Skip to comments.Iranian Alert -- May 27, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Posted on 05/26/2004 9:01:10 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.
Gaining friends in the land of Persians
By: Slater Bakhtavar
Few can forget President Bush' State of the Union speech in 2002 where he bluntly labeled Iran alongside Iraq and North Korea as the worlds leading advocates of terrorism. Not surprisingly immediately following the controversial speech Mideast Experts, Journalists, and Politicians spewed forth an anchorage of viewpoints regarding its effects on the battle for the soul of Iran. Predominately all leftist liberals contented support for democratic movements within the country aided the hard-line Islamists establishment while American Conservatives dissented that it did exactly the opposite. Contrary to NY Times propaganda, polls inside the country drastically side with the latter. In polls stationed by reformists within the country, 75 percent of Iranians favor relations with the United States, 58 percent favor a separation of Mosque and State, 74 percent favor a referendum supporting a change of regime, and perhaps most importantly 52 percent of Iranians feel that Bush administration policy on Iran is 'somewhat correct'.
In 2003, President Bush once again renewed his support for the Iranian people. This time with a deeper sense of urgency and depth. "The government of Iran "represses its people". Iranian citizens are risking intimidation and death to speak out for liberty, human rights, and democracy. Iranians have a right to choose their own government, and determine their own destiny - and the United States supports their aspirations to live in freedom." In a message separating the good natured people of Iran with the government, the President won the hearts and minds of many Iranians demonstrating for human rights, democracy, and freedom against a ruthless dictatorship.
Several months before departing, a group of 127 Iranian reformist MPs launched a blistering attack on their powerful hard-line rivals, warning supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that the political deadlock was threatening the very survival of the Islamic republic. The letter stated that "Perhaps there has been no period in the recent history of Iran that was as sensitive as this one," warned the strongly-worded letter, citing "political and social gaps coupled with a clear US plan to change the geopolitical map of the region."
Furthermore, "If this is a glass of poison, it should be drunk before our country's independence and territorial integrity are put in danger," the letter said in its call for "fundamental changes in methods, attitudes and figures". It also highlighted the Iranian people's desire for fundamental changes within the regime including calls for democracy and human rights. "Most people are dissatisfied and disappointed. Most of the intellectuals are either silent or leaving (and) foreign forces have surrounded the country from all sides."
Perhaps one of the most striking sections of the letter spoke of the possibility of either internal revolution or foreign invasion if massive reforms aren't implemented. The unprecedented direct and uncompromising tone of the warnings to Mr. Khamenei reminded the last days of the deposed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in 1979, when many nationalist personalities, forecasting the dangers ahead, would advise him to return to democratic rules, but he would not accept.
The President's support for freedom fighters inside of Iran has fueled virus debate at home. While Pentagon officials have been pressing hard for public and private actions that they believe could lead to the toppling of the government through a popular uprising, State Department officials are advocating supporting the lamed reformers surrounding President Khatami inside of Iran. But then again when has the State Department ever been correct regarding International Politics. They were predicting horrible consequences following our War on the Baathist party in Iraq, consequences which never came to be.
While no one believes that the current status quo can survive inside of Iran there is a lively discussion regarding the possibility of either an internal revolution or possibility of hard-liners relinquishing their power. Whichever the outcome of the mounting debate on US policy towards Iran President Bush' unrelenting support for the demonstrators in Iran has had an immensely positive effect. The majority of Iranians stand with our President'; not because of belligerent hypocrisy, but because of shared ideology and desires for a free, democratic, and secular Iran.
SETTING EXAMPLE OF ISLAMIC JUSTICE, A JUGE BIT JOURNALIST
By Safa Haeri
Posted Wednesday, May 26, 2004
TEHRAN 26 May (IPS) One of the Islamic Republics top Judge and Prosecutor bit the hand of a journalist and threw at him ashtrays during a meeting of the Judiciary with newspaper owners and editors on Tuesday, Iranian newspapers reported despite the authorities ban on the incident.
Ayatollah Mohsen Ezhehi, the president of the controversial Clergymens Special Court and a close friend of Ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i, the leader of the Islamic Republic had gone mad after an angry Isa Saharkhiz, representing the newspapers owners and editors told him lets go out and see how the people greets me and greets you.
The scuffle broke out while the board was reviewing the article of a magazine in which a sociologist would warn that if bys and girls are not given more freedom, they would go underground, out of the eyes and control of the families.
According to eyewitnesses, the cleric got angry at Mr. Saharkhiz defending the article and charged him to be also one of the corrupt people responsible for the wide spread prostitution in Islamic Iran, seeing no problem even if his children are engaged in such sinful practices.
My children are already married. But if you insist, lets go out to see how the people receives me and how they treat you, Mr. Saharkhiz shut back.
It was at this time that Judge Ezhehi lost his temper, threw one ashtray to the face of Mr. Saharkhiz, who was slightly wounded.
Not satisfied, the cleric took another ashtray and hit the journalists head. When Mr. Saharkhiz tried to stop the angry judge hitting more, Mr. Ezhehi bit his arm and tore up his shirt, eyewitnesses confirmed, adding that the whole bizarre affair had been filmed.
Mr. Ahmad Nemati, a lawyer for Mr. Rastakhiz, who was taken to hospital for his slight injuries, suggested the film be shown to Mr. Khameneh'i who, as the leader of the Iranian regime, controls the Judiciary and appoints top judges, including the biting judge.
Asked by a reporter to comment on Mr. Ezhehi behaviour, Mr. Nemati said there has been sometimes skirmishes at the Majles or in other meetings between opposing people, but we never saw a judge biting, throwing ashtray or tear down some ones shirt because of disagreement.
