Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Iranian Alert -- April 9, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 4.9.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 04/08/2004 9:00:48 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
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-34 next last
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 04/08/2004 9:00:49 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: All

Donate Here By Secure Server

2 posted on 04/08/2004 9:02:08 PM PDT by Support Free Republic (Hi Mom! Hi Dad!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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 04/08/2004 9:02:46 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Iraq: What Will Be Iran’s Role In The Future?

Thursday, 08 April 2004
By Golnaz Esfandiari

Since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, Iran has frequently stressed its desire for good ties with Iraq. Iran was one of the first countries in the region last year to recognize the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council. But not everyone fully believes Tehran's public pronouncements. The United States, for one, has accused Iran of meddling in Iraq's internal affairs. What are Iran's intentions in Iraq and what role will the country play in Iraq's future?

Prague, 8 April 2004 (RFE/RL) -- Iran did not mourn the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003 at the hands of a U.S.-led military offensive. Iran is the only country against which Iraq has used chemical weapons.

Iraq's invasion of Iran in the 1980s sparked a near decade-long war that cost millions of lives.

Since the fall of Saddam a year ago, the Iranian government has frequently expressed its readiness to participate in rebuilding Iraq. But U.S. officials repeatedly accuse Iran of interfering in Iraq's affairs.

Speaking yesterday, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said: "We know the Iranians have been meddling [in Iraq] and it is unhelpful to have neighboring countries meddling in the affairs of Iraq, and I think the Iraqi people are not going to want to be dominated by a neighboring country, any neighboring country. No country wants to be dominated by its neighbors."

Analysts have widely differing views on Iran's intentions in Iraq.

Davoud Hermidas Bavand is a professor of international law in Tehran. Bavand sees Iran's influence as largely positive.

"Iran's intention is developing a neighborly relationship with Iraq in different areas in economic and commercial term as well as in political context," Bavand said.

Bavand added that the two countries should settle several open issues relating to the war, such as compensation and border issues.

Michael Rubin, a resident fellow at the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute, a Washington policy institute, recently returned from eight months in Iraq. He sees things differently.

"I believe the Iranians have bad intentions with regard to Iraq,” Rubin said. “Of course, Iran wanted to see Saddam Hussein gone, but they don't want to see a stable democratic country on their border all the more so because if the clerics in Iraq have freedom of speech then [they] can challenge the religious legitimacy not just the political legitimacy of the Iranian hierarchy."

Other observers say Iran does not have a consistent policy toward Iraq. Various groups are said to have different agendas, while the government has pursued closer ties in some specific policy areas.

Alireza Nourizadeh is a London-based journalist and the director of the Center for Arab-Iranian Studies (CAIS). Nourizadeh said, indeed, different factions in Iran have different aims.

"We have to consider the different factions with their own agendas in Iraq -- for instance the so-called conservatives. They do not want to see a secular state in Iraq. The reformers, of course, want the Iraqi experience to end with success because they believe that if there is a democratic government in Iraq at the end of the day it's going to help their status in Iran and it's going to help them to have more influence in the power struggle," Nourizadeh said.

Some observers say Iran is playing a double game in Iraq, being helpful in some areas while causing problems in others. Bavand, however, said ultimately a stable and peaceful Iraq is in Iran's interest.

"That's possible, but I do not think it's the general policy of the government as a whole. There is no doubt in Iran there are different factions which assume different positions regarding Afghanistan and possibly in Iraq, but if we take into consideration the general position or a strategy of a country, I do believe Iran has no choice but to adapt a positive view toward the socio-political situation in Iraq and work out for the better relationship with the future government of Iraq," Bavand said.

The U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority -- which heads Iraq's interim government -- appears wary of expanding religious ties between Iraq and Iran. Iran is a Shi’a Muslim state -- the same sect of Islam shared by around 60 percent of Iraq's population. The next government in Baghdad will most probably be controlled by Shi’as.

Added to that, the U.S. is now struggling to contain a deadly Shi’a insurgency in parts of the capital Baghdad, as well as in the south and east of the country.

Some reports have gone so far as to accuse Iran of actively supporting the leader of the insurgency, Shi’a cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Al-Sadr is a follower of Ayatollah Kazem al-Haeri, a conservative cleric based in Iranian religious center of Qom. Al-Sadr visited Iran in June and was received by Iran's influential former president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

The belief that al-Sadr is supported by Iran is shared by many people within and outside of Iraq -- but so far no hard evidence about such support has been made public.

Rubin from the American Enterprise Institute said that, in his personal opinion, Sadr receives more than spiritual support from Iran.

"On 5 April, when the problems broke out with regard to Muqtada al-Sadr and the coalition forces in Iraq, it was Ayatollah al-Haeri who issued threats to the American presence in Iraq. Muqtada al-Sadr doesn't have a lot of grassroots support. He's got some supporters, but I just came back from eight months in Iraq. I watched as Muqtada al-Sadr chartered buses, gave [people] hot meals and such. That takes money, as does Muqtada al-Sadr's radio station and such like this, and they're getting that money through Iran."

The Iranian government has been careful in its comments on the insurgency. While keeping its distance from al-Sadr, Iran expressed strong "regret" [5 April] over the deaths and injuries caused by clashes between al-Sadr's militants and coalition forces.

Some observers point out that Iran has closer ties with one of al-Sadr's rivals, Abdul al-Aziz al-Hakim, a member of the Iraqi Governing Council and head of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq.

One clear area of mutual benefit is in economic and commercial relations. In recent months, Iraqi dignitaries have made several officials visits to Tehran. Both sides have talked about future plans such as the building of a cross-border oil pipeline.

Nourizadeh said better economic ties are strongly in Iran's interest.

"I think if the Iranians pursue a policy of supporting the new government, if they stop intervening in Iraq's internal affairs, then I'm sure we're going to have very good relations and then Iranians can use their influence in order to bring stability to Iraq and prosperity to Iraq's people and they can participate in rebuilding Iraq," Nourizadeh said.
4 posted on 04/08/2004 9:04:58 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Why the Iraqi Uprising?

by Robert Spencer
Posted Apr 8, 2004

As of this writing, several Shi'ite areas of Baghdad have declared themselves free of the American occupiers, and Shi'ite cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr appears to be in command of an army made up of thousands of Iraqis (including some Sunnis), with backing from Iran. American forces are facing their worst crisis since the toppling of Saddam.

If Al-Sadr prevails, Iraq or the portion of it that he rules will be governed by Islamic law, like the Islamic Republic of Iran. This prospect doesn't seem to have dampened his popular appeal in Iraq, despite the fact that in Iran itself the mullahs are trying to stifle a formidable democracy movement.

