Skip to comments.Iranian Alert -- June 7, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Posted on 06/06/2004 9:28:51 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.
Human Rights Watch: Iranian Judges Have "Shut Down" Dissent
June 06, 2004
The Associated Press
The Jerusalem Post
Iranian judges have detained and tortured writers, student leaders and political activists in secret prisons and muzzled reform-minded newspapers to "shut down" dissent, Human Rights Watch said in a report Monday that holds out little hope the trend can be reversed.
"There is widespread agreement that the political environment has become increasingly abusive and defined by force," Human Rights Watch said in a 73-page report based on interviews with former political prisoners.
The report, "Like the Dead in Their Coffins: Torture, Detention, and the Crushing of Dissent in Iran," echoed the pessimism of Iran's reformist President Mohammad Khatami, who has all but conceded defeat in his struggle with hard-liners. Khatami's calls for expanding democratic rights and easing strict Islamic social rules were applauded by many Iranians, but denounced by hard-liners as a betrayal of the 1979 Islamic revolution that toppled the shah and brought clerics to power.
The Iranian judiciary is seen as firmly in the hands of hard-liners, led by Iran's supreme and unelected leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. New York-based Human Rights Watch said the judiciary was "at the center of the human rights violations" documented in its report.
During his first four-year presidential term, Khatami had managed to relax some of the country's strict Islamic laws and allow greater media freedoms. By the time of Khatami's second-term victory in 2001, hard-liners were fighting back, shutting down more than 100 liberal publications and detaining dozens of activists and writers for criticizing unelected hard-line clerics.
"The Iranian authorities have managed, in the span of four years, to virtually silence the political opposition within the country through the systematic use of indefinite solitary confinement of political prisoners, physical torture of student activists and denial of basic due process rights to all those detained for the expression of dissenting views," Human Rights Watch said.
"A small group of judges accountable only to (Khamenei) has shut down public dissent," the group added, saying the judges had vigilantes and security agents at their disposal to detain and interrogate dissidents, hid their activities in secret prisons and shut down newspapers that had spoken up for political prisoners.
Asked Sunday about reports of human rights violations, judiciary spokesman Naser Hosseini said torture had decreased significantly in Iran since the judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, in April ordered a ban on the use of torture to obtain confessions. Shahroudi's ban was seen as the first public acknowledgment of the practice in the country.
Despite Hosseini's assurances, Iranian reformist lawyer Mohsen Rahami said human rights violations remained a concern.
Human Rights Watch, describing the future as "bleak," said: "The authorities have largely succeeded in their campaign to send a message to the broader public that the costs of voicing peaceful political criticism are unbearably high."
Human Rights Watch interviewed former political prisoners outside Iran. Many were afraid to allow their names to be used or speak openly inside Iran. They described beatings and long stays in windowless, soundproof solitary cells described as "coffins."
One student leader and outspoken critic of the government said he was psychologically tortured by being told during his detention that his parents had had a car accident as they rushed to jail to post bail for him. His father, he was told, had been killed.
"If you had not done this, your father would not have died. This is justice for what you did," the student said he was told. He realized it was a lie only when he saw his parents in court later.
The report was issued a month before the anniversary of a 1999 raid on a Tehran University dormitory that killed one person and touched off days of anti-government protests. The anniversary is usually marked by student protests - and attempts by security forces and pro-government vigilantes to suppress demonstrations.
Human Rights Watch singled out Tehran prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi, a former judge, in its report. As a judge, Mortazavi ordered the closure of scores of reformist newspapers. Human Rights Watch said he "has been personally involved in a number of coercive interrogations, threats against individual arrestees, and has even allegedly given the order for individual arrestees to be physically abused."
Reformists in Iran have publicly accused Mortazavi of illegally detaining a Canadian photojournalist of Iranian origin and then covering up facts surrounding her death in custody last July.
In April, Iran's unelected clerics honored Mortazavi as "best manager" in the judiciary, under whose umbrella prosecutors fall.
Iran's Suicide Bombers Parley Begins
June 07, 2004
Middle East Newsline
NICOSIA -- Iran has hosted its first conference for suicide bombers. The conference was sponsored by the Iranian government and its state-financed Center for the Appreciation of the Martyr. Iranian news media said the conference had gathered candidates from around the world for a meeting in Teheran.
The Fars News Agency said the conference was part of the events to mark the anniversary of the death of Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The conference included envoys from a range of Islamic insurgency groups sponsored or financed by Teheran.
The conference began on June 2 and included senior commanders of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. Members of Khomeini's family also addressed the conference.
That is sick.
Hire a suicide bomber.
This just in from Banafsheh...
"This is the Islamic Republic of Iran's official form for hiring suicide bombers!
Iran Predicts Nuke Program Will Get OK
By ALI AKBAR DAREINI
Associated Press Writer
Published Sunday, June 6, 2004
Iran has answered most questions about its nuclear program and does not expect the U.N. atomic agency to declare it in violation of its international obligations, despite American lobbying, the foreign ministry said Sunday.
The statement came ahead of a June 14 meeting of the 35-nation IAEA's board of governors, which has wrestled for more than a year over what to do about what the United States and its allies say is a secret Iranian nuclear weapons program.
