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Iranian Alert -- April 22, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 4.22.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 04/21/2004 9:35:06 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 04/21/2004 9:35:11 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 04/21/2004 9:37:25 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Movement slams France for its "Politique de l'Autruche"

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Apr 22, 2004

The Movement slammed, today, the French Government's "Politique de l'Autruche" (Ostrich policy) in a letter sent by its representative in France. The letter endorsed, by Kaveh Mohseni of SMCCDI, was in reaction to the official trip of the Islamic republic's FM and addressed to Michel Barnier the new French Foreign Minister.

In this letter, the Movement, criticized the French governants for their persistent support of a Tyrannical and Terrorist regime which is rejected massively and as shown at several occasions, by the Iranian People. The letter mocked the so-called policy of "Constructive Dialogue" pretended by France and main EU members with the Theocratic regime and qualified it as dupery and lure intending to fool Europe's Public Opinion on what is the real nature of the Islamic republic regime and the consistent degradation of rights situation in Iran.

The Movement warned the French government about the future prospect of loosing any access to Iran upon its Liberation and the increasing hate of Iranians against those supporting their oppressors.

France along Germany, Italy, Spain, Greece and UK are among the closest backers of the Islamic regime and are benefiting from the plight of the Iranian nation.
3 posted on 04/21/2004 9:42:04 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Western resolve against terror

Washington Times Op-Ed

On CBS' "60 Minutes" on Sunday, anchorman Mike Wallace belittled President Bush and his goals to free, stabilize and democratize Iraq. "Who gave George Bush the duty to free people around the world?" he asked condescendingly. Bob Woodward, who was on the program to promote his new Bush-bashing book, responded that Mr. Bush's global agenda "will cause many people to tremble." In ridiculing White House war aims, neither Mr. Wallace nor Mr. Woodward seemed interested in the fact that Mr. Bush deposed a ruthless dictator and is fighting terrorists who want to destroy America. This is typical of today's slanted journalism that tends to show the worst side of the United States.
American Enterprise Institute scholar Michael Ledeen recounted a fascinating story of media bias in Monday's National Review Online. After being taken hostage near Fallujah, Italian security guard Fabrizio Quattrocchi was forced to dig his own grave before his execution by terrorists. With his last breaths, he struggled to rip off the hood over his head and yelled defiantly to his captors, "Now I'll show you how an Italian dies." Mr. Quattrocchi, a volunteer in Iraq, died without being submissive to terror, without cowering in the face of evil. His mourning fiancee said proudly that "her only consolation is that he died with honor." Arab news network Al Jazeera did not air the tape of this execution because it sends the message that the West — including Europeans — are angry and determined not to allow Islamic radicals to undermine our civilization and dignity in the face of unjust attack.

What is equally interesting about Mr. Quattrocchi's powerful resistance is how few people know about it. The major network and cable news programs did not run tape of this act of bravery over and over again as it does with film that shows scared and submissive hostages. Exhibiting the Italian hero's resolve would help undergird the civilized world's resolve against terror. It's curious that the Western press largely spiked the story.
A majority of Americans still believe the president did the right thing by going to war to liberate Iraq. In an ABC News/Washington Post survey released on Monday, 57 percent said "the war has increased the long-term security of the United States." That high level of support comes after an increase in U.S. casualties. A CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll conducted over the weekend pegs Mr. Bush's approval rating for fighting terrorism at 60 percent. No one would know any of this from turning on the television and watching news programs and their onslaught of doomsday stories. The same goes for the depth of Western resolve to fight terror. That is because many U.S. media outlets are playing from the same sheet music as Al Jazeera and the terror propagandists.
4 posted on 04/21/2004 9:45:46 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Straw to Hold Nuclear Talks with Iran

By Jamie Lyons, Political Correspondent, PA News

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw will tomorrow hold talks with his Iranian counterpart on international concerns over the country’s nuclear programmes.

Dr Kamal Kharrazi will meet Mr Straw as part of his tour of European capitals.

The talks will focus on Iran’s co-operation with UN nuclear inspections as well as escalating violence in Iraq.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: “Mr Straw is meeting Dr Kharrazi tomorrow to continue a dialogue on bilateral issues and issues of mutual interest such as Iraq and discussions on Iran’s nuclear armaments.

“Iran and Britain have a mutual interest in a stable, prosperous and democratic Iraq.”

Mr Straw was instrumental in persuading Iran to cooperate with the UN nuclear agency over inspections of its nuclear programmes.

There is international concern over the country’s capabilities. That concern escalated last month when Iran resumed work on a key nuclear programme in apparent breach of its deal with the UN.

Britain demanded answers after Iran announced a facility to convert uranium was to be brought into service despite its promise to suspend all uranium-enrichment activities.

In a deal with the IAEA struck late last year, Tehran agreed to suspend uranium enrichment – and all related activities – while UN inspectors investigated suspicions the country was using a bid to generate atomic energy as a cover for developing nuclear weapons.
5 posted on 04/21/2004 9:49:05 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran lifts import ban

IANS[ WEDNESDAY, APRIL 21, 2004 11:59:06 PM ]

KOLKATA: India, Inc has welcomed Iran’s decision to lift a four-year ban on tea imports. “We expect this to boost exports of Indian tea that once commanded a good market in that country,” Indian Tea Association (ITA) chairman CK Dhanuka said.

Iran began accepting tea imports from April 15 following persistent lobbying by the tea industry in India, Sri Lanka and Kenya. Iran stopped importing tea about four years ago in an effort to protect the country’s tea industry.

“It was probably a protectionist measure but they have done away with it,” Mr Dhanuka said. Tehran’s decision follows the visit by a delegation of Indian tea growers and commerce ministry officials. “ITA will soon be sending a delegation to Iran to negotiate with importers there,” Mr Dhanuka said.

ITA wants to swing into action fast to wrest the initiative from competitors like Sri Lanka and Kenya. But Indian exporters would have to pay a duty of 80 cents per kg of tea. “The import duty is not much but we would like to see it waived too,” the ITA chief said.

Iran’s tea market, which prefers the orthodox variety, is worth 120m kg a year and 50% of that was met by imports from India and Sri Lanka. Curiously, despite the ban Iranian traders imported nearly a million kg of tea every year from India.

Industry sources said while some of it was smuggled in, the rest was brought in to “blend with local Iranian tea”. Country’s tea exports stood at 173m kg in ’03. Mr Dhanuka said the immediate aim would be to sell 10m kg of tea to Iran.

India is the single largest producer of tea in the world with production pegged at 850m kg last year. Domestic consumption hovers around 620m kg.
6 posted on 04/21/2004 9:51:11 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Speaking for Europe, Chirac Warns Iran on Inspections

Published: April 22, 2004

PARIS, April 21 - In a hardening of Europe's position toward Iran's nuclear activities, President Jacques Chirac of France criticized Iran on Wednesday for failing to comply fully with international inspections of its nuclear sites, and suggested that Iran had violated the spirit of an agreement with France, Germany and Britain to curtail its nuclear programs, senior French officials said.

In a 45-minute meeting at Élysée Palace with Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi of Iran, Mr. Chirac also warned Tehran that unless it met the demands of the United Nations' weapons inspection agency before that group gathers in June for what he called a "decisive" meeting, it ran the risk that international goodwill would be eroded.

Mr. Chirac's tough remarks resulted from mounting suspicions in Europe and the United States that Iran is determined to develop nuclear weapons and is cheating on a much-heralded agreement in October with France, Britain and Germany to allow stricter inspections of nuclear sites and to suspend production of enriched uranium, which can be used to develop nuclear weapons.

