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Iranian Alert -- April 15, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 4.15.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 04/14/2004 9:46:58 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: alsadr; armyofmahdi; ayatollah; cleric; humanrights; iaea; insurgency; iran; iranianalert; iranquake; iraq; jayshalmahdi; journalist; kazemi; khamenei; khatemi; moqtadaalsadr; persecution; politicalprisoners; protests; revolutionaryguard; rumsfeld; satellitetelephones; shiite; southasia; southwestasia; studentmovement; studentprotest; terrorism; terrorists; wot
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 04/14/2004 9:46:59 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

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

2 posted on 04/14/2004 9:50:24 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
British Overtures to Iran Set Allies at Odds

April 14, 2004
The Telegraph
Alec Russell in Washington

British officials in Iraq have all but ignored President George Bush's plan to foster a new democracy in the country in favour of their own agenda, according to an American former official in Baghdad's interim government.

His comments mark the first time an official has publicly let the mask of co-operation between the White House and Whitehall slip.

They also highlight the difficulties facing Tony Blair at his meeting with Mr Bush tomorrow when the two leaders will try to plot the transition to full Iraqi sovereignty, which is due in 11 weeks.

Michael Rubin, who resigned from the Pentagon 10 days ago after returning from the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Baghdad, gave a stark account of fundamental divisions between British and American officials over how to run Iraq.

He suggested that British officials clearly had little interest in pursuing the White House vision of a democratic Iraq, a keystone of its foreign policy, and were too "soft" in confronting dissent.

He also said many US officials had been startled at their British counterparts' attempts to capitalise on their presence in southern Iraq for a "freelance" fostering of ties with Iran, one of Washington's most implacable enemies.

"That is a major policy decision for the White House," Mr Rubin said. "It should not be made in Basra" - the centre of the British zone of influence. "We got a sense that Britons were using the CPA as an outreach to Iran, which was not the Americans' intention."

Tensions between British and US officials have long been hinted at, not least between Paul Bremer, the US proconsul, and Sir Jeremy Greenstock, Britain's former envoy to Baghdad who left - apparently in some frustration - last month.

One provisional authority insider said: "There was an understanding in the CPA that Bremer and Greenstock didn't like each other. It personified the differences between the two views. Greenstock thought Bremer was naive; Bremer thought Greenstock was pursuing the wrong policies."

Mr Rubin did not comment directly on relations between the two men. "Bremer is following the President's agenda. And, in general, most British diplomats still don't agree with the President's agenda."

Mr Rubin was an adviser on the governance group of the provisional authority until March. He is now an analyst at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think-tank and arguably the ideological engine room of Mr Bush's Administration.

He said he and other US officials had been deeply concerned by the softly-softly approach of the British to former Baathists, who Washington felt should be excluded from positions of authority, and also to Iranian groups.

"When I came in to Iraq back in July . . . it was clear that the US was serious about democracy, the Brits less so."
3 posted on 04/14/2004 9:52:08 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
The Puppetmasters

April 12, 2004
New York Sun
Michael Rubin

Delivering the official sermon at Tehran's Friday prayers, the Expediency Council chairman Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the no. 2 man in the Islamic republic, declared, "The U.S. is bogged down in an Iraq quagmire. It has to pull out immediately."

On April 8, 2004, the press office of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guard Corps warned, "A fate more horrifying than Vietnam awaits America in the morass of Iraq." Unfortunately, Iran knows.

While smooth-talking Iranian diplomats charm Senator Specter, a Republican from Pennsylvania, the former national security adviser, Brent Scowcroft, and Condoleezza Rice's former National Security Council Middle East adviser, Flynt Leverett, the Islamic republic's security forces simultaneously fund and direct militias to harass Iraqi democrats and kill American soldiers.

Violence erupted on April 4, 2004, led by the firebrand cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Ostensibly sparked by a temporary ban on his al-Hawzah newspaper (which, among other acts of incitement, has published lists of Iraqis to kill), the decision to turn to violence apparently was made long before and hundreds of miles away in Tehran.

Rather than represent Iraqis, Mr. al-Sadr has sought to ingratiate himself as a chief proxy of the Iranian security forces. Fiercely ambitious but with little aptitude for religious study, Mr. al-Sadr failed to gain the respect of his peers, despite being the son of a revered ayatollah, Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, assassinated by Saddam Hussein in 1999.

Following the fall of Saddam's regime, Mr. al-Sadr sought to cash in on his family name. However, any inroads he had made with the mainstream Shia hierarchy evaporated after he instigated the April 10, 2003 murder of a prominent cleric, Majid al-Khoie, in one of Shia Islam's holiest shrines. In Sadr City, a sprawling slum on the eastern edge of the city, Mr. al-Sadr's support has fragmented over the past several months as he faces competition from other Shia political and religious figures.

Mr. al-Sadr's constituency alone cannot fund his activities. His few religious endowments produce little income. Western news outlets, eager to portray him as "David" to the American "Goliath," repeat the mantra that Mr. Al-Sadr's supporters are, in the words of National Public Radio, "amongst the poor and dispossessed

Despite allegedly representing the most impoverished fringe of Iraqi society, Mr. al-Sadr nevertheless manages to finance transport and meals for those making the weekly six-hour roundtrip between Baghdad and Kufa to hear him read sermons.

Much of Mr. al-Sadr's financial support is channeled through Ayatollah Kazem al-Haeri, a resident of the Iranian holy city of Qom. Mr. al-Haeri enjoys the close confidence of Ayatollah Ali Khamene'i, Iran's supreme leader, who maintains slush funds for which he is accountable to neither parliament nor president.

According to an April 8, 2004, report in the Italian daily La Stampa, the Italian military intelligence agency Servizio per le Informazioni e la Sicurezza Militare has concluded that Iran's supreme leader sent Muhammad Husayn al-Haeri to Iraq to coordinate efforts to force a coalition withdrawal.

According to Sismi, the Qods Force, an elite unit of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps dedicated to exporting the revolution, has spent $70 million a month to support Mr. al-Sadr and a number of front groups. On April 3, the day before violence erupted, London based Arabic daily Al-Sharq al-Awsat interviewed one of Iran's top operatives in Iraq who, according to the Italian daily La Republica, is now in British custody.

This operative has testified that Iran had rented 2,700 apartments for Qods Force agents serving in Najaf and Karbala and also ran a network of 300 agents posing as Iranian television and print journalists who helped organize Mr. al-Sadr's operations in southern Iraq. The Islamic Republic, however, does not limit its support to one figure, but rather underwrites Mr. al-Sadr as bad cop to the "more moderate" Ibrahim Ja'afari and Abdulaziz Hakim, both of whom also advocate an Iranian-style theocracy.

Iran's charge d'affaires in Iraq, Hassan Kazemi Qomi, maintains close relations with Mr. Sadr. On April 6, the London-based Arabic daily al-Hayat reported that Mr. Qomi was not a member of Iran's diplomatic corps, but rather a Qods Force officer. Mr. Qomi previously worked as Iran's consul-general in Herat, Afghanistan, and in Lebanon, where he served as a liaison with Hezbollah.

Mr. Qomi's tenure in Herat coincided with an influx of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps members into the province, as well as the rise of the Iranian-funded warlord Ismail Khan. Today, Herat remains part of Afghanistan in name only, and is in effect an extension of the Islamic Republic of Iran. According to al-Hayat, Iraqi Kurdish forces have captured documents detailing Iranian subsidies to Mr. al-Sadr's Jaysh al-Mahdi militia.

Ignoring challenges may be diplomatically convenient, but the costs are high. Foggy Bottom has for too long sought engagement with the clerical regime in Iran. Even if evidence existed that dialogue has led to meaningful reform, the involvement of the Qods Force in Iraq shows that our track-two partners in dialogue are either insincere or cannot deliver. Iran's clerical regime poses an ideological challenge inimical to the religious freedom, gender equality, and liberty Iraqis desire.

Iran is neither a democracy nor a partner in Iraq. Wishful thinking kills Americans. The Islamic Republic of Iran continues to sponsor terrorism and just last week declared its intent to construct a nuclear reactor capable of weapons-grade plutonium production. It is time for the White House to deal with reality.

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at AEI.
4 posted on 04/14/2004 9:53:21 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Time grows short for the ayatollahs. G-d walks this land today.
5 posted on 04/14/2004 9:53:35 PM PDT by Nix 2 ( for Skerry stuff)
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To: DoctorZIn
Britain Sought Iran's Help

April 14, 2004
Agence France-Presse
From correspondents in Washington

Britain invited an Iranian delegation to visit Iraq in a bid to calm the volatile security situation in the south and the United States did not object, a senior State Department official said today.

They were invited by the British," the official said. "Obviously, we did not object."

The official, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity, said Washington had not asked London to extend the invitation and referred all questions about the circumstances of the Iranian visit to the British Foreign Office.

However, the official said the United States hoped the Iranians would be helpful in ending the standoff between the US-led coalition and Shiite Muslim radical leader Moqtada Sadr.

"Since Iran does have some influence with the Shia community, we hope they would make clear that they are not in any way supoprting violence or confrontation and that, in fact, they are supporting the authority of the central government," the official said.

The team arrived in Baghdad after Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi's said that Washington had made a formal request to Tehran to help ease mounting violence in Iraq.

State Department spokesman Richard Boucher denied the United States had requested Iranian intervention, but allowed that there had been recent messages passed to Tehran urging them to play a constructive role in Iraq.
6 posted on 04/14/2004 9:54:00 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Tehran has armed agents in Iraq - Iran exile group

By Mark John

PARIS (Reuters) - Iran has sent thousands of armed agents into neighbouring Iraq to back a Shi'ite Muslim uprising there and foment anti-U.S. sentiment, an exiled Iranian opposition group said on Wednesday.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), listed by the United States as a terrorist group, said Iranian agents had infiltrated the Iraqi police force and Iranian Shi'ite clerics were present in towns and villages throughout Iraq.

Tehran "has sent thousands of troops into Iraq and thousands of arms so as to be able to intervene there better," Mohammad Mohaddessin, head of the NCRI's foreign affairs commission, told reporters in Paris, where it has an office.

