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Iranian Alert -- May 11, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 5.11.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 05/10/2004 9:04:33 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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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 05/10/2004 9:04:34 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 05/10/2004 9:08:52 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
The Coming Air Raid on Iran & Sending a Nuke to America

May 10, 2004
Strategy Page

Israel is apparently preparing to conduct a long range bombing mission to destroy Iranian nuclear weapons development facilities. Iran has denied trying to build nuclear weapons, but journalists and international nuclear weapons inspectors have found otherwise. It is thought that Iran might assemble its first working nuclear weapon as early as this year.

The Islamic conservatives who dominate the Iranian government, and run the nuclear weapons program, loudly and regularly proclaim that Israel and the United States are the greatest enemies of Islam and must be destroyed. Israel made a similar raid on an Iraqi nuclear facility in 1981. The targets are 1600-2500 kilometers away. Getting through Jordanian air space is not a major problem, as the use of surprise and electronic warfare techniques can disable Jordanian air defenses temporarily. Getting through Iraqi air space is not a problem either, although there will probably be an "understanding" that American jets and anti-aircraft missiles in the area will not fire on the Israelis. Israel has smart bombs and electronic warfare weapons that give it bombing capabilities comparable to that of the United States. The major risks in such an air raid would be that one of Israelis Boeing 707 aerial tankers would be shot down while refueling the Israeli warplanes.

Such an air raid would raise an enormous stink in the Moslem world, but the danger of Islamic radicals in Iran getting nuclear weapons is too great to ignore. Already, Iranian Islamic radicals are one of the main supporters (along with money stolen from UN and European Union economic aid to Palestinians) of anti-Israeli terrorism.

Meanwhile, Palestinian terrorists continued to be stymied by Israeli counter-terrorism tactics. Palestinians are still inflicting casualties, but with small groups of gunmen ambushing Israeli settlers driving between the settlements and Israel.

IRAN: Sending a Nuke to America

April 30, 2004: Despite promises to halt nuclear weapons development, Iran's Islamic conservatives are moving ahead secretly, attempting to develop a working nuclear bomb as quickly as possible. With what is now known of Pakistani weapons experts secretly selling nuclear weapons technology to countries like Iran, it's quite possible that Iran will have an atomic bomb within a year, if not a few months. It is not known which atomic bomb designs Pakistan sold to Iran, but it was probably the more primitive ones. That means Irans first nuclear weapons would be rather large and bulky. This would not be suitable for use on a long range missile, but could be carried by an aircraft, or put in a shipping container. Millions of these seagoing shipping containers enter the United States each year. And Iranian Islamic conservatives still consider America the "Great Satan."

While much of the world's attention has been focused on Sunni Moslem terrorists, we forget that there is a separate group of Shia Moslem terrorists operating as well. Because of the ancient hostility between Shia and Sunni (it's a theology and ethnic thing, as most Shia are Iranians, who are not Arabs, but an Indo-European people), the larger number of al Qaeda terrorists have grabbed all the headlines for the last three years. There are still plenty of Shia terrorists out there, but most of them are in Lebanon, where most belong to the Hizbollah organization. Hizbollah has been observing a truce of sorts along the Lebanese border with Israel. However, time has caught up with most of the Shia firebrands of the late '70s and early '80s. The original ones, that are still alive, are middle aged and somewhat mellowed. Those in Iran have their hands full dealing with the majority of Iranians who no longer believe in the revolution. In Lebanon, there is also local politics to deal with, mainly in the form of many Lebanese who no longer want to play host to Iranian terrorists. But the Islamic conservative leadership in Iran, who still have veto power over the government, access to billions in cash, and control of the armed forces, still believe in exporting the (Shia) Islamic Revolution. It's an export that no one wants, and the Sunni Moslems will actively resist. But there's always the "Great Satan." Sending a nuclear weapon to the United States, and setting it off there, would be suicidal (analysis of the debris would likely identify its origins) because of American nuclear retaliation. Alas, there are still some really fanatical Shia clergy in the senior ranks of the Iranian government, who believe they are on a mission from God, and are willing to go to extremes to smite the enemies of Islam.

