Skip to comments.Iranian Alert -- July 12, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Posted on 07/11/2004 9:44:51 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
The US media still largley ignores news regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran. As Tony Snow of the Fox News Network has put it, this is probably the most under-reported news story of the year. Most Americans are unaware that the Islamic Republic of Iran is NOT supported by the masses of Iranians today. Modern Iranians are among the most pro-American in the Middle East.
There is a popular revolt against the Iranian regime brewing in Iran today. I began these daily threads June 10th 2003. On that date Iranians once again began taking to the streets to express their desire for a regime change. Today in Iran, most want to replace the regime with a secular democracy.
The regime is working hard to keep the news about the protest movement in Iran from being reported. Unfortunately, the regime has successfully prohibited western news reporters from covering the demonstrations. The voices of discontent within Iran are sometime murdered, more often imprisoned. Still the people continue to take to the streets to demonstrate against the regime.
In support of this revolt, Iranians in America have been broadcasting news stories by satellite into Iran. This 21st century news link has greatly encouraged these protests. The regime has been attempting to jam the signals, and locate the satellite dishes. Still the people violate the law and listen to these broadcasts. Iranians also use the Internet and the regime attempts to block their access to news against the regime. In spite of this, many Iranians inside of Iran read these posts daily to keep informed of the events in their own country.
This daily thread contains nearly all of the English news reports on Iran. It is thorough. If you follow this thread you will witness, I believe, the transformation of a nation. This daily thread provides a central place where those interested in the events in Iran can find the best news and commentary. The news stories and commentary will from time to time include material from the regime itself. But if you read the post you will discover for yourself, the real story of what is occurring in Iran and its effects on the war on terror.
I am not of Iranian heritage. I am an American committed to supporting the efforts of those in Iran seeking to replace their government with a secular democracy. I am in contact with leaders of the Iranian community here in the United States and in Iran itself.
If you read the daily posts you will gain a better understanding of the US war on terrorism, the Middle East and why we need to support a change of regime in Iran. Feel free to ask your questions and post news stories you discover in the weeks to come.
If all goes well Iran will be free soon and I am convinced become a major ally in the war on terrorism. The regime will fall. Iran will be free. It is just a matter of time.
Iranian Authorities Arrest Two Teachers' Union Leaders [Excerpt]
July 11, 2004
Dow Jones Newswires
The Associated Press
TEHRAN -- Authorities have arrested two leaders of Iran 's teachers' trade union, which organized an unsuccessful week-long strike earlier this year, a relative and the official news agency said Sunday.
Mahmoud Beheshti Langroudi and Ali-Asghar Zatti of Iran 's Teachers' Association were detained at their homes in Tehran Saturday, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported.
"Plainclothes judicial officers took my father away Saturday after searching our home for one and half hours," Zatti's daughter, Mona, told The Associated Press.
There was no word of explanation from the authorities about the detentions.
Arrest Warrant Issued For Iranian Editor, Monthly Closed Down
July 11, 2004
Khaleej Times Online
TEHERAN -- The Iranian judiciary issued an arrest warrant for the chief editor of the reformist daily Tossee and closed down a monthly, the news agency IRNA reported on Sunday.
The arrest warrant for Tossee editor Gholi Sheikhi was issued after he refused to show up at a court to answer charges of propagating against the Islamic system, IRNA said.
The judiciary also banned the reformist monthly Aftab which had allegedly published articles against the principles of Islamic rulership.
According to Irans Association for Press Freedom, more than 90 publications have been closed by the judiciary, 21 journalists and publishers remain in jail and more than 65 reporters have been summoned to courts on charges the association said were baseless.
Irans hardline judiciary, which accuses reformist press circles of trying to undermine the Islamic system and move the country toward secularism, views the press crackdown as defending Irans Islamic Republic.
Iran says "does not fear nuclear dossier being referred to UN"
AFP - World News (via Iranmania)
Jul 11, 2004
TEHRAN - Iran, facing allegations it is secretly trying to build an atomic bomb, dismissed Sunday calls by its archfoes for the dossier on its nuclear activities to be sent to the UN Security Council.
"Iran is not afraid of threats regarding the possible referral of its nuclear dossier to the UN Security Council," said foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi.
"We are not worried about such threats, although we are trying to sort out the problem through the IAEA and its board of governors," he told a press conference, referring to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The United States and Israel, which both accuse Iran of seeking to make an atomic bomb, want the case sent to the Security Council -- which could impose sanctions on the Islamic republic.
But IAEA director Mohamed ElBaradei said during a visit last week to Israel -- widely believed to be the only nuclear power in the Middle East -- that such a referral would only complicate matters.
"Considering Iran's transparency and cooperation, there would be no reason to send our dossier to the Security Council," Asefi said.
Asefi also confirmed that Iran, which says its nuclear ambitions are limited to producing electricity, had taken the "political decision" to resume the manufacture and assembly of centrifuges but said that unspecified technical issues had yet to be resolved.
Last month, Iran announced it would go back on its commitment to Europe's so-called "Big Three" -- Britain, France and Germany -- to suspend production of centrifuges, which can be used to make bomb-grade uranium.
The move followed an IAEA resolution deploring Iran for its "lack of cooperation" with the international community over its nuclear actvities.
Asefi, however, said the manufacture of the centrifuges, which can also be used for peaceful purposes, will take place under IAEA control.
Iranian leaders have also said they do not intend to start the process of enriching uranium to make it useable in weapons.
Iranians aren't Arabs, they don't share a common ethnicity, country, heritage, culture, language, history, background, political prespective with Iraqis, so who cares about what happens in Iraq when it comes to Iran?
Thanks for the information on Iraq, but what does it have to do with Iran?
The majority of Iranians are Sunni?
Good one.. genious. Shia Islam was started by Iranians b/c they wanted to separate themselves from the Arabs, although it spread to parts of Iraq it was an Iranian sect religion.
Shi'a Muslim 89%, Sunni Muslim 9%, Zoroastrian, Jewish, Christian, and Baha'i 2%
Persian 51%, Azeri 24%, Gilaki and Mazandarani 8%, Kurd 7%, Arab 3%, Lur 2%, Baloch 2%, Turkmen 2%, other 1%
This is the same broadcaster (XTV) that interviewed me last week. This is an interview with Roger L. Simon, novelist, Screenwriter and bloger http://www.rogerlsimon.com/.
Roger L. Simon, Dr. Iman Foroutan, and Listener phone calls - Special 18 Tir 2004 Program
Wedensday, July 07, 2004 XTV (Please Click on one of the following links to watch interview!)
Excellent work, freedom. :)
Iran Rules Out Direct Nuclear Talks with U.S.
July 12, 2004
TEHRAN -- Iran ruled out on Monday holding direct talks with the United States on its nuclear program. "There is no justification for accepting suggestions to hold negotiations with a country which adopts a bullying attitude toward others," Hassan Rohani, secretary-general of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, told state television.
Washington accuses Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons. Tehran says its ambitions are limited to generating electricity from nuclear reactors.
Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog the International Atomic Energy Agency, had told U.S. policymakers in March that Iran might be open to a deal and suggested direct U.S. contacts with Tehran, U.S. officials said. Washington broke ties with Tehran following its Islamic revolution in 1979.
Rohani also played down negotiations with Germany, France and Britain and said Iran held talks with them in the past year because the big three European powers initiated the dialogue.
"The other party to the negotiations for us is the International Atomic Energy Agency and we have nothing to do with any other country," he said.
"If we are talking with the Europeans countries, it is because we have normal relations with them and they took the initiative to do so."
The IAEA board passed a resolution in June that rebuked Tehran for not fully cooperating with IAEA inspectors.
In retaliation, Iran said it was resuming production and testing of centrifuges, which can be used to enrich uranium, ending an agreement with the European states that it would suspend such activities.
Of 'Lies' and WMD [Excerpt]
July 12, 2004
The Wall Street Journal
Review & Outlook
"The Committee did not find any evidence that Administration officials attempted to coerce, influence or pressure analysts to change their judgments related to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capabilities."
So reads Conclusion 83 of the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on prewar intelligence on Iraq. The Committee likewise found no evidence of pressure to link Iraq to al Qaeda. So it appears that some of the claims about WMD used by the Bush Administration and others to argue for war in Iraq were mistaken because they were based on erroneous information provided by the CIA.
A few apologies would seem to be in order. Allegations of lying or misleading the nation to war are about the most serious charge that can be leveled against a President. But according to this unanimous study, signed by Jay Rockefeller and seven other Democrats, those frequent charges from prominent Democrats and the media are without merit.
Or to put it more directly, if President Bush were "lying" about WMD, then so was Mr. Rockefeller when he relied on CIA evidence to claim in October 2002 that Saddam Hussein's weapons "pose a very real threat to America." Also lying at the time were John Kerry, John Edwards, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and so on. Yet Mr. Rockefeller is still suggesting on the talk shows, based on nothing but inference and innuendo, that there was undue political Bush "pressure" on CIA analysts.
The West Virginia Democrat also asserted on Friday that Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith has been running a rogue intelligence operation that is "not lawful." Mr. Feith's shop has spent more than 1,800 hours responding to queries from the Senate and has submitted thousands of pages of documents -- none of which supports such a charge. Shouldn't even hyper-partisan Senators have to meet some minimum standard of honesty?
In fact, the report shows that one of the first allegations of false intelligence was itself a distortion: Mr. Bush's allegedly misleading claim in the 2003 State of the Union address that Iraq had been seeking uranium ore from Africa. The Senate report notes that Presidential accuser and former CIA consultant Joe Wilson returned from his trip to Africa with no information that cast serious doubt on such a claim; and that, contrary to Mr. Wilson's public claims, his wife (a CIA employee) was involved in helping arrange his mission.
"When coordinating the State of the Union, no Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analysts or officials told the National Security Council (NSC) to remove the '16 words' or that there were concerns about the credibility of the Iraq-Niger Uranium reporting," the report says. In short, Joe Wilson is a partisan fraud whose trip disproved nothing, and what CIA doubts there were on Niger weren't shared with the White House.
The broader CIA failure on Iraq's WMD is troubling, though it is important to keep in mind that this was a global failure. Every serious intelligence service thought Saddam still had WMD, and the same consensus existed across the entire U.S. intelligence community. One very alarming explanation, says the report, is that the CIA had "no [human] sources collecting against weapons of mass destruction in Iraq after 1998." That's right. Not one source.
When asked why not, a CIA officer replied "because it's very hard to sustain." The report's rather obvious answer is that spying "should be within the norm of the CIA's activities and capabilities," and some blame for this human intelligence failure has to fall on recently departed Director George Tenet and his predecessor, John Deutch.
The Senate report blames these CIA failures not just on management but also on "a risk averse corporate culture." This sounds right, and Acting Director John McLaughlin's rejection of this criticism on Friday is all the more reason for Mr. Bush to name a real replacement. Richard Armitage has been mentioned for the job, but the Deputy Secretary of State has been consistently wrong about Iran, which will be a principle threat going forward, and his and Colin Powell's philosophy at the State Department has been to let the bureaucrats run the place. We can think of better choices.
One real danger now is that the intelligence community will react to this Iraq criticism by taking even fewer risks, or by underestimating future threats as it has so often in the past.
Iran Cracks Down On Skimpy Clothes
July 12, 2004
From Correspondents in Tehran
Iranian security forces have stepped up what appears to be a major crackdown on insufficiently veiled women by launching raids on shopping centres and shops selling skimpy clothing.
According to one witness, scores of policemen - and policewomen in chadors - raided the Milad commercial centre in the west of Tehran on Sunday, and detained dozens of young women deemed not to be respecting the Islamic dress code.
They also confiscated coats they considered to be too transparent or figure-hugging.
Another resident reported a similar raid in the Sorkheh Bazar shopping centre in the central district of Vanak, with dozens more young girls also arrested.
One man said he had to go to release his cousin from police custody, but added that the woman was only freed on condition that she return for a course in Islamic morals.
In recent weeks a string of similar raids have been reported, mainly in the more upmarket north of the capital. Scores of young girls have been seen being taken away from commercial centres in minibuses operated by the police.
Police and Islamic militiamen have also reportedly stepped up their raids on private parties where they suspect the presence of alcohol or mixed-sex dancing.
But it remains unclear if the current clampdown is the usual pre-summer anti-vice operation, or a sign of stricter rules following the shift to he right of the regime following February's parliament election of conservatives.
Since the 1979 Islamic revolution, all post-pubescent females are required to wear the veil and a long coat that conceals their bodily form. Violators risk fines or imprisonment.
However in large cities in recent years, many women have progressively flouted the rules by wearing flimsy headscarfs and brightly-coloured, short and skimpy coats.
A New Voice Is Being Heard in Iran [Excerpt]
July 12, 2004
The Wall Street Journal
While the world is justly focusing on the movement of terrorists and weapons from Iran into newly liberated Iraq, a movement of ideas and those who preach them traveling in the opposite direction may prove to have more lasting consequences in the long run.
The ideas are coming from Najaf, a dusty nondescript town in southern Iraq which is re-emerging as the principal center of Shi'ite Islam after a hiatus of more than three decades. The men who are taking those ideas into Iran are Iranian and Iraqi clerics who believe that Khomeinism -- the official religion of the Islamic Republic in Tehran -- represents a betrayal of their faith.
The man in whose name the doctrinal challenge to Khomeinism is launched is 73-year old Grand Ayatollah Ali-Muhammad Hussein Sistani, the primus inter pares of Shi'ite theologians in Najaf.
Until Iraq's liberation last year, Ayatollah Sistani was under restrictions imposed by Saddam Hussein, and unable to communicate with his native Iran. In the final years of the Saddam regime, the grand ayatollah was not even allowed to teach.
In the past 15 months, however, Ayatollah Sistani has resumed contact with Shi'ite communities throughout the world, the first of which was Iran. Ayatollah Sistani has been sending emissaries to Iran to renew contact with the clergy, the bazaars, and the thousands of non-governmental organizations that have sprung up in recent years.
By the end of June Ayatollah Sistani had named representatives in 67 Iranian towns and cities, including the capital Tehran. At the same time a stream of visitors from Iran, including many clerics, are received by the ayatollah in his mud-brick home in downtown Najaf each day. Ayatollah Sistani's Persian-language Web site is attracting more than three millions visitors each month from Iran.
"Today, Sistani is probably the most influential Shi'ite [religious] leader in the world," says Sabah Zangeneh, who was Tehran's ambassador to the Organization of Islamic Conference until last year. "Many Iranians see in him a revival of the mainstream Shi'ite theology."
Many clerics agree. "It is now clear to most Shi'ites that Khomeinism is a political ideology and a deviation [from the faith]," says Ayatollah Mahmoud Qomi-Tabatabi. "Those who represent authentic Shi'ism cannot speak out in Iran. This is why the Najaf clergy, especially Sistani, are emerging as a pole of attraction for Iranians."
Another Iranian cleric, Hadi Qabel, says that Khomeinism should be regarded as "a political ideology" while Shi'ism, as a religious faith, is represented by "theologians like Sistani who do not seek power."
Hassan Sanai, a prominent mullah in Qom, sees the liberation of Najaf as "a gift from God." "Shi'ism needs a theological center that is not controlled by a government," Ayatollah Sanai says. "It is natural that Najaf should play that role. With Sistani now able to address the [Shi'ite] community, the faith could resume its natural course."
But in what way does Sistanism -- if such a term is allowed -- differ from Khomeinism? Some secular Shi'ite intellectuals claim that there is no difference. "A mullah is a mullah under any guise," says sociologist Nasser Zamani. "All mullahs want [political] power. Some, like Khomeini, seek it directly; others like Sistani, indirectly."
But this is precisely what makes Ayatollah Sistani's version of Shi'ism attractive to many. In Shi'ism all power belongs to God and is exercised by the 12 "immaculate" Imams, the last of whom disappeared in Iraq in the 9th century. In the absence of the Imam, the community rules itself as best as it can. The tasks of the government are limited to law and order, defending the community against aggression, and maintaining a minimum of administration. The believers could consult the clergy on matters about which they themselves cannot form a judgment. But here a free market of ideas exists in the sense that the believer can choose whom to consult and whether or not to accept the views of the clerics.
Khomeinism, however, is a totalitarian ideology in which the clergy have a monopoly on power. They name one of their own as "Faqih al-Wali" ("theological guide") who is given absolute power for life. Designated as "The Supreme Guide," he could even order a suspension of the basic rules of Islam.
Khomeinism describes the people as "mustazafeen" (the feeble ones) who are incapable of discerning good from evil for themselves. Although Khomeinism uses part of the Shiite mythology, religious vocabulary and iconography, it must be treated as a distinct doctrine. The key slogans of Khomeinism make this clear. Everywhere in Iran one sees giant slogans reading: God, Quran, Khomeini!
Mainstream Shiites, as well as other Muslims, see these slogans as forms of "kufr" (impiety) because they associate a mortal, in this case Khomeini, with God while making no mention of Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam. Inspired by North Korean and Maoist models, images of Khomeini have been carved in mountains or grown as mini-forests, visible even from the skies -- a cult of personality bordering on idolatry.
Khomeinism is a cocktail in which Shi'ism is an almost accidental ingredient. Its basic ingredient is a hatred of the West, especially the United States. It is also influenced by Marxism, with such ideas as thought control, single-party rule and the command of the economy by the state.
The contrast between the Khomeini and Ayatollah Sistani versions of Shi'ism was illustrated in a recent debate on whether or not smoking was allowed under Islam. The Iranian Students' Association put the question to both Ayatollah Sistani and the Khomeini's clerics in Qom. Qom's answer was that smoking should be banned by the government, and smokers punished by pubic flogging. Ayatollah Sistani's answer was that the decision must be taken by the individual smoker with full knowledge of the latest medical research on the subject. This was one way of castigating the Khomeinist regime that insists on dictating every aspect of individual life. (There are Khomeinist laws on women's clothes, men's beards, the orientation of a toilette seat, and the amount of alcohol to use in cleaning a wound.)
Ayatollah Sistani's answers to more than 10,000 questions on numerous issues put the emphasis on "wisdom, moderation and caution" in deciding social, cultural and political issues. "When there is no consensus on a matter," Ayatollah Sistani says, "it is best left undecided until there is further discussion, study and research." In other words: no Khomeinist diktat.
The mainstream Shi'ism represented by Ayatollah Sistani was developed in the 20th century by ayatollahs such as Kazem Shirazi and Abol-Hassan Isfahani. The Shi'ite clerics supported the constitutional revolution in both the Ottoman Empire and Persia because they believed that no earthly despot had the right to usurp power that, in the absence of the Imam, belonged only to the people. ....
A New Voice Is Being Heard in Iran [Excerpt]
July 12, 2004
The Wall Street Journal
Good article. Thanks