Skip to comments.Iranian Alert -- May 14, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Posted on 05/13/2004 9:47:56 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 Americans 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.
Iran to Present Full Nuke Picture to UN Soon-Envoy
Thu May 13, 2004 12:12 PM ET
By Francois Murphy and Maria Golovnina
VIENNA/MOSCOW (Reuters) - Iran has drafted a report aimed at providing a complete picture of its nuclear program and will hand it over to the U.N. nuclear watchdog "very soon," its ambassador to the United Nations in Vienna said Thursday.
Iran is due to present a complete account of its nuclear activities and plans to the International Atomic Energy Agency by mid-May, ahead of a meeting of the agency's board of governors next month.
"The report is ready," Iranian envoy Pirooz Hosseini told Reuters.
"After a final review by the experts, we will hand it over very soon to the agency," Hosseini said.
Washington says Iran's nuclear program is a front for building a nuclear bomb and has called for the IAEA's board to report Tehran to the U.N. Security Council for breaching the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which could lead to sanctions.
Iran says it is only interested in generating electricity and it wants the IAEA to take Iran off its agenda after the June meeting.
Diplomats close to the IAEA, however, say it is unrealistic to expect that all doubts about Iran's nuclear program will be dispelled by then.
A source in an Iranian nuclear delegation visiting Moscow Thursday told Russia's Ria-Novosti news agency the report would be ready in two days.
"A report answering all questions asked by the (International Atomic Energy Agency) is ready, and we will hand it over to the IAEA over the next two days," the source said.
In October, Iran gave the IAEA what it said was a full declaration of its atomic operations. But it omitted a number of research projects that could relate to a weapons program, such as advanced "P2" centrifuges that can make arms-grade uranium.
Iran said last week it had given P2 designs to the IAEA, but the agency has yet to resolve the main outstanding question about Iran's nuclear program -- traces of bomb-grade uranium found in the country last year.
Iran says the traces were on used centrifuge parts contaminated in Pakistan, but Islamabad has not allowed the IAEA to take samples to compare the traces with Pakistani uranium.
IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei described the P2 revelation as a "setback" and said he hoped Iran had no more such secrets.
But allegations it does have persisted. An Iranian exile who has reported accurately in the past on Tehran's nuclear program said the Iranian military was now overseeing some 400 experts mobilized to develop an atom bomb.
Emerging leader among terrorists
Zarqawi's web 'rivals bin Laden'
By Scott Shane
Sun National Staff
Originally published May 13, 2004
He is a high school dropout but a graduate of Afghan terrorist camps and Jordanian prisons. He shares the religious fanaticism and sweeping goals of Osama bin Laden but has built a separate terror organization. He lost a leg to U.S. bombs in 2002 but has emerged as the hub of the terrorist network afflicting the American occupation of Iraq.
In recent months, the man who calls himself Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has begun to claim credit for his deadly work in florid communiques ranting about the targets of his wrath. But none got widespread attention until this week, when an Islamic Web site posted a brutal video showing the beheading of American businessman Nick Berg -- and naming the masked killer as Zarqawi.
In the murky universe of counterterrorism, it is often hard to be certain who is responsible for an attack. A figure linked to a plot by spotty intelligence might have planned it, or merely mentioned it in an intercepted telephone call. A person who claims public credit for an attack -- as Zarqawi has done repeatedly in Iraq -- might simply be a braggart.
Despite these caveats, experts say Zarqawi, 37, is emerging as perhaps the leading terrorist plotter since the United States' elimination of major al-Qaida figures.
"He's a new generation of leader who's stepped in and filled the void left by the arrests and deaths of many of the important al-Qaida figures," said Marc Sageman, a former CIA officer and author of the new book Understanding Terror Networks. "He's been able to coalesce around him a lot of the aggressive young people in the movement."
Vincent Cannistraro, a former CIA counterterrorism official, said that although most of the evidence is circumstantial, "I think he's emerged as the leader of a terrorist group that rivals bin Laden."
Sageman said Zarqawi's emergence illustrates a dispiriting fact: that, as in law enforcement's battles against drug cartels, eliminating a major figure often means only temporary victory.
"What you hear from our government -- that we've arrested or killed two-thirds of the al-Qaida leadership -- is not true," Sageman said. "We've eliminated two-thirds of the 2001 leadership. But the 2004 leadership is intact."
Zarqawi has been linked to most of the biggest bombings in Iraq, including those last year outside a Shiite mosque, at the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad and at the Jordanian Embassy. He is blamed for the murder of a U.S. diplomat in Jordan and has been tied by intelligence agencies to bloody attacks in Istanbul, Turkey, and Casablanca, Morocco.
Even the devastating March train bombings in Madrid, Spain, appear to have ties to Zarqawi's organization, Jamaat al Tawhid wa'l Jihad, or Unity and Jihad Group.
Cannistraro said U.S. forces' failure to capture or kill Zarqawi, whose amputation should make it tough to hide his identity, raises serious questions about the quality of their intelligence on the insurgency in Iraq.
"A guy with a prosthetic leg, in regular communication with cells in Europe and elsewhere, is leading operations in the Sunni triangle and near Baghdad," Cannistraro said. "This suggests that we're not doing a very good job. And it may suggest that the job is impossible."
As soon as the shocking video of Berg's murder appeared on the Internet on Tuesday, U.S. intelligence officers began studying it for clues, according to sources familiar with the effort.
Did the voice that read a rambling diatribe declaring the killing a retaliation for abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison match known recordings of Zarqawi's voice? Did any of the five masked men standing behind the bound 26-year-old American betray a limp?
Berg's murder, performed in a manner that Sageman says is a religious ritual used by Islamist fanatics, will only turn up the heat on the CIA and other agencies to find Zarqawi. In February, the U.S. government doubled the reward for information leading to Zarqawi's capture from $5 million to $10 million.
Zarqawi, whose real name is Ahmad Fadil al-Khalayleh, takes his nom de guerre from the town in Jordan where he was born in 1966. Zarqa, north of Amman, was where Palestinian militants blew up three hijacked airliners on the ground in September 1970 in one of the first coordinated anti-Western acts of terror, said Michael Izady, a history professor at Pace University who trains U.S. special forces for work in the Middle East.
The son of a wealthy Jordanian landowner, Zarqawi left school but became passionate about the Quran. He married, fathered four children and moved to Afghanistan in the late 1980s to join the mujahedeen, who were driving out Soviet troops with the backing of the CIA.
