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Iranian Alert -- April 6, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^
Posted on 04/05/2004 9:00:14 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 Americans are unaware that the Islamic Republic of Iran is NOT supported by the masses of Iranians today. Modern Iranians are among the most pro-American in the Middle East.
There is a popular revolt against the Iranian regime brewing in Iran today. I began these daily threads June 10th 2003. On that date Iranians once again began taking to the streets to express their desire for a regime change. Today in Iran, most want to replace the regime with a secular democracy.
The regime is working hard to keep the news about the protest movement in Iran from being reported. Unfortunately, the regime has successfully prohibited western news reporters from covering the demonstrations. The voices of discontent within Iran are sometime murdered, more often imprisoned. Still the people continue to take to the streets to demonstrate against the regime.
In support of this revolt, Iranians in America have been broadcasting news stories by satellite into Iran. This 21st century news link has greatly encouraged these protests. The regime has been attempting to jam the signals, and locate the satellite dishes. Still the people violate the law and listen to these broadcasts. Iranians also use the Internet and the regime attempts to block their access to news against the regime. In spite of this, many Iranians inside of Iran read these posts daily to keep informed of the events in their own country.
This daily thread contains nearly all of the English news reports on Iran. It is thorough. If you follow this thread you will witness, I believe, the transformation of a nation. This daily thread provides a central place where those interested in the events in Iran can find the best news and commentary. The news stories and commentary will from time to time include material from the regime itself. But if you read the post you will discover for yourself, the real story of what is occurring in Iran and its effects on the war on terror.
I am not of Iranian heritage. I am an American committed to supporting the efforts of those in Iran seeking to replace their government with a secular democracy. I am in contact with leaders of the Iranian community here in the United States and in Iran itself.
If you read the daily posts you will gain a better understanding of the US war on terrorism, the Middle East and why we need to support a change of regime in Iran. Feel free to ask your questions and post news stories you discover in the weeks to come.
If all goes well Iran will be free soon and I am convinced become a major ally in the war on terrorism. The regime will fall. Iran will be free. It is just a matter of time.
TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iaea; iran; iranianalert; iranquake; protests; southasia; southwestasia; studentmovement; studentprotest
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UN Atomic Watchdog Wants More Iranian Cooperation
April 06, 2004
TEHRAN -- The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog meets President Mohammad Khatami and other Iranian officials in Tehran on Tuesday for talks he hopes will lead to better cooperation to prove Iran is not seeking atomic weapons.
"Iran has been actively cooperating, but I sense some slowdown in the process," Mohamed ElBaradei told reporters in Frankfurt on Monday before flying to Iran.
"Basically, I would like to discuss with our Iranian counterparts how to get accelerated cooperation," said ElBaradei, head of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Hardline commentator Hossein Shariatmadari, appointed editor of the conservative daily Kayhan by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said any hope of a positive result from the meetings was "wishful thinking."
He wrote in the Siyasat-e Rouz newspaper that Tehran should set the IAEA a deadline to close its case and should follow North Korea in pulling out of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) if inspectors wanted to continue beyond that date.
The United States accuses Iran of pursuing a nuclear weapons program, but Tehran says its nuclear ambitions are confined to generating electricity.
Iran promised Britain, France and Germany last October it would suspend uranium enrichment and accept snap atomic checks.
If enriched to a low level, uranium can be used to fuel nuclear power stations. But if enriched further, to weapons grade, it can be used in warheads.
Last year the IAEA reported finding traces of weapons-grade uranium at the Natanz enrichment plant and a workshop at the Kalaye Electric Company.
A Western diplomat told Reuters last week on condition of anonymity that highly enriched uranium had been found at other sites. Several other diplomats said the same.
But ElBaradei denied this report, saying he had not heard that the IAEA had found traces of enriched uranium in Iran at sites other than the two already named. "We haven't seen or heard anything about new contamination," ElBaradei said.
PRESSURE ON IRAN
Last month, the IAEA passed a resolution deploring Iran's failure to declare potential arms-related activities. Iran initially blocked U.N. inspectors after the resolution but said on Sunday a new team would arrive in two weeks.
Hawks in Washington are trying to get the U.N. Security Council to impose sanctions on Iran for breaching IAEA commitments.
During his talks in Tehran, ElBaradei is expected to focus on Iran's omissions of key atomic technology from an October statement that included undeclared research on advanced "P2" centrifuges that can make bomb-grade uranium.
"It is in the interests of Iran to show from now until June maximum transparency, maximum accelerated cooperation," he said.
The IAEA's board of governors meets in June when it will issue a fresh report on the status of inspections in Iran.
On Sunday, Iran said it had no nuclear sites hidden from U.N. inspectors.
A group of Western diplomats who follow the IAEA had said recent intelligence has prompted suspicion Iran had not stopped enriching uranium but had moved enrichment activities to smaller sites out of view from the United Nations.
"We haven't seen any indication, nor have we got any information that they have been moving (enrichment activities)," said ElBaradei. http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=4759459§ion=news
posted on 04/06/2004 3:11:21 PM PDT
(Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
Iran Blames US for Instability
April 05, 2004
The Financial Times
Influential Shia leaders in the Middle East criticised the US for continued instability in Iraq. However, they stopped well short of endorsing the young radical Shia cleric, Moqtada al-Sadr, whose forces clashed with coalition forces for the second day on Monday.
"The direct responsibility for this insecurity lies with the occupiers who should immediately leave Iraq and return sovereignty to the Iraqi nation," said Hamid Reza Asefi, the Iranian foreign ministry spokesman, in his weekly press briefing.
Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, Lebanon's most influential Shia cleric, denounced the "horrible massacres" committed by US forces while also calling on Iraqis to exercise restraint in any response.