"The strategic aim is to secure its domination of this country. It believes it has time on its side," he said through an interpreter, citing unnamed sources within Iran.

The NCRI is the political wing of the People's Mujahideen, banned by the EU as a terrorist organisation.

Some 3,800 People's Mujahideen guerrillas have been interned by U.S. forces in Iraq where they were once armed and supported by former President Saddam Hussein and helped his forces fight Iran during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war.

But NCRI pronouncements have been given some credence since it said in 2002 that Tehran was hiding an uranium enrichment plant forcing Iran to admit the existence of the plant and allow U.N.'s nuclear inspectors to view it.

Mohaddessin said the Iran-backed forces in Iraq were a mixture of Revolutionary Guard and guerrilla elements.

The United States has accused predominantly Sh'ite Iran of fomenting anti-U.S. sentiment in Iraq and accused it of doing too little at its border to keep out "undesirables" which they suspect of mounting attacks on occupying forces in Iraq.

Tehran has denied that accusation and says it has taken steps to secure its borders.

Mohaddessin said Tehran believed the knock-on effect of any Shi'ite uprising would be to ensure that U.S. President George W. Bush -- who named Iran as part of an "axis of evil" -- was ousted in November elections.

"The closer we get to the U.S. elections, the more they try to interfere to complicate the situation," he said.;:407da5c6:c597fb5db97d447?type=worldNews&locale=en_IN&storyID=4829439
7 posted on 04/14/2004 9:55:43 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Mullahs draggin' Iran in to Iraq crisis to save arab shiite mullah

Apr 15, 2004

Iran stepped in to help end a standoff between US-led occupation forces and Muslim insurgents in Iraq today as wanted radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada Sadr, a thorn in the US troops' side, considerably softened his tone.

Special UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said he was hopeful the current ceasefire between US forces and insurgents in Fallujah would lead to a peaceful settlement in the besieged Sunni bastion.

While a kidnapped French journalist was freed in Iraq, around 40 foreigners were still being held hostage amid a wave of abductions designed to shake the US coalition.

Iran sent a top foreign ministry official to Iraq for talks with coalition officials, Iraqi politicians and religious figures to help mediate an end to the current wave of unrest, the official IRNA news agency said.
8 posted on 04/15/2004 1:21:53 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" sKerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: All
Iranian Diplomat Is Killed in Baghdad

Yahoo News
Thu, Apr 15, 2004

BAGHDAD, Iraq - An Iranian diplomat was assassinated in Baghdad by gunmen who fired on his car near Iran's embassy on Thursday, an embassy official said.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, identified the slain man as Khalil Naimi, the embassy's first secretary.

It was unclear whether the slaying was connected to a visit to Iraq (news - web sites) on Thursday by a senior Iranian envoy who is trying to mediate an end to the U.S. standoff with radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

Asked whether the killing was linked to the envoy's visit, the embassy official said, "There is some speculation, but we do not have a clear idea."

The hood of the diplomat's car was crumpled and bullet holes pockmarked the windshield. The car had diplomatic plates but no symbols on it suggesting it was Iranian.

Naimi was shot three times in the head, the Arab TV station Al-Jazeera said.

Earlier in the day, an delegation headed by senior Iranian Foreign Ministry official Hussein Sedeqi headed to the southern city of Najaf and held talks with al-Sadr, whom U.S. forces have vowed to capture.

The mediation by the Iranians, as well as other negotiations by an Iraqi Shiite political party, aim to find a resolution that will ward off a U.S. attack on Najaf — the holiest Shiite city.
9 posted on 04/15/2004 5:21:56 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" sKerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: DoctorZIn
U.S.: Iran going uninvited to Iraq

By Anwar Iqbal
Washington (UPI) April 14, 2004

The United States said Wednesday it had not invited Iran to help negotiate peace with the Iraqi insurgents, despite Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi insisting that the United States had asked his government to "provide a more central role."
Media reports had accused Iran of provoking unrest in neighboring Iraq, but earlier Wednesday Iran announced it had sent a delegation to Baghdad to help calm the situation.

The delegation will talk with Iraqi religious leaders, the Iraqi Governing Council, and others with political influence to find a way out of the crisis, Iran said.

But the U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher told reporters in Washington: "The United states did not ask Iranian officials to go to Baghdad to do anything."

He said, however, Washington wants Iraq's neighbors to "play a helpful ... positive role, calm the situation, help Iraq achieve the goal of a stable transition on July 1."

Boucher said the United States has been "concerned about the role that Iran has been playing, and it's something that we monitor very closely."

Asked if sending the delegation was a good thing, he said: "If they help stabilize the situation that would be good. If they don't, that would not be good."

"I don't think I know enough about their purposes and ... what they're going to do yet to be able to describe it one way or the other," he added.

The United States, however, did not asked Iran to mediate with the Shiites in Iraq other than reminding all Iraqi neighbors to play a helpful role, he said.

But the State Department spokesman acknowledged that the United States has maintained "various channels of communicating with Iran when we need to. And we made clear that we're willing to do that on practical matters, on matters that are of importance to us."

He said the United States has maintained those channels of communication "all along" despite ongoing tensions between the two countries.

"I would just say that we have done that all along and recently as well," he added.

Kharrazi, however, insisted that the United States, through its interests section at the Swiss Embassy in Tehran, had asked the Islamic republic to "provide a more central role in settling the crisis in Iraq."

"We have had lots of correspondence with the U.S. through the Swiss Embassy mostly regarding the situation in Iraq," Kharrazi said, stressing that his country "will take steps to resolve the crisis there," according to Iranian Mehr News Agency.

A series of clashes and abductions erupted in Iraq early this month, killing more than 87 U.S. soldiers and some 600 Iraqis. The radical Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr has been accused of inciting his militia and other Iraqis to rise against the U.S.-led coalition, demanding the withdrawal of what they call "occupying forces" from Iraq.

The United States had previously accused the cleric of having a hand in the assassination of a fellow religious leader last year. U.S. troops say he has been using unrest as a shield against "justice."

On Wednesday, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei referred to recent unrest in Iraq as "harsh, brutal and unbelievable crimes," which, he said, were motivated by the U.S. desire to protect its political and economic interests in the country.

"It is a proven fact that their (the Americans') own crimes and humiliating treatment of Iraqi women and youth have driven the brave nation of Iraq, both the Sunnis and the Shiites, to respond to the occupiers, resulting in the current situation, which was predicted a long time ago," he told thousands of his supporters, according to the Islamic Republic News agency.

In another part of his speech, Khamenei said that, through vigilance and unity, the Iraqi people could "shorten the duration of the occupation ... and speed up the process of establishing a free, independent and democratic state by relying on Islam, maintaining unity, and avoiding the plots of the U.S. and Britain to sow ethnic and sectarian discord."

Analysts say that Iranian officials' concern stems from the fact that the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq has left the Islamic republic encircled as U.S. troops are also stationed in neighboring Afghanistan to the east and Arab states to the south.

Although Sadr visited Iran last June, Iranian officials have refrained from speaking openly in support of the cleric. Sadr was quoted recently as having opposed going into exile into Iran, which is predominantly Shiite Muslim.

The two countries were involved in an 8-year war in the 1980s, with the loss and injury of nearly 1 million people on both sides.
10 posted on 04/15/2004 5:38:44 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" sKerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: F14 Pilot
[B]Influential US Senator Declares Support of Iranian Freedom Lovers[/b]

Prominent "Senator George Allen" (R-VA), former Governor of Virginia and former Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has declared his firm commitment to supporting freedom and democracy in Iran in a letter addressed to Aryo B. Pirouznia of SMCCDI.

The senator who is also an influential member of the US Senate's Foreign Relations Committee was responding to a formal request from the Movement's Coordinator seeking support of Iranian freedom lovers and secularist forces.

In part his letter, Senator Allen states: "it is time to express America's unequivocal commitment to democracy and human rights".

The content of his letter is as follow:

Dear Aryo:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran. I appreciate your input and value the opportunity to respond to your concerns.

Iran remains a great threat to the United States and their neighboring countries by continuing to acquire weapons of mass destruction. Entities such as Russia, China and North Korea assist Iran's missile program. The Iranians have conducted a successful test of the 800-mile range "Shahab-3" missile, which lead the intelligence community to upgrade a missile threat to the United States from Iran by 2015. Furthermore, Iran has been seeking to expand on their chemical and biological weapons. Today, Iran has stockpiled chemical weapons, including blood, blister, and choking agents. Moreover, Iran is building a nuclear fuel cycle to support a nuclear weapons program. These efforts to develop intercontinental ballistic missile programs and other nuclear, chemical and biological weapons may destabilize the region and threaten international peace.

Even though Iran strongly condemned the September 11 terrorist attacks, they have continued to support terrorist groups- the State Department's report on international terrorism states that for the most part of the past decade, Iran remained the most active state sponsor of terrorism. Iran has publicly supported Palestinian violence against Israel since September 2000. They continue to provide material support to the Palestinian Authority, and, in one instance, the Iranian Government sold a large shipment of arms to the Palestinian Authority. However, the Israelis intercepted the shipment before it could be unloaded.

The people of Iran deserve to have the right to religious freedom, political participation, free speech and due process of law, principles upon which our great nation was found. To promote these ideals, I signed the Policy Statement on Iran, which addresses the deplorable human rights situation and the unwillingness of Tehran to alter its intolerant policies. In fact, under the current leadership of President Mohammad Khatami, the Islamic Republic of Iran has done little to end the torture of prisoners, the persecution of religious minorities and critics of the regime.

Past efforts to alter Tehran's oppressive policies through conciliation have largely failed. Many members of the United States Senate, both Republican and Democrat, now believe that it is time to express America's unequivocal commitment to democracy and human rights. The Policy Statement on Iran is an effort to place U.S. foreign policy on the right track and encourage Iranians to strive for a more democratic Iran.