Washington wants the IAEA to declare Iran in breach of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and refer Iran's case to the U.N. Security Council, which may impose sanctions.
"The meeting will not produce what Iran's opponents are looking for," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters. "The U.S. is using all its capabilities (against Iran), but certainly what it is looking for will not happen. There is no doubt about it."
Iran has said its nuclear program is for peaceful energy purposes, not geared toward making bombs.
"Iran ... has responded to all ambiguities. There is little left (of Iran's nuclear dossier) on the IAEA's agenda. Iran's situation with the IAEA is very much different from the past," Asefi said.
In Vienna, Austria, a Western diplomat who asked not to be identified said that Germany, France and Britain were working on a draft resolution praising Iran for cooperation with the IAEA but urging it to clear up remaining questions about its nuclear program.
Those three countries have at past board meetings advocated a softer line than the United States, arguing that persuasion was less risky than confrontation. But Vienna-based European diplomats have in recent days suggested that - with key questions still unanswered - patience with Iran was wearing thin.
The diplomat suggested Washington would have a chance to push for toughened language in the European draft, telling The Associated Press: "There is going to be an opportunity for the U.S. to see the resolution before its submitted."
But he indicated that any resolution could not come down too hard on Iran, saying, the board "can't make any conclusions because the Iranians stalled. We are in a holding pattern."
IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei presented a report to the board last week, saying that his agency had not found proof of a concrete link between Iran's nuclear activities and its military program, but that "it was premature to make a judgment."
The report, however, alleged that Iran had tried to buy critical parts for advanced P-2 centrifuges, which can be used for energy purposes or to enrich uranium to weapons grade.
ElBaradei's report did not appear critical enough of Iran to marshal strong support at the IAEA board meeting for Security Council action against Tehran.
Iran's top nuclear negotiator Hasan Rowhani acknowledged Wednesday that Iran has purchased parts that can be used for P-2 centrifuges but played down the significance. Rowhani also left open the option of producing P-2 centrifuges, prompting concern from the U.S. State Department.
Iran has confirmed it has produced P-1 centrifuges, which are used for low-grade enrichment that is not of weapons grade. It also has confirmed it has been doing research on P-2 centrifuges for years, including the production of sample parts, and has provided photos and information to the IAEA.
Iran suspended uranium enrichment last year under mounting international pressure, and in April it said it had stopped building centrifuges. IAEA inspectors had found traces of highly enriched uranium at two sites, which Iranian officials maintained was due to contaminated imported materials.
Asefi also commented on CIA director George Tenet's resignation earlier this week, saying it was an example of the United States "acknowledging its previous wrong policies."
Tenet cited personal reasons for his resignation, which came after widespread criticism of intelligence failures before the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on the United States and more recent allegations that an Iraqi politician passed intelligence secrets to Iran.
"We have to wait to see who will resign in the future due to wrong American policies today," Asefi said.
Asefi said that any U.N. resolution about Iraq's future must do three things: "return full sovereignty to the Iraqi people, specify the duration occupying forces will stay in Iraq and clarify the relationship between the new interim government and the multinational force in Iraq."
Asefi said Tehran considers the new government a step toward full sovereignty.
The 15-nation U.N. Security Council is currently debating a U.S.-British draft resolution on the scheduled June 30 handover of power to from the U.S.-led coalition to an interim Iraqi government named last week.
This just in from our friends at activistchat.com...
"The film below contains a lot of video of the devastation from the recent earthquake in Chaloos. The video is a great example of the lack of attention and care the Islamic regime has for Iranian citizens. Only when there is an uprising do you find Police and regime mercenaries swarming to the scene. In this video, notice the lack of police or emergency rescue crew presence."
ElBaradei Hopes Iran Nuclear Probe ended in Coming Months
TALLOIRES, TEHRAN (Dispatches) -- The UN nuclear watchdog hopes Iran has "come clean" on its nuclear program so a long probe into it can be wound up in the next few months, its chief Mohamed ElBaradei said on Sunday.
ElBaradei said he hoped a second dossier Tehran gave the International Atomic Energy Agency was now the full picture of the program, Reuters said.
"Iran needs to accelerate its cooperation," ElBaradei said at a symposium in the eastern French resort of Talloires on Lake Annecy.
"They have a legal obligation to come clean," he said. "I would hope it's a matter of months that we should be able to bring these issues to closure."
U.S. has accused Iran of seeking a secret nuclear program, a charge vehemently rejected by Iran.
Iran's Supreme National Security Council Secretary General Hassan Rowhani on Wednesday challenged Washington to produce hard evidence Tehran was trying to build a nuclear bomb.
"It's clear they have nothing," Rohani said last week.
Iran has accepted the additional protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty which allows for tough inspections and has recently given a full report of its nuclear program to the IAEA.
ElBaradei said he was "not sure we have any concrete proof" that Iran planned to build a bomb and said the IAEA still needed to know more about its uranium enrichment program.
IAEA inspections of Iran's nuclear program will have been going on for two years in September and Tehran's second dossier, which it received last week, would take several months to assess, ElBaradei said. "We need the active accelerated cooperation of Iran to bring this issue to closure as soon as possible." Iran Says IAEA Report Contains Nothing New
Iran Sunday rejected a confidential report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), saying it was bereft of anything new about the country's nuclear program, IRNA reported.
