Skip to comments.Iranian Alert -- June 11, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Posted on 06/10/2004 9:11:32 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.
U.N. Sees Signs Of Massive Iran Nuke Plans
June 10, 2004
VIENNA -- The U.N. nuclear watchdog has found indications Iran wanted to equip thousands of uranium enrichment centrifuges, enough to produce bomb-grade material for several warheads per year, diplomats say.
The United States is certain to treat this revelation as further proof that Iran's nuclear programme is a front for developing an atom bomb. Iran insists its programme is aimed solely at the peaceful generation of electricity.
At a closed-door meeting on Iran, a senior inspector from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) told the agency's governing board a private Iranian company had expressed interest in "tens of thousands" of magnets for advanced P-2 centrifuges from a European intermediary, said a diplomat who attended.
The IAEA said last week in its latest report on Iran that the company had expressed interest in 4,000 magnets from a European intermediary -- enough for 2,000 centrifuges -- and had added it might buy in "higher numbers" to get a lower price.
Iran said it only bought 150 sample magnets from an Asian firm. But one diplomat told Reuters "tens of thousands" meant the Iranian firm was considering buying at least 20,000 more.
Since two magnets are required for a single centrifuge, which purifies uranium for use as fuel for power plants or weapons by spinning at supersonic speeds, this would have been enough for at least 10,000 P-2 centrifuges, diplomats said on Thursdy.
"This could produce a significant amount of weapons grade uranium," said one diplomat, adding that it would be enough for at least several nuclear warheads a year.
Another diplomat said the problem with the Iranian story on the P-2 centrifuges -- which is one of the IAEA's most urgent unanswered questions about Iran's nuclear programme -- was that there are signs the P-2 programme was massive and not a tiny "research and development" project as Tehran insists.
"If it was a small scale research programme, why were they interested in thousands of centrifuges?" the diplomat said.
IRAN DISMISSES U.S. "MISUNDERSTANDINGS"
The IAEA's other major unanswered question concerns traces of enriched uranium found on domestic and imported centrifuge parts. The Iranians have said the traces were all due to contaminated centrifuge parts purchased from Pakistan, though the IAEA no longer finds this explanation plausible.
Diplomats who attended Thursday's meeting said the IAEA has found multiple levels of enriched uranium on centrifuges, which could indicate that Iran has been enriching uranium itself to levels close to what is useable in an atomic bomb.
One diplomat said the Iranian delegation had also told the IAEA board that Tehran was cooperating fully with the agency.
But Pierre Goldschmidt, IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei's deputy and head of the inspection programme, "corrected the Iranians for the record... He said cooperation had not been 100 percent", the diplomat said.
After the meeting, Iran's top delegate played down U.S. concerns about Iran's programme.
"The U.S. has some misunderstandings about our nuclear programme which we corrected," senior Iranian Foreign Ministry official Amir Zamaninia told reporters after the meeting.
Zamaninia said the United States' misunderstandings were about the P-2 centrifuges and the uranium traces. Washington says Iran's failure to cooperate with the IAEA's attempt to resolve these two issues is proof it is hiding a bomb programme.
U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in Vienna, Kenneth Brill, said it was no misunderstanding and the new IAEA report showed Iran had misinformed the U.N. about its P-2 programme.
"I did not hear anything that corrected (what the IAEA wrote in its report)...although I did hear an effort to try to explain it away," said Brill. "Many states, including the United States, believe that Iran is trying to hide a programme they don't want brought to light."
Iran: Europe Needs Tougher Stance
(Brussels, June 11, 2004) -- European Union officials should take a much stronger approach in the upcoming E.U.-Iran human rights dialogue than they have in previous meetings with the Iranian government, Human Rights Watch said today.
Human Rights Watch urged the EU delegation going to Tehran on June 14-15 to demand that Iran meet concrete benchmarks to end abuses.
In a 73-page report released on June 7, Like the Dead in Their Coffins: Torture, Detention, and the Crushing of Dissent in Iran, Human Rights Watch documents how political detainees have tortured in the presence of judges, held for weeks in absolute solitary confinement, and denied basic due process rights.
In recent weeks, hundreds of student protesters have been summoned to court around the country or sent to university disciplinary committees for punishment. Last month, a number of political detainees on one week of medical leave received harsh prison sentences for articles they had published.
