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Iranian Alert -- May 17, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 5.17.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 05/16/2004 9:01:29 PM PDT by DoctorZIn

The US media almost entirely ignores news regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran. As Tony Snow of the Fox News Network has put it, “this is probably the most under-reported news story of the year.” Most American’s are unaware that the Islamic Republic of Iran is NOT supported by the masses of Iranians today. Modern Iranians are among the most pro-American in the Middle East.

There is a popular revolt against the Iranian regime brewing in Iran today. I began these daily threads June 10th 2003. On that date Iranians once again began taking to the streets to express their desire for a regime change. Today in Iran, most want to replace the regime with a secular democracy.

The regime is working hard to keep the news about the protest movement in Iran from being reported. Unfortunately, the regime has successfully prohibited western news reporters from covering the demonstrations. The voices of discontent within Iran are sometime murdered, more often imprisoned. Still the people continue to take to the streets to demonstrate against the regime.

In support of this revolt, Iranians in America have been broadcasting news stories by satellite into Iran. This 21st century news link has greatly encouraged these protests. The regime has been attempting to jam the signals, and locate the satellite dishes. Still the people violate the law and listen to these broadcasts. Iranians also use the Internet and the regime attempts to block their access to news against the regime. In spite of this, many Iranians inside of Iran read these posts daily to keep informed of the events in their own country.

This daily thread contains nearly all of the English news reports on Iran. It is thorough. If you follow this thread you will witness, I believe, the transformation of a nation. This daily thread provides a central place where those interested in the events in Iran can find the best news and commentary. The news stories and commentary will from time to time include material from the regime itself. But if you read the post you will discover for yourself, the real story of what is occurring in Iran and its effects on the war on terror.

I am not of Iranian heritage. I am an American committed to supporting the efforts of those in Iran seeking to replace their government with a secular democracy. I am in contact with leaders of the Iranian community here in the United States and in Iran itself.

If you read the daily posts you will gain a better understanding of the US war on terrorism, the Middle East and why we need to support a change of regime in Iran. Feel free to ask your questions and post news stories you discover in the weeks to come.

If all goes well Iran will be free soon and I am convinced become a major ally in the war on terrorism. The regime will fall. Iran will be free. It is just a matter of time.

DoctorZin


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: alsadr; armyofmahdi; ayatollah; cleric; humanrights; iaea; insurgency; iran; iranianalert; iranquake; iraq; jayshalmahdi; journalist; kazemi; khamenei; khatami; khatemi; moqtadaalsadr; persecution; politicalprisoners; protests; rafsanjani; revolutionaryguard; rumsfeld; satellitetelephones; shiite; southasia; southwestasia; studentmovement; studentprotest; terrorism; terrorists; wot
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail DoctorZin”

1 posted on 05/16/2004 9:01:31 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail DoctorZin”

2 posted on 05/16/2004 9:03:52 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Report: Iran on verge of nuclear breakthrough

May. 16, 2004 20:34 | Updated May. 16, 2004 21:55
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
TEHRAN, Iran

Iran is on the verge of a nuclear breakthrough, but not in the area of weapons, former President Hashemi Rafsanjani said Sunday, criticizing the United States for misleading the world about Iran's intentions.

"Americans are frightening the world that Iran is on the verge of a huge nuclear breakthrough," the official Islamic Republic News Agency quoted Rafsanjani as saying. "That we are on the verge of a nuclear breakthrough is true. But we are not seeking nuclear weapons."

Rafsanjani, still a powerful figure in Iran and widely believed to have inside knowledge about Iran's controversial nuclear program, gave no further comments.

Nuclear scientist Rasoul Sediqi Bonabi said the breakthrough Rafsanjani referred to was related to Iran's progress in the field of nuclear fuel.

"Iran is on the verge of producing low-enriched uranium to be used as fuel in nuclear reactors producing electricity," Bonabi, also a legislator, told The Associated Press.

"Rafsanjani's comments mean Iran is on the verge of controlling the whole nuclear fuel cycle from extracting uranium ore to enrich it as nuclear fuel," he said.

He said Iran had earlier had the know-how of producing low-enriched uranium but lacked the technical ability to produce it.

Uranium enriched to low levels can be used in power plants, while highly enriched uranium can be used in atomic bombs.

Iran has confirmed it has produced less advanced P-1 centrifuges, one of the known ways to produce low enriched uranium.

The United States and some other nations accuse Iran of running a covert nuclear weapons program and are pushing the United Nations to impose sanctions.

Concerns over Iran's nuclear program mounted after inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, found traces of highly enriched uranium at two Iranian sites.

Inspectors have also discovered an advanced P-2 centrifuge program that Iran had not reported to the U.N. agency.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said Sunday that Iran will hand over a new report to the IAEA "very soon" explaining all ambiguities pertaining to Tehran's nuclear program.

Asefi gave no specific date.

The suspicion against Iran has led to some frustrated calls within the country for it to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty altogether.

"No matter whether we cooperate with the IAEA or not, the Americans will keep up the pressure on Iran and will keep threatening to reefer our dossier to the U.N. Security Council for sanctions," said Mohammad Kiarashi, Iran's former envoy to the IAEA.

Kiarashi said the US was a sworn enemy seeking to deny Iran nuclear technology and that the IAEA was not responding to Iran's increasing cooperation.

"The more we cooperate, the more demands they come up with without giving us anything," he said. "Iran should withdraw from the NPT altogether and stop cooperating with the IAEA because the ultimate result of continuing cooperation is revealing all our peaceful national secrets without getting anything."

IAEA Chief Mohammed ElBaradei plans to present an assessment of Iran's nuclear activities to the IAEA board of governors in June.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1084677179341


3 posted on 05/16/2004 9:05:54 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Rafsanjani: Iran is on the Verge of Nuclear Breakthrough

May 16, 2004
The Associated Press

TEHRAN -- Iran is on the verge of a nuclear breakthrough, but not in the area of weapons, former President Hashemi Rafsanjani said Sunday, criticizing the U.S. for misleading the world about Iran's intentions.

"Americans are frightening the world that Iran is on the verge of a huge nuclear breakthrough," the official Islamic Republic News Agency quoted Rafsanjani as saying. "That we are on the verge of a nuclear breakthrough is true. But we are not seeking nuclear weapons."

Rafsanjani, still a powerful figure in Iran and widely believed to have inside knowledge about Iran's controversial nuclear program, gave no further comments.

Nuclear scientist Rasoul Sediqi Bonabi said the breakthrough Rafsanjani referred to was related to Iran's progress in the field of nuclear fuel.

"Iran is on the verge of producing low-enriched uranium to be used as fuel in nuclear reactors producing electricity," Bonabi, also a legislator, told The Associated Press.

