Israeli FM Raises Concern about Iran with Rice
July 02, 2004
The Associated Press
Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom told the White House on Friday that Iran was trying to develop longer-range missiles that could pose a threat to European nations.
Shalom took his concerns to Condoleezza Rice, the president's national security adviser, and then told reporters: "We cannot allow the Iranians to move forward in their efforts to develop nuclear weapons."
Israel's long-held concern that it could be targeted was registered again by Shalom. "The Iranians still continue to do everything they can in order to develop nuclear weapons that might, of course, be used against Israel," he said.
In fact, the foreign minister said, Iranians have warned on several occasions that one missile fired toward Israel would destroy the country.
"I believe the concern of Israel is shared by many other countries that know how the Iranians are trying to develop new missiles with much longer range," he said, adding that they might hit many European countries, such as France, Britain, Germany and Russia.
Shalom also said Iran was involved in terror attacks, saying, "They are trying to recruit more volunteers to carry out suicide attacks against Israelis and against Western countries."
The White House made no statement after Shalom's meeting with Rice.
Last month, Secretary of State Colin Powell hinted Iran could face U.N. economic sanctions if it did not prove it had no nuclear weapons program.
"The international community is expecting (Iran) to answer its questions and to respond fully," Powell said June 21 after meeting at the State Department with Mohamed ElBaradei, the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The State Department is cautioning Americans against traveling to the tiny Persian Gulf nation of Bahrain, citing information that extremists were planning attacks. The department, in a travel warning Thursday, also advised Americans who live there to leave. The warning did not elaborate on reported threats except to say terrorists were at large and the information was credible.
Last month, six men were released after being detained on suspicion of plotting terror attacks. Bahrain has stepped up security on a 15-mile causeway that links the country to Saudi Arabia.
"The threat of terrorism is very real," State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said Friday.
MAKE THE MIDDLE EAST AND ASIA A FREE NUCLEARZONES
By Safa Haeri
Posted Friday, July 2, 2004
PARIS, 2 July (IPS) To help a lasting peace in the Middle East and the world, it is better to start from declaring the region and Asia free military nuclear zones, reiterated former Iranian Foreign Affairs minister Ardeshir Zahedi.
Iran made this proposal decades ago and I think that if all the present nuclear powers of the region agrees, Israel included, agree to use the nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, many of the difficulties, crisis and problems we face would be solved to the benefit of the people of the region, he told Radio Farda (Tomorrow) the 24-hours Persian service of the Prague-based Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty monitored by Iran Press Service in Paris..
In an article he wrote last week for The Wall Street Journal about Irans nuclear ambitions, Mr. Zahedi said no one can divide the line between civilian or military programs, therefore the question is what kind of Iran could the world live with, not whether the Islamic Republic desires nuclear weapons.
In the interview, Mr. Zahedi, who served as the Shahs last ambassador to the United States repeated the huge capacities of Iranian nuclear scientists formed as from 1950 in American and European universities and reiterated that it would be very difficult for the international community to deny Iran accessing to nuclear technology.
Iran cannot be forced to unlearn knowledge accumulated since the 1950s. Iran was one of the first developing countries to acquaint itself with the awesome universe of nuclear science. Iran's first nuclear reactor was installed in Tehran in 1955 and the first batch of Iranians sent to Europe and the U.S. to study nuclear physics and related subjects were back home by the early 1960s. By the mid-1970s, Iran had a well-educated and motivated corps of nuclear scientists who, backed by substantial financial resources from the government, undertook research into all aspects of the new technology, including its military applications, Mr. Zahedi wrote in the Wall Street Journal.
One fact that the Americans, the Europeans and the world must realise is that you can not stop Iran getting what it considers as its right, particularly when other nations on its east and west are already nuclear powers. If one persists on this, meaning depriving Iran of nuclear technology, one would push all Iranians, who are proud of their country and its history and civilisation, even those who are against this regime, to support the government, he pointed out.
Criticising Washington of a double standard policy in the Middle East, Mr. Zahedi revealed that even under the former Monarchy regime when Iran was the United States best and most trusted ally, the Americans and the Europeans would place a lot of obstacles to Irans nuclear efforts.
In the one hand, they were racing against each other (to get into the lucrative Iranian nuclear projects) and on the other, the same world powers started to stop our (nuclear) plans, Mr. Zahedi said, stopping short of revealing the nature of the pressures the big powers would place on Iran.
