Skip to comments.Iranian Alert -- July 18, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Posted on 07/17/2004 9:01:07 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.
9/11 Panel Report Says Iran Aided Al Qaeda
July 18, 2004
The Washington Times
The September 11 commission's report, due out Thursday, says Iran may have facilitated the 2001 attacks on the United States by providing eight to 10 al Qaeda hijackers with safe passage to and from training camps in Afghanistan, press reports said yesterday.
Weekly magazines Time and Newsweek, in similar reports quoting congressional, commission and government sources, said Iran relaxed border controls and provided "clean" passports for the so-called "muscle hijackers" to transit Iran to and from Osama bin Laden's camps between October 2000 and February 2001.
According to Time, the commission's report says Iran at one point proposed collaborating with al Qaeda on attacks against the United States, but bin Laden declined, saying he did not want to alienate his supporters in Saudi Arabia.
Newsweek said the Iranian finding in the commission's report is based largely on a December 2001 memo discovered buried in the files of the National Security Agency.
The memo, according to Newsweek, says "Iranian border inspectors were instructed not to place stamps in the passports of al Qaeda fighters from Saudi Arabia who were traveling from bin Laden's camps through Iran."
Time said commission investigators "found that Iran had a history of allowing al Qaeda members to enter and exit Iran across the Afghan border," a practice they said dates back to October 2000.
Iranian officials, Time said, issued "specific instructions to their border guards ... not to put stamps in the passports of al Qaeda personnel and otherwise not harass them and to facilitate their travel across the frontier."
"The new discovery about Iran's assistance to al Qaeda," Newsweek said, "is among the most surprising new findings" in the 500-page report compiled by the non-partisan commission.
Former White House counterterrorism adviser Richard A. Clarke, who in a recent book said President Bush's administration was obsessed with involving Iraq in the attacks and had ignored intelligence on Iran, told Newsweek the commission's report confirms that.
The day after the attacks, Mr. Clarke said in his book, Mr. Bush told him: "See if Saddam (Hussein) did this. See if he's linked in any way."
Although there was no evidence linking Iraq to the attacks, Newsweek quoted Mr. Clarke as saying "there were lots of reasons to believe (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."
Time said the Iranian offer to collaborate with al Qaeda to attack the United States was made after the October 2000 suicide bombing of the USS Cole, which killed 17 sailors as the ship was being refueled in Yemen.
"But the offer," said the weekly, "was turned down by bin Laden because he did not want to alienate his supporters in Saudi Arabia."
Time said much of the new information about Iran "came from al Qaeda detainees interrogated by the U.S. government, including captured Yemeni al Qaeda operative Waleed Mohammed bin Attash, who organized the ... attack on the USS Cole."
The New York Times, meanwhile, reported yesterday the commission's report would recommend creation of a cabinet-level post that would take power from the CIA, FBI, National Security Council and Pentagon to oversee intelligence gathering said to have been lacking before and after the September 11 attacks.
The newspaper said the intelligence czar proposal would likely meet fierce opposition from the Pentagon and the CIA, "which would have to cede significant authority over the government's estimated $40 billion intelligence budget and other policy matters."
Under the proposal, the CIA director, who now reports directly to the White House, would have to go through the new national intelligence director, the Times quoted one official as saying.
LIVE THREAD with DoctorZIn on XTV
HUMAN RIGHTS: Judge Abruptly Ends Zahar Kazemis Death in Custody Trial
Radio Farda Newsroom
July 18, 2004 I'm so angry I cannot speak. They didnt even pay attention to our evidence and announced the end of the trial, Novel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi said on Sunday to reporters, as she walked out from the courtroom where the trial of intelligence agent Mohammd-Reza Aqdam for killing her clients kin Zahra Kazemi.
Canadian-Iranian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, 54, died last July in the Evin prison of broken skull and hemorrhage, which, a presidential investigative panel said, was a result of the blows she had received during interrogation.
This is not a fair trial. The case hasn't been reviewed. If they issue a verdict it will be unfair, Ms. Ebadi said outside the Tehran criminal court on the second day of the trial, during which Ms. Ebadi and her colleagues tried to present evidence and quoted reports showing that other officials, notably from the Islamic governments judiciary, may have been involved in Zahra Kazemis death.
Victim familys lawyers also protested against the trials venue, and said the case must be tried as a murder at a higher, province-level penal court.
Foreign diplomats, including Canadian and Dutch envoys to Tehran, and foreign journalists, who attended the trial on Saturday, were barred from entering the courtroom on Sunday.
The defendant, whose trial resumed on Saturday after a nine-months break, and is charged with semi-involuntary manslaughter, maintained that he was innocent. He faces a maximum of three years in prison. His lawyer told the court that witnesses had seen the victim being hit on the head by a senior judicial official, identified as Mohammad Bakhshi.
The trial pits the judiciary against the intelligence ministry, Khatamis reformist government against the conservatives in the intelligence and security forces and the judiciary, and pits the lawyers of the victim against the lawyers of the accused, and pits both sets of lawyers against the judge, who ended the trial abruptly, announced that verdict will be announced sometime next seek.
The Islamic government officials last week rejected Canadas request to send three observers to the trial. They said Kazemi had entered Iran as an Iranian and her death in custody was an internal issue. But Kazemis death, the subsequent investigations and the trial a year after, places Canada and the Islamic government on two sides of a diplomatic row which may impact the two countrys trade and diplomatic relations.
Canada recalled its Tehran envoy last week, after the judiciary said Canadian diplomats could not attend the trial, but suspended the recall on Saturday, after Canadian ambassador Philip MacKinnon attended the trial.
Canada Recalls Tehran Envoy, Again
July 18, 2004 - Canadas ambassador to Tehran Philip Mackinnon would return home, Canadas Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham said on Sunday, calling the abruptly ended trial in Tehran of an intelligence ministry official for killing Canadian-Iranian journalist Zahra Kazemi flagrant denial of justice.
Ambassador Philip MacKinnon, his Dutch counterpart representing the European Union and senior diplomats from Britain and France - alongside foreign journalists - arrived at the courtroom on Sunday to find their access blocked. A spokeswoman for the UK Foreign Office confirmed that a British observer had attended the trial on Saturday but was denied entry on Sunday. She made no further comment.
The judge said foreign diplomats and journalists were being barred to show the international community that Iran would not bow under pressure, the judge said on Sunday, according to Iranian reporters who were allowed inside the courtroom.
Kazemis death in custody trial has strained Iran-Canada relations. Graham said last week that Canada was considering its options, including economic and trade sanctions against Iran and taking Iran to the International Court of Justice.