"Rafsanjani's comments mean Iran is on the verge of controlling the whole nuclear fuel cycle from extracting uranium ore to enrich it as nuclear fuel," he said.

He said Iran had earlier had the know-how of producing low-enriched uranium but lacked the technical ability to produce it.

Uranium enriched to low levels can be used in power plants, while highly enriched uranium can be used in atomic bombs.

Iran has confirmed it has produced less advanced P-1 centrifuges, one of the known ways to produce low enriched uranium.

The U.S. and some other nations accuse Iran of running a covert nuclear weapons program and are pushing the U.N. to impose sanctions.

Concerns over Iran's nuclear program mounted after inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, found traces of highly enriched uranium at two Iranian sites.

Inspectors have also discovered an advanced P-2 centrifuge program that Iran hadn't reported to the U.N. agency.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said Sunday that Iran will hand over a new report to the IAEA "very soon" explaining all ambiguities pertaining to Tehran's nuclear program.

Asefi gave no specific date.

The suspicion against Iran has led to some frustrated calls within the country for it to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty altogether.

"No matter whether we cooperate with the IAEA or not, the Americans will keep up the pressure on Iran and will keep threatening to reefer our dossier to the U.N. Security Council for sanctions," said Mohammad Kiarashi, Iran's former envoy to the IAEA.

Kiarashi said the U.S. was a sworn enemy seeking to deny Iran nuclear technology and that the IAEA wasn't responding to Iran's increasing cooperation.

"The more we cooperate, the more demands they come up with without giving us anything," he said. "Iran should withdraw from the NPT altogether and stop cooperating with the IAEA because the ultimate result of continuing cooperation is revealing all our peaceful national secrets without getting anything."

IAEA Chief Mohammed ElBaradei plans to present an assessment of Iran's nuclear activities to the IAEA board of governors in June.

http://iranvajahan.net/cgi-bin/news.pl?l=en&y=2004&m=05&d=16&a=9


4 posted on 05/16/2004 9:07:29 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Iran feud roils Bush-Kerry contest

New York Sun - By Josh Gerstein
May 13, 2004

Contributors Differ on Policy Toward Tehran

Iranian-Americans are weighing in financially in this year’s presidential race in record numbers — and that activism has sparked an angry confrontation between those who favor a hard line against the Iranian regime and those who urge a conciliatory approach.

At least four Iranian-Americans have taken prominent roles fund-raising for Senator Kerry of Massachusetts.

The most notable is a New York investment banker, Hassan Nemazee. Mr. Nemazee and his family have given more than $250,000 to Democratic causes since 1997.He is a New York chairman of the senator’s presidential campaign and has raised at least $100,000 for the effort. In February, Mr. Kerry visited the Nemazees’ home on Park Avenue.

A northern California couple, Faraj Aalaei and Susan Akbarpour, have raised more than $100,000 for Mr. Kerry. Mr. Aalaei runs a technology firm, Centillium Communications. His wife has formed an organization, SiliconIran, which serves Iranian-Americans in the high-tech industry.

A New Jersey manufacturing executive,Akbar Ghahary, is a member of the Kerry campaign’s national finance committee. He said he has raised “much more” than the $25,000 it takes to join that group.

President Bush counts two Iranian-Americans among his most prolific fund-raisers.The chairman and CEO of Daytona Beach, Fla.-based ICI Homes, Mori Hosseini, is listed as a “ranger” by the Bush campaign, meaning he has raised more than $200,000. The president and CEO of Kraft Construction of Naples, Fla., Fred Pezeshkan, is a Bush “pioneer,” a category for supporters who raise more than $100,000.

The political divisions among Iranian-Americans have gained notice in Iran, as well.

Last week, a major daily there, Etemaad, carried a news story about the jockeying in the presidential race. The headline read, “The Iranians’ Powerful Lobby in America.”

Many Iranian-Americans who support Mr. Bush are deeply suspicious of those who are backing Mr. Kerry. Last year, Mr. Nemazee, Mr. Aalaei, and others organized a political action committee, the Iranian-American Political Action Committee. The group maintains that it is bipartisan and takes no position on foreign policy issues, including rapprochement with Iran.

A Texas-based group, the Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran, swiftly denounced the new PAC as “a lobby group for a terrorist regime.”

A leader of the pro-Democracy group, Aryo Pirouznia of Dallas, described Mr. Nemazee as “one discredited and well-known agent of the Islamic Republic.” Mr. Pirouznia, 40, also said the PAC explicitly stated that it favored restoring diplomatic relations between America and Iran “in support of the Islamic Republic and the revolution.”

In March, Mr. Nemazee filed a libel suit in Texas against Mr. Pirouznia and his group. The suit, which seeks more than $10 million in damages, alleges the student group falsely branded Mr. Nemazee as an agent of the Iranian regime. Mr. Nemazee also claims the PAC has never expressed support for the Iranian government and that the purported statement to that effect was fabricated.

In an interview, Mr. Pirouznia said he might have gone too far by describing Mr. Nemazee as an agent of the regime. “They are continuing I think the same kind of agenda,” he said.

Mr. Pirouznia said that Mr. Nemazee and his allies were “facelifting” for the fundamentalist government.

A Brooklyn-based Iranian-American writer and activist, Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi, said, “The people who are for the most part supporting John Kerry are people who are very much affiliated with the Islamic Republic, most of them.”

Mr. Nemazee declined to be interviewed for this article. He referred questions to Frank Wisner, a former State Department official and ambassador to India.

Asked if Mr. Nemazee might be an agent for Iran, Mr. Wisner laughed before dismissing the idea as “utterly without substance or foundation.”

In 1999, President Clinton nominated Mr. Nemazee as ambassador to Argentina. His nomination was withdrawn after questions were raised about some of his business ventures.

Mr. Wisner and Mr. Nemazee were on the board of another group vilified by the anti-regime forces, the American Iranian Council. The council, which promotes greater dialogue between America and Iran and has at times urged a restoration of diplomatic relations, gets much of its financing from large companies that would benefit from trade with Iran.

Both men resigned from the council’s board, but said they did not do so out of concerns that it was a front for Iran. “It was never a very well-run group and you couldn’t get a proper audit statement out of it,” Mr. Wisner said.

In June 2002, Mr. Kerry was the guest of honor at a dinner the council sponsored in San Francisco. In July 2003, the senator spoke at a fundraising banquet in Cliffside Park, N.J., attended largely by Iranian-Americans.

The Kerry campaign did not respond to questions about its outreach to the Iranian-American community or about the senator’s policy toward Iran.

In response to a questionnaire from the National Iranian-American Council, Mr. Kerry replied that he supports dialogue with the regime in Tehran.

