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Iranian Alert -- April 27, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 4.27.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 04/26/2004 9:01:23 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
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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 9:01:28 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 04/26/2004 9:03:22 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Is the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act Dead?

April 26, 2004
World Markets Research Centre
Catherine Hunter

WMRC Perspective


The lifting of most sanctions against Libya and a few pioneer deals by close US allies in Iran show that ILSA is losing ground on all fronts and suggest that the US has lost the will to actively pursue extra-territorial sanctions on the Islamic Republic.


US-based companies are becoming the only real players who are unable to invest in Iran as even foreign companies listed in the US consider Iranian investments.


ILSA has another two years to live in theory, but it seems that both Iran and Libya will be back on the mainstream investment agenda before then. Iran will be the major beneficiary of the end of ILSA, having made few concessions to achieve this outcome.

Iran-Libya Sanctions Act

The removal of Libya from the investment restrictions included in the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA) has again put the controversial US legislation into the spotlight, after ongoing disputes about the validity of the extra-territorial applications of the law that was first adopted in 1996.

ILSA was meant to provide a level playing field for US companies by extending unilateral investment restrictions against Iran and Libya to non-US players, an objective which provoked uproar in Europe and elsewhere and ultimately led to the dispensation of a number of waivers to European oil and gas companies, including Total, which has since become one of Iran's top investors.

Eight years later, and the extra-territorial measures of the Act have never been legally invoked, although US political pressure has been a significant factor in deterring or delaying a number of investments in Iran from close allies in East and Central Asia, as well as from non-US companies with strong US links such as BP or Tomen Corp. (originally involved in Iran's Azadegan oilfield tender).

However, the slow trickle of breaches by US allies is fast turning into a flood, as changes in the wider Middle East environment convince investors that the chances of enforcement are receding. The wave of new deals includes rocketing oil transit trade with Caspian states, which has already reached 170,000 bpd, from 125,000 bpd in 2003, and is set to reach 370,000 bpd by 2005 (see Iran: 22 April 2004: Iran Pumps Up Caspian Processing Capacity to 170,000 bpd). The announcement that US-listed LUKoil is also trying to win exploration acreage in Iran is another nail in the coffin for ILSA (see Iran: 23 April 2004: LUKoil Sees US Green Light on Iran Oil Deal), potentially leaving US companies as the last players back into Iran, as they have been in Libya.

Meanwhile, the US itself has quietly extended its lifting of sanctions on humanitarian, items and money transfers to Iran, as a humanitarian gesture following the Bam earthquake in December 2003, but the extension of that suspension for another three months in March 2004 suggests that the US is divided about how to go forward in its relations with the Iranian regime.

Breaches Build Up

To date, Iran has received over US$30bn of investment in its oil and gas sector since the passing of ILSA in 1996, mostly from European companies such as Total and Shell. A steady flow of deals has been ongoing since Iran took the decision to attract foreign investment to develop its oil and gas sector, although there has been a rapid surge in deals in the past few months as a result of perceptions of reduced risk as well as changes in Iran's decision-making process (see Iran: 23 February 2004: Conservative Landslide to Improve Decision-Making on Iran Energy Projects).

However, the real sea change has been in the attitude of close US allies to Iranian investments. The failure to conclude a deal over the development of the Azadegan oilfields by a Japanese consortium was thought to be a result of Japan's sensitivity to US pressure, particularly in mid-2003 when the nuclear debate was at its height. Under a year later, Inpex has signed a US$2bn plus deal with Iran, breaking down one of the last investment taboos and paving the way for further Japanese-Iranian co-operation, particularly in the downstream and petrochemical sectors.

US allies in the Caspian region, including Kazakhstan, have also been quietly expanding their energy trade with Iran (see Iran: 12 March 2004: PetroKazakhstan to Increase Oil Swaps With Iran), even though long-standing US policy has been to deter and prevent Iran increasing its influence in the area (a major factor in the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline). By March 2004, Kazakh oil traders had helped boost transit trade in oil to 170,000 bpd, earning Iran US$11 to US$16 a ton and giving it control over an increasing chunk of Caspian oil business. Further trade along these routes is envisaged as Iran makes major investments in increasing its pipeline network and transit capacity.

