Skip to comments.Iranian Alert -- June 18, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Posted on 06/17/2004 9:00:35 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.
IAEA OUT TO PASS HARSH RESOLUTION ON IRAN AND FOUNDS NEW NUCLEAR COVER UPS
Posted Thursday, June 17, 2004
VIENNA, 17 June (IPS) Officials at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) acknowledged Thursday a mistake with Iranian reporting the purchase of a certain number of magnets, but at the same time said it would not change the gross shortcomings they face with Irans controversial nuclear activities.
Mr. Pierre Goldschmidt, the IAEA Deputy General Director said the agency acknowledged that it failed to take notice of the statement about magnet imports but said that Iran had since claimed it was only working with Iranian-made equipment.
"The information provided by Iran has lacked the necessary clarity to allow the Agency to fully understand the details of the P-2 program", he said, as the Mr. Hoseyn Mousavain, the spokesman of Irans delegation at IAEA had announced that the last draft resolution put forward to the Agencys Board of Governors was unacceptable for Iran".
According to senior IAEA officials, a private Iranian citizen interviewed in January had spoken of importing magnets for advanced P-2 centrifuges, but his statement had not been mentioned since it was made during an interview and in a bad English.
Earlier in the week, sources at the Vienna-based IAEA had claimed that Iran sought to purchase some 20.000 units of magnets that are used in centrifuges for enriching uranium.
But Irans senior delegate, Mr. Mousavian, who is in charge of the International Department of Irans Supreme Council on National Security, had corrected the information, saying not the government, but an intermediary had purchased 150 magnets for 300 US Dollars only.
IAEAs Head Mohammad ElBaradei said the omission in the June report was "technical".
This is not a major mistake. Iran could have corrected it. The Resolution would reflect the mistake but this technical correction doesn't change the fact that we need more transparency from Iran", he added.
For his part, the US Ambassador to the IAEA, Kenneth Brill, accused Iran of diversionary tactics. "I think the Iranian tactic here is to try to divert attention from the thrust and complete analysis of not just this most recent report by the IAEA but all the reports by finding little small red herrings that have really no substantive bearing on the issue at hand, which is that Iran continues to try to keep from coming to light information about its program".
"The agency needs information in writing and Iran continues to prefer doing things orally. Why, so they can change their story when convenient", he asked.
Mr. Mussavian described the magnets omission as an "innocent mistake," said Iran was still willing to work with the IAEA and would accept the investigation of its nuclear program being extended until September instead of being wrapped up in June.
Speaking at a press conference after the third day meeting of the IAEA Board of Directors, Mousavian added, "Even if the third draft resolution supposed to be presented by Britain, France and Germany to the 35 Governors does not succeed in meeting Irans expectations, we will reject it".
Touching on effects of the stands adopted recently by President Mohammad Khatami against the new position of the European big three in dealing with Irans nuclear programs, he said, "We feel the stands adopted by President Khatami and his firm remarks have led the members of the IAEA board of governors to evaluate Irans viewpoints at the agency as quite serious stand" and hoped that the effects of President Khatamis remarks would be reflected in the third draft.
In a letter sent to leaders of Europes Big 3, the powerless Khatami had warned that the Islamic republic could back away from key commitments over its nuclear programme if the United Nations nuclear watchdog adopted a harsh resolution.
Iran would feel no moral obligation to maintain a suspension of uranium enrichment nor allow tougher inspections by the IAEA if Iran were slapped with yet more criticism, referring to the EUs first draft resolution calling on the Islamic Republic to stop enriching uranium and adhere officially to the Additional Protocol to the Non Proliferation Treaty.
Tehran had agreed to the two points in a 21 October meeting with foreign affairs ministers of Britain, France and Germany, but it was found afterward that not only it had not suspended uranium enriching activities, but had acquired more advanced centrifuges known as P-2 while the Majles, or the Parliament, has to ratify the Protocol that allows international inspectors to visit Iranian atomic sites and projects at will and without restrictions.
"For the moment, we do not want to leave the NPT or to stop applying the Additional Protocol, but if the European resolution is adopted in its current form, that means the Europeans do not respect their obligations to us and we will not have any obligations to them", he told reporters after a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
"If this process continues, we will not have any moral obligation to continue the voluntary suspension of enrichment", Khatami warned, describing the British-French-German draft as "very bad", the official Iranian news agency IRNA quoted him, adding Iran would not capitulate to calls for it to cease all fuel cycle activities and we will not accept a resolution that is illegal".
"Expanding the dimensions of halting the uranium enrichment activities to include the activities related to the UCF plans, and the Arak heavy water power plant, is quite unacceptable for us. It is not the duty of others and we are determined to continue our program to master civil nuclear technology and to master the nuclear fuel cycle", he asserted.
However, diplomats speaking on condition of anonymity told Iran Press Service in Vienna that the latest draft expresses "strong concern" and "deplores" foot-dragging by Iran on revealing its nuclear secrets but contains no "trigger mechanism".