Given the human rights climate in Iran right now, a timid dialogue in Tehran would send the wrong message, said Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of Human Rights Watchs Middle East and North Africa Division. The EU must publicly condemn the crackdown that is currently underway.
An increasing number of Irans independent newspapers have been shut down by Irans judiciary, and numerous journalists and intellectuals have been prosecuted under the provisions of the Press Law and Penal Code.
This meeting will mark the fourth round of the EU-Iran Human Rights Dialogue. Three similar meetings have taken place since December 2002.
Human Rights Watch urged the EU to clearly convey the message that Irans failure to address these serious and systematic violations of basic human rights will have negative consequences for other areas of the EU-Iranian cooperation. The EU should make further dialogues and trade negotiations contingent on clear and concrete improvements in Irans human rights record; and call on Iran to carry out these measures before the next dialogue, including:
release all political prisoners currently held for the legal exercise of their right to free expression, association, and assembly, including prominent dissidents whose health is currently at risk such as Hashem Aghajari, Siamak Pourzand, Akbar Ganji, Abbas Abdi, and Ahmad Batebi;
create specific enforcement mechanisms for its recently adopted anti-torture laws, including accountability for judges and interrogators who torture detainees;
conduct a thorough investigation of its secret prisons, granting full access to international observers;
provide for independent investigation of judges and prosecutors who violate Iranian and international law relating to the rights of the accused, freedom from ill-treatment, and freedom from torture;
invite legitimate and independent non-governmental organizations to this round of the dialogue, such as the Center for Human Rights Defenders headed by Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi, rather than those with significant ties to the government.
Pilot Confirms News of Human Smuggling for Prostitution from Iran to UAE
June 9, 2004
Following denials by Iranian and UAE officials, an unnamed Iranian pilot who works for a UAE airline said that for the past few months he had been receiving information through his colleagues about the sale of young Iranian women to prostitution rings in UAE, according to a report in Tehran reformist daily Etemad. The pilot's name and the university forum in which he spoke did not appear in the article. He said UAE has accused him of exposing police secrets, Iran's judiciary has accused him of disturbing the public's peace of mind and he has been harassed and assaulted by members of the prostitution rings in the UAE.
Guards Return Tabrizi Journalist to Jail from Hospital
June 10, 2004
Guards returned Tabrizi independent journalist Ensafali Hedayat to jail, even though he was still recuperating in hospital after surgery, despite his doctor's orders, Hedayat's lawyer Mohammad-Ali Dadkhah tells Radio Farda, adding that he hopes Tabriz judiciary will agree to his client's request for medical furlough. The Tabriz Islamic revolutionary court sentenced Hedayat to 18 months in prison for attending a meeting of anti-regime secular activists in Berlin. (Amir Armin)
Arabization of Iran underway
Jun 10, 2004
Judiciary chief mullah Hashemi Shahroudi in a meeting with a high-ranking Saudi Arabian judicial delegation and a number of Saudi Ulema and judicial specialists here Wednesday discussed matters of mutual concern.
In the meeting mullah Shahroudi hoped that once further exchange of visits between Iranian and Saudi Ulema and scholars are facilitated, in particular in the judicial sector, enforcing Islamic principles and up-dating them would become systematic.
Reiterating the need to prepare the preliminary grounds for formation of a joint Iran mullahs-Saudi Arabia secretariat and planning further visits between the officials and Ulema of the two states, he said, "major judicial and legal problems facing the world of Islam can be examined to reach mutual understanding on solving them."
IAEA Exposes Iran on Weapons
June 11, 2004
The Associated Press
George Jahn in Vienna
Iran told a black market supplier it was interested in 'tens of thousands' of parts for its covert nuclear program, diplomats say, as the UN atomic watchdog agency prepares to rebuke Tehran for hampering an agency probe of its activities.
The diplomats, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said the revelation about Iran's offer was made at a closed-door meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
An IAEA report leaked last week mentioned that Iran had acknowledged inquiring about 4,000 magnets needed for uranium enrichment equipment with a European black-market supplier and had dangled the possibility of buying a 'higher number' of such markets.
At a preparatory meeting for Monday's IAEA board of governors' conference, an IAEA official was more precise, saying that Iran had said it was interested in 'tens of thousands' of such magnets in future contracts, said diplomats present at the closed meeting on Thursday.
