Skip to comments.Iranian Alert -- June 24, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Posted on 06/23/2004 9:00:36 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.
Iranian Source: British Sailors Apprehended To Swap For 40 Iranian Volunteers for Suicide Missions Captured in Iraq
June 23, 2004 No.734
The London Arabic-language daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported on what it described as the real reason for the detention of the sailors of British vessels captured in Iranian waters.
The following is the article:(1)
'The Real Reasons and Factors in the Apprehension of the British Navy Vessels'
"A source close to the [Iranian] Revolutionary Guards told Al-Sharq Al-Awsat of the real reasons and factors in the apprehension of the three British Navy vessels and the arrest of the sailors by Iranian Coast Guard patrol forces on Monday [June 21, 2004]. He indicated that the British Army command in Iraq had understood the message sent them by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards command by their capture of the ships."
'Detention of 40 Volunteers for Suicide Operations Was Great Concern to the Revolutionary Guards'
"According to the source, the content of the message was very simple: 'Release our comrades, whom you are holding, and we will release your soldiers.' The source clarified that the detention of 40 volunteers for suicide operations by the Ukrainian forces acting in Iraq was of great concern to the Revolutionary Guards command, because they [the 40] constituted the first group of volunteers participating in the Organization for the Commemoration of the Shahids, which was established recently by Revolutionary Guards Commander Col. Dhu al-Qadr.
"Al-Sharq Al-Awsat was informed that one of the senior leaders of the Revolutionary Guards, who had formerly held the post of head of the Committee for Iran-Ukraine Military Cooperation, had gone to Kiev for talks regarding the Iranian detainees. However, it turned out that the Ukrainian units had already handed the volunteers for suicide operations over to British forces acting in southern Iraq.
"Despite contacts between the Iranian and British military committees at the borders and daily contact between them in small conflict resolution - [such that] this has become routine since the British forces entered southern Iraq - the British command has so far refused to acknowledge that it is holding 40 Iranian volunteers in one of its detention camps. According to the Iranian source, this caused the Revolutionary Guards leadership to seek a semi-military solution to bring its men back from Iraq."
A Major Problem for President Khatemi
"The seizure of the British vessels is of great concern to the president of the [Iranian] Republic Muhammad Khatemi, because foreign relations is the only area that remains in his control, following the harmful reduction of his powers by Iranian Leader Ali Khamenei and other elements connected to him.
"Based on statements by a former reformist MP, the aim of Khatemi's policy was to reduce the tensions with the outside world; his achievements in establishing good relations with the neighboring countries, the European Union countries, and the Arab world provided him a large measure of independence.
"Iranian Leader [Ali Khamenei] and the conservatives had always sensed the importance of Khatemi's role in distancing the threats and dangers lying in wait for them, and therefore they had left the sphere of foreign relations to Khatemi.
"However, the picture has begun to change since the recent parliamentary elections [in Iran], when the Guardian Council banned or prevented the participation of more than 2,800 reformist candidates in the elections [to the seventh Majlis], in order to prevent a repeat of what happened four years ago when the reformists obtained full control of the Majlis. Similarly, 47 Revolutionary Guards officers entered the new parliament, and additionally a Revolutionary Guards colonel was appointed by Khamenei to head the Broadcasting and Television Authority. Also, Revolutionary Guards forces took over a Tehran airport, even though it had been opened by Khatemi, and conducted a campaign of arrests of reformists and student organization leaders on the eve of the anniversary of the July 1999 student uprising."
(1) Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), June 23, 2004.
US Device Seen at Supected Iran Atomic Site
Reuters - World News (via Yahoo)
Jun 23, 2004
VIENNA - A radiation monitoring device spotted in Iran at a razed site where Washington suspects Iran conducted covert atomic bomb-related research was made in the United States and sold to directly Tehran, sources said.
A Western diplomat and an independent nuclear expert who follow the Vienna-based U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) told Reuters the radiation detection device -- called a "whole body counter" -- was identified as having been made by the Connecticut-based firm Canberra Industries, Inc.
The disclosure could prove embarrassing to Washington, which has accused Iran of pursuing a nuclear weapons program and has called on countries to crack down on exports of even seemingly innocent machinery that could be used in weapons programs.
Tehran says it only wants nuclear power for electricity.
"There is no doubt that the whole body counter came from Canberra Industries and under a legal export," said the nuclear science expert, who has analyzed satellite images of the site taken by the U.S. firm GlobalDigital's Quickbird satellite.
The counter, used to measure radiation contamination in humans, was sold directly to a university or hospital in Iran in the early 1990s with a U.S. export license, the sources said.
The device was seen at Lavizan, situated near a military installation in Tehran. Satellite images of Lavizan show Tehran razed buildings and removed a significant amount of topsoil. Ironically, the U.S.-made device is the reason U.S. officials are convinced Iran pursued undeclared atomic activity there.
"The presence of the whole body counter there is weird and out of place, but it doesn't prove that there was any weapons activity going on at Lavizan," said David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security and a former U.N. weapons inspector.
"We need to know how it got there (from the hospital or university) and why," he added.
Lavizan was first mentioned in May 2003, when a group of Iranian exiles said it was a biological weapons research site.
Iran vehemently denied that it has conducted any undeclared nuclear or weapons-related activities at Lavizan. But a diplomat close to the IAEA said inspectors would go there "very soon."
NEW DEMOLITION WORK AT SUSPECT SITE
Canberra Industries declined to comment, but an industry source familiar with devices like the whole body counter said it was a "totally innocuous" device designed for peaceful activity.
Asked if the counter could be modified to detect plutonium or other substances to make it usable in weapons-related activity, the source, who declined to be identified, said: "Very theoretically speaking, all kinds of things can be done."
Last week, Reuters obtained from the Institute for Science and International Security and GlobalDigital two satellite photos taken in August 2003 and March 2004 that showed Iran had dismantled buildings and removed rubble and topsoil at the site, called the Lavizan-Shiyan Technical Research Center.
U.S. Ambassador to the IAEA Kenneth Brill accused Iran of using "the wrecking ball and bulldozer" to sanitize Lavizan prior to the arrival of U.N. inspectors.
"This destruction at the site raised concerns because it is the type of measure Iran would need to take if it was trying to defeat the powerful environmental sampling capabilities of IAEA inspectors," the Institute for Science and International Security said in an analysis of the images.
Last week, the IAEA Board of Governors unanimously passed a resolution that sharply rebuked Iran for not cooperating fully with a U.N. investigation of Tehran's nuclear program.
The IAEA began investigating Iran after an Iranian exile group reported in August 2002 that Tehran was hiding a massive uranium enrichment facility and other sites from the IAEA.
I just received from Banafsheh a world-wide schedule of demonstartions in support of the Iranian people in rememberance of the bloodly crackdown on Iranian students July 9th 1997....
PLEASE JOIN US
IN OUR STRUGGLE
SECULARISM AND DEMOCRACY
The Iranian student activist above is Ahmad Batebi and is still in an Iranian prison for this 1999 protest.
Schedule of Demonstrations Against The Mafia Islamist Regime of Iran in Europe, U.S. and Canada
18 Tir Schedule can also be found HERE!
Place: The Western Side of the Capitol Building
Time: Thursday, July 8, 2004 from 11 a.m.