As you may know, I sponsored the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act of 2001. This legislation extends, for another five years, a law that sanctions foreign investment in Iran or Libya's energy sector. Both chambers passed this Act overwhelmingly in July 2001. While there is still much to do, it is my sincere hope that by opening up economic channels and foreign investment to Iran, it will help bring capitalism and greater freedom to the Iranian people.

I want to thank you again for taking the time to contact me. It is truly and honor to serve you in the United States Senate, and I want you to know that your input is very helpful as I look for ways to ensure that your voice is heard in Washington.

With warm regards, I remain,


George Allen

11 posted on 04/15/2004 9:14:25 AM PDT by Stefania
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To: Stefania
Jewish Community to honor "Iranian Schindler"

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Apr 14, 2004

The Jewish Community and especially Iranian and American Jews are intending to pay tribute to "Abdol Hossein Sardari" qualified as the "Iranian Schindler" for his courageous actions during WW II. The late Sardari who was the Iranian Charge d'Affairs in Paris (France), under the Nazi occupation, is known for having saved the lives of hundreds of Jews and French resistants.

While defending the Iranian Jews living in France, he took upon himself to issue Iranian passports to non-Iranian Jews who were facing deportation. Referring to the humanitarian attitude of the first Iranian Emperor "Cyrus the Great" who had freed in 500 BC the Jews held captive in Babylon, he had no doubt that the Shah and the Iranian government would confirm his decision after the war.

He passed away in London (UK) in 1981.

Six decades later, the unprecedented and due commemoration will take place in South California, during two programs in the frame of the annual "Yom Ha Shoah" (Holocaust Memorial) events. The first one will be on Sunday April 18, 2004, from 6:30 PM at the Nessah Synagogue located at 142 South Rexford Drive in Beverly Hills; And the second one on Monday April 19, 2004, from 10:30 AM at the Museum Of Tolerance/Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles.

A "Plaque of Appreciation" will be remitted, by the leaders of the Jewish Community, to the well respected Mr. "Fereydoun Hoveyda" who's the former Iranian regime's Ambassador at the UN and the nephew of Mr. Sardari. He's also the brother of the late "Amir-Abbas Hoveyda" who was the Prime Minister of Iran under the late Mohamad-Reza Shah Pahlavi.

It's to note that Amir-Abbas Hoveyda was murdered by the clerics upon their take over of the political power in Iran. He was hit by several bullets shot by the brutal Sheikh Sadegh Khalkhali while most World's leaders were asking clemency for the respected Prime Minister.

It's said that the interview carried by the zealous French reporter "Christine Ockrent" and the understanding, by several mullahs, of the risk of witnessing their past surfacing out, was the main cause of the speedy murder of Mr. Hoveyda. As of today, Ms. Ockrent still hasn't expressed any apology or regret for her quest of fame having caused the death of the late Prime Minister.
12 posted on 04/15/2004 9:26:52 AM PDT by Stefania
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To: Stefania
Repression increases against Secular opponents

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Apr 15, 2004

The Islamic regime's propaganda machine is adapting itself to the World opinion's "mental needs" while increasing in parallel the repression against its secular opponents.

Crackdown on activists and mass arrests have been made in the last days in several cities, such as, Tehran, Esfahan, Shiraz, Ghom, Hamedan, Zahedan, Ahwaz, Kerman and Oroomiah (former Rezai-e) under false charges, such as, Drug Trafficking, Terrorism and even Link to Al-Qaeda. Workers, Teachers, Students and various circles have become the main targets of the regime's Intelligence circles.

The well know clerics usual demagogy is pushed to unprecedented levels and secularist opponents are accused as being Al-Qaeda members having had the intention to explode bombs during last Friday's official Funeral ceremony held for the remains of soldiers killed during the 1981-87 war with Iraq. These false accusations are made while most observers of Iranian affairs are well aware of the protection which was offered by the Islamic republic regime to main Al-Qaeda members and several Islamist terrorists residing in Iran.

The theocratic regime intends to avoid massive demonstrations planned, for the Workers day and Teachers day, to take place in the first two weeks of May while offering to its foreign collaborator an "acceptable" pretext in order to justify their relation with a tyrannical regime showing "improvement" in reference to "fight against terror".

Its leaders, assured of the usual complaisance of European countries, hope on America's silence due to the Iraqi situation.
13 posted on 04/15/2004 9:29:20 AM PDT by Stefania
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Drops Dissident's Jail Sentence

April 15, 2004
Agence France Presse
Arab News

TEHRAN -- Iranian dissident intellectual Hashem Aghajari has had his four-year jail sentence for insulting religious values dropped, but must await a review of his death sentence for blasphemy before he can hope to be released from prison, a judicial source said yesterday.

Aghajari “has been pardoned for the four years in prison, but he will not be freed because the second part of his case is still an open matter,” Zekrollah Ahmadi, judiciary chief in Hamedan province, said.

“We will have to wait for the Supreme Court’s decision” on the death sentence “to know if he can be freed or not,” Ahmadi added.

Aghajari’s lawyer, Saleh Nikhbakht, said his client “could be freed if the original arrest warrant against him were converted into a warning.”

Nikhbakht said the prison sentence had been set aside because Aghajari had completed one-third of it and because the law stipulates releases in cases where the original sentence is less than five years.

In 2002, the disabled war veteran and history professor delivered an explosive speech in Hamedan directed at the very core of Iran’s Islamic government.

In November 2002, a judge in Hamedan ruled that Aghajari had committed blasphemy and, in line with Islamic and Iranian law, deserved to die. He was also sentenced to eight years in prison and to be flogged.

But following a week of protests by students and complaints by reformist government officials, Khamenei demanded the sentence be reviewed.

In January 2003, the Supreme Court annulled the verdict and ordered a re-trial.

The prison sentence was also reduced to four years and the flogging order replaced by a fine.
14 posted on 04/15/2004 10:15:04 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Tehran Says United States Sought its Help in Iraq

April 15, 2004
The Washington Times
Nicholas Kralev

Iran stepped into the diplomatic spotlight yesterday when it was revealed that the United States and two of its coalition partners, Britain and Italy, had sought Tehran's help in dealing with the volatile security situation in Iraq.

Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi disclosed the rare contact between Tehran and Washington, which broke diplomatic relations in November 1979, when militants seized the U.S. Embassy in Iran and held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.

"There has been a lot of correspondence with the U.S. about Iraq," Mr. Kharrazi told reporters in Tehran. "Naturally, there are such requests from the U.S. that we help improve the situation in Iraq, and we are making efforts in this regard."

Although Mr. Kharrazi sent a senior aide to Iraq yesterday, he said the dialogue with U.S. officials "has stopped because we felt we were going nowhere." He accused the United States of breaking its promises and "taking a wrong path." He also noted that the Swiss Embassy in Tehran, which represents U.S. diplomatic interests in the Islamic republic, played a mediating role in the recent exchanges.

In Washington, U.S. officials said it was Britain that invited the Iranian delegation to help calm the security situation in southern Iraq. The United States went along with the proposal, but it did not ask Britain to extend the invitation.

"They were invited by the British," a senior State Department official said of the Iranians. "Obviously, we did not object."

The official expressed hope that Iran would be helpful in ending the standoff between coalition forces and Shi'ite Muslim radical leader Sheik Muqtada al-Sadr.

"Since Iran does have some influence with the [Shi'ite] community, we hope they would make clear that they are not in any way supporting violence or confrontation and that, in fact, they are supporting the authority of the central government," he said.

State Department spokesman Richard Boucher, while denying any specific requests to Tehran from Washington, acknowledged that recent messages had been passed.

"We have made clear to Iran, as we've made clear to other of Iraq's neighbors, that they need to play a helpful role, they need to play a positive role and calm the situation," he told reporters.

Both the State Department and the Pentagon have accused Iran of interfering in coalition efforts in Iraq , but they have refused to address specific reports, such as those about Tehran's financing of Iraqi militants.

"We have been concerned about the role that Iran has been playing, and it's something that we monitor very closely," Mr. Boucher said.

The Washington Times on Tuesday quoted military officials as saying intelligence reports showed that Sheik al-Sadr was receiving funds from Iran, directly funneled by the Republican Guard, the enforcer of Iran's hard-line Shi'ite rule. The sources also said Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based terror group set up by Iran, was diverting money to Sheik al-Sadr.

In Tehran yesterday, Mr. Kharrazi said Iran "is making its utmost efforts to help resolve the situation in Iraq as soon as possible so that the power is given back to the Iraqi people."

"The solution is for occupiers to leave Iraq," he said.

Meanwhile, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said in Rome yesterday that an Iranian delegation was on its way to Baghdad to help secure the release of four Italian hostages held in Iraq since Monday. It was later reported that one of the hostages was killed.

The unidentified abductors have reportedly demanded that Italy withdraw its 3,000 soldiers and paramilitary police from Iraq. The Italian government has ruled that out.
15 posted on 04/15/2004 10:15:59 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranian First Secretary at Embassy in Baghdad Gunned Down

April 15, 2004
AFX News

BAGHDAD -- The first secretary at the Iranian embassy in Baghdad, Khalil Naimi, has been gunned down in the Iraqi capital by unknown assailants, an Iranian diplomat at the scene said.

The diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: "It is the first secretary who was killed. I don't known how it happened, but I know he was on his way to the embassy".

An Agence France-Presse correspondent has reported seeing the body of the diplomat, who was wearing blue pants and a white shirt, in the car, with a white cloth covering his face.

Two bullets pierced the windshield and eight holes are visible in the driver's door, according to reports.

In Tehran, state television reported that the diplomat was Khalil Naimi, first secretary of the mission.

The head of a visiting Iranian foreign ministry delegation, Hossein Sadeghi, earlier said "we just received news of an Iranian diplomat shot dead on the street near the embassy" in central Baghdad.

Sadeghi, who is in Iraq to help ease a standoff between the US-led coalition and a Shiite Muslim cleric, said "such savage moves are condemned and deplored by the Islamic Republic of Iran."

Asked if the killing will cut short the delegation's mission, Sadeghi said that he is awaiting instructions from Tehran.

