Skip to comments.Iranian Alert -- June 15, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Posted on 06/14/2004 9:01:01 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.
The Ticking Clock Of Iran's Nuclear Program
June 14, 2004
The International Atomic Energy Agency convened a board of governors meeting June 14, debating how to respond to Irans nuclear program, which critics say is dedicated to the development of nuclear weapons. The head of the United Nations agency, Mohammad ElBaradei, announced that Tehrans cooperation has been "less than satisfactory."
The most recent IAEA report on Irans nuclear program chronicles a long list of deceit, defiance, contradictory accounts and denial of access to some key sites. The report says the agencys inspectors found more traces of highly enriched uranium that could be bomb-grade, and that Iran had admitted importing parts for sophisticated P-2 centrifuges to enrich uranium. Equally troubling, the IAEA revealed that Iran told a black-market supplier it was interested in obtaining thousands of magnets for the P-2 centrifuges. [For additional information see the Eurasia Insight archive].
Experts believe, with two magnets per uranium enrichment centrifuge, Irans desire to obtain such a large number of magnets means that its nuclear research activities significantly exceed what Iranian officials insist is just an experimental program. If the magnets are an accurate indicator of the scale of the nuclear program, Iran could soon be capable of generating enough weapons-grade nuclear material to produce several warheads a year.
The IAEAs revelations clearly depict a long-term pattern of denial and deception in Irans behavior that can be only explained by Tehrans scheme to buy time and mask its military nuclear program. An Iranian opposition group, the Paris-based National Council of Resistance (NCR), alleged recently that Irans Revolutionary Guards are supervising the nuclear program. [For additional information see the Eurasia Insight archive]. The Revolutionary Guards, according to the NCR, are supposedly pursuing this project through four military organs; the Center for New Defense Preparedness and Technology, the Headquarters for New Warfare, the Nuclear Research Division of the Revolutionary Guards Imam Hussein University and the Special Industries Division in the Military Industries Organization. If the program moves ahead without encountering obstacles or unexpected delays, Tehran could develop a nuclear weapon within two years, the NCR claims.
At the IAEA governing board meeting, the jockeying has already started over the expected resolution on Irans program. Europes big three - Britain, France and Germany have reportedly circulated a draft resolution that "deplores" Irans hindering of inspections. At the same time, the draft is said to lack a meaningful trigger mechanism to bring Irans case before the UN Security Council in the event that Tehran does not improve its cooperation with the IAEA. Without such a trigger mechanism, Tehran could potentially drag the inspection issue out, as it worked towards developing an atomic weapon.
Irans primary objective in its cooperation with the IAEA is to buy time for weapons development by creating the impression that inspections are working. That the existing inspection regime is shedding new light on Tehrans secret nuclear program, however, does not mean it is hindering the development of a bomb. Conducting inspections just for the sake of having inspections, as time is running out, is a recipe for disaster. What is at stake is the IAEAs reputation as an effective non-proliferation agency. In addition, stability in the Persian Gulf region will take a substantial hit if Irans mullahs come into possession of nuclear weapons.
In the mid-1980s, Tehrans leaders concluded that they needed a non-conventional arsenal to achieving their strategic aim of becoming a dominant power in the Persian Gulf region. They adopted asymmetric warfare as the cornerstone of their military doctrine. It would be simply naìve to suggest that Irans rulers have since had a change of heart. If anything, the recent reports about Irans increasing meddling in Iraq indicate that Tehran is determined to extend its influence. [For background information see the Eurasia Insight archive].
Given their huge commercial ties with Tehran - which seems to be in a big rush to grant them lucrative contracts in exchange for concessions in the IAEA and other areas European nations, including France and Germany, may feel they have good reasons to adopt a conciliatory approach towards Iran. However, the specter of a nuclear-armed Iran the most active state sponsor of terrorism is far too ominous to let appeasers in the EU dictate policy toward Tehran. By being soft on Iran, the EU could inadvertently be pushing the issue of Tehrans nuclear program toward a military solution, a scenario nobody welcomes.
For now, Irans breach of its nuclear obligations must be reported to the UN Security Council. UN sanctions are arguably the best available way to slow down Tehrans drive to develop atomic weapons. The IAEA does not need to find an actual bomb to conclude Iran is indeed running a nuclear weapons program. There is already enough evidence to refer the case to Security Council.
