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Iranian Alert -- April 8, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 4.8.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 04/07/2004 10:15:30 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: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iaea; iran; iranianalert; iranquake; protests; southasia; southwestasia; studentmovement; studentprotest
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Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

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

1 posted on 04/07/2004 10:15:32 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: All
Rank Location Receipts Donors/Avg Freepers/Avg Monthlies
32 Utah 225.00

Thanks for donating to Free Republic!

Move your locale up the leaderboard!

2 posted on 04/07/2004 10:16:25 PM PDT by Support Free Republic (Hi Mom! Hi Dad!)
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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 04/07/2004 10:19:46 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
U.S. Creating Obstacles in Way of Iran's Development: Rafsanjani

TEHRAN (IRNA) -- Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani here Tuesday said Washington is creating obstacles in the way of Iran's development and the country's peaceful utilization of nuclear technology by imposing several challenges.

During a meeting with the visiting Singaporean Minister of Trade and Industry Yong Boon George Yeo, he said the U.S. is also laying obstacles to Iran's membership in international bodies such as the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Underlining the importance of greater collaboration with the Southeast Asian island state, he called for promotion of Iran-Singapore economic and trade ties, particularly between their private sectors.

He further voiced Iran's readiness to facilitate travels to Iran of Singaporean nationals and thereby boost bilateral tourism and trade relations.

Rafsanjani also called on all Asian nations to establish closer relations in order to spur further development.

For his part, Yeo praised Iran's economic development over the past two decades and called for expansion of all-out ties between the two countries.

He noted that Singaporean companies are relatively newcomers in the Iranian market and are interested in increasing their investment in this country.

He called on Iranian companies to also invest in different projects in his country.
4 posted on 04/07/2004 10:26:29 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran to begin construction of heavy water reactor

* Reactor may be used in fuel cycle to produce bomb-grade plutonium

TEHRAN Iran is to begin work in June on constructing a heavy water reactor which could eventually be used as part of a fuel cycle to produce bomb-grade plutonium, diplomats said in Vienna Wednesday.

This step is almost certain to raise concern about Iran’s intentions at a time when the international community is calling on the Islamic Republic to fully cooperate on answering charges it is hiding a programme to develop nuclear weapons, the diplomats said.

“Iran is to announce soon that it will be beginning work in June on a heavy water research reactor in Arak,” 200 kilometres (120 miles) southwest of Tehran, a diplomat close to the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said.

IAEA director general Mohamed ElBaradei returned to Vienna Wednesday from Tehran, where he had hammered out an agreement for Iran to adhere to a timetable to answer the agency’s questions about its nuclear activities. The reactor to be built at Arak would not be in violation of safeguards which the IAEA enforces under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the diplomat said. Iran has been saying since July that it wants to build such a reactor.

But another diplomat said going ahead with the reactor now could send the wrong political signal. “This is not an accident,” the diplomat said, referring to the fact that construction is to begin in June, the same month the IAEA will hold a board of governors meeting on Iran.

He said the Iranian government wanted to assert its independence, as it claims it has the right to make nuclear fuel, and also had to appease hardliners at home who object to yielding to IAEA demands. Iran has said the Arak reactor would be for research and the production of radioisotopes for medical and industrial use.

Iran told the IAEA, according to an agency report in November, that “it had tried to acquire a reactor from abroad to replace” a 30-year-old research reactor in Tehran. The first diplomat said the reactor, which is to have thermal power of 40 megawatts, could produce enough fuel to make “more than one significant quantity of plutonium per year,” a “significant quantity” referring to the amount needed to make an atomic bomb.

But due to US and other Western nations’ sanctions, Iran was not able to buy a new reactor, and so wanted to build one of its own which could use domestically produced fuel such as uranium dioxide. The diplomat said, however, that the heavy water reactor could produce depleted uranium which could then be reprocessed into plutonium, for instance in so-called hot cells that would be also used to make radio-isotopes.

It is this connection, at a time when the United States is raising alarms about Iran’s possible nuclear weapons potential, that the IAEA would like Iran to desist from starting work on the reactor, even if in June the Iranians would only begin digging the hole for the building.

“Once they have started to build it, it’s as if it exists,” he said, referring to problems the international community has already had with Iran’s resumption in March of uranium conversion, another part of the nuclear fuel cycle that is not forbidden by NPT safeguards but which raises concerns.

Such technically legal activites could damage confidence Iran is doing everything necessary to prove it is not secretly developing nuclear weapons, diplomats said.