Organized by The Committee for Tir 18 Demonstrations
Place: The Federal Building at 11000 Wilshire Blvd. (Westwood area)
Time: Wednesday, July 7, 2004 from 5 to 8 p.m.
Organized by The Committee for Tir 18 Demonstrations
Toronto, July 8, (18 Tir) Thursday from 6 PM to 9 PM Mel Lastman Square, (hear of North York, north of Toronto) come out and commemorate this event. There will be speaker from Amnesty International, Member of Parliament of Canada, live music, by Sattar, and special speaker, Parviz Sayyad
Place: Halle Platz Konik Strasse
Time: Saturday, July 10, 2004 - from 3 to 5 p.m.
Organized by The Constitutional Party of Iran
Place: from Banhoff toward the City Court
Time: Saturday, July 10, 2004 from 2 p.m.
Organized by the Constitutional Party of Iran, Kassel, Monster and Furzin divisions
Place: Bismark Platz (town center)
Time: Saturday, July 10, 2004 - from 3 to 5 p.m.
Organized by The Constitutional Party of Iran
Place: The Western side of the Central Train Station (Hopt Banhoff)
Time: Thursday, July 8, 2004 - at 12:00 noon
Organized by: The Constitutional Party of Iran, The Iranian Womens Cultural Center, Khashm Organization, The Political-Cultural Center for Free Iranians in Hamburg
Place: Stachus square
Time: Thursday, July 8, 2004 from 5 to 6 p.m.
Organized by: The Constitutional Party of Iran, Irans Freedom Forces, Iranian Freedom Movement, Munichs democrats.
Place: In front of the Occupied Iranian Embassy (in Kensington)
Time: Thursday, July 8, 2004 from 12 noon to 4 p.m.
Organized by: The Constitutional Party of Iran, and The National Unity Front of Iran
Place: In front of the City Hall (Mayors office)
Time: Thursday, July 8, 2004 from 4 to 6 p.m.
Organized by The Constitutional Party of Iran
Place: The Center of City of Stockholm Sergels Torg
Time: Thursday, July 8, 2004 from 4 to 7 p.m.
Organized by: The Constitutional Party of Iran, and Swedens Liberals
Place: In front of the Parliament of The Netherlands
Time: Thursday, July 8th, 2004 - from 1 p.m.
Organized by: The Democratic Front
And much much more to come....
Will the West survive?
Walter E. Williams (back to web version) | Send
June 23, 2004
The Muslim world is at war with Western civilization. We have the military might to thwart them. The question is: Do we have the intelligence to recognize the attack and the will to defend ourselves from annihilation? Their intent is clear, but let's refresh our memories with a bit of history.
At the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, several athletes were massacred. In 1979, the U.S. embassy in Tehran was taken over and 52 hostages held for more than a year. In 1983, U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut were blown up, killing 241 U.S. soldiers. In 1988, Pan Am flight 103 was bombed, killing 270 people. In 1993, there was the first bombing of the World Trade Center, and in 2001, it was reduced to rubble, killing more than 3,000 Americans. In 1998, U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed, resulting in more than 200 dead and 4,000 injured. Who are the people responsible for these and other wanton murders of innocents, including the recent barbaric beheading of two innocent men? They were all Muslims.
You say, "Williams, you can't make an indictment of a whole people and their religion!" I'm not, and let me clearly state: By no means are all Muslims murderers. But on the other hand, I've never heard broad Muslim condemnation of their fellow Muslims' murderous acts committed in the name of their God. If anything, there has been jubilation and dancing in the streets in the wake of Muslim attacks on Westerners. Contrast their response to the widespread Western condemnation of the, mild by comparison, behavior of a few coalition forces in Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.
Muslim atrocities, and the collective Muslim response to those atrocities, might be better understood knowing their belief system as spelled out by a few, among many, passages from the Quran: "Fight those who do not believe in Allah" (Surat At-Taubah 9:29). "I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers, Smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger tips of them" (Quran 8:12). "The unbelievers among the People of the Book and the pagans shall burn forever in the fire of Hell. They are the vilest of all creatures" (Quran 98:1-8). "Fight against those who believe not in Allah, and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (Islam), until they are subdued" (Surat At-Taubah 9:29).
Phil Lucas, editor of the Panama City, Fla., News Herald, in his April 4, 2004, editorial "Up Against Fanaticism," asks, "Can anybody name three ongoing world conflicts in which Muslims are not involved?" Lucas says, "They can't get along with their neighbors on much of the planet: France, Chechnya, Bosnia, Indonesia, Spain, Morocco, India, Tunisia, Somalia, etc., etc., etc."
My colleague Dr. Thomas Sowell observes, "Those in the Islamic world have for centuries been taught to regard themselves as far superior to the 'infidels' of the West, while everything they see with their own eyes now tells them otherwise." He adds, "Nowhere have whole peoples seen their situation reversed more visibly or more painfully than the peoples of the Islamic world." Sowell adds that few people, once at the top of civilization, accept their reversals of fortune gracefully. Moreover, they don't blame themselves for their plight. For the Muslim world, it's the West who's to blame.
History never repeats itself exactly, but we might benefit from the knowledge of factors leading to the decline of past great civilizations. Rome was one of those advanced civilizations. Rome was so caught up in "bread and circuses" and moral decline that it couldn't manage to defend itself from invading barbaric hordes who ultimately plunged Europe into the Dark Ages. The sooner we recognize the West is in a war for survival, the more likely we'll be able to escape the fate that befell the Roman Empire.
Iran labels as "propaganda" EU criticism over human rights
June 24, 2004
Sydney Morning Herald, Australia
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi has described as "propaganda" criticism from the European Union over the Islamic republic's human rights record, the student news agency ISNA reported.
"Sadly, with this gesture the Europeans are making propaganda," he was quoted as saying yesterday.
On Sunday the EU, in a statement following a fourth round of dialogue on the issue, said it remained gravely concerned at widespread abuses despite several rounds of talks with Tehran.
Kharzai riposted that "this statement does not correspond with the atmosphere of the discussions in Tehran".
"This kind of attitude does not help in the development of relations," he added.
The EU statement said the 25 member bloc "continues to be gravely concerned at the continued and numerous violations of human rights in Iran."
"These include unequal rights for women; the use of torture in prisons and other places of detention, and a culture of impunity for perpetrators," said the statement released by the Irish embassy in Tehran.
It also pointed to "the lack of an independent judiciary, the use of the death penalty, as well as reports of the continued use of amputations and other cruel punishments; a continuing campaign against journalists and others who seek to exercise their freedom of opinion and expression, a flawed electoral process which impedes the democratic choice of the Iranian people, and discrimination on religious grounds".
THE STRATFOR WEEKLY
23 June 2004
U.S. and Iran: Beneath the Roiled Surface
By George Friedman
We are in a pattern of escalating confrontation between Iran and the United
States and its allies. Two issues have surfaced. There is the question of
Iran's nuclear program. And there is the more urgent question of Iran's
capture of three British patrol boats along the Iraq-Iran frontier. Neither
of these surface issues is trivial, but the underlying issues are far more
significant. The fact that they have surfaced indicates how serious the
underlying questions are, and points to serious tensions between the Iranians
and the United States.