"This report has no new point; it is rather repetition of the past issues (raised by the IAEA) with a different wording," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi told reporters at his weekly news briefing.
Asefi said the IAEA had asked Tehran to clarify ambiguities regarding contamination of some of the imported parts and issues related to P2 centrifuges.
"Iran answered all ambiguities in cooperation with the agency, but if there exist more ambiguities, they are rooted in the pressures exerted by the countries which do not like this file to be resolved in a peaceful manner.
"This report indicates the fussiness (shown by the IAEA) and there is no sign of Iran's laziness and lack of cooperation.
The report shows that there is no point in maintaining the status quo and that Iran's file must be closed as soon as possible.
The report came ahead of a scheduled meeting by the IAEA's 35-member Board of Governors to discuss Tehran's nuclear case. Asefi said he was confident 'the ill-wishers of the Islamic Republic of Iran' would not achieve what they want.
The United States has been trying hard to report Iran to the UN Security Council on the charges that Tehran was pursuing a clandestine nuclear weapons program.
The spokesman, however, acknowledged that ElBaradei's report also contained 'some positive points'.
The report had praised Iran for 'providing access to locations in response to agency's requests, including workshops situated at military sites'.
Tehran has suspended production of centrifuge components as of April 9 as a confidence-building measure with the international community.
It has also voluntarily frozen its uranium enrichment activities since last October and signed a protocol allowing snap inspections of its nuclear sites by the IAEA.
The suspension followed an agreement signed between Iran and the European big three -- Britain, France and Germany -- for cooperation.
Asefi underlined 'extensive lobbies' being held and reminded the three countries of their commitments according to the 'Tehran Declaration'.
The official, however, was quick to add that 'no sign has emerged to show Europe's lack of commitment to the Tehran Declaration'.
Who issued this form. What is printed under the logo in the upper left corner?
Salman Rushdie's still a burr in someone's saddle after all this time?
HRW Says Human Rights Situation In Iran Worsening
Radio Free Europe
June 7th 2004
7 June 2004 -- Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused Iran of intensifying a crackdown against critics of the Islamic republic.
The charge comes in a 73-page report issued today by the New York-based human rights group. The report is based on interviews with journalists, writers, and student activists. It documents systematic abuse against political detainees, including arbitrary arrest, detention without trial, torture to extract confessions, and prolonged solitary confinement.
The report says the Iranian authorities have managed over the past four years "to virtually silence the political opposition within the country." The report said "a small group of judges" accountable only to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei "has shut down public dissent."
The report also notes a three-year dialogue between the European Union and Iran has failed to achieve any tangible results. Human Rights Watch urged the EU to put more pressure on Iran to end its crackdown on political opponents.
That is the Arabic/islamic moon surrounding the planet earth, That is my take!
Can you translate the text?
No, I am sorry! I think Doc translated that very well and I dont know Persian language!
This is as well about AQ held in Iran:
Kingdom Seeks Extradition of Dissidents
Hassan Adawi, Arab News
JEDDAH, 7 June 2004 ? Saudi Arabia yesterday called on foreign governments to hand over Saudi dissidents allegedly linked to terrorist attacks that have rocked the country over the past year.
Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal said the Kingdom wanted to investigate some London-based opposition figures, two of whom it accuses of links to a shooting spree last month that killed six Westerners in Yanbu industrial city.
?There must be a chance to investigate anyone who it has been proven is involved in terrorism, wherever he is, and handed over to the authorities who want them... This so-called opposition in London is one of them,? Prince Saud said.
Riyadh accuses Saad Al-Faqih and Mohammed Al-Masaari of links to a gunman involved in the Yanbu attack. Faqih, who runs a rights group, has rejected the claims.
?We live in exceptional times and all countries must act seriously in this respect. It is not acceptable to say that this (handing over suspects) does not conform to laws because someone is considered ?opposition?,? Prince Saud told a news conference.
Saudi Arabia has been battling militants linked to Osama Bin Laden?s Al-Qaeda network for over a year. An attack claimed by the group last week killed 22 people in Alkhobar.
?These evil criminal acts will not divert the state from its determination to combat this isolated deviant group...and which is now, in cowardly acts, going for easy and random targets after the crackdown,? Prince Saud said.
Referring to the escape of three terrorists in the Alkhobar hostage drama last week, the minister said security forces had given priority to the safety of hostages but added the government would continue efforts to hunt down all terrorists.
He also said that the government had taken extra security measures to protect Saudis and expatriates.
?If anybody feels unsafe they have to tell us the reasons and what kind of protection they require from us,? he said.
Prince Saud also backed a GCC resolution which was passed on Saturday welcoming the new interim government in Baghdad with the hope it would ?respond to the aspirations of the Iraqi people to form a legitimate government...and regain complete sovereignty?.
But he said Iraq must have a legitimate and independent government before Arab countries would consider sending peacekeeping forces.
The interim government, which the United Nations helped form, is set to take over from US-led occupation authorities on June 30 and hold office until national elections due in January.
?For Arab states to be capable of sending forces to Iraq there must be a request from a legitimate and independent Iraqi government,? the prince told reporters.
?The request cannot come from a government which does not have full sovereignty,? he said. Iraqi officials have said they want Arab troops to replace US-led forces.
