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Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail DoctorZin”

1 posted on 07/04/2004 10:32:27 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail DoctorZin”

2 posted on 07/04/2004 10:34:43 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Regime bans gatherings and Demos for Students Uprising anniversary

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Jul 4, 2004

The Islamic republic regime is banning, officially, any gathering or demo planned for July 8th and is mobilizing thousands more of its troops and foreign mercenaries in order to try to smash any popular action. The governors of Esfahan and several cities have declared their firm intention to oppose any move at the occasion of the 5th anniversary the Students Uprising.

Even the requests made by several tolerated religious student associations trying to seek legal authorizations for gathering, a right recognized by the theocratic regime's constitution itself, have been rejected or ignored.

Reports, from sources within the regime's forces, are stating on specific orders granting the use of lethal force against anyone opposing the Islamic State's directives in certain conditions. Iranian cities have a very noticeable foreign occupation look and show the determination of the regime's leaders to smash any rebellion.

Hundreds of check points have been created in each city and militiamen are searching cars or arresting residents under various charges in order to increase the popular fear.

More brutal collects of Satellite dishes and receivers are taking place in Iranian cities and militiamen are rushing to homes using such concept. Rumor's are existing about another deal made between the regime and the Cuban leadership in order to jam again all abroad satellite programs broadcasted by opposition or Persian services of foreign channels. Such deal has been made during Kharazi's last week trip to Cuba and promises of big economic incentives helping the Castro's regime to overcome of its fear from the US warning on any interference in freedom of communication.

The SMCCDI uses often the opposition or the Persian services of foreign satellite TV and radio networks in order to spread its views and calls for the Iranians. Several programs are in line next week in order to pay tribute to the Students Uprising and to call on the population for various protest actions.

3 posted on 07/04/2004 10:35:45 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Persian services of foreign media pay tribute to Iranian Students Uprising

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Jul 4, 2004

The Persian services of two of the most respected and auditored foreign media, by millions of Iranians, have planned special programs paying tribute to the Iranian Student Movement and analyzing the Uprising of July 1999. In that line, the state sponsored "Khol Israel Radio" and "Voice of America TV" (VOA TV) networks will broadcast programs on Monday and Wednesday.

Radio Israel's special program will be aired tomorrow (7/05/04) from 19:00 till 20:00 by satellite and also on short waves; And VOA's satellite TV edition will be on Wednesday (7/07/04) from 18:30 till 20:30 (Iran local time). Both programs will also be available to internet users in live or as archived by visiting:

The Audio section of the Persian Service of Radio Israel

The Persian Service of VOA TV and Radio

Several Iranian political activists, such as, the SMCCDI's Coordinator will participate in these panels and will debate on the issue and the prospects of the future of the students and secularists' struggle to reach freedom and democracy in Iran.

4 posted on 07/04/2004 10:40:22 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Britain says unsure of Iran's nuclear intentions

LONDON, June 4 (AFP) - British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said on Sunday he was unsure whether to believe Iran's insistence that is has no intention of trying to build nuclear weapons.

"I'm not sure, is the answer. And nobody is," Straw said in an interview with BBC radio."Where they have not helped themselves is in not providing full and frank disclosures to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)," he added.

Iran insists a site in Tehran, alleged by the United States to have been used for developing weapons of mass destruction, was in fact a former research and development military" installation, IAEA chief Mohammed ElBaradei said last week.

Meanwhile, Iran's new conservative-controlled parliament is considering pushing through a bill that would force the Islamic regime to resume uranium enrichment activities, a senior deputy told AFP on July 1.

The proposed bill, still under discussion, would scrap a deal signed last October with Britain, France and Germany under which Iran agreed to make several "confidence-building" gestures to the IAEA, the United Nations' nuclear watchdog.

Depending on its purity, enriched uranium can be used as both fuel for a civilian nuclear reactor and for a nuclear bomb. Iran insists it is only interested in generating electricity.

6 posted on 07/04/2004 10:41:25 PM PDT by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn

How to Tame Tehran

July 05, 2004
Middle East Quarterly
Ilan Berman
Middle East Quarterly Spring 2004

Over the past year, Iran has become a major cause of concern in Washington. The Islamic Republic has been discovered to possess a robust nuclear program, of a scope well beyond previous estimates. It has also made substantial breakthroughs in its ballistic missile capabilities. Less noticed, but equally significant, has been Tehran's growing activism in the Persian Gulf, the Caucasus, and Iraq.

There is a vision and a method to Iran's policies. In the words of Mohsen Reza'i, secretary of Iran's Expediency Council, Iran believes it is destined to become the "center of international power politics" in the post-Saddam Hussein Middle East.(1) Iran's new, more confrontational strategic doctrine even has a name: "deterrent defense." According to foreign minister Kamal Kharrazi, this national security concept is designed to confront "a broad spectrum of threats to Iran's national security, among them foreign aggression, war, border incidents, espionage, sabotage, regional crises derived from the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), state terrorism, and discrimination in manufacturing and storing WMD."(2)

Under the rubric of "deterrent defense," Iran is exploiting U.S. preoccupation with Iraq to build capabilities that will establish its hegemony in its immediate neighborhood and enhance its role across the Middle East. Iran's moves, if unchecked, will create agrave and growing challenge to U.S. aims in the region. At stake are nothing less than the geopolitical balance in the Middle East and the long-term achievement of U.S. goals, from stability in Iraq to regional peace.

How has Iran's policy changed? And what can the United States do to thwart Iran's new drive?


For years, policymakers in Washington had suspected Tehran's rulers of pursuing an offensive nuclear capability. They had viewed with alarm the growing strategic ties between Iran and Russia and had publicly expressed concerns that the centerpiece of that cooperation,the $800 million light-water reactor project at Bushehr, could lead to significant Iranian nuclear advances.

Then, in the summer of 2002, an Iranian op-position group disclosed the existence of an extensive uranium enrichment complex at Natanz in central Iran. This revelation and a series of subsequent discoveries by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)-ranging from advanced clandestine nuclear development to the presence of trace weapons-grade uranium-revealed the true extent of Iran's nuclear endeavor.

This effort turns out to have been far broader and more mature than originally believed. Iran is now thought to have some fourteen other facilities, including heavy- and light-water reactors in Isfahan and Arak, and suspect sites in Fasa, Karaj, and Nekka. Together, these constitute all the makings of an ambitious national effort to develop nuclear weapons.(3) Iranian officials, meanwhile, have hinted at the existence of still other, as yet undisclosed, facilities essential to the country's nuclear program.(4)

Iran appears to have agreed to suspend its uranium enrichment activities under an October2003 deal with France, Germany, and Great Brit-ain. Similarly, international pressure succeeded in prompting Iran to sign the Additional Protocol to the 1968 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty(NPT), permitting snap inspections and invasive monitoring of segments of Iran's nuclear sector by the International Atomic Energy Agency. However, two of Iran's main atomic suppliers, Russia and China, wield veto power on the United Nations Security Council, making it improbable that Iranian nuclear violations would result in meaningful censure. And in fact, ongoing IAEA deliberations have so far failed to yield decisive international action, despite mounting evidence of Iran's atomic breaches.

There is also a lingering uncertainty over Tehran's nuclear time line. While informed American observers contend that Iran is stillsome two years (and possibly longer) away froman offensive nuclear capability,(5) others believethat an Iranian bomb could materialize much sooner. In November 2003 testimony before the Israeli parliament's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Mossad chief Meir Dagan warned that Iran could reach a "point of no return" in its nuclear development by mid-2004, following which time an Iranian offensive capability would become a virtual certainty.(6) President Bush has himself warned that the United States "will not tolerate" a nuclear-armed Iran.(7) But if estimates are off, even by a few months, Iran could present the world with a nuclear fait accompli.

At the same time, major breakthroughs in Iran's strategic arsenal have made it an emerging missile power. In June 2003, the Islamic Republic conducted what it termed the final test of its 1,300-kilometer range Shahab-3 ballistic missile. The launch was a success, confirming Iran's ability to target U.S. allies Israel and Turkey, as well as U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf. Since then, with great fanfare, the Islamic Republic has inducted the advanced rocket into its Revolutionary Guards (the Pasdaran).(8)

This potential for proliferation is hardly the only worry. If recent signals are any indication, the Shahab-3 has already evolved well beyond its officially declared capabilities. In September2003, at a military parade commemorating the anniversary of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, the Shahab-3 was officially described as possessing a range of 1,700 kilometers.(9) Additionally, opposition groups have charged that Tehran's overt missile development actually masks a much broader clandestine endeavor-one that includes developmentof the 4,000-kilometer range Shahab-5 and even a follow-on Shahab-6 intercontinen-tal ballistic missile.(10)

Such efforts have only been strengthened by Iranian perceptions of U.S. policy. The Bush administration's rapid dispatch of Saddam Hussein's regime, and its contrasting hesitancy in dealing with a newly nuclear North Korea, has had a profound impact on Iran's calculus. North Korea's nuclear maneuvers, and its ability to successfully stymie U.S. strategy, have led Iranian officials to express their admiration for Pyongyang's resistance to U.S. "pressure, hegemony and superiority."(11) There has indeed been some internal debate in Iran about the risks of stepping over the nuclear threshold. Yet even leading Iranian reformers appear to have gravitated to the notion that nuclear weapons are necessary to shift the regional "equilibrium."(12)


These strategic advances, however, are only part of the picture. In tandem with Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile breakthroughs, a significant transformation has also begun in Iranian foreign policy.

For Tehran, the overthrow of Hussein's regime has only fueled mounting fears of a dangerous strategic encirclement. The U.S. destruction of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan had already ensconced the pro-Western—albeit fragile—government of Hamid Karzai in Kabul. For Iran, the extremist Sunni Taliban posed an ideological threat, but a U.S. foothold on Iran's eastern border is regarded as even more threatening. Regime change in Baghdad, therefore, confronted officials in Tehran with the two-fold danger that Iran could be pinioned between two U.S. client-states, and that Iraq's fall might be aprelude to a similar U.S. drive to transform their country.

In response, Iran formulated its new strategic doctrine of "deterrent defense." In practice, this has entailed a major expansion of Iran's military capabilities. Heavy defense expenditures,and ongoing strategic partnerships with both Russia and China, have made possible a farreaching national military rearmament. Defense acquisitions made over the past several years have steadily broadened Iran's strategic reachover vital Persian Gulf shipping lanes, to the point that Tehran now possesses the ability to virtually control oil supplies from the region.(13) Iran has also increased its diplomatic activism in the region, redoubling its long-running efforts to erect an independent security framework as a counterweight to the expanding U.S. militaryfootprint.(14)

As part of this effort, in February 2004, Iran codified an unprecedented military and defense accord with Syria—one formally enshrining an Iranian commitment to Syria's defense in the event of a U.S. or Israeli offensive. Iranian officials have subsequently made clear that these mutual defense guarantees also extend to Lebanon and to the Islamic Republic's most potent regional proxy: Hizbullah.(15)

Iran has also raised its military and diplomatic profile in the Caucasus. In April 2003, foreign minister Kharrazi embarked on a diplomatic tour of the region intended to marshal support for a common regional security framework for Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Iran, and Turkey as an alternative to cooperation with "external forces."(16) But lukewarm regional responses have prompted the Islamic Republic to nudge these countries into alignment through less subtle means. In mid-October 2003, Iran commenced large-scale military maneuvers in its northwest region, near Azerbaijan. The exercises, reportedly the largest conducted by Iran in recent memory, massed troops on the Iranian-Azeri border in a clear show of force aimed at dissuading the former Soviet republic from expanding cooperation with the United States.(17) A corresponding Iranian naval buildup is now visible in the Caspian Sea in response to Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan's growing military relationships with Washington. U.S. advances in the region are regarded by Iran as potential threats, but paradoxically they have also presented Iran with opportunities that it has been quick to exploit.

The coalition campaign against Saddam Hussein's regime succeeded in eliminating the threat posed by Tehran's most immediate adversary, thereby cementing Iran's dominant regional standing. Iran has exploited the postwar political vacuum in Iraq to foment instability through a variety of measures, ranging from political support of radical Shi‘ite elements to an increase in drug trafficking.(18) This broad offensive has reportedly included the infiltration of hundreds of Pasdaran operatives into Iraq where they have engaged in active recruitment, influence operations, and assassinations—at a cost to Iran of some $70 million per month.(19)

Hussein's overthrow has also effectively defanged a lingering threat to Tehran: the Mujahideen-e Khalq Organization (MKO), a wing of the National Council of Resistance of Iran. Since the spring of 2003, coalition forces under a U.S.-imposed cease-fire have curtailed the anti-regime group's operations in Iraq. And a subsequent December decision by Iraq's new governing council has labeled the MKO—previously tolerated and even supported by the Baathists—as a terrorist organization.(20)

To Iran's east, meanwhile, the fall of the Taliban has removed an ideological competitor for Muslim hearts and minds while lingering factionalism and tribal rivalries have allowed Iran to perpetuate Afghanistan's instability.

Iran is clearly determined to remake its strategic environment in its favor. Iran has mobilized its technological resources to give it greater reach and has used political, economic, and military clout to encourage a tilt in its direction in its immediate neighborhood. Paradoxically, the United States, by breaking up the old order instates neighboring Iran, has given Tehran hitherto unimagined opportunities to influence the region.


Can international diplomacy deflect Iran's newest drive for regional hegemony? It hardly seems likely. From 1991 to 1997, the European Union (EU) engaged in a "critical dialogue" with the Islamic Republic, attempting to moderate Iran's radical policies through trade. But by 1997, critical dialogue had actually achieved exactly the opposite result, infusing Iran with much needed currency while failing to alter Tehran's support for terrorism, its pursuit of WMD, and its violations of human rights. Diplomacy has had a limited effect because the EU countries have allowed their economic interests to undercut their diplomatic efforts. For example, in late 2002, in the midst of revelations regarding Iran's advanced nuclear development, the EU signal edits intention to commence new negotiations with the Islamic Republic on a sweeping trade and cooperation pact.(21)

The United States has also wavered in its application of diplomatic pressure. The May 1997 election of soft-line cleric Mohammad Khatami to the Iranian presidency—and his subsequent, much-publicized "dialogue of civilizations" interview on CNN—convinced many in Washington that Iran was moving toward pragmatic accommodation. Since then, U.S. policymakers, despite reiterating their continued commitment to containment of Iran, have time and again qualified Iran's membership in the "axis of evil." Most notably, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, in a February 2003 interview with the Los Angeles Times, distinguished between Iran on the one hand and North Korea and Iraq on the other—on account of Iran's "democracy."(22)

This, too, is an illusion. The Islamic Republic in recent years has engaged in a widening governmental campaign of domestic repression—one that includes stepped-up crackdowns on the press and the brutal persecution of regime opponents. The repression reflects a governmental effort to grapple with the grounds well of political opposition that has emerged among Iran's disaffected young population in response to the country's rising unemployment and economic stagnation.

At the same time, Iran's theocrats remain deeply antagonistic to all U.S. overtures. This was demonstrated most recently by the quiet contacts between Washington and Tehran in the aftermath of the devastating December2003 earthquake in Bam, Iran. Despite deep support for dialogue among reformist parliamentarians, clerical hard-liners opposed to such a rapprochement ultimately cut short the contacts.(23)

If the United States wants to alter Iran's behavior, it cannot expect results from the tried-and-failed approaches of "critical dialogue," "dialogue of civilizations," and other false starts.


Yet a policy that reassures allies, deters Iranian aggression, and curbs Iran's expansionism is more than feasible. It requires the United States to do four things: broaden containment to include counter-proliferation; revive Gulf defense alliances; mobilize Turkey; and woo the Iranian people.

Expanded containment. Far and away the most urgent task now facing Washington is arresting Iran's nuclear progress. Over the past year, U.S. policymakers have expressed increasingly vocal concerns over the corrosive global potential of an Iranian nuclear breakout, ranging from a nuclear arms race in the Middle East to Tehran's growing capacity for nuclear blackmail. Yet the United States could assume a more proactive role in preventing nuclear technology transfers to Iran.

This is the concept behind the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), the counter-proliferation partnership launched by President Bush in May 2003.(24) Since its inception, the PSI—designed to prevent the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by rogue nations through more aggressive intelligence-sharing and interdiction efforts—has already charted some notable successes vis-à-vis North Korea, including a clampdown on illicit North Korean smuggling operations by both Australia and Japan. And recent maneuvers by PSI-member nations in the Coral Sea and the Mediterranean suggest a growing role for the alliance in the Middle East, both as a mechanism to intercept illicit WMD trafficking in the Persian Gulf and as a means to target proliferation networks (such as the recently unearthed nuclear ring led by Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan) now active in the region.

