Skip to comments.Iranian Alert -- June 17, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Posted on 06/17/2004 12:34:25 AM 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.
DoctorZin Note: An important message to all posters to the Iranian Alert Thread. Please read!...
"As you probably know, there is a growing list of publications that have forbidden us from posting their copyrighted material to FR. You and your group seem to be ignoring this list, ignoring warnings from our moderators, and are continuing to post forbidden material. This will lead to serious legal problems for FR, possibly even get us shutdown. Please review the list of forbidden publications (do an FR search for "updated copyright list") and ensure that you and everyone in your Iran posting group ceases posting full text from these publications. It may be a pain but we MUST comply. If you don't, I'll have no choice but to shut down your operation on FR and nuke all your posts.
Be sure to communicate this message to all posters in your group.
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Iran Establishes Suicide Army
June 16, 2004
Middle East Newsline
NICOSIA -- Iran has launched the establishment of an army of suicide bombers. Iranian officials and media reports said the Islamic republic has drafted more than 10,000 would-be suicide bombers over the last few weeks. They said young Iranians, including seminary students, have signed up to become suicide attackers against targets in such places as Chechnya, Iraq, Israel and Europe.
The Iranian effort came amid Western pressure on Teheran to halt its nuclear weapons program. The International Atomic Energy Agency has been meeting in Vienna and determined that Iran has not fulfilled the agency's demands for full compliance.
"In a world in which the weak are downtrodden and we are exposed to various threats, we can not defend our dignity without focusing our attention to our defense buildup," Iranian President Mohammed Khatami said during a tour of military facilities on June 13. "Access to knowledge and technical know-how in the military and non-military arenas is the prerequisite for safeguarding our achievements."
Mullahs' NGO of Terror
June 17, 2004
The US Alliance for Democratic Iran
Non-Governmental Organizations are mostly associated with humanitarian and peaceful advocacy work. They cooperate with international bodies such the United Nations, Red Cross and others to fight hunger, poverty, human rights abuses and underdevelopment. They strive for the rights of women, children, ethnic and religious minorities, expansion of peace and democracy. NGOs are an invaluable part of global campaign against inequality and for improvement in quality of life.
So it is not everyday that one would hear that an NGO was in charge of recruiting suicide volunteers to combat World arrogance.
The Tehran-based daily Sharq reported last week on a three-day government-sponsored conference in Tehran. The state-financed Committee for Commemoration of Martyrs of the Global Islamic Movement, billed by the officials as an NGO, ran the event, which dealt with the issue of suicide bombing and provided a forum to volunteers from across the world to register for suicide attacks.
As everything else in world of the tyrannical mullahs in Iran, such as elections, parliament, law and order, etc., NGO activity has been perverted and lacks any constructive and humane substance. The mullahs have skillfully managed to take the universally recognized institutions and turn them into instruments of power and terror.
The First International Commemoration of suicide bombers, was held in a government-owned building in Tehran. The Revolutionary Guards Corps Joint Chiefs of Staff Director of Operations Brig. Gen. Salami delivered a speech entitled Suicide operations: A security and military strategy perspective.
He told the Sharq daily, Since the Committee for Commemoration of Martyrs is an NGO, it does not need to ask for permission of the countrys military institutions if it decides to carry out an operation. Their operations would be similar to those by Palestinians and have nothing to do with regime in Iran.
This is an unequivocal admission to carrying out terrorist activities inside Iran and abroad. The regime provides the organization, logistics, funding and recruitment under a front group, in this case an NGO, to ensure plausible deniability while reaping the political windfalls of such operations.
There is little, if any, doubt that this committee is not an NGO and has nothing to do with humanitarian work. It is just another terrorist off-shoot of a terrorist regime used to advance a particular policy objective of the Irans tyrants.
As the mullahs find themselves under international heat, use of terror has become the instrument of choice to bully the world community.
Events such as the international commemoration must be taken seriously. Tehran leaders must be served notice that the world is watching and this time they cannot get away with it.
Courageous Iranians, especially students and women, who are bent on unseating the ruling theocratic regime, will make Iran free of torture, terror, and weapons of mass destruction. They must be supported in their endeavors.
IAEA Draft Keeps Tough Language On Iran Nuclear Cover-Ups [Excerpt]
June 16, 2004
VIENNA -- Europe's three major powers shrugged off Iranian threats of retaliation Wednesday and put the final touches on a tough resolution rebuking Tehran for continued nuclear cover-ups.
The new draft seen by The Associated Press retained strong language designed to maintain pressure on Iran a year after the International Atomic Energy Agency began to probe nearly two decades of its suspect nuclear program.
Delegates at a meeting of the IAEA's 35-nation board of governors described the draft, written by France, Britain and Germany, as strongly worded. Slight modifications were meant to appease nonaligned nations traditionally allied with Iran, the delegates said on condition of anonymity.
"The substance remains the same," one delegate said. "The heat is still on."
A new clause "recognizing the inalienable right of states" to develop peaceful nuclear programs was one of the modifications. Iran insists its nuclear ambitions are restricted to generating electricity and not making bombs.
Another was the insertion of the word "voluntarily" in asking Iran to reconsider testing of a uranium conversion plant and construction of a heavy water research reactor - projects with possible weapons applications.
But the resolution kept key passages expressing "concern" and "serious concern" about Iran's foot-dragging or "deploring" its spotty record of cooperation with the IAEA investigation.
Suggesting agreement was close, the delegate said the draft could be formally submitted to the meeting by Thursday.
The Internal Debate in Iran: How to Respond to Western Pressure Regarding Its Nuke
June 17, 2004
The Middle East Media Research Institute
In response to increasing international pressure on Iran on the matter of its nuclear program, two major approaches are emerging in the Iranian media regarding the question of how to repel the Western threat to Iran's nuclear activities. The following is an analysis of these two main approaches to this question, as reflected in the Iranian media:
The Two Approaches
The first approach espoused by Iran's conservatives, and particularly by the Revolutionary Guards and circles close to Iranian Leader Ali Khamenei, is militant and aggressive, and openly threatens European and U.S. targets and interests, both in the Middle East and in the West. The second approach, espoused by Iran's reformist circles, is more moderate, emphasizing diplomatic channels, and opposes threatening the Europeans. However, for all their differences, both camps agree on Iran's need for an advanced nuclear program.
Conservative Strategy: Threat and Intimidation
Currently, Iran's nuclear activity dossier is under examination at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and a decision on it is slated to be made soon. Iran is trying to block the U.S. from making good on its threat to transfer its nuclear dossier to the U.N. Security Council which would bring Iran under suspicion of non-compliance with the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and of secretly developing a nuclear bomb. Recently, Britain, France, and Germany, with whom Iran has conducted intensive negotiations during the past year, joined the U.S. and the IAEA in pressuring Iran, by releasing their draft resolution. This draft resolution condemns Iran's failure to fully cooperate with the IAEA, its failure to be completely transparent in its nuclear activity, and its failure to halt its nuclear activity, in contravention of its commitments in the October 21, 2003 Tehran Declaration.(1)
To repel the Western threat, Iran's conservatives are recommending intimidating Europe and the U.S. This is the backdrop to the following:
1. A growing number of reports about the recruitment and training of thousands of Iranian volunteers by Iran's Revolutionary Guards for suicide attacks against Western, European, and U.S. targets in Iraq, and their dispatch to Iraq.(2) (See Appendix I)
2. Reports on the resumption of Iran's project for long-range Shihab 4 and Shihab 5 missiles, by order of Iranian Leader Ali Khamenei with Europe and the U.S. as its strategic targets.(3)
3. Statements by senior Revolutionary Guards officials about the existence of a plan to eliminate Anglo-Saxon civilization using missiles and suicide bombers against "29 sensitive targets" in the West, which have already been identified by Iranian intelligence.(4)
4. Statements by conservative papers calling on Iran to quit the NPT, and not to ratify the Additional Protocol.(5)
Reformist Strategy: Diplomatic Efforts
The reformist circles, particularly those surrounding Iranian President Muhammad Khatami and the Foreign Ministry, are recommending a moderate strategy to be pursued via diplomatic channels. Over the past year, they have been negotiating with Britain, France, and Germany to have the Iranian dossier removed from the global agenda; during this time, they were apparently promised by these European powers that the dossier would be closed in exchange for an Iranian commitment to halt nuclear activities and to cooperate fully and transparently with the IAEA.(6)
The release of this European draft resolution condemning Iran caused great disappointment in Iran, and brought on a storm of criticism, based first of all on the premise that Europe could not ultimately be trusted to go against its ally the U.S. Furthermore, the conservatives attacked the reformists' exclusive dependence on diplomatic channels, which had proven fruitless,(7) while the reformists criticized the conservatives for their recent recruitment of volunteers for suicide attacks on Western targets. The reformists explained their opposition to the institutionalization of such mass recruitment by stating that harming Europeans jeopardizes Iran's national interests at a time when Iran needs Europe's support to stand against the U.S. The reformists do not, however, object to suicide operations against Western targets, provided that they are carried out by individuals on their own initiative.(8)