April 25, 2004: Iran is using the same tactics in Iraq that worked so well in Lebanon. Using Iranian charitable organizations to do legitimate relief work in southern (Shia) Iraq, this provides fertile recruiting grounds for Iranian Islamic radicals and terrorists. The charity angle also provides some protection from accusations of Iran meddling in Iraq's internal affairs. But while the Iranian charity work has recruited some terrorists, and many more recruits for the al Sadr militias, the quality of personnel attracted is not high. Most Iraqis want no part of a Shia theocracy as exists in Iran.
3 posted on 05/10/2004 9:11:14 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Closing the New Airport Paves the Way for Militarisation of the Regime

May 10, 2004
Iran Press Service
Safa Haeri

LA HERRADURA (SOUTH OF SPAIN) -- With the new Tehran international airport remaining shut by the Armed Forces, sources said the military action translates the deepening rift between the ruling conservatives with the embattled reformists, led by the powerless and now unpopular Mohammad Khatami.

The Emam Khomeini International Airport (EKIA), situated 50 kilometres south of the capital Tehran, was officially inaugurated with pomp on 9 May and one Iran Air flight coming from Dubai was authorised to land, but was immediately closed by the Revolutionary Guards units of the Armed Forces, diverting other flights to the old Mehrabad International Airport.

In a statement issued latter on, the military justified the action, saying that the new airport would remain closed until all security problems are removed, insisting that all services, like the handling of cargo and baggage, catering for airplanes and waiting passengers, all restaurants, markets, duty frees, shops etc are run by Iranians only.

The national flag carrier Iran Air had commissioned the operation of the airport that cost more than 500 millions US Dollars and lasted more than 30 years to a Turkish-Austrian consortium, but the armed forces said this was jeopardizing the country’s "security" as well as "dignity."

“The military action could not be taken without authorisation of Ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i, who, as the leader of the Islamic Republic, is also in full charge of the Armed Forces”, one source pointed out.

The defeated reformists have described the unprecedented intervention of the military in the affairs of the Executive as a “coup” against the government of President Khatami.

Mr. Mohammad Kianoosh Rad, a reformist deputy from the oil rich province of Khoozestan said the shutting down of the EKIA by the military is another proof that the country is run on a “kingdoms system in which any one that is stronger applies its own laws”.

In its statement, the Armed Forces said the Supreme Council of National Security (SCNS) had warned the responsible authorities about the “dangers” of the new Airport’s facilities being handled by foreigners.

“If this is the case, how come that Mr. Khatami, who is the Head of the SCNS has ordered the inauguration of the Airport, unless he had not been aware of the Council’s decisions”, one pro-reformist journalist asked.

In his view, the closure of the EKIA “shows that the conservatives are refusing the reformist government taking the benefit and proud of the inauguration of the regime’s only major project at any cost, even bringing on the military”.

“This is the first major confrontation between the reformists-led Executive with the conservatives in the past two decades”, commented the moderate “E’temad” daily under the title of “Airport Tragedy”, adding that the intervention of the Revolutionary Guards would have “further implications” for the regime.

Although the paper did not emphasised, but analysts, pointing out to the fact that the new Majles, which is to start working in few months, is for the first time “filled” with militaries turned civilians and candidates close to the military establishment, mostly the Revolutionary Guards, say the decision to call on the military to shut the new Airport would pave the way for a real but dangerous militarisation of the Iranian theocracy.

Majlis Speaker Hojjatoleslam Mehdi Karroubi criticised the Army’s decision disallowing Imam Khomeini International Airport (EKIA) from further operating, and said “there was no room for brazenness and obstinacy when the prestige and interest of the country are at stake, and repeated his view that the airport`s closure was not in its interest”.