How could Al-Sadr have developed such a commanding movement? What happened to all the Iraqis who were supposed to be thirsting for democracy?

The problem is not only that Iraq has no democratic tradition. President Bush has pointed repeatedly to the examples of Japan and Germany after World War II: two countries that had no democratic traditions, and where plenty of naysayers were predicting that democracies couldn't be established. They were wrong then, he says, and they're wrong now.

But after World War II, both German National Socialism and the State Shinto that gave rise to Japanese militarism were dead ideologies. An open Nazi in 1946 Berlin wouldn't have made many friends; likewise, after Hirohito declared that he wasn't really a god, it would have been tough to carry on his struggle. But the radical Islam of Al-Sadr and others like him has not been discredited in Iraq or around the Islamic world today. Far from it.

It is likewise out of focus to assume that Al-Sadr's movement takes its impetus simply from the resentment that any occupying force will arouse in a proud people. Here the President's analogies are helpful. After World War II, long-standing hatreds were overcome by overwhelming empirical evidence of American good will, reinforced daily in Germany and Japan. Not that all was smooth sailing from the beginning -- and even Hollywood noticed. Humphrey Bogart's little-known Tokyo Joe records a largely forgotten period of postwar Japanese history, during which the American occupying forces were viewed with considerable suspicion, as well as overt and covert opposition from groups that couldn't get over thinking of them as the enemy. But eventually this melted away.

So far Western largesse has not generated this good will in Iraq, but maybe it will, given time. After all, the occupation of Japan lasted for eight years. But to say that radical Islam has not been discredited is the same as saying that political Islam is still potent, and that we ignore it at our own peril. Yet despite daily confirmations of this from around the globe, American officials have remained reluctant to acknowledge that Islam has any political dimension at all. When National Guardsman and Muslim convert Ryan Anderson was arrested in February on suspicion of trying to pass information to al Qaeda, a Guard spokesman, Lt. Col. Stephen Barger, was asked about his religion. He answered: "Religious preferences are an individual right and responsibility, and I really can't get into it."

Yes, but religious preferences are not solely an individual's business; Barger should have known better -- or been allowed to speak honestly about what he knew. From its inception, Islam has presented itself not just as a religion in the Judeo-Christian sense of the term, but as a comprehensive set of laws for the ordering of society, including political life. Pious Muslims generally believe these laws to be the laws of Allah himself, and therefore immediately superior to any societal structures arrived at through elections: you don't vote on the law of God.

Secularism entered the Islamic world only as a Western import, and has always encountered considerable resistance on Islamic grounds -- most notably from radical Muslim theorists who laid the intellectual and theological groundwork for today's jihadist terror groups. The Egyptian Sayyid Qutb, executed by the strongman Nasser in 1966 as a threat to his relatively secularist regime and revered by radical Muslims around the world today as a martyr, heaped contempt on Western notions of freedom as illusory. True freedom, he insisted, could come only from obedience to the laws of Allah, not from the constructs of the secularists, which were ipso facto idolatrous -- and it was every Muslim's duty to wage war against these idolatrous regimes until Allah's laws were obeyed.

Al-Sadr is proceeding from the same assumptions. Until such assumptions are taken seriously, there will be more and more Al-Sadrs.

Mr. Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and the author of Onward Muslim Soldiers: How Jihad Still Threatens America and the West (Regnery Publishing -- a HUMAN EVENTS sister company) and Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World's Fastest Growing Faith (Encounter Books).
5 posted on 04/08/2004 9:05:50 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn

6 posted on 04/08/2004 9:07:14 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn

With some 85 days to go before the U.S. transfers authority to a still undetermined Iraqi governing body, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld told the press in Washington on 7 April that the coalition remains committed to establishing a free and democratic Iraq. "The United States will stay the course, we will stay until the task is complete. As President Bush has said, we did not charge hundreds of miles into the heart of Iraq and pay a bitter cost of casualties to liberate 25 million people, only to retreat before a band of thugs and assassins," Radio Free Iraq quoted Rumsfeld as saying.

Coalition forces endured a rough week, battling militants in at least nine Iraqi cities in recent days. Much of the fighting in the south related to a display of force by radical Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and his Imam Al-Mahdi Army. Al-Sadr's supporters demonstrated for days last week in Baghdad and in the south following the coalition's 28 March closure of the cleric's "Al-Hawzah" newspaper on charges of incitement to violence (see "RFE/RL Iraq Report," 2 April 2004). Tensions escalated with the coalition's arrest of al-Sadr aide Mustafa al-Ya'qubi on 3 April at his home in Al-Najaf. An Iraqi court has charged al-Ya'qubi with complicity in the murder of Iraqi Shi'ite Ayatollah Abd al-Majid al-Khoi, who was viciously murdered at the Imam Ali Mosque in Al-Najaf on 10 April 2003 (see "RFE/RL Newsline 11 April 2003).

International media at the time linked al-Sadr and his followers to the ayatollah's murder. Al-Ya'qubi is not the first al-Sadr aide to be arrested by coalition forces. Amar Yassiri was arrested on suspicion of involvement in a 12 October attack on U.S. forces in Baghdad that killed two soldiers (see "RFE/RL Iraq Report," 8 December 2003), and al-Sadr's men have been linked to a 24 August attack on the Al-Najaf office of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq that killed three SCIRI bodyguards. Al-Sadr supporters subsequently clashed with coalition troops in Al-Amarah, Baghdad, Al-Basrah, Kirkuk, Al-Kufah, Al-Najaf, and Al-Nasiriyah on 4 April. In some cases, the militants took over police and government buildings, Al-Jazeera reported. Clashes on the following day left some 50 Iraqis, eight U.S. troops, and a Salvadoran soldier dead, AP reported on 5 April. In Al-Najaf, some 28 Iraqis were killed in the fighting with coalition troops and more than 200 were wounded.

Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) head L. Paul Bremer responded quickly on 5 April, saying that al-Sadr's attempts to foment violence in Iraq would not be tolerated, RFE/RL reported. Al-Sadr "is effectively attempting to establish his authority in the place of the legitimate authority of the Iraqi government and the coalition and, as I said yesterday, we will not tolerate it," Bremer said. CPA spokesman Dan Senor later announced to a 5 April press briefing in Baghdad ( that an Iraqi judge had issued an arrest warrant for al-Sadr as well. The warrant was reportedly issued several months ago on charges relating to the cleric's involvement in the 10 April 2003 assassination al-Khoi, but never executed. Senor said that an Iraqi judge investigating the assassination had linked some 25 individuals to the killing, 13 of whom are now in Iraqi custody. The judge was scheduled to brief the media on his investigation on 7 April, but it is unclear whether the briefing was held or not.

