Skip to comments.Iranian Alert -- May 26, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Posted on 05/25/2004 9:00:52 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.
The Chalabi Fiasco
May 26, 2004
The Wall Street journal
Review & Outlook
The more we dig into last week's Baghdad raid against Ahmed Chalabi, the more curious it seems. Clearly there's much more going on here than a fight over one man's credibility.
If nothing else, this has to be the strangest "spy" case in U.S. history. On the day of last week's raid, a spokesman for U.S. regent L. Paul Bremer denied that Mr. Chalabi was even the target. But the papers and TV shows have since been filled with accusations that Mr. Chalabi provided classified information to Iran. None of his accusers is ever on the record, and no one has explained how Mr. Chalabi would have access to such U.S. secrets. But someone in the U.S. government clearly wants to damage him.
For someone so accused, Mr. Chalabi is hardly backing down. He appeared on any TV network that would have him last weekend, denying the charges and offering to visit Capitol Hill and face his accusers under oath. Meanwhile, Joint Chiefs Chairman Richard Myers told Congress last week that Mr. Chalabi's political group, the Iraqi National Congress (INC), "has provided intelligence to our intelligence unit there in Baghdad that has saved soldiers' lives."
That's not just General Myers's opinion. Back in March, the Pentagon requested feedback on the effectiveness of cooperation from five Iraq political organizations. The written report from the chief intelligence officer of one front-line U.S. division declared that the INC "proved to be head and shoulders above the information provided by the other four organizations."
According to this report -- which is classified but was made available to us -- the INC has provided "imminent threat warning" and "reconnaissance surveillance capability that U.S. forces cannot match in an urban environment." For example, Saddam Hussein was captured last December with documents containing eight names. The INC was directly responsible for the capture of four on that list, and thanks to its lead a fifth was captured within a month.
The intelligence assessment calls the INC a "true force multiplier" and says that the U.S. division's "ability to accomplish our mission would have been significantly hampered" without its support. "In the final analysis, the INC has been directly responsible for saving the lives of numerous soldiers as a result of early warning and providing surveillance of known enemy elements," the report says.
Does this sound like the work of "con men" opposed to U.S. interests in Iraq? Without security clearance ourselves, we can't determine the real truth. But at a minimum, the above suggests that our troops in Iraq have a different view of Mr. Chalabi and the INC than the leakers in Washington or at the Coalition Provisional Authority. The charge of spying for Iran is serious enough that Mr. Chalabi, Iraqis and the U.S. have a substantial stake in getting to the truth. As Mr. Chalabi suggests, ideally that would be in public, before Congress.
Mr. Chalabi has long maintained good relations with Iran, in particular to gain access to northern Iraq during Saddam's rule. But this is hardly news to U.S. officials, who financed the INC's Tehran office. In any event, the last thing Iran's mullahs want is the emergence of a secular, stable, Shiite-led free government of the kind Mr. Chalabi has long favored.
So what's really going on here? We think Mr. Chalabi is a pawn in a much larger battle that is strategic, ideological and personal. On the first, he has long battled the CIA over the best way to topple Saddam. The Agency argued for, and tried to arrange, a coup that would leave most of the Baathist regime in place, and it predicted after the first Gulf War that Saddam would fall within two months.
Mr. Chalabi correctly argued that Saddam's control was too tight and that only a U.S. invasion would succeed. He was wrong himself in overestimating how much Shiites would help in rebelling against Saddam, and clearly some of the INC's intelligence was mistaken. But then so was the CIA's; twice it told President Bush that Saddam had been killed and after both attempts Mr. Chalabi was correctly saying he was still alive. The man who told Mr. Bush that it was a "slam dunk" that Saddam had WMD wasn't Mr. Chalabi; that source was CIA Director George Tenet.
The ideological battle concerns Iraq's future governance. As a secular Shiite, Mr. Chalabi has sought to make an alliance with Grand Ayatollah Sistani and other moderate Shiite leaders. This puts him at odds with Lakhdar Brahimi, the U.N. special envoy to Iraq, as well as with the neighboring Arab leaders who are wary of control by the Shiite majority.
