European Resolution Focuses on Iran Nuke Program
AP - World News (via Yahoo)
Jun 8, 2004
VIENNA - Leading European nations presented a draft resolution Tuesday that criticizes Iran for not answering key questions raised by a U.N atomic agency probe of its suspect nuclear program.
The draft, written by France, Britain and Germany, "deplores" Iran's failure to cooperate in a "complete, timely and proactive' way, said a diplomat quoting parts of the text to The Associated Press. He spoke on condition of anonymity.
At the same time, the diplomat said, the draft acknowledges Iranian cooperation in granting agency inspectors access to key locations, including "defense industry" sites.
While the Islamic Republic says its programs are geared solely toward producing energy, the United States and its allies say Tehran wants to build nuclear weapons.
In an allusion to Pakistan which indirectly supplied much of Iran's covert nuclear program through renegade scientist A.Q Khan the draft calls for the "full and close cooperation of third countries" to clear up Iran's nuclear ambiguities.
Diplomats close to the International Atomic Energy Agency say Pakistan has refused to allow U.N. experts to independently take samples that would test Iranian assertions that traces of weapons-grade uranium found in Iran came from equipment bought from the Khan network.
If the IAEA cannot match trace samples from Pakistan and Iran, it cannot verify whether Iran's version is accurate or a cover up.
The diplomat said the draft circulated among delegations representing the U.N. agency's 35-nation board ahead of a meeting Monday also focused on Iran's centrifuge program, the other main outstanding issue in the IAEA's more than yearlong probe.
After initial denials, Tehran has acknowledged that it researched advanced centrifuges capable of uranium enrichment. But it denied it wanted to embark on full-scale enrichment, despite IAEA findings that it bought thousands of parts, far in excess of what it needed for research only.
The draft called on Iran to reveal the full scope of its centrifuge program.
It also urged Tehran to rethink plans to build a uranium conversion plant and heavy water reactors.
Another diplomat said the United States largely approved of the draft, but was likely to push to toughen up the wording.
Monday's board meeting will review a report on Iran by IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei, as part of the agency's probe of its covert nuclear activities.
The report voiced the same concerns as the draft circulated Tuesday that Iran tried to buy critical parts for advanced P-2 centrifuges and that it was unclear where traces of weapons grade uranium found inside Iran came from.
In the face of mounting international pressure, Iran suspended uranium enrichment last year, and in April said it had stopped building centrifuges.
Iran has rejected U.S. allegations its nuclear program is for military purposes. ElBaradei said last month his agency had not found proof of a concrete link between Iran's nuclear activities and its military program, but "it was premature to make a judgment."
Gradually Iraqis are Waking Up to IRI's Plots
June 09, 2004
There has been an upsurge of virulent anti-Iraq and anti-American diatribe spewing out of various Iranian officials, including its Supreme Leader, following the inauguration of the Interim Iraqi government last week. More worrying, this venomous rhetoric has been coupled with a series of threatening actions by Irans tyrants, namely the recruitment of volunteers for suicide bombing in Iraq against the United States and members of the coalition.
But there is some good news from Iraq too: There seems to be an increasing awareness on the part of Iraqis of all walks of life with different religious and ethnic background, about the sinister game Irans tyrannical regime is playing in their country. The Iraqi media are being increasingly vocal in condemning Irans plots.
It is abundantly clear now that the make-up of the new interim Iraqi government has dashed Irans hopes for a significant representation of its allies in the new government. The mullahs, who had many friends in the now-defunct Iraqi Governing Council, are apparently outraged seeing the new government does not include many of their allies.
Although Hassan Rowhani, the Secretary of Irans Supreme National Security Council cautiously welcomed the establishment of the new Iraqi government, Irans Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has been just furious.
Even Rowhani could not hide his anger by saying that the new government does not fulfill all of our expectations. As if Irans expectation must have been a criterion in formation of an independent Iraqi government.
But the Irans real sentiment about the make-up of Iraqs new government was revealed last week when Khamenei spoke. Upon learning that their number one proxy in the Governing Council, Ayatollah Abdul Aziz Hakims Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), is not in the new cabinet, Khamenei aimed his vindictive on the United States.