Earlier, the head of Iranian state television in Iraq, Hajj Koshek, said an employee at the Iranian embassy in Baghdad was gunned down by unknown assailants in Baghdad.
16 posted on 04/15/2004 10:16:58 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranian Journalist Jailed for 18 Months for "Insulting" Writings

April 15, 2004

TEHERAN -- Iranian journalist Ensafali Hedayat has been jailed for 18 months after being convicted of insulting regime leaders and writing propaganda against the Islamic republic, the student news agency ISNA reported Thursday.

He was arrested in January on the orders of a revolutionary tribunal in the northwestern city of Tabriz. ISNA said that, in its sentencing, the court did not uphold charges of spying and participation in an opposition group meeting.

The journalist's lawyer said the sentence would be appealed and that, in the meantime, it would not be applied.

Hedayat had already been arrested at the University of Tabriz in June 2003 following his coverage of student-led demonstrations. He had been accused of inciting anti-regime protests, but was later freed after three weeks in custody. He subsequently wrote a letter of complaint over maltreatment to reformist President Mohammad Khatami.

Around 12 journalists are currently in jail in Iran.

The Islamic republic's hardline-run judiciary has also in recent years shut down more than 100 publications, most of them pro-reform.
17 posted on 04/15/2004 10:18:00 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
The Wacky World of French Intellectuals

April 15, 2004
Laurent Murawiec

Whence comes the phenomenon known as fundamentalist Islam or Islamism? Some French analysts from a range of disciplines (international affairs, Orientalism, security studies, journalism) have come to an agreement: it comes from. . . the United States. Despite the inherent implausibility of viewing a movement engaged in a sustained attack on Americans as a diabolical U.S. plot, this argument has considerable persuasive power. It presents Islamism as an American attempt to retard progress in Muslim countries and divide them from their natural allies in Europe. Such ideas come at once from the Right and the Left, representing both nostalgia for the French empire and a residual "Third-Worldism." They have as their common denominator a hatred of the United States and all it stands for. Although still marginal, these ideas about Islamism have spilled over into policy-making circles and have had a skewing effect on French policies toward the Middle East.

America's War on Europe

America is "the last empire" in the view of these analysts, and that explains its aggressive policies. Paul-Marie de la Gorce, a leftist author with a Gaullist perspective on foreign affairs, believes that "the American empire is the only empire in the world today, it is an exclusive hegemony, and it is the first time that such a strange phenomenon occurs in human history."1 According to Senator Pierre Biarnès, in a 1998 book on geopolitics, it is an "unbearable America," a country dead-set on "moral and mercantile hegemony," obsessed with its own "hegemonic design."2

Worse, the United States is a "totalitarian democracy," writes Alexandre del Valle (the pen-name of Arthur Dupont, a French civil servant). It is a lone superpower intent on preventing any other power from emerging and determined to control Europe. Islamism is one whip used against Europe, but there are others:

Washington orchestrated the Asian financial crisis to bring down its dangerous rival Japan, and it uses the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to control Europe against Europe's interests. "Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the mutuality of geopolitical and ideological interests that united America and Western Europe against the Soviet bloc seems to have become partly obsolete," del Valle writes in his somewhat convoluted style. In a more straightforward way, he observes that "the United States has launched a war against the Old World."3

The theme of a war between the Old and the New Worlds recurs often. Pierre-Marie Gallois, a retired general, one of the conceptualizers of de Gaulle's doctrine of "all points" nuclear deterrence, and a well-known figure in the French defense community, holds that it is U.S. strategy to subvert European sovereignty (désouverainiser). From this alleged intent stems Washington's desire to place "Europe under German-American military control." The Germans go along with this because "the concept of Europe is an obsession for the Germans," who have always wanted to rule the continent. "In order to build that empire, the nation-states have to be destroyed," Gallois adds, which explains why the United States was set on undermining the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. France should rebuke the Germans and the Americans, and join with "our traditional allies," Russia and Serbia.

The theme of an American war on Europe has surprisingly wide appeal in elite French circles. François Mitterrand is quoted as saying in private conversation (according to his confidante Georges-Marc Benamou): "France does not know it, but we are at war with America. Yes, a permanent war, a vital war, a war without casualties, at least apparently."4 An opinion piece that appeared on the front page of the most prestigious French daily, co-authored by two members of the European Parliament, sums up the ills of a U.S.-ruled world, where "the market," a "triumphant totalitarianism" which bullies the rest of the world "way beyond the old Kremlin's wildest dreams," has confiscated the sovereignty of nations. The planet is now in the hands of "a mercantile one-worldism" which is the equal of Nazism and Bolshevism, they write. Thankfully, there are "vigorous signs" — the two authors' own exertions, for instance — of resistance to the uniformization of the world imposed by the "American Way of Life."5 They are spokesmen for a heterogeneous coalition of nationalists ranging from Populists of the left and the right to Gaullists, Socialists, and Communists, ultra-Leftists and ultra-Rightists, the whole rag-tag current going under the name of souverainisme.

In short, the United States is dangerous because it is the champion of capitalism and of the lifting of national borders in the interests of a commercial economy. The United States is home to the "new masters of the world," notably multinational corporations which "loot the planet," impose a "sterile uniformity" on it as well as a "streamlined mode of thinking." The influential editor of Le Monde Diplomatique, Ignacio Ramonet, purveys this line of thinking in his book Géopolitique du Chaos. Fortunately, he says, "the specter of decline lurks over "American neo-hegemony."6 The United States is overstretching; it is destroying itself. America will collapse under the weight of its own debt, and will be unable to manage such intractable problems as race, poverty, and unemployment. It is precisely because it is threatened by decline that the United States is so intent on shoring up its hegemony.

The U.S.-Islamist Alliance

"The United States. . . bears a crushing responsibility in the exacerbation of the anti-Western Islamist menace which arises here, there, and everywhere in the world," writes del Valle in a leading Parisian journal of strategic affairs.7 "The growth of Islam and Islamism in the world is inextricably connected to the cultural, political, economic, and geostrategic action of the United States since the beginning of the twentieth century," he adds in a book-length study of this subject.8

However strange this may sound to American ears, it is by no means the thinking of an isolated eccentric. To the contrary, a variety of authors reach this conclusion from radically different premises. While del Valle is essentially hostile to Muslims, François Burgat of the University of Aix-en-Provence is sympathetic to them; he sees a class war within Islam, with the United States on the side of the oppressors: "the American-Israeli strategy . . . aims everywhere to buttress the Arab political status quo and paralyze even the most legitimate opposition by means of repressive policies." The "legitimate" oppositionists Burgat refers to include, it bears noting, the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) in Algeria and various Islamist terrorist groups in Egypt.9 He blames not these movements for violence, but U.S. policy; U.S. imperialism is at the heart of "the frightful mesh of circumstances that produces not bombs, but individuals who come to believe in the necessity of bombs, even at the expense of their own lives." In contrast, Burgat finds it legitimate for Muslims to rebel: "The long string of violence and humiliations, of media lies and vote fraud, of arrests and jailings, of tortures and lawless killings or large-scale slaughters, is what produces, in Algiers or Nablus, political monsters capable of destroying themselves for their cause."10

Richard Labévière, a French-Swiss television reporter, makes the same point in a recent book, ostensibly a work of investigative reporting.

Without seeing the CIA's hand every time history moves faster, and without falling into a paranoid interpretation of the "grand conspiracy," our investigation always ends up identifying more or less direct American responsibilities, more or less converging interests, more or less controlled instrumentalization in many Islamist theaters of operations.
Those "Islamist theaters" are Egypt, Algeria, and France; he refers also to Islamic sanctuaries in Bosnia, Chechnya, Albania, the Philippines, Madagascar, South Africa, and even Brazil.11

Gallois believes the United States, by its very nature, must be on the side of the Islamists: "Islam much resembles the capitalist conception of society that prevails in the United States," he asserts in a recent book.12 Labévière also finds a harmony between an America bent on hegemony and radical Islam:

Islamism is fully coherent with the market economy. The theological-political order required by Islam fully conforms with the requirements of American capitalism. America's imperial design feeds on a weakening of any principle of sovereignty and territorial organization of the national bodies politic. This disappearance of political sovereignty foreshadows the untrammeled rule of an uncontrollable globalization [mondialisation] run by business mafias and religious fanatics.13
Thus, a significant group of intellectuals in France firmly believes that Islamism, including its terrorist activities, is an instrument of U.S. interests and a creation of American strategists.

The American Network

"The involvement of the United States in the emergence, the expansion and the radicalization of Islamism is a fact . . . The responsibility of the United States in a number of terrorist and other criminal activities is established and incontrovertible," writes Labévière.14 His "incontrovertible" demonstration is based on three assertions:

(1) To secure control over world oil reserves, the United States has long supported the Saudi state. Since the Saudi kingdom is Wahhabi, Washington supports Wahhabi policy, and in fact, Wahhabi policy is identical with deep-seated U.S. impulses. Del Valle ascribes such policies to "the traditional 'religious-based' diplomacy of the Anglo-Saxons,"15 while Labévière finds this tendency deep in American history:

The phrase "In God We Trust" on the dollar bill — the very symbol of world capitalism — reminds us that the Founding Fathers, though they were laymen, invoked divine protection for their undertakings. U.S. diplomacy always has made use of religious movements against communism, and any other opposition to America's hegemonic designs.16
In the same spirit, Del Valle recalls that the United States supported the Saudis against Gamal Abdel Nasser's Pan-Arabist crusade, and supported Anwar as-Sadat, a "former member of the Muslim Brotherhood."17

(2) The U.S. backed the Afghan mujahidin as they battled the Soviets through the 1980s:

obsessed by their confrontation with the Soviets, the Pentagon planners banked on the Muslim religion and created a fearful war machine against the Red army: that war machine is armed Islamism.18
Del Valle adds that a faction in the U.S. government, headed by Jimmy Carter's national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, conspired to pull the Soviets into a trap in Afghanistan. Aided by strife among political factions in Kabul, its plot succeeded:

The invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union in December 1979 … tilted the scales in favor of Brzezinski's camp against U.S. officials who disagreed with his Islamist strategy.19
(3) The U.S. government created and runs a Saudi-backed "Wahhabi internationale" to which the Sunni terrorist movements all belong. For example, the CIA has backed the Algerian Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) since 1991 because "the State Department does not share the distrust of European diplomats, especially French ones, toward Islamism."20 This pro-Islamist policy is global:

A four-year investigation has proven that the true threat originates from elsewhere [than Iran]: from Saudi Arabia and the other petro-monarchies allied with the United States. The world's premier power knows everything about it. In fact, its intelligence services have encouraged it. In various parts of the world, the CIA and its Saudi and Pakistani opposite numbers continue to sponsor Islamism.21
The Wahhabi internationale seeks to eliminate Arab regimes that lack a religious underpinning – including what del Valle calls the "reformist and revolutionary" regimes of Iraq, Libya and (notwithstanding its Islamist leadership) Sudan.22 In contrast, the U.S. government is not as opposed to "extremist regimes, such as Iran's," as it pretends to be, observes del Valle. On the contrary, should such regimes prevail, the U.S. will be given credit for having "understood" and even "supported them financially and militarily,"23 a reference to the harebrained Iran/contra affair of the mid-1980s. Washington also supports the FIS in Algeria, and needs to "control the Mediterranean and appear as the protector of Islam." This explains why it intervened to support the Bosnian and Kosovar Muslims.