In the long term, however, only a democratic secular government, not the ruling theocracy, could ensure a WMD-free Iran. To this end, the EU capitals and Washington should embrace Irans democratic opposition forces that are working to unseat the ruling mullahs. The clock is ticking.
Editors Note: Reza Bulorchi is the Executive Director of the US Alliance for Democratic Iran.
White House urges Iran to 'Come Clean' on Nuclear Program
Reuters - World News
Jun 14, 2004
WASHINGTON - The White House said on Monday it had serious concerns about Iran's cooperation with U.N. inspectors but stopped short of publicly calling for a deadline to be set for compliance.
"Iran needs to come clean and abide by its international agreements," White House spokesman Scott McClellan told Reuters.
The United States has accused Iran of developing nuclear weapons and has been pushing to put the issue before the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions.
Tehran says its atomic ambitions are limited to generating electricity.
McClellan said the United States shared the "serious concerns" expressed by the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei.
"These are concerns shared by the international community," McClellan said. "There is no reason why they (the Iranians) need a nuclear program."
ElBaradei said earlier Iran is not fully cooperating with U.N. inspectors and must provide full answers within months on the extent of its nuclear program.
Diplomats said the United States would be pushing at the IAEA board meeting in Vienna, expected to last at least several days, for the agency to set Iran a deadline to cooperate fully.
McClellan declined to comment on possible next steps, including setting a deadline.
A deadline could be used to force Iran to keep the promises it made to the Europeans in October 2003, when Tehran agreed to suspend uranium enrichment activities in exchange for peaceful atomic technology.
Washington would also like a "trigger mechanism" that would call for the board to report Iran to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions if its cooperation remains sluggish.
Bush said in April that a nuclear-armed Iran would pose an intolerable threat to peace in the Middle East and a mortal danger to Israel.
"They will be dealt with, starting through the United Nations," Bush said at the time.
The stand-off comes at a time of turmoil for U.S. policy in the Middle East, including Iran's neighbor Iraq, which the United States invaded last year after alleging it possessed weapons of mass destruction.
No such weapons have been found.
Earlier this month, Bush's former counterterrorism chief, Richard Clarke, said it would have made more sense to invade Iran than Iraq.
US State Dept. seeks tough IAEA resolution on Iran
AFP - World News (via Yahoo)
Jun 14, 2004
WASHINGTON - The United States demanded that the UN nuclear watchdog pass a tough resolution demanding Iran's cooperation to assure that its nuclear program is not for military ends.
"The US believes the board of governors this week must adopt a strong resolution that calls on Iran to cooperate with the IAEA and to resolve all the outstanding issues regarding its nuclear program," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said.
The United States accused Iran of trying secretly to develop nuclear weapons, of which uranium enrichment is a crucial stage.
Boucher did not comment on possible UN Security Council sanctions, but the United States does want an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board resolution.
"At this point we think it is the appropriate step," Boucher said.
IAEA director general Mohamed ElBaradei told the executive board Monday in Vienna: "It is essential for the integrity and credibility of the inspection process that we are able to bring these issues to a close within the next few months and provide the international community with the assurances it urgently seeks regarding Iran's nuclear activities."
Elbaradei said the IAEA has been aware of "Iran's undeclared nuclear program" for almost two years but had been kept from getting to the bottom of it due to "less than satisfactory" cooperation from Iran.
Tehran needed to be "proactive and fully transparent" from now on as "we can not go on forever," ElBaradei said.
Supreme Court Rejects Lawsuit Over Iranian Hostage-Taking
June 14, 2004
The Associated Press
KPHO TV 5
Supreme Court -- The Supreme Court is refusing to let a suit filed by former American hostages against Iran move forward. The high court won't consider reinstating the 33 billion dollar class-action suit filed four years ago.
The hostages were kept for 444 days, before being freed in 1981. The international agreement that led to the release banned legal action against Iran.
Congress has tried to help the former hostages get around that deal, by passing bills authorizing lawsuits. But a federal appeals court ruled last year that the agreement remains in effect.
Feeding the Minotaur
Our strange relationship with the terrorists continues.
Victor Davis Hanson
National Review Online
June 14, 2004, 8:11 a.m.
