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Iranian Alert -- May 13, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 5.13.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 05/12/2004 9:00:57 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 05/12/2004 9:00:58 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 05/12/2004 9:02:52 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

By Safa Haeri
Posted Monday, May 10, 2004

LA HERRADURA (SOUTH OF SPAIN) 10 May. (IPS) 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 nmillions 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.

3 posted on 05/12/2004 9:06:01 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranian Journalist Explains the Tenets of Jihad

May 13, 2004
The Middle East Media Research Institute

Iranian columnist Hamid Golpira wrote a column in the Iranian English-language daily Tehran Times about the tenets of Jihad, including the personal Jihad of self-improvement as well as the physical Jihad of fighting. The following is the article:(1)

The Rules of Jihad

"Once I was the student of a very great sheikh. He taught me and the other students many things. May Allah bless him for teaching us so many things and accept his Jihad of teaching.

"Once our teacher taught us about the rules of Jihad. He said that every Muslim must first do Jihad-i-nafs, the struggle against the desires of the lower self, for self-purification. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) said that Jihad-i-nafs is the great Jihad. We should reflect upon this deep Hadith.

"After performing Jihad-i-nafs to a satisfactory level and committing oneself to lifelong performance of Jihad-i-nafs, a Muslim can do the other Jihad, the lesser Jihad. This Jihad determines the three types of people in the world: (1) the true Muslims; (2) the non-Muslims who are not enemies of Islam actively fighting against Islam; and (3) the enemies of Islam, which includes all munafiqin (hypocrites who claim to be Muslims).

"The true Muslims are our brothers and sisters and we must never fight against [them]. Also, we must never fight against the non-Muslims who are not enemies of Islam, since some of them live in Islamic countries and have paid the jizya tax, making them dhimmis (people protected by Islam), and others are citizens of non-Muslim countries who are not personally fighting against Islam or assisting a war against Islam.

"As far as the enemies of Islam, we are only permitted to fight against them if we have done everything in our power to avoid war and to encourage them to stop being enemies of Islam and to join one of the other two groups."

Islam's Enemies Should be Encouraged to Convert

"Our wise teacher explained it to us like this. First we must invite them to Islam. Even if they declare war against us, we should invite them to Islam by calling a one-day truce for them to think over our invitation. If after one day they embrace Islam, we should accept them as Muslim brothers and sisters and war has been averted.

"If they do not embrace Islam, we should invite them to pay the jizya tax and become dhimmis or to make a peace treaty with the Muslims, and we should again call a one-day truce for them to think over our proposal. If after one day they decide to pay the jizya tax and become dhimmis or to make a peace treaty with the Muslims, we should accept their decision, and again war has been averted.

"However, if they do not embrace Islam and do not decide to become non-Muslims who are not enemies of Islam but decide to make war against the Muslims, then, under such circumstances, we are allowed to wage war against them, as long as we observe all the other rules of Jihad, such as treating prisoners fairly and not attacking civilians. And Islam teaches that genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and terrorism are always haram (forbidden).

"Once, before a battle, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) gave Imam Ali (peace be upon him) a flag on which was inscribed 'la ilaha illa allah' (there is no God but Allah) and told him to go out to the battlefield to invite the enemies to Islam while carrying the banner. And Imam Ali (peace be upon him) went out to the battlefield carrying the banner of Islam and inviting the enemies to Islam. This is the best example of true Jihad."


(1) Tehran Times (Iran), May 11, 2004.
4 posted on 05/12/2004 9:06:46 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
The Political Debate in Iran Following Elections

May 12, 2004
The Middle East Media Research Institute

Prior to the February 2004 elections for the Seventh Majlis, or parliament, in Iran, the Guardian Council disqualified thousands of reformist candidates, among them senior Majlis members seeking reelection.(1) As expected, following the mass disqualification, most new Majlis members were from the conservative stream.(2)

The disqualification enraged many reformist Majlis members, and over 100 of them resigned in protest. In addition, some 80 of the disqualified candidates demanded that the Guardian Council explain in detail the reasons for their disqualification.

The Guardian Council disqualifications fired up the latent conflict between Majlis Chairman Mehdi Karrubi and Guardian Council Secretary Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati. The following is a review of the Iranian media on the mass disqualification and its aftermath:

Ayatollah Jannati: The Demand to Explain Disqualifications is 'Illogical'

In his sermon on April 23, 2004, Guardian Council Secretary Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati defined the demand by reformist candidates to explain in detail the reasons for their disqualification as "illogical" and said that the council would not respond to this request. At the same time, Jannati said that the council would provide a reply if the Judiciary, also a conservative body, asked it to do so.

Jannati explained that "it is illogical for a group of disqualified candidates to challenge the decisions made by the most senior body with the authority to discuss and make decisions on issues regarding the candidates' qualifications… The February 20 parliamentary elections were actually a slap in the face to [Iran's] enemies, and a great victory for Islam…"(3)

Jannati explained in general terms that the candidates' unsuitability stemmed from reasons of "financial and moral corruption, espionage and security, smuggling, and matters of that kind."(4)

Majlis Chairman Calls for Comprehensive Investigation

In a speech in the Majlis, Majlis Chairman Mehdi Karrubi attacked Jannati's statement and called on him to refrain from "generalizations, false accusations, and slander." Karrubi stressed that "the fact is that Mr. Jannati has no logical arguments on this issue. Instead, he should have been courageous and said that the mass disqualification of candidates for the Seventh Majlis was planned in advance, and political… Even before the elections we declared that the rights of a number of specific candidates had been violated."

Karrubi called for a comprehensive investigation of the matter, and said that Jannati should be responsible for it because he is Guardian Council secretary: "These are not the last elections, and there will always be more elections in years to come. This is because the architect of the Islamic revolution [Ayatollah Khomeini] set out the constitution that calls for holding national elections always. Even the acting leader [Ayatollah Ali-Khamenei] said that the country's top officials are nominated via elections … and stressed that elections must take place on time and that all the political groups must be given a chance to take part in them."

