Skip to comments.Iranian Alert -- July 13, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Posted on 07/12/2004 9:00:23 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.
Kerry Statement on Reducing Nuclear Threats
July 13, 2004
Comunicados de prensa
Senator John Kerry released the following statement today in response to the Presidents speech in Tennessee:
The gravest threat we face is terrorists or hostile states getting their hands on a nuclear weapon. Since that dark day in September, have we reached out to our allies and forged an urgent global effort to ensure that nuclear weapons and materials are secured? Have we taken every step we should to stop North Korea and Irans nuclear programs? Have we restructured our intelligence agencies and given them the resources they need to keep our country safe?
The honest answer, in each of these areas, is that we have done too little, often too late, and even cut back our efforts. Its not enough to give speeches America will only be safer when we achieve results. The facts speak for themselves -- there was less nuclear weapons materials secured in the two years after 9/11 than in the two years before. North Korea has reportedly quadrupled its nuclear weapons capability in the past year. Iran is developing a nuclear weapons capability. Afghanistan has become a forgotten front in the war on terror.
As president, my number one security goal will be to prevent terrorists from gaining weapons of mass murder. I have proposed an ambitious and aggressive plan for dramatically reducing the threats from nuclear terrorism -- we will greatly accelerate work to secure nuclear materials at risk and invest the time and leadership needed to address the nuclear threats in North Korea and Iran. I will appoint a National Director of Intelligence so that there is one individual with responsibility and accountability for intelligence operations.
20 Al Qaeda Suspects in Custody in Iran
FOX News Alert | 7/13/2004 | televised on FOX News
Posted on 07/13/2004 10:31:40 AM PDT by GVgirl
Suspected Militant Surrenders, Returns to Saudi
July 13, 2004
RIYADH -- A suspected Saudi al Qaeda militant, who had appeared in a videotape with Osama bin Laden, was flown back to the kingdom from Iran after he surrendered under a government amnesty, state television said on Tuesday.
It said Khaled al-Harbi, also known as Abu Suleiman al-Makki, had been on the Iranian-Afghan border and had contacted Saudi Arabia's embassy in Tehran in response to the amnesty.
Television showed a wheelchair-bound and bearded Harbi being carried off a plane on arrival in the kingdom with his family. It did not say when he surrendered or returned to Saudi Arabia.
A Saudi security source said Harbi was the man seen talking with Saudi-born al Qaeda leader bin Laden in a videotape in which the two praised the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on U.S. cities. He said Harbi had fought in Afghanistan and Bosnia.
"He is big in the sense that he is one of the Saudis that were close to bin Laden," the security source said, adding that Harbi had not been involved in a spate of militant attacks in Saudi Arabia claimed by al Qaeda.
Harbi was the third person to surrender since Saudi Arabia announced on June 23 a one-month government amnesty aimed primarily at militants who have attacked Westerners, government targets and energy sites in the world's biggest oil exporter.
Iran said Harbi was repatriated at his own request.
"Mr. Khaled al-Harbi..., following Saudi Arabia's announcement of an amnesty, entered our country illegally from a neighboring country and asked to be handed over to his own country," Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said in a statement.
For over a year, Saudi Arabia has been battling militants loyal to al Qaeda, which carried out the September 11 attacks.
"I came in obedience to God and the (Saudi) ruler... There is no doubt that this is a gracious initiative by King Fahd and his crown prince," the bespectacled Harbi told Saudi television.
"There is no doubt this is an opportunity which every wise man who has faith in his heart should take advantage of and return to this country," he added.
The Saudi Interior Ministry said in a statement that Harbi did not have any official documents when he arrived at the Saudi embassy in Tehran. The mission had issued the necessary papers for him and his family to fly them home "after coordination with Iranian authorities," the statement said.
The ministry said Harbi had been in the Iranian-Afghan border region and contacted the Saudi embassy in Iran "expressing his readiness to take advantage of the royal amnesty." It said Harbi would be taken directly to hospital.
The security source said that Harbi was not among Saudi al Qaeda militants believed to be in Iranian custody.
Iran is holding several al Qaeda suspects but has not revealed their identities or nationalities. Riyadh has asked Tehran to repatriate any al Qaeda militants it may be holding.
Iran Seizes Two Qatar Boats in Latest Gulf Dispute
July 13, 2004
Khaleej Times Online
TEHERAN -- Irans navy has seized two Qatari launches that strayed into its waters, the Interior Ministry said on Tuesday. The launches were intercepted within Iranian waters and escorted to shore, a ministry official told Reuters. He gave no further details.
The action was the latest in a string of similar incidents involving Iran and its [Persian] Gulf neighbours, the most controversial of which was Irans capture last month of three British naval vessels operating out of Iraq and their eight crew.
Analysts say the flurry of incidents reflects heavy traffic and stricter enforcement of territorial boundaries in the [Persian]Gulf.
The eight British naval personnel were held for three days after their craft were seized in the narrow Shatt al-Arab waterway that separates southwestern Iran from Iraq.
British officials later accused Iran of forcing the British boats -- which have yet to be returned -- into Iranian waters, a charge Tehran denied.
Since the start of June at least five Iranian fishing boats have been confiscated by Kuwait, the UAE and Qatar for straying into their waters.
Iranian officials have said an Iranian was killed in June when the Qatar navy opened fired on his fishing boat.
Iran, which has sought to improve relations with its Arab neighbours under reformist President Mohammad Khatami, has in turn seized several fishing boats from the UAE.
Iran Says Will Resume Nuclear Talks With EU Trio
July 13, 2004
TEHRAN - Iran said on Tuesday it would resume negotiations later this month with Britain, Germany and France over its disputed nuclear program. The announcement, made by Iran's Supreme National Security Council and carried by the official IRNA news agency, gave no details on the location or likely content of the talks.
The EU trio brokered an agreement with Iran last year under which the Islamic Republic agreed to suspend uranium enrichment and to allow snap inspections of its nuclear facilities.
But Iran was angered last month by a tough resolution sponsored by the three European powers which rebuked Tehran for poor cooperation with the UN's nuclear watchdog.
Iran accused the EU trio of reneging on the agreement signed in Tehran last October and announced it would resume the manufacture and assembly of uranium enrichment centrifuges which can be used to make bomb-grade material.
Tehran strongly denies U.S. accusations that it is using a civilian nuclear program to hide a covert bid for atomic arms.
A French diplomatic source declined to confirm the fresh round of talks with Iran but said "France continues to remain favorable to dialogue" with the Islamic Republic.
A German Foreign Ministry spokesman said Berlin would continue the talks with Iran but declined to give a date or place for any meeting.
London also said it was keeping the channels open.
"Talks take place at an official level all the time and as there was no break in the dialogue, there will not be a resumption as such," said a Foreign Office spokesman.
Harder Line Urged Over Iran
July 13, 2004
Kuwait News Agency
LONDON -- "Why won't the Government stand up for Britain and say so?" Straw called on Ancram to produce a constructive alternative rather than þsimply raising the volume.
Are you proposing that we take military action against Iran or are you þproposing that we break off diplomatic relations with Iran? I don't happen to þthink that either of those are sensible", he said.
Hoon's statement also revealed that a deadline for Iran to return the þservicemen's equipment and weapons expired on June 29.
Two weeks later they still apparently have not been returned and yet the þsilence from the Government is deafening", Ancram continued.
I have to say your timidity on this matter is quite extraordinary". þOf course improving relations with Iran is important but not at any price".
Can't you see that a relationship based on giving in to aggression will þalways be suspect and that if Iran wants genuinely to lift the veil of suspicion that hangs over her she should be publicly pressed to apologise and þto return our equipment forthwith?''
Straw replied that the Government makes judgments about how best to maintain our relations on the basis of the best information available''.
Very occasionally the use of a megaphone and a rant, which seems to be your approach, might be appropriate. However, I think that on this occasion neither a megaphone or a rant is going to secure the return of these boats and equipment".
We oppose and deplore the masking of the service personnel but as a result of the diplomatic relations we have with Iran we were able to get that crew returned very quickly indeed", he said.
Britain was pursuing a policy of constructive but conditional engagement'' with Iran, the Foreign Secretary added.
We aim to support Iranian efforts to reform while making clear our concerns about Iran's policies in areas such as its nuclear programme, human rights and its attitude to the Middle East peace process", he said.
The Shatt al-Arab incident came against a background of already strained þdiplomatic relations between Britain and Iran.
Iranians were angered when Britain helped draft a critical resolution at the International Atomic Energy Authority, condemning Tehran's refusal to open up its nuclear programme to international inspections.
Islamic Republic of Iran Threatens the West
July 14, 2004
The Middle East Media Research Institute
In recent weeks, prominent Iranian figures have issued statements against the West, both within the government and in the newspapers close to the regime. These statements include threats to U.S. and European interests and targets throughout the world. The following is a collection of recent threats and is part of a comprehensive report on Iran's nuclear policy, to be published soon:
In a speech to the residents of the city of Hamedan on July 5, 2004, Iranian Leader Ali Khamenei said: "We, the Iranian people, within the borders of our country, will cut off any hand that harms our scientific, natural, human, or technological interests. We will cut off the hand that is sent to invade and work against our people's interests. We will do this with no hesitation.... If the enemy has the audacity to harm and invade, our blows against it will not be limited to the borders of our country... If someone harms our people and invades [our country], we will endanger his interests anywhere in the world."(1)
Iranian Revolutionary Guards Political Bureau head General Yadollah Javani wrote in the conservative daily Kayhan, which is close to Iranian Leader Ali Khamenei: "Threats of this kind are nothing new, but Iran must respond to these threats.(2) To deal with the invader, Iran will use all its capabilities within and outside Iran. It seems to me that in his [Hamedan] speech, the leader was referring to the use of all means of force, as Iran has in its possession all means of force on the highest level.
"...The converging of millions of Iranian youth imbued with the spirit of Shehada [martyrdom] in the Basij forces(3)... along with a courageous leader, the trend of the Islamic awakening, and the consolidation of many supporters around Iran's Islamic revolution can [all] go into action in times of crisis and play their part in light of these threats.
"Today we have in our possession long-range smart missiles which can reach many of the interests and vital resources of the Americans and of the Zionist regime in our region. Thus, if the enemies show stupidity and make any mistake towards Iran, [Iran] will certainly use all the means and capabilities at its disposal.
"Today we enjoy high deterrent ability, and if the enemy acts in madness and wants to try his luck, he will, as the leader said, quickly see his black fate, and will regret acting against Iran's Islamic regime."(4)
In an editorial, the July 6, 2004 edition of Kayhan stated: "The entire Islamic Middle East is now a volatile and tangled trap, and will be set off by the smallest bit of silliness - and will reap many victims of the sinful adventurers... Indeed, the White House's 80 years of exclusive rule are likely to become 80 seconds of Hell that will burn to ashes everything that has been built.
"Iran's counter-response is likely to be called 'sudden death' and 'the Angel of Death suddenly revealed.' That very day, those who resist [Iran] will be struck from directions they never expected. The heartbeat of the crisis is undoubtedly [dictated by] the hand of Iran."(5)
The above threats are in addition to earlier threats that were reviewed by MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 181, "The Internal Debate in Iran: How to Respond to Western Pressure Regarding Its Nuclear Program" of June 17, 2004.(6) The main threats were:
1. The recruitment and training of thousands of Iranian volunteers by Iran's Revolutionary Guards for suicide attacks against Western, European, and U.S. targets in Iraq, and their dispatch to Iraq.(7)
2. Resumption of Iran's project for long-range Shihab 4 and Shihab 5 missiles, capable of reaching Europe and the U.S., by order of Iranian Leader Ali Khamenei.(8)
3. Statements by senior Revolutionary Guards officials about a plan to eliminate "Anglo-Saxon civilization" using missiles and martyrdom [suicide] bombers, and about "29 sensitive targets" in the West, already identified by Iranian intelligence with the aim of blowing them up.(9)
(1) Kayhan (Iran), July 6, 2004. See also Clip No. 140, July 5, 2004, www.memritv.org .
(2) These statements were in response to an article in The Washington Times which he claimed was about Israel's ability to attack Iran's nuclear facilities within 80 seconds.
(3) The Basij is a paramilitary youth militia loyal to the regime.
(4) Kayhan (Iran), July 8, 2004.
(5) Kayhan (Iran), July 6, 2004.
(6) http://www.memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=ia&ID=IA18104 .
(7) Reports on registration of volunteers, a volunteer suicide bombers registration convention, and the dispatch of suicide bombers to Iraq appeared in Kayhan (Iran), June 1, 2004; Sharq (Iran), June 5, 2004; Jomhouri-ye Eslami (Iran), June 6, 2004; Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), May 28, 2004 and June 14, 2004; Sharq (Iran), May 27, 2004 http://www.sharghnewspaper.com/830307/gover.htm , and also at the Rouydad website (Persian) that is opposed to the regime, http://rouydad.info/news/index.aspx?UID=2513 .
(8) Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), June 14, 2004.
(9) In a subsequent television interview, Dr. Hassan Abasi, theoretician of Revolutionary Guards intelligence, head of the Revolutionary Guards' Center for Doctrinaire Affairs of National Security Without Borders, and Iranian Leader Ali Khamenei's representative at the Iranian broadcasting authority, said, "If the interests of Iran are endangered, if our Iranian identity is endangered and our civilization encounters obstacles, the Westerners must know that we will certainly not allow tranquility to anyone. We will not allow anyone in the West to sit in tranquility in his home while Iran encounters problems. Therefore, I reiterate: If there is no security for our Islamic and Iranian civilization, and if Iran and if our civilization are harmed, the others must certainly expect that they too will have no security." Jaam-e Jam 2 TV (Iran), June 22, 2004.
Islamic Republic of Iran Threatens the West
July 14, 2004
The Middle East Media Research Institute
A couple of weeks ago he wanted to talk to N. Korea and Iran about their nukes. Has that changed? Has he figured out talking isn't going to do any good? What's the big plan? Keeping it a secret? Is he going to tell the White House?
HUMAN RIGHTS: Judiciary Blocks Canadian Observers from Slain Journalist's Death in Custody Trial
[The Islamic governments judiciary blocked Canadian observers from the tiral of an intelligence ministry agent in the death in custody of Canadian-Iranian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, Canadas foreign affairs minister said.]
Radio Farda Newsroom
July 13, 2004 - We assume their intention is not to accept observers, Canadas foreign affairs minister Bill Graham said in an interview on Monday. The Islamic government officials were supposed to get back to us last weekend, They haven't gotten back to us, he said.
The trial of intelligence ministry official Mohammad-Reza Aqdam-Ahmadi is scheduled to begin on Saturday, and the judiciary has four more days to admit Canadian observers.
You are aware that progress in the Kazemi case has an impact on relations between our two countries, Graham warned in a letter to foreign minister Kamal Kharrazi. We will regard the handling of the trial as a signal of the depth of the Government of Iran's commitment to human rights, he added.
We do consider this extremely important, Graham said in an interview, responding to criticism from Kazemis son, Stephan Hachemi, who said on the anniversary of his mothers killing that the Canadian government has not done enough to bring his mothers body back to Canada for autopsy.
Its a high-profile case, Graham said. It's a matter of journalistic freedom. It's a matter of human rights in Iran. He accused the Islamic government of stonewalling on Kazemis case.
Grahams letter and interviews were the latest indication of worsening of Canada-Iran relations, a year after Kazemi, 54, died of head injuries, which according to a presidential investigative commission of cabinet ministers, were inflicted during an interrogation in the Evin prison. Kazemi had been arrested outside the prison for taking pictures of prisoners families gathered outside.
The agent going on trial on Saturday was one of the men who detained Kazemi. He is charged with semi involuntary manslaughter.
Human rights organizations, including Paris-based Reporters sans Frontiers charged that the defendant is a scapegoat preventing higher officials involved in the case from going on trial.
Former Reformist MP Declares the End of Reforms from Within
In an interview with Italian news agency Kronos International, former reformist MP and student activist Fatemeh Haqiqatju said reforms from within no longer works.
Radio Farda Newsroom
July 13, 2004 - The reform movement has had great accomplishments, but these accomplishments were dwarfed by the enormity of peoples expectations, whic caused people great despair and frustration Former Tehran MP Fatemeh Haqiqatju, who is banned from leaving for criticizing the judiciary in Majles speeches, told the Italian news agency Kronos.
Reform from within the present political structure will no longer get anywhere, Haqiqatju, a member of the pro-reform party Islamic Iran Participation Front, added. This does not mean that the reform movement has reached the end of the line, but the reformist politicians have concluded that they must pursue more fundamental reforms, she said.
The people have concluded that the present political authority is not flexible, she said. Most people, especially young people, seek fundamental change, but this movement has no leader and organization, she said.
She accused the conservative faction of the Islamic government of trying to establish a Taliban-like totalitarian regime in Iran, but she added, a theocratic dictatorship will no longer be accepted by the Iranian people. She said The present form of government does not represent the peoples demands.
PS We are looking for news stories, correspondents and blog advice.
Sounds like push for Secular Democracy to me. In an earlier article both her and Khatami's brother called for a Secular government instead of the Islamic Democracy President Khatami has been advocated.
What great news!
Britain is only concerned about receiving Iran's oil.
The present form of government does not represent the peoples demands.