"We are seeing a pattern of Iran making promises and then trying to find ways around them," said one senior French official. "The Iranians are fighting us trench by trench. They are very clever cheaters."

Mr. Chirac even got into some highly technical aspects of Iran's nuclear program, ticking off a list of specific things Iran must do. They included the signing of additional restrictions under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and explaining why it did not report a program for an advanced uranium- enrichment centrifuge.

Last month the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations' watchdog agency, passed a resolution deploring that omission in the Iranian report, which was supposed to be the complete history of Iran's past and present nuclear activities. The agency director, Mohamed ElBaradei, described the omission as a "great setback."

Mr. Kharazi, for his part, told Mr. Chirac that Iran was fully complying with the agency's demands and pledged to give it a fuller report in mid-May. The Iranian also turned the tables, blaming the Europeans for breaking their promise to give Iran the advanced technology as they pledged to do under the October agreement.

"We have been trying to fulfill whatever we are committed to do," Mr. Kharazi said in an interview this evening. "Contrary to that, the European side has not exercised all its commitments. Still, our cooperation continues."

Although the positions of the United States on the one side and Britain, France and Germany on the other over Iran's nuclear intentions have moved closer during the past year, the three European governments remain committed to negotiating with Iran in an attempt to moderate its behavior, while some members of the Bush administration favor punishing Iran with a Security Council resolution.

Both the Europeans and the Americans know that they have little leverage over Iran's nuclear activities and that Iran can play a positive role, or at least a neutral one, in Iraq. Iran shares a 730-mile border with Iraq and, as Mr. Kharazi made clear today, has "traditional relations and some influence" with its Shiite and Kurdish populations and with the Shiite religious leadership.

"This influence can be used to help Iraqis get united and collectively solve their problems," he said.

He confirmed reports that the Bush administration had asked Iran to help bring stability to Iraq.

"They know Iran is playing a positive role in Iraq and they have asked us to continue to play this positive role," he said. There was no American request for Iranian mediation, he said, but he added that Iran was a force that had to be reckoned with.

"No one," he said, "can deny that Iran is a regional player."

Mr. Kharazi dispatched a top Foreign Ministry official, Hossein Sadeghi, to Iraq last week on what Mr. Kharazi called a fact-finding mission with members of the Iraqi Governing Council and Iraqi clerics. Iran favors the plan to transfer authority to the Iraqis as soon as possible and has called for all foreign troops to be put under the United Nations flag.

Mr. Kharazi also insisted that Iran is determined to help preserve the territorial integrity of Iraq "by any means." Its partition, he added, would create "all sorts of problems for the whole region in terms of security, refugees."

As for the nuclear issue, early this month the foreign ministries of the three European countries issued identical statements sharply criticizing Iran's decision to start up a uranium conversion plant in Isfahan, saying it "sends the wrong signal" about Iran's pledge to suspend uranium enrichment.

The statement said the decision would make it more difficult for Iran to regain the trust of the international community and called on Iran to explain its intentions.

Some members of the Bush administration seem eager to show that the European agreement with Iran was a sham. In testimony before a House committee late last month, John Bolton, the under secretary of state for arms control and international security, said there was "no reason to believe that Iran has made a strategic decision to abandon its nuclear weapons program."

Mr. Bolton said the recent discovery that Iran is developing and testing advanced uranium-enrichment centrifuges proved his point, and accused Iran of a "pattern of repeatedly lying to and providing false reports" to the inspection agency.
7 posted on 04/21/2004 9:53:00 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

To: DoctorZIn
Iran 'Will Be Dealt With,' Bush Says

Bid to Start at U.N., President Says

By Mike Allen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, April 22, 2004; Page A06 [Excerpt]

President Bush told newspaper editors in Washington yesterday that Iran "will be dealt with, starting through the United Nations" if it does not stop developing nuclear weapons and begin total cooperation with international inspectors.

Bush said he will encourage allies to insist to the Iranians that they live up to commitments to cooperate with U.N. inspectors and end any enriching and reprocessing of uranium.

"The Iranians need to feel the pressure from the world that any nuclear weapons program will be uniformly condemned -- it's essential that they hear that message," he said. "The development of a nuclear weapon in Iran is intolerable, and a program is intolerable. . . . Otherwise, they will be dealt with, starting through the United Nations."

Earlier this month, Iran pledged to speed up cooperation with the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency, but called for an end of inspections by June.

The language was reminiscent of comments Bush made about Iraq long before the war, and to admonitions he has issued to Syria. Iran, along with Iraq and North Korea, was part of the "axis of evil" in his State of the Union address in 2002.

Bush said last July that Iran and Syria "will be held accountable" if they failed to cooperate more fully with the administration's campaign against terrorism.

Administration officials said they have no plans to attack Iran, and that Bush's policy on Tehran had not changed. But the remarks offered a window into Bush's long-range view of relations with Tehran. He usually speaks from a text but aides said he wanted to speak yesterday without a script, using just a list of topics he wanted to cover.

The administration said in October it was not pursuing a policy of government change in Tehran. But the White House has alternated between a confrontational and conciliatory stance, and Bush's comment could inflame relations with Iran.

Bush, speaking at an Associated Press luncheon during a Newspaper Association of America convention, said he believes that the war with Iraq will eventually result in a safer Middle East. He said he has no intention of backing away, despite rising casualties among U.S. troops. He said the people of Iraq are "looking at America and saying, 'Are we going to cut and run again?'

"That's what they're thinking, as well -- and we're not going to cut and run if I'm in the Oval Office. We will do our job. I believe that people yearn to be free," he said. "I believe freedom in the heart of the Middle East is an historic opportunity to change the world."

Bush warned the editors that the United States "is a battlefield in the war on terror" and said he can understand public fears of a terrorist attack before the November election. "This is a hard country to defend," he said. "Our intelligence is good. It's just never perfect, is the problem. We are disrupting some cells here in America. We're chasing people down. But it is a -- we've got a big country."

On Tuesday evening, Bush told Republican congressional leaders during a meeting at the White House that it was all but certain that terrorists would attempt a major attack on the United States before the election, according to a congressional aide. The leaders were struck by Bush's definitiveness and gravity, the aide said.

Still, Bush told the editors, the administration is "making good progress in the defense of America."

"If al Qaeda were a board of directors, the chairman and vice chairman might still be out there, but the middle management is gone," he said.

Bush was asked about an AP poll released yesterday showing that two-thirds of the 1,001 adults surveyed thought it was likely that a terrorist attack would be carried out in the country before the election. In answering, he referred to last month's train bombings just days before Spain's national election. The blasts killed 191 people and injured more than 2,000, and were blamed for the ruling party's loss of power.

"I can understand why they think they're going to get hit again," he said. "They saw what happened in Madrid. This is a hard country to defend."

The president's sober assessment stood in contrast to his usual practice of stressing progress in the war on terrorism, and reflected the rising chaos that viewers see on their television screens from Iraq and elsewhere.

Bush reminded the editors in his opening remarks that the nation is fighting "a war that is different because it's hard to really see the enemy."

"The thing that's interesting and different about this -- well, it's not interesting, it's frightening -- about this war, is America is a battlefield in the war on terror," he said. "That's what's changed. We're now a target."

Bush was asked during the 44-minute appearance about yesterday's suicide bombing at Saudi Arabia's national police headquarters, and called the attack "a reminder that there are people that would like -- I don't want to guess their intentions. I think they'd like to overthrow the ruling government."