Jordan's King Abdullah, a longtime Chalabi enemy who is close to Mr. Brahimi, has already called for another Sunni strongman to run Iraq. Mr. Bremer and the Bush Administration have handed control over the June 30 transition to Iraqi sovereignty to Mr. Brahimi, and one of his demands is that Mr. Chalabi be frozen out.
As for the personal, Mr. Chalabi is a blunt man who can seem arrogant even to his friends. Unlike some others on the Iraqi Governing Council, he has frequently been critical of Mr. Bremer and has fought him over many issues, especially elections and the probe into the U.N. Oil for Food scandal.
All of this is to suggest that there are many people, in the U.N. and U.S. government, who were only too happy to see Mr. Chalabi humiliated in that raid and then trashed afterward. The idea that this could have taken place without Mr. Bremer's blessing is impossible to credit. Mr. Bremer has pleaded lack of resources to explain why no one from Saddam's circle has yet been tried for a crime, but somehow an Iraqi judge found the time and money to investigate Mr. Chalabi.
The mystery is how any of this serves U.S. interests. Iraqis have now witnessed America turn quickly against, and even ransack the home of, one of its longtime allies. This will not make more of them eager to take our side.
Meanwhile, back in Washington, critics of Mr. Bush's Iraq policy are using the raid and the leaks as an excuse for demanding a purge of anyone who ever supported Mr. Chalabi. A Monday piece in the New York Times, based on more anonymous leaks, noted that "intelligence officials" are investigating "a handful of officials in Washington and Iraq who dealt regularly with Mr. Chalabi." Are they Iranian agents too?
We still believe Mr. Bush can succeed in Iraq. But the Chalabi fiasco is emblematic of the mistakes this White House has made in not deciding among its warring camps on Iraq policy, and in failing to exert any discipline on its factions at the CIA and the State Department that oppose Mr. Bush's policy. We don't know what role Iraqis will decide Mr. Chalabi should play in their future government -- perhaps it will be none. But we do know that the way for America to succeed in Iraq is not to make war on its friends.
Iran Operates 100 Military Contracts in Libya
May 26, 2004
Middle East Newsline
WASHINGTON -- The United States has found an extensive Iranian military presence in Libya. Western intelligence sources said a British-U.S. team that inspected Libyan facilities in late 2003 found evidence of nearly 100 military-related Iranian contracts in Libya. The sources said they include the development of missiles as well as conventional and nonconventional weapons.
"Iran has used Libya as a laboratory for Teheran's defense industry," an intelligence source said. "The United States found evidence of Iranian involvement in virtually every major Libyan weapons program."
Many of the Iranian projects in Libya focused on medium- and intermediate-range missile development, the sources said. They said a British-U.S. team that inspected Libyan facilities in October and December 2003 found an Iranian-built plant for the production of fuel for Libyan liquid-fuel missiles based on the Scud.
Russia, Iran set collision course
By Sergei Blagov
MOSCOW - Despite differences between Russia and the United States over Tehran's nuclear ambitions, Moscow is still moving toward forging a "partnership" with Iran, which has been labeled by US President George W Bush as part of an "axis of evil".
This month Russian President Vladimir Putin met with visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi in Moscow and accepted an invitation to visit Tehran this year. Putin assured the Iranian chief diplomat that Iran remained Russia's "old and stable partner".
When US Under Secretary of State for Arms Control John Bolton traveled to Moscow shortly afterward, he urged Russia not to supply nuclear fuel to Iran's Bushehr reactor until Tehran addressed international concerns that Iran might develop a nuclear-weapons program. Bolton told journalists in Moscow that "tactical" differences between the US and Russia remained over Iran's nuclear ambitions.
In response, after a meeting with Bolton, the head of Russia's Nuclear Power Agency, Alexander Rumyantsev, reiterated that Russia abided by international agreements banning the proliferation of nuclear technology.
Russia has long been under fire for its help in building the Bushehr nuclear plant on Iran's Persian Gulf coast. The US has insisted that the Russian technology could be used to develop nuclear weapons, but Moscow and Tehran argue that the plant will only be used for civilian purposes. Moscow has brushed off repeated US demands that it cancel Bushehr's 1,000-megawatt light-water nuclear-reactor project.
Russia has said it would freeze construction on the US$1 billion Bushehr plant and would not begin delivering fuel for the reactor until Iran signed an agreement that would oblige it to return all of the spent fuel to Russia for reprocessing and storage. This agreement was reported as close to being signed last September, but so far an agreement has failed to materialize fully.
