Skip to comments.Iranian Alert -- July 8, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Posted on 07/08/2004 2:46:43 AM 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.
I had a great time with a few thousand of my Iranian friends in Los Angeles, California.
The loved President Bush! And there were lines of people changing their registration.
The people were chanting "Thank you President Bush... Shame on You Tony Blair."
They were asking people to support the imprisioned students in Iran.
They had a plane flying the Iranian flag.
They staged a mock execution as they are preformed by the Iranian regime.
I had my own sign calling for the world leaders to take a stand, and gave a plug for the FreeRepublic.com.
I saw lots of friends.
And a lot of support by the followers of the Shah and his son Reza.
They even had Iranian currency (Rials) in anticipation of a change of regime.
Finally, I ended the night on XTV where I did an interview that was broadcast into Iran!
I even spent some time chatting with Iranians in Iran
All in all, it was a great evening.
I just pray that the people of Iran will be able to stand up to the regime in the next few days.
This just in from a student inside of Iran....
Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger do not work at the moment. I think regime doesnt want people to communicate through these messengers.
Students will hold a rally inside the Tehran University Campus today."
The Movement's Leader's Letter to the World's Rights Activists and Free Thinkers
SMCCDI (Public Statement)
Jul 7, 2004
On July 8th, Iranians are planning to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the student uprising of 1999. Many of the western nations, especially the U.S. and Israel, are paying close attention to the outcome of the event. Its short or middle term outcome will determine these two country's policies in reference to Iran's nuclear activities and its interference in the Middle East region's peace process and democratic evolution.
Many of us that live in democratic nations might not apprehend the importance of a date such as July 8th, or the significance of its struggle for the Iranian youth that are seeking secularity and modernism. After all, we were under the impression that the majority of Iranians supported the regime of the Islamic Republic under one of its factions, whether it is the hardliners or so-called reformists. However, with the passage of time and consistent protests made by the Iranian people these injustices cannot be ignored. The student uprising in 1999 was filled with shocking footage, but no image was more symbolic than the young Ahmad Batebi raising the bloodied shirt of a fallen comrade to signify the quest for Justice. We can no longer ignore the existence of a deeper political malaise in Iran and this is evident in the consecutive nightly riots of 2003 and the mass boycott of the regimes last two sham elections. The ever-increasing gap between government officials and the people has reached explosive levels. This apprehension has brought some of the lucid western leaders,
such as President George W. Bush, to acknowledge publicly the plight of the Iranians and to offer his moral and diplomatic support for their right to freedom and self-determination.
We must understand that Iran and its people are fed up and exasperated with a quarter of a century of backward, barbarian, oligarchic, theocratic rule, notorious for human right abuses, widespread official corruption and sponsorship of terror. Now, Iranians want simply a radical regime change in their country, which can be qualified as a firm support of western democracy and the free world in general. Everyone should remember 1997 that Iranians rejected hardliners and voted massively for canalized reforms from within, with hope of changes with a "lesser human cost". Finally, deceived by the empty promises of so-called reformists and Mr. Khatami, Iranians reached the final stage of understanding that ideological regimes simply cannot be reformed. They found the less costly way to show their deception by preferring to abstain from voting in the 2003 and 2004 elections. Iranian perseverance for a "democratic regime change" is increasing drastically; Iranians have become more equipped with the technology of the satellite and Internet which is contributing to a better apprehension of the outside world and a rapid and less monitored exchange of information.
Also by witnessing the consecutive falls of two brutal and backward dictatorships in their immediate and eastern and western borders, Iranians have became more eager to than ever to come hand in hand to defy and bring down the Mullahcracy. This unity has occurred in order to in stature a western-liberal democracy, mixed with Iranian valuable cultural tradition that have often been rejected and referred to as pagan by clerics.
We should be aware that there have been recent alarming reports from Iran, on the massive deployment of security forces that consist of Middle Eastern and African Islamists acting as foreign mercenaries. There have been mass arrests and constant harassment as well as official threats warning the freedom lovers, often referred to as foreign spy, drug addict, bandit, or hooligan, on the consequences of opposing the Islamic State. It is ironic to see how the current Iranian regime deals with any type of dissent at a time that democracy is trying to be instilled in the Middle East region.
Other problems still exist for Irans aspiration to become a responsible and accountable element in the family of nations. However, many Iranian people are increasingly blaming the economic support offered by the main EU members: France, Germany, Austria and the UK. Iranians believe that dealing with the clerics is contributing to extend the political lives of their oppressors, and is causing more damage and pain. The Iranian people and many outsiders cannot understand how respectable governments, claiming the championship of democratic principles, inherited from the Century of Enlightenment and last centurys opposition to Nazism and Communism, can close eyes on the misdeeds of a much dangerous and brutal Ism-Islamic Fanaticism and its sour fruit known as the Islamic Republic regime. Iranians cannot comprehend how countries are continuing to deal billions of dollars to the notorious Iranian mullahs, their corrupt technocrats and brokers. The Iranian people cannot understand why a double standard exists when their husbands, wives, mothers, brothers, sons and daughters are murdered or arrested in a total international disinterest.
After all, werent most of these countries denouncing these incidents and other smaller abuses during the Shahs time? So why is there such silence now? Was it just a matter of bribery amounts? Why were individuals like Milosevic accused for crimes against humanity, and not the Iranian Ayatollahs of whom warrants exist in Germany and France for the extra judicial killings of their opponents on foreign soils?
The commemoration of this years anniversary of the Students Uprising might not lead immediately to a drastic change inside Iran, or to the overthrow of the Islamic Republic. But one thing that is sure, the days of the regime, which has reached an unprecedented stage of unpopularity and rejection, are ending. More time will pass with the regimes dark package of repression and the outcome will be bloodier, but at the end; the losers will be the ruling mullahs and all those who beat for a short time on a very ill horse.
If the EU would change its position and adopt a clear stand by backing, as Bush has done, the Iranian people to push for a smoother change of power, as it happened in South Africa, it might have time to weld back some of the broken Iranian sentiment. In such time, maybe, the United Nations will finally force the Islamic regime to comply with the Iranians wishes, or the current Iranian regime may be banned from this international institution.
Iranians are moving fast toward the final showdown and it will be wise to support them, instead of trying desperately to block them from reaching their legitimate goals.
* Aryo B. Pirouznia is the coordinator of the "Student
Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran" (SMCCDI).
Tense situation in Iranian cities
SMCCDI (Information Service)
Jul 8, 2004
Tense situation and an intense military control are reported from most Iranian cities, such as, the Capital, Esfahan, Hamedan, kermanshah, Ahwaz and Oroomiah (Former Rezai-e).
Symbolic and strategic places are occupied by military forces ready to attack. Security forces are stopping cars and brutaly searching them by placing the vehicles occupants by the walls.
Many will try to show their rejection of the regime.
Great work. Truly you are an inspiration to any American who supports freedom in Iran.
Rights Group Calls On Iran To Release Student Detainees [Excerpt]
July 08, 2004
Dow Jones Newswires
The Associated Press
CAIRO -- Iranian authorities should release student protesters detained in violent demonstrations at Tehran University that began five years ago Thursday, killing one student, a New York-based human rights group said.
Human Rights Watch, in a statement obtained by The Associated Press in Egypt, said an unknown number of students remained in custody out of the thousands it claimed had been initially arrested.
"Five years after the Tehran University protests, it's time for the Iranian government to release the peaceful protesters," Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of Human Rights Watch Middle East and North Africa Division, said in the statement.
"The government also needs to hold plainclothes militia accountable for the attacks on students that year."
Security forces raided a student dormitory following a peaceful student demonstration, the statement said, beating students and trapping many in their rooms. The demonstrations lasted for a week, involving more than 25,000 people.
Human Rights Watch said several students had been sentenced to death, but authorities later commuted their punishments to time in prison. It also accused Iranian security authorities of torturing many imprisoned students and preventing them from seeing their lawyers.
"While many of those initially detained were released, an unknown number of student protesters remain in prison," the group alleged, including Ahmed Batebi, Abbas Fakhravar, Manouchehr Mohammadi, his brother Akbar Mohammadi and Mehrdad Lohrsabi.
'Azadi' Is More Than Just a Word For Iran's Students [Excerpt]
July 08, 2004
The Wall Street Journal
When Iranian students took to the streets a year ago, it seemed a far cry from the uprising in July 1999 that quickly spread across the country and lead the world to believe the days of the Islamic Republic might be numbered. All they wanted, this time, was to protest against the regime's intent to privatize university studies and charge tuition. But at night, paramilitary forces of the Basij and the Ansar-e-Hezbollah stormed into the dormitories just as in 1999, attacking students in their beds with baseball bats and razor blades, throwing books and computers out of the window and wrestling drivers out of their cars who had honked in support of the demonstrators. In the following days, protests resumed on a larger scale, demanding regime change, democracy and the resignation of the Iranian president Muhammad Khatami.
Now that scenario looked familiar indeed. Angry young men, waving the blood-stained shirt of a fellow student, could not but remind TV audiences around the globe of the Islamic Revolution itself, which had also started on campus. "The revolution seemed to have gone back to its origin," wrote Islam scholar Navid Kermani, "the language of protest: emotionality, public grief for the victims in rituals deriving from the folklore of Shiite martyrdom, all that was exactly the same as in the days when the Shah was toppled."
With one crucial difference, however. Back then, students enthusiastically believed in leftist, Islamist or leftist-Islamist programs. Fierce ideological battles were waged. Later, many of them had even volunteered for the war against Iraq, only to return to a country that was becoming less and less interested in their holy war or their holy texts. "More than my secular students," reported Azar Nafisi, author of the bestselling memoir "Reading Lolita in Tehran," "it was this group that craved the banned Western videos and satellite dishes; they craved also to read works of Western literature, along with the heretical modern and classical Persian poets and writers."
Today's children of the revolution are even more modest in their demands. These days, unrest is about wearing lipstick, about not being flogged for a strand of hair or trendy sunglasses. A teenage friend of Mrs. Nafisi's daughter once was arrested by the virtue police when she and a couple of friends had lemonade on a porch in a private home, and had to undergo three "virginity exams" in different hospitals all night until being finally released in the morning. Reclaiming privacy from the political sphere -- an impulse that would have been condemned as bourgeois decadence in 1979 -- is a central issue for Iranians, 70% of whom are under 30.
Judging from the books that are in vogue on campuses today, the craving for privacy has affected religious beliefs as well. It is high time for an Islamist Reformation. There is even a Martin Luther at hand: Hashem Aghajari, who was a lecturer at the University of Hamedan and an active member of the Reformist Islamic Revolution's Mujahedeen Organization, was arrested in August 2002 and sentenced to death because he had argued that it was counter to the nature of Islam to have a mediating echelon of clerics that had placed itself between God and the believers.
Mr. Aghajari argued that these clerics blocked the people's access to the Quran and to understanding it, and preventing them from developing independent thought. "In Islam, we never had a class of clergy," he said. "The relationship between the clergy and the people should be like the relationship between teacher and pupil; not between leader and follower; the people are not monkeys who merely imitate. A cleric is not a divine being." When Mr. Aghajari went on to criticize their use of luxury cars, the inequality of women, or nonbelievers, his fate was sealed. Recently the death penalty against him has been lifted, but he is sure to spend the next decades in jail. After the students' desperate calls to the inept reformist president: "Khatami, Khatami, where are you?" have died down, it is Mr. Aghajari on whose behalf they are willing to march again.
It has often been argued that Iran is to the West what Poland was during the Cold War. It is one of the most pluralist, most organized, and most pro-American societies in the region. Unfortunately, Europe seems to repeat the mistakes that have been made with regard to the Eastern Bloc during the 1970s. Not one prominent European politician has spoken up for people like Mr. Aghajari and U.S. President George W. Bush was the only head of a Western government to defend the student uprising last year.
