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

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

1 posted on 04/17/2004 9:01:11 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 04/17/2004 9:04:21 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
I just received this from Banafsheh. - DoctorZin

"Dear Friends,

My father is an innocent man and has been put through hell at the hands of world reknowned killers of the Islamic Republic of Iran; these murderers hold thousands of innocent Iranians, like my 74 year old father in their hellacious prisons and put them through tortures that I would not wish on my worst enemy...I apeal to you to send this e-mail around the world to everyone you know and enlighten them to the hell that the Islamic Republic of terrorist Mullahs has unleashed on not only Iranians...

Thank you.


Iran16 April 2004

Health of imprisoned journalist causes concern, another gets jail sentence

Reporters Without Borders today voiced concern about the state of health of jailed 75-year-old journalist Siamak Pourzand, it deplored the 18-month prison sentence just passed on freelance journalist Ensafali Hedayat, and it voiced outrage at the UN Human Rights Commission's failure to condemn the Islamic Republic during its 60th session.

The organisation warned that Pourzand's life could be in great danger if he is not released immediately and given appropriate treatment. He has been paralysed for months and suffered a heart attack on 31 March that left him in a coma for 36 hours.

The refusal to free him on medical grounds suggests that the authorities have failed to learn any lesson from the death of photojournalist Zahra Kazemi on 10 July 2003 from a beating received in detention, the organisation said, calling for the release of all 12 journalists currently imprisoned in Iran.

In a continuing crackdown on freedom of expression, Hedayat was sentenced on 14 April by a court in the northwestern town of Tabriz to 18 months in prison, of which a year was for "insulting senior officials of the Islamic Republic" and six months for "propaganda against the regime."

At the same time, the title of "Best Leader of the Year" has just been awarded to Tehran state prosecutor Said Mortazavi, who as head of a "press tribunal" has been responsible for the closure of about 100 newspapers and the arrests of many journalists, and who has been directly implicated in Kazemi's death.

The award of this title to Mortazavi "would be the height of absurdity if the situation were not so tragic," Reporters Without Borders said, adding that the Islamic Republic was just highlighting its arbitrary and repressive nature by celebrating this travesty of justice.

"Amid these sinister developments, it is outrageous that none of the member countries of the UN Human Rights Commission, not even the countries of the European Union, has until now tabled a resolution condemning Iran," Reporters Without Borders added.

A freelance contributor to several independent newspapers, Pourzand has been in prison since 30 March 2003. He is bedridden with osteoarthritis of the neck and disk problems that need an operation. He went into a coma after a heart attack two weeks ago. He spent months in solitary confinement and was forced to confess on television by means of psychological pressure and torture.

Pourzand was previously arrested on 24 November 2001 and sentenced in May 2002 to eight years in prison for "actions against state security and links with monarchists and counter-revolutionaries." He had been allowed home in December 2002 before been returned to prison in March 2003.

Hedayat was arrested on 16 January 2004 on the orders of the Tabriz court when he returned from Germany. He was previously arrested on 16 June 2003 at Tabriz university while covering student protests.

With 12 journalists detained, Iran is the biggest prison for the press in the Middle East."

3 posted on 04/17/2004 9:06:53 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

By Hasan Hashemian*

TEHRAN 17 Apr. (IPS) While fighting continue in Iraq between the American and Coalition forces in both north and south of Baghdad with Sunni and Shi’a militants and Iranian ended their aborted mediation, a senior Iranian journalist says that Moqtada al-Sadr, the young, turbulent cleric who has reached fame thanks to the free political atmosphere in Iraq prevailing after the fall of Saddam Hussein has lost all opportunities and "soon, no one would hear of him".

Un-identified Iranian diplomatic sources said in Tehran that the mission Iran had send to Iraq to restore calm and peace had come back without meeting Mr. Sadr, who is hiding in the holy city of Najaf, surrounded by American forces that have order to arrest him.

During his two days stay in Iraq, the delegation, led by Mr. Hussein Sadeqi, the General Director of the Persian Gulf and Arab Affairs at the Foreign Affairs Ministry had met with senior British and American diplomats in Baghdad as well as with Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the highest Shi’a authority in Iraq, the source confirmed.

However, the Iranian mission was marred after unknown Iraqi gunmen shot dead on Thursday Mr. Khalil Na’imi, the Cultural and Press attaché at the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad.