"There's no negotiations with these terrorists," he said. "You know, you don't sign a treaty with people who are -- who don't believe in rules, people who don't have a conscience."
9 posted on 04/21/2004 9:56:26 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
I cant wait for the rubber to meet the road on this one...long overdue
10 posted on 04/21/2004 9:56:42 PM PDT by antaresequity (Miserable failure =
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To: DoctorZIn
Official: Iran interested in Iraq transfer


PARIS -- Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said Wednesday that instability in Iraq was a threat to Iran's security and that his nation wants to help make the upcoming transfer of power in Iraq succeed.

Iran was not playing a mediating role in neighboring Iraq, Kharrazi said, but he added that Tehran had sent a fact-finding delegation "to see what is the real situation, what are the views of different people."

The official Islamic Republic News Agency reported last week that a top Foreign Ministry official, Hossein Sadeghi, was sent to Iraq to consult with members of the U.S.-appointed Governing Council and Iraqi clerics.

Tehran and Washington have held behind-the-scenes communication on how to restore order in Iraq. Iran has great influence in mostly Shiite southern Iraq and has an interest in the success of the U.S.-led political process.

Kharrazi met French President Jacques Chirac and said he planned talks with U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, who favors dissolving the U.S.-backed Governing Council and setting up a caretaker government.

The caretaker government would be chosen by the United Nations, the current Governing Council, the U.S. coalition authority and a select group of Iraqi judges.

"Security in Iraq has a direct impact on our security, therefore we believe that as soon as possible, power has to be transferred to Iraqis," Kharrazi said.
11 posted on 04/21/2004 9:58:34 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: William Creel
...You know, I have an economics professor named Dr. Zinn, heh...

I am but a student of economics.... :)
12 posted on 04/21/2004 10:00:35 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

TEHRAN 21 Apr. (IPS) Iran protested Wednesday to Germany for the official inauguration, on Monday, in Berlin’s Charlottenburg district of a commemorative plaque in the memory of four Iranian Kurdish leaders assassinated on 21 September 1992 in an Iranian restaurant on order from the Islamic Republic of Iran.

More than a thousands of Iranians of all walk, some coming from neighbouring countries, as well as several German personalities took part at the emotion-filled ceremonies opened by Ms. Monika Timmen, the mayor of the populous Charlottenbourg-Whilmersdorf district of the German capital.

Invited to attend the Socialist International gathering in Berlin, Dr Qssem Sharafkandi, the then leader of the Democratic Paty of Iranian Kurdistan (DPIK) and three close colleagues, Fattah Abdoli, Homayoon Ardalan and Noori Dehkordi had been assassinated savagely by professional gunmen from Iran and the Iranian-backed Lebanese Shi’a organisation Hezbollah while gathering in an Iranian restaurant named Mykonos.

While most of the terrorists, including some staff at the Iranian Embassy in Bonn had managed to escape, however, Mr. Kazem Darabi, an Iranian agent of the Intelligence services in Berlin and two Lebanese had been detained by the German authorities on tips from the British Intelligence, then in charge of this sector of Berlin, still divided between the then Soviet Union, France, Britain and the United States.

The trial took four years, with Tehran using all its powers to block the trial and have his agents cleared in the one hand and Iranian opposition, including Mr. Parviz Dastmalchi, one of the guests at the meeting in Mykonos who escaped death miraculously, offering evidences about Iranian participation.

A former Iranian security agent, known as "Witness C", told the court that the assassination had been planned in a special committee in Tehran under the control of the Iranian leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i and the then president, Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Hojjatoleslam Ali Fallahian, the then Intelligence Minister, now serving as a senior advisor to the Iranian leader for security affairs.

A lawyer for the family of one of the victims noted on Monday that all the senior officials who, according to the Court, had participated directly in the Mykonos assassination are still in place, according to a report filed by the Iran Emrooz internet news site based in Germany.

Finally, on 10 April, the Berlin High Court condemned Mr. Darabi and the two Lebanese to life and eight years imprisonment respectively, pronouncing "the highest authorities in Iran as having a direct hand in the assassination".

The Monday ceremony took place despite huge pressures from Tehran over the German government as well the Berlin municipality to scrap it, but it was not heard and the commemorative plaque had been unveiled right in front of the Mykonos restaurant, closed since then.

German Ambassador to Tehran Gunter Pleuger was summoned to Foreign Ministry on Wednesday to be informed of Iran’s "strong objection to the installation of a plaque next to Mykonos restaurant in Berlin", the official news agency IRNA said Wednesday.

According to the Information and Press Office at Iran’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, Deputy Foreign Minister for Euro-American Affairs Ali Ahani reiterated to Pleuger that the Islamic Republic was involved in the Mykonos murder, voicing regret over the commemorative plaque, telling him that the decision of the local municipality was taken under the influence by "disinformation campaigns and attempts to sabotage Iran-German ties" and denounced the move as "unacceptable and contrary to the spirit of bilateral relations", IRNA added.

For its part, the German embassy in Tehran explained that the plaque had been prepared and installed on a decision by a Berlin district authority and German government had had no role in it, hoping that the "incident" would not affect the "friendly" Iran-German relations.
But though it is correct that the German government had no role in the event, nevertheless, in a message to the gathering, Ms. Claudia Roth, the German "minister" for Human Rights described the victims as "combatants of freedom".

In anger, the Iranian authorities hastily inaugurated a plaque in front of the German Embassy in central Tehran denouncing Germany’s "atrocities", referring to the chemical weapons Saddam Hussein used against Iranian soldiers, deadly arms he got from Germany.

13 posted on 04/21/2004 10:03:41 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

PARIS 21 Apr. (IPS) Iran on Wednesday reiterated that his country had no nuclear-based military plans and assured France and other members of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that his country would continue to work with the international nuclear watchdog as promised.

The Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Kamal Kharrazi gave the assurance in Paris to French officials, including President Jacques Chirac whom he met Wednesday evening at the Elysee Palace.

According to French officials and journalists, Mr. Kharrazi assured Mr. Chirac that Iran would "is doing all it can to foster its cooperation with IAEA and should submit a report (on its controversial nuclear activities) to the Agency".

"The French President pressed Tehran to cooperate in a constructive manner with the Europeans and the AIEA and announced the wish of France to see the dialogue established between the three European countries (Germany, France, Britain) and Iran continues in a constructive manner", said Mrs. Catherine Colonna, the official Presidential spokeswoman.

According to Mr. Chirac, "it is also necessary to pursue the implementation of the agreements undertaken (by Iran) with the AIEA, including the ratification by Iran of the Additional Protocol to the Non Proliferation Treaty, inspection of Iranian nuclear sites and projects by the IAEA inspectors and the full transparency of Iranian nuclear activities.

He was referring to the agreement signed last October in Tehran between Hojjatoleslam Hasan Rohani, the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme Council on National Security and foreign affairs ministers of Europe’s "Big-3" powers.

"The answer of Iran will be determining for the appreciation that will be made by the Board of Governors of the AIEA at its next meeting in Vienna in mid-June", the French leader has added during the audience with Mr. Kharrazi at the Elysee Palace.

Earlier, the Head of the Iranian diplomacy had met his new French counterpart Michel Barnier, with the situation in Iraq and the latest events in the Middle East, following the assassination of Mr. Abdolaziz al Rantissi, the Head of the hard line Islamist organisation Hamas last Monday by Israeli rockets topping the discussion.

"Each one, including Iraq’s neighbouring nation must work and mobilise for the restoration of security in Iraq", declared the spokesman of the French Foreign Affairs Ministry, Hervé Ladsous, quoted by the French news agency AFP, commenting the two ministers meeting.

Mr. Kharazi affirmed that his country exercises its influence to moderate the situation in Iraq, where the Shi’ites represent 60% of the population.

"We exercise this influence as much as possible to promote the peace and the security, because the security in Iraq has a direct impact on our security", Mr. Kharrazi told journalists at the end of his hour-long meeting with M. Chirac.