Clashes continued on 6 April as Shi'ite militiamen fought Italian soldiers in Al-Nasiriyah. The Italian news agency Ansa quoted an Italian official as saying that about 15 Iraqi civilians and Iraqi soldiers were killed in the clashes. CNN reported on 6 April that some 36 Iraqis were killed overnight in Baghdad during the ongoing fighting between coalition forces and al-Sadr supporters in the area of the city named after the cleric's deceased father, Iraqi Shi'ite Grand Ayatollah Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr (see next item). Meanwhile, al-Sadr vowed in a 6 April statement to continue his resistance to the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq, Al-Jazeera reported on the same day. "The uprising will continue and we will not negotiate unless they fulfill our demands, which are a withdrawal from populated areas and the release of prisoners," al-Sadr aide Qais al-Ghazali said. The aide read a statement written by al-Sadr, who said: "This insurrection shows that the Iraqi people are not satisfied with the occupation and they will not accept oppression." Addressing U.S. President Bush, al-Sadr added: "I ask who is against democracy? Is it the one who is advocating peaceful resistance or the one who is bombing the nation and shedding blood?" Al-Ghazali also told KUNA on 7 April that al-Sadr stands ready to sacrifice his life in his confrontation with U.S. troops, the news agency reported. Al-Ghazali added that al-Sadr, who was reported to have left the Al-Kufa Mosque where he was holed up this week, has now taken refuge at the office of his deceased father near Al-Rawda Al-Haidariyah in Al-Najaf.

Meanwhile, the Shi'ite leadership in Al-Najaf has been slow to respond to al-Sadr's actions. Beirut-based LBC Satellite TV reported on 5 April that Shi'ite Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani called on al-Sadr to remain calm and practice self-restraint. International media further reported this week that al-Sistani would issue a more detailed statement on the unrest but it is unclear when that statement would come. Of particular concern is whether al-Sistani will issue a statement ahead of the weekend observance of Arbain, in which thousands of worshippers are expected to gather in Al-Najaf. One thing is clear though: al-Sadr has already rejected the calls, however meager, by the Al-Hawzah Shi'ite seminary, which al-Sistani heads, to stop the acts of violence and seizure of government buildings committed by his supporters. Since al-Khoi's assassination in April 2003, reports have sporadically circulated about a so-called power struggle between al-Sadr and Ayatollah al-Sistani. Fighting broke out at least twice in Karbala in October when individuals loyal to al-Sadr attacked supporters of the moderate al-Sistani (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 16 October 2003).

It's unlikely however, that al-Sistani, the most-powerful and most-respected cleric in Iraq, would view al-Sadr as a serious threat. Rather, al-Sistani appears to be waiting for the situation to evolve between al-Sadr and the United States before he takes a position. Once he does so, as demonstrated by earlier incidents, his word will be final, and Iraq's Shi'a population will uphold his decision -- whatever it may be. There is no doubt that al-Sadr's actions have placed al-Sistani in a difficult position. Al-Sadr's father was a respected cleric in Iraq, and while Muqtada has not followed in his father's footsteps and is, by all accounts, a low-level cleric with little theocratic training, al-Sistani might take pause over al-Sadr's family lineage in any decision he makes. However, al-Sistani is also considered a wise, and perhaps shrewd, man who likely has little patience for the instability that al-Sadr offers.

Moreover, it should be noted that al-Sistani was a student of Grand Ayatollah Abu Gharib al-Qassim al-Khoi, the father of Abd al-Majid al-Khoi, whose killing al-Sadr is now linked to. Both al-Sistani and al-Sadr have links to the Iranian regime, and conversely, the Iranian regime likely has a role in supporting al-Sadr's movement (see "RFE/RL Iraq Report," 4 July 2003), as the Iranians would likely view any destabilization in Iraq in a positive light. In an interview published in September (see "RFE/RL Iraq Report," 25 September 2003), al-Sadr was asked whether he represented an extension of Ayatollah Khomeini's revolution. He responded: "I am the extension of my own reference, that of my father. If the two lines are similar, which is a fact, then our goals are also similar. There is no harm in my being an extension of the Khomeini revolution." For his part, al-Sistani has said that he has no desire for Iraq to emulate the Iranian theocratic experiment. (Kathleen Ridolfo)

source: RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT Vol. 7, No. 13, 8 April 2004
7 posted on 04/08/2004 11:29:44 PM PDT by AdmSmith
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: freedom44; F14 Pilot; nuconvert

Power-hungry cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's actions over the past year have been nothing short of schizophrenic, for lack of a better term. After being linked to the assassination of Ayatollah al-Khoi, which some media characterized as a "power struggle" and alternatively, as the "settling of an old score" between the two men, al-Sadr established his Imam Al-Mahdi Army in July to "maintain peace and security in Iraq and protect the leaders and religious authorities [at the Hawzah Al-Ilmiyah Shi'ite seminary] in Al-Najaf and elsewhere."

Al-Sadr frequently referred to himself as an "enemy" of the U.S. but maintained for several months that his army would not resist the U.S. presence in Iraq, contending, "It is only to maintain security." He claimed that the army would not be armed, and would not be funded, but later statements by him and his followers contended that Iraqis would donate money to the army, and will bring their own guns. As recently as one month ago, Shaykh Hasan al-Zarkani, the chief of al-Sadr's Information Office and an aide to the cleric claimed in a statement to London's "Al-Hayat" that the Al-Mahdi Army was not an armed militia, the daily reported on 11 March. "We are an ideological army, not armed militias," he said. "All we have are no more than small guns that do not constitute an army. We have no financial resources, manpower, training camps, or any facilities to build an army."

Last October, al-Sadr declared that he had established an Islamic state in Iraq. He claimed to have established ministries of Awqaf (religious endowments), culture, finance, foreign affairs, information, interior, justice, and the "ministry for the propagation of virtue and the prevention of vice," Al-Jazeera reported on 11 October. His followers subsequently took over two buildings in Al-Najaf for al-Sadr's Interior Ministry and Foreign Ministry.

Three days later, he told reporters that his government had found "credibility and support" abroad. A self-described enemy of the United States, the cleric appeared to appeal for better relations between his group and the U.S. in November, when he called on the coalition to "allow me to attend your meetings, seminars, camps, and churches. I am looking forward to this, and I have amicable feelings toward you. The Iraqis only want good for the Americans. Iraq's only enemy is destructive Saddam and his followers," (see "RFE/RL Iraq Report," 7 November 2003).