"One has to accept the fact that the political atmosphere that prevailed in Iraq after the fall of the dictator Saddam Hussein was unprecedented concerning freedom of political and social activities and the expression. These rights were also open to Moqtada and his followers. But, on the very concepts learned under Saddam, they used these freedoms and rights to their own benefit, raising against freedom, they created their own army with the help of some neighbouring powers, cleansed schools and offices under their control from unveiled women and experienced cadre, becoming part of the Iraqi chaos at a time that the country needed peace and security", noted Mr. Hasan Hashemian, an independent journalist in Tehran.

Bellow are large excerpts from his article published by the Germany-based "Iran-emrooz" website newspaper on 17 April 2004.

"If Moqtada Sadr and his followers would have been a bit more wise and intelligent, they would profit a lot from the past days events, at a time that they had been able to focus on themselves the attention of both the public opinion and the Coalition forces, increasing their weight in the future Iraqi government. However, its seem that this young political group lacks any kind of maturity, losing the support of the very people who were provoking them. It is therefore no surprise to see that many pundits of Arab affairs have reached the conclusion that the date of the use of this group is limited to a certain period that is also coming to an end".

After reminding that Moqtada, during his life under the rule of Saddam had "no political activities but to be the editor of Al Hoda weekly, using the influence of his father, a publication that with some 500 copies, had no influence, even among the Shi’a, refraining from criticising the dictator", Mr. Hashemian observes that the young cleric emerges "overnight" as a political leader after 9 April that marks the fall of Saddam Hussein, "with the particularity of criticising and opposing everyone, acting more as a nuisance power, having nothing constructive".

According to Mr. Hashemian, Moqtada’s followers are mostly young, illiterate fellows from poor villages or Baghdad who were either students of his father or enrolled in religious schools in Iran, "other Sunnis who changed side and traditional clothes for aba and ammameh (Shi’a clerics robe and turban), growing beards in joining Moqtada. Their first violent act was to assassinate Hojjatoleslam Abdol Majid al-Kho’i, a young intellectual Iraqi cleric in the holly shrine (in Najaf) of the first Imam of the Shi’a (Ali) and the first Iraqi group they targeted was the Supreme Assembly of the Islamic Revolution of Iraq (SAIRI) led by (Hojjatoleslam Abdol Aziz) Hakim, (a member of the Americna-installed Iraqi Provisory Government who is the younger brother of the late Ayatollah Mohammad Baqer al-Hakim, also assassinated in Najaf last year, probably at the hands of Moqtada and his group), accused of being Iranian proxy.

"The number of personalities and groups under Moqtada’s fire grew to include the whole of the IPG, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sisitani accused of leniency and silence, the Iraqi Communist Party, the leaders of the two main Kurdish organisations, Adnan Pachachi etc…. Now, everyone in Iraq who wants peace, order and security and reconstruct their war-ravaged nation realises that Moqtada fights for himself and his group, respecting no one, suppressing everyone tanks to violence".

"One has to accept the fact that what took place in Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein in the fields of freedom of expression, political parties and unions was unprecedented in the history of Iraq. These rights were also for Moqtada and his group, but from what they had learned under Saddam, they considered these freedoms as a theatre to show their force while considering the others as weak. The result is that what they id and do is in fact an activity against freedom. With a lot noise and propaganda,, they created their own army, expelled from the administration and schools under their control unveiled women and experienced cadre and at a time that Iraq needed peace and security above all, they became an integral part of insecurity and chaos".

"Now many clever Shi’ates have realised that those who encourages Moqtada and his gang to such operations have no other aim that of weakening the power of the Shi’a and their place in the future Iraqi government. People like Mazhar Dlimi supported by Syria describe the stubborn Moqtada as a hero of the Arab umma (nation) and the Algezira Television (of Qatar) called him imam Moqtada Sadr".

"In such circumstances and atmosphere, not only Moqtada Sadr, because of his disgruntled attitude and incompetence, not only has lost all occasions of participating in the future of Iraq, but also by extending the scope of his turbulent activities to other Shi’a forces, forces them into unconsidered actions, thus weakening the position of the Shi’as in Iraq and even pushes them to the sidelines, explaining the reason why the majority of non Shi’a circles have placed Moqtada in the centre of their propaganda, encouraging him to continue his foolishnesses", Mr. Hashemian concluded. ENDS IRAQ MOQTADA 17404

Editor's note: Mr. Hasan Hashemian is an independent Iranian journalist and analyst of Arab affairs in Tehran.

