Skip to comments.Iranian Alert -- June 1, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Posted on 05/31/2004 9:24:28 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.
Iran warns IAEA
May 31, 2004, 23:32
Iran's representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Piruz Husseini, said that Iran will take legal action if any classified information from Iran?s confidential report to the IAEA is leaked.
Husseini told the Mehr News Agency that Iran presented a 1000-page comprehensive report to the agency on May 21, adding that, logically, the IAEA should not allow the information to become public.
The IAEA Board of Governors will begin examining Iran?s nuclear dossier on June 14.
IRAN PLANS TO PROVIDE MILITARY AID TO LEBANON
NICOSIA [MENL] -- Iran plans to provide military aid to Lebanon, including exporting weapons to its Arab ally.
Iranian officials said the two countries plan to form a joint committee to examine Lebanon's military and defense requirements. They said Iran has agreed in principle to help fulfill some of those Lebanese military needs.
Iranian Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani agreed to defense and military cooperation during a visit to Lebanon in late February. Shamkhani told reporters on Feb. 29 that Beirut and Teheran have agreed to launch a joint panel to bolster Lebanon's military.
The defense minister said Teheran would offer Lebanon a range of products from Iran's defense industry. He said Iran's goal would be to rebuild and improve Lebanon's military.
Sheeesh........have they gone a day without threatening SOMEONE in the past week or 2?
They're pushing their luck.
They're really asking for it, aren't they?
Jordan sees no harm in invite to shah's widow despite Iran complaint
AMMAN, May 31 (AFP) - Jordanian government spokeswoman Asma Khodr said Monday she did not expect relations with Iran to deteriorate because the widow of the ousted shah was invited to attend the wedding reception of Crown Prince Hamza last week.
"No one has the right to protest because this was a social, private event and a royal invitation," Khodr told reporters in Amman.
"I don't think it will have any (negative) impact because there is a difference between the political and diplomatic relations between Jordan and Iran and social and private relations," Khodr said.
Iran lodged an official complaint with Jordan and the foreign ministry summoned the Jordanian charge d'affaires "to protest this invitation" which Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi described as an "unjustifiable gesture".
The shah's widow, Farah Diba, was among more than 2,000 guests, including several Arab and European crowned heads, invited to attend the reception hosted Thursday by King Abdullah II of Jordan for his half-brother Hamza bin Hussein.
The crown prince and his bride Prince Noor, a distant cousin, were engaged and wrote their marriage contract in August but delayed the garden party celebration until last week.
Asefi told reporters Sunday in Tehran that Farah Diba should not have been invited to the reception because she has "no status" in her own country and warned that it "will have repercussions on the relations between" Iran and Jordan.
The Iranian spokesman gave no details on what the consequences would be.
Iran's complaint comes after the invitation of both Farah Diba and her son Reza Pahlavi to the marriage a week ago of Spain's Crown Prince Felipe de Bourbon and former television news presenter Letizia Ortiz sparked a mini-crisis between Tehran and Madrid.
In protest, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi delayed a visit to Spain for talks with Spanish leaders by a day.
The widow of the ex-shah, who is 66, and her son now live in exile in France and the United States.
DoctorZin Note: It would appear that a lot or "royals" are welcoming the Pahlavi family to their events... are they giving a sign to the people of Iran that the rule of the mullahs is nearing the end?
It is more than that, I guess. The Foreign Ministry of IRI keeps saying that the Iranian Royals are no more popular among Iranians. And I'd like to ask them why do you protest if they are not any more popular?
As long as they treat their local Christians better than Ataturk did, I'm all for it.
LOSSES AND GAINS OF VOID IN IRAN-US RELATIONS
By Masoud Behnoud
Posted Tuesday, June 1, 2004
LONDON, First of June (IPS) As the new Iranian Majles, dominated by the ruling conservatives starts working, a veteran Iranian journalist advises them to stay away of sloganmania and warns that the decision-makers should not sacrifice national interests for the sake of foolish slogans that have lost their charisma.
Now that the conservatives have booted out the reformists from the Majles and are looking to the government, one must hope that they would quickly realise the importance of their responsibilities by ending the senseless void in Iran-US relations, allowing Iran to come back to the international community and play its due role, Mr. Masoud Behnoud, a well-known journalist and commentator of Iranian affairs suggested.
Although the members of the new Parliament have been told to avoid futile political debates a land mark of the sixth Majles dominated by the reformists -- and pay more attention to peoples needs, yet, most of Iranian analysts are of the opinion that one of the reasons the conservatives wanted to get back the control of the Majles at any cost was to have it approve open talks with Washington on the thorny and complicated normalisation of relations that were cut off by the United States after its Embassy in Tehran was stormed by revolutionary students on November 1979, taking 55 diplomats and staff as hostages for 444 days.
