Skip to comments.Iranian Alert -- June 4, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Posted on 06/03/2004 9:02:12 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.
US: Iran Nuclear Program Designed To Produce Weapons
June 03, 2004
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. State Department expressed concern Wednesday about Iran exploring the possibility of producing a centrifuge capable of making weapons-grade uranium.
Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the only purpose of 18 years of covert nuclear activity by Iran could be to create weapons.
"There is no doubt," Boucher said, "that they have an extensive program of nuclear activity and that many of those activities are in no way peaceful."
Rather, Boucher said, they "are specifically intended to create weapons."
Earlier Wednesday in Tehran, Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Hasan Rowhani, left open the option of producing a centrifuge capable of making weapons-grade uranium.
He spoke a day after the International Atomic Energy Agency credited Iran with being more open about its nuclear programs but expressed concern about years of secret activities.
Asked about the centrifuge, Boucher said "we certainly have talked about some of these reports before and said that we are quite concerned about this information itself, but also about the fact this information was not disclosed by Iran, despite its repeated commitments to do so."
Chretien and Kazemi
June 03, 2004
To former prime minister Jean Chretien:
Like many Canadians, I recently learned of your coming visit to Iran as a representative of a Calgary-based oil company. It is reported that the purpose of your trip is to conclude a deal with the Iranian government on behalf of this firm.
I write to congratulate you.
Your failure to ensure justice was served in the case of my mother, Zahra Kazemi -- who was murdered by the Iranian regime while you were prime minister -- has apparently paid off: You are now most welcome in Tehran.
Last June, my mother was arrested without cause by agents of the Iranian government, who then beat and tortured her to death. No doubt, you remember the case and so are well-informed of the systematic violations of human rights that take place in Iran, as well as the circumstances that surround the killing of my mother.
And yet, knowing this, you are off to shake hands with representatives of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the executioners who less than a year ago had my mother murdered.
I can only thank you for doing this now, Mr. Chretien -- for you are demonstrating clearly what a charade Canada's fervent defence of human rights is. Despite your speeches about human rights when you were at the head of our government, you are now conferring your personal prestige on Iran's regime, and by extension its crimes against humanity.
Bravo, Mr. Chretien. I knew I could count on you to take the veil off your government's hypocrisy. The politics that you practice now show how your government favours "business as usual" before human rights. Congratulations.
Stephan Hachemi, Montreal.
Iraq's Interim Government is US 'Lackey', says Iran Supreme Leader
03 Jun 2004, 14:59 UTC
Iran's supreme leader has dismissed Iraq's new interim government as a "lackey" of the United States.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made the remark to tens of thousands of Iranians gathered to mark the 15th anniversary of the death of the founder of the Islamic revolution in Iran - Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
Mr. Khamenei criticized the United States saying it has treated Iraqis inhumanely and installed a lackey government. He said this is the result of removing religion from politics.
The conservative ayatollah's comments are in sharp contrast to those of President Mohammed Khatami's administration. Reformist officials have welcomed Iraq's transitional government, calling it a "step forward" to full Iraqi sovereignty.
Iran Taking Aim?
The Middle East Media Research Institute | June 3, 2004
The London Arabic-language daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported that "an Iranian intelligence unit has established a center called The Brigades of the Shahids of the Global Islamic Awakening to replace the Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Department of Liberation and Revolutionary Movements, which had been in charge of helping and training revolutionary forces across the world."  The article went on to report a speech given by an official of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, threatening the U.S. with suicide and missile attacks at already-selected sensitive targets, and threatening to "take over" Britain. The following is the report: 
Iran Stands Ready to Attack the West
"A source close to [Revolutionary Guards] intelligence confirmed that P.R. has been appointed secretary-general of a new office that has begun registering the names of suicide volunteers to be sent to Iraq, Palestine, and Lebanon.
"[The newspaper reported that it had obtained] a tape with a speech by H.A., a [Revolutionary] Guards intelligence theoretician, who teaches at the Revolutionary Guards' Al-Hussein University. [In the tape, H.A.] spoke of Tehran's secret strategy aimed at taking over the Arab and Muslim countries by means of helping revolutionary forces and organizations. H.A. is regarded as one of the advisors of a branch in the organization, and has published a number of works on exporting the [Islamic] revolution and the method of the struggle against the world arrogance [i.e., the U.S.].
