Skip to comments.Iranian Alert -- July 7, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Posted on 07/06/2004 9:00:50 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
The US media still largley ignores news regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran. As Tony Snow of the Fox News Network has put it, this is probably the most under-reported news story of the year. Most Americans are unaware that the Islamic Republic of Iran is NOT supported by the masses of Iranians today. Modern Iranians are among the most pro-American in the Middle East.
There is a popular revolt against the Iranian regime brewing in Iran today. I began these daily threads June 10th 2003. On that date Iranians once again began taking to the streets to express their desire for a regime change. Today in Iran, most want to replace the regime with a secular democracy.
We are now just a few days away from the anticipated July 9th demonstrations.
The regime is working hard to keep the news about the protest movement in Iran from being reported. Unfortunately, the regime has successfully prohibited western news reporters from covering the demonstrations. The voices of discontent within Iran are sometime murdered, more often imprisoned. Still the people continue to take to the streets to demonstrate against the regime.
In support of this revolt, Iranians in America have been broadcasting news stories by satellite into Iran. This 21st century news link has greatly encouraged these protests. The regime has been attempting to jam the signals, and locate the satellite dishes. Still the people violate the law and listen to these broadcasts. Iranians also use the Internet and the regime attempts to block their access to news against the regime. In spite of this, many Iranians inside of Iran read these posts daily to keep informed of the events in their own country.
This daily thread contains nearly all of the English news reports on Iran. It is thorough. If you follow this thread you will witness, I believe, the transformation of a nation. This daily thread provides a central place where those interested in the events in Iran can find the best news and commentary. The news stories and commentary will from time to time include material from the regime itself. But if you read the post you will discover for yourself, the real story of what is occurring in Iran and its effects on the war on terror.
I am not of Iranian heritage. I am an American committed to supporting the efforts of those in Iran seeking to replace their government with a secular democracy. I am in contact with leaders of the Iranian community here in the United States and in Iran itself.
If you read the daily posts you will gain a better understanding of the US war on terrorism, the Middle East and why we need to support a change of regime in Iran. Feel free to ask your questions and post news stories you discover in the weeks to come.
If all goes well Iran will be free soon and I am convinced become a major ally in the war on terrorism. The regime will fall. Iran will be free. It is just a matter of time.
Thanx for the ping
Please support the Iranians in our fight against the Mullahs, terrorism, discrimination and human rights abuses
Majlis Endorses Uranium Enrichment
July 07, 2004
Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting
Tehran -- Majlis national security and foreign policy commission on Tuesday gave go-ahead to resumption of uranium enrichment activities, said the rapporteur of the commission.
The project will be discussed thoroughly in the commission next week, Kazem Jalali said.
Iran enriches uranium to produce fuel for Bushehr power plant which is to come on stream by 2005.
Iran is a signatory to Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and signed Additional Protocol to NPT in December 2003 which grants the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) intrusive inspection of all its nuclear sites.
Iran Will Respond Any Aggression
July 07, 2004
Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting
Tehran -- Minister of Defense Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani said here Tuesday Iran will strongly respond to any military aggression. "We are not afraid of sanctions, and will not be bound to specifics over time and location of retaliation", the minister told reporters.
On accusations by Israel levelled against Iran, he added "Israel has a long history of lies and deception."
The US has also flagrant weakness in intelligence gathering and structure and has seen its ramifications by not been able to thoroughly identify the perpetrators of September 11 attacks on its soil, had no knowledge over actions of its military forces in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and accused Iraq of having nuclear weapons which it failed to find in the aftermath of invading the country, the defense minister stated.
The US also accused Iraq of having links with Al-Qaeda,"but could not produce any credible document to that effect." It also wrongly bombed wedding ceremonies in Iraq and Afghanistan under the guise that they were gatherings of rebels, Shamkhani underlied.
"The US has not come up with any document against Iran's peaceful nuclear program which it says is for making nuclear weapons."
Shamkhani said Saddam Hussein started the 8-year war against Iran. He is a criminal because of his use of unconventional weapons, including, chemical weapons against Iranian troops, which contravenes all international norms, he underlined.
"Iran is now facing threats over its nuclear program," the defense minister said.
It is said that if Iran dose not abandon its peaceful nuclear program, which is within the framework of UN charter, it will face two threats of different kinds: one military and the other sanctions.
"If we abandon the legitimate capability of access to peaceful nuclear technology, then we have, in fact, sanctioned ourselves and no nation will accept this. The US's experience in Iraq has been such that it knows it can not act in the same manner in Iran," he added.