In one of his now celebrated declarations, Mr. Gholam Ali Haddad-Adel, the new Speaker and the first one not being a cleric who is closely related to Ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i, the leader of the Islamic Republic (his daughter is married to Khamenei's son), said the new Majles would work hard to make Iran an Islamic Japan.
Nevertheless, not only the new Majles started its inaugural session with shouts of "death to America", but Mr Haddad-Adel approved initiatives by the Revolutionary Guards to have people enrolling in suicide brigades for defending Shi'a Muslim's holly places in Iraq, now the scenes of heavy fightings between american-led Coalition forces with militiamen of the rebel cleric Moqtada al Sadr.
According to several Guards commanders, a so-called "World Islamic Martyrs and Fighters Staff Headquarters" was created to train Islamic suicide attackers.
To express its opposition to the policies of Washington does not mean cutting relations with the worlds only superpower. The whole world is opposed to Americans arrogant behaviour except in Iran, where people, exacerbated by the ultra anti-American attitude of the rulers, see America as an ally, Mr. Behnoud wrote in the Germany-based, Farsi-language website Iran Emrooz ( www.iran-emrooz.de )
After having reminded that Iran, with more than three millions Iranians scattered all over the worlds, but mostly in the United States, is probably one of the few countries in the world where America is present in peoples daily life even the grocery next door tells you the prices in US Dollars and the taxi drivers explain the price hike on the Green backs value in the market Mr. Behnoud says the endless, unabated anti-American policy and propaganda of the ruling conservatives waged mostly via the Radio and Television has no other result that turn the Iranians more pro American.
One of the very few Iranian journalists well established under the former regime, Mr. Behnoud stayed in Iran after the Islamic Revolution of 1979, continuing to work as journalist under heavy pressures, constant menaces. However, he left Tehran for London, where he lives now, after receiving serious threats against his and his familys life.
The days people were dancing in front of the occupied American embassy in Tehran are over. The day when the world was divided between the Soviet Union and the United States is over. Today, American forces surround us. Our only lifeline is oil, which the Americans can close it, one way or another and starve us. If one days one could find pride in challenging Washington, today such a challenge does not fool anyone, mostly our Arab neighbours who, despite the Palestinisation of our foreign policy, not only never liked us and helped, but also continue to sincerely believe that Iran is still Americas and Israels best friend, he added.
In his opinion, never ever the Arabs and Muslim nations helped Iran, as seen in the case of the three Iranian islands in the Persian Gulf, while in fact, it was the Iranian who benefited the more from Americas military intervention in both Afghanistan and Iraq, removing their two most dangerous enemies, the ultra-orthodox Muslim Taleban in Kabol and the Iraqi bloodthirsty dictator Saddam Hoseyn.
This was not a wrong policy, but is there any logic behind the state (conservatives)-controlled and organised anti-American demonstrations. But whatever the logic, the end result is that the demonstrations and the anti-American diatribes not only have erased all the benefits from cooperation in Afghanistan and Iraq but also placed Iran in President Bushs basket of Evil states, he noted.
Iran and the Iranians absence in recent terrorist operations, explosions and destructions was the best occasion to show the world that we had nothing and would have nothing to do with Mollah Omar, Osama Ben Laden or Saddam Hoseyn, but this golden occasion was deliberately lost on the altar of empty slogans favoured by some of the people who rule over the country, he added.
According to Mr. Behnoud, the reformists, led by President Mohammad Khatami, after taking the control of both the Executive and the Legislative, tried hard to normalise relations with the United States, but mostly because of the weak nature of Mr. Khatami and the lack of strong personalities and leadership among the reformists, the conservatives did not allow them to go ahead.
Among other things, the journalist mentioned the second trip of Mr. Khatami to the United Nations, where, in order not be placed near the former American President Bill Clinton, he failed to show up for the traditional family photo.
At the beginning of the Revolution most of the political groups and formations were almost unanimous on cutting relations with the United States, today however, the idea do not work and the question does not make sense anymore since after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Washington has become the only superpower of the world, like it or not, said Mr. Behnoud.
Though Im certain that at the end of the day, no one would ever accept the responsibility for the losses Iran have suffered because of antagonistic policy with the United States, yet, History must be told that the ruling conservatives are to blame, especially because that they first opposed radical policies to make it their own brand of governance. The Iranians would never forget.
ENDS IRAN US 1604
Preying on Chalabi
By Joel Mowbray
Inside the halls of the State Department, career members of the Foreign Service have been buzzing about a prospect that excites them very much: President John Kerry. Never mind that their current boss is President George W. Bush.
To what extent this impacts day-to-day job performance or leaks to the press is unclear, but it is clear that Mr. Bush presides not over an administration divided on philosophy, but over an administration whose foreign policy team is dominated by those who desperately want him to lose come November.
And if Mr. Bush doesn't act soon, their wish might be granted.
For proof, look at the "scandal" surrounding Iraqi Governing Council member and longtime U.S. ally Ahmed Chalabi. His Baghdad home was raided recently, and the media coverage has been clogged with quotes from anonymous "intelligence officials" claiming that there is "rock solid" evidence that Mr. Chalabi gave the Iranian mullahs "highly classified" intelligence.