Examples of the Conservatives' Strategy of Intimidation
The following are a number of examples demonstrating the conservatives' strategy of intimidation:
* At a convention of volunteers for suicide operations, Iran's Revolutionary Guards Headquarters for Strategic Operations director General Salami said, "By means of small tactical events, it is possible to arrive at strategic results. Your eyes see that by cutting down two towers in the U.S., the history of the world has been divided in two: before the event, and after it..."(9) (See Appendix I)
* The World Islamic Organization's Headquarters for Remembering the Shahids spokesman Muhammad Ali Samedi said that so far, 2,000 people had signed up to carry out martyrdom operations, and added: "As of now, occupied Palestine, Salman Rushdie, and the U.S. occupation forces [in Iraq] are our targets, and this is true also regarding occupiers in the other Muslim countries... The martyrdom will begin only at the order of [Iranian] Leader [Ali Khamenei]."(10) (See Appendix I)
Other published threats against the West include:
* An announcement of the resumption of the long-range Shihab 4 and Shihab 5 missile program, by order of Iranian Leader Ali Khamenei. According to a military source in the Iranian Ministry of Defense, "in a meeting last week with Revolutionary Guards commanders, Khamenei said that Israel was planning to attack Iran's nuclear installations and the Iranian military soon, and therefore defense and military preparedness should be boosted as soon as possible. Khamenei stressed that the increase in petroleum prices allowed Iran to allocate a larger budget to its military projects. [Iran's] Ministry of Defense received $1 billion to resume its Shihab 4 and Shihab 5 project. It is known that in the past, Iran conducted an experiment with Shihab 3 missiles whose range is 1,200 kilometers [and which can reach Israel], but [President] Khatami halted the project of the Shihab 4, whose range is 2,800 [which covers Western Europe], and the Shihab 5, whose range is 4,900-5,300 km [and which can reach the U.S.], because he thought it was a project incompatible with Iran's strategic interests and defense needs."(11)
* Statements by Dr. Hassan Abasi, theoretician of Revolutionary Guards intelligence, head of the Revolutionary Guards' Center for Doctrinaire Affairs of National Security Outside Iran's Borders, and political expert for the Iranian broadcasting authority, who told a secret meeting of Ansar-e Hizbullah activists about Iran's "locating and spying on 29 sensitive sites in the West, with the aim of bombing them... Our intention is that 6,000 U.S. nuclear warheads will explode in [the U.S.]. We have located the  weak points and we have transferred the information about them to the guerilla organizations, and we are acting through them." Abasi added, "We have established a department for Britain as well, and the discussion about bringing about its collapse is on our agenda. We are also operating among the Mexicans, the Argentineans, and all those with a problem with the U.S."(12) According to another report, Abasi said, "We defend [the line of] violence and war against the enemies of revolutionary Islam. I take pride in my actions that cause anxiety and fear among the Americans... We have a strategy drawn up for the destruction of Anglo-Saxon civilization and for the uprooting of the Americans and the English. Our missiles are now ready to strike at their civilization, and as soon as the instructions arrive from Leader [Ali Khamenei], we will launch our missiles at their cities and installations. Our motto during the war in Iraq was: Karbala, we are coming, Jerusalem, we are coming. And because of Khatami's policies and his 'dialogue among civilizations,' we have been compelled to freeze our plan... And now we are [again] about to carry out the program... The global infidel front is a front against Allah and the Muslims, and we must make use of everything we have at hand to strike at this front, by means of our suicide operations or by means of our missiles."(13)
Also part of the intimidation trend are the conservative voices that every so often call on Iran to reconsider its membership in the NPT, and not to ratify the Additional Protocol.(14) Signing the Additional Protocol is perceived by these circles as a humiliation forced upon Iran by Britain, France, and Germany.
In this context, the editor of the conservative Iranian daily Kayhan, Hossein Shariatmadari, who is close to Iranian Leader Ali Khamenei, published a uniquely important article calling for continuing to develop Iran's nuclear program regardless of the great powers, while at the same time adopting diverse strategies for repelling the Western pressure on Iran. Shariatmadari voices his pride in Iran's now being "a nuclear power," an achievement he calls "the rare pearl for which we have labored greatly." Beyond his harsh criticism of the Iranian Foreign Ministry's slavish capitulation to the demands of the European powers, and beyond accusing Iran's reformists of treason, Shariatmadari calls for considering "expanding [Iran's] capability of maneuvering by creating new options and opportunities, and reinforcing the logistics of resistance and preemption everywhere in the world." The following are excerpts from his article:
"... An irrefutable fact is that despite its imbalanced conflict [with the West] and despite the various sanctions and egotism of the great powers, our country has managed to obtain exclusive, high-level nuclear technology. What we have attained is a local product, and [it] was attained as a result of great labor by experts from our people, and for this reason we owe nothing to the parsimonious powers of the world. We did not join the nuclear club as a result of support or permission by the U.S., Britain, France, or Germany. On the contrary: The select sons of Iran put the governments of Reagan, Thatcher, and Mitterand in their place and determined that Iran should catch up [with the great powers] in the area of peaceful nuclear technology...
"Also, the second [irrefutable] fact is ... that Iran's transformation into a nuclear power contains a powerful and wide-ranging message...
"The year-long zigzagging with them [the IAEA and the European powers, and also apparently Western public opinion] that occurred even though we cooperated fully, [with] 664 inspectors' visits and submission of a 1,000-page document about [Iran's] nuclear activity, and even though the Europeans and the Americans made various and diverse excuses ... they expected us to stop all our peaceful nuclear programs ... that we accept that they are a master cult and race, and that the rest of the world is a backwards race that must work at hard labor and enslave itself, beg, and seek shelter in the White House and Buckingham Palace and the Elysee Palace.
"Under the existing circumstances, we face two choices: Either we go along with the pressure they are applying, throw up our hands, and slaughter at their feet the 'daring' and the 'will' that are the foundations for building civilization, honor, and progress or we do not give in to blackmail, and value and preserve the rare pearl for which we have labored greatly, even though they try to present it as a worthless vessel. Obviously, the former is more in line with laxness, fear, and a mentality of [accepting] humiliation... If our country wants to attain glory in the world, it has no choice but to lay out a strategy in this direction, and to prepare the appropriate means for this strategy.
"... A people that wishes to attain genuine status in the world, and does not want to be the submissive slave of his enemies and rivals should not appoint diplomats who suffocate the daring within them. [It need only] expand [its] horizons and create opportunities [to act] in the face of the U.S. and some of the European powers, and [not send diplomats] who will sit at the negotiating table with their sacks empty and their cards revealed.
"... Every country whose diplomatic apparatus can surprise the other side and make it realize that there is always the possibility that the 'unexpected' will happen to them again and again will neutralize a large part of the energy, daring, and initiative of [its] rival, as did the Imam Khomeini in the affair of the insolence of Salman Rushdie and as did his wise and learned successor [Iranian Leader Ali Khamenei] in the Mykonos scandal, in which the German ambassador was expelled and was the last of the European ambassadors who was brought back to Iran.(15) Thus these two figures [Khomeini and Khamenei] turned belligerence and insolence [against Iran] into something to be paid for, which is also unexpected for the enemies. We must advance in order to defend our right in the face of the wolves of the world of the jungle.
"Being certain of this, we must immunize the diplomatic apparatus and dry up the roots of the pus-filled infection and fever that have struck it. We must think about expanding our capability to maneuver by creating new options and opportunities and reinforcing the logistics of resistance and preemption everywhere in the world. We cannot think about defending ourselves without preparing the ramparts and barricades in close proximity to the enemy. In this respect, our Foreign Ministry has not done enough, despite all the efforts and successes that must not be ignored. For example, optimistic discussions with Europe must not ... become the dominant discourse and strategy, while the rest of the arenas, such as the Islamic resistance, are neglected.
"... This is not the place to expand on the strategic alliance of some centers and circles in the Sixth Majlis [which was reformist], the Foreign Ministry, and the [reformist] Journalists' Association with the European Union and elements such as former NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana. This is [also] not the place to examine when reasonable and measured relations with governments such as Berlin, London, and Paris became, covertly and in an extreme way, a strategic alliance against the principles of the Islamic Republic [of Iran], and the Islamic resistance and Islamic awakening in the Middle East. But it is possible to devote attention to the outcry raised by some senior European and American elements at the establishment of the conservative parliament [in Iran] after the February 28 elections.
"They [i.e. these European and American elements] realized that the world had turned upside down, and that it was no longer possible to capture [Iranian] MPs who would act for the sake of the enemy in the most sensitive of confrontations and in foreign policy clashes, and that [these Iranian MPs] would no longer be able to cultivate in the enemy a hope that in addition to pressure applied from without, they would act from within as a tool for amplifying the message of the enemy. If the enemy applied pressure, they [i.e. these MPs] would then prepare a three-phase plan in order to force their own government to sign the Additional Protocol and thus tie the hands of those in charge of Iranian foreign policy and throw them, bound, at the feet of the enemy.