With two magnets per uranium enrichment centrifuge, tens of thousands of such parts would translate into a centrifuge program that significantly exceeds what Iran insists was only an experimental project.
Uranium enrichment can be used to generate power or make nuclear weapons, depending on the level of enrichment. Iran insists it was interested only in energy generation and that its offer was purposely exaggerated to spark interest from the potential black market supplier.
The United States and other nations say such arguments are an attempt to cover up nearly two decades of covert activities aimed at making nuclear weapons and point to what they say is continued Iranian secrecy on the scope of its enrichment program and other activities.
The other main area of concern remains the source of traces of weapons-grade uranium on Iranian centrifuges. Tehran asserts the traces were inadvertently imported on purchases through the nuclear black market and that it has not enriched uranium beyond the low levels used for power generation.
But IAEA investigators have not been able to test that claim because Pakistan - the main source of the equipment - has blocked free access to its nuclear material, meaning the agency cannot match isotope samples to the traces found in Iran.
At Thursday's meeting, IAEA officials complained that the agency has in some cases waited in vain for information on enrichment since October.
Coming out of the meeting, Iran's chief delegate to the IAEA, Amir Zamaninia, said his country had attempted to clarify "a number of misunderstandings on the part of ... mainly the United States."
But another delegate present said members of the Iranian and US delegations had clashed on a number of issues at what was supposed to be a technical meeting, likening their deep differences on the nature of Iran's nuclear program to a chasm between "two worlds."
The testiness reflected tensions ahead of Monday's board meeting, which is expected to censure Iran for continued foot-dragging a year into the IAEA probe of its nuclear ambitions.
A draft resolution written by France, Germany and Britain is heavily peppered with negative terms, "deploring" omissions and delays by Iran in cooperating with the agency probe or noting them with "serious concern."
Diplomats said the United States, Iran's harshest critic, was generally satisfied with the tone of the draft. But they said Washington would push for some kind of deadline for Tehran to come up with the missing information needed to prove or disprove the Islamic Republic's weapons ambitions.
Speaking in Tehran for Iran's powerful conservatives, lawmaker Manouchechr Mottaki warned of a "strong reaction" if the IAEA rules against the country at the board meeting.
That meeting will review the report on Iran by IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei as part of the agency's probe.
The report addresses the same concerns voiced in the draft and brought up at Thursday's meeting - that Iran had tried to buy critical parts for advanced P-2 centrifuges and that ambiguity remains on the source of traces of weapons grade uranium found inside Iran.
In the face of mounting international pressure, Iran suspended uranium enrichment last year, and in April it said it had stopped building centrifuges.
Iran long has rejected U.S. allegations its nuclear program is for military purposes. ElBaradei said last month his agency had not found proof to date of a concrete link between Iran's nuclear activities and its military program, but "it was premature to make a judgment."
Iran Seeks Changes to IAEA Text on Nuclear Aims
June 11, 2004
VIENNA -- Iran said on Friday it wanted changes to a tough draft resolution to be put to the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog rebuking Tehran for failing to cooperate fully with the body.
The United States says Iran's nuclear program is a front to build an atomic bomb, but Tehran denies this. The draft resolution is to be submitted to a meeting of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) next week.
The draft deplores Iran's failure to cooperate fully with a U.N. investigation into suspicions that Tehran might have a covert nuclear weapons program. Diplomats said Iran wants the word "deplores" removed.
"The draft reflects American and some European countries' stances," Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Hassan Rohani told Iranian state television on Friday.
"If the board does not make necessary changes, it means the Europeans are ignoring their commitments," Rohani said before the meeting of the 35-nation IAEA board starting on Monday. "It will influence Iran's decision (on cooperation)."
But several diplomats said the Iranians were pleased the text contained no trigger mechanism for the board to report Tehran to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions in the event Iran's cooperation remained sluggish.
Iran insists its nuclear ambitions are limited to generating electricity and wants a softening of the draft, which France, Britain and Germany prepared for next week's board meeting. The draft was sent to IAEA board members earlier this week.
Diplomats said Iran also wants to remove a section that calls on Iran to end operation of a uranium conversion facility and reverse its decision to begin construction of a heavy water research reactor that would produce weapons-useable plutonium.
A non-aligned diplomat told Reuters that Iran will have a tough time convincing the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) to soften the resolution, given it is based almost verbatim on a report on Iran prepared by IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei -- although Iran's Rohani denied this.