The new draft would please the Americans because it might prepare the ground to send the Iran case to the (United Nations) Security Council that might in turn decide on harsh economic sanctions against Tehran, as the Americans insist, he added.
Meanwhile, the stand off between Tehran and the IAEA boiled to a new crisis after diplomats said that the IAEA said it has information that Iran may be engaging in a new nuclear cover-up near a military facility outside Tehran.
The agency was looking at intelligence that Iran was razing parts of a restricted area next to a military complex in a Tehran suburb, the American news agency Associated Press quoted the diplomats speaking on condition of anonymity.
Satellite photos showed that several buildings had been destroyed and topsoil had been removed at Lavizan Shiyan, one diplomat said, adding that to his knowledge the International Atomic Energy Agency had not visited that site, although agency officials told the Iranians they were concerned about the unexplained activities.
ENDS IRAN IAEA 17604
U.N. Agency to Rebuke Iran for Obstructing Inspections
By MARK LANDLER
Published: June 18, 2004
IENNA, June 17 - The International Atomic Energy Agency's governing board prepared to deliver a stinging rebuke to Iran on Thursday for its lack of cooperation, deepening the conflict between Tehran and much of the world over its nuclear ambitions.
The criticism is contained in a resolution, expected to be ratified by the board on Friday, which accuses Iran of obstructing the agency's efforts to inspect sophisticated centrifuge facilities, where Iran could produce weapons-grade uranium.
"Iran's cooperation has not been as full, timely and proactive as it should have been,'' the resolution said.
It also called on Iran to answer critical lingering questions about the scope of its centrifuge program and the source of the technology. Investigators also want to know how several of its nuclear sites became contaminated with uranium, some of which was enriched to a purity suitable for weapons.
The United States contends that Iran is pursuing nuclear arms, while Tehran insists it is seeking only commercial nuclear energy.
Iran's motives are likely to come under fresh scrutiny in the wake of a new report of suspicious activity next to a military site near Tehran. The report, broadcast Wednesday on ABC News, said commercial satellite images showed that buildings on the site had been razed and that topsoil had been removed.
Officials close to the agency said they were concerned by the report and planned to investigate. Of particular concern is evidence that radiation-detection equipment may have been present on the site. "It has to be checked out,'' said one official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The resolution, drafted by Britain, France and Germany, was agreed to after four days of intense negotiations at the agency's headquarters in Vienna. It survived a last-minute hurdle when the agency admitted it had erred in claiming that Iran had denied importing centrifuge parts.
After a protest from Iran, the agency said it had failed to take account of an Iranian businessman who disclosed that he had imported parts for centrifuges. The man, who owns a private workshop in Iran, told agency inspectors during a meeting last January that he had bought a magnet used in the manufacture of P-2 centrifuges from outside the country.
"It's a fault that we did not pick it up,'' said Mohamed ElBaradei, the agency's director general. "It was not fed to our system."
The mistake led the board to soften a part of the statement that had criticized Iran for its "changing or contradictory information." Now, it says only that the information "continues to lack the necessary clarity."
Diplomatic nuances aside, the resolution is a setback for Iran, which has counted on the support of nonaligned countries in previous confrontations with the atomic energy agency. In this debate, it was clear that Iran had lost the support of countries like China, Russia and Pakistan.
Gaining the support of Russia, a major supplier of nuclear equipment to Iran, gave the antiproliferation campaign particular momentum.
Iran tried to put the best face on matters, noting that the resolution did not impose a deadline for Iranian cooperation, as the United States had wanted. The board also made a relatively muted appeal to Iran not to proceed with its plans to build a heavy-water research reactor or start production at a uranium conversion facility.
An earlier draft of the resolution had used stronger language in asking Tehran to cancel the projects. Officials in Washington and elsewhere suspect they will be used to enrich uranium.
"I consider this has been a victory for Iran,'' the chief of the Iranian delegation, Hossein Mousavian, said.
Last September, he said, some of Iran's critics were suggesting that it possessed a nuclear bomb. Little was said about that here this week. Diplomats once raised the prospect of referring Iran's actions to the United Nations Security Council. Such a move, he said, now seemed remote.
Mr. Mousavian said Iran would continue to work with the agency and would not withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. He also said that Iran would adhere to an October agreement with Britain, France and Germany in which it pledged to suspend the enrichment of uranium. The Iranian president, Mohammad Khatami, has said the country is under no "moral commitment" to stick to that deal if the resolution passes.
Conservative members of Iran's Parliament have threatened not to ratify a separate agreement with the agency that permits unannounced inspections of its facilities.
US accuses Iran of razing nuclear sites
AFP - World News (via Yahoo)
Jun 17, 2004
WASHINGTON - The United States accused Iran of razing nuclear sites to hide banned nuclear activity.
"It's deplorable but not surprising that Iran's deception has gone to the extent of bulldozing entire sites to prevent the IAEA from discovering evidence of its nuclear weapons program," said State Department spokesman Richard Boucher.
"I can't give you any independent information, but commercial satellite photography shows the complete dismantling and the razing of a facility at Lavizan Shiyan.