"In his speech at a secret conference attended by students who are members of the Ansar Hizbullah movement at Al-Hussein University, [H.A. said]: 'Iraqi oil constitutes 11% of the world oil reserves, and it has fallen into the hands of the U.S. and Britain. The value of the intelligence documents that the U.S. obtained because of its takeover of Iraqi intelligence is greater than $1000 billion. Whereas our [Iran's] Foreign Ministry was expressing willingness to reconstruct the statue of the Buddha [destroyed by the Taliban in 2001] in Afghanistan that is, to build an idol, which is an act that is against the principles of Islam the U.S. managed to force its rule on Afghanistan.
"'(President Muhammad) Khatami speaks of the dialogue between civilizations, and I have grave doubts about this. It is a dubious idea. We do not want to take over the British Embassy, since they (the British) have already cleared the embassy of documents; we must take over Britain [itself].'
"After [H.A.] harshly attacked Khatami and the reformists, he said in his speech: 'The West sees us as terrorists, and depicts our strategy as terrorism and repression. Had our youth agreed to Khatami's teachings and interpretations, it would never have fought the arrogance, and would never have defended the holy places because Khatami speaks always of being conciliatory, of patience, and of rejecting terrorism, while we defend [the line of] toughness and war against the enemies of revolutionary Islam. I take pride in my actions that cause anxiety and fear to the Americans.
"'Haven't the Jews and the Christians achieved their progress by means of toughness and repression? We have a strategy drawn up for the destruction of Anglo-Saxon civilizationand for the uprooting of the Americans and the English.
"'Our missiles are now ready to strike at their civilization, and as soon as the instructions arrive from Leader ['Ali Khamenei], we will launch our missiles at their cities and installations. Our motto during the war (in Iraq) was: Karbala, we are coming, Jerusalem, we are coming. And because of Khatami's policies and dialogue between the civilizations, we have been compelled to freeze our plan to liberate the Islamic cities. And now we are [again] about to carry out the program.'
"In his speech, he added: 'The global infidel front is a front against Allah and the Muslims, and we must make use of everything we have at hand to strike at this front, by means of our suicide operations or by means of our missiles. There are 29 sensitive sites in the U.S. and in the West. We have already spied on these sites and we know how we are going to attack them.'
"In another part of his speech, he emphasized, 'If Israel dares attack the [nuclear] installations at Bushehr, our losses will be very low, because [only] one structure will be destroyed while we [i.e., Iran] have means of attacking Israel's nuclear facilities and arsenals such that no trace of Israel will remain.'"
Other Reports: ' Many Young Muslims are Willing to Carry Out Martyrdom Operations Against the American Crusaders'
The previous day, Iranian sources had statements on the same issue. At a ceremony marking the four-year anniversary of Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon, reformist MP and Secretary-General of the International Committee for the Support of the Palestinian Intifada Ali Akbar Makhatashemi-Pour called on Muslim countries to open their borders with Iraq to troops of Muslim martyrdom bombers. "We, the Muslim countries, must create a storm front against the U.S. and Israel. The half-million member organization that was created in Beirut [i.e., Hizbullah] is not sufficient. Many young Muslims are willing to carry out martyrdom operations against the American Crusaders." 
The Iranian reformist paper Sharq reported that the Persian-language Ruydad website stated that Hizbullah-Iran activist Forouz Rajaii-Far said that "martyrdom operations are the only option to expel the Americans and British from Iraq," and that a Basij activist from Elm Vasonaat University in Iran acknowledged that a group calling itself the "To Karbala Battalion" was sent on May 27, 2004 to Karbala to fight the coalition forces. 
Clearly Iran is a terrorist nation that is participating in open warfare against us.
So many targets, so little time...
"Clearly Iran is a terrorist nation that is participating in open warfare against us."
It has a terrorist-loving regime.
Iran's so-called supreme leader blasts Iraq's interim government
Jun 3, 2004
The supreme leader of Iran is blasting the newly named interim government in Iraq -- calling it "America's lackey."
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (hah-meh-neh-EE') charges that the Bush administration has failed to bring reform to post-Saddam Iraq. He pointed to the prisoner abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib prison -- and said it's the result of "removing spirituality from politics."
However the Iranian government doesn't see it the same way. The reformist administration welcomes the new government as a "step forward" toward full Iraqi sovereignty.
The ayatollah spoke at a commemoration of the death of the late Ayatollah Khomeni (hoh-MAY'-nee) 15 years ago. Khomeni founded the Islamic revolution that toppled the U-S-backed Shah in 1979.
Mullahs' Reign Of Terror in Iran
June 03, 2004
The American Thinker
As a former political prisoner, I have been asked on many occasions what has kept the mullahs regime in power in Iran for twenty five years. After all, the overwhelming majority of Iranians loathe them; their oil-driven economy is in shambles, with a majority of the population below the poverty line or very close to it. Internationally they are condemned as the most active sponsor of terrorism and major proliferators of weapons of mass destruction. So, what is their secret?
