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Iranian Alert -- April 5, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 4.5.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 04/04/2004 9:16:41 PM PDT 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.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iaea; iran; iranianalert; iranquake; protests; southasia; southwestasia; 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 04/04/2004 9:16:42 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: All

We already endured 8 years of crocodile tears!
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2 posted on 04/04/2004 9:17:17 PM PDT by Support Free Republic (Freepers post from sun to sun, but a fundraiser bot's work is never done.)
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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”

3 posted on 04/04/2004 9:19:38 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran warns EU 'big three' against undercutting nuclear trust

Payvand's Iran News ...

Iran on Sunday sent a veiled warning to Britain, France and Germany after they strongly criticized Tehran for starting up a uranium conversion plant, IRNA reported from Tehran.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters here that 'any plan outside the agreement between us and these three European countries could destroy the process of confidence-building'.

The official also called on the three European heavyweights to honor their commitments to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as well as Tehran Declaration which they signed last year.

Asefi stressed that Iran's resumption of work on a first part of the nuclear fuel cycle, doing uranium conversion at a processing plant in Isfahan, did not violate its commitments.

Tehran announced in October its voluntary suspension of uranium enrichment activities as a goodwill gesture as well as signed an additional protocol to NPT for snap inspections of its nuclear facilities.

Asked in a weekly news briefing to comment on the criticism voiced by Britain, Germany and France about the resumption of work on the nuclear fuel cycle in the Isfahan installation, Asefi said, "What has been announced does not violate our commitments."

"The Islamic Republic invites the three European countries to remain tied to their commitments within the framework of NPT and Tehran Declaration," he added.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has confirmed that Iran had announced in advance its intention to reopen the plant, while conceding there was nothing controversial about it.

Asefi denounced what it called 'inexpert and baseless' reports on Iran's nuclear operations, notably the one by Reuters news agency which has claimed the discovery of new bomb-grade uranium traces in Iran.

"The International Atomic Energy Agency experts have not reported any case to this effect at the end of their recent visit to Tehran," he said.

Reuters had quoted an unnamed Western diplomat as saying that the UN atomic watchdog had found traces of highly-enriched uranium at sites, allegedly not known to the IAEA in the past.

Asefi said, "There is no center which we may have hidden and we have not spared any cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency."

Iran has already denied being involved in weapons-grade uranium enrichment, clarifying that traces of the nuclear material found by the UN inspectors last year were related to the contaminated equipment bought from abroad.

Asefi stressed that 'the Islamic Republic is committed to what it has announced so far and believes that various issues will be resolved through the agreement of the two sides'.

Asefi also described a visit by the IAEA director general, Mohamed ElBaradei, to Iran on Tuesday as 'very important'.

"Various issues, including the resolution of remaining problems, will be on the agenda during Mr. Elbaradei's visit," he said adding the visit would be shortly taken up by a team of IAEA inspectors.

Meanwhile, Asefi denounced sanctions imposed by the United States on 13 foreign companies in seven countries because of allegedly selling equipment and technology to Iran, which Washington claims could be used in weapons programs.

State Department spokesman, Adam Ereli, said on Friday that the sanctions, to be in effect until March 31, 2006, included five Chinese companies, two in Macedonia, two in Russia and one each in North Korea, Taiwan, Belarus and the United Arab Emirates.

Asefi said, "The American government has shown that it does not spare any opportunity to impose its policies (on others) and the fact that the global community has been resisting such policies and pursuing an independent policy is indicative of its opposition to this move."

The United States accuses that Iran's peaceful nuclear activities are a cover to build atomic bombs.

Tehran says its nuclear program is in accordance with the country's bid to produce 7,000 megawatts of electricity in the next 20 years, when the country's oil and gas reserves become overstretched.
4 posted on 04/04/2004 9:22:59 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Warns EU Any Demands Outside Agreements Damage Confidence-Building Moves

TEHRAN (Mehr News Agency)-–

Iran on Sunday asked the EU big three of France, Britain and Germany to stand by their commitments within the framework of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Tehran Declaration.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamidreza Asefi told reporters that Iran considers the NPT and the Tehran Declaration as the basis for confidence building, warning the EU that any demands outside these agreements would be damaging, benefiting neither side.

Asefi said restarting the uranium conversion plant in Isfahan is not a violation of the terms of the Tehran Declaration of October 21, in which Iran agreed to temporarily suspend its uranium enrichment program, and the Europeans agreed to recognize Iran’s right for civilian use of nuclear energy and help transfer nuclear technology to Iran.

The EU big three said in a statement on Wednesday that Iran's announcement that it was starting up a uranium conversion plant sent the wrong signal and would make it harder for Iran to regain international confidence.

In addition, Iran's representative at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Piruz Hossein, announced that the IAEA has declared the conversion process was not included in a list of enrichment-related activities Iran agreed to suspend. The Foreign Ministry spokesman said Iran has an inalienable right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and the suspension of uranium enrichment was a voluntary decision, the continuation of which will be determined by Iran. MS/DWN
5 posted on 04/04/2004 9:32:17 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Companies Blacklisted for Iran Links

Monday, Apr. 5, 2004
By Simon Saradzhyan
Staff Writer

The United States last week slapped sanctions on two Russian companies accused of assisting Iran's alleged chemical, biological and nuclear weapons program while at the same time removing several Russian companies and a scientist from its blacklist.

The sanctions were imposed because of "credible information" that the companies had transferred to Tehran equipment and technology that "have the potential of making a material contribution to [weapons of mass destruction], or cruise or ballistic missile systems," U.S. State Department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli told reporters in Washington, news agencies reported.

It was not clear which Russian companies were added to the blacklist, which bars them from trading or cooperating with U.S. firms for two years. Agence France Presse, citing unidentified Russian media reports, said one of the two firms is the Omsk Engine-Construction Plant, a manufacturer of airplane and rocket engines.

"Russia rejects the principle whereby one nation imposes sanctions on organizations in another country," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. "Our position ... is well known."

Companies from China, Macedonia, Belarus, Taiwan, North Korea and the United Arab Emirates were also blacklisted.

Meanwhile, the embassy said sanctions were lifted for six other Russian companies and a scientist -- chemical weapons expert Anatoly Kuntsevich.