“I believe it is important to have dialogue with governments, even those with which we have disagreements. In the case of Iran, there are some areas of mutual interest, such as drugs. I would support talking with all elements of the government,” Mr. Kerry wrote.

Mr. Bush’s most notable policy pronouncement on Iran came in 2002 when he included that country, along with Iraq and North Korea, in what he labeled “an axis of evil.”

Mr. Bush’s declaration is the most unambiguous statement the administration has made on the issue.

In a February 2003 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage seemed to back away from the president’s remarks.

“The axis of evil was a valid comment, [but] I would note there’s one dramatic difference between Iran and the other two axes of evil, and that would be its democracy. [And] you approach a democracy differently,” Mr. Armitage said.

He labeled as misguided the fear in some quarters, and the hope in others, that America might attack Iran after the assault on Iraq.

“I wouldn’t think they were next at all,” he said.

While CEO of the oil services firm, Halliburton, Vice President Cheney was a vocal critic of the embargo on Iran. At a Cato Insitute forum in 1998, Mr. Cheney derided American policymakers as “sanctions-happy.”

“Investment and trade can do more to open up a country than reams of cables from our State Department,” he said.

Halliburton remains a financial backer of the American Iranian Council.

Congress formalized the embargo against Iran in 1996 as part of the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act.The law was reauthorized in 2001 by a near-unanimous vote.

Mr. Armitage’s comments, and in particular his branding of Iran as “a democracy,” angered some in the exile community.

“Dick Armitage and Colin Powell are an absolute embarrassment,” said Ms. Zand-Bonazzi. “I have never denied that.”

None of the Iranian-Americans interviewed for this story voiced support for ending the sanctions on Iran or restoring diplomatic relations.

But in a July 2003 interview, Ms. Akbarpour said she hoped the sanctions on Iran would be lifted quickly.

“These sanctions keep Iranian youth out of the circle,” she told a reporter working for the State Department’s public diplomacy branch.

“We need to get that country into a constructive engagement in order to get them to think differently.”

Mr. Pirouznia said that approach is doomed to failure.

“How do we want to reform a theological regime?” he said. “God is so perfect it doesn’t need any kind of reform.”

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_6226.shtml


5 posted on 05/16/2004 9:14:10 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: nuconvert; dixiechick2000; freedom44; Pan_Yans Wife; sionnsar; McGavin999; Valin

Iran backs OPEC increase

Scotsman.com
May 17th 2004
James Dow

IRAN yesterday gave its guarded support to Saudi Arabia’s call for OPEC to increase its oil production ceiling by 1.5 million barrels per day.

But Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, Iran’s OPEC governor, went on to warn that the hike might not be enough to bring markets down from the record $40-plus crude prices reached last week. The prices have provoked fears of rising global inflation.

Iran is OPEC’s second biggest oil producer, so the addition of its voice to that of top producer Saudi Arabia is likely to be welcomed by nervous markets as trade resumes today.

Kazempour said: "A possible increase of OPEC production by 1.5 million bpd would display the organisation’s co-operation and understanding with consumers, even though OPEC is not responsible for the situation."

But he pointed out that markets are well aware the cartel’s producers are already pumping in excess of the official 23.5 million bpd limit.

"Whatever agreement is reached on raising the OPEC production ceiling, or quotas, would in practice be a formalisation of the presently available surplus in the market, [which is] fully evident in the consumer countries’ rising level of stockpiling," he said.

The market highs, he continued, were driven not by a lack of OPEC production but the twin fears of attacks on Middle East oil infrastructure and bottlenecks at US refineries.

If those problems eased, an increase in crude exports at the cartel’s next meeting, on 3 June, could end up pushing prices down. "We are still concerned about the trend of crude oil stockpiling by the consumer countries ... that may push prices down as we enter autumn," he said.

OPEC will discuss the Saudi proposal at the International Energy Forum in Amsterdam, starting on Friday.

http://business.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=559982004


6 posted on 05/16/2004 10:12:42 PM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" sKerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: PhilDragoo; nuconvert; kcvl

7 posted on 05/17/2004 1:43:30 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" sKerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: DoctorZIn; sionnsar; freedom44; nuconvert; PhilDragoo; ewing; McGavin999; AdmSmith; RaceBannon; ...

Congressional hopeful touts Iran heritage

By BRAD CAIN
ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER
May 16th 2004

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 in what could become a battle between immigrants.

Her main GOP rival, Tim Phillips, has responded 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 recognition 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.

Ameri and Phillips, who has raised $700,000 so far, have drawn more support than the third Republican in the race, software executive Jason Meshell.

Whoever wins Tuesday's primary will face a tough battle with the Taiwan-born Wu in November. 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.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/apelection_story.asp?category=1133&slug=Oregon%20Congress


8 posted on 05/17/2004 2:44:41 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" sKerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: DoctorZIn

I read a story on the web just last week where Israel had acquired stealth technology or maybe it was modified stealth aircraft just recently from the U.S. It's my belief that Israel will take out the Iranian nuclear capability using this technology in the near future. Again, I'm quite certain that Bush has given his approval for this project - he just wants to be at arms length when it happens.


9 posted on 05/17/2004 5:06:25 AM PDT by finnigan2 (My more advanced)
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To: freedom44; Pan_Yans Wife; nuconvert; Valin

Bam, Iran: The Little Gardens of Sorrow

Payvand's Iran News ...
5/17/04
By Syma Sayyah, Tehran

I felt almost an urge to go Bam's cemetery during my recent visit to this town which was devastated by a deadly quake in December 2003.

I went there late Friday afternoon when there was hardly anybody there. There were some workers there and a few visitors who had come to pay their respects to their lost ones. What touched me so this time, was the little patches of flowers and greens that were put up on the top of some of the tombs, I called them Baghche-Haye Ghamm - the little gardens of Sorrow.

http://www.payvand.com/news/04/may/1111.html


10 posted on 05/17/2004 7:40:36 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" sKerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: F14 Pilot

Cemetry in city of Bam, The City Shaken by a strong quake on 25th of Dec 2003.

11 posted on 05/17/2004 7:43:28 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" sKerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: DoctorZIn

Tehran Still Meddling in Iraq, U.S. Says

May 17, 2004
The Associated Press
Katherine Pfleger Shrader

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

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

Anti-American rhetoric from Tehran increased over the weekend, with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei calling explicitly for U.S. forces to leave Iraq. He described U.S. attacks on the militia of Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr around revered Shi'ite shrines as "a rude, shameful and stupid measure."

Another senior Iranian cleric, Ayatollah Muhammad Ali Gerami, was quoted by a students' news agency on Saturday as saying that war damage to Shi'ite holy sites justified attacks on British and U.S. interests worldwide.

