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Iranian Alert -- May 3, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 5.3.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 05/02/2004 9:00:52 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; khatami; khatemi; moqtadaalsadr; persecution; politicalprisoners; protests; rafsanjani; revolutionaryguard; rumsfeld; satellitetelephones; shiite; southasia; southwestasia; studentmovement; studentprotest; terrorism; terrorists; wot
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To: DoctorZIn
Many Dreams and A Nightmare

May 03, 2004
Iran va Jahan
Shahla Samii

On August 28, 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous I Have a Dream speech. He referred to the Emancipation Proclamation of 100 years earlier, which was to have been a great beacon of light for millions of slaves. It had not happened, so in his speech Martin Luther King, Jr. eloquently reminded America of the promise that all men are guaranteed the 'inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness'. He said: "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed ... "

This was a wise and moving speech, one that today could be given anywhere in the world where such freedoms and rights are lacking.

Four decades later, on April 27, 2004, South Africa celebrated ten years of all-race democracy. Nelson Mandela's dream from a prison cell to liberate his nation and bring democracy to South Africa for its entire people has resulted in a lasting legacy ... a dream realized. At this ten-year anniversary, current South African president Thabo Mbeki said: " ... it is today impossible to imagine a South Africa that is not a democratic South Africa. Nobody in our country today views democracy as a threat to their interests and their future."

Quarter of a century earlier, on February 1, 1979, Ruhollah Khomeini returned from exile to Iran after having planned, instigated and succeeded in turning a nation against the monarchy and the Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. The revolution he started from exile promised the people of Iran social justice and a better future, and he vowed to act as a spiritual leader to the nation, leaving politics to an elected President and parliament. Instead, he became the founder of a theocratic Shiite State and ruled Iran for ten years from the Shah's overthrow to his own death in 1989. Khomeini had proclaimed himself Head of State for life, Leader of the Revolution, Supreme Spiritual Leader, and in passing, his ghost maintains all those qualities in his ever-present depictions across Iran.

Ruhollah Khomeini ended the Westernized society that had existed in Iran and replaced it with a strict Shia Islamic Shari'a Law. Women lost many of their rights as equal citizens and had Islamic dress code imposed on them. The new system curtailed freedom of press and speech for all citizens. Former politicians and military personnel were executed. Political dissidents were imprisoned and tortured. Systematic human rights abuses became prevalent.

Within the first year, Khomeini's followers took 52 Americans hostages and held them for 444 days.

Shortly after taking power, Khomeini began calling for similar Islamic revolutions across the Middle East. Fearful of the spread of Khomeini's militant brand of Shi'ism, Saddam Hussein of Iraq invaded Iran and started a devastating decade long war. This embroiled Iran in what the regime called a " jihad " , where over one million Iranians died and many were maimed by chemical and biological weapons. Patriotism and nationalism united the people. This war became the main reason and impediment against Khomeini and the mullahs in Iran from exporting their revolution to neighboring countries. However, the plan was never put to rest; it was just postponed!

On June 3, 1989, Khomeini died of internal bleeding. It is said that more than a million Iranians gathered to mourn him on that day.

It is a good lesson in history to recall that during the first year of Khomeini's rule, unusually flattering statements were expressed about him around the world.

1. "Islamic government" could initiate a new "political spirituality" and "transfiguration" of the world, the sort unknown in the West since the rise of modernity. Michael Foucault - Opinion

2. "The Islamic Revolution of Iran presented a new example of perfect human beings and society..." Roger Garaudy - French intellectual and Holocaust denier

3. "Imam Khomeini and the Iranian nation performed a great historical act. In my opinion, as a western and non-Muslim person, I believe, it is a miracle that a divine revolution in today's world takes place in such a manner." Robert Karlson - Canadian scientist

4. "The Islamic Revolution of Iran is honorable for it is the cry which has its origin in Ayatollah Khomeini's conscience." William Wersey - American author and journalist

5. "One should express his viewpoint regarding what he performed in his country and in a vast part of the world with great respect and deep thought." Pope John Paul II.

6. "Khomeini has offered us the opportunity to regain our frail religion... faith in the power of words." Norman Mailer - At a meeting of authors regarding the fatwa, New York City, February 1980.

7. "The freedom-lovers of the world mourn the sad demise of Imam Khomeini." Ernesto Cardinal - Nicaraguan combatant scholar

We should also not forget this statement:

"What he (Stalin) did in Russia we have to do in Iran. We, too, have to do a lot of killing. A lot." Behzad - Iranian interpreter for Western journalist V.S. Naipaul

Now let us remember some quotes from Ruhollah Khomeini:

"America (the government) is the great Satan, the wounded snake."

"In Islam, the legislative power and competence to establish laws belong exclusively to God Almighty."

"The author of the 'Satanic Verses' book, which is against Islam, the Prophet and the Koran, and all those involved in its publication who were aware of its content, are sentenced to death. I ask all Muslims to execute them wherever they find them."

"If one finds 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."

"Familiarize the people with the truth of Islam so that the young generation may not think that the men of religion in the mosques of Qom and al-Najaf believe in the separation of church from state, that they study nothing other than menstruation and childbirth and they have nothing to do with politics."

"Christian, Jewish and Bahai's missionary centres are spread in Tehran to deceive people and to lead them away from the teachings and principles of religion. Isn't it a duty to destroy these centres?" (Disputed attribution)

There are many more such revealing quotes and sweeping statements. One thing is certain; the theocratic political system instituted by Ruhollah Khomeini was ruthless, repressive, undemocratic and unjust for the people of Iran, as well as engaging in an anti-Western course, in particular against the United States. He used Islam as a political means to achieve his goals, and in the process victimized Islam as a religion.

Although, since Khomeini's death, the political system he instituted has continued with minor changes, the majority of the people have long since turned their back on the clerical establishment. They are fighting it with the limited means at their disposal. The young generation, 70% of the population, dream and yearn for democracy and their inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In sharp contrast to the people of Iran, the people of neighbouring Arab states and other Muslim countries suffer from the constant brainwashing in mosques and 'Madrasah' that continue to emphasize anti-Western ideology, revering and emulating Khomeini and his ilk.

If America's Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream for freedom and the security of justice; if President Mbeki of South Africa proclaims that nobody in his country today views democracy as a threat to their interest and their future; then we must remember how the entire civilized and Western world misread, misjudged and praised a cynical and vengeful cleric of the Muslim faith and the consequences for Iran and the world.

June 3rd, 2004 will be the 15th anniversary of Ruhollah Khomeini's death. Khomeini had a dream, a dream to export the Islamic revolution to other Muslim countries, with all of its violent, undemocratic political and social injustices. He opened the Pandora's box of violence and terrorism in the region, and as we have witnessed, engulfing the civilized world in a war of ideologies: theocracy vs. democracy, radical Islamic vs. secular Western civilization, and fanaticism vs. rationality.

If successful, this will be Khomeini's posthumous legacy. A dream that in reality is a nightmare.

Shahla Samii

In support of my opinion, please read:

The Department of State's annual international terrorism report:

29 April 2004

Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria show little change from previous years.


Iran remained the most active state sponsor of terrorism in 2003. Its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Ministry of Intelligence and Security were involved in the planning of and support for terrorist acts and continued to exhort a variety of groups that use terrorism to pursue their goals.

Iran's record against al-Qaida remains mixed. After the fall of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, some al-Qaida members fled to Iran where they have found virtual safe haven. Iranian officials have acknowledged that Tehran detained al-Qaida operatives during 2003, including senior members. Iran's publicized presentation of a list to the United Nations of deportees, however, was accompanied by a refusal to publicly identify senior members in Iranian custody on the grounds of "security." Iran has resisted calls to transfer custody of its al-Qaida detainees to their countries of origin or third countries for further interrogation and trial.

During 2003, Iran maintained a high-profile role in encouraging anti-Israeli activity, both rhetorically and operationally. Supreme Leader Khamenei praised Palestinian resistance operations, and President Khatami reiterated Iran's support for the "wronged people of Palestine" and their struggles. Matching this rhetoric with action, Iran provided Lebanese Hezbollah and Palestinian rejectionist Groups -- notably HAMAS, the Palestine Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine -- General Command -- with funding, safe haven, training, and weapons. Iran hosted a conference in August 2003 on the Palestinian Intifada, at which an Iranian official suggested that the continued success of the Palestinian resistance depended on suicide operations.

Iran pursued a variety of policies in Iraq aimed at securing Tehran's perceived interests there, some of which ran counter to those of the Coalition. Iran has indicated support for the Iraqi Governing Council and promised to help Iraqi reconstruction.

Shortly after the fall of Saddam Hussein, individuals with ties to the Revolutionary Guard may have attempted to infiltrate southern Iraq, and elements of the Iranian government have helped members of Ansar al-Islam transit and find safe haven in Iran. In a Friday Prayers sermon in Tehran in May, Guardian Council member Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati publicly encouraged Iraqis to follow the Palestinian model and participate in suicide operations against Coalition forces.

Iran is a party to five of the 12 international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism.

Link to full report: Some States Renounce Support for Terrorist Activities
21 posted on 05/03/2004 8:40:50 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Death Sentence Reimposed on Iran Professor

Monday May 3, 2004 4:46 PM

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - An Iranian court reimposed the death sentence Monday against a university professor who had criticized clerical rule, a judicial official said.

The original sentence against Hashem Aghajari had provoked widespread demonstrations in his support.

The death sentence against was reinstated by a court in Hamedan province, in western Iran, the chief judiciary official in the province said.

``A judge has reimposed the death sentence against Hashem Aghajari,'' Zekrollah Ahmadi told The Associated Press.,1280,-4048778,00.html
22 posted on 05/03/2004 10:39:03 AM PDT by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

May 03, 2004
National Review Online
Michael Rubin

State vs. Iraq planning.

On May 1, insurgents in Fallujah rejoiced. American Marines surrounding the city began their withdrawal without arresting the perpetrators of a brutal March 31 attack on civilian contractors. The Arab satellite network al Jazeera reported insurgents celebrating in the streets, flashing victory signs. Militants drove through the streets shouting, "Islam, it's your day!" and "We redeem Islam with our blood." Minaret-mounted loudspeakers declared "victory over the Americans." Across the region, militants pointed to the Fallujah deal as evidence that they had forced the U.S. to withdraw from Fallujah, just as they had forced a withdrawal from Mogadishu in 1993, and Beirut in 1983. Speaking on Saturday, Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said, "The occupiers have gotten themselves caught in a trap like a wolf." He added, "The ruling gang in America, with the Zionists pulling the strings, wants to swallow this rich part of the world through the greater Middle East plan, but contrary to their assumptions, the arrogant powers will choke on this mouthful."

The cause of the militant celebration was the arrival in town of General Jasim Muhammad Salih al-Dulaymi. He entered the town wearing the Iraqi Army uniform in which he had sworn his lifelong allegiance to Saddam Hussein. Outside Fallujah, Iraqis expressed shock at the choice. I spoke with a former Iraqi army officer familiar with Jasim's career. After graduating from the Police College, Jasim entered the Republican Guard. His command in Karbala coincided with the Republican Guard's suppression of the 1991 uprising. Pleased with his actions, Saddam promoted Jasim to be chief of staff of a Republican Guard division charged with the protection of Baghdad. Between 1993 and 1997, Jasim led the 38th Division of the Iraqi army in Kirkuk. During his residence there, the Baath party and Iraqi army conducted an ethnic-cleansing campaign against the city's Kurdish and Turkmen residents. Not all Iraqi military officers were Baathists but Jasim was. The Baath party is strictly hierarchical. He rose to be udhu shubaa, the third-highest rank. No one could obtain such a rank without having blood on their hands. Iraqis say he is a cousin to Khamis Sarhan al-Muhammad, number 54 on Iraq's most wanted list. Unfortunately, it appears Coalition military spokesman Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt misspoke when he said that the U.S. military had vetted Jasim and found him satisfactory.


Iraq did not have to be this way. Many journalists and pundits argue that had the Bush administration only given carte blanche to State Department "professionals," then the U.S. would not face the crisis in Iraq that we face today. David Phillips, a Council on Foreign Relations scholar who describes himself as an adviser to the "Future of Iraq Project," told Knight-Ridder that, "The administration's plan today is exactly what they rejected in the fall of 2002 because it wasn't ideologically compatible."

Such claims are untrue, perpetuated either for partisan gain or because those making them were not as involved as they pretend. Firstly, deputy National Security Advisor Steven Hadley and Zalmay Khalilzad, then the National Security Council's point man on the Middle East, coordinated State Department and Defense Department planning. There was seldom a day when Hadley or Khalilzad did not preside over a meeting or video teleconference to identify problems and work through solutions. The Future of Iraq project was a valuable exercise, but it was more an academic seminar than a plan. Defense Department officials participated when invited. The Iraqis who participated in the Future of Iraq program also met regularly with Defense Department and National Security Council desk officers. I know. I worked on the Pentagon's Iran and Iraq desk for several months before the war.

Ironically, it was the Defense Department and not the State Department which sought to implement the recommendations of the Future of Iraq Program's "Transition to Democracy" report. The report is worth reading. According to its preamble, "Nothing...requires the United Nations or United States to police or manage into existence the new and budding democratic institutions. That is a challenge that the people of Iraq must and will face up to on their own." The Defense Department agreed and proposed immediate sovereignty for a government combining exiles with "internals," weighted to the latter. It was a surprise when we learned the State Department opposed its own recommendations and sought to promote exiles like Adnan Pachachi known not for his opposition to Saddam Hussein during his decades in exile, but rather for his oft-stated opposition to Kuwait's right-to-exist.

We were fiercely opposed by the State Department when we wanted to plan for the future. Future of Iraq program director Tom Warrick and others stonewalled Defense Department attempts to train a Free Iraqi Force (FIF). Had the program been implemented fully, it would have helped co-opt and coordinate Iraqi Army conscripts as they switched their allegiance from Saddam Hussein's government, to that of the Iraqi people. The FIF was open to any Iraqi living outside Iraq. Many Iraqi political leaders talk a good game, but when asked to back up their words with constituents willing to put their lives on the line, fall short. Pachachi, Ayad Allawi, and Mowaffaq al-Rubaie may throw a good dinner party, but leadership goes beyond entertaining and saying what we may want to hear. As a result of stonewalling and delays, there was no critical mass of FIF leadership to channel the energies of the Iraqi army. Rather than having Iraqi forces liberate Baghdad, U.S. troops did.

While pundits blame the Pentagon for dissolution of Iraq's army, the truth of the matter is that the Iraqi military dissolved itself. Conscripts, long-abused and humiliated by the predominantly Sunni Arab officer corps, simply returned home. Mid-level officers returned to the private sector or joined the Iraq Civil Defense Corps. Senior military officers like Jasim went into hiding, fearing popular retribution for their crimes. While Iraq did not degenerate into the degree of vigilantism predicted by the Future of Iraq program, Iraqis do remain bitter about the abuses of the past. When I visited Nasiriyah in October 2003, locals said that Interior Minister Nouri Badran would be unwelcome in their city because he had hired as his secretary an officer whom residents said personally executed 30 locals following the 1991 uprising.

Our professional diplomats maintained an effete attitude toward both Iraqis and Iraqi Americans. Many Iraqi Americans gave up high-paying jobs and left families in order to serve both Iraq and the United States. They formed the Iraq Reconstruction and Development Council (IRDC). Many IRDC members were also graduates of the State Department Future of Iraq project. Unfortunately, while our diplomats say the right things in meetings, they often fail to follow through on their commitments.

The State Department opposed involving the IRDC in Iraq's reconstruction, perhaps fearing the challenge those familiar with Iraqi society might make to Foggy Bottom's long-held assumptions regarding the role of tribal sheikhs and Islamists in society. Some ambassadors even refused to speak with IRDC colleagues. State Department officials working for Jay Garner sought to stall IRDC deployment claiming lack of space at a time when beds were available. The racism and condescension toward Iraqi Americans were typified by a meeting which Garner called in early May 2003, at the request of his State Department aides. Gathering IRDC members around him, he told them that the diplomats were in charge and, as "Iraqis" they should subordinate themselves to the "Americans." The Pentagon learned of the incident and Garner apologized the following day for insinuating that Iraqi Americans were somehow less American than career diplomats. Nevertheless, the attitude pervaded. And so liberation became occupation, with sheltered American diplomats eating food flown in from Kuwait while the IRDC employees patronized local markets and ate in Baghdad restaurants. While Coalition officials lived in Baghdad's showpiece Rashid Hotel or air-conditioned trailers, many IRDC officials rented apartments in Baghdad. The office of Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) administrator L. Paul Bremer distributed brand-new SUVs to American diplomats, many of whom seldom drove outside the Green Zone, but forced IRDC head Emad Dhia to purchase a car in Baghdad out of pocket so that he and other IRDC members could inspect factories and ministry offices, talk to workers, and generally do the jobs which Arabic-speaking diplomats failed to do. More than 150 IRDC members have served their country well. They have helped calm protests in Sadr City, and have identified security and political problems in the countryside. One IRDC member in Basra made the ultimate sacrifice, bound, gagged, and executed while investigating a smuggling and corruption ring.

While first the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance and then its successor Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), reported to the Defense Department, the State Department retained effective control over the political operation. Of the first 18 senior advisers deployed to Baghdad, none were from the Defense Department; perhaps half were State Department bureau of Near Eastern affairs ambassadors or policy-planning staff members. It is true that the State Department did not initially deploy Warrick (although he has now been in Baghdad for a couple months). This had less to do with policy, and was rather due to a series of interactions with Iraqis which superiors deemed unprofessional. Regardless, the Future of Iraq program was larger than one person. There was no impediment to implementation of the State Department plan had the State Department chosen to do so. Policy is personnel.


Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Ryan Crocker became both Garner and Bremer's governance director. He handpicked the political team, staffing it almost exclusively with career Near Eastern Affairs diplomats and members of the Policy Planning Staff. I have worked on the Iraqi issue for several years, and knew many of the diplomats and analysts from de-briefings following the academic year I spent teaching in Iraqi Kurdistan. Few supported Bush administration policy. In a seminar I attended before joining government, one U.S. diplomat spoke about the fallacy of regime change in Iraq. Several diplomats openly disparaged President Bush. One high-ranking career diplomat spoke of his affection for Howard Dean. I was surprised to see that a particular British analyst had joined the governance group. Shortly before the September 11, 2001,terror attacks, he had argued that any Saddam replacement would be "as illegitimate as Israel." Rather than promote democrats and liberals, the Crocker team sought to stack the Governing Council with Islamists, Arab nationalists, and tribal leaders; they largely succeeded.

It was Bremer, his deputy Clay McManaway, and Crocker — not the Pentagon — who cast aside the "Transition to Democracy" report. The Future of Iraq program report states, for example, that "abuse of power by one regime after another since 1958 has resulted in the practice of 'legislation through decree', the tendency to subvert constitutionalism by way of a flurry of proclamations, decrees and laws which ultimately serve the purpose of strengthening autocratic politics." This is exactly what Bremer began to do, as the decrees listed on the CPA website demonstrate.

Bremer not only undermined the Governing Council, but he also emboldened Islamists. By brandishing his veto power, he removed accountability from Council members. Islamists could promise their constituents the world and blame Bremer for their inability to fulfill promises. Dawa-party chairman Ibrahim Jaafari became adept at this. Iraqis describe Jaafari as a politician who advocates theocracy, accepts money from Iran, and seeks to marginalize the political and social role of Iraq's women. The recent State Department decision to limit Iraq's sovereignty, by diminishing accountability, will only bolster the most intolerant elements of Iraqi society. U.S. diplomats, though, see Jaafari as a Western-educated doctor, and so, by definition, a democrat. It is the same failed logic that cursed Haiti with François "Papa Doc" Duvalier and which apologists use in advocating engagement with Syrian dictator Bashir Assad. The U.S. does not need another Syria or Iran.

The State Department's war against Iraqi democracy is long, and often goes untold as reporters trade objectivity for access to colorful "unnamed senior State Department officials." There is a history of making the wrong decisions. The U.S. military's civil-affairs units generally did a stellar job of setting up provincial and town councils. These councils became the locals' receptacle for complaints about everything from property restitution to decrepit infrastructure to the failure to implement de-Baathification. But Bremer's office refused to give local councils budgetary authority to address their constituent's concerns. In August, a senior ambassador in Bremer's office suggested that the CPA would not implement the near unanimous Iraqi desire for fiscal federalism because it might complicate planning for the October 2003 international donor's conference in Madrid. Rather than reverse the state-centered political and economic policy as advised by the Future of Iraq program, Bremer's office chose to reinforce the failures of Saddam's socialist model. Senior ambassadors cast aside long-term U.S. policy goals for short-term expediency. It is a pattern CPA often repeats.

The situation in Iraq is deteriorating. The reasons are simple. Instead of promoting Iraqi sovereignty, Foggy Bottom has for more than a year sought to limit it. Rather than put an Iraqi face on Iraq's liberation, Bremer's team has worked to marginalize Iraqi voices. The "Who We Are" section of the CPA website is illustrative. Rather than promote Iraqi self-governance, the CPA dedicates more than half the space to Bremer's biography and photograph.

The State Department, CENTCOM, and CIA argument that only a strongman or benign autocrat can govern Iraq creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. Iraqi Shia and Kurds together represent three quarters of Iraq's population. If the Kurds see CPA as promoting Sunni Arab resurgence, they will pursue full independence. The Shia will seek protection with Iranian-backed movements. The Shi'a may have welcomed liberation, but they remain scarred by our 1991 abandonment of them. Tribal sheikhs can provide no solution since most go to the highest bidder.

In October 2002, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said, "We do have a saying in America: If you're in a hole, stop digging." Many CPA policies have failed. It would be a tragedy for Iraqi democrats and Arab liberals if, in response to an anti-democratic challenge, the U.S. re-doubled its efforts to pursue the same "realist" policies which supported Saddam's rise to power and rewarded terrorism. It is time to be serious about democracy. Presidential pronouncements are not enough if the State Department remains hostile to their implementation.

— Michael Rubin, a former Coalition Provisional Authority officer, is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.
23 posted on 05/03/2004 1:57:09 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Khatami Blames Hard-liners, Impatient Allies For Failure

May 03, 2004
Dow Jones Newswires
The Associated Press

TEHRAN -- Iranian President Mohammad Khatami Monday blamed stubborn, unelected hard-liners and impatient allies for the failure of his democratic reform program.

"Organized and shallow-minded methods to damage the public's opinion and dissuade it from reforms on the one hand, and hasty behavior in the name of reforms on the other hand, are the two bitter historical phenomena of this period," Khatami wrote in a statement posted Monday on his official Web site.

The beleaguered president conceded defeat last month in his long struggle with hard-liners and withdrew two key reform bills he had presented to parliament. The parliament had approved both, but the hard-line Guardian Council rejected them as "un-Islamic" and "contrary to the constitution."

The bills sought to expand presidential powers and limit the absolute authority of the Guardian Council in disqualifying candidates in parliamentary and presidential elections and vetoing legislation passed by parliament.

The bills were widely seen as Khatami's most serious effort, after his behind-the-scenes endeavors to convince hard-liners to respect reforms approved by parliament failed. Abandoning them was an open acknowledgment of the failure of the pillars of Khatami's presidency.

Unelected hard-liners of the Guardian Council have vetoed almost all reform-related legislation approved by the parliament, and the hard-line judiciary has closed down about 100 pro-democracy publications in the past four years and jailed dozens of intellectuals and writers for criticizing hard-line clerics.

In his statement, entitled "A letter for the future" of the nation, Khatami said one of the main achievements of his reform program was promoting social freedoms.

In the early 1990s, anti-vice police beat young people in public for wearing T-shirts or makeup. Now, Iranian girls loosely cover their dyed hair with colorful headscarves and wear tight dresses without being punished.

"Today, interference in people's personal affairs is considerably less than before," Khatami wrote.

The soft-spoken president said that despite his failure, gradual democratic reforms are the only way for Iran to progress.

Web site:
24 posted on 05/03/2004 1:57:54 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
EU: Trade Talks With Iran Will Depend On Nuclear Openness

May 03, 2004
The Associated Press
Dow Jones Newswires

BRUSSELS -- Iran needs to show it isn't seeking to develop nuclear weapons and make more progress toward democracy before the European Union restarts trade negotiations, E.U. officials said Monday.

In talks with visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, E.U. officials also urged Tehran to offer more support to political efforts to stabilize Iraq, in particular, through U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi.

Kharrazi urged the E.U. to take a more active role in the Middle East.

"We expect the E.U. to be more active and serious in dealing with different problems including the situation in the Middle East which is the source of many difficulties in this part of the world," he was quoted telling the official Islamic Republic News Agency.

European diplomats said the E.U. was disappointed by Iran 's failure to clear up questions over its nuclear program, and by elections in February in which more than 2,000 candidates were banned by the Islamic establishment, ensuring conservatives won control of parliament.

"There elections were seen as a step backward for Iranian democracy," said E.U. spokeswoman Emma Udwin.

Iran is seeking to resume talks on a free trade agreement, which the E.U. suspended almost a year ago as allegations intensified that the government there was trying to build a nuclear bomb.

Although Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful and has given access to international inspectors, doubts remain about whether Iran is revealing all of its activities.

In his talks with Kharrazi, E.U. foreign policy representative Javier Solana made clear Iran 's relations with the 25-nation bloc depended on more "transparency" on the nuclear issue, diplomats said.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, they said much would depend on a report due next month from IAEA Director-general Mohamed ElBaradei. Kharrazi dismissed as "baseless" allegations Iran is running a secret military program to develop nuclear weapons, alongside its civilian energy program, which has been opened to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

"IAEA has been working with us very closely in different sites and they are continuing their inspections," IRNA quoted him saying.

An exiled Iranian opposition group criticized the E.U. for inviting Kharrazi to its headquarters.

"Political and economic relations with this medieval regime should be conditional on improvements to the human rights situation in Iran and an end to the export of terrorism," said Shahin Gobadi, spokesman for the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran .
25 posted on 05/03/2004 1:58:30 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Blasts U.S. Abuses, Urges EU to Get Serious

May 03, 2004
Sebastian Alison

BRUSSELS -- Iran accused the United States of systematically killing, torturing and raping Iraqis, and said such abuses by U.S. troops had bred hatred throughout the Islamic world.

Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi was speaking after the U.S. army reprimanded six officers in connection with the abuse of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad.

"What the Americans have been doing in Iraq, the very brutal actions of American soldiers, the systematic plan to torture Iraqis, to kill them, to rape them, is outrageous," he said after meeting European Commission President Romano Prodi.

"If Americans are in Iraq to promote democracy, is this the way to do it? American policy has created hatred all among Islamic countries, and we are at the stage of developing clashes between different cultures which is very, very dangerous," Kharrazi told reporters.

He urged the U.S. "occupiers" to leave Iraq as soon as possible and hand over sovereignty to the Iraqi people.

Kharrazi is on a two-day visit to the European Union (news - web sites), which has been trying to boost trade ties with Tehran in exchange for Iranian cooperation and transparency on its nuclear program -- in stark contrast to Washington, which favors isolation.

Kharrazi said Iran was ready for closer political and trade links with the bloc, but warned Tehran would not be interested unless the EU did more to show it was serious.

"Both sides have to be serious, to work together on different aspects of their relations, economic, political cooperation and other issues. Otherwise Iran may not be interested to push for that," he said.


The foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany visited Iran last October to urge more transparency on the nuclear issue, and Tehran has agreed to inspections of its facilities by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Iran is due to make a full declaration of its nuclear program to the IAEA by mid-May, and Kharrazi said his country was cooperating closely with the EU's big three powers as well as with the IAEA.

"I believe this is a trilateral project which belongs to the three parties, Iran, the IAEA and European countries... success in this project is a success of everyone, and failure in this project is a failure of everyone," he said.

He dismissed as "baseless" opposition reports that Iran's Revolutionary Guard was overseeing some 400 experts mobilized to develop an atomic bomb.

After meeting EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, Kharrazi said the two sides had not set a date for resuming stalled talks on a Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which would give Iranian goods greater access to EU markets.

But he urged Solana to play a greater role in the Middle East process, a day ahead of a meeting in New York of the "quartet" -- the United States, Russia, the United Nations and the EU -- promoting peace there.

"We expect the European Union to be more active, more serious in dealing with difficult problems including the situation in the Middle East, which is the source of many difficulties in that part of the world," he said.
26 posted on 05/03/2004 1:59:04 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Labour Day Arrests in Iran

May 03, 2004
International Confederation of Free Trade Unions
ICFTU Online

Brussels -- Following the arrests of 40 workers during a Labour Day march in Saqez, in Iran’s Kurdistan Province, on Saturday 1st May 2004, the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) has lodged a formal complaint with the UN’s International Labour Office on Sunday 2 May. It has also requested that the ILO intervene urgently with Tehran’s authorities to obtain the release of those arrested.

According to the ICFTU, hundreds of workers and their families had staged a peaceful rally and march in the City of Saqez (Kurdistan province), in order to celebrate Labour Day. The event was organized by "the First of May Council", an organisation of workers’ in Saqez, consisting of labour activists acting independently from government-controlled structures.

At about 5:00 p.m., the marchers were attacked by the Government’s security forces, including plain clothes’ agents of the security service. Over 40 participants were reportedly detained and taken into custody. Among those arrested were Mr. Mahmoud Salehi, a well-known labour leader who has previously been arrested and imprisoned for 10 months in 2001, Jalal Hosseini, a local labour leader and Mohsen Hakimi, a well-known activist and a member of the Iranian Writers' Association.

The security forces subsequently raided Mahmoud Salehi's home and his computer and documents were confiscated. Families of the arrested workers and other citizens are said to have gathered outside the Security Ministry's offices to demand the release of all those arrested.

The ICFTU is particularly worried by the fact that two days before their arrest Salehi and Hakimi had met with an ICFTU mission which visited Iran earlier this week. The mission had been closely monitored by the security service. The ICFTU believes that the search of Mr. Salehi’s house and confiscation of his computer are directly related to his contacts with the ICFTU.

The ICFTU has filed this information as additional information to its formal complaint against Iran concerning the killing of four striking workers in the city of Babak, lodged earlier this year with the ILO’s Committee on Freedom of Association (case 2323 of the Committee).

The ICFTU represents over 150 million workers in 233 affiliated organisations in 152 countries and territories. ICFTU is also a member of Global Unions:

For more information, please contact the ICFTU Press Department on +32 2 224 0206 or +32 476 621 018.
27 posted on 05/03/2004 1:59:42 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
"The commission's silence comes after a year of particularly grievous violations by Tehran's Islamic fundamentalist regime..."

And the reason for the silence ...??
28 posted on 05/03/2004 6:24:25 PM PDT by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ...( Azadi baraye Iran)
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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”

29 posted on 05/03/2004 9:02:34 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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