ENDS BITING JUDGE 26504
May 25, 2004
Iran va Jahan
Original in French, L'iran de Demain
(National Foundation of Political Sciences-l'Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris)
Tuesday May 25, 2004
Born from a crisis, surviving only because of a crisis, the Islamic Republic of Iran, for the past 25 years, has turned the livelihood of my country and my compatriots into a crisis. Why such a permanence of crisis and such an absence of normalcy? As a generator of crises by nature, the theocratic totalitarianism sacrifices the wellbeing of my country in the name of the Sharia' - the divine law.
Turning into the instrument of religious fascism, the Islamic Republic has sapped all the moral & spiritual bases of an ancient country with several millennia of civilization & history. The harmful effect of this genre of fascism is dualistic - it is both temporal and spiritual.
Engulfed more than ever by three antagonisms, the Theocracy in Iran opposes the sovereignty of the people by forcing upon them the guardianship of the usurpers of these two spheres. But what are these antagonisms?
The first antagonism is one that opposes "referential legitimacy", emanating from idiosyncratic readings of sacred scripts, to "representational legitimacy, rooted in the will of the sovereign people. Indeed, all the key components of the theocratic system are placed under the direct absolute guardianship of the Supreme Leader or that of institutions accountable to no other but to him. Within such a system, absolutism is the Fundamental Law itself and not just a drift from it. Here, a simple letter of a few words from the Supreme Leader suffices to force the parliament, putatively representing the will of the people and supposedly legislating in their name, to withdraw an amendment. Here, the will of 70 million people is subordinated to that of one man.
The second is the rejection of rational thinking by the obscurantism that was born out of the revolution. From the far east to the far west, from Japan to California, billions of people have embraced, through successive waves, the principles of rational, modern, and democratic governance. Such tenets of governance are judged incompatible with the theocratic reading that lays the foundation of the Iranian regime. What is considered as music the world around, is dismissed as "cultural invasion by the theocrats.
And Lastly, the third is the antagonism of the laws in a system where any attempt at standardization, in essence any legal standardization, are rendered futile.
In no mans land which separates these opposing front lines, are the people of Iran. Tightly bound as in a straitjacket in a constitutional dead-end, disillusioned with a dying revolution, the people of Iran aspire to an end to the attrition of life under theocracy.
Iran requires only one thing: to return to a democratic normalcy and mutual respect for & friendship with other nations. Is the Islamic regime able to return Iran to this status of normalcy - a status desired eagerly by its citizenry? No, if one fails to recognize the obvious notion that the patch of "reform" for the "Theocracy" in Iran never functioned - neither under the Rafsanjani version nor under that of Khatami's. With quarter of the oil incomes of the Theocratic regime, the pre-revolutionary Iran had made enormous economic and social progress. However, Iran today is an impoverished country. Why? The calamitous management of the theocratic administration and its multiple ramifications are simply one piece of the answer. The other piece, is due to the fact that the theocracy in Iran is expansionist in nature and by its Constitution. The balance, is the absence of a democratic legitimacy - that of the will of the sovereign people - which underlies this impoverishment and has turned disastrous on all aspects. However, democratic normalcy will never be born in Iran as long as this regime - this irreformable and expansionist regime - remains in place.
The question is whether Iran is destined to live in a permanent void of normalcy?
No, if all the protagonists accepted that anarchy is not an option.
No, if the entire Iranian political spectrum met around a joint project, turned towards the future, towards a common destiny.
No, if this spectrum, in all its diversity, agreed upon a single remedy: a constitutional overhaul,
No, if Iran's diverse array of political thought, with all its intellectual richness, armed itself with a powerful instrument: a national free and fair referendum.
No, a permanent state of crisis would not be the destiny of Iran, if western powers understood the reality of todays Iran: that of the most pro-western population in the Middle East.
No, a permanent state of crisis would not be Irans fate, if western powers understood that continued business relations with the theocratic regime of such a country will, on the long run, engender a redoubtable backlash: the resentment of a predominantly young population whose eyes are turned for support towards the West.
No, crisis would not be a fatality if the West supported the people of Iran and not its theocratic regime. For, as long as this regime is in place, there will be no normalcy, neither internal nor external.
In Iran, the project of modernity and people's sovereignty, initiated over a century ago, is the only one that can put an end to the state of crisis - a crisis maintained by the theocracy in Iran. The lighthouse of a region whose restive young population is increasingly confronting the same fundamental flaws, tomorrow's democratic Iran, will know how to share its hard-won modernity and maturity with its neighbors. At the cross-road of peoples and beliefs, tomorrows democratic Iran will become once again the bridge of hope and the cradle of cultural synthesis which it has always been.
From the source of a modernity acquired by consensual entente, others will come to quench their thirst. From this maturity a harmonious modernization will be born - one that others will imitate. From its religious reformation, others will be inspired. From its political maturity, others will be impelled.
Such an alternative Iran is within reach. Never before has internal demand, in its largest expression, been so high for reform and coexistence in harmony with the rest of the world. Never before have external conditions been so ripe for the realization of such a demand. Stability, prosperity, and democracy are tied. Democracy in Iran will be the most decisive contribution to stability and reform throughout the region. The West has its share of responsibility in the project.
Tomorrows democratic Iran is our common denominator. Let us seize this historic opportunity.
U.S. Expels Mahdi Army From Shi'ite Cities
May 26, 2004
Middle East Newsline
BAGHDAD -- The U.S. military has asserted that an Iranian-backed Shi'ite force was expelled from major Iraqi cities. U.S. officials said U.S. and coalition troops have forced the Mahdi Army, led by Iranian-backed cleric Moqtada Sadr, out of such Shi'ite cities as Karbala, Kut and Najaf.
They said the Shi'ite force, which numbers up to 10,000, withdrew under U.S. fire over the last three days.
In Karbala, the Mahdi Army appeared to have completely withdrawn from the central Iraqi city, officials said. But they did not rule out that Mahdi combatants had merely removed their uniforms and remained in the city with their weapons.