More recently, al-Sadr has rejected any role for the United Nations in Iraq. He contended during a Friday-prayer sermon on 23 January that the United Nations is no more qualified than Iraqi religious authorities when it comes to running elections in Iraq, Al-Manar television reported the same day, and called on the religious establishment to oversee national elections there. (Kathleen Ridolfo)


Iraqi Shi'ite leaders have taken a variety of positions in recent days over the evolving confrontation between al-Sadr supporters and coalition forces. Sadr al-Din al-Qabbanji, an official of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), said on 5 April that the religious authorities, the Al-Hawzah Shi'ite seminary, and the Iraqi Governing Council reject a confrontation with the occupation forces. "SCIRI's official stand is that it does not approve of the escalation against the occupation troops. At the same time, SCIRI condemns the occupation troops' provocative actions," al-Qabbanji said. Iraqi Governing Council member and Iraqi National Accord head Iyad Allawi said on 6 April that al-Sadr's actions were harming the country. "There is a radical force trying to harm the country, and this force has become known to all, it includes Muqtada al-Sadr and the group around him," KUNA quoted Allawi as saying. "We call on Muqtada to remain calm to avoid bloodshed, given that he belongs to an honorable family which offered martyrs," Allawi said, in a reference to al-Sadr's father Iraqi Shi'ite Grand Ayatollah Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr and Muqtada's two brothers who were allegedly murdered in 1999 at the hands of the Hussein regime. Allawi told Al-Arabiyah television one day earlier that the Governing Council had discussed Iraq unrest at length and reached decisions that would "greatly mitigate" the current tension in Iraq. He did not say what those decisions were however. Meanwhile, Shi'ite Grand Ayatollah Muhammad Taqi al-Mudarrisi issued a statement on his website ( on 4 April blaming the coalition for the surge in violence. "We have repeatedly warned the occupation troops against delaying the elections and against the attempts to impose ready-made laws on Iraq," he said. Muhammad al-Musawi of the Islamic Action Organization in Al-Najaf told Al-Jazeera on 4 April that his group demanded that al-Sadr not be harmed and that all coalition forces withdraw from Al-Najaf. (Kathleen Ridolfo)

source: RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT Vol. 7, No. 13, 8 April 2004

Comment: I do not agree that Sadr is a long term threat. It is not in the interest of Sistani that Sadr will get the upper hand. Sadr is politically finished within a week. The BIG question is the source of money for the Mehdi brigades and the charities that Sadr used for giving food to poor an unemployed Shiia. No, it is not a big question; most of the money is from Iran.

It seems that we never learn: The lack of social security in the Middle East is filled with charities that unfortunately as well have an hidden agenda. We have to stop them, but we do need to fill the need that they are adressing.
8 posted on 04/08/2004 11:45:03 PM PDT by AdmSmith
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
"From its inception, Islam has presented itself ..., as a comprehensive set of laws for the ordering of society, including political life. Pious Muslims generally believe these laws to be the laws of Allah himself, and therefore immediately superior to any societal structures arrived at through elections: you don't vote on the law of God."

"including political life"

According to Grand Ayatollahs Montazeri(Iran) and Sistani (Iraq), politics and religion should remain separate. Both have preached against a theocracy.
I think Mr. Spencer is mistakenly trying to put forth a notion that is the opposite.
9 posted on 04/09/2004 5:47:32 AM PDT by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ( President Bush 3-20-04))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Australia Defends Deportation Of Iranian Asylum Seeker

April 09, 2004
Dow Jones Newswires

CANBERRA -- The Australian government Friday defended its decision to deport an Iranian asylum seeker, who campaigners say could face torture or death when he gets home.

The Australian Democrats party and the Protestant Uniting Church have criticized the government's deportation of the man, a recent convert to Christianity, on Wednesday.

Uniting Church President Dean Drayton said the man could face torture and death in Iran, and Democrats Leader Sen. Andrew Bartlett accused Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone of breaking a promise not to forcibly send asylum seekers back to Iran.

But Vanstone said the man didn't meet the United Nations criteria for being a refugee, and couldn't be allowed to stay in Australia indefinitely.

"The government offers generous resettlement packages for voluntary return, but sooner or later, if they are judged not to be a refugee, they just have to go home," she said.

Vanstone denied she had made a commitment to never forcibly deport failed asylum seekers to Iran.

"What I said in February...was 'we are not at that point yet,"' she said. "But that clearly left the door open for future action."

Dozens of Iranians - whose applications for refugee status have been rejected - are in detention centers in Australia and face deportation if they refuse to accept resettlement packages to return home.

-Edited by Genevieve I. Soledad
10 posted on 04/09/2004 9:01:16 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
A Shiite War?

April 09, 2004
The Wall Street Journal
Reuel Marc Gerecht

Is Iraq's Shiite community on the verge of open rebellion against U.S. occupation? Is Muqtada al-Sadr, the rabble-rousing, pugnacious scion of Iraq's most famous clerical family, the cutting edge of a national Islamic front, uniting Arab Sunnis and Shiites against foreign intruders? America's entire post-Saddam plan for a democratic Iraq hinges on the cooperation, if not active support, of the Shiite clergy, especially Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the country's pre-eminent divine. Could America's military actions against Sadr and his armed followers destroy the all-critical American-Shiite alliance?

The answer to all of these questions is, in all likelihood, no. However, it is possible that American and Iraqi missteps in countering Sadr could gut the Bush administration's Iraq plans. To forestall this nightmare scenario, we need to have a good understanding of what Sadr is trying to wreak among the Shiite faithful.

* * *

Correctly understood, Sadr's guerrilla warfare against U.S. and allied soldiers is first and foremost a frontal assault on the traditional clergy led by Ayatollah Sistani, who is the de facto leader of the Shiite community. Though there have been growing and significant differences between the American-led Coalition Provisional Authority and the senior cleric -- and Sadr has exploited these differences skillfully -- the Shiite clerical establishment has been united in the belief that the American occupation of Iraq is an essential stepping-stone to a Shiite-led democracy. In Shiite eyes, democracy means, among other things, being free forever from Arab Sunni domination.

The dogged violence in the Sunni areas of Iraq since early summer has fortified the impression throughout the Shiite community that the historic Sunni will to power did not end with the fall of Saddam Hussein and the collapse of the Baath Party. Privately, if not publicly, senior Shiite clerics are thankful that the Americans have persevered in their country. Shiites are, however, also uneasy and embarrassed by America's occupation, by the need for American protection. It is enormously difficult for the Shiite clergy, which has a profound sense of being the country's most steadfast defender against both foreign and domestic enemies, to be beholden to Americans (and their former British overlords). It is difficult to forgive the Americans for the "betrayal" -- the ugly word in Arabic is khiyana -- in 1991, when George H.W. Bush encouraged Iraqis to rise up, the Shiites did, and Saddam slaughtered them by the tens of thousands while U.S. aircraft flew overhead.

