Skip to comments.Iranian Alert -- June 22, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Posted on 06/21/2004 9:00:05 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.
Powell Hints at Sanctions for Iran
AP - World News (via Yahoo)
Jun 21, 2004
WASHINGTON - Secretary of State Colin Powell hinted Monday that Iran could face the prospect of U.N. economic sanctions if it did not prove to the world it has no nuclear weapons program.
Powell, after meeting with Mohamed ElBaradei, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said, "The international community is expecting them to answer its questions and to respond fully."
In September, when the U.N. agency holds its next scheduled meeting, "judgments can be made as to what action might be appropriate," Powell said.
His statement followed an assertion in Tehran by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, that Iran was not seeking nuclear weapons. At the same time, the ayatollah vowed Iran would not give up its program to enrich uranium for fuel in nuclear reactors.
"If Europeans and others are really worried that we may acquire nuclear weapons, we assure them that we are not seeking to produce such weapons," the ayatollah said.
"But if they are unhappy about Iran's access to the outstanding nuclear technology and want to stop this trend, I tell them they should be assured that the Iranian nation won't give in on this," he told a gathering of university officials.
Last Friday, the U.N. nuclear agency rebuked Iran for covering up its programs and warned it had little time left to disprove it had a nuclear weapons program.
Powell said Monday he had told ElBaradei he was very satisfied with the agency's work. "We hope that in the weeks and months ahead the Iranians will satisfy all the concerns that members of the international community still have," Powell said.
ElBaradei, at a joint news conference, said, "We need to bring this issue to a close as soon as we can."
"The international community is urgently seeking assurance from the agency that Iran's program is exclusively for a peaceful purpose," ElBaradei said.
He said Iran should become "pro-active, transparent and fully cooperative."
Teachers and Workers Stage Protests
June 21, 2004
Radio Free Europe
Several 19 June reports from the Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) note that workers throughout the country continue to face difficulties. More than 200 salt factories are on the brink of closure and thousands of people could lose their jobs, salt-factories representative Hassan Ebrahimi Sarcheshmeh said.
He ascribed this situation to a doubling of salt prices by the federation of salt-mining cooperatives that disregarded the Commerce Ministry's opposition. If the situation is not resolved, Ebrahimi said, workers will stage protests. ILNA also reports that Luristan Province railway workers who have not been paid held another sit-in to protest non-payment of wages.
A Kurdistan Province textile factory's closure has left 300 people without jobs, ILNA reported on 19 June. Iraj Bahram-Nejad, a provincial House of Labor official, said that demand for their product is high, but there is inadequate supply due to a lack of cash and raw materials, as well as mismanagement. The factory's machinery is not running on the grounds that it will be replaced with new machinery, he said, but it was on the same pretext that other factories closed. Kerman Province House of Labor official Abbas Kar-Bakhsh said the Asia Textile Factory had closed because of mismanagement and a dispute between managers and shareholders, ILNA reported. This has put 110 people out of work.
Representatives of the country's teachers union held a sit-in outside the parliament on 15 June to protest salary problems, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported. Among their demands were a raise in salary and the use of available funds to benefit the teachers. Speaker of parliament Gholam Reza Haddad-Adel told the teachers' representatives that their problems cannot be solved until the Education and Training Ministry gets an adequate budget. He also said that approval and enforcement of pending legislation that unifies the salaries of government employees will help the situation.
A crowd consisting mostly of women and children demonstrated against child labor in Tehran's Laleh Park on 12 June, IRNA reported. They called on the government to prevent the spread of child labor and to help the families of working children, and they demanded that Iran adhere to international treaties against child labor. On 11 June the International Labor Organization issued a report entitled "Helping Hands or Shackled Lives" about the phenomenon of child labor (http://www.ilo.org/public/english/standards/ipec/publ/download/cdl_2004_helpinghands_en.pdf).
Several Iranian opposition websites have carried reports on protests by workers during the month of June. Foumanat Textile Factory employees have not been paid for four months, and last year 80 part-timers were dismissed and 170 employees did not get their bonuses, peykeiran.com reported. Workers at the Fahrabad Textile Factory have been laid off, and the factory reportedly is idle. Roshangari.com reported that Kerman Province mine workers are losing their jobs as a result of privatization by the government. Rouydad.info reported that about 3,000 agro-industry workers in northwestern Iran demonstrated against poor working conditions and nonpayment of wages.