The Arab League has said there was a possible role for Arab forces only once foreign occupiers left.
Washington has said its troops will remain in Iraq after June 30 to help combat guerrilla attacks.
Iran: Police Arrest 13 Teenagers In Mixed Party
June 07, 2004
ANSA - English Media Service
TEHRAN -- Iranian police broke up a mixed party attended by teenagers of both sexes arresting 13 of the participants, while 10 others managed to escape, the Bastab website reported on Monday.
The teenagers were dancing in couples, drinking alcohol and taking drugs, a police spokesman said.
The party was organised in an aluminium plate factory owned by the father of one of the arrested teenagers in the town of Varamin, some 50 kilometres south-west of Tehran. This was the first time a similar event managed to escape the tight control imposed by the police on mixed parties in apartments and houses in Tehran.
The teenagers were betrayed by their luxury cars which attracted the attention of the locals.
Islamic law in Iran bans mixed parties, especially if the women are not covered from head to toe, the consumption of alcohol and dancing. These kind of parties are common in Tehran and other major Iranian cities.(ANSA).
Iran Intensifies Torture of Political Critics
June 07, 2004
Agence France Presse
Iran has stepped up its suppression of political opposition with an intense campaign of torture and arbitrary arrests, the New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a report released Monday.
The 72-page report documents systematic abuses of political detainees in Tehran's Evin Prison and in secret jails around the capital since the government launched its current crackdown in 2000.
"Claims that reforms in Iran have put an end to torture are simply false," said Sarah Whitson, executive director of Human Rights Watch's Middle East and North Africa Division.
"More than ever, journalists, intellectuals and activists are afraid to voice opinions critical of the government," Whitson said.
The report argued that anti-torture legislation passed by Iran's outgoing reformist parliament in May had not been effectively implemented.
The long list of maltreatment documented in the report included arbitrary arrest, detention without trial, torture to extract confessions, prolonged solitary confinement, and physical and psychological abuse.
"The Iranian government's use of these harsh techniques has largely squelched the country's political opposition and independent media," Human Rights Watch said.
As of June, the Iranian government had closed virtually all independent newspapers, several key journalists and writers had fled the country, many prominent writers and activists had been imprisoned, and scores of student activists intimidated into abandoning peaceful political activity.
Individuals interviewed for the report, including a number of writers and journalists, told Human Rights Watch about brutal interrogations in which they were blindfolded, physically threatened, and forced to recant their political views.
Former detainees also described basement solitary cells where they were left for weeks at a time without any human contact, and threats by judges that if they did not confess, they would be held in solitary confinement indefinitely.
The report documents cases of beatings, long confinement in contorted positions, kicking detainees with military boots, hanging them by the arms and legs, and threats of execution if individuals refused to confess.
A number of former detainees reported that they were treated more harshly after requesting the aid of defense counsel, or inquiring as to the legal status of their cases.
Human Rights Watch called on the European Union to step up pressure on Iran during the next round of their long-running human rights dialogue in Tehran on June 14 and 15.
"The European Union's weak response to continuing human rights violations in Iran is deeply disturbing," said Whitson, "It's time for the European Union to condemn Iran's record of persecution and torture and to set real benchmarks that the government must meet."
Sipping Tea with The Reagans in Tehran
June 07, 2004
'The man you are going to meet will be the next president of the United States." This is how my friend Ardeshir Zahedi, Iran's ambassador to Washington at the time, described the "distinguished visitor" he wanted me to meet in Tehran.
The year was 1977 and the visitor was Ronald Reagan -- who, with his wife, Nancy, was spending a few days in Iran as a guest of Zahedi. The hitch, however, was that Zahedi himself was in Washington. It was thus the duty of his friends to look after the Reagans.
Zahedi's friendship with Reagan had irritated many in the Iranian government. Foreign Minister Abbas-Ali Khalatbari, for example, told me "our ambassador over there" was causing unnecessary "complications" in our relations with the Carter administration by "cuddling that radical extremist Ronald Reagan" -- who in 1977 was laying the foundation for his second and successful bid for the Republican leadership in 1980.
When Reagan eventually came to Tehran on a private visit, some of Khalatbari's hesitations had found echoes among other senior Iranian leaders. The Prime Minister, Amir-Abbas Hoveyda, politely declined to receive Reagan. But when a banquet was given in Reagan's honour at Hessarak, Zahedi's residence in the mountains north of Tehran, a good part of the Tehran glitterati showed up. There, in a brief speech, Reagan described Iran as "one of the frontiers of freedom today," adding, to the surprise of those present, that those frontiers would be extended in the future.
For Iranians obsessed with the threat from their Soviet neighbours, this was provocative talk. The best most Iranians could think of was to contain the Soviet monster in its lair. To even dream of forcing it into any retreat was pure fantasy.
What made Reagan's words effective was that he spoke in a tone of sincerity seldom associated with politicians. Reagan may have been acting -- after all, he had been an actor, though not a first-rate one, for years. But there was something in the way he exposed his vision of the world that the first word that came to mind was "conviction."