Excerpts of the above article, published by Iran Emrooz website ( on 17 April 22004 was translated by Iran Press Service that also made the editing, including highlights.
4 posted on 04/17/2004 9:08:55 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
I wish they would convert back to their religion before the Arab muslims came and forced them to convert. while they are at it they should get even with the Arab muslim pigs!!!
5 posted on 04/17/2004 9:10:20 PM PDT by Coroner
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To: DoctorZIn
Unfortunately, the regime has successfully prohibited western news reporters from covering the demonstrations.

Of course, it doesn't hurt the regime any when the western news reporters won't report anything that is Pro-American.........

6 posted on 04/17/2004 9:13:22 PM PDT by dirtbiker (Solution for Terrorism: Nuke 'em 'till they glow, then shoot 'em in the dark!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Show me the money. Show the world that your impact isn't the same as that of "the Arab street".

Not cynical, just skeptical.
8 posted on 04/17/2004 9:28:00 PM PDT by Elvis van Foster
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To: DoctorZIn
America will spend it's blood and treasure for freedom, but we cannot do it it without the blood of those who wish to be free.
10 posted on 04/17/2004 9:59:11 PM PDT by TheHound
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Reduces Support For Islamic Groups

April 18, 2004
Middle East Newsline

LONDON -- Iran has reduced its support for non-Palestinian Islamic insurgency groups. Western intelligence sources said the Islamic regime has reduced financial support and links with Islamic groups aligned with Al Qaida. They said Teheran, amid heavy U.S. and Russian pressure, has largely limited its support to Hizbullah and Palestinian insurgency groups.

"They have almost stopped the export of the revolution," Menashe Amir, a leading Israeli analyst and Farsi broadcaster, said. "They have almost stopped cooperation with the terrorist Islamic radical groups like Gamiat Islamiya in Egypt and Jabhat Inqadh in Algeria, and in other parts of the world. But they keep very much and very closely and very extensively their cooperation with Hizbullah in Lebanon."

The intelligence sources said the policy marked the muted cooperation between Iranian President Mohammed Khatami and Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei. They said the two men have rebuffed the efforts of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and supporters in the ruling clergy to expand Teheran's relations with Islamic insurgency groups.
15 posted on 04/18/2004 9:48:48 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Who is Behind the Iraq Insurgency?

April 18, 2004
Jack Kelly

Much more is happening in Iraq right now than most of us realize. The peril is greater than most of us imagine. Things are likely to get very much better -- or very much worse -- very soon.

Iran and Syria have committed acts of war against the United States, even if their aggression isn't acknowledged by the Bush administration, or noticed by news media.

Ralph Peters, a retired military intelligence officer, reported from northern Iraq that on April 10, Iranian agents ambushed an American convoy on the road between Mosul and Akre. "The attack did not go as planned," Peters noted in his April 12 New York Post column. "Our troops responded sharply, killing two Iranians, wounding a third and capturing two more. They were carrying their identity documents."

The revolt by radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al Sadr was largely financed by Iran. An Iranian defector told the London-based Arabic daily al Sharq al-Awsat that Iran has been spending $70 million a month on activities in Iraq, and has set up three training camps just across the border from Iraq for members of al Sadr's militia, the "Mehdi Army."

"Haj Saidi [allegedly the Iranian intelligence officer in charge of activities in Iraq] told al Sharq al Awsat that the Iranian presence in Iraq is not limited to the cities," the newspaper said. "Rather, it is spread throughout Iraq, from Zakho in the north to Um Qasr in the south. And the infiltration of Iranian Revolutionary Guards and the al Quds Army began long before the war, through hundreds of Iranian intelligence agents, amongst them Iraqi refugees who were expelled by Saddam Hussein in the 1970s and 1980s to Iran, allegedly because of their Iranian origin, and who infiltrated back into Iraq through the Kurdish areas that were out of Baath government control. After the war, Iranian intelligence sent its agents through the Iraq-Iran border; some of them as students and clerics, and others as belonging to the Shi'ite militias," the newspaper said in a story April 3.

"Haj Saidi also mentioned that more than 300 reporters and technicians who are working now in Iraq for television and radio networks, newspapers and other media agencies are in fact members of the al Quds Army and Revolutionary Guards intelligence units," al Sharq al Awsat said.