U.S. Urges IAEA to Adopt New Steps Regarding Iran's Nuclear Program
June 21, 2004
U.S. Department of State
Says Iran's nuclear program threatens international peace, security
The United States has urged the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to consider new measures to tighten pressure on Iran to reveal the full extent of its nuclear activities.
"The U.S. continues to believe that Iran's documented non-compliance should be reported to the UN Security Council and that its nuclear program presents a threat to international peace and security," read the U.S. statement to the IAEA Board of Governors meeting June 17.
Citing the need for "urgent steps" to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue, the statement suggested that the IAEA director general provide not only a periodic update of developments in the inspection process, but also a "cumulative assessment" of the Agency's work on Iran since August 2002.
Following is the text of the U.S. statement to the IAEA Board of Governors:
IAEA Board of Governors Meeting
June 17, 2004
Agenda Item 8(e): Implementation of Safeguards in Iran
Statement by the United States of America
I want first to thank the Director General and the Safeguards Department for their June 1 report on Iran, the technical briefing offered to missions last week, the DG's introductory statement to the Board on Monday, and Deputy Director General Goldschmidt's statement Thursday morning. We have the highest respect for the Agency's expert and impartial work, which provided a sound and reliable basis for our consideration of this agenda item.
The United States welcomes the Board's action today in adopting the resolution drafted and sponsored by Britain, France, and Germany. That resolution once again put the Board, and through it the broader international community, unequivocally on record as rejecting Iran's continuing tactics of delay, denial and deception with regard to its nuclear program, and firmly in support of the Agency's highly professional inspection efforts throughout the "year of difficulties" the DG referred to in his introductory statement. The international campaign that Iran waged in recent months, insisting it had taken all the steps needed to close the "Iran file" at this meeting, failed because Board members of all geographic regions and political persuasions saw through it. Once again at this session, the Board has found the evidence too strong and too consistent and too troubling to permit the Iran file to be returned to handling on a "business as usual" basis.
That outcome does not come as a surprise, Mr. Chairman. How could Iran's claim to have cooperated fully with the Agency have any credibility, when its answer to our call in March for it to "continue and intensify its cooperation" was to ban IAEA inspectors for a month? Even after letting the inspectors back into the country, Iran pursued its habitual delaying tactics, submitting much of the requested information only days before the Director General's report was due, too late for in-depth analysis. Access to some key nuclear-related facilities was also delayed until late in May, after the Agency was put through months of negotiations. Moreover, as the DG's report made clear, the inspectors once again found that assertions Iran made about its nuclear program -- in some cases, as recently as three months ago and circulated to Board members at Iran's insistence -- were false or incomplete. The list of unresolved issues is longer now than it was in March. No one could see in all this the behavior of a government trying to "come clean" to resolve doubts created by its two decades of clandestine nuclear development and its prior equivocations. In fact the opposite is true, as evidenced by Foreign Minister Kharrazi's remarks only days ago rejecting the well-founded concerns of the international community and calling into question Iran's commitments to cooperate with the IAEA.
This by now familiar tactic of threatening unspecified reductions in Iran's already only very partial cooperation with the Agency has now unfortunately been supplemented, Mr. Chairman, by new Iranian efforts to cast doubt on the reliability of the Agency's investigations and findings. While the readiness expressed by DDG Goldschmidt to make adjustments in the June 1 report to reflect new information provides eloquent confirmation of the Agency's commitment to being scrupulously fair to Iran, the objections Iran has raised are anything but compelling. Paragraph 22 of the DG's report referred explicitly to statements about the P-2 program made by "Iranian authorities," and as far as we are aware, all statements made by Iranian authorities were exactly as the Agency characterized them. In fact, the only problem seems to have been that official Iranian written statements in February and March did not include the same oral information from the owner of a small private workshop that Iran now criticizes the Agency for not having reported. As DDG Goldschmidt noted, Iran had every opportunity to propose its clarifications to the record ever since February, but came forward to do so only in mid-June. Even after it did so, the updated record is in no way inconsistent with the Director General's original assessment of June 1 (paragraph 47): "important information about the P-2 centrifuge programme has frequently required repeated requests, and in some cases continues to involve changing or contradictory information."
