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Iranian Alert -- April 26, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 4.26.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 04/26/2004 6:14:38 AM 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
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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 04/26/2004 6:14:39 AM 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 04/26/2004 6:16:56 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Activists gather in front of UN office in Tehran

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Apr 25, 2004

Several activists gathered, today, in front of the UN offices in Tehran in order to protest against the persistent repression and the illegal imprisonment of their relatives. The protest was announced days before by most Iranian media sources located abroad and gathered protesters from different layers of the Iranian society.

Slogans for end to repression, release of political prisoners, justice and free elections in order to determine the fate of Iran's future political system were shouted by the protesters.

The security forces stayed afar, during the action, by contenting to take pictures of the protesters but proceeded to some arrests at the end of the demo.
3 posted on 04/26/2004 6:18:01 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

4 posted on 04/26/2004 6:19:17 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Israel to destroy
Iran nuke plant?
Jerusalem considers pre-emptive strike by summer's end

Posted: April 26, 2004
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2004

While Iran announced plans to begin building a heavy-water reactor that can produce weapons-grade plutonium, Israel began drawing up plans to demolish it – much as it destroyed an Iraqi nuclear facility more than a decade ago.

Sources in Israel say the attack could come before the end of summer, according to Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin.

While Tehran insists the facility is purely for research, the decision heightens concern about Iran's ability to produce nuclear aims.

The 40-megawatt reactor could produce enough plutonium for a nuclear weapon each year, according to sources.

While construction is set to begin in June, Iran already had previously announced plans to build such a reactor last year to the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency.

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

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

Observers wonder out loud why Iran, a nation with vast oil reserves, is so intent on producing nuclear power.
5 posted on 04/26/2004 6:20:43 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Beirut Veteran Blamed Over Basra Attacks

April 25, 2004
Telegraph UK
Con Coughlin

A leading Lebanese terrorist accused of blowing up the American embassy in Beirut in the 1980s is being held responsible for the increase in suicide bomb attacks against coalition targets in southern Iraq.

In the latest blasts, in the British-controlled sector in Basra at the end of last week, 73 people - including 18 children - were killed when five suicide car bombs exploded outside police stations.

Western intelligence officials have uncovered evidence that the attacks are being co-ordinated by Imad Mugniyeh, a leading figure in Lebanon's extremist Hizbollah Shia Muslim terror organisation.

Washington has accused Mugniyeh of blowing up the American embassy and the United States marine compound in Beirut in the 1980s, killing more than 300 US officials and troops.

Mugniyeh, who is now in his fifties and has a close relationship with Iran's Revolutionary Guards, has been based in Teheran since the end of the Lebanese civil war, and is also known to have close links with Osama bin Laden's al-Qa'eda terrorist network.

Intelligence officials in Iraq have uncovered evidence that Mugniyeh has been helping to train the self-styled al-Mahdi army set up by Moqtada al-Sadr, the dissident Iraqi Shia leader.

Mugniyeh, the head of Hizbollah's external security apparatus, has deployed scores of Lebanese Hizbollah fighters in Iraq, and set up secret training camps along the southern part of the border with Iran.

The Hizbollah fighters are working closely with members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, with whom they developed a close relationship during the 1980s when their terror tactics forced the Reagan administration to withdraw US forces from Beirut.

"This is all part of a strategy devised by hardliners in Iran to repeat their success in Lebanon and drive coalition troops out of Iraq," said a senior intelligence official.

"Their main aim is to create an Iranian-style Islamic republic in Iraq."

In recent weeks Sadr has made a number of public references in support of Hizbollah, while Hizbollah supporters demonstrated in Beirut earlier this month in support of "the Iraqi intifada".

The National Council of Resistance of Iran, a prominent Iranian exile group, also claims that a significant number of Revolutionary Guards fighters have been sent to Iraq to support Sadr and the al-Mahdi army.

Attempts by Iranian hardliners to encourage attacks on coalition targets are being undertaken against the wishes of the Iranian government, which earlier this month sent a team of diplomats to Iraq to persuade Sadr to end his stand-off with American troops.