'If a Court Sentences a Man to Be Flogged, Don't They Tell Him Why?'

Karrubi continued, "I have a complaint for the sources of authority.5 They know that I always defend them, but they must think about the honor of the clerics. Why can one cleric [Jannati] disqualify over 2,000 [candidates], accuse them, judge them, and [say they are] corrupt?… We accept that among 2,000, perhaps a number are indeed corrupt … but why reject the qualifications of good people? You must say why – even to those who are unqualified and corrupt…

"What does this resemble? If for example a court sentences a man to be flogged, don't they tell him why? Do they grab him by the collar and flog him without telling him anything? Imam [Khomeini] said that if a condemned man is slapped in excitement, he has the right to punish [the one who slapped him]. Such sweeping accusations are nothing more than contempt for the clerics.

"We have only one month left here [in the Majlis]. But we will always be in Iran. I came into the world in Iran, and, God willing, it is in the land of Iran that I will be buried. Here is our land, but to the people I say that neither the religion nor the clerics are responsible [for what Ayatollah Jannati did]. By clerics I mean [Ayatollah] Motahhari, and [Ayatollahs] Beheshti, Bahonar, and Khamenei.(6) By clerics, I [also mean] Imam Khomeini.

"I have a complaint against the sources of emulation. Why do they give permission to one cleric [Jannati] to accuse so many in such a way? I ask in all honesty, why is Mr. Astana unqualified? He was a parliamentary representative from the Third through the Fifth [Majlis], and was qualified to run in the elections for the Sixth Majlis. Is he among [those] who was flogged and accused of financial [corruption]? Does he face a court ruling?

"Mr. Jannati, please tell us: Why did you disqualify Mr. 'Anayat Husseini Boroujerdi, who is also the father of a Shahid [martyr]?… What is his crime? He had one child who became a martyr… Tell us why you rejected him...

"Why do you affront the honor of the clerics? If you think I am accusing you, appeal to a court. I will come and give an answer …"(7)

A week later, Chairman Karrubi again went on the offensive against the Guardian Council: "Had the disqualifications been based on a clear standard, that would be all right. But when the rights of a certain group are violated in the elections process, it is like stopping a competitor midway." Karrubi added that each body in the regime should be run by people elected by the public.(8)

Expediency Council Chairman Rafsanjani: Explain the Disqualifications

It should be noted that former president and current Expediency Council Chairman Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a central conservative figure in the Iranian regime, accepted Karrubi's demand, saying that the required documents must be provided to disqualified candidates who want an explanation.9

Guardian Council Ignores Imam Khomeini's Guidelines

In a 47-page letter to Iranian youth, Iranian President Mahammad Khatami also mentioned, albeit indirectly, the mass disqualification of reformist candidates, criticizing how the Guardian Council was being run. Khatami said that some are trying to advance a traditional interpretation of Islam in the name of Imam Khomeini, and to prevent any other interpretation. "These people want to prevent society from free thinking, in the name of Islam. Some are trying to excessively support the Imam [Khomeini] in the Guardian Council, while they ignore the warnings he issued during his life to the Guardian Council..."(10)

Interior Minister Musawi-Lari: 'The Guardian Council Cannot Do Whatever it Wishes'

Interior Minister Abd Al-Wahid Musawi-Lari, who is close to President Khatami, expressed amazement at Ayatollah Jannati's statements, saying: 'The rule of law is transparent. The Guardian Council cannot do whatever it wishes, and it is obligated to officially declare why it rejected candidates..."(11)

Reactions in the Media: Jannati Must Explain

In an editorial, the centrist daily Entekhab asked by what logic Jannati had rejected the candidates' right to know the reasons for their disqualification. The newspaper noted that it is unfair to disqualify candidates and not tell them officially why. Jannati's justification for doing so, wrote the paper, was completely intolerable.(12)

The reformist daily Nassim-e Saba said that Jannati's words were "very illogical" and that "all society mistrusts them."(13) The reformist daily Seday-e 'Edalat wondered by what standard the Guardian Council justified its actions, and stated that Jannati must explain this standard to the public.(14)

Conservative Columnist: 'The Guardian Council Must Present the Logical and Constitutional Reasons for Disqualification'

Nasser Imani wrote in his column in the conservative daily Resalat that because Jannati said that some of the reasons for the candidates' disqualifications were security-related, a detailed report could not be expected for reasons of state security. With regard to the disqualification related to financial or moral corruption or criminality, he said that the newspapers had already extensively covered the crimes of any candidate involved in crime, and that Jannati's logic was that there is no need for further explanation. "Apparently," wrote Imani, "the Guardian Council's motives for not publishing the reasons [for the disqualification] were fear of the outcome [of publishing them]."

At the same time, Imani concluded that due to "the need to prevent non-believers from entering the regime, the Guardian Council must announce the reasons for disqualification, even if most are published later in public by the people. The Guardian Council must present the logical and constitutional reasons for disqualifying candidates. The advantage in doing so exceeds the price, as thus the Guardian Council will advance from the place of a closed and restricted circle to a responsible and responsive position – even if part of the [Iranian] political arena does not accept its logic."(15)