All France, Britain and Germany are doing is to hint at the possibility of economic sanctions to pressure Iran on the nuclear front. The mullahs aren't impressed: Two weeks ago they declared their determination to develop a nuclear defense.
Iran's liberation will have to come from within, yes. Still, the West can do more than just looking on in bewilderment. The Nobel Peace Prize for Iranian human-rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi is a case in point. Ms. Ebadi is a Muslim who explicitly says she believes Islam and democracy can and must go together; who was jailed after she had defended students of the 1999 riot in court, and who celebrated the prize as one given to all Iranians who believe in change. As soon as we understand that they are "neither with us, nor with the terrorists," we have found an invaluable ally in the war on terror: the freedom loving, Muslim people of Iran.
For these young, angry, restless, sexually frustrated and jobless people, there is one magic word: "azadi." It means "freedom," and it is still very much associated with the United States. It went nearly unnoticed in the West that on September 11, thousands of Iranians took to the streets to express their solidarity with the American victims, chanting "Death to the Taliban, whether in Kabul or Tehran," while being attacked by Hezbollahi thugs.
In Remembrance of the Fifth Anniversary of the Iranian Students Uprising
July 07, 2004
Mission for Establishment of Human Rights in Iran
Five years ago the Islamic Regime forces attacked the student dorm on July 8 as students held a peaceful gathering protesting the closure of a popular daily paper. Islamic regime reported one person dead and 34 other injured but the press reported that the number of fatalities and injured was much higher. Some 4,000 demonstrators were said to have been arrested.
The student resistance against the repressive regime on July 8, 1999 and the events that followed set the beginning of a new era in Iranian struggle for democracy. It ended the illusion that the so-called "Reformists" may have a genuine respect for human rights and may bring about any real changes. They witnessed that when necessary, all factions regardless of their differences unite to crash the opposition. The July 8th event resulted in shaping up an independent movement for democracy that grew fast and made the entire regime very frightened. Islamic regime declared clearly that demanding freedom of expression and press or any other demand for freedom are acts against the regime and won't be tolerated.
The new student movement in Iran is not based on any ideology and is formed around humanistic ideas. That is why its existence and growth is very vital to the cause of human rights in Iran. This humanistic movement should be supported. Its underlying philosophy and goals should be introduced to the world community. They should know that the young generation of Iranians has no illusion about the Islamic regime. They have been arrested, imprisoned, tortured, and executed but have never given up. They show their courage even when they are in prison. That is why on the eve of the 5th anniversary of the government attack on the students, in spite of the ruthlessness of the Islamic regime, the political prisoners in Iran have staged a hunger strike for the immediate release of all political prisoners.
The world should know that the freedom loving people of Iran want the separation of religion and State. Hopefully, this will stop the propaganda machine of western media that are still trying to portray that the Islamic Regime may be reformed through certain elements and consequently are ignoring all the atrocities and human rights abuses in Iran.
The purpose of these gatherings is to inform the freedom loving people of world of what is actually happening in Iran. Our hope is that they would support our just cause and would put pressure on their government that until human rights are violated in Iran they should not help this bloody regime by establishing relation with it and legitimizing its system of terror.
We believe that the majority of Iranian people does not recognize the Islamic regime as its elected representative and is determined to change the regime of terror by civil disobedience and nonviolent action. If the Islamic regime claims otherwise, it should take up the challenge of a nationwide referendum monitored by the international human-rights community.
P.O. Box 2037, P.V.P., CA 90274
Tel: (310) 377-4590 ; Fax: (310) 377-3103
E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ; URL: http://mehr.org
Iran: Five Years of Injustice and Impunity
July 07, 2004
Amnesty International today renewed its calls to Iran's judiciary to undertake an independent and impartial judicial review of the trials of demonstrators convicted after their arrest during the July 1999 student led demonstrations, known in Iran as the 18 Tir events, after the date in the Iranian calendar.
The organization also calls on the authority to carry out investigations of allegations of torture made by these prisoners and ensure that anyone found responsible for the torture is brought to justice.
In March 2000, in letters from Tehran's Evin prison sent to the Head of Judiciary -- printed by local newspapers -- Akbar Mohammadi stated that he had been ill treated while in custody. He claimed to have been "violently beaten"; suspended by his arms, and whipped on the soles of his feet with electric cables. Prison guards reportedly beat him until he was on the point of losing consciousness, saying that all he had to do was blink to accept the charges [relating to national security] made against him. Another student, Ahmad Batebi wrote that soldiers bound his hands to plumbing pipes; beat his head and abdominal area with soldiers' shoes, and held him under a drain full of excrement for so long that he was unable to breathe.
To Amnesty International's knowledge, no open, independent investigation has ever been conducted into the allegations of ill treatment and torture made by Akbar Mohammadi, Ahmad Batebi or any of the students detained in July 1999. Some of whom later were granted asylum in European countries, where they received treatment for a range of incidences of torture, including instrumental rape.
Amnesty International renews its call to Iran's judiciary to:
Conduct an open and independent enquiry into allegations of torture carried out on Akbar Mohammadi, Ahmad Batebi and other students during the events of 18 Tir
Bring to justice anyone found responsible for torture and ill-treatment of Akbar Mohammadi, Ahmad Batebi and other detainees;
Carry out a judicial review of the case of Akbar Mohammadi and others arrested in connection wit the demonstrations;
Immediately release all those found to have been imprisoned soley for the expression of their conscientiously held beliefs.
In early July 1999, a small number of students in Tehran gathered to protest against increasing restrictions on freedom of expression. Following the forced closure of the newspaper Salam (Hello) on 7 July, demonstrations swelled into the hundreds. As the days passed, exchanges with security forces became increasingly angry. On 8 July, peaceful demonstrators were attacked by members of the organization Ansar-e Hezbollah, a semi-official organization which opposes political dissent against the state. Security forces at the scene reportedly failed to intervene to protect the students.
In the following days the size and nature of the demonstrations changed dramatically, leading to an escalation in violence. Despite calls for calm from some student leaders, and an official ban on demonstrations in Tehran, demonstrations continued and spread to other towns and cities. Hundreds of people were arrested throughout the country, most of whom were held without charge or trial. Dozens faced torture and ill-treatment in incommunicado detention, followed by manifestly unfair trials and imprisonment.
The unrest, which has become known as the events of 18 Tir (the date in the Iranian calendar during which the events took place), was also marked by a raid carried out by plain clothed (called in Persian the lebas shakhsy) members of the Ansar-e Hezbollah and members of the security forces into the student dormitories. This resulted in the killing of Ezzat Ebrahim Nejat. The attack was strongly condemned by both President Khatami and the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and two senior police officers were later arrested and removed from their positions as a result of an official investigation. No one associated with the Ansar-e Hezbollah was charged in connection with the raid or the death of Ezzat Ebrahim Nejat.
Iranian non-governmental human rights organizations, such as the Association of Human Rights Defenders (AHRD, or Kanoun-e Modafe'an-e Hoqouq-e Bashar) have repeatedly called for an investigation into the raid on the dormitories and killing of Ezzat Ebrahim Nejat, and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice. Their calls have gone unheeded.
Amnesty International has been campaigning on behalf of students who have been convicted and imprisoned after trials which failed to meet international standards for fair trial. The organization has also been calling for the investigation of allegations of torture made by the prisoners and for those found responsible for the torture to be brought to justice. Please see the following case sheet on Akbar Mohammadi:
Five Years of injustice and ill treatment: Akbar Mohammadi - case sheet
Media Ignores Arrest Of Iranian Agents Building Car Bombs In Baghdad
July 07, 2004
Oh That Liberal Media
Yesterday's revelation that US and Iraqi joint patrols had captured two Iranian intelligence officers with explosives and building car bombs sounded to me like important news. Here, after all, is proof that the so-called insurgency is not only supported by outside forces but contains active elements of official outside governmental agencies. As the Bush Doctrine states, any government engaging in terrorism or supporting terrorism against the US has made itself a target in the war on terror -- and this shows that Iran does both.
Big news, right? Not in America, apparently.
The World section at the Los Angeles Times: nothing.
The World section at the Boston Globe: nothing.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune (AP) reports the story with the headline, "Iran treading lightly in trying to influence Iraq," which contains the following assertion:
Monday's announcement of the arrests by the Iraqi Interior Ministry was a rare instance of tying Iranians to a particular attack.
But there was no indication that the two men were Iranian agents, and they might have been working on their own. Iranians enraged that Shiite shrines in Iraq were damaged in fighting between U.S. troops and Iraqi insurgents have volunteered to join the battle against the Americans.
None except their confessions, of course, that they are Iranian intelligence agents. That's probably immaterial to the story if the AP ignores it.
Washington Post World section: nothing.
The New York Times -- the "paper of record" -- International and Middle East sections: nothing.
MSNBC, CBS News World, ABC News World: nothing.
CNN doesn't carry anything on its front page either, although it has breaking news on Australian killer kangaroos and the legal claims of men dining nude.
I guess a foreign government attacking American troops just doesn't qualify as news. Thank God I found out about those killer kangaroos, though.
Posted by Captain Ed
The Iranian Quest for Nuclear Weapons
July 08, 2004
The United States, the Western World, and the International Atomic Energy Agency all are involved now in trying to prevent Iran from attaining nuclear weapons.
Even if one does not accept the large body of evidence which has accumulated since the regime of the Ayatollahs came to power in 1979 and conclude that Iran is a dangerous exporter of terrorism, whose radical Islamic doctrines mean its aim is expansion and domination of its neighbors, one can still be very concerned about Iran having nuclear weapons. For Iran has powerful neighbors--Turkey, Saudi Arabia--who are strongly suspicious of her and would not allow Iranian nuclear weapons to threaten them unilaterally. An unprecedented nuclear arms race would soon be underway. In another context, Iranian leaders have bluntly stated their intention to use nuclear weapons against Israel, another prospect that certainly should not delight the world. And the far stronger Israel, with its anti-missile defense system and its reported 150 to 200 nuclear warheads, would most likely not suffer the attack passively. A nuclear exchange anywhere in the world would mean untold human suffering and environmental damage to the world as a whole. It is clearly in everyones interest, including the Iranians themselves, to prevent their acquisition of nuclear weapons.
Yet the steps taken by the IAEA, the European powers, and the U.S. government seem very unlikely to deter Iran. To understand truly the ineffectiveness of such steps, one should look at the Pakistani precedent. Pakistan, another self-defined Islamic republic, over a period of close to thirty years brought its nuclear development program to a successful conclusion, from its point of view, despite all the threats, the UN warnings, and the U.S. sanctions against it. Pakistan showed the world the way defiance of the international community works. And here it must be remembered that Pakistan is a much weaker country than Iran. Its an overpopulated, extremely poor country without many natural resources, and certainly with nothing like the Iranian oil-wealth. Also, Pakistan had--and has--no civilian nuclear structure, and it moved ahead despite lacking, at times, all kinds of equipment and expertise.
This is one major lesson of the Pakistani experience. No matter how weak and dependent on others, even for food and fuel, a state is, if it has the will it can push through its own nuclear program, spiting those far more powerful than it so long as those opposed are only ready to use peaceful means of persuasion. Pakistan was cut off more than once by the U.S. The Symington amendment at one point, and the Solarz amendment at another, denied Pakistan aid. But that did not stop them from going ahead with their program.