But at the same time as Iranian officials were negotiating with Sadr, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's hardline spiritual leader, was circulating a cassette tape in Arabic to a number of Iraqi mosques in which he called on the Iraqis to "unite and expel the occupiers to ensure the establishment of a new power based on Islam".
6 posted on 04/26/2004 6:21:19 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Shuts Down German Cultural Center

April 26, 2004
Agence France Presse
Arab News

TEHRAN -- Iran has closed a German government-funded language institute in Tehran, the German Embassy said yesterday, in what was seen as possible retaliation for a plaque put up in Berlin marking the killing of four Iranian Kurds in an attack officially blamed on the Iranian regime.

“Officially, the reason given to us was that the cultural center did not have the necessary permits,” embassy spokeswoman Deike Potsel told AFP. But privately, other diplomatic sources said they did not rule out the possibility that the closure of the language institute was a tit-for-tat response to the unveiling of the Berlin plaque a week ago.

That plaque, in Berlin’s upmarket Charlottenburg district, marks a 1992 attack in the Mykonos restaurant, and carries the victims’ names and the words: “Murdered by the then regime in Iran. They died fighting for freedom and human rights”.

A German court concluded in 1997 that the killers of the four were acting on Tehran’s orders, prompting the German government to recall its ambassador and the European Union to suspend dialogue with Tehran for a year.

The language institute, shut down on Thursday, was opened in 1996 but its permit expired in 2000. The embassy had been under the impression that there was a tacit agreement from authorities here that it could keep functioning.

In retaliation for the placing of the plaque in Berlin, Tehran’s city council has also decided to erect one of its own denouncing Germany for supplying chemical weapons to former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, with whom Iran fought a bitter war from 1980-1988.

And on Wednesday Germany’s ambassador to Iran, Baron Paul von Maltzahn, was summoned to the Foreign Ministry to hear of Iran’s “strong objection” to the plaque and hear fresh denials of a state link to the murders.

Iran’s discontent over the Berlin plaque — the result of a decision by local authorities in the German capital and not central government — was also repeated yesterday in the weekly news conference by Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi.
7 posted on 04/26/2004 6:22:04 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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Troops arrest 5 suspected terrorists near Iran border

Daily Times - National News
Apr 26, 2004

QUETTA - Paramilitary forces arrested five men after a gunbattle near the border with Iran, an official said on Sunday.

Border troops on patrol late on Saturday in the southwestern Makran region came under fire after three vehicles failed to stop near Shun village, some 900 kilometers southwest of Quetta, the paramilitary unit’s commander said on condition of anonymity. After a heavy exchange of fire, two of the vehicles escaped into Iran, but the other vehicle was intercepted and the five people inside were arrested.

The commander, based in Turbat city, said the five men said they were Pakistanis from the nearby Buleda area, but their nationality was being verified. He said they could be terrorists but gave no evidence. Troops also confiscated five AK-47 assault rifles, ammunition and a satellite phone, he said.
8 posted on 04/26/2004 6:25:28 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

9 posted on 04/26/2004 6:26:29 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn


April 25, 2004 -- WHILE a section of the Western media continues to predict an "explosion of the Arab street," it is possible that Arab, and Muslim politics in general, may be seeking other, more institutionalized, forms of expression.
Starting this year, the Muslim world has witnessed a string of conferences, all devoted to the issue of democratization.

Some of these conferences - e.g., in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia; in Istanbul; in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa; in Alexandria, Egypt - have come out with clear statements that democratic reform is the only way out for Muslim nations caught in "an historic quagmire." The issue will be at the center of another conference next month in Jordan held under the auspices of the World Economic Forum.

This is not the first time that Muslims have identified democracy as a panacea for their political, social and cultural ills. Many such conferences were held in the 19th and 20th centuries, which witnessed the short-lived victory of democratic forces in both Turkey and Iran.

But by the mid-1950s, there were hardly any genuine democrats in the Muslim world. The intellectual and political life in most Muslim countries was dominated either by Marxist or other advocates of leftist totalitarianism or by conservative religious forces. In the 1960s and '70s, the left (including its nationalist version) was in the ascendancy in most Muslim countries. From the late '70s onward, Islamism, in its different versions, emerged as the dominant political force, especially in the Middle East and North Africa.

Yet the speedy collapse of the Taliban in Kabul and of the Ba'ath in Baghdad opened a new chapter in which advocates of democratization may have an opportunity to address the broader audiences at least in some Muslim countries.