"For this reason we think that the power must be transferred to the Iraqis as soon as possible", added the Iranian minister.

On this point, he was in agreement with the French president who "again stated his preoccupation concerning the evolution of the situation in Iraq, insisting that it is necessary for all to make so that the 30 of June 30 deadline for the transfer of powers from the Americans and the Coalition to the Iraqis takes effect", Mrs. Colonna added.

As Iranian and French foreign ministers were discussing the situation in Iraq, a hail of rockets hit several places in the southern city of Basrah, under the British control, killing at least 68 and wounding 98 others.

"On Palestine issue, France and Iran shares similar views", Mr. Kharrazi told the al-Alam Television network that is operated by the Iranian Radio and Television Organisation, a network that has the largest audience in Iraq.

Mr. Kharazi also indicated that he would meet later on the evening in Paris Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN’s Special Envoy for Iraq to discuss with him of different solutions on the transfer the power to the Iraqis".

On the sideline of his visit to Elysee Palace, Mr. Kharrazi angered Iranian journalists because of his refusal to take questions from them in the native language Farsi.

14 posted on 04/21/2004 10:04:32 PM 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; ...
Iran 'Will Be Dealt With,' Bush Says

Bid to Start at U.N., President Says

By Mike Allen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, April 22, 2004; Page A06 [Excerpt]
15 posted on 04/21/2004 10:05:35 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Connect the Ideological Dots

By Ralph Reiland
The American Enterprise Online

It was Feb. 1, 1979, when the dark side of Islam stepped off a plane from Paris in Iran. After 14 years in exile, Muslim cleric Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini had come triumphantly home to establish his revolutionary "reign of virtue," an Islamic theocracy designed to cleanse a nation of what Khomeini called "Westoxification," the poisonous influences of Western culture.

With no delay, Khomeini urged a jihad against "the Great Satan" and supported the storming of the American embassy in Tehran by student militants. "Americans are the Great Satan, the wounded snake," Khomeini proclaimed. Not only wounded but also corrupt--so corrupt that we'd be better off dead. Killing us, he preached, was doing us a favor: "If one permits an infidel to continue in his role as a corrupter of the Earth, his moral suffering will be all the worse. If one kills the infidel, and this stops him from perpetrating his misdeeds, his death will be a blessing to him."

For those within Iran who might be a little squeamish about being dragged back to the 7th century, Khomeini prescribed a no less bloody end than the one he'd set for the infidels of the world: "All those against the revolution must disappear and quickly be executed."

Also disappearing should be any authors or buildings that were out of step with the process of Islamization. "Christian, Jewish and Bahai missionary centers are spread in Tehran to deceive people and lead them away from the teachings and principles of religion," said Khomeini. "Isn't it a duty to destroy these centers?" Also destroyed should be Salman Rushdie, as ordered in Khomeini's infamous fatwa: "The author of the Satanic Verses book, which is against Islam, the Prophet and the Koran, and all those involved in its publication who are aware of its contents, are sentenced to death. I ask all Moslems to execute them wherever they find them."

For the crime of expressing a viewpoint, not only was British author Rushdie to be killed but also his publishers. Rushdie's American publisher received bomb threats and death threats, his Norwegian publisher and Italian translator were attacked and his Japanese translator was fatally stabbed. Anywhere in the world, the very idea of a free mind was to be crushed out of existence.

Also disappearing in Khomeini's paradigm was any separation between mosque and state. "In Islam," he explained, "the legislative power and competence to establish laws belong exclusively to God Almighty," i.e., to Khomeini Almighty.

To French intellectual Roger Garaudy, the whole thing seemed quite dandy. "The Islamic Revolution of Iran presented a new example of perfect human beings and society," he declared. "This is the reason behind the West's enmity towards it. Khomeini gave a new meaning to the lives of the Iranians."

Others followed in Khomeini's footsteps, getting "new meaning" in their lives, getting "perfect," by killing Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in 1981; killing Lebanese Prime Minister Bashir Gemayel in 1982; bombing the U.S. Embassy and Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983; assassinating a U.S Navy officer in Greece in 1983; murdering a U.S. Embassy official in Beirut in 1984; killing American servicemen in 1984 in Torrejon, Spain; hijacking the Achille Lauro in 1985; killing American servicemen in the bombing of a Berlin nightclub in 1986; blowing up the Pan Am flight over Scotland in 1988; bombing the Israeli Embassy in Argentina in 1992; bombing the World Trade Center in February 1993; attempting to assassinate President George Bush in April 1993 in Kuwait; murdering American diplomats in Pakistan in 1995; bombing the Riyadh military compound in Saudi Arabia in 1995; bombing the Khobar Towers in Dhahran in 1996; blowing up American facilities in 1998 in Tanzania and Kenya; and bombing the USS Cole in 2000.

Sept. 11, 2001, was simply more of the same, only larger.

Testifying before the 9/11 commission, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice spoke of our "inability to connect the dots." Khomeini is a dot, as are al-Qaida, Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad, plus every attack listed above. Connect the ideological dots and the picture becomes only too clear. Our enemy is Islamic extremism, a fundamentalism that promises to smash anything in its path in order to impose a "reign of virtue."

Ralph R. Reiland is a columnist at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and the B. Kenneth Simon Professor of Free Enterprise at Robert Morris University.
16 posted on 04/21/2004 10:29:42 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Thank You President Bush!
17 posted on 04/21/2004 10:42:45 PM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" Kerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: DoctorZIn

18 posted on 04/21/2004 10:48:47 PM PDT by Smartass (BUSH & CHENEY 2004 - THE BEST GET BETTER)
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To: Smartass
Hard Laugh! LooooooooooooooooooL! Thnx~~~~~~!!!
19 posted on 04/21/2004 11:27:03 PM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" Kerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: All
Reporters Without Borders outraged at Siamak Pourzand's treatment in hospital

Iran Payvand News
April 22nd, 2004

Reporters Without Borders has expressed outrage at the treatment in hospital of jailed journalist Siamak Pourzand. The 75-year-old, who is very seriously ill, is chained to his bed by his feet at Tehran's Modares hospital, where he was admitted on 18 April.

The international press freedom organisation called for his immediate release on medical grounds.

"We are revolted at the treatment of Siamak Pourzand. We have protested for years to the Iranian authorities against the harassment of this journalist. We will hold them responsible for the deterioration in his state of health," said the organisation.

"We call for Pourzand's immediate release and we support the family's request for him to be transferred to an independent private hospital," it said.

Pourzand, unable to walk and held up by two warders was brought to the prison visiting room to see his sister on 18 April. Barely able to speak, he nevertheless told her not to sign anything in connection with him. A few hours later warders told her that Pourzand had been transferred to the intensive care unit of Modares Hospital.

Pourzand, who worked as a freelance for several independent newspapers, has been imprisoned since 30 March 2003. He has been deprived of the most basic rights, including that of being able to see his own lawyer. An associate of Tehran's prosecutor-general, Said Mortazavi, has been assigned to defend him.

The journalist has spent months in solitary confinement and suffered physical and psychological torture forcing him to make a confession on television. He is suffering from arthritis in the neck and serious back problems for which he needs an operation. He was left in a coma after a heart attack on 31 March 2004, before being transferred again to Modares Hospital on 18 April.

Pourzand was arrested on 24 November 2001 then sentenced in May 2002 to eight years in prison for "undermining state security through links with monarchists and counter-revolutionaries". He was allowed out on licence on December 2002 before returning to prison in March 2003.
20 posted on 04/21/2004 11:46:37 PM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" Kerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: All
Khatami warns US against attacking Shiite cities, killing Sadr

IranMania News
Apr 21st, 2004

TEHRAN, April 21 (AFP) - Iranian President Mohammad Khatami warned US troops Wednesday that attacking the Iraqi Shiite holy cities of Najaf and Karbala would be "suicide" and cautioned against killing firebrand cleric Moqtada Sadr.