Mr. Chairman, while the United States supported and welcomes the resolution that the Board adopted today, none of us can mistake it for an answer to the problem we face. We need to be very clear about the situation the IAEA and the international community are in:
-- It was nearly two years ago that the public revelations were made that gave the Agency the initial leads it needed to begin peeling away the layers of concealment Iran had put in place over its clandestine nuclear program.
-- It has been sixteen months since the Director General made his February 2003 visit to Tehran in response to those initial revelations.
-- It was a year ago this week that the Board adopted a statement calling on Iran to cooperate fully with the Agency to resolve all outstanding issues raised by its past failure to report material, facilities and activities as required by its safeguards obligations.
-- Today's resolution follows others unanimously adopted in September, November, and March, each urging Iran to intensify and accelerate its cooperation. You will recall that our September resolution found it was "essential and urgent" that Iran take by the end of October 2003 a series of actions necessary to resolve all outstanding issues involving nuclear materials and activities. Since then, a number of new issues have arisen that are equally important and pressing.
-- It has been seven months since the Foreign Ministers of Britain, France and Germany went to Tehran. Despite the October agreement, Iran has neither cooperated in a way that would make possible the resolution of all outstanding issues nor fulfilled its suspension commitments.
-- The Agency's Safeguards Implementation Report for 2003, which we approved earlier this week, reminds us that Iran engaged in undeclared nuclear activities in breach of its obligation to comply with its safeguards agreement, as the DG reported to us and the Board deplored in November.
Mr. Chairman, it has been an important achievement that throughout this long process the unity of the Board has been maintained, and we have not let ourselves be split into contending factions. IAEA inspectors have also served the international community very well in their work over the past sixteen months in Iran -- thanks to them the world now has a far clearer picture of Iran's nuclear program.
I nonetheless appeal to other delegations and their governments to recognize that the passage of time is not a neutral factor in proliferation cases. On one level, that is evident from the Agency's experience last year in trying to clarify the history of nuclear-related activities at the Kalaye Electric Company, where Iran used delaying tactics as part of an attempt to erase facts before the Agency was allowed access to investigate them. It would be naive to assume that Iran's interruption of inspections for a month in March or its delay in allowing access to certain workshops involved in its enrichment program was not based on similar purposes of sanitization and concealment. To deal with some particularly incriminating facts, Iran's instruments of choice may be the wrecking ball and the bulldozer. Board members have no doubt all seen reports in the press in recent days about Iran having completely leveled facilities at a site called Lavizan Shiyan. This morning's press includes a quotation from a member of the Iranian delegation, who reportedly said, "The IAEA is free to come to see Lavizan Shiyan. There is nothing there."
There is, Mr. Chairman, an even deeper level of concern we should all share, for while Iran is erasing some facts, it may be creating others. The DG has repeatedly said, "the jury is still out" on whether Iran is developing its nuclear technology for peaceful or military purposes. If Iran has a still-clandestine military program -- and in my government's view, it is dangerous to believe otherwise -- every passing day could bring it closer to producing the enriched uranium needed for nuclear bombs. In such a scenario, all that Iran needs to do is to continue from Board to Board to Board with its policy of delay, denial and deception while it creates facts beyond the view of the inspectors. That approach, of course, carries a price -- denominated in the currency of critical Board resolutions and statements of deep concern like the one included in the G-8 Action plan on Nonproliferation issued last week -- but it may be a price Iran calculates it can afford to pay.
Mr. Chairman, when the Director General says the "jury is still out," we in the Board are the jury of which he speaks. Since none of the statements, resolutions, appeals and offers thus far made by the Board or the Secretariat or the EU-3 have yet moved Iran to proactive cooperation, full openness, or even honesty in what it tells the Agency, what can we do to bring the Iran issue finally to an outcome consistent with our Statutory responsibilities and the needs of the NPT regime? If that regime is to function, the clearer picture of Iran's nuclear program that Agency inspectors have provided us must be a spur to effective action. Simply hoping for the best is not a viable nonproliferation strategy. None of us will want in the future to have to look back on opportunities we could have used to make the world a safer place, had we acted in time.
