Skip to comments.Iranian Alert -- May 16, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Posted on 05/15/2004 9:11:13 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.
Israel urged to attack Iran nuke plant
Stategic report calls for second-strike capability
Posted: May 15, 2004
1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2004 WorldNetDaily.com
A report submitted to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon calls for the Jewish state to plan pre-emptive strikes against Irans nuclear plant and nuclear second-strike capability as a deterrent against its hostile neighbors in the Middle East.
The report, "Israel's Strategic Future," says Israel must prevent its enemies from developing weapons of mass destruction through strikes against vital facilities.
Joseph Farahs G2 Bulletin, a premium, online intelligence newsletter published by WorldNetDaily, first reported Israel has already begun drawing up plans for a strike at Irans nuclear facilities that could come before the end of the summer.
The report says Israel has been threatened by a biological or nuclear first-strike that seeks to exploit Israel's small space and high population density.
"To meet its ultimate deterrence objectives -- that is, to deter the most overwhelmingly destructive enemy first-strikes -- Israel must seek and achieve a visible second-strike capability to target approximately 15 enemy cities," the report says. "Ranges would be to cities in Libya and Iran, and recognizable nuclear bomb yields would be at a level sufficient to fully compromise the aggressor's viability as a functioning state. All enemy targets should be selected with the view that their destruction would promptly force the enemy to cease all nuclear/biological/chemical exchanges with Israel."
The report also called on Israel to develop a multi-layered ballistic missile defense system.
Iran last month announced plans to begin building a heavy-water reactor that can produce weapons-grade plutonium, Israel began drawing up plans to demolish it much as it destroyed an Iraqi nuclear facility more than a decade ago.
While Tehran insists the facility is purely for research, the decision heightens concern about Iran's ability to produce nuclear aims.
The 40-megawatt reactor could produce enough plutonium for a nuclear weapon each year, according to sources.
While construction is set to begin in June, Iran already had previously announced plans to build such a reactor last year to the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency.
The reactor site is at Arak, next to an already built heavy-water production plant. It is to replace a reactor using non-weapons grade enriched uranium that the Iranians mothballed because they said it was outmoded and lacked fuel.
Because enrichment can be used both to generate power and make nuclear warheads, Iran has said it has suspended all enrichment activities to prove its peaceful intentions. It also cannot buy enriched fuel on legal markets because of international suspicions about its intentions.
Observers wonder out loud why Iran, a nation with vast oil reserves, is so intent on producing nuclear power.
Lack of Complete Trust Between Iran, Russia
TEHRAN May 15 (MNA) - Political analyst Daryush Mortazavi said here Saturday that currently there isnt complete trust between Iran and Russia, adding that mutual trust is essential for establishing strategic ties.
Mortazavi told the Mehr News Agency that the relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Russia have always been vague because both countries believe their relations to be impermanent.
He referred to nuclear cooperation and attempts to seek an ally toward the U.S. unilateral policy as important issues between Iran and Russia.
Russia apparently approves of Irans nuclear program but in fact tries to make Iran dependent in regard to the nuclear fuel cycle, Mortazavi said.
He said that Russia due to the economic benefits it gains from the Bushehr power plant calls for continuing Irans nuclear programs.
Iran-Russia ties have developed significantly in many regional and international issues, the two countries have joint cooperation in regard to the UN role in world crises, resolving the issue of Iraq, Afghanistan and Middle Eastern issues and the campaign against terrorism, Mortazavi said.
Elsewhere in his remarks, the analyst referred to President Mohammad Khatamis recent trip to Russia in March 2001 where he signed a contract on reciprocal ties and cooperation with the Russian federation.
The agreement marked an important stage in the two countries relations but this has not yet led to complete trust, he said.
Russia Will Adopt Neutral Stance Toward Iran: Khorram
TEHRAN, May 15 (MNA) Foreign Ministry advisor Ali Khorram said here Saturday that Russia will not adopt an anti-Iranian stance but will probably adopt a neutral stance toward Iran in line with its political and economic interests.
Khorram told the Mehr News Agency that all countries pursue their own national interests and Iran should expect the same of Russia and should not expect more.
He went on to say that the United States and Israel are putting a great deal of pressure on Iran.
Europe may try to prevent Iran from acquiring or developing nuclear technology, even for peaceful purposes, without necessarily acting like the United States, he added.
Khorram said that the U.S. and Europe are acting in harmony to pressure Iran using a carrot and stick policy.