Making the remark in Monday’s open session of House, he said his
representatives would make a detailed probe into the case and then submit a report to the nation.

Karroubi then said he had assigned member of Parliamentary Commission on Development Mohsen Nariman and member of Commission on National Security and Foreign Affairs Ala’eddin Borujerdi to explore ways for settlement of the controversy which led to closure of the international airport.

The two MMs are expected to talk with both Minister of Roads and Transport Ahmad Khorram and Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Major General Hassan Firouzabadi for a settlement of the dispute over services to passengers flying or landing at the airport.

“The defense of a country’s national interests was the highest responsibility of its government and that the suspension of operations of the Emam Khomeini International Airport was a big blow to the interests of the Iranian nation”, he told deputies, adding that the decision on the airport’s operation is a sensitive issue that would have international repercussions and ought to be settled speedily.
4 posted on 05/10/2004 9:12:02 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
I have a bit off topic question that I thought you might be able to help with. My niece gave me All the Shah's Men to read (it was on her Pakistani prof's reading list). I read it reluctantly because I didn't want to completely abandon a chance to try to converse with her, despite her politics. Could you recommend a book that might help enlighten her. (Personally I think she is dozens of books away from understanding history in its full context but I don't have the luxury of expecting that from her at this point.)

5 posted on 05/10/2004 9:16:42 PM PDT by Dolphy (I joined the redlipstick boycott of MSNBC)
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To: Dolphy
Do you need a list of Books names about Iran?
6 posted on 05/10/2004 10:26:50 PM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" sKerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert; Eala; Pan_Yans Wife; Valin; freedom44; Brooklyn Kid; McGavin999; AdmSmith
UBS fined $100m over dollar distribution

By Haig Simonian in Zurich and Ellen Kelleher in New York
May 11 2004
Financial Times, UK

UBS yesterday suffered a blow to its reputation after the US Federal Reserve fined it $100m for delivering dollar banknotes to countries blacklisted by Washington such as Iran and Cuba.

The fine is one of the largest penalties imposed by the US banking regulator and appears to have taken the bank, which last week made no provisions in its first-quarter results, by surprise.

The penalty followed the revelation last week that Switzerland's biggest bank had for some time allowed dollar banknotes, distributed from a Zurich depository under contract to the New York Fed, to reach blacklisted countries.

UBS admitted the matter had come to its attention last summer, and said it had been conducting an internal investigation into staff at the depository based at its headquarters.

The bank said about six employees had been dismissed and about half-a-dozen others disciplined.

UBS, which has a reputation for high quality, conservative management, said it accepted the findings and was pulling out of the international banknote trading business. The bank has also been formally reprimanded by the Swiss Federal Banking Commission, which will supervise corrective measures.

UBS is one of a small number of banks outside the US contracted by the Fed to distribute currency, retiring old banknotes and introducing new ones. The bank has also operated a separate banknote trading business.

UBS said the employees affected had not been criminally motivated, but had been guilty of serious mistakes. Apart from breaking Fed rules, the bank said those concerned had submitted false reports to the US authorities to conceal their activities.

Michael Willi, head of communications management, said the bank was not aware of any further punitive measures or potential lawsuits by investors.

Analysts, who did not raise the issue in a first-quarter conference call with chief executive Peter Wuffli last week, appeared largely unworried. Many said the fine should be seen in the context of the much bigger penalties and settlements being agreed by other financial institutions.

This is one of the biggest fines levelled against a bank, but it is not unprecedented. Last year, the Fed slapped a $100m fine on Crédit Lyonnais for allegedly breaking US banking laws when it acquired Executive Life, a failed Californian insurer.

UBS shares, down 3.5 per cent before the late afternoon announcement, closed down 4.5 per cent at SFr88.90 yesterday.
7 posted on 05/10/2004 11:44:52 PM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" sKerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: All
U.S. Trying to Sort Out Iran Role in Iraq

Associated Press Writer
May 11, 2004

WASHINGTON -- Reports from inside Iraq continue to suggest that Iran's conservative Islamic government is meddling in the affairs of its neighbor, according to U.S. officials and lawmakers with access to information about the instability there.