I had gone to the banquet -- at the time I was Editor-in-chief of Kayhan, the most important newspaper of Iran -- as a gesture toward Zahedi. But I was captivated by Reagan's vision. He appeared to be swimming entirely against the tide. I knew little of the United States but had been disturbed by much of what I had seen and heard during a number of brief visits there. I had visited with Washington's political elite, including House Speaker Tip O'Neil and half a dozen senators, such as Edward Kennedy and Frank Church, and had made the usual tour of newspaper editorial boards. I had concluded the Americans were tired and bored. All they wanted was to be left alone.
At one editorial lunch in Washington I had uttered a few good words about Richard Nixon. Those around the table had suddenly fallen silent, looking at me as if I were an alien.
So, meeting Ronald Reagan in Tehran was like running into a prehistoric man, a long-defunct species that existed only in imagination.
And this was precisely why Reagan was interesting.
I had gone to the banquet with some reluctance. But my curiosity had been aroused. This is why I asked to accompany the Reagans on a trip to Isfahan the following day. I saw the exercise as part of my education in American politics. The man in charge of the trip was Shapour Dolatshahi, scion of an old aristocratic family and a punctilious protocol officer. But his five-star program had been designed in such a way as to minimize Ronald and Nancy Reagan's contacts with the ordinary folk in the historic city.
Reagan would have none of that. "Ronny" insisted on pressing some flesh in the bazaar, at the mosques and at a local steel mill. Despite the obvious barrier of the language, he showed that he was a genuine man of the people, capable of communicating with individuals from all backgrounds.
Over lunch and at tea time, he asked numerous questions about Iran. I in turn asked him questions about the United States. In an interview a few weeks earlier, the Shah had told me he believed the United States had "entered an historic period of decline." Without revealing its source, I asked Reagan what he thought of that analysis.
"These are big words for me," he quipped. "But I can tell you that those who write us off make a big mistake."
At a tea shop in the bazaar, Reagan stopped to watch two men playing backgammon, a game every Iranian knows and plays.
"Sounds like international politics," Reagan joked. "Maybe I should practise it."
The hint was enough for Dolatshahi to present Reagan with a luxury backgammon set the following day, plus a 20-minute course in how to play.
I don't know whether or not Reagan learned the game. But his subsequent career showed that he used many of its rules in confronting and ultimately helping destroy the "Evil Empire."
Back in Tehran, and a few days later, Foreign Minister Khalatbari asked what I had thought of the strange American visitor.
"He is great," I said. "The exact opposite of Jimmy Carter, he is the other America, the America of Gary Cooper."
"But does he have any chance?" the minister had asked.
"None at all," I had said.
Amir Taheri is an Iranian author of 10 books on the Middle East and Islam.; www.benadorassociates.com.; Obituary of Ronald Reagan.
Mohammad Ali Samadi is more likely >Mohammad Yasser Samadi
[see this article........very revealing...>>>]
28 May 2004 Agence France Presse
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2004 All reproduction and presentation rights reserved.
TEHRAN, May 28 (AFP) -
Hundreds of Iranian men and women, even children, declared their willingness to carry out suicide attacks in Iraq and Israel following weekly Friday prayers in Tehran, an AFP correspondent said.
The "volunteers" signed their names and gave their telephone numbers to an obscure group calling itself the Committee for the Commemoration of Martyrs of the World Islamic Movement.
A spokesman, Mohammad Yasser Samadi, told AFP the action was to "show our friends in Iraq and all other Muslims that we are ready to give our lives to defend our honor and Islam's.
"Suicide operations are the best way to fight the oppressors and they have already shown their worth in Lebanon and during the war between Iran and Iraq," he said, referring to the neighbours' bloody 1980-88 conflict.
***However, there was no evidence the action was anything more than symbolic, and Samadi said they would renounce suicide operations if asked to by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The group announced earlier this month it had begun recruiting potential suicide bombers for Iraq in the wake of serious clashes between US-led coalition forces and the militia of radical cleric Moqtada Sadr around the Shiite Muslim holy cities of Najaf and Karbala.
Sipping Tea with The Reagans in Tehran
June 07, 2004
Conservative Iranian Journalist Jailed After Turning on Old Allies
June 07, 2004
Agence France Presse
TEHRAN -- A former journalist at the conservative Ressalat daily who strongly criticised his former political allies in an article published on the Internet has been jailed, Iran's student news agency ISNA reported Monday.
Abbas Kakavand had been charged with spreading false information, and was jailed pending trial after failing to pay bail set at 100 million rials (around 11,600 dollars).
In his article, Kakavand accused conservative figures of profiting from their positions.
Iran's judiciary, a bastion of the Islamic republic's religious right wing, has maintained a tough crackdown on pro-reform writers and has since 2000 closed down more than 200 publications.
Around 12 journalists are currently in Iranian prisons.
Iran Faces Challenge at IAEA Meeting
June 07, 2004
The Irish Times
IRAN -- France, Britain and Germany are drafting a UN nuclear resolution on Iran that could set them on course for a confrontation with Tehran at an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board meeting next week, diplomats said.
The IAEA, the UN nuclear watchdog, issued a report last week praising Iran for granting UN inspectors access to sites, but said it has continued to change its story about imports of nuclear technology that could be used to develop atomic weapons.
"The three Europeans'...draft resolution is going to say that there are areas where Iran has been co-operating with the agency and areas where they haven't been cooperating," a Western diplomat on the IAEA's board of governors said.