But the PSI is not the only tool in Washington's arsenal. In the Caucasus and Central Asia, the United States is quietly moving ahead with Caspian Guard, an initiative designed to bolster regional security through expanded maritime patrols, aerial and naval surveillance, and border protections. As part of this effort, the United States has stepped up military exercises with Azerbaijan and has committed some $10 million to strengthening the former Soviet republic's naval capability and border security. This includes beefing up Azerbaijan's communications infrastructure and helping to carry out counter-proliferation operations.(25)

Similarly, under a five-year defense accord signed with Kazakhstan in 2003, Washington has bankrolled the construction of a Kazakh military base in the Caspian coast city of Atyrau and has allocated millions to equipment and training for the Kazakh army, maritime and border-patrol forces.(26) Central to this effort is the prevention of WMD proliferation through the region, not least the transfer of technology from Russia to Iran.

The early successes of the PSI and Caspian Guard suggest that both initiatives can and should be expanded to address more comprehensively the threat from the Islamic Republic.

Reviving Gulf defense. Over the past several years, fears of a rising Tehran have begun to drive many Arab Gulf countries toward accommodation with Iran. For ex-ample, such concerns led Oman to establish a modus vivendi with the Islamic Republic through the codification of a sweeping agreement on military cooperation in 2000 (albeit one that has since been denied by Oman).(27) Kuwait subsequently followed suit, striking a similar bargain in October2002.(28) Even Saudi Arabia, previously a strategic competitor of Iran, capitulated on along-discussed framework accord with Tehran in late 2001, in the wake of two multi-billion-dollar Russo-Iranian defense accords.(29)

But for many of these countries, such bilateral partnerships are a product of necessity—a function of the inadequacy of national defenses and regional alliances in addressing Iran's rising expansionism. The distrust of Iran still runs very deep. As a recent editorial in London's influential Arab-lan-guage Ash-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper emphasized, Iran now poses a threat to "Saudi Arabia, Oman, Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan, which share with Iran a land border of 5,400 kilometers and a sea border of 2,400 kilometers ...The Iranian nuclear danger threatens us, first and foremost, more than it threatens the Israelis and the Americans."(30)

Such worries have prompted the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), comprised of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain,and the United Arab Emirates, to initiate a feasibility study for an alliance-wide antimissile system. At the same time, individual countries in the Arab Gulf (most notably Saudi Arabia and Kuwait) have initiated efforts to upgrade their individual missile defense capabilities.(31) Recently uncovered nuclear contacts between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan suggest that at least one of Iran's neighbors has begun to actively contemplate the need for a strategic deterrent against the Islamic Republic.(32)

All this suggests that a U.S. strategic initiative toward the Arab Gulf may find ready customers. On the one hand, a deepening of Washington's bilateral military dialogue and defense contacts with individual Gulf nations might lessen regional dependence not only on Iran but on an increasingly volatile and unpredictable Saudi Arabia as well.(33) On the other hand, the creation of a formalized American security architecture over the region could reinvigorate Washington's regional partnerships while excluding and isolating Iran.(34) Common to all of these efforts is the need to provide Tehran's neighbors with the tools to counter its growing potential for nuclear and ballistic missile blackmail.

Talking Turkey. Ties between the UnitedStates and Turkey have been tepid since Ankara's unexpected refusal to grant basing rights to U.S. troops on the eve of the spring 2003 Iraq campaign—a move that torpedoed U.S.plans for a northern front against Hussein's regime. Since then, however, policy makers in both countries have begun to mend fences. As part of that process, the United States should insist that Turkey do more to hedge Iranian ambitions in the Caucasus and Central Asia.

Unfortunately, Turkey's historic role as a strategic competitor of Iran has been substantially eroded. Indeed, over the past two years, Ankara has steadily drifted toward a new relationship with Tehran. Much of this movement has been underpinned by energy. Turkey's growing dependence on Iran—which could provide roughly 20 percent of total Turkish natural gas consumption by the end of the decade(35)—has diminished Ankara's economic leverage vis-à-vis Tehran.

But politics play an important role as well. Since its assumption of power in November 2002, Turkey's Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) has gravitated toward closer ties with its Muslim neighbors under the guise of an "independent" foreign policy. Iran has been one of the chief beneficiaries of these overtures, and bilateral contacts and economic trade between Ankara and Tehran have ballooned over the past year. This political proximity has only been reinforced by common worries over Iraqi instability in the aftermath of Hussein's ouster.

Nevertheless, Ankara's deep ethnic and historical ties to the countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia make it a natural counterweight to Iranian-sponsored religious radicalism in those regions. Given Turkey's deep interest in expanding trade and development in the Caspian, Turkey also remains suspicious of Iran's maneuvers there. Meanwhile, Tehran's ongoing sponsorship of terrorism, including the Kurdish variety, has put Iran and Turkey on very different sides of the war on terrorism.

These commonalities have led observers to suggest that Turkey's most constructive role might be as a force multiplier for U.S. interests in its "northern neighborhood."(36) In fact, Ankara and Tehran's divergent strategic priorities—on everything from Central Asian Islam to Caspian energy to the future political composition of post-war Iraq—suggest that Turkey and Iran could become competitors again. The United States should encourage such competition by creating incentives for Turkey to play its historic role.

Wooing the Iranians. One of the Bush administration's most enduring challenges in prosecuting the war on terrorism has been effectively communicating its goals and objectives to a skeptical Muslim world. Over the past two and a half years, that need has spawned an expanded public diplomacy effort. This has included media outreach on the part of top administration officials like National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Iran, however, has been included only belatedly in these plans. More than nine months after September 11, with U.S. officials saturating the airwaves of Arabic networks like Qatar's al-Jazeera, not one high-ranking U.S. official had granted an interview to a Persian-language television outlet.(37)(This is despite the existence of dissident channels, such as the Los Angeles-based National Iranian Television [NITV]), capable of effectively carrying the U.S. message.) Even when the United States did finally overhaul its public diplomacy toward Iran with the launch of the Persian-language Radio Farda in December 2002, the station's entertainment-heavy format led critics to complain that the United States had diluted its democratic message.(38) Since then, broadcasting to Iran has continued to be funded at minimal levels, despite Congressional efforts to expand outreach. Such a lackluster effort reflects continuing confusion within the U.S. government about exactly whom to engage within Iran.

In fact, the success of public diplomacy hinges upon a clear American vision of Iran's desired direction and the sustained political will to assist Iran in reaching that goal. In that light, there should be only one answer to the question of whom to engage: the nascent democratic opposition. The United States should demonstrate its support for that opposition by expanding expatriate and government-sponsored broadcasting, using it to highlight and criticize Tehran's bankrupt clerical rule.


The United States has been guilty of sending mixed signals to Iran over the past few years. Most significantly, it has apologized for the Central Intelligence Agency's role in the coup of 1953—an early case of regime change—and it has declared its goal in Iran to be behavior modification rather than regime change. The mixing of signals simply reflects a confusion of policy—a confusion that has become positively dangerous, both to U.S. interests and the security of Iran's neighbors.

In fact, the U.S. objective in Iran is closer to the regime change it imposed on Iraq than to the behavioral change it brought about in Libya. The Iranian regime is not one mercurial man, whose behavior can be reversed by determined action. Iran has a ruling elite with many members, a shared sense of history, and a consistency of purpose that has been tested in revolution and war. This regime will not change, which is why the ultimate objective of U.S. policy must be to change it. That should not be forgotten, even if regime change in Iran cannot be pursued by the military means used in Iraq. Short of military intervention, the United States needs a comprehensive strategy to block Iran's nuclear progress, check Iran's adventurism in the Persian Gulf and the Caucasus, and give encouragement to the Islamic Republic's nascent domestic opposition. Through a strategy that bolsters Iran's vulnerable regional neighbors, rolls back its military advances, and assists internal political alternatives, Washington can blunt the threat now posed by Tehran—and set the stage for the later pursuit of its ultimate objective.

Ilan Berman is vice president for policy at the American Foreign Policy Council in Washington, D.C., where he directs research and analysis on the Middle East and Central Asia.

1 - Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), Mar. 5, 2003.
2 - Iranian foreign minister Kamal Kharrazi, cited in Saisat-eRouz, Feb. 18, 2003.
3 - Defense News, Jan. 12, 2004; Michael Rubin, "Iran's Bur-geoning WMD Programs," Middle East Intelligence Bulletin,Mar.-Apr. 2002, at
4 - Ahmad Shirzad, Iranian member of parliament, Nov. 24,2003, remarks before legislative session, RFE/RL (Radio FreeEurope/Radio Liberty) Iran Report, Dec. 8, 2003.
5 - "Iran: Breaking out without Quite Breaking the Rules?"Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, May 13, 2003, at
6 - Ha'aretz (Tel Aviv), Nov. 18, 2003. Israeli officials havefurther threatened to take preemptive military action, if neces-sary, to prevent this from happening; Agence France-Presse,Dec. 21, 2003.
7 - The New York Times, June 18, 2003.
8 - Vision of the Islamic Republic of Iran Network 1, July 20,2003.
9 - Agence France-Presse, Sept. 22, 2003.
10 - Middle East Newsline, Oct. 25, 2002.
11 - IRNA, Dec. 14, 2003.
12 - The Washington Post, Mar. 11, 2003.
13 - Vice Admiral Lowell E. Jacoby, Defense Intelligence Agencydirector, "Current and Projected National Security Threats tothe United States," statement for the record, Senate Select Com-mittee on Intelligence, Feb. 11, 2003, at
14 - M. Javad Zarif, Iran's ambassador to the United Nations,commentary in The New York Times, May 10, 2003.
15 - IRNA, Feb. 27 and Feb. 29, 2004; Ma'ariv (Tel Aviv), Feb.29, 2004.
16 - Itar-TASS (Moscow), Apr. 29, 2003.
17 - Uch Nogta (Azerbaijan), Oct. 22, 2003.
18 - See, for example, Al-Hayat (London), Nov. 28, 2003, andJan. 5, 2004.
19 - Ash-Sharq al-Awsat (London), Apr. 3, 2004.
20 - The New York Times, Dec. 19, 2003.
21 - Xinhua News Agency (Beijing), Dec. 12, 2002.
22 - Los Angeles Times, Feb. 16, 2003.
23 - Mohsen Armin, deputy chairman of the National Securityand Foreign Relations Committee, Iranian Islamic Consulta-tive Assembly (majles), Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA),Jan. 4, 2004.Iran could provide20 percent ofTurkish naturalgas consumptionby the end ofthe decade.
24 - Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland,the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, the UnitedKingdom, and the United States currently make up the coremembership of the PSI, while over sixty other nations—includ-ing Turkey—have voiced their backing for the initiative.
25 - Associated Press, Jan. 3, 2004.
26 - Radio Free Europe, Oct. 8, 2003.
27 - Vision of the Islamic Republic of Iran Network 1, Apr. 10,2000.
28 - Xinhua News Agency, Oct. 2, 2002; Reuters, Oct. 3, 2002.
29 - Middle East Newsline, Apr. 18, 2001.
30 - Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), Oct. 8, 2003.
31 - Defense News, May 23 and Dec. 1, 2003.
32 - The Washington Times, Oct. 22, 2003.
33 - For more on existing defense ties between the United Statesand the Gulf states, as well as the potential for their expansion,see Simon Henderson, The New Pillar: Conservative ArabGulf States and U.S. Strategy (Washington, D.C.: WashingtonInstitute for Near East Policy, 2003).
34 - See, for example, Kenneth Pollack, "Securing the Gulf,"Foreign Affairs, July-Aug. 2003, pp. 2-15.
35 - "Turkish Energy Policy," Turkish Ministry of ForeignAffairs, at
36 - Soner Cagaptay, "United States and Turkey in 2004: Timeto Look North," Turkish Policy Quarterly, Winter 2004, at
37 - Interview with Iranian dissident, Washington, D.C., July2002.
38 - See, for example, Jesse Helms, "What's ‘Pop' in Persian?"The Wall Street Journal, Dec. 16, 2002; Jackson Diehl, "CaseyKasem or Freedom?" The Washington Post, Dec. 16, 2002.

8 posted on 07/04/2004 10:42:04 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

European's Nuclear Deal with Iran "Falling Apart"

July 04, 2004

TEHRAN -- There was plenty of diplomatic drama last October when the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany jetted into Tehran to bring Iran back from the brink of sparking a major nuclear crisis.

But nearly nine months on, diplomats are cannily admitting their bid to strip Iran's ruling clerics of gaining A-bomb potential is falling apart. And perhaps more alarmingly, there does not appear to be a great deal that they can do about it.

The problem, say diplomats who were close to hammering out the "Tehran declaration", lies not so much with Iran's recent backing away from certain technical aspects of it, but with its firm rejection of the accord's more ambitious premise.

"We wanted the same kind of agreement with Iran as what we had with Libya. Iran had an opportunity to abandon its more sensitive nuclear work, and in return win greater trade and better relations with the West," recalled the senior diplomat.

This was an effort to get around the inherent weakness of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) -- a text of good intention in so far as member states are allowed to master the entire nuclear fuel cycle for peaceful purposes as long as they commit themselves not to take the relatively easy next step to military usage.

"Iran is a special case. There was a pattern of years of deception, so we needed to go beyond the NPT," explained another EU diplomat working on the nuclear dossier.

"We wanted Iran to give up the nuclear fuel work in exchange for guaranteed supplies of fuel from overseas, as well as improved trade and diplomatic relations."

But for Iran's 25-year-old Islamic regime, it was an existential leap too far.While careful to repeat denials of any nuclear weapons ambitions, officials have described the fuel cycle as an "inalienable right", while supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said it is "essential".

Iran may be only interested in generating nuclear power for now, but having a full fuel cycle under its belt means that having a nuclear deterrent would become a feasible strategic option -- and a tempting display of muscle if the present regional climate does not cool.

Last October Iran did agree to suspend uranium enrichment pending the completion of UN inspections, but it is still working full throttle on other key parts of the fuel cycle -- a uranium conversion facility in Isfahan, a heavy water reactor in Arak and now centrifuge construction and testing.

Officials are also threatening to resume enrichment too, if things do not go Iran's way at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) -- the UN's nuclear watchdog and guardian of the NPT.

And to add insult to injury, Tehran is saying it is the Europeans who have failed to meet their side of the agreement. So what now for Europe's so-called "big three"? In diplomatic circles, the three are drawing unflattering jokes that compare their mission last October to British prime minister Neville Chamberlain's attempted appeasement of Adolf Hitler in the fateful Munich agreement of 1938.

"Ah yes, we have in our hand a piece of paper," laughed one European diplomat when asked to reflect on Jack Straw, Joschka Fischer and Dominique de Villepin's convergence on Tehran last year.

The bottom line, he said, is that the deal "has not brought peace in our time. In fact it is falling apart, and Iran has been gaining time."

There are several options, none of which are tempting.The most extreme -- declaring war against Iran by launching air strikes on
nuclear facilities -- could only serve to galvanise the regime, and spark a host of retaliatory measures in an already explosive region.

What's more, unless IAEA inspectors manage to turn up a "smoking gun" here, they still have no concrete proof that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons -- meaning they will have to again tackle the uncomfortable debate on "pre-emptive" attacks that so badly split the international community ahead of the war with Iraq.

In addition, analysts point out, regional developments are working against them: Iraq is still unstable and Saudi Arabia's predicament means that few have the will to pick yet another fight.

One oft-cited option could be to side with the United States and send the dossier to the UN Security Council -- even if gaining a consensus there on tough sanctions may be impossible given Russia's attachment to its lucrative contract to build Iran's first nuclear power plant in the southern city of Bushehr.

Such a move could bring Iran back into line.But it also send Tehran the other way -- chastised by the IAEA, Iran's now-dominant hardliners could abandon the NPT altogether and adopt the so-far effective diplomacy of "axis of evil" bedfellow North Korea.

The EU has already frozen talks on a Trade and Cooperation Agreement, but even that has a hollow ring.European firms have been queuing up for contracts here -- Total and ENI among others in Iran's oil and gas sector, and giants such as Renault and Volkswagen in the car industry.

The next IAEA meeting is in September.Iran looks unlikely to be satisfied by seeing its case taken off the agenda, and for the Europeans -- still chewing over their uncomfortable options -- it may very well result in yet more "wait and see".

9 posted on 07/04/2004 10:43:10 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Iran's Revolutionary Guards reinforced amid new "threats": official

TEHRAN, July 4 (AFP) - A senior commander in the Revolutionary Guards Corps said Sunday that Iran's ideological army has been strengthened amid new threats against the Islamic republic, the official news agency IRNA reported.

"The armed forces must be prepared to protect the Islamic republic," Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jafari was quoted as saying.
The Revolutionary Guards Corps "has committed itself to organisational transformations, considering the changes in the nature of threats against Iran," he said.

"So far the battalions have been reinforced, while the necessity to act fast and pay attention to military tactics have been taken into consideration," added the commander of the Revolutionary Guards' ground forces.

The commander did not elaborate on the structural changes in the Corps, founded after the 1979 revolution to protect the Islamic regime against both internal and external threats and now one of Iran's most powerful entities.