"In light of this, I hope that the Seventh Majlis will be a center of gravity and a think tank, in order to attain insight and to consolidate Iran's diplomatic strategies and tactics.
"We must make the enemies understand that it is inconceivable that instability, insecurity, and shock will be our lot, while theirs will be stability, security, and tranquility. Their tranquility can also be breached.
"... We too can play public opinion deep within their territory, and challenge their governments, but we must have broad vision, and not deal with the artificial crises that they are creating [amongst us] in order to distract us from what is happening around us..."(16)
Reformist Response: The Government Should Not Organize Suicide Operations
The reformist daily Aftab-e Yazd criticized the efforts to organize volunteers for suicide operations against Western targets, stating in an editorial that "today too there is a need for prudence. Other countries affect our fate, whether we like it or not; they have divided the roles amongst themselves well and are acting, more than anything else, in their own long-term interests. However ... there are among some of the decision makers in Iran elements that are unaware of the severity of the threats against Iran, or that have doubts regarding the proper way to identify and remove the dangers to it.
"On the one hand, we have negotiated [on Iran's nuclear dossier and on human rights in Iran] with Germany, Britain, and France, to please them and to turn them into countries united on the side of Iran, so we can deal with the U.S.'s high-handedness. Even though from the very first day it was clear that in light of the strategic interests shared by Europe and the U.S. some of what we thought turned out to be an illusion. But we had the option of benefiting from the existing rivalry between the two influential poles Europe and the U.S.
"But on the other hand, we have taken a number of actions that served the Europeans as an excuse they had sought from the outset. We inflated the matter of the meeting of the German Ambassador to Iran beyond its true proportions and demanded his expulsion; we saw the difficulties caused to the Frenchwoman in Lyons who publicly wore Islamic garb as reason to cut off economic cooperation with France. And after some time, we repeatedly attacked the British Embassy, and thus completed the project of destroying ties with three European countries.
"Volunteering for martyrdom operations against U.S. and British forces is a personal matter. However, if the information efforts surrounding it are such that it demonstrates in any way the involvement of government bodies, this could pose a danger for Iran..."(17)
The reformist daily Vaqae-e Ettefaqieh also attacked the conservatives, charging that their policy had led to European condemnation. The paper wrote that although Iran's foreign policy apparatus had done all it could to bolster Iran's international status in recent years, a number of measures by radical forces at home had destroyed all these diplomatic efforts. These radical measures included the proposal that Iran withdraw from the NPT and the call to expel certain Western ambassadors from Iran.(18)
Iranian Press: Volunteers Registering for Martyrdom
Operations In Iraq and Israel
On June 5, 2004, the reformist Iranian daily Sharq reported on the first conference for registering Iranian volunteers for martyrdom [Shehada] operations, held recently in Tehran by the World Islamic Organization's Headquarters for Remembering the Shahids. Participating in the conference were the headquarters directors, public figures, and Iranian Revolutionary Guards commanders. The following is the newspaper's report:(19)
'Three Options on the Form'
"There are three options on the form for registration for martyrdom operations. The volunteers can choose one: murdering Salman Rushdie, [martyrdom] operations in the holy [Shi'ite] cities [in Iraq] against the Americans, or attacking the Israeli forces in Palestine. There is also another option on the form: joining the World Islamic Organization's Headquarters for Remembering the Shahids.
"There is no need to list detailed personal information. The volunteers need fill in only their name, father's name, age, identity number, and telephone number for contact in time of need. Occupation and education were of no interest to the form's compilers; similarly, there is no requirement for organization membership in order to carry out martyrdom operations.
"According to organization spokesman Muhammad Ali Samedi, 2,000 people have so far expressed their willingness to carry out [martyrdom] operations. Of these, 25% are under 18; 55% are 18-40, and 20% are 40-80. There is no age limit on the registration forms, and the youngest registrant is a seven-year-old boy, who signed up together with his family.
"The World Islamic Organization's Headquarters for Remembering the Shahids is an NGO [in Iran] and was founded six months ago. [Its spokesman,] Muhammad Ali Samedi, who in the past has worked at the Jomhour-e Eslami, Shalamche, and Bahar newspapers, stressed that he was not interfering in the affairs of Ali Reza Alavi-Tabar, the editor-in-chief of the Bahari weekly, and was merely writing for the war section.
"About the reasons and motives that led to the founding of the organization, [Samedi] said: 'Since January 2004, when the name of Khaled Al-Islambouli Street [named after the man who assassinated Egyptian president Anwar Sadat] was changed, there has been a trend towards separating Iran from the world Islamic movements. This issue hints at a need to organize the people against this trend.' On January 6, 2004, the name of the street was changed to Intifada Street.
"The street name was a bone of contention between Iran and Egypt, and for years weighed heavily on the relations between the two countries. The name change was by decision of the new Tehran municipal council, and the vast majority of the council members were members of the Party of the Servants of the Rehabilitation of Islamic Iran. The municipal council members decided to change the name at a 45-minute meeting, at which the spokesman and the director-general for Arab and Africa Affairs in the [Iranian] Foreign Ministry were present."
About the Organization
"Most of the activists of the [World Islamic Organization's] Headquarters [for Remembering the Shahids] are correspondents for the Shalamche and Dokuheh newspapers. [Spokesman] Samedi stressed the organization's cultural nature, saying, 'The main goal is announcing that the movement in Iran is directly connected to other Islamic movements, primarily that of Palestine.'
"In answer to the question of the definition of a martyrdom operation, [Samedi] said: 'A martyrdom operation is an armed operation carried out by means of firearms or other weapons, and the volunteer carries out the operation knowing that he will become a martyr [Shahid] and that for him, there is no way back. In the martyrdom operation, the emphasis is on the element of surprise, and on hitting targets that cannot be hit by means of ordinary operations.'
"In Samedi's view, Shehada has a strictly Islamic meaning. Thus, he does not recognize the Japanese who carried out suicide operations against the Americans in World War II as Shahids.
"Samedi places the blame for the killing of civilians in Israel on the shoulders of the Israelis themselves, and accepts that perhaps in martyrdom operations civilians will be killed as well: 'We do not recognize the entity called Israel, and the Israelis, whether women and children, old or young, are occupiers.' He mused, 'Am I, as someone whose land is occupied, to blame because the enemy occupied the land with women and children?' He continued: 'As of now, and very clearly, Palestine is occupied. Salman Rushdie and the American opposition forces are targets for us, and this is true also regarding occupiers in the other Islamic countries.'"
'The Organization Collects Information on Salman Rushdie'
"The World Islamic Organization's Headquarters for Remembering the Shahids collects information regarding Salman Rushdie, by locating his hiding place anew, and places the required information at the disposal of the volunteers for martyrdom operations. According to Samedi, Salman Rushdie recently married and is living in the U.S.
"Samedi thinks it is not the job of the Iranian Foreign Ministry to take a stand against the recruitment [of volunteers for martyrdom operations] because his organization is completely a popular one, and is unconnected to the government. Nevertheless, he says that the headquarters will become operational when the relevant elements give their approval, and he clarifies that until then, the headquarters will deal with theoretical matters [only]. Likewise, the martyrdom will commence only at the order of [Iranian] Leader [Ali Khamenei].
"It should be noted that we [i.e. this newspaper] did not manage to obtain a response from the Foreign Ministry regarding [the issue] of those seeking death as martyrs and registering as volunteers. Foreign Ministry personnel said this was being taken care of, but by Friday no response had been received from them."
The Conference Speakers
"The organization's conference was held on Wednesday [June 2, 2004] ... in Tehran. The first guest was Zahra Mustafavi, the daughter of Imam [Khomeini], but she cancelled for personal reasons. Kuchak-Zadeh, member of the Party of the Servants of the Rehabilitation [of Islamic Iran] in the Seventh Majlis, [the party] which is the majority in the parliament and in the Tehran city council, gave the first speech at the conference...
"General Salami, head of the Revolutionary Guards' Headquarters for Strategic Operations, was also among the speakers at the conference, and spoke in military uniform. At the beginning of his address, he reviewed the strategic situation of the Middle East, and then quoted the words of [U.S. President George W.] Bush and others about the countries in the region. First, he read the words of Bush and the others in English, and then translated. General Salami ... concluded: 'By means of tactical events, it is possible to arrive at strategic results. Your eyes see that by cutting down two towers in the U.S., the history of the world has been divided in two before this event and after it. By means of this small event, the policy of the U.S. and of the other world and regional powers has changed. This greatly affects the U.S., such that 3% growth in the American economy drops to 1%, and unemployment increases to 5.6% for the first time.'"
The Volunteers Talk
"Mustafa Afzal-Zadeh, 24, is one of the conference organizers. He filled out a registration form for the martyrdom operations. He is a student studying English, and spent several years in England together with his father, on a doctoral scholarship. He said: 'I want to go [on a martyrdom operation] but I do not know whether I will function at the hour of truth or not.'