“It’s still something that can be fixed, namely by putting another type of reactor at Arak and giving them the fuel for it,” the diplomat said. But he said this depended on Iran cleaning up the IAEA’s questions about its nuclear programme. AFP
5 posted on 04/07/2004 10:29:05 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Cooperating on Iran

Moscow Times - By Nikolas Gvosdev and Ray Takeyh
Apr 8, 2004

As the Bush administration wrestles with changes in the U.S.-Russia relationship, the issue of Iran's nuclear proliferation has re-emerged as the most important source of tension between the two states. This past weekend, the U.S. State Department imposed sanctions against two Russian firms based on "credible information" that they were selling equipment that could assist Iran in its quest for weapons of mass destruction.

The bogeyman of Russians providing Iran with "the bomb" remains alive and well in Washington. Indeed, at a hearing convened by the House International Relations Committee on March 18, the question of Russian support for Iran's nuclear program was repeatedly raised by members of Congress and cited as a major stumbling block for the development of partnership between the two countries. Successive U.S. administrations have viewed Russia as Iran's foremost nuclear supplier and thus believe that getting Moscow to cease all cooperation with Iran -- even in areas permitted under the Non-Proliferation Treaty -- is the principle counter-proliferation measure.

However, given Iran's rapid pace toward self-sufficiency, cutting off Russian assistance will no longer have a material impact on Iran's nuclear path. Iran can cross the nuclear threshold without receiving a single addition piece of Russian-manufactured dual-use technology.

Over the past few years, a series of revelations have revealed that the Islamic Republic is increasingly employing its civilian nuclear research program to gather sufficient knowledge and expertise to achieve a nuclear weapons capacity. The first shock came in August 2002, when U.S. intelligence reported that Iran had built extensive facilities for enrichment of uranium in Natanz. The Natanz installation currently contains 160 centrifuges needed for this purpose, with another 1000 under construction. The plan is to have 5000 operational centrifuges within three years.

In addition, it appeared that Tehran was completing another facility at Arak for heavy water production. The most recent IAEA inspection team has ominously found many traces of concentrated fuel suggesting that Iran has largely completed an indigenous fuel cycle. Given the sophisticated nature of Iran's program, traditional tools of counter-proliferation such as pressuring Russia and other countries not to engage in trade with Iran and instituting a more rigorous export control policy are unlikely to succeed.

Given that neither IAEA's more intrusive inspections nor pressure on Iran's suppliers is likely to obstruct Tehran's path, Washington has to devise a new strategy of pressure where Russia is an active participant. Tehran will only abandon its WMD program if it is made clear that violation of clearly demarcated red-lines -- including the testing and deployment of nuclear weapons -- would lead to Iran's total economic and diplomatic isolation.

The Islamic Republic remains vulnerable to multilateral economic pressure, particularly from its more reliable commercial partners such as the EU and Russia. Indeed, it was only after the European states suspended their trade discussions with Iran that the mullahs agreed to sign the additional protocols.

And this is a threat that the regime cannot ignore. Increasingly pressed to provide economic opportunities to a more and more restive (and young) population, Tehran needs trade and investment for survival much more than nuclear arms. As long as U.S. economic sanctions remain in place, Iran's Moscow connection is a vital lifeline and so gives Russia a good deal of influence.

If the United States is serious about preventing an Iranian nuclear breakthrough, Russia has to be a major part of the solution. A U.S. policy of continuously decrying Russian conduct and imposing sanctions and penalties is guaranteed to lead to Kremlin intransigence, at a time when cooperation is needed.

Moreover, the sanctions have no practical impact. The companies sanctioned are not seeking any investment from U.S. sources nor have any prospects for business deals with American firms. The only tangible result is an irritated Russian Foreign Ministry. Meanwhile, the Iranian government hopes to exploit dissension between the United States and its key partners in Europe and Asia to deflect attention away from its WMD programs.

Shifting the focus away from Russia's business deals onto Iran's treaty obligations is an appropriate first step. The onus should not be placed on Russian companies to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that technology they legally sell to Iran is being used for nefarious purposes. Russia cannot be expected to accept U.S. calls for isolating Iran, especially when nothing substantive is being offered in return.

Both Moscow and Washington, however, want a non-nuclear Iran. So rather than pressing the Kremlin to abandon all ties between Russia and Iran, the Bush administration would be best served by enlisting Russian help to monitor the situation in Iran, and, if necessary, to serve as an intermediary between Washington and Tehran.

Russian-American cooperation has helped to defuse the tensions on the Korean peninsula. There is no reason this model could not work in the Persian Gulf as well.