It didn't take a particularly astute observer to notice an awful lot of hostility being vented. For Mr. Chalabi, it was a comeuppance of sorts. He has been hated by State and the CIA, for different reasons, for years.
State Department diplomats dislike the Iraqi democrat because he is committed to a secular, pluralistic society. The Foreign Service doesn't necessarily oppose such values, but it does fiercely when it comes to lands where they have never existed. Why? Because it would threaten the most important of all State Department objectives: stability.
Mr. Chalabi is seen as a threat to the Arab world order. State has long supported whichever tyrant can bring "stability" to a given Arab nation, as the diplomats believe that that region of the world is incapable of fostering or supporting democracy or even anything resembling a free society.
Even if State now grudgingly has to support Iraqi democracy and even that's an open question its bureaucrats long ago developed an unshakable hatred of Mr. Chalabi, and they will do anything in their power to undermine him.
Although the CIA largely shares State's worldview, its contempt for Mr. Chalabi is much more visceral. In the mid-1990s, the CIA organized a ham-handed coup attempt against Saddam. Mr. Chalabi warned them it wouldn't work. He was right and said so publicly. The CIA fumed. Bad blood has existed ever since.
Given the history of acrimony, the smear campaign against Mr. Chalabi was almost inevitable. His enemies at State and CIA are still bitter not just that Mr. Chalabi won the support of the White House he was seated behind Laura Bush at the State of the Union but that his decades-long push to oust Saddam finally succeeded.
In striking Mr. Chalabi, State and CIA are not simply attacking him, but his allies inside the administration and the decision to go to war in the first place.
And that's not unintentional.
State Department diplomats and "intelligence officials" from State and CIA hate the hawks inside the Pentagon the so-called "neocons" almost as much as they do Mr. Chalabi. Luckily for them, they can kill two birds with one smear campaign.
After all, it was the administration hawks primarily based in the Pentagon, though there are others, such as Vice President Dick Cheney and a handful at the State Department that championed Mr. Chalabi from the very beginning of this administration.
"Intelligence officials" leaked to the New York Times last week that there was an investigation centered on "a handful" of officials, most of whom "are at the Pentagon."
The dividing line is very clear: On one side are the president's political appointees; and on the other are careerists who have no loyalty to the commander-in-chief.
To fully appreciate the mutinous sentiment at State, consider that it is a place where its employees feel free to display on desks and doors political cartoons lampooning President Bush. Anecdotally, several State Department officials know of many Foreign Service colleagues who joined antiwar rallies last spring.
The undermining is not merely symbolic, either.
Last spring, State Department officials learned from Pyongyang representatives in New York that North Korea was admitting, for the first time, that it was reprocessing plutonium. And it kept that bombshell a secret, even from the White House, because it didn't want to give administration hawks a reason to cancel upcoming talks something for which State had lobbied very hard.
The insubordination continues to this day. Bureaucrats at State and CIA despite CIA Director George Tenet being the one claiming the case for WMD was a "slam dunk" largely did not support the war. They can no longer win the fight on the decision to go to war, but taking out Mr. Chalabi is the next best thing. It calls into question the motives and justification for the war, and in the process, defends the institutional integrity of both State and CIA.
So far, the White House has not refereed the open revolt in its ranks. This has only emboldened the president's enemies at State and CIA. If there is evidence against Mr. Chalabi, it should be put on the table.
But if not, if this smear campaign is merely a bluff to carry out character assassination, then Mr. Chalabi might not be the only one who unfairly falls from grace.
Joel Mowbray writes occasionally for The Washington Times.
THE IRANIAN HERESY
By AMIR TAHERI
Thomas Friedman: Bin Laden in Every Saudi Home
Repeated terrorist attacks by homegrown al-Qaida operatives on Saudi Arabian oil interests show that a civil war is raging inside the key strategic U.S. ally, the New York Times' Thomas Friedman argued on Sunday.
"You could do a revisionist history of 9/11 that basically describes this as a [Saudi] civil war," Friedman said on CBS's "Face the Nation." "There's a real problem inside Saudi Arabia."
Friedman said that after the 9/11 attacks, while Saudi leaders publicly expressed their regrets, Saudi citizens privately sympathized with Osama bin Laden.
"Right after 9/11, you know, I was in neighboring United Arab Emirates," he recalled. "An Emirates official said to me - he'd just come from a conference in Saudi Arabia - he said, 'Tom, let me tell you something. Bin Laden is in every home in Saudi Arabia.'"
The Times columnist argued that bin Laden struck the U.S. primarily as "a way of undercutting what he saw as the strongest prop of the Saudi ruling family."