This month Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced in Moscow that the issue of the return of the spent fuel to Russia had been solved. However, he conceded that "commercial" differences with Iran over the issue remained.
Last October, Russia announced a delay for the launch of the Bushehr nuclear reactor until 2005 and urged Tehran to improve disclosure of its nuclear plans. However, there has been no talk in Moscow about dropping the Bushehr project. Last week, Russia's Nuclear Power Agency reportedly indicated it would finish a nuclear reactor in Iran regardless.
For years, the Kremlin has resisted US pressure and declined to limit ties with Iran. In March 2001, Putin and Iranian President Mohammad Khatami signed a cooperation treaty. Subsequently, in October of that year, Moscow and Tehran signed framework agreements for $300 million to $400 million a year of Russian military supplies to Iran, including spare parts for Russian-made weapons, new fighter jets and possibly air-defense, ground-to-ground and anti-ship systems.
Apart from attempts to discourage Russia from fueling Iran's nuclear ambitions, the US has pursued its efforts to persuade Russia to join the US-backed non-proliferation initiative. The hawkish Bolton regularly visits Russia for non-proliferation talks. However, last week Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak announced after a meeting with Bolton that no agreement had been reached on Russia joining the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI).
Moscow has so far refrained from a clear commitment to join the PSI. Russia is the only Group of Eight member that is yet to join the PSI, which was announced by Bush last May.
Apart from the Bushehr project, Russia has other interests in Iran. Last Thursday, top railway executives of Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan met in Moscow and agreed to build a Kazvin-Resht-Astara rail link connecting the three nations. Gennady Fadeyev, head of the state-run Russian Railways Co (RZD), pledged to build a $100 million, 340-kilometer link connecting Russia to the Persian Gulf via Azerbaijan and Iran. Fadeyev claimed that the link could funnel up to 20 million tons of freight to India and Pakistan.
Russia and Iran have long discussed the restoration of a rail link between the two countries as a viable alternative to Red Sea routes. This alternative transport link from Asia to Europe - from Mumbai to the Caspian port of Olya in the Astrakhan region via Bandar Abbas in Iran - is expected to bring Russia billions of dollars in revenues.
Russia, India and Iran signed an agreement on the development of this so-called North-South Corridor in September 2000. Russia estimates that the link could become a rival of the Suez Canal. Russia estimates that annual trade turnover through the corridor could reach $10 billion per year, with Russia and Iran becoming the main beneficiaries.
Meanwhile, Moscow's "partnership" with Tehran could prove double-edged, notably after Iran clinched a controversial gas deal with Russia's sole ally in the volatile Trans-Caucasus region, Armenia. In mid-May, Iran's minister of oil, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, traveled to Armenia and signed an agreement on the construction of a 114km Iran-Armenia gas pipeline that would cost $120 million. Iran reportedly agreed to supply 1.27 trillion cubic feet (36 billion cubic meters) to Armenia from 2007-27.
The Iran-Armenia pipeline could also be extended through Georgia to Ukraine and on to the European Union. The Iran-Armenia-Georgia-Ukraine-Europe gas pipeline, with a 550km underwater section from the Georgian port of Supsa to the Crimean town of Feodosia, has been estimated to cost $5 billion. The planned gas supply would amount to 2.12 trillion cubic feet (60 billion cubic meters) per annum, including 353 billion cubic feet (10 billion cubic meters) for Ukraine.
Russia has been wary that the extended pipeline could be used to funnel Iranian gas to European markets. It could also allow Turkmenistan to circumvent Russia's gas-pipeline network. However, Armenia is yet to make a decision on the extended pipeline.
Armenia is traditionally Russia's closest partner in the Caucasus. Sandwiched among hostile Azerbaijan and Turkey and volatile Georgia, Armenia has little option but to remain a supporter of Russia's geopolitical moves in the Caucasus. However, some divergent interests have emerged recently, notably Armenia's aspirations to limit its dependence on Russian energy supplies by building a gas pipeline from Iran to Europe. Therefore, Russia's "partnership" with Iran could have its limits after all, and not because of the United States.