Two of the companies the United States cleared last week -- the Central Scientific Research Institute of Precision Machine Building in the Moscow region and the Volsky Mechanical Plant in Saratov -- were involved in designing and producing Kornet anti-tank missiles for Syria in 1998. However, sanctions were not lifted on a third company involved in that deal, the Tula Design Bureau, which continues to proliferate "lethal military equipment," the embassy said.

The other companies cleared were Grafit, which produces heat-resistant materials used to power submarines, the Research and Development Institute of Power Engineering, which develops nuclear reactors, and the private companies MOSO and Europalace 2000. The first two, according to press reports, are thought to have shared sensitive technologies with Iran. MOSO is suspected of being involved in a failed attempt to ship metal for making missile hulls to Iran.

"These penalties were removed because the United States determined that there was no evidence that these entities have continued the activity for which they were sanctioned and/or because removal was judged to be appropriate and in U.S. interests," the embassy said.

The other Russian entities that remain on the blacklist are the Baltic State Technical University of St. Petersburg, Glavkosmos of Moscow, the Moscow Aviation Institute and the D. Mendeleyev University of Chemical Technology of Russia.

Defense experts say U.S. sanctions may hurt a company's reputation, but they have little practical effect.
6 posted on 04/04/2004 9:35:17 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran says it has hidden no nuclear sites from UN


Iran, under renewed pressure to prove it is not seeking an atomic bomb, said on Sunday it had no clandestine nuclear sites hidden from UN inspectors. Western diplomats who follow the UN nuclear watchdog said recent intelligence provoked suspicion Tehran had not stopped enriching uranium but moved enrichment activities to smaller sites out of the UN’s view. ‘‘There is no nuclear centre in Iran which we have hidden from inspectors,’’ Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said.

Iran’s omissions of key atomic technology from an October resolution included undeclared research on advanced ‘‘P2’’ Centrifuges that can make bomb-grade uranium. IAEA Chief Mohamed ElBaradei is due to arrive in Iran on Tuesday for talks. Iran initially blocked IAEA inspectors after last month’s UN resolution but Asefi said a further team of inspectors would arrive in Iran in two weeks.

An internal IAEA report said some inspections in Iran had been ‘‘managed’’ by the Iranians, who refused to let inspectors take pictures or use their own electronic devices. Asefi denied this intrusion.

Britain, France and Germany recently criticized Iran’s decision to start up a uranium conversion plant in Isfahan. This plant is designed to produce uranium hexafluoride, the gas pumped into centrifuges to produce enriched uranium. Washington hawks are looking to haul Iran before the UN Security Council and impose sanctions for violations of its nuclear commitments. Asefi also denied a report quoting diplomats who said the UN had found traces of bomb-grade uranium at sites in Iran other than the two named.

A Western diplomat said on Friday that UN inspectors had found highly enriched uranium in sites other than the Natanz enrichment centre and a workshop of the Kalaye Electric Company. Reuters
7 posted on 04/04/2004 9:40:31 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran calls for equal relations with EU

Sunday, April 4, 2004 (Tehran):

Iran on Sunday said it would accept no preconditions for cooperation with the European Union (EU) on the issue of its nuclear programme, because cooperation "benefits both sides", not just Iran.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi was reacting to concerns expressed on Thursday by Britain, France and Germany over the inauguration of the Uranium Conversion Facility in Isfahan.

The EU members said Tehran must allay international concerns about its uranium enrichment programme.

Asefi rejected the criticism saying Iran instead expects the three big countries to fulfill their pledges to Iran including providing Tehran with advanced nuclear technology, which they have refused to do.

Ineffective sanctions

Asefi also denounced as "indecent" and "ineffective" sanctions imposed by the United States against 13 foreign companies for allegedly selling equipment or technology to Iran that could be used for non-conventional and nuclear weapons.

The US State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said on Friday the sanctions bar the US government from dealing with or providing assistance to the companies but the penalties won't apply to their respective governments.

Five of the companies are from China, and two each are from Macedonia and Russia.

There is one each from Belarus, North Korea, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates.

All the firms were found to have had dealings with Iran that the Nonproliferation Act of 2000 is designed to deter.

UN watchdog

Asefi said Iran has no nuclear facility hidden from the UN nuclear watchdog, saying Tehran remains committed to its pledge to suspend uranium enrichment and wants "remaining issues" be resolved this week.

Mohammed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, is scheduled to visit Iran on Tuesday, days after inspectors from his agency visited two key nuclear facilities in Iran.

The spokesman said inspectors from the IAEA will visit Iran later this month to discuss suspension of uranium enrichment by Iran and discovery of P-2 centrifuges that Iran had not declared to the agency.

ElBaradei said last month Iran has much to do before the IAEA can give its nuclear programme a clean bill of health.

The IAEA director plans to present an assessment of Iran's nuclear activities to the IAEA board of governors in June. (AP)
8 posted on 04/04/2004 9:41:57 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran to probe Statoil scandal

Monday, 5 April 2004
Gulf Daily News

TEHRAN: Iran's reformist-held parliament, weeks away from being handed over to conservatives, yesterday approved an official probe into alleged corruption by Norwegian state-run oil group Statoil and its Iranian partners. In an open session, Majlis Energy Commission member Tahereh Rezazadeh argued that while the controversy had prompted the resignation of Statoil's chairman and chief executive in September last year, few questions had been raised inside Iran. Statoil was last year placed under under a police probe after it emerged the company, which has extensive business dealings in the country, had became embroiled in a scandal over possible bribery in a multi-million dollar deal signed with a London-based consultant working to promote Statoil's interests in Iran.
9 posted on 04/05/2004 12:03:18 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John Fedayeen Kerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: DoctorZIn
Repression goes on while Iran seeks improved ties

Taipei Times - By Dan De Luce of the Observer
Apr 5, 2004

TEHRAN - His handsome face was seen around the world. The photograph, used on the front of the Economist magazine, showed Ahmad Batebi, his hands holding the bloodstained T-shirt of a fellow student beaten by paramilitaries. His look of indignation captured the mood of young Iranians demonstrating for democracy in the summer of 1999.

Just holding that shirt earned Batebi a 15-year prison sentence for endangering national security, served in the notorious Evin prison in north Tehran.

The student is still paying the price for his dissent. His father said last week he had given up trying to persuade the hardline Iranian judiciary to review the case.

"I believe my son is just a pawn for the political authorities," said Mohammad Bagher Batebi, a softly spoken man who travels three and a half hours every other Sunday to see his son for only 15 minutes.