"And that's a site that was previously disclosed as a possible Iranian weapons of mass destruction-related site," he said.
During a press conference, Boucher was asked about an ABC News report saying that Iran had torn down buildings at an industrial complex in Lavizan Shiyan, a Tehran suburb.
ABC television said the IAEA had recently received information that the site had been hidden.
The network, which did not cite sources, published two photographs, apparently of the site, taken by commercial satellites about 12 months ago and in March 2004, showing the buildings were gone and the top soil replaced.
The ABC report also said that in May 2003, the National Council of the Resistance of Iran, an Iranian opposition group, said the government had built a bacterial weapons plant at Lavizan Shiyan.
Although the United States believes the group has links with terrorism, it has in the past used the group's information on banned weapons.
"This raises serious concerns and fits a pattern, as I said, that we've seen from Iran of trying to cover up on its activities, including by trying to sanitize locations which the IAEA should be allowed to visit and inspect."
The United States accuses Iran of seeking to arm itself with nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian nuclear program, a charge the Islamic republic denies.
The IAEA has been examining a draft resolution demanding that Tehran cooperate fully to dispel any doubts about its intentions.
The Internal Debate in Iran: How to Respond to Western Pressure Regarding Its Nuclear Program
June 17, 2004 No.181
By: Ayelet Savyon*
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. 
To repel the Western threat, Iran's conservatives are recommending intimidating Europe and the U.S. This is the backdrop to the following:
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.  (See Appendix I)
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. 
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. 
Statements by conservative papers calling on Iran to quit the NPT, and not to ratify the Additional Protocol. 
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. 
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, 
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. 
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 "  (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]."  (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." 
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."  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 civilizationand 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." 
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. 
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. 
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 " 
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 " 
The reformist daily Vaqae-e Ettefaqiehalso 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. 
"Iranian Press: Volunteers Registering for Martyrdom Operations In Iraq and Israel"
" Former Iran IAEA Representative Provides Previously Unknown Information on Iran's Nuclear Activity"
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 recen'tly 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: 
'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 Baharnewspapers, 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 Shahidscollects 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." 
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 f ollowing are excerpts from the interview: 
'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.  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] 
" 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 " 
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 
" 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  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. 
"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
The Internal Debate in Iran: How to Respond to Western Pressure Regarding Its Nuclear Program
June 17, 2004 No.181
By: Ayelet Savyon*
See satellite photos here....
I think this deserves more than a "rebuke"
"built a bacterial weapons plant at Lavizan Shiyan."
HellO ? U.N.? You Awake?
Sanandaj Judiciary Arrests Kurdish Weekly Editor
The judiciary in Sanandaj closed Persian-Kurdish bilingual weekly Payam-e Mardom and arrested its managing editor Mohammad Sadiq Kaboudvand for publishing secessionist material. Publication of news does mean promoting secession, Kurdish journalist Masoud Kurdpour tells Radio Farda. (Amir-Mosaddegh Katouzian)
Iran-UAE Fishing Dispute:
Tensions between Iran and United Arab Emirates over the three Persian Gulf islands deepened last week as the two countries arrested fishermen and seized fishing boats for trespassing. UAE is generally silent about them, but Iran is using these incidents for domestic reasons, former UN envoy Saeed Rajai Khorasani tells Radio Farda. The US silence about the matter does not mean that US is not pleased with the growing tentions, because anything that ruins Iran's relations with its neighbors delights the US, he says. But this discussion will not go on for long, since Iran and UAE are both interested in broadening their good relations, he adds. (Fereydoun Zarnegar)
(Excerpted - for more see -)
Future Not Looking So Bright For Iran's "Fire Worshippers"
June 17, 2004
YAZD, Iran -- In the burning desert north of this ancient Iranian city, the the Islamic republic's last followers of the Zoroastrian religion are making their annual pilgrimage to the temple of Chak-Chak.
"We are a species on the road to extinction," laments Babak, a man in his sixties who came from Tehran with his wife for the annual pilgrimage to one of the Zoroastrians' holiest sites -- the rocky peak of Chak-Chak.
The site is a 70-kilometer (50-mile) drive from the central Iranian city of Yazd, the historical capital of what many consider to be the world's first monotheistic religion.
From the foot of towering rocks, pilgrims make their way up hundreds of steps to a cave to pray and drink clear water from a spring.
"This grotto is a historic site for us. After the invasion of the Arabs 1,400 years ago, King Yazdgerd III escaped to this desert," recounts Ghoshtasb Belivani, head of the Zoroastrian association at Sharifabad, the nearest town.
Yazdgerd III was the last Sassanian king, and last leader of the nation before Islam was imposed as its official religion.
"He was arrested at the same time as his first daughter. They were taken to Arabia. Nikbanou, his second daughter, took refuge in the grotto to escape the invaders," Belivani explained.
"After she cried and prayed, the mountain opened up and Nikbanou entered, and the mountain closed behind her. Since then, pure water has been pouring, drop by drop, from these rocks."
