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Iranian Alert -- April 1, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 4.1.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 03/31/2004 9:00:38 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.” 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 03/31/2004 9:00:40 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 03/31/2004 9:02:39 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Europeans Criticize Iran's Plan to Start Up Enrichment Plant

By RICHARD BERNSTEIN
NYTimes
Published: April 1, 2004

BERLIN, March 31 - The foreign ministries of Germany, France and Britain Wednesday criticized Iran's decision, announced last week, to start up a uranium conversion plant in Isfahan.

"This announcement sends the wrong signal regarding Iran's readiness to implement a suspension of its activities relating to uranium enrichment," the German Foreign Ministry said in a statement. "It will make it more difficult for Iran to restore international confidence in its activities. Iran must explain its announcement and its intentions."

The German Foreign Ministry said identical statements were issued Wednesday in Britain and France.

The move comes after a much-heralded diplomatic initiative by the foreign ministers of Germany, France and Britain that resulted last October in a promise by Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment activities and to allow more intrusive international inspections of its nuclear program.

The agreement was widely viewed as an Iranian response to intense pressure by the United States and the International Atomic Energy Agency to curtail activities aimed at making nuclear weapons. It was also welcomed by many people in Europe as a result of a successful European-American synergy in dealing with international crises.

Diplomats here referred to it as a good-cop, bad-cop approach, in which the Americans applied pressure on Iran and the Europeans offered a diplomatic way out.

But after the agreement in October and a round of international inspections, Iran admitted that it had concealed aspects of its nuclear development program for some 18 years. At one point earlier this year, after the international agency criticized Iran for failing to disclose aspects of its nuclear program, Iran banned further inspections.

The statements Wednesday by the foreign ministers of Europe's three major countries seemed an unmistakable sign of annoyance at Iran for its failure to cooperate fully with inspections or to stop its enrichment program definitively.

Reuters reported Wednesday on an internal report obtained by the news agency in Vienna concluding that Iran had "managed'' some of the agency's inspections. Reuters also cited unnamed Western diplomats as saying that Tehran had not stopped enriching uranium but had moved enrichment activities away from a known plant at Natanz to smaller sites that are part of a parallel program as yet undiscovered by inspectors.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/01/international/europe/01iran.html?ex=1081400400&en=ee83ffdb4ceb4064&ei=5062
3 posted on 03/31/2004 9:03:54 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
U.S. traded Iran oil deal for SDF in Iraq: Democrat

WASHINGTON (Kyodo)
Japan Times
4.1.2004

A U.S. representative said Tuesday that the administration of President George W. Bush allowed Japan to invest in a major oil field project in Iran in exchange for its dispatch of Self-Defense Forces troops to Iraq.
"An administration desperate for re-election will take 550 soldiers from Japan, which provide the veneer of international support and credibility for our relations in Iraq, which is the preoccupation of the electorate, and give the green light to $2.8 billion going from Japan to Iran," said Brad Sherman, a California Democrat.

He was speaking during a hearing of the House International Relations Committee, in reference to an agreement in February between Japan and Iran on an oil development project in Azadegan, southern Iran, one of the world's largest oil fields.

Sherman called Iran "the nation who is most likely to be the culprit if a nuclear weapon is smuggled into the United States."

In the hearing, John Bolton, undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, said Sherman's statement was "absolutely not true."

The Japan Times: April 1, 2004

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?nn20040401a7.htm
4 posted on 03/31/2004 9:04:40 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Afghan Army Moves Into Unruly Province Near Iran

By CARLOTTA GALL
NY Times
Published: April 1, 2004

HERAT, Afghanistan, March 28 — "Did you see Karzai's army?" a young Afghan security guard asked in a hushed voice. "They are all over the airport."

Hundreds of men in green berets and combat fatigues, troops of the fledgling Afghan National Army, have encamped in this city close to Afghanistan's border with Iran.

In addition to the troops in the airport, hundreds more have settled into the IV Army Corps base in the center of town and have rapidly become a familiar sight, driving around in new camouflage-painted Ford pickups.

But the soldiers, sent from Kabul by President Hamid Karzai, are far more than a friendly presence. Since they arrived with their American trainers, they have quietly, without fuss, changed the political and military dynamics in western Afghanistan.

Since the national aviation minister was shot dead in the city on March 21, setting off hours of heavy fighting between men loyal to his father, Ismail Khan, the governor of Herat Province, and those of an ambitious young division commander whose guards had shot the minister, the people of Herat have been wondering what will happen next.

Their first fears were that the 17th Division commander, Zaher Naibzadah, 34, who fled the city that night, would return and attack with a new force. Instead, to their surprise, hundreds of newly trained Afghan National Army troops showed up, averting for now the possibility of a brutal and destructive war.

"They are in control of the place," a Western diplomat in Herat said. Once the full contingent of 1,500 men has arrived, the soldiers will patrol in the city and out to the Iranian border 75 miles to the west with the local police, the diplomat said.

It is a setback for Governor Khan, who was ruling Herat with an increasingly strong hand and with little regard for the central government. But, reeling from the death of his son and chief ally in the cabinet, Mirwais Sadeq, he has had to accept the troops. "He is not in a position to refuse," the diplomat said.

"It is time for the central government to extend its grip on the periphery," said Abu Diek, the United Nations representative in Herat. "We are embarking on a political process, and it would be good if the A.N.A. stayed."

The most powerful warlord in the country, Mr. Khan was accustomed to wielding overwhelming military, political and economic control in his province, and strong influence in the poorer neighboring provinces of Ghor and Badghis. In the two years since the fall of the Taliban, he has shown a stubborn disdain for sharing power or heeding the strictures of the central government.

As the country prepares for national elections in September and tries to push through a program of disarmament and demobilization of thousands of militiamen, Mr. Khan's unchecked power was looming as a serious obstacle.

Even as he prepared to bury his son, Mr. Khan, a former mujahedeen commander famed for his bravery in fighting the Soviet occupation, still tried to resist the deployment of the Afghan National Army.

"Don't rub salt into our wounds," he reportedly told President Karzai, when informed of the plan by telephone, according to a local journalist. "Karzai said, `It's for your benefit,' and cut the phone," the journalist said.

The American commander of the local provincial reconstruction team, Lt. Col. James H. Hand, said the Afghan troops had received good cooperation so far from the governor and his officials. Buses met the troops, and facilities were provided, the colonel said.

The 13,000 American troops in the country are still so busy in the south and east pursuing Taliban forces and hunting for Al Qaeda's leaders that the last thing they want is protracted strife in the west to add to their problems, another American officer said.

Not satisfied with curbing Mr. Khan's military power, major figures in the central government are determined to remove him completely from western Afghanistan, offering him a position in Kabul or the governorship of another province. He has refused all offers so far, but close aides acknowledge that discussions are in progress.

Under his rule Herat has emerged as the economic jewel of Afghanistan, prospering from a surge in trade with Iran. One diplomat in the region estimates that 300 trucks come through Herat customs daily, bringing in up to $300,000 in levies.