Powell, Shalom Say Iran Poses Serious Threat
July 07, 2004
Washington -- Highlighting the alleged nuclear weapons programme of Iran, the United States and Israel have stressed that Tehran has to be stopped from pursuing nuclear weapons development.
"Iran is the country that has announced that one missile towards Israel will destroy the Jewish State. So we should be concerned about the Iranians' efforts to develop a nuclear weapon," Israel Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom told reporters yesterday after holding talks with U.S Secretary of State Colin Powell.
"More than that, they are trying now to develop a new missile that will include Berlin, London and Paris and the southern part of Russia in its range. So if we would have to do something with ElBaradei, (it) is to ask him to continue with his efforts to push the Iranians and to put an end to its effort to develop a nuclear weapon," he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Powell said "We know Iran's intentions, and those intentions are to keep a nuclear weapons development programme going."
"The United States will continue to press in every way that we can, use all the diplomatic and other resources at our disposal, to make sure the international community stands unified behind the effort to stop Iran from pursuing nuclear weapons development, or worse, acquiring a nuclear weapon," he said.
Both Powell and Shalom stressed their commitment to the creation of a Palestinian State according to the roadmap after the Palestinians give up terrorism.
El Baradei: Israel Worried About Iran's Nuclear Ambitions
July 07, 2004
The Associated Press
The Globe and Mail
Tel Aviv -- Israel is extremely concerned about Iran's nuclear ambitions, the head of the UN atomic watchdog agency said Wednesday, an indication that the issue is preventing any change in Israel's nuclear policy.
"They're expressing concern about Iran," Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said after talks with senior officials at Israel's secretive nuclear energy agency.
Mr. ElBaradei arrived in Israel on Tuesday to pitch for a Middle East free of nuclear weapons. Israel refuses to discuss its nuclear capacities, but it is thought to be the only state in the Middle East possessing nuclear weapons.
Later Wednesday, Mr. ElBaradei was scheduled to meet with the Israeli health minister and take an aerial tour over the country.
While declining to go into details about his talks, Mr. ElBaradei indicated Wednesday that fear that Tehran was trying to develop nuclear arms was a dominant theme.
Mr. ElBaradei's agency is probing nearly two decades of suspect nuclear activities in Iran that the United States, Israel and others say reflect attempts to make such weapons.
Tehran insists it only wants nuclear energy to generate power, but several IAEA reports over the past year have suggested the Islamic Republic has not fully cooperated with agency inspectors and has failed to clear up suspicions about its aims.
Mr. ElBaradei has suggested that the Israelis should at least consider loosening their taboo on talking about nuclear arms as part of any long-term Middle East settlement that would rid the region of such weapons.
He acknowledged Tuesday that he had "magic wand" to change Israel's policy of so-called nuclear ambiguity.
"But in the long run you need to build a system, where nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction will not be part of your security structure," he said.
In Washington, Secretary of State Colin Powell declined to take a stand Tuesday on whether Israel should be forced to open its reactors to inspection.
But Mr. Powell, at a joint news conference with Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, renewed his demand for international pressure on Iran to stop what Washington says are attempts to build nuclear arms.
Earlier Tuesday, Israel Army Radio rebroadcast comments made in May by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who said he would not budge from the country's traditional "no show, no tell" policy.
"I don't know what he [Mr. ElBaradei] is coming to see. Israel has to hold in its hand all the elements of power necessary to protect itself, by itself," Mr. Sharon told the radio. "Our nuclear policy has proven itself and will continue."
Israel's doctrine of nuclear ambiguity is meant to deter its enemies, while denying them the rationale for developing their own nuclear weapons.
While Mr. ElBaradei was scheduled to meet Mr. Sharon Thursday, there were no plans to give him access to Israel's main nuclear facility near Dimona in the southern Negev Desert, which is the suspected center of its nuclear weapons program.
Israel has not signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which would force it to declare itself a weapons state and curb its nuclear activities.
But Mr. ElBaradei said he hoped to persuade Israeli leaders to agree to a separate protocol curbing nuclear exports and imports.
Such a move would be mostly symbolic Israel already has strict export and import commitments and is seen as an attempt to nudge it toward increased cooperation with the IAEA.
Evidence that Israel has nuclear arms is overwhelming, much of it based on details and pictures leaked in 1986 by Israeli nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu, as well as research and statements made by Israeli leaders.
Mr. Vanunu, who was freed in April after serving an 18-year sentence for espionage and treason, urged Mr. ElBaradei to persuade Israeli leaders to allow him into the Dimona plant.