"Afzal-Zadeh, a bachelor, makes a living doing translations. He clarified that he is against all manifestations of technology, such as television, and is even against Iranian television. Moreover, he does not like the [institution of] schools as it is now, but concludes that this is not the time to be against everything. Afzel-Zadeh wears jeans, and is interested in entertainment like other young people, but he dressed in such a way as to appear in harmony with the other organization members, all of whom are dressed simply in a black shirt.
"Majid Sadiqi is a conference participant, and is asking the relevant bodies to provide him with the [registration] form as quickly as possible. He is 30, and works as a cleaner. During the war [against Iraq], his father resisted his being drafted to the war front, and his wife also does not really want him to participate in a martyrdom operation. On the registration form, he expresses no interest in carrying out an operation against Salman Rushdie, explaining that this is because Salman Rushdie is not that accessible, and carrying out an operation against the 'Satanic Verses' author is a difficult matter.
"He says: 'In recent years, seeing the pictures from Palestine, I have shed my bodyweight in tears.' Majid Sadiqi is willing to martyr himself for the sake of the oppressed, even if the oppressed are not Muslim. Similarly, [he said he] was pleased with the collapse of the twin towers, and thought that the U.S. had been humiliated on 9/11.
"Mrs. Rajai-Far, another conference organizer, is now one of the owners of the Sobh Dokuheh newspaper. She was with the students 'who supported the line of Imam Khomeini' when they occupied the U.S. Embassy [in 1980]. She clarified that registering for martyrdom operations is [only] a demonstration of [preparation], and that at the moment, the [World Islamic Organization's] Headquarters [for Remembering the Shahids] was at a stage of clarifying [what is involved in the] martyrdom operations to the general public.
"She has a MA in political science, and sees martyrdom operations as a kind of imbalanced war, because the person carrying out the martyrdom operation does so using means of warfare and military options.
"According to Rajai-Far, 'the violence of the martyrdom operations is the same as the violence of war, and there is no getting around that. Although the operation's target is military, civilians might also be killed in it, and this is exactly what the Americans are doing. When civilians are killed in the [American] attacks, they blame the inaccuracy of their weapons and act innocent.'
"Rajai-Far herself has registered for martyrdom operations. She does not see attacks of this kind as terrorism operations, and from the religious point of view she relies on the words of [prominent Iranian intellectual] Mohsen Kedivar one of the reformist clerics who distinguishes between martyrdom operations and terrorism. Last Monday, Mohsen Kedivar said at a 'Human Rights In Theory And Practice' conference: 'Palestine is the place where human rights are violated more than anywhere else. If we look objectively at all countries, we see that the largest scope of human rights violations is in Palestine, both qualitatively and quantitatively. Today, defending rights in Palestine has become, in international propaganda circles, defending terrorism, but martyrdom operations are not terror operations.'"
At the Conference
"During the conference, Hamid Subzavari read some poetry, and [cleric] Hujjat Al-Islam Salamanian delivered a speech titled 'The Legal Aspects of Martyrdom Operations.' He divided martyrdom operations into two types: just and unjust. According to him, 'a group of [Sunni] muftis [Islamic jurisprudents] such as Abu Musa'b Al-Zarqawi are carrying out martyrdom operations against Shi'ites, and they do not understand [the matter of Shehada] properly. I will not refer to martyrdom operations that have engaged world thought but that essentially were aimed at creating a psychological atmosphere of opposition to the true seekers of martyrdom.'
"In another part of his speech, Salamanian clarified that 'the governments are not in a position to breathe the spirit of martyrdom into their words, but individuals can spread the spirit of martyrdom.'
"One Revolutionary Guards general who participated in the conference told a correspondent from this newspaper that just because he attended the conference does not mean he supports the organization, but that it was a kind of participation by top establishment officials in the mosques and in programs. This general maintained that since the World Islamic Organization's Headquarters for Remembering the Shahids was an NGO, it didn't have to ask permission from the military to carry out any operation. He added that their operations are like the Palestinians' martyrdom operations, and have no connection to the government of Iran.
"At the end of the conference, registration forms were distributed to those who wanted them, and the participants signed a petition warning the official [Iranian] bodies against continuing in their conservative path. Many participants wrote down their telephone numbers alongside their signatures, and some also added their email addresses.
"Ali Siadati wrote on the petition: 'My soul can no longer dwell in this body. I know that my body must explode so that my suffering spirit will lean more in the direction of God.'"
The Iranian Foreign Ministry Responds
"In answer to a question on the matter, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said, 'Measures of this kind [i.e. the volunteer registration for martyrdom operations] are an expression of the [Iranian] people's sentiments about the crimes of the Zionist regime and about U.S. policy. It has no connection to the policy of the [Iranian] government and the [Iranian] regime."(20)
Former Iran IAEA Representative Provides Previously Unknown Information On Iran's Nuclear Activity
Iran's former representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Dr. Ali Akbar Salehi, gave an interview to the English-language Iran Daily newspaper, which revealed new information about Iran's nuclear activities. Salehi is also a government advisor and an advisor to Iran's National Security Council. The following are excerpts from the interview:(21)
'What If Israel Bombs the Bushehr Power Plant?'
Question: "You will agree that our country has some very real and serious concerns about our stability and security and the threats from the U.S. and Israel. Israeli politicians and generals have given themselves the liberty to say that they "reserve the right" to attack Iran's nuclear research centers. Why hasn't the international community taken these foreign threats and our concerns seriously? Or is it that we have not done the job properly?"
Salehi: "... I don't see Israel as an entity by itself. It is an extension, an arm of the U.S. in the Middle East. But more realistically, if we are threatened we too have the right to defend ourselves with whatever means available. So I personally do not take that threat as seriously as it may appear. They know what the reaction would be. I mean they have information about how strong the reprisal and reaction of Iran could be..."
Question: "What do you think Iran will do, for instance, if Israel attacks the Bushehr nuclear power plant?"
Salehi: "From what I know, there are a number of means available for Iran. Should Iran decide to utilize those means, Israel would be in a very terrible predicament if it ever tries to carry out its threat. What I can say for sure is that the entire region will be in a very difficult situation.
"... [According to] the understanding we had with the three European countries (France, Germany, U.K.) ... one of the issues discussed ... is freeing the Middle East of weapons of mass destruction.22 That includes Israel of course, and that means putting pressure on Israel. So I think we are going to witness more international pressure on Israel.
"... Mr. El-Baradei has recently raised the issue of Israel's nuclear capability and has asked the international community to put pressure on Israel to submit itself to NPT or at least to inspections by the IAEA of its nuclear facilities....
"As time passes, we will see the pressure on Israel building up..."
'We Don't Want Nuclear Weapons But Nuclear Technology is Different'
Question: "Have you anything to say to those in and outside our country who strongly believe that nuclear weapons bring prestige?"
Salehi: "... A country like Iran cannot have prestige by acquiring nuclear weapons... Iran would raise more threats against it, not obtain security, by having nuclear weapons...
"We have Russia to the north. Suppose we have a nuclear weapon. Our nuclear weapon of course will not be as good as those developed by the Russians, nor will it be able to compete with the nuclear weapons of Israel and by extension of the U.S.
"... We have absolutely no problem with India or Pakistan. They are friendly countries. So there is no country surrounding us that could be an immediate or major threat. So I think the strategy of getting nuclear weapons for Iran is not a right strategy for the reasons I've mentioned above.
"But nuclear technology is different. If a country has access to cutting-edge nuclear technology, it can be proud. Take Switzerland, which has about 6,000,000 people. Can one compare this country, with the volume of knowledge and technology it has, with another country that can hardly feed its people but boasts that it has a nuclear bomb?"
'We Could Have Taken More Pragmatic, Logical and Opportune Steps Prior to the Blowing Up of This Issue'
Question: "Consistency and transparency are the name of the game. Do you believe we have been steadfast and straightforward in our dealings?"
Salehi: "... I would say that we could have taken more pragmatic, logical and opportune steps prior to the blowing up of all this issue. I think we missed some opportunities. We made the right decisions but did not make them at the right time... Fortunately the country very quickly made up for this shortcoming and was able to get itself on the right path...
"... Iran was among the first signatories of the CTBT [Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty]...(23)
"... I was the first official in the country who [supported] the Additional Protocol. I faced a lot of criticism by members of news media and different political lobbies. As the issue progressed, others realized that it was wise to go towards the additional protocol because the entire international community was moving towards that goal..."(24)
How Many P2 Centrifuges, What Level of Contamination?
Question: "Two major issues of contamination and P2 centrifuges remain for clarification by Iran, according to IAEA Chairman Mohamed El-Baradei. How will, or should, Iran present these for argument or evidence?"
Salehi: "Concerning P2, the IAEA inspectors in Iran have said that all the information needed by the agency was supplied to them. Therefore ... we think the issue is closed...(25)
"... About contamination, we have good news. The information supplied earlier by Iran, and as time passes and results of the sampling show, fortunately has been approved. For example, the 54% contamination, which was a question raised previously, has now been cleared...