There are several reasons for their longevity. Irans geography, its oil and natural gas resources, and the European Unions policy of engagement are among them. In this article, however, my focus is on the main factor: the unbridled, systematic, and highly organized suppression of Iranian citizens and dissidents. Irans democracy movement must bring this structure of terror down before genuine change can be realized.
As a young student activist, I spent three years in the womens ward of one of Irans prisons simply for engaging in political activity to promote democratic rights and encouraging others to get involved. It was in prison where I saw first-hand how the mullahs shield their tyrannical rule behind walls of suppression.
In Iran, a unique mixture of religious authority and demagoguery, combined with a bottomless coffer, and topped with unbounded capacity for savagery, has created the horrific machinery of terror and fear, which has served to preserve the ruling theocracy so far.
Similar to Europes age of inquisition, Irans apparatus of suppression legitimizes its barbarity under the cloak of religion. It has turned a sacred and compassionate religion into a tool to sanction killings, torture and destruction. Mosques and Friday prayer congregations have become instruments for spreading hate and vengeance.
Incapable of leading a nation of 35 million toward democracy, prosperity and progress, Khomeini-led clerics quickly realized after the 1979 revolution that they could hold-on to power only through a police state. They Set-up such organizations as the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Islamic Revolutionary Courts, the paramilitary Bassij force, and other agencies.
My time in prison was marked by unimaginable savagery of the prison officials and visiting mullahs towards prisoners who challenged the mullahs political and ideological legitimacy, and their claim to be Gods vice-regent on earth, by calling for popular sovereignty. They therefore were condemned for waging war on God. This legitimized their torture and execution.
Female prisoners like me were brutalized even more. The mullahs misogynous worldview goes through seismic jolts when they see women standing up to them. Many of my childhood friends ended up in the prison. Despite undergoing ceaseless physical and psychological torture, including rape, they remained defiant to the end. Many of them were snatched from our prison cells in the middle of the night and sent to the gallows. Some were buried in unmarked graves and at least two were pregnant when they were executed.
Relatives of political prisoners are denied access to universities, employment, traveling abroad and anything which requires government approval. Many relatives have been imprisoned just for sympathizing with their loved ones political views or with the democratic opposition. Some relatives are even executed. In my cell, two teenage sisters were detained simply because they had refused to appear on television and denounce their activist brother, who had already been executed. Both were executed a few years later.
Torture is also used for made-for-TV confessions about how the opposition organizations and activists are basically corrupt and worse than the regime. The mullahs seek to sow fear, confusion and doubt in the minds of people in order to undermine the quest for a regime change. This also explains why the mullahs continue to flog, amputate limbs, gouge out eyes, hang, and stone people to death in public.
Despite such pervasive, systematic all-around suppression and tens of thousands of political executions, Irans ruling mullahs have failed to silence Iranians. Iranians continue to challenge the regime through demonstrations, strikes, uprisings and other means. But as long as the mullahs machinery of suppression is in place, the regime will continue to crackdown, kill, arrest, and do whatever is needed to put down dissent.
On their own, the mullahs will never abandon the suppression of Iranians, close down their torture chambers, send away the firing squads, and dismantle the gallows. Therefore, Irans democracy movement, which rightly seeks the toppling of this regime as the necessary first step to establish a secular democracy in Iran, must be empowered to tear down this wall of suppression. When that happens, the world would see how fast the mullahs regime would crumble.
It is not enough just to applaud Iranians courage and their aspirations for a democratic government. Defending and safeguarding the human rights of Iranians and all Iranian dissidents must be the main component of any policy in support of Irans democracy movement. Thousands of political prisoners who have died in the hands of mullahs and hundreds of others who are in their dungeons right now deserve this recognition.
Roya Johnson is vice president of the US Alliance for Democratic Iran.
Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia
June 03, 2004
The Stratfor Weekly
The United States has clearly entered a new phase of the Iraq campaign in which its relationship with the Iraqi Shia has been de-emphasized while relationships with Sunnis have been elevated. This has an international effect as well. It obviously affects Iranian ambitions. It also helps strengthen the weakening hand of the Saudi government by reducing the threat of a Shiite rising in strategic parts of the kingdom that could threaten the flow of oil. The United States is creating a much more dynamic and fluid situation, but it is also enormously more complicated and difficult to manage.