Installing a lackey government is what happens when you remove the clergy from politics," Khamenei said at the mausoleum of his predecessor Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
Irans official news agency meanwhile reported that commander of Irans Revolutionary Guards Rahim Safavi said on Monday that the United States has set up a puppet government in Iraq since it is unable to establish a broad-based government there.
Translation: Many of our allies are absent in the new government.
To put some muscle behind their rhetoric, the Iranian regime has started mobilizing its political and paramilitary shock troops to establish registration booths for recruiting volunteers for carrying out suicide bombings in Iraq against Americans and other coalition forces under the pretext of revenging the damage they caused on the shia holy shrines in Iraq.
Last Saturday, Reuters news agency quoted Mohammad Ali Samadi, a spokesman for the Committee for the Commemoration of Martyrs of the Global Islamic Campaign, a front set up by the Revolutionary Guards, as saying "Some 10,000 people have registered their names to carry out martyrdom operations on our defined targets."
Forouz Raja'ifar, the Committee's secretary, had announced in late May that "We consider martyrdom operations the only effective and useful way to counter domination of the World's Arrogance We are confident that dismissal of the American and British Occupiers from Iraq is not possible without martyrdom operations.
Infusing some ideological context to these declarations, a senior leader of Irans ruling dictatorship Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati urged worshippers at Friday prayers in Tehran to attack U.S. and British interests. "It is the duty of every Muslim to threaten U.S. and British interests anywhere," he said.
Now the good news: There is an apparent rude awakening of the various Iraqi religious, political, and social sectors to the destructive threat of Khomeini-inspired fundamentalism and terrorism emanating from Iran.
The Iraqi newspaper Al-Menar Al-Yaum wrote late May that Despite all of Iran's meddling in Iraq's internal affairs and despite all the tragedies they have caused, we still have not heard any political group to call for severance of ties with Iran or issue a statement denouncing these interferences!! Have the Iraqi people turned into mere spectators for the atrocities Iran commits against the people of Iraq?
Al-Hadath daily stated on May 29 that Iran is still banking on the United States failure to improve conditions in Iraq and undo the damages caused by Baghdad's former regime. Tehran fears the ultimate transition of the people of Iran from a state of suppression, oppression and deprivation... In this way, Iraq may drive its neighboring countries, particularly Iran, towards democracy after the Iraqi style.
And the Iraqi weekly Al-Araq Al-Yum reported last week about a conference held by the National Front of Iraq in Baghdad where many Iraqi political parties had participated. The weekly reports that the participants in the conference, billed as For a Better Future in Iraq Free of Fundamentalism and Terrorism, stressed on expansion of the front against the terrorism and fundamentalism as two major sources of threat to Iraqs future and stability, and rejected any claim of the Iranian regime to Iraq.
In another interesting turn of events, Agence France Presse reported last month that a group of 300 Iraqi lawyers called for international guarantees for the continued presence in Iraq of the Iranian main opposition group Mujahadeen after Iraqi sovereignty is restored at the end of June, a far cry from a December 9th decision of the Iraqi Governing Council to expel the group.
Are we seeing the impetus of an Iraqi anti-fundamentalist, anti-terrorist front taking shape to neutralize Tehrans wicked designs for Iraq? If true, it could be the best news yet coming from Iraq, marking a reversal of fortunes for Tehran. We must do all we can to facilitate the growth of this front.
Russia Qualifies Its Nuclear Cooperation with Iran
Tue Jun 8, 2004 09:53 PM ET
By Richard Balmforth
SAVANNAH, Ga. (Reuters) - Russia on Tuesday refused to halt plans to build a nuclear reactor for Iran but, in the face of U.S. pressure, said Tehran must meet international calls for openness about its nuclear program.
The thorny issue of Russia's plans to construct a $800- million reactor at Bushehr was raised with Russia's Vladimir Putin by President Bush who has branded Iran part of the so-called "axis of evil."
"We have cooperated with Iran and will continue to cooperate with Iran in nuclear power generation," Sergei Prikhodko, a senior Putin aide, told reporters after talks between the two leaders at the Group of Eight summit of industrial countries.
