Skip to comments.Iranian Alert -- June 10, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Posted on 06/09/2004 9:16:17 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.
One year ago today, I began this thread.
Like many observers of the Middle East, I had looked forward the July 9th, 2003 demonstrations scheduled in Iran. I knew the students of Iran chose the date (July 9th) because it was the anniversary of the 1997 crack down on students where thousands of young people were imprisoned or disappeared.
I also knew the people of Iran were weary of their government. I knew that the people longed for freedom and a secular democracy.
But I was surprised that the demonstrations started a month early (Jun3 10, 2003).
So I began threads discussing the developments as they occurred. The demonstrations grew. The student leaders were arrested, demonstration after demonstration. As a result, when July 9th finally arrived, the people were leaderless and the much anticipated summer revolution fizzled.
Now a year has passed.
The world is much different now. Irans neighbor Iraq is beginning to experience the kind of freedom that Iranians long for. Democracy is being discussed throughout the Middle East.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is desperately trying to destroy the progress being made in Iraq, even going to the extent of soliciting suicide bombers to attack our troops in Iraq. The Mullahs of Iran are increasingly becoming more aggressive. They are threatening the United States, training terrorists in their capital and apparently actively pursuing nuclear weapons. They even felt the need to rig their already rigged elections to ensure their ultra conservative members replace the conservative members in their parliament.
But apparently there are limits to the level of repression the Mullahs of Iran can impose on the Iranian people.
For instance, a few months ago the people of Iran ignored the orders of their Supreme leader and celebrated ancient Zoroastrian celebrations. They did so largely as a means of protesting the regime and the regime backed down. More recently the regime backed down on a death sentence of a dissident academic (Hashem Aghajari). The protests were so great and Aghajaris defiance so courageous that the regime eventually backed down and removed the death sentence.
All this does not speak well for the future of the Mullahs of Iran. They know there are limits on what their public will accept. They cannot even trust their own military and security forces. The regime has to import security personnel from Lebanon, Syria, and more recently the Sudan. They are trying to intimidate their citizens. But the presence of these foreign security forces is an insult to the Iranian people.
Once again the Mullahs are attempting to arrest the student leaders prior to July 9. They have arrested some, but this time it appears that the students are not being drawn into a fight before they are ready. If all goes well, this July 9th may be the start of a nationwide series of protests against their regime. This could become the summer the regime falls.
Today people are in awe that Ronald Reagan was able to predict the collapse of the Soviet Empire. But Ronald Reagan also described Iran "one of the frontiers of freedom today," adding that those frontiers would be extended in the future.
It is important that our government and those of our allies support the people in their quest for freedom.
President Bush: Faster Please!
G8 Unveils Plan on WMD, Warns on N.Korea, Iran
Wed Jun 9, 2004 08:16 PM ET
By Caren Bohan
SAVANNAH, Ga. (Reuters) - The world's major powers endorsed a plan on Wednesday to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and singled out North Korea and Iran for concern.
Leaders of the Group of Eight -- the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada and Russia -- agreed on a one-year ban on the transfer of equipment and technology for uranium enrichment and reprocessing.
But the G8 "action plan" fell short of some of the goals laid out by President Bush in a major speech on proliferation in February and some analysts said it was too modest.
Pressed by the United States, however, the G8 -- holding its summit in Sea Island, Georgia -- had harsh words for North Korea and Iran in their statement.
They called on North Korea to abandon its weapons program and reiterated a commitment to nuclear talks among six countries -- North and South Korea, Russia, China, the United States and Japan.
"We strongly support the six-party process, and strongly urge (North Korea) to dismantle all of its nuclear weapons-related programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner," the statement said.
On Iran, the leaders stopped short of adopting the U.S. position, which is that there are grounds for suspecting that the Islamic republic is trying to develop nuclear weapons.
But the group urged cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the U.N. nuclear watchdog, and said that despite some progress, Iran was still dragging its feet on full disclosure.
"While we acknowledge areas of progress reported by the (IAEA director), we are, however, deeply concerned that Iran's suspension of enrichment-related activity is not yet comprehensive," the statement said.
"We deplore Iran's delays, deficiencies in cooperation and inadequate disclosures," the statement said.
The United States has been trying to urge Russia to suspend its plans to build a $800-million reactor at Bushehr. While Russia is still going ahead with the plans, it did give Washington a concession by insisting that Tehran meet the calls for cooperation by the IAEA.