"I have sent letters to the judiciary but they don't even acknowledge receiving them ... Our only hope is the outside world," he said.

After meeting a visiting UN human rights envoy last Novem-ber during brief leave from prison, Batebi was abducted and subjected to threats, sleep deprivation and other psychological torture before being thrown back into prison.

"When I saw Ahmad after that, I could hardly recognize him," his father said.

A prison doctor recently recommended the student receive medical treatment outside the jail for injuries -- caused by beatings -- to an eardrum, his left eye and his lower back. The judicial authorities have yet to answer the request.

In the first three months of his imprisonment, Batebi wrote an open letter to the authorities describing how interrogators held his head in a drain full of excrement and beat him on the testicles. His trial lasted for just three minutes, with the Economist cover cited as evidence that he had jeopardized the reputation of the Islamic republic. His case illustrates how Iran's clerical establishment continues to rule through repression and fear. Dozens of other political prisoners languish in jails across the country. Human rights monitors say no one knows precisely how many because some families choose to suffer in silence.

Reformist members of parliament helped to arrange correspondence courses for Batebi and temporary leave for him to take his university exams. Other student prisoners do not enjoy such privileges, however.

"Please mention the other students in prison. They have it much worse," Mohammad Batebi said.

One of his son's cellmates, Arzhang Davoudi, 49, was detained after meeting Batebi during his November leave.

Davoudi, speaking on a prison telephone last week, said he was beaten severely during his first days in detention, but had refused to apologize for his political activities or writings.

"I can't hear in one ear now because of the beatings and I have trouble seeing out of my left eye," Davoudi said. "I don't regret anything and I didn't confess to anything. I don't co-operate at all ... We want the world to know all the brutality that is going on in Iran, especially against intellectuals."

Shortly after the interview Davoudi was transferred from the political prisoners' cell block to one housing ordinary criminals, Batebi's family said.

After more than 2,000 reformist candidates were barred from the Iranian election last month, campaigners for democracy fear Western governments may ignore Iran's authoritarian methods.

"The regime believes it can cut deals with Europe and America, then do as it pleases domestically," said one Iranian journalist.

Despite claims of reform, the elder Batebi remains worried.

"My son's experience shows that human beings in Iran have no value," he said.


Read the Movement's Urgent Action including the famous Public letter of Ahmad Batebi which was widely distributed and translated by SMCCDI in June 2000.
10 posted on 04/05/2004 12:11:16 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran declares war on U.S.

April 5, 2004
© 2004

Nobody else is saying it, so, once again, it is left to me to explain what really happened in Iraq yesterday.

Iran declared war on the U.S.

The signs have been there for a long time. I don't know if they have been intentionally ignored by U.S. forces in Iraq, or whether there is some master plan at the Defense Department to deal with this scenario.

All I can tell you is we are now fighting a regional war. Our local opposition in Iraq is being trained, armed and directed with foreign support – by neighboring Iran.

The uprising yesterday was treated in many initial news accounts as a spontaneous uprising directed by Najaf cleric Moktada al-Sadr.

What the other news accounts left out was one significant, but well-established fact: Al-Sadr works for Iran. He is an Iranian agent. His authority comes from Iran.

Last April, an Iranian cleric, Kadhem al-Husseini al-Haeri, issued a religious edict and distributed to Shiite mullahs in Iraq, calling on them "to seize the first possible opportunity to fill the power vacuum in the administration of Iraqi cities."

The edict, or fatwa, issued April 8, 2003, showed that Shiite clerics in Iraq are receiving significant direction from Iran. The edict said that Shiite leaders have to "seize as many positions as possible to impose a fait accompli for any coming government."

"People have to be taught not to collapse morally before the means used by the Great Satan if it stays in Iraq," the fatwa read. "It will try to spread moral decay, incite lust by allowing easy access to stimulating satellite channels and spread debauchery to weaken people's faith."

The fatwa also instructed the cleric's followers to "raise people's awareness of the Great Satan's plans and of the means to abort them."

On April 7, the day American troops effectively toppled Hussein's government by seizing its main seats of power in Baghdad, al-Haeri sent a handwritten letter to the city of Najaf, appointing Moktada al-Sadr as his deputy in Iraq.

Haeri wrote: "We hereby inform you that Mr. Moktada al-Sadr is our deputy and representative in all fatwa affairs."

It added: "His position is my position."

Also last April, WorldNetDaily reported that Iran had armed and trained some 40,000 Shiite Iraqi fighters – most former prisoners of war captured during the Iran-Iraq war – and sent them to Iraq to foment an Islamic revolution. The report originated in my premium, online, intelligence newsletter G2 Bulletin.

The report said this small army represents the vanguard of Iran's effort to subvert the U.S.-led liberation of Iraq and use the toppling of Saddam Hussein's regime for its own ends.

"Ayatollah Mohammed Bakir Khakim is on record pledging more than once to his followers a plan to impose Islamic rule over Iraq with the help of Iran," reports G2 Bulletin. "The Tehran ayatollahs, or the Pasadran, the powerful revolutionary guard, repeatedly have been telling the Iraqis they would be their legitimate allies and partners. In such a scenario, there is no room for the U.S. The coalition that liberated Iraq is seen by the Iraqi Shiite militants and their Iranian sponsors as a tool for handing Iraq over to them without the need to use a massive force of their own."

Iran has clear objectives in Iraq. The only question is whether the United States still has clear objectives in Iraq – and whether Washington recognizes that this war front just got wider.
11 posted on 04/05/2004 12:51:32 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John Fedayeen Kerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: F14 Pilot
The #11 post is also posted here:
12 posted on 04/05/2004 3:31:17 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John Fedayeen Kerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: DoctorZIn
Regime funded Arabic Satellite TV Networks Enflame Iraq

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Apr 4, 2004

The two Islamic republic's funded Arabic Satellite TV Networks, Al Manar and Al Alam, are enflaming Iraq by increasing their flow of Anti American propaganda.

The programs have taken a much harsher tone following yesterday's street fights in several Iraqi cities which resulted in the deaths of several coalition force's soldiers and members of the fanatic Shia militia.

The programs which are usually targeting the Iraqi Shia population have taken a much radical tone and are praising the "Iraqis fighting against the US occupation and trying to save an Islamic land". Footages of reports praising the dangerous Iraqi Shia cleric Moghtada Sadr and his supporters are being shown while other reports are focusing on the "brutality of the American forces against Iraqis and Muslims".

