini, Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency U.N. watchdog group, told the newspaper that
charges of a cover-up were "totally baseless".

"We have adopted a policy of full transparency, and we have declared all of our nuclear activities to the IAEA," he was quoted
as saying.

A team from the IAEA will head to Iran this weekend to conduct inspections that Tehran has delayed in retaliation against a
harshly worded resolution on the Islamic republic, officials said on Wednesday.

A Bush administration official told the newspaper it had received the intelligence report, which was not prepared by the United
States, within the past month and believed it to be credible.

"The report is being viewed seriously because it originates from outside U.S. intelligence services," the unidentified official
was quoted as saying. "It has contributed to a greater sense of frustration, both in the U.S. and within the IAEA."

The Times said the Western diplomat who first described the new intelligence report was not an American. It said he provided
a written analysis of the report rather than the actual document.

http://www.swisspolitics.org/en/news/index.php?section=int&page=news_inhalt&news_id=4824962
11 posted on 03/27/2004 1:58:47 AM PST by F14 Pilot (John Fedayeen Kerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: AdmSmith
Divine
12 posted on 03/27/2004 5:17:51 AM PST by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ( President Bush 3-20-04))
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To: DoctorZIn
"They were arrested while visiting Syria last April and were flown back to Iran a flagrant breach of the Geneva Convention on Refugees."

They've been in jail for a year....Iranian regime has nothing better to do than arrest people who left 30yrs ago during the Shah's reign?


13 posted on 03/27/2004 5:46:09 AM PST by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ( President Bush 3-20-04))
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To: AdmSmith
Drugs being transported thru Iran? Al Qaeda in Iraq?
Hard to believe........ </sarcasm/>
14 posted on 03/27/2004 5:53:51 AM PST by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ( President Bush 3-20-04))
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To: F14 Pilot
"We have adopted a policy of full transparency, and we have declared all of our nuclear activities to the IAEA"

LOL. And I'm the Easter Bunny .....
15 posted on 03/27/2004 6:26:57 AM PST by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ( President Bush 3-20-04))
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To: AdmSmith
"Those who do not have a place among the people are the ones who should flee this country..."

She's got guts. I hope she doesn't suddenly disappear.
16 posted on 03/27/2004 6:30:45 AM PST by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ( President Bush 3-20-04))
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To: F14 Pilot
Freedom ~ Now!
17 posted on 03/27/2004 6:54:30 AM PST by blackie (Be Well~Be Armed~Be Safe~Molon Labe!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Inspections Begin Amid Nuclear Cover-up Claims

March 27, 2004
ABC News Online
AFP/Reuters

United Nations (UN) nuclear inspectors are due to arrive in Iran on Saturday for a crucial mission to discover whether the Islamic republic is secretly developing atomic weapons, as the US accuses it of doing.

Iran had tried to put off the mission earlier this month after the UN's nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), condemned it for continuing to hide sensitive nuclear activities.

But Iran yielded and allowed the visit after a delay of two weeks, following international outcry against it for failing to cooperate with the atomic agency.

The UN team will focus its inspections on the Natanz uranium enrichment plant and the Isfahan nuclear technology centre.

The Natanz plant is one of two sites where IAEA inspectors have discovered traces of highly enriched uranium.

This substance can be used in civilian nuclear reactors to generate electricity but it can also be used as raw material for a nuclear bomb.

Isfahan is a nuclear technology centre with a uranium conversion facility.

A diplomat close to the IAEA said this week the inspection visit was "routine, nothing spectacular".

He said the IAEA would not - on this trip - be verifying Iran's pledge to suspend uranium enrichment.

Iran promised in February to halt not just enriching uranium but all related activities, such as building centrifuges.

IAEA director general Mohamed El Baradei has said that move is crucial if Iran is to convince the world it is cooperating fully with the UN watchdog and honouring its nuclear non-proliferation commitments.

Mr El Baradei has also said another UN team may go to Iran in April for a more aggressive inspection.

Activities 'hidden'

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times reports that a committee of senior Iranian officials is overseeing efforts to conceal important elements of the country's nuclear program from international inspectors, citing Western diplomats and an intelligence report.

The diplomats told the paper Iran set up the committee late last year to coordinate the concealment efforts after inspectors found evidence it had tried to hide elements of its nuclear program, including research on advanced centrifuges that could produce weapons-grade uranium.

The newspaper quotes a diplomat, speaking anonymously, as saying the committee's work includes trying to hide nuclear evidence at almost 300 locations.

The committee is said to include senior officials of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation who report to high-level government officials.

Pirooz Hosseini, Iran's ambassador to the IAEA, told the newspaper that charges of a cover-up are "totally baseless".

"We have adopted a policy of full transparency, and we have declared all of our nuclear activities to the IAEA."

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/s1075273.htm
18 posted on 03/27/2004 7:47:30 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Inaugurates Uranium Conversion Facility

March 27, 2004
The Associated Press
MSNBC News

TEHRAN, Iran - Iran has inaugurated a plant for processing uranium ore into gas, a step prior to enrichment of uranium, in the central city of Isfahan, Iranian nuclear officials said Saturday.

The Uranium Conversion Facility began operation “some time ago,” a senior official at the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran said on condition of anonymity.

The nuclear facility in Isfahan, 250 miles south of Tehran, converts uranium ore into gas, which is destined for enrichment at a nuclear plant in Natanz. Iran suspended enrichment last year under strong international pressure over the aims and dimensions of its nuclear program.

Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency are scheduled to arrive in Iran later Saturday.

The United States strongly suspects Iran has a secret atomic weapons program, but Tehran insists its nuclear program if only for power generation.

The International Atomic Energy Agency recently rebuked Iran for failing to disclose certain aspects of its nuclear development, as it is obliged to do under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

Washington has called for Iran to suspend all uranium-related activity. But Iran has repeatedly said its suspension is temporary and enrichment will resume.

IAEA inspectors return to Iran

The Atomic Energy Organization official said the inspectors would visit the conversion facility in Isfahan as well as the enrichment plant in Natanz, 200 miles south of Tehran.

Mohammed ElBaradei, director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, has said Iran needs to take many steps before the U.N. agency can give its nuclear program a clean bill of health.

Suspicions about Iran’s program heightened last year when the IAEA revealed that its inspectors found radioactive particles that had been enriched to weapons-grade level — higher than what Iran requires for fuel for a nuclear reactor.

Iran said the particles came from imported equipment.

ElBaradei, who plans to visit Iran early next month to encourage it to be more transparent, hopes to present an assessment of Iran’s nuclear activities to the IAEA board of governors in June.

Iran has repeatedly denied concealing any illegal nuclear activity. After the IAEA rebuked it this month, the Tehran government barred the inspectors for two weeks. Their scheduled return Saturday will be their first visit since then.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4613997/
19 posted on 03/27/2004 7:48:58 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Hiding Its Nuclear Activities [Excerpt]

March 27, 2004
LA Times
Douglas Frantz and Sonni Efron

Senior Iranian officials are overseeing efforts to conceal key elements of the country's nuclear program from international inspectors, according to Western diplomats and an intelligence report.

If the cover-up is confirmed, it would bolster the U.S. assertion that Iran is trying to hide a secret nuclear weapons program.

Iran set up a committee late last year to coordinate the concealment efforts after international inspectors uncovered evidence that the Islamic Republic had tried to hide aspects of its nuclear program, including secret research on advanced centrifuges that can produce weapons-grade uranium, according to the diplomats.

A diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the committee's most pressing tasks include trying to hide nuclear evidence at nearly 300 locations around the country. The committee is said to be composed mainly of senior officials of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran who report to high-ranking government officials.

Iran has said that it will deny access to some suspect sites by international inspectors, who are scheduled to continue their work today. Iran cited a continuing New Year holiday as justification for barring the inspectors.

A Bush administration official said the United States had received the intelligence report — prepared by a country other than the United States — within the last month and believes it to be credible.

Washington would probably portray any Iranian cover-up as smoking-gun evidence of a nuclear weapons program. The U.S. is likely to use any such evidence to prod the Europeans, who have been pursuing an engagement strategy with Tehran, to take a harder line at the June meeting in Vienna of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA.

"The report is being viewed seriously because it originates from outside U.S. intelligence sources," said the U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "It has contributed to a greater sense of frustration, both in the U.S. and within the IAEA."

The full text can be found at:
http://iranvajahan.net/cgi-bin/news.pl?l=en&y=2004&m=03&d=27&a=1
20 posted on 03/27/2004 7:52:52 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Iran Hiding Its Nuclear Activities [Excerpt]

March 27, 2004
LA Times
Douglas Frantz and Sonni Efron

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1106047/posts?page=20#20
21 posted on 03/27/2004 8:07:28 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
California's Yolo County Proclaims March 19, 2004 as Iranian-American Day

The Board of Supervisors in Yolo Coutny, California has passed a resolution proclaiming Friday March 19, 2004 as Iranian-American day in Yolo County.

About Yolo County

Yolo County's 661,760 acres is home to over 150,000 people. Nearly 85% of the population lives in the County's four cities (Davis, West Sacramento, Woodland, Winters). Its proximity to Sacramento International Airport as well as two major interstates place it within a major transportation hub of the state.

http://www.payvand.com/news/04/mar/1181.html
22 posted on 03/27/2004 9:32:51 AM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn

23 posted on 03/27/2004 9:33:27 AM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
Hmmm.....wonder if this report comes from MEK?
24 posted on 03/27/2004 11:06:34 AM PST by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ( President Bush 3-20-04))
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To: DoctorZIn
"this week the inspection visit was "routine, nothing spectacular"

"Mr El Baradei has also said another UN team may go to Iran in April for a more aggressive inspection."

Well, I hope SOMEONE is planning an aggressive inspection. And SOON.
Sheeesh!!
25 posted on 03/27/2004 11:11:50 AM PST by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ( President Bush 3-20-04))
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To: F14 Pilot
The newspaper quoted a diplomat, speaking anonymously, as saying the committee's work included trying to hide nuclear evidence at almost 300 locations. The committee is said to include senior officials of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization who report to high-level government officials.

The Clinton Administration allowed Russia, China and North Korea to continue its assistance to Iran's missile and nuclear programs.

Kerry wants the UN to handle this--after all, it did such a fine job in Iraq.

26 posted on 03/27/2004 3:28:06 PM PST by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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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”

27 posted on 03/27/2004 9:13:28 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Bump!
28 posted on 03/27/2004 11:59:35 PM PST by windchime (Podesta about Bush: "He's got four years to try to undo all the stuff we've done." (TIME-1/22/01))
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