As long as the mythical Athenians were willing to send, every nine years, seven maidens and seven young men down to King Minos's monster in the labyrinth, Athens was left alone by the Cretan fleet. The king rightly figured that harvesting just enough Athenians would remind them of their subservience without leading to open rebellion as long as somebody impetuous like a Theseus didn't show up to wreck the arrangement.
Ever since the storming of the Tehran embassy in November 1979 we Americans have been paying the same sort of human tribute to grotesque Islamofascists. Over the last 25 years a few hundred of our own were cut down in Lebanon, East Africa, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Yemen, and New York on a semi-annual basis, even as the rules of the tribute to be paid never spoken, but always understood were rigorously followed.
In exchange for our not retaliating in any meaningful way against the killers addressing their sanctuaries in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, or Syria, or severing their financial links in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia Hezbollah, al Qaeda, and their various state-sanctioned kindred operatives agreed to keep the number killed to reasonable levels. They were to reap their lethal harvests abroad and confine them mostly to professional diplomats, soldiers, or bumbling tourists, whose disappearance we distracted Americans would predictably chalk up to the perils of foreign service and exotic travel.
Despite the occasional fiery rhetoric, both sides found the informal Minoan arrangement mutually beneficial. The terrorists believed that they were ever so incrementally, ever so insidiously eroding America's commitment to a pro-Western Middle East. We offered our annual tribute so that over the decades we could go from Dallas to Extreme Makeover and Madonna to Britney without too much distraction or inconvenience.
But then a greedy, over-reaching bin Laden wrecked the agreement on September 11. Or did he?
Murdering 3,000 Americans, destroying a city block in Manhattan, and setting fire to the Pentagon were all pretty tough stuff. And for a while it won fascists and their state sponsors an even tougher response in Afghanistan and Iraq that sent hundreds to caves and thousands more to paradise. And when we have gotten serious in the postbellum reconstruction, thugs like Mr. Sadr have backed down. But before we gloat and think that we've overcome our prior laxity and proclivity for appeasement, let us first make sure we are not still captives to the Minotaur's logic.
True, al Qaeda is now scattered, the Taliban and Saddam gone. But the calculus of a quarter century threaten, hit, pause, wait; threaten, hit, pause, wait is now entrenched in the minds of Middle Eastern murderers. Indeed, the modus operandi that cynically plays on Western hopes, liberalism, and fair play is gospel now to all sorts of bin Laden epigones as we have seen in Madrid, Fallujah, and Najaf.
Much has been written about our problems with this postmodern war and why we find it so difficult to fully mobilize our formidable military and economic clout to crush the terrorists and their patrons. Of course, we have no identifiable conventional enemy such as Hitler's Panzers; we are not battling a fearsome nation that defiantly declared war on us, such as Tojo's Japan; and we are no longer a depression-era, disarmed, impoverished United States at risk for our very survival. But then, neither Hitler nor Mussolini nor Tojo nor Stalin ever reached Manhattan and Washington.
So al Qaeda is both worse and not worse than the German Nazis: It is hardly the identifiable threat of Hitler's Wehrmacht, but in this age of technology and weapons of mass destruction it is more able to kill more Americans inside the United States. Whereas we think our fascist enemies of old were logical and conniving, too many of us deem bin Laden's new fascists unhinged their fatwas, their mythology about strong and weak horses, and their babble about the Reconquista and the often evoked "holy shrines" are to us dreamlike.
But I beg to differ somewhat.
I think the Islamists and their supporters do not live in an alternate universe, but instead are no more crazy in their goals than Hitler was in thinking he could hijack the hallowed country of Beethoven and Goethe and turn it over to buffoons like Goering, prancing in a medieval castle in reindeer horns and babbling about mythical Aryans with flunkies like Goebbels and Rosenberg. Nor was Hitler's fatwa Mein Kampf any more irrational than bin Laden's 1998 screed and his subsequent grainy infomercials. Indeed, I think Islamofascism is brilliant in its reading of the postmodern West and precisely for that reason it is dangerous beyond all description in the manner that a blood-sucking, stealthy, and nocturnal Dracula was always spookier than a massive, clunky Frankenstein.