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

A State Department official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the Bush administration lacks hard evidence that would implicate or exonerate Iran from involvement in destabilizing Iraq.

Anecdotal but unconfirmed reports indicate Iranian arms, militia members and financial aid are crossing the border, the official said last week. Given Iran's past connections with terrorist activity, he said, many U.S. officials are concerned.

Robert Baer, a former Iraq-based CIA officer who left the agency in 1997, said Tehran is probably delighted that Saddam Hussein was overthrown and his Sunni followers' power diminished.

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

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

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

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

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

Some Iranian actions have been overt. At the Iranian government's suggestion, representatives from the United States and Iran held a rare meeting last month in Iraq.

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

Mr. Senor said the Iranians are not needed as middlemen to negotiate with Sheik al-Sadr, whose militia is a leading source of unrest in the south.

http://www.washtimes.com/world/20040516-112704-9718r.htm


12 posted on 05/17/2004 9:01:46 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Russia Reaffirms Importance Attached to Cooperation with Iran

May 17, 2004
RIA Novosti
rian.ru

MOSCOW -- Russia is interested in continuing an active political dialogue with Iran, Igor Ivanov, the secretary of Russia's Security Council, said at a meeting with Kamal Kharrazi, Iran's foreign minister, on Monday.

"I am satisfied with the fact that the active political dialogue between our countries is continuing," Mr. Ivanov said. "Within this dialogue we discuss not only questions of bilateral cooperation but also many international problems concerning our states' interests. We have a stake in continuing this active political dialogue."

He also noted that Mr. Kharrazi was going to have important meetings while he was in Moscow, specifically with President Vladimir Putin. "I once again emphasize the importance we attach to cooperation with Iran," he added.

Mr. Kharrazi said that his country "attaches great importance to relations with Russia." He expressed hope that his forthcoming meetings in Moscow would allow issues on the bilateral agenda, as well as attitudes toward international problems to be discussed.

http://en.rian.ru/rian/index.cfm?prd_id=160&msg_id=4321819&startrow=1&date=2004-05-17&do_alert=0


13 posted on 05/17/2004 9:02:18 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

It's All About You, Sir!

May 17, 2004
Intellectual Conservative
Nooredin Abedian

Aytatollah Shahroudi, Iran's Chief Justice, recently ordered a ban on the use of torture, but it remains to be seen whether it will be put into practice.

Two weeks ago, Ayatollah Shahroudi, Iran's Chief Justice, ordered a ban on the use of torture which the Islamic Republic's security organizations routinely use to extract confessions.

"Any torture to extract confession is banned and the confessions extracted through torture are not legitimate and legal," the Chief Justice said in a 15-point directive to the judiciary.

Human rights lawyers and political activists said the statement was a tacit admission that torture is still prevalent.

Shahroudi's directive appeared to address criticism leveled at the judiciary and security forces by human rights groups and political activists. But human rights lawyers were unimpressed.

Amnesty International welcomed the fact that Iran was seeking to adhere to its own laws regarding torture. “But it remains to be seen if the judicial officials or the security officials in the Revolutionary Guard will ... put this into practice,” a spokeswoman said, noting that the regime's own Constitution and its article 38 clearly ban torture.

So what is the reasoning for such a statement?

It might be intended to look as a move towards reform. No way.

First, when clear articles of the Constitution were neglected on a daily basis, what guaranty does one have that a directive by the Chief Justice to the lower ranks should not meet the same fate in the future? In the end, laws are always overruled by the highest echelons of command, not the rank and file.

Second, after having "mutilated" the so called reformist wing of the regime by refusing it the right to participate in the legislative elections in March, Mr. Shahroudi and his conservative trend are hardly in a position even inside the regime's different bands to raise such slogans.

Third, such an initiative, if it was meant to have any effect in Iran, was better issued from an authority enjoying more weight and credibility. Mohammad Hashemi Araqi Shahroudi is, first of all, not an Iranian. He is an Iraqi national who was even an Iraqi political activist and spokesperson for the so called "Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq," created in the 1980s in Tehran. For example, in a lengthy interview with the review of Iran's revolutionary Guards' periodical named Payam-e-Engelab, in June 1986, he took great pains to explain the council's goals for the future of Iraq, not Iran! He himself confessed that according to a decision by Khamenei, the regime's supreme leader, he left the Iraqi camp and joined the Iranian one.

And then, the least acceptable move towards such a goal should be to name, criticize, and hold responsible those in charge of the past carnage. Who was, and is, in charge of the terrible human rights record of the regime? Examples in this regard are really not scarce, but to give a few, one can just point to a list published by the opposition in October of 1987. It might have been updated to this day, but the copy I had available dates to that time. It contains names and particulars of some 14,028 victims of the current regime, all killed by firing squad or hanged in public, or killed in street demonstrations. The opposition claims that the final number of the executed stands somewhere near 70,000, or even 100,000. Even if one stayed with figures for which names and particulars have been forwarded, the account is horrible enough. A 16 year-old girl tortured to death, a 13 year-old girl executed by firing squad, 36 pregnant women executed, whole families annihilated, are all parts of the carnage. To the best of my knowledge, the mullahs' regime has never even bothered to question the authenticity of the information.

A year after that list was published, in the summer of 1988, thousands, if not tens of thousands, of political prisoners already sentenced to prison terms and serving time were executed in the summer and fall following the acceptance of a cease fire in the Iran-Iraq war by the regime. In its report on Iran between 1987 to 1990, and under the subtitle "The massacre of 1988." Amnesty International gives a detailed report of the massacre, where a three-judge panel, nicknamed "death committee," took to retry thousands of prisoners already serving sentences. The new inquisition sessions lasted barely a few minutes for each prisoner. Those who still seemed to be sticking to their opposition to the regime were ordered to be hanged the same day. At the end of each day, the long line of those to be hanged were taken to the gallows, and the few acquitted would be led back to their cells, to continue as harmless prisoners. According to Amnesty International, between 2,000 and 3,000 were executed. In a letter to Khomeiny that led to his falling from grace, Montazeri, then Khomeini's heir apparent, quoted the number to be either 2,800 or 3,800. Opposition counts go as high as 30,000.

The judges who issued those sentences are at work to this day in the Iranian judiciary apparatus, under Mr. Shahroudi's auspices. The most notorious, Jaafar Nayyeri, chairman of the three-judge death committee, is currently Deputy Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. A second influential judge, Ebrahim Raissi, is the head of the State Inspectorate Office.