At about $100 million a year, that represents a fifth of the national budget. That figure alone infuriates many in Kabul, although for the last year Mr. Khan has been passing a share of the custom revenues to the central authorities.

His conservative religious values and strict control of the media and political activity have alienated the intellectual class in Herat, which is a highly sophisticated city. Young people are chafing at the social controls and say they wish Herat had a movie theater. But everyone agrees that he has delivered on the most important thing, security.

Mr. Khan's reaction to the killing of his son is indicative of how strained his relations are with the central government. He has said the killing was part of a conspiracy that included an attack on the governor himself, and suggested that members of the central government had a hand in it.

The deputy interior minister, Hilaluddin Hilal, called it a "tragic accident."

Whatever its cause, the sudden outburst of violence was a sign of the growing tensions between Mr. Khan and Mr. Naibzadah, who was one of the military commanders who supported cooperation with Kabul and the Defense Ministry in opposition to Mr. Khan.

While Mr. Khan appears much weakened by the incident, he still has the support of some diplomats and members of the American military, who want stability and security above all.

"He has opponents, but a great many think that for the time and the future, he may be the best alternative," Colonel Hand said.

But the government is determined to capitalize on this opportunity to make an example of Mr. Khan. "It gives a signal to all who are up to some sort of mischief that they'd better think it over," said the deputy defense minister, Rahim Wardak.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/01/international/asia/01HERA.html?ex=1081400400&en=9a7ef682d6d71bac&ei=5062
5 posted on 03/31/2004 9:06:33 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran, Saudi Arabia lambasted for treatment of Canadians

AFP - World News (via Yahoo)
Mar 31, 2004

OTTAWA - An influential parliamentary committee, controlled by Canada's governing Liberal Party, lambasted Iran and Saudi Arabia for allegedly torturing and murdering Canadian citizens.

The House of Commons foreign affairs committee warned Saudi Arabia that its relations with Ottawa would not be able to develop properly "until justice is done and seen to be done."

In a report on Canada's relations with the Muslim world, the committee warned Saudi Arabia it needed to conduct a full investigation of allegations of miscarriage of justice and torture made by Canadian citizen William Sampson.

Sampson claims he was tortured by Saudi authorities into falsely confessing to murder. After being sentenced to death by beheading, Sampson was eventually released when the family of his alleged victim requested clemency.

The committee also called on Iran to undertake a full accounting for the illegal detention, torture and murder of Canadian journalist Zahra Kazemi.

Montreal-based Kazemi, who had dual Canadian and Iranian citizenship, was arrested for taking photos of a prison. She died while in custody with Iranian authorities saying she had been beaten to death while being interrogated.

So far, the Iranians have refused her son's request for her remains to be returned to Canada.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_5536.shtml
6 posted on 03/31/2004 9:07:46 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran's nuclear facility erodes diplomatic victory

Guardian - By Ewen MacAskill
Apr 1, 2004

The British government made a tacit admission for the first time yesterday that its much-trumpeted diplomatic initiative to try to prevent Iran securing a nuclear weapon may be in trouble.

The Foreign Office expressed unhappiness with an Iranian government announcement on Saturday that it had inaugurated at Isfahan a uranium conversion facility, a necessary first step in the creation of a nuclear bomb.

In October last year the foreign secretary, Jack Straw, and his German and French counterparts, Joschka Fischer and Dominique de Villepin, flew to Tehran to persuade the Iranian government to avoid confrontation with the US by agreeing to spot checks of its nuclear facilities. The resultant agreement was hailed as a triumph for European diplomacy.

But the Foreign Office statement yesterday registered the disappointment of the three countries. By diplomatic standards, the language was strong and unequivocal.

It said the announcement sent "the wrong signal about Iranian willingness to implement a suspension of nuclear enrichment-related activities".

Parallel statements were issued in Berlin and Paris.

The British, German and French governments are to make another joint approach to the Iranian government.

The US, which expressed scepticism at the time the agreement was secured, has called on Iran to suspend all uranium-related activity.

Iran has repeatedly claimed it is merely interested in using nuclear technology for civilian purposes, and insists that it is sticking to the October agreement.

But a Foreign Office source said the steps being taken by Iran at Isfahan were incompatible with the promise to suspend its uranium enrichment programme.

Gholam-Reza Aghazadeh, the head of the Iranian nuclear programme, said the Isfahan facility would continue the process of turning uranium ore into gas. He said it would produce uranium hexofloride, metallic uranium and uranium oxide. Hexofloride is used for uranium enrichment.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_5537.shtml
7 posted on 03/31/2004 9:10:56 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Ah, a breath of fresh air in an Islamic land. Surely some Muslims are starting to recognize the necessity of abortion rights, contraception, gay liberation, and other western ideals. Freedom shall prevail!
8 posted on 03/31/2004 9:46:15 PM PST by findingtruth
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To: DoctorZIn
OPEC CUTS PRODUCTION BY ONE MILLION BARRELS

VIENNA, Austria 31 Mar. (IPS)

As decided last February in Algeria, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in its 130th meeting in the Austrian Capital on Wednesday lowered its production by four percent, or one million, down from its 24.5 millions barrels per day, beginning Thursday, in a move that kept crude oil prices near 13-year highs.

The decision, to be enforced as first of April 2004, surprised some analysts, as oil prices are at their highest level, reaching 38 US Dollars in the United States on 17 March.

But Saudi and Iranian oil ministers, Ali al-Na’imi and Bizhan Namdar-Zanganeh had observed that the price rise was due to speculations than a shortage of supply from OPEC.

"The Saudis have gone from being a reliable OPEC price dove to OPEC's arch price hawk", the British news agency Reuters quoted Mr. Mehdi Varzi, an Iranian energy consultant as having commented on the decision.

"That's because of the demands of the Saudi budget. They need higher and higher oil prices every year to meet current expenditure for a larger and larger population", he added.

Other oil experts blamed the upward prices for oil on the dynamic Chinese market that he became the second largest oil consuming in the world, the artificially undervalued US money that penalises most of the Organisation’s 11 members buying goods from the Euro zone and the end of winter.

Informed sources said since Saudi Arabia has already reduced its production, market would not be affected adversely but would stop possible decrease in the prices.

Analysts said the decision could boost oil prices to the psychologically important threshold of $40 per barrel.

"The big question now is how serious OPEC members will be in complying with its new target. An expected drop in seasonal demand during the April-June quarter and quota-busting by individual members of the group could eventually dampen the effects of the cut", one oil analyst said.

Most OPEC members are taking advantage of the current high prices by pumping as much oil as they can. Excluding Iraq, which doesn't participate in the group's quota agreements, OPEC is already exceeding its target by an estimated 1.5 million barrels.

"We made decision to apply the Algiers decision. We're going to meet again in June ... and at that time we're going to review the market", Algerian Oil Minister Chakib Khelil told reporters.