While U.S. officials touted the action plan as one of the major accomplishments of the summit, Robert Einhorn, senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the initiatives were not sweeping enough.
"If what the administration was trying to do was to make major gains on non-proliferation initiatives, they have fallen short of that and had to settle for watered down versions of their proposals," he said.
For example, Einhorn said, rather than suggesting a one-year ban on the transfer of nuclear weapons technology, Bush in February suggested an outright ban on it.
He also noted that the "global partnership" to fight proliferation has not yet reached its goal of raising $20 billion, having raised about $17 billion so far.
Key EU nations want Iran's answer on IAEA questions
AP , VIENNA, AUSTRIA
Thursday, Jun 10, 2004,
Key European nations presented a draft resolution that would censure Tehran for not answering key questions raised by a UN atomic agency investigation into Iran's secret nuclear program.
The confidential document "deplores" the fact that Iran's "cooperation has not been complete, timely and proactive," a diplomat said on Tuesday, quoting parts of the proposed draft written by France, Britain and Germany.
At the same time, the diplomat said, the draft "acknowledges Iranian cooperation" in granting agency inspectors access to locations including "defense industry" sites -- essentially military bases.
In an allusion to Pakistan -- which indirectly supplied much of Iran's covert nuclear program through renegade scientist A.Q. Khan -- the draft calls on the "full and close cooperation of third countries" to clear up Iran's nuclear ambiguities.
Diplomats close to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) say Pakistan has refused to allow IAEA experts to independently take samples that would test Iranian assertions that traces of weapons-grade uranium found in Iran came from equipment bought from Khan's network.
If the IAEA cannot match up isotope samples from Pakistan and Iran, it cannot verify whether Iran's version is accurate or a cover-up to hide the fact that it conducted experiments to enrich uranium to the levels used to make nuclear warheads.
IAEA diplomats are preparing for a 35-country review of Iran's suspect nuclear program.
The diplomats said the draft resolution -- circulated informally among delegations representing the IAEA's 35 board member nations ahead of their 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 had researched advanced centrifuges capable of uranium enrichment. But it denies suggestions it wanted to embark on full-scale enrichment using the equipment, despite IAEA findings showing that it had bought thousands of parts far in excess of what it would have needed only for research.
The draft, whose language could change before it is formally presented at the board meeting, called on Iran to "work proactively to enable to agency to gain a full understanding" of the scope of its P-2 centrifuge program.
It also urged Tehran to rethink plans to build a uranium conversion plant and heavy water reactors.
U.S. Favors Iran's NPT Exit
Jun 9, 2004, 22:28
The United States is mounting pressure on Iran to persuade the country to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to have the pretext for pushing Iran before the United Nations for sanctions, a university professor says.
"Iran's exit from NPT is exactly what the United States and its allies are following up. It will give them the pretense to report Iran to the UN Security Council," Pirouz Mojtahedzadeh told PIN in an interview. "The United States has been seeking to tell the world that Iran is producing atomic weapons. In the meantime, this country has failed to offer any evidence," he said, calling on the Iranian authorities to strip the United States of any pretext.
Mojtahedzadeh who heads London-based Eurosevic Institute gave a positive assessment of Iran's nuclear programs. However, he said, Iran's nuclear programs are subject to "ambiguity-mongering". The academic said the International Atomic Energy Agency had "illegally" published its report about Iran. "We should not close our eyes on this significant issue and we should file a complaint." "Iran should be cautious if it has the intention of resuming uranium enrichment," he said.
"Iran is hesitating to create nuclear industries and therefore the country needs to arrange the affairs before using P-2 centrifuges," he added. "Re-enrichment of uranium will be meaningful as long as Iran does not arrange its P-2 technology." Two Iranian deputies warned that the new parliament would consider pulling the Islamic republic out of a key nuclear arms control treaty if the IAEA is deemed to be too pro-American.
"If the IAEA again acts in the way that the Americans want and if the big powers use the Non-Proliferation Treaty to pressure Iran, parliament will examine leaving the NPT," MPs Ali Abbaspour and Hossein Nejabat said earlier. The warning comes ahead of a June 14 meeting of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), where the body's executive -- the Board of Governors -- are due to review the progress of inspections of Iran's suspect bid to generate nuclear power.