So Mr. Shahroudi's audience obviously cannot be the Iranian public. Who else, then? One possible counterpart is the mullahs' EU trade partners. The EU, as it was announced last week, has about billion in annual trade with the mullahs. In spite of it not having pinned down the mullahs in the United Nations' Human Rights Committee's recent session, it has all the same criticized much of the regime's poor record in this respect, not without good reason. If one bears in mind that the Europeans are having a rough time getting the mullahs through the inspections regime of the International Atomic Energy Agency of the UN, with their horrible record of hide and cheat with their nuclear programs, then it becomes more evident that they need a minimum of respect shown by the mullahs in the human rights arena in order to be able to continue the trend -- if only as a fig leaf to cover the ugly deals with the mullahs.

One last objective is certainly to divert attention from the true culprits. But in spite of the international enthusiasm shown for the event, the statement was shrugged away inside the country. The whole thing reminds you of a historical analogy: During Iran's 1906 Constitutional revolution, a mullah approached a group of "revolutionaries" in the city of Tabriz, the revolution's stronghold northwest of the country, and asked them what "constitution" was all about, explaining that to earn a living he was obliged to preach everyday in the district mosque, and as the "constitution" was the talk of the town those days he was begging them to teach him something about the phenomenon in order to add a little favor to his speeches! The poor guy obviously failed to understand that the whole movement was against such practices and the first ones to go out of business under the new constitutional regime would be his likes.

Now Ayatollah Shahroudi seems to be in the same mood. He might think that a few solemnly-worded directives and statements can help build some respect, turn away attention, and gain some time. He needs to be told: "Sir, its all about you! The first ones having to go out of business in case a true reform was under way would be the likes of your eminence."

Nooredin Abedian is an Iranian engineer based in Germany, and a former lecturer at Tehran University. He writes from time to time on Iranian issues and politics.

http://www.intellectualconservative.com/article3434.html


14 posted on 05/17/2004 9:03:11 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Kristof's Iran

May 17, 2004
National Review Online
Michael Ledeen

New York Times columnist ignores the people’s plight.

Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times has been to Iran for a few days, and he's full of deep thoughts about it. But, in keeping with the ideology of his social set, they are his thoughts, not those of the Iranian people. To be sure, he quotes Iranians — he's astonished to discover that they do not fear being named — including some senior ayatollahs, to demonstrate the contempt of the people for the regime. Ayatollah Taheri calls the ruling mullahs "society's dregs and fascists who consist of a concoction of ignorance and madness...(and) those who are convinced that yogurt is black."

Kristof's trip was worth the expense for that one quote alone. But instead of following the logic of the Iranian people's enmity to the Islamic Republic — will the "Arab street" not be influenced by the utter failure of Islam in the region's largest and most powerful country?-?he lapses into politically correct dithering: "There's a useful lesson here for George Bush's America as well as for the ayatollahs' Iran: when a religion is imposed on people, when a government tries too ostentatiously to put itself 'under God,' the effect is often not to prop up religious faith but to undermine it."

Huh? Islam has failed in Iran, so utterly and dramatically that even the most senior religious leaders are attacking the theocracy. Has anything of the sort happened in America? No. Is religion "imposed on people" in America? No, indeed the opposite takes place; religion is banished from the public square and the faithful are disparaged as ignorant rednecks. Moreover, in America church and state are separate, while Iran is a theocracy. The two systems have nothing in common, except the New York Times's party line, that religion is a bad thing and religious people are dangerous.

Kristof's feeble attempt at moral equivalence (Bush=mullah) is embarrassingly silly.

Then he turns to the nature of tyranny, a subject on which he has a considerable reputation. He tells us that Iran is not an efficient police state. "It cracks down episodically, tossing dissidents in prison and occasionally even murdering them.... But Iran doesn't control information...and people mostly get away with scathing criticism as long as they do not organize against the government."

That "occasionally even" is pretty bad. He might have mentioned the slaughter of thousands of dissidents in the late 1990s, as he might have deigned to notice the relentless tempo of public executions today. To say that Iran "doesn't control information" is disgraceful, since Journalists Without Borders has branded the regime the single-greatest predator of press freedom in the Middle East. Kristof tells us that "satellite television is ubiquitous," yet thousands of satellite dishes have been torn down in Tehran alone, and those caught watching it are imprisoned, beaten, and tortured.

Then he tells us that America's allies in the region are worse than the Iranians. Iran has elections after all, while the Saudis don't, and two Iranian vice presidents are women. Well, Stalin had elections, too, of precisely the same sort the Iranians have: The regime chooses the candidates, and the voters perforce elect them. To claim that Iranian elections are a sign of freedom is an insult to the tens of millions of Iranians who boycotted the last vote in protest against the tyrannical regime. And to say that Iran has female vice presidents is to miss the whole point: The "government" is powerless, so whoever holds the empty chairs is there for publicity purposes or as a sinecure to favored families.

Kristof has missed the point of Iranian tyranny, which he could have discovered by looking more closely at the way the prisons function. Iranian jails are far more than detention centers; they are part of a vast system of intimidation. Iranian prisoners are released periodically, for periods ranging from 24 hours to several weeks. They are released so that their friends and families can see the horrible consequences of the tortures inflicted on them. The presence of these doomed people in the society at large is an open threat to the rest: If you challenge us, you will end up like this.

But Kristof only talks about "crackdowns," not about torture. Yet in the same days he had, in his words, "just about convinced myself that Iran is not a police state," Amnesty International was again calling for support of Siamak Pourzand, a 74-year-old who once headed a cultural center in Tehran, and is now suffering through an 11-year prison term that has reduced him to a human skeleton on the verge of death. He is suffering from spinal stenosis, for which he desperately needs surgery, and recently survived a massive heart attack, but no medical help was provided to him for many days. He barely survived, and the regime's "crackdown" was such that he was chained to his hospital bed and kept in isolation from his family.

Kristof writes that "people mostly get away with scathing criticism as long as they do not organize against the government (he means "regime")." But Siamak Pourzand did not direct scathing criticism against the regime, and he certainly did not organize a political force. He was simply an elegant and refined voice calling for greater artistic and cultural freedom within the Iranian tyranny. His real crime was, and is, his refusal to make a phony confession that would slake the regime's thirst for the humiliation of those who dare to think for themselves.

There are scores of prisoners undergoing similar tortures, and their names are well known throughout Iran. It would have been easy for Kristof to write about them, describing their misery, praising their moral courage and physical stamina, and denouncing the regime that is trying to break them, and any other Iranian who seeks freedom.

He didn't. The event that convinced him that it would be wrong to say "Iran is not a police state" was not murder or torture. It was being asked for 90 minutes if he was a spy for America or Israel, and he brags to his readers that "I tried to explain that my views make me unemployable by either the Bush or Sharon administrations," a gratuitous bit of self-congratulation that is quite wrong, as his Iranian interrogators surely knew. Do you think the CIA and the Mossad only run spies with impeccable conservative credentials? Give me a break.