"Now, after 18 years that my revelation has gone to all the world and I come out of prison and report to all the world, he too must go and demand to be inside Dimona and to report to IAEA and to all the world," Mr. Vanunu said on Israel's Channel One TV, in only his second interview since his release from prison.
Israel is believed to be the only country in the region to have nuclear missiles ready to launch. Experts say it may already have as many as 300 warheads as well as the capability of building more quickly.
'Iran will abandon nuclear obligations if attacked'
7 July 2004
TEHERAN - Irans defence minister has warned that the Islamic republic will abandon its commitments to the UN atomic watchdog if its nuclear installations are attacked, the official news agency IRNA reported on Wednesday. Today the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) holds every detail on Irans nuclear programme, Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani was quoted as saying. If there is a military attack, that would mean that the IAEA has been collecting this information to prepare for an attack. Naturally, after such an action, it would be necessary to renounce all of our nuclear commitments, he added.
The IAEA is currently investigating Irans ambitious bid to generate atomic energy, but has been critical of the regimes level of cooperation. The United States and Israel accuse Iran of seeking nuclear weapons.
Shamkhani warned them of a fierce retaliation if they decided to attack.
The United States and the other enemies of the Islamic republic must know that we will respond to a military action against our country with all our force, he said, adding the retaliation would be unlimited by time and space.
Iran confirms clashes with Turkish Kurd rebels, puts death toll at 10
7 July 2004
TEHERAN - Iran confirmed on Wednesday that its troops had been engaged in clashes with rebels from the former Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) near the border with Turkey, the student news agency ISNA reported.
Deputy Interior Minister Ali Asghar Ahmadi said the clashes took place on June 28, killing two Iranian soldiers and eight rebels from the group, now known as the Kongra-Gel.
On Tuesday a pro-Kurdish news agency said 16 Iranian soldiers and four Turkish Kurd rebels were killed in fighting in a mountainous region along the Turkish border.
Turkish security sources confirmed the clashes, saying they were part of a large-scale operation launched by the Iranian army.
There are at least 10 dead, a Turkish official told AFP in Diyarbakir, the center of Turkeys mainly Kurdish southeast.
The Germany-based MHA news agency, which is close to the rebels, reported that Iranian security forces had launched a comprehensive operation against the armed wing of the PKK last week. The first clashes occurred on Friday.
The Iranians used helicopters and heavy weapons, it said, adding that the operation was continuing.
Iranian security forces also carried out raids -- apparently on PKK targets -- in the towns of Salmas and Khoy, near the Turkish border, MHA said.
The PKK has long used the mountainous border regions of Iran and Iraq, which are difficult to guard, as a springboard for attacks on Turkish territory.
Most of the groups militants are believed to have taken refuge in northern Iraq after the PKK declared a unilateral ceasefire with the Ankara government in 1999.
The group ended its truce on June 1.
The PKK has waged a 15-year war for self-rule in mainly Kurdish southeast Turkey, with the conflict claiming some 37,000 lives.
Turkey and Iran have in recent years intensified cooperation on security matters, including the PKK, after a chilly period during which the two sides accused each other of sheltering their respective dissidents.
Iran's Terrorist 'NGO' [Excerpt]
July 07, 2004
The Wall Street Journal
Nir Boms and Reza Bulorchi
It's tempting to dismiss Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's latest threat that Iran will harm America "around the world" if it attacks its interests as empty bluster from Iran's mullahs. But there are signs that Iran is taking concrete steps to match its belligerent words with deeds.
Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are usually associated with humanitarian relief and peaceful advocacy work. So it is not every day that an "NGO" is in charge of recruiting "suicide volunteers" to dispatch overseas to strike at "world arrogance."
Yet that reportedly was the case last month at a three-day conference sponsored by the Iranian government and its "Committee for Commemoration of Martyrs of the Global Islamic Movement," which the ruling mullahs, in a bit of transparent fakery, choose to bill as an "NGO."
According to the Tehran-based daily Sharq, the conference provided a forum for volunteers to register their names for suicide attacks. The BBC Monitoring service, quoting a number of Iranian sources, said the group's sponsors claim that over 10,000 candidates from around the world have signed up to die for the cause.
The calls to join the "Army of Martyrs" began at mosques across Iran following Friday prayers, after which registration forms were distributed by the tens of thousands at local Islamic universities to prospective male and female suicide attackers.
The London based Arabic daily al-Sharq al-Awsat reports that the "Army of Martyrs" is operated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps [also known as the Pasdaran], and IRGC sub-agencies tasked with intelligence gathering and the planning of terrorist attacks.