Ray Takeyh is a professor of national security studies at the National Defense University and adjunct scholar at the Center for American Progress. Nikolas Gvosdev is a senior fellow for strategic studies at The Nixon Center.
6 posted on 04/07/2004 10:31:07 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Germany Waiting for Iran-EU Gas Pipeline

Tehran Times - Economy Section
Apr 8, 2004

TEHRAN -- Germany is an economic power in the world.

The biggest crude importer, Germany is also the second largest purchaser of natural gas among the West European nations.

Oil consumption hit 2.7b bpd in this country in 2002.

Germany has turned out to be the third largest oil importer in the world.

Germany, home to the European Central Bank, joined euro currency in Jan 1999.

Germany is also a nuclear power with 19 atomic power plants accounting for 20 percent of electricity generation there.

Economic and trade cooperation between Iran and Germany dates back to long time ago.

German companies are mainly involved in Iran's petrochemical sector.

Germany is a major purchaser of Iran's non-oil products.

We have conducted an interview with German ambassador to Tehran Paul Von Maltzahn. Q: Is Germany mulling over any plan to expand its economic and trade cooperation with Iran, notably in oil and gas sectors?

A: As you know our petrochemical cooperation with Iran dates from long time. But Germany has never been active in oil and gas recovery anywhere in the world. Germany is scarcely involved in oil and gas industries. We prefer downstream industries to upstream sectors and oil recovery. Germany is active in petrochemical sector. We were spearheading production of synthetic materials in the 19th and 20th centuries. Q: Can you tell us of oil and gas cooperation between the two countries?

A: We rarely maintain direct oil contact with Iran. That is no loss for Iran and the only problem is that level of economic transactions is not balanced. The important point is that Germany is the top importer of non-oil products from Iran. We are also the biggest importer of natural gas in the world. We import oil and gas from the Netherlands, Norway and Russia. If Iran can pump gas to Europe via a pipeline we can benefit a lot. Iran holds big oil and gas reserves and it can export its resources to many countries in the world. Q: What do you think of economic cooperation between Iran and Germany?

A: Economic and trade ties between Iran and Germany show positive perspective. Taking into account the figures on German exports to Iran, we find out that German exports to Iran have yielded 2.7b euros. It indicates well the desire of Iranian state-run and private companies to expand trade with Germany. Germany mainly exports machinery for chemical production to Iran. We are also cooperating with Iran Khodro to set up an automaking factory in Tabriz. We have joint ventures with the National Petrochemical Company in Assaluyeh Petrochemical Complex. I hope that NPC chief Mr Nematzadeh would offer more projects to Germany. Q: German companies armed Iraq with chemical warfare in its war against Iran through 1980-1988. Do you think that powerful countries can interfere in the global conflicts?

A: Germany is the main producer of chemicals in the world but I am not sure if it armed Iraq with chemical arms. Now we have strict control system and we supervise our exports. In response to second part of your question, I say that the United States made a mistake in unleashing war on Iraq. Washington launched its military action under pretext of finding weapons of mass destruction.
7 posted on 04/07/2004 10:31:52 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Amnesty slams the regime on case of veteran journalist

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Apr 7, 2004

Amnesty International (AI) slammed, yesterday, the Islamic republic regime on the case of Siamak Pourzand, a veteran journalist, held illegaly in prison despite his critical health conditions.

The famous Rights Watch body stated in its Urgent Action that: "Siamak Pourzand was allowed out of Evin prison on leave in November 2002, but rearrested in April 2003. He has been held in solitary confinement since then, in appalling conditions, and is being denied medical treatment for a condition that will leave him confined to a wheelchair if left untreated. Around 31 March 2004, he fell into a coma. He was not treated until another prisoner went to the prison medical facility and insisted that someone examine him. The doctors allegedly told him they had given up on Siamak Pourzand over six months earlier, and would not take responsibility for anything that happened to him. When he insisted, they treated Siamak Pourzand, and after 36 hours in a coma he regained consciousness. "

AI described then the conditions in which Mr. Pourzand was arrested and condemned by the regime's judiciary force by stating: " Siamak Pourzand is serving an 11-year sentence, handed down in 2002 after a closed trial that fell short of international standards. In a televised ''confession'' he admitted to a range of accusations including ''having links with monarchists and counter-revolutionaries'', ''spying and undermining state security'' and ''creating disillusionment among young people''. On 5 April 2004, Tehran's Chief Prosecutor visited him in prison and told him that he would not be released early, reportedly telling him that if he was released he would ''make too much noise''.