"This is conditional on Iran fulfilling the International Atomic Energy Agency's conditions and the extent to which we can, bilaterally, solve all remaining technical problems concerning construction of the Bushehr power plant," he added.
The issue of Iran's atomic program, which the United States says is a front for developing nuclear weapons, cropped up too in discussions between Bush and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder -- indicating Washington's desire to forge a common view among the G8 of the threat it sees posed by Iran.
"I would say Schroeder and Bush share a degree of skepticism about Iran's intentions," a senior U.S. administration official said, adding that Washington was lobbying other of the European G8 members -- Britain, France and Italy -- on the issue.
Tehran says its atomic program is peaceful and denies U.S. charges that it is trying to develop a nuclear weapon covertly. It says it needs nuclear energy to meet booming demand for electricity and keep oil and gas reserves for export.
Earlier on Tuesday, France, Britain and Germany, in a draft resolution, called for a sharp rebuke of Iran by the IAEA, the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog.
The text, seen by Reuters, calls for IAEA inspections to continue and urges "Iran to take all the necessary steps on an urgent basis to resolve all outstanding questions" on its atomic program, which Washington says is a front for developing arms.
It was not clear, however, if the G8 leaders meeting on Sea Island, Georgia would succeed in reaching anything more than a generalized statement on Iran.
"I think that the leaders' statement tomorrow, hopefully, will show that, in fact, they are united, unmistakably united, in their determination that Iran not achieve nuclear weapons ... there is no division among the G8 that a nuclear weapons-equipped Iran would be unacceptable," another senior administration official told reporters
MOSCOW UNDER PRESSURE
The United States has been pressing Moscow hard to think twice about building the Bushehr reactor, saying it fears the Islamic republic may use the project as a cover for the transfer of other sensitive nuclear technology.
Russia says Iran could not produce a nuclear bomb, even using Moscow's nuclear technology, but all the same has told Tehran it must agree to a deal to return spent fuel from the reactor to Moscow.
Such a deal could help alleviate U.S. concerns that Iranian scientists could extract plutonium from spent fuel and potentially use it in warheads.
A Kremlin official, who did not wish to be named, said however that the Iranians were trying to wring concessions from the Russian side over the deal.
He did not elaborate but said: "They are trying as usual to pull the blanket toward them. But we will only start work on the plant only when contractual problems are solved."
In theory, once this deal has been signed -- possibly in summer -- the 1,000-megawatt reactor could go on stream in 2005. The plant was originally supposed to start up in 2003.
Thank you all for your support.
This just in from a student inside of Iran...
I have heard about a report on the expenses that the Islamic regime spends to filter internet in Iran.
You might not believe but the regime spends more than US $ 8,100,000 annually to block/filter Internet connection and webpages in Iran.
This is also reported by different webpages in Persian languages such BBC Persian, Gooya.com and Iran-Emrooz.de"
'Big three' attack Iran atomic plan
Reuters in Vienna
Wednesday June 9, 2004
France, Britain and Germany circulated a toughly-worded draft UN resolution yesterday attacking Iran for its sluggish cooperation with the atomic energy watchdog.
It calls for continued inspections and urges "Iran to take all the necessary steps on an urgent basis to resolve all outstanding questions".
The draft does not mention reporting Iran to the security council for possible sanctions, which Washington says would be justified given Iran's 18-year cover-up of its uranium enrichment programme, capable of making material for atom bombs.
Still, western diplomats on the International Atomic Energy Agency board said most members would accept the text - including the US, which claims that Iran is developing nuclear arms.
Tehran insists its nuclear programme is peaceful.
Iranian officials were not available for comment, but its foreign ministry has said it had done everything necessary to clear up concerns.
The draft said the board "acknowledges Iranian cooperation", even including military sites, but "cooperation has not been complete, timely and proactive".
The text "deplores" Iran's decision to delay the IAEA's March inspection of sites connected with the advanced P-2 centrifuge project, which Iran had failed to mention in an October declaration it said was a full picture of its programme. The EU's "big three" also noted "with concern that the agency's investigations have revealed further omissions in declarations previously provided by Iran".