"The only question that remains now is the 36% which is crucial... You see the 36% particles in few places in a bigger concentration than this same contamination on the centrifuge parts that we imported from outside...(26) So we told them [i.e., the IAEA inspectors] that the centrifuge parts which we imported from abroad number in the thousands, and have come from different parts of a facility somewhere in the world, and were supplied to us through an intermediary.(27)
"When it comes from different parts of an installation, it means different parts or equipment may have different contaminations. So they may have sampled the parts of imported machines that were not as contaminated with the 36%, and we are insisting that they should take further samples from other parts of the imported machines, so that hopefully they will see the uniformity of the 36% contamination all across, starting from the room that they started with in Kala Electric and on the imported centrifuge parts that may have come from different parts of the installation of a previous enrichment installation somewhere in the world."
*Ayelet Savyon is Director of the Iranian Media Project
(1) See reports from Iranian newspapers: Sharq (Iran), Aftab-e Yazd (Iran), Jomhour-e Eslami (Iran), June 10, 2004.
(2) Reports about the registration activity of the volunteers, the conference, and sending the volunteers to Iraq appeared in Kayhan (Iran), June 1, 2004; Sharq (Iran), June 6; Jomhour-e Eslami (Iran), June 6, 2004; Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), May 28, 2004 and June 14, 2004; Sharq (Iran), May 27, 2004 http://www.sharghnewspaper.com/830307/gover.htm and the Persian-language Rouydad site which is opposed to the regime, http://rouydad.info/news/index.aspx?UID=2513.
(3) Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, (London), June 14, 2004.
(4) http://rouydad.info/news/index.aspx?UID=2513. See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 723, May 28, 2004, http://www.memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sd&ID=SP72304 Also of note are statements by Expediency Council Chairman Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who said, after another condemnation of Iran by the IAEA in March 2004, that "Iran must act seriously against anyone who acts against it in the international arena." Tehran Times (Iran), March 16, 2004.
(5) Kayhan (Iran), June 12, 2004. In recent weeks, the conservative papers have begun calling for a unilateral pullout from the treaty, claiming that the price of leaving the treaty would not be greater than the benefit in remaining in it. They criticized the measures regarding the IAEA by the Iranian government and the outgoing reformist parliament, and called for a reexamination of these measures. They defined the decisions of the senior officials on the talks on signing the Additional Protocol as "humiliation" and "naivete." Aftab-e Yazd (Iran), March 14, 2004; April 5, 2004; May 31, 2004.
(6) For more on the negotiations and Iran's foreign ministry policy, see interview with Iran's former representative to the IAEA, Dr. Ali Akbar Salehi, in the English-language Iran Daily, June 9, 2004. Also see statements by senior Iranian officials: IRNA, March 10, 2004; April 7, 2004; May 24, 2004; Iran Daily, April 13, 2004, April 25, 2004.
(7) Kayhan (Iran), June 8, 2004; Aftab-e Yazd (Iran), June 13, 2004; Jomhour-e Eslami (Iran), April 5, 2004.
(8) Aftab-e Yazd (Iran), June 12, 2004; Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), June 14, 2004. Other criticism by the Iranian reformists focused on blaming the conservatives for torpedoing Iranian Foreign Ministry efforts by proposing that Iran quit the NPT and expel Western ambassadors. Vaqae-e Ettefaqieh (Iran), June 6, 2004; Aftab-e Yazd, March 16, 2004.
(9) Sharq (Iran), June 5, 2004. (Appendix I)
(10) Sharq (Iran), June 5, 2004. (Appendix I)
(11) Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), June 14, 2004.
(13) See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 723, May 28, 2004, ' Iran's Revolutionary Guards Official Threatens Suicide Operations: 'Our Missiles Are Ready to Strike at Anglo-Saxon Culture... There Are 29 Sensitive Sites in the U.S. and the West...', http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sd&ID=SP72304
(14) For example, Jomhour-e Eslami (Iran), March 17, 2004; Aftab-e Yazd (Iran), March 4, 2004; Tehran Times, March 7, 2004.
(15) The Mykonos affair concerned the murder of four opponents of the Iranian regime at the Mykonos restaurant in Berlin on September 21, 1992. The German court determined that top Iranian officials were involved in the murder.
(16) Kayhan (Iran), June 12, 2004.
(17) Aftab-e Yazd (Iran), June 8, 2004.
(18) Vaqaei-e Ettefaqieah (Iran), March 16, 2004.
(19) Sharq (Iran), June 5, 2004. Also reporting on the registration of volunteers for martyrdom operations and on the conference were Kayhan, June 1, 2004 and Jomhour-e Eslami (Iran), June 6, 2004.
(20) Aftab-e Yazd (Iran), June 7, 2004.
(21) Iran Daily, June 9, 2004.
(22) However, according to a draft resolution presented to the IAEA by Britain, France, and Germany, Iran had failed to answer questions about alleged nuclear weapons activities. The resolution "deplores" that Iran's "'cooperation has not been complete, timely, and proactive." Aftab-e Yazd (Iran), June 10, 2004.
(23) Iran is a signatory to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, but never ratified it. http://www.ctbto.org/
(24) It was only after massive international pressure that Iran said it would sign the Additional Protocol. On June 10, 2004, Aftab-e Yazd (Iran) reported that according to Iran's current representative to the IAEA Perrouz Hosseini, Germany, Britain and France promised Iran that its nuclear activity dossier would be closed if it signed the Additional Protocol.
(25) The P2 centrifuge is an advanced model, and Iran only reported that it used the P1 model. In contradiction to Salehi's statement, an IAEA report recently leaked to the media does not see the matter as closed. The number of P2s found in Iran is inconsistent with the number of purchasing contracts it submitted.
(26) Iran told the IAEA that these parts had come from Pakistan and had been used there for enriching uranium. However, Pakistan denied any connection to the parts with 36% contamination. It is known that 36% is used in reactors for nuclear fuel for Russian submarines.
(27) Iran reported to the IAEA only on a few P2 centrifuges, but here Salehi states that "that the centrifuge parts which we imported from abroad number in the thousands."
June 16, 2004
Jacqueline W. Shire
While the International Atomic Energy Agency's governing board debates a resolution on Iran's nuclear program, fresh evidence is emerging that Iran continues to conceal elements of its nuclear capability from international inspectors.
The IAEA received information recently regarding concealment activity at an alleged nuclear site in a neighborhood of Tehran known as Lavizan Shiyan, ABC News has learned. Commercial satellite imagery of the site, first taken in the summer of 2003 and again in March 2004, shows that several buildings and laboratories, located in a secured area adjacent to a military complex, were razed and the top soil removed.
The agency was informed about the possible presence at the site of special equipment used in the detection of radiation, ABC News has learned. Such equipment is not unusual in facilities handling radioactive material, but its alleged presence at this site added to speculation surrounding the facility.
Neither the IAEA nor the State Department would confirm the location of the site, or the nature of the activity alleged to have taken place there. The IAEA has not yet inspected the area.
This site has surfaced previously in connection with Iran's biological weapons program.
In May 2003, an Iranian opposition group, the National Council of the Resistance of Iran alleged that the Iranian Ministry of Defense established a biological weapons research facility at Lavizan Shiyan. The NCRI is affiliated with the Mujahedin-e Khalq, designated by the State Department as a terrorist organization. U.S. officials familiar with the NCRI's claims, however, say the group has a track record of providing credible information about Iran's nuclear program.
Although the information about the Lavizan site is not in the IAEA's most recent report, there are several items that have provoked renewed debate about Iran's capabilities and intentions, and raise questions about the transparency of its nuclear program.
After repeated denials, Iranian officials were forced to disclose several months ago that they had obtained from abroad components for an advanced uranium centrifuge machine, known as the P-2. They then insisted the parts were for research and development only.
Big Order for Nuclear Components
In its latest report, the IAEA say Iran had placed, through a private company, an order for some 4,000 magnets suitable for use in the P-2. Such magnets, machined to precise parameters, allow the centrifuge to spin at extremely high speeds without creating heat or friction.
The scale of the order, which Iran has not taken delivery of, is troubling to proliferation experts.
"An order for 4,000 indicates a full scale program order, not a testing one," said Jon Wolfsthal, deputy director for nonproliferation at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
The IAEA report also raises new questions about the source of highly enriched uranium particles found on Iran's nuclear equipment. Iran has consistently maintained that the highly enriched uranium findings were the result of "cross-contamination," most likely originating with the supplier of the components.
IAEA laboratory analysis, however, has concluded "it is unlikely" that the particles found at two locations in Iran can be traced to the supplier. This leaves open the possibility that at least some of the particles were the result of Iran's own uranium enrichment activities or are from other, still unidentified, suppliers.
The greater problem pointed up by both issues is Iran's credibility, now under siege.
"A disturbing trend has emerged with Iran. Each time Iran gives an answer to the IAEA, it turns out to be wrong, and wrong on the low side," Wolfsthal said. "Not only have they undermined our trust, they have also given us reason to believe that they are hiding significant parts of their nuclear program."