In London, May contracts of North Sea Brent were nine cents higher at $32.54 per barrel.

Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates had proposed the decision to be delayed for one month or two, but other members like Algeria, Nigeria, Libya and Qatar backed Saudi Arabia, the world largest producer and exporter.

ENDS OPEC AND OIL 31304

http://www.iran-press-service.com/articles_2004/Mar_04/opec_cuts_production_by_one_mill.htm
9 posted on 04/01/2004 12:16:38 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Bam: The Catastrophe Continues
—By Leif Kongsgaard and Jacob Wheeler, Utne.com

BAM, Iran -- Bam lives on. But more than two months after the destructive and deadly earthquake which in just 15 seconds killed 43,200 and injured another 30,000 of the city's 125,000 residents, the survivors still find themselves in a state of shock, desperation, hopelessness and fear of what the future holds.

"Our greatest worry right now is that Bam will disappear from the world's conscience. Bam needs all the support and attention it can get," says Iain Logan, who supervises the Red Cross' daily work in Bam. Logan emphasizes that the work has only just begun.

Choking on dust

Street scenes in the middle of Bam are still hard to imagine. Families live along the roads and in the medians in tents supplied by the Red Crescent. Traffic is an odd mixture of huge Land Rovers driven by United Nations and Red Cross workers and Bam's own cars transporting people around the city despite their collapsed roofs and windows void of any glass. The houses are almost all gone. The quake wrecked everything and reduced Bam to a pulverized city. "Not everyone died of injuries on impact," explains Johannes Hoffman, Danish camp manager for the Red Cross. "Many choked to death. Two weeks after the tragedy the air here was still filled with dust from the collapsed houses." The old mud houses that provided perfect protection against the burning sun turned into pure deathtraps when the menace came from below.

Emergency relief workers in Bam agree that they have never seen anything like this. "Normally, families neighbors and friends are first on the scene to help after an earthquake," explained a volunteer from the Red Crescent who didn't want to be named. "But it was different in Bam. No one was left here since the accident took a toll on everyone." Not even the city's emergency preparedness was able to help. Two out of three hospitals collapsed, and half of all doctors, nurses and local Red Crescent volunteers were killed.

An epidemic threatens

Outside of a tent on a smaller side street lies a three year-old girl with her old grandmother. The remains of their house are across the street. One outer wall and a single room on the second floor remain as a mournful reminder of a family that no longer exists. The roof and the floor are one. The grandmother explains that the girl's mother, father and three siblings were buried alive under the rubble. The girl and her grandmother survived only because they happened to be visiting acquaintances in Teheran when the earthquake struck.

"Almost every night when she tries to sleep, she calls out for her mother," explains the grandmother. Like many of the survivors, these two have placed their tent as close to their onetime home as possible. Rumors have circulated that people from other cities are coming to claim the buildings that have been abandoned. These rumors, along with peoples' psychological attachments to their 'homes' make it difficult for Bam residents to move to tent camps where they have access to clean water and more sanitary conditions that the Red Cross has worked hard to establish.

But convincing people to move away from the streets is important -- partly to begin the rebuilding effort but also due to the risk of infection. "The risk of infection is a big danger," explains Logan while we sit in his 'tent office' and sweat in the 30-degree (Celsius) heat. "So far we've avoided epidemics and serious diseases, but temperatures here will reach 45 and 50 degrees (Celsius) in a few months, and sand storms are on the way too. We are currently setting up a quarantine area which we'll use if epidemics suddenly arise."


When the heat really kicks in, living in tents will become virtually impossible. The Iranian government has promised that all Bam families will be able to roll up their tents and move temporarily into prefabricated houses before the middle of April. But those pledges seem awfully optimistic considering the extent of destruction in Bam. The earthquake leveled 25,000 of the area's 29,500 houses. Removing all the mud bricks is enough of a task, and very few sites are already being rebuilt.

Iain Logan also underscores that, from the Red Cross' perspective, Bam isn't ready to move into phase two -- the rebuilding phase. "We are still in the catastrophe phase," he says. "The 40-day Muslim mourning period ended only recently, and the survivors are only now beginning to look forward. That path in front of them looks almost hopeless. Bam will need a psychological-social presence here for many years to come," says Logan, adding that the Red Cross will have emergency aid workers here for the next 10 years.

A total tragedy

Add increasing drug misuse to the tragedies that continue to befall Bam. The city is situated on the old silk route between the Far East and the Mediterranean Sea. But today opium from Afghanistan has replaced silk as the biggest commodity. A relatively large portion of the more than two million Iranian drug addicts live in Bam and its surrounding areas. Official figures from a Saudi Arabian field hospital in Bam indicate that more than half of the 2,000 patients treated in the second week after the earthquake were current or former drug abusers. Doctors from the Red Cross confirm that more and more patients have shown dependency symptoms, and several worry that drug addiction will increase as a sense of hopelessness spreads.

In addition to the unfathomable number of deaths, injuries, traumatized survivors and the increasing temperatures, the entire area's infrastructure has also been wiped out. There are no jobs left; the date fields have been destroyed; and many families have lost their only source of income since the man of the family is dead. Tragedy is everywhere. But other than a visit in January from Prince Charles, the outside world has already moved on to the next bestseller tragedy.

http://www.utne.com/web_special/web_specials_2004-03/articles/11143-1.html
10 posted on 04/01/2004 7:26:11 AM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
Berlin still `fully committed` to Iran nuclear agreement: Fischer
Berlin, March 30, IRNA -- Germany remains `fully committed` to its nuclear agreement with Iran which was negotiated last year in Tehran, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer told IRNA in Berlin on Wednesday. "We are fully committed to the (nuclear) agreement in Tehran ...," the minister said.

Iran has consented in the Tehran nuclear agreement to voluntarily suspend its uranium enrichment program and signed the additional nuclear safeguards protocol, while in exchange Europe has agreed to provide Iran with modern civilian nuclear technology.

http://www.payvand.com/news/04/mar/1194.html
11 posted on 04/01/2004 7:26:33 AM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran uranium plant sparks new row


Iran has been accused of keeping some of its nuclear activities secret

Iran has hit back after European criticism of its decision to set up a uranium conversion plant near Isfahan.
UN ambassador Pirooz Hosseini told Reuters news agency the plant was not in breach of Iran's commitment to suspend uranium enrichment.

On Wednesday the UK, Germany and France issued a joint statement saying the plant's creation sent the wrong signal to the international community.

The row comes less than a week after UN inspectors returned to Iran.

The plant is a totally separate issue from our commitment to the suspension of uranium enrichment

The IAEA has rebuked Tehran for keeping some of its nuclear activities secret.

The US, meanwhile, says Iran is using its nuclear power programme to develop weapons.

Strong reaction

Mr Hosseini told Reuters that he would be discussing criticism of the new plant with British, French and German representatives in the next few days, adding that Iran would keep its promise made to European countries last October about enrichment and inspections.

