Skip to comments.Iranian Alert -- July 17, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Posted on 07/16/2004 9:21:53 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.
For Immediate Release FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Audrey Mullen, 202-861-5677
July 16, 2004
Council on Foreign Relations provides Aid and Comfort to the Enemy
Washington, DC (July 16, 2004) Incredibly, those in the foreign policy establishment primarily responsible twenty-five years ago for Americas abandonment of democratic elements in Iran to the tyranny of violent, extremist mullahs, are now calling for engagement with the very terror masters of Tehran that they helped empower.
Clearly, decades after the calamitous and unprincipled policies of the Carter Administration opened the way to the bloody subjugation of Iranian liberty, Zbignew Brzezinski, Robert Gates and the Council on Foreign Relations have learned nothing in the intervening years from Irans bloody oppression and the rise of radical Islamism that has killed thousands of Americans.
The CFR dismisses as futile the sacrifices and aspirations of pro-democratic Iranians, and advocates direct dialogue with Tehran on matters of mutual concern. Such a course is inimical to a foreign policy that promotes global stability, advances the prospects of democratic self-determination for the Iranian people, and provides for the defense of the strategic interests of the U.S. and the western democracies.
The CFRs New Approach is in fact the same old accommodationism that lost Iran as Americas ally in the 1970s, and gives aid and comfort to the enemies of liberty, democracy, and modernity. By legitimizing the reign of the IRIs medieval mullahcracy, the elitists of the CFR abandon those fighting for freedom and universal human rights. The lawless despots of Tehran are aggressively developing a nuclear weapons capacity to attack or blackmail the west against the wishes of the Iranian people. Nuclear weapons in the hands of this regime will inevitably prolong its illegitimate grasp on power.
The IRI has less than 10 % of popular support within the country, by its own polling. Dialogue can only embolden the mullahs, damage the good will that exists between most Iranians and America, and set back the cause of liberty. As was graphically seen in their acts of solidarity following the attacks of 9/11, the Iranian people look to the U.S. for models of democratic institutions, and moral support for self-liberation.
A global freedom movement is emerging in rejection of the Islamic Republic of Iran and in support of the legacy of the Iranian Students Uprising of 1999. Any rapprochement with the terror masters of Tehran will damage and undermine this movement, and is not in the long-term interest of peace.
Commentary on the position of the Iranian democratic resistance movement, and its utter rejection of the presumptuous pro-IRI advocacy of the CFR will be provided by representative spokespersons immediately outside the location of the Council on Foreign Relations Press Briefing, Monday July 19, 2004, the Washington Club, 15 Dupont Circle NW, Washington DC. For information, please call Audrey Mullen, 202-861-5677.
The Iran Factor
July 16, 2004
In its report due next week, the September 11 commission will disclose new evidence suggesting Iranian government officials may have helped facilitate the terror attacks by providing Al Qaeda members with safe passage and clean passports as they traveled from Osama bin Ladens training camps in Afghanistan through Iran, NEWSWEEK has learned.
Citing a recently discovered December 2001 memo buried in the files of the National Security Agency, the commission report states that Iranian border inspectors were instructed not to place stamps in the passports of Al Qaeda fighters from Saudi Arabia who were traveling from bin Ladens camps through Iran, according to U.S. officials and commission sources familiar with the report.
The commission report does not address which Al Qaeda members specifically benefited from the clean passport policy. It also emphasizes that the panel has found no evidence suggesting that Iranian government officials had advance knowledge of bin Ladens plans to attack the World Trade Towers and Pentagon on the morning of September 11, 2001.
But, citing the NSA memo, the report discloses for the first time that eight to ten of the so-called muscle hijackers on September 11 are believed to have traveled through Iran between October 2000 and February 2001the same period of time that Iranian border guards were facilitating the movement of extremist jihadis entering and exiting the Afghan training camps.
Those same hijackers, most of whom probably had no knowledge of the Sept. 11 mission themselves, began entering the United States in April 2001 with no stamps on their passports indicating their recent travel to Afghanistan and Iran-red flags that might have prompted heightened scrutiny from U.S. border inspectors.
The new discovery about Irans assistance to Al Qaeda is among the most surprising new findings contained in a mammoth, 500 page report on the September 11 attacks that is due to be released by the commission next Thursday. Officials familiar with the findings say it provides far stronger evidence of the Iranian government links to bin Ladens organization than was found of connections between Saddam Husseins regime and Al Qaeda--a major bone of contention between the 9/11 panel and members of the Bush administration.
Former White House counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke said the 9/11 report confirms a judgment that U.S. counterterrorism officials had reached soon after the attacks. At the time, the Bush administration was seeking evidence pointing to Iraqi involvement in the attacks. See if Saddam did this, Bush instructed Clarke on the evening of Sept. 12, 2001, according to Clarkes book, Against All Enemies. See if hes linked in any way.
In fact, Clarke said, while there was no evidence of Iraqi complicity, "there were lots of reasons to believe that [Al Qaeda] was being facilitated by elements of the Iranian security services. We told the president that specifically. The best evidence we had of state support [for Al Qaeda] was Iran."
Bush did identify Iran, along with Iraq and North Korea, as part of the "axis of evil" in his January 2002 State of the Union speech. Iran had also long been identified by the State Department as a state sponsor of terrorism because of its close relationship with Hizbullah, a Shiite Muslim terror group with a major presence in Lebanon. But the president chose not to threaten military action against the Iranian regime, like he did with Iraq, in part because of a concern about possibly alienating "democratic forces within the country who might be in a position to modify Iranian behavior, according to Clarke.
Bush administration officials emphasized today that the 9/11 report also included contradictory information that undercut the idea of a strong relationship between Iran and Al Qaeda-and even cast some doubt on the conclusion that the Iranians were providing special favors for bin Ladens organization.
In interviews with U.S. interrogators, two high-level Al Qaeda detainees--September 11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and Ramzi bin al-Shibh--confirmed that some of the 9/11 hijackers had transited through Iran on their way to and from the Afghan training camps, the report says, according to knowledgable sources. But the two Al Qaeda captives insisted the hijackers did so mainly to take advantage of a general Iranian practice of not stamping "Saudi passports"indicating that the Iranian policy may have been cast more broadly than just Al Qaeda members.
One White House official called the report confusing on this point. However, another U.S. official said the general understanding of the U.S. intelligence community is that Iran was specifically seeking to assist extremist jihadi or Afghan Arabs traveling to and from the Afghan camps.
Another major captured Al Qaeda operative, Tawfiq bin Attash, also known as "Khallad," is cited in the report as telling interrogators that Iranian security services had reached out to bin Laden after the bombing of the USS Cole in October 2000 and proposed a strengthening of their relationship. But bin Laden, according to the 9/11 report, rejected the overture for fear of alienating his Sunni Muslim base in Saudi Arabia.
The new evidence about Iran cited in the 9/11 report builds on findings contained in an interim staff report which challenged the long-held idea among many U.S. intelligence analysts that bin Ladens Sunni Muslim populated terrorist group would shy away from collaboration with Shiite Muslim terror groups like Hizbullah that are associated with Iran.
In fact, the interim report found that in the mid-1990s, Bin Ladens representatives and Iranian officials had discussed putting aside Shia-Sunni divisions to cooperate against the common enemy. A small group of al Qaeda operatives subsequently traveled to Iran and Hizbullah camps in Lebanon for training in explosives, intelligence and security. Bin Laden reportedly showed particular interest in Hizbullahs truck bombing tactics in Lebanon in 1983 that had killed 241 U.S. Marines.
Perhaps most surprisingly, the panel found what it called strong but indirect evidence that bin Ladens organization played a role in the 1996 bombing of a U.S. Air Force housing complex at Khobar Towers in Dharan, Saudi Arabia, an attack that killed 19 Americans injured 372 others. That attack had been previously blamed by U.S. officials on a Saudi Shia Hizbullah group that was receiving direct assistance from Iran.
But the 9/11 panel noted that there were reports in the months before the attack that bin Laden was seeking to facilitate a shipment of explosives to Saudi Arabia. On the day of the attack, the interim staff report said, Bin Laden was congratulated by other members of the Islamic Army.
I will be appearing on XTV tomorrow afternoon, (Sunday 4-5PM PST).
We will be joined by telephone with Banafsheh, her husband, as well as Roger Simon, I am told.
We will be speaking about our concern over the "Iran Task Force" scheduled to make its lauch tomorrow as a function of the Council on Foreign Relations. See link for more details.
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