The IAEA's 35-nation board of governors is expected to continue meeting in Vienna, Austria, for the remainder of this week and possibly into the following. The draft resolution currently being circulated calls on Iran again to strengthen its cooperation with the IAEA, but does not refer the matter to the U.N. Security Council, where further action, including sanctions, could be considered and imposed.
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami said today his nation would reject a resolution criticizing its nuclear program and level of cooperation with the IAEA.
Jacqueline W. Shire is an ABC News consultant.
Elbaradei Plays Down the Importance of Error Admission
June 17, 2004
The UN atomic energy agency has admitted wrongly reporting that Iran withheld information from it. Iran has recently come in for strong criticism from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United States over its nuclear programmes.
The IAEA reported in June that Tehran had failed to inform it about importing magnets for advanced centrifuges which can produce weapons-grade uranium.
However, it now says Iran made an oral statement about the magnets in January.
On Wednesday, the US has accused Iran of bullying foreign diplomats.
The US ambassador to the United Nations in Vienna, Kenneth Brill, said Iran's president was using "intimidation" by saying Tehran might resume its uranium enrichment programme.
Admitting the mistake on Thursday, IAEA deputy director general Pierre Goldschmidt said the agency "acknowledges that it omitted to take notice of the oral statement made in January with respect to the importation of magnets".
But IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei played down the importance of the admission.
"This is not a major mistake. Iran could have corrected it," he said.
He added that "this technical correction doesn't change the fact that we need more transparency from Iran" in reporting on its nuclear programme.
The IAEA is investigating US charges that Iran is secretly developing nuclear weapons.
Hossein Mousavian, secretary of the foreign policy committee of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, said: "This has been a big mistake."
He was speaking on the sidelines of an IAEA meeting that is expected to issue a resolution that criticises Tehran for its patchy co-operation.
Mr Mousavian welcomed the correction but said it came too late and the inaccurate report had tainted the whole atmosphere of the meeting.
AN ISLAMIC STATE IS INCAPABLE OF RESPONDING TO IRANIANS DEMANDS
By Delphine Minoui
Posted Wednesday, June 16, 2004
PARIS, 16 June (IPS) It took four years for Mrs. Fatemeh Haqiqatjoo, a reformist lawmaker to reach the conclusion that an Islamic theocracy is not what the Iranians expect.
The greatest lesson I got from my years as a parliamentarian is that an Islamic State is not capable to respond to Iranian expectations, she told the French centrist newspaper Le Figaro, adding, to see our nation go forward, one has to separate religion from politics.
An outspoken representative of Tehran in the outgoing Majles, or the Iranian Parliament that was dominated by the reformists, the Iranians knows the 36 years-old Haqiqatjoo for her bold and uncompromising positions in favour of the rights of Iranian women, students and political dissidents.
The lecture of an open letter to Ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i, the leader of the Islamic Republic in which she criticised the system of the Islamic Republic for ignoring equal rights for women, suppressing free speech and closing independent and pro reform newspapers cost her ten months of suspended prison term.
Courageously, she used the sentence to demonstrate that under the laws of the Islamic Republic, even lawmakers are immune from the regimes despotism.
Born to a religious but tolerant family, Fatemeh Hqiqatjoo joined the Office for Consolidating Unity (OCU), Iranian students largest organisation when studying psychology at Tehran University and the Islamic Iran Participation Front, the coalition of several reformist groups supporting Hojjatoleslam Mohammad Khatami after his landslide and surprising victory in the presidential elections of May 1997.
Contrary to many Iranians political analysts and pundits like Dr Qasem Sholeh Sadi, a former lawmaker or Mr. Mohsen Sazegara, a journalist and dissident politicians who reiterates that the reformists, despite their control of both the Executive and the Legislative, are dead, guilty of not been up to deliver the reforms promised by Mr. Khatami, Mrs. Haqiqatjoo believes that the reform process is not dead, but has changed its form.
The reformists claims that if they failed to carry out the limited political, social and cultural reforms Mr. Khatami had promised the Iranians, mostly the young ones during his election campaign it was mostly because the minority conservatives who control all the States major and key organs prevented them, and above all the leader controlled Council of the Guardians, the 12-members body in charge to see if laws approved by the Majles are in full compatibility with Islamic canons.
If Mr. Khatami, who was elected thanks to more than 20 million votes, would have been a bit more a strong personality, he could have defeated the conservatives. But the fact is that he was a liability for the reform movement from the outset, Mr. Sholeh Sadi told Iran Press Service during an interview immediately after the crushing defeat of the reformists at the latest legislative race.
It is true that the Council of the Guardians, that is also in charge to check the conformity of the credentials of all candidates to all elections with Islamic rules had rejected the candidacy of more than a thousand of reformist runners to the 20 February Majles elections, including a hundred lawmakers, one of them being Mrs. Haqiqatjoo, but anyhow, voters had decided to punish the reformists for their failure, echoed Mr. Sazegara.
To protest the disqualifications, Mrs. Haqiqatjoo and other reformist deputies staged a month-long sit-in in the premises of the parliament. But facing with a popular indifference, she decided to resign from her seat as a Tehran representative and member of the Foreign and National Security Affairs Commission.
I resigned because they (the ruling conservatives) do not want an Islamic Republic, but a Taleban system, she told Ms. Delphine Minoui, Le Figaros correspondent In Tehran.
Daring to compare the present theocracy with that of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Iranian Monarch who was toppled in 1979 by the Islamic Revolution, she told a gathering of students that the disqualification of thousands of reformist candidates demonstrated that everything is decided by people sitting high above.
One of the very few reformist deputies to openly defend the struggle of the students in particular and the intelligentsia in general for a more open society, Mrs. Haqiqatjoo was arrested briefly last year after she showed up at students demonstrations protesting the crackdown of the regime on the dissidents of all walk.
Iran is a country where one has to cultivate the art of patience, she said, making clear that her struggle was not limited to the legitimate rights of the women, but the rights of all human beings, the human rights.
Looking back at the four years she represented the Iranians at the Majles, she expresses some satisfactions at the fact that with other female lawmakers, she scored some successes in having the Majles approving laws giving Iranians women some of their rights, including one allowing young single girls studying abroad.
However, in a regime where women, no matter of their social or political status, are barred to travel outside without permission of their husbands, fathers or the brothers, even if they are younger, the outspoken former lawmaker was reminded of the limitations Iranian women have under Islamic laws when she was not authorised to take a flight to London to attend a conference, the paper said.
ENDS HAQIQATJOO INTERVIEW 16604.
Europe's 'Big Three' Submit Resolution on Iran Nuclear Program
June 17, 2004
VIENNA -- Britain, France, and Germany submitted a resolution at the UN atomic agency calling for a 15-month-old investigation into Iran's nuclear activities to be stepped up and for Tehran to do more to help it complete the probe within a few months, diplomats said.
The resolution followed four days of intense negotiations among Western countries, non-aligned states and Iran at the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
It also came against a backdrop of an increasingly acerbic war of words between Tehran, which insists its nuclear activities are solely for peaceful purposes, and IAEA members including the United States and Europe's so-called Big Three.
The IAEA admitted earlier it had made a mistake in saying that Iran had failed to report the import of magnets for advanced centrifuges that can make bomb-grade uranium.
References to this were taken out of the resolution, according to a copy of the text shown to AFP.
But the resolution still said that Iran's reporting on the crucial P-2 centrifuge issue was "incomplete and continues to lack the necessary clarity."
The Revolutionary Guards are Back
June 17, 2004
The Economist Print Edition
The ramshackle traffic police in Tehran are nowadays backed up by muscular paramilitaries in camouflage fatigues. Dozens of seats in parliament and a brace of top posts have recently been filled by ex-servicemen. The generals have stopped President Muhammad Khatami's reformist government from putting a showpiece airport into operation. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), set up more than two decades ago as an ideological counterweight to the less politically minded (and now less well-equipped) regular army, may be quietly taking control.
The reformists, once dominant but now being squeezed out of power, fear so. Last year their conservative opponents helped a former guardsman become Tehran's mayor. In May, another was appointed to head the broadcasting monopoly. One reformist newspaper reckons that some 90 out of 290 deputies in Iran's new parliament have a background in revolutionary and military institutions.
These rising men get on well with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the conservative supreme leader who is resented by some of his fellow clerics. But in General Rahim Safavi, the IRGC supremo, he has a loyal ally. In a recent speech, the general strayed from the specifications of Iran's latest missile to the importance of efficiency and accountability, favourite themes of Mr Khamenei, whose name is invoked in barracks everywhere.
The IRGC's top brass is flexing its muscles. In May, it forced Tehran's new airport to close, in protest against the government's decision to ask a consortium of foreigners (Turks) to run it. At home, its agents track dissidents. In Iraq, it seeks to influence fellow Shias. Western diplomats reckon that an Iranian diplomat who was assassinated in Baghdad in April may once have been a guardsman.
Promoting the IRGC may be part of a conservative response to the clergy's own waning prestige. Last month, Iran got its first lay parliamentary speaker. When Mr Khatami, a reformist clergyman, stands down next summer, powerful right-wing ayatollahs may try to manoeuvre a lay conservative into his place.