By 1991, he was back in Jordan, where his militancy soon brought him to the attention of the authorities. He was imprisoned for more than seven years before being released in a general amnesty in 1999, said Sageman, who worked for the CIA in Pakistan in the 1980s in support of the anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan.
Returning to Afghanistan, Zarqawi ran a terrorist training camp in Heart that specialized in ricin and other poisons, recruiting Jordanians, Palestinians and other potential operatives. The camp -- already using the name al-Tawhid, or Unity -- cooperated with bin Laden and may have been financed by him but was not subordinate to him, the experts said.
"He never swore loyalty to bin Laden," Cannistraro said. "He always claims credit in the name of al-Tawhid."
In 2002, as U.S. forces destroyed terror camps in Afghanistan, Zarqawi's leg was badly injured. He fled to Iran and ended up in Baghdad, where his leg was amputated in May 2002, Sageman said.
As the Bush administration set out to prove a link between Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida, officials pointed to Zarqawi as proof. But most experts believe that there was no long-term alliance, only a possible fleeting relationship of convenience as the United States turned up the pressure on Hussein and he looked for support.
For a time, Zarqawi re-established his training camp in northern Iraq, in a mountain hideout of the Islamist group Ansar al-Islam. But when a U.S. attack during last year's invasion destroyed the camp, Zarqawi was gone.
German and Italian intelligence have amassed extensive evidence that Zarqawi had been actively recruiting terrorist footsoldiers in both countries, said Michael Ledeen, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. "He created a big European network," Ledeen said, citing court testimony from the German prosecution of Shadi Abdallah, one of Zarqawi's recruits.
Since the Iraq war began, there has been evidence that Zarqawi has spent considerable time in Iran. But as the Berg videotape appears to demonstrate, he has not hesitated to operate in Iraq, despite the presence of more than 100,000 U.S. troops.
The damage Zarqawi is doing shows the persistence of the Islamist ideology that drives terrorism, said Jonathan Schanzer of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
"Bin Laden may be hiding in a cave somewhere," he said. "The people responsible for 9/11 are either dead or locked up. But attacks are being carried out without orders from the top."
Families of the 12 Missing Iranian Jews Petition High Court
May 13, 2004
Families of the 12 Jews Missing in Iran to High Court: No Release Deal For Kuntar Without Info Concerning Our Loved Ones.
This morning, May 13, 2004, at 10:00 am the families of 12 Jews who are missing in Iran, will petition the High Court of Justice to block the second part of the exchange deal with Hezbullah concerning Ron Arad. The families are demanding that Israel not release imprisoned Palestinian terrorist Samir Kuntar before obtaining information from Iran on the fate of their family members. The 12 Persian Jews had all disappeared during efforts to smuggle themselves out of Iran on their way to Israel during the years 1994-97.
The missing Jews were to be smuggled from Iran to Pakistan in a program operated by the Jewish Agency. However, during their escape the 12 never arrived at the designated meeting place and since then the families have been unable to learn any information concerning their circumstances.
The missing Jews are:
The missing Jews are:
* Ebrahim Kohen-Maslikh, 16
* Homayoon Balazadeh, 41
* Kamran Salari, 21
* Babak Shaoulian Tehrani, 17
* Shaheen Nikkhoo, 18
* Omid Solouki, 15
* Reuben Kohen-Maslikh, 17
* Ibrahim Achremany, 47
* Cyrus Achremany, 42
* Farhad Ezzati, 21
* Norallah Rabi-Zadeh, 50
* Es-Haagh Hassid, 59
During the past years, the Israeli government requested that the families remain silent about the missing Jews with the promise that it was working behind-the-scenes to locate and rescue them.
Only recently the families began to suspect that Israeli officials were not carrying out any efforts to help find their loved ones. When details of the deal concerning the release of Lebanese terrorist Durani and Obed in exchange for Elchanan Tannebaum materialized, the families realized that the Israeli government had been deceiving them and that no information was being sought about the 12 missing Jews.
The families' High Court petition demands that Israel not carry out the second stage of the prisoner exchange with Hezbullah without receiving accurate information from Iran concerning the disappeared Jews. The deal, as it is currently agreed to, would have Israel release Palestinian terrorist Samir Kuntar in return for the Iranian-backed Hezbullah providing confirmable information on the fate of missing Israeli airman Ron Arad.
The families write in their High Court petition that Kuntar is the last card that Israel holds which could influence Iran to provide information and if the government does not act now for the 12 missing Jews there will be no future opportunity to do so.
In the court papers, to be filed by attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the families noted that they have been pleading with government officials for as long as ten years to act for their missing loved ones without any meaningful response. They demand that Israel now undertake all efforts to obtain information and not release the final bargaining chip to Hezbullah without making the 12 Jews' fate a central component. Some of the missing are husbands who have left wives with children now categorized as "agunot" who cannot remarry.
The families will be available to speak to the press today, May 13, 2004, at 10:00 am in the Supreme Court in Jerusalem.
For More Information: 972-53-513-953 or email: email@example.com
7 Workers Released Under Pressure from International Labour Movement
May 13, 2004
International Confederation of Free Trade Unions
Brussels -- The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) today welcomed the release of 7 Iranian workers, arrested during peaceful celebrations in the city of Saqez to mark May Day.
Subjected to physical harassment during arrest, the 7 detainees were held without charge for 12 days in Sannadaj and Saqez. The ICFTU had campaigned incessantly for their release, writing to the Iranian President Khatami and requesting for International Labour Organisation (ILO) intervention to help guarantee the release of the unlawfully detained workers.
On 1st May, whilst millions workers around the world were exercising their right to celebrate May Day, Iranian authorities swooped in and arrested Mahmoud Salehi, a well-known labour leader who had been arrested and imprisoned for 10 months in 2001, two local labour leaders Jalal Hosseini and Mohammad Abdipoor, and Mohsen Hakimi, a well-known member of the Iranian Writers' Association. Three other workers had also been arrested; namely Borhan Divangar, Hadi Tanomand and Esmail Khodgam. The workers families were also subjected to physical intimidation; Salehis wife, Najibeh Salehzadeh, and his son were assaulted when security forces raided their home and confiscated Salehis computer and documents.
Over the past 10 days, the 7 workers had begun a hunger strike to demonstrate at their fundamentally unlawful detention and their health was reported to be deteriorating.
Two days prior to the arrests, an ICFTU team on mission in Iran had met with Mahmoud Salehi and Mohsen Hakimi. The mission had been closely monitored by security services and the ICFTU believes that the subsequent search of Mr. Salehis house and confiscation of his computer were directly related to his contact with the ICFTU.