I ask all Board members to give serious thought before our next meeting about the urgent steps required to make our actions more effective in actually bringing the Iran issue to a successful conclusion. We may want to consider whether it would be helpful at some early point for the Director General to offer not only a periodic update of developments in the inspection process, but a cumulative assessment that puts together in summary form the principal findings of the Agency's work on Iran since the August 2002 revelations. The U.S. continues to believe that Iran's documented non-compliance should be reported to the UN Security Council and that its nuclear program presents a threat to international peace and security.
Mr. Chairman, since this is the last time I will be addressing the Board under a verification agenda item, I want to conclude by reiterating my deep appreciation to the Secretariat for the expertise, high professionalism and impartiality of its work not only in Iran, but on all the other issues we have considered over the past three years. Nuclear proliferation is a clear and present danger we all need to address actively both on a national basis and through all multilateral channels that can be effective in dealing with it. Unquestionably the IAEA must continue to play a central and indispensable role in those efforts, and I salute all those who are investing so much of their time and energy and expertise in this work for our common security.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
U.S. Deplores Quality of Iran's Cooperation with IAEA Inspections
June 21, 2004
U.S. Department of State
The Washington File
U.S. suspects Iran of pursuing secret nuclear military program
The U.S. envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Kenneth Brill, has praised the IAEA board of governors for passing a resolution that deplores the quality of Iran's cooperation with international nuclear inspections.
Speaking to reporters after the resolution was passed, Brill said the United States believes that Iran is pursuing a secret nuclear military program.
Following is the transcript of Brill's comments to reporters after the IAEA resolution:
Ambassador Kenneth C Brill
Q & A at Board of Governors Press Stakeout
1:15 CET, June 18, 2004
AMB. BRILL: I'd like to say that the IAEA Board of Governors today, just a little while ago, passed, I think, a very firm, consensus resolution on the Iran question. It's a resolution that deplored the quality of Iran's cooperation, that I think expressed the very broad and very deep and continuing concerns of the international community about the Iranian nuclear program, and that called on Iran to take a number of steps in order to improve its cooperation with the Agency and to make sure that, in fact, the IAEA and the international community fully understand what the Iranian program is all about.
We think this is an important step. We would hope this process would move, as the resolution says, towards conclusion, because we think that the process of Iran's partial cooperation and Iran's deception efforts it's making in its work with the Agency make it very hard to get to the end of this. We need to improve things so that we know the true nature of the program and we are confident that that true nature involves a concealed set of activities related to a military program.
Q. George Jahn, AP: Sir, how are you going to get your wish fulfilled, i.e., Security Council involvement if, come September, they're still serious doubts?
A. Well, I think that there are - there's plenty of grounds right now to report this to the Security Council. I think it's very interesting. I notice the press has carried a report of a facility in an Iranian, Tehranian neighborhood, a neighborhood in Tehran, that reminds us all of what happened in Kalaye. And that is the Iranians have sought to change the facts on the ground to cover up what they're doing: as opposed to cleaning a warehouse, they're now leveling whole buildings. It will be interesting to see what the Agency finds when it has an opportunity to go to that site.
Q. Amy Kellogg, Fox News: Can I ask a follow up to that, Ambassador? There have also been reports in the media, and I think ABC News has [inaudible], of commercial satellite photographs of Arak or Arak [different pronunciations], I don't know how to pronounce it, at this time and activity there that is suspicious. Do you know anything about that or can you comment on those reports?
A. Well we think there are a number of activities that are suspicious. And I would just not say anything on the record about that beyond what we said in the Boardroom, copies of which you have. But also, the ABC story is very interesting, particularly since it documents its story with commercial satellite photography and shows a site that once existed very recently and no longer does.
Q. Jahn, AP: Ambassador, you say that every passing day may be bringing Iran closer to acquiring the bomb, meanwhile it strings out this process quite successfully from one meeting to the next of the IAEA. What's your plan? How do you stop that? How long are you content that that should continue?
A. Well my sense is the members of the Board are finding with each of these reports more and more reasons to question the assertions of the Iranian authorities. I think the Board's skepticism is well founded. I think it will build as we get additional information from the Agency. And we, and others, will be consulting intensively with our colleagues in the weeks and months ahead.