The United States has fully entered the fourth phase of the Iraq campaign. The first phase consisted of the invasion of Iraq and the fall of Baghdad. The second was the phase in which the United States believed that it had a free hand in Iraq. It ended roughly July 1, 2003. The third phase was the period of commitment to control events in Iraq, intense combat with the Sunni guerrillas and collaboration with the Shia in Iraq and the Iranians. The fourth phase began in April with the negotiated settlement in Al Fallujah, and became official this week with the formation of the interim Iraqi government.
The new government represents the culmination of a process that began during the April uprising by Muqtada al-Sadr -- and Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani's unwillingness to intervene to stop the fighting and the kidnappings. Al-Sistani's behavior caused the Bush administration to reconsider a strategic principle that had governed U.S. strategy in Iraq since July 2003: the assumption that the United States could not afford to alienate al-Sistani and the Shiite community and remain in Iraq.
The problem was that the understanding the United States thought it had with the Shia was very different from the one the Shia thought they had with the United States. It would take a microscope to figure out how the disconnect occurred and how it widened into an abyss, but the basic outlines are obvious. Al-Sistani believed that by controlling the Shia during the Sunni Ramadan offensive of October-November 2003, the Shia had entered into an agreement with the United States that the sovereign government of Iraq would pass into Shiite hands as rapidly as possible.
Whether the United States had a different understanding -- or given its intelligence that the Sunni rebellion had been broken -- the fact was that by January, the United States was backing off the deal. In pressing for an interim government selected by the United States and containing heavy Sunni and Kurdish representation, and by putting off direct elections for at least a year, the United States let al-Sistani know that he was not getting what he wanted. Al- Sistani first transmitted his unhappiness through several channels, including Ahmed Chalabi. He then called for mass demonstrations. When that did not work, he maneuvered al-Sadr into rising against the Americans at the same time as the Sunnis launched an offensive west of Baghdad, particularly in Al Fallujah. Al-Sistani's goal was to demonstrate that the United States was utterly dependent on the Shia and that it had better change its thinking about the future Iraqi government.
Al-Sistani badly miscalculated. The United States did not conclude that it needed a deal with the Shia. It concluded instead that the Shia -- including Chalabi and al-Sistani -- were completely undependable allies. By striking at a moment of extreme vulnerability, the Shia crippled the U.S. Defense Department faction that had argued not only in favor of Chalabi but also in favor of alignment with the Shia. Instead, the CIA and State Department, which had argued that the Shiite alignment was a mistake, now argued -- convincingly -- that al-Sistani was maneuvering the United States into a position of complete dependency, and that the only outcome would be the surrender of power to the Shia, whose interests lay with Iran, not the United States. Following the al-Sadr rising, and al-Sistani's attempt to maneuver the United States into simultaneously protecting al-Sistani from al-Sadr and being condemned by al-Sistani for doing it, the defenders of the Shiite strategy were routed.
A fourth strategy emerged, in which the United States is trying to maintain balanced relationships with Sunnis and Shia, while currently tilting toward the Sunnis. Al Fallujah is the great symbol of this. The United States negotiated with its mortal enemy, the Sunnis, and conceded control of the city to them. What would have been utterly unthinkable during the third phase from July to March became logical and necessary in April and May. The United States is now speaking to virtually all Iraqi factions, save the foreign jihadists linked to al Qaeda. Al-Sistani has gone from being the pivot of U.S. policy in Iraq, to being a competitor for U.S. favor. It is no accident that Chalabi was publicly destroyed by the CIA over the past few weeks, or that the new Iraqi government gives no significant posts to al-Sistani supporters -- and that Shia are actually underrepresented.
The United States has recognized that it will not be able to defeat the Sunni insurgents in war without becoming utterly dependent on the Shia for stabilizing the south. Since the United States does not have sufficient force available in either place to suppress both a Sunni and a Shiite rising -- and since it has lost all confidence in the Shiite leadership -- logic has it that it needs to move toward ending the counterinsurgency. That is a political process requiring the United States to recognize the guerrillas linked to the Saddam Hussein military and intelligence service as a significant political force in Iraq, and to use that relationship as a lever with which to control the Shia. That is what happened in Al Fallujah; that is what is happening -- with much more subtlety -- in the interim government, and that is what will be playing out for the rest of the summer.
In essence, in order to gain control of the military situation, the United States has redefined the politics of Iraq. Rather than allowing the Shia to be the swing player in the three-man game, the United States is trying to maneuver itself into being the swingman. Suddenly, as the war becomes gridlocked, the politics have become extraordinarily fluid. Every ball is in the air -- and it is the United States that has become the wild card.