Yet as of late last month, the U.S.-led coalition held only 15 Iranian prisoners, according to the U.S. military command in Baghdad. Officials are struggling to pin down exactly what role Iran may be playing in the chaos still roiling military forces in Iraq.

Some think Iran is operating simply as any worried neighbor would: keeping tabs on the affairs of a tumultuous nation with which it shares a 900-mile border. Iran's critics contend Tehran is stirring up trouble and laying groundwork to try to establish an Islamic republic on the Iranian model after the United States and its allies leave Iraq.

Others say the truth lies in between.

Senior officials including Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld have warned Iran not to get involved. "We know the Iranians have been meddling, and it's unhelpful to have neighboring countries meddling in the affairs of Iraq," Rumsfeld said last month at a Pentagon briefing.

A State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Bush administration lacks hard evidence that would implicate or exonerate Iran from involvement in destabilizing Iraq. Anecdotal but unconfirmed reports indicate Iranian arms, militia members and financial aid are crossing the border, the official said.

Yet given Iran's past connections with terrorist activity, many U.S. officials are concerned, the official said Monday.

Senate Intelligence Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, has said Iran has "obvious designs on the future of Iraq." So too says another member, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich.: "There is some Iranian effort to influence events."

Majorities in both countries belong to the Shiite sect of Islam, although Iraq's Shiites were dominated under former President Saddam Hussein by the Sunni sect. Arab Iraq and Persian Iran waged an eight-year war in the 1980s.

That the situation inside Iran is complex may be adding to the difficulty in unraveling what, if anything, Iran is doing in Iraq, said Rasool Nafisi in Washington, an Iranian-American in regular contact with both reformers and hard-liners in Iran.

While Iran's hard-liners have issued opinions supporting Shiite rebellions in Iraq, Nafisi said the more moderate reformists, who have no handle on power, may "in the bottom of their hearts" want to see the U.S.-led coalition succeed.

Robert Baer, a former Iraq-based CIA officer who left the agency in 1997, said Tehran probably is delighted that Saddam was overthrown and his Sunni followers disenfranchised. The ruling Shiites in Iran have ties with Iraq's Shiite majority.

But the Iranian government probably is unnerved by the U.S. presence in Iran and by American goals, Baer said.

"They do not want to see a secular, democratic, pro-Western government in Iraq with 12 American bases," Baer said. "They will assume these bases are meant to interfere in Iran."

Perhaps the most extreme views on whether Iran is meddling come from Iranian resistance leaders such as Alireza Jafarazadeh, who ran the Washington office of Iran's exiled opposition National Council of Resistance until the State Department closed it down last year for ties to anti-Iranian terrorists.

Based on intelligence from inside Iran, Jafarazadeh contends Iran is pouring tens of millions of dollars into Iraq each month to inspire unrest, dispatching thousands of clerics to organize local insurgencies and sending resistance fighters.

Politically, Jafarazadeh, now president of Washington-based Strategic Policy Consulting, believes Iran is waiting out the U.S.-led occupation for a chance to erect an Islamic republic next door.

Some Iranian actions have been overt.

At the Iranian government's invitation, representatives from the United States and Iran held a rare meeting last month in Iraq.

"We had a firm message for the Iranians across the board with regard to their role in Iraq, which is to be constructive, not destructive," Coalition Provisional Authority spokesman Dan Senor said.

As the insurgency flared, Senor added that the Iranians are not needed as middlemen to negotiate with the radical Shiite cleric, Muqtad al-Sadr, whose militia is a leading source of unrest in the south.

It's unclear what, if any, aid Iran is giving to al-Sadr.

Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, the top military spokesman in Baghdad, has said he can't answer whether al-Sadr's fighters are state sponsored. He has said, however, that it would be a mistake to call al-Sadr's militia Iranian-backed, manned or controlled.