"Since then Iraqi police have begun patrolling the city, and it would appear that life -- normal life is returning to the city of Karbala, absent the militia that had been holding the city hostage for so many weeks," Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, deputy director of coalition operations, said.
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.
Iran MPs Clear Ex-President's Son in Statoil Bribery Case
May 26, 2004
TEHRAN -- An Iranian parliamentary probe found no proof that former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani's son Mehdi Hashemi was linked to a bribery case involving Norway's oil giant Statoil ASA, state news agency IRNA said.
A report issued on the last working day of the outgoing reformist-led parliament said Hashemi had acknowledged "meeting Statoil officials" as part of his job, but his contacts did not concern any contract between Statoil and the Islamic republic.
In September, Statoil's chairman, Leif Terje Loeddesoel, stepped down after the launch of a police probe into bribery allegations over the company's contract with London-based consultancy, Horton Investments.
Switzerland said in early May that it was also investigating possible money-laundering in connection with the Norwegian company.
I published this yesterday, but it is a Must Read Article. Please read it and send a copy to your friends. - DoctorZin
No Way Out - Iran is at War with Us
National Review - By Michael Ledeen
May 26, 2004
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 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.
2,500 candidates disqualified. Mr. Khatami elected after 95% of candidates were disqualified. 20 members of former Parliament charged for questioning the disqualifications.
Islamic Democracy at work.
Iran 'anti-cleric' film to hit US
Thursday, 27 May, 2004
A US judge has ruled against an Iranian film distributor who tried to block the release of a controversial Iranian film in America.
The smash hit Marmoulak (The Lizard) was banned in Iran for allegedly mocking the ruling conservative clergy.
Distributor Kamal Mosafaye Tabrizi sought a temporary restraining order, arguing that the film could not be shown abroad without his approval.
But Los Angeles Judge Dzintra Jamavs denied the request as unmerited.
Mr Tabrisi's lawyer, Patrick Saboorian, said another restraining order would be filed if the parties are unable to reach a private agreement.
The satirical film featuring a thief disguised as a mullah proved to be an instant box-office success in Iran on 21 April.
Marmoulak's debut was delayed by a month as the religious authorities debated whether or not to ban it.
It was finally released with minor cuts from the version that won the best film award at Tehran's international film festival in February.
The film grossed almost $1m in the capital Tehran alone before authorities banned it on 19 May.
The audience lapped up the comedy, as the film's lead character - Reza the Lizard - revels in the privileges and power his clerical robes bring him.
Eventually he captivates his congregation's imagination by his simplicity and brings worshippers flocking back to the mosques.
After the ban, the film's director, Manushehr Mohammadi, sought to market it abroad, agreeing to a contract to distribute the film through Atlantis Enterprises company.
To watch/Download 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!
What a ridiculous ruling.
So a Judge in Tehran is ruling if a Film is going to shown in Los Angeles California? Honestly, does it matter one bit what any government official thinks about the airing of anything in LA?
Does that same Judge approve of the millions of Iranians receiving massively anti-Islamic Republic programming every night through satellite dishes?
This just in from a student inside of Iran...
This is the list of abuses that Islamic Regime has done just in one year ( Since 20 March 2003- 21 March 2004 )according to what European based Iranian Human Rights activists say:
1- Execution : 108 persons
2- Accusing MPs: 45 Cases
3- Torture resulting the death : 1 case (Zahra Kazemi)
4- Interrogating jouranlists: 343 cases
5- Imprisoned Journalists: 16 Persons
6- ARRESTED STUDENTS: 4000 Students
7- Beating journalists in public: 8 cases
8- Arrested Political Activisits: 218 cases
9- Number of Killed Protestors: 33 Persons
10 Blocking Political Websites: 187 Cases
11- Number of Death sentences for Political Activists: 3 cases ( One included Doctor Aghajari )
The above info are from an open letter written to the UN Human Rights Council which also proves the brutality of the Islamic Regime of Iran."
Another report from a student inside of Iran...
"Khamenei announced National Mourning on Friday because of the damages the US troops did on Holy shrine.
The funny point is that all persian Media say that the damages was done by Iran intel units in Iraq and Sadrs troops."
PING on # 9 -- A MUST READ ARTICLE! Plz send a copy to your friends and ping freepers to read that! -- Pilot.
Iran leader declares day of mourning for Iraq
Thu 27 May, 2004 08:16
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's Supreme Leader has declared Friday a national day of mourning for neighbouring Iraq, accusing U.S.-led forces of deliberately attacking holy Shi'ite shrines there, state media report.
"The sanctity of (the holy shrines) was once again ignored during the past few days, as the occupiers attacked them again," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a statement carried on Thursday by the official IRNA news agency.
Khamenei said that during the attacks in the cities of Najaf and Kerbala, where the U.S. military has been battling fighters loyal to militant Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, "the hands of the aggressors were soaked once more in the blood of the oppressed Iraqi nation".
Government and religious leaders in Shi'ite Muslim Iran have ratcheted up their anti-U.S. rhetoric in recent weeks, incensed by the fighting around some of the holiest sites for Shi'ites.
"The American rulers stupidly think their policy of crackdown and brutal violence will tame the Iraqi nation and make them surrender and yield up their treasures of material resources to the Americans," Khamenei said.
Announcing Friday as a national day of mourning for Iraq, Khamenei, who wields ultimate power in Iran, said U.S. forces "have sown so much hatred and enmity in the Iraqi nation's hearts that they will not be able to feel secure there for a long time to come."
The United States is concerned about Iranian influence among Iraq's majority Shi'ite population and has warned against any attempts to stir up religious tension.
Iran, Terrorists and Nukes
May 27, 2004
The Washington Times
"If Iran goes nuclear, you worry that Hezbollah goes nuclear." So said Paul Leventhal, president of the Nuclear Control Institute in a New York Times article and an interview yesterday with The Washington Times. Mr. Leventhal points to an often-overlooked danger that Iranian possession of nuclear weapons would pose: that the regime could pass along nuclear weapons to Hezbollah or other terrorist organizations that it supports.