Reformists also look askance on the IRGC's commercial activities. The previous, reformist parliament tried in vain to probe the alleged misuse of IRGC jetties for smuggling goods into the country. A prominent trade liberaliser, Khosro Nasirzadeh, reckons that more than .5 billion-worth of goods are smuggled into Iran every year. Some 72 jetties, he thinks, operate illegally.
General Safavi, more than the carping clerics, now appears to be Mr Khamenei's natural ally. On issues like Iraq, Iran's strained links with the European Union over nukes, and the extent to which .unIslamic. social mores can be rolled back, he takes a hard line. The alliance's biggest test is over how to respond to outside pressure over Iran's nuclear programme. Last autumn, the IRGC obeyed Mr Khamenei's order to open sensitive sites to UN inspectors. Since then, the UN has complained of inadequate access, while America's claim that the IRGC has a nuclear programme of its own-for military purposes-has become more insistent (see article).
Still At It
June 17, 2004
The Economist Print Edition
Does Iran have nuclear-weapons ambitions, or just an ambitious programme to produce electricity from nuclear power? It insists that all its nuclear activities are for peaceful purposes only, and that it has now (after several admitted false starts and 18 years of subterfuge) told the inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN's nuclear watchdog, all they need to know. Unfortunately for Iran, the inspectors, in another report this week to the agency's 35-nation board of governors, disagree.
Angered that this latest report details yet more holes in the explanations it has given inspectors for its past nuclear activities, Iran's president, Muhammad Khatami, upped the stakes. Rejecting a tough resolution drafted by Britain, France and Germany that deplores inadequate co-operation thus far, Mr Khatami insisted that, if the resolution were to pass (as it was expected to), he would feel no moral commitment to continue to suspend Iran's uranium-enrichment programme. Others suggested that Iran would refuse to ratify, and might even rescind, its agreement to allow tougher inspections.
Both were important elements of a deal that the Europeans struck with Iran last October. They agreed not to refer the nuclear shenanigans thus far to the UN's Security Councilsomething the IAEA's board is obliged to do at some pointso long as Iran suspended its plans to enrich uranium and told all about its past nuclear exploits. The slate thus cleaned, the Europeans would offer Iran the prospect of co-operation in other sophisticated technologies, along with continuing benefits from civilian nuclear power, if it would give up sensitive uranium and plutonium technologies that could also be exploited to make fissile material for bombs.
But the slate is far from clean yet. Aside from a string of dubious nuclear experiments already accounted for, the inspectors need to know where traces of enriched uranium they have found, some only lightly enriched, some more highly enriched and therefore potentially militarily more useful, actually came from. Iran's story, that these all came in on imported machinery, does not hold together; more likely Iran bought some already enriched uranium on the black market, possibly from Russia, or else experimented itself well beyond accepted civilian levels.
It has already changed its story more than once about the intended scale of a programme to buy in more sophisticated uranium-producing centrifuge machines than the ones it was caught assembling last year. The Europeans also want Iran to give up plans to build a heavy-water nuclear reactor that is unsuited to power generation but handy for producing bomb-usable plutonium.
The United States, for its part, wanted a deadline set for Iran to satisfy the inspectors, or else be referred to the UN. But the Europeans are still keen to keep their diplomacy going. If Iran does resume uranium enrichment, however, their gambit will have failed miserably. Mr Khatami said this week that Iran at least had no plans to pull out of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, as North Korea did. That is faint comfort, if it intends to go on breaking or bending the rules from within.
Iran's Defense Industry Used For Nukes
June 18, 2004
Middle East Newsline
NICOSIA -- Iran's defense industry has been employed to produce components for the nation's nuclear weapons program. For the first time, Iranian officials outlined the role of Teheran's state-owned defense industry in manufacturing centrifuges for uranium enrichment. The enrichment of uranium is regarded as a key element in the production of nuclear weapons.
"It's natural in the world that defense industries produce civilian parts," Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani said. "We in the defense industries produce parts for civilian planes, vehicle parts and even television sets. We have also produced some parts for Iran's nuclear energy program including P-1."
The Pak-1, or P-1, centrifuge, was sold by a network led by Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan. The defense minister said Iran has not yet manufactured the more advanced P-2 centrifuge. Officials said Iran already has blueprints of the P-2.
Iran Nuke Cover Up Examined
June 17, 2004
The Associated Press
Correspondents in Vienna
The IAEA appears to be on the track of new nuclear cover-ups on the part of Iran, diplomats said today. The diplomats, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the agency was concerned about evidence that Iran was razing parts of a restricted area next to a military complex in a Tehran suburb.
Satellite imagery showed that several buildings had been destroyed and top soil removed at Lavizan Shiyan, said one of the diplomats.
He said to his knowledge, the agency had not been at the site, although IAEA officials had talked to theIranians of their concern because of the unexplained moves on the part of Tehran.
"It's vanishing now, so they need to look at it," said the diplomat, saying without elaboration that the agency was also focusing on other sites.
Iran fails to stop harsh nuclear resolution
Thu 17 June, 2004 18:56
By Louis Charbonneau and Mark Trevelyan
VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran has forced the U.N. nuclear watchdog to admit a mistake in a key report, but has failed to stop a resolution "deploring" its poor record of cooperation with the agency.
Diplomats confirmed the resolution, after days of haggling, had been formally submitted to the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency, after which approval on Friday is expected to be straightforward.
The final text of the resolution said the IAEA board "deplores ... the fact that, overall ... Iran's cooperation has not been as full, timely and proactive as it should have been."
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami on Wednesday rejected the draft as "very bad" and threatened to resume uranium enrichment.
Tehran agreed with Britain, France and Germany last October to suspend enrichment as a confidence-building gesture. The process is used in nuclear power plants but can also, if carried far enough, be used to make an atomic weapon.
The three EU countries were co-sponsors of the resolution.
Iranian delegation chief Hossein Mousavian accused them of breaking their promise to work with Tehran to get the Iranian nuclear programme off the IAEA board's agenda and to put an end to the intrusive inspections underway in Iran.
Without addressing the issue of uranium enrichment directly, Mousavian said there was no question of Tehran withdrawing from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and added: "We maintain our commitment to cooperation with the IAEA."
Mousavian also said it was a "victory for Iran" that the resolution contained no deadline for Tehran to resolve unanswered questions on its nuclear programme, something the United States had pushed hard for.
However, a major defeat for the Iranians was the inclusion of a clause urging Iran "voluntarily to reconsider" plans to operate a uranium conversion plant and begin construction of a heavy-water research reactor. The Iranians had fought hard to have this paragraph deleted.
Western diplomats said the reactor was a problem as it would produce little electricity but ample bomb-grade plutonium.
Tehran says its nuclear ambitions are limited to the generation of electricity, but Washington says its programme is a front for developing nuclear weapons.
Mousavian had argued for a softening of the text after the IAEA was earlier forced into an embarrassing admission that it had wrongly accused Tehran of withholding information about imports of potentially weapons-related technology.
In a June 1 report, the agency had said Iran did not declare until April that it had imported essential parts for advanced P-2 centrifuges used to enrich uranium.
But the Iranians produced a tape recording this week proving a representative of a private Iranian company had told an IAEA inspector verbally in January.
Mousavian called the IAEA's oversight a "big mistake", telling reporters: "It shows Iranian cooperation, Iranian information has been full and precise, on time, with no contradictions and no changes."
IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei said it was a minor mistake.
"This was made in an oral statement at the end of a particular meeting with one individual whose English was not very clear to us... It's a fault that we did not pick it up, it was not fed to our system," ElBaradei said.
"You have to understand we work with thousands of papers and thousands of sites... Everybody makes mistakes."
U.S. ambassador Kenneth Brill said Iran was using the issue as a "red herring" to divert attention from an atomic cover-up.
"It's interesting that they only seem to give information to the agency orally and not in writing," Brill told reporters. "Why? So they can change their story when it's convenient."
"a clause urging Iran "voluntarily to reconsider" plans to operate a uranium conversion plant and begin construction of a heavy-water research reactor."
"voluntarily to reconsider" ? Sheesh! That's a defeat for Iran?
"Mousavian also said it was a "victory for Iran" that the resolution contained no deadline for Tehran to resolve unanswered questions on its nuclear programme, something the United States had pushed hard for."
Oh, that's good. Now they have forever not to answer questions.
I just received this from Banafsheh...
"This needs to go out to every Voter in this country......this guy Kerry is dangerous.......
FORMER GREEN BERET TACKLES KERRY:
Thank you, John Kerry, for helping make us Vietnam veterans war heroes now, but you also were the primary reason that the American public grabbed sturdy unbending brooms of judgment and swept us into the closet of silence and shame for so many years. Now, with your latest unreported insanity, you are getting ready for our society to grab those same stiff brooms and sweep our brave, noble young men and women fighting against the War on Terror in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, into that cold, dark cell of heartbreak and betrayal, like we Vietnam veterans had to endure in silent dignity. I cannot and will not watch this country go through that again.