He urged President Bush to use the Saudi turmoil to recruit European nations to join the U.S. in helping to stabilize Iraq - telling them:
"'Guys, we've now got a Saudi Arabia that's got a low-grade civil war going on. We have Saudi opposition groups, al-Qaida sympathizers, attacking fortified oil installations. We need to put Iraq - tilt that on the right direction. The last thing we need is two unstable countries there."
Iran Revokes Academic's Death Sentence-Source
By Parisa Hafezi
June 1st 2004
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's hardline judiciary has revoked the death sentence of dissident academic Hashem Aghajari, a verdict which sparked mass student protests in 2002, a judiciary source said on Tuesday.
The source, who declined to be named, confirmed comments by Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Elham to the ISNA students news agency earlier on Tuesday that the Supreme Court had scrapped Aghajari's death sentence.
"Yes, the sentence has been revoked," the source told Reuters.
Reformist history lecturer Aghajari was convicted by a provincial court of blasphemy in late 2002 for saying in a speech that Muslims were not "monkeys" to blindly follow the teachings of senior clerics, comments deemed as a challenge to Iran's clerical establishment.
Aghajari's case was seen by political analysts as a litmus test of the limits of free speech in the Islamic Republic.
The sentence sparked the biggest pro-democracy protests in years and has been roundly criticized by senior clerics who said it was excessive and invited international criticism.
Aghajari's lawyer Saleh Nikbakht told Reuters he had received no official word of the Supreme Court's decision.
He said Aghajari was likely to remain in jail for other convictions, including spreading lies and inciting public opinion -- charges that stemmed from the speech he made in the western province of Hamadan two years ago.
"He is not going to be released immediately because of his other charges," Nikbakht said.
As well as being sentenced to death, Aghajari's original conviction included an eight year jail term, a 10-year teaching ban and banishment to remote desert cities for several years.
Such multiple sentences are common in Iran.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the top figure in Iran's clerical establishment, has twice intervened and called for a review of Aghajari's death sentence.
His latest intervention came last month after a court in Hamadan upheld the death sentence after Aghajari's lawyer appealed.
Khamenei's comments and stern criticism of the sentence by hardline commentators and senior clerics led most legal experts in Iran to deduce that Aghajari's death sentence would eventually be scrapped and replaced with a jail term.
I just have a few questions... Should we liberate the suffering Christians in Sudan from the radical terrorists who are slaughtering them, before we go into Iran?
How many billions would the liberation of Iran cost U.S. taxpayers.. or is money even any issue?
Will this be an actual declared war or will it be another war where pesky Congress is bypassed, or will a 'resolution' be adequate?
And finally, will the heroic UN be begged to 'come in and help set up' an interim world order...err.. i mean interim govt when the dust settles?
Where does the liberation of Cuba and Red China fit in? Do they make the 'liberation list' at all, or do we keep having BBQ's at the ranch with their leader.
This just in from a student inside of Iran...
We have heard about quashing Aghajari death sentence today in Iran.
I think they quashed the death sentence to avoid further political tensions and Students' protests in Iran.
That can be a victory for our Iranian students."
IGC Names Ghazi Al-Yawar as Iraqi President
June 01, 2004
The Financial Times
James Drummond in Baghdad and FT Reporters
Members of the Iraqi Governing Council on Tuesday named Ghazi al-Yawar, a tribal leader originally from northern Iraq, as the country's president.
The announcement followed a morning of confusion in Baghdad. Early reports suggested the Council had named Adnan Pachachi, a veteran liberal politician and former foreign minister, to take the largely ceremonial role, but Mr Pachachi reportedly turned down the offer. Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN envoy, later confirmed Mr Yawar's appointment.
The US-led Coalition Provisional Authority had delayed the meeting to announce the new president. Abdel Aziz al-Hakim, the leader of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, said on Monday that Mr Yawar, favoured by most members of the council, was being considered because of his tribal connections and his weight in security issues.
Mr Yawar is a leading member of the Shamar tribe, based in northern Iraq. A Sunni Muslim, he was born in Mosul and trained as a civil engineer. Until recently he worked as a businessman in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Mr Pachachi, who was thought to be favoured by the US and Mr Brahimi, had experience and the strength of his international contacts on his side, Mr Hakim said.
Clashes rock the City of Arak
SMCCDI (Information Service)
Jun 1, 2004
Several workers of Arak Aluminium Industries have been injured and others arrested following the sporadic clashes which rocked, today, this city located near Tehran.
The workers along with members of their families and supporters were attacked by the elite forces of the regime as they intended to rally against their conditions. Clubs, Chains and Tear gas were used against them and they retaliated by setting tires ablaze and throwing pieces of stones against the regime forces.
The situation is very tense and the factory might be in strike from tomorrow morning.
Kerry: Nuclear Terrorism Is Gravest Threat to U.S.
June 01, 2004
The New York Times
WASHINGTON -- Nuclear terrorism is the gravest threat the United States faces, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said on Tuesday as he offered a plan to secure atomic arsenals and materials around the world.