The footages do not show the shooting of coalition force's soldiers by the well trained Islamist terrorists as they were shown by most of World's televisions.

It's to note that thousands of "Pilgrims" have been sent to Iraq, by the Islamic republic regime, in order to avoid a stabilization of this country. In reality these so-called Pilgrims are Iranian Intelligence officers and Arab mercenaries trained, by the mullahs, with the specific task of creating more complication for America in its War Against Terror and to avoid any stabilization of Iraq.

The theocratic regime is intending to create more and more turmoil in Iraq as the US Presidential Election is approaching. Several members of its National Security Council and Intelligence believe that more shocking images will hit American's minds and will push them toward voting for the US Democratic Candidate. They strongly believe that John Kerry, as he has stated, will open negotiations with them and will reward them with parts of their requests if elected as the next US President.

Mr. Kerry who's benefiting of some very friendly US based Iranian lobbyists' advices has qualified the tyrannical and terrorist Islamic republic as a "Democratic frame" and promised to "Repair damages done by the Bush administration".
13 posted on 04/05/2004 7:46:38 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
What has the Coalition done wrong?

Democracy in Iraq

Grit your teeth through the elaborate sign-in procedures – and read my AEI colleague Michael Rubin’s superb
oped in this weekend’s Los Angeles Times. Rubin is a prodigy: a fluent speaker of Arabic and Farsi who has lived for extended periods in the Middle East – most recently as an adviser to the Coalition Provisional Authority. His observations are all the more important after this week of violence. He observes that the CPA has practiced strict neutrality as between the contending parties in Iraq – regardless of whether the party is pro-democratic or anti-democratic or whether it accepts funding and support from hostile outside powers like Iran. The key paragraphs:

“[T]o a society weaned onconspiracy theories, the United States' failure to support liberals and democrats [in Iraq] signals support for the Islamists. Equal opportunity may exist in Washington, but not in Baghdad. Why, Iraqis ask, would the CPA ignore the influx of Iranian arms and money into southern Iraq if it had not struck some secret deal with Tehran or did not desire the resulting increase in militancy? Why would the Iranian border be largely unguarded a year after

“Iraqi liberals are especially sensitive to signs of support for Shiite politician Abdelaziz Hakim, leader of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, whose visit official Washington welcomed in January. Students affiliated with the Badr Corps, Hakim's militia, roam Basra University, forcing women to wear the veil. Signs proclaiming the supremacy of Hakim are affixed to doors across the university, and professors say they are afraid to remove them. In Nasiriya and Karbala, Iraqis lament they can no longer speak openly, lest they become the subject of retaliation by Iranian-funded gangs.”
14 posted on 04/05/2004 7:48:22 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran judiciary summons outgoing MPs

Monday, April 05, 2004 - ©2004

TEHRAN, April 5 (AFP) - Iran's judiciary, a bastion of religious hardliners, in an apparent backlash against reformists has summoned 14 outgoing MPs to answer charges of libel and "troubling the public mind", official media said Monday.

The official news agency IRNA said those summoned include the current first and second deputy speakers of the Majlis, Behzad Nabavi and Mohammad Reza Khatami, the head of Iran's main reformist party and brother of the president.

Also summoned were Mohsen Mirdamadi, the outspoken incumbent head of the Majlis national security and foreign affairs commission, and prominent female deputy Jamileh Kadivar.

IRNA said the judiciary, which ignores assertions from deputies that they enjoy parliamentary immunity, has sent the summons to the Majlis office in the past few weeks.

The charges appear to concern reformist protests ahead of the February 20 parliamentary elections, from which most reformists were barred by the Guardians Council, a conservative-controlled political vetting body.

The 14 MPs, most of whom were disqualified from seeking re-election, had taken part in a Majlis sit-in ahead of the polls, which climaxed in an angry letter critical of Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The mandate of the current parliament ends on May 28, when conservatives -- who cruised to an easy win after most of their opponents were blacklisted from the polls -- will formally take control of the legislative.

In March, the judiciary had already issued summons for 10 outgoing reformist MPs to answer allegations of sowing public discord during the election crisis.
15 posted on 04/05/2004 8:06:26 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Time to Confront Iran’s Theocracy On all Fronts

by David Johnson
05 April 2004

As long as Iran is ruled by a theocratic regime there will be no specter of freedom and popular governance for Iranians, no end to the meddling in Iraq, and no relief from Iran’s nuclear and terrorist threats.

Last weekend, the Los Angeles Times reported Iran has set up a committee consisting of senior officials to coordinate the concealment of key elements of the country's nuclear program from UN inspectors. The Times adds that the committee's most pressing tasks include trying to hide nuclear evidence at nearly 300 locations around the country.

And last Saturday, just a few hours before the arrival of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspection team, Tehran suddenly announced the inauguration of a uranium processing plant in the central city of Isfahan, which had begun operation "some time ago." This facility was previously brought to the world’s attention by Iran’s main opposition coalition, the National Council of Resistance (NCR), as an integral part of the mullahs’ nuclear weapons program

The Isfahan site is on the IAEA’s itinerary. Concerned that concealment efforts for this plant were inadequate, Iranian officials preemptively declared it to IAEA inspectors. It appears Iranian officials are only willing to disclose nuclear secrets to the IAEA when the IAEA is about to verify the secrets they already know.

Simultaneously, a much less reported but no less significant series of events has been taking place in Iran. Iranians are showing their disdain of the mullahs on a nearly daily basis by waging protests across the country. A few weeks ago, residents in the northern Iranian city of Feraydoon Kenar took to the streets for four days. During the traditional Festival of Fire that precedes the Iranian New Year, Iranians in many major cities came to the streets, turning the festivities into an act of anti-regime defiance. Anti-government demonstrations have also erupted in several cities in Iranian Kurdistan such as Boukan, Marivan, and Sanandaj, the provincial capital. Residents there are protesting to “show their solidarity with the Iraqi Kurds, who have gained the right of autonomy after years of repression.”

On the Iraqi front, Iran’s mullahs have stepped up their campaign to increase their influence in that country. Tehran has two main objectives in Iraq: to create a client regime there and to rid itself from its Iraq-based main opposition, the Iranian Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK).

Since coming to power in 1979, the mullahs have considered Iraq the ideal springboard to export “Islamic Revolution” throughout the region. They view a pro-Tehran Iraq as a counterweight to the advancement of democracy in the Middle East. Clearly, a secular democratic Iraq would be a strategic blow to Tehran. For now, US policy makers should expect Iran to address the threat it perceives from the US in Iraq with terrorist violence.