"An attack against Najaf and Karbala would be an act of suicide by the occupation forces, and it would provoke the resentment of all the Muslim world, especially Shiites," the president told reporters after a cabinet meeting.

"I do not think they will make such an error, because if they did they would be caught up in a storm," Khatami said.

Sadr, who is leading a rebellion against occupation forces, has been holed up in Najaf for the past two weeks, wanted in connection with the murder of a rival pro-US cleric a year ago. US forces have said they will capture or kill him and have reinforced troop numbers near the city.

Najaf and Karbala are two of the holiest cities for Shiite Muslims, and are home to the shrines of Imams Ali and Hossein -- the most important figures in the branch of Islam that dominates Iraq and Iran.

Although Iran has distanced itself from Sadr, Khatami said that to kill him would be a "provocation".

"They understand this," he said of the Americans. "We are against any provocations, and I don't think the Americans would do such a thing".

Vice President Mohammad Ali Abtahi, however, was also quick to label Sadr's methods as "unrealistic".

"This could create problems for the future of Iraq. Najaf is a holy place for us and everything should be done to prevent the provocation of an American attack, such as the extremism of Moqtada Sadr," he said.

Khatami also reiterated Iranian demands for the withdrawal of foreign troops, as well as its support for the Iraqi interim Governing Council.

"The continuation of the occupation is an insult to Iraqis and a source of the trouble there," he said.

"All Iraqi forces and groups should cooperate to get out of this crisis, and I hope the just decision by Spain (to pull out its troops) will be followed by the others," Khatami said.
21 posted on 04/22/2004 12:57:11 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" Kerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: PhilDragoo

French President Jacques Chirac, right, shakes hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazzi, 2nd from left, as Iranian Ambassador to France Seyed Mohommad Sadegh Kharazi, center, looks on, after their meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris Wednesday, April 21, 2004. (AP Photo/Laurent Rebours)

22 posted on 04/22/2004 3:51:15 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" Kerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: F14 Pilot
"Gholam shire'i", Iran's Next Speaker of Majlis

Apr 22, 2004
Persian Journal

Haddad Adel as known as "Gholam shire'i" Likely to Be Elected Speaker of Seventh Majlis, an informed source close to the Coalition for the Development of Islamic Iran announced that Gholam-Ali Haddad Adel as known as "Gholam shire'i" will most likely be the next speaker of the Majlis.

"More than 60 percent of incoming legislators in the seventh Majlis believe that Haddad Adel should be elected speaker of the seventh Majlis, while the rest support Mohammed Reza Bahonar for the position. As it stands now, it seems Haddad Adel "Gholam shire'i" "will be the next Majlis speaker".

The source went on to say that consultations are ongoing, however due to close family ties between so-called leader of Iran mullah Khamenei and Gholamali shire'i, it is most likely that Mr. Shire'i will be the next speaker of majlis.
23 posted on 04/22/2004 7:22:31 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" Kerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: DoctorZIn
Tehran Remembers Chemical Victims

April 22, 2004
Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting

Tehran -- Head of Tehran's Islamic City Council Mehdi Chamran said here Thursday that two plagues in memories of the victims of chemical weapons used during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war will be installed in Tehran.

Speaking to reporters, he said the plagues will temporarily be installed in Ferdowsi street in front of the building where chemical victims have been hospitalized.

The plagues are to demonstrate the crimes of those who have a hand in the manufacturing of chemical weapons, he said.

Germany was one of the most important country which provided Saddam with chemical weapons, he pointed out.

All country's officials as well as Iranian people blamed Germany as the culprit for Saddam's crimes and never forget the crimes of Germany during the Second World War, he said. He called the installation of a memorial plague in front of Mykonos restaurant in Berlin a joke.

Germany is now under question and 'we are to indict them in various courts and will never ignore our rights', he underlined.

A number of local German officials attended the special ceremony in which a plague to mark the memory of those killed in Mykonos restaurant was unveiled in Berlin last Tuesday.
24 posted on 04/22/2004 4:36:35 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

25 posted on 04/22/2004 4:37:31 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Rafsanjanis are Iran's Power Brokers for Investors

April 21, 2004
Bloomberg Markets Magazine

At 6 p.m. on Sept. 11, 2003, agents from Oekokrim, Norway's financial crimes police unit, raided the Stavanger headquarters of Statoil ASA, the nation's largest oil company. They were seeking records of a $15 million contract with Horton Investment, a London-based consulting firm with links to a son of Iran's former president, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Oekokrim said in a Sept. 12 press release that a $5.2 million Statoil payment that wound up in a Turks and Caicos Islands bank account might have been a bribe to drill in Iran's natural gas fields, the largest in the world after Russia's. Oekokrim charged Statoil with violating Norway's General Civil Penal Code, which prohibits influencing foreign officials. The Statoil scandal reveals the risks of dealing with Iran - - a country that ranks with Armenia, Lebanon and Mali as ``highly corrupt'' in a survey by Berlin-based Transparency International, which polls business executives and academics on investing. Two weeks after the raid, Statoil Chairman Leif Terje Loeddesoel, 69, Chief Executive Officer Olav Fjell, 52, and Executive Vice President Richard Hubbard, 53, resigned. None of the executives has been charged with any wrongdoing.

Iranian Revolution

Twenty-five years after Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini led the revolution that toppled Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, a dozen families with religious ties control much of Iran's $110 billion gross domestic product and shape its politics, industries and finances, says Ray Takeyh, a professor and director of studies at National Defense University's Near East and South Asia Center in Washington and coauthor of ``The Receding Shadow of the Prophet: The Rise and Fall of Radical Political Islam'' (Praeger, 2004). The Rafsanjanis -- who have investments in pistachio farming, real estate, automaking and a private airline worth a total of $1 billion -- are among the best connected and most influential of the families, Takeyh says.

Rafsanjani, 69, has wielded power since the creation of the Islamic Republic in 1979, when he served on the Revolutionary Council under Khomeini.

Mohsen Hashemi, 43, Rafsanjani's oldest son, heads a $2 billion project to build Tehran's subway. Yasser Hashemi, 32, the youngest son, runs a horse farm north of Tehran in the exclusive suburb of Lavasan, where an acre of land costs $2 million. Mehdi Hashemi Rafsanjani, 34, the son whose contact with Statoil led to the police search, was a director at National Iranian Gas Co. and heads the unit that develops compressed natural gas for cars. ``The whole Iranian economy is set up to benefit the privileged few,'' Takeyh says. ``Rafsanjani is the most adept, the most notorious and the most privileged.''

Tempting Riches

Iran's riches are tempting to companies and private investors. The country -- which, at 1.65 million square kilometers (637,069 square miles), is slightly smaller than Alaska -- holds 9 percent of oil reserves, second in the world behind Saudi Arabia. Iran also holds 15 percent of global natural gas deposits.

With two-thirds of Iran's 70 million people under age 30, the country's appetite for consumer goods is ballooning. GDP will climb 8 percent this year: the same rate as China and almost double the 4.6 percent rate in the U.S., the International Monetary Fund projects.

In 2003, the Tehran Stock Exchange All-Share Price Index more than doubled to 10879.87 compared with a 26 percent increase for the Standard & Poor's 500 Index. The market value of the 350 companies on the exchange rose 7 percent to $37 billion in the first three months of 2004. Automaker Iran Khodro Co.; Melli Investment Co., a unit of Bank Melli, Iran's biggest bank; and Kharg Petrochemical Co., the country's fifth-biggest company by market value, powered the gains.