Iran has historically faced two threats. Russia has pressed it from the
north; during and after World War II, the Soviets occupied a substantial part
of Iran, as did the British. The other threat has come from the west -- from
Iraq, from its predecessor states or from states that have occupied Iraq,
including Britain. The collapse of the Soviet Union has gone a long way
toward securing Iran's northern frontier. In fact, the instability to Iran's
north has created opportunities for it to extend its influence in that
Iraq, however, has remained a threat. Iraq's defeat in Desert Storm decreased
the threat, with the weakening of Iraq's armed forces and constant patrolling
of Iraqi skies by U.S. and British warplanes. But what Iran wanted most to
see -- the collapse of the hated Saddam Hussein regime and its replacement by
a government at least neutral toward Iran and preferably under Iranian
influence -- did not materialize. One of the primary reasons the United
States did not advance to Baghdad in 1991 was the fear that an Iraqi collapse
would increase Iran's power and make it the dominant force in the Persian
Iran Develops a Strategy
Subsequently, Iran's goals were simple: First, Iraq should never pose a
threat to Iran; it never wanted to be invaded again by Iraq. Second, Iran
should be in a position to shape Iraqi behavior in order to guarantee that it
would not be a threat. Iran was not in a position to act on this goal itself.
What it needed was to induce outside powers -- the United States in
particular -- to act in a manner that furthered Iranian national interests.
Put somewhat differently, Iran expected the United States to invade Iraq or
topple Hussein by other means. It intended to position itself to achieve its
primary national security goals when that happened.
From the end of Desert Storm to the fall of Baghdad, Iran systematically and
patiently pursued its goal. Following Desert Storm, Iran began a program
designed both to covertly weaken Hussein's regime and to strengthen Iranian
influence in Iraq -- focusing on Iraq's Shiite population. If Hussein fell
under his own weight, if he were overthrown in a U.S.-sponsored coup or if
the United States invaded Iraq, Iran intended to be in a position to
neutralize the Iraqi threat.
There were three parts to the Iranian strategy:
1. Do nothing to discourage the United States from taking action against
Iraq. In other words: Mitigate threats from Iran so the United States would
not leave Hussein in place again because it feared the consequences of a
power vacuum that Iran could fill.
2. Create an information environment that would persuade the United States to
topple Hussein. The Iranians understood the analytic methods of U.S. policy
makers and the intelligence processes of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Iran created a program designed to strengthen the position of those in the
United States who believed that Iraq was a primary threat, while providing
the United States with intelligence that maximized the perception of Hussein
as a threat. This program preceded the 2003 invasion and the Bush
administration as well. Desert Fox -- the air campaign launched by the
Clinton administration in December 1998 -- was shaped by the same information
environment as the 2003 invasion. The Iranians understood the nature of the
intelligence channels the United States used, and fed information through
those that intensified the American threat perception.
3. Prepare for the fall of Hussein by creating an alternative force in Iraq
whose primary loyalty was to Iran. The Shiite community -- long oppressed by
Hussein and sharing religious values with the Iranian government -- had many
of the same interests as Iran. Iranian intelligence services had conducted a
long, patient program to organize the Iraqi Shiite community and prepare the
Shia to be the dominant political force after the fall of Hussein.
As it became increasingly apparent in 2002 that the United States was
searching for a follow-on strategy after Afghanistan, the Iranians recognized
their opportunity. They knew they could not manipulate the United States into
invading Iraq -- or provide justification for it -- but they also knew they
could do two things. The first was to reduce the threat the United States
felt from Iran. The second was to increase, to the extent possible, the
intelligence available to those in the Bush administration who supported the
They accomplished the first with formal meetings in Geneva and back-channel
discussions around the world. The message they sent was that Iran would do
nothing to hinder a U.S. invasion, nor would it seek to take advantage of it
on a direct state basis. The second process was facilitated by filling the
channels between Iraqi Shiite exiles and the United States with apparently
solid information -- much of it true -- about conditions in Iraq. This is
where Ahmed Chalabi played a role.
In our opinion, Iranian intelligence knew two things that it left out of the
channels. The first was that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD)
programs had been abandoned. The United States did not invade Iraq because of
WMD, but used them as a justification. The Iranians knew none would be found,
but were pleased that the United States would use this as a justification.
The second thing Iran kept from the United States was that Hussein and his
key aides did not expect to defeat the United States in a conventional war,
but had planned a guerrilla war to follow the fall of Baghdad.
The Iranians had a specific reason for leaving these things out. They knew
the Americans would win the conventional war. They did not want the United
States to have an easy time occupying Iraq. The failure to find WMD would
create a crisis in the United States. The failure to anticipate a Baathist
guerrilla war would create a crisis in Iraq. Iran wanted both to happen.
The worse the situation became in Iraq, the less the United States prepared
for the real postwar environment -- and the more the credibility of President
George W. Bush was questioned, the more eager the United States would be in
seeking allies in Iraq. The only ally available -- apart from the marginal
Kurds -- was the Shiite majority. As the situation deteriorated in the summer
and fall of 2003, the United States urgently needed an accommodation with
Iraq's Shia. The idea of a Shiite rising cutting lines of supply to Kuwait
while there was a Sunni rising drove all U.S. thinking. It also pushed the
United States toward an accommodation with the Shia -- and that meant an
accommodation with Iran.
Such an accommodation was reached in the fall of 2003. The United States
accepted that the government would be dominated by the Shia, and that the
government would have substantial Iranian influence. During the Ramadan
offensive, when the lid appeared to be flying off in Iraq, the United States
was prepared to accommodate almost any proposal. The Iranians agreed to
back-burner -- but not to shut down -- their nuclear proposal, and quiet
exchanges of prisoners were carried out. Iran swapped al Qaeda prisoners for
anti-Iranian prisoners held by the United States.
Things Fall Apart
Two things happened after the capture of Hussein in mid-December 2003. The
first was that the Iranians started to make clear that they -- not the
Americans -- were defining the depth of the relationship. When the United
States offered to send representatives to Iran after an earthquake later in
December, the Iranians rejected the offer, saying it was too early in the
relationship. On many levels, the Iranians believed they had the Americans
where they wanted them and slowly increased pressure for concessions.
Paradoxically, the United States started to suffer buyer's remorse on the
deal it made. As the guerrilla threat subsided in January and February, the
Americans realized that the deal did not make nearly as much sense in January
as it had in November. Rather than moving directly toward a Shiite
government, the United States began talking to the Sunni sheikhs and thinking
of an interim government in which Kurds or Sunnis would have veto power.
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani -- who is an Iranian -- began to signal the
United States that trouble was brewing in Iraq. He staged major
demonstrations in January, calling for direct elections -- his code words for
a Shiite government. The United States, no longer pressured and growing
uneasy about the enormous power of the Iranians, did two things: They pressed
ahead with plans for the interim government, and started leaking that they
knew the game the Iranians were playing. The release of the news that Chalabi
was an Iranian agent was part of this process.
The Iranians and al-Sistani -- seeing the situation slipping out of control
-- tried to convince the Americans that they were willing to send Iraq up in
flames. During the Sunni rising in Al Fallujah, they permitted Muqtada
al-Sadr to rise as well. The United States went to al-Sistani for help, but
he refused to lift a finger for days. Al-Sistani figured the United States
would reverse its political plans and make concessions to buy Shiite support.