Sadr and his followers -- the Sadriyyin -- constantly play upon these anti-Anglo-American emotions. Through their leaflets, publications and Friday sermons, they depict themselves as the only faithful children of 1920. Shiite divines then drove the Great Rebellion, the baptismal font, at least in Shiite eyes, of the modern Iraqi state. London had to use particularly brutal tactics to put down this insurrection. And Arab Sunnis threw in their lot with the British, who made them the masters of the new country. The Sadriyyin have welded together Islamic and national pride into a new jihad that this time 'round may well appeal to and preempt the Sunnis, who increasingly use Islamically loaded language to describe their distaste for and resistance to the Americans.

Yet the Shiite clerical establishment in the shrine city of Najaf knows well that the Sadriyyin are not really the children of 1920, but of 1979. Muqtada al-Sadr is an unaccomplished young cleric who has no chance to prosper through the normal channels of scholarly advancement. Like Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini, he intends to shake, if not destroy, the traditional establishment so that explicitly political clerics, who are more fond of street power than of Islamic law, can become the de facto rulers of Iraq. He and his followers need chaos to thrive. They are gambling that they can spark the propensity for violence in Iraqi society and produce a chain reaction that Ayatollah Sistani cannot stop. Ideally, the Grand Ayatollah will have no choice but to join the ranks of the young firebrand. What charisma Sadr possesses derives in great part from his ability to encourage such violence and survive. And his allure has grown enormously owing to American incompetence.

By early fall 2003, it was perfectly clear to the Shiite clergy, as well as to the Pentagon, that Sadr had been complicitous in the death of American soldiers, yet the CPA did not seize him. All Iraqis, particularly the traditional clergy, know that Sadr has an awe-inspiring bloodline -- his uncle Baqir al-Sadr, murdered by Saddam in 1980, was one of the great radical Shiite clerics of the 20th century; and Muqtada's father, Sadiq al-Sadr, was a relatively inconsequential cleric, once favored by Saddam, who, as he rose, bravely challenged the dictator until he, too, was assassinated in 1999. America's early inaction against Sadr has made it much more difficult for the traditional clergy to dismiss him as an uneducated and thuggish son of a noble family.

Sadr has now astutely decided to take refuge in Najaf -- a town that has been unfriendly to him and his followers (the Sadriyyin have in the past been evicted from Najaf by Ayatollah Sistani's followers). The U.S. military obviously cannot enter the sacred town in great force. Any serious counterinsurgency operation would immediately pit us against the far more powerful paramilitary forces loyal to Sistani -- armed Shiite tribesmen, the Badr Brigade of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, and the lesser-known but lethal forces attached to the Dawa al-Islamiyya (the "Islamic Call" Party). Any attack on Najaf would collapse the Iraqi Governing Council. All of the Shiite members, including secular pro-American Shiites like Ahmad Chalabi, would refuse to deal with the CPA. If Sadr can continue to direct a Shiite insurrection from Najaf, flouting Ayatollah Sistani's control of the shrine city, he will effectively establish himself as a major political player, equal perhaps to the Grand Ayatollah. He could conceivably shift the dynamic inside the Shiite community from cooperation to confrontation.

Sadr has played on a growing perception in the Shiite community that the Transitional Administrative Law -- the interim constitution that will, in theory, guide Iraqi politics until a final constitution can be written in an elected constituent assembly -- is an unfair and unworkable document. Americans and highly Westernized Iraqis are proud of the Law's guarantees for individual, especially, women's rights. However, it cedes authority over any future constitution to "two-thirds of the voters in three or more governorates," who have the power to veto a final document. This means the Kurds, who are likely to vote as a bloc, have essentially complete control over the future shape of any Iraqi democracy.

For Ayatollah Sistani, and probably for most Shiites, this grants the Kurds, for whom the Shiites have until now borne no ill will, too much power. The Kurds, who are 20% of the population and have been brutalized for decades by Sunni Arab regimes, of course don't see it that way. Shiite objections, which are unlikely to go away, will be a serious challenge for the CPA, which desperately wants to believe that it currently has a workable blueprint for a transitional Iraqi government. Quite understandably, it has no desire to open up the Administrative Law to a rewrite, particularly since Iraq has become more volatile, and agreement among Iraqis could even be more difficult to achieve than before.

However, we all need to understand the risk the U.S. is running by refusing to have a more open, public debate in Iraq about the transitional constitution and government. If the Shiites have the impression that they are once again being cheated of an effective democratic majority, then it is entirely possible that the consensus among Shiites about America's beneficial presence in their country could quickly end. Sadr's argument to his flock -- that military force is the best way to ensure a Shiite victory -- could start to look very appealing.

Many commentators now think we've descended into another Vietnam. This simply isn't true. The vast majority of Shiites -- the overwhelming bulk of their paramilitary forces -- are still on our side. (American soldiers would be dying by the hundreds if this were not the case.) Hell is when Ayatollah Sistani calls for a jihad -- that is the 1920 parallel. It is still obvious that the clerical establishment in Najaf and the primary Shiite political players in Baghdad are invested in the American-led transition. They all want to see national elections, sooner not later.

Muqtada al-Sadr's guerrilla attacks are a wake-up call for both the Americans and Ayatollah Sistani. The Americans need to crush Sadr's al-Mahdi army; Sistani needs to ensure he has control in Najaf. And then both parties, plus the Arab Sunnis and the Kurds, need publicly to discuss again, however acrimoniously, the Transitional Administrative Law. The transfer of Iraqi sovereignty on June 30 could be a meaningless day if the Shiites see it as a step backward from democracy.

Mr. Gerecht, a former CIA Middle East specialist, is resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
11 posted on 04/09/2004 9:02:12 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Movement calls for massive support of Bush and the opening of an internal front

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Apr 9, 2004

The Movement called, this morning (09:00 AM Tehran's local time), for a massive support of George W. Bush in preparation of the upcoming US Presidential election. The call was made by Aryo B. Pirouznia, of SMCCDI, during an interview made with the popular Los Angeles based "National Iranian TV" (NITV) which broadcasts for Iran, America and Europe.