It is not beyond the realm of possibility that Hezbollah could try to smuggle a crude nuclear device into the hold of a ship or a truck and deliver it to a highly populated Israeli city. According to Mr. Leventhal, if such a fissile device functioned poorly, it would result in an explosion with the power of 1,000 tons of TNT, resulting in radiation contamination and a catastrophic number of casualties. If such a device functioned properly, it could result in an explosion with the power of 15,000 tons to 20,000 tons of TNT roughly equivalent to the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in August 1945.
This is, to be sure, very much a worst-case scenario. But, given the nature of the Iranian government a regime striving to obtain nuclear weapons that has supported terrorism from its inception a quarter-century ago it would be folly to simply dismiss the possibility that it might decide to transfer nuclear weapons to one of its terrorist allies. (After all, how many people on Sept. 10, 2001, would have seriously entertained a conversation about hijacked planes destroying the Twin Towers?)
When you have a nation that actively supports terrorism and seeks nuclear weapons, "you cannot rule out the possibility" that it could collaborate with terrorists "to carry out nuclear violence," Mr. Leventhal says of Iran.
Despite Iran's protests to the contrary, all signs suggest that Iran's nuclear program is anything but peaceful. Last month, Iranian exile Alizera Jafarzadeh (who in August 2002 disclosed that Iran had a covert uranium enrichment facility at Natanz and a heavy water plant at Arak) told Reuters that Iranian Revolutionary Guards are overseeing 400 nuclear experts to prevent further leaks of sensitive information about the country's nuclear facilities.
The International Atomic Energy Agency will meet next month in Vienna to discuss the Iranian nuclear program. All indications are that the United States will reluctantly agree to postpone action against Iran effectively leaving the issue to the European Union for now. Given the Europeans' dismal track record to date, this hardly seems promising.
7th Majlis Kicks Off its Work
May 27, 2004
Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting
Tehran -- Iran's 7th Majlis (parliament) kicked off its work here Thursday with a message of Supreme Leader of the islamic revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei.
In the inaugural ceremony, head of the office of the Supreme Leader Hojatoleslam Gholam-hossein Mohammadi Golpayegani read the Supreme Leader's message, marking the opening of the body.
UK Firm in Building Ties with Mullahs
May 27, 2004
Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting
The British government remains determined to continue its constructive engagement as the 'right way' to build a sound relationship with Iran despite the US having a different approach, according to Foreign Office Minister Baroness Symons.
"The British government has taken a different view with American government over the relationship with Iran. We believe we ought to have in a process of engagement, frank discussion; some of it is pretty robust," Symons said.
The Minister for Middle East Affairs referred to the 'growing exchanges' that had taken place on issues like trade that was very important and to Foreign Secretary Jack Straw visiting Tehran five times in less than three years.
Symons said that the UK had made it 'very clear to the US what our approach was' but added that it was 'a matter for the United States government what they decide to do'.
She also referred to the progress being made on Iran's nuclear program following Straw's visit to Tehran with his French and German counterparts that led to the Tehran declaration.
"This is a process we now hope will deliver some real benefits in terms of international confidence," the Foreign Office Minister said, adding that the UK believed progress was being made but suggesting that would have to be confirmed in the next IAEA report.
She dismissed suggesting that it would be virtually impossible to satisfy the US, saying that the IAEA was an 'international arbiter' and would be looking at Iran's progress.
"There is an authoritative body, it is not British or American but an international body," Symons said.
With regard to Israel, Symons said it was well known that it had not admitted having nuclear weapons even though there were 'grave suspicions that maybe they have'.
The Minister for Middle East Affairs spoke of a 'lot' that could be done to address the gross imbalance in trade with Iran in the UK's favor without mentioning anything specific.
Row over Iran's Lolita participation in IAPAC controversial gathering
SMCCDI (Information Service)
May 26, 2004
An unprecedented row is taking place, on most Iranian TV and radio networks, over the participation of Azar Naficy, the Iranian Lolita, in the controversial gathering of May 27th organized by the self proclaimed "Iranian American Political Action Committee" (IAPAC) at the Washington DC's Ritz-Carlton Hotel.
Naficy the author of "Lolita in Tehran" is to play the role of Master of Ceremony by greeting the controversial Shirin Ebadi during the reception. Unaware of the depth of her deplorable decision, she was considered, till now, as one of the icons of the new generation of female opposition, to the Islamic regime, by many Iranians who are expressing their deepest dismay and anger on various talk shows. Some of the callers are expressing their intention to throw away Ms. Naficy's book as they claim that the writer is not true to her believe and has accepted the invitation in order to promote herself while giving false credibility to a rejected organization which has another agenda than declared in its mission statement to promote simply the Iranian Community in the US.
Several Iranians and the TV host, Behbahani of Rang-A-rang TV, are intending to make a silent protest in front of the Hotel in order to make remember to Naficy what she claimed to stand for in her book.
The protesters anger has increased especially following the official desistment of the integer and principled Simin Behbahani who was named as one of the main official guests of the IAPAC ceremony and was to receive "an award". The latter who's, living in Iran and currently visiting the US, is a famous taboo breaking poet and the maverick endorser of the famous 1994 letter entitked "We the Writers...!" ( http://www.daneshjoo.org/article/publish/article_1622.shtml )
Many Iranians, such as the SMCCDI members, are hoping for a last minute desistment of Ms. Naficy with hope that she will renew with her written principles and expressed ideals.