The Tehran regime has mounted an increasingly sophisticated, multi-phased and multi-faceted campaign in Iraq. It has been flooding Iraq’s holy Shia cities with agents disguised as “pilgrims.” The mullahs have also dispatched thousands of preachers to Iraqi cities to propagate their views. They have also established dozens of quasi-political organizations under the benign pretext of humanitarianism. Local Iraqis have complained that many Iranians are paying huge sums to buy houses for Tehran’s agents who are skillfully embedding themselves in these cities. The Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and the Revolutionary Guards Corps are involved in at least three broadcast streams being pumped into Iraq.

Iran is also hell-bent on eliminating the Mujahideen-e Khalq. Last December, the Iraqi Interim Governing Council (IGC) issued a resolution, which was the brainchild of Tehran, calling for the expulsion of the MEK from its bases in Iraq as a prelude to hand over the dissidents to Iran. Raymond Tanter and Patrick Clawson, both with the Washington Institute, argued against such a deal, saying that, “Trading the human rights of innocent people for political expediency would be a tragic move, to say the least.” According to the State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for the year 2002, “supporters of outlawed political organizations, such as the Mujahedin-e-Khalq organization, were believed to make up a large number of those executed each year” in Iran.

The Mujahedeen proponents and detractors, alike, share the view that the group “is singularly dedicated to one goal: overthrowing its ‘archenemy,’ the Islamic Republic of Iran.” The mullahs are convinced that the group is still in a position to influence the political landscape in Iran. The Washington Post described the IGC’s expulsion order as “a surprise move that could alter the regional balance of power” and a “significant political and security gain for Iran,” since there are no other “major opposition groups operating on any of Iran's borders.” Last January, the Inter Press Service quoting Asgar Nazemi, a recently retired officer of Iran’s Intelligence Ministry, as saying that “in truth our government has more important issues to handle these days, that is getting the Mujahedeen Khalq Organization expelled from Iraq. Saddam’s capture or his trial has no immediate fruit for us.”

Many Washington pundits may be fascinated with the “neo-conservative” vs. the “realist” paradigm to frame the Iran policy debates, where “regime change” is attributed to the “neo-cons” and “engagement” is attributed to the “realists.” Nothing could be further from the truth than suggesting that the call for regime change in Iran is the brainchild of the “neo-cons.” Iranians by the millions have been demanding regime change for two decades. Cemeteries and secret mass graves in Iran, where political dissents are buried, are testimony to the price paid by regime change advocates inside Iran. The student uprising of 1999 in Tehran gave us all just a glimpse of this undeniable yearning of Iranians for a secular and democratic government. Learning from the century old tradition of resisting despotism, Iranians have shown their disdain of the mullahs on a daily basis. The Iranian regime and its advocates like nothing more than pretending the call for "regime change" is a "foreign" and imported notion, not an indigenous one.

The anti-government acts of protest in different parts of Iran, the ominous cat and mouse game Tehran is playing with the IAEA, and the mullahs’ sinister campaign to undermining democratization in Iraq, all share a common thread: As long as Iran is ruled by a theocratic regime there will be no specter of freedom and popular governance for Iranians, no end to the meddling in Iraq, and no relief from Iran’s nuclear and terrorist threats. In the long run, only a roadmap that includes a solid policy of support for Iran’s democratic opposition groups and their campaign to replace Iran’s theocratic despots with a secular, peaceful democracy, will lead the United States, Iraqis and Iranians to the secure and free future they all envision.

In the meantime, the United States should block Tehran’s drive to derail the legitimate desire of Iraqis for pluralism and democratic institutions. It should also prevent Tehran from reaching the nuclear point of no return by leading the effort in the IAEA to report Iran’s case to the UN Security Council. In addition, Washington should not entertain the idea of handing over Mujahedeen members, partially or as a whole, to the mullahs. This would be inhumane, strategically counter-productive, and against our stated policy of no deals with terrorist regimes.

David Johnson is a co-founder of the US Alliance for Democratic Iran and its Director of Operations.
16 posted on 04/05/2004 8:15:20 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
WoW, I am shocked...! LOL!!!???
17 posted on 04/05/2004 8:16:11 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John Fedayeen Kerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: F14 Pilot
Why is the media ignoring Iran's involvement in the Iraqi unrest?

When will we deal aggressively with the Iranian incitement of violence in Iraq by the Iranian mullahs?
18 posted on 04/05/2004 8:20:23 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran based Moqtada Sadr's mentor warns US

AFP - World News (via Iranmania)
Apr 5, 2004

NAJAF - The mentor of radical Shiite leader Moqtada Sadr has warned US forces against taking what he called "irrational" measures, after fierce battles left 22 Iraqis dead in this central Iraqi city, a statement said on Monday.

"We warn the Americans against any irrational action and any attempt to undermine the dignity of the Iraqis and the students of the Hawza (Shiite authority)," said Grand Ayatollah Kazem al-Husseini al-Hairi in the statement received by AFP.

He charged that Shiite religious students "have become a target of the occupation forces" and decreed a three-day mourning from Sunday when the clashes occurred.

"We hold them (US forces) responsible for the security of the people and the bloodshed, and we call on them to release the detainees," said Hairi who is based in the Iranian city of Qom.

"From the beginning we were convinced that the occupation forces did not come to Iraq to free the people from opppression. Now we have the proof of this," the statement said.

"They came to fight this nation, violate its sanctuaries and arrests its ulemas and believers ... in the name of freedom of expression and democracy," it added.

Clashes between Sadr supporters and Spanish-led coalition troops on Sunday in the holy Shiite city of Najaf left 22 dead and more than 200 wounded.
19 posted on 04/05/2004 8:22:29 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Chief nuclear inspector heads to Iran amid indications of continued cover-ups

By Associated Press
Monday, April 5, 2004

VIENNA, Austria - The chief of the U.N. atomic agency headed to Iran on Monday for talks with top Iranian officials in a fresh effort to lay to rest lingering suspicions that Tehran is running a nuclear weapons program.

Mohamed ElBaradei, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, traveled to Iran amid indications of continued nuclear cover-ups and signs that even previously reluctant U.S. allies are moving closer to Washington's view that Tehran should be penalized.