Meanwhile, in the last two weeks, US-listed LUKoil has also said that it intends to bid on three Iranian exploration blocks in the coming year, and believes it has the tacit approval of the US state department to go ahead with this, (see Iran: 15 April 2004: LUKoil Expresses Interest in Iranian Oil Tenders and Iran: 23 April 2004: LUKoil Sees US Green Light on Iran Oil Deal).

The net result is a far cry from ILSA author, Senator D'Amato's, claims in 2001 that 'billions and billions of dollars that would have been invested in making the money machine for Iran, which is their oil and gas production, have not been invested as a result of ILSA.'

Outlook and Implications

Given that the applicability of ILSA to Libya has now been officially revoked, Iran is the only possible target for the Act, although one that makes increasingly less sense over time.

Continued breaches of the Act, including those by close US allies and those subject to US pressure, show that the legislation has become toothless, as much due to the scale of violations that have damaged US credibility, as through the loss of will within the US to enforce the rules.

The US itself has been forced to trade with Iran after its intervention in Iraq, albeit through the Iraqi interim administration, which has made bilateral deals on oil products, electricity sharing as well as starting negotiations on oil pipelines and exports. The US has also continued its suspension of sanctions against Iran for humanitarian purposes for another 90 days from the end of March.

The conclusion must be that unless Iran makes further major transgressions, in terms of its nuclear programme, its support for 'terrorist' groups or potentially through interference in Iraq, the US is not going to follow through with ILSA, or even ratchet up political pressure, for those wanting to buy a stake in Iran's oil and gas sector. This is effectively a green light for non-US players to resume operations in Iran, even though the looming June deadline for further Iranian co-operation over its nuclear programme may act as a short-term deterrent for some.

While Iran makes major gains from the demise of ILSA in terms of returning to mainstream investor acceptability - having made few real concessions - it looks as though the real losers in the longer term will be US oil companies, who have been the last to return to Libya and are increasingly likely to be last back into Iran.

WMRC Contact: Catherine Hunter (
3 posted on 04/26/2004 9:04:33 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranian Police Issue National Alert Over Internet Addiction

April 26, 2004
Agence France Presse

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 todays 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.
4 posted on 04/26/2004 9:05:19 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
$1.2 billion contract to close eyes on Iran mullahs' atrocities

Apr 26, 2004, 17:17

The French oil giant Total won a bid to develop Phase 11 of Iran's massive South Pars offshore gas field, said a senior Iranian official here Sunday.

Negotiations to develop the gas field are on the verge of being finalized with Total officials, the managing director of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), Mehdi Mirmoezi, said.

Speaking on the sidelines of an ongoing gas conference here, he told reporters that completion of the phase would be significantly linked to another Iranian project on liquified natual gas (LNG).

The gas extracted during Phase 11 operations is expected to be exported to European countries.

Negotiations are currently underway with officials of Shell and Repsol for Phase 13 of this ongoing development project.
5 posted on 04/26/2004 9:08:28 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran's Majlis approves to postpone run-off elections until next year

Apr 26, 2004, 22:46

Iran's Parliament yesterday approved to hold run-off elections in Tehran constituency for the seventh Majlis concurrently with the presidential election next year.

During its Sunday session, the Majlis approved the double urgency of a bill to postpone run-off elections in the Tehran constituency. The bill was signed by 18 MPs to add one paragraph to Article 9 of the Election Law.

The signatories believe that due to the vastness of Tehran constituency and selection of only one MP on May 7, holding the second round of election would impose heavy expenses on the country.

So far, out of 30 seats for the seventh Majlis in Tehran, Rey, Shemiranat and Eslamshahr constituency, only one candidate is to be selected in the second round of elections. Ali-Reza Mahjoub and Zeinab Kadkhoda are two MPs to compete in the run-off election. The Parliament run-off election was expected to be held on May 7
6 posted on 04/26/2004 9:09:30 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
The regime will fall. Iran will be free. It is just a matter of time.

