Skip to comments.Iranian Alert -- June 12, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Posted on 06/11/2004 9:00:44 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.
Rafsanjani: Iraq Resolution Could Save US
June 12, 2004
Agence France Presse
TEHRAN -- The UN Security Council resolution passed this week enshrining the terms of Iraqi sovereignty could save the United States from the hell that it created, an influential former Iranian president said yesterday.
The Security Council resolution is a step forward toward saving the Iraqi people and the United States from the hell it created, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said in a sermon during weekly Friday prayers here. The United States is beginning to accept the fact that it got itself into a mire and is looking for a solution for an honorable way out.
However, he added that the oppressive nature of the United States is preventing it from setting a date for withdrawal from Iraq.
Rafsanjani characterized as positive American action in overthrowing the Taleban regime in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein in Iraq, but pointed out that Washington had failed to provide security in the two countries.
In Iraq, he said, the situation is worse today than it was under the rule of Saddam.
On Wednesday, Iran welcomed the Security Councils unanimous endorsement of the new Iraqi governments sovereignty, saying it was a step towards an end of the US-led occupation of its neighbor.
The Islamic Republic of Iran welcomes favorably all action that leads to reinforcing the sovereignty of the Iraqi people, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said. Resolution 1546 is a step toward the total sovereignty of the Iraqi people over their future and their control over their natural resources, and it recognizes the Iraqi governments authority to end the mission of foreign forces and bring a total end to the occupation of the country, he added.
Iran, meanwhile, demanded changes yesterday to a tough draft resolution that rebukes Tehran for failing to cooperate fully with the UN nuclear watchdog, whose board votes on the text next week.
The draft deplores Irans failure to cooperate fully with a UN investigation into suspicions that Tehran might have a covert nuclear weapons program.
Diplomats said Iran wants sections cut or changes to soften the wording.
The draft reflects American and some European countries stances, Irans chief nuclear negotiator Hassan Rohani told Iranian state television. If the board does not make necessary changes, it means the Europeans are ignoring their commitments, Rohani said. It will influence Irans decision (on cooperation).
But several diplomats said the Iranians were pleased the text contained no trigger mechanism for the 35-nation IAEA board to report Tehran to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions in the event Irans cooperation remained sluggish. Iran insists its nuclear ambitions are limited t
Rafsanjani also told worshippers at Friday prayers here that the draft appeared to be the result of a European-US conspiracy.
The draft resolution shows that the Europeans and Americans have agreed on one point which is that Iran should be totally deprived its peaceful nuclear activities, Rafsanjani said.
If it is true, they will regret this decision. We assure them that Iran will not abandon its right, he added.
Iran Rejects 'Irrational' G8 Statement About Its Nuclear Program
TEHRAN (IRNA) -- Iran denounced Thursday the 'irrational and unrealistic' stance of the Group of Eight most industrialized nations on Tehran's nuclear capacity after the group rebuked the country for allegedly failing to fully disclose its nuclear program.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said, "The Islamic Republic has practically demonstrated its full commitment with regard to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and safeguards.
"Iran's broad and transparent cooperation with the IAEA confirms this," he said.
The statement issued by the Group of Eight nations said Wednesday that the governments of the U.S., UK, Germany, Japan, France, Italy, Canada and Russia 'deplore' Iran's alleged delays, inadequate disclosures and lack of cooperation with the IAEA inspectors.
Asefi said, "These stances are irrational and contradict the realities.
"So far, no deviation has been observed in Iran's nuclear activities and what is being raised these days with regard to Iran's activities is (aimed at) creating pressures and a climate for propaganda," he added.
Tehran says its nuclear program is aimed at peaceful generation of power, and strongly rejects Washington's allegations that the program is being cloaked to build an atomic bomb.
"Peaceful use of nuclear energy is a legitimate right of Iran and we will not give this up," Asefi stressed.
"And 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," he said.
Care to elaborate? You mean they were sent out because of the G8 summit?
Iranians pay homage to Ronald Reagan
SMCCDI (Information Service)
Jun 11, 2004
Thousands of Iranians and especially members of the Diaspora residing in the US paid tribute to the late Ronald W. Reagan. E-mails, faxes, flower bouquets have been sent, since Saturday, to the Ronald Reagan Library located in Simi Valley (California) while hundreds of Iranians paid homage to the 40th President of the USA by making visit of the premises in the first days of the week. Hundreds of callers are expressing, everyday, their condolences to the People of America and all those fighting tyranny during most of the Iranian TV and Radio talk shows.
Farah Pahlavi Diba, the former Empress of Iran, made a one day trip on Friday, from France, in order to participate in the official funeral ceremony held at Washington DC's Cathedral. The Shahbanoo had to return on the same day in order to participate, tomorrow, in the commemorative anniversary of the death of Princess Leila Pahlavi who passed away in 2002.