(1) The Guardian Council is a conservative body appointed by spiritual leader Ali Khamenei. The council has the authority to determine whether the Majlis' rulings are compatible with Shari'a law, and can revoke laws passed by the Majlis and disquilify candidates for election. Relations between the council and the largely reformist Sixth Majlis were tense.
(2) The voter turnout for these elections was very low in comparison with previous years – about 50%. An analysis of voting patterns in Majlis elections and in the local authorities for the past year shows that reformist supporters preferred not to vote. The conservatives turned out in numbers similar to those in last two elections – that is, some 20%. See Memri Special Dispatch No. 689, April 1, 2004, 'Iranian Youth Organization to Supreme Leader Khamenei: 'What A Huge Lie You Are Telling!','
(3) Mardomsalari (Iran), April 24, 2004.
(4) Aftab-e Yazd (Iran), April 26, 2004.
(5) He is referring to the religious jurisprudents, who are considered "sources of emulation" (marlij'eh taqlid) in Iran.
(6) Ayatollah Mortheza Motahhari was one of the founders of the Islamic Revolution, and assassinated in 1979 in an attack by the Mujahedeen-e Khalq. Ayatollah Mohammad Hosseini Beheshti, another founder, was secretary-general of the Islamic Republic Party and was assassinated, along with 70 members of the Islamic Republic Party, in 1981. Ayatollah Mohammad Javad Bahonar was Iran's second prime minister and also secretary-general of the Islamic Republic party, and was assassinated in another 1981 bombing.
(7 Aftab-e Yazd (Iran), April 26, 2004.
(8 Aftab-e Yazd (Iran), May 3, 2004.
(9) Jamhouri Eslami (Iran), May 5, 2004
(10) Aftab-e Yazd (Iran), May 4, 2004.
(11) Aftab-e Yazd (Iran), May 29, 2004.
(12) Entakhab (Iran), April 25, 2004.
(13) Nassim-e Saba (Iran), April 28, 2004.
(14) Seday-e 'Edalat (Iran), April 29, 2004.
(15) Resalat (Iran), April 26, 2004.
5 posted on 05/12/2004 9:07:33 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
'The Palestinian Problem is the Problem of All Muslims'

May 13, 2004
The Middle East Media Research Institute

Sec.-Gen. of the Iranian Committee for Supporting the Intifada: 'The Palestinian People Lived on This Land Before Jacob and the Children of Israel'; 'The Palestinian Problem is the Problem of All Muslims'

In a speech marking the anniversary of the deaths of the Prophet Muhammad, the Imam Hassan, and the Imam Reza, Hujat Al-Eslam 'Ali Akbar Mokhtashemi-Pour, director-general of the Iranian Committee for Supporting the Intifada in Palestine and the Tehran representative in the Iranian Majlis, explained that the world is divided into moral and immoral societies. Zionism, he said, is a model of a "Jahiliyya" society that must be fought against. He also railed against Muslim indifference in regard to Israel and reiterated the words of Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini on the need to destroy it. The following is a summary of his address:(1)

'The Koran Divides Human Society into Two Groups – Civilized and Jahiliyya'

Mokhtashemi-Pour began his speech with the story of Moses, saying that Moses rebelled against Pharaoh because Egyptian society was racist and discriminatory, and was divided into two classes – those who took Judaism upon themselves and the Copts [sic].(2) He continued by saying that the Prophet Muhammad was sent to replace the values of "Bedouin" society (meaning backwards), saying: "You are all the offspring of Adam, and he too is a creature of dust. Arabs and Persians [i.e. non-Arabs], blacks and whites, you are all equal." He continued, "The Prophet presented to society the most supreme criteria, and instructed: 'The most supreme standard for [assessing] human beings is the extent of their belief in God, not their race or their color.'"

Mokhtashemi-Pour said, "The Koran divides [human] society into two groups: one is the civilized or urban societies, [and the other] is the Bedouin or Jahiliyya societies. Throughout history, the civilized societies maintained trade relations and dialogue with the other tribes. In contrast, the Bedouin societies engaged in bloodshed, war, massacres, and looting."

Mokhtashemi-Pour further noted that "massacres, war, bloodshed, and looting are the most important characteristics of the Bedouin and Jahiliyya societies… Racist discrimination and massacres are [also] common in contemporary societies." He added that Zionism was an example of such a society: "Zionism, known as racism, is supported and reinforced by America and is an example of life in a Jahiliyya society. Discriminatory racist regimes everywhere in the world are a sign of Bedouin and Jahiliyya life."

'The Palestinian People Lived on This Land Before Jacob and the Children of Israel'

Mokhtashemi-Pour criticized what he called Muslim and Arab indifference regarding the Palestinian question, and reiterated what the Imam Ayatollah Khomeini had said: "If every Muslim in the world poured one bucket of water in the direction of Israel, Israel would drown…" He continued: "Some leaders say that the war in Palestine is between Palestine and Israel, and has nothing to do with us [Iranians]. This is a sign of indifference towards Palestine, [and] this indifference is the greatest repression of our obligation to Jerusalem, the first qibla [direction of prayer] of the Muslims and the only land blessed by the Koran.

"All the prophets emerged on this land, and it is supreme and the most preferred on earth. The Palestinian people lived on this land before Jacob and the Children of Israel. The peoples of the world, particularly the Muslims, are responsible for the Palestinian cause.

"If the Imam [Khomeini] were alive today, he would make the U.S. and Sharon regret their deeds. The imam who spoke in Najaf said that Pharaoh feared a living Moses, not an inanimate cleric who does nothing. We today are not living; we are moving puppets – if we were living, Israel would not have the courage to do this to the Palestinians [i.e. assassinate Hamas leaders]…"(3)

(1) , April 19, 2004. The Imam Hassan and the Imam Reza are two of the 12 imams revered by the Iranian Shiites. The Prophet Muhammad and the Imam Hassan died on the 28th of the Islamic month of Safar, and the Imam Reza died on the 29th; Jahiliyya is the pre-Islamic period, which was, according to the Islam, a time of great backwardness.
(2) The word actually used by Makhtashemi-Pour was "Sabbath-observers," referring to Jews in a derogatory way.
(3) The "imam who spoke in Najaf" appears to be Ayatollah Khomeini.
6 posted on 05/12/2004 9:08:55 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
US commission slams Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt for abuses of religious freedom

AFP - World News (via Yahoo)
May 12, 2004

WASHINGTON - A semi-official US religious freedom watchdog heavily criticized Saudi Arabia, Iran and Egypt for discrimination and again recommended threatening the Saudi government with sanctions unless its record improves.

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom identified the three Middle Eastern countries as the region's prime violators of the right to worship and called for Washington to increase pressure on them, particularly Saudi Arabia, to change.