Whilst the ICFTU is happy to see the release of the workers, it reminds the international community that anti-union activity is still widespread in Iran said Guy Ryder, ICFTU General Secretary. The authorities have rightfully released workers who were wrongfully detained yet the international labour movement will maintain its firm commitment to ensuring an end to Irans woeful trade union rights record.
The complaint over the killing of 4 striking workers in February 2004 in the city of Shahr-e Babak, which the ICFTU has submitted to the ILOs Freedom of Association Committee, is still under investigation. This case is one further example in a catalogue of trade union rights violations in the country.
The ICFTU represents over 151 million workers in 233 affiliated organisations in 152 countries and territories. ICFTU is also a member of Global Unions: http://www.global-unions.org
For more information, please contact the ICFTU Press Department on +32 2 224 0232 or +32 476 621 018.
EHSAFALI HEDAYAT GOES ON HUNGER STRIKE
By Safa Haeri
Posted Thursday, May 13, 2004
TEHRAN 13 May (IPS) Ensafali Hedayat, the independent Iranian journalist who was jailed for 18 months after being convicted of insulting regime leaders and writing propaganda against the Islamic republic, has started a hunger strike, his family and lawyer, Mr. Mohammad Ali Daadkhaah announced.
"Ensafali Hedayat has been on hunger strike since Tuesday morning to protest the judiciary refusal to set him free on bail, as was decided by the court", Mr. Daadkhaah said, adding that the journalist has also refused to undergo an operation for his ulcer problem, though the physicians urged him to.
The revolutionary tribunal in the northwestern city of Tabriz, the capital city of Eastern Azarbaijan had condemned Hedayat on April 15, but decided to grant him bail until the Supreme Court confirmed his sentence.
Daadkhaah added that there was no news of the confirmation of the sentence.
Both Mr. Daadkhaah and Ms. Fatemeh Hedayat, the daughter of the outspoken journalist said Mr. Hedayat needs urgent operation, but the authorities have refused to grant him necessary medical care, a proof that the ruling clerics, comforted by their recent victories at the Legislative elections, are determined to continue the crackdown on Iranian press and journalists.
In three recent letters to the Iranian nation, published by Iranian media outside and independent internet website inside the country, Mr. Hedayat strongly criticised the attitude of the Iranian decision-makers against the population and their disregard for human rights.
Im rejected because I refuse to be a yes men to the authorities, my pencil at their order, he said in one of his latest open letter, adding what the senior officials are after is people who all the time parrots what they would like to hear.
The Iranian Human Rights Defence Association run by the Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi, said that Hedayat's detention is "illegal", and called for his freedom.
The Rome-based Association of Iranian Journalists Abroad (AIJA), in a strong worded fax to the leader of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ali Khamehei urgend him to immediately order the unconditional release of Mr. Hedayat and other journalists in prison.
You personally will be hold responsible for the health and lives of Mr. Hedayat and other journalists, namely Mr. Siamak Pourzand, Hoda Saber, Reza Alijani, Taqi Rahmani and Akbar Ganji since your are directly controlling the Judiciary that, on your order, has placed thee people behind bars, the AIJA said.
The international press watchdog Reporters Sans Frontieres (Reporters Without Borders) also demanded the release of Mr. Hedayat and Mr. Pourzand, confirmed that Mr. Hedayat was not in a good condition and needs urgent medical treatments.
But neither of these demands were reproduced by Iranian media.
Mr. Hedayat was arrested on 16 January on his return to Tehran from a conference of Iranian Republicans in Berlin, which was attended by more than 800 Iranians from all over the world, including Iran itself and covered by many Iranian journalists working for Iranian medias abroad.
In its last hearing, the Tabriz Court dropped charges of espionage, but confirmed accusations of insulting the regimes senior officials and propaganda against the Islamic Republic, charges that Mr. Hedayat rejected.
The 51 years-old Hedayat had already been arrested at the University of Tabriz in June 2003 following his coverage of student-led demonstrations. He had been accused of inciting anti-regime protests, but was freed after three weeks in custody.
He subsequently wrote a chilling letter to the embattled President Mohammad Khatami, informing him and the nation about maltreatment and tortures he was subject while in custody.
Following that letter, the authorities coerced local newspapers in not getting anything from Mr. Hedayat, forcing him to sell his house in Tehran and return to a one bedroom apartment in Tabriz, where he lives with his wife and two children.
To continue living as a journalist, the only thing I know, Mr. Hedayat took assignments for some foreign-based Iranian media like Radio Farda, the Persian service of Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty, officially banned by the Iranian authorities.
In a statement released from its Paris Head Quarters, RSF voiced concern about the state of health of jailed 75-year-old Pourzand, deplored the 18-month prison sentence just passed on Mr. Hedayat and it voiced outrage at the UN Human Rights Commission's failure to condemn the Islamic Republic during its 60th session.
The organisation warned that Pourzand's life could be in great danger if he is not released immediately and given appropriate treatment. He has been paralysed for months and suffered a heart attack on 31 March that left him in a coma for 36 hours.
The refusal to free him on medical grounds suggests that the authorities have failed to learn any lesson from the death of photojournalist Zahra Kazemi on 10 July 2003 from a beating received in detention, the RSF said, calling for the release of all Iranian journalists currently imprisoned in Iran.
Pourzand was previously arrested on 24 November 2001 and sentenced in May 2002 to eight years in prison for "actions against state security and links with monarchists and counter-revolutionaries." He had been allowed home in December 2002 before been returned to prison in March 2003.
The award of the title of the best servant of the year to Mr. Said Mortazavi would be the height of absurdity if the situation were not so tragic," RSF said, adding that the Islamic Republic was just highlighting its arbitrary and repressive nature by celebrating this travesty of justice.
It was referring to the "Best Servant of the Year" award given by Irans leader to Mr. Mortazavi, who as head of a "press tribunal" has been responsible for the closure of more than 100 newspapers and publications and the arrests of many journalists, and who has been directly implicated in Kazemi's death.
On order of Mr. Khameneh'i, awarded by the RSF as one of the worlds most dangerous pedators of press freedom, Mortazavi was promoted Prosecutor of both Tehran and Islamic Revolution Court.
So far, there are bout 12 journalists in prison.
"Amid these sinister developments, it is outrageous that none of the member countries of the UN Human Rights Commission, not even the countries of the European Union, has until now tabled a resolution condemning Iran", Reporters Without Borders added. ENDS HEDAYAT HUNGER STRIKE 13504
Iran`s Navy manoeuvre starts in Persian Gulf
May 14, 2004
The first phase of submarine manoeuvre titled "Unity 83 " started on Wednesday by Islamic Republic of Iran Navy in the third marine zone of the armed forces in Chahbahar port. Rear Admiral Hossein Fazli, spokesman of this manoeuvre and operational deputy of Iran Navy said," In this phase, submarines and warships get ready in docks of the first and third navy zones and after passing the demined waterways move toward operational zone."