Mr. Zahedi, reckoned to have been one of the very few powerful and active foreign affairs minister, if not the most Iran ever had, entertained close and friendly relations with most worlds leaders such as former US presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Henry Kissinger, the British Royal Family or the late Jordan Monarch, slain Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and Pakistani Prime Minister Zolfaqar Ali Bhutto who was executed, to name some.
While defending Irans right to nuclear energy for peaceful and civilian purposes, a program started under the former regime and aimed at equipping Iran with enough nuclear-generated electricity even after the end of oil resources, Mr. Zahedi nevertheless is anxious about the ruling mullahs nuclear ambition.
A string of statements from the ruling mullahs in Tehran shows that the Islamic Republic no longer feels committed to a moratorium on its uranium enrichment program. Nor will the new Islamic Majles (assembly), dominated by radicals, be in a mood to approve additional protocols to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) of which Iran was one of the first signatories three decades ago. Despite recent statements to the contrary by the "supreme leader" Ayatollah Ali Khamenehi, the talk from Tehran is that the Islamic Republic should be accepted as the latest member of the "nuclear club", he wrote in the Wall Street Journal.
In my opinion, if we are really serious to see peace coming to the troubled Middle East region and have peace in the world, one has to look seriously to the project Iran proposed decades ago for the regions nations to adhere to a pact of using the atomic energy for civilian, industrial use only and extend the scheme to Asia as well, he said, pointing indirectly to Israel, Pakistan and India.
ENDS IRAN NUCLEAR ZAHEDI 2704
Iran Is in Strong Position to Steer Iraq's Political Future
By EDWARD WONG
Published: July 3, 2004
BAGHDAD, Iraq, July 2 With the chaos of the occupation and now the loosening of American control here, Iran has moved into its best position in decades to influence the political shape of Iraq, Western and Iraqi officials say.
Already, the Iranian government has quietly strengthened its presence in Iraq by providing financial backing to a range of popular Shiite Muslim groups and by flooding the country with intelligence agents, the officials say.
Movement across the 900-mile border is much freer than under the rule of Saddam Hussein, as evidenced by the droves of Iranian pilgrims flocking to the Shiite holy cities of southern Iraq and the daily smuggling of goods and people.
Most worrisome to American officials are Iran's close ties to powerful Shiite clerics like Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who was born in Iran, and Moktada al-Sadr, who led a fierce rebellion against American forces for nearly three months this spring. American officials believe that Iran might have partly financed Mr. Sadr's movement.
Though Shiites are a majority in both nations, Iraqis are torn between religious and national loyalties. Just how much sway Iran will exert over a new Iraq is far from clear. But some warn that Iran, the world's dominant seat of Shiite Islam, could be the silent power broker as Iraq heads toward elections in January.
Iran's aim, Iraqi and Western officials say, is to shape an Iraq run by religious Shiite politicians who could serve as proxies of the clerics in both countries.
"They want a failure of America in Iraq, but they hope the country will be stable enough not to destabilize Iran," said a Western diplomat in Baghdad with extensive experience in the region. "The best thing for them would be a stabilized Iraq with a friendly Shia power in Baghdad created in opposition to the occupation forces."
With the toppling of Mr. Hussein's secular dictatorship, competition for the heart of Shiite Islam in the region has broken open. For American policy makers, one of the greatest fears has long been an Iraq ruled by Shiites vulnerable to Iranian influence. That was one reason the United States did not support a Shiite rebellion after the 1991 Persian Gulf war.
The White House now hopes that secular-minded Shiites like Iyad Allawi, the interim prime minister, will govern a democratic Iraq that will in turn transform Iran, which President Bush included in the "axis of evil" with Iraq and North Korea.
Since the American invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, the Western diplomat said, the Iranians "have the feeling that they're surrounded by Americans or friends of the Americans."
Some experts say Iran's seizure in June of three small British Navy boats on the Shatt al Arab waterway between Iraq and Iran was in part a petty but prominent way for Iran to emphasize that its interests in the region would not be ignored.
Iran has expressed both hostility toward and guarded acceptance of the interim Iraqi government, reflecting the internal battles in Iran's own leadership. For years, the two major camps in the Iranian government the reformers led by President Mohammad Khatami and the hard-liners who follow Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini have pursued separate foreign policies.