"The government of Saudi Arabia engages in systematic, ongoing and egregious violations of the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion, or belief," the congressionally mandated panel said in its annual report.

"The commission continues to recommend that Saudi Arabia be designated a 'country of particular concern,' or CPC," it said, noting with apparent disdain the refusal of the State Department to make such a designation which would open Riyadh to possible US sanctions.

The panel's report is intended to guide the secretary of state in making his or her determinations on the status of freedom of religion around the globe.

Despite repeated recommendations to include Saudi Arabia as a country of particular concern," Secretary of State Colin Powell has declined to do so, in what critics have complained is political pandering to the oil-rich US ally.

"While the State Department's 2003 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom again notes that freedom of religion 'does not exist' in Saudi Arabia, the country still has not been designated a CPC," the commission said.

The panel accused the Saudi government of engaging "in an array of severe violations of human rights as part of its official repression of freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief" and noted with concern that the country continued to export an extreme form of militant Islam despite pledges to rein in radical, anti-western imams.

"The sponsorship by a close ally of the United States around the world of extremist intolerant religious views or views that incite to violence seems to be something that the American people must know more about," Michael Young, the commission's chairman, told reporters.

Iran has been designated a "country of particular concern" for abuses of religious freedom since 1999, and the panel once again recommended that it be identified as such.

"The government of Iran engages in systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom, including prolonged detention, torture, and executions based primarily or entirely upon the religion of the accused," the commission said.

In particular, it noted continued persecution by the Islamic republic's conservative Shiite religious leadership of the members of the Baha'i faith as well as discrimination against Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians in addition to minority Sunni and Sufi Muslims.

The commission did not recommend that Egypt be designated a "country of particular concern" but singled it out for careful scrutiny with an eye to such a move, accusing Cairo of not doing enough to prevent religious repression.

"Serious problems of discrimination and other human rights violations against members of religious minorities remain widespread in Egypt," the panel said, adding that the country would remain on its "watch list" for possible inclusion on the religious freedom blacklist.

In Egypt, it said, Coptic Christians, Baha'is and Jews continue to be discriminated against and have been subject to violence at the hands of Muslim extremists who have gone unpunished for their crimes. Also of concern, are prosecutions of Christians for proselytizing and the arrests or harassment of Muslims who have converted, it said.
7 posted on 05/12/2004 9:10:34 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Just wanted to say: Thanks for your good work on Iran.

You are creating a very useful historical record of a potentially major event in human history. I suspect it is helpful in unknown ways inside Iran as well.

If the people of Iran can throw off the yoke of the Ayatollahs and establish a free nation, they may simultaneously create a model the rest of the Islamic world can follow.

No civilized person wants to see a war of Islam against the world, but we do not seem to be making much progress heading it off. Internal regime change in Iran may even be the world's last, best hope to head off the world wide religious war the Islamists are trying so hard to start.
8 posted on 05/12/2004 9:34:42 PM PDT by EternalHope (Boycott everything French forever. Including their vassal nations.)
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To: DoctorZIn
Thanks for the ping.
9 posted on 05/12/2004 9:45:58 PM PDT by GOPJ (NFL Owners: Grown men don't watch hollywood peep shows with wives and children.)
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To: F14 Pilot
Washington shows signs of softer stance on Iran

Guy Dinmore in Washington
May 12 2004
Financial Times, UK

US policy towards Iran may be shifting to a less confrontational approach as the Bush administration is driven by the crisis in Iraq to consider more engagement with Tehran's clerical regime, according to analysts and former officials.

But diplomats cautioned that hardliners in the Bush administration were resisting "realists" advocating a more pragmatic approach.

Richard Armitage, deputy secretary of state, said there was a "condominium" of thought that Iran was "not intent on stirring things up in the south", around the holy Shia cities of Najaf and Karbala, and risk increasing the US military presence there.

"They have been, I think, relatively helpful," Mr Armitage, regarded as a "realist" in the administration, told the Financial Times.

The State Department told Iran last month to act constructively in Iraq as a foreign ministry delegation arrived in Baghdad to meet US and UK officials in the Coalition Provisional Authority. But at the same time, according to the State Department, Washington rejected an Iranian offer to mediate with Moqtada al-Sadr, the cleric who has led a revolt against US forces.

The assessment of Mr Armitage is at odds with that of Donald Rumsfeld, the defence secretary who has been highly critical of Iran, accusing it of being "unhelpful" and "meddling".

Such differing views reflect a divergence within the Bush administration over whether to engage the clerical regime in Tehran or try to change it.

According to one former official with ties to the White House, John Negroponte, designated as US ambassador to Iraq, has advised the administration not to antagonise Iran during the critical period of returning sovereignty to Baghdad and preparing for elections.

This was denied by a US official in New York, where Mr Negroponte is envoy to the United Nations. "Nothing could be further from the truth," he said. Asked if Mr Negroponte would maintain contacts with Iranian officials in Baghdad already established through the Coalition Provisional Authority, the official said that was a "non-issue".

Mr Negroponte is said to have developed a good relationship with Iran's ambassador to the UN, Javad Zarif, and has impressed upon the White House the need for Iran's help in dealing with Iraq.

A year ago the US broke off talks with Iran, accusing Tehran of sheltering al-Qaeda activists who had planned bombings in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

On the nuclear issue, differences within the Bush administration are less acute. There is scepticism that Iran intends to abide by its international obligations as it advances the technology needed to develop nuclear weapons.
10 posted on 05/12/2004 10:55:25 PM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" sKerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: yonif
Israel dismisses reported finding of Ron Arad's grave

By Yossi Melman and Yoav Stern
Thu., May 13, 2004
Haartez Int'l, Israel

Israel has not received any new information about missing Israel Air Force navigator Ron Arad, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's communications adviser, Assi Shariv, said last night. He was responding to an article published yesterday in Al-Sharq al-Awsat, a London-based Arabic daily, which said that Arad's grave had been found.

Arad has been missing since he bailed out from his plane over Lebanon in 1986.