"[The plant is] a totally separate issue from our commitment to the suspension of uranium enrichment," he said.

This announcement sends the wrong signal about Iranian willingness to implement a suspension of nuclear enrichment-related activities

UK Foreign Office statement

The ambassador did not say whether Tehran would be prepared to shut down the plant, the inauguration of which was announced on Saturday.

Iran says the facility will process uranium ore into gas, a step towards enrichment.

The news prompted a strong reaction from the UK Foreign Office.

"This announcement sends the wrong signal about Iranian willingness to implement a suspension of nuclear enrichment-related activities," it said in a statement.

"It will make it more difficult for Iran to re-establish international confidence in her undertakings. Iran must explain her statement and her intentions."

The German Foreign Ministry expressed similar concerns.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3589737.stm
12 posted on 04/01/2004 7:28:22 AM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
IRANIANS LEAVE HOUSES TO GET RID OF "EVIL SPIRITS" ON 13TH DAY OF NAWRUZ


TEHRAN, April 1, 2004 (RIA Novosti's Nikolai Terekhov) - According to a pre-Islamic tradition, on the 13th day of Nawruz, the New Year according to the Iranian solar and lunar calendar, all Iranians have to leave their houses to get rid of evil spirits and troubles in the coming year.


This unusual day, which is the end of the two week New Year celebrations, is called "sizdah be dar," which means "out on the 13th day."

On the 13th day, everyone in Iran takes all the necessary things with them, including food and dishes, and goes to parks, gardens or the mountains so that their deserted houses can be cleansed of evil.

Iranians believe that contact with nature will give them new strength for living fruitful and creative lives.

http://en.rian.ru/rian/index.cfm?prd_id=160&msg_id=4130482&startrow=1&date=2004-04-01&do_alert=0
13 posted on 04/01/2004 7:29:09 AM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
EU Big 3 Blast Iran's Mullahs
Apr 1, 2004, 04:51

France, Britain and Germany toughened their stance on Iran Wednesday by criticizing its decision to start a uranium conversion plant and demanding Tehran explain itself.

In a strongly worded statement, Europe's "Big Three" powers said Iran's announcement that it was starting up the plant near its central city of Esfahan sent the wrong signal and would make it harder for the country to regain international confidence.

The United States says Iran's nuclear program is a front for building an atom bomb, while Britain, Germany and France defied Washington in September by offering to share technology with Tehran if it stopped its nuclear fuel enrichment program.

Wednesday's statement reflected the Big Three's frustration with Iran, which has repeatedly violated its obligation to inform the United Nations of its nuclear activities.

EU diplomats have privately complained that they have been far too soft on Iran. Tehran insists its nuclear program is solely for the peaceful generation of electricity.

"This announcement sends the wrong signal regarding Iran's readiness to implement a suspension of its activities relating to uranium enrichment," the German Foreign Ministry said, adding that France and Britain had issued the same statement.

"It will make it more difficult for Iran to restore international confidence in its activities. Iran must explain its announcement and its intentions."

http://www.iranian.ws/iran_news/publish/article_1885.shtml
14 posted on 04/01/2004 7:29:51 AM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranians Boycott Anniversary of the Islamic Republic
SMCCDI (Information Service)
Mar 31, 2004


The overwhelming majority of Iranians have boycotted the 25th anniversary of the Islamic Republic by staying afar from any official centers and mosques. Public invitations and offering the distribution of food and "prizes" as a lure, Iranians conspicuously avoided anything to do with the contrived celebrations.

Many Iranians are describing this day as "doom day" while the regime leaders made speeches praising the Islamic state and its accomplishments.

Slogans, such as, "Marg bar Jomhoori e Eslami" (Down with the Islamic republic) were heard shouted from many roofs and balconies. Most Iranians were promising to use tomorrow's traditional "Sizde Bedar" to protest against the regime.

The Islamic republic was created, on this day in 1979, following a sham referendum that was a total farce. Supposedly, 98% of all Iranians voted in favor of the theocratic system by dropping "green colored vote cards" under the watch of clerics and armed militiamen. Those using the "red colored vote cards" (rejection of the Islamic state) were chased out of the election offices, or beaten.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_5535.shtml
15 posted on 04/01/2004 7:40:52 AM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
U.N. Agency Contradicts Iranians on Nuke Access

April 01, 2004
The Arizona Republic

ISTANBUL, Turkey -- An internal report by the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency challenges Iran's contention that it has provided international inspectors with free access to workshops where it has manufactured parts for centrifuges.

The document contradicts Iranian assurances early last month that it allowed inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency unrestricted access to the sites during inspections in January.

"The agency's visit was 'managed' by the Iranians in the sense that the inspectors were not permitted to take pictures with IAEA cameras or use their own electronic equipment," said the document, which was first reported by Reuters and obtained Wednesday by the Los Angeles Times.

Iran signed an agreement in December promising inspectors unfettered access to its nuclear facilities and to sites where the agency suspected nuclear activities took place.

The agreement came after inspectors discovered traces of weapons-grade uranium at two locations and other evidence that Iran had failed to disclose.

The contradictory report from the international agency was disclosed the same day Britain, France and Germany criticized Iran for starting operations at a uranium-conversion facility in Esfahan.

The plant is designed to transform uranium ore into uranium hexafluoride, a gas used in centrifuges to produce enriched uranium, which can be used in civilian reactors or in the production of weapons.

Tehran acknowledged Saturday that it had started operations at the plant, following an article in the Times that reported enrichment had begun there last month.

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/0401iran01.html
16 posted on 04/01/2004 7:53:07 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Yassin's Death Opens Door to Iran Control

April 01, 2004
WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily.com

Whatever becomes of its efforts for revenge, Hamas has become weaker and clearly divided following the Israeli assassination of Ahmed Yassin, opening the door for support from Iran, reports Geostrategy-Direct, the global intelligence news service.

Within a week of Yassin's death, Hamas already has been wracked over who will lead the organization and where will the money come from.

The feud within the normally united organization pits Yassin's chief aide, Abdul Aziz Rantisi, against Khaled Masha'al. Both claim leadership within the organization and both are seeking outside support.

Masha'al and Rantisi are virulently anti-American. The latter has declared President Bush to be the enemy of Hamas and Islam. The fiery and threatening rhetoric could signal Rantisi's assessment that his future and the organization's funding source lies with Iran.

"We knew that Bush is the enemy of God, the enemy of Islam and Muslims," Rantisi told thousands of Hamas supporters Sunday in Gaza City.

"America declared war against God. Sharon declared war against God and God declared war against America, Bush and Sharon. The war of God continues against them, and I can see the victory coming up from the land of Palestine by the hand of Hamas."

Yassin's strength was in raising money. In the 1960s, he started his Islamic proselytizing in the Gaza Strip to stem the spread of Western values. He opened a mosque and began receiving money from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council states.