But many Iraqis already suspect Iran of wielding enormous influence over the most prominent Shiite political parties here. A poll conducted in May for the Coalition Provisional Authority showed that the most popular political and religious leaders in Iraq were Shiites with strong Iranian ties.
"It seems clear that the Iranians are trying to butter both sides of the bread and all four crust edges," said Prof. Juan Cole, an expert on Shiite Islam at the University of Michigan.
The Shiite parties contend that they remain independent of the Iranian government, but also point out that Iran was the only country willing to harbor them in exile during Mr. Hussein's rule, and so it is not surprising that their ties to Iran remain strong.
At the same time, Iranian meddling is not without its risks. As many as half a million Iraqis died in the eight-year war with Iran in the 1980's, and the wounds and hostilities linger. When ordinary Iraqis talk about bombings and assassinations here, they often blame Iranian agents after pointing the finger at the United States and Israel.
Partly because of those sentiments, Shiite parties once exiled in Iran under Mr. Hussein most notably the Dawa Islamic Party and the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, known as Sciri contend that they no longer have direct ties to their former host, despite a history of generous financial support from Iran's government.
Officials here and in Washington say otherwise.
A senior American military official said in an e-mail message that the United States Army has observed "a large amount of U.S. currency being passed by Iran" to Sciri, which was founded in 1982 by an Iraqi ayatollah exiled in Iran. The money was exchanged for "the supposed purpose of paying salaries and maintenance of vehicles and facilities," the official said.
Humam Bakr Hamody, a senior Sciri official, played down the link. "Sciri is not related to the Iranian government and has different positions and opinions," he said.
The party had received money from sources in many Middle Eastern countries, including Iran, he added, and the funds had come from individual donors rather than governments. Money is delivered to the party over the Iranian border because there is no reliable way to wire money to Iraq, he said.
A senior Iraqi Shiite official familiar with the security situation here confirmed that financial transactions were taking place between Iran and various Shiite parties. Those include the militia led by Mr. Sadr, the 31-year-old Shiite cleric who is more popular than ever in Iraq after leading his spring rebellion against the occupation forces.
The American military, seeking to avoid street-to-street fighting in Najaf, a city held sacred by Shiites for its shrines, has backed down from its promise to kill or capture Mr. Sadr.
American soldiers seized large stashes of Iranian currency during arrests of Mr. Sadr's aides, an American military official said. But it was unclear whether that indicated direct involvement by the Iranian government in the insurgency.
In May, when anti-American fighting peaked in the city of Kufa, the main mosque there, a Sadr stronghold, broadcast pleas for blood donations in both Arabic and Persian, the language of Iran. At the time, Iranian pilgrimages to the city had dried up, and the calls for aid in Persian fueled suspicions that Iranian fighters had joined Mr. Sadr's militia.
A resident of Kufa said in an interview at the time of the uprisings that he opened his door one day to find two Persian-speaking militiamen setting up a mortar outside.
Mr. Sadr has been open about his allegiance to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution. Last month, a Sadr aide said in a sermon at the Kufa mosque that Mr. Sadr "promises God and Muslim countries" that he will "keep following Khomeini" as long as he lives. One of the most zealous units of Mr. Sadr's militia is named after Ayatollah Khomeini.
Mr. Sadr's fealty to the late ayatollah stems from long family ties across the border and a history of adversity under Mr. Hussein's rule.
His patron, Ayatollah Kazem al-Haeri, still lives in the Iranian city of Qum, arguably the foremost seat of Shiite theocratic learning. The offices of both clerics in Najaf acknowledged that Mr. Sadr operated as his patron's spiritual representative in Iraq and that substantial money flowed between them.
Mr. Sadr's deceased uncle, Muhammad Bakr al-Sadr, one of the last century's most respected Shiite thinkers, was close friends with Ayatollah Khomeini and took an active role in Iraqi politics by opposing the ruling Baath Party. Mr. Hussein had him killed in 1980.
Mr. Hussein also ordered the killing of Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, the father of Moktada, who before his death in 1999 named as his successor Ayatollah Haeri. The ayatollah's office in Qum has organized donations for Moktada al-Sadr and his militia, the Mahdi Army.
Despite indications of Iranian support for Mr. Sadr, prominent Iranians appeared wary when he led his followers to open rebellion, with its potential of destabilizing Iraq. In late April, as Mr. Sadr was urging the militia on in its attacks against the Americans, Ayatollah Haeri issued a statement saying he did not support the actions.