Legend also has it that a petrified colourful cloth from Nikbanou was also visible in the rocks, although pilgrims eventually took this.
"It may just be folklore, but it is undeniable that somebody important or a group of Zoroastrians took refuge here," added Kasra Vafadari, a respected member of the community and a teacher of history at the University of Nanterre, France.
Furthermore, scholars point out that the route was used in following centuries for Zoroastrians fleeing Iran -- or Persia as it was formerly known -- to escape religious persecution.
Once inside the grotto, women shrouded in white cast off their veils -- obligatory in Islamic Iran -- and drink tea and wine, which is permitted for religious use by non-Muslims in the Islamic republic.
They also read the Avesta, their sacred book, and light candles and incense. The annual pilgrimage, one of the highlights of the Zoroastrian calendar, lasts just 10 days.
Along with Judaism and Christianity, Zoroastrianism is a recognized -- and therefore permitted -- religion in Iran, where officially 99 percent of the 66 million-strong population are Muslims.
The religion was founded by Zarathustra -- known to the Greeks as Zoroaster -- a Persian prophet who believed he had seen visions of a God he called Ahura Mazda. Historians believe he lived at least 600 years BC.
Zoroastrianism was also dualistic -- with God having an opponent, Aura Mainyu.
Zarathustra taught that humans are free to choose between right and wrong, truth and lie, and light and dark, and that their acts, words, and thoughts would affect their lives after death.
Their keeping of a sacred fire in their temples, symbolising light, led many to refer to them as "fire worshippers".
Many believe such precepts had a profound influence on Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Zoroastrianism also referred to an opposition between body and soul, a concept that is also central to the Islamic faith.
In a concession to their Persian roots and in contrast to many Sunni Muslim scholars, the Shiite regime here recognizes them as Kittabiyah -- or people of the book and fellow monotheists as opposed to Kufr, or infidels.
But their numbers are declining sharply. Centuries of persecution have forced many to flee to India, where they are known as the Parsi and number between 80,000 and 100,000.
Discrimination in Iran continues today, for example in seeking employment in the state sector where Muslims are preferred.
Certain practices have also been outlawed. They no longer leave their dead on "towers of silence" to be devoured by vultures and not pollute the earth.
And ironically, the faith has also fallen victims to its own laws, notably the strict laws limiting their prospects of marriage to within their own community.
"Before the (1979 Islamic) revolution, there were more than 48,000 Zoroastrians. But today there are maybe 22,000, even though the population of Iran has doubled," Vafadari said.
"People are leaving because they have no future here."
Expatriates Protest Business Contacts With Iran Regime
June 18, 2004
The Washington Times
Jennifer Joan Lee
AUVERS-SUR-OISE, France -- Thousands of Iranians from across the world streamed into this Paris suburb yesterday to demonstrate against French government leaders, whom they accuse of conspiring with Iran's terrorist regime in exchange for lucrative trade deals.
Joined by dozens of local and international supporters, the protesters also marked the first anniversary of a huge police raid on the offices of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), a France-based political coalition that the State Department classifies as a terrorist organization.
The NCRI's military arm the People's Mojahedin also is listed as a terror group by the European Union.
The raid on the NCRI last year set off worldwide protests, including highly publicized self-immolations. Many people in France and other European countries have rushed to defend the organization, joining the handful of U.S. congressmen who have been expressing support.
Four months ago, dozens of French politicians, lawyers and human rights activists formed a committee calling for justice for the NCRI.
"We make the distinction between terrorism and resistance," said committee Chairman Pierre Bercis, who also is the president of New Human Rights. "These fighters are not terrorists. They have committed violent acts only against their own terrorist regime."
Mr. Bercis said the idea that the NCRI was a terrorist group has been disappearing in the past year as more people show support.
Backers of the NCRI think that its members are legitimate resistance fighters against Iranian terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism. The organization had enjoyed the protection of French authorities.
That changed last year, when the French Interior Ministry sent more than 1,000 police to arrest about 170 Iranian dissidents, including NCRI President Maryam Rajavi.
Before the raid, Paris and Tehran had signed an accord to boost bilateral trade ties. NCRI spokesman Shahin Gobadi said the timing of the two developments was no coincidence.
"The raid was specifically requested by Iranian authorities in exchange for back deals," Mr. Gobadi said.
Citing multibillion-dollar contracts that have been awarded in recent months to French companies such as Total, Renault, Alcatel and Alsthom, Mr. Gobadi said France has become Iran's second-largest trading partner in the European Union.
A spokesman at the French Ministry of Foreign Trade acknowledged that trade between the two countries has increased dramatically in the past two years.
UN Wraps Iran Over Nuclear Stance
June 18, 2004
ABC News Online
The United Nations nuclear watchdog's governing board has adopted a resolution "deploring" Iran's lack of total cooperation and urged it to improve its behaviour.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) draft, co-sponsored by France, Britain and Germany, does not threaten to report Iran to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions in the event of further poor cooperation.