According to a diagnosis given on 30 July 2003 by the Pezeshk-e Qanoun, (a doctor employed by the Judiciary to carry out assessments of prisoners' health), at the Imam Khomeini hospital in Tehran, Siamak Pourzand is suffering from spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal which causes pinching of the spinal cord: left untreated, it could lead to organ failure, notably of the bowels and bladder, and paralysis, leaving Siamak Pourzand dependent on a wheelchair. In October 2003, Siamak Pourzand's medical records were reviewed by a doctor in the US who concluded that he required immediate surgery on his spine. To date he has not received medical treatment for this condition.
When he was released on leave in November 2002, he was able to tell members of his family about the conditions he was held in. He was rearrested in April 2003 by agents of the Edare-ye Amaken, an organisation reportedly responsible for the enforcement of accepted moral codes in companies and other offices. During interrogation he was reportedly urged to implicate film critics detained at that time in unspecified ''acts against Iran'', to appear in ''another television program'' possibly a reference to his televised ''confession'', and to sign a book about singers, artists and film makers who had ''acted against Iran''. He reportedly refused, and was released. While he was in custody four of his ribs were reportedly broken.

Approximately two weeks after his release he was summoned to a court, where he was reportedly asked again whether he would cooperate and appear in the television program. When he refused a second time, he was taken back to Evin prison, stopping first at his sister's house to collect his personal effects, but not the medicine he requires. "

Amnesty called then on all its members and freedom lovers to start a campaign of awarness on the veteran journalist's case by writing and protesting beside the regime's officials.
8 posted on 04/07/2004 10:33:20 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Democrats fear for Iranian deportee's safety

Apr 8, 2004

The Australian Democrats say the Federal Government has effectively signed a "death warrant" for an Iranian asylum seeker.

The party's South Australian refugees spokeswoman, Kate Reynolds, says she has been told that an Iranian man was secretly moved from the Baxter detention centre to Perth last night for deportation.

Ms Reynolds says the man's lawyers are angry they were not told and believe the man still had legal options to obtain residency.

She says it is likely the man, who fled Iran after converting to Christianity, has already been flown out of Australia.

"It's very dangerous to be a Christian convert and to be sent back to Iran," she said.

"We are particularly concerned for this man because we believe he's been unrepresented through some of the legal process, so he's not in fact exhausted all of the legal avenues open to him."
9 posted on 04/07/2004 10:41:52 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn; VxH
Good post by VxH at:

Amazing, the effects of one, single, piece of tape... placed by a bungling burglar.

No Tape = no Watergate.
No Watergate = no "Carter years".
No Carter = no Islamic Revolution
No Islamic Revolution = no Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan
No Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan = No Osama, No Iran/Iraq war, no Saddam... And so the pinball bounces.

Now, imagine the game proceeding with the fingers of Ol
"Hanoi Johny" on the flippers.

20-20 hindsight.

That's why I'll be voting for W.
10 posted on 04/07/2004 10:51:25 PM PDT by F14 Pilot (John Fedayeen Kerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: All
Diplomats: Iran Plans New Reactor in June

Wednesday April 7, 2004 4:46 PM
Associated Press Writer

VIENNA, Austria (AP) - Iran will start building a nuclear reactor in June that can produce weapons-grade plutonium, diplomats said Wednesday. Although Tehran insists the heavy water facility is for research, the decision heightens concern about its nuclear ambitions.

One diplomat said the planned 40-megawatt reactor could produce enough plutonium for a nuclear weapon each year, an amount experts commonly say is 8.8 pounds.

The diplomats told The Associated Press that Iran informed the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency last year of its plans to build a reactor, and Iranian officials have previously suggested the reactor was already being built.

But the diplomats said construction had not yet begun and that Iranian officials announced the June start date for the first time during talks Tuesday in Tehran with Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency.

With Iran open about its desire to build the facility, the diplomats said the Iranian decision to go ahead with the plan was not an overt example of Tehran backtracking on pledges to dispel suspicions it is pursuing nuclear weapons.

Still, it ``sends a bad signal at a time all eyes are on Iran,'' one of the diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

International scrutiny of Iran's nuclear program has been growing since the IAEA discovered last year that Tehran had not disclosed large-scale efforts to enrich uranium, which can be used in nuclear warheads.

Traces of weapons-grade uranium found by inspectors and evidence of suspicious experiments led to a series of critical resolutions by the IAEA's board of governors.

The resolutions stopped short of forcing Iran to go before the U.N. Security Council, as demanded by the United States. But if ElBaradei gives a negative progress report on Iran when the IAEA board of governors meets in June - just as construction of the reactor is getting under way - Tehran could face action by the security council.