"The direct Iranian presence in the Shiite areas of Iraq in the political, security and economic affairs cannot be ignored any more," said another British based Arabic language daily, al-Hayat, in a story April 6. "This presence is accompanied by a vigorous Iranian effort to create bridges with different forces in Iraq." (Translations courtesy of the Middle East Media Research Institute.)

"For months, Iran has been building a secret underground network of military and intelligence cells that has put it in a position not only to challenge the United States and others, but also gradually to gain control over the reins of power after the June 30 handover," said Alireza Jafazadeh, an Iranian exile who is president of Strategic Policy Consulting, Inc.

Many of the tens of thousands of pilgrims who traveled from Iran to the holy city of Najaf in southern Iraq for Arbaeen last weekend were in fact Iranian intelligence operatives, Jafazadeh said.

Meanwhile, the Marines report that many of the "insurgents" they have killed in Fallujah are in fact Syrian. Though Iran's mullahs are militant Shiites, and Syria's Baathist regime is secular in a predominantly Sunni country, there has long been strategic cooperation between them. They jointly sponsor and succor the terrorist group Hezbollah, which operates primarily out of (Syrian-controlled) southern Lebanon.

The recent rash of kidnappings in Iraq are eerily similar to the kidnappings orchestrated by Hezbollah in Lebanon in the 1980s.

Iran is working as fast as it can to build a nuclear bomb, and the world community, in the form of the International Atomic Energy Agency, isn't doing much to restrain it.

Jack Kelly is national security writer for the Post-Gazette and The Blade of Toledo, Ohio (, 412-263-1476).
16 posted on 04/18/2004 9:49:28 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Murder of Hamas Leader Causes Fit of Anti-Israeli Hysteria in Iran

April 18, 2004
RIA Novosti

TEHRAN -- The Iranian foreign ministry's spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi denounced the murder of HAMAS leader Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi and called on the world community to oppose Israel's cruel policy.

In Asefi's words, "this terrorist act against the HAMAS leader testifies to the continuation of the criminal policy of the Zionist regime aimed at mass murders of Palestinians, including political and religious leaders of Palestine", the press-service of the Iranian foreign ministry reported on Sunday.

"This barbarous action does not fit into any norms and logic and deserves resolute condemnation," said Asefi. "Israel has again demonstrated that it opposes peace and backs murders and bloodshed".

The Iranian diplomat called on the world community to bring pressure to bear on Israel with a view to opposing mass murders and crimes of the Zionist regime, despite the USA's connivance and its support of the unacceptable Israeli policy.

The head of the Palestinian extremist group was killed on Saturday in Gaza City as a result of a rocket attack of Israeli helicopters. His body guards and supposedly, his elder son Mohammad, were also killed together with him. Al-Rantisi became the HAMAS leader on March 22 after his predecessor on this post, aged sheikh Ahmad Yassin, was eliminated in the similar way.

The murder of al-Rantisi has already been denounced by Egypt, the EU, UN secretary general Kofi Annan. Meanwhile, Tel Aviv has stated that it will continue the practice of pin-point murders of the heads of the Palestinian group set on eliminating the Jewish state.

According to the latest reports from the region, at an extraordinary meeting the HAMA[S] leaders elected a new leader. His name however is not made pubic for security reasons.
17 posted on 04/18/2004 9:50:08 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Lawmakers Vote to Split Iran's Biggest Province

April 18, 2004

TEHRAN -- Parliamentarians voted on Sunday to split Iran's largest province -- Khorasan, in the northeast -- into three, a proposal that has sparked violent protests in the past.

Dozens were injured and scores arrested in street clashes in 2001 and 2002 when the government first proposed dividing the province, which borders Afghanistan and Turkmenistan and is famed as the home of the mediaeval poet Omar Khayyam.

Lawmakers said the province, which grows saffron, the world's most expensive spice, should be carved up to allow more equitable budget allocation, accusing the regional capital Mashhad of swallowing the bulk of state money.

"Some argue the lack of development in Khorasan is due to its vastness," one lawmaker, who declined to be named, told Reuters after the vote.

Under the decision, which must be approved by the conservative Guardian Council watchdog, Khorasan will be divided into Northern, Southern and Razavi Khorasan, with capitals in Bojnurd, Birjand and Mashhad respectively.