And this leads to a second important lesson of the Pakistani development. It is always possible to get by with a little help from ones friends. When the Pakistani program after years of development seemed stuck in 1983, the Chinese supplied them with the centrifuges and separation technology they could not make themselves. Pakistans rocket program would not have gotten very far without the aid of fellow nuclear bandit, North Korea. Now, while it might seem that the noose of control is tightening around Iran, there are still powers who seem willing to aid it. The Russian technicians at Bushehr continue to build this vast facility despite all U.S. pressures. The Chinese may have stopped supplying physical equipment to Iran, but they are ready to aid Iran politically, and will impose a veto on any sanctions the UN Security Council may bring up. Irans vast oil resources mean, in an energy-hungry world, that along with its radical Islamic allies it will find many other friends willing, for a sum, to supply goods and services vital to the Iranian program.
For years, the Pakistanis lied, deceived, delayed inspections, and hid various facilities. To this day, the world does not really know the extent and location of Pakistans nuclear facilities. The Iranians have already shown that they are masters of the art of deception. After having lied about their nuclear program for nineteen years, they immediately found a way out by making new promises which they broke in a few months. Here, it often seems that international inspecting teams aid those they supervise rather than impede them, for those under inspection time and again replace one set of broken commitments with another, one set of promises with another. This happens because these international bodies have by themselves no enforcement mechanisms and are reliant on the decisions of the various nations that make up the UN.
Iran can learn from Pakistan the great advantage of belonging to the large Islamic bloc, and the larger third world bloc. Again, the Pakistanis taught that it is possible to get away with it. The Iranians have by themselves been exemplifying this, but can draw additional strength from the Pakistani precedent.
The Pakistanis did, however, have an advantage that Iran lacks, at least vis-a-vis the United States. It was because the Americans needed Pakistan in the war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan that they chose to look the other way in the early eighties. And it is because they need the Pakistanis now in their fight against Al Qaeda and Islamic terror that the Americans are now about to raise the status of Pakistan to preferred ally. The Iranians might be worried that they are not of value to the U.S. in the same way, that they are in fact everywhere in opposition to the Americans. But then, for the Iranians, there are the Russians, the Chinese, and in another way the Europeans. There are those who can find considerable advantage in trading and doing business with Iran, and whose business interests are far more important to them than is the question of Irans nuclear power.
The great lesson, then, is that one can always find a way to rely on the cynical self-interest of some faction in world politics to push ones way forward. In this, one can expect that Irans Machiavellian artfulness will not be any less than Pakistans.
The sorry conclusion of all this is quite simple and quite sad. It is that there is no peaceful means in the world, no art of persuasion, no sanction, economic or political, which is going to halt the Iranian nuclear program. As Pakistan defied the world, so will Iran. As Pakistan lied and broke promises and got away with it, so will Iran.
And this leads to another lesson. Whether true or not, there were many rumors and reports through the years that the Pakistani program was about to be stopped. One time the rumor had to do with U.S. political and economic sanctions, and another time with the Indian threat of making war. Still another time, and this the most critical, it had to do with proposed military action against the Pakistani reactor. It was even at one point speculated that Israel and India had colluded, and that Israeli jets stationed on the Iranian-Pakistani border were waiting to receive the order to take out the Pakistani facilities in the way they took out those in Iraq. But this military action never got underway, most likely because India feared that its own citizens might be damaged by radiation that the exploded reactor would give off. There was also Indian concern about a possible Chinese response in support of Pakistan. In any case, the military operation never took place, and this enabled the Pakistani program to continue.
Iran has already made genocidal threats against Israel, and at times these have been threats of retaliation if Israel dares attack its nuclear facilities. Iran has warned the United States that it is capable of reaching U.S. Army servicemen throughout the Middle East. And, in fact, Iran is involved in action already against the U.S. in Iraq. But the point is that Iran, like Pakistan, has many ways of threatening and maneuvering so as to delay, and ultimately escape from, the military option. Pakistan reportedly had a cold bomb in 1987 but did not test until 1998, and this in response to the Indian nuclear tests the year before. No one knows for certain at this point whether or not Iran does have a few operational devices. And perhaps it is even worse than this; perhaps Iran at some site we do not know about has already produced a few nuclear weapons. In any case, the Pakistani method of continuing to go ahead with the work despite the worlds talk is probably the modus operandi of Iran also. It is working to reach the point that Pakistan has reached, where it attains so much power that the military option is simply too dangerous for the other side to try.
Pakistan got the bomb by buying a little time, and then buying a little more time. And the international supervising bodies, and now with Iran the IAEA, play the game in such a way as to be always eager to give more time. Here, too, it is important to note the decision or indecision of the major players on the other side. Essentially, every U.S. President from Nixon on who dealt with the Pakistani nuclear program put off the decision to take out these facilities by force. Every one thought that there was a little more time. This attitude of delaying and putting it off for the next guy was exploited by Pakistan. Now Iran, looking at the U.S. bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan, understanding that President Bush can ill-afford a third front at this moment, will be buying time until well after the next election. The General Security Organization says Iran will have nuclear weapons by 2006. Others suggest it will be earlier, including estimates that it will be in 2004. The U.S. is not going to stop Iran before then. And so the Pakistani lesson and precedent will apparently be one appropriate to the story of Iranian nuclear development. It also does not seem likely that the overburdened Israeli government, so set on withdrawal from Gaza, wants to look at the Iranian option now. And it is very likely indeed, then, that in a few years time there will be another Islamic bomb in the world. Only this one will not be held by a relatively conservative regime of Army officers, but rather by a jihading group of religious fanatics bent on enclosing the world in their own narrow system.
Shalom Freedman is a writer living in Jerusalem, Israel.
Thanks for the great pictures and an awesome job on air!
Student protesters held in Iran
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
CAIRO, Egypt -- Iranian authorities should release student protesters detained in violent demonstrations at Tehran University that began five years ago Thursday, a New York-based human rights group said.
Human Rights Watch said that an unknown number of students remained in custody out of the thousands it claimed were initially arrested. One student died during the demonstrations.
"Five years after the Tehran University protests, it's time for the Iranian government to release the peaceful protesters," Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of Human Rights Watch Middle East and North Africa Division, said in a statement.
"The government also needs to hold plainclothes militia accountable for the attacks on students that year."
Security forces raided a student dormitory following a peaceful demonstration, the statement said, beating students and trapping many in their rooms. The demonstrations lasted for a week, involving more than 25,000 people.
Human Rights Watch said several students had been sentenced to death, but authorities later commuted their punishments to time in prison. It also accused Iranian security authorities of torturing many imprisoned students and preventing them from seeing their lawyers.
"While many of those initially detained were released, an unknown number of student protesters remain in prison," the group alleged.
The anniversary of the beginning of the 1999 protests is usually accompanied by student demonstrations against the country's hard-line authorities, which are controlled by ruling conservative Shiite Muslim clerics.
Subsequent protests marking the 1999 demonstrations, which were the biggest and most violent anti-government action since the 1979 Islamic revolution that installed the Islamic regime, have been met by crackdowns by Iranian authorities.
We are grateful of our American friends and believe me that the Iranians know who their friends and allies are.
I have to say that Iranians will be a free nation soon and they will be a major friend of the US in the middle east region.
And let me remind you what President Bush said on July 12th, 2003:
Iran is an ancient land, home to a proud culture with a rich heritage of learning and progress. The future of Iran will be decided by the people of Iran. Right now, the Iranian people are struggling with difficult questions about how to build a modern 21st century society that is at once Muslim, prosperous and free. There is a long history of friendship between the American people and the people of Iran.
As Irans people move towards a future defined by greater freedom, greater tolerance, they will have no better friend than the United States of America.
President George W. Bush, July 12, 2002
This helps us raise our hopes and faith in our US friends and while getting their support, we will keep fighting this regime through any possible way we can.
We love your country, flag and nation and we have respect and love for them as much as we do for our country and history.
Once again, I'd like to wish you all the bests in the states and hope to meet every one of you in Iran.
Please keep helping us and be with us.
United We Stand Against the Terrorist Regime of Mullahs in Iran
DoctorZin (Freeper) Will Be Interviewed Live in 20 Minutes (Iran (LA) Satellite Television)
ActivistChat.com ^ | July 7, 2004 | ActivistChat.com
Posted on 07/07/2004 8:42:57 PM PDT by faludeh_shirazi
Freeper to be interviewed live on Iranian Satellite Telvision - WATCH LIVE TONIGHT/15 - 20 minutes
DoctorZin will be interviewed live on XTV probably within next 20 minutes around midnight EST (9 Pacific) time.
Live streams can be watched via these two links:
This should be great!!!!
Support the movement at:ActivistChat.com
-- snip --
Great, I just got here.It appears that today's interview with Doctor ZIn would probably be archived HERE - soon:
I'll check in tomorrow to see the archives.
Join The Iranian / Persian Universal March For Freedom
Please join us in our struggle to eradicate the major source and the supporter of World Wide Terrorism. This march is a Universal condemnation of the criminal Islamic regime of mullahs in Iran and a call for secularism, democracy, freedom and referendum in Iran.
The Iranian student activist shown in the picture above is Ahmad Batebi who is still in an Iranian prison for his 1999 protest for democracy.
Schedule of Demonstrations Against The Mafia Islamist Regime of Iran in Europe, U.S. and Canada July 8, 2004, (18 Tir, Persian Calendar).
Place: The Western Side of the Capitol Building
Time: Thursday, July 8, 2004 from 11 a.m.
Organized by The Committee for Tir 18 Demonstrations
Place: The Federal Building at 11000 Wilshire Blvd. (Westwood area)
Time: Wednesday, July 7, 2004, from 5 to 8 p.m.
Organized by The Committee for Tir 18 Demonstrations
Place: Corner of University Ave. & Emerson in Palo Alto
Time: Wednesday, July 7, 2004, from 7 to 9 p.m.
Organized by: Iranian Association for Democracy (IAD)
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 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 Freedom Forces, Iranian Freedom Movement, Munich 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 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 Liberals
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 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: http://www.danshejoo.org
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
You're up early.........Thanx for all your posts. :~ )
DoctorZIn, can you please put me on your Ping list if possible,
A Free French who supports a Free Iran
July 8, - Or, 18 Tir, Persian Calendar
Movement Against The Dictatorial Criminal Islamic Republic of IranThe 18th of Tir (July 8th) is an eternal epic poem of the freedom-fighters' brave and righteous movement against the tyrannical Islamic regime.
Nearly four years have 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, like Ezzat Ebrahim-Nejad, who in the path of freedom have regretfully lost their lives.
The National Union of Iranian Students and Graduates (NUISG), who have suffered the most, were subjected to brutal and inhuman torture by the hands of the dictatorial Islamic regime.
The murderous Islamic authorities addressed physical pain and torture to Manoochehr Mohammadi and Gholamreza Mohajeri Nejad, two prominent student leaders, in their evil attempt to acquire false confessions to be televised. Such deceiving acts by the Islamic authorities are considered an honor from their devilish perspective.
Akbar Mohammadi, a strong student fighter who was subjected to insurmountable torture, remained strong and showed defying resistance against his torturers.
Faranak Tavasoli and Ata Moradi, two committed members of the NUISG, were subjected to various torture methods.
Faramarz Tavasoli, a young 8-year-old child, was subjected to imprisonment due to his support and cooperation with the NUISG in the 18th of Tir.
Somayeh Amini, Reyhaneh Hashemi, Roozbeh Sadrara, Peyman Piran, Mehdi Mesbah, Ayoob Lorestani, Mohammad Sarami, Hossein Taghi Zadeh, Mostafa Kazemi, Parviz Reza Zadeh, Alireza Babayee, Bahman Heidari, Babak Kazemi, Majid Rostamian, Farhad Rasayee, ... were just a few of hundreds of members of NUISG imprisoned in the horrific Islamic prison cells and subjected to violent torture. And with the upcoming 4th anniversary of this painful event, the leader of NUISG, Manoochehr Mohammadi, remains captive alongside fellow colleagues such as: Mehrdad Lohrasbi, Ahmad Batebi, Akbar Mohammadi, Abbas Deldar, Javid Tehrani, ... as these innocent students were invaded in their dorms by vicious Islamic authorities and their murderous ambition of suppressing, beating, torturing and killing the peaceful secular opposition.