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami rejected the draft resolution as "very bad" and threatened to resume uranium enrichment if it was approved.
Amir Zamaninia, a senior Foreign Ministry official, told the IAEA board that Iran had been cooperating fully with the agency and rejected the resolution as "alien to the real situation on the ground as observed and verified by the inspectors."
A senior cleric in Tehran said Iran insisted on its right to peaceful nuclear technology and would accept no new conditions.
But the United States said Iran had violated its international obligations on non-proliferation and should be reported to the UN Security Council, which can impose economic sanctions.
The resolution made no mention of the Security Council or any future punitive action if Tehran failed to improve its cooperation with the IAEA, reflecting the Europeans' reluctance to push Iran too hard.
But it means the IAEA will press on with its intensive investigation of Iran's atomic program, despite Tehran's demand that inspections be ended and the Iranian nuclear file removed from the agency's agenda.
Doubts about Iran's honesty arose because satellite photos taken in summer 2003 and March 2004 show buildings razed and top soil removed at Lavizan Shiyan in Tehran, which Washington said was proof Iran was hiding an undeclared site from UN inspectors.
A senior Iranian official denied Iran had anything to hide.
The United States accuses Iran of using its nuclear program as a front to build an atomic bomb.
The resolution also "calls on Iran to take all the necessary steps on an urgent basis to help resolve all outstanding questions", particularly with regard to traces of enriched uranium - some of it bomb grade - found in the country, and the scope of Iran's advanced P-2 centrifuge program.
Centrifuges are used to purify uranium for use as fuel in nuclear power plants or in weapons.
U.S. Wants Iran Breaches Reported to UN Council
June 18, 2004
VIENNA -- The United States said on Friday that Iran should be reported to the U.N. Security Council, which has the power to impose economic sanctions, for violating its international non-proliferation obligations.
"The U.S. continues to believe that Iran's documented non-compliance should be reported to the U.N. Security Council and that its nuclear program presents a threat to international peace and security," U.S. ambassador to the U.N. in Vienna, Kenneth Brill, said in the written text of a speech.
Brill was addressing a closed-door session of the International Atomic Energy Agency's governing board, which adopted a resolution earlier that rebuked Iran for its failure to fully cooperate with U.N. inspectors but did not refer the case to the Security Council.
The United States accuses Iran of using its nuclear program as a front to build an atomic bomb. Iran denies this, insisting its ambitions are limited to the peaceful generation of electricity.
Kharrazi Commented the Resolution
June 18, 2004
Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting
Tehran -- In reaction to the resolution adopted by the International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA), Iranian foreign minister Kamal Kharrazi said the UN nuclear agency has failed to act on a technical basis as required by the nature of the problem in question.
The performance of the agency has been influenced by the pressure of the US-led camp, Kharrazi said, adding the case would have been declared closed if only technical questions had been taken into account. He added major questions revolving around the case are all settled and only small details need to be worked out.
The Iranian top diplomat then underlined the UN atomic watchdog needs to put more effort in solving the existing problems.He added Tehran has lived up to its commitment, injected transparency into its workings, and offered full access to the site UN experts need to inspect, so there is no reason for the present situation to carry on.
Kharrazi went on to say, the west is kicking up a fuss and exaggerating trivial questions to charge the anti-Iranian atmosphere. The agency has been swayed by measures to politicize the case, Kharrazi said, adding Tehran will act in accordance with its international obligations and won't accept anything which goes beyond the international norms. New commitments will be unacceptable to Iran, he concluded.
Text of IAEA Resolution on Iran
June 18, 2004
The Associated Press
The New York Times
Full text of the International Atomic Energy Agency board of governors' resolution on Iran as approved by the agency on Friday:
Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran
Draft resolution submitted by France, Germany and the United Kingdom
The Board of Governors,
(a) Recalling the resolutions adopted by the Board on 13 March 2004 (GOV/2004/21), 26 November 2003 (GOV/2003/81), and on 12 September 2003 (GOV/2003/69) and the statement by the Board of 19 June 2003 (GOV/OR.1072),
(b) Noting with appreciation the Director General's report of 1 June 2004 (GOV/2004/34), on the implementation of safeguards in Iran,
(c) Reiterating its appreciation that Iran has continued to act as if its Additional Protocol were in force, and noting with satisfaction that Iran has submitted to the Agency the initial declarations pursuant to that Protocol,
(d) Noting, however, that Iran has yet to ratify the Protocol as called for in previous Board resolutions,
(e) Recalling Iran's voluntary decisions to suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities and to permit the Agency to verify that suspension; noting with concern that, as detailed in the Director General's report, this verification was delayed in some cases, and that the suspension is not yet comprehensive because of the continued production of centrifuge equipment; also noting with concern that Iran's decision to proceed with the generation of UF6 is at variance with the Agency's previous understanding as to the scope of Iran's decision regarding suspension; and further noting that Iran has withheld 10 assembled centrifuge rotors for research activities,
(f) Encouraged by the Director General's assessment that there has been good progress on the actions agreed during the Director General's visit to Tehran in early April 2004 and that the Agency continues to make progress in gaining a comprehensive understanding of Iran's nuclear programme, but noting with concern that after almost two years from when Iran's undeclared programme came to the Agency's knowledge a number of questions remain outstanding, and in particular two questions that are key to understanding the extent and nature of Iran's enrichment programme: the sources of all HEU contamination in Iran and the extent and nature of work undertaken on the basis of the P-2 advanced centrifuge design,