Protests against division have in the past centred on the town of Sabzevar, the province's largest urban centre after Mashhad.

Some residents fear they will lose influence and slices of the budget when rival cities are made new regional capitals. The region has many strong tribal loyalties.

"Dividing Khorasan will make the country poorer and stir up tension and inflation. This move harms vulnerable people," parliamentarian Hossein Ansarirad said in the debate, broadcast live on state radio.

Khorasan lies on the ancient Silk Road, which carried spice caravans to Europe from China. It still prospers from its status as a trade crossroads.
18 posted on 04/18/2004 9:50:57 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Rants

April 17, 2004
The Weekly Standard
A. William Samii

Tehran's anti-American propaganda campaign.

In light of Iran's growing political role in Iraq (to say nothing of reports of unofficial activity by Iranian agents), there is cause for concern in the steady stream of anti-American and anti-Coalition propaganda, including inflammatory lies, that continues to flow from Iran to audiences in Iraq and other countries in the region.

Even as a delegation from the Iranian foreign ministry arrived in Baghdad on April 14 in response to a British request for Tehran's help defusing the current unrest, radio and television stations in Iran were sending out messages tailored for Iraq and the rest of the Arabic-speaking world. Thus, on April 13, the Arabic-language Voice of the Mujahedin'which is run by the Iraqi Shiite group the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) and transmits from Iran'claimed that the unrest in Iraq is part of a "scenario" launched by "the Zionist lobby that controls the White House." It explained that the closure of Muqtada al-Sadr's Al-Hawzah newspaper and the arrest of al-Sadr's aide are part of a plan to cancel the transfer of power to Iraqis so the United States can stay in the country indefinitely, plunder its oil wealth, and eliminate a culture that does not conform with Israeli interests.

A few days before, on April 8, SCIRI's radio station encouraged violence by speaking of resistance and saying, "The coming days may give many Iraqis a chance to emerge as national heroes." It went on to say that Iraq's foremost Shia religious authority, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, might be forced to issue a decree calling on all Iraqis and Shia to launch a holy war against the Americans.

From the beginning, Tehran has reacted to the American presence in Iraq by fanning hostility to the United States, on state broadcasts as well as those of SCIRI, which until last year was based in Iran. Virulent commentary is hardly something special in response to the current crisis. On March 31, for example, the Voice of the Mujahedin claimed that if U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz is appointed ambassador to Iraq he will turn the country "into a base for the Zionist entity." The Zionists, explained the broadcast, want to control all the country's resources and to eliminate all national and Islamic symbols. The occupation of Iraq has brought "the Zionist entity" millions of dollars through its participation in Iraq's reconstruction. And a February 10 Voice of the Mujahedin broadcast accused the United States of involvement in a "holocaust" and "genocide" against Iraqis.

This kind of thing is typical of Tehran's broadcasts, heard throughout the Middle East. Like Voice of the Mujahedin, the Arabic service of the official Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting can be heard in Baghdad on four am and fm frequencies. Iran also transmits in Arabic on the 24-hour Al Alam satellite television and on the Sahar television station. Sahar TV carried an interview on March 17 in which there was a discussion of alleged U.S. attempts to settle Jews in Iraq. A series about the destruction of Iraqi cities on Al-Alam in March was entitled "The Harvest of One Year of American Occupation."

Nor are Arabic-speakers the only audience Tehran targets. It has responded to the replacement of the Taliban by a pro-American government and the presence of U.S. troops in Afghanistan with a relatively sophisticated multi-lingual broadcast operation designed to exploit ethnic differences in Afghanistan. This began in December 2001 and continues to this day. Afghanistan's largest minority, the Pashtuns, were the main backers of the Taliban, and Iran's Pashtu-language broadcasts have kept up a constant stream of anti-U.S. insinuation and outright lies that play on ethnic sensitivities and nationalism.

Referring to the late-March unrest in the western Afghan city of Herat, Iranian state radio said in Pashtu on March 30 that locals there were protesting the foreign presence. Another Pashtu-language broadcast that day accused U.S. troops of attacking local Afghan forces in the city of Jalalabad.

A February 2003 Pashtu-language commentary claimed "the majority of experts" believe that the United States is pursuing colonial goals in Afghanistan and Central Asia, and the United States wants to use Afghanistan as a base. Reports of Taliban and al Qaeda remnants are only a pretext for a long-term U.S. presence, according to the commentary, which concluded by stating, "The lasting presence of American forces in Afghanistan will not only lead to failure to ensure security in this country but also will add to the lack of security and give rise to more confrontations."