Iran argues that it needs the reactor to produce radioisotopes for medical research. But spent fuel rods from the planned reactor can be reprocessed to produce plutonium - also used for nuclear warheads - although the facility would be subject to IAEA inspections and other controls intended to make sure no plutonium is created.

Still, the United States and other countries may seize on Iran's plans as further evidence that the Islamic Republic is not serious about quelling suspicions about its intentions.

``We feel strongly that there is no need for indigenous heavy water in Iran,'' said a Western diplomat, also speaking on condition of anonymity. ``It's not necessary and highly suspicious.''

The reactor site is at Arak, next to an existing heavy water production plant. It is to replace a reactor using non-weapons grade enriched uranium that the Iranians mothballed, saying it was outmoded and lacked fuel.

Because enrichment can be used both to generate power and make nuclear warheads, Iran has said it has suspended all enrichment activities to prove its peaceful intentions. It also cannot buy enriched fuel on legal markets because of international suspicions about its intentions.

Seeking to counter accusations of continued deceit, Iran on Tuesday pledged to deliver a complete dossier to the IAEA detailing all its present and future nuclear activities by the end of April, ElBaradei said.

``We have agreed on an action plan with a timetable with how to move forward on the major outstanding issues,'' he said after meeting with Hasan Rowhani, secretary of Iran's powerful National Security Council.

Critics say Iran reneged on commitments to win international trust as IAEA inspectors discovered evidence of past experiments that could be used to develop weapons.

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 contradict its pledge to suspend enrichment. But Britain, France and Germany - which have stymied past U.S. attempts to castigate Iran - said the 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.,1280,-3950837,00.html
11 posted on 04/07/2004 11:24:04 PM PDT by F14 Pilot (John Fedayeen Kerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: DoctorZIn; McGavin999; freedom44; nuconvert; Eala; AdmSmith; dixiechick2000; onyx; Pro-Bush; ...
To Iran, the unrest next door is a double-edged sword

For the Star-Ledger
Thursday, April 08, 2004

TEHRAN, Iran -- Iranian officials are eyeing the unrest in neighboring Iraq with a mixture of feelings: a sense of vindication that Iraq's U.S.-led occupiers are in trouble, unable to fulfill their plans to reshape the Middle East, and alarm at the escalation of violence.

"If your neighbor's house is on fire, it means that your home is also in danger," said Abbas Maleki, a former deputy foreign minister and Tehran political insider.

As clashes between Shi'a Muslims and occupation troops continued for a fourth day in southern Iraq, and U.S. Marines battled Sunni Muslims in Fallujah, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazzi yesterday urged restraint on the part of the U.S. military. "'It is a strategic mistake if the U.S. thought it would deal with people with the same tactics (that) toppled Saddam Hussein," Kharazzi told reporters.

Earlier this week, foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said on Iranian state television: "The responsibility for the continued insecurity in Iraq lies with the occupation forces. We demand the rapid departure of occupation forces and the return of full power to Iraqis."

The United States and Iran have been locked in a cold war for a quarter-century, since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution and the ensuing seizure of the U.S. Embassy by Iranian radicals, who held staff members hostage for more than a year.

Though Tehran was pleased to see its old enemy, Saddam Hussein, ousted by U.S.-led forces, Iranian officials have condemned the subsequent occupation.

A headline Monday in the conservative daily Jomhouri Eslami screamed: "The military forces of the occupation have created a bloody mess."

Critics in the United States and Israel have begun blaming Iran for the uprising led by followers of firebrand Shi'a preacher Muqtada al-Sadr in Baghdad and some southern Iraqi cities. Iranians deny accusations that their clerical government has had any role in stirring up Iraq's Shi'as.

"Iran doesn't want to see a turbulent atmosphere in Iraq," Maleki said in an interview. "It doesn't help Iranian national interests."

Indeed, Iranian officials and humanitarian agencies had just put the finishing touches on plans to repatriate thousands of Iraqi refugees living in southwestern Iran when the latest crisis broke out.

To the dismay of Iranian officials eager to unburden themselves of the Iraqis, the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees announced Tuesday it was suspending convoys that were returning Iraqis to their homeland. "Security incidents and tensions in southern Iraq" prompted the decision, High Commissioner spokesman Peter Kessler said at a news briefing in Geneva.

Sadr, the uprising's figurehead, hails from the same activist clerical tradition as Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of Iran's 1979 revolution.