Changes and Consequences
The redefinition of the U.S. role in Iraq has major international consequences. The U.S. relationship with Iran reached its high point during the Bam earthquake in December 2003. The United States offered aid, and the Iranians accepted. The United States offered to send Elizabeth Dole (and a player to be named later), and this was rejected by Iran. Iran -- viewing the situation in Iraq and the U.S. relationship with the Shia, and realizing that the United States needed Iranian help against al Qaeda -- sought to rigorously define its relationship with the Americans on its own terms. It thought it had the whip hand and was using it. The United States struggled with its relationship with Iran from January until March, accepting its importance, but increasingly uneasy with the views being expressed by Tehran.
By April, the United States had another important consideration on its plate: the deteriorating situation in Saudi Arabia. The United States was the primary cause of that deterioration. It had forced the Saudi government to crack down on al Qaeda in the kingdom, and the radical Islamists were striking back at the regime. An incipient civil war was under way and intensifying. Contrary to myth, the United States did not intervene in Iraq over oil -- anyone looking at U.S. behavior over the past year can see the desultory efforts on behalf of the Iraqi oil industry -- but the United States had to be concerned about the security of oil shipments from Saudi Arabia. If those were disrupted, the global economy would go reeling. It was one thing to put pressure on the Saudis; it was another thing to accept a civil war as the price of that pressure. And it was yet another thing to think calmly about the fall of the House of Saud. But taking Saudi oil off the market was not acceptable.
The Saudis could not stop shipping oil voluntarily. They needed the income too badly. That was never a risk. However, for the first time since World War II, the disruption of Saudi oil supplies because of internal conflict or external force became conceivable. The fact was that Saudi Arabia had a large Shiite population that lived around the oil shipment points. If those shipment points were damaged or became inaccessible, all hell would break loose in the global economy.
The Iranians had a number of mutually supporting interests. First, they wanted a neutral or pro-Iranian Iraq in order to make another Iran-Iraq war impossible. For this, they needed a Shiite-dominated government. Second, they were interested in redressing the balance of power in the Islamic world between Sunnis and Shia, in particular with the Saudi Wahhabis. Finally, they wanted -- in the long run -- to become the dominant power in the Persian Gulf. Their relationship with the United States in Iraq was the linchpin for all of this.
The Saudis, having already felt the full force of American fury -- and now trapped between them and their own radicals -- faced another challenge. If the U.S. policy in Iraq remained on track, the power of Iran and the Shia would surge through the region. The Saudis had faced a challenge from the Shia right after the Khomeni revolution in Iran. They did not enjoy it, but they did have the full backing of the United States. Now they are in a position where they faced an even more intense challenge, and the United States might well stay neutral or, even worse, back the challenge. If the Shia in Saudi Arabia rose with the backing of Iran and a Shiite-dominated Iraq, the Saudi government would crumble.
From the Saudi point of view, they might be able to contain the radical Islamists using traditional tribal politics and payoffs, but facing the Wahhabis and the Shia at the same time would be impossible. The third-phase policy of entente between the United States and the Shiite-Iranian bloc seemed to guarantee a Shiite rising in Saudi Arabia in the not-too-distant future.
As U.S.-Iranian relations became increasingly strained during the winter, the Saudis increased their cooperation with the United States. They also made it clear to the Americans that they were in danger of losing their balance as the pressures on them mounted. The United States liked what it saw in the Saudi intensification of the war effort, even in the face of increased resistance. The United States did not like what it saw in Tehran, concerned that the relationship there was getting out of hand. Finally, in April, it became completely disenchanted with the Shiite leadership of Iraq.
There were therefore two layers to the U.S. policy shift. The first was internal to Iraq. The second had to do with increased concerns about the security of oil shipments from the kingdom if the Iranians encouraged a rising in Saudi Arabia. The United States did not lighten up at all on demanding full cooperation on al Qaeda. The Saudis supplied that. But the United States did not want oil shipments disrupted. In the end, the survival or demise of the House of Saud does not matter to the United States -- except to the degree that it affects the availability of oil.
The United States has to balance the pressure it puts on Saudi Arabia to fight al Qaeda against the threat of oil disruption. It cannot lighten up on either. From the American point of view, the right balance is a completely committed Saudi Arabia and freely flowing oil. The United States had moved much closer to the former, and it now needed to ensure the latter. Jerking the rug out from under the Iranians and the Shia was the U.S. answer.
Oil does not cost more than $40 a barrel because of China. It costs more than $40 a barrel because of fears that Saudi oil really could come off the market, and doubt that the complex U.S. maneuver can work. The obvious danger is an Iranian-underwritten rising in southern Iraq that spills over into Saudi Arabia. The United States has shut off its support for such an event, but the Iranians have an excellent intelligence organization with a strong covert capability. They are capable of answering in their own way.