One recent event that provoked a rash of disinformation from Iranian state radio was the spate of bombings and attacks in late March in Uzbekistan, just north of Afghanistan. Commentaries in English and Persian broadcast from northeastern Iran on March 30 asked who stood to gain from the bombings, and accused the United States of using the violence as a pretext for its military presence in Central Asia. In an added flourish for the Persian-speaking audience, mostly in Afghanistan, the broadcast said that the United States would use the incidents as a pretext for a U.S. presence in southern Asia, adding that the U.S. military presence in Uzbekistan already contributes to insecurity there.

Finally, the broadcasts accused the United States of opposing Islam. "It can also be predicted at the international level that the U.S.A. may blame the recent terrorist acts in Uzbekistan on Muslims in order to stress that there is a connection between terrorism and Islam and to implement its anti-Islamic plans," Iranian radio claimed in Persian. The broadcast in English accused the United States of having "anti-Islamic policies."

Iranian hostility to the United States is not new, but it has a new twist since the ousters of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein: Perceiving itself as surrounded by an enemy, Tehran is pursuing a systematic effort to arouse the region against the United States and to undermine peace in Iraq and stability elsewhere.

The Weekly Standard, v. 9, n. 31 (26 April 2003).

*A. William Samii is a regional analysis coordinator with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Views in this article are his own.
19 posted on 04/18/2004 9:51:38 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran: US "Iron-fist" Policy Scuttles Efforts To Calm Iraq

April 18, 2004
Dow Jones Newswires

TEHRAN -- Iran said Sunday that America's "iron-fist" policies and the lack of security in Iraq had undermined Iranian efforts to bring calm to the country and it would no longer cooperate with Washington on those endeavors.

Iran sent a diplomatic delegation to Iraq in an effort to improve security but foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said the team did not make the contacts it had hoped, and blamed the U.S.

The latest setback to Iranian efforts came after an Iranian diplomat was killed in Baghdad Thursday, causing Iran to distance itself from mediation efforts to end a standoff between Iraqi militias loyal to anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and U.S. forces.

"From the very beginning of the crisis, Iran tried to help ease tension but ... Washington's employment of an iron-fist policy further complicated the situation," Asefi said.

He was apparently referring to the increasing use of force by the U.S. military, which laid siege to Fallujah last week after the killing and mutilation of four U.S. civilians.

He also said America's policies caused the failure of the mission of an Iranian diplomatic delegation to Iraq last week.

He said Hossein Sadeghi, a top Iranian foreign ministry official, failed to meet with al-Sadr and Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani, Iraq's most powerful Shiite cleric.

"We couldn't meet Sadr or Ayatollah Sistani ... because of lack of security," Asefi said.

The spokesman said that, although Iran's influence was limited, without its efforts the situation in Iraq "would have been even more complicated," but said Iran would not cooperate any longer with the U.S. over Iraq.

"It's natural that we can't cooperate with occupying forces unless occupiers give administration to the United Nations so that power is transferred to the Iraqi people within an acceptable timetable," he said.

"We consider the U.S. one of the countries creating the crisis. So, there is no talk of cooperation but announcing opinions and warnings so that it gets out of this situation," he told reporters.

Iran said Wednesday it had ended negotiations with the U.S. about how to bring calm to Iraq because they were going nowhere. However, it said it was positively responding to U.S. demands through Switzerland to help improve security.

But Iran distanced from its position after its diplomat in Baghdad, Khalil Naimi, was assassinated by yet unidentified gunmen.

Iran, whose population is mostly Shiite Muslim, is worried about a possible U.S. attack on the Shiite holy city of Najaf, where Sadr is believed to be staying. Najaf is the site of the tomb of Ali, the most important Shiite saint.

U.S. commanders have vowed to "kill or capture" al-Sadr, but have so far limited their actions to small skirmishes on the outskirts of the city.

In his Sunday press conference, Asefi said the situation in Iraq was "very disappointing."

"Due to wrong U.S. policies and its lack of knowledge about the region and the Iraqi people, the situation is very disappointing. The problem in Iraq won't be resolved through intimidation and killing," Asefi said.