American Motives

Why are Americans so involved in a conspiracy to spreading radical Islam? Lesser reasons offered by our group of authors include: (1) Access to the Muslim market of not just "one billion consumers," but an "ideal, non-competitive market."24 (2) Compensating for America's pro-Israel policies.25 (3) Appeasing "the two great Muslim-American lobbies, the Muslim Public Affairs Council and the Council on American Islamic Relations"26 (which surely must come as a surprise to those organizations). (4) More seriously, keeping the world's major energy sources and reserves under its exclusive control.

(5) Promoting Israel's security. For the United States, writes Labevière, "the defense of the Jewish state remains a priority. . . [and] a majority of observers view Israel as an issue of U.S. domestic politics. It impinges on electoral campaigns and influences permanently the political and economic decisions of the world's premier power."27 In other words, U.S. policy is controlled by the Jewish lobby on behalf of Israel. And Israel, continues the fearless Swiss analyst, is a theocratic state. Therefore, it makes complete sense that Jewish leaders, pulling the strings of fundamentalist-Protestant America, should support Islamic radicals: "Complementary enemies, Islamism and Zionism thus work for the same aims," namely, "dismantling the Arab states," destroying "the nation-states of the entire Arab Muslim world." Truth be told, "Islamism and Zionism are twin enemies of the same process which prevents a just peace in the Middle East and the beginnings of a fair settlement of the Palestinian question (the victims of an unambiguous ethnic cleansing)." This logically stems from "the theocratic foundations of the Jewish State, which has not given up on its project of Greater Israel."28

(6) Fear of Iraq and its ties to Europe. Iraq has a special place in the view of Del Valle and his colleagues:

For Tel Aviv, the Iraqi State and the nationalist Arab movements close to socialism were more dangerous than Islamist Iran. Baghdad was in the process of acquiring the Arab world's first civilian nuclear industry thanks to scientific cooperation with France, which was about to sell Iraq a 700-megawatt nuclear plant. Both countries insisted that the nuclear plant was meant for civilian use and the supplying of electricity to Baghdad, but Israel was afraid that it could be used to serve atomic bombs meant for its own destruction. Thus the Israeli army's espionage service Aman decided to break Saddam Husayn's nuclear project by brute force. . . . Americans and Israelis refused to allow lay Iraq what they tolerated from fundamentalist Pakistan.29
This benign view of Saddam's designs is complemented by a touching description of his policies:

Regardless of the dictatorial character of Saddam Husayn's regime, it is not wrong to say that this leader, through the Ba`th ideology and his partly pre-Muslim conception of the Iraqi and Arab nation, tried to create the conditions of a philosophical and scientific opening of the Arab Islamic world.30
Such support for Saddam is quite widespread in France. Jean-Pierre Chevènement, the minister of the interior (meaning he is responsible for the police and domestic security), insists that by hitting Iraq, "the Americans are paving the way for a fundamentalist rebellion that is hostile to the West …maintaining the embargo against Iraq is a shame."31 (A past president of the France-Iraq Association, Chevènement has long been a defender of Saddam's role as a modernizer and Westernizer; he resigned his position in January 1991 as minister of defense in protest against Operation Desert Storm.) Gallois shares these views and has voiced them for nearly a decade. He may slap Saddam Husayn on the wrist ("Granted, Baghdad was wrong to invade Kuwait, and also to seek ownership of weapons of mass destruction") but the Iraqi leader's foibles pale in comparison with the merits of his regime.32

(7) Crushing Europe, Russia, and Slavic Orthodoxy. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, weakening Europe has become the main concern of U.S. foreign policy. To contain the "totalitarian democracy" coming out of the United States, a mix of religious fundamentalism and capitalist greed, Europe should ally with Russia and the Orthodox world. Europeans and Muslims are natural allies, Americans invented Islamism as a means to sow disharmony between the two sides.

More, Washington supports "irredentist Islamic-nationalist guerillas that pine for the Ottoman Empire and that can be linked to international terrorists and organized criminals, and of course to the oil-rich countries that have been funding the Islamic terrorism for fifty years." It encourages these movements to "expel the 'infidel occupier': the Yugoslav, Macedonian, Greek (in Thrace and Cyprus) regimes, in the name of a policy of 'neo-containment' — against the Slav-Orthodox world and the nations that refuse American hegemony."33 Gradually, Washington's design is unfolding: it is to create a "neo-Ottoman [military] force" through the Partnership for Peace (PfP) program, which del Valle describes as composed of Azeris, Turks, Georgians, Albanians, and Macedonians.34

Fallen Empire

Fallen empires are jealous and vindictive, and from the bottom of their smallness, they resent their successors. As far as the Arab world is concerned, some in France still have what may be called "Sykes-Picot envy," and wish that France's Mediterranean and Middle Eastern turf had remained virgo intacta, free for France to lord over. This envy sometimes reaches a fever pitch. Biarnès's analysis leads him to an extraordinary rhetorical crescendo: The world today is made out of "so many nations, great and small, which are increasingly tempted to adopt, admittedly with some rhetorical excess, the famous words of Cato the Elder: 'Delenda est America!'" ("America must be destroyed!").35 In like spirit, Richard Labévière asserts in the conclusion to his book that

The intoxication of the dollar — In God We Trust — sweeps everything before it: borders, institutions, cultures, states, and nations. The future belongs to McDonald's and armed prophets.36
The reference to McDonald's is not fortuitous, for a number of (French-owned) McDonald's restaurants were trashed in 1999 by mobs of angry farmers. The arrest of one of their leaders provided an opportunity for a loose alliance of farmers, left-wing unionists, populist politicians, communists, Greens, neo-Gaullists (like Charles Pasqua), and the Catholic ultra-right (Philippe de Villiers) to unite in their rejection of "the American diktat," a phrase often used by the leading fascist politician of France, Jean-Marie Le Pen. The United States has become the metaphor for everything that is wrong, dangerous and threatening. France stands against Walt Disney cartoons, hamburgers, and, as Gallois once told this author in private conversation, the "Negrified culture" of rock and pop.

The idea of a conspiracy of cosmopolitan money to weaken the old nations of Europe is an old one: it appeared in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and in its countless imitations. This brazen anti-Semitism dovetails with a long tradition of left-wing intellectual anti-Americanism. Much of the French left and ultra-left has shared this view of a degenerate, imperialistic, capitalist United States.37 Jean-Paul Sartre in his time and Jean Baudrillard today ("Every country in the world today is caught between two enemies: its own minorities and America"38) make the same kinds of arguments.

Alexandre del Valle writes of American culture that it "is a culture of subversion conceived to uproot and weaken the peoples that are subjected to it passively. The moral and cultural disintegration of the European nations caused by the Americanization of the minds and mores"39 is the fundamental problem. On account of not being "organic," "homogenous" and "natural," the United States is a degenerate nation. The "Epicurean Occidental-American culture" is all-destructive; it fosters "the social and moral disintegration" of Europe. What can the Old World do to defend itself from "cultural Americanization and materialism?" He has specific ideas about "a renaissance of Europe's spiritual identity" that will be made possible by the fact that

the McWorld culture will sooner or later be doomed to destruction, given its inherently anti-traditional and heterogeneous, fragile nature. Its nihilism generates sterility in all meanings of the word, it appears fundamentally as a culture in decomposition, which is organically necessary to American imperialism.
It is, in short, a "culture of death."40

Hating the United States has been a consolation for France's decline. It is also a way to give some meaning to a world French intellectuals view in Manichean terms. Léon Poliakov's profound concept of the "devil's causality," the omnipotent Satanic principle that explains everything, in particular the great conspiracies that run the world but will ultimately be defeated by the righteous,41 plainly applies to the ideas discussed here.

Is Anyone Listening?

How significant are Labévière, del Valle, Burgat, Gallois, et al.? Their books are not best-sellers; their names are not well-known. Most French people, confronting these ideas in their raw state, would find them outlandish.

But then, their views are published and reproduced. These are not isolated individuals preaching in the desert, but a genuine current. Each of them uses the others as references to buttress his credibility. These theories would be confined to the fringes of French public affairs were they not feeding into the souverainiste current which is having an indisputable impact on political thinking. Their writings are often published by the same publishing houses and journals.42 They are also spread, in softened form, in influential journals (like Le Monde diplomatique) as well as in many left-wing, right-wing and ultra-right journals of varied circulation. Some of their ideas, debated in academic and intellectual circles, find audiences in the diplomatic service and other parts of the government. Part of this inventory of ideas finds its way into the political mainstream through better known, if less extreme spokesmen, such as the leftist politician Jean-Pierre Chevènement, the critic Régis Debray, or the philosopher, communist-turned-Islamist (and violent anti-Semite) Roger Garaudy.