In mid-April, Iran sent envoys to Najaf in what it said was an attempt to negotiate an end to Mr. Sadr's insurgency, possibly because the fighting was jeopardizing American plans eventually to hand power to Shiite parties. An Iranian diplomat was assassinated in Baghdad at the time, and senior American officials said they did not want Iran interfering in Iraq.
Iran said the "iron fist policy" of the United States had led to the delegation's failure. At a recent sermon in the golden-domed Shrine of Ali in Najaf, a leader of Sciri, Sadr al-Din al-Kubanchi, criticized the Iranian government for not reining in the mercurial Mr. Sadr.
The single most powerful cleric in Iraq remains Ayatollah Sistani, a 73-year-old Iranian who moved to Najaf in his early 20's. In the 1990's, his organization began making substantial financial contributions to clerics in Iran, which brought him closer to the top religious leaders there.
But Ayatollah Sistani's relationship with Iran's mullahs is not necessarily one of subservience or even ideological allegiance. The pipeline of money flows both ways, and associates say the ayatollah receives donations gathered by his Qum office.
Ayatollah Sistani's mentor in Najaf, Grand Ayatollah Abu al-Qassim al-Khoei, promoted the "quietist" school of Shiite Islam, which advocated that religious leaders remove themselves from direct involvement in politics a view that ran counter to that of Ayatollah Khomeini.
Close associates of Ayatollah Sistani have said he is intent on transforming Najaf into a Shiite power center to rival Qum, which was strengthened in the 1980's by an influx of clerics fleeing Najaf during Mr. Hussein's rule.
Iran's influence can be felt even beyond its direct ties to Iraq's clerics, religious parties and the strongly Shiite south.
Iran is suspected of having close ties to Ahmad Chalabi, the former exile and secular Shiite politician once backed by the Pentagon.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has opened an investigation into charges by American intelligence officials that Mr. Chalabi told Iranian officials that the Americans had broken a code used by Iran. Mr. Chalabi has denied the charges.
In northern Iraq, Maj. Gen. John R. S. Batiste, commander of the First Infantry Division, said, "There has definitely been an effect from Iran since we've been here." The general declined to provide details. Another senior American military official said Iranian intelligence agents were operating in the division's command area, which is slightly larger than West Virginia and shares a long border with Iran.
In February, before Iranian pilgrims flooded into Iraq for the Shiite festival of Ashura, American military officials said they were monitoring Iranian intelligence agents working out of central Baghdad.
"Iran is the regional hegemon," the senior military official said. "They're trying to set the stage for the Shia to take power."
Nazila Fathi contributed reporting from Tehran for this article.
Cuban leader meets Iranian foreign minister
www.chinaview.cn 2004-07-03 11:15:16
HAVANA, July 2 (Xinhuanet) -- Cuban leader Fidel Castro met Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi on Friday, discussing economic cooperation and regional political issues, local press said.
The top Iranian diplomat concluded a 24-hour visit in the Caribbean country Friday, during which he also met with Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez and Interior Minister Ricardo Cabrisas.
Kharazi said he and Castro had a "very interesting" meeting in which they talked about economic cooperation, and political and regional affairs.
He said the two sides are willing to extend bilateral cooperation.
During a meeting with his Cuban counterpart Thursday, Kharazi criticized the United States' Cuba policy and emphasized multilateralism in international affairs.
Describing the relations between Iran and Cuba as excellent, hesaid his visit provides a good chance to hold bilateral talks, study ways and forms of developing the ties and exchange views on regional and international situation.
Cuba and Iran normalized diplomatic relations in 1979 after thevictory of the Islamic Revolution led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Enditem
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Iran's Rafsanjani accuses US of censorship, urges public trial for Saddam
July 3rd, 2004
TEHRAN, July 2 (AFP) - Influential former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said on Friday the trial of Saddam Hussein should be totally public and denounced the fact that the Iran-Iraq war was not among the main charges against the ousted Iraqi leader.
"Saddam's trial must be completely public. It is necessary to let Saddam express himself, that the Americans express themselves, that we ourselves can express ourselves and that people say what they have to say," Rafsanjani told
Friday prayers carried by state radio.
"Saddam's extraordinary crimes must be exposed but from the first words pronounced by Saddam the Americans imposed censorship and broadcast only what they wanted," he said, branding it "shame for the United States".
Rafsanjani, head of Iran's top political arbitration body and still one of Iran's most powerful figures, condemned the absence from the main charges of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war in which one million people died.