It's to note that the initial trio founders of IAPAC who were also former Board members of the rejected "American Iranian Council" (AIC), are Hassan Nemazee, Akbar Ghahary and Faraj-Alai-e known for their past activities in order to legitimize the terrorist and tyrannical Islamic regime by targeting the establishment of ties between the US Administration and the Mullahcracy. They are also the main fund raisers for John Kerry who has promised to establish relations with the Islamic regime if elected as the future US President.
Nemazee has sued SMCCDI and its Coordinator in what is believed to be an effort to silence the Movement.
Carter Sold Out Iran 1977-1978
IranianVoice.org ^ | Chuck Morse
Posted on 05/27/2004
As if a light were switched off, the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlevi, portrayed for 20 years as a progressive modern ruler by Islamic standards, was suddenly, in 1977-1978, turned into this foaming at the mouth monster by the international left media. Soon after becoming President in 1977, Jimmy Carter launched a deliberate campaign to undermine the Shah. The Soviets and their left-wing apparatchiks would coordinate with Carter by smearing the Shah in a campaign of lies meant to topple his throne. The result would be the establishment of a Marxist/Islamic state in Iran headed by the tyrannical Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The Iranian revolution, besides enthroning one of the world's most oppressive regimes, would greatly contribute to the creation of the Marxist/Islamic terror network challenging the free world today.
At the time, a senior Iranian diplomat in Washington observed, "President Carter betrayed the Shah and helped create the vacuum that will soon be filled by Soviet-trained agents and religious fanatics who hate America." Under the guise of promoting" human rights," Carter made demands on the Shah while blackmailing him with the threat that if the demands weren't fulfilled, vital military aid and training would be withheld. This strange policy, carried out against a staunch, 20 year Middle East ally, was a repeat of similar policies applied in the past by US governments to other allies such as pre Mao China and pre Castro Cuba.
Carter started by pressuring the Shah to release "political prisoners" including known terrorists and to put an end to military tribunals. The newly released terrorists would be tried under civil jurisdiction with the Marxist/Islamists using these trials as a platform for agitation and propaganda. This is a standard tactic of the left then and now. The free world operates at a distinct dis-advantage to Marxist and Islamic nations in this regard as in those countries, trials are staged to "show" the political faith of the ruling elite. Fair trials, an independent judiciary, and a search for justice is considered to be a western bourgeois prejudice.
Carter pressured Iran to allow for "free assembly" which meant that groups would be able to meet and agitate for the overthrow of the government. It goes without saying that such rights didn't exist in any Marxist or Islamic nation. The planned and predictable result of these policies was an escalation of opposition to the Shah, which would be viewed by his enemies as a weakness. A well-situated internal apparatus in Iran receiving its marching orders from the Kremlin egged on this growing opposition.
By the fall of 1977, university students, working in tandem with a Shi'ite clergy that had long opposed the Shah's modernizing policies, began a well coordinated and financed series of street demonstrations supported by a media campaign reminiscent of the 1947-1948 campaign against China's Chiang Ki Shek in favor of the "agrarian reformer" Mao tse Tung. At this point the Shah was unable to check the demonstrators, who were instigating violence as a means of inflaming the situation and providing their media stooges with atrocity propaganda. Rumors were circulating amongst Iranians that the CIA under the orders of President Carter organized these demonstrations.
In November 1977, the Shah and his Empress, Farah Diba, visited the White House where they were met with hostility. They were greeted by nearly 4,000 Marxist-led Iranian students, many wearing masks, waving clubs, and carrying banners festooned with the names of Iranian terrorist organizations. The rioters were allowed within 100 feet of the White House where they attacked other Iranians and Americans gathered to welcome the Shah. Only 15 were arrested and quickly released. Inside the White House, Carter pressured the Shah to implement even more radical changes. Meanwhile, the Soviets were mobilizing a campaign of propaganda, espionage, sabotage, and terror in Iran. The Shah was being squeezed on two sides.
In April 1978, Moscow would instigate a bloody coup in Afghanistan and install the communist puppet Nur Mohammad Taraki. Taraki would proceed to call for a "jihad" against the "Ikhwanu Shayateen" which translates into "brothers of devils," a label applied to opponents of the new red regime in Kabul and to the Iranian government. Subversives and Soviet-trained agents swarmed across the long Afghanistan/Iran border to infiltrate Shi'ite mosques and other Iranian institutions. By November 1978, there was an estimated 500,000 Soviet backed Afghanis in Iran where, among other activities, they set up training camps for terrorists.
Khomeini, a 78-year-old Shi'ite cleric whose brother had been imprisoned as a result of activities relating to his Iranian Communist party affiliations, and who had spent 15 years in exile in Ba'th Socialist Iraq, was poised to return. In exile, Khomeini spoke of the creation of a revolutionary Islamic republic, which would be anti-Western, socialist, and with total power in the hands of an ayatollah. In his efforts to violently overthrow the government of Iran, Khomeini received the full support of the Soviets.
Nureddin Klanuri, head of the Iranian Communist Tudeh Party, in exile in East Berlin, stated, "The Tudeh Party approves Ayatollah Khomeini's initiative in creating the Islamic Revolutionary Council. The ayatollah's program coincides with that of the Tudeh Party." Khomeini's closest advisor, Sadegh Ghothzadeh, was well known as a revolutionary with close links to communist intelligence. In January 1998, Pravda, the official Soviet organ, officially endorsed the Khomeini revolution.
American leaders were also supporting Khomeini. After the Pravda endorsement, Ramsey Clark, who served as Attorney General under President Lyndon B. Johnson, held a press conference where he reported on a trip to Iran and a Paris visit with Khomeini. He urged the US government to take no action to help the Shah so that Iran "could determine it's own fate." Clark played a behind the scenes role influencing members of Congress to not get involved in the crisis. Perhaps UN Ambassador Andrew Young best expressed the thinking of the left at the time when he stated that, if successful, Khomeini would "eventually be hailed as a saint."