"We are not hostile to America, but we are the enemy of occupation," the 31-year-old Sadr said in a Feb. 23 interview with the Iranian state news agency. "I only want a government based on freedom and rule by the people. Obviously such a government will be Islamic."

During his first-ever trip outside of Iraq, Sadr took the opportunity to visit Iran, where he reportedly met with high-level clerics. Critics point to this trip as evidence of Iran's backing of Sadr, but analysts point out that every Iraqi leader who travels to Iran -- including Governing Council member Ahmad Chalabi, a favorite of the Pentagon -- gets the red carpet treatment as Tehran attempts to subtly curry favor and influence with Baghdad's new political players.

For years Iran armed, bankrolled and hosted the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, whose representative on the Governing Council, Abdel Aziz Hakim, is among the most powerful figures in Iraq.

Almost all of Iraq's political and religious leaders -- including Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Hossein al-Sistani, Iraq's leading Shi'a cleric, and secular pro-American Kurdish leaders Jalal Talabani and Massoud Barzani -- maintain offices in Iran.

"Iran has had very close contacts with all of the groups who opposed Saddam Hussein's regime," Maleki said. "Iraqi Kurds, Sunnis, Arabs and Shi'as all have had good relations with Iran."

This week, Iraq Interior Minister Nouri al-Badran met with his Iranian counterparts in order to encourage Iranian investment in Iraq, according to the official news agency. Each day, thousands of Iranian pilgrims cross the border to visit the Shi'a shrine cities of Najaf and Karbala.

Several Iranians were among those killed in clashes Tuesday night, according to Iranian news accounts, prompting officials to shut the border.

Even conservative commentator Amir Taheri, an exiled Iranian opponent of the clerical regime, wrote in the New York Post that Iran's clerics view Sadr as a loose cannon. "Iran still regards Sadr as a temperamental egomaniac who might not be able to play a major role in a delicate anti- U.S. power play," he wrote.
12 posted on 04/08/2004 2:03:26 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John Fedayeen Kerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: F14 Pilot
Thanks for the Ping and Link!!!!:-)
13 posted on 04/08/2004 2:06:03 AM PDT by Defender2 (Defending Our Bill of Rights, Our Constitution, Our Country and Our Freedom!!!!)
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To: F14 Pilot
Sounds like more Kerry supporters!
Jomhouri Eslami screamed: "The military forces of the occupation have created a bloody mess."
14 posted on 04/08/2004 2:29:40 AM PDT by XHogPilot (9-11, Never Again, Never Forget)
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To: XHogPilot
Actually they support Kerry!
15 posted on 04/08/2004 2:32:32 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John Fedayeen Kerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: F14 Pilot; DoctorZIn
Freedom For Iranians
16 posted on 04/08/2004 4:05:37 AM PDT by downer911
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To: nuconvert; Eala; freedom44; XHogPilot; Happy2BMe; dixiechick2000

This patch was developed in the USA for Iranian F-14 crews during the mid-1970s, but, considered "too unserious" it was never accepted "in service".

17 posted on 04/08/2004 5:57:11 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John Fedayeen Kerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran may fall off Iraq tightrope

By Martin Sieff
Washington (UPI) April 7, 2004

The explosion of violence in Iraq sparked by the U.S. move to crack down on Moqtada Sadr and his militia offers both opportunity and danger for neighboring Iran, and could undermine the growing secular, democratic movement there.
Reports are emerging claiming -- predictably but probably not inaccurately -- that Sadr, the firebrand young 30-year-old Iranian cleric and his Mehdi Army have been strongly supported both financially and with weapons by Iran's Revolutionary Guard and the Lebanon-based Shiite Hezbollah, or Party of God guerrilla organization with which the Guards are closely allied.

A former Iranian intelligence officer identified only as Hajj Saeedi told the London-based Al-Sharq al-Aswat newspaper in an interview published Saturday that before the latest uprising Iran had successfully infiltrated hundreds of agents from its religious movement, the Pasdaran, into Iraq through Kurdish areas. Saeedi also claimed that Iran was subsidizing underground operations in Iraq "to the tune of $70 million a month," the paper said.

And on Wednesday, The Washington Times cited U.S. "military sources with access to recent intelligence reports" as saying that Sadr was "being supported by Iran and its terror surrogate Hezbollah." Sadr "has traveled to Iran and met with its hard-line Shiite clerics," the paper said. It reported that according to U.S. military sources, Sadr was also "being aided directly by Iran's Revolutionary Guard."

Given Sadr's fierce and unrelenting anti-U.S. position and rhetoric, and the Revolutionary Guards' long history of extremely close and highly successful cooperation with Hezbollah in Lebanon, such a relationship appears extremely likely. But there is much more to the story than that.