Q. Jahn, AP: Sir, are you hoping that reports such as the one first carried by ABC will strengthen the hand of those wanting harsher action against Iran?
A. I think it's important for everybody to remember how this process all started and that was with press reports of a group's claim in 2002 about activities that hadn't been reported before and that were found to be quite significant. We now have another report of a similar kind of activity. It will be very instructive, I think, for the Agency to report on what they find there. Although, I note a member of the delegation from Iran today said, "There's nothing there." I think to accurately rephrase that is, there's nothing there anymore. But the Agency has proven in the past that is can get behind efforts to conceal activities.
Q. Kellogg, Fox: Are you referring to what happened at Lavizan?
Q. Michael Adler, AFP: Why are you confident that in the end the Board would back going to the Security Council when it has been so reluctant to do this despite American urging in the past year?
A. I think it's very clear that the level of concern has risen as more and more countries have learned more and more about what is going on in Iran, and as it's clear that the level of cooperation is not what you would expect of a country that says it really has nothing to hide because its purposes are purely peaceful. The DG's made it clear that he hasn't addressed the issue one way or the other. The jury is still out on the true purpose of that program. The more facts that we build, and assuming we do that, the more likely our case will be sustained.
US, IAEA Pressure Iran Over Nuclear Program
June 21, 2004
WASHINGTON -- Iran must immediately comply with demands from the UN nuclear watchdog to prove it is not trying to develop atomic weapons, US Secretary of State Colin Powell and the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Monday.
Powell told IAEA director general Mohamed ElBaradei he was "very pleased" at a tough resolution adopted by the IAEA governing board last week, which rebuked Iran for failing to come clean about its nuclear program but stopped short of setting a deadline for Tehran to reveal all its atomic activities.
"We hope that in the weeks and months ahead, the Iranians will satisfy all the concerns that members of the international community still have," Powell told reporters after meeting ElBaradei at the State Department.
"They have been put on notice once again rather firmly and strongly in this new resolution that the international community is expecting them to answer its questions and to respond fully, he said.
ElBaradei, who stood alongside Powell, pledged the IAEA's commitment to resolving lingering questions about the program "as soon as we can."
"I have been asking, as the board also has been asking, Iran to become pro-active, to become transparent and to be fully cooperative," he said. "I hope I see that mode of cooperation in the next few months.
"I think that the international community is urgently seeking assurance from the agency that Iran's program is exclusively for a peaceful purpose," ElBaradei said.
On Friday, the IAEA board deplored the level of Iranian cooperation and called for the agency's 15-month-old investigation into Iran's alleged nuclear weapons activities to be wrapped up in months.
The US accuses Iran of using a stated civilian atomic energy program as a cover for nuclear weapons development, a charge Tehran vehemently denies.
Since adoption of the IAEA resolution, Iranian officials have decried the move but also responded with mixed signals.
On Saturday, Iran's top national security official and nuclear negotiator, Hassan Rowhani, had reacted angrily to the criticism and said the Islamic republic's pledge to suspend uranium enrichment would be reviewed.
But on Sunday, the foreign ministry said Tehran could soon resume the assembly of centrifuges used in the enrichment process but does not yet intend to resume the process itself, which can be used to produce both fuel for a nuclear reactor or for a nuclear bomb.
Under pressure from the IAEA and following the intervention of Britain, France and Germany, Iran agreed in October to suspend enrichment and related activities while the IAEA probe continued.
Before Powell spoke, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher noted "contradictory statements (from Iranian officials) about their intentions regarding uranium enrichment" and called on Iran to meet IAEA demands to come clean.
The resolution "left no doubt that Iran should come clean, fully cooperate with the IAEA and fully honor its commitments," he told reporters.
"Obviously, Iran's past record does not give us confidence that they will meet the terms of this resolution, but we have, I think, placed the ball firmly in Iran's court to meet the conditions and the requirements as well as its own promises."