The future at this moment is in the hands of Tehran and An Najaf. This is the point at which the degree of control the Iranians have over the Iraqi Shiite leadership will become clear. The Iranians obviously are not happy with the trends that have emerged over the past month. Their best lever is in Iraq. The Iraqi Shia are aware that the United States is increasingly limber and unpredictable -- and that it has more options than it had two months ago. The Iraqi Shia are in danger of being trapped between Washington and Tehran. It is extremely important to note that al-Sistani today tentatively endorsed the new government, clearly uneasy at the path events were taking. Therefore there are two questions: First, will the Iranians become more aggressive, abandoning their traditional caution? Second, can they get the Iraqi Shiite leaders to play their game, or will the old rift between Qom and An Najaf (the Iranian and Iraqi Shiite holy cities) emerge once again as the Shia scramble to get back into the American game.
The problem the Americans have is this: Wars are very complicated undertakings that require very simple politics. The more complicated the politics, the more difficult it is to prosecute a war. The politics of this war have become extraordinarily complicated. The complexity is almost mind-boggling. Fighting a war in this environment is tough at best -- and this is not the best. What the United States must achieve out of all of this maneuvering is a massive simplification of the war goals. This is getting way too complicated.
Sporadic clashes erupt at Tehran Azadi (Shahyad) Square
SMCCDI (Information Service)
Jun 4, 2004
Sporadic clashes erupted, in the early hours of today, the Tehran's Azadi square (former Shahyad) as hundreds of travelers took over the inter-cities Terminal and occupied tens of buses.
The travelers exasperated by the bad conditions and the excessive price of tickets, mainly available in black market, smashed several buses and security vehicles by shouting slogans against Tehran's new Mayor backed by the regime's Supreme leader.
Most members of the Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) stayed afar while few plainclothes elements attacked those suspected to lead the protest action leading to popular retaliation and sporadic clashes.
Calm was back in the early hours of morning as several officials rushed to the area and distributed free passes for the travelers.
This just in from Banafsheh...
FARS NEWS AGENCY:
Subject: Iran/Terror: First International gathering of candidates for suicide bombers
As part of the anniversary ceremonies of Iman Khomeini's death, an international gathering of candidates for suicide bombing will take place in Tehran under the title " Suicide in Tehran." The "Center for the appreciation of the Shahid" of the world Islamic Movement, declared today that an international gathering of "Shahids" (martyr bombers) is to take place with the object of presenting suicide bombing as the most effective and influential method to compel occupying forces to flee from Muslim territories.
The ceremony will include participants in various Jihad movements and will take place on 02/06/04 in the AL-SHOHADAH HALL at 7th Batir square.
Among the speakers at the gathering will be ZAHRA Mustafai the great grand daughter of Iman Khomeini, Member of the Majles. Mehdi Kushk, Sardar Salamati head of operations at the H.Q of the Revolutionary Guards, Hassan Abbasi head of the Institute of the doctrine of "Defense without borders" and IRI's Television terrorism proponent a and finally Sardar Kazemi, a Veteran officer who participated in the Iran Iraq war.
Iran Has Not Received Requests for Crude by U.S. Companies
TEHRAN June 4 (MNA) -
The general director of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) in international affairs announced that the company has not received any requests from American oil companies to buy Irans crude.
Hojatollah Ghanimifard denied here on Friday the recent news spread by some media regarding the sale of crude oil to American companies Chevron and Coastal.
He noted that the source of the rumors is the news reflected by Virginia Universitys site, which is merely a research and unrelated to crude oil purchase.
He went on to say that no request has yet been received from American companies to buy Irans crude, adding that there is no urge to sell oil to American companies until the Americans resolve the problems in this regard.
Commenting on the obstacles of oil deals, he said that the sanctions imposed by U.S. against some oil-producing companies in the 1990s and before that, resulted in the lack of sufficient investment in oil sectors of these countries and presumably the oil market face crisis due to oil shortfall in some periods of time.
As a new reader of your thread, I want to thank you for helping educate me and others as to what is actually occurring in Iran. My prayers go out for the suppressed and tortured Iranians whose only crime is desiring to live in freedom. And my prayers are also that President Bush will be re-elected....for the sake of us all.
France's Dangerous Partner
June 04, 2004
What is a matter of Euros and dollars for the French government is a matter of life and death for the Iranian people.