First, the Iranian hard-liners, including the Revolutionary Guards and their leading supporters, Supreme Guide Ali Kamenei and former President Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, have often been at odds, and occasionally have been reined in by more cautious forces led by President Mohammed Khatemi.

Khatemi, and his more cautious pragmatists -- it may be misleading to call them moderate -- were very much in the saddle during and after the three-week conquest of Iraq by U.S. and allied forces a year ago. American military prowess was so overwhelming that Iranian leaders, as they discussed in their own media, were genuinely alarmed that U.S. leaders, boosted by their easy success, would turn on them next.

Since then, public Iranian diplomacy has been and so far continues to be highly cautious towards the United States while seeking closer ties with the European Union. Indeed, on Tuesday, International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohammed ElBaradei announced in Tehran that Iran had agreed to a timetable for international inspections of its nuclear facilities.

This was a diplomatic coup for Britain, Germany and France. All three nations have urged Iran to accept such a deal and Tehran has taken their calls seriously. For Iranian leaders appear to regard continued warm and stable ties with major European nations as a crucial diplomatic defense against being attacked by the United States.

Also, Tehran has been working closely with Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the Iranian-born religious leader of Iraq's Shiites, who comprise 65 percent of the total population. And Sistani, like the Tehran government, has been cautiously following a policy of dealing with the United States and the U.S. Coalition Provision Authority, while taking independent stands, but so far avoiding any direct clashes.

However, in recent weeks, there have been signs that more aggressive elements have been on the rise in Tehran's governing circles regarding Iraq. The main reason for this, Middle East diplomatic sources said, was Iran's concern -- and anger -- over its leaders' belief that hundreds of millions of dollars was already flowing in business kickbacks to Ahmed Chalabi, head of the Iraqi National Congress and that this money was expected to be used to fund efforts to spread American-style democracy in Iran and destabilize the structure of the Islamic Republic there.

However, amid these swirling murky waters of claim and counter-claim, it appears clear that the drama of events within Iraq itself is the central dynamic driving events. Sadr's Mehdi Army only rose up after U.S. forces directed by CPA chief administrator L. Paul Bremer sought to close his newspaper and crack down on him.

As United Press International reported Tuesday, top civilian policymakers in the Pentagon did not take Sadr seriously, even if they were in possession of the claims of Iranian support that The Washington Times and Al-Sharq al-Aswat have reported.

The scale of the Sadr uprising and the enthusiasm with which Sunni Islamist guerrillas have made it a common cause certainly took the Bush administration totally by surprise. It has been an article of faith in White House and Pentagon civilian circles that Sadr's Shiite extremists in southern Iraq and the Sunni ones in central Iraq would never find themselves in agreement with each other.

But they have. And the fact should not have come as a surprise at all. For the Shiite Hezbollah in Lebanon has long enjoyed excellent relations with the Sunni Islamic Jihad and Hamas, also known as the Islamic Resistance Movement, in their fierce intifada campaigns against Israel.

Far from cynically, secretly and single-mindedly building up Sadr and his Mehdi Army, Iran has followed a complex and generally cautious multi-pronged policy towards Iraq and its U.S. occupiers over the past year.

The real danger for the overstretched and undermanned U.S. forces now facing major risings throughout the center and south of Iraq is that Iran may be propelled into a far more confrontational and unified position that could lead to a direct clash or even full-scale war with the United States.

That could happen if the current uprising does spectacularly well, which does not at the moment appear likely. However, a much more likely and potentially more dangerous scenario would be if U.S. forces kill Sadr and he then becomes a charismatic martyr figure among Shiite believers, whose religious culture has also thrived on such symbolism of heroic sacrifice and suffering. Then events could really get out of control on all sides.
18 posted on 04/08/2004 6:27:36 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
No Other Option

April 08, 2004
The Wall Street Journal
Larry Diamond

In the past 10 days, the U.S.-led effort to rebuild Iraq as a stable, democratic state has fallen into crisis. The most alarming aspect is not the Baathist-inspired violence in Fallujah, bloody and horrific though that fighting has been. This has been a limited uprising from the minority Sunni section of the country, many of whose politicians have now entered the peaceful political game. It does not threaten the overall viability of the political transition.

The Shiite uprising that began a few days ago is another story. Scholars and historians of Iraq have long warned that an uprising among the Shiite would spell doom for the coalition, and for any hope of peaceful transition. We are not yet facing a generalized Shiite resistance. Rather, we are locked in a confrontation with a ruthless young thug, Muqtada al-Sadr, who leads an Iranian-backed, fascist political movement that spouts a shallow mix of Islamist and nationalist slogans in a bid to conquer power.