Iran says EU, not Islamic republic, needs lessons on human rights
TEHRAN: Iran hit back at the European Union on Monday, saying the 25-member bloc could itself do with lessons on human rights rather than criticise the Islamic republic. The angry comments from foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi came the day after the EU issued a stinging statement on Irans human rights record in the wake of a fourth round of dialogue on the issue between the two sides. Asefi told the state news agency IRNA that the criticism merely indicates the Unions inability to accept transparent dialogue. He also pointed to what he said was the ignoring of the rights of minorities, discrimination against Muslims, Islamophobia and non-observance of the refugee rights in the European Union. The European Union should learn from the chance of talks with an Islamic state with a rich cultural history and civilisation, he asserted. During the talks, the EUs lack of attention to repeated human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian lands and Iraq was highly criticised, he added, saying Iran had also taken issue with the politicising of the issue of human rights. On Sunday the EU said it remained gravely concerned at widespread abuses despite several rounds of talks with Tehran.
According to the Kerry-friendly Boston Globe, John Kerry seems to have no problem with the Mullah's of Iran:
If there is a troubling contradiction in Kerry's foreign policy platform, it lies in the contrast between his get-tough remarks about Saudi Arabia and his desire to "explore areas of mutual interest with Iran, just as I was prepared to normalize relations with Vietnam." The clerical despots in Tehran -- who have lately been chastized for lying to the International Atomic Energy Agency about their nuclear program -- have nothing in common with the pacified communists who rule Vietnam. It is true that Tehran and Washington could both benefit from common understanding about Afghanistan and Iraq. But Kerry's proposal to hand over the Iranian opposition group the People's Mujahedeen of Iran to the mullahs suggests an unfortunate willingness to appease a terrorist regime.
He has no problem with enemies of the United States.
Probe chief: Al-Qaida closer to Iran than Iraq
June 21, 2004
BY PETE YOST
WASHINGTON -- The chairman of the Sept. 11 commission said Sunday that al-Qaida had much more interaction with Iran and Pakistan than it did with Iraq, underscoring a controversy over the Bush administration's insistence there was collaboration between the terrorist group and Saddam Hussein.
''We believe . . . that there were a lot more active contacts, frankly, with Iran and with Pakistan than there were with Iraq,'' said Kean, a former Republican governor of New Jersey.
This just in from a student inside of Iran...
I have met with some Iranian pilgrims who are back from Iraqi holy cities and I asked them about their ideas on New Iraq and all of them praised American aids to Iraqi people and they were aware of what America is doing to help Iraqis be prosperous and fine.
One of my friends who was back from Iraq said that he met an Iraqi man who says 3 more prayers in Islamic method for President Bush.
And most Iranians back from Iraq say that salaries of the Iraqi people raised 4 times more than it was during the Saddam's regime.
I think the Iranians can sense the freedom in their neighborhood now and want the same for Iran."
"Iran to prosecute British Navy sailors"
AP | 6/22/04 | ALI AKBAR DAREINI
Posted on 06/22/2004 1:21:39 AM PDT by kattracks
TEHRAN, Iran (AP)
This just in from a source inside of Iran...
Halliburton company is cooperating in Iranian Oil Sector through a 3rd compnay (Kala Company) based in the city of Dubai. Kala company is a joint venture of some British and Iranian companies which also collaborates with a Swedish firm based in Iran. Kala Co, closed its offices in London and will inaugurate the new office in Switzerland.
Good to let you know that Halliburton also sold advanced Internet filtering equipments to the Islamic Republic according to a report acquired from the Ministry of Tele-Communication and IT of the Islamic republic of Iran.
Btw, the value of all deals between Iran and Halliburton is around US $ 40 million in year 2003."
Ready for $60-a-Barrel Oil?
The Iranian election strategy at work.
June 22, 2004, 8:42 a.m.
So the Iranians seized some British "warships" yesterday, and arrested eight British naval officers. That's what the Iranians announced in the morning, and that's all we've heard. The chatterers were agog. Why would the Iranians do such a crazy thing? Do they really want war (If that isn't a good old-fashioned causus belli, what is?)? Etc.
Yes, they're crazy, no doubt. But they're not stupid. And if an Iranian action seems stupid, you're probably misinterpreting it. There's a perfectly straightforward explanation for the whole episode: The Brits were laying down a network of sensors to detect the movement of ships toward major Iraqi oil terminals. The Iranians considered that a bit of a threat. So they attacked.
And why, you might ask, did the Iranians feel threatened?
Because they were planning to attack (or have their surrogates attack) the oil terminals, silly.
And why attack the oil terminals?