(g) Noting in this context with serious concern that important information about the P-2 centrifuge programme has often been forthcoming only after repeated requests, and in some cases has been incomplete and continues to lack the necessary clarity and also that the information provided to date relating to contamination issues has not been adequate to resolve this complex matter,
(h) Noting with appreciation that the Agency has received some information from other states that may be helpful in resolving some contamination questions,
(i) Noting with concern that the Agency's investigations have revealed further omissions in the statements made by Iran, including in the October declaration, in particular concerning the importation of P-2 components from abroad and concerning laser enrichment tests, which have produced samples enriched up to 15%, and also that Agency experts have raised questions and doubts regarding the explanations provided by Iran concerning those programmes, which require further clarification,
(j) Recognising the inalienable right of states to the development and practical application of atomic energy for peaceful purposes, including the production of electric power, consistent with their treaty obligations, with due consideration for the needs of the developing countries,
(k) Stressing the need for effective safeguards in order to prevent the use of nuclear material for prohibited purposes in contravention of safeguards agreements and underlining the vital importance of effective safeguards for facilitating cooperation in the field of nuclear energy, and
(l) Acknowledging the statement by the Director General on 14 June that it is essential for the integrity and credibility of the inspection process to bring these issues to a close within the next few months,
1. Acknowledges that Iranian cooperation has resulted in Agency access to all requested locations, including four workshops belonging to the Defence Industries Organisation;
2. Deplores, at the same time, the fact that, overall, as indicated by the Director General's written and oral reports, Iran's cooperation has not been as full, timely and proactive as it should have been, and, in particular, that Iran postponed until mid-April visits originally scheduled for mid-March - including visits of Agency centrifuge experts to a number of locations involved in Iran's P-2 centrifuge enrichment programme - resulting in some cases in a delay in the taking of environmental samples and their analysis;
3. Underlines that, with the passage of time, it is becoming ever more important that Iran work proactively to enable the Agency to gain a full understanding of Iran's enrichment programme by providing all relevant information, as well as by providing prompt access to all relevant places, data and persons; and calls on Iran to continue and intensify its cooperation so that the Agency may provide the international community with required assurances about Iran's nuclear activities;
4. Calls on Iran to take all necessary steps on an urgent basis to help resolve all outstanding questions, especially that of LEU and HEU contamination found at various locations in Iran, including by providing additional relevant information about the origin of the components in question and explanations about the presence of a cluster of 36% HEU particles; and also the question of the nature and scope of Iran's P-2 centrifuge programme, including by providing full documentation and explanations at the request of the Agency;
5. Welcomes Iran's submission of the declarations under Articles 2 and 3 of its Additional Protocol; and stresses the importance of Iran complying with the deadlines for further declarations required by Articles 2 and 3 of the Protocol, and that all such declarations should be correct and complete;
6. Emphasises the importance of Iran continuing to act in accordance with the provisions of the Additional Protocol to provide reassurance to the international community about the nature of Iran's nuclear programme; and urges Iran to ratify without delay its Protocol;
7. Recalls that in previous resolutions the Board called on Iran to suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities; welcomes Iran's voluntary decisions in that respect; regrets that those commitments have not been comprehensively implemented and calls on Iran immediately to correct all remaining shortcomings, and to remove the existing variance in relation to the Agency's understanding of the scope of Iran's decisions regarding suspension, including by refraining from the production of UF6 and from all production of centrifuge components, as well as to enable the Agency to verify fully the suspension;
8. In the context of Iran's voluntary decisions to suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, calls on Iran, as a further confidence-building measure, voluntarily to reconsider its decision to begin production testing at the Uranium Conversion Facility and also, as an additional confidence building measure, to reconsider its decision to start construction of a research reactor moderated by heavy water, as the reversal of those decisions would make it easier for Iran to restore international confidence undermined by past reports of undeclared nuclear activities in Iran;
9. Recalls that the full and prompt cooperation with the Agency of all third countries is essential in the clarification of certain outstanding questions, notably contamination;
10. Commends the Director General and the Secretariat for their professional and impartial efforts to implement Iran's safeguards agreement, and, pending its entry into force, Iran's Additional Protocol, as well as to verify Iran's suspension of enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, and to investigate supply routes and sources;
11. Requests the Director General to report well in advance of the September Board - or earlier if appropriate - on these issues as well as on the implementation of this and prior resolutions on Iran; and
12. Decides to remain seized of the matter.
Text of IAEA Resolution on Iran
June 18, 2004
The Associated Press
The New York Times
Symposium: The War on Terror. How Are We Doing?