It's to note that Iranians, who are subject to terror and tyranny, are understanding the depth of what has been qualified as the "Reagan Revolution" and its consequences in freeing millions of individuals across Europe, Africa and S. America.
The SMCCDI Coordinator who was interviewed this morning, by the popular NITV, qualified Ronald Reagan as the "Good American man and Principled Leader who brought shiness for millions of enchained individuals subject to the rule of darkness".
"Without doubt, Mr. Regan's correct vision can be better appreciated by millions of those who obtained their freedom and it's no wonder when we see Mr. Lech Walesa sitting beside his coffin for long minutes of meditation.." Aryo B. Pirouznia stated.
"As Roosevelt defeated the evil Nazism and rescued the man kind, Reagan defeated the evil Communism and permitted the creation of a much safer and better world for all. Both these leaders and especially the late Regan had visions that were first subject to sharp criticism during their presidencies but which were confirmed to be correct years later. Even Reagan's ardent opponents are acknowledging this fact in our days and are trying to make forget their erroneous past statements .." the Movement Coordinator's emphasized.
"As the plan for a free and democratic Europe turned to be in the interest of everyone and avoided the happening of the Nuclear Holocaust, we hope that the American voters will give the chance to President George W. Bush, who has also a very correct vision, in order to continue the fight against the evil Islamism and to push for the plan of the "Greater and Democratic Middle East". It will be only then, that the Americans and the whole world can live in peace and freedom..." Pirouznia added.
Iranians pay homage to Ronald Reagan
SMCCDI (Information Service)
Jun 11, 2004
Iran's Mullahs: World must accept Iran into nuclear club
Jun. 12, 2004
Iran's top diplomat said Saturday the country won't accept any new internationally imposed obligations regarding its nuclear program and that the world must recognize Iran as a nuclear-capable nation.
"We won't accept any new obligations," Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi told reporters, suggesting a toughening of Iran's position two days before the 35-nation board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, meets to discuss Iran's nuclear program.
"Iran has a high technical capability and has to be recognized by the international community as a member of the nuclear club," Kharrazi said at a press conference. "This is an irreversible path."
The IAEA has wrestled for more than a year with what to do regarding what the United States and its allies say is a secret Iranian nuclear weapons program. Iran has rejected such allegations, saying its nuclear program is geared toward generating electricity, not making an atom bomb.
Kharrazi insisted Saturday that Iran won't give up its development of the nuclear fuel cycle, the steps for processing and enriching uranium necessary for both nuclear energy and nuclear weapons. Iran says it has achieved the full cycle, but is not now enriching uranium.
"That somebody demands that we give up the nuclear fuel cycle ... is an additional demand," Kharrazi said. He apparently was referring to demands by U.S. and European countries that Iran halt operations of a plant it inaugurated in March in Isfahan, central Iran, that processes uranium into gas and abort plans to build a heavy water reactor in Arak, another city in central Iran.
"We can't accept such an additional demand, which is contrary to our legal and legitimate rights," he said. "No one in Iran can make a decision to deny the nation of something that is a source of pride."
Iran has confirmed possessing technology to extract uranium ore, processing it into a powder called yellow cake and then converting it into gas. The gas is then injected into centrifuges for low-grade enrichment that turns it into fuel for nuclear reactors.
Uranium enriched to low levels has energy uses, while highly enriched uranium can be used in bombs.
Iran suspended uranium enrichment last year under mounting international pressure. In April, it said it had stopped building centrifuges. IAEA inspectors had found traces of highly enriched uranium at two sites, which Iranian officials have maintained was due to contaminated imported materials.
Kharrazi condemned a draft resolution critical of Iran drawn up by Germany, France and Britain and currently debated before the IAEA board meeting Monday.
"The draft resolution is unacceptable unless changes are made so that it can be acceptable to all parties," he said.
The minister said insistence by Europeans on "very tiny issues is contrary to the spirit of cooperation." He said that by doing so, the European countries are bowing to U.S. pressure and showing "lack of independence."
Kharrazi warned that failure in settling the debate over Iran's nuclear dossier will be a "failure for all," including Iran, Europe and the IAEA.
The minister confirmed Iran's efforts to buy 4,000 magnets needed for uranium enrichment equipment, saying the issue was being "unnecessarily" hyped. He did not say where the magnets were bought from.
Diplomats told The Associated Press in Vienna 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."
"If everybody is looking to settle this issue (Iran's nuclear dossier), they have to look at it in a broad outlook," Kharrazi said.
Hmmm. Sounds as if Iran is becoming more 'target rich' by the minute.
Not entirely true, but it hasn't been an open society. For instance, an Irishman or Swede could always travel in Iran on tourism or business.
and, in the United States, Iranian-Americans were often viewed with suspicion.