Stock Market

The government of President Mohammad Khatami, 60, who replaced Rafsanjani in 1997, introduced legislation last year to open the stock market to foreign investors. A 1996 ban keeps the exchange closed to all but Iranians. Khatami also proposed creating an independent regulatory body like the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Jim Rogers, 61, who founded the New York-based Quantum Fund with George Soros in 1969, is among a handful of foreigners who bought shares in Iranian companies in the early 1990s, before Iran's parliament banned outside investment. The exchange let investors like Rogers keep their shares.

Rogers says his holdings, which he declines to name, have risen ``an enormous amount.'' He says he's aware of Iran's attractions -- as well as its pitfalls. ``The country has oil, lots of minerals, a young population,'' Rogers says.

``Transparency is a problem. They only send me information about my companies when they want to.''

Legal Traps

Companies and investors that want to break into Iran need to understand how to navigate legal and ethical traps like the one that rocked Statoil, says Arwa Hassan, program director for the Middle East at Transparency International.

In 1979 and 1980, U.S. President Jimmy Carter imposed a series of bans on Iran that barred travel, trade and financial transactions after militants held 52 American embassy staff members hostage in Tehran for 444 days. In 1995, President Bill Clinton banned U.S. companies from helping to develop Iran's energy industry. In 1996, the U.S. Congress authorized the president to impose sanctions on non-U.S. companies that invested more than $20 million in Iran's energy assets.

Interest From Europe

European and Asian companies aren't bound by U.S.-style prohibitions against Iran -- and they're rushing to get a piece of the action. France's Total SA, Europe's No. 3 oil company, is in talks to construct a $2 billion liquefied natural gas plant. Alcatel SA, the world's second-biggest maker of telecommunications gear, is building Iran's phone system and supplying lines for high-speed Internet service.

In February, Japan's state-run oil company, Inpex Corp., and Osaka, Japan-based trading company Tomen Corp. agreed to spend $2.5 billion to develop the Azadegan oil field.

Michael Thomas, an adviser to the U.K. Department of Trade and Industry, says Iran is ripe for foreign investment. ``Iran has everything the West needs: cheap energy, lots of raw material and a large labor pool,'' he says.

Statoil pursued Iran's oil and natural gas. The North Sea reserves that produced more than 90 percent of Statoil's output began to decline in 1999. Hubbard, the former executive vice president, said in a January interview that the onus of finding new fields fell to him as head of international exploration. Fjell and Loeddesoel declined to comment for this story.

Meeting With Junior

In a letter given to Statoil's board after his resignation, Hubbard said that when he got a chance to talk with the son of Iran's former president, he took it. In 2001, Hubbard met Mehdi Hashemi Rafsanjani, whom he called Junior, in Statoil offices in Bergen.

According to Hubbard's Oct. 22 letter, Mehdi Hashemi asked if Statoil would pay ``a success fee'' to develop the Salman oil field in the Persian Gulf. Hubbard turned down the proposal after his development team rejected Salman on technical and cost grounds. ``Junior led us to believe several companies had paid success fees for various contracts,'' Hubbard wrote.

Mehdi Hashemi made other proposals, Hubbard wrote. One was a plan to divert funds to Iranian Islamic charities, or Bonyads. Hubbard rejected those. In early 2002, he found one offer acceptable, he wrote in his letter: Mehdi Hashemi proposed acting as Statoil's political adviser and said he would commission a consulting agreement with Abbas Yazdi, 34, an Iranian who had set up Horton Investment and was living in London. In a September interview, Yazdi confirmed that he ran Horton.

Consulting Deal

In June 2002, Statoil and Horton Investment signed a formal agreement for an 11-year, $15 million consulting deal, Hubbard said in the January interview. Four months later, Statoil announced plans to invest $300 million to drill and pump natural gas from the South Pars field, the world's largest, with 800 trillion cubic feet of reserves.

That December, Yazdi asked Statoil to wire $5.2 million to his account in Turks and Caicos, according to Hubbard's letter. A few months later, Statoil's internal auditors questioned the payment, says Jan Borgen, national director for Norway at Transparency International.

``The auditors became suspicious because of the size of the contract and the fact that Statoil paid a 35 percent lump sum, which is unusual,'' says Borgen, who followed the case as an official at Transparency International. The consulting agreement was for 11 years and Statoil paid 35 percent of the value after six months, he says.

Hubbard confronted Yazdi about the transfer, he said in his letter. Yazdi said it had always been his intention to use an offshore account. ``There was a clear understanding that companies that are active in Iran are expected to contribute to the society one way or another,'' Hubbard wrote.

Suing Iran

Houshang Bouzari, 51, an adviser to Iran's oil minister in the 1980s, says doing business in Iran without paying someone in power is impossible. When he refused to pay a bribe, he says, he wound up in a Tehran prison. Now a Canadian citizen, Bouzari is suing the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran for torture, abduction and false imprisonment.

In 1988, Bouzari left his post and set up an oil trading and consulting firm with offices in Rome and Tehran. Four years later, he says, he began working with Saipem SpA, Europe's second- biggest oil field services company, and Tecnologie Progetti Lavori SpA, an Italian subsidiary of France's Technip SA, Europe's largest oil field services company.

With Bouzari's help, the companies secured a $1.8 billion contract to help develop Iran's South Pars gas field, the area Hubbard targeted a decade later. Bouzari would have made as much as $36 million, or 2 percent of the total contract, he said in February 2002 in testimony at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, where he's taken his case against the Iranian government.

Tortured in Prison

Instead, Bouzari got nothing. On June 1, 1993, he told the court that three agents from Iran's Intelligence Ministry arrested him as he was finishing his morning coffee. They took him to Evin, a Tehran prison where Iranian political prisoners are detained. Jailers whipped the soles of his feet with metal cables and pushed his head in a toilet, he testified. On three occasions, he was told to prepare for his imminent execution, according to the court transcript.

Bouzari spent more than eight months in prison. His wife paid $3 million to Iran's Ministry of Information before he was released, court documents show. Bouzari then paid another $250,000 to secure his passport. He left Iran for Rome in July 1984 and emigrated to Canada in 1988.

Bouzari testified he was tortured because he'd refused to pay $50 million as a bribe to Mehdi Hashemi. ``I didn't believe at that time in paying money to a government official or son of the president,'' Bouzari said.

Pressed for a Commission

In a February interview in London, Bouzari elaborated on his ordeal. ``Mehdi and Yazdi pressed me to give them a commission, but I didn't need the Rafsanjanis because I had done all the hard work in lining up the contract,'' he said. ``I was detained and tortured illegally. No shred of paper was ever presented to me or my family as to why I was jailed or tortured.''

Bouzari sued in February 2002, seeking to regain the $3.25 million he says his imprisonment cost him. That May, Judge Katherine Swinton said she accepted the truth of Bouzari's testimony. She ruled the Canadian court had no jurisdiction over Iran as a sovereign nation. In December 2003, Bouzari appealed to Ontario's Court of Appeal, where the case is pending. While he waits, he has set up the International Coalition Against Torture, which aims to end state-sponsored abuse.

``I would have been killed had I tried to take this action in Iran,'' Bouzari says.

`Psychological Warfare'

Mohammad Hashemi, 52, Rafsanjani's younger brother, dismisses such stories. He says his family is a victim of rumors, gossip and propaganda.

In a December interview at the former Saadabad Palace in northern Tehran, in a complex of buildings that once belonged to the deposed shah's sister, Hashemi says enemies of the Islamic regime are lying about the family wealth.