Khomeini was allowed to seize power in Iran and, as a result, we are now reaping the harvest of anti-American fanaticism and extremism. Khomeini unleashed the hybrid of Islam and Marxism that has spawned suicide bombers and hijackers. President Jimmy Carter, and the extremists in his administration are to blame and should be held accountable.
Thanks for the ping!
ping to #9
This just in from a student inside of Iran...
"I just heard about clashes in west of Iran in Kurdish Provinces.
The clash was between regular people and police forces.
I will try to get back to you with more detailed reports."
Update from a student inside of Iran:
"Two people killed in the clashes in west of Iran...
May 27, 2004
The Bush administration's foreign and national security policy has generated serious opposition here at home and overseas. This is not unlike the reaction to President Reagan's plan to deploy intermediate range missiles in Europe and to modernize our land, sea and air-based nuclear deterrent systems.
The demonstrations of the early 1980's throughout Europe, coupled with the push for a nuclear freeze here in America, made it appear as if President Reagan was intent on blowing up the world. Former Carter administration officials were sought on a daily basis to appear on morning, evening and weekend talk shows, warning of impending doom, the collapse of arms control, possible conflict with the Soviet Union, and the deterioration of NATO.
For the intellectual Left in America, Reagan's bold foreign and defense policies were seen as fundamentally representative of a narrow, U.S. interest, reflecting the selfish concerns of the military industrial complex, war planners and DOD officials. In particular, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the New Yorker, and the evening television news shows were unanimous that the US President, an uninformed actor, naïve in the ways of the world, could not be trusted with US security policy.
The Left hoped that cooler heads in the State Department would convince Reagan, the former California governor, to seek coexistence, not confrontation, with the leaders in Moscow. Critical to this strategy, we were told, was to get the two leaders from the US and the Soviet Union together at a "summit" to freeze our respective nuclear arsenals.
Fast forward twenty years later. In early 2001, the earliest manifestations of the new Bush administration security policy were a speech at the National Defense University where the President outlined the need for missile defenses, an overall counter terrorism strategy, and stronger controls over the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as well as a strong, robust but reduced and more balanced deterrent force of nuclear weapons.
The reaction mirrored that of 1981. The same media outlets, the same articles, same television commentators, wringing their hands in worry, despairing of a "cowboy" governor from Texas, way over his head in the nuanced, fuzzy liberal world of his opponents.
Bushs assertion of US interests, such as defending ourselves from ballistic missiles, or foregoing signing-off on a foolish energy consumption commitment such as called for by the Kyoto Treaty, was universally derided as wrong headed, "unilateral," representative of a "go it alone" policy.
The assumption by the diplomats at the United Nations and their friends in the rogue states and adversaries of the United States was that US policy, in order to be seen as "correct and proper," as one diplomat described the thinking at the time, should also reflect the interest of others, such as China, the Sudan, Ethiopia, Sweden, Ecuador, and, of course, France. A sort of "world consensus" was the proper framework within which US policy should operate. The idea is that if all nations put on the table what they want, and it is all thrown together and stirred into some kind of international mush, the result must by definition be more moral and reasonable than ideas put forward solely by the United States.
But the result of this logic is that the United Nations sees nothing wrong with rotating the chairmanship of the Security Council between Iraq and Syria when discussing terrorism. Or having Libya chair the UN Human Rights Commission. Or having nations under investigation for violating their pledges under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (the NPT) remain on the board of governors of the IAEA, which passes judgment on whether sanctions should be visited on just such nations. All states are, in this scheme, equal, and no states claims are more valid than any other nations interests.
This necessity of viewing all member nations of the UN with nearly equal interests leads to the ritualistic kabuki dance whenever the US government seeks "international agreement" on some serious issue. As soon as France, or China, or Russia or Syria dissent, the media immediately lashes out at U.S. administration for not having made a significantly generous offer or proposal to the UN. This is true for Kyoto, Iraq, North Korea, and Iran.
On Kyoto, the entire developing world, including China, Brazil, Mexico, India, and Egypt was exempt from the C02 emission standards, with the result that after 100 years from its enactment, the global warming elements in the atmosphere in 2105 would be some 5% below where they would otherwise have been. Boy, that's progress!
On Iraq, the world was well aware of the constant 12-year game of cat and mouse Saddam played with the UN inspectors. Even British scientist David Kelly, wrongfully identified as the source of the BBC's assertion that the Iraqi threat was "sexed up," wrote before his death that the only way to end Iraq's programs of weapons of mass destruction was through regime change.
On North Korea, despite a nearly decades-long "carrots and carrots" diplomacy, we are still facing a rogue nation with nuclear weapons and a companion missile program, despite the Clinton administration's State Department down-grading the country to a "nation of concern" (no axis of evil there!), and providing tons of fuel oil and food, and beginning the process of building two new nuclear reactors.
But each time the North Korean government refuses to engage seriously about its commitment to a nuclear free Korean peninsula, spokesmen for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace or the Arms Control Association are beating up our President for not being forthcoming enough or sufficiently attune to the dynamics of getting along in the international sandbox on the geostrategic playground. And so it goes.
While our former UN Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick described this intellectual phenomenon as "blaming America first," I think it needs amending to "Blame only America!" It may not be well understood, but the sophisticates within our government and universities are wedded to what I call the Rodney King school of diplomacy-"Why can't we all get along."
Any conflict, argument or disagreement is immediately the responsibility of the United States to resolve, but we have to do it on everybody else's terms! I watched this at the United Nations myself where I worked for three years. It was the time of the October 6th war launched on Israel, the 1973-4 oil embargo, the subsequent escalation in oil prices and the founding of the United Nations Environment Program.
We were tasked with identifying how developing countries could produce energy in an environmentally sound way while still being independent of the petroleum imports causing such havoc with their national economies. The head of the UNEP energy office, Dr. Ishrat Ushmani, formerly head of the Iranian nuclear energy program, directed the study. We recommended a mix of nuclear, renewable and coal production, including higher efficiencies.