"To the best of our knowledge, the Germans, who have been mediating in this matter, have also received no information or details that would attest to Ron Arad's fate," Shariv said.

The Al-Sharq al-Awsat report said that Arad's grave had been located in Nabi Sheit, west of Beirut, following intensive searches by Hezbollah over the last two months, and that a bone from the body buried there had been given to German mediator Ernst Uhrlau for tests to determine whether it really belongs to Arad. The article added that Hezbollah expects an answer to this question from Israel by the end of the week.

Shariv said that Israel was unaware of any such development. Nevertheless, government sources said, contacts with the German mediator are continuing, and "there have been some developments" in recent weeks - namely, the fact that Hezbollah appears to be making serious efforts to obtain information about Arad.

Over the last few weeks, several Lebanese media outlets have run stories attributed to Hezbollah sources that said that information regarding Arad had been uncovered. This spate of reports is seen as being tied to this week's elections in Lebanon.

Israel has promised to release jailed Lebanese terrorist Samir Kuntar in exchange for substantive information on Arad's fate. Kuntar took part in a 1974 terror attack in northern Israel that left four Israelis dead.

Israel may free additional Arab prisoners for the return of Arad or his body. Hezbollah, according to these sources, wants to be seen as making progress in the battle for the release of Kuntar and other Arabs imprisoned in Israel to improve its electoral chances.

Rumors that Arad had been held and eventually killed in Nabi Sheit have been circulating in Lebanon since the late 1980s. Israel, however, believes that Arad was sold to Iran's Revolutionary Guards by his Lebanese captors while still alive, and Israeli intelligence and defense officials said that another purpose of the recent spate of media reports is to try to remove Iran from the picture. Iran is Hezbollah's patron, but Israel believes that it will not give Hezbollah any information on Arad unless it can plausibly deny any involvement in the affair.

The Al-Sharq al-Awsat report said that Arad was killed by his captors in 1988 in retaliation for an Israel Defense Forces operation in Lebanon that killed 18 Lebanese fighters, including relatives of Arad's guards. Throughout the ensuing years, the report continued, Hezbollah was unable to locate these guards, "for reasons that are unclear," but it finally did so last week.
11 posted on 05/12/2004 11:35:53 PM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" sKerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: AdmSmith; nuconvert; freedom44; Pan_Yans Wife; downer911

Crowd of people eager to buy tickets of movie "The Lizard

A Funny Guard of Prison with Reza the Lizard inside the Prison.

Reza the Lizard in a clerics' clothing.

12 posted on 05/13/2004 12:52:23 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" sKerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: F14 Pilot
Source of the aboved images:
13 posted on 05/13/2004 12:53:20 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" sKerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: DoctorZIn; McGavin999; freedom44; nuconvert; sionnsar; AdmSmith; dixiechick2000; onyx; Pro-Bush; ...
An Enduring Love for Iran's Better Days

By Reza Bayegan | May 13, 2004

The memoirs of the Iranian Empress An Enduring Love were an immediate best-seller in Europe and have received plenty of attention in the United States. The release of this book has presented a fresh opportunity for those interested in modern Iranian history to revaluate the record of the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and the challenges he faced during his reign. While on the one hand he was pushing incessantly for the advancement of Iran, on the other hand he had to recreate his own role as a modern king of an ancient monarchy. The roots of his tragic fate are to be found in the relentless tension between these two competing exigencies. Farah Pahlavi’s memoirs provide the reader with the opportunity to grasp the immensity of this challenge.

In a poverty-stricken country beset by ignorance, insecurity and disease, the Shah mobilized all the resources at his disposal to address the most urgent issues of health care, education and territorial security. Ironically it was the brilliant success of his objectives that prepared the ground for his violent downfall. The unremitting speed of development led to the burgeoning of a nation located in the backward Middle East with a high standard of living and the most advanced political expectations.

Although the revolution eventually fell into the hands of the most fanatical and retrograde forces in society, one cannot forget that it was initially fuelled by a desire for greater political freedom that itself was an inevitable outgrowth of the overall modernization and development programme avidly pursued by the government. Political reform that would mirror the rise in the standard of living was energetically demanded by an ambitious, restless and educated young population that had no remembrance of the rampant disease, poverty and illiteracy gripping the country just few decades previously.

Farah Pahlavi herself belonged to a generation that still had vivid memories of the humiliating backwardness of the country. When the reins of power were delivered into the hands of the young Mohammad Reza, although thanks to the great efforts of the first Pahlavi king the country was pulling itself out of its wretched medieval conditions, Iranians still lived under the constant threat of foreign intervention, disease and insecurity. In An Enduring Love Empress Farah recounts the dire conditions of the country at the time when even the capital was deprived of the most basic necessities like clean water:

Every district had its day for receiving this muddy running water. Directed by small dams, it flowed for a few hours into a tank under the house or a reservoir usually dug in the courtyard or the garden. We had both tank and reservoir, and I remember watching with great curiosity as all the water with rubbish collected further up the channel flowed into them: watermelon peel, dead leaves, cigarette butts, bits of wood. The water settled after a day or two and could be pumped up into a tank in the attic, which supplied the kitchen and the bathrooms. In spite of the quicklime added to the water in the tank, little worms proliferated there; our parents were forever telling us never to drink water from the faucet. (p. 19)

Farah Pahlavi grew up in a family that valued and revered education. A watchful and anxious mother vigorously monitored her progress at school. Although early on she became familiar with French language and literature, her cultural references remained Iranian. She mentions Ferdowsi, Hafez, Sa’adi and Khayyam as the staple intellectual repast of her family at the time when she was growing up. This was the case for the majority of the Iranians. Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh (The book of Kings) was the favorite of the poor and the rich. Even illiterate Iranians could recite the stories of Shahnameh by heart. Empress Farah calls this book ‘the incarnation of Iranian identity and pride’ (ibid. p. 33). The superhuman expectations the Iranian people invested in their monarchs had its roots in that literary tradition. The patterns and paradigms available to the Shah himself also came from within that tradition.

Those students, who thanks to the Shah’s modernization programme received government grants and travelled to the and the United States, acquired new cultural references. Some of them failed to see the real depth behind these new cerebral encounters. One of these students was the French-educated Ali Shariati who, according to Dr. Ehsan Naraghi, was more responsible for the success of the Islamic Revolution than the mullahs themselves. Naraghi in a book entitled Kheshte Kham (In Adobe) indicates how Shariati lampooned Iranian literature and dismissed the great classical poets of his country:

Shariati went as far as ridiculing the whole Iranian literature and its great poets and writers. Go and read his Kavir book (Hoboot dar Kavir - Falling in Desert), he calls Ferdowsi a theoretician and a feudal literary figure. Denouncing Sa’adi and Hafez, he refers to them as disseminators of dissipation (p. 129).

Similarly the Islamic Revolution tried to jettison many of the icons and traditions of Iranian heritage. Its success was a great setback for Iranian nationalism and a tremendous gain for Arab and international extremism. Ebrahim Nabavi the prominent Iranian satirist in a recent article about Ali Shariati highlights the irreparable damage done by him and his followers to the country’s hopes and aspirations. In his clear-cut style Nabavi contends that the logical corollary of all Shariati’s teachings is incitement of endless violence, tyranny and terrorism.

The Shah as a head of state who had sworn to preserve his country’s sovereignty walked a thin line in staying within his remit as a constitutional monarch and at the same time protecting his homeland from the likes of Mr. Shariati, the Tudeh communist party and terrorist organizations such as Mojaheddin Khalgh. Reading Farah Pahlavi’s memoirs we are reminded again of how the king “could forgive those who had designs on his life, but not those who threatened the security and unity of the country” (p. 136). There is bitter irony in the fact that the king forgave a man called Parviz Nickhah – the brain behind a leftist group who sent a hit man to assassinate the shah - and provided him with an important position in Iranian television, but this same person was later executed by the Islamic revolutionaries for this sin of being forgiven by the man they hated so much.

As it was proven after the revolution, when the Iraqis took advantage of the Iranian military weakness and internal chaos by attacking the border province of Khuzestan, the foreign military threat was not a figment of the Shah’s imagination. He had learned from painful lessons of history that the weakness of the central government had always whetted the appetite of neighbors to invade the country and take over part of its territory. In Iran, Islamic terrorism and communism – or as the Shah used to call them ‘the accursed alliance of the red and the black’ (ibid p. 128) – have time and again done duty as the fifth column of the enemy. In 1946, the Soviets with the help of the Iranian Communist Party tried to secede and break up the country. Empress Farah recounts the relief and jubilation of Iranians when the Shah was finally able to bring order to that northern province and restore the unity of the country. However, in 1979, the forces of “black reaction” defeated him and Arab and Islamic obscurantism swallowed up Iranian nationalism.

Those critics today who, after the end of the Cold War sit in their ivory towers and complacently criticize the Shah’s human rights records according to the most up to date democratic standards should remember that the geopolitical landmarks of the Shah’s era were Gulag prison camps in the north, and the headquarter of the Ba’ath Party in the south. Surrounded on both sides by those infernal waters, the Shah was battling against all odds to navigate his country towards modernization and progress.

If the Shah’s removal from power was the magic formula many people claimed it would be, today – a quarter of a century after his death – Iran should not be experiencing one of the darkest and most oppressive times in its history. What held the country back from political development in the time of the Shah was rooted in those backward forces that have gained considerable ground since the victory of 1979 revolution. Those forces raised formidable obstacles to the Shah’s reform program every step of the way. Some powerful segments of the Shiite clergy fought tooth and nail against the granting of voting rights to women and his agrarian reform.

Elaine Sciolino, The New York Times' Paris bureau chief who accompanied Ayatollah Khomeini on that fateful journey from Paris to Tehran in 1979, and Abbas Milani the author of several books on Iran, accuse Farah Pahlavi of attempting to gloss over her husband’s authoritarianism and rehabilitate his place in history. If looking at modern Iranian politics leads to the rehabilitation of the Shah’s place in the history, Farah Pahlavi by no means can be accused of being the only person who has made such an attempt. The following quote from Desafíos a la libertad (1994) by Mario Vargas Llosa, the celebrated Peruvian writer, more than corroborates Empress Farah’s account of the great achievements and the tragic fall of the Iranian monarch:

When the Shah was overthrown and the Ayatollahs took over, the world heaved a sigh of satisfaction: a tyrant had fallen and a popular government was born. Very few were then aware of the awful truth, that the real reason for the uprising of the Iranian people against Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was not his megalomania and his wild spending, neither corruption, nor the crimes of the SAVAK his sinister secret police, but the agrarian reform destined to put an end to feudalism and transfer land belonging to the clergy to the mass of new landowners, as well as his efforts to westernize Iran by emancipating women and secularization of the government. It was these measures that aggravated the imams who then converted all mosques into centers of rebellion against “sacrilege” and “impiety.” The Shah did not fall because of the many evils he caused his people, but for the good things he tried to do.

In her book review (May 2, 2004), Sciolino claims, “Farah Diba is so full of anger and bitterness that her memoir distorts more than it enlightens.” Nothing can be further from the truth. Her memoirs abound with affection and sympathy for her countrymen. Even a prime minister like Mohammad Mossadeq, who nearly caused the Shah’s overthrow in 1953, is treated with fairness and praised for his “courage” and “firmness” (p. 46). The book takes pains to convey the message that today, more than anything, Iranians should stop dwelling on the past. They should move beyond the stage of bitter recriminations in order to make a joint effort in reconstructing their country. Concerning the divisive interpretations of events that led to Mossadeq’s ouster (and still morbidly occupy many Iranians), she writes: “My wish today is that all Iranians put an end to this fifty-year-old quarrel. It has no place in the Iran of tomorrow, which all of us should build together” (p.51).