The United States argues Iran is secretly trying to build the bomb, but Iran insists its program is purely peaceful -- even though it emerged late last year the country had for years been covering up sophisticated activities. In the run-up to the June meeting, Iranian officials have been warning the IAEA not to be too harsh, or else risk pushing the Islamic republic's clerical leaders to cut off cooperation altogether.
IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei said last week that Iran's cooperation with the agency had been insufficient but added that he had not drawn any conclusions over the nature of the country's nuclear program. If Iran comes under renewed criticism on June 14 and more doubts emerge over its cooperation, the IAEA board could refer the matter to the UN Security Council, which in turn could decide to impose sanctions.
Journalist Imprisoned for Online Articles
June 09, 2004
Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders called today for the immediate release of Abbas Kakavand, who was imprisoned on 7 June for allegedly disseminating "false news" in articles he wrote for the website gooya.com since February after leaving the conservative newspaper Ressalat. His articles criticised corruption and the political payments received by many conservative leaders.
The organisation described the jailing of Kakavand as "flagrant evidence of the systematic violation of press freedom in Iran," and pointed out that "it came just a few days before talks on human rights are scheduled to get under way between the Islamic Republic and the European Union".
"The EU has apparently not yet realised that the situation of free expression has got much worse since this so-called "constructive dialogue" with Iran began more than three years ago", Reporters Without Borders said.
"No journalist is protected from repression, not even those who have worked for one of the most pro-government newspapers. Farsi-language websites, which play a major role in disseminating news, are being monitored more and more closely. The Islamic Republic continues to claim that it adheres to international human rights standards, in which case it should therefore immediately release the 13 journalists currently imprisoned in Iran," Reporters Without Borders said.
Charges were brought against Kakavand at a hearing of the Tehran criminal court on 7 June. The court ordered his immediate imprisonment when he was unable to pay bail of 100 million rials (about 11,600 euros). His articles criticising political corruption had appeared in both reformist dailies and on gooya.com, a very popular site which the authorities blocked along with other reformist sites for several days before the February legislative elections.
He was first summoned by the judicial authorities on 3 April. On the day of his 7 June court hearing, gooya.com published an interview in which he accused most of the conservative political leaders and members of the overwhelmingly conservative parliament of "stealing from the tills of the Imam Khomeini foundation" to finance their electoral campaigns. Hadad Adel, the currently parliamentary speaker, was named.
The Iranian regime censors thousands of websites considered to be "un-Islamic." It also harasses and jails online journalists. But the Internet is flourishing in Iran, online political debates are impassioned and weblogs are spreading fast.
On 22 June, Reporters Without Borders will bring out a report on the "The Internet under Surveillance" which will detail the methods used by the Iranian authorities to control online content. The full report will be available on the Reporters Without Borders website, www.internet.rsf.org.
Now with a total of 13 journalists detained, Iran is the biggest prison for the press in the Middle East
Jerusalem Post - By Barry Rubin
Jun 9, 2004
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.
You are a good friend to the country that Iran could be one day!
Your insight and wisdom are greatly appreciated. Thanks for sharing your perspective, Doc.
This summer may be all it takes.
Thanks again DoctorZIn for the thread.
We are sure that Iranians will be a free & prosperous nation once again.
And you are doing a great work.
I, as an Iranian student, would like to thank you for doing such a good job.
Let us make you and your American friends sure that we are trying hard here to get rid of the Islamic Regime of Iran. And I know that Americans are aware of what we do through reading your daily thread.
And let me add that the struggle is a long, ongoing process, and that it is hard to reach for freedom when living under so very much daily oppression.
I, on behalf of my fellow friends here in Iran, appreciate you and please keep up the good work.
Kheili az shoma mamnoon hastim!
BUMP and stay safe!
Thank you for keeping us informed, Khashayar. Your insights are so very important to the thread. We have much to learn from you.
Doc, I've sure appreciated these threads myself. Having been surprised that we didn't roll east and west on Apr. 10, 2003, I still agree. But let's hope that the Iranian youth movement gains enough power and maturity to require change in Iran directly.
Iran and the EU 3
According to a report issued last week by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Tehran continues to respond to inspections of its nuclear facilities with stonewalling and defiance. With the next IAEA board meeting scheduled for Monday in Vienna, the critical question now is whether three EU nations Britain, France and Germany, also known as the "EU 3" are prepared to join the United States in stepping up pressure against the Iranian regime.
Over the past seven months, three IAEA reports have documented Iran's deceptions. In November, the IAEA issued a 30-page report showing that Tehran has been deceiving the international community about its intentions for almost 20 years. In February, the IAEA criticized Iran for promising to provide details about its nuclear programs, but failing to do so.