The hardcore America-hating, Israel-hating, jihad-spouting Muslim clerics in the mideast are very excited and passing around a front page newspaper story from the very anti-American TEHRAN TIMES in Iran. In the country that is home of the world's toughest theocratic dictatorship, an e-mail from Democratic Presidential nominee, you, John Forbes Kerry, sent to the paper by your campaign committee, although they deny sending it, was printed word-for-word on the front page of Iran's main newspaper. Your message states emphatically that, if elected President, you, John Kerry plan to, within 100 days, not only end the War on Terror, but travel to the mideast and elsewhere and apologize for our actions and the actions of President Bush in the War on Terror. It says that you plan to apologize to friends and foes alike. That is right, folks. John Kerry will say he is sorry, and in his mind, all those jihad extremists, who have vowed to kill all Americans wherever we are, will simply forgive us, hold hands with Kerry, start singing "Kumbaya," and all will be right in the world. This is insane!
Senior writer Kenneth R. Timmerman in the March 1st edition of INSIGHT, tells about the massive campaign contributions to the Kerry-for-President campaign by three Iranian businessmen living in the US, who are lobbying for the US lifting of sanctions on Iran and accepting the anti-Christian, anti-Jewish, anti-American Tehran regime and the close ties of one to the chairman of Mobil Oil.
Pro-democracy dissidents in Iran are shocked and appalled at your remarks, and have reported that in Iran and other Mideastern countries, that all the extremists and anti-west mullahs who strongly supported the attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon, USS Cole, Marine Barracks, and anyplace Americans congregate, want you to become our President, but they are scared to death of George W. Bush. Just think, The Democratic candidate for President, you, John Forbes Kerry, is endorsed by the Al Q'Aida, Hezbollah, PLF, and Hamas.
But on February 27, 2004, in a speech at UCLA , you, while trying to talk tough, despite voting against all major weapons systems for the past 18 years, stated that you will continue the War on Terror, but would use our police forces, and especially those in foreign countries, and you would also put our troops back under the powder blue flag of the United Nations. You recently made comments about Bush making troops fight without Kevlar vests, but you, Senator Kerry, voted against buying them while you were in the Senate.
Like the Kama Sutra, Senator, you change positions constantly. You're not going to end the War on Terror, but instead use police to handcuff terrorists and read them their rights; then a week later, you are going to end the War on Terrorism and apologize to everyone we have offended, such as Iran. What is it going to be next week, Kerry? You flip-flop more than a beached tuna on steroids.
You convinced TV reporters Chris Wallace on Fox and NBC's Tim Russert that a photograph circulating the web and news showing you a few rows away from Jane Fonda at a September, 1970 Anti-War Rally at Valley Forge, was simply a coincidence and that you and Hanoi Jane barely knew each other. But, in fact, Senator, there were only 8 speakers that day, including Fonda, Donald Southerland, and Bella Abzug, and Hanoi Jane funded that rally, and the keynote speaker was you, John Forbes Kerry, executive committee member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War.
We must be Americans first, and think about our political parties after that. Sometimes we lose sight of that. I have six grown children and two are democrats. I voted for Jimmy Carter. This is not about politics. It is about standing up to the ultimate playground bully, and not simply cowering and kissing his shoes.
I left it "all on the field" in the jungles back there when I was med-evaced out of Vietnam in March of 1969 and sent back to hospitals in "The World." Although You, Mr. Kerry, painted all of us Vietnam veterans with the yellow brush of My Lai and Tiger Force, most of us, draftees and lifers alike, actually poured our hearts out in the tropical rain forests and in the rice paddies, thoroughly gave it our all, and acted as warriors who had honor. I have a son earning his green beret at Fort Bragg right now and a daughter-in-law on orders for Iraq. I am not going to stand by and watch them go through the same treatment we did, because some of our well-meaning fellow Americans choose to wear blinders and believe things just because they heard it on the network news or simply not care enough to get involved.
I am not a "baby-killer, torturer, or murderer," John Kerry. I am a Vietnam veteran and an American who will not soon forget, or ever want to see again, any more jets loaded with fuel and screaming, innocent Americans slamming into our buildings on our very own soil. I have shed enough tears for ten lifetimes. We all have. I will never again let my fellow countrymen get away with making American veterans feel like bastard step-children.
Santayana said, "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
John Kerry, I now call on my "Band of Brothers," those who have heard the sound of guns and cries of orphaned children, those who hate war more than anyone who has not been there, to join me in this difficult battle ahead. Republicans, democrats, independents, and the apolitical, I call on the 25,000,000 veterans of this country to help me confront this evil facing our great nation, not with guns and bombs, but with our voices, our votes, our computers, and with all our fighting spirit.
You want proof of all I have to say. Here are the references:
Want more proof? Read the very exposing February 27, 2004 article, on page 8, of the NY Sun by Thomas Lipscomb, founder of Time Books and publisher of Admiral Elmo Zumwalt's best-selling book. "ON WATCH ". Also read what the man who pinned the Silver Star on John Kerry had to say about him. The article is entitled "Setting Straight Kerry's War Record "
Don Bendell is a former green beret captain, who served in Vietnam on an A-Team and in the Top Secret Phoenix program in 1968 and 1969, as well as in three other Special Forces Groups. He is a best-selling author of 21 books, with over 1,500,000 copies of his books in print worldwide, and a seventh degree black master in four martial arts, who was inducted into the International Karate Hall of Fame in 1995 and Martial Arts Museum of America in 1996."
"Like the Kama Sutra, Senator, you change positions constantly"
LOL! Great line
Zoroastrians make Iran pilgrimage
Thursday, 17 June, 2004
Members of Iran's dwindling Zoroastrian community are making their annual pilgrimage to the temple in the rocky mountain of Chakchak.
It is believed the last Zoroastrian princess sheltered from the Muslims in a cave on Chakchak in AD640.
The faith was founded in about 600BC by the Persian prophet Zarathustra who believed he had seen visions of a God he called Ahura Mazda.
Zoroastrian rule was driven out of modern-day Iran by the Muslim Arab invasion 1400 years ago.
THIS IS AN EXCEPRT---
Read more @
Michael Moore film appeals to terrorists
'Fahrenheit 9/11' gets thumbs-up from Hezbollah
Posted: June 17, 2004
5:00 p.m. Eastern
© 2004 WorldNetDaily.com
Opponents of filmmaker Michael Moore are making the most of an endorsement his Bush-bashing film "Fahrenheit 9/11" received from terrorists affiliated with Hezbollah.
The Guardian of London reported today organizations related to the Middle East-based terrorist network have offered to help promote the film in the United Arab Emirates.
The terror-war supporting organization Move America Forward released a statement today saying the news about Hezbollah proves a contention it made about terrorist endorsement of Moore's award-winning documentary.
Earlier this week, Move America Forward Vice Chair Melanie Morgan declared: "It would be more appropriate to have this propaganda shown at al-Qaida training camps rather than American movie theaters."
The organization released an "apology" for Morgan's statement today, saying she didn't go far enough with her criticism.
"I regret that we limited our comments solely to the terrorist organization al-Qaida and failed to mention that other terrorist groups, like Hezbollah, would also rally behind this film," said the group's chairman, Howard Kaloogian.
"'Fahrenheit 9/11' serves one purpose and one purpose only: to undermine the United State's war against terrorism. This is precisely why Move America Forward has asked Americans to register their dissatisfaction with movie theaters that choose to show this film."
Concluded Kaloogian: "Now is the time for Americans to stand united behind the men and women fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan to preserve our safety and national security, not promote the agenda of radical terrorist organizations like Hezbollah."
Tina Brown reviewed the movie for the Washington Post, hammering Moore for his use of "wacky insinuations."
"In Moore's version of Iraq nobody was hanging from a meat hook in Saddam Hussein's jails. Baghdad was a happy city where children frolicked in the streets until boom! we blew them away," she writes.
"The invasion of Afghanistan? That was just a cover for running an oil pipeline across the country. "
A ringing endorsement for Moore's film from Hezbollah. LOL!
EU-Iran Human Rights Talks
We have received no information about the Iran-EU human rights roundtable held in Tehran earlier this week, vice chair of the international federation of human rights societies tells Radio Farda. Lahiji who heads the Paris-based society for defense of human rights in Iran, adds that Iran and EU rejected requests by this organization and several other independent human rights groups for attending the meetings. The only human rights organization invited to the talks was the Amnesty International. (Amir-Mosaddegh Katouzian)
The Islamic Republic rejects secular and liberal concept of human rights, deputy judiciary chief Mohammad-Javad Larijani said at the end of EU-Iran human rights talks in Tehran.
Human rights conditions in Iran are better than that of neighboring countries, President Khatami said. He added that, for improving human rights conditions, we have to compare ourselves not with the west but with neighboring countries.
Bump to that!
"Human rights conditions in Iran are better than that of neighboring countries, President Khatami said. He added that, for improving human rights conditions, we have to compare ourselves not with the west but with neighboring countries."
Oh, there's a quote for the books.
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