Nafisi said it seems unlikely that Tehran would support such a radical, junior cleric in a significant way.

Al-Sadr has no ties to Iran, as do Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani, born in Iran, or Mohammed Said al-Hakim, a powerful Iraqi-born cleric, Nafisi said. Both could wield power in Iraq after the June 30 U.S. handover of power.

Instead, Nafisi said, Iran may want to let al-Sadr stir up trouble until clerics close to Tehran can emerge. An added perquisite for that tack: "It bogs down the United States and makes the U.S. look bad in the Muslim world.",0,2847152.story?coll=sns-ap-politics-headlines
8 posted on 05/11/2004 1:28:07 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" sKerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: F14 Pilot
There are Muslims who love America - in Iran

Nicholas D. Kristof NYTimes
Thursday, May 6, 2004
9 posted on 05/11/2004 2:23:39 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" sKerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: Dolphy
These are a few books that I can suggest!

The Last Great Revolution : Turmoil and Transformation in Iran by LA Times writer and reporter Ms. Robin Wright

Persian Mirrors: The Elusive Face of Iran by Elaine Sciolino

Searching for Hassan by Terrence Ward -- ( this is like a story and telling the reader about the relationship between Americans and Iranians )

Funny in Farsi : A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America by FIROOZEH DUMAS

Hope these books help you better.
10 posted on 05/11/2004 8:29:43 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" sKerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: DoctorZIn
This just in from inside of Iran...

"A protest will be held today evening in Tehran university campus (Early morning in California-PST) to protest against the death sentence of Professor Aghajari, according to Iran Student News Agency.

Some political activist will address the crowd.

A huge number of students will attend the protest and the Police forces have already blocked the roads of the area to prevent people from joining the students."
11 posted on 05/11/2004 9:26:54 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
A photo of the protest...

12 posted on 05/11/2004 9:36:39 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Dissident Defiant in Face of Death Threat

May 11, 2004
The Peninsula

TEHRAN -- Iranian dissident academic Hashem Aghajari remained defiant in the face of a renewed death sentence for blasphemy, telling the hardline judiciary to do its worst or set him free, his wife said yesterday.

Meanwhile students who led protests at the original death sentence pronounced in November 2002 against the university teacher for questioning the dominance of the clergy in Iran, planned their first rally for Tuesday over its reconfirmation.

Zahra Behnoudi, quoted by the student news agency Isna, said Aghajari had told officials who had come to advise him of the new sentence: “I refuse to sign the notification of the verdict and I refuse to appeal. “Free me unconditionally or carry out the sentence. I will not appeal in order for you to lose my case again in an administrative labyrinth.”

She said her husband had told her that the verdict, a confirmation of that handed down by the same judge in the western city of Hamadan, was dated the second half of August last year. The second sentence, announced last week, ignored objections raised by the Supreme Court to the original decision, newspapers Monday quoted Aghajari’s lawyer Saleh Nikbakht as saying.

The Hamadan judge failed to “clear any points that were signaled as shortcomings by the Supreme Court,” he said. “The judge has issued the ruling without clearing up those deficiencies in line with the orders of the State Supreme Court, and this amounts to a ruling against the Supreme Court,” the lawyer argued.

Iran’s top judicial authorities are thought to be anxious to avoid a repetition of the protests at home and abroad that followed the original death sentence on Aghajari, a disabled war veteran. But press reports said students and political militants would gather in a lecture room of Tehran’s technical college today for a meeting called by the reformist Islamic Association of Students.