Fellow freedom-fighters such as Mostafa Piran, Vajih Behnam, Koroush Sahati, Ali Afshari, Amir Abbas Fakhravar, Mehdi Sanjari, Reza Mehregan, Sadernia, Bayat, Shaghaghi, Beygpour, Majidi, Ghadernia, Abbasgholi Nejad, Zamani, Tabasi, Tahmasbi and Sharifi are currently imprisoned along with other well-known figures such as: Abbas Amir Entezam, Nasser Zarafshan, Siamak Pourzand, Bani Amerian, Farahi Shandiz, Kamaliha, Malmirban, Bakhtiari, Ezzati, Sistani, Sabet, Momeni, Masouri, Kongdare, Shariat Panahi, Khavari, Bayemani, Alipour, Malak, Kalbi, Mahmoodnia, Mahmoodi, Amini, Ameli, ......
The National Union of Iranian Students and Graduates, which was the first secular student body after the 1979 revolution and stands independent from all groups and organizations, in remembrance to the 18th of Tir requests from all active Iranians and freedom-fighters to take the streets, universities and main squares nationwide from 7pm evening on this upcoming 18th of Tir (July 9th) in opposition to the inhuman and tyrannical Islamic regime. On this day, we will stand united in full force chanting slogans such as "Zendani Siasi Azad Bayad Gardad!" (Political Prisoners Must Be Freed!), "Daneshjooye Zendani Azad Bayad Gardad!" (Student Prisoners Must Be Freed!), "Refrandum Refrandum, In Ast Shoare Mardom!" (Referendum Referendum, This Is The People's Slogan!), while holding banners reading "Islamic Republic? NO!"
Furthermore by chanting slogans from the first 18th of Tir, such as "Diktatore Pinoshe, Iran Shili Nemishe!" (Tyrant Pinochet, Iran Will Not Become Chile!), "Seyyed Ali Haya Kon, Saltanat Ra Rahaa Kon!" (Seyyed Ali [Khamanei] Resign, Let Go Of Monarchy!), "Ansar Jenayat Mikonad, Rahbar Hemayat Mikonad" (Ansar [Hezbollah] Does Crime, The Leader Supports This), "Hokomate Zoor Nemikhahim, Akhonde Mozdoor Nemikhahim" (We Don't Want A Dictatorial Rule, We Don't Want A Money-earning Cleric), "Toop Tank Bassiji, Digar Asar Nadarad" (Guns Tanks Bassijs, No Longer Have Effect), "Hokomate Akhoondi, Bar Kenar Bar Kenar" (Clerical Rule, Move Aside Move Aside), "Daneshjooye Mobarez, Rahat Edame Dad" (Student Fighter, Continue Your Path), ... we will show the world that the Islamic Republic, in any form or manner, stands as an inhuman reactionary militia.
For as long as the Islamic criminal militia is in rule, the people's movement will grow stronger and more defiant for the rescue of Iran and Iranians.
National Union of Iranian Students and Graduates
In Correlation With:
Students and Freethinkers of Iran
Students' Committee for the Defense of Political Prisoners
Teachers and Mentors of Iran
Alliance of Iranian Students - http://www.daneshjooyan.org
The anniversary of the July 9th national uprising is near. The uprising was doubtlessly an event that not only caused the night worshipping manipulators of religion ruling our country to tremble but it also revealed the democracy seeking struggles of the third generation.
Indeed, the worshippers of the night carried out an assault on the university. They attacked, murdered, set fires, and left, but the doves of freedom remain incarcerated. Doves such as Manoochehr Mohammadi, Abbas Deldar, Akbar Mohammadi, Ahmad Batebi, Mehrdad Lohrasbi, Javid Tehrani, Mostafa Piran, Ali Afshari, Koroush Sahti, Abbas Fakhravar, Mehdi Sanjari, Abbas Amir Entezam, Nasser Zerafshan have been held as political prisoners and Ezat Ebrahimnejad lost his life in the struggle for freedom. But the aggressors do not know that these events have ignited a fire in the hearts of Iranian youth that will blaze on until the enemies of Iran and Iranians have been reduced to ashes.
It is up to us to gather in great numbers during the anniversary of the national uprising so that we make apparent our support for our youth and the doves of freedom during this sensitive time in our national history.
The students and youth of Iran have extended a hand to you compatriots for support.
The gathering of the student movement will take place on Wednesday, July 7, 2004, from 5 to 8 p.m. at four in the afternoon in front of the Federal Building at 11000 Wilshire Blvd. (Westwood area) in Los Angeles.
On that day together we will call for the release of all political prisoners. We will shout No to an Islamic Republic and we will tell the world that We want a referendum.
Looking forward to seeing all of you beloved compatriots,
Alliance of Iranian Students
Organizing Committee for July 9th Gathering
Wednesday, July 7, 2004, from 5 to 8 p.m.
P.O. Box 664, Reseda, CA 91337
For your convenience, the Federal Building Parking lot will be open on the demonstration day.
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Thursday, July 8, 2003
Doctor ZIn did all the heavy lifting. :o)I'm just spreading the word a bit - here on FR.
Did this rally get any coverage in Calif news?
DoctorZIn, can you please put me on your Ping list if possible,
A Free French who supports a Free Iran
Brigadier General Ayat Mohagheghi
The plan envisaged for a commando unit to seize control of the Shahrokhi air base in Hamadan (west of Tehran), enabling the group to capture eighteen F4 fighters stationed there. Some of the fighters would then be flown over Tehran, less than six minutes time away, to bomb Rouhollah Khomeinis residence in the hope of killing the ayatollah.
This dramatic act, the plotters hoped, would be the signal to other units positioned in the capital to seize the radio and television stations and to arrest the leading mullahs and their associates. The next move would consist of a demonstration on central Tehran by thousands of tough guys from the southern districts of the capital.
The Mask plot was quickly discovered and stopped before it could get off the ground. More than 300 people were arrested and some 80 of them were later executed on Khomeinis orders. The executions were followed by a fresh purge of the armed forces, weakening them even further only weeks before Iraq invaded Iran in September 1980
Before his trial, General Ayat Mohagheghi was beaten and interrogated and later brought on television where he was questioned by Hojatoleslam Reyshahri about his role in the coup attempt.
Despite his shabby appearance he appeared calm and defiant as he sat in a white short-sleeve summer shirt alongside four other defendants. Clearly there was no doubt in his mind as to what awaited him at the end but he was determined not to disgrace himself.
My decision to participate in the plot stemmed from my disillusionment in the face of what was happening to my family and country, he said.
Although many of the details of the plot are shrouded in mystery a videotape of General Mohagheghis television confession was smuggled out and distributed by Iranian exiles in Europe, Canada and the USA.
What follows is based on this videotape and whilst not the full story it remains to date a modest attempt to reconstruct events leading to the July Plot.
Sometime in April 1980 General Ayat Mohagheghi, a former ace pilot and Air Force Commander under the Shah who had been kept on in his post after the Islamic revolution, was approached by Lt Nasser Rokni. I want to talk to you about our country, Rokni had said.
Mohagheghi suggested that they meet at his house in Tehran where they could speak more freely. The two men had known each other and they discussed the lamentable state of the country and armed forces.
Both officers agreed that something had to be done to change things and so Rokni gradually revealed that certain forces were busy creating a network. You can join us or not join us, he told the sceptical Mohagheghi. Either way the decision is yours to take.
It took Mohagheghi several days before agreeing to join the conspirators. At a secret meeting held at Roknis house Mohagheghi discovered that his old friend General Mehdiyoun had also been drawn into the Mask network which consisted of a military and a civilian branch.
Also present at the meeting was a mysterious businessman known by the alias Ghorban who was to provide economic support for the operations with funds sent by patriotic exiled groups outside Iran. During their meetings, often interrupted by an old maid bringing tea, the men discussed the possibilities of staging a coup and the risks involved.
Politically, the conspirators favoured the restoration of the exiled Shapour Bakhtiar, the Shahs last prime minister and the leader of the Paris-based National Resistance Movement of Iran. There were even hints that the exiled Shah had met with Rokni and received his blessing. As improbable as that may sound it was good for morale.
Organisation was always a great problem for the conspirators as it was always a concern that the agents of the Islamic republic were watching to neutralise any counterrevolutionary plots and every week news of fresh executions most of them in public appeared in the press and media. Some of the meetings took place at the luxury Arya-Sheraton Hotel on the former Pahlavi Boulevard.
In hindsight the plan appears rather amateurish and even Mohagheghi admitted that there was nothing on paper. One day Rokni told him that his team planned to capture Tehrans Mehrabad International Airport and launch the operation from there.
Mohagheghi, a professional and charismatic officer with the looks of a film idol, dismissed the idea as impractical because the area around the airport was too crowded and many innocent people could get killed. Besides the airport was heavily guarded by revolutionary guards.
Instead Mohagheghi proposed another plan that included seizing an isolated air base in Hamadan. Under the Shah he had served as the Air Force Commander of Shahrokhi air base and responsible for training many of Irans top tactical fighter pilots. After the revolution he had been briefly detained and later reinstated in his post because of his exceptional abilities by President Bani Sadr.
After several more meetings the conspirators approved the plan and declared that as the senior officer in the group, Mohagheghi was to lead the supersonic air raids against key targets in Tehran. His unique position and familiarity with the air base made him indispensable to the success of the operation. In the days that followed, Mohagheghi continued to report to his command post at Shahrokhi and formulating a number of operations that were to take place.
Energy, resourcefulness, determination, eloquence, charisma, an irresistible magnetic charm all the qualities Mohagheghi had previously employed in his pre-revolutionary tasks were now directed towards conspiracy. It was a dauntingly arduous and complex undertaking. Tirelessly and with cavalier insoucience, he drew up a plan.
Among the key targets chosen to be struck by Fighter jets dispatched from Shahrokhi were Khomeinis house in Jamaran, the Presidential Palace, the runways at Mehrabad Airport and several key bridges and road intersections to create confusion. Every precaution would be taken to keep the loss of innocent lives at a mimimum.
After three months the conspirators went into action but from the beginning everything that could go wrong did. On Wednesday, 9th July 1980, General Mohagheghi and twenty other Neqab members left their houses in the early dusk hours and headed for the rendezvous point on Elizabeth Boulevard where a bus was to pick them up.
It was around 7:30p.m. when most of the conspirators gathered together. But the bus was late. At about 8pm. a jeep filled with armed revolutionary Pasdars suddenly appeared on the street causing the group to panic and run. It wasnt until later that Mohagheghi and five fellow conspirators managed to get on the bus.
It was 10:30p.m when the bus left Tehran for the Hamadan highway towards the Shahrokhi air base. Inside the bus the eight occupants had changed into air force uniforms and badly demoralised by the news of the arrest of one of their team members.
Once in Hamadan the bus made its way to the Shahrokhi air base where the conspirators had been told to await the green light before entering. From his window Mohagheghi noticed that the base was heavily guarded by revolutionary troops and vehicles were being searched. Lets turn back, Mohageghi told his men but the driver, a certain Nemati, insisted on going as far as the gas station. The much-awaited green light never came and the conspirators were forced to turn back and drove non-stop to Tehran.
It was dawn when they reached the capital. Rokni and Mohagheghi agreed to rendezvous later in the day near the Modaress freeway. But when Mohagheghi arrived there at 10a.m. he did not see Rokni. Anxiously General Mohagheghi returned to his apartment.