Rear Admiral Fazli declared the operation zones as parts of the Persian Gulf, Oman Sea and northern part of Indian Ocean to the end of 22 degree latitude. He added in this operation 76 units would participate which include: below surface units, surface units, flying units, diving groups and marines.
Iran foils bomb attacks in Tehran: daily
May 13th 2004
TEHRAN, May 13 (AFP) - Iranian security forces foiled a wave of bomb attacks in Tehran in recent weeks and arrested those responsible, the government daily Iran reported Thursday, quoting a report by the capital's prosecutions department.
The paper gave no more details, saying only that the perpetrators were among 55 people detained during the first month of the Iranian year (March 20 - April 20) on various charges, ranging from endangering national security to insulting the country's ruling clerics.
The Islamic republic has seen a number of bomb attacks in its 25-year history, especially by the main armed opposition group, the People's Mujahedeen, but none have been reported in recent years.
Six alleged members of Azeri nationalist movements based in Baku, capital of neighbouring Azerbaijan, were accused of plotting unrest in the cities of Khvoy and Orumiyeh in the Iranian border province of West Azerbaijan.
They were planning to start a riot on April 24 aiming at spreading secessionist propaganda by distributing CDs and pamphlets, Iran said. The authorities also cracked down on people poking fun at the clergy, including the publishers of Tabarestan, a weekly magazine which drew similarities between goats and Islamic clerics, such as the wearing of a beard.
A father and son were arrested for running an Internet site called Mothol (proverbs), which allegedly insulted the Islamic Republic's high-ranking officials, along with the publishers of the monthly Ruh va Ravan (Soul and Psyche), for insulting both Sunni and Shiite beliefs.
Such charges can carry heavy penalties in the Islamic republic. The paper added that two people were arrested for impersonating agents of Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's office, the intelligence ministry and the Iranian army.
UN Sees Signs Iran May Have Tried To Make Bomb-Grade Uranium
May 14, 2004
UN atomic energy inspectors see a pattern of radiation contamination in Iran which could indicate attempts to enrich uranium to bomb-grade level, diplomats close to the agency said as it waits for a report from Iran on its nuclear program.
The report is due in mid-May, possibly next week, and comes as International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors are completing months of investigations into US allegations that Iran is secretly developing nuclear weapons.
The IAEA is to hold a meeting of its 35-nation board of governors in Vienna on June 14.
Reflecting the current thinking of investigators, one diplomat said that if the Iranians "weren't working on something that hasn't been declared, the contamination should be evenly spread throughout Iran's nuclear installations."
Radioactive dust spreads in a uniform pattern but particles of highly enriched uranium have been found in specific sites, hinting that "someone brought material or equipment and then removed it."
IAEA inspectors have reported two such concentrations -- at a Kalaye Electric Company workshop in Tehran and at the Natanz pilot fuel enrichment plant 250 kilometres (150 miles) south of the Iranian capital.
The diplomat refused to confirm if other sites had been found but said that the Kalaye company had many sites in Tehran and throughout Iran.
Another diplomat confirmed that contamination had been found at other sites but downplayed the importance of this.
"They've moved equipment and we find what we expect to find. Unfortunately we don't learn much about it," he said. He did not provide details.
Highly enriched uranium (HEU) can be the raw material for a nuclear bomb, with weapons-grade uranium enriched to over 80 percent of the U-235 isotope, usually by cascades of centrifuges.
IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei said in April that no traces of HEU have been found beyond the two sites at Kalaye and Natanz.
The traces found at "one room in the Kalaye Electric Company workshop" were particles of "uranium enriched to 36 percent," according to an IAEA report on Iran filed in February.
Iran has been asked to explain this "particularly in light of its declaration that it has not enriched uranium to more than 1.2 percent U-235 using centrifuge technology," the report said.
Nuclear expert David Albright told AFP from Washington that one would only try to take 36-percent enriched uranium and enrich it further in the framework of a weapons program.
He said this could be done in "small experiments" to test centrifuges to know how many would be needed in an cascade of centrifuges to carry out enrichment.
IAEA inspectors are looking for other sites where there is such telltale 36-percent enriched contamination and have been systematically visiting "places that have to do with Iran's nuclear program," including dual-use facilities not obviously related to suspect atomic weapons work, the first diplomat said.
The Iranians have said the contamination is from imported equipment, with Pakistan believed to be a source for such equipment through an international black market.
But the diplomat said that equipment imported from Russia or fuel used in IRT research reactors was likely to be the source for this particular kind of enriched uranium.
The diplomat said the Iranians were "surprised" about the thoroughness of the IAEA quest, which has included visits to factories where machines are made that balance the rotors in centrifuges, special furnaces used to make uranium metal and sites where mass spectrometers are in operation.
Last October, Iran gave the IAEA what it said was a complete declaration of its nuclear activities.
It was later found to have made a number of omissions, including its acquisition of designs for sophisticated P-2 centrifuges.
Iran is now to deliver a further report under the provisions of an additional protocol it signed in December to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
This report should be more complete than the one in October since the additional protocol mandates a tougher inspections regime.
IAEA inspectors will then file their own report to the IAEA board ahead of its meeting in June.
Karrubi: Passing Events Won't Affect Strong Iranian-Kuwaiti Relations
May 14, 2004
Kuwait News Agency
AMMAN -- Speaker of the Iranian parliament Mehdi Karrubi asserted that the "passing events" will not affect the strong and deeply rooted Kuwaiti-Iranian relations and warned of the presence of what he called powers that are not comfortable with the closeness of the two countries and that wish to create friction between them.
Speaking to KUNA on Thursday, Karrubi abstained from specifying those powers saying that he only wants to point out this issue and not get into further detail.
Events do arise sometimes, but they are "passing events" that do not affect the solid relations between the Islamic Republic and Kuwait, he added.
Karrubi who is in Jordan to take part in the meeting of heads of parliaments of states neighboring Iraq which ended yesterday, said that he is very optimistic on strengthening relations and economic cooperation with Kuwait.
Kuwait is a neighboring and brotherly country that has strong ties with Iran and these relations are developing by the day, he said. The Iranian official stressed on his country's keenness to maintain pure and sound relation with Kuwait away from any crises adding that he is speaking not only for himself but on behalf of all Iranian officials.