At the conference, Brigadier General Sardar Salami, director of operations for the Revolutionary Guards, delivered a keynote speech titled "Suicide Operations: A Security and Military Strategy Perspective."
"As you see, the explosion of the two World Trade Center towers divided history to before and after [Sept. 11]. And with this minor incident, policy of the United States and other world and regional powers changed," Gen. Salami said according to Sharq.
In an indirect reference to Iran's nuclear weapons program, Gen. Salami reportedly added that, "the Americans now know that the Muslims with tendencies for suicide missions have acquired new technology and have technological capabilities which have caused more fear for them."
According to the quotations in Sharq, another high-ranking Revolutionary Guards commander explained the choice of terminology: "Since the Committee for Commemoration of Martyrs is an NGO, it does not need to ask for permission of the country's military institutions if it decides to carry out an operation. Their operations would be similar to those by Palestinians and have nothing to do with the regime in Iran." So the regime would be able to deny that it is sponsoring terrorism -- although not very plausibly.
In a closing speech entitled, "Suicide Operations: The Last Resort," a top Revolutionary Guards official, Hassan Abbassi, tried to rationalize Iran's support of terrorism. "If Muslims create fear in the heathen world, this fear is sacred; it is not terrorism or violence," he said according to the Sharq account.
Last month at the Technical College of Teheran, Mr. Abbassi said: "We have identified some 29 weak points for attacks in the U.S. and in the West. We intend to explode some 6,000 American atomic warheads. We have shared our intelligence with other guerrilla groups and we shall utilize them as well." ....
Iran's Terrorist 'NGO' [Excerpt]
July 07, 2004
The Wall Street Journal
Nir Boms and Reza Bulorchi
New clashes in southern Tehran
SMCCDI (Information Service)
Jul 7, 2004
Sporadic clashes occurred, yesterday, as hundreds gathered, again, in front of one the Rey's Islamic Mutual Funds companies in order to request the restitution of their assets.
Tens of demonstrators shouted slogans against the regime and its leaders while requesting their deposits. Security forces were quick to rush and tried to smash the protest action by beating and arresting several demonstrators. But the popular support of the demonstrators lead to the spread of the protest action in most areas of the Fadayian e Eslam avenue resulting in the injuries of several demonstrators and also of some of the regime forces.
Tires were set ablaze and official buildings' windows were smashed during the action which lasted till the beginning of Tuesday evening.
The rumor of the local company's bankruptcy due to the official fraud and the escape of some of the managers has been widely spread in the town. The same cycle of malaise-demonstration-repression is existing, actually, in several other cities, such as, in Esfahan, Hamadan and Kermanshah. An increasing number of Iranians are afraid of the regime's banking and financial institutions by preferring to buy foreign currencies, especially US Dollar and Euro, and gold.
It's to note that Rey is one of the poorest suburbs of Tehran and has been the scene of violent anti-regime protests in the last years. It was, a day, one of the cradles of regime's popular support along with Tehran's other poor districts, such as, Eslam-Shahr, Akbar-Abad and Varamine.
Renewed Unity Among Iranian Students
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty - By William Samii
Jul 7, 2004
The fifth anniversary of 18 Tir (8 July) -- the day in 1999 when uniformed police and plainclothes vigilantes attacked a Tehran University dormitory with fatal results -- is looming. That incident in the capital led to fatalities and a week of civil unrest that wracked the country, and calm was restored only after massive arrests and a threat from Islamic Revolution Guards Corps commanders to President Mohammad Khatami that if he did not calm the situation they would take matters into their own hands. Every 18 Tir since then has seen a renewal of the unrest, although not on the same scale.
This year the security forces are trying to preclude anything taking place. Said Robati, who heads the Tehran University branch of the Office for Strengthening Unity (OSU) student organization, said that in a 1 July letter to the Tehran governorate-general his group formally requested permission to hold a rally outside the university's main gate, according to the Islamic Association of Isfahan University of Technology website (http://www.iutnews.com). Robati said two days later that upon returning to the governorate-general he and his colleagues were informed verbally that a permit would not be forthcoming and any kind of off-campus rally would thus be illegal, according to the website.
The absence of a permit has not stopped the students before. Students demonstrated in July 2003 despite a ban on rallies (see "RFE/RL Iran Report," 9 and 30 June; and 7, 14, and 21 July 2003). Furthermore, in June of that year demonstrations occurred in major cities in reaction to rumors that university students would have to pay tuition (see "RFE/RL Iran Report," 16 June 2003). Egged on by exile television stations, the protests continued for four days until intervention by vigilantes and arrests by police.