He added that Russia also intends to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear weapons power, stressing that if Russia reached the conclusion that Iran would be able to use its civilian nuclear program to develop technology enabling it to construct nuclear weapons, it would discontinue its nuclear cooperation with the country.
In conclusion, Khorram said that Russia is pursuing its own economic objectives in its cooperation with Iran.
Congressional Challenger Touts Iranian Heritage
May 15, 2004
The Associated Press
SALEM, Ore. -- A TV campaign ad opens with a photo of Goli Ameri as a young girl in Iran, then switches to images of the 1979 Iranian revolution.
Ameri "learned about evil in ways most politicians never will Goli watched radicals in Iran persecute her family and destroy a nation," an announcer intones.
Ameri is one of three Republicans seeking the right in Tuesday's primary to run against three-term Democratic incumbent Rep. David Wu.
Her main GOP rival, Tim Phillips, has been responding to Ameri's TV ads by appealing to Oregonians' distaste for wasteful government spending and touting his support for President Bush's tax cuts.
Ameri's use of her Iranian heritage has boosted her name familiarity in the race in the 1st Congressional district.
"It's a good ad in that it introduces her to voters as an American success story," said Portland pollster Tim Hibbitts.
Phillips, however, contends voters are more interested in education and getting Oregon's economy going again than his rival's Iranian background.
"Nowhere does the ad mention cutting wasteful spending or promoting education reform. That's what's important to Oregon," said Phillips, who owns a Portland brokerage firm.
Phillips, 37, also takes issue with Ameri accepting a majority of her campaign money from out-of-state donors, most of them Iranian-Americans.
Ameri, 47, so far has raised about $1 million, including $550,000 from Iranian-Americans from throughout the country, according to her campaign.
"They want to support me because they think I have a good head on my shoulders and they know I understand tyranny and how to fight it," said Ameri, who runs a high-tech consulting business.
Ameri left Iran for the United States as a college freshman in 1974, became a U.S. citizen and has lived in this country ever since.
Her parents were living in France during the 1979 Iranian revolution that toppled the shah. The Islamic fundamentalists who took power confiscated her parents' property and threw one of her uncles in jail.
Phillips has also been running a strong race. He has raised $700,000, and his economic message could well resonate with voters.
The third Republican in the race is software executive Jason Meshell, who has lagged far behind the other two in fund-raising and who has run no TV ads.
Whoever wins Tuesday's election will face a tough battle with the Taiwan-born Wu. Like Ameri, Wu has collected a lot of out-of-state money, much of it from Chinese-Americans. Wu, who is uncontested in the Tuesday's Democratic primary, already has $1.3 million in campaign cash on hand.
There is also a lively GOP race in Oregon's 5th Congressional District. Two Republicans are in a battle to run against four-term Democratic Rep. Darlene Hooley. State Sen. Jackie Winters of Salem and Lake Oswego lawyer Jim Zupancic have been sparring mainly over Winters' support for an $800 million tax hike in last year's Legislature. Voters rejected the tax hike this past February.
So far, political observers are giving the edge to Hooley, regardless of which GOP candidate wins on Tuesday.
Aghajari's death sentence saga continues in Iran
May 16th, 2004
Iranian reformist academic Hashem Aghajari, whose death sentence for blasphemy in 2002 led to mass protests, is unlikely to be executed although a provincial court has upheld the sentence, his lawyer said on Saturday.
"The death sentence will definitely be quashed by the Supreme Court, if legal principles are taken into account," Aghajari's lawyer Saleh Nikbakht told Reuters.
Iranian newspapers on Saturday reported Zekrollah Ahmadi, judiciary chief in the western province of Hamadan where the sentence was reviewed, as saying Aghajari's case had been sent to the Supreme Court although no appeal had been lodged.
KOFI THE KING
By AMIR TAHERI
KOFI THE KING
By AMIR TAHERI
Iran movie-makers reluctantly withdraw hit tale of thief-turned-cleric
May 15th 2004
TEHRAN, May 15 (AFP) - The makers of Iranian box office smash "The Lizard" have reluctantly decided to withdraw their film in the face of opposition from the clerical regime to its tale of a thief-turned-cleric, the student news agency ISNA reported Saturday.
"The judiciary and the culture ministry have not banned the movie, except in a few towns, but they have advised us to stop screening it," the film's financier Manushehr Mohammadi told ISNA.