June 18, 2004
Frontpage Symposium has gathered three distinguished experts to give a report card on the War on Terror. We have the honor to introduce:
Robert Leiken: the director of the Immigration and National Security Program at the Nixon Center and the author of Bearers of Global Jihad? Immigration and National Security after 9/11;
Michael Ledeen: an NRO Contributing Editor and the resident scholar in the Freedom Chair at the American Enterprise Institute. He has served in the White House as a national security adviser, and in the Departments of Defense and State. He is the author of The War Against the Terror Masters;
Daniel Pipes: (www.DanielPipes.org) Director of the Middle East Forum, columnist for the New York Sun and Jerusalem Post, member of the board of the U.S. Institute of Peace, author of Miniatures (Transaction Publishers).
Robert Leiken, Michael Ledeen and Daniel Pipes, it is an honor to be in your company. Welcome to Frontpage Symposium. Mr. Leiken, let me begin with you. How are we doing in the War on Terror?
Leiken: We did rather well in the war against terrorism for the first year or so. We destroyed al Qaeda's Afghan sanctuary, depriving it of training camps, command and control etc. We decimated it main leadership, separated that from its affiliated networks, by building a broad police alliance that rounded up jihadis in countries around the world.
9-11 united the country allowing Congress to pass the Patriot Act which provided necessary modern resources in the war against terrorism. We started revamping the FBI, created Homeland Security Dept, accelerated human intelligence in the CIA -- all much needed measures.
I favored the war in Iraq which I thought a noble cause, but I assumed we would defeat Saddam's dilapidated army rapidly and get back quickly to our main enemy: Sunni terrorism. The results have been otherwise. The war removed assets from Afghanistan and Pakistan taking pressure off Osama bin Laden. It allowed al Qaeda to open two new fronts-- in Iraq and Europe -- divided the anti-terrorist alliance, sparked anti-Americanism around the world and divided Americans into 2 camps.
Now Iraq, as President Bush has said, has become a central front in the war against terrorism and we are fighting on unfavorable terrain, with ebbing popular support and growing elite opposition to the Patriot Act and other necessary elements of the war on terrorism. Meanwhile al Qaeda has become a movement with diverse groups, international popularity and now capable, as March 11 showed, of landing strategic blows. So I would say the results are mixed, somewhat disappointing today.
FP: Dr. Ledeen?
Ledeen: Its hard to answer that question, since we would need a more complete picture of terrorism than we currently possess. Certainly Afghanistan was a success, although the security situation there is not good, and probably getting worse.
I dont think we have a working definition of terrorism, which makes it hard to produce a coherent strategy. And now that were in an election year, there is an enormous amount of time and energy devoted to fighting smallish fires that otherwise would not dominate our attention. As I have been saying for several years now, we have taken much too long to move against the terror masters, and the enormous loss of time between Afghanistan and Iraq permitted our enemies to organize politically and militarily, which cost us international support, made Iraq more dangerous after the fall of Saddam, and gave the remaining terror masters a respite.
I agree with the Presidents original formulation: we are fighting both a network of terrorists and a group of countries that supports the terrorists. The big four were Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Saudi Arabia (which is at once a friend and an enemy). The most important of these is Iran, but we have yet to come to grips with the Islamic Republic, to our great cost. Our greatest weapon against terrorism is democratic revolution, yet we have been loath to deploy that weapon, whether by genuinely sharing power with the Iraqis or by supporting the opposition to the regimes in Syria and Iran.
I do not at all agree with Bob that our key enemy is Sunni terrorism. I think that (Shiite) Hezbollah is a major enemy, and in fact is the matrix through which the others operate, especially in Iraq. I think it is a mistake to talk of separate terror groups. I think they are working so closely with one another that it would be better to talk of a terror galaxy or some such.
I dont have much confidence in our intelligence community, and I expect to see a replay of Madrid here, in the run-up to the presidential election.
FP: Dr. Pipes? Is our key enemy Sunni terrorism? Or is it better to talk of a terror galaxy? Why have we taken too long to act against the terror masters? Should we have moved against Iran by now?
Pipes: The Sunni-Shii distinction is irrelevant here; rather the focus is on the totalitarian ideology of militant Islam, regardless of whether its proponents are Sunni or Shii, Pakistan or Parisian, male or female, violent or not. (Indeed, I believe the greater long-term threat comes from the non-violent Islamists, for we know better how to deal with terrorism than with subversion.)
We have moved so slowly against terror-sponsoring regimes because, as Afghanistan and Iraq show, the results of such actions are messy and potentially debilitating. Assuming that the Iranian regime can be contained, I am against American steps to overthrow it, for the simple reason that the Iranian populace is on track to doing this itself, and that will be a far better conclusion than if done by U.S. forces. If it cannot be contained, then military action might well be necessary.
As for your general question, how goes the war on terror, I judge this not by how many Al-Qaeda operatives have been killed, networks disrupted, or other such calculations. I judge it rather by the state of mind of the adversaries. Are the forces of militant Islam encouraged or despondent, unified or divided? And the same goes for the forces fighting militant Islam, Americans in particular what is their condition?