Vienna-based diplomats familiar with the IAEA's activities in Iran, where experts have been examining nuclear sites and programs for signs of past and present weapons ambitions, said there is persistent doubt whether Iran is revealing all of its activities.

``There is a growing feeling that the Iranians are playing games instead of honoring pledges of full disclosure'' of their activities, one diplomat said Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

An IAEA official would say only that ElBaradei would ``consult on outstanding issues relevant to the IAEA's verification of Iran's safeguards agreement.'' Safeguards are part of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which the United States says Iran has violated by allegedly embarking on a weapons program.

ElBaradei was to arrive in Tehran early Tuesday and return to Vienna on Wednesday after meeting with senior government and Iranian nuclear agency officials.

On Sunday, Iran denied it has hidden any nuclear facilities by shifting them to easier-to-conceal sites.

Iranian officials were responding to alleged intelligence from the United States and an unnamed country suggesting that within the past year, Iran had moved nuclear enrichment programs to less detectable locations.

ElBaradei said last month that Iran has much to do before the IAEA can declare Tehran's nuclear program weapons-free.

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.

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

One 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.

Adding to the skepticism was Iran's announcement last month 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 - were critical. They said the Isfahan plant sent the wrong signal.

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.
20 posted on 04/05/2004 8:27:47 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
A Young Radical's Anti-U.S. Wrath Is Unleashed

Published: April 5, 2004

BAGHDAD, Iraq, April 4 — For months, as American occupation authorities have focused on a moderate Shiite leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, a radical young Shiite cleric named Moktada al-Sadr has been spewing invective and threatening a widespread insurrection. On Sunday, he unleashed it.

At his word, thousands of disciples, wearing green headbands and carrying automatic rifles, stormed into the streets of several cities and set off the most widespread mayhem of the occupation. Witnesses and occupation officials said the disciples occupied police stations, fired rocket-propelled grenades at American troops and overran government security in Kufa, the town in south central Iraq where Mr. Sadr lives. "The occupation is over!" many yelled. "We are now controlled by Sadr!"

Mr. Sadr, 31, is the son of a revered Shiite cleric who was assassinated in 1999 by hit men under the rule of Saddam Hussein. He comes from a long line of clerics. A famous uncle was also silenced by Mr. Hussein in 1980.

Mr. Sadr had two older brothers, but they were killed with his father, leaving him the heir apparent.

In the prelude to the transfer of power from the American-led occupation authority to Iraqi civilians, planned for June 30, Mr. Sadr has been increasingly caustic, issuing statements denouncing Americans and any Iraqis who work with them. A newspaper that has been his official mouthpiece was shut down by the American occupation a week ago.

On Friday, he announced that he was opening Iraqi chapters of Hezbollah and Hamas, militant pro-Palestinian groups that Israel and the United States consider terrorist organizations. "I am the beating arm for Hezbollah and Hamas here in Iraq," he said.

Mr. Sadr is one of many powerful Shiite clerics calling for an Islamic government, though his following seems especially devoted. His men wear black shirts and black pants and carry larger-than-life portraits of him. He has a ruddy face and a thick black beard, and most photos feature him angrily shaking a finger.

On a recent day in Kufa, hundreds of boys marched around the town's main mosque, holding up posters of Mr. Sadr and chanting his name.

"It's true Moktada inherited a lot of support," said Hamid al-Bayati, a spokesman for the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, a prominent Shiite political party. "But there is also a lot of new passion for him."

On Sunday night, townspeople in Kufa said Mr. Sadr was holed up in its main mosque. Many said they would die before they would allow occupation forces to capture him.

In the past year of the occupation, Mr. Sadr has shown many faces. At times he is isolated by the Shiite leadership, at other times he is embraced. In the world of Shiite clerics, Mr. Sadr is an upstart. He is several ranks and many years away from attaining the title of ayatollah, which would mean his rulings would carry the weight of religious law.

Immediately after the invasion, Mr. Sadr deployed black-clad disciples to patrol the streets of Baghdad's Shiite slums. His men handed out bread, water and oranges. They also provided much-needed security. Mr. Sadr had seen a void and filled it. In return, leaders in the Shiite district of Baghdad that had been known as Saddam City decided to rename the area Sadr City, after Mr. Sadr's father, Ayatollah Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr.

Whether justified or not, Mr. Sadr has a reputation for vengefulness. Last April, Abdul Majid al-Khoei, a rival Shiite cleric, was hacked to death by a mob, a crime one of Mr. Sadr's henchmen is now accused of committing.

In June, Mr. Sadr formed a militia called the Mahdi Army. Many groups in Iraq have private armies. But Mr. Sadr's men, estimated to number in the tens of thousands, also formed their own religious courts and prisons.

This fall and winter, Mr. Sadr was eclipsed by Ayatollah Sistani, the septuagenarian cleric who demanded direct elections sooner rather than later and emerged as the most influential Shiite leader. The two do not talk.

As Mr. Sadr's popularity faded, his talk grew more militant.

In February, he declared his militia "the enemy of the occupation."

Last week, the American authorities shut down Mr. Sadr's newspaper, Al Hawza, after they accused it of inciting violence. Although the paper did not print any calls for attacks, the American authorities said false reporting, including articles that ascribed suicide bombings to Americans, could touch off violence.

The closing, set to last 60 days, began a week of protests that grew bigger and more unruly at each turn.

"Death to America! Death to Jews!" Mr. Sadr's supporters shouted.

The newspaper was an important symbol for many Shiites. Al Hawza took its name from a loose-knit Shiite seminary that dates from a thousand years ago. Its clerics have played pivotal roles in Middle Eastern history — and often militant ones. In 1920, Hawza clerics in Najaf encouraged the revolt against British rule in Iraq. In 1979, they played a similar role in the Islamic revolution in Iran, which like Iraq is mainly Shiite.

On Sunday, Mr. Sadr called for his followers to "terrorize your enemy."

"There is no use for demonstrations, as your enemy loves to terrify and suppress opinions, and despises peoples," he said in a statement.

"I ask you not to resort to demonstrations because they have become a losing card and we should seek other ways," he said. "Terrorize your enemy, as we cannot remain silent over its violations."
21 posted on 04/05/2004 8:28:52 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
MKO Terrorist Groups to Be Expelled from Iraq Next Year: Minister

TEHRAN (Mehr News Agency) -— “We accept our responsibility, we have decided to expel the members of the group -the Mujahedin-e- Khalq Organization (MKO)- from the Iraqi soil. But, the execution of the decision is the duty of the coalition forces, it will be carried out by the next year,” said Iraqi interior minister on Sunday.