The Iraqi Ba'ath represented the most radical version in the Muslim world of leftist nationalism, inspired by both Nazism and Communism. If anybody could have created the Arab nationalist Utopia, it was Saddam Hussein. But he ended up in a hole near Tikrit. And the Taliban represented the ultimate "must" in Islamism: No one could claim to be more Islamist than Mullah Muhammad Omar. But he, too, ended up hiding in a hole (in Arzangan).

One question that is seldom asked is: Why did the Muslim world witness the demise of the Taliban and the Iraqi Ba'ath with indifference verging on disdain? To be sure, many Muslims felt humiliated because the two beastly regimes were overthrown by non-Muslim powers, not by liberating forces from within Islam. But there is no sign that any substantial body of opinion within the Muslim world regrets the collapse of the Taliban and the Ba'ath.

What interests a growing number of Muslims is to find out why were the Taliban and the Ba'ath such easy pushovers.

A few persist in asserting that neither stood any chance against the might of the world's only superpower. This may well be true, but does not answer another important question: Why did the Taliban and the Ba'ath lead their nations into conflict in the first place?

Others argue that the Taliban and the Ba'ath were programmed to run into conflict with the Western world because of policies that excluded the Afghan and Iraqi peoples from the decision-making process while making conflict with the West inevitable. Both collapses showed that, contrary to claims by some "Islamologists," the overwhelming majority of Muslims do not love despots and are not prepared to fight for them.

This was made clear in recent conferences of Muslim democrats in Istanbul and Alexandria. In each case, the subtext was that democracies can't be led into deadly conflict without majority consent. We know that no such consent was given or even sought in either Afghanistan or Iraq.

There is a growing sentiment in the Muslim world that their political systems have reached a dead end, with some form of democratization as the only way out. The old debate on whether Islam is compatible with democracy is hardly engaged these days. The issue now is the necessity of democracy for Muslims rather than its compatibility with Islam. Even the most conservative of Muslim regimes are now committed to the creation of elected organs of government.

There is, of course, no guarantee that such elections will not be "fixed" to prolong the domination of the existing ruling elites at least in the short-run. Nor could anyone be sure that some power-sharing at the formal political level will necessarily broaden the base of regimes that use complex networks of business interests, economic tools and security services to perpetuate their domination.

Nevertheless, it is refreshing that, for the first time in more than half a century, the political discourse in the world of Islam is increasingly dominated by the democratic lexicon. It is interesting to see turbaned mullahs discussing Locke and Tocqueville in TV talk-shows beamed from "holy" cities. And to hear military dictators donning the habit of champions of democracy is more than just amusing.

Even in the most closed Muslim societies, words and phrases that denote democratization are being heard, and read: elections, opening, dialogue, participation, consent, pluralism, separation of powers, rule of law, due process, free enterprise, civil society, good governance, human rights, gender equality, accountability and transparency.

Cynics might suggest that all this is nothing but the compliment that vice pays to virtue. The ruling elites may be using all this talk of democracy as a tactic to weather the storm created by the events in Afghanistan and Iraq, and then revert to their well-tested methods of rule by violence and bribery.

But cynics are often wrong. A change of mainstream discourse is a necessary prelude to structural political reform. Peer pressure and the force of example are likely to be important instruments in furthering the cause of democratization in the Muslim world, especially as far as the laggards are concerned.

Some Muslim countries are already building viable democracies, while others have launched a process of reform that cannot be reversed at will.

A collective Muslim commitment to reform - especially in difficult areas such as the status of women and the place of the shariah (Islamic law) in the legal system - will enable the regimes that still fear a backlash from domestic reactionary sources to place change in the broader context of the Islamic family.

The rest of the world can help not by dictating the rhythm and tempo of reform, let alone its details, but by supporting those Muslim regimes that show a genuine commitment to change - while ostracizing those that do not.

Muslim politics limited to palaces, barracks, mosques and streets has led to what must be regarded as the most glaring collective failure for any group of nations in history. It is, perhaps, time to envisage other institutions - notably political parties, parliaments and law courts - as the focal points of political life in the Muslim world.

10 posted on 04/26/2004 6:29:43 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...

11 posted on 04/26/2004 6:30:41 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran ignores US extension of limited sanctions suspension

* Urges European powers to fulfil commitment to the Islamic republic

TEHRAN Iran’s foreign ministry on Sunday shrugged off Washington’s decision to extend a partial suspension of sanctions against the Islamic republic initially made following December’s devastating earthquake in Bam.

“This is not a very important thing. It cannot be labelled as a lifting of sanctions, because it was for the earthquake,” spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters.