An affiliated group, the Office to Consolidate Unity (OCU), condemned in a statement “the shameful and mediaeval punishment” pronounced against Aghajari. The OCU said that “the actions of the judiciary against freedom in recent months are not limited to sentencing Hashem Aghajari to death, but also hit at student militants condemned to heavy penalties.”
13 posted on 05/11/2004 9:39:35 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Torture: A Main Instrument of Iran's Rulers to Terrorize Restive Population

May 06, 2004
The US Alliance for Democratic Iran

For those concerned about the abysmal human rights situation in Iran, but unfamiliar with its ruling tyrants’ double-talk and deception, recent news headline from Iran may have appeared comforting. Alas, the reality on the ground demands continued disgust with the way Iran rulers deal with the citizens and political dissidents.

Besieged by a barrage of questions from frustrated students, President Mohammad Khatami acknowledged last week that the country had many political prisoners. A day later, Judiciary Chief Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi issued a statement purportedly banning “any kind of torture to obtain confessions.”

Human rights organizations wasted no time in dismissing this proclamation as a non-starter, pointing out that Shahroudi’s statement was in fact an official admission of systemic use of torture in Iran and that it was a rehash of the long-ignored provisions already in the mullahs’ Constitution. What is more, Iran has not yet joined the Convention Against Torture, because, among other things, Tehran has sanctioned the very conduct the world community has condemned as torture, as a divine punishment.

Some of the punishments under the Iranian regime’s penal code are flogging, eye gouging, limb amputation and stoning, just to name a few. On any given day, a religious judge could issue an order for “Tazir”, a religious term for physical punishment of the detainee that ranges form lashing the victim for hours to solitary confinement and electric shock, etc.

Many religious loopholes are used to justify the abuse. When the mullahs’ officials ban torture, they are not talking about these Sharia-based forms of punishment. Torture and ill-treatment of political prisoners are a main component of Iran’s highly elaborate and institutionalized suppression designed specifically to terrorize and subdue an increasingly restive population.

A few days after Khatami’s remarks, the Judiciary spokesman even disputed the definition of “political prisoner”, saying that Iranian law did not recognize the status of political prisoners. "This word has no legal definition, but some people consider actions against national security as a political crime," he said.

In the past quarter century, Iran’s leaders have used spin and double-talk in dealing with the international community. In negotiations over suspending uranium enrichment program, the term “suspension” has a totally different meaning for the mullahs. The same goes for the meaning of “torture” and “political prisoner”. The plight of thousands of Iranians who paid the price of trusting the mullahs for their words should serve as examples to those who still believe the mullahs really mean what they say.

Suppression of political and social dissent is a main pillar of Iran’s theocracy. The mullahs shield their tyrannical house of cards behind tall, thick and ubiquitous walls of suppression. Therefore, defending the human rights of Iranians and all Iranian dissidents must be a main component of any policy to support Iran’s democracy movement.
14 posted on 05/11/2004 9:41:55 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran: We Retaliate if Israel Hits Our Nuclear Facilities

May 11, 2004
The Associated Press

TEHRAN, Iran - Iran's top nuclear negotiator warned Israel on Tuesday that his country would certainly retaliate if the Jewish state were to attack Iranian nuclear facilities.

Israel and the United States suspect Iran is secretly building nuclear weapons under cover of a nuclear program to produce electricity. In the past, Israel has said it will not allow Iran to build a nuclear bomb. In 1981, Israeli fighter-bombers destroyed a nuclear reactor that was under construction outside Baghdad because it feared Iraq would acquire a nuclear weapon.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said last month Iran was a threat to Israel, "maybe the main existential threat."

In an interview with state television, Iran's chief negotiator on nuclear affairs, Hasan Rowhani, warned that an Israeli attack would have severe consequences.

"Israel knows our hands are well equipped," Rowhani said. "If such an incident happens, it will meet a resolute response from our side."

Rowhani did not explain what he meant by saying Iran was "well equipped," but Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani said in December that Iran would strike back with long-range missiles if Israel were to attack its nuclear facilities.

Shamkhani said Iran's Shahab-3 missile, which has a range of about 1,300 kilometers, would be one of the weapons used. Israel is about 965 kilometers west of Iran.