I call el Toro poo-poo on this. Iranian-Americans are present in every level of American society, except Congress (but given the general level of respect for Congress, is that a bad thing?). Most Americans are bright enough to grasp that people of Iranian birth of descent who live here aren't enthusiastic followers of the world's leading terrorist state.
Criminal Number 18F
Dude, you don't realise just how reversible your path is. It is reaching the point where you reverse course, or we will reverse it for you -- and you won't like that. We don't even need to do it -- we just need to slip the leash on the Israelis.
The Ayatollahs' quest for nuclear weapons has no possible good end. Nuclear power is one thing; it can help a poor nation like Iran with an intelligent, inventive people develop economically and socially (once the burden of the terror is lifted). Nuclear weapons, in the hand of a state that considers terrorism and suicide bombing to be policy tools of first resort, are unacceptable.
Kamal Kharrazi wants his nation to be accepted as a member of the international community. He needs to begin with some house-cleaning at home.
Criminal Number 18F
Kharazi Says UN Pressure Unacceptable
June 12, 2004
From Correspondents in Tehran
Iranian foreign minister Kamal Kharazi complained today that ongoing pressure from the UN nuclear watchdog was "unacceptable", and condemned a draft resolution critical of Iran drawn up by Britain, France and Germany.
"It is unacceptable that such minor questions are keeping the dossier of Iran open" at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mr Kharazi told a news conference.
The IAEA's board of governors is scheduled to again discuss Iran's suspect nuclear program in Vienna on Tuesday.
It will also consider a draft resolution put forward by the three countries that is strongly critical of Iran's failure to reassure the body that it is not seeking to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of an atomic energy program.
Mr Kharazi said the draft from the EU's "big three" was also unacceptable to Iran.
"We have protested against this draft resolution, which is unacceptable unless there are changes made so that it can be acceptable for all parties," the foreign minister said.
Iran Rejects Demand to Drop Heavy-Water Reactor
June 12, 2004
Iran on Saturday rejected European demands that it freeze additional parts of its atomic program, saying it would push on with plans to build a heavy-water reactor.
"We will not accept any new obligation," Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi told a news conference. "If anyone asks us to give up Isfahan industries to change yellowcake into uranium hexafluoride gas or to give up heavy-water facilities in Arak, we cannot accept such an extra demand that is contradictory to our legal rights."
The United States says Iran is using its program as a smokescreen for building an atomic bomb, but the Islamic Republic insists its scientists are working only on ways to meet booming domestic electricity demand.
The heavy-water reactor Tehran has decided to build, though still on the drawing board, would be capable of producing weapons-usable plutonium.
Britain, Germany and France penned a tough draft resolution this week deploring Iran's failure to cooperate fully with the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The document, to be debated at an IAEA board meeting starting on Monday, asked Iran to freeze its operation of a uranium conversion facility near Isfahan and reverse its decision to construct a heavy-water reactor near the central industrial city of Arak.
Yellowcake is processed uranium ore, mined near the central desert city of Yazd. Uranium hexafluoride gas is pumped into centrifuges that enrich uranium through spinning.
Low-enriched uranium can be used in nuclear power stations such as the one Iran is building with Russian help on its south coast, but if enriched further it can be deployed in warheads.
Kharrazi said the Arak reactor was still being designed and he did not know when construction work would start.
Iran promised to suspend its uranium enrichment last year but the three European powers' call to halt work at Isfahan and drop plans for the Arak reactor is new.
The United Nations does not define Isfahan and Arak as enrichment sites, but European diplomats have argued that the gas needed for centrifuges is integral to the enrichment process.
Iran Frees Internet Journalist on Bail
June 12, 2004
ABC News Online
An Iranian journalist, who was detained after he strongly criticised his former conservative political allies, has been allowed free on bail after spending four days in jail.
Student news agency ISNA reports that Abbas Kakavand had been charged with spreading false information, and was jailed pending trial.
The journalist told ISNA he has posted bail, which is set at 100 million rials ($US11,600).
Kakavand has been charged with spreading false information in an article he published on the Internet.
In the article he accuses powerful conservative figures of profiting from their positions.
Iran's judiciary, a bastion of the Islamic republic's religious right wing, is maintaining a tough crackdown on pro-reform writers.
Since 2000, it has closed down more than 200 publications.
Around 12 journalists are currently in Iranian prisons.
Shirin Ebadi Barred From Representing Kazemi
June 12, 2004
The Globe and Mail
Associated Press with Canadian Press
Tehran -- Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi has apparently been barred from representing the family of Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi who died in custody, a spokesman for her human rights centre said Saturday.
Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, one of four lawyers representing Ms. Kazemi's family, said an invitation from the court to attend a hearing next month did not mention Ms. Ebadi's name.