I must see you, Mohagheghi told General Mehdiyoun. Several minutes later a car appeared in front of a public telephone booth and Mohagheghi got in. The two generals shook hands and went for a forty-five minutes drive. This was their fourth meeting since being introduced at Roknis house and as they struggled through the heavy Tehran traffic Mohagheghi told his fellow conspirator everything.
The two generals had known each other for twenty-eight years but since joining the conspiracy had kept a low profile in case they were being watched.
Beads of sweat trickled down their faces on that hot July morning as they negotiated the streets. By now neither of them was prepared to rule out the possibility that someone had leaked their plans.
There was now a real danger that the regimes security forces would begin to hunt down their members. They could only hope that their fears were unjustified. When they parted it was with the understanding that they would not see or phone each other until further orders.
Throughout the planning stages every precaution had been taken to limit direct contact between the various groups especially the pilots that were to carry out the strategic bombing raids. Even Mohagheghi was unaware of their names and his closest collaborators did not exceed five names. Within two days the entire plot had failed and many of the leading conspirators with the exception of the mysterious businessman who escaped Iran were arrested.
Shortly after midnight on 20th July 1980 General Mohagheghi was marched out of his cell along with four other officers and taken to the stone courtyard in Evin Prison. When he faced the bullets it was not with the disappointment, still less the despair, of a thwarted man.
From one point of view, the events of 9th July 1980 and the circumstances surrounding them offer just another story of 20th century political conspiracy, and a failed conspiracy at that. It may have been well-intentioned, even noble and exalted, but it was also bungled.
Some would argue that it did not significantly alter the course of events, and may seem no more than a footnote to history. And yet even in failure, there can be no doubt of General Mohagheghis heroism.
He belonged to a small group of people who against terrible odds and in appalling circumstances kept the spirit of Iranian honour alive, and with it the elusive spirit of humanity. He deserves to be remembered.
Others will dispute that his execution was an honourable death and certainly not the story of a failure. In the footnote of human history General Ayat Mohagheghi ranks alongside others who like the anti-Nazi hero Claus Stauffenberg felt that resisting an evil regime was not a political move but a moral and spiritual necessity. At best he and all those men and women who perished after him stand as an atonement for all the horrible crimes committed under the Islamic republic.
A Major Iranian Hero Bump!
News translations curtesy of Spenta on Activistchat:
Zagros has its 18 Tir Breaking News page up:
Reports are coming in about large groups of people and students gathering in the streets of Tehran and other cities. In Tehran, many have gathered outside Terhan university and are preparing to form a protest.
In front of Hosseyneeyeh Ershad a student gathering has taken place which has come under attack from the regime's forces.
There are reports of riots and clashes in South of Tehran (the poorest districts)
The city of Esfehan has witnessed the gatherings of thousands
18 Tir News From Iran:
A report from Tehran around 9 o'clock Tehran time: The crowds are increasing every second. at 7:40 there is is a helicopter flying over Enghelab avenue. Anti riot police are ready at Enghelab police station at southern Kargar street (kalantareeyeh enghelab dar Kargar e Jonoobi) and at the anti drug headqaurters on Enghelab street (setad mavad e mokhadar dar kheeyababn e enghelab).
The Al Alam news agency affiliated with the regime arrived at enghelab street at around 8.30. There are many plainclothes vigilantes around, last year they were patrolling the streets with the police. There is very heavy traffic on enghelab, Meydan e ferdowsi and Peech e Shemran.
News coming in from European countries are reporting large gatherings in different European cities for 18 Tir, and there are more planned demosntrations in the US and Canada. In London there was a large gathering outside of the IRI embassy. In Guttenberg in Sweden 600 Iranians and non-Iranians participated in the 18 Tir gatherings called on by Iranian students. In Washington DC Iranians gathered in front of the US Congress. In Cologne, Amsterdam, Franskfurt, Stockholm, Denmark and many other major European cities there were demonstrations which are still in progress as of this writing.
A Report about the Demonstrations in front of the EU in Brussels: on Wednsday July 7th, there was a demonstration in front of the EU headquarters called by the Iran Defense of Democracy and Republic Group at 2 pm with Iranians residing in Brussels. Since a week prior to this demosntration, political groups, members of the Brussels govt. and Parliament, EU, university professors, human rights groups and other NGOs and other political personalities had been invited to attend, some of whom spoke at this gathering. After announcing the events for the day, Angelica Beyer official spokesperson for the German Green Party in the EU parliament spoke in English, she said" Today we enter the 5th year after the attacks against students in their dorms in Tehran university on July 9th, 1999, and this is why we have gathered here today. Out of those students many are in prison and one is dead. We have gathered here to support the Iranian people's demands for freedom and democracy. In recent years many have been killed in Iran. Despite assurances from Iran to the EU in regards to a moratorium on stonings, this act is still committed. My party is announcing its grave concerns about the Human Rights Crisis in Iran. "
According to the latest news, students and other young people have gathered near Gisha bridge and around Tehran University. The regime's forces who are fully equipped and have mini busses have surrounded them. Several political activists such as Shiva Nazri and Akram Eghbali of the Tara Women's Society have been arrested near Keshavaraz Boulevard.
"Machine Guns on the Streets"
Latest News on 18 Tir from Peykeiran in Persian:
Neveesan Weblog: On 18 Tir (July 8 ) We will show that the nation of Iran is still alive
Students of Tehran's Pedagogy university had a ceremony for 18 Tir on wednsday. During this ceremony they showed a film of the student uprising and the savage attacks of the regime's thugs against the students. The students of the Pedagogy university in Tehran also put on an art exhibit of pictures from the 18 Tir Student Uprising. One of the regime's spies with the name of "Eshraghi", with the protection of the regime's Herasat agents attacked the students. While chanting slogans agianst the US and the UK, he shouted "We are followers of Khamenei". The regime's Herasat agents tore down the pictures at the art exhibit, and gathered up the pamphlets and other items.
Neveesan Weblog posted a bulletin titled "18 Tir Is Our Day, it is the Day of Freedom" and asked all Iranians to participate in the anti regime demonstrations today for 18 Tir to prove that the nation of Iran is still alive. On 18 Tir we will prove that we do not give in to fear, intimidation, oppression, or terror. On 18 Tir we will prove that we are still here, and we will stay and not allow the collaborators of oppression drag the nation of Iran into more ignorance and oppressive dictatorship.
Esfehan Students announced today, Thursday, in commemoration of 18 Tir there will be a protest gathering in front of Esfehan university. According to reports from this city, the regime's repressive forces such as Revoltuionary Guards, Basij, military, and Intelligence agents have been stationed throughout the city, especially at Darvazeh Shiraz to prevent any gathering.
Teheran:The regime's forces who are mostly equipped with automatic assault rifles and machine guns have setup posts throughout the city, stopping and searching cars. On Vali Asr avenue there are 4 such posts for inspecting cars, On Shariati street there are 3 posts and people are reporting that this situation is unprecendanted. There are reports that the regime's agents are videotaping everyone and their car interiors.These same reports state that the regime out of its fear of demonstrations, started to deploy massive forces last night throughout Tehran such as the Enghelab Square. At instersections such as Kargar and Keshavaraz Boulevard they have setup supposed traffic stations which are full of the regime's Intelligence agenets and plainclothes vigilantes. Tehren also reports that the Basij are stationed at the Jamalazadeh Basij Headquarters.
According to reports from Tehran on 13 and 15 Tir, (July 3rd and 5th) thousands of flyers were distributed on Vali Asr avenue, Tajrish square, Shariati street, and Keshavarz Boulevard. In addition on Pasdar Square, Navab Chahr Rah, Azadi Sqaure, Satar Khan, Towhid Square, Ferdowsi Square, Imam Hussein Square, Enghelab Avenue and many other locations there have been extensive promotional activities for 18 Tir. These activities are taking place at at time when the regime has employed its greated repressive measures ever.
A newspaper bleonging to Khamenei attacked the Student Uprising of 18 Tir and wrote: these anti revolutionary groups have come about to create chaos in the regime, and have sweetalked the students to come to the streets while their hooligans light the fuse. They were trying to create the kind of chaos that could finish the regime in a few days.
I keep thinking of what people in Venezuela did:
- national strike
- demonstrations that lasted weeks
- *large* getherings, on the order of a million people
In Serbia it finally took a huge gathering to storm the Parliament and oust Milosevic, though it was years building to that point (and we'd softened the regime up a lot). Just my $0.02, but I think that it's important to deny the mullahs the expected sigh of relief when 19 Tir rolls around and the streets are quiet again. A month-long national strike, for instance, would really push the regime toward the edge.
With a gathering the order of a Times Square New Year's gathering (~ 1,000,000 people) I'd have to guess that the demonstrators could do pretty much whatever they wanted...
UPRISING ANNIVERSARY: Security Forces Close Universities to Prevent Rallies
In order to prevent impromptu rallies on the anniversary of the July 8, 1999 police attack on Tehran university student dorms, the security forces, deployed in great numbers in northern Tehran, have almost forced the universities to close. In the final hours of Wednesday, a day before the anniversary, student groups have been convinced that no permit for rallies, on or off campus, would be issued. Reza Delbari, member of the central council of the association of the Islamic student councils (Dafter-e Tahkim-e Vahdat), tells Radio Farda that in addition to banning commemoration rallies, the authorities at the supreme national security council and the interior ministry have enforced a news black-out on student activists, preventing the domestic press from printing any article about the anniversary. Most universities closed their gates on Wednesday afternoon, he adds.
"From Mr. Suresrafil reporting on AzadiTV now:
He has heard about large gatherings in Tehran and Esfehan, but both the people and the anti regime forces are afraid of each other. They are mostly facing each other and staring each other down. Motorcycles have been confiscated.
Mohseni and Mirdamad squares have had large groups, also in Esfehan.
In Amirabad near Tehran university, the Basij are offering people food and drinks (sharbat) to everyone, nobody is taking it except for their own people.
Park Laleh is seeing a heavy increase in crowds. Most likely tomorrow we will have a much better picture of these demonstrations.
He reads a report from Tehran about slogans that can be seen written all over Tehran against Khamenei such as Marg Bar Khamenei. Same from Hamedan."
question for you and the group..if Iran is indeed close to a producing sufficient fuel for a nuclear device, everyone expects the IAF to repeat Osirik. Sharon has stated that he will never allow Iran to go nuclear, and W. has basically blessed the expected action..So, we have a timin issue..the opposition in Iran grows stronger everyday..what would the effect be of an IAF action.would it help to topple the regime, or "strenghten" it..by allowing it to take harsher measures on the citizens..
Sporadic and brutal clashes in most Iranian cities
SMCCDI (Information Service)
Jul 8, 2004
The brutal intervention of the regime's official and plainclothes agents has lead, tonight, to the arrests and injuries of tens of protesters in most main Iranian cities. In Tehran alone, the clashes are wide spread and are happening in Amir Abad, Tajrish, Zarabkhane, Kargar, Guisha, Kargar, Sadeghie, Narmak, Noor, vali e Asr and Enghelab area.
Other clashes have happened, so far, in Esfahan, Shiraz and Mashad were those having defied once again the Islamic State are shouting slogans for a democratic regime change in Iran.
Many have been injured or arrested and transferred by full buses to the regime's detention centers,
The presence of the regime's foreign mercenaries and their brutality is easily noticeable. The regime seems to try to isolate the demonstrators in each area and to avoid a bigger ralliement by more demonstrators who are trying to use the darkness of the night.
Many homes have shut off their lights and people are shouting slogans on their flat roofs.
One of "my friends" I mentioned in my report is Mr. Suresrafil. He is a strong supporter of President Bush and speaks passionately to the Iranian people daily.
I though you might like to know...
This just in from a student inside of Iran...