Suspicion of Israel and its agents is pervasive in Iran. On Saturday, Iran's armed forces closed the new Imam Khomeini International Airport on its first day of scheduled flights. Citing security concerns, the armed forces spoke of possible links between Israel and a Turkish company that has a contract to operate the airport. The Turkish company rejected the allegation.

Turkey does have military links with Israel.

Iran is building its first nuclear reactor, which is expected to come on stream next year. It has been criticized by the International Atomic Energy Agency for failing to disclose certain aspects of its nuclear program. Iran has promised to cooperate fully with IAEA inspectors and insists its program is only for peaceful purposes.
15 posted on 05/11/2004 9:42:32 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranian Army to Allow Tehran Airport to Open

May 11, 2004
Airwise News

Iran's military, which blocked the runway at Tehran's new international airport on its first day of operations on Saturday, has given its go-ahead for the terminal to re-open, local media reported on Tuesday.

But the USD$475 million Imam Khomeini International Airport will remain closed while government officials try to clear up Saturday's surprise military intervention which has embarrassed the government and alarmed foreign investors.

"The [roads and transportation] minister wants a clarification of Saturday's events before he opens the airport for operation," airport director Hossein Pirouzi said.

The long-awaited opening of the new airport, located 45 km (28 miles) south of Tehran, descended into chaos on Saturday when Revolutionary Guards vehicles were driven onto the runway after just one of six scheduled international flights had arrived.

The next flight was diverted to an airport in central Iran while the rest were sent to Tehran's Mehrabad Airport, which the new airport is designed to replace.

Iran's armed forces said they had security concerns about the new airport due to government plans to hand over its operation to the Turkish-led consortium TAV.

TAV officials were ordered to withdraw their personnel and equipment from the airport on Friday and operations were handed over to flagship carrier Iran Air.

Deputy head of the Chief Staff of the Armed Forces Brigadier Ali Afshar was quoted on Tuesday as saying TAV's withdrawal from the airport meant it could be re-opened.

"Because foreign companies will no longer be in charge of the airport's operation, security obstacles are removed," the ISNA students news agency quoted him as saying.

Government officials have deplored the airport's sudden closure which Parliament Speaker Mehdi Karroubi termed a "disgrace" for the country.

TAV officials have said they believe a memorandum of understanding they signed with the government last year to operate the airport's Terminal 1 is still in effect.

They say they have been told to vacate the airport for two weeks while the dispute is clarified.

Under its agreement with the government TAV was also awarded a USD$193 million deal to build and operate a second terminal at the airport.

Turkish government officials have expressed alarm at the apparent annulment of TAV's contract to operate the airport. A Turkish-led consortium won a USD$3 billion contract earlier this year to build and operate a mobile telecommunications network in Iran to compete with the state monopoly.
16 posted on 05/11/2004 9:43:09 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
So this has to do with Israel? Iran afraid Turkey will let Israeli planes into the airport or use Iran airspace?
17 posted on 05/11/2004 9:51:18 AM PDT by Brooklyn Kid
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To: DoctorZIn


May 11, 2004 -- A TORRENT of often self- serving comment is pouring out of the Arab media. People who have never raised their voice against the systematic torture of prisoners by their own governments are having a field day attacking the United States for the alleged atrocities committed by some U.S. soldiers against Iraqi prisoners in the notorious Baghdad prison.

These commentators apply to the United States standards that they regard as unthinkable when it comes to their own governments - a roundabout way of acknowledging the moral superiority of the democratic system over the region's despotic regimes.

Beyond the heroes-on-the-cheap who roar like a lion when attacking America but squeal like a mouse when it comes to their own despots, reactions are mixed.

Many sincere Muslims see Abu Ghraib as a symbol of failure by all systems that have scripted religion out of politics: The prison was a place of abuse and torture ("the palace of the end") under Iraqi regimes that rejected religion in the name of secular ideologies such as nationalism or socialism - and now Abu Ghraib has proved that "godless democracy" is no better.