Like Hitler's creed, bin Ladenism trumpets contempt for bourgeois Western society. If once we were a "mongrel" race of "cowboys" who could not take casualties against the supermen of the Third Reich, now we are indolent infidels, channel surfers who eat, screw, and talk too much amid worthless gadgetry, godless skyscrapers, and, of course, once again, the conniving Jews.
Like Hitler, bin Ladenism has an agenda: the end of the liberal West. Its supposedly crackpot vision is actually a petrol-rich Middle East free of Jews, Christians, and Westerners, free to rekindle spiritual purity under Sharia. Bin Laden's al Reich is a vast pan-Arabic, Taliban-like caliphate run out of Mecca by new prophets like him, metering out oil to a greedy West in order to purchase the weapons of its destruction; there is, after all, an Israel to be nuked, a Europe to be out-peopled and cowered, and an America to be bombed and terrorized into isolation. This time we are to lose not through blood and iron, but through terror and intimidation: televised beheadings, mass murders, occasional bombings, the disruption of commerce, travel, and the oil supply.
In and of itself, our enemies' ambitions would lead to failure, given the vast economic and military advantages of the West. So to prevent an all out, terrible response to these predictable cycles of killing Westerners, there had to be some finesse to the terrorists' methods. The trick was in preventing some modern Theseus from going into the heart of the Labyrinth to slay the beast and end the nonsense for good.
It was hard for the Islamic fascists to find ideological support in the West, given their agenda of gender apartheid, homophobia, religious persecution, racial hatred, fundamentalism, polygamy, and primordial barbarism. But they sensed that there has always been a current of self-loathing among the comfortable Western elite, a perennial search for victims of racism, economic oppression, colonialism, and Christianity. Bin Laden's followers weren't white; they were sometimes poor; they inhabited of former British and French colonies; and they weren't exactly followers of the no-nonsense Pope or Jerry Falwell. If anyone doubts the nexus between right-wing Middle Eastern fascism and left-wing academic faddishness, go to booths in the Free Speech area at Berkeley or see what European elites have said and done for Hamas. Middle Eastern fascist killers enshrined as victims alongside our own oppressed? That has been gospel in our universities for the last three decades.
Like Hitler, bin Ladenism grasped the advantages of hating the Jews. It has been 60 years since the Holocaust; memories dim. Israel is not poor and invaded but strong, prosperous, and unapologetic. It is high time, in other words, to unleash the old anti-Semitic infectious bacillus. Thus Zionists caused the latest Saudi bombings, just as they have poisoned Arab-American relations, just as neo-conservatives hijacked American policy, just as Feith, Perle, and Wolfowitz cooked up this war.
Finally, bin Laden understood the importance of splitting the West, just like the sultan of old knew that a Europe trisected into Orthodoxy, Catholicism, and Protestantism would fight among itself rather than unite against a pan-Islamic foe. Hit the Spanish and bring in an anti-American government. Leave France and Germany alone for a time so they can blame the United States for mobilizing against a "nonexistent" threat, unleashing the age-old envy and jealously of the American upstart.
If after four years of careful planning, al Qaedists hit the Olympics in August, the terrorists know better than we do that most Europeans will do nothing but quickly point to the U.S. and scream "Iraq!" And they know that the upscale crowds in Athens are far more likely to boo a democratic America than they are a fascist Syria or theocratic Iran. Just watch.
In the European mind, and that of its aping American elite, the terrorists lived, slept, and walked in the upper aether never the streets of Kabul, the mosques of Damascus, the palaces of Baghdad, the madrassas of Saudi Arabia, or the camps of Iran. To assume that the latter were true would mean a real war, real sacrifice, and a real choice between the liberal bourgeois West and a Dark-Age Islamofascist utopia.
While all Westerners prefer the bounty of capitalism, the delights of personal freedom, and the security of modern technological progress, saying so and not apologizing for it let alone defending it is, well, asking a little too much from the hyper sophisticated and cynical. Such retrograde clarity could cost you, after all, a university deanship, a correspondent billet in Paris or London, a good book review, or an invitation to a Georgetown or Malibu A-list party.
Nearly three years after 9/11 we are in the strangest of all paradoxes: a war against fascists that we can easily win but are clearly not ready to fully wage. We have the best 500,000 soldiers in the history of civilization, a resolute president, and an informed citizenry that has already received a terrible preemptive blow that killed thousands.
Yet what a human comedy it has now all become.