To watch/Download the movie "The Lizard" you should visit
And download the program/software of the website, then you have to search for Marmoolak in Persian category.
Hope it works!
Forgot to say it works like Kazaalite downloader!
Why does Sadr wear a "space saver" tire on his head?
Liberal dissidents sentenced to suspended prison terms in Iran
May 26th 2004
TEHRAN, May 26 (AFP) - Three liberal opposition members have been sentenced to suspended prison terms for "propaganda" against Iran by calling for a boycott of February polls, the state state news agency IRNA reported Tuesday.
A fourth defendant, Ali Mohammad Jahanghiri from Andimeshk in southwest Iran, was sentenced to six months in prison, but the verdict was commutted to a fine of three million rials (352 dollars).
The three others -- Hassan Asghari, Shapour Rashno and Ezzatollah Jafari -- were each sentenced to 91-day suspended terms.
On April 18, Iranian police arrested the four opposition members and detained them for six days.
Iranian conservatives control a sweeping two-thirds majority in parliament following the February 20 elections, confirming their grip on power at the expense of the reformist camp.
Reformists had dominated the assembly since 2000 but their power was decimated after thousands of MPs were banned from contesting the election on the grounds they did not respect the principles of the Islamic republic.
No Way Out
May 26, 2004
National Review Online
Wake-up Call: Iran is at War with Us
Meet Hassan Abbasi, a well-known Iranian political scientist, longtime top official of the Revolutionary Guards, and currently "theoretician" in the office of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei (how does one get a job description like that, I wonder) and the head of the National Security and Strategic Research Center. Abbasi holds special responsibility for North American affairs.
Apparently morale is very low in the ranks of the Basij, the group of fanatical thugs that do the regime's dirty work in the streets, things like beating up women whose scarves show too much hair, rounding up student protesters, and so forth. Friends of mine in Iran tell me that Basiji are becoming convinced that the regime's days are numbered, and they are understandably discouraged.
There is plenty of evidence that Iranians are utterly contemptuous of the regime, and are not afraid to demonstrate it. When the When the New York Times's Nicholas Kristof went to Iran a few weeks ago, he was astonished to meet Iranians in all walks of life who attacked the regime and told him he could use their names. And on May 18, the well-known university professor, Hashem Agajari, told an Iranian judge that he would not appeal his death sentence (for blasphemy, having said that the people should not be "apes to follow blindly whatever the mullahs say"). "Free me unconditionally or carry out the sentence," he said. As iran-press-service.com dryly remarked, Agajari had been banned for ten years from professional activities, "but (the court) did not say if the bans would take effect before or after the application of the death sentence."
Meanwhile, an outspoken journalist, Ensafali Hedayat, went on a hunger strike to protest his 18-month prison sentence for "insulting regime leaders and writing propaganda against the Islamic Republic."
Such demonstrations of contempt have strained the nerves of the regime's leaders, especially the judges. On May 25th, for example, Judge Mohseni-Ezhei attacked yet another journalist, Isa Saharkhiz, by "throwing two glass bowls at his head and then biting him on the lower abdomen."
So, last Sunday, Abbasi set out to restore the Basiji's enthusiasm for the Islamic Revolution. Speaking at the Technical College of Tehran, he made some amazing statements. "The infidels Western countries and America are the sworn enemies of God and Muslems and any action taken to terrorize them or frighten them is considered holy and a source of pride." Abbasi went on, "Lebanese Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and Hamas have all been trained by these hands," that is, Iranian hands.
Thus far, the usual jihadist rhetoric, although the specific confirmation of Iran's intimate links to three of the world's most lethal terrorist organizations was a bit unusual. But then he went on with a megalomanical vision that bears some attention. "We intend to withdraw $53 billion of Iranian and Arab investments from the U.S.A. and thus cause instability [in] its economy, we take pride that our actions have brought 1/9 of the budget deficit in America's economy this year and we shall keep up with our economic actions." The claim to have caused nearly ten percent of the American deficit probably refers to the rise in oil prices. But this was only the beginning of his promise to bring America to its knees.
"We have identified some 29 weak points for attacks in the U.S. and in the West, we intend to explode some 6,000 American atomic warheads, we have shared our intelligence with other guerilla groups and we shall utilize them as well. We have set up a department to cover England and we have had discussions regarding them[;] we have contacted the Mexicans and the Argentineans and will work with anyone who has an axe to grind with America."