"I ask the Iraqi judge why Saddam's crimes against Iran have not been raised," said Rafsanjani, adding that 100,000 Iranian fighters suffered from Iraqi chemical weapons.
"If the Iraqi court refuses to include (Saddam's responsibility) in the unleashing of the war against Iran, it means it is on an order from the Americans.
"Why does the war against Kuwait, which only lasted several months, figure among the major charges while the war against Iran which lasted eight years has been omitted?" he asked.
Saddam, toppled last year by a US-led invasion, appeared on Thursday before the court in Baghdad which is to judge him for crimes against humanity.
The ousted president remained defiant. He justified the invasion he ordered against Kuwait, refused to sign legal documents and called US President George W. Bush the real villain.
In Iran, the Staying Power of the Press [Excerpt]
July 03, 2004
The Washington Post
TEHRAN -- The time does not appear auspicious for launching a newspaper in Iran.
In the country that the advocacy group Reporters Without Borders calls "the Middle East's largest prison for journalists," those dailies still available on newsstands brim with courtroom accounts of less fortunate publications, their editors summoned to the dock by the religious government that has closed more than 100 papers in the past four years.
At last month's meeting of the official press committee, a government monitoring board that includes representatives of Iran's news media and of its ruling clerics, a senior mullah named Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejei threw two sugar bowls at an editor, then came around the table and bit him on the shoulder -- drawing blood, said the editor, Isa Saharkhiz, who pulled down his shirt to show the scab.
"There's no security for me," Saharkhiz said, "and therefore none for the press."
So why is Emadeddin Baghi, a veteran of three years in prison and seven shuttered papers, beaming as he goes about the business of launching an eighth publication?
Jumhuriyat, coming Sunday to newsstands up and down the sycamore-lined streets of Tehran, illustrates both the core resilience and the discreet new trajectory of the progressive impulse in Iran, where politics is not what it used to be.
"After all this repression, it would be a sign of hope to people," said Baghi, from a corner of a crowded table in a room swarming with young reporters. "We are still alive. We are still trying.
"We want to show that such a thing is still possible here."
The newspaper is arriving just when the reform movement in Iran is giving every appearance of being on the run, if not actually finished.
Nuclear Weapons in the Mideast
July 03, 2004
Abdul Rahman Al-Rashid
I wasnt sad the day Israel destroyed the Iraqi Tamouz reactor 20 years ago, and I will be a lot happier if the remaining reactors in Iran and Israel are also destroyed. How can a region full of idiots and ripe with disagreements keep such destructive weapons safe?
The Iranians give paltry excuses, saying that the reactors produce cooking fuel and water reservoirs. We would be also stupid if it didnt occur to us that they were in fact producing nuclear bombs by which they can threaten neighboring countries.
It is unlikely that a country with a wealth of cheap oil would build expensive reactors that require rare technology and are dangerous to maintain just to produce electricity when it could easily do so using the available diesel for a quarter of the price and in huge quantities. They are trying to convince the world that the enriched uranium will not be used to build an arsenal of nuclear weapons. Only idiots would believe that. Others want to convince us that the purpose of any nuclear weapons would be to create a balance of power with Israel and not to threaten Arab countries. This is dubious because Iran has never been a front in the confrontation with Israel and never will be. Mind you, I do agree that nuclear arms controls must apply impartially, meaning the whole region beginning with Israel should be cleared of all nuclear weapons.
Iranians will be much safer if Mohammed El-Baradei, who heads the International Atomic Energy Agency, succeeds in transforming these nuclear towers into tourist sites or grain stores for cattle and save locals from the danger of leakage and radiation. The Iranian people will save billions of dollars if their government abandons this huge military project, which can only mean poverty and destruction for Iranians and would destroy us all.
In order for international dialogue to make any sense we must insist on ridding Israel of its nuclear arsenal, which is a threat to the region and the world and only encourages other countries to acquire them too. Israel justifies its huge arsenal as self-defense against the forest of monsters in which it lives. But if the forest goes up in flames, Israel will either get burned by the fire or the nuclear dust that will radiate. At the moment we live at the mercy of extremists in countries like Israel and Iran, whether they came to power democratically or by other means.