Iranian officials are eager to establish strong relations with Kuwait, he said pointing out to the many visits between officials of the two countries during recent years.
The foreign ministries of the two countries had recalled their charge de affairs of their embassies in Tehran and Kuwait after an Iranian envoy's visit to Kuwait and his meeting with several Kuwaiti Shiite figures at the Iranian Embassy in Kuwait.
May 14, 2004
National Review Online
A home for al Qaeda in Iraq.
Ever since the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan during late 2001, al Qaeda has been desperately searching for a new theater of operations in which to physically confront "the infidels," train new budding terrorists, and whip up popular resentment against the United States. Just as the former Soviet Union had become entrapped in an endless guerilla war in Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden had hoped to do the same with America. His strategy proved to be poorly thought out: After only days of U.S. carpet bombing of their positions, Afghan Islamists quickly deserted the chaotic front lines and surrendered to their Northern Alliance enemies. However, the principle itself of drawing the U.S. military into an urban-street battle on enemy turf, using malicious terrorist tactics to cause inevitable American casualties, is quite intelligent. Certainly, if the latest reports from Iraq are correct, then al Qaeda seems to have found a secure homebase in the vaunted "Sunni Triangle" not just for killing foreign soldiers and civilians, but also for training would-be terrorist cells with their crosshairs squarely aimed at Europe and the American homeland.
While the links between Saddam and al Qaeda are still nebulous and uncertain, there is little doubt that foreign-terrorist entities including al Qaeda used the power vacuum created by the collapse of Saddam Hussein in order to gain entry and safe haven inside of Iraq. Particularly in the case of al Qaeda and allied followers of Jordanian exile Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (a.k.a. Ahmad al-Khalayleh), arriving international terrorists were able to forge informal partnerships with locally based armed Islamic militant groups like Ansar Al-Islam and the Ansar Al-Sunna army. Seething hatred of America proved enough of a bond to unite these ethnically mixed fundamentalist Sunni Muslim factions together in a common cause.
One of these groups, in particular, has gained an infamous reputation for its adoption of ruthless, bloody tactics: the Tawheed Islamic movement loyal to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and loosely allied to al Qaeda. Zarqawi initially trained in Arab-Afghan camps run and sponsored by bin Laden but like 1993 World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef before him, seems to have preferred remaining somewhat independent from the direct control of key al Qaeda leaders like bin Laden. Nonetheless, Zarqawi has freely employed the same predominantly North African terrorist sleeper-cell and recruitment network as al Qaeda and subscribes to the identical extremist ideology espoused by bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. Zarqawi has been linked to most if not all of the most shocking acts of terrorism in Iraq since the fall of Saddam, including the bombings of the respective headquarters of the United Nations and the International Red Cross in Baghdad. The latest videotaped beheading of Philadelphia businessman Nicholas Berg distributed over the Internet is merely yet another albeit eye-opening manifestation of Zarqawi's cruel fanaticism.
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has also been suggested as the likely mastermind behind a number of major recent terrorist attacks overseas blamed on al Qaeda as far away as Istanbul, Casablanca, and Madrid. Spanish investigators now believe that Amer Azizi a Moroccan Islamic militant charged in Spain with involvement in the September 11 suicide hijackings may have also served as the leader of the terror cell responsible for the deadly 3/11 commuter train bombings. Communications intercepts collected by intelligence authorities allegedly show that Azizi was hiding inside Iran last year and meeting with al-Zarqawi. Zarqawi has also made use of Europe as a key recruitment center for volunteers interesting in joining the jihad in Iraq. Over the past 14 months, Italian authorities have broken up several foreign terrorist networks responsible for sending potentially hundreds of European Muslim recruits to fight against America in Iraq on behalf of Ansar al-Islam and Zarqawi's Tawheed group. As recently as this week, Italian antiterrorism police initiated a major crackdown across three northern Italian cities aimed at preventing an "al Qaeda-linked cell" from sending suicide volunteers to join the foreign mujahedeen in Iraq. According to Genoa police chief Oscar Fiorolli, "We don't know where in Iraq they were going, but they were willing to be suicide attackers... It was clear they intended to reach Iraq and strike Western targets." Though Fiorolli denied that there were any indications of immediate planned acts of violence inside Italy, at least one Italian television report indicated that the would-be "martyrs" had also been "sizing up" potential local terrorist targets that included a movie theater and shopping mall near Florence.
Indeed, if the current level of unrest inside Iraq is any indicator, then Westerners have good reason to fear the near-term schemes of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi even if they aren't planning a visit to Iraq any time soon. Terrorist attacks attributed to Zarqawi's movement have stepped up dramatically both in number and in scale over the past two months. On April 24, three suicide boat bombs in a style clearly reminiscent of previous al Qaeda tactics exploded en route to two Iraqi oil terminals in the Persian Gulf, killing two U.S. sailors. The attack was followed shortly thereafter by a purported claim of responsibility issued on the Muntada Al-Ansar website (al-ansar.biz) on behalf of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, "Commander of the Al-Tawhid Group." Zarqawi explained in the statement that his followers had sought to "imitate what their brothers in al Qaeda did...[against] the destroyer Cole in the Port of Aden" three years earlier. If Zarqawi's attack on the oil terminals had succeeded, it would have caused significant damage to coalition efforts towards rebuilding the shattered Iraqi economy.
On May 2, Al-Tawheed released a communiqué claiming credit for more "martyrdom" operations, this time in the southwest suburbs of Baghdad. According to the document, a pair of foreign fighters Abi Hussain al-Suri (from Syria) and Abu al-Walid al-Tunisi (from Tunisia) had launched twin suicide car-bomb attacks on passing American Humvees and Armored Personnel Carriers (APC). Al-Tawheed bragged that the Tunisian's latter explosion was so powerful that it scattered human body parts up into the air from the soldiers inside the U.S. vehicles. The communiqué continued on to cite quasi-Islamic precedent for the terrorist battle ongoing in Iraq: "Allah, glory be to he, says 'and they thought they were secure in their fortresses from Allah but then Allah came to them from [an unexpected place] and threw terror in their hearts.'" Less than one week later, Al-Tawheed released another statement on the Internet claiming responsibility for a deadly suicide car bomb attack on May 6 outside the U.S. headquarters in Baghdad. According to that statement, a lone militant Abu Mitan Al-Saudi (from Saudi Arabia) was the suicide bomber, detonating a car packed with over 600kg of explosives and killing at least five Iraqis and one American soldier. Al-Tawheed also made references to U.S. "strategic interests" and warned that "the mujahedeen...are still capable of striking the strategic sites of the enemy at the suitable time and place."