Russia to continue nuclear cooperation with Iran
SEA ISLAND. June 9 (Interfax) - Russia will continue peaceful nuclear cooperation with Iran.
A source with the Russian delegation at the G8 summit on Sea Island told Interfax on Wednesday that this statement was made at a meeting between Russian and U.S. Presidents Vladimir Putin and George W. Bush.
"We confirmed our underlying position: we have cooperated and will cooperate with Iran, but the scale of this cooperation will be determined by the way Iran interacts with the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency]," the source said.
The construction of the nuclear power plant in Bushehr "will be continued once all questions have been dealt with," he said.
Nuclear-armed Iran would be more vulnerable, top official says
TEHRAN, June 9 (AFP) -
Iran would be less safe if it acquired nuclear weapons because it cannot hope to match the arsenals of existing nuclear powers such as Israel and the United States, the Islamic republic's former envoy to the UN nuclear watchdog was quoted as saying Wednesday.
"Suppose we have a nuclear weapon, our nuclear weapon of course will not be as good as those developed by the Russians, nor will it be able to compete with the nuclear weapons of Israel and by extension of the US," Ali Akbar Salehi told Iran Daily.
Furthermore, Salehi emphasised that Iran "has absolutely no problem with India or Pakistan". "A country like Iran cannot have prestige by acquiring nuclear weapons.
I think a country like Iran would raise more threats against it, and not get security, by having nuclear weapons," he argued. "We cannot buy more security by having nuclear weapons, only invite more threats against ourselves," said Salehi, whose tenure at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was marked by increasing suspicions that Iran is seeking the bomb.
The United States and Israel accuse Iran of using an atomic energy programme as a cover for the development of nuclear weapons, a charge Iran angrily denies.
Salehi, who was Iran's envoy to the IAEA for five years up to late last year, did however stress in the interview that civil nuclear power was a matter of national prestige.
"If a country has access to the cutting edge nuclear technology, it can be proud," said the former envoy, now a top advisor to the regime on national security and nuclear issues.
"Take Switzerland which has about six million people. Can one compare this country with the volume of knowledge and technology it has with another country that can hardly feed its people but boasts that it has a nuclear bomb," Salehi told the paper.
The IAEA's board is to hold a fresh meeting on Iran next Monday, amid fresh concerns the clerical regime has been hiding important aspects of its nuclear programme.
Middle East Reform to Top G8 Summit Agenda
June 07, 2004
Reform in the Middle East will top the agenda at the Group of Eight summit starting on Tuesday at the exclusive Sea Island resort in Georgia, as leaders of the industrialised democracies seek to chart a long-term strategy to tackle what they see as the roots of Islamic extremism.
Diplomats hope a vote on a new UN Security Council resolution on Iraq in New York on Tuesday night will clear the way for the G8 to bring a sense of purpose to bear on the broader picture.
Although President George W. Bush's Middle East initiative has run into difficulties already - with several Arab allies declining to attend a summit luncheon - the White House said on Monday it was looking forward to a "very strong statement".
"As the president said, it [change] simply can't be put on hold any longer," Condoleezza Rice, national security adviser, told reporters in Savannah, far from the heavily guarded island resort.
"The idea that we were somehow buying stability by turning a blind eye to the absence of freedom has been exposed, and exposed in the form of extremism."
The initiative unleashed a wave of protests when it was unveiled in February, with Arab leaders furious at not being fully consulted and fearful that the US was about to impose its will on the region again.
Diplomats said the main European players, particularly France, had in effect wrested the initiative from Washington and reworked it to reflect the different dynamics among the countries it will address, from Mauritania to Pakistan.
Patrick Cronin, analyst with the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, said: "Conservative elements in the US are pushing democratisation in a more radical way, while the Europeans have a more economic approach. This debate will not be settled at Sea Island."
Various drafts have given what was originally called the Greater Middle East initiative a range of titles evolving into a "partnership for progress and a common future" in the "broader Middle East and North Africa".