The billionaire capitalist George Soros who grew fabulously wealthy through cold and calculating currency speculation, helping to break many a bank and its poor depositors now makes the moral equation between 9/11 and Abu Ghraib. For this ethicist and meticulous accountant, 3,000 murdered in a time of peace are the same as some prisoners abused by renegade soldiers in a time of war.
Recently in the New York Times I read two articles about the supposedly new irrational insensitivity toward Muslims and saw an ad for a book detailing how the West "constructed" and exaggerated the Islamic menace even as the same paper ran a quieter story about a state-sponsored cleric in Saudi Arabia's carefully expounding on the conditions under which Muslims can desecrate the bodies of murdered infidels.
Aristocratic and very wealthy Democrats Al Gore, Ted Kennedy, Howard Dean, and John Kerry employ the language of conspiracy to assure us that we had no reason to fight Saddam Hussein. "Lies," "worst," and " betrayed" are the vocabulary of their daily attacks. A jester in stripes like Michael Moore, who cannot tell the truth, is now an artistic icon precisely and only because of his own hatred of the president and the inconvenient idea that we are really at war. Our diplomats court the Arab League, which snores when Russians and Sudanese kill hundreds of thousands of Muslims but shrieks when we remove those who kill even more of their own. And a depopulating, entitlement-expanding Europe believes an American president, not bin Laden, is the greatest threat to world peace. Russia, the slayer of tens of thousands of Muslim Chechans and a big-time profiteer from Baathist loot, lectures the United States on its insensitivity to the new democracy in Baghdad.
Meanwhile, in Europe, Iraq, and the rest of the Middle East, we see the same old bloodcurdling threats, the horrific videos, the bombings, the obligatory pause, the faux negotiations, the lies and then, of course, the bloodcurdling threats, the horrific videos, the bombings...
No, bin Laden is quite sane but lately I have grown more worried that we are not.
Victor Davis Hanson, an NRO contributor, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and author of The Soul of Battle and Carnage and Culture, among other books. His website is www.victorhanson.com.
Reagan's lessons for Islamism
June 14, 2004
With the 60th anniversary of D-Day and the nearly coinciding death of Ronald Reagan, Americans have been compelled to reflect on the past, seeing rocky, bloody eras fall into the clean arc of history that appears only in a flash of hindsight.
Looking back on Nazism and communism, we see the seamless succession and demise of totalitarian threats once poised to rob the West of its liberties. In this sweeping history lesson, it becomes clearer still that the rise of Islamism -- or Islamic totalitarianism, or Islamic radicalism, or Islamofascism (we haven't yet settled on a term) -- has now succeeded these vanquished foes. Whatever it is called, this ideology is now the principle menace to freedoms treasured by 21st-century Western civilization, a secular society still rooted in Judeo-Christian tradition.
Totalitarian Islam, however, is totalitarianism with a difference. Unlike both Nazism and communism, it is not godless. I can't help wondering what Ronald Reagan would have done had Marx and Engels been deemed prophets of God. What would he have said had the Communist Manifesto been regarded as a holy book?
Communists always glowed with the zeal of religious fanatics, but communism, of course, is explicitly opposed to religion. Still, imagine that Lenin's tomb had been built as a holy shrine for sacred relics, not a ghoulish mausoleum for a moldering corpse: Would the history of the Cold War have been any different? Would Ronald Reagan have dared to define a religious faith in communism as the evil that launched the empire?
I ask this unanswerable question having just read a brief essay by Islam expert Robert Spencer, author of "Islam Unveiled" (Encounter, 2003) and "Onward, Muslim Soldiers" (Regnery, 2003). Writing in frontpagemag.com, Spencer compares totalitarian foes immediately past and present -- communists and jihadists -- to lament that our age lacks a calls-it-like-he-sees-it leader such as Ronald Reagan, someone to flip the conventional wisdom that once denied the evils inherent in communism and now denies the evils inherent in totalitarian Islam.
"Today's stifling orthodoxy remains largely unchallenged," Spencer writes. "Not just liberal publications and spokesmen, but conservatives who claim to wear Reagan's mantle temporize and dissimulate about our current despotic antagonist in a way that the man himself would have found contemptible. Leaders and pundits must cling to fond fictions about Islam being a religion of peace that has been hijacked by a tiny minority of extremists. They thus pass up the opportunity to call for worldwide reform of Islam."