Empress Farah’s Enduring Love very aptly starts with the quotation of a verse by Forough Farrokhzad, the famous modern Iranian poet:

Remember its flight

The bird is mortal.

Remembrance of the best they have been able to achieve, relying on the excellence and humanity of their culture, is essential for Iranians in their effort to pull the country out of its present quagmire. An Enduring Love is a forward-looking document and a valuable lesson in generosity, forgiveness and reconciliation. It helps Iranians to recognize the true sources of their strength and opt for a future worthy of their great heritage.
14 posted on 05/13/2004 3:35:11 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" sKerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: PhilDragoo

15 posted on 05/13/2004 5:08:48 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" sKerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: F14 Pilot
Thanks for the ping!
16 posted on 05/13/2004 7:44:53 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: DoctorZIn
Nobel Winner Slams U.S. Aggression in Middle East

May 13, 2004
Justin Ahn

Iranian lawyer and human rights activist Shirin Ebadi lectured poignantly for human rights and the implementation of democracy in the Middle East yesterday at Comcast Center, pulling no punches as she openly and tactfully criticized U.S. and Iranian national government policies toward international peace and terrorism.

In front of an estimated crowd of 5,000, the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize laureate made clear her support of human rights not only in Iran but for the rest of the world. She denounced the post-Sept. 11, 2001, foreign policies of the United States and pleaded for a mutual understanding of cultures between peoples of Western democracies and the Islamic nations.

With a visibly dominant Iranian-American contingent, Ebadi's reception rivaled that of the men's basketball team as the masses of people rooted and applauded her. The entire lecture was presented on the jumbo-tron.

Ebadi spoke in her native Persian, and her remarks were converted into English by a translator.

"Islam is not a religion of terror," she said. "Alas, authoritarian regimes manage to hide behind Islam ... We must separate the mistakes of men from religion and civilization."

Choosing not to focus on her own merits, Ebadi praised the university for its steps to push for cultural understanding like the opening of a new center for Persian Studies within the College of Arts and Humanities, which sponsored the lecture.

Ebadi challenged U.S. politicians and statesmen to follow the university's work for peace and let democracy take its own course in the Middle Eastern countries that are being repressed.

"It is neither reasonable nor acceptable at the dawn of the 21st century for one country to set the future for another," Ebadi said to a standing ovation. "You cannot export democracy with lethal weapons."

But Ebadi said her criticisms of the United States are meant to make people aware of what's really occurring overseas and not meant to create hostility between countries.

The military and terrorist actions in the Middle East only "perpetuate the cycle of violence," Ebadi said. "If a person is killed in the name of Islam, then Islam is being taken advantage of."

She also called for tolerance among peoples, especially women and children, in the Middle East. Ebadi addressed the war in Iraq and expressed her sorrow for the deaths of American soldiers but reminded the audience that "Iraqi prisoners too are treated shamefully. Violence is contagious."

"The world will achieve peace only when the enforcement of human rights becomes universal," she said. "Let us not forget we cannot make people happy by force."

Ebadi said there must be an end to the violence, terrorism and humiliation of human beings but ended the lecture on an optimistic note.

"Let us remember that democracy is not an event that happens overnight or a gift handed on a silver platter," she said.

As Ebadi exited the arena, the volume of the cheers came close to blaring and a section of the crowd began singing a national song "Ey, Iran."

"She's great," said Ramin Takloo, a Iranian-American from Baltimore. "She said all the things everyone thinks but no one would dare say."

The Iranian Students Foundation is hosting a discussion with Ebadi in the Prince George's Room inside Stamp Student Union today from 10 to 11 a.m.
17 posted on 05/13/2004 8:41:59 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
MKO Facing 'Uncertain Future'

May 13, 2004
Maria Hawthorne

Urgent action was needed to protect 3,800 Iranian resistance fighters, including two Australians, being held in a camp north of Baghdad, a group of relatives, lawyers and politicians said today.

The People's Mujahideen of Iran (PMOI) members have been confined to Camp Ashraf by United States soldiers since the coalition invasion of Iraq last year.

The group, which handed over its weapons to coalition forces without a fight, has been based in Iraq for more than two decades as an opposition in exile and its members fear torture and execution if they are returned to Iran.

But the Iraqi Governing Council, which is due to take over control from coalition forces on June 30, has already resolved to expel the group.

Two Australian-Iranians are in the group – a young man and a 48-year-old woman.

"June 30 is just over a month away and it's of deep concern to many parliamentarians across all parties, as well as the human rights legal fraternity and the Iranian community, that the Iraqi Governing Council has not moved back from that position of expelling the PMOI," Australian Democrats senator John Cherry said today.

"The PMOI is a fundamental part of the fight for a secular Iran, a fight for democracy in Iran, a fight for human rights in Iran and it is a deep concern ... that their position is under threat."

The PMOI is banned as a terrorist organisation in the United States and the European Union, but while it is listed under Australian law it is not proscribed.

Brisbane-based human rights lawyer Bruce Henry said the group had laid down its weapons several years ago.

"The difference between freedom fighters and a terrorist organisation is that terrorists attack civilians and targets outside the country," Mr Henry said today.

"My understanding is that the PMOI hasn't been involved in armed resistance for several years."

Senator Cherry said international intervention was needed to guarantee their safety.

A petition calling on the Australian government to recognise its responsibilities as an occupying power in Iraq and ensure the PMOI members' safety was respected has been signed by dozens of federal MPs from all parties.,4057,9551099%255E1702,00.html
18 posted on 05/13/2004 8:42:43 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
WDC area's Iranian Community Boycotts Nobel Peace Prize's Speech

SMCCDI (Information Service)
May 13, 2004

Thousands of Iranians residing in the Washington DC area boycotted, yesterday, the organized speech of Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian Nobel Peace Prize, in a show of rejection of her controversial stands. Many Iranians ignored the free invitations sent by controversial Iranian entities, such as, those promoting ties between the Mullahs regime and the US and other circles affiliated directly to the Islamic regime's Interest Section in the US.