Militia in Tehran blocked main roads and inspect vehicles and there are many check points in this part of Tehran set up by Basijis.
The cell phones were not working between 5 pm - 8 pm local time.
Tehran's Contemptuous Response
By Washington Times
The Washington Times | July 8, 2004
The latest rebuke from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) last month has done nothing to alter Iran's continuing pursuit of an illicit nuclear weapons program. If anything, it appears to have intensified the regime's defiant response to the concerns of the United States and its European allies. Tehran announced last week that it will resume building centrifuges a sure sign of its determination to go forward with its atomic-weapons program. During a visit to Mexico on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi declared that Iran has a legitimate right to produce these nuclear components. The issue is but the latest example of Tehran's acting in bad faith.
Last fall, Iran reached an agreement with Britain, France and Germany to suspend its uranium processing and enrichment activities. But in January, the regime brazenly announced it was building centrifuges wrongly asserting that the agreement didn't apply to them. Then, on April 9, Iran promised to suspend production of centrifuge parts. But, as the IAEA reported last month, Tehran decided to apply the suspension only to three state-run facilities (while centrifuge work continued at three private companies). Instead of rectifying the situation by stopping the illicit activity, Iran effectively is telling the IAEA that it will do whatever it pleases.
Mr. Kharrazi's statements are illustrative of Tehran's long-standing approach to international concern about its nuclear-weapons program: Cheat for as long as possible. When caught in the act, promise to reform. When caught breaking this promise, act defiantly and tell the international community to get lost.
This sort of behavior has been going on in one form or another for decades. In November, the IAEA issued a 30-page report showing how the Islamist regime in Tehran has been deceiving the world about its nuclear efforts since the mid-1980s.
The effort by the so-called "EU 3" Britain, France and Germany to put together a compromise in which Iran ends its effort to develop nuclear weapons is essentially dead. While the United States has taken a somewhat tougher stance, it has shown no stomach for setting a deadline for Iran to comply with its commitments under the international Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The toughest action that Washington seems prepared to take right now is to try to muster support for a U.N. Security Council resolution denouncing Tehran's noncompliance. That would not occur before September when the next meeting of the IAEA's governing board will take place.
In House testimony last month, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control John Bolton emphasized the fact that Iran's nuclear program is at the center of a dangerous military-industrial complex. Tehran is forging ahead with nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and developing the means to deliver deadly payloads to targets in Western Europe, Israel and Turkey. The question now is whether Washington and its allies have a strategy beyond moral suasion and the threat of U.N. condemnation that will stop Iran from making this arsenal more dangerous in the months ahead.
It sounds like they need some sort of small, portable, easily hidden, direct satellite uplink equipment. I remember back around 1990 during that attempted coup against Gorbachev in Moscow: the hard-line Communists were trying to jam the phone lines and put voltage spikes on power and telephone lines to fry people's PCs to block email, but they weren't able to do *squat* against satellite phones and anyone who had a direct uplink.
Talk of lies emboldens 'axis' nations
By Thomas Sowell
LA Daily News
This may go down in history as the year when an attempt to win an election, at all costs, led to longer-run disasters that make any election pale into insignificance. The biggest and loudest political rhetoric of this year is that President Bush "lied" about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
What are the known facts about Saddam Hussein's chemical, biological and nuclear weapons?
We know that, at one time or other, he was either developing or producing or using such weapons. Back in 1981, the Israelis bombed an Iraqi nuclear facility, to the loud condemnation of many nations. But, without that pre-emptive strike, the outcome of both Gulf wars could have been tragically different.
Saddam Hussein not only had, but used, chemical and biological weapons against his enemies, foreign and domestic. With the help of the French, he was rebuilding nuclear facilities, ostensibly for civilian energy purposes, but oil-rich countries do not need nuclear power plants to generate electricity.
More than a decade of playing cat-and-mouse with international weapons inspectors raised more and more suspicions about Iraq's weapons programs, and various nations' intelligence services reported that in fact he was back to his old tricks and developing weapons of mass destruction that could pose a major threat.
Who said so? The Russians said so. The British said so. Bill Clinton said so. Leaders of both political parties said so. George W. Bush was one of the last to say so. Yet he alone is accused of lying.
Were all these people wrong? While that is possible, it is also possible that Saddam Hussein used the long months between the time when the threat of invasion was debated at the United Nations and the time when it actually occurred to dismantle his weapons facilities and disperse them, perhaps to some neighboring country.
There is already photographic evidence of a massive dismantling of a facility of some sort before last year's invasion. These photos were published on the front page of the New York Times. Whether or not that particular building was producing weapons of mass destruction, it shows that Saddam Hussein saw the need to get rid of some things before they got captured.
Nations do not wait for iron-clad proof when there are lethal threats. The massive Manhattan Project that produced the first atomic bomb was begun when the United States was at peace because of reports that Hitler's scientists were working on such a weapon.
We had no proof -- and, after Germany surrendered, it turned out that Hitler's atomic bomb project was nowhere near the stage that we feared. But we couldn't take that chance.
People who talk glibly about "intelligence failure" act as if intelligence agencies that are doing their job right would know everything. But intelligence-gathering has always been a chancy business. In a nuclear age, the only thing that makes sense is to fail safe -- and strike pre-emptively, if necessary. If that offends people who think and talk in abstract terms about international law, then it is better that they be offended than that we wake up some morning and find New York or Chicago in radioactive ruins.
It was Saddam Hussein who chose to play cat-and-mouse with the weapons inspectors whom he had agreed to let monitor Iraqi facilities as part of the peace treaty ending the first Gulf War. It was his intelligence failure to think that he could keep on doing that indefinitely.
Iran and North Korea -- the other nations identified as part of the "axis of evil" -- are now playing the same cat-and-mouse game, and North Korea is openly threatening to produce nuclear bombs. Either or both these countries are potential suppliers of such weapons to international terrorists.
Libya backed out of the nuclear weapons game after Qadaffi saw what happened to Saddam Hussein in Iraq. What would have emboldened Iran and North Korea? Only a disunited America, full of loud irresponsible election-year talk about "lies" on weapons of mass destruction, making it unlikely that the United States can muster the political will to strike Iran or North Korea.
An election-year frenzy has let the longer-run fate of this country fade away into the background.
Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. His Web site is www.tsowell.com.
Iran considers options over demands on nuke program
'We might escalate ... if Europe does'
By Cilina Nasser
Daily Star staff
Friday, July 09, 2004
BEIRUT: Iran will not press charges against European states for allegedly helping Iraq build up chemical weapons used against Iranians in the 1980s unless Europe steps up pressure on the Islamic Republic's nuclear program, according to an Iranian official.
"We do not want to escalate our position against Europe," Mohammed Shariati, an adviser to Iranian President Mohammed Khatami, said in a telephone interview with The Daily Star Wednesday night.
"But if the Europeans escalate the situation, we might also escalate the situation," he added after being pressed on why Iran was filing a suit against Saddam in an Iraqi tribunal under a US-led occupation rather than in an independent international court.
Shariati, however, said that if Europe decided to increase pressure against Iran over its "peaceful nuclear program," then his country could be compelled to raise the issue of European support to Iraq's chemical weapons programs during the Iran-Iraq war in an international tribunal.
Iran is under massive international pressure over its nuclear program, which has been under investigation by the International Atomic Energy Agency since February 2003 on suspicion it could be used to develop banned weapons.
Iran says its program is peaceful and aims at producing electricity for its fast-growing population.
During the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, European companies supplied former President Saddam Hussein with precursors of chemical weapons, according to Ali Shams Ardekani, who headed the Geneva-based UN Conference on Disarmament in 1988.
"German and other European companies gave him (Saddam) precursor (agents), which he only had to mix together to make chemical weapons," Ardekani said from Tehran.
According to the Washington-based Nuclear Threat Initiative's (NTI) website, mainly European companies, such as the Hamburg-based Karl Kolb and KBS Holland BV, had set up chemical plants in Iraq or supplied Saddam with precursor agents.
Such agents were thiodiglycol, chloroethyl, dimethylamine, phosphorous trichloride, phosphorous oxychloride, said NTI, which is co-chaired by CNN founder Ted Turner and former US Senator Sam Nunn.
The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) has thiodiglycol and some forms of chloroethyl and dimethylamine on its list of precursors of chemical weapons that are prohibited from being transferred to nonstate parties, according to a spokesman for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
But phosphorous trichloride and phosphorous oxychloride can be transferred to nonstate parties only after the national authority of the producing country issues an "end use certificate," said Peter Kraiser, head of Media and Public Affairs at the Hague-based OPCW.
The certificate allows the national authority to know the identity of the producer, the kind of quality and quantity of the agent to be transferred as well as the recipient's name and address. The authority also has to declare the chemical to be transferred was for legitimate use.
UN fact-finding missions to the Islamic Republic in 1984, 1986 and 1987 all confirmed that Iraq had used chemical weapons against Iranian forces.
"The secretary-general cannot but note with regret that the specialists (who visited Iran) have confirmed the use of chemical weapons by Iraqi forces against Iranian forces," said a report addressed to the UN Security Council in March 1986.
UN reports based their accusations on the Geneva Protocol of 1925, which prohibits the use of chemical weapons in war but does not prohibit retaliation in kind.
Iraq accused the Islamic Republic of using banned weapons in retaliation. But UN specialists who made a trip to Iraq in May 1987 said Iraqi forces had been affected by mustard gas and phosgene, but could not determine how the injuries were caused.
But CWC entered into force in 1997 - around nine years after the end of the Iran-Iraq war.
Although Iraq is not a state party to the CWC, which has no retroactive effect, Kaiser said the prohibition against the use of chemical weapons exists as a principle of international customary law.
"A breach of this norm can thus be alleged against any state, regardless of its accession or ratification of the CWC," said Kaiser from his office at OPCW, an independent, disarmament agency, which cooperates with the United Nations.
There are 164 state parties to the CWC, which bans the development, production, use, stockpiling and transfer of chemical weapons.
Iran said Sunday it would submit an indictment to the Iraqi court against Saddam's invasion and use of chemical weapons in the Iran-Iraq war.
But an expert on international law, Shafiq al-Masri, said the Iraqi tribunal trying Saddam had jurisdiction to try him as an individual regarding crimes he ordered, oversaw, or allowed to happen to Iraqis and foreigners inside Iraqi territories.
It has no jurisdiction to determine compensations to countries harmed by actions carried out outside Iraq by Saddam in his capacity as head of state, Masri explained.
Besides waging war against Iran, Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990 but was forced by US-led allied forces to pull out its troops from its southern neighbor after seven months of occupation.
"In addition to an individual responsibility for these actions, there is also a governmental responsibility and the entire (former) Iraqi regime's responsibility," said Masri, a Beirut-based professor of international law.
The Iraqi tribunal, he noted, was specialized to try individuals, and cannot deal with accusations involving the entire state.
Besides Iran's political considerations, Masri said Iran lacked the legal requirements to take its case against Saddam to the International Criminal Court (ICC). "Iran has no right to file a suit at the ICC," said Masri.
Iran signed but has not ratified the Rome Statute, which paved the way for the establishment of the ICC to try war criminals. Therefore, Iran is not a beneficiary of the ICC, Masri said.
Another reason is that the Statute entered into effect in July 2002 and has no retroactive effect, thereby it cannot look into a conflict that occurred in the 1980s.
"This is an important loophole," Masri said.
Praying for you and all freedom-loving Iranians.