Just the opposite happened. The United States came to the conclusion that the
Shia and Iran were completely unreliable -- and that they were no longer
necessary. Rather than negotiate with the Shia, the Americans negotiated with
the Sunni guerrillas in Al Fallujah and reached an agreement with them. The
United States also pressed ahead with a political solution for the interim
government that left the Shia on the margins.
The breakdown in U.S.-Iranian relations dates to this moment. The United
States essentially moved to reverse alliances. In addition, it made clear to
al-Sistani and others that they could be included in the coalition -- in a
favored position. In other words, the United States reversed the process by
trying to drive a wedge between the Iranians and the Iraqi Shia. And it
appeared to be working, with al-Sistani and al-Sadr seeming to shift
positions so as not to be excluded.
Iran Roils the Surface
It was at that moment that the Iranians saw more than a decade of patient
strategy going out the window. They took two steps. First, they created a
crisis with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over nuclear
weapons that was certain to draw U.S. attention. Second, they seized the
British patrol boats. Their point? To let the United States know that it is
on the verge of a major crisis with Iran.
The United States knows this, of course. Military planners are updating plans
on Iran as we speak. The crisis is avoidable -- and we would expect it to wax
and wane. But the fundamental question is this: Are American and Iranian
national interests compatible and, if they are not, is either country in a
position at this moment to engage in a crisis or a war? Iran is calculating
that it can engage in a crisis more effectively than the United States. The
United States does not want a crisis with Iran before the elections -- and
certainly not over WMD.
But there is another problem. The Americans cannot let Iran get nuclear
weapons, and the Iranians know it. They assume that U.S. intelligence has a
clear picture of how far weapons development has gone. But following the U.S.
intelligence failure on WMD in Iraq -- ironically aided by Iran -- will any
policy maker trust the judgment of U.S. intelligence on how far Iran's
development has gone? Is the U.S. level of sensitivity much lower than Iran
thinks? And since Israel is in the game -- and it certainly cannot accept an
Iranian nuclear capability -- and threatens a pre-emptive strike with its own
nuclear weapons, will the United States be forced to act when it does not
Like other major crises in history, the situation is not really under
anyone's control. It can rapidly spin out of control and -- even if it is in
control -- it can become a very nasty crisis. This is not a minor
misunderstanding, but a clash of fundamental national interests that will not
be easy to reconcile.
(c) 2004 Strategic Forecasting, Inc. All rights reserved.
The relation between the US and the Mad Mullahs should not be NORMALIZED.
US State Department slams the Islamic regime in letter sent to the Movement
SMCCDI (Information Service)
Jun 23, 2004
The following is the official reply of the US State Department to a letter sent by Aryo B. Pirouznia, the SMCCDI coordinator, to the American leadership.
In this reply, Mr. Thomas E. Williams, the Deputy Director of the US State Department's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, is addressing the issues mentioned by SMCCDI in reference to the evil nature of the Islamic republic regime and the plight of the Iranian people.
The text is as follow:
" Dear Mr. Pirouznia,
I am writing in response to your letter of February 12th, expressing your concern over Iranian human rights violations.
We share your concern for Iran's support of domestic and foreign terrorists, as well as other issues like its nuclear weapons program and its suppression of domestic dissidents. With regard to the latter, we want to encourage the Iranian people's desire to live under a freely elected government that respects civil rights. U.S. policy is to reach out to Iranian public while remaining firmly opposed to the Iranian government's support of terrorism.
Our response to the compelling humanitarian emergency that resulted from the December 2003 earthquake in Bam was one way in which we sought to demonstrate our support for the Iranian people and their aspirations for a real democracy. At the same time, as you correctly point out, the Iranian regime continues to be a state sponsor of terrorism via its assistance to terrorist groups like Hezbollah, and we are gravely concerned by Iranian WMD procurement efforts, particularly in the nuclear field.
I hope the foregoing is responsive to your inquiry.
Thomas E. Williams
United States Department of State
Deputy Director, Arabian Peninsula Affairs
Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs
Iran releases British prisoners
24 June 2004
The Iranian government accused the men of entering their territory, in the Shatt al-Arab waterway on the Iran-Iraq border, without permission.
They were arrested, and the boats they were in were confiscated. They were shown on Iranian TV wearing blindfolds, admitting they had broken the law.
British officials say the men may have gone over the border by mistake while training the Iraqi river patrol.
The arrests come at a bad time for relations between Iran and the UK.
There have been many angry protests in Iran against the occupation of Iraq by UK forces.
Britain also took part in writing tough new laws against Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency last week.
Good news. Thanks
Sporadic clashes in southern Tehran
SMCCDI (Information Service)
Jun 24, 2004
Sporadic clashes occurred, yesterday, as hundreds gathered in front of one the Rey's Islamic Mutual Funds companies in order to request the restitution of their assets.
Tens of demonstrators shouted slogans against the regime and its leaders while requesting their deposits. Security forces were quick to rush and smashed the protest action by beating and arresting several demonstrators.
The rumor of the local company's bankruptcy due to the official fraud and the escape of some of the managers has been widely spread in the town. The same cycle of malaise-demonstration-repression is existing, actually, in several other cities, such as, in Esfahan, Hamadan and Kermanshah. An increasing number of Iranians are afraid of the regime's banking and financial institutions by preferring to buy foreign currencies, especially US Dollar and Euro, and gold.
It's to note that Rey is one of the poorest suburbs of Tehran and has been the scene of violent anti-regime protests in the last years. It was, a day, one of the cradles of regime's popular support along with Tehran's other poor districts, such as, Eslam-Shahr, Akbar-Abad and Varamine.
Britain Pledges to Stay "Engaged" with Iran
June 24, 2004
Saudi Press Agency
LONDON -- The British government said on Thursday it remained committed to a policy of constructive engagement towards Tehran despite diplomatic tensions over the arrest of eight naval personnel who strayed into Iranian waters.
"I am in no doubt at all that our policy of engagements with the government of Iran and the Islamic People's Republic of Iran is the best approach," Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said minutes after UK diplomats reported the eight were on their way out of Iran.
Iran Ups the Nuclear Ante
June 17, 2004
Access Middle East
The Iranian concern that international pressure directed at its nuclear program is part of an American plot against Tehran has led to escalating threats against the United States and its allies in the Gulf and the Middle East.
The international pressure on Iran to accept further restrictions on its nuclear program and to publicly reveal its nuclear activities so far is causing a backlash in Tehran. The pressure by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), meeting this week in Vienna, which is looking, inter alia, whether Iran is complying with non-proliferation guidelines, is construed as another facet of an American conspiracy. This conspiracy theory holds that, along with the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq and the US naval presence in the Persian Gulf, Washington plans to encircle Iran -- and, in the end, to topple the regime.
On the nuclear issue, Iran has upped the ante. The chorus of denials by senior officials, such as the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Hasan Rowhani and the Minister of Defense Ali Shamkhani, that Iran has any clandestine military nuclear program, has been augmented by a series of not-so-veiled threats. By these threats, Iran has been trying for the last few days to create an impression that any further pressure for Iranian concessions on the nuclear issue will be met by a complete breakdown of cooperation with the international community in this area.