Can you give us some guidance here? What time frame to you mean when you say "just a matter of time."

7 posted on 04/26/2004 9:10:27 PM PDT by scannell
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To: All

Middle East News Line
April 26th, 2004

WASHINGTON [MENL] -- The U.S. aerospace industry has lobbied for the lifting of sanctions that would enable Iran to procure U.S. civilian aircraft and spare parts.

Industry sources said U.S. aerospace companies have urged the Bush administration to ease or lift sanctions on Teheran to bolster the sagging U.S. civilian aircraft sector. The industry has argued that the sale of U.S. civilian aircraft to Iran would not bolster Teheran's military capability, rather constitute a humanitarian gesture meant to halt the numerous crashes by Iran's aging airline fleet.

On Feb. 10, Iran was rocked by its latest civilian aircraft accident. An Iranian passenger plane crashed outside a residential area of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. Iran said 43 people on board the German-origin Fokker 50 turboprop aircraft, operated by Iran's Kish Airline, were killed.

The industry sources said approval for U.S. aerospace sales would be a suitable folo-up for the temporary easing of U.S. sanctions on Iran in December 2003. Those sanctions were eased to enable the shipment of U.S. relief supplies to Iran in wake of the earthquake in Bam in which 40,000 people were killed.
8 posted on 04/26/2004 9:32:43 PM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" Kerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: scannell
Patience My Friend!

A little support from the United States of America and with the uprising of Iranians, themseleves, will topple the Islamic Regime of Iran!
9 posted on 04/26/2004 9:53:22 PM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" Kerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: scannell
..The regime will fall. Iran will be free. It is just a matter of time.
Can you give us some guidance here? What time frame to you mean when you say "just a matter of time."...

If you follow the news daily you will discover that the pressure on the regime is growing daily. The fall of the regime could happen this summer. But the day will come.
10 posted on 04/26/2004 10:39:42 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
How many rounds would a hand full of snipers need to really make a difference right now in Iran??
11 posted on 04/26/2004 10:42:48 PM PDT by ApesForEvolution (FREE 3D On-line Golf Game - Independent Reseller of the Week:
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To: DoctorZIn
I simply can not believe that we will be able to survive in a world where mullahs have nukes. All it takes is a bad nuclear day and it's ALLLLLL over boys and girls.

And they seem almost desperate enough to slip'em into the hands of the likes of their boy, Al-Sadr, who's savagery in Iraq is well documented.
12 posted on 04/26/2004 10:48:08 PM PDT by ApesForEvolution (FREE 3D On-line Golf Game - Independent Reseller of the Week:
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To: ApesForEvolution; DoctorZIn; McGavin999; freedom44; nuconvert; Eala; AdmSmith; dixiechick2000; ...
Hezbollah deploying missiles to Iraq?

Report says Iran-backed group assisting anti-U.S. insurgency

© 2004
April 27th, 2004

The Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah has tripled its rocket and missile arsenal in Lebanon since 2001 and could transfer these assets to fight the U.S. military in Iraq, says Geostrategy-Direct, the global intelligence news service.

A new report says Hezbollah has acquired an advanced anti-aircraft missile and long-range rockets capable of striking deep inside Israel.

"Hezbollah's rocket arsenal was tripled in size and augmented by hundreds of long-range rockets capable of striking targets deep in the civilian and industrial heartland of Israel," the report by the Middle East Intelligence Bulletin said.

"Construction crews worked around the clock converting caves into underground bunkers to house the weapons."

The report, authored by analyst Gary Gambill, said Hezbollah might have acquired the SA-18 surface-to-air missile.

The SA-18, regarded as the most advanced of the Soviet-origin shoulder-fired missiles, has a range of 5.2 kilometers and is guided by optical and infrared guidance systems.

Gambill said Hezbollah could use its military capabilities in the insurgency war against the U.S. in Iraq.