In Iran, television showed graphic clips from both Baghdad and Najaf, but described them calmly as "clashes between demonstrators and occupiers".
Iran's state-owned media has generally portrayed events in neighbouring Iraq as a result of US insensitivity and has stopped short of endorsing Mr Sadr.
Tehran has links with most Iraqi political leaders, including Mr Sadr, but its closest relationship is with the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq. Its leader, Abdulaziz Hakim, sits on the interim Governing Council which opposes Mr Sadr's militia.
On Sunday, Abdolvahed Mousavi Lari, Iran's interior minister, stressed that the "return of security and stability in Iraq" was in the interests of all its neighbours, and called for a greater UN role "to enable the Iraqi nation to exercise its legitimate rights".
In meetings with Nouri Badran, the Iraqi interim interior minister who is on a four-day visit to Tehran, Mr Lari agreed the importance of ending unauthorised migration over the countries' shared 1,500km border.
At least 40 Iranian pilgrims were killed in last month's bombing of Shia shrines in Karbala and Baghdad. http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1079420170034&p=1012571727172
posted on 04/06/2004 3:12:13 PM PDT
(Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
Crunch Time in Baghdad
April 06, 2004
The Wall Street Journal
Review and Outlook
The next few days in Iraq may be the most critical since President Bush ordered the invasion a year ago. Millions of Iraqis, and millions of Americans, are waiting to see if the U.S. is still fighting in Iraq to win.
Marines were digging in around Fallujah yesterday, in anticipation of a military response to last week's mutilation of four U.S. civilians in that part of the Sunni Triangle. Meanwhile, the coalition announced that an Iraqi judge had issued a murder arrest warrant for the Shiite Muslim cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, who ordered the riots on Sunday that resulted in the deaths of eight Americans and a Salvadoran. If Mr. Bush fails to show that there is a price to pay for killing Americans, he might as well bring everyone home today.
Americans will support their President in war -- far more than liberal elites appreciate. But they won't support a President who isn't fighting with enough force and the right strategy to prevail. Unlike Mr. Bush's determination to topple Saddam Hussein, the transition back to Iraqi rule has been marked in recent months by drift and indecision. Especially in the runup to the transfer of power on June 30, the worst Iraqis are rushing in to exploit this uncertainty.
What's needed now is a reassertion of U.S. resolve, notably on security but also on the transition to Iraqi sovereignty, and even if it means no drawdown of American forces any time soon. The coalition had hoped to turn over more of this task to Iraqis, and this remains both desirable and inevitable. But they clearly aren't yet up to that task in the face of well-armed insurgents or private militias.
Partly this is America's fault for not arming Iraqis on our side with enough firepower soon enough. The State Department (rather than the Pentagon) is responsible for disbursing the small arms that are now available, while Congress's desire to micromanage Defense procurement has delayed contracts from being let for more and better equipment. If Senate soundbite kibbitzers Richard Lugar and Joe Biden want to be constructive, this is a problem they could work on. In the meantime, U.S. forces will have to re-enter such cities and towns as Fallujah and work with Iraqis friendly to the coalition to restore order and kill or arrest those who target Americans.
This has to include Mr. Sadr. The young cleric has been stirring trouble for months, but with Sunday's riots he has crossed a line that makes him an urgent threat to the coalition and any new Iraqi government. Yesterday's judicial warrant implicates him in the mob slaying of another Shiite leader, the moderate Abdel-Majid al-Khoei, shortly after he had returned to Najaf from exile in London in April 2003.
Unlike Grand Ayatollah Sistani, Mr. Sadr never mentions the word "democracy" in his fatwas and talks openly of creating an Iranian-style Islamic Republic in Iraq. Mr. Sadr has visited Tehran since the fall of Saddam, and his Mahdi militia is almost certainly financed and trained by Iranians. Revolutionary Guards may be instigating some of the current unrest. As recently as last Friday, Mr. Sadr declared that "I am the beating arm for Hezbollah and Hamas here in Iraq." Hezbollah has been financed by Iran for years.
Having let Mr. Sadr's militia grow, the coalition now has no choice but to break it up. It should also warn the Dawa Islamic political party that its dealings with Iran won't be tolerated. As for Tehran, we would hope the Sadr uprising puts to rest the illusion that the mullahs can be appeased. As Bernard Lewis teaches, Middle Eastern leaders interpret American restraint as weakness. Iran's mullahs fear a Muslim democracy in Iraq because it is a direct threat to their own rule. If warnings to Tehran from Washington don't impress them, perhaps some cruise missiles aimed at the Bushehr nuclear site will concentrate their minds.
Proof of U.S. resolve is especially important as the transfer of sovereignty on June 30 nears. Millions of Iraqis are grateful for their liberation from Saddam and are willing to help us finish the job. But too many Iraqis already suspect that June 30 has more to do with our elections than with theirs. If they now see the U.S. failing to respond forcefully to the past week's unrest, they will conclude that the Americans are preparing to leave. Then the mayhem and jockeying for power will only get worse.
Yesterday, Mr. Bush reiterated his support for the June 30 transfer. But the timing is less important than the fact that the U.S. still has no plan for what will happen on that date. The current non-plan is for U.S. regent L. Paul Bremer to toss the ball to U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi and hope he can figure it out.
With elections put off for some months anyway, the default transfer plan will probably involve retaining the Iraqi Governing Council in some form. The coalition is better off doing this on its own and leaving the U.N. out of it. It isn't as if Kofi Annan is offering any troops, and Mr. Brahimi -- a Sunni Arab nationalist close to nations that coddled Saddam -- makes Shiites nerv