Two-thirds of the Iranian population is under 35 and this cohort is chafing under clerical misrule. Ever since the events of 1999, therefore, there has been a degree of anticipation about the students' potential to overthrow the regime. Whether this anticipation has been based on politically motivated hype from foreign observers or the optimism of Iranian political activists, reality has not fulfilled expectations. There are many reasons for this, including the regime's coercive powers, public apathy, and an absence of organization and leadership among the students.
There has been no change in the government's ability to use force when it wants to, and the relatively low level of participation in the most recent parliamentary election indicates the level of apathy. It does appear, however, that student disunity has been reduced.
The OSU split into two wings in 2002. The majority Allameh wing wanted to withdraw from mainstream politics, while the smaller Shiraz wing preferred to continue its support for the president (for more on this split, see "RFE/RL Iran Report," 14 October 2002).
These divisions and the accompanying apathy were remarked on by members of the Sixth Parliament's "student faction," all of whom were in the OSU, during a 9 May ceremony at Allameh Tabatabai University. Tehran parliamentarian Fatimeh Haqiqatju reminded the gathering that the student movement's most important duty is "criticizing power," "Sharq" reported on 10 May. She urged the students to be actively involved with the upcoming presidential election, and she commented that there is a "language of despair" in the student movement. She warned that the conservatives find the student movement is an irritant that must be controlled, and they are trying to sow discord. Shiraz parliamentarian Reza Yusefian observed that because issues are viewed from an individualistic perspective there is no longer a student "movement."
In mid-May the OSU met at Khajeh Nasredin Tusi University. In a speech to the students, Tehran representative Ali Akbar Musavi-Khoeni urged the OSU that it must behave as a cohesive entity, "Vaqa-yi Itifaqi-yi" reported on 15 May.
Apparently, the gathering took Musavi-Khoini's words to heart. Members of the Shiraz and Allameh factions held lengthy discussions, and subsequently voting for new Central Council members took place. According to "Vaqa-yi Itifaqi-yi" on 16 May, the new council reflects the reduction in differences between the two factions. "These elections showed that the spell has been broken, and that the obstructions and external threats have been neutralized and that there is consensus among Islamic Student Associations," Abdullah Momeni of the OSU commented, according to "Hambastegi" of 17 May.
OSU Central Council member Hojatollah Sharifi described the meeting in an interview with Radio Farda and said the new unity of purpose would result in greater political involvement on the part of the student movement (http://www.radiofarda.com/transcripts/iran/2004/05/20040515_1030_1109_1458_fa.asp).
The outcome of the Central Council elections was unexpected, according to a report in the 6 June issue of "Sharq." The individuals elected to leadership positions were veterans of the student movement "who are well past their student years and student characteristics." The newspaper warned that the age gap between OSU leaders and the average university student precludes easily creating a relationship. The OSU will begin to function more like a party, and to outside observers it will be the "flag-bearer of Iran's reform movement." The two wings, according to "Sharq," believe that it is time to bury the old OSU.
An article by Central Council member Majid Haji-Babai in the 28 June "Sharq" suggests that the outcome of that funeral could be dramatic. He says ideas for ending the student movement's disunity included a "student parliament" and the Office for Fostering Democracy. The latter was an elitist version of the OSU, Haji-Babai writes, and the former would have been all-inclusive and nationwide. The student parliament, furthermore, would require direct voting by the students and would require cooperation from the universities and the regime.
Another problem, Haji-Babai writes, is that these two ideas only deal with the domestic situation. The "tens of thousands" of Iranians studying in the United States and Europe have created dynamic Iranian organizations at their individual institutions, and it would be a mistake to ignore them. What is required is a National Union of Iranian Students modeled on the old Confederation of Iranian Students that was active internationally from the 1950s onward. This entity could coordinate all the student organizations and play a powerful political role.
Developments in the OSU are noteworthy because it is one of the country's biggest student organizations and because it played a key role in Khatami's 1997 election victory. Nevertheless there are other organizations that have advocated more radical action against the regime. One of these is veteran activist Heshmatollah Tabarzadi's Democratic Front. It is unlikely that Tabarzadi will be part of any student union, and it is similarly unlikely that the OSU's new tendency will have a lasting impact.
Iran Confirms Clash with Turkish Kurd Rebels
07 Jul 2004, 14:45 UTC
Iran confirmed Wednesday that its troops had been clashing with Turkish Kurdish rebels. Iran's deputy interior minister, Ali Asghar Ahmadi, said at least two Iranian soldiers and eight rebels from the group called Kongra-Gel had died in the fighting.
Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Namik Tan told a news conference in Ankara that Iranian officials would be briefing their Turkish counterparts about the operations against the rebels during a joint security committee meeting to be held in the coming days.
Iranian officials say the fighting erupted on June 28 along the rugged mountains separating Iran from Eastern Turkey. Rebel Kongra-Gel sources said 16 Iranian soldiers and four rebels had died in the fighting, that was described by Turkish security officials as part of a "large scale" operation launched by the Iranian army.
The move comes just days before Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan is to travel to Iran on a long postponed official visit. Relations between the formerly hostile neighbors have been warming in recent months. Both countries have large and rebellious Kurdish minorities. Both are deeply concerned that the broad autonomy enjoyed by Iraq's Kurds will refuel separatist sentiment among their own ethnic Kurd minorities.
Turkey has long been pressuring the United States to move against some Kongra-Gel rebels holed up in the mountains of Kurdish controlled northern Iraq. President Bush, during a trip to Turkey last month renewed pledges to help put the group, which is on the U.S. list of terrorist organizations, out of action. But Turkish leaders complain that the United States has yet to deliver on its promise.
Long known as the Kurdistan Workers Party, or P.K.K, the rebels fought a 15-year-long insurgency in Turkey's predominantly Kurdish southeastern provinces. They called off their campaign for Kurdish independence following the capture of their leader, Abdullah Ocalan, in 1999.
But last month, Kongra-Gel, as the group is now known, announced that it was ending its five-year unilateral truce because the Turkish government had rejected their calls to negotiate a peace agreement. Clashes between Turkish forces and the rebels have steadily increased in recent weeks, despite calls from Kurdish political leaders for both sides to end the violence.
July 6, 2004
Darren Shuster, M.A.
Phone: (818) 776-9585
Dr. Iman Foroutan
Iran of Tomorrow Movement (a.k.a. S.O.S. IRAN)
Phone: (888) SOS-IRAN
For Immediate Release
PRO-DEMOCRACY SUPPORTERS STAGE MOCK EXECUTIONS IN LOS ANGELES AGAINST CLERICAL IRANIAN REGIME ON JULY 6TH
-- S.O.S. IRAN stages mock executions and public lashings at gathering to demonstrate brutality and terrorist violence against Iranian people
July 5, 2004 (Los Angeles) Protesters against the clerical regime in Iran will meet at the Federal Building at 11000 Wilshire Boulevard from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 7, 2004, to show their support for an open, democratic and free Iranian society and government.
It calls for the immediate end to terrorism, brutality and political violence perpetuated by the current regime in Iran.
The demonstration is connected to a much wider show of support for a democratic and open Iranian society with simultaneous events in Denmark, Belgium, France, Finland, Germany, Sweden, UK, Canada, and the US including Dallas, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and dozens of other cities.
Iran of Tomorrow (a.k.a. S.O.S. IRAN) is comprised of a group of Iranian experts from around the world including researchers, engineers and other professionals and businesspersons and now has thousands of registered members.
S.O.S. IRAN has joined other groups in working towards the establishment of freedom, human rights and a democratic, secular government in Iran. Dr. Iman Foroutan, Executive Director of Iran of Tomorrow, wants to be clear on who is invited to participate: Anyone who believes in the equal treatment of all people regardless of gender, religion, ethnicity, language, race, color, and social, economic or political status. It goes beyond Left, Right and Center. It is about human freedom.
These worldwide street demonstrations also have an Internet component with more than 5,000 e-mails being distributed to top leaders and decision-makers from around the world.
About Iran of Tomorrow Movement (a.k.a. S.O.S. IRAN)
The mission of S.O.S. Iran is to support the people of Iran for the non-violent removal of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the establishment of Freedom, Human Rights, and a democratic, secular and modern government in Iran. Please go to www.sosiran.com for more information. S.O.S. IRAN also develops and distributes content globally through its 24-hour satellite television studios XTV, which can also be viewed live or via archive on the Internet at www.sosiran.com.
ISLAMIC LAW ON SADDAM [Excerpt]
By AMIR TAHERI
July 7, 2004 -- WHENEVER it takes place, one thing is sure about Saddam Hussein's trial: The dictator will be judged on the basis of Western, rather than Islamic, law.
The Western legal system allows Saddam to employ lawyers, to question the authority of the court and to prolong the trial with judicial tactics. Once sentenced, he could lodge an appeal or seek retrial. The way things are shaping up, Saddam may even emulate his fellow despot Slobodan Milosevic by turning the trial into a political soap opera.