When the report was submitted for approval within the ECOSOC, the reaction was predictable---all nations with the exception of Australia, the United States and Canada opposed the report's conclusions. This was my first professional face-to-face confrontation with "political correctness." The end result was that the governing council for UNEP stamped "draft" on the report and its conclusions were lost in some discarded file cabinet.
The European nations were particularly negative, arguing about the evils of nuclear power and the bullying attitude of the United States. For me, a graduate student at Columbia in both international affairs and law, it was a rude awakening to the globaloney set at the UN, where pretend speeches were made on pretend policies from pretend countries-all pretending to take and do serious things.
Arms control suffers from this same problem. In order to get agreement from a sufficient number of UN members to secure a Security Council recommendation, or to get even a bilateral agreement with North Korea or Iran on their nuclear programs, America has to compromise its basic security needs as to make such agreements worthless.
A good example is the just completed UN Conference on Disarmament. One news story from the National Journal explained the failure of the UN bureaucracy in this way:
"The U.N. Conference on Disarmament yesterday ended its 2003 session without reaching consensus on a program of work, according to a U.N. press release. This is the fifth straight year that the conference has been unable to reach agreement on what to discuss, according to the U.N. release. Because the conference operates by consensus, a single member can prevent the entire body from formally discussing an issue."
The media tends, however, to shy away from such criticism of the UN and usually praises worthless diplomatic efforts that have no way of succeeding. The Washington Post was ecstatic about the 1995 agreement with North Korea, praising its historic significance and patiently explaining to us hard liners why the problems of Pyongyang's "loose nukes" were no more. The hardliners in Congress, critical of the Clinton administration's supposed "diplomatic triumph," were described by Walter Pincus as having been effectively chastened, hopefully never to emerge from their caves again.
And so it was with respect to Iran, Iraq, and terrorists elsewhere. As vividly explained by Richard Minister's "Losing Bin Laden", and Dick Morris's "Off With Their Heads", the sought for international consensus never emerged to deal with any of these rogue states nor international terrorism. The UN, in fact, cannot even agree on a definition of what constitutes terrorism, and thus furnishes aid, comfort and recognition to one of the longest running terrorist organizations going-the PLO.
In order to hold on to the fiction that some kind of universal agreement could be reached on proliferation and terror, liberal enthusiasts of this new world order must also rely on a false foundation that blames the US for the problems in the first place.
When asked why it was that Al Qaeda attacked the United States two years ago on September 11th, former intelligence officer Ray McGovern states flatly that it is because of our treatment of the Palestinian people and support for "repressive governments" in the Middle East. To the nuanced and intellectual McGovern, the Islamic terrorists hate us because of our support for Israel, while Osama Bin Laden's embrace of Saddam, the Mullahs of Iran and the Taliban is somehow associated with a "concern" about repression!!
In short, McGovern urges fellow intelligence officials to resign in protest over the fraud perpetuated by the Bush administration in seeking regime change in Iraq. America had in coming on September 11th, he says, thereby excusing the murderous acts of our enemies by asserting, "we made them do it".
After all, to believe anything else is simply inconsistent with this idea that "we can all get along." The fervent hatred of US military power drives this dogma, because the use of Army, Navy or Air Force firepower absolutely implies the complete lack of agreement between the US and its adversaries. Drawing a line in the sand doesn't help much with those who insist we keep retreating backward.
To believe in the necessity, however unfortunate, of using US and allied military power requires a belief in the presence of evil in the modern world, an evil that cannot be negotiated or compromised with. Nuance doesn't help here, folks. And so when President Bush cited Iran, Iraq and North Korea as parts of an "axis of evil," it became apparent that "splitting the difference" with our enemies wasn't really in the cards.
And so with Reagan who inherited a crumbling credibility in America's fortitude and forthrightly put forward a plan to rebuild our armed forces, in particular our strategic nuclear Triad. What did the apologists for our adversaries propose? The nuclear freeze, the very same proposal put forward by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, a freeze, which would have rendered obsolete our strategic deterrent long before the more modern and updated Soviet nuclear arsenal.
At the time, all right thinking people argued a freeze should be supported. Sprouting from the feeble minds of bubble-headed Vermonters (where I spent most of my child-hood), the freeze supporters equated the US nuclear umbrella protecting Taiwan, the Republic of Korea, Japan and all of western Europe, with a Soviet deployment of missiles aimed at coercing NATO and culling more and more nations into the Soviet orbit. In the 1970's alone, some dozen-plus nations involuntarily joined the Soviet gulag, just as President Carter warned us to "get over our inordinate fear of communism."
But as we look back at the past one hundred years and the evil during which the hideous tyrants of our time-Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Pol Pot, Hitler, Saddam, and the Iranian Mullahs---destroyed much of mankind, we recognize that we cannot make a deal with such evil. There is no possibility that "we can all get along." We did not "make them do it." This our courageous President understands. Thank God.
Khatami Warns on Future Nuclear Cooperation
May 27, 2004
TEHRAN -- President Mohammad Khatami warned the U.N. nuclear watchdog on Thursday that Iran could resume uranium enrichment and halt snap inspections of its nuclear sites if the body failed to acknowledge Tehran's cooperation at a board meeting next month.
"The (International Atomic Energy Agency's) decision will have an influence on our cooperation with the agency," Khatami told reporters.
"We suspended (uranium) enrichment voluntarily, we implemented the Additional Protocol (on snap inspections) voluntarily, so we can stop them at any time," he said.
Iran has repeatedly called for the IAEA's board of governors to remove Tehran's case from its agenda after its meeting in Vienna next month.
Iran insists its nuclear program is entirely peaceful and that accusations it is hiding a secret atomic arms program are unfounded and politically motivated.
But Khatami acknowledged for the first time that it was unlikely the IAEA would close Iran's case after the June meeting.