After Israel captured the Gaza Strip in 1967, Yassin continued to work quietly in Gaza mosques. This resulted in accusations from the Palestine Liberation Organization, headed by Yasser Arafat, that Yassin collaborating with Israel. But Yassin's agenda was long term and in 1982 he was already forming a terrorist infrastructure.

Israel arrested Yassin and sentenced him to 13 years. In 1985, Yassin was released in a prisoner exchange with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command led by Syrian Army Capt. Ahmed Jibril.

By the end of 1987, Hamas had become the leading terrorist group in the Gaza Strip. Hamas organized the first Palestinian uprising and sent tens of thousands of young people to battle Israel during the next five years.

In 1994, Yassin faced Arafat who arrived in the Gaza Strip under the accord by Israel and the PLO. Arafat foiled most attempts by Hamas to attack Israel.

For his part, Yassin restrained Hamas, saying he didn't want a fight with Arafat.

Now, Yassin's death is seen as an opportunity for Iran to move into the vacuum. Control over a Sunni Muslim group would be a huge feather in Teheran's cap and could help target Washington's allies in the Middle East.

"The biggest issue of the Islamic world today is the martyrdom of Sheik Ahmed Yassin," said Iran's Ayatollah Mohammed Imami Kishani, a prominent cleric.

Masha'al's support comes mainly from Qatar, whose ruling sheiks have provided Hamas with safe haven as well as millions of dollars. Qatar also has lobbied for Masha'al with Arab countries, the United States and Europe.

Rantisi doesn't have such a powerful Arab ally. Indeed, his rhetoric and bloody attacks have alarmed Saudi Arabia, the biggest supporter of Hamas.

Rantisi has made enemies in the Palestinian Authority and is regarded as a serious threat to chairman Yasser Arafat.

Arafat has responded subtly by curtailing Hamas's revenue streams. Arafat has refused to unfreeze 39 bank accounts linked to Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Last week, the Palestinian High Court ordered the unfreezing of the accounts of nine Hamas-aligned charities said to have funded terrorist groups.

In August 2003, the PA froze 39 accounts – including those of Al Jamiya Al Islamiya, A-Salah, Islamic Young Women's Association, Social Care Committee, Islamic Charity for Zakat and Al Aqsa Charity Association – under pressure from the United States.

Palestinian sources and analysts said the tens of millions of dollars relayed by the Saudi kingdom every year to Hamas stem from the close ties of the royal family to Yassin. Saudi rulers will find it harder to deal with either Rantisi or Masha'al, they said.

And that's where Iran comes in.

http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=37835
17 posted on 04/01/2004 7:54:12 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Says Uranium Conversion Plant a 'Separate Issue'

April 01, 2004
Reuters
Louis Charbonneau

VIENNA -- Iran's ambassador to the U.N. in Vienna dismissed European criticism of Iran's uranium-conversion activities on Thursday and reaffirmed his country's commitment to nuclear cooperation with France, Germany and Britain.

The European Union's "Big Three" powers said in a strongly worded statement on Wednesday that Iran's announcement it was starting up a uranium conversion plant near its central city of Esfahan sent the wrong signal and would make it harder for the country to regain international confidence.

"It's a totally separate issue from our commitment to the suspension of uranium enrichment," ambassador Pirooz Hosseini told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Wednesday's statement reflected the Big Three's frustration with Iran, which has repeatedly violated its obligation to inform the United Nations of its nuclear activities.

Under fire over U.S. allegations that its atomic energy program is a front to build nuclear weapons, Tehran promised the Europeans last October it would suspend uranium enrichment and accept tougher inspections by the U.N. nuclear watchdog in exchange for peaceful nuclear technology.

Asked if Iran would be willing to shut down the conversion plant to appease the Europeans, Hosseini said: "I have not heard of such a decision from our government."

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said the conversion process was not included in a list of enrichment-related activities Iran has agreed to suspend.

Uranium conversion plants are key to the enrichment process. They convert uranium oxide concentrate into uranium hexafluoride gas, which is placed in centrifuges, the machines that enrich uranium. The element can then be used to make fuel or weapons.

Hosseini said Tehran would be talking with the three European states "tomorrow and in the days ahead" about their criticism of Iran's conversion plant.

"Our cooperation with the three countries and with the EU will continue," he said. "We maintain our commitments and they have been trying to do the same...This suspension of enrichment will continue."

EU diplomats have privately complained that the three have been far too soft on Iran. Tehran insists its nuclear program is solely for the peaceful generation of electricity.

http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=4722139
18 posted on 04/01/2004 7:55:10 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
More Lies from Tehran

April 01, 2004
The Washington Times
Editorials/ Op-Ed

As it has for the past nine months, the radical Islamic regime in Iran continues to cheat the U.N.-affiliated International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the world when confronted about its nuclear weapons programs. Since March 13, when the United States joined with France, Germany and Great Britain to pass a tough resolution at the IAEA Board of Governors meeting criticizing Iran's nuclear proliferation, Tehran has continued to respond in an erratic, defiant manner.

On March 13, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Hassan Rowhani, denounced the IAEA resolution as "unfair and deceitful," and declared that his government was canceling IAEA inspections indefinitely — a move that would effectively freeze continued inspections of the country's nuclear facilities. Three days later, Iran agreed that the IAEA could resume inspections on March 27. The inspections have resumed for the time being, and Iran asserted Monday that it had suspended the production of components and technology for uranium enrichment.

But a careful look at Iran's pattern of behavior suggests that it is only a matter of time until it tosses aside even the pretext of cooperation. In June, the IAEA issued a report confirming longstanding U.S. charges that Iran was secretly attempting to develop nuclear weapons. For the next few months, the agency lobbied unsuccessfully to persuade Iran to permit the agency's inspectors to make surprise visits to the country's nuclear facilities. By early September, even IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei (who had been resisting pressure from Washington to declare Tehran in noncompliance with regulations governing the handling of nuclear materials) had finally lost patience. Mr. ElBaradei noted that, along with Iraq and North Korea, Iran "has been giving the international community the runaround." On Sept. 12, the IAEA gave Iran an Oct. 31 deadline to disprove the mounting body of evidence that it is developing nuclear weapons. Then, just days before the deadline, Tehran reached agreement with Britain, France and Germany to suspend uranium enrichment in exchange for promises from European countries to help it obtain nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

In November, the IAEA issued a 30-page report documenting Iran's deceptions about its nuclear program going back to the mid-1980s. Washington insisted that Iran's behavior be condemned and that the matter be referred to the U.N. Security Council. But Iran declared that it would not cooperate with the IAEA if this took place, and the IAEA backed down.

In January, Iran brazenly announced it was building centrifuges in violation of its commitments to the Europeans. Then last month, IAEA inspectors announced that they had found traces of polonium, a radioactive substance that can help trigger a nuclear chain reaction. It was yet another item that Iran had failed to declare. Inspectors also discovered high-tech enrichment equipment on an Iranian military base — the first known link between the nuclear program and the Iranian military. More ominously, there have been reports that Tehran has been helping North Korea with its atomic weapons development efforts.