More important than their practical political impact, these ideas feed the upsurge of anti-American sentiment in today's France. The imaginative generalizations and outright ineptitudes described here stem largely from a resentment of American power. The United States has convincingly shown up de Gaulle's grandiose and exaggerated view of France's international role and power, which always was largely based on make-believe, but which was persuasive for some years. Rude reality — as represented by the United States — is unpleasant, and, consequently, disliked. De Gaulle at least had historical achievements to back up his claims. His putative heirs have none. He could make claims, however fanciful. They must make boasts, however fatuous. As Talleyrand observed with his characteristic sharpness: "Tout ce qui est exagéré est insignifiant" ("Everything exaggerated is insignificant").

Laurent Murawiec is a senior policy analyst with the RAND Corporation in Washington, D.C. He recently translated Carl von Clausewitz's On War into French (Librairie académique Perrin, 1999) and his forthcoming La guerre au XXIè siècle (Odile Jacob, 2000) deals with the revolution in military affairs.

1 Paul-Marie de la Gorce, quoted in Ignacio Ramonet, Géopolitique du chaos (Paris : Galilée, 1997), p. 45.

2 Pierre Biarnès, Le XXIè siècle ne sera pas Américain (Paris : Editions du Rocher, 1998), p. 9.

3 Del Valle, "Genèse et actualité," p. 32.

4 Quoted by Jean-Pierre Péroncel-Hugoz in his "Afterword" to del Valle's book, Islamisme et Etats-Unis, p. 345.

5 William Abitbol and Paul-Marie Coûteaux, "Souverainisme, j'écris ton nom," Le Monde, Sept. 30, 1999.

6 Ramonet, Géopolitique du chaos, p. 40.

7 Alexandre del Valle, "Genèse et actualité de la 'stratégie' pro-islamiste des Etats-Unis," Stratégique, Feb.-Mar. 1998, p. 42.

8 Alexandre del Valle, Islamisme et Etats-Unis: Une alliance contre l'Europe (Lausanne: l'Age d'Homme, 1999), p. 316.

9 François Burgat, L'Islamisme en face (Paris: La Découverte, 1996), also at http://msanews.mynet/scholars/Burgat/peril.

10 Burgat, L'Islamisme en face, at http://msanews.mynet/scholars/Burgat/peril.

11 Richard Labévière: Les dollars de la terreur: les Etats-Unis et l'Islamisme (Paris: Grasset, 1999), p. 16.

12 Pierre M. Gallois, La France sort-elle de l'Histoire? (Lausanne: L'Age d'Homme, 1998), p. 40.

13 Labévière Les dollars de la terreur, p. 23.

14 Labévière, Les dollars de la terreur, p. 222.

15 Del Valle, "Genèse et actualité," p. 32.

16 Labévière, Les dollars de la terreur, p. 15.

17 Del Valle, "Genèse et actualité," p. 34.

18 Labévière, Les dollars de la terreur, p. 15.

19 Del Valle, "Genèse et actualité," p. 39.

20 Del Valle, "Genèse et actualité," p. 44.

21 Labévière, Les dollars de la terreur, pp. 8-9.

22 Del Valle, "Genèse et actualité," p. 31.

23 Del Valle, Islamisme et Etats-Unis, p. 14.

24 Gallois, La France, p. 40.

25 Gallois, La France. The author explains the dismemberment of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia as the result of a conspiracy involving the United States, Germany, the Vatican, and Croatia.

26 Del Valle, "Genèse et actualité," p. 47.

27 Labévière, Les dollars de la terreur, p. 222.

28 Labévière, Les dollars de la terreur, p. 432.

29 Del Valle, "Genèse et actualité," p. 37.

30 Del Valle, "Genèse et actualité," p. 61.

31 Quoted by del Valle, "Genèse et actualité," p. 62.

32 Gallois, La France, p. 21.

33 Del Valle, Islamisme et Etats-Unis, p. 7.

34 Del Valle, "Genèse et actualité," p. 62.

35 Biarnès, Le XXIè siècle, p. 85.

36 Labévière, Les dollars de la terreur, p.433.

37 James Ceaser, Reconstructing America: The Symbol of America in Modern Thought (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997).

38 Jean Baudrillard, "Duplicité totale de cette guerre", Libération, Apr. 29, 1999.

39 Del Valle, Islamisme et Etats-Unis, p. 312.

40 Del Valle, Islamisme et Etats-Unis, p. 316.

41 Léon Poliakov, La causalité diabolique (Paris: Calmann-Lévy, c1980-c1985).

42 L'Age d'Homme, of Lausanne, Switzerland. is interesting. Previously a publisher of Slavic-language literary masterpieces, it became in the late 1980s a hotbed of ultra-nationalist pro-Serbian agitation. Vladimir Dmitrievitch, its Serbian director, is linked to ferociously anti-Western institutions in Moscow, as well as with fascist writer Alexander Zinoviev.
18 posted on 04/15/2004 10:19:18 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; ...
The Wacky World of French Intellectuals

April 15, 2004
Laurent Murawiec
19 posted on 04/15/2004 10:20:33 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Defense Minister Sees Al-Sadr Political Role

April 15, 2004
Dow Jones Newswires
The Associated Press

WARSAW -- Iran's defense minister told his Polish counterpart Thursday that radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr should have a political role in Iraq, the Polish minister said.

The Iranian minister, Ali Shamkhani, met Poland's Jerzy Szmajdzinski at the start of a two-day visit to Poland that came as 2,500 U.S. troops massed outside the Shiite holy city of Najaf, vowing to capture al-Sadr.

The cleric's militia launched a bloody uprising last week against coalition forces in Iraq.

"I attentively listened to my guest, who thinks that al-Sadr should be put to a use in Iraq's public life which will result in turning his units into a political, not a military base," Szmajdzinski said after the talks. Shamkhani did not comment.

Earlier Thursday, an Iranian envoy headed to Najaf in a mission to work out a solution to the U.S. standoff with al-Sadr.

Poland commands a 9,500-strong international peacekeeping force in south-central Iraq, including 2,400 of its own troops. The zone includes Najaf.
20 posted on 04/15/2004 10:21:27 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Dangerous Liaisons

April 15, 2004
National Review Online
Michael Rubin

Are we compromising with the enemy in Iraq?

On April 14, Shaykh Qays al-Khazali, Baghdad office director for Muqtada al-Sadr, told al-Jazeera that the firebrand cleric sought unconditional negotiation with Coalition forces. What a difference a week makes. On April 7, al-Khazali had stood before al-Manar cameras to enumerate Muqtada al-Sadr's demands calling for American withdrawal. Just two days ago, Muqtada al-Sadr gave an "exclusive" interview to the same network from his Najaf hideout. The medium is significant. Al-Manar is the television channel of Lebanese Hezbollah, defined by the State Department as a terrorist organization. While European diplomats may prevaricate about whether Hezbollah deserves such a designation, the organization is unapologetic about its mission. Just 18 months ago, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah told Lebanon's Daily Star, "If they [Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them world wide." Anti-American and Anti-Semitic slogans decorate the compound Hezbollah and the Iranian-subsidized Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq share in Basra. Muqtada al-Sadr has openly incited violence and call for suicide bombings. Residents of Najaf complain that al-Sadr's militia invades homes, smashes satellite dishes, and holds its own ad hoc law courts, sentencing ordinary Iraqis to Draconian torture.

Sitting in Washington, London, or the oasis of Baghdad's Green Zone, it is easy for officials to advocate engagement. Muqtada al-Sadr's "concession" has ignited calls for compromise by television pundits and politicians who, while well-meaning, will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. The British government, with tacit U.S. approval, has initiated discussions with the Iranian foreign ministry. A team led by top Iranian diplomat Hossein Sadeghi visited Iraq in recent days, but his talks went nowhere. The Iranian regime used Washington and London's outreach not to promote dialogue, but to humiliate the United States at a time our soldiers sacrifice to preserve Iraq's freedom. Leaking news of the talks on Iranian television, the Islamic Republic's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi demonstrated to his domestic audience that the United States was not in control and had run to Iran for assistance. Moving in for the propaganda kill, Kharrazi stated, "The solution is for occupiers to leave Iraq."

The Iranian government's offer of assistance in Iraq is akin to an arsonist offering his help put out a fire. Even if the Iranian foreign ministry were sincere, it has no more power over Iranian policy than Washington's Department of Motor Vehicles has over U.S. policy. Nevertheless, can engagement with the Iranians — or negotiations with Muqtada al-Sadr — do any harm? They already have. Diplomats and pundits now suggest that U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi might co-opt Muqtada al-Sadr or his proxies into an interim Iraqi government. The lesson for potential populist leaders? Violence works.

Washington's decision to engage the Islamic Republic has undercut liberty and freedom in Iran. Ahmed Batebi, made famous by an Economist cover photograph showing him holding a bloodied shirt during 1999 student demonstrations, remains locked up in Tehran's notorious Evin Prison. He and hundreds of other dissidents will see on Iranian state television that, despite Bush's call for freedom, Foggy Bottom and the National Security Council continue to lend legitimacy to an unrepresentative and dictatorial regime. Pundits and diplomats alike argue that engagement encourages reform within Iran's governing clique. But, the Islamic Republic's main concern is not the dichotomy between hardliners and reformers, but rather the challenge a free Iraq poses to the religious legitimacy of the Iranian regime.

On April 10, Grand Ayatollah Husayn Ali Montazeri, former deputy to Islamic Republic founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, declared that Muqtada al-Sadr had no legitimacy. "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," Montazeri said in a statement faxed to Reuters. Significantly, Montazeri called on Iraqis to support Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the Iraqi Shii community's most widely respected religious leader. "It is rational that under Ayatollah Sistani's direction and through a union of Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds who are all Muslims, a stable government should be established in Iraq," Montazeri said. Shii religious leadership spans political boundaries. By implicitly endorsing Sistani, Montazeri undercut the legitimacy of Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei who seeks to be the region's most preeminent political leader. It is ironic that, while even Iran's religious community struggle for freedom from Iran's clerical regime, American and British diplomats inadvertently empower the region's most populous dictatorship.