Looked at this way, militant Islam was gaining in force through the two decades when America slept, 1979-2001. Then it took a severe battering post-9/11, when Americans woke up to this danger in a unified manner. Two and a half years later, substantial numbers of Americans have not just returned to a pre-9/11 lethargy, but have done so in an ideologically-driven manner. (I documented this five months ago in a column titled Democrats Unlearn 9/11.) That many of us are willfully closing our eyes to a global danger worries me. If this continues, the price will be steep in lives, treasury, and duration of the war. We ultimately will prevail, but at a much greater cost to ourselves than need have been the case.
Leiken: I do not want to sidetrack us from the central point that Daniel Pipes makes about returning to a pre-9-11 lethargy so Ill come back to it in a moment after considering the objections to my targeting Sunni terrorism as the main enemy. I think it usually makes good strategic sense to determine your current main enemy as opposed to an historical enemy who may be a present ally or a neutral (I was not crazy about the with us or against us line in Bushs 9-11 speech either).
We could summarize the second part of the twentieth century as the struggle of the West against totalitarianism but that would overlook the strategic discriminations that are essential to war and politics. Roosevelt and Churchill were right to ally with Stalin against Hitler. Kissinger, Nixon and Reagan were right to ally with China against the Soviet Union.
It may have been a mistake, in retrospect, to take on Saddams totalitarianism before delivering a mortal blow to Osama and coping with the Korean nuclear threat. I think Pipes is right to oppose US attempts to overthrow Iran (but to support the internal democratic movement). A larger question, which I am not competent to answer, is how broadly we can ally with Shiites like Ali-Sistani (in Iraq) and whether such openness extend to the political wing of Hizbollah or to peaceful Muslim Brothers (Dan Pipes surely thinks not).
The other side of narrowing our enemy is broadening our alliances. The war in Iraq did the opposite, we have reaped cleavage in the alliance against terrorism (with the United States largely at odds with most of Europe and many other parts of the world). If a US policy can reduce anti-Americanism, without sacrificing strategic allies like Israel, I am for it.
But to return to Pipes point about returning to a pre-9-11 lethargy. I think of it as distraction, distraction laced with scandal in the tradition of Watergate, Iran-Contra, Monica Lewinsky et al. In retrospect the Iraq war may have been a distraction; Abu Ghraib certainly is. We have allowed partisan politics to take us back to a 9-10 world. So at our peril we turn our backs on the Madrid bombing, the fates of Daniel Pearl and Nick Berg et al.
The lotus eaters even have the audacity to claim that Ashcroft and the Patriot Act curtail essential liberties. They believe we have the luxury of an obsessive media scandal about some disgraceful behavior in an American prison in Iraq. The lotus eaters . would have us return to the heyday of what David Horowitz once called the destructive generation, whose great aim was to discredit imperialism and the American soldier. am sure Abu Musab al-Zawari (about whom I wrote in the Weekly Standard in the May 24 issue) and Osama, Zawahiri and other Sunni terrorists would be delighted to see us turn into lotus land.
Ledeen: Are the jihadists happy with the way the war is going? Do Khamenei, Rafsanjani, Assad and the Saudis feel more secure, their power enhanced, compared to three years ago? Or are they worried about the spread of American power, and, along with it, American ideals?
I think more the latter than the former, so I think weve made some progress but. At the moment we are dawdling and playing electoral politics, which is an invitation to the terror masters to calmly plan their next attacks against us. Dan Pipes is against an invasion of Iran. Me too. But I am also against the easy and comforting assumption that the Iranians will bring down the regime for us, and we dont need to do anything. Thats the same kind of thinking in which Bush the First indulged at the end of the Gulf War I, as the Iraqi Shiites and Kurds rose against Saddam. We must encourage and support the Iranian democratic opposition.
I think the debate over are we at war with radical Islam or at we at war with radical Islamist regimes? is much like the debate over whether, in the Cold War, we faced a radical communist regime in Moscow or an expansionist Russian nationalism. In each case, the radical ideology provided the language through which our enemies expressed themselves, in which they most frequently thought, and with which they proselytized all over the world. When we defeated the Soviet Union, we simultaneously dealt a blow to the appeal of communism, and when we help bring down the terror masters in Tehran, Damascus and Riadh, we, along with the newly-liberated peoples of Iran, Iraq, Syria and at least part of Saudi Arabia, will have dealt a blow to the appeal of jihadism, whether Sunni or Shiite.
Most of the time, the defeat of the false messiah spells the end of the messianic movement. We want to be able to say to the Islamic world: you installed fundamentalist regimes in Afghanistan and Iran, the one Sunni the other Shiite. Both failed on the most fundamental grounds: the countries were wrecked and the people hated them. They were easily overthrown, demonstrating the emptiness of their vision and the contempt of their citizens. Give up this false vision, which always leads to failure, humiliation and death. Embrace freedom and progress, which leads to success, life and happiness.