The summit declaration, one of a dozen or so expected on issues ranging from a peacekeeping funding initiative to non-proliferation, will emphasise G8 support for the region's own initiatives. However, the US's isolation of Syria and Iran as "rogue states" illustrates the problems of trying to agree a common approach.
Six regional leaders accepted invitations to join the summit lunch on Wednesday: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Jordan, Tunisia, Turkey and Yemen. Iraq's new president, Ghazi Yawar, will also attend. But several others, including Egypt, Morocco and Saudi Arabia were kept away by what one US official called "the whole sourness of things" - namely the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal that is robbing the US of moral credibility and US support for Israel's crackdown in Gaza.
The Bush administration's fear that it might be losing the long-term war against Islamic extremism was voiced by Donald Rumsfeld, defence secretary, who said he did not know if "zealots and despots" were turning out new terrorists faster than the US could capture or kill them.
Sporadic clashes erupt in Khoram-Abad as Freedom Fighters are executed
SMCCDI (Information Service)
Jun 9, 2004
Sporadic clashes erupted in the City of Khorram-Abad, on Monday, as three Freedom Fighters named "Safar Khovat-Siani", "Ali Irvani" and "Omid Davati" were hanged publicly under the false charge of "rape".
Tens of Khorram-Abadi shouted slogans against the Islamic regime and its leaders despite the presence of an impressionant security force deployment in the city and especially around the three areas of Shohada bridge and Shaghayegh and Great squares where each of these new victims of the Islamic regime were executed in order to increase the fear among the rebellious population of the city.
Sporadic clashes leading to the injuries and arrests of several demonstrators happened during the carrying and in the aftermath of these executions.
It's to note that Khorram-Abad has been scene of an increasing armed struggle against the regime forces and that the Islamic regime uses often labels, such as, Rapist, Drug Trafficker, Spy, Hooligan or Bandit in order to qualify some of its exasperated opponents. Such policy helps its European and Japanese partners, as well as the UN, to justify the continuation of their relations with a repressive and tyrannical regime vis a vis their public opinions.
Fresh clashes in Esfahan
SMCCDI (Information Service)
Jun 9, 2004
Fresh clashes erupted in the City of Esfahan, this morning, as the Islamic regime security forces intervened in order to smash the peaceful protest action of tens of demonstrators in front of the Justice Palace.
Clubs and chains were used against the demonstratorswho were shouting slogans against the regime and its leaders while denouncing the official corruption leading to the banckrupty of the local Islamic Saving Funds.
Several demonstrators were also injured or arrested, yesterday, as they gathered in the Nickbakht avenue.
These new popular actions follow several weeks of unrests during which tens of demonstrators have been injured or arrested by the regime forces. The protesters had set banks on fire and smashed windows of several public buildings in retaliation to the regime forces' brutal attacks.
The residents are defying the security forces in order to show their anger against the Islamic regimes' empty promises to replace millions of Tomans (Iranian currency) that had been stolen from deposited assets. The rumor of the bankruptcy of the local Islamic funds has resulted on massive withdraws and is leading toward its collapse.
US Policy on Iran Contrary to NPT
June 09, 2004
Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting
Tehran -- Tehran MP Manoucher Mottaki said here Wednesday that the United States has explicitly announced its opposition to Iran's use of nuclear technology, stressing this policy runs counter to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
"It is surprising that the United States, while supporting nuclear facilities and warheads of the Zionist regime in the Middle East, adopts such unwise policy against Iran's peaceful nuclear facilities in defiance of international regulations," he said.
"The United States lost its previous position in UNESCO, UN human rights and several other international organizations due to adoption of such political, dual and selective policies particularly during the past two decades," the 7th Majlis MP added.
"It seems Iran's dossier would not be closed completely in the next meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency's board of governors regarding (IAEA Chief Mohamed) Elbaradei's report and total attitude of the board of governors," he stated.
The Region: Anti-extremist Strategy
June 07, 2004
The Jerusalem Post
Last week, I discussed how "solutions" have made things worse in the Middle East because their creators misunderstand the nature of the area's politics. But the region's dominant forces have also ensured the failure of the "clever" plans intended to address their grievances.