If the world could rid the Middle East of all weapons of mass destruction now that Saddam and his hypothetical arsenal are gone, it would avert a great evil. Acquiring banned weapons is no longer impossible, no matter how hard the IAEA agents try. The fact remains that what the IAEA is doing in Iran is great work and greatly benefits the region. It is in the interest of our brothers in Iran to accept that too.
Iran's Revolutionary Guards Warn Britain Over Sailor Spat
July 03, 2004
TEHRAN -- Iran's hardline Revolutionary Guards have hit back at Britain in the spat over last month's detention of eight servicemen, describing as illogical London's claim the unit had not entered Iranian waters.
The spokesman of the Islamic republic's ideological army, General Massoud Jazayeri, said "it is possible that the illogical statements by British officials will have other consequences".
His comments, made to the Iranian news agency ILNA, were confirmed by his office. The official did not elaborate on what the other consequences could be.
The six marines and two sailors were detained for three days in Iran last month, during which they were paraded blindfold on television and forced to publicly apologise for what they called a "mistake".
Iran insists that the boats were intercepted only after they entered Iranian waters on the Shatt al-Arab waterway that divides southern Iraq from Iran.
But after the released unit was debriefed, British officials said it appeared they were "forcibly escorted" over the maritime border by Iranian troops.
However, Britain is unable to prove its contention unless it receives the six Royal Marines and two sailors' boats and sophisticated GPS navigational equipment, confiscated by the Revolutionary Guards.
The incident has come amid a more general downturn in bilateral ties, with Britain co-sponsoring a resolution passed by the International Atomic Energy Agency several days before the arrests that heavily criticised Iran for failing to cooperate fully with an investigation into its nuclear programme.
Iran: Campaign to Recruit Suicide Bombers Spreading
July 02, 2004
BBC Monitoring Middle East
Iranian domestic media and opposition websites have provided new details about Iran's ongoing campaign to recruit suicide bombers and have suggested the campaign is spreading throughout the country. Media have also reported statements by Iran's leaders encouraging the suicide bomber campaign.
On 9 June, the weekly Ya Lesarat , the organ of the Iranian Ansar-e Hizballah [supporters of Hizballah], published an extensive report on the 2 June meeting organized by the General Staff for Glorification of Martyrs of the Global Islamic Campaign to recruit "martyrdom seekers."
According to the weekly, a Majlis deputy from Tehran, Mehdi Kuchekzadeh, spoke on the martyrdom culture and "declared his readiness to become a martyr seeker."
The paper said General Salami, deputy commander of operations at the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) Joint Chiefs of Staff Headquarters, appeared in full military uniform. He declared that the "Global Arrogance [the US and its allies] would come to its knees in the face of martyrdom operations, despite its technological superiority."
Ya Lesarat also reported that "charismatic" speaker Hasan 'Abbasi, the director of the Centre for Doctrinal Studies of Security Across Frontiers, an IRGC Imam Hussein University institution, gave the "most effective" presentation. According to the weekly, 'Abbasi said: "The West needs to know that we cannot stop our youth, and there will remain no security for the Jewish and Christian worlds . . . We will not and cannot stop the disruption of the present order." Before his departure, Dr. 'Abbasi "filled out the form to become a martyr."
Ya Lesarat also reported that IRGC General Sa'id Qasemi and Hojjat ol-Eslam Hamid Sabzevari addressed the gathering. Sabzevari spoke on the "religious basis and justification for seeking martyrdom." In addition, the weekly interviewed Mohammad 'Ali Samadi, an organizer of the campaign, who characterized the campaign as "global" in nature, embracing "all Islamic movements and both Shia and Sunni Muslims," and identified the "US, Israel, and their lackeys" as the targets of the "martyrs."
The 9 June Ya Lesarat also carried an interview with Mrs. Foruz Raja'eifar, the director of the recruitment campaign. A former US Embassy hostage taker, Raja'eifar stressed that "through this event, we are sending a message both to the Islamic world and its enemies." Raja'eifar is the editor of the hardline publication Sobhe-e Dukoheh , directed by the prominent Iranian Hizballah figure Masoud Dehnamaki. Raja'eifar had also expounded on the campaign in a 2 June interview with Hamshahri, the daily of Tehran Municipality. In that interview, she stressed the need to "adopt martyrdom-seeking as a strategic struggle, educate the Iranian youth until it becomes a fundamental cultural movement, and defend its religious and legal basis." She added that martyrs "don't lose anything but gain God's Paradise and eternal joy."