The Kristof articles either repeat what we already knew (thousands of column inches, and innumerable public acts have long since documented the Iranians' hatred of the regime and love of America), or — with rare exceptions like the Taheri quote — mislead us about the evils of the regime, or trot out the snide self-indulgence of the East Coast liberal elite.

Par for the course.

http://www.nationalreview.com/ledeen/ledeen200405170730.asp


15 posted on 05/17/2004 9:08:54 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...

Kristof's Iran

May 17, 2004
National Review Online
Michael Ledeen

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1136845/posts?page=15#15


16 posted on 05/17/2004 9:10:12 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Iran's a growing danger in Iraq

Leave it to those wonderful folks in Iran to stir the international terrorist pot.
Tehran's mad mullahs have thrown their support behind select Islamic extremists for many years. But a top-secret report prepared by senior Mideast intelligence sources says Iran has recently stepped up its efforts to train and arm a widening range of terrorists, many of whom pose direct threats to Western targets, including in Iraq.

Iran's protégés, new and old, are both Sunni and Shiite Muslims, and they hail from all across the Middle East: Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and Lebanon. Many are already ensconced in Iranian training camps.

Most of these Iranian-fostered groups are violently anti-American. Some, like Lebanon's Usbat al-Ansar and Iraq's Ansar al-Islam, have direct ties to Al Qaeda.

One terrorist cell from the Palestinian Hamas gang had originally gone to Afghanistan for training, then retreated to Iran after America's Afghan offensive sent its Taliban hosts running.

According to the intelligence sources, Hamas leaders working out of a base in Saudi Arabia instructed the cell to remain in Iran, join forces with militants from Iraq and Lebanon and transfer money and false passports to them. In exchange, the Hamas cell underwent training in Iran in the making and remote activation of explosives.

The Hamas cell members subsequently began running errands for their Al Qaeda comrades. In January, say my sources, they traveled to Sudan to procure more than 600 pounds of ammonium nitrate, the fertilizer chemical Al Qaeda likes to use in its explosives. Another Hamas activist rounded up dozens of cell phones to be used for the remote detonation of bombs. The explosive devices were then smuggled from Iran to the Balkans and Greece.

Most frightening of all, my sources say there are indications Hamas is helping Ansar al-Islam develop short-range rockets with which to attack coalition troops in Iraq. These are the same type of Qassem rockets that Hamas has been producing in Gaza and firing at Israeli settlements and towns.

"The coalition's abundance of defensive armor in Iraq," says one source, "has made it increasingly difficult for Ansar al-Islam to attack stationary targets."

Qassem-style rockets would help our enemies overcome that difficulty.

A Hamas-financed Qassem workshop, I'm told, has been set up in Iran under the supervision of a Hamas cell leader named Abu Husam, who is a qualified engineer.

Needless to say, Iran is eager not to leave any traces of its involvement in attacks against the U.S.

But Iranian intelligence has quietly helped its terrorist protégés cross over into the United Arab Emirates and return with materials for the rocket project through the Iranian military port of Bandar Abbas.

"According to the Hamas-Al Qaeda plan," says an intelligence source, "the first rockets are to become operative in Iraq in early June, just before rule is transferred to the Iraqi interim government."

What was that we were being told recently about the Iranian government's "moderating" its positions?

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ideas_opinions/story/194051p-167680c.html


17 posted on 05/17/2004 9:13:40 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Prevailing Principles

May 17, 2004
National Review Online
Michael Rubin

The White House and 10 Downing Street must stay the course. Freedom depends on it.

On April 28, 2004, dozens of retired Foreign Office diplomats published an open letter berating Prime Minister Tony Blair for "abandonment of principle...at a time when, rightly or wrongly, we are portrayed throughout the Arab and Muslim world as partners in an illegal and brutal occupation in Iraq." Several American diplomats followed suit. The diplomats are right: London and Washington have abandoned their principles. But the principles abandoned have less to do with the moral equivalency held dear by Foreign Office Arabists than with the freedom, liberty, and human rights so emphasized by President Bush.

Commemorating the first anniversary of the war to liberate Iraq, Bush was unapologetic about U.S. policy: "We have set out to encourage reform and democracy in the greater Middle East as the alternatives to fanaticism, resentment, and terror." Good words, but Washington appears to be reversing the presidential policy. Perhaps with media pressure building, the White House has decided to trade long-term progress for short-term expediency. Or perhaps distracted by the campaign, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice is deferring responsibility to career diplomats to pursue their worst instincts. Regardless of the reason, the White House policy — and 10 Downing Street's acquiescence to the flip-flop — threatens to undermine the foundations of nascent democracy movements across the Middle East.

Fanaticism, resentment, and terror threaten to return to Iraq. On May 17, 2004, a suicide bomber murdered the president of Iraq's Governing Council. Less than a month ago, Coalition Provisional Authority Administrator L. Paul Bremer, in deference to U.N. Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, announced the abandonment of de-Baathification efforts. But Brahimi's claim that "thousands upon thousands of teachers, university professors, medical doctors and hospital staffs, engineers and other professionals who are sorely needed in the country have been dismissed within the de-Baathification process" falls flat among Iraqis. De-Baathification affected less than 1 percent of party members. Iraqis recognize that Iraqi society functions better without the Baathist elite. Saddam's government promoted technocrats not on merit, but rather for political loyalty. The Iraqi Education Ministry is now forced to fire teachers hired in the wake of liberation. Popular sentiment is reflected in the hand-painted banners that hang in Najaf and Karbala in Iraq's Shiite heartland, saying, "Death to the Baath Party." As one Iraqi put it, "Saddam's mass graves did not fill themselves." These teachers had refused to join the Baath under Saddam; they lived hand-to-mouth as they sold off property or worked menial jobs to feed their families. When faced with a choice, they made the right moral decision. Now Coalition policy punishes them for it, instead rewarding their tormenters.

It is not only in Iraq that Washington and London appear to have abandoned principle. American and British politicians have cheered the rapprochement with Libya. On March 12, Bush declared, "We stand with courageous reformers." He praised the Libyan government for releasing Fathi El-Jahmi, a political prisoner jailed in 2002 after speaking out for democracy. "It's an encouraging step toward reform in Libya," Bush said. Unfortunately, two days after Assistant Secretary of State Bill Burns dined with the Libyan dictator, and one day after Prime Minister Tony Blair's visit to Libya, Libyan security agents arrested El-Jahmi; he has not been seen since. If El-Jahmi has access to a television, he will not see U.S. or British diplomats invoking his name. Rather, he will see Blair and Burns sitting with Khaddafi and European diplomats toasting the Libyan strongman in Brussels. The White House remains silent. Libyans visiting Washington say Khaddafi's arrest of El-Jahmi is meant as a direct slap in the face of President Bush.