"It will also tell them (the Iranians) to co-operate more," the diplomat said, adding that the point of the resolution will be to keep the inspection process going.
Iran, which says its nuclear programme is peaceful, wants to be off the IAEA board's agenda as a special item, but diplomats on the board said the resolution would likely keep Tehran on the agenda for some time.
Iran said yesterday it had done everything necessary to clear up concerns about the programme, which the US said could be used to make atomic bombs.
IAEA chief Dr Mohamed ElBaradei said yesterday the agency hoped it could wind up its probe into Iran's nuclear programme within the next few months.
"I would hope it's a matter of months that we should be able to bring these issues to closure," he said at a symposium in the eastern French town of Talloires.
Dr ElBaradei said he also hoped a second dossier Tehran has provided - after an incomplete first report - was now the full picture of the programme.
The UN has been investigating Iran since an exiled Iranian opposition group reported in August 2002 that Tehran was hiding a massive uranium enrichment plant at Natanz and other sites from UN inspectors.
The IAEA's new Iran report and the draft resolution prepared by the three European countries will be the main topics of discussion at a meeting of the IAEA's 35-nation board that begins on June 14th. The Europeans have been working with Iran since last year to get them to end their uranium enrichment programme in exchange for peaceful nuclear technology.
"In his article, Kakavand accused conservative figures of profiting from their positions."
He knew that was 'no-no'.
I beleive that writing in the upper left-hand corner says. "World Martyrdom Org." (difficult to make out).
That ties in with article #27, I think.
I believe you are right.
I am just waiting for Banafsheh's confirmation.
O M G !!!
Interesting Article! Thanks for posting.
Excellent cartoon. Thank you for posting it.
"Reagan described Iran as "one of the frontiers of freedom today," (sigh) It was..............
"He is great," I said. "The exact opposite of Jimmy Carter, he is the other America, the America of Gary Cooper."
"But does he have any chance?" the minister had asked.
"None at all," I had said.
A sentimental, charming piece.
Iran Guards Chief sSlams Iraq Government
Big News Network.com
Tuesday 8th June, 2004
Iranian Revolutionary Guards chief Maj. Gen. Yehya Safawi Monday criticized the Iraqi interim government led by Iyad Allawi as a treacherous administration.
Developments proved that America is incapable of ensuring security to the Iraqi people to enable it to form an elected and popular government ... Instead, the U.S. imposed a government which is treacherous and perfidious, Safawi said, the Iranian news agency, IRNA, reported.
He stressed the problems ... America is facing in Iraq and its inability to convince the Iraqi public opinion of the feasibility of the interim government as well as reported divisions within the U.S. administration over Iraq is an undeniable evidence of the weaknesses of U.S. strategy in Iraq.
RELATIONS DETERIORATE BETWEEN IRANIAN AND IRAQI SHIA LEADERS
By Safa Haeri
Posted Monday, June 7, 2004
PARIS, 6 June (IPS) Under Gods skies, clouds are gathering over relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Iraq, as seen from the latest statements by leaders from the two major Shia Muslim nations.
After having supported the tyrant Saddam Hussein until the last minute, the Iranian radio and television is now backing the Bathists and the Wahabites, the Friday imam of Najaf, Shias holiest place, complained recently, referring to coverage of Iraqi news and reports by the al-Aalam television, the 24 hours Arabic-language service of the Iranian Radio and Television that is under the direct control of the leader of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i.
Addressing thousands of worshipers, Hojjatoleslam Sadreddin Qabanji, the Friday Preacher, described al-Aalam as a dirty thing that presents the fighting between followers of the turbulent cleric Moqtada al Sadr with American forces as Iraqi Muslim people resistance operations.
With a staff of more than 50 journalists, cameramen and technicians, al-Aalam (The World) is the most viewed, if not the most popular, of all foreign television networks in Iraq, being also the only non-Iraqi television to receive without the need of sophisticated dishes and other costly equipments.
Mr. Qabanji also accused the Iranian clergy of keeping silent over the ongoing events in Iraq, stating that what Moqtada al-Sadr is doing under the name of Islam and the Iraqis has nothing to do with opposing the American presence in the country.
This is the strongest ever criticism delivered by a high-ranking Iraqi cleric against the policy of the Islamic Republic concerning his country, observed Mr. Sadeq Saba, the BBCs senior commentator on Iranian affairs.
A senior member of the Supreme Assembly of the Islamic Revolution of Iraq (SAIRI) led by Hojjatoleslam Abdol Aziz al-Hakim, Mr. Qabanji was in fact expressing the dissatisfaction and unhappiness of most leading Iraqi Shia authorities with the policies of the ruling Iranian ayatollahs concerning Iraq, mostly the support they provides to Mr. Sadr and his so-called Jaysh (Army) al-Mahdi.
To the majority of Iraqi moderate clerics, including Grand Ayatollahh Ali Sistani, the highest religious authority in Iraq, Moqtada, the son of an Ayatollah killed by Saddam Hussein and his skirmishes with American forces are nothing but adventurism that harms the position of the Shias, as seen from the latest adaptations made by Washington in its relations with the Iraqi Shia and Sunni forces, creating a balance between the two major religious components of the Iraqi society.