The report said Hezbollah Secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah could help incite a Shiite uprising against U.S. forces in Iraq.

"Scores of Hezbollah militants have been sent to Iraq over the last 10 months and the group has reportedly opened offices in Basra and Safwan," the report said.

"According to American intelligence reports, Hezbollah operatives have focused mainly on establishing lines of communication with Iraqi Shiite leaders and distributing anti-American propaganda, but the groundwork is clearly being laid for incitement of violence in the future."
13 posted on 04/26/2004 11:47:26 PM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" Kerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: All
Workers in Rasht Rally Demand Pack Pay

Radio Free Europe
April 26th, 2004

•Hundreds of workers of at least three Rasht factories staged a rally in the center of town to protest against low wages. They called for payment of their overdue salaries, Rasht-based independent journalist Kambiz Karimi tells Radio Farda. Workers of Rasht's Iran Electric, Shahd-Ark, Gilan ceramic, and Gilan carpet took part in the demonstrations, he adds. The demonstrators carried banners that read “Empty Stomachs Know No Religion,” and “How Can We Live Without Pay for Eight Months?” Workers shouted slogans against Gholamhossein Qabeh, former Tehran deputy mayor, who has purchased Iran Electric company from the government, and has not paid the workers' salaries for more than eight months.
14 posted on 04/27/2004 12:10:13 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" Kerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: DoctorZIn; MLedeen; nuconvert; Eala; FBD
Iran's military supervising nuclear experts - sources

Reuters Alert News
April 27th, 2004
By Louis Charbonneau

VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran's Revolutionary Guards are overseeing some 400 nuclear experts in order to prevent further leaks of sensitive information about Tehran's atomic facilities, an Iranian exile and informed diplomats said.

Alireza Jafarzadeh, who disclosed in August 2002 that Iran had a hidden uranium enrichment facility at Natanz and a heavy water plant at Arak, told Reuters his new information came from the same sources who told him about Natanz and Arak.

"According to the latest information I have from well-placed sources inside Iran, some 400 nuclear experts are now under the control and supervision of the Revolutionary Guards," he said.

The Revolutionary Guards were set up after the 1979 Islamic Revolution as a force dedicated to protecting the revolution. It works in parallel with the regular army and its head is appointed directly by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Jafarzadeh was a spokesman for the exiled opposition group National Council of Resistance of Iran before the United States, which lists it as a terrorist organisation, closed the NCRI's Washington office last year. He is now president of the Washington-based Strategic Policy Consulting Inc.

The United States accuses Iran of using its atomic energy programme as a front to build the bomb, and insists the Iranian military is intimately involved in Tehran's nuclear activities. Tehran denies this, saying it is a civilian programme dedicated to the peaceful generation of electricity.

Since August 2002, the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been attempting to verify Tehran's statements that its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful. However, Tehran has consistently withheld information from the IAEA about potentially weapons-related technology.

A diplomat who follows Iran's nuclear programme told Reuters the guards' supervision of the nuclear programme was not new.

"Since a long time ago, the Revolutionary Guards have taken over supervision of all the nuclear activities and have trained some of their people to work there," the diplomat said.

"There are hundreds of them" now working at nuclear sites up and down the country, the diplomat said. He said they have placed some sites "off limits" to personnel they do not trust.

Iran's ambassador to the United Nations in Vienna, Pirooz Hosseini, told Reuters: "I have not heard such information. I don't think we should put too much emphasis on such news."


Other diplomats told Reuters it was no secret that the Revolutionary Guards were one of the most powerful hardline elements inside Iran. Unlike many of the reformists who oppose building an atom bomb, the diplomats said the Revolutionary Guards want to Tehran to build a bomb as soon as possible.

The guards have even forced some personnel changes inside the Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation, the diplomats said.

Jafarzadeh also said that the arrest of two atomic experts last week was part of an overall crackdown on employees working inside the Iranian nuclear industry to prevent further leaks to the NCRI and other whistle-blowers.

Iran's intelligence minister denied that the two men had been arrested for passing on atomic secrets to foreigners.

Jafarzadeh declined to say whether the atomic experts were linked to the NCRI, but warned that all "patriotic people who oppose the Iranian regime" working inside Iran's nuclear programme are in danger of being arrested.;:408e4850:8cb0351ee33732c3?type=worldNews&locale=en_IN&storyID=4952864
15 posted on 04/27/2004 5:37:31 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" Kerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: F14 Pilot
Thanks for the ping!
16 posted on 04/27/2004 8:09:13 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: ApesForEvolution
"How many rounds would a hand full of snipers need to really make a difference right now in Iran??"

I think we have our hands full in Iraq and Afghanistan. No more wars! I'm sick of seeing our troops die for a culture that is still stuck in 7th century tribalism.

If they even want freedom, then let them fight for it, like our country did, and spill their own blood for it!

What we need to do, is stop these darn oil and aerospace companies from investing in Iran, and our government needs to stop using the Clerics as diplomats to the terrorists in Fallujah, and elsewhere.

As long as we have companies willing to business with Iran, tghe Mullahs will stay in business.

See posts#3 5, and 8:
..."To date, Iran has received over US $30bn of investment in its oil and gas sector since the passing of ILSA in 1996, mostly from European companies such as Total and Shell. A steady flow of deals has been ongoing since Iran took the decision to attract foreign investment to develop its oil and gas sector,,,,

17 posted on 04/27/2004 8:18:44 AM PDT by FBD (...Please press 2 for English...for Espanol, please stay on the line...)
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To: F14 Pilot
Scary stuff

...And we have oil and aerospace companies that want to invest in Iran. - Idiots.
18 posted on 04/27/2004 8:36:13 AM PDT by FBD (...Please press 2 for English...for Espanol, please stay on the line...)
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To: DoctorZIn
Fallujah Is a Key War-on-Terror Battleground

April 27, 2004
The Wall Street Journal
George Melloan

As U.S. Marines patrol the streets of Fallujah, inviting a major engagement, it's important to keep their role in mind. They are fighting a war against terror, not against Iraq. In Fallujah, they have engaged an assemblage of terrorists from key viper nests around the Middle East. No place better represents the kind of battleground the Bush administration had in mind when it vowed to confront the international terrorist scourge on its home turf.

The remnants of Saddam's Baathist regime and other local tough guys have been joined by foreign jihadists. There are reportedly radical Saudis of the Osama bin Laden stripe. There may be Hezbollah, an Iranian-supported terrorist group that has been harassing Israel for years. Abu Nidal, a particularly murderous bunch, may be represented. Fanatics of this ilk were responsible for the grisly deaths recently of four American civilian security specialists and the triumphal war dance around their corpses.

The invasion of Iraq last year deposed one state sponsor of terrorism, the Saddam regime, and put a well-trained, high-tech military force in a position to threaten other state-sponsors in the region. But it was overly optimistic to believe that the war was mostly won at that point. The other terrorism sponsors clearly were chastened by the display of U.S. might, but that didn't mean they weren't prepared to fight back. The method they have chosen is the one they know best, the hit-and-run tactics of terrorists and guerrillas.

Governments of the region have mostly conducted themselves with diplomatic circumspection. But as the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) has dragged its feet in establishing a representative government in Iraq, some neighbors have taken advantage of the political vacuum by backing infiltrators equipped to create chaos, kill Americans and discredit the occupation forces.

Saudi Arabia's monarchy has problems of its own with bin Laden's followers, as recent bombings in Riyadh and other Saudi cities have made clear. So it is not very well equipped to control infiltration across the long border with Iraq. Syria and Iran are a different problem. There is every likelihood both of them encourage groups trying to drive the Americans out of Arab lands.

Syria controls Lebanon, the haven from which Hezbollah launches most of its attacks on Israel. But as Hezbollah increases in strength and influence, there is a question whether Syria controls Hezbollah, or the other way around. At any rate, the Syrian government, like the one in Riyadh, is happy to see these dangerous people engaging themselves in the useful work of trying to expel the infidels in Iraq.

Iran has taken a more subtle approach. The mullahs who run that place have offered to help mediate the conflicts in Iraq. But at the same time there are reliable reports of their fighters and political agents, also Hezbollah in some cases, setting up shop in southern Iraq. The Iran-based Voice of the Mujahedin, run by the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), broadcasts hatred of the U.S. and Israel to Iraqis. The young radical "cleric" Muqtada al Sadr, now wanted for murder by the coalition forces, reportedly has Iranian backing.

Like 60% of Iraqis, Iranians are Shiite Muslims. That didn't prevent Iraq and Iran from fighting a bloody war in the 1980s, but Iran has a community of Arab Shiites with family connections in Iraq.

According to an enlightening article in the April 26 issue of The New Republic, some 10,000 Iranians have been infiltrated into Iraq since the invasion. That's the number given by Iraqis to the author, Michael Rubin. A former official of the CPA, he had the gumption to forsake the CPA's air-conditioned offices in the relatively safe Green Zone of Baghdad and travel around the country to meet Iraqis. He writes that, "The Iranian security apparatus, having sparred with American forces in Bosnia and Afghanistan, was well prepared to challenge the United States in Iraq.

"Almost a month before the opening salvos of the war, the Islamic republic began broadcasting Arabic-language television across the border. As U.S.-led coalition forces fought Saddam Hussein's fedayeen in Basra and advanced on Najaf in March 2003, units of the Badr Corps poured into northern Iraq from Iran, where SCIRI was based, provoking a strong warning to Tehran by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld."

He reports that by January, the Badr Corps, trained and financed by Iran's Revolutionary Guards, had established a large office on Nasariya's riverfront promenade. In Basra, SCIRI and Hezbollah had established a joint office. "A large Lebanese Hezbollah flag fluttered in the wind."

Analysts believe the Iranians have a long-range strategy. They don't want to identify themselves with the remnants of the Saddam regime, who are, at any rate Sunni Muslims. But they want to bring subtle influence to bear in the Shiite cities of the south, with the hope of eventually fomenting the kind of militant uprising that allowed the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to overthrow the shah of Iran in the late 1970s.

So far, there is little evidence that the Iraqi Shiites are interested in setting up the kind of oppressive theocracy that has exercised supreme authority in Iran for over a quarter century. Clerics have not fared well in local elections in Iraqi cities. Iraqis were immunized at least somewhat both against tyrannical rule and radical theology during the Saddam regime.

But the main task of the coalition forces at this point is to defeat the terrorist forces. As long as the jihadists and Baathists are killing Iraqis and coalition soldiers, efforts to set up a stable governing structure in the country will be delayed. Reconstruction work and the enormous task of gathering up the tons of conventional arms stored around the country will be thwarted by armed resistance. Iraqis will be intimidated from cooperating with the American efforts to establish a democratic government.

That's what is at stake in Fallujah. The agreement by the Marines to conduct joint patrols with Iraqis is a holding action designed to prevent excessive bloodshed and destruction. But the sooner the remaining enemies are confronted and defeated, the less danger there will be that the whole operation will fail.
19 posted on 04/27/2004 8:42:55 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranian Cleric Arrested for Insulting Islam

April 27, 2004
Khaleej Times Online

TEHERAN -- An Iranian Shiite Muslim cleric has been arrested for insulting Islam and questioning the basis of Sunni belief in a recently published book, the state news agency IRNA reported on Tuesday.

Cleric Yassubudin Rastgari Juybari, who is based in the central holy city of Qom, was detained for “insulting the esteemed sources of jurisprudence, and raising serious doubts over the foundations of the beliefs of our Sunni brothers.”

The charge of insulting Islam can carry heavy penalties in the Islamic republic.

According to press reports, Juybari sparked uproar among his fellow clerics and especially among Sunnites when he published his book, “The Reality of Religious Unity and the Wisdom of the Eid al-Zahra”.
20 posted on 04/27/2004 8:44:12 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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