The latest IAEA report, issued last week, suggests that two months after Iran pledged to suspend its nuclear program, it continues to produce items that can be used to build nuclear weapons. The IAEA suggests that Iran has provided false information about its nuclear program; that it takes repeated requests to pry loose information; and that the information it has provided is not particularly useful. One of the most troubling points deals with Iran's promise on April 9 to suspend production of centrifuge parts. While Iran suspended such activities at three state-run facilities, centrifuge work continued at three private companies. Iran's behavior "fits a long-term pattern of denial and deception that can only be designed to mask Iran's military nuclear program," said Kenneth Brill, U.S. ambassador to the IAEA. "Inconsistent stories and unanswered questions continue to be the hallmark of Iranian cooperation with the agency."
In the days leading up to next week's IAEA meeting, Tehran has sounded unrepentant. The head of Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guards warns that the United States is pursuing a policy of "bullying" Muslim nations that "will stir up the hatred of more than 1 billion Muslims" and bring divine wrath upon America.
At issue now is whether Britain, France and Germany, which have been repeatedly embarrassed by Iran's broken promises over the past year, are prepared to take a more assertive stance. Indications are that the EU 3 will oppose any effort by Washington to get the IAEA to go on record declaring Iran in violation of its commitment not to build nuclear weapons. At some point, the European nations will be forced to choose between their commercial interests in engaging the current Iranian regime and the need to give real credibility to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as a safeguard against the development of atomic weapons by rogue states. The hour is growing late.
G-8 Leaders Scold Iran, Line Up Behind US on North Korea
June 10th 2004
Pacific Rim Bureau (CNSNews.com) - Leaders of the world's key industrialized nations have sent a strong message to North Korea and Iran, urging the communist regime to dismantle its nuclear weapons programs and chastising the Islamic republic for inadequately responding to concerns about its nuclear ambitions.
In a show of support for the Bush administration's position on North Korea, Group of Eight leaders meeting in Sea Island, Ga., adopted Washington's insistence that Pyongyang "dismantle all of its nuclear weapons-related programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner."
This is the demand U.S. officials have been pressing home during two inconclusive rounds of six-party talks on the North Korean nuclear crisis, also involving South Korea, Japan, China and Russia.
A third round of talks is expected in Beijing soon.
The G-8 leaders in a statement Wednesday expressed strong support for the six-party talks process, saying that North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons through both uranium- and plutonium-based programs were "serious concerns to us all."
The specific references to uranium and plutonium was another diplomatic victory for Washington.
North Korea has been denying the existence of a uranium-enrichment program, and both China and Russia have at various times also voiced skepticism.
In an interview with the New York Times, published Wednesday, Deputy Chinese Foreign Minister Zhou Wenzhong repeated Beijing's doubts that North Korea had a uranium program.
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher later in the day called Zhou's comments "puzzling," saying the U.S. had repeatedly made it clear there was "very conclusive information that North Korea has a covert uranium enrichment program."
The G-8 leaders Wednesday also said they deplored Iran's "delays, deficiencies in cooperation, and inadequate disclosures" to the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
"We remain united in our determination to see the proliferation implications of Iran's advanced nuclear program resolved."
The U.S. believes Tehran is trying to develop nuclear weapons, under the cover of a supposedly civilian program.
Russia is building the Iranians a nuclear power reactor at Bushehr on the Persian Gulf coast, which both Iran and Russia assert is for purely peaceful purposes.
The G-8 leaders, who include Russian President Vladimir Putin, urged Iran to comply promptly and fully with all commitments and IAEA requirements, including ratifying and implementing the "additional protocol" to its IAEA safeguards agreement.
The additional protocol requires Iran to provide detailed information on its nuclear activities to the watchdog, and gives the IAEA more authority to verify its claims.
The U.S. argues that North Korea and Iran have both exploited a loophole in the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), under which nuclear-capable states agreed to help others to develop peaceful atomic energy on condition they renounced the pursuit of nuclear weapons.
At Wednesday's summit, the G-8 leaders endorsed a one-year ban on the transfer of nuclear weapons technology, such as enrichment and reprocessing equipment.
President Bush earlier this year suggested a permanent ban on such transfers.
The Group of Eight comprises the U.S., Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Japan, Canada and Russia. The European Union has observer status.
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