"During the past 25 years America has carried out several plots to destabilise the Islamic Republic. The only thing they have not done is military attack, which it would not dare to given the people's support of the regime," he said.

The commander said the US-led invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan -- both neighbours of Iran -- were merely a part of Washington's campaign against Tehran, which he boasted had "messed up America's plans in the Persian Gulf region".

The Revolutionary Guards, or Sepah-e Pasdaran, exist in parallel to the regular armed forces. They also have their own naval and air forces, and are largely deployed to protect Iran's borders.

-People's support my arse..

10 posted on 07/04/2004 10:43:14 PM PDT by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn

Straw Defends Diplomacy with Iran

July 04, 2004
BBC News

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has told BBC Radio Four that "bit by bit", progress is being made in Britain's relationship with Iran. He said the fact that a diplomatic incident had arisen was "unfortunate".

But he firmly defended the joint diplomatic efforts by France, Germany and the UK on the Iran nuclear dossier.

Iranian authorities recently detained eight Britons who had entered Iranian territorial waters in the Shatt al-Arab waterway for three days.

The men were training the Iraqi river patrol service in the waterway, which forms the border between Iran and Iraq.

'Productive' cooperation

Mr Straw said he hoped the squabble could be solved satisfactorily, and praised the overall progress in relations with Iran.

"On the whole, the co-operation we have received from Iran both in respect of Afghanistan and Iraq had been good and productive," he said.

"We got the men back, which was the prime matter, but there are other matters still outstanding and then we can move on."

With regard to the concerns of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over Iran's possible plans to develop nuclear weapons, Mr Straw said there had not been "full co-operation" by Iran, but insisted the current approach by France, Germany and the UK was correct.

"What I say to you critics is: What's your alternative?

"What we are seeking to do is to get the Iranians to accept that they have been under long-standing obligations to meet their commitments under the non-proliferation treaty.

"We are certainly a long way further forward in terms of getting to meet those commitments."

Asked whether he believed Iran's claims that it has no intention of developing nuclear weapons, he replied: "I'm not sure."

Israel's role

With regard to Israel's nuclear capability, Mr Straw argued that the territorial integrity of Iran was not being questioned, whereas that of Israel was.

"I don't happen to approve of a lot of the actions that the government of Israel takes, and I make that very clear.

"But I also say that if you want a nuclear-free Middle East, you have to ensure that first of all it is the Arab and Islamic countries that remove their threat to Israel, and then we can put a great deal more pressure on Israel to abandon its undoubted nuclear weapons programme, which has been there... for defensive purposes."

Mr Straw was adamant that the current diplomatic effort was the only meaningful approach to solving the problem.

"Iran is a very important country. It's the dominant player in the region, so you can't ignore it.

"And I think the approach we have adopted and have been working on very closely with France and Germany, particularly on the nuclear dossier, is the right approach."

11 posted on 07/04/2004 10:43:51 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn


Main cities, Iran (On 07/08/2004)
Iranian students will commemorate the legacy of the 1999 Students Uprising by gathering inside and in front of the Iranian universities despite the official ban.

In addition, thousands of Iranians are expected to come into streets and squares of most Iranian cities or on their roof tops and to condemn the Islamic regime in another show of rejection of the theocracy. They will also cherish the legacy of the "Epic of the Students Uprising of July 9, 1999".

These wide spread demonstrations are estimated to be extremly bloody as the Islamic regime which has increased the repression, intends to smash the popular actions.

On Thursday, July 8th, 2004
From Noon (isnide and around the universities) and from 19:00 in the cities.
In all Iranian streets and squares, especially in the Enghelab, Amir Abad, Vali e Asr, Azadi, Baharestan, Narmak, Tehran Pars and Madar areas of the Iranian Capital.

Dallas, (TX/US) (On 07/11/2004)
SMCCDI organizes the commemoration of the anniversary of July 9-14, 1999, Student Uprising of Iran and its legacy.

Participants will cherish the memories of those fallen during the bloody governmental crackdown on the 5 glorious days of students protests.

Sunday, July 11, 2004
From 05:00 PM (Local time)
At the "Le Gala" room of the "Intercontinental Hotel" (former Kempenski) located at the junctions of North Dallas Parkway and Arrapaho Rd.

Düsseldorf, Germany (On 07/10/2004)
The Iranian community will march in order to commemorate the Student Uprising of July 9-14, 1999, and to demonstrate their solidarity with enchained Iranians.

The demonstrators will request the end of the German government's collaboration with the Islamic regime and pressures on the Mullahcracy in order to respect Human Rights in Iran and to step down from political power.

Saturday, July 10, 2004
From 14:00 (Local time)
From Banhoff toward the City Court

Paris, France (On 07/10/2004)
SMCCDI organizes the commemoration of the July 9-14, 1999, Student Uprising Iran and its legacy. This demonstration will follow the SMCCDI Demo of July 8, 2004, in front of the regime's Embassy.

Participants will cherish the memories of those fallen during the bloody governmental crackdown on the 5 glorious days of students protests.

On Saturday, July 10, 2004
From 16:00 till 18:00 (local time)
Place du Trocadero

Heidelberg, Germany (On 07/10/2004)
The Iranian community will gather in order to commemorate the Student Uprising of July 9-14, 1999, and to demonstrate their solidarity with enchained Iranians.

The demonstrators will request the end of the German government's collaboration with the Islamic regime and pressures on the Mullahcracy in order to respect Human Rights in Iran and to step down from political power.

Saturday, July 10, 2004
From 15:00 till 17:00 (Local time)
At the Bismark Platz (town center)

Palo Alto, (CA/US) (On 07/09/2004)
The Iranian community of San Francisco will gather near the Stanford University in order to commemorate the Student Uprising of July 9-14, 1999, and to demonstrate their solidarity with enchained Iranians.

Friday, July 9, 2004
From 07:30 PM (Local time)
At the University Ave and Emerson

Washington (DC/US) (On 07/08/2004)
The Iranian community will gather in the US Capital in order to commemorate the Student Uprising of July 9-14, 1999, and to demonstrate their solidarity with enchained Iranians.

The demonstrators will request the public moral support of the Iranian secularist movement and the US pressure for free elections in Iran.

Thursday, July 8, 2004
From 11:00 AM (Local time)
At the West side of the US Capitol Building

Göteborg, Sweden (On 07/08/2004)
Iranians and Swedish freedom lovers will gather for the commemoration of the July 9-14, 1999, Student Uprising of Iran and its legacy. They will show their rejection of the Islamic republic and cherish the memories of those fallen during the bloody governmental crackdown on the 5 glorious days of students protests.

On Thursday, July 8, 2004
From 17:30 (local time)
From the Gustaf Adolfs Torg toward Glatsen

Paris, France (On 07/08/2004)
SMCCDI organizes for the 3rd consecutive year the commemoration of the July 9-14, 1999, Student Uprising of Iran and its legacy.

It's to note that this demonstration will take place in the Capital of the Islamic regime's closet ally, in front of the Islamic Republic Embassy.

Participants will show their rejection of the Islamic regime and cherish the memories of those fallen during the bloody governmental crackdown on the 5 glorious days of students protests.

On Thursday, July 8, 2004
From 19:00 till 21:00 (local time)
Place de l'Iena

Ottawa, Canada (On 07/08/2004)
Iranians will gather for the 2nd consecutive day in front of the Islamic republic's Embassy in order to condemn the persistent repression in Iran and in order to cherish the legacy of the Students Uprising of 1999.

They will also ask from the Canadian government to pressure the Islamic regime in order to bring to an open court of justice the murderers of Zahra Kazemi the Iranian Canadian journalist killed by agents of the regime

Thursday July 8, 2004
From 10:00 AM (local time)
In front of the Islamic republic Embassy located at 245 metclafe

Helsinki, Finland (On 07/08/2004)
The Iranian community will gather in order to commemorate the Student Uprising of July 9-14, 1999, and to demonstrate their solidarity with enchained Iranians.

Thursday, July 08, 2004
From 12:00 PM (Local time)
In front of the main church of Helsinki

Hamburg, Germany (On 07/08/2004)
The Iranian community will gather in order to commemorate the Student Uprising of July 9-14, 1999, and to demonstrate their solidarity with enchained Iranians.

The demonstrators will request the end of the German government's collaboration with the Islamic regime and pressures on the Mullahcracy in order to respect Human Rights in Iran and to step down from political power.

Thursday, July 8, 2004
From 12:00 PM (Local time)
At west side of the Central Train Station (Hopt Banhoff)

London, UK (On 07/08/2004)
Iranians will gather, in front of the regime's Embassy, for the commemoration of the July 9-14, 1999, Student Uprising of Iran and its legacy. They will show their rejection of the Islamic republic and cherish the memories of those fallen during the bloody governmental crackdown on the 5 glorious days of students protests.

They'll also denounce the support made, by Jack Straw and the Britsh circles, of the Mullahcracy.

On Thursday, July 8, 2004
From 12:00 till 16:00 (local time)
In front of the Islamic republic Embassy

Odense, Danemark (On 07/08/2004)
Iranians will gather for the commemoration of the July 9-14, 1999, Student Uprising of Iran and its legacy. They will show their rejection of the Islamic republic and cherish the memories of those fallen during the bloody governmental crackdown on the 5 glorious days of students protests.

On Thursday, July 8, 2004
From 16:00 till 18:00 (local time)
In front of the City Hall (Mayor‚ office)

Stockholm, Sweden (On 07/08/2004)
Iranians will gather for the commemoration of the July 9-14, 1999, Student Uprising of Iran and its legacy. They will show their rejection of the Islamic republic and cherish the memories of those fallen during the bloody governmental crackdown on the 5 glorious days of students protests.

On Thursday, July 8, 2004
From 16:00 till 19:00 (local time)
In Center of Stockholm, Sergels Torg

Den Haag, Netherlands (On 07/08/2004)
Iranians will gather for the 2nd consecutive day for the commemoration of the July 9-14, 1999, Student Uprising of Iran and its legacy. They will show their rejection of the Islamic republic and cherish the memories of those fallen during the bloody governmental crackdown on the 5 glorious days of students protests.

On Thursday, July 8, 2004
From 13:00 (local time)
In front of the Dutch Parliament

Toronto, Canada (On 07/08/2004)
The Iranian community will gather in order to commemorate the Student Uprising of July 9-14, 1999, and to demonstrate their solidarity with enchained Iranians.

The demonstrators will request for the Canadian government's pressure on the Islamic regime in order to respect Human Rights and to bring to an open justice the murderers of Zahra Kazemi, the Iranian Canadian journalist killed last year by the regime.

Thursday, July 8, 2004
From 06:00 PM (Local time)
At the Mel Lastman Square, (hear of North York, north of Toronto)

München, Germany (On 07/08/2004)
The Iranian community will gather in order to commemorate the Student Uprising of July 9-14, 1999, and to demonstrate their solidarity with enchained Iranians.

The demonstrators will request the end of the German government's collaboration with the Islamic regime and pressures on the Mullahcracy in order to respect Human Rights in Iran and to step down from political power.

Thursday, July 8, 2004
From 17:00 till 18:00 (Local time)
At the Stachus square

Atlanta (GA/US) (On 07/07/2004)
Iranians will gather in order to commemorate the Students Uprising of July 1999, and its legacy.

On Wednesday July 7,2004
From 06:30 PM till 08:30 PM (Local time)
At the Amphitheater of Centennial Park Downtown Across from CNN building

Los Angeles, (CA/US) (On 07/07/2004)
The Iranian community of S. California, along with opposition groups such as SMCCDI, will gather in order to commemorate the Student Uprising of July 9-14, 1999, and to demonstrate their solidarity with enchained Iranians. Held a day earlier than inside Iran, in order to show the Diaspora's solidarity, a protest march will also take place at the same occasion.

Wednesday, July 7, 2004
From 05:00 PM (Local time)
In front of the Federal Building located at Wilshire Blvd. in Westwood

Brussels, Belgium (On 07/07/2004)
Iranians will gather in front of the European Union's Building in order to condemn the support of the illegitimate Islamic republic regime by main European countries.

The will cherish the memories of all those fallen for the cause of Freedom and Secularity in Iran and especially the students who uprised in July 9, 1999.

On Wedenesday July 7, 2004
From 14:00 till 16:00 (local time)
In front of the EU building in Place Maurice Schumann

Vancouver, Canada (On 07/07/2004)
Iranians will gather in order to condemn the Islamic regime and to show their support of the Iranian Student Movement and Secularist forces.

They will also ask from the Canadian government a strong stand in refernce to the murder to the Zahra Kazemi by the Islamic regime's agents.

On Wednesday July 7, 2004
From 04:00 PM till 06:00 PM (local time)
At the Victoria Park located in North Vancoover

Ottawa, Canada (On 07/07/2004)
Iranians will gather in front of the Islamic republic's Embassy in order to condemn the persistent repression in Iran and in order to cherish the legacy of the Students Uprising of 1999.

They will also ask from the Canadian government to pressure the Islamic regime in order to bring to an open court of justice the murderers of Zahra Kazemi the Iranian Canadian journalist killed by agents of the regime

Wednesday July 7, 2004
From 04:00 PM
In front of the Islamic republic Embassy located at 245 metclafe

Den Haag, Netherlands (On 07/07/2004)
Iranians will gather for the commemoration of the July 9-14, 1999, Student Uprising of Iran and its legacy. They will show their rejection of the Islamic republic and cherish the memories of those fallen during the bloody governmental crackdown on the 5 glorious days of students protests.

On Wednesday, July 7, 2004
From 12:00 till 14:00 (local time)
In front of the Dutch Parliament

Oslo, Norway (On 07/03/2004)
Iranians will gather for the commemoration of the July 9-14, 1999, Student Uprising of Iran and its legacy. They will show their rejection of the Islamic republic and cherish the memories of those fallen during the bloody governmental crackdown on the 5 glorious days of students protests.

During this advanced action, the protesters will also denounce the deals made between the Statoil company and the clerical regime.

On Saturday, July 3, 2004
From 14:00 till 16:00 (local time)
In front of the Norway's Parliament

Sacramento (CA/US) (On 07/04/2004)
Iranians of N. California will gather in order to condemn the Islamic republic regime and to cherish the legacy of the Students Uprising of July 9-14, 1999.

Sunday July 4, 2004
From 07:00 PM
In Front of Arden Mall

Koln, Germany (On 07/03/2004)
The Iranian community will gather in order to commemorate the Student Uprising of July 9-14, 1999, and to demonstrate their solidarity with enchained Iranians.

The demonstrators will request the end of the German government's collaboration with the Islamic regime and pressures on the Mullahcracy in order to respect Human Rights in Iran and to step down from political power.

Saturday, July 03, 2004
From 14:30 (Local time)
In front of the main church of Koln

Main cities, Iran (On 05/02/2004)
Teachers and their supporters, such as the students, will come into the streets in order to support the "Spiritual Fathers and Mothers of Iranians" (Teachers) in their protest movement and requests.

Many other teachers will start a week long strike that might radicalize if their conditions are not fulfilled.

In most Iranian schools and in front of the offices of the Ministry of Education and the Social offices in main Iranian cities.

from 10:00 AM (local time)

Tehran, Iran (On 04/30/2004)
Workers and their supporters, such as the students, will come into the streets in order to condemn the persistent deterioration of their conditions, the official corruption and looting of Iran's manufacturing assets by questionnable privatizations.

They will mark at this occasion the Int.'l Workers Day, a day sooner than the rest of the World due to this year's difference in Iranian calendar. They will march from the Mokhber-odoleh junction, located in downtown Tehran, toward the offices of welfare.

From 09:00 AM (local time)

Berlin, Germany (On 04/20/2004)
Iranians and German Freedom Lovers will gather, in the German capital, in order to condemn the repressive Islamic republic regime and especially the Mykonos terrorist attack, in the mid 90s, during which several Iranian opponents were killed by the regime's hit squad.

The demonstrators will also protest against the change made, by the Berlin's Mayor, in the writing of the commemorative stone which shall be placed in the famous restaurant. The German government has pressured Berlin's municipal officials in order to avoid jeopardizing the economic relations of this country with the tyrannical and terrorist regime of the mullahs despite the sentence issued, in 1997, by the German judiciary declaring the "highest levels of the Islamic republic as involved in these murders".

On Tuesday, April 20, 2004
From 16:30 (Local Time)
At the Prager Platz of Berlin

14 posted on 07/04/2004 10:49:07 PM PDT by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn

Iraq Accuses Iran, Syria Of Backing Rebels

July 04, 2004

Iraq may be about to provide a casus-beli for a war of self defense against Iran and Syria. According to a report in Britain's Daily Telegraph:

The new Iraqi government will publish damning evidence this week linking foreign powers, including Iran and Syria, to the Muslim extremists and loyalists of the former regime who launched a bloody rebellion after the fall of Saddam Hussein.

Hoshyar Zebari, the foreign minister, told The Telegraph that the interim government had gathered intelligence detailing the support provided to insurgent groups by some neighbouring nations.