That widespread feeling renders the task of democrats in the Muslim countries more difficult at a time when Iraq has become the main battleground for rival ideological currents in the Middle East. The long-term potential damage goes far beyond the feeding frenzy of the traditional anti-American fringe.

At the same time, many in the region are beginning to notice the speed with which America (and Britain) are dealing with the scandal. The fact that the trial of the first of the seven accused GIs is scheduled to start next week is regarded by many as a sign that democracies can, and often do, correct their mistakes. It is thus important that this be a public trial, open to all, especially the Arab media.

Every encounter between rival systems exhibits a "mime" effect in which the adversaries imitate aspects of each other's character. In the ancient world, the Romans copied the monarchist system from their Persian rivals. The Persians, in turn, copied the Romans by setting up a standing army for the first time.

During the Cold War, the Soviets adopted the scientific and technological methods of their capitalist rivals. In exchange, the Western powers created or expanded secret services and learned to practice a range of dirty tricks in imitation of the NKVD and KGB.

It is impossible to wrestle with an adversary and not have one's sweat mixed with his.

How many U.S. and British soldiers were involved in the alleged atrocities? So far, seven Americans face investigation for alleged abuse against some 20 inmates, and four Britons are accused of having abused nine Iraqis.

If we are dealing with the abuse of a few dozen prisoners, out of a total of 7,000, the whole episode could be seen as an exception concerning a few unstable individuals who should not have been put in charge of prisoners.

But if a much larger number of prisoners were abused as part of a deliberate policy, we would be dealing with a classic case of becoming like an adversary worse than oneself. In that case, Americans and Britons should be very worried indeed not only about Iraq but about the long-term impact on the War on Terror on the democratic system itself.

The danger of becoming even a teeny bit like Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein cannot be dismissed lightly. Saddam in his prison and Osama in his cave should not be given an opportunity to claim that their democratic adversaries are, after all, no better than them.

For, when all is said and done, it is the message of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law that represents the true strength of the democratic world.

American and Britain should persuade the International Committee of the Red Cross to make public its reports on the alleged abuses. That could set a useful precedent, allowing the ICRC to publish at least parts of its secret reports on Arab regimes' atrocities against their own prisoners.

How America and Britain deal with these soldiers' misdeeds could develop into an objective lesson in the merits of the rule of law in a region where governments are the first to violate their own laws. The writers now directing fire and brimstone at America may begin to think that one day, perhaps, they will also have to question the way their own regimes torture prisoners as a matter of routine policy.

This is why it is important to remain focused on the substance of the issue, rather than trying to score partisan points in an election year. The issue is not to nail Don Rumsfeld's scalp to the wall. In fact, the focus on lynching Rumsfeld could be regarded as a diversion that will cause further confusion in the region.

Nor should the scandal be used as a device to undermine the entire Iraq project. If Iraq is a success, in the sense of embarking on a process of democratization under a freely elected government next year, Abu Ghraib will fade away in history as a minor, though abhorrent, episode. If Iraq is allowed to slide into chaos or fall under a new despot, we will witness horrors to make Abu Ghraib look like a garden party.

It is important not to lose sight of the big picture. Rumsfeld or even President Bush could be booted out. But the unique opportunity to stabilize and rebuild Iraq as a democratic state must not be wasted.

Let us have all the Abu Ghraib trials we need. But let us not forget June 30, the date for the transfer of power to an interim Iraqi government, and January 2005, the date for the first free elections in that country's history.
18 posted on 05/11/2004 9:54:55 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: nuconvert
This is to remind us of the War on Terrorism:
Video on Islamic militant Web site appears to show beheading of American.

Terrible, we have to put in more resources to hunt them down.
19 posted on 05/11/2004 12:50:26 PM PDT by AdmSmith
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To: AdmSmith
Maybe it will make the media think twice about airing any more Iraqi abuse photos.?
20 posted on 05/11/2004 3:45:02 PM PDT by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ...( Azadi baraye Iran)
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