None of that would be possible if Saddam were tried under Islamic law.
One major feature of Islamic law is its emphasis on speedy trials. This is because, in its purest form, the Islamic penal system does not include imprisonment as a form of punishment. A man charged with a crime should be tried and sentenced before the sunset of the day of his arrest. If a trial could not be held immediately, the accused is allowed to stay with his family and/or friends who undertake to bring him forth at the appointed time.
There are three categories of crime in Islam: those committed against individual believers, those committed against society and those committed against God.
In the case of crimes against individuals, including manslaughter and unpremeditated murder, the accused could go free by paying "blood tithe" (diyah) to the relatives of the victim.
In other cases, such as causing personal physical injury, the system of retribution (qissass) will apply. The punishment is proportionate to the crime: an eye for an eye. (The idea is not to exact revenge but to impose limits on punishment.)
Crimes against society include embezzlement from the public treasury, corruption and morally reprehensible behavior in general. Here, too, in most cases, the accused can get away with the payment of fines and the restitution of illegally appropriated public property.
Such crimes as serial burglary (being convicted of stealing three times) have both private and public dimensions. The serial thief has his right hand amputated and is then set free.
One found guilty of a less serious crime, swindling a partner for example, is asked to pay compensation and a fine, and allowed to go home.
Men and women found guilty of adultery are flogged in public and then set free.
The most serious crimes, those committed against God, are punishable by death in the form of beheading. A man found guilty of premeditated murder has his head chopped off moments after being sentenced.
Nevertheless, the principle of repentance (tawbah) plays a central role in Islamic jurisprudence, whose ultimate aim is to reform rather than punish. Even in the case of publicly professed apostasy, one of the most serious crimes in Islam, repentance is not ruled out.
Now imagine Saddam Hussein appearing in front of an Islamic court.
First, he would notice is that there is only one judge. This is because having more than one judge might lead to a clash of interpretations that could cast doubt on the solidity (hikmah) of divine rules. He would also notice that there is no jury.
Next he would notice that the charges against him are spelled out by the judge himself. The judge would then call in two male witnesses (or four female ones) to testify to each of the charges.
Saddam would then be asked to respond to the charges and to speak in his defense. He would not have the services of a lawyer, since there are none in Islamic jurisprudence. But he could question the testimony of witnesses and call two witnesses of his own.
Once he is sentenced, there would be no appeal.
His fate would be in the hands of the Commander of the Faithful, the ruler who may bear the title of Caliph or Wali al-Amr (Custodian of Affairs) of the community. The Commander of the Faithful could lessen Saddam's sentence or even pardon him. One thing he cannot do is to keep him in prison.
Now, what are the charges that Saddam might face in an ideal Islamic court?
He could be charged with "betrayal of trust" (khianah fil amanah).
This means he breached the trust that people put in him as the ruler of the country. The charge would also cover the plundering of the public treasury (beit al-maal), seizure of property from Muslims, wasting public funds for personal pleasure and ostentatious living.
The punishment in such cases includes restoration of stolen property, payment of compensation and fines and flogging. But it could also mean death by beheading.
Saddam could also be charged with murder. There is ample evidence that Saddam personally shot Izzat Mostafa. Then there is film footage of Saddam ordering his henchmen to take several rival Baath leaders out of a party congress and shoot them in the courtyard of the conference hall.
In both cases, the Islamic punishment is death by beheading. Nevertheless, Saddam might be able to get away if the families of the victims agree to pardon him in exchange for blood tithe.
Saddam could face the more serious charge of "spreading corruption on earth" (mufsid fil-ardh). This is a broad charge and covers a variety of misdeeds, including a reign of terror, depriving Muslims of their freedom, property and dignity and causing conflict.
The wars that Saddam triggered against the Kurds in 1969, 1975 and 1991; the massacre of the people of Halabja with chemical weapons in 1988, and the crushing of the Shiite revolt in 1991 could fall into this category. Again the punishment is death by beheading.
The gravest charge that Saddam could face in an Islamic court is that of "waging war on God" (muharibah an-Allah)....
This just in from Banafsheh...
Below please find Elio and my latest piece...I'm sending you the piece as we wrote it however the NRO version has been "edited"! We like our version better this time!"
ALL EYES ON IRAN PLEASE
By: Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi & Elio Bonazzi
As July 8th approaches, Iranians everywhere prepare to display their hatred for the un-elected Mullahs dominating Iran. These demonstrations have become a sort of national duty for all Iranians; this year marks the 5th anniversary of the brutal University Student dorm massacres of 1999. That was the year that Khatami showed his true colors by siding with the Supreme Leader, abandoning the promised reforms and the people of Iran who voted for him. What started out as a reaction to the utter brutality of the fossilized establishment by young Iranian students, has turned into a milestone that the world should acknowledge and encourage.