Both the Americans and the Iraqi justice are hunting the young Sadr for the alleged murder of Hojjatoleslam Abdol Majid al Khoi, a moderate cleric assassinated savagely in Najaf days after the fall of Saddam Hussein.
In his speech, Mr. Qabanji challenged the Iranian Shia clergy, asking them why they remain silent in face of Moqtada Sadrs fighting the Americans in the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala and do not call the reel cleric to order? What Sadr is doing is a purely personal vendetta and adventurism, having nothing with the American presence in Iraq or fighting the occupation of the country and what the al-Aalam television is doing is only harming our position, he stated.
Iranian analysts said it is a matter of fact that from the start of Anglo-American attack on Iraq, the Iranian Radio and Television took the side of the now toppled Iraqi dictator, predicting the Americans another Vietnam, or a quagmire they would sink in it. Pointers at hand, high-ranking officers from the Revolutionary Guards would explain why the Coalition forces would be defeated.
Iranian Radio and Television repeated to the last minutes al-Sahhafs declarations that the Americans had been booted out, reminded Mr. Alireza Noorizadeh, a veteran Iranian journalist, referring to the then Iraqi Information minister statements in the one hand and the anti-American policies of Iranian regime during the days prior to the fall of Baghdad on the other.
Both the networks and the Iranian Friday preachers in their sermons also portray the Jaysh al Mahdi as an Iraqi Muslim national resistance force that fights American occupiers.
[Mr. Hasan Abedini, the director of al-Aalam denied the charges, stating that the networks criteria are objectivity and news worthiness of the events]
Eyewitnesses present at the Friday ceremonies in Najaf, where Ali, the Shias first imam and a cousin of the prophet Mohammad is buried, reported that followers of the young Sadr tried to disturb the sermon and stop Hojjatoleslam Qabanji delivering his speech, but they were opposed by the worshippers.
In one of his last diatribes against the United States and its military intervention in Iraq, Mr. Khameneh'i had described the IPG as an American puppet council and called on the Iraqi people to consolidate, generalise and unify the resistance against the evil occupation forces.
This statement is important since SAIRI, which has its real roots in Iran and for decades, had received all kinds of material, financial, logistics, propaganda and military assistances and support from the Iranian ayatollahs is an influent member of the American-installed IPG. It shows that ties between Tehran and the SAIRI are near breaking point, Mr. Saba added.
According to a recent Washington Post report, the Bush Administration, in a major policy upheaval, is shifting the minority Sunni Muslims as its major ally against the Shia majority and at the same time is re-organising the Iraqi intelligence services to curb Iranian influence and meddling in Iraqi affairs.
The disgrace that has befallen on Ahmad Chalabi, the leader of the Iraqi National Congress who until recently was still the darling of the Pentagon and other in the American Administration is part of the same political re-evaluation, analysts says, referring to the raid, ten days ago, on the residence and offices of Mr. Chalabi in Baghdad and the accusations of espionage for Iran, including informing the Iranians that the US intelligence had broke their secret communications codes.
Taking the information seriously, the radical daily Jomhoori Eslami that belong to Mr. Khameneh'i called Saturday on all Iranian responsible authorities to send proper warning signals to Washington and called on the government to mobilise all national and popular forces to resist and defeat the new evil coup prepared by the enemies of Islam and the Islamic Revolution.
The scheme must be taken seriously. The evil occupation forces must be told that the Islamic Republic would never allow them interfering in its domestic affairs and all necessary measures must be taken to dissuade the occupiers from a dangerous game against Iran, the paper said in an editorial.
It was clear from the outset that the forces of occupation would, in due time, pour their poison against Iran. The plot was hatched in Fallujah, after the Americans handed over the security of the city to the Bathists. Now, they are mobilising the most vicious of the remaining Saddamists to destabilise Iran, the paper added., referring to the Washington Posts story.