``This is part of the psychological warfare to create a rift between the people and their government,'' says Hashemi, who abandoned his studies at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1978 to join the revolution. He served as Iran's vice president from 1995 to 2001 and headed state radio and television for 13 years. Today, he often acts as family spokesman with the international press.

Tea and Almonds

``Our Mehdi has said he had nothing to do with bribery,'' Hashemi says, speaking over a snack of tea and salted almonds in a room furnished with Louis XVI chairs, silk wallpaper and a Persian carpet. ``If foreign companies want to do business, they should do so in a correct way without resorting to any middlemen.''

Mehdi Hashemi declined telephone, fax and e-mail requests for an interview. In a March interview with the Shargh newspaper, a Tehran daily, he said he had no knowledge of Horton Investment and has had no consulting agreements with Statoil or Horton. The discovery that a Rafsanjani figures in controversy over money and power doesn't surprise Ali Ansari, an Iranian lecturer in Middle Eastern history at Exeter University in southwest England.

``Rafsanjani operates on the principle of what's good for him is good for the country,'' says Ansari, who has written two books on Iran: ``A History of Modern Iran Since 1921: The Pahlavis and After'' (Longman, 2003) and ``Iran, Islam and Democracy: The Politics of Managing Change'' (Royal Institute of International Affairs, 2000). ``His family has long tentacles.'' Rafsanjani stepped down as president in 1997 after serving Iran's limit of eight years. Today, he leads the religious organizations that shadow Iran's official government. He's deputy chairman of the Assembly of Experts, which appoints Iran's Supreme Leader, the ultimate political and religious authority. In 1999, the assembly named Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to the post.

Extending His Reach

Rafsanjani also heads the Expediency Council, which sets strategic economic policy and mediates between parliament and the Guardian Council, a 12-member clerical body that oversees parliament. ``He is one of the most powerful men in Iran,'' Ansari says. ``His reputation is that of a Mr. Fix-it.'' Rafsanjani extends his reach through his family. Cousin Ahmad Hashemian is managing director of the Rafsanjan Pistachio Growers Cooperative, which dominates the $746 million pistachio export market, according to the Web site of Iran's Customs Ministry.

Older brother Ahmad, now retired, headed the Sarcheshmeh complex, Iran's largest copper mine. Another brother, Mahmud, was governor of Qom, Iran's most important holy city. Nephew Ali Hashemi, 43, is a member of the parliamentary energy commission that oversees oil and gas policy. Mohsen Rafiqdoust, 63, Rafsanjani's brother-in-law, was Khomeini's driver and head of security when the ayatollah arrived from exile.

Role of Bonyads

One way the Rafsanjanis and other clerical families maintain their grip is through the Bonyad foundations, says Shaul Bakhash, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, a Washington- based research organization.

After the revolution, the Bonyads expropriated assets of foreigners and the former shah's friends, says Bakhash, who has written extensively on Iran and is the author of ``The Reign of Ayatollahs: Iran and the Islamic Revolution'' (Basic Books, 1984).

Companies under Bonyad control account for as much as a third of Iran's economy, he says. The Bonyads don't disclose their accounting or pay taxes; they get subsidized loans and report only to the Supreme Leader, he says. ``The economic power structure is even more opaque than the political system,'' Bakhash says. ``The Bonyads funnel money to senior religious figures for patronage and suspected clandestine activities.''

Links to Terrorism?

The Bonyads have been linked with funding terror organizations, he says. In 1989, Bonyad 15 Khordad offered $1 million to any non-Iranian who carried out Khomeini's charge to kill author Salman Rushdie for writing ``The Satanic Verses'' (Viking Press, 1989), a novel that mocks the prophet Mohammad. Over the years, the bounty has increased to $2.8 million. Rafiqdoust, Rafsanjani's brother-in-law, headed the biggest Bonyad for more than 10 years, until 1999. The Bonyad Mostazfan and Janbazan, or Foundation for the Oppressed and War Invalids, owns the former Hilton and Hyatt hotels in Tehran; Zam-Zam, Iran's largest soft drink company; Bonyad Shipping Co., a global shipper with offices in London and Athens; and industrial plants and real estate, according to its Web site.

A 2000 World Bank report put the value of BMJ assets at $3.5 billion; Iranian economist Mohammad Jamsaz, a consultant to Iran's Chamber of Commerce, estimates the number is closer to $12 billion.

Student of Khomeini

Rafsanjani gained entry to Iran's political and religious elite early on. He was one of nine children born into a pistachio farming family from the village of Bahraman, near Rafsanjan, a dusty town in central Iran. When he was 14, his parents sent him to Qom, a seminary town on the northern fringes of the Dasht-e Kavir Desert.

Khomeini taught classes there, and Rafsanjani studied Islamic law, morality and mysticism. Khomeini advocated giving clerics more say in running the country, an interpretation that contrasted with the then Shiite leadership, which shunned political entanglements, Bakhash said in his book.

In 1964, Iran's military arrested Khomeini and exiled him to Izmir, Turkey, and Najaf, Iraq. Khomeini opposed the shah's policies on women's rights and land reform, under which the government accumulated property from Iran's mosques. He also fought the growing role of the U.S. military in Iran. During the next 15 years, Rafsanjani landed in jail five times for his own activities against the shah.

Shah's Regime Falls

The shah's regime fell in 1979 after his modernization plans and links to the U.S. sparked a revolution. Khomeini returned as a national hero and pushed his idea that only the religious class may rule. An assembly composed of 82 percent clerics changed Iran's constitution to create an Islamic republic.

Rafsanjani stayed at the center of power. He was a member of the Revolutionary Council, which ordered executions of officials in the shah's regime, Bakhash writes. He was speaker of the Majlis, Iran's parliament, for nine years. He acted as Khomeini's representative on the Supreme Defense Council -- or war cabinet - - during the eight-year war with Iraq. The war ended in a stalemate in 1988, leaving a million casualties. In 1989, Rafsanjani was elected president, replacing Khamenei, the current Supreme Leader.

Today, Rafsanjani's two terms are remembered for corruption and nepotism, says Mehdi Haeri, a lawyer in Bochum, Germany. Haeri, himself a former student of Khomeini and a classmate of President Khatami at Qom Theology School, spent four years in jail for criticizing Khomeini's ideas on Islamic rule.

In 1997, Haeri testified before the U.S. House International Relations Committee in favor of continuing U.S. sanctions against Iran. ``In every major industry and in every financial activity, you find the Rafsanjani family somehow connected,'' Haeri said.

Prevalence of Bribes

Siamak Namazi, managing director of Tehran-based consulting firm Atieh Bahar Consulting, says bribes are prevalent in Iran. ``In a country where you have to pay off the postman to make sure your international packages are delivered, bribes can be a way of life,'' says Namazi, who counts Nokia Oyj and BP Plc as clients. Nokia, the world's biggest mobile-phone maker, sells handsets in Iran and is seeking a contract to expand cell phone coverage. BP, Europe's biggest oil company, is negotiating with the oil ministry for drilling rights.

`Zero Tolerance'

BP spokesman Toby Odone says his company doesn't pay success fees or bribes. Nokia spokeswoman Arja Suominen says the company and employees won't pay bribes or illicit payments to government officials or candidates.

``You have to have zero tolerance toward bribery,'' she says. Namazi says he advises clients not to pay to win business. ``I would advise against paying a bribe,'' he says. ``You'll only bring fire upon yourself.''

At Statoil, CEO Fjell's resignation makes the case for Namazi's statement. ``Looking back, I see that I entered an ethical borderland,'' Fjell said at his September farewell news conference in Stavanger. ``This particular agreement shouldn't have been made. I'm struggling with the fact that I could allow that to happen.''