Although he did not name the countries, senior Iraqi officials indicated that Iran and Syria were the worst offenders. The accusation that governments in Teheran and Damascus have been aiding the insurgents could create an immediate diplomatic crisis for the Baghdad administration that assumed power only last week.

Most pundits have contended that the Administration would not take on Iran or Syria until after the US elections.

15 posted on 07/04/2004 10:51:25 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Europe Intends to Impose Second Additional Protocol on Iran: Professor

TEHRAN, July 4 (MNA) –- Professor Asgharkhani of Tehran University praised Iran’s recent decision to resume production of parts for nuclear industry centrifuge construction and uranium enrichment activities last week.

Asgharkhani told the Mehr News Agency that the European Union and the United States have failed to live up to their commitments to Iran, adding that their goal is to isolate the Islamic Republic.

He said that both the U.S. and the EU are currently pressuring Iran in an attempt to prevent the country from gaining access to advanced nuclear technology.

He added that the Europeans are a step ahead of the U.S. in this regard, stressing that Europe wants to make Iran change its position and alter its behavior.

Referring to Iran’s letter to leaders of the EU big three, Britain, Germany, and France, Asgharkhani said that the Europeans want Iran to sign a second additional protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which would oblige it to extend the suspension of uranium enrichment activities.

He noted that the U.S. is currently engaged in internal problems as well as the Iraq and North Korea issues, adding that Washington is not prepared to take military action against Iran.

The professor stressed that Europe intends to use diplomatic means to intimidate Iranian officials.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Asgharkhani said that if Europe wants to cooperate with Iran, it should support the country and help the Islamic Republic finalize its trade pact with the EU.

He stated that Hasan Rowhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, adopted a correct approach on resuming the production of equipment for uranium enrichment.

According to Article 10 of the NPT Iran has the right to withdraw from the treaty if it faces threats against its national security, the professor stressed.

Asgharkhani also said that the U.S. and Europe use the issues of human rights and nuclear proliferation as tools to interfere in Iran’s internal affairs.

16 posted on 07/04/2004 10:52:51 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

This just in from Banafsheh...

DoctorZin Note: I rarely recommend online petitions, but I would encourage all those interested in a regime change in Iran to sign this one.

Please read this petition and if you agree with it, click on the link below to take you to the page where you can sign it. PLEASE help us Iranian activists in helping ourselves. AND if you would be kind enough to send this to EVERYONE you know we would be eternally grateful. Thank you for your kind support.

A Plea For Support & Demonstration Attendance against Terrorists, Islamofascists, and Fanaticism

View Current Signatures - Sign the Petition

To: All Freedom-Loving Compatriots (Center, Right and Left)
A Plea For Support & Demonstration Attendance from all Freedom-Loving Activists around the world in our united fight against Terrorists, Islamofascists, and Fanaticism!

This is an invitation to join us in a worldwide demonstration against the Mafia Mullahs, Terrorists, Islamofascists, and Fanatics who intend to stop and kill the spread of FREEDOM, SECULARISM & DEMOCRACY around the World! Our unified presence in a worldwide demonstration will be the biggest blow to the Mafia Mullahs.

If you are against GENOCIDE,

If you are against TERRORISM,

If you are against FANATICS,

If you are against the MAFIA MULLAHS,

If you are against ISLAMOFASCISTS,


If your family has been victimized by any act of terrorism (Sept 11th Terror Attacks, Terrorism in Europe, Middle East, Asia and throughout the world), please bring a picture of your loved one/s to the demonstration.

If your family has been victimized by the Islamist Mafia Regime in Iran or is a family member of one of the over 100,000 freedom-loving political prisoners, torture victims, or Iranians who have been executed in the past 25 years, please bring a picture of your loved one/s to the demonstration.

If you oppose all terrorism and acts of violence against those who wish to live in freedom, then your support and unity with the Iranian people should not be based on whether you are a democrat, republican, libertarian, conservative, independent, green, left, right, or center, but should be based only on your belief that the destiny of the human race is freedom and the unending pursuit of our wishes and our dreams.

Freedom-loving Iranians and people of the world invite you to participate in one of the following scheduled demonstrations, which are part of an overall offensive that is being launched against the Islamic Mafia Master's of Terror, who currently hold the Iranian people and much of the world hostage. Together we will destroy this fanatical virus that threatens to destroy all we have fought, suffered, and lived for, for so long! Our destiny is nothing less than absolute freedom, an end to political imprisonment, and the death of theocratic regimes everywhere!

What is The 18th of Tir (July 9th)?

18 Tir is a symbolic movement against the dictatorial Islamic Clerical Regime in Iran!
The 18th of Tir (July 9th) is an eternal epic poem of the freedom-fighters' brave and righteous movement against the tyrannical Islamic Regime. Nearly four years has passed since the painful and horrifying attack of the Islamic authorities against innocent freedom-demanding students. This attack was seen as so brutal and so violent that it brought back painful memories of the Mongolian invasion of Iran. The 18th of Tir is seen as a remembrance of those who stood up against tyranny and were subjected to brutal and inhumane acts of torture and violence by the hands of the Mullahs.

We the undersigned vow to attend one of the demonstrations listed below, or in the situation that we cannot attend, we pledge to agree with the spirit of the demonstrations and demand that the G8 governments support the freedom-loving Iranian people against the Masters of Terror, and discontinue all business ties with the terrorist regime in Iran. After all, the Iranian people have the best proven record of fighting against Islamic Fanatics, and over the past 25 years and despite the heavy losses they have incurred (100,000 + executions, imprisonment, rape and torture!), Iranians continue to fight against and resist the Islamofascists even as the EU and many UN governments support the regime.

We cannot sit around and wait for the bureaucracies of the world to bring freedom to WE THE PEOPLE, so we must join forces and unite with all who believe in freedom. When freedom is in danger, it matters little what political leanings or perspectives we hold. We are all human beings and so together we must show our strength through unity and defeat the Islamofascist Terrorists and the regimes who sponsor them as they work hard to divide us.

The hope is that this petition will continue long after 18tir and will serve as an online demonstration in support of the Iranian people and against tyranny. May freedom reign!

For updated information and schedules regarding the worldwide FREEDOM-MOVEMENT visit! Also, if you or your group is organizing a pro-freedom demonstrations please contact us at

"Human beings are all members of one body.
They are created from the same essence.
When one member is in pain,
The others cannot rest.
If you do not care about the pain of others,
You do not deserve to be called a human being."
A Quote from 13th Century Famous Persian Poet Saadi Shirazi

Schedule of Demonstrations Against The Mafia Islamist Regime of Ayatollahs:
(Europe, U.S. and Canada)

Washington, D.C.
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

Los Angeles
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

Place: In Front of Arden Mall
Time: July 4th at 7:00 PM
Organized by Hormoz 916-213-6944

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: In Front Of Iran Embassy Occupied by Mullahs
Date & Time: Saturday, July 03, 2004 - from 13 to 15
Organized by Freedom-loving Iranian People

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 Women’s 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, Iran’s Freedom Forces, Iranian Freedom Movement, Munich’s 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 (Mayor’s 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 Sweden’s Liberals

Den Haag
Place: In front of the Parliament of The Netherlands
Time: Wednesday, July 7th, 2004 - from 12 P.m.
Organized by: Independent

Den Haag
Place: In front of the Parliament of The Netherlands
Time: Thursday, July 8th, 2004 - from 1 p.m.
Organized by: The Democratic Front

Place: In front of the Iran Embassy, IENA Square, Paris
Time: Thursday, July 8th, 2004 - from 7 P.M. to 9 P.M.
Organized by:

Place: In front of the Norway Parlimanet
Time: Saturday, July 3th, 2004 - from 2 P.M.
Organized by: Independent

Place: In front of the European Council Building in Shoeman Square
Time: Wednesday, July 7th, 2004 - from 2:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M.
Organized by: Independent


The Undersigned

17 posted on 07/04/2004 11:13:14 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Rasht's Bazar partially destroyed by fire

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Jul 5, 2004

A fire of an un-anounced cause burned parts of the Bazar in the northern City of Rasht. Several shops and their stocks were destroyed during the incident.

The city's officials have declared to make a report after deeper investigation.

It's to note that many Bazaris are among the regime's supporters as they often benefit of officials favors. Such links and collaboration lead often to the popular retaliation and cases of arson.

Many Iranians are believing to help the overthrow of the regime by burning the Bazars or by spreading such fear among the Bazaris.

19 posted on 07/05/2004 10:08:45 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Freedom fighters subjected to humiliation

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Jul 5, 2004

In line with the increase of its repressive actions, the Islamic republic regime has started the policy of public humiliation of maverick Iranians who opposes its misdeeds. Those protesting about the repression are first subjected to a humiliating public show before receiving lashes and to be thrown in the regime's jails.

According to the official 'Jomhoori e Eslami' (The Islamic Republic Daily, the tribune of the Supreme leader): "Five young individuals who had tried to oppose the regime's militiamen during the questionning of another suspected individual, and who have dared to get in fight with the 'Law Enforcement Forces', were put on the back of a donkey and turned into the City of Abadan "in order to serve as examples for others".

Other reports from the rebellious City of Abadan are completing this official report by stating that the group of five were later subjected to public lashing and transferred to prison.

Since the month of May and due to the approach of key Protest dates, such as, July 8th, the Islamic regime has increased its polcies of repression and terror in order to increase the fear among Iranians on the consequences of any dissent.

20 posted on 07/05/2004 10:09:38 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Iran in Bombsights?

July 05, 2004
The Washington Times
Arnaud de Borchgrave

As the Bush administration concludes it cannot risk Iranian retaliation against a fragile Iraq under U.S. occupation, Israel is dusting off contingency plans to take out Iran's nuclear installations.

On June 24, Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser to former President George H.W. Bush (41), asked the key question: "Are we serious in our efforts to prevent [Iranian] nuclear proliferation, or will we watch the world descend into a maelstrom where weapons-grade nuclear material is plentiful, and unimaginable destructive capability is available to any country or group with a grudge against society?"

It did not require an overwhelming effort of imagination for Israel's national security establishment to conclude the Jewish state would be the first threatened by Iranian nukes.

One scenario now bruited would involve a joint U.S.-Israel precision-guided strike against the Bushehr, Natanz and Arak nuclear projects in Iran. But the Bush administration has concluded a U.S. air attack against Iran would trigger a major Iranian campaign to destabilize Iraq. The two countries share a 1,458-kilometer (906-mile) border stretching from Turkey to the Shatt al Arab terminal on the Gulf. Iran also enjoys wide grass-roots support among Iraq's dominant Shi'ite population.

A U.S. House of Representatives resolution last May 6 authorized "all appropriate means" to end Iranian nuclear weapons development. The Senate is yet to vote on the resolution. But it leaves no doubt it is a green light for offensive military strikes against Iran's three nuclear facilities.

The worldwide reaction against a U.S. attack on Iran's theocratic regime would almost certainly put an end to growing moderate dissent. Rival Shi'ite and Sunni Muslims in Iraq, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain (headquarters for the U.S. 5th Fleet) would close ranks against U.S. interests. America's allies would denounce a return to dangerous U.S. unilateralism after President Bush's recent moves back to multilateral diplomacy.

While an "October surprise" of U.S. air strikes to rid the world of Iran's looming nuclear threat might help President Bush Nov. 2, the blowback of unintended consequences would further destabilize the world's most volatile region — the Middle East.

U.S. air strikes at this juncture would quickly be equated with the CIA-engineered coup that overthrew Iran's socialist leader Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953, which many Iranians say led to the Iranian Revolution of 1978-79 that overthrew the monarchy, forced the late shah into exile, and allowed obscurantist mullahs to rule the country. The mullahs made the excesses of the shah's Savak secret police seem like child's play compared to the tens of thousands executed by the religious extremists and their Revolutionary Guards.

Israeli leaders concluded years ago that A.Q. Khan, the father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb and the world's biggest nuclear proliferator, had sold bomb-making wherewithal to Iran and nothing would reverse this capability short of air strikes, similar to the one Israeli fighter-bombers conducted in 1981 against Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor near Baghdad. It had been built with French assistance, including 27.5 pounds of 93 percent weapons-grade uranium.

When Israeli intelligence confirmed Iraq's intention of producing weapons at Osirak, Prime Minister Menachem Begin decided military action was the only remedy. Elections then and now were a consideration. Mr. Begin feared his party would lose the next election, and the opposition Labor Party would fail to pre-empt prior to production of the first Iraqi nuclear bomb. Iraq was believed to be two years from its first nuclear weapon.

So Israel had to strike before the Iraqi reactor went critical, before the first fuel was poured into the reactor, lest the surrounding community fall victim to radiation.

The target was 1,100 kilometers (660 miles) from Israel. Target mock-ups were part of a full-scale dress rehearsal. Briefing the cream of Israeli Air Force pilots, Israeli Defense Force Chief of Staff Gen. Rafael Eitan said, "The alternative is our destruction." The surprise attack by F-15s and F-16s vaporized Osirak in 80 seconds, too fast for Iraqi anti-aircraft gunners to get off their first salvo.

Similar preparations to take out Iran's capabilities — also judged to be two years from nuclear fruition — have been completed. Standoff, precision-guided munitions will have to be used to avoid Iran's thick air defenses, including missiles purchased from Russia.

Under an $800 million contract, Russia began building Iran's Bushehr reactor in May 1995 with 150 technicians at the site. The Russian contract called for 3,000 Russian engineers and construction workers. By 1999, some 300 Russians were among the 900 workers there.

After several years of denial about an Iranian bomb-making potential, President Putin of late has sided with the International Atomic Energy Agency's chief Mohamed el Baradei's strong criticism of Iran's bad faith in its refusal to comply with the international inspection regime. Mr. Putin presumably realizes a nuclear-armed Iran ruled by religious fanatics would probably be tempted to pass on dangerous stuff to Islamist guerrillas in Chechnya.

Originally started during the shah's reign in a deal with Siemens, some 2,100 German and 7,000 Iranian workers completed 85 percent of the work before the 1979 revolution. The ayatollahs then decided to drop the entire project as "anti-Islamic," before changing their minds in favor of construction in the early 1990s. Fearful anxiety prevailed among the clerics after they watched in awe the deployment of half a million American soldiers and the five weeks of saturation U.S. bombing that preceded Operation Desert Storm — and the collapse of the Iraqi army. They watched a rerun of another U.S. military spectacular in 2003 — with yet another collapse of the Iraqi military.

The Europeans still believe political, economic and trade sanctions will eventually bring Iran into compliance. The Bush administration is on the horns of a painful dilemma. How can it claim Iran has no right to nuclear weapons when Israel not only possesses both strategic and tactical nuclear weapons, but has several hundred in its arsenal? Pre-empting Iran would also undermine the administration's last shred of credibility as an honest broker between Israel and the Palestinians.

After all the blue-smoke-and-mirrors "intelligence" that justified the U.S. invasion of Iraq 15 months ago, CIA evidence of an Iranian nuclear bomb would have to be incontrovertible. This sets the bar impossibly high. Hence Israel's conclusion it is on its own. Bombs away? Not yet, but they've rehearsed it.

Arnaud de Borchgrave is editor at large of The Washington Times and of United Press International.

21 posted on 07/05/2004 10:11:09 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Two Iranians Arrested Trying to Explode a Car Bomb

July 05, 2004
The Associated Press
Khaleej Times Online

BAGHDAD - Iraqi officials arrested two Iranians trying to explode a car bomb on Monday in a town east of Baghdad, authorities said.

Iraqi officials have blamed foreign fighters and religious extremists for a wave of vehicle bombings in recent months. The arrests on Monday were the first time they actually captured any foreign fighters, according to Col. Adnan Abdul-Rahman, an interior ministry spokesman.

Abdul-Rahman said the men had been captured in the town of Talbiyah about 20 kilometers (12 miles) east of Baghdad as they tried to set off a car bomb. He did not elaborate on what their target was.

22 posted on 07/05/2004 10:13:23 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Khamenei Warns US of Global Retaliation to Any Attack

July 05, 2004
Channel News Asia

TEHRAN -- Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned the United States that any attack on the Islamic republic's interests would be met with a global response.

"If the enemy attacks our scientific, natural, human or technological interests, the Iranian people will cut off its hand without hesitation and place in danger the interests of the aggressor everywhere in the world," he told a gathering in the western city of Hamedan.

According to the official news agency IRNA, the all-powerful guide was responding to US allegations that Iran was damaging Washington's interests.

The United States, often simply referred to by Iranian leaders as the "enemy", accuses Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons, supporting terrorists and supporting insurgents in Iraq.

23 posted on 07/05/2004 10:14:18 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

24 posted on 07/05/2004 10:15:11 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
This just in from a student inside of Iran...


There is a blackout in the city (Tehran). All power has been turned off. In the past the regime has turned off power when important broadcasts were being beamed into Iran.

They did this when Reza Pahlavi spoke in the past.