On March 25, the US administration decided to extend for another 90 days a temporary suspension of some sanctions against Iran outlined in the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA) of 1996.

The sanctions were first eased to speed relief efforts following the devastating earthquake in Bam on December 26, 2003, which left 26,000 people dead and tens of thousands injured and homeless.

Moreover, Iran pledge it was committed to cooperating with the UN’s atomic energy watchdog to clear up international suspicions it is secretly developing nuclear weapons, but asserted it also expecting European powers to meet their commitments to the Islamic republic.

“Based on the framework of understanding with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), we will continue our work until we clarify the ambiguities,” Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said.

“The presence of the IAEA’s inspectors in Iran is within this framework and this will continue in the future,” he added.

But Asefi again reiterated that Iran expected Britain, France and Germany to meet their side of a deal struck in October last year when Iran agreed to allow a tougher IAEA probe.

“We are expecting the IAEA and the Europeans to fulfil their obligations and normalise Iran’s nuclear case there,” Asefi said.

Under the deal last year, the European Union’s ‘big three’ held out the carrot of providing peaceful nuclear assistance to Iran if the IAEA established the country was clean of a covert weapons programme. The details of such potential assistance were not given at the time, but Iran consistently refers to the terms of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) whereby signatories commit themselves to exchange peaceful nuclear technology.

Iran, however, has yet to be given the all-clear by the IAEA, and has been chastised for failing to disclose key elements of its programme including its research on advanced P2 centrifuges capable of enriching uranium to weapons-grade. IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei will give a report on Iran’s nuclear activities to the next IAEA’s board of governors meeting in June, based on the inspectors’ findings to be submitted by the end of May.

Tehran vigorously denies US and Israeli allegations that it is seeking nuclear weapons, and is pressing for its dossier to be taken off the top of the IAEA’s agenda during the June meeting — something that most diplomats say is very unlikely.
12 posted on 04/26/2004 6:35:20 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Cooperation with IAEA not only a one-way street: Iran

TEHRAN: Iran pledge Sunday it was committed to cooperating with the UN's atomic energy watchdog, but asserted it also expecting European powers to meet their commitments to the Islamic republic.

"Based on the framework of understanding with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), we will continue our work until we clarify the ambiguities," Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said.

"The presence of the IAEA's inspectors in Iran is within this framework and this will continue in the future," he added.

But Asefi again reiterated that Iran expecting the IAEA and the Europeans to fulfill their obligations.

IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei will give a report on Iran's nuclear activities to the next IAEA's board of governors meeting in June, based on the inspectors' findings to be submitted by the end of May.
13 posted on 04/26/2004 6:36:27 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Mullah Mischief

By Constantine C. Menges
The Washington Times | April 26, 2004

On April 4, 2004, Sheik Muqtada al-Sadr, a pro-Iranian Iraqi cleric, called on his followers to "terrorize your enemy," meaning the Americans and all those Iraqis cooperating to bring about a constitutional government.

This led tens of thousands of the cleric's armed and unarmed followers to attack U.S. and Coalition forces in four Iraqi cities. This was a preview of the violence and turmoil Iranian covert action could inflict in the coming months.

This threat is the current September 11, because the administration has not yet "connected the dots" revealing Iran's secret but discernible activities.

Following removal of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, the Iranian clerical dictatorship began a covert effort to set up an allied Shi'ite Islamist extremist regime in 60 percent Shi'ite Iraq. Iran has prepared this for many years and recruited political, military and covert agent assets among the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Shi'ites who fled Iraq to live in Iran.

The Iranian dictatorship is acting to bring about a "second Iran" in Iraq in five ways:

(1) Those Iraqi Shi'ite clerics who agree with the heretical Khomeini view that the clergy should rule society in all aspects are used by Iran to build a power base from their mosques and associated social services. Iran views as the future religious leader of Iraq Ayatollah Al Haeri, an Iraqi cleric who has lived in Iran for the last 30 years and who, when Baghdad was liberated last year, issued an edict telling Iraqi clergy not to cooperate with the United States.

(2) Iran established the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq as a political movement that could win elections or take power town by town with the help of covert Iranian funds and propaganda. This organization also has an Iranian-trained and -armed paramilitary group of about 30,000. Both the political and the armed wings began moving from Iran into Iraq in March 2003. Iran also funds the Dawa Party. Leaders of both these Iran-linked parties are on the Iraqi Governing Council.