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad Hossein Adeli says the Statoil episode would have blown over had the company been more open. A former central bank governor and ambassador to Canada, Adeli takes a deep breath, searching for the right words.

``If a Western company wants to come to Iran, should they pay someone to show them around and to help them navigate the Iranian market? Absolutely,'' he says. ``They have to pay. The only thing Statoil did wrong was to keep the payments a secret.'' Foreign investors may not be so generous in their assessment. ``If there's a feeling a country has corrupt officials, it's bad for investors,'' says Karina Litvack, head of governance at Isis Asset Management Plc, a London fund manager with about 62 billion pounds ($111 billion) under management, including Statoil shares. ``It makes it risky because corruption breeds lawlessness.''

Statoil shares fell as much as 11 percent on the news of scandal before recovering as oil prices rose. The shares fell 0.8 percent today to 92 kroner ($13) at 9:41 a.m. central European time in Oslo.

Investors seeking riches in Iran are likely to run up against the Rafsanjanis. The challenge is to avoid the pitfalls.

--Editors: Roche, Henkoff, King

To contact the reporter on this story: --Kambiz Foroohar in London at (44)(20) 7330-7018 or

To contact the editor of this story: Ron Henkoff at (212) 318-2347 or
26 posted on 04/22/2004 4:38:49 PM 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; ...
Rafsanjanis are Iran's Power Brokers for Investors

April 21, 2004
Bloomberg Markets Magazine
27 posted on 04/22/2004 4:39:36 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Transcript of a Joint Press Conference Given by Jack Straw, and Kharazi

April 22, 2004
Foreign & Commonwealth Office News

Good Afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen. It has been my pleasure to welcome to London my friend and colleague, Mr Kamal Kharrazi, the Foreign Minister of Iran. The Prime Minister has just had a 40 minute discussion, which ran over, with Mr Kharrazi. It covered, obviously, a range of issues, and was preceded by getting on for an hour's discussion which Mr Kharrazi and I and our respective officials had upstairs in the Foreign Office behind us. The key issues we discussed was Iran's progress in respect of the nuclear dossier. We discussed the letters which three European Foreign Ministers sent in August, the agreement which we reached in Tehran on 21 October and subsequent discussions, and then we also went on to talk about Iraq. So far as Iraq is concerned, I expressed again my condolences to Mr Kharrazi, to the government and people of Iran, for the murder of the Iranian First Secretary in Baghdad just a few days ago... showing no mercy and no discrimination in their victims. I thanked Mr Kharrazi for the cooperation which we have received, and continue to receive, in respect of Iraq, and then there were other bilateral issues we discussed.

Thank you very much. We had a very good discussion with my colleague, as well as the Prime Minister, on different issues, including the situation in Iraq, the situation in Palestine, as well as the nuclear issue. We have been working very hard with our collaboratives in Europe, the three countries, to work out the question of the nuclear issue of Iran, and big steps have been taken so far and we hope that what has been committed will be exercised on both sides to finalise the question of the nuclear issue of Iran in the up-coming meeting of the Board of Foreigners in June. This would be possible through close cooperation between Iran, the three countries and the IAEA, and that is exactly what we have planned to do and we are going to meet in future again to expedite this process until we could achieve our goal in time.

On the question of Iraq, we are a neighbouring country to Iraq and we have many concerns about the Iraqi future, the current Iraqi crisis, and we have been trying our best to help to calm down the situation and to help Iraqis to overcome their problems and to prepare the ground for the establishment of a democratic government in Iraq to be fully representative. Right now the question is how power has to be transferred, and to whom it should be transferred. We discussed different proposals which are available. To me I believe the important thing is to have the support of Iraqis themselves on any proposal that is suggested, and in that respect certainly neighbouring countries can help.

On the Middle East as well we had some talks and I believe the situation in the Middle East is the root cause of many problems in that part of the world. To tackle these problems, including extremism in the Islamic world, we have to see how the Palestinian issue has to be resolved. As long as injustice prevails in Palestine, naturally these extremists' behaviours will continue. Therefore I believe these kind of discussions, although there may be different views on both sides, but it is very useful and I am glad that I had this opportunity to have these discussions today.

A point to you both. How do you think the uprise, upsurge in violence amongst the Shia population in Iraq should be tackled?

I could say that to tackle the difficulties in Iraq, wisdom and prudence has to be used, otherwise if someone, as it has been the case, believes that only by using force against the Iraqi people, they can achieve their goal, this is a deadly crime. I believe recent developments prove that there has been wrong policies exercised in Iraq and the best way to control the situation is to stop these wrong policies and respect Iraqi people, their will and to try to prepare the ground for the transfer of power as soon as possible.

We are at one about the need for there to be a transfer of power as quickly as possible, and what Minister Kharrazi has said about wisdom and prudence I think is very apposite. There obviously has to be the use of force in certain circumstances, but it has to be proportionate and it has to work alongside a political strategy, and that is what we and the coalition partners, including the United States, are seeking to achieve.

Foreign Secretary, you have accepted finally as a coalition the need for a UN role in Iraq. Do you think that neighbours such as Iran, or Syria, or other neighbouring countries could play also a role in influencing the situation and ensuring stability where the coalition clearly is failing?

May I say we have always accepted the need for a United Nations role from the very start before this conflict began, and since military action first took place there have been three United Nations Security Council resolutions, all unanimous - 1483, 1500 and 1515 - and in each of those the role of the United Nations has been strengthened. Had it not been for the murder of the United Nations Secretary General's Special Representative, Sergio Viero de Melo, on 19 August last year, the United Nations would have been playing a more active role and that would have been to everybody's benefit. But that was something the terrorists prevented, not us. Of course there is a major role for all the neighbours, for all six countries which neighbour Iraq, and for the wider Arab and Islamic world and we look forward to engagement with them.
28 posted on 04/22/2004 4:40:19 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: F14 Pilot; Grampa Dave; BOBTHENAILER; MeekOneGOP; devolve; Happy2BMe; SAMWolf; Ragtime Cowgirl; ...
Although Iran has distanced itself from Sadr, Khatami said that to kill him would be a "provocation".

Major bullcrap alert here.

Iran finances al-Sadr. Now Agence Fart Presse claims "Iran has distanced itself from Sadr."

Whereas China and North Korea are "like lips and teeth," Iran and al-Sadr are "like lips and butt."

And since its Agence FRANCE Presse reporting this lie, here's Chirac applying the lips to Iran's butt:

And Jean French Kerry, too:

29 posted on 04/22/2004 7:16:11 PM PDT by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: PhilDragoo
30 posted on 04/22/2004 8:09:26 PM PDT by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ...( Azadi baraye Iran)
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"the special ceremony in which a plague to mark the memory"

I hope it was a plaque
31 posted on 04/22/2004 8:13:38 PM PDT by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ...( Azadi baraye Iran)
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To: Smartass

And her hair must be driving them insane too
32 posted on 04/22/2004 8:16:51 PM PDT by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ...( Azadi baraye Iran)
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To: DoctorZIn; F14 Pilot; freedom44; nuconvert; Grampa Dave; SAMWolf
Thanks again to Jimmy Carter for betraying an ally and facilitating an Islamofascist.

Obviously the Shah should have killed Khomenei and Rafsanjani when he had the opportunity.

Let us not make the same mistake.

33 posted on 04/22/2004 8:56:53 PM PDT by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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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”

34 posted on 04/22/2004 10:31:43 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: PhilDragoo

35 posted on 04/23/2004 2:39:24 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP (Become a monthly donor on FR. No amount is too small and monthly giving is the way to go !)
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