ILNA also carried a report on the 2 June meeting, pointing out that IRGC deputy commander Salami spoke on "martyrdom and military and security strategies," while Hasan 'Abbasi addressed "martyrdom as the last weapon." It also reported the presence of IRGC General Sa'id Qasemi (4 June).
Media Report Campaign Spreading
Since the 2 June meeting, Iranian media and opposition websites have offered further insights into the campaign to recruit suicide bombers. According to the opposition website R ouydad , located at www.rouydad.info , the General Staff for Glorification of Martyrs of the Global Islamic Campaign issued a statement on 18 June declaring that they are ready to move like "burning arrows targeting the heart of Americans." The statement added that "Iranian Muslim youth have their own special method to respond to the enemy."
The opposition website Peiknet suggested that posters for the campaign, which it said "involves the Basij and Hizballah elements," have been appearing at Shiraz University campus. The posters announce a campaign to recruit bombers by the Basij forces, headed by an individual named Puryazdanparast ( www.peiknet.com, 23 June). The poster reads: "It is a short distance to Karbala" and "registration for martyrdom operations." Pictures of President Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Sharon are featured on the poster.
Opposition websites are carrying the application to register to become a suicide bomber. The application provides options for attacking Coalition forces in Iraq, Israel, and author Salman Rushdi, condemned to death by Imam Khomeyni in 1989 for writing Satanic Verses. The first reference to the General Staff for Glorification of Martyrs of the Global Islamic Campaign was observed in February when, according to the daily Jomhuri-ye Eslami , the group offered a ,000 reward for the "killing of British novelist Salman Rushdi" (16 February).
Leaders Support Suicide Bomber Campaign
Opposition websites have also reported Iranian leadership support for the campaign.
-- The Gooya news website reported that Hashemi-Rafsanjani spoke about "the capacity and preparation of mosques for organizing Kafanpushan [literally shroud wearers, those ready to be martyred]" at the same meeting where a member of the General Staff for Glorification of Martyrs of the Global Islamic Campaign "referred to the Japanese kamikaze during WWII and stressed that they should have targeted the civilians" ( www.gooya.com, 22 June).
-- The opposition website Peiknet reported on 8 June that Mayor of Tehran Ahmadinejad is one of the principal forces behind the campaign. [In recent weeks, a number of conservative dailies, including Resalat , have been widely promoting Ahmadinejad as the next President of Iran.]
-- Reporting on the suicide bomber recruitment campaign, the Rouydad website wrote that "Mohammad Mohammadi Golpaygani, the chief of staff of Leader Khamene'i, declared at a mosque in the western Province of Ilam that the Leader has soldiers in the four corners of the Earth who are ready to sacrifice their lives for him, and some of them live in the United States" ( www.rouydad.info , 14 June).
In an unusual move, the 13 June Keyhan , the hardline semi-official daily directed by Hussein Shariatmadari, representative of Leader Khamene'i, carried an unsigned editorial which called for a decisive stance against the West, similar to "Imam Khomeyni's handling of the Salman Rushdi affair." It added, "It is not right to think of defense and ignore operating deep in their land . . . and waging Islamic resistance." The editorial stressed that "we need to make them understand that we can disrupt their security, not necessarily with military action but with Basij [mobilization but also a reference to the Islamic militia in Iran] and concentrated effort . . . we can challenge them deep in their homeland." Encouraging action on the part of the "lovers of Velayat [Leader Khamene'i]," Keyhan urged them to get their cue from "his hints" [eshareh: love-glance] and not wait for his orders and "assignment of duties to the detriment of the religion, nation, and country." [Editorials in Kehyan are usually signed by Hussein Shariatmadari or his deputies.]
Source: Iran press review from BBC Monitoring in English 30 Jun 04
This just in from a student inside of Iran...
The Police and Militia forces arrest young guys and girls who may wear against the Islamic values and morals As we are getting closer to the Anniversary of the July 9th.
There have been reports from city of Mashad in North East of Iran that IRGC related militants arrest young girls who wear short sleeve pants and lash them.
In Tehran, several young couples arrested in coffee shops and fast food centers and being lashed or fined.
That is very frustrating and it is also hard to live in such a society."
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.
This is the same thing the last ones that wanted to overthrow that government were saying.
"Stop The Flood Of Blood In Iran" I still have a handout given to me in Houston in the 70's by an Iranian "student" wanting to overthrow the Shah and bring back the Ayatolla.