Ebadi had to make her speech just for a selected audience of 5,000 individuals filing only half of the Maryland College University's conference hall while the WDC area's Iranian community is estimated to be strong of more than 100,000 souls. It's to note that many of the Iranian participants were transferred by the so-called Iranian or Iranian-American entities which are seeking to use Ebadi's speech as a propaganda tool in line with their policy of legitimizing the Islamic regime. Many curious Americans and especially Arabs and non Iranian Muslims were part of the participants.

Despite the selection, tens of participants used the occasion in order to show their opposition to the Islamic regime by singing the banned National Anthem, "Oh Iran..!" during Ebadi's speech while other asked loud questions about her true agenda. The protest was made in reaction to the policy of the organizers to avoid live oral questions from the one labeled as being the "voice of the Iranian people" but accused by many as being the "mouthpiece the Islamic republic's foreign policy".

Already last week, Ebadi had faced stiff opposition during her speech in Vancouver (Canada). Hundreds of Iranians gathered in front of her speech conference by protesting against her stands and shouting slogans. Loud slogans were heard by many of the 400 selected participants who were attending the speech and several of them waved the banned "Lion & Sun" flags which they had introduced in the conference room by concealing them under their cloths. Several of them rised up during the meeting and tried to question Ebadi as her Q&A was based only on favorable written questions.

More protests are planned, especially in Los Angeles where the most important part of Iranian Diaspora is residing and where Ebadi will make a speech on Sunday at the UCLA.

To better understand, one must remember that many Iranians first welcomed Ebadi’s sudden nomination for the Nobel Peace Price by believing that she could be a catalyst for change. Tired of nearly a quarter of a century of a dictatorial and theocratic rule by Iranian mullahs and deceived by seven years of empty promises on even small possibilities of "reforms within the frame of their current regime," many Iranians preferred to see her as a light glowing at the end of a dark tunnel by not discussing the strange conditions of her rushed nomination coinciding with a short three-day trip to France. Her nomination was all the more tarnished by Poland’s 1983 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Lech Walesa's critique and the Nobel Committee’s advanced excuses of not being able to reach her sooner, which were at first ignored by many Iranians.

Back from her short trip, thousands of Iranians sized the occasion by gathering at Tehran Airport and shouting slogans in favor of freedom and against Iran's current leadership including its "reformist" President. But deception soon took place when Iranians witnessed that their "Angel of Freedom" started to shift from many of her initial positions by becoming more of a governmental

speaker than a rights activist like the brave and courageous Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar. Many Iranians were shocked when Ms. Ebadi stated that "she kisses the hands of the Islamic Parliament members" and called for a "massive participation for their re-election of the very same MPs" that saw their mass rejection in the boycott of Iran's last elections by a majority of Iranians tired of such games. Ebadi's countrymen's deception reached its culmination when they heard her saying that "she would have voted for Mr. Khatami if he could have run again.” In their minds, their first Nobel peace prize recipient became the advocate of the very same rejected and incompetent President asked to resign by thousands of Iranian demonstrators defying his brutal and evil regime.

Worst, they saw her taking the defense of Taliban and Al-Qaeda members held at the afar Guantanamo Bay for mass murder and terror while she kept silent about the fate of hundreds of brave Iranians and students held at her nearby Evin and Qhasr prisons for the crime of aspiring for freedom and democracy. The only prisoners having benefited from Ms. Ebadi's public support were at a certain point part of the 1979 revolution or close to moderate religious circles. Held secularists or those calling, like many Iranians, for a Referendum were not able to benefit from her public support as they have put to question the existence of the regime in its totality. Maverick Iranian women also saw their hope in Ms. Ebadi dashed when she intervened on several occasions against the French law on the ban of the Islamic veil and any religious signs in France's traditional secular public schools. They were astonished at how she affirmed on several occasions her obeisance to her country’s repressive law of the mandatory wearing of the veil by women and her keeping her silence on the fate of thousands of her sisters killed, injured, arrested or fined for having chosen to defy the discriminatory and cruel law existing in Iran.

Most likely, knowing the deception she has caused among a young population aspiring for secularism and tired of seeing its genuine aspirations to be somehow labeled by foreign diplomats as variances of Religious Protestantism or Reformist Islamism, and especially the big possibility of a popular hostile demonstration were the main reasons behind the organization of her second return to Iran in a very silent and strange manner. This time, despite having officially received the Nobel award, she returned by one of the Tehran airport's small doors. The official invoked the reason was the fear for her life due to a tract attributed to one of the several hard-line Islamist groups which Iranian leaders and their strategists have shown so many times as their Savoir de faire in their sudden opportune creations.

Of course, it is of note that in any case Ms. Ebadi would not have risked her precious life if she would have only kept her initial word of staying afar from political issues instead of choosing to become an advocator of rejected factions of the current regime and Iran's minor soft opposition from within the Islamic republic.
19 posted on 05/13/2004 8:45:13 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
This just in from a student inside of Iran...

He sent us a copy of a letter he wrote Mr. Kristof of the
NY Times.

"Dear Mr. Kristof

I am following your articles in NY Times and however, I don't agree with you on your ideas toward Bush administration and I disliked what you said comparing Bush & Khomeini in your last article but I also cant ignore your good work on those articles.

I am an Iranian student here in Iran, would like to ask you to meet a University professor at Tehran University, "Doctor Hosein Deheshyar ". He is very pro-US and has many articles praising the states in Shargh newspaper.

You can find him through University of Tehran administration on Enghelab Avenue near university of Tehran compound.

Or you can reach him through "Allameh Uni" on 'Bucharest Avenue'.

Or you can access him through shargh daily at this number 8880304 - 8880333

I strongly recommend you to talk to him and publish another great article on Iranians.

And I request you not to criticise any aspect of USA in Iran otherwise you will get bad feedbacks here or there.
We, unconditionally, support the US and Mr, Bush.

Thank you very much!

Good Luck
Annonymous Student"
20 posted on 05/13/2004 8:48:10 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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