``The enemy is different and we must think and act anew,'' Kerry said in excerpts of remarks prepared for delivery in West Palm Beach, Florida. ``We have to do everything we can to stop a nuclear weapon from ever reaching our shore and that mission begins far away.''
In the second of three speeches on national security, Kerry is expected to propose a new high-level White House job to oversee efforts to prevent a terrorist attack using nuclear weapons and recommend speeding up a current program to secure nuclear material in the former Soviet Union.
``The greatest threat we face today (is) the possibility of al Qaeda or other terrorists getting their hands on a nuclear weapon,'' Kerry said. ``Osama bin Laden has called obtaining a weapon of mass destruction a 'sacred duty.'''
The senator from Massachusetts, a 20-year veteran of the Foreign Relations Committee, also said he wanted to end nuclear programs in countries like Iran and North Korea.
Kerry has criticized President Bush for refusing to hold bilateral negotiations with North Korea. He has said he would adopt a two-track policy of continuing the six-party talks that include Russia, Japan, China and South Korea while also holding direct discussions with Pyongyang.
After the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, Kerry said Americans needed to ``take away politics, strip away the labels'' and ask honest questions.
``Have we done everything we could to secure these dangerous weapons and materials? Have we taken every step we should to stop North Korea and Iran's nuclear programs? Have we reached out to our allies and forged an urgent global effort to ensure that nuclear weapons and materials are secured?''
``The honest answer, in each of these areas, is that we have done too little, often too late, and even cut back our efforts,'' he said.
A Kerry foreign policy adviser said when Bush came to office he curtailed the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, known as Nunn-Lugar after the two senators -- Democrat Sam Nunn and Republican Richard Lugar -- who created it.
In the past decade, the program has spent $4 billion to help former Soviet states eliminate or secure nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, including the deactivation of more than 6,000 nuclear warheads.
Kerry has supported expanding and accelerating Nunn-Lugar as an important defense against terrorists and rogue states obtaining old Soviet weapons of mass destruction.
``If we secure all bomb-making materials, ensure that no new materials are produced for nuclear weapons, and end nuclear weapons programs in hostile states like North Korea and Iran, we will dramatically reduce the possibility of nuclear terrorism,'' he said.
The presumptive Democratic nominee, who is locked in a tight battle with Bush five months ahead of the Nov. 2 election, has launched an 11-day mini-campaign devoted to national security as the chaos in Iraq and the June 30 handover to an as-yet-unnamed interim government dominates the headlines.
Last week, he outlined four ``imperatives'' -- rebuilding alliances ``shredded'' by Bush's go-it-alone policies, modernizing the U.S. military, using diplomacy, intelligence, economic power and American values to defeat threats and freeing the United States from its ``dangerous dependence on Middle East oil.
Bush and his Republican allies have tried to portray Kerry as an equivocating liberal, soft on defense and weak on fighting terrorism.
Iranian Mps Warn of NPT Pullout
June 01, 2004
Agence France Presse
TEHRAN -- Iran's new conservative-controlled parliament will consider pulling the Islamic republic out of a key nuclear arms control treaty if the UN's atomic energy watchdog is deemed to be too pro-American, two deputies warned Tueday.
"If the IAEA again acts in the way that the Americans want and if the big powers use the Non-Proliferation Treaty to pressure Iran, parliament will examine leaving the NPT," MPs Ali Abaspour and Hossein Nejabat told the hardline Jomhuri Islami newspaper.
The warning comes ahead of a June 14 meeting of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), where the body's executive -- the Board of Governors -- are due to review the progress of inspections of Iran's suspect bid to generate nuclear power.
Abaspour said the outcome of the meeting would "serve as a basis" for a decision in parliament on how Iran should handle its future relations with the IAEA, including whether it ratifies an additional protocol to the NPT that allows tougher inspections.
"If the IAEA acts in an independent manner, parliament will insist on continued cooperation," said the MP, one of a majority of conservative deputies who seized control of the Majlis after most reformist candidates were barred form standing in February's parliamentary polls.
"But if we see that the IAEA is simply a tool of the United States and is only looking for pretexts to use against Iran, we will put on parliament's agenda a move to leave these treaties," he warned.
The United States argues Iran is secretly trying to build the bomb, but Iran insists its programme is purely peaceful -- even though it emerged late last year the country had for years been covering up sophisticated activities.
In the run-up to the June meeting, Iranian officials have been warning the IAEA not to be too harsh, or else risk pushing the Islamic republic's clerical leaders to cut off cooperation altogether.
IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei said last week that Iran's cooperation with the agency had been insufficient, but added that he had not drawn any conclusions over the nature of the country's nuclear programme.
If Iran comes under renewed criticism on June 14 and more doubts emerge over its cooperation, the IAEA's board could refer the matter to the UN Security Council, which in turn could decide to impose sanctions.
ElBaradei Says 'Jury Out' on Iran's Nuclear Plans
June 01, 2004
What Can I Do?