The secretary of the SNSC Hussein Mussavian was adamant (Tehran Times, 15 June) that Iran will not give up its control over the nuclear fuel cycle and Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi declared that Iran has to be recognized by the international community as a member of the nuclear club. Both Kharazi and the new conservative speaker of parliament Gholam Ali Hadad-Adel warned that the Majlis may not ratify Iran's signature of the additional protocol to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) allowing for intrusive challenge inspections. This warning seems to be implicit also in Iranian President Mohammad Khatamis letter (16 June) to Britain, France and Germany that if pressure continues, Iran will consider other alternatives. Iran may resume uranium enrichment if a draft resolution rebuking it for inadequate cooperation with UN inspectors is approved, Khatami said on Wednesday in his toughest warning so far to the IAEA (Daily Times, June 17).
Meanwhile, Iran is attempting to add to its deterrent image by stepping up its open patronage of terrorist groups and support of terrorist attacks against the US. A new Committee for Tribute to the Martyrs of the Global Islamic Movement, linked to the IRGC (Revolutionary Guards) announced (Kayhan, 22 May) that martyrdom operations are the only way to expel the British and American forces from Iraq and that it has already begun registering volunteers for such operation. Mohammad Ali Samadi, a spokesman for the Committee declared that the targets are the occupying American and British forces in the holy Iraqi cities, all the Zionists in Palestine and Salman Rushdie. Hassan Abbasi, the head of another IRGC-linked academic center -- The Center for Doctrinal Studies, was quoted as vowing to burn the roots of the Anglo-Saxon race (Vaqa-yi Etefaqi-yi, 25 May) and claiming that Iran has formed a plan to crumble the US; the plan will soon be passed on to the hands of various militant organizations worldwide in order to attack 29 targets considered to be important for the Americans (al-Shark al-Awsat, 28 May).
A conference in Tehran in early June brought together members of the Majlis, military officers, and religious scholars to discuss "Martyrdom Operations and Military and Security Strategies". In this conference, IRGC General Hossein Salami warned that there is not a single safe clod of earth for [the US] on Islamic soil, and foretold that very soon, the American empire will fall before the Muslim empire.
The explicit threat of terrorism was accentuated by the spontaneous attack by demonstrators on the British Embassy in Tehran -- an attack that could not have taken place without the regimes blessing.
Iranian relations with its direct neighbors have also been strained. The Kuwaiti press disclosed in May that the Iranian ambassador in Kuwait had hosted meetings of Shiite political activists. The meetings were explained by Iran as aimed at reconciliation between the various Shiite parties; in fact, it seems that Iran was attempting to put together a united Shiite front under its own tutelage for the upcoming Kuwaiti elections. The Iranian involvement was seen in Kuwait as a gross intervention in Kuwaiti domestic affairs.
More ominously, Iraqi government sources indicated (alShark alAwsat, 15 June) that Iran has deployed four divisions on the Iraqi border and has performed intelligence patrols across the border. Iran has denied these claims. Iran has expressed its support of the new Iraqi government, but apparently also sees the need to prepare itself for a potential American disengagement.
Meanwhile, over the last week the Iranian Navy seized at least seven UAE boats near the southern Iranian coast and took 22 crewmen into custody. This escalation towards the UAE has come after the UAE navy seized an Iranian fishing boat near the Tunb and Abu Mussa islands (disputed between Iran and UAE). Another naval incident also took place on Friday 11 June when a Qatari naval vessel seized an Iranian fishing boat which had strayed into Qatari waters.
The Iranian behavior is commensurate with the Iranian defense doctrine, as defined by Minister of Defense Ali Shamkhani as "Strategic Deterrent Defense". The essence of Iranian deterrence, however, is the threat of total insecurity for the entire region if Iran were attacked. Iran seeks to deter strategic rivals by radical rhetoric, implied willingness to endorse popular resistance (i.e. terror), and a projection of an image of a nation which cannot be intimidated or deterred. In this context, the regime promotes -- in public statements, in propaganda and in indoctrination -- the readiness of the Iranian public to absorb the most extreme damage and the Iranian soldier's readiness for self-sacrifice.
Dr. Shmuel Bar is a senior research fellow at The Institute for Policy & Strategy, The Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya
Thanks for the ping!
Real Freedom [Must Read]
June 24, 2004
National Review Online
State backs Iranian reformers who dont exist.
Recently, the State Department has posted a 15-page document on its website under the title of "Voices Struggling to be Heard." This document has been presented as a "fact sheet," but much of it is more fiction than fact. Although it's a positive step on the part of the State Department to publish such a report in the first place, what is disappointing is that this publication is geared more towards promoting the so-called reformists in Iran than exposing human-rights violations by the Islamic regime.
State Department: "Today the courageous voices of the Iranian people are being stifled as they call for their rights, beliefs and needs to be respected. In response, the non-elected elements of the Iranian Government hierarchy are rebuffing these calls and attempting to extinguish the voices."
Fact: The State Department reference to "non-elected elements of the Iranian Government" implies that some elements of the government in Iran are elected. The State Department is wrong. There are no democratically elected elements in Iran. For example, Presdient Mohammed Khatami, the darling of the U.S. and Europe, was among just four selected candidates by the Guardian Council after 234 candidates were eliminated. All the so-called reformists who were "elected" in the previous parliament were first selected by undergoing the same filtering process.
State Department: "In June 1997 and again in 2001, a decisive election victory ushered President Mohammed Khatami into office under the auspices of a reformist agenda. The realization of this reform movement has been actively stifled by hard-line elements within the government, most specifically by the un-elected Guardian Council, a board of clerical leaders and legal scholars. Reformist and dissident voices within the government and society have been repressed and harassed by government and quasi-government factions under the influence of the hard-line clerics."
Fact: The proclaimed "reform movement" by Khatami did not materialize because he never had the intention of changing the status quo. He used the hollow promise for reform to stabilize the shaky regime and to prevent the escalation of popular unrest. What the oppositionists (not the reformists) want is very different from what the reformists within the government want. The reformists realize that some changes must be made if the whole system is going to be preserved. What the freedom-loving people of Iran want is a fundamental overhaul of the system; they want a separation between religion and state.
State Department: "In a move to diminish pro-reformist reelection chances, the Guardian Council disqualified approximately one-third of the 8,200 submissions for candidacy, including those of more than 80 reformists currently holding Majlis seats, effectively limiting the democratic alternatives available to Iranian voters."
Fact: The Guardian Council follows the rules and laws written into the Islamic constitution. Contrary to the State Department's assumption, all these actions are very much within the law. Those who accept this constitution, including the reformists, have nothing to complain about. Where were they when the other candidates were eliminated in last "election"? These sham elections are not democratic because at best, they only allow regime loyalists to participate, thus eliminating any chance of a real democratic election for Iranians. Therefore, there is no democratic alternative available to Iranians.
State Department: "Students have mobilized to demand greater freedoms and to support reform efforts by the Khatami Government, the Majlis, and individuals willing to speak the truth."
Fact: The Iranian students no longer support reform efforts by Khatami and his government and have repeatedly rejected him. Slogans such as "shame on Khatami" and "Resign Khatami" have been favorite catchphrases in recent demonstrations. The Iranian students are struggling for a secular democratic regime that by its definition cannot include the clerical elements.
In sum, the State Department has used human rights as a tool to promote the reformist faction of the government in order to justify reestablishing relations with the Islamic regime. The so-called hardliners have also started making hollow gestures towards reform. And why shouldn't they? It works. It does not cost them anything and it makes them competitive with their reformist rivals. (The recent move of the hardliners on banning torture in Iran was well received by the entire world. Nobody noted, however, that the Islamic constitution allows torture under the name of tazir and that this has remained intact.)