In other words, "fond fictions" overwrite the urgent truth that Islam requires moderating and modernizing reform if ever it is to co-exist peacefully with Western democracies. The reform starts, Spencer explains, "by identifying the elements of Islam that give rise to violence and extremism." The place to begin is with the twin Islamic precepts of jihad, or holy war, and dhimmitude, the institutionalized inferiority of non-Muslims and women living under Muslim rule. Reform is doomed, however, if these elements are ignored, obscured and denied.
Alas, I can think of no political leader, and precious few historians and commentators, who have made this point. We hear "terrorism" and "murderous ideology" denounced, but we never hear "terrorism" and "murderous ideology" defined. We hear nothing about the religious roots of jihad's bloody violence that must be exposed if they are ever to wither. Ronald Reagan was never reluctant to define the "terrorism" and "murderous ideology" of his day as being specifically communist-driven manifestations of the "evil empire." I like to think he would have identified Islam's evil elements -- jihad and dhimmitude -- and provided a level-headed explanation of why domination and repression, whether serving a secular totalitarian state or a religious totalitarian movement, are forces America opposes.
A profound respect for religious freedom informs our tortured silence -- although "holy" justifications for terror attacks on civilians offered by mainstream Islamic authorities surely deserve no such respect. But there's another angle to consider. Ronald Reagan believed the United States could transform communism through freedom's triumph. The transformation of Islam is necessarily a Muslim affair.
This is all the more reason not to flinch, rhetorically speaking. As Spencer writes, "By vilifying and attempting to marginalize those who dare tell the truth about Islamic radicalism as Reagan did about Communism, today's intelligentsia provides ample cover to radical Islamic terrorists, allowing them to operate under the radar screen of media scrutiny and even law enforcement."
This isn't only terrifying; it's tragic. It's also downright un-Reaganesque.
Iran Will Strongly Respond to Europes Negative Approaches: MP
TEHRAN June 14 (MNA) - MP Seyyed Ahmad Musavi said here Sunday that Iran will continue its cooperation with Europe only if the three European countries -- Britain, Germany and France -- remain honest toward their commitments as stated in the Tehran Declaration.
He said that Tehran would strongly respond to the European big three if they adopt a negative approach toward Irans peaceful nuclear program.
In an interview with the Mehr News Agency (MNA) he said that Iran has absolute right to find access to peaceful nuclear technology, adding that no one can forgo this right.
He said that Europe, the U.S. and other western countries know that coercive measures toward Iran have never bear fruit.
Musavi said that Iran should adopt a logical approach in its foreign policy in order to protect the countrys national security.
IAEA tackles Iran on nuclear imports
By Mark Huband, Security Correspondent
Published: June 15 2004 5:00 | Last Updated: June 15 2004 5:00
Iran was accused yesterday of failing to co-operate fully with United Nations nuclear inspectors, who demanded that Tehran provide clear information on its nuclear activities within a few months.
Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), yesterday challenged Iran to be "pro-active and fully transparent" in its response to demands by the UN nuclear watchdog that it give details on its imports of nuclear material.
Mr ElBaradei's demands were made at a meeting of the IAEA board, which was discussing a report on Iran's nuclear programme. IAEA inspectors have been examining Iranian installations since Tehran agreed last October to halt uranium enrichment and permit intrusive inspections to its nuclear sites in order to prove that it was not developing nuclear weapons.
The IAEA report cast doubt on Iran's claim that components found at sites in the country were contaminated by enriched uranium before being imported. Inspectors have also questioned why Iran placed large orders to import magnets for use in centrifuges that could enrich uranium when it had previously said the components were produced in Iran. The report says the information provided by Iran on this issue is unlikely to "contribute further to the resolution of the contamination issue unless more information becomes available about the origin of the components".
Hossein Mousavian, Iran's senior delegate to the IAEA meeting, said yesterday that Iran was providing "full co-operation" to the inspectors, supplying all information requested and narrowing down the range of outstanding issues.
But Mr ElBaradei said yesterday: "Clearly this pattern of engagement on the part of Iran is less than satisfactory if it wishes to build confidence in the international community that Iran has indeed revealed the full extent of its nuclear programme. After a year of difficulties encountered by the inspectors, Iran needs to be pro-active and fully transparent."