"As a result, the film has been withdrawn from cinemas in provincial towns since yesterday (Friday) and will be pulled from movie theatres in the capital between now and next Friday."
Mohammadi said he and producer Kamal Tabrizi had taken the decision reluctantly but had "seen no obvious alternative."
The film shattered box office records here, grossing more than eight billion rials (around 930,000 dollars) since its release on April 21 as an estimated 900,000 people rushed to see it before its widely expected withdrawal.
The movie was only formally banned in a handful of cities, including the northeastern pilgrimage city of Mashhad, as well as the towns of Kerman, Urumieh and Rasht.
But its irreverent subject matter offended several influential hardline clerics, including Ayatollah Ahmad Janati, head of the Guardians Council, a statutory watchdog charged with enforcing Iran's Islamic constitution.
Awarded the prize from the public at the Tehran international film festival in February, the film is the story of Reza (The Lizard), who got caught one time too many and is sentenced to life in jail.
Injured in a prison brawl and hospitalized, Reza takes the chance to change his identity by stealing a cleric's robe and turban and slipping out undetected. Quickly realizing the benefits of being a cleric in Mashhad, he decides to carry on with the charade.
He preaches in the prisons and even at weekly prayers on Fridays, the main day of worship for Muslims, to crowds captured by his goodness and simplicity.
Little by little, and against his grain, Reza becomes not only a man who his respected, but one who respects the principles of religion.
The Arab Concept of Victory and Beheading Civilians
by James Dunnigan
May 16, 2004
A Sunni Arab terrorist group in Iraq, claiming to be working for al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, displayed a video on an al Qaeda website (the Arab language Muntada al-Ansar Islamist Web site) showing the beheading of American businessman Nick Berg who was apparently kidnapped in Iraq earlier. Bergs body was found on May 9th outside Baghdad. The beheading was announced as retaliation for the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners by American troops. Al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian, has been the most active, and most senior, al Qaeda operator in Iraq. The United States is offering a ten million dollars reward for his capture. Many of al-Zarqawis followers are in Fallujah and currently fighting American marines.
The Muntada al-Ansar web site regularly announces which terrorist group is claiming responsibility for attacks. The recent suicide bombings in Saudi Arabia were announced on the site. The use of videos of attacks and murders of captives is considered a recruiting tool and good propaganda. The videos are rarely shown on English language web sites, as they are intended for the hard core terrorist audience. Al Qaeda knows that such videos will turn off many in the West, but has found that it does wonders for al Qaeda recruiting and contributions. Al Qaeda has been unable to win any meaningful victories, so they invent success by declaring the slaughter of people via suicide bombings, or beheadings, to be a victory over the enemy. Historically, this doesnt work, and such atrocities simply inflame the opposition. Consider, for example, the September 11, 2001 attacks and what the United States has done to al Qaeda since then.
Al Qaeda is taking advantage of a uniquely Arab concept of victory. Having been on the losing side of history for so many centuries, most Arabs accept just about anything as a victory. For example, Saddam Hussein declared himself the winner of the 1991 Gulf War because he was still running Iraq after it was over. Of course, the main, and widely publicized, reason he was still in power was because Arab nations refused to join the coalition to drive the Iraqis out of Kuwait unless the U.S. agreed NOT to invade Iraq and depose Saddam. Earlier, Saddam gained much perverse praise from the Arab world for getting Iran to agree to stop the war that had raged between the two nations throughout the 1980s. This war began when Iraq invaded Iran in 1980, in an attempt to grab some Iranian oil fields while Irans armed forces were in disorder following a revolution in which Islamic radicals overthrew the king (Shah) of Iran. The Iranians quickly got their act together, pushed the Iraqis out of Iran and spent the next eight years trying to get to Saddam. For thousands of years, the Iranians (or Persians or Parthians or whatever) have been pounding Arab armies into the ground. So Saddams ability (via the use chemical weapons and billions of dollars worth of Russian arms) to stop (if not exactly defeat) the Iranians, was, to many Arabs, a real victory.