Virtually every state in the region is dominated by radical forces or ideas:
In Iran, Libya, and Syria, radicals control the regime.
In countries like Saudi Arabia and Egypt, regimes propagate radical ideas even if their actions are relatively moderate conservative.
In countries like Jordan and Morocco, governments are held hostage by radical forces which they usually seek to appease.
In every Arab state, the main opposition movement is not liberal democratic, but radical Islamist.
Radical regimes and revolutionary opposition groups are not seeking negotiated compromise solutions to the Arab-Israeli conflict or such things as domestic reforms, closer cooperation with the West, or democratic systems for themselves.
Instead, like communist and fascist movements, they have a two-fold strategy:
1. Keep power at home through centralized control, blocking change, and using xenophobic demagoguery to blame problems on others.
2. Engage in a struggle to control the entire region and even, in the jihadist Islamists' case, the world.
But how can they hope to defeat overwhelming forces abroad? In fact, the regimes don't need to defeat America, destroy Israel, or expel Western influence to survive. They must merely convince their people that this battle is the highest priority. Keeping the struggle going is more important than achieving material gains or partial success because their program successfully substitutes hope of ultimate, total victory for the material betterment Westerners mistakenly believe is more compelling.
Looking abroad, their strategy is to wear down enemies by attrition and win over onlookers by propaganda. It:
Creates an intolerable situation of violence, suffering, instability, and complaint, to which adversaries respond with concessions and bystanders with sympathy.
Offers and accepts no compromise solution that might resolve conflicts but would also undermine their power, create domestic dissent, and end the struggle.
Ensures no one else makes such a dangerous compromise agreement, which would allow, say, a peaceful Palestinian state or stable Iraq.
Poses publicly as the victim of a situation they created while acting aggressively to weaken the adversary and provoke more concessions.
Makes but does not implement promises to ensure gains. No matter what they say, Iran is going to get nuclear weapons; Palestinian and Syrian leaders foment terrorism; the Egyptian and Saudi regimes will not stop anti-American incitement.
Encourages the adversary, which it portrays as imperialistic and evil but is in fact restrained and peace-seeking, to offers bigger concessions in an attempt to show its good intentions, end conflict, and ease suffering.
While the radicals view time, tension, hatred, and conflict as serving their interests, the other side thinks it can satisfy them and prove its own reasonableness by rushing toward peace. But the radicals will never be persuaded to cease their hostility.
Lets perspective victims criticize themselves for every real or imagined moral lapse. It does not reciprocate. Others may bemoan the suffering of the perpetrators' people; their own leaders will do nothing to alleviate it.
IS THIS a pessimistic assessment? No. Just like communists and fascists, radicals in the Middle East will lose. Their analysis of both their own societies and those of their enemies is wrong, their goals are too extreme, and the balance of forces is too much against them.
What does a strategy for defeating extremists and creating a more stable, peaceful, democratic, and progressive Middle East require? No fancy plans, instant solutions, or the kind of things that excite foundations and provide people first-class tickets to jet off to luxurious conference sites:
1. Patience. This is going to take a long time. Only after communism was defeated was it possible to reform the Soviet bloc or build democracies in Latin America. We are talking here of a historical epoch of 20 to 50 years.
2. Steadfastness. Only a willingness to wage a long-term struggle can succeed.
3. Fighting back by using everything from force to maintaining one's normal life.
4. Containing extremism by denying it victories, especially a chance to extend its rule to more countries.
5. Encourage alternative forces in the Arab and Islamic world, while understanding that outsiders' influence will be limited and transformation slow.
6. Tell the truth. Lies must be combated and struggle waged on the intellectual battlefield to combat the "useful idiots" (Lenin's term) and fellow travelers who echo the radicals' propaganda.
The battle against radical Arab nationalism and jihadist Islamism involves the willingness to fight for one's rights, to sustain that battle over a long time, to avoid appeasement, and to win possible allies. None of this is glamorous. But history will show that this is what the current era is all about.
The writer is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, editor of Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) and Turkish Studies.