Its the Wests soft power we need.
National Review Online
June 01, 2004, 8:30 a.m.
Reacting to my article, "Feeling the Heat," a young congressional staff member on the Hill wrote to me asking the simple question: "What can I do to help Iran?"
"I firmly believe that my generation can unite to form a global coalition for government transparency and open markets to produce a culture of tolerance and freedom," wrote Reggie (I've changed names in this piece), before adding: "A young, grassroots movement not in line with the traditional model of adolescent rejection of politics and economics, but a globalized yearning...for freedom and equality. A generation so young and so powerful in Iran can produce a new order; shift the tides of repression across the world and in the Middle East." And once again she asked the simple question that, if it finds resonance and answer, could change history: "Simply put, what can I do to help the youth of Iran?"
On the eve of Memorial Day, in a separate e-mail from his midwestern campus, another young American asked me the same question. "About your proposal for a broad-based...democracy movement that would demand freedoms for all peoples.... I'd like to get going on this project as soon as possible," said Charlie. "However, I am not sure exactly where to start."
In my article, I related the story of Tannaz, an Iranian student, and asked the question the West is facing: Between Jannati, Secretary of the Guardian Council of the Iranian theocracy, and Tannaz, which one will you choose? A few years ago in Serbia, between Milosevic on one hand and the Serbian students and Zoran Djindjic on the other, a united West chose the students and their leaders. Today, the entire Balkan region has been stabilized and democratic nations are being built. Tomorrow, in Iran, which way will the West go? Will we all harvest the seeds of democracy or the grapes of wrath and resentment of a disillusioned youth? That is the question.
For Reggie, Charlie, and Tannaz to celebrate Democracy Day in a freedom parade in Tehran, we do not need bullets. Rather, to witness the Iranian D-Day we need the West's immense information-projection power. We need the West's vastly influential think tanks to advocate a policy of freedom for the people, not détente with a regime whose Majlis (Parliament) inaugurates with chants of "Death to America" and whose Friday "prayers" serve as recruiting speeches for suicide bombers.
We need congressional hearings and testimonies given by young Iranians describing the hopelessness of existence under theocracy; the complete lack of normalcy and dignity; the day-by-day attrition of life. We need a tiny fraction of the West's financial support channeled to the families of Iranian political prisoners and jailed journalists with international monitoring. We need your soft power, and all of it. We need it in a barrage of heavy-media artillery, think-tank platforms, and the solidarity of Western NGOs. We need U.S. and EU campus events with young Iranians "yearning for freedom" standing hand in hand with Western students. We need Western artists lending their music and their voices to the Joyless Generation.
In 1979, Time magazine named Khomeini Man of the Year, in effect promoting his thoughts and his generation. That gloomy cover page was followed by the darkness of 25 years of yet-to-be-fully-unfolded "content." Ahmad Batebi, a student leader thrown in jail for holding a bloodied T-shirt in front of reporters, is our Man of the Decade. We are yearning for something better, and we need Ahmad on your cover page.
We are the generation of Reggie and Charlie, Tannaz and Ahmad. We need you!
Ramin Parham, editor of iraninstitutefordemocracy.org, is an independent commentator based in Paris.
What Can I Do?
Its the Wests soft power we need.
National Review Online
June 01, 2004, 8:30 a.m.
We are dealing with a truly international terror network.
National Review Online
June 01, 2004, 8:27 a.m.
You will, I hope, recall the heroic death of Fabrizio Quattrocchi on April 14 at the hands of jihadists in Iraq. At the time, the Italian foreign minister revealed that Quattrocchi, clawing at the hood they had placed over his head, cried out, "I will show you how an Italian dies!" Now, thanks to a truly great Italian reporter (and assistant editor of the Corriere della Sera) named Magdi Allam, we know a bit more about the event.
As Quattrocchi tried to remove the hood, he asked, "May I?" At that point, one of his captors replied in colloquial and unaccented Italian "in your dreams" ("neanche per sogno"). Italian analysts believe that Italian was the terrorist's mother tongue.
This is not the only example of native Italian speakers among terrorists. The three remaining Italian hostages were shown on a video broadcast on April 26, and one of them Salvatore Stefio spoke warmly of his captors: "So far we haven't had any trouble with them. We eat regularly and we haven't been physically maltreated in any way. All our requests to improve our stay here with them have been agreed to." This sort of statement was likely dictated by the terrorists, and at least one of them must have been relatively fluent in Italian in order to permit the statement to be taped and broadcast.
I think we can take it for granted that the terror network now contains representatives of every country in the Islamic network's gunsights, along with the cannon fodder they recruit from their own homelands. Surely they managed to recruit some Spaniards to advise them on the best way to influence the outcome of the national elections on March 11. And notice that in the recent attacks in Saudi Arabia, the terrorists told potential victims that they would be spared so long as they were Muslim, even if they were Americans. You can be sure there are plenty of Americans in the terrorists' ranks who know how to ask the life-and-death questions of us.