A POTENTIAL NUCLEAR POWER, IRAN IS ALREADY A TERRORISM SPONSOR
By Bill Samii
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 8, No. 111, Part III, 14 June 2004
The International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) Board of
Governors is meeting on 14 June to discuss Iran's nuclear ambitions
and its level of cooperation with the nuclear watchdog. While the
world worries about a nuclear-armed Iran in the future, it must not
forget about a terrorist Iran today.
The U.S. State Department first designated Iran as a state
sponsor of terrorism in January 1984, and it has been on the list
ever since. Indeed, "Iran remained the most active state sponsor of
terrorism in 2003," according to the State Department. By now, Tehran
is jaded about this and, as it has every year, responded with denials
and counter-accusations. Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman described
the charges as "repetitive, demagogical, and worthless." He added
that the United States "has had an active role in spreading murder
and terrorism and is not in a position to assess the record of
others." Ayatollah Ali-Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, chairman of the
Expediency Council and the second most powerful figure in Iran, said
in a 30 April Friday prayer sermon that the terrorism charges merely
relate to the upcoming U.S. presidential election, and he went on to
describe U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan as acts of
Tehran does not hide its relationships with terrorist groups
such as Lebanese Hizballah and Hamas. Hizballah's Sheikh Abd-al-Karim
Obeid, who was released from an Israeli prison in January, visited
Tehran in April and met with President Hojatoleslam Mohammad Khatami,
Rafsanjani, and other officials. Moreover, Hamas has a permanent
representative in Tehran: Abu Osama Abd-al-Moti. Tehran does,
however, challenge the U.S. characterization of its relationship with
these organizations, saying that it provides only moral and political
support, not arms and money. Tehran also views Hizballah and other
groups as liberation movements, not terrorist organizations.
U.S. officials have expressed concern about Iranian
activities in Iraq, while Tehran denies that it is interfering there.
Nevertheless, Iran is openly advocating suicide bombings
(euphemistically called martyrdom operations) in Iraq. Enrollment
forms for volunteers were distributed after a 2 June meeting in
Tehran, where Tehran parliamentary representative Mehdi Kuchakzadeh,
military officials, and scholars spoke on topics such as "Martyrdom
Operations and Military and Security Strategies" and "Martyrdom
Operations -- The Last Weapon," the Iranian Labor News Agency
reported on 4 June. Kuchakzadeh has expressed similar attitudes
before. He said in the legislature's inaugural session on 27 May, "I
call on you to chant slogans for the defeat of the occupying American
forces, who have attacked holy sites, and turn your attention to the
issues which need attention," the Islamic Republic News Agency
reported. His colleagues responded by shouting, "Death to America."
The awkwardly named Headquarters for Tribute to the Martyrs
of the Global Islamic Movement announced, "We are confident that
expelling the British and American occupiers from Iraq is not
possible in any way other than martyrdom-seeking operations," the
"Kayhan" daily reported on 22 May. "The headquarters has started
registering the names of volunteers for martyrdom-seeking operations
against the British and American occupiers," it added. The same
newspaper, which is officially linked with Iran's leadership,
reported five days later that more than 2,000 people -- including a
13-year-old boy and a 45-year-old woman -- had registered to blow
themselves up. This suicide-bombing headquarters reportedly is
connected with the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), an arm of
the Iranian armed forces.
The Center for Doctrinal Studies, which is connected with the
IRGC, is doing more than calling for suicide bombings. The center's
director, Hassan Abbasi, said at a seminar at Tehran University: "We
will burn the roots of the Anglo-Saxon race. We have made plans for
America's Achilles heel, and we will present these to all the
guerrilla organizations in the world," "Vaqa-yi Etefaqi-yi" daily
reported on 25 May. Abbasi added: "Our missiles are now ready to hit
their civilization. As soon as we receive the orders from the leader,
we will launch the missiles toward their cities and installations,"
"Al-Sharq al-Awsat" reported on 28 May. Abbasi added that 29 sites in
the United States and elsewhere in the West have been targeted.