Please let us know if you hear of any such broadcasts."
25 posted on 07/05/2004 11:08:16 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

The Ayatollahs’ Final Solution?

By Andrew G. Bostom | July 5, 2004

There is burgeoning evidence of the Iranian mullahcracy’s steadfast pursuit of nuclear weapons1. Moreover, Iranian President Mohammed Khatami, typically hailed as “moderate” or even a “progressive” by Western media and academic elites 2, has denounced U.S. and European Union demands that Iran sign an agreement to terminate such efforts, transparently and verifiably. Writing with informed candor and remarkable foresight, in March /April, 2002, Dr. Michael Rubin warned,

“Nearly five years after his first election, Khatami has enacted few if any tangible reforms. Indeed, while many younger Iranians do enjoy some additional flexibility in dress, freedoms have actually declined under the Khatami administration.

Khatami has accomplished one important task, though. With a gentle face, soft rhetoric, and numerous trips abroad, Khatami has succeeded in softening the image of the Islamic Republic. No longer is Iran associated with waves of 14-year-olds running across minefields, nor do many Western academics and commentators dwell on Iran's export of terror, so long as Tehran keeps its assassination squads away from Europe. However, the fundamentals of the regime' behavior have not changed. Indeed, under Khatami, Iran has accelerated not only its drive for a nuclear capability, but also actively increased its pursuit of chemical and biological weapons, as well as long-range ballistic missiles.”3

Under continued pressure to be truthful about its nuclear activities and ambitions, Khatami has further suggested that Iran will withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.4 Regardless, Iran has just announced its attention to resume centrifuge production - a move that would facilitate the development of weapons grade nuclear material. 5 In light of these disturbing events, it is imperative to recall the “Al-Quds Day”, December 14, 2001 sermon of former Iranian President Ali Akhbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. During this “pious” address, Rafsanjani, who was also deemed a “moderate” while President, argued that nuclear weapons could solve the “Israel problem”, because, as he observed, “…the use of a nuclear bomb in Israel will leave nothing on the ground, whereas it will only damage the world of Islam” 6.

Visceral, even annihilationist animus towards Jews is a deep-rooted phenomenon in Shi’ite Iran, hardly unique to the contemporary post-Khomeini Shi’ite theocracy. The Safavid rulers, at the outset of the 16th century, formally established Shi’a Islam as the Persian state religion, while permitting a clerical hierarchy nearly unlimited control and influence over all aspects of public life.7 The profound influence of the Shi’ite clerical elite, continued for almost four centuries (although interrupted, between 1722-1795 8 ), through the later Qajar period, as characterized by the noted scholar E.G. Browne:

“The Mujtahids and Mulla are a great force in Persia and concern themselves with every department of human activity from the minutest detail of personal purification to the largest issues of politics” 9

These Shi’ite clerics emphasized the notion of the ritual uncleanliness (najas) of Jews, in particular, but also Christians, Zoroastrians, and others, as the cornerstone of inter-confessional relationships toward non-Muslims.10 The impact of this najas conception was already apparent to European visitors to Persia during the reign of the first Safavid Shah, Ismail I (1502-1524). The Portuguese traveler Tome Pires observed (between 1512-1515), “Sheikh Ismail…never spares the life of any Jew”11, while another European travelogue notes, “…the great hatred (Ismail I) bears against the Jews…”12. During the reign of Shah Tahmasp I (d. 1576), the British merchant and traveler Anthony Jenkinson (a Christian), when finally granted an audience with the Shah,

“…was required to wear ‘basmackes’ (a kind of over-shoes), because being a giaour [infidel], it was thought he would contaminate the imperial precincts…when he was dismissed from the Shah’s presence, [Jenkinson stated] ‘after me followed a man with a basanet of sand, sifting all the way that I had gone within the said palace’- as though covering something unclean.”13

The latter part of the reign of Shah Abbas I (1588-1629) was marked by progressively increasing measures of anti-Jewish persecution, from the strict imposition of dress regulations, to the confiscation (and destruction) of Hebrew books and writings, culminating in the forced conversion of the Jews of Isfahan, the center of Persian Jewry.14 After a relatively brief respite under Shah Saf’i (1629-1642), the severe persecutions wrought by his successor Shah Abbas II (1642-1666), nearly extinguished the Jewish community outright. The pre-eminent historian of Persian Jewry, Walter Fischel, explains:

“Determined to purify the Persian soil from the ‘uncleanliness’ caused by the presence of non-believers (Jews and Christians in Isfahan) a group of fanatical Shi’ites obtained a decree from the young Shah Abbas II in 1656 which gave the Grand Vizier, I’timad ad-Daula, full power to force the Jews to become Muslims. In consequence, a wave of persecution swept over Isfahan and the other Jewish communities, a tragedy which can only be compared with the persecution of the Jews in Spain in the fifteenth century 15 …The sources 16 describe in great detail how the Jews of the capital were forced to abandon their religion, how the synagogues were closed.” 17

Mohammad Baqer Majlesi (d. 1699), the highest institutionalized clerical officer under both Shah Sulayman (1666-1694) and Shah Husayn (1694-1722), was perhaps the most influential cleric of the Safavid Shi’ite theocracy in Persia. By design, he wrote many works in Persian to disseminate key aspects of the Shi’a ethos among ordinary persons. His treatise, “Lightning Bolts Against the Jews”, was written in Persian, and despite its title, was actually an overall guideline to anti-dhimmi regulations for all non-Muslims within the Shi’ite theocracy. Al-Majlisi, in this treatise, describes the standard humiliating requisites for non-Muslims living under the Shari’a, first and foremost, the blood ransom jizya, a poll-tax, based on Qur’an 9:29. 18 He then enumerates six other restrictions 19 relating to worship, housing, dress, transportation, and weapons (specifically, i.e., to render the dhimmis defenseless), before outlining the unique Shi’ite impurity or “najas” regulations. It is these latter najas prohibitions which lead Anthropology Professor Laurence Loeb (who studied and lived within the Jewish community of Southern Iran in the early 1970s) to observe, “Fear of pollution by Jews led to great excesses and peculiar behavior by Muslims.”20 According to Al-Majlisi,

“And, that they should not enter the pool while a Muslim is bathing at the public baths…It is also incumbent upon Muslims that they should not accept from them victuals with which they had come into contact, such as distillates , which cannot be purified. In something can be purified, such as clothes, if they are dry, they can be accepted, they are clean. But if they [the dhimmis] had come into contact with those cloths in moisture they should be rinsed with water after being obtained. As for hide, or that which has been made of hide such as shoes and boots, and meat, whose religious cleanliness and lawfulness are conditional on the animal’s being slaughtered [according to the Shari’a], these may not be taken from them. Similarly, liquids that have been preserved in skins, such as oils, grape syrup, [fruit] juices, myrobalan, and the like, if they have been put in skin containers or water skins, these should [also] not be accepted from them…It would also be better if the ruler of the Muslims would establish that all infidels could not move out of their homes on days when it rains or snows because they would make Muslims impure.”21

Far worse, the dehumanizing character of these popularized “impurity” regulations appears to have fomented recurring Muslim anti-Jewish violence, including pogroms and forced conversions, throughout the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, as opposed to merely unpleasant, “odd behaviors” by individual Muslims towards Jews. Indeed, the oppression of Persian Jewry continued unabated, perhaps even intensifying, during both Safavid successors of Shah Abbas II, Shah Sulayman (1666-1694), and Shah Husayn (1694-1722).22 Fischel highlights the prominent role played by the conception of najas in this sustained anti-dhimmi persecution:

“Day by day accounts of eyewitnesses establish beyond doubt how the notion of the ritual uncleanliness of the non-Muslims raged wildly all over the country, affecting Christians and Jews alike, and how the times of Shah Abbas II seem to have been revived.” 23

The overthrow of the Safavid dynasty was accompanied by an initial period of anarchy and rebellion.24A contemporary Jewish chronicler of these struggles, Babai ibn Farhad, lamented, “At a time when the Muhammadans fight amongst each other, how much less safe were the Jews”.25 However, beyond this early stage of instability, Fischel maintains,

“Only the downfall of the Safavid dynasty, through the successful invasion of the Afghans and the subsequent rise of a new tolerant [Sunni] ruler, Nadir Shah (1734-1747), saved the Jews of Isfahan and the Jews of Persia as a whole from complete annihilation.”26

The advent of the Qajar dynasty in 1795 marked a return to Shi’ite theocratic orthodoxy. Thus, according to Fischel,

“Since the religious and political foundations of the Qajar dynasty were but a continuation of those of the Safavids, the ‘law of apostasy’ and the notion of the ritual uncleanliness of the Jews remained the basis of the attitude toward the Jews.” 27

“The Jew being ritually unclean, had to be differentiated from the believer externally in every possible way. This became the decisive factor making the life of the Jews in the 19th century an uninterrupted sequence of persecution and oppression. They could not appear in public, much less perform their religious ceremonies, without being treated with scorn and contempt by the Muslim inhabitants of Persia.” 28

European travelers confirm that the najas conception was applied to Jews with fanatical rigidity throughout 19th century Persia. Rabbi David d’Beth Hillel, who traveled in Persia during the reign of Shah Fath Ali (1797-1834), provided these characterizations, based on personal experience:

“They (the Shi’ites) do not eat with anyone of another nation, even touching their bread and liquids or fresh fruits; they consider it as defiled and will never eat it…[It is their belief] that all the other nations are unclean, that no one who believes in Mohammad ought to be well acquainted with them and ought not to touch their victuals- and only to be acquainted with them in trade…[Arriving one night at a village near Bashaka] nobody would receive me into their houses for any money I offered them, saying that the house would be defiled by my coming in, because they knew me to be a Jew and the same night was a very cold one and abundance of snow had fallen and it was impossible to sleep in the street. After many supplications, I gave half a rupee to be allowed to sleep in a stable among their cattle” 29

Rabbi d’Beth Hillel also described incidences of violent persecutions, including murder and forced conversions, directed at Persian Jews in Urmia and Shiraz:

“[From Urmia, 1826] A Mohammedan child being missing, the Persians accused the Jews of having murdered him in order to use his blood for the coming Passover (which was, however, a full five months away). Consequently, they rounded up all the Jews and removed them to prison, with the exception of their chief [Rabbi], he being a very old man and much respected…His children, however, were taken prisoner. One of the Jews was hewn in two in the gate of the town and the others were nearly beaten to death.”

“[Forced conversions in Shiraz]…some years ago a number of Jews turned Mohammedan owing to great oppression from the Mohammedans. They are not, however, connected with them in marriage, but with their own people, and it is the same in many parts of Persia where Jews have become Mohammedan by reason of great oppression.” 30

Fischel offers these observations based on the narrative of d’Beth Hillel, and other confirmatory eyewitness accounts:

“Due to the persecution of their Moslem neighbors, many once flourishing communities entirely disappeared. Maragha, for example, ceased to be the seat of a Jewish community around 1800, when the Jews were driven out on account of a blood libel. Similarly, Tabriz, where over 50 Jewish families are supposed to have lived, became Judenrein towards the end of the 18th century through similar circumstances.” 31

“The peak of the forced elimination of Jewish communities occurred under Shah Mahmud (1834-48), during whose rule the Jewish population in Meshed, in eastern Persia, was forcibly converted, an event which not only remained unchallenged by Persian authorities, but also remained unknown and unnoticed by European Jews” 32

During the nearly 50 year reign (1848-1896) of Nasr ad-Din Shah, reform efforts to improve the plight of non-Muslims, in particular Jews, were opposed strenuously and effectively by the Shi’ite clerical hierarchy. Accordingly,

“Under Nasr ad-Din Jews continued to suffer, not only in consequence of the deep-rooted hatred against them and the conception of ritual uncleanliness, but also as a result of legal discrimination of a most severe nature. Thus the entire community of Jews was held responsible for crimes and misdemeanors committed by its individual members; the oath of a Jew was not received in a court of justice; a Jew converted to the Muslim religion could claim to be the sole inheritor of family property, to the exclusion of all relatives who had not changed their religion, thereby causing the greatest possible distress to those Jews who preferred death to apostasy. In many towns the Jew was prohibited from keeping a shop in the bazaars, while in addition to the legal taxes the local authorities levied arbitrary exactions on the Jews. Although the Jew had the nominal right of appeal to a superior court of justice he did not exercise that right because of the fear of vengeance of the lower tribunal. The life of a Jew was not protected by law, inasmuch as the murderer of a Jew could purchase immunity by payment of a fine.” 33

And despite a number of direct, hopeful meetings between the Shah and prominent European Jews and Jewish organizations throughout Western Europe in 1873, Fischel concludes,

‘The intervention of European Jewry in favor of their Persian brothers did not bring about the hoped-for improvement and scarcely lessened the persecution and suffering of the Jews after the return of the Shah from Europe.” 34

“After his visit to Europe Nasr ad-Din issued a number of decrees and firmans which brought about some social and administrative changes in favor of the Jews, but the government was apparently too weak to prevent the recurrence of public outbreaks against the Jews. Even the law which provided that a Jew who turned Muslim had the right to claim the entire property of his family, although abolished in Teheran in 1883, was still in force in some provinces in the Persian empire as a result of the opposition of the clergy. In 1888, a massacre of the Jews occurred in Isfahan and Shiraz, which brought about intervention and investigation of the British consulate.” 35

The reigns of Muzafar ad-Din Shah (1896-1907; following the assassination of Nasr ad-Din) , Shah Muhammad (1907-1909), and Shah Ahmad (1909-1925), included a nascent constitutional movement, which again aroused hopes for the elimination of religious oppression against Persian Jews and other non-Muslims. However,

“…neither the Jews nor the Armenian Christians or Parsee Zoroastrian minorities were yet permitted to send a deputy of their own group to parliament. At first the Jews were compelled to agree to be represented by a Muslim…Unfortunately, three months after the convening of Parliament Shah Muzaffar ad-din died, and under Shah Muhammad (1907-1909) the constitutional movement very quickly disappointed the high hopes which the liberal elements of the Muslims and the Jews in Persia had entertained. Anti-Jewish riots became common, particularly in Kermanshah in 1909…” 36

Reza Pahlavi’s spectacular rise to power in 1925 was accompanied by dramatic reforms, including secularization and westernization efforts, as well as a revitalization of Iran’s pre-Islamic spiritual and cultural heritage. 37 This profound sociopolitical transformation had very positive consequences for Iranian Jewry. Walter Fischel’s analysis from the late 1940s (published in 1950), along with Laurence Loeb’s complementary insights three decades later, underscore the impact of the Pahlavis’ (i.e., Reza Shah and Mohammad Reza Shah) reforms:

"In breaking the power of the Shia clergy, which for centuries had stood in the way of progress, he [Reza Shah] shaped a modernized and secularized state, freed almost entirely from the fetters of a once fanatical and powerful clergy” 38

“The rebirth of the Persian state and the manifold reforms implied therein tended also to create conditions more favorable to Jews. It enabled them to enjoy, along with the other citizens of Persia, that freedom and liberty which they had long been denied.” 39

The Pahlavi period…has been the most favorable era for Persian Jews since Parthian rule [175 B.C. to 226 C.E.]…the ‘Law of Apostasy’ was abrogated about 1930. While Reza Shah did prohibit political Zionism and condoned the execution of the popular liberal Jewish reformer Hayyim Effendi, his rule was on the whole, an era of new opportunities for the Persian Jew. Hostile outbreaks against the Jews have been prevented by the government. Jews are no longer legally barred from any profession. They are required to serve in the army and pay the same taxes as Muslims. The elimination of the face-veil removed a source of insult to Jewish women, who had been previously required have their faces uncovered; now all women are supposed to appear unveiled in public…Secular educations were available to Jewish girls as well as to boys, and, for the first time, Jews could become government-licensed teachers…Since the ascendance of Mohammad Reza Shah (Aryamehr) in 1941, the situation has further improved…Not only has the number of poor been reduced, but a new bourgeoisie is emerging…For the first time Jews are spending their money on cars, carpets, houses, travel, and clothing. Teheran has attracted provincial Jews in large numbers and has become the center of Iranian Jewish life…The Pahlavi era has seen vastly improved communications between Iranian Jewry and the rest of the world. Hundreds of boys and girls attend college and boarding school in the United States and Europe. Israeli emissaries come for periods of two years to teach in the Jewish schools…A small Jewish publication industry has arisen since 1925…Books on Jewish history, Zionism, the Hebrew language and classroom texts have since been published…On March 15, 1950, Iran extended de facto recognition to Israel. Relations with Israel are good and trade is growing.” 40

But Loeb concluded on this cautionary, sadly prescient note, in 1976, emphasizing the Jews tenuous status.