Iranians inside Iran take to the streets for weeks every June and July, in order to defeat the fiendish forces that now also threaten the rest of the world; however not one western politico, speaking of freedom, human rights and democracy is willing to embrace these genuine, tireless and fearless movements in order to promote or even address what Iranians are now doing, literally for the safety of the world!
On June 17th, Hassan Abassi, head of the Revolutionary Guards' Center for Doctrinaire Affairs of National Security Outside Iran, stated that: We [Islamic Republic of Iran] have a strategy drawn up for the destruction of the Anglo-Saxon civilization." However the West (and particularly the E.U.) continues depending on the dangerously under-qualified foreign policy of an apprehensive character such as Jack Straw, the current British Foreign Secretary who was Home Secretary in the Labour government of 1997-2001 and expected to become Transport Secretary after the 2001 UK general election. He was surprisingly appointed Foreign Secretary and was almost immediately confronted by the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack, having little or no experience in dealing with a menace of such magnitude. As the architect of the policy of dialogue and engagement with a state (Iran) that sponsors terrorism, Jack Straw fails to realize that in the eyes of the Mullahs, dialogue, engagement and forgiveness is a sign of weakness. In spite of threats such as Abbassis however, Mr. Straw chose yet again to employ soft diplomacy in handling the recent capture of British navy vessels from the Shat-al-Arab waterways by Iranian military. After the parading of the blindfolded British sailors on Iranian TV and the Mullahs refusal to promptly return the naval equipment back to Britain, Jack Straw persistently refused to honor the wishes of several Tory and Liberal Democrat MPs who vociferously insisted that the Mullahs apologize or deal with the consequences.
Iranians have acted responsibly as citizens of the global village, in passing on 25 years worth of experiences with the Islamist cancer and their roving apparatchiks. This year again people in cities, towns and villages all over Iran will rise and in solidarity with them, Iranians outside Iran have organized demonstrations in 24 cities around the world and counting. Now if the west is completely unwilling to listen to facts and figures stated over and over again by Iranians, warning them of the terror that lurks in the heart of the Mullahs, it will have been no ones fault but that of the western powers themselves.
The Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran has received reports from inside Iran, stating that the Mullah regime, spearheaded by the 3 ruling clerics, Khamenei, Rafsanjani & Khatami has officially banned any gathering or demonstration. Plans for mobilizing thousands more troops and foreign mercenaries in order to quash any popular action or uprising have been in the works for months now. The governors of Esfahan and various other cities have declared their firm intention to oppose any and all action taken to ignite widespread demonstrations.
Reports from sources within the regime's revolutionary guards and ministry of information [who keep their jobs just so they can act as informants for freedom fighters], are stating that specific orders have been given to use lethal force against anyone opposing the Islamic State's directives. Hundreds of checkpoints have been created in every city and militiamen are ordered to search cars or arrest suspicious-looking residents under various charges in order to increase the popular fear. Also militiamen who pour into peoples homes by force are confiscating Satellite dishes and receivers around the country. Rumor's of a deal made by the regime with the Castros government in order to jam, once again, radio and TV programming by opposition or Iranian services broadcast from abroad into Iran is running rampant. Kamal Kharazi, IRI foreign minister who spent last week in Cuba was assigned to deliver this request to the Cuban authorities that organized that same level of interference during last years June/July demonstrations. This favor is of course repaid by promises of big economic incentives helping Castro's regime.
The parallax error is the incorrect representation of a situation due to not perceiving it from a straightforward and objective angle. Western societies have been built on the concept of broad-mindedness and tolerance and this is an approach that simply cannot be applied to the Iranian Mullahs way of thinking. Therefore, at some point the Western world must mend its ways, put things in perspective and act with self-preserving determination.
I am leaving soon to attend the Los Angeles Demonstration in Support of the Iranian people.
Hopefully, I will be able to post photo's of the event later tonight.
If you want to join me, come to:
Los Angeles (CA) on July 7th, from 05:00 PM, In front of the Federal Building located at Wilshire Blvd.
I will be carrying a sign reading "Americans For Regime Change In Iran!"
Catchy sign. Hope there's a big turnout.
IRANI HARA DAR RAHE AZADI SHAN POOSHTEBANI KNODI !
******Support Iranians and Their Fight for Freedom!******