Among most Shiites -- including, crucially, Iraq's most widely revered religious leader, Ayatollah Sistani -- Sadr is a reviled figure. A crude man with no religious qualifications or positive political program, he has used coercion and intimidation as a substitute for genuine religious authority. Yet since the coalition began a crackdown on his organization 10 days ago, Sadr has maneuvered brilliantly to portray himself as the leader of a broader nationalist and Islamist insurgency. Now, growing numbers of marginalized young Iraqi men -- including some Sunni elements -- are rallying to his cause.

If we do not confront this new resistance in a politically agile and militarily forceful and adept manner, everything we have done to help Iraqis rebuild their country as a democracy could unravel in a matter of weeks.

* * *
The democratic transition is moving forward in many inspiring ways. With U.S. assistance, civil society is organizing, political parties are beginning to mobilize, and hundreds of "democracy dialogues" are discussing the country's constitutional structure and future. Two U.N. teams are consulting with Iraqis on how to structure the interim government that will assume power on June 30, and how to administer the elections for a transitional government, due by December or January. However, elections can only go forward and the transition succeed if the agents and means of violence are brought under control.

Underlying the current upsurge in violence has been the problem posed by heavily armed militias in the Shiite south. Loyal to political parties and religious militants; riven by factional divides; determined to impose an Iranian-style theocratic dictatorship; and lavishly armed, funded, and encouraged by various power factions in Iran, these Islamist militias (as well as Sunni and Kurdish militias in the north) have been casting a long shadow over the political process in Iraq. In many provinces, the militia fighters outnumber and certainly outgun the new Iraqi armed forces.

Unless the militias are demobilized and disarmed, a transition to democracy in Iraq will become impossible. Rather, at every step of the way -- from the formation of parties, to the registration of voters, to the election campaign, to the casting and counting of votes -- the democratic process will be desecrated by fear and fraud.

Key officials within the Coalition Provisional Authority have begun to recognize the urgency of this issue. Over the last three months, a plan has been negotiated for the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of all the major militias. But this plan, which relies heavily on financial and employment incentives for voluntary compliance by the militias, can only work if all the militias are disarmed. Those forces that will not negotiate and cooperate must be confronted and disarmed by force.

This brings us to the events of the last week, to the person of Muqtada al-Sadr, and to the biggest, most ruthless militia that stands indefatigably outside any process of voluntary disarmament. Sadr knows how to mobilize and intimidate, and in recent months, his militia -- the al-Mahdi Army -- has been growing alarmingly in size, muscle and daring. They have seized public buildings, beaten up professors, taken over classrooms, forced women to wear the hijab, and set up illegal sharia courts and imposed their own brutal penalties. All of this street action and thuggery is meant to create the sense of an unstoppable force, and to strike absolute fear into the hearts of people who would be so naïve as to think they could shape public policy and power relations by peaceful, democratic means.

In recent weeks, Sadr's propaganda, both in his oral statements and through his weekly newspaper, Hawza, have become increasingly incendiary, propagating the most outrageous lies (for example, that the U.S. was responsible for recent deadly bombings) deliberately designed to provoke popular violence. On March 28, after months of costly delay, the coalition finally began to move against him. Ambassador Paul Bremer ordered the closure of Hawza, and Sadr reacted by ordering his followers to rise up violently. Perhaps in response, the coalition ordered the arrest on April 4 of a senior Sadr aide, Mustafa al-Yacoubi, and 24 others -- including Sadr himself -- for the murder last year of an ayatollah, Abdel Majid al-Khoei.

Now there is no turning back. If any kind of decent, democratic and peaceful political order is to be possible in Iraq, the coalition will need to arrest Sadr, crush his attempt to seize power by force, and dismantle his Mahdi army.

We are now embarked on a dangerous and bloody campaign in which, tragically, many more American, other coalition, and Iraqi lives will be lost. But if we do not confront this military challenge now -- while we work to rebuild a broader consensus among Iraqi political forces on the rules of the game and the shape of the new political system -- we will lose the second war for Iraq, with frightening implications not only for the peace and stability of that country and the wider region, but for our own national security.

Mr. Diamond, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, has served as a senior adviser to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad.
19 posted on 04/08/2004 7:51:33 AM PDT 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; ...
No Other Option

April 08, 2004
The Wall Street Journal
Larry Diamond
20 posted on 04/08/2004 7:52:52 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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