“Despite the favorable attitude of the government and the relative prosperity of the Jewish community, all Iranian Jews acknowledge the precarious nature of the present situation. There are still sporadic outbreaks against them because the Muslim clergy constantly berates Jews, inciting the masses who make no effort to hide their animosity towards the Jew. Most Jews express the belief that it is only the personal strength and goodwill of the Shah that protects them: that plus God’s intervention! If either should fail…” [emphasis added]. 41

The so-called “Khomeini revolution”, which deposed Mohammad Reza Shah, was in reality a mere return to oppressive Shi’ite theocratic rule, the predominant form of Persian/Iranian governance since 1502. Conditions for all non-Muslim religious minorities, particularly Bahais and Jews, rapidly deteriorated. Historian David Littman recounts the Jews' immediate plight:

“In the months preceding the Shah’s departure on 16 January 1979, the religious minorities…were already beginning to feel insecure…Twenty thousand Jews left the country before the triumphant return of the Ayatollah Khomeini on 1 February…On 16 March, the honorary president of the Iranian Jewish community, Habib Elghanian, a wealthy businessman, was arrested and charged by an Islamic revolutionary tribunal with ‘corruption’ and ‘contacts with Israel and Zionism’; he was shot on 8 May.” 42

The writings and speeches of the most influential religious ideologues of this restored Shi’ite theocracy- including Khomeini himself- make apparent their seamless connection to the oppressive doctrines of their forbears in the Safavid and Qajar dynasties. For example, Sultanhussein Tabandeh, the leader of a Shi’ite Sufi order, wrote an “Islamic perspective” on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 43. According to Professor Eliz Sanasarian’s important analysis of religious minorities in the Islamic Republic, Tabandeh’s tract became “…the core ideological work upon which the Iranian government…based its non-Muslim policy.” 44 Tabandeh begins his discussion by lauding Shah Ismail I (1502-1524), the repressive and

bigoted 45 founder of the Safavid dynasty, as a champion “…of the oppressed”. 46 It is critical to understand that Tabandeh’s key views on non-Muslims, summarized below, were implemented “…almost verbatim in the Islamic Republic of Iran.” 47. In essence, Tabandeh simply reaffirms the sacralized inequality of non-Muslims relative to Muslims, under the Shari’a:

“Thus if [a] Muslim commits adultery his punishment is 100 lashes, the shaving of his head, and one year of banishment. But if the man is not a Muslim and commits adultery with a Muslim woman his penalty is execution…Similarly if a Muslim deliberately murders another Muslim he falls under the law of retaliation and must by law be put to death by the next of kin. But if a non-Muslim who dies at the hand of a Muslim has by lifelong habit been a non-Muslim, the penalty of death is not valid. Instead the Muslim murderer must pay a fine and be punished with the lash” 48

“Since Islam regards non-Muslims as on a lower level of belief and conviction, if a Muslim kills a non-Muslim…then his punishment must not be the retaliatory death, since the faith and conviction he possesses is loftier than that of the man slain…Again, the penalties of a non-Muslim guilty of fornication with a Muslim woman are augmented because, in addition to the crime against morality, social duty and religion, he has committed sacrilege, in that he has disgraced a Muslim and thereby cast scorn upon the Muslims in general, and so must be executed”. 49

“Islam and its peoples must be above the infidels, and never permit non-Muslims to acquire lordship over them. Since the marriage of a Muslim woman to an infidel husband (in accordance with the verse quoted: ‘Men are guardians form women’) means her subordination to an infidel, that fact makes the marriage void, because it does not obey the conditions laid down to make a contract valid. As the Sura (‘The Woman to be Examined’, LX v. 10) says: ‘Turn them not back to infidels: for they are not lawful unto infidels nor are infidels lawful unto them (i.e., in wedlock).” 50

And Sanasarian emphasizes the centrality of this notion of Islam’s superiority to all other faiths:

“…even the so-called moderate elements [in the Islamic Republic] believed in its truth. Mehdi Barzagan, an engineer by training and religiously devout by family line and personal practice, became the prime minister of the Provisional Government in 1979. He believed that man must have one of the monotheistic religions in order to battle selfishness, materialism, and communism. Yet the choice was not a difficult one. ‘Among monotheist religions, Zoroastrianism is obsolete, Judaism has bred materialism, and Christianity is dictated by its church. Islam is the only way out’. In this line of thinking, there is no recognition of Hindusim, Buddhism, Bahaism, or other religions” 51

The conception of najas or ritual uncleanliness of the non-Muslim has also been reaffirmed. Ayatollah Khomeini stated explicitly, “Non-Muslims of any religion or creed are najas.” 52 The Iranian Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri further elaborated that a non-Muslim (kafir’s) impurity was, “a political order from Islam and must be adhered to by the followers of Islam, and the goal [was] to promote general hatred toward those who are outside Muslim circles.” This "hatred" was to assure that Muslims would not succumb to corrupt, i.e., non-Islamic, thoughts. 53 Sanasarian provides a striking example of the practical impact of this renewed najas consciousness:

“In the case of the Coca-Cola plant, for example, the owner (an Armenian) fled the country, the factory was confiscated, and Armenian workers were fired. Several years later, the family members were allowed to oversee the daily operations of the plant, and Armenians were allowed to work at the clerical level; however, the production workers remained Muslim. Armenian workers were never rehired on the grounds that non-Muslims should not touch the bottles or their contents, which may be consumed by Muslims."54

Khomeini’s views were the most influential in shaping the ideology of the revitalized Shi’ite theocracy, and his attitudes towards Jews (both before and after he assumed power) were particularly negative. Khomeini’s speeches and writings invoked a panoply of Judenhass motifs, including orthodox interpretations of sacralized Muslim texts (for e.g., describing the destruction of the Banu Qurayza 55), and the Shi’ite conception of najas. More ominously, Khomeini’s rhetoric blurred the distinction between Jews and Israelis, reiterated paranoid conspiracy theories about Jews (both within Persia/Iran, and beyond), and endorsed the annihilation of the Jewish State. Sanasarian highlights these disturbing predilections:

“The Jews and Israelis were interchangeable entities who had penetrated all facets of life. Iran was being ‘trampled upon under Jewish boots’. The Jews had conspired to kill the Qajar king Naser al-Din Shah and had a historically grand design to rule through a new monarchy and a new government (the Pahlavi dynasty): ‘Gentlemen, be frightened. They are such monsters’. In a vitriolic attack on Mohammad Reza Shah’s celebration of 2500 years of Persian monarchy in 1971, Khomeini declared that Israeli technicians had planned the celebrations and they were behind the exuberant expenses and overspending. Objecting to the sale of oil to Israel, he said: ‘We should not ignore that the Jews want to take over Islamic countries’…In an address to the Syrian foreign minister after the Revolution Khomeini lamented: ‘If Muslims got together and each poured one bucket of water on Israel, a flood would wash away Israel’…” 56

Professor Reza Afshari’s seminal analysis of human rights in contemporary Iran summarizes the predictable consequences for Jews of the Khomeini “revolution”:

“As anti-Semitism found official expression 57…and the anti-Israeli state propaganda became shriller, Iranian Jews felt quite uncertain about their future under the theocracy. Early in 1979, the execution of Habib Elqaniyan, a wealthy, self-made businessman, a symbol of success for many Iranian Jews, hastened emigration. The departure of the chief rabbi for Europe in the summer of 1980 underlined the fact that the hardships that awaited the remaining Jewish Iranians would far surpass those of other protected minorities”. 58

Afshari also captures the crushing psychosocial impact on Iran’s remaining Jews of restored Shi’ite theocratic rule- the recrudescence of a fully servile dhimmi mentality:

“The Jewish leaders had to go so far as to openly denounce the policies of the State of Israel. It was disquieting to read a news item that reported the Jewish representative in the Majlis criticizing, in carefully chosen words…actions of his co-religionists in Israel, especially when upon the conclusion of his remarks the other (Shi’ite) deputies burst into the chant ‘Death to Israel!’ The contemporary state violating the human rights of its citizens left behind a trail of pathological behaviors [emphasis added] 59…Equally baffling, if not placed against the Jewish community’s predicament, was the statement by the Jewish leaders concerning the arrests of thirteen Jews charged with espionage for Israel in June 1999. ‘The Islamic Republic of Iran has demonstrated to the world that it has treated the Jewish community and other religious minorities well; the Iranian Jewish community has enjoyed constitutional rights of citizenship, and the arrest and charges against a number of Iranian Jews has nothing to do with their religion.’ The bureaucratic side of the state needed such a statement, and the Jewish leaders in Tehran had no choice but to oblige.” 60


An ethos of Jew-hatred, including paroxysms of annihilationist fanaticism, has pervaded Persian/Iranian society, almost without interruption (i.e., the two major exceptions being Sunni Afghan rule from 1725-1784, and Pahlavi reign, with its Pre-Islamic revivalist efforts, from 1925-1979), since the founding of the Shi'ite theocracy in 1502 under Shah Ismail, through its present Khomeini-inspired restoration. Having returned their small remnant Jewish community to a state of obsequious dhimmitude 61, Iran’s current theocratic rulers focus their obsessive anti-Jewish animus on the free-living Jews of neighboring Israel.

Holocaust scholar Daniel Jonah Goldhagen has argued persuasively that the Nazis melded centuries of annihilationist Jew hatred to a state machinery capable of implementing the systematic, mass murder of Jews.62 Former Iranian President Rafsanjani's December 2001 "Al Quds Day" sermon threatened, explicitly, the nuclear annihilation of the largest concentration of autonomous Jews in history- the Jewish State of Israel. Four centuries of "najas-inspired" Jew hatred in Shi'ite Iran, accompanied by pogroms, forced conversions, and other less violent, but continuous forms of social and religious persecution, surely meets Goldhagen's Nazi standard of an established "annihilationist" mentality. Iran must not be permitted to acquire a nuclear weapons capability, certainly now, under the current mullahcracy, and into the foreseeable future. As elucidated recently by Dr. Michael Ledeen, encouraging peaceful regime change in Iran is not only plausible, such policy “…is a life-or-death imperative” 63.

Appendix 1

Restrictions of the Safavid Period (1502-1725)

Behavior Code of Abul Hassan Lari (1622)

Houses that are too high (higher than a Muslim’s) must be lowered.
Jews may not circulate freely among the Believers
In their stores, Jews must sit on low stools, in order they not see the purchaser’s face.
Jews must wear a specially constructed hat of eleven colors.
Around this hat they must sew a yellow ribbon, three meters long.
Women must tie many little bells on their sandals
Jewish women must also wear a black chador
When a Jew speaks to a Muslim, he must humbly lower his head.

The Jam Abbasi, Instituted by Shah Abbas I (1588-1629) and Administered in Some Measure Until 1925

Jews are not permitted to dress like Muslims
A Jew must exhibit a yellow or red “badge of dishonor” on his chest
A Jew is not permitted to ride on a horse
When riding on an ass, he must hang both legs on one side
He is not entitled to bear arms.
On the street and in the market, he must pass stealthily from a corner or from the side
Jewish women are not permitted to cover their faces
The Jew is restricted from establishing boundaries of private property.
A Jew who becomes a Muslim, is forbidden to return to Judaism.
Upon disclosure of a disagreement between Jew and Muslim, the Jew’s argument has no merit.
In Muslim cities, the Jew is forbidden to build a synagogue
A Jew is not entitled to have his house built higher than a Muslim’s

From- Loeb, Laurence. Outcaste- Jewish Life In Southern Iran, New York, 1977, p. 292.

Appendix 2

Restrictions of the Qajar Period (1795-1925)

Observations by Israel Joseph Benjamin (1818-1864) of the “Oppressions” Suffered by Persian Jews, During the Mid-19th Century

Throughout Persia the Jews are obliged to live in a part of town separated from the other inhabitants; for they are considered as unclean creatures, who bring contamination with their intercourse and presence.
They have no right to carry on trade in stuff goods.

Even in the streets of their own quarter of the town they are not allowed to keep open any shop. They may only sell there spices and drugs, or carry on the trade of a jeweler, in which they have attained great perfection.
Under the pretext of their being unclean, they are treated with the greatest severity, and should they enter a street, inhabited by Mussulmans, they are pelted by the boys and mob with stones and dirt.
For the same reason they are forbidden to go out when it rains; for it is said the rain would wash dirt off them, which would sully the feet of the Mussulmans.
If a Jew is recognized as such in the streets, he is subjected to the greatest of insults. The passers-by spit in his face, and sometimes beat him so unmercifully and is obliged to be carried home.
If a Persian kills a Jew, and the family of the deceased can bring forward two Mussulmans as witnesses to the fact, the murderer is punished by a fine of 12 tumauns (600 piastres); but if two such witnesses cannot be produced, the crime remains unpunished, even thought it has been publicly committed, and is well known.
The flesh of the animals slaughtered according to Hebrew custom, but as Trefe declared, must not be sold to any Mussulmans. The slaughterers are compelled to bury the meat, for even the Christians do not venture to buy it, fearing the mockery and insult of the Persians.
If a Jew enters a shop to buy anything, he is forbidden to inspect the goods, but must stand at respectful distance and ask the price. Should his hand incautiously touch the goods, he must take them at any price the seller chooses for them.
Sometimes the Persians intrude into the dwellings of the Jews and take possession of whatever pleases them. Should the owner make the least opposition in defense of his property, he incurs the danger of atoning for it with his life.
Upon the least dispute between a Jew and a Persian, the former is immediately dragged before the Achund [Muslim cleric] and, if the complainant can bring forward two witnesses, the Jew is condemned to pay a heavy fine. If he is too poor to pay this penalty in money, he must pay it in his person. He is stripped to the waist, bound to a stake, and receives forty blows with a stick. Should the sufferer utter the least cry of pain during this proceeding, the blows already given are not counted, and the punishment is begun afresh.
In the same manner, the Jewish children, when they get into a quarrel with those of the Mussulmans, are immediately lead before the Achund, and punished with blows.
A Jew who travels in Perdia is taxed in every inn and every caravanserai he enters. If he hesitates to satisfy any demands that may happen to be made on him, they fall upon him, and maltreat him until he yields to their terms.
If, as already mentioned, a Jew shows himself in the street during the three days of Katel (feast of the mourning for the death of the Persian founder of the religion of Ali) he is sure to be murdered.
Daily and hourly new suspicions are raised against the Jews, in order to obtain excuses for fresh extortion; the desire of gain is always the chief incitement to fanaticism.

From- Benjamin, Israel Joseph. Eight Years in Asia and Africa- From 1846-1855, Hanover, 1859, pp. 211-213

Conditions Imposed Upon the Jews of Hamadan, 1892

The Jews are forbidden to leave their houses when it rains or snows [to prevent the impurity of the Jews being transmitted to the Shiite Muslims]
Jewish women are obliged to expose their faces in public [like prostitutes].
They must cover themselves with a two colored izar (an izar is a big piece of amterial with which eastern women are obliged to cover themselves when leaving their houses].
The men must not wear fine clothes, the only material being permitted them being a blue cotton fabric.
They are forbidden to wear matching shoes.
Every Jew is obliged to wear a piece of red cloth on his chest.
A Jew must never overtake a Muslim on a public street.
He is forbidden to talk loudly to a Muslim.
A Jewish creditor of a Muslim must claim his debt in a quavering and respectful manner.
If a Muslim insults a Jew, the latter must drop his head and remain silent.
A Jew who buys meat must wrap and conceal it carefully from Muslims.
It is forbidden to build fine edifices.
It is forbidden for him to have a house higher than that of his Muslim neighbor.
Neither must he use plaster for whitewashing.
The entrance of his house must be low.
The Jew cannot put on his coat; he must be satisfied to carry it rolled under his arm.
It is forbidden for him to cut his beard, or even to trim it slightly with scissors.
It is forbidden for Jews to leave the town or enjoy the fresh air of the countryside.
It is forbidden for Jewish doctors to ride on horseback [this right was generally forbidden to all non-Muslims, except doctors].
A Jew suspected of drinking spirits must not appear in the street; if he does he should be put to death immediately.
Weddings must be celebrated in the greatest secrecy.
Jews must not consume good fruit.

From a letter by S. Somekh, The Alliance Israelite Universale, October, 27, 1892, translated and reproduced in Littman, D.G. “Jews Under Muslim Rule: The Case of Persia” The Weiner Library Bulletin, Vol. XXXII, Nos. 49/50, 1979, pp. 7-8. Regarding these 22 conditions, Somekh, writes,

“The latter [i.e., the Jews] have a choice between automatic acceptance, conversion to Islam, or their annihilation. Some who live from hand to mouth have consented to these humiliating and cruel conditions through fear, without offering resistance; thirty of the most prominent members of the community were surprised in the telegraph office, where they had gone to telegraph their grievances to Teheran. They were compelled to embrace the Muslim faith to escape from certain death. But the majority is in hiding and does not dare to venture into the streets…” [p.7]

End Notes:


2 Gary Sick, "US can exploit peaceful Iran revolution," Newsday, June 11, 1997.

3 Michael Rubin, “Iran's Burgeoning WMD Programs”, Middle East Intelligence Bulletin, Volume 4, Number 3, March-April 2002,


5 Linzner, Dafna. Iran Says It Will Renew Nuclear Efforts, The Washington Post, June 25, 2004
"All Iran would have to do now is put uranium into the centrifuges, and then they can start producing a key ingredient for nuclear weapons," said David Albright, a former nuclear inspector; Dareini, Ali Akbar. Tehran to Resume Building Centrifuges, The Washington Times, June 28, 2004,

“The White House called Iran's decision further proof that it was trying to build an atomic bomb.”