In sum, when it comes to nuclear weapons, Iran's current behavior seems to be little more than a continuation of its policy over the last two decades: sustained cheating, occasionally interrupted by tactical retreats. These calculated cycles are inducing international inaction — as the day of decisive action grows closer.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/op-ed/20040331-085924-2495r.htm
19 posted on 04/01/2004 7:56:13 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; ...
More Lies from Tehran

April 01, 2004
The Washington Times
Editorials/ Op-Ed

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1109074/posts?page=19#19
20 posted on 04/01/2004 7:57:26 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Tyranny@25

April 01, 2004
National Review Online
Michael Rubin

Oppression reaches a milestone in Iran.

Twenty-five years ago today, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini stood triumphant in the holy city of Qom. For two days, millions of Iranians had flocked to the polls to vote in a referendum. The question was simple: "Do you want an Islamic Republic?" According to revolutionary authorities, 98.2 percent said yes.

Khomeini claimed victory. "By casting a decisive vote in favor of the Islamic Republic," he told enthusiastic crowds, "you have established a government of divine justice, a government in which all segments of the population shall enjoy equal consideration, [and] the light of divine justice shall shine uniformly on all...."

So began a quarter century of tyranny. In the weeks that followed, Iranians would awake to see pictures splashed across the front page of the official daily Ettelaat of government officials, intellectuals, and liberals before and after execution. Khomeini gave vigilantes tacit approval to sack the U.S. embassy, even while distancing himself from their actions. Looking back on her experience as a revolutionary, one elementary-school teacher told me during my first trip to Iran, "Khomeini promised us Islamic democracy, so we voted yes. By the time we realized we got another dictator, it was too late."

In the Islamic Republic of Iran, the key issue is not degree of reform, but rather fundamental ideology. Iran's leadership uses the rhetoric of democracy to bestow respectability to one of the region's most brutal regimes. President Muhammad Khatami may call for democratic reforms, but he has never believed in universal suffrage. Writing in the official daily Keyhan while still a deputy in the Majlis [parliament], Khatami argued that ordinary people cannot comprehend God's will, and so the full privileges of democracy should only extend to those with clerical education. He has never repudiated his view.

Far from being on the path of reform and moderation, as is claimed by many European governments, access-seeking pundits, oil-company lobbyists, and Senator Arlen Specter (R., Penn.), the Islamic Republic continues to erode the basic human rights of its citizenry. Khatami, now more than halfway through his second term, has failed to implement a single substantive reform. On March 17, 2004, he quietly announced that he would no longer seek to push fundamental reform through the Majlis. No amount of negotiation with Khatami, even if he were sincere, would change the fact that he has neither the will nor the power to implement meaningful change.

Over the last five years, Iranian authorities have closed more than 50 newspapers. According to Reporters Sans Frontiers, the Islamic Republic has the second-greatest number of imprisoned journalists in the world. On July 11, 2003, Iranian authorities murdered Canadian journalist Zahra Kazemi while she was in detention. Nevertheless, with Iranian state television tightly controlled and satellite access limited, it was possible on March 30, 2004, for Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Mahmud Hashemi-Shahrudi to claim with a straight face, "No country enjoys freedom, democracy, and the press freedom that currently exists in our country."

The fight against capital punishment is among the European Left's most popular causes. When it comes to Iran, however, there is only the silence of hypocrisy. Executions in Iran have risen proportionally to European trade. During the Khatami administration, application of the death penalty has ballooned. Iranian newspapers regularly document executions. For example, on February 14, 2004, Jomhuri Islami announced the public hangings of several youths, some less than 18 years old, in an orchard in the southwestern town of Mahshahr. Four days later, Sharq reported public hangings in Bandar-e Gaz's main square. On February 25, Jomhuri Islami announced the public hanging of Mohammad Ali Firouzi, only after he received 173 lashes.

Iranian women today mark a quarter century of oppression. While the American media applauds the struggle of women to win new rights throughout much of the Middle East, correspondents often fail to mention that in Iran, women fight for the restoration of basic rights taken away by the Islamic Republic. Human-rights groups may march against the French government's decision to ban the veil in French public schools, but they remain conspicuously silent about the Islamic Republic's enforcement of mandatory veiling.

The Islamic Republic's constitution does guarantee limited rights, but Iranian authorities use vigilante gangs to sidestep even these. Police fail to respond to calls as vigilantes break up crowded lectures in Tehran, Isfahan, and Shiraz. In the late 1990s, Fedayin-e Islam, a shadowy group linked to Iran's intelligence ministry, assassinated a series of writers and intellectuals, a crime as yet unsolved, which has cast a pale over the reform movement. In 1999, armed vigilantes from Ansar-e Hezbollah attacked a student dormitory, setting off widespread protests. Authorities used the unrest as reason to crackdown on freedom of expression. Scores of students and dissidents arrested in the aftermath of the crisis still languish in Tehran's Evin Prison.

Iranians have lost faith in the Islamic Republic. Recent telephone polls indicate that 85 percent of Tehran's residents seek fundamental change. According to the Iran-based Organization of Combatant Youth, voter turnout in recent polls was just 14 percent. Iranians visiting Iraq last month reported that in rural districts (to which Western journalists are forbidden access), turnout hovered near seven percent. According to Majlis deputy Fatimah Haqiqatju, as quoted in the [New Jersey] Star-Ledger, "It has gotten to the point where it is impossible to accomplish political reform within the system. The fate of the country will be either dictatorship or collapse, although they [the clerics] should remember that the outcome of a dictatorship is also collapse."

Twenty-five years after Khomeini declared the Islamic Republic, nearly 70 million Iranians struggle to be free. It's imperative that we do not abandon them.

— Michael Rubin is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/rubin200404010848.asp
21 posted on 04/01/2004 7:59:26 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; ...
Tyranny@25

April 01, 2004
National Review Online
Michael Rubin

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1109074/posts?page=21#21
22 posted on 04/01/2004 8:00:30 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Tens gather near Evin Prison at occasion of Traditional Sizde Bedar

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Apr 1, 2004

Tens of protesters gathered today near the Evin Political Jail in order to celebrate the traditional Sizde Bedar. The ceremony is qualified by the dogmatic clerics as a "Pagan Tradition" but has been tolerated due to the profound attachment of Iranians to their ancestral tradition and clashes that had resulted in previous years in order to keep it alive.

Security forces intervened around noon in order to block the accesses to the perimeters.

Slogans were shouted for free elections on the choice of the future Iranian regime, release of all political prisoners and the respect of human rights in Iran.

The demonstrators filmed by plainclothes agents marched around the area by singing the banned "Oh Iran!" National anthem under the angry watch of militiamen who stayed afar in most occasion.

Sporadic clashes took place as regime's agents tried to arrest some of the demonstrators at the issue of the action.