We believe that the majority of Iranian people does not recognize the Islamic regime as its elected representative and is determined to change the regime of terror by civil disobedience and nonviolent action. If the Islamic regime claims otherwise, it should take up the challenge of a nationwide referendum monitored by the international human-rights community.
Let's hope that the State Department and other U.S. institutions will eventually show respect for the freedom movement in Iran by not legitimizing and promoting its enemy, the Islamic regime of Iran.
Mohammad Parvin is an adjunct professor at the California State University and director of the Mission for Establishing Human Rights in Iran.
Real Freedom [Must Read]
June 24, 2004
National Review Online
Famous NGO places Iranian regime in top three executioners list for 2003
SMCCDI (Information Service)
Jun 24, 2004
The famous Human Rights body, Hands Off Cain , has placed the current Iranian regime among the top three executioners in its 2003 report. Hands Off Cain is a famous NGO seeking for the abolishment of Death penalty worldwide and has an observation status at the United Nations.
The parts of the Hands Off Cain's 2003 report related to Iran are as follow:
" Top executioners for 2003: China, Iran and Iraq
Of the 63 countries worldwide retain the death penalty, 48 are dictatorial, authoritarian or illiberal states. These countries accounted for at least 5,525 executions, or 98.7% of the world total of executions in 2003. One country alone, China, carried out at least 5,000, or 89.3% of the executions that took place during 2003. Iran was responsible for at least 154 executions. Iraq, up to April 9 when US Central Command chief General Tommy Franks suspended the death penalty - as the US-led coalition invaded the country and toppled Saddam Hussein?s regime - had already executed at least 113 people.
Vietnam carried out 69 executions; Saudi Arabia 52; Kazakhstan at least 19; Pakistan at least 18; Singapore at least 14; and Sudan at least 13.
Many of these countries do not issue official statistics on the practice of the death penalty therefore the number of executions may be much higher. In some countries, executions are completely covert, and news of them does not even filter through to the local media. Two cases in point are North Korea and Syria.
The conclusion that can be drawn from such a picture is that the definite solution to the problem of capital punishment - more than by tackling the issue in itself - is better achieved through the establishment of democracy, the rule of law and the promotion and respect of political rights and civil liberties.
Authoritarian states once again take the podium as the top executioners of the year in 2003: China, Iran and Iraq (up to April 9, 2004)
Iran, again in the top three
Iran, along with China, regularly features among the countries that execute most people in the world. Though China remains by far the most prolific executioner, Iran, in proportion to its population, applies capital punishment just as much. In 2003, 154 executions were recorded in Iran, including a woman and a minor. This total is significantly less than in 2002, when 316 executions were registered, including a woman stoned to death, but as with other illiberal countries, the real number of people put to death by the state is probably much higher. Iranian authorities do not issue official statistics on the death penalty, and HOC?s total is based on news reports by Iranian media, that very likely do not carry news of every single execution.
Iran does not limit itself to the death penalty. Its interpretation of Sharia law prescribes whippings for sexual relations before marriage, lashings for drinking alcohol and amputation of hands and feet for petty thieves. ..."
The Movement was chosen for the last July's conference of this credible NGO, held in Rome/Italy, in order to represent the Iranian Nation which is forcibly subjugated to the illegitimate rule of the Islamic republic regime.
Nicole Sadighi, the SMCCDI's representative in UK, was among the Hands Off Cain Conference panelists along with the distinguished Elisabetta Zamparutti and Fidel Castro's daughter entered into dissidence against his father's repressive regime. The conference was highly midiatized and the Movement'ss envoy made a public speech followed by several interviews with main Italian media, newspapers and radios, which put an unprecedented light, in Italy, on the plight of the Iranian nation and its true aspirations.
In the same day, July 9, 2003, the SMCCDI envoy gathered with tens of Italian activists and members of the trans-National radical Party in front of the regime's Embassy in Rome in order to demonstrate against the regime.
SMCCDI's speech at the Hands Off Cain conference was as follow:
" Distinguished Delegates and Guests
I would like to thank the Association of Hands off Cain for inviting me to be a part of todays forum on Capital Punishment and Human rights violations.
Today, in this Millennium, I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to speak out on issues close to my heart. Today, I can stand here and exercise my right to speak as a woman and a fellow human being without fear of punishment or reprisal. Today I can walk away from here as a free woman. In this respect I am lucky.
But there are those less fortunate in the world. Those whose basic fundamental human rights have been and continue to be violated and dishonoured by the irrational and brutal laws of their land. I refer to such famous, yet, tragic cases of Amina Lawal and Sufiyata Husieni of Nigeria who were condemned to death by stoning. These cases have caught the worlds attention.
However I come here as a representative of the "Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran" (SMCCDI) and as the voice of the hundreds of thousands who are being continuously silenced by the theocratic regime of the government of the Islamic Republic.
At this very moment as we sit here, in the comforts of our democratic discussion, thousands of innocents have been imprisoned in secret prisons. Many have been accused of treason or blasphemy and condemned to death by stoning or hanging, and many more condemned to flogging or torture, simply because they have tried to bravely challenge this tyranny. They are punished purely because they wish to uphold their freedom of speech by peaceful demonstrations and instead they are beaten and arrested by the notorious Basiji and plain clothed police. There are tens of Amina Lawals and Sufiyata Husienis in the Islamic Republic where stoning to death is prescribed for certain offences under the countrys Penal Code - still they are not as widely publicised by the free press. How can such atrocities and butcheries go unnoticed?
The young people of Iran are struggling for human rights, democracy and political and social freedom. Yet one of their greatest hindrances is the European Unions continuing relationship with the Islamic Republic, which is seen by millions of Iranians in the country as unfriendly behaviour and a deliberate disregard to the legitimate demands of the Iranian people for democracy.
If the European Union wishes to demonstrate that it truly does care about the democratization of Iran and wishes to show respect for global human rights, then the best policy for them would be NOT to side with an oppressive regime, but to STOP dealing with the Mullahs and support the Iranian people, and invest in the people of Iran who WILL bring down the Mullarchy sooner or later, along with its so called Reformist government of Mr. Khatami who betrayed the nation and delayed the demise of this evil regime. It is difficult to understand that any civilised government can have dealings with a regime that publicly executes, lashes and stones its own people. They should have no business cooperating with such a regime and no business interests can justify such involvement - the European Union had better be a friend with the Iranian nation and sever its relations with the Islamic Republic.
The Reform in Iran is dead! And the majority of people and especially the university students and other youths in Iran no longer respects President Mohammad Khatami and the rest of the so-called reformists camp. During the last 6 to 7 years they have done nothing for the nation.
On the contrary, during his presidency, more people have been killed, executed, imprisoned, tortured, flogged and over a 100 newspapers and weekly publications were closed down, journalists were silenced, and even websites were filtered so the young generation cannot communicate with their fellow-countrymen living in free countries.
Today, on the order of this very Reformist President, peaceful demonstrations of students to commemorate the July 9th, 1999 Tehran university dormitory killings by the plain clothed agents has been banned and any person not observing this ban shall be regarded as Mohaareb meaning Enemy of God!
In fact on July 4th a young man named M. Ghiaas, was severely punished in the Southern and Oil-rich city of Dezfool, for encouraging people to revolt against this regime. Both of his arms and legs were amputated. This is the breed of character of Islam we are dealing with.