6 “Fomer Iranian President Rafsanjani on Using a Nuclear Bomb Against Israel”, Middle East Media Research Bulletin, January 3, 2002

7 Minorsky, V. Tadhkirat al-Muluk. A Manual of Safavid Administration, 1725, Facsimile with Translation and Commentary, London, 1943; Fischel, Walter. “The Jews in Medieval Iran from the 16th to the 18th centuries: Political, Economic, and Communal aspects”, Irano-Judaica, Jerusalem, 1982, p. 266.; Al-Amili (d. 1622), Jami i Abbasi; discussed in Browne, E.G., A Literary History of Persia, vol. IV, Cambridge, 1930, p. 407; Al-Majlisi (d. 1699), The Treatise Lightning Bolts Against the Jews. Translated by V.B. Moreen, in: Die Welt des Islams, Vol. 32, 1992, pp. 187-193. Also, see Appendix I, at the end of these Notes, entitled, “Restrictions of the Safavid Period”.

8 i.e., the combined Safavid (1502-1722) and Qajar (1795-1925) periods comprised 350 years of Shi’ite theocracy, interrupted by Sunni Afghan rule from 1722-1795, most notably under Nadir Shah, 1734-1747.

9 Browne, E.G., A Literary History of Persia, p. 371.

10 Fischel, W. F. “The Jews in Medieval Iran”, p. 266.

11 Pires, Tome. Suma Oriental (1512-1515) Haklyut Society Publications, Vol. I (London, 1944), p. 27.

12 du Mans, Raphael. Estat de la Perse, 1660, ed. Schefer (Paris, 1890), pp. 193-194; cited in, Fischel, W.J. “The Jews in Medieval Iran”, p. 266.

13 Chew, Samuel C. The Crescent and the Rose, Oxford University Press, 1937, p. 211.

14 Fischel, W. F. “The Jews in Medieval Iran”, p. 275.; Fischel, W.F. “Isfahan- The Story of a Jewish Community in Persia”, The Joshua Starr Memorial Volume, Jewish Social Studies, Publication No. 5, 1953, pp. 122-123. Fischel elaborates:

“One of the most dangerous measures which threatened the very existence of the Jewish community in Isfahan and elsewhere was the so-called ‘law of apostasy’ promulgated at the end of Abbas I’s rule and renewed in the reign of Abbas II. According to this law, any Jew or Christian becoming a Muslim could claim the property of his relatives, however distant. This decree, making the transfer of goods and property a reward for those who became apostates from their former religion, became a great threat to the very survival of the Jews. While the Christian population in Isfahan protested, through the intervention of the Pope, and the Christian powers in Europe, against the injustice of this edict, there did not arise a defender of the rights of Jews in Persia. [emphasis added] Although the calamity which this law implied was lessened by the small number of Jewish apostates who made use of this inducement, it was a steady threat to the existence of Jewish community life and brought about untold hardship. It was only in the 19th century that leaders of European Jewry such as Sir Moses Montefiore and Adolph Cremieux took up the fight for their brethren in Persia against this discriminatory law. Apart from this legal discrimination, the Jews of Isfahan were particularly singled out for persecution and forced conversion in the seventeenth century. It is reported that they were forced to profess Islam publicly; that many of their rabbis were executed, and that only under Shah Safi (1629-1642), the successor of Abbas I, were the Jews of Isfahan, after seven years of Marrano life, permitted to return publicly to their Jewish religion…”[emphasis added]

15 Fischel omits an earlier more apposite Muslim equivalent (and possible learned prototype) of the persecutions in late 15th century Spain, i.e., the Muslim Almohad persecutions in both Spain and North Africa, of the mid to late 12th century. Professor H.Z. Hirschberg (in The Jews of North Africa, Leiden, Vol. 1, 1974, pp. 127-128) includes this summary of a contemporary account from January 1148 C.E.:

“Abd al-Mumin…the leader of the Almohads after the death of Muhammad ibn Tumart the Mahdi [note: ibn Tumart was a cleric whose writings bear a striking resemblance to Khomeini’s rhetoric eight centuries later] …captured Tlemcen [in the Maghreb] and killed all those who were in it, including the Jews, except those who embraced Islam…[In Sijilmasa] One hundred and fifty persons were killed for clinging to their [Jewish] faith…All the cities in the Almoravid [dynastic rulers of North Africa and Spain prior to the Almohads] state were conquered by the Almohads. One hundred thousand persons were killed in Fez on that occasion, and 120,000 in Marrakesh. The Jews in all [Maghreb] localities [conquered]…groaned under the heavy yoke of the Almohads; many had been killed, many others converted; none were able to appear in public as Jews [emphasis added]…Large areas between Seville and Tortosa [in Spain] had likewise [emphasis added] fallen into Almohad hands.”

16 i.e., contemporary chronicles and eyewitness accounts, both Christian (Armenian, Jesuit, and Carmelite) and Jewish (the Kitab i Anusi: The Book of Events of the Forced Conversions of Persian Jewry to Islam). For example, the Armenian chronicler Arakel of Tabriz, included a chapter entitled, “History of the Hebrews of the City of Isfahan and of all Hebrews in the Territory of the Kings of Persia-the Case of Their Conversion to Islam”. Arakel describes the escalating brutality employed to convert the hapless Jewish population to Islam- deportation, deliberately harsh exposure to the elements, starvation, imprisonment, and beatings. According to his account [English translation from Bat Ye’or, The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam, Cranbury, NJ, 1996, pp. 372-373.], the forced conversion of a rabbi marked a turning point in this ugly sequence of events:

“…after many words and promises, the Hakham’s [rabbi’s] sentence was pronounced. ‘If he does not embrace the Muslim faith, his stomach will be split open and he will be paraded through the town attached to a camel *; his property and his family would be consigned to pillage’. The sentence given, a camel was brought, on which he was seated, the executioners came and bared his stomach, then they beat him with a naked sword, saying that either he apostasized or his stomach would be split open. Fear of death as well as affection for those close to him having lead him to weaken, he was made to pronounce his belief in the Muslim faith, and he was incorporated into the religion of Muhammad, which was cause of untold joy to the [Muslim] Persians…Those [Jews following their rabbi’s forced conversion] who resisted were kept in prison; then they were brought back to the tribunal two or three times, even more often, and were urged to apostasize. By these actions, all the prisoners were lead to the religion of Muhammad; in the space of a month, three hundred and fifty men became Muslims. Ever since then, half the Jews having adopted the religion of the Persians, their nation lost what the Persians gained by their ascendancy over them: they were not even allowed to exist any longer, for every day they were dragged by force before the ehtim al-dawla [ranking Muslim official] and there they were forced to become Persians. The Persians put so much determination into their violence, aimed at conversion, that all Jews living in Isfahan…about three hundred families, adopted the religion of Muhammad.”

[*this threat is confirmed in an independent account from the Kitab-i-Anusi [excerpts translated by V.B. Moreen, Iranian Jewry’s Hour of Peril and Heroism- A Study of Babai Ibn Luft’s Chronicle (1617-1662), New York-Jerusalem, 1987, p. 188]

From A Chronicle of the Carmelites in Persia and the Papal Mission of the 17th and 18th Centuries (London, 1939), pp. 364-366, we learn:

“The Jews have been forced to become Muhammadans, and in order to ‘purify’ the city of Isfahan they are obliging all the Armenians who were near the city to go and live outside…” [February 24, 1657]

“I cannot say all, but shall only tell you that the King of Persia has thrown off the mask, and let the venom he has in his heart be seen. He has ordered that all the Jews in his realm should become Muslims, to the number of 100,000.” [May 12, 1657]

“Everything is done by one of his (Abbas II’s) ministers called Itimad-ud-Dauleh, who is very hostile to Catholics and Christians, whom he expelled from Isfahan. Armenians in Julfa and the Hebrews he has forced to become Muslims, and many of the Armenians at the present day are becoming Muslims, especially the sons, in order to inherit their father’s property; because they have made an accursed law, by which all Christians who become Muslims inherit everything.” [August 20, 1660]

Finally, Fischel (“The Jews in Medieval Iran”, pp. 279-280.) summarizes the contents of the important eyewitness Jewish chronicles, the Kitab i Anusi, which,

“…describe in great detail how the Jews were compelled to abandon their religion, how they were drawn out of their quarters on Friday evening into the hills around the city and, after torture, 350 Jews are said to have been forced to [convert] to Islam. Their synagogues were closed and the Jews were lead to the Mosque, where they had to proclaim publicly the Muslim confession of faith, after which a Mullah, a Shi’a religious leader, instructed the newly-converted Muslims in the Qur’an and Islamic tradition and practice. These newly-converted Muslims had to break with the Jewish past, to allow their daughters to be married to Muslims, and to have their new Muslim names registered in a special Divan [council]. To test publicly their complete break with the Jewish tradition, some were even forced to eat a portion of camel meat boiled in milk. After their forced conversion, they were called New Muslims, Jadid al-Islam. They were then, of course, freed from the payment of the poll tax and from wearing a special headgear or badge.”

17 Fischel, W.F. “Isfahan”, p. 14.

18Al-Majlisi (d. 1699), Lightning Bolts Against the Jews.

“So if they observe the conditions of the jizya and live in baseness and abjectness among Muslims, bias and obstinacy will not prevent them from accepting the true religion, and they will soon accept Qur’an…Some say that they [the dhimmis] should not be informed of the amount of the jizya so that they should live continuously, in the course of the year, in a state of anxiety and agitation. [They say that] at the time of paying the jizya they should stand on the ground in front of him who takes the jizya. [The official] should say to him: “Count it!” And he [the payer] should count the money until the Muslims speak up and say that it is enough. And some [also] say that he should lower his head while handing it over, and that he who takes the jizya should pull his beard and slap his face at the time of praying. ”

19Al-Majlisi (d. 1699), Lightning Bolts Against the Jews.

“First, that they should not openly publicize those things which are prohibited by the shari a but are permitted to them and there is not harm from them to the Muslims such as wine, eating pork, contracting marriages with close family members, etc.; second, that they should not erect churches, temples or places of fire worship in the lands of Islam, but if they [already] have some, and these are in need of repair, they may repair them. If they are ruined entirely there is a difference if opinion regarding whether or not they may rebuild them in the same place; third, that they should not read out very loudly from their [holy] books, nor ring any bells. And some say that they may ring them softly so that Muslims would not hear them; fourth, that they may not build their own homes higher than the houses of their Muslim neighbors (or their part of the house), nor higher than those of the Muslims dwelling in other parts of the same house. And some say that they may not build them of the same height with them either but that they must be lower; fifth, most of the ulama believe that it is appropriate that the ruler of the Muslims imposed upon them clothing that would distinguish then from Muslims so that they would not resemble Muslims. It is customary for Jews to wear yellow clothes while Christians wear black and dark blue ones. Christians [also] wear a girdle on their waists, and Jews sew a piece of silk of a different color on the front part of their clothes. And some [jurists] say that they should be recognizable by their wearing different shoes than Muslims, for instance, one of their shoes be of one color and the other of another color, such as one yellow and one red. [And they also say that] they should wear a ring of iron, lead or copper, and that they should tie a bell on their feet at the [public] baths so as to be distinguishable from Muslims. Similarly, their women should be distinguished through their clothing from Muslim women in the manner stated above or by other means; sixth, that they should not ride upon Arabian steeds, or that they should not ride any horses at all, only mules or asses, and that they should not ride upon saddles, only on pack saddles, with [both] legs on one side, and have no sword, dagger or any [other] weapon with them, nor should they keep any of these within their homes”.

20 Loeb, Laurence. Outcaste-Jewish Life in Southern Iran, New York, 1977, p.21

21Al-Majlisi (d. 1699), Lightning Bolts Against the Jews. The great Islamophilic scholar Ignaz Goldziher believed that Shi’ism manifested greater doctrinal intolerance toward non-Muslims, relative to Sunni Islam, because of the Shi’ites “literalist” conception of najas [From Introduction to Islamic Theology and Law, Princeton, 1981, p. 213.]:

“On examining the legal documents, we find that the Shi'i legal position toward other faiths is much harsher and stiffer than that taken by Sunni Muslims. Their law reveals a heightened intolerance to people of other beliefs...Of the severe rule in the Qur'an (9:28) that 'unbelievers are unclean', Sunni Islam has accepted an interpretation that is as good as a repeal. Shi'i law, on the other hand, has maintained the literal sense of the rule; it declares the bodily substance of the unbeliever to be ritually unclean, and lists the touching of an unbeliever among the ten things that produce najasa, ritual impurity.”

The enduring nature of the fanatical najas regulation prohibiting dhimmis from being outdoors during rain and/or snow, is well established. For examples, see Appendix 2 item 5 of Benjamin’s list of “oppressions”, and item 1 of Hamadan’s 1892 regulations for its Jews, as well as this account provided by the missionary Napier Malcolm who lived in the Yezd area at the close of the 19th century:

“They [the strict Shi’as] make a distinction between wet and dry; only a few years ago it was dangerous for an Armenian Christian to leave his suburb and go into the bazaars in Isfahan on a wet [rainy] day. ‘A wet dog is worse than a dry dog.’ ” [Malcolm, Napier. Five Years in a Persian Town, New York, 1905, p. 107.]

Moreover, the late Persian Jewish scholar Sarah (Sorour) Soroudi related this family anecdote:

“In his youth, early in the 20th century, my late father was eyewitness to the implementation of this regulation. A group of elder Jewish leaders in Kashan had to approach the head clergy of the town (a Shi’i community from early Islamic times, long before the Safavids, and known for its religious fervor) to discuss a matter of great urgency to the community. It was a rainy day and they had to send a Muslim messenger to ask for special permission to leave the ghetto. Permission granted, they reached the house of the clergy but, because of the rain, they were not allowed to stand even in the hallway. They remained outside, drenched, and talked to the mullah who stood inside next to the window.”[ from, “The Concept of Jewish Impurity and its Reflection in Persian and Judeo-Persian Traditions”, Irano-Judaica, Vol. 3, 1994, p. 156.]

Souroudi added this note, as well [p.156, footnote 36]:

“As late as 1923, the Jews of Iran counted this regulation as one of the anti-Jewish restrictions still practiced in the country.”

Lastly, a more disconcerting 20th century anecdote from an informant living in Shiraz, was recounted by Anthropologist Laurence Loeb [in Outcaste, p.21] :

“When I was a boy, I went with my father to the house of a non-Jew on business. When we were on our way, it started to rain. We stopped near a man who had apparently fallen and was bleeding. As we started to help him, a Muslim akhond (theologian) stopped and asked me who I was and what I was doing. Upon discovering that I was a Jew, he reached for a stick to hit me for defiling him by being near him in the rain. My father ran to him and begged the akhond to hit him instead.”

22 Fischel, W.J. “The Jews in Medieval Iran”, p. 281.

23 Fischel, W.J. “The Jews in Medieval Iran”, p. 281.; The Chronicle of the Carmelites, records:

“As all were apprehensive of a great barrenness of the soil from a protracted drought, a general dearness of corn being already experienced, everyone began to pour out prayers to God, each in the fashion of his own religion to implore the gift and succor of rain. But certain zealots of the Muhammadan faith, anxious as they had been unable to obtain anything from God by the rites and prayers enjoined on their own sect, lest some possibly more fortunate result should happen to be attributed to the votive offerings of another religion, complained to the king that the Jews and the Armenians by the unbounded license of their tenets had contrived the harm of the Muhammadan faith, and brought to naught the national religious rites with alien sacrileges. So the Shah [Suliaman], not in possession of his wits, admitting as a serious crime what he had heard exaggerated by the pretended sincerity of the false accusers, orders on the tenth day of the month of May (1678) those of the Jews, whose flight could be forestalled, to be seized and, with a hasty sentence of his furious temper, that the abdomens of their principal men should be ripped open- which was at once put into execution. The bellies of the Rabbi or priest of the Hebrews and of two of their chief men having been slit open, they perished: and their corpses, thrown out into the great royal square, called the Maidan, lay for a week unburied, while for a burial permit a tax of four Tumans was being levied for each. Then for the rest if them (the Jews) fetters and chains were waived on payment of a fine of 600 Tumans (one Tuman is 15 scudi, or piastres). But the Armenians, who were involed with the same accusation and were in peril of being generally slaughtered, having a certain grandee to protect them with the king, obtained pardon by paying some hundreds of Tumans as the price of their remaining unharmed.” [emphasis added; p. 408, Isfahan, July 29, 1678]

“…by the arbitrariness of the now reigning Shah Sultan Husain, whom the flattery of certain of his officials in giving him the surname ‘Din Parwar’ [fosterer of the religion], i.e., ‘zealous promoter of religious law’, has instigated, all races, subjects of his dominions, are obliged to profess the Muhammadan religion; after having begun this by the forced circumcision of the Gabrs [Zoroastrians] of the ancient Persian belief, still remaining worshippers of the perpetual fire, who lived in a very populous suburb above Julfa; passing on to wanting to do the same to all the Christians of Julfa, some four or five years back the decree for which would already have been issued had it not been for its execution being preventedby the king’s grandmother who is the owner and overlord of Julfa: yielding therefore to such powerful patronage for the time being, they attacked the somewhat more remote villages, little short of a hundred, by exactions of an intolerable grievousness, in order to compel them to find escape from these by having recourse to the immunity of Islam…” [p. 474, June 13, 1702]

24 Fischel, W.J. “The Jews in Medieval Iran”, p. 282.

25 Fischel, W.J. “The Jews in Medieval Iran”, p. 283.

26 Fischel, W.J. “Isfahan”, p. 126.

27 Fischel, W.J. “Isfahan”, p. 127.

28 Fischel, W.J. “The Jews of Persia”, p. 121.

29 d’Beth Hillel, David. The Travels of Rabbi David d’Beth Hillel: from Jerusalem, through Arabia, Koordistan, Part of Persia, and India to Madras. p. 115; cited in, Fischel W.J. The Jews of Kurdistan A Hundred Years Ago, New York, 1944, Reprinted from Jewish Social Studies, Vol. VI, No.3, p. 223.