A MUST READ
This is LONG. But well worth the read.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The Ultimate Guide To Terror
Convention Lecture | April, 2004 | Haim Harari
Posted on 07/08/2004 3:53:41 PM PDT by Southack
[ A View from the Eye of the Storm Talk delivered by Haim Harari at a meeting
of the International Advisory Board of a large multi-national corporation,
April 2004. Everyone must read and understand this essay. There will be a
test and we cannot afford to fail that test. Consider passing this to
everyone you think can get this message out. ]
[ HAIM HARARI, a theoretical physicist, is the Chair, Davidson Institute of
Science Education, and Former President, from 1988 to 2001, of the Weizmann
Institute of Science.
During his years as President of the Institute, it entered numerous new
scientific fields and projects, built 47 new buildings, raised one Billion
Dollars in philanthropic money, hired more than half of its current tenured
Professors and became one of the highest royalty-earning academic
organizations in the world.
Throughout all his adult life, he has made major contributions to three
different fields: Particle Physics Research on the international scene,
Science Education in the Israeli school system and Science Administration
and Policy Making. ]
"As you know, I usually provide the scientific and technological
"entertainment" in our meetings, but, on this occasion, our Chairman
suggested that I present my own personal view on events in the part of the
world from which I come. I have never been and I will never be a Government
official and I have no privileged information. My perspective is entirely
based on what I see, on what I read and on the fact that my family has lived
in this region for almost 200 years. You may regard my views as those of the
proverbial taxi driver, which you are supposed to question, when you visit a
I could have shared with you some fascinating facts and some personal
thoughts about the Israeli-Arab conflict. However, I will touch upon it only
in passing. I prefer to devote most of my remarks to the broader picture of
the region and its place in world events. I refer to the entire area between
Pakistan and Morocco, which is predominantly Arab, predominantly Moslem, but includes many non-Arab and also significant non-Moslem minorities.
Why do I put aside Israel and its own immediate neighborhood? Because
Israel and any problems related to it, in spite of what you might read or
hear in the world media, is not the central issue, and has never been the
central issue in the upheaval in the region. Yes, there is a 100 year-old
Israeli-Arab conflict, but it is not where the main show is. The millions
who died in the Iran-Iraq war had nothing to do with Israel. The mass murder
happening right now in Sudan, where the Arab Moslem regime is massacring its
black Christian citizens, has nothing to do with Israel. The frequent
reports from Algeria about the murders of hundreds of civilian in one
village or another by other Algerians have nothing to do with Israel. Saddam Hussein did not invade Kuwait, endangered Saudi Arabia and butchered his own people because of Israel. Egypt did not use poison gas against Yemen in the
60's because of Israel. Assad the Father did not kill tens of thousands of
his own citizens in one week in El Hamma in Syria because of Israel. The
Taliban control of Afghanistan and the civil war there had nothing to do
with Israel. The Libyan blowing up of the Pan-Am flight had nothing to do
with Israel, and I could go on and on and on.
The root of the trouble is that this entire Moslem region is totally
dysfunctional, by any standard of the word, and would have been so even if
Israel would have joined the Arab league and an independent Palestine would
have existed for 100 years. The 22 member countries of the Arab league, from
Mauritania to the Gulf States, have a total population of 300 millions,
larger than the US and almost as large as the EU before its expansion. They
have a land area larger than either the US or all of Europe. These 22
countries, with all their oil and natural resources, have a combined GDP
smaller than that of Netherlands plus Belgium and equal to half of the GDP
of California alone. Within this meager GDP, the gaps between rich and poor
are beyond belief and too many of the rich made their money not by
succeeding in business, but by being corrupt rulers. The social status of
women is far below what it was in the Western World 150 years ago. Human
rights are below any reasonable standard, in spite of the grotesque fact
that Libya was elected Chair of the UN Human Rights commission.
According to a report prepared by a committee of Arab intellectuals and published under
the auspices of the U.N., the number of books translated by the entire Arab
world is much smaller than what little Greece alone translates. The total
number of scientific publications of 300 million Arabs is less than that of
6 million Israelis. Birth rates in the region are very high, increasing the
poverty, the social gaps and the cultural decline. And all of this is
happening in a region, which only 30 years ago, was believed to be the next
wealthy part of the world, and in a Moslem area, which developed, at some
point in history, one of the most advanced cultures in the world.
It is fair to say that this creates an unprecedented breeding ground for
cruel dictators, terror networks, fanaticism, incitement, suicide murders
and general decline. It is also a fact that almost everybody in the region
blames this situation on the United States, on Israel, on Western
Civilization, on Judaism and Christianity, on anyone and anything, except themselves.
Do I say all of this with the satisfaction of someone discussing the
failings of his enemies? On the contrary, I firmly believe that the world
would have been a much better place and my own neighborhood would have been much more pleasant and peaceful, if things were different.
I should also say a word about the millions of decent, honest, good people
who are either devout Moslems or are not very religious but grew up in
Moslem families. They are double victims of an outside world, which now
develops Islamophobia and of their own environment, which breaks their heart
by being totally dysfunctional. The problem is that the vast silent majority
of these Moslems are not part of the terror and of the incitement but they
also do not stand up against it. They become accomplices, by omission, and
this applies to political leaders, intellectuals, business people and many
others. Many of them can certainly tell right from wrong, but are afraid to express their views.
The events of the last few years have amplified four issues, which have
always existed, but have never been as rampant as in the present upheaval in
the region. These are the four main pillars of the current World Conflict,
or perhaps we should already refer to it as "the undeclared World War III."
I have no better name for the present situation. A few more years may pass
before everybody acknowledges that it is a World War, but we are already
well into it.
The first element is the suicide murder. Suicide murders are not a new
invention but they have been made popular, if I may use this expression,
only lately. Even after September 11, it seems that most of the Western
World does not yet understand this weapon. It is a very potent psychological
weapon. Its real direct impact is relatively minor. The total number of
casualties from hundreds of suicide murders within Israel in the last three
years is much smaller than those due to car accidents. September 11 was
quantitatively much less lethal than many earthquakes. More people die from
AIDS in one day in Africa than all the Russians who died in the hands of
Chechnya-based Moslem suicide murderers since that conflict started. Saddam
killed every month more people than all those who died from suicide murders
since the Coalition occupation of Iraq.
So what is all the fuss about suicide killings? It creates headlines. It is
spectacular. It is frightening. It is a very cruel death with bodies
dismembered and horrible severe lifelong injuries to many of the wounded. It
is always shown on television in great detail. One such murder, with the
help of hysterical media coverage, can destroy the tourism industry of a
country for quite a while, as it did in Bali and in Turkey.
But the real fear comes from the undisputed fact that no defense and no
preventive measures can succeed against a determined suicide murderer. This
has not yet penetrated the thinking of the Western World. The U.S. and
Europe are constantly improving their defense against the last murder, not
the next one. We may arrange for the best airport security in the world. But
if you want to murder by suicide, you do not have to board a plane in order
to explode yourself and kill many people. Who could stop a suicide murder in
the midst of the crowded line waiting to be checked by the airport metal
detector? How about the lines to the check-in counters in a busy travel
period? Put a metal detector in front of every train station in Spain and
the terrorists will get the buses. Protect the buses and they will explode
in movie theaters, concert halls, supermarkets, shopping malls, schools and
hospitals. Put guards in front of every concert hall and there will always
be a line of people to be checked by the guards and this line will be the
target, not to speak of killing the guards themselves. You can somewhat
reduce your vulnerability by preventive and defensive measures and by strict
border controls but not eliminate it and definitely not win the war in a
defensive way. And it is a war.
What is behind the suicide murders? Money, power and cold-blooded murderous
incitement, nothing else. It has nothing to do with true fanatic religious
beliefs. No Moslem preacher has ever blown himself up. No son of an Arab
politician or religious leader has ever blown himself. No relative of anyone
influential has done it. Wouldn't you expect some of the religious leaders
to do it themselves, or to talk their sons into doing it, if this is truly a
supreme act of religious fervor? Aren't they interested in the benefits of
going to Heaven? Instead, they send outcast women, naive children, retarded
people and young incited hotheads. They promise them the delights, mostly
sexual, of the next world, and pay their families handsomely after the
supreme act is performed and enough innocent people are dead.
Suicide murders also have nothing to do with poverty and despair. The
poorest region in the world, by far, is Africa. It never happens there.
There are numerous desperate people in the world, in different cultures,
countries and continents. Desperation does not provide anyone with
explosives, reconnaissance and transportation. There was certainly more
despair in Saddam's Iraq then in Paul Bremmer's Iraq, and no one exploded
himself. A suicide murder is simply a horrible, vicious weapon of cruel,
inhuman, cynical, well-funded terrorists, with no regard to human life,
including the life of their fellow countrymen, but with very high regard to
their own affluent well-being and their hunger for power.
The only way to fight this new "popular" weapon is identical to the only way
in which you fight organized crime or pirates on the high seas: the
offensive way. Like in the case of organized crime, it is crucial that the
forces on the offensive be united and it is crucial to reach the top of the
crime pyramid. You cannot eliminate organized crime by arresting the little
drug dealer in the street corner. You must go after the head of the
If part of the public supports it, others tolerate it, many are afraid of it
and some try to explain it away by poverty or by a miserable childhood,
organized crime will thrive and so will terrorism. The United States
understands this now, after September 11. Russia is beginning to understand
it. Turkey understands it well. I am very much afraid that most of Europe
still does not understand it. Unfortunately, it seems that Europe will
understand it only after suicide murders will arrive in Europe in a big way.
In my humble opinion, this will definitely happen. The Spanish trains and
the Istanbul bombings are only the beginning. The unity of the Civilized
World in fighting this horror is absolutely indispensable. Until Europe
wakes up, this unity will not be achieved.
The second ingredient is words, more precisely lies. Words can be lethal.
They kill people. It is often said that politicians, diplomats and perhaps
also lawyers and business people must sometimes lie, as part of their
professional life. But the norms of politics and diplomacy are childish, in
comparison with the level of incitement and total absolute deliberate
fabrications, which have reached new heights in the region we are talking
about. An incredible number of people in the Arab world believe that
September 11 never happened, or was an American provocation or, even better, a Jewish plot.
You all remember the Iraqi Minister of Information, Mr. Mouhamad Said
al-Sahaf and his press conferences when the US forces were already inside
Baghdad. Disinformation at time of war is an accepted tactic. But to stand,
day after day, and to make such preposterous statements, known to everybody
to be lies, without even being ridiculed in your own milieu, can only happen
in this region. Mr. Sahaf eventually became a popular icon as a court
jester, but this did not stop some allegedly respectable newspapers from
giving him equal time. It also does not prevent the Western press from
giving credence, every day, even now, to similar liars. After all, if you
want to be an anti-Semite, there are subtle ways of doing it. You do not
have to claim that the holocaust never happened and that the Jewish temple
in Jerusalem never existed. But millions of Moslems are told by their
leaders that this is the case. When these same leaders make other
statements, the Western media report them as if they could be true.
It is a daily occurrence that the same people who finance, arm and dispatch
suicide murderers, condemn the act in English in front of western TV
cameras, talking to a world audience, which even partly believes them. It is
a daily routine to hear the same leader making opposite statements in Arabic
to his people and in English to the rest of the world. Incitement by Arab
TV, accompanied by horror pictures of mutilated bodies, has become a
powerful weapon of those who lie, distort and want to destroy everything.
Little children are raised on deep hatred and on admiration of so-called
martyrs, and the Western World does not notice it because its own TV sets
are mostly tuned to soap operas and game shows. I recommend to you, even
though most of you do not understand Arabic, to watch Al Jazeera, from time
to time. You will not believe your own eyes.
But words also work in other ways, more subtle. A demonstration in Berlin,
with people carrying banners supporting Saddam's regime and featuring
three-year old babies dressed as suicide murderers, is defined by the press
and by political leaders as a "peace demonstration." You may support or
oppose the Iraq war, but to refer to fans of Saddam, Arafat or bin Laden as
peace activists is a bit too much. A woman walks into an Israeli restaurant
in mid-day, eats, observes families with old people and children eating
their lunch in the adjacent tables and pays the bill. She then blows herself
up, killing 20 people, including many children, with heads and arms rolling
around in the restaurant. She is called "martyr" by several Arab leaders and
"activist" by the European press. Dignitaries condemn the act but visit her
bereaved family and the money flows.
There is a new game in town: The actual murderer is called "the military
wing," the one who pays him, equips him and sends him is now called "the
political wing" and the head of the operation is called the "spiritual
leader." There are numerous other examples of such Orwellian nomenclature,
used every day not only by terror chiefs but also by Western media.. These
words are much more dangerous than many people realize. They provide an
emotional infrastructure for atrocities. It was Joseph Goebels who said that
if you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it. He is now being
outperformed by his successors.
The third aspect is money. Huge amounts of money, which could have solved
many social problems in this dysfunctional part of the world, are channeled
into three concentric spheres supporting death and murder. In the inner
circle are the terrorists themselves. The money funds their travel,
explosives, hideouts and permanent search for soft vulnerable targets. They
are surrounded by a second wider circle of direct supporters, planners,
commanders, preachers, all of whom make a living, usually a very comfortable
living, by serving as terror infrastructure. Finally, we find the third
circle of so-called religious, educational and welfare organizations, which
actually do some good, feed the hungry and provide some schooling, but
brainwash a new generation with hatred, lies and ignorance. This circle
operates mostly through mosques, madrasas and other religious establishments
but also through inciting electronic and printed media. It is this circle
that makes sure that women remain inferior, that democracy is unthinkable
and that exposure to the outside world is minimal. It is also that circle
that leads the way in blaming everybody outside the Moslem world, for the
miseries of the region.
Figuratively speaking, this outer circle is the guardian, which makes sure
that the people look and listen inwards to the inner circle of terror and
incitement, rather than to the world outside. Some parts of this same outer
circle actually operate as a result of fear from, or blackmail by, the inner
circles. The horrifying added factor is the high birth rate. Half of the
population of the Arab world is under the age of 20, the most receptive age
to incitement, guaranteeing two more generations of blind hatred.
Of the three circles described above, the inner circles are primarily
financed by terrorist states like Iran and Syria, until recently also by
Iraq and Libya and earlier also by some of the Communist regimes. These
states, as well as the Palestinian Authority, are the safe havens of the
wholesale murder vendors. The outer circle is largely financed by Saudi
Arabia, but also by donations from certain Moslem communities in the United
States and Europe and, to a smaller extent, by donations of European
Governments to various NGO's and by certain United Nations organizations,
whose goals may be noble, but they are infested and exploited by agents of
the outer circle. The Saudi regime, of course, will be the next victim of
major terror, when the inner circle will explode into the outer circle. The
Saudis are beginning to understand it, but they fight the inner circles,
while still financing the infrastructure at the outer circle.
Some of the leaders of these various circles live very comfortably on their
loot. You meet their children in the best private schools in Europe, not in
the training camps of suicide murderers. The Jihad "soldiers" join packaged
death tours to Iraq and other hotspots, while some of their leaders ski in
Switzerland. Mrs. Arafat, who lives in Paris with her daughter, receives
tens of thousands of dollars per month from the allegedly bankrupt
Palestinian Authority while a typical local ringleader of the Al-Aksa
brigade, reporting to Arafat, receives only a cash payment of a couple of
hundred dollars, for performing murders at the retail level.
The fourth element of the current world conflict is the total breaking of
all laws. The civilized world believes in democracy, the rule of law,
including international law, human rights, free speech and free press, among
other liberties. There are naive old-fashioned habits such as respecting
religious sites and symbols, not using ambulances and hospitals for acts of
war, avoiding the mutilation of dead bodies and not using children as human
shields or human bombs. Never in history, not even in the Nazi period, was
there such total disregard of all of the above as we observe now. Every
student of political science debates how you prevent an anti-democratic
force from winning a democratic election and abolishing democracy. Other
aspects of a civilized society must also have limitations. Can a policeman
open fire on someone trying to kill him? Can a government listen to phone
conversations of terrorists and drug dealers? Does free speech protects you
when you shout "fire" in a crowded theater? Should there be death penalty
for deliberate multiple murders? These are the old-fashioned dilemmas. But
now we have an entire new set.
Do you raid a mosque which serves as a terrorist ammunition storage? Do you
return fire, if you are attacked from a hospital? Do you storm a church
taken over by terrorists who took the priests hostages? Do you search every
ambulance after a few suicide murderers use ambulances to reach their
targets? Do you strip every woman because one pretended to be pregnant and
carried a suicide bomb on her belly? Do you shoot back at someone trying to
kill you, standing deliberately behind a group of children? Do you raid
terrorist headquarters, hidden in a mental hospital? Do you shoot an
arch-murderer who deliberately moves from one location to another, always
surrounded by children? All of these happen daily in Iraq and in the
Palestinian areas. What do you do? Well, you do not want to face the
dilemma. But it cannot be avoided.
Suppose, for the sake of discussion, that someone would openly stay in a
well-known address in Teheran, hosted by the Iranian Government and financed
by it, executing one atrocity after another in Spain or in France, killing
hundreds of innocent people, accepting responsibility for the crimes,
promising in public TV interviews to do more of the same, while the
Government of Iran issues public condemnations of his acts but continues to
host him, invite him to official functions and treat him as a great
dignitary. I leave it to you as homework to figure out what Spain or France
would have done, in such a situation.
The problem is that the civilized world is still having illusions about the
rule of law in a totally lawless environment. It is trying to play ice
hockey by sending a ballerina ice-skater into the rink, or trying to knock
out a heavyweight boxer with a chess player. In the same way that no country
has a law against cannibals eating its prime minister, because such an act
is unthinkable, international law does not address killers shooting from
hospitals, mosques and ambulances, while being protected by their Government
or society. International law does not know how to handle someone who sends
children to throw stones, stands behind them and shoots with immunity and
cannot be arrested because he is sheltered by a Government. International
law does not know how to deal with a leader of murderers who is royally and
comfortably hosted by a country which pretends to condemn his acts or just
claims to be too weak to arrest him.. The amazing thing is that all of these
crooks demand protection under international law and define all those who
attack them as war criminals, with some Western media repeating the
allegations. The good news is that all of this is temporary, because the
evolution of international law has always adapted itself to reality. The
punishment for suicide murder should be death or arrest before the murder,
not during and not after. After every world war, the rules of international
law have changed and the same will happen after the present one. But during
the twilight zone, a lot of harm can be done.
The picture I described here is not pretty. What can we do about it? In the
short run, only fight and win. In the long run - only educate the next
generation and open it to the world. The inner circles can and must be
destroyed by force. The outer circle cannot be eliminated by force. Here we
need financial starvation of the organizing elite, more power to women, more
education, counter propaganda, boycott whenever feasible and access to
Western media, Internet and the international scene. Above all, we need a
total absolute unity and determination of the civilized world against all
three circles of evil.
Allow me, for a moment, to depart from my alleged role as a taxi driver and
return to science. When you have a malignant tumor, you may remove the tumor
itself surgically. You may also starve it by preventing new blood from
reaching it from other parts of the body, thereby preventing new "supplies"
from expanding the tumor. If you want to be sure, it is best to do both.
But before you fight and win, by force or otherwise, you have to realize
that you are in a war, and this may take Europe a few more years. In order
to win, it is necessary to first eliminate the terrorist regimes, so that no
Government in the world will serve as a safe haven for these people. I do
not want to comment here on whether the American-led attack on Iraq was
justified from the point of view of weapons of mass destruction or any other
pre-war argument, but I can look at the post-war map of Western Asia. Now
that Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya are out, two and a half terrorist states
remain: Iran, Syria and Lebanon, the latter being a Syrian colony. Perhaps
Sudan should be added to the list. As a result of the conquest of
Afghanistan and Iraq, both Iran and Syria are now totally surrounded by
territories unfriendly to them. Iran is encircled by Afghanistan, by the
Gulf States, Iraq and the Moslem republics of the former Soviet Union. Syria
is surrounded by Turkey, Iraq, Jordan and Israel. This is a significant
strategic change and it applies strong pressure on the terrorist countries.
It is not surprising that Iran is so active in trying to incite a Shiite
uprising in Iraq. I do not know if the American plan was actually to
encircle both Iran and Syria, but that is the resulting situation.
In my humble opinion, the number one danger to the world today is Iran and
its regime. It definitely has ambitions to rule vast areas and to expand in
all directions. It has an ideology, which claims supremacy over Western
culture. It is ruthless. It has proven that it can execute elaborate
terrorist acts without leaving too many traces, using Iranian Embassies. It
is clearly trying to develop Nuclear Weapons. Its so-called moderates and
conservatives play their own virtuoso version of the "good-cop versus
bad-cop" game. Iran sponsors Syrian terrorism, it is certainly behind much
of the action in Iraq, it is fully funding the Hezbollah and, through it,
the Palestinian Hamas and Islamic Jihad, it performed acts of terror at
least in Europe and in South America and probably also in Uzbekhistan and
Saudi Arabia and it truly leads a multi-national terror consortium, which
includes, as minor players, Syria, Lebanon and certain Shiite elements in
Iraq. Nevertheless,most European countries still trade with Iran, try to
appease it and refuse to read the clear signals.
In order to win the war it is also necessary to dry the financial resources
of the terror conglomerate. It is pointless to try to understand the subtle
differences between the Sunni terror of Al Qaida and Hamas and the Shiite
terror of Hezbollah, Sadr and other Iranian inspired enterprises. When it
serves their business needs, all of them collaborate beautifully.
It is crucial to stop Saudi and other financial support of the outer
circle, which is the fertile breeding ground of terror. It is important to
monitor all donations from the Western World to Islamic organizations, to
monitor the finances of international relief organizations and to react with
forceful economic measures to any small sign of financial aid to any of the
three circles of terrorism. It is also important to act decisively against
the campaign of lies and fabrications and to monitor those Western media who
collaborate with it out of naivety, financial interests or ignorance.
Above all, never surrender to terror. No one will ever know whether the
recent elections in Spain would have yielded a different result, if not for
the train bombings a few days earlier. But it really does not matter. What
matters is that the terrorists believe that they caused the result and that
they won by driving Spain out of Iraq. The Spanish story will surely end up
being extremely costly to other European countries, including France, who is
now expelling inciting preachers and forbidding veils and including others
who sent troops to Iraq. In the long run, Spain itself will pay even more.
Is the solution a democratic Arab world? If by democracy we mean free
elections but also free press, free speech, a functioning judicial system,
civil liberties, equality to women, free international travel, exposure to
international media and ideas, laws against racial incitement and against
defamation, and avoidance of lawless behavior regarding hospitals, places of
worship and children, then yes, democracy is the solution. If democracy is
just free elections, it is likely that the most fanatic regime will be
elected, the one whose incitement and fabrications are the most
inflammatory. We have seen it already in Algeria and, to a certain extent,
in Turkey. It will happen again, if the ground is not prepared very
carefully. On the other hand, a certain transition democracy, as in Jordan,
may be a better temporary solution, paving the way for the real thing,
perhaps in the same way that an immediate sudden democracy did not work in
Russia and would not have worked in China.
I have no doubt that the civilized world will prevail. But the longer it
takes us to understand the new landscape of this war, the more costly and
painful the victory will be. Europe, more than any other region, is the key.
Its understandable recoil from wars, following the horrors of World War II,
may cost thousands of additional innocent lives, before the tide will turn."
Suresrafil is absolutely hilarious. His hatred of the Mullahs, Arabs, terrorists and radical Islam makes his show a mixture of intelligent political speak and comedy standup.
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