Because they want to defeat President Bush in November, and they figure if they can get the price of oil up to around $60 a barrel, he'll lose to Kerry.
Not to mention a considerable side benefit: At $60 a barrel, they can buy whatever they may be lacking to get their atomic bombs up and running.
It's not that hard to understand the mullahs once you learn to think as they do, and understand their hopes and fears.
What do they hope? That Bush will lose; that the Coalition will collapse; that they can dominate Iraq and create an Islamic republic in the Iranian image. That will expand their power in the region, totally demoralize the internal democratic opposition, and drive America from the Middle East, thereby permitting them to complete their nuclear-weapons program at their leisure. A dream come true.
What do they fear? Above all, their own people. (And a free, relatively stable Iraq would inspire the Iranian people to demand the same freedom for themselves, meaning the end of the mullahcracy). An aggressive American policy in support of democratic revolution in Iran, for the same reason. A collapse in oil prices. The reelection of George W. Bush.
So you see at once the bases of Iranian policy: Drive oil prices up and the Americans out of Iraq, whatever the cost. The Brits were in the way, blocking easy access for saboteurs to the Iraqi oil facilities. Ergo the "crazy" action. Which turns out to be not so crazy at all.
And one other thing: The Iranians figure they've got the Brits under control, because the Brits have lots of contracts with them. Thus far, the Brits have behaved like good little boys, forestalling any effective steps to get in the way of the nuclear program, and lobbying the Bush administration to be "reasonable" and "patient." You can be sure that the British foreign office has every confidence that no harm will come to their officers, and that the incident will be resolved quickly and even amiably.
Not crazy at all. In fact, they're winning.
If anybody cares, it's a good bet that Iranian-sponsored hit squads will be going after lots of oil terminals and refineries in the next couple of months.
But it's hard to find anyone who cares. I guess we can afford $60 a barrel, and I suppose Foggy Bottom and the CIA will be able to manage a nuclear Iran. Right?
Ready for $60-a-Barrel Oil?
The Iranian election strategy at work.
June 22, 2004, 8:42 a.m.
PING On #17! It is a must read article written by Mr. Ledeen!!
Iran To Prosecute Royal Navy Crew
June 22, 2004
Iran is to prosecute eight UK sailors detained for allegedly straying into its territory, state-run TV quotes military sources as saying. Three British naval craft and their crews were seized on Monday in the Shatt al-Arab waterway close to the Iraqi border.
Al-Alam television said the men had admitted breaching Iran's borders.
UK diplomats have been holding talks with Iran about what a spokesman described as an "unfortunate mistake".
British diplomatic staff in Tehran have requested immediate consular access to the men but there has been no response so far, nor have they been told where the men are or who is holding them.
Tuesday morning saw Foreign Secretary Jack Straw speak to Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazzi.
BBC Tehran correspondent Jim Muir says the two men have a good relationship, but it is unclear whether their conversations have yielded anything.
Iranian interrogators have been questioning the eight men, who the British defence ministry says were part of a Royal Navy training team delivering a boat from the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr to Basra.
A spokesman in London said Britain had been using boats to train the Iraqi river patrol service, and the craft may have strayed across the maritime border by mistake.
"The waterway runs over a mile wide. The border runs pretty much down the middle of it," he said.
The boats were unarmed but the crews were carrying their personal weapons, he added.
Iranian television has been showing pictures of the men, dressed in military fatigues, sitting on sofas and armchairs in what was obviously an office, although there was no indication of its location.
They looked serious but were clearly unharmed.
Our correspondent says that so far, the situation has not had a major impact on the complex Iranian political scene, despite the fact that relations between Iran and the UK are currently as sensitive as ever.
State-run television has been giving it minimal coverage and only a few of the Iranian newspapers give the story front-page treatment.
BBC diplomatic correspondent Bridget Kendall describes UK-Iranian relations as a difficult balancing act, with British forces in southern Iraq apparently under orders to keep border tensions with Iran to a minimum.
The affair comes at a time when relations between the two countries are tenser than usual.
Hardliners have staged a series of angry demonstrations outside the British embassy in Tehran in recent weeks to protest at the occupation of Iraq.
Britain has also been strongly criticised too for its role in helping draft a tough resolution on Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna last week.
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