There are many confirmatory 19th century reports of the strict application of najas regulations towards Jews. Appendix 2 includes Benjamin’s listing of mid-19th century “oppressions” related to najas. Also Fraser noted [Fraser, James B. Narrative of a Journey into Khorasan in the Years 1821 and 1822, London, 1825, p. 182.] that Jews were forbidden from using the public baths. Stern [Stern, Henry A. Dawnings of Light in the East, London, 1854, pp. 184-185.] described how in the holy Shi’ite city of Qom,

“…the few [Jews] who are allowed to reside here come from Koshan Isfahan, and the ostentatious vocation which they pursue is peddling; but as the pious living in the religious atmosphere of so many descendants of the Prophet would be shocked at the idea of touching anything that has passed the hands of a defiled and impure Jew, they have had recourse to a more profitable traffic, the sale of spirituous liquors.”

Napier Malcolm reported [Five Years in a Persian Town, p.108] ,

“It is more easy to get the Mussulmans to eat food with the Parsis than with the Jews, whose religion ranks higher than Zoroastrianism in the popular regard.”

And Adams reported [Adams, Reverend Isaac. Persia by a Persian, Washington, D.C., 1900, p. 120]:

“Christians and Jews are not subject to decapitation as they are considered unclean by the Mohammedans and not sufficiently worthy of this privilege.”

Regardless, as Soroudi notes with bitter irony [The Concept of Jewish Impurity”, p. 157]:

“The impurity of the non-Muslim and his belongings, however, never deterred Shi’ah Muslims from plundering Jewish or Zoroastrian quarters on the smallest pretext or as a result of clerical or official instigation.”

30 d’Beth Hillel, The Travels of Rabbi David d’Beth Hillel, pp. 74-75, cited in Fischel W.J. The Jews of Kurdistan, pp. 223-224. The missionary Asahel Grant reported [Grant, A. The Nestorians, New York, 1841, pp. 382-383.],

“During my residence in Ooroomiah, a Jew was publicly burned to death in the city by order of the governor, on an allegation of that pretended crime! [i.e., a blood libel] Naphtha was freely poured over him, the torch was applied, and the miserable man was instantly enveloped in flame!”

31 Fischel, W.J. The Jews of Kurdistan, pp. 224-225. After exhaustive research on the late 18th century fate of the Jews of Tabriz, Amnon Netzer concluded [Netzer, A. “The Fate of the Jewish Community of Tabriz”, in: Studies in Islamic History and Civilization in Honor of Professor David Ayalon, Jerusalem, 1986, p. 419.],

“…that there was, indeed, a terrible massacre of the Jews in Tabriz at some time between the years 1790-1797, and that Tabriz ceased to become a dwelling place where Jews could have a communal life for many.”

32 Fischel, W.J. The Jews of Persia, p. 124. Reverend Joseph Wolff provided a contemporary travelogue account of events in Meshed [cited in Curzon, G.N. Persia and the Persian Question, Vol. 1, 1892, p. 166.]:

“The occasion was as follows: A poor woman had a sore hand. A Mussulman physician advised her to kill a dog and put her hand in the blood of it. She did so; when suddenly the whole population rose and said that they had done it in derision of their prophet. Thirty-five Jews were killed in a few minutes; the rest, struck with terror, became Mohammedans. They are now more zealous Jews in secret than ever, but call themselves Anusim, the Compelled Ones.”

Fischel wrote this modern analysis of the Meshed pogrom and forced conversions (in, Fischel, W.J. “Secret Jews of Persia”, Commentary, January 1949, p. 29):

“The [Jewish] woman [see Wolff’s account above] hired a Persian boy to catch a dog in the street and then kill it in her courtyard. Following a dispute about payment, the boy ran off in a rage. A rumor that the Jews had killed a dog on the holiest of holy days [the day of mourning for Husain, the grandson of Muhammad] and had even called it Husain to insult the Mohammedans. When this rumor reached the thousands assembled in mourning at the Mosque of the Imam Riza, hundreds of the devout, together with Shaikhs, Mullahs, Sayyids, and other spiritual leaders, rushed to the Jewish quarter. There they plundered, robbed, and burned. Soon the synagogue and the scrolls of the Law stood in flames; many scores of Jews were wounded and some thirty-five were left dead in the streets. The mob would have destroyed the entire Jewish quarter had not a group of priests given their word that the survivors would be converted to Islam. For the remaining Jews the only chance of survival was to recite the Moslem confession of faith. This they did, and on the following day they were officially accepted into Islam…They were now called, ‘Jadid al-Islam’, or ‘neo-Moslem’. With this acceptance of Islam, the convert was immediately freed from all his previous restrictions; he was no longer required to wear a special hat or have his hair dressed in a special way or wear any particular Jewish badge on his clothes, nor was he required to pay the poll-tax (jizya). His ‘uncleanliness’ was gone- he was now a Moslem among Moslems…The mosque became the legal meeting place of the Jedidim. There, they were under the supervision of the chief priest, the Mujtahid, who exercised the dual role of instructor in Mohammedanism and inquisitor for Islam [emphasis added]. He acted as the official head of the Jews as well as their supreme judicial authority. Demanding the diligent study of the Koran and the traditional books, he forbade ritual slaughtering, circumcision on the 8th day, ordered mixed marriages between Jedidim and Moslems, and was empowered to grant permission for burial. In 1839, then, the Jewish community in Meshed officially ceased to exist. Yet this forced conversion could not extinguish Judaism in the hearts of the Jedidim; the hope that they might one day return to their own religion remained alive in them.”

33 Fischel, W.J. The Jews of Persia, pp. 124-125. Loeb [Outcaste, p. 57] maintains that tax farming throughout the 19th century, “…reduced the Jews to virtual serfdom.” Wills illustrates this abusive practice in a contemporary late 19th century account [Wills, C.J. Persia As It Is. London, 1887, pp. 229-230]:

“The principle is very simple. The Jews of a province are assessed at a tax of a certain amount. Someone pays this amount to the local governor together with a bribe; and the wretched Jews are immediately placed under his authority for the financial year. It is a simple speculation. If times are good, the farmer of the Jews makes a good profit; if they are bad he gains nothing, or may fail to extract from them as much as he has paid out of pocket- in that case, woe betide them. During the Persian famine the Jews suffered great straits before the receipt of subsidies sent from Europe by their co-religionists. The farmer of the Jewish colony in a great Persian city (of course a Persian Mohammedan) having seized their goods and clothes, proceeded, in the cold of Persian winter, to remove the doors and windows of their hovels and to wantonly burn them. The farmer was losing money, and sought thus to enforce what he considered his rights. No Persian pitied the unfortunates; they were Jews and so beyond the pale of pity. Every street boy raises his hand against the wretched Hebrew; he is beaten and buffeted in the streets, spat upon in the bazaar. The only person he can appeal to is the farmer of the Jews. From him, he will obtain a certain amount of protection if he be actually robbed of money or goods; not from the farmer’s sense of justice, but because the complainant, were his wrongs unredressed, might be unable to pay his share of the tax.”

Wills also provides these acerbic descriptions of two of the most egregious forms of degradation, both public and private, suffered by the Jews throughout the 19th century:

“At every public festival-even at the royal salaam [salute], before the King’s face- the Jews are collected, and a number of them are flung into the hauz or tank, that King and mob may be amused by seeing them crawl out half-drowned and covered with mud. The same kindly ceremony is witnessed whenever a provincial governor holds high festival: there are fireworks and Jews.” [Persia As It Is , p. 23.]

“When a Jew marries, a rabble of the Mahommedan ruffians of the town invite themselves to the ceremony, and, after a scene of riot and intoxication, not infrequently beat their host and his relations and insult the women of the community; only leaving the Jewish quarter when they have slept off the drink they have swallowed at their unwilling host’s expense.” [Persia As It Is, p. 24.]

34 Fischel, W.J. The Jews of Persia, p. 134.

35 Fischel, W.J. The Jews of Persia, p. 137.

36 Fischel, W.J. The Jews of Persia, p. 142.

37 Fischel, W.J. The Jews of Persia, pp. 143-144.; Loeb, L. Outcaste, pp. 289-291.

38 Fischel, W.J. The Jews of Persia, p. 143.

39 Fischel, W.J. The Jews of Persia, p. 144.

40 Loeb, L. Outcaste, pp. 289-290.

41 Loeb, L. Outcaste, pp. 291.

42 Littman, D.G. “Jews Under Muslim Rule: The Case of Persia” The Weiner Library Bulletin, Vol. XXXII, Nos. 49/50, 1979, p. 5. Littman provides a remarkably concise overview of the history of the Jewish community of Persia under Muslim rule, complemented by an impressive array of primary source documents from the archives of the Alliance Israélite Universelle (pp. 5-15), translated elegantly by the author into English, with but one exception, for the first time. The full text of Littman’s landmark article (i.e., The Weiner Library Bulletin, Vol. XXXII, Nos. 49/50, 1979, pp. 2-15), from which Bernard Lewis borrowed liberally for his discussion of Persian Jewry in The Jews of Islam (Princeton, 1984, see especially pp. 181-183), is now available online:

43 Tabandeh, Sultanhussein. A Muslim Commentary on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, English translation by F. J. Goulding, London, 1970.

44 Sanasarian, Eliz. Religious Minorities in Iran, Cambridge University Press, 2000, p. 173, footnote 92.

45 See earlier notes 10-12, and Seddon, C.N. (translator), A Chronicle of the Early Safawis [Being the Ahsanu’t-Tawarikh of Hasan-i-Rumlu], 1934, Vol. II, p. xiv.

46 Tabandeh, Sultanhussein. A Muslim Commentary on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, p. 4.

47 Sanasarian, Eliz. Religious Minorities in Iran, p. 25.

48 Tabandeh, Sultanhussein. A Muslim Commentary on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, p. 17.

49 Tabandeh, Sultanhussein. A Muslim Commentary on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, pp. 18-19.

50 Tabandeh, Sultanhussein. A Muslim Commentary on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, p. 37.

51 Sanasarian, Eliz. Religious Minorities in Iran, p. 28.

52 Sanasarian, Eliz. Religious Minorities in Iran, p. 85. Khomeini elaborated, his views non-Muslims and najas, here [Khomeini, S.R. Principles, Politiques, Phiolsophiques, Sociaux et Religieux. Translated into French and edited by J.-M. Xaviere, Paris, 1979; English translation of these excerpts in, Bat Ye’or, The Dhimmi- Jews and Christians Under Islam, 1985, Cranbury, NJ, 1985, pp. 396-397.]:

“Eleven things are unclean: urine, excrement, sperm, blood, a dog, a pig, bones, a non-Muslim man and woman [emphasis added], wine, beer, perspiration of a camel that eats filth…The whole body of a non-Muslim is unclean, even his hair, his nails, and all the secretions of his body…A child below the age of puberty is unclean if his parents and grandparents are not Muslims; but if he has a Muslim for a forebear, then he is clean…The body, saliva, nasal secretions, and perspiration of a non-Muslim man or woman who converts to Islam automatically become pure. As for the garments, if they were in contact with the sweat of the body before conversion, they will remain unclean…It is not strictly prohibited for a Muslim to work in an establishment run by a Muslim who employs Jews, if the products do not aid Israel in one way or another. How ever it is shameful [for a Muslim] to be under the orders of a Jewish departmental head.”

53 Sanasarian, Eliz. Religious Minorities in Iran, p. 85.

54 Sanasarian, Eliz. Religious Minorities in Iran, p. 84-85.

55 Bostom, Andrew. “Muhammad, the Qurayza Massacre, and PBS”,, December 20, 2002.

56 Sanasarian, Eliz. Religious Minorities in Iran, p. 29.

57 Professor Eliz Sanasarian provides one particularly disturbing example of this Islamic state-sanctioned Judenhass, involving the malevolent indoctrination of young adult candidates for national teacher training programs. Affirming as objective, factual history the hadith* account of Muhammad’s supposed poisoning by a Jewish woman from ancient Khaybar, Sanasarian notes,

“Even worse, the subject became one of the questions in the ideological test for the Teachers’ Training College where students were given a multiple-choice question in order to identify the instigator of the martyrdom of the Prophet Muhammad, the ‘correct’ answer being ‘a Jewess.’ ” [Sanasarian, E. Religious Minorities in Iran, p. 111]

[* Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 47, Number 786: Narrated Anas bin Malik: ‘A Jewess brought a poisoned (cooked) sheep for the Prophet who ate from it. She was brought to the Prophet and he was asked, ‘Shall we kill her?’ He said, ‘No.’ I continued to see the effect of the poison on the palate of the mouth of Allah's Apostle’]

58 Afshari, Reza. Human Rights in Iran-The Abuse of Cultural Relativism, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001, p.136. Sanasarian observes that beyond the well publicized execution of Habib Elganian in May 1979,

“…many more Jews compared to other RRMs [recognized religious minorities], were imprisoned, and by December 1980 seven known Jews were executed; by 1982 there were two more.” [Sanasarian, E. Religious Minorities in Iran, p. 113.]

59 In his detailed psychosocial analysis of the Serbian dhimmis under Turkish Muslim rule, early 20th century sociologist and geographer Jovan Cvijic described how the Serbs “moral mimicry” accentuated their submission. Thus the Serbs (exemplifying prototypical dhimmi adaptive behaviors), became,

“…increasingly accustomed to forming an inferior servile class whose duty it is to win his master’s approval, to cringe before him, and to please him…used to hypocrisy and lowliness, because this is necessary for them to live and to protect themselves from violence.” [Cvijic, J. La Peninsule Balkanique, Paris, 1918, pp. 387-388.]

60 Afshari, Reza. Human Rights in Iran, p. 138.

61 See note 58 above; Bat Ye’or has provided this recent historical definition of dhimmitude, which applies to all non-Muslim populations subjugated under the Shari’a:

“Dhimmitude derives from the surrender of the Christian clergy and political leaders to the Muslim jihad armies, and their submission to Islamic domination of both their lands and peoples. In exchange, they received a pledge of protection ('dhimma') from the Muslim sovereign - and the cessation of the jihad war. This "protection" was conditioned on a ransom payment (jizya) that was extorted from the vanquished Christian and Jewish populations (dhimmis). Sometimes, Christian submission to Islam was rooted in personal ambition. Dhimmitude often induced self-hatred, and hatred against Jews and Christians who resisted the jihad and Muslim domination. Christian dhimmitude has been a world force for Islamization throughout history” “European Fears of the Gathering Jihad”, FrontPage, February 21, 2003.

62 Goldhagen, D.J. Hitler’s Willing Executioners, New York, 1997. Goldhagen’s summary observation from his Epilogue, p. 455, is of particular relevance:

“This study of the Holocaust and its perpetrators assigns their beliefs paramount importance…Its conclusion that the eliminationist anti-Semitic German political culture, the genesis of which must be and is explicable historically [emphasis added], was the prime mover of both the Nazi leadership and ordinary Germans in the persecution and extermination of the Jews, and therefore was the Holocaust’s principal cause, may at once be hard to believe for many and commonsensical for others.”

63 Ledeen, Michael “A Proper Policy”, The Jerusalem Post, July 1, 2004.

Andrew G. Bostom, MD, MS is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Brown University Medical School, and occasional contributor to Frontpage Magazine. He is the editor of a forthcoming essay collection entitled, "The Legacy of Jihad".

31 posted on 07/05/2004 1:11:25 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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