Iran's relationship with Hizballah and Iran's role in Iraq
are brought together by individuals like former Tehran
parliamentarian Ali-Akbar Mohtashami-Pur, who as ambassador to
Damascus in the 1980s was instrumental in Hizballah's creation. He
said in a discussion about Iraq, "Sharq" daily reported on 27 May:
"Our duty today is very clear. We, the Islamic countries, should
create a massive storm against America and Israel.... Many of the
youths and Muslims are ready to carry out suicide operations against
the American crusaders." He continued, "Today, Islamic resistance in
Iraq and the devoted and brave forces in Al-Najaf and Karbala need
the moral and material support of the entire world of Islam."
Nor is it just the sponsors of terrorism in Iran who are
advocating action in Iraq. Hizballah Secretary-General Hassan
Nasrallah said in an 18 May speech that the forces of Iraqi cleric
Muqtada al-Sadr should "fight until the last drop of blood" against
U.S. forces in the holy cities of Al-Najaf and Karbala. In his 21 May
speech to an audience that included people wearing white burial
shrouds, which indicate their readiness to die, Nasrallah said the
only way to defeat the enemy is through "jihad, martyrdom, and
It is possible that the statements of Iranian leaders and
their proxies are nothing more than rhetoric meant for domestic
audiences. Yet Tehran's long and bloody record in supporting
terrorism, its professed hostility to the United States, and its
1,500-kilometer border with Iraq mean that Iran's threats should not
China Helping Iran, North Korea on Weapons-Panel
Tue Jun 15, 2004 12:06 AM ET
By Carol Giacomo, Diplomatic Correspondent
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - China is sending nuclear technology to Iran in exchange for oil and allowing North Korea to use Chinese air, rail and seaports to ship missiles and other weapons, congressional investigators reported on Tuesday.
Although the Bush administration has emphasized a growing convergence with Beijing on halting the spread of weapons of mass destruction and countering terrorism, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission took a much harder line.
"China's continued failure to adequately curb its proliferation practices poses significant national security concerns to the United States," the commission said in its annual report.
It also raised the possibility the administration is using "inducements" -- such as not being tough enough with Beijing on trade infractions -- to reward China for its cooperation on the North Korea nuclear crisis.
The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, established by Congress in 2000, tends to be skeptical of Beijing, and its conclusions are often controversial.
"China's assistance to weapons of mass destruction-related programs in countries of concern continues, despite repeated promises to end such activities and the repeated imposition of U.S. sanctions," the commission concluded.
This "calls into question the effectiveness" of Washington's partnership with Beijing, the panel said.
Unlike the 1990s, "Chinese transfers have evolved from sales of complete missile systems to exports of largely dual-use nuclear, chemical, and missile components and technologies; qualitatively, these transfers are equally worrisome," it said.
Dual-use refers to items that could be used for either weapons-related or peaceful pursuits.
"Continuing intelligence reports indicate that Chinese cooperation with Pakistan and Iran remains an integral element of China's foreign policy," the commission reported.
It said cooperation on North Korea is a "critical test" of U.S.-China relations, but Beijing is not using its substantial leverage to force Pyongyang to end its nuclear programs.
While making made much of hosting six-party talks aimed at resolving the nuclear crisis, Beijing "continues to permit North Korea to use its air, rail and seaports to trans-ship ballistic missiles and WMD-related materials," the commission reported.
U.S. officials, in recent public testimony and interviews with Reuters, put different emphases on China's behavior, underscoring continued differences over proliferation issues.
Chinese leaders have told the Americans any nuclear-related trafficking is done without the government's knowledge.
The State Department recently sanctioned five Chinese companies for trading with Iran, but the commission faulted this focus, saying many companies have direct ties to top level government and military officials.
The commission said China's growing energy needs are "driving it into bilateral arrangements ... that may involve dangerous weapons transfers." Iran is a key oil producing country.
"This need for energy security may help explain Beijing's history of assistance to terrorist-sponsoring states, with various forms of WMD-related items and technical assistance, even in the face of U.S. sanctions," it said. ((Reporting by Carol Giacomo, editing by Mike Rhea; tel: 202-898-8300; Reuters messaging: email@example.com)
China Helping Iran, North Korea on Weapons-Panel
Tue Jun 15, 2004 12:06 AM ET
By Carol Giacomo, Diplomatic Correspondent
If ao many people in Iran are disapproving of the leadership, then where is the removal of that leadership?
Are you talking about a democratic government/country?
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