The crowd moved on later in order to gather at the "Park Mellat" (Former Park Shahanshahi) located nearby and beside the governmental TV HQ which was placed under intensive security watch by fear of a popular take over.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_5547.shtml
23 posted on 04/01/2004 8:04:03 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Millions celebrate the "Pagan" Sizde Bedar

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Apr 1, 2004

Millions of Iranians celebrated, today, the traditional Sizde Bedar qualified by the dogmatic clerics as "Pagan Tradition". Hundreds of them used the occasion to send another political message to the World by showing their rejection of the Theocratic system.

Crowd gathered from the late hours of the morning in the Capital's and in most provincial cities' parks while many moved out of the cities.

In most places, such as, in Tehran's Park Mellat, Manzarieh, Darband and Laleh, these gatherings were used by many freedom fighters in order to shout slogans against the regime and to call for a UN watched free election on the choice of the future Iranian regime.

Sporadic clashes took place near the Evin Political jail as some of the families of political prisoners and tens of protesters gathered in order to reject the persistent rights abuses. Other clashes took place near the governmental TV HQ located beside Park Mellat as security agents tried to move in order to arrest identified "trouble makers".

Iranians will go back to their home, later this afternoon, and will end the 13 days celebration which started with the beginning of the Iranian New Year on March 20th.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_5548.shtml
24 posted on 04/01/2004 8:05:08 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
sizdeh be dar - 13th of Norooz in Tehran. A day of family picnics.
25 posted on 04/01/2004 8:20:52 AM PST by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ( President Bush 3-20-04))
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To: DoctorZIn
13th Norooz Tehran
26 posted on 04/01/2004 8:22:18 AM PST by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ( President Bush 3-20-04))
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To: DoctorZIn
Thanks for good work!
27 posted on 04/01/2004 11:12:46 AM PST by downer911
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To: DoctorZIn
US Rebuffs Offer By UN To Act As Go-Between With Iran

AP - World News (via Yahoo)
Apr 1, 2004

VIENNA -- Indications of continuing nuclear cover-ups by Iran are nudging previously reluctant key U.S. allies closer to Washington's view that Tehran should be penalized, diplomats said Thursday.

The diplomats spoke to The Associated Press just days before chief U.N. nuclear inspector Mohamed ElBaradei flies to Tehran on a mission apparently weakened by U.S. refusal to have him act as an intermediary with the Islamic Republic.

The U.S. refusal appeared to be part of a strategy to wait and hope that new revelations in the coming weeks about Iran's nuclear program by ElBaradei's International Atomic Energy Agency would swing international sentiment behind Washington.

ElBaradei's offer to be a go-between was made during a recent Washington visit, said U.S. officials, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming disputed the U.S. assertion that ElBaradei's offer was spurned, saying senior State Department officials "made note" of his efforts.

ElBaradei "has a dialogue going with the Iranians and believes that having the U.S. and Iran sit together and talk about the nuclear issue would only be constructive," she said.

But the U.S. officials said Washington felt there was nothing to discuss as long as suspicions remained about Iran's nuclear programs, which U.S. officials insists is geared toward making weapons.

In testimony Wednesday to a congressional committee, U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton accused the clerical regime of "repeatedly lying and providing false reports to the IAEA."

Elbaradei "wanted to mediate better relations but it wasn't taken seriously" during last month's visit, which included talks with U.S. President George W. Bush, said one of the American officials.

"The Iranians are not being truthful about their nuclear program, and that is a big obstacle" to any kind of U.S. overture, he said.

Iran's nuclear ambitions first came under international scrutiny last year, when the IAEA discovered that Tehran had not disclosed large-scale efforts geared to enriching uranium which can be used either to general power or in nuclear warheads. Finds of traces of weapons grade uranium and evidence of suspicious experiments heightened concerns.

Since then, say critics, Iran has reneged on commitments to win international trust such as full-scale suspension of enrichment, even as IAEA inspectors have discovered new evidence of past experiments that could be used to make weapons.

Iran argues that it is honoring its suspension and all other pledges. In an allusion to the United States, Pirooz Hosseini, the chief Iranian delegate to the IAEA, told the AP that criticism of his country's nuclear record was " propaganda ... coming from certain circles."

Alireza Jafarzadeh, formerly with the National Council of Resistance to Iran, and now president of Strategic Policy Consulting Inc. said in a telephone call from Washington that Iran's top leadership decided earlier this year to deceive the IAEA "and get the nuclear bomb by 2005,"

Jafarzadeh's National Council office was shut down last year after the United States declared the group a terrorist organization. But he has revealed key information about Iran's covert nuclear activities in the past, including Iran's large-scale enrichment efforts at the central Iranian city of Natanz.

Vienna-based diplomats who follow IAEA activities could not confirm Jafarzadeh's assertion. But they said evidence continues to accumulate about Iran's suspect nuclear intentions and its reluctance to come clean.

One of them cited intelligence from the United States and another unnamed country suggesting that within the past year, Iran had moved nuclear enrichment programs to smaller, easily hidden sites in an effort to stymie inspectors.

Another said IAEA inspectors had complained that they were forced to use Iranian equipment instead of their own cameras and electronic equipment meant to sample the air for traces of enriched uranium in February, while touring a nuclear site.

The Iranians "don't want the photos leaving the country, so the Iranians will in certain cases ... keep the photos and the cameras," thus hampering unrestricted IAEA access, said one of the diplomats.

Adding to the skepticism was Iran's weekend announcement that it had inaugurated a uranium conversion facility in Isfahan, 155 miles (250 kilometers) south of Tehran, to process uranium ore into gas -a crucial step before uranium enrichment.

Iran insists the move does not contravene its pledge to suspend enrichment activities. But Britain, France and Germany -who have blunted past U.S. attempts to come down hard on Iran -on Wednesday were critical, saying the Isfahan plant sent the wrong signal about Iran's commitment to suspension.

The Germans, French and British now think that "things are not going well," said a diplomat familiar with the position of the European three.

The three European powers last year secured Iran's agreement to suspend enrichment and cooperate with the IAEA in exchange for promised access to Western European technology. Since then, they have stymied U.S. attempts to have Tehran hauled before the U.N. Security Council for allegedly violating the Nuclear Nonproliferation treaty.

But the diplomats said European willingness to believe Iran was fading. One said Iran's "cat and mouse tactics" were increasing sympathies for the U.S. position two months ahead of the IAEA's next board of governors meeting.