(3) Iran is working covertly with Iraqi extremist Sheik al-Sadr to use political and coercive means, including murder, to intimidate and take over Iraq's Shi'ite leadership. The murders of several prominent Shi'ite clerical leaders who favored democracy and cooperation with the coalition repeats Iran's covert actions since December 2001 in post-Taliban Afghanistan. There, a number of moderate Muslim clerics and political leaders were killed. It was Sheik al Sadr who issued the call to violence in Iraq on April 4, 2004. The next day, the coalition announced an Iraqi judge had issued an arrest warrant for Sheik al Sadr for the April 2003 murder of the respected moderate cleric, Ayatollah Al Kohei.

(4) Hezbollah, the Iranian-supported and often -directed terrorist organization has moved hundreds of cadres into Iraq as reported since last November. They along with Hamas, another Iranian-supported terrorist organization, have opened offices in Iraq and are recruiting Iraqis to be the foot soldiers and suicide killers in the massive terrorist attacks planned against U.S. and coalition forces. Iran is most likely to order these to begin fully after the planned July 1, 2004, turnover of civil authority to the Iraqis. It also is quite likely Iran will use its links with Hezbollah and al Qaeda to facilitate major terrorist attacks inside the United States this summer and fall to try to force the U.S. out of Iraq and increase the odds of an electoral defeat of President Bush.

(5) Iran has spent heavily seeking to dominate radio and television broadcasting in Iraq. A survey by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty found Iran is the source of 33 of 59 AM broadcasts and of 41 of 63 AM/FM/TV broadcasts heard in Iraq. In comparison, the U.S.-supported Iraq Media Network has one television station, two radio stations and one newspaper.

The Bush administration must immediately counter Iran's covert assets and planned actions or risk major setbacks to its goals in Iraq. Indeed, if Iran brings about an anti-U.S., pro-Iranian Shi'ite extremist regime in Iraq, the risks to the United States and its allies from terrorism and weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) would dramatically increase. And it would defeat the Bush "forward strategy for freedom" in the entire Middle East.

A first step is recognizing, analyzing and understanding the intent of Iran and its Iraqi allies and what they have done to date. Next, there is an urgent need to work with moderate Shi'ite leaders to build pro-democratic political parties and a broad pro-democratic political coalition that can withstand and overcome the pressures, coercion and terrorism of the pro-Iranian Shi'ite groups. This means revising the currently self-defeating and much-too-limited efforts to aid genuinely democratic Shi'ite and other political parties and groups.

The pro-democracy Iraqi media also needs to be enlarged, and, as a corollary, the pro-extremist, Iranian-funded media needs to be restricted. This is an inescapable element of the early stages of a post-dictatorship transition where anti-democratic groups and media have sources of support far greater than those now available to moderates.

It also is necessary to quickly arrest all extremist leaders advocating violence and disarm their thousands of armed followers. It is may be necessary to detain many of these armed extremists for some time, to assure they are cannot join anti-U.S. terrorist operations.

Such detention should be humane. Efforts should be made to educate these misguided people about the values of political democracy and tolerance and to counter lies they have been told by extremist leaders for the last year.

The best defense against Iranian destabilization of Iraq is helping Iran's people to politically liberate themselves from their dictatorship. While the Iranian regime has a 25-year record of effective and brutal terrorism and secret action abroad, it is weak, fragile and vulnerable at home.

Polls and a series of partially open elections since 1997 reveal more than 75 percent of Iranians completely reject the extremist Shi'ite clerical regime that is perceived as very corrupt and a total economic failure. The people know the dictatorship has spent much of Iran's oil wealth supporting terrorism, Islamic extremism and on WMDs and ballistic missiles.

Ironically, while the United States may face difficulty fending off covert Iranian political action in Iraq, it has the symbolic credibility of its democratic institutions and the knowledge and experience to encourage the Iranian people to free themselves.

President Bush has spoken eloquently and often about the Iranian people's right to freedom. Now he needs to instruct his State Department to cease all its open and secret "dialogue and engagement" activities with the clerical regime. These legitimatize the dictatorship and discourage those in Iran who might otherwise act to bring about a democratic future.

Taking these actions now in Iraq and encouraging the Iranian people to liberate themselves this summer could result in two democracies. Otherwise, there is grave risk the removal of Iraq's Saddam Hussein will ultimately result in two Irans — two Shi'ite extremist regimes in the region.