"The best option is for occupying forces to leave Iraq for the Iraqi people," he added.
21 posted on 04/18/2004 9:53:07 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Majlis Accepts Nabavi's Resignation

April 18, 2004
Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting

Tehran -- The Islamic Consultative Assembly (Majlis) here Sunday accepted the resignation of another Tehran MP and second vice-speaker Behzad Nabavi.

Nabavi's resignation was accepted by a vote of 154 in favor and 22 against with 7 abstentions from a total of 183 votes cast.

Majlis has already accepted resignations of Tehran MPs Fatemeh Haqiqatjou and Mohsen Armin as well as Orumiyeh MP Mir Mahmoud Yeganli but has rejected the resignation of Isfahan MP Rajabali Mazrouei.

One hundred and eight MPs handed down their resignation to Majlis Speaker Mehdi Karroubi on February 1 in protest at the mass disqualification of nominees wishing to stand in the 7th Majlis election.

As per article 92 of the Majlis by-laws, any Majlis deputy can resign from his/her post, but the resignation becomes effective only after being accepted by the Majlis.

However, article 95 of the same by-laws provides that if the offer to resign by any MP results in the Majlis failing to reach aquorum, the offer can not be passed by Majlis.
22 posted on 04/18/2004 9:53:46 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

NY Post

April 18, 2004 -- WHILE Washington is looking for ways to adjust its strategy in Iraq, Tehran seems to be preparing to "settle scores" with it by preventing the emergence of a pro-American regime in Baghdad.
The Iranian leadership appears confident about its chances to call the shots in Iraq. To test the waters, Iran on Wednesday dispatched its deputy foreign minister, Hussein Sadeqi, to Iraq with the mission to negotiate an end to the stand-off between the U.S.-led Coalition and gangs of Shiite rebels in Baghdad and Najaf.

For almost a quarter of a century, Saddam Hussein's Ba'athist regime had been a threat to Iran's Khomeinist rulers. Saddam had failed to topple the Khomeinists with an eight-year war in which he had the support of Western powers - including, at one time, the United States.

In the last 12 years of his rule, the Iraqi dictator had been unable to pursue his duel with the mullahs of Tehran in a serious way. Nevertheless, the mullahs continued to consider Saddam as a strategic enemy who, given another chance, would resume his campaign against them.

Thus it is no exaggeration to say that Tehran was as glad as Washington to see Saddam go. But his removal created another, potentially more dangerous, threat to the Khomeinists: the emergence in Iraq of a democratic system in which the Shiites would play the central role.

The Tehran leadership know that Iraq has the potential to create such a system - but also that it cannot be built overnight. The mullahs also know that U.S. commitment is the key factor in deciding whether Iraq will build a new democratic state or plunge into chaos, civil war and (possibly) disintegration.

So the Tehran mullahs have been asking, "When will the Americans cut and run?" The question was raised by the leadership in Tehran days after the entry of the U.S.-led Coalition forces in Baghdad. Today, it is being asked with even greater urgency.

The first attempt at an answer was made by Ali Khamenei, the Islamic Republic's "Supreme Guide," only days after the Ba'athist regime had been toppled. He predicted that the loss of 500 U.S. soldiers would force America to "escape from Iraq post-haste."

Since then, the Khomeinist leaders have refrained from that type of numbers game. But they remain confident that the United States will be driven out of Iraq "humiliated and chastised." To achieve that, they have devised a strategy of destabilizing Iraq without provoking direct confrontation with America.

A rare insight into Tehran's thinking was offered April 9 by Hashemi Rafsanjani, a mullah often regarded as the Khomeinist regime's "strongman." In a sermon on the campus of Tehran University, Rafsanjani ignored religious themes to focus on "the imminent settling of scores between America and Iran."

"The weaker the U.S. becomes, the stronger [our regime in] Iran," he said. "We have some scores with America that must be settled one day." Rafsanjani based his analysis on the premise that the United States has already failed in Iraq and presented 32 "reasons" to back that claim. "The U.S. has been exposed as an empty drum," Rafsanjani said. "The Americans are wondering what to do: Stay [in Iraq], or cut and run?"

He praised Saddam Hussein's "strategy of distributing arms among 6 million Iraqis" on the eve of the war. "These people have enough arms and ammunitions for six months," Rafsanjani claimed. That indicates Tehran's belief that various armed groups in Iraq will be able to maintain a level of insecurity in Iraq right to the eve of the American presidential election in November.