Now all this Iran/Arab stuff plays a special role in Iraq. To the surprise of many Sunni Arabs, the Shia Arabs fought, during the 1980s, to defend Iraq from the Shia Iranians. Actually, about three percent of Irans population is Arab, so in some cases you had Shia Arabs fighting Shia Arabs in this war. But the Iraqi Shia Arabs (over half the population), via a combination of fear, nationalism and financial incentives, were compelled by Saddam (a Sunni Arab) to serve in the war against Iran. What was being played was the race card. The Iranians are an Indo-European people, and have been defeating, and generally lording it over the Arabs, a Semitic people, for thousands of years. Memories are long in this part of the world, and in this case, ethnic memory trumped religion. Normally the Sunni and Shia Moslems do not get along very well. Conservative Sunnis consider the Shia heretics. And the fact that most Shia are Iranians does not help matters either.
Al Qaeda is a basically a Sunni Arab organization that attracts recruits who are not Arabs, but who MUST be Sunni. Al Qaeda was founded by members of the conservative Wahabi form of Islam found in Saudi Arabia. To a Wahabi, even contact with infidels (non-Moslems) is forbidden, and it is the duty of all Moslems to convert or kill the infidels. One should not lose sight of al Qaedas core values and goals. When you do focus in on those values and goals, the video of an American civilian being beheaded makes some kind of perverted sense.
Jaffar Panahi is probably one of my favorite directors in the world of cinema. Anyone who wants to get a short-hand lesson in what the despots who dictate Iran's domestic policy are really like, should check out any of his three major feature films, especially "The Circle", which I believe was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Foreign Film category.
"The people of Iraq want to rule themselves, and that requires free and fair elections. Who could best help them achieve that - the United States, Britain and their other democratic allies, or the United Nations, a majority of whose member-states do not believe in free elections and people's rule? "
It's building, the second revolution is coming.
This just in from a student inside of Iran...
"The Radio just reported that leader of the Islamic Republic will not accuse him [Hashem Aghajari] of being a renegade any more, that is the reason they announced.
The reason is obvious because the leadership of the Islamic regime in Iran decided not to engage masses of people in the coming June & July.
Every one here believed that his execution would result mass protests in Iran."
More Threats From Tehran
May 16, 2004
The Washington Times
On Tuesday, the Iranian official in charge of stonewalling international inspections of its atomic weapons program once again warned Israel against launching a military strike against the Islamist regime's nuclear facilities. "If such an incident happens, it will meet a resolute response from our side," said Hassan Rowhani, Iran's chief negotiator with the International Atomic Energy Agency on nuclear matters.
Mr. Rowhani has yet to specify what form such a response might take. But in December, Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani declared that Iran would retaliate with long-range missiles if Israel attacked its nuclear facilities. Mr. Shamkhani said that Iran's Shahab-3 missile which is based in part on technology acquired from North Korea and has an 800-mile range would be one of the weapons used.
In truth, the Rowhani and Shamkhani statements are just the latest in an ongoing series of threats directed against Israel. In a Dec. 14, 2001, speech, former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said that it might be a good thing to strike Israel with nuclear weapons. "The application of an atomic bomb would not leave anything in Israel, but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world," Mr. Rafsanjani said. "Jews shall expect to be once again scattered and wandering around the globe the day when this appendix [Israel] is extracted from the region and the Muslim world."
Ever since the toppling of the shah a quarter-century ago, Iran has been committed to the destruction of Israel, a commitment it has backed up until now by supporting terrorist groups, such as Hezbollah and Hamas. Since Israel withdrew from Lebanon in May 2000, Hezbollah has stepped up its coordination with Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups.
This has been a relatively low-cost proposition for Iran, which confines itself to writing checks and allows the terrorist organizations to do the dirty work, but a very high-cost proposition for Israel, which has lost nearly 900 people to this terrorist violence since September 2000. Even though Iran has been financing terrorism against Israel since the early 1980s, Israel has never launched a retaliatory strike against the regime.
One of Israel's biggest foreign policy nightmares is the possibility that Tehran will acquire atomic weapons and find the means to deliver them to Tel Aviv or other locations in Israel's industrial heartland. With such a deterrent capability, Iran could be tempted to think it could step up the level of terrorist violence against Israel in the Palestinian territories at no cost to itself. That would leave Israel with two high-risk options: launching a pre-emptive strike in the hope of decapitating Iran's nuclear weapons infrastructure; or hoping that a popular revolution topples the regime in Tehran very, very soon.
Leader Condemns Holy Sites Sacrilege
May 16, 2004
Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting
Tehran -- The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei referred to the US insolence to the Muslim and Shi'ite sanctities as an impudent, shameless and imbecile act and said that the world Muslim community and the Iraqi people will not remain silent against the insolents because the events are very important and we should not remain indifferent.