Constantine C. Menges, a senior fellow with the Hudson Institute, is a former presidential special assistant for national security affairs and a former Central Intelligence Agency officer. He has analyzed events in Iraq and Iran since 1980. His forthcoming book is "China, The Gathering Threat — The Strategic Challenge of China and Russia."

Constantine C. Menges, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, formerly served as special assistant to the president for national security affairs.
14 posted on 04/26/2004 8:08:59 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

April 26, 2004
National Reveiew Online
Michael Rubin

Bold words but weak action from the Bush administration.

On April 23, 2004, President George W. Bush waived most economic sanctions on Libya. His press secretary announced that the United States would open a liaison office in Tripoli, a major step on the road to reestablishment of formal diplomatic relations. Bush's waiver continues the rapprochement that began on December 19, 2003, with the announcement that Libyan dictator Muammar Khaddafi had suspended his extensive nuclear-weapons programs and would permit independent inspections.

Khaddafi's decision to quit investing his nation's oil wealth in a nuclear-weapons program is a victory for the Bush administration's no-nonsense policy against proliferation. But, the victory may be Pyrrhic if carrots outpace sticks, and if U.S. policy does not hold Khaddafi to his commitments.

On March 12, 2004, in the East Room of the White House, Bush reaffirmed U.S. commitment to democracy in foreign policy. "We stand with courageous reformers," the president said. "Earlier today, the Libyan government released Fathi El-Jahmi. He's a local government official who was imprisoned in 2002 for advocating free speech and democracy. It's an encouraging step toward reform in Libya. You probably have heard, Libya is beginning to change her attitude about a lot of things." The president's words were bold and principled. Unfortunately, Khaddafi's response was not.

Wall Street Journal columnist Claudia Rosett has followed El-Jahmi's case. One week after Bush invoked El-Jahmi as a sign of Libyan progress, Khaddafi's security agents surrounded his house. They cut his telephone line. On March 24, Assistant Secretary of State William Burns visited the Libyan dictator. According to the Libyan dissident community, Burns asked Libyan officials permission to visit El-Jahmi and was denied. Rather than stand up for principle and the word of President Bush, Burns agreed to not interact with ordinary Libyans. Locals would later see Burns on Libyan state television implicitly endorsing an unelected leader who has dominated Libyan politics longer than Saddam Hussein's Baath party dominated Iraq. Two days after Burns left Libya, El-Jahmi disappeared. U.S. government silence is deafening. The signal is clear: Washington will not hold dictators accountable. If El-Jahmi's release had been a sign of Khaddafi's transformation, then his disappearance is a sign that Khaddafi has not changed after all. And he has not. Libyans continue to disappear for speaking out for democracy and reform. Khaddafi continues to finance Islamist terrorists from the Philippines to Senegal.

The problem is not limited to U.S. policy toward Libya. On January 29, 2002, Bush explained how "an unelected few repress the Iranian people's hope for freedom." Yet, just one year later, Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage labeled Iran a democracy.

Iran is no democracy. The Islamic Republic has imprisoned 75-year-old journalist Siamak Pourzand for more than a year. His crime was speaking out for democracy. He was initially placed in solitary confinement and tortured, then paraded before state television to confess to imaginary crimes. Earlier this month, Pourzand had a heart attack and slipped into a coma. I spoke last week with his daughter. He is chained to a bed in Tehran's Modarres Hospital. His weight has dropped to 55 kilograms. The Islamic Republic continues to deprive him of essential medical care. As much as European Union officials and Armitage speak of progress and reform in Iran, democracies do not torture 75-year-old men. If Pourzand awakes from his coma, he will not see U.S. diplomats holding Tehran accountable for his health and well-being. Rather, Pourzand will see Iranian news reports of former and current members of the U.S. National Security Council greeting figures like Mohsen Rezai, a former commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Rather than hear about how the U.S. National Security Council has been working tirelessly for his release, Pourzand will hear Iranian journalists describe how the State Department seeks to loosen restrictions on Iran's nuclear program in exchange for Iranian assistance in reining in Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, a man subsidized by a close associate of the Iranian Supreme Leader.