And nowhere has the Bush doctrine's reversal hit harder than in Iran. In 1953 and 1979, Washington and London supported an autocratic leader over the wishes of the Iranian people. In recent years, though, the Iranians have again rallied for reform. In 1999, I arrived in Tehran as riot police and students clashed. Tear gas wafted through the air. In his January 29, 2002, State of the Union address, Bush threw down a gauntlet, declaring Iran part of "an axis of evil." Many Europeans found Bush's rhetoric simplistic, but it was Bush's moral clarity — and not Europe's critical engagement — that emboldened Iranian students, factory workers, and teachers to again take to the streets. It has not escaped Iranians' notice that while the European Union doubled [[its?]] trade [[with Iran?]], the Islamic Republic doubled its application of capital punishment.

On May 9, 2004, three months to the day since Britain's Crown Prince visited the Islamic Republic, an Iranian court confirmed the death penalty against Hashem Aghajari, a University of Tehran history professor who had criticized theocracy. Shortly after an Iranian court first sentenced Aghajari to die, Bush spoke on U.S.-funded Persian-language radio. "We continue to stand with the people of Iran in your quest for freedom, prosperity, honest and effective government, judicial due process and the rule of law," the president said. According to the Iranian newspaper Aftab-i Yazd, on May 11, 2004, Aghajari threw down the gauntlet. "Either free me unconditionally or carry out the death sentence." The Iranian people expect silence from 10 Downing Street, but not from the White House. If the Bush administration is serious about freedom and democracy, now is the time to speak. Silence sends a different message.

The ripple effects of the Bush doctrine's abandonment spread far. On May 16, 2004, Secretary of State Colin Powell criticized Israel for razing homes used to facilitate weapons-smuggling. The previous day, the Bush administration remained silent when Palestinian chairman Yasser Arafat said on Palestinian television that Palestinians should "terrorize your enemy." That Powell would criticize a democracy, and that Bush-administration principals would engage with members of Arafat's government, is troubling.

Britain's effete diplomats are wrong. Their belief that Muslim countries should not be held to basic human-rights standards is racist. One in six Iraqis fled his country under Baath-party rule; Iraqis who settle in the West thrive because of the rule of law. There are no cultural impediments to democracy; when Bush and Blair hold governments accountable for their actions, progress ensues. Rather than fete Khaddafi, the president and prime minister should receive prisoners of conscience like El-Jahmi and Aghajari. Across the Middle East, people look to the West to match its rhetoric with action. We should not abandon dissidents, even if career diplomats, both British and American, demand it. The policy reversals of today will undermine democracy in the Middle East for years to come.

— Michael Rubin, an NRO contributor, is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

http://www.nationalreview.com/rubin/rubin200405170938.asp


18 posted on 05/17/2004 9:14:50 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

U.S. Readies Sanctions On Syria & Iran

Gary Fitleberg, 05/17/04

The United States announced it would soon implement the Syria Accountability Act, punishing Syria for its support for terrorism and insurgents in Iraq, The Washington Times reported.

In an interview with the Cairo-based newspaper Al-Ahram International last week, President Bush said he would impose sanctions on Syria "because they will not fight terror, and they won't join us in fighting terror." He added, "Thus far, [Syrian President Bashar Assad]… hasn't been a full partner in the war against terror. People need to understand that there needs to be a full commitment."

Meanwhile, The Federal Reserve Monday imposed a $100 million fine on UBS, Switzerland's largest bank, for allegedly transferring American currency to Iran and other nations which are subject to U.S. economic sanctions, then covering up the actions.

Last week, the House voted overwhelmingly in support of a resolution that "expresses the concern of Congress over Iran's development of the means to produce nuclear weapons" and "calls upon all State Parties to the Treaty on the Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), including the United States, to use all appropriate means to deter, dissuade and prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons."


19 posted on 05/17/2004 10:52:49 AM PDT by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ( Azadi baraye Iran)
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To: DoctorZIn

Iran to Submit Report to UN Nuclear Watchdog in Coming Days


TEHRAN (AFP) May 16, 2004

Iran is due to hand over a detailed report in the coming days aimed at answering the UN watchdog's outstanding concerns about its suspect nuclear programme, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Sunday.
"It will be very soon. It will be in the coming days," Hamid Reza Assefi told a press conference here, when asked when Tehran's report would be delivered to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

"We hope that there will be no more misunderstandings... and that the attitude towards Tehran's nuclear situation will return to normal," he added.

"We have held very useful negotiations (with the IAEA's experts) and many questions have been cleared up," he said.

Under the additional protocol of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which Iran signed amid great fanfare last December, the government is required to provide a full report on its nuclear programme by mid-May.

This document -- required to be more complete than a previous one filed in October -- comes against a backdrop of US allegations that Iran is secretly developing nuclear weapons.

Iranian media reported that a new team of IAEA inspectors had arrived in the country on Saturday. The experts are due to file their own report on Iran's nuclear program ahead of a board meeting of the 35-nation IAEA on June

However, IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei warned on Saturday that Iran's cooperation so far had been insufficient and that the UN agency was not convinced of the peaceful intentions of its nuclear programme.

"We do not see the kind of cooperation we would like to see from Iran," ElBaradei told CNN.

"Iran has the technology to produce highly enriched uranium, which does not automatically mean (the manufacturing of) nuclear weapons," he said.

"They are saying that they are not trying to convert (uranium) into weapons, and what I am saying is that the jury is still out," he added.

"We are not in a position that to say that Iran's program is exclusively for peaceful purposes nor can we jump to the conclusion that it is a weapons program," ElBaradei added.

Diplomats close to the IAEA said on Friday that agency inspectors saw a pattern of radiation contamination in Iran which could indicate attempts to enrich uranium to bomb-grade level. Tehran has been asked to explain the patterns in question in its new report.

The former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani charged on Sunday that the United States was alarmed about Iran's technological progress.

"The Americans are worried about our scientific progress and are trying to scare the world by saying that Iran is on the verge of a major nuclear mutation," he was quoted as saying by Iran's official IRNA news agency.

"It is true, we are on the verge of a nuclear transformation, but we are not seeking atomic weapons... even for deterrent ends," he said, adding that Iran "hoped to use other means of deterrent".

http://www.spacewar.com/2004/040516135005.kidexex3.html


20 posted on 05/17/2004 10:57:43 AM PDT by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ( Azadi baraye Iran)
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To: DoctorZIn

Putin to Visit Iran

May 17 2004


MOSCOW. May 17 (Interfax) - President Vladimir Putin has accepted an invitation to visit Tehran, acting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday.