Even if no "smoking gun" definitely proving a weapons program is found, Iran's past record could be reviewed and declared in violation of the Nonproliferation treaty, said another diplomat. That would open the way for Security Council involvement.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_5551.shtml
28 posted on 04/01/2004 5:52:27 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
GALAXY TO PLAY NATIONAL TEAM OF IRAN IN INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY APRIL 28 AT THE ROSE BOWL
Iran Climbs Seven Slots To Claim Their Best-Ever FIFA World Ranking Taking 24th Place And Lead Group 1 of Asian Qualifying FIFA World Cup Germany 2006

Galaxy Return to Rose Bowl For First-Time Since 2002
CARSON, CA. (Tuesday, March 30, 2004) - The Los Angeles Galaxy announced today that the club will host the national team of Iran, who recently climbed seven slots to claim their best-ever FIFA World Ranking of 24th place, in an international friendly on Wednesday, April 28 (7:30 pm) at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. The visit by Iran marks their first match in Southern California since drawing the USA 1-1 in front of 50,181 fans on January 16, 2000 at the Rose Bowl.
Tickets for Galaxy-Iran match will go on sale Friday, April 2nd at 10:00am with pricing as follows: Sideline $45, Reserved $35 and General Admission $20. Galaxy Full Season Plan Holders will have an exclusive three-day priority sale period (as of this release) to purchase individual ticket seating for the match at a special (group) price. Others wishing to lock in their seats before public sale can do so by purchasing a special two game package for the Iran (April 28) and Columbus Crew (April 24) games by calling 1-877-3GALAXY.
“The match against Iran will give us the chance to play against one of Asia’s most talented and exciting national teams,” said Galaxy President/General Manager Doug Hamilton. “We are always looking to bring our fans top international opponents and a team in the midst of World Cup qualifying as Iran will be.”
The match will be the third-ever match between the MLS club and a national selection that is a member of the Asian Football Confederation. Previously, the Galaxy defeated China 3-1 on February 21, 2001 in Yuxi, China and the teams played to a scoreless draw on September 6, 2003 at The Home Depot Center.
Iran are coached by Croatian Branko Ivankovic, who served as an assistant to his countryman Miroslav Blazevich in both Croatia’s third-place finish in FIFA World Cup France 1998 as well as Iran’s bid to qualify for the 2002 World Cup. They are currently 24th in the latest Coca-Cola World rankings.
On the field, Iran is lead by forward Mehdi Mahdavikia, who was named the AFC Player of the Year for 2003, becoming the third player from his country to claim the honor. Currently, Mahdavikia plays for Hamburg SV in the German Bundesliga.
Iran are presently tied with Jordan atop Group 1 of AFC qualifying to FIFA World Cup Germany 2006 after earning the maximum of three points in their first match, a 3-1 defeat of Qatar at Azadi Stadium in Tehran on February 18. The Iranians return to the pitch for their next qualifier on March 31 at Laos.
The Iran Soccer Federation was founded in 1920 and joined the ranks of the sport’s world governing body, FIFA, in 1945. Iran played in FIFA World Cup France 1998, bowing out after the first round, despite a 2-1 defeat of the USA.
During the club’s nine-year history, the L.A. Galaxy has faced teams from Argentina, China, Chile, Colombia, England, France, Germany, Holland, El Salvador, Honduras, Japan, Korea and Mexico. Overall, Los Angeles boasts a 22-10-12 (W-L-T) all-time international record, including a 2-1-0 mark on recently-completed pre-season tour of France, which included defeats of OGC Nice and St. Raphael.
The club has already claimed all there is to win in this region of the world both domestically and internationally having captured the 2002 MLS Cup, 2001 U.S. Open Cup and 2000 CONCACAF Champions’ Cup titles.
The Los Angeles Galaxy are in the midst of their final preparations to the 2004 Major League Soccer season, which begins Saturday April 3 at The Home Depot Center vs. the New England Revolution. To purchase season tickets, please call 1-877-3GALAXY.
---www.lagalaxy.com---

http://www.lagalaxy.com/gamesummary.php?id=374
29 posted on 04/01/2004 5:54:21 PM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
U.S. Allies Lean Toward Punishing Iran

AP - World News (via Yahoo)
Apr 1, 2004

VIENNA - Indications of continued nuclear cover-ups by Iran are nudging previously reluctant U.S. allies closer to Washington's view that Tehran should be penalized, European diplomats said Thursday.

The diplomats spoke to The Associated Press just days before chief U.N. nuclear inspector Mohamed ElBaradei flies to Tehran. His mission could be jeopardized by a U.S. refusal to have him act as an intermediary with Iran.

The U.S. refusal appeared to be part of a strategy to wait and hope that new revelations in the coming weeks about Iran's nuclear program by ElBaradei's International Atomic Energy Agency would swing international sentiment behind Washington.

IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming disputed a U.S. assertion that ElBaradei's offer was spurned, saying senior State Department officials "made note" of his efforts.

ElBaradei's one-day Tehran visit begins Tuesday. His offer to mediate "wasn't taken seriously" during last month's talks in Washington with President Bush, an American official said.

The U.S. official and others said Washington felt there was nothing to discuss as long as suspicions remain about Iran's nuclear program, which America insists is geared toward making weapons.

Iran's nuclear ambitions first came under international scrutiny last year, when the IAEA discovered that Tehran had not disclosed large-scale efforts to enrich uranium, which can be used to generate power or in nuclear warheads. Finds of traces of weapons-grade uranium and evidence of suspicious experiments heightened concerns.

Critics say that Iran has since reneged on commitments to win international trust — such as a promise to suspend enrichment — as IAEA inspectors have discovered new evidence of past experiments that could be used to develop weapons.

Iran argues that it is honoring its suspension and all other pledges. In an allusion to the United States, Pirooz Hosseini, the chief Iranian delegate to the IAEA, told AP that criticism of his country's nuclear record was "propaganda ... coming from certain circles."

But Vienna-based diplomats said evidence continues to accumulate against Iran.

One cited intelligence from the United States and an unnamed country suggesting that within the past year, Iran had moved nuclear enrichment programs to smaller, easily hidden sites.

Another said IAEA inspectors had complained that they were forced to use Iranian equipment instead of their own cameras and devices to test for traces of enriched uranium at one site in February.

The Iranians "don't want the photos leaving the country, so the Iranians will in certain cases ... keep the photos and the cameras," one of the diplomats said.

Adding to the skepticism was Iran's weekend announcement that it inaugurated a uranium conversion facility in Isfahan, 155 miles south of Tehran, to process uranium ore into gas — a crucial step before uranium enrichment.

Iran insists the move does not contravene its pledge to suspend enrichment. But Britain, France and Germany — who have blunted past U.S. attempts to come down hard on Iran — on Wednesday were critical. They said the Isfahan plant sent the wrong signal.

The Germans, French and British now think that "things are not going well," said a diplomat.

Last year, the three secured Iran's agreement to suspend enrichment and cooperate with the IAEA in exchange for promised access to western technology. They have stymied U.S. attempts to have Tehran brought before the U.N. Security Council for allegedly violating the Nuclear Nonproliferation treaty.

The diplomats said willingness to believe Iran was fading. One said Iran's "cat and mouse tactics" boosted sympathy for the U.S. position.

Even if no "smoking gun" is found, Iran's past record could be reviewed and declared in violation of the Nonproliferation treaty, said another diplomat. That would open the way for Security Council involvement.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_5550.shtml
30 posted on 04/01/2004 5:54:25 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
This thread is now closed.

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31 posted on 04/01/2004 9:02:39 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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