The Movement's Coordinator who was speaking during a round table, hosted by Cyrus Sharafshahi of NITV, stated: " The dynamic for the Iranian People must be to help the current US President in order to be re-elected. The Man at the White House has been supporting us in our endeavors while his opponents were the same who for years helped and backed the clerics by ignoring our plight and discussing on top of our People's blood. "

Pirouznia added: " We all remember how the Carter administration supported the mullahs and how Ramsey Clark qualified a tyrant, such as Khomeini, as a "Gandhi of his time"..... Same type of demagogy was followed, on the blood of the Iranian People, during the Clinton Administration which offered apologies to this regime and which helped the continuation of its life by promoting the so-called reformists..... Of course, we all remember how Al Gore qualified the Islamic republic regime as "being on the way of becoming democratic" during the famous electoral TV debate he had with Mr. Bush..... Now few years later, the same path is being followed by John Kerry who has qualified, SO FAR, the Islamic regime as a "democracy" and promised to establish ties and to "repair damages" in an e.mail sent to the official Mehr News Agency affiliated to the mullahs regime.... Such an unethical doing was quoted by the official Tehran Times of February 8th.... One must ask him then what is his excuse for such wrong doing when everybody know, since a long time, how much the theocratic regime is rejected and illegitimate?..."

" If we can understand the meaning of all these, then any Iranian of conscience and all those hoping for a better future for their country know what they have to do, just as like as millions of Americans who are standing for their principles and sense of integrity at times that thousands of their sons and daughters are engaged against terror and fanatism in the region...." he added.

The SMCCDI's Coordinator explained then the tactic and strategy which must be adopted by the Iranian Freedomlovers by saying: " SMCCDI thinks that Iranians have 2 parallel tasks in their mission of freeing their country and helping to eradicate the terrorist and fanatic Islamist threat....

...The Iranian Diaspora in the US and especially the Iranian-Americans must support massively President Bush who has been supporting publicly and clearly the Iranians in their legitimate aspirations for Freedom and true Democracy.... They must raise funds for his campaign and vote for him on November 4th. ....They must also denounce the activities of the controversial councils and PACs which are claiming to represent them, in the US, but are in reality the same entities which used of the Americans unawareness and their access beside Democrat circles in order to make believe that the Islamic republic can become a Democratic entity. ...Their heads are the same people who raised funds for Clinton, Gore and now for Kerry and that invited the regime's officials, such as, Kamal Kharazzi and Khatami to various meetings in the US in order to help the face lifting of an ugly and inhuman regime for more than seven years...

....The Iranians of inside must increase their protest actions and demonstrations in view of what's going on in our two neighboring countries.... They must understand that many of the same Arabic speaking or Afghani forces that were used for their repression, along with thousands of Iranian Bassidjis and security appratus, are now engaged in terror activities in Iraq and in Afghanistan.... For so, to help themselves and to help the Americans, "we must beat the regime at its own game by opening a wide scale front of unrest inside the country".... Such actions will force the regime to split its attention and forces while it permits to show how Iranians do have the same common enemy than the Americans and any civilized people..."

The other guests of the round table were Assadollah Morovati and Pari Saffari of the Los Angeles based "Radio Voice of Iran" (KRSI).
12 posted on 04/09/2004 9:04:00 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
New clashes rock Esfahan and Damavand

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Apr 9, 2004

New clahses rocked the cities of Esfahan and Damavand, today, leading to tens of injured and arrests following the brutal attacks of the regime's special forces.

Clubs, chains and tear gas were used against the demonstrators who were protesting against persistent repression and official corruption.

Several public buildings were damaged in retaliation in both cities and slogans for the overthrown of the Islamic regime were shouted.

While Esfahan is located in center Iran, Damavand which was a day one of the regime's popular bases is located near Tehran.
13 posted on 04/09/2004 9:05:29 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Muqtada al-Sadr's guerrilla attacks are a wake-up call for both the Americans and Ayatollah Sistani. The Americans need to crush Sadr's al-Mahdi army; Sistani needs to ensure he has control in Najaf. And then both parties, plus the Arab Sunnis and the Kurds, need publicly to discuss again, however acrimoniously, the Transitional Administrative Law. The transfer of Iraqi sovereignty on June 30 could be a meaningless day if the Shiites see it as a step backward from democracy.

I think Sadr can be crushed, and Sistani can be pacified. The issue with the Kurds is the stumbling block, IMHO.

14 posted on 04/09/2004 9:06:00 AM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife (Help bring the end to Freepathons. Donate monthly.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn; McGavin999; freedom44; nuconvert; Eala; AdmSmith; dixiechick2000; onyx; Pro-Bush; ...
US believes Iran is aiding Iraqi militias

By Bryan Bender,
Globe Staff, 4/9/2004

WASHINGTON -- US intelligence officials believe that Iran's hard-line and fiercely independent security services are providing support -- either directly or through proxies -- to outlawed Iraqi militia forces loyal to Shi'a Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr that have been clashing with the US-led coalition during the past week, current and former US government officials and analysts said yesterday.

We know on the ground that there are many hundreds and probably thousands of Iranian intelligence agents spreading money to their favored forces," said Larry Diamond, who returned from Iraq on Saturday, where he served as a senior adviser to the Coalition Provisional Authority. "There are multiple signs all over. Iran has been funding and arming several radical Islamic militias, not just Sadr's, with different elements of the Iranian power structure aiding different groups."

One defense official who requested anonymity but has access to the latest intelligence reports added that Iran is "not providing official government support, but that doesn't preclude that individuals are coming across the border with government acquiescence."

The new concerns that help and money may be flowing to Sadr's forces directly from Iranian agents -- or the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist group -- cast new light on the complexity of the rebellions that have been sparked this week by militias in a region of Iraq with strong ties to the largely Shi'a Islamic Republic of Iran, considered by Washington to be a sponsor of global terrorism.

Since US-led forces toppled Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein a year ago today, Iranian influence in Iraq has grown steadily, say US officials who have repeatedly warned Tehran not to further destabilize its neighbor.

"We know the Iranians have been meddling, and it's unhelpful to have neighboring countries meddling in the affairs of Iraq," Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld said Wednesday.

But intelligence officials and specialists said yesterday that there is little the United States can do to rein in Iranian aid to anti-US Shi'a groups such as Sadr's banned Mahdi Army. Washington, in the midst on ongoing negotiations to persuade Tehran to end its suspected nuclear weapons program, has little leverage with Iranian security elements that operate independently of President Mohammed Khatami of Iran.

"The government does not control a great many things that are done by the Iranian state machinery," said Edward Luttwak, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington and a Pentagon adviser. "One of these parts is the Revolutionary Guard organization."