In the early 1990s, it did not take long for legions of terrorist graduates from al Qaeda's former training camps in Afghanistan to shift the focus of their violence from the Middle East to the more-distant shores of Europe and North America. Just as in Afghanistan, many of the new generation of foreign mujahedeen active in Iraq will never live to see the future of their movement they will be "martyred" in mismatched battles against a much better trained and equipped U.S.-led military force. Nonetheless, the crème de la crème of al Qaeda's unit in Iraq who manage to survive the experience will be combat-tested and terror-schooled. The inevitable infiltration of such veteran 21st-century terrorists into Western nations presents a formidable problem for international intelligence and law-enforcement bodies. As demonstrated by evidence gathered in Madrid and in nearby Morocco, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has at least partially adopted the same terrorist sleeper-cell network responsible for 9/11 and that network of zealots is now thirsting for another devastating blow against the United States.
Evan Kohlmann is an international terrorism consultant and author of the upcoming book, Al Qaida's Jihad in Europe: the Afghan-Bosnian Network.
Iran: Germany supplied chemical weapons to Iraq
May. 14, 2004 14:43 | Updated May. 14, 2004 16:51
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Two Iranian war invalids unveiled a plaque outside the German Embassy in Tehran on Friday that accuses Germany of supplying chemical weapons to Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-88.
The plaque's erection was clearly in retaliation for the unveiling of a plaque in Berlin last month that marked the assassination of four Iranian Kurdish dissidents in 1992. The Berlin plaque, erected by the local authority at the site of the former Mykonos restaurant, blamed the then Iranian government for the killings.
One of the two veterans who unveiled the plaque, Ahmad Paryab, who spoke with plastic pipes running into his nose to assist breathing, called for the prosecution of Germany's top officials during the Iran-Iraq war.
"We demand that the then leaders of Germany be tried in an international court for war crimes and that the German government pay compensation to us," Paryab told about 100 people who attended the ceremony. Paryab was wounded by chemical weapons in the war, as were other members of the crowd.
The metal plaque stands on a four-meter(yard)-high plinth, clad in gray marble, in the sidewalk opposite the embassy's consular entrance on Ferdowsi Street in central Tehran.
It bears texts in Farsi and English, but the English is a poor translation of the original. It reads: "Name of the German government for the Iranian nation is the reminder of the great catastrophe of chemical massacre during the Iraqi Baathist regime's imposed war against Iran."
The Associated Press translated the Farsi inscription as: "The name 'German government' is a reminder to the Iranian nation of the catastrophe of chemical massacres during the war provoked by Iraqi Baathist regime against Iran."
The Tehran local authorities erected the plaque and a tent next to it, which houses a temporary exhibition of photographs of victims of chemical attacks during the war. The pictures show wounded Iranian children as well as soldiers.
The head of the Tehran City Council, Mahdi Chamran, said the plaque was put up to "defend the rights of chemical victims."
"The world has not forgotten the crimes committed by Hitler during World War II. And it should not forget this crime as well," he told reporters.
During the ceremony, the crowd heard that war veteran Ghodratollah Darabi had died Thursday after a long battle against the effects of chemical attacks.
While Iranian officials do not say openly that their plaque is in retaliation for the one in Berlin, they condemn the Berlin plaque when they speak of the Tehran memorial.
Chamran condemned the Berlin memorial, saying Friday: "It was an ugly move."
The day after the Berlin plaque's unveiling on April 20, the Iranian Foreign Ministry summoned the German ambassador and protested it. The plaque's inscription blames the assassination on "those in power in Iran at the time."
A German court found in 1997 that the Iranian authorities had ordered the killing of the four Iranian Kurds. Iran denied any involvement.
In Germany on Friday, government officials said the German ambassador to Tehran had sent a letter to the associations of Iranian victims of Iraqi chemical attacks, expressing sorrow for their plight but rejecting any German government responsibility.
German officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the letter notes that a number of German business executives were tried and convicted of illegally supplying equipment to Iraq in the 1980s.
By AMIR TAHERI
May 14, 2004 -- THE murder of Nick Berg, a 26-year-old American businessman, by a group of Islamist terrorists in Iraq continues to send shock waves through much of the West. What has impressed most people is the fact that the terrorists cut Mr. Berg's head in the way that sheep are beheaded at the annual Feast of the Sacrifice.
Berg is, of course, not the first to be murdered in such a gruesome manner. Nor, alas, is he likely to be the last. For the cutting of heads (in Arabic, qata al-raas) has been the favorite form of Islamist execution for more than 14 centuries.
In the famous battles of early Islam, with the Prophet personally in command of the army of believers, the heads of enemy generals and soldiers were often cut off and put on sticks to be shown around villages and towns as a warning to potential adversaries.
In 680, the Prophet's favorite grandson, Hussein bin Ali, had his head chopped off in Karbala, central Iraq, by the soldiers of the Caliph Yazid. The severed head was put on a silver platter and sent to Damascus, Yazid's capital, before being sent further to Cairo for inspection by the Governor of Egypt. The Caliph's soldiers also cut off the heads of all of Hussein's 71 male companions, including the one-year-old baby boy Ali-Asghar.
Islamic history is full of chopped heads being sent around by special delivery to reassure rulers, to terrorize foes and to impress the common folk. In 1821, the Qajar king of Persia ordered a week of celebrations when he received the severed head of a Russian general who had been captured in a battle near Baku. In 1842, the Afghans massacred the British garrison in Kabul, a total of 2,000 men and their wives and children, chopping off their heads and putting them on sticks to decorate the city. (They allowed one man to leave to report to the British.)
In 1885, it was the turn of British Gen. Gordon to have his head chopped off and put on a stick in Khartoum after it had fallen to the forces of the Mahdi. Slightly later, Mullah Hassan, the Somali rebel known to the British as "the mad mullah" but to his fanatical supporters as "the Shah," made a habit of chopping Western heads in what is now Somalia. At one point he had a large collection of severed Italian and British heads.
Iran's Khomeinist mullahs also love severed heads. In April 1980, Ayatollah Sadeq Khalkhali wanted to cut off the heads of eight American soldiers who had died in a failed hostage rescue mission in the Iranian desert. He was prevented from doing so thanks to a last minute intervention by the Swiss government. In 1986, the Khomeinist mullahs cut off the head of William Buckley, the CIA's Beirut station chief who had been kidnapped by the Hezbollah and sent to Tehran for interrogation.