Addressing theological students, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution referred to the sublime stance of the Imam Ali (AS) and Imam Hossein (AS) stature in the heart of the world Muslims and Shi'ites and said that Muslims can not tolerate the insolent US agression into the holy sites in the Vadi-Al-Salam area in Najaf and Kerbela, also a resting places for Muslim prophets and saints.
Despite such impudents and the crimes committed, the US forces are so shameless that they claim human rights and democracy, the Leader said.
The apple of discord sown by Americans in Iraq will bear the bitter effect of hatred for decades, the leader said.
The recent US scandal in the Abu Ghraib prison, also erupted to be ongoing in other prisons is a brand on the US government that would not be recuperated for years, the Supreme Leader said.
He referred to the US official's allegations on unawaring of the Abu Ghraib prison tortures as a "blatant lie" and said that the White House officials lie so openly, while the Intenational Red Cross have already warned the US officials of the inhumane tortures.
The Supreme Leader termed the ruling US administration as a system of tyranny, hatred and indifferent to the human greatness and said that the US Iraq occupation, mistreating the people, appointing an American administrator, torture, and their sacrilege to the holy sites are a string of wrong-doings which trap the United States in a quagmire which would sank them further, the more they strive.
The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution said that the June 30 power handover deadline set by the US-led coalition forces is a deception, and called on the Iraqi think-thanks and statesmen to know that any of them who comes to power would be a US stooge and would be detested as much as the Americans.
The real power transfer is when the Iraqi people enjoy the right to choose, otherwise a plan laid out by a person dictated by a US would not mean a power transition, the Supreme Leader added.
Today, the US administration in Iraq and the occupying Zionists in Palestine commit the most horrendous crimes. These crimes, gives a justified right to the Iranian people to cry out "down with the US", "down with Israel", the Leader said.
The European states should condemn the recent US crimes, if they claim to be defendant of democracy, and the condemnation should be ratified in light of a resolution adopted by the UN Security Council, otherwise their human rights claims would be of no value, the Leader concluded.
The Summer of Discontent Looming in Iran
May 13, 2004
The US Alliance for Democratic Iran
With summer fast approaching, Irans security forces are gearing up to crackdown on anti-government demonstrations which usually escalate in the months of June and July.
There have been many protests in Irans major cities already. In March, violent anti-government protests erupted in Fereydoun Kenar, Marivan, Boukan, and Isfahan.
And earlier this month, teachers in Tehran and elsewhere staged demonstrations that led to the closure of many schools across the country. Moreover, more than 20,000 people took part in a protest by tea growers in northern Iran last week. The state-run media reported the arrest of 18 tea growers.
To stem the rising momentum of popular protests, Irans theocratic rulers are undertaking pre-emptive measures by deploying the security forces in Tehran and other major cities. Special units of the Revolutionary Guards Corps regularly take position in many of the capitals major intersections and streets. Roaming around in groups of four or five, they harass particularly the students and young people, making their presence felt.
In an editorial entitled, The Guards must keep their guard up, the state-controlled daily, Ressalat, expressed concern over the spread of popular uprisings. Certainly, the psychological atmosphere of June and July requires the vigilance of the Hezbollah as never before, it wrote last week.
The mullahs security forces have also executed searches at many internet service centers. Another sate-controlled daily Sharq wrote over the weekend that 20 such centers had been searched and that at least 12 shut down.
The number of executions including public hangings has been on the rise in recent weeks. Agence France Presse reported today that three people were hanged in Tehran and in the northeastern city of Mashhad. The clerical regime hanged four prisoners in city of Khorramabad (western Iran), and city of Ahwaz (southwest), Tehran and Karaj last week. Two women and six men in Arak and Karaj have also received death sentences.
Clearly, the mullahs, anticipating a long and hot summer of discontent, are banking on the international communitys ambivalence as they implement their pre-emptive measures to keep the democracy movement at bay. Without doubt, the United Nations Human Rights Commissions indifference toward the deteriorating state of human rights in Iran, reflected in the European Unions failure to table a censure resolution against Iran in the Commissions April session in Geneva, emboldened Irans ruling tyrants.
Irans democracy movement offers the only chance for real change in Iran through peaceful means. The United States security concerns could only be alleviated if and when the rule of law and democracy prevail in Iran. We should, therefore, give priority to efforts aimed at ensuring respect for the human rights of Irans citizens and Iranian dissidents striving to establish secular and representative governance in that country.
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