Let's not quibble over the details, since I doubt Abbasi would be inclined to reveal chapter and verse about specific Iranian operations. His list of potential South American allies omits Venezuela, which actively cooperates with the terror masters, and the figure of 6,000 warheads targeted by Iranian-backed saboteurs is beyond the pale, even for a mullah. But when an official as authoritative as Abbasi tells the regime's loyalists in a closed meeting that Iran is sabotaging our economy and organizing terrorist attacks on our territory, you can take that to the bank.
Iranian operations inside the United States are of course an old story enemies of the revolution were killed here in the early 1980s and Iranians may even have been involved in the September 11 attacks. According to CNSNews.com, documents from the U.S. District Court in south Florida cite a government informer (and former Colombian drug smuggler) that his erstwhile partner in the drug business, an Iranian named Mehrzad Arbane, told the informer he had also smuggled people into the United States.
This sort of link between jihadis and conventional drug smuggling has long existed and available public evidence suggests it is getting even stronger. Little attention has been given to Spanish investigators' discovery that the terrorists who bombed Madrid on 3/11 had financed their operations by smuggling drugs into Spain. And a leading Italian judge recently announced that the "camorra," the infamous Neapolitan criminal organization, had worked hand-in-glove with Middle Eastern terrorists.
We can't wage war against terrorism without fighting the narcotraffickers as well. It's often impossible to say where the one ends and the other begins. And here again, the mullahs play an important role. Iran is a major conduit for Afghan poppy seeds and opium, and can easily place its terror agents within the drug caravans heading south and west. That long pipeline eventually arrives at America's borders, where, as Abbasi announced last Sunday, Iran is passionately courting our southern neighbors.
Perhaps Secretary of State Powell, who remains aloof from the life-and-death struggle for freedom in Iran, and his loyal deputy, Richard Armitage (who proclaims the Islamic Republic "a democracy") might study the remarks from Abbasi, and ask themselves if it is in our interest to have this hateful regime continue to attack us, even as they speed toward acquisition of atomic bombs.
You'd have thought this president, who has spoken so often and so well about his support for freedom in Iran, would have long since insisted that his administration develop a coherent policy to support the Iranian people's desire to rid themselves of these murderous mullahs. It hasn't happened. Moreover, President Bush eloquently and spontaneously condemns the mullahs in private conversations as well as in public speeches, yet he seems oddly detached from his State Department's slow mating dance with the black widows in Tehran.
Sooner or later we will be forced to fight back against the mullahs, because their war against us is driven by fanatical hatred of everything we stand for and the knowledge that their regime is doomed if we succeed in Iraq and Afghanistan. There is no escape from this war, whatever the appeasers in Foggy Bottom may think. We can win or lose, but we can't get out of it.
Must Read: No Way Out
May 26, 2004
National Review Online
Iranian Judiciary Summons 20 Reformists to Court
May 26, 2004
Khaleej Times Onlinel
TEHRAN -- Twenty senior Iranian reformists may face judicial charges for criticising the disqualification of hundreds of candidates in Februarys parliamentary elections, the official IRNA news agency said on Wednesday.
Two deputy interior ministers and 18 governors have been summoned to court for charges linked to Februarys elections, IRNA quoted an unnamed Interior Ministry source as saying.
IRNA said the officials would face charges such as inciting public opinion and spreading lies.
Interior ministry and judiciary officials could not be reached for comment.
Irans reformist-run interior ministry and state and city governors were highly critical of the unelected Guardian Council hardline watchdog for banning more than 2,000 mostly reformist would-be candidates from the February 20 vote.
Islamic conservatives won a comfortable majority in the election, labelled a sham by reformists, and will take up their seats in the new parliament on Thursday.
Nearly a dozen pro-reform lawmakers, including the younger brother of President Mohammad Khatami, have been summoned by the hardline judiciary in recent months on a range of charges including making provocative speeches about the election.
None have been convicted so far and analysts doubted the new cases would result in jail terms.
The conservatives do not need such harsh measures ahead of the presidential elections in mid-2005 as they are sure about their victory, said one political analyst, who declined to be identified.
Good article, thanks.