"We can't be seen to be contradicting (ElBaradei's) report," said the diplomat. European and NAM states make up the majority of the 35-member board.
The diplomats said Washington would probably back the text but disliked the lack of a Security Council trigger or deadlines that would keep up the pressure on Tehran.
Further undermining Iran's support on the board are revelations that Tehran's advanced P-2 centrifuge program may have been planned on a massive scale and not as a tiny "research and development" project as Iran insists, diplomats said.
A senior U.N. inspector told the IAEA board on Thursday that a private Iranian company had expressed interest in "tens of thousands" of magnets for P-2 centrifuges from a European black marketeer, diplomats on the board told Reuters.
The diplomats said "tens of thousands" meant the Iranian firm considered buying at least 20,000.
Since two magnets are required for a single centrifuge, which purifies uranium for use as fuel for power plants or weapons by spinning at supersonic speeds, this would have been enough for at least 10,000 P-2 centrifuges, diplomats said.
"This could produce a significant amount of weapons grade uranium," said one diplomat, adding it would be enough for at least several nuclear warheads a year.
"If it was a small-scale research program, why were they interested in thousands of centrifuges?" another diplomat said.
Iran says the unresolved P-2 question is a "minor" issue.
French, German and British foreign ministers last year struck a deal in Tehran under which Iran agreed to suspend enrichment activities and accept more intrusive, snap IAEA inspections of its nuclear facilities in exchange for a possible exchange of technology.
(Additional reporting by Parisa Hafezi in Tehran)
Iran labels G8 criticism of N-program irrational
TEHRAN: Iran labelled as irrational and unreasonable Thursday claims by leaders at the Group of Eight summit that Tehran is failing to fully disclose its nuclear program. Foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Assefi said: "So far, no deviation has been observed in Irans peaceful nuclear activities, and what is being raised these days about Irans activities (is aimed) at creating pressures and a climate for propaganda.
"Iran has practically demonstrated its full commitment to the (nuclear) Non-Proliferation Treaty and its safeguard clauses. Irans broad and transparent cooperation with the (International Atomic Energy Agency) confirms this." He reiterated Tehrans insistence that "the peaceful use of nuclear energy is a legitimate right of Iran.
The Group of Eight nations must not expect Iran to give up this right; rather they should provide Iran with the necessary means to make use of this technology. "These stances are irrational and contradict the realities." At their meeting in Sea Island, Georgia on Wednesday, G8 leaders cited "serious concerns" about North Korea and chastised Iran as they unveiled measures meant to halt the spread of weapons of mass destruction.
The measures aim to curb transfers of nuclear technology; enhance the powers of the IAEA and step up abilities to prevent and respond to biological weapons attacks. The leaders said they were "deeply concerned" about Irans compliance with IAEA requirements and stressed: "We deplore Irans delays, deficiencies in cooperation, and inadequate disclosures."
The IAEA board of governors is expected to rap Iran for hiding sensitive atomic activities when it meets in Vienna next week, but not provoke a showdown over Tehrans alleged secret weapons program, diplomats said. The United States looks ready to sign on this time to a British-French-German draft resolution that sharply criticizes Iran for failing to answer questions about alleged nuclear weapons activities but presses for continued cooperation with Tehran, diplomats said.
Iran leaders warn EU it may regret pandering to US on nuke issue
11 June 2004
TEHERAN - Two of Irans most powerful leaders - Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Hasan Rowhani on Friday warned European governments they might regret pandering to Teherans arch-foe Washington by submitting a strongly critical draft resolution on its nuclear programme to the UN watchdog.
The draft to be put before the board governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency by Britain, France and Germany next week gives the impression that Europe and the United States are working together to deprive Iran of nuclear technology, Rafsanjani told worshippers at the main weekly Muslim prayers in Teheran.
If that is the case, they will regret it, warned the former president who remains extremely influential within the Islamic regime.
The draft reflects the position of the United States and some Western countries, Rowhani, who is in charge of Irans nuclear affairs, told state television.
The big question is if Ms. Forooz Rejaeifar has signed up her three kids for the suicide brigade.
I do not think that the Iranians understand the danger of their nuclear weapons program. They will literally be hammered in their head if they do not back down. That will be the end of the mullahs and the empire of Rafsanjani.
"question is if Ms. Forooz Rejaeifar has signed up her three kids for the suicide brigade."