Foggy Bottom has also dropped the ball in regard to Palestinian democracy. On June 24, 2002, Bush declared, "I call on the Palestinian people to elect new leaders, leaders not compromised by terror. I call upon them to build a practicing democracy, based on tolerance and liberty. If the Palestinian people actively pursue these goals, America and the world will actively support their efforts." Rather than keep the word of our president, career diplomats prefer instead to strengthen Yassar Arafat's dictatorship. The New York Sun's Eli Lake broke the story of how, on February 13, 2004, Issam Abu Issa, the former chairman of the Palestine International Bank, arrived in the U.S. to testify about Arafat's corruption before members of the House Financial Services Committee. Abu Issa never testified. Arafat's Palestinian Authority told members of the State Department Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs that Abu Issa, and outspoken democrat, was secretly a terrorist financier. Foggy Bottom passed along Arafat's information uncritically to the Department of Homeland Security which promptly deported the prominent banker and outspoken reformer. Foreign Service officers should be fired for choosing to do a dictator's dirty work rather than upholding presidential policy. Two weeks later, State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher promised to look into the matter. Two months have now passed. Middle Eastern democrats still await Boucher's answer. Apparently, it is acceptable for the assistant secretary of state to shake hands with a man responsible for ordering the murder of Americans, but Libyan dissidents and Palestinian whistleblowers do not deserve equal courtesy.

Career diplomats now undercut democracy in Iraq. On April 23, L. Paul Bremer delivered a speech in which he embraced former Iraqi army officers and senior Baathists. He promised to rehire teachers fired not for simple Baath-party membership, but rather for active service in the highest levels of Saddam's party, an organization whose ideology is based on a combination of Italian Fascism and the Nazi ethnic chauvinism. Iraqis fear the Coalition will now terminate non-Baathist schoolteachers hired to replace the high-ranking Baathists. Simultaneously, senior State Department officials tell journalists that the U.S. may exclude Governing Council members who oppose re-Baathification from Iraq's interim government. U.S. policy should support and not shun democrats.

On the first anniversary of the start of military action to liberate Iraq, Bush declared, "We have set out to encourage reform and democracy in the greater Middle East as the alternatives to fanaticism, resentment, and terror." Bush may have moral clarity, but lofty words lose their when not translated into policy. Soviet dissidents recount how Ronald Reagan's acknowledgement of their plight emboldened them, demoralized their captors, and weakened dictatorships from Moscow to Warsaw to Prague. Unfortunately, failure to implement presidential policy undermines U.S. moral leadership. It is time to support Middle Eastern democrats rather than fawn over dictators. We should start by standing up for Fathi El-Jahmi, Siamak Pourzand, and Issam Abu Issa.

— Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.
15 posted on 04/26/2004 8:10:07 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
For Iranian Mullahs' Mission in Iraq, History is Repeated

April 26, 2004
Hedayat Mostowfi

It would be a dangerous mistake to say we will not negotiate with terrorists but try to use the godfather of international terrorism as mediators.

It seems that the Iranian regime is now staging a new play in Iraq. The Godfather of international terrorism is now acting as a mediator to bring peace and stability to its neighbor. Why does the world need Iran to broker a deal between the coalition forces and the insurgents? Iran has dispatched thousands of well trained and heavily armed agents and funneled millions of dollars into Iraq right after the fall of Saddam to wreak havoc in that country. Elsewhere in the Middle East, the former FBI director stated unequivocally that Tehran was behind the deadly bomb attack against the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. On another front, the clerics are in hot pursuit of nuclear weapons in defiance of the international community. It simply does not make any sense to “save the day” by asking Iran to be the arbiter.

In a recent press conference, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Richard Myers specifically complained of Iranian meddling in Iraq. He also warned Iran of the consequences of its actions. Michael Rubin, a Coalition Provisional Authority governance adviser in Iraq for 16 months, also wrote about his first hand observation of Iran’s involvement in Iraq.

According to the intelligence gathered by the Iranian opposition, Tehran is trying to reach its goals in a calculated fashion. The First step was to establish a network of charity organizations for recruiting and organizing Shiite fanatics and insurgents. The second step was to mobilize the militia all over the country to conduct attacks against the coalition forces and civilians. The entire operation was coordinated in the new headquarters of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard near the Iran-Iraq border in Ilam province.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guards sent thousands of its well-trained officers to Iraq with the prime goal of spreading terror among Iraqi people. Since then, women are being harassed for not wearing the veil. Movie theaters have been attacked for showing Western movies. These developments are strikingly similar to what happened in Iran immediately after the 1979 Revolution.