Rafsanjani also praised the group known as the Jaish al-Mahdi (The Messianic Army) led by Muqtada Sadr, a junior mullah of Iranian origin, as "passionate young men with epic courage." He also revealed that Iran has created an Iraqi branch of the Hezbollah (Party of God) in Iraq. "The [Iraqi] Hezbollah was fighting a resistance against Saddam," Rafsanjani said. "And today it has an iron-like organization."

Word that Iran had created an underground branch of the Hezbollah in Iraq is of special interest. It shows that the Khomeinist leaders, while supporting mainstream Iraqi Shiite opposition groups, including the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq and the Ad-Da'awah (The Call) Party, had made sure to have another Shiite card up their sleeves.

One aim of the troubles provoked by Muqtada Sadr may well be to wreck U.S. efforts to promote a unified Iraqi Shiite front as the central plank of a future Iraqi state. Tehran knows that the Iraqi Shiites, if united, would no longer need Iranian patronage - and might emerge as an ideological rival to the regime in Tehran.

Iran has practiced the policy of never putting all its eggs in a single basket on other occasions. In early 1980s Lebanon, Tehran split the Shiite community by creating the Hezbollah against the Amal movement. Then, in the 1990s, Tehran encouraged two breakaway factions in Hezbollah itself.

In Afghanistan, Tehran balanced support for various groups so as to prevent them from uniting with a strategy that might reduce the importance of Iranian patronage for each. At one point, Iran was supporting both Ismail Khan, the "emir of Herat," and the Hazara groups nibbling at the area under his control.

In Tajikistan, Iran split the Islamist movement into three factions before making a deal with the neo-communist government in Doshanbeh.

In Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States, for reasons of its own, destroyed the two regimes that Tehran regarded as its own most dangerous ideological enemies in the region. Now Tehran's ambition is to emerge as the kingmaker in both Kabul and Baghdad.

The Iranian analysis is simple: The Americans do not have the political stamina to stay the course in Iraq. Negative polls could force President Bush to withdraw his troops into bases in the Iraqi desert, allowing the cities to fall under the control of Iraqi armed groups.

In such a scenario, pro-Saddam groups would seize control of the so-called Sunni Triangle while Shiite groups beholden to Iran would dominate central and southern Iraq, leaving the Kurds cantoned in their two mountainous enclaves.

The Tehran leadership is also certain that John Kerry, if elected, will abandon Bush's plans for a "democratic" Middle East. "The United States has become vulnerable," Rafsanjani told his cheering audience in Tehran. "The Americans do not know which way to turn."

Behind the scenes of revolt in parts of Iraq lies the broader picture of the war that various brands of Islamism have waged against the United States for almost a quarter of a century.

Tehran leaders believe that the U.S. defeat in Vietnam enabled China to establish itself as the rising power in Asia. They hope that a U.S. defeat in Iraq will give the Islamic Republic a similar opportunity to become what Rafsanjani calls "the regional superpower."

The Khomeinist mullahs believe that an American defeat in Iraq will destabilize all Arab regimes, leaving the Islamic Republic as the only power around which a new status quo could be built in the region. "Here is our opportunity to teach the Americans a lesson," Rafsanjani said.

Well, that might also work the other way round.

23 posted on 04/18/2004 9:56:16 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran government reshuffle imminent

TEHRAN, April 18 (AFP) - Iran's embattled reformist President Mohammad Khatami is to reshuffle his cabinet in the coming days ahead of a major shift
to the right in parliament, the official news agency IRNA reported Sunday.

"The reshuffling of President Khatami's cabinet will be determined in the next few days," Mohammad Reza Aref, Khatami's first vice president, was quoted as saying, confirming weeks of speculation over imminent changes in the government.

Aref did not reveal who would be ousted from the cabinet, but press reports say the changes are likely to focus on posts related to the Islamic republic's economy -- in line with the platform of the incoming conservatives.

According to the local press, among those expected to go are Vice President in charge of planning Mohammad Satarifar, Finance Minister Tahmasb Mahazeri and Labour Minister Safdar Hosseini.

"Any government during its tenure will assess the work of its ministers and if it is necessary, sometimes due to the fatigue of its colleagues, it will make some changes," Aref told IRNA.
25 posted on 04/18/2004 10:02:19 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
This thread is now closed.

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

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

30 posted on 04/18/2004 10:09:59 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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