The French government is one of the strongest critics of the situation in Iraq. One might find this concern sincere at the first glance, but a closer look reveals that for the French government, lucrative deals take precedence over human rights.
Our historic memory is not that short to forget that the French government was Saddam Husseins major trade partner. With Saddams fall, French lost a major interlocutor in the Middle East. With its new partnership with Iran, it seems that the French government has chosen a new ally in the Middle East. A very dangerous partner indeed!
In 1985, France was ranked only 31st in trade with Iran. Since last year, it has moved up 28 places, to become Irans 3rd largest trading partner. With newly signed oil, automobile and cell phone deals it has now assumed the undisputed number one position.
Unfortunately the Iranian people have had to pay the price with their resources and with more pressure on their resistance.
The French government knows that to secure the mullahs friendship, one has to act against the Iranian people. This means ignoring the human rights abuses by the Islamic Republic of Iran and helping the mullahs suppress the Iranian resistance movement. The French government should feel disgraced by its actions.
On June 17th 2003, in an attack, coordinated with the Iranian Intelligence Ministry, 1,300 French policemen invaded the houses of Iranian dissidents in Auvers-sur-Oise, and elsewhere in Paris and arrested 165 Iranians, including the Iranian Resistance's President-elect Maryam Rajavi. The French accused the Iranian resistance of intentions to plan terrorist attacks on Iranian embassies in Europe. That was a false accusation and the French police had to release all those arrested after major protests by Iranians and the French. One year after the attack, the French police have yet to offer any reason to justify the raids against the Iranian resistance. After the June 17 attacks, trade between the two countries increased by 30 percent.
A new game against the Iranian resistance started a couple of months ago, when the French government began to hear charges against the Iranian resistance for an attack against the Iranian government in February 2000 in Tehran. Normally, the French would have nothing to do with such cases, because the attack was carried out by Iranians, against Iranian regime's targets and on Iranian soil. There was no French involvement whatsoever.
If the French feel obligated to investigate such charges, why then do they not investigate claims by hundreds of thousands of Iranians who have been victims of torture in Iranian prisons. The French government has disregarded all of those claims in the past fifteen years on the grounds that they had not been carried out in France. This double standard is nothing but the result of an appalling deal with the terrorist mullahs of Iran.
What did the French actually get from the mullahs to pursue this charge?
In March 2004, a French telecommunications company ALCATEL got the largest communications deal in Iran. ALESTOM, again a French company, got a four hundred million dollar deal to produce locomotives in Iran. On April 21, 2004, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, was received by the senior French officials. On the same day, the French oil conglomerate TOTAL won a 1.2 billion dollar bid to extract Iranian gas in the southern Pars region of the Persian Gulf. Three days later, the automobile giant, RENAULT, sent a delegation to Iran to finalize a deal that allowed the production of 500,000 cars in Iran each year. It was no surprise that on April 27th, the French government began to press charges against the Iranian resistance.
In the new world order, the French government has chosen to side with terrorists who have taken the lives of at least 120,000 Iranians and hundreds of foreign nationals. The French are in cahoots with a government that is the major sponsor of international terrorism and on the verge of producing nuclear weapons.
What is a matter of Euros and dollars for the French government is a matter of life and death for the Iranian people. The mullahs have destroyed their lives, violated their basic human rights, taken away their future, executed or imprisoned tens of thousands of their children and plundered their resources. Daily protests by workers, teachers, nurses, university students and all other walks of life in Iran, show that the Iranian people have rejected the clerical regime in its entirety. The French government should know that there is no honor in helping the terrorist and murderous regime of mullahs in Iran. The days for the mullahs regime are numbered. What the French government will gain in economical deals today, they will lose in the future when Iran is free again.
Hedayat Mostowfi is the Executive Director for nationwide Committee in Support of Referendum in Iran.
Khatami: The Root of All Terrorist Activity is the Violence of the Superpowers
June 04, 2004
Middle East Media Research Institute
Recently, several high-ranking Iranian leaders, among them Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Muhammad Khatami, expressed views on the achievements of Iran's Islamic Revolution and the legacy of Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini, and on the relationship between Islam and Western culture and values. Both men attacked the U.S. for its handling of affairs in Iraq. Along with stressing the need to instill Ayatollah Khomeini's legacy among the younger Iranians who never knew him, Iranian Leader Ali Khamenei stated that not only is Khomeini's political thought appropriate for all of humanity's needs, but that the source of human suffering is "liberal democracy." Khamenei attacked the U.S. and stated that the reason for the "disgrace" (that is, the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghureib prison) was that "liberal democracy is devoid of morality." In contrast, Iranian President Muhammad Khatami expressed his support for borrowing from Western values and blending them into Islamic culture. At the same time, however, Khatami stated that the root of all terrorism is superpower violence.