He said Tehran wants the IAEA to reflect Iran's close cooperation with the agency in its report.
"If we feel that, under political pressure, they don't mention Iran's goodwill and cooperation we will adopt new methods," he said.
Let Freedom Ring ~ Bump!
Iran is the real threat!!!! Iran wanted us to invade Iraq so we would be preoccupied with a mess their, while they continue to develop WMD!!! This is ridiculous we invade Iraq for WMD, and Iran is knowingly creating NUCLEAR WMD!!! Either America or Israel needs to take out their plant, only problem is it might be underground. So if necessary intead of Invading Iran, we should have sabotuers to destroy the underground plant.
IRAQ'S NEXT GOVERNMENT
By AMIR TAHERI
May 27, 2004 -- BY the end of next week, and if all goes well, we should know the composition of the transitional government that will assume power in Baghdad for six crucial months leading to the country's first ever free elections.
"The principles upon which the transition government will be based have already been agreed," says Hoshyar Zebari, the current foreign minister. "The new government will represent our national will to end the occupation as soon as possible."
Once announced, the package will receive the assent of the U.N. Security Council in the form of a new resolution. Under the agreements negotiated by U.N. Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, the new government will have three layers of authority.
At the top will be a president to symbolize Iraq's national sovereignty. His role will be largely ceremonial, although he would be able to intervene at difficult moments to sort out blockages within the government.
There will also be two vice presidents, one Kurdish and one Arab, as has been the tradition in Iraq for more than three decades. Their role, too, will be largely ceremonial but they will be preparing their respective communities for a national concord conference expected to be held before the end of the year.
The second layer of authority will be a Council of Ministers, headed by a prime minister and with 16 members. Its work will be based on the principle of collective responsibility after the British model. In other words the prime minister, although able to set the agenda, won't be able to decide alone. And all decisions of the Cabinet will have to receive presidential assent before being implemented.
Despite suggestions by Brahimi that the proposed Cabinet consist solely of non-political technocrats, Iraqi and American sources insist that the main structure of the new body will include a number of tested politicians. Some current ministers (defense, foreign affairs and the interior) are likely to continue in their posts, others (finance and economic) to be replaced.
The third layer of authority may not be in place by June 30 when the government is sworn in: an interim legislative council whose members will be co-opted from all walks of life and in a way as to represent the nation's ethnic, religious and sectarian diversity.
The interim legislative council, expected to have 150 members, will have the task of approving the new electoral law and legislate those of the Cabinet's decisions that need a specific legal framework for application.
A committee of experts, already at work on proposals for an electoral law, is expected to present its report to the new transition government early in June. Once the Cabinet has approved the committee's recommendations, the final package would have to be approved by the legislative council.
Right now, the target date for this happening is sometime in November, allowing the country just three months to prepare for a general election. The entire electoral process will be under the supervision of an Electoral Commission which is expected to be formed by mid-summer.
The commission will operate in conjunction with an international Iraq Elections Supervisory Mission to be led by a senior diplomat. Among those under consideration is the European Union's Chris Patten.
Some Iraqi politicians insist that observers from other international bodies also be invited to join the United Nations in supervising the elections. Among those considered are the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Arab League, the Non-aligned movement and the European Union.
The method under which elections will be held is the subject of heated behind-the-scenes debates among various Iraqi parties and the Coalition authority led by Paul Bremer.
Most of the Shiite parties want a first-past-the-post British-style electoral system based on single- or multiple-member constituencies. Such a system could give the Shiites up to 75 percent of seats in any future parliament, far beyond their 60 percent or so of the total population.
The system could also benefit the two main Kurdish parties. They could end up with almost a quarter of the seats, although the population of the areas they control is no more than 15 percent of the total.
On the other hand, if proportional representation is the method of election, the Kurds could end up as big losers. This is because the regions where they are the majority also include large non-Kurdish minorities, notably Turcomans, Assyrians and Yazidis.
Shiite leaders reject any analysis based on sectarian differences. "We are all Iraqis," says Muhammad Bahr al-Olum, a leading Shiite political and religious figure. "We must have an electoral system that reflects the reality of our country, and create a government that all Iraqis will see as their own."
The Coalition authorities claim that they are neutral on the subject. "The way the elections will be conducted is a matter for the Iraqis," says Richard Jones, Bremer's deputy and the U.S. ambassador to Kuwait.
But the Coalition will be forced to take a position on this issue. It now seems to favor a system of multi-member constituencies with simple majority rule. That would still slightly favor the Shiites but will also make sure that no single bloc emerges with an overwhelming majority.
Although the planned parliament will be one of transition, it will have a crucial importance insofar as it will have the task of approving the draft of a new permanent constitution.
Iraq today is in a position that few other nations have found themselves in history.
All the pillars of the various despotic regimes that have ruled Iraq since its creation have disappeared. There is no army, no security apparatus worth mentioning. The ruling party is gone, along with the idea of the "strongman." The dominant political, economic and cultural elites have been blown away, along with methods of government established over decades. By one estimate more than two-thirds of all laws will have to be repealed or amended.
"We must build a new state from the very foundations," says Zebari. "The first bricks we pose will determine the shape of the whole structure."
Some Iraqis, worried sick about lack of security, might be tempted to build a new version of the "strongman state" that always led to tyranny and terror. Others know that this is an historic opportunity that no Arab nation has ever had: to build a democratic state in close consultation with the people.
In just 35 days, Iraq's new flag will fly high and its new national anthem will be played, including at the Athens Olympics. But flags and anthems are nothing but symbols. What matters is the content of the new state the Iraqis will build. The world will be watching. And praying.
Amir Taheri is reachable through benadorassociates.com.
IRAQ'S NEXT GOVERNMENT
By AMIR TAHERI
Yes, we'd all better pray hard that they make the right choices.