"The president has confirmed with gratitude his readiness to accept the invitation from the Iranian side to pay a visit to Tehran on dates that will be agreed upon," Lavrov told a news conference in Moscow.

Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi, who gave Putin the invitation on Monday during a visit to Moscow, said the Caspian states would hold a summit in Tehran in 2004. He said Putin would attend the summit but that his visit would also be a "bilateral format" event.

http://www.interfax.ru/e/B/0/28.html?id_issue=9701117


21 posted on 05/17/2004 11:00:58 AM PDT by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ( Azadi baraye Iran)
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To: DoctorZIn

I don't agree with Ledeen in this article. I think Kristof deserves praise as one of the few liberal columnists stepping up and temporarily putting propaganda aside to tell the truth on Iran.

I really admire him for it.


22 posted on 05/17/2004 2:52:11 PM PDT by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn

How Trustworthy is Iran?

May 17, 2004
UPI
Claude Salhani

KUWAIT -- At a time when Muslim fundamentalists are busily trying to export Islamic revolutions around the globe, they might want to take a good close look at Iran.

When the popular uprising, propelled by Islamic fervor and initiated largely by students and Tehran bazaar shop owners, overthrew the shah in 1979, the mullahs and ayatollahs believed Iran would rapidly export its Islamic revolution. The expectation was that Iran would spread fundamentalism, much the same way that the Soviet Union exported socialism to dozens of countries around the world, uniting them into a pact against the West.

But surprise, surprise, the mullahs, ayatollahs and associated revolutionary guards tried to interest a number of countries to follow in their footsteps, but ultimately failed. There is not one country that has adopted the Iranian system. Yes, Iran had limited success installing a detachment of Guardians of the Revolution in Lebanon, thanks to a governmental void created by Lebanon's civil war. The Iranians were thus able to temporarily Islamize parts of Beirut's southern suburbs and the historic Bekaa Valley town of Baalback, as well as a string of hamlets in south Lebanon. But even in those locations, chadors and Islamic headscarves mix freely with skin-tight Western denims, Nike T-shirts and N.Y. Yankee baseball caps.

In short, Iran's revolution was "unsellable" outside its borders. Now, some 25 years later, Iran is beginning to change once more, slowly swinging back toward a more moderate center. As Amir Taheri, an Iranian-born writer recently pointed out, "Iran is coming around." Nicholas D. Kristof, just returned from a trip to Iran, writes in the New York Times, "...the Iranian regime is destined for the ash heap of history."

With elections still rigged, the country has a long way to go before it can be confused with anything resembling a democracy. Nevertheless, it is a very different Iran from the one that ousted the shah, and that two and a half decades ago hanged from construction cranes anyone who dared oppose the Islamic revolution. And with a large young population born after the revolution, the changes will continue apace.

"We do not want the Islam of the Taliban," said Atta-Allah Muhajirani, an Iranian official, speaking at a conference in Kuwait on "Iran and the Future." But, said Muhajirani, "nor do we want the Islam that Bush saved."

So what does Iran want today?

There is little doubt whatsoever that Iran strongly desires to establish itself as a regional power in the Persian/Arabian Gulf region as well as in the Middle East. Iran has been supporting Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Palestinian territories in their fight against Israel. Iran has trained, financed and armed both groups -- which the U.S. State Department considers to be engaged in terrorist activities and has placed on its terror watch list. Iran has tried to influence Lebanese politics, whenever possible, through the Hezbollah militia and the Hezbollah political system, now represented in the Lebanese parliament. The government in Tehran has in the past supported terrorist groups and has even engaged in terrorist activities itself.

Iran has had dreams of attaining regional superiority since the days of the shah. And while much has changed in Tehran under the mullahs, Iran's "need" to enjoy junior-superpower status does not seem to have abated in any way.

However, if Iran's desire to export revolution has somewhat faded, it still very much wants to remain involved in regional politics -- such as in Iraq where Iranian agents are extremely active in their support of the Shiite community. Iran is widely believed to be backing the troublesome cleric, Moqtada Sadr. Furthermore, the Islamic Republic still holds high hopes of becoming a nuclear power. Despite cat-and-mouse games with the International Atomic Inspection Agency, Iran, many observers believe, is proceeding with plans to become the second nuclear power in the Middle East, after Israel, as well as the second Muslim nation to go nuclear, after Pakistan. While Iran may not actually produce a nuclear device, it may well be proceeding with learning and preparing the technology that will allow it to build one.

Patrick Clawson of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy warned that "Iran's nuclear activities threaten the Gulf and the world." Clawson said Iran could be initiating a nuclear arms race between Gulf countries, forcing Saudi Arabia, for example, to feel threatened enough to develop its own nuclear program.

Iran today will do everything it can to maintain its junior-superpower status in the region. The great peril from that is a danger of partial confrontation between Israel and Iran. All indications seem to confirm that Israel will not sit back and allow Iran to develop its military nuclear capability. Under such circumstances, a repeat performance of the strike on Iraq's Osirak facility is almost a given. The relevant question here is what would Iran's response be? Given that Iran still commands much influence over Lebanon's Hezbollah, an Israeli pre-emptive strike on the Islamic Republic's nuclear sites would undoubtedly unleash military or guerilla action along the Lebanese-Israeli border.

As Anthony Cordesman, a Middle East expert and national security analyst for ABC News, told a weekend conference in Kuwait, "Rational stability is not characteristic of the region."

Maybe for that very reason the long overdue dialogue between Iran and the United States might just get off the ground, thinks Cordesman, who said the name calling -- Axis of Evil vs. Great Satan -- has to stop as it will get both countries nowhere. The trick is to create a climate of trust.

Trust Iran? Unlikely, say many Kuwaitis who live next door and like to keep a watchful eye on their powerful neighbor. Mohammed A. Al-Jassem, editor-in-chief of the Kuwaiti daily newspaper Al-Watan and Newsweek in Arabic believes the Iranians are difficult to trust and says Iranians have been "increasingly active" in Iraq, where their intelligence services are positioning themselves for the post-U.S. occupation period.

"The Iranians know that the United States will one day have to leave Iraq," said Al-Jassem. And the Iranians also know that they will be around long after that. Stay tuned.

http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20040516-041845-1674r


23 posted on 05/17/2004 4:09:46 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
This thread is now closed.

Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail DoctorZin”

24 posted on 05/17/2004 9:07:40 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn; F14 Pilot; freedom44; nuconvert; dennisw; veronica
Just in: The New York Times sucks. Now this:


25 posted on 05/17/2004 11:27:32 PM PDT by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: PhilDragoo

LOL!


26 posted on 05/18/2004 5:48:09 PM PDT by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ( Azadi baraye Iran)
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