Really! Or herself?
LoL. So this is the group sponsoring the suicide bombers.
"sparse basement office of her defunct political weekly, from where she and four co-founders run the ``Committee for the Commemoration of the Martyrs of the Global Islamic Movement."
Hope the Mullahs leave NPT soon!
Thanks for the ping!
Iran Hard-liners Warn IAEA, Europe Over Nuclear Criticism
June 11, 2004
TEHRAN -- Iran's powerful conservatives warned that a "strong reaction" was forthcoming if the U.N. nuclear watchdog rules against Iran when its board meets next week to discuss the country's controversial nuclear program.
They also accused France, Germany and the U.K. of breaking promises to make Iran's access to advanced nuclear technology easier after their leaders joined other Group of Eight industrialized nations Wednesday in agreeing on a one-year ban on the transfer of technology for uranium enrichment and reprocessing.
The International Atomic Energy Agency's board of governors, which has wrestled for more than a year over what action to take on Iran's nuclear program, is to meet Monday.
Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful energy purposes, but the U.S. and its allies say Iran has a secret weapons program.
"The final statement by the IAEA board meeting will be the basis of future decisions by the new parliament," prominent conservative lawmaker Manouchehr Mottaki said.
Mottaki, a former deputy foreign minister, said any decision by the IAEA board against Iran will prompt the "parliament's retaliation."
Iran's new parliament, dominated by conservatives, opened April 27. One of its first tasks is to decide whether to approve inspections of Iran's facilities by the U.N. agency without prior notice.
"The board decision will definitely affect the parliament's debate whether or not approve the additional protocol to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty," Mottaki told The Associated Press.
No time has been set for that debate.
Iran's government is already enforcing the additional protocol to "show its good will" but it must be approved by parliament to become law.
Hossein Sheikholeslam, another conservative lawmaker, accused the U.K., France and Germany of violating an agreement with Iran to make it easy for Iran to obtain advanced nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
The promise made in Tehran last year was in return for Iran suspending uranium enrichment and accepting the additional protocol.
"Britain, France and Germany have violated the Tehran Declaration," said Sheikholeslam. "The Europeans and the world have to deal with us (Iran's new parliament) for the next four years. Breaking promises at the beginning of our work will have an adverse effect on mutual collaboration."
Another anti-American lawmaker, Mahdi Kouchakzadeh, said stopping cooperation with IAEA and withdrawing from the NPT would be considered as options.
"If IAEA gives in to U.S. pressure, we will react strongly to defend Iran's national interests...as a lawmaker, I think Iran has to stop cooperation with IAEA and seriously consider withdrawing from NPT," he said.
Kouchakzadeh, a former member of the elite hard-line Revolutionary Guards, drew public attention when he chanted "Death to America" during the opening session of the parliament last month.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said Iran won't give up its nuclear program despite criticism by the G-8 leaders.
"Peaceful use of nuclear energy is Iran's legitimate right...G-8 countries should not expect Iran to give up this right," Asefi was quoted as saying by the official Islamic Republic News Agency Thursday.
"Rather, they should provide Iran with the necessary means to make use of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes," IRNA quoted Asefi as saying.
Iran Will Never Give Up Nuke Plans
June 11, 2004
Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting
Tehran -- Chairman of the Expediency Council (EC) Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said here on Friday that Iran will never give up its right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
"No official in a country like Iran will ever dare deprive his own people from the benefits of this decisive technology and, more significantly, from an important science to which they have a right," Rafsanjani said in his Tehran Friday Prayer sermon.
"The Islamic Republic has never been guilty of blackmail or made concessions on minor issues and with more reason will not be compelled to give concessions on the more important issue of technology to produce nuclear energy."
Rafsanjani said Iran will continue its pursuit of technology to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
"We are against using this science for military affairs and we will continue in our path," he told worshipers at the campus of Tehran University.
"If the world cooperates with us on the peaceful use of nuclear technology, we will be able to resolve the issue. And if they try to bully us, then each will carry out his perceived duties."
Rafsanjani said the draft of a recent anti-Iran resolution that was sponsored by France, Germany and the UK as well as the final statement of the G-8 summit reveals that the US and Europe have formed a partnership to deprive Iran of the benefits of nuclear technology to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
"If, indeed, the US and Europe have made the decision and continue in this path, they should know that it is a decision they will definitely regret," he said.
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