And in 1992, the mullahs sent a "specialist" to cut off the head of Shapour Bakhtiar, the shah's last prime minister, in a suburb of Paris. When the news broke, Hashemi Rafsanjani, then president of the Islamic Republic, publicly thanked Allah for having allowed "the severing of the head of the snake."
In 1993, Fereidun Farrokhzad, one of Iran's most famous pop stars, had his head chopped off in Germany by a Khomeinist hit squad after the mullahs issued a fatwa for his murder.
Chopping off heads was widely practiced throughout the Afghan wars of the 1980s. An estimated 3,000 Soviet soldiers, many of them Muslims, had their heads cut off by the Mujahedeen, who at the time enjoyed U.S. and other Western support. (In other cases the Mujahedeen cut off the testicles of the Soviet soldiers and fed them to other Soviet prisoners.)
Needless to say, rival Mujahedeen also chopped off each other's heads. The group led by one Haji Akbari was especially notorious in that respect. One of its members was Osama bin Laden.
Throughout the 1990s, head-chopping was routinely carried out by the Army for Islamic Salvation (AIS), the Islamic Armed Group (GIA), the Salafi Group for Preaching and Armed Jihad (GSPAJ) and other Islamist terror outfits.
One Algerian specialist in slitting throats and cutting off heads was known as Momo le Nain (Muhammad the Midget). He was a 20-plus-year-old butcher's apprentice recruited by the GIA for the purpose of cutting off people's heads. In 1996 in Ben-Talha, a suburb of the capital Algiers, Momo cut off a record 86 heads in one night, including the heads of more than a dozen children.
In recognition of his exemplary act of piety, the GIA sent him to Mecca for pilgrimage. Last time we checked, Momo was still at large somewhere in Algeria.
Four years ago, Iran was shocked by the murder of the well-known dissident leader Dariush Foruhar and his wife Parvaneh. The couple, in their 70s, had their heads chopped off and displayed on their mantelpiece. The regime blamed "rogue elements" within its Ministry for Intelligence and Security. But no one was punished.
Cutting heads is frequently practiced against clerics from non-Islamic faiths or even rival Islamic sects. At least four Christian priests and nine Sunni Muslim muftis have been murdered in that way in Iran since 2001.
In Pakistan, rival Sunni and Shiite groups have made a habit of sending cut-off heads of each other's activists by special delivery. By one estimate, over 400 heads have been chopped off and mailed since 1990.
Chopping heads is also practiced by Muslim militants on the Indonesian island of Borneo as a means of driving the Christian majority out. It has been effective in forcing nearly half of the island's Christians packing.
At one point in the 1980s, the Abu-Sayyaf Islamist group in Mindanao, The Philippines, used the tactic of severing heads as a means of terrorizing the security forces.
Americans should also remember Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter who was brutally murdered in the same way in Pakistan over two years ago.
Although head-chopping is now seen as a mode of communication between Islamist militants and the Western world, the overwhelming victims have been Muslims.
Mankind has a natural propensity to become used to the worst atrocities and factor in the cruelest facts of life. But the sight of a severed head will continue to shock even the most blasé of the cynics. This is why those who are defying the whole of humanity in this war on terrorism are certain to continue to employ people like Momo le Nain.
By AMIR TAHERI
Prisoner Of Conscience Appeal Case
May 13, 2004
Siamak Pourzand: a case study of flagrant human rights violations
Siamak Pourzand, (aged 74), Head of Majmue-ye Farhangi-ye Honari-ye Tehran (The Tehran Artistic and Cultural Centre) and an occasional newspaper correspondent, is a prisoner of conscience. He is serving an 11 year sentence imposed after a grossly unfair and politically motivated trial in connection with oral statements he allegedly made about Iran's political leaders; Amnesty International fears that the activities of his wife, Mehrangiz Kar, a human rights defender currently outside Iran, may have exacerbated the treatment of Siamak Pourzand. He has urgent medical requirements for which he recently started to receive specialist care. It remains to be seen whether this will be adequate. Amnesty International (AI) is calling for his immediate and unconditional release with a view to a full review of the charges and sentence he faced.
Arrest and incommunicado detention
On 24 November 2001, Siamak Pourzand was arrested in central Tehran, at around 9 o'clock in the evening. He had just left his sister's apartment. The family initially thought that he had "disappeared" as there was no official acknowledgement that he had been detained. On 7 December 2001 one of his sisters, Mahin Pourzand, was reportedly requested to bring a change of clothes for him to an office of the Edare-ye Amaken, or Bureau of Premises. The Edare-ye Amaken is reportedly responsible for the enforcement of accepted moral codes in places of work and other offices. When she asked where her brother was held and what he had been charged with, she was reportedly told that it was none of her business.
Place of detention unknown
On 12 or 13 January 2002, his sister was permitted to meet with him for the first time at the Edare-ye Amaken. The meeting reportedly lasted 10 minutes and Siamak Pourzand, who arrived by car from an unknown location, reportedly appeared afraid and weak. No further information about his whereabouts was disclosed until 16 May 2002, when according to a report, Siamak Pourzand was transferred to Evin Prison. However, according to his family, he was only transferred to Evin Prison after his first temporary release.
Siamak Pourzand reportedly made a "confession" in the first session of his closed trial on 7 March 2002. He was denied free and unfettered access to a lawyer of his choice, and he was reportedly ill-treated during his interrogation. He was sentenced to 11 years' imprisonment.
On 9 July 2002 the Tehran Appeals Court upheld the sentence. In a televised "confession" broadcast by the state media on 25 July 2002, he reportedly looked frail and seemed to have lost at least 30 kg. He also "confessed" to a range of accusations including "having links with monarchists and counter-revolutionaries", "spying and undermining state security" and "creating disillusionment among young people".
Siamak Pourzand was temporarily released from prison on 30 November 2002 due to his poor health. During his release, he stayed at his sister's residence where he reportedly confirmed that he was detained in solitary confinement in an unknown prison.
Return to prison
In March 2003, Siamak Pourzand was sent to Evin Prison, possibly by agents of Edare-ye Amaken. He was reportedly urged to implicate other individuals in acts about which he did not know and to take part in a television program reportedly then being prepared to show which artists "had acted against Iran". He reportedly refused. He was later sent home. In April 2003, Siamak Pourzand was summoned to a court where he was reportedly asked again whether he would "cooperate" and appear in the television program referred to above. After having refused once again, he was sent with two guards to his sister's residence where he gathered personal effects save for medicine he requires - and he was taken to Evin Prison.