It is ironic that what happened in Iran 25 years ago is reoccurring in Iraq. I witnessed the events that brought the mullahs to power in Iran. They used the same tactics to grab power after the fall of the Shah’s regime. They used a network of mosques and charity organizations to mobilize their forces to fill the void of power. The Iranian people have been living under terror and fear since then. The mullahs have tortured and executed tens of thousands. They have wasted Iran’s natural resources to finance international terrorism and to acquire weapons of mass destruction. Now the mullahs are using 25 years of experience to erect another Islamic Republic in Iraq.

The cunning mullahs are known for using the victims of their terrorist actions as bargaining chips. The Iran hostage crisis in early 1980s and the US and French captives in Lebanon a few year later are case in point.

For their part, Europe and America chose to play into the hands of the mullahs instead of sticking to their stated policy of not negotiating with terrorists. The mullahs took that as a sign of weakness; we were the best tutors for our enemy. They are now making Iraq another testing ground.

We should not underestimate the mullahs in Iran, where the heart of fundamentalism and terrorism is beating. Unless the Tehran regime is dealt with first, the world and Iraq in particular would continue to suffer from instability and chaos.

The Iranian regime is responsible for more than 80 percent of all terrorist attacks around the world and has been condemned by United Nations for human rights abuses, without ever being held to account.

It would be a dangerous mistake to say we will not negotiate with terrorists but try to use the godfather of international terrorism as mediators. It would be as if one would ask the wolf to guard the sheep. The road to democracy in Iraq passes through Iran and not the other way round. The mullahs in Iran are not the “cure.” They are the very “disease” that has to be terminated in order to bring peace and prosperity to Iraqi people and to the region. The U.S. could help its own cause by supporting the democratic opposition to Tehran and the call for a referendum in Iran.

Hedayat Mostowfi is the Executive Director for nationwide Committee in Support of Referendum in Iran
16 posted on 04/26/2004 8:11:02 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Security forces smash Esfahan students gathering

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Apr 26, 2004

The Islamic regime's security forces and plainclothes agents smashed, yesterday morning, a peaceful gathering held by about 200 of Esfahan's Medical and Pharmacology students.

Clubs and chains were used against tens of students in the Azadi square of this rebellious city leading to the injuries and arrests of several students. Perimeters were locked up before noon and tens of brutal agents proceeded to the attack and beaten up the students who shouted slogans against the repression in Iran.

This new attack follows other repressive actions in Esfahan, especially, after the crackdown carried against those protesting, since weeks ago, about the fraud of the Islamic funds of the city which has so far lead to tens of injuries and at least 50 arrests of those qualified, by the regime, as "hooligans" and "troubled elements".
17 posted on 04/26/2004 8:12:41 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert; AdmSmith; Eala; McGavin999; freedom44; MEG33; windchime; Cindy; Defender2; ...
Iranian police warns youth againt Internet

Middle East Online

TEHRAN - Iran's youth has now been warned: the Internet can jeopardise your bodily well-being, make you lose your friends and turn you into an anti-social, faithless and mentally damaged individual.

"One of the best mediums of communication in today's world is via the Internet. It is like taking a boat that acquaints us with the beautiful shores of the world," noted the alert published Monday by the Police Directorate of Public Education.

"But in the waters are dangerous sharks. These dangerous sharks are indecent pictures, and becoming acquainted with them has no other repercussion but to inflict depression, weakness in faith, and tens of other forms of psychological and social damage."

The statement pointed to "psychological and spiritual tensions in families that have unwisely used computers and the Internet."

In order to avoid such hazards, the police gave three recommendations to the Islamic republic's young surfers: don't get addicted to being online; don't click onto immoral sites; and don't replace your real friends and family with electronic buddies.

Reliable figures on the number of Internet users in Iran are hard to pin down, with estimates ranging from 2.5 million to four million, double the level of four years ago.

Experts say the number is likely to more than double again in the next five years in a country where two-thirds of the 66 million people are below 30 years of age and many are already technologically savvy.
18 posted on 04/26/2004 8:13:32 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" Kerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: F14 Pilot
19 posted on 04/26/2004 8:15:48 AM PDT by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ...( Azadi baraye Iran)
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To: All

Internet is very popular among Iran's youth!

20 posted on 04/26/2004 8:16:36 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" Kerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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