The Iraqi interim Interior Minister Nuri al Badran added that the expulsion should be in coordination with the United Nations, Geneva conventions and the UN treaties in this regard.

He also noted that the coalition forces in Iraq are preparing the grounds through which the Western countries would admit the members of the group into their countries.

Al Badran asserted that as far as the Iraqi officials are concerned the Mujahedin issue is finished.

The Iraqi interim interior minister who is currently in Iran termed the issue of the Iranian pilgrims as his main reason for the visit.

The toppled Iraqi government of Saddam Hussein harbored terrorist MKO members during its war against Iran. MKO has done many terrorist acts within Iran, killing President Mohammad-Ali Rajaei and Prime Minister Mohammed-Javad Bahonar in 1981.

Saddam used the MKO as a military force to suppress the Iraqi Kurds in the north and Shiites in the south.

MKO has been branded as a terrorist group by the U.S. State Department and the European Union.

Iran has announced that it will give amnesty to all those MKO members who have not committed any crimes against the Iranian nation. RA/MS/ End MNA RA/
22 posted on 04/05/2004 8:32:33 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
UAE freezes assets of firm linked to Pak N-leak

ABU DHABI: The UAE central bank said on Sunday it has frozen the assets of a company linked to a Sri Lankan named by Western intelligence as a middleman in the sale of Pakistani nuclear secrets and parts to Libya, Iran and North Korea.

"We have frozen all accounts belonging or related to SMB Computer Co as part of the ongoing investigation into the suspected involvement of Sayed Tahir al-Bokhari in the sale of nuclear secrets," said bank governor Sultan bin Nasser al-Suwaidi, quoted by the official WAM news agency.

He said "the investigating committee which includes the central bank, Dubai’s public prosecutor’s office and other local parties, have made significant progress. The Dubai public prosecutor will announce soon the results of the probe."

The investigation has included "all individuals with links to SMB which is a computer programming company", said Suwaidi. Dubai’s public prosecutor’s office refused to comment on the case when contacted by AFP and it was not immediately possible to ascertain Tahir’s present whereabouts.

SMB’s telephone number is listed in the Dubai directory but there was no answer on Sunday afternoon. In early February Malaysian oil and gas firm Scomi said Tahir acted as a middleman in securing a $ 3.42 million contract from Dubai-based Gulf Technical Industries (GTI) in 2001 for the manufacture of 14 semi-finished components by SCOPE, a Scomi unit.

Scomi, which is controlled by a son of Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, said at the time that it was never told of the end-use of these components.

SCOPE had shipped the components to GTI, which has no number listed in the Dubai directory, in four consignments from December 2002. US and British intelligence revealed that five containers allegedly containing centrifuge components were seized from a ship, BBC China, in Taranto, Italy on October 4.

The containers had a "SCOPE" seal and they were heading to Libya, which intelligence say was planning to use them in its uranium enrichment programme. Tahir was named by intelligence as a middleman used by Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, who has admitted to selling atomic secrets to Libya, Iran and North Korea.
23 posted on 04/05/2004 8:34:19 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Why is the media ignoring Iran's involvement in the Iraqi unrest?

When will we deal aggressively with the Iranian incitement of violence in Iraq by the Iranian mullahs?

Doc, Perhaps the Media closed their eyes on the real reasons of the recent unrest in Iraq. But all of us know that the main reason is the Mullahs.

We will deal aggressively with the Mullahs as soon as the Media turn to pay attention to the real causes.

24 posted on 04/05/2004 8:36:43 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John Fedayeen Kerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: DoctorZIn
Three way deal between "Iran - US - Japan"
Apr 5, 2004, 13:53

A US representative has accused the Bush administration of allowing 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.

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

In the hearing, John Bolton, undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, said Sherman's statement was "absolutely not true."
25 posted on 04/05/2004 11:47:06 AM PDT by freedom44
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To: All
Iran ready to send 10,000 pilgrims to Iraq daily

Payvand Iran News
April 5th 2004

Tehran, April 5, IRNA -- Deputy Interior Minister for Security Affairs Ali Asghar Ahmadi said here Monday that the Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to send some 10,000 pilgrims to Iraq per day.

Speaking to IRNA, he said the figure was approved by Iraqi officials during their recent visit to Iran.

There are ample grounds for expansion of Iran-Iraq cooperation, which the Islamic Republic of Iran welcomes, he said.

Serious talks on security, campaign against terrorism and drug trafficking will be deferred until the formation of the Iraqi government, he underlined.

"The two sides should agree on the nature of mutual cooperation but on restoration of security, education of police force and protecting officials, we can put out experience at their disposal," he concluded.
26 posted on 04/05/2004 12:12:04 PM PDT by F14 Pilot (John Fedayeen Kerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: DoctorZIn
Banking on Prosperity

April 05, 2004
The Guardian
Dan De Luce

The world's media seemed to expect drama and confrontation when Iran's clerical regime banned more than 2,000 candidates from standing in parliamentary elections in February.

However, that drama never materialised. A sit-in held by blacklisted MPs came to nothing. Reformist cabinet ministers threatened to resign, but ended up staying in office. Without a single street protest, the conservative establishment took back control of parliament in an orchestrated election.

The conservatives, allied with Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, correctly calculated that the public had long since given up on the reformists.

Millions of voters had come out in support of reformists in previous elections, believing that the president, Mohammad Khatami, and his allies could nudge the country's authoritarian theocracy towards genuine democracy and tolerance. This year, however, they stayed at home.

After humiliating Mr Khatami and killing off his experiment with reform, the conservatives are gambling that prosperity, not democracy, will keep them in power.

The victorious conservative bloc, Developers of Islamic Iran, has promised to create what it calls a more "efficient parliament", and says that it will turn Iran into an "Islamic Japan". The group has yet to explain how it will manage to create more jobs and curb inflation while speeding up the privatisation of state-owned industry.

According to Iranian newspapers, the conservatives are pursuing the "China model". This scenario would see the regime open up the vast state-owned economy, and tolerate a degree of social freedom, while keeping a firm hand on the levers of political authority.

On paper, Iran's economy is booming. Oil prices are high, and climbing higher, with hundreds of millions of dollars in oil revenue flowing into government coffers every month.

