Iranian Nobelist Nixes Appearance At PAC Dinner
New York Sun - By Eli Lake
May 28, 2004
Iranian Nobel Peace-prize winning lawyer, Shirin Ebadi, canceled her appearence last night before the Iranian American Political Action Committee dinner, where she was scheduled to win an award for advocacy work in the Islamic republic.
Her last minute cancellation left members of the newly formed PAC scratching their heads.
"we really don't know why she did not show up" Robert Babayi, a trustee for the organization, told the New York Sun yesterday. "We are as disappointed as anyone".
One volunteer for the group told the Sun that she believed Ms. Ebadi canceled because the organization raises money for candidates for Congress and she has to return to Iran, which would look down on any possible association with the American government.
A Washington-based engineer, Nasser Rahimi, said he would like to think a national campaign from democracy activists was one reason why she did not attend.
"She has been talking so much about the political prisoners at Guantanamo bay. But she never says anything about the political prisoners in her home country of Iran," he told the Sun. "She is representing the Mullahs."
One of Mr. Rahimi's associates, Ali Mohri, at one point tried to cross into the reception area of the hotel. Mr. Babayi quickly called over security guards and had him escorted away. "I have a problem with what IAPAC represents. They are basically trying to open up doors to the Mullahs. I can't believe Ms. Ebadi would speak with them."
IAPAC takes no position on America's relationship with Iran and raises money for both Democrats and Republicans.
One of the Pac's founders, Hassan Nemazee, is a close adviser to Senator Kerry's presidential campaign and has sued Iranian democracy activist Aryo Pirouznia for defamation of character, after he published on the Web stories alleging Mr. Nemazee of having links to the Iranian regime.
"I asked my attorney to contact Aryo Pirouznia to say we have nothing to do with the Islamic republic. I asked him to stop," he told the Sun yesterday. "But he did not."
U.N. links Libyan uranium to Iran, Pakistan
The Associated Press
May 28, 2004
VIENNA, Austria - Suppliers for Libyas nuclear weapons program stretched over three continents, the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency said in an internal report Friday. Diplomats identified the former Soviet Union and South Africa as among them.
Traces of highly enriched uranium were found at some Libyan sites, according to the report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which was made available to The Associated Press. But it suggested that the uranium entered the country on equipment that had been bought abroad.
The report did not name the countries involved in supplying Libya. However, diplomats close to the agency said on condition of anonymity that the report indicated that the former Soviet Union, South Africa, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia supported or served as bases for people selling nuclear components or know-how to Libya.
Other diplomats had earlier named North Korea, as well as people from Pakistan, Dubai and Malaysia, as part of the black market chain selling nuclear secrets to rogue nations. One of the diplomats said Moscow had not been previously linked to Libyan efforts to acquire a weapons program.
Libya cooperating but could do better
The report said Libya had been cooperative since going public about its weapons programs in December and pledging to scrap them. But it said more inspections were needed of its efforts to enrich uranium one way to make nuclear weapons.
Its program included purchases of hundreds of centrifuges and orders for 10,000 more. In their efforts, the Libyans bought drawings of a nuclear warhead that diplomats identified as likely having originated in China but as having been sold by Pakistan.
The illicit nuclear network, headed by Abdul Qadeer Khan of Pakistan, remains the focal point of investigations by the IAEA as it tries to trace the development of shipments to Libya, Iran, North Korea and possibly other nations trying to acquire illegal nuclear technology.
North Korea was drawn deeper into the suppliers web last week by diplomats who said it appeared to be the source of nearly two tons of a uranium compound that Libya handed over to Americans in January as part of its decision to get rid of weapons of mass destruction.