That Ebadi's name is not among the list of lawyers invited for the next hearing means that the judiciary has barred her from representing the family at the court, Mr. Dadkhah said.
In November, a criminal court had accepted Ms. Ebadi's request to represent Ms. Kazemi's family.
Judiciary officials and Ms. Ebadi were not available for comment Saturday.
Ms. Ebadi won the 2003 Nobel peace prize for her advocacy of human rights and democracy in Iran.
The two other lawyers invited by the court were Mohammad Seifzadeh and Abdolfattah Soltani.
Ms. Kazemi, a Canadian of Iranian origin, was arrested June 23, 2003, while taking photographs during a protest by families of prisoners outside a Tehran jail. She died nearly three weeks after the arrest.
Authorities had initially denied that Ms. Kazemi was killed, claiming she had died of a stroke. Later, however, a presidential-appointed committee found that Ms. Kazemi had died of a fractured skull and brain hemorrhage due to a blow to the head.
Intelligence Ministry agent Mohammad Reza Aghdam Ahmadi was charged with beating her to death. His trial opened last October but the second session has been postponed several times for reasons not made public.
Mr. Dadkhah, who is also a spokesman for the Centre for Protecting Human Rights co-founded by Ms. Ebadi, said the second session is now scheduled for July 17.
Ms. Kazemi's son, Stephen Hachemi, who lives in Montreal, said last month he believed Ms. Ebadi would be powerless to ensure justice for his mother and called on the Canadian government to get more involved.
He has repeatedly urged the federal government to pressure Iran to allow an independent Canadian court monitor to observe the trial.
Canada criticized the handling of the Kazemi case and threatened to impose sanctions. It withdrew its ambassador to Iran after Ms. Kazemi's body was buried in Iran against the wishes of her son and Canadian authorities. Canadian Ambassador Philip Mackinnon later returned to Iran and attended the opening of the trial.
Europe, Iran and the Nuclear Issue
June 10, 2004
The Economist Print Edition
The hope in Europe that soft power, offering engagement in place of confrontation, would encourage Iran to give up its dangerous nuclear ambitions seems set to collide with hard reality. Buried in the details of a report next week to the board of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), one of a damning series since Iran's 18-year deception over its nuclear programmes was uncovered last year, are several time-bombs.
The inspectors cannot know whether Iran has a secret nuclear-weapons programme; only secretive Iran knows that. But they do demonstrate that not all traces found of highly enriched uranium (the higher the better for military use) could have come in on imported machinery, as Iran still claims. Its interest in particularly sophisticated centrifuge machines for enrichment, they suspect, goes beyond the small research effort it now owns up to. And they are certain Iran bought its enrichment designs and parts from the same supply network as Libya, which now admits (while Iran does not) that with its uranium starter-kit came detailed bomb-building plans.
Iran still insists its nuclear programme is just for making electricity. But few believe that. Last October, Britain, France and Germany thought they had a deal that gave Iran a face-saving exit from the bomb-making business: they would hold off reporting Iran's nuclear transgressions to the UN Security Council, as the IAEA's board is legally obliged to do, if all uranium enrichment activity stopped, and Iran came clean about its nuclear past and co-operated fully with inspectors. And they offered technology trade, with Iran keeping the peaceful benefits of nuclear power, if it abandoned the uranium and plutonium processes that bring it close to nuclear break-out.
But Iran, it seems, was just playing for time. Its work with inspectors has increased, but so have the holes in its nuclear story. It is about to start building a heavy-water reactor that is too small for power generation but ideal for plutonium-making. It is preparing uranium feedstock for its centrifuges and still producing parts for them, despite a promise to stop. And western intelligence agencies suspect Iran is still hiding sites where other nuclear work has been done.
As the going gets tougher
Iran threatens consequences if the IAEA's board will not drop the issue: it hints it may restart its uranium enrichment machines, or it could quit the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), as North Korea has done. And what would the Europeans do then? Little but belly-ache, Iran may calculate. If it is to be persuaded differently, and the NPT is to be saved from the shredder, Europe's soft power needs to be given a harder edge.
With 60% of its people under 30, many of them without jobs, Iran needs all the trade (some 40% of its imports come from the European Union) and investment in its oil and gas industries (much of it now coming from European and Japanese companies) that it can get. Sanctions, beyond those imposed for years by the United States, could therefore hurt Iran badly. As a first signal of their intent to get tougher, if Iran won't keep its side of the October bargain, Britain, France and Germany should join America in insisting that Iran's nuclear rule-breaking go directly to the Security Council, where international sanctions could be contemplated.
Iran would be livid if Europe flexed its trade muscle even in this limited way. But it also needs to be told clearly that any nuclear miscalculation it makes will carry a heavy price.
Iran's Mullahs: World must accept Iran into nuclear club
Jun. 12, 2004