So, as Allam says, we are dealing with a truly international terror organization, and he reinforces the conclusion by comparing the very similar language used to attack Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi by Islamic terrorists in several different countries. In addition to the common denunciations of Berlusconi, these statements all demonstrate considerable knowledge of Italian politics far more than is found in the Arab or Iranian press.
"The globalization of terrorism is an undoubted success for bin Laden. It is sufficiently serious and frightening to induce (Saudi) Prince Abdullah according to credible secret sources to negotiate with bin Laden a secret agreement to prevent the fall of the monarchy, based on their common hated of America and Israel." According to Allam, that agreement explains Abdullah's statement, following the May 1 terror attack, blaming "Zionism" for terrorism in Saudi Arabia. Other sources tell Allam the same thing I have heard, namely that the Saudi royal family has prepared a detailed plan to run abroad if the situation gets much worse, and that knowledge of the royal family's intentions is a major component in the recent rise in the price of oil. Meanwhile, the Saudis are buying insurance by supporting the terrorists in Iraq.
All of this should make us redouble our efforts in the war against terrorism, and remind us that we are not fighting a single war in a single country. The entire Middle East is a boiling cauldron right now, and with it the rest of the world. It is rare indeed to witness, first hand, the planet's destiny swinging on a single hinge, which is this generation's privilege and dread. Yet our leaders and their political opponents are obsessed with a single prison in Baghdad and a single Iraqi leader not to their liking.
It must be possible for someone in our political class to remind the nation that we are in a broad war, and we can only win it by using the full panoply of military and political weapons in our arsenal. Take the political battle to Iran and Syria, where the people have demonstrated a willingness to challenge the murderous regimes, and where al Qaeda and its allies in Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and the others have found safe haven and operational support.
And I hope someone in the Pentagon has a contingency plan to secure the oil fields in the event that the CIA can't manage the Saudi situation, and the brave Abdullah and his children, brothers, sisters, cousins, and nephews race to the French Riviera.
Faster, please. This is a time for war, not speechifying.
Michael Ledeen, an NRO contributing editor, is most recently the author of The War Against the Terror Masters. Ledeen is Resident Scholar in the Freedom Chair at the American Enterprise Institute.
Hope they do something to stop the Mullahs!
Iranians Face Crackdown on 'Immoral' Behavior
Tue Jun 1, 2004
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's feared morals police have launched a crackdown on "social corruption" such as women flouting Islamic dress codes, newspapers reported Tuesday, in what analysts said may reflect a changing political climate.
"A serious fight has started to tackle the spread of social corruption in society, especially the improper dress code," Tehran's Prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi was quoted by Seda-ye Edalat newspaper as saying.
Enforcement of strict moral codes governing women's dress, Western music and mingling of the sexes has become more lax since President Mohammad Khatami's election in 1997 on a platform of social and political reform.
Emboldened young women have steadily tested the barriers of permissible attire, wearing gradually more colorful, tighter and more revealing coats and scarves and more obvious make-up.
Many young couples in the capital even dare to hold hands in public, in defiance of Islamic rules which prohibit physical contact between unrelated members of the opposite sex.
Religious hard-liners accuse Khatami of encouraging what they deem "immoral behavior" by Iran's youth.
Islamic conservatives who swept aside reformists in a February parliamentary vote Khatami's allies called a "sham," have said they do not intend to roll back social freedoms.
But analysts said the conservatives must play a delicate balancing act between upsetting their loyal supporters and provoking unrest by taking a tough line on social offences.
"This (crackdown) is a display of their power," said one political analyst who declined to be named. "The conservatives have to satisfy the people who elected them."
Tehran residents have noted an upsurge in arrests for "immoral behavior" in recent weeks.
Islamic volunteers and morals police have stepped up raids on illegal house parties where young people meet to drink alcohol and dance to Western music -- both illegal since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
And along Tehran's Jordan Avenue -- a popular place for young Iranians to cruise in their cars at night -- plain-clothes security men have been stopping cars and arresting occupants for a variety of offences.
"My car was confiscated for three months because they found illegal music cassettes and my girlfriend was in the car," said Arshia, a 32-year-old architect.
Here is the front page link to a copy of Osama bin Ladens terror training manual:
Pay especial attention to "Espionage; Information Gathering Using Open Methods" - chapter 11
(click on pages 8, 9 and 10.)
Bush Urges World to Pursue Push to Stop WMD Trafficking
June 01, 2004
The Associated Press
KRAKOW, Poland -- President Bush on Tuesday hailed the success of a year-old international effort to disrupt the spread of weapons of mass destruction, urging more than 60 nations backing the initiative to remain vigilant.
"We are determined to keep the world's most dangerous weapons out of the world's most dangerous hands," Bush said in a videotaped message to a conference marking the anniversary of his Proliferation Security Initiative.