Around May 2003, Siamak Pourzand wrote to the Head of the Judiciary, Ayatollah Shahroudi, explaining his medical condition. Attached to his letter were reports supporting his need for an operation. These reports were supported by doctors working for the judiciary.
According to a diagnosis given on 30 July 2003 at the Imam Khomeini Hospital in Teheran Siamak Pourzand is suffering from spinal stenosis (a condition in which the spinal canal narrows and pinches the spinal cord and nerve root, possibly leading to paralysis) which requires a surgical intervention. He is unable to walk and to attend to his "daily needs". Furthermore, in October 2003, his medical records were reviewed by a doctor in the US who concluded that if unattended, Siamak Pourzand's condition would deteriorate and he would be made wheelchair-dependant. It was recommended that he be urgently treated at duly equipped surgical centres.
Around 31 March 2004, Siamak Pourzand reportedly suffered a heart attack that left him in a coma. He was not treated until another prisoner, the lawyer and human rights defender Nasser Zarafshan(1) went to the prison medical facility and insisted that someone examine him. Siamak Pourzand was taken to Tehran's Modarres Hospital for treatment and after 36 hours in a coma he regained consciousness.
Siamak Pourzand was again admitted to Tehran's Modarres Hospital on 18 April. According to initial reports, he was chained to his bed by his feet and denied family visits. Three days later, he was moved to the Coronary Care Unit (CCU) in the hospital where he reportedly remained for 10 days and received specialist care. Following his return to the ordinary ward and according to information received by AI, Siamak Pourzand reportedly received a telephone call from Evin Prison asking him to give an interview to a prisons' publication to declare that he had never been ill-treated and that his trial had been fair. Shortly after this phone call, Siamak Pourzand had to be transferred again to CCU.
Siamak Pourzand is due to be transferred to Mahrad Hospital to undergo a spinal surgery. He is then scheduled to return to Modarres Hospital to receive treatment for his kidneys and prostate.
Siamak Pourzand is the husband of lawyer and humanrights defender, Mehrangiz Kar, who continues to face charges in connection with her participation at a socialand cultural conference, which was held in Berlin inApril 2000. She is a former prisoner of conscience (see UA 103/00, MDE 13/20/00 3 May 2000 and follow ups)
Please send telegrams/ telexes/ faxes/ express/ e-mail letters in English or French:
- expressing concern that Siamak Pourzand is a prisonerof conscience, arrested solely for the peaceful
expression of his beliefs; and he should be released immediately and unconditionally;
- urging the authorities to allow Siamak Pourzand to receive adequate medical attention and regular access to family visits whilst he remains in;
- expressing concern that he has been denied the right to adequate and regular access to legal representation of his choice prior to and after his trial;
- urging the authorities to end the practice of solitary confinement, in line with the recommendations made by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) following its visit to Iran in February 2003 (UN document E/CN.4/2004/3/Add.2), which noted that "such 'imprisonment within imprisonment' is arbitrary in nature and must be ended";
- reminding the authorities that Rule 32 of the UN's Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners states that close confinement should not depart from the prohibition on cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment;
PLEASE SEND YOUR APPEALS TO:
Leader of the Islamic Republic
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed 'Ali Khamenei
The Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Telegram: Ayatollah Khamenei, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: + 98 21 649 5880 (please mark 'For the attention of the Office of His Excellency, Ayatollah al Udhma Khamenei, Qom)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (on the subject line write: For the attention of the Office of His Excellency, Ayatollah al Udhma Khamenei, Qom)
Salutation: Your Excellency
Gholamali Haddad Adel
Majles-e Shoura-ye Eslami (Parliament)
Imam Khomeini Avenue,
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: + 98 21 646 1746
To show your solidarity with Siamak Pourzand, you could send him a copy of your appeal:
Evin Prison, Chamran Highway,
Shahid Katchuyi Street Darakeh,
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
U.N. Nuclear Head Says Not Ready to Clear Iran
May 14, 2004
NEW YORK -- The United Nation's nuclear watchdog is not ready to clear Iran over whether or not its nuclear program is weaponized, the head of the agency said on Friday.
Mohamed ElBaradei, the director-general of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, said Tehran "had the know how" to enrich uranium but he had no proof that it had been processed to a military level.
"We will close the file when we have dealt with all the issues that require to be investigated," said ElBaradei, whose board of governors will meet in June on Iran's nuclear activities.
ElBaradei told diplomats and business leaders at the Council on Foreign Relations think tank in New York that the issues were technical, not political.
"It will come to an end when it comes to an end -- when I am satisfied based on the technical advice I get that 'yes' now we can bring that issue to a close and 'yes' we can say that Iran's program is dedicated exclusively for peaceful purposes and we are not there yet," ElBaradei said.
Iran's ambassador to the United Nations in Vienna, Pirooz Hosseini, said on Thursday that his government was ready to present a complete account of its nuclear activities and plans to the agency by mid-May.
The United States says Iran's nuclear program is a front for building a nuclear bomb and has called for the board to report Tehran to the U.N. Security Council for breaching the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Tehran says it is only interested in generating electricity and wants the agency to take Iran off its agenda after the June meeting.
In October, Iran gave the IAEA what it said was a full declaration of its atomic operations. But it omitted a number of research projects that could relate to a weapons program, such as advanced "P2" centrifuges that can make arms-grade uranium.
Iran said last week it had given P2 designs to the IAEA, but the agency has yet to resolve traces of bomb-grade uranium found in the country last year.
ElBaradei said he believed the U.N. Security Council system for dealing with nuclear materials had not been adjusted to the post-Cold War era.
He suggested a moratorium or ban on the right of every country to develop plutonium and highly enriched uranium. He said he plans to appoint experts to examine how to develop better security around enrichment and processing.
"At least if we don't have a ban right now let us have these facilities under multinational control," ElBaradei said.
He said the long-standing diplomatic wrangle over North Korea's nuclear program sent "the worst signal" to would be proliferators.
"If you want to protect yourself, accelerate yourself. You are inured in a way, then people will sit around the table with you. And if you don't do that, you tough it out, you might be subject to pre-emption."
The United States and North Korea disagree over Pyongyang's alleged pursuit of a highly-enriched uranium program for nuclear weapons.
The nuclear crisis erupted in October 2002 when U.S. officials said North Korea had disclosed it was working on a secret program to enrich uranium for weapons, in violation of an international agreement.
North Korea, which denied the disclosure, then pulled out of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, expelled U.N. inspectors and took a plutonium plant out of mothballs.
"Iran to Present Full Nuke Picture to UN Soon"
That's either laughable or ominous.