We must travel this road together. For nearly 25 years the citizens of Iran have been crying out to be heard. They want to be a part of the democratic community of nations.
Our sense of duty is to speak out honestly and openly for the endorsement and defence of all those whose fundamental human rights are violated. No one should be forced to live in silence for fear of persecution, arrests, imprisonments, torture, abuse or death.
We must fight for liberty and justice, for freedom of thought, freedom of will, freedom of being. Every man, women and child has ownership of these rights by birth, no matter what their colour, creed or religion, race or gender. Everyone has a right to a free and dignified life in a democratic state.
To quote the famous words of Martin Luther King All men are created equal. Yet in a country that is a signatory of the Universal Declaration of Human rights and has clearly ignored the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against women, the people of Iran are not being treated equal. Countries that do not respect the human rights of their own, ultimately do not respect the human rights of their international neighbours.
It is organised committees such as Hands off Cain that increases awareness and forces the governments and the international community to face the important human rights issues around the world. The heart of todays meeting is to be the voice of those who are not heard. To be the catalyst of the message of those who are suppressed and silenced. Yes! Our voices here, are those of Aminas and Sufiyatas of Iran.
Nevertheless, Iranian people are not quitters! However they need and deserve the support, compassion and solidarity of the world community in freeing the country of the current regime and for it to be replaced with a secular government with a complete separation of church and state; which demands democracy and liberty.
Thank you very much and may all of us be successful in our noble fight for justice, liberty and freedom for all of mankind.
The Oil Bomb
June 16, 2004
Things are not as they appear in the Middle East, for while on the surface things may look pretty bad, underneath they are much worse. And what looks so bad is really the one thing that is going right.
Two nasty car bombings on successive days, a couple of high-level assassinations, and numerous small sniping and other terrorist incidents, on top of unresolved constitutional squabbling between Kurds and Shia, and intra-Shia, and legal chaos surrounding the handover of Saddam Hussein and several thousand other key prisoners still in U.S. custody, have left the Western and Arab media under the impression that the turnover of power to the new Iraqi government is somehow not going smoothly.
Yet all these hits and complications are easily survivable, for the new Iraqi state. They are just the background noise one must increasingly expect wherever Muslim "militants" are confronted with the possibility of an open society. The crescendo is building towards June 30th -- the formal date of transfer from Paul Bremer's administration to that of Prime Minister Iyad Illawi -- after which the Iraqi music will begin to fade.
Less attention is given to the more worrying, longer-term development. In the vicinity of Basra -- which has been remarkably quiet despite the best efforts of Moqtada al-Sadr's Shia blackshirts to stir up trouble -- two clever acts of sabotage have succeeded in cutting off most of Iraq's oil exports, for a couple of weeks. The saboteurs were most likely members of cells controlled by the Wahabi Islamist underground in neighbouring Saudi Arabia.
The main terminal complex in Basra and a smaller one at Khor al-Amaya nearby had been loading 2.5 million barrels per day, a significant portion of the world's oil supply, and most of the new Iraq's income. The pipeline through Syria is down by policy, and that through the Kurdish north and Turkey (with a capacity well under 1 million barrels per day) has been cut to a trickle by frequent small terrorist hits.
The problem here is that oil pipelines and facilities have become targets of choice. They were always fairly easy to hit, but as Arab psychopaths from Osama bin Laden down used to argue publicly, they must not be hit because they are the unique source of Arab wealth, power, and prestige. To stop the flow of oil is to cut: 1. the ability of the "Arab nation" to hold the industrialized nations hostage; 2. their ability to fund the terror networks, and the parallel networks of Wahabi madrasas, mosques, charities, and political fronts that proselytize for radical Islam across Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. Worse (from an Al Qaeda point of view), the destruction of the oil weapon would mean, ultimately, 3. the loss of the Arab ability to shape, direct, and define Islam for non-Arab Muslims in our post-modern world.
Desperate times require desperate measures, however -- the Islamist "militants" have been, since 9/11, losing materially on almost every front -- and it is becoming clear that the leaders have been rethinking their approach. It becomes very clear, when one looks into Saudi Arabia, and finds a purposeful strategy to "drive out the infidels" by assassinating carefully selected Western technologists upon whom continuous Saudi oil production most depends.
For two months now, the U.S. State Department, working on the premise that people's lives are more important than people's money, have been advising American nationals to get out of Saudi Arabia, in response to the terrorist campaign. They are in fact leaving, faster and faster. While the House of Saud can still contrive to pump oil at something like the present volume for a few months using Saudi nationals and the less skilled foreign workers not yet targeted, the oil infrastructure will then collapse. It depends entirely on American, Japanese, and European expertise.
This makes the possibility of a world oil crisis on a scale beyond anything experienced in 1974 or 1979 entirely thinkable in the coming winter. It explains why the U.S., Japan, Germany and other leading oil-dependent countries have been building inventories at an unprecedented rate, even at high current oil prices.
There is another regional issue of some urgency: that Iran's ayatollahs are on the verge of obtaining nuclear weapons. That is very serious, and almost nothing is being done about it, in the run-up to the U.S. presidential election. Call that potential Armageddon No. 1.
But Armageddon No. 2 must also be considered: fanatical Arabs having decided, on behalf of all their brethren, that they must try to turn the world's oil supply into one big suicide bomb.
The State Dept. needs emails about this.......
Transcript: Will Terror Derail Iraq's Transition of Power?
Thursday, June 24, 2004
This is a partial transcript of The Big Story With John Gibson, June 23, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.
JOHN GIBSON,HOST: Big attacks and small, they're all taking a toll on efforts to rebuild Iraq. Joining us now, Michael Ledeen of the American Enterprise Institute (search) and Harlan Ullman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (search). Today's big question, to you first, Michael, will a terror campaign against Iraqis derail a peaceful transition of power?
MICHAEL LEDEEN, AMERICAN ENTERPIRSE INSTITUTE: No, I don't think so. It's been going on since the very beginning. Everybody knew it was coming. Both Harlan and I predicted it long before the liberation of Iraq, and it's an ongoing struggle.
GIBSON: Harlan, you say it's ongoing ad infinitum.
HARLAN ULLMAN, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: It's going to go on I'm afraid for a long time. I think there are an awful lot of bad people who have a lot of reasons that they want to overthrow this government, they want to disrupt it. With June 30 coming they're going to use that as a date ...
GIBSON: You have no sense that the Iraqi people want to support this government in any way?
ULLMAN: First of all, I would say that the bulk of the Iraqi people are very unhappy with the American occupation, and I think there's far less support for this government until they prove themselves. And one of the problems with overreacting with what Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (search) is going to say is that this government, because of protection, is going to be finding it increasingly difficult to get out and be with its people. It's going to be increasingly isolated just like the old Iraqi government council was.
GIBSON: Michael, the logic we're operating under here now is, gee, you know, as of July 1, it's an Iraqi government. The Americans go off to their barracks and run security operations, and that's that. Whoever this is setting these bombs off is attacking Iraqis, not the Americans. Does that logic work in Iraq?