The devil may be in the details but, in the Middle East, details are important. There is a fierce competition between Qom, the spiritual center of Iran, and Najaf, the spiritual center of Iraq. Muqtada al-Sadr may be holed up in Najaf, but Iraqis questions why Washington would show such insensitivity to Iraqi nationalist inclinations by reaching out to Iranians rather than the Iraqis themselves. After all, Najaf's community leaders have twice before since liberation expelled Muqtada al-Sadr from their city without U.S. assistance. While Sistani speaks of his opposition to the theological concept upon which Iran's clerical regime is based, London and Washington undercut his and our interests by lending the Iranian government legitimacy in Iraq which even the Iraqi population is not willing to offer. Rather than fulfill the president's policy of supporting Iraqi liberals and democrats, our Iraqi allies are standing by while we reward their antagonists.

There has been great progress in liberated Iraq. Electricity has rebounded. The Coalition, in partnership with Iraqis, has started reconstructing the educational infrastructure after years of Baathist neglect. More affluent individuals among the silent Iraqi majority have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in new businesses, confident that the age of dictatorship has ended. Iraqi families, long uncertain as to the fate of their loved ones, now have closure as mass graves are uncovered and remains processed. Students no longer need join the Baath party to attend university. According to the Guardian of London, one-out-of-six Iraqis fled during the reign of Saddam Hussein; now, many return to restart their lives. The Islamic Republic continues to hemorrhage her best and brightest who, unwilling to partake in the charade of Iranian elections, vote instead with their feet. The United States should not be embarrassed of its principles, nor should we compromise them.
21 posted on 04/15/2004 10:22:12 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; ...
Dangerous Liaisons

April 15, 2004
National Review Online
Michael Rubin
22 posted on 04/15/2004 10:24:21 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: Stefania
Thanks for your posts
23 posted on 04/15/2004 2:56:19 PM PDT by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ( President Bush 3-20-04))
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To: DoctorZIn
The U.S. has in the past held negotiations with the turkey before cutting its head off, e.g., David Koresh and Elian Gonzales.

Al-Sadr may be confused by the appearance of negotiations, thereby paralyzing any decisive action.

He is discovered, and either captured or killed.

The Kibuki costumes go back to wardrobe until the next performance.

24 posted on 04/15/2004 3:07:16 PM PDT by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: DoctorZIn

TEHRAN 15 Apr. (IPS)

Iran condemned the assassination of one of its diplomat in Baghdad, attributing it indirectly to the Americans that, in the words of the official spokesman of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, "with their silly occupation of Iraq, they have plunged the nation, the region and the world into chaos".

Mr. Khalil Na'imi, the press and cultural attache at the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad was shot dead early this afternoon by unknown assailants as he was driving near the Embassy's compound in the Haifa Street, sources at the Embassy said and confirmed by the official news agency .

This is the first time that an Iranian diplomat is assassinated in Iraq, where colleagues from Spain, Turkey and other nations had been targeted before.

The diplomat was killed as Tehran, on request from Britain, has dispatched a five-member diplomatic mission to Baghdad to mediate between the Americans and Shi'a and Sunni militants fighting them in cities and localities situated north and south of the Capital controlled by either Sunni or Shi'a militants.

An identified source from the Iranian Embassy in the war-ravaged Iraqi capital said the assassination was the work of "people who do not want see Iraq finding peace and stability" and did not rule out the possible connection between the murder of Mr. Na'imi and the Iranian peace mission, headed by Mr. Hoseyn Sadeqi, the Head of the Persian Gulf and Arab Department of the Iranian Foreign Affairs Ministry.

"The chaos, the blood shed in Iraq and the violence out there are all the fruits of foolish American policy in the region and Washington's approach to terrorism", commented the Iraqi-born official Spokesman for the Foreign Affairs Ministry Hamid Reza Asefi.

Hojjatoleslam Mehdi Karroobi, the Speaker of the Majles also blamed the Americans and like Mr. Asefi, called on the "occupation" forces to get out "the soonest possible" and hand over the administration to the Iraqi people.

Asked about the Iranian peace mission, Mr. Karroobi said Iran has "strong influence" in Iraq and "it is normal that we do out best to restore peace" in the neighbouring nation "with which we have traditional bounds".

Mr. Sadeqi told correspondents that he was awaiting order from Tehran to whether carry out his mission or pack and go back to Iran, as the most important part of his efforts was to meet Hojjatoleslam Moqtada Sadr, the young Shi'a cleric who started the last round of violence.

Accused of the murder of another cleric last year, Mr. Moqtada who is now hiding in a sacred shrine in Najaf announced yesterday that he would obey the higher religious authorities and disband his Mahdi Army, transforming it into a political party.

Mr. Na'imi was killed in his car hours after Sunni captors shot dead a young Italian they had captured last week with three others while freeing three Japanese hostages and a French cameraman.

So far, there are still 40 foreigners at the hands of groups fighting American forces and their allies.

25 posted on 04/15/2004 4:05:25 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Defense Minister Sees Al-Sadr Political Role

April 15, 2004
Dow Jones Newswires
The Associated Press

WARSAW -- Iran's defense minister told his Polish counterpart Thursday that radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr should have a political role in Iraq, the Polish minister said.

The Iranian minister, Ali Shamkhani, met Poland's Jerzy Szmajdzinski at the start of a two-day visit to Poland that came as 2,500 U.S. troops massed outside the Shiite holy city of Najaf, vowing to capture al-Sadr.

The cleric's militia launched a bloody uprising last week against coalition forces in Iraq.

"I attentively listened to my guest, who thinks that al-Sadr should be put to a use in Iraq's public life which will result in turning his units into a political, not a military base," Szmajdzinski said after the talks. Shamkhani did not comment.

Earlier Thursday, an Iranian envoy headed to Najaf in a mission to work out a solution to the U.S. standoff with al-Sadr.

Poland commands a 9,500-strong international peacekeeping force in south-central Iraq, including 2,400 of its own troops. The zone includes Najaf.
26 posted on 04/15/2004 4:06:14 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranian defense minister, Ali Shamkhani.

27 posted on 04/15/2004 4:07:52 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Has Hand in Iraq Violence

April 15, 2004
United Press International
Roland Flamini, Chief International Correspondent

WASHINGTON -- An Iranian government delegation was in Iraq Thursday apparently to help negotiate an end to the Shiite insurrection. The group was led by Hossein Sadeghi of the Iranian Foreign Ministry, and its mission was reported by the Iranian official news agency IRNA, thus bringing out into the open Tehran's covert interest in shaping the course of developments in its chaotic neighbor.

The two countries share a common religion -- Shiite Islam -- and Iran's main lines of communication are religious, which in Iran is synonymous with political, but not in Iraq - yet in any case. The visiting Iranians will consult with Iraqi clerics, and members of the Iraqi Governing Council, IRNA said, but makes no mention of meetings with U.S. officials.

Washington broke off diplomatic ties with Iran after Iranian revolutionaries occupied the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979 and held 52 American staff members hostage for 444 days. But since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, back channels of communication have been opened as each side has striven to reassure the other. On the U.S. side, this has meant calming the Iranian regime's nerves that it might be next in line for an American incursion. On the Iranian side, it meant trying to dispel U.S. suspicions that the regime is plotting with fundamentalist groups in Iraq's Shiite majority to set up an Iranian-style, essentially anti-American government controlled by its clerics.

The Iranians have indicated that contacts with Washington have recently broken down. Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said Wednesday that while there had been "dialogue" with the United States about Iraq, "currently it has stopped because we felt we were going nowhere. The Americans give promises, but don't keep their promises." Kharrazi gave no details -- the admission of contacts in itself was unusual enough -- but one known disputed incident was the recent U.S. decision to expel the Iranian charge d'affaires in Baghdad, Hassan Kazemi Qomi. According to Arab sources, the Americans believed that he headed Iranian intelligence in Iraq.

There is also escalating disagreement over cross-border traffic. Every day between 14,000 and 15,000 Iranian pilgrims travel to Iraq to visit Shiite shrines. Under pressure from the U.S. occupation authority in Iraq, the newly formed Iraqi police have imposed tighter screening at the Iran-Iraq frontier to block access to suspected intelligence agents, guerrillas, members of the Quds (Jerusalem) Unit of the Revolutionary Guards, and other undesirables who could foment more mayhem in Iraq.

In reality, some of the more aggressive members of the Bush administration, flushed with the military success of the Iraq invasion and unable to find the weapons of mass destruction Saddam Hussein was supposed to have stashed, did talk seriously of tackling neighboring Iran, which did have a nuclear program. But Britain, France, and Germany quickly stepped in and persuaded the Iranians to submit to inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Iran, on the other hand, has sent mixed signals about its interest in Iraq, reflecting the deep divisions in its own government. It is widely believed that the ruling fundamentalist ayatollahs are fanning violence, bloodshed and chaos in Iraq. Why? Safa Haeri, writing in the Asia Times says the Iranian regime "is vehemently afraid of the emergence of a democratic Iraq on its troubled borders, and for that reason is pulling every string at its disposal."

In this scenario, one of the strings is Moqtada Sadr. For a long time the fiery Iraqi Shiite cleric who is behind the Shiite insurrection against U.S. troops was lukewarm towards Iran, but Arab diplomatic sources in Washington said he became a fierce supporter of an Iranian style Islamic republic in his own country after visiting Iran last year and receiving promises of financial and military support from the regime in return for giving the Americans as much trouble as possible.

Iranian reformers led by President Muhammad Khatami have favored support for the more moderate approach of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani and Iraqi Shiite majority opinion. Sistani is opposed to violence because he believes that the Shiites, who make up more than 60 percent of the total Iraqi population, have numbers on their side and will eventually gain control in a free election. Iran's two-track approach, though growing out of rivalry rather than cooperation, has its advantages for Tehran, which still is not certain what to make of the situation.

Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the second most powerful cleric after the spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and a former two-term president, said in his weekly sermon Friday that the U.S. occupation of Iraq was both "an opportunity and threat, for this wounded giant, blessed with all the huge possibilities it possesses, can take very dangerous actions that would cost itself and others dearly. But if it is taught a lesson (in Iraq), neither the United States nor any other superpower would ever think of engaging in military adventures by occupying other nations."

In other words, a U.S. failure in Iraq would be a lesson for the superpower, but the risk is that the fallout of that failure could endanger Iraq's neighbors and the region as a whole.

In his sermon Rafsanjani -- himself once considered a reformer -- did not endorse Moqtada Sadr's tactics and the violence it has produced in Iraq, but had words of praise for Sadr's Mehdi Army as a movement of "enthusiastic, heroic young people" who "contribute to the security of the nation."

The Arab sources quoted earlier give Iranian agents some of the credit -- if that's what it is -- for creating a Sunni-Shiite alliance against U.S. forces, something U.S. authorities had predicted would never happen. But the sources said that cohesion could backfire for Tehran because it signaled that Iraqi nationalism was not dead.

"Every Iraqi -- every Arab -- is aware that Iranians are not Arabs, even if they do share the same religion," one of the sources pointed out. "In the Iran-Iraq war, (Ayatollah) Khomeini thought Shiite troops in the Iraqi army would not fight against fellow Shiites, but they did. Ultimately, what Iraqi Shiites want to do is run the show, not hand it to the Iranians."

On Thursday, unknown gunmen shot dead a diplomat from the Iranian embassy in Baghdad as he was riding in his car in the Iraqi capital. It was not known whether the killing was linked to Iranian mediation efforts, but the Iranians are learning to their cost that involvement has its price, no matter on whose side.
28 posted on 04/15/2004 4:08:23 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Arab Recession and Rise of Iran

April 15, 2004
Salameh Nematt

Two days ago, the American President tried hard to convince Americans of something that was supposed to be evident: Iraqis love freedom and democracy, and are convinced of them; and the ferocious resistance you are seeing in Iraq today, is not the stance of the majority. Bush tried hard, because Americans, after what happened and is still going on, have become suspicious of the fact that Iraqis really want this "donation" coming from Uncle Sam. Is it possible that military force is the only means to impose democracy that most Iraqis want?

One of the paradoxes that stemmed out of the Iraqi scene after the recent bloody events, is that the American political path, which is parallel to the military, has become a matter of investing the same power that Washington tried to marginalize in the new Iraq, since the ousting of Saddam Hussein's regime: Iran and the religious leadership allied with it. The confirmation of Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi, that Washington asked Tehran to interfere in order to calm the situation, after it asked for the help of Ayatollah Sistani, is a rational result; for the lack of any other political reference that the American administration could rely on. Note that Washington did not ask for the help of the Arab League or any neighboring Arab country, not because it does not wish for them to interfere, but because it knows that none of these countries possesses enough power or reliability to interfere efficiently. This, if it does not consider that its interference might harm the situation more than help it.

It might be efficient for the concerned Arab countries to review their policies, in order to benefit from the mistakes of the past, which made a country like Iran become an essential regional player in an Arab country, although it is constrained by its internal conflict between reformists and conservatives. While it is possible to understand the situation of the current Arab paralysis vis-à-vis Iraq, as a natural result for the stand of Arabs against the war, without presenting practical alternatives, in addition to the unannounced alliance of some of them with the former regime; it is not understandable for Arab diplomacy not to be mobilized today, in order to enter in a direct and efficient way in this stage, for the known reasons. But there seems to be no attempts of the style of having Arab officials on the level of Foreign Ministers, visiting Baghdad in order to consult with Iraqis groups, about what could be done in order to help building a new Iraq. Arab governments seem to be content with declarations about their care about the unity and independence of Iraq, without doing anything in order to help it achieve this unity and that independence. Waiting until the establishment of an elected Iraqi government, means waiting until after the formation of the new Iraq, which will be too late. Instead of Arab countries getting mobilized in order to give legitimacy and veracity for the Ruling Council by supporting its stances, some of them worked in an organized way on restricting its representative veracity and legitimacy, on the basis that it is not an elected council. The result is that an authority like Sistani and an enthusiastic young man like Moqtada Al Sadr have become the reference for the establishment of a free, independent, and democratic Iraq, in coordination with the occupation forces!
29 posted on 04/15/2004 4:08:56 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Myers: Foreign Fighters Still Infiltrating Iraq through Iran

April 15, 2004
VOA News
Kerry Sheridan

A top U.S. military official visiting Iraq says foreign fighters are still infiltrating Iraq through the borders of Syria and Iran and that additional resources may be needed to stabilize the country.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard Myers, said "we know for a fact" that Syrian and Iranian insurgents are crossing the border into Iraq to destabilize the situation.

The general, who on Wednesday began a surprise visit to Iraq to assess the fighting between coalition troops and Shiite and Sunni Arab resistance, told a news conference that he believes many insurgents are angry about the success being made toward Iraqi self-rule.

“And I think it is that success which is driving the current situation, because there are those extremists that don't want that success,” General Myers said. “They see this as a test of wills a test of resolve against those who believe that freedom and self-determination against those that prefer a regime like we saw previously in Afghanistan, or perhaps a regime like we saw previously in Iraq. I think it is their frustration that has generated a lot of the situation we have seen now as well.”

Some 2500 coalition troops are surrounding the holy city of Najaf, where the radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr is said to be located. U.S. forces have vowed to kill or capture him for inciting violence against the coalition. An Iraqi judge has issued a warrant for his arrest in connection with the murder of a rival cleric last year.

An Iranian diplomat was shot to death in his car Thursday, shortly after an Iranian delegation began attempts to mediate between the cleric and U.S. coalition authorities. Iran's Foreign Ministry said the killing was most certainly linked to the visit.

Meanwhile, an Italian hostage was executed by his captors, marking the first killing of a hostage since a recent spate of kidnappings began targeting foreigners inside Iraq.

Three Japanese hostages were set free after seven days in captivity and threats that they would be burned alive if Japanese forces did not leave Iraq.
30 posted on 04/15/2004 4:09:26 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Ali Shamkhani is ethnically Arab. He comes from the mere 2% of Iran's population, which BTW has about 10-20% representation in the Iranian government, including foreigners such as Shahroudi who's an Iraqi-Arab import and Haeri another Iraqi-Arab import.

Goes to show you who's exactly 'running' the country.
31 posted on 04/15/2004 5:42:10 PM PDT by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn

Fairuza Balk is Persian - has starred in many films

Fairuza!" her father exclaimed as he saw her blue eyes (that's "turquoise" in Persian); Fairuza Alejandra Balk had just been born, May 21, 1974. Her father Solomon Feldthouse was a traveling musician, and her mother Cathryn Balk was a belly dancer. Her parents split up soon after. Fairuza grew up just north of San Francisco on a commune-type ranch. Her mother later found some work in Vancouver, it was there that Fairuza got her first acting job in a TV-movie, at age 9. Two years later, it was off to England; Fairuza attended the Royal Academy of Ballet, the Ramona Beauchamp Agency and the Bush Davies Performing Arts School. Fairuza would work for Disney for a while; at age 11 she was chosen from out of 1,200 girls to play the part of Dorothy, starring in "Return to Oz" (1985). A year later she would star as, prophetically enough, "The Worst Witch" (a harbinger of her breakout role in "The Craft" 10 years later). Fairuza and her mother remained in London until 1988, then headed to Paris where the 15-year-old Fairuza starred in "Valmont." The next year they returned to Vancouver where Fairuza enrolled in high school. But, despite being a movie star, Fairuza was shy in class; she ended up doing correspondence courses. Back in Hollywood, Fairuza starred in a string of movies, including "Gas Food Lodging" (1992) for which she received an Independent Spirit Award for Best Actress. Following further TV and film work, the beautiful Fairuza, now 5'3" and 100 lbs, achieved cult status with her starring role as a teenage witch in her signature movie "The Craft" (1996). This movie gave Fairuza her greatest fame; (in real life, she owns a Wiccan shop, "Panpipes Magickal" in Hollywood). The same year she appeared in "The Island of Dr. Moreau, " in which she did some belly dancing, and attracted the attention of Lancashire, England-born costar David Thewlis; it was rumored that they were dating. They did 2 more movies together: "American Perfekt" (1997) and "Great Sex" (2000). Fairuza was the love interest in the wildly popular flick "The Waterboy" (1998) and had a major role in "American History X" (which is in IMDb's Top 250 movie list). With a half dozen movies for 2000, Fairuza is much in demand. Her interests are: writing poetry and stories; playing the guitar; singing (her main enjoyment); and dancing. Fairuza lives in Venice, CA, and has an apartment in New York City. As befits a Wiccan, she has 5 cats (familiars?), named: MoMo, Scout, Oscar, Sweetpea Poteet Tennessee, and Mouse.
32 posted on 04/15/2004 5:58:35 PM PDT by freedom44
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To: knighthawk; McGavin999; SJackson; tet68; Eala; Stultis; river rat; risk; F14 Pilot; DoctorZIn; ...

Second Place, Pictures of the Year International
Newsha Tavakolian U.S. News & World Report

"Tehran Pool Party" Rabei looks out the window at her grandchildren relaxing by the pool, in a trendy Tehran suburb, during a hot summer day. Much of the population of Iran is under thirty without much memory of life before the Islamic Revolution of 1979.
33 posted on 04/15/2004 6:05:20 PM PDT by freedom44
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To: F14 Pilot
Can anybody explain this assassination to me? I am totally confused here. What on earth was the purpose. It makes no sense.
34 posted on 04/15/2004 6:28:30 PM PDT by McGavin999 (Evil thrives when good men do nothing.)
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To: DoctorZIn
This thread is now closed.

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

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

35 posted on 04/15/2004 9:45:20 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Prayers for Aghajari.

I was so much hoping that the nobel committe would have had som guts last year and awarded the prize to him instead of to the Mullahs.

He is a true hero.
36 posted on 04/15/2004 10:10:11 PM PDT by Eurotwit
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