Launched during a visit to Krakow last year, Bush's program calls on countries to work together to intercept components of weapons of mass destruction on planes, ships and on land.
Bush attributed Libya's decision to renounce its nuclear and chemical weapons programs in December largely to the initiative.
International intelligence sharing and other cooperation under the program led to the interception of a freighter bound for Tripoli laden with components to enrich uranium, he said.
Bush also cited international cooperation in breaking up the illicit nuclear trafficking led by Abdul Qadeer Khan, the Pakistani scientist implicated in selling his country's nuclear secrets to Libya, North Korea, Iran and possibly other countries.
The initiative led to "the unraveling of A. Q. Khan's nuclear network," which showed its "potential to end a program that threatens us all," Bush said.
In separate videotaped comments to the 62-nation meeting, Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski said the threats of proliferation went beyond nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs being secretly developed by rogue nations.
"The dangers will become even greater if weapons of mass destruction fell into the hands of terrorists," he warned.
Addressing the conference, U.S. Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton urged nations worldwide to scrutinize shipments to and from North Korea, Iran and Syria - nations he described as "serious proliferation threats."
He said he expected the cooperation among PSI partners to evolve to the point where "we will have shut down the ability of persons, companies or other entities to engage in this deadly trade ... and we will have made it increasingly difficult and costly for rogue nations and terrorists to engage in their deadly work."
Iran Says it's Building Stealth Missile
June 01, 2004
The Associated Press
The New York Times
TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran is producing its first stealth missile, a rocket that can evade electronic detection, the Iranian Defense Ministry said Tuesday while withholding its range.
The missile, named Kowsar after a river in Muslim descriptions of paradise, will be capable of hitting ships and aircraft, Defense Ministry spokesman Mohammad Reza Imani told The Associated Press.
He refused to give the missile's range or provide other details. Features of the Kowsar, such as its guidance and positioning systems, are currently on show at an exhibition in Tehran that is open only to select government officials.
Iranian state television announced the Kowsar Tuesday while screening pictures of a missile flying through the air.
Iran manufactures various missiles, chief among them the Shahab-3 whose range of 810-miles makes it capable of reaching Israel.
Iran also produces tanks, armored personnel carriers, and a fighter plane.
The Kowsar river is mentioned in the Quran, Islam's holy book.
Iran Says it's Building Stealth Missile
June 01, 2004
The Associated Press
The New York Times
IAEA to Take Iran To Security Council if Military Link Proved
June 01, 2004
BRATISLAVA -- The UN atomic energy agency chief said Tuesday the jury was still out on Iran's nuclear program but that he would not hesitate to recommend taking Tehran to the UN Security Council if a military link were found.
"We will not hesitate to report to the (agency's) board, which will report in its turn to the Security Council, if we see any connection with a military program," Mohamed ElBaradei told a Nato meeting in the Slovak capital Bratislava. But he said "the jury is still out on Iran," before returning to Vienna where his International Atomic Energy Agency was readying to issue a report on Iran's nuclear program ahead of a meeting of the IAEA's 35-nation board of governors on June 14.
The United States claims Iran is hiding a program to build the bomb and has called for the IAEA, which has been investigating the Iranian program since February 2003, to refer the Islamic Republic to the UN Security Council for possible international sanctions. But ElBaradei said: "There is no evidence that the Iranian program has some military dimension." He was speaking at the end of a five-day meeting of Nato's Parliamentary Assembly, which gathered 300 members of parliament from 39 countries - 26 members of the recently expanded Nato and 13 associate members.
The assembly, which is a consultative body, discussed issues including the situation in Afghanistan and Iraq, the US-led "war on terror", nuclear proliferation and weapons of mass destruction. ElBaradei repeated here his call for re-thinking the non-proliferation regime currently mandated by the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) that went into effect in 1970. "In regard of nuclear proliferation, it is time to reshuffle a security system that encourages the arms' race and to think, out of the box, about a new one that would not rely on nuclear deterence."
The NPT allows the five original nuclear powers - the United States, Britain, China, France and Russia - to keep their atom bombs and says that non-nuclear-weapon states should stay free of atomic arms. "A system that encompasses the 'haves' and the 'have nots' is not viable in the long run," ElBaradei said, calling for a new "global security system." The parliamentary assembly's president Doug Bereuter called at a press conference closing the meeting for Nato to hold its next summit on enlargement in 2007, at the latest.
"Our first task must be to support the efforts of the remaining candidate countries - Albania, Croatia and Macedonia - as they strive for Nato membership," Bereuter said. The Bratislava event came two months after Slovakia and six other former Soviet-bloc countries joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization on March 29. Slovakia also was among 10 mainly eastern European countries that also joined the European Union on May 1.
Iranian Police Arrest Christian Pastor
Christian World News (From Compass Direct News) [link might change] ^ | May 28, 2004 | Barbara G. Baker
Posted on 06/01/2004 6:27:06 PM PDT by sionnsar
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