The following are statements by these high-ranking Iranian leaders, as well as by Iranian Culture and Guidance Minister Ahmad Masjid-Jama'i:
Khamenei: 'Liberal Democracy is Devoid of Morality'
In an address to the organizers of the annual ceremony commemorating the 1989 death of Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said that "[Ayatollah Khomeini's] thought corresponded to the Islamic political thought, which he defined as the pure Islam of the Prophet Muhammad." Khamenei stressed the need for instilling Khomeini's doctrine in the coming generations, and said, "Loving the Imam Khomeini without understanding his political thought is inconceivable... Despite the propaganda [against Khomeini's thought by his opponents], his political thought is appropriate to humanity's primary needs, because the source of all human torment and suffering is the 'liberal democracy' promoted by the West as 'progressive political thought.'
"The torment of the Iraqis, of the Palestinians, and even of the Americans are the direct outcome of liberal Western democracy, and this must serve as an important lesson to the rest of the world, [which must] open its eyes and understand that those who call themselves advocates of human rights and democracy are in fact the main supporters of crimes against humanity... The reason for [this] disgrace [i.e. Abu Ghureib] is [the fact that] liberal democracy is devoid of morality, while the political thought of Imam Khomeini respected morality in addition to democracy, and at the same time pinned its hopes on God."(1)
Khatami: 'Islam Encourages Emulating Others Without Losing Islamic Identity... We Can Use the Concepts of the West'
At the International Conference on the Islamic Republic and Future Outlook, held in Tehran, Iranian President Muhammad Khatami said, "Islam encourages people to emulate others without losing their Islamic identity. Thus, we can make use of the achievements of the West, and overcome our shortcomings in various areas..." He added, "We must defend the principle of democracy, which is one of the goals of the Islamic Revolution. This is because defending Islam does not mean rejecting democracy and freedom."(2)
Unlike Khatami, who spoke in favor or borrowing Western values and integrating them into Islamic culture, Iranian Culture and Guidance Minister Ahmad Masjid-Jama'i said, also at the conference, that "the Islamic Republic regime is a great political phenomenon of the contemporary world, and a living example of the defeat of Western methods and ideas."
Masjid-Jama'i: 'Islamism is the Core of the Iranian Revolution'
Masjid-Jama'i added, "The [Islamic] Revolution took place at a time when it was thought that all the countries in the region were going through a similar phase and in line with the historic changes in the Western world. Based on such a vision, it was speculated that acceptance of modern Western values and abandonment of traditional beliefs would ultimately pave the ground for injecting modern Western methods into the East...
"Many researchers are of the opinion that Islamism is the core of the Iranian revolution, and not just a slogan, because it has a profound influence on the overall framework of the revolution... The Islamic Revolution is a front-runner for many other social and political movements in the world, an international current that aims to safeguard and preserve national identity and tradition based on culture. That is why today Islam is needed, because it is a well-built pillar that strongly safeguards and preserves the national identity and nobility."(3)
'One Day the U.S. Too Will Be History'
Iranian Leader Ali Khamenei said that the U.S. is contemptuous of Islam and the sensitivities of the Muslims "because the Americans are convinced that they will easily win the war in Iraq. But they will not see that day. As the Imam [Khomeini] said, 'One day the U.S. too will be history.' In light of what happened in Iraq, we can see now that he is right, because such events move the U.S. down the slope, and they will taste the bitterness of sure defeat."(4)
Khamenei condemned the "desecration being carried out by the Americans in the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala in Iraq," and said, "the Muslims will not continue to remain silent in the face of such aggression."(5)
Iranian President Muhammad Khatami said, "We condemn all forms of violence, but we must understand that the roots of all terrorist activity lie in the violence of the superpowers... It is regrettable that they accuse the [Islamic] religion, civilization, and culture of violence and narrow-mindedness. Nevertheless, I do not deny that there are radicals among the Muslims, or other people in other societies, who act only by violent means. But it must be understood that the spirit of Islam does not preach violence."(6)
(1) Aftab-e Yazd, Jomhour-e Eslami (Iran), May 20, 2004.
(2) Aftab-e Yazd, (Iran), May 19, 2004.
(3) Iran Daily (Iran), May 18, 2004.
(4) Aftab-e Yazd, Jomhour-e Eslami (Iran), May 20, 2004.
(5) Jomhour-e Eslami (Iran), May 17, 2004.
(6) Aftab-e Yazd, (Iran), May 19, 2004.
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