ENDS IRAN IRAQ RELATIONS
RELATIONS DETERIORATE BETWEEN IRANIAN AND IRAQI SHIA LEADERS
By Safa Haeri
Posted Monday, June 7, 2004
Iranian MP Wants to Sign Up for 'Martyrdom Operation'
June 07, 2004
Middle East Media Research Institute
MEMRI Ticker Headlines
The world Islamic organization's headquarters for remembering the shahids has registered over 2,000 Iranian volunteers for martyrdom operations in Iraq and Israel. the youngest volunteer is seven years old, and 25% are under 18. Recruitment headquarters head Mohamed Samedi said that the organization would carry out martyrdom operations if Iranian leader Ali Khamenei asked them to. (Sharq, Iran, 6/5/04)
Expediency council secretary Mohsen Rezaei expressed his hope that the Iranian people would again follow in the path of the shahids and of ayatollah Khomeini, saying 'the sons of the shahids can continue in this path, but they have become passive for various reasons.' (Fars Persian news agency, Iran, 6/7/04)
Iranian MP Mahdi Kuchek-zadeh said he too wants to sign up as a volunteer to carry out a martyrdom operation. (Jomhour-e eslami, Iran, 6/6/04)
Irans foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said of the Iranian volunteer signup for martyrdom bombings in Iraq: 'this has no connection to Irans government policy and regime. This is an expression of the sentiments of the people in light of the crimes of Israel and the U.S.' (Sharq, Iran, 6/7/04)
Four eminent Shiite grand ayatollahs, among them Ali al-Sistani, issued fatwas urging Muslims to spurn trade with Israel. According to one, ayatollah Makarem Shirazi, 'trade and use of goods produced by America and the occupying regime of Israel are problematic.' (Jaam-e jam, Iran, 6/5/04)
Iranian media indicate disagreement between Iranian and Iraqi shia clerics following a Friday sermon by sheikh Sadr al-din al-Qabanchi, one of ayatollah Sistani's aides, criticizing Iranian clergy for 'Irans near complete silence' about the killing of Shiites and damaging holy sites by Muqtada al-Sadr's militia. (al-Qabas, Kuwait, 6/7/04)
A diplomat close to the IAEA said that Iran and the IAEA have agreed to inspections at nine centrifuge manufacturing sites. (Sharq, Iran, 6/5/04)
The Iranian Aftab-e Yazd daily quoted diplomats who claimed that Germany, France, and Britain would continue cooperating with Tehran despite IAEA criticism over Irans secret nuclear activity. (Aftab-e Yazd, Iran, 6/7/04)
Former Iranian MP Fatemeh Rakei called Irans reform process 'irrevocable' and said that despite ongoing political and anti-ethical opposition to reformists on the pretext of protecting Islam, reform has been institutionalized in the country. (Irna, Iran, 6/5/04)
Irans supreme national security council secretary Hassan Rowhani said that stoning embassies, which are under the security protection of Iran, is disrespectful of Irans security apparatuses. (Aftab-e Yazd, Iran, 6/5/04)
A senior central bank of Iran official said that in the absence of ties with the U.S., Iranian banks cannot accept American credit cards, and foreign tourists must keep this in mind. (Irna, Iran, 6/5/04)
Iranian oil minister Bijan Namdar-Zanganeh said that at the recent Opec meeting in Damascus, Irans share in total production was determined to be 14%. (Irna, Iran, 6/5/04)
Reagan Seen Plain
He changed the world.
National Review Online
June 07, 2004, 9:29 a.m.
Washington is rarely so hypocritical as when a great man dies, and so we are hearing that in Reagan's time, politics were more genteel. The nastiness of today is said to have come later, presumably during the recent unpleasantness having to do with the impeachment of Clinton. But it is not so. Reagan was subjected to the same personal vilification as Bush is today, and was called many of the same names: stupid, unprepared, a puppet of more clever people, an ideologue, and so forth. Reagan was often said to be unable to deliver a coherent English sentence without an index card to read from. And the media were desperate to defeat him. In fact, a few days before his triumphant reelection in 1984, James Reston of the New York Times wrote that never before had so many journalists, editors, producers, and broadcasters done so much to defeat a candidate as they had to defeat Reagan, but alas they had failed. You can't ask for a better source than that.
Reagan had the last laugh, both in the election and in the war against the Soviet Empire. In all likelihood, the stereotype that the intelligentsia created the fool in the White House worked to his advantage, because it gave him more room to do what he did best: defeat his enemies, and do it with grace, wit, and modesty. And in the process, he exceeded his own expectations. Not only did he destroy the Soviet Empire, but he launched a global democratic revolution that transformed the political universe.
Pope John Paul II understood this (he and Reagan, more than anyone else, were the two men who changed the world), and sent a subtle message to President Bush the day before Reagan died. If you read the full text of the pope's statement to Bush, instead of the one phrase taken out of context and then deconstructed by the media, you will find that the pontiff asked the president to give warm regards to the Reagans. No other American president was mentioned. I will always believe that that was John Paul's way of saying to Bush, "be Reagan's heir, not your father's son." President Bush can advance Reagan's democratic revolution, and I think the pope was encouraging him to do it.
The Left truly hates Reagan, and those who worked with him, because he demonstrated the emptiness of their greatest conceit: that the ideals embodied in the Communist revolution were both just and destined to triumph. The Leftist intelligentsia will never forgive him and his people for destroying the Soviet Empire, and they still strive desperately to pretend that he didn't do it. But it won't work.
Reagan also drove his critics crazy because they couldn't get to him with their usual methods. He wasn't interested in winning the "strange new respect" award for erstwhile conservatives who adopt Leftist causes. He didn't want to go teach at the Kennedy School at Harvard. He could care less about his clippings in The New York Review of Books. And he'd rather be alone with Nancy than attend a power dinner at Mrs. Graham's house. He knew who he was, he was entirely comfortable with that knowledge, and he didn't want to be one of them.
That's the source of the inner strength that made him one of our four greatest presidents. He joins Washington, Lincoln, and FDR in the pantheon of American political leaders who fundamentally changed the world.
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.
You mean they can't trust Iran? The entire whole world view of the Iranian government is based upon suspicion and pointing the finger of blame at others. Why am I not surprised?
"...registered over 2,000 Iranian volunteers for martyrdom
youngest volunteer is seven years old, and 25% are under 18..."
That's 500 kids
"The Leftist intelligentsia will never forgive him and his people for destroying the Soviet Empire, and they still strive desperately to pretend that he didn't do it. But it won't work. "
Ha Ha. Very Good.