LEDEEN: I think really it's a distinction without a difference, John, and I think from the very beginning the countries that have been supporting this terror network and, remember, Zarqawi we can place very firmly in the axis of Iran. Zarqawi for years operated out of Iran. He's been back and forth to Iran all the time. Europeans have endless transcripts, intercepts, and firsthand testimony of Zarqawi working out of Tehran and working closely with the Iranian revolutionary guards and so forth. It's a regional war. There was never any way we could win this thing in Iraq alone. We were forced into a regional context all the time.
For Zarqawi to come out now and say, well, we're going to kill the new prime minister is no news to anybody. They've been trying to kill every Iraqi that would, first, collaborate with the coalition and, secondly, serve in an Iraqi government, because all those people in Tehran and Damascus who are supporting this terror network know perfectly well that if Iraq is permitted to succeed if there's a free and Democratic Iraq, they are doomed because their own people will get rid of them. People in the Middle East, by and large, want to see Iraq succeed. Regimes don't.
GIBSON: Harlan, is this an Iranian deal?
ULLMAN: It's beyond Iran. Michael and I agree about the notion of a regional war here. But have you to realize that Saudi Arabia, Pakistan are part of the this in addition to Syria and Iran. And the problem is by focusing on Iraq, we're making it increasingly difficult to deal with the larger problems which are going to take place in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and if Michael is correct, with Iran and Syria. In other words, we're dealing with a tactical issue in Iraq when the strategic issue really has to do with the region and the politics of the region. And I'm afraid we're not getting ahead of that power curve. That's the real danger.
GIBSON: All right, if that is the case, Michael, then is there an argument to be made, though, that even though we may be behind the curve on the strategic vision, we have a tactical emplacement in Iraq?
LEDEEN: Oh, for sure. We have to continue to fight in Iraq, and we might get lucky and actually get Zarqawi, although I would really be surprised if Zarqawi were in Iraq today. I don't think he is there. I think he has gone back to Iran, and I think his people are operating in Iraq, and they have elevated now. He used to be a kind of operational commander. Now more and more he is a media star. He has cassettes coming out and media statements. He is up there along with people like Usama bin Laden.
GIBSON: All right, Harlan Ullman, light at the end of tunnel or oncoming train?
ULLMAN: It's a long slog. And, unfortunately, rather like American politicians have learned to become celebrities rather than heroes, I think Michael is right. Some of the bad guys have learned to become celebrities and our media and the way that you can use the Internet and all sorts of communications can add to that, much more than we should make of it. Obviously, they want to try and kill the leadership, and I think we ought not to overreact. This is business as usual.
GIBSON: Harlan Ullman and Michael Ledeen, thanks to both of you. Appreciate it.
ping to mashdonalds pic.
CIA planned guerrilla campaign in Iran to counter communists in 1953: documents
WASHINGTON, June 23 (AFP) - The US Central Intelligence Agency planned a sustained guerrilla campaign in Iran in case its 1953 plan to ouster the government of Mohammad Mossadegh fell through and communists increased their sway over the country, according to newly declassified US government documents.
The top secret papers, produced in late 1952 and 1953 by the State Department and the National Security Council, provide proof that the widely-known US-British efforts to destabilize the government of prime minister Mossadegh were backed up by broad contingency plans that called for bolstering US military presence in the region and launching an anti-communist guerrilla force in the south of Iran.
The Mossadegh government, which drew the ire of Washington and London because of its persistent attempts to increase control over the country's oil resources, was toppled in an August 19, 1953, coup led by US-backed general Fazlollah Zahedi who allowed pro-American Shah Reza Pahlavi to return from exile.
US officials have grudgingly acknowledged that the coup had become possible due to CIA-designed Operation "Ajax" that helped plunge Iran into chaos and paved the way for Mossadegh's downfall.
But the administration of then US president Dwight Eisenhower was seriously concerned that the plan could go awry and Iranian communists from the Tudeh Party would capitalize on instability and the unraveling economy to seize power, according to the documents released by the National Security Archive on Tuesday.
To counter that possibility, the CIA made preparations for unleashing a guerrilla campaign targeting Tudeh members and other Iranian politicians, then-undersecretary of state Walter Smith reported to the White House.
In his memorandum dated May 20, 1953, Smith noted that the CIA had reached an agreement with Qashqai tribal leaders in southern Iran to establish a clandestine safe haven from which US-funded guerrillas and intelligence agents could operate.
"To date CIA has trained and equipped a total of approximately 10 indigenous clandestine radio operators to be located throughout Iran and who can be called upon to maintain communications with CIA when desired," Smith wrote. "Others are being trained."
Stockpiles of weapons and ammunition were being secretly assembled at Wheelus Field, an air base in Libya used at that time by the US Air Force.
Smith reported that the base already had enough war materiel to equip a 10,000-strong guerrilla force and allow it to operate independently for at least six months. Other supply bases were being established in Tripoli, the Suez Canal zone and the US state of New Jersey.
"These supplies could, within three to four weeks, be transported by air and sea to certain strong tribal elements in southern Iran," the undersecretary of state assured.
Reception points for this materiel were being set up in the Tehran and Tabriz areas, along with secret caches of gold and currency, while the CIA drew plans for forming eight, three-person teams to run its secret guerrilla army.
The plan also called for deploying several dozen additional US warplanes to southern Turkey and positioning a naval force of an undetermined size in the vicinity of the Iraqi southern city of Basra to create a barrier to "the spread of communist power."
In addition, the US government was determined to seek access to the Saudi military base in Dhahran "as a transit point in connection with contemplated US covert operations," Smith wrote.
Note: This may prove that US actually though erroneously believed Dr. Mossadeqh to be a communist - The British on the other hand conned the US to overthrow Dr. Mossadeqh for their own greedy reasons... cheap Iranian oil.
Persian Language And Literature, Cultural Symbol Of Iran: Official
TEHRAN, June 22 (MNA) The secretary of the Development of Persian Language and Literature, Ali Asghar Mohammad Khani, said Persian language and literature are the greatest cultural symbols of Iran.
He made the remark in a press conference in "Khaneh Ketab" (Book House), stating that literary works and Persian language are the main assets of Iran, which encourage freedom, prosperity and joy.
He said Persian language and literature could be examined in present and past perspectives and that our literature has spawned towering figures.
He cited the Shahnameh as a major masterpiece just like "Iliad and Odyssey.
Mohammad Khani said that Persian is a widely-spoken language after Arabic in the world of Islam and literary works constitute a major part of spiritual history of the world.
He said the council has established an educational headquarters of Persian language and it has identified 220 works in the last two centuries and published 40 books in the last two decades in different languages.
He stressed that training Persian in foreign and domestic courses is among the activities of the council, adding that the council is determined to upgrade its programs in a 45-day courses in Iran and develop several courses in China, Kazakhstan and Lebanon.
The secretary of the Development of Persian Language and Literature said 15 scholarships would be granted to non-Iranian students.
Among the programs of this council are establishing data banks in foreign universities, providing Persian dictionaries, introducing Persian masterpieces and translating these works and introducing special days in Iran and abroad like the day of Attar, Hafiz, Rumi, Khayyam, Sa'di, Ferdowsi, Ghazzali and other literary figures worldwide.
Mohammad Khani pointed out that the establishment of national document of promotion of Persian language and literature is the most outstanding programs of the council.
Just not quite the same........... The mullahs are really something! They hate U.S., but if there's money to made in copying American things, no problem.
Is there a Ronald MashDonald?
They will be sued by McDonald's, you know.
LOL, I love it!
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