The country's robust growth figures are the envy of the Middle East, with GDP at more than 6% over the past two years. The roads are full of flashy new cars, and mobile phone sales are brisk.

Much of the growth is based on high oil prices and a speculative bubble in the property market. But, for ordinary Iranians, all that oil wealth does not seem to be trickling down.

Inflation eats away at wages. Secure, full-time jobs are hard to come by. Unemployment is officially standing at 15% and, according to most economists, is probably higher.

In the capital, Tehran, and other major cities, housing has become unaffordable for young couples without affluent parents. Teachers, and workers in the state car industry, have launched strike action over low wages in recent months. The gap between rich and poor is steadily increasing, even according to cautious government estimates.

Sensing public frustration, conservative commentators speak about the need for social justice and a fight against corruption.

"We want to use social welfare measures and also proceed with privatisation plans, so the gap between rich and poor does not increase," said Amir Mohebian, a pragmatic voice among the conservatives, who writes for the daily newspaper Resalaat.

To address Iran's economic problems, the conservatives would have to make painful choices and take on vested interests that profit from the mercantile system.

Attracting more foreign investment would require dismantling large, inefficient state-owned enterprises, as well quasi-state foundations, or bonyads, that enjoy monopolistic privileges.

No government has been willing to take the decision to shut down enterprises employing large numbers of workers, or to confront the powerful bonyads that have close ties to the ruling clergy. Previous attempts to wean Iran from its dependence on oil exports have failed.

During the early 90s, former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani recruited western-educated technocrats and set out ambitious plans for economic liberalisation. The reforms ended in half-measures and debt, with the bazaar merchant class firmly entrenched in monopolies and cronyism.

If fundamental reform seems unlikely, the regime may instead use the cash generated from higher oil revenues as a way of softening the effects of inflation through subsidies.

Such measures won't bring prosperity, but they might defuse tensions among the majority of Iranians, whose wages are outstripped by inflation.

On the ideological front, the regime has decided to turn a blind eye to violations of the Islamic dress code and rules that discourage mingling with the opposite sex. State television now shows Hollywood films alongside religious and ideological programming, with glamorous foreign women appearing without the veil.

Hamid Reza Taraqi, a leading member of the conservative Motalefeh party, said that CDs not completely in line with Islam have been allowed, and restrictions on how young people dress have been adjusted.

"We have provided normal freedoms in society and in the university environment for youth to express their mentality and worth in the way they dress, the way they wear their hair and also the kind of [social] relations they have," he said.

Such comments illustrate how the conservatives seem ready to abandon aspects of the ideology of the 1979 Islamic revolution to stay in power, and to co-opt the reformist agenda when convenient.

Hardline ideologues, who favour a strict interpretation of Islamic Sharia law, oppose moves to mollify the younger generation and worry about Iran taking a conciliatory stance towards former adversaries, both in the region and in the west.

Last October, they were incensed the leadership backed down and agreed to intrusive UN inspections of Iran's nuclear sites.

"If the system wants to rationalise and improve its image, then it means marginalising these hardliners," one Iranian analyst, who asked not to be named, said. "But there would be consequences for that."

Conflict between so-called "pragmatists" and the more ideological elements of the conservative establishment will increasingly emerge over economic reforms, social freedom and foreign policy.

Less than a week after the election, the head of the judiciary, Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahrudi, called for the creation of a new government office to combat "vice".

The comment, made on state media, seemed to hint at a revival of the notorious "komiteh" morals police that once patrolled the streets, enforcing strict Islamic dress codes.

The judicial chief's remarks were quickly buried, and the conservative press ignored the suggestion - a sign, perhaps, that the regime wanted to avoid antagonising Iranians over social restrictions.

While it has moved to stifle democracy activists, and keeps dozens of political dissidents in jail, no one expects the theocratic leadership to turn the clock back to the severe repression that followed the 1979 revolution.

Instead, Iran may be entering an era of stagnation, in which political opposition remains disorganised and oil wealth keeps the economy afloat.

Still reeling from their defeat, the reformists are debating the way forward. The more strident among them are considering forming a unified "front" that would openly advocate a secular state without superior authority invested in the Shia clergy.

One prominent student leader, Mehid Aminizadeh, of the Office to Foster Unity, said that the reformists never had a clear idea of what they were striving for. "This is the time for thought, contemplation and reconstruction," he said.,7792,1186098,00.html
27 posted on 04/05/2004 12:58:59 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Attempted coup d'etat underway in Iraq right now

Instapundit ^ | April 05, 2004
Posted on 04/05/2004 2:10:36 PM PDT by John Jorsett


A coup d'etat is taking place in Iraq a the moment. Al-Shu'la, Al-Hurria, Thawra (Sadr city), and Kadhimiya (all Shi'ite neighbourhoods in Baghdad) have been declared liberated from occupation. Looting has already started at some places downtown, a friend of mine just returned from Sadun street and he says Al-Mahdi militiamen are breaking stores and clinics open and also at Tahrir square just across the river from the Green Zone. News from other cities in the south indicate that Sadr followers (tens of thousands of them) have taken over IP stations and governorate buildings in Kufa, Nassiriya, Ammara, Kut, and Basrah. Al-Jazeera says that policemen in these cities have sided with the Shia insurgents, which doesn't come as a surprise to me since a large portion of the police forces in these areas were recruited from Shi'ite militias and we have talked about that ages ago. And it looks like this move has been planned a long time ago.

No one knows what is happening in the capital right now. Power has been cut off in my neighbourhood since the afternoon, and I can only hear helicopters, massive explosions, and continuous shooting nearby. The streets are empty, someone told us half an hour ago that Al-Mahdi are trying to take over our neighbourhood and are being met by resistance from Sunni hardliners. Doors are locked, and AK-47's are being loaded and put close by in case they are needed. The phone keeps ringing frantically. Baghdadis are horrified and everyone seems to have made up their mind to stay home tomorrow until the situation is clear.

I'm not seeing anything about this elsewhere yet. It's bad news if things are as bad as this sounds. This report from Dow Jones says that Bush is predicting more violence in Iraq.
28 posted on 04/05/2004 3:47:59 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
FOX showed reporter live from Bagdad this afternoon and he never mentioned things being as bad as this sounds.
29 posted on 04/05/2004 8:22:34 PM PDT by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ( President Bush 3-20-04))
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To: DoctorZIn
This thread is now closed.

Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

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

30 posted on 04/05/2004 9:01:18 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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