Sadr, the 31-year old cleric who has called for a Muslim theocracy in Iraq, has traveled extensively to Iran in recent years, including finding temporary refuge in 1999 after his father and two brothers were assassinated, many believe by Hussein's forces. According to news reports, he has met with senior Iranian clerics who control secret security forces.

"Sadr has been to Iran many times and has been supported by the Iranian regime," said Ali Parsa, a professor of Islamic history at California State University at Fullerton and an Iranian exile in contact with opposition forces inside Iran. "One reason that other Shi'a leaders are opposed to him is his dependency on the Iranians."

Diamond said yesterday that Iran is also supporting the militias of other Shi'ite groups such as the Dawa Party and the Badr Organization. He said sources in Iraq have told him that the main entry point for Iranian agents and supplies is near Basra in the south.

Iran backed groups opposed to Hussein, against whom it fought an eight-year war in the 1980s.

The Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, which is represented on the US-backed Iraqi Governing Council, is supported financially by Iranian government sources, according to American and Iraqi officials. Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq's most revered Shi'a cleric, is also believed to have links to Iran, though he is considered resistant to outside influence. Iranian organizations have also provided humanitarian assistance to Iraq's Shi'a population in an attempt to win hearts and minds.

US intelligence officials said they are also looking at possible links between the Shi'ite militias and Hezbollah, which has attacked Israeli forces from southern Lebanon. Photos of Said Hasan Nasrallah, secretary general of the Lebanese Hezbollah, are now sold outside Sadr's office in Sadr City, the Baghdad slum named after his father.

CIA Director George A. Tenet testified to Congress last month about Iranian activities in Iraq.

"The social and political interplay is further complicated by Iran, especially in the south, where Tehran pursues its own interests and hopes to maximize its influence among Iraqi Shi'a," Tenet said.

But Luttwak and Diamond said there is little recourse for the United States other than tracking down Sadr and destroying anti-US militias while pressing ahead with Iraqi democracy, he said.

"We are not willing to put sufficient pressure to achieve that," Luttwak said. "We are entering a season not of more [US] intervention but less."
15 posted on 04/09/2004 9:15:56 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John Fedayeen Kerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
A Shiite War?

April 09, 2004
The Wall Street Journal
Reuel Marc Gerecht

Movement calls for massive support of Bush and the opening of an internal front

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Apr 9, 2004

New clashes rock Esfahan and Damavand

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Apr 9, 2004
16 posted on 04/09/2004 9:33:27 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: F14 Pilot
Freedom ~ Now!
17 posted on 04/09/2004 9:41:53 AM PDT by blackie (Be Well~Be Armed~Be Safe~Molon Labe!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Iran's Rafsanjani Praises Sadr's Shi'ite Uprising

April 09, 2004
Amir Paivar

TEHRAN -- Iran's influential former president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, on Friday hailed the Shi'ite Muslim militia of firebrand cleric Moqtada al-Sadr as "heroic" for rising up against the U.S. occupation in Iraq.

Rafsanjani told worshippers at Friday prayers in Tehran that a distinction should be drawn between Shi'ite fighters, who have battled U.S.-led troops across southern Iraq this week, and insurrectionist supporters of Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath party he described as "terrorists."

"Contrary to these terrorist groups in Iraq, there are powerful bodies which contribute to the security of that nation...among them is the Mehdi Army, made up of enthusiastic, heroic young people," he told the crowd.

But Iran's top dissident cleric, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, criticized the Medhi Army, which follow Sadr.

Sadr met Rafsanjani in Iran last June at a memorial service for the spiritual father of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Rafsanjani, a mid-ranking cleric, now heads a powerful arbitration body called the Expediency Council, which can have a final say over legislation.

In remarks broadcast live on state radio, Rafsanjani also praised the Badr Corps, a Shi'ite fighting force of several thousand nurtured in Iran.

The Corps is the fighting wing of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq that for many years directed its opposition to Saddam from Tehran.

The United States has accused Iran, which is also predominantly Shi'ite, of fomenting anti-U.S. sentiment among Iraq's Shi'ite majority.


But in the seminary city of Qom, Iran's main seat of religious learning, dissident cleric Montazeri dismissed Sadr's Mehdi Army.

"Although the supporters of Moqtada al-Sadr have chosen the name Mehdi Army for themselves, Imam Mehdi would never be content to initiate disunity, division and factionalism in his name," he said in comments faxed to Reuters.

Montazeri's office said the remarks were made in an interview with Time magazine.

Imam Mehdi was the 12th of the Shi'ite Imams, descendants of the prophet Mohammad. Shi'ites await Imam Mehdi's second coming after he disappeared in the Iraqi city of Samarra in the ninth century.

Montazeri threw his weight behind Iraq's Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani who has called on the Iraqi people to support state institutions and public order.

"It is rational that under Ayatollah Sistani's direction and through a union of Shi'ites, Sunnis and Kurds who are all Muslims, a stable government be established in Iraq," he said.

Montazeri, one of the very few clerics to become a grand ayatollah, was once primed to succeed Khomeini as supreme leader of Iran. Khomeini called him "the fruit of my life."

But Montazeri was sidelined in 1988 for criticising the treatment of political prisoners and placed under house arrest in 1997 for questioning the religious credentials of Khomeini's successor and current supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Montazeri was freed last year.
18 posted on 04/09/2004 9:43:29 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
He is digging his grave!
19 posted on 04/09/2004 9:46:55 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John Fedayeen Kerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Iran's Role in the Recent Uprising in Iraq

April 9, 2004 No.692

Reports in the Arabic media reveal the role of Iran in the current disturbances in Iraq initiated by Moqtada Al-Sadr and his followers. The following are excerpts from articles in this week's Arab press:

Iran's Growing Presence in Iraq's Political, Security, Economic, & Religious Spheres

On April 6, the London Arabic daily Al-Hayat(1) discussed recent Iranian activity in Iraq: "In the last 2 days, there has been repeated talk in the Governing Council of Iraq about the major Iranian role in the events that took place in the Iraqi Shi'ite cities.

"The direct Iranian presence in the Shi'ite areas of Iraq in the political, security, and economic affairs can not be ignored anymore. This presence is accompanied by a vigorous Iranian effort to create bridges with different forces in Iraq; first, by material and logistic aid to parties other than the Shi'a, and secondly through the traditional Iranian influence in the religious seminaries [hawza] and in the Marja'iya [religious Shi'a authorities] institutions.

"A member of the Governing Council told Al-Hayat that the Iranians have recently managed to activate a known Marja' [a Shi'a cleric regarded as a religious authority], Kazem Al-Ha'iri, who lives in the city of Qum in Iran, and is known to be close to Al-Sadr's movement, and was regarded as an heir to Ayatollah Muhammad Sadeq Al-Sadr.(2)

"Iraqi security sources say that the escalation erupted after an American decision to oust Hassan Kazemi Qumi, the recently appointed chief Iranian agent in Iraq, who is an officer in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards… The sources connected the ousting of Qumi with Moqtada Al-Sadr's statements that his movement is an extension of the Lebanese Hizbullah and of Hamas… Sources said that the visit of an assistant of Moqtada Al-Sadr to Fallujah before the last uprising and Al-Sadr's statement that his movement is an extension of Hamas were both messages to his new allies among the Iraqi Sunnis.

"It may well be that the Iranians, who apparently have influence in more than one sphere in Iraq, have intervened to reconcile the inner Shi'ite struggle for power. They intervened when Moqtada Al-Sadr sought to take control of the Husseini circle in Karbala, an attempt that the followers of Ayatollah Al-Sistani objected to. The Iranians worked out an arrangement under which large sums of money were sent to institutions belonging to Al-Sadr's family, which placated Al-Sadr, and satisfied him with controlling the Al-Kufa mosque only."

Iranian Defector Claims Iran Spends $70 Million a Month on Activity in Iraq

The London Arabic-Language Daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat(3) quoted extensively the former Iranian intelligence official in charge of activities in Iraq, identified as Haj Sa'idi, who recently defected from Iran:

"Haj Sa'idi told Al-Sharq Al-Awsat that the Iranian presence in Iraq is not limited to the Shi'ite cities. Rather, it is spread throughout Iraq, from Zakho in the north to Umm Al-Qasr in the south, and the infiltration of Iranian Revolutionary Guards and the Al-Quds Army into Iraq began long before the war, through hundreds of Iranian intelligence agents, amongst them Iraqi refugees who were expelled by Saddam Hussein in the 1970's and 1980's to Iran, allegedly because of their Iranian origin, and who infiltrated back into Iraq through the Kurdish areas that were out of the Iraqi Ba'th government control.

"After the war, the Iranian intelligence sent its agents through the uncontrolled Iraq-Iran border; some of them as students and clerics, and others as belonging to the Shi'ite militias.

"Haj Sa'idi said that the assassination last summer of Ayatollah Muhammad Baqir Al-Hakim, who headed the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), was a successful operation carried out by the intelligence unit of the Iranian Al-Quds Army. He also revealed that there was a failed attempt on the life of the highest Shi'ite Marja, Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, at the Eid Al-Adha holiday last year, and that there was another plan to assassinate Ayatollah Ishaq Al-Fayadh.

"Haj Sa'idi claimed that some of the Iranian intelligence officers in Iraq are known to everybody, for example in Al-Suleimaniya and Derebendikhan in the north. However, he said, the real threat comes not from the officers that are known, but from those that are unknown. Amongst them are 18 Shi'ite charities in Kazimiya, in Al-Sadr city in Baghdad, in Karbala, Najaf, Kufa, Nasiriyah, Basra, and other cities with a large Shi'ite majority. In those offices, new agents are recruited every day, under the guise of financial aid, medicine, food, and clothing for the poor.

"Haj Sa'idi said that the Iranian plan to turn Iraq into another Iran is a wide-ranging plan, and it involves the recruitment of thousands of young Shi'ites for the next stage, which will take place with the [first] parliamentary elections in Iraq. Those recruited now are supposed to enlist their relatives to vote for candidates that will be endorsed by the Iranian intelligence apparatuses.

"Haj Sa'idi also mentioned that more than 300 reporters and technicians who are working now in Iraq for television and radio networks, newspapers, and other media agencies are in fact members of the Al-Quds Army and the Revolutionary Guards intelligence units.

"He also mentioned that the Iranian money allocations for activities in Iraq, both covert and overt, reached $70 million per month. He claimed that 2,700 apartments and rooms were rented in Karbala and Najaf, in order to serve agents of the Al-Quds Army and the Revolutionary Guards.

"Haj Sa'idi added that the attempt by the Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq to act against the Iranian activities there prompted a reaction by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to incite the Turkmeni Shi'ites in the region against the Kurds. He claimed that many Turkmen Shi'ite commanders traveled to Iran and got huge financial support, as well as guarantees that Iran will stand by them in case of clashes between them and the Kurds."

Iran Sets Up 3 Training Centers for the "Mehdi Army"

A source in the Quds Army of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard revealed to Al-Sharq Al-Awsat4 information relating to the construction of three camps and training centers on the Iranian-Iraqi borders to train elements of the "Mehdi Army" founded by Muqtada Al-Sadr. The source estimated that about 800-1,200 young supporters of Al-Sadr have received military training including guerilla warfare, the production of bombs and explosives, the use of small arms, reconnoitering and espionage. The three camps were located in Qasr Shireen, 'Ilam, and Hamid, bordering southern Iraq which is inhabited largely by Shi'a Muslims.

The newspaper also reported that the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad has recently distributed 400 satellite phones to supporters of Al-Sadr and to clerics and students at the A'thamiyya district of Baghdad, Al-Sadr City, and the holy city of Najaf, all of which are inhabited predominantly by Shi'a Muslims.

The Iranian source, known in Iraq as "Abu Hayder" confirmed that the intelligence service of the Revolutionary Guard has introduced to the Shi'a cities radio and TV broadcasting facilities which are used by Al-Sadr and his supporters.

During his recent visit to Iran, Al-Sadr met with Hashemi Rafsanjani, head of the Expediency Council as well as the head of the revolutionary guard intelligence, Murtadha Radha'i, and the commander of the Al-Quds Army responsible for Iraqi affairs, Brig. General Qassim Suleimani and other government and religious leaders.

The source estimated the financial support to Al-Sadr in recent months have exceeded $80 million, in addition to the cost of training, equipment and clothing of his supporters.

The source indicated that elements of the Al-Quds Army and the Revolutionary Guard Intelligence lead many of the operations directed against the coalition forces. These elements are also leading a campaign against the senior Shi'a clerics such as the Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, Hussein Al-Sadr [Muqtada's uncle], Ishaq Al-Fayadh and others because of their opposition to the concept of "the Rule of the Jurist" [Wilayat Al-Faqih] which is Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's style of government.

(1) Al-Hayat (London), April 6, 2004.
(2) He was assassinated by the Iraqi Ba'ath regime, and according to sources was executed by Saddam Hussein himself in 1980.
(3) Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), April 3, 2004.
(4) Al-Sharq Al-Aswat (London), April 9, 2004.
20 posted on 04/09/2004 10:38:03 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-34 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson