Khatami urges "new type of filtering" for electronic media
BBC - Monitoring Service
May 2, 2004
Text of report in English by Iranian news agency IRNA web site
Tehran, 2 May: President Mohammad Khatami said on Sunday [2 May] that freedom is the strongest pillar of progress and development of character of human being. He said in his address to the inaugural ceremony of International Book Fair that in terms of religious obligations also, freedom and free choice are prerequisites.
"Freedom brings responsibility and the philosophy of freedom in democratic societies does not mean lawlessness," President Khatami said. Book is the oldest and the best means of communication and holding the International Book Fair is a major step towards developing the culture of reading, he said.
Referring to the spread of electronic media, he said access to books have become easy, but filtering them has become difficult at the same time.
"In the era of electronic media, we need a new type of 'filtering' to ensure safety of the society which we need for progress.
"We should encourage public conscience to distinguish between 'right from wrong' and 'useful from harmful'," President Khatami pointed out.
He expressed concern about the fact that developed states enjoying upper hand in electronic media have launched wide-scale offensive against national cultures and termed it as 'electronic tyranny'.
President Khatami complained that his theory of Dialogue of Civilizations was sidelined by the philosophy of warmongering and creating insecurity.
"If Iran's proposal to the international community had been paid due attention, the US invasion of Iraq would not have happened," he said.
"Politicians, intellectuals and thinkers welcomed the proposal to hold dialogue of civilizations, tens of centres were set up in the big countries for the purpose and tens of seminars and conferences were held with the agenda of dialogue," he added.
He said that he would follow up Dialogue of Civilizations at an appropriate time in the future. "Establishment of democracy in the international community is inter-linked to Dialogue of Civilizations and that democracy will be established in the global level once all the countries enjoy democracy in line with national and cultural values," he said.
"The hegemonic powers cannot help establish democracy in the international community. They are more dangerous than apartheid regime for the world. The philosophy of hegemony will drive the world to fascism," President Khatami said.
In the international community, none of the governments has the right to impose its demand on other nations from position of superiority, President Khatami said.
"The world community is suffering from plunder of the very basic rights of human beings by the so-called advocates of human rights," he said.
"I hope the Dialogue of Civilization will help establish a civil society in the world community and restore ethical standards in international relations with the support of intellectuals and thinkers, not by the powerful politicians," President Khatami concluded.
Source: IRNA web site, Tehran, in English 1528 gmt 2 May 04 http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_6014.shtml
posted on 05/02/2004 9:12:31 PM PDT
(Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
Diplomatic Blackmail, Hostage-Taking: Irans Main Instrument To Advance Its Foreign Policy
"If the oppressed people of Lebanon do not take hostages, then what else can they do? - Irans former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, Nov. 7, 1986
In the 1980s, Tehran perfected the art of using hostage-taking as a profitable instrument of advancing its foreign policy. Iran, indeed, has used terrorism as part of its overall policy of exporting fundamentalism and expanding its sphere of influence in the Middle East and beyond.
It is no different in Iraq today.
Irans clerical regime exploits religion to legitimize acts of terror by calling them divine duties. The mullahs promise the perpetrators of such actions "a place in heaven." This religious factor generates intense hatred and catastrophic results. Some of the most devastating blows have been delivered through suicide missions.
Although not new to the world, terrorism has acquired qualitatively different dimensions since Irans Islamic fundamentalist government came to power in 1979. The doctrine of Bast (expansion) of the Islamic Revelation has been the cornerstone of their foreign policy since the early days of the clerical rule.
In a book entitled Principles of the Foreign Policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the tasks of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have been defined as:
Noting in particular the far-reaching and enormous objectives of the Islamic Republic with regards to the export of revolution and the liberation movements, social groups and even ordinary citizens, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs must adopt guidelines needed to coordinate the activities of different organs involved in the field of foreign policy.
All subversive activities in any given country are carried out with the involvement or knowledge of the local Iranian embassy there. In Islamic countries, Tehrans diplomatic offices establish ties with indigenous fundamentalist Islamic forces. They provide these forces with pro-Iranian propaganda and gradually sustain them with financial support.
The images of the victims and the targets are for the most part associated with Tehran. The grim faces of hostages pleading with their governments, hijacked planes sitting on the tarmacs, collapsed buildings and charred bodies, even of children, are too frequent to ignore.
The occupation of the United States Embassy in Tehran in 1979 signaled an ominous beginning and gave the world a glimpse of what was yet to come. The 1980s witnessed the tragic saga of the U.S. and other Western hostages held captive by Tehran's proxies in Lebanon, where the mullahs bargained with the West, not only to reap economic windfalls, but to harvest political concessions.
In late 1980s and early 1990s, the clerics realized that they could gain more from releasing rather than keeping the hostages. True to their colors, Iran appeasers rushed to cheer Tehrans reformation and penchant to use its good offices. The cheerleading provided cover for normalizing relations with an otherwise loathsome regime.
Tehran has also used terrorism as an effective means to communicate with the Western world. When the departure of an Iranian cargo ship from an Italian port was delayed for a few days because an Iranian sailor had requested political asylum in 1986, Tehran retaliated by preventing Italian nationals, including diplomats, from leaving Iran.
And when Iran-Swiss relations soured over the arrest of a top Iranian terrorist in Switzerland in 1992, a Swiss businessman disappeared in Tehran, only to turn up as hostage a few days later.
Even today, Tehran uses the same technique. Last September, when the Scotland Yard detained Irans ex-ambassador to Argentina Hadi Soleimanpour for his role in the 1994 Jewish Center car bombing, Iranian agents carried out drive-by shootings against the British Embassy in Tehran. A few weeks later, a court in London released Soleimanpour on the basis of legal technicalities.
Today in Iraq, from all indications, Tehrans proxies are behind much of the abduction of foreign nationals. The objective is to coerce other members of the Coalition to cut and run, leaving the United States isolated in the country. The ever-unscrupulous mullahs then offer to act as an arbiter in the chaos and anarchy that they themselves have fomented in the first place.
The Lebanon experience of the 1980s should serve as a stark reminder that any leniency towards Tehran and its creeping meddling in Iraq would only serve to consolidate Iranian influence in that country. We should meet Tehrans challenge head-on. Relying on the good offices or good will of Americans most dangerous nemesis would be an exercise in futility.
USADI Dispatch is a weekly commentary of the US Alliance for Democratic Iran http://www.americandaily.com/item/5543
posted on 05/02/2004